I know where he is. I saw him going through the gate into Tricia's garden. He's gone to see the puppies. I know about the puppies, I can smell them on him. He's keeping an eye on them while she is out. I wish he would hurry up. I want my walk.
Here he comes at last. He'll now do that daft thing of trying to get back through the gate without me hearing him. John! I'm a German Shepherd. I've got ears like a.. Like a.. Well, like a German Shepherd actually. I hear you. I could hear you even when you were in the house.
Is he going to the tractor shed? Yes! This could be it! Don't say it John. Please don't. But he does say it.
"Where's your lead? Find it. Find your lead".
Which means that I have to go through the whole excited, going for a walk, rigmorale again. I wish I could stop myself, but I can't. I'm a creature of habit and so is he. Except he would never admit it.
We go through the back gate into the big field. It has just been ridged and planted with potatoes, so the going is a bit tricky for a few hundred yards until we get to the footpath proper. It's on occasions like this, that I am reminded that John used to be a merchant seaman. The language! You wouldn't believe it.
The farmer has reinstated the footpath by flattening the ridges, and we cut across this bit of the field without too much trouble for his old legs. It's a quick bit of walk and quite boring. Even so I manage to almost trip him a couple of times when I stop suddenly to investigate a smelly bit. He reminds me what my name is. "SADIE!"
Now we reach the road. I always stop here, because I know he will want to put my lead on. He tells me what a good girl I am. I love it when he says that, and we cross safely.
This is my favourite bit of the walk. He lets me off the lead and I love to run ahead. There are lots of rabbit holes to investigate, and little piles of stuff, and the smells! Well the smells are to die for, they really are. One day there was a decomposing hedgehog. Exquisite! I just had to roll in it. John was not pleased with me that day I can tell you. I had to suffer the dreaded hosepipe wash down. It was worth it though. I'd do it again.
Too soon we are in the twitten next to the Church, and it is onto the lead again for the short stretch of road to the park. Oh no! Here comes a young mum pushing a pram. We will have to stop and say hallo. He says hallo to everyone we meet. It's not a normal thing in these parts, but it's a habit he picked up when he lived in a remote part of Scotland. It was all right up there, people were few and far between. But here in the south there are lots of people. On a busy day he can take hours to get anywhere. He does smile and say hallo this time. Luckily for me she is not too responsive and we make it to the park, without me having to sit impatiently while he rattles on about something or other. These days it's usually the royal wedding. He can't wait to see 'the dress'. I made that bit up. Nothing flakey about our John.
In the park John watches me like a hawk. He gets worried you see. He thinks I am going to poop on the grass. Actually I have already 'left a message' in the other field, but he doesn't trust me not to do it again. Sometimes, just for a bit of fun I pretend I'm getting ready to 'go'. "Don't you daaaarrre", he'll say in a stern voice, keeping it low in case anyone thinks he's a wicked dog owner. Honestly, he is hilarious.
This is nice. I think while he's watching I'll just bury my nose into this. He's getting worried. I recognise the signs. Tense shoulders, slight frown. I'll just squat down. Give him a bit of a scare. He is rummaging frantically in his pockets for a poop bag. "Don't you daaaarrre". Hilarious!
I am tied to a railing outside the shop, while he is buying a newspaper. The window cleaner wants to get this window next to me cleaned but he is frightened of me. I can always tell. You are going to have to wait Mate. If I know John, he is going to be chatting away in the the shop for flipping ages. That's it. Just work around me. Keep just outside my reach. I'm really vicious I am. I'm a German Shepherd.
What's this? How odd. A bloke in a kilt! Don't see many of those in Sussex. Hope he doesn't stand around for too long. If John sees him, he will be bound to want to talk. He likes people who are a bit different.
Too late! He's been noticed. Off they go. Natter, natter, natter. Blimey, and he says women talk too much! I may as well have a lay down.
The Scotsman has gone at last. John probably wore him out. They were talking for ages trying to outdo each other on who's legs are the weakest. It's a bit like young men comparing tattoos, only it's for older people, whose tattoos have faded.
We will soon be home. I need a drink of water and he looks like he could do with a cup of tea. I hope he gets the biscuits out too.