What happens when it gets dark?
This is a question we are asking ourselves with the sudden arrival of Daylight Saving, for the first time.
Oh, damn, the seasons. We just didn’t really think about that in May.
The park is out of bounds, unless you’re one of the neighbourhood’s 12-year-old smokers, so where do all the dogs go?
No time like the present to revisit that Walking To Heal failure of a couple of months ago.
Right boy, we’re going for a walk on the lead, I said tonight, aware of doubt in my voice.
It’s like the usual walk, but without the good bit in the middle. Not so much as a chuckle.
Heal. Heal. Heal. Heal, heal, heal, heal, heal-heal-healhealHeal. Frank, HEAL. Heal. Heal. Frankie…heeeeal. Heal? HEAL! FRANK, STOP pulling you little sod. Frank. FRANK!
By the corner at the end of our road we were making somewhat artificial progress.
Through no fault of his own (rather a considerable reduction in lead length), Frank is walking closely and looking up at his master, eyes bulging.
End of the next terrace and I’ve given up.
Frank, heal. Heal. Hea… please? Oh, common. Frankie?
Look, I say bending down and waving a treat in front of his not insubstantial nose in the way the obedience trainer had shown us during our first and only visit. Treat.
I guide him around to the start position (on my left) and he hovers just above sit, hoping I’ll not notice. No, Frankie, sit!
Have you any idea how cold this pavement is?, he projects, before momentarily touching the ground with his bum, snatching the treat from my fingers and standing bolt upright again, looking crossly along the street.
Ok, heal now boy, I say, taking a step. He’s off, yanking at the lead.
Cumon you old git, it’s freezing and my arse is cold.
Frank, come here; heal, heal. Treat?
I’ll get piles.
I leave the treat in front of his nose and begin to try and walk, stooped, along the road. Discomfort and boredom overwhelms me.
Frank jumps at my ascending hand, before giving up himself and continuing his pursuit of the thing just ahead of us.
Occasionally, as we continue, he walks alongside me for a few paces by accident and I immediately reward this with a completely unmerited treat and accompanying enthusiasm. I’m not sitting down again, he says.