I feel guilty. My dogs don’t get proper walks every day. Because of my chronic fatigue syndrome I cannot walk with them as much as they need. I’m working on it, but I’m not there yet. And Ruud just isn’t home every time they need to walk. Having no nature within walking distance doesn’t help either. Every time they get a walk, they are on a leash.
They shouldn’t be. They are dogs, they need to run, play with other dogs and swim. Preferably every day. Well, the closest walking areas are a 20-minutes drive away, so every day is not possible. But once a week should be doable. I just have to find the right spots. That’s why I came up with this goal:
No 97: Take a trip in nature with the dogs, to ten places they’ve never been before where it’s allowed for them to walk without a leash.
I had wanted to start so much earlier on this goal. In fact I even did. The first trip we made was to a park in Schiedam, while visiting my sister.
But after that, this goal got forgotten somehow. We went to the same forest every time or to a fenced walking area in the neighborhood, very small, very boring. But that changed last week. Ruud and I decided it was time we discovered some new walking areas for the dogs. These are the two places we visited last week:
We wanted to explore this area first, because it promised us forest and water. Our dogs never swam before nod we were curious whether they might like it. We didn’t find water on our walk though. The dogs didn’t seem to mind at all. They were happily bouncing in between all the trees and racing the forest paths. The have been to a forest before, but not as beautiful as this one. The paths were so wide and easy to walk on. The dogs could run behind trees without us losing sight of them. And it was so huge. We probably haven’t seen 5% of it all. It was an amazing place and we will definitely visit it more often.
We wanted to check out this place, because this is one of the favorite walking areas of our dog teacher. And if a dog trainer approves of a place, it should be a nice place, right?
Oh. My. God. We arrived at Puptopia. This was Dog Heaven. Everything a dog need was there: endless heath to run around on, bushes to hide behind, long grass to hide in, water to cool off and lots of other friendly dogs to play with. And such an amazing view. Beautiful purple heath everywhere we looked. The dogs probably didn’t care about the view, but I did! Hey, the handlers need a nice enjoyable walk as well, right?
I had expected the dogs to like a forest better than heathland, but oh, was I wrong. I have never seen them so thrilled! Even our ‘borrowed’ dog Joxer (my sister’s dog who is staying with us for almost a year now) was running and jumping like crazy. He is fourteen years old! Not quite the running type anymore, but he seem to have forgotten about that.
But the most precious thing of all was Rikku discovering water. She has seen some rain puddles before, which she very much dislikes. In summer we offered her a small bath to play in, but she was afraid to step in the water. But apparently this place had the perfect little pool. The water was deep enough for her to let her whole legs disappear into it, but shallow enough for the rest of her body to stay dry. She carefully stepped in the water and then suddenly noticed how her paws could make splashes. She loved that! So she walked back and forth, deliberately splashing the water and she had so much fun. It was too cute.
The other two must have thought Rikku was crazy plunging in the water like that. Milo thought it was one big bowl of water to drink from and Joxer thought they both were crazy.
This place is definitely our number one walking area at the moment. It takes a while to get there (I believe it had cost us about half an hour), but it’s totally worth it.
I can’t wait to explore more walking areas!