The Stick


Daft dog and gardener behaviour. When I tell Pebbles off around the garden, she barks rudely and inappropriately, and I get sad. So I'm trying out the Distraction Method, AKA 'The Stick'.

Hee hee. And it's working. Pebbles has behaved - there's been no barking in my face, no biting of my shoes. As we've plodded back and forth with horse manure, in between taking the saw to the Pittosporums in the Appletree Border, I've blithered on and on.

The Stick Method...

'The stick! Where is Pebbles' stick? Let's find your stick. Where's your stick? Oh no! The stick is lost! The stick! The stick!

Ones voice must sound honest (oops) and urgent. One also should gesture flamboyantly and peer into the gardens. And now, some variations...

The stick is lost. Let's find your stick, Pebbles. Where is your stick? We need to find your stick. Ahhhhhhh... Here's the stick! The stick! The stick!

And so we've been gardening for over three hours, but Pebbles thinks we've just been looking for her stick. Oh, occasionally we've found one and thrown it. And, of course, one for Winnie. OK - One more session, then, shifting more horse manure and hunting for The Stick, the elusive stick. This takes soooooo long. It is soooooo repetitive.

 Black is beautiful!
Buster the Cat

Good House Cat News...

I have some wonderful cat news. When Pebbles first arrived Buster the black cat would run for her life, as one does when chased by a naughty, scary dog. For ages she'd peep around corners nervously, and hide herself away in a bedroom. If that nasty dog was there, then Buster would stay well away.

Seven months later...

Finally after seven months (!) dog and cat have sorted out their relationship. Buster now dances fearlessly down the hall and into the lounge (the wood burner and approaching winter might have something to do with this). Pebbles stares, fascinated, mesmerised by Buster's beautiful blackness, for minutes on end. But nothing scary or naughty happens. There is no more chasing. Phew! What an odd dog.

Buster is back!

So Buster's cat-confidence in the house has finally returned. She dances over the table, swishes her tail, shows the dog her bottom, washes it for good measure, then leaps on and off the back of the dog couch. Buster is back! She sits in her cat basket by my computer (look, she has even left a cryptic typed message in my journal : '\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\[;p'. Thank you for that, darling Buster). She eats her food in the kitchen again. It's been a long process, this. Yeay for cats!

 With Pond Cottage in the background sun.
The Obelisk is Moved

Back to the garden...

But back to the garden. My goodness, one needs sensible imagination, if there is such a thing, to be a good gardener. This morning I wandered over the Pond Paddock to peer critically at the large vegetation hole in the middle of the Appletree Border. Remember, I said to myself (clutching my early morning cup of tea), you have just trimmed the perennials running rampant in here. Resist the temptation to shove five or six fat shrubs in the gaps. Because next summer they'd surely be overcrowded and suffering.


And accordingly I exercised restraint. I can 'do' restraint! I just planted one more Miscanthus clump (a variegata). I shifted the Burnaby Centennial rhododendron to the top of the slope near the lilac rhododendron, and brought the lime green obelisk over for the surviving Moonlight. Then I slipped, slopped, slapped - on went the horse manure, and plenty of it.

Thursday 24th May

Three hours of the following : Where is the stick? Pebbles, you need your stick. Your stick is lost. Oh no! The stick! Where is Pebbles' stick? Here it is! Here is your stick!

Meanwhile, all the remaining bags of horse manure have been spread on the Appletree Border. I've paid my 'poo lady' and she's delivering thirty more bags tomorrow. Aargh! Quite a simple day, really.

 Any stick will do...
Pebbles at the River with The Stick

Footnote regarding 'The Stick' : Of course, there are multiple sticks - fat, thin, long, short... Around the garden Pebbles isn't brainy enough to - ahem - just stick to one.