Is this the end of the 6-pack?

Hello all my loyal followers. Once again I've neglected my blog, so bear with me while I try to recall everything that's been going on since I last wrote.

Finally, the Summer arrives but in true style, it is to the extreme! Far far too hot for walking doggies and indeed grooming, so some clever diary manoeuvres last week was required to make sure grooms were done early in the day, along with walks if necessary or pop ins if required. A week of the 4.45am alarm was tough! Glad that the temperature is back to our normal Summer reading!

Grooming has been as busy as ever and yet again, I struggle to fit everybody in ………...I'm not complaining! Cat sitting and rabbit duties are in demand too as the Summer holiday period is upon us.

Daisy and I have taken advantage of the lovely weather, and her undying love for the water, and have been out paddleboarding again! She loves it! I managed to get a little video of her last time and will try and post the link here. She's a little superstar!

Paddleboarding Basset Hound 

​We went for another doggie day out last Saturday to The Game Fair in Hatfield. Never been before but was told we really should go. We weren't disappointed! I was swayed to buy tickets when I heard a hunting pack of working Bassets were going to be there! So imagine the South of England show but quadruple the size and a third of the ticket price! Upon arrival, I was drawn straight to the dog area (although gundogs) it was huge! Then we were told the "Hound" area was the other end so off we went. We found the packs; Foxhounds, Beagles and the Bassets. So funny to see our stumpy legged long eared schnozzers up against the cages of these longer legged long eared schnozzers! Facially the same, just longer legs and perhaps little more energy! I was told Hounds in the pack were all give names of 2 or 3 syllables as apparently they don't respond to 1 syllable......oh well that explains a lot "Peach"!

​So out came the Foxhounds in some sort of orderly fashion into the arena followed by the Beagles then it was the Bassets! As you would expect, they were going off in all directions, the pack leader had a pocket of food so then all of a sudden, the Bassets were kind of attentive! There was one rogue who I think was called Poldark who was rather attracted to one of the Foxhound bitches...…..hilarious! Apparently they worked on the hunt by almost beating out the game towards the guns. I would love to see them on a real hunt working! Sadly I don't think my Bassets could join a hunt. The sound of the nearby gunshot from the clay pigeon shooting turned my usual "not scared of anything" Buddy-Love into a quivering wreck. I've honestly never seen him shake and be frightened of something like that in his whole life. Yes it was loud so with his amplified hearing I can imagine it! The girls however, who are more likely to be jumpy, didn't bat an eyelid so perhaps they do have inner hunting qualities! I highly recommend The Game Fair if you haven't been. It is a showcase and celebration of everything countryside and more. So whether you're a shooter, a dog lover, a horse lover or just love a good shop, it's for you.

​Now as the title of this blog suggests, I could well be talking about a washboard stomach, but of course I'm talking  about a 6-pack of dogs! Our wonderful Council are currently in a "consultation" period that expires in September to reduce the number of dogs being walked by one person down to four as opposed to the current six. Now I do appreciate that there are some unprofessional, uninsured Dog Walkers who have absolutely no control over the dogs they're walking. As usual it is the likes of myself who will get penalised. I've always walked six, as you know, three of which are my own dogs. My insurance allows six. I've never had any issues walking six. They all get along, they all have fun, I pick up after all of them. Apparently walking six at once makes me a greedy, dangerous person! These were just some comments made about me from an online troll who followed my page! I don't know her from Adam and she lives up North! Now I've had my fill of online trolls and keyboard warriors in the last few months. I can see how anyone who wasn't as strong mentally as I am could become a victim of cyber bullying. I was always taught, if you haven't got anything nice to say, say nothing at all.

Anyway, getting back to the point, if you're an irresponsible uninsured Dog Walker just out to make a quick buck (and sadly there are a few now), surely having four dogs you can't control if just as bad as six? In fact I've seen people with one that's out of control that causes mayhem.

I'm left questioning what future my dog walking service has. I did the walking to get my own dogs out and socialising and to break up my day of grooming. If I can only take four, that will mean leaving mine at home which defeats my whole object really. With grooming appointments in such demand too, I haven't got enough hours in the day to do two or three walks in the middle of the day.

The Council are inviting comment on this before the consultation period closes and I would urge you to do this as this will affect anyone with multiple dogs. I know of a few people who have five or more dogs of their own that will be restricted if this new rule comes in. I've posted  the link here for you from the Council website.

The other parts of this proposal are to extend the current Summer beach ban. Again, it seems totally absurd to me. I've heard rumours that it's to do with Southern Water suggesting that dog poo that isn't picked up is polluting the sea. This from the company who have just been fined millions for pumping raw sewage into the sea! Don't even get me started on beach bans for dogs!......the amount of mess left after the recent nice weather on the beach and green areas is appalling. The odd bit of dog mess (although wrong to be left) pales into insignificance! It's simple; take your rubbish home with you and pick up after your dog! Much like having to remind people every single Summer not to leave dogs in hot cars, the messages need to be repeated over and over! Which part is difficult to understand I wonder? On this subject, the other part of the Council proposal is to increase the fine for not picking up to £100 instead of £50. This I totally agree with in fact, make it £500. Hand out more fines and make the fines harsher to deter people. While you're at it, hand out the same fines for littering!

​In other news, my Buddy-Love celebrated his 11th birthday last week. Considering last February we weren't sure he'd make it to his 10th, he is doing amazingly. As ever this boy makes me so very proud. He's always been such a trooper and never been just your average dog. Long may his reign as king of our household continue.

His next milestone and another thing to tick off his bucket list is our upcoming holiday to Norfolk. He's never been there! A couple of people have asked me if we're going on a boat on The Broads! Ha! Can you imagine? Trying to lift on and off a barge three honking great Bassets? At least I know one of them can swim! We have in fact hired a lovely looking barn conversion close to Cromer so we're looking forward to that.

​I've had some very sad goodbyes again in the last few months, and I'm sad about each of them, but losing little Tia broke my heart. So unexpected and sudden. We miss her terribly. it never gets any easier and the longer I've been in this business, the more frequently it happens. It is unfortunately inevitable. I wish I didn't get so upset about it but each of those dogs are treated like my own so it hurts every time.

​Please feel free to share this blog (unless you're going to publicly damn me or call me names!). Seriously, we are all entitled to our own opinions.

Enjoy the rest of the lovely weather and I'll be back again soon. Thanks for listening.

Much love Sally xx

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