Mischief in the Sunshine

After a few days of dreary, drab weather, the sun paid us a much-needed visit. It was conspicuous in its presence. I am not someone who necessarily minds the shorter days and colder weather but I was very aware today how much I had missed bright, sunny days.

As I wandered around the local field park watching Harper bound around happily and sniff seemingly every blade of grass, I soaked in the rays and enjoyed the quiet. The field is our nearest spot for dog walks. It is a huge open area with a wooden play structure in the centre. There is a perimeter path along with other paths which cut through the centre and as such, it attracts walkers, runners, families as well as dog owners. In fact, it is a very popular place for dog owners on our housing estate to give their pups a run. Consequently, it is always a bit hit-and-miss whether Harper is going to get a good off-lead run.

Her recall in an empty field is perfect. She can be a hundred metres away or more and come back to me with one command. However, as soon as there are other dogs around, I become invisible. And she becomes deaf. She absolutely loves socialising with other dogs but she does not always make sensible choices. The other dog is on a lead? She sees no issue. The other dog is tiny? Harper is not sizeist. She will play with any dog. The other dog is beautifully trained and therefore ignores her completely? She just thinks they mustn’t have seen her.

Therefore, I have to be careful to put her back on the lead when other dogs are around until I am sure that they are happy to play and can hold their own with her sometimes boisterous play-style. So when I do arrive at the field and find it empty, it fills me with joy as I know she can run around to her heart’s content and I can relax, knowing she will come to me whenever I need her to.

This afternoon was quiet. Only one dog walker was all the way on the other side of the field so I could give Harper a proper run and not have to be on high alert. The sun was shining. The air was clear. No dogs were tempting Harper away. I was listening to my Office BFFs audiobook and feeling so good about my dog owner life. Nothing could ruin this walk.

And then.

Harper spent just a little too long in a corner of the field which is more overgrown. I realised that I had walked on quite a bit without her so paused, turning to see what she was up to. She came bounding over to me looking just a little too delighted. Do not ask me how I could tell that she was delighted but I knew she was. And there is only one thing (other than food) that can make Harper this delighted. It is fox poo. She had smeared her head in fox poo.

I was returning home with the stinkiest dog in Warwick with just twenty minutes to get ready for the baby shower I was attending. I had to break the news to Rich. Let’s just say, I owe that husband of mine now! And Harper now, as I type this, has the freshest, fluffiest, cleanest fur. And she is most definitely in the (fox-poo-free) dog house. I still love that pouch so much!

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