We have had Jonathan staying here for a couple of months over the summer, and he has thoroughly enjoyed the sun, and swimming in the pool. He has done a couple of odd jobs for us, and this week we thought we'd make use of his tree skills. The lovely bourganvillea outside the kitchen window had outgrown its space. We were warned that it can grow very fast. It was blocking the gate to the run where the dogs sleep at night, making it difficult to lock them in at bed time. Also the flowers were dying, making a heap of papery bracts to be swept up each day. So Jonathan has cut it back hard, taking off many of the dead flower heads, as well as all the trailing branches. It looks so much better, and has made the side alleyway much easier to navigate. It will probably shoot again soon though. Then he trimmed a tall thin tree, also in the sideway, right next to my washing line. It looks a lot tidier but there was a huge amount of debris. Fortunately we have a big basura bin outside our gate which is emptied most nights, so we put it all in there and it has already been taken away.
The dogs are now waking up at 6.30 every morning so we have established a good regime. We get up as soon as we hear them and quickly give them their breakfast to stop them barking. We give them a very quick run, and then go home and have our cup of tea. Then we put them all in the boot of the car and drive them to somewhere 'off-road' to give them a proper walk. It is a lovely time of day, when it is still quite cool, and everywhere is so quiet. We rarely see another person, and the views are beautiful. I finally remembered to take my camera with me this morning, but it was actually a bit cloudy so the views were quite different from usual, but still very lovely. I am going to start a new folder on my gallery called 'Walking the dogs' and I will add to it whenever I see anything worth writing about. Today we could just hear the distant jangle of 'cow-bells' and eventually we spotted a huge herd of sheep and goats, grazing on some very tough, dry grass, while their herdsman kept watch from a nearby hill.
We keep the dogs on leads as they are not used to other dogs and are still wary of strangers so we are not sure how they will react when we do meet other dog-walkers on our rambles. Also most of the campo land has goats on it at some time, so the ground is covered with goat pellets which the dogs would eat if they were not on leads so we can keep them moving. Chico and Miki are strong so Chris takes both of them and I have Foxy, who, although she is much smaller, is actually the most active and eager to run and explore. She is used to running free in the campo and I am not sure she would come back if I let her off her lead. We have bought proper safety restraints for the dogs when they are in the car, which clip on to their harness and go into the back seatbelt fastners. They have learned to jump up into the boot by themselves now, and the restaints mean that they have to sit still, so they travel very well and safely. They are enjoying their long walks and so are we. It will be interesting to see how the landscape changes when the rains start up again. They are tired when we get back home, and settle down very well for the rest of the day.