I have lived in and around the same area for a long time (excluded the 3 years I was in Leeds and Lanarkshire), and there are still places I have not walked. Well, last weekend I decided to try out another new walk. It was lovely. Up a steep-ish hill, the boys had plenty time off lead and they ran about like nutters.
It was all going so well. And this is the part where I am a very bad owner. I am very annoyed at myself but here goes.
First things first. Upon that hill that they were running down, there was some sheep (Calm yourselves, this is not a bad bit!). At this stage Zephy stood and stared longingly into the distance at yon tasty sheep. I called him and we started walking briskly down hill away from any of the animals (they were about 1-2 miles away). Now, common sense should have told me “You don’t know this walk, there might be animals up here. Put your dogs on leads”, but for some reason it didn’t. Luckily, this incident passed without worry. And so we continued back to the car. On the way back down we had to pass a field with cows in it, so the boys went on lead (a little bit of sense kicked in there) but Zephy was pulling constantly even though he knows how to walk to heel and I could feel myself getting more and more frustrated with him. Ben even offered to take him instead but my stupid pride got in the way. What’s worse is, that the halti I have for Zeph was in my pocket!! Clearly my brains had a day off. Anyway, We continued past the field and I gave in and let the dogs off the lead. Well, did Zeph not just manage to find his way into the field with the cows!! And he went charging through the long grass. I can tell you I have never felt so sick in my life. I shouted on him and Ben ran off after him. Luckily the grass was so long that Zeph didn’t know where the cows were. At this point all I could think was “I’m the reason my snuggle bear is going to be killed.” I was nearly in tears at my own stupidity! Luckily, Zeph couldn’t see where he was going and headed back towards the shouting Ben who managed to catch him.
Serious lesson learned: DO NOT LET DOGS OFF NEAR ANIMALS!!
What is most annoying, is that I have never allowed my dogs off lead near cattle, sheep or any other animal for that matter. Why I did it on this occasion I will never know. It was the stupidest thing I have ever done and if the farmer (who passed by not 10 minutes later) had seen us in the field chasing our dog, god knows what would have happened. I can tell you I will never ever put my dogs in that situation again.
(P.S no animals were hurt during this episode. The cows were oblivious to our presence as were the sheep.)