Sometimes our back door bell rings and sometimes it goes on strike, but as it is only into a Utility Room I always tell friends to come in anyway.
However, if the visitor is friend G then I have no need to do anything. Tess knows the sound of her car; Tess also loves a knee-cuddle from G and in fact demands one whenever G comes.
I knew G was coming so I had my camera all ready. Tess was asleep in her basket (yes, I am sorry but she is a very pampered dog I am ashamed to say) and G came into the yard. Immediately Tess sat bolt upright in her basket - and 'click' I managed to take this photograph of her after her cut.
I do agree with those of you who think (even if you haven't said so) that she is rather pampered for a dog. My only excuse is that I do like to see her looking smart and clean. Her hair comes out this time of the year and I always feel that she feels better herself when it is all cleanly cut. And it does keep a lot of the hair off the edges of the chairs and stairs (her favourite place to sit, so that she can look out of the landing window).
She would like to be out all day with the farmer. He takes her with him for an hour in the morning - again for a walk at lunch time - and an hour at tea time as he takes a final walk around the fields. I wouldn't mind if he had her with him all day but he insists she stays with me for two reasons: if he is busy he doesn't want to be always having to keep an eye on her in case she goes away, and also she is my dog and as such he feels she is good company for me, which is true.
I watched them in the fields this afternoon as they came up the Christmas Tree field after their early evening walk. In the next field the sheep were going absolutely mad - charging down the pasture, along the top of the muck heap and off the other end. Then a minute later they would return along the top of the muck heap again and rush back to the top of the pasture. I rang him because he didn't appear to have noticed them and I wondered whether a dog was chasing them. But no - he had seen them and, to use his expression, he said "It was just that Spring had got up their tails!"
Once the warmer weather arrives they are desperate to be back on to their hefted land on the tops of the Buttertubs Pass.
They will feel completely different tomorrow when storm Katie begins to arrive and the weather turns gradually to gales, rain and stormy conditions. Such are the vagaries of the English Spring.