Last week we walked, Dooley, Evie and I, to the village and school across the fields. It was misty on the way there but by 9 o'clock the sun was glorious. I grew up in this village and at Evie's age I would spend hours with Bonnie, our black labrador, in the meadows near our house. Full of wild flowers, willow trees and a babbling stream, it was idyllic.
It still is.
I couldn't resist taking Doo there, 40 years on. My black dog and I stood in the same stream, in the same place, beneath the same willows. 'That one's for you, Bon,' I said, as we walked away. It was the perfect moment.
It's easy to project our own expectations onto our dogs. I had no experience of so-called toy breeds before Zoey, who is half pug, half shih tzu. I expected her to be a bit 'precious' and maybe not cut out for country life. Wrong. She is as keen and ready to get wet and muddy (and worse) as any dog I've known and I think would be happy scuttling around fields all day long. As long as there was a packed lunch available.