Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Well, I've decided to post my poem Irreplaceable Son so that those who are interested can see what the fuss was about.

Irreplaceable Son

I found myself that day-
In a sea of beige and sand
I was marching out of step to The Regimental Band
I found myself that day-
Within sight and sound of war
As a mothers' irreplaceable son cried; 'What are we fighting for?'
Each time we form The Hollow Square
A thousand heads will bow in prayer
The silence breaks
A bugle calls
Each time a son so irreplaceable falls.

I found myself that day-
In a sea of sand and beige
As a mothers' irreplaceable son signed in blood across The Page
I found myself that day-
In the Quiet Mass of pain
As a thousand irreplaceable sons steel themselves to fight again.
Once more we'll form The Hollow Square
A thousand heads will bow in prayer
The silence breaks
A bugle calls
Once more a son so irreplaceable falls.

I found myself today-
In this mean unpleasant land
Still marching out of step to The Regimental Band
I found myself today-
In a hot slow burning rage
As another irreplaceable son signed in blood across The Page.

Dean King 2009

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Well, we've had Molly now for two weeks and she's come into season! At least we know she's not pregnant!!
This of course is the issue with rescue dogs- you know very little of their history. We've discovered that she's not keen on young spaniels. Perhaps her father was a spaniel and took advantage of her mother on a one night stand and now Molly has 'issues'.
She's doing really well with her separation anxiety and now rarely cries when we leave her at night. The cats are another problem altogether. They can stealthily avoid the pooch so I think the socialisation process might take some time. We have an unusual and unexpected assistant with this however. One of our near neighbours has a cat which regularly visits our house to steal our cats' food. We learned recently that this cute looking grey moggy ate something agriculturally toxic some time ago which has rendered it intellectually compromised and partially deaf and blind. It still has all it's basic instincts but it's a bit slow and seems to forget that there is a dog about. She blunders into Molly's vicinity and so inadvertently helps with the feline socialisation programme which our own cats avoid. Molly therefore has her very own Training Cat, which is what we now call it.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Well, Molly has been with us for a week now and boy, have our lives changed! She has been absolutely fabulous, and apart from a few minor issues no problem at all. Our female cat has got the measure of her, but the tom is behaving like a wuss. (A wusspuss, if you will). I've no idea how animals of different species communicate with each other, but they do and sort of work it out.
Molly was found in Walsall and so Shropshire is a bit daunting for her. She clearly has never seen horses cows or sheep before but to give her her due after a few days she now largely ignores them, though an owl the other night spooked both of us.
As we have been walking out with her, it's amazing how many people stop and chat. I know I've done the same and I've been wondering if we humans sometimes need an excuse to approach others and talk, and I suppose a dog is as good an excuse as any.
Today we've had a dog trainer in for a one- to- one lesson so that we don't get into bad habits right at the start. Diane was very good, and has taught us alot about how dogs understand commands and rewards. Gaining an understanding of what we can offer to a relationship is the first step towards understanding what we want from it. We cannot expect others to read our minds or them to read ours, especially if we talk different languages. This language barrier could exist for any reason - species, gender, generation, belief system,orientation or any number of others. It is my belief that effective communication between sentient beings depends on a willingness on both parts to try to understand something of the unique language of the other. But perhaps the most important aspect is an initial investment of trust. With this in the bank we can earn rewards in spades. When we lose it or fail to invest trust sufficiently, our relationships, whether with dogs or humans can struggle to thrive. With dogs as with humans we reap what we sow, and, unlike vegetables, the harvest is available everyday.