Friday, 27 December 2013

Otters and dog coats

It seems we have otters in the Tyne at Ovingham. When I first heard the news that they'd been sighted, I was pleased. Now I'm not so sure. The reason? The creatures fish for food and seem to be so successful at it that they catch more than they need, bite the head off and leave the rest to moulder on the river bank. Then, some innocent dog-walker comes along and wonders why his dog suddenly takes off and then pounces on something in the grass.
You've guessed it - they've discovered the possibly days old discarded fish and they're eating it. Sometimes, like today, all that was left was the bony skeleton and a few scraps of skin. If you don't get there in time, then down it goes and the dog's breath also stinks for the next few days. There must be health risks to these disgusting habits, so I always try and get Tim to leave it. He isn't keen to do that. Talking to other dog owners, some say their dogs roll in the remains and then have to be bathed when they get home. I'm beginning to wish the otters had selected some other part of the Tyne to make their home.

We had our first frost yesterday, and the temperature dropped to 2 degrees C, -1 overnight, so Santa brought Tim's coat just in time. His fur coat is very fine and  not thick, and he trots out quite happily in his smart maroon coat. We passed a couple of Mamelukes which reared up trying to get at him (they were on the lead, fortunately) and in doing so displayed all that lovely thick fur all over their bellies as well as their backs. Tim's tum is hairless, so no doubt he felt the cold. It is maybe a tad big for him, but he'll chunk out more, and then it will be just right. It's his first birthday on 30th, so we'll have to see what we'll be doing to celebrate!

Meanwhile we shiver in wind and rain, both ferocious, but the temperature has gone up to 6 or 7. Pity. It was fun watching Tim skating on the iced-up puddles.

2 comments:

Ursula Thompson said...

I wouldn't worry too much about Tim eating the fish, after all, it's good raw food. My shepherds brought home a deer leg the other day (no, they didn't kill the deer, they picked the leg up in a field), so I let them have some fun with it in the backyard. They ate the whole thing, with no bad side effects.
BTW, Tim looks very handsome in his coat. I sometimes wish I could put coats on my dogs, but they all have long fur, lol.

Jen Black said...

Even if the fish looks days old? It stinks - that's how he finds it!