Dog Blog #28 – To reign, to rain or terrain?

This weekend it was the King’s Coronation, which was both a huge historical event and a wonderful spectacle. We enjoyed the ceremony inside and outside Westminster Abbey as well as the celebratory concert at Windsor Castle on the Sunday evening. I’d like to say that Margot was as glued to the television screen as we were, but sadly not. (I think she found the concert too noisy because she moved closer to the door rather than lie flat on her mat.)

We have been beginning to plan how to spend our summer holiday and where we might want to go to venture a bit further afield, this time with our pup in tow. It’s not as easy as you might think. We are getting there – six weeks is a long time to stay at home and pound the same residential streets or forest footpaths. There is the whole county of Dorset to explore – with the tourist world and his wife – but we are also keen to try a short trip away and stay in some dog-friendly accommodation for the first time. It certainly promises to be different.

Social (Media) Faux Pas

Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt blamed for something that wasn’t your fault? And then having conflicting feelings directly afterwards: one of overwhelming guilt, even though you were totally innocent of the ‘crime’, and secondly, incensed that others might therefore think badly of you? It’s worse when your children are accused of something they swear blindly they weren’t responsible for. And now there’s resposibility for the dog’s actions thrown into the mix aswell…

In our local community there are a few Facebook groups – you know the ones I mean: those that people can post on when certain roads are closed, when there’s an offer too good to miss at Morrison’s or a dog is on the loose. They are usually really helpful, particularly if you are after recommendations for a local builder, plumber or garage to service your car. Occasionally, members use the forum to vent about their frustrations, which I don’t really agree with, especially when it becomes personal. But that’s social media for you.

Imagine my horror then when I received a screenshot from my friendly neighbour, with the following post: ‘To the owner of Margot, the dog, please keep your dog on a lead in PP as she clearly enjoys approaching runners. I was that runner in the park today and despite your calling she persisting (sic) in barking and licking me. She only went back to you when I stopped running and commanded her to do so. I could so easily have been tripped up, hurting myself and your dog.’ My neighbour wondered if this was referring to our pup and suggested we ask to have the post removed.

My first reaction was worrying about whether Margot had jumped up at any runners recently – could there any truth in this post at all? But I haven’t taken her to this location for a walk since before Christmas and even then it was before we were even letting her off the lead. I knew it couldn’t be us for other reasons too: she doesn’t bark and we always call her back and put her on the lead whenever we see anyone walking, running or cycling in the distance.

Ridiculous I know, yet I still felt a sense of guilt that this was my fault as well as surprise that there was another dog named Margot in our local area. Furthermore, there was the concern about what other people might think. How many people we know could be part of this group and might now be thinking badly of us all if they had seen this post? Hopefully, not that many. I wanted to write a comment absolving us from this social faux pas, but I’m not a member of this particular group. Probably just as well – there’s not much point adding any fuel to the fire. (My neighbour made me laugh though by suggesting her own post in response: ‘To the person whose cat ran across the road when I was driving my car…’)

Heading Upstairs?

To prevent Margot from running up the stairs and exploring the bedrooms on the level above, those of you who are regular readers will know that we have a stairgate across the hallway to prevent such events. Occasionally, when we are travelling in the car, we go out the front door and have started doing so without using the lead. This weekend, our pup made a run for it, reached the landing and then didn’t know where to go next. It all happened so quickly I failed to photograph her bid for freedom or her chance to explore – maybe next time, if there is one.

Holiday Ideas – is she a well-behaved dog?

Taking a dog on holiday with you requires quite a bit of research in terms of finding dog-friendly accommodation in a location you all want to explore. I always thought I would choose to opt for somewhere new each time we went away with so much world out there to navigate. However, there is much to be said in returning to familiarity, especially with so much unfamiliarity on the horizon in taking our pup away for the first time.

Therefore we have provisionally booked an Airbnb house in a place we have been to before so that already we can plan the best places to take Margot out for the day. We have paid a deposit, and we can still change our minds, but I don’t suspect we will. The most important question we have been asked so far: ‘Is she a well-behaved dog?’ We’re hardly likely to say no to this, but we will have take her crate with us and watch her at all times! And it’s still three months away so she’s bound to have calmed down by then anyway – won’t she? I’ll keep you posted.

Spring/Summer Plants and Walking in the Rain

The British are known for talking about the weather – it’s been changeable again this week. Back to wellies and waterproofs, we returned to the forest together to see the bracken beginning to unfurl and the blossom falling from the trees a bit like snow. Over the last few years we have become wary of brushing up against bracken because of the high number of ticks possibly harboured inside the fronds. There is a large deer population in this part of the world. The tick tool we have is brilliant at removing the critters, but it’s still a concern if you find one attached to your skin.

I anticipate having to remove quite a few from Margot this summer although the medication she is taking to combat ticks and fleas should help. She does love running about in the long grass and amongst the ferns though so I do hope the tick treatment works. Apparently, dogs can catch Lyme disease just like humans – something else to worry about.

Margot says…

It’s been a good week. Not a lot has changed, apart from the weather. One minute the door to the garden is left open and I can come and go as I please and lie out in the sunny patches. The next there is a sudden downpour of rain and I’m stuck indoors. I’m not quite as fussy about going out in the rain as I was, but I still don’t like my fur getting wet. There’s not much you can do though if there is a heavy shower whilst we are already out and about.

Next week… our first five-day week in a while.

4 responses to “Dog Blog #28 – To reign, to rain or terrain?”

  1. It can be frustrating and disheartening to be blamed for something you didn’t do, especially when it involves your dog. Social media can amplify misunderstandings and lead to unnecessary guilt and worry.


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