What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open. Life swarms with innocent monsters.

Valentines’ Day is one of those days that I don’t really understand why people celebrate it and waste money. If you really love someone you can buy him/her flowers or chocolate any day, right? Anyways I decided for a change to explore Edinburgh a bit more.

Urban walk

When we finally will move out the city, I think I will miss that place for sure. Right in the middle of the city centre in Edinburgh, there is Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park. This park is based just near Holyroodhouse palace and it is known as royal park about 1 mile away from Edinburgh Castle. It literally has everything: an array of hills, lochs, glens, ridges, basalt cliffs and patches of gorse, really amazing landscape. Arthur’s Seat is the highest point in Edinburgh, is at the centre of the park with pretty cliffs to the west. I never knew that there are three lochs there (always thought there are only two). On the photo above you can see St Anthony’s Chapel ruins.

Arthur’s Seat

It was defo too windy yesterday to hike to the top, but we manage halfway through. Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of the group of hills.The hill rises above the city to a height of 251 metres (823 ft) and it provides stunning views.

St Margaret’s loch

St Margaret’s Loch is a shallow man-made loch to the south. The loch was formed in 1856 and it is a home to ducks, geese and swans.

Great place for dogs in the middle of busy city

Between Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags there are nice grassy paths that really you can use to fetch ball, training or just walk around.

For the first time ever I let Roger off lead there, as I know there are a lot of rabbits and squirrels so he would be gone. However, as he improves recently, must be the recall training we do with him, I decided to let him off and just walk. Dogs had a blast, Laferra even ran into wee pond in the middle as she thought it is only a paddle.

Surprisingly a big field with hills around makes a nice and safe walk for dogs. Far away from any urban life (especially cars), I felt confident to let both muppets off. We met few other walkers and dogs had a good run all together. Roger was exploring around, even ran up the hill, but being called, he came back straight away. I really start to believe the recall training works with him. After walking on this part of the park we went closer to Holyroodhouse Palace and played fetch with dogs.

I was a bit more cautious here as it is close to busy road and a bit busier with other walkers. My two defo don’t need other dogs to have fun. They are happy with each other. Happy and tired dogs after an amazing one hour and a half walk around in the middle of the city. I love this place. Happy Valentine’s Day to Roger and Laferra.

 

Bring on 2018

Ok so we had a look what we did in 2017 it is time to look what we will do in 2018. So far it doesn’t look that busy yet.

January

We are away to Wales this weekend for our first qualification for IFSS ECh in Sweden which will happen 24-26th October in Nybro, Sweden. Apparently Pembery is lovely, so hopefully, it is worth the drive. Roger is suffering from an allergy so rest for him.

A week after that we are away to Muiravonside Country Park for another Scottish Championship race. I think Roger might run this one, but it all depends on his allergy.

February

I am planning to attend D&A time trial in Tentsmuir and check how we progress in 4 months with Laferra. Lovely place for walks too.

The middle of a month is taking us to England for BSSF National Championship, which is a second part of the qualification for Sweden. Another long trip for some great races. We loved it last year.

Laferra was still a pup, but during that trip, she proved she is an easy dog to take on travels. That was when I knew if we managed for Poland, she is going (and as you know she was a great companion).

I am tempted to fly to Italy for races on snow at the end of February. Of course not to compete but just go and watch it.

March

I might go and do one of SDAS races in Ford (all depends timing).

As per our tradition, we always did Plean race, as that was our first race ever with Roger. This year we will miss it as we are away for third and last BSSF National Championship somewhere in Scotland.

Our Easter weekend this year we will hopefully spend at one of the Midlands Canicross Series. Four days of racing in different classes.

April

We still be at Midlands races but also we are away to CSS Strathallan Castle races. As last year plan is to do canicross and bikejor.

May

We are away to France for the weekend. Yay super excited about this.

 

Oh yes there might be more to come for sure! But that’s all that I have defo planned and put in our calendars. Actually it looks busier than I thought. Happy racing yay.

 

 

After rain there is always sun out!

What a change in weather from last week. After the rain, we got proper heat in Scotland.

Cani-hiking in Ayrshire

Ever thought of best birthday present for your dog? I have thought about it for Laferra, and thought that cani-hiking at Cani-fit will be the best idea, as she just loves dogs so much. We were away to the west to Dundonald Castle in Ayrshire. Such a long drive, but I always say it is worth as dogs can have new scents. Once again history lesson for me, so this castle is between Kilmarnock and Troon. According to Google Castle is a fortified tower house built for Robert II on his accession to the throne of Scotland in 1371 and it was used as a royal residence by Robert II and his son Robert III. The walk in woods is fantastic for anyone. It takes you to the nice reservoir where dogs had a tiny deep in a water. We used this cani-hiking class as a small celebration of Laferra’s birthday. It is still few more day until her big day.

