We have been having a family discussion. When you go on an early evening walk you tend to loose the dog. Once out of sight he disappears into the wood and that is it. You can start calling and he appears behind you! He sneaks in and out of the shadows like magic. So we have discussed a new collar, reflective and with lights. Well this was my discussion. I was then told I was a total push over and the solution to all those who sold rubbish to dog owners! Well am I? When we were down at Brighton beach, in the dusk I, saw a black dog with a reflective collar. To me it looked very sensible and useful. The lights would be an extra help especially if Babu dived off into the trees. Well I think I am sold but what do others think? Waste of time or useful bit of kit?
We have just had a wall taken down in the kitchen and I seem to spend most of the time getting Babu out of the kitchen and away from the rubbish. Why is rubbish so exciting? The wall came down and he is scrabbling in amongst all the bricks plaster and dirt sniffing and trying to eat rubble. Then once you are getting to the rebuild stage there is cement to try then the plaster, wow it tastes great. Finally as the painting starts Babu felt that he should be fully involved and paint needs to be sniffed. Then you must run in and out try to get gloss paint on your coat just to upset the family. I know part of it was different people in the house, but it got to the situation when I was closing him in a room so that I knew where he was. He now needs another bath as he smells of building dust, but I am not brave enough today. The only good thing was he got lots of walks last week as both of us needed to go out to get away from the dirt, which is probably why he is looking at me with those big eyes suggesting a walk.
After many many hours in the rain, delivering son 1 to Uni, I returned to a very excited dog last night. We had left him with food water and treats in his caged area. Somehow he had pushed the cage apart, it is not locked together, and had made a much more happy area on my bed. There were a couple of tissues torn to shreds on the landing but I was lucky there did not seem to much other mess but he did need a walk. Well by this time it was still raining and was almost dark so we dashed out to the green for a run. One very excited silken was let off the lead on the green and ran and ran and ran, then flopping down onto the damp grass disappearing totally into the gloom. I would be shouting in one direction and poor Babu would appear behind me totally confused as to why I was facing the wrong way. As he was in good form and running very fast the only bit I could see was the white flash of the end of his tail as he would disappear behind the small trees at the edge of the green. On the third run Babu pelted straight at me skidding in a short circle round me missing his footing on the wet grass and doing a fine stomach skid before again racing off round me again and again. We left the green me wet and cold but Babu bouncy but panting and very wet and muddy. This morning the rain is steady and Babu has returned home fast and is now curled up next to me snoring!! Silkens have two speeds, very fast and very asleep.
Poor Babu is not awake this morning as it was a late night last night. I was listening to the tennis, always a difficult experience, and as a faithful hound Babu felt he should support me. Unfortunately I was trying to stay awake so was tidying the kitchen, putting on washing etc etc. Babu felt he had to wander around with me as of course this is what a good hound does. Well the first two sets were ok, not too traumatic, and Andy Murray was winning. We did well and Babu managed to get his tongue onto at least two plates as I stacked the dishwasher. Middle son comes home and has food and Babu gets sneaky pieces of cheese, yes cheese, when son thinks I am not looking. Set three was not so good and it was very late so eventually Babu went to bed and I went upstairs with the match on the radio and of course feel asleep! I woke this morning to be told by grumpy husband that Murray had won and how did I not know as it had been so loud. Poor Babu woke up looked at me and immediately curled up next to me stuffing his nose in my lap and going straight back to sleep. He needs a good ten hours and he is still suggesting that he is not happy with any activity today. Shame that dogs don’t understand tennis!
Yesterday was day two for the dog at the beech and it went much better. Last time it was all a bit panicky and not relaxing, with Babu never quite settled. So yesterday I planned things much better. I sent family, plus all the beach rubbish, first. Babu and me wandered around quietly, had a short walk and did some gentle running. We then set off for the beach. We were lucky. The family had walked further up and were in a quiet spot with no one around us. It was warm but not endlessly hot. Babu was able to wander around and investigate stones, chew at seaweed and generally be a relaxed and happy dog. It was a bit like having a small child as you had to keep watch so that he could have freedom. We returned to the car with a happy but tired dog who climbed in the car and refused to move. A great day.
