There is a lovely park close to where I live, Marlay Park. I often walk there with the gang. Sometimes, I will meet friends or my brother and we will sit outside the cafe and have coffee and cake! They do a delicious vanilla latte there.
Marlay Park was one of the first parks in Ireland to open a dedicated dog park. Usually in parks here, dogs are allowed off the lead in any area of the park at certain times of the day. I prefer this method as poor Casper is too anxious and overwhelmed when faced with all the other dogs at the dog park. It is better for me to wait until the allocated times and choose a quiet area to let him off.
However, since Pippa joined our gang, I have found that I frequent the dog park more often. It is great to have a secure area where she can have a good run and really stretch out her legs. I made a video of a great day that Pippa and I had at the dog park with a friend and her two Swiss Shepherds, Okami and Yuki.
Would love to hear what you think of dedicated dog parks? Are dogs allowed to be off-lead where you live? How do you ensure that your dogs get enough exercise?
I don’t even know if I have any readers left at this stage! My year has been very busy and unfortunately, Fluffy Tufts had to take a back seat. I will have a bit more time in the new year, so I really hope I can update you all and start sharing our adventures on a more regular basis!
Things to look out for: a new addition to the gang, some exciting news for me and Mr Fluffytufts, extremely cute dog trick tutorials and lots more…
It was a very early start for me, with the alarm clock going off at 4.30am! The plane was packed with other dog lovers heading to Birmingham to spend the day at the the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts!
Having lived in Birmingham for several years, I knew exactly how to get to the NEC and in no time at all, I had collected my pass and was queuing to enter. I chatted to a lady who’d travelled with her Heelwork to Music Club, all the way from South Africa. They had a member competing in the International HTM Freestyle, so they’d come to cheer her on. Now that’s a supportive team!
The KCAI stand was in Hall 5, so I was sent in that entrance. I actually couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the size of the place. Stalls selling everything you could possibly ever need for your dogs. I spent an hour or two wandering around, picking up goodies for the lads. I will do a post over the next few days reviewing my purchases!
I watched a little bit of the breed judging in the rings in Hall 5 also. Then I headed off to explore the other four halls!
The International Agility was taking place in the Main Arena and one of the members of my training club, Declan Dolan, was representing Ireland with his collie, Bonnie. I made my way to the Arena in plenty of time and caught the end of the Agility Teams Small Semi-finals. It was exhilarating to view such brilliant dog/handlers teams. The Beacon Smalls went on to win in the Finals. Click here to view their winning run!
Next in the Arena, the International Agility Jumping Round. The competitors had to do a jumping round in the morning and an agility round in the afternoon. Only the top sixteen would make it through to the Finals in the evening. I was really rooting for Declan and Bonnie.
I met Declan at my first ever agility competition. I had had a terrible round with Pogo. He was so excited about the show that he wasn’t focused on me at all. He even tried to climb the judge! As I left the ring feeling humiliated, Declan approached me and very kindly gave me some great training tips and advice. He made me feel a lot better about everything. It was some time later before I realised that this man was Declan Dolan, top agility handler and Crufts winner!
Declan and Bonnie went on to come 2nd in the Finals that evening and I was there in the arena cheering them on. Their round is at 12 minutes if you would like to watch it.
I could ramble on for hours about all the things that I did and saw at Crufts. I had a brilliant day and really hope to go again next year!
Jimmy graduated from the Beginner’s Agility class after only six weeks of training. I’m absolutely delighted! He is really enjoying the training and is so fast. Have a look at this little video and you can see for yourself!
The temperature has dropped quite a bit over the last few days. It feels like snow weather! For my friends in snowy countries, I should explain that a slight dusting of snow is all we need here to be filled with excitement.
However, last Winter, we had record-breaking snowfall which caused major disruption to the whole country for a number of weeks. Did it bother The Lads? Have a look at our video and decide for yourselves!
Ps. Jimmy only joined our family this July which is why he is not in the video! (and Shelli, of course, sensibly curled up by the radiator and didn’t venture outside till the white stuff was long gone!)
We are very lucky to have a lovely beach not far from our home. Despite it being very close to a seafront suburb, we have found this beach to be deserted any time we have gone there. This means we can let the dogs off the lead and they are free to paddle, dig, chase each other (and us!) and generally run amok!
We save this walk for a special treat as The Lads come home covered in sand! It’s not as bad as it looks because once they have dried off, I can brush them and the sand comes straight off.
We took them here on New Year’s Eve 2011 and filmed their antics. Here is a little video of The Lads having fun at the beach!