Spanish gateaway- dog-friendly Madrid

Recently got away to Madrid in Spain. Here is short post about my experience with dogs and dog-friendly places out there.

Spanish heaven

At this time of the year Spain is very hot for us humans, so you can imagine how hot it is for dogs. I noticed a LOT of dogs there, but also how well people looked after them. Always had water for them, or water spray to make their bodies wet.

Madrid is really awesome to have a dog with you. Almost around every single corner there are tiny parks which had people walking their dogs. Absolutely loved it. I also didnt notice much litter around.

 

So nice to see that there were a lot of people out there with different breeds of dogs. It looked to me that a lot of them were potentially rescues, so great people do that.The expectation is your pet must wear a chain or resistant rope lead that allows you to control it, and they must also wear a muzzle if required (I haven’t seen many dogs with muzzles tho).

The most amazing thing was that people were talking their dogs into subway, and noone had a problem. I think it is a little bit like a train here, but I felt maybe it could be a bit more stressful for doggies, potentially louder?! I have learnt later that you can have your dog only at certain times: 7:30-9:30am, 2-4pm, and 6-8pm, however during the months of July and August, at weekends and on public holidays, you can have full access. .

So massive plus to Madrid for being such a dog-friendly place.

The Buen Retiro Park

Lovely gardens and park was located just around the corner from my hotel. The name is means “Park of the PLeasant Retreat”. Stunning location which is the largest park of the Madrid and it belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until 19th centuary, but now it is public park.

This magnificent park is full of the beautiful sculptures and monuments, galleries, a peaceful lake and also host a lot of the events. That morning I have met a lot of runners and dog walkers, probably because of the location. Lovely run around made me going through the day.

Later on I have learnt that you can let your dog off the lead in parks and gardens between 7pm and 10am (in winter) and between 8pm and 10am (in summer), always remembering the opening times of each park, and with the exception of areas where it is strictly prohibited or in children’s play parks or recreational areas for the elderly.

What else around Madrid?

City is great, but what I love about Edinburgh is that I can drive minimum 20 minutes and I am in lovely country park. As I like to explore place I went one morning to absolutely amazing place for canicross too. Full of different trails, Casa de Campo really made me to fall in love with this place.

Casa de Campo itself means in Spanish: Country House. Apparently this place is the largest public park in Madrid. It is situated west of downtown Madrid.

I have seen there millions tiny rabbits, which probably would be awesome for my two muppets, but also it was so quiet and really just 15 minutes drive from the city centre.

Nice twisty trails with some hills if you preferred or really flat going around hills. That morning at the finish of my run, I have met a lot of other runners, dog walkers and bikers.

Madrid sounds like a place to go with your pooches!

 

 

Hiker Belt Hurtta review

Hiker Belt description

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Flexible waist adjustment and leg straps keep the belt in place and support the body when pulling.

The flexi section decreases stress when your dog suddenly pulls on the leash, ensuring comfortable movement. The product is equipped with pockets for a water bottle and mobile phone. Bright 3M reflectors improve safety in the dark. The product can be combined with any Hurtta leash. Because the panic lock enables the quick release of the lead, it is also suitable for use in competitions (in my opinion something like dog trekking).

• Versatile padded belt for hiking, trekking, skiing and skating with your dog.
• Separate pockets for water bottle and mobile phone
• Sturdy and comfortable belt
• Gives way if your dog suddenly pulls on the leash
• The panic lock enables the quick release of the lead

get link Size: One Size

http://digineatup.com/2017/10/29/taste-of-the-holidays-cooking-program/room-set-up/ Waistline cm / inch: 75-120 cm / 30-47 inch

Review

Firstly I was surprised with fast delivery from Hurtta. Massive plus for that, but at the same time I was a bit confused as it was heavy parcel. Once opened I realised it was the hiker belt. At first glance looks bulky and big. However once I tried it on it felt better and very comfy. I was excited to try it out for my hiking adventure with the dogs.

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The belt is easy to wear, few changes to make it fit to my body and it is on. Clipping leads on the panic lock was simple and I really liked it. I tried only with one dog, and it was great. However with two dogs it was moving around my body even tho it had two leg straps.

