On the Sunday of May Day bank holiday in the morning we went for a walk with Misty at Nutley (this is our name for one of the many walks we have on the Ashdown Forest). The day was overcast and a bit windy but not cold. Underfoot it was dry despite a little rain the night before - dried out no doubt by the wind.
The first pond on the walk was very short of water; no more than a few large puddles and Misty wasn’t interested in paddling - too much horse poo about to track down and nibble. She met a Greyhound with a small dog of indeterminate name, and a couple of labradors, one a six month old puppy who may have had a little more than just labrador in her.
The gorse is out in full, luxuriant flower at the moment and the faint vanilla scent is wonderful. All the trees have flowers of some sort on them and spikes of ferns are unfolding themselves out of last year’s growth. I love the way they unwind themselves and manage to find all those leaves from such small rolls.
The second pond is shrinking fast and what’s left is very muddy looking. Misty had a drink there - she likes that pond better - and so managed to get her feet muddy despite my efforts to keep her clean! The dead trees that stand a little way off from the pond are stark against the sky, their spiky branches pointing accusingly at the new growth surrounding them.
In the afternoon we visited the Country Show at Blindley Heath. By the time we got there it had started to spot with rain and it drizzled on and off the whole time we were there. There was a funfair and a ring which had, whilst we were there, a parade of old cars followed by the hounds from the Surrey & Burstow Hunt and a food tent which had the usual displays of pickles, pies, cakes, sweets, meats and jams.
But what made it worthwhile for me was a display of various types of gundog. There were some unusual ones - an Italiano something-or-other, Clumber Spaniels - plus the ubiquitous Retrievers, but what made the day for me was a group of Hungarian Wirehaired Vizslas. They were beautiful; about the size of a Pointer, in various shades of tan, with lovely wiry coats and beautiful beards (I do love dogs with beards|!). There were three in a pen and a couple outside on leads - one was a beautiful boy, dark tan in colour with the most amazing yellow eyes, the other a six-month old puppy, slightly lighter in colour and oh so beautiful. I had a chat with the breeder who told us that they are very affectionate dogs and like to keep their owner in sight when out. Could this be our next puppy?
We have to make a decision at some time about whether we have another dog or not. It would be unfair to Misty to introduce a puppy when she’s an old lady and it would be nice for her to have a companion. Although I think she likes all the attention an only dog gets! I feel some research coming on...