Welly Bad Football

I hate wellies, well to be more exact, I hate it when my Dad wears his wellies on our walks cos he can’t play football properly. Usually in his shoes or boots he can at least kick the ball and flick it up for me to catch but once he has his wellies on he’s useless. Says it’s because he can’t ‘feel’ the ball but I don’t see what difference it makes. Anyway, once we are on the sand the surface keeps changing as we move along the shore and if I can just kick the ball hard enough I can get it into the sea. If I can do this then my Dad just stands there at the water’s edge telling to ‘fetch it’ – I can be very deaf sometimes.

To get back to the subject of this rant, I guess my Dad isn’t at his best when the weather is wet and windy. I think that this morning it was a bit cold what with the blustery wind and the bits of sleet pelting us so maybe he was justified in getting himself dressed up to look like the Michelin Man but he could give me some consideration and at least not put his wellies on. After all, I’m out in the same conditions and if I don’t mind it then why should he. Oh and another thing I’m less than impressed with is having to wear my coat – Dad says I look very smart in it and some people that we meet also admire my physique in it but it really does cramp my style. I mean how can I pounce on the ball when the coat tails stop me stretching out fully and who can look their best when the wind whips up the rear of the coat and plants it on my head?

Well I suppose that we have had a spell of dry walks and I did find that really smelly bit of cow pooh the other day – you should have seen my Dad’s face (or rather his nose) when he got a whiff. He ended up washing my collar and coat but I think I can just get a little hint of that scent still, it’s really good.

Ah well we’ll have to see if the afternoon walk is any better today.

The Gang’s All Here

Was out on Sunday morning for a walk up the Stinchar country road and we met a few friends on the way back. I was just trotting down the road carrying my Dad’s glove – as you do when out walking – when I spied this group of dogs and people coming in the opposite direction. Well at first I wasn’t sure who it was but when we got a bit closer I saw the ball of fluff just take off and come dashing up to us. Now I quite like her but she is a bit OTT – leaping and dancing all over me and getting her long fluffy hair in my mouth – and then she runs on to my Dad and smiles at him. She does make up to him something shocking.

As we come together with rest of the gang I briefly say hello to the boss – he’s a big German Shepherd, very self contained but doesn’t stand any nonsense from anybody so I just gently glance at him and walk on by. Then we meet a female, ah now you’re talking but she’s not for playing and objects to me sticking my nose where she doesn’t want it – I don’t understand why this can be, after all I’m a handsome boy, everyone say’s so. Next it’s on to the Mexican stand off with the black Scottie – he seems to think he’s twice the size of everyone else and we should all bow down to him, well I’m not doing that so we stand there, stiff legged glaring at each other until my Dad calls me off and asks me where I dropped his glove. Gosh don’t some things slip your mind when more important things intrude so I have to go scampering back to where we first met the group and have a bit sniff until I find it and even then I have to dispute things with the Scottie who misinterprets my actions (at least that’s what my Dad says).

Now the people have a quick chat so I trot off down the road a few yards and sit down waiting for my Dad to finish talking. Sometimes he takes so long that I have to go back and remind him that I’m still here and getting bored – I find that if jump up and put my front legs on his chest then he remembers me, though even this fails sometimes. I don’t know what they can find to talk about; my Mum says that Dad is just a gossip and a nosey so and so who can’t resist gathering the local news.

Oh good, here he comes now so I’ll just drop his glove in this muddy puddle, go and wipe my paws on his leg and then watch him gingerly pick his wet glove out of the muck – actually it tastes much better after this treatment – then we’ll trot our merry way home. Oh the joys of country living.

It’s a Miracle

About two weeks ago we were out for our afternoon walk and we finished up at the top of the conrete farm track just above Ballantrae. Now I was just minding my own business and carrying my yellow sponge ball when I smelt something very interesting so I dropped the ball and went scurrying off following the scent. When I came back to pick up the ball it was nowhere to be seen and my Dad was looking over a wire fence into a very boggy field. There was the ball, in the middle of all that muck and my Dad made it very clear that he wasn’t going to go and get the ball (seemed to think that the mud was a problem) and he wasn’t going to let me into the field in spite of my repeated requests. Apparently when I dropped the ball it fell into a channel draining the track, went into some pipework and was discharged into the bog (at least that’s what my Dad said).

Well today at the end of our walk we went up this same farm track and lo and behold there was my yellow sponge ball on the grass at the side of the road. It was a bit soggy and muddy but no longer in the middle of the bog. My Dad picked it up first and squeezed most of the water out and then threw it to me; well I was a bit unsure at first but once I had given a little shake and wiped it on the grass I was convinced it was mine and so we went home in a very happy state of mind. Miracles do happen – I was very fond of this ball and was devastated when I lost it.

River Walk

Signpost for the start of the Stinchar River Walk, Ballantrae

Signpost from the Road

Great to be out this afternoon, cool, a bit blowy and we are down by the river. I love this walk; I go scampering down the bank and my Dad stumbles his way down the steps – he’s blowing a lot today and rubbing his hands together, must think it’s cold or something. Anyway off we go sniffing and snuffling round all the trees and telling the world I was here. Whoo, what was that – oh it’s just one of these pheasant things. They don’t half make a noise when they take off, clattering through the undergrowth, cronking and honking and then their wings make such a whirring sound. I wouldn’t mind if they didn’t wait until you were almost on top of them before they take off. Why can’t they be like those rabbit (my Dad says hares but  I think rabbits) things that run away miles before you get to them, or the deer which also never let me get close to them.

