Ik is Acht

Well it has come to that time of year again. This is one of my favourite days (along with Gotcha Day and Santa Paws Day), but this is the most special because it’s my BIRTHDAY J And as it says I is Eight. Every year my birthday is special but this year is particularly memorable because, of course, I am spending it abroad. We’re still living on the boat in the Netherlands and I must say I am having a fine time J

When I last did a blog we (me and my small tick friend) has just left Kraggenburg and we were headed into Friesland. We had a nice time in Friesland, the ‘water capital’ of the Netherlands. First we took Juneau back home to Sneek, where she was built. We stayed there for a week. Sneek has a very nice park but it was quite a distance away so mum and dad put my Thingy training into practice and whizzed me down the canal to the park. This meant I could have more time running around and less time lead walking, so that was good. I was a bit confused because mum was taking me for a ‘walk’ whilst dad went for a ‘run’. I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be with so I tried to keep up with them both for a while. I realised this was not going to work so I stuck with mum but I kept a very keen eye open for dad in case I could trip him up as he went past J. Here I am in the Thinghy. I really don’t like getting in it but I do quite like the ride as I get lot of cuddles whilst we go along. I think mum is scared of the Thinghy really and relies on me as her security blanket!!

For some reason we then left Sneek which was warm and dry and headed to the stormy north of the Netherlands. Mum was keen for me to see the sea, so we went to Lauwersoog (yes that’s right – Lauwersoog!). I saw the sea and lots of boats and a few goats, mostly through driving rain and in what felt like force 10 gales. I’m sure Lauwersoog is a lovely place to the Lauwersoogians but for the Wokinghamians it was pretty grim and I seemed to be permanently damp for the time we spent there (not nice for anyone believe me – especially me as you can imagine!) Here I am commiserating with the goats in Lauwersoog. At least I could escape. These guys are permanent residents of soggy Lauwersoog!

Seeking a warmer climate we headed south and encountered nice places such as Bergum. Where I got to visit the dierenwinkle (I suspect this may be the source of my birthday present)

And then the Auld Feanon national park which was nice but inhabited by a wolf, who tried to eat me. It wasn’t a native wolf – flipin thing turned up on a boat (…with a family – I know water is at the centre of Dutch life but no one would sell a wolf a boat of its own – would they???) Anyway we had a nice walk and it was generally a lovely place (wolves apart). Here I am on a sunny walk in the Aude Feanon.

Then we went to Joure where we joined a jamboree (good word eh?) of boats. We (well mum and dad) had a good lunch in Joure and I posed for pictures J One of my bestest poses I feel.

And then onto Stavoren. We all really liked Stavoren, good walkie territory, nice mooring with easy dog access (not so crucial as we have found out this week) and dad says it has the bestest ever kibbeling. Which is not Dutch for my food but is battered fish to which dad has become very partial J I think I would like it but I don’t seem to have been offered an opportunity to try it … yet!

Our latest leg saw us cross the big wide ocean (well it’s the Ijsselmeer – actually just a very big lake). All preparations were made and I was told to adopt my ‘big river position’ just in case. In fact it was very calm and I didn’t need to wedge myself in, so I just lay down for the journey. After a couple of hours we ended up ‘on the other side’ in Enkhuizen. Very nice place, dad and I posed for pictures on the wall.

And then we did another big river crossing to Edam. This time it wasn’t quite so smooth, I did need to park myself quite firmly and mum kept me company when it got a bit rough. We were glad to see Edam, not just for the cheese prospects but for some calmer water. This is me standing on the actual dam of E fame.

Just when I thought all my watery events were over for the day dad offered to take me swimming. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this as he doesn’t usually strip off and get in the water with me when we go to Heath Lake! However not to bypass an opportunity, in we went. I think dad thought we’d swim off together but in fact I was more interested in my normal game of catch the tennis ball and take it back to the shore for another throw. Unfortunately mum was my shoreside human so the throwing was pretty poor (don’t tell her I said it but her throwing is a bit rubbish!). Mum took her camera and dad took his special waterproof video camera and so many records of human and canine swimming together were created. Some of which I feel I should share with you. I warn you my fur is a bit messy in places – well what can you do with wet fur! Photo’s first

And then here is the little video of me in the water.

If you can’t see the video Click here to see it on the web.

We well and truly ‘did’ Edam what with a long walk around town and some swimming I was shattered I can tell you. After all I am eight!!

However, we did create a milestone. You know the saying “you can’t teach a dog-in-his-prime a new trick”? Well this week I proved that wrong. In Edam we ended up in a mooring box. The Dutch like mooring boxes but we Brits are not so keen because they don’t have a pontoon at the side. So all access has to be off the front of the boat, which is not easy for me. Prior to our departure dad bought a dog ramp to cover this eventuality (also a lifting harness but we don’t talk about that!). They tried the obligatory dog-ramp training at home and I was having none of it! As a result ‘boxes’ have been avoided like the plague. HOWEVER…needs must, and all that, and when I needed to use the ramp (and avoid the harness) I did so. I don’t know why they were concerned, I was a pro I tell you. Here I am showing you how it is done.

On my way…

I’ve arrived… J

Now we are tucked up in Akersloot (yes Akersloot!) for the working week and we have a paws in all the excitement for a few days, but I will leave you with these last few pictures of me on my birthday and with my birthday presents.

Sorry that’s a long post, hope you were able to stick with it to the end dear reader.



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