Tag Archives: playing

Mud glorious mud!!!

4 Mar

This sunday turned into something of a group walk with some friends over Cleeve Hill. One of the gang, Jan, joins me every now and then and unfortunately for some inexplicable reason, our walks nearly always end with us hearing then seeing in the distance the Air Ambulance!! We have no idea how we seem to entice this sort of attention but it’s now a standing joke between us!! We can’t start the walk without the usual quips!

Anyway this time we managed the whole walk without hearing the distant drone so that’s a first!! It was a clear , bright day if not sunny but hey at least it wasn’t raining!! We all set off, me, my friend Sarah, Fi, Dave and their dog Digs and of course Jan and the conversation and laughs flowed really easily as we trekked up the track.

Happy days before the mud!!

Happy days before the mud!!

After a while the dogs found a discarded golf club cover . Rio had it in his mouth for a while running round then decided he was bored and dropped it. Digs ran across and grabbed it and as soon as he did, Rio decided he HAD to get it back!! There then followed a very comical chase scene with Digs trying to out run Rio who being a bit smaller can turn more sharply!!

So the game continued with us all in stitches and deciding Rio was like that annoying child at school that doesn’t want the toy ’til someone else goes for it!! They happily chased each other for about 5 minutes while we carried on walking.

We headed down to the sheep dip which involves a sharp and steep descent. ” Oh it’s fine” I said as we set off down the track. “We did it yesterday and it’s not too muddy”. Hmm  well that was true except somehow overnight it had got very mucky and slippery and our boots became so clagged up with mud we all ended up 3 inches taller!!

Having made our way down almost in one piece the reward awaited the dogs!! Digs especially loves swimming and we were soon joined by various other dog walkers and their canine counterparts . Rudy was more interested in doing his own thing as per usual and was last seen scaling a practically vertical ascent and then sprinting back down at the same speed!!!

Jan decided to throw a stick for the dogs to retrieve. Great idea. Except where she threw it was about 10 inches deep in thick, black, smelly, disgusting mud!!!! Cue one very dirty dog!!! Digs who is mostly white suddenly looked like he had had a mud wrap!! He was black/ grey nearly all over!! A happy filthy dog!! All us humans found it hysterical and I think Digs thought we were really pleased with him so he came and shook some of the prized mud over us!!!

Maybe Digs should have worn these!!

Maybe Digs should have worn these!!

Luckily he went back into the cleaner water and by the time we left he was white again…ish!!! Jan did offer to bath Digs if necessary but somehow I don’t think the offer was entirely heartfelt and genuine!!!

Steady boys!!!

21 Feb

Well the last few days have been “interesting” to say the least!! On saturday we had an eventful walk with a bitch that was at the end of her season. To say the walk was a nightmare was an understatement!! Rudy and Rio were beside themselves the whole walk and indeed they stayed at that level all the rest of that day and all night to the point I had to keep telling them off and trying to calm them down!!

Spring moon

Spring moon

Then sunday whilst walking with another friend and her male dog we bumped into my Mum and her male dog and all 4 of them were very frisky shall we say??!! It would appear they think Spring has sprung and the sap is definitely rising!! I have given thought in the past to using Rio as a stud dog as I have been approached a few times. Now thou I am having second thoughts as if they reacted as they did to just the possibilty of some fun, what on earth would they be like to live with if they were allowed to “achieve their potential”???!!!

I honestly don’t think I could cope with all the frantic pacing around and constant desire to be busy, if you catch my drift!! Or am I panicking unneccessarily? Does anyone have experience and any advice they can share? It took so long to get back to normal living I was exhausted!!!

Something in the air??

Something in the air??

You go your way and I’ll go mine!!

23 Jan

Walking Rudy and Rio yesterday in the snow through our local fields as I can’t get on to the hill, I wondered what other dogs are like on a walk? I mean my 2 run like crazy, so fast and cover so much ground so quickly and often in separate directions, it can be tricky to keep track of them both!!

Listening..for 2 seconds!!

Listening..for 2 seconds!!

The first 2 fields lead across to more open land but there is a small lane at the end that when the roads are not covered in snow would be used sporadically for local people and farmers to access their homes. So really I need to get Rudy and Rio back and either put them on their leads for a few minutes or get them listening to me and walking to heel just while we cross the lane.

They have had about a week of not too much training and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly they get out of the habit of listening to instruction!! They are so excited to be galloping round in the snow they find it really hard to calm down sufficiently to take direction and actually do as they are told!!!! I had to make them sit for a minute just to relax then we tried both walking to heel.

I knew they only had to do it for a couple of minutes but guess they didn’t so they lunged around, 1 trotting off too quickly and having to be called back into line, 1 trying to dive headfirst into the hedge after a smell etc etc etc!!! To say it was frustrating was an understatement!! We kept going though and I just wished they could be calmer and WALK not run everywhere!!!

