Relief for a troubled heart

­Louie the Greek setter (canine) , tastes sweet freedom, after years of lock down.

As I sit on the old dry stump, I reflect on the past week in Mitreika.

Having just completed the dog house, a structure that represents to me freedom and play. Two very significant qualities to mental health.

he doesn’t know any words. Not sit and not come.

The three year old dog has natural playfulness and intelligence that shines through even after many years of neglect. He has learned to be aggressive. He is clearly frustrated with his environment, and then the depression sets in when he lays down for the duration of his daily life sentence.

Here you can clearly see the burden on the land for which the dog is confined. The tree roots protrude out of frustration.

It’s just a dog, who cares! One by one every person I came into contact with would say. The biggest difficulty was putting aside these comments and wilfully continuing my work.

The work bench

The materials were limited, some salvaged from fields nearby, time was also thin because of this. The work area was 30degree slope with loose pebbles. Makes hammering difficult, often used pebbles underneath to support and bolster the process. I spent many hours spanning 4 days.

Now I am eagerly awaiting the moment where this dog ventures further than its current 2 meter confinement.

Dogs are social animals, his mood has changed while I have been working next to him, the times when doubt was blinding hope, seeing his happy tail refreshed my passion. I used empty bottles of water filled with pebbles, he instantly became curious of the sound. They have been left there tied up so that he has something to do. Although he doesn’t know what to do.

Many arguments later…

Thoroughly enjoyed my time putting the first sheet of iron on, I knew it was going to work. Crafted a ornamental television antenna from a piece of thick aluminium, which meant not only was it functional but I found time for art through creativity.

It was sad to see that when he was put on the run he still stayed in the same area for so long. But he did venture around sniffing and peeing in new areas, even found some dried sheep dung to snack on.

I hope that he learns to run. At least he has some comfort now with his leaf filled kennel.­