In the vain hope that the weather will brighten up, I have just hung out the laundry. Sym, our Border Collie, went into "guard" mode as I struggled to get the king-size duvet covers and the rest of the laundry onto the line.
I really did feel safe in our back garden.
|My boy Sym|
He really is a big soppy wuss though and loves attention from any quarter ... except tall men wearing black, for some reason. They send him into "don't touch me or I'll kill you" mode, although I hasten to add that he has never actually killed, or even bitten, anyone.
I think this aversion to tall people dressed in black dates back to an incident in the woods around Cardiff when he was about one year old. Someone, who was obviously not dog friendly, gave him a kick and he has never forgotten about it.
Anyway, I didn't log-in this morning to prattle on about my laundry or my dog ... well, not just one dog anyway.
The story I would like to tell you all occurred two days ago when I was walking Sym, Sox (Border Collie X) and Clover (Lab X) in Hailey Park.
As you can probably imagine, this involved much ball throwing and the dispensing of cheddar cheese treats.
We were on our first lap of the park heading, as we always do, towards the old railway bridge that crosses the river Taff.
And there is a hole at the side of the path. As far as I can recollect, this hole ... not deep, but well hidden by long grass ... has been there for at least 5 years. It was probably the work of a dog, rabbit or badger, but it was never completed ... that is to say, no rabbit or badger ever lived in it and no dog buried a bone in it.
As I mentioned, it was over grown and hard to see, but we knew it was there ...somewhere.
As we strolled alone the path towards the bridge, Sox took up 'point' and lead the way as she always does. Sym hid himself at the tree line and waited for his ball to be thrown and Clover (bless her) stayed at her 'daddies' heels and kept him company.
I lobbed yet another ball into the skies and Sym took off, intending to intercept it further along it's trajectory, thus causing a startled Sox to spring sideways and off the path into the long grass.
As I looked, Sox's head and front legs disappeared downwards and her hind legs and tail went straight up into the air.
She had found 'the hole'!
For two or three panicked seconds, she flailed about until she could get some purchase and pull herself out. As she did so, she looked left and then right in a "I hope nobody saw that" sort of way, then looked back directly at me.
I was laughing!
|'Her Ladyship' Sox|
Sox did not look very pleased and walked off in disgust.
Later, on our second lap of the park, we were walking as a fairly tight little group across the area known to some as 'the conservation area', but known to me as 'the place where very few people pick up their dog's doo-doo', when Sox had her revenge.
For some inexplicable reason, someone had taken a grass sod out of the path. It wasn't as if it was good quality grass suitable for a lawn or anything, but it was gone and it left a hole!
Sym was once again restless and eager to be off chasing his ball, so I sent it hurtling along the path in our direction of march. Sox strayed a few yards ahead of me and Clover was ... well, was where she always is ... at my heels.
|Clover (bless her)|
I had walked into the hole left by the grass-sod thief!
Now, to be fair, my reactions were pretty damned good and although I stumbled, I never hit the ground!
I did a "Sox" and checked that there was no one around to see me looking stupid.
There was no on in sight ... just Sox!
She was staring straight at me with her wide, Jack-Nicholson's-Joker-like grin and her tail wagging.
I could tell she was thinking "That'll teach you to laugh at me, you ba$t&rd!".
She then went on her way along the path in such a jaunty, bouncy manner that it would have been very hard for anyone watching to believe that she is, in fact, and very old lady.
As we completed our walk, Sym went to chase the squirrels, Clover decided to follow her 'bro', but both Sox and I continued across the fields checking the ground before us very, very carefully indeed.