They say a house is not a home, unless you have a dog. So, in the continued determination to make my house, my home… My Englishman and I promptly trotted off to Devon to pick up an adopted cocker spaniel that was looking for a new home. After paying our ‘deposit’, which was actually just a payment for the pooch and had the self-entitled grammar-nerd in me twitching at the incorrect use of the word, we ventured back with our chien in the back of the car, and a giant, “What now?” expression on our faces.
Meeting the cat didn’t seem like too much of a palaver – but we did receive the silent treatment from Bill for a good few days. I managed to butter him up with some vanilla ice cream and his favourite kibbles, and eventually, he was back to dribbling on my lap as he always does. Fia, the spaniel, on the other hand wasn’t bothered, every now and then running past Bill and giving him a thwack in the face with her whip of a tail.
And so we have managed to settle into a very pleasant routine. Every morning, at 6 o’clock, while My Englishman wakes up, I sleepily take the hound to the local farmer’s field for a run. I am thankful, each time I do, of this little pleasure that is ours, of living in the countryside and having bridal paths, and farm fields and rivers and streams through which spaniels can splosh. She is particularly boisterous, and having the opportunity to wander through a local field, at our leisure, without a hostile farmer bellowing, “geeeet ooooorrrfffff moooooiii laaaaaaaand” (well, some do), is a real treat. I can’t help but think about friends back in the Cape whose only option of walking their dogs is a pavement, a lead, and traffic. Fia, on the other hand, once through the farm gate, has the run of a field as large as about 4 hockey pitches, and I am thankful. That’s what the countryside offers you.
This morning, however, slightly more humourous. With the clocks recently being set back for the winter months ahead, and the joy and confusion that this change inevitably brings, I routinely got up, changed into my walking gear, stumbled downstairs, gave the cat a half-hearted ear rub, piled pooch in the car and ventured up to the field. We had just made our way through the farm gate, when my vision started to define some blurry large shapes scattered across the field. It was only when I heard a familiar sound next to me that I realised that our walking-field was now inhabited by the local Friesland herd, waiting to be milked.
Undeterred, and probably to the disgust of the farmer had he discovered us, I let the pooch run down the path, out of site of the sleeping bovines. The situation felt somewhat surreal, knowing that in 2 hours, I’d be sitting in an office, making phone calls to Las Vegas, and talking about marketing strategies and brand awareness. Fia, the spaniel, seemed un-phased, and happily frolicked on amongst the cow pats.