December has been a busy month for me being on the road to try to keep in touch with the family.
Birthdays, school concerts, productions and a new baby imminent for our youngest daughter has meant a lot of extra miles on the car’s clock.
Fortunately a clash in birthday dates has been narrowly avoided. At one point I thought I would have grandchildren in different parts of the country expecting us to attend birthday parties on the same day. Whew.
It has also meant that I have not been able to spend as much time with our new puppy Fizz as I had hoped to. Not that she has been neglected.
But not spoilt as much perhaps as Millie our Jack Russell was and is. Fizz is clearly very bright.
She had sussed out the route from her kennel to the back door at an early age.
Chew and claw marks on the paintwork testify to the fact that she demands instant attention in her bid to get inside.
None of the dogs are prone to sulks when we go away.
Always pleased to see us. Illustrates one of John’s favourite philosophical quandaries.
That if you shut your wife in the boot of the car along with your dog; you wonder why your wife would not be pleased to see you when your dog would.
Fizz is a delight. Loves to play and is especially taken with the shoes and boots which are usually piled up in the back porch.
These are scattered everywhere. Many with lumps out.
Those needle sharp little teeth can rapidly inflict damage on shoe or boot leather.
I have recently put in a plea that we keep the last few of our Christmas Aylesbury ducks as I have read that it is better to train young sheepdogs on ducks than it is on sheep at first.
The argument goes that ducks are not as threatening to a young dog as a flock of ducks.
Ducks, like sheep, stick together in a flock, and so present a good training model for sheepdog puppies. Or at least that is how the theory goes. John is unconvinced.
I think it was me mentioning ducks. He is worried that the ducks he had put on his big pond are being attacked and killed by an unknown predator.
He has his suspicions and it is not a fox.
Rather mink or even an otter.
They have been spotted in the vicinity. A fox would make the ducks stay on the water, but these ducks are now frightened to go onto the pond, so whatever is taking them, can swim well.
It will be purely theoretical soon as there are hardly any ducks left.
Those that have not flown off to safety will probably soon be eaten or killed by our unknown assailant.
Doubt it will be a Happy New Year for the ducks but I hope it is for all of you.