Other fields

Other fields

Low lie the fields and empty,
where once we watched life racing.

Now pheasants pick their way
through grass stalks and damp earth,

and the silence weighs,
heavy as stones on a lonely hillside.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

33 thoughts on “Other fields”

  1. I would like to see those pheasants.
    I wish we had that transporter working. 😀 I’m getting ready for Thanksgiving, so I’ll catch up with you tomorrow. I didn’t want to read your Fay Collins poems till I wrote mine.

    1. Have a lovely evening 🙂 I can’t even send you photos of the pheasants. I’d have to open the window and I don’t want to scare them off. They’re safe here and, you know.

  2. Maggie would quarter the undergrowth and lift the pheasants and ptarmigan she knew were in there. She would always seem so pleased with herself to watch them fly off. Lovely poem.

    1. I’m glad to see some of the refugee pheasants. They’re safe here as long as they stay away from the stream boundary. The deer too, but they have to keep moving. It seems empty though without a dog running through it. Finbar never tracked things, just ran.

      1. Maggie loved it and was very thorough in her sniffing, but once lifted, she was content. The only things she’d chase were gulls, crows, and pigeons.
        Did you have Finbar from a pup?

      2. No, he belonged to Gypsies in Andalusia. He was dumped at a refuge in the mountains and his photo made its way to an association in Bordeaux that organised rescues of galgos from Spain. I saw the photo and fell in love with his big nose.
        He was about 20 months old and no one knows what he was used for, but the guess is for illegal racing. Whatever it was, he wasn’t any good.

      3. When I sensed that he was declining, the lady who drove the van on that rescue asked if she could come to see him. She told me all she knew about Finbar’s past, and it was hardly anything. He was the first dog to be adopted through this particular association and the first dog they picked up. The refuge was difficult to find, high up in the mountains. The only info on Finbar was that he had been abandoned by Gypsies. He was the only dog they ever had from that refuge and they never went back. We can’t even find the place on the map because she can’t remember the name. It’s an odd story, but and some people would say there’s some magic in it.

      4. Wonderful he was found, looked after and then given a loving home by you. Local rescue centres here say they have no dogs, and those further afield who do seem a bit iffy as we get the idea that the dog you enquire about probably won’t be the one you get. There’s a pup out there for us somewhere ❤

      5. The president of the association tried to persuade me to adopt a different dog. While we were waiting for the van to arrive she had a chat with me. Obviously weighed me up (literally) and decided I wouldn’t be able to cope. She said that it seemed the dog I’d asked for was much bigger than they’d thought. Bigger, powerful and completely unbiddable. Wouldn’t walk on a lead, wanted to charge about all the time. Had a deep fear of men. I ought to choose one of the others, a smaller, quieter one. Of course, I refused. But he never changed 🙂
        I’d do it again, but next time, I think a smaller, quieter one might be better.

      6. We have made enquiries and came close with a couple of pups, but they were not breeds we were familiar with, or breeds we liked. We’d like a medium size (GSD/collie/spaniel) but if the dog chooses us, that’s up for negotiation!!

      7. There aren’t any breeds as such I’d want. I’m just a Galgo person now, I think though the reason I love them so much, that they’re tame but not domesticated, makes them a full time occupation. They say you should never try to bring up a fox, even if you’ve found it as a cub, because it will never behave in a doggy way. Well, that’s same as galgos, but they’re about three times heavier and run twice as fast.
        It’s a difficult decision, and a big commitment. I certainly don’t want another dog that weighs 30kg plus.

      8. She’s lovely. Looks like a GS with husky colouring, and very calm.
        I’ve always preferred big dogs, but after Finbar, I’m thinking more of how hard it is when they get older. When he weighs almost as much as I do, how do I even get him into the car when his back legs won’t let him jump? Or if he falls over on a walk, how do I get him home? Most large breeds are prone to back problems, and I couldn’t stand that again, even though it was only for a couple of weeks right at the end.
        A smaller, lighter galgo? What if I get one of the wild ones you can never let off the lead except in an enclosed area? With a 2m high fence? And the light weights come in at around 22kg which I couldn’t lift anyway. Dilemma. I should stop thinking about it.

      9. Pros and cons for all breeds Jane. I’ve always loved GSD, but like collies, cockers and retrievers. as well as newfoundlands and pyrennians ! Kela is a gentle giant and her owner has always liked big dogs. She herself is tiny and Kela is probably heavier than she is.

      10. The Spanish refuges also have gentle giants (Spanish mastiff) that might be easier to handle than a galgo, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Mastiff But again, like the Galgo, they’re not breeder dogs, just abandoned working dogs, independent-minded. They’re pretty hefty but they don’t run fast. Maybe I’m not looking at this the right way…
        The refuges here are full of hunting dogs and I don’t want one of those. I want a dog that will leave the wildlife alone.

      11. Far too big. I don’t know much about other types of mastiff, but I know the ones from the north of Spain are herding dogs originally, downgraded to guard dogs because they don’t practice transhumance anymore in the Pyrenees. The dogs used to take the cattle up to the mountain pastures and stay with them. Alone. You need great loyalty and endurance for that.

      12. I’ll say! Maggie used to play with a small family of mastiffs when she was a pup. I like a big-ish dog, but not a pit pony, though I will fuss them, just wouldn’t like to own one.

      13. Our vet had a Leonberger and described it as a couch potato. He was huge and this head suddenly appeared over the counter. She was tiny, only about four feet 10 inches high and we asked if she rode him to work! he was gorgeous though and I’ve met a couple since who are equally soft and daft, one of which used to be taken round to the old people’s home once a week where he was loved to pieces.

      14. They’re lovely to look at, but I think they’re one of those giant breeds with incredibly short life expectancy and loads of health issues. Breeding dogs with inbuilt health defects seems very questionable to me. I’d hate to know when I got a dog that it was likely going to be dead by the time it was six or seven. Too sad.

      15. I know. Maggie was just 2 months short of her 16th birthday and had been a part of our lives for half the time we’d been together as a couple. Lots of happy memories though, but we still miss her.

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