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It's a Dog's Life: Access Denied

Although he's not allowed everywhere, Teddy tells his human interpreter Helen Stockton that he's actually OK with that

Mostly, where ‘Them Indoors’ go, we go too, but occasionally they visit places that are ‘not for dogs’ and we stay either with our holiday carers or, occasionally, with some dog-loving friends. One such occasion is a family birthday celebration this month. It’s being held at a pub which does officially allow dogs, but there will be a lot of people and possibly other canines, which could lead to chaos of a furry kind. ‘Them Indoors’ concluded that it might be easier if we went our separate ways for a few days, so off we go for a mini-break with extra fussing - fine with us!

Generally, we have the run of our village, although often on our leads because of the roads. There is, however, a pleasant area of woodland that is relatively secure and we sometimes have an off-lead wander through there, particularly when the weather is fine. It’s one of several regular walking routes and we often bump into the same dogs and their owners when we are out and about. The apprentice has a particular pal, a young male dachshund, and when they meet it’s like a scene from ‘Love Story’ as they run to greet each other and exchange little licky kisses.

The good thing about dog owning folk is they generally treat a fur with a bit of respect. Some people have no manners and invade your personal space without asking, ruffling your fur and making personal comments. I know the apprentice, Bear, has a gender neutral name, but why do people assume that every dog they meet is male? Bear wears a pink collar and harness, is referred to as a ‘she’ by ‘Them Indoors’ but people still insist that bushy eyebrows and a bit of beardage mean maleness, always a dodgy assumption. I personally like a lady with a good moustache and facial hair, which could be useful as ‘Her Indoors’ ages!

Anyway, some places in the village don’t allow dogs, such as children’s play areas, which is fine with us. Everyone needs their own space. I wouldn’t put it past ‘Her Indoors’ to take us on some play equipment, or even worse, have a go herself, so a surrounding fence and a polite notice keeps us all safe from such indignities!

Actually, my favourite places are where the usual relations are inverted and the sign that would normally read ‘well-behaved dogs with their owner are welcome’ becomes ‘dogs and well-behaved owners are welcome’. Much fairer as, often, we are far less trouble. Those are usually the places with water bowls for canine visitors and, occasionally, treats or a special menu too. A puppachino, sausage, followed by doggy ice cream anyone?

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