I started just blogging my uncoordinated experiences with Lucy when I got her, but now I want to empathize with her feelings as my companion, rather than treat her like a subordinate pet. So I am switching write this from her point of view.
Leaking blood for a few days. At first it was quite dark but today it became bright and almost orange. It's happened once before, back when I was a mischievous little puppy, but back then something changed and Angelica noticed how much more mature I became after that first period. Suddenly it just felt natural to work together as a pack.
First I had to train Angelica to do the lefthand side of the road while I would do the right. In this way we could get twice as much walking done in the same time. I'm surprised Angelica never thought of it because she is almost as clever as a proper heading dog and it didn't take her too long to learn how to read my signals. When traffic is really busy, sometimes she still feels safer being on my side with me. I don't blame her, because we have seen cats that had been run over. They don't seem to realize how fast cars can go and they also forget to look both ways before they cross, but I can trust Angelica to be sensible.
Coming to the end of our walk today, I felt an irrisistable urge to shoot up a side street. I've seen Goose and Brew walking with Kate there. We've met in the park and played ball together and I really wanted to see them. I found their house by just following my nose. They were in the garden. Kate let us in and she made Angelica a cup of herbal tea. I would lie down and both Goose and Brew kept sniffing me. Goose is a full-on huntaway and lots of fun, but he had to have stitches out so Kate eventually shut him inside. Brew is bigger but more sedate. They left us to play. Angelica came back an hour later and Kate had take a picture of us. Once again I felt something very significant had happened.
The assistant is tapping the table and saying "up", but Angelica has told me tables are where people eat yucky food like lettuce. Suddenly Angelica just scoops me up in her arms and plonks me unceremoniously on the table. Then the vet starts rubbing my tummy with a squeeky thing. He says I'm going to have atleast 4 puppies. He can't take a picture with one hand and gets his assistant to do it with his cell phone. The vet seems a bit concerned about how big Brew might have been and says something about cesarian. Angelica says she wants the best for me and doesn't care what it costs, so he suggests we come back in 3 weeks to make sure all is OK.
Human babies take 9 months, but us dogs can do a whole litter in just 9 weeks! Angelica has been reading stuff on the internet and started giving me extra yummy food with omega 3 and 6's, vitamins and minerals. I get milk too now, and sometimes steamed Salmon heads. Today I had Mackrel and she makes bone soup for both of us with grass-fed cow bones. Those are rich on Iron, Calcium and Magnesium.
Angelica says she always wanted a dog that would have puppies. She appreciates what a precious gift pregnancy is and wants the best for us unlike human mums who eat junk food do drugs, drink and smoke because they don't give a damn.
Waiting at the lights to cross on foot with Lucy, a group of cyclists come thru. I tell Lucy we must wait for the bicycles, because I can see they've all gone through a red light and the pedestrian lights are about to go green for us. Just then the audible beeper for blind people starts beeping and Lucy lurches forward... straight into the last oncoming bike about half a meter in front of me. She yelps in agony as it and the cyclist crash on top of her. The woman in front, turns and screeches abuse and at me how I should keep my dog closer, but I'm really distressed. I shout "Don't blame me! You went through the red light and those lights are there for a reason!" I've always let people untimidate and bully me, but I've had enough it now.
Now my poor little lucy has some nasty cuts that are bleeding, but with the lockdowns the vet's is closed so I put disinfectant on them and bandaged as best I could.
My dog sitting at the crossing just now, waiting for me to say "over". A big guy and his floozy walk up with yappers on dog leads that attack Lucy, her heckles go up and she growls at them. Then the "man" lashes out kicking viciously several times at my dog who hasn't done anything other than growl. I dive over the mans flailing leg to pull her to safety. "WTF did you do that for?" I shout at him. He says "Your dog's not on a lead and it's your generations fault we have lock down, I hope you die!"... I told him he was a 'c word' (no, not 'coward' it was the 'c' word some people don't like me to write here as it "offends them"). He was a good head taller than me, a lot bigger and wearing heavy boots too that he defintely hurt Lucy with. Maybe even a broken rib, can't tell yet. I didn't know how to react but I swear if something like that happens again I shall wrap lucy's chain round my fist and punch the coward as hard as bloody well can. I won't be fighting for the freedoms of the ghastly next generation of this nation, but I certainly shall be defending mine.
