The little person told me that there was an old abandoned American jeep in the neighbourhood so we decided to go and see it on this evening’s walk. As we were walking, the little person told me that although everyone calls these military cars ‘jeeps’ their real name is Willys MB. Soldiers nicknamed them jeep after Eugene the Jeep, a character in the Popeye cartoons.
Sure enough, we found Eugene.
The little person did not know how long it had been there but even I could see that it hadn’t been driven in a long time. The tall person said that it could be very old, possibly dating back to the Second World War.
I think at the very least it needs new tyres!
I asked the tall person what the weather will be like tomorrow. I was thinking that if it is not too hot we could go to the forest. The tall person pulled his cell phone from his pocket, looked at it and declared that it will be hot and sunny. And the next day? Hot and sunny. And the next day. Hot and sunny. Hmm, I have a number of questions. How does his cell phone know what the weather will be like without going outside and looking at the sky? Intrigued, I looked upwards to see if I could see what the cell phone saw but all I could see was the toy room ceiling.
How does the tall person know that his cell phone is telling the truth? I asked him if his cell phone ever got it wrong and he said yes. Sometimes, his cell phone has said it was going to be sunny but it rained and he got very wet. I asked him how he felt about that and he said he felt very wet. Ha, ha!
Hmm, I don’t trust that cell phone at all. Aside from getting the weather wrong it sometimes wakes me up with its loud noise and the tall person often spends lots of time talking to it. Frankly, I am a little jealous but also concerned that he might catch a cold because of its inaccurate weather forecasts.
Tall person, when you want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow don’t ask your cell phone – do what shepherds do – look up at the sky and remember – red sky at night; shepherds delight. Red sky in the morning; shepherds warning. I am a shepherd and that is what I do. By the way, the sky is red tonight so it will be sunny and hot.
On this evening’s walk we found a heart painted on the road so we sat in it and thought of our friends and family.
I asked the tall person why someone would paint a heart in the road and he said that maybe someone wanted to show a special person how much they loved them. I thought about that for a while and then asked why, if lots of people love each other, are there not more hearts painted on the road? He smiled and after a few moments he said, ‘You are right Bassa. The roads should be covered with hearts’.
You may remember that I discovered an urban oasis on a recent walk, which saved me because I was hot and very thirsty. I did not want to be unprepared again so I talked with the tall person and he briefed me on desert survival skills. I know that Tbilisi is not situated in a desert and has a big river running through the middle of it but in the long hot summer its streets can be very dry and dusty for a hot dog!
The tall person told me that we should walk in the shade and avoid direct sunlight as much as possible. All Georgians do this as a matter of course and will always walk on the shady side of the street. I have noticed that only tourists walk in the fierce sunlight – that’s one way to spot a tourist! I have also noticed that people waiting for a bus will huddle together beneath the shade of a tree and only dash out into the hot sun when the bus comes.
Okay, what else? Well, we should avoid going for a walk when the sun is at its hottest. Ah, that’s why we go for walks in the morning and in the evening. Okay. We should always carry water. Definitely! Anything else? Yes, I should check the color of my urine. Hmm, I haven’t heard that one before. Apparently, a light color means I am drinking enough water, a dark color means I need to drink more. The tall person told me that he always used to check for this when he was travelling in hot places, such as Africa. He said he really panicked once. He was travelling in a very dry part of Ethiopia and noticed that his urine was bright orange! He had become dehydrated but he drunk lots of water and was okay.
You may have noticed from the pictures in this post that I have heeded the tall person’s advice. I am relaxing in the garden, in the shade of a tree, I have checked the colour of my urine (clear) and I have my own portable 8 litre oasis close to me. Ah, the joys of summer. All I need now is a good book – to chew, not read!
My vet came to see me this evening. Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with me. It was just an injection and I don’t mind those because the tall person says that it is medicine that keeps me safe. My vet’s name is Paata and he is very kind and patiently waits until I have calmed down because I always get excited when I see him.
When we had finished the ‘business’ side of things we sat at the top of the stairs and chatted for a while. He has such an interesting job and gets to meet all sorts of animals and help them when they are sick. What a great job!
