Monthly Archives: July 2018

Border Collie Dave – Chapter 8

The High Seas

You can learn everything from the internet these days. It is quite possible to never leave your house and yet become an expert on dog training or mountaineering! Dave and I learn hands-on as we go. I have never enrolled Dave in any formal training classes.

He’s an intelligent puppy from working dog parentage. Hundreds of years of working alongside man and selective responsible breeding has produced an intelligence to rival young adults.

For us, learning and training takes a few attempts and then that is usually enough to remember the lesson. Border collies have an amazing desire to learn and “please” their master.

Armed with nothing more than a tennis ball I decided to take Dave to the local beach and see what he thought of swimming. Also my poor parents needed a break from gardening tuition with their enthusiastic apprentice.

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Border Collie Dave – Chapter 7

Devon a New Beginning

There is no need for me to cover old ground here, except to say that the events of chapter two were a very sad time in my life and I expect Dave also found the upheaval stressful; but the reality of the matter was that Dave and I were now headed down the A303 dual carriageway to live in Torquay Devon.

With the car full of my worldly possessions, including an adorable young puppy looking out the rear window of the car at the countryside whizzing by I arrived in Devon. Dave was over the moon; new people to make a fuss of him and as he was to discover a new exciting hobby.

My parents had very kindly agreed to let Dave and myself move in for a few weeks, whilst I sorted out a permanent place to live somewhere in the UK.

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Border Collie Dave – Chapter 6

Gliders Soaring

With his puppy inoculations now complete it was time to let Dave loose on the great outdoors; wow what amazing adventures awaited. I was very fortunate to live in a village at the foot of the majestic South Downs in West Sussex.

In most directions open fields could be found with footpaths leading to wooded dells and tranquil streams. My favourite local spot was Parham Airfield, a vast flat field used during the day by a popular gliding club. This was to become our daily walk.

With his tiny first collar fastened gently around his neck, complete with puppy ID tag Dave had all the cute charm appeal of a child dressed for their first day at school. I was very much a proud “parent” that day.

I opened the front door and we as a family set off for his first outdoor walk.

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Border Collie Dave – Chapter 5

Visit To The Vet

Many dogs have a fear of visiting the vet for the first time; quite often for good reason. No one likes going to hospital and animals are no exception to that rule.

Dave of course had to be different. I was all prepared for a terrified fur ball. Square legs that make them impossible to carry to and from the vet. Nope, nope, ut uh, not happening…noooo. I was expecting it all.

I rang the buzzer on the door and waited a few seconds before entering. Dave was on his lead and he confidently walked into the waiting room ahead of me. He immediately stopped and scampered backwards in surprise. His little paws frantically running in reverse like the cartoon character Roadrunner!

“That Dave is a Great Dane,” I said to myself as I peered into the waiting room to see what had spooked poor puppy.

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Border Collie Dave – Chapter 4

First Night Nerves

I was living in a house with a large conservatory and this was to be home for Dave. His own safe space away from the hazards of kitchen cupboards and exciting bathrooms.

I set up the crate, complete with large comfy cushion and water bowl and welcomed Dave into his new home after the long drive home. His world had, in a few hours expanded beyond belief. He was now far away from the boundary fences of old.

A new home, with new adventures awaited. He sniffed and looked around inquisitively.

Tap tap tap went his little claws on the wooden floor as he explored his unfamiliar surroundings. I had bought a soft rope toy shaped liked an octopus and named it Ollie.

Dave picked ‘Ollie the octopus’ up in his mouth, walked to the corner of the conservatory and promptly sat down and fell asleep,

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Border Collie Dave – Chapter 3

Dorset Dave: Who Chose Who?

I had never owned my own dog before and as a child growing up we tended to have had more cats than dogs in the family over the years. So it came as a bit of a surprise to myself, let alone anyone else in the household when I leapt out of bed at 8AM on Saturday 25th April 2015 and announced;

“We’re buying a puppy, grab your coats everyone!”

What followed next was many minutes of excited squealing from my partner’s children and rather embarrassingly myself too. I had just made one of my most life changing impulsive decisions ever; and I had done so from under a duvet in about 5 minutes.

For several reasons out of my control (peculiar landlady at the time) re-homing a rescue dog wasn’t going to happen so that meant a puppy was the sensible (remind me of that word later) option.

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Border Collie Dave – Chapter 2

New Journey: The Last Sunset

Dave stood patiently by my left leg as I fumbled in my jacket pocket and found my house keys, after our usual evening walk. Juggling his lead in one hand and my keys in the other I turned the key in the lock. I opened the front door “Hi Honey we’re home,” I mentally recited.

My girlfriend was standing in the hallway – her bags were packed and her face told me this was the end of our long relationship. Life dropped away from me with the terrifying suddenness and shock of a plummeting elevator.

Dave trotted along the hallway oblivious and into the kitchen and gulped water from his bowl; I fought back the tears but failed. 10 minutes earlier I had been taking carefree photos of the beautiful Sussex sunset as Dave chased the bees and the singing birds.

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Border Collie Dave – Chapter 1

Dedication to Friends and Family

This blog is dedicated to all our canine friends out there who tirelessly support their human companions; through good times and bad, rain or shine.

Those pets who help us through our darker moments.

Acknowledgements

A big thank you goes to Dave, my border collie companion; without him there would be no inspiration to write this blog. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to my fiancee Lauren, my reason to smile each and every day.

Thank you Keith Foskett for encouraging me to hike and write. A special mention goes out to the thousands of fans on social media who love hearing about Dave’s adventures.

To all my friends and family that have supported me along the way.

Dan; for all the laughs and heartache. Keep strong.

#WeLoveDave –

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