Clock change day today - my favourite one; an extra hour in bed, hooray!
The last clock change (back in March) led to problems for my partner. She was supposed to go for a family reunion to her granny's home town of Buckingham. Alas, the night before, she had stayed out ALL NIGHT with BC (doing goodness-knows-what; I shall not soil my mind by pondering it). She arrived back in time to depart with her parents, only to find that the clocks had moved forward one hour and her parents were long gone without her. No such horrors this time.
It was a nice sunny day, so my partner and I enjoyed a lovely walk at Abbotstone. I did a spot of beastie-chasing, but mostly we played games. I didn't take my new football, in case it got lost or stuck in a tree, because that would be a pity. I do like to chase things though - usually sticks these days. My partner did once buy me an indestructible boomerang from the Science Museum in London, but I destroyed it. A shame, as it was fun to play with for the fifteen minutes of its all-too-brief life under my ownership.
My favourite game to play with my partner is called Dog's Bottom. It is a game of skill and cunning and the object of it is as follows. I must endeavour to run past my partner, keeping to the path as much as possible, from relatively close behind or a long distance back. She must try to tap me on the bottom as I speed past. If she succeeds in tapping me then she wins - if I manage to get past untapped it's a victory to me. I have developed all sorts of cunning strategies to ensure a win for myself, from switching sides of the path at the very last minute to neatly swinging my rump away from my partner as I whizz past. Dog's Bottom is the Sport of Kings. My endless invention of new tap-avoidance tactics always makes my partner laugh a great deal and has never yet failed to cheer her up. I really enjoy it too. It is a high-speed sport, and not for the faint of heart. I have to be careful not to run into things as I race along, and angling my rump away at the wrong moment and speed can hurt my back or hips. Dangers to my partner arise from the risk of collision, although she once was badly injured when I zoomed past with a stick in my mouth and managed to cut her leg open with the fast-moving tip. But the prize is worth the risk. We are pretty evenly matched in this game, although I think I slightly have the upper paw.
We once nearly came unstuck during a lengthy session of Dog's Bottom. It was, again, at Abbotstone and I was leading 4 - 2. My partner usually taunts me as I run, trying to put me off my stride. A call of "Jasper! Dog's Bottom!" indicates that the game is a-paw and I am then free to choose the moment of takeoff. There are often further taunts along the lines of "Where's that Dog's Bottom?", "I'm going to catch that Dog's Bottom!" and "I'll get that Dog's Bottom and put it in a pie!" and this occasion was no different. I succeeded in gaining another point by way of a masterful hip twist and I waited at the end of the path for my partner, both of us laughing and enjoying our game. Most unfortunately, there then appeared an ancient and respectable lady leading an equally ancient and respectable dog, who had been walking in parallel on the other side of the bushes...
She looked from my partner to me and back again with a disdainful sneer, which her dog was more than able to match. The dog looked like it had suffered from severe constipation since puppyhood. My partner simply gave her a cheery "good evening" and we continued our match (which I went on to win 7 - 4. Yes!!), feeling only mildly embarrassed. I am glad that my partner and I will not grow old and miserable like that, with nothing to say to each other but snide comments. We have spent too much time laughing together, and the sport of Dog's Bottom forms a significant part of that laughter. I wonder if I should suggest it to the Olympic Committee?