The small dog on the warpath…

Outside it is cold
As the winter draws in,
There’s ice in the bird bath
And frost on the bin.

The birds are all hungry,
So tending their needs,
I put out some fat balls
With peanuts and seeds.

The dog sits and watches them
Through the glass door,
She watches quite calmly
Curled up on the floor…

Unless I look out*
To enjoy the birds too…
For then she’s ‘on guard’
And makes quite a to-do.

Now, mostly the birds
That come in are quite small,
We get the odd pigeon,
The jackdaws, and all…

But days like today
We may get a surprise…
And the small dog, a bird dog
Will narrow her eyes…

It was war in the garden…
It couldn’t be helped
The dog took one look through the door
And she yelped…

“We have an intruder!
A new one, at that!
It’s blacker than midnight
And big as a cat!”

“It’s only a bird, dog,
Stop barking and hush…”
She opened the door,
Bounded out in a rush…

The corvid retreated
To sit on the fence,
Indifference being
Its chosen defence.

Considered the small dog
Ablaze on the ground,
Ignoring her frenzy
Looked up and around…

Then it turned to the dog
With disdain in its eyes,
“If you think you’re so clever…
Then try this for size…”

I will tell you no lie,
We all looked at the tree…
The only ones laughing
Were corvid and me…

She won’t look at kites,*
She ignores them instead…
The small dog retreated
And took to her bed.

*Perfectly true… she can watch the birds, but if she sees me notoce them, she goes scatty… unless it is a kite. Kites and buzzards do not exist in Ani’s world… I think it is a case of ‘discretion being the better part of valour.’

(Contributed to dVerse)

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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65 Responses to The small dog on the warpath…

  1. It’s funny what they notice … and what they ignore. Our dogs ignore people except the neighbors … or if they actually come inside the house. Duke is hysterical about the neighbors. Crazy, wacko, insane. Yet none of they bother to bark at deliveries anymore. Bobcats are a barkathon. And the two terrier go nuts if they see anything that might be considered a rat. Once they actually killed a rat and then I had to chase them around the yard trying to convince them NOT to eat it. DNA you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Birds, cats and anyone (or thing) who is not (according to Ani) supposed to be near me or the house. The criteria for making that decision is a mystery known only to her. But she is odd with the birds… as long as I don’t notoce them, she’s fine. As soon as I do, they have to be shooed away… apart from the kites that she studiously ignores.


  2. Ritu says:

    Ani, Sonu is the same, there are certain things we can get him to ‘notice’… but others, he can totally ignore!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. buffalopound says:

    There is no love quite like dog love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. willowdot21 says:

    This is fabulous Sue, the wonderful way in which dogs react to situations and us! I love birds too they have such a pecking order (excuse the pun) when feeding, and they all the small disappear when the larger birds arrive. They even hide sometimes. You set the scene perfectly and I know truth to be better that fiction more often than not ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’ž

    Liked by 1 person

  5. willowdot21 says:

    Ps. Fabulous photos ๐Ÿ’œ


  6. Ani is very wise. I cringe when a kite or a buzzard flies too low for comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. noelleg44 says:

    Ani’s selective attention is quite interesting! You should be glad of her discretion with the larger birds. Garfield likes them all but is easily bored. He watches longer if there is a squirrel on the ground!


  8. kim881 says:

    Welcome Sue! I love that title, it reminds me of Jasper, my Jack Russell cross who has been gone for a number of years now. The first two stanzas made me sit up – they describe the scene outside my window lately. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your close observations of the dog and the corvid.


  9. bobcabkings says:

    Perhaps, Ani’s attitude about raptors is some sort of ancient inter-species truce among hunters of birds. I’m reminded of my Dad’s last two dogs (in series, not at the same time). The first, a large Golden Lab, noticed a bear on the deck trying to get at a bird feeder, snorted and went back to sleep. The second, a Terrier mix who weighed no more than 25 pounds (11 Kg) went screaming bonkers and if let out chased them off in full cry of murderous ferocity. The bears, for some reason known only to them took the threats seriously and ran. The lucky dog never caught one.


  10. lynn__ says:

    Enjoyed your story of the “bird dog”, told so poetically ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Fabulous poem Sue and wonderful images.. ๐Ÿ™‚


  12. Great poem, and really well done feeding the birds. Our cat – we lost em three years ago – could not accept birds. He tries to catch and eat them.
    Have a good weekend. Michael


  13. LOL at the indifferent approach. This is great


  14. It’s amazing how dogs interact with us and other animals in such specific ways. Ani probably knows exactly what she’s doing. ๐Ÿ™‚


  15. Frank Hubeny says:

    Very nice sound and I like how Ani reacts mainly when you are looking.


  16. I love how you describe the power game in your garden… and also the dependency between human and dog… very nice little story and fine pictures.


  17. rothpoetry says:

    I loved your poem… I could see it all unfolding… your photos were perfect.
    Reminiscent of the rhythm of the poem The night before Christmas!


  18. Widdershins says:

    Heh, heh, heh … ‘Ya gotta know when to hold ’em, gotta know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run’.


  19. Fabulous, Ani. A dogโ€™s got to do what a dogs got to do me thinks๐Ÿค—


  20. Dogs seem choosy who and what to notice. ๐Ÿ™‚ — Suzanne


  21. dgkaye says:

    Ani is a beautiful watchdog. โค


  22. macjam47 says:

    Ani’s selective attention is not unlike that of humans.


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