Posted by: kathandroger | November 4, 2018


As a kid in London, I was always scared of dogs. Great big things that barked and ran towards us when we were trying to play football on Tooting Bec Common. I had never been bitten, but those big teeth always frightened me. One uncle in Sussex had a lovely dog called Bess, and she was kind and friendly to me and I think it was her who helped give me confidence. Now I love dogs, and would not be without one. My children grew up with Boxers, a lovely, loving and comically stupid breed who would play with the family all day long, and then come with me on my rounds in the countryside. Each died young, and many tears were shed on each occasion.
So now in France we have Polly, our second Airedale after Boudie left us last year.IMG_0128 (1) She is like all dogs, often wonderful to be with and often a real pain in the arse. But this week we have looked after two more dogs belonging to some friends locally. Rollo is a designer dog, a mongrel Spaniel and Poodle, so fashionable nowadays and a nice friendly little chap.IMG_4083 Butter would not melt in his mouth, but last year he found something better that butter in a local dwelling and sired a litter with a local Labrador. One of the resulting pups is FloraIMG_4084, more Lab than anything, and the two have grown up together.
It has been a real pleasure to see all three romping around the countryside in a playful threesome. Different directions, different scents but all round doggy fun.IMG_0151 How I wish I still had the ability to run with them, but our guests are a delight to have on a walk as they come back when called and even respond to my whistle. Incidentally, my whistle is extremely loud since I paid a fortune for Dental Implants…they ought to list that talent as one of the attractions.
Anyway we have walked miles with the dogs, and the only drawback is the change in the weather which means they have sometimes needed mud washing off before they can come back into the house. And the burrs! Rollo may well be a designer dog, but the designer did not know anything about the seed heads in France, which are everywhere at the moment, and become irretrievably ensconced in the designer fur coat. We may have to shave him to get them out before the owners arrive today. Rollo the bald designer dog may not go down too well though. Flora is the most licky dog we have met, and we have both been covered in abundant dog saliva in any available body part. She is very friendly.
So what about dogs in general? I love them, some don’t. I thought they were good for our mental and physical health, but recent studies tend to refute that. Common sense would dictate that walking for miles every day must be good, but for us both the use of the animals as confidents and understanding friends is a great comfort. Dogs don’t spread false news, always listen intently and rarely get as upset as we do. Their constant enjoyment of the simple things in life such as food, and the great outdoors, is an inspiration. And they love to play and show the pleasure of being with us. The feeling is mutual doggies!

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