Friday, March 24, 2023

Walking the Dog

The dog in question.
On her pile of cushions.
Wolves do this in the wild. Seemingly.

As I’ve quoted before, it was once said that the NHS could half its budget if everybody had a dog. And walking the dog is definitely one of the best things you can do for sanity. 

Mathilda and I went down to the Lochside yesterday. The weather had been largely raining, the loch was well up over its normal water line, flooding the paths by up to 6 inches in some parts. The farmer who owns the field at the side allowed the reserve to put in two gates so you can look through the field and back down on to the water when the conditions are this bad. 


This is a wildlife bird reserve, all sorts of rare geese and Whooper swans are found hanging round the car park waiting for the McDonalds wrappings to be thrown out the windows of the parked vehicles. A lot of the more exotic geese are deciding to stay at home in their more northern territories due to global warming. The water here is affected by giardia so it's used for rowing and skulling but no swimming or windsurfing. Full body immersion in that water would probably end up with you being immersed in the toilet for a couple of weeks.

Mathilda and I met a few people on the way, as we always do. Sensible dogs go up through the field. Spaniels jump straight into the water. I think as a writer, you can’t help making up backstories of the people you meet. 

There’s an elderly lady walks past on her own with a pocket full of dog biscuits. She’s here getting her exercise in the fresh air, and I think she’s moved into a flat and now she’s not allowed a dog. So she borrows everybody elses for 5 minutes. 

There’s a gentleman who bustles past, very business like, I think he’s on cardiac rehab. He's steadily losing weight. 

Then there was the couple who looked at the path (which looked like the water jump on a steeplechase) and asked ‘is it very wet?’. My dog looked at me quizzically and I was tempted to explain that water tends to be wet. And it was the precipitation from the sky that was causing it. Then I realised they were English, from the south coast, and probably not used to the vagaries of the downpour.


                                                      The small tree in the water is the actual path.

Two men walked past, I'm not a fan of fishing, I really don’t understand why people are so proud of outsmarting a trout. Anyway, they had on big wadery things, they had lots of bags strapped across them. Dressed in dark green with two long canvas, zipped holdalls full of fishing rods and they had two huge catch nets. Instruments of Satan I presumed but then saw they both had a clipboard tucked under their arm, so I re-presumed they were monitoring fish health and maybe, being spring, the condition of the water with the increased degree of run off from the arable land around.


At the turning point there was a lady sitting on her own reading a book, bearing in mind it was cold and another rain cloud was on its way over, she must have been a real book lover, or maybe this was the only place she got any peace and quiet. Of course, everybody stopped to ask her if she was enjoying her book. It was a romantic tale of daring do during the war, so ‘no dead bodies in the first 5 pages?' I asked?

'No,' she said, 'that was the last book I read'. 

And she gave Mathilda a bit of her sandwich.

So all was well in the world.



  1. You have a perspicacious knack for introducing us to the most interesting places, puddles, pets, and people!

  2. Oh I really really love this! And since my two darling doglets left us I've become that elderly lady borrowing everyone else's dogs for cuddles. All the dogs around here know and head for me, but I never thought of carrying dog biscuits... it's a Great idea!!

  3. Dog love that I am, I travel way too much to have my own beastie. I sympathize 100% with the lady with the dog biscuits. AA