Is quality better than quantity?

This morning I was a little unorganised. It was my first time in my new house with BD when I had to be at work the next day and despite thinking through the morning times and over allocating time, things took longer than I thought. Add to that I was packing for a bag for a night away (which I am always rubbish at), ensuring my house was left clean and tidy (yep, I’ve become uber house proud) and trying to appear keen and turn up early to work (yep so didn’t happen) and I was a little frazzled.

 

I had to start skipping corners.

 

First thing cut was my morning cup of coffee, then I decided I would grab breakfast at my desk. I gave up on the idea of trying to sort my gas meter out and randomly threw items into my bags, one bag packed for me, one for BD, hoping that I wasn’t forgetting something important. I still hadn’t made up quite enough time and so the only other area I could scrimp on was cutting down the length and location of BDs walk.

 

When I had been planning the previous night, I thought we might make it to some local woods. It would be secluded. There would be no dogs to worry about just the two of us. Looking at my clock and realising it was 7.35am and I was still in a towel I knew my woodland walk was going to have to happen another time. I tried to come up with another location but realised my best course of action would be to risk the very popular, local fields. It meant we could set off walking right from my front door, and we wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time driving from house to walk to house to work.

 

I looked at my watch as we left my house and I realised I had run out of options and I was going to have to cut his walk short this morning.

 

We had 20 minutes, 25 at a push.

 

I felt guilt. He is an active collie, he spends far too much time alone and now I was failing him. However, as we started our walk I started to wonder if I really was failing him?

 

I spent those 20 odd minutes completely focused on my dog.

 

As we walked along the road I chatted to him, telling him how much I loved him , asking hin if he slept ok and would come to stop over again (I’m not the only one who does this right??)

 

We walked to the field and on the way we worked on some training. He was encouraged to walk next to me, without pulling. We stopped and he sat at every curb.

 

A bike cycled past us, and he didn’t react in anyway.

 

We got to the field, and after a quick scout for other dogs he was let loose to run and chase his ball. We worked on fetch.  The size of the smile on his face made my heart smile! Half way through the walk BD lay on his side and indicated he wanted his tummy tickling. So I crouched down on the floor and gave him a good tickle, and stroke while checking him over for anything I need to worry about or tell the ex about. I also told him he was waising valuable ball chasing time by lying there, but he didn’t seem to mind so I didn’t.

 

We saw other dogs on the field (5 – I counted) and we ignored them all.

 

On the way back we practiced sitting to have the lead put back on. Again we stopped, and he sat, at all the curbs. We worked on ignoring the cat who was outside enjoying the sun. We worked on not sticking our nose through the gate with a hole in – he does it every time we work past and as I can’t see into the garden until I am level with the gate I always worry one day something bad will happen. I yet again told him “If you stick your nose where it doesn’t belong and it gets bitten you’ve only yourself to blame!” Yes, I am slowly turning into my mother!!

 

BD chased a bug. Together we took a detour to avoid a dog which BD got a little too excited by. BD peed and sniffed anything we wanted to and we ended our walk by playing  ‘guess which door we live at’ which I invented to try and encourage BD to identify ‘home’ but generally ends up with me worrying about him wanting to move into a neighbours house.

 

In those 20 minutes I was totally focused on BD. Yes we didn’t walk as far as he needed and in that aspect I failed him, but I am sure he will go on some sort of hike or run tonight with the ex so he will get his ‘exercise’.

 

However I can’t help but feel that was anything but a bad walk!

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Dog Care Issues

“I have dog care issues”

Yep I just said that to someone to explain why I wasn’t prepare to move a meeting. I think he may have thought I was crazy.

You may remember a little while ago I was toing and froing with the decision to get my own dog. I could see the positives and the negatives and although I decided not to adopt that dog (who is now living on a farm with acres so it work out brilliantly for him!) I think this week has proven to me that I have made the right decision.

As mentioned yesterday the ex has gone on yet another ‘lads holiday’ and so I have the joy and responsibility of having BD for the week. I am yet to pick him up (10 minutes and counting) and yet I am already wracked with guilt and worry about leaving him alone too much this week.

