A dog’s tailpiece

I thought I’d add a postscript to yesterday’s dog story… just to show I can be nice about our four-legged friends.  We are early risers and every morning around 6am I head to my local shop to get my I paper. The shop opens at 5.30am so they are always ready for me and as I’ve mentioned before, I just pop in, pick up the paper and settle up each Saturday. As you can imagine it’s very quiet at that time with hardly any traffic or people around. But if the weather’s fair I do have two characters who share the morning with me. It’s an older guy like me and his old shepherd dog. They use the lovely little park at the end of our road and it’s always completely vacant save for the odd vagrant. It houses a lovely pagoda and lots of big old trees…

And every day I see this sheep dog  run around then stop deadly still staring up into the trees. Then off he shoots to across the park to another tree staring upwards. After many early morning nods of the head towards his owner I stopped this morning to ask what the dog was doing. He explained that he was a working sheepdog until his retirement and shepherding is in his blood. So every day he sits beneath the trees looking out for squirrels and once he fixes on one he follows it swiftly across the ground as it leaps around the tree branches. It’s actually very satisfying to watch the dog – just as it is watching a sheepdog doing its thing in a field of sheep. It’s clearly not lost any of its alertness nor short distance speed. I think these must be the most intelligent of all dogs and I have to admit I’m a bit of a fan. I also really enjoy watching the owner patiently watching his dog with evident affection. They are a real team. I wonder if they worked with sheep together in the past. That’s a conversation for tomorrow.

But I am becoming very fond of this one man and his dog.