Dog ownership, like being a parent, has its highs and lows. On a beautiful warm spring day, I went on a dog walk with four dogs, 2 children and 2 grandparents. We did manage to cover ground but only after frequent stops for the following reasons:
1) Pick up poo. With one poo bag between 4 dogs I was quite naturally worried that I would be caught short and even after holding my breath while I picked the first one up, within seconds the putrid smell was intoxicating as I let it hang from my hand. So unable to locate a dog poo bin, I followed the advice of grandad and dropped it down a drain, “it all leads to the sewers” he said as he encouraged me to get rid of the offensive material. It was either that or I think he was going to disown me. At least it is better than using it to ‘decorate’ a tree as some people do for some unearthly reason – surely its better to leave it on the ground but just kick it off the path? Then dog turd number 2 came along but as it was on the road we figured it would be OK as it wasn’t near a footpath. I was left with no choice as all bags were out. Then thankfully dog number 3 decided to do it in a field away from passers by. Dog number 4 waited until the woods. Oh the joys of dog ownership.
2) Dog knitting. The first part of our walk was through a horse-stud so dogs had to be on a lead. You can imagine what it was like trying to unravel the dogs when one went one way and another went in the opposite direction. At one point Grandad was frozen to the spot as we unwound the leads from his ankles.
3) Baby boy follows his own route. Now little one is walking it is clear he prefers to take the ‘off-piste’ route and doesn’t take any notice of the path, the brambles and tree roots are far more interesting. The ‘bye I’m leaving now’ tactic doesn’t work either, he just smiles and then ends up testing your nerve as he watches you disappear from sight, quite happily. When you start to return to him he then walks in the opposite direction – its a game that tests patience, of which I was fast running out.
4) Older daughter’s aching legs. Every now and then we would glance behind us to check my 8 year old daughter was still with us, but with every glance came an update from her on the status of her leg ache along with a whining enquiry as to ‘when are we turning back home’?
As much as I would have loved to have ‘wandered lonely as a cloud’ admiring the daffodils etc in the British sunshine, my admiration of this country’s beauty when the sun shines was limited to quick glimpses in between picking up dog poo, monitoring the backsides of the dogs’ bottoms to check that further number twos weren’t being dropped in inappropriate areas, ensuring no-one was trussed up in dog leads and motivating both children to walk, and keep walking, in the right direction. Then my dad started limping and I realised we needed to find somewhere to sit.
That was my Sunday walk.
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