Canine approach

When I take the girls to the park, like I did today, I walk up to the Avenue of Trees and, as long as it’s free, sit on the same bench. I then proceed to throw the tennis ball for Emma to endlessly chase and return. She does need a rest every now and then but, basically, it’s close to an hour of exercise. For her.

Freya, on the other hand, either lays next to me watching or sits in the middle of the Avenue, waiting for squirrels to appear.

I think the squirrels know she’s watching for them because they only show up when she’s asleep.

Of course, during our time at the bench we see a lot of people and their dogs. And most of the dogs will come over and say hello to Freya. Emma, not being at all sociable when there’s a ball to protect and/or chase, ignores them most of the time.

Freya is quite happy to say a doggy hello to them as long as they don’t get too interested in her. Then she’ll do her gremlin growl, warning them to move off. Generally the dogs are a lot bigger than her but, for reasons known only to dogs, they back off obediently.

Today it was a collie who came over to say hi. Freya, from the safety of the bench, rubbed noses with her then sat back and waited for her to head off. The collie didn’t head off but, instead, wanted to sniff Freya’s butt. Out came the gremlin growl and the collie decided to take a couple of steps away from the bench.

The collie’s owner, by this time, was miles away, wandering towards a copse. He must have realised that his dog was no longer with him and called her. She looked at Freya, looked at her owner then back at Freya. Eventually she, reluctantly, bounded away.

Of course, a collie could easily jump up onto the bench and insist that Freya be friendly, but the dogs I find funniest are the ones with small legs that have no hope. Freya will leap effortlessly onto the bench whenever one approaches her and they just stand, helpless, below her as she flaunts her superiority.

Today there were a number of French bulldogs and pugs who snorted in indignation as she avoided them by reaching heights they could never attain. This did make me think about the time I expected Basil to jump into the back of Dawn’s car after a grooming session. Basil was a Westie and not much of a jumper.

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