Wednesday 21 August 2013

What were we thinking?

Most of you will be aware of the 'quirks' Monkey has displayed since joining our forever family. I will not list them here as it would take too long. Suffice to say it has been a challenge for all of us - not least our lovely retired racer.

So why were we attempting to take our shy, neurotic, scatter-brained hound off to a chalet in Yorkshire for a week?

Lately Monkey has been showing signs of settling into family life and behaviours have been learned - by all of us - that help alleviate stress points and encourage an opening up so why were we doing this?

Because we needed a break, a change in routine, a chance to switch off the computers and phones and charge our batteries rather than theirs.

We chose Saltburn-by-the-Sea for a few reasons: we had been there before and found it to be a very friendly relaxing place; it was within three hour's driving time and also we knew our way around the town and the surrounding area.

The first concern was the travelling. Although Monkey now loves trips out in the car, none have been as long as this. Will he settle down for a long journey? Will his toilet needs be met?

We decided to stop around halfway to Saltburn for a comfort break for all of us. I took Monkey into a nearby field where I managed to stumble which of course made him jump and got him spooked up so he wouldn't have a drink.

However, we were soon back on the road and there were no untoward incidents for the rest of the journey.

When we arrived at our holiday home, in the grounds of the Rushpool Hall Hotel, Monkey and me went off for a stroll while the LOTH and BOTH unpacked and sorted out the bedrooms.

We met some of the residents of the hotel grounds while we were out - a flock, is that the right word, of peacocks - and Monkey paid them scant heed and they did likewise.

The floor of the chalet was a slippery one - similar to the dining room at home that Monkey will not go in due to past skidding incidents. But by keeping hold of his collar we negotiated our way to his bed.

For the first time that day we all relaxed.

The LOTH and BOTH then set off in a tropical downpour to garner provisions from the nearest supermarket. We had hoped to eat out most of the time but our holiday home position was such that it would have meant taking the car for every meal and the LOTH would have to forgo the pleasure of a glass of wine with her evening meal.

The next hurdle would be feeding time for Monkey, as you know he likes to be left alone to dine otherwise he won't eat. This, coupled with the fact that when we first brought him home from Crossing Cottage, the rehoming kennels, he refused to eat for some days, made me think it could be a week without food for him.

Monkey soon dispelled these fears. We put his bowl down by his bed and he dived straight in. It was the first time the BOTH had seen him eat. I was totally taken aback and for the first time thought that this might just be a good idea after all.

His evening walk was strenuous but uneventful as we explored the many paths through the grounds and into the woods. Monkey took it extremely seriously and was like a bloodhound with his nose to the ground weaving from side to side as you see tracker dogs do in those American films where they are chasing convicts through the swamps.

We settled in for the night with a bit of telly before heading off to bed for a well-deserved sleep.

Sadly that was when the peacocks decided to start saying goodnight to each other - over and over again - luckily it was not the piercing shrieks they make when you see them out and about during the day but it was loud enough to keep me awake. 

It was also coupled with what seemed to be several of the birds tap-dancing in clogs on the wooden roof of our chalet.

As is usual, I was up with Monkey at 7am and when I went in to him he was on his bed shivering. This I put down to the disturbances of the night rather than any cold. While the BOTH and LOTH slept we went out and did a bit more exploring.

To be continued.


Unknown said...

So far sounds good. So pleased for you. We are not a great fan of peacocks simply because they are noisy beggars. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Best wishes Molly

Matilda the Boxer said...

I'm glad Monkey's doing well. He's starting to see it's okay wherever you are. :)

PeeS: The official term is an "ostentation" of peacocks. Funny, huh?

Angels Amber and Max DaWeenie and Mom said...

New experiences are good most of the time. He has his family near so this new experience will be less stressful and fun for all, hopefully. Can't wait to hear more.

Sue said...

Peacocks are either a 'muster' or 'ostentation'.

What a lovely place. Can imagine Monkey was on sensory overload.

Looking forward to the next installment.

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

Sounds like you were off to a good start!

XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

What Remains Now said...

Sounds good so far...

Eileen H said...

It looks a beautiful place. Monkey is
a lucky boy.

Sue aka Greyhound Lover said...

Paws crossed Monkey continued to cope with the new experiances.

Peacocks are very noisey LOL.

houndstooth said...

It sounds to me like Monkey is really beginning to take things in stride. I am so envious of your meeting with the peacocks. I would love to try to photograph a real one. I think sometimes a change of pace can really work wonders for a shy dog. Our Hawk was completely convinced that the sky was falling if we tried to walk him from our house, but go somewhere in the car, then get out and walk and he was Mr. Confidence! Just one of HIS many quirks!

Jans Funny Farm said...

It sounds like a nice place to vacation with your dog. Hope Monkey has a good time too.