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It's a Dog's Life: February is not just for Pancakes

Teddy has discovered that the month of February is far from uneventful – with many special days to recognise and celebrate, as his human interpreter Helen Stockton explains

For such a small month, February has a lot going on. In addition to the usual ‘interesting for dogs in the inaccurate flipping department’, Pancake Day, and the less interesting for furs, Valentine’s Day, 2024 throws a Leap Year into the mix. ‘Her Indoors’ sister has a birthday on the 29 February, which can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you view it, but, how can I put this delicately, celebrating a fifteenth birthday sounds significantly better than the annual alternative!

However, nestled amongst the well know dates are a couple of less widely celebrated events. The week 14-21 February is National Nest Box Week, when people are encouraged to put up new nest boxes for birds. ‘Them Indoors’ need no persuading. We already have an open-fronted nest box in the ivy on the fence at the bottom of the garden, hoping to tempt the robins. We also have a blue tit box on a tree, and a box with a slightly larger entrance on another tree, for great tits. Unfortunately, the tit families didn’t read the memo and, last year, the blue tits nested in the great tit box. Perhaps they need a couple of little signs. Anyway, we also have two bat boxes in a tree and ‘Her Indoors’ got all excited when she saw bats in the back garden last summer. She doesn’t know if they were using the box because, of course, it is dark when bats are out… which leads us to wonder what kind of box she can put out next. Perhaps a large, kennel shaped one, at ground level, for the other significant animals in her life.

Anyway, we reckon the best day in February has to be the 17 which is Random Acts of Kindness Day. There is a lot of kindness going on that never gets a mention, but which helps to make the world a better place. There is a lady in our village who walks a little dog every day. ‘Her Indoors’ often has a chat with her, moaning about the weather as we all brave the vagaries of the British climate. Anyway, we accidentally discovered that this dog doesn’t belong to the lady at all, it is her elderly neighbours, and the lady walks it so that owner and dog can remain together now that the owner isn’t in the best of health and cannot walk the dog herself. How thoughtful is that? So, come the 17, we are going to try and do something kind. I could lie on ‘Her Indoors’ feet to keep them warm and if they drop any food, the apprentice and I will pick it up. No need to thank us ‘Them Indoors’!

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