Being a dog walker is probably the best job in the world...I have just returned from a typical April dog walking day out and I have literally had '4 Seasons in One Day'. (No, Crowded House have not been serenading me, a joke for the over 40's there). I have been hailed on, almost blown over, soaked through and now I am back home it is warm and sunny!
Fortunately I have learned to pack my bag for all weathers, especially at this time of the year when conditions can change in an instant. My trusty backpack came in handy today when I delved around and found my gloves and pac-a-mac.
I was always told there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Like most things 'they' tell you it turns out there's more than a grain of truth in the statement. Still, roll on the summer...and pass the Carlsberg.
Following on from last weeks blog about dog safety around water this instructional video might come in handy if your dog ever has a broken bone, the advice about treating a suspected broken leg is great.
Hopefully you'll never have to deal with your dog breaking their leg but if you do then maybe these tips will help until you can get them to a vet.
Having recently attended a Pet First Aid Class I have been practising a few techniques on old Elwood - this 5 minute video is great because the guy explains in very easy terms the steps to take if your dog has got into difficulties in the water.
For the past few weeks I have had the pleasure of walking Lewis and Islay, 2 lovely labradors aged 4 and 10. Lewis is the chocolate brown lab and Islay is the black one. She is 10 years old although very much manages to keep up with the pace on the longer walks.
When I initially met the dogs just a few weeks ago it was very clear that they were much loved by their owners. I don't think the owners had ever had to use a dog walker before but circumstances now dictated the need for one and I did pick up on some trepidation, which of course was totally understandable. We are now a few weeks into the arrangement and everything has gone swimmingly and it's all working out great for the dogs (and the owners of course). But mainly the dogs!
The labs themselves are a pleasure, Islay is very gentle and lovely to walk on the lead. Lewis, being younger is more playful and inquisitive but again is very good on the lead. He insists on walking on the left but Islay is happy on the left or the right. After a few walks I let them off the lead after speaking to the owners to see if this was OK to do so and again they were just brilliant! (my dog can sometimes be a bit of a pain off the lead as he'll wander off looking for food) but these 2 are never more than about 10 metres from me or each other and return on recall on the first or second time of calling.
We have a few routes to choose from on our walks and we recently went to the park at the Royal Quays but usually we end up walking into Tynemouth and/or North Shields Fish Quay. Walking the dogs through North Shields onto the quay gives them a good chance to be off the lead along the promenade and on the grass by Collingwood's monument. In fact I have them again later on today so I think we might drop in and see my mate Admiral Lord Collingwood.
Today I had the pleasure of taking part in a Dog First Aid course with a very knowledgeable gentleman called Ian from www.propetfirstaid.co.uk
I was actually booked onto the course a few weeks ago but the course was cancelled due to low numbers...when I spoke to Ian about this he kindly offered to take me through the course in my own home at no extra cost. I figured I couldn't pass up the chance of a bit of 1 to 1 training so I booked him in.
Fast forward to this morning and I have learned a lot about a lot of things including treating cuts and bites while out dog walking, making a makeshift splint for a broken leg, CPR and even giving a dog the 'Kiss of Life'. Hopefully I won't have to do this with Elwood because his breath really is quite something...
Although Ian brought a dummy dog I got our Elwood in on the act and used him where possible. Here he is with a bandaged ear and a bandaged leg! As you can see he is thoroughly enjoying himself.
Hopefully I won't ever have to deal with anything too serious when I'm walking dogs in North Shields, Tynemouth or Whitley Bay but now I'm armed with a canine first aid kit at least I'll be ready if anything crops up.
Coastal Dog Walkers
Welcome to the occasional ramblings of a North Shields dog walker.