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, with Ollie tucked under one oversized puppy paw. All the puppy dreams. Peace and quiet at last for me – it had been a busy day since I leapt out of bed with my “crazy” idea.

With nothing to hurt Dave in the conservatory I decided to let him sleep wherever he wanted that first night. After all he would be missing his mum and dad terribly and now wasn’t the time for crate training.

The poor little tyke whimpered a few times during the night. The flickering moonlight and sounds of the owls had probably frightened him. As the hours passed by he seemed settled and less anxious.

I stroked his pink little nose and told him everything would be OK, don’t worry little one, Dad will look after you. I expect he was dreaming of big scary owls and juicy fat squirrels by the time I got to bed.

The next morning saw a happy puppy sat in the arms of my partner as she drank her cup of tea. His soft brown eyes looked at me as I walked into the lounge bleary eyed. The furry teddy bear was small enough to hold in one arm so he got to enjoy lots of attention whilst we were still able to sip tea.

Dave had survived his first night away from mum and dad without too much distress, a small wee and poo in the corner of the conservatory reminded me that toilet training would be beginning that day.

Border Collie Dave Puppy Eyes

Border Collie Dave Puppy Eyes

Raining or not, Dave needed to learn where the great outdoors was! That of course meant that Dave also learnt where the flower borders were; and that meant lots of digging fun. Apparently I had not puppy-proofed the garden well enough.

A high brick wall and wooden fence ensured that “explorer” puppy would be safe in the back garden; sadly the same cannot be said of the flower borders. Dave immediately felt at home in the back garden, chasing around the lawn like a mini tornado! Leaping over the low chicken wire fence I had placed around the flower borders.

This is great fun thought Dave as he leapt over the wire fence time and time again, Chasing Ollie the octopus or a bouncing tennis ball. Those photographs you see of puppies snoozing in flower pots or wicker baskets – that doesn’t apply to border collies. The minute they open their eyes in the morning it’s go go go!

Every minute I turned my back I would find Little Dave scampering into the house, looking all proud with his muddy pink nose and dirty “big” paws. It would seem that Dave enjoyed tunneling under the South Downs. I would look at him all cross for a few seconds and say “No!” and he would look back with a “You don’t really mean that,” kind of response in his soft eyes.

Alpha dog it would seem had an adopted “son” with a passion for civil engineering!

Over the coming days Dave would wander through the open door of his dog crate and he soon claimed the den as his very own “Dave cave.” With somewhere safe to sleep at night and for those times when I simply couldn’t take him out with me, it was one less thing to worry about.

Next we had to visit the vet….

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Malcolm Oakley
Hello, I’m Malcolm Oakley, a keen walker, leisure photographer and outdoors blogger. I'm lucky to have lived at the edge of the South Downs National Park, in West Sussex.

Living in Devon I am now walking the South West Coast Path and Dartmoor National Park with my Border Collie 'Dave'.

I hope you enjoy reading about my walks, look forward to reading your comments on the blog posts and YouTube videos. Please do get in touch.
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