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Thursday, 21 September 2017

All Sorts of Challenges!

Mum pointed her talkybone at me this morning while we were workywalkiesing along beside the big wide water she says is called The Tems. We had to do quite a lot of our ‘Go ahead’ work because it was a really tricky narrow overgrown path. I really really really had to strut my stuff in some places; slippy mud, narrow paths, rough ground, overgrown spiky bushes, gates.... all sorts of challenges. But we did it! in one place, there were some tree-toes sticking up out of the ground to over Mum’s knee height. I just jumped over when Mum told me to ‘hup’ but she had to kind of sit on top and then swivel over. 4 paws wins again in the superiority stakes!

Click on the link below to see Mum's video:


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Squeak and Protest!

Loadsaplay That was the way to start a day!

I do rather like this idea of mooring beside a field where lots of pooch pals pass by! It meant a party right outside the door! I got to play with sooooo many pals I didn't even get chance to stop and ask names! Well....actually such things really don't matter to us dogs! We greet in a more sensible and civilised manner than humans, then simply get on with the important business of romping and chasing and boxing and sniffing and weemailing!

I even got to carry on the fun for a bit as we headed off to the shops. Well.... when the route starts off across the fields Mum takes pity on me and lets me freerun until we reach somewhere where she needs me to keep her out of mischief! On a field, there is little for her to bump into. In town there are all sorts of obstacles that I have to guide her around; kerbs, crossings, lampposts, signs, chairs and tables, vehicles and loads of other 'clutter' on the pavement. I think I did good today. I guided Mum into a red-and-white-striped shop. She got me a juicy fresh bone! Yummmmm!

Another freerun back across the field was just nice to set me up for lying on deck again while we cruised off. I am not too happy about these locks on this River Tems thing. I don't get to work them with Mum! Mum just stands in the bowdeck and holds the boat's lead, Dad does the same on the backdeck and the gates and water seem to do themselves! There is no 'Find the beam'. No 'find the bollard'. No sitting watching Mum do all the windy-uppy-windy-downy-pushy-pully stuff. No greeting passing pooch pals. No absorbing admiring fusses from passing humans. All I get to do is to stay on the back deck and squeak my protest!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Team Towpath Strikes Again!

Yayyy! PROPER towpath workywalkies! We are truly back where we belong!

This morning, Mum and I left Dad to set off with floatyboatyhome. We went walkies. Proper team towpath walkies. Three and a half miles of it. To begin with, it was on really good wide flat towpath surface. Mum finds that easy. After a while though we came to some rougher surface where Mum's pawcovers did a lot of crunching on the gritty stuff. I had to guide her around quite a few huge puddles and some stickyup tree paws too. Eventually, this led onto the narrow, rugged tracks where I really have to strut my stuff. Mum looped my lead through the handle of my harness and gave me the 'Go ahead' command. This is where I walk ahead and Mum follows my waggly bum! A technique we perfected when we were doing our sponsored walk from Bath to Reading 2 years ago. It is not part of standard Guide Dog training. It is something Mum and I have worked on together to adapt to our canal and river world. It works well! I may ...... just ..... perhaps ....... ever-so-slightly ..... take advantage ...... of ..... a few opportunities ...... to .....err ....stop for a sniff ...... and  a few crucial weemail exchanges! Ahem!

Mum was super pleased with me and we really enjoyed that walkies. It was cut a bit shorter than we wanted though - simpy because the blimmin path ran out! We had to stop and wait for Dad to come rescue us on the boat. It was nice to enjoy a lazy cruise after that though - lying on the back deck watching the world slide past.

We are moored in a little patch of poochy paradise now. The river is really wide and there is nothing but open grass beside us! A lazy afternoon of snoozing and meeting and greeting passing pooch pals has been fab!

Photo shows me (viewed from above) lying on the back deck semi-snoozing and watching the water as we glide along. View is of the back of my head, shining in the sunlight, and my shoulders with my 'car-bra' on - bright green strapped harness with a loop on the back. Also, my bright yellow collar is vivid against my black fur. In the background is the slightly greeny-brownish water with light reflecting on it and very slight ripples.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Fish Head...

