Country Park Excursion

Well, what a fine day we had today.

First, while I waited in the car, Mum and Dad went to the Dogticians. Not a spring chicken between them, each needed new glasses so they could see me better and so that Dad would hopefully stop tripping over his own feet all the time.

When they got back, hundreds of pounds lighter according to Dad although I couldn’t see any difference personally, Mum suggested a walk in the country park a stone’s throw away from where we were parked on the outskirts of town. Well, I was all over that as you can imagine. Dogs? Country parks? We go together like burgers and fries. There’s nothing we dogs like better than a good country park. Except maybe a rib-eye steak with chilli butter and homemade chips or a couple of minted lamb cutlets with roasted seasonal vegetables. But if neither of those is on offer, we’ll happily settle for a walk in a country park any day of the week.

A short way into our walk I spotted a nice little cafe. Feigning thirst – as we dogs are wont to do – I steered Mum and Dad in the direction of a bowl of water I spotted outside the cafe. More importantly, I’d also spotted the ice cream sign hanging tantalisingly on the wall but didn’t let on. Always better to let them think it was their idea I find. Things work better that way. Ask any dog. He’ll tell you the same.

So, we passed a pleasant half hour sitting outside in the sunshine drinking and slurping. (I don’t know why Dad does that!). Mum and Dad had a coffee and a bun and I had a tub of delicious vanilla ice cream before we continued our walk.

On our way back through the country park in the direction of the car, I recognised the tell-tale sign of an approaching dog-loving elderly couple walking a little boy on a lead. Funny that, I thought to myself. Dog on a lead. Boy on a lead. I never realised dogs and children had so much in common. I guessed maybe he had a tendency to get overexcited when he sees another child the way I do when I see another dog. I wondered why I’d never seen him at my ‘over enthusiastic greeter’ training classes. I could only conclude he must have been in a different class because he was older than me.

Anyway, I could tell by the ear-to-ear smiles the elderly couple were wearing that they were pleased to see me so we stopped for a chat. Mum and Dad love it when we meet people like that. I do too. So many people with young children on leads drag them off in a different direction when they see me coming, like maybe they’re afraid their child is going to attack me or something. They don’t realise that by doing that their children will always think of attacking young dogs every time they see one and get a convex about it that can stay with them for life. This couple were different. The elderly man got down on his knees and started giving me a stroke and a cuddle and the young boy did the same. It was so nice. We’d only just met but already we were best friends. Everyone was chatting and smiling and I was having a right royal time getting stroked and cuddled all over. It ended up with the young lad laying on my back and me taking him for a ride like I was giving him a fireman’s carry. What a lovely time we all had.

The best bit is, early evening and many hours later, Mum and Dad are still talking about it and I’m sure the elderly couple and their grandson will be doing the same. Because the little boy didn’t try to eat me I’ll be looking forward to nice things happening the next time I meet a young child on a lead. And because I gave him a ride, he’ll grow up to be a dog loving person just like his grandparents. Okay, his mum and dad might be horrified that their little boy went for a ride on the back of a German Shepherd the size of a Shetland Pony with teeth that could give a ravenous barracuda a run for his money. But then again of course, they might become dog lovers too if they’re not already.

Anyway, I do hope we all meet up again soon. They were such lovely people and we had such a smashing time together.

Marco

I am a large, friendly, affectionate and, even though I say so myself, fabulously handsome 3 year old German Shepherd Dog whose mother, Lexi, is one of the few German Shepherds in the UK to have qualified to become a Therapy Dog (PAT dog).