The Real Van Awayday

The lockdown awayday finally happened. The humans had been talking about giving the van a run, the weather was getting interestingly spring-like and from what they were saying, it sounded as if we could have a day out in my van without breaking any of the lockdown rules.

I didn’t need any encouragement to get into my van. I waited until my harness was attached to the strap and belt that secures me safely then I settled down between the front seats, in travel mode. I’d not forgotten what to do.

We drove for a short while, to a place called Anderton Nature Park. It’s part of the Mersey Forest and I’ve been there lots of times before. There are so many places to walk – in woodlands, by the canal, along paths and to the lakes and ponds which are called flashes  (something to do with the salt that’s mined here).

The humans had lunch in my van while I had treats and titbits to tease out of my Kong (it’s a sort of dog puzzle), then we walked for miles. I heard them say it was ok to drive somewhere nearby if you then walked for at least as long as it took you to drive there. Well, we did that alright!

It was a long walk, and they kept stopping, going oooh and aaah at the trees covered in blossom, and at the wild flowers growing. That was sort of ok too because I was able to have a good sniff around while they did this. We saw some other humans with their dogs, but although everyone now seems to stay at a distance, they usually say hello, which is friendly. We dogs, too, only briefly come closer for a quick sniff because all the humans keep them distanced too. It’s a bit different and it seems to be because of this coronavirus thing.

Nothing could have spoiled my day, though. It was wonderful to be in my van again, and although we didn’t go far or have a sleepover in it, I loved being out somewhere different for a change. I hope we can do it again soon.

The Campervan Awayday

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Let’s get this straight. It wasn’t an away DAY at all – oh no – we didn’t go anywhere as we just stayed on the drive. And it was an afternoon, not a full day. But in these lockdown days we have to be grateful for small blessings and tasty snippets of pleasure.

The human who feeds me decided that as it was warm and sunny, she’d get busy and would give my van a bit of a clean, so she took herself off outside to the front of the house, equipped with that noisy thing called a Dustbuster (the one I like chasing and barking at), and did things like cleaning the van’s fridge, washing the floor in the kitchen area and getting the mucky bits off the carpets and cab mats which had been there since we went away for a short break in February (ah, those were the days…).

Anyway, once it was a tad tidier and the cushions had been plumped up (I notice these things), she invited me to come and join her in my van. Well, I jumped at the chance when I heard the words “Bozzy in the van?” as I thought we might actually be going somewhere. But no, it was what she called an Awayday, so we stayed on the drive with the big sliding door open so the sun could stream in, and – best of all – she’d packed my ruffle snuffle mat with goodies so I could have a nuzzle in that and search out tasty titbits.

She sat in there with me. She’d carried a drink and biscuit to my van, put  her feet up on the long bench sofa and soaked up the sun while I snuffled and found the treats. Then I settled down by the open door to see what was going on outside.

To be honest, not much was going on at at all. I had a great view of the car and the small front lawn and that was about it. But I enjoyed being there. It was peaceful and the birds were singing (quite nicely too), and all in all I’d be up for doing this awayday lark again.

Especially if I get treats!

Things are a bit odd right now…

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Since my humans came back from staying with the family and the grandchildren in Texas (they left me with Uncle Steve and Auntie Donna and I had a good time), I must say that things have been just a bit odd. You know, not quite like they were before they went away.

There’s nothing wrong with the house and garden and the humans are as doting and loving and as slavishly attentive as they ever were, but the daily routine seems to have changed a bit. I put a few thoughts about this on my blog last week – take a look here –  but this new sort of routine seems to be everywhere.

Yes, it’s quiet and the streets and green spaces we walk on in the dark of night are all empty. They’re doing something they call isolation for 14 days as they flew back home in a plane, so we’re not seeing anyone. They might chat on the phone, or talk across the garden fence or open a window to say hello to the neighbours. The best bit is when they do the Skype thing with the family and I go crazy because I recognise all their voices and their faces and I want to get a look in on the screen too.

The other good bit about this slightly odd pattern of the days is all the singing and music which the human who feeds me does. On screen, there are people going “la la la” and singing funny warm up songs like “My dog he can do the can-can” (as if!) and some stretching and body wiggling before they sing a song. This happens every single day!  I quite like that because I’m allowed to sit at the laptop and watch.

Then there’s the crazy 15 minutes of jumping and stretching and hopping and push ups they both do every morning with the on-line PE coach. I just sit there and watch while they laugh and leap about and then have a cup of coffee when it’s finished.

This morning they got out the fluffy duster on a stick and let me chase it around in circles for my workout and that was good. I wonder how long this will go on for though….

Not going out (much)

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I’ve been away on my hols, staying with Uncle Steve and Auntie Donna who do home-from-home dog care at their house when my humans go somewhere they can’t take me. They’ve been to visit the family and grandchildren who live in Texas and I’ve stayed put in the UK, being well looked after.

I thought I’d be there for a while, like I usually am if they go to the US, but no, they’ve come back a lot sooner and I’ve sort of got an idea of why. This nasty virus that’s taken over normal, everyday life all over the world meant my humans had to come home early so they didn’t get marooned in the US with no way to get back home. You can read more about it here as they’ve written about it on their own blogs.

So here I am, back home, and yes it’s great to be back even though I had a good – short – holiday. I’ve already had another go at getting through that tiny space they blocked up in the corner of the garden. Hmmm….still can’t get through it to see next door’s cat who sits every day on the upstairs windowsill looking out at me.

And things have changed a bit. Our daily routine is different. We used to go out a few times a day for a short walk in the morning and evening and a long walk in the afternoon. But the humans have been told to stay at home and not go out much so that the virus doesn’t spread.

Now I’m happy to do my bit and not have so many walks – and that’s fine because I count myself as very lucky to have a nice garden to sit in, walk and run in, sniff in, dig in (a bit!) and watch the birds. They play with me and I get one big walk a day at the moment with my humans. They take me out late at night when it’s quiet – very quiet too, with no-one about and the streets are empty – so if feels as if we have the whole town to ourselves. A bit spooky and eerie really, but kind of different too.

In these weird, strange times, it’s what we all have to do. So:

  • we’re not going out (much) – once a day is what we’re allowed for exercise
  • if we see anyone when we’re out, we’re keeping at least 2 metres away from them – further if we can – as we may be shedding the virus ourselves without knowing it (dogs don’t do this and are not carriers)
  • we’re staying indoors/in the garden to support the efforts to get this virus under control