Its bitterly cold, very windy and you put thermals on, 3 or 4 layers of tops, scarf, hat, load the car with food and the spaniels and go to the shoot meet. Everyone says their good mornings through their scarves, hands in pockets and shifting feet, dew drops on noses (no whiskers on kittens!), and then you're off to the 1st drive. Dogs are now out and whilst us humans have been moaning about the cold, and the wind, suddenly it seems irrelevant when you watch the bright eyes, wagging tails, constantly flicking ears of your dogs. From that moment you know why you do it. The intense concentration, enthusiasm, determination and beauty of a dog ready to work, just for you is a feeling like no other. Through deep mud, puddles, brambles, fences & hedges, Olli worked all day, sitting patiently when there was nothing to do, but eyes flitting between the skies and me, waiting for any command, and regardless of the wind blowing his ears across his face he was ready to do anything I asked. Never the need for a lead or a cross voice, just total comittment and pure love for me. Wherever I walked he followed, wherever I sent him he went and when there was nothing to do he still looked at me with those dark brown eyes as if to say "Its ok mum, you just say the word and I'll do whatever it takes, but I'm just happy being here in the middle of a field with you"
Fern came with me again, even though her boyfriend was at our house and it was freezing, she came with me, drove me around between drives and was just there, which means so much.
And after a fairly poor day I got home to a huge smile from Roger and although he'd been at work since 7am and was doing paperwork when I got in, he listened to my blabbing on about what had happened, how great Olli was, and all the events of the day and was so happy just because I was happy. As I'm writing this, Olli has managed to squash himself onto the back of my chair just to sit with me, eyes drooping, nearly asleep but cant leave me for a minute, and Lily is under the chair, pleased I'm home and her mum is back.
There is nobody in the world at this precise moment who feels as loved as me.