For the fourth day in a row I have managed a walk in the woods without the aid of sticks. Hurrah!
It’s been good to get out in the fresh air, and even more gratifying to see the woods recovering from the carnage of last year. New rabbit burrows are being dug, and by accident we came across a partially exposed acorn hide of some squirrel so covered it over with moss.
Several more trees are listing towards their neighbours as those that previously protected them from the elements had been cut down. The log piles are now gone, the pathways muddy trails, a memory of what was there before Christmas.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the number of people walking their dogs. Whilst we haven’t seen many regulars these past few days, those we have met up with have been friendly and chatty.
Saturday was labrador day with a sprinkling of collies and minature King Charles spaniels, one being just four months old and not much bigger than Maggie’s head.Maggie has surprised us again, being ‘tarty’ and playful, which is wonderful to see as at one stage she’d forgotten how to be a dog and how to play with her canine counterparts.
The puppy’s owners also had a black labrador, Samson to the pup’s Delilah. He was beautiful and a good ‘leaner’. He soon sniffed out the biscuit pocket which instigated an immediate sit, so with the owners permission, both dogs (and ours of course) were given treats.
As we stood chatting and fussing our pets on the track, another couple came along with their black labrador on a lead. This one was really bouncy, and the little pup hid behind his male owner’s legs whilst Samson put himself between the other dog and his ‘ward’.
We were soon joined by a third couple with a golden labrador and a brown and white border collie.
Sniffs and waggy tails all round, but they didn’t stop and after the dogs had another biscuit, we all parted company to continue our respective walks.
For the next half an hour or so, we saw no-one else, but coming round the corner we saw a couple with an older King Charles, which was very inquisitive, but not a biscuit lover. We chatted for a while, made a fuss of each others dogs, and then continued on our way.
Back on our return route, we bumped into a familiar couple with 2 labradors, one black, one yellow, called Sam and Amber. These two are real characters, again both leaners, but tend to bring you things, like fir cones, sticks or tennis balls. They already knew about the biscuit pocket, and again Maggie was receptive and playful.
Today, Tuesday, was very quiet in the woods. We could hear machinery in the distance and some bird chatter, but other than that, nothing. There was only one car in the car park, though we had parked in our usual place up the road in the lay-by. We were just about to turn up one trackway to walk back to the car when we noticed 2 rather large dogs bounding towards us. Hubby decided it would be better if we walked on a bit and took the next turn as he didn’t know them.
Luckily I did. Ghost and Gunner are both mastiffs. Though Ghost is still a puppy, he stands almost as tall as Gunner and judging by the size of his feet, still has a lot of growing to do. They are beautiful dogs, but playful. Too playful for Maggie, so a rather anxious Hubby kept her close and hoped these two would go back to their owner.
Gunner is the better behaved, as Ghost is more intent on loving everyone, so I stayed put until their owner arrived and to ward off any problems that may well be generated by Maggie if she’s blind sided. Thankfully we didn’t have any.
There is something about dog owners. Hubby said he’d never realised it until he met me and we subsequently owned a dog, just how ‘different’ dog owners are compared to other people.
I have always said that if you own a dog, you are never without friends. They are brilliant ice breakers to opening up conversations. Of all the dog owners I’ve met, I have only ever come across one anti social one, and that may have been because they were having an off day.
I respect people’s privacy and I respect their dogs. I always ask if I can say ‘Hi’, and the dogs seem to remember me. There are several that recognise us on our walks and come ambling up for fuss and treats, tails wagging. One labrador we know only has one eye and has been known to leave his owner, come to us for a biscuit and fuss, and then go back!
The only dog that has ever bitten me was my own some 32 years ago, and that was my own fault as unthinkingly I got between her and the other one to separate them when they were having a scuffle. Oh well, I was overdue a tetanus booster!
You can tell if someone is a doggie person. The dogs know too. And wherever I go and there are dogs, I am soon surrounded.
Maybe they can smell the biscuits. Maybe they sense that I’m a soft touch and will fuss them. Maybe I was a dog in a former life.
To be honest, I don’t really care!
They say a dog is for life. So long as there’s a dog in my life, I’m happy.
You’d be surprised the number of photos of Happy Dogs there are available on google.