Thursday, 29 June 2017

Alpha dog


no dog here; just a couple of cushions







It's felt like the onset of winter today. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but I did have to wrap up in several layers this morning and right now I'm seriously considering a hot water bottle. Summer was glorious though wasn't it. The sudden plummet in temperature has made me feel a bit peculiar though. Should I be knitting? Laying down fat for winter? Or replacing the flipflops that the dog destroyed? Maybe all three to be on the safe side.

The cricket season is pressing on at full throttle. I'm quite enjoying it in fact. I take a chair and have a nice read for half an hour while they warm up or mill around or whatever it is they do before the match. Then I stare into the middle distance and clap from time to time and listen to the internal voices. All very calming. It does go on and on though.

A dog savvy friend came round yesterday and within minutes had Bertie doing exactly what she wanted. It was poetry in motion, honestly. She was the alpha dog and he was bottom of the pack. Turns out the key is a firm hand and a bag of goat's cheese cubes. Of course it's not quite successful when I do it, and the rest of the family all have their own thing going on, so it can be a bit confused with occasional shouting (at each other, not the dog) but for one glorious moment there I thought, I can do this, I AM alpha dog. Well, we'll see.

He was officially allowed out today, so after school the littlest boy and I took him for a spin round the block. It went better than I imagined it would, Bertie was actually keen to keep going in the same direction most of the time. I managed to let the littlest boy have the lead the whole way round despite being in a state of total panic that he would drop it and that would be the end of it all. Brownie point for me I think. I am still very anxious about it all. No doubt I will wake up at 4am imagining the worst. What is it about 4am? The very blackest of thoughts emerge don't they? I try very hard not to give them head space and go to an imaginary happy place instead. Goodness, am I sounding slightly barking today? I have a feeling I am. I think I have a cold coming, plus going from summer to winter in the space of three days has all been very discombobulating.

How are you faring? Those of you in sweltering corners of the world should head for England instantly, it is all deliciously cool here. I'll get the kettle on. CJ xx

25 comments:

  1. It's hot here today, but nothing like last week. 96 instead of 106, I'll take it. I hope your weather goes back to summer again soon, how frustrating. That photo of the dog near the cushion is hilarious, you really have to look for him! I hope you're not getting sick. Take care of yourself.

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  2. I'm sure that you will get there in the end and Bertie will have you fully trained,

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  3. I've never successfully trained a dog, but a couple have trained me.

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  4. And wet. It's wet here too, don't forget that. Or at least it is where I am. Everything in the garden has gone droopy and I think I've joined in.

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  5. I was with your train of thought on the hot bot front...I refilled mine several times as I was sat doing paperwork for much of the day....a fetching blanket draped over my legs too...draughty side door still at the cottage...I seem to be owned by a short but wide Newfie...perhaps I should reaffirm my dominance to remind her just who feeds her and goes to work in order to feed her and pay her vet bills! x

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  6. You've reminded me of when we used to walk our neighbour's dog. My two year old who spoke fluent dog always held the lead up to the playing fields and then we would all play throw and catch. One day though the scent of rabbit proved irresistible and William, a staid Golden Retriever, was off. I was in a state of panic and hoarse from calling when a dog wrangling friend appeared, sent us home and half an hour later returned with William. Phew. The catching game caught on though and I couldn't go anywhere without a tennis ball so you can imagine how that led to endless summer days watching cricket. On home match days I would sneak off through the woods to my allotment sometimes returning with a colander of warm juicy strawberries for tea. One afternoon of fine drizzle here, not even heavy enough to refill the water butts. I don't use mains water on my garden at home so I'm happy with drizzle and a few overcast days. The lawn is crispy and I'm sporting shorts and bare feet so summer is definitely here. Wishing you all lots of fun and games with Bertie.

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  7. A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. Good to see that Bertie is doing well.
    I'm not a cricket fan so smile at what you wrote.
    I'm good thanks. Mine's tea with a dash of milk and no sugar, and perhaps a biscuit or two to share with you know who. xx

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  8. Yes. Cold here too. Layers are being worn as we speak. Hooray for Bertie's first perambulation! And well done you for holding it all together with littlest boy in charge! Browny point to CJ, definitely xx

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  9. Oh I totally get your crazy weather.. we had massive heat.. then rain and cold.. now it's PERFECT.. but going to get hotter. I am obsessed with your darling Bertie! I could look at 100 photos and be happy. His EYES are incredible! I'm glad you're keeping a good hold on his lead. We have to do the same with our Buddy. If Bertie challenges you.. narrow your eyes and growl at him a bit. That will show him. LOL! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  10. When our dog was a pup the trainer at out classes encouraged me to let him off the lead which terrified me but I did it... and the trainer was right, Hector stayed close to me worried I might go out of sight. Which was great while it lasted... now he runs off at the first opportunity constantly looking for other dogs to play with! Doesn't even look back!

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  11. I am absolutely head over heels in love with the word discombobulating, and you use it brilliantly. Your words and stories are as wonderful as ever, you write so well xxxxxxxxxxxx

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  12. I wake up at 3 if it helps. I start worrying automatically even if there is nothing to worry about. Well lets be honest when is there ever nothing to worry about. Bertie is the CUTEST!!!!

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  13. 1 degree here in Toowoomba this morning!

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  14. I wore a jumper to work last week. A jumper! But summer returned a little here today, I hope it did for you too. Your alpha dog friend reminded me of the very brisk, no-nonsense lady who used to run the puppy training classes I took Molly too. She always had cocktail sausages on her and I don't think the dogs dared mess her around. I hope things are settling down with Bertie. He is incredibly cute. xx

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  15. How exciting that Bertie is now allowed out in the wider world. I sounds as if your first venture out went so well. Lovely pictures of him, I love the one where he blends into the background! Sarah x

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  16. I've found that it's best not to dwell on anything that pops into my mind at 4 in the morning. I can usually manage to blow things hugely out of proportion and then, the following day, I wonder what all the fuss was about. Now I just tell my mind that I'm not interested and roll over! Your doggie is such a sweetie. I bet your son was incredibly excited going out and about with him. Good luck being alpha dog! xx

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  17. A lovely summer post CJ. I love reading how Bertie is finding his spot in the family. Cricket sounds great. No sports right now. I'm maximizing my time as much as I can ...

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