19.2.17 Lola had an amazing day yesterday! It was a fairly calm morning for her, except that Amelia took her for a walk on her own along the road. I wouldn’t really have been keen for Amelia to go walking on her own without Lola, and I’m not too sure who I’m more worried about, given that Amelia is our daughter and Lola is a very expensive asset who is rapidly becoming part of the family. But as it meant I could get on with getting ready for Amelia’s birthday party, it seemed worth the risk. Amelia took some treats with her and they apparently literally worked a treat and kept Lola trotting along.
Amelia’s party involved eight 10 and 11 year old girls coming to the house. We started with lunch so we were in Lola’s territory, the kitchen. I wasn’t sure how she would react but she behaved very well. A little bit of trying to get onto the girls’ laps as they sat but, having been rebuffed, she just lay under a series of chairs, one at a time, and took up a calm position under the table, which I was really pleased about.
The real fun for Lola started when Buddy arrived with his owner Charlotte, Amelia’s friend from younger days in Reading. Buddy is a one year old Jack Russell (we’re going to his birthday celebration in Reading tomorrow with Lola, more excitement for her) who has the honour of being the one dog we looked after when we were thinking about getting a dog. We have since realised that Buddy is exceptionally well behaved and not a good test case for a dog. Anyway, Lola has not met many dogs yet and certainly hasn’t played off the lead with any, and it was a real eye opener for all of us.
After a bit of sniffing each other, Lola and Buddy got down to work, playing. This largely involved Buddy leaping on Lola and play biting her (giving her a taste of her own medicine, I was pleased to see). I was a bit worried that he was a little rough with Lola, but she loved it and kept going back for more, snarling and leaping around herself. She was being tumbled and jumped upon and nipped and it was a dream come true for her. At the moment she is the same height as Buddy, albeit much rounder and fluffier.
It was lovely to see her playing as she wanted to play and made me resolve to try to train her to walk off the lead as soon as possible so she can play more. I realised that she has actually been very restrained with us. I was pleased to note that she was back to normal play with me this morning, involving holding a toy in her mouth that I pull from side to side, or running off round the table with the ball and inviting me to chase her, which is a favourite game of hers and one in which we all indulge her so there is much running round the table in our house.
One of the funnier moments of yesterday was when the girls were playing hide and seek. Two of them decided to hide behind the privet hedge, which is, unbeknownst to them, one of Lola’s favourite spots to hang out. Buddy also saw the joys of being behind the hedge so they both headed round there, which rather gave away Jen’s position as they crawled over her. All we could hear was muffled requests from Jen to get off her (Libby was spared as she was further back). Thankfully Jen has a dog so she saw the funny side.
Lola played for at least an hour with Buddy while the party was going on. So much for ten minutes of gentle walking in the day. She did get taken to her bed once or twice to rest but was soon back out in the garden again. When Buddy had gone, at 3.30, she slept and rested on her bed for the remainder of the day, only emerging to grab a party bag off the stairs when she realised I had left the door open by mistake. Andy caught her halfway through chewing a brightly decorated nail file. Otherwise, apart from brief toilet visits when we carried her into the garden, she was all done for the day.
Lola seems fine this morning, back to her old tricks of chewing the grouting, trying to get through the tiled floor and biting the safety stickers off the chairs (I thought she’d got rid of them all, but she has just found another). I wonder what her dreams were like.