'R' words everywhere
Wildlife surrounds us. Birds are singing and there are rabbits everywhere. No, I mean there are rabbits everywhere. Milo pricks his ears up at the mention of the ‘r’ word. There are rabbits by the river, rabbits on the grass verges, rabbits amongst the plant pots, rabbits everywhere. Jo reminds me to stop using the ‘r’ word.
We pull up in front of our lodge and begin unloading. Jo says leave the dog in his crate whilst we get everything out of the car and into the lodge, “I don’t want him chasing things beginning with ‘r’”. I swing open the back door of the Shogun. Milo’s in his bed, in his crate surrounded by bags, walking boots, the coolbox, walking sticks, coats, provisions and all sorts. He’s keen to get out. The car emptied Jo says get the dog on his lead and he can go on the gated deck, he’ll not be able to get out. Dog lead in one hand, halty in the other, I barely get the crate latch undone when Milo pushes it open. Eyes wide and dark as night, he leaps from the car and he’s off. It’s like the start of Greyhound racing. They’re under starter’s orders, there goes the bell, there goes the ‘r’ word, the traps open and he’s off. Except in this case it’s not an automated, mechanical, look alike ‘r’ word – it’s the cute, fluffy, real-life, hopping, bunny version. Milo’s like a kid in a sweet shop. He’s won the lottery. He think’s he’s died and gone to doggy heaven. ‘R’ words everywhere. Which one shall I choose?
Rabbits are flying in all directions (it’s too late to worry about the ‘r’ word now). Milo’s at full tilt. Crikey he can move. “I told you to put him on his lead” Jo reminds me. Milo changes direction every time a rabbit darts in front of him. He’s focused. Rabbits are scooting right into the woods, left towards the river, Milo’s in pursuit, under decking, down the road, under parked cars, through people’s gardens. Flower pots and buckets are scattered. Jo’s shouting “Milo, Milo, come here” He’s in the zone. He’s right on the tail of one. His mouth opens but the rabbit jinks in a different direction at the last second. He sets his sights on another one. “Whistle him Mick, he’ll come if you whistle”. Now this is true. He’s pretty obedient to the whistle. The snag is the only way I can whistle is by placing two fingers of each hand in my mouth and blowing which is fine unless you’re laughing and then it becomes absolutely impossible. The more Jo shouts “Milo, Milo” and “Mick, whistle him”, the more I crack up. Milo’s now disappeared. No, there he is heading for the woods. All of the rabbits have now vanished, down burrows or wherever rabbits disappear to. He’s just chasing scent now. After a number of splutters, spits and wheezes, I manage to produce a decent double toned whistle and follow it up with a verbal “this way, Milo”. He responds and I trick him up the steps and through our decking gate on the pretence that this is the way to more rabbits. We have him. Jo tells him he’s been a bad dog whilst I secretly think “that’s my boy”. Hopefully owners arriving at their lodges this weekend and noting the toppled plant pots etc will put it down to strong winds.