Friday, November 18, 2016

Elfin Friday: keep them doggies rolling

Pick it up

chew it up

Chew it up

Spit it out

Pick it up

Chew it up,



Such a joy to have a dog who takes anything good to chew or eat without fuss, but with glee and appreciation, who doesn't guard or control or toy with but concentrates on and finishes things. One of the benefits of a harder life before perhaps. Yet I could take it out of her mouth without any argument if need be, even though that mouth is full of carpet knives, and she totally looks like a wild beast while she's chewing it.

Our friendly, big-guy gardener who comes to cut the hedges, about whom she gave a rare, deep, warning bark when he loomed up at the French doors, came in and made a great fuss of her, let her jump up, cuddled her and slapped her ribs and told her how beautiful she was, all much to her delight, though she didn't get silly and came over to us for affirmation straight away. Then he started teasing a bit by saying ' où sont les lapins, où est le chat?', and at the word 'chat' she immediately became agitated, looking up at the window and tensing her body. So someone has clearly encouraged anxiety, chasing and predatory behaviour towards cats, which makes it more of a problem to overcome. Similarly when Susie, her trainer, got out a long thin stick to show how she might learn 'touch it' training, such as assistance dogs learn, Elfie perceptibly flinched and ducked. Which makes it all the more remarkable and touching that she is, in general, such a brave, cheerful, adaptable and affectionate dog.


Catalyst said...

That last is an indication that she may have had a tough life before you got her.

the polish chick said...

sweet fuzzy nose!

Roderick Robinson said...

Find Us, says one of links on the Chapman Lake website so I tried - you having been somewhat vague about the exact location in your post (Pennsylvania is about 350 miles, end to end; more than twice the distance of Brest to Rennes). Helpfully, as a reference, the location of a major town is provided. Warren? A major town? Nope. Not familiar. And I've lived at both ends of Pa. But let's not dissipate the mystery.

What is interesting is we occupied the state at the same time; I'd arrived December 28, 1965 and left April 1972. What would I have said to the four-year-old version of Lucy? The answer's nothing, I'd have run a mile. I was 31 at the time and although I didn't wear a dirty raincoat (I might even have been wearing shorts which is a salutary thought) I had by then read Lolita.

I assume you were an infant prodigy.

Avus said...

My "new" dog, Roxy similarly flinched whenever I bent over her and would cringe whenever she saw me with a stick I have now ceased to take a walking stick with me when out with her. Obviously ill-treated in the past.

Lucy said...


Cat - looks like it, yet we feel she has also been well treated, and wonder how she came to be in the pound then the refuge, unclaimed. Perhaps a story of two homes, one where she was cared for and one not. We'll never know.

Pc - yep!

Robbie - wrong post! Never mind, it make little difference as I'm churning out daily. Warren is the nearest town, it's up towards NY State somewhere, probably not to hard to locate, I'll do so sometime. There was oil in the ground and quite a few Amish about, quite pretty country. One day we drove all the way to Ohio to see a place where the ducks walked on the fish, great big carp things, you threw bread in and both ducks and fish scrambled to get it. Tom has made similar comments about the Tutankhamen exhibition we both attended when I was ten and he was in his thirties, but it's academic,as you say, we'd not have noticed each other and have had nothing to say anyway. I was never a prodigy, infant or otherwise, I learned to read at about five, was fairly bright and was picked on a bit for a while for using long words but really nothing special, my choice of childhood reading was mostly pony books, Swallows and Amazons and Biggles. I was completely unmusical and lazy at maths, I drew compulsively but unimaginatively. But it's nice of you to think I might have been!

Avus - poor Roxy. I don't think Elfie was badly mistreated, as I say, perhaps a case of two different homes, but in general French country dogs don't have it soft. It's amazing and humbling how loving and upbeat they manage to be isn't it? Might be worth doing some desensitising with the clicker to the stick, if it's a help to walk with one?