On the mend

“Bark.”

Splash. splashsplashsplash. Splash. Drip drip drip.

“Bark.”

Rufus wasn’t feeling well last weekend – he’d eaten something that disagreed with his tummy. I took him to the vet and made sure it wasn’t anything more serious, but it took a long time for him to get over it. By Tuesday, he was feeling miserable as he hadn’t been out for a proper walk and I’d had to leave him to go to work. He was off his food, lethargic and didn’t even want to flop down on my lap in the evenings. I was getting worried that it was more than just a tummy bug and I decided I’d take him to the vet on Wednesday morning.

But, just to see if it was nothing more than a touch of the stuck-in-the-house-blues, I took him down to a little stream on Gower, where I knew he would be able to have a paddle. Within minutes, the tail was wagging, there was barking and dredging of stones. When we got home, although he wasn’t 100% himself, he did show some interest in his food and he jumped onto my lap when we settled down to watch TV.

On Wednesday, we went to a bigger stream where I hoped he’d be able to swim. It’s the muddiest place in the world (I nearly lost my wellies several times just walking a few yards from the car to the water’s edge. But it was all worth it, as there was a large deep part of flowing water and many, many sticks. We were away from the car for 40 minutes and Rufus spent 30 of those minutes swimming. It was fantastic to see him enjoying himself, wagging his tail again and barking enthusiastically if I was a second late with the next stick. When we got home, he ate most of what I’d put down for him and slept on my lap all night.

We repeated the process on Thursday and Friday. Each time we spent longer out and Rufus spent longer in the water. And each time I could see an improvement in him when we got back to the house.

Today, we went back to one of Rufus’ favourite locations and spent two hours on the hills and in the river near the Cerrig Duon stone circle. As I’m writing this entry, he is flat out on the floor in front of the fire, snoring gently after having thoroughly dried himself off on my lap!

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