Sunday, 2 August 2009

The Sponsored Dog Walk Went Well

Today was the day of the sponsored walk with the dog training club and, as usual, I overslept a little! I just about managed to get there for 9.30am so I didn’t miss it but it was close! There were probably about ten dogs in total participating and we set off once we had had a few photos taken of us all together – it’s no mean feat trying to keep ten dogs calm whilst all sat in close proximity, I can tell you!

The weather today was pretty good – whilst not being excessively hot it was pretty fine with only a little cloud cover at times and not much of a breeze. It’s quite hard going for me when we do stuff like that as Roman is used to walking pretty quickly with me and these types of things tend to be done at a very gentle pace. I often use most of my energy trying to make Roman walk at a reasonable pace!

The walk itself was pretty pleasant and it was nice for Roman to have another chance to be around other dogs. There was another Rottweiler there and the owner had also brought along a 12 week old Rottweiler puppy – they waited at the club house to sort refreshments for when we got back whilst her other half walked the other dog.

It always makes me laugh how the so called aggressive breeds get along fine whilst the smaller dogs tend to be the ones that bark all the time. Roman got on fine with pretty much all of the dogs but was very interested in them. I think the smaller dogs must find this intimidating at times – Roman is a very enthusiastic chap and is pretty big to boot. I guess I would be slightly intimidated by a person who was three or four times the size of me being so enthusiastic with me!

Once we had got back to the club we all got a certificate for the walk and this represents part of the training – it’s quite a job to walk around a busy town centre in a large group of dogs whilst ensuring that they do not cause any bother to anybody, or even each other! I really enjoyed it to be honest and it will be a shame that we don’t get the chance to go there again. I will be looking to get involved in a dog training class at the earliest opportunity once I get to Rome.

Although it is obviously a beneficial thing for us both as it helps develop Roman’s behaviour it is also a really good way of socialising Roman. This is something we struggle with particularly – most people don’t mind taking their dog out with you if you have a Labrador or a border collie, for example, but it’s a different story when you have a Rottweiler. People seem to be fazed by the image in which they are portrayed despite numerous assurances from you. It’s a shame really but that’s the way it is I guess.

Once we had finished there Nathan took me to the Bike Factory and Halfords to look at the bike trailers that I had been pointed in the direction of. It seems that they can, dependant on the model, take up to 45kg load so they would definitely be suitable. I think I may have to reinforce the base a little given the heavy weight but other than that they look very suitable (thanks Jeff and Karen!). I will now be looking high and low for a good deal on one!

Whilst at Halfords I noticed that they sold 2 man pop up tents. They retail at just under £30 so I may well be going back there this week. I will ask before I purchase one to see what their returns policy is – I would like to make sure that it is suitable for what I want really. They did not have any erected in store so I’m not sure whether they would erect one to show you or whether they would prefer you to buy one and would take a refund if not suitable.

Hopefully the two bags of dog food that Royal Canin have pledged will arrive at the vets tomorrow so I will be able to go and pick that up. I’m really pleased with the pledge they have made – although it obviously would have been nice if they could have supplied the food for the whole trip it’s still a really nice gesture from them considering so many companies have simply ignored me completely!

As promised yesterday, I will continue to provide you with information regarding my planned route.

Day Two

We will be setting off from Whitchurch nice and early and the day’s walking will end with us arriving in Newport. All of our walking over the duration of our second day will take place on the A41. There will be 3 stops during the day but these will not be in any places of importance. The stops will simply be for the purpose of rest.

The first stop will be just outside a place called Higher Heath. There is very little of note here and it will really just be an opportunity for Roman to get some fluids on board and for us to relax before setting off again. Our second stop of the day will be at a place called Tern Hill. Again there is very little here at all and it will just be an opportunity to recuperate. Our third stop will be at a place called Hinstock before we move on towards Newport.

I am thinking that I may adjust my plan slightly depending on Roman. As there will be days where we will be stopping at places with very little of interest I may decide to rest for half an hour each time before continuing whilst in cooler climates before moving on. It obviously depends on Roman but it would be much more enjoyable to spend the afternoon and evening in the place we will be staying that is more built up as there will be more opportunity to get things to eat and the like. Obviously, once we are in a warmer climate we will not have this option but I would not like to get bored too soon into our adventure!

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