I scan the hedgerows and the field margins, looking to see what will soon be stretching and unfurling in the late winter sunshine, while the dog investigates all the new scents and trails. Once in a while he'll run after a pheasant for all of a few yards, just to show me that he could get it if he really wanted. Mostly he is content to sniff and snuffle around.
Occasionally we come across a dog walker, a horse and rider or, perhaps, a farmer driving his 4x4, or a tractor, as he drives around checking on outlying gas guns. Pleasantries must be exchanged, even if it just a simple wave of the hand, though often it is a full conversation.
Then we can get back to the job in hand. Toby can go back to exercising his nose and I can let my mind wander while my legs walk and my eyes feast themselves.
If the weather is horrible, especially if it is a day of bone-seeping icy cold wind and rain then dog walking becomes a real chore which must be endured. It is then that I distract myself, from physical and mental discomfort by writing blog posts.
My very best posts.
Such a shame that none of them ever make it onto the blog.