Taking Stock - March 24, 2014

It’s a time old description, one earned over generations.

Dogs, so we’re told are man’s best friend.

I’ve always taken it as gospel, being a doggy kind of person I had no reason to question such wisdom, acquired over generation.

That’s true, right up to the moment my dog went renegade.

Dotty, named by the children for her spotted face but living up to her name by being, well, loopy, is a barking mad spaniel - black and white unless she’s been on a long walk, in which case she’s a variety of shades of brown.

It was on one such walk the incident which has, to a point, spoiled my trust occurred.

Because the dog has never really learned to come back when called (or do anything else she’s told, making her the second most disobedient family member after boy twin) we recently invested in a retractable lead.

When extended it means the walker must go where the dog goes, meaning I spend most of my time these days walking the wrong side of trees, bins, pensioners and any other stationary objects I may come across.

The only other alternative is to become entangled and that’s how it began.

With the loopy spaniel wrapped around a trunk, I had no choice but to try to untangle her.

Spotting an opportunity, she made a dash for it, the lead going tense, the middle aged man at the other end headbutting a sycamore and cursing loudly.

Stunned but not yet defeated I made a grab for the lead, the nylon slipping through my hands, the sound of a severe dose of rope burn excruciating.

On my feet, bruised, stinging and muddy, I must have been a vision as I chased the errant pup along the footpath, her impromptu romp ended when the lead got jammed in a fence.

But, you know, I still love her. She’s never going to win Crufts, she’s usually eating something she shouldn’t and then there’s the ongoing spat she has with the cat.

She can still be my best friend, whether she tries to kill me during walkies again, or not.