Oooh! Fishyburps! Mum says I stink of fish too. How very rude is that?

I rather got the impression she wasn't too pleased with me this morning. I took her walkies along the towpath, then through the nature reserve before we headed off to work the lock. Except.....I may have taken a slight diversion! You see.....I thought I would leave Mum in peace to work the lock (it was good light and very very familiar ground so I wasn't particularly needed.) I just got led by my nose. Unstoppable pull it was.....to a manhuman standing on the bank under the bridge. He had one of those megalong bendy sticks with a hugely long whisker coming off the end of it into the water. Beside him was an open bag containing a whole load of little fishies. He had just left them there - all open and wafting their irresistible aroma about. I simply couldn't leave them there to rot could I? I mean ..... that would just be so terribly wasteful! Mmmmmmm...... they were delicious! And the perfume on my whole head is a lovely lasting reminder of such a delicious bit of waste management work!

I seemed to end up permanently attached to my lead, attached to a fence after that! Then Dad gave the manhuman a floppy rectangle to pay for my theft.

We cruised on through Reading on floatyboatyhome, then through another lock where I got seriously barked and growled and snarled at by a pair of pooches behind a fence. I just sat down and watched them get their tails in a twist!

Now we seem to be on a hugenormous waterway. Mum says it is called The Tems. This evening, we went workywalkies and found ourselves on very familiar streets around Reading. I thought we had left Reading! Confused! 
When we set off on our workywalkies it was all nice and fine and dry. Part way along the streets though the sky started leaking all big and fiercely. We got supersoggysoaked. Mum and Dad were squelching in their pawcovers. I jsut hung my head and let the water pour off the end of my nose as we walked. When we got inside a shop though, I managed a superb bigshake and sprayed a good cloud around me! Heehee! Oops! This was after doing one bigshake outside the door when Mum asked me to. It is a bit difficult to shake off much sogginess when the sky is still leaking all over you though.....

Back home aboard our cozy floatyboatyhome, shopping all done, it was great to have a good old towelrub! Mum says she had hoped the rain would wash off the stench of fish.....I don't think it did as good a job as she had hoped though. She went all screwed up in the face when she fussed me......

Parp Pellets!

Home again. Back aboard our floatyboatyhome with the hotbox glowing and all cozy.

Wow! What a day it has been though!

A lazy start in the humankennelblock. I had to wake Mum and Dad up because I was busting for a weeeeeeeeee.......I thought I was never going to get to put my leg back down again! Phew!

Then we got into the car with all our stuff (me in my car-bra all safely clipped in but enjoying the luxury of riding high on the back seat!) and set off for a longish drive. Then we stopped at a big green place. Mum says it was called Worrick but the squiggles say Warwick. Much more important than the name was the meetygreety opportunities! I had to guide Mum around a bit of road, over a bridge and through a big parkyplace. There were loads of humans there. Some of them were wearing peculiar fursubstitutes and got into strange long pointy floatyboats with beastie heads on the front. The humans all had big stick things that they dipped in and out of the water and heaved to move along. There was lots of bangbangbanging and loud humanbarks going on while they did this. Dad says it was somethng called Dragon Boat Racing. Me? I just did my job and then got very very happy when we found an open area of green the other side of all the goings-on. Mum took off my harness and lead and gave that lovely command 'Go play'! Yippeeeee! I may have gone just a tad loopy for a moment or two! Well..... big space like that just demands big zoomies and wet grass simply HAS to be rolled around on! Heehee!

Better still was yet to come: I found a buddy to play with! A black lab x retriever called Kes. There was an instant magic between us. Of course, we dogs knew this but the humans had to do some yacketying to establish why! It was because we both have similar origins. Kes was a Guide Dog puppy who didn't get to do the job. He had poorly skin problems so couldn't go to be a life-changer for a blind / VI human. instead he has become a lifechanger for his forever family - just by being a super canine buddy to them! We had a fab few minutes of playing chase together. It is always special to find a colleague to play with.

