Now, let me make something quite clear from the outset … I like a nice paddle in a muddy stream or pond. But… there is something different about being told to dive into a flamin’ pool to get a ball! I suppose I should explain … on Sunday, we all bundled into the car thingy and went off to a place called Ardingly where there was some kind of dog fest or something called ‘Paws in the Park’. Don’t get me wrong, it was great! There were hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs there. We had a lovely time exploring and looking at all the different things on offer. I got a new lead (more of that later) and a new bed for the car thingy. I got to sniff the bottoms of hundreds of doggies. We saw organisations dedicated to specific breeds of dog, we saw the Dog’s Trust (that’s where I came from before I ended up here … one bad decision and I’m going to have to live with it for the rest of my life!) and we saw ‘Pets as Therapy’ which I rather like the idea of. And then they saw this thing called ‘Dash ‘n’ Splash. That was when it all went horribly wrong. I can’t even blame him on this occasion – it was Daddy Richard’s idea. What on earth made him think it was a good idea is beyond me. You see, the concept is this … you climb up onto a platform and then someone throws a ball. You run to the end of the platform and then dive into the water to catch the ball, hence the name ‘Dash ‘n’ Splash’!
So, there we were. We went to the kiosk and he bought a ticket (Daddy Richard has very deep pockets and quite short arms – he’s quite well known for it) and then we joined the queue. We queued for about 3 years – well it seemed like it – until we finally got to the front. When we got to the front it was the first time it became apparent to me what they were planning – basically I think they were trying to drown me! There was a ‘trainer’ (basically an accomplice) in the water and then he began the whole temptation thing … he picked up a ball and waved it under my nose. That’s not even fair! The next thing I knew, he threw the ball into the water. Well, I wasn’t going to flamin’ jump into a blinkin’ great pool of water without knowing how deep it was! I made my way carefully down the ramp (apparently you’re supposed to use that to climb out) but as I went down I lost my footing and that was that. Whoosh! Straight into the water. The ‘trainer’ said that I didn’t know that I could swim. Well, it turns out that I can! That said, I did not enjoy it one bit. I got soaking wet, so I made sure that as soon as I got out, so did he. I was not at all happy about it though. What a nightmare! Over and over he threw that ball into that water and over and over again I tried to get it without ‘going in’. It seemed to go on for hours although Daddy Richard (who managed to stay completely dry, unlike him who I soaked by shaking myself over him) said it was only five minutes. Well, I can tell you now – I won’t be doing that again! Why the doggies that did it do it is beyond me! One of them jumped 27 feet off the end of the platform to catch a ball. How ridiculous! He must have been mad!!!!!
So, after I had finally finished my ordeal, we went back to the car thingy and he put my new bed in the boot and I jumped in and settled down for the journey home. That was, fortunately, pretty uneventful and, by the time we got home, I was nearly dry because my new bed has special towelling side if I’m a bit wet. The rest of the week has been somewhat less eventful, fortunately. That said, we’ve been to some fabulous places for walks. We’ve been to The Green loads of times (mainly with Daddy Richard when he has been out ‘working’) and we’ve been up Green Lane loads of times which is great because there’s loads to sniff at and, just occasionally, there’s a tasty snack to be found. Actually, talking of snacks, I have to confess that there was a little incident. I was out with Daddy Richard one lunchtime and we were walking down Church Lane. It was hardly my fault! I popped my nose under a bush and there, waiting for someone to enjoy it was a dead mouse or something similar. Daddy Richard isn’t entirely sure because he didn’t want to look. I’m not sure because I knew that if I didn’t gulp it down quickly there was a risk that I might lose it, so I didn’t take that risk! It was quite tasty anyway although the entire incident has now been labelled ‘Mousegate’ even though we’re not sure if it was a mouse or not!
Yesterday we did something we haven’t done for ages and ages. We went on a ‘Hilly Fields’ walk. We walked down the High Street and then into Hilly Fields. I went off my lead and I ran and ran all around Hilly Fields and the up The Hollow. It was flamin’ brilliant!! When we got to the top of The Hollow we turned right. I can’t actually remember the last time we did that! We walked along the path and, when we got to Tylers Close field I was able to run around off lead again! It was absolutely wunderful! That said, they didn’t seem so keen on it anymore. The last few times we have been up there the gates have been open which they consider a risk (although I can’t imagine why) and the ‘Oiks’ (well that’s what he calls them when he isn’t using language that I can’t repeat here) seem to be continuously damaging the fencing so that they can break into Diver’s Cove. Apparently all the holes in the fence are another ‘risk’ and they don’t like them. I’m not sure that we’re going to be going up there much anymore which is a real shame. It has nothing to do with me, but it appears that the ‘Oiks’ have spoilt it for everyone. We didn’t see any other doggies which is a sign that others have taken the same view because we used to never be able to walk up there without meeting loads of other doggies!
The weather in the last week has been fabulous. It has been lovely and sunny and we’ve been on loads of really good walks. Mostly, during the day, I have been out with Daddy Richard – he has been claiming to be doing that ‘working’ thing again although he has been coming home stinkin’ of even more doggies. I should also give a quick Pupdate. Eric is continuing to grow at an astonishing rate and he has nearly finished eating Auntie Sue’s sofa, so that’s nice. He’s getting better at distinguishing an ‘s’ from a ‘sh’, although he did spend the entire morning outside yesterday at home and then popped in and left Auntie Sue a lovely present, so he isn’t quite there yet! He’s starting in Puppy School soon, so he’ll enjoy that. Unfortunately, I never got to go to Puppy School because of my bad hips but I’m sure he’s going to have a luvely time! He’s going to learn loads of new things and he’ll meet loads of new friends … in a way I’m a bit jealous but I’m not one to hold a grudge and I can put up with Daddy Richard and him … just!
I’ve just remembered I mentioned my new lead. It’s rather snazzy actually. It’s called a ‘RokDog’ lead. Opposite the Dogs Trust stand at ‘Paws in the Park’ there was a stand with a sign above it that said, “Does your dog pull on the lead? We have the solution”. I’m not quite sure what he meant but he walked up to the chap on the stand and said, “I have the problem. Do you really have the solution?” The chap said that he did. I’m not sure if it is related but a few minutes later I got a new lead. It’s black with green stripes in it. It is slightly stretchy and it has a special loopy bit towards the neck. I have to confess that I generally don’t feel the need to pull on the lead (although I do sometimes like when I went to see my bestest friend in the whole wide world, Jake, the other evening because it was Uncle Simon’s birthday). He uses the loopy bit near the neck end as a sort of handbrake which is a bit of a weird sensation but I do find the need to stop when he grabs it. All in all I rather like my new lead and they seem pretty pleased with it too. Having said all of that, it’s about time I took it out for another test drives so, if you’ll forgive me, must paws … ????