My 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.

It 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!!

Assuming you’ve fed and watered it and managed to coax it away from the TV or off the couch then its exercise time………

This is a double edged sword of course??

If 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………..

As for you???

You 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 handbag!!!

Unless of course she’s built like a Russian shotput champion with a handbag the size of a Smart car.

The 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)!!!!

Either 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!!!!!

And 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!!!

Well how else are you going to get out and about with the Spin?

So, there’s yourself, the nearest and dearest and the ubiquitous 2.4 children…….and a fully grown Spinone.

And you have a Smart car

Or a Ford Fiesta

Yea OK so that’s highly unlikely

You 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.

And we have the Landy……….

Today, the Banker and the Dearest One are taking the Spins to the local beach!!!!

It is very windy today (the weather, not The Banker)

The 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)

And so off we jolly well go……..

We 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.

They 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.

Food is taken with sand and salt water. Oh yummy………

These 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’.

Either 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.

When considerable numbers all migrate to one destination we call them, ‘Tourists’, or to give them there scientific name:

‘Touristicus Nuisancetime Factorin Satnavbusticus hopelesslylostemustbe the place’

These ‘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 Russell breed)?
- 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)

So why don’t we take our Spins to the beach at this time of the year as well?

Simple? 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.

We 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……..

And it’s not safe for our puppy either when they’ve been around, you’ll never know what they might pick up.

Now where was I? Oh yes I know, we’re on a Spinone health and fitness thing……….

Anyway, 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!!

Why there is I don’t know, there just is……..

I’m assuming they’re ‘Tourist’ nests……..

The Dearest One and I get out the car and the Spins have of course picked up the scent of ‘fun’!!

“Put 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

I’m at the back of the Landy, 120kgs of straining at the leash muscle and then I say the most stupidest of things to them?

“Walk on”

During 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.

At 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 spasms.

I 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………

I was going to be rude and shout obscenities at her – but my breathing reduced my ability to even talk let alone shout.

She walked up with a smug look “well that was certainly some show” “couldn’t you control them”? she asked

I couldn’t speak but thought violent thoughts

That was it – I would show her…………..

“Walk on” – “heal” “Heal” I commanded……it’s in the voice you know…….

“HEEEEAAAAALLLLLLL” “Aaaarrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhh”………….

The 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.

I 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’

This section going down to the beach put all my years of motorcycling to the test??

The 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………..

I looked up to see Little Miss in Control looking over me - gloating!!!!!!

“Pathetic” she said………..

“And you of the trained gun dog” “well if they could see you now”

“Oh good girls” she said to HER 4 Spins all nicely sat there.

My ‘3’ were also sat down. On me or leaning against me……….

I got up and 1 by 1 let ‘my’ 3 dogs off their leads.

They all sat there looking up at me waiting for me to give the command to go…..!! Oh God, how embarrassing

“Go on then” and words to that affect!!!!!

And off they went……….

It was, as noted earlier a very windy day, clear but with a strong wind…….unlike me who had no wind left

Seagulls, 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.

I threw a couple of them into the sea, but the dogs refused to go and get them as the breakers were ‘scary’ – Wimps……..

I got soaked fetching them back from the shore line……..

Well, this was fun!!!

“Throw the ball for them” said the dry one

And 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

And so the Frisbee was next……..

I 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 real.

The rest of the walk being quite uncomfortable having to now nurse a split gum?

I 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 back.

The 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!!

Not 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 enough.

Given 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.

Incredibly, the Dearest One agreed and went to say that “Anyway, it would be unfair on the emergency services”……..!!!

Don’t you just love her??

We 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 distance away.
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!!!!!!

We 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!!!

I 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.

But today, I was not young, had 7 big dogs with me and of course (Drum roll) ‘The Dearest One’

To 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!!

I tried again and the same thing happened.

So 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…………..

You 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”?

I was actually wondering the same thing – when I slipped

Bloody 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.

To 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.

And the Dearest One? A relaxed gentle stroll on the shoreline, avoiding the incoming tide and generally looking quite calm and collected.

Then 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

No chance.

But 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.

And 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

I 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 time
I lay down pretending to be dead!!! The others came over and just slobbered over me

By now the Dearest One swung into action!!!

She stood still, waited for a moment and called in said Spin.

I nearly feinted as the Spin trotted over to her and dropped the fish.

She gave it a treat and off we all went – fishless!!!!

I walked along that beach back to the path very quiet and subdued not daring to say a word. Well, what could you say……….??

We 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.

We opened the back door and in they got in, some with help and some just jumping in.

The Dearest One drove back, the muscle spasms in my legs making it impossible to drive either efficiently or even at all!!

Back 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.

I 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.

To discover 7 alert and hungry Spins had surrounded me!!!!!

The Dearest One got their treat tin out while I dived for the cover of the front room – Sanctuary

We sat down on the couch having first ensured it wasn’t already inhabited and sat back to enjoy our tea and biscuits.

It was during a biscuit moment I rediscovered my split gum!!

It was then I discovered the muscles in my legs had seized up

It was also the time that I found out that I could easily reach my tea with my right arm but not my left arm?

All that throwing had extended my right arm by 6 inches

I had to buy a new ball, and most certainly a new Frisbee

And so we are back to where we started??

It is plainly obvious that the Spin needs exercise, its ancestry tells you that. It is not a lap dog!!

The 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.

Yes, OK they are a ‘little’ bit sort of bone idle and just collapse all over the place, but that’s a front?

If it knows it’s got to work or play then it will – and it will outrun and outplay you!!

If it’s a puppy then take it steady and the time and patience will pay off as it matures into a fine and fit dog.

If 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.

Respect the diet as well. Very important to a working dog but even more so to the pet dog.

But most of all have fun and enjoy………we do!!

But 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.

Otherwise – it was a great day out for the dogs!!!!!!

And the Dearest One??

Still Smug………….

Oh 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!!!!!!

Just don’t ask me to come with you……..I need to recover


 

 


 

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