So my alarm wakes me up at 4am last Sunday and I jump out of bed ready for a brand new day. Okay not quite jump but it was more active than I was expecting even for me at that time of the morning.
Picture the scene, you’re walking down the street, it’s 5am, not a soul to be seen. Just me and Mouse walking down the road. Even my Jack Russell looked at me gone out as if you say why – why dude, it’s Sunday! (Because Mouse is a kick back kinda dog). The sky is a dark crimson colour and the street lights give off orange and white hues along the pavement. The air was cool and the ground had seen some frost over night.
All sounds a little crazy and possibly odd but believe me when I say it’s not the visuals I was out there for, nor indeed for the walk either.
I was on a mission to tick another quest off my Life Ticket and head to my local countryside to be part of the Dawn Chorus, or the rather lovely Swedish word of gökotta, which literally means “early cuckoo morning”.
Mouse and I cut through an estate to head into the fields. The noise of the blackbirds was huge, the sound reverberated from one street to another as we made our way out into the farmers fields. It was all getting rather exciting. We hadn’t seen a soul so far and Mouse was beginning to get into her stride, sniffing the various patches of grass and seeing if she could chase any rabbits.
As we left the estate the sound of the blackbirds started to diminish and was taken over by the calling sky larks and a pheasant. The sky was just turning from twilight into a more subtle shade of dawn with darkening blues arching lighter shades of reds and whites. It was all really rather a beautiful moment.
And then our peace and tranquility got shattered.
From out of no-where a great big lumbering white dog, built like a tank, came bounding up to us from behind and thought it would be a great time to play with Mouse. I’d kept Mouse on her lead for this walk because I hadn’t been all that sure she’d not try and dash home back to bed if I’d let her off.
I’m looking everywhere for the owner and even in the now brighter sky, could not see anyone. Mouse was not impressed with the dog, who didn’t seem to understand she didn’t want to play. It would not leave us alone and I’d reached a cross point in the fields. Do I turn left towards the woods and hope the dog leaves us along, or do I turn right and head back towards the estate in the hopes that if it had escaped I can at least lead it back to where it may have come from?
By this time Mouse was getting rather agitated, the dog (still friendly thank god), was spinning circles around us and just wanted Mouse to play.
I opted to turn back towards the estate. After all it wasn’t the dog’s fault and I needed to get it away from Mouse as quickly as possible.
Then all of a sudden I hear a sharp call from way over the other side of the field. Low and behold there is a person standing right over the other side shouting for his dog. The person (I can’t ID if it’s a man or woman because they are just a spot from this distance), carries on shouting rather than what I’d do which is run as fast as I can to retrieve my dog which at this point made me absolutely mad.
Eventually the dog hears the call, wonders the best way to get back to his owner and decides to take a short cut through the middle of the crop field.
I’m left now in the direction of home, with a gibbering Jack Russell and I’ve lost my temper (something of a rarity I have to say).
Suddenly my morning had been ruined, and all that planning had gone to shot. Any attempt at heading back towards the woods was met with curt pulling from Mouse. No amount of “good girl”, or meaty treats was going to dissuade her it was time to head home.
The morning air was now filled, not with the sound of beautiful bird song but by me shouting expletives blindly towards the owner of the dog who was still way in the distance to even hear me. Someone who I didn’t even know had not only managed to ruin my trip but scared my dog at the same time. I was not happy.
All good experience
Okay, so this was all another experience to be gained. I could go on about dog owners and being able to control your dog etc but I’ll leave that to the trainers. My annoyance has since subsided and I can now look towards having another go at some point in the near future.
The really important thing, I have to keep reminding myself, is that I was up, and I was outside for the Dawn Chorus – mission accomplished!
PS. – Mouse was fine as soon as we got home but she won’t forget that walking route…not for a long time.
Have you ever had any dog woes out on your walks?
If I tried to take my Jack Russell, Pip out for a walk at 4 a.m, he’d leave home. It is lovely to hear the dawn chorus but I prefer to open the window. But well done for getting up.
That was really disappointing for you after all the effort you made. People are so irresponsible. You can’t do anything these day’s without someone spoiling it.
In a couple of weeks we are going on a dawn chorus walk, to learn how to identify birdsong, I am already bracing myself for the unearthly get up time. Touch wood, the only dog woe is if I am stooping low to take a photo and a bored dog comes and licks the lens.
I must make more of an effort to get up earlier….
Argh, best laid plans.
I hate hate that!! I would never let my dog just run off like that! It’s spoils a nice walk when your having to watch out for other people’s dogs. My dog was attacked years ago when he was a pup he now hates all dogs! So sad! 😦