Ring leader??!!

Ring leader??!!

We made it into the next field and I let them go again and they had a lovely time in and out of the hedgerows, tails wagging constantly!! They really are such a happy breed of dog it makes me smile every day!! At the top of this field there is again another lane and Rudy has a habit of ducking through the hedge and racing into the opposite field. Not every time, but too often for my liking so I have to keep an eye that he doesn’t shoot under there. Of course there was no traffic here either so no danger from vehicles but the dogs SHOULD listen and not do as they like!!!

Rudy shot under the hedge and Rio followed so I whistled and bellowed and they pretty much came straight back but I wondered do other peoples dogs always have to push the boundaries and do things they know are wrong?? Is it Rudy leading Rio astray? They are like 2 naughty schoolboys!!! 1 daring the other into the next misdemeanour!!!

They see fences and hedges and gates as things to be ducked under, dived through, jumped over. They are objects of fun to be enjoyed at every given opportunity, not barriers to keep them out of places!!! No Rudy and Rio never just mooch along slowly and to be honest if they ever did I would think there was something amiss!!!

Snowwwwww!!!!

21 Jan
Brrr

Brrr

Well after all the rain..we have now had snow!!! Rudy and Rio love it and are keen to get out in it at every opportunity so I get wrapped up in so many layers I look like a Mummy and off we go!!!

I walked with some neighbours friday around some local fields that before the snow were under water but are now a real winter wonderland!!! We had quite a few Vicar of Dibley moments..when you confidently take a step forward and plunge knee deep into a hole, thus losing your balance and pitching forward head first into said snow drift!! Cue much hilarity from your “friends” and much concern from Rio who rushes back to see you are still breathing whilst Rudy has heard his favourite sound..a pheasant screeching and had taken off in hot pursuit!!!

That being said we had a lovely walk and the surrounding landscape looked beautiful so we stayed  out til it was dark and all went home wetter and colder than when we started  out but all agreed it had been fab!!!

I dried the dogs when we got home and was surprised to see the amount of snowballs stuck to them!! Rio’s back legs were festooned with them bless him and I did feel sorry for them both when I saw that between each claw was more snow!! However they were not bothered and they soon got dry and warm. The exertion of snow jumping obviously took it out of all of us and we all crashed out on the sofa that evening!!

Rio intent on finding something!!

Rio intent on finding something!!

Saturday I walked with my good friend Cath and Fern over Gretton Hill. Again quite hard going as the snow was so deep in places where it had drifted and also your foot plunged down through the snow , hit ice, crashed through that and ended up filling your boots with freezing cold muddy water!! Oh the joy!!

At the top of the hill we bumped into 2 guys running (must be crazy) and offered to close the gate for them. The one guy looked like he was going to cry at the offer as he was planning to use the gate as a support before he collapsed!!! So we left him to it and were just inspecting some strange hoof prints in the snow when we looked up and saw 2 beautiful full grown deer run along the track behind us!!

Needless to say all 3 dogs had missed them as they had put a pheasant up from the bushes and were all going after that!! All in all it was a lovely long walk, the type that when you get home you feel you can relax and enjoy a snooze!!! So we did!!

Pleased to meet you!!!

14 Jan

Rudy, Rio and I have had some lovely sociable walks over the last couple of weeks!!! It made me realise yet again what social creatures us humans and our dogs are!!! Whether I walk with friends or alone it’s very rare for me to come home not having spoken to someone. All random strangers with one thing in common…a love of dogs of course!!!

I walked with my friends Fi and Jan last weekend and I don’t think we stopped talking for the entire walk, all 3 hours of it!!! You may remember Fi and her husband Dave have Digs their young Cocker spaniel so the 3 dogs had almost as much fun as us 3 humans!!! Jan is a seasoned Springer spaniel owner although she is currently “between” dogs due to work commitments so she dog shares with  whenever she can.

Rio, Rudy and Digs

Rio, Rudy and Digs

We slipped and slid our way round Cleeve Hill and ended up screaming with laughter at the weird , wacky walks we have attempted in the past!!! Jan recounted a horror story of a walk she once took with her long suffering hubby and their dog Rolls. She recalled they had undertaken a hilly walk and had been on the go for several hours when the terrain suddenly became almost unmanageable!! So steep and rocky that they both ended up crawling up the bank gripping the sliding rocks with their bare hands, nails breaking and much blaspheming colouring the air!!

They finally reached the summit but before they could make the last scramble to safety they heard hushed voices and Jan looked up to see a family walking along the top of the hill, on the proper path, on the level, no stony crags to scale, no sweaty brows, all walking sedately along and wondering , whispering, why these 2 crazy people had chosen to climb the hill almost vertically without mountaineering gear and safety ropes and hadn’t just taken the clearly marked footpath like everyone else!!!!!

