Can I just bury my head and run away?

Long-time readers will know I have a dog with fear aggression. Having a dog with these issues was relatively new to me, and was something I was determined to work on when I moved in with the ex and BD. The day he was racing around with other collie dogs, playing and ignoring a puppy who was clearly trying to get some sort of reaction, was the happiest day of my life. It was also the day before I moved out of the house I shared with the ex.

Now I live in my own house and (unless the ex is away) I have BD one night a week and when I have him I like to go for a ‘proper’ walk; in the hills, miles from anyone. It is perfect. The problem is on these walks it is only him and me.

We don’t encounter other people. We don’t encounter other dogs.

This means I have lost my doggie reading skills and along with BD being attacked last year, this has made me very nervous when I see other dogs out and about.

Mity loves other dogs. He would leave our side and bound across fields to go and say hello to the dog he saw in the distance; and no amount of calling, running in the other directions or promise of treats would do anything to distract him from saying hello. This is something he has never grown out of and now it is only the fact that his eyesight is poor meaning he can’t see the other dog that stops him.

So if I see a dog with BD I panic that the approaching dog with be a ‘Mity dog’. I know panicking is not the thing to do. I try not to. I try my best to hide this concern from BD, but the panic in the pit of my stomach will not go away.

When I was living with BD I worked so hard with him, hence the playing with the puppies. We tried agility. We walked where other dogs were. I had him with Mity (which still happens occasionally) I read books, searched online, stalked pet bloggers… but now I am not it is harder to work with him; especially considering I spend a lot more time walking none responsive Mity.

Now when I see a dog in the distance regardless of who I am walking I freeze. I look for escape route and run walk briskly in that direction.

Here’s the thing. BD is perfectly happy on a walk with me. So long as he has his tennis ball he genuinely could not give a dam whether or not there is another dog. In fact he may prefer that there isn’t. Mity and BD can be walked together, and have been often where they just ignore each other. BD is a little bit of a pain on a lead and will bark at another dog. I don’t leave the house without BDs muzzle and if I see another dog in the distance, the muzzle goes on. He is never put in a position where he can hurt another dog. He is never put in a position where he needs to feel threatened by another dog.

Reading about BDs fear aggression I was advised not to avoid dogs. It makes it worse when you run into them. But when I only have him for two walks a week, and I have tactics to deploy if we do meet a dog, am I being selfish not taking time to actively work on this and relying instead on evasive actions?

He’s not friendly.

On this mornings walk I ended up screaming “he’s not friendly” at two different dog walkers. In both incidents it was their dog who had decided to cross the field, and leave their owner to come and say hi to BD. BD was quite happily ignoring them and to be honest the only thing on his mind was “throw my ball, throw my ball, throw my ball.”

It was after the first ‘incident’ that I realised I was doing BD a massive disservice by screaming this about him… in the style of a loon… at other dog walkers. He isn’t ‘not friendly’; he’s cuddly and caring, he has a killer smile, brilliant personality, goes out of his way to cheer me up (now I see why people chose dogs over men) and greats me like he hasn’t seen me in years every time I see him. He would beat Mity in a friendly dog test by a mile, with both paws tied behind his back.

In fact the only time he isn’t friendly is when an off lead dogs come running at him, gets in his face and refuses to pick up on his “leave me the heck alone” signals. Then he gets scared and reacts; and the key would is he gets scared. If he can walk around the dog and get away then ‘touch wood’ he does not react. It is only when he feels trapped that he lashes out. Is it ok that he lashes out – No! But is it fully his fault…?

I feel like I am doing BD a massive disservice every time “He’s not friendly” leaves my lips. But what do I say instead, as awful as it sounds nothing else I can think of causes the ‘panic’ in the other owner quite in the same way. If I shout any other warning I generally get back “but mines ok” and that just doesn’t cut the mustard. Do I care if your dog is friendly? Not really. I care that your friendly dog is going to scare my timid dog and as a result his training is set back months. My nerves are put a little more on edge and we take a few more steps back, slowly inching forwards until another ‘friendly’ dog, another incident.

