Through the garden gate

It was a lovely Spring day and I was watching the world go by from behind the wrought iron gate at the side of our house. I was two years old and we lived in a small village in England then. I was never allowed in the front garden on my own, but I had quite a good view of the street from behind the locked gate. I could see my doggy pals go by with their bipeds, when they went out for their walks.

Not our garden gate, but I like this one! (from Wiki commons)

Not our garden gate, but I like this one! (from Wiki commons)

I saw a little girl I’d never seen before walking along with an adult biped. She saw me and pointed and said something to the adult biped she was with. The adult opened our front gate and, instead of going to the front door, she and the little girl came across the grass towards the gate where I was. I made an excited noise! They started stroking me through the gate. The little girl soon had her arms through as far as she could reach to give me a hug.

It was only a moment later that I heard our back door open and my biped came round the corner of the house. I turned my head to look and she appeared a bit startled. She hurried up to us and, for a moment, I was concerned that I’d done something wrong, but she put a hand on my shoulder and said, “Good girl, Clowie!”

Then she greeted the bipeds on the other side of the gate.

The adult biped said, “I’m sorry, we shouldn’t have come into your garden like this, but Sophie loves animals and wanted to meet your dog. We’re on our way to visit someone a few doors along.”

My biped started to unlock the gate and replied, “Well, come into the back garden for a few minutes and it will be easier for her to make a fuss of Clowie.”

We all went across to the garden seat. The adults sat on the seat and I sat near it and Sophie came and stood right up against my chest with her head just under mine and her arms round me. I heard her mother asking what breed I am and my biped telling her how my ancestors protected flocks of sheep from wolves and bears.

They chatted about how much Sophie likes animals and then I heard my biped ask, “Do you know very much about dogs?”

Sophie’s mother replied, “No, not very much at all, we don’t often have the opportunity to meet one.”

My biped then explained to her that not all dogs are relaxed with children, for various reasons. She told her that she should teach Sophie to always ask the person with a dog whether it’s okay to approach the dog.

Sophie’s mother thanked my biped and said that she would be more careful. She asked if they could call by to see me, when they were next visiting in the village. I thought Sophie was really sweet, so I was pleased to hear my biped say that they could.

I saw Sophie again a couple of months later. She came to the front door with her mother and asked really nicely, “Please can I make a fuss of Clowie?”

That made my tail wag! We all went into the garden for a little while and Sophie hugged me and kissed me. Then my biped showed her how to give me a treat, holding her little hand out flat. I really enjoyed seeing her again!

See you next Wednesday!

123 thoughts on “Through the garden gate

  1. barkandchatter

    What a great story, Clowie! Sounds like you and Sophie both had a lucky day that day!

  2. First I was breathless as I read about the small and the large biped, but fortunately you are a nice girl Clowie and nothing happened. To prevent such situations I have an “alcatrazed” back yard. I’m glad you were a cool girl and this little biped had a wonderful meet&greet with you

    • Hi Easy! Yes, it could have ended very differently if they’d visited some of the other dogs in the village. I hope Sophie will always love dogs, but continue to be sensible.

  3. Clowie,

    You are such a sweet canine! Sophie is lucky to know you.

    -Bella and DiDi

  4. Clowie, Clowie, Clowie, this is a wonderful post and would make a great chapter in your future book (hint hint) on the cautions of petting strange dogs. No joking here and we rarely make comments like this but it’s so well written and brings home such an important point, we couldn’t let it slide that we are now die hard fans of yours. wag wag Max & Bella (p.s. biped loved it also 🙂 )

    • Thank you, that’s good to hear! I so enjoy meeting children, but I want them to be safe – so many of them don’t know how to behave around dogs who may not be friendly.

  5. Win/Win, Shophie and her mom got some good info with their visit and Clowie got extra love and hugs that day.

  6. Oh! Mes hates the small bipeds! mes hissies and hides from them! And alas, me has taught my fears to the hairy slobbery sisters. But Bob, now that she is a old girl, she see 2 little girls on her walk every day. At first she was afraid of them, but 3 of them is now good furrends and she loves it when they throws her ball and pets her head. Me is so furry proud of her that she is teaching them proper pet behaviors.

    • My cats usually hide, if any small bipeds visit! You should be proud of Bob, it sounds as though she’s behaving very well – that’s lovely!

  7. Oh Clowie, you made my heart stop! If it wasn’t you … that was very unwise of the adult biped. I’m so glad it was you she chose to visit!

    • I think my biped’s heart did a somersault! I’m glad they chose to visit us, I don’t think they’ll ever do anything like that again.

  8. Lovely Lovely story Clowie. It iis often I am approached without worry. People don’t realize that Chihuahuas (er, all dogs for that matter) are not always people friendly. It is much worse when they encourage children or do not show them to ask before touching or approaching a dog. I recall being in Las Vegas with my pawrents waiting for our car from the valet. A cackle of children ran (yes, RAN) towards me hands out, like crazy little monkeys to a banana — who’d never seen a chihuahua. All I could do was wave my paws about pushing them back. They thought it was very funny that I did that (lucky for them I have good temperament and bites are at a premium for carrots only!). We asked that they please (especially with small dogs) slow down ask to pet and not run towards a dog – since it can create fear, etc. The parents of the children thanked us and left. Sadly, it is not just children, adults reach out and place their hands on my head out of nowhere too. Sometimes momma will say – “ohh – you’re pretty brave!” and they say “I am not afraid of dogs.” Luckily it is me they approached and not another chihuahua — Fools!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my tale. I have been suddenly surrounded on occasions and I even had some boys try to climb on top of me once – my biped had to pull them off. I can tell you’ve been well socialised, or it would frighten you – it must be harder to be relaxed about people approaching you suddenly when you’re small. I’m bigger than the small bipeds, so I have to be careful not to knock them over!

