I was woken at five this morning by a persistent tapping on my bedroom window and was out of bed and halfway across the room before remembering not to open the window as it would knock my client’s cat, Dangerous Dave, off the window ledge! I got back into bed and pretended I couldn’t hear him, he has access to a perfectly good cat flap I reasoned.

Unfortunately my early rising didn’t go unnoticed by the dogs who decided breakfast was due.  Thankfully they settled down again until my alarm went off at seven when the  mayhem began. Our morning got underway with a race down the stairs to see who could get to their food bowl first, the cats won as usual. 

After a quick empty in the back garden, the pets not me, breakfast got began  with a place for everyone and everyone knowing their place. This didn’t stop me being mugged  for my porridge by Dave, something he seems to have taught Bettie Spaghetti the saluki, who practically sat on my lap while I tried to fend off Dangerous Dave with my spoon and held my bowl aloft. I am still trying to assert myself as  Alpha female.

With the indoor animals emptied, fed, watered and emptied again, I left for the field and the outdoor animals. Down at the yard all was quite until I was spotted by The Mare from over her stable door, there followed much whinnying and stomping about  her loose box in anticipation of breakfast. Ash, The Mare’s diminutive, Dartmoor pony companion had a more laid back approach to things, he could just about see over his door and waited patiently as I  made up the feeds.

There being little nutritional value in what little grass managed to force it’s way up through the mud, I loaded the wheelbarrow with hay and tottered across the rutted earth to dump it’s contents in a sheltered corner of the field. As usual, when it came to releasing The Mare into the paddock, she turned into a rodeo horse, bucking, farting and galloping about whilst I winced and prayed she didn’t slip and break a leg! Ash, however,  daintily picked his way through the mud and settled down to eat the hay.

Having cleaned out the stables and swept the yard I padlocked the tack room and wondered where I would take the dogs our  morning walk. It was then I realized that the  keys were locked inside! I made a quick call to the neighbour who had a spare for the cottage, no reply, so I left a message and started walking to her house in the hope she’d be in. Unfortunately she wasn’t and I was almost at her garden gate when I remembered I’d left the front door key in the lock so the spare would be of little use.  I schlepped back up the hill ringing all my emergency contacts without success. Arriving back at the cottage I stood looking in through the lounge window at the excited dogs who couldn’t understand why I was  loitering about outside. I was wondering what to do next when a voice from behind me asked,“You alright?!” I turned to see a man in a green boiler suit with a tool box in his hand, what where the odds of that happening?! I recognized my Knight in shining armour as my neighbour from across the road. He was on his way to work and seemed mildly amused by my plight but very kindly accompanied me to the field where he took the tack room door off it’s hinges saving me from calling out a lock smith.

As I let myself in through the back door the Bettie and Lizzy  rushed at me with ecstatic barks. I let them out in to the garden, it was only nine-thirty and I felt like I’d already done a full day’s work. I decided the dogs could wait a little longer for their walk and put the kettle on!