The Year of the Dog

 Does this dog look comfortable? Hmm...
Snoozing Dog

Moosey's Country Garden and Animal Farm is pleased to celebrate the Year of the Dog. It's been a great year for the current canine, Rusty, full of zooming bicycle rides, concentrated, repetitive dog-gardening, and long country walks.

What more could a dog want? A simple life with simple pleasures and the very best of company.

A Dog's Life

The six Moosey cats and the Head gardener certainly think so - they are big supporters of The Year of the Dog. What a lucky dog Rusty is! He's been allowed to sit on one of the fireside chairs, as long as it's cat-free. And sometimes there s a really special treat - he gets to lick clean the cats' food bowls. It's a dog's life!

Sadly Rusty himself hasn't been over-impressed as yet with the Year of the Dog. It all started with his dog-slimming-diet, after the vet said he was 'shaped like a coffee table'. 'Waists are for girls, not for manly red border collies' he tried to tell me, giving my toast crusts the eye.

I reminded him that firstly he was only - ahem - semi-manly, and secondly that he was nearly two years old and still peeing like a girl...

 Dog communication is pretty subtle.
This Way? Taj-Dog and Rusty


Our first country dog was the enigmatic Taj-Dog, famous founder of the Moosey dog-paths along the edge of the water race. He is now composting quietly underneath a flowering Almond tree at the back of the pond, and his nose lives on, organising the search function on the Moosey web-site.

What a grand canine Taj-Dog was! He loved living the country life - fresh air, sunshine, rabbits... Though, oddly, I find it harder and harder to remember exactly how he spent his country days!

 Red border collie Rusty.
Sleeping Through the Year of the Dog

A Gardening Dog

Rusty is a wonderful gardening dog. He follows the wheelbarrow - back and forth, back and forth. He likes to help when I'm struggling with armloads of rubbish - pulling branches out of my finely balanced load. Rusty! No!

And he keeps the Moosey airspace free from cruising pigeons, magpies, plover birds, flying poultry, local helicopters and international planes. The Head Gardener can weed and dig in safety and privacy, free from interlopers.

 I thnk Queen Anne has a better ring to it...
Queen Montgomery Legs?

Meet Montgomery

Many of my gardening friends sensibly have dogs. One of my favourites is Montgomery, who lives with Gardening Jack in South Africa. Montgomery the Dog, like his rugby player namesake, has strong, shapely legs which look more than capable of kicking the meanest oval-shaped football. Queen Anne dog-legs - super stylish...


Bad news - I understand Montgomery-Dog is currently in disgrace for leaving unmentionable things on the carpet, as is Montgomery-Man for missing six penalties, thus causing South Africa to lose an important rugby test...

Absent Without Leave!

And it gets worse! Montgomery dog has started cruising, spending some of his nights away from his beautiful South African farm. Aargh! Get back to the green, green grass of home, Monty, before you seriously annoy any of Jack's neighbours! Lose the cruise!

So, for all the dogs who faithfully do more than dig holes in their owner's gardens, enjoy your year! Make every dog-moment count! Bark wisely, guard fiercely, and always be kind to the house cats, if you have any.

 Striking a striking pose!
Montgomery the Dog

And when nature calls, be ready! Be discrete! And preferably be outside!