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There are signs that winter is on the wane. A couple of weeks ago, I “rang” my first snowdrop and daylight lingers longer. It makes me more positive and outward looking, and although there are times when the alarm clock goes off and I want to stay a while in bed, those days are few.

The difference this year, is that I have to get out and walk the dog. I can’t just stay in the house, vegging out in front of the television. This is her first winter with me, and one of the reasons for getting a dog was that it would force me out. I am not a lover of the cold and the wet, and although this winter has been pretty mild, it has been grey and miserable. In the past I would have stayed in my pyjamas. Now I have to get dressed and go out into the fresh air.

Dogs, of course, don’t care what the weather is like, and with the exception of the odd day when the rain was dropping like a curtain, we have been out every morning so that she can have a run, and boy can she run. She starts off slowly enough, just a bit of a potter, and then she’s off like her tail is on fire.  I spend the rest of the day picking twigs and brambles our of her tail, and she has been known to pierce her ear with a thorn. Oh the joys!

This wandering in the park has done me the world of good, mentally and physically. I have lost some weight and have not felt the mental heaviness that is usual for me in the winter. Dogs are the best therapy I can think of, and she makes me laugh in the process. (Unless she has just rolled in fox poo. That is not remotely funny).

So, with the birds singing, the daffodils beginning to poke their swords above the soil, snowdrops just waiting to have their bells rung and longer days, it really does feel like there are signs of life everywhere and that Spring is on the way.