When I was a puppy, we used to go to Wimpole Hall for a walk quite regularly. It was a short drive away and we could walk near to grazing farm animals easily. My bipeds said that getting accustomed to being near cows and sheep without getting excited was part of my socialisation. I also had quite an adventure with a kissing gate there one day.
This particular morning I was with just one biped. We had walked along the track that went near all the grazing cows and I’d walked by them without paying much attention. I was a little over a year old and I’d seen them lots of times. We carried on and went for a lovely walk in the woods. When we returned we passed the main entrance to the house on our way back to the car park.
It was a weekday and we hadn’t seen anyone else at all, but when we got to the car park a coach arrived and stopped. The doors opened and lots of children, of about eleven or twelve years old, got out. They saw me and they hurried across to us. The first ones to arrive starting stroking me. My biped said, “Not all at once! Take it in turns!”
The children stroked me quite gently, I think some of them were a little nervous. My biped saw how relaxed I was about it and didn’t protest when more of the children surrounded me. But I know she was keeping a close eye on me, to make sure I was still happy. One or two of them asked my name and lots of them were telling me how beautiful I am. I thought it was wonderful to have so many youngsters making a fuss of me at once!
The adults that were with the children stood by the door of the coach chatting together. After about five minutes one of them came closer to us and asked, “Are they ready for us up at the house now?”
My biped replied, “I don’t know. The main entrance isn’t very far.” She pointed and added, “It’s in that direction.”
The teacher said, “Oh, aren’t you here to take us up to the house?”
My biped said, “No, we just came here for a walk. We’re on our way back to the car.”
The teacher then spoke to the other adults and they started rounding up the children and they headed towards the main entrance. She then came to speak to us, “I’m so sorry, I would have rescued you sooner but I thought you were here to meet us. Your dog looked so relaxed, it was as though she expected all that attention.”
My biped said, “She loves attention and the children were being gentle. I would have called for some help, if she had been stressed.”
The teacher then asked about my breed, she said that some of the children would be sure to ask later. My biped told her a little about my ancestors protecting flocks in the mountains. The teacher told me that I’m very beautiful and patient. She thanked us and said that we had helped to make it a memorable day for the children. Then she left to catch up with the rest of the group.
We strolled across to our car and my biped opened it for me to get in. I could tell she was proud of me by the way she patted me as I settled down. I took a nap on the way home – the perfect way to end a delightful outing!
See you next Wednesday!