And so, following a peaceful first night where the new pooch spent most of the night in his new dog bed and a bit of the night on Bruno’s beanbag (with the pictures of bones on it) without any of the usual new-dog wandering about whining problems, I decided to take him to Tunstall reservoir this morning for his first walk.
And, as he’s not specially fit at the moment, this two-mile trundle around the reservoir would be Just the Thing.
And it was. He wasn’t sure what to make of all the new smells and sounds at first – specially the waves lapping on the shore but soon became more animated on meeting half a dozen female pheasants who had decided, somehow, that running about squawking would be a better survival strategy than flying away.
We also met four family groups including four dogs, only one of which seemed aggressive, which Lucky noticed straight away and didn’t do his usual frenzied tail-wagging but favoured instead a low growl. No harm was done , though.
And, apart from when there’s something running away – e.g. some pheasants – he’s quite good on the lead and doesn’t pull but spends most of the time with his nose to the ground in a spaniel-type way and at other times he heads towards whatever noise is on offer at the time – be it dogs barking in the distance or a sheep or a cow or even the sound of a stream. So, basically, he’s very nosey.
The afternoon walk was from the North Portal of Pietowers (the one with the double drawbridge) and up the Deerness Valley Way walk to the top of the hill overlooking Crook.
Here we met many dogs and noticed that some of the blackthorn bushes are heaving with sloes…
Meeting lots of other dogs is useful and I was chuffter than chuffed to see that Lucky is maintaining his rosy view of human-kind and most of their dogs. He didn’t like the horse we met, though and had another growl whilst walking backwards with his hackles up.
And knowing where all the sloes are is also useful.
Other training started today, since we seem to have bonded a bit, included “Sit” (with cheese) – only 5 minutes on this, but he seems to be getting the idea, and he had his tea just inside his dog crate, and we have made a bit of progress on his lack of etiquette at mealtimes – he thinks all food is shareable and wants to help clear your plate.
By rewards when he hasn’t jumped up, he seems to be getting the idea about this as well although he did have a fleeting snarl at Trex, our veteran tom cat at lunchtime since Trex was sat on a chair when he was being prevented from doing so. Taking on a veteran tom cat who has seen many a dog come and go through the Knipe household may well not be the best idea. We did explain this to the dog, but I’m not sure he’s quite taken this message on board yet.
And I got a call from Vetphone – part of the rehoming support strategy and I mentioned the brief anti-cat aggression (although maybe I made too much of this) and the fact that Lucky is currently Unlucky in the bowel department; in fact, it’s too loose to pick up. The vetnurse on the other end of the phone has sent me a PDF with advice on a bland diet designed to sort out a problem like this – so, unless there’s an improvement tomorrow, it’s egg, cottage cheese and rice for a few days for the pup.
Total miles done today in two walks – 5 with 600 feet of uphill. Its a start, innit?