Tag Archives: dog walking

Trudge trudge trudge


Every day Douggie the doggie and I walk down to the beach. He does like his daily swim. If he doesn’t get it for whatever reason he gets a proper cob on.

The good thing about walking on the beach every day is that the bad old days of a stinking, muddy dog are long gone. The bad thing is that he, and I, are always wet through.

He gets so excited he runs round me flicking water from his long, waggy tail all over me. It has got so bad that I have taken to wearing wellies and waterproof trousers no matter what the weather is like.  I can’t even wear the wellies without the waterproof pants as he always ,manages to flick water down my wellies and I end up with my own private paddling pool in my boots.

It’s even worse when I forget to put thicker socks on. My feet flop around in my slightly large welliebobs and the walk back up the hill after an hour walking up and down the beach gets more difficult every day. I’m sure they have a device to make the hill steeper when I’m on my way back home. Y’see, on the way out it’s a more gentle slope. On the way back it’s more like a mini Everest. That, dear reader is whenI trudge, trudge, trudge up the hill, tired and grumpy.

Roll on summer when I’ll be glad to be showered with cold water.

Still on the subject of dogs. I got a letter yesterday telling me that the guide dog I sponsor has been dropped from the guide dog programme because of his unpredictable spending habits. WHAT? Who the hell lets a dog go shopping anyway? It’s only ever going to end in disaster giving  a dog a credit card and freedom to use it as he wants. Mind you, if I gave Douggie a credit card he’d just eat it.

It’s rained here today. A lot.

As Douggie and I set off to the beach I realised with dismay that I’d timed it wrong and the tide was in. As I guessed, by the time we got to the seafront  the waves were crashing over the sea wall. Oh well. A walk to the harbour instead, I think. As I walked round the harbour I noticed through the pouring rain dripping off the end of my nose that someone had kindly put a note on all of the benches saying that the paint was wet. Well OF COURSE the paint was wet. It was pouring down! It didn’t take a genius to work that out but I did appreciate the fact that someone tried to help out the tourists by telling them. Heh.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re having better weather than we are having at the moment. Happy weekend!

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Oh I do like to be beside the seaside


Boofuls, Douggie and me have just got back from a week away in sunny Devon.

“Oh! Have you been away?” I can hear you saying. Dang! I love how you all miss me so much!

Yes we have, we’ve been searching for our perfect home on the south coast.

One day we decided to broaden our search and investigate a few of the other towns and villages along the coast. People kept telling us how nice it was in Sidmouth so we went for a look. Quant little English seaside village. I think it’s actually God’s waiting room. I’ve never seen so many grey haired people all in one place in my life. Pensioners were marauding everywhere with their walking sticks, wheelchairs, zimmer frames and scooters. Don’t get all excited thinking that the pensioners on scooters were zipping round on the scooters of your childhood or on trendy Piaggio’s,  how cool would they be?

No, I’m talking about yer good old mobility scooters.

My mum used to have a mobility scooter.  It had two speeds: hare and tortoise. It had a picture of a hare and a tortoise on it’s dashboard.  My mum only ever used to use it on the ‘hare’ setting, or as she used to call it, ‘rabbit speed’. She once got told off by a traffic warden for speeding on her scooter. She nearly took his kneecaps off when she came ‘haring’ out of a shop (see what I did there?).

Anyway, back to the plot and talking about getting told off….

Once Boofuls and I had thoroughly investigated Sidmouth we went a bit further round the coast to Dorset and Lyme Regis.

Sigh. To be fair, it wasn’t the best of days, we were cold and tired, the wind was blowing, we were not really dressed for the weather as it had been quite warm when we set off, we were hungry and we were fed up and on the verge of an argument.

We popped out heads into a few of the local eateries to be met with faces of disgust when we enquired if they were dog friendly. That’d be a no then. Eventually we did find somewhere to eat that was warm and welcoming. I partook of the chestnut and mushroom soup which was surprisingly tasty. I’ll be making that.

