Dog Tales – Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails

Hello, it’s me again. Quinoa, the feisty but adorable mutt. Today I’m going to tell you a bit more about my home and the characters that I interact with on a daily basis apart from my immediate family.

So as I said the last time. I live in a house with a large garden. This is great as I get to run around and stretch my legs whenever I want. Although we live in a city, the garden attracts a number of foresty types. I think it’s because there are so many tall trees around with a large number of fruit trees.
There is a whole tribe of squirrels around the place. They have made their homes in the taller trees and run around the place like they own it. They love eating the centres of the heliconia flowers that line the fence. I chase them whenever I see them. Firstly cause I love a great chase and secondly cause sometimes the flowers aren’t enough and they try to steal my food! So I have to keep on my toes and keep them on their toes too.
They usually run up a tree, but sometimes they do daft things like run inside an open door. That happened yesterday and it  created such a fuss over nothing. The squirrel ran in the front door and across the house into one of the bedrooms. Lil T says it was fortunate she saw it happen, otherwise the squirrel would have been inside while she was sleeping. Lil T is scared of squirrels. And mice and rats. Anything small and fast. She runs up to the highest place, like the top of a table, and starts shivering. This is what she was doing while Mizz M chased the squirrel out.
I don’t get it. A squirrel is not scary. Not like thunder and lightning. But Lil T is really calm in a thunderstorm. There is no understanding people.
Anyway, getting back to the story, my dinner bowl also attracts a flock of bold myna birds. When I chase them away they fly up and perch on a tree until I’m not looking and then fly back to snatch up my food.  Sometimes, I don’t bother chasing them. Especially, when it’s the middle of the day, and it’s hot and I’m sleepy. I need my beauty sleep to keep staying adorable.



There is a huge monsoon drain that runs along two sides of the house and there is a family of monitor lizards that live in there. I’ve seen them when I have gone to investigate rustling at the fence line. Some of the older ones are huge. They are longer than I am. The bigger one’s can’t come through the fence but the smaller ones do. They forage along the plants on the hedge eating snails and other insects they catch.  I chase them too.
One of them is missing a foot. It wasn’t me. Scouts honour! He doesn’t have any problems running or climbing, despite the foot, because I still can’t catch him.
We get snakes too. I know they are around but I haven’t encountered one. I keep getting warned by everyone to stay away from them. My brother, Misty, died after being bitten by one and everyone is worried the same thing might happen to me.
Sometimes we get monkeys walking along the fence and running along the overhead wires. Not sure where they come from. They suddenly appear and go away again and you don’t see them for a long time. They can be quite insolent. One time, one came and sat on the fence and watched me have a bath. What’s a dog got to do to get some privacy around here?


Then there are the five koi fish that live in the pond. They are pretty but not overly bright. I try to talk to them but their conversation is limited to floating up to the surface and blowing bubbles. They share the pond with orange sucker fish. These fish, that are also known as council cleaner fish, keep the surfaces of the pond clean by eating up the algae. This lot are quite good. Not like the earlier bunch who would only eat the koi’s food. But I’ve noticed that some of these are starting to do that too.  If Lil T catches them at it, they are in for it.
For the longest time – like all my life actually – the house next door had only people living in it. Recently, they got a dog. I’ve mixed feelings about this. I like having the doggy company but I have been top dog in this stretch all my life and I don’t want to share the space with the new kid on the block. So sometimes I’m nice and sometimes I bark my head off to tell him not to get too comfortable.
Lil T says I’m confusing him. What does she expect, I’m confused myself. She’s nicknamed him Nemesis. Appropriate because he’s big and black and very nemesis like. She feels sorry for him because she thinks he was brought in as a guard dog rather than a pet. I don’t see him getting pats and snuggles like I do, so she could be right.
She talks to him though the fence and pats him when she thinks I’m not looking.  He sits and watches her playing with me. I kind of feel sorry for him too, that he has no company.
There is also Sophie who lives across the street. She’s another dog. Friendly but very naughty. She runs out when the gate is open and has to wait for her people to come back before she get’s let back in. Sometimes they forget and it starts raining. She has to howl to be heard above the storm for them to let her back in. I see that she is inside more than she is outside  these days. Maybe she’s wised up.
That’s about it for the neighbourhood. The people who live in the other houses nearby are not really noteworthy, so I’m not going to mention them. I hope you have a better idea of where I live now and you enjoyed hearing about my ‘friends’.


Author: saunthi

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