I am sure you all know by now that Crufts will take place on 15-18 July at the NEC with Pastoral day on the Sunday. What it will look like and what the qualifications will be for those not already qualified for next year’s show is still to be decided, as is to whether there will be a Discover Dogs or not, I suspect much will depend on how the virus is controlled in the next few months .
We are nearly at the end of the second lockdown in England, which is due end on December 2nd, but it looks as if things will still be tight so that they can be relaxed a little for Christmas. I think many people have struggled more this time with the lockdown with the shorter and often dark days and the inclement weather.
Lisa Strong and husband Alex with dogs Eris and Loki were able to have a canal holiday before lockdown, and below she tells us how it all worked out, which she has entitled ‘Buhunds Go Boating’ -: ‘A couple of months ago my husband and I decided that we could really do with a change of scenery from our house so decided to book a “staycation” for October. Whilst trying to decide what to do and where to go we got to talking about holidays we had as child, and both of us had fond memories of going on a holiday on a boat, so that and the weather being gorgeous at the time, resulted is us deciding to book a boating holiday with the Buhunds (who incidentally had never been on a boat before).We booked a 10-berth cruiser reasoning that a) it wasn’t much more than a 4 berth one and b) if the weather was horrid there was space for the dogs to move around and play. The company we booked with were very dog friendly with no long lists of rules for the dogs, and even offering to provide life jackets for the dogs (although they could not guarantee the correct size would be available). I decided to buy some life jackets for the dogs so that I knew we had ones that fit as Loki does not swim…. Eris does. The day arrived and we loaded up the fabric crates, lots of towels, waterproofs, motion sickness tablets for the dogs (just in case), life jackets, food etc into the car, settled the dogs into the boot and set off for Stalham on the Norfolk Broads. On arrival Alex had a driving lesson on the boat whilst I walked and toileted the dogs, then it was time to get everything on the boat and set off. Loki barked a bit as the engine fired up but soon calmed down and Alex steered us out of the marina. The dogs and I then started exploring the boat, we had one rear cabin with a double bed, sink and a single bed plus the rear door, then there was a double cabin with a sink, a long fully equipped galley kitchen, a wet room containing a shower, sink and loo, a separate loo and finally the lounge area that had one section that could be closed off to form a double room and 2 other sofas, one of which became a double bed and the other became a single. The driving area was also here and there was a table and chairs. The sofas were promptly covered with throws and the crates set up in the lounge (I need not have bothered with the crates as the dogs slept happily on the throws on the sofas each night!!).The Buhunds seemed very calm on the boat so I let them out on leads onto the open-air front seating area. They curiously peered over the edge of the boat at the water. They were soon stood there enjoying the air ruffling their coats as we glided through the water…then some ducks appeared which got them very excited. Thankfully, they listened to the stay and leave it commands and no one tried to dive overboard after them. As we got our boat quite late in the day the mooring spots on the route were going fast, so with the light fading, we found a small bank for the dogs to be able to get off the boat to toilet, and with a couple of trees where we could tie up, so we moored up (me hoping my knots would hold). The boat had a small back hatch box that promptly became the poo bag holder, both dogs sorted it was time to try cooking on board which thankfully went well. At bed time we settled the dogs down and retired to our chosen cabin, Loki was very calm but the owl noises unnerved Eris a bit in the middle of the night, resulting in me popping into the lounge for a bit, to reassure her. When morning came it was toilet time for the dogs ( what a relief for them) and then as we were on holiday, we allowed them to come on the bed for cuddles whilst we had a brew, then it was breakfast time for all and time to get ready for the day and cast off. We sailed along the river past Horning and to Wroxham and back, mooring up a couple of times to let the dogs off to toilet and stretch their legs before finding a free mooring spot at Ludham Bridge for our overnight stay. We took the dogs for a nice long off lead walk along a path that runs parallel to the river picking up an ice cream from a little shop on the way back, and temporarily ‘acquiring’ a spaniel who thought Eris and Loki were great playmates. The spaniel’s owners came into view and they promptly asked what breed the dogs were and could they stroke them. Eventually we went our separate ways and after a quick pop back to the boat, we headed to The Dog Inn with the dogs in tow for a meal. Once we had completed the track and trace, we were sat at a table and we settled the Bu’s down and gave them food and water, unfortunately a man on the next table didn’t appear to be a fan of dogs and lots of mutterings were heard from him. Things came to a head when one of the barmaids asked if she could stroke Loki and Eris to which we said yes (she washed her hands before touching them and had a mask and a visor on). The man commented that it was disgusting and that he was glad he had eaten before she touched the dogs, then grabbed his coat and stormed out leaving his wife sat there in shock. She apologised to us and then left to. The barmaid apologised for the incident and finished by saying hi to the dogs, then went and washed her hands and changed her mask and visor. We had our meal with no other issues (the dogs settled down and snoozed) but were glad to leave once we had eaten. The dogs seemed to recognise when we were almost back at the boat and eagerly pulled us towards it, once we had pulled the boat in a bit they happily jumped on board and settled on the sofas for the night and both slept through the night.
