Friday, 18 July 2014

A trip to the seaside

With our holiday not being for a couple of months yet we decided that with the recent decent weather, a trip to the seaside was what we all needed, actually the main reason being, that Blue would not have his swim session this week, due to Aquadoggies having their own break.

So with both of us taking a day off work, our destiny was Milford on Sea, taking along all that is necessary, others take less for a weeks holiday, but man and dog must have their gadgets, so I keep telling Sue.

In less than two hours we were parked up, looking out across the Solent to the famous landmark that is the Isle of Wight, The Needles.

Our walk would take us due West along the cliff top walk, which has shown a lot of signs of erosion, parts where the path is now on the beach below, there are no guard rails or fences, but Blue is on a lead, so we are all pretty safe. 

After about a mile there is an opportunity to climb / scramble down to the beach below, now for the fun to begin, time to get Blue in the sea, and swimming.

Well that was my plan, Blue had a different one, maybe test the water first.

Coaxing was needed, so into the water I went, so that Blue would follow

This was not working, so would the thought of treats help

Blue would overcome most things for a treat, not swimming but at least he is in the sea.

As soon as the treat was gone he returned to shore, time to try again.

As the waves were filling the pockets of my shorts, Blue decided it was not worth the risk so as the wave crashed against the pebbled shoreline, he was off, back to sit safely with Sue further up the beach.

This what being with Blue is all about, fun in the sun, a bit of a splash in the sea, but he knows what he likes and how to have fun his own way. He even found a ships buoy washed up on the beach, a bit too big to pick up, but he sure gave it a go.

Our play on the beach was followed by a walk back up on the cliffs, returning to the car 3 hours and 30 minutes later, we had enjoyed a good trip out. The part cloudy sky meant we were not in full sun, but long enough for Blue to need his "Cool coat" on.

Blue just loves to be with you and have fun, while I was in the sea he was torn, whether to come and see if I was OK, or would it be too much to get back in the water. As i didn't want to stress him i made the decision for him and got out, below are just a couple of more pics of Blue on the day out at Milford on Sea

and finally

Blue at the seaside

Happy Days!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Swingball and other fun Blue-style

From out of the shed the old "swing-ball" was taken, not sure it has seen the light of day in Blues days.

So with a sacrificial ball tied on with string the games commenced. See the clip below;

or follow this link; Blue and the swing-ball

With Sue filming and Blue taking centre stage, there were some very funny moments.

  • The tug of wars
  • Leaping up for the bubbles
  • 5.11 Getting a bit close for comfort
  • 5.51 Not heard, but a loud burp from Blue as I go to blow the bubbles.
Amazing with Blue's strength and weight, the flimsy bit of string survived it all. 

Since the clip was filmed I have changed the string  over to sash cord, as off camera later in the day in his keenness to catch the ball, the string wrapped around his upper and lower jaw. (Looked like the "Crocodile hunter" had caught up with him.

Strangely enough, throughout the whole of this playing, Blue did not bark once. Yet he has spent the rest of the entire weekend barking, at anything and everything that moves.

Apologies for the rigger boots, not exactly summer shoe wear, but they were the closest thing to the back door at the time.

As you can see, Blue does always want to be an al-rounder, but has not got the hang of the racket yet.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Summer is here

Well it has been a while coming, but it looks like summer has arrived, enough rain to keep all things in the garden growing and happy, this includes Blue.

Blue adores being out in the garden, just lolling about or playing with his football or bubbles.

His allergies have now all cleared up and are now a memory, an itchy painful memory. We never did find out the root cause, it could have been seasonal or something in his diet, but he sure was suffering for the first four months of this year, just like the last two of the previous year. It is hard to believe how long we all had to endure, his suffering. Wearing his buster collar for those long periods, saved some of the fur removal, but I can tell you we are pleased that that episode of Blue's life which was a painful one to endure, is now behind him.

Those of you in the UK would have recently seen the documentary "Bionic Vet" of "Fitzpatrick Referral's" a very talented veterinary practice located in Surrey. This was good to watch, as it was the founder Noel Fitzpatrick who assessed, diagnosed and carried out the surgical procedure on Blue when he went lame. December 2008 Blue was on the operating table having a "Spinal Laminectomy" a procedure to  remove sufficient bone from the spinal vertebra, as this was causing the disc to bulge and press on his spinal column.It was interesting to watch others go through their own challenges with their pets, but reminding us how far Blue has come from that day on the operating table.

On that note, Blue demonstrated that it is not a full recovery, as he sometimes has lapses, where exercise has been too much, one such incident was when, he decided to take interest in another German Shepherd in the local park. By surprise, he had caught my wife, Sue, as she was changing her grip on his lead. Chasing this other dog, he was in the zone as they say, off at full pelt. But not too long into the chase, Blue stopped and laid down, obviously too much for his weakened back. For a few days he would often lift the weight off his back right leg. Rommel the other dog was just relieved, to have got away. It was a reminder of the socialising Blue missed out on because of his operation. But Blue is built for distance and not speed, that same Blue would walk up to 8 miles in nearly nine hours in the Scottish Highlands back in May this year.

Blue is showing a few signs of ageing, the odd white whisker, the grey under the chin, but inside there is still that beating heart of the German Shepherd puppy, who came into this world six years ago.

I have read and seen many things about the bond that people have with their dogs, we had one with our Shep, who sadly passed away six years ago in May. There is something different about Blue, it is a bond like he is part of you, not just part of the family. We have sometimes spoke of differences and similarities of Blue and Shep, but never compared them, as they are so very different in their own way.

What was nice, I had recently tried drawing a sketch of Blue, in pencil. Though it was a sad looking Blue,  it inspired Sue to commission a drawing from a follower on twitter @helenyatesart
and what she achieved from the emailed pictures was incredibly talented.

Shep and Blue


So as Shep was leaving our home and lives, Blue was making his way to us to help fill the massive loss we felt that day in May 2008 when our dear Shep was sadly put to sleep. They both fill our hearts and are a large part of our life, as they will always be.

Finally my drawing of Blue

Think of a caption to suit this!