Ned is still young though, and although he is a quick learner, his impulsive nature and deep instinctive desire to round up other dogs and their owners, not to mention horses and their riders, or tractors come to that, and lately he has had a go at herding trains, make our walks a bit traumatic at times. Luckily Ned is very fond of his ball and Sam is able to use that fact to gain control of him. If he doesn't respond to his name Sam has only to shout the word 'ball' and Ned will run back to her side. Sometimes though Ned's excitement is so intense that not even the ball will take his focus away from storming off to see what havoc he can cause. For it has to be said that even in an extremely large and apparently empty field Ned will always find something that requires his urgent undivided attention.
Holding a conversation with Sam as we stroll along with the two dogs can be, shall I say, interesting? I call it a conversation for want of a better word, but mostly it is just Sam doing the talking. Blimey she can't half rabbit on! Luckily I am a good listener, or at least I am good at looking as though I am listening. A typical 'conversation' during a walk with the dogs is along these sort of lines.
Sam is talking: "so I need to be back home at NED!! three o'clock at the latest OH MY GOD!! NOOOO!! NED!! Good boy Neddy! What a good boy! Yes three o'clock because Harvey will be home at NED! COME! NEDDY!! Oh for God's sake! Where's he going now? NED!! Did you see which way he went? NED!! NED!! NED!!!! BALL!!! BAAAALLL!!!! Oh here he comes. Naughty Neddy! Why can't you be good like Sadie? BAAALL!! Can you walk that side John? NED!! You keep making me walk HE'S DROPPED THE BLOODY BALL!! through the long grass. Did you see where the ball went? Find your ball Ned. NEEEDD!! Stay here. NOOO NED! OH NO!!
NED STAY!!! and then it's swim club at four and I promised him BALL!! BALL!! BAAALL!!! BLOODY DOG!! BAAAALLLL!!! a pizza for his tea. Tomorrow I am having lunch with BALL!!! mum and then I really must get on with NED!!! COME!!! doing some housework and also I need NOOO!! NED!! COME HERE!! BAAALLL!!!! to practice some new songs on NOOOO NED!! NOT ON THE PATH!! Oh Gawd! Now I have to carry a NED!! bag of poo all the NOO!! way round. NED BALL!!! new songs on my guitar. NEDDYYY!!!! BAAAALLL!!!!! BAAAAALLLL!!!!!! Do you think my legs look too white? They have never been this white BAAALL!! before in summer. NED STAY!! I wish my legs weren't so NOOO NED!! white. Do you think I should BAAAALLL!! use some fake tan? NED!! NED!! NED!! BAAALLL!!!! It needs to be BALL!! done properly. BAAALLL!!!! BAAAALLLL!!! BAAAAAALLLLL!!!!!"
|Ned the Border Collie.|
To which I usually reply, "Yes I'm fine, just got a bit of a headache that's all."