I really like the zip pocket which was perfect size for my car keys and holder for water as it wouldn’t fall. We hike uphill and downhill and it was great with pullying dog (while my belt sat on my hips), when attaching Laferra belt felt a bit uncomfy an moved around a lot.  It is great to make your hands dog-free so I could take photos.

 

source This is not recommended for canicross (even tho Hurtta is trying to promote it for canicross) due to its weight but also with it easy movement it would hurt your back with a pullying dog. This is great belt for hiking and walking with your dogs.

 

 

How to cope with fireworks!?

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Fireworks

The word fireworks give me goosebumps as I know how my dogs hate it and how anxious they are when they hear them. I tried a lot of things and unfortunately, every dog is different. Here are some ideas what I do to make them feel a bit better during the worst night of the year: New Year Eve.

  • during the day I make sure they get a good walk plus good run in harness (this year it will be 3 miles each on a scooter).
  • never let them off lead during 31st December, just in case there will be early fireworks.
  • planning night walk around odd time like 7.17pm or 8.24pm. As fireworks are usually at full o’clock.
  • make sure your dogs have nice quiet area in house that they feel comfy.
  • close curtains and windows so they can’t see or hear the fireworks.
  • play your TV louder than usual.
  • prepare their stuffed kongs or any other fun games that will make them occupied.

 

I tried to use the calm home diffuser or vests but they never worked for Roger, and Laferra just picks on his mood. Hopefully, we will manage to cop with fireworks without much stress this year.

Meet this Monday with a smile.

Saturday fun

We had a great time this weekend, even tho weather has been very cold and it looked like all the trails were icy! The team has managed to squeeze some 3 miles run. Each dog ran well and learned a steady when we have approached ice.

Of course, Saturday was spent in our favorite Abercorn Church location, due to that that the parkruns around Edinburgh have been canceled.

Sunday fun

As I haven’t been running much last week due to traveling with work, I have decided to just go for a walk with dogs as my legs were pretty tired after Saturday runs.

I don’t like going to our local Portobello beach due to many dog walkers who aren’t big fans of Roger and many time people were saying nasty things about him, just because he looks like a staffie.

The weather wasn’t the best so I risked it, hoping there will be not many people there. I was right, so my two muppets could have a great run around and surprisingly the rain stopped and the sun came out just went we reached the beach! The amazing 40minutes walk made the dogs tired for the rest of Sunday.

Monday jolly

It is tough to go back to work on after weekends. I wish to be just with my dogs running them around woods, but someone needs to pay the bills. I always try to make exciting plans for evenings so I have something to look forward. Tonight we are going back to Cani-sports Edinburgh, where all this crazy hobby has started.

“When life gives you Monday, dip it in glitter and sparkle all day.”

The IFSS World Championship 2017 in Poland- “Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve ever done before.”

The IFSS World Championship

We are back and I can’t get over it is over. Probably that why I can’t find the motivation to write about it too. I just refused that it has finished. However, so many people asked me how was it so I think it is time to share with you the truth.

The long trip

From Scotland to Poland is a long way, I can’t believe that my parents drove to Scotland twice, yeah they did it twice. From Edinburgh, I drove to meet my road trip buddy Kim in England. We left Roger with his arranged nannies for 10 days, and Laferra and I went away. I have decided to stop every 2 hours to let her stretch legs, make her drink water and have a walk together around. This was just perfect as it took us just over 6h to take to Kim, so 3 stops and I was buzzing.

I must admit services on the way to England are amazing, they have so many dog walking areas. Laferra was enjoying being the only dog too.

Kim and Mark were so nice, so we could stay at theirs until next day when Kim and I were finally leaving UK for Poland. What a great place is the Forest of Dean!

Laferra got to know her road trip buddy Dusan. I knew she will fall in love with him, such a handsome dog he is. And as I discovered later she looked like mini Dusan!

England-Eurotunnel-Poland

I was buzzing all the way, I have never felt tired or even tried to close my eyes.

Eurotunnel is just an amazing to cross with dogs, easy to find the ways, dog-friendly having a massive fenced place to let them run around.

We even had a takeaway dinner in the wooden shelter while dogs were running around. I was surprised they never checked dogs’ passport on the way to France.

