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Date night ish

It was actually daytime

By SJ CoveyPublished 2 years ago 11 min read
Bauer is not a guide dog

Bauer, Baby B, Bee-bop-a-loo-dog, or just plain B is our golden labrador. The picture is a bit mean. All his brothers and sisters are guidedogs. He is the only one of the litter who didn't make the cut. Does it look like he's laughing to you?

I mean seriously, that smile says he was okay with their decision. Likewise, the decision probably saved lives. He is the eptimy of cute but stupid, with flashes of brilliance.

There are so many stories I can share of our life together. What I am focusing on though is my jealousy.

My husband worked from home while B-dawg was growing up. He was blessed. Bauer never messed, chewed or barked. They had a full on bro-mance going on.

I got to spend evenings and weekends with my boys. We also had Pabs, (Pablo) a black and white cat. Boy, was he the boss. He gave shadow boxing a whole new meaning when he would bop B on the nose. Ducking and a weaving Bauer would back off.

Holidays are precious to everyone, there are far too few days in our lives where we get to explore. To visit foreign lands, experience exotic spices and watch the glorious sunsets fill our vision as the haze disappears to be swallowed up by the darkness of the night.

A lover of exotic holidays I planned my leave from work very carefully. A holiday to Europe in May, perhaps the stunning islands of greece with their pristine blue seas and white sands. Directly contrasting with the white buildings and their blue painted shutters.

In the summer months we would have a holiday in the UK crossing our fingers for good weather. A little cottage, previously a hunting lodge overlooking a pond in the Cotswolds was one such trip. The weather was exceptionally kind to us and we enjoyed a lazy week of long exploritary walks through quaint villages of thatched cottages. Evenings were spent mixing with the locals hearing their hunting stories in the local pubs.

Another break was in the Lake District where we stayed in an old water mill. Bauer spent the whole trip being towel dried due to his inability of staying away from the water surrounding our accomodation. He also relieved himself on the owners strawberries; which she was not too impressed with.

On that particular trip, we took a walk to the most majestic waterfall. I have always loved waterfalls. The weather, again, was incredible. The winding path to the waterfall was steep with moss covered stones making the journey treacourous.

Bauer had no fear and bounded ahead of us on his retractable lead. We followed at a more sedate pace, watching each footstep carefully. A loud splash alerted us, Bauer had found the water at one of the waterfall's pools.

We rounded a corner and through the ferns, a jurasic dog with a goofy smile on his face paddling away under the waterfall, reminisant of an old Timotei advert. Being a blonde labrador did wonders for this look.

"Aw he's having fun." A family playing Pooh sticks shouted over. B took this as an invite to join in and bounded over. The children squealed as he leapt out shaking hard. His tail continuing the motion for thirty seconds longer. The tail couldn't stop.

We apologised, pulling him back. They laughed and assured us it was fine. Bauer played fetch with the children for a good half an hour while we chatted with the grown-ups. We knew their arms would tire of throwing long before Bauer would ever get bored of the game.

We continued our hike up the side of the waterfall, each winding corner revealed new gasps of disbelief at the beauty all around us. There was deep green ferns growing around fallen trunks, cracked and weathered by time. Some fallen trunks spanned the pools of water which gathered from the curtains of water making up the falls.

Sun twinkled through the canopy above, bathing us in its dappled light. The banks were colourful with pretty spring flowers of every shade of yellows, reds and blues.

Eventually, we reached the sumit and stared at the force of the powerful water thundering over the rocks. Standing on the ancient stone bridge Bauer jumped up with his forepaws to have a peak over the bridge at what we were looking at. People passed, smiling at the cute pup joining in with the humans.

There was no need to retrace our steps, we followed the path down the opposite side of the falls. Experiencing more sedate pools, were Bauer looked longing for a swim. With the rocks, and drops it was too dangerous to let him off his lead, we were not popular with him for this decision.

Thirty minutes of walking the downward path we were back at where we had started. Our appetites well and truly nudging us for attention, we agreed to find somewhere for a late lunch.