I know what it’s like having an overly friendly dog. If we ever took Mity onto a field he would scope it out to find out who he could say hello to, and he has covered lengths of fields trying to get to another dog to play. I know it is hard work. I know that despite months of training some dogs will just say hello.  We were very fortunate that on only a handful of occasions did this ‘greeting’ turn out badly. Generally Mity would drop to the floor a few meters from the other dog and always rolled over as soon as the other dog approached him. But if ever this happened we would be on it. (I know some of you will roll your eyes as this is breaking dog training rules)  but if he put his head down and ran generally me, my sister and  my dad would all take off in hot persuit after him, screaming like loons trying to distract him and encourage him to come back and join us. Did it work? Not always. Did we try? Every single time.

Yet the people I met this morning didn’t. They didn’t seem to care that I spent the entire time I was within their eye sight purposefully keeping my dog and me as far away from them as possible. They didn’t notice that there was always (until their dog took off) me in-between their dog and BD. Nope they didn’t pick up on anything until I screamed “He’s not friendly.”

I worry BD is going to get a stigma. I don’t want people to judge him without knowing him. I don’t want to be ‘the woman with the unfriendly do’ but actually if that keeps their dogs away from mine, and BD safe. For the first time in my life I genuinely don’t care what people think. I will step up and be whatever the label needs to be to keep my boys safe!

Dumb Ass Dog Owners – The Straight Line Walkers

Today I am joining in with the Dumb Ass Dog Owner Blog Hop, hosted by Tales from the Backroad and Heart Like a Dog. As it is the perfect chance for me to complain about my newest erk in life, namely Straight Line Dog Walkers (SLDW). You may have seen them, you may know them…. hell you may even be one (in which case congrats, grab the award!)

This is for you!!
This is for you!!

Its the dog owner who comes onto a field, with a clearly defined route and come hell or high water they will walk that path – usually with a very board looking dog following!

They do not interact with their dog. They just appear to want to get the miles done so that they can get home and onto more enjoyable past times. The reason I hate them so, is because not being content with ruining the walk for their dog they also manage to ruin the walk for BD and I.

On a morning, we take a ball and go and spend an hour wandering the fields near my house, playing fetch, sniffing sniffs and generally enjoying some time the two of us. However, mid fun a SLDW will appear and so I have to move my focus from my dog, to figure out what the hell they are doing and try to make sure their board dog doesn’t decide that it would be much more fun to come and play with us. So I stop chucking BDs ball, not a popular or fair move for my ball obsessed collie, and instead we just wander aimlessly trying to ensure that we keep as much distance between the idiot and us.

BD and I go from chilled, relaxed and in the moment to me being on high alert watching and waiting all because these other people are selfish. I’m not saying having a route is wrong. I am not saying that heading out to cover a set distance is wrong, but could you be a bit more observant and realise that if a chilled out happy dog walker, suddenly starts watching your every move perhaps met that person half way by making a slight detour to help keep maximum distance between the two of you  and don’t..oh I don’t know… make a beeline for the couple while walking down the middle of the field. Especially if they were there first!!!

Causing Extra Stress

I have (possibly) had a break through moment, but dear friends I would very much value your thoughts, opinions and two cents on this matter.

Recently  I have been thinking a lot about BDs fear aggression. Following on from his attack he has been doing ok with dogs, although he did go for Mity the other day. They are both fine. BD was muzzled and Mity just squeezed past to him too closely trying to get around my mother and me. It was a bit of a hectic night and I should have found a way to not have them both in my house, but I had no option.

Anyway. Bd has taken to barking at most dogs we see when we walk past them. Turns out it is only with me that he does this. Apparently when he is with my ex he can now walk past all sorts of dogs on the other side of the road, but with me he does this excited bark/jump/yelp thing and almost tries to run at the dog but not in a ‘grrr I’m going to kill you’ manner more a ‘look, look, dog’ excited way. I know that I need to work on this, a large (potentially muzzled) dog barking at your dog does not a happy owner make (he has officially ruined any chances I may have had with the fit young vet, by barking like a loon at the vets JRT which resulted in a very disapproving glare from said vet to me the crazy lady who can’t control her dog!)

