Who scatters the newly planted wallflowers all over the lawn ? Who tramples down the newly emerged hostas in the spring ? It isn't garden pixies, or an errant child, but our gardening dog, Gus. Ever exuberant, ever youthful and ever irritating, Gus is always on hand to help rearrange the flowerbeds.
He is ten years old, at an age when most dogs have acquired a stately dignity, but he is still in full on puppy - mode. Rather than snoozing on the sofa, he is to be found pressing his nose against the window, crying to come out and join me in the borders.
His favourite garden job is digging and I have to say he is remarkably proficient. Undiscerning, but proficient. His favourite place to dig is in the greenhouse because it is warm and the digging is easy.
He unplants my young tomato plants and I replant them. I build an enormous Gus-proof barrier to stop him getting in, and he bulldozes his way through it.
Gus isn't fussy where he digs though, it can be in the middle of the lawn, or the middle of a flowerbed.
He never digs through the winter, when, to be honest, it wouldn't be a problem, because he is too busy playing at snowploughs, turning into a snowdog or paddling in puddles.
|Yep! That black splodge is him ! Making like a snowplough !|
The urge to dig begins, for him in spring and coincides with the start of new growth, which , of course, causes maximum damage to tender emerging shoots.
When he is excited, which is pretty much constantly, it is never enough to wag his tail, like other sensible dogs do. No. his preferred way of demonstrating delight is to career round the whole garden in wild circles, cornering precariously, and trampling everything underfoot.
However, I rarely see his face when he is out in the garden, as, more often than not, all I can see is his big black tail and rear end, as his head is either buried in a hole he is digging, or squeezed under the gate to get a glimpse of any passing dogs.
If not digging, he can be found rolling, waving all four legs exuberantly in the air, as he wriggles enthusiastically on anything smelly and usually dead.
We spend a lot of time bathing him and experimenting with shampoos and conditioners to find one which will render him sweet - smelling!