Dog Blog #29 – A Bid for Freedom…?

This week it was one of those ‘special’ birthdays for me, which meant quite a bit of celebrating – and I don’t think it has quite finished yet either in terms of family dining. P made the most amazing cake and J organised a surprise get-together with our closest friends on Saturday night which was great fun.

I was also involved with some online training during the days on the weekend so I missed the treks around the forest with Margot as well as her escape act whilst we had friends over. Thank goodness for kindly neighbours (who don’t post accusatory comments on social media)!

The Doorbell Rings

As you will have seen from all the previous photos posted on this blog, we are happy to let Margot run about in the garden and explore the flowerbeds, even though she sometimes prunes the branches rather more than we would like. With the temperatures warming up over the past few weeks, I am able to type away at my laptop in the kitchen (so much for working upstairs in the study, which hasn’t materialised to much) and leave the French doors open for our pup to venture in and out as she pleases.

For the most part it works – that is, until she brings in a rock from the garden or one of her toys we have deemed as now ‘an outside one’ which is covered with dirt. It’s fair to say that when the sun peeps out from behind the clouds, Margot is out there like a shot sunbathing on the patio. I can’t really blame her. Can you get dog sun loungers on the internet?

So, on the weekend, as I mentioned before, J had organised some friends to come over for dinner on Saturday evening. With extra children and one adult absolute animal lover, Margot was in her element, running about and interacting with our guests.

We always keep the back gate carefully shut with two latches pulled across, but with the extra people coming and going, someone must have been a bit careless. On Sunday morning I was plugged into my Airpods sitting in on a virtual training session – imagine my surprise when I went downstairs during a break to discover that I had missed out on all the excitement.

Apparently, H our neighbour had rung on the doorbell with Margot in tow. Our pup had been living her best life by wandering over the various front gardens without a care in the world. Probably enjoying her freedom being out and about without anyone telling her what to do or pulling on the other end of the lead.

I thank our lucky stars for a number of factors: she didn’t run any further away without her collar and ID tag on; we live at the end of a cul-de-sac which is very quiet in terms of traffic; we have bumped into H a few times on our walks so Margot must have recognised her; it was H who noticed that she was running free and our pup followed the instruction to come when our kindly neighbour asked her to. J was adamant that Margot could only have been out the front for a matter of minutes, but thinking about what could have been is scary all the same. I’ve been checking that gate really carefully ever since…

Puppy Play

I’ve noticed recently that Margot enjoys chewing on the rubber surf shoes at the same time as trying to push a tennis ball along the kitchen floor. As with anything, practice makes perfect – although far from perfect yet, she is becoming more adept each time she gives it a go.

Yesterday I was sat on the floor next to her mat and it looked as though she was inviting me to a game of tennis. No sooner had she pushed the ball towards me, then I rolled it back. She caught it in her mouth and returned her shot. The photos don’t really show how carefully Margot stopped the ball each time and nudged it with her nose. I was pretty impressed overall.

Should dogs chew on sticks?

I remember right back to the first time we met Margot all those months ago and the breeder told us that it wasn’t a good idea for dogs to chew sticks because of the splinters they could get in their mouth and gums. They also said that ‘fetch’ with a stick wasn’t the best game to play outdoors either.

As ever, the internet is full of conflicting advice, much of which reiterates that wood and sticks can be a possible danger to dogs. My brother’s previous dog used to pick up the biggest branch he could find on a walk and carry it around with him. Other walkers had to be careful not to be wiped out if they were close by. Otherwise there weren’t any other issues.

Fortunately, Margot doesn’t seem that interested in picking up sticks while out on a walk (just anything plastic instead) so it’s only those in the garden she has chewed off from the trees and plants that we need to be wary of. The ‘leave’ and ‘drop’ commands remain a work in progress.

More Walking Woes

I was sad to miss the treks through the forest on the weekend. Margot is always very well behaved when out walking with J. A couple of times this week she has ignored my commands when off the lead. I was also surprised when I blew the whistle that she initially came straight back, but disappeared off again immediately. Whatever it was on the common was distracting her so much that it worried me and I’m afraid she was back on the lead. I suspect I need to reinforce my commands again and go back to the beginning as there are occasions when she won’t even sit correctly. Perhaps she is hitting that elusive teenager age when I’m told they forget everything you have taught them…

There’s one thing picking up a stick, but you can see in the pictures above that our pup has a huge clod of horse poo in her mouth. Here’s where I wish she had followed the command to drop because she was walking with it in her mouth like that for about ten minutes. And past quite a few other people. What must they have thought? Seriously, what is the attraction?

Margot says…

The best place to lie in the sun is in the garden on the patio. Sometimes it gets a bit hot and I have to go back inside, but at the moment it’s my favourite place.

We met up with my friend Patch again today. He’s so much fun to chase as he can run fast. I can almost keep up with him with my boundless energy. I hope he enjoys the playing as much as I do. He does seem to.

Being Cute

Next week… Catching flies and why do dogs shake themselves when they aren’t wet?

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4 responses to “Dog Blog #29 – A Bid for Freedom…?”

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