Sunday, 9 April 2006

Animals that have befriended me.

Dogs, and cats equally, but as a child I dearly wanted a budgerigar, a blue one, in a cage, with an elasticated flowery plastic bag thing underneath for what purpose I do not know.
Dogs in early childhood were frightening, cats invisible.

Later pre-teens my friend D had a Jack Russell and I wanted one too. My Dad tormented me with one of his favourite answers to "where are you going ?" ... "to see a man about a dog." I thought he meant it.

Then one day he really did, and Sooty arrived. Black, of course, and I didn't name him. He really was a whippet/Cairn mix - hairy and very fast ! We had adventures - close by was a deserted sand quarry with sand martins and a conveyor belt - imagine bouncing along an enormous rubber band - fun, a bit scary, never would happen nowadays (the lament of the over 50s). We watched tv together and he waited for me to come home from school, at the end of the street I whistled, and he came speeding down to me, ran round a few times and shot back up the hill to tell everyone about it. I learned the peace of walking for hours, away from family chaos, in fields and woods, alongside streams, now culverted and built over.

Fast forward ... On the day I knew I was pregnant, on a dark and stormy night returning home from work, there was a ginger cat waiting by the door. Visits to the vet became as frequent as the ante-natal classes. She sat on my lap, and as my bump grew, she accommodated it, until there was no more room, then she sat on the chair arm next to my bump. She ignored the baby once it was born, and walked away when it began to crawl after her.

My bump now has cats of her own, well not strictly true, her neighbours' cats visit her daily when their owners have deserted them to go to work. Which is the perfect solution, no vets bills.

The soul that I am most looking forward to greeting again in heaven, is the magnificent Airedale who accompanied me for twelve difficult years, and kept me going when nothing or no-one else could. She had a large vocabulary, understanding more than she let on of course, not being able to speak (!). She was used to being the King (dogs are usually masculine images in Jungian terms) of the parish, only ever submitting to the superior height of an Irish Wolfhound, but he had no brain. Woof was all he ever said, or understood.

I do love cats, and cats do appreciate me. My respect and good manners usually meets with their approval, and my lap is accommodating. But I also appreciate the birds in my garden and they do not appreciate visiting neighbouring cats. Mr Yaffle, the big green woodpecker feeding on ant hills is almost as big as a cat but leaves noisily when the cat appears, and the buzzards are too far above anything to be concerned, but the sparrows, robins, thrushes, blackbirds, risk loosing their babies to that damned preditor from over the road.

A dog would be good now, companionship and reassurance, if it had long legs to keep up with the powerchair, and patient enough to wait for me if I decide to walk a bit on a good day. But I cannot guarantee to be well enough to exercise it every day. I do not qualify for an assistance dog, but I would need someone to help train it to accommodate my limitations. And living in a rural area there are not that many places away from traffic that are safe for wheelchair dog walking. Cities have parks, villages have footpaths, with stiles and mud. Yes, I know about CROW2000 and DDA, but where is the funding ! But see Disabled Ramblers website - mountains and The Globe. For three years I have been asking a nearby NT venue to link up its wheelchair accessible routes with its dog walking routes. They admitted they had not thought of it ! Last year it was promised for this year, well ok carefully worded to suggest it would happen without actually saying it would definitely happen. It hasn't. Another battle not yet won.

And tomorrow I tackle the council parking department, so that when return to my WAV after a good evening' s music, I don't find another PCN. I have written two appeals in two weeks, and have nothing left for a third.

Fight the good fight.
Night night.

1 Comments:

Blogger Spindrift said...

Hello, just wandering the world and here I am at your blog. I enjoy the style of how you have put it all together. I'll be coming back again.

Regards,

Wednesday, 24 May 2006 at 08:24:00 BST  

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