|Paul braving the rain to fetch kindling|
There is a reason why this part of south west France is green and verdant, I think it’s probably something to do with the rain. Yes, it’s raining again today and quite cold. Rick cannot understand why he is not allowed to go outside and play. After breakfast I wallowed (images of a hippopotamus come to mind) in a hot and very bubbly bath for half an hour while Paul busied himself in the kitchen making tomato and lentil soup. Afterwards I baked. I like baking when it's cold and wet outside, enjoying the warmth of the kitchen and the smell of cinnamon from the buns.
Paul has been grooming the dog. Rick absolutely adores being groomed, his eyes glaze over and he goes all sleepy and stupid. We have to groom him nearly every day because of his long coat. At this time of year the sheep and deer ticks are a nightmare and we have to try and avoid the long grass. He has treatment that kills the ticks as soon as they attach themselves to him but they can still cause irritation.
|Rick enjoying his grooming|
The countryside may look like a paradise for dogs but there are hidden dangers. Earlier in spring the processionary caterpillars that come from the pine trees are extremely toxic to dogs. The long trails of caterpillars crawling along the road are eye catching and attract playful or curious dogs.
Grass seeds are another menace. Shaped like tiny arrows they can enter their ear canal or get trapped between their toes; Rick suffered from an infected paw last summer due to a grass seed. It’s dangerous (and wet) out there!