JULY 2010

Life with Riley
  The Diary of a Spanish Water Dog

Friday 2 July 2010

Riley is 8 months old today.


Saturday 3 July 2010


As Mike was in Portugal, I decided to take Riley to the Cotswold Show in Cirencester.  As is usual with Riley she wasn't fazed by the crowds, all the other dogs, or the horses, cows, sheep, ducklings and chicks that I took her to see.  She was particularly fascinated by the owls.


The best part for me (although Riley seemed oblivious to what was going on) was the gundog scurries.  I have already decided that I would like to take Riley for some gundog training.  Whether she has any aptitude for it (or I have for that matter) remains to be seen.


We left the show at around 3.00 pm and then headed down to the Cotswold Water Park.  Although the beach there is only for humans, there is an area to one side designated for dogs to swim in.  Not having a ball with me (as I hadn't planned to stop off there) we made do with some twigs.  As long as I didn't throw them too far, she would wade out until she couldn't touch the bottom, then tentatively swim a short distance, grab the twig and bring it back.


I also showed stones to her that I had picked up from the bottom and dropped them by her face in about a foot of water.  Although she was a little confused as to what she was supposed to be looking for, she had the confidence to put her head completely under the water, and keep it there, whilst she looked around for what I had dropped in.


I really want to take her to the beach soon, as I think her confidence swimming will improve greatly if we are in swimming with her.   Jayne


Wednesday 7 July 2010


As Mike thought that he would like to have a go at showing Riley, we drove down to  Cheltenham for Riley's second ringcraft class.  Everyone is really helpful there, and both us and Riley have learnt a lot already.   Jayne 


Saturday 10 July 2010


Today we off down to Ross on Wye with our tent for our first weekend with the Spanish Water Dog Club.  As Riley was too young for the agility and the gundog training, she joined the puppy group; albeit most were less than 4 months old.


She enjoyed the day though, with a chance to go swimming, some puppy 'agility' and other training.   She was asleep in her crate at the end of the day before I could zip up the tent!   Mike


Sunday 11 July 2010


Another beautiful day, some more training and another chance to swim in the pool.  Unfortunately Riley realised that she could touch the bottom, and so she was effectively walking along on her hind legs, with her front paws splashing out in front.  We definitely need to take her to the beach and go in swimming with her to increase her confidence.


A thoroughly enjoyable weekend and a chance for Riley to meet some other SWDs, including some of her 'relatives' and for us to meet other owners and pick up more useful tips.   Mike


Thursday 15 July 2010


Tonight we are off for a long weekend away, and unfortunately Riley can't come with us.  This will have been the first time that she will have spent even a night away from us; we don't expect any problems though, as she will be boarding where she goes for 'doggie daycare'.   Jayne


Monday 19 July 2010


Although Jayne and I really missed her, Riley emerged unscathed from four nights away from us; albeit that she had been a bit bored, as Archie the Staffordshire Bull Terrier had been away for the weekend and no other dogs were boarding.  Probably just as well, as later that day, we realised the Riley had started her first season.   Mike


Tuesday 20 July 2010


Riley's weight is 15.1 kg.


Thursday 22 July 2010


Mike has left for Austria today, and as Riley can't go to doggie daycare,  and we don't have a Plan B, I will have to take long lunch breaks today and tomorrow and drive back from the office to take her for a walk.


As everything we had hurriedly read about bitches in season recommended not letting them off the lead, we invested in an extendable lead.  So that she wouldn't get into any bad habits using it, she walked to heel on her normal lead, and when we reached the cider apple orchards, the extendable lead was then clipped on and the normal one removed and she was released to wander off.  We then used 'come' to bring her back to us during the walk, rather controlling her using the lead.  She seemed happy with the arrangement, with the normal lead being put back on for the short walk along the road to home.  We also applied Johnson's Bitch Spray.  We assume that it provided some help, as other than one bouncy black poodle that seemed interested one day, we never experienced any problems with male dogs.  Jayne


Friday 30 July 2010


Mike has left for the Czech Republic, and so again I had to have a long lunch break yesterday to drive home and take Riley for a walk.  Today, I took a half-day holiday and came home at lunchtime.  I can't wait until her first season is over and she can walk off the lead again.  That said, our first experience of a bitch in season really hasn't been too bad.   Jayne









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