At last, a bit more sunshine

Sunday 13th August to Saturday 19th August 2017

Normally I take Teddy over Upton Heath on a Saturday, but as we went to the Dorset Dogs Festival instead I took him over on Sunday afternoon this week. We were greeted on our arrival by this beautiful Red Admiral on the path.

Red Admiral

We turned left into Longmeadow Lane woods where the beech trees were looking lovely in the sunlight.

Beech Trees

Then we made our way up the Roman Road before turning onto the heath and heading towards the viewpoint. En route I spotted this pretty little Grisette. I rather liked the setting with the moss surrounding it.

Grisette

We walked down the hill and eventually came to the pond where Teddy set about eating the soil – something he seems to like to do quite a bit here. Jez used to lick the soil here too, so I’m guessing it’s full of minerals. Perhaps I should try it!

Teddy likes to eat the soil by the pond

From there we walked around the lower heath where I spotted another Grisette.

Grisette

Finally we walked back along the Roman Road before heading home. Monday morning, of course, we were back there again. And once again Teddy was sticking his muzzle in the soil, as you can see.

Teddy's been digging with his nose again

Tuesday was a lovely sunny morning so we headed out to Morden Bog, which is looking beautiful where the heather is in full bloom.

Heather in full bloom at Morden Bog Looking back up the hill

In this photo you can see Decoy Pond.

Decoy Pond behind the heather

And here’s a photo of Teddy in the heather.

Teddy in the heather

We walked on and as we headed towards Henry’s Pond we met our friends Tink and Twig. We walked on round with them. At one point they disappeared into some shrub. I heard a rustle, and then a young roe deer popped out onto the path between me and Teddy. I don’t know which one of us was more surprised. It ran off into the trees on the opposite side of the path and after thinking about it for a moment Teddy thought he’d follow. But he was a good boy and came back when I called, after which Tink and Twig re-appeared and took off after the deer in totally the wrong direction, so Teddy had to follow them. The next time we saw Teddy he was a really long way away, still chasing the non-existent deer. So we walked in his general direction with me calling him, and after a short time he came running back to me. I was so proud of him!

After all that running, though, the dogs were hot and had to cool down in a bit puddle.

Teddy, Tink and Twig cool down in a muddy puddle

And finally for Tuesday, one last view of Decoy Pond and the heather taken from the top of the hill as we headed back to the car.

Looking across to Decoy Pond

On Wednesday morning I went to see my Dad, and in the afternoon I took Teddy over to Canford Heath.

Teddy admires the view

Unfortunately I struggle to find good photos on Canford Heath these days, but I quite liked this one of the trees along the path that runs next to the Crematorium.

Trees and clouds

And here’s a slightly different view, taken as we walked up the hill from Steeple Close.

Trees, clouds and heather

And so onto Friday and another walk on Upton Heath.  Along the old railway line the honeysuckle is now in bloom.

Wild Honeysuckle

But there are no other photos from Friday. We did meet Charlie, the dog walker, though, with 6 dogs so Teddy had a good play.

And, of course, Saturday afternoon it was back to Upton Heath. As usual on a Saturday we walked up the Roman Road, across to the viewpoint, and then down the hill. Today, as we passed to two pine trees on the hill, the sky behind them was fabulous.

Cloudscape

We continued on to the pond where Teddy spotted a pigeon on the far bank.

Teddy has spotted a pigeon

And then I threw him a stick and he started to play.

I don’t know what he thought he was doing. Although he picked that stone up at the end he immediately dropped it and then went back to digging in the deeper water. He was doing this for nearly 15 minutes while I sat watching him and laughing.

And then we walked on around the lower heath, along the Roman Road and came back to the car. And although he spotted the ponies along the way and showed an interest he came away when I called him. I’m sure it won’t always be like that though!

Two Dog Shows in a Week

Sunday 6th August to Saturday 12th August 2017

Sunday was the day of the Margaret Green Animal Rescue Companion Dog Show at their lovely centre at Church Knowle in the Purbeck Hills. I wanted to go as Margaret Green was the rescue we got Teddy from. It was a sunny, although breezy day. and after we sitting in a traffic jam to get to Wareham for 25 minutes (yes it’s the time of year when I curse holidaymakers) we finally arrived at Church Knowle just before noon. Being in the Purbeck Hills the setting is stunning.

Looking across the showground Show Ring #1Margaret Green Animal Rescue The wind was a bit chilly at first – as you can see, Chris felt the need to put his hood up.

