I hope you’re sat down for this – I managed to get out of bed in time for dog obedience training! I woke up at about 8am but took an hour to wake up and got out of bed at 9am. I chilled out for about half an hour and then got myself and Roman ready to go. We walked about 3 and a half miles before training – I didn’t want to walk too far considering Roman’s limp (yes, it’s back!) but wanted to make sure that he wasn’t too full of energy as he is much easier to deal with when you take the edge off it.
The training itself went quite well. There was a small dog there who wasn’t too keen on Roman and barked at him so they spent a little time barking at each other and a lot of time trying to stare each other down from across the room! One of the things we had to do today was a recall whereby we get the dogs to sit off the lead and walk 10 yards away, ensuring that they stay seated, and then call them over. Roman did pretty well – the first time he tried to follow me but the second time he got it perfectly. He didn’t even think about going towards the other dogs and just came straight to me.
It’s difficult sometimes with Roman when I am out walking and you get a “flashpoint” between him and another dog. He is so strong that I often cross over to be able to deal with it easier – if the dogs are on opposite sides of the road they tend to look at each other but don’t try to go towards each other. If we are on the same side of the road it can be difficult with Roman being so strong. I tend to make him sit in these instances and put my body between him and the passing dog. It works but it would be nice to be able to find a way to prevent the flashpoints occurring in the first place. I’m sure it will come with time and effort though.
Angela gave us a dog backpack and first aid kit today as sponsorship for our little adventure. This was really nice of her and Roman seemed as happy as I am. I put it on him and he didn’t even bat an eyelid. Apparently some dogs can be a little funny about them at first but he didn’t even seem to notice. That’s one of the best things about Roman – he is totally trusting and just accepts things in a stoical manner.
This afternoon I went to a barbecue at my brother’s (Rich) girlfriend’s sister’s house. Wow! How many apostrophes did I use then? It was her mother’s birthday and it was really good fun. Obviously the food was really good – for those of you who don’t know me I love my food! – but it was good fun too to see the kids playing. I instigated a fair bit of water fighting and we all got pretty soaked but, with the weather being so nice this afternoon, we all dried out pretty quickly.
I played football tonight again and again we were on the wrong end of a defeat. To be fair, tonight we were beaten by a much better side but we seem to be better organised at the back and tend to stand up better to the better sides now. I had a bit of a spat with the guy who runs the team. We have been friends for about 16 years now but, when passions run high, things like that can happen.
I got really, really wound up and had to walk away. I am a really passionate person, particularly where football is concerned. Ordinarily, this is a good quality and it drives me on to succeed and often lifts others around me but, every now and then, I boil over and reach a point where I am ready to snap. At times like these I have to walk away. We made up about 15 minutes after the match after I had cooled down a little – when I am in this state I just need to be left alone to calm down. It’s not a particularly good part of my personality but I know to distance myself when I get this way.
I have just got in as the heavens have opened so Roman will not be getting another walk tonight. To be honest, it’s probably a good thing given his recent limping. I am going to phone the vets tomorrow and arrange an appointment for Wednesday. I will arrange it for after I meet with the Chester Chronicle – I just hope it doesn’t rain on Wednesday!
I was contemplating what it would mean if I found out Roman had something wrong with him other than something routine like a muscle strain that needed resting. I had read a fair few things on the net about arthritis and bone cancer in young Rottweilers from the age of 18 months on. I decided that I would take him anyway. If it meant that he could only walk 3 or 4 miles a day then I would have to see about getting some kind of custom built cart that I could put him in and I would either push or pull it along.
There is no way I would leave Roman behind – he is my best friend and one of the few things I look forward to each day. He has been a massive part of my life in the last couple of years and I think I would be lost without him. On the other side of the coin, I am now fully committed to doing this walk – I finish work on Tuesday and I hope to sell the house soon so there is no turning back now. I am determined to make this happen, whatever sacrifices it may take.