One of the things I love most about taking Dad out for a walk in rural Somerset is the lovely peoples we meet. Take today for example. We set out from our house at silly o’clock as I like to call it. That equates to, oh, around 5.45am in humanoid time, although I have to tell you my Dad looks anything but human at that time of day. In fact, at that unearthly hour, the casual observer would find it difficult to tell which of us should be holding the lead and which should be on the other end of it!
First stop was a local country park. It was wonderful. A crisp, misty morning until the sun broke through, the place was empty when Dad and I first arrived. Just the way Dad likes it. Me? I prefer a little more action but one can’t have everything in life so I’m grateful for small mercies.
A short while later my heart raced as I saw, way in the distance, Thelma and Louise as I like to call them, leap out of the back of their car and into the country park. Thelma and Louise are two beautiful long haired German Shepherds owned by a lovely retired couple we met a couple of weeks earlier. They all got quite a shock when I suddenly appeared out of the mist, travelling the sort of speed that would surely have gotten me a speeding ticket if we’d been in town at the time.
By the way, did I happen to mention that I also am a German Shepherd and that for whatever strange reason, they happen to be my favourite breed of dog? Well I have now!
Anyway, everyone was clearly delighted to see me as we were them, and after a sniff and a chat and a brief run around, we all said goodbye and went our separate ways.
After our walk, Dad and I drove into town in readiness for the supermarket to open. As we still had a little time, I decided to take Dad for a walk around the car park which I find helps keep him well socialised because there are always people around even at that time of day.
So, we’re just getting out of the car when this bright red Toyota Yaris pulls up a short distance away. Rolling down the window this very nice lady called out, “Is he safe?” to which I instantly replied, “Yes, of course, but I wouldn’t trust him with your daughters even at this time of morning.” Well, what else are friends for I thought to myself?
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I simply love cars. Put a parked car with an open door in front of me and I simply can’t contain myself. In fact, and I know Dad hates people mentioning the ‘C’ word in the middle of summer, but I’m definitely hoping to find a vehicle of some sort in my Christmas stocking this year. (Hint, hint!).
Anyway, as we approached, a young couple stepped out of their car with beaming smiles that extended from ear to ear. “Wow,” the lady shrieked. “He’s beautiful.”
Are you sure, I thought to myself? Now don’t get me wrong. I love my Dad. He means the world to me. But while my Dad is many things, I’m afraid beautiful is definitely not one of them. We in the canine world speak of an unattractive person as having fallen out of the ugly tree and having hit every branch on their way down to the ground. Sad to relate, that just about describes Dad. Then I twigged. She was talking about me. That explained her lack of a white stick and dark glasses!
So, we’re standing by their car having a chat and I discover that while this couple have three small dogs, German Shepherds just happen to be their favourite dogs. Did I happen to mention that I’m a German Shepherd?
This couple love me. My size, my coat, my eyes, my friendly temperament. They love everything about me, so much so that the lady says that if ever Dad wants to get rid of me, she would take me in an instant. Dad of course says no way. I’m the bestest dog in the whole world and he couldn’t bear to part with me. So the lady enthuses some more and then offers to swap her virtually new, bright red Toyota Yaris for me. Seriously!
Did I spot a moment’s hesitation before Dad said no? Not a bit of it. He wouldn’t part with me for all the tea in China, he says, as we exchange pleasantries before saying goodbye.
Everyone thinks they have the best dog in the world. Personally, I think I have the best Dad in the world.
I am truly one seriously lucky dog!