Since summer has struck with a vengeance in our part of the world, the red dogs and I have to go walking at the crack of dawn; otherwise all three of us would die of heat stroke, or spontaneously com-bust, whichever comes first.
This however means that the red dogs now expect to be taken out every morning early, and I cannot even move in bed without them trying to jump on top of me. Not a pretty sight for my white bedding, or my heart or health. So usually our walks start with jumping up and down (the dogs) and me swearing a blue streak and grumbling at them. For the record, future visitors may want to stay in their room during this time. I think I am at that time very close kin to Cruella de Ville.
We have, luckily, found some paths where we can take the dogs of leash and they can run like crazy chickens everywhere. However, this has led to some seriously unexpected behaviour by the red dogs.
Alex has suddenly developed the habit that as soon as she is off leash, she refuses to walk in close proximity to me, Cleo or the road we are on – she walks / runs / causes shit about fifteen meters into the field, parallel with me. This continues for the whole walk. Furthermore, she now has started chasing birds and rabbits. Now normally its fine, since she has next to zero chance of catching either (she is still a bit slow and too big to hide behind the corn and bushes), however a couple of weeks ago she did in fact catch a very small rabbit. I am not sure how the heck this happened, I suspect the poor rabbit got stuck in a bush, could not get out and got such a fright its heart gave in when it saw Alex reaching in to smell. The one second she was running, disappeared and the next she appeared with a rabbit in her mouth. Of course I don’t want to react, but hello, one cannot walk with a dog which has a rabbit in its mouth. I don’t also don’t want to acknowledge the presence of the rabbit; it could be considered as praise and I don’t want my dog to be a hunter! This then caused me to having to pry her jaws open to let go, and let me tell you, she is damn strong. I am sure I was not a pretty sight, talking softly to Alex whilst basically pushing her to the ground, trapping her, getting the rabbit out and still keeping an eye on where Cleo was. (Yes, I do sometimes envy people with smaller dogs who can fit in handbags. I am sure you have beautiful long painted nails, and I am sure your dogs don’t try to catch rabbits nor do you ever have to be stuck on the ground with your knees on your dog trying to get a dead animal out of its jaws) As such, we now avoid that area where the rabbits cannot get away, if all else fails I am a believer in a fair fight, at least. Furthermore, I now tend to, if I see her head go down to smell, shout at her to stop whatever she is doing, since who knows what the heck she is up to. Second note for future visitors: I could be seen to be a fishwife on these walks. I suggest, still, that you stay in the safety of your own room. Also, I still feel so guilty about the poor rabbit. I am now 1000 % sure I can never ever hunt.
Cleo on the other hand has turned into a watcher. Unless the rabbit runs and stops right in front of her, she will not run after it. I think she is quite clever, since obviously the rabbits are faster. She does however plonk herself down on every hill to keep an eye on the fields…you never know if someone wants to bring her food or pet her which you are of course born to do. She further has a nasty habit of walking on my little path, right on front of me, and stopping wherever she pleases to glare at things. This normally would not bother me, but some of the little paths are next to a cliff or huge bushes full of thorns. So Cleo does get a “soft” butt kick every now and again.
So, since living in Spain, the red dogs’ horizons have broadened somewhat, but for the record I would sometimes like to lie in just for a bit. Please!