Here we are in France, first time ever I am driving with a dog abroad. I am super excited and even buzzing more. The weather was awful as it was raining all the way, but we have managed and we were delighted to approach Poland just in time for breakfast on Tuesday.

Poland

We had plenty time to rest before even approaching the venue and think of racing. It was fice of us who stayed in the same accommodation. 5 humans and 5 dogs, which was just brilliant for Laferra’s confidence. We even decided to have a wee jaunt around the village so our bodies stretch and started to prepare for the races. I was honoured to run with Ben Robinson and Kim Mazzucca (current World Champs) and Ben’s dad. Oh amazing. This bunch is just great as I have learnt sooo much from all of them including Ben’s dad 😉

Day 1

We were planning chilling again, but there were some issues at stake-out so we went to see the venue, trails, stake-out and the rest of the Team GB. I was overwhelmed with everything and everyone and I haven’t expected it will be such a big event. I heard the numbers but I think seeing it there you just start to feel what you have signed for.

As a Team GB Leader, I have decided to delegate as many tasks as possible, which worked. All tasks for the day done, sorted and I have picked up my card for a vet check.

A great laugh at the accommodation in the evening by the dinner, I don’t feel stressed for racing yet. Susie Tawney joined us too. That’s a full house! Dinner cooked and served, great company, great dogs, what else could we ask for?

Day 2

A bit more issues and tasks from the team, but I am managing so far. Today was Thursday, the first official day of the event as today all the teams were having a vet check. I was a bit stressed but it went all smoothly for our team, the vet group was very nice and friendly. Oh wait! yes, I forgot that Laferra needs to be checked too. Thanks to Someone who reminded me that too. I was worried a bit but ran into a car, grabbed her and we walked to the vet group. They loved her and were so nice and gentle with her. I think she loved them too. Laferra was growing in confidence every day since we left home. I was very proud of her.

Today we could walk the trails too, I have decided not to take Laferra around, so she is a bit suprised whats there ahead of her. Not very technical course with many turns, so I knew she will do fine even tho not knowing directions well.

Thursday was also the day for the official ceremony, which was awesome. In a polish style, there were some traditional music and dancing on stage too. Once again I was honoured to represent Team GB and walk with a flag, but also pick up World Cup medals for Lucy and Colin. I took Laferra with me and she totally rocked the stage.

Tonight my parents also arrived and met the team and finally met my golden girl. It was great to see them, they also stayed until Saturday.

Today I also met finally my “facebook” friends (Kika, Ellie, Kale, Blanka and so on). Amazing to finally be able to talk to my friends.

Day 3

Today was the first official start of the first races. I tried to do my best and be there for team, check on athletes, dogs and sort out other stuff too. Crazy day, but amazing to watch so many big names at the start and finish. I spend all day running between stake-out, race office and start/finish lines. I made sure I saw all the starts for our juniors. Great to be on side and support them. Remember never shout 🙂 at the races!

I haven’t seen my girl all day as Kim offered me that she will look after her. I totally forgot about her during day as I didn’t have a chance to look at my phone. Laferra had a blast with Dusan and was very happy to see me in the late afternoon.

First day races finished, and I thought great this is easy and went smoothly until team GB told me times are missing and so on. Here we go, I thought I can relax but I needed to go back to being a Team GB Leader. Loved it! All issues sorted and yes glad to speak polish!

Day 4

I couldn’t sleep last night, even tho I came back late. I was stressing for my race. It was happening today at 14:22. Dual start, which I have never practiced with Laferra. I was worried as I know she likes to be best friends with everyone.

I was glad to hear that Ellie (Deputy Team Leader) offered me to help so I could focus on my girl and race. Few issues that TL was needed, stressing even more. The weather was awful, rain and a lot of mud around.

I forgot about everything else, starting to be angry due to high stress and nerves kicking in. On my way to start met Kika, a wonder woman who always appeared at the right time. She makes me calmer….

