|Mr Jones getting to grips with the boat|
It is exactly a year since we lost Jemma and seven months since Rocky was relocated to his new life on the South coast with Jim. We told ourselves that we should celebrate the advantages of being dog free. For thirty years we have had this responsibility and couldn't just take off for weekends in hotels, stay over with friends, spend hours shopping and book holidays abroad. But it hit us both that this is not what we really enjoy.
On reflection our best holidays last year were on the boat with the dogs and in two gorgeous holiday cottages with Rocky. It was truth time and we have to admit that this is what we have been missing. It is true that we have been able to lie in with no dog needing a morning walk. However that's a small compensation for the hours of pleasure we have had walking our dogs over the years. No matter how bad the weather, it always makes us feel better and it is the habit of having to go out two or three times every day that is really rewarding.
So when first mate was asked to pick a piece of jewellery for her big birthday. She just blurted it out: I don't want jewellery. I want a dog. There has been a doggy shaped hole in our lives for long enough.
Enter our new rescue. In this picture he looks like a fox but he actually looks a bit like a smaller version of Jem. That was purely by chance. We went along to Netherlands Dog Rescue near Mexborough with our heart set on another dog but he had already been taken. The rehoming officer suggested Jonesy (now often being called Mr Jones). It was love at first sight. He is such a character and very affectionate. We have had him for three weeks now and took him to see Princess Lucy for a short trip out on Saturday.
It was a lovely, crisp sunny spring day on the Peak Forest and we had a little cruise down to New Mills and back just to see how he got on. There was a lot for him to take in but he seemed to enjoy the experience. There were ducks, geese, dogs on the towpath, low flying branches, bridges that move, even a home that moves!
However, he is a terrier cross and the biggest problem for him seems to be boredom. He will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. We think the canal gave him both as he patrolled the deck, checking out the flora and fauna. It's his first step to becoming a boat dog. We plan to take the boat out for a few days over Easter, and we have revisited doggiepubs.org.uk which adds a further complication to the itinerary. We will see how he fares when the boat becomes his other home for a few days.