This morning I was a little unorganised. It was my first time in my new house with BD when I had to be at work the next day and despite thinking through the morning times and over allocating time, things took longer than I thought. Add to that I was packing for a bag for a night away (which I am always rubbish at), ensuring my house was left clean and tidy (yep, I’ve become uber house proud) and trying to appear keen and turn up early to work (yep so didn’t happen) and I was a little frazzled.
I had to start skipping corners.
First thing cut was my morning cup of coffee, then I decided I would grab breakfast at my desk. I gave up on the idea of trying to sort my gas meter out and randomly threw items into my bags, one bag packed for me, one for BD, hoping that I wasn’t forgetting something important. I still hadn’t made up quite enough time and so the only other area I could scrimp on was cutting down the length and location of BDs walk.
When I had been planning the previous night, I thought we might make it to some local woods. It would be secluded. There would be no dogs to worry about just the two of us. Looking at my clock and realising it was 7.35am and I was still in a towel I knew my woodland walk was going to have to happen another time. I tried to come up with another location but realised my best course of action would be to risk the very popular, local fields. It meant we could set off walking right from my front door, and we wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time driving from house to walk to house to work.
I looked at my watch as we left my house and I realised I had run out of options and I was going to have to cut his walk short this morning.
We had 20 minutes, 25 at a push.
I felt guilt. He is an active collie, he spends far too much time alone and now I was failing him. However, as we started our walk I started to wonder if I really was failing him?
I spent those 20 odd minutes completely focused on my dog.
As we walked along the road I chatted to him, telling him how much I loved him , asking hin if he slept ok and would come to stop over again (I’m not the only one who does this right??)
We walked to the field and on the way we worked on some training. He was encouraged to walk next to me, without pulling. We stopped and he sat at every curb.
A bike cycled past us, and he didn’t react in anyway.
We got to the field, and after a quick scout for other dogs he was let loose to run and chase his ball. We worked on fetch. The size of the smile on his face made my heart smile! Half way through the walk BD lay on his side and indicated he wanted his tummy tickling. So I crouched down on the floor and gave him a good tickle, and stroke while checking him over for anything I need to worry about or tell the ex about. I also told him he was waising valuable ball chasing time by lying there, but he didn’t seem to mind so I didn’t.
We saw other dogs on the field (5 – I counted) and we ignored them all.
On the way back we practiced sitting to have the lead put back on. Again we stopped, and he sat, at all the curbs. We worked on ignoring the cat who was outside enjoying the sun. We worked on not sticking our nose through the gate with a hole in – he does it every time we work past and as I can’t see into the garden until I am level with the gate I always worry one day something bad will happen. I yet again told him “If you stick your nose where it doesn’t belong and it gets bitten you’ve only yourself to blame!” Yes, I am slowly turning into my mother!!
BD chased a bug. Together we took a detour to avoid a dog which BD got a little too excited by. BD peed and sniffed anything we wanted to and we ended our walk by playing ‘guess which door we live at’ which I invented to try and encourage BD to identify ‘home’ but generally ends up with me worrying about him wanting to move into a neighbours house.
In those 20 minutes I was totally focused on BD. Yes we didn’t walk as far as he needed and in that aspect I failed him, but I am sure he will go on some sort of hike or run tonight with the ex so he will get his ‘exercise’.
However I can’t help but feel that was anything but a bad walk!