The Big Walk in August

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Can you believe it? we’re actually writing about our month within a few days of the month ending :-)

It probably helps that we didn’t have so many pictures to sort through, partly because it was quite wet for a while and the camera doesn’t like rain any more than I do!

So August started off with me still at my home-from-home as @HeatherAlex was driving for the Commonwealth Games for a few more days. No sooner was I back in my proper home than we set off for a couple of days on Arran with family. We did walk a few times on the beach at Whiting Bay as part of our Big Walk, but I don’t have any pictures of that so here’s one of me in the boat….

Twiglet on boat

Nice views but definitely chilly *brrrrr*

There’s a bit of a theme to this month’s tales from the Big Walk, which is Things We Find On Our Walks.

You might remember from last month that I found a new friend in Queens Park, a big wooden version of the Games mascot, Clyde (the Thistle). Well, this month someone very kindly donated him some traffic cones:

Clyde - Games mascot

Someone gave Clyde a hat (or two!)

If you don’t know Glasgow, you might not realise that putting traffic cones on statues has quite a history here. There’s a statue of the Duke of Wellington outside the Gallery of Modern Art and he almost always has a cone on his head, put there by happy people in the city centre. During the Games, he even had a special golden cone to celebrate all the gold medals that Scotland won. Then after the Games, someone decided that his horse looked unhappy without his very own cone…

Duke of Wellington, Glasgow

In the city, the Duke always wears a cone…and his horse has one as well now!

Back on our walk, on our first walk back in Pollok Park, the Things We Found were some VERY strange objects:

film set pollok park

I don’t think it would be very nice staying in one of these…it looks a bit draughty

film set pollok park

Less draughty, but not much of a view from inside this one :-(

It turned out that they were there using the North Wood as a location for a TV series (called Outlander).

film set pollok park

It was great fun sniffing round it all…

Later in the month, we were walking along part of the West Highland Way by Craigallian Loch. We decided to stop by the Craigallian Fire for a snack. Well, boy, was I in luck! The Thing We Found was very tasty. Someone had obviously had a large cheese there and cut off lots of the rind AND LEFT IT THERE by a tree just for me :-) I headed straight for it and was happily chomping it, till I felt a hand on my collar. Dag nab it, I had to leave it there and was tied to a tree while the cheese was gathered up (and was later put in a bin – such a waste!).

tied to a tree

Still licking my lips – it was yummy!

But our best Thing We Found was the family of hidden foxes at Loch Ard. They are part of the Loch Ard Sculpture Trail, which is a very pretty walk through some forests and by a loch or two. I put a  picture of the fighting squirrels in last month’s blog. But the walk description on the Walk Highlands website said there were foxes hidden in the woods and we’ve never seen them, despite looking very hard every time we go. Mind you, it also says the eagle is golden and it is definitely silver!

But this time we went with someone who knew where they were… I still think they are very hard to spot in among the trees if you don’t know where to look. Look very carefully…

loch ard sculpture trail

Wheeee, I finally found the foxes! (there are 3)

loch ard sculpture trail

The silver eagle is on the post sticking up

We also had some beautiful views on that walk…

Loch Ard view

Still waters at Loch Ard…till I jumped in :-)

Other than discovering cones, wagons, cheese and hidden foxes, most of our walks were in our usual parks, where I can chase balls, hunt squirrels, run through the long grass and splash in the river (I’m not allowed in many of the ponds just now because of something called blue-green algae).

pollok park north wood

I’m sure I heard a squirrel in those trees…

grass against sky

This is the view I get when I’m running through the long grass…

Despite not walking for the whole month, we did notch up 100 more miles on our Big Walk. By the end of August, we had covered 857 miles in total so we are definitely making progress towards our goal of a thousand miles. Those of you who are waiting to see if we do the whole distance can start looking out those credit cards now! ;-)  If you’d like to help protect the wild land we love walking in, you can do that on our JustGiving page – thanks!