Due to various reasons my diary is a lot quieter than it used to be and so currently my only set in stone commitment is a singing lesson which takes place on a Thursday afternoon and so on paper I am about to embark on a lovely week with lots of BD cuddles. However in reality the Thursday commitment isn’t as low stress as I thought. It takes me just under an hour to get to my lesson, my lesson is at 6, I finish work at 5. Usually not a problem but this week I have to do a 30 minute round trip to pick up BD and then get to my lesson. Due to house commitments I have cancelled my last few singing lessons –I cannot cancel again. Just thinking about it is making me panic about being late, and the guilt that I will be picking BD up to let him have a quick wee, put him in the car and drive to my lesson to then leave him in the boot for half an hour (and that’s before the sun started to shine…!)

Then as luck would have it someone is leaving the company I work for this week and for the first time in all the years I have worked here we are going out as a company for drinks. It is going to be a quick drink in a local pub but I am back to now knowing what to do. Do I leave him for another hour in total alone or do I try and quickly get to him for a quick walk and then either put him in the car for half n hour while I socialise and network or do I leave him alone at the house where it would be cooler but he has an hour alone? Or do I just give my apologies?

I have no-one up here I can ask. I have no one who can help me out. I feel guilty even considering having a bit of a life this week.  And that’s before we look at Saturday where due to piss poor planning from myself I have agreed to support two friends and a race they are running, and watch their kids while they run. I didn’t put two and two together until last week and now I don’t know what to do. It’s going to be a mad busy day, and the weather forecast predicts sun, so I know it will stress out BD. Add to that there will be idiot people letting their dogs do whatever they want and I know it will stress out me. I want to kid myself that taking him will help with his training and build his confidence – but I’m lying. My folks have offered to watch BD for me so I can go to this event for a few hours, and asked if I can add a few more kids to the total I am looking after – I’m now taking my nieces in exchange for the dog sitting!  But I feel guilty.

So at least I can now be certain that as much as it breaks my heart thinking of all those dogs in rescues wanting needing a forever home I am not in a position to offer one. Not yet. So I have to work hard, give in other ways and hope that the future Mr Right is as much of a dog nut as me!

Soooo excited, helicopter tail and lots of kisses!!

I’m going to begin by admitting something that I have been too frightened to admit…..I have been thinking of cutting all contact with BD.

The reason I haven’t mentioned it before is that I was worried that you (anyone I told) would say “I think it’s for the best” or “You should have ended it when you moved out.”

I have been worrying that I was being selfish by continuing to see him when he fitted into my diary, I thought that when we weren’t together he wasn’t missing me and that by returning ad lib I was being cruel to him. I also questioned my motives. Did I really love him or did I just want to keep the contact with my ex? Was I using him when I had nothing better? I kept telling myself that things will improve when I finally move in and am not living to DIY. Currently I see no-one, friends have been told that getting moved in is a top priority and so get togethers are few and far between (although due to being spoilt with the most amazing friends in the world, the ‘few and far between’ seems to be averaging seeing at least a friend once or twice a week). But friends understand, they know that this is short term, BD does not.

Due to my holiday and then the ex going on yet another lads holiday (all good, helps me hate him!) it has been at least 2 weeks since I last saw BD and I did consider that this was the perfect time to make the cut. However, throughout this two week period I have had his name in my diary for last night and so doubting myself (well that’s nothing new!) I went to collect him.

He seemed to know it was me before I got to the gate – I think it was my jingling of keys that gave it away or probably more likely his amazing dog sense of smell. When I finally got to where I could see him, he was going crazy. His tail was going in circles so large that he could have taken off. He alternated between trying to cover me in kisses and running to show me what I had missed while I had been gone. But as he ran away he would realise he hadn’t had a tummy tickle and so would flop to the floor, but from that position he couldn’t kiss me and so he would get up and kiss me, then run, then flop, the kiss, then run……. he was so happy I laughed out loud.

This excitement didn’t just last for the first few minutes, but continued throughout our entire walk. Where ever so often he would check in with me before going racing off in front with his big silly grin on his face.

In that moment I knew I will not walk away from him. Ever.

Try training your own dog!

He’s got to learn“. That’s what one very lovely elderly woman told me as her hyperactive young dog jumped all over Mity as I tried my best to keep her dog from jumping all over him. Mity is getting am old man (which I hate to admit) and his eyesight and speed aren’t what they were and so he does not enjoy being ‘played with’ by other dogs as much as he once did.

I bent down to try and separate the two dogs and then she said “don’t worry if he retaliates, he’s got to learn.”

Which I completely agree with, but it isn’t up to me or my dog to teach her dog how to interact with strange dogs. That ones on her!

