Thursday, 3 July 2014

Bring me sunshine!

Somebody is certainly shining down on us all at the moment aren't they.  With wall to wall sunshine( yes I do know it is going to rain tomorrow) and no mud I have to say work has been even more of a delight than normal.

Obviously with sun comes heat.

We have tried many methods to walk our charges in the heat and there really is no substitute for finding the right walk for the conditions.  Usually involving trees and water it is our favourite place to walk anyway so no great hardship.

Then we have travelling in the vans.  Our vans are kitted out with blowers, heaters, showers and ventilation( x2) in the roof we also have a great gadget called a vent lock that come in various sizes that we use to allow airflow.  We have one window in our van at the side and no bulkhead mainly because I don't like the idea of the dogs being in a black box.  We have thermometers and I have been quite shocked at the temperatures in the vehicles.....I had to put a fleece jumper on Flute despite is being just under 28 º was too cold for him with the air gently flowing through though all the dogs were enjoying a breeze without being cold!  The hottest it has been in our dogs area was 25º which most find comfortable our area was an uncomfortable 30º.

Our routines change completely( something we have been doing  lot of recently which has been a great move with the dogs) with most of our guys going home early ( despite the vans being an appropriate temperature what if something should happen, we wouldn't want to be sitting with our charges in the heat or be held up no matter how well prepared we are).  We always water our guys and gals however in this weather their fluid consumption can quadruple  and you know what that means? Way more weeing.  So we even took advantage of this as a couple of our newer and younger dogs still aren't perfect at weeing on command when we stop.  With the increased intake we stop more frequently at more new places and it is invaluable to have dogs wee when the opportunity arises.  It also means the dogs who are wise to the 'quick wee stop' and hold off so they get long out and about tend to not bother because they are ready for a wee.

Actually I have practised that today...remember the holiday at Thwaite where we took all my lads?  Where Flute lost the ability to toilet because of the coneys?  Well we have been practising taking them to high rabbit areas and asking them to wee.  I have to make sure they have had a good drink or three and nature helps us out!  Tips is becoming a pro again whilst Flute is taking longer.  Longer is fine it is way better than never haha.

I was delighted to hear one of my training dogs was all prepared for his day out with Nanny and he had his sunblock on already, a white boxer you simply can't take risks.

Over the next week or so we are going to be facing the dreaded seeds that can cause mayhem and real damage so I am delighted at least our field is being cut which helps to limit the chances and we can usually aim to pick and choose our walks for this period though we aren't able to eliminate the risk 100%.

The sun also brings out the worst and the best of.....the flesh.  Autumn has certainly made my legs hide away in shame though they did make a brief appearance this week only to remember why I often don't dog walk in shorts, I sported a lovely collection of bramble and nettle brandings!

I hope you have managed to enjoy some of the sun and I hope even more there will be more after the land has had a good drink....I do live in hope.

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