Now that’s what I call dog friendly!

Last week I told you about our rather unpleasant experiences at a hotel that was meant to be dog friendly, so this week I’m going to tell you about a much friendlier place that we visited.

My bipeds booked a week at a country pub that allowed dogs to stay. We arrived in the afternoon and when we went in the landlady greeted us and asked if she could stroke me and give me a treat. My first impressions were favourable!

She then went through the formalities with my bipeds. After that she told my bipeds where they would find spare pillows, blankets, towels, coffee, tea, biscuits and sugar! She said that if they’d forgotten anything, such as toothpaste, they should ask as she’d probably be able to help out and it would save them a trip to the shops. My bipeds thanked her.

She said that she hadn’t put anything in the room for me, apart from a few treats, as my bipeds had said that they would be bringing my own things, but she always had spare dog bowls and towels if they should need them. Then she asked if we had a few minutes to meet her dog, as he usually had free access to the bar area and dining room. She said that he hadn’t met a dog as large as me while he’d been living with them and she wanted to know he would be okay with me. My bipeds said they’d be pleased to meet him.

She came back a moment later with the largest Greyhound I’ve ever seen. His name was Prince and he was a couple of inches taller than I am! He was an ex-racing Greyhound and had only been living with them for a couple of months. The landlady told us that he was still nervous around people – he hadn’t allowed anyone except her and her husband to stroke him so far. My bipeds assured her they understood and they wouldn’t approach him.

Eos, a favourite Greyhound of Prince Albert

Eos, a favourite Greyhound of Prince Albert
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We stood quietly and waited for him to approach us. He watched us for a moment and then came slowly towards us. He greeted me politely. The landlady said that she was content that he would be relaxed about me being in the bar area.

That evening we saw Prince stroll through the bar area a couple of times. On one of his visits, we saw someone try to stroke him and he shied away and left the room.

The next morning we were pleased to discover that breakfast was in the spacious bar dining area. The pub only had four rooms for guests to stay, so we had plenty of room. I could sprawl out on the floor and relax while my bipeds ate. Prince came in and had a look around to see what was going on. He wandered over to greet me, my bipeds pretended not to notice he was there. They continued to do this each time we saw him over the next few days, as they didn’t want to make him nervous.

Statue of Greyhounds playing, Vatican

Greyhounds Playing, Vatican, 2nd Century BC
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On our fourth morning at breakfast he came to greet me as he usually did, but instead of wandering back out of the room he went to the other side of the table. He stood just out of reach watching my bipeds. They pretended not to notice him and he edged a little closer.

The landlady appeared in the doorway with more coffee but saw how close Prince was to my bipeds, so she stayed in the doorway and waited to see what he would do.

I saw the female biped’s hand was resting on the edge of the table and Prince moved even closer and started sniffing it. My biped kept still and allowed him to sniff. Then she slowly turned her hand over so that he could sniff the other side. He moved even closer so that his nose touched her. She stroked him under his chin and he seemed okay with that so she stroked his neck and quietly told him how handsome he is.

The male biped asked the landlady if he could give Prince a piece of sausage. I’d already had some so I didn’t mind too much and the landlady said it was okay. My biped held his hand out flat with the piece of sausage. Prince looked at him and only hesitated for a second before moving closer to take it. He took it gently and stayed where he was, so the male biped stroked his neck. Prince seemed relaxed about it and stayed there for a few moments before wandering off.

Misse and Turlu, Greyhounds belonging to Louis XV

Misse and Turlu, Greyhounds belonging to Louis XV
By Jean-Baptiste Oudry (Life time: 1686-1755) (Musée national du Château de Fontainebleau) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The landlady brought the jug of coffee over. She was almost in tears because she was so pleased about Prince’s progress. She thanked my bipeds for being understanding with him but, more importantly, she fetched a couple of sausages for me!

She joined my bipeds for a cup of coffee and chatted about how there are lots of ex-racing Greyhounds in need of homes. She said that, with a little patience, they usually adapt well to a home environment. She told us they don’t need as much exercise as most people think, but they do need somewhere safe to run about. She also said that, as a breed, they have a tendency to chase smaller animals so people thinking of giving them a home need to be aware of that.

