Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Holy Cow

It's incredible what you learn about the animal world living in India.  Not only are cows sacred - and have right of way on the roads - but in a stand-off with a dog, dog wins... in a stand-off with a horse, cow wins.  It seems ironic that one small animal (Mitzie) could terrorize one large animal (cow).  I witnessed a 'head to head' between the two of them on the street the other day and when things got a little tense between an over curious calf and Mitzie, the Mitzter came out on top, sending the calf fleeing down the street.  On the other hand, while out for a pleasant ride recently, my friend and I were confronted by a handful of cows which sent the horses into a flat spin and literally jumping for cover.  In fact, as the cows galloped toward us, we had to take cover in adjacent bushes and try to calm down the horses.  Clearly this was HYSTERICAL to the couple of young boys who were herding the cows, and they spent a good few minutes chuckling at these crazy white women in their fancy outfits cowering in the undergrowth.  Had Mitzie been with us, however, I am sure things would have been TOTALLY different, and we'd all be celebrating her victory over the herd and our more dignified handling of the situation!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Time flies...

... when you're having fun!  And we've certainly been doing that, for the most part, since the arrival of our 'daughter,' Mitzie.  Not content with turning our lives upside by getting a dog, we have also moved house, which involved re-house training (for all of us!) and all the general stresses and strains that go with shifting (as we call it here!)

Mitzie has developed quite a personality and has so far caught and maimed a couple of mice/mini-rats in the garden, dug her way almost to Australia, chased monkeys by the score at the stables, and even shown us her swimming prowess as she followed me (when I was on horseback) into the water.

The best thing has to be Mitzie's slightly bi-polar personality - she's terrified of kids and runs away from most other dogs; except street dogs.  We arrived home by car a couple of weeks ago and Mitzie's heckles were immediately up...  street dogs had not only infiltrated our street, but had dared to pee outside her house.  Thankfully I had her on the lead as she sped off to chase not one, not two, but about five of them off her block.  She's a galloping along, barking, ears flapping, dragging me behind, and they actually run away!  This has now turned into a nightly ritual where she defends the T-junction at the end of our block from anything stray and slightly ugly.  

She also has a bionic sense of smell or hearing or both; twice a day some nice man walks his yellow lab quietly along our street, but no matter where the Mitzter is, she will smell/hear it and run barking like a banshee to protect her territory!  Crazy.

We had trained her wonderfully to sleep in her 'cave/crate' but that's all gone a bit pear shaped since we took a 10 day trip out of Bangalore, our first without her, and she got more freedom than she was used to!  Suffice to say we left her in the crate for four hours last night while we were out for the evening, and came home to witness a mess beyond belief, bent bars on the door, and apparently, infernal barking and howling for at least an hour.  Back to the drawing board on that one then...

All in all though Mitzie is turning into an unlikely guard dog and obviously the sweetest companion - to us, at least!