Harry is a Border Terrier. He was born in July 2000, and was named after Harry Potter. His pedigree name is Bramble Keeper. He enjoys walking, and playing games with golf balls and sticks and doing this blog.
Today on a walk round Marsh Baldon Harry got very close to a horse. We had to cross fields with horses grazing freely and one horse came right up to Harry and sniffed him. Harry did not seem to even notice the big animal towering above him. It might as well have just have been another pair of tree trunks rather than horse legs.
The picture shows Harry pouncing on a toy he has just found - a green ring that has been broken and left behind, or lost, by another dog. But Harry did not give up his stick for the ring. The stick is still best.
Harry will often carry a stick in a rather uneven way - perhaps because it is easier to pick up near the end. Then after a while, unaccountably, he will drop the stick and forget about it. He has carried hundreds, possibly thousands, of sticks, and there is often a little collection outside our front door - sticks of all shapes and sizes.
Harry went on a new circular walk round Radley Lakes and who should he meet but Roger with his pack of dachshunds. None of the original members of the pack has survived since the last time Harry saw them about six years ago. They used to all gang up on Harry and bark very fiercely. The new pack of younger dachshunds were much better. Not a bark to be heard.
A few minutes on, and Harry sat down and refused to move. Under his chin a sticky burr had got stuck. I pulled that off but for the next few hours he seemed to have something stuck in his mouth too. I am glad to say that cleared without an expensive visit to the vet.
It was all waggy tails today between Harry and this 18 month old Labrador. The young lab could run at twice the speed of Harry but waited for Harry to catch up then they would sniff each other all waggy tailed.
They would then set off again. Harry would try to chase the young lab with a terrier's "Grrr Grrrrr Grrrrr".
All very playful. Tails wagging.
The young Lab would then suddenly dance away from the slower Harry, and then come back for more of the playful sparring.
Harry curls up with the leopard after what was a very confusing day...
He came home on his own in the car. But how did he do it?
It started when we took him out in the car to do a new doggy walk near Wallingford, but just before reaching our destination the car made some strange noises, and broke down just across the Shillingford Bridge.
The breakdown van came promptly, and we got in up front with the driver, but Harry had to travel alone in the car on the back of the truck. It is the first time he has travelled in a car by himself. He looked very glad to get out when we got home, and curled up next to the leopard.
I expect some dogs would get inpatient when their human starts talking to somebody for ages or starts taking lots of photographs. Not Harry. He just decides when the wait has gone on long enough and settles down for a rest. Here he is having a lazy wait by the River Ock.
Harry has been staying with Grandma for about a week while we were away in a cottage. There were places we would have loved to take him, and others, like the cottage, that said Dogs Not Allowed. Anyway, back home now. I took Harry out on a very familiar walk this morning which he enjoyed. The picture was taken on an unknown walk this afternoon. He usually enjoys something different - but maybe only after he has checked out and got to know his local territory again.
This is not the sort of grown up doggy behaviour we have come to expect from Harry. Normally he trots along on his walks, sniffing every now and then. Often lagging some way behind as he sniffs out things to eat. But today he was lagging a long way behind and got a carry. What a big baby he now looks. Harry!
The tiger was a not very scarey tiger admittedly, but a stuffed tiger being held by a stallholder at Jericho Street Fair. So no harm came of the meeting apart from the tiger getting a wet nose pushed into its face.
(For anybody who likes bubbles, like Harry does, there are pictures of bubbles at the Street Fair on the Not Abingdon Blog)
My wife is going away for three days and her biggest worry going away is that we will not notice if Harry's water bowl runs dry. If it did then just about every walk we do has access to a River. The bank on the picture may not look that steep but there was the risk Harry would fall in.
He had two or three goes then decided against and had to wait until there was an easier incline a little further on.
Gone are the days when he would have just tumbled in and scrambled out.
Dogs on leads are ten a penny. Most good dogs can be found walking attached to a lead most days of the week. Some even spend most of their walking time on a lead. But a cat on a lead! Harry is confused. You may be too! When does that ever happen?
Harry is trying to understand why he is not allowed to eat these two currant buns. They are part of a tradition that goes back over 250 years in Abingdon, and I will leave them to dry then varnish them as part of my bun collection. So I have given Harry a bit of bread to eat instead as he was very good for posing with and not eating the special buns - marked with the letters C & W for the Royal Wedding of Catherine and William. More about the special buns on the Abingdon Blog.
