Tuesday, 23 October 2012


As those of you who have looked at my photos on Facebook will know, I quite like dogs. More specifically I love Cocker Spaniels.

As I write this post I have a lovely black cocker with a white shirt front curled up on the sofa by me keeping me company and occasionally opening one eye to check on me, probably to see whether there's an opportunity for food, or a walkies. His name is Benji.

Twice a year Benji and I go to the Gower Peninsular in South Wales and walk along the most beautiful coastline in the UK without seeing more than 3 or 4 people each day. We walk for anything up to 10 miles regardless of the weather and if it's raining we know we have the whole place to ourselves. We may be soaked, or rather Benji may be (I'm in my wet weather gear) but we don't worry, and it adds to the anticipation of a good rub down (in Benji's case) and a warm chalet with a nice glass of wine. I always take a number of vacuum packed rump steaks; really thick and succulent from our local butcher and I cook one each night, which we share to some degree. The rest of the wine slowly disappears as we curl up together on the sofa and watch Welsh television. I usually manage to put in 2 to 3 hours work either writing, or editing, while Benji goes off to his bed in disgust. Come 10.30 we go to bed and ten minutes later Benji wanders into the bedroom and curls up on the bed next to me. We haven't managed to make it this year, but I'm determoned to take him down there next year, probably in March or April.

Man's best friend, and certainly mine. No matter how bad I feel, or grouchy I am, he's happy.

Benji is my 5th Cocker since I was a kid and my third as an adult. The previous two were not brothers, but we had them at the same time and they went to the great kennel in the sky within a year of each other which, considering they were inseparable, is understandable. One was golden and the other a light blue roan (a sort of mottled black and white). We had the golden about 3 months before the roan and he was always the top dog, which is the way the roan wanted it. They were beautiful chaps, but they had each other. Benji on the other hand is a single dog and he is a significant part of the family. He has Daddy-Man, Mummy-Lady, Girl-Lady and The Boy. That's his family and long may it remain so!

When I take him for a walk in our local recreational field there are always other dog walkers. The strange thing is we all know the names of each others' dogs, but not the owners' names. Bit by bit that's changed and even found that a couple of dog walkers are fellow authors with Facebook pages. It's a small doggy world!

It's time to put on my steak and tuck into a good meal (the wine is already well under way) then watch Man U play some sort of football match. Doubtless Benji will curl up next to me and bark encouragement!

Blog on, Dudes!

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