I don’t have any pictures of Prince because my bipeds didn’t want to startle him. But you can find some lovely pictures of Greyhounds, running and resting, on Solo’s blog, you can also learn more about Greyhounds there.

See you next Wednesday!

The chair scare

Mulberry, the cat, likes to take some exercise most days. He runs as fast as he can in one direction, when he runs out of room he jumps and spins and runs in another direction. When he’s feeling adventurous he likes to pretend he’s a ninja cat and he bounces against something to change direction.

Mulberry, Persian cat

Mulberry, relaxing in the doorway to the terrace

There used to be some plastic garden chairs left on the terrace and he would sometimes bounce off those. Then one day he discovered that if he jumped against the back of the chair he could knock it over. He thought that was great fun!

He played this a few times and then one day we heard a chair fall over and then there was a terrible wailing noise. I have never heard such a loud noise come from a cat! I leapt to my paws to go and see what was wrong. The female biped hurried out onto the terrace and I followed her.

She went across to where Mulberry appeared to be fighting a chair. She spoke to him in a soothing voice to tell him she was there and then she bent down and held him by the shoulders, saying, “Keep still!”

plastic garden chair

The villain

Mulberry stopped struggling and he turned the volume down a little. His leg was caught in one of the gaps in the back of the chair. The biped felt his leg and tried to slide it up to where the gap was wider, but that made Mulberry wail very loudly again so she stopped.

The male biped had been getting the car out, but he’d heard the racket that Mulberry was making and returned.

“What’s that noise? What’s happened?” he wanted to know.

The female biped explained that Mulberry’s leg was stuck and how she’d tried to move it, but she was worried about harming Mulberry. He nodded and started pushing and pulling at the back of one of the other chairs. I waited a moment. He must surely see his mistake! He didn’t, so I nudged him gently to get his attention and looked towards the chair that was the problem.

He patted me and said, “Thank you, Clowie. Do you think I should try this on Mulberry’s chair?”

He told the other biped that he was going to flex one slat forwards and one slat back and she should try to slide Mulberry’s leg again. Mulberry gave one of his loudest wails, but his leg was free! The biped held onto him, looked at his leg, and then put him down gently. He disappeared as fast as his legs would carry him!

The male biped said, “He’s using all four legs, I think that’s a good sign!”

They left Mulberry to calm down for a little while and then rattled the treat container and called him. He was pleased to get a cuddle and the bipeds checked his leg more thoroughly. The chair had done Mulberry no real harm.

The bipeds made up a little song that they kept singing for weeks.

A cat is stuck!
There in the chair!
Where in the chair?
Right there!
A cat who wails so loud
Well I declare!
Wailing and wailing, he’s stuck in the chair
Oh yeah

They took inspiration from the chorus of this song. It’s the sort of tune that sticks in your head for the day!

Mulberry wouldn’t go near those garden chairs after that, but he isn’t scared of any other chairs!

Mulberry, Persian cat on footstool

These chairs are much safer!

See you next Wednesday!

Slip sliding away

Before I tell you today’s tale, I have a couple of things to share with you. My friend Basil, in North Yorkshire, England, is looking for a home for a young cat. Over at Doggy’s Style they are concerned for a man who is missing, he is from Santander, Spain. Update: Good news – the missing man has been found alive.

Now for my tale:

It was a lovely day and we went to a spot by a very pretty mountain stream that we’ve been to quite often. The bipeds were having a picnic and I was enjoying splashing about in the stream. We were near waterfalls that have worn the rock into all sorts of strange shapes and there are lots of pools. The stream wasn’t as wide as usual as it was near the end of summer and there hadn’t been much rain for a while. There was a deep pool at the side of the stream that had very slippery rock all the way around it. It had become stagnant as the stream wasn’t flowing into it.

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Spotlight on Stella

I’m really excited that Stella has agreed to be my guest today. I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing about her and her home in Canada. Put your paws together and give her a warm Clowie’s Corner welcome!

Stella working on her blog with Elizabeth, her scribe

Stella working on her blog with Elizabeth, her scribe

Clowie: Thank you for joining me today, Stella. Let’s begin with you telling us a little about yourself.

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