I had to cover our gooseberries and redcurrents with netting recently. This was not to protect the ripening fruit from the birds but from our thieving whippets and honorary whippet/spaniel. Apart from their liking for poo (as already described in ‘Sweet Smell of Success‘), they show their true wolf ancestry in the things they like to forage. Blackberries are a favourite and they are very adept at only picking off the juiciest black fruits, not appearing to be put off by a few prickles. Strawberries are another favourite, and it doesn’t stop at fruit either. They are very partial to the leaves of our comfry plant which gets completely stripped every year, followed closely by the young leaves of equiums before they develop into their more spiky habit. When they have their snouts buried in the undergrowth hunting out the juiciest berries, balancing on their hind legs they bear an uncanny resemblance to meerkats.
In the kitchen, I save the trimmings from the cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, cucumber and apples for ‘treats’. On the beach, a chance crab claw becomes a much paraded prize which makes for a very malodorous journey home in the car. Zeta once found a pair of sea-gull wings which she scooped up in her mouth and ran along the beach, each wing flapping either side of her jaw and looking as if she was about to take off. My little angel!