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When Nature Calls

Usually when you're walking your dog, any thoughts of a toilet nature are concerned with what the dog is doing. Sometimes, however, the "call of nature" is speaking to you, and at that point if you're out alone with your dog, just what do you do?

We had arrived at a country park to walk our two, and I was just visiting the ladies before the walk, when as I emerged from the building, a lady almost ran straight into me on her way in. She had two beautiful Huskies on leash, which she promptly pushed into my hand, merely slowing her approach to the toilet block but not stopping.

“Look after them please!” she called over her shoulder.

I was amazed. I know how carefully I choose who looks after my dogs if I’m not there, so I was extremely surprised to have such a responsibility thrust on me by a stranger.

“Do you want me to stand in the toilet block?” I called after her, but she didn’t feel that was necessary. I wanted to ask, “Shall I at least whistle then?” so that she would know I was there and hadn’t absconded with her dogs.

I took the Huskies over to where the rest of my party was, and all four dogs got acquainted. In the photo you can see Buddy doing his customary passive lying down behaviour, accompanied by a sideways look that says, “Don’t hurt me!” All that despite the fact that he probably weighed the same as both dogs put together! Star was a little more aloof, and waited to see how they treated Buddy before she got involved, which is unusual for her, but she has along memory, and a Malamute once trod on her.

The Huskies owner returned and reclaimed her dogs, and said she’d known they’d be alright with me as I had my own dogs. It is a good measure of a person’s character if they have a dog, but I’m not sure I’d wager my dog’s safety and security on it.

So I don’t have an answer to what you do when out alone with your dog and the call of nature is heard, but I can assure you the Huskies in question were safely handed back to their owner. So if you are ever caught short, and you spy a stout woman with an slightly less stout Labrador and a cheeky looking Bichon, you can rely on me. Otherwise you’re on your own!

If you’ve listened to our interview with Stephen Foster in Episode 77 of DogCast Radio, there’s a piece in today’s Times by Stephen you might be interested in.

In other news, the BBC has finally made its decision on whether or not to cover Crufts 2009. And the decision is “not”. There is much discussion of this in forums, and what made me smile was on some sites the BBC’s coverage is slated as concentrating too much on “other stuff” and not enough on showing, while on other sites, posters complain that too much showing and not enough agility and obedience are shown! I guess the BBC just can’t win that one. What remains to be seen is who will step in and cover the event?

Take care,

Julie x

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