All the comings and goings are unsettling Lilly the Collie. She cannot get used to the fact that several of her pack are absent at anyone time. She was beside herself with excitement last Friday when the Wiz came back briefly from Leeds Met, only to find the next day that the Wiz was off again. And then on Tuesday Mrs BW left for a trip down to Wales, leaving the house quiet and empty apart from the Munch and I. Several wet and muddy walks in the Goyt have not improved her mood. The pheasants don't want to play and the Grouse sulk in the long grass and taunt her with their grating call. There are other dogs of course but these are usually the small yapping kind, that bark and growl at her and refuse to be herded into any sort of order. All this is distressing for an intelligent collie. I feel guilty. She should be out on the hillside rounding up sheep. If I had the land and the money I would buy her a flock. And then there is the rain. Apart from the indignity of having to be towelled off after a walk, there is also the vexed issue of muddy feet on the stairs. After a marathon cleaning spree Mrs BW announced that from now on it was not necessary to wear shoes up stairs or indeed on the stairs. There was now no excuse for muddy footprints beyond the hall. Perhaps she should have included paw prints, as I can see us having to resort to a legal technicality on her return. Of course I could just clean the stairs. No I think the technicality is the better bet.