We took them out in groups, not sure that we could cope with monitoring all 10 at the same time. How right we were! After acclimatising, which took less than a minute, they were off… and like a gaggle of small children they all went in different directions! I remember taking Finn to the zoo when he was about 3. He had never seen elephants before and was totally enthralled. As an adult it is difficult to recapture that initial sense of enchantment: the delight of something unexpected and new, something totally beyond your imagination. I wonder if it was like for the puppies?
Our garden is quite large, with flowerbeds, a vegetable patch, a woodpile, overgrown areas for the wildlife and lots of nettles! I foolishly hoped that the pups would stay, more-or-less, in the centre of the neatly mown grass area—no such luck! They particularly liked the overgrown brambly bits: for human arms a killer combination of scratchy long grass, brambles and nettles, for puppies—a breeze! It’s quite something watching a small puppy disappear head first into the undergrowth, white bum and tail left waving in the air. And boy can they move if the mood takes them, sprinting across what to them must seem like acres of open plain. I guess that could explain their preference for the overgrown areas—safety. Out on the savannah grasslands of mowed lawn they are vulnerable to passing birds of prey and larger carnivores; hidden in the nettles and the brambles they are safe!
What stories they had to tell when they returned to the sanctuary of the kitchen. And when they slept what dreams they had, their small bodies twitching, excited, legs running as they relived their adventures. And tomorrow, tomorrow is another day, with more adventures, more firsts, and more life to be lived, but perhaps nothing will ever be quite as special as that first sojourn into the garden.