Monday, 8 September 2008

In which I climb a Mountain

Well what a day today has been. We have been out having adventureus in the Big Outdoors. In fact, this dog has been climbing mountains! Yes, I can now add mountaineer to my many other achievements.

To be honest, I have walked some fairly tough terrain before, with my Dad. We sometimes go for hikes, just the two of us, leaping about the heather and scrambling like pros. We're two of a kind. But today was more of a family affair, and this was the biggest hill I've ever summited.

The day didn't start too well. No breakfast (generally a good thing as it means we're going straight out for a walk) but then Mum and Dad buggered off and left us alone. Swines. They keep doing this. And when they did turn up, we still didn't get any breakfast! I let rip at this point and decided the only course of action was to assume we were going on a walk and get really excited to encourage them. Seems to have done the trick nicely! We were loaded into the car and chauffered to our starting point.

Unfortunately it turns out we had to stay on lead all the way. It was That Whippet's fault; he just can't resist sheep. I have the control required to stay focused but he goes all googoo and given half a chance would gambol right over to them. They, of course, then run around like loons being all "Arrrgh! Wolf!" and everybody gets cross.

We had to take it in turns to tow Mum up the steep bits (which was basically all of it) which was quite frustrating and I may have vented my feelings a little out loud. Still, she seemed to appreciate the helping paw, as it were, though sadly not by providing en route snacks. I had the best time out front with Dad, blazing a trail, choosing the best route and, of course, getting to the best bits first.

Oh boy were there some good bits: fetid bogs which tried to suck me under (naturally I took that in my stride, after all a boy doesn't have a good walk without getting a bit muddy); soft plump heather patches to bounce around in; pure mountain streams to pee in. Oh the beauty of it. Not one to linger on nature's elegance, That Whippet just ate sheep poo and let his tongue loll around in a stupid manner. Embarrassing.

When we finally reached the summit Mum and Dad got all pathetic and wrapped up in fleeces and coats while I just let the mountain air ripple through my fur. I was far too worried by that time about the lack of refreshments. By this time it had been several hours since we got up and I was suffering from a severe lack of ingestion. They, of course, saw to themselves first with delectable smelling sausage rolls, but my constant whinging soon produced results, and Mum got out her homemade cheese biscuits! Yum! Of course there weren't nearly enough of them, and (as I'm pretty good at counting) it seems That Whippet got the same number as I did. Don't they know Whippets are supposed to be skinny? He doesn't need biscuits. I do.

After the summit it was pretty much all down hill. Mum didn't seem to appreciate my towing skills so much as on the way up. Kept making me sit down while she clambered over rocks and walked ridiculously slowly. Boy was it dull. I could see That Whippet out front with Dad, where I should have been! I only wanted to catch up with them. There was no need for her to get so crotchity.

Still I'd obviously been a good boy because after a while Dad took both me and That Whippet and we towed him royally down the mountain. He fell over twice, but then he's not a nimble spaniel, is he? He can't help it. In no time at all we were waiting at the bottom of the mountain for Mum to catch up. I could have done it all again, I am a distance kind of guy, but the others wanted to go home.

Once home it was 11 minutes before we were fed, which is far too long. I will be mentioning this in my next memo to Mum and Dad about the ongoing Food Crisis. 8 biscuits between 2 dogs on a mountain walk? Are they crazy?

On a happier note, I have to say it was a corker of a walk. I hope we shall be doing it again tomorrow.

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