Tryfan on the golf course
Tryfan on the golf course above Kendal

A dog's dilemma

Kev Reynolds ponders the issues faced by dogs and their people during lockdown... Our thanks to some of our favourite Cicerone dogs, past and present, for their contribution in illustrating this poem!

A Dog's Dilemma

When Sandy heard the PM’s news he couldn’t help but groan,

Confinement’s surely not for me, not even in my home.

I need to get my daily dose of non-polluted air

While running free across the fields, racing here and there.

I need to go out walking, at least three times a day,

Watching from a distance all the new born lambs at play.

To play with them would be such fun, of course it’s not allowed

But I’m content it must be said, when far from any crowd.

Then mop-head said that we could have each day some exercise.

How long? How far? He didn’t say, but hoped that we’d be wise.

Hang on, I thought, we surely need to have more than a clue,

‘Cos truth be told I’m sure I need more exercise than you.

I love to roll in smelly mud then wash my coat all clean

By leaping in the current of a clear cold country stream;

I love to chase the rabbits and the squirrels up a tree,

Don’t waste your time by throwing balls – you know they’re not for me.

But here we are, one walk a day, along a country lane

Where all the other pooches go, every day the same,

There and back, a fringe of grass, a fence to raise my leg at

Can’t you see it’s boring - I need much more than that.

But Sandy went out walking, of course along the lane

And there discovered dozens more, all with minds the same,

All tugging at their leashes, their owner’s arms out straight

Their one intention just to reach the farmer’s five-bar gate.

Their masters and their mistresses who’d heard the news before

All knew two metres space between could soon become the law.

So down the lane they went that day, walking one by one

Straining, sniffing, yelping, it was anything but fun.

A big black pooch with yellow teeth had managed to be first,

The others all then got in line, the last place was the worst

And that was Sandy on a lead, he wasn’t very happy,

But aloof from all the other dogs, refused to be as yappy.

The first one stopped to cock his leg, then wondered where to go,

The queue of mongrels all stopped too, somehow they seemed to know

To keep their social distancing meant dog and master too

Which wouldn’t be a problem if there was just a few.

But there were dozens of them, the queue stretched on for miles

Dogs with tongues a-dripping, masters without smiles,

Stopping, starting, sniffing, barking – what a dreadful din -

Sandy had enough of this - his master thought like him.

Tryfan 2
Happy in the clover, and dandylions

They ducked beneath a wire fence without the others knowing

Into one big meadow where the springtime grass was growing,

And there he and his master made good their great escape

Away from all the other dogs who’d go just to the gate.

Sandy found his freedom then, he leapt into the air

Then ran around in circles without a single care

Exploring spaces new to him, happy in the clover

Decided he would stay right there, ‘til the crisis had passed over.

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