Monday, September 18, 2006

18th September 2006

It's just begin to rain on the skylight under which I work, so I feel obliged to keep to my intention of blogging on rainy days. Which, because I live in Scotland and we're sliding into autumn could turn out to be a full-time job.

The dog is not yet aware of the pitter patter of tiny raindrops. A beach walk at lunch time has left him quite exhausted and he's sound asleep at my feet, groaning gently with every intake of breath.

The beach walk wasn't one of our better ones. The tide was up which meant that there was no way of distracting him from the intrepid picnickers or the other dogs. I kept him on the lead for a while, but the sight of the dog straining elicits a uniform response - head to one side, fellow dog walkers, all of whom have dogs whose sole purpose in life is to obey their owners' every whim, remark, 'He only wants to play.'

So - to save them making the call to the canine equivalent of Childline - I let him go. They smile indulgently at me - Told you! - as my dog streaks towards the nearest dog/picnic/crawling toddler with the express intention of making their day.

He mastered cornering earlier this summer, but braking still isn't a strong point. I brace myself. Today, we were lucky, the toddler was whisked into the arms of a smiling Dad; the picnickers had their own dog who gave mine short shrift - enabling him to put his swerving tactics to good use; but the other dogs proved ideal bundling companions and I could only stand and watch.

Time passed. Other owners called their dogs, perhaps three or four times, before leaving to continue with their day. Mine ignored my increasingly shrill cries - indeed he ignored me. He has perfected a 'Never seen you before in my life!' look.

Eventually, he gives in, and ambles towards me - a few sniffing detours en route to emphasise the fact that his return to the lead is entirely his idea.

We head for the car and continue with our day.

It's been worse. I once shouted so hard that my nose bled.

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