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The Old Dog's seasonal best

The Old Dog (pictured above) is taking longer and longer on her daily walk. She is nearly 15 years old and although she is still keen and eager to go out and starts off at a lively trot she soon slows down to a very, ve..ery slow plod.

She is particularly slow going up hills, head drooped, looking glum, plod, plod, one slow step at a time. We worry she is in discomfort but if we try to turn back early she puts her anchors down and suddenly becomes extremely strong, pulling against us to continue.

One day this week we walked our usual circular route clockwise, otherwise known as the "wrong way round" to see if it made any difference. The total climb and decent, were of course, the same but the clockwise route has shorter but steeper inclines than our normal anticlockwise route. My rationale was that I can routinely run round clockwise over 30 seconds faster than anti-clockwise, so it must be easier. 

Well it worked. Not only did the Old Dog keep going at a brisk pace she even broke into a trot as we speeded up to avoid the heavy, grey rain clouds bowling towards us. A sample of one isn't really significant but we'll try it again next week.

Nevertheless, a season's best by quite some margin.

The Young Dog's secret pact

A slow 2.25 mile (3.6km) walk isn't enough for the Young Dog so as the Old Dog has got slower and the walks shorter we have started to take the Young Dog out for an additional walk later in the day. So as not to upset the Old Dog we persuaded the Young Dog, which tends to yap and woof with excitement as we prepare to go out, to keep quiet. Within a few days he had learned to understand hand signals and he seems to enjoy being part of a secret pact.

Winter weather cats take to Twitter

The Young Dog likes the snow but the four cats are not so keen. Now that the weather has turned cold, windy and wet the four cats spend most of their time indoors, living in cardboard boxes or curled up on someones bed. When they get bored they investigate computer screens and walk on keyboards. One has sent an email, which fortunately was stopped by the system "Are you sure you want to send without adding a subject?" and another has made a phone call! My mum was rather surprised to receive a call from the cat.  I just caught one before it sent a Tweet comprising apparently random letters but which accurately mapped out the steps of its keyboard dance. It seemed to be fascinated by the error beeps it was causing my laptop to make.



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