Saturday, 10 December 2011

A tiring day for Rodders (& me!)

When I went upstairs to dry my hair Rodders came too and sat right beside me on the bed. He stayed there while I got dressed but gave a squeak or two when I left him on his own while I got something from another room.

When we came downstairs he asked for something to eat so I gave him a bowl of kibble. He ate most of it and then asked to go in to the garden. I took the opportunity to load the car and scrape the frost off it. Luckily he was so busy pottering about the garden he didn't miss me.

Rodders and I left home just after 9.30am to go to my sister's house in Houghton. He wasn't happy in the car to start with, settled down and then started whinging again about half way. I have no idea why he has started to do this.

Once we got to Houghton he was happy to get out of the car and trotted down the lane to Kirsty's quite happily. Sue was already there with the Christmas Cards she needed us all to sign. These are for friends of Mum's that we keep in contact with.

Finnan didn't seem too happy to see Rodders but she tolerated him in her house but she did grizzle at him a few times and snapped once.

Rodders asked to go out in to the garden so I popped on his extendable lead. Everyone followed us out and we had a look at all the work that has been done to clear the garden. Just cutting back the shrubbery on one border has reclaimed about 8-10 foot of garden! Apparently they cooked baked potatoes in the fire when they were burning a pile of rubbish earlier in the week. There is still a lot to do though, but a good start has been made.

Rodders was happy following Finnan around and she seems to tolerate him better outside.

The charity Kirsty works for were doing a duck race in St Ives today and she was on duty for a while. Sue couldn't stay for it but we decided to take the dogs. She dropped us off in St Ives so that we could walk back. This was the first time that Rodders has been in a car without his crate and he didn't seem very happy about it and so he stayed very still between me and the side of the car.

As we walked towards Kirsty's office Rodders attracted a fair amount of attention and we were stopped by another mini schnauzer owner. His is a year old and as shy of people as Rodders is although it gets walked through the town daily. Once we got to her office I stayed outside with both dogs sitting at my feet while she went to get her corporate jacket. A few people stopped to talk to us including someone who's parents have a mini schnauzer. I did have to keep reminding Rodders to sit but he was fairly good.

The charity had sold 53 ducks to locals businesses, the local boat yard provided a decorated boat to take them downstream to the launch site and the Mayor was expected to start the race. We all met up at the town bridge to wait for the mayor and the boat to arrive and there were lots of people around feeding the real ducks and swans. Rodders was fascinated by the noise the birds were making and sat on the quay wall. I was worried that he would jump in so I moved him to the top of the stone steps. He was happy to sit here and watch and it was quite warm standing in the sun.

The boat arrived, covered in tinsel, balls and a parrot! The contestants got loaded in and they made their way downstream. The mayor arrived and we all made our way on to the bridge and watched the start. Unfortunately the wind direction had changed and they all made their way to the bank! The guys on the boat rounded them up and it was decided to restart a little closer to the bridge, out of the way of the meadow and the inlet to the hotel so they were more sheltered. While they did this Kirsty left Finnan with me and nipped in to the bridge chapel to light a candle for Granny who used to live just the other side of the bridge.

At the second attempt the ducks were off to a flying start. Twenty minutes later we were back on the quay to see the winning duck home, it had led almost from the start and has won it's company a day paint balling. Not bad for £20 sponsorship!

While we were standing about Rodders got to meet several more dogs and people, he also got to drink out of a puddle some children made by using the hand pump.

Kirtsy and I left everyone else to round up the last of the ducks and headed through the town towards the Thicket. This would be a first for Rodders but something I used to do on every school day for many years as this path goes between the village we grew up in and St Ives where our secondary school was. It passes through a nature reserve and there are just walkers and bikes to look out for most of the way.

Once we were out of the town I swapped Rodders on to his extendable lead to give him some more freedom. He didn't seem to be bothered that Finnan was off lead and spent most of the time just trotting along sniffing about and then running to catch us up. If he was being a little slow I gave him a shout and he came each time. I'm still not brave enough to let him off though!

The closer we got to the Houghton end the more Rodders realised that there were fields to explore and he was getting a bit more defiant. He did squeak a couple of times as though to say "can't I go and chase this nice smell, I don't want to come with you yet". He also had another drink from a nice muddy puddle or two!

He doesn't like having any shrubbery caught in his legs and just sits down and waits for me to go back to him to remove it.

He was very good when we needed to stop and wait for walkers and cyclists to come past us. He also got to meet another couple of dogs.

We were now in the actual road, although it isn't very busy at this end we still had to get Finnan and Rodders to sit and wait while a couple of vehicles came past us. We walked right up to the clock tower before we swapped back to the normal lead.

It is only a short walk from here back to Kirsty's cottage. As soon as we got in Rodders started barking so I gave him a couple of treats to keep him quiet. Both dogs then got a crisp packet after Kirsty and I had a quick snack and a cuppa.

After another run around the garden it was time for us to head off home. Rodders was so tired he wasn't bothered about going back in the car and didn't make a sound all the way home.

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