Lest we should become complacent and begin to think we’ve got our sea legs here, Stamatis brought us another dog a couple of days ago. Like the black labrador puppy “guard dog” he acquired for us before, this dog has no discipline. In fact, it has less than the puppy. The puppy could be released and would stay with you. This new dog takes off like a shot, straight for the nearest cat or horse. The first time it happened, I was sure the dog was going to get its head kicked off, with all his barking at the heels of the horse, ignoring my calling, evading me by going under the horse and leaping at her belly. Fool dog. Hello? Have you noticed how much bigger than you that animal is? The horse showed admirable calm and poise throughout the dog’s ridiculous and ill-advised show of ferocity.
I have become slightly more trusting of horses this week after the above episode, and then furthered by my encounter with the other horse, the black one that the policeman’s wife calls Naomi (Campbell). She had become hopelessly entangled on a big chunk of wood in the field and couldn’t move very far. I brought her offerings of green grass from the part of the field she couldn’t reach and then moved on to patting her cheeks and neck. I have no idea if horses like this or if it irritates them, but I’ve seen it on tv, and she seemed all right with it. Eventually, I moved my attention to her tangled up rope problem, and in my focus, briefly forgot about her and my nerves, until I felt a soft nose and warm breath in my hair, and then I figured we were friends. So, horses and me, we’re okay with each other at the moment.
But I digress. Back to the new dog. The second time the dog’s lead was dropped, it was a madhouse in the yard for about five minutes. Cats went scattering in all directions, with a yellow streak of a dog in pursuit, and me lagging behind desperately trying to catch his rope. After that, he has had to be tied to a tree so he won’t kill all the cats and harass the horses. Sofia, one of the cats, likes to sit just inches out of reach while the dog strains on his rope, barking and lunging at her. I’ve told her it’s unkind to torment him like that, and I pick her up and remove her, but I’ve seen her do it since, so evidently she’s not taking me very seriously.
Leon, another new, small dog that was brought over from Athens while we were away seems to suffer from small-dog-syndrome, and keeps trying to show the other dogs his dominance, growling and trying to climb on top of the newest dog in that weird, mounting, I’m-the-boss way dogs have. But Leon’s smaller, so while he can kind of leap up there, he has a hard time balancing, and slips off sideways, crashing to the ground, leaping up again and yapping and growling away. The other dog barely even seems to notice. It’s all very undignified looking for Leon, I’m afraid.
Meanwhile the cats are beginning to integrate – the two indoor cats with the outdoor cats. Only Yiannis, the male, fluffy, bathroom attendant cat is having a slightly harder time. He’s got no aggression in him, and gets nervous when the other two males come near him, which of course, just sets them off into more aggressive behaviour. He just wants to sit in the sun and chase butterflies. He’s like a toy come to life, this cat. Sofia’s got more feistiness in her, and so the other cats accept her and she’s fine outside. Anyway, evening was coming and bringing a storm with it last night. We decided to put the newest dog in the shed with Hermes and Perrita to keep out of the rain. Just as I managed to get the three of them in there, I heard a call for help from Mom. This is what I saw: my mother, lying sprawled face down across the gardening bags and equipment, with her right arm extended, hand clutching a slightly alarmed looking Yiannis by the scruff. “What are you doing?!” I asked. “I’m trying to get Yiannis inside before the storm comes, but now that I’ve got him, I can’t get up without letting go of him.” I stifled the desire to sit down and laugh right then and there because I think my mother might have been a bit annoyed with me had I done that, and I helped her and Yiannis up. God, it was cute.