Q: What is brown and sticky?
A: A stick
When I was a child I thought this was the funniest joke EVER, which may explain why I was giggling quietly to myself during this afternoon's outing to collect kindling for our little woodburner.
We live slap-bang in the centre of two areas of ancient woodland, so on our way back from the Post Office earlier, we decided to combine Small Dog's walk with a bit of wood gathering. The paths through the woods are always littered with bits of stick and fallen tree branches which are generally left to just rot away so in a public-spirited joint path-clearing and stick recycling initiative we donned wellies, took a bag each and set off in full hunter-gatherer mode.
As we scrambled around in the undergrowth, simultaneously scratched by thorns, brambles and covered in spider's webs, I caught a glimpse of Small Dog nearby, merrily sniffing and rooting around, picking up her wee-mails and generally having A Good Time.
Which we patently were not.
This is the way of things. Small Dog is not, unless it involves food, a team player. It occurred to me that she might feel more of a sense of purpose, and a resulting warm glow of satisfaction, if she helped out a bit more. Then, I had a sudden epiphany.... I would design and make a dual purpose Small Dog Pannier. When wearing it, she could carry her own accoutrements.... poo bags, treats, Pack-A-Mac etc. Alternatively, when out on stick finding expeditions, if she came across a small, dry piece of wood suitable for kindling purposes, she could deposit in her basket, returning to us to have it emptied from time to time.
Sounds like a damn fine plan to me.
Since our return I have done some internet research and it would appear that there are already a bewildering array of pannier contraptions suitable for Small Dogs mostly along these lines.....
Initially, when I broached the subject with Small Dog, after she'd woken from her post-walk nap, she seemed uncharacteristically enthusiastic about the whole thing. However it rapidly became apparent that the only type of Small Dog Pannier she would have any truck with, would be one like this.....
Negotiations are currently stalled...........