After this bit of frivolity, it was time to be harnessed up again to guide Mum back through the crowds. I had to work quite hard weaving in and out of all the humanlegs. I even had to veer off the path a few times and take Mum around on the grass at the side. We did good though! We made it! And Oh! Was it so worth it?!! I found some more colleagues! No less than three ex-GuideDog Puppy Mummydogs. All yellow labradors. I didn't get to play but I simply HAD to guide Mum over to say hello. Of course, this meant that human yacketying ensued but that was fine; it gave us pooches chance to kanoodle!

Sadly, we couldn't kanoodle for very long as we had to head off back to the car for the next bit of our journey. This ended at Debbi and Ryan's house - the one with the hugenormous garden! Woohooo! I didn't get to enjoy the garden until after a workywalkies to a human yummyery. This was with Debbi and Ryan plus Rosie and James and little microhuman Hallie. Hallie sat in a little seat on sticks - that meant it was obvious where I needed to be! I do like those little green balls that microhumans seem to find so difficult to grasp with their front paws! Heehee! Mum says they are parp-pellets! I simply did my hoovering duty to the best of my ability. Well, it would have been so inconsiderate to leave all that yumminess to get squished into the carpet!

The workywalkies back was fun. I was, of course, guiding Mum but we were at the back of the group walking along the pavement. Little Hallie was walking along with a sort of lead and harness attached to her, not dissimilar to mine! She was finding every little puddle on the pavement and stomping her back paws to make a splash. Apparently this was utterly hilarious to her!

Back at Debbi and Ryan's house, I got to enjoy a great time playing with Ryan in the garden. Then I got my dinner - in a green bowl that belongs to the hissing furballs! I hope I don't start meowing now!

2 photos - one of me standing face to face with Kes on the wet green grass. Kes is a Lab x retriever - slightly bigger than me. We were poised ready to play a great game of chase!
The other pic is of me in harness greeting the three golden lab girlies. Willow in the foreground is very distinctive with her little black patch by one ear.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Leggy Lurcher...

Bacon for breakfast. Yellow sticks for lunch. Sausages AND chicken for dinner. That's what THEY all had. What did I get? NONE OF IT! Harrrruuuumph!

Aaaallll these humanfriends gathered together for all these delectable yummies and for EEEEEndless yacketying and humanhowling. The best I got was a bit of hoovering of their messiness.

I did, however, get to meet up with my girlie. Poor Lilly was tied up to a post outside. I managed to get out to have a good kissy-kissy-canoodling session with her. Even though she is a very well behaved Labrador, she isn't a Guide Dog, so she is not allowed inside places where I get to go with Mummy. Maybe this working malarkey is worth doing!

I also got to enjoy a wonderful freerun along the towpath where I met up with a few passing pooch pals. One particular set were great fun; a pair of Springer Spaniels and a Leggy Lurcher. We all enjoyed a super few minutes of romping and chasing. I couldn't keep up with Leggy Lurcher though. Wow did she rocket fast!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Yack, Yack and Flippin' more Yackety Yacketing!

Another car. Another long car ride. (Dad got my car-bra on right this time! Much more comfy!). A day of human non-stop yacketying all around a big table (nice humans though - humanfriends we haven't seen for a while). I snoozed under the table and managed to sneak up and make a couple of them jump when my wet nose touched them! Heehee! A couple of lovely, if a bit quick, freeruns along the towpath. (We've been here before - a long time ago - I remember it!) As I ran along the towpath past some familiar friends' floatyboatyhomes, I heard my buddy Lilly Labrador barking from inside her green floatyboatyhome. I tried to get to her but the doors were firmly shut. Maybe tomorrow we can meet properly?. I did have a brief meet n greet with a fellow Labrador named Flora. An evening of more human yacketying and a bit of hoovering for me! One nice humanfriend even gave me a carrot! Thank you Catherine! Mmmmmm!

Now we are in a humankennelblock and I've got a chewbar to work on!

Photo of me lying on a grey and speckled carpet with my front paws splayed out, munching on a rawhide chewstick.