But I am not asking for your opinions on that (although any advice you have would be appreciated) No today I want to discuss my obsession with battling through BDs fear to one day see him play with other dogs. Every since I have known BD I have wanted to see him relax around other dogs. I want him to not be scared. I want a confident happy boy. I have once or twice seen him play with dogs. Watching him run around with them was amazing, and the big smile on his face when he was warn out and exhausted was just amazing. But (and here it comes)…

Is this need to see him relax in BDs best interest or just an obsession I have. Is this about BD or me?

When I go out walking with BD he doesn’t care if we meet another dog or not. So long as he has his tennis ball and we are together then he is happy. On the odd occasion we come across another dog (ignoring the lead bouncing for now) we take steps to avoid the interaction; I detour of the path or change direction, we usually pass the other dog without incident and carry on our way. I have learnt how to manage the situation and so has BD. When we are walking in a wood, or somewhere else where BD can be off lead once the other dog is a safe distance away and not likely to run back to try and say hi to BD I will re-remove his muzzle, congratulate him and we carry on.

So long as I have remembered his tennis ball BD is beyond happy. He doesn’t seem to worry that there is no one else around and as we walk out in the country as much as able, there aren’t really any dogs for him to play with anyway. He gets on fine with Mity, and so there is no longer the problem of having the two of them together. On walks they ignore each other and (until the attack) they ignored each other in the house as well. Yes, there were occasions when BD would be slightly concerned to hear Mity ‘talking’ to me and if ever Mity wanted to do crazy dog I would hang on to BD so that he wouldn’t chase Mity as on the occasion I wasn’t fast enough they would both just kinda panic and freeze. Mity would look at BD as if to say “why are you chasing me” and BD would look at him as if to say “why were you running and why have we stopped?”.

If BD is contented, and Mity is happy. Why do I want to push it further?

Am I right to encourage BD to relax around other dogs, regardless of his nerves? Or do I accept him for who he is and let this go?

 

P.S It’s this post Pamela that you inspired!

I scooped the wrong poop.

It happened to me again this morning. Yes, that’s my first confession I have scooped the wrong poop on more than one occasion (hangs head in shame) the second is that I may have already shared at least part of this with you, but here’s to hoping your memory is as bad as mine!

The first time it happened it was dark. I had let BD out for a poo and although I thought I had pin-pointed the location clearly I hadn’t. BD is a bit of a pain. He refuses to go on-lead unless desperate (I am working on this) and generally if you move, or breath, after he has ‘assumed the position’ he will stop and you can be out walking the field, in the dark for another half hour. So, he squats and I freeze wherever I am and then have to reward him (again trying to make him better at pooing) while getting the bag out my pocket, moving towards the poo whilst keeping one eye on the spot and the other looking out for any other poo someone else has failed to scoop. Please note, this is not so I can pick it up… I am not that kinda person.

Anyway, the first time I scooped the wrong poop BD has run slightly down this hill and so in the dark I carefully made my way to the area where he has positioned, and I bent down and scooped the poo. I then looked at the poo I had scooped and saw it was filled with maggots. Yep, rather than picking up my dogs poo I had picked someone else weeks old, stone cold and maggot riddled poo. I shudder to this day thinking about it.

After this experience I have always been extra carefully whenever I scoop, I mean it’s bad enough I have to pick it up and usually end up wearing most of it and you want to make sure if you’re going to wear it, it came from your dog.

However, this morning I yet again picked up the wrong poop. BD – it is always with him, can I blame this on him I wonder?!! – had stopped a few meters away, squatted, finished. I threw the tennis ball and told him he was good. Switched on my head torch and walked towards the spot. I always stop a little way away to properly check the ground as I am approaching the spot and was shocked to see I was closer to it than I should have bee. He had done the ‘walk and poop’ technique so I wasn’t surprised to pick up a trail which I could see back to the tall tuft of grass he has started his business on. I bent to pick up the first bit and had a thought of “oh well, at least this will warm my hands a little.” I had thought it would be warm enough to not wear gloves – I was wrong!

However, the first bit wasn’t warm.

Neither was the next bit.

I said to no one in particular “gosh I knew it was cold, but didn’t realise it was that cold” and then I picked up the third piece (am I over sharing?) and that bit was still warm, as was the rest.

