Sunday, 22 January 2012

Our first Schnauzer Walk

Rodders was barking the house down just after 7am so I came down to let him out in to the garden.

Once back in he was happy to play but kept barking again. I wondered if it was because he was hungry so I gave him the last of the open tin of id diet and he wolfed that down. He did start to eat it by himself but then he stood back and barked at the dish so I went and held the dish. He almost licked the plate clean so I thought he was still hungry and made up some kibble. He sniffed it and walked away so I put it down to see if he would go back to it. He did eventually but he only ate a small amount of it.

He still seems to be barking a lot and I have no idea what at, I really hope that he isn't doing this while I am at work and that he isn't upsetting the neighbours.

When I went up to get washed and dressed he stayed downstairs initially but then followed me up. And then disappeared again so I knew that he had stolen something. For the first time he actually brought it back and it was only my slipper.

Once I was dressed I had to leave him at home while I went to do food shopping. He is really funny with food shopping, as long as he can put his nose in the bags to check what is there he is happy to go off and leave me to put the shopping away, if I try to stop him doing it he won't leave me to get on.

Rodders seemed to realise that something was going on as I started to sort out the things I needed to take with me today as we head off on our first Schnauzer walk and he would hardly leave my side. By the time I was stuffing things in to the pockets of my dog walking jacket he was almost doing somersaults! He was very excited to get out of the house and barked at some of our neighbours as we made our way to the car.

Schnauzer walks are organised by people on the forum. Someone local to the walk will have checked it out and made sure that there is sufficient parking, a tea room and a decent off road walk and then suggest it. Anyone is welcome to come and join us and can bring friends, family and dogs - they don't have to be Schnauzers but anything else can expect to be out numbered! Today's walk was at Bocketts Farm, just outside Dorking in Surrey. Luckily I had already checked the directions as the forum has been down since last night. Dean, one of the admin team was trying to do an upgrade and he seems to have broken it! As he was coming on today's walk he didn't have time to fix it. There are other walks today in Wales, the North West and Dorset too, so there are lots of Schnauzers out and about.

Rodders was really good in the car but he did make one bark just before I came off the M25. We were a bit early so I stopped in a car park about a mile from our destination (thinking I was in the right place but realising I wasn't when nobody else joined me) to give him a walk about and let him have a piddle for twenty minutes. I then put him back in the car and checked further up the road.

As we pulled in to the (right) car park we could see people and Schnauzers across the road. I let Rodders out of his crate and popped his lead on, almost straight away he spotted them and started to pull in their direction. But once we were across the road he seemed overwhelmed and didn't want to cross the small bridge to join them so I gently encouraged him and he made it after a few moments. Straight away other Schnauzers were greeting him and he seemed to be OK. As he was the youngest there most people could guess who he was and I had already met a couple of them at the Schnauzer grooming day in November so we were all soon chatting. A few more people joined us and then we started to head off for our walk.

I started Rodders off on his normal lead and then swapped to his extendable lead but that proved to be problematic. Rodders was so desperate to be up there with the big boys and girls that he was weaving his way through people and his lead was in danger of tripping people up. Jeanette, who organised today's walk, said that he would be fine off lead as they tend to stick together and there were enough people around to help catch him if he didn't come back. So, with my heart in my mouth, I unclipped him. He was so happy to be able to run off and keep up with the other dogs and I soon got used to the fact that he was just following the pack and wasn't in any danger.

We did have to round them all up as a car passed us (unheard of down here usually apparently), and we were passed by a cyclist and some horses but generally the dogs were able to run free with Rodders chasing them and trying to keep up.

We stopped for a breather at the top of a hill with a nice view and then again at some fallen logs for a photo opportunity. Rodders did get bowled over by a Standard Schnauzer a couple of times so they both had to go back on lead for a little while until we could separate them.

Rodders found out that he likes to eat horse poo and was happy stopping to sniff whatever the other dogs did. He did his usual and stopped when he got anything stuck to him and ended up quite happily letting anyone near stop and pull them off if I wasn't close enough.

He did follow a couple of dogs off the track. They came back when called but he panicked and couldn't see his way out. As I was going in to get him out Michel, Jeanette's husband, encouraged him through some shrubbery.

He did sit a few times to look around and came racing to me when I called him. When he seemed tired I picked him up to carry him for a little while but very soon he was wriggling to get down.

There was a lot of discussion over Rodders colour, most people assumed he is black and silver, rather than pepper and salt, I don't really care! But he is meant to be pepper and salt. There were also a few people that wanted to kidnap (or should that be dognap?) him as everyone thought he was very cute.

Two hours later we arrived back at Bocketts Farm and headed to the Tea Room. Yvonne held Rodders so that I could go and get a cuppa, when I came back out Rodders was happily sitting on her daughters knee - until he spotted me and was wriggling to get down and come to me! He was still fascinated by the other dogs, especially when they were barking or playing. For a puppy that likes to bark he hardly made any noise today!

All too soon it was time to head home with a tired but happy puppy. He didn't make a sound in the car and he must have been asleep as he wasn't too bothered about getting out when I pulled up outside.

When we came in he went straight to his water bowl and then wanted his tea. Since then he has been asleep most of the time although he did come in to the kitchen with me while I cooked dinner. I could do with him eating another bowl of kibble as he hasn't had that much today.

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