Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

People are always asking me if I find things very different having moved from the US to live in the UK. I go on about tumble dryers and food differences and of course the ways in which American English differs from British.

What really amazes me though and honestly sometimes catches me by surprise are moments like this one yesterday when I walked into a shop to see this sleeping dog lounging on the sofa. Clearly used to calling the space his own, he barely budged when I took a series of photographs until I moved in a bit closer to give him a little pat on the nose.

All of a sudden I began to smell the worst odor and thought at first that it might be coming from the now awake pooch. I thought surely the noxious smell could not have come from this cutie. There was a very large Irish Setter on a leash sitting a few feet away while the two women it was with were looking at the ceramic lamps on sale and I glanced over at it suspiciously.

I’m not sure why I decided it had to be the big red dog sending out the toxic fumes, but as the two women with him moved away to another part of the shop, I hurried out to meet my husband John who was waiting for me at the start of the path that would take us back to our car. He was walking in front when I heard a noise behind me and turned to see a woman with what looked like the dog I had photographed only a few minutes before as it lay splayed out on the sofa.

We stepped to one side of the narrow path so the woman and dog could pass and I said to John that I thought that had been the dog I had caught napping. A few seconds later an overpoweringly familiar stench hit my nose and I knew that I was looking at the moving backside of the odoriferous culprit whose sleep I had disturbed in the village shop giving a new meaning to the old adage, ” let sleeping dogs lie. “

Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone

JASPER

Sometimes on Wednesday nights John and I walk down to the pub and because Wednesday is trivia night, we usually have a bite of dinner and stay to play trivia. We tend to end up somewhere in the middle of all the other teams rarely scoring enough to be considered a contender for first place although we do have a lot of fun. Once we came in second, but we’re usually quite happy with third or fourth place. Poor John is a good bit handicapped with me as a game partner since at least two-thirds of the questions are related to British life and history. Sometimes, I know the answer to those, but frequently he’s on his own.

Tonight was a particularly significant game night as we joined forces with a group of four who always do much better than we do and it was the first time we won. That’s right a big old first place. We didn’t let it go to our heads as we could see by our participation what we might have missed if we had been on our own. Jean and Robert were two of the team members tonight and I think it was at a trivia night that I first met the little dog in the picture above.

Jasper as you can see by the photograph is a cutie. He’s getting on in years, but always is very friendly and happy to share any part of your dinner that you’re willing to give up when he comes to the pub with them on quiz night. Our pub like some others I’ve seen always welcomes a dog as long as the dog remains controlled and on a lead. (leash)

In our pub, dogs always get a treat from the bartender when they come in. I was quite charmed by this when I saw it the first time, but I never realized the impact it had on some dogs until I heard Jean tell a story about her dog Jasper.

It seems one day Jean was getting ready to take her dogs for a walk. Jasper and Molly enjoy an outing now and then, but they’re not always in a hurry to head out the door.  One evening while getting Molly together for a walk, Jean looked around for Jasper and could find him anywhere. In fact the place where he usually sat waiting near the gate was empty as if he had waited for Molly to get it together for the last time.

Realizing that Jasper appeared to have grown tired of waiting and worried that he might be headed for open road, Jean began to look everywhere for her little dog. She walked back and forth in front of the house then around to the back garden and up the road in the direction they usually walked calling his name concerned about where he might be.

Going down the hill, she walked past her house towards the village green thinking it a fine open space that might appeal to any dog, but a quick sweep of the center of the village told her Jasper was not hiding in the grassy area. Seeing the open door of the pub, she walked quickly in that direction intending to ask inside if anyone had happened to see her little runaway. As her eyes adjusted to the pub’s darkened interior with the rows of mugs lining the ceiling absorbing most of the natural light, she saw Jasper sitting near the bar like a regular coming in for his evening pint. Jasper it seems had decided a chewy sounded good and he had taken himself off to the pub to get one on his own.

I believe if I remember the story correctly, he had been given one to chew on while the pub staff considered what they should do next. Assuming correctly that Jean and Robert might not be far behind, they made Jasper comfortable and waited.