In the village of Steventon today our walk was blocked when some barriers came down unexpectedly in the middle of the road. After waiting for a bit there was a great roar and a flash of blue. It was all over in a couple of seconds. The barriers went up again, and we continued our walk. I then explained to Harry "That was a Railway Train."
Harry does not know about this yet but I have paid for his name to be engraved on one of the scales of Hero the Dragon when it gets carved in the near future. Brian, the main carver wanted to know what initial or surname to put with Harry. I thought hard and then said 'Harry The Dog'.
Here in Abingdon there will be a Bun Throwing to celebrate the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate. 4000 buns will be thrown from the top of the County Hall, and people and dogs will crowd to catch them. Harry would love to catch a bun. It would be the best thing could ever happen to him.
Here is Harry and another Border Terrier eating grass. The other Border came from Thame and was out for a walk along the river bank in Abingdon. After having a quick sniff of each other they started grazing the grass together, and looked a bit like a couple of sheep.
Although a bit chubbier than Harry, the other Border has a good turn of speed, according to the owner, and has been known to catch squirrels. The squirrels must be tame in Thame.
Little children seem to look in amazement as Harry walks past, and then the parents will say something like "It's a dog!" as though up to that point the only dogs they have ever seen were in picture books. Anyway the hair is growing back and the wounds are healing. Harry does limp a little so the foot is probably still tender. But we will soon be throwing sticks for him to chase.
For a few days after the operation Harry had not wanted to go out for walks, and would walk about outside as if confused and then want to go home. Last Tuesday that changed, and he did want to walk and was pulling on the lead to go to his old haunts. On Wednesday the bandage was taken off and the vet discharged him. He is still not quite as lively as usual and looking a bit like camel with parts of his coat pulled off but he is one the mend.
Harry had an operation on Tuesday to remove some lumps. None were malignant. The one on his foot is quite benign (and could reoccur), and the other 3 benign (and won't come back). They also removed some things from his gums which in time would have made it difficult for him to eat. So Harry has been a bit sad and sorry and sore since. He went back to the vet yesterday to get the foot dressing replaced. He has a bit of a temperature and has gone off walks but not off food. The vet also gave us a lampshade Harry can wear when unsupervised to stop him scratching wounds. We got the little jacket for Harry because he looks a bit like something out of the House of Hammer Horror films with the stitches up his side.
Harry went to the vet last week because of a swelling on his foot that sometimes makes him limp. He will be having an operation on Tuesday to remove it, and possibly the toe. The vet says lots of dogs loose a toe and it is not a big deal. At the same time, while Harry is under the anaesthetic, the vet will remove four other lumps. So Harry is going to look a bit patched up afterwards. Hopefully none of them are anything serious, but that will be checked out too.
The scent mark outside the front door this morning, the one that kept Harry sniffing for ages at the start of the walk, may have been a Valentine's Day greeting - who knows! And those may have been Valentine's Days greetings that Harry left along the walk this morning.
We got back from our walk this morning, and I said "Harry! Come and get breakfast!"
But there was a problem. His bowl was nowhere to be seen in the kitchen. It was not in the hall. Not even outside. Harry was starting to take on a hang dog look.
Then I had an idea and looked in the dish washer. Life is full of suprises. That is probably the first time it has been there for a wash. So Harry got his breakfast this morning in an ultra clean bowl.
The dog flap allows Harry to go out into the graden whenever he wants, but on this occassion he is just checking what is happening. Undecided. He only decides to come all the way when I say 'Football Harry!'
Surrounded by books, Harry lies on the back of a chair, with half an eye on the world outside, looking down on West St Helen Street from a first floor window. He is not the sort of dog who gets excited and barks at things going by or the postman. He is waiting for one of the pack to return, and when they are all safely back, he will get down and look for a game to play, or lie down near the radiator, or in his basket.
Harry didn't enjoy coming through into the new year.
As a puppy, Harry didn't worry about fireworks. But now he has got to a more mature age, they worry him a lot. At midnight, Harry just stood their trembling. They also worried Pushkin, the cat, who started going round the house on his elbows to avoid being hit by the enemy fire.
Anyway, that did not last long, and apart from that 2011 has been OK.