|ooh be doo|
The plan had been for Anna to walk the dog this morning, but given the presence of our new neighbours, it seemed prudent to accompany her.
Partly, I didn't want her to have to walk past the Gypsies on her own...but also, I was curious to take a closer look at what was going on out there - I'd noticed that a white van had appeared along with what looked like another trailer.
I was sure I'd heard kids playing down there last night, but there was no sign of any this morning...just a white van, two trailers, and two horses. A fire was burning on the verge (which I labour to mow and keep ruly, the cheeky buggers), with some sort of cooking contraption over it, there were various random items scattered about, and there was horse poo everywhere.
(why does the spell checker happily accept unruly, but objects to ruly?!)
The trailers were open but there was no sign of any occupants - obviously we didn't look too closely, and besides, we were vaguely distracted by trying to keep Robin's nose out of the horse poo.
So we wandered down the lane for our walk as usual. On the way back, I noticed a man, standing up from the verge near the hedgerow, 50m down the lane from the Gypsy 'vans...I assumed he was one of them.
I suddenly realised as he tucked his shirt in and did his belt up whilst strolling casually away, that it wasn't only the horses that were leaving poo everywhere!!
As we passed the camp again, there were two men and a dog sitting around the fire...another dog barked excitedly from within one of the trailers...no sign of women or kids.
Not wishing for any controversy, we bade them a bright "good morning" and headed home.
Anna was due to be working from home in the afternoon, and I was a little concerned about leaving the house (and Robin!) unattended, so decided to work from home for a while to see what transpired.
Around 11am I popped upstairs for a nosey out of the window, and couldn't see the white van...or the trailers!
Going outside, I cautiously peered out of the gate, to see the fire still burning a hole in my verge, but no other sign of the Gypsies.
Finding myself somewhat relieved, I got my day back on track and headed into the office.
Anywho, whilst working at my desk this morning, I left the pet gate through to the kitchen open, so that Robin could choose where to be...Loz had the run of the house, and Robin had the run of downstairs.
Upon mentally emerging from some work, when I turned round I was surprised to find that this was where they'd chosen to rest....Queen Loz with her minion at her feet.
Interestingly, Robin has mirrored Loz's posture almost entirely...whilst not curled as tightly as Loz, he is curled around the same way, in the same orientation, with his head pointing in the same direction.
Mirroring is a technique that dogs frequently use to signal conformance - using the same body language as another symbolises a kind of symmetry of being...it says "I'm the same as you, I'm nothing to fear, I wanna be like you...".
I would suggest that it's not a species specific behaviour, but rather one of the universal behaviours used and understood by most larger mammals, at least...
We humans do it, after all!