Late this afternoon I walked Biff under a tie-dye effect pink and blue sky. We walked for miles in absolute silence and without seeing a single soul, surrounded by a vast expanse of slowly stirring countryside. Winter's brown furrowed fields are green with vegetation again while the wintery accords of damp earth, wood smoke and decaying leaves have been replaced by sweet green notes - unmistakably le parfum of spring.
Biff was ecstatic, black ears flapping as he darted across the fields on the the scent of a wild deer or boar (we were in chasse gardée or hunt country). As part of the social diary for his three day mini-stay, I’d arranged for him to go for a walk with Darcy, a friend's boisterous (and very cute) black labrador puppy, but we were stood up at the last moment when Darcy called off ill.
But as an enormous pale pink sun dropped low on the horizon, I don’t think either of us could have been happier. Dog walking, I have decided, is as good as yoga for clearing the mind but with added benefits - namely beautiful scenery and bit of calorie-burning thrown in. And I was never very good at lying still on a mat anyway.