This weekend was fun!

We had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday:

On Saturday I wanted to go a bit further a field than we usually do and so we packed the car up and all four of us headed North. B wanted to show me the beach at Bettyhill so off we went on a 230 mile round trip. Although we live near Inverness, it may shock some of you that to get to the Northern coast it is still about 2 and a half hours by car. It was a bit of dreery day but as you’ve guessed from previous posts, the worse the weather the more I love it! So off we went. We picked up some lunch in a small town so we could have a picnic which ended up just being in the car but the views were fab.

We made a few stops on the way up to make sure the boys were happy. One of the places we stopped at was just magnificent. We saw a little track leading off from the road so thought we’d stop and give the boys a quick walk which turned into a longer walk. As we came through the tree line the ground opened up and we felt hundreds of miles from anyone.

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It was breathtaking really. And silent except for the wind blowing. I could’ve spent days sitting there.

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As you can see, the boys thought it was pretty good too. Some good running about and massive leaps from Zephy. After this we headed back to the car and continued our journey.

The beach was gorgeous. The only people there were some surfers taking in the waves. Zeph must’ve thought the soft sand was snow as he kept burying his face in it and digging and then running in circles. He makes me laugh!

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My favourite picture ❤

Absolutely love the picture above. I think I’ll get it framed, only thing is I wish I could take that bloody halter off but his happy face says it all. They had a wonderful time and slept most of the way home.

Sunday:

On Sunday I left B and Zephy behind and Echo and I went off to make a new friend. My new boss, W, was up for a long walk and we had originally set off with the intention of doing 12.5 miles…we managed 8 and stopped at a pub. Thankfully her wife came to the rescue and drove us back to our cars! So lazy of us!

Anyway, W brought along one of her three dogs, Oscar. He is a very sweet golden retriever and Echo and him had a great time running about together on our walk. We found a track that lead from Dufftown to Aberlour and is off road for all of the walk bar about 1 mile at most.

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There were cows…

And castles:

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A very Scottish walk for any visitors!

And of course there was mud…lots of mud:

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Thankfully, there was also a stream and both dogs had a good dip before we headed to the pub for some food!

8 miles wasn’t bad and wee Echo was suitably tired out so although it wasn’t our intended distance, it did the job:

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I think we are getting quite good at this free time and weekends thing!! Loving it!

Going it Alone

I apologise the next few updates may be a bit out of order but we’ve been up to so much over the last few months. Exploring lots of different places.

I’ve been a bit braver again and I’ve had the boys out by myself a bit more. I thought I’d start off with going back to Culbin woods. They are huge! So less likely to run into too many people and obviously my bigger concern, other dogs.

Well, we managed two walks there just me and the boys and only one incident where Zeph had a grumble at a lovely big pointer out for a run with his owner. However, I couldn’t be more grateful for the owners reaction. He stopped, put his dog on lead, said not to worry and continued on his way. When we got back to the car I had put the dogs in the boot and the owner with the pointer turned up. I apologised for the scene that Zeph tried to cause and he replied with “ah don’t worry about it, no one got hurt it was just noise.” I nearly hugged him! If only more people could be that understanding.

So, I skipped ahead there! Of course I have lots of pictures to share we had two different walks in the same woods and came across a total of 2 people, one with a horse (far enough away we had no drama) and of course the gentleman with the pointer. Other than them, no one. Not a soul. Oh what bliss can be found amongst the trees!

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As you can see from the pictures both walks were very sunny and quite warm so obviously the boys had to have a few mud baths and as I mentioned, there was a horse. Well what comes from a horse that dogs just love!? POOOP! So of course they waded and dived and rolled and ate in some cases so when we got home it was absolutely bath time!

Echo dislikes a bath hence no photos of him as I have to hold him in place to get his shampoo. Zeph on the other hand comes towards me for a bath in the garden and stands wonderfully for a good massage while I shampoo him. However, he does get a bit over excited and has to burn off some energy half way through:

Bath time play time, who could ask for more!?

We all went to work

I was off on Monday as I was due a day off for working this weekend. As I said in a previous post, it’s usually only Echo that gets to go to work with B…well we all went! I don’t know what I was thinking having a day off and going to someone else’s place of work instead but there you go. Since I was going along obviously Zephy got to join us too for a wee treat. So all of us packed into the truck, packed lunches included, and off we went to work.

The boys and I had a great time! We did help B out a little by checking some trees and some fences etc but mostly…mostly we just ran about!

The plus to B’s job is that he access to the occasional planting site and we were lucky that one of the sites we visited that day was fully fenced in, 6 foot all the way round! So, you’ll be excited to hear that Zephy was off lead for the first time in 2 years!! There was rolling:

and running:

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Absolutely loved seeing the big happy face! I nearly had a wee cry seeing him be a dog again without fear of “who’s round the corner?” “What if he runs off?” etc etc. We were only on the planting site for about a half an hour but it was the best half an hour we’ve had in a long time!

For the rest of the day we helped out in other parts of the woods, and by helped out I mean continued to do what we liked and run about!

All in all I think it was a good days work. All of us out the house for a full day, the boys slept soundly once we got in and they looked so happy in the back of the truck:

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Not a bad view for a lunch break!