It meant only one thing…Yet again I have scooped someone elses poop. Surely this will get me into Heaven right??

aaaaaaaaah

It’s 8.20am and I am seriously debating if it’s too early to begin drinking – it’s 12pm somewhere right??

BD was attacked last night. I was walking him from the exes garden to the boot of my car and this Jack Russell (JRT) went for him. I saw it coming, and so I positioned myself in between BD and it. I had BD near the low wall which runs past the house, and I put my legs as a shield between him and the JRT. BD was brilliant. This dog slowed to approach him and he wrinkled his nose and showed his teeth. I shouted to anyone that could hear my dog wasn’t friendly.  A neighbour tried to shoo the dog away – it wasn’t having it. Then the dog’s owner appeared and tried to grab his dog…. The dog launched itself at BD and clung on to his neck. Obviously at this point BD reacted and we had a fully-fledged dog fight on our hands.BD was on his lead, and so I had him under some control, but this terrier would not let go. I didn’t know what to do for the best – I considered dropping BDs lead so he could out run it and get away, but I didn’t. I think I knew that although he doesn’t start them, he will finish them and so I knew if I dropped the lead he would have just stayed. So I hung on to him… but this meant I had no free hands to get this bloody dog off him. The JRTs owner tried a few times, and we did get the two separated but every time we got the terrier off it would wriggle out of the owners hands and come back for BD.

There was so much blood. I was covered. BD was covered.

I thought this dog had really injured him.

Finally we got the JRT off for a few seconds and in those moments I ran and managed to get BD safely into the boot of my car where he cowered.

I was shaking. He was a mess.

There was so much blood…..

I tried to check him over but he was very scared and I didn’t want to stress him further. Although there was all this bright red blood on him, I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I checked his neck, nose, mouth. I checked me – a  few scratches and a big rip in my new leggings – but no reason for all the blood.

The JRTs owner came across to apologise and check on BD. He said his dog was fine and was concerned about the damage done to BD. He too agreed there appeared to be too much blood for neither dog to be harmed.

I called the ex. I didn’t particularly want to – he can’t be my I have a problem and need someone go to guy. But in this instance I had no choice. BD is his dog and I wanted him to check him over as well, a second pair of eyes!!. I also called my parents and cancelled our plans to finish DIYing. They would have bought Mity; there was no way I was running the risk of having a stressed out BD and Mity in close proximity.

So BD and I spent the evening chasing tennis balls (him), drinking red wine (me) and cuddling on the sofa (both of us). He was soon smiling his head off again and I can’t find a mark on him. The ex went to see the other owners and apparently they were beyond apologetic and the JRT is now sporting a small graze about her eye but shows no other signs so no one is any the wiser as to where all this blood came from.

Fast forward to this morning when BD and I spent a brilliant half hour chucking tennis balls in the sun. I was relaxed. Then I go to drop BD at the exes before I head to work and you’ll never guess what is waiting for us as I pull up outside his house……. a big black dog. And it was almost in the exact spot where BD was attacked, and very much stood between the garden where I would be leaving BD and my car which we were both sat in.

I panicked.

There was no way in hell I was getting BD out of the car while the other dog was in eyesight. But I couldn’t bring myself to chase this dog away.

I will admit that my first thought was to just sit in the car with BD in the boot forever. Yes, that was my first thought, no I didn’t consider just driving back to mine. What can I say it’s been a stressful 24 hours. After what felt like forever (but was only a few minutes) I decided that I had no choice but to try and find the dogs owner.

Unlike the last loose dog I found, this one did run away scared and was quite happy to let me lone on it while consuming some of the treats that it smelt out in my pocket. The dog was wearing a collar but the collar was free from any information no name, no number, no address. Fat lot of use that collar is! Luckily one of my neighbours pulled out of their drive, recognised the dog and I managed to return it to her owner (who hadn’t realised she’s escaped). I got BD into the garden with no issues and was all set to arrive at work on time, despite everything… … and then I got stuck behind a tractor and ended up driving the entire way to work at 10mph.

So, what do you think, too early to open a bottle or can I justify it?

The more men I meet….. the more I’m sticking with my dog.

