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Thursday, 14 May 2009

PR and exercise

Well yesterday's exercise session went quite well. Madam exited the field brimful of enthusiasm. Two minutes later we met PR (public relations) one, with Irish Red and White Setter. Long conversation ensued, but I try to engage as much as possible. I always think it is helpful to have the locals on side and it is good training for the girls to stand still with out fidgeting or gawping at the dog. They were both excellent although the Grey (being led) got very social with Madam and spent an age nuzzling her wither. Who am I to complain when they are playing nice? So much easier than when they are bitching.

Then we trotted up a hill a couple of times (one for each diagonal) and practiced being light with our cues as we explored new trails on the common. Both girls were again very cooperative, even when faced with shopping trolleys and assorted rubbish. It was peak commuter time so we met lots of suits, some very friendly, others obviously super stressed. Again good practice for the girls, they have really got the hang of mutually scooting to one side and then standing so that people can pass without fear. Not so many dogs and children as the weather was overcast and a bit cold.

Then we met PR two. Young lad, it was easy to spot from a hundred yards that he wanted to pet the girls so we pulled up and had a chat. I always worry about kids approaching strangers. Especially when those strangers have animals. He was safe enough with us, but the common is no place to be alone. Anyway he enjoyed stroking the girls and asked lots of questions and the girls as always were good. No begging for tit bits, no pushing or fidgeting. Just quietly standing and soaking up the fuss. I can't ask for more.

But all the chatting does eat into the exercise time. I reckon if I deduct the talking they probably did 50 minutes of physical exercise. Mostly walk, but varied terrain, so we are building the muscles and ligaments needed to keep them safe and sound. Also a good brain work out for them.

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Southern England, United Kingdom