There was a crisp autumnal feel about the air as Lilly and I scuffed through the piles of fallen leaves in Grinlow Woods. For Lilly this was a doggie paradise as the leaves were full of smells and probably animal droppings so she snuffled along with only the occasional glance back to check that I was still there.
I really like this time of year. The hustle and bustle of summer has gone, and its a time for a deep breath, a time to recharge and enjoy the colours, smells and sounds of autumn before looking forward the winter.
There were a few people about, mainly other dog walkers and squirrels. The squirrels confuse Lilly as one minute they are scampering along the floor of the wood amongst the leaf litter and then they are gone. Lilly looks at me, slightly puzzled before she realises that it has disappeared up the tree. “Cheating” I could tell she is thinking.
We stroll out of the woods and onto the “tops”. The sun is out and the cows that were there last night are still there this morning. They stop munching and stare at Lilly. She ignores them and dashes about excited by all the new scents. I get her ball out and throw it for her to chase. Being a Collie retrieving is beneath her dignity so she will only bring it to about 20 feet of me. Then she gets down into the classic collie pose and waits oblivious to everything else for me to throw it for her again. And again!
Back at the car a family are setting off for the cavern. “Mummy look at the doggie isn’t she sweet!” So Lilly allows herself to be stroked and bungs in a complimentary lick just for good measure. I hear myself explaining about Collies herding instincts to the parents. Time to go before their eyes glaze over.