I tried Roman’s boots on him properly today and took him out for a walk in them. He was absolutely hilarious when I put them on him for the first time – he didn’t quite know what to make of it and had a look of bewilderment about him! He walked really funny and was almost bounding around at first – I think that he thought maybe they would come off if he was enthusiastic enough.
I took him for a short walk in them just to see how he got on so we went over to the field for a bit. It took him a little while to get used to them and I don’t think I’ll be letting him run around the field in them – he slipped a couple of times but I am sure that this is natural for a dog that runs around like a nutter. He must be so used to being able to use his claws to grip that it must be strange for him to try and stop.
Once we were back on the path he seemed to be a little bit better. The apprehension he had showed at first didn’t seem to be so obvious and he seemed a little more relaxed in them. I don’t think it helped that I didn’t take him out yesterday and his general exercise levels have been low recently due to his recent paw problems. I will be trying him again tomorrow on a road walk and will see how he does walking five miles in them. I think once he gets used to the feel of them he will go back to normal.
I’m looking forward to getting back into the routine of lots of decent walks with Roman. It’s nice to be able to laze around, so to speak, but it’s of no real benefit to either of us. The week ahead is going to be a busy one but I need to make sure that we are walking twenty miles a day by next weekend ready for the start of our journey. I am 99% certain that he will not struggle with the physical side of it as he has managed so many long walks before but I definitely wanted to make sure I had some form of protection for his paws if the need arose.
I am playing football tonight for the six a side team I play for in our penultimate game of the season. Our last game will be next Sunday evening, the day before we leave, so I will have to be careful not to pick up an injury. I hope I don’t jinx myself by saying this but an injury at this point for me would be disastrous! I would still go ahead but it would certainly throw a spanner in the works.
A few people have asked why I simply didn’t finish playing last week but that’s not me. I really enjoy football and I think the physical exertion really helps me to take away any stresses that have built up in the week. Also, as the season finishes next Sunday and we are in the middle of a relegation dogfight, I don’t want to let the lads down. If there is a chance we can stay up then I will do all I can to help even if I am not going to be there next season.
The lads from football have decided to take me out tonight for a bit of a send off – I just hope it’s not too messy! No matter what happens, I will definitely be getting back into the intensive walks tomorrow – after all, if I get drunk one night when I have set off then I will still have to walk the following day so I need to make sure that I am in the right frame of mind to not let something like that get in the way.
Our ninth day of walking will be another long slog and we will be walking about 26 miles in total throughout the day. I am keen to try and make a little bit of time up so that if we run into any problems nearer to Dover then we have a cushion to ensure that we still arrive in plenty of time. Ideally, it would be good to arrive in Dover on the evening of the 29th and this would mean that we would have the following day to relax before checking in for the ferry at 6pm.
The walk to Dartford will see us pass briefly through London and we will be going pretty close to the Tower Of London. It will be our first day of walking that will be pretty much all in built up areas with people about. I am thinking of getting some sort of board attached to the stroller with some advertising for what I am doing – I will be seeing a lot of people on this day so it would be good if I could raise the profile of our walk.