MARCH 2010

Life with Riley
  The Diary of a Spanish Water Dog

Monday 1 March 2010


Riley is 17 weeks old today.


Tuesday 2 March 2010


Mike left for a working trip to Brazil yesterday afternoon, so today is the first day that Riley has had to go to doggie daycare.  She is very happy there, particuarly as she loves snuggling up to Archie the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and following him around like his shadow.  They have had a few problems with her toilet training though, which I am going to work on this week.  Although she is clean at home, and jumps at the door when she wants to go out, she really only has access to the kitchen and conservatory area, unless she is sitting in with us at night.  So this week, I am going to try giving her more access, with regular trips all the way out through the rooms to the garden.  Jayne


Saturday 6 March 2010


This was Riley's sixth and final puppy training class, and today she was learning stay.  She has learnt a lot at the puppy classes, and when she is at home and not being distracted by other puppies, she is doing well.  We shall be continuing with her training, probably a mixture of local classes and some private training with Di Williamson.


In the afternoon I took Riley for a walk in the grounds of Croome Park, which belongs to the National Trust.  There are three convex bridges that cross the lake at different points, with varying degrees of steepness.  The first one looked quite steep, so we walked past it and started on the first flatter bridge.  They didn't seem to bother her though,  she just liked to check behind as she ran over them to ensure I was following.  Jayne


Sunday 7 March 2010


After a lazy morning, I took Riley for a walk through the cider apple orchards.  As it had been fairly dry recently, I thought we would make it home without Riley being covered in mud; until I looked behind me and realised that she was stood in a deep muddy puddle that had been created by tractor tyres.  Unfortunately, because she had been stood in the puddle for a while, when she tried to move, I think her legs had got stuck in the mud, and she fell sideways into the puddle.  Very funny ... I just wish I had caught it on camera.  Jayne


Monday 8 March 2010


Riley is 18 weeks old today.


Tuesday 9 March 2010


As I am back at lunchtime from Brazil, Jayne didn't need to take Riley to doggie daycare.  She took her for a walk through the orchards before she left for the office, and so when I got back, Riley was asleep in her open crate in the conservatory.  I can't believe how much she has grown in one week.  She was very pleased to see me, though maybe no more than when I've left her for a couple of hours.  Mike


Saturday 13 March 2010


A lovely spring day, so we went on a local walk in the afternoon.  The good weather had brought out lots of other dogs, all of which Riley was pleased to see - and all good socialisation.


A large tractor was working one of the ploughed fields that we cross on the public footpath; so we waited and watched the tractor turning close to us.  Lots of noise, and typically Riley ignored it.  Mike


Sunday 14 March 2010


As we live relatively close to the NEC, Birmingham, we decided to go to Crufts for the day.  A first for both of us.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) non-participating dogs aren't allowed, and so Riley had to go to doggie daycare for the day.  Some consolation for Riley was that we came home with a new bed, more toys, various edible treats, a collar and two new leads and a lifejacket.


As well as watching some of the judging (including of the SWDs) and meeting friends, we spent some time in the main arena, particuarly enjoying the agility and the Southern Retriever Display Team.  Mike


Monday 15 March 2010


Riley is 19 weeks old today, and is off to Devon for a week with Mike and Jayne.

We got down to our lodge by late afternoon, and after unloading our luggage (most of which seems to belong to Riley ... cage, toys, blankets, towels, food, etc), we headed off to the beach at Woolacombe.

Riley loved charging up and down the sand dunes, and was soon paddling on the edges of the  sea.  She was happy to follow Jayne into the water when Jayne took off her shoes and rolled up her jeans, and was soon jumping about in the water.  When a slightly larger waves soaked her though, she decided enough was enough and headed back to shore looking pretty sorry for herself.  Jayne said the water wasn't that cold; I'll take her word for it; it's March still, and I don't intend to go in.

Riley soon recovered and charged around the beach again playing with her rugby ball and drying off by rolling in the sand.  Mike

Tuesday 16 March 2010

A trip to Lynton and Lynmouth and a journey on the cliff railway.  Riley was a bit restless when the railway car started heading down the cliff to Lynmouth (which is not surprising as it did shudder quite a bit), but on the whole she coped very well with the experience.  Jayne

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Today we took Riley to for a walk alongside the river at Watersmeet. When we reached  Crook Pool, she decided to go for a paddle, which turned in to a swim (her first), when she suddenly realised that she couldn't touch the bottom.  Mike

Thursday 18 March 2010

Riley couldn't believe her eyes when we got to the harbour in Clovelly ... it was full of footballs.  After a walk down to the water and Riley chasing and pouncing on the footballs, we made a quick exit before anyone could shout at us for assaulting their mooring buoys ...  Jayne

Sunday 21 March 2010

The last day of our holiday, a week of pretty good weather, some excellent walks and Riley's first experience of the sea (the tide was out when we took her to Weston-super-Mare).  We're sad to be going home so soon, but have planned another walk on Exmoor on the way home. This one was well inland near the village of Molland. Afterwards we headed for the London Inn, as recommended by the "Good Guide to Dog Friendly Pubs, Hotels and B&Bs".

The guide said that dogs are very much the focal part of things, and how right it was. We checked with the barman that it was ok to bring her in, and he said yes, of course, and told us that often dogs outnumber humans; the record being 17! Riley immediately became a major topic of conversation and was made a fuss of by many of the customers.  Jayne and I had a Sunday lunch, and when Riley wouldn't settle, a local lady offered to look after her in the bar so we could enjoy our roast beef.  Definitely one to head for again!  Mike

Monday 22 March 2010

Riley is 20 weeks old today.

Sunday 28 March 2010

Local walks for Riley this weekend.  It is still very muddy and by the time we got home Riley was half white and half muddy brown.  Unlike some of our friends who hose their gun dogs off in the back garden with cold water, Riley gets tepid water in a baby bath in the back garden (which is just the right size).  Although usually good when standing in the bath, today she looks as keen as a cat having a bath, with legs out at all angles.  Once Riley is in the bath she does give up and stand there whilst I try and wash off as much mud as possible.  Jayne

                           To February 2010                                                 To April 2010