The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


Sad story, happy ending

Our neighbour’s very old dog died. Well, worse, they had to have her put to sleep in their home. She was very old and developed dementia. Did you know dogs suffer from dementia?


Our neighbour looked gaunt with grief. I was really worried about her. Losing a pet can be traumatic for some people and our neighbour took it very badly. Also, when you actually get the vet to kill a creature you love, it’s even more dreadful.

Our neighbour was used to walking two dogs. Now, daily, she was walking out with only one. So she offered to walk our dog too. Everyday she went out with one creamy white pretty girl dog and one handsome black and tan boy dog. She began to look less devasted with grief as the days progressed.


In another town near here, someone unknown died in their home with their little dog mourning beside them. They remained undiscovered for quite some time. No one knows how long. It must have been a long time because the dog was in a frightful condition when it was finally rescued. It needed urgent loving care.

This little dog has come to live with our neighbour to nurse. They have adopted her.

They have called the little grieving dog ‘Maisie.’

Maisie was just quivering skin and bones when I first saw her. Maisie was a wreck, no question. But Maisie is filling out. Every day she is coming alive and beginning to look like a happy dog. She is an intriguing little thing. I like her. She’s going to be a ‘character’ dog. I suspect she’s got all sorts of genes in her. But she looks like a kind of small Jack Russell with long spindly legs.

Bass is good with all dogs. He just likes dogs. He likes everyone, humans too actually! So now he now goes out daily with two creamy white girl dogs dressed in little red jackets. They make a really good looking dog team for walking with. Now that Maisie has settled in, our neighbour even lets them off their leads in safe places. They all come back when called.

It’s wonderful what love can do.


The convergence of laziness

Yes, I am physically lazy.

Always have been.

I hate excercise.

My main focus at school was to avoid sport. It was fortunate that during my very first tennis lesson, the server slammed the ball into my eye so I could feign terror of tennis to the gym teacher, so she let me off tennis. Someone bombed me in a swimming lesson and the teacher rescued me from the bottom of the pool. I feigned pool terror. The teacher let me off swimming.

My motto has been – never run if you can walk, never walk if you can sit, and never sit if you can lie down. It has worked all my life so far.

But now there is a convergence occurring that needs attention.

The neighbour walks the dog, so I don’t anymore. He gets much better walks from her – goes miles, in fact.

The weather is crummy, rain, ice, snow – always something to do with water. They don’t have lakes all over the place here for nothing. So I’m not walking to see my sister twice a week. I drive.

I never go out otherwise.

Gardening is out. Everything is dead. The ground is iced solid.

Swimming on Thursdays has been cancelled because of Covid-19.

And the final situation is that we now have a robot vacumn cleaner. He’s wonderful! I never have to do a thing except empty his tummy when he has finished his duties. If I change his tummy for a water tank, he even mops the kitchen and bathroom floors.

Whats there to do?

I know!


Mr Furlong is a kitchen creature. He produces great food.

Food plus laziness equals fat.

It’s simple Math.

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The bumpy field in extraordinary times

I worked out a walk I could do without venturing far from home. Behind the Furlong house is a field and a private road which we call “our back passage”. The road services the backs of the houses on our side of the street.

I figured I could walk up and down our back passage, should we go into lockdown. And now we have.

The bumpy field is owned by a group of people who bought it years ago to stop it being built on and as a place for their children to play. Thank God they did. But there is one rule. No Dogs Allowed.

So, when we go out for a walk now, I’m going to let Bass free on that field. Stuff them. Some of the grumpy old ones have died, their children grown and gone, and the rest will be stuck inside their houses, just like us.

Who is going to care?

These are extraordinary times.

Bass is going to love it!


The hanging dog laugh

Everyday I walk for my future health. After a chat with my 27 year old brand new doctor, “we” decided I should actually wear the foot brace I received from The National Health Service that aligns my left foot to my left hip where my Osteoporosis is significantly not good. The stroke I had in 1980 weakened my left side and with Osteoporosis, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Bones strenthen during impact.

So, my daily walks with my foot brace and Bass-the-dog, are all about impact.

Sometimes they are a real drag. Sometimes they are enjoyable. I meet people. Bass meets other dogs. It’s all very chummy. Gone is my terror at meeting another dog that plagued me with Bobby-the-now-dead-dog who faught with every dog he met.

I have found it’s the small dogs that have aggression problems. Bobby was a rescue dog who’d been attacked some time in his early life. Just seeing another dog reminded him of it….

But a recent walk opened up a new view of what to do with a Bobby kind of dog. It’s uniquely clever and the woman who showed me was obviously an expert.

As she approached us, Bass and me, her small terrier turned into a slavering snarling maniac. It had a harness on. I wondered how Bass would respond to the snapping chops and ugly sounds from an attacking dog. A monster. A raving lunatic dog. I got quite nervous for the first time with Bass.

But I shouldn’t have worried. The lunatic dog’s mummy was an expert. Before striking distance, she simply lifted the whole dog off the ground where it hung in mid air, scrabbling about frantically, snarling, barking, howling with rage, and she effortlessly passed us with a happy wave.

Of course a lunatic St Bernard would need a crane!