Monday, 23 July 2007

Home sweet home

On Monday,Anthony,Diesel,Rosie and Dylan went on their last walk before Anthony and Diesel had to go home.
It rained and they got wet.
They walked around the fields for two hours and met nobody.
Not even a pheasant.
Then Anthony and Diesel returned home and went for a walk in their local park.
Diesel looked very tired after two weeks with Rosie and Dylan.
But Anthony was very pleased that his dog was back to his old quiet obedient self.
He had never been quiet as sharp when there were two russet gold distractions about.
Both of them had an early night,they had lots of old friends to meet tomorrow.

Sex and drugs and funk and soul

It's cold outside,there's no kind of atmosphere.
Diesel,Rosie and Dylan are getting very confused.
Siobhan has come for a walk with them and they do not seem to know who they should pay attention to.
Anthony is not very happy that they were not doing as they were told.
Especially after he had been telling everyone how good they had been for him.
It was Sunday and their last full day together.
To the river,and beyond.
They were going to follow the same route they had taken on Thursday.
At least some of it.
Only in reverse and avoiding the crazy horses this time.
Or at least not telling Siobhan about them.
But horses were not the only danger lurking in the countryside that day.
They came to the end of a footpath,"Smegging hell!" they should have said but never thought of it at the time.
"Hello" they really did say to the notorious scouse criminal and comedic actor they had nearly bumped into (whose name we shall not List 'ere).
Disappointed that he was behaving in a manner neither notorious,criminal nor comedic,they went on their way.
At this point it should be noted that while meeting celebrities may be an everyday event for some vizslak,out here meeting another human being is a rare event.
They were nearing the field full of dangerous wild horses,or at least that is what Anthony told Siobhan.
Only after they had entered the field of course.
In fact the horses in this field had been quite friendly on Thursday.
But they were not in this field today.
Another horse was,it did not look so friendly.
They were half way between the stile they had come in to the field through and the one they needed to get out of.
There was an impenetrable hedge to their right and a restless horse to their left,as close to them as they were to the exit.
The horse started to run.
Unfortunately it was not running towards them but Anthony was sure Siobhan would not let that detail trouble her.
He called the dogs and ran for the exit,they got over the stile and waited for Siobhan.
She was rather flustered when she caught up with them.
So Anthony told her they could avoid going back through the horse's field if they went through the next field full of bulls instead.
He was rather disappointed when they found there were no longer any cows in the next field.
There was however a set of horse jumps which they quickly modified to serve as dog jumps by the addition of three vizslak.
Diesel,Rosie and Dylan were rather good at jumping over these but were not so keen on the long dark tunnel running through them.
The next field was full of wheat and at least one pheasant which the dogs quickly flushed.
Excited by their discovery they went hunting for more birds,jumping like kangaroos to get their bearings.
Soon they were over the stile into a corn field,a hare ran for cover,Diesel and Dylan ranged far and wide and Rosie....
Where was Rosie?
It was not like her to dissappear.
Unless she had been frightened by the aircraft passing overhead.
In which case she would be hiding and there would be no chance of finding her in such a large field of corn.
They called,then they whistled,then they called some more.
No Rosie.
Anthony and Siobhan started to look for her.
Minutes passed,still no Rosie.
Then a flash of russet gold on the other side of a hedge.
Far in the distance hares were still running as fast as their legs would carry them.
An exhausted Rosie found her way back into the field.
Time to get the dogs together and move on.
Diesel was jumping through the corn at the far end of the field.
Dylan was doing the same at the far side.
Or he was last time they had seen him.
Now he was gone.
Not again.
Eventually Big D,or Medium D After two weeks with Anthony,made an appearance at the far side of the field and rushed back to them.
Time to put the dogs on the leads until they were well away from any more hares.
They passed through some of the most beautiful countryside imaginable.
But sadly what potentially dangerous beasts they happenned upon failed to show the slightest interest in them.
The place they called Dog Heaven was on their route and they walked through it until Siobhan's wellingtons stopped play.
Their return journey was uneventful and Anthony could take no more pictures in the failing light.
It would be a long time before Diesel could go on another such adventure with Rosie and Dylan.

