“Wanna go for a walk”, the master asks quietly. Mr Tilly, who has been sleeping soundly, jerks his head around so fast it’s a wonder he doesn’t get whiplash. From then on he watches Paul’s every move. He follows him around, only inches from his heels as he patiently waits for him to get ready.
The same happens if we mention the ‘beach’ word. It can take anything up to half an hour from the thought of us going for a walk, or going to the beach, before we actually head out the door. We have to get out of bed, shower or wash, brush teeth, pull clothes on and don shoes before heading out the door. All the while Tills looks on, patiently stretching, watching and waiting.
The same whiplash reaction happens when we mention the ‘bike’ word. “Do you want to go out on the bike”, I ask. He sits to attention watching for signs of preparation. Only he’s not so patient. If we take to long getting ready he starts to whine! Yes, going out on the bike is definitely his favourite outing.
He sits in a basket on the back of Paul’s bike, and Paul rides out in front. The basket is a tad small for him but he doesn’t mind a bit of discomfort. He looks right and left as we ride along the beach path, and constantly checks back to make sure I’m keeping up.
Recently we went for a bike ride with some friends and I wasn’t in my rightful place, behind him, where he could keep an eye on me. Talk about whinge – he wasn’t having a bar of it. A re-group saw him happy again and we could continue our bike ride in peace. As an aside from Tills, what a thrill that was – to phone up friends to arrange an impromptu bike ride. I haven’t done that for well over 50 years – made me feel like a teenager again.
When we first started taking him on the bike we worried that he’d try to jump out when we passed another dog. There’s nothing to worry about there though. He just looks at them as we pedal past with a superior look on his face. He doesn’t know all dogs don’t get to sleep on the big bed with their people, or to snuggle up together as a pack on the couch together as the sun goes down. But there’s no mistaking that look on his face when we pass a dog walking on the beach path. He definitely knows this bike riding gig is something that only ‘canine royalty’ gets to enjoy, he thinks he’s just the bees knees. Perhaps we should change his name from Mr Tilly to King Tilly.