Saturday, 13 August 2011

Follow my leader.

Whenever possible I walk the dogs in a ‘loop’ so that I can get to my start point without doubling back on the original route. Lewis & Monty for some reason refuse flatly to walk back the way they came. Trust me, I have tried several times but have always been met by two Bassets sitting down flatly refusing to move. I do not know what specifically it is, but I suspect that it relates to them having already ‘scented’ every part of that route and consequently do not want to go back over it.

I have tried everything. During a recent walk we walked along the beach but because of a rising tide were forced to walk back the way we had already come. The hounds looked at me like I had told them they were on half rations for a month. They settled themselves down onto a patch of sand and began a staring competition with me. Not to be outdone I continued walking further away from them, all the while having one of those conversations you have with yourself knowing that they dogs (or your kids!) are completely ignoring you. Everyone else on the beach on this occasion clearly thought that it was hilarious. 

“ Right I’m going. You two can stay there and find your own way home.”

I continue walking and saying “ I’m going, I really am, I am going….”

The hounds did not move a flicker.

“Right. I really am going this time. I mean it, I really mean it.”

Lewis moved slightly, I say moved, he actually just moved from a sitting position to a lying position.

Okay I thought. I will play them at their own little game. If they can’t see me, I am sure they will panic and come running. I am after all their pack leader. Just to make sure of this I hid behind a wooden beach groyne that was about 3 feet high and stretched from the high tide mark down to the waters edge. Peering over it slowly I strained to see what the Hounds were up to. Several families on the beach were now wondering why this large man was crouched on the beach periodically peeking over a bit of wood mumbling to himself. I imagined the strange conversation I would have if someone had approached me..

Excuse me are you okay?”

“ Yes thank you I am just hiding from my dogs.”

“Oh are they vicious?

“Oh no, they just don’t like walking the same routes twice.”

“Oh I see…..” (as they back away slowly).

Right that’s it! I leapt up marching toward the hounds, leashes in hand. Monty and Lewis were clearly concerned about where I was. They were so concerned that they had mooched off to join a family on their beach blanket and were being fussed and fed chips by several small children from their new adopted family.

Clicking their leads onto their collars I began to march them home. Monty and Lewis managed to give their new family the “please don’t let him take us,” look.

Occasionally, to avoid this type of scenario, I will walk the dogs on a long route and get a bus home. We have a very good bus service where I live and have never had a problem being allowed on. Bassets have a habit of making everyone smile and that can only be a good thing. The down side for me however, is that Monty & Lewis now assume every bus stop we pass is where they can stop and wait for a bus. They automatically assume that this is where they get their lift home. Even if it is the bus stop is two hundred feet from where we live. Passengers sitting reading their newspapers look down bemused that two Bassets have joined them waiting for a number 14!

I wonder if they can get their own Basset bus passes?!  

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