VICTOR TEIXEIRA – LMDI
After 3 months of lockdown, with more or less restrictions depending on where you’re reading this from, you’d be forgiven for not recognising your previous life – or yourself for that matter. Some of us have changed jobs (and industries), some have gone back to studying, others have learnt new skills. The more active amongst us have utilised this newly found free time and developed strengths forgotten in previous lives, the more placid have spent countless hours in front of the telly or the computer screen. But there is also a type of people who missed the outdoors and treasured any opportunity to enjoy it, sometimes creating those opportunities where they didn’t actually exist. And within this group you will find dog owners.
As much as walking our dogs is an enjoyable, healthy and freeing experience, I doubt that a single dog owner has loved every single outing; at times, particularly when it’s really cold or really hot or really wet, walking our pooches becomes a chore like any other. Especially when we’re rushing to go to work and our dogs won’t do “their thing” or they’re enjoying themselves so much that they flatly refuse to go home… it becomes stressful. But not since lockdown…
The internet has been inundated with jokes and memes of people practically forcing their dogs to go on yet another walk. Any excuse to get out of the house.
Of course for this you have to have a dog in the first place; or borrow one…
Welcome to June’s DogBlog (Part 1):
Lukas Carballo – with Stella (12 weeks old)
Dogs are not only for lockdown…
We did plan to get a puppy last year, we decided not to go on summer holidays in 2020 and book different weeks’ leave at work in July and August, a total of just over 8 weeks to be able to train our girl and give her the best start possible.
I don’t need to go into detail about what happened last March; with lockdown in place we both agreed to try to find a puppy earlier. After days of searching with the Kennel Club we found Stella in Wales; we were over the moon, our dream of having a dog was becoming a reality. We wanted to follow every single rule about adopting a puppy but we couldn’t, we couldn’t visit her and her mum but we did video call every day with the breeder, Paul; we saw them all, mum and pups.
Paul is a Kennel Club Assured Breeder and he guided us through the whole process, all very professional and after so many video calls we became friends. The day Stella was ready to come and live with us, 10 weeks old, we couldn’t go and pick her up, Wales had different rules about travelling. Paul had to drive all the way to London to “deliver” our bundle of joy. What a day, our lives changed for the best and we couldn’t be happier, loads of work going on and even more ahead but well worth it, we love Stella. ❤️❤️
Our only advice about adopting a puppy during Covid 19 is that dogs are not only for lockdown, they are for life.
Alistair Ross-Stewart – with Maggie, Max, Logan, Prince, Miller, Sapphire, Summer, Ruby, Lilly, Dolly, Daisy, Monty, Maisie and wee Bella Bee (14 of them – from 6 months to 10 years old)
Dogs in a pack
I’m the owner of fourteen dogs. One stays with my mother-in-law. They are all white West Highland terriers. Our life is often hectic and our daily routine revolves around the dogs’ routine. At the start of the day we get up and let all the dogs out in the garden, then it’s breakfast time. We have a rescue and he has to eat separately not because he is aggressive but because he gets wet food mixed with dry or he won’t eat. The rest have ten bowls of dry food between them.
We also breed our dogs from time to time so just now we have a litter of seven puppies which are in a separate room with mum and the radio on; we have to weigh them daily to make sure there is steady growth within the litter and no one is missing out on a feed. They are two weeks old today so they will start worming today. Our eldest dog is 10 this year and has been spayed. Our youngest is six months and teething at the moment. She is toilet-trained and only has the odd accident these days. She is at the stubborn stage and likes to hide under the caravan in the driveway when it’s time to come in. We then manage to have our breakfast and coffee. Then it’s off to shower and get ready for the daily walk. I take six out and when I come back my partner takes six out and I then go out with the puppy. In the afternoon the dogs tend to sleep and we get on with chores and gardening or decorating. We check the puppies on a puppy camera we have set up in the room.
Around 5pm it’s dinner time and down go the bowls for all to eat; same routine – our rescue eating separately. We have a big bowl down at all times for them to graze during the day. After dinner they all have a run in the garden before settling down for the evening. Then it’s bed time and the routine starts again the next day. Same routine, corona or no corona. We have the mother-in-law come stay when we are both at work so they are always covered.
They all have different characters and we have a mum, dad and son and a mum and daughter. They know how to wind you up. We know who is barking without looking. They all have their own individuality within the pack and want for nothing. It’s West Highland heaven most of the time.
Louise Clark Jones – Eric (6 months old)
Heartbreak and Happiness
On the 16th November 2019 our precious Little Lucky was killed in a tragic accident; he was just 7 years old.
Little Lucky with those gorgeous, kohl lined eyes.
He was a happy little boy who loved cuddles and his ball, he left behind 3 year old Jessie whom he adopted as his own when we brought her home as a puppy; they were inseparable and he taught her very well.
It wasn’t only my husband and I who were lost without him, Jessie was bereft; she became withdrawn and quiet, her tail did not wag as it should have done. Owing to me commuting to another city weekly to study at university, we had decided to hang on until April 2020 to bring another dog into our family; we really needed time to grieve for our lost little boy too.
Eric came home aged 11 weeks on 28th February 2020, he is half Scottie, half Westie, (personally, I think this is wrong: I think he is closely related to Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards: he is fearless and comes down the stairs 5 at a time skiing along the floor when he lands if he misses Jessie’s head); his grandfather was Jessie’s dad. They both came from Westieworld in Canterbury, Kent, whom I highly recommend. We couldn’t bear to watch our lonely girl pine for Little Lucky any longer, we thought she would take baby Eric under her paw and show him the ropes as Lucky had done her… Let’s just say she won’t be winning mother or big sister of the year any time soon. She was quite disgusted at our new ray of mayhem. If anything positive has come out of Covid-19 in my household, it’s that owing to the university closing I was only absent the second week of Eric’s homecoming and so have been able to establish some form, I mention loosely, of home-schooling for him and cajole Jessie into tolerating him.
Jessie has become used to her little brother, she will play with him, chasing him round the garden and playing tug of war but I must admit her favourite game is holding him down until he squeaks. She has taught him how to chase rabbits and squirrels while out on our walks, she leads him into the woods on a hunt only to scoot back to us leaving him to a solo pursuit; he sometimes comes back 10 minutes later when called but often it takes me standing in a field singing happy birthday for him to return always minus a trophy. Happy Birthday is his favourite song, don’t ask because I just don’t know, it happened out of the blue and it works! If Jessie hadn’t alerted us to Eric doing a fine impersonation of an otter in the middle of the golf course pond displaying a deep water warning or the fact he had managed to escape our Fort Knox garden into the neighbouring field, I’d swear she was trying to lose him permanently in said woods!
Nothing ever prepares you for the loss of your pets, it hurts like hell. The old cliché “you don’t replace them” is not strictly true or by now I’d have an African Savannah equivalent living in my modest 3-bedroom abode, or worse, no pets at all. It is the personality, the life you shared with that individual animal, that is unreplaceable. I will always treasure the time I had with my much loved Little Lucky, my little foster boy Jerry, my darling Archie and the gentlest of all beasts, Bambi, my family dog whilst growing up, all of whom now crossed over Rainbow Bridge. For now, I will cherish the pair those gone by have made room for; my bonnie lassie Jessie and my very own coronial – the birthday boy himself, baby Eric. Stay safe pets and pet parents, lots of love and paws from mummy Loulou, Jessie and Eric xxxx.
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