Friday, 17 April 2009

I'd forgotten just how much puppies chew...

... and just how sharp their puppy teeth are.

Everything goes into Vita's mouth and she's already at the size where she can reach up to the table.

First paw on lap, second paw on table edge, mouth round tablecloth or placemat. So in good Dog Whisperer style, get in early and push her away with a sharp "ttzztt" and look away. At which point, mouth is round sweater, teeth hooked into wool. Another "ttzztt" and push and this time the mouth (and teeth) are round hand, and with a quick shift of grip, round wrist. A loud (and pained) "aow" just spurs her on.

So extract the wrist/hand with difficulty and shove a chew or tattered Pooh Bear into open mouth, but not nearly such fun. Lift wriggling puppy and place in crate, where after a few whimpers she sits looking like butter wouldn't melt. Relent after half an hour and she's off to find the padded seat corner of the dining chair, closely followed by the open zipper of my (hung up) puffa jacket.

To distract her, find small hard ball and throw it along the veranda (still raining) this spurs breakneck dash and turn round the veranda, through the kitchen and into the lounge, where ball forsaken in preference for piece of firewood lying in basket by the Godin. Extract wood, replace with chew or tattered Pooh Bear, but not nearly such fun as the hand holding the chew. Repeat as above.

She looks so angelic when she's asleep.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Evening Light

Walked (slowly) down to the cottage this evening with Tod to see progress. Vita patters down with us, hunting for stones and pieces of wood in the long wet grass.

It's the first time I've been down to see the cottage since my back went on Sunday and even now I'm sore and tread gingerly across the muddy ruts left by the builders' lorries, nervous of jarring already tender muscles. I'm seeing a chiropractor tomorrow - here's hoping!

The rain of the last few days has left the air crystal clear and against the grey clouds of the next storm that's banking up to the east, the late sun brings out the sharp yellow of the flowering rape in what is now "our field". The colour that always looks so out of place in the soft light of the English countryside glows against the browns and greens of the surrounding land.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Wet Easter Sunday

Got out thermals again.

Back went while combing Vita. Spent rest of day staggering between bed and sofa and watching too much TV.

Late evening on veranda with Vita, saw first glow-worm of the year.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Wet Easter Saturday

(E)Vita and I, between downpours, at 6.30am on the wet grass, enjoying the nightingale song.

Strange number plates in Leclerc carpark - not Lot & Garonne (47).

Groups of small, ruddy Spaniards and Portuguese back for summer work, gossiping in Leclerc, wearing too little clothing and wet open-toed shoes. I feel cold just looking at them.

Empty holes in the Kinder Easter egg stand. Large elaborate cakes covered in brightly coloured eggs, bunnies, piped icing nests in the fridge where I usually buy my after-shopping millefeuille.

(E)Vita spooked at the rain pouring over the gutters and rushing back to the kitchen door, tail between her legs.

This rain is promised for all week and stocks are low in the woodshed.

No work done on the partly finished cottage roof.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Our New Airedale Pup

We have a new 11 week-old addition to the family.

She came with the name Evita. A three syllable name for a dog is too long, so I suggested we shorten it to Vita. Tod is not impressed and says it reminds him of Ryvita. If he wants to give her another name, he will have to think of one fast - she already responds when I call.

She has discovered the red flowers on the camellia and proudly carries them in her mouth along the veranda. She tried to launch herself at Tod across the swimming pool, but hastily withdrew with the first wet paw.

She thinks raw chicken wings are delicious, but possibly not as nice as Tod's ears and nose, or bits of wood stolen from the basket by the kitchen range. She likes to lie right behind our feet as we are cooking.

This is her first night alone, away from her siblings, so her crate's in the bedroom. She's done one or two soft whimpers, but she's really being very brave. For the moment, she thinks newspaper is more comfortable than the soft squishy bed that we bought her.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

April Mornings

I came back from the UK on Thursday to misty, moisty mornings, the beginnings of a roof on the cottage and tulips and irises in bloom.

It's good to be back.