A nice relaxing stroll in the morning sunshine was the plan. A lovely long hike through the woodlands would be the perfect way to start the bank holiday weekend… How foolish I was.
Meet culprit one:
This is Gizmo. Gizmo thinks he is the leader of the pack (the whole family). He is an absolute angel in the house, but as soon as you put a lead on him, he turns into a barking Tasmanian Devil. On amphetamines. His favourite hobbies are to prat about in front of my legs and to bark at other dogs.
Meet culprit two:
This is Chief. Chief is one chilled out dude. He loves his walks and is super calm and sociable around other dogs. His favourite hobbies are jumping in water and rolling in fox poo.
And finally, culprit three:
This is Rupert. Rupert is my scamp of a son. Thankfully he doesn’t have the same hobbies as the dogs. Except for jumping in water; if there’s a muddy puddle, you’ll soon find a Rupert splashing about. He loves his dogs very much and finds them extremely funny; particularly when they are acting up.
The walk started off well. Gizmo was more controlled than usual, Chief was happily plodding along and Rupert was babbling away at all the sights. For a moment, I started to believe we were in for a pleasant, relaxing walk. I loosened the leads and began to unwind. We turned the corner into the final stretch of road before letting the dogs roam free in the woodland. I must of missed the memo because I had no idea every single dog in the world would be in this particular road, at this particular time. Excellent.
My husband and I have often said walking Gizmo is like a game of dog Pac-Man; constantly on the look out for peaceful pooches and their owners so we can make a quick diversion before the barking twat that is our dog, sprints over and ruins their ramble (we’ve tried training, several times). He’s not aggressive towards other dogs, just very vocal. Even so, this is still very intimidating for the other party and he has occasionally come a cropper when another dog decides to tell him off. This results in a whimpering little Gizmo, cowering behind my legs. Not quite the fearless dog he was pretending to be.
Luckily today, most of the dogs and owners were pretty cool about my barking lunatic. Some gave me the ‘control your dog look’ (fair enough), others just smiled and said “it’s always the small ones!” What never changed was the level of embarrassment for me. It doesn’t help that Rupert finds these scenarios hilarious, usually peaking when I trip over the lead, desperately trying to prevent my arm from dislocating.
We finally found a nice open space with no other barking targets in sight, so I let them off for a good run around. My stress levels were slowly decreasing as I watched the boys enjoying themselves. Leaping, chasing, sniffing… Chief sniffing a patch of grass… for a long time… a bit too long… and then, roll. Yep, he’s found a nice ripe fox poo to spread across his entire body. Awesome.
We make a beeline to try and find some puddles. He lays in them but obviously has no inclination to roll in them to remove his newly acquired scent. I swear, if Chief could bottle this stuff, he’d spray it like perfume. He bloody loves it.
I finally realise that this walk wasn’t going to improve much so I made the decision to head home, via our little playground as Rupert had been such a good boy.
We had the playground to ourselves which was a bonus. Rupert ran around and had the time of his life on the swings. Giggles galore. After a good 15 minutes, I load him back into the buggy and get a distinct whiff of yet another faecal matter. I look at his trousers to find what I can only be described as an explosion. A poo bomb had gone off everywhere, soiling his trousers. Did I have baby wipes on me? No. Spare nappy? Of course not.
The poor little boy had to sit in it for another few minutes whilst I hot footed it home. Strangely, he didn’t seem that bothered, in fact, he was still having ever such a good time. I think the sight of me, jogging and losing the will to continue with the day was entertaining enough to distract him from his trouser situation.
By the time we got home I was quite the advert for anyone looking to own dogs whilst bringing up a baby. A totally successful dog handler and mother. Call me if you want any tips.