For the last six days, our Staffador (Staffy / Lab cross) Joey, has been confined to his lead for walks - and he secretly despises us for it. Joey had been nursing a slightly injured paw (snagged his dewclaw) for a couple of weeks which was taking longer than it should to heal. In spite of any pain or discomfort which Joey was feeling for most of the day, he was determined that his injury would not interfere with his social life in the park. He continued to bound fearlessly through thick spikey bushes, leap from high places, instigate mass doggy play time and generally run at a pace to rival any speeding train. That is, until the vet put a sudden stop to it.
The vet (the bad man wearing a blue coat) decided that Joey's claw needed to be cut right back, as far as it would go, and he told us it would need time to heal properly and start growing correctly again. Off leash walking was strictly off the menu.
Only in the last six days, whilst adhering to the vets advice (on leash), have I truly come to appreciate the importance of our usual "off leash" walks. Of course I always knew that my dog loved to be free and off the lead when on our daily walks, but I didn't realise how vital it really was.
Part two of this post will discuss the pleasures of the off leash walk.
. Images by Catharine Noble Photography .