Blue has kicked off the weekend in fine style, he had a 67 minute excursion to the local park and surrounding streets.
The timing thing is a habit inherited from my wife, she likes to ensure that Blue has a good regime of exercise to help maintain his mobility and suppleness.
It is quite handy as it requires a watch, and gives me an excuse to purchase the odd one or two.
Blue had a bit of a lay in this morning, we did not set off until 5.55am but it was dry and light so off we headed to the park. The local park is not the biggest in the world but for Blue it holds sufficient interest not to be bored with a daily visit.
I intended to allow Blue a free run, but at the far end of the park a golden Labrador was off lead. As we had not met this dog before we could not be sure whether it was friend or foe, Our minds were made up when the owner spotted me and Blue walking through the park and he promptly attached his dog to a lead. Fair enough, so we gave them a wide birth and continued on our circuit of the park.
After a few minutes with the other dog off lead the other side of the park, Blue looked keen for me to take out his favourite tennis ball. Let the games commence as they say.
I'd had a thought before we set out to try some obedience training off lead, now with the park to ourselves Blue had no other distractions.
Having retrieved his ball several times, he was ready to exchange it for the customary treat.
Using voice command and hand signal Blue was put into the sit position. Slowly continuing to retreat backwards Blue remained sat, occasionally stretching his neck muscles as far forward as possible until balance got the better of him and he began to advance. As his advance was a little sheepish we tried again.
Blue sat on command and with me retreating backwards repeating the command to stay, it was time to release him. Now with a distance of about half the width of the football pitch, as I shouted fetch I threw his ball in the opposite direction. Blue went thundering past at full tilt, eyes only for his beloved ball.
Now the reward, a sharp blow on our dog whistle as Blue picked up his ball, it was ears down and full speed ahead back to me.
Well almost just as he started to return he dropped his ball, and stopped to gather it, but did return to me and released the ball for his well earned treat.
Blue played for a bit more off lead before we embarked on our road walking.
This enhanced Blues outing as he had the opportunity to sniff and smell the morning news. Even his arch enemy the milk float was allowed to pass without any fuss. Apart from a few cyclists and a couple of joggers the only people we see were the motorists that believe the speed limit does not apply first thing in the morning.
(Actually if they have that much to do or it is so important, perhaps they should get up even earlier).
Well that was us done time to go indoors and have our well earned breakfast.
As further reward for Blue I went out after breakfast and got a Ruff and tuff, Jumbo Bone which can be stuffed with his favourite treats
and a packet of "pigs ears" much to the disgust of my wife Sue.
I think Blue likes trotters best, but that might be because I am called Rodney.