Wednesday morning and I’m all packed up for a three day stay with my Nana. She collects me from home and I listen in the back of the car while she chatters away about her plans for the next few days. The countryside walks sound great, but if she thinks I am going to sit quietly while she spends two days writing, she is in for a rude awakening. I am a princess and I expect all of her time to be spent with me.
She parks the car and invites me onto the front seat so it’s easier to put my harness on. I decline. I have been taught not to move around inside a vehicle so I remain in my basket, paws crossed in defiance. Nana calls again, muttering about her weak wrist and my lack of cooperation, but I am Bella the belligerent today and no means no. Nana sighs, leaves the car and opens the rear door. I smile benevolently. It shouldn’t take long to train her. She puts on my collar, then my harness. I jump from the car in a frenzy of excitement. It looks like an off-lead walk across the fields is on the cards and I am trembling with anticipation.
Nana pulls the lead and I come to a halt, baffled. What is going on? My lead is between my legs. How am I supposed to walk like this? I sit down. She pulls. I lay down. She pulls. I shake my head in disgust and only then does she realise she has put the harness on upside down. Nana scans the area furtively, hoping nobody else has witnessed her error. I hang my head in shame. There are a couple of Labradors coming towards us and I don’t want them to judge me on my badly trained human.
She corrects the harness before it gets too embarrassing & I tear off, lead fully extended. This is more like it. We reach a meadow near Oldacre playing field when there is a loud, whirring noise overhead. I don’t pay much attention at first; there are so many exciting smells. But the noise gets louder and the air churns. Before I can collect my thoughts, a bright green helicopter descends from the sky and settles on our playing field. Nana is agog with curiosity. She walks the entire length of the field watching men in orange boiler suits as they leave the helicopter and walk into the nearby estate. She hasn’t looked at me. Not once. I scamper across the field looking beautiful, with my beagle ears streaming behind me and my elegant tail tall and proud, but it is all a waste of time. Her head is turned in the other direction. We carry on our walk across fields and down tracks. From time to time Nana meets other humans and they gossip about the helicopter.
Presently, we come to a road. I slow down and look anxiously at my Nana. She knows I don’t approve of traffic noise so why she has bought me here? But then she turns into a close and I find myself in doggy heaven. Oh yes, the pet supplies store. I love my Nana. She talks to the human behind the counter while I take advantage of the low level treat displays with a lick of the merchandise here and there. Then Nana spots me and removes a snack protruding from my mouth that I sneaked from the stand earlier. She buys half a dozen sturdy chews and I begin to look forward to my visit.
We arrive home and Nana’s aged Border terrier greets her with an enthusiastic bark. He sees me and his shoulders slump before he turns away in disgust. I am a princess and don’t allow grumpiness so I jump at him and try to engage him in play. He raises a warning lip and snarls. Nana sighs. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a tasty treat. Only 9.30 am and I’ve already had a lovely long walk and a delicious chew. It’s going to be a good few days.