Monday, 19 June 2017

Mad dogs

As Ricky apparently has no sense of climatalogical self-preservation, and no intrinsic insulation, being his owner (factotum?) carries tremendous responsibilities around preventing him getting too cold (Has he got his jumper? Does he need a blanket? Is that the right coat?) or too hot, which is an even more frightening prospect.

Because he does not have the sense to seek out the shade, and in any case would not countenance it if it meant letting one of us out of his sight (must be why they call them sight hounds), and because he is black, and has neither fur nor fat, weather like last weekend's is a bit of a challenge.

But we rise to it. First there was the wet tea towel, with which he could be draped. But it didn't always stay in place, and sometimes left large areas exposed. Whilst wetting his tea towel on Saturday, I decided to look in the rag bag for something more suitable, and found a rather fetching old scarf of mine. Being thin cotton, it's lighter to wear, drapes over more of him, and stays in place better.
Compromise my dignity? Absolutely not!
However, the weekend required more than just constant evaporative cooling, so I unleashed my secret weapon - a £10 Wilko's children's beach shelter, designed to protect todays delicate little flowers from the evils of UV. After a bit of a struggle we worked out how to assemble it, and found a way, just, of fitting it onto the back end deck. I wasn't sure it would work, but it was a a great success.
Yes, I am very cool
With his bed inside it wasn't hard to persuade Ricky to go in, and it was noticeably cooler inside - the canvas has some kind of reflective quality. You might think that a fixed unidirectional sunshade might give only sporadic protection on the North Oxford - well, I did - but when the sun was at its highest and hottest the overhang at the top kept most of the interior in shade, and even when it was lower and seemed to be shining straight inside, there was still some shade. It also had the unforeseen advantage of shielding most of the sheep en route from his gaze, thus saving him a lot of barking energy.

1 comment:

  1. This wonderfully sparky blog made my heart sing. You are quite simply the best owners that the gorgeous boy could hope for. We too were on our boat and the wet tea towel method was employed but it was still hideously hot on board even with every hatch and door open. Poor Jones looked miserable and I was very worried about him so we came back to the relative cool of our hill top home. In contrast, Ricky looks very happy and very much loved. x Sandra

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