I acquired a canine companion on a walk recently. Bruce is a young black lab who hails from our neighbouring farm. I tried to make him return to the farmhouse but he was having none of it. He and his fellow canines do often amble between farm and farmhouse. I thought perhaps if I walked on and ignored him, he would get bored and head back. Nope.
I decided I may as well enjoy his company and attempted a few photographs. He was very interested and came trotting straight up to me, black nose breathing on the lens. Would he pose? Nope. Bruce had other ideas.
The world was much too exciting to expect him to stay still – apart from when he climbed the bank to survey what lay beyond. I managed a rather nice silhouette.
I should mention that I do know Bruce, and his farming owners: I’m not in the habit of dognapping. And we didn’t go far. Obviously I didn’t want his owners to be worried over his whereabouts, and I wasn’t going to venture too close to where we might encounter traffic, but oh, I did have fun. And so did Bruce.
It was a very different experience walking with a bouncy, joyous, inquisitive animal. I chatted; he occasionally gave an impression of listening. As he bounded around; I couldn’t help smiling broadly. A walk I make regularly became an event. I thoroughly enjoyed his company and returned home not only exercised, but joyful and enthusiastic. His vibe was infectious.
Bruce safely restored to his farm, I pondered as I ambled off to my own home. We always said we would get a dog once we’d settled in here; we talked about it often. How good it would be to stride out with a dog for company.
That very same evening an email popped into my mailbox from The Labrador Rescue Trust. I wasn’t looking for it, I really wasn’t. They have a branch at Liskeard, our nearest town…
I decided to raise the idea with Bernie.
And in a twinkling – I hadn’t yet said a word – Harri appears.
She settles herself on my lap, warm and comforting. Sonorous purrs as I bury my fingers in her fur. Before she settled – in between jumping up from where she’d been stretched out on the floor, and circling around until she’d got my lap exactly as she wanted it – she had sat straight and upright, eyeballing. Her beautiful whiskery face with its wide yellow eyes was as close to mine as Bruce’s had been to the phone lens.
“I am here,” she explained,
in that silent, commanding way
she has about her when she’s set on something.
“I am here, and while I am here there will be
No Dog In This House.”
The view from here remains implacably feline.
Perhaps, when Harri’s snoozing among the pots – warm and relaxed in the sunshine- Bruce will join me again for the occasional ramble…