It was very, very weird to do what we did this weekend. Just a group of people walking in the middle of the Highlands for the whole morning WITHOUT THE DOGS!!! How very strange. We left the poor pooches at home on their dog beds in the kennels and the garden and set off on a long jolly, walking where all the canines would have loved to be with us. They were obviously well looked after with their dog sitter, who moves in to mind them all ALL the time whenever we leave the house. So why did we not take them? We walked for seven hours in the top North-East corner of Scotland where after we jumped on our bikes and cycled for 10 miles. I wanted to take a couple of the dogs for the walk, but it would just not have been possible to ask them to run the extra 10 miles.
Training the dogs before the grouse season is really important and I take them out with me, running along with my push bike. There is only seven weeks till the season starts, but before that we are going out counting the grouse broods, which is equally challenging to their stamina. If you just let them sleep on their dog beds all summer and then suddenly take them out, they just can’t do the job. The counting does get them fit for the season, but if they are unfit before the counting, they are more likely to twist a leg or get some other injury.
My large male GWP, Gollum, has just injured himself on the foot. It’s a nightmare as he is hobbling on three legs. It was my fault as I had been on business to the midlands, looking at fabrics and took Gollum with me as company. He had not done much in 36hours and when I found a window of an hour, where I could give him some fresh air and a break from his luxury dog beds in the back of the car, I allowed him to run on awkward ground in the woods. I am sure it was because he has been sitting still for so long that he got the injury. So annoying. He was away for about four minutes and came back on three legs. So now he is spending all his time on any number of waterproof dog beds in the office. He gets his daily Metacalm and is pretty chuffed with himself for being allowed inside all day, but of course it does not give him ANY fitness at all. Fingers crossed that he will be ok for 12th August.