invaluable guides to feeding your Spinone and thereafter,
if you’ve discovered you’ve accidentally poisoned
it, there was the guide on looking after your sick Spinone.
only seems fitting therefore that I should follow these
up with my guide to keeping your Spinone fit and healthy.
After all, it is a HPR and by implication needs a balanced
diet and a reasonable amount of exercise – if you
can get it off the couch that is!!
you’ve fed and watered it and managed to coax it
away from the TV or off the couch then its exercise time………
is a double edged sword of course??
the Spin is being exercised then so must you be at the
same time. A stroll in the park, a walk on the beach or
through the woods. It could be that your Spin is out retrieving
or sniffing the air and pointing you in the direction
of the enemy…….Er sorry, your prey. Maybe
you’ve given it the chance to flush out prey from
dense woodland. Whatever you’re doing to exercise
your Spin it can only be really good for the dog. If you’ve
got children then there’s ample opportunity to tire
them out and the Spin as the kids chase the Spin around
and around and around………..
don’t have to be a genius to notice that the Spin
is not a lapdog although sometimes they would like to
be, nor indeed is it one that the wife can slip into her
of course she’s built like a Russian shotput champion
with a handbag the size of a Smart car.
handbag dogs, the dogs you see being carried so proudly
in the arms of their owners or the parcel shelf dogs do
not necessarily need as much exercise as say the Spin.
These small dogs you simply take out of your handbag,
lower to the ground, hitch to pink lead (regardless of
sex) and for 7.63 minutes allow them to scuttle along,
stop and do their business. Then you unhitch said lead
and replace back into said handbag and walk off smugly
knowing that 50% of the watching population is thinking
‘Oh bless, what a cute little doggie’, and
the other half is thinking?? (Some text missing)!!!!
way, they all have to have some form of exercise. And
in doing so as noted above, you as the owner also get
your fair share as well!!!!!
let’s not forget that unless you live near a park,
beach, woodland or a free roaming area then you’ll
have to get the car out!!!
how else are you going to get out and about with the Spin?
there’s yourself, the nearest and dearest and the
ubiquitous 2.4 children…….and a fully grown
you have a Smart car
a Ford Fiesta
OK so that’s highly unlikely
have a big estate care or a mini bus, maybe a transit
van……Either way, you’re taking the dog
for a walk!!
Now we are very lucky, we have rather a big garden for
them to play in, a beach nearby and a lot of woodland.
we have the Landy……….
the Banker and the Dearest One are taking the Spins to
the local beach!!!!
is very windy today (the weather, not The Banker)
Landy is loaded with 2 flasks of tea (note the priority
here) 7 Spins, The Dearest One, a ball and a frisbee type
thing (half chewed and incapable of flight)
so off we jolly well go……..
only take the Spins to our local beach in the winter because
during the rest of the year the beach is inhabited by
migrating carbon life forms that come out of there dwellings
in the big towns and cities and at certain times of the
year they usually head to the beach.
bring with them small carbon life forms they call ‘kids’.
Once on the beach they have a range of activities that
we know as paddling, sun bathing, posing, digging holes
in the sand, play ball games with each other, rock pooling,
screaming, eating ice cream and drinking fizzy drinks.
is taken with sand and salt water. Oh yummy………
formations of carbon life forms roam the beach in family
packs and occasionally join together with another family
pack to form what they call a ‘Friendship’.
as a family unit or as sometimes seen, two family packs
together they roam the beach looking for a suitable ‘spot’
to make a nest for the day ahead.
considerable numbers all migrate to one destination we
call them, ‘Tourists’, or to give them there
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‘Tourists’ often have a dog with them and
usual favourites consist of:
Labradors (Tess or Ben)
- Poodles (Trixie or Bella or Gnasher)
- Some form of terrier (Lulu or wheresthatbloodydoggonenow)
- One of them will have Jacks Russell (Who invented the
- A 12 stone Retriever in black called lucky and wobbles
as it tries to balance out 11 stone over its four legs
- And of course there’s the Labradoodle creating
much attention (YAAAWWWN)
why don’t we take our Spins to the beach at this
time of the year as well?
Because the ‘Tourists’ pee in the water, leave
a mess they don’t pick up and put in plastic bags
and because it’s unhygienic for our Spins.
wrote to the council to complain and they ignored it.
And what do we pay our council taxes for?? All that space
and they let ‘Tourists’ on the beaches to
leave their mess behind. It’s disgusting……..
it’s not safe for our puppy either when they’ve
been around, you’ll never know what they might pick
where was I? Oh yes I know, we’re on a Spinone health
and fitness thing……….
we park near the top of the beach about 500 metres from
the very steep path that leads onto the sand……….between
us and that is a caravan park!!
there is I don’t know, there just is……..
assuming they’re ‘Tourist’ nests……..
