When my son moved out to buy his first house almost three years ago, I was proud and sad, all at the same time. The house was so much quieter without his bulk clomping around, not to mention his music thumping through the floorboards. That was definitely the start of my mid-life 'empty nest' syndrome and even though my lovely daughter still lives with me, she was working long hours, so daytimes were quiet and yes, I confess, a wee bit on the lonely side ... and I think that was the beginning of my dream to own my first goldie.
Back then, I promised myself and my kids that every now and again I would gather us all together to do the kind of things we've always enjoyed ... and last Sunday afternoon, not only did I scoop up my kids, my son's girlfriend and of course Stuart, I also roped in my sister, her fiance, my niece and a few of my in-laws, to tramp around the grounds of beautiful Knole Park with us.
Naturally Polly wanted to invite a friend too, so her special buddy, the very handsome 'Bugsy', also joined us on our hike.
The dogs happily lead their pack for a two hour stroll in the autumn sunshine, with me trailing at the rear nattering most of the time and Polly delightedly walking up front with another of her special friends, my son Anthony - pictured above standing to command with his Auntie Fo!
The dogs were so well behaved (give or take the odd lunge at fresh horse poo by my mischievous pup!) and seemed to really enjoy their pack walk. Knole Park is Kent's last Medieval deer park and absolutely glorious at this time of year and although the dogs had to be lead walked, they didn't mind at all because they were having so much fun with their humans!
Usually when we visit Knole, I take photographs of the deer, but this time we walked at dog pace and understandably, the deer steered clear of us, so I'm going to cheat and add a snap of one of the deer pics I took on a previous visit!