Me and Lucky joined another Wolsingham Wayfarers walk from Wolsingham city centre along with 21 huming beans and five or six dogs. This is all good stuff for The Pooch since it gets him socialised both to people (he’s pretty friendly with people anyway) and other dogs (this is a bit more of an issue). However, he seems to remember his previous encounters with individual canines and is much less bothered the second time around in fact, he does have some Crook Dog Club pals whom he greets nicely.
So, on a mild and squishy Saturday, we all set off along the riverside path to Black Banks and then over the river through the paintballing woods, where a bit of a war was happening, to Thornley. All good, clean (mucky) fun so far.
At Thornley there was a collie dog on a chain which was making aggressive overtures to anybody passing by – all just out of reach due to a long chain. Lucky, however, decided to make a lunge for the dog at which point the collie thought better of being aggressive in Lucky’s direction. Lucky , I think, was quite lucky, although this is, perhaps the third time he’s altered the behaviour of a bigger farm dog. I worry that one day his strategy won’t work and he’ll come out with lumps of him missing. In the meantime, it’s three out of three – it seems that most dogs don’t really want to mix it with a little black maniac. I must say that I’m not sure what to do about this – on the one hand, it would be best if he wasn’t so feisty about big barking dogs, but on the other hand, he does need to be able to look after himself should a scrap develop. He’s just too willing to wade in at the moment and gives no warning about what he’s going to do – he just does it- and so far, it’s certainly put the willies up the farmyard doggies and has taken me by surprise, too. I need to be more vigilant, but a loose farm dog appearing suddenly from an outbuilding may well be at some risk.
On the upside, after we’d visited the excellent Bradley Burn Farm Shop and cafe click the link! for a nice cuppa, we wandered along the North bank of the River Wear, where Lucky could be off the lead most of the way. I experimented with his recall and on all occasions, when I called for him, he came scuttling back enthusiastically. This is excellent. I’m quite chuffed, not to say, gruntled with this and, obviously, I made my feelings known to the dog.
As for the walk – all good fun and good company too. Wolsingham Wayfarers do a cracking job keeping Wolsingham’s rights of way open and useable and their dog-friendly walks are Just The Thing for a driech and misty February Saturday.
The walk was ten and a half muddy miles in misty conditions which brightened up significantly in the afternoon. It felt like spring. I bet it wasn’t.
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