FIRST WALK IN THE NATURE RESERVE! Yes! We haven’t been there since before the latest Disappearance of the Humans, before the start of the Eternal Presence of Humans. It was as exiting, if not more, than the First Walk in the streets after the Eternal Presence. (I’m not sure if I would say the Eternal Presence is over, but it’s not Eternal at the house, so I don’t care.) ‘Oh, the smells,’ as a great ancestor of mine once said. Yes, I did just make that up. And yes, I know that it was entirely ineffective and you have already stopped reading this. It’s just the sort of thing you say.
Before the car even stopped, a man who I have seen around the place before came over and stuck a small grey right angled thingy in through the back window. He held it pointed it at the nearest human, but thankfully I was there to protect my food-givers. I licked that thing, and the hand holding it, into submission!
There was the smell of zebras (you had better pronounce that zebb-ra – if you’re a zee-bra person get off this blog right now) everywhere. They had been roaming free, without us dogs to herd them of the trails! The bush pig is still around; I thought it had left early this year. I could sense buck all around us. There didn’t seem to be as many birds and horrible itchy biting ants around as there used to be, although this was probably because the last time we came it was three-quarters through summer and now it is mid winter.
So many things to eat in the bushes! So many trees to mark! And I didn’t even get eaten alive by itchy ants while I wasn’t exercising the Leash Holders!
It seems like today was the first time in ages that any dogs had been in the park, like with the First Walk. We have all been deprived! I met quite a few, although their owners did not seem to want to pet me or Chloë. They wouldn’t even come within two metres of our humans (except when I forced our humans down narrow paths) or let their dogs sniff us! Thankfully, we came late in the day and I could smell all the dogs who had already been there. And find all the latest popular spots to declare my presence to future dogs.
There were also quite a few dogless humans around, although not any more or less than usual. They were all very glad to see such a dog of such amazing, impressive breeding as myself. Some even screamed (or maybe just whimpered) and had to cling to others in their pack for support. Marshall, local celebratory!
Chloë and I allowed ourselves to be taken home for supper, leaving my favorite territory not containing my fluffy purple blanket. During the short drive home, I drooled very watery streams down the necks and over the faces of the Younger Humans. It’s hilarious to see them trying to climb under the seats while avoiding the damp backs of the chairs and spreading puddles everywhere, when they are still wearing their leads attached to the ceiling of the car. It seems that I’ve still got the knack, despite their hopes.
–Marshall the Bluetick Coonhound (cross exactly 7x English Foxhound)
*Note from a Younger Human: The drool is not just down the neck and on the face. Also pants. Shoes. Hair. And if you have any open cut, it will be drenched instantly.
First walk in a small local nature reserve – home to some zebras (zebb-ra, I should know, I’m South African), small buck (antelope) and possibly one dangerous, but seldom seen, bush pig – on the day that it opened after it closed because of the pandemic. Dogs are allowed on leads (see ‘dangerous bush pig’). There are multiple paths through the bush over the hill. It’s pretty much just a park with some smaller southern African animals and overcrowded with free-range long grass, low bushes and spiky trees that are only just broken through with paths.