The next day was a very wet day to say the least, the rain started in the night and did not let up all day. Waterproofs were donned before a morning walk followed by us drying the dogs down and refilling the water tank on the boat (£2 for 15 min flow of water into the tanks). We then set off along the river with the plan to moor up for the evening at Potter Heigham, we wouldn’t be able to go past Potter Heigham as the river was too high so boats were unable to go under the bridge. We meandered along the river exploring some of the Broads, the Buhunds for some reason (? the rain) decided that they did not want to sit outside on the seating area, and that the sofas would do fine! In the late afternoon we found a mooring spot and set up, this time using grappling hooks into the bank as there were no posts and dropping our mud weight as it is a bit tidal there, and you can hear the waves lapping against the bank and boat, the Buhunds listened to the sound for a bit but accepted it, we knew that they had really settled into life on the boat as they brought us their toys to play with, so a tug of war match ensued. One of my work colleagues lives in the area we were moored up so dressed in our waterproofs we met up with her and her partner plus their 2 dogs (a whippet and a saluki) for a walk with Eris taking herself down a ramp for a wade and swim in the river at one point – well she was wet already. Once we had said our goodbyes, we ordered an Indian takeaway (being reluctant to have a repeat of the previous night) and took it back to the boat with us. There was a microwave on board to do a quick reheat and we all settled down to our respective meals before putting the takeaway rubbish in the outside hatch box and settling down for the night to the pitter patter of the rain and the lapping of the waves. The last full day dawned with a lovely sunrise so after breakfast and a walk we cast off heading for a place called ‘Toad Hole Cottage’ which has a great mooring set up by it. Once tied up the dogs jumped off the boat and we went for a long country walk exploring the grounds around the cottage and nearby hall, and then going slightly further afield to let the dogs have a good off lead run which involved a squirrel chase at one point, but the Buhunds came back once they realised it wasn’t coming back down the tree anytime soon. After a late lunch on board we set off back towards where we had picked up our boat as we had to hand over at 9am the next day. We found a gorgeous large bank with some trees suitable for tying up to 10 minutes from the marina so we moored up and lifted the dogs off (this is where a Buhunds size definitely came in handy) to go exploring. Eris promptly discovered that there was a pool of (slightly smelly) water the other side of the bank, and went for a wade to my horror as it was the Buhund club show coming up – she promptly ended up in the wet room on board for a mini hose down much to her surprise, but she was good about it. We had the doors to the front open-air seating area open, as we started cooking and suddenly 2 cygnet heads appeared causing great excitement from the Buhunds, who ran to investigate resulting in hissing from the young swans. We quickly calmed the dogs down and brought them indoors and drew the curtains for the night, before having a nice dinner and evening on board and then retiring for the night. The next morning, we lifted the dogs onto the bank for a supervised potter and toilet (no repeat of wading from Eris!!) and then it was time to pack up and head back to the marina. We all thoroughly
enjoyed ourselves and would definitely do a holiday like this again.’
Thanks Lisa sounds great, I expect the cygnets also had a shock probably boat people feed them.
Margaret Deuchar http://margaretdeuchar @gmail.com
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK.