So, the morning started off ok. Hubby came home around 5.30am, with all the panache of a herd of elephants...with a cold, so there he was snotting and sniffing and stuff, whilst I tried really really hard to not pay attention and still be asleep. Eventually got up, he had fed the dogs, so Iz stayed in bed and only Defi came down with me, which has benefits as he can be a pain in the bum in the morning, he is such a morning dog and me and Iz just are not. It was hammering it down with rain, so I resigned myself to the college run - girlie did ask last night and she has a late start on a Wednesday so at least I avoid the traffic. I don't mind the college run but it really messes up my morning and the dogs have to wait for their walk and get a bit bouncy. Then it brightened up. Girlie got up, it had stopped raining so I assumed she was walking again, but no, her friend had got a lift to their Nan's nearer the college and girlie wanted to take her enormous art folder anyway, so I was still doing the taxi run... but I had a brainwave...unfortunately....I would bundled the dogs into the car and we would carry on from college to the Arboretum, we havent been there in ages, it will make a nice change from sludging through the boggy fields and avoiding the swollen and flooding river. Great plan. I have to be sneaky as Defi is not keen on the car and needs to be on his lead in the kitchen and taken to the car, he will jump in and at least these days he doesn't fart the entire time, but....he got wind - no pun intended - and hid! Of course girlie is no help, she has done her hair ::) :o meanwhile I am armed with leads, wellies, ball and thrower, and have a mad Iz jumping up and down as she loves the car and really really realllllllllllllly wants to go NOW! I man handled Defi into the lead and bundle him into the car. Girlie is tapping her foot by the gate.
So I negotiate the Wednesday market traffic, which in Hereford is follow the tractor through the city centre, you would have thought they would be the problem wouldn't you? but no its the miserable old biddies with the blue rinses, that can barely see over the steering wheel, can't decide on which lane is quickest and don't do over 10 miles an hour anyway, it does get a little depressing to watch a tractor accelerate away from you.
Drop girlie off at college, continue on, taking the scenic route, to the Arboretum. First mistake. Its been a while since I have been, and even longer since I took the scenic route and of course I have forgotten that around here every lane floods! Eventually come to the woods, which turned out to be a nice, if not a slightly longer than expected drive. Its a bit muddier than I expected. Get out of car, stand in puddle...in my crocs, can't drive in wellies, hey ho, just the soles muddy, climb into wellie boots, open boot lid and stand well back for the mad hounds to jump out sending mud flying....
Defi charges off towards a lady getting out of her car, already he is covered in mud but thankfully he comes back when called. I am trying to leave the car park, but Iz has forgotten everything she ever learnt about manners and is trying to jump over my head to get the ball, she is so excited. I throw the ball.
We walk around the woods, its nice, but not quite the same as the river, the river walk feels like an old friend, even if we are wading through boggy fields, the woods feel a bit... lonely. We do see a few dog walkers, which is nice, but they are all with their dogs on the lead and don't want any interaction from what is now my muddy golden retrievers, so we walk on alone and watch walkers in the distance walk their little dogs on leads and avoid any other persons coming towards them. We reach the big open field, which is a great place to throw balls...or it was....it is now one big muddy, sludgey puddle, worse than the fields I think, Iz is still most happy to chase balls and skid, throwing mud into the air, my glasses are covered, but my dog is happy. Defi is content, as always to be rummaging through brambles and sniffing deep down into holes...on his tummy...getting into those really tight spaces that only a 33kg golden WILL go, he is black!
We finish our walk, pass a few minutes with a lovely lady, one whose dog is off lead and clean, not for long, Defi tries to engage in play, but the old dog, he is 11 and a half, really doesn't pay any heed to him, meanwhile I am trying to drag Defi off and apologizing for the mucky paw prints all over her lovely yellow labs back!
Passing a massive puddle, Defi jumps straight in, and comes out almost clean. Great plan. I throw the ball into the massive puddle and encourage Iz to jump in too. Now I have two, almost clean golden retrievers. Defi goes back on the lead, not taking any chances, and besides he needs to be back on the lead to get back into the car, meanwhile Iz looks like she is going to roll, so her lead goes on. Pronto!
Back at the car, still nearly clean, I am thinking the walk wasn't so bad after all, and find that someone has let their dog jump up at my car, leaving muddy paw prints over the back door, nice! Dogs back in the car, I watch the dog towels and blankets turn wet and muddy in a nano second....not as clean as I thought then. Open up the back door of the car to retrieve my crocs (bright pink and very worn should you need to know!) and change my wellies. Close the back door, reach forward to open the drivers door and stick my foot into a big sludgey, sloppy pile of mud and it covers the croc. My foot is muddy, wet and not very pink anymore!
Drive home. Fed up. Never going to the woods again, will in future stick to the river walk, the boggy fields, the dog walkers with their dogs off leads and wanting to play and be dogs and quite frankly, girlie can bluddy walk to college from now on and I am just waiting for my nose to run and I end up with hubbies cold!.