Saturday, December 14, 2013

An Unwanted Companion

Canine Cycling Companion
Go. Go I said! Can't you tell I don't like dogs? I'm sure you can tell, you're supposed to have a sense for these things. Now can you please stop jumping all over me? And licking my hands? And looking at me like that? No really, come on now. You're in my shot. I am trying to take some photos here!

Canine Cycling Companion
Right, here is what we're going to do. Come over here, and you can stand next to me  - if you're quiet and don't jump on me, okay? Good. All right. Shoot, wait, what's this you're doing now? Oh no, come on! 

Look, I'm flattered you trust me enough to show me your tummy. Really, it's a nice tummy. A fine tummy. Here, okay, I'll scratch it a little. Happy now? Okay, one more time. And then we part ways, yes? 

Canine Cycling Companion
Listen, it's nothing against you. I am just not a dog person. You're a nice dog, but go back to your farm now, okay? Look, I'm getting on my bike now. I'm going to pedal away. Take care!

Canine Cycling Companion
For goodness sake, how can you run alongside me so quickly? I must have been nearing 20mph down that hill. Don't follow me, I'm cycling home. Now you go home too, you hear me?  

Canine Cycling Companion
Look, I am not racing you, okay? If anything I am trying to go slow in case you run out in front of my wheel. Do you have enough sense not to do that? I don't know you, so I've no idea you see - I have to be careful not to hit you. So don't look so smug as you stand there panting and waiting for me! And why do you keep waiting for me anyway when I've told you a hundred times to go home? Just how far are you planning to follow me?

Canine Cycling Companion
Okay, seriously. We are nearing the main road and this has gone far enough. We are stopping and I am taking you home. You don't have a collar, so I can't even grab you, darn it. Do you want to go in the basket? No? Okay then, I am going to cycle back where I found you and return you to your owners. Are you ready to run along? Gosh, but you sure can go fast. And to give credit where it's due, I guess you do have enough sense not to run out in front of my wheel. Should I trust you and pick up some speed? Okay, race you to that bend. Go-go-go! Go-go-go-go-go!!! Okay well maybe this is kind of fun. You are one fast dog, let me tell you. I'm panting more than you are! Here comes the bend. Go-go-go! Go-go-go-go! And ...it's a tie! Although wait, did you let me win?! 

Canine Cycling Companion
So... Here we are. I guess this is good-bye now? God, I hope your owners didn't think I stole you. You really shouldn't follow random people like that you know. I mean, I could have been a dog-thief or worse. What's that? Oh, you knew that I wasn't? Well aren't you clever. And what else did you know? Oh really, that I'd like you once I got to know you and would play with you if you insisted long enough? Smarty pants. But okay, look... I do like you. And I had a good time. And you did look kind of cute running beside me, with the wind in your ears. So I'll see you around, okay? And yes, I will be on my bike again. Maybe I'll even win next time. 

46 comments:

  1. I am so relieved that Velouria is indeed a dog person. I hope you gave him a drink of your water after that run.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, this unwanted encounter! I had one once too. In a remote area in the French alps. Out of nowhere, the dog appeared and tagged along the whole day while I was working at a geological map. I could not get rid of it. Very friendly. Then I hoped on the bike (with shovel and all the stuff) to get back home. The dog still followed. Even on very busy road. Up to the train station. On the train. To home. Where she felt very at home herself. I would have had to keep her I guess, if not for the tattooed nr she had: animal services could find the owners who came by to pick her up. She was in their garden when she jumped the fence to come and meet me. Looks like it was love at first sniff. Strange, it has been 10 years now and I still remember that dog.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What an adorable little dog! Shame the owners let him out without a collar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FWIW a dog running around without a collar is not uncommon here; dog ownership is pretty nonchalant. Especially on the farms they are often working dogs or guard dogs rather than pets.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for another lovely post. It put a smile on my face. When cycling so many times something unexpected and wonderful happens, it makes the moment memorable. Who would ever think that a lose dog and a cyclist would ever get along. The pictures were great and leave me ready to go for my morning ride .

    ReplyDelete
  5. you are a true poet, thanks for this nice story.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a cutie! Could this little one become a new companion or is he just a playful neighbor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a dog I encountered on a ride, not close enough to be considered a neighbour. But on the farm adjacent to where I live there are 3 dogs who now also seem to think they are mine, greeting me whenever I come home and following me around the yard. Thankfully they know better than to follow me out onto the road.

      Delete
  7. That's the breed. It thinks you're a sheep and it has to bring you back.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gosh, you nailed it... those are the exact same words my wife said to me that day I first met her!

    ReplyDelete
  9. A perfect and hilarious photo-essay! Thank you Velouria.

