Tuesday, 8 May 2012

18. A little rain, a little freedom!

        Ok so it’s been more than a ‘little rain’!  A TV news reader or weather person recently said, quite seriously, “It’s been the wettest drought on record.”!  The last two days have been a little drier, with just the odd shower, but the country lanes are still puddled and the country pathways are still muddied.

       The little bit of freedom belongs to Bella.  In the intervals of sunshine we’ve been able to get into the back garden to cut the grass and pull up weeds which catapulted out of the ground into the lawn and the garden with the deluge of rain throughout April. Since we were in the garden, Bella was granted a reprieve and allowed out with us with no restraint.

       She sat in the middle of the lawn, lifted her head to the sun and closed her eyes – what a sun-worshipper!

       Keeping an eye on her at all times enabled me to give a sharp ‘No!’ whenever she started wandering over the threshold of The Corner (where she’s previously climbed over the fence into the school playing field.)  She was totally obedient and turned back immediately, as if she knows that’s a boundary not to be crossed!  Even with her nose sweeping the soil beneath the grass following the black and white cat’s scent single-mindedly all around the garden, she has stopped at that boundary line and retraced her steps! Amazing!

       So she deserves a bit of freedom, in the garden that is.

       On a bedtime wee walk last week, she found a hedgehog! Fortunately a good jerk and distraction ensured Hedgehog’s safety and he was last seen crossing the quiet cul-de-sac road with his teeny tiny nose just visible.

        One of the ‘problems’ we have had with Bella is her utter excitement at meeting other dogs – she’s not aggressive, she just wants to play. But as I think I’ve said before, a lot of the dogs in this neighbourhood are about the size of her head and while they have no fear, she plays rough!  Tuesday afternoon’s walk zig-zagging around the puddles and trying not to slip on the muddy path (me trying not to slip, she’s quite sure footed!), we met a dog who was just as excitable and still being trained, and her owner was struggling to keep her under control.  Bella behaved more or less impeccably! The sniffs then the play, but I think the other dog’s owner was more nervous and pulled her back causing her to climb further up the scale of excitement.

       On top of that little CJ the Jack Russel came bounding up. He seems quite the popular one as everyone says he gets on well with their dogs! Again Bella stood calmly for the sniffy greeting before trying to play but knowing she was restrained. While three owners stood nattering about dogs (it’s like mums chatting about their babies and nappies!) the three dogs had a good sniffy natter amongst themselves and by the time the humans were ready to part, so were the dogs – well, Bella was anyway.

     Now that was quite an achievement. It felt like Bella is growing up! Of course she still comes into the lounge at about 10pm every night asking to be ‘tucked in’, or at least ‘please switch the kitchen light off I want to sleep!’

     So a little freedom and a little growing up and it’s all looking quite positive for Bella’s future……………..