The other night when I had BD I decided it would be nice to go on a walk around a local forest together. It’s a lovely place to walk, it’s close to where I pick him up from and the gravel path means that he doesn’t get too mucky (I love him, but I have new creamish carpets so although I want him to have loads of fun on our walks at the moment I am all about good clean fun!) It’s also nice and quiet, we very rarely run into other people or dogs and when we do the path is big enough I know we can easily pass – I call it a low stress walk!

However, last night my ‘low stress’ walk backfired slightly when an idiot male passed crossed my path and I went from relaxed to full out stress in the space of about 5 minutes, and it was all his bloody fault.

Bd and I were happily walking along, BD had is tennis ball and I was chattering away to him and focusing on being in the moment when in the distance I spotted a man running and a black dog behind him. Now anyone with a reactive dog will tell you one of the skills you develop when your dog doesn’t like others is an ability to spot another dog at 1000 paces.

I knew this was going to be a challenging situation for BD and that more than likely we would have a reaction. For some unknown reason he has started barking at every dog he sees (not a popular habit he has formed!) however the massive improvement is it isn’t a ‘grrr I’m going to kill you’ bark more a ‘look, look, over there is a dog, have you seen it?’ bark. To me this is a big improvement, not so much to the people with the other dog, you should have seen the dirty look the cute young vet gave me when he passed me in the street, his terrier trotting along nicely in front of him while my ginger nutcase bounced and barked and tried to pull me into the street, while I told him he was a good boy, to calm down and tried to persuade him to sit (apparently asking for a ‘trick’ distracts them). Anyway I digress!

So I called BD to me, took his tennis ball from him and put on his muzzle.

This is my fail safe way to get BD past a dog. I do not put him back on his lead as he feels restricted and so is more likely to react. So I muzzle and then carry on with the walk. With his muzzle on he can’t bite the other dog, so even if anything was to look like it may happen BD can’t do any damage. But the really play is to make sure I have the tennis ball in my hand. My boy is ball obsessed and so long as I have the tennis ball his eyes will be on me. A marching band could parade past him and unless they got in his face he would not bat an eyelid – the ball is all that matters.

Ideally in this situation I will just try and walk past the other dog, as I once read you need to make seeing another dog a ‘none event’ but as this was a running dog I thought it was better to pause in a nice wide part of the trail and wait for them to pass.

Which the runner did. He said hello as he ran past, but the dog froze. I called after the runner to ask if that was his dog, but he just ignored me and carried on his way.

I assumed that one of two things would happen. One the runner would stop and wait for the dog to catch up, encouraging him past me and BD so they could carry on with their walk or b the dog would pause slightly but as his ‘dad’ carried on he would run past us both to catch up.

Neither of these things happened.

The man kept on running, as in out of sight, gone, forgotten about.

And the dog froze.

I waited and then I swore.

The man had gone. Clearly this was not his dog.

There was no one else about, and we had been walking for a while. I knew we were in the middle of nowhere and for a dog to be here alone it was probably lost.

I swore again.

I couldn’t just leave it.

But I was with BD, I will admit to grumbling something along the lines of “why does this only ever happen when I have BD with me.” Had this situation presented itself with Mity he would have trotted along happily next to the new dog, thinking he had found a new friend. In fact once we used Mity as ‘bait’ when a neighbours scared dog got out. We encouraged it to follow Mity all the way home and Mity thought the whole thing was the most fun game ever.

BD would not think this is the most fun game ever. BD would not like this dog following him home.

I told BD to wait, and I slowly crept towards the strange dog. I noticed it was wearing a collar and so I decided I would ring the number on it. Simples.

I crept forward, talking calmly.

BD watched my every mood.

I have to admit he was very good and he didn’t make a fuss and let me approach this dog.

As I swapped between watching this dog and checking BD for signs of concern/reactivity I tried to assess the condition of the strange dog to see how long it may have been out there.

I found some dog treats in my pocket and held one out, hoping that the other dog would be tempted. I kept my tone low and my movements slow.

As I got close the dog let out an almighty yelp and raced off.

I swore again.

