It’s official. The common is not big enough for me apparently.
Now where the Boss got that idea from I do not know but ever since the second meeting with the Welsh Woman (she didn’t tell you about that did she?) and the run-in with the two Moody Ladies (nor that either?) not forgetting the fright of the Old Lady with the walking stick… she has been reluctant to re-visit that green and pleasant pasture.
Let me elaborate.
Some folk are very odd. I had hardly got onto the common and been let of my lead when I spotted a small springer spaniel running around ahead of me. Naturally, I ran off to say hello. I did the proper thing, crouching low as I approached so that the fellow would know I posed no threat. He was game for it – ran up and sniffed me, made friends and off we went. Behind him I caught sight of a large white dog. One should always be wary of larger dogs, especially white ones, so I have been told. I again did the proper thing and lay down to show how friendly I am. I didn’t even approach him. I just waited and he came racing up to me looking slightly moody.
I admit that I was a little worried. He gave me a cursory sniff and then growled. Well, goodness knows what might have happened had my knight in shining armour not rushed in just then. Yes, Ol’ Keano trotted up with that,
“’Ello ello ello, what’s going on here then?” look on his face. You know the sort of thing, head held high, ears practically vertical.
As he neared the white dog he slowed down a tad. I just lay there holding my breath. Ol’ Keano sensed trouble and with a subtle step forward, barked in the dog’s face. The big white dog took a step back and then turned and ran.
“Not sure exactly what went on there,” said the Boss to a nice man who happened to be walking nearby with his own dog.
“Well, that white dog looked very moody as he came towards us,” he commented. His own dog was a wiry little collie who was happy to run around for a bit. So we did just that and all was going very well until the collie ran too far and I followed and the boss caught sight of the lady with the walking stick.
The lady with the walking stick saw me coming and stood very still, balancing herself. She needn’t have worried, I wasn’t aiming for her though I concede that it may have looked that way to the Boss who was frantically calling me back. I intended going back, don’t worry but just then another dog joined in the chase and the three of us tore around a bit like you do. That’s when the two moody women appeared.
The Boss reckoned they were out of order. All I heard was them saying,
“You need to be careful of that lady with the stick, she looks very frail,” The Boss looked as though she wanted to say,
“Duh! What do you think I am doing, setting my dog on her?”
Instead she smiled and replied,
I’ve not often seen the Boss grit her teeth.
At this point I had run back to the Boss for one of those tasty treats she keeps in her pocket. This is something I have learnt. If you run off for long enough, the Boss will panic and call you back for a treat. I have trained her well and can guarantee a treat within three minutes of being called if I don’t respond first time. Keano doesn’t even have to run off. He just stays by her side until I do something that merits that bag being pulled out of her pocket and then closes in so that he is to hand as the titbit is meted out.
As the moody ladies walked on, the big white dog claimed one of them as his owner. (It figures).
The lady with the walking stick made it to the nearest bench and sat down with her little dog. We carried on ambling around the common.
The thing with the common is that people don’t always follow the expected route. Sometimes they walk a figure of eight, weaving in and out of the trees and emerging when you least expect them. Thus it was with the moody ladies who emerged from a clump of bushes as we approached.
I was already running towards them at the time. Well, not towards them. I hadn’t even seen them when I started running you understand. I was running towards something interesting which happened to be right behind them. They didn’t know this of course and for some unknown reason, supposed I was about to leap on them and wrestle them to the ground. Looking moodier by the minute, they threw furious glances at the Boss and called their dogs to them protectively as I raced past them to the source of my interest. Well, it had gone by then but I had seen something moving there, honestly.
The Boss raised an eyebrow, I know what that means. She is no mood for any nonsense. We turned tail and headed for the exit. Oh lordie, wouldn’t you know it? Our departure was intercepted by – The Welsh Woman.
“Oooh,” she quivered as I lolloped past. The Boss was not taking any prisoners today.
“Morning!” she said brightly and continued walking.
“Oooh, I get so worried you know when she runs up like that. A lady I know has still got pins in her legs…” (yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve been here before).
The Boss made a suitably sorrowful noise and still walking, remarked,
“Don’t worry, Flossie doesn’t jump up these days. She’s learning. She is very good for a six month old. They remain puppies until they are about two of course.”
I felt quite proud of myself.
The Welsh Woman quivered a little more and raised her hand as I wandered by as though to ward me off. I was at least three metres from her and had no interest in her at all. In fact I was with the Boss all the way on this one. We walked quickly on.
Unfortunately, I did the most terrible thing just after this.
We were within sight of the exit and the Boss called me to have my lead put on. I knew I should run back but I had caught sight of the lady with the walking stick and her little dog walking towards the gate. I just wanted to say “Cheerio!”
“Flossie – wait!” yelled the Boss.
The wind was against her and her words didn’t travel far but I have to admit, I did hear them. It’s just that I couldn’t stop myself you see. I knew that the lady with the walking stick would want to say goodbye.
I heard later that the last the Boss saw of me and the lady with the walking stick, was her walking out of sight around the shrubbery to the gate and me following, at breakneck speed, behind her. Next thing, I am coming back.
No problem really – no fuss required – lady with walking stick gone – me back safely. I wondered if I deserved a treat. Keano threw me a look that said,
“You have to be joking!”
The Boss gripped my collar and practically throttled me as she clipped the lead on.
“That poor woman!” I heard her telling the Dave man later, “She just disappeared. I could just imagine Flossie leaping at her and knocking her flying. For all I knew, when Flossie came running back, the lady with the stick was lying in the shrubbery!”
Now hang on a minute, notice any flaws here? First she tells the Welsh Woman that I wont jump, then she tells herself that I’d knock a poor old lady over and leave her lying there. I can tell you what happened if you are interested. I reached the lady with the stick and she shooed me away, going through the gate and leaving me standing there like a lemon. Well, she’d gone so I thought I’d better head back. Last I saw, she was walking to her car with her little dog and her stick.
“Well, I’m not going there again for a while, it’s too nerve-racking! Welsh Women I can handle but the thought of a frail old lady being mown down is too much,” the Boss decides.
True to her word we have not been back. Our daily walks now take us to the woods. This is actually far better. Take today’s excursion for instance.
Keano and I could run as fast as we wanted as long as we came back when called. Keano didn’t do much running of course. He is more of a wander-along-and-sniff type dog and he isn’t fussed about the water either. Imagine that! There is a lot of water in the woods at this time of year. All the brooks and streams are full. We met a lot of very friendly dogs and a lot of very friendly people so the Boss said it wasn’t a trial at all. I even came back when called, most of the time. The Boss thanked the people who stopped while she gathered me up and those who caught my collar for her. It was a whole new experience.
Best of all, there were lots of dogs running through the trees, playing around and no one looking at us disapprovingly. The Boss told the Dave man that it was well worth the inconvenience of having a very wet and very muddy dog in her car that she had to hose down once we were home, just for the pleasure of enjoying a walk without bumping into Moody Pants Ladies, Welsh Woman or nice but frail Old Ladies with walking sticks. I have to agree with her.
The wood it is from now on!
Flossie aged 6 3/4 months a.k.a. Puptales
*The Welsh are lovely – this Lady is just annoying…