Finally, I felt brave enough to pack up the crate and the dog, plua about a million toys, and head off to Somerset. I left the cats behind, partly because they don’t much love travelling in the car anyway (although they love being at the cottage) but also because I really wanted to introduce Nora to her, er hem, second home gently. Nora is still at the stage of ‘inviting’ them to play by growling at them and going down on her front paws. Percy, who is the only one who bothers to interact with her, isn’t sure what to make of it.
I didn’t bargain on the fact that Pauline, my lovely gardener, would arrive just after us, creating even more excitement and, in all the palaver, Nora ran up the steps to the front garden and straight into the thankfully shallow pond. Hearing the splash, I turned around to see her sleek, little otter-like head and surprised face rising up as she pulled herself out of the water. Being a labrador – they have quite webbed feet and are quite at home in water, generally – she didn’t seem to mind at all! So much for her gentle introduction…
But, all in all, it went very well. There’s not much at the cottage to damage by chewing, other than the usual cables and flexes, and a lot more space outside to run around and play, which she loved.
The vet said that she could go out three days after her second vaccination, so I let her into the back garden only on our second day, as I know it’s visited by foxes. She loved running about in the grass and being called back on the whistle.
We also went up to Cothelstone Hill and after a short introductory walk on the lead, we headed into the woods, where I let Nora off. I gather many people don’t dare do this with a puppy but they have an instinct between about 9-12 weeks, which means they constantly return to you, and I wanted to make the most of this to train her recall.
She followed me very closely, occasionally wandering off to explore but always checking where I was and returning as I walked on.
For readers who may be dismayed by this blog having turned from country matters to dog tales, don’t be concerned, I think I’m starting to come out of this phase, which has been a very intense and quite isolating experience. I’ve been making jam from fruits foraged in the garden this morning and will write a post about that soon.
Have a nice weekend!