Sunday, 3 June 2018

Daily Dog Protest


I was sat in the Churchyard on the bench by the Porch door when I fell into conversation with a very Welsh couple from Babell.
I explained just why Winnie and Mary was with me and informed them that like minded Trelawnyd-ites were going to bring their dogs to the churchyard in protest to the new signage..they nodded in that solemn way many older Welsh people do when they are being polite but uninterested .
They wanted to know who looked after the new cemetery as it was so tidy and as they droned on a memory popped into my mind out of nowhere.
A silly memory of a childhood pet tortoise called Achilles.
You could buy tortoises from pet shops then when I was eleven
And I bought a lovely one with black button eyes
I'd only had it for 24 hours when our fat family Dalmatian called Tina, who had taken a sudden dislike of everything reptilian, ripped its head off after a prolonged bout of chewing.
My father, who was incredibly weak where gore was involved, came across Achilles' corpse whilst out with the petrol mower and the whole bloody mess was too much for him and he fainted clean away .
My mother found him slumped next to Achilles' body when she went out to investigate why the mower was roaring away in the privet hedge.

Funny what you remember

67 comments:

  1. Goodness me, JayGee. That's twice in as many postings you've given us visions of a grisly end to a couple of harmless creatures. I'm not sure if I can take yet another one - at least for quite a while. Here's hoping that your next post will, in contrast, be something more uplifting?

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    1. Apologies Raymondo ...we live in a brutal world

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    2. I know it only too well, JayGee - which is why, given the choice, I'd always opt not to come out from under the blanket.

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  2. That sounds like something out of a murder mystery. "Wife discovers husband slumped on the ground next to decapitated tortoise, whilst the petrol mower roars away in the privet hedge." Who dunnit?

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    1. We didn't have a Butler

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    2. hahahahahaha well why not !

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  3. Oh good grief! Maybe your mind was primed by the Winnie and the frog debacle. This is so sad and so funny at the same time. Okay, it's hilarious!

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    1. Most of my childhood wasn't so dramatic

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    2. I agree with Deedles, too funny!

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    3. Brutally and painfully killing innocent, harmless creatures--or allowing one's dogs to do so, is not funny at all. How can this be hilarious?

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    4. As I read this, Liz D, this wasn't a dog fight. There was no mention of someone letting the dog attack the tortoise. The funny was the bit about the father. And that part is funny.

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    5. Yes the funny bit was my father,.. I was heartbroken about my tortoise . Tina was a lovely dog too, a real soft pudding of a family pet , he behaviour was so uncharacteristic

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    6. And Liz I didn't ALLOW Tina to do this, she sneaked into the tortoise pen when I was in the house

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  4. That gave me my first laugh of the day. In fact I rarely do much when I read your posts except read, but this has had me in hysterical laughter x

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  5. Hmmm...well fainting is probably better than the reaction I would have had...I'd likely have thrown up.

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    1. Throwing up is not as fun to watch

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  6. Probably why we can't buy tortoises any more?!

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  7. That sounds like a scene from a horror movie.

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  8. Oh, poor Achilles! I had a turtle when I was a kid, too -- he lived a couple of years, probably not as long as he would have lived in the wild!

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    1. I had a succession of terrapins too

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  9. Sounds like Achilles's Achilles heel was psychotic Dalmatian dogs. Personally, I would have no objection to people walking tortoises in churchyards as long as the owners picked up any tortoise droppings deposited amidst the graves.

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  10. Traveller5:49 pm

    Just as well they cannot be bought in pet shops anymore. Things have progressed.

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  11. Well, I can certainly see why that memory stuck around.

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    1. Remembered thanks to a screaming frog

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  12. That's horrific! It's no wonder you are drawn to disaster films! Do you think your Dad thought that he was responsible for decapitating Achilles with the lawn mower?

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    1. Yes, he also once fainted at an Indian restaurant after one of the other diners had collapsed and died

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    2. Tragic and funny all at the same time. x

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  13. I just thought John about what I had learned on your blog, about animals this week;

    Pigs eat chickens
    Bulldogs eat frogs
    Dalmatians kill tortoises

    With all this new information I think it is I that needs to go and lie down in a darkened room!


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  14. For your interest: I've just started reading a humorous novel called Come, Thou Tortoise. One of the characters is a tortoise named Winnifred.

    I don't comment often because you already get a lot of comments, but I do read with great interest!

    Kate in Saskatchewan

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    1. Nice to have you here Kate x

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  15. Anonymous6:25 pm

    Have you thought about a petition? One can be left on the church notice board for people to sign?

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    1. We don't need one , the county council oversees the cemetery and they say it's ok to take dogs in on a lead

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  16. Also: our lawnmower does sometimes run over a frog. I hate that. But worse than that, I hate hearing a frog scream when a garter snake is eating it. Oy. -Kate

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  17. You could come to a compromise and keep sheep in the churchyard. They would save on upkeep. Maybe sheep are in short supply in Wales?

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  18. Poor Achilles. That time it was his head which was the weak link, not his heel.

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  19. Sorry John I laughed about your dad not the tortoise. Obviously you like me have stomach for gore.