Once we’d decided that we could really linger in their any longer just keeping warm we decided to head off back to Torquay. “I’ll just take the dog on the beach for  a pee”, said I.

I checked the sign about dogs on the beach: April to November.  Blah blah, yeah, yeah.  Douggie ran off grateful for a chance to stretch his legs while I trudged up the stony beach feeling like I was on the verge of hypothermia. Up ahead the beach became sandy so I headed to that part. To get to it we had to walk on the prom for about eight feet. I decided I’d risk it without putting him on his lead.

As we jumped down onto the sandy beach an officious looking character approached me. Douggie looked like he was about to go and say hello to him so I threw his ball in the opposite direction:

Officious character: “Your dog is off the lead. It’s not allowed to be.”

Me: “Seriously? We only walked on the prom for about eight feet. Just to get onto this beach.”

Him: “You walked all the way down that beach with your dog off the lead. I watched you do it”

Me: “Yes we did.” Looking vacant as I said it, still not realising where this conversation was heading.

Him. ” Didn’t you see the signs.”

Me: “Yes, course I did. April to November. Well it’s December now, what’s the problem?”

Him: Slowly as if talking to a child, “No dogs at all between April and November and dogs on leads at other times.It says it very clearly and you’ve passed at least four of these signs. There’s one there, there, there, there and there and you’ve gone past them all and totally ignored them, I could fine you £70.”

Me: Turning white as the penny drops. “OH NO!! I totally misread it. I’m sorry, (much grovelling).

At this point he was starting to enjoy being able to lecture me and made a point of lecturing me at length about dogs not being allowed to run free on beaches in Lyme Regis, all this while Douggie gambolled happily around his feet and I squirmed with embarrassment.  Eventually, the official realised that the dog was still running loose and instructed me to put his lead on, which I did post haste, still grovelling. My purse was twitching with fear at the thought of having to surrender £70 of it’s hard earned money for not bothering to read a sign correctly.

Eventually the official had had his fill of making me squirm and decided to let me off with a warning. As I hot footed it back to the car a couple who’d been watching with amusement asked me if he’d let me off and informed me that Lyme Regis isn’t known for it’s tolerance for dogs.

We probably won’t be going back there.

Note to Self


It is vital when cleaning the cooker immediately after cooking a meal on it ( noteworthy on both counts, that. Cooking and cleaning, both in one day? Wow! ) that one doesn’t remove the rings with ones bare hands. OWOWOWOWOW!!!!

Lesson learned, I won’t be doing that again. Dozy bint.

Poor Douggie the doggie leapt up from his usual place, under my feet, to see what all the noise was about. He wasn’t sure if I was instigating an unusually noisy game, or if there was any food coming his way or if he should get out of the way as fast as he could. He opted for the food option naturally, and stood there looking at me expectantly while I danced around the kitchen practising my Anglo Saxon.

Once the excitement was over I noticed the sky was getting darker and darker. “Oooh, Douggie, It’s going to snow.” I decide to postpone his evening walk until the snow arrived, which I could see would only be a few minutes. Sure enough, there it was, right on cue.
Boots, fleece, coat, hat, gloves, Hat, dog treats, clicker, ( mustn’t miss a training opportunity) poo bags, phone, keys, dog. Check. Let’s go!!

Douggie and I ran out of the door, straight into a hail storm. Again with the OWOWOWOWOW!

That wasn’t part of my plan! I want big, fluffy, soft snowflakes not sodding cannonballs fired into my phizog! Even Douggie stopped in his tracks and ran back to the door before thinking better of it and heading out onto the field to see if he could find a rabbit to chase.

Along with the hail had arrived a howling gale, my poor face felt like needles were being stuck into it. Eventually it eased off into real snow which was quite good fun once the wind was at my back. That was was bracing to say the least. Tell me again why I wanted a dog? Oh yes! So I can go out in disgusting weather and have people drive past in their lovely, comfortable, warm cars shaking their heads and laughing saying, “Oh how I wish I had a dog so I could go out in that weather.” Pah!

