Since I last put paw to keyboard it has been quite a busy time. On Thursday afternoon I found myself assisting in the garden. Once again my efforts went largely unappreciated – I took the initiative and went about breaking down the bamboo canes that Alex had in the garden. He clearly hadn’t been doing this as he had a few of them and they needed to be broken down in order that they could be put in the bin. Apparently he didn’t want to put them in the bin – how was I supposed to know that? All my hard work was not appreciated at all. Actually, I am not sure about this gardening thing. The more I try to assist, the more things are put out of my reach of get barriers around them. Alex was doing that muttering thing again. I heard him muttering something about , “I don’t know how on earth Monty Don does any gardening done with a blinkin’ Retriever. Everything I do, he retrieves!”. I’m pretty sure that he was talking about me again … although I have no idea who this Monty Don is or why Alex is worrying about his garden. It is all, frankly, barking to me!
Actually, talking of barking, another incident happened on Thursday afternoon. There I was happily assisting in the garden – I may withdraw my efforts if they don’t start to appreciate them – and I decided to pop indoors. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I discovered that the door was shut! I had to alert Alex to this problem and what do you think he did? He didn’t rush to open the door as he obviously should have done. He really isn’t that smart sometimes. I’ve said before that sometimes he’s about as bright as a wildebeest on a lone walk – on a path to certain death. So what did he do when I alerted him to this serious issue? He took a flamin’ photograph of me! I mean, come on, we know how fantastically handsome I am and, of course, I am usually happy to offer up my good looks and charm, but there is a time and place for everything and when the door is shut and I want to get in, it is neither the time nor the place for a photo session. Quite apart from that, I am hardly going to look my best when I have an urgent need to go indoors.
On Friday I was pushing out a few ?s in the study whilst Alex pretended to do that work thing again and the phone rang. I couldn’t hear what was being said, but it became apparent that someone needed a ‘Monty fix’. It was only a few minutes later that the door bell went (Why is it that people are surprised when I bark at the door bell? Isn’t it obvious that it is a cue to bark?!) and guess who was there? Only Zena and Simon! I hadn’t seen them for nearly a week! I was so excited that Zena said I had got my lipstick out again. (I’m not sure what this means but it appears to be a euphemism for something in the trouser department.) It was good to see Simon too, but Zena just does it for me! Anyway, the really good thing was that I got to take them out for a walk! This usually also means a trip to the pub which is rather spiffing too. I took them in the reverse walk through Hilly Fields, starting in Tylers Close – this is because I knew that we would end up at the pub … I’m not daft you know! On our way we popped into the bluebell wood and Simon took the photograph that Alex is completely incapable of taking. I do like to pose for a photograph for my fans, but I like to be sure that the timing is right.
Yesterday was Saturday and Richard was out for most of the day so I was stuck with Alex again. I took him for a walk over Hilly Fields and through into Tylers Close where we bumped into a very nice chap called Paul. Paul made a fuss of me and then suggested that I should introduce myself to his wife Maggie. Of course, I was happy to do this and make new friends. It turns out that Maggie and Paul used to have a Mastiff called Benny (I’m not sure if I have spelt that correctly because I forgot to ask) but he died at Christmas when they were in their Spanish home. That’s really sad because they were lovely people! Alex chatted to them for quite a while and I had a good sniff around their garden. Paul gave me a drink of water and I demonstrated my trick of using my paw to flick the water everywhere. I did try to eat some of the garden cuttings that Maggie was carefully put into a pile but, unfortunately, I was still on a lead and Alex kept it just short of getting to it! It turns out that Paul and Maggie have a lovely villa in Spain and they do holiday rentals. I would quite like to visit it but if any of my fans would like to see more of it, there’s some great reviews on Trip Adviser. I think it looks fabulous! Richard and Alex used to live in Spain so they love everything about it. They know this area of Spain too and they think it is one of the ‘Costas’ that is very much less spoiled than some of the others. I really liked meeting Paul and Maggie and it made up for the fact that I was stuck with Alex all day again!
On Saturday afternoon Alex wanted to go out and Jake said he would play with me. I had a lovely time with Jake – we went for a walk around Dewlands, Green Lane and Bay Pond and I had a fabulous time. I like spending time with Jake – he’s really cool! When Richard and Alex came to collect me, they decided to take me for another walk because Bren and Cathy were coming for dinner and they wanted to make sure I was tired and wouldn’t be too boisterous. Well, what did they expect? I wasn’t going to make it that easy for them, was I? Since they were talking and not even taking any notice of me, I decided that a quick dip in the muddy stream up Green Lane would be in order. Usually I am very good and I walk past the stream (I often get a treat if I walk past and don’t try to get in it) but they weren’t paying me enough attention and I needed some attention. I can assure you, this got their attention! I got right into the stream, up to my knees and had a good slurp of the water and a good sniff and nibble of the mud. It took them ages to get me out of the stream and they were definitely not happy!
We walked the rest of the way and, although they weren’t too mad with me, I could definitely feel there was a bit of an undercurrent. It turned out it wasn’t so much of an undercurrent and more of a torrent! When we got home Richard took me straight into the garden and then Alex came out and turned the flamin’ hose on me! Now, I know I have said before that I like the hose … and I do … but I like a bit of hose action on my terms, not theirs. Alex kept spraying my legs with the hose until he decided they were clean enough and then Richard dried them with a towel. I was not very happy but I suppose with everything there is checks and balances! On balance I may avoid the muddy stream for a couple of days. On our way back home we passed one of the ladies we see with dogs when we are out sometimes and she looked at me and said, “Hello Monty, you look like you’ve been up to no good!”. What a cheek!
Having been thoroughly humiliated with the hose, I was eventually allowed back indoors when they decided I was clean and dry enough. Alex went back into the kitchen and I went into the lounge and made it up with Richard. It wasn’t long before the door bell rang and it was Bren and Cathy. Cathy brought me a really special treat … some cheese! I love cheese! Cathy is really good and I often get cheese when I see her. It isn’t just any cheese either – Cathy brings really good cheese. I decided that, since I had been given cheese and I had probably already stretched my luck with the stream incident, I would be well behaved with Bren and Cathy so I didn’t play up at all and when they were eating dinner I pushed out a few ?s under the dining table. We had a really nice evening, although I do think that Alex may have had one more than he should have – he didn’t wake up until really late this morning, despite my best efforts! This morning I have had a short walk with Richard, but I’m about to take them out for a much longer walk. I’m not sure yet where I will take them, but we need a good walk to clear their heads! So, for now, must paws … ?