      • Clowie Clowie – i can’t imagine being climbed on – that is not good for your poor bones. You are not a horse! To be a therapy assist dog I must have good temperament – but every dog has its limit. Before we do therapy work at libraries with children, we educate them briefly on the proper way to greet a dog. Children then appear to move slowly around me, to which I then sit right next to them while they read, pet and talk to me. It is wonderful to be read to – I get so sleepy. If you have not already check out Dr. Sophia Yin’s website on Dog Behaviour. She has a interesting topics as well as handouts you can print and distribute for free (she encourages it). She even shares stories on her experiences.

        • It was quite a nasty situation – they weren’t small boys, they were about 12 years old! I think I would like children reading to me. I’ve been reading about the benefits to the children and how it builds their confidence.
          Thank you for that link! It’s a fascinating website, I have it bookmarked now.

  9. That was really great of you and of your biped to teach the girl to be more careful around dogs. It deserves much fussing and petting for you! Happy WW!

  10. Aww, such a sweet story! That’s great that the girl got to have some fun with a dog while learning the appropriate manner to ask to pet a dog first and how to give treats safely. Sounds like Clowie got to have some fun as well!

    • Thank you! I enjoy the company of small children and I hope she’ll remember to ask first and stay safe. I’m always willing to help any that want to learn to give a treat!

  11. this was a most beautiful and impawtant story. The little girl was quite lucky that you are a nice doggy Clowie. Not all doggies would have been so nice!

    • Thank you! What could have happened is a very worrying thought! I’m so glad that Sophie’s mum was prepared to listen.

  12. You and your biped taught an important lesson to Sophie and her Mom. It will last a lifetime. Nice work.

    Love and licks,

  13. I think sometimes children are far more sensitive to the trustworthiness of dogs than adults, and this little girl obviously sensed you were one of the good ones 🙂 Lovely story and the message so important, especially with so many children being attacked by dogs. Children need to be taught how to behave around dogs too and asking permission to stroke them must be the most vital first rule!

    • If we pass a children’s playground, we have to check we don’t have a group of children following! I could be the Pied Piper – we’ve had to take children back in the past and look for their parents. It is important for children to learn to ask. So many incidents between children and dogs could be avoided.

      • Absolutely!

        I can imagine you being a furry white Pied Piper! When I was at the London Pet Show one of the breeds on show which reminded me of you, and had the same effect on children as you lol being fluffy and white and very good natured, was the Maremma Sheepdog. Gentle giants the ones I met!

        “The Maremma Sheepdog, in Italian Cane da pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, usually referred to as just Maremmano, is a breed of livestock guardian dog indigenous to central Italy, particularly to Abruzzo and the Maremma region of Tuscany and Lazio.”

        Similar breeds include the Pyrenean Mtn Dog 😀

        • I’ve only met one Maremma in the fur, it was at a fun day out for large dogs. They are my distant cousins, if you trace back far enough we’d have the same ancestors. On average, they’re about two inches shorter than a Pyrenean and correspondingly lighter.
          If you have time, you should pop in and see my blogging pals, Nellie and Jasper, two Maremmas who live in New Zealand –

          • Oooh! They sound very interesting! Must admit the Maremmas I met were pretty huge! The size of small ponies actually! But they were lovely, friendly dogs and real child-magnets 🙂 Not to mention Wolfie-magnets lol…the owner said he had two more at home, and that the ones he had at the show were very young ones, the ones at home were much bigger!!! I would say they did look lighter built than a Pyreeeeeee would be but with all that fur it can be hard to tell, and with paws the size of large dinner plates!! I took some pics but white coats in the artificial light came out yellowy orange 😉 Not a good look lol as I’m sure you’d agree! 🙂

          • Oh no, it wouldn’t be good to look yellowy orange! Maybe you can adjust it on your computer? I didn’t say Maremmas are small, woof!!

          • Nothing’s really worked so far…but I have a few less conventional ideas up my paw 🙂

  14. You’re so sweet Clowie! I’m glad your biped explained that it is important to ask permission before going up to a strange dog. Thank goodness they learned it the easy way instead of the hard way.

  15. A very important lesson to teach those little bipeds. Me? I’m not terribly keen on them, but will sniff them out when they ignore me.

  16. What a great learning opportunity for Sophie. Plus, it’s always wonderful to have lot’s of fuss made over you, isn’t it?!

    • I love having a fuss made of me! That’s probably why I like little bipeds so much, they’re always so enthusiastic!

  17. What a nice uplifting story. Yes, not all dogs would take kindly to a stranger coming into their yard. Your Mom was right to tell them that.

    • Thank you! They had no idea they were doing something dangerous. I’m so glad Sophie’s mum listened to the advice.

  18. This is such a great story Clowie. Your mom handled it very nicely. Glad she was able to teach your friends something so important. Wouldn’t want your friend to get hurt.

    • Thank you. It seems like lots of people don’t like dogs now, so it’s important to keep the ones that do like us safe!

  19. That is awesome that Sophie got to fuss over you! I’m sure she was one happy little girl because of you!

  20. That was such a sweet little story. The girl was lucky she picked a well behaved and socialized dog to pet without permission. If she chose the wrong dog, she could have been badly hurt. Thankfully your bipeds used it as an opportunity to teach her so it didn’t happen in the future. She must have been adorable when she asked at the door the second time.

    • Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed my story. We were so pleased that the mother listened! Sophie sounded so cute when she asked nicely. We hope she’ll always remember to ask first and stay safe.

Comments are closed.