Now Mity is as close to trust worthy as a dog can be so I was confident that her dog was safe jumping on his head, pissed off but confident that it wouldn’t turn into a fight. But had I been with BD the situation would have been completely different. In that situation Mity would have given a warming followed by an air snap, and then if the lesson isn’t learnt he may have taken it further (which is why he is muzzled when around strange dogs).

Firstly, I do not go into the whole ‘dogs are dogs so let’s just leave them to sort it out’ attitude. To that I say “hell no”. I am not ok with letting my dog ‘fight it out’ with anyone or anything. I want me dog to look to me for guidance in a situation and to feel confident that I will keep them safe. To have them trust me that I know what I am doing. I will assess how my dog will interact with your dog. I will assess when repetitively jumping on a strange dogs head that is trying to walk away is appropriate (FYI it isn’t ever!!) and I will allow my dog to interact as I deem appropriately.

Secondly, going back to the feeling safe point above. BD has fear aggression. If a dog gets too up in his face and he can’t get away he reacts….and then we both take a step back in our training. I feel like a failure for not getting him out of the situation in which he felt threatened. We both become more edgy when we meet the next dog. It takes weeks of hard work to get to the place we were in before you let you ‘un-trained’ dog learn a lesson from my dog.

If you commit to having a dog. You are committing to everything that comes with owing a dog, the cuddles, the fun, the kisses, the bed sharing, the squeaking toys just as your favourite TV programme comes on, the ‘scooping of the pooping’ and the training. Take some god damn responsibility!!

(This incident has annoyed me so much I have pulled my phone out mid walk to write my thoughts down. This means that I have been slightly distracted from Mity while I rant. Don’t worry, he’s on a long lead and there is no one else on the field, so I know he is safe  – I’m not completely neglectful.But I feel bad he’s not had my full attention however Mity has never been happier as he has spent this time puddle dancing… however he may not enjoy his now much needed bath quite as much!!)

Dad said no!

I know that that makes me sounds like a 3 year old. I know that in actual fact I am an adult, but when I was weighing up whether or not I was ready to commit in yesterdays post I knew a major factor would be my parents help. Although he would be my dog I would need their support, basically I would need a good dog sitter for me to have any life outside of the dog. My mum said “let’s talk about it” but my dad wouldn’t and said it was a “stupid idea” and thus the conversation was ended. My dad isn’t usually like that, over the last few months he has listened as I have worried about my new house, worried about work, the ex… you name it he has listened and supported me on. But for some reason, last night there was no conversation it was a no.

The downside is I had made my mind up to wanting him. Well I’d not decided I wanted him more the idea of someone else having him made me feel sick to my stomach. It felt right, like he was my destiny. It felt like I felt about my house when I saw it for the same time, or how I continue to feel about the ex (yep, we’ll leave that there!!)

For the first time in 6 months the idea of leaving work and getting home excited me. I saw morning and evening walks across fields, I saw weekends off hiking up some sort of hill, I saw a life. I was still unsure. I was going to have to introduce him to both BD and Mity and it would all depend on how he would react being left for such a large portion of the day. But my dad’s firm no has robbed me of taking the next step, or at least that’s how I feel.

So now I see evenings sat in watching TV. Me alone from one evening to the next (unless I have BD of course). I know I was worried about the social life having a dog would rob me of, but when I think about it what social life? Yes, I will see my friends, but they all have partners, kids, lives, the vast majority of my time will be spent alone (Well annoying you lot on twitter). Yes, I will have days away, weekends away, holidays but when you break down my year a whole portion of it would be just me.

I know it is not up to my dad, but I am not naive enough to imagine I could have a dog full time alone. For that to happen I would have to give up any sort of social life which I just can’t do. I would need to have support and dog sitters. I text my sister to see if she would on occasions dog sit and she wasn’t overly keen. In fact the only person massively supportive (who I contacted in a moment of weakness) was the ex who said he would be more than happy to factor a second dog into the BD dog share scenario and would take it off my hands any time I was busy and needed it looking after. Which opens a whole new can…does he not realise that he didn’t want me in his life and so he can’t support me in that way? I am very aware that any day he could find someone new, or I could really piss him off and he can take BD and vanish. Plus if he meets anyone new, well they won’t want the ex around; he can’t commit to me long term any more. I am all too aware of this – why isn’t he??

#Woofsupport: Why I love my reactive dog

When I left my old house I poured my heart into a letter which I wrote for him. I got everything off my chest, told him to man up and not to be so afraid. To be honest i don’t remember everything I wrote, which is a bloody pain cause in his letter of return he put “I agree with everything you said.” Had I known I would have needed to refer back to the letter at a later date I would have made a copy!

