Week 65: Back in the Forest (then on the beach)

January 25, 2010
Darwin on the Beach

Every stick is my stick...

Darwin’s been chasing deer this week so we’ve kept her away from the forest for a few days to give them some rest. The beach is just as much fun when you have some friends to play with.

So much for all our training. Although she did come back eventually which is more than can be said for some for some of her pals. We’ve met several owners recently who were waiting for their dogs to return. I guess it’s their instictive chase reaction that we need to get more control over. I haven’t seen any dog catch a deer, but have heard a story or two about a poor bunny or duck from other owners which makes me think that we must get back into training mode again.

We’re keeping the walks a little shorter at the moment and going out more often to help build up muscle in the back legs (Vet’s orders). This does mean that Darwin isn’t that worn out from her first walk and is therefore prone to want to play a bit more when we get back… including sneaking upstairs and charging back down with whatever clothing she can find on the floor upstairs. Quite funny…but does mean that much of our clothing (including underwear) has lovely dog gunge all over it!


Week 63 & 64: Darwin has a holiday

January 17, 2010

Darwin was very excited to see us when we returned from holiday, but truth be known she didn’t really miss us while we were away. Which is great as we were worried that we were abandoning her in search of some winter sun. We understand that she was on her best behaviour apart from some ‘scarfing’ (stealing for comic effect!) of socks and shoes. Darwin made friends with Spider, a Staffie and they shared long walks whilst Anthony was in school. Out of school Anthony looked after Darwin and played with her nearly non-stop.

It’s great that we really felt comfortable to leave Darwin with relatives for a week. She’s such a good natured dog now, unrecognisable from the 5-month old puppy that ignored us and wouldn’t stop biting!

A big thank you to Steve, Michelle and Anthony.


Week 62: Happy New Year!

January 4, 2010

It’s cold, really cold, the heath is like a skating rink and Darwin’s loving it. She’s getting used to the ice and seems to enjoy the slippery surface. Best fun of all is to chase a piece of ice across the frozen puddles then crunch it into little pieces. We’ve had some great walks exploring more of the forest over the holidays. Darwin stays closer to us when we’re on a new walk which is nicer than her running off 100 yards in front all the time on the walks she knows. We’ve been exploring the forest between Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst and trying to navigate via the sun and an iphone. We occasionally got a little lost, but not for long. We’ve spotted deer every walk and had to stop Darwin chasing down a venison supper a few times.

New Year was seen in at the Turfs, with Darwin of course. It was good fun and Darwin wasn’t the only four-legged friend celebrating in the pub at the turn of midnight. We’ve also been practising lead walking with Darwin this week as she is staying with relatives shortly whilst we go on holiday and we want her to be on her best behaviour…


Week 61: Happy Holidays…

December 28, 2009

The carrot didn't last for long!

We’ve been having a great time visiting family and opening presents, and more presents, and then a few more presents. Needless to say, Darwin thought the wrapping paper was more fun than anything else and proceeded to help everyone undo their presents. Christmas eve to Boxing day was spent at Steven’s – TC’s brother. We made a snowman with Anthony, their son, and used a carrot for its nose. Darwin promptly leapt up and stole the nose and continued to do this throughout our stay (not sure how many carrots Darwin got through).

Darwin is very well-behaved now and although TC’s family are not used to dogs we think they like her. They have agreed to look after her when we go on holiday, so it’s just as well that Darwin behaved herself this Christmas!


Week 60: Family Fun!

December 22, 2009

Darwin in front of the Christmas tree

Santa's Little Helper?

We had relatives to stay for a few days last week and we practically wore Darwin out. She loved the extra attention and had lots of different shoes to chew on. Darwin’s prowess on the football field also came to the fore as she defended with grit and determination and a lot of teeth (not so good for the ball). Jamie and Chris are very good at football, but Darwin could dispossess them within seconds, only trouble was that her distribution of the ball after a tackle left a little bit to be desired.

