What to wear, oh, what to wear!


       No, not a great ball or other formal function, something FAR more important – the Spring Walk.  And fashion was not the issue!  Having had torrential rain the previous week followed by bitter cold on the Saturday the decision was how heavy a coat or waterproof should be worn.  The day started cool with mist but by the time we met up with the assembled company it was bright sunshine and quite warm, such that we left our coats in the car.  Having walked along Hunts Heath several times we were prepared with walking boots and gaiters, necessary even on the driest days since some areas are extremely boggy.


      As ever, members of the public stopped and gawped at the mass of 17 red and white spaniels plus 2 honorary Welshies (cockers) leading their owners and other family off for some exercise.  Of course, there was a great deal of chatteration amongst the humans – after all, we have so much in common.  The going was good to soft with patches of sticky mud to be navigated – or in the case of most of the dogs, run straight through with owners bewailing the loss of pristine coat.  Ruth had set up a checking system – she led at the front, Charles and Richard were floating whippers-in with Fran, Andrew and myself as Tail End Charlies.  There were only a couple of dogs that had a desire to run back the way they had come but were fielded successfully.


      Several of the dogs took great delight in throwing themselves into the various streams we crossed – fortunately not shaking too close to the walkers.  At the ford there were several attempts to get the spaniels to swim across, generally with notable failure.  This caused mild consternation to one rider whose horse categorically would not enter into the seething water with so many fellow bathers.  One old chap (13years) decided that he would rather stay in the water rather than return to the crowd but was gently encouraged to leave his play area.


      Arriving back at the town we strode purposefully towards the Methodist Church Hall where a surfeit of goodies were laid out – cakes, biscuits galore – not to mention the cream gateau that came all the way from Ely.  The dogs tried their best, but only a few managed to persuade their humans to hand over tit-bits.  Cups of tea, good company, plenty of dogs…….what more could any canine fan want.


The best compliment I heard was from one of the cocker spaniel owners, she would like to join the Club just to do the walk each year!


Catherine Jackson