Hunting ‘Bambi’

On Sunday’s dog-walk, it was one of those perfect days. A temperature of 21C (70F) made even more pleasant by a gentle easterly breeze, just enough to move the long grass.

With 90% of the area now dry ground, and no need for boots, Ollie and I made a few tours of Beetley Meadows, then twice around Hoe Rough. He only went into the river once to drink, and didn’t seem to be feeling the heat at all.

The whole area was unusually quiet, leading me to suspect that most people had headed to the nearby coastal resorts, or decided to have family time and barbecues in their gardens.

When we got back and started to head for the woodland area, I saw some other dog walkers. A family with a small poodle cross, and a man with a terrier. Then in the middle of the widest path, bold as brass, we all saw a young deer, nibbling happily at something by the edge. It had long, spindly legs and big eyes that made me think of Disney’s Bambi. It surely had no idea about where it was, and showed no fear of me as I approached.

But then all three dogs spotted it, and the hunt was on!

Although the dogs didn’t know each other, pack mentality took over, and they rushed off together barking, yapping, and yelping.

Fortunately for the juvenile deer, instinct kicked in, and it took off bounding gracefully, easily outstripping the three dogs as it jumped the three-bar fence back into the woodland.

We were left with three frustrated and panting dogs, who had participated in a very short and fruitless hunt.

Ollie’s Eye: An Update

On the 8th, I posted about Ollie being bitten by another dog, and getting a cut under his eye.

Ollie Gets A Nip

This Tuesday, I took Ollie to the Vet about a problem with his ear. I showed the Vet his eye, and he said he would look at that too. With the social distancing still operating, I am not allowed to go in with Ollie, so had to wait in the car.

Ten minutes later, the Vet returned with him, telling me he had a mild infection in his left ear, and he brought out some antibiotics for him to take on a ten-day course. He told me he had looked at the eye, and the antibiotics would take care of any infection. I should not attempt to bathe it or clean it, just let it dry out and scab naturally.

Hopefully, everything should have cleared up by next Friday.

Ollie Gets A Nip

Earlier today, the dog-walk was so miserable and wet, we hadn’t see a soul. Ollie was saturated, I was damp and fed up. Umbrella up, I was trudging alongside the riverbank, head down and avoiding the slight flooding coming over the bank onto the path.

Rounding a corner, I heard a dog barking loudly, and recognised Teddy the Alsatian, who always barks at Ollie because he wants him to play. Teddy’s lady owner also had her other dog, a very elderly black labrador bitch. That dog is not at all friendly, and has to be kept on her lead.

However, Ollie is obsessed with sniffing her, so I decided to put his lead on to stop him going over to her. But before I could do that, he had run behind the owner, and started to sniff the poor dog. She immediately showed her teeth, and Teddy started barking in a protective manner. I shouted at Ollie to come back to me, but the lure of sniffing the Labrador caused him to defy me.

Seconds later, she snapped at Ollie’s face as he attempted yet another ‘intimate’ sniff. The lady owner was very upset, and showed me that Ollie was cut under his eye, about an inch long. It looked a bit like a ‘Boxing injury’, and was bleeding slightly. The owner offered to pay any Vet’s bill, but I reassured her that it was all Ollie’s fault, and I would look at the eye later when I got in out of the torrential rain.

Fortunately, Ollie did not retaliate. He never does.

Home in the dry, we could see the cut under his eye. But it’s not bothering him, and so we left well enough alone. He has to go to the Vet on Tuesday anyway, for something else. I will get it checked then.

Once again, Ollie’s obsession with sniffing other dogs left him with an injury.

He never learns. 🙂

Ollie: An Eventful Walk

For the last few days, Ollie has not had much fun on his walks. Many of his regular doggy pals have been notable by their absence, and the few dogs he did encounter didn’t seem to like him that much, including one tiny terrier who attacked him on sight.

The day before yesterday we got a real soaking in unexpected rain, and yesterday we only saw one other dog, in more than two hours of walking around.

Today was sunny to start, with ‘showers’ supposed to arrive after 3 pm. So I set off a bit earlier, and it proved to be a good plan. Ollie soon met up with a couple of friendly Spaniels he knows, and the new arrival of a small white Staffordshire Bull Terrier proved to be a friendly encounter too.

Over on Hoe Rough, there seemed to be no dog-walkers today. But halfway round the right hand path, Ollie spotted a white-tailed deer crossing the path up ahead, and took off in hunting mode. No chance of catching it of course, but until it went to ground in a dense thicket of shrubs, he had a good chase.

Then he decided to track the animals route, nose to the ground, sniffing like a Bloodhound.

He was excited enough to need a long dip in the river before we started on the return journey to Beetley Meadows. Once back over the bridge, Ollie was delighted to see little Lola, the affectionate Shih Tzu. And she was in the company of Zen, the feisty miniature Chihuahua.

The three of them had a good meet, with strokes and cuddles all round, and lots of sniffing and running in small circles.

By the time we got home, Ollie was ready for his dinner, and he is now sleeping soundly next to me, after his eventful walk.

Ollie: Back From The Vet

I have just returned from taking Ollie to the Vet this morning.

