I missed doing a blog last week as I simply ran out of time, so this week's one is epic! First things first, I must talk about the Muddy Dog Challenge that Peach and I took part in at Hever Castle on the 30th September. I'm sure you've all seen the Facebook post and pictures, but I am so extremely proud of my little girl. She did over and above what I asked her to do, and I couldn't believe that she ran the whole way round and even swam on the first hurdle. Of course, some of the obstacles she simply couldn't do because of her physiology (high trampolines), but being the only Basset Hound competing, I am pretty sure she was the most photographed dog of the day! It was amusing when we turned up and passers by were asking us if all three were taking part..............Buddy would have simply refused, or we would still be doing the course now by the time he'd stopped and sniffed every blade of grass and peed up it. Daisy would have probably started ok, but would have just stopped and lied down half way through and refused to move again. So of course, Peach (the Basset Hound who thinks she's a Spaniel) was the natural choice. We raised £228 in total, and I am extremely grateful for all of you who donated. Battersea raised over £75K in total, which I'm sure you'll agree is just remarkable. I'm extremely pleased to report that my dodgy knee held up well, and Peach came out unscathed too.
Last weekend to celebrate a milestone anniversary for me and Mr Furry, we spent a few days in the New Forest. A romantic weekend getaway you may think? No, this is me we're talking about, so a hound-friendly cottage is about as romantic as it gets! Needless to say we had a lovely time. The New Forest is not just dog-friendly, but dog-encouraging! The abundance of pubs, eateries, cafes and visitor attractions that welcome dogs is an absolute joy.
We went down to Keyhaven intending to visit Hurst Castle, and being English Heritage, of course it allows dogs. There is the option of walking the one and a half miles across to it, but we found out that it's all shingle path. Now Bud is a bit precious with his toes, and really doesn't do well on shingle, so we opted to get the little ferry across instead. With some trepidation we got the three hounds on board. We had some concerns as the hounds have got form when we've attempted other forms of transport (we previously had a steam train drama which is definitely a separate story). However, I'm pleased to report the Captain was very happy with them, and said they were good Sea Dogs! Bud was more than happy to sit on the floor, and seemed to get some hypnotic massage from the boat's engine. Daisy was happy looking overboard, and I'm sure, being the water baby of the family, would have loved to have swum over. Peach, however, being Princess Peach as we call her, planted herself on the seat. Yes there were other dogs on board, all on the floor, but oh no, not Princess Peach. She sits on the seats that are intended for humans. So typical of her!
What was extremely irritating, and somewhat tinged my visit, was that while walking around the grounds we noticed that someone had allowed their dog to foul and not picked it up. Now firstly, dogs are only allowed on leads, so there is absolutely no way you could not have noticed your dog going. Secondly, it was a large amount and was fresh. I picked it up for two reasons; the first that I don't want sites like this to decide "That's it, no more dogs allowed" due to one or two irresponsible dog owners, and the other reason, I have three dogs and I don't want anyone to look at me and automatically assume that I've left one behind! So unnecessary, and downright lazy and irresponsible! I'm sure Mr Furry was very happy that I spent the rest of our visit ranting about it!
We also visited Exbury Gardens, which again allows dogs throughout on a lead, and even on the steam train...........don't go there! I told you, that's another story for another time! Bucklers Hard Maritime Museum again allows dogs on leads. Here we treated the hounds to a very nice tub of ice cream. Now I normally don't allow my hounds to eat such sweet treats, but when they're on their holidays, they are allowed one. Typically, it's like a race as to who can finish their tub first. Then I am also in the race because I have a cone and know for a fact that when Bud has finished his, he's going to want mine, and will bark as loud as he can to embarrass me into giving it to him! He really hasn't worked out the art of sharing that dog!
Besides all of that, if you're looking for a lovely break with your doggies that's not too far to travel, consider the New Forest. We will certainly be going back for either a weekend or longer.
So back to normal work this week and most of our regular walkers are back. We're only missing Lally and Walter, but I'm sure they'll be back in the pack soon. Grooming is as busy as ever, and I hate myself for saying this, but I have very few appointments left between now and Christmas!
Talking of Christmas, although it seems far far far too early, I was given my first Christmas present on Wednesday! Now come on, that's got to be a record hasn't it? The 11th October? In the customer's defence, I won't be seeing them again until the beginning of next year, so it was very thoughtful and gratefully received.
The weather this weekend is on the up and looks like being fine and fair, so make the most of it before the clocks go back and we're plunged into the darkness of Winter.
Until next time, enjoy your furries.
Much love Sally xx