The Long Weekend

Longer for some than others, it should be said. This was the weekend of my birthday, for which we had, pre-Jasper, planned an overnight in the Lake District. In the event of Jasper’s arrival, we looked to the grandparents so as not to have to alter the plans and they were only too happy to oblige.

Who knows if they will be again…

We have since been fully debriefed and it sounds like the best and worst of times. He began with a bang by pooping in his crate for my Mum to find on Sunday morning. There was no real reason for this since he’d been well walked and given ample access to the garden before bed – as such we think it may have been the stress of us leaving him and now we feel awful. Beyond that, though, we’ve been told about his forays into the flowerbeds outside and plant pots inside (suggesting a digging streak coming on) and his fascination with scratching at the corner of the carpet til it has pulled up. After the deluge of absolute naughtiness we both could barely stop apologising – feeling so embarrassed that they’d had such mischief to try and contain in our absence.

For their part, though, they simply laughed it off because “he’s a puppy and that’s what puppies do!” – which, when paired with their accounts of disciplining him, reassured me no end.

It was not, however, really as bad as all that. They both then proceeded to wax lyrical about how well he’d done at this, that and the other, and told such stories of him spending time with my nephew and playing fetch and football with my cousins on the field. It sounded… Brilliant. For the humans and for Jasper. My nephew loves anything that gives him attention and Jasper does that in spades; my cousin is scarcely around dogs and sometimes has nobody to play with so Jasper was an absolute boon for him; and my Mum and Dad found the excuse they needed to be more active and to introduce new environments and new routine into their sometimes-stale day-to-day. It was, literally, a breath of fresh air for them all, and I know without doubt that Jasper will have enjoyed every single second.

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