Recently, I have been kind of neglecting Winston. It’s horrible to admit but it is totally unintentional.
Here is my daily (work days) routine:
6:15am – Wake up, take Jack to work (he works 12 hrs – 7am-7pm)
7:00am – Home and sleep for a couple of hours
10:00am – wake up, check Facebook, WordPress and youtube then get up showered, dressed, hair & make up done, housework done and let Winston run around the garden whilst I do all that
12:20pm – Leave for work. (shift 1-9pm)
9:35pm – Home, sit on the laptop for a while, hug Winnie
10:30pm – Let Winston out for final pee and bed.
And here is Winston’s daily routine:
6:15am – Mum & Dad get up, let me out for a pee and give me breaky
7:00am – Mum gets back – without Daddy – and we go back to bed for snuggles and a nap
10:00am – Mum wakes up, spends ages on that weird folding thing or her phone, then goes into the water cage, uses the silly loud thing that blows her hair, gets ready into a weird grey and green outfit and I get to run around the garden like a maddy!
12:20pm – Mummy hugs me and kisses me goodbye and leaves. I watch her drive away from the window.
4:00pm – Gran comes in and walks me then wines and dines me. I’m pretty sure she is my meal ticket.
7:30pm – Daddy comes home and razzles around with me on the bed and we play tag through the house
9:35pm – Mummy comes home and hugs me alot then sits on that foldy thing again
10:30pm – pee and BED!
You will notice one thing in this equation that looks a bit… off. I don’t walk my dog. My mum is kind enough to nip in and walk Winnie when I’m at work so I don’t need to do it when I get home. Until recently I thought this was great because Winston was still getting his walks and I didn’t have to worry about doing them when I got home. But like I say, that was until recently. About two or three weeks ago Winston started being really destructive. He was chewing everything – remotes, the mouse for the laptop, my moisturizer bottles, shoes, any packaging of any kind he could get to, it was just becoming ridiculous.
It took me a while to come to my conclusion but I thought, maybe I need to spend more time with him. But as you can tell things are a bit mad at the moment with work. However, I was determined to fit some quality time in with Winnie get him out on a proper walk.
Jack works at a nursing home right next to a local country park and I thought instead of leaving Winston at home when I take Jack to work why don’t I take him with me and take him a long walk first thing in the morning. This was literally the best idea I had ever had.
I started the walks a week and a half ago and Winnie has been so much happier for it. We still come home and nap afterwards and he gets his lunch when we wake up rather than first thing in the morning. It’s the best of both worlds.
Winnie at Troon Beach this morning
I also feel like these walks have done wonders for what little training I do with Winston. Before he would run straight for other dogs, not to attack just to say ‘hi’, but this often lead to some pretty worried owners and some pretty puzzled and traumatized dogs. He would eventually respond to my calls and back away but not before he had said his hellos and goodbyes. It got to the stage where I wouldn’t let him off leash as I was afraid people would see him as a dangerous dog. Yesterday, when we were out our walk we met a Golden Retriever and Winston began to run towards him. All I had to do was make a noise and he stopped, let out a little gruff and then ran back to me. I was astounded and excited. He showed such obedience I was so proud to be his owner, to be the one walking with him. Soppy, I know.
A daily walk with your dog is essential for many reasons, exercise, stress release etc but the most important reason I walk my dog now is for that bonding experience. It’s not something that you can get from just cuddling up on the sofa, playing around in the garden or napping in the middle of the day. Although they are pretty awesome!