The Big Walk in June & July

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The astute among you will notice that I’m writing about 2 months in one go here. Yes, I know, it’s cheating but honestly I have some great excuses. For a start, June was mega-busy. We were on holiday at the start (I mentioned that at the end of my May blog) so I had LOTS of pictures to sort through from that week, and then we were away again at the end of the month, visiting @HeatherAlex’s mum down in the Far South, so we had even more pictures. And then July…well, July was a very different month because I really didn’t see much of @HeatherAlex at all. I did LOTS of walking with my friends at Tails, but of course those walks don’t count for this Big Walk, because it has to be both of us walking.

Anyway, here goes with our Big Walk in June and July…

You’ll remember from May that we headed to the south of Scotland to a place called Newton Stewart to stay for a week, and we had a couple of good friends stay with us as well, which was great because they play with me too and throw the ball so it is double the fun (at least!). This is our friend Linda looking at waterfalls when she could be helping me chase squirrels…

woods wander

Waterfalls are nice, but I prefer sniffing out the wildlife :-)

And this is our friend Ally, helping us to conquer the mountain (errm, hill) behind our cottage.

Cairnsmore of Fleet

On the very top of Cairnsmore of Fleet

We were staying near the Galloway Forest Park. It’s a great place with loads of walks, because it is quite a big park! And it has been there for over 60 years, which is a very long time – it’s even older than @HeatherAlex…  *chuckle*

Galloway F P 50th cairn

This is the cairn celebrating 50 years of the park (I’m behind it!)

The forest park has lots of trees, lochs and hills, so of course, most of my pictures are of trees, lochs and hills :-)

Loch Bruntis

Our local loch near our cottage by Kirroughtree – bit chilly for a dip tho!

Loch Trool

Lovely and misty by Loch Trool

Loch Trool - east

This is at the other end of Loch Trool…

otter look-out

There were s’posed to be otters here but I couldn’t sniff or see any :-(

Loch Bruntis

Loch Bruntis again (the local loch)

Loch View trail

This was on a walk called “Loch View” – this was the ONLY spot with a view!

Some of the walks had things we weren’t expecting to find…

"The Eye" at the Black Loch

This is called “The Eye” at the Black Loch…

You can look through a tiny hole in it…

looking thru the eye

Well, you can look through it if you are tall enough (I wasn’t!)

And there was wild life of a sort too:

carving of deer head

I spotted this in one of the woods – didn’t smell much like a deer tho!

There weren’t just deer heads – we also saw some people heads on one of our walks – they looked very uncomfortable!

stone carving of head

A lonely head on top of a wall.. how odd…

stone carvings

These 3 were guarding a hole in the wall…still very odd!

We found some great places to eat or get a coffee – I especially liked the ones where they let me in! The Galloway Arms in Newton Stewart let me in the bar area (where you can eat). The Belted Galloway cafe at the car park in town (owned by the same people) is terrific too – they gave me a dog biscuit or three – yum! And they have the most accurate weather forecast tool I’ve ever seen, much better than those apps you get on phones ;-)

sign at the belted galloway

It’s *always* right!

So that covers the holiday at the start of June. I’m going to skip through the rest of June a bit, mostly because you have already seen pictures of the local parks, the Whangie and Loch Ard, because they are our favourite walking places. I can’t resist showing you my favourite bit by Loch Ard though:

sculpture trail - squirrels

Can you guess why I like this part of the forest?? Look closely at the trees…

At the end of June we headed even further south to visit @HeatherAlex’s mum. You’ve seen lots of photos of Chobham Common so I won’t put many here. This is one of my favourites, because I just *love* this pond for plashing and jumping in:

chobham common pond

Look how far I can jump! (good practice for agility long jump)

While we were there, the walking shoes completely shredded themselves and new ones had to be bought:

old and new shoes

Just remember…I walked all those miles on my PAWS!!!

On the way home, we visited Lincolnshire for a wedding, so we went exploring and found a pond for me to splash in (it’s in Twigmoor Woods, so it was VERY appropriate for me to walk there!).

pond in Twigmoor Woods

Lovely on the paws…

Back home for July and we squeezed in some walks in our favourite parks…

Rouken Glen

Hiding in the grass at Rouken Glen…

Pollok House gardens

Hiding in the maze at Pollok House gardens…

Boardwalk at Mugdock Park

Back on the boardwalk at Mugdock…

with Briso at Rouken Glen

Playing Fetch with my pal Briso at Rouken Glen

Reaching at Pollok pond

Just…can’t…quite…reach…that…darn…stick!