First international race

Time to go to control zone: my legs are like jelly, my head is spinning, I realized that even tho I spend the whole day at the start and finish line I don’t know how it looks like and what I should do there. Time is ticking, my girl doesn’t really know what is happening too, as she didn’t see start/finish line at all. I have doubts I didn’t take her for a walk around course, but it was too late now. We are moving closer to the start line. Every 30sec new pair is starting, I am trying to see if I can see how people hold their dogs, but I see nothing. My heart beats like hell… The girl who was paired to start with me started talking to me and it turns out that it is her first international race too. I felt a bit better.

Time to go!

Ok it is our turn, we move to start line, people talk to me in polish, then Kale shouts from behind too. I really don’t know what is happening around. Laferra picked up it is a race and she is super keen barking to go. 5,4,3,2,1 Go.. and there we go. I thought to let my pair go, but we left her behind and Laferra is going strong, not even bothering that there were so many people at the sides of the trails. It was pissing rain.. Awful. I didn’t realize how cold I was until the first corner, I feel my body starts to shiver and fight with cold weather. Rain starts to be heavier and worst.

Laferra shook off around 5 times but continues to run. I feel super proud of her. We are overtaking no problem. We are passing people and photographers on the side and Laferra doesn’t even look at them. I can see sign finish and feel that my eyes are getting wet, I can’t brief and just continue moving my legs. We got to finish line and I have no clue what, when and how. Nothing at all. My girl is exactly same. I praise her and cuddle with her. I still don’t know what I said or what we did when we got to finish line. Yes, vet checked her chip that’s all that I remember. We have finished 41st.

Day 4 late afternoon

I have no memories here in my head still remember me buzzing and stressing for the race. I missed on musher party as needed to deal with race office. Other than that I was delighted to finally reach my bed. I slept really well that night.

Day 5

My start time was in the morning (10:22am). I wasn’t as stressed as yesterday and I was way better prepared for everything. I slowly walked my girl to start area and had a lot of clothes in my gifted bucket (amazing gift as from Polish Organisers, this is the most handy thing ever, I still use it). We were both in many clothes keeping warm. Once again Kika appeared from nowhere and told me to get warmed up! She even told me what to do and how while she was holding Laferra.

I took all layers off and put a running harness on Lafie. We were heading towards control zone. I feel relaxed today, however, I see Laferra knows that this will be her second race, she is keen to go.

2nd race was staggered so it was just us in the start line box. I felt good about it, but I knew it is just seconds that we are behind from others and it is just seconds for those behind us. The game was on, I felt we can do better today. We trained hard for this and Laferra was loving the whole experience.

Second international run

We are in start line box, I am in the zone, Laferra is jumping out of her harness. I have a good feeling and all those hard trainings appear in my head. I believe we can do it. I feel IFSS judge hand on my shoulder. 5,4,3,2,1 Go and we are off again. I feel my body is warm and ready to push with every step. We managed to catch an athlete from Canada quicker than I thought. I kept my eyes on her and kept digging every step. We were getting closer and closer. I quickly calculated in my head that we just need to be behind her at the finish line to hopefully land on a higher place. Laferra is amazing and surprisingly choosing the easiest paths to run. Like she knew it is important to make it easy for both of us.

We overtake Canadian athlete and I try even harder as I know there is just one more turn and straight and that will be us at the finish line. Unfortunately, Laferra spotted kid behind the tree and started barking. I am worrying but keep going, she never slows down just barks. We continue. The last turn, we ran amazing, first time I feel we finally work as a team. I feel the Canadian is coming behind us, and Laferra is a bit shy that there is a big dog just near to us, and she goes to the side of the trails but we keep pushing together. Never give up! I found out later Canadian Athletes is called Flavie. She finishes just in front of us. However I feel like a champion with my girl, she got a lot of cuddles while vets are trying to find her chip. We walked away from the finish line and Laferra knows we did amazing.

Finish

I cuddled her and she cuddled back to me. We are both happy, I have tears in my eyes. All that hard training paid back. I glanced at results and I can see the 37th place and red signs. I panicked and asked what that means. They tell me to calm down and it is just an error on screen, but I am 37th. Omg, I can’t believe, we picked up places! We are Champions. Well Champions on 37th place! In zone again, super chuffed walking back to start line for our bucket!

Closing ceremony and last day

I realised it was last day of the event and I felt sad. It didn’t feel like just a few days around my new friends. It was just amazing experience being around the best athletes in the world. It motivated me to work hard as I had a moment to give up on Laferra’s canicross, but never did and we did it. We went out there and smashed every step of our run!

