Spring

Looking at the drizzle and grey clouds outside this morning you would have never guessed what a beautiful sunny day we had on Thursday walking the dogs and an unexpected trip to Wales!

Nikki and Woody had a walk around the park a rarity as it is full of tiny dogs off leads which when they run up to Woody and bark at him and run off proves to much, it’s like being in the traps again and he gets most excited! Therefore when we are likely to meet little furry friends off their lead he always wears his muzzle. It makes us sad at people’s attitudes if while on his lead wearing his muzzle he barks at their unmuzzled of the lead dog…as he becomes the problem dog? Having spoken to other greyhound owners this is a common greyhound problem. 

Anyway we had fun and played beat the street, collecting points for the boys school. Double points and lots of people out and about.

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In the afternoon we had an unexpected drive to Wales for another walk with Nikki and Woody and some amazing fish and chips! Nikki and the boys loved the rabbits in the field, Woody wasn’t as excited by rabbits as little dogs but he enjoyed a second sunny walk.

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Nikki News: Days two and three and a big day out!

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Day two of Nikki becoming a family dog started very well, as I mentioned in my last update, not accidents overnight and we didn’t hear anything from Nikki all night 😀 We came downstairs at 6.30am (not our usual wake up time on a Sunday but we were too exited to sleep in!) and Nikki was like a different dog. As the boys were still asleep it was just the two of us and she really seemed to come out of her shell, we sat out in the garden and Nikki ran up and down chasing her new toys for an hour. When the boys woke up we went inside and Nikki had her breakfast and then a snooze in her bed whilst we ate and got ready.

Mid-morning we set of to see Dylan dog. When we arrived Nikki did really well, new house, new people, another small person and another dog and she took it all in her stride! We had a cup of tea whilst the boys played in the garden and the dogs had a sniff of each other then we set of for a walk around Warley Woods. It was not somewhere we have been before, but it is a lovely place to walk dogs and very big! Nikki walked really well on the lead and seemed much happy in a park setting rather than the pavement walk the night before. Dylan and Nikki got on really well and Nikki didn’t seem to show any interest in the other dogs we went past (there were lots!). Our walk was cut a bit short as some people came up to us and said there was a dog loose ahead who seemed quite nasty and had apparently attacked another dog, we didn’t see or hear it but made a quick exit from the woods as that was definitely not an experience I wanted Nikki to have! After our walk Nikki was quite happy to lie on the floor by our feet while we sat and chatted with Dylan’s Mummy and Daddy. We were very proud of her doing so well with so many new things going on in one day. Unfortunately my camera battery went flat and I have no pictures of Nikki and Dylan together!

In the evening Nikki was exhausted and nothing in the world was going to get her off her bed to go out for a walk so we let her rest in preparation for Day three!

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Monday was Bank Holiday and we decided to make use of our National Trust Membership and find somewhere to visit where we could walk the dog. Brockhampton Estate is a huge estate just outside Worcester and looked like a good place to visit. It was a little bit drizzly and not that warm when we arrived to we got Nikki all snuggled up in her coat with her bandana on 😀 The car park was quite full of people and the cars did make her very nervous and jumpy, but once we got out into the fields she was happy again and leading the way for us! There were a choice of different length walks and we chose the red one which I think was about 3 or 4 miles, but felt longer as there was lots of mud and A being the smallest kept getting stuck in the mud!

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As we had lots of fields to cross Nikki soon got to discover sheep!!! Again, she was not in the slightest bit bothered by then, although they were quick to run off from us.

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After the fields the track led us into woods with a variety of different sculptures along the way which kept the boys entertained.

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In the middle of the woods we found a den which the boys played in for a while while we sat on a log and watched them, Nikki seemed fascinated by them playing and I think if she hadn’t have been so shy she would have been in there with the boys!

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After our walk we were all worn out so we returned to the car and ate our picnic while Nikki had a little nap in the boot! After we had eaten we drove the mile down the drive to Little Brockhampton which is a lovely manor house surrounded by a moat. Obviously we couldn’t take Nikki in the house but we went into the grounds, first the boys played cricket and football by the moat.

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Then we went into a lovely little courtyard where the tearoom is and we had a cup of tea and sat with Nikki whilst the boys played with the outdoor games which were set out; chess, skittles, hula hoops and archery.

