Last time I said I would tell you the tale of Duke and his training classes. We had always had it easy with Max because he was a natural and always wanted to please us. The easiest dogs to train are dogs who love to please their owners. Everything we tried to train Max he got in no time because he was so eager to please. He loved to be praised and the attention that brought him. Duke was the complete opposite. He couldn’t give a darn about anything and was that laid back he was almost horizontal. I think I have told you before that he is the only German Shepherd in the history of dogs to be chased by two Miniature Yorkshire Terriers. The sight of him running for his life being chased by two dogs who hardly came up to his knees entertained the whole of New Brighton Beach and had the whole place in uproar laughing at him. That just sums up Duke’s personality.
Ithink I mentioned in passing once before that Max went to see an animal behaviourist who tried to show him who was boss and he just took a chunk out of her finger showing her who was boss. Today, I thought I would tell you the full story because that really doesn’t do Elaine justice. As I have said before, we got Max as a puppy but just at the age when you are meant to socialise a dog with strangers and other dogs he broke a leg and spent six weeks staying in the house while his broken bone set. By this time Max was at an age where he had grown beyond puppyhood and because he hadn’t socialised was now quite intimidated by people and dogs he didn’t know. He was basically scared of everyone but quickly learnt that if he barked at people they were more scared of him than he was of them. So he barked and showed aggression to everyone he met so they would stay away from him.
Hello everyone, I have not written anything for you for a while because I can never think of anything to write. However, I now have someone I would like to introduce to you all but alas, it is not my Prince from a kingdom far, far away. You see I have always had a liking for fury things. Animals, teddies or – heaven forbid – hairy men. As a very young boat person, I was always surrounded by pets and now, as a grown up, I have wanted my own little fury creature for as long as I can remember. For quite some time though, I have made every excuse under the sun why it wasn’t plausible for me to have my own pet.
Before I start today’s post in earnest, I have a little confession to make; I do not like bats. In fact, I am scared stiff of anything that flaps wings anywhere near my head. I was initially totally unaware of my fear until Chimpton and Ananasty took me to Chester Zoo one summer’s day. I love the animals in the zoo; the elephants, tigers, lions, monkeys, wolves and, not surprisingly, even the bears. I ran around the place like a child on Christmas morning waiting to see what was in the next enclosure when eventually we came to the Fruit Bat Forest. Inside they have a Bat Cave which is totally in the dark and you can get up close to their colony of bats as they go about their nightly business. These impressive flying mammals spend their time flying, eating, mating and generally conducting their lives all under the cloak of darkness. I could just about see their silhouettes against the very dim ceiling lights when suddenly… a bat’s wing just gently touched the top of my head and – much to the delight of Chimpton and Ananasty – I screamed like a little schoolgirl and ran for cover!
We never allowed Granny to walk any of our German Shepherds because they were just too powerful for her. If Granny wanted to go one way and the dog wanted to go another then they would go the way the dog wanted with Granny being dragged behind. There were two exceptions to this, one was Pearlie who was so gentle and never pulled on her lead because it was just not in her nature to do so. Granny used to take her for a walk and then get Pearlie to wait outside a shop while she popped in for the odd item. Pearlie just sat there being stroked and made a fuss of until Granny came out to collect her. Davidd never minded this because while Pearlie was a big softy, if anyone tried abusing her she would not tolerate it, so he knew she was safe. The other exception was Rico.
As most of you will be aware these days, there is nothing we like more than a good cat story. Last year we told you the story of a cat that had been banned from a Tesco store after walking its aisles for more than a year. Furthermore, the cat’s owner said at the time that she was “a little confused” by the decision. Jo Harding said her male ginger moggy, named Pumpkin, had visited the Thorpe Marriott branch in Norfolk “most days” as it was close to their home. But as the Eastern Daily Press first reported the six-year-old pet had then been banned from the shop. At the time, Tesco said a food store wasn’t “the best place for a cat to be”.
Polly Hudson is a columnist with the Daily Mirror. She is probably partly responsible for our sudden love of cats during the last twelve months. Once a week in her column, she includes a section called Cat Of The Week. In this column she regales stories of cats and some of the miraculous escapades they have been up to – often including the loss of at least one of their nine lives. However in her column on New Year’s Eve she told the tale of her, her five year old son and Brian the Lion’s journey to watch a show in London’s West End. There was not a dry eye here at Jammy Toast…