Thursday, June 26, 2008

Polly's Dogs

Guess what I did yesterday evening? Well; in between the many showers of rain we had some lovely sunshine so I took off my jumper to reveal all of my lovely khaki coloured T-shirt! Golly! How exciting; I hear you cry!

Actually it was because the strain of holding onto a large black greyhound dog and a frisky immature brindle bitch was just a little too exciting for my liking altogether! In a few days time Polly is heading off on a camping trip and her informal mother in waiting will be looking after TilleyTwo. The price? That we walk all ten greyhounds for her while she is off sunning herself in the Algarve...

Apparently the weather there has been blisteringly hot; while back at home on the ranch we have been dodging rain showers and turning up the central heating. It's shades of last summer and I am not a happy bunny; which is just as well because greyhounds like to chase bunnies. Actually they rather like to chase TilleyTwo's too...

Like all sheepdog's TT decided that she wasn't going to be intimidated by the great beasts looming several inches above her and made the mistake of bearing her teeth while being within lurching range. Unfortunately at the time I had two of the friskiest beasts attatched to my body via their strong leather leashes and was grateful for the fact that I knew how to hold a beast of this size. After all I may be a little overweight; but I am only five foot two and a half inches tall.

Ah the joys of walking these dogs. One of them, the frisky bitch managed to slip her collar. This resulted in a Keystone Cops style of chase around the yard, with LB and myself in hot pursuit of Miss Frisky who in turn was in hot pursuit of TT! Oh, the excitement of it all. Luckily LB was able to block Miss Frisky's exit through the beautifully tamed coniferous hedging otherwise we'd all have been off down the road...

The timid blonde bitch also proved a bit too much of a challenge. Watching her ears stand to attention meant that I was at least able to warn LB of an impending dart for freedom, watching his ten year old body struggle to restrain the lightest of the greyhounds was quite a challenge for me too. Thankfully LB is a muscular little soul who was not going to be beaten or taken for a ride by any dog.

The blue bitch; who is of fine racing material needs a lot more exercise than the others so we took her for an extra little sojourn around Ennis's field along with the bitch whose foot is sore. She can only go a short distance but still needs the exercise and toilet facilities; hence the plastic bag wrapped around her bandaged foot and tied with a laggey band! Once she was returned to her pen, the blue lady accompanied the blonde one, LB and I around Dempsey's Ring and back again.

No's 3 and 4 were happy enough to drag BB around the field. Being that little bit older than LB and fitter than me; he was perfectly happy with this arrangement and got on with the boring bit of collecting bowls and redistributing them full of soggy dog biscuits and milky water. After this he gave them some more milky water and a bit of TLC; so everyone was happy.

Meanwhile, not having learnt not to torment the greyhounds TT was chasing up and down the run beside the two enclosure where the yearling pups are. They all had a ball, chasing one another up and down, up and down, up and down and so it goes on; until BB decided that he'd had enough and put the pups into their kennels across the yard. It sounds like an easy job, but pups at that age are huge and it took both of the boys to catch them.

Sadly Polly slipped up. Having run Mrs Frisky on the treadmill already; I decided to run her male companion on it. This was well and good except that he didn't want to go on it and made every effort to get back into his kennel, boy that dog's strong! Of course, like mother like son, I had to follow LB's example and dragged the poor dog onto the treadmill.

It was only later that discovered why he was tugging in the opposite direction; he's petrified of the machine and never goes on it! Still, he did a couple of laps at 25hz instead of the usual 4o or so. Afterwards I gave him a nice rub down and slicked some treatment cream onto the sore on his side, he's wearing a muzzle at the moment to stop him from licking it off.

Finally the silver bitch was allowed up onto the treadmill, having waited patiently in her run; eagerly observing the shenanigens with TT and the others, chasing after our escapee and generally wearing herself out. Huh! Talk about wearing folk out? She was raring to go when we all fell into the car exhausted from our efforts.

I am seriously wondering if it would have been easier to have paid to have TT in kennels for our few days away, it would surely have cost less than the copious quantities of pain killers that I have been consuming this week! As for DG; he's been working ridiculous hours this week so he's been getting home late and getting up early to do the morning shift with the dogs.

You know, thinking about it; maybe we got the better part of the job after all! At least we don't have to muck the kennels out too...


Polly Peirce

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