On Sunday we decided to go back to Hughenden, a National Trust property and former home of prime minister Benjamin Disraeli. We'd been there in March, and the parkland was an ideal place to walk the dog. Acres of livestock-free, and mostly squirrel-free, land, with only a few trees and wooded areas to distract my squirrel-obsessed dog.
We were in the carpark next to the charming church when I looked up and saw cows grazing in the park. Uh oh. Where had they come from?
And then a horse trotted by. I cursed, right there in the churchyard.
We decided to keep Sparks on the lead, at least until we'd gotten far enough away from the cows and the horse that he wouldn't run after them. I veered off toward the lounging cows, camera in hand, while my husband kept Sparky further away.
But when we walked back, the cows had moved. They'd also become energized, strolling at a rapid clip (for cows, anyway) right between us and the carpark. We had to go through them. I wasn't worried; other people ahead of us were walking with a dog on the footpath and the cows took no notice. And Sparky wasn't about to bark at them, as long as he was on a lead.
So we went through the herd of cows, Sparky keeping an anxious eye on the huge beasts. He got rewarded every time he turned away from them, but we let him look all he wanted, to get "information" he needed to reassure himself the big hairy monsters weren't gunning for him. And I snapped more photos.
Some of them were belted Galloway cows, a few the faded brown color they sometimes sport.
Hopefully a bit of Sparky's curiosity was satisfied. I miss our walks through cow pastures; one day I'd like to be able to trust my dog won't go barking after them.