Zephyr Time

Echo often gets the pleasure of joining B out at work these days. Spaniels seem to thrive in being allowed to run about all day and it means come night time he goes straight to his bed and seems very content. Unfortunately, it’s mostly not possible for B to take Zephyr with him. This is down to the fact he has to be on lead and is reactive to other dogs obviously, so this makes it hard for B to be able to do his work and doesn’t make a good impression to any land owners.

As I do shifts, I had a weekday off recently and decided to take Zephyr out on his own little adventure. I found a route that took us up Cairn Daimh which is in the Cairngorms. It should have been 6.5 miles but ended up being 7.5 miles as I got a wee bit lost. But a mile out isn’t bad!

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It’s not a massively dog friendly route as Zeph and I had to attempt going over a few styles which the big guy was not happy about. The first part of the walk also saw us walk through a few fields which I am adamant contained the entire Sheep population of the Cairngorms!! The big guy was amazingly very good considering. It was very tiring however hiking up the fields and holding onto him. He was quite excited to start with but the further we went the more relaxed he became which was great. By the time we got to the view point above we’d past all the sheep and took a wee break. Although it was cloudy it had gotten quite warm so I made Zeph lie down in a wee stream to cool off:

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Further ahead I was able to put him a stretchy lead so he could have a good nosy about us as we ambled along.

The walk became a good mix of walking through fields, woodland and then up onto the hillside. We were treated to a good strong wind which helped us both cool off.

And we made it to the top, just the two of us!

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We had a wee biscuit at the top and then continued on the circular route back to the car with a few stops for a good roll about:

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Not long after this I’d missed the path to the right we should’ve taken but thankfully our detour only added on an extra mile. The big guy was so good, even made it through a field of cows before we got back to the car. Although he was tired I think he enjoyed the one to one attention. Can’t deny it, I loved every minute of our walk together. img_20180807_111618

 

An impossible decision

A few weeks ago my parents went off on holiday and our Wee Mo (Elmo) was off on his own little holiday to the kennels. He goes to the same kennels that I drop my boys off at so it’s quite nice that they know us all.

Unfortunately, three days in to their holiday I received a phone call from the worried owner saying that Elmo had been discovered in the morning lying on his side and he appeared stuck. He couldn’t move one side of his body and was in distress. Well I tell you my heart stopped and I felt sick. They were rushing him to the vet and they would let me know how he got on. The wee guy is 13 now so it wasn’t too much of a shock in a sense but as you’ll all know it’s never easy. I decided to call my parents in France to let them know. It was awful trying to decide whether to call or not: on the one hand my mum always said don’t call, just tell her when she gets back, on the other hand, my Dad doesn’t like surprises and likes to be eased into things. He has said before that he never wants to come home and be handed a collar. So I called them. I felt terrible. I know I would like to know if it was my boys.

So the update I received soon after was that our wee man had had an embolism on his spine and its almost like the equivalent of a stroke in humans but thankfully doesn’t affect his brain. The vet informed us that if he didn’t improve in a few hours we’d have to think about the options which unfortunately was only one option, PTS. I couldn’t bare to make the decision but if it was in his best interests I would’ve. My auntie and I were making plans to be with the old boy if that was the case, we wanted him to have some family there.

For those of you that haven’t read the first post, Wee Mo or Elmo was my first dog and he became my Dad’s dog really so when I moved out he stayed with my parents. He’s now 13 but has been old for some time. He hasn’t aged well poor man.

Anyway, I can hear people shouting at the screen going “tell us what happened!”.

Amazingly, with a lot of support from the kennel staff (the kennel is 3 hours away from my house), Wee Mo has made a full recovery!! When I say a lot of support I really mean it. The staff were amazing. They used syringes to help the old boy drink, and held him up to eat and they fashioned a harness to support his back end while he pee’d etc. Absolutely above and beyond. This is why I don’t leave my boys with anyone else.

Mo went from not being able to move one side of his body to being back on his feet albeit a little more shaky than usual. He was already a bit unsteady on his feet before so this has made it a little worse but all in all, you wouldn’t know he’d had such a traumatic event in his life. I went to pick him up a day earlier than planned for my parents, my Dad was worried. Thankfully, when I brought the wee man home he seemed to perk up. I guess he’s like all of us. You feel ill and you just want to go home! The first thing he wanted was  nap and to check his toys over:

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I had to leave his harness on for a few hours so I could help him balance and I had a few strips of towel from the kennel to put round his bum initially. He very quickly started looking for his independence which was amazing. My only problem was that he wasn’t keen on water, which we all know is a problem! I tried everything, and he wasn’t interested but he was happy to eat slightly moistened food so that was a start:

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When my parents arrived the wee man perked up again and was thrilled to see his mama and papa. I told my mum about the concern over his water intake. The conversation went as follows:

Me: “Mum, he isn’t drinking anything. He’s not interested!”

Mum: “what water did you give him? Is it filtered?”

That’s right folks, filtered water!! The Prince is so spoilt he won’t drink tap water! As soon as my Mum put filtered water into his bowl he had a huge gulp of it. I couldn’t believe it!

Important part of this story, Mo is doing great! He’s a wee trooper! And he is continually being spoilt.

So many updates

There will be more to follow but first update for this month is the numerous beach visits we’ve managed. Up until a few weeks ago we’ve had some beautiful weather. The summer has lasted so long and we’ve taken full advantage.

On one of the days we visited the beach there were wind and kite surfers enjoying the waves and the strong wind blowing in. Neither of the dogs were quite sure what to make of all the drama out at sea. Glorious day for it though!

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As always my boys like to pose for me…not that I encourage with food at any point!

We’ve even managed to pay a few visits in the evening, very peaceful:

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And who doesn’t love a little beach buffet…

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Seaweed anyone?

There is a lot more to follow x

 

32 ticks…

Unfortunately this is not the name of a new progressive rock band but the number of actual ticks we had to remove from Echo.

B had him out with him on a work site with him for the day and the wee guy had a great time!

And yes that was a bit of bone he had, assumed from a deer! However, with all fun things there is often consequences and that was a collection of very active ticks! Both dogs do have tick meds and they had started to work as some of the ticks were already disintegrating however, I couldn’t possibly leave that many on him at once.

He was a good dog though, he sat still for me and B as we took turns removing the little suckers. Oddly satisfying!

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All in a days fun…

Another little throw back

I had a little look back at the pics of Zephy standing and I thought it was a good way to show how much he’s grown in the last three years. He’s such a handsome boy! Love how big he is now. I may not have the ages right, I guessed if you can tell!!

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~ Six Months/year

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~year ish

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nearly 2

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2 and a bit

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Three and a bit

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3 and a bit

The Moonwalk

A couple of years ago a friend talked me into the Moonwalk. It’s a 26.2 (full marathon) mile walk over night in aid of breast cancer. I’ve been talked into it again for next year in London and although I haven’t signed up officially, I’ve started prepping already by trying to increase the number of long walks I’m doing. The problem I have at the moment and have had for the last 6-8 months is some serious Plantar Fasciitis in my right heel. It is a killer! I’ve been stretching and having hot foot soaks and stretching some more but still I am in agony.

Anyway, despite that, I managed 6 miles yesterday. I had both the boys with me for the first 3.5 miles and due to the hot weather I chose a walk that I know has running water, it’s Zephs favourite spot:

I try to do this walk at least once a week as it’s one of the few local walks that Zeph can have a bit of dog fun and just relax and enjoy himself.

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At the middle of the 6 mile walk (I deliberately chose  a route that went past the house half way through), Zeph suddenly leapt from the ground and then held his foot up. What did I find? A bloody wasp! Well it’s dead now. How dare it hurt my boy!? Thankfully he seemed fine, no swelling etc so we kept walking. I toyed with the idea of taking both dogs with me for the full walk I had planned as both seemed quite happy. However, as we walked past the house Zeph hesitated and all of a sudden lifted his paw as if to say “the house is right there and my foot hurts and I can’t possibly walk any further…” So Zeph was deposited at the house after another thorough check over and Echo and I did the last few miles.

 

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Anyway, Short story shorter, The boys will be joining me on some of the lower mileage walks as mental support as I build up to the full 26.2 miles.

Group Activities

Everything in our house is a group activity. Echo had an upset stomach a few weeks ago and of course it had to be group snuggles:

We had gone out for the day and returned to the poor we soul having had diarrhoea and sickness all over the carpet. I felt terrible because he had clearly been clawing at the baby gate to go to the back door to be let out. He was fine the next day though so don’t be fooled by the sad face. He got a full dose of snuggles which I’m adamant helped. Although the next day Zeph then had an upset tummy so we had more cuddles…although he did steal my seat which resulted in a lack of a group thing going on:

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Once the bug passed however, we were back to our usual walks. Thankfully in amongst all the glorious hot sunny days we’ve had, it has rained! The perfect weather for trips to the beach. It’s funny the kind of weather that becomes acceptable when you have a dog that’s scared/anxious of others. Suddenly a thunderstorm fills you with joy and phrases such as “It’s thundering down!…OOOh let’s go to the beach!” become acceptable.

We always have fun at this particular beach. The water is shallow for hundreds of metres and both dogs like to get in and run about. I am guilty of being the first one in the water, I just can’t help myself! Something my Gran always did too, anywhere there was fresh water, shoes were off and in we went. We took a little trip out in the car the other weekend and we came across a nice loch that thankfully hasn’t succumbed to the dreaded blue/green algae and we went for a wee paddle. I should’ve kept my shoes on though, Not quite got the balance the dogs do!

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It was a nice day but too hot so we didn’t get much walking in, but the pups seemed content to have a wee play.

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Other group activities that we have being doing this month include Sunbathing (don’t worry they weren’t in the heat for long, Zeph is smart in the hot weather and heads for shade):

Any exercise I try to do, the boys have to be included,  anytime I lie on the ground to do crunches etc the boys can’t help but interrupt and I get the sad face:

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I put shoes on and the troops are ready to go:

Can’t even have wine in peace:

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And of course there is the occasional nap time of which I am partial too:

And a little blast from the past: