Day three of dog sitting Coco the lab/retriever. The sandy coloured enchanter who melts my heart and, through her penchant for fleecing me out of half my meal, is contributing towards the loss of the 9lb in weight I’ve gained during coronavirus lockdown…… I guess dog’s aren’t labelled as mans best friend for nothing.

As I pen this paragraph, my prevailing soundscape consists of a snoring crescendo emanating from the seven year old bowwow; currently lounging on the sofa like Lady Avashight. The tail-wagger evidently requiring a snooze after over exerting herself during a morning walk and devouring breakfast; not to mention extorting me out of part of my brekkie.

Consequential of sustained overnight precipitation, morphing the local green field into a mud bath, I re-routed this morning’s walk along a section of rain drenched payments within close vicinity. Robust underfoot conditions negating against Coco rolling in mud and subsequently producing an unwanted paw print pattern on chez Strachan’s fawn carpets.

As a canine care novice, this meander under driving rainfall drumming home to me signing up for the gig brings a duty. A remit that rain or shine your four-legged friend has to be walked. Fair weather dog sitting isn’t an option for the dedicated bow wow mum or dad.

Being on the receiving end of a thorough soaking when exercising a hound comes with the territory; along with tailoring daily itineraries around mealtimes, walks and trying to find your socks and gloves, which disappear with alarming regularity with a pooch around.

Coco’s just had brief respite from her slumber, following an Amazon delivery driver ringing the doorbell. Barking loudly, she joined me at answering the door to this affable fella. As the first thing he did was pat her and give her a dog biscuit, how much he was unnerved by Cokey’s confrontational exhibition is open to interpretation.

Old Cokes loved the corned beef hash I made for yesterday’s evening meal. The sandy coloured lady also made light work of demolishing the cold remains she consumed for both breakfast and lunch. If dog’s posted reviews on TripAdvisor, I reckon I’d receive five stars for my one pot corned beef and vegetable culinary offering.

I’d certainly hope so, anyhow. I’d be a tad miffed if Coco had’ve afforded the following critique to my mealtime labour, “The corned beef hash was tasty enough, I suppose…… Although, going forward, the chef should perhaps add more seasoning to the dish, and smile when he’s serving up…..Curmudgeonliness is next to godliness.”

Above – “Wake me when dinner’s ready, Gaz, t’old lad.”

This afternoon, my GP rang to invite me to receive my first COVID vaccination. Unlike some who decline the jab due to concerns about side affects, after learning of the events relaxed dress code (any clothing apart from culottes), it was a request I happily RSVP’d in the affirmative.

Consequently, next Tuesday hopefully I’ll make the first steps towards returning into a lifestyle closer to normal than our months of starkness on Planet COVID. Akin to what Neil Armstrong nearly posited in his 1969’s first moonwalk, this scientific breakthrough affording the current generation ‘One small personal step for a man; one subsequent giant leap for mankind.”

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