Thursday, 23 May 2013

Look how far she's come!

     Bella and I left home in sunshine and pretty white clouds lounging on the blue Spring skies!!!  It was cool enough to wear a light jumper, but not cold enough for jacket.  For a change of scenery we have started walking the fields behind the ex Red Lion pub (currently being refurbished as a restaurant).  By the time we got home just half an hour later, we were both rather wet although Bella had shaken most of her annoying raindrops off!

     It’s a pleasant and pretty walk, (even more so at a Winter sunset when the sky turns red and orange and white streaks constantly change the heavenly picture.) Up the narrow 100m path between the pub and private gardens, Bella has become the picture of obedience! If I put my hands behind my back holding the lead short, she knows to stay behind me or is quite happy to walk by my side.

     Once the farmlands open up she’s off – not uncontrollably these days! In the past she targeted the hundreds of rabbit holes in the hedge, but either the rabbits have migrated or the 6ft nettles and weeds have formed a very welcome, natural, security barrier – from the rabbits point of view.

    If you were walking anywhere near me, you’d hear just four one word commands repeated along the pathways – Wait, Come, No, and Off.  Just like some English words have a different meaning in different countries (no, I know they shouldn’t, but believe me it happens!), Wait, doesn’t exactly mean I want Bella to stop and wait for me! I discovered that if I called Wait just before she was loping to the end of the 5m flexi-lead, she would slow down a little and my arm wouldn’t be jerked like a robot into a Hitler salute! It must be said however, that sometimes she does just wait! :)

     I’m happy to let her take some time sniffing around a little but when I say Come, I no longer have to jerk or pull an inflexible lump of dog at the end of the flexi-lead, she just comes! And if she’s obsessing just a little too much over one piece of grass, or starting to think there’s something beyond the hedge, a simple gentle No brings her trotting on. When she gets a little carried away and starts hopping and skipping off the path and into the new green crops, it really, honestly is just Off which brings her back on the path!  Persistence and patience have gently won the day - and of course she just loves us and trusts us so loves to do what we ask her to do!

     Two little pheasants hiding perilously just metres away, couldn’t keep still while we passed so took off noisily making both Bella and me jump, but even then Bella didn’t try and lunge after them!

     Is this the same dog as a year ago?! Yep! Isn’t she good!!

     The bedtime wee walk is usually highly charged with tinkling bells and darting daring nocturnal kitties. Yum, yum, thinks Bella! Tonight her prey spat back. She wasn’t expecting that! After a reassuring ear rub and gentle soothing words, Daddy whispered that he was going upstairs and it was time for bed. Without a to-do she trotted off to her own comfy bed.

Aww! What a good dog!!!