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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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Joined: 10 Sep 2014
Posts: 414
Location: Ockley,

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 8:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi all, I and Dinah have just had a most beautiful walk, now totally forgetting all the months of hock deep mud as the woods are now just a flickering sea of bluebells and green, green leaves above. There is a huge grassy sheep-fenced field with a footpath running through which I walk her in when it is not too soggy or full of livestock, as now. What a day there today! She sniffed at her favourite bunny holes, chased balls on ropes, didn't chase deer or a pair of Mallards (on lead at time to be honest!) and I marvelled at the beauty of it all, with the Surrey hills blue in the distance around us.
Sadly, I think, the field was sprayed a few weeks ago (which is due to new ownership of the estate to which it belongs) and that makes for better dog exercising and no doubt cattle rearing since the grass is now thicker but much shorter and there are no wonderful wild flowers. Behind our house we have an unsprayed and unfenced field in which we are allowed to walk Dinah. She and I adore that field, she because she thinks it is hers and checks daily on the badger setts, fox and deer trails and me because it is sooo stunning at the moment, nearly waist high grass and a mass of wild flowers, but it is not much good for ball chasing! Fortunately too it can't be let out to livestock from our point of view because of the lack of fencing.
Up the road from here are the hunt kennels and I often walk her past them because it is very good practice at not reacting to two very noisy and apparently ferocious terriers who hurl themselves at the fencing. I am delighted to report that although Dinah begins to prance as we approach she actually settles down once she can see (and hear) the oppo, and now walks calmly past. She is also really settling into her livestock guardian role here with our hens. I really think I dare to say that she is pretty good with them. She still loves to do mock pounces at them through their fencing but I now take her into the run when I want them to go away into their ark for the night. I always remind her, 'Gennnntly' before we go in and I think she understands because even if they flap and fly up into the air, as hens do, she never chases them and having her there ensures that they are a great deal more respectful to me than they can be otherwise, when there will always be one who won't go in - unless I have some bread for them, when whoosh they are in, as is Dinah! I get her to sit and block one side of the ark and if one hen gets separated Dinah always trots round after it. I would like to say that - like Bertie her uncle did - she gets behind it and chivvies it into the ark but we aren't quite there yet but it does seem that just her presence inclines the hen to decide to join her mates in the ark rather than continue fussing around where I don't want her!
This morning I couldn't reach a sock so asked Dinah to get it for me, and she did. I'm sure everyone else's dogs do that too but must mentioning. . .

Brion's Mrs
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