I'm sure the sign pointed this way!!

I’m sure the sign pointed this way!!

We all had a good laugh at Jan’s expense and to this day she still doesn’t have a decent explanation!!! Obviousy I can’t say anything as I am a frequent faller!! It doesn’t matter what the terrain, weather or anything else I can fall over / trip / slide down banks / catch my foot on a fence…the list is endless and can be extremely embarrassing but hey I’m hoping no one recognises me in my DWU!!!!

Share and share alike!!!

5 Jan

Every time I buy toys or chews etc for Rudy and Rio I always buy 2. I assume they will want a chew each? Or will play with a toy while the other plays with their toy??? But no!!!! They get their chews and lie down facing each other and look at each other while guarding their prize!!!share

To be fair Rudy usually starts his chews first and Rio hovers on the periphery looking longingly at said delight, waiting , usually in vain, for Rudy to chew a piece off and cast it aside at which point Rio moves in, ninja style and whips it away to devour it behind the curtains!!!!

I don’t know why Rio doesnt want to start his own chew?? It’s not like he doesn’t have his full quota of pearly whites!!! Yet he much prefers to loiter incognito doing circles round Rudy who growls quietly whilst not breaking contact with said chew. Who knew rawhide was so appealing??!!!

My friend Jan gave the dogs a Xmas present each. They ripped the wrapping paper off quick as a flash revealing an identical bone each and a different toy for each. Rudy promptly stole Rio’s frisby disc and took it under the table and gave him the death glare if he dared to come close!!! So Rio settled for the  green rubber ring donut and led looking woefully at Rudy!!!

Honestly I lose track of the number of times I find myself telling them like children to “play nicely”!! And after a while they do play together but then we return to the whole putting the object of desire just in front of their paws and daring the other to come closer!!! Who knew you can growl quietly through gritted teeth for such a prolonged length of time!!!!

Play nicely!!

Play nicely!!

The thing is I know they love each other really and if any other dog starts on one of them while we are out, the other rushes to his defence!!! Hmm a bit like me and my older brother when we were kids!!! It was always ok for him to torment me for hours on end but God forbid anyone else should try!!!! He soon made them see the error of their ways!!!!

Look who’s talking!!

2 Dec
Hmm is she calling us???

Hmm is she calling us???

We all know you are not meant to shout at your children and that they respond better to a calm voice and reason but sometimes it seems only a screech will do!!!  Well it appears the same is true for dogs!!

Calling them to you in a nice kind voice will usually work better than a bellow!!! However it’s hard to remember the basic rules when you see them heading towards potential danger or you have called them 3 times already and they have become deaf!!

Lulu

Lulu

My friend Sue has a recall issue with Lulu her Tibetan Terrier. She is not usually able to let Lulu off the lead to have a good run with other dogs because she wont come back when called!! Her ears twitch so you know she has heard you and sometimes she even stops to decide what she is going to do… you can almost see her brain working things out. ” Hmm I really want to carry on running through this field to chase the rabbit / play with Muffin and Princess / see how far I can get before I drop in a heap… but I can hear my Mum calling me.. Do I run to her or from her??!! She may have treats for me?? She may put me back on the lead!!” What a dilemma!!!

Anyway Sue has found an enclosed dog walking field near to where she lives and has taken the plunge lately and let Lulu off!! It has been a huge success and obviously it’s lovely for Sue to see her dogs having such fun, running around and playing with other dogs.

Until……. some pesky children had left the gate to the dog walking field ajar!!! Lulu and Princess were running off the lead and Sue probably saw the open gate at about the same time as Lulu did!!! It was a race against time now!!! Lulu spotted her escape route and went for it hotly pursued by Princess. Sue called them both…then called again and both ignored her. She shouted at Princess who then stopped in her tracks and came back. So now she just had to stop Lulu!!!

She shouted at her and saw Lulu do a half halt and think over her options ( see above!! ). Unfortunately she decided she would rather carry on and risk Sue’s wrath. After all she was already being shouted at so why come back?? Sue realised she needed to calm herself down and after a few deep breaths called her in her best sing song voice while reaching into her pocket for a treat.

And lo a miracle occurred!!! Well ok maybe not a miracle but Lulu turned and came running back to Sue, tail wagging , happy as could be!!

I think we have all  been in scary situations and reacted accordingly, then realised the shouting scared voice doesn’t encourage the dog to come back. In fact it probably scares them away!!!

I always take a whistle out on walks to call Rudy and Rio back as they run so far away from me on their travels!! It works well and saves using the “wrong” voice!! However I have found that you can actually blow your whistle in an angry way!!!!!! I have found this out twice this week whilst waiting for my little angels to come back!!! You can in fact grip said whistle between your clenched teeth and blow til u pop the button off your jeans!!! Yes really!!!

%d bloggers like this: