Following on from the disappointing lack of cocker spaniel puppy under the Christmas tree two weeks ago, I took matters into my own hands today and purloined myself a dog. Well, it was a lovely afternoon, I'd planned a walk around the park as soon as I got home from work and who better to accompany me on a park walk than a dog? (Well, other than Andy, but he was unavailable and the hens weren't interested because they were watching a boxed set of 'Sherlock.' They are very keen on Eggs Benedict Cumberhatch.)
Okay, so I didn't ACTUALLY steal a dog. I borrowed a dog. A Westie by the name of Sophie, who belongs to our nice neighbours across the road.
Sophie was patrolling their driveway when I got home. I thought, there's a dog that needs a walk. She doesn't get much walking because our lovely neighbours are not in the best of health. In fact, the Bad Health Witch has been very unkind to them in the last 18 months, delivering to them a heart valve replacement operation, the onset of Parkinson's disease and, most recently, stomach cancer.
Anyway, I duly offered my services as dog walker, and was gladly supplied with collar and lead, poo bags and a front door key. 'We're just off to the Parkinson's Group,' they said, pushing us out of the door. 'Pop her in the kitchen when you get back, will you? She's bound to roll in something.'
And off they went. And off went Sophie and I.
Now I don't know exactly how old Sophie is. I think she may be at least 9. I do know she is a bit of a barrel of a dog. Probably because she doesn't get much walking. But she is quite chipper and well-behaved. She was only a little confused that I was walking her and only gave me a couple of looks that said, 'And who ARE you? And WHERE exactly are we going?'
We walked around the park for just over an hour. There was a poo incident within about 5 minutes so I utilised the poo bags like a responsible dog walker. There was NO rolling incident. There were several walking through the muddiest edges of grass incidents rather than let's stick to the dry pathway, shall we? There was quite a bit of drinking from puddles. There were many sniffing moments with other dogs. It was, all in all, a rather buoyant experience!
So I returned Sophie to her home and placed her and her muddy paws in the kitchen as requested. I ruffled her fur and her ears, and she flumped on the floor and looked at me as if to say, 'Thank you for taking me out, you weirdo, but p'raps not quite so far next time. I am pooped.'
I said, 'Okay.'