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There were some ruins of a chapel which we had a look around and then it was time to head off home! I was surprised at how much there was to see and do there despite us having Nikki and not being able to go in the house it was still a full day out, definitely somewhere I would recommend to visit.

Nikki news: Visiting our beautiful girl

This morning we went to visit Nikki and take her for a walk, we did plan to go last Sunday, but A broke his elbow and was having his operation so we have had to wait until now to see her again.

Initially she seemed a little be shy and a bit wary of us all, but as soon as we had got into the field and she realised we were off for walkies, and we had given her some cuddles, she was ever so friendly and seemed pleased to be getting so much fuss.

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We did a lap of the big field at Hall Green RGT and then let J have a go at holding the lead, I was a little apprehensive, but Nikki was so well behaved, especially considering she has probably had very little contact with small people! In the end we even let A have a go at holding her and she walked really slow and right up close to him 🙂

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After two laps of the field we took Nikki into one of the enclosed Paddocks with a few toys and took of her lead and muzzle. We were all laughing at her so much as she got hold of the squeaky toy and wouldn’t let go! She loved it and it took a bit of a tug of war and a few treats to get it back. As soon as she got the hang of it we had lots of fun throwing the toys for her and giving her more cuddles.

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Nikki was like a different dog by the end of our visit! Very friendly and cuddly and a little bit worn out! I was so sad to take her back, but we have already made all the arrangements to collect her next weekend as I have a fair bit of time off and want to settle her in to house life. If we had her today it would not of been fair as I am at work Sunday/Monday/Wednesday/Thursday  (squeezing in shifts I missed when A broke his elbow last week) and Tuesday A is back at the hospital and I have tutorials for uni.

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While we were there we noticed Nikki had a couple of shaved patches on her neck and was a bit concerned that she had been poorly. Everything was okay though, it turns out Nikki is a blood donor and has been donating blood this week!!! I am so proud of her 😀 I had never really considered where the blood needed for animal operations comes from, while we were there we were given her blood donor pack (which includes a dog tag and bandana – so cute!) and I have been reading all about it since we have been home. It is definitely something we will be keeping up with and I have looked on the Pet Blood Bank website and I plan to take Nikki to the local session in October 😀 I would definitely encourage all you dog owners who meet the criteria to sign up and take your dog along as it is definitely a good cause and you never know when your dog may need blood! 

So excited now, 7 sleeps and we can bring her to her forever home 😀

Days out: Bwlch Nant y Arian and Aberystwyth

We usually do a family trip or day out for the boys birthdays, last year it was Legoland Manchester and Sea Life centre. However A decided for his 4th birthday he wanted to go to the seaside! We were dogsitting at the time so it worked out quite well as the dog could have a day out as well.

We decided to go to Wales as it is the closest to us, after talking to a neighbour we decided to go to Aberystwyth as she recommended a nice place to stop and walk the dog on the way.

Bwlch Nant Yr Arian Visitor Centre is about 10 miles from Aberystwyth on the A44, it was the perfect place for us to stop, walk the dog and feed the boys as they were all getting a little bit restless. There is a visitor centre with some information on Red Kites, lovely clean toilets, a cafe and they even have Dog bags (for the poo!) and plenty of bins 😀

The boys picked up a leaflet with an ‘Animal Puzzle Trail’  on and had lots of fun answering the riddles and then finding the hidden animals as we walked around the forest walk.

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The scenery was amazing and it was a beautiful walk around the lake. The Red Kites are fed there each day at 2pm, as we were visiting in the morning we didn’t expect to see any of the Red Kites, however we did! There were quite a few circling above us in the trees and I managed to get a picture of one of them, I was amazed how big they are!

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After the boys had worn themselves out on the two playgrounds and the dog had, had a decent length walk, we carried on with our journey to Aberystwyth.

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We were surprised how quiet it was for a sunny day in the middle of the school holidays! We were all very hungry so first thing was to get lunch, it was fish and chips all round and they were the nicest fish and chips I have had in a long time from the Central Fish Restaurant . After lunch we went down to the beach, all the houses are painted different colours which I think looked very pretty and brightened up the seafront, I would have to paint my house lilac if I lived there!

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We found a nice spot at the end of the beach where dogs where allowed on and had it all to ourselves! the beach was very fine stones so not sandy to make sandcastles, but the boys still had a fantastic time and found a couple of rock pools to explore in. The dog had a fantastic time running up and down with his frisby and ball and we had a fantastic afternoon!

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