I’d say most (more than three quarters ?) of the walkers I meet when I’m out have dogs with them. Perhaps half are on leads (some put on when the owner sees me approaching). I reckon that there are paths around here which are only kept open by the dog-walkers, for which I’m grateful.
Last week I was walking down the causeway which divides this stream (not my pic).
Suddenly, belting towards me, is a spaniel, tongue out, head down, going like the clappers. He spots me. Panic. Screeches to a halt, turns on his heels and runs just as fast away. I can’t see his owner, and nor can he. More panic. Then a voice shouts “Conker !”. The chap explains that the dog’s young and still sometimes runs off, so they hide to scare him into keeping them close by. They’ve jumped across the stream (brave - at that point the far bank is only 3-4 feet deep before a tall fence, and it slopes steeply into the water too). “Don’t worry, says the young woman with him, we weren’t up to anything nefarious - it’s too cold for that”. Too much information. And anyway, why would I worry ? I give them a hand back across the water and we part company, Conker now at heel (theirs, not mine).
Lockdown brought a massive increase in dog ownership, mostly first-time owners who have no idea of how to train a dog and equally no idea of why training and lead usage is important in open country (see Wildlife Trust comments in the article). A lot of education (human and dog) is needed.
PS I like dogs.
^ Max in the beach bar in Beadnell, hard to believe the old lad is coming-up to 13 years old; given all the abuse he had by his first owners we never thought he’d last so well; apart from a couple of grim looking warts he’s still fit as a flea (and still a huge dickhead with other dogs…).
^ Tara with our chums’ rickety 14YO greyhound, River, using her as a pillow -
Bless them (from the sausage thief’s wife)
It will possibly end up being named Poppy (or Pepper, or Betsy, or Nellie etc etc etc ad infinitum)
Her beard has come on wonders. She looks old before her time.
Has to be Clem, Clemmie, or Clamentine
All good names, especially Nellie
“Luna”, if I may suggest one.