I can't stand the rain

On Saturday Anthony took Diesel,Rosie and Dylan for a walk in the rain.
Not that there was much choice about that.
Unless they stayed in of course.
Anthony wore waterproofs.
Not because he was a girly man who could not handle the rain.
But because his big sister said so.
On the way to the fields it rained.
Anthony let the dogs run through the grass looking for pheasants.
The rain continued.
They walked around in circles.
It still rained.
Then they walked in straight lines.
The rain did not stop.
Nobody really knows what they did then.
But they do remember that is continued to rain.
There was so much rain that Anthony could not take any more photographs.
He could have bought a waterproof diving cover for his camera.
But he did not think he would need that in a field in Cheshire.
After two hours they walked home.
In the rain.
At least Anthony was still dry.
Except for his feet.
But he decided not to mention that.
He would not look good in wellingtons.

It's raining water!

Friday was Anthony,Diesel,Rosie and Dylan's last day alone together.
It was raining heavily.
They headed back to the river.
But this time they didn't bother with the beyond.
The sky was so dark and the air so wet that Anthony could not take many photographs.
They were all used to heavy rain but today it was so bad that they sought shelter under a tree.
Steam rose from the dogs.
When the rain eased a little they got moving again.
One of their favourite spots was just ahead.
Time to visit dog Heaven.
Diesel,Rosie and Dylan ran through the trees trying to catch squirrels.
Anthony kept a close eye on them.
He kept his other eye on his watch.
Rosie and Dylan's family would be flying home tonight,he did not want to be late back.
Then something very strange happened.
A man approached.
He had a dog with him.
They had met men with dogs thousands of times before,but never out here.
The dog was very handsome,he looked like an English sheepdog cross.
His name was as foreign as his owner.
He looked a little overwhelmed by the sight of three wet vizslak.
Further on the came to the top of a tall steep bank in the woods.
Perfect for throwing sticks down.
Rosie was desparate,she had not fetched anything in over a week.
She was going cold turkey.
Soon she was showing the boys how it was done.
Then another strange thing happened.
A woman approached with a dog.
They had met women with dogs a thousand times before,but never out here.
Max was a big gentle Weimaraner.
The dogs all had Weimaraner friends and they soon took to Max.
Diesel,in particular,decided he had a new playmate.
The rain was much gentler now so they forsook the cover of the woods and headed back to the river.
Chase the Weimaraner was their new game and big Max was a lot faster than he looked.
Rosie and Dylan had a swim in the river,they could hardly get any wetter than they were already.
Soon Max had to go home,they escorted him back through the woods and started to take the road home themselves.
But that did not last long.
A stile leading to a field was just too tempting.
They would take the long way home.
Who could resist walking back through the same mud they had gone through earlier.
When they finally got home a hungry cat appeared as they dried themselves off.
Time for Tiggy and Diesel to get to know eachother again.
Diesel likes cats but they do not neccessarily feel the same way about him.
Tiggy is not very keen on dogs but he tolerates them as long as they behave themselves.
He was not best pleased when Diesel tried to share his meal while he was still eating it.
Anthony told Diesel to sit and wait next to Tiggy while the cat had his dinner.
Tiggy was hungry but so was Diesel.
Diesel sat quietly for a while.
Then he cried for share of the food.
Finally he hatched a cunning plan.
Tiggy jumped.
Diesel dashed forward.
The food was his.
His bark had so startled the cat that it had leapt a few feet away.
Just far enough for Diesel to get the food without fear of retribution.
Anthony was pleased that Diesel would rather eat the food than the cat.

Crazy horses,waaaa,waaaa!

