Yesterday was the first day that the puppies were allowed to have a walk in the big bad world, now that it is a week since their last injections. So they celebrated in style with three walks in total : one just with me, I took them along on my morning walk with their parents. We walked along the cliff path together, with them either following me or Ruby, but they never strayed far. The only issue on their first walk was when a jogger approached and she was a scary sight and Betty took off back towards home, but I called her and she bravely came back. I thought they would be exhausted once they got home from their big adventure, but instead, the walk energised them and they tore around the house, upstairs and round and round my bed chasing each other.
Once the boys were finally up and dressed, I packed a picnic lunch and we all went on a favourite walk of ours. Again the puppies were surprisingly confident, exploring and leading the way at times. When we stopped on a bench to eat our sandwiches, they were more interested in Joshua’s rejected ham butties than the Down that we were on top of. They sat with us hoping for scraps and bravely observed passing dogs.We then went to explore another small seaside town but took turns in looking around ,as Joshua was dozing in the back of the car . Then on the way home, we went back up Culver Down where we were greeted by Chalkhill Blue butterflies as we got out of the car. Joshua happily strode out , holding his dad’s hand and I brought up the year with the puppies. When Joshua felt he had walked far enough, we got the rug out and sat down to play ball and to admire the spectacular scenery. We met a Grandmother with her two grandchildren in their early teens on the way back and they loved the puppies, asking all kinds of questions as they played with one each. As we parted, the Grandmother thanked us for sharing our dogs with them and she walked away saying that was ‘ a real family walk’ which made me smile as it was : our family of three and the canine family of Mum, Dad and two babies!
We have not got puppy leads yet, so all three walks were ones where they could run free, in safety, as soon as they left the house or the car, and their parents took as much care of the beginners as we did.They were much braver than I expected them to be but perhaps they just do not know what to be afraid of yet, as they trust everyone and everything. While I love that they were friendly with the family, they need to learn some wariness, that not everyone is kind. Joshua needs to learn that lesson too : he assumes that everyone will like him and that nobody will harm him, as a result he has no real concept of stranger danger. I am certain that he would follow anyone- especially a Granny-type or an attractive young lady with long hair – as he shows real innocence and trust in strangers. It is a great skill to be open and friendly, both the puppies and Joshua have clearly learnt that skill, but they all need to develop a limit in the trust that they show to strangers, for their own self-preservation. I suspect that the puppies will achieve that wariness before Joshua does.