Friday, 6 November 2015

A wonderful Motley crew that is we.

I have always known that our dogs have multiple relationships within our little motley crew.  Over the years the relationships change and morph, yet there is a constant and a home base.

We have the usual Nanny/ dog relationship, then the dog/ dog relationship then we have the 'relationship' they have with their van and of course the group as a whole.  Being in the enviable position of very few dogs moving on, very few changes to my charges and handlers has a profound affect on the dogs.

Dogs are known to share their scent with ours making everyone smell the same, making the family and the members in that group we. The Petnanny dogs, to a degree the K9-5 dogs, Autumn and I have become we.

Having customers ring me saying their dog had behaved strangely with a dog they met on a walk, only to have another customer phone with the same story.....they talked about how both dogs leapt about, behaved in a very over the top manner and they hadn't wanted to come away, whilst their dogs revelled in the fact they had unexpectedly chanced upon their 'friend' on a walk.  Both dogs had rushed back to their owners and back again as if to say 'hey its my Petnanny pal come see!'

Feeling like I have time to enjoy watch and immerse myself in our guys and gals has been a delight.  I know them so well and sometimes not at all.  Isn't that what makes dogs so fascinating?  Familiarity may breed contempt in many, not me.  On a day to day basis I find myself more and more interested and intrigued by dog.

I appreciate the individual, I love being a small part in their lives long term and introducing them into a part of life where they can be dog then them heading home and being a much loved member of their family.

Recently on a walk I was faced with four dogs without a handler.....not something I want to see!  My guys tucked in and they promptly sat, that didn't last long when the chunky lurcher in the free roaming dogs continued to stalk Ember the dobermann, I released her and gently talked to her but it was too much she ran only to leap into the heather and head back to behind me.  Megan was tucked in behind my legs but she was scared when an aggressive spaniel bowled in and mounted Rez our entire Vizsla.  Every attempt to remove the pest from Rez escalated its behaviour and talking calmly to my guys ( Ember hiding behind me, Megan now backed into heather and Rez for being so stoical until I could remove the sodding dog) for now stopped anything getting out of control.  Being deathly calm so that the tension couldn't tip the lurcher and spaniel over the edge I could finally see the handler and insisted she put the dogs on leads and attempted some control.

This is no story of the trials of a dog walker this is a moment of complete delight and genius.

Lolly the daft lab was getting antsy and I released her...She promptly moved firmly in front of the stationary but still in full stalk Lurcher and the stalk was broken.  She then turned tail and walked straight up to the spaniel, myself and Rez.  In what I can only describe as a slide she mounted Rez and slid down his body promptly removing idiot Spaniel.  That allowed me to safely grab the spaniel and wait for the moment responsibility returned to the handler.

Off we went as a startled and a little unsettled band and Lolly had become the guardian bouncing back and forth between us all happy and silly.  Megan and Lolly had a bit gamble about, something that normally wouldn't happen as Lolly is a bit full on for Megan then she enrolled Ember into a daft game.  Rez was chatting Lolly up and being a bit giddy likely more than a little relieved all was well. They all checked in and asked for cuddles way more than normal.  Wars cause communities to band together to fight a common enemy and the same had happened with us.

Then we have poor Maddi.  Maddi has all the problems some labs are known for and over time her elbows had started to really trouble her.  She was operated on and her recovery was slow.  This meant she was away from her group for some time, away from home and more than a little overwhelmed.

Once Maddi came home I started single walks mooching around trying to engage her and there was a little tail wag, a lean in and glance but no more.  Soon I introduced another calm dog and her mood was still worryingly low.  Bodily she improved so well she joined us in the van, enjoying multiple tootles in different areas and what a difference the trips out made.  Hardly surprising of course however again this isn't about Maddi's moods so much as the response from our guys.

Phoebe is a typical collie, sensitive and enthusiastic, a bit of a Womble and uses the dogs as a way to use her brain.  She invents games and no one else knows the rules.  Only she focussed on little sad Maddi.  She stopped wombling, stopped her games and walked alongside Maddi.  She sniffed her mouth with great passion gently wagging her tail and doing an almost puppy tilt of her head when they come to tuck their heads into your neck.  It worked Maddi responded and picked up a bit of speed.  A bit more sniffing here and there.  Then her other walking partners started to examine her and soon they were gently body touching her.

Yesterday Phoebe was on a tootle after being upset with the fireworks, joined by Maddi, Autumn and I with Beau and Lolly.  Phoebe once again rubbed herself up to Maddi and focussed around Maddi's mouth...it has made such a profound difference to Maddi and to myself.  I wonder if the care and attention will continue once Maddi recovers fully...I doubt it.

As I drive around in Veronica ( van) I chuckle as passing dogs being walked by their owners turn their noses, catching a whiff of our little happy band.  Most are sleeping, one always stays awake and most times Louie falls asleep with his head on the windowsill. I know people see a large van with dogs in and wonder how on earth that works....they see dogs yet I see Molly Mc Dolly tucked in beside Breeze knowing he likes to settle so she can sleep with anyone waking her by moving.  I see Charlie, Tips and Bobby snuggled in close enough to the heater to be cosy but not having the air blowing on their faces.  Truffle is asleep by her cage door she needs to be ready for action! These aren't just dogs they are a funny little motley crew heading for a day of entertainment and rest.

Willow is the firm favourite for sleeping partner when in the van yet on a walk she chooses Charlie over all or a good game with a flirty male.  Fluffy settles happily with all in the van with no real preference. He does love the front with me on the way there yet he likes to travel in the back on the way back...on a walk however his heart is with Poppy and Lola, with ball play or frisbee he has to try to keep up with Rez.

All such wonderful individuals yet they belong to another family all of which they know and trust, they may not choose to play with all however when the chips are down we face the common enemy.

Since I have missed blogging about what I love most....the silly little relationships, the changes of allegiances and firm friendships, I shall have to find my inner mutterings and share the funny little world I have created with your loyal and long standing help.










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