Baxter – 4 years old likes: food, walks and more food

boots for dog walkingNovember is Baxter’s birthday and he will be 4 years old. In January we’ll be counting 3 years since we left Battersea Dogs Home with him and he became such an important part of our family. We really couldn’t imagine life without him nowadays.

We’ve all got to know each other very well and it’s fascinating to understand him more as time passes.

I mean, we always knew he liked food, he lives for it! I can’t go into the kitchen without him appearing in the doorway with the saddest, hard-done-by look on his face. I can’t open any packaging that remotely rustles without him leaping off the sofa and heading towards the promising noise. In fact, I would go as far as saying that food is Baxter’s most favourite thing in the whole world.

In second place of Baxter’s favourite things is a lap. You haven’t even sat down properly and he’s already climbing onto your lap settling himself as comfy as possible regardless if you’ve yet to put your mug of hot steaming tea down. Once he is comfy, he takes a huge sigh and relaxes into you, dropping off to sleep with a loud snore.

walking the dog on the beach

He hates being left at home alone though and will stand blocking the front door if he can get there before you. When you send him back into the lounge the look on his face is so sad it is heartbreaking. On the flip side – mention the ‘w’ word and he goes crazy, yapping excitedly until you’ve got your boots, coat and doggy bags ready!

We try to walk him twice a day, fitting it around work, after-school clubs and every other commitment that goes into daily life. We are very lucky that either Oana (my daughter in law) or our lovely next-door neighbour, will take him out to stretch his legs when we are at work/school.

However, Dad is king of the dog walking and the two of them set off on their walks on a regular basis. Around the Warren (a local green area), across the fields on the old WWII runway or, when we are at the coast, the beach.

Now Baxter has a dream…that of catching a seagull and whenever we are at the coast he pulls as hard as he can to get on the sand to chase them. So, we always make a point of stopping off at the beach and watching him run as fast as he can across the sand chasing the gulls who circle above him and return laughing above him out of reach. If he runs into the sea, which he doesn’t like as he’s not too sure what to make of the constant waves rolling in. However, should he find himself soaking wet, he will then roll in the sand to dry himself off….you can imagine the state he gets in, can’t you?

boots for dog walking

All this dog walking requires some good quality footwear and jackets. You need to know that your feet are going to stay warm and dry and you want to be sure you won’t get wet or cold as you are out in all weathers.

Millets have a huge selection of outdoors clothes including waterproof jackets, fleece, hats & gloves and footwear. They got in touch and asked if we’d like to choose two pieces and review them. Dad checked out the men’s selection and found a great pair of boots and a green parka.

He’s been wearing them a lot. At the park, on the beach and for walks around the area we live in. He’s very pleased with his choices. The boots are just what he was looking for walking the dog. They are comfortable, high to the ankle and have a good grip on the sole. The jacket (minus the fur trim around the hood – that’s not him at all) has also been a huge success. He has tested it on very windy days (Storm Brian and Ophelia) and he has been caught in the rain. He made a point of telling me how impressed he was and pointing out the beads of water running down the coat rather than penetrating the fabric.

Success Millets! The man and his dog are both very pleased. However, we still need to catch that seagull…

boots for dog walking

Disclosure: Millets online sent us the jacket and boots for dad for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own.

Happy Gotcha Day Baxter!

Baxter rescue dog

Just look at that happy smile!

On the 17th January we will be celebrating one year that Baxter has been part of our family, it is his ‘Gotcha Day’ a fun name given to the date you rescue a pet and bring him or her home.

We signed up with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in early January last year having taken the decision to give a dog a home. We went a long to the Brands Hatch branch and spoke to a member of staff who assessed us and we then visited the kennels and saw how many wonderful pets are there waiting to find a home. As our girls were under 8 there were restrictions as to which kind of dog we could home, our name had to go on a list and we would have to wait for a suitable pet to arrive.

Only a fortnight went by and we got a call from them saying a young dog by the name of Baxter had been brought in, he was a King Charles Cavalier and would we be interested in meeting him?

I said yes immediately and then googled King Charles Cavalier so I knew I was looking at the right breed.

One year later…

It’s marvellous. It’s fabulous and we now know his character and his likes and dislikes. We also know how cheeky he is too, he often makes us smile with his attempts to outwit us.

We discovered he didn’t like going in the water much at first, he didn’t want to get his paws wet but he loved chasing seagulls and entered the water in the vain hope of catching one. Now he loves splashing in puddles.

We learnt that he is rather partial to a dog biscuit and put on a bit of weight which needed to come off.

He sleeps a lot and snores really loudly.

Baxter with dog toys

He loves his toys and has got through so many chewing them until they are in bits, even Santa bought him some new ones to play with and one has already been destroyed.

He will sell his soul for a treat and is addicted to Dentistix at midday.

If he doesn’t like the route you are walking he will quite simply sit down and won’t budge. In the early days I didn’t know how to react. Then I got fed up of his antics I yanked him, raised my voice and he trotted along head down and a ‘good boy’.

This last point made me realise that it’s all about knowing who is boss. If he thinks he can get away with it, he will.

Baxter loves snuggling up to you. the minute anyone sits down he is making moves to get on your lap.

Now that I am working three days a week we have a lovely neighbour who comes in and takes him out for a walk on those days, she then takes him to her house until we come home. from what she’s been telling me, he’s been playing her up too. I must remember to tell her to yank his lead when he sits down on the pavement!

Has he changed our life?

Yes. We can’t go out on day trips without thinking about him and his needs as we never leave him on his own for too long. When we look for holidays we look for pet friendly places, like Trevella park in Cornwall.

Would I change anything?

No. We haven’t regretted taking him into our family once. He has given us so much, smiles, hugs and laughter too. The twins adore having him and he’s the first person they say hello to in the morning and he has made me get out and walk so much more.

Baxter - King Charles Cavalier Spaniel