Sunday, 22 June 2014

Mollie Meets a Kitten

Mollie, like a lot of other dogs, is a one-dog neighbourhood watch. We have an ideal window ledge for her to hop up on, watch the world go by, sleep in the sun, and bark her head off at anything and anyone she deems to be a threat. This includes little old ladies and small children on bikes most of the time, but in Mollie's eyes these potential threats must be warned that her house will not tolerate any shenanigans from these rogues of society. 

"I see you Ethel. You're not fooling anyone. Just keep walking."
We try, as her owners, to keep her active mind stimulated most of the time, but sometimes all she wants to do is sit up there and watch the world go by, content in the knowledge that by her watching the neighbours walk by, she is somehow making the world a safer place, and dreaming up which actor would play her in her own superhero movie.

Admittedly, it'll be hard to find anyone with a headshot this good.

Anyhoo, so the neighbours opposite have gotten their young daughter a kitten. I'm not particularly fond of cats, but this is a pretty little kitten, with light grey fur and blue eyes. And it's in that kitten stage of bounding around their garden like a little furry maniac, usually under the watchful eye of the little girl that owns it. All very cute. However, these dire acts of treachery have not gone unnoticed. The neighbourhood watchdog has been observing, and has not been impressed by this. The cat is obviously the ringleader in these crimes, and it will not be tolerated.

Head Police Dog of the household. Works on commission for treats.
Anyway, so my dad, the poor sod who's usually at the brunt of Mollie's trolling, has been telling me recently about how now that the dogs are getting older, they're starting to take life a little easier, and not acting so much like the young pups they once were; they like to sleep and relax more, they're better on the lead, and they (read: Mollie) certainly don't like to chase rabbits and other long-suffering smaller animals so much.

What are rabbits compared to catching a Golden Snitch though?
And it's true in a lot of ways. Last year Mollie pulled a muscle in her leg and she had to rest for ten days with no walks, which was hard for her. Bingo recently had an operation to remove a tumour from his butt, which was worrying but successful. Age is certainly becoming a factor which is influencing their behaviour more and more, no doubt of that. But Mollie will go down kicking and barking before age ever stops her from trolling those she loves the most.

And of course, trolling goes hand in hand with pulling silly faces.

SO! Back to the story! So, whenever a member of the family comes home, be it my mum, my brother or myself and my partner, my dad will open the door and let the springers come out and say hello. They're always good dogs. They greet us, make a fuss, and then we call them inside and all is well.

Rolling out the liver and white carpet, so to speak.
Alas, when my dad did this for my mum one fateful day, she saw an opportunity not to greet a family member, but to apprehend a shameless 6 month old kitten. To the utter mortification of both my parents, who immediately ran after her, Mollie was thundering after this cat, and chased it into the neighbour's bush, and barking furiously, wagging her tail like a demented springer. I can only imagine what she must have looked like to that poor cat. Probably like the demon dog of the underworld. My mum grabs Mollie's collar, who, with her tail held high, knows that she's done a Good Thing for the neighbourhood and we can all sleep a little safer in our beds now that the threat has been shown who's boss in THIS neighbourhood.

"No need to thank me, citizens."
My dad, however, has knocked on the neighbour's door to apologise and explain that their kitten has disappeared because of our beloved hero of this story. The neighbours are actually very understanding (thank goodness) about the whole situation, and all four of them start calling for the kitten, who suddenly plops down from hiding in the tree above. Smart cat.

Well, what can you say? We can train dogs, but we can't take away their instincts. The kitten is probably the same size as a rabbit right now, and if you've read other stories on this blog, you'll know that her favourite thing to do is chase them within an inch of their lives. She would have made a great gun dog, but she's equally happy with her life with us. We're just going to have to keep more of an eye on her with this new "threat" around, as Mollie is proving that age definitely isn't stopping her being a troll dog.
Mollie definitely NOT practising stalking in the garden.

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