We met amazing dogs and people, hopefully, friends for life!

The closing ceremony was emotional as my two new friends Kim and Ben both won gold medals. I was super proud that I met them but also shared all my experience with them.

Time to go home

It was challenging 30h driving back home, but I was despearete to see my Rogerowski, who was struggling without us.

Eurotunnel on the way back was even better. Pet reception is just so dog friendly. We met Laferra’s rescurers too! Random! The whole trip was like a big dream! I can’t get over it.

Thank you

  • Thank you to my sponsors: Odlo, Merrell, Fitline and Scruff Muffin.
  • Thank you to Colin and Louise for all the training. Bring on more hard training.
  • Thank you to Sharon and Monika for support even tho the distance!
  • Thank you to Pani Ania, Beata and Jarek for all support and patient with Team GB.
  • Thank you to my new friends Kika and Ellie to being there for me!
  • Thank you to my amazing housemates: Kim, Susie, Matthew (Ben’s Dad) and Ben, and four legged housemates: Rivelin, Dusan, Blake, Zofie and Nova.
  • Thank you to IFSS for an amazing event.
  • Thank you to my Team GB for being so challenging so I could learn a lot! I really do love you guys 😉
  • Thank you to my dogs <3 for being awesome.

 

If this is something you wanna do, and if this is something you gotta do, then you do it. Fighters fight.

What an amazing weekend.

After some encouragement from a friend, I have decided to have last race environment training with Laferra. We have entered SDAS races in Kershope Forest.

SDAS race- Day 1

I knew the area as I come here for mountain biking rides, so I have no idea how I forgot it is hilly place. We have arrived early morning Saturday due to that I didn’t want to camp for 2 nights due to low temps. No need for flu just before Poland. I also decided to focus on Laferra so only wanted to do recreational run with Roger on Saturday.

First-day race, an hour preparation. I wanted to make sure this time princess had a

proper walk with full toilet rather than having a stop halfway through. Nothing! I was panicking on the way to the start line. 10 minutes prior our start we are nearby. Probably a bit too late to make her really buzzing but I thought it will be enough (on 10 canicrossers in total). We just want a clear run with my girl. Not asking for more. She is buzzing. Oh wow what a killer hill to start, but she pulls like a train. Turn left and a bit downhill… She pulls… Turn right, she looks at me, I ignore her and dig every step, she is back to being focused and continue to pull. Amazing. Loved every single hill and downhill. Laferra is very focused, ignoring marshalls and only says a bit hi to team who overtakes us (my fault, didnt manage to give her command: “on-by”). She pulls like a train to the finish.

We finished 2.65miles in 17:22. A very strong run to the finish line too. I was super proud of my girl and decided to drop out from a run with Roger, as I knew I need to do better tomorrow myself ( I will run him a lot when back from Poland 🙂 ).

SDAS race- day 2

I was buzzing after yesterday run. Laferra was so chuffed with herself. I could see her being super happy. Day 2 brought a bit of pressure in as we were in a chance for a podium. I walked her a bit longer before and she did her toilet and make her warm up for it. We went to start line a bit earlier than yesterday. She was buzzing, I could barely hold her (no idea where that spirit came from). And we are off. Every small step counted, I tried to push it mentally. It was tougher than yesterday due to change in weather condition to very crispy weather. I felt like it was deeper in a grass! Hah Laferra was focused from the start to finish, such a clear run.I finished in tears. Few weeks I was so frustrated, but never gave up on her. With help from friends and our dedication to training, we did it. I can say we are ready for Poland. She was super chuffed with herself again. I could see she knows she did amazing. We finished in 17:23 even tho I thought we ran much faster than that.

Special thank you to Gilli McLeod for the photos.

Kershope Forest

An absolutely stunning place with amazing trails for MTB or training with dogs. Loved every single moment. It is part of the largest forest in England and one of the largest man-made forests in Europe. It covers around 60,000 hectares and combines few different forests together. Not long drive from Edinburgh (1.5hours). So worth it.

Last week

So in 5 days we are leaving for Poland. I have 4 trainings to do, Laferra only 2. I am excited but also a bit nervous. Probably it is time to start packing?!

