Daphne Ledward, Garden Planner, Gardener, Author and Broadcaster

Muffin's Blog

Mr Muffin gets a Father's Day treat    by Mr Muffin

June 2010

Discit reminded us hounds that Sunday 20th June was Father’s Day, and asked what we were going to do about it.

“Nothing,” I said, “cos I haven’t got a father.”

“So that makes you a……………………” said Sally, who knows who her father is.

“Grrrr,” I warned her, before she dug herself into an even deeper hole.

Anyway, with Daff’s approval, we came up with the idea that it would be better if John, who is I suppose, a sort of adoptive father, gave us a treat instead.

Daff thought it would be nice if we all went to the Great Greyhound Walk at Cleethorpes.   We watched the weather anxiously, cos it was Arctic the day before and John said it would be too cold and windy for dogs, although I think he really meant himself.

Anyway, things improved somewhat weather-wise, so we all gathered in the car park near the Boating Lake just before ten o’ clock.   Same old dogs, same old owners – the ex-coalhouse dog who’s always winning prizes; that self-opinionated Peter, who wouldn’t speak to me but made eyes at Bluebell, till she swore at him;  Mr Rossi cowering behind someone’s leg; Jill’s Geriatrics, they were all there, as usual.   Not much of a treat really, although Sandra had a rather nice big black girl with her – yes, I know I don’t like girls, but all the ones I associate with are either small, medium or bald, big girls are a different thing altogether, and even if she did look a bit moth-eaten, if she’d come to live with us, I’d have taken her into the shower and scrubbed her with shampoo for black coats till she was as shiny as Discit.   However, nobody else seemed to think this was a good idea, and eventually she went home with Sandra, much to my annoyance.

Daff insisted I wore my boot.   That made me look a right prat, and drew everyone’s attention to the fact that I’m a poor, crippled boy, so I thought, if she wants me to look disabled, I’ll act disabled, and I hopped all round the boating lake.   I could have put my foot down if I’d wanted to, but I got more sympathy that way.   Hopping is very tiring, though, and by the time we’d done the circuit and arrived at the coffee stop, I was k…….d (owner’s edit – D).

Well, the walk went off OK, I suppose.   Nobody attached the geese and ducks, although Bluebell started screaming (what’s new?) when she saw someone feeding them bread, as she thought this was a total waste of good bread, which would have been better coming her way.   Nobody exchanged differences of opinion (where would you have found a better behaved bunch of canines?) and even the toothless oldies appeared to enjoy themselves.   Daff thinks she might try to organise one nearer home sometime, but that would be boring, cos we like visiting new places.   We did lose John shortly after the start – he went back to the car for a longer lead for Mr Paddy and we never saw him again.   I think he went back for a sleep.

Daff thought it would be nice to go home via Theddlethorpe, where we could have a good off-lead run.   To get to Theddlethorpe from Cleethorpes, you have to pass Appleby’s Ice Cream shop, so I think that might have been the main reason for going home the pretty way.   By this time, the sun had come out and it was warmer, and this was the excuse for eating their ice creams in the café instead of bringing them back to the car, as apparently they might have melted, but I reckon it was because they didn’t want to share them with us.   I knew we were out of luck when John found a shady place to park.

Theddlethorpe is very nice – loads of lovely sand and the sea far enough away for us not to be frightened by it.   I can run on all four feet there, and never notice I have a problem at all (sell the boot on e-Bay, I say).  We had a super gallop and behaved ourselves perfectly, which must have been a shock to the grown-ups, as we usually disappear into the dunes for hours after rabbits   They thought we were on our best behaviour, and I wouldn’t like to disillusion them by telling them that it was just too cold and windy for the rabbits to come out.   What you don’t know won’t harm you, I say.  

Daff once lived at Theddlethorpe, she tells me, but she didn’t like it and moved.   I wish she could move back and we could go on the beach every day if we wanted to, but she and John have no intention of moving, so I suppose we’ll just have to put up with the Patch.   It’s OK, but getting too cluttered with trees, in my opinion.

We were alone on the beach until we turned round to come back, when Daff noticed some people near the pullover and put us on our leads in case we turned into a pack and welcomed any other dogs too energetically.   Daff had Bluebell, Discit and Sally and John had us boys; we were walking along quite nicely when Bluebell spotted two small, white canines in the distance, forgot she was on her lead, and lurched forward, pulling Daff on her face.   It was the highlight of the day - how we all laughed!

We had a picnic of gravy bones and water in the car park, and then Daff wanted to get back as she has started on yet another diet and was feeling weak and in need of nourishment.   She could have had some gravy bones, as there were some left, but I gather they’re not on her list of approved foods.

It was a great day out, all in all, but very tiring.   Sally collapsed in the sunshine by the house wall as soon as she got through the gate, and I had to have a rest on the cold, hard patio before I could summon up strength to make it as far as the sitting room and my sofa.   Mr P and Discit managed to struggle as far as their beds in the dining room.   And Bluebell – she did what she always does – went for a kip on the garden table, which is, she tells me, the best place to monitor al fresco food for grown-ups.    It’s an excellent place for a nap, admittedly, but without access for the disabled.    I wouldn’t want to sleep with Bluebell anyway.


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