Cycling with dogs and why pride comes before a fall

Flu has had me in its grasp this week and the dogs have been going stir crazy. So finally I pile my Brompton and two excited spaniels into the back of the car. We head for the disused railway line a couple of miles away.

Once our journey proper begins, Meg never moves more than three feet away from my pedals, watching me all the time. She trots a few paces ahead then turns her head, scanning my eyes.

Flossie is hurtling through undergrowth and woods. Occasionally her head pops through a hedge, checking we are still there.

Meg and I slow to pass a couple of smartly-dressed walkers. New boots, pressed cord trousers, practical fleeces, hers as pink and clean as her cheeks.
They look admiringly at Meg and we come, politely, to a halt. Meg sits motionless alongside my front wheel, watching my face, waiting for a signal we're on the move. "Isn't she good? Gosh, remarkably well trained. You must have worked so hard, she's a real credit to you." I smile, knowing the truth to be that it was Meg who worked hard teaching me to obey her every whim.

Over his shoulder I can see a dot. It is small, fast-moving and heading our way. My heart sinks.

They smell Flossie before they see her.
All too evidently, she has been running through slurry. She skids past us, comes to a halt some distance away and lollops back, wild-eyed.

She is green-brown to stomach height and her face is partially obscured by the very large rabbit she is holding triumphantly in her mouth.

At that moment, Meg sees the rabbit. She lunges forward to grab the prize. The pair of bunny-spoilers engage in a gruesome tug of war with Peter Rabbit.

The walkers say nothing. They simply turn and trudge sadly, slowly, away from the flying fur.

Flossie (left) and Meg


  1. Oh, my. I've had to wrestle rabbit corpses away from my dogs too, not fun work. They always look so innocent and lovable afterwards, covered in blood. "Why'd you take away my new toy?" ...their eyes ask.

    1. Spaniels are, in my experience, not the best way to win friends and influence people.

    2. ..the way that story way headed, I thought you were going to say Flossie jumped all over the spotless, smartly-dressed walkers while covered in mud. That would be (and has been) my dogs. So embarrassing!


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