I walked Bluebell up to the Post Office I had a deadline to meet and I needed to get the post. This was our first encounter. The meeting was fraught with insecurity. Could I trust her and her me. Well so far so good, she walked right by my side and didn’t pull on the lead. I was in two minds if I should take her with me or leave her behind. She was new to the house so she may not do too well if I left her alone at home. I am only a guest here and I am trusted with this house, kids and now the new dog, I have my own key and can come and go as I please. I can stay as long as I want. Its up to me how I take on board this newcomer. We got half way up this residential road and one or two people looked at the dog, one in admiration and then one man walked nearer to the edge of the kerb. Bluebell found a nice piece of grass and at first I thought she would do a few drops and we could move on. The grass was outside a nice new block of flats recently made out of a large Victorian mansion. You can guess what came next. I did not have a plastic bag. Now what? I had broken the law. I looked round and although it is a main road it was remarkably quiet. A passing lorry driver looked at me. My eyes followed the vehicle in case he was stopping. He carried on so I sneaked off. The co-op was just five minutes walk away, we hurried. I looked round to see if I was being followed. I quickly posted the document that needed that particular post, and then I went in to buy a bottle of milk. I passed the assistant at the till the bottle; she passed the milk back and said ‘49p’. ‘I need a bag’ I insisted. Begrudgingly she gave me one. I was not about to explain. Then off I ran to the spot. Bluebell is a racing dog a Greyhound and my! How she can run. I couldn’t stop, the lights were on red, and I crossed the road at speed down towards the place. Bluebells great long legs were tearing down the road. I panted to keep up with her. We arrived at the grass verge I looked up at the modern white blinds that covered the windows of the new flats; fortunately no-one was looking out for me. I took the bottle of milk from the plastic bag placed it on the grass and began my duty, breathless. All done, I found a bin nearby. Then we walked the rest of the way home as if nothing had happened; a bottle of milk in one hand and the lead in the other, the dog still on the end of it.
Sally, my daughter told me she is not a domesticated dog and has to be trained. An ex racer apparently, she is used to a kennel kind of existence. She has been living in the kennels and I can see her fur is bald on her left shank where she probably chose to lay on the rough concrete floor, She was given an operation to stop her getting pregnant before she was delivered to Sally so is she still in some pain? All her fur is missing underneath and she has a scar too. She did not have much pain when she ran with me down the road at fifty miles an hour. There are a few bare patches on her legs where she has had an injury or two in the past. All in all she is quite a scarred dog. But she is happy and Joe and James my treasured grandsons 11 and 13 respectively seem to like her a lot. Joe has the breakfast duty of porridge and the clean water. James does the early morning garden walks. His face tells a story when he is holding the lead. We are all watching to see if he cleans anything up. They are the rules for whoever takes her on the garden. James comes back in quickly and doesn’t give Bluebell much time. So we have to train James.
We came in from a short outing where it was better for the dog to be left behind. When we got back she had left her large deposit in the hallway. It was hardly noticeable on the nice terrazzo floor. We were lucky not to have stepped in it. Sally decided it is no good disciplining her as it may have been an hour since it happened and she would have forgotten about it by now. When it was all over and the mess had been cleared up I heard James giving the dog a pep talk, it went something like this.
‘Hey! Pea Brain, don’t do that on the hall floor you might have
to go back to the kennels if you do it again and you wouldn’t
like that would you? Right! Remember, no mess in the hallway please.‘
I have met Paul before down at the Hogg’s Head where Sally’s colleagues meet after work from university on a Wednesday. Paul has been invited to the house to meet the dog. Blue, her name has now been shortened. He arrived faithfully. Paul remarked what a lovely colour she was. As for the dog she willingly accepted this character. Paul drinks rather a lot and as he doesn’t drive he soon got to his second glass. He peers through his gold framed spectacles and his hands shake. The dog likes him and his shaky hands as Paul stroked her behind the ears for all the time he was with her He stoops and speaks rather posh. He has soft blue eyes and a gentle look. His face is smooth like silk. Sally thinks he will be a good candidate for dog sitting if the family want to go abroad. We had a great conversation about the Cold War which he was in charge of really. He is a lecturer in history. I found the subject really interesting but he offered the information very slowly. He was more interested in the dog. We got on to the case of the Americans in the 1960’s considering the Russians as aliens and how all the 60’s films reflected this. I asked questions and he answered them as if he shouldn’t. He kept looking at blue and she loved it.
Clare rang, she is always sending us photos of her little French Bull Dog, Ruby, sometimes she is in Harrods trying on a Prada collar and sometimes she is on the office chair in her coat with a fur collar looking at the computer. We all know Ruby has fell on her feet. Clare wanted to ask after Blue. I mentioned how quickly she is learning to be domesticated.
It is now my third day with the dog and today she is standing by me in the garden while I peg out some washing. She is calm and peaceful and well behaved. We are happy with her. It seems that she is easily trained. Sally just had to tell her ‘NO’ three times, when she stole the food from the table. Now she eats from her own little table. Apparently greyhounds have trouble eating from the floor because they have very long legs and the neck doesn’t reach ground level. She is very much like a Kangaroo or even a Giraffe when she sits down because of those terribly long legs. She has to do a lot of manoeuvring round in circles if she intends to lay on the carpet or in her dog basket. She has finally got used to the stairs. We had to put a light on for her and help her down the steps one at a time. She would stand there and cry because she had to come down or go up. Poor thing she had never been up or down any stairs. She was just bred to run the races. Now she is a happy family dog with a lot of life in front of her. I have to go home tomorrow and I wonder how this dog will fare. She has James and Joe who are already her best friends. She has me, who will always come back here. She has Sally who wants her, Aunty Clare as the welfare officer and Paul as a secondary carer. Blue has made her own bed in Joe’s wardrobe; half of her body hangs out, the space is really not big enough for a great dog like her. Joe has put her bed there ready if she changes her mind. It is in his bedroom on the floor near his computer desk next to the wardrobe and the wall, he has made it like a little den where she can hide away and feel safe. ‘Me and you and a dog named Blue’
Oh I think she will be ok to stay there with that family, don’t you?
By KathleenBack to Testimonials
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