Tales of Teddy

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Teddy’s Tales: A Schnauzer-Shaped Shadow

Teddy’s fluffy muzzle is resting on my bare foot. It’s a curiously comforting sensation, not so much the fur-on-foot, but rather the fact that Teddy is always near.
I spend a fair amount of my working day walking between rooms. Some of the time I’m in the sitting room, writing, most of the time I’m in the kitchen, making another cup of tea. (This weekend I was pleased to read that standing up all day is as potentially unhealthy as sitting down all day, so at least there might be some benefit to my up-and-down procrastinations.) As I migrate from room to room, Teddy shadows me, keeping an eye on proceedings. Even when I think Teddy’s asleep, from beneath a thicket of brows and lashes, one of his glossy black eyes will slide open and discreetly track the goings-on. That’s exactly what he was doing in the photograph above.
While Teddy can get protective when other dogs bounce around the children, and although he does like to stay close to our family pack, I don’t think we’ll rely on him as a guard dog just yet. Last week, he found a rogue rat in the garden. Teddy is a Miniature Schnauzer. They were once used as rat-catchers and, appropriately, he adores to chase a fast-moving rat-substitute: his squeaky ball. Teddy quickly cornered this garden rat. All pumped up, he started baiting it with his paw. Completely terrified, the rodent let out a petrified squeak. Teddy promptly lost his nerve, jumped back and let the rat escape. Off it skittered, over the wall and beyond, towards the heady delights of Hampstead High Street.
Teddy did looked a little bit ashamed. But though he may not have a killer instinct, at 11 months old, Teddy is maturing from puppy’ish gadabout to family stalwart. I don’t think I’m imagining the difference in his demeanor during our weekend walks en famille. He loves it when we all do the same thing. The only downside to this enthusiasm for togetherness is an all-new separation anxiety. Tied outside school last week he started-up an excruciatingly high-pitched howl. Oh dear. Another training dilemma. Any suggestions/solutions to this pressing problem would be gratefully received… watch this space.

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