What’s up with Raffles? He doesn’t seem to have been quite himself for a couple of days now. Having recovered from last week’s tummy bug, he was walking stiffly with an arched back in training class on Monday. I hadn’t noticed anything was wrong and, to my shame,  it had to be pointed out to me. He seemed to like his back being massaged so I did that and he rested and he seemed to be OK after a day or so.

And then, on Tuesday night, he had an altercation with Oscar over a piece of cooked broccoli. Protesting loudly, and at length, Raffles seemed to have recovered, but yesterday he growled when the OH went to put on his lead for his walk, and trembled in what we thought was fear. Following his walk, he spent the whole afternoon on his favourite sofa. 

This morning, there he was again, gazing into the middle distance. Even the act of putting on his favourite coat didn’t seem to rouse him. Poor dog has the cares of the world on his shoulders. Perhaps it’s something specific; perhaps it’s SAD at the dull, grey February; perhaps it’s just a feeling of general sadness and malaise. Who will ever know?

And here’s Lola. She’s often there at the entrance of the park, sitting on the grass and waiting while her owner walks all of his other dogs (and dispenses treats – whole Schmackos) to any dog who happens to be around. 

Lola is an elderly lady but I have never had the discourtesy to ask her how old. She doesn’t walk very well but if she sees a friendly human, she’ll pull herself slowly upright and toddle over to them arthritically to say hello. Generally this elicits a treat, a quick rub of the head and a few kind words. 

Lola is smiling here. Though elderly and no longer steady on her pins, she’s not worried about much. 

To many of us, it would seem like we’re going to hell in a handcart. We’re like Raffles. Perhaps, though, it would be better to channel Lola, at least from time to time.