If you go down to the woods…

I called around for Rufus to see if he could come out to play, and he could! A lads day out!

Dave turned up and rather than have him cry again, I agreed to take him for a walk. 

We drove down to Whiteford and parked up in the little field before heading down to Cwm Ivy wood. The mist was just clearing and through the canopy of leaves the sun just managed to shine through. The wood was quiet and peaceful and the only other living thing I saw was a pheasant, which ran across the path in front of me.

There were lots of smells and I found a dead sheep to roll in.

There were a lot of sheep around, and quite a few horses on Llanrhidian marsh but no birds other than the odd seagull. Rufus found the only water for miles around in the form of a thick, muddy drainage ditch. He dived in.

I was hot and needed to cool off. Elephants have mud baths and if it’s good enough for them it will do for me. Besides, the way Dave mutters after I emerge covered in goo is funny.

After we’d crossed the dunes, we dropped down onto the beach. The tide was way out and in the distance we could see people harvesting cockles near Whiteford lighthouse. Rufus managed to find another pool of water left over from the last high tide. As I was sending a text message, I started to hear the now familiar grunts, whines and yaps that told me I was taking too long.

Dave was spending far too long playing with the little gadget he carries around and there was a significant danger of the tide coming in and the sun setting before he’d thrown me any stones. Al I did was remind him of his responsibilities.

I threw stones for Rufus and he was happy to chase back and forth, cooling his paws as he went.

The simple things can keep Dave occupied for hours.

We headed back over the dunes, meandering between the largest of them to find the easiest route back to the woods. I was too slow to stop Rufus rolling in a large, fresh cowpat. By the time I got to him, he was covered in it.

It was so aromatic I just had to cover myself from head to toe. Dave shouted a lot and wouldn’t come near me.

We walked back to the car in near silence. All my attempts to wipe the mess off him didn’t do much good and in the end I resorted to covering it in sand in the hope it would dry it more quickly. It worked to a certain extent and I was able to use fern leaves to remove some more. But the smell remained and when we got back to the car I had to open all the windows.

Dave must have been hot as he left all the windows open as we drove home.

Of course, Rufus had to go straight into the shower when we got home. There was a lot of huffing and puffing and groaning but I have never seen as much dirt and muck come off him. It took several applications of shampoo to get rid of the worst of the smell.

But I sure looked good at the end of it.

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