I’m watching Perdy as she chomps through a meaty bone on the back lawn. It’s just about 3pm and she has one very full day.
Firstly, she woke me at 7am--- yes I slept in--- and I took her to Keith Hay Park down the road. It’s a great ‘wake-me-up’ morning walk and the three kilometres round walk is just right for me. Perdy jumped back in the car with that ‘what else we doping today Daddy?’
‘Well sweetie--- breakfast first—OK?’
Her tail wagged in anticipation--- yes she will do her best to steal whatever I have cooked. So home we went and on the way I told her about the planned visit to Omana Regional Park to visit the kids from school, who are camping there for the week.
I endured the usual barking that occurs as we glided down the long hill just after the Hillsborough Rd over bridge.
‘Shut up Perdy--- you’re gonna bloody deafen me at this rate, or should I say, make me deafer!’
Did it work---? of course not. Once I had driven past the Onehunga Bay turn-off, she quietened down and observed the cars and busses we overtook. If we got too close to a truck, she shrank back into the back seat. She hates trucks---- good I say--- she will be safer that way. When I turned off at the Puhinui off-ramp, she really became curious. Her quizzical looks demanded an answer.
‘We’re going to see the kids at the beach Perdy--- I think you will like them and the beach is nice and clean--- but behave, because dogs aren’t allowed on the beach eh.’
As we drove through the road works on the big hill near Whitford, she began her whining again. I think she could smell the not too distant inlet. It was all new territory for her--- she had never been that far in the car, so I thought the least I could do was to put up with her excited expletives.
Just before we drove through the round-a-bout near Beachlands, I noticed she had gone really quiet, so I half expected to hear her throwing up--- but no--- she was transfixed on the horses, sheep and cows that were introducing themselves from a distance.
I turned off the main road and headed for the beach near the camp and when she saw the azure blue sea she must have thought she was in a doggie Mediterranean. She does watch a lot of TV, so don’t go underestimating her. I pulled up on a grassy area where Tony from school was watching the gear while the kids were way out to sea in the kayaks---well not too far. I don't want you getting the wrong idea.
I knew I shouldn’t let her off the lead (hell--- she wasn’t even supposed to be there at all---according to the signs) so she had to content herself with paddling with a ‘go-zone’ of 9 metres--- better than nothing. She was a little coy with Tony at first and then a little diffident with the kids as they beached their kayaks a few minutes later.
They made a great fuss of her and in between chasing the sticks I threw in the water; she made herself known to the kids. She’s such a show-girl—give her half a chance and she would be on stage--- that shyness is just a front.
After thirty minutes she looked as bit cold, even though the water was warm enough. I think the breeze had a chilling effect, especially when she was leash-bound and unable to run about like a maniac.
One thing was different this time--- I was in the water (even if only up to my thighs) and that was quite enlightening for her. She had this look on her face that said--- won’t you sink? Then she picked up a long stick and held it in her mouth. OMG--- thank God she’s a member of Green Peace. At least she wasn’t about to harpoon me.
A few minutes later we were making our way back to Hillsborough, and the day was hardly halfway through.
‘Now what, little girl--- more advebnturessssssssssssssssss?’