Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Still going!

we're still going - I've just been a little late updating due to a lack of phone signal!

We have met John for a couple of days off by Hollingworth Lake, which has been lovely. I didn't plan that too well though as I'm now struggling to sort a campsite to get to tomorrow night!

There's a good possibility that Patch will go home with John tomorrow due to a couple of reasons, one being the fact that she's often too stressed for my liking because of her sound phobias, and the other being our worry of crossing the many fields of cows safely after 3 people were killed in four weeks doing so with dogs. I've had the chance to have a quick look on the web for advise on this matter but have only come across information telling me not to go through fields of cows with a dog. Not very helpful! I've tried to stick to quiet roads and bridleways lately to avoid this problem, but Patch just ends up stressed - she's much happier on a footpath where she can absorb herself in the scents of rabbits and sheep, but unfortunately these often lead to fields of cows...very difficult. It's a difficult situation for both dog owners and farmers, but I do feel something needs to be sorted to ensure both sides are safe and happy.

Onwards and upwards (southwards!)


Alan Sloman said...

Hi Sophie

You must look after the pair of yourselves. As you say, walking through cattle with Patch could well be a perilous business and it would not be fair on her to take on traffic.

Might it be a good idea for John to deliver her to you for sections where it is not likely to encounter the beasts?

I am sure you will miss her - so have a good walk and our thoughts are with you.

Stay well

Old Winter said...

It is a shame if the little beastie has to go back, but more of a shame if the walk is stressing her. Given the choice of curled up in a favourite chair or chased by cows I suspect it is a no-contest.

Alan makes a good suggestion, there is no reason why Patch cannot return when the going is more to her liking.

peewiglet said...

I'm glad to hear you're still going strong.

It's a shame about little Patch, but I understand the anxiety about cows. I looked into it before getting my own pup, and most people say that the best thing to do is to let the dog off the lead if cows in a field start to show an interest, as the dog can outrun the cows and the cows aren't drawn to the person holding the lead. Other advice I've read for owners of small dogs is simply to carry them through cow fields, as that way the coos may not notice them. If the cows do spot the dog, and start to approach, then you can put the dog down and let it run to the other side of the field.

I've not yet encountered cows with Piglet, though, and I'm still quite worried about how it's going to work out, because TBH I'm always a little anxious about cows even without a dog.

As others have suggested, perhaps Patch can rejoin you when there are fewer cows around.

John J said...

I'll phone you later today Sophie. I hope it's all going well and you manage to outrun the coos AND the rain!


Dogs Trust said...

You've done so well so far - good luck for the rest of the walk. Of course you're putting Patch's welfare first; it's what any good owner would do. If she has to sit out the rest, or some of it, then so be it. It doesn't detract from your joint acheivements at all.

Take care,

Alex (Dogs Trust Web Editor)

Mark Moxon said...

I can sympathise, Sophie. A lost little dog decided to walk with me for a couple of fields just north of Hadrian's Wall, and the cows scared the bejesus out of both of us... so much so that a passing walking group had a go at me for taking my dog there in the first place. Luckily they changed their tune when I said it wasn't my dog and I'd been trying to turn it back since it wandered over, and then happily offered to take it back to the Wall. Quite scared me, it did, and that was just two fields!

If it's safer to send Patch home, then that's the way to go. LEJOG and JOGLE are supposed to be challenging, but not dangerous...


Sophie Easterbrook said...

Thank you so much for the comments.

Alan you are right - I miss her enormously! I'm on a mission now to get finished so I can get back to her!

Old Winter I agree, I think she is much happier indoors in front of the tv now.

Peewiglet - I heard the same advise, but if I let go of Patch she would either disappear off hunting, or if in a panic then she would just run off & hide! Not good eh?!

John - ta chuck, it was good meeting up with you.

Alex - many thanks for that. I must admit I was wondering what the heck I'm doing still walking without my dog (and in the rain!), but that's god to hear.

Mark - that was a bit unfair being told off when it wasn't even your dog! You must have been rather miffed.

RedYetiDave said...

I used to walk my two dogs through cow fields and had a couple of scary moments. However, once I knew what I was doing it was fine.

Peewiglet has mainly nailed it, let the dog go - it will avoid the cows and they want it not you.

But also, something that a dairy farmer once told me also is well worth knowing:

Cows will be scared of you if you make yourself big, arms up in the air, shout and look straight at them (that'll partly be the "forward pointing eye sockets" of a predator as opposed to the "sideways looking eye sockets" of a herbivore helping us out there I'd imagine).

I've used that many times, never failed to work so far...

Of course, as you say if the dog might disappear off in a panic it's still not a great situation to be in! But best to know what to do in case you're caught by surprise.