Thursday, 26 April 2012

A little happiness goes a long way........

They leave pawprints on your heart....

Having worked for many years in animal welfare it never ceases to amaze me the capacity that animals have for love, even when sadly, they have suffered from ill-treatment or neglect.  In many instances it takes only a word or a kind act and they will be your friend always.  For some it takes much longer and for a few, it comes too late, when not even the kindest and gentlest of people can convince them we mean no further harm.

Yesterday as I was working I saw a dog,  he was a cross breed, quite large, probably Labrador x Collie, black and tan and very handsome - and he wore the biggest smile I've ever seen.  Big enough to stop me in my tracks and watch him.  His owner was tiny in comparison but the bond between the two was clear enough for the whole world to see.  They were doing nothing special, just walking along the street, him with a toy in his mouth, bouncing along clearly ready for the game he knew they were going to play at some point on the walk.

His whole demeanour said look at me, isn't it great to be alive and he in turn, made me smile.

Nothing spreads happiness like happiness itself and there are no greater teachers, than the animals that surround us daily.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Don't judge a book by it's cover......

You've met the Collie Clan previously.........but they are equally beautiful and amusing in part.

On my usual Friday visit I unlocked the lobby door and opened it only to find Finn departing out the normally locked dog flap. He was half way in and out much the same as me and I'm really not sure who was more surprised, but after giving me a baleful glare he calmly extricated himself himself from said flap and walked sedately through the outer flap and then into the garden without so much as a backward glance.

My friend Merlin on the other hand....................

Well suffice to say there were muttered grumblings coming from behind the kitchen door which no amount of sweet talking was going to solve.  By the time I'd unlocked it the language was particularly colourful and deciding 'in for a penny, in for a pound' I pushed it open fully expecting to see a frazzled and annoyed collie but in actual fact was met by Merlin wagging his tail fit to burst and wearing a silly grin as if to say 'hah fooled you that time'!  Exuberant barks filled the air as we had our usual play in the kitchen and then we all trooped off to find Finn, who by this time had taken a turn round the garden and was in his favourite position, watching us with a bemused grin on his face.  I could just see him thinking 'these youngsters, wasn't like that in my day'!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Stormy weather...or maybe not


As usual the weather seems to have taken everyone by surprise -  first it's spring, then it's not.

Yesterday was one of those typically English days, sunshine and showers.

The morning was grey, nothing special but at least it was dry and the sun did manage to shine once in a while.  By 2pm the cloud cover was building and the tide on the river had gone out leaving it's usual combination of seaweed and sludge. The waders were having a high old time of it, standing patiently, eyes intent on the mud for the slightest movement.  It never ceases to amaze me what they will actually find, most of it far too small for the human eye to even see in the first place.

I managed to walk all of the dogs without actually getting wet, which was a a miracle in itself as the showers were becoming more frequent and having just arrived home it was with a sigh of relief that I finally closed the door behind me.

The cornflower blue that the sky often goes when the weather is interspersed with heavy showers was slowly becoming a squall of grey, each cloud tipped with the purest white, moving almost languidly across the expanse above me, the gaps of blue slowly being squeezed out to be replaced by angry, black thunder-heads.

Living by the river is a wonderful place to be and it's so easy to observe the conditions by watching it.  I'm lucky enough to have french windows in the bedroom and it's somewhere I always make a beeline for when the weather changes so dramatically.

Storms always come up the river, I have no idea why, maybe its something to do with the tides and moon but for whatever reason the sky on the other side of the river that afternoon was truly impressive.
Ten minutes later and it was as dark as it would have been at dusk.  The heavy, oppressive air hanging like a wall covering, still and so silent.

Watching in anticipation I was surprised to see the sky turn slowly back again to grey without so much of a hint of a flash of lightning or even a roll of distant thunder..........I guess you can't win them all, but I was disappointed with my grandstand view, not to have seen anything.

Of course the news later that evening confirmed there had been storms over various parts of Essex - just sadly not mine!