BD watched it go he sort of went to follow it, but not in an aggressive manner and returned to me as soon as I called. But now I was more upset. In this situation I can’t help but wonder what would happen if it was BD or Mity; how I would feel about them being out there alone. I felt like I had let down this dog and its owner. I wondered what I should have done different. I considered leaving the rest of my treats on the trail so it would have a little something to eat. Granted it was about 4 large treats, but still it would have been something.

I decided to pull myself together. Unmuzzled BD and chucked his ball for him resigned to the fact that I couldn’t do anything more.

And at the point the idiot running man came back into view with the dog clearly with him; turns out his was his dog after all. Initially I was relieved that the dog was going to be ok, but the relief was replaced with annoyance with this bloke. He had seen my muzzle BD. His dog had been held up, too afraid to pass me and BD and yet he had ran off and not given a flying ……..feck.

You don’t have to have a dog. It is a choice not a necessity and if you can’t be arsed to properly care and look after a dog, then don’t have one.

I tell you this guys complete disregard has me boiling for quite some time. In fact even now it gets me cross just thinking about it.

Is quality better than quantity?

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!

Dog Poo confessions

This is a long over due post, which I originally got the idea for whilst commenting on the lovely Pamela’s Something Wagging blog. (Yes, go and visit but not until you have finished here. You have to share the love!)

Now if I was a little more organised I would now be linking to the post which inspired this confession, but I’m not so just accept that it was brilliant (most all of her posts are!) and cut me a little slack because I’m single-handedly rebuilding a house after the man of my dreams kicked me out (FYI, there is no limit on how long I can use that as an excuse for being rubbish!!)

Anyway….

There is no easy way to say this so I am just going to put it out there……

I suck at picking up dog poo.

Yep, I’ll say it again, I suck at picking up dog poo. Now I don’t suck as in I don’t do it. That would make me irresponsible and (in my opinion) a bit of a pregnant goldfish. More I pick it up 99.99999999% of the time but more often than not I will end up covered in the stuff. I don’t know how, and I really can’t explain why but the more I pick up the worse I get! I have taken to removing jewellery, bracelets, my coat before picking up, which always causes some confusion as this means I spend a good few minutes trying to figure out which hand I am going to use to! (We’ve all done that right? RIGHT??)

I then put bag on hand and pull the handles up my arm as far as they will go to make a sort of sleeve. Then I search the area to see if there are any stray bits on any long bits of grass (they will both only poo in long grass) and I go for it. For some unknown reason I seem to have a 50:50 success rate. If I have managed to scoop the poop I will congratulate myself and be in a good mood for the rest of the day. However if I have failed usually I will then start scanning around for something that I can wipe my hand/arm/face on.  (please note, it has never actually been my face, I’m using artistic licence!)

That leads nicely to my first confession.

I was a teenager and Mity was only a few years oldand I decided that taking my dog for a walk would be a perfect first date (cheap). The date started off well enough and everything was going fine until Mity decided that he needed to do a number 2. I was a little embarrassed but kept my cool. I pulled out the poo bag, walked over to the poo…. and completely misjudged the bag angle and ended up with far more than I would have liked on my hand! I tried to wipe it off on the grass near me, but it didn’t all come off. By this time I had taken a while ‘scooping the poop’ and I was worried I would start to look weird and so I walked back to him, subtly changed sides so that he wouldn’t have to hold the ‘poo hand’ and we resumed our walk.

I spent the rest of the walk trying to remove the poo from my hand. This included (but was not limited to) me wiping my hand on any tree, bush, tall pile of grass, stone wall or anything else with an abrassive surface we walked past. When that failed I had  brain wave, and whilst walking past a puddle I dropped to my knee to ‘tie’ my tied shoe and tried to wash my hand in the puddle. It worked. The poo came off…. and was replaced immediately with brown mud which I got onto my hand while drying my hand (because it would have looked weird had I had a wet hand you understand) on some nearby grass!

My second confession.

It was before work and I had taken BD for a walk. Again the poo picking hadn’t gone to plan and so after wiping on some grass nearby when I got home I washed my hand and arm in copious amounts of soap and water. Everything was going fine, until someone bought cake into the office.

