Dog Blog #25 – She’s Eight Months Old

This week our pup passed the eight-month threshold. Margot remains as excitable and bouncy as ever (except for the times she is passed out in a deep sleep) so there is not much chance of her calming down any time soon. This morning I crossed paths with one of the lovely gents I have walked Margot with before. I hope that she recognised him and was feeling particularly excited because she hasn’t jumped up that much at anyone in weeks.

At this point it was suggested to me that we might want to change from puppy food to a kibble for junior dogs. (The 15kg bag of Ava puppy food we have from Pets at Home on subscription is ready to go in the garage so we may have to wait another month…) However, the comment did make me think and consult the oracle when I got home to research it further.

There is indeed a junior dog food within the Ava range, which can be given from eight months, but online I could only find one for large breeds. Which our petite labradoodle is definitely not. The mind boggles. Still, it’s something to think about in the coming weeks. (When it is put to you that your pup may be trying to expel excess energy from the puppy food, it certainly gives food for thought – pardon the pun.)

This week it is back to the school routine with a slight change: I’m trying to spend more time working upstairs. The idea is that it will give me a chance to focus back on my writing, do some work on the PC in the study and encourage Margot to be more independent and to get some more sleep. More on this below.

Woodlands Wander

Last weekend we were scratching about for somewhere new to walk our pup. Having discovered that Margot’s recall is pretty good on the whole (especially with the whistle), we like to look for places where there are opportunities to take her off the lead so that she can trot about at her own speed and sniff the undergrowth. Footpaths and wooded areas seem to work well as long as they aren’t bordering farms with a high number of animals.

Using our OS map app to plot out a route, which I would highly recommend if you like walking, we decided to explore some woodland in and around the next village we had not stepped foot in before. We came unstuck at the first hurdle by not following the route to the letter and ended up walking along the side of a road, albeit a quiet, country lane as you can see in one of the pictures above.

The footpaths into the woods on the map turned out to be non-starters too, so we had to take a detour in another direction. The beginnings of the bluebells was a welcome sight, the field full of sheep and their newly-born lambs not so much, especially when you have an excitable puppy in tow, even on a short lead with a two-point harness. Instead, we turned tail, chalked that walk up to experience and wandered around the village green for a bit.

Being Cosy

I mentioned in a previous post that our pup doesn’t really like cuddles, but she is using every opportunity she can to cosy up to P, which is really sweet. Perhaps she is making up for lost time. She’s also very affectionate when I let her out of the crate in the morning when the other two have left the house for school, circling and nuzzling me whilst I stroke her back or tickle her tummy.

Back to our Favourite Walk in the Forest

After the unsuccessful walk we had tried to plan the previous day, we decided to go back to the forest for the next one. We met a pointer cross female who played beautifully with Margot. They chased each other around and around at full speed, which looked so much fun. Once we felt like she had had enough, J used the whistle, wondering if she would respond whilst being involved with the highest level of distraction. When our pup ran over immediately after the high-pitched toot, the other dog walkers were really impressed, saying that her recall was really good for her age. I admit to feeling rather proud at their comment.

New Routines

With the start of the new summer term, I was determined that I would get back to my writing projects and submissions, which means using my PC upstairs in the study. And leaving Margot downstairs on her own for a couple of hours at a time – with a long walk in between and breaks outside in the garden.

Feeling gulity about leaving her on her own – ridiculous, I know – I spent half an hour playing with Margot before letting her outside in the garden for a wee, coating the edges of furniture and the walls with apple spray and taking my leave. She had free run of the dining room and the hallway, but I made sure that the kitchen door was closed. Exactly the same as during the night. What could possibly go wrong?

To be honest, I didn’t hear a peep from her so she must’ve been asleep for quite a bit of the time and although the pictures below show a sea of fluff, it’s only from the polar bear we picked up from a charity shop on the weekend. A couple of minutes to collect it up and restuff the toy was all it needed to redress the mess. That’s one of her favourite activities – to pull out the stuffing from soft toys, so she must have been living her best life, or certainly one like it.

The following day I went upstairs for a couple of hours in the afternoon. After a long walk, Margot was very quiet so again must have been asleep for much of that time. To be honest, I still feel guilty, but once we both get used to this new routine, everyone’s a winner.

Back to our Usual Walking Pattern

Along with our new routine inside the house, we are back to our previous haunts on our walks when it is just the two of us during the week. Near to the common on Monday, we bumped into a new dog walker we’d not met before. He seemed enchanted by Margot’s overexuberance and said what a lovely dog she was. It was a very welcome compliment in contrast to the looks of amusement and sympathy from the many drivers who passed her splooting on the grass next to the road and refusing to move. Perhaps she was a traffic warden in a previous life…

Flaked out in the Sunshine

I’ve been lucky with the weather for much of this week. There’s been a very cold wind at times, but also spells of sunshine and warmer temperatures. Margot loves being in the garden and has been lying on the grass as well as the patio to soak up the rays and have a rest. (The picture of her on the patio looks like a shadow or one of those silhouettes you find in a crime scene.)

I’m sure that the grass is cooler on her stomach. By the way, can dogs suffer from sunburn? Do black dogs get hotter in the summer months due to the colour of their fur? I would assume so, but Margot certainly seems to be enjoying the warm sunshine this week.

Margot says…

Margot says…

I’m really enjoying spending time in the garden at the moment. It’s warm and there are lots of green shoots everywhere for me to chew on. Each time I go outside there are new sticks on the grass for me to split into smaller pieces. I don’t know who puts them there.

In the woods where we walk I have noticed some different coloured flowers appearing. Green is still my favourite though. I like to munch on blades of grass as well as lying down on it. The best is when it’s all damp because I find it cooling and I get a little drink too. Or there’s always the puddles to get water from.

No pictures of Margot asleep this week as she has started taking herself off to the crate in the day for a nap – and I have been upstairs.

Next week… Will the new working routine continue?

4 responses to “Dog Blog #25 – She’s Eight Months Old”

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