21.2.17 Three months old and Lola had her first proper visit to someone else’s house yesterday. And not just anyone’s. It was Buddy’s house. Buddy is the one year old Jack Russell that Lola met on Saturday and had so much fun with. I was really interested to see how Lola would be outside her home and how she would get on with Buddy again. Buddy’s owners are Ali (my friend), Charlotte (Amelia’s friend) and Harry (Charlie’s friend).
Lola managed the one hour twisty journey to Reading very well. She now lives in the boot of the car when we travel as she got a bit frisky on the back seat with Amelia and Charlie. Every now and then she throws her front paws over the back seat, looking very much like a dog puppet might, and licks Charlie’s face or chews Amelia’s hair. Otherwise, yesterday, she lay down or looked out of the back window and was generally very well behaved.
Lola also had her first visit to a shop with our pit stop at Pets at Home to get Buddy a toy for his one year birthday and 100 more puppy pads (Lola celebrated last night by having a wee on her food bowl mat rather than on one of the pads. Cheaper but frustrating. I blame it on extreme exhaustion and hope it won’t happen again). Lola wasn’t that keen on the shop so Amelia took her outside to wait.
We arrived at Buddy’s house with a slightly tired Lola who wasn’t quite up to the high octane japes and capers Buddy had in mind. Her playing was initially more of an attempt to get away, although she kept coming back for more. She also didn’t have a wee at all, which made me a bit nervous when she was indoors. Eventually, when the children were inside, we shut Buddy indoors and I took Lola out and she had a wee on the lawn straight away. I think she values some privacy and didn’t want to do anything in front of Buddy.
Lola seemed very happy staying in the kitchen, which I was really pleased about. During lunch she lay at our feet under the table, moving closer to Ali’s end when Buddy’s chocolate birthday cake came out (he couldn’t have any, being a dog, but we enjoyed it) while Buddy scraped at the door as he had been banished outside during the meal as he wanted to keep playing with Lola under the table.
After something to eat and masses to drink and a little snooze Lola got her mojo back and started to play more with Buddy. She is currently the same size as him but he has superior tactics. Their play resumed the snarling and biting and leaping around character it had had on Saturday at our house. We went out for a walk in the woods (Charlotte protesting that she didn’t want to go for a walk and had never wanted to get a dog – a sign of things to come for us?). I kept Lola on a long lead and she seemed happy pottering along while Buddy raced in and out of the undergrowth. She enjoyed the occasional sniff with other dogs but I think she was too exhausted to do much more. She even lay down for a bit, exhibiting the sort of calm golden retriever behaviour I’m hoping for.
We did meet two adult golden retrievers. It was worrying to see how big they were. Their owners commented on how big Lola’s paws are, which is a standard conversation now with people who meet Lola. We’d quite like her to stay the size she is. She did attract a lot of positive attention of the ‘isn’t she beautiful’ variety.
Interestingly, Lola didn’t have a poo until everyone except Ali and I were out of sight. I was starting to fear for the journey back. I’ll have to remember to engineer these quiet opportunities.
We got home at 8 and Lola slept almost all evening, just being roused briefly for a garden visit. She has had a really busy three days, and with four of Amelia and Charlie’s friends coming today, she won’t get much more peace. We’ve got to leave her for a couple of hours tomorrow morning though so she can catch up then.
I think Lola passed her day out with flying colours. She was generally calm but did have a good play at times. When she was a bit nervous she came to me for a stroke and reassurance, which was very sweet and made me feel loved and valued, which was lovely. I’m feeling more confident about taking her to other people’s houses, not that she’s been invited elsewhere. Buddy is lovely and is older but he was definitely much livelier than Lola and I am still hoping that the trade-off between massive, hairy dog and gentle, loving nature is going to be worth it.