Thursday's blog!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

God damn the weatherman

Today there was thunder,lightening and heavy rain.
At least there was in the imagination of a meteorologist.
In the real world it was a fine summer's day.
Anthony wished he had not worn his coat.
No sooner had Anthony,Diesel,Rosie and Dylan left the house than their first problem arose.
Akita san was walking down their street only fifty yards ahead.
Catching up with him was in nobody's best interests,not least it's owner's stress levels.
They turned about.
Then turned about again.
Then they turned about a third time.
Practicing walking to heel off the lead would let the akita get a good distance ahead.
By the time they got to the end of the street the akita was nowhere to be seen.
He would be walking around the fields for a while and with the high hedges there would be no way to avoid bumping into him.
They decided to take a detour.
Just around the corner were fields full of sheep,time for some sheep training.
The first field was empty today,the dogs could have a play.
Anthony could run them through their drills.
Heeling,sitting,staying,waiting,lying and most of all coming.
He wanted to have them sharp with sheep around and they were.
The next field was empty too,and the next,they were in luck today.
The finest English countryside,just as it had been for hundreds of years,bathed in the glow of a summer sun and they had it all to themselves.
They found a pond,there could not have been a finer place for the dogs to swim.
Diesel,Rosie and Dylan fetched sticks and chased scents,oblivious to the sheep in the next field.
Anthony kept a close eye on them,recalling them to keep them close and sharp.
Then he saw something,a sheep,freshly sheared and in their field,not forty yards away.
He called the dogs,they came right away showing no interest in their woolly visitor.
While Anthony decided what to do they sat at his feet.
Rosie and Dylan were used to walking offlead with sheep,Diesel was green but he had been very good in basic training.
Over by the fence the sheep was wary of coming closer.
There was a gap in the fence,no gate,that is how it had gotten in.
The sheep had not been moved to the other fields,they were free to wander where they pleased.
A rustle of barbed wire and the problem was solved,the sheep had gone through the fence.
They could relax.
But then Anthony saw something behind them.
Now they were outflanked,a crack platoon sheep was taking up position by the tree line.
Outnumbered,outflanked,in the open and in hostile terrain without any hope of backup,they had no choice.
It was time to make tactical withdrawal,no surrender and no vizsla left behind.
"Come!","Heel!" at the rush they headed for cover,the training was paying off.
Using the concealment and protection of the terrain they made it over the skyline and down the reverse slope of the hill.
It was no good trying to regroup,they had never ungrouped,so they headed for the safety of the stile.
Training had got them through but it was close,next time they might not make it,time for a group photo just in case.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Of vizslak and men

Anthony had a plan.
Sixty pounds of dog meat was due to be delivered.
He had to take the dogs out before it arrived and then go to the vets afterwards.
Just as they prepared to go out,fate intervened.
A thunder storm.
Rosie was not very keen on walking in thunderstorms.
He improvised,vets first,back for the delivery and then walk the dogs.
Part one of the plan went without a hitch.
Part two was more troublesome.
The delivery was late,late enough for the Diesel,Rosie and Dylan to have had a good walk while they waited.
The dogs were getting restless.
They ran out to the garden to play.
Three dogs trying to get through a gap an inch too narrow for them.
No broken glass.
The dogs seemed fine.
The glass door did not.
An hours work made no difference,the door was too big to be safely removed and fixed by one man.
One phone call and help was on the way.
But they had just over an hour before it arrived.
The shortest dog walk they had ever had with Anthony.
Short even when compared to young Diesel's two hour walks.
Let alone the eight hour megawalks Rosie and Dylan were used to getting when Anthony came to visit.Never in the history of vizslak had Anthony walked Rosie and Dylan for less than three hours.Out quickly,run around the fields,take a few photos and then go home.
What kind of walk was that?
At least it was warm and sunny for a change.
Surely Anthony would take the dogs for a proper walk soon,at least when they had gotten through those sixty pounds of meat.

