Wednesday, 25 June 2008

All fluffed up

There was a tremendous kerfuffle in the garden this morning. OH had taken the dogs out and I was just switching on the laptop and thinking reluctantly about starting work, when I heard indignant shrieks and flappings from the Bluebells. I couldn't imagine what was causing such consternation but when I squinted out of the window there was a strange dog in the garden. I rushed out, wincing as my bare feet (I never wear shoes indoors) hit the gravel, shouting as I went, and a young and enthusiastic springer spaniel made a beeline for the gate. She belonged to one of the builders working on the farmhouse next door, and I am afraid I was distinctly frosty as he retrieved her.

The chickens had all disappeared into their roost (they were perfectly safe, they have a heavy wire run to protect them from the foxes, which would have no qualms about helping themselves during daylight hours), but when I looked in on them, they were all crowded into the nestbox in a heap of quivering feathers and dark mutterings: "Shouldn't wonder if no one can lay for weeks", they opined, "but yes, a little fresh lettuce may help. Mind you put the stalk in too, for a nice dose of its soothingly narcotic sap." They are well-versed in country lore, those girls.

You can be sure that I shall glower at the builder every time I pass, but I can't help remembering a very young springer who chased next door's ducks, and everything else he set eyes on, to my intense mortification. Lovely dogs, but fluff-for-brains and great sufferers from selective deafness, so I have never wanted another. Not that Senior Dog and The Bolter are saints, but TB is asleep under my duvet at the moment, so all is quiet.


mountainear said...

It's not much consolation to say 'it's what they are programmed/hard wired to do' is it? Especially when presented with something dead or mauled and probably much treasured. We spend much time with our hopeless German Wirehaired Pointer - a HPR dog - encouraging him to do just that, Hunt, Point and Retrieve. The trainer that can teach a dog to discriminate between quarry and much loved family pet will make a fortune.

Becca said...

Springers (and Brittany's like mine) are simply beautiful but can be very unmanageable and unpredictable. However, what brilliant chickens you have!