I don't know if it was the weather or if the rabbits were just particularly active that evening, but Brythen was a Very Bad Dog and buggered off into the distance to run about madly in the Far Away - probably as much as half a mile away, when you could see him. He has done this before, but not for so long. This was really quite a major absence, and It Will Not Do.
Today, the clouds were even lower, in that they were sitting quite comfortably all over the hills I live on. I'm not sure if it was still clear lower down, but where I was, it was thick as soup and absolutely soaking. I went out anyway, and as part of the This Will Not Do campaign, I made Brythen wear his harness and kept him on a long lead.
Neither the soaking mist nor the lead made him happy, but I really think he's going to have to be on the line for a while until he'll consent to come when called and not disappear into the middle distance. I did lots of reeling him in and treating him with liver paste, which he ate, though not with great enthusiasm. In theory at least, this should help.
Then, of course, somebody's speedy offlead whippet shot past us out of the fog, and Brythen tried to shoot after her, and he pulled me over and I got even wetter falling on my face in the mud. Grrrrr.
It is horribly tempting to let him just do his own thing - because he does always come back *eventually* and he never catches anything, doesn't seem prone to tripping over things or getting hurt, and keeps well clear of the cattle and the ponies. But really, I do not think it is good enough, if someone asks 'where is your dog?' to have to wave vaguely and say 'West...ish'.
'We still don't know if we will have to move house or not, and likely will not know for a while. Part of me is saying that it would be interesting to go somewhere different rather than lurking here in my traditional rut, and it might push me into doing new things, or provide new opportunities.
I have definitely BEEN in a rut for some time, and it has been a little depressing. In a way, the sudden uncertainty is welcome because ruts are dull. But another (lazier) part of me is groaning at the thought of the sheer effort and expense of it all, and thinking that 1) I like my rut and 2) I could probably climb a *short* way out of my rut and try something new without actually going to the effort of having to put everything in boxes.