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    1. I can cope with it. I cannot cope with eyes

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    2. I can't cope with knee caps ...urgh

      Jo in Auckland, NZ

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  20. Oh John - what a memory to dig up.

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  21. I am weak with gore myself. I can't imagine that discovery your father had! My dog is fascinated with turtles but I don't think he'd do what Tina did!

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    1. They have a natural fear of them, me thinks

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  22. You father would have had a difficult time with Medical School.

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    1. I think he fainted in a hospital lift once too

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  23. My husband, another Prof, is a fainter. He once fainted on a ‘plane, military paramedics rushed on as soon as we landed, they were closer than the regular ambulance. On the next flight I returned my tea to the attendant, politely asking for one not lukewarm. The Prof accused ME of making a scene.

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  24. What?! He fainted?! ROFLMAO!

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  25. Oh dear. My sense of humour is obviously on strike this morning. Poor Achilles. Poor you. And your poor father. Fainting so easily (and as I read through the comments so regularly) must have been a burden for him in those days when being 'tough' almost defined manhood.

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  26. I do feel badly about the tortoise. I'm fascinated by the name. Did you name your him? -Jenn

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    1. My favourite book as a child was Gerald Durrell's MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS . He had a tortoise called Achilles .

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    2. I've seen that BBC series, The Durrels in Corfu! It's fascinating. Everywhere the British go, they try to make it British!

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  27. I'm sorry about your tortoise. But your dad fainting is hilarious, esp. as your mother had to find out why the lawn mower was moving in its own! That must've been quite the sight for your mom to find. Who killed the tortoise?!? Was it a mafia hit? A deal gone bad?

    I dated an ER nurse. I was fascinated by her stories of breach deliveries, mangled limbs, impaled bodies, and all manner of bloody traumatic injuries. I thought she was the bravest person I knew...until a cockroach scrambled by and she screamed like she was being murdered and scampered onto the table...

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  28. ....as the elder Welsh couple droned on?.....and on...

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  29. Achilles is a great name.

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  30. In defense of your dear long gone Tina, dogs have an instinctive dislike for all reptiles. Their strong instinct also instills and abhorrence for rodents.
    My daughter was given a pet mouse and on one occasion she left Nettie to play in a container while she took the cage outside to wash it, our whippet Vicki gobbled her up quick smart - no questions asked!!
    Your poor Dad, how embarrassing for him and for him not to be available to protect you from this devastation of Archilles' gory demise - you were probably both affected as much as one another.

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  31. Your post reminded me of my father buying me a tortoise from a pet shop in Lowfield Street in Dartford. I can see the window full of the poor creatures climbing over each other. I chose one and home it went with us. The very next morning it was dead. On closer inspection of the body, the poor thing had a tick on the top of its head. It had survived all the trauma of transportation, probably piled high in a crate as in the shop window. The combined effect of TLC and the tick working it’s magic, the poor creature decided that death was preferable to life in Dartford. Mind you, it had a point!

    LX

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  32. Poor tortoise. Trundling around, minding its own business and whap! How cruel that tortoises can't just run for it like squirrels.

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  33. I was given a tortoise for my ninth birthday, and named him Basil.
    He's lived with a succession of dogs (some very large), cats, rabbits and even an injured fox for a few weeks. Not one of the other animals ever attacked him, in fact one dog, Topsy, used to squish herself into Basil's hutch for a snooze, whether he was in there or not at the time!
    I'm sixty now, and Basil's still going strong, 51 years after he was bought from a pet shop!
    We must have done something right with all of our animals! X

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  35. Sad for you John. I had an Abyssinian Sprinting Tortoise called Titch. Never saw many of this breed around at the time.....too quick. Well that's the story I tell. Found him one morning all 4 legs sticking out North, South, East and West and a stunned look on his face. Well he had shuffled of this mortal coil. Like you tad upset at the time.

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  36. Oh God!! What an image.

    When I managed a Scope charity shop I was sorting through donations one day and came across what I thought was a tortoise ornament, I held it up to show my assistant manager how realistic it was and then realised it was a stuffed REAL tortoise. How could someone stuff the family pet ... and then later donate it to a charity shop.

    It put me off tortoises for quite a while, even though like you we had a few when we were younger. We used to put them away for hibernation in a straw lined box into the shed when the Blue Peter presenters told us to and start checking for signs of life in Spring again when Valerie Singleton or Peter Purves said it was the right time. Their Fred always seemed to wake up ... ours rarely did :-(

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  37. My brother and I had a tortoise that we christened Ringo. When we got him out of his box after hibernation all his legs fell off. I think I'm still suffering from post stress disorder.

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  38. I totally could have lived my life without reading this story. Alas, I cannot unread it.

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  39. I must be a sick individual because I laughed out loud at this story! While am so sorry to hear of the gory demise of Achilles, it put me in mind of my husband and our cat. Our cat, Buster, used to be an excellent mouser. She didn't discriminate about what type of rodent to kill, however, and one day my husband went outside and nearly stepped on two decapitated gophers sitting in a pool of blood; a gift from our cat. I heard him scream and ran outside to see him staggering and grasping the wall as he nearly fainted. I though that was rather hilarious at the time, too!

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