Evening all!

So, after last week’s marathon post you know all the gossip about the writing that’s going on, so this week I thought I’d just check in briefly and tell you about an amusing incident that happened with the mad Lurcher puppy. He is currently exhausted, and sleeping the sleep of the just on the sofa in typical lurcher style:

Now apart from his water collecting activities (if you don’t know about these, have a search on my Facebook page for the photos), his main bad habit is digging up the garden. He has a terrible tendency to start excavating when excited, and despite the rockhard earth here, does so with surprisingly quick results.

This is not one of our favourite habits, as you can imagine, because apart from anything else, my other half spent many months carefully bringing the lawn to a state of grassy splendour. He was well on the way to achieving this when the Lurcher puppy exploded onto the scene, dashed around until he had his own personal racing track of mud and dry earth, and then in the remaining grassy spaces, spent quality time digging a maze of surprisingly deep holes.

Whilst mildly vexatious as a habit, the holes themselves have also proven to be something of a health hazard – when going out to the garage in the dark to get a bag of frozen peas, if you happen to wander across the wrong part of the garden there is a danger that you will suddenly find a very localised part of the lawn about a foot deeper than the rest. The fact that none of us has actually sprained an ankle so far is a question of some wonderment to me.

To add to the surprise value, these holes may be little but they are deep – normally I would expect dog-dug holes to be wide and shallow, but because the lawn hasn’t been dug over for some 20 years it is as solid and compacted as concrete, and therefore very difficult to dig. Not that it bothers the lunatic hound– he’s got three or four of his human-traps dotted in important parts of the pathway, and very effective they are too.

We have been meaning to rotivate and reseed the lawn for some time now in a valiant if possibly vain attempt to re-grass the whole thing, but we haven’t had time so far. Finally, with a sunny weekend in hand, we decided that today was that day! And so I unearthed the rotavator and my other half took the dog out on a walk so that I could see to the garden. Given that the fool hound likes to chase the vacuum around the front room any time he has the chance, it was a pretty safe bet that he would have the same reaction to the rotavator, and it seemed the better part of valour to avoid the problem rather than attempt to keep him at a safe distance.

And so off they went, and once the door was safely shut behind them I fired up the machine and got to work. I will tell you now, it was hard going! We had decided just to do a strip about 10 m² as that was all the grass seed we had; even such a small area as that took me a full hour, and I only got it loosened up to a depth of about 3 inches. The rotavator ground and chewed at the sod and spat out stones, and I went vibrating all over the place on the end of it like an escaped blancmange, attempting to keep it vaguely within the confines of the lawn and in some danger of being taken on a wild ride round the garden by this ground-hungry steed.

Eventually, slightly sunburnt and thoroughly shaken (but not particularly stirred), I was just doing the last small and difficult corners when I heard the door open. I turned off the machine and put it away just in time for Lord Thunderpaws to come lolloping out of the house. Faced with the dug-over stretch of earth, he skidded to a stop and his jaw dropped open. I have never seen a dog look so impressed in my entire life.

He looked around and you could almost see written on his face the exclamation “Oh my goodness! Human, you have dug an enormous hole – and all for me!” He bounded into the garden and leapt smack bang into the middle of the loosened earth which he began to excavate with wild abandon, throwing mud all over the me, the rest of the lawn, my other half, my cup of tea, and everything else within reach.

Then, clearly too excited to stay in one place for long, he rocketed off round the garden, did Wall of Death around the fence and ricocheted back through the loosened earth. His feet now thoroughly muddied, he took it upon himself to bring the garden into the front room, paddling mud onto the sofa and grinding it thoroughly into the rug as he did an emergency stop in order to snatch up his toy shaky cow. After some laps with this, throwing it up into the air and catching it with joyous enthusiasm, the shaky cow ended up on its back under the Acer and Lord Thunderpaws dashed back inside for the squeaky badger. This he flung into the new hole he had dug (it was subsequently nearly buried there as he did repeated circuits of the garden involving the dog equivalent of a handbrake turn, severally repeated).

It took some time to get him to calm down again. Of course, once he had subsided onto his cushion on the patio and was lying there surveying his domain with great glee, the next step was to fence off the newly dug area, gather all the loose earth back into the place where it should have been, rake it and seed it.

This did not go down at all well, and clearly lost me all my brownie points.

He kept trying to wade through the fence, some netting strung up on bamboo. When that didn’t work he retrieved the squeaky badger and flung it over the fencing onto the dug-over earth, and then tried to inveigle his way in to retrieve it. At first I thought this was accidental but by the third time I decided it probably wasn’t so much an error as a sneaky plan.

Duly admonished, he took himself away into the front room in high dudgeon and installed himself on the sofa, grumbling all the way. Now, it isn’t him who is in the dog-house! In any case he has taken refuge in sleep – he is currently spark out and happily upturned, snoring like a pig on his comfy sofa.

Tomorrow he will no doubt come up with further cunning plans for investigating, but for today I had the brief privilege of leaping high up in his estimation as an eminent digger of holes. Coming from him, this is clearly a compliment of the first water –what more can a lurcher owner want?! Apart from just a little bit of lawn with no human-traps in it, that is….

That’s all from the madhouse today, anyhow.

Have a great week;

JAC (& Lord Thunderpaws)!

Advertisements