    ~ David

    ReplyDelete
  10. True story. In 1977, I used to walk about 3 miles every Sunday morning to the house of a friend, and we then went to her local Methodist church where she taught Sunday school. About a mile into the journey one day, a dog appeared, and followed me at a short distance. It resisted all my efforts to shoo it away. I did eventually shake it off, but it had made me slightly late. About a quarter mile from my destination, I had to pass a large quarry and brickworks. The heavy vehicles leaving the site had left the road covered with several inches of red brick clay, which was wet from recent rain. A large articulated lorry (semi-trailer) was coming towards me. He must have braked for some reason, and I saw the rear end of the trailer move out to the side, then the whole vehicle jack-knifed and the trailer pulled the tractor around. The driver completely lost control, and it ended up with the cab hitting a lamp post. This sliced through the fibreglass cab like a knife through butter, but thankfully missed the driver, who emerged unscathed but a bit shaken. I told him I'd call the police from my friend's house (no mobile phones then), and reassured him that I'd testify, if necessary, that the incident was not his fault, but a consequence of the disgraceful state of the road. The police did call to see me a couple of weeks later, and my account exonerated him from blame. Now, had that dog not delayed me, I wonder what might have happened if, instead of the whole scenario playing out (almost as if in slow motion) 50 yards ahead of me, I'd been a bit further along and been hit by the truck. We'll never know, but it does make you ponder the random nature of things that happen - the flying fickle finger of fate, for those who remember Laugh-in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. verrrrrrrrrry interesting................

      Delete
  11. Perhaps he belonged to the previous residents of your new home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unlikely - this was somewhere else entirely.

      Delete
  12. Looks like you were being herded by a border collie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah I was wondering what the breed was, though I thought most likely it was a mutt.

      Delete
    2. This was sweet. Welcome to the world of dog-friends. Very different from cycling cats.

      There are border collies in the family. My observation is that you can't really outrun them, and they are about twice as smart as you think they are.

      That cottage has become a regular fixture. It's awfully evocative.

      Delete
    3. Wait, how many dogs do you have?..

      There are several thatched cottages here that make a regular appearance; I will have to document them in a dedicated post.

      Delete
    4. "Wait, how many dogs do you have?..."

      At present, none. Himself passed three years ago. Soon though, a WH dachshund puppy...
      Cats will be cheesed off.

      There are two border collies in close family, though. Both are sharp as tacks, far more canny than stubborn. One takes 60-mile runs with it's owner, and the other plays like a pup and has turned out to be a good upland bird dog.

      I Look forward to the cottage post. Also, descriptions of your tea and coffee experiences there.

      Delete
  13. Thank goodness he was bike-friendly. I wouldn't care to try to outrun a sheep-chaser on a folding bike.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ha!

    The local adds considerably to the typical static shot.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Funny, ah yes rural dogs! You either have to try outrun them, or they want to run and play with you, and you have to still try outrun them or else you've got a friend for the day. I remember riding out on back prairie roads and big mean rough dogs running after me, I was terrified and knew I had to go as quickly as possible to out run them and their territory. The friendly dogs don't care about territory and will keep following you, which is good and bad. Don't worry about the dog not knowing it's way home, or going too far. I often see dogs out and about on their own going for 'secret' walks'- sometimes far from home. I am not a dog person, but I do love all animals, and dogs usually know it. Dogs will often run towards the bike, I have to stop to not hit them. The other day a young yellow lab came up to me, I was on my bike and had to suddenly stop. She stood up and put her front paws on my shoulder to hug me! Her owners shouted, to no avail. My winter coat covered in dog prints...
    If out cycling and I come across people walking their dogs, quite often the dogs want to chase me, or bark at me or be petted. People always say their dog is friendly, but I know dog behaviour and half the time, the dogs are NOT being friendly. I have a neighbour with a bull mastiff whom she has to have reigned in on a tight leash and as she breathes hard trying to keep the dog close to her she says 'oh he's friendly, don't worry...' I don't think so! Just in case you do not know, dogs are usually all about protecting their owners and property. They will try defend it, sometimes thinking the road and further down the road is their turf too. Hackles up, tail not wagging, aggressive bark, not friendly. Small lap dogs and terriers are usually especially aggressive as they were bred to either hunt small vermin or protect an individual. Big lumbering dogs are usually super mellow. There are the nice lovey dogs like labs, collies, even huskies that just want to be petted all day by anybody and could care less about protecting their owner from a passerby.
    I do have a soft spot for collies and sheep dogs, very smart animals.
    I so love the thatch roofed house with the green door.