The World Championship preparation

We have now less than couple weeks left and leaving for probably the biggest trip of my life. We are going to the World Championship in Poland.

Firstly I would like to thank you to those who donate to my crowdfunding, we are way over the target. Really appreciate that.

Secondly here’s to the post that will be full of panic and excitement ( I would advise closing the tab if you aren’t interested :D).

Pre-race preparation

Last 2 weeks is really all about pre-race preparation. We have a couple more “race environment” runs for Laferra to grow into even more confidence. She is coming along so well. I am super proud of her. At training, she can fluff around, but at the race, she really surprised me. She is keen to go, stay focused, overtake and continue with the run. She does exactly what we have been training last few weeks. I am very happy that she made training hard so hopefully, we won’t many mistakes at the actual races.

Pre-race packing

I have been panicking and thinking about this for weeks. What do I really need? I have never been abroad with my dog. I know funny right, as I was always planning to take Roger, but didn’t really manage.

So what do I need?

Of course my running gear and Laferra’s running gear. I am sure we need more than just that?! Hope we will cope with weather in Poland. At the end of November, it will be cold there. Ohh gosh so glad we have nice warm accommodation booked. Still panic is there.

We are going to a different country, different climate and totally the place I know well, or that what I thought. Yes, Poland is my country but I panic. I have managed to put this list together (please let me know if I missed something):

  • running gear: Lafie’s harness, my belt and bungee lead
  • spare my belt and bungee lead
  • my running gear: shoes, long socks, shorts and vests
  • water for Laferra (how much water do I really take for her for 10days?!)
  • food for Laferra
  • sardines for Laferra (hydration)
  • tapeworms tablets for coming back
  • Blanket for Lafie
  • Jackets for Laferra
  • Waterproof day to day shoes
  • Hoodies
  • Winter Jacket
  • Casual clothes
  • passports
  • insurance documents
  • first aid kit for dogs (thanks for reminding me about this)

Here my list finished. I have no clue. I think I will start packing a week earlier, so I am totally sure I have everything. I am glad my parents are coming to the event, so they can always pick up something for me if I totally forget about it.

Pre-trip checks

Although I am taking Laferra, I can’t forget that I am leaving Roger on his wee holidays here in Scotland. Need to make sure everything is arranged for him: dog walker, pick up at the weekend for the away weekend. Leave his food and toys, oh favorite blanket.

As I am driving first part of the trip myself, I need to make sure my car is checked: oil, bulbs, and tyres are pumped. Windscreen liquid filled. Yeah I know I am doing better here right?

Also enough money to pay for tolls on the way to Poland and back.

Pre-race training

Another weekend, training and learning. Spot on! Up and down and I am defo buzzing for Poland. It is all about the clear run with my wee girl! She is doing soooo well! Different runs, different locations. Few mistakes but we learned the lesson! Last 2 weeks before us heading.

Rest

It isn’t just all about training. We had an amazing fun at the beach with our pals too!

Happy Monday.

My superheros and weekends away

Such a busy time that I didn’t have time to write any posts recently.

Weekend away

We were away last weekend to Jedburgh for Cani-sports Scotland races. Just before last few weeks pre-race preparation, I have decided to go away for the weekend with West Lothian Canicross club and race in the unusual 7.66kkm course.

Right, let’s start from the beginning. Jedburgh is a town in the Scottish Border (yes I love Scottish Borders). It is 10miles from the borders with England, and around an hour drive from Edinburgh, or if you drive like me it could be 2.5 hours as I did a wee detour by mistake (I was dreaming about MTB hah).

A beautiful small town with a lot of nice historic buildings around. I have noticed one thing in there: rugby is a sport of choice as it has one of the most famous and oldest rugby clubs.

Lilliardsedge Holiday Park was the choice for camping. Unfortunately, you can only book 2 dogs with one booking. However, the location is just 5 min drive from Jedburgh and facilities are amazing. There were even baths. Perfect for an ice bath after hard running.

