Thursday, 23 June 2011

Mad dog people

Since moving house and area, I have been getting to know the local dog walkers. 

I know that we Brits have a reputation for being a nation of dog lovers.  But seriously, there are some real characters out there.

And so today I thought I’d entertain you with tales of a few whom I have encountered…


Why is he always smiling? 

Maybe I’m a miserable old bag, with a face like I just sucked a lemon…  But I don’t think so. I think I smile quite a lot.  Just not permanently.  Maybe it’s because whenever he sees me running with the dogs, I’m bright pink in the face and looking like I’m about to spontaneously combust?

But there’s something about people always smiling at you.  Makes you paranoid that you’ve got your skirt tucked into your knickers by mistake, or something similar…  Know what I mean?


She knocked on the door when we first moved into the house.  The builders were busy outside and her nosiness obviously got the better of her.

There she was, like a time warp, former 80’s Sloane Ranger, in full uniform, Lady Di haircut and stripy Puffa jacket (circa 1984).  

Is she the local Mayor, I wondered as she imperiously ‘welcomed’ me to the area?   Having introduced herself, she launched into a barrage of questions which I could barely answer before she threw the next one at me. 

Finally, as I politely petted her dogs, I made a fatal error.  I said I was planning on getting the kids a puppy….

“You should get a Greyhound.” she said.
“Hmm.  I was thinking of something smaller.” I replied.
“No.  You should get a greyhound.” She continued. 
“Hmm. I really want a puppy, not a rescue dog, because of the kids.” I insisted.
“No. You should rescue a Greyhound.  There are lots that need homes and they’re fantastic pets.”
On, and on, and on she went. 
The builders were beginning to listen to the conversation, pulling faces at me to make me laugh…
Was I ever going to shake her off.

I have to confess that I see her daily as I arrive home in the car after the school run.  If I haven’t got time to run into the house, I sit in the car, avoiding eye contact, focused on my iPhone until I know she’s passed me, Greyhounds in tow.


Fascinated by her… she has clearly had some horrific accident, which has left her in a wheel chair.  She has the complexion of someone who has an intimate relationship with Special Brew…  But she is highly intelligent, well spoken and I have never seen such devotion and obedience from a dog.

She doesn’t have the dog on a lead, he waits at the side of the road until she tells him to go.  I’d love to know more about her…


Yep!  She’s NUTS!

She has a couple of old dogs and a mad staring face.  The kids don’t know whether to laugh or scream when they see her.

We were tipped off about her mental state when we heard her screaming, from the opposite side of our local park,  “Stop, stop, you’re going to kill her!” as our tiny puppy tried to play with her dog.

I retrieved the puppy, who was doing no harm, and as she left she started screaming again “Your bloody dogs and your bloody children – you should put them all on leads!”

My kids haven’t forgotten that one.  As soon as they see her in the park I hear them mimicking her!


And finally there’s my lovely friend Julian.  If it wasn’t for my own (female) dog harassing and trying to hump his (female) dog, we might never have met! 


  1. Smiling man might be American. We make eye contact and smile on a regular. I bet the well behaved dog with the lady in the wheel chair is an assistance dog. He would probably have a cape though.

  2. i'm sorry - I really shouldn't laugh - but when you said the dog would be wearing a cape, I just wondered whether that would be teamed with a tight fitting blue T-Shirt with a big red 'S' on the front!

    I have actually spoken to the lady in the wheel chair - and her dog was a rescue dog! That's what makes it so amazing...


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