Dog with a taste for sum­mer pro­duce

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - GARDENING -

If he has de­cided all parts of corn are ed­i­ble, he is likely to eat all parts, re­gard­less of taste and tex­ture.

The dog found a bit to do while I was hanging out a load of wash­ing last week­end.

First, there was a fence to scale. The gar­den fence of chicken net­ting is meant to be more a de­ter­rent than a ‘‘see if you can break into this, matey’’ sit­u­a­tion for the dogs.

The lat­ter sen­ti­ment would be more ap­pli­ca­ble to rab­bits. While our ex­ter­nal fences are ro­bust, in­ter­nal ones rely more on our dogs’ in­her­ent po­lite­ness: ‘‘Oh, a fence; clearly you do not want me to go into that area. I shall just chill out here then’’.

This works for the she-wolf, although had she been close enough to see me dis­cov­er­ing a baby hedge­hog asleep in the potato patch last week, so she may have bro­ken her per­fect track record.

Mostly, the same prin­ci­ple works for the dog. When there is corn on the other side, how­ever, all bets are off.

‘‘Scal­ing’’ the fence meant bounc­ing up to get his forepaws on top then try­ing to squash it down while lean­ing for­ward to bite the tips off the corn plants.

At this point he was rudely (or for­tu­itously; it’s all a mat­ter of per­spec­tive) in­ter­rupted by yours truly. Although if I had let him con­tinue a mouth­ful of corn seed may have proved a good de­ter­rent - he has a strong stub­born streak.

If he has de­cided all parts of corn are ed­i­ble, he is likely to eat all parts, re­gard­less of taste and tex­ture.

Thwarted in that en­deav­our, his next move was to find a dead spar­row on the lawn.

It must have tasted nasty as he picked it up and spat it out a cou­ple of times, giv­ing me time to no­tice and throw a damp­ener on that game by chuck­ing the dead spar­row in the com­post.

I pre­fer him not to eat ran­dom dead crit­ters for many rea­sons, mostly his health but also be­cause dead-an­i­mal breath is just plain nasty.

He next tried to scoff wind­fall apri­cots. I am­not wor­ried about him hav­ing a sweet snack but apri­cots have rea­son­able-sized stones.

My is­sue with that is what goes into the dog must come out of the dog, if you know what I mean.

Once we had es­tab­lished that the dog was not al­lowed to break into the gar­den, or scoff dead birds or rot­ting apri­cots, I got the rest of the wash­ing hung out.

For the record it was only two hours since his break­fast and he is no starv­ing waif.

I then of­fered him a game by kick­ing his favourite football to­wards him, but he de­cided to go for a lie down be­side the corn.

I seem to for­ever be read­ing ‘‘new dis­cov­ery’’ ar­ti­cles about sci­en­tists find­ing an­i­mals have emo­tions sim­i­lar to hu­mans.

I hope they are not in­vest­ing much time and money into this re­search. I can’t be­lieve it was ever in ques­tion.

Any­one who has hung out with a dog in a narky mood could have told them that for free.



Apri­cots are high on the for­ag­ing menu for gar­den­ing colum­nist Mandy Evans’ dog, along with corn on the cob.

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