Purple is not my colour…

Flossie here.

Oh my goodness – I thought we had cracked The Common.

It would appear, from this morning’s experience that we have not.

I don’t know exactly what went wrong. I just know that a series of events occurred which ended in disaster.

For one thing, there was a small Skye Terrier who took a shine to me. As soon as we got on The Common, the little dog spotted me. I had to run over and say ‘hello’ of course.

The little dog’s owner, clad in a purple coat, seemed very friendly and extended her hand to me. Her companion, wearing grey, ignored me. Perhaps the purple lady had a titbit in her hand? I reached up to check, my front paws only slightly off the ground when I heard the Boss’s sharp reprimand. I settled back on the ground immediately and waited. I hadn’t been going to jump for goodness sake but I think the Boss thought the lady might think otherwise. The purple coated lady went back to her conversation with the lady in grey.

I lost interest and ambled off up the embankment where I met a rather friendly Red Setter. Red and I set off at a fare pace.

Tongues lolling, tails wagging – both pleased to have found a playmate, we chased around for a bit. Ol’ Keano was somewhere behind me, sniffing and pottering as he does.

At this point, Red’s owner appeared and waved a good morning to The Boss. He seemed a nice man. It was just then that the little Skye Terrier ran up to us and begged us to chase her. I didn’t need a second telling nor did the Red. The three of us tore off across The Common.

What a treat to feel the wind and rain in my coat and the rain-sodden ground splash up beneath my paws. I may have rather short stocky legs but I can fly when I want to.

Now you come to mention it, I do recall hearing the Boss call me and I fully intended to return at any second. I could hear Red’s owner whistling and calling him too.  Well, we’d just finish the circuit and head back, no harm done.


It all happened very quickly after that. The little Skye Terrier seemed not to know where she was heading. The purple lady started yelling.

“Millie! Millie!” she screeched, her panic ridden voice echoing across The Common. Millie ignored her.

The purple coated lady began running – the Boss wouldn’t think this a wise move given that The Common was slippery and wet. The Boss wouldn’t risk running, I knew.

On we ran until both Red and I deemed it prudent to run back to our respective owners. The little Skye Terrier continued to run towards the perimeter fence. As one, Red and I turned and headed back to camp. I could see the Boss, resplendent in her cerise pink rain jacket, waving at me. The Red Setter could see his owner too. We picked up speed.

I don’t know quite when the purple apparition flashed across our path but suddenly I was forced to swerve. Despite the slippery ground underfoot, I managed to come to a halt quite  quickly without ever making contact. Not so, the purple apparition who continued to slip and slide until she gracefully sank to the floor in front of me. I stared at her, bemused for a moment. Red stared at her. What was the woman doing?

I felt rather than heard the Boss’s groan as she started towards us.

She was within an arm’s reach of my collar so I obligingly sat and allowed my lead to be put on. The purple coated woman had leapt to her feet, thankfully unharmed, waving her arms in the air and shouting at both the Boss and Red’s owner. Red appeared to find this behaviour confusing and made an attempt to jump at her – to calm her down I think. I on the other hand, have been taught to ignore such behaviour.

The Boss opened her mouth to enquire after the purple woman’s well being.

“Get your bloody dogs away!” shrieked the purple woman and aimed a few more choice words at us before marching off to where the Skye Terrier now stood sniffing by the fence.

The Boss seemed to hesitate. The purple coated woman glowered over at us one more time. The Boss decided retreat to be the best option. Red joined his owner and he and the Boss swapped rueful glances.

“I don’t think that lady was very happy…” the Boss said.

“No, no I got that impression. My dog doesn’t normally jump…or run off like that,” the man agreed shaking his head.

“Mine doesn’t jump up any more,” said the Boss, truthfully I might add (my one to one training has paid dividends). She didn’t mention the running.

We parted company, Red and I, him still leash-free.

The Boss kept me firmly attached for the rest of the walk. I don’t think she was quite sure whose fault the tumble had been and was definitely not taking any chances.

I fancy we will be going to the woods tomorrow then.

I much prefer the woods!
I much prefer the woods

I never have been keen on ‘the colour purple’.

Flossie aged 11 months (from the doghouse)

I am an Author, wife to one, mother to five and grandmother to six. I live in the English countryside in Hampshire, UK, with my husband and two dogs and am a non exec Director for Glow www.theglowstudio.com.


  • Hilary

    Hi Deborah …. dogs they know how to have fun .. Flossie did wonders .. and brought the purple lady down .. she should know not to go out with a grey lady or wear a coat that will clash with crimson .. no wonder the Gods brought her down into the mud…

    Flossie sweet dreams tonight .. cheers you two .. Hilary

  • Patricia

    great story telling, and oh I know those walks that turn on you and all the training seems to just disappear. We are not leash free yet at all and I do not go over to the school yard yet where all the dogs run free at 5:30 and their owners chat. There is no fence and I hate the thought of all those small children playing all day where so many dogs have relieved themselves the night before.

    Our small dog area at a local park is just a sea of mud.

    Thank you for sharing

  • Deb

    Flossie is as good a story teller as The Boss, for sure. And such a smart and discerning dog. This had me laughing out loud. Flossie,not all ladies in purple are the same – I promise you.

  • Andrea Carlisle

    Dear Flossie,
    I think you did the right thing. I’m part terrier myself, some say, and yet the littler ones drive me wild. I used to live on the streets (in the not so glamorous part of Los Angeles), and I had to make do with godknowswhat for food, and terriers sometimes remind me of those…scurrying things I may have chased down and eaten. (I say MAY have eaten when I’m around Her, but you and I know the truth of the matter.)
    So, all this to say, I can understanding throwing training to the wind and going after one of those little dodgers. I’m sorry the purple lady fell, though. I hope she’s not mad at the Boss or you or anybody. Glad you’re going to the woods–a good place to lie low for a while until this blows over.
    Thanks for the post. Your friend from afar–Brio

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