Tag Archives: tadpoles

Negotiating the Neutral Zone: A Visit to the Vets

Taking my young dog to the vets is always exhausting. She gets so hyped up. Maybe it is simply because she is an unbalanced, unsocialised, anxious dog? Maybe it is because all her senses are firing at once? New smells, sounds, sights?

Well, this time there was certainly a new sight for her! As I was giving my name to the receptionist, a little ginger cat sauntered round the corner from the back area. I am sure it is the same cat that taunted Mr Spaghetti Legs. (Mr SL and the cat) It basically stuck its tongue out at my dog, who was beside herself. She hates cats. She has to bark at them, chase them up trees etc. Now here she was, on full alert, ears up, body tense, all eyes on the cat, but restrained by the lead, knowing that there is an unwritten law, that when she is on the lead she is not allowed to chase things. Poor girl. Although I explained to her that the vets was a neutral zone I don’t think it helped!

I then weighed my dogs and sat down until it was our turn for the vet. At least now the cat was out of sight, but Little Monkey cannot relax. She stood there, panting madly, tugging at the lead now and then as if to say, “The door’s this way, Mum. Let’s go!” I bring Mr SL also, as he just stands there, quite calm; hoping some of his nonchalance may rub off on her.

Our turn came quickly. Just an anal gland check up; all OK. Now for the reward. I always take them for a walk in the local forested area afterwards. Once parked in the car park, I filled an old ice cream tub with fresh water, and Little Monkey gulped it down. All that panting has gotta make for a dry mouth. Mr SL sniffs it, but rarely drinks.

In no time at all we are in nature. Tall pine trees all around, little grey squirrels scuttling up trees, lots of bird song. Little Monkey has forgotten all about the vets in one minute flat. Unfortunately, it has rained lately – a lot – and the narrow paths have become streams. Little Monkey walks slightly ahead, with Mr SL behind. I hear his little feet going splish splish splish. Suddenly, this changes to splosh splosh splosh!

The old boy has walked off the path and into a ditch. He is now wading through water up to his armpits! I get him back onto the path. Now we pass the little pond, that has become a small lake! Peering closely into the water, I see tiny tadpoles wriggling around in the icy water. A good sign. Once frogs disappear from your habitat, nature is in grave difficulties.

So, we spoldge around for a while, then go home. The dogs get their supper and can sleep off the excitement of the afternoon. Well, Mr SL sleeps; Little Monkey is ready for the next game. Happy dogs!





There has been so much winter rain lately, it has filled the little rivulet that sometimes runs along the bottom of the soccer field.

If you stop and listen for a moment, you will hear the satisfying peep of little pogs, calling to each other.

If you stoop low and peer into the clear ice-cold water, and stay very still, you will see fat little tadpoles swimming around.

Grow up quickly, my little friends, before the streamlet dries up again.

For my little tadpoles!

post script: a pog is a frog, of course!