Everyone piled in the car and we were off exploring. Eyes on either side of the road looking for the perfect spot. A little village caught our eye and we parked up. B Dawg sprung like a springbok from the boot of the car. I quickly clipped on his lead and we wandered around the streets, looking at the quaint shops and admiring the produce.

A tiny gin shop caught our eye due to a huge sign announcing dogs were welcome. I was not keen, B was a bouncy excitable Labra-pup with a tail that had one speed...wharp speed.

Against my better judgement we went in and got chatting to the owner. I admited not liking gin. Which, she took as a challenge. We established it was juniper I was not a fan of and she recommended trying Ophiah a mixture of spices rather than juniper.

Bauer sat patiently having sampled one of the owners biscuits already and eager for more. Taking me outside she pointed to a pub around the corner and suggested we go there to eat and they serve Ophiah. She suggested to ask for it with ginger as a garnish.

Intrigued we did as suggested and went to the pub. Inside was quite busy and Bauer was still at the boysterous age where he could be either angel or demon in public. People were eating and we didn't want the embarrassment of him misbehaving and ruining someones lunch.

We asked at the bar if there was an outside space, the weather was beautiful. The barman pointed behind him, and explained they had a huge beer garden that sloped down to the river.

This choice of pub could not have been more perfect. A gin and a pint was ordered and we grabbed some menus, finding our way to the beer garden. What he had not warned us about was how beautiful the place was.

The river at the bottom had people canoeing past. On the other side children had fishing nets scooping nothing but leaves from the stream. Weathered wooden table and chairs filled the lawn and there were only a handful of them still available.

Opting for one near the top of the slope we attached B's lead to the bench freeing up our hands. After we took a seat I tried my gin, it was delicious. I vowed to go back to the shop for a bottle before we left. My husband asked what I fancied to eat.

From the depths of who only knew where came the weirdest sound I had ever heard in my life. A wailing, did not do this noise credit. If you can imagine a hybrid wolf, crossed with a bansee who is trying to gargle with red hot scarichi sauce.

The menus dropped from our hands and we froze. What was wrong with our dog? And what on earth was that noise. Yes, the noise came from Bauer. He was wailing and bucking and struggling on his lead.

I crouched next to him, whispering, "What's worng baby, are you okay?" He started to mewl, the hybrid creature was now encorporating a cat in distress to it's cacopohony. Although I crouched before him he was struggling to see past me, trying to look over my shoulder.

"What is he looking at?" I spun around following his eyes to... the river.

He was causing a fuss because he could smell and see the water. The whole situation was remenisant of a stropy teenager or brat not getting their own way.

"I don't believe this." My husband shook his head, laughing.

"Shall I let him off?" My hand reached for his lead.

"Do it."

His harness was unclipped and he ran with the speed of a grey hound down the imaculate green lawned hill towards the river bank. With no knowldge other than doggy intuition he sprung way too early. Launching himself high into the air. He sailed, picking up altitude, his tail propelling around in circles driving him forwards.

There was a commotion behind us, both inside and outside of the pub. Bauer seemed to float, until his loud splash indicated he had judged accurately, the water was deep, and he did not face plant into the bank or the river bed.

Whoah's and gasps were joined by a riotous round of applause. We slowly turned around to see the whole pub and beer garden on their feet. Eyes wide, mouths open. Someone was even pumping the air thinking they were watching an Olympian make the dive of their lives.

We both erupted into laughter. This was Baby B in his element, or so we thought. I went towards the river where he swam in circles, living his best life. He saw me and swam in my direction. This was when I noticed, there wasn't just the humans watching. A queue of dogs stood on ceremony on the bank of the river.

Some of them dippied their toes in. Others jumped up and down yipping. A huge Golden Retriever stood observing with a wise knowing look in his eyes.

Bauer clambered out, rushing up to say hello to his fans. Then, had i not seen this with my own eyes I would never have believed it. He encouraged the dog with the toe dip to join him. How he did this is really hard to explain. He looked at the dog, then the river, then the dog. Took a running jump and leaped in. The dog followed him.

An ear shattering squeal made me turn around. Toe dips owner had her hands over her mouth. I thought she was going to start crying.

