Clever Clogs Maddi

Picture of two Pyrenean Mountain Dogs

Maddi and Zack, our Pyrenean Mountain Dog mascots at Blenheim Lodge. Both dogs were previously abused and rescued by us. They are not allowed into the part of our guest house where our guests stay, since they may not be everyone’s cup of tea! (This photo was taken some while back by a professional photographer from Figaro, a Japanese lifestyle ladies’ magazine. The photographer took this picture as part of their magazine feature on Blenheim Lodge.)

Maddi, our older Pyrenean Mountain Dog, has decided to give Zack, her younger compatriot, a run for his money. Until today, whenever I headed for or opened the connecting door to our apartment, Zack was the only one which would hike up the stairs and sit on the steps to make his escape. His aim is ever to follow me about, sometimes in the hope that he might get some tasty treats, but generally in hopes of spending some together time with me.

Maddi, which will ignore all and sundry as is her wont, has decided to copy Zack, definitely in hopes of being the recipient of goodies not usually seen in her food bowl. The problem with Maddi following Zack upstairs is that she has a habit of shoving her nose into the bin and rooting around, rather like a pig. This invariably means an overturned bin requiring someone to clean and pick up after her. And it is for this reason as well as her unpredictable desire to mark her territory that I prefer Maddi not to leave the doggy areas downstairs.

Both dogs have a wonderful sense of smell and a keen awareness of their surroundings. If I were to leave the door ajar even for a couple of minutes, they will leg it up the stairs as they demonstrated tonight. Zack made it upstairs first with Maddi a close second. Thankfully I had got hold of Maddi’s collar and prevented her from heading to the bin. Then, whilst still hanging onto Maddi, I called Zack and sent them both downstairs again.

Maddi was seriously abused and starved before we brought her to live with us. As a result, she is always searching for food. She eats more than Zack, which is bigger than she is. However, despite her obsession with food, Maddi can also be very choosy about what she eats. For instance, she will turn up her nose at a slice of unbuttered bread. If the bread is buttered, she will proceed to lick the butter off it and leave the bread!

Zack, on the other hand, has more adventurous tastebuds. He is not a greedy dog although he does love his treats. However, Zack is also quite capable of ignoring his food if he is not enamoured of the treats we have added into his bowl. Many times have Hubby and I worried about our large dog losing weight because he will not eat. I have never met a dog that will ignore its breakfast and dinner – the two meals that he has during any 24-hour period.

Well, Clever Cloggs Maddi will hopefully soon realise that she must not head up the stairs in search of discarded scraps. Despite her age, she is a fast learner and is rather more intelligent than Zack. She is a sly dog – and clever at that. She will learn what she wishes to learn and no more. Selective hearing never had a better patron and enthusiastic adherer. Who says one cannot teach an old dog new tricks?

‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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