Where to start – it’s been a hectic few weeks!
We’ve been looking to buy a field for our Beaglets for quite some time now. Two or three weeks ago we found a 9 acre field for sale that looked perfect. It was double fenced with secure sheep fencing with thick beech hedgerows between the fences. The current owners are keen conservationists and had planted little woodlands in the middle of the field. There’s a burn filled with otters, king fishers and brown trout running most of the way around the field and they had created a lovely walkway amongst the trees along its banks. It was perfect and they led us to believe it was ours if we wanted it. Needless to say pretty much everything else went out the window. In the excitement we even missed The Big Fun Run and a flyball comp in Redcar! Unfortunately it all fell through so it’s back to the drawing board….and the normal routine.
The mountain bikes have been a huge success (Thanks for the suggestion Sam and Chigley!). It’s amazing how much you find on your doorstep when you’ve got a bike. It turns out that National Cycling Route 7 is just minutes from our front door. Just 10 minutes along it is Pollock park which has lovely forest paths and a number of purpose built mountain biking courses graded from ‘Beginner’ to ‘Advanced’. We find we can easily manage 15 miles or so while the Beaglets nap after their morning walk.
We’re not really competent enough bike riders to go out with Beanie and Biggles yet but the other day we decided to take one bike along to the park and see how they reacted to it. We started out just pushing the bike with the dogs attached before progressing to sitting on the bike and free-wheeling a bit.
Next we decided that Paul should ride ahead a little then I’d unclip the dogs one at a time to see if they’d chase the bike. First time it worked great – Beanie and Biggles tore along behind him baying their heads off. They were rewarded with a tasty lump of cheese when they caught him. Second time we tried it they tore along behind him, caught him, then ran straight past him – still baying their heads off. Paul caught up with them a few minutes later having a sniff in the woods. Beanie re-joined him but Biggles wasn’t ready to give up his freedom quite so quickly. We could hear his “aarff, aarff, aarrf” in the woods not far from us and waited patiently for a couple of minutes. A couple of walkers emerged from the woodland paths giggling about the funny little white dog that was tearing round and round the trees barking his head off! Moments later our little boy emerged from the woods with his tongue hanging out and his tail wagging.
Finally Paul attached them onto the canni-cross kit and I took off on the bike while the three of them ran along behind me:
Still a way to go until it’s safe to attach the dogs to the bikes, but they’ll soon get used to running free with us. We just need to find somewhere nice and safe…..