Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Training Dorothy and Coffee with Eleanor

 

For over a year I have been walking Dorothy along the site of the Prestatyn / Dyserth railway 



Yesterday we passed a couple who I have nicknamed The Uber Couple, they are a couple I bump into regularly .
Now The Uber Couple are always together and always dressed in some sort of Lycra. In their late fifties they have hips and cheek bones to die for and always walk with a sheepdog collie who is trained to behave within an inch of his life.
Their buttocks glint with the flash of polished steel.
The sheepdog is never leashed, but to be fair he doesn’t have to be because with one click of their fit fingers his owners have him under more control than Trump had over Melania. 
The Uber Couple know about dogs and about dog training and their superiority is palpable 
I always feel like the poor relation when we pass....

Poor relation because when  William and George were alive they used to behave ,as terriers so often do when confronted with farm dogs, they behaved badly .
I did explain to The Uber Couple that the boys had been once attacked by a collie dog at the farm above the village , so they smiled their thin smiles of understanding as their dog trotted by with his nose in the air and  William and George yapped with the zeal of two chihuahuas fighting over a gravy stain.
Winnie of course added to their slightly patronising eyebrow raising as she would deliberately walk in between all of them with a sanguine dry smile and a look which never wavered from the road ahead.
Her amble gave all three of them a massive “ fuck you” message

Anyway Mary has long since followed the William And George school of terrier behaviour and she growls   rather magnificently when we pass but Dorothy with all of her neuroses has tottered forward on her lead with her frightened expression turned away from any strangers.
Now over the past six months I have been letting Dorothy off her lead for short periods whilst down the walkway and when another walker with a dog would come into view I would call her gently to return to be leashed, an order she would always comply to. This habit, we have adhered to until recently, when I felt that Dorothy’s confidence was at its highest. 

Yesterday Uber Couple approached us with all muscles flexed ( they even had on matching bobble hats! ) and as Mary stiffened for some bad behaviour I clicked my fingers and asked Dorothy who was trotting ten feet ahead to return to my side where she walked with what I hoped would be the precision of a police dog.
And she  did so, without a murmur and after we passed the Ubers the lady Uber turned around and commented 
“ You’ve done a great job training that dog .... well done ”
I preened at the praise , so much more than I should of done. 
I almost shed a tear too as Dorothy tottered forward and
With Mary still growling at the end of her lead.



This morning I drove up to McDonald’s to meet Chic Eleanor in the carpark for coffee.
The weather was atrocious but she looked fresh faced and as smiley as ever
“ Darling John..it’s almost like a tryst “ she admitted almost guiltily, pulling a green cashmere scarf tighter around her neck. “ Chin chin “ 
We raised our coffee cups from our respective driver’s seats, our breaths steaming in the cold air
She reminds me of the actress Lee Remick.



86 comments:

  1. Nothing quite like praise for your dog to instantly raise someone in your opinion!

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  2. Both Eleanor and yourself could do with a proper knee trembler trust. Seperately of course.

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    Replies
    1. For trust read tryst x

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    2. I know a guy from the village that may be perfect for her,I need to do some digging

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    3. There's no such thing as perfect. Perhaps you mean perfectly adequate.

      Word of advice on affairs of the heart. Do not meddle x

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    4. I’m not, I’m just finding is said man is single

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  3. They sound like a nice couple.

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    Replies
    1. They probably are but I never warmed to them

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    2. She showed a flash of her human side by turning round to say what she said.

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    3. I’ve acknowledged it too Rachel

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  4. Yorkshire Liz2:44 pm

    There is no satisfaction quite like watching your damaged little rescue dog blossom and grow in confidence and trust. Makes all the worry and effort worthwhile. Especially when other dog people see and acknowledge it too. Well done, Dorothy! And well done Dorothy's dad!

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    Replies
    1. We have a long way to go , but it’s nice to be proud

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  5. You painted a beautiful picture there John. Good old Dorothy, she's a credit to your love and patience. xx

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    Replies
    1. I need to be careful
      Dogs , especially anxious ones can be very impradictable

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  6. Had to chuckle over the Trump and Melania reference! And, this "William and George yapped with the zeal of two chihuahuas fighting over a gravy stain." had me laughing out loud!
    I hold out hope that adorable Dotty will far exceed any expectations you ever had for her ... so far those expectations have been low [made me feel sad for Dotty], but not ... with praise from others ... I think you will expect to see more from that sweet pooch!! I just hope beyond hope she does not disappoint! Give her tons of "atta girl" pats on the head!!

