What a glorious morning!
After the snow and greyness of yesterday this morning was mild and sunny, with endless blue skies and an optimistic feeling of spring in the air. The sort of morning that can make me forget I don't have a proper job or a stable income. Almost.
Instead of getting the yard cleaned up and the dogs exercised at top speed, I lingered unashamedly. I washed the dog bowls in the yard, with the dogs joining in and "helping", instead of doing it in a water-efficient manner in the house (there's enough water around here to allow myself the extravagance) and tidied the hosepipe and unkinked its annoying kinks (been meaning to do that for weeks). Then I found myself washing the mud off the hosepipe, for heaven's sake!
It was all in a good cause though, as I wanted the dogs to enjoy the sunshine as much as me, and it was Maggot's first morning. I thought she should spend some time with the other dogs (she didn't have much chance yesterday) and to stretch her legs.
Maggot's really lovely, just the sort of dog I like. She's slick, smooth coated and tiny (the nearest thing to a whippet we're ever likely to produce) fast and bright and turns on a sixpence. Apparently, although too young to start jumping, she's been showing tremendous promise at agility, and you can see why when you watch her move. She fascinates me, so I "wasted" much of my time watching her.
It's so often the way with collies, they live for the moment and don't waste time pining. Maggot was keen to reacquaint herself with the dogs she recognised, and strike up polite friendships with the ones she didn't already know, so she had a busy morning. Out in the field she couldn't decide whether to ally herself with Fen or Kay, and back in the yard her new loyalties were divided between Cabbage and Justin. She clearly loves to play!
Before Maggot's sister, Cotton, left home a couple of weeks ago, her best-friend-in-all-the-world was Cabbage, and vice-versa. Since Cotton left, Cabbage has devoted herself to defending me and my hosepipe (or broom) from all-comers, and in particular from Ezra, despite his being about five times her size and weight. It's very sweet, but it's rather like having a child who wants to stay at home and help you with the housework. It's very flattering, and undeniably helpful, but you know in your heart that it isn't healthy, so I was especially pleased to see Cabbage and Maggot having so much fun (even if it means I'm constantly defending the broom from Reggie's and Ronnie's combined attack).
Another highlight of the morning, also uncaptured because I didn't have enough hands to carry a camera (juggling, as I was, an in-case-of-emergency lead, a packet of digestive biscuits and my second coffee of the morning) was the sight of Olly finding his reflection in one of our many ponds. Our field has ponds in the same way city centres have pop-up shops: here for a week or two, then gone forever (or at least, until next Christmas). He looked so confused, gingerly pawing at the dog in the water and hunting around frantically when the ripples made it disappear. It was only being wrestled to the ground by his sister Jess that took his mind off it.
The weather forecast for the next seven days claims NO RAIN! A dry spell might mean we can start training dogs again, though Lord knows how we ever found the time...