I found myself frolicking like a dog half my age this week when we welcomed the first holidaymakers back on site since lockdown eased.
Like most dogs, I love being in the countryside and you might think that living on a big country estate with miles of lovely walks, lots of interesting rural smells and plenty of fox poo to roll in would be enough to keep this old girl happy but, frankly, I do have to admit to hankering for human company.
Now my owners do a good job. I’m well fed and watered, regularly groomed, kept in trim with plenty of exercise and told repeatedly how much I’m loved but – and I’d hate them to even have a hint of this – I do like to meet other humans occasionally, especially the younger ones.
Even during lockdown we had lots of visitors to the site – delivery men, lost delivery men, walkers, lost walkers, the BT men, the farmer and the postmen – but they didn’t really have time to stop and play with me so I had to be grateful for a quick pat on the head. At one point, I decided to spice things up by lying doggo in front of unsuspecting van drivers, but the fallout – being shouted at and sent to my bed – took all the fun out of it.
Now I don’t have to do anything to get anyone’s attention because they’re all over me and I absolutely love it! If they’re not feeding me tasty titbits from their barbecues, they’re happy to play endless games of ball-throwing, tickle my tummy or simply let me lie across their feet in the sunshine. Most of them also seem quite happy to let me trail along on their walks and I especially enjoy the warm evenings when, instead of snuggling up on the sofa at home, I get to lounge around the visitors’ cottages strolling back when it starts to get dark and the little people drift off to bed.
However, the very best moment of the week was meeting again a little boy I met last summer and got very fond of. He’s grown up quite a bit over the last year, as human boys do, but he hadn’t forgotten me, nor me him, and he was still happy to sit on a step in the sunshine with his arms round my neck.
And, as the song says: ‘I’m walking on sunshine - and don’t it feel good!’