Dearest One and I get out the car and the Spins have of
course picked up the scent of ‘fun’!!
JJ, Duncan and Mia on their leads and take them down and
I’ll bring the rest” instructs the Dearest
One “OK no problem” I say nervously
at the back of the Landy, 120kgs of straining at the leash
muscle and then I say the most stupidest of things to
the next 500 metres I broke the Olympic and World Triple
jump record – not once but twice as the 3 dogs leap
into action and tear off for the beach. I went past the
entrance to the caravan park at around 35 mph, 2 metres’
off the ground and on the skip section of the triple jump,
after the first attempt I had cleared 225 metres. It was
the second attempt that really smashed the record as the
dogs got into full stride…….275 metres.
the top of the path leading to the beach they stopped
to see where the others were. I was carefully assessing
lung damage and trying to slow down all sorts of muscle
looked up to see the Dearest One walking quite sensibly
down the lane towards us with the other 4 Spins all very
well behaved and walking to heal………
was going to be rude and shout obscenities at her –
but my breathing reduced my ability to even talk let alone
walked up with a smug look “well that was certainly
some show” “couldn’t you control them”?
couldn’t speak but thought violent thoughts
was it – I would show her…………..
on” – “heal” “Heal”
I commanded……it’s in the voice you know…….
path to the beach is steep with 2 hairpin bends, one to
the right and one to the left and a total distance of
about a 100 metres.
had a thought that I HAVE to learn the Spin language or
Italian because ‘HEAL’ in Spin obviously means
– ‘try and tear the arms off the idiot on
the other end of the lead’
section going down to the beach put all my years of motorcycling
to the test??
first hairpin (a right hander) was being approached with
too much speed, I veered over to the left against the
fencing and cut in the apex really tight and veered left
out of the turn. I’d done it.
With ever more speed the left hander was more tricky knowing
they would pull even harder to get onto the sand once
they hit the straight…….I used the same tactics
as for the first hairpin but coming onto the straight
I was carrying too much speed and by the time we got to
the sand my legs were not mine at all………..
looked up to see Little Miss in Control looking over me
you of the trained gun dog” “well if they
could see you now”
good girls” she said to HER 4 Spins all nicely sat
‘3’ were also sat down. On me or leaning against
got up and 1 by 1 let ‘my’ 3 dogs off their
all sat there looking up at me waiting for me to give
the command to go…..!! Oh God, how embarrassing
on then” and words to that affect!!!!!
off they went……….
was, as noted earlier a very windy day, clear but with
a strong wind…….unlike me who had no wind
Crows and other birds were now cast to the wind as the
dogs ran free stopping on occasions to see where we were.
I found a piece of driftwood and started my arm exercises.
Then I needed two pieces of driftwood, then 3 eventually
leading to a drift wood machine gun affair as each dog
bought it back and wanted to go again.
threw a couple of them into the sea, but the dogs refused
to go and get them as the breakers were ‘scary’
got soaked fetching them back from the shore line……..
this was fun!!!
the ball for them” said the dry one
so I did……..it was good until Mia got it…….game
over, and nothing short of a hydraulic jack would get
that ball out of her mouth
so the Frisbee was next……..
adjusted my position and steadied my arm, the dogs eager
to go. I made one practice throw and the dogs went off,
it was then I drew my arm back and threw the Frisbee for
rest of the walk being quite uncomfortable having to now
nurse a split gum?
had spun back round from the throw and it had got into
the head wind and hit me clean in the mouth on the way
Dearest One sat down on a big rock at the top of the beach
for a cup of tea and wiping tears from her eyes having
found the whole thing reasonably amusing!!
to be outdone, I got that bloody Frisbee and threw it
the way the wind was going. Unfortunately it went up the
side of a very steep mud and rock embankment that led
to the fields above the beach. A couple of the more insane
Spins went after it and got close….but not close
my track record for the day so far (apart from the 2 Olympic
and World record triple jumps) I decided that this time
I would NOT go up and get the Frisbee and would instead
buy a new one when I could.
the Dearest One agreed and went to say that “Anyway,
it would be unfair on the emergency services”……..!!!
you just love her??
had walked – that’s not exactly true? The
Dearest One walked, I sought of hobbled come limped along
behind. We were heading for the rock pools and the river
which were round the other side of the bay and quite some
In the summer this river flows gracefully into the sea
and is a haven for ‘those tourists’ because
it’s got a superb sandy beach one side and a very
considerable rock pooling area the other side. Before
the river reaches the tourist area where they all congregate
is a woodland, and if you walk through that you can get
to the car park and road. You get the picture………….