Update: 2021-08-29 A lady cycling past with her young daughter on the back stops to tell me she was witness to this event and how horrified she was at a the abusive languge that was directed at me without any cause. It did make me feel better as sometimes you just start to doubt yourself, so I thanked her for telling me.
I'm telling Lucy to go "over" and then a neighbour starts telling me to put my dog on the lead. I said "what for?" and he said "for a start mine will have have it", so I said then it's up to you to keep YOUR dog under control, and he says yours isn't even on the lead and I said she's a sheep dog and doing exactly what I told her to. He snorts and mutters something I copuldn't hear.
We get to the end of the road and I tell Lucy "To the lights and wait". She bounds ahead and stands motionless at the crossing by the lights. A car comes round the corner and the passenger shouts angrily out the window "Look after your dog". I shout back that she's waiting for me.
The rest of our walk into city center is uneventful but at one point Lucy starts snapping at my feet, which is her way of telling me to walk faster. I say "NO" to her and to walk nicely with me or I will put her on the lead. Two women walking past are laughing and one says she should really be on he lead anyway, but I don't mind when it's not said with hostility. I explain I'm trainong her to nehave and that it's a nice safe pedestrian precinct. They smile and agree.
Took Lucy out for her evening walk and she enjoys me sending her over the road, then racing round and back to me again. me neighbours getting out of their car were watching and smiling and I said "she's a sheep dog... she just loves doing this". "She's awesome!" they responded. I sent lucy on another run round, but two cars appeared, one from each direction so I gave her the "wait there" command. She froze on the spot. She lay down and waited for me to say "OK" before continuing.
At the end of our road is a foot bridge over the river. On the command "to the bridge!" Lucy raced ahead and lay down at the crossing until I got there. Then we crossed together to get to the bridge, but this time she swerved left and went back to the crossing where she lay down at the curb. I followed her and was just telling we would have to wait for the cars that were coming.
Suddenly I heard a lot of commotion. Two dogs on leads were leaping up and down and barking furiously as a man and his wife sought to restrain them by their driveway gate two doors up on the other side of the road. "Oh, I better put you on the lead" I said to Lucy, as those dogs seem upset about you being here. Lucy, still lying at my feet looked up at me with her big brown eyes as if saying "what's that got to do with me?". The man started swearing at his dog and then shouted abuse at me. He called me ignorant and said dogs should be on a lead. I had already sliped it over Lucy's head and she was now sitting quietly next to me. I shouted back that my dog was doing nothing wrong and that his dogs were his problem, not mine. He got really angry and launched into a tirade, so I showed him my middle finger while he went into a mouth forthing appoplectic fit sneering at my appearance and making monkey noises.
In the future I must make sure to be wearing my video glasses. These are the sort of moments just begging to be recorded. All they want is for the nanny state to rule and regulate every aspect of our lives, but should that mean the rest of humanity must surrender our freedom to satisfy their insecurity? I say fuck them.
I don't think she liked me much at first. I was nothing like the people on the farm she came from, no other dogs and no children to play with, but sick of all the betrayal I desperately wanted a companion and so I devoted myself to giving her a loving home with lots of fun and games. Gradually she warmed to me.
In the heat of the day she sleeps under my bed, sometimes she uses her puppy basket even though she is now far too big for it and when it's cold she hops up into mine. \ When I go out she will drag one of my wooly jumpers out of the washing basket put it on the bed with er and snuggle up on it. In the morning I find her currled up in my arms with her head on my shoulder, sometimes holding my sleeve in her mouth and I just gave at her affectionately. Then she dances off to find a ball and entice me to come play.
When we get back we have breakfast together. It remind me of Sunday morning as a child, not being allowed to eat until after church, but then we would get croisants and real butter if we were good. Waiting made it all the more worth while. I think in nature the pack would hunt on an empty stomach and eat when they made a kill. Lucy is a precious team member in our symbolic hunt every morning... she deserves the best cut and I give it to her, so she knows she's appreciated.
We have 5 glow-in-the-dark rubber balls and Lucy loves to play "bounce" in the dark in the living room. I bounce a ball off a wall and she catches it. The action gets fast and furious and we vary bouncing at different angles off the wall and the floor. It was something I did while waiting for my coffee to percolate once, and now whenever I go to the coffee percolator Lucy gets all excited. She comes into the kitchen to check it is the percolator and woofs at me then she rushes into the living room and lies in the ball bouncing corner making cute little squeals of anticipation.
Today I noticed there were only 4
bounces in the box. I walked past Lucy, who was lying there looking up at me with those soft brown eyes and I said "I just need a pee first". Then from the bathroom I said... "There is one bounce missing... I think it might be in the bedroom. See if you can find it!"...
Well Lucy got up. She padded through to the bedroom and promptly came back with the missing
bounce. Then she went back to the corner waiting for me to finish and start the game.
When I talk to her she tilts her head slightly, looking at me askance at times, but I think she actually understand far more than people give dogs credit for. Whether she obeys is a different matter.
Walking back from the park some children were chasing each other down the road toward us... and recognizing it as a game Lucy was getting excited. Back then she would try to lick a child's face so I was holding her down. The little girl asked me why and I said because sometime she jumps up at children.
Later that week I was walking there with her off the lead and a woman came along and kicked her really hard. I shouted "What are you doing? She didn't do anything to you!". The woman said "Your dog jumps up at children". I realize that little girl must have gone home and told hert mother "that dog jumps up at children", even though that had not been the case. A next the children were running past again and said hello. I said to Lucy, "Avoid those kids, their mom is the one who kicked you."
Come the weekend covid lock downs were in force and everyone had to keep a safe distance. This time coming to a junction that same mom came round the corner from behind a tall hedge. She immediately started backing away with her hands held up high shouting "keep that dog away from me!" Lucy would normaly have just walked past, but the hands going up and her walking backwards blocking the way wasn't helping.
The next time we saw her, she was in her car and Lucy had run ahead to wait for me at the junction. This time she drove really close to the curb at hiogh speed an blasted her horn agressively. Most dogs would spook, but Lucy just laid her ears back and cowered down on the foot path until I got to her, trusting she would be safe there as I have taught her. It's this Karen attitude that all dogs must be on a lead that I don't agree with. Anyone who thinks you can exervise a heading dog on a lead is simply ignorant and they need of training, respect and trust.
Although we play with them indoors too, Lucy associates her ball with going out. She will bring it to me and drop it on the bed first thing in the morning as a suble hint. Then as soon as I'm ready she races to the door with it in her houth and proudly carries it with her all round the block.
Sometimes she would drop it and back then if it rolled onto the road she might be tempted to chase it right into the path of oncoming traffic. Since then I've taught her to let me get it, but back then I thought it safest to just leave the ball at home. So I put it up on a little tray of gravel that I have by the front door and off we went.
On arriving home I noticed the ball was gone and I wasn't entirely sure if I remembered correctly putting it there. Could it have been I was confused with a previous occasions, but I soon relized we had definitely lost one and there was also a rusty nail in my gravel tray that I am sure I had never put there.
