Thursday, 31 May 2007

Hyperactive Dogs and Paranoia

I'm sitting here looking out on a back yard deluged with rain. The snails are happy; they love my nasturtiums, some of which have obligingly sprouted from seeds my mother gave me. The others have seeded and sprouted themselves, and now grow in a tumble of yellow, red and orange, cascading from pots or, in one instance, climbing up the rotten wrought iron staircase (useful cover).

The weather's a far cry from yesterday, when Gwen and I headed off to Porthleven and walked eastwards, towards Prussia Cove. It was a typical picture postcard day; a strong wind whipping the waves up to pound menacingly onto the rocks below before sending up towers of spume in our faces.

Do you suffer from vertigo? Gwen and I both do, so in minutes our wonderful walk along the cliff was marred by visions of darling Mollie hurtling over the edge. I should add here that the path did pass very close to the edge of the cliff and as the tide was in, the seas were rampaging very close to where we walked. If Mollie was a child she'd be diagnosed with ADHD - she's completely hyper on a walk, and if she saw a seagull, jackdaw or rabbit, she'd be off after them quicker than you can imagine.

If that route took her over the cliff edge - I could imagine Mollie, lying lifeless and bleeding on the rocks below. I could hear my cries of anguish, Gwen's shout of horror as we peered over the edge, tried to get help. A friend of mine works for the coastguards and says they won't rescue animals who go over the edge of cliffs - not unless a human being is involved - so Mollie would die.The terrible phone call home to Himself, telling him what had happened. The agonising guilt and blame that I would have to live with for the rest of my life. If only we hadn't gone for cliff walk. If only, if only. You can see why it spoilt our walk, can't you?

And to think that other people walk the cliffs, totally unaware of these potential hazards........ I wonder, though, do these people have dogs and/or children?

It does prove that dogs can pick up how you feel. For once Moll trotted right by my feet, instead of bounding ahead, and when we retraced our steps, with more than a certain sense of relief, she kept close to my heels all the way back. It meant that we had another walk, in safer climes, around the Penrose Estate, where we all felt happy and she found something wonderful and smelly to roll in.

I sloped home feeling pleasantly tired but somewhat ashamed that my Cornish blood is defeated by the prospect of losing my dog (and/or myself and friend) over the edge of the cliff. This means that walking the coastal path is a No No for me. Or perhaps you can get aversion therapy for an overactive imagination? Anyone know?

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