Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Mollie and the Neighbour's Garden

"I have been quietly reading in the conservatory. I swear."


If you have a dog with even a little rebellious streak in them, chances are that you’re no stranger to the joy of catching the digging in your garden. It’s part of their genetic code; I’m sure that one day, scientists will probably be able to identify the gene which makes dogs dig. Right after they identify the one that makes them roll in fox poo. But that’s a different post for a different day.
Anyway, here is a little gem of an anecdote that I have to unfortunately tell from my mother’s point of view, as I was, rather upsettingly, away for what proved to be an entertaining evening. At a karate class if you must know, but that’s neither here nor there in terms of the story.
So, Mollie, being the little troll that she is, loves to dig. As though she was a mole, or an industrial oildrill in a past life. She used to dig in the ground of my parents’ greenhouse, before they took it down, and this used to infuriate my dad. In fact, when she does it anywhere, if he notices, he’ll march into the garden, sharply tell her to stop, and only gets in response a look that simply says ‘I’ll give it five minutes before continuing’. Once they had a long-term standoff with the issue, with my dad laying a plank of wood over every hole she was working so diligenty on. The end result was a garden that looked like a dodgy carpentry dog, and a very annoyed springer spaniel.

Green paws. Like Greensleeves, but with more digging involved.

But no, Mollie knows exactly how to bide her time, and that she did. She was working on a sneaky hole that was suspiciously close to my elderly neighbour’s fence, working on it a little at a time, until she could recreate her own version of The Great Escape, right from our own back yard. And that she did.
Right around the 8:30 mark, my mother went into the back garden to smoke a cigarette. Usually when she does this, the dogs stampede after her, and use this as an opportune moment to pee, hunt insects and frogs, and generally forage in the night. My mother noticed that instead of doing her usual moth-hunting routine, Mollie instead made a B-line straight for a specific area of the fence, and began furiously digging. My mother of course, spots this and immediately starts yelling at her. Mollie pays no attention, and with victory in her clutches, manages to easily shimmy herself under the fence, and into the neighbour’s yard! SUCCESS!
My mother immediately utters something non-PG rated and sprints after her, crouches down and sees her runnning a victory lap around the neighbour’s garden, her tail held high and aloft like a flag. The motion-detector light is on, following Mollie’s lap. She’s savouring every moment of being in the forbidden land; her hard work has paid off! She pays no attention to my mother trying her best to frantically coax her back; she’s far too smart to go back to the dull confines of the garden!
So my mother dashes inside and returns, brandishing a leftover chicken leg from the night before, trying to bribe her back with this by thrusting her arm through the hole she dug. Still, nothing. She might as well be invisible, this victory is worth far more than a cold piece of chicken.
The next half-hour was a struggle. After a confused phonecall from the neighbour, a visit to the garden from my mother and some serious coaxing, she was actually able to get her back. You’d better believe both parents watch that side of the fence like a hawk now, but that doesn’t stop Mollie from trying, bless her. You at least can’t fault her for that.

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