This weekend Gillian and Kiri and Callum came for the weekend. Paul was working on the central heating in their house and thought Gillian would prefer to be somewhere where hot and cold running water were still available! Marnie stayed at home to make sure her father was supplied with refreshments at regular intervals (also her boy-friend is going away for a couple of weeks and they wanted to spend some time together.)
The puppies were delighted to see each other and all the adult dogs greeted each other with pleasure, in Gus’ case, rather too much so. He really seems to be in love with Foxy who is far too soft to tell him off when he gets overly familiar. He became rather possessive and had to be rebuked. He’s a very intelligent dog and learns quickly what is acceptable and what is not.
On Saturday morning Buster, Bertie’s brother, was exploring the garden and went behind the holly tree to find himself on the far side of the pond. I have been working on the pond recently, dragging out rampant water plants. This just ensured that the duck weed had more room to spread itself. To inexperienced puppy eyes the bright green blanket looks quite solid and Buster stepped onto it and through it into the cold water below. He then swam from one end of the pond to the other and managed to haul himself out. Gillian roared with laughter when he went back into the house, dripping wet and with a fetching nasal decoration of duck weed. He was none the worse for the experience and was quickly rubbed dry. So now both the puppies have discovered that they can swim.
We took all the dogs walking in the forest later and the puppies watched closely as their larger friends and relations retrieved tirelessly. Bertie and Buster chased where they could but were both quite careful at the edges of the large pond.
Frodo was very ataxic – some days he’s more affected than others – and stumbled and pulled a muscle in his hind leg. He had to be helped along with a sling but went into the water as he always does.
Unfortunately, getting out was quite a problem for him and by the time he had managed it, with a good deal of assistance from me, he was no longer a sparkling white Dalmatian with clear, black spots but a strange amalgam of Dalmatian and mud.
Back home he had to have a cold shower in the garden before he could be allowed indoors. He never complains – I really think I could do just about anything to him and he wouldn’t turn a hair. Not unnaturally the shower made him shiver but I gave him warm milk with an egg and a little sugar and he soon warmed up. Then I put one of the Ruffwear harnesses on him, which made me a little sad. It’s not even a year since Buddy was wearing these, but he was nearly fifteen when he died and had rear end weakness. Frodo is not ten until December. Today, though, he was a different dog, prancing along beside me.
Yesterday afternoon we took Bertie to London to see Bethan and Robert in their new house. Bertie was delighted to have another lap to snooze on and thoroughly enjoyed bumbling around their pretty garden.
Today all the dogs were tired, the puppies particularly, but they all enjoyed another romp in the forest. Gillian has gone home to Dorset and the house seems strangely quieter now with just its customary inhabitants.
I am linking to I Saw Sunday here