Sunday, 4 September 2005


Blog Entry by TJam

I am absolutely not writing this in a bragging way. And before you say it mum, yes I do know pride comes before a fall, which is partly why I am not writing it in a bragging way. Consider it a stunned, celebratory way.

We have just got back from the beach. And I don't have anything hilarious and funny to tell you.

No real escapades, Chips had a tiny grumble at an off lead dog walking up to her while she was on the lead. Beanz visited a family eating a packet of crisps. Whoopie doo. Big fat hairy deal.

Prior to this, we walked for 2 hours up and down a busy beach and they completely ignored all the other dogs including a pack of 10 on one side, coming at us on the other side, and us walking calmly down the middle. Then a horse cantered by. Sorry, no funny story to tell. Both dogs stayed with me (small treat permitted). Then, someone ELSE'S dog, barked at it and the owner dropped its extending lead and it went on a merry chase. And my dogs carried on walking. And I breathed normally and we walked calmly through, and there was never a moment when they were going to even think about running.

Today, I was the person I usually stare longingly and admiringly at, thinking, "How does she get her dogs to do that?" And next time I do stare at someone else, I will remember (and please remind me if I don't) that they, too probably have off days, and stories to tell. Their dog maybe pooed they were trying to get money out of the cashpoint, and when they offered to let the next person in the queue go first while they cleared it up, the person said, "It's ok, she's finished now" and just smiled and watched.

Or perhaps their dog has 1 mortal enemy in the world, so it has to stay on the lead, sometimes for whole walks, just in case they bump into that one dog, even though their last fight with any other dog was years ago, when they were fresh out of the rescue centre and wild to the point of rawness.

Or perhaps their dog remembers where people have dropped food and then stands and waits until their owner is more than the critical distance of 5.73m away, so they have time to flip the proverbial bird and turn and bolt back to it before the critical distance is closed down.

Because today, even though I say so myself, we looked good. And I'm sure no one ever suspected that those things could happen to us. Today, my friends, even if it was only today, and never happens again…. We looked like normal dog walkers, out for a stroll on the beach. And if you know us at all, you'll know how special that is.

And then we met Natsta. I have located her leaving work poem and I'm leaving it here for you to enjoy.

And yesterday we went to the fields and had 10am coffee next to 8 other dogs. And nothing happened there either. Natsta is doing fine and it was very nice to see her.

This month's advice to others: if you own a van, invest in getting someone else to polish it for you. Unless you want your arms to ache so much that you're not sure if you will even be able to lift the key to get back into the house. You have been warned.

Farewell Natsta:

There was a young woman called Nat
Who looked very good in a hat.
A fab SLT,
Made a great cup of tea
And you don't get much better than that.

Nattie worked at Tanfield School
Where they all thought she was very cool
Then she said, "Folks I'm leaving,
I'd rather do feeding
And other fun stuff in Blackpool!"

We said, "Natalie, don't be a chump
Who else will fall down with a bump?
Trip over a stair
Wear a flower in her hair
Or start sneezing and make us all jump?"

Nat said, "Sorry folks, this is my chance
Blackpool's full of bright lights and romance.
It's nice to have met y'all
But I can't afford petrol
And I'm ready to learn a new dance.

So it's sad but we must let her go
Where her talent will shine, stretch and grow
We don't ask for much
But please please stay in touch
And call back for a cuppa and hello.

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