Chris and Teddy

Teddy, who can be nervous of people, particularly if they are carrying big wooden walking sticks, seemed quite happy to meet and greet.

Saying Hello to Teddy

He missed out on the treats that were being handed out though.

Anyone for a treat?

I entered him in one of the classes, Margaret Green Rescue best male, but he only came 6th out of not very many.

Me and Teddy in the show ring Me and Teddy in the show ringMe and Teddy It was nice to see a staffy win it, though.

The winner of the Best Margaret Green Rescue (Male)

And while I was in the ring Chris busied himself taking photos of a couple of other dogs, like this French Bulldog…

French Bulldog

…and this lovely little staffy girl that I wanted to take home with me.

I loved this little staffy girl

After that we bought some lunch and sat an ate it in amongst the crowds.

Lunchtime

We even had our photo taken by a photographer from the local paper. It’s a lovely photo but although I’ve tried to buy it the link doesn’t work, which is a shame.

And to finish for Sunday a couple of photos of Teddy taken by Chris. First snoozing…

Snoozing

… and then looking slightly more alert.

Teddy

I didn’t take any more photos until Thursday as the weather wasn’t good. But on Thursday the sun was back and I took Teddy over to the far side of Canford Heath. This was the view looking back over Poole as we climbed the hill.

Looking across Canford Heath to Poole

Here’s Teddy on the path across the heath.

Teddy looks across the heather

And looking cute and teddy bear-like.

Teddy

In the afternoon to go out to RSPB Arne and have a wander over Combe Heath; something that is possible now we have a second car again. I was ever hopeful of spotting an Osprey, but sadly it was not to be. Mind you, it might help if I had some decent binoculars. Ah well. It was really hot and I had problems stopping my neck from catching the sun. This was the view from the top of the heath.

Panorama over Combe Heath

The heath is currently grazed by English longhorn cattle.

English Longhorns

And for one little chap it was still lunchtime.

Lunchtime for this little one

Further round the path a group of artists were making the most of the stunning views.

Painting the landscape

But they were the only really half-decent photos from my trip. There is no doubt about it – I seem to have lost my photography motivation. I just can’t seem to get inspired to take that many photos, which suggests I’m no longer seeing the possibilities.

This conclusion was reinforced on Saturday when I walked Teddy over to our second dog show of the week: the Dorset Dogs Festival at Upton Country Park. It was almost as though I had to force myself to take photos of some of the dogs. There were a few cute ones though. Like this friendly chap.

Friendly dog

And this lovely wire-haired Vizsla pup.

Wire-haired Vizsla pup

Who, after playing with Teddy, needed a scratch.

Time for a scratach

At the other end of the age scale was this 15 year old, frost faced staffy.

Frosty chops staffy (15 years)

Towards the end of our time there we bumped into a friend of Teddy’s, Tanner, whom he sometimes meets when Chris takes him for an evening run at the Country Park. Tanner is also a Saluki cross, but he and Teddy look quite different.

Teddy and his friend, Tanner

Tanner was there with his friend Moose.

Tanner and Moose

And here is Teddy and Moose.

Teddy and Moose

All 3 dogs got on really well together and after chatting for a while we took them over to the enclosed training area so they could have a good run. After which they were all worn out. And so was I as by then we had been out 3 hours, so I phoned Chris to come and pick up up.

I’ll leave you with one last photo for today: of Teddy at the Dorset Dogs Festival.

Teddy

Where’s the summer gone?

Sunday 30th August to Saturday 5th August 2017

Where indeed! Once again the weather has not been great this week.

Sunday wasn’t too bad, although as you can see from this shot over Upton Heath, there was an awful lot of cloud around.

Upton Heath in July

But it didn’t stop Teddy from posing for me at the top of the hill.

Teddy on top of the hill

We were back over the heath again on Monday morning, when there was more cloud, although today it was lighter and interspersed with sunshine. Teddy was posing again: this time in the old pits.

Teddy poses in the old pits

Tuesday we went to Badbury Rings and got rained on from time to time. It was another grey day with flat light, so I didn’t get any photos. I did call in at the vet surgery and weigh Teddy on the way home and was pleased to see that he hasn’t put on any weight in the past month. It must be all the exercise!

Wednesday was wet – very wet at times. I went to my Dad’s in the morning and then took Teddy to Broadstone Rec in the afternoon. Here he is next to the war memorial.

At the war memorial

The first part of our walk was mainly under the trees which were dropping large blobs of water on us. Teddy soon turned into a spotty dog.