After getting his booster vaccinations, and a full check-up, the Vet pronounced that there is nothing wrong with him whatsoever. His weight, temperature, and heart are all good, and he has no signs and symptoms of any infection or discernible illness.

My concern about Ollie not eating as much and drinking more water was put down to Ollie’s age, and the fact he has slowed down considerably. Less rigorous exercise means that he is not as hungry, and because it has been unusually cold and we have had the heating on might well make him more thirsty in the house.

It seems I was over-reacting, but I am glad that Ollie has been checked over, and is fine.

Thanks to everyone for your concern about him. That is always appreciated.

New Arrivals: Rusty

Last December, I mentioned Rusty, a puppy that had arrived on the dog-walking scene. Full of youthful exuberance, he is always excited to see Ollie, and beside himself with the desire to play. Unfortunately, Ollie considers himself above such childish behaviour now, so Rusty has to make do with pretending to play, while Ollie stands still and gives him an occasional warning growl.

Rusty is older now of course, though not that much bigger. He enjoyed himself in the snow when it was here.

He recently had his first trip to the groomer, and his super-soft fur is looking in top condition.

I am hoping that Ollie will soon decide that Rusty is in his gang, and one of his new best friends. But I’m not holding my breath. 🙂

Ollie: Missing His Lost Friends

When I started to take Ollie out in 2012, he had at least nine best friends in the canine world.

Now, few of those are left. We recently heard about Ellie, the Spaniel. She was around ten years old, and had to be put to sleep after a large tumour was discovered inside her.

Some are still around. Toby the Jack Russell for one. Then yesterday, we encountered Rocky, the Black Labrador. We hadn’t seen him that much during the bad weather, so it was nice to discover that he was fit and well, and as lively as ever. Ollie was pleased to see him, after all that time.

There are some new friends arriving, but Ollie is reluctant to admit them to his ‘gang’. Missy the Whippet. She loves Ollie, and runs circles around him, like a tiny whirlwind. Ruby, the Chocolate Labrador, who searches him out with obvious delight, whenever she sees him. He still stands and looks at the entrances to Beetley Meadows and Hoe Rough, and I just know he is searching for his absent friends.

We also met up with Teddy, the young Alsatian. He wants to play all the time, but doesn’t realise just how big he is. After a lot of jumping around Ollie, and barking at him incessantly, Ollie finally allowed a short play. Chasing round in circles, splashing into the river, and trying to avoid Teddy as the big dog swipes him with huge paws. Ollie has soon had enough, and a few growls tell Teddy playtime is over for now.

As I chat to Teddy’s lady owner, Ollie stares into the distance at the entrance to Beetley Meadows from the road we live on. He seems to be waiting for older, more familiar friends. I try to tell him they will not be coming, but of course he doesn’t understand.

And what of Strudel, one of his best-ever friends? We haven’t seen her for so long now, I am wondering if she is okay.

Just as we mourn our friends, dogs do too.

They search for their smells, sniff their familiar owners, and wonder why the dogs are no longer around.

Loss and grief are not just human emotions. I’m certain of that.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Waking up late, and writing.

I woke up late today, nine fifty-six, to be precise. Unlike last week, I didn’t lie in bed thinking random thoughts, but got up with something specific on my mind.

I was busy doing stuff yesterday, so didn’t write an episode of the latest serial. And that also meant that I didn’t write today’s episode in advance, something I generally do, especially at weekends.

Later this afternoon, I also didn’t write tomorrow’s episode, let alone writing and posting the one that should have gone out today. So by tomorrow, I will techically be two episodes behind. Hopefully, this is just a blip, and not a case of writer’s block.

We will all find out tomorrow.

( On the plus side, Ollie met new friends on his walk today. Bambi, a dog rescued from a life on the streets in Croatia, having to stay on her lead in case she runs away. At least until she is used to the area, and her new home. Then Misty, a Collie pup with pale grey and white fur. Twenty weeks old, and excitable. Both of those new arrivals were a little bit ‘in your face’ for Ollie’s liking. But he will get used to them in time. )

Ollie’s New Friends

Over the years, Ollie has sadly lost many of the original canine companions on our dog-walks.

More recently, both Oban the Labrador and Rocky the Newfoundland have died, and then we heard that Bruno the Pug has gone too. He was sixteen though, a good age.

Slowly but surely, new friends are appearing on Beetley Meadows. There is Zen, the tiny Chihuahua who thinks he’s a Lion. Freddy, the pure white Labradoodle who always gets upset when Ollie won’t play with him. Another potential playmate ignored by Ollie is Teddy, a young Alsatian who barks noisily when his attempts to play are treated with disdain.

The couple who lost Rocky have now just acquired a puppy. He is a rust-coloured Retriever/Poodle cross called (appropriately) Rusty. His fur is beautifully soft, and at thirteen weeks old, all he wants to do is play. Naturally Ollie ignores that, and just sniffs him instead, letting him know who’s the boss.

Little Hattie the curly black Shih Tzu has finally decided she likes Ollie, and is now happy to walk around with us for a while.

Then today, the lady who lost Bruno the Pug appeared. She has decided not to get another dog, but misses the walk and the company. So she has started to walk around with us again, just like old times.

Ollie might have to get used to a new gang, but at least he still has one.