I have made a new circle of friends, the Dog Brigade. This is not to be confused with dogging which is, arguably, pretty sociable however not on my list of must do activities. The joy of walking Milo had, until quite recently,receded in direct proportion to the increased adversity of the weather. Now though, I walk Milo with the dog brigade. Our dogs are mainly of a compatible design i.e. quite young, similarly sized and amenable. In the same way their owners match me i.e. down to earth, happy to keep walking on and on and happy to keep talking….on and on. The company of these three to five women with their dogs has eased Milo and I over many miles of footpaths without even noticing the weather.
There is a field near to me, well there are several fields as we live in a rural area, but this particular field I call the dog walking field. I tend to do a number of laps round it depending upon who turns up. Milo and I are a bit like Pooh and Piglet circumnavigating the 100 Acre wood and being joined by any number of Woozles. Today there were eventually four of us with five dogs in tow. I have to say that two of the dogs were not quite the same size as Milo, Monty and Holly. It would be more accurate to say that if you put them together they would probably weigh half as much as Milo but what they lacked in stature they made up for in enthusiasm. All the dogs had a joyous time.
Suddenly Monty discovered a long sturdy stick. The first I knew of it was when he ran between me and his owner with it in his mouth and almost took us off our feet. He rushed ahead and was joined by Milo and Holly. Each gripped part of the stick and had a wonderful time lurching round the field like some possessed propeller.
The thing you need to understand about Labradors, even the diluted varieties, is that they are incredibly clumsy. Three enthusiastic young animals running together with nothing more in their heads than keeping together, can take half a village off its feet. A walk with such creatures is interspersed with OMG comments from the human participants as they leap sideways to avoid being mown down by their pets. I have returned from many a walk, quite black and blue about the knees.
Whizz and I have (almost) decided to get a companion for Milo. One of the doubts raised in my mind about this ‘plan’ is that we may be entirely overwhelmed by OMG moments. We must avoid sturdy sticks about the house at all costs. As a matter of fact we already avoid this having seen the results of Milo’s efforts to reduce a large stick to sawdust in Whizz’s office while he was concentrating on something technical and absorbing. The dog was being so quiet and good..
On Sunday we are heading to two local dog rescue establishments. We are not expecting to find our ideal pet straight away and I anticipate a certain amount of heart ache as we leave the unsuitable dogs behind. Dogs and children are guaranteed to tug at the heart strings (OMG moment: I used a terrible cliche there).
I have spent a fair amount of time lately searching the internet for, what might be described as, dog outlets. I recently came upon Appledown Rescue and Rehoming Kennels. They had created a Christmas gallery of their pooches http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=68892502164&v=info#!/group.php?gid=68892502164&v=photos
I’m sure they won’t mind me reproducing some here:
Hard to resist eh?
I’ll keep you posted.