Rain from the trees on Teddy's coat

Once we got to the playing fields and Teddy had enjoyed himself chasing the seagulls it started to rain a lot harder. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the wind was driving the rain across the football pitches. Teddy didn’t care – he was too busy playing. And I wasn’t too bothered as I had gone out in full waterproofs. But Teddy was in a pretty sorry state by the end of our walk.

Wet dog at the end of his walk

Thursday we went over to Canford Heath where Teddy met lots of dogs to play with. I was too busy chatting to take photos though.

And so onto Friday when the sun came back out for a while and we walked over Upton Heath.

Looking across the lower heath

And then there was Saturday. It was quite a nice morning and early afternoon. I left home about 3pm and drove Teddy to Upton Heath in full sun. I could see lots of black clouds around though. I parked the car and as we got out I thought, “What’s that noise?”. It was incessant thunder! So having walked a few yards to the entrance to Upton Heath we turned round and got back in the car and came home again. And it was a good job we did, since as soon as we got home a massive thunderstorm hit. Within 15 minutes everywhere was flooded. Then it stopped as quickly as it had started so Teddy and I ventured out again.

Back to Upton Heath, and we walked up the Roman Road and then out onto the heath. As you can see, there was still rain around.

The view over Upton Heath

We only had a few more spits and spots though. Here’s Teddy having a bit of a look around as we came down the hill.

Teddy likes to explore

And here is a view coming down the hill.

As we head down the hill

At the pond Teddy had to stop and have a drink.

Time for a drink

And then we walked around the lower heath. But you can tell how much rain we’ve had over the past few days: the Roman Road is flooded again.

The Roman Road is flooded again

Let’s hope the rest of August improves.

A bit of a damp week

Sunday 23rd July to Saturday 29th July 2017

I didn’t think I had much to share with you this week, as we’ve had quite a damp, showery week. But it turns out I have more than I thought, including 3 bits of video.

So I’ll start last Sunday, when I took Teddy down to Lake Pier at Hamworthy. It used to be a favourite destination of Max’s, but since they’ve started charging for the car park I haven’t been back. Anyway, it wasn’t a particularly nice afternoon: fairly breezy with squalls of rain. I don’t think Teddy has been to the beach before as he didn’t seem to know what to make of the waves.

He did find the seaweed quite tasty though (you would think he was never fed).

Teddy finds seaweed quite tasty

And he had a great time chasing the wagtails along the beach and then the seagulls into the water. Monday we actually had some sun for our walk over to Upton Heath, and Teddy made a new friend at the pond: a young German Pointer. Here they are having a great time.

Tuesday was another nice day and I decided to take Teddy out to Wareham Forest. We hadn’t been there long when we met two 13 week old French Bulldog pups.

Teddy meets two 13 week old French Bulldog pups

They wanted to play with Teddy until he started chasing them and then they got scared, so I put him on the lead and walked him on.

As I said, it was a very nice day, as you can see from this photo of Teddy approaching the Dragonfly Pool (on the left).

Walking towards the Dragonfly Pool

And here is said Dragonfly Pool, looking rather lovely in the sunshine.

Reflections in the Dragonfly Pool

I took Teddy for a slightly longer walk today and chose I route I used to take with Jez and Max but which I don’t think they’ve been up to walking for the past 3-4 years. It bought us back along the side of Decoy Heath.

Looking across Decoy Heath

Although it looks like grass it is mainly bog, covered in grassy hummocks in places and reeds. Walking along Teddy spotted a crow out on the heath and took off after it. He was doing fine until he fell into one of the boggy pools, at which time he came to an abrupt halt. Just look at the state of him afterwards.

Guess who fell in the bog

All that mud can make a little dog quite frisky though.

I tried to wash him off in the Gruffalo Pool but he wouldn’t go in, choosing to run after a horse and rider that I thought was far enough away before I let him off the lead again. Fortunately no harm was done but I’ll have to hold onto him for longer when we meet horses in future.

So I arrived home with a very muddy dog, and had to bath him, which he did not appreciate. I had a nice clean, dog afterwards though.

Teddy after his bath

After that the weather got worse and it was either overcast or raining and I didn’t take any photos until we went to Delph Woods in the rain on Saturday afternoon. We had had strong winds overnight and I came across a fallen silver birch tree alongside the stream.

Tree down

With all the rain Teddy looked very bedraggled and sorry for himself.

Teddy's not happy about all this rain

Even the lake looked pretty dismal.