And finally… looks like I have a new playmate at Queens’ Park – this is Clyde, the mascot of the Commonwealth Games which were held here in Glasgow over 11 days in July and August.

Clyde at Queens Park

Errm, he’s quite a tall thistle, isn’t he??

So that’s a quick scurry through my walks in June and July. We clocked up 129 more miles in June, and a measly 67 in July. But we had reached the grand total of 757 by the end of July, which is pretty good going as it means we are three-quarters of our walk to our target of 1000 miles. As ever, if you’d like to sponsor me and help the John Muir Trust to keep wild land wild, you can donate here.

Thanks for reading!

PS In case you’re wondering if my typist/best friend/walking buddy had gone off on holiday without me, nope, she was being a Clyde-sider for the Commonwealth Games. She had a wonderful time, she says (even though I wasn’t around, so I do find that hard to believe), and drove some very smart-looking cars around Glasgow with Games people in them. I’ve decided to let her put ONE picture here to show what she was doing…

collage of cars

These are the sports logos from the car she drove each day…and the uniform is quite smart too!

The Big Walk in May

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You would think that – since we reached a significant milestone in our walk in May – that this blog would be published on time, wouldn’t you? Well, don’t blame me, blame the typist! Anyway, better late than never so here goes…

May was exciting for lots of reasons… We went to some new parks, visited our first agility show, met one of my Twitter friends and went on holiday in the far south of Scotland for the first time. AND….we reached our halfway mark on the Big Walk!! Yep, we reached 500 miles on May 17th, as part of the 101 miles we walked this month. So if you’ve not sponsored me yet, maybe you’d like to do that now that we are over halfway???? It’s all in a good cause, trying to keep land wild for us and our people to walk on and enjoy in years to come. Thank you! And whether you do sponsor us or not, I hope you enjoy reading the tales of our walks :-)

One of the best things about our Big Walk is meeting up with pals who come with us. And it’s even better when it’s a new pal (or in this case, TWO new anipals and a new human pal). Me ‘n’ @RohanTheBT are friends on Twitter but we’d never met till this walk. Mr Mike brought Rohan and his sisfur Poppy on holiday to Scotland in May, and we joined them in Killin for a forest walk above the town.

terriers in Killin

We be three terriers having fun!

Afterwards we went for a drink at a dog-friendly pub called the Falls of Dochart Inn, where we all behaved very well – most of the time anyway – and we even got titbits from the couple who shared our table! We dogs that is, our humans didn’t get anything for free and had to buy their own drinks.

Killin pub

Someone’s very focussed on the sausages…

If anyone is looking for dog-friendly places, I can recommend the Inn. And I saw this sign in a cafe window in Killin, which I thought was very good:

cafe window

Yay, another dog-friendly place to visit, assuming our people are allowed in ;-)

We had some more forest walks in May, and again with friends. I have been out with this group before – they are called “Refresh”. I think it’s because they like refreshments after our walk, like beer and wine and ice creams and coffee and food. All I get is water and a small chew! Anyway, they are good friends so it is great to meet up with them for a walk. We went to Mugdock Woods with Marian first…

Marian behind tree

I can see you hiding behind that tree!

…then later in the month all of us went to walk in the forest at Aberfoyle. We had a great walk, with a waterfall and trees and sculptures and a bouncy ball and – of course – refreshments :-)

aberfoyle forest

Can you see the sculptures of people among the trees?

sculpture in woods

A very odd sort of a tree, this one

 

I do love playing in running water...

I do love playing in running water…

…ending up at the dog-friendly Forth Inn in Aberfoyle:

at the hotel for lunch

Refreshments for Refresh (and me!)

We went to some new places in May too. @HeatherAlex is going to be a volunteer driver for the Commonwealth Games when they come to Glasgow in July, and one of the event venues is Cathkin Braes where people will be riding mountain bikes very fast. So we went to find out where it was and have a walk there.

Cathkin Braes sign

You do have to watch out for speeding bikes in this park…

I even found myself a new trig point for my Twig-at-trigs collection:

from the Braes

There are good views out over Glasgow from here too..

