It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.
With apologies to Charles Dickens, this pretty much sums up my weekend with Dylis.
It started so well. Lockdown has meant no puppy classes. Well actually we did go to one back in December. Ah yes that Sunday morning, when the rain lashed down and the wind howled. And Dylis gave me her trademark sideways eye roll and a look that said “What the hell are we doing here?”. Before realising she was in a paddock and proceeded to fall on the copious amounts of horse poo with the gusto of a starving pup at an all-you-can-eat buffet!
So not a great success.
Fast forward and as we emerge from lockdown, I figured it’s time to try again – even though Dylis is now ten months – where did the time go? – and just about squeezes into puppy class.
On Saturday off we went. As much for puppy play and socialisation as training. Dylis looked at the frolicking 5 month old Cava and Cockerpoos with the complete distain of a Welshie teenager – not gonna play with those kids when guess what ? I’ve found a stash of goats poo in the corner. Yum scrum!
So after half heartedly playing with Buzz the Beagle who then made the mistake of sniffing a bit too familiarly round her nether regions and getting firmly told off by Dylis – she’s not having any of that malarkey – we started with recall.
I was told to go and hide behind an A frame and call Dylis who would come and find me. We watched as Labrador after Labrador executed the perfect search and recall in under ten seconds. Even the excitable Poos did a good job, and were fast.
Then came Dylis. “Oh”, said the trainer, “a Welshie, this could be interesting, they’re somewhat stubborn aren’t they?” Well with that vote of confidence I headed off to hide behind the frame. The trainer took Dylis off her lead. I called out “Dylis come”. Ten seconds passed, thirty seconds passed, I heard giggling, I peered over the A frame . Dylis was making her way over, ambling I think is the word, stopping for a goat poo snack on the way, before arriving and looking at me as if to say “And why are you sitting there like an idiot!”.
Next up was stay. Now we practice this and Dylis did not disappoint. She smashed it sitting stoically while I walked ten metres away – or maybe she was bored and couldn’t be arsed to move but anyway we happily took the win and the praise from the trainer.
Lesson over and Dylis skipped out very happy with herself and with a doggy ice cream as a treat. Though not with goats poo sprinkles I might add.
Sunday morning and out very early for a walk before the days heat kicked in. Off we went to the park. We were the only ones there so I decided to practice some recall and a off lead walking. It all began so well. Dylis loves her treats so getting her to come back with the enticement of a tasty snack is usually not a problem – albeit at Dylis speed rather than warp speed.
We did our usual route, Dylis off lead mooching along beside me. She wandered near the bushes but came back at the rustle of the treat packet. Then disaster struck.
Dylis was sniffing in the bushes, I was beside her when a rabbit appeared from nowhere and I swear shook its tail at Dylis before scooting off into the under growth. well that was it. Clearly no self respecting Welshie was going to let that happen. In a nano second I saw Dylis bushy tail and wobbly Welsh bottom disappear into the bushes in hot pursuit of the pesky rabbit.
I shook the treat packet and called. Nothing. No Dylis. I headed into the bushes, across the tiny dribble of a stream calling Dylis. Nothing. It was as if she disappeared into thin air. The first few minutes I didn’t panic just kept pushing through the bushes certain I would see her. After ten minutes panic set in.After twenty minutes I was really shaking. Still no sign of Dylis. At thirty minutes I came across another dog walker with a Beagle who sniffed Dylis’s lead and set to work. Still nothing. It was now forty minutes. My heart was pounding. I had covered the patch and beyond that she had gone into. The park was getting busier and fellow dog walkers were calling out for Dylis too. Then suddenly about 200 metres away a little figure emerged from the bushes. DYLIS!
I ran towards her shouting stay. And thankfully she did. When I got to her I was so relieved but I didn’t know whether to hug her or bloody strangle her!
Dylis seemed once again very pleased with herself and trotted and skipped all the way home where she wolfed down the biggest dinner and took to her bed doing the biggest snores ever, whilst I uncorked the Sauvignon Blanc to calm my shattered nerves!
But our weekend of adventure was not over. This morning, Dylis and I set off for the local dog show. It’s a fun day out not a serious event. Dylis and I had ice creams, we met another Welshie – always exciting – and then as it was for charity, we entered a couple of shows. And I can now reveal Dylis came third in the Best Puppy show – she lost out to two Frenchies, but to be fair it was for Frenchie rescue charity and then she got second place in Having a Bad Hair Day show!
Mmm must find a groomer soon!
And so it’s been a busy Welshie weekend. Dylis has celebrated with a frozen lamb lite and is now zonked out. I am relaxing with a very chilled glass of rose and reflecting on lessons learned. Just when you think you have a Welshie figured out, they shock the hell out of you!
But then would we have them any other way? Cheers !