First Steps on the Beach

This year my partner and I decided to take Daisy on holiday with us as we wanted to include her in our getaway. She had never been to the beach before so it was exciting to think of how she would react. We had a great journey down to Cornwall, with no traffic incidents. Just one stop off, and we arrived at the caravan. Daisy was already excited, wanting to sniff everywhere. I kept her on the lead until she had settled a bit so we could unpack properly and be sure that she wasn’t causing mayhem.

On the first day, we had a lazy morning before heading to the beach. We let Daisy offlead and she sprang into action. She didn’t quite know what to do with herself. It really made me smile and chuckle and if you know me, you’ll know that isn’t something I do often.

We took a ‘safe stick’ toy to keep Daisy focussed on us as she tends to wander off if left to her own devices. She absolutely loved it, and she even swam in the sea to get to it. Daisy has never been in the water more than paddling in a puddle, so I was beaming with pride. To stop her getting bored, we put the toy away now and then so it kept her interested. I was really impressed with her recall as there were so many distractions – dogs chasing balls, children with ice creams and seagulls to name a few.

Now the tell tale signs of Daisy getting overtired are: her hearing turns off and she gets into mischief. This was demonstrated very well when she decided to scale a rock face to explore and then couldn’t get back down. She ran off along a concrete bit out to sea, if she had put one foot wrong she would have been straight in the sea, which would have scared her quite a bit due to its deepness. So I climbed up to her and brought her back to safety at which point I clipped her lead back on! We decided to leave so we could be sure she wouldn’t get into trouble again.

Once home, she slept the rest of the evening. I think I can say for certain that Daisy enjoyed her first steps on the beach, and I can’t wait for more adventures.

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On Scruffts and Crossbreeds

This weekend, Daisy won prettiest bitch in the Scruffts heats. When they called her name, I was quite emotional. I didn’t expect her to be given 1st place at all. To me, she is the most beautiful dog in the world, but it is a very subjective thing, and it is almost luck of the draw in such competitions. There were some beautiful dogs there, who I thought were sure to win. But they chose my Daisy. At that moment, I was so proud of her, she was so well behaved, and lovely to the judges. She just wanted to wag her tail (and her body) and have a great time.

Afterwards, a reporter from the local newspaper came up to me and wondered if she could ask a few questions. One of the questions was, what does it mean to you that Daisy won prettiest bitch? I had to think about it, and my answer seemed to fail in comparison to what it felt in my head. I said that it meant that someone else has seen the beauty that I see everyday. She has been hard work, and I have struggled with her, but she has a lovely temperament. I have worked hard to make sure she gets the best in terms of diet, medical care and training. Someone else has seen what I see, and that is immense.

Another question was did I think crossbreed competitions like Scruffts were important. I had to think about that one too. I said that yes I did think that they were important, because the pedigree world gets so much attention. Crossbreeds are every bit as beautiful, charming and important, and they should have their chance to get recognition for that.

Amongst the questions, I found myself really realising what Daisy has brought me, and that the prettiest bitch competition wasn’t just about her looks. She is beautiful to me because she has such a lovely nature about her, she is friendly yet independent, playful yet knows her limits. I have been in some quite dark places in the 18 months I’ve had Daisy, and at times, I have worried that I haven’t done right by her. But she has been my saving grace in so many ways. If it wasn’t for her, I would spend all day in bed, wasting my life away. Instead, I get up every morning and really enjoy the time I spend with her, even if she doesn’t always listen when I call. Daisy has opened my world up in ways I wouldn’t have expected. I have made friends with some lovely people, and really got involved with training, behaviour and nutrition. I have found my desire to learn again, something I thought I had lost.

I have found that my confidence has grown so much in having Daisy around. I can handle so much more, and she helps me to talk to other people. I feel I belong to the dog world when I am with owners, dogs and pro’s. I have found something I am good at, and it has pushed me to apply for university, something I would never have considered a couple of years ago.

There are still days when I get frustrated and Daisy tests my patience, but she is the prettiest bitch in the world to me, and she is just as important and stunning as any pedigree.

View the article in the Lincolnshire Echo