Showing posts with label Dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dogs. Show all posts

Friday, 18 November 2016

Woodland Walk


There is a perfect moment each Autumn, when the trees are hanging onto the last of their leaves before the storms strip them bare for the winter...




... a secret place for two lively dogs to explore




This wet little dog has never seen Autumn before but he had no trouble finding the stream at the bottom of the valley



We are so lucky to have this ancient woodland just a few minutes walk from our home and usually have it all to ourselves, apart from bluebell time when it is full of families enjoying picnics and making dens.  We tend to avoid the woods then as the dogs don't take kindly to being walked on a leash and are strangely unwelcome, storming through someone's idyllic picnic!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Staying put

The subconscious plays strange tricks.  Deciding to acquire Oskar, our new puppy, was an emotional decision and totally impractical given our plans to move house and downsize to a busier, more urban environment with better facilites and transport links to our growing extended family, preferably back in the rather overcrowded South East of England where we brought up our children (despite this being our second marriage, the children grew up in the same area and were educated at the same school, so lots of ties there). 
All sensible, reasonable, carefully thought through and definitely achievable with one older, settled dog (and the three cats who are well used to upping sticks anyway). But the subconscious was having none of it!

We are still enjoying a love affair with our pretty village house, very much off the beaten track and on the road to nowhere in particular, and with the gorgeous countryside that surrounds us. We can step out of our gate and be in fields in minutes, well away from noise, traffic and pollution and revelling in the space and unspoilt beauty of this part of Suffolk.  Ideal for dog walking and yet within driving distance of so many places we enjoy visiting.  Perhaps if we had found another house we could fall in love with, our decision would have been different, although given the cost and disruption of a house move, it would have had to be very special indeed.  

I have also had to face the fact that my wish to move is very much linked to a strong desire to turn the clock back.  Back to a time and place where I was happy in my role as mother and daughter, where I had a job I enjoyed and found interesting and was surrounded by like-minded friends, very much the hub of my family and part of a community, but life has moved on, choices have been made and for now, it is clear that Oskar has helped us to crystallise our thoughts and, after two years of uncertainty and playing the options, tolerating hoards of strangers tramping through our much loved home, always believing that there would be the perfect house for us out there, we are settling for what we have.  We are simply not ready to give up our country life yet. The colour charts have come out and I am having Rightmove withdrawal symptoms, but we do have two happy, contented dogs (and the cats would be relieved too)!  Of course Oskar is totally oblivious to his role in our decision and is happily getting on with the business of being a puppy but he has certainly changed our lives in more ways than one and I have found out why I needed him in my life.


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Brand new world - living with a puppy


Every day is a new adventure for Oskar.  The world to him is brand new and surprising, or startling or frightening, and it is refreshing to see it through his three month old puppy eyes.  

This week has been a pivotal week for us, as he is now allowed out into the wider world, vaccinations having taken.  He loves his short walks but has to become accustomed to the constraints of a lead as he tears headlong through the village, snuffling and sniffing, stopping in wonder and terror for every car that goes by (no pavements for us to shelter on). 


He has to learn to travel in the back of the car, behind the dog guard, and not to be afraid as the world whizzes by, and he has started puppy school - a safe place to meet other puppies and learn a few basic skills.  He is also becoming a firm favourite in the village pub, where he has to learn to stay close to us and not to make a noise, yelping and barking. Today he met his first horse walking up the hill near our home, followed by a bike.  So much to see and do and absorb.



His life is a social whirl now and he is welcome everywhere he goes.  Children exclaim and stop and pet him, parents and grandparents rush over to say hello and other dogs sniff him curiously.  The party is definitely wherever he is!  Our older dog looks on with a rather jaundiced eye, the centre of attention no longer and nose temporarily out of joint, but she graciously puppy-sits him every night for us which is a great relief. 


Life has changed in the four weeks since we brought him home, our world has shrunk to the village with short trips further afield limited by his nap times.  We are on puppy duty from 7am to 10pm with nap breaks, and it is wearing but rewarding too.  Putting in time and hard work with him now will pay dividends in the future, but I am looking forward to having two dogs quietly settled in front of the wood burning stove one day, and running free on our rambles, enjoying the country walks that are such an important part of our lives here in Suffolk.

Friday, 29 January 2016

... of Puppies and Frosty Morning Walks

Life changing moments don't always announce themselves with a great fanfare.  A week ago, as I took an early morning walk with my camera, enchanted by the hoar frost which had transformed the mundane into the magical, I wasn't thinking of acquiring another dog just yet, if at all. 

Somewhere in my head, these last 30 years or so, I have carried a picture of two dogs, one black, one blond, sharing my life and although over the years I have usually had one dog to accompany me on my walks, two seemed an impossible dream; time, space, money, practical considerations all held me back.  

So when my sister-in-law phoned me to tell me about her new puppy, a working cocker cross, with brothers and sisters waiting for their forever homes, I really tried hard to say no.  Taking on another dog, rather like having another child, is a massive commitment and there is rarely a perfect moment, but she convinced me that this was a litter worth looking at, both parents living in a home environment and the puppies being raised in the house with children, all beautiful, healthy and well balanced. 

I think the point of no return came when I picked up the phone just to have a chat with the breeder and found myself making an appointment to visit.  My husband was no help at all and frankly encouraged me in achieving this long held dream and somehow we went from 'shall we have another dog' to 'which puppy shall we choose'? (actually, he chose us).  After all, if not now, when?  Crazy I know but we will find a way to make it work and still have our freedom too.  After all, if you have one dog, how much more of a problem can two be?  No doubt we shall find out, but we are committed now and delighted to welcome Oskar to our family.

Are you a pet lover?  Would you have been sensible, or like me, would you have followed your heart?




and some frosty Suffolk village scenes...