Animals make up the community of Tojeiro, but only by permission – don’t bring yours without asking first. We’ve got one sheep, we’ve got 3 goats, 3 geese, numerous chickens and cats and currently 4 dogs and a further few who hop in from the local environs, but today we’ll concentrate just upon the dogs. They are in order of seniority, Salem, possibly 5, 6 or 7, who is the longest permanent of the community. His owners couldn’t get him back in the car, he like others didn’t want to go so he stayed – another victim of the beauty and easy living of the Tojeiro Community. He has the rather unpleasant habit of lying under the feet of Woofers and nipping them when they tread, always accidentally, on him. So always watch where you step.
Mikey, coming in at 5 has the nominal ownership – for does not the dog also own its human – of Tommylein. He was a rescue dog, the family that owned him went back to New Zealand and left him behind, possibly because of anger management issues. He is a Half-Rhodesian Ridgeback – he got a high ridge on his back and tiger stripes. Tommylein has tempered his temper and apart from odd scraps with Salem – they have a uneasy truce coming together with pack instinct against the common enemy, usually Bob, an outsider – is now a gentle soul.
Paula is 7 and a half, born on 12th January, 2010. Paula joined Tom for a life journey only 5 weeks after birth. She could possibly be an Austrian Schnauzer but if you’re Italian she could be Italian. She is a beautiful reflection of the kind and easy character of her owner and the two of them stroll around in a laid-back symbiosis of contentment and hippy rectitude.
And Minnie, 6, and my dog. She’s a Plummer Terrier, a Jack Russell bred for ratting. She is English and has a passport and is travelling with me on my bike. Poor Minnie was the runt of the litter and I think still suffers post traumatic stress, a result of bullying from the rest of the litter when a pup I reckon. She avoids other dogs and suffers sparation anxiety when away from me. Often finding she’s the smallest whichever group she’s in. But she has two characters, Jeckle and Hyde personas, a split personality trait. One moment she is cool and composed but frightened of other dogs and always refusing a fight, which she’d lose, with a cat willing to stand its ground. The other side of her is a playful character who when provoked by a ball or a stick will not let up for hour upon restless hour with a high pitched bark that insists, “Throw the stick/ball for me continually until I’m bored/too tired” and that goes right through you, seriously annoying after only 10 secs she can keep it up for as long as she likes. Best advice, ignore her long enough and she goes away.
There is an easy tension between the dogs and between them and the humans. Salem is the Alpha of the group but Mikey is big powerful and young. Paula is gentle and unassuming and Minnie stays away from them but they all bring their character and life story to the community and increase the joy of many of the woofers. They are a positive addition to our community life.
If you’re thinking about bringing your dog please ask first.