There's a hint of a breeze which makes our six am walk enjoyable . Down on the valley floor the sunflowers are out in full bloom. The yellow patchwork stretches as far as the eye can see.
The PONs paddle in the stream. At the height of the summer it's not so much a stream as a slow flowing trickle. Bob takes a long drink from a spot where the water has been backed up into a small lake by fallen branches. Sophie watches him to make sure it's safe, then she noisily joins him. Bob drinks quietly. Sophie makes a sound not unlike a Mississippi paddle steamer. I say aloud, as I do frequently, '' You make me laugh ". Swifts and Swallows and House Martins wheel and dive in the air around us. The male PON tries his hand at catching the small silver minnows that dart in the water. He fails. Bob is oblivious to the birds but Sophie sits, head high and watches them in silence. For a while she's lost to me in her own world of wonder. With the sound of the seven am bell we climb back up the hill towards the chateau and The Rickety Old Farmhouse.
On the ridge the PONs are put on their harnesses and hurried home. Sophie doesn't need to be hurried. The magic word 'breakfast' has her rolling down the road with the enthusiasm of a four year old on a trip to the candy store.
After breakfast Big brother plays with 'Lamb' ....
.... but when his back is turned 'Lamb' reverts to its original owner.
So begins a new week in deepest, deepest France profonde. It promises to be a scorcher.
A record of those things you do with dogs that are too unimportant to go in a diary but too important to go completely unrecorded.
And for those of you wanting to get far, far away from it all - here's a little Hebridean hotel for sale. http://ckdgalbraith.reapitcloud.com/ckdrps/pdf.php?p=INV160079