The other new country park we went to was Eglinton Country Park in North Ayrshire. There was an agility competition there, and @HeatherAlex was helping out a bit, picking poles up if they were knocked down. But once she had done that, and I had a look at all the dogs competing, we went for a bit of an explore…

castle at Eglinton

There’s a ruined castle with lots of room to play fetch-the-ball…

eglinton park

…and a riverbank to explore as well

We did also go away on holiday in May – twice!

The first time, we visited Arran where @HeatherAlex’s brother and family were staying. We did lots of walking on the beach with people and dogs (Dylan the BT, and Samba the Lab).

on the beach

PLEASE…throw that ball!

I do love the beach…

sitting at the beach

I don’t want to go home, can’t we stay longer? pretty please?

at the pier

We had some lovely evening walks…

Our second holiday was to Newton Stewart, but most of that was in June, so I’ll tell you all about that in our June blog. We did do one walk in May, though, by the river that runs through the town so here’s me and our good friend Linda having a well-earned rest on our walk:

seat

Just big enough for me and Linda…

For the rest of the month, we went to our usual parks in and around Glasgow. So here’s a selection of some of the best bits:

Cherry blossom in Queens Park

Cherry blossom confetti in Queens Park

Pollok collage

Spring flowers at Pollok – blooming lovely :-)

pollok north wood

The woods are steaming! Pollok North Wood after rain

rouken glen park

My ball’s in the stream! at Rouken Glen

Now, this Big Walk is all about walking with ME! It’s a thousand miles with me so it doesn’t count if @HeatherAlex goes for a walk by herself. She went to Dunbar in May for a Gathering of members of the John Muir Trust, and left me behind (at my favourite home-from-home, it has to be said). She wanted to include a picture or three from that trip (mostly cos she used her fancy new camera for most of them), but I was very firm.

“If I wasn’t there, it doesn’t count, and you can’t have a picture on the blog”, says I. “Who has all your yummy treats and food?”, says she. So we compromised.  It’s not a walk picture but one of the statue of John Muir as a young lad before he left for America. After all, we are raising money for the Trust that bears his name, so it is ok really :-)

John Muir statue

John Muir as a young lad – I think I would have liked him

So that’s our tales from the trails for May. Hopefully our June blog will be done soon too! Till then…happy walking!

The Big Walk in April

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I know, I’m late again in posting this – it will soon be time for the May episode! You know what they say though, better late than never…

During the month, we had very mixed weather for our walks. April lived up to its reputation for sunshine and showers, and added in some misty mornings for good measure:

Pollok Park pond

Some days it was sunny…and I could enjoy splashing in the ponds…

sunny bluebells in Pollok Park

…and the sunshine showed off all the bluebells…

rainbow in Queens Park

…some days were a mix of rain and sunshine so we had lovely rainbows…

foggy in Queens Park

…and some days you could only see to the end of your nose!

We tend not to have pictures of the very wet days in case the camera gets too wet, but believe me, we had some VERY wet days in April! Which of course also meant there was lots of water in the streams and nice mud for me to play in :-)

waterfall

LOADS of water coming down the waterfall at Rouken Glen

river at Rouken Glen

…so loads of water in the river for me to play in (and nicely muddy too)

And Pollok Park had lots of mud too:

Twig on jetty at Pollok

My magnificently mean, moody and soon-to-be-muddy look…

Despite the mixed weather (some might say it’s because of the mixed weather), Spring was definitely in the air with trees and flowers coming out to say Hello:

Bluebells in Pollok

Pollok North Wood had a carpet of bluebells…

flowers in Pollok woods

…not to mention some whitebells as well (they might have a proper name!)

trees in Pollok

The trees started putting out their leaves…

Some of the local wildlife thought it was Spring too and started building nests:

moorhen nest on pond

Great…soon there will be baby coots for me to chase!

Meanwhile we did some training on our walks. We don’t have many pictures because mostly @HeatherAlex has to have my treats ready and not the camera. So we’ve practiced “out” around trees, and “left” and “right” as well. This one is a faraway sit – the “stop” command. I’m quite good at it unless there are rabbits or food nearby!

in the woods

Bet you can’t see me…this was a very faraway Stop :-)

But sometimes my reward for a Stop is to be allowed to chase something – like this squirrel (there is one there, honestly). I am fast but I can never quite catch them – this one had quite a head start on me, mind you :-(

Queens Park squirrel

Look out Mr Squirrel, here I come!

