Despite his best intentions, my dog struggles to make himself useful in the garden.
His favourite spots from which to supervise operations are normally sprawled on top of the beleaguered radishes, or a bed of baby lettuce. He obeys an internal imperative to sniff everything I handle, be it gloves, compost, seeds, uprooted weeds, or freshly picked vegetables. While I appreciate the company, progress is hindered by a twitching dog nose grafted onto my trowel.
This morning, while weeding and planting cuttings, I thought of a productive application for Jed’s particular talents. After months of sun, the ground is dry and compacted, and any plants that have taken root are the terrorists of the weed community. Vigorously as I applied it, my trowel was making little headway.
Pointing at the offending spot, I instructed Jed: “DIGDIGDIG! DIGDIGDIGDIGDIG!”
The only problem was stopping him. Jed had broken through the crust and dented the upper mantle before I managed to haul him off the hole, front paws still cycling away.
Of course, when I came out of the house half an hour later, there was Jed busily digging up the flowers.