Rain on the lake

So we were happy to get back to the car and the dry.

At the end of a wet walk

I’m hoping for slightly better weather in the coming week. Perhaps I’ll be able to get some of my washing done.

A bit of a dull week

Sunday 16th July to Saturday 22nd July

I’m mainly talking about the weather here. After very hot days on Monday and Tuesday we’ve had a lot of cloudy days and some rain, so I haven’t taken the camera on walks quite so much. And then there was the Saturday night incident last week, when Teddy got in the garage, knocked over his food bin, got the top off and gorged himself. Consequently he was feeling very sorry for himself on Sunday. Chris took him for a gentle walk in the morning, but come the afternoon all he wanted to do was sleep it off, so I didn’t take him out. It meant I could sit and watch the British Grand Prix though.

On Monday we went over to Upton Heath as usual. Teddy had fun zooming round the old pits (something he loves to do it the kids aren’t cycling there). At a break in his zoomies I took this photo.

Teddy

On Tuesday it was a bright sunny morning with a bit of breeze so I took Teddy out early to the River Stour at Eye Bridge. We did our walk before I bought him back to the big, shallow bay in the river where we play.

Teddy in the river

I had seen a few swans further along the river but they were heading away from us. So I was surprised when Teddy took off around the section of bank that juts out. I couldn’t really see what was going on but could just see his back end and the odd flash of white. He was a very good boy, though, and came back when I called him. A few moments later I could see what he’d gone to investigate.

That's rather a lot of swans

There were 9 of them! I’m guessing last year’s cygnets. No wonder Teddy thought better of it. After we’d played for a while we went back to Eye Bridge. Last week I couldn’t get him over the bridge. It is slatted and dogs aren’t too keen on it at first. This week I managed to get him onto the bridge with the aid of a lead and some treats. This was the view down to the weir.

A lovely morning at Eye Bridge

And here’s Teddy on the bridge.

Teddy ventures onto Eye Bridge

He was really pleased he went over the bridge though, as he met an 11 month old Labrador over there.  They had great fun chasing each other in and out of the water.

The only other photos I have are from Saturday, taken on my iPhone on Upton Heath. Here’s Teddy in the pond.

Teddy in the pond

And lastly a portrait of him.

Teddy

And in one final piece of news: we are a two-car family again. My Dad has had to give up driving so I’m buying his car. Freedom at last!

Boggy pools are the best

Sunday 9th July to Saturday 15th July 2017

Teddy and I have been out and about again this week, in between much snoozing on the sofa (that’s Teddy not me, I should point out).

On Sunday I took him back out to Wareham Forest. It was a bit of a mistake as it was far hotter than I thought. So I kept to the shade wherever possible.

A hot day in Wareham Forest

However, it’s impossible to keep in to the shade along the bottom path adjacent to the heath and Teddy had to find somewhere to cool down. Unfortunately a lot of the pools along here that Max loved so much are drying up to boggy puddles. That didn’t stop Teddy though. Here he tests the waters.

Teddy tests the water

And, yes, it was ok, so he could get in and lie down.

Yep - this muddy pool is suitable to cool down in

Which left him looking like this.

Now look at him!

Fortunately I was able to get him in the much cleaner gruffalo pool further on to rinse him off.

Time to wash off in the Gruffalo Pool

There are more photos from Sunday – taken after his morning walk with Chris when he was cleaner and drier. Here he is on the sofa…

On the sofa

… chewing my fingers …

Chewing my fingers

… and generally relaxing.

Settled down

And one last one from Sunday, of his nose.

Teddy nose

Monday saw him snoozing on the sofa again.

Sleepy dog

On Wednesday I had the afternoon walk as I had been to my Dad’s in the morning. I decided to take Teddy over Canford Heath.

Wallking on Canford Heath

As you can see, it was another warm day.

Wallking on Canford Heath

Which meant that Teddy had to find somewhere to cool off again.

Time to cool down

This time he came out quite clean though.

Teddy

This is the time of year when we get a lot of Stonechats on the heaths, and on Wednesday I managed to get a photo of one.

Stonechat

We headed back to the car along one of the wide sandy tracks that Teddy loves to race around on so much. Today he found a small hole in the sand that another dog had started to dig, and so he had to enlarge it. He got very excited in the process, as you can see.

What a happy dog he is!

And so onto Thursday, and I decided to take Teddy out to Morden Bog and then walk on around a different part of Wareham Forest. Although it was overcast it was still quite warm.