With all the rain and then the warmth of the early evening the slugs are collecting in their hundreds. As Babu and I went out for our early evening walk yesterday we passed through a slug carnival. There were long ones, short ones, fat ones and thin ones and they all seemed to need very careful investigation by Babu. It was at this point that I was very pleased to have changed from my flip-flops to wellies. I had been messing around in the garden, planting and digging and pushing Babu out of the way. He just did not understand that a large hairy dog standing on the piece of ground you are about to dig, is not helpful. Then when I told him firmly to get out of the raised bed with the salad leaves, he went inside for a sulk. So the trip to the field was a reward but it was becoming a difficulty. Babu would keep sniffing and trying to lick the slugs. Now I think there is something nasty in slug slime so I kept shouting leave but there were just so many slugs! I was tempted to do some slug stamping but decided that the idea was far too squelchy. So I decided to run around the field like a mad thing to drag Babu away from the slugs. We arrived home with me exhausted but both happily slug free.
Babu is never keen to get in the car and I must admit that sometimes I do not have time to waste so he gets lifted in! Yesterday we started our walk in the car. There is a bit of road at the start of this walk with no pavement, path or walkway and cars can be a bit fast. so we drove the short distance to the start of a great walk. It goes through the middle of a great cereal crop. In the last week as we have walked through we have seen the combine harvester and the all the other tractors that support. We have been walking in the evening as it has been quite hot. We go across the field on a rough road and down to the Forde through the stream. This is great as Babu now runs back and forward through the water. We then take another track through large rolling fields returning through a tunnel of trees that returns to the stream over a small very old bridge. It has been great in the hot evening but yesterday the weather changed! By the time we got to the stream the clouds had built and the wild was wild. Spots of rain started and there was little or no cover. I decided that we should run for it and Babu thought this was great. Off he went at 60 mph then realised I was running too. He came back to me racing round me and off again. If he could have pushed me he would have done. Now the rain was heavy and was straight down, and both Babu and I were very wet. I was getting slower and both dog and I were now dripping, at last we got back to the car and Babu did not pause, he was inside on dry towels in seconds. I got into the car dripping as the weather had its twenty minutes of total mayhem. Then the sun came out and we got back home looking very stupid BUT I know that Babu can get into the car in seconds….if he wants to!
Babu has been swimming and has decided he does not like it. It was such a great day yesterday we had to go to the sea. It was a beautiful hot calm day and the sea was still and blue but very cold. I decided that i would put on a wet suit and go for a swim and my faithful hound felt he should follow me. Unfortunately he did not like the water and he could not swim and it was horrible. He got in the water sort of paddled a bit the got to me and climbed up. This is where I was so glad I had worn the wet suit as it was a bit of a scrabble for a long-legged hound to climb into my arms and out of the water. By this time my family were in hysterics and were saying very rude things about poor Babu. As I moved he climbed higher just trying to get out of the water. As soon as I could put him down in the shallows he stood and shivered looking disgusted and very unhappy. He did like the field where the car was parked and ran and raced until he climbed exhausted back into the car. He is still suffering the after effects of such and exhausting day.
Babu is almost back to normal having spent a week away in Cornwall enjoying country life and beach life and becoming a very smelly dog. His hair is growing back over the scar and he has stopped scratching all the time. We can all tickle his stomach without him leaping away. He has developed a habit of chasing moths and butterflies but is best a daddy-long-legs. He still has not worked out rabbits and mostly ignores them at present, which I am quite pleased about. All he has to do now is eat regularly. He will do about three days then on the fourth seems to cut back leaving a load of food. I decided that it was having the same food every day so I now change what he has but he still is very picky. However he does look happy enough and is a great big soppy dollup so he can’t be missing any food, he just eats what he wants.
Well Babu is running again. He was very quiet and sleeping for the first few days. Then he devoted all his time to creating cunning plans to remove his large head collar. Eventually he managed to take off the collar and scratch himself just missing his stitches so I took the collar off. He then became a much calmer dog and I think the skin stopped itching so much. It was a very different dog that went back to the vet on Monday. It has been a shocking few weeks as I was not prepared and getting all the drugs down him was a challenge. But he is such a lovely calm dog. So are we are all ready to go away for a few days and Babu is now allowed off the lead so I hope he will be totally back to normal and fully haired, he has a large shaved patch, soon.