Having yomped the retrievers around the woods on previous sits without any problems it was a bit of a shock when Phoenix took himself off on his own walk! Thankfully he was fine, if a little bewildered by his adventure. After that, I decided the safest thing for all concerned would be to keep all eight dogs on their leads! Not all at once you understand, I gave up my canine anchoring service when the whippets moved away!

Worried I’d bitten off far more than I could chew I contacted an old school friend, Jules, and hinted I might need some help. She immediately offered to assist me with exercising the pack for at least one walk a day. I decided I could manage taking the dogs out in relays for their second emptying. I was very grateful for Jules’ enthusiastic offer of help and felt dreadful when I saw the local weather forecast on breakfast television that morning, rain, rain and more rain for most of the week! Poor Jules, would she be regretting her kindness?!

My friend arrived promptly and rang the doorbell which set off all eight of the dogs in a frenzy of barking, the cats looked on unimpressed. I let Jules in and stared at her with some concern, she wasn’t really dressed for wet weather dog walking! As we have different sized feet I couldn’t help her out with any footwear but I was able to lend her my spare, mostly waterproof coat. Undaunted, Jules took control of two of the retrievers and gamely stepped out into the wind and rain.

An hour or so later the soggy dogs were back, steaming, in the kitchen whilst we two bedraggled dog walkers stood dripping in the hall!

`Same time again tomorrow then?’ Asked Jules smiling. Now that’s what I call a friend!!