Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Sunday, 21 August 2011

A hostile environment..

... for a puppy's first walk.

How guilty is it possible to feel when you set off with great excitement to go out for a proper country walk with your new puppy, only to hear him yelping and whining withing 5 minutes of setting off?
Well, double it.

Darwin had his third injection and the all clear to go walkies in 'el campo' last week. As it's been just too darn hot to go anywhere in daylight other than across the road to the little park and skulking along only the shaded streets, he hasn't yet had the chance to get excited when we pick up his lead. Indeed, he has proved to be a tad embarrassing in the walking department. He doesn't really like it. We spend most of the time dragging him - with words of encouragement - but dragging nevertheless and I have been thankful for him having short legs as I feel it may just disguise the fact that he's not actually using them as he moves along. Sometimes, he simply splays himself out on the path - doing his sheepskin rug impression, (or is it baby seal?) and when we look round, we find he looks more like a street-sweeping implement than a real dog.

Yesterday evening, as we felt a slight drop in temperature, we decided to head out to the hills above Alcala la Real in the hope of finding figs, plums or any other ripe fruits and we all piled into the car to get there - the walk there would have been just too much!

And it started off fine as we set off down a sandy pathway. The figs weren't ripe - sad face - but we found plums and grapes which were, together with some nice green almonds. And then the whining started...
And poor Darwin! He was covered in little spiky burrs and sharp pine needles; they were in his fur, on his legs and belly and deep in between the soft little pads of his feet. Every step much have been excruciating!

We stopped and sat on a rock and Mateo, Romy and I started picking out the burrs as carefully as we could - he just lay there and let us pull away! Ruy was having problems of his own, having left the house in flip flops, but could identify with Darwin's problem.
We carried him back to the car and on the way, I had a good look around and saw things differently - instead of looking far, at the trees and the hills and the sunset, I looked near and down. And what a scary place it was! Especially if you're travelling 'barefoot'!

Full of little burrs

Full of spiky things

Sticky and spiky


Very prickly


Angry ants

And even I wouldn't tangle with this on purpose

However, I am very pleased to report that this Sunday morning, due to a slight covering of cloud and and a refreshing breeze, I set off with my puppy to walk up to La Mota - a steep climb up a sandy path - and despite an initial resistance to the idea, Darwin soon began to stretch his little leggies and enjoy his first proper walk. He's now crashed out in a little heap on the floor. Smiley face.


  1. Hello Annie:
    Oh, the joys of dog owning!! Still, it has made you look at the terrain underfoot a little more closely which is possibly no bad thing. We do hope that Darwin gets his walking legs back soon!!

  2. Looking at your close-ups, absolutely everything looks to be scratchy, spiky or stabbingly sharp but, for me, the worst are the ants. I hope poor Darwin was not attacked by the ants.


  3. Jane and Lance - joys there are, especially for the children who love Darwin absolutely - but yes, more work without doubt and the need always to think twice!
    And Anna - the ants did get him but only because he stuck his nose in amongst them... he has to learn and perhaps it will be the hard way. He's absolutely fine now. Axx

  4. Gasp! Poor little Darwin. Glad he is recovered and out walking again in less treacherous zones.


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