It used to be that a walk in the woods was out of the question with Rudi. Unlike my late dog, Senna, who was a faithful shepherd to me as his breeding dictated, Rudi is a ne’er do well fly-by-night likely to take off at the speed of light after any moving thing or shadow within a 5 mile radius. He is gimlet-eyed hunter who lives for the thrill of the chase. No wonder I didn’t fancy losing him in the woods. Sometimes I did fancy losing him in the woods actually, but I’m over that now.
We have known each other nearly two years now, and without wishing to tempt fate I would cautiously suggest we have formed, what is termed in the business, a “bond”. The exact nature of this bond is still up for grabs, we haven’t signed any treaty or conducted a referendum to quantify what one means to the other and neither are we likely to.
I decided to test my bond theory this weekend as a local wood practically threw itself at us for a walk. Having quizzed a lady with two elderly whippets in the car park as to the wisdom of letting these flighty types off the lead in the woods I decided I would be brave and give it a go. Shockingly, he did not disappear. Well he did disappear, but not altogether, leaping into view briefly before hopping off like a kangaroo back into the trees. I sounded like a contestant on “One Man and His Dog” on speed what with the incessant whistling, slightly less intrusive in the natural setting (I think) than roaring and bellowing his Russian ballet dancing name, but the whistling worked. Ok, it wasn’t total recall, but it worked as a reminder that he didn’t drive himself there for a walk on his own.
I am not going to be complacent. I didn’t see any of the hard drugs known to users as “squirrels” yesterday, so we didn’t get the chance to test our bond and the whistling when he was on a raging high, but it was an encouraging start to the autumnal walks campaign.