Just like the weather Mist has had a very mixed Summer. OK some of the walks have been quite good, particularly those walks with the family but this has been mixed with the indignity of a taster weekend in kennels and being spayed. I think she found the kennels fine but who really knows whether a dog enjoys a stay in kennels. On the plus side there is always something going on; dogs barking, people coming and going but for a border collie particularly being cooped up all day and only receiving a couple of relatively short lead walks cannot be great for such an active mind! Not so sure I like kennels mind at £8.50 a pop per day.
However being spayed has to be all bad, particularly when she had the indignity of wearing one of those plastic collars for the best part of 10 days. She was as miserable as sin in the first few days, depressed in that she hardly moved, never went out (some kind of bladder control record of nearly 24 hours), even went off her food and basically just felt sorry for herself. To paraphrase a Pet Shop Boys classic – “What did I do to deserve this?” Gradually during the week she came out of her depression – I did end up taking the collar off when I took her for a walk – and by the end of the 10 days she had clearly accepted this was what life had flung at her and she was her old self. All the experts tell me being spayed is a good thing (Mist was ‘done’ after her first season) but she did go ferrell for a while and the neck thing is a complete pain – any inventors out there must be able to come up with a better device than this..surely!
Away from the traumas Mist has spent the summer leading the children up various hills (rarely by the correct path) and swimming in various lakes and rivers. I had some recommendations on my own blog about how to encourage children to enjoy walking the fells and hills but I will now add another – get a dog! Lucy (aged 6) and Charlotte were encouraged to tackle Striding Edge on their way up Helvellyn with other memorable walks being over Ingleborough via Gaping Gill and a shorter visit to my favourite mountain of the moment – Mellbreak. I also took just Mist up Sharp Edge on Blencathra which I had not been on for many years – a wonderful little circuit from Scales on the A66. The trouble is Mist tends to take everything in a fairly direct manner – not sure she would pass any ‘Risk Management’ assessment and like her predeccessor Bracken has this disconcerting habit of rolling onto her back and then sliding head first down steep slopes.
Another positive about Mist is she has made a friend, even if it is a pen pal style friend. Fynn is also a blogging collie and appears to run an excellent little website called Paws for a Walk where you will be able to find so much more about walking the little dears!
I inferred at the beginning that the weather had been mixed this summer – that is of course wrong, it has been awful, August really is the worst month to walk….not that Mist cares.
Previous posts on Mist the Border Collie:
Mist Heads North July 2011
Early summer stay in Wasdale. May 2011
Mist & the outdoors in Spring. Apr 2011
Training Mist. Mar 2011
Pleasures & Problems. Jan 2011
Early Days of Mist, October 2010
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