Princess Laferra and her arrival to Scotland

I will always remember the day when the courier called me on my mobile (Laferra was 4 months and in Lesvos, Greece). I didn’t pick up as I was at one of the SDAS races in Bowland Trails and we were watching Dog Power movie in Barn. Afterwards, I left to see Roger and listen to the voicemail: the man said Laferra will be delivered on Sunday 30th October, depending on a traffic but probably around 8 pm. I started to panic, as I wasn’t prepared, she supposed to arrive a week later. I didn’t have anything for her. On Sunday, I couldn’t focus on anything until I actually went home. I have planned that I will introduce both dogs outside in neutral place. Around 8 pm I left Roger in flat and went downstairs to wait for courier and van. She arrived and she was the last dog. Poor thing, she was terrified

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The photo below shows our first ‘hi’. Such a tiny girl, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Courier left… and what a disaster night that was! Fireworks went on. I grabbed her quickly and ran up to the flat, as I know how much Roger hate fireworks. The worst introduction ever: I walked into his space with a new dog. With tears in my eyes, I said: Roger here’s your sister and put her down. She loved him from the beginning and that terrified dog I took from courier changed to happy pup straight away. Roger wasn’t really sure, but it took him some time to figure out she is actually good fun. What a jolly that was to see those two playing. I knew even with the worst introduction it will all work out. I believe that if something is meant to be it will always work out. Anyway, Happy 1 Birthday Princess Laferra, you are the best. I can’t believe she isn’t that tiny anymore.

Roger and his new opportunity

One of my exciting news is that Roger has been waiting for 10 months for a space in Agility Club. Luckily, we got an email and this Tuesday we have been invited to East Lothian DC. We had a session which involved sharing more information about agility training, health, safety and ground rules and working on some foundation exercises that we could practise with little or no equipment. Also, they checked if Roger is suitable to work on off lead and in a group with other dogs. And the results is: Roger has passed and he is now a part of East Lothian Dog Training Club learning how to do agility. I am super proud of him, who would have thought a dog with so many problems can come that far. He has behaviour and atitude problems, but we have some how manage to control it and he is one happy dog.

 

I think I am going away from the main topic here.

So lets me share with you another spot on location for a nice walk with your dogs. Yellowcraigs Beach is the place that you will find peace and quiet. Apparently, it is a natural cove beach with an amazing view to the 1885 lighthouse on Fidra Island. If you ever need to go for a run or walk to clear your head, this is the place. I always go there on a nice day as I know it will be almost empty anyways. We also do open swim there. It is around 20 miles away from Edinburgh and definitely worth the drive.

Not all the best walks are outside Edinburgh. I am sceptic to go to Portobello Beach during weekends, as it is very busy. However on the other hand when you wake up early morning and go there at 5 am it is the best place. I always try to keep an eye if the tides are high or low. The lower they are the more fun is for dogs, as the beach is massive. As I said after rain there is always sun out.

Happy Thursday! Almost weekend, so keep smiling.

Busy weekend

Our best adventures are happening during the weekend as I have them off work. So last weekend we have joined our favourite Cani-fit on

Saturday

On Saturday we have joined our favourite Cani-fit on cani-hiking (more here: https://cani-fit.com/ ).

A fantastic route around Dalzell Estate & Baron’s Haugh on a very hot day. This estate has a fascinating history, which started in 843 and was owned by Dalzell family until 1647. It is recognised in Historic Scotland’s Inventory of Gardens and Designed Lanscapes in Scotland. It is located just off Manse Road, Motherwell ML1 2SD.

Then we were off for a walk around Perth as there were Scottish Open Volleyball Tournament. Dogs played around with the ball and we managed to fit in training to socialise Laferra with kids. This was a great opportunity as everyone wanted to say hi to us. She did amazing, but eventually, tiredness kicked it and she was just barking around, so I decided that is enough for my dogs. I try to squeeze dogs training every time I can, as every day is a lesson

Sunday

Sunday we went to one of our favourite places Devilla Forest and went for a bike ride to the Peppermill Dam which was clean and dogs could have a deep into the water to cool them down. For a Sunday the car park was very busy, however, we didn’t manage to meet a lot of folks on trails, which was great. The forest has fantastic scents for dogs full of deer, red squirrels, foxes and rabbits. Roger usually gets obsessed with scent in this woods, so he never gets off lead (apart from the deep into water). Laferra found herself amusing with darting dragonflies which she was trying to catch around the Loch. Great 8km around with 30min swim in Peppermill Dam was a fantastic treat for everyone. Overall it was great 8km around with 30min swim in Peppermill Dam was a fantastic treat for everyone.

Devilla is on the A985 between Dunfermline and Kincardine, and is well signposted from the road. Use FK10 4AS which is the nearest postcode.