Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: pets

Happy 5th birthday Bracken

Today is Bracken’s 5th birthday, which I guess means that he’s entering into his 30’s in human years and so should be settling down and starting to think about having a family now that he can’t hack the pace of the Friday night partying. Except of course that he’s a Springer so he mainly behaves as if he’s a puppy still and will happily go for a long afternoon walk even if I’ve run 7 miles with him in the morning.

He is such a fab dog though and despite the fact his tail wagging to greet you could knock an elephant over even though you only popped up stairs to grab a jumper he really is ever so gentle with the children. They’ve both grown up with him so think nothing of clambering over him or when they were little pulling his ears and trying to sit on him. He never bats an eyelid and has never once even growled at them. In fact more often that not you’ll find him curled up right next to Matilda when she’s sat watching TV.

He is of course also my running buddy, the one who gets me out of bed at 6am every day no matter what the weather. I wouldn’t have done half as much running if I didn’t have him as a reason to get out the house. I love being out on the trails with him exploring, even if it is pitch black and all I can see of him is the light on his collar.

He’s not perfect though, he does have a tendency to roll in things when we’re out running. Something he does more often if he hasn’t had enough walks for a few days, punishment for me perhaps? I’m not entirely sure what is worst; rolling in fox/deer poo or the rotting carcass of a dead animal he’s found. Both are pretty bloody disgusting but I guess that’s his inner wild dog coming out.

But we wouldn’t be without him and it does feel very odd on the few occasions when we’ve been home and he’s not here. So Happy Birthday Bracken and I hope you enjoy your mackerel for you birthday dinner.

Happy 4th birthday Bracken

First an admission, it ‘may’ have been Bracken’s birthday on the 18th and I ‘may’ have forgotten. But hey better late than never right? As I probably say most years when I write this post Bracken is our first baby and now we have him I can’t imagine not having him around the house.

He’s such a sociable boy and as I write this in my study at home he’s lying keeping my feet warm. Whenever I finish a conference when I’m working from home he comes running into my study, inevitably carrying something in his mouth for me and waggling his tail like crazy. In fact he’ll waggle his tail like crazy if you come back into a room having only been gone 30 seconds. Impossible to feel grumpy when he’s around.

Over the past year you can see the bond between him and Matilda in particular growing, she’s always giving him cuddles and loves snuggling up with him on the sofa to watch a movie. Matilda and Henry have also started the slightly disgusting practise of giving Bracken a ‘kiss’ before bed time which involves Bracken licking their faces. Just lovely.

He is of course also my running buddy, I ran 1000 miles last year and he did 95% of those runs with me which means he probably ran more lie 1300 miles! He keeps me company on the cold, dark winter morning runs and in fact is often the reason I get out of bed in the morning to run at all. Plus I’ve now seen at least 2 other people running on the Ridgeway with their Springers so clearly I’m not that crazy.

So Happy Birthday Bracken, you truly are a great dog and we love having you in our family.

The Gallery – Pets

I haven’t joined in the Gallery for a while but with a prompt like Pets there was really no way I could pass this one up was there?

You already know how much Bracken is a part of our family, he was our first baby born a year before Matilda. Neither of us ever had a dog as a pet growing up but we always wanted one and within 2 months of buying our first house we had Bracken! Now I can’t imagine life without him, always there waggling his tail and welcoming you home/down the stairs/back in the room.

He’s also my running companion, I’ve run over 600 miles this year and he must have done at least 90% of those miles with me. Providing he has the opportunity to jump in some water and chase some pheasants he’s more than happy. The only time I have a chance of out running him is when it’s really hot though, the rest of the time he’s at least 5 metres in front of me trotting along.

I think I’ve used both theses photos on the blog before but I reckon they sum him up perfectly. The first is at 6am on our daily run along the Ridgeway near home with beautiful views over Wiltshire and the second is what he puts up with during the day. Always being ‘stroked’ but never even growling let alone barking at the kids.

P.S. If you want more photos of the gorgeous boy you can check out here and here.

Bracken on Barbury castle 13Mar13

Henry patting Bracken on head

Happy 3rd birthday Bracken!

Yes that’s right it’s the Brackster’s 3rd birthday today and you know what? I can’t imagine having a house with no dog in it now. You can’t beat coming home and seeing that waggly tail waiting for you or just curling up on the sofa with a little radiator next to you.

The last year has seen a lot of changes for him though, Matilda started walking and of course a second nosy little human joined the family. I love that he doesn’t seem to care, he just wants to be part of the family and involved. He’s so amazing with Matilda who lets be honest isn’t the gentlest with him. Her stroking often involves some not so gentle patting and one of her favourite games is chasing him with her pushchair. Yet he never growls or barks, if he doesn’t like it he just trots off.

He is of course also my running buddy, the best training partner you can have even if he does consistently make me feel extremely unfit! Providing I stop every so often and throw a stick in the canal for him he’ll happily trot along for 6 or 7 miles. Plus if you then offer me another walk in the afternoon he’ll more than happily run some more.

So here are a few photos from our adventures in the last year. Of our first baby boy.