Looking after Nino

Nino is an elderly Yorkshire terrier. He spends his life attached to a short lead in my neighbour’s kitchen.

It’s not that my neighbour is an unkind person. She is very fond of her little dog, but she doesn’t want him to make a run for it when the front door is opened and she doesn’t trust him not to pee on the floor.

Call me a paranoid English woman but I don’t think it’s a good life for a dog. But then, you can call me a coward because I dare not tell her what I think.

The only thing I can do for Nino is to try to give him some good ‘walkies’ if I’m left in charge  when the neighbours go away for a weekend. 

Claudine gave me her keys on Friday. The instructions were the same as usual. Close the shutters in the evening and open them in the morning. But open the windows in the bedrooms behind closed shutters if it’s fine. Turn the lights off in the fish tanks at night and sprinkle in a little fishfood when you turn them on again in the morning. Oh, and feed Nino and take him out to do his business.

As I unlock the front door I call his name so that Nino doesn’t worry and bark at an intruder. He wags his little tail and jumps about turning in circles making it difficult to detach him from the lead in the kitchen and put on his ‘walking’ lead. As soon as we’re ready he dashes out of the door and cocks his leg up the first flowers.

I try to give him at least a twenty minute walk each time and it’s amazing how fast those tiny legs can go. I’m also astonished at how many ‘crottes’ such a small dog can produce, especially when he eats so little. His rations for Friday night until Sunday teatime are one cupful of ‘croquettes’. Claudine says if he eats anything else he’ll be sick.

He thoroughly enjoys a good snuffle in the grass and along the banks and waters every lampost and quite a few car wheels. We get back home and he makes for his water and then looks up hopefully for a meagre handful of biscuits. I reattach him to his short lead and tell him I’ll be back soon.

What a life.



14 Responses to “Looking after Nino”

  1. guyana gyal Says:

    The poor little tyke.

    This reminds me of the time I babysat a friend’s dog. I’d have to feed him in the evenings. He had a huuuuge yard to run around in, lucky fella.

    It’s a shame but I dare not bring him indoors to meet our cats.

  2. Z Says:

    My dog is lying next to me on the sofa sharing a ham sandwich with me, right now. Poor little Nino.

    Exactly. Cats and dogs are part of the family. I’d love to have a dog but it wouldn’t be fair for several reasons: the cats would be upset, I couldn’t guarantee my knee being fit enough for regular walks and six lots of defleaing and vaccinations, etc. are more than enough already. If you can’t look after an animal properly you shouldn’t take it on in the first place.
    It sounds like your dog is very happy Z

  3. Sophie Says:

    awwww poor lil Nino 😦
    you’re doing a great job with him bless you!

    I can’t help wondering if Nino feels part of his family or not. He’s always there but how much notice do they take of him?

  4. john.g. Says:

    Your neighbour wants prosecuting for animal neglect!

    The trouble is, she is fond of him in her own way. She just doesn’t think of him in the same way as I think of my cats.

  5. Keith Says:

    It’s a wonder that the poor little sod doesn’t die of boredom!

    Yes, Keith, it’s not much of a life is it?

  6. Pat Says:

    He must love you. Like you I doubt if I would have the courage to say something.

    It’s reassuring to hear that you wouldn’t say anything either, Pat, because I think you’re much more outspoken than I am as a rule.

  7. Sophie Says:

    I agree Sandy a lot of French love their animals but think that they are happy being tied etc.
    Our animals are lucky they get so spoilt, I think it’s only normal but unfortunately many of my compatriotes don’t.

    Is it just the British who regard animals as family? I remember staying with an Italian family who kept their poor dog tied up outside(they lived in a second floor flat) and almost totally ignored him. After several days I asked if they knew who he belonged to and they said he was theirs!

  8. Little old me Says:

    Poor little thing. But if it is all he has ever known I suppose he is happy.

    Yes, that’s one reason why I wouldn’t bring him to stay in our house when they go away. It wouldn’t seem fair when he had to go back and be tied up again. Also, I think our cats might be extremely put out.

  9. BearNaked Says:

    I never knew about this cultural difference until this post. How very sad for all the animals that are tied up all day long in a house. Why even bother having a pet. Poor little guy.

    Yes, I think people should consider very carefully before taking on an animal.

  10. Eddie 2-Sox Says:

    I don’t like dogs at all, especially snappy yappy versions like this, but that poor bloody mutt doesn’t deserve solitary confinement on the end of a lead. The RSPCA would not like it over here, is there a French equivalent?

    hello Eddie. I know it sounds cowardly but I don’t think I’d dare report my neighbour. Firstly because I don’t think it would be construed as cruelty here (see Sophie’s comment) and secondly, because Claudine doesn’t think she’s being unkind – and she is fond of him in her way.

  11. canisfamiliaris Says:

    You should report that woman to the French equivalent of the RSPCA. I would like to give that dog a ‘proper life’. He’s missing out on so much.

    Read my website. Now that’s a proper dog’s life!!


    I couldn’t agree more. You give Beattie everything a dog could want and you obviously think the world of one another.

  12. Susan Says:

    Poor little Nino.
    While your neighbor loves him in her own way, does she also realize how cruel and unkind she is being?
    I only hope that this neighbor goes out of town very, very often.

    hello Susan. Our neighbour was due to go away for the weekend tomorrow but she’s not well. Maybe I’ll ask her if she’d like me to take him for walk though.

  13. tracey Says:

    What an awful dilemma for you.
    It does seem ‘a dog’s life’ for poor little nino.
    Keep making a difference and perhaps you will get a chance to talk to your friend about the way she keeps him tethered.
    Is he not able to run around in her garden?

    Unfortunately her garden is as open as ours and he could easily escape. Her front door opens directly from the living room/kitchen onto the road so if Nino were free he could make a run for it. That’s one reason she keeps him tied up, but I do think they could let him run around in the house during the evenings. They could catch him if anyone rang the doorbell. She’s also convinced he would pee all over the house, so, in her own mind she is doing the logical thing in keeping him tethered.

  14. 14th July « Says:

    […] de ferié , I dozed off again and woke up at nearly 8.30 and remembered that I was looking after Nino (the neighbour’s dog) and he’d be crossing his little […]

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