Tails About Town: How to entertain a spaniel during lockdown

How do you explain to a hyper dog that he is only allowed one walk a day? You can’t It’s impossible. Find out how I’ve kept my dog, Fletcher, entertained during self-isolation. 

When the government announced the self-isolation measures, I wasn’t worried for my own safety, I was terrified about how strict the rules would be with regards to dog walking. If Boris imposed a similar 50m boundary of the home rule like Italy and Spain, my life would become hell. How would I entertain a crazy cocker spaniel? He would be bouncing off the walls…literally!

Thankfully, as I type, it hasn’t quite come to that. We’re still allowed one walk a day. However, Fletcher likes his routine. The morning starts with a belly rub, long walk then breakfast. We play ball around 11am followed by a second long walk at 1pm, dinner at 2.30pm, another walk occasionally around 6pm, playing at 8pm, then bed by 9pm. Since my husband and I started self-isolating, the routine has been turned upside down, much to Fletcher’s confusion.

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We’re fortunate enough to have miles of country walks on our doorstep. I usually never see a sole on our dog walk, and if I do see someone without a dog, I’m convinced they’re a murderer. Recently though, more and more people are appearing on our route as everyone becomes desperate to make the most of their daily exercise allowance.

My husband walks Fletcher in the morning and I take the afternoon shift. Wanting to avoid people as much as possible, I’ve been exploring new routes and Fetcher’s loving the new sights and smells. He found his biggest stick yet, which ensured we had our two-metre distancing covered. How he carried and balanced a two-metre-long branch for at least a mile baffles me. On the same day, he also got stuck in a sheep pen. Don’t worry, there were no sheep around. He slipped through the fence but couldn’t figure how to get out, so I had to rescue him.

To keep Fletcher entertained we’ve been playing ‘chase the stone’ on the drive. I throw a stone and he chases, finds it, picks it up, drops and repeats. It amazes me how he can find the stone I threw amongst thousands of others. We’ve played a lot of ball in the garden. We’ve also played hide and seek to pass the time, which basically consists of my husband and I hiding in a wardrobe while Fletcher runs around trying to find us. It’s great for mentally stimulating a spaniel! 

One of my biggest concerns is the lack of chicken available in supermarkets. Fletcher refuses to eat his grain without a topping of chicken…spoilt I know! I tried the frozen chicken you get in a bag, but it wasn’t good enough for him. He flicked it out of his bowl in disgust. We’ve had to temporarily switch to an order of Barking Heads meat packs which seems to be doing the trick…for now. I don’t know what we’ll do when the Markies biscuits and Dentastix run out!

 

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