We have just returned from our long morning walk adventures.
As we set off we spotted our neighbour Karen heading up the hill back home with her collie Ben. Poncho did his normal barking and jumping. Every time he leapt I stopped, turned him round and walked back a few paces. Eventually he was well enough behaved for us to continue up the hill. After Karen's house we come to Sheila's. Sheila breeds Australian terriers. Her house is set back from the road and the dogs are in a large pen in her garden. Although they can see us we cannot see them so they are largely ignored despite the fact that they all start barking wildly as we walk by.
At the top of our road we meet two horses being exercised from the local stud farm. This is more of a problem for the horses than us, the dogs taking no interest in them whatsoever. We pull over onto the verge to let them pass.
We crossed the main road to Duns and headed off through a light industrial estate, Craigswalls. On the left is some sort of potato processing place, Greenvales, and on the right Simpsons malt. Further up on the right is a road down to a couple of grain related businesses. On the left is a strange set of metal and breeze-block buildings that we have no idea what they are. We often see white vans driving in and think it looks like the sort of places gangs would meet up to divide the loot. After these we go across what may have been an old railway bridge. On the right is a very large field, which now contains two horses and a small herd of cattle. Sometimes if we stop on the bridge and the cattle are at our end of the field they form a defensive semi-circle around the bridge and stare up menacingly at us.
At the end of the road we turned left towards the village of Allanton a few miles further on. We continued on past the stud farm and fields until we got to the Blackadder North Lodge house, where we turned right down the track. This was new territory and we were hoping it would go to the river. However, after walking for a while all we could see was more fields. I spotted a bunny hopping around on the right before Poncho so headed him towards the left field. The ploy worked.
We decided to head for home again. Back on the Allanton road we had forgotten about the dead badger that has been there for about 4 months now, and is decaying very slowly. The smell must be irresistable as Jen and Poncho both made a dive for it, and we managed to pull them away before they rolled in it. A few paces on and a deer ran straight across the road and through a gap in the hedge barely 10 metres in front of us. Now that was exciting - leaps and barks from them both and trying desperately to see where it had gone. Eventually they calmed down and we continued on, back past the stud farm and through Craigswalls with no further excitement other than Jen trying to drink out of every puddle we came across.
We had almost got to Sheila's when I spotted Karen's cat sitting in the middle of the road. Poncho had seen it too, but was still walking nicely as the cat hadn't moved. As we got nearer it got up lazily and headed into the hedgerow. This was the trigger Poncho had been waiting for. Back to the routine - bark, leap, stop, turn round and a few steps back. He is getting better - repeat it half a dozen times or so and eventually we got past where the cat had been. Just in time as it turned out as we met the horses returning a few metres further on.
We don't normally walk as far as that, but the weather was perfect - overcast, still and mild. Greyhounds do not actually need much exercise - about an hour a day split into two or three walks is ample according to websites we have looked at. So after our hour and 20 minute walk this morning they have both been completely flaked out on their beds. Still, lunchtime soon...
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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