Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A bridge too far?

It wasn't as cold and icy this morning but I still didn't feel like getting the car out.  Walking down by the river seemed like a good idea but rather than head west as we've done the last couple of mornings we set off east towards Cockermouth.  This was not one of our best walks, in fact, it would be fair to say this is the worst walk Daisy and I have had. 

First problem, a new fence just inside the first field with a rubbish stile.  Daisy hasn't worked out 'jumping over pig wire fences' yet and frankly I'm in no hurry to teach her.  She had to be lifted over which neither of us particular enjoy.  Half a mile later we came to the next obstacle - a footbridge over a beck.  We needed to cross this in order to remain on the footpath next to the river.  As soon as I got through the kissing gate I could see we were in trouble - Daisy wasn't having anything to do with this alien construction!

- I tried walking across and calling her to follow: no chance.
- Put her on the lead and see if she'll come when attached to me: not flippin' likely.
- Get a firm hold of her walking harness and try to 'half walk/half carry' her across: FORGET IT.  This was the point where poor Daisy screamed, wailed, stuck her legs out totally rigid to brace herself, and then screamed and cried some more.  Needless to say I abandoned that attempt very quickly.  As I explained to Management later, she was not just 'squeaking and whining' in normal 'not-getting-my-own-way' dog fashion, no, this was full-throttle screaming of the sort that you never want to hear from any animal, let alone your own. 

I sat on the steps of the bridge for a few minutes and tried to calm her but Daisy was more intent on forcing herself through the kissing gate fence to get away.  Instant decision - go home or pick her up?  I took the latter option and although she was shaking and not terribly happy, we crossed without further incident and carried on with our walk.  A mile later we came to two small footbridges which cross tiny streams - Madam walked across both with care but no fuss.

This is an 'out and back' walk and I hoped that our return across the bridge would be less stressful.  Well, it was but only because I cut straight to the "pick up and carry option" when it was obvious that Daisy wasn't going over on her own.

The walk didn't end well when we got back to the first field; lifted her over the stupid stile again and had one more obstacle before we were back on the road home.  Large stone slabs stick out to make steps leading up the side of the bridge.  We'd come down them OK an hour earlier but Daisy wasn't happy about going up.  I've never liked these steps, they're barely big enough for one person and there definitely isn't room to deal with a dog who is unhappy.

It may be sometime before Daisy and I attempt this route again, we were both more than happy to get home this morning :{


  1. Oh good grief what an obstacle course! I'm with Daisy on this - don't bother that walk in future. You've so many more satisfying routes at your disposal. Hope both got home fine and are resting well.

    1. thank you Kris, all home safely with no ill effects :}

  2. Had the same occasional 'obstacle' problem when I used to go riding, with seemingly innocuous gates/walls causing the horse a great deal of torment, and me a great deal of huffing and kicking and going purple in the face. I didn't have the 'pick up and carry' option either!

    I think that the most entertaining obstacle (for the observer at any rate) was when the farmers moved the mobile air cannon pigeon scarers near to the bridlepath which were set on a random timer. It would be the roll of a dice how far up the long path before one of them went off (if at all).

    One week fine, next week - trot, trot, trot, trot, BOOOOOOOOOM, wooooooooooaaaah!

    And for your next trick, try persuading your mount to get past that spot again!

    1. I know you are superwoman Hazel, but even you're not able to get off your mount and carry him around a problem! Hobbit prize for the funniest comment I think I've ever received (probably wasn't funny for you at the time), thank you. I shall think of you next time I hear a pigeon canon!

  3. Sounds anything but fun.

    I wonder if something Daisy didn't like the smell of had crossed the bridge at some time.

    1. Sue, Daisy consistently shows "concern" around water. The poor lass has even been seen flinching if I carry a fresh bowl of water from the sink to place on the floor for her and she's between me and where I'm headed. No, we think at some point she's either had buckets of water thrown at her, or a hose [she hates the garden hose] or - perish the thought - did someone dump her in a river to try and get rid of her?

      We'll just take it slowly and gently. Two months ago she was terrified of being put in the car. Now she jumps in before I even get the door open properly! Operant conditioning can be a wonderful thing :}


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