I started my day with Merlin, a beautiful smokey grey & white domestic short haired cat, who when I first met him was too shy to say hello or have a stroke. Well this morning I sat quietly with him giving him space & he climbed up on to the sofa rubbing his cheeks on my leg. He's got such a gentle nature and it's wonderful to see his personality shining through as he gets to know me.
I then walked Chiara, a gorgeous Wheaton terrier, who is a mature but active lady. On my first visit with her she hid under the table and was too scared to come out. On the second walk we spent 20 minutes sitting just outside the back gate as she was too scared to leave her 'mum' behind. Today we walked straight from the house with no issues, walked a longer distance than we've done before and she allowed her cheeky nature to show...grinning & flirting for treats or a drink of water.
Next came Kenshin, a 10 month old Akita (pictured) who had his first visit to Richmond Park with me. Every smell excited him, he was jumping through the long grass, pouncing at nothing as if there might be something hiding that he could catch. Horse paths sent him giddy & we found ourselves charging through the park. He oozed such happiness that you couldn't help but laugh as he dug madly at a rabbit hole then got over excited and bounced around.
And the last dog today was the beautiful Elsie, a schnauzer who bounds to the door like a puppy wiggling every part of her body with excitement. She's so loving and will sit for a cuddle mid walk as well as standing alert with on ear pricked at squirrels in the trees. She takes such joy at being in the park and seeing new people and dogs.
My day has ended with Merlin again who was so affectionate and confident around me.
From bouncy puppies who are excited by everything and show such a joy for life, to shy dogs and cats who need a little gentle encouragement, each day is different and every animal is unique...requiring a different approach and a different walk. That's why I believe it's hard to get to know an animal so well when they're walked in large groups, and much prefer the personal touch and experience of walking individually or smaller groups. And when the suns shining and each animal shows a new side to their character, I can't help but think how fantastic it is that I get to do this each day.