I asked De to take a picture of us so I could introduce Paata to all of my friends. You can see from the pictures that I love my vet and he loves me!
At the weekend, one of my Facebook friends from England said that her Caucasian puppy was continually digging holes and ruining her garden. Of course, she was speaking from a human perspective and had clearly not read Bassa’s Gardening Tips for Dogs. If she had she would have a better understanding of the canine approach to horticulture.
I did feel sorry for her because I know that the tall person underwent the same difficult learning curve last year. Before I arrived he spent a lot of time ‘improving’ the garden. He went to the plant markets in Tbilisi and brought home many bushes and trees and plants. He planted them and cared for them and they grew and flowered and he was very proud of his creation. This is a picture of his favourite plant.
I came to live here shortly after he had finished his landscaping and I immediately began to make a few changes. To his credit he did try to thwart my plans by fencing off some areas and moving some things. However, as I grew bigger these precautions became less of a barrier and more of a ‘challenge’ to me. The tall person could not move everything or watch me all of the time and over a period of months I re-designed the garden to more adequately meet my needs. As you know, I prefer a minimalist style and the garden soon looked very different.
There is not much left of the tall person’s creation but he did manage to save his favourite plant. It is a small palm. You may not know this but palm fronds are amazingly chewy and I bit off every frond. I feel guilty about it now but at the time it was just another thing to chew. However, there is a happy end to this story. The tall person re-planted it in a pot and put it on the veranda. It obviously likes it there because it has grown new fronds. Well done Mr. Palm.
So, I will end this post with a message for Claudia, my Facebook friend from England – if you want to understand the joy of gardening from a dog’s perspective you might want to check out my gardening tips for dogs – you can find them under Bassa’s Tips for Dogs in the Category Cloud in the right hand column of the blog.
I am just back from my evening walk and have lots to tell you. Early in the walk I met a lovely black poodle. She was much smaller than me but was not afraid to come up and say hello. She was very nice. I then met a pack of four street dogs. There are a number of these packs in the neighbourhood and they can be a bit of a problem but this particular pack ran away when they saw me. On the way back I met two little dogs who are a bit of a nuisance. They live a couple of streets from my home and whenever they see me they growl and snarl but they always hide under a car to do it! I have always ignored them, which I think makes them more angry knowing that I am walking with impunity through ‘their’ territory. Well, little dogs, I have news for you – I am a Caucasian Shepherd and this is my territory and if I ever choose to bark at you I am sure you will never forget it.
Anyway, the highlight of my evening walk was the discovery of a Soviet era Pobeda car. The little person was very excited. He told me that Pobeda means victory and the Pobeda car was made in the Soviet Union just after the second world war ended and continued to be made until 1958. The one we saw this evening was not in very good condition but the little person said that if it was restored it would sell for a lot of money. Wow!
After drinking my fill at my newly discovered urban oasis I was ready for the final leg of our walk. However, the little person said he felt tired so I found us a shady tree to sit under. It was nice to sit and watch the world go by. I saw a young man and woman with a baby carried in a sling on the man’s chest, several old women dressed in traditional black, a boy carrying a stack of freshly baked bread from the bakers down the road and others returning from the markets with bags heavy with fruit and vegetables and meat. The tall person told me that people are celebrating Saint Mary’s Day (Mariamoba) today and will eat and drink much. I asked the tall person if I could celebrate Mariamoba but he saw through my religious ‘fervour’ and said I would not be getting any extra food. Oh well, it was worth a try!
After a while the little person declared that he was bored and could we go home. Bored? He was the one who wanted to rest! Next time little person, drink from my urban oasis and you won’t get tired and you won’t get bored!
I was half way home from my walk this morning and felt really thirsty. The little person had a small bottle of water which he shared with me but when I drink I drink a lot and there was not enough to quench my thirst. I felt like a traveller in a desert, far from home and hot and thirsty. All I could think about was water – cold, cold water. I kept walking and after a while I saw a shimmer in the distance. At first I thought it was a mirage but as I got closer I realised that I had found an oasis in the midst of this suburban desert. There were no palm trees or camels but who cares when you are thirsty?