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    1. ... but NOW ... not "not" ... damn!!! LOL I know you knew what I meant!!

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    2. She is never going to be sanguine and it’s unfair to her that she’s ever going to be a Winnie ...she ain’t

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    3. Don't want a clone of Winnie but, hopefully, Dotty will become her own full-blown Dorothy with a happy smile and a flirty twitch of that stubby tail.
      She is just so damned adorable!

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  7. Good for Dorothy.

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  8. Who knows, the Uber Couple may compliment you on your buttocks next!

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn’t put money on it

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    2. Perhaps you should try spandex...

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  9. Reading of Winnie walking right through the middle, deliberately, grinning, and with no so much as a side look made me giggle. Hopefully Dorothy learned enough from her to become a grand old broad of a dog in her own right someday.

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    Replies
    1. Winnie delighted in walking up to people

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  10. Fabulous post, John. You made my day. I am now going to forward it to friends with much loved dogs!

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  11. Great writing, John! Fun details to brighten my morning! Thank you!

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  12. Your post gave me hope today. iwinston has been just awful after all of his front leg surgeries. We have run tests and are treating his thyroid problems but he is just so hyper after 6 months of quiet. He just will not obey.
    Congrats to Dorothy !

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    Replies
    1. George got better with most dogs Gayle ,but as you know scotties don’t take to many

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  13. Barbara Anne4:49 pm

    Well done to both of you, John and Dorothy! It's heartwarming to hear that Dorothy is learning to obey your command signals as that's proof that she's learned (or is learning) to trust you. Baby steps!
    Chic Eleanor would certainly be delighted to know she has been compared to Lee Remick. :)
    Wishing you a pleasant shift.
    Hugs!

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  14. Good on Dorothy! She’s beginning to blossom. I was so pleased to read that she was acting like a dog in one of your recent posts.

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  15. Dorothy deserves a treat, and I suppose you do too!!

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    Replies
    1. Well, she couldn't have done it without you!

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  16. I know of a couple who my friend has noticed too-they had a black Labrador who trotted alongside without a lead.If I ever was passing with my thatch and he was embarrassingly chatty(as the vet described him)I did tell them he had lived outside with lots of other dogs and only fed scraps and the lady who was the spokesperson just looked astonished and hurried on.They even did the same with my lovely lily who wears a muzzle off lead as she ate poison and was ill for 3 weeks with severe pancreatitis.Teddy doesn't like men much and translayvanian they are yet to meet x

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    Replies
    1. People and dogs...both are as different as snow flakes

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    2. Thank you John-I will say that next time I get "a look"x

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  17. Anonymous5:04 pm

    Oh what pride you must have felt with Dorothy and the 'Penelope Keith' with (probably trained) husband and dog in tow meeting, were they Home Counties originally perchance?
    Didn't quite see Chic Madame E frequenting McDonalds, not a linen napkin in sight!
    I remember laughing when it was Trump's inaugeration and there was a placard in the crowd which read something like 'Melania if you being held captive and to be need rescued blink twice'.
    TF he is going/gone!
    The world will remember him for all the wrong reasons
    Tess xx

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    Replies
    1. No I think the couple were just cool country loving types with strong opinions

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  18. You wrote this one magnificently. I was always proud when walking out with our Border Collie she would stay by our sides or trot happily ahead completely ignoring every other dog or person trying to speak to her or attract attention.

    I always liked Lee Remick, she was in the same class as Grace Kelly but somehow seemed a smidge more approachable. And Chic Eleanor seems to have all the class but all the friendliness and one-liners too.  

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    1. I didn’t warm to Uber couple but I respected their abilities with their dog, that’s why the praise meant so much

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  19. Dorothy probably thinks her needy looks and behaviour are getting you well trained by her to look after her every need.

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    Replies
    1. It’s hard to be hard with her as she constantly jumps at me to seek physical comfort. I have to ignore this completely

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  20. I'm so relieved to read that terriers behave that way. I can't walk Elsie anymore but her dog walker reported that she let rip barking at three - THREE - German Shepherds the other morning. I mean, doesn't she realise she would have been a snack?

