Next few days it is all about Roger in my household. I didn’t realise until a few days ago that 21st July is approaching very fast. This will be always my special date as 21st July 2015 Roger came to my life as my pet. You can read more about how he planned to be my dog in a post: stories about the team.
He is a rescue who changed my life and finally I feel I am on good path feeling happy. As a rescue, he had a lot of behaviour problems including worst ever separation anxiety (he wouldn’t stay for 30sec by himself). I felt really bad about all that and especially knowing that one day I need to go back to do my full-time job. Luckily, when I took him I didn’t work so we had plenty time to train. I started from day one. I was hoping to teach him to stay in the crate, he totally refused and as we know it just doesn’t work for some dogs.
So we gave up on a crate, but I kept it so he knew it is his space if ever we go on holidays together then it will travel with us. Eventually, we progressed from the 30 seconds staying alone to more time. I gradually increased the time for him to be left alone, but I kept training him all day long. He chewed and collected all my clothes or shoes. I felt bad but I wanted to make sure he is ready.
A month later he wasn’t but I needed to go back to work. Somehow we managed. Then we have moved to a lovely flat and this has totally changed the game. Roger relaxed more and was one chilled dog. I found dog walker so he could walk him during lunch time. Two years later I see all that was so worth it. Roger stays at home for max up 7h without chewing or destroying the house (usually he stays max 5h alone). I have also started watching him on camera, while I am at work and he just sleeps and barks at strangers at the corridor. Super proud of him. Ohhh I should have mentioned exercised dog= tired dog= no problem to stay alone.
So we were back to Blairadam Forest for some social run with friends. As Laferra is “in heat” and it is all about Roger week, it was a perfect choice, as I mentioned before he just loves it. A nice wee 6km jaunt around was just a great fun.It was all about the start and stop and a lot of water stops due to very high temperature. I still think it was better than the day before when it was very humid.
All girls dogs’ owners have this problem. Once or twice a year bitches are in heat if not spayed. A personal decision: I am going to spey Laferra as when she is fully grown so still some time to wait for that. However, until then we need to deal with her hormones jumping up and down and make sure she is away from male dogs. This is the time that I started to think even more about canicross and how thankful I am to find it. This is the only way to exercise Laferra and get rid of her energy. Nothing like a big training, just small short 2km jaunt around the park. She is safe with me and has time to enjoy time running. A problem at home?! Yeah, girls can be messy, I spend 5 pounds on adjustable and washable female pet pantie (Amazon). I think that money was the best money I have ever spend.
You would think she looks awful. She doesn’t and actually it is great to keep the mess away from my carpets. Also, it comes in different colours and patterns and even better: she doesn’t try to take it off. I would definitely recommend those to any female dog owners.
My rest weekend turned into MTB weekend and rest for dogs. Friday I have spent riding my bike around Glentress with Dirt School, which was awesome and a big boost for my MTB ego. I have been eaten by midgies and really suffering now, but sudocream does the magic.
The weekend brought an exciting trip to a new destination, where I took my bike only. It was Yair Forest. I was gutted that Laferra couldn’t come as this place… Wow amazing and very quiet. but also not many sheep around. This forest is near Selkirk and has proper climbs for MTB. No shame in walking, right? Located just an hour away from Edinburgh, near Innerleithen and Glentress is a very nice treat for a new adventure.
It totally pushed me out of my comfort zone and those single tracks proved me that my hard work on MTB technique is worth. I didn’t manage to go off the bike at all. Nice day off and wee break away from dogs and my usual weekend’s routine. I am going back there for sure.
Time off- dog free evenings
I love my dogs a lot but sometimes I need a rest from them and focus just on me.
I started doing meditation and it helped me to clear head and be relaxed. This week our Yoga teacher decided to move the class outside. What an amazing idea that was.
It happened in Holyrood Park, the temperature was high so a lot of people, but we managed to hear birds and it was just spot on what I need after a busy day at work. Also, remember Yin Yoga increases your flexibility and as I learnt and experienced it Yin Yoga reduces stress and anxiety. Try it yourself!
Big day coming
It might sound lame but I am really super excited about 21st July. I think Roger is delighted that it is all about him this week. Another agility classes and wow we have managed to have Roger off a lead. Yes, I said we had him off a lead and Yes, he doesn’t have any recall when surrounded by livestock. I have doubts if this will ever be possible to teach that boy a recall around sheep or horses. Yesterday he proved that when he has job to do, he will do anything to please! Even out agility mentor said he is much more focus on me. Does this mean he enjoys agility?
I also realised that going to school for dogs is worth too. Last year we attended to Paw Skills Edinburgh for tricks course. I thought tricks class will be ideal as his brain will work and he will learn funny things. Well how wrong I was, funny things maybe yes but how helpful they are on a daily basis and also very helpful at agility. If you have any doubts? Just do it, do one block it will change your dog and your life. The most importantly it will create amazing bonding between you two.
I know this post is all about Roger and I promise I didn’t have tears when I was writing it. He changed my life. Happy Gotcha Day Roger.
“A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.”- Robert Wagner.