Friday, 3 August 2012

Queen Elizabeth Country Park

Based only 13 miles out of Portsmouth, QECP is a delightful place to take Blue for a walk.

Being less than 50 miles from Reading, it is only a short hop in the car for Blue.

Blue enjoys these days out as it means we spend some more quality time together, when he is in the back of the car it is easy to forget he is there, occasionally the light is blocked out from the back window as he gets up to turn around and settle back down in a different position.

For those who have never visited, it is found just North of Portsmouth on the main A3 and can be accessed both from North and South carriageways.

So we arrived shortly before midday and parked up in the top car park, paid the £2 parking fee, which entitled you to park until closing time, apart from that there are no other charges to visit this delightful place.

Well Blue being Blue, within five minutes of setting off on our walk he had done his business, and now we were off down the road tracking.

Holding tightly onto his lead we quickly covered both sides of the access road in sweeping scans until we found a scent and then we were off, fully focused tracking, with me holding on for dear life.

Something needed to give, so as we came across some open land, out come the faithful tennis ball and off come the lead. Blue was off like a coiled spring running around chasing his ball with more gusto than had ever seen before. Until he got a whiff of a scent, this stopped him in his tracks full stop, and with some more encouragement returned to playing fetch.

Surplus energy expended, Blue went back onto his lead, where we commenced with our walk.

There are many different walks and routes you can choose, from road to track, to woodland to bridle way and even cycle routes. Given Blues nature we tend to stick to the open track that skirts the perimeter, this enables early warning of approaching other park users.

I am not sure of the exact guidance for walking dogs, but most other dogs we see are off lead and in general well behaved. That is normally until Blue arrives on the scene, he seems to bring out the worse in some dogs.

We had successfully seen and passed a few dogs off lead on route without incident, however there was one German Shepherd called Billy, this was different. Not 100% sure why, but Blue and Billy did not see eye to eye. Blue does not muck about, if there is something he does not like or feels his pack is being threatened he will ward off as is needed. No contact was made but a lot of snarling and barking was exchanged, they however parted without contact but certainly with no love lost.

On a personal opinion it is frustrating when other dog owners do not respect that your dog is on a lead for a good reason, and quite frankly I have lost count of those whose dogs that cause chaos or stress to others because they insist on their dog having a free run. No problem with dogs having a free run, but respect the space of others. Our dog is a big dog and takes a lot to hold onto him, he has been socialised but because of his previous spinal operation, meeting and greeting needs to be very controlled

Blue is great like this, less than five minutes later he is approached by a lady with a small dog and two children, the little girl was keen to stroke Blue, but because of the recent excitement we just explained he is a bit excitable at the moment, to which the girl replied she understood as her dog was a bit nippy. Bless.

We successfully completed our four mile walk taking just over two hours, returning back to the car we grabbed a few things and went to a nearby picnic bench to have our snacks.

Along the way we took a few snaps of our day out.