Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


The puppies were introduced to the wider world last week, as we had a wonderful autumn walk on a nearby farm and estate. They had the company of their half-sisters - Merlin`s older litter.

It was a revelation to them. Blanche decided that she would quite like to play with these older girls, and galloped off after them. Velvet is more of a people dog, and consequently spent a lot of time just avoiding being stepped on. She is the smallest of the four, and soon discovered that running as fast as she could with her little legs just didn`t take her nearly as far as the others, already disappearing into the distance.

Allegra, who accompanied them, was more interested in the farm Border terrier, and kept inspecting her closely eventually accepting her as quite OK for a Notapap.

The autumn colours were beautiful. Quite lost on Allegra, who preferred the attractions of the odd piles of horse manure - indeed, she would have preferred to spend the whole afternoon in the stable, with all those wonderful smells. Mind you, the horses would have to go. She spent quite a lot of time and energy alerting me indignantly to the presence of these huge and totally unacceptable animals, and then waiting expectantly for me to get rid of them.

The puppies were put to bed for a rest and we went on walking, across the farm where my friend rides, and over a nearby estate. Very healthy for me, and for Allegra, who for maternal reasons has not been getting out enough. I am determined to put some muscle on her, and she is very agreeable to that. Also a coat, as she is now bald as a egg - many Pap bitches just throw it all away when they have a litter, and the phrase "in the pink" takes on a whole new meaning when the skin shines through. I keep reminding her that winter is coming and threatening her with one of my big collection of knitted coats left over from my Crested days. (I used to practice my fairisle patterns on them and they are very varied and really tasteful...)

However, my memories of trying to persuade Papillons to wear coats are not good. I had a little dog years ago called Clovis, who developed a mysterious hormonal problem and became bald. I made a coat for him and put it on. He ran and hid in the bushes, and would not come out for anything. I could see him thinking - "If the dogs see me in this they`ll kill me. And if the bitches see me in it, I`ll kill myself."

Allegra`s daughters, however, are not short of coat and well prepared for wind and snow.

Probably much more than I am
Such a beautiful place you live in. The dogs must love it. As an urbanite, I'm jealous. =)
You could make her some leg-warmers ...
I am lucky to have lovely countryside all round me. I live on the edge of a bird sanctuary, and the estate we took the dogs to is only 15 minutes away, further upriver.
As to legwarmers - what she really needs is a pair of realy thick wooly knickers...possibly not fairisle
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