First off some background for the improvement of my readers’ general knowledge. The earliest written records relating to Fleet are in the Saxon period, fleot or fleote, referring to a stream generally where it enters or leaves a larger body of water. Later, the area of the pond fell within a large parcel of land bequeathed to the Old Monastery at Winchester in 940 AD and the pond was used as a fishery by the monastery. The pond has been in various ownerships since then, including the Ministry of Defence. It is now owned by the local council and is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and a local nature reserve.
Anyway enough of that. Fleet pond is very popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists which meant a flexi-lead walk for me (I also think the humans did not want me to get wet, but more of that later).
I saw some large cygnets who were in the process of changing from that rather drab brown to the lovely white. They were accompanied by what can best be described as over-protective parents, so I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and gave them a wide berth viewing them from a safe distance.
Everything was going so well, despite there being plenty of opportunities to paddle in the pond, the flexi-lead was doing it’s stuff. We were nearly back at the car …. and then I met Cadbury.
Cadbury is a chocolate labrador like me, only he was bigger. He was charging around like a thing possessed playing the bomber game (you know, the one where you run directly at someone and change direction just at the last possible moment). He was also rather wet having been for a swim at Sandy Bay.
After some initial greetings, he decided that it was time for us to play tenpin bowling, with him as the ball and me as the pins. Personally I would have preferred it the other way round. Three times he scored a strike and bowled me over, although I did execute a rather crafty paw to the face move whilst in a prone position.
All this mucking about meant that I got rather covered with sand. Result. Thank you Cadbury. Sand covered dog = water. So for once the humans’ desire to keep me dry evaporated and I was actually encouraged to go for a paddle
A perfect end to my walk. Although I’m not sure it was what the humans had in mind.
Fleet Pond, well worth a visit if you’re in the area.