Spare a thought for Gardener Dave and Polish Andy. As I waved them goodbye and wished them well at their next job, I hoped they didn’t get too wet. Gardener Dave sighed and said he was already soaked and feared he would be for the rest of the day. Given it was only midday, I felt extremely sorry for him. It’s not the best weather for gardening.

A big job done – the fence and shed cleared of detritus

The rain comes in waves punctuated with spatterings of sunshine. Because it’s spring the sunshine, when it speckles the ground, is not strong enough to dry you off. For the poor people working outside today, it would have been decidedly damp and moist.

And muddy. We mustn’t forget muddy.

The park

There is a lot of mud. Emma keeps bringing it home on her legs. Like today.

There was a brief spell of Rain Freedom after lunch so we grabbed it with both hands and enjoyed the park for a bit. For most of that bit, anyway. Emma had a couple of other-dog run ins which possibly blighted the outing somewhat. For her, anyway.

The first one was her arch nemesis, the greyhound. Emma was picking up her ball, her back to the open spaces, when suddenly a flash of brown and white appeared from nowhere. Like a pesky insect, the greyhound buzzed Emma then turned and ran back to her owner. Emma dropped her ball, turned around and barked but she was too slow, the greyhound was gone. She was totally confused.

The second one involved a big white dog.

Emma had reached the spot where I’d thrown her ball, collected it and was on her way back to me. This big white dog was in her way. As is normal for Emma (but makes no sense) she dropped her ball, stepped back and started barking at the other dog.

The big white dog picked up Emma’s ball and started teasing her with it, suggesting if she wanted it then she should come over and play. Emma just stared, aghast at the rudeness of the big white dog.

The owner of the big white dog eventually intervened, telling his dog to drop the ball, which she did. Once she’d moved away sufficiently, Emma raced in to retrieve her ball then came running back to me.

The third one involved Alfie, a very funny little black and white poodle crossed with an Ewok. He wanted to play with the girls and would keep chasing Emma every time she ran for her ball. Alfie’s legs being a lot smaller than Emma’s meant that he continuously fell behind. There was no way he was going to reach the ball before her.

When Alfie’s owner reached us he thanked me for wearing Alfie out a bit.

Freya, I should add, played with all three of these dogs without any problem at all.

The fourth encounter was a bit odd. It wasn’t even a real encounter.

As we reached the little kid’s playground on the way home, Emma spotted a man with three young collies on leads. I think he was training them. Emma stopped in her tracks, transfixed by them. Her tail went down and she was deaf to my entreaties.

The guy and his collies were not close to us. They were up on the hill, at least 60 metres away. I’m amazed that Emma could see them let alone feel they were a threat.

I was a bit concerned that she’d run away and decided to put her lead on. Meanwhile the guy with the collies must have realised there was some sort of problem and so he stopped, telling his charges to sit beside him.

Emma didn’t move as I clicked her lead on then, as if nothing had happened, she started heading for home, her tail up, ball clenched firmly in her mouth. There wasn’t a backward glance. It was as if nothing had happened. She’s an odd dog sometimes.

Freya, on the other hand, just roamed around, sniffing and looking for squirrels to chase.

PS: I heard from Denise that mum was home after her knee operation. I’m going to call her tomorrow.

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