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.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Autumn is here, with damp fogs and falling leaves, and the little stove, mercifully free of sootfalls or dead birds stuck up there (worst case scenario), is humming away. I just hope for a better winter than the last one.

The deer have not been affected by the last harsh winter, and are very active just now.

The rabbits were seriously hurt by the bad weather. They were above ground all day when we had the frozen snow cover, eating tree bark and a very visible target for the foxes, who did well. Some just died of starvation. But in the spring the survivors responded by doing the one thing rabbits are famous for, and doing it really often and really well, and now we are overrun. I have rabbit holes very near the house.

Last night old Xena didn`t come in, and that is not like her. I called and called, and at last found her, crouched beside one of the holes, very still, grinning all over her old grey face, and panting very gently. She gave me a knowing look. Knowing the taste of rabbit, that is. She has always been a mighty hunter, and has been the nemesis of many a bunny.

i remember the day she first saw the deer. Her eyes lit up like fire. "Damn big rabbits!"

She set off after them, a small black and white blur, and I laughed and called to her to bring us one back.

Some time later she walked back up the hill, covered in mud, her tongue hanging out to her knees. She grinned at me: "Damn fast rabbits, those big ones".

I suspect rabbit will be on her menu again before long. (She is welcome to it. Just after the war we ate so much rabbit - I can still see my mother flouring those endless rabbit joints- that it would take Escoffier come back from the dead to encourage me to eat it).

Meanwhile I am off to judge a Chinese Crested show - a breed I was once greatly involved with. It has been a while, so let`s hope my memory is good!
If you see a hairless type there that didn't need copious amounts of hair-removal cream to achieve that state, you will be very fortunate indeed. They've become quite rare in recent years, sad to say.
Don`t I know it! That`s why I came out of the breed - they got big and hairy, and furnishings were all that mattered.
I wrote about the genetics and was one of a group who got through a UK standard for powderpuffs, to save them from being put down at birth as "throwbacks"....I never thought we would lose the hairless to fashion.
Ha, we're two of a mind, it seems!

There are still some holdouts who value the natural hairless body in their lines, thank goodness. Perhaps someday the fad pendulum will swing back the other way.
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