Gardening Leave

Louis helped us out a lot in the garden over Easter. We had good weather for a change and I took the opportunity to try and repair some of the substantial damage that Louis has done to the lawn over the last 6 years.

We have a vegetable patch where we don’t want grass to grow but Louis doesn’t decorate (read – kill off) that spot. Consequently a square metre or so of lush grass had grown and I transplanted this in patches onto the lawn to disguise some of the many brown patches that Louis has created.

As with any investigation that involves soil Louis has to get his snout right into the work area whilst you are busy; presumably to check for anything edible. This makes the job twice as long as you have to be ever-mindful of where that snout, and the rest of the attached snout support system, is.

Sunshine and grass usually results in Louis needing to load up his coat with as much muck as possible before transporting it back into the house for depositing. This involves a bit of time rolling around on his back whilst making strange noises.

Here’s Louis in action:-

Louis the Upside Down Ridgeback

We managed to get a few photos of Louis in and around the garden over the holidays and, at long last, created another small photo album which you can see here. I still have some videos to do from winter; who knows when I’ll get them done!

6 thoughts on “Gardening Leave”

  1. Hi guys, great pictures in your new album, we especially loved No 7 – he looks like a dog supermodel.
    I am jealous when I look at Louis rolling in the grass. The thought of Ari doing the same makes me cringe – we have such a terrible tick problem. He is on Frontline but that doesn’t prevent him from bringing ticks inside every other day. Each walk is now followed by an inspection to see if he brought home any gifts. I think we have 2 options but haven’t yet decided if we should keep him permanently inside or not let him in the house
    till next winter.
    The fine state of Connecticut should be renamed from the “Constitution State” to the “Tick State”.

  2. I suppose we’re lucky tick-wise. Louis has only had one (between his toes – getting at that one was fun for Sue). We go for walks in the valley nearby but there’s no livestock nearby, partcularly sheep which are the main hosts in the UK. We have hedgehogs around and they carry ticks but Louis learned at an early age to stay away from them!

  3. Hi Andy,Sue & Louis,
    As always I’m enjoying reading about Louis’ adventures.One thing intrigued me though.Andy,you
    write that play time for Louis used to be long sessions of throw & retrieve,but Julius has
    never wanted to play like that.Even in RR books that I’ve read authors always said that Ridges are not like Labs,they grow bored with throw-n-fetch rather quickly.They figure since
    you keep throwing the damn thing away each time he brings it to you,than you probably don’t
    want it in the first place.Smart canines these Ridges!
    Andy,was this your first time in the States(Texas)? Did you enjoy your stay?Love the alligator sign.Those crazy Southerners…Gotta love them.We are now “enjoying” our sub-tropical NY summer.Every walk ends thusly;Julius mows me down while running back into cool
    air-conditioned house.
    Happy summer.
    Lily & Julius.

  4. Hi Lily & Julius,

    I think Louis does the retrieval based on the fact that he loves the tug of war game that occurs when he brings the tug toy back to you. I suppose it’s him making a calculation of effort versus reward. When he’s tired then he flatly refuses to play nicely. He’ll either stare at you after you’ve chucked the toy with a look of “you are very much mistaken, biped, if you think I’m going to go and get that for you” or he’ll actually race off, get it and then leg it in any direction other than where I am.

    We were told by our breeder that Ridgebacks don’t like water. Louis doesn’t like rain but he loves to play around in the river near us. When he was a pup he had a lab playmate so maybe he learnt some behaviour from those early play days.

    I travel to the States at least once a year; usually to a trade show for the industry I’m in. This year was San Antonio and we have a large office in Houston. I took the opportunity for a few days holiday with an old friend of mine that now works for our US division. I’m away in Egypt at the mo – stuck in Cairo airport waiting for a delayed flight to Amsterdam actually. I’m missing home; too much travel recently. When I call Sue I can hear Louis barking; no doubt at some cat daft enough to wander in front of the house. That makes me miss home even more!

    Louis also is useless in the heat. Considering they were bred for African conditions he’d be nigh on useless on his “home” turf. Anything over 20 Celsius (68F) and he’s flopped out on the grass or watching you from the shade of the house; again with that look he gives you.

    Enjoy your summer – sounds hot!

    Cheerio – Andy

  5. Hi folks

    Just stumbled on the website today and it’s cracking me up! I have a ridgeback in Darwin, Australia (although I’m in UK on hols just now) and we have a shocking tick ‘issue’ (though thankfully we don’t have paralysis ticks like they do in the eastern states of Australia). I also use Frontline but picked a whopping 60 of the sneaky little blighters off her and her bed over the course of a few days. Consequently I’m considering ditching the Frontline and investing in a small primate or cattle egret who can take over tick patrol on a nightly basis.

    Mine won’t chase tennis balls unless the ball is in the mouth of another dog… she’s def a hound and not a retriever.

    As for heat… when I first got her she took a while to acclimatise to the tropical heat – a predictable 26-33 degrees between October and May – but now that we’re into the dry season months the temperature falls to 16-18 degs overnight. On the rare night where it’s gone lower than that she’s been absolutely freezing and I’ve ended up putting towels and blankets over her so that she can sleep as the houses aren’t equipped for colder weather! She is officially a lightweight namby pamby like her owner. I’m amazed at how small a ball she can curl herself up into!

    Hopefully your summer will be long enough this year for Louis to acclimatise!


    • Hi Heather – thanks for dropping us a line. We hope you enjoyed your holidays and you weren’t overcome with our fierce summer temperatures.

      It does sound as though we have it easy pest-wise in the UK; probably one of the upsides of our colder climate. On the climate front we have had a few weeks of good temperatures as far as the UK goes – Louis is next to useless if it’s over 20 degrees Celsius. Mind you – we’re back to normal UK weather now and it is lashing down outside. Louis doesn’t like the rain either. He’s one fussy dog with everything other than food.



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