“New people! I shall chase them!”
As Helen had dissertation work to do at the weekend, I was left to entertain CJ for the whole of Saturday – however I already had plans of my own. It was set to be a lovely day, so I had arranged to meet some friends on The Downs for a BBQ. I thought I’d take CJ along so she could meet some new people, frolic on the grass and generally get out of the house.
It went really well. CJ melted the hearts of my friends – Steve, Ross, Robin, Dave and Josh – behaved herself, didn’t maul any small children and did a good job of bouncing up to young women for attention.
I also discovered that she didn’t stray far from me. As I had her off the leash, she was prone to chasing after the nearest cyclist or jogger, but as soon as she got about 250m away, she would turn around and come bounding back to me.
“Clearly she has a range,” I thought and congratulated myself for clearly being a great dog owner. Parents were even bringing toddlers up to her so they could bask in her inane cuteness.
However the next day when we took her for a walk at Ashton Court, I discovered my theory about her ‘range’ went right out the window when you introduced another element into the picture – other dogs.
Despite it being the Bristol Kite Festival, Ashton Court was filled with dog walkers and it wasn’t long before CJ was chasing and playing with dogs five times her size. I let her get on with it, safe in the knowledge that she would come running back to me after a matter of time.
Except she didn’t.
CJ started chasing an Irish Setter and before I knew what was going on, she was 400m away chasing this dog towards the deer enclosure.
“You better go get her,” said Helen.
“No, she’ll be back. She has a range you see,” I replied safe in the knowledge that CJ would return once she realised we were nowhere to be seen. Except she didn’t. She kept running further and further away, clearly having the time of her life.
Eventually she was little more than a speck on the horizon, when Helen started openly mocking my range theory. There was nothing left to do – I had to run after her.
An exhausting sprint later and after semi-tackling her to the ground, CJ was back by my side, but it seems my theory about her sticking close to me only applies among other humans. Not dogs.