But I never wrote a letter to BD, partly because I would move hell and high water to see him again and knew that it would never be goodbye..oh and there is the obvious of him not being able to read.

When I stumbles across this link on Oz’s blog this seemed like a brilliant time to write that letter.

Are you not smitten yet?
Are you not smitten yet?

My darling boy,

Where do I start with telling you how much I love you, or how much it is breaking my heart in two knowing that I will not be spending every day with you any more. I love you for so many reasons. I love the way you are so happy to see me, but are never quite confident in how you will greet me. I love that you are timid and shy, but once you let someone in you love them with the whole of your heart. I love you for all those evenings I sat and cried and you stayed by my side as your fur got wet. I love that you overcame your ‘issues’ of having people around your face to lick my tears from my cheek.

I love you for all the millions of happy memories we have together and that you have given me 101 new experiences. I love that when you are around I can’t take a wee without having a cold nose pressed up against my leg. I love that that you claimed the cleaning cloth as your own and it became one of your favourite toys to be played with whenever possible regardless of where we were – including in the shower.

I love that you are tennis ball obsessed, and that you possibly love them more than me. I love that you will sit and stare at a ball for hours willing it to be thrown. I love that whatever crazy adventure I take us on, you are there at my side seeing it through together.

I love you for challenging me to step up and do better. I love you for being the complete opposite of Mity in every single way.

I love that you actually smile and that every single time you smile at me I can’t help but smile back. I love that you are fiercely loyal to your dad (any chance of talking some sense into him?)

I love that you love me, and that you have started checking back with me when you’re not sure. I love how far we have come together and look forward to seeing where we are going to go next.

I love you in a way that I never thought possible, and that is why I will not cut you out of my life, regardless of the heartache it causes.

Love you always,

Mum xx

Not My Morning

I have a feeling I may have used this title before – it happens to me a lot! – I hope the entirety of wordpress doesn’t implode when I hit the publish button or am I just getting slightly carried away with the idea of my own importance? Anyway…

So this morning started off well enough, I had BD over night again and things were significantly better between him and Mity than last time (whoop!). Although they seem to have developed a fun new game which I’m not so keen on, but I will tell you about another time. My morning routine when I have BD is that I get up earlier take him for a walk and then leave him at the old house before I head to work. This morning started off pretty much as any other only with the added bonus that OH was collecting him from work so we could have a longer walk. I packed BD and his over night bag into the car and we set off to our walking spot. The walk is lovely and currently walking BD is one of the few times I am truly happy.

I was a little on edge as we started the morning walk, BD’s muzzle seemed to have not made it to my car (I stop en route to the old house to walk him.) But we never see any dogs and he is fine so long as the dogs don’t get into his personal space. So as I watched the two deer (with white bums – apparently that could be a clue as to their type?!) and BD had fun chasing squirrels – although he is less than impressed that they always seem to cheat and head up a tree! – I enjoyed the moment, the gorgeous pink sky and I began to relax – little did I know it was the last time I would feel relaxed for the next few hours.

For some reason my ball throwing skills were poorer than usually and so this morning was spent with BD giving me significantly more credit than I was due. He would race off to where he thought the ball would land, and the ball would land a few inches from my feet which lead to a very fun game of ‘who can find the ball first’. BD loved it and was running around like a loon with a big smile on his face, I must admit I was having fun too. Although the 5 minutes spent trying to find the ball whilst BD ran around ‘finding’ the ball with the ball firmly in his mouth could have been more productive especially as we had to do the return journey to my folks house to pick up the muzzle before I headed to work.

For the first time ever this morning as we were walking back to the car, as luck would have it on the narrow part of the walk. We came face to face with three dogs, on leads. Usually BD has a harness that he wears as he is a big welsh collie and stronger than me. This morning I had decided not to put on the harness as we were tight on time – we had to return to pick up the muzzle – and I wanted optimum walking time. Although BD is pretty good, I was slightly nervy when we saw this guy. Luckily the guy walking the dogs had some common sense and agreed to waiting while I headed to a wider part of the path and got BD out of the way for him to then walk past with his three. BD was amazing, he didn’t pull and his only reaction was to bite his tennis ball (which he was holding in his mouth, as he carries it back to the car) slightly firmer when one of the dogs had a little growl at him! Walk done, now to retrieve the muzzle.

