Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A dog's eye view of our walk at Le Moustoir

When I went on my morning walk the frost was lying thick on the ground and a thin film of ice had settled on the driveway. I saw my master slip as he made his way across to the hen house but I was pretty sure footed on my four paws. By the time of the afternoon walk the sun had thawed away the frost and, though there was a forecast of rain, things looked pretty good. My mistress, Gloria, had spent all of Monday morning preparing the ingredients and baking the cakes for her fellow walkers. As we waited in the car park opposite the Le Moustoir church, car after car kept arriving , crunching the gravel as they ground to a halt. I could see that my mistress was getting a bit stressed and worried that there might not be enough cake to go round. I was getting worried, too, because if there wasn’t enough cake for them there wouldn’t be enough for us dogs.
Anyway by the time we set off a record recent attendance of five dogs, Poppy, Bonnie, Tex, Merlin, and I, oh, and thirty six humans, had assembled. Pops and I really liked this walk. There were plenty of scents and smells along the country tracks and we liked rooting through the carpet of leaves to get to the source of the scent. Also we were often walking alongside the Nantes-Brest canal and other watercourses so I could always jump in to clean off the accumulated mud. Pops and I led the group for most of the way but occasionally we had to fall back to check that our master and mistress were O.K. (they are getting on a bit, you see).
We passed by Lock 191 at Kerhun, crossed the boundary between Cote d’Armor and Finistere and had our cake stop beside the Nantes to Brest canal, just after a cake-spotting heron had flown overhead. The choice was between a spicy apple cake or a date, banana and walnut cake. There was enough to go round and what’s more I saw some humans, who won’t be nameless, sneak two slices. As I feared there was no cake left for us, but, at least my master had brought along a handful of dry dog biscuits. The trouble was that instead of giving them all to Pops and me he shared them out amongst all the other dogs.
You are probably wondering why I am writing this blog. Well, Wendy had just stopped the group at the point where we left the canal and had to walk on a stretch of busy public road. She asked the group for full concentration on the road and no conversation. No talking? She must be joking. With this group it’s like asking the Pope not to pray. Anyway, afterwards my master made a fatal error by asking her who was writing the blog today. Wendy says “You are, unless you can find someone else to do it”. That’s how I got lumbered. Instead of playing with the other dogs (there was a particularly nice one that master called a ram enclosed in a pen with long black shaggy fur and strange looking twirly curly horns) I then had to concentrate on where we had been, what we had seen, and where we were going. I asked Pops for her help but she was too busy trying to quell a little skirmish between Tex and Merlin.
We always seem to pass through a few boggy areas. This time the obligatory swamp claimed a few ankles and one of Brenda’s trainers. Pops and I were very muddy, but, thankfully, the rain that had been forecast didn’t arrive until after we had been unceremoniously bundled back in to the boot of the car.
I hope that you liked reading my account of our 5.5 kilometre walk. If you did perhaps you could have a word and make sure that on the next walk there is enough cake for the dogs, too.
Jessie Lawson

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