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!

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!

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.

The inner puppy starts to show itself

Sunday 25th June to Saturday 1st July 2017

That’s obviously Teddy I’m talking about. The estimate we’ve had is that he’s between 12-18 months old, but we think it is most probably nearer 12 months as, now he’s feeling more confident at home, we are starting to see a lot of puppy behaviour. Of course, this means we have to keep our eye on him all the time. In addition, he is requiring more house training that we would have liked, but we think we’re getting there.

On Sunday afternoon I took Teddy up to the top of Upton Heath for our walk. Here he is heading down the hill.

Heading down from the top of Upton Heath

And here’s a panorama from a few yards further down.

Panorama over Upton Heath

Being a site hound, though, he loves to stand and gaze out over the heath.

Teddy likes to gaze across the open heath

I’ve also got a couple of bits of video of him today. In this one he is playing with his toys in the garden.

I find it interesting that he likes his toys as when we first gave them to him he didn’t seem too sure what to do with them. Now he loves them though.

He also likes to race around the garden at times, and is in the process of completely destroying my lawn.

Of course, after all that running he’s usually worn out – so much so that on this occasion he had to lie in the shade to have a drink.

So tired after his zoomies he has to lay down to drink

Mind you, at least in that photo he’s drinking from his bowl. You see, he’s also worked out that he can drink from the fish pond – and eat the fish food!

Not only does Teddy drink the pond water, but now he's eating the fish food too!

At least Jez and Max used to limit themselves to only eating the fish food that had fallen on the ground.

On Saturday I took him for another walk on Upton Heath. I had intended to do a long walk around the back of the heath, but as we arrived we met a lady with 3 dogs including a saluki cross (which she had muzzled, and a young wolfhound. So we walked with her. Well, I say walked. For the first time I let Teddy off the lead for his walk as all he wanted to do was play with the saluki cross. They spent their time racing backwards and forwards at top speed and he had a wonderful time. Here he is with the lady and all 3 dogs at the pond.

Making new friends on Upton Heath

And he’s getting a lot braver when it comes to the water.

Getting braver in the pond

I’ll leave you today with photos of Teddy doing one of the things Teddy likes to do best, apart from playing and eating that is. Teddy likes to lounge and snooze. So here he is on the sofa in my sitting room.

Teddy likes the sofa in my sitting room

Having a snooze on the sofa.

Snoozing position

And snoozing on my bed.

Snoozing on my bed

And we have news. We’ve had his DNA results back and it turns out he’s not a lurcher, he’s a longdog. He his 50% Saluki (Persian Greyhound) and 50% Greyhound. His parents were both Saluki/Greyhound crosses and they both had a Saluki and a Greyhound as their parents. So now we know. It was a bit of a shock. We thought he had deerhound in him, although I hadn’t ruled out Saluki, and possibly poodle. But as a friend said, they are both short-coated breeds, so where does all of Teddy fluff come from?

Teddy’s first week home

Sunday 11th – Saturday 17th June 2017

Teddy has settled in very well during his first week with us. The first two nights he slept on the sofa in the living room as he wouldn’t come upstairs. On the Monday he discovered he could do stairs after all and spent a lot of his time running up and down them. After that he slept on a duvet on the floor for one night, and then on my bed thereafter. We have to watch him first thing in the morning though, as if you don’t take him outside quick enough he can’t hold it any longer and wees on the carpet. He hasn’t learnt how to ask to go out yet.

On Teddy’s first full day with us Chris took him for a walk in the morning and then in the afternoon I took him over to Upton Heath. We walked over, as I used to do with Jez and Max when they were younger, and then walked up the Roman Road and out onto the heath. Here is Teddy at the top of the hill.

Teddy on top of Upton Heath

Looking into the camera.

Teddy in close-up

It was quite breezy, and every now and then as we walked down the hill he’d stop and gaze out across the heath. Well, he is a sight hound after all.

Teddy with the wind in his fur

And here’s another one of him.

Teddy

I’ve not been taking photos every day. But as the temperatures started to rise we took Teddy out early in the morning and then to Delph Woods, where there is lots of shade and water, in the afternoon. This was taken on Wednesday afternoon when it was time for a drink in the stream in Delph Woods.

Time for a drink

Another close up.

Teddy

And one more of him in the woods.

Teddy

On Thursday afternoon I took the EOS 6D into the garden to get some photos after Chris bought Teddy home from his walk.

Teddy in the garden

And my favourite – Snoozing with his head in the daisies.

Shhh! Teddy's asleep

On Friday morning it was overcast and I took Teddy down to Lychett Bay. No photos of Teddy from today, although he did have to try out the seaweed, but a couple of the boats down there. As you can see the tide was out.

Boats at low tide

And I quite liked this photo of a rowing boat.

Stranded

And lastly, a photo from Friday afternoon which shows just how much Teddy is settling in.

Teddy dozing

That’s it for this week, but I hope you’re going to enjoy my new adventures with Teddy.