The shopping trip couldn’t be delayed any longer (we had run out of cava!), so we trundled down to the coast yesterday and, as it wasn’t too hot, we took Roly with us. We can leave him at home without him making a fuss, but he would much rather come with us when we go out.
He has a lot of freedom at home. He is a small terrier type dog. At a little over three years old, he is still, just about, small enough to fit through the cat flap. So even if we are out, he can still let himself in and out of the house.
Dogs always know when you are getting ready to leave the house, even if you yourself are not aware of doing anything that would indicate your intentions. When Roly was younger and we were going somewhere that he could not accompany us, we would need to lock him in the house because otherwise he would chase after the car. Although there were very many occasions when he quickly assessed the situation, decided not to come when we called him and refused to be caught and locked up. On those occasions we would try to trick him by starting the car and inviting him in, and then grabbing him and taking him back down to the house. It was always necessary to build in extra time to account for the dog catching exercise when leaving the house for an engagement.
If Roly is presented with the choice of accompanying either me or David, he will invariably choose me. Although he will very happily go with David if I am remaining at home. On one occasion I was due to go to work in the next village. David had already left for a ride on the horse and Roly had tagged along with him. I waited until they were 500 metres away before I started the car to drive to work, so that he wasn’t aware of me going out.
When I arrived in Competa car park, a distance of approximately 3 km from home, I got out of the car and saw Roly running flat out to catch up with me. Apparently he had heard the car start and turned tail in hot pursuit, with his little legs going at full pelt all the way along the road that connects the two villages, which is used by a fair amount of traffic. David knew that I had clients to take out when I arrived at work so he rode as quickly as he could to Competa to retrieve the dog.
And then one day and for no apparent reason, his behaviour changed. On this occasion I told him to stay and he did. And he has never followed us since that day. I suppose he just grew up. I felt a bit sad about it really – I quite liked his naughty side – but it is a lot easier nowadays when we need to leave him behind.
Anyway, yesterday he was invited to join us, and between visiting Lidl and Mercadona we stopped at the beach at Caleta de Velez to give him a bit of a run. It was a beautiful day, the wide stretch of beach had just been cleaned and was virtually deserted, the sea was perfectly clear and the sky was a fabulous shade of blue. And Roly absolutely loved it. Please indulge me for the following plethora of photos, they simply convey a happy dog having a lovely time.
And then as we were returning to the car Roly found some new friends – three of the tiniest Yorkies I have ever seen, a mother and two five month old pups, one of whom had broken both it’s front legs which were in plaster casts up to her arm (leg?) pits. This encumbrance did not slow her up much – she was charging around in such a funny way, raising both front legs together straight in front. She was so sweet and so tiny and so gutsy – a perfect little treasure and a lovely way to finish our stroll on the beach.