Just when you thought it was safe, there was a different bird making a racket, a great big black bird running across the water, at least it seemed like it until it took off into the air and disappeared down the river. At least my Dad looked a bit startled too, he said it was a Shag but I think he was making that bit up. Rest of the walk was fine, saw some snowdrops in flower, felt a few snowflakes come down, had a great time splodging in the muddy puddles, chewed up a stick and then we turned back for home. Now all I want is my tea a bit of shuteye.

Socks and stuff

Chewed up sock
Dad’s Sock

Have you ever had one of those days when you just had to yield to temptation? Well It was a bit like that today you see I just can’t resist a sock, a pair is even better and I like nothing more than to get as much of a sock into my mouth as I can and then go and show my Mum and Dad what I’ve got. Actually I quite like a slipper as well, especially those with a bit of wool on, and come to think of it woolly hats or my Dad’s fur hat are also pretty good too. Yeah, my Dad’s fur hat is really special you see it’s a bit like a slipper but with fur round the edge and I particularly enjoy trying to scalp it – the next time I get it I’ll see if I can join up the bare patches into one continuous bald spot.

Anyway I digress. My Dad has some nice thick socks that he wears when we go out walking and they have a highly intoxicating odour that always makes me want to grab them and just shred them. Today I got lucky, I think my Dad must have forgotten about putting them out of reach because I went into the hall and there they were tucked neatly into his boots. Oh the bliss. I don’t really know why my Dad came and shouted at me, after all he can still wear them, can’t he?

Brisk New Year’s Walk

Well here we are again, the first day of the new year and I have to drag my dad out for a walk this morning. Weather is a mixture of blue sky, white clouds and spatters of rain all blown by a strong wind. Dad is a bit slow but we take the route for a walk along the Stinchar road. Actually I thought we might have met the gang but there was no-one about still this makes things peaceful, just me and my dad who keeps muttering about being pelted with raindrops – hey that’s only occasionally.

Wandered up the road, birds singing, saw a kite sailing along in the wind, pheasants in the distance, no deer this morning but it’s great to be alive. Just smelling in the verges and finding really good sticks to present to my dad but he’s not interested today. Ambling along and then we meet the ball of fluff; she’s a real live wire who always wants to be the centre of attention. She dashes up to us and gets my dad to stroke her and then she comes after the very nice stick that I’ve been carrying for the last fifteen minutes. Well, I’m not having that so we have a little dance around and then I run off ahead of everyone while she goes back for more attention.

Then it rains again and everyone hurries off home. All in all a fresh start to the day and a happy new year to all our readers.

New Arrivals

Lamb in Ballantrae field

Relaxed Lamb near the Stinchar river

What a beautiful morning, blue skies, slight crispness in the air and life is wonderful. Up early for the morning walk, now where will we go today? Out the door and the turn right, so the beach or the river or the wood. Past the Vennel so not the beach, it’s the river or wood then. Ah, we cross the road so its the river, that’s good as it’s a few weeks since we walked along there. Turn left onto the road that runs parallel with the river, off the lead and into the hedgerows, ahhhhh, sooo nice.

Now will we go right down by the river or stay on the road, we’ll soon see. Oops, what’s that? We often see these big woolly things in the fields but this morning there are lots of little ones, and they’re mad. They just leap up in to the air, without warning, not even chasing a ball and then they run off to hide behind the bigger fluffies. What are they? In fact I feel a bit threatened here. Normally the big fluffies just amble off further into the field but this morning they stand staring at me, stiff legged and a bit belligerent. Hmm, maybe I’ll just follow Dad and leave them behind.

Well after that bit of excitement I forgot to say that we walked on past the 44 steps down to the river and stayed on the road. This is a good walk as we can go for several miles between the hedges and there are lots of interesting things to smell and investigate; I don’t know what some of the animals are around here but they leave some very funny scents. Dad keeps standing still and looking up into the sky, I think he’s watching those flying things the make sharp twitters and tweets, don’t know why, they’re not very interesting, don’t let me get close enough to sniff them.

Trotting along the road nicely, Dad called me in once when the bin wagon went past but otherwise completely uninterrupted until Dad stopped dead and focused on the river bank. Well, what are those big things with a great big white tail, Dad says they are deer and suddenly they take off like an express train before Dad (who’s too slow to catch a cold) can get the camera switched on never mind pointed at the deer. Ah well, another time perhaps Dad.

We walk for about an hour and get back to the main road. Dad puts the lead on me and we stroll back home, nicely in time for breakfast, a fuss from Mum and a nice long sleep.

Found the Ball.

Ben on the beach at Ballantrae

Ben with his new found ball

This sea is very confusing stuff. Yesterday was a bit of a downer coz I lost the ball and couldn’t find anything else to play with. Now today we walked down to the harbour and the sea was right out. My Dad suddenly said to me ‘Find it’, well, I didn’t quite know what to make of this, find what? Anyway just to humour him I ran into the sandy area at the bottom of the harbour and there it was, the ball, covered in sand, wringing wet but still recognisably the ball!

Hooray. I just picked it up and rushed back to Dad, pushing the ball into his hand and then dashing away asking him to throw it for me. Life is great some days and finding the ball gave me such a lift that I was jumping and leaping about, catching the ball without a care in the world. What puzzled me a bit was howcome I couldn’t find the ball yesterday and yet today it was in plain view on the beach, and how was it just there in the harbour just waiting for me to find it? Do you think my Dad put it there for me to find?

Enough of this cogitation. Throw the ball Dad and then let’s go home and tell Mum.