Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Fair news and fowl

Aside from making sure Fargo recovers OK from his knee operation (see ‘Dog-leg diary’ entries in this blog), we’ve had some pretty exciting times around here lately.

First, there’s the kind of excitement that none of us needs, as last night Leicester fell prey to the idiotic violence, vandalism and looting that’s been sweeping the country. I’m utterly dismayed by it, but I’m not going to dwell on it here except to say look after each other, including your animals.

On a happier note, my September issue of Dogs Monthly magazine arrived last week, containing my feature about Charlie’s recovery from spinal surgery last year! This issue includes articles about older dogs and a breed profile of Whippets, so Charlie fits in perfectly there, being both an older gentleman and a member of that lovely breed. Charlie’s story is my first feature in a major monthly dog magazine, although I do also write features for Pet Friendly’s quarterly Out & About magazine. I really want to write more about dogs and, although I know there’s a lot of competition out there, I hope to get many more features into the dog press in the future.

Billy saying hello to the bravest hen
Last Saturday, we added three lovely hens to our family. They’re all different types – a Crested hen, a Copper Black, and a Coucou – and we haven’t managed to name them yet. Charlie, Billy and Fargo are still getting used to them, but they’ve been fairly good so far. Charlie and Fargo tend to ignore the chickens a lot, but then sometimes they’ll stare at them and consider a bark. Billy is by nature a bird-chaser. It’s been a pleasant surprise to see that, a lot of the time, he shows a keen but calm interest in the chickens. However, he also likes to chase around their enclosure sometimes, so I have to watch him when he goes out. The good news is that he doesn’t tend to bark at them, and if you tell him to move away from the enclosure he’ll generally go and find something else to look at in the garden.

The hens haven’t laid any eggs yet but they seem quite happy. I’ve been into their enclosure over the past few days with a handful of corn and they’re gradually coming closer to me. I haven’t got them to eat out of my hand yet, but the Crested one (she’s the bravest) took some grains off the toe of my boot just now and I know she was eying up my handful of grain, even though she didn’t go for it.

So what with writing, Fargo's rehabilitation and getting to know hens, things are quite busy here at the moment. I'll be back with another Dog-leg diary after Fargo's check-up at the vets. Until then, stay safe.

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