Our diggiest dog has been at it again, digging in the garden. Lah Dee, is a naughty boy, and he simply doesn’t understand that we don’t like him digging up the back lawn. My husband has done a great job at filling in on spot of the lawn that was turning into a huge trip hazard. All it’s done is make Lah Dee try a spot right next to it.

It’s frustrating for my husband and I, but I suppose it’s frustrating for the dog that he’s not supposed to do what his instincts are telling him to do. Having written those words, in reality, Lah Dee probably neither knows nor cares that he isn’t supposed to dig the lawn up. Sometimes, in another area of our property, he can dig and won’t be told off for doing it, and we won’t be upset about it.

This allowable digging is in a back area of our place, a fenced dog run, where the dogs are more or less allowed to do whatever they want. It’s well away from where people often walk, so we’re unlikely to fall victim to a huge hole, and trip over. Dogs dig, some dogs more than others. The Pharaoh Hounds are more a see and chase kind of dog breed, whereas digging is more a terrier kind of thing, but dogs can like many different things, beyond what one might expect …

When you have a dog, training is certainly easiest if you can work with your dog, taking their instincts into account. If I wanted to teach the Pharaoh Hound lots of party tricks I would probably focus on teaching them to fetch, throwing a ball or something and use food to encourage them to bring it back to me. If I wanted to do that with the Pharaohs though, I should have started doing it many years ago. The oldest of our PHs is around thirteen, while the youngest is nine, I think. I suspect it would take some intensive training to teach any of them the Fetch trick, although they will chase after things we through, when they feel like it …

That’s the sometimes frustrating thing about this breed – they’re like cats in some ways, and tend to do things only when they feel like it. The Schnauzer is much happier to do things she knows we want her to do. Well she was like that in her younger years. These days we’re very kind to her and we’re all happy just to let Nena wander around the place, or sleep as and when she wants to. Nena is fifteen, and deserves to live an easy life in elderly years.

The joys in living with pets is in seeing them through the cycle of life. Most of the dogs in our little pack were born her, and the one that was born elsewhere has had two litters of pups here with us. Birth, living, and death – it’s the natural thing. I in fact have recently had a new poetry collection published, where I wrote a bit about these issue, in particular living and death. The collection is “Tense & Still” published by Ginninderra Press, and available for purchase here.

I have had two launches of this book, one a ‘Country’ launch, the other a ‘Town’ launch. I had a fun time doing that, with the publishers there selling the books, and an MC introducing my book launcher and myself. Jo Baker was the person who launched the book for me at both events. Jo is a friend who was helping me when I was putting the collection together, and I was thrilled to have her launch the book for me, reading several of my poems, and also saying lovely things about my writing, and this book in particular.

This kind of thing is what I really enjoy doing, writing, creating books and being involved in literary events. It is so much more my style than being a dog trainer, although I certainly love living with our dogs. Dog training isn’t my fun thing to do, although I can certainly see the benefits in doing it, especially if you like to do it. I’d love to hear from people about the things they like to do with their dogs – please leave a message in the comments section!

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