Tag Archives: Lady

The Further Adventures of Sparky the Squirrel: Part Two

Sparky the Squirrel

As I said yesterday, training your dog to listen to you could save its life one day. It certainly saved the life of Sparky the squirrel.

One afternoon I was in the drive way by the garage, when I suddenly saw my old dog Lady racing across the front lawn. Now this old rescued dog had arthritis and never ran; she just plodded. So I knew something was going on. I stepped forward and saw Lady had her nose right on a squirrel’s tail as they hared across the lawn together.

I bellowed, “STOP THAT!” And lady locked her front legs and skidded to a halt on the grass. The squirrel just kept right on full speed towards the small white wall, and straight over it through the railings, without a pause – to safety.

Lady, still standing there frozen, watched the squirrel disappear, then looked at me and her expression said, “What did you do that for? Now it’s got away!”

Naturally, Lady got lots of praise and attention and a biscuit.

So, having routine and discipline, along with, obviously, love, makes a well balanced dog – and saves Sparky the squirrel.

post script: This will never work with Little Monkey, as she is too much the hunter. With her, if I am quick enough, I have to intervene in person, or with the garden rake, if it is to hand, for extra reach. Even so, the squirrels have wisely learnt to stay out of the garden when the dogs are around!



Lady and Jack Play-Fight

Lady and Jack Play-Fight *These are trained stunt dogs – do not try this at home!

It was 5.30 on a pleasant Spring evening, with the sun mellow rather than blistering. I sat out on the stoep with my glass of ice cold white wine and breathed a sigh of contentment. Just a short interlude before starting the evening meal.

Little Monkey was running round the garden with various toys, shouting, “Look at me Mum!” while the old dogs were up on the stoep with me. Madam the old girl came up for attention, so I gave her a quick pat on the head and she went away. Then TJ came up, and he got the same brief pat. Next second Madam has launched herself at TJ!

I jumped up and took my wine safely inside; not too bothered about the dogs. Maybe twice a year there was a little tiff and a reasserting of pack order. It was never aggressive or vicious, and never any injuries. Little monkey had now joined in, surprisingly on the side of Madam. Usually the two females squared off with a “There can be only one!” attitude and Little Monkey and TJ were best friends.

But this is all instinct. Attack the wounded, the weak, the sick, the old, the different. When it was TJ who had the underhand, the two girls joined forces.

Then Madam tripped over the chair and was down. Instantly the two other dogs laid into her. And though there was a lot of noise and teeth, it still wasn’t a serious fight. We’re talking seconds here.

But enough is enough, and I stepped in to separate them all.

Since Madam seemed to have come out the worst from the engagement, I shut the others outside and checked her over. Though there was no blood, unfortunately she had a six centimetre gash in the ruff of her neck. An unlucky accident; maybe Little Monkey got her fang caught in the collar when going for the thick neck mane.

I looked at the clock. Quarter to six. The vets shut at six. I downed the rest of my wine in one and rushed Madam to the vets for stitches, pain killers and antibiotics. Although she felt pretty sorry for herself, she was all right, and all the dogs were fine with each other again. Never a dull moment with three dogs.

So much for the interlude!

post script: I don’t have any photos of my dogs fighting. Not surprisingly, I rush to grab the dogs, not the camera. This photo is the best I have – great friends mock-fighting.