A dog lead

Statue of the sighthound (one of the symbolic ...

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When I left the Ark
Daphne, the lady in charge of dog escapes
said I may never be able to get off the lead;
Because I was a sight hound!

And, as you may,
or may not
We are prone to tearing off and ripping small villages to shreds.

Fortunately my pack leaders ( indulged in name only)
Got my vibes
by day two
and set me free

And despite some unnecessary nagging
when I have been a little delayed in returning
have not regretted it
one iota.

Now, the other day
Number 1 and I were shooting the breeze
in the park when
Along came an unhappy dog with an unsmiling man

Nothing from either
But why?
well my hypothesis

that thay were trapped by the lead
binding the dog and man together.
The dog had energy in abundance
and was consumed by the need to bound free.

The man was trapped by his fears
that the dog
would go beserk
and cause mayhem throughout the three counties

there is a solution

The man has to understand himself
Then he can trust himself
then when he sets himself free
he lets the dog off the lead.


Maybe not so for you humans who may be reading; to explain
If we (dogs) KNOW you mean it
KNOW your intention
and can FEEL the energy that comes from you

We behave.

Shouting doesn’t do it
getting grumpy doesn’t either
It is all energy.
Have the belief you are pack leader

And pack leader you will be!

Well, exhausting, time for a nap………


Wanton neglect

It’s probably criminal
I have not had computer access for ages
My public needs me
and they care not a jot!

Number 1 has broken the desktop
and my paws struggle on laptops
My extended accelerator nails are just
a nightmare!

I don’t know how he broke it
but “we” suspect he was downloading some fancy
64 bit software
and it all got the better of him

He’s very grey you know.

Anyway I am back
breaking through the technical barriers to
delight you
my public

Before I do delight you
I must advise
the buggers have deserted me
Gone to Seville for the world tapas eating championship

More later
just going to snaffle a pigs ear
to cheer myself

Dog-given from the Oxford Dictionary blog

I admit it . . . I’m dog-given

Dogs playing with stick

I love dogs. I think I was just born that way. Given that I’m part of a vast community of canophilists, it’s never made sense to me that dogs often feature in an unfavorable way in English. Every group in the animal kingdom is represented in at least a few phrases, idiomsallusions, and metaphors, but I doubt any can top the number of familiar expressions that rely on the dog. Remarkably few of these, however, speak of virtues, which in my view is what dogs are all about. If virtues include selflessness, loyalty, courage, patience, forgiveness, and unconditional love, I have to say the dogs I’ve known could teach most humans a thing or two. But that isn’t quite the picture our idiomatic language paints.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there…

Without blinking an eye, I can rattle off more than two dozen “dog” expressions, among them: sick as a dog; go to the dogsbe in the doghousedog-tiredthrow someone to the dogsnot a dog’s chance; the dogs of wardog daysand  dog in the manger. There’s a lot of misery, negativity, or just plain distaste in these dismal expressions. Even a dog’s life, which I naively used to think referred to pleasant circumstances, in fact means “an unhappy existence, full of problems or unfair treatment.” Why such disdain for the noble dog?

Dogged by negativity?

Worse yet, the linguistic assault is not limited to phrases. The word dog all by itself has generated a number of negative figurative uses, at least six times more than the lowly rat!

In most dictionaries, there are two such meanings for rat:

  • a person regarded as despicable
  • an informer

Now look at just a few of the unsavory definitions for dog:

  • a person regarded as unpleasant, contemptible, or wicked
  • a woman regarded as unattractive
  • a thing of poor quality
  • a failure
  • a person who is abject or miserable

Even when dog became a verb, it retained those negative vibes: none of us would choose to be dogged by controversy. The doggone injustice! Look at doggerel, too, and its “parent,” dog Latin. Other dog-related words don’t fare much better. Curmongrelmutt,and bitch come to mind, and let’s just say they’re not exactly terms of endearment. The only bright spot for me when writing this was the discovery in the Oxford English Dictionary of the word dog-given (an obsolete rare term for which the OED provides just one citation, dated at around 1611), defined as “addicted to dogs.” I don’t smoke, drink, or gamble, so I think at this point in my life I’m entitled to the addiction of my choice, and I choose dogs: letcanophilia rule!

Christine A. Lindberg
7 June 2011


Senior lexicographer Christine A. Lindberg is the principal content editor of Oxford’s American English dictionaries and thesauruses. Part of the original OUP US Dictionaries Program established in Connecticut in 1997, she currently works from her office in the Leatherstocking Region of New York State.

Wild garlic

My park has a river down the side of it. We walk along it often. Just now the green things are really starting to come out and the wild garlic is beating everything else.

