... is "Leave" or, more accurately, "LEAVE!" - uttered in a more commanding tone than I am accustomed to using. Sometimes a fierce tone, an authoritative roar, even, whilst charging across the grass towards an errant dog.
There are many crab apples lying in the grass at the end of the street, and Flossie favours the ones that are now rotting and fermenting.
Flossie chooses to be deaf when her mouth is full. Only apples and the toys stolen from other dogs causes this deafness.
I won't go into the reasons why I must discourage her from eating fermenting crab apples, but getting very, doggily, drunk is not one of them. Nor is the risk of her eating a wasp in the delicious mouthful that is hastily scrunched up before the black velvet ear hears the instruction to drop it. No, my caution is entirely selfish; I shall say no more, except for the words loose bowels.....
Windfall apples of every description seem to be everywhere in the parks, while the back lanes are full of badly-disposed-of student garbage bags containing all sorts of edible items in varying stages of decay. Flossie loves junk food, apparently; her insides do not.
Being short in the leg, with tummy so near to the grass, Tosca is also prone to receiving wasp stings at this time of year, so we have to watch where we walk, and I have to be on the alert in all directions at once.
And then there's the need to avoid being spotted by Lottie and Millie from their vantage point on the wall, and who try (often successfully) to follow us on our walks. With all these factors in play, an intended peaceful stroll with the dogs changes to a test of endurance, stealth, ingenuity and observational skill. For the average spectator fond of a bit of sport, it can be quite entertaining.
Watch how the dog lady in wellies dodges the bins, the apple trees, the busy stinging insects, the murky river, the stagnant, litter-filled pool, the mad husky dog with the temper control issues, the collie with the squeaky toy rugby ball, the tabby cat and the cars! See her grapple with a poo bag, a ball on a rope, a pocketful of treats, two leads, and a Yorkshire terrier who can't walk in a straight line! Marvel at her speed - surprising, given her build - as she heads off a labrador with two crabapples in its mouth and a furtive look in its eye! Guess how long it takes her to say "Sod this for a game of soldiers!" and turn back for home!
It was easier with the Lovely Son who was walking with us just a few days ago.