We went to Hampstead Heath and just as we got to the top of Parliament Hill it rained, she tells the Man as she takes her coat off in the garage.
Did you get wet? He asks, and starts to laugh as water pools around her and runs into the drain.
Wet? Wet does not even begin to describe it. The sky fell on us and simultaneously rose up from the ground.
He helps her take her coat off, and she squeezes a few pints more out of her hoodie and then tips the water out of her wellies. Her T shirt, the rather fetching one with a picture of me on it, is plastered to her body and she peels it off and drops it onto the floor where it lands with a slapping sound. The water splashes onto me. She is laughing too. What is wrong with these people?
I wait for attention, concern, apology. Nothing runs off me apart from my dignity, but I manage to drip slightly from one ear. I have absorbed the rest. It seems to me that I am, therefore, even wetter than she is, but nobody notices.
Goodness, he tells her, you are very wet. Did Hergest enjoy it?
Enjoy it? Is he mad? The Moral Dog was not designed to absorb the sky. I wait, still dripping, to be wrapped in the the full weight of Human Sympathy but unbelievably, I hear her say, he certainly did. He ran through all the puddles. All the way back to the car.
Of course we ran through puddles, there was nowhere to run that was not through puddles. The whole of Hampstead Heath was one single puddle. If dogs were meant to run through puddles we would look more like ducks.
He passes her a towel and at last I am rubbed dry. Thank goodness. I was beginning to think they had forgotten me entirely. Finally they are showing that they feel some sense of Moral Responsiblity.
Or so I thought. Wasn’t that fun, she says as she puts the towel into the laundry bin, and now you don’t smell of fox poo any more. We must do it again the next time it rains.
We? What is we? We implies joint enterprise, philosophical concordance, mutual tolerance of WET.
Not only have I been rained on, the perfidious towel has stolen my scent and the Owner has annexed my autonomy and put it in the laundry. I stare at the basket in shock, but she puts the lid on. The fox poo is in the basket. I smell only of Comfort fabric conditioner. We’re lovely and dry now, aren’t we? She says.
I follow her out of the bedroom. I am no longer clear where the boundaries of my Dogness lie. Where is the dignity of the Moral Dog now?
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.