One key thing to point out at this point is my petrol situation this morning was not the best. I had enough to get me to work but as I had taken the decision to spend the time I could have used filling up my tank, both last night and this morning, with BD I did not have enough petrol to drive to and from my parents house and then drive like a law abiding (obviously) maniac to work and so I was not surprised when I heard the warning ‘bong’ from my petrol light although I may have uttered another naughty word.

The only good thing about my new (significantly longer) commute is that usually I am going against the traffic and I head away from the town when I head into work. However this morning I sat with the hundreds of other commuters and crawled painstakingly slowly back to my folks house. I swore quietly under my breath as I realised I was cutting it fine to get to work on time. Turns out God is shit hot on car parking spaces, but his traffic management system needs some work – I was a few minutes late for work.

On arrival I was asked if I could pop to the local shop to collect the papers for the day. Unfortunately there is no way to get to the shop without going in your car (it is too far to walk) and as I was late I didn’t feel I could say no and so off I went telling myself “if it came to is pushing my car back from the shop would at least burn off a few calories”.

You will be pleased to hear the papers were collected without incident. When I got back into the office I delivered the papers and set about making myself a well earned coffee. I did the usually collection of my colleagues cups, went into the kitchen, picked up the instant coffee and threw it over the entire surface and floor. I swore loudly this time and burst into tears.

Mopping up the coffee I neglected to properly ring out the dishcloth and so I managed to stain the entire kitchen a lovely brown (which did eventually come off) colour before setting about making the drinks. I do this quite a lot, yet this morning I made every single drink wrong. I added sugar when it wasn’t needed, used the wrong milk (I have goats, they have cows) and the few that were made right…well they would have been right had they not been made in the wrong cups!

At 9.10 I finally sat down at my desk ready for my day to start!!

O and at 13:40 when I finally found time to eat my lunch (it has been a good but very busy day) I put my soup in the microwave for far too long and managed to evaporate off all the water so I had mush to eat!

i could learn a lot from my dog

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So things got a little more stressful at home this week. BD and Mity have been getting along ok. It has been one good session and one bad. BD lifts his tail and stiffens when Mity walks past, and sometimes Mity will change his path to walk around BD (however if he is in the mood he will walk under his nose multiple times, just because he can!)

Friday night Mity was at my sisters house as mum and dad were out and my sister had organised to Mity sit long before I moved home. So I organised that I would have BD for the evening. It meant he could be unmuzzled for the evening and for a few precious hours it would be just like old times. And it was. We cuddled on the settee, we played chase, we did tricks, he licked the tears from my nose – I loved every second.

When Mity came home BDs muzzle went back on and the rest of the evening went past like any other visit. However for the first time Mity refused to sleep when we went to bed. He was unsettled and kept my folks, he sleeps in their room, awake all night. BD has stopped over before, where he is locked downstairs in his tent and before this evening we have never had any problems – they both settled this way fine on bonfire night with fireworks going off!

The next morning BD decided he would climb onto Mitys spot on the settee. BD was instantly told “off” and he didn’t even get all four paws on the settee but Mity responded by cocking his leg on the corner of the couch. We didn’t go ape at him or tell him off but he can’t do that.

The worrying this is this isn’t Mity. He hasn’t had an accident inside since he was a puppy any that have happened have been our fault for not realising he was stood at the door. He won’t even pee if we take him into town and has spent hours with us encouraging him to go where he waits and holds it until he gets to a less densely populated area. Yet he intentionally cocked his leg.

If this goes on I can’t have BD – I can’t stress out Mity and will not put either of them through something they don’t enjoy for my own selfishness. Yet at the moment the only days I want to get out of bed is when I am getting up to walk BD and I am literally living for his next visit. Also when things went down hill and MD spent those evenings cuddled with me as I sobbed into his fire I told him I would not leave him and walk away not matter what happened (his fear aggression came about when OH separated from his ex and they took a dog each.)

HELP!!!

I failed my dogs!

It was while I was still living with BD and OH. My mum and dad had come over for the evening and brought Mity with them. The process of introducing Mity to BD was a very slow on, I took baby steps and then some. To begin with BD would be locked in the kitchen while we were at my folks and although they could see each other they couldn’t get to each other. I did not like this as BD was alone for most of the visit, but what option did I have? BD has issues with anyone around his face, he needs his space, and Mity loves every dog he meets and I knew if the two were put together a fight most probably would have occurred and not only would I never forgive myself the mental harm it would do to both Mity and BD meant that the risk wasn’t worth it!

