Thursday, July 18, 2013
The many joys of dog walking.
I had forgotten how much fun dog walking is. Its strange that you can get so much joy from watching a small puppy run at break neck speed from one side of the inlet to the other. Or watching the puppy bury his nose into the sand and jump on all fours whenever we go on the beach just because he enjoys the sensation of sand between his paws and up his nose. He is also rather intimidated by the way the sea washes back and forwards and refuses to get his feet wet, but will happily jump in the deepest muddiest puddle he can find elsewhere.
The weather has improved since my last rather depressive last post, so we have been taking advantage of the winter sun and been taking our enthusiastic puppy on lots of walks.
I am trying to be the responsible dog owner and carry around the obligatory little plastic bags to pick up the numerous and seemingly very frequent deposits the dog makes. Can't say I enjoy that part of dog ownership! We also stick to the rules requiring you to have the dog "under control at all times", hence Ted is still on the extendible lead at the moment.
I thought I had trained him sufficiently to let him off the lead earlier in the week. This resulted in a panicked chase scene as he decided a passing jogger was more interesting than me and my bag of treats, and promptly decided to follow her home instead at great speed. Luckily my eldest daughter gave chase and the kindly jogger stopped and held onto the dog until we were able to catch up.
So until a lot of further training has occurred Ted will remain on the lead.
During our first few weeks of dog ownership in NZ we have discovered a few differences between here and the UK. You have a few more restrictions on where you can take your furry friends for walks. Due to the fragile generally feathered nature of the local wildlife most reserves and country parks require dogs to be on the lead at all times. Also any areas where there are likely to be livestock have similar restrictions. We haven't found that this is too restrictive so far and Ted has had plenty of opportunities to run free and hopefully get tired out.
The other unusual requirement is registering the dog with the local council. Earlier this week I had to pay our council one hundred and fifty five dollars for the priviledge of owning Ted. I recieved a small numbered disc for Ted to wear on his collar and the knowledge that if he gets lost or into trouble the council will know where to find me and be able to charge me for his misdemeaners. Apart from that I am not really sure what exactly I paid for. I assume its all to encourage responsible dog ownership. I shall look into this in more depth and report back!