My expeditions with the dogs in the morning are a real joy. The wind was blowing today but a clear blue sky accompanied it. The dogs and I walk at the start of the day which will get earlier and earlier as the summer progresses. The three dogs are a pair of eight and a half year old, chocolate brown, labrador cross cocker spaniel brothers which we brought from England and a blonde labrador cross bitch who is a bi-lingual catalan we got from a rescue centre nearby.
I take three at once on leads as I dare not let them off into the undergrowth incase they disturb a sleeping wild boar and disappear over the horizon after it. As we walk they show their true personalities. They become a puller, a plodder and a wanderer.
The Puller. Jack is almost always ahead of me head and tail up desperate to take the next step and sniff the next plant.
The Plodder. Bobby, who has always had a few weight issues it must be said, is always behind me; rarely breaks into a trot and takes as few steps as possible. When a car comes he has to be convinced to get out of the way whilst the other two relish the idea of jumping over the wall into another olive grove terrace.
The Wanderer. Boot, aah Boot, now she walks at least twice as far as Bobby and will be on my left, then my right, in front of me and then behind me and then back in front. This is relatively easy to manage if you have one dog on a lead, more difficult with two and challenging with three. I have become quite adept at swapping one lead from hand to hand and behind me as well as untangling three. If either of the boys stop to smell some random item…. She goes to join in, charging them and me out of the way by whichever route she can. She is the biggest of the three.
When we get back Simon has made breakfast for four and coffee for me. Then we start the day.