At 6.30pm on February 15th 2017 our lives changed forever when four fury white paws crossed the threshold of our home. Needless to say we have never looked back!
The ‘terror’ in question is now a cute 8 month old puppy who likes to lick faces in the morning, will do anything for a sausage, loves nothing more than chasing a ball (preferably if it’s pink and on a beach) and the allotment! She also likes the odd garden centre!
I’ll make no apologies that this blog post is really about showing you lots of cute pictures of our darling Pip but I have also learnt a few important tips to keep her safe on the allotment over the past months and these I will share with you…. in case you also have a pooch that likes to snuffle everything and anything in the great outdoors!
Many dogs LOVE fox poo! Yes folks, they love nothing more than rolling and smearing it all over thier tiny bodies then run as fast as their legs can carry them in your direction as if they’re giving you best present you’ve ever had. Only they’re not are they, and it STINKS. While I’m told a good wash in tomato ketchup removes their riddled bodies of the stench, another really important point to note is Lung worm. Up to 50 per cent of foxes in the UK are infected with lungworm, whose larvae can be found in the bodies and slime of slugs and snails. It’s a nasty and potentially fatal parasite so we always make sure our bundle of fun takes the right preventative medicine administered by our vet.
They don’t always need their five a day
Rhubarb and some bulbs will give your dog an iffy tummy for sure. Our pup also likes to drink her greens in the form of festering comfrey tea on our neighbours plot! A few vet bills later I now find a little pack of cocktail sausages in my pocket seems to hold her attention when I’m pottering about and she never seems to stray very far, funny that!
But what if they are hungry?
Deadly nightshade is a pretty purple bell shaped weed. Whilst it looks lovely, my beady eye neighbour pointed out that the berries are indeed poisonous. The Woodland Trust has a good description. It goes without saying to seek veterinary advice immediately if you think your pet or any animal has eaten a poisonous plant and if you can, take the plant with you so they know what they’re dealing with.
Of course it also goes without saying to keep sharp tools and chemicals (slug pellets and weed killers that are not fully dried) out of reach to keep our little diggers happy and safe!
Not all allotments have clean running water so I always keep a big bottle of water in the shed, seems simple but it’s amazing how quickly a bowl can become spoilt by mud on an allotment and needs to be replaced. The shed keeps the water cool too.
Playing it cool
In the itty bitty window of summer we have here in the UK it can become pretty uncomfortable for our canine friends without some cool shade. The coolest place on our allotment is in the shed. Not because of our solar powered lights and tea making facilities oh no… it’s the concrete floor of course. Well if you’re a dog anyway! Unfortunately our little monkey likes us to always be within her eyeline so we created a little movable haven involving a sun umberella and cooling pads.
The most important thing is to have fun.. and lots of cuddles!