Looking out of the home office window at the hazy winter sunshine its hard to believe that we’ve had some really tempestuous weather!  My timing in regard to dog walking has been a little off lately having been caught out by some very heavy down pours! Although I’d marched the poodles up onto North Hill the other day in relatively mild and pleasant conditions.  As we made our assent the wind became stronger and blew iron-grey clouds above us.  My long dog walking coat ballooned out around me and I looked like a large brown bird that was about to take off!  In fact at one point I almost did as a strong gust from the north lifted me off my feet and had me scrabbling along the track until we dropped down into the shelter of the valley and hunkered under some trees to avoid a passing squally shower.

A few days into my sit I arranged with my friend to meet her and Mole the Italian Spinone puppy for a walk near their home in Selworthy.  We set off, again in very pleasant conditions, with enthusiasm and a bounce in our strides! (That has nothing to do with Australian trousers!)  I’d been walking both girls on the lead until I was sure that they would listen to me and felt confident to let them both off where it was safe to do so.  It was wonderful to see them roving about the hill and diving into the undergrowth, although the thought of de-ticking them later made me feel a little queasy!  We were less than ten minutes away from where I’d arranged to meet my friend when the heavens opened and I found myself once more battling against the elements in search of some shelter.  All three of us stood dripping in a copse, the trees affording us some protection from the driving rain.  Both poodles eyed me with a contempt I didn’t realize was possible in such a good-natured breed!  My poor friend having walked up across the fields to meet us was just as sodden as we were so we carried on around the neighbouring woodland as the wind dropped. The sun came out once more and we began to gently steam!

Our soggy yomp made me think of the times I used to lurch the lurchers over the moorlands of Cornwall.  Most days I’d be dressed in Wellingtons, unflattering waterproof trousers and have hair like a Dartmoor ponies mane in a gale!  We seemed to spend most of our walk facing into the wind. On our way home we were buffeted and blown along by gusts that had Sophie lurcher’s coat standing up on end,  making her and Snowy lurcher skitter about in great excitement.  They really needed a good run but in such turbulent conditions I didn’t trust them to come back!  Unfortunately they found themselves brought abruptly to a halt when they reached the end of their extendable leads!  That was when they weren’t wrapping the cords around the abundant gorse bushes as they pursued each new tantalising scent.  In order to stop my hood from blowing down I did it up so tightly that I could only see what was directly in front of me and then had to undo it as I began to feel rather unbalanced!  The three of us returned to Lavender Cottage in a state of bedragglement!  Where there followed a game of towel tag as neither lurcher relished the idea of being dried off!