We had been walking along the shore and it was time to go home. We made our way up the beach, the last part was quite steep shingle. I had the male biped attached to me by a long lead. He said, “I’ll race you to the top, Clowie!”
We started running side by side. Our paws (and feet) slipped back with each step, it was difficult to go fast. I knew I’d be able to win because four paws are better than two feet on a slope. I started to get ahead of him and then I realised I needed some help with a problem, so I sat. He didn’t notice, he kept running.
The female biped wasn’t far behind us and she shouted, “Stop! Clowie wants something.”
He stopped just before he reached the end of the lead and turned round. The female biped arrived next to me and asked, “What is it, Clowie?”
I held one of my front legs up and she knelt down and took my paw. She looked at the pads, I think she was checking for something sharp in them. Then she checked between my toes – that tickles, but I kept still so that she would continue and find the problem. She pressed each pad gently and I just kept still. She moved her hands up little by little until she’d almost reached my elbow.
Then she paused, she could feel something in the hair at the back of my leg. She leaned forward to get a better look. The male biped, who had returned, asked, “What is it? Can I help?”
She replied, “It’s dried out seaweed all tangled up in her fur. It’s really sharp and it’s digging into her armpit.”
They began pulling at the seaweed, but it was difficult for me to keep my balance. The female biped got up and stood beside me, so that I could lean on her. She held my leg up and held some of my hair out of the way, while the male biped pulled the seaweed away. After a few minutes of pulling and tugging, he asked the female to see if she could feel any seaweed left.
She said she couldn’t and she put my leg down. I stood up and moved my leg. I took a couple of steps. That felt so much better! I gave them both a nudge with my head to thank them. They smiled and patted me and then we climbed up the shingle together. When we reached the promenade a couple of bipeds approached us and asked if they could stroke me. They made a fuss of me and said they’d seen me stop and sit to get help. They told my bipeds that I’m really clever.
It’s always nice to get attention and to be told I’m clever, but asking for help from my bipeds was the obvious thing to do when seaweed was attacking me. Even a coral reef sends out a message for help to the fish that live in it, when it’s under attack by seaweed! Seaweed is usually harmless and smelly, but it can be nasty. Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes – those opposable thumbs can be really useful!
See you next Wednesday!