Sunday, 14 December 2008
Award and Teaching Dogs New Tricks
Many thanks to Debs for this wonderful award – I love the little fellow scribbling away. It reminds me of an Edward Ardizzone picture. But because I'm in a hurry – have to do a job in Bodmin with Himself first thing, please take this, all you bloggers and in particular all us Novel Racers out there, because we are ALL superior scribblers! And won't we show 'em....
Something happened this morning that really made me stop and think. It happened like this. We usually walk Moll on the beach at about 8am most mornings and there is a group of us dog walkers who form a close knit community. We laugh and talk and sometimes walk together, share sorrows, jokes and joys and generally look after each other, if not each other's dogs.
On Friday, one of our lot said that a fellow who walks his two black labradors every morning had lost one of them. He'd died suddenly.
“Oh,” cried Isobel. “I wondered what was the matter – I saw him yesterday and he looked so SAD. But we've all been there – it's such a difficult time.”
This morning we were on the beach – and my God, it was cold. Three degrees, which is COLD for Cornwall. Even the sand was frozen, to say nothing of the tip of my nose.
We were walking, fast, along the beach, when I said, “Look. There's the fellow who's lost his black lab.” We continued walking and I wondered whether to say something. I felt I should, but also felt that Himself would probably say, “No, don't. He's unhappy. Leave him alone.”
So I battled with my thoughts and as we grew nearer, I was astonished when Himself walked up to the fellow and said, “I'm so sorry to hear about your dog.”
He turned to look at us, and his round face was empty with grief. He could hardly speak, but muttered something. And a bit more. Then he started talking, about how the dogs were only 7; brother and sister, and it was such a shock. I looked at his kind face and couldn't speak; tears burnt my eyes.
He looked at me with a glimmer of a smile and said that they'd probably get a puppy in the spring. I patted his arm, and said, “I'm so glad,” in a choked sort of voice, and we talked a bit more and then said goodbye.
As Himself and I walked off, I said, “Well done darling. I didn't think you'd want to say anything.”
“No,” he said firmly. “I think it's important to show that you care. I'd like someone to say something if it was us.”
I nodded in agreement, still stunned. And part of me thought, he wouldn't have said that a few years ago. He would have told me not to interfere. To 'keep our heads down'.
So it just goes to show that you really CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
Pardon the pun.