28 July 2016

Shackled

My week has been dominated by ten year old terrier Biscuit. We have been on numerous walks together - during the day and late at night. Last night we were strolling  round our neighbourhood after midnight when he spotted a cat running under a parked car. The barking that ensued was enough to wake the dead as Biscuit strained on his lead, almost dislocating my shoulder. I felt very bad about disturbing sleeping residents in houses close by.

It's worse when we encounter another dog on our walks. Then he's like The Hound of the Baskervilles, his eyes filled with bloodlust and me desperately holding his collar, pathetically pleading "Shush!" as his frantic barking threatens to burst the sound barrier.

With his stubby little tail wagging, Biscuit is quite a character but he has convinced me never to get a dog of our own. It's too much hassle. Dog hairs on our cushions and early morning disturbance and then there are the little piles of dog shit you have to clear up. Yuk! 

But to me, worst of all are the walks. As you know, I normally love walking but I do not appreciate having my rhythm interrupted every twenty yards so that Biscuit can carefully sniff the undergrowth or street furniture before cocking his leg. I want to march on. Because Biscuit has to be kept on a lead, when he stops I have to stop.

This is the first time in my life I have ever looked after a dog and it will probably be the last. One thing that has amused us is his response to doorbell sounds on the TV. He may appear sound asleep but upon hearing a TV doorbell he starts to howl and runs for our front door before realising his mistake. We also laugh when he rolls over onto his back to have his belly rubbed. It's one of his greatest pleasures. I might start imitating that behaviour myself. The look of contentment on Biscuit's face during a bellyrub makes you think he's in seventh heaven... where ever that might be. Perhaps he's looking there in the picture below...
His owner, a university academic specialising in modern Japanese culture and society, will be retrieving Biscuit on Saturday. Not long to go now. There's a good dog!

24 comments:

  1. I'm sure a dog of Biscuit's size is unlikely to dislocate your shoulder Mr Pudding.

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  2. For most of my life, I (we) had cats at home; the first one when I was about 5 years old, the last one died in 2013. The one thing I certainly do not miss is the hairs, and having to clean up after them when they have been throwing up hairballs or for some reason not used their litter boxes. I still love cats dearly, and I like dogs, too, but having a pet would be very unfair to the animal right now - I am out all day for work, often spend weekends away from home and would frequently rely on my parents or the neighbours to look after my pet.
    I understand about the walking; I wouldn't enjoy having to adapt my pace to that of a dog, either. If he were younger, Biscuit could have been taught to walk along properly, like you sometimes see walkers (or even runners) accompanied by dogs, not stopping every 20 yards.
    And the barking - without listening to the person in charge, i.e. not accepting them as their leader - is simply not on.

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    1. I have always enjoyed a dogs company on a walk but must admit that my two consider walking to heal as being within the same square mile. We do regroup from time to time and they don't worry sheep hens or ducks. They seem to have an inkling of what is acceptable. They do love a deer hunt but have no chance of catching one, they do catch rats and the occasional rabbit.

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    2. I understand that Jack Russells have a reputation for being bad-tempered around other dogs, yet around humans little Biscuit is a delightful little chap. I don't know if the owner has ever tried to train him about barking.

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    3. Barking and chatting I can live with They have limited vocabulary but I know serious barking from chatting.

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  3. Ha! Ha! Welcome to my world, YP. :)

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    1. At least I am only in Doggieworld for a week Jenny.

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  4. Terriers are wilful but he has been allowed to please himself. At his age there is little chance of a cure. Animals are very tying and all need to know who is boss. If you get a dog and take it everywhere you can even take them to Tesco or Aldi tie them up outside and pray they don't undo the knot. Mine are clipped together on one lead in towns but still managed to negotiate the revolving door at Morrisons dragging a lead, half the folk I follow through revolving doors struggle to work them out so some achievement for two animals dragging six feet of rope. That feat of ingenuity cheered folk up. Alf pissed on a display of plums outside a plum shop in Hawes. That was unfortunate but who in their right mind stacks fruit on the pavement.

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    1. When Alf pissed on the plums was he simply imitating the actions of the pack leader? "Oi! What are ye doin' to oor plums beardie? Put that thing away!"

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    2. No, he was just scenting never buy or pick fruit within pissing range of a dog.

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  5. Little Duvet can distinguish between the UPS truck and Big Bear's truck coming up the lane on the dirt road. From inside the house. For one he barks his head off and for the other stands at the door wagging his tail.

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    1. Duvet probably knows it's Big Bear's vehicle because he'blasts Bon Jovi through the speakers when driving home!

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  6. I am not a pet person. A friend in NZ had (perhaps still has) a Jack Russell. It used to get very excited when I visited and could pee on my leg from three feet away. I have enough problems with dogs licking me but that was enough to strain the friendship.

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    1. You must have a very pleasant aroma Graham. Do you use "Lifebuoy" in the shower?

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  7. Biscuit hasn't been trained to behave properly. That's the fault of his owners. Having a dog doesn't have to be like that.

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    1. With humans, Biscuit is such a sweet dog. I am not sure how you could teach out his aggression towards other dogs.

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  8. We think we have control over these little characters but it's the other way around. they control and train us to do what they want.

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    1. I have had that suspicion too Red. WOOF! WOOF!

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  9. YP, if it's your own dog, and properly trained, it will have adapted to you and your routines, not the other way around. No point in having someone else's dog, trained to their life-style, and expecting it to fit in with your ways.
    I'm not a fan of Jack Russell's, they can be very snappy and too aggressive - as you have found. A friend has had several over the years, but always admits that they are very wilful. If you'd looked after a different breed, your feelings may be different. As you've said - you are a cat man. My feelings about cats are the same as yours are about dogs. I would never see a cat suffer, but I wouldn't want one in my home.

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  11. I warned you in your previous post about Biscuit that you might soon be picking up some of his habits....it is a worry!!

    I can't imagine...I don't want to imagine not having a pet in my life. Throughout my life rarely have I been without a pet, mostly one cat or two. I have two nowadays. When my brother and I were children we were always surrounded by our pets.

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  13. Oops computer playing up and deleting my text, but won't let me delete my comment !.
    What I said was - My mother was always inconsolable when pets died. Since I married we have had dogs, but appreciate that, sad though it is, they must leave us at some time

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