Turty tree tousant


Isn’t it funny how things happen?

Boofuls and me went to a local am dram group performance last night. It was songs from the musicals and it was pretty good.

It all came about because I was walking Douggie the doggie on Friday on the local playing fields and got caught in a shower of rain. I stepped in a puddle, right up to my middle and never went there again…..oh no. Wait.  That’s something else. Sorreee!

So, where was I? Oh yes, shower of rain. We took shelter under, funnily enough, a shelter. As we stood there watching the rain pelt down I spotted  a little woman with a little dog  running up to the shelter as well.  Both she and her dog  gave a shake to get the worst of the water off before she turned to me and started chatting, as fellow dog owners are wont to do.

Her dog, a little bichon frise, was trying it’s best to shag Douggie  while we chatted, which was quite amusing to watch as it was a titchy little thing and even stood up to it’s full height it’s um, tackle only reached as far as Douggie’s ankle. Full marks for trying though. Douggie just kept turning his head to look at it in disgust before dislodging it with a flick of his almighty tail.  Eventually it gave up and settled down for forty winks. Douggie went and found himself a nice muddy puddle to have a roll in.

So, Shaggy’s owner and I chatting for a few minutes about dogs, the weather and life in general before she told me with a big smile that she had to go home and get ready because she was in a show that night. “Oh yes? What show’s that then?” I enquired.   She told me it all about it, at which point memory bells started ringing in my head. I remembered another dog walker had told me about it a few weeks ago. “A chap with an Irish wolfhound?”  “Oh yes!! That’s Jake, he’s lovely.”  She was of course talking about the dog not the owner.

Any road up, Boofuls and me decided to go and see the show. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I read the programme and realised that TTF’s new wife was one of the stars. Blimey!

The lights went down, the announcer told us in a strong Irish accent that the show was being held as a fund raising event for a local charity and they hoped to raise turty tree tousant pounds.  HAHAAAAAAAAA!! I nearly choked on my diet coke!  Turty tree tousant!

I was still chuckling when the show started – and what a show it was. Four or five amazing singers carried the show along and it was all good spirited fun. We loved it. I miss our am dram days.

During the break half way through we bumped into TTF himself outside and even managed to have pleasant words with him. My, how things move on.

 

 

Easy like Sunday morning.


As Sunday mornings go it’s quite nice. A little dusting of snow, not windy, not too cold. Perfect for a nice stroll over the moors and through the woods with Velcrodog.

At the moment I’m in the process of trying to cure Velcro of his need to be 100 yards in front of me on our walks.  Which if you think about it kind of makes the name ‘Velcro’ a bit redundant. Something more like ‘Buggeroffanddoyourownthing’ would be more apt on these walks.

Anyway, the new training regime entails me totally shattering the peace of the morning every minute or so by hollering out, “Not too far” or “Wait there” or I SAID WAIT!” when he decides not so much to wait as so just slow down a bit for a couple of seconds.

The temptation of course is to just let him suit himself and amble along behind him but as someone who considers herself a responsible dog owner I don’t want him so far away from me that I’m not in control of any situation that might rear it’s ugly head. He is getting the idea though. Slowly. I never knew I had the patience of Job.

Does it still count as being patient if you are really cursing and making ample use of Anglo Saxon under your breath every time you shout, while praising the dog in a bright and breezy voice when he does it right?

The denizens of this town must be so fed up of hearing me.

When we get home from our walks I give the Velcro a good rub down with a towel and a quick spritz of leave in shampoo, after which he flops down on his bed and have a kip for an hour. I think I should do the same thing. It’s exhausting.

Barking mad


Taking Mrs Woofy for a walk in the rain and the wind yesterday, we arrived at a grim and miserable looking playing field, the rain was sweeping across the ground and it was deserted apart form a couple of other hard core dog walkers, like me dressed from head to foot in waterproof clothing and the obligatory  large furry hat with ear flaps that makes me look extraordinarily like Deputy Dawg. Strangely enough, everyone else looks ok in theirs, it’s just me who looks like a dweeb.