As I got to know BD more, I realised that he very rarely instigates the incidents, usually he will give off all the correct warnings but the other dog will ignore him so he panics, and that he is much less concerned when he is off the lead as this means he can get away from the other dog.

When I first introduced Mity and BD to each other it was in a big field with BD loose and Mity on an extendable lead. It was better than I could imagine, they both completely ignored each other. As they got more and more used to each other we started bringing them closer to each other – Mity was let off the lead so if he wanted to approach MD he could, we would go to the pub for a drink and they would sit separated by the table in the beer garden together. Eventually we took them back to the garden, then to the house – BD is always muzzled around Mity but over time they have gotten better at ignoring each other. We have slowly left toys out when they are together and everything was going well. Until I messed up.

It was one evening after work, mum and dad had bought Mity to my house and the two dogs were roaming around the garden. In the garden was BDs treat ball and Mity had taken an interest in it pushing it around with his nose – there were no treats in the ball (Mity has colitis and so we are extra carefully with what he has access to!) BD decided to go and put his head close to Mity…

this was the moment that I hate myself for, I didn’t move. Part of me wanted to walk across, remove the treat ball and call them both away. However there was the other part of me (the part I listened to) who didn’t want to make a big deal of this by calling them away and BD had chosen to put his head next to Mity so I watched from the door.

it happened so quickly, BD growled and Mity was knocked onto his back. I screamed, probably no, and ran across the garden, I was there in seconds (it is only a small garden) grab Mity to my chest and then reached out to BD and noticed he had a tiny “nick” on his nose that was bleeding.

I failed my dogs:

1. I picked up Mity and then having checked he was ok I reached out to BD. My poor scared, frightened big guy was left to the side for what will only have been minutes while I checked Mity.

2. I noticed the “nick” on BDs nose and my first thought was – did Mity bite him, or catch him in error? Mity who has never bitten a dog in his entire life, who has been attacked too many times and never put up a fight I thought may have bitten BD.

I feel like such a failure, and even now sharing this I have tears running down my face. Because of my pour judgement I put my dogs in a bad situation and I let them down.

Since this incident Mity and BD have spent more time together, and although both are just slightly more on edge around each other now there has been no more incidents and they are getting more and more used to be around each other.

But I still failed!!

not my morning

So last night I got to look after BD for the entire evening – it was lovely! I loved every second and it was so lovely to feel happy for the first time in a long time!!

This morning was brilliant as for the first time in weeks I woke up and wanted to get out of bed, I showered quickly and raced downstairs to say good morning to BD. I got all his stuff together (and my rain gear) and we headed out the door – this mornings walk was amazing, I loved every second of it. BD ran around with a massive smile on his face, which was mirrored by mine. He wasn’t very good at answering the questions as to “what has OH said about me” or “do you think I’m ever coming home” well I say he wasn’t good, the look on his face and the wagg in his tail reminded me to live in the moment (Pamela you would be proud!) and I did. For a brilliant 40 minutes I didn’t worry, I didn’t cry(much), I didn’t stress back and forward about where I am going to live, what’s going to happen, I was truly happy. I was wet through, with the rain dripping off my hood and I was happy!

Unfortunately this happiness could not last all day, and it ended pretty much as soon as we got to the car – BD started to shake and wouldn’t eat the biscuit I offered him when he finally got into the boot. I am a massive panicker and that nearly had me calling in sick and taking him to the nearest vet, but I saw sense and decided to give him some time and see what happened. So having safely put BD in the boot I peeled off my wet coat and waterproof trousers and flung my phone onto the passenger seat, where it promptly fell onto the floor between the door and the seat. My five minute search for the phone achieved nothing except making me slightly later than I wanted to be setting off for work.

On pulling out of the car park for the walk, and sitting stationary in traffic for 20 minutes I had reached full blown panic attack. I raced to work and arrived only a few minutes late. I fed BD who was staying in my boot until OH was picking him up, and grabbed my lunch from my very full passenger seat to discover that my vegetable soup had spilled out of the sealed container I had put it in, into the plastic bag, onto my handbag and the passenger seat of my car.

I swore (not for the first time) grabbed up my bag, lunch and water bottle and raced into the office, where on putting everything in my arms onto my desk I promptly poured the contents of the water bottle onto myself, my desk and what was left of my lunch.

And today started so well!