of frogs and dogs

At last, after days of rain, the sky is pink and grey, with a line of gold above roof and tree tops where the sun is going down. The birds are singing, daffodils are beginning to unfurl and when I looked down the garden earlier I noticed the forsythia is fully out, bright yellow and fresh looking. No frog spawn in the pond yet though. It was so full of rotting leaves that the last two batches of spawn we had never made it to adult froghood, so I cleaned it out completely last month. However, no matter how severe the winter, the frogs have usually filled the pond with eggs by mid February. Maybe they don’t like the water being so clean.

I hadn’t heard the foxes for a couple of nights, but Dennis started barking manically at about 2am, so perhaps they’re back. They do smell, they are a nuisance, but I still find them romantic. And they don’t seem to bother the cats. I looked out of the window earlier in the year and saw two of our cats and one of next door’s sitting on the path and the bench and a fox standing on the lawn. They were all passively gazing at each other, quite relaxed. It’s only the dog that seems threatened by them.

I love Dennis, I do, but he’s really Mic’s dog. It was me that campaigned for having him, saw his photo on the Bluecross site, badgered and pleaded. I’ve always been a dog person, one for whom dogs make a beeline, but not when we went to meet Dennis for the first time. I didn’t exist: he made straight for Mic and rolled over in front of him.  He is very attached to me now, but Mic is his human. Not that I mind, I honestly don’t. Dennis is Mic’s first dog and they love each other deeply – it’s wonderful to see. He’s a man who should have had a puppy when he was a small boy.  Mind you, it’s me Dennis obeys, not Mic who insists on believing his dog is a small furry human child, his soul mate, his blood brother (and I’m not sure I want to find out which one of us Mic would rescue from a burning building).

a boy and his dog

I’ve never had this type of dog before. He’s a border collie cross and I’m used to Salukis. Collie’s are super bright, but their intelligence seems linear and controlled, whereas hounds are more intuitive: it’s the difference between left and right brain thinking. And collies are on the go the whole time, while hounds are laid back and aloof, only coming to life when they have an opportunity to run. It’s been a steep learning curve for me. But it is wonderful to have a dog who you can let off the lead without wondering if you’ll ever see him again. If only he would stop trying to herd our five cats!


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