We're walking in sunshine

Monday was sunny,at least it was when it was not raining.
Sunny enough for Anthony to go out without a coat.
Which was a problem when it started to rain.
He did not mind getting wet but he did not want his camera to drown.
Rosie and Dylan did not think a camera could drown.
Diesel,who could still remember his swimming lessons,knew better.
Today our intrepid heroes were feeling neither intrepid nor heroic.
They had quite enough of that yesterday.
On the way to their usual walking fields they met some children.
Rosie and Dylan are like meeting children,they used to play with the children in their old street.
But here they hardly meet anyone let alone children.
They never met anyone in the fields today,not even a pheasant.
But they did find another dead animal.
There seem to be a lot of them here,this one looked like a mouse.
Anthony made them practice their commands,they like to do that because they get treats when they do well.
Diesel,Rosie and Dylan got a lot of treats today.
They also had a swim in their secret swimming spot before going home.
In their garden they found a small dead bird,Anthony does not know what kind it is as they don't have birds like that where he lives.
The bird did not have any sign of injuries,at least until Diesel stood on it.
It would have been hard for a dog to catch such a small bird and kill it without leaving a mark.
A cat would probably have carried the bird away and it would have left it's mark on the bird too.
It was a mystery.
To solve it they must eliminate all possibilities to find the solution.
But long before they could do that Diesel,Rosie and Dylan were sound asleep.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Mud glorious mud

Today was Sunday but there was no sun today.
Given the choice of going out in the rain or going out in the rain,today Anthony,Diesel,Rosie and Dylan decided to go out in the rain.
Long wet grass is wetter than water itself so Anthony decided that today they would avoid their usual walking areas and go somewhere new.
Yesterday they found a dead sheep in a field today they found a squirrel on the ground in the woods.
It was not dead but it was not running away,the dogs showed no interest in it but Anthony thinks the dogs they had seen a moment earlier may have been more interested.
They left it there in the hope it would recover.
For half a mile the three dogs practiced walking to heel off the lead and then they practiced walking to heel on the lead for a mile.
Before running free they had to sit still and wait untill they were told to get over the stile.
Until now Anthony had stayed nice and dry but he knew that would not last when he saw how overgrown the path was.
Not many people seem to use these footpaths but than not many could get past all the fallen trees.
Those that get past the trees then have to get past the mud.
But those who get past the mud and take a little use path find a piece of dog heaven on earth.
Thick woods,ponds,deep ravines with streams at the bottom and hares runing through the undergrowth.
Best of all it is big enough to spend hours exploring and few people venture there.
Following the paths home led Anthony,Diesel,Rosie and Dylan on more adventures.
Their route took them through fields full of swallows which they had fun trying to catch.
Then they came across an obstacle,a field full of cows.
Only these cows were not just cows,some were bullocks.
As they stood at the stile,the cows approached and soon they had thirty big beasts barging towards them.
Anthony had to clear a path to get the dogs over the stile.
He climbed over and told the cows to move on.
They did.
Except for one.
Anthony looked it in the eye from three feet away.
It was very big and very black and very definitely not a cow.
Nor did it look like the bullocks.
But it did look like a bull.
Anthony decided that it was not a good idea to try moving a bull which was quite happy where it was.
He exited the field.
Not all cattle like dogs.
Lifting the dogs over the stile one by one would not be good situation to be in if the bull was unfriendly.
They took another route through an empty field,lifting one hundred and seventy pounds of muddy vizslak over a high,wet,wooden stile was not easy but they eventually they were past the cattle.
On the way down a quiet country lane they practised their emergency drills in case of a car.
Getting to the side off the road and staying at the sit as quickly as possible.
Diesel,Rosie and Dylan did very well.
They took a shortcut home,avoiding a field with a horse which definitely did not like dogs.
Anthony had gotten Rosie and Dylan accross this field before,getting them over the stile just before the charging horse reached them,he did not think he could do it with three dogs,a wet stile and a muddy field.
Discretion is the better part of valour.
Checking on the squirrel they had found earlier was their last mission of the day.
It was dead,which was just how they felt.
Soaked through and covered in mud they made their way home.