It actually felt quite pleasant out today. A welcome change to the bleak drudge we’ve had weather wise recently.
We’ve had a family day today – we were lucky enough to have a visit from Annie’s great grand parents. Annie is their 12th great grand child. The highlight of the day.
Other that that, I’ve taken any excuse for a jaunt out into the outside world today, starting at 06:30 with a failed mission to Marley Park as it doesn’t open ’till 10am. A large parkland in the south side of Dublin. I’ve been a patron of said park for a fair few years now. The flagship visit would be the time in August 2005 when I saw Underworld and Basement Jaxx there – but today – when I went back after lunch, complete with an Annie in a papoose type arrangement and a dog on lead I decided all was very well in the world. The sun shone, people ventured onto the expansive grasslands – I even saw the odd picnic. It felt rather springlike indeed.
Having a dog is a great way of meeting people – generally other people with dogs, as dogs often insist on having a sniff other passing dogs bottoms and noses, depending on how they’re feeling. Whist this is going on, the owners often exchange portions of chit chat. I’d got speaking to the owner of Co Co, a chocky lab. She told me about the dog park at the top of Marley – a place specifically for dogs to be let off the lead in a safe, enclosed area. Elsie (my Labradinger) is extremely used to being off the lead, but I guess a lot of city dogs don’t get the opportunity. Boxers and huskies, toy dogs and Alsatians, Derpy dogs and Sight Hounds all mixing it up and having fun.
One dog turned up, held in owners protective arms and it nearly caused a riot (amongst the dogs) as the dog in arms and still on lead at this point started barking uncontrollably, which set the other dogs off. The overwhelming advice quickly issued to the owner was “put it down, let it off the lead”. A sceptical and clearly inexperienced in these matters owner, reluctantly yielded to the advice where upon the dogs, being dogs, very quickly sorted it all out quite amicably. The fight of flight instinct kicked in with the dog who was being protected, and was worried about the whole ‘I’ve got a lead on, this is bad in these type of situations’ situation. As soon as it was allowed off lead, things calmed down. The doggy playing field leveled itself.
Other fascinating to watch examples of dog behavioral economics at work included a tiny little dog nipping at a big (yet incredibly patient and tolerant) gorgeous brown huskey – up to a point when Mr Husky turned and rolled little dog and made it yelp – end of little dog being the young pretender. Neither dog were physically hurt, they were just establishing the pecking order. Fascinating to watch, I could have stayed there hours.
Another Dublin dog obeservation – a major difference I have notived between the UK (particularly Harrogate) and Dublin is the volume of dog poo bins. Harrogate loads, Balinteer Dublin, 0 (the bits I’ve seen today anyway). Bins in general seem to be a bit of the scarce side. It’s all fairly clean and litter free though – perhaps not having bins encourages people to take more responsibility for their waste – either that of the council has proportioned the budget to be more people, less bin biased. I wasn’t a big fan of having to cart this mornings offensive bagful around with me for 20 minutes until I got back to our bin though. Still – having a dog is my choice. Why should non dog owners pay for dog poo bins?
(Coming up, one of my worst chapter links / subject couplings of all time.. )
Tea involed me rustling up a thing involving chicken in a white wine / tarragon / mustard cream sauce, Serrano ham wrapped asparagus and new spuds with a tin of peach halves for pudding. I found the tin of peaches in a quiet corner of our quiet ‘burb on the way back from the park. A very odd find indeed, especially in an area so bereft of bins. Tasted nice though (yes, I did give the tin a thorough wash – even though it looked brand new).
Right – I’m off to read for a bit – half a page before falling asleep has been my recent record. I’ll leave you with a picture of my dog covered in socks from first thing this morning. N’night.