We have had company on some of our walks too. This was a special one at Drumpellier Park, where lots of people from Scottish Women in Business did a “stroll” for their charity of the year.

SWIB stroll at Drumpellier

Me ‘n’ the SWIB strollers getting ready to move out

I hope they don’t mind but I’m only going to mention the charity that WE are supporting with our 1000-mile walk, and that’s the John Muir Trust (JMT to its friends). JMT helps to look after and protect the wild land we love to walk on in Scotland (and hopefully soon in the rest of the UK too). If you have visited Ben Nevis, that’s one of the mountains JMT looks after :-)

So it would be fantastic if you could sponsor our 1000-mile walk. You can find out more about the walk and why we’re doing it (and sponsor us!) on our JustGiving page. And the good news is that we are doing very well against our target of 1000 miles, as we had completed 460 miles at the end of April – ta-ra!

2013 in review (a bit late!)

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Okay, so I am a bit late posting this, but thanks to my friend Teagan, I found out how to get my annual report from WordPress. It’s not as impressive as some of the reports I have seen, but I was quite pleased to welcome so many visitors to my life as a terrier in Glasgow!

So here’s what the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys came up with when they prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog:

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 740 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 12 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Big Walk in March

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First of all, I’m sorry this is a bit late in telling the tales of our March trails. I’ve explained why I’m a bit behind here, but despite all that, we have definitely been keeping up with our walks. By the end of March (*drum roll please*), we’d reached the grand total of 344 miles. Which is over a third of the way to our target of 1000 miles in 2014 – yippee!

Because @HeatherAlex’s mum was poorly again, we did some of the miles in England as well as at home here in Scotland. We also went to some new places this month, like a country park in Surrey and a different service station on the drive south.

Lightwater sign

Lightwater Country Park – a new place to try out

M6 Killington

A quick walk at Killington Lakes

And on our way back to Scotland, we stayed in Haxby with our friends, Carolyn & Phil. They’ve only just moved there so I’d never been to this house before, but I do like their woods, especially as they are quite muddy…

Haxby wood

I’m loving all this mud in Haxby’s community woods

I like their new home – they have a great window sill for me to sit and watch the world go by (and bark at the world as it is going by). So I just made myself at home…

Twig on windowledge

Watching the world go by…

I like staying with them a lot. Carolyn comes for walks with us whenever we see her, and Phil throws my ball for me all the time – he’s great fun! (and to think he didn’t really like dogs all that much before he met me :-) )

Phil & Twig

Throw it again, Phil, throw it again!

As usual, we went walking with other friends too. I like it when we have friends along because they play with me and sometimes they give me treats :-) One of them even lent me her sunglasses!

Drumpellier

Me, my friend Liz and …. something mysterious in the loch at Drumpellier!

Linda with ball

I like walking with Linda – she throws the ball a lot :-)

Twig in sunspecs

I think Dior suits me…

The weather has been a bit mixed again for our walks this month. Some wet days, some windy days and some fabulously sunny days! The sunny days were mostly in England, I have to admit.

Twig at Whangie rocks

A windy day at the Whangie

Sunningdale in sun

Glorious early morning sun at the golf course

There was a bit of a difference between our visit to Chobham Common last time and this time! It was much drier and sunnier most of the time…

collageof wet path/dry path

On the left – our previous visit . The stream is back to being a path now!

Twig at Chobham

Lovely and sunny – perfect for a spot of ball-chasing!

But it wasn’t always sunny – this time, we only just made it home before the rain started…

thunder at chobham

Uh-oh, that looks like thunder clouds, time to go home!

Sometimes we see animals when we’re out on our walks. Usually we see squirrels, rabbits and foxes, but this month we saw some deer at the golf course. You have to look really closely at the pic to spot them!

deer on golf course

Look closely and you will see 2 deer crossing the green!

