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It's a Dog's Life: Our Hobbies are Not the Same

Friday, 21 June 2024 08:00

By Teddy (via Helen Stockton)

Hobbies are subjective, what entertains some, may be a bore to others. Teddy ponders on his own interests, as Helen Stockton, his human translator explains

This time of year is good for outdoor hobbies. ‘Them Indoors’ have an array of things they like to do outside on sunny days, some of which we enjoy joining in with and some of which we don’t.

Gardening is a good, inclusive, family activity. We  can help pick any edibles, dig in the borders, and organise ourselves tactically to achieve the accolade of being ‘in the way’ and snooze in the sunshine. Additionally, the apprentice, Bear, runs off with anything left unattended and, given half a chance, has a quick chew of whatever she has managed to acquire. She also barks at and chases the lawnmower which, apparently, isn’t helpful, so she gets shut inside whenever garden machinery is deployed. ‘Them Indoors’ are dyed-in-the-wool spoilsports, what can I tell you?

Then there are the obvious shared pleasures of country walks and visits to the beach. Sometimes ‘Them Indoors’ meet up with friends, and many of these have dogs too, which is great for us to greet and play with. On these occasions, we sometimes have a walk that involves a café or a pub. We all enjoy those.

‘Her Indoors’ likes birdwatching and ‘Him Indoors’ photography, both of which, quite frankly, can be a bit dull. They seem to involve lots of waiting and, for birdwatching at least, being quiet. We don’t always appreciate that so ‘Her Indoors’ sometimes pursues her ornithological interests alone. She’s got a local patch for the annual Breeding Bird Survey, with visits requiring concentration as counting is involved – numbers aren’t her thing, bless her. As it also means getting up early a couple of times during spring, we are happy to stay at home, in our cosy beds, and let her get on with it. Some pastimes are best done solo.

And talking of hobbies that dogs can’t participate in, what is beekeeping all about? Fortunately, they are not kept in our garden, as kind neighbours have a field they let ‘Her Indoors’ use, but she seems to spend a lot of time keeping a weather eye on her bees, fretting about them, and trying to work out either what they are doing or are about to do.

Actually, thinking about it, that’s not dissimilar to owning a dog so maybe there is a trend. Anyway, her bees visit our own garden, but they don’t trouble us. They are as busy as... well... bees, visiting flowers, collecting pollen for the baby bees and nectar to make into honey, so we leave them to go about their business. And if ‘Her Indoors’ manages to harvest some honey, she indulges in another hobby we are very keen on, although an indoors one this time: baking. A slice of honey cake anyone?

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