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    Replies
    1. Terriers are quick witted and generally quick to temper

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    2. Oh... I may be a Scottish Terrier...

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  21. I wish more people would train their dogs properly. It's annoying when some strange dog starts sniffing me and all the owner can do is apologise. Good to know Dorothy is so obedient!

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    1. I’m with you nick, but Mary still let’s me down being prickly with other dogs ..the best I can do is never letting her off the lead

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  22. Chihuahuas fighting over a gravy stain... now, that made me laugh out loud!

    Good job with Dorothy, John. Patience and consistency win out. Vienna sausages all round!

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  23. They are trying to live up to your expectations. I use to look good in Lycra, I miss that.

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  24. I laughed at your description of the uber couple. You intimidate them, of course, with all the laid back, man of the world vibes you emit.

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  25. I think your comment of "...with the zeal of two chihuahuas fighting over a gravy stain." is so picturesque. You really do have a way with words and phrases, am still laughing now. Well done with the dog training... Ro xx

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    1. I thick it captures William and George’s behaviours x lol

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  26. When looking at that picture to the right, I've often thought of her as a doppleganger for Nicole Kidman.

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  27. They're chillin' on the couch, so adorable! 🤎 Haven't been to McD's in years now, whew. 😏

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  28. I hope you rewarded Dorothy with a cocktail sausage or two.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, funnily enough I bought them both some

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  29. Progress with Dorothy! Yay! You’ve certainly reason to be proud. I’ll bet that couple bought carefully chosen, well bred dogs ... a very different kettle of fish to your Dorothy! I can never let our 11 year old Goldie off the lead, she would respond to my command only if it suited her. 98% of the time she walks obediently beside me, but, unpredictably, when she takes a dislike to another dog she’s off!
    Praise from that upmarket couple is praise indeed though, and Dorothy, and you, deserve rewards... cocktails sausages and scotch eggs!

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  30. When I first saw the title of this post I thought it said "Training Dorothy with Coffee"! I thought, well that's an odd way to train a dog. Congratulations to Dorothy and yourself for such successful training! The hard work over all this time is paying off, well done!

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  31. Well done John and Dorothy! And dear Mary, well what can I say except...Terriers! Have owned and adored several generations of Cairn Terriers for over 30 years now, but I've never had one I could fully trust off a leash. I've beat myself up over it but finally decided, what the hell. Wonderful creatures but with a mind of their own. Loved reading about the 'Uber couple'. Made me grin. X

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  32. Are terriers not trainable , for not barking, and running off etc? Or you simply feel it is in their nature and accept it.

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    1. They ARE trainable , but the result. Is variable

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  33. I can't believe you've had Dorothy over a year! Where does the time go?

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  34. Our two mutts have a good portion of chihuahua in their genes. I instantly recognized the gravy stain scenario. We suffer from a superior type who walks her lovely retrievers along our road. The retrievers glide pass without as much as a flicker of the eyeballs while our two just about turn themselves inside out. Our two little rescues were abandoned on the street and went through several homes before landing with us at the age of six months. To say they were psychologically screwed is an understatement. They have vastly improved but our snooty nemesis will never know and likely wouldn't care.

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  35. In this instance, Dorothy is your prize. Good girl, Dorothy. I hope you praised her and gave her a hug and nice treat for her good behavior.

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  36. I love these little glimpses. Thank you!

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  37. Well done, Dorothy. You earned praise for Daddy. You deserve treats.

    Love,
    Janie

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  38. Now that you've received approval from Uber Couple, next walk you should get all decked out in YOUR Lycra and flash YOUR glinting buttocks. Bobble hats? Really?

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  40. We used to meet with a couple regularly at McD's before C19. The last visit was in March although we had a few coffees in the park in summer and also had a few house visits before phase 2 kicked off.

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  41. Well done Dorothy!

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  42. Anonymous8:13 am

    "Their buttocks glint with a flash of polished steel"

    Were they wearing suits of armour? If you're writing a book I, as an ex proof reader, can tell that the over flowery phrases will be ridiculed before it gets past the first reading.

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  43. Well done Dorothy your patience is paying of John.

    I remember a few years ago there was a situation with you on one side of a river and one of the Terriers on the other, it had me in stitches I thought it might be a good story for your book ???

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