The ice on the heath had Darwin in pirouettes at times, but then the next day it would thaw and she would fall into the puddle she had previously skated across. All good fun, but perhaps not great for her legs, however, she didn’t seem to mind. She has decided that it is too cold for swimming now. No amount of coaxing could get her in when half the lake was frozen over, so I guess she does have some sense after all.

Christmas is almost upon us and Darwin is getting quite excited. No presents under our tree – we know they wouldn’t last 5 minutes…but not long to wait now. I need to stop TC from getting that last little thing. I think Darwin has tree presents and a pillow case to open in the morning!

Week 59: Preparing for Christmas

December 15, 2009

Darwin helped put up the decorations this week. Helped perhaps isn’t that accurate, I think she’ll be much better at bringing them down!

Darwin’s stocking is up, well was up with a lot of other things until some canine capers resulted in much chasing around the house to catch the thief. Her Christmas list was eaten, even before Santa had finished writing it…we think that wrapping paper will be sufficient this year and maybe one or two bones.

Plenty of swimming during the week. I don’t think Darwin feels the cold, but I get shivvers simply throwing the sticks into the water for her. Darwin’s also found a great game in being the first one to break the ice on all the puddles we have on the heath. She races through and tries to grab a piece of ice in mid stride. I’ve been busy learning how to create websites. I have built one around this blog http://www.mygoldenretriever.co.uk. It needs some work and I think it’s evident I’m not a trained designer, but it works (for the most part) and was fun to learn.


Week 58: Darwin swims again

December 8, 2009

Lots of swimming this week for Darwin. We have to be careful to pick our time and place as we try not to annoy fishermen and twitchers alike. Darwin’s chosen lake is Hatchet Pond and she makes a beeline for the water whenever we are in sight. Out goes all the obedience training…the water is much more fun!

We had visitors with small people at the weekend; Darwin was very good and didn’t try to take any of their toys. However, when out walking she still believes that anyone holding a stick is holding her stick. This can lead to some worrying moments when Darwin wants to play with people half her size. Luckily no limbs were lost.

Week 57: Rain and more rain

November 30, 2009
Darwin and Maisy playing in a stream

Darwin & Maisy having fun!

Darwin’s been worn out this week, what with jumping into every puddle that she could possibly find and having Maisy to stay for the weekend. Monday has been all about getting some much needed rest!
Maisy is a black lab who at just under four months is wonderfully attentive and a great play friend for Darwin. They wrestled together for the whole weekend and looked to be having a tremendous time.
We went to the beach on Saturday, but the gales kept us away from the water – we have resolved to take Darwin swimming at least a couple of times a week from now onwards as the exercise is good for her hind legs.

Week 56: what wonderful weather we’re having (not)

November 24, 2009

Darwin thinks chasing leaves is fun and jumping in all the puddles is even better so she’s not minded the weather this last week. She loves getting covered in mud so that she has to be hosed down when we get her home which is another great game! We drive to the forest for our walks which means we have a bit of shelter from the gales, but need to pick our times so that we don’t get caught in a downpour, which is easier said than done at the moment.

Darwin’s play-mate ‘Magic’ couldn’t come down to see her this weekend as she had to keep her stitches in for a few more days, but we have another play-mate ‘Maisy’ coming this weekend which should be fun. Maisy is a 3-month old black lab.

Week 55: Darwin’s not well

November 15, 2009

We took Darwin to the vet this week as she bashed her head on something and we came down in the morning to find a lump above her eye and some fresh blood. During the week we also had to remove a tick from her and towards the end of the week she’s been limping.

We spoke to the vet again and they said keep an eye on her for now and see if she naturally gets better before bringing her in again.

We’ve been giving her a bit more attention because of her troubles and now think that she’s playing up to this and expecting us to come running to her every time she whimpers. It’s quite daunting how attached we feel to her.