The cake was lovely, it was carrot cake but without the minging nuts and plenty of topping. I was enjoying it, and just polishing off my slightly large slice, in fact I was just licking my fingers which I had managed to get covered in icing, when I looked at my hands. My heart stopped because there around the edge of my nails, just slightly under the corner was a brown smear.

I have to admit I felt sick. I also have to admit that the first thing I did was sniff it a couple of times to see what the hell it was.

Of course it turned out to be cake (i don’t know if I would have shared this it hadn’t been!) but for a split second I was panicked!!

So what about you? Do you have any dog poo confessions? Surely I’m not the only one that these things happen to…. promise I’m not the only  one these things happen to!

9 Deers and n ‘orse

One thing I have learnt from the recent break-up is to never say never.

I can remember being upset when I moved out of my mum and dad’s house and in with him because I was never going to live with my parents again. When I left my house I owned with him, I remember being distraught and saying good bye to each room in turn, thinking I would never be in there again. Yet I now visit it on a weekly basis to pick up or drop off BD, (usually with him elsewhere, before you all line up to kick my arse for being soft!). I thought I was going to be with him forever….. let’s just leave that there!

As I have previously mentioned BD and Mity have now decided that they would like to play together… they think. However they can’t. If Mity relaxes and starts to “talk” which he does when he plays, BD will sit on my knee and look at him very concerned. Which makes me laugh, you should see the size of this big softy!! If BD makes a quick move Mity freezes worried that he will go for him. As much as I love them both and wouldn’t change them for the world, it is starting to become a little stressful, especially for my folks.

One day they will be together totally chilled out, ignoring each other. During this time my mum and I will discuss how I should just keep BD forever – possession is 9th of the law don’t ya know?! – but then the next time they are together Mity will pace around the house, refuse to settle and on occasions pee. On these visits Mity sets of patrolling the house and my dad follows him to ensure he is not peeing anywhere. This does not a harmoniousness house hold make. Therefore, with the improving weather and end line in sight for my house purchase I have said I will not have BD at my parents house on an evening any more.

It was with this in mind that I took BD on his potential last early morning walk from my mum and dads house. I couldn’t help but smile when I realised how much I would miss this early morning route with BD, especially as I had sobbed uncontrollably on the first few walks here. However, with my new thought process of never say never I didn’t get upset and set out to enjoy what could be our last walk together at 7am in this spot. I wanted to savor the moments and just enjoy it, rather than being too much in my head….. or too upset.

It was with this positive mood that I looked to my left and potentially saw a deer stood under the tree. I say potentially because unless I am 100% certain I will not make a positive identification. I have seen deer in this area before, so there was a strong possibility it could have been a deer but it was far away, on the other side of the dip, half hidden by trees and there are often horses in that field. Therefore I chalked it up as a horse. I picked up BDs tennis ball, threw it for him and continued on our walk.

We had only walked a few more minutes along the path before I looked to my left again and this time I definitely saw 4 deer, on the other side of the dip, not far from the first deer horse, stood grazing.

I took a moment to appreciate the moment before moving on.

We then got to the official ‘ball throwing’ part of the walk in this nice open field, and I couldn’t believe my luck when I walked onto the field and saw at the far end two more deer wandering about their morning routine. BD did not spot them, instead focusing fully on the tennis ball in my hand. I watched them slowly walk away before beginning our game of “chuck the tennis ball and walk after it because it is broken and does not go where it is supposed to any more” – BD loved it! It could only have been 5 minutes after seeing the two that I turned to look back up the field, I was now down the bottom of the field where the two deer had been and BD was running around sniffing the sniffs while I chastised him that if he was paid more attention he would have seen the actual deer and not just sniffed the sniff. As I turned and looked back up the hill I saw two more deer just exciting the field. And then their friend came chasing after them, spotted BD and I, and turned and ran back the way he came. That gave me a grand total of 10 deer, or 9 and n orse if we are calling confirmed sightings.

I can’t tell you how amazing I felt when I finished that walk that day. If that was our last morning walk down there is certainly ended on a high.

O and going back to never say never. having told my parents I wouldn’t have BD on a school night again I forgot that I have him booked in for the entire weekend next weekend so…oops!