There is this other dog owner who comes visit me sometimes. In the past I had leant him money but such loans were never repaid. He would invariably spend it on alcohol and tobacco and I had a hard time saying no to that. By chance he turned up a bit later. He was pleading with me for a bottle of my home brew. I told him I wasn't happy that he never even returns the empty bottles as they cost money and take a lot of efforst to clean and refill. I said he should consider brewing his own (thinking he might appreciate it more when he has to put some effort in), but I reluctantly gave him one anyway. That's when he confessed he had been round earlier and that his dog had taken the ball (which was highly unlikely as the dog would be too low down to see into the tray where it had been). His dog is some kind of pit bull and just chomps those balls to pieces in a matter of minutes, yet they cost almost $20 each which is quite a lot of money to me. It reminds me of when I found my bell peppers had been picked and just thrown into the back garden as if they were just rubbish. At the time I had suspected him of being the onme who did that. I don't think it's malice, but it's disrespectful and I don't feel I can trust people with that attitude in my home as who knows what they might decide to borrow without asking. They have a "communal living" culture which in which the community provides for their needs.
Ever since I started teaching my puppy, Lucy to be traffic-wise, she just loves to cross busy roads. She's sitting watching the cars attentively looking for a gap. She is incredibly patient and thinks it's all a fun game. When it's not too busy I let her do it without using the lead as she will wait on command and won't move until I say "over". When it's really busy she seems to prefer I clip the lead on, and so it was that yesterday we were waiting half way across on a traffic island with a steady stream of rush hour vehicles yet to be negotiated. Finally a gap of about 3 car lengths could be seen aproaching, but the car stuck in a side street was edging out, and I anticipated them going for the gap, this is one thing Lucy hasn't worked out yet and it might be beyond what can expect from a dog, so I kept her close on the lead.
With impressive timing the driver zipped into the the gap. Now if it had been me in the next car I might have slowed down and backed off a bit out of courtesy, knowing how hard this kind of maneuver can be at rush hour, but instead there were two obese women in that car and I could see their faces flush with rage as they stamped on the accelerated and gave a blaring "how dare you" blast of the horn at the other driver. It was only inches from us and Lucy and I both flinched. People with such a volatile temper are unsafe to be behind the wheel.
Note: since writing this Lucy has become totally predictable. I can trust her run ahead to the lights where she will wait until I get there and she lies down at crossing trying to tell me she wants to cross... which I often do even if we don't need to be on the other side.
Yesterday I went walking in the forest at bottle lake. Lucy loves it there and runs off sniffing all the forest smells. She gets really excited as we approach our destination, the beach. By the time we've walked back it's a good three hours and we are both tired and looking forward to a snack and a rest, but Lucy got it into her head to roll in something disgusting, by the smell of it ... very stale pooh! I scolded her and said "go away you are smelly!"
She trotted ahead in a sulk, with her ears flat and her tail bewteen her legs. She saw another dog further up and decide to go see if it wanted to play with, and I don't mind her learning the canine social graces. I noticed the other dog was on a lead and it's owner was wearing some kind of uniform. His body language suggested he didn't want Lucy around so I shouted "off" at her and she obediently she backed off by about 10 meters, but still some distance ahead of me. I didn't think there was any problem with that.
There is a hose by the car park, just right for hosing down a smelly dog before I put her in the car, but Lucy wasn't having any of it and scuttled off to a safe distance each time I tried to get hold of her. The man in the uniform had put his dog in an "animal control" van, but now he parked across the exit and was glaring at us. Not wanting any trouble I opened my car door and command Lucy to get, which she did immediately (presumably because she knew it meant she wouldn't be getting the dreaded hose treatment) and I would just have to wash the seats later. Now the dog warden swung his van round to block me from getting out of my parking space and started shouting at me that I should keep my dog under control. He said Lucy had sneaked up behind them and "frightened his dog"... WTF I thought... his dog is twice the size of my puppy (she was not even one year old yet). I said she didn't want to be hosed down and that she had backed off immediately when I had told her to.
The dog warden threatened that if his dog had attacked Lucy I would be to blame, because it would be Lucy not under control rather than his dog that was on a lead. Then he proceeded to allege she "lingering behind them..." again WTF I thought, who is this prick in a position of power, but though it best to justy say "Sorry I didn't realize there would be a problem with that."
Well the dog warden drove off and a group of cyclists stood staring at me as were I some kind of space monster. The new age is dawning: An age of uppity authorities and judgemental "Karen's".