Off to a flying start in 2020!
Sorry it has been so long since my last post - I have been busy out having adventures with my regular dogs and I am pleased to let you know that a few new faces have joined our Time 4 A Walk family! I have to say I am lucky enough to have a lovely bunch of dogs. I will never be someone who does lots of big group walks as that's just not my thing but I am really revelling in getting to know each dog under my care as an individual (which they very much are) with their very distinct personalities.
It turns out that I was right all along and that the dogs really do enjoy doing the enrichment activities that I have been mentioning since I started! The dogs now get very excited when I say the treat word and come bounding over to me and I swear they have grins on their faces. They sit (or some try to sit but are rather too excited and shuffle backwards, mentioning no names Jasper!) and then I throw the treats up and the dogs leap onto where they land. We enjoy playing this game in various locations - it is obviously easiest on the short grass but we go for banks and tufts of grass too to make it a bit harder. I make sure that everyone finds treats and if a dog is unsure what to do I just get their attention and drop a few treats on the ground in front of them and it's surprising how quickly they find them.
Another thing which the dogs really enjoy is climbing up on logs/pipes/banks or anything a bit unusual. I have to prompt them a bit sometimes but they soon enter into the spirit of it and once they start there's no stopping them! This happens a fair bit when we go to Vassells Park as there are loads of natural obstacles for them to scramble on/over. Unfortunately I'm not often quick enough with the camera and I generally catch them just as they have got down from whatever they were on. I'd be a hopeless professional photographer!
My van is going really well and I am already at the point where I can't imagine not having it. The dogs all travel really well in it without exception which is wonderful. Poor Buddie had a shock the other day as he was sat minding his own business in 'his' crate and Jess jumped in with him. The look on his face was priceless - what is SHE doing here with me!!!! So it turns out that even in the two smaller crates at the back I can easily accommodate two dogs - not that I plan to but how good of Jess to test it for me.
I am still waging war against all the mud which is literally everywhere at the moment. I have a Hozelock portable shower in the van which I fill with hot water each time I go out and yesterday my husband and I made a not very attractive tea cosy type arrangement for it with some woollen insulation material and I am pleased to say it worked. The dogs had a lovely warm shower and I have to say it was lovely for me too as I didn't have to work with cold water. I have Vetbed fleece mats in each crate with a 'noodle' bath mat on top which absorbs any wet when the dog lies down.
After washing the dogs I dry them off with my microfibre towels which are excellent and then finish with a normal towel and Ruff and Tumble's wonderful drying mitts for wet/muddy paws when I take the dogs into your home (link here if you are interested - they have a sale on! They also do amazing drying coats). This all takes a while to do but it is worth it - I don't think you would want your beloved fur baby in your house in the state they get in with me sometimes!!
If anyone would like their dog to join in on our hourly adventure walks please get in touch with me as I literally only have two vacancies now. Please feel free to browse the website and contact me with any questions.
Until next time!
Ali and Whiz x