Walking the dog with a brisk northerly breeze blowing horizontal sleet in to your face does bring you to question the worth of having a dog, an active dog and a border collie in particular. I know plenty of dog owners who would have stayed at home today, maybe give the dog a little bit more inside play but certainly not venture out. However the punishment for having Mist, and Bracken before her, is that twice a day, or one mega walk a day, I am obliged to take Mist out in whatever the elements throw at me. I say me because it is always me at this time of the year; the ladies of the family tend to go hiding when walk time approaches muttering such lines as ‘she’s your dog’ and ‘no chance’.
However Mist of course loves a walk whatever the weather. It makes not a jot of difference if the sun is shining or the sleet blowing in from the north, she loves it. Kicking wet snow in her face or rolling in the ever present mud is all greeted with a big smile, wags of the tail and even what we have come to call ‘rabitting’ when she simply races madly around with the simple joy of being alive. I have not been on such big walks in the last few months, aside from a scramble on Sharp Edge, so the majority has been on the local moors around Long Preston and Settle but the pleasure for Mist is simply being out and about. There is simply no option but to take her.
Actually being out and about in bad weather is not nearly as bad as the thought of going out in bad weather! Wrap up warm and after 10 minutes it hardly matters what is happening beyond the hopefully waterproof jacket and trousers. In fact bad weather is invigorating and as long as I am not out for any more than about 3 hours it can be immensely satisfying. Returning to a warm house or better still a warm pub makes it all the more worthwhile. That is of course with the exception of having to towel down a wet, muddy and exceedingly squalid dog. A bit more snipping of excess hair on her underneath is definitely needed.
Bracken, our 15 year old collie was sadly put to sleep a few weeks ago. A very sad day for she was a wonderful dog. However I was quite touched when my 11 year old daughter put together a mini power point of her life (she loves doing power points!!) – it captured so much of her character and characteristics I thought I would include it here for anyone who fancied a quick ‘Ahhhh…..’ Bracken – the life of a Border Collie 1
Previous posts on Mist the Border Collie:
Frollicking around Eskdale Oct 2011
Mist’s Summer Frolics Sept 2011
Mist Heads North July 2011
Early summer stay in Wasdale. May 2011
Mist & the outdoors in Spring. Apr 2011
Training Mist. Mar 2011
Pleasures & Problems. Jan 2011
Early Days of Mist, October 2010