Taking my place in the dog walking circuit, I  trudged round for forty minutes while the dog sniffed, ran, investigated and made a couple of new friends. Before we headed back we  did a little bit of obedience training in readiness for our first class of the year on Thursday.  Even though the rain lashed into my eyes and the wind stuck his cold fingers on my neck, trying to to find a way in past my many layers it was worth it because  the dog performed perfectly. Responding to my every command quickly and smoothly. Genius dog. It was worth braving the weather for. How I wished we were in a competition at that moment, she’d have won it, hands (paws) down!

When I got home I was recounting the story to Big N about how brilliant the dog had been,  particularly  at her recall command. “I don’t need to shout, we do it by signals. I lift both arms in the air like so” , I said as I lifted both arms up, “Then I drop one arm  like so and move it to the side so she knows to come to heel and not in front of me. Brilliant, eh?”

Big N looked at me thoughtfully. “Right. So what you’re saying is that when you’re in a public place and the dog is miles away you basically stand alone in the middle of a field and do the YMCA dance? Bet that attracts attention.”

Mmm, never though about that. Maybe a voice command  might be better after all. Thanks, Big N.

All this praise and rapture about how fantastic the dog is in direct contrast to Monday night at agility training where she was a royal pain in the arse. Dashing  away mid circuit  to snack on the delicious and nutritious goodness that is the pile of horse poo in the corner of the training ring. Many and varied were my futile attempts to get her to come back, calling her name and following her round as she skipped just out of reach every time I got near enough to grab her were just two of my dog retrieval techniques. GGrrrfeckingggggrrrr!!

Dagnabbit dog! Why can’t you disobey me in private and obey me in public?

Twice on Monday she was thrown out of the ring for running round like something demented, drooling and smiling her stupid big doggy smile  instead of completing the set tasks.

Once she was finally caught, I silently clipped up back and led out of the ring she realised she was in serious trouble and gave me the old sad eye. ‘I’m sorry,’ her big brown eyes said, imploring me to give her a cuddle. ‘I won’t do it again.’ And I fell for it! What a fool!

Back into the ring we went and we repeated the whole palarver again. I could have brained her but instead I clipped her back up and led her away silently. This time she knew I was really not amused at her shenanigans. Head bowed, tail between her legs and eyes begging me to forgive her, we did the long walk of shame back to the waiting area. The frustration must have been coming off me in waves and Mrs Woofy well and truly picked up on my mood. She didn’t even try to coerce Miss Yappy to play with her, she just came and sat as close to me as she could get, looking up at me with those liquid brown eyes. Those eyes act on me like Kryptonite does on Superman. As soon as I see them looking at me, I lose all my power and start to melt.

“Right, one more go then.”

As if to atone for her previous behaviour, and to prove that she really knew all along what to do, she completed the course perfectly and in record time. When she finished she came running up to me, tail wagging, leaping all over me in delight, “See, told you I could do it,” she seemed to be saying.

The dog knew she’d done good and  claimed her reward, a nice big cuddle and a delicious scooby snack.

I bet I could get her to jump through hoops of fire if they just made dog treats out of horse poo.

Tip of the Day


Tip of the day parts one, two, three and four:

1. When out walking with the dog and attempting to climb over a wire fence while carrying a bag of poo and the dog’s neck cone, make sure that there are no hidden stones to make you lose your balance, get your leg caught in said wire fence and fall straight into a bed of nettles.

2. Having  actually taken the plunge and fallen into the bed of nettles, the first thing you must do after landing  is jump to your feet and look round and establish that no one saw you.

3 . When falling into a bed of nettles, try not to be wearing thinnish leggings at the time as the aforementioned nettles will not only sting you straight through them but bits of nettle will embed themsleved in them and continue to sting you for many hours until you’re in a position to change your clothes.

4.  In the absence of dock leaves to rub on nettle stings, try saliva. Don’t try this if it involves removing leggings in full view of a main road – you may get arrested.

I hope you find these handy tips useful.