"He's never swam before, this is incredible." Her hands fluttered around her face with nervous excitement.

Bauer didn't stop with one, he bounded around the beer garden rounding up the dogs and teaching them how to jump in the water. I don't know if their owners were thankful for their prestine dogs coming back soggu and smelling of river water. But, the dogs enjoyed themselves.


When we got home my husband went back to work and I had booked an extra day of leave. With nothing but washing and housework to do at home I decided to take advantage of the late summer sunshine. I also wanted B to myself, the guys got to spend all day, every day together and I wanted a piece of this.

"Come on B." Picking up his lead and harness was always a guaranteed way to ramp up the excitement levels in our house. Add to that my rucksack, a bottle of water, and... a tennis ball. The ball had all the fur chewed off, so it was a smooth rubber ball with a big smile of a slit almost splitting it in two. Oh my, that was a party in a rucksack right there.

We set off, Bauer grabbing his lead in his mouth tugging it to hurry me up. I decided we were in no rush, we had no deadlines to meet. This was our date and we would do whatever my cute blonde wanted to do. That day was the creation of the wander walk.

At the entrance of our street I asked B the quesion. "Left, right or straight on." Taking his first answer every time no matter where that led. No B is not a talking dog, but he indicated with a turn of the head and we followed his lead.

Our walk took us through the rolling green fields of where we live, in the peak district. The countryside was very hilly and B had us tramping down a steep incline towards a field. When we arrived at the bottom to my horror was a field full of cows. I had a terror of cows, yes they look cute but do not be fooled I am sure they would trample me given the chance.

"I can't do it B." Shrugging I confessed. He tugged on his lead reminding me of how he encouraged the dogs into the river in the Lake District. I text my friend who was a very experienced walker.

-Field of cows, am alone with B and terrified. Do I walk around?

-No 99% of the time you will be fine. If anything happens let go of B and he will show you the way out

-Are you kidding me?

-Er, no

-You're such a cat person I ain't letting go of him

-he'll be fine

-yeah, this ain't happening. love u xxx

I felt like I was quitting the wander walk, but I justified my actions by telling myself, sometimes the wander walk needed someone to overide or intervene for the sake of their safety. I made the rules, and therefore it was okay to amend said rules.

We trapsed up the hill we had just walked down. Going up was tougher than coming down. At the top of the field we picked up a footpath and followed this. A very cute country lane away from traffic allowed Bauer some off the lead tennis ball chasing action. His panting face told me he was having the best day.

The lane opened up into a courtyard of beautiful barn conversions I noted to tell my husband about. I never knew this little hamlet existed within walking distance of our home. A couple more wander walk decisions from Bauer, and I knew where he was taking me. He had sniffed the water.

Midhopstones reservoir, one of B's favourite places. He never paid attention to the signs saying not to swim in cold water. He had been doing so all his life. I should have known this was where he would lead me to. We walked through the trees and I released him, listening for the familiar splash. I was not disappointed.

That day there were no dogs for him to teach to swim. We walked the 3.1 kilometres around the water. The terain was a mixture of trees, scrub and man made trails. There were lots of things for him to sniff and investigate.

We had already walked 4.5 kilometres to reach the water. I was exhausted. I think my date knew this, or he wanted a pint. He directed me to the left on leaving the reservoir, and in the direction of the pub. I ordered a club sandwich, which was delicious, and we shared some chips.

The walk back was all up hill, I was struggling towards the end and B steered me towards our local where we snatched a picnic bench table overlooking the fields and we watched the sunset. My husband came to meet us after work. This was my perfect date, with the cutest blonde I ever met.


About the Creator

SJ Covey

FamiLIES, SJ's debut NA book was released 20th Sept 2023.

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Comments (3)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 years ago

    Whoaaa, Bauer actually became a swimming coach for all the other dogs! He's super awesome! I immensely enjoyed reading this!

  • Babs Iverson2 years ago

    Fabulous!!! Absolutely loved your date night ish story for the 24/7 challenge!!!💕😊💖💕

  • Awww this is so sweet, saw it and had to read before I went out , love it

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