Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Frodo the Faller – guard extraordinaire

Our eldest granddaughter is staying with us while she is having work experience at our veterinary surgery. Her own local vet could only accommodate her for one week and she wanted two weeks. So far, three days in, she has really enjoyed the different aspects of the job. She has sat in on operations, euthanasia, x-rays and consultations. She has walked the in-patient dogs, soothed the in-patient cats and cleaned out the kennels. She has used a stethoscope to check a recently spayed bitch and a neutered dog as they recovered.

In the morning, we have been walking Frodo the Faller and Jenna-the-Labrador to the vet and I have returned in the afternoon to meet and escort her home. This afternoon, as I waited for a few minutes in the ever-changing weather – sun, wind, showers – both dogs were alert to all passing people, whether clients or staff, and Jenna was anxious to meet and greet them all with a frantically wagging tail and licking tongue. However, Frodo was sure that his role was to guard (me, I think – he is, after all, my Velcro dog) To that end he barked furiously at the head nurse who knows him well and ignored his noise. He is far from being a stranger at the surgery and usually behaves impeccably when consulting (well, we consult and he stands quietly) so she chided him gently, made a fuss of Jenna and continued on her journey home. The next person out of the surgery was another veterinary nurse, who jumped, much to his satisfaction, no doubt, but then proceeded to take no notice. Then my granddaughter appeared and the noise was incredible . . . bark, bark, bark . . . and he's known her all his life - but she approached him with confidence and he realised she was no threat - he really is 'all mouth and no trousers'!

He's a very intelligent dog, our Frodo, but he errs on the side of caution. My husband says he would protect me against any danger . . . I'm not so sure! Should anyone want to ignore the warning growls and aggressive attitude I don't think they'd discover further weapons – however, I trust I'll never need to put his chutzpah to the test.

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