Tuesday, October 09, 2007

mud, mud, glorious mud

Husband set off for Hook at 6.15 this morning. Cleo took this to be a sign that everyone should get up and started howling pathetically at the bottom of the stairs (we have a barricade across it). By 7 o'clock, I'd had my breakfast, written an email and read some blogs - and the sun wasn't even up.

We went out for a walk in the woods just as the dawn was breaking. We heard a bird I'd never heard before. Obviously one of those that catches the worm but apart from that I don't have any idea what sort it was. Its cry was a high-pitched 'e-whoop' (long e, short whoop). Any suggestions?

Cleo is a water lover too and unlike Holly (but like Harvey), she stands next to you to shake.

Comparative skills (out of 10 with 10 being best)
Watching which direction the stick is going in
Cleo 7
Holly 6
Harvey 5

Sniffing out the stick when it's lost
Cleo 2
Holly 9
Harvey 7

Eating the stick afterwards
Cleo 1
Holly 5
Harvey 9.5

Cleo (already known as HollCleo) did come back to look for me when I was slow as I struggled over muddy bits on the riverside. It was probably to laugh at me but at least I wasn't alone. When we were out there I was reminded of one incident many years ago.

At one point along the river walk there is a very muddy bit closely followed by a high steep-sided mudbank. Only about mid-thigh height but try kicking your leg up on that when it's wet. Harvey had skipped up it quite happily and was wandering on. I think a piece must have been washed away as we often walked by the river and didn't usually have the trouble I had that day.

I tried once to get my leg up: failure. I tried again. Again I failed. I looked around. There was an ivy creeper hanging down from an over-hanging branch. I grabbed it and jumped up onto the bank. I was still saying, 'Yay!!!' when my feet slowly started to slip back down. Slowly as in slow motion slowly when you know it's happening but there's nothing you can do about it. I was hanging backwards and my feet were were leaving me. Clonk. Back where I started. There was only one thing left. I took a run at it, leapt across the mud and flung myself at a thick tree trunk, hugging it for all I was worth. Then I gradually edged my way round from the mud side to the slightly solider ground side. And while all this was going on, Harvey was somewhere in the distance smelling the flowers.

I'm not very good at looking after other people's dogs. I mean, I can take care of them, but I worry about them being sad. It's obvious they're going to miss their families but I hate to see sad eyes staring at me. It makes me feel guilty. Cleo has been sticking close to whoever is in the house, staying in the same room and getting up and following around. I go in the kitchen to get a drink of water and she follows me. I try to explain that I'm coming straight back but she insists on getting up. I end up going without my drink of water because I feel so bad about it. Is it me?
xx