Yesterday's walk had to wait long after our lurchers' regular walkies. Cath and I had both been out all day and she was tired when she got in.
I put the one working flashing collar on Rover because he tends to go further than Amazon, then set off on our perambulations. Off we trotted, me keeping a nice steady pace, they at full pelt and many sidelong glances to reproach me for my lack of speed. It was a bit cloudy but the rain had ceased, which was nice.
It was hard not to think about Holly but I think that the lurchers are dealing with it a lot better than we are. To them she was an interloper, eventually accepted but still often annoying. She was a cute dog in many ways, but she had enormous capacity to annoy.
Down in the Dene, the dogs were off and exploring the dark. It is very unusual walking the dogs in the dark when you are used to seeing them running about - even when they manage to camouflage themselves, you have a fair idea of where they are. In the dark all you have to go by are shadows, jingles of collars and flashes from Rover's collar. I had a headtorch on in case I needed to examine the ground but it was pretty useless for illuminating the path, for although on one level it was dark in the unlit sections, on the other there is a lot of light that leaks in from either side and so the torch beam is weakened.
In the open area it became possible to see a lot further. The two of them had a polite greeting with a labrador, no bullying, which is always nice. Along the section leading to the lower bridge there were three men with six dogs., which can make things a bit anxious. It was Eric with his two lurchers with a couple of friends. Rover and Amazon know Eric's dogs, a brindled saluki cross who is absolutely beautiful and a smaller red hound (still bigger than ours), but have not seen them for ages so they were having a good run around and were making a lot of noise (Rover especially). This seemed to grow the longer I stood and talked, so in the end I decided to say goodnight and wander on. As soon as was polite, the two of them disappeared into the undergrowth to do a spot of hunting.
They came after a couple of calls and we headed home. It was the first official post-Holly walk and we all coped very well with the new reality.