So this was me last night. On reflection, I look like I’m casing this house. Garden: check ✔ Proximity to trees: check ✔ Proximity to squirrels: CHECK ✔
But if you look closer, on the right, you’ll just about see my Dad. He’s there, in the shadows, in a slightly dodgy-looking golf top. He’s about to attempt to hit a tiny ball into an equally tiny hole several feet away, and he’s using a metal stick to do so. Yes, friends, a metal stick. This is apparently called ‘golf’ and is one more way of proving the general weirdness of humans. To be fair, this is a Dad Thing. Mum does not do golf. She tries to look on enthusiastically – really, she does (Ed: really, I do) but fails. So here I am, obediently waiting, garrumphing the odd bit of encouragement. (And no, in case you’re wondering, Dad doesn’t hole this putt. Rory McIlroy can rest easy.)
This was my first experience of golf – other than falling asleep on the sofa while Dad’s watching it on telly, that is – and I loved it. Seriously. Why? Well, it was Dad’s suggestion, weeks ago, that Mum and I accompany him for a walk round the golf course at Longniddry. “It’s a beautiful course,” he said. Mum nodded. “Being beside the sea, in this setting, is just amazing,” he continued. Mum nodded a bit more. She wasn’t keen on strolling round a golf course.
But then last night, after a day at/on her/my desk, we were both ready to stretch our paws, so off we trotted. Imagine it, so much grass, and little hills for me to chase up and down, and trees, so many trees…
You can see why I was happy, right? Here’s another view, and I mean, look a this. When I see a path like this, I just want to run up it. And because I’m on the lead (because we’re on a golf course) Mum has to run with me.
And there’s no doubt that Dad was having fun. (And it’s good to see the old folks enjoying themselves…) (Ed: ahem…) I mean, look at this determination. This focus. This… golf cap.
And here’s the greatest thing of all: I ran, and I mean ran around on the wonderfully springy grass that seemed to have been trimmed especially for tiny paws, inhaling everything I could, and this place, this wonderful place, didn’t smell of canines. Not like the park. Not even like the beach. Not really like anywhere else. “It smells of aesthetically challenging golf clothing,” Mum said, trying to explain this phenomenon. “And probably deer. And rabbits.” Indeed, it did smell of rabbits. So I just relaxed, found a bench to sit myself down on while Dad was on the 10th tee, and took in the view… this way….
And this way… As Dad would say, “Eye on the ball, son, eye on the ball. Golf requires a focussed mind.”
Which turned out to be useful when he lost the ball, and needed a hound to help root it out from the undergrowth below the pine trees. “Weren’t you aiming at the green, Dad?” I asked while sniffing around. (I knew what a ‘green’ was as Dad had said at the outset that one mustn’t do ‘business’ on the green. Under any circumstances. No business. Ever. My fellow canines will know what I mean by this.)
“No, son, ” he said. “The general idea is to aim at the green, but it’s always good to have a wander through the trees…”