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I love my dogs. However, walking them is often a fraught affair, on occasions slightly hazardous and always potentially embarrassing.

Neither Wilf nor Daisy can be let off the lead so they both have extendable leads to allow them the maximum right to roam. Daisy, as every terrier owner will know, is guided not by her brain cells, which are cunning and clever should she choose to use them, but by the unfortunate desire to pursue anything with a pulse. In the presence of an interesting scent, squirrel is a particular favourite but anything will do, it is nose to the ground, tail in the air and, given the opportunity, she is gone.

We lost her once in Cornwall on a miserable and wet day when she turned her nose to the pursuit of rabbits. After a long and fruitless search she was eventually found and returned to us by a kindly walker. She was totally sodden and an alarming shade of orange due to the red colour of Cornish soil, which by the state of her she seemed to have been wallowing in and which that county is renowned for.  It took an age, a lot of hot water and any amount of scrubbing to get her clean.

We lost her a second time in Wiltshire when she decided to tryst with the rather sleekly handsome young man from a nearby cottage.   MOH foamed and roared on her return like a disapproving Victorian parent whose only child has dishonoured the family name by such a dalliance. I rather liked the boy. He was of excellent pedigree, extremely good looking and very well behaved, unlike my two. I think it safe to say the little minx led him astray on that occasion!

Wilf stays on the lead because, although he has a loveable nature, he is possessed of remarkably few brain cells and is not good with other dogs. We did lose him once in the bluebell wood when I was out one day walking with MOH. Wilf didn’t go far and kept us in sight at all times. MOH’s attempts to apprehend the escapee involved yelling ‘Sit!’ very loudly at every opportunity. As if that was ever going to work! Eventually I think Wilf worked out that Daisy was on the lead and, therefore, unable to elope with him, Elizabeth Barrett, Robert Browning style, to a life of sybaritic pleasure in the woods, so he gave himself up to me. He trotted up and calmly surrendered himself to the lead. My heart left my mouth, returned to its usual position and all was thankfully well with the world.

Once outside they are both highly excitable, running back and forth. On more than one occasion I have found myself trussed like an oven-ready chicken as they run widdershins and deosil around me to the point where one more tug, in either direction, would see me go down like a felled pine and up-end in a ditch!

In order to avoid this fate we have developed a rather strange dance which, to any startled passer-by, must appear very odd.   It involves me stepping over the leads as the dogs cross in front of me. Slightly reminiscent of a goosestep I suppose, but without the associated swagger or aplomb, or Double Dutch skipping but without any actual skipping! There is also a lot of spinning on the spot and frantic hand manoeuvring in order to stop the leads from fouling up.   Perhaps now you understand why I prefer to walk them alone in out of the way places!

As they run feverishly to and fro this actually amounts to quite a lot of unintentional aerobic activity on my part which I feel the urge to counter with coffee and copious ginger nut biscuits when I finally get home, red faced and exhausted.

Today’s embarrassing incident occurred when I managed to get my hair caught in Daisy’s lead. It decided to retract as I lifted my hand to my face to swat a fly which was bothering me. The lead snatched up quite a thick strand of my long hair which I then couldn’t get out because Wilf wouldn’t stand still long enough to let me get my other hand to it. Daisy, most uncharacteristically, decided at this point to sit down and stare up at me with those amber eyes of hers whilst I stood in the middle of the lane staring back at her with her lead firmly clamped to my head.  Eventually Wilf stuck his head in the hedge and I managed to extricate myself.

I once got my hair, which is really quite long, stuck in the electric window of my car. It was snatched up as it closed and, due to the number of cars behind me, I found myself having to drive up the spiral entrance of a multi-storey car park with my neck uncomfortably stretched and my head cocked to one side until I could find a parking space and release myself!

What a life!!

Bright Blessings







July 2018
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