Monday, 3 February 2014

"Training" featuring a Labrador called Tate!


Training

A bump, a rattle, a bone shaking rush over a cattle grid.
A turn and a stop.
The handbrake creaks and vibrations of the roaring engine cease.
Suspension shifts.
Door slams.

The boot rises with a soft swish.
My muscles twitch, launch me forward, senses alive.

But a word from Him, and I stay.
A gentle word, a glance, a check, and I am gone.

Away from the car, paws splaying on soft mud.
Legs gathering beneath me to propel me forward, 
to twist, left, right, a scramble and sideways slide on muddy slope.


Wind chills. Catches my nose. 
My nostrils twitch. I stop, double back. 
Here, no, there! What is that smell?

A voice calls. I must obey.

A last sniff.
Another call.I run.

‘Go find, go fetch’. I dash I hunt I twist. Turn, spin, seek.
Retrieve.

Splash! I push through rushes.
My paws sink.
Mud gives way to cold icy water.
It ripples, shifts.
I hesitate.
‘Go find’. I launch.
The water moves from me, my legs reach out, pull back, pulling through the water.

The dummy is almost within reach.
It bobs. Ahead.
I snap.
Water fills my mouth. Splutter.
Contact.
Turn. Reach for shore, soft mud and rushes.

Through grass, trees, water. Twist, turn, seek.

Retrieve.

Sun softens winter chill through wet fur.
My nostrils twitch. I stop, double back.

Through grass, trees, water. Twist, turn, seek.

Retrieve.

“Good boy. Up!”
A treat, a gentle word, a firm hand.
The boot closes with a soft swish. A thud.

Pant. Sniff. Lay down.

Drift towards sleep.  

The roaring engine wakes, 
vibrations run through metal chassis.
A bump, a rattle, a bone shaking rush over a cattle grid.

Sniff. Lick. Lay down.


Drift towards sleep.  









Photos taken February 2014 West Sussex. Dog is 6 month old, fox-red Labrador, called Tate. 

Please respect copyright of both words and pictures, no use without written permission of author/photographer.

1 comment:

  1. Great poem, gorgeous photo's Sophie. Isn't Tate adorable?!

    ReplyDelete