But in the winter it’s deserted………..ish!!!!!!
went over the rock pools (about a third of a mile across)
to the river. Now in the summer, this river is a gently
flowing stream about 10 metres across and maybe ‘ankle’
deep. However, in the winter it is 15 metres across and
very deep in places as the water comes from the hills
surrounding the area. It also flows with attitude!!!
was already wet from retrieving driftwood from the shoreline,
so I thought that crossing the river was not an obstacle!!…….I
spent all my childhood around this area and knew exactly
what I was doing having done it a million times before
when I was young.
today, I was not young, had 7 big dogs with me and of
course (Drum roll) ‘The Dearest One’
start with I tossed a stick into the river to see how
fast it was going. But one of the Spins retrieved it before
I could do the maths!!
tried again and the same thing happened.
I just started to wade across it…….I have
absolutely no idea why I did as we had both agreed to
get to the river, rest, have a tea and go back. But wade
in I did…………..
know when you’re in trouble when you turn around
and 7 big dogs are stood on the bank just looking at you
with one question in their heads – “What the
hell is that idiot doing”?
was actually wondering the same thing – when I slipped
hell it was cold……very, and so was the walk
back to the Landy. And I will tell you that from where
we were it was a long walk back.
keep warm(ish) I found bits and pieces to throw for the
dogs, I went off on tangents and trotted back with them.
Their energy levels appeared limitless, mine on the other
hand was at its limit.
the Dearest One? A relaxed gentle stroll on the shoreline,
avoiding the incoming tide and generally looking quite
calm and collected.
one of them found a dead fish – a reasonably big
one. It had picked it up and was running to and from the
other Spins, to a) annoy them and b) to get them to chase
it to see if it would give up the fish to them
this scenario presented one problem? It was NOT going
to give up that fish for anything or anyone – including
me. And there was no way I was letting that ‘thing’
into the Landy.
so the fun began!!! I would tempt the Spin in with a treat.
Failed, because the treat was about 100th of the size
of the fish
chased it – and as you can imagine that was also
a waste of time
I shouted at it – also a waste of time, the wind
doing my harmonic voice no favours
I threw the ball……..Mia got it
I threw driftwood………another waste of
I lay down pretending to be dead!!! The others came over
and just slobbered over me
now the Dearest One swung into action!!!
stood still, waited for a moment and called in said Spin.
nearly feinted as the Spin trotted over to her and dropped
gave it a treat and off we all went – fishless!!!!
walked along that beach back to the path very quiet and
subdued not daring to say a word. Well, what could you
reached the path and put the leads back on the Spins.
My ‘3’ then proceeded to pull me up the path,
round the 2 hairpins and back to the Landy.
opened the back door and in they got in, some with help
and some just jumping in.
Dearest One drove back, the muscle spasms in my legs making
it impossible to drive either efficiently or even at all!!
at the house we let them out of the Landy and into the
house and within minutes they were all spread out over
the floor. Asleep.
got changed out of my wet clothes and went to make a cup
of tea for us both. I even opened a packet of biscuits
for us to enjoy.
discover 7 alert and hungry Spins had surrounded me!!!!!
Dearest One got their treat tin out while I dived for
the cover of the front room – Sanctuary
sat down on the couch having first ensured it wasn’t
already inhabited and sat back to enjoy our tea and biscuits.
was during a biscuit moment I rediscovered my split gum!!
was then I discovered the muscles in my legs had seized
was also the time that I found out that I could easily
reach my tea with my right arm but not my left arm?
that throwing had extended my right arm by 6 inches
had to buy a new ball, and most certainly a new Frisbee
so we are back to where we started??
is plainly obvious that the Spin needs exercise, its ancestry
tells you that. It is not a lap dog!!
Spin is good for you, it gives you an excuse to get out
and about and exercise yourself, maybe more like the Dearest
One than me!!!!
A really good run for a few hours every day will keep
it happy and fit and of course maintain a good balance
of health and fitness.
OK they are a ‘little’ bit sort of bone idle
and just collapse all over the place, but that’s
it knows it’s got to work or play then it will –
and it will outrun and outplay you!!
it’s a puppy then take it steady and the time and
patience will pay off as it matures into a fine and fit
you’re intention is to work the dog then the same
rules apply…..build it up slowly respecting its
growing bone and muscle.
DO NOT just work it……..these dogs (like all
dogs) must know the difference between work and play –
so go and play.
the diet as well. Very important to a working dog but
even more so to the pet dog.
most of all have fun and enjoy………we
for me at the moment?? All written because I can’t
walk properly yet, eat on the left side of my mouth and
I’m typing at an angle because one arm is longer
than the other one.
– it was a great day out for the dogs!!!!!!
the Dearest One??
well, that’s it for these notes. Well, you’ve
read them now……get out there and take the
Spin for a walk. You know you want to!!!!!!
don’t ask me to come with you……..I need