Having grown up with dogs, I always knew when I had a family of my own that we would have a dog and, although he can be hard work, when I see Oscar with the children I know we made the right decision. One of the best things about having a dog, especially with the children, is that rain or shine you will always find us outdoors walking him. Not only does that mean we are benefitting from all of that fresh air and exercise, but it also means that it’s tiring out the children in the process and trust me, that‘s always a positive!!
We are lucky to live in Lancashire where we may not get the good weather, but we do have some of the most beautiful countryside on our doorstep. Our favourite place to walk Oscar is in our local park and the children are always the first to pull on their wellies to head down there whether it’s the first or the tenth time that week.
The best thing about our park is that it has a real mix of terrains depending on the weather, how far we want to walk, and whether we have time to bath both Oscar and the children afterwards! With a paved route around the entire park, open fields to run, or the muddy woods to explore, there are always adventures to be had.
The great thing about having a smaller dog is that he is more than happy to walk on the lead should we be in a public park, and still gets more than enough exercise if that is the case. The worst thing about having a white dog is of course the fact that he attracts mud wherever we go, never more so than on rainy days!!
Oscar and the children really do have a lot in common in that respects, because if there is mud to be had, even just one tiny patch, they will always find it! Given the choice of walking on the path or in the woods, Oscar will always let us know his preference, and when he starts pulling on his lead he makes his preference clear!
Oscar isn’t the most sociable of dogs, not when it comes to strangers, and yet the way he is with the children is just adorable. Where as for me he will pull on the lead, wrap himself around my legs and trip me over, or jump up at me with muddy paws on the first day of fresh jeans, with the children he will happily walk or run beside them so gently, never leaving their side for one moment.
In the warmer months Oscar likes to take advantage of the stream running through the woods and often jumps in and splashes around, usually followed by the children! Despite the fact the rain doesn’t bother him, the cold definitely seems to and after dipping a paw in at this time of year, he always changes his mind!
You can always tell when Oscar has had enough as his pace will start to slow down, he will walk even closer brushing up against our legs, and eventually he will find a quiet spot to sit, and stay there until we’ve taken the hint and headed back to the car.
Back home we always go through the same routine – we towel Oscar off at the door, carry him through to the kitchen, and prepare his food whilst we run a bath. Part of the reason I think Oscar is so fit and healthy is down to his diet, and we feed him James Wellbeloved grain free dog food using simple ingredients with all the goodness dogs need and nothing more. Naturally hypoallergenic, bursting with vitamins, minerals, and high quality single source protein, it’s gentle on your dog’s stomach to make sure they stay happy and healthy.
James Wellbeloved never contains beef, pork, dairy, soya, eggs, wheat, or cheap bulking ingredients, and I find it so reassuring to know that I am giving Oscar a nutritionally balanced meal, appropriate for his age, and in a choice of wet or dry food and treats. At almost eight, with four teeth down, Oscar much prefers the wet food and his excitement every time I tear open one of the sachets is testament to just how tasty he must find them!
Oscar is such a huge part of our family and making sure he is happy and healthy is so important to us. We love our walks together, just as much as Oscar loves his post-walk meal, and I hope that we will enjoy many, many more years together doing just that. .
** This post is in conjunction with James Wellbeloved but all thoughts are my own **