    ReplyDelete
  16. About a year ago I was riding an ATV trail and came upon a golden retriever mix. We exchanged greetings - he seemed friendly - and I rode on. He followed. When we came to the road, he wandered off into a yard. OK, he's home, I thought, and rode on. He followed. 4 miles later, he was wearing out (an older dog), but still seemed determined to follow. It was a chilly evening, and I was still 8-9 miles from home. Cell phone time - "Uh, Wendy, this dog is trying to follow me home...". Wendy came out with the kids, and we bundled the very tired and grateful beast into the car. We fostered him for 2 days, in a house with 3 VERY upset cats. Happy ending: the owners posted at the local dog pound as soon as they could, we found the listing and returned a very happy dog to his humans. We still call that trail "Gunnar's road" in his honor.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Maybe he's a dog appointed by the CTC-NI to train you for 2014 Audax rides ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that the dog has got you started how about this randonneé?

      Audax Ireland is pleased to announce the launch of the Míle Fáilte 1200. This is a 1,200 kilometre randonneé commencing June 21st 2014, over four days in the South of Ireland.

      http://www.audaxireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Mile-Failte-Brochure.pdf

      Delete
  18. "I wanna be your dog", by the Stooges.

    After reading your report (it reads like a poem!), I suggest you change the title to "the wanted dog"?!

    ReplyDelete
  19. An unwanted companion maybe, but a rather cute one! Lovely story, thanks for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a fun story, even if it might not have seemed it to you at the time. I'm not sure why, but the first picture made me think of Rodrigue's Blue Dog.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  21. WHITE DOG
    By Charles Bukowski

    I went for a walk on Hollywood Boulevard
    I looked down and there was a large white dog
    Walking beside me
    his pace was exactly the same as mine,
    We stopped at traffic signals together.
    A woman smiled at us.
    He must have walked 8 blocks with me.
    then I went into a grocery store and
    when I came out he was gone.
    Or she was gone.
    The wonderful white dog
    wwitha trace of yellow in its fur.
    The large blue eyes were gone.
    The grinning mouth was gone.
    The lolling tongue was gone.

    Things are so easily lost
    Things just can't be kept forever

    I got the blues
    I got the blues
    That dog loved and
    trusted me and
    I let it walk away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oy, that depressing Bukowski. Thankfully I can visit this little dog any time.

      But I did get the blues the other morning, watching a farmer run over a dog (his own I think) backing up in his tractor, then nonchalantly dispose of the dog's body and carry on with his work - never bothering to turn off the radio blasting 80s tunes in his tractor.

      Delete
    2. that's... just too awful for words

      Delete
  22. And you thought cats were the only species that could gain control of their owners. It turns out that Irish collies are quite adept at running the show too!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Good thing it is a friendly dog.

    I've had rural encounters with dogs that were anything but.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh there are plenty of those here as well.

      Delete
  24. Oh, and who would have thunk going to NI would be an escape from nasty weather.

    By all reports, the scene in your pictures is downright balmy compared to what is going on in southern Mass at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's pretty bad here, though in a different way than Boston. No snow, but humid-cold in a horrible penetrating kind of way, and winds so bad I only find it safe to go out on the roadbike a couple times a week at most these days.

      Delete
  25. What a lovely post.

    I grew up in a small town in the 1960s and in those days our dogs ran free. Thirty years or so ago, I was taking my nightly walk and our neighbors’ beagle decided to walk with me. I tried to shoo him away but he wouldn’t take the hint. My walk hooked around some woods and included a heavily traveled road, so I was afraid he would wander out in traffic. But he didn’t. When we got to the other side of the woods, he bolted into the woods to do what beagles are born to do and I continued my walk. I was greatly relieved the next day to find he made it home. After a few walks, I was confident he would be OK and we enjoyed many walks together. I am a solitary, often lonely, walker and his companionship brightened many a walk. Thirty years down the road, I now have my own beagle and a beagle mix who are the joys of my life. I live in a city now and can’t let them off leash much, but it is a joy to walk with and watch how happy and curious they are being in the world. Of course, because I walk with them, my cycling is restricted to night rides, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Looks like my dog! She loves to run with us when we bike, too! It's amazing how fast they are and how efficient their movement is. I'm glad it was a happy ending for you!

    ReplyDelete
  27. ahhhhh! Cute story! And very cute dog!

    ReplyDelete
  28. i find your photos more interesting without a bicycle. this dog makes them more alive.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Another outstanding story! As others observed I do believe you were indeed "herded" by this friendly dog.

    ReplyDelete
  30. These four footed furry friends will win you over yet! Another great post, thanks for sharing.

    www.velovitaveritas.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Just saw this post. How lucky you are to be visited by such a nice dog! Yeah, I've been chased by the rascals, but curiously never hold a grudge.

    ReplyDelete