Posts Tagged ‘dogs; puddles; mud;’

Bogwoppit Bear

When I got Little Bear the breeder warned me ‘Don’t expect him to go out when it’s raining – Schnauzer’s hate getting wet.’  He, like me was born in Wales – a country made so lush and green by the plentiful amount of rain that falls sometimes from what appear to be clear blue skies.  Good job we’re living in the (far drier) South East of England then I thought to myself.

Now I sort of thought she meant that he wouldn’t want to go for a walk in the rain; I had no idea that it might extend to setting a paw outside the door too.  A few weeks later, as the autumn weather started to take hold, I found myself in my PJs on the lawn in the pouring rain holding an umberlla over a defiant Schnauzer puppy who point blank refused to wee until I turned that wet stuff off.  It was apparently all my fault and he was entirely less than impressed.

I almost phoned the vet for fear that his little bladder would burst one particularly wet morning and even toyed with the idea of putting up some sort of canopy for the fussy little toad. 

As the breeder had predicted, getting him to go for a walk in the rain was a futile exercise.  If I opened the front door and he saw that it was raining he’d flatly refuse to put one paw in front of the other.  If it started raining while we were out he’d barge my leg asking to be carried and if I refused, he’d break into a sprint for home.

Not all puddles are born equal

But something strange happened when he was about a year old.  Walking in the woods one day, he found a puddle.

This wasn’t just any puddle.  Not the sort of common old garden puddle you find lurking around the sides of suburban pavements waiting for a toddler in wellies.  No, this was a puddle of distinction. Defined not just by it’s watery contents, but by the thick, black almost gelatinous mud that clung to it’s banks.  It stank too.  Of rotting wood and hummus and who-knows what else. 

Off exploring ahead of us LB stopped dead at the sight of this uber puddle in the distance. Other half made for the lead, but I stopped him, ‘Don’t worry, Schnauzers hate the water.’ I said confidently.

If it had been a film I suppose it would have cut to the slo-mo shot.  My smile slipping into what must have been a mix of horror and disbelief and LB running full pelt into the belly of the beast – then squelching and splashing his way into canine nirvana. 

By the time we’d caught up he was up to his armpits.  His beard and snout were black too, having rapidly discovered that if there’s one thing better than a squeaky tennis ball it’s a squeaky tennis ball that’s been marinated in the smelliest mud you can put your paw on. 

 He looked so utterly happy we didn’t have the heart to spoil his fun.  I called him Bogwoppit Bear after a book I read as a child about a creature who lived in a bog and just like the mud, it stuck.  Two years on and he’s still a complete mud magnet.  No tennis ball is acceptable until it’s had a thorough dunking in a muddy puddle and a walk isn’t complete without at least one foray into the black stuff.

He still hates the rain mind you, but he will at least venture out in it now.  Maybe like gardeners the world over he’s thinking ‘Well at least it good for the puddles.’

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