20 days with Bob and Sophie. The geography of their imagination stretching by the day. The house now, very obviously, a dog house. Any flower that dares to bloom is quickly cut and put in a vase by ' the font ' before its either trampled into the ground or gnawed from its stem. A holding pen by the front door. Dog towels stowed on an armchair in readiness for a wet day. Water bowls serving as an obstacle course for the unwary. The out of bounds area where the gardener has piled up the grass cuttings four feet high their idea of heaven.Nothing tastes as good as fermenting grass.
A routine. To bed at nine, up at six thirty. In between deep, untroubled puppy sleep. Breakfast at seven, dinner at five. When it comes to kibbles Sophie's a shoveler, Bob a pacer. Eat, pace, eat, pace.
Training going slowly . ' Sit ' taken on board and registered but ' stay ' only understood until you're four paces away then a mad , paws falling over paws, dash forward. Those ' have you missed me ? ' looks of delight.
Sophie's horrid habit almost dealt with by the use of a water pistol as aversion therapy. It works brilliantly until the little angel decides that being squirted with water is a great game. Sophie now , when over excited, gently nipping with those tiny pirana teeth. Bob's thankfully navigated through that stage.
None of the rivers we've lived by make a noise. The Thames, the Potomac, the Dee all flow on silently , but here the little stream at the foot of the cherry orchard has delusions of grandeur . It roars and crashes , trumpet tongued, as it heads to the ocean. Pebbles and stones and logs constantly tumbling and chinking over one another . The six inch waterfall where the heron lives thundering like a miniature Niagara - the sound carrying all the way up to the church. An early morning walk with dogs makes you notice the most unexpected things.