Regardless of the weather the dogs need walking

Though it’s been wet for days, I still have to brave the elements and take my furry friends out regardless. My house looks like an old tenement yard with lines of soggy, wet garments, towels and socks hanging everywhere, dripping small puddles, the rows of sopping, waterlogged footwear lined up by the back door. Using the log burner as a drying machine, my gloves and leggings fight for space on the front line with two little furry bodies shuffling about, getting closer and closer, trampling my clothes underfoot as they vie with each other to rest their cold, wet noses and ample bottoms on the much-needed fire guard.

My life in this weather has been reduced to a never-ending round of entering the dining room to slide them sideways across the carpet (because they’re not helping me), their 9kg feeling more like 9 stone as I pick up the items in various states of ‘dry’ and restore them to the rack. Why, in all honesty, I don’t know because within the hour, I will enter once more to find all the garments turfed about like so much detritus again, my two companions back in prime position. Am I upset? Not at all! Retired, this is clearly now my role in life, and their fire-hogging antics make me laugh; after all, they’re wet too, though their coats have been carefully towel-dried and we’ve all got over a fit of the zoomies, inspired by a good rubbing down.

When having judged the moment correctly, we venture out, Ila wanting to take the whole world at a hundred miles an hour whilst Arthur is happier to pootle along at my pace, always conscious of my limitations since I was diagnosed with RA. Though I dread it beforehand and have constant arguments with myself about whether it’s getting better or not, having taken the plunge, I always enjoy it. If wrapped up warmly, it doesn’t matter if it’s drizzling or pelting down; there’s so much out there to enjoy. Sitting on a garden wall, I people watch, scurrying about in the rain, their shiny macs making them resemble worker ants. At my feet, I study the wet leaves, how their colours glisten and shine like carefully polished jewels, buffed up by white-gloved butlers. A kaleidoscope of yellows, oranges and reds that merge and mix with each other to make a thick carpet of intense luminosity. Like a tiny magnifying glass, each raindrop reflects the world around us with fresh, clear liquidity. Closing my eyes, I listen carefully to the sound of the rain coming down through the trees, plinking and plonking onto the brim of my hat until I feel the rain seeping stealthily through the seams on cold feet to slide icily down my scalp, annoying and yet somehow enjoyable, the sensation vibrant and soothing like receiving a gentle head massage.

Photo by Tim Stevens of Rainbow over Dorchester

Accepting it is time to move on lest I melt soggily into my surroundings, we walk with the rain easing. I look up through the canopy of trees to see the sun, just peeping through, her golden robes spreading out over the clouds and then I see it! A rainbow, its pale, shimmering colours emerging through the atmosphere to become stronger and stronger, each second becoming more vibrant and vital. Excited and caught up in the moment, I shout to my beasties and urge my furry friends on in the direction of its start, hoping that together we can catch it and find its beginning.  My aim is that once found, we can climb its iridescent glow, hand over paw to clamber up and up into the sky, merging with it to run across it, then slide on our bottoms, giggling and excited downwards, whooping loudly as we land with a soft thump in a heap of ageing flesh and furry softness at its other end. A moment of madness achieved which, like its appearance, makes our spirits soar! Though we search and search, sadly, we are unable to locate its beginning, and so breathless and out of puff, we rest awhile on another welcome wall. I constantly talk to them, fondling velvet ears until pulses are restored. We shrug, our mission abandoned for another day, another rainbow, content to make our way home together, wet but happy.

One day it will happen, and like a scene from ET, if you look carefully right at its zenith, you will see the faint, blurred outline of a jolly, fat lady whooping along with two furry little dogs running along beside her, their tails curled up over their backs full pelt into the clouds.

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122 Church Drive, Quedgeley, Gloucester, GL2 4UP
122 Church Drive, Quedgeley, Gloucester, GL2 4UP
1 month ago

What a lovely way to start my day, really enjoyed this article, thank you. I’m longing for a furry friend to join my somewhat lonely of late life since my husband died earlier this year. I’m hoping to long term foster a Cinnamon Pet from the Cinnamon Trust who do such wonderful work for elderly and terminally ill people who can no longer walk their pets themselves. Wish me luck but of course it means that someone else is suffering badly but I will love their pet for them and cherish my new friend when they are no longer here.

1 month ago

What a lovely idea. Hope you find a ‘match’. Happy Christmas from us all – Chrissy and A&G xx