We made up a bed near the Aga and set up barriers so that, whilst he had plenty of space to move, he didn’t have the run of the kitchen. And the first night, he cried. So I went downstairs, cleaned up, cuddled and comforted him and went back to bed. Several times. The second and third nights, the same. And then we dismantled the barriers and let him have the run of the kitchen and there was no more crying. He was quite happy.
Christmas was quite special that year. We devoted our time to the puppy. We wrapped presents for him, probably a few toys, a few biscuits, a couple of hide chews and so on. He loved unwrapping his presents. He adored seeing us unwrap our presents. He loved the excitement. He wasn’t too bothered about the contents of the parcels and we soon realised that all we needed to do was wrap one of his presents in another piece of paper (as soon as something was unwrapped from it) and give it to him again for it to be received with total joy. He was excited about Christmas every year, he loved it all his life and enjoyed opening the same presents over and over again.
We used to weigh him every week, in a shopping basket. The weights are still on the tall scales in the porch, written down by the Sage. He was duly registered at the vets and received his vaccinations and was eventually cleared to be taken out for walks in public.
Ro was at the village school and we walked there every day. Chester loved children, right from the start. My friend Bobbie (whom Mike, Ann and Tim stayed with over the time of the blog party) also had her children at the school and she took Figgy, a few months older than Chester. We often took the two dogs for a run across the fields.
Our garden is surrounded by fields and Chester had to learn where our boundaries finished and, in particular, that he mustn’t go on the road. It wasn’t possible to fence the whole place off so, if he was not to be only walked on the lead, he had to be taught good enough behaviour. Good enough is the key. It rather sums me up. Here are the boundaries, do what you like within them. It’s not that I don’t have limits and it’s known when they’ve been crossed. But I’m very relaxed up to that point.