My apparent pack leader is babbling on about how great this could be because he thinks it can be great in recipes. Thank goodness I am a dog and get to eat mashed up bits of animal and pigs ears and such like. This green stuff is quite nasty.

Not for the first time he has come up with an anti-dog comment. He seems to suggest that because the canine community piddles all over it they cannot eat it. So faddy can’t they just rinse it under the tap!

Anyway stop wingeing and get me home for some good healthy meaty nutrition.

But just to demonstrate I am not anti-human there are some good recipes here:


A dark night

Sunday 6 0 clock, February pitch black. Off to the park.

I like the dark evenings the smells change different animals are at large and I get strong smells of the fox – my favourite. One day I will catch him.

We get to the stone balustrade and pack leader (in his imagination only you understand!) looks over as usual to see if he catch a glimpse of the heron on the little promintory.

It’s gone, completely under water, and no heron.

The little wooden bridge normally 7 or 8 feet above the water has it lapping against it and beyond the big meadow looks a dark lake just shining in the moon.

I must check this out – it’s only shallow. Time for some larks a flat out sprint straight across it  – water splashing up my sides.


Then the eccentric woman with the five red setters appears and we all sprint around like crazy things (not the woman though she is definitely not a sprinter she progresses in a more stately manner).

So much fun. So wet, so hungry, so strange.

Open Day at the Ark

The Ark, if you have been paying attention, is where I came from. There are lots of kind people but even more sad dogs and cats – all waiting to be rescued.

Well it was quite sad because the place is totally full – no room for even a single dog or cat. I don’t know exactly what happens to those that can’t get in but I think it isn’t good.

If you don’t live near Ashbourne or cannot have a pet please send some money. My pack says you can do it through the website – don’t forget please! The picture is Tigger. He is a lurcher like me and he is great BUT he has been in the Ark for nearly a year and he is depressed and very unhappy.

I’m going to nap now but I am not too hungry.

I am not well!

Apparently I now have an infection in my damaged foot!

I suspect litigation could follow – I need a dog barrister.

I don’t know how it happened – one minute it was just a bit sore and coming along nicely and now it is really sore and painful. Pack member 3 has a friend who is a vet and despite the fact that they are generally cruel and brutal people he is nice and does home visits. So at least I don’t have to get dragged off to that horrible building where they can’t resist sticking needles in me.

I am on antibiotics and pain killers and CANNOT run which is dreadful. Even worse number one keeps wrapping my foot in poo bags before he takes me out – what sort of look is that for a handsome dog like me!

Plus side – I am not off my food so time for a postprandial nap.

Abandoned again!

Keswick and Derwentwater

Image by PhillipC via Flickr

OK so I did play up a bit – but I was in pain. The light of day reveals a bit of a messed up foot.

Pack springs into action – much discussion – chats with reception – phone calls – only trivial walk to do the necessaries. Then load up and away BUT not before I notice the smell of bacon from a bag they bring with them. These humans are spoiled.

Shoot of towards Keswick and end up going into a place that looks and smells like a farm. Greta Bank Veterinary Centre – I am not happy!

Straight in no waiting. Lady vet says things like anaesthetic, stay in, leave me there and stabs me in the neck – very nice. And yes you guessed it they leave me  – never mind the tear filled eyes, the tail between my legs, the desperate ears and the expression of shear panic. OK the vet is nice to me but then it’s another jab and goodnight Vienna.

Well they did come back and get me but it didn’t stop me feeling very groggy and having a very sore foot. I can tell it will be days before I am fully restored to my reckless self.

And they bought me a pigs trotter as a treat – truly disgusting!

Oh my poor claw!

The village of Glenridding and Ullswater in th...

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Holiday treat – fancy hotel by Ullswater – Inn on the Lake. Yes I know, they only ever take me to the Lake District! I think they may be a bit deficient.

Anyway night one they shut me away while they go for a fancy dinner so only reasonable that I create a moderate disturbance out of their callous neglect. That earns me a late night foray into the “extensive grounds”. I smell a fox! Joyous sprinting even though it manages to get away.

Oh dear a sharp pain from my foot. Not keen on pain. Must limp and hold up my foot tragically. Much fuss ensues followed by a sleepless night for all – lurchers are not stoics.

Not even in the mood for the proferred treats.


There I was at full flight, just going towards dusk, all the fascinating evening smells – life was good.

Then I spotted a moor hen on the river just by the bank so I eased my way forward being absolute Mr Stealthy and whoops – the bank was gone and there was me upside down and completely submerged!

What a shock! Scrambled out and there was No 1 – gone – wandering about in a world of his own as usual. I sprinted this way, then that way and finally when I went the other way I found him.

He just smirked! The nerve of the man. Good job I am a kindly pack leader.

Anyway he told me I was fine and gave me a treat – so back to sniffing and away to the wood where the fox lives.