Walking in Wareham Forest

However, Teddy kept wanting to run off over the wide open spaces, and I was a bit worried about the cows and deer that were around, so he spent some of his time on the lead.

Part way round though we bumped into someone I know with her two dogs, Tink and Twink, along with a friend of hers and her Labrador Ty. So I let Teddy off the lead and we walked on with them. Teddy had a great time playing with Twink and Ty (Tink is a little bit more reticent). So they ran around and got hot and then had to find the boggiest pool to cool off in.

We found friends to play with

Yes, that’s my dog at the back. Look at the state of him!

Someone needs a wash

Fortunately we were heading for Henry’s Pond where we were able to wash the dogs off. They had a great time chasing each other round and round, in an out of the water. And as we headed back to the car we passed the large rabbit warrens on the heath where Tink and Twink like to explore. Today Teddy took great delight in joining them.

It had been a good walk: we had been out for about 2 hours 15 minutes and were both worn out at the end of it.

Getting out and about

Sunday 2nd July to Saturday 8th July 2017

When Jez and Max were younger and able to walk longer distances we used to take them for nice long walks. Over time our walks have got shorter, and in the past year even the shortest of walks were getting too long. With Teddy, therefore, we are starting to get out on some of the slightly longer walks that we haven’t done in a while.

Our fist ‘new’ walk this week was out at Badbury Rings, the Iron Age hillfort just outside Wimborne. It was a warm, muggy day with a lot of cloud cover. This first photo is looking out across the Point to Point course.

View across the Point to Point course

Looking across the wheat field.

Wheat fields

After Saturday’s off-lead walk we are starting to let Teddy off lead a lot more. Here he is heading up the path to the north of Badbury Rings.

Teddy is allowed off-lead sometimes now

We walked around the outside of the old oak wood (there’s no access to the public) and then he had to go back on the lead to come along the track through King Down farm. As we walked by, though, a young buzzard flew out of the barn.

Young buzzard

We continued our walk back towards Badbury Rings and then turned through High Wood, before heading back to the Rings. This is a good place for butterflies, and today there were a lot of Marbled Whites out.

Marbled White Butterfly

After that we walked around the outer embankment back to the car. I tried to take some photos of the wild orchids, but I think my Powershot is playing up and none of the photos were any good.

Back at home Teddy settled on the sofa in my sitting room where he tried out his Trump comb-over.

Teddy tries out the Trump comb-over look

On Thursday it was another new walk for Teddy: to the River Stour at Cowgrove. It’s not very long but it was a hot morning and there’s lots of water there – obviously!

Teddy was off the lead all the time. We did our usual loop, walking and playing with the other dogs there, and then I bought him back to the shallow bay in the river and waded out into the river with him. Unfortunately Teddy decided to wander down the river to investigate a swan.

Teddy investigates the swan

Fortunately the swan eventually flew off. When Teddy came back to me I threw one of Max’s old conesfor him that I found in my bag.

Teddy retrieves a cone

Here he is kneeling down to try and chew it in the water.

Time to chew the cone

When he tried to grab it, he pushed it under with his nose though.

Nose in the water

And eventually it was time for a drink.

Time for a drink

And then time to investigate something he’d spotted under the water.

Now what's he seen in the water?

Finally, from the river, here’s a short clip of video I took of him.

On Friday we went to Upton Country Park first thing, and once again Teddy was off the lead. He found lots of dogs to play with, and had a really good game of chase with a young spaniel at the stream. I didn’t get any photos though.

So onto Saturday afternoon and we went over Upton Heath as usual. En route we met a few cows in the Pinesprings sanctuary. Teddy had to say hello.

Teddy meets and greets the cows

We walked up the Roman Road and then turned onto the heath, which is looking very green.

The heath is still very green

We had had some cloud cover earlier, but we came down the hill in full sun and Teddy got hot. So he decided he had to lie down in the muddy gully to cool off.

Teddy had to cool down in the muddy gully

Just look at the state of him when he came out.

Wet muddy dog

Further on down the hill he disgraced himself my running off and scavenging something (I don’t know what). So I put him on the lead, which was a good job as a few yards further on we came across a young adder in the middle of the path. I just managed to grab a quick shot of it as it slithered off into the undergrowth.

An adder slithers off

I took Teddy onto the pond where I threw kibble into the water to get him in deep enough to wash the mud off.

Washing the mud off Teddy

And one last photo of him – making ripples in the pond.

Ripples in the pond

I hope you are enjoying the new adventures of Teddy.