Races

Our race was starting at the rugby club. Wow, what a course that was. 7.66km… tough over 2.5miles uphills. Never thought I will say that but I loved it, I loved every single hill and took it one by one, I haven’t think what’s in front of me, just simply focus on one hill at a time.

https://www.relive.cc/view/1254517065

We have managed to fly it somehow with Roger in 37minutes and got the 4th position within my category. Absolutely loved every single hill and took it one by one. Super chuffed.One happy dog afterward.

Princess Laferra, on the other hand, took her run on a short course, and wow. Even that there was only one person in front of us and soon we overtook her, Lafie was flying. Super focused pup which was what we needed. Time to build longer distances now as we are leaving for Poland in 16days.

Another weekend away

The dogs had a blast at the weekend, and they spend all day Monday just snoozing and catching up on the sleep. It looked like we all had a great weekend. Now time to focus on hard training and get prepared for Poland, although we have few more “race prep” that we attend. Tentsmuir- time trial and away to SDAS weekend race in Kershope Forest. 16 days until we are leaving for Poland.

Happy Thursday Folks.

 

 

 

 

Race weekend

Last few days were so busy for our team. Keep reading if you want to find out what went wrong.

Preparation

I felt very positive and optimistic for our race weekend after our last training on Wednesday. Luckily for us this weekend we didn’t need to camp, so I thought dogs will be well rested. A lot of hydration prior for myself and the dogs, and there we were off to Ayrshire for another adventure.

Boswell Coach House

An amazing place in a heart of  Auchinleck Estate in Ayrshire. Last year course was tough, it really made me tired mentally so I thought I was prepared. This year course has been changed so we all were exciting. As it rained a lot before, the course looked very muddy and challenging at some points.

Bikejor with Rogerowski

All the pre-race preparation done in 45 minutes, Roger was so excited and barking around. Normally he is quiet and calm, just sniffing around. I was thinking that must be the cattles (or cows ;)) that make him so excited.

And we are off. Amazing run from Roger to start as it was very speedy. Eventually, we got to very muddy bits in the fields, but oh gosh that boy has such a big heart for the sport, he pulls me out of those paddles. What an amazing boy, he hates mud and he was almost swimming in it! That must have been hard work for him. As we approaching next bit- a water cross I can see Roger breaking. I thought he will be fine as we have practised it. Jumped off the bike and picked him up… Oh man! I am wet up to my hips, no wonder he didn’t want to go in. What a clever boy (he can’t swim).

Well 2nd cross I didn’t even try and just picked him up straight away. hard work to cross the water with dog and bike at the same time. We off again, he is trying harder than ever. No matter what he just wants to run. Amazing. I was buzzing after it, but I knew canicross will be challenging and tough.

Canicross with Laferra

Our race with golden girl didn’t go according to plan. So I am not going to plan it ever again. I thought I am doing all the right things with Laferra, but it turned out that she wasn’t really ready for doing overtaking and keep going or people making noise behind us (example: cheering their dog). All that training that we do just on our own is great, but she isn’t used to the noise. Unfortunately after great 1.5miles, she got spooked in both days, I tried to restart her but it didn’t work. The first day we finished, the second day I didn’t even bother. I feel super disappointed that I didn’t prepare my girl for all this. So we know have 6 weeks to prepare Laferra for noise around us running and making her confident to overtake and keep up the pace.

We have 6 weeks to make sure she is confident running 4.5km and loves the noise around us. Training began on Monday and so far she isn’t doing badly. She is young and learning fast, we need to keep her keen and happy. Next 6 weeks will be tough work: parkruns, pubs and other events where is loud and noisy. Looking forward to all that.

Obedience

I got home with few tears in my eyes, I felt I didn’t prepare my girl for life, not the sport but for life. She was terrified. I have never thought that I am not doing it right, but after longer thinking, I have made a conclusion. Fine, I walk Laferra without Roger at races and around. She loves saying hi to dogs and people she knows, but she wasn’t confident at the race at all. I also think the time to get her more out and do some obedience work during the day with a busy city. I will take advantage that I live in the city centre and walk with only her around bus stops, shopping centres and have a coffee in dog-friendly places.

Everyday work hopefully will make her confident in our usual daily routine. Hopefully, this simple exercise without Roger will make her fearless and happy pup.

Wish us luck and a lot of fun.

Happy Friday Folks.

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