Country Canines


Part 5 of the Country Canine Companions Collection

I consider it a privilege to be in the position to make unusual comparisons. It means I have lived a fortunate life. I am grateful that, and I give thanks.

Bamboo comes to visit us sometimes. We like it when she does. Bambs and Lunes spend hours wrestling together, coming up for air panting and wagging their tails. I don’t know if animal specialists would agree with me that what I state next is physically possible, but I swear that they positively smile at each other!

Bamboo is a study in camouflage. She has the same mottled tan-brown as our carpet of indeterminate age. Such colours were popular in the 1970s but I really can’t date our carpet, which came with the house, with any certainty.

Like many dogs, Bamboo did not turn into the size and shape she was promised to be. Instead of a Staffy-Malteser cross, she grew into a Norfolk terrier.

Bamboo lives more remotely than we do. This is evident because her need to alert us to any strangers and dangers extends to people walking down our quiet street (which admittedly is becoming increasingly busy, as empty blocks are built out). Our Luna barely even raises her head at the foot traffic, so used to it is she.

As well as these ‘threats’, Bamboo feels it necessary to alert us with her penetrating bark, which goes right into my brain and makes my spine shudder, to the drumbeats emanating from our sound system, which sound suspiciously like someone knocking on the door. Once we worked out what she was skittish about, because initially we were quite puzzled, we were most amused!

This long dog on short legs has chocolate brown markings on her ears, eyebrows, nose and lower legs. Her ears are petite and each one has a tuft of long hair in the middle, in the colour of her body fur, like string handles on tiny wings. A funny phenomenon!

Her body seems overlong compared to her height, and like the capybaras of my last post, her short and skinny legs don’t look like they can sustain her weight. Add to that her knock-kneed front legs and I can see the reason why she flops down as often as she does during her runs. Luna, younger and full of frenetic energy, twice the size of her visitor, bowls Bamboo over when they charge around the golf course. Brave Bamboo strives to keep up with long-legged Luna, and doesn’t seem to mind being knocked over into a tumbleturn. She’s smart enough to just lie down when she’s had enough, at which time Luna will simply jump over her without even breaking her stride, continuing into the distance.

Relaxing in the evening is funny to watch: Luna lies in her basket, Bamboo comes in, sees it full, looks mournful for a millisecond, then finds a spot on the floor at a human’s feet to stretch out. Time passes. Luna moves away to investigate something, coming back to find that Bamboo is now in her basket. Luna looks perplexed for a millisecond, then finds a spot on the floor at a human’s feet to stretch out. Neither of them have worked out that they could both fit in the basket together, if they only tried.

Bamboo’s people will come back in a week or so and take her home.  Waiting for her will be her feline companions, Ninja and Puss. Ninja earned his name by climbing into impossible places. The loss of a leg from an unfortunate accident has barely hindered this sleek black cat’s ability: the only thing he can’t do now is groom himself on one side.

Puss, a more recent addition to the household, is also a black cat but with completely different fur, bushy and fluffy and with hints of chocolate brown. Patting these two cats is an entirely different tactile sensation.

We love it when our dear friends leave Bamboo with us for an extended play-date. Even though she barks far more than we would like she is a lovely dog to have around. She barks far more than our quiet dog, who only barks if people actually enter the yard. Actually, that’s not true. She’s been known to bark at lizards and fledglings which have fallen from the nest as well.

You’re welcome anytime, Bamboo!

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