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Designer Dog Blog for michdwy

Blog for michdwy

Entries: 5 - 6 of 8

An unexpected danger walking the dog

by michdwy on 5/21/2010 at 11:01 AM in Unexpected dangers

In a nearbouring town last week a beautiful teenage girl was killed trying to rescue her dog from the railroad. Her dog was unharmed. This caused me to have nightmares for a couple of nights.

The reason for this was that several years ago, when I had a lovely small ex-racer lurcher(a whippet mix), I took my caravan (trailer pulled by my car) to go touring in Nottinghamshire, England. After arriving at the site, I took my dog for a walk from the village and found a footpath going across fields. I had heard high-speed locomotives and I soon reached the railroad. There was a wooden style to climb and the path went straight across. There was a clear sign which said the railroad was the mainline (between Scotland and the North of England and King's Cross in London). It advised strict caution, to look both ways and listen, also pointing out that the locomotives travelled at 125mph. I climbed the style, but Tigger, on the leash was hesitant. The reason was the steps of the style were covered in chicken wire to avoid slipping and this must have hurt her pads. So I picked her up, thankful she was not a deerhound lurcher and obeying the instructions, crossed to the other side, then followed the footpath around to the village.

I thought the above would be ideal for the early morning toilet walk. So next day, Tigger was as usual ferreting about looking for some unfortunate creature to chase and as I neared the style I whistled her up. She came flying immediately, but to my horror (Presumably to avoid the wire covered steps)instead of the usual coming to me to be put on the leash, she jumped straight over the style, landing in the middle of the railroad. She then went into a play stance, front legs on the floor, probably pleased about jumping over. I knew immediately she wanted to play and if I called her, she would probably tease me by running a bit this way and then running back just out of reach. Typical teasing behaviour. So realising the possible danger but also a need to grab her quickly, I shot over the style too, without looking or listening. Immediately there was a hooter and glancing behind me there was the locomomotive, almost upon me. I grabbed the dog and threw myself and her towards the otherside of the railroad. I clearly remember whilst I was in the air the thought flashed through my mind, am I jumping the right way? I did not know if our trains ran like our cars on the left side of the road. They could just have easily run on the right. Fortunately my guess was correct and as we fell on the ground (which probably saved us from being dragged into the windstream) the long train thundered past at terrific speed. It seemed to be only inches away from bits of us.

I have never been so shaken in my life. We got to the other side and walked on the path (Tigger now on the leash) back down the side of the railroad towards the road which crossed it.. I saw that the level crossing with gates and lights and hooters was closed for cars and they were building up in both directions. As we got there another express came but going at about 10mph not 125. I realised it was probably my fault and thought of all the people, probably going to work in London, being late because of me and my dog! When this train had slowly gone, we waited for another to come the other way still trying to imitate a snail. Then the roads cleared and all the traffic moved off but there was a small van hurtling up the road and it stopped as it came to and two workmen got out, clad in reflective jackets. I had on a red coat and Tigger also a whippet red coat ( which is what the driver had reported). The two workmen looked at me a bit incredulously and asked if I had been involved in an incident on the railroad. When I said I had, sorry! They were most relieved and said they were pleased for us but also for themselves because they had come to look for bits of us. The driver thought we must have been hit or dragged under and we were certainly dead. The police also came and they too were surprisingly understanding, but I felt ashamed for causing all the trouble, especially for the driver. It still comes to haunt me from time to time

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Walking a pack

by michdwy on 5/13/2010 at 5:21 AM in Dog Walking

I recently wrote a blog entitled "The Joys of walking a Pack, and then I thought about an incident which occurred some time ago, which was perhaps more amusing at least to me, rather than joyful.

I frequently walk several other dogs with my own, they are usually as someone once called out to me "an eclectic pack". On this particular day, I had my two greyhound mixes (as the site calls them, but in England we call them lurchers), my pug-zu, a labrador (my granddaughter's) and a weimaraner (a neighbour's dog, that I walk daily. If he escapes from his own garden, he comes to my house and seems to ask "are you coming out to play?)

All the dogs enjoy as I do our trips into the hills on the wild moorland of Yorkshire, and despite the differences of their breeds get on fine with each other, and any other dog that they meet. Dogs love being with others of their kind if they have been treated naturally.

As we were climbing a hill following a path in the bracken, all the dogs off leash, happily running around, some chasing each other, others sniffing around, I saw a lady coming down on the same path. She had a young cocker spaniel with her. Although my dogs were clearly just enjoying themselves and showing no sign whatsoever of causing trouble, she did to my mind the worst possible thing that she could do. She picked up her dog. I have worked with malinois, police attack dogs and know that any dominant dog would immediately interpret this as a threat.They do not take into consideration that the weaker dog is being lifted by the owner into this direspectful position. Taking up a higher position than a dominant dog is failing to show the more powerful dog due repect. The cocker spaniel left to its own devices would simply have shown by body language, perhaps cowering or rolling on to its back that it offered no threat. This weimaraner is the largest of its kind I have ever seen and a male, but I know he is also the most gentle, not typical of his breed. The lady, who obviously had no idea of dog behaviour, and of the possible danger she had placed her dog and possibly herself, said to my amazement "It's disgusting!". I asked what. She replied "Having so many dogs - it's like a pack!". To which I said with a laugh "Well it is a pack. Don't you know that dogs are pack animals. They should be in a pack. Depriving dogs of the company of other dogs is cruel. Naturally they should be with others. They are happier that way." I suppose she thought I was some sort of nutter.
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