Rainy Dog Walks and Sunday Mornings Make me Smile
Posted on February 13, 2022
Before I ventured out with the dog this morning, I made up my own lyrics to Blur’s ‘Parklife’. “I pull my waterproofs on ‘av a cup of coffee and fink about leaving the ‘ouse”, I sang, as Jennifer became increasingly annoyed about my existence.
As the rain cascaded down on the window, I asked Jennifer if she would like to join me. I did this knowing the answer. It was a bit like Jacob Rees-Mogg asking the mother of a 4-year-old boy if she needed a babysitter.
With wipers on full speed, I drove down the road looking in the rearview mirror at the dog peering excitedly out of the back window. I don’t know enough about dogs to claim that they all love mud and rain but mine thinks it is just the best. He could not wait to get out there.
So, with my expensive North Face outfit that makes me look like I have more money than reality, off we went. I lashed out on this clothing after trying out some waterproof trousers from a shop called Mountain Warehouse. They were only £20.00 and looked just like the posh ones. The only difference was that after about 30 seconds, they were longer waterproof.
We wandered through the St Mary Bourne cricket ground past and past the local lake. On arrival at the corner of the lake, the dog completed the first of a hat-trick of turds. There is something quintessentially English about picking up dog turds in horizontal rain. The sheer misery of it makes it strangely laughable.
Dog Turd Morals
I have learned that dog owners have different morals when it comes to picking up shit. Some cretins just let them do it on the pavement. Others will follow their dog deep into a forest and search for a turd until it is dark. I go with the theory that if there is any chance my dog could blind a child, I have no choice but to do the decent thing. The irony of a guide dog for someone blinded by a parasite in a dog turd is too much to risk.
So, we crossed the road with the rain battering my expensive clothes that remained resolute. As I waddled along, I wondered how my dog’s brain is wired. Why run down the path swerving and hopping over puddles only to then dive, without hesitation, into a river? It must be some sort of game that will only be explained if dogs evolve and learn to talk.
We crossed the bridge into a field, where I spotted some fellow dog walkers approaching us. Did they sing their own version of ‘Parklife’ before leaving the house? Or is just me who instinctively tries to invent a song for every sentence I utter? I briefly thought about asking them but chose instead to utilise my standard greeting on a wet day.
Turned Out Nice Again
“Turned out nice again”, I said, laughing heartily at my own joke. “Isn’t it just”, said one of them, laughing heartily at their own response. British people are as obsessed with sarcasm as we are with the weather. I can recall saying, “turned out nice again, to a South African chap at our cricket club a few years ago. He looked out at the deluge and looked back at me as though I should be in a straitjacket. It blew his mind that someone involved in cricket thought the rain was a nice thing.
By the time we got back to the car, I was still dry, but the
dog was happily soaked to the bone. Recalling a disappointingly dry piece of
toast this morning, I popped in the local shop for some much-needed butter. Remembering
that the staff are incandescent if you spend less than a fiver on a card
transaction, I bought a quiche I didn’t want. Anything to keep the peace in a
volatile world, I thought.
“Lovely day”, I said, once again, laughing at my own razor-sharp wit. “It is if you are a duck”, said the lady, laughing at her very own razor-sharp wit. I laughed heartily, partly at her great duck gag but more in relief at squeezing past the five pounds mark. I made my way home, enjoying the stench of a muddy dog blending in with the car heater. As I opened the door, burst into song.
“I get home, take my waterproofs off, make a cup of tea, and I fink about staying in the the ‘ouse”.