Elephant carving

Some animals are easier to spot! A new friend at Pollok Park…

And sometimes we look at the birds. Personally I like ducks best, because they are great for chasing!

bird against clouds

This bird was a brilliant flier – swooped and soared – too high up to chase

Some birds were VERY noisy, and seemed to fly in circles over the hill.

model aircraft

There are 2 noisy birds up there…

I did hear that they might have been very small aeroplanes – but they would have to have VERY small people on board in that case…

Have I ever mentioned that I like ponds and streams and paddling in water? I have? Oh well, I will just mention it again. Here are some pics of me enjoying my favourite hobby (especially when I have a ball to play with).

Twig at Chobham

Just me and my ball and some muddy water…

Twig at Chobham

…how much better can life get?

Twig at Chobham

Me and my ball and cleaner water…

Twig at Chobham

…perfect for a splash around!

Twig at Rouken Glen

I especially like splashing in rivers

This month, @HeatherAlex had a bit of a close encounter with a stream on one of our walks. It was all her own fault. She threw the ball towards the stream, not me. She had decided not  to wear her wellies so she couldn’t just wade in to get it. And she was the one who decided that she would try to get my ball back by lying on the ground and reaching down for it. To be fair , it was stuck in a bit of an awkward spot…

Twig at Sunningdale

The ball was stuck on that wee ledge…tricky!

Since the ground by the stream was a bit of a slope (which you can’t really see in that pic), the disaster was always going to happen. She hadn’t even managed to get the ball, but she couldn’t wriggle back up the slope either (I had to try not to giggle out loud at this point). Here’s the inevitable result…

after the fall

Umm, she’s a bit wet…

The great news is that, of course, she could then reach the ball no problem and so we got it back safe and sound – yay! We did have to head home then though, as she was very wet (hee hee, it’s usually me that’s wet after a walk when there’s a stream).

As you can see, it was an eventful month, with lots of fun on our walks, even if I did have gastroenteritis and then colitis quite badly for some of the time. But we are doing well on our Big Walk, which is all in aid of the John Muir Trust so that they can look after wild land across the British Isles. If you’d like to sponsor me, you can make a donation here – thank you!

If it ain’t broke…

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I’m a bit behind with blogging this month, as I’ve not been very well for a few weeks.

SOMEONE (naming no names, but they know who they are) thought it would be a good idea to change my food. I know, I know – it was from the best of intentions – changing to a better food, and hoping I would scavenge less if I was eating better. Nae chance, as they say here in Scotland!

Sadly it didn’t work out well at all. We found what looked like a good food here. We did it the right way… changed the food gradually over about a week. And I have to say, it was definitely yummy! My coat became very smooth and shiny. And some people said I behaved better and was more chilled with other dogs. But…

…my poos became VERY hard and dry, sort of crumbly. We tried variations of the food – different flavours (I liked the duck! I try even harder to catch them at the park now :-) ). But I had several small bouts of colitis and then a bad one. And I never really got over that one. We switched to the low-fat version to see if that would help, but it only helped for a day or so then just got worse and worse. I was very sore, and kept stretching to try to make the cramps go away. We think maybe the dry poos irritated my gut and made the colitis flare up really badly.

The first vet gave me THREE injections (one of them makes me very odd – I cry and whine even though it is supposed to make the pain go away) and I ended up having almost no food for 2 days. But my tummy was still not right so according to the next vet, I had to take a new tablet called steroids (Prednicare). That made me VERY thirsty so I drank loads and loads of water and chicken juice, and could pee for Britain for a few days! When I did get food, it was boiled rice and chicken, very small amounts, 6 times a day – and now we’re gradually bringing in my old type of food. We like the advice here, though we haven’t tried the slippery stuff yet – going to ask the vet about that.

And happily, after 2 weeks of mucus, blood, gut lining and diarrhoea, I did my first near-normal poo yesterday. Here it is :-)

poo bag

Beautifully wrapped, of course!

So now we’re going to switch out the rice and boiled chicken, and get me back onto my old food. That’s the plan, anyway. And I don’t think I will be getting my normal cocktail sausage bits when we go to agility class tonight somehow. Shame….

Anyway, we’re all just happy that my gut seems to be behaving again, and we’re NOT planning any more changes of food!

 

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