The longest and most overdue update I will ever post

Hello everyone!

I cannot believe that nearly six months has passed since my last post. Life really did take over for a while and I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to people who have continued to follow the blog and make comments.

Where to start on what has happened since my last post…

In October Marcus, Saffi and I spent the weekend in the Peak District with my Mum & Dad, sister and her hubby. We stayed in an idyllic dog-friendly cottage which I’d highly recommend. The details can be found here: http://www.dovedalecottages.co.uk/. The owners Susan and James are warm and welcoming, the cottage is lovely and brilliantly set up for dog owners with a separate ‘drying cabin’ for wet and muddy dogs and the location, for avid walkers, is perfect.

We did a lot of hiking during our stay. On Saturday we climbed the notorious Stanage Edge. We did see a few dogs off the lead along the edge but because Saffi is so full of beans and loopy on walks we didn’t take the risk. She whimpered like mad – initially I thought she was scared or cold as it was very windy. We soon realised that she was, in fact, frustrated and wanted to explore over the edge!

Saffi Kiera Knightly

Saffi does her best Kiera Knightly impression 

On Sunday we did a five hour walk down Dovedale Valley which was so pretty. Saffi loved the unfamiliar varied terrain and we worked out that she must have run two or three times the distance we walked to’ing and fro’ing between us. She got so excited at a point where we had to cross the river on stepping stones that she jumped in.

Saffi crossing river

Saffi crossing the river, moments before she fell in

Later on in October we sadly lost our 13 year old Bengal cat Zulu. He and Saffi were playing when suddenly he keeled over and had a heart attack. Zulu had a long-term heart condition but nothing could have prepared us for how quickly he passed. We tried to resuscitate but sadly did not succeed. RIP our little Zulu-bug xxx

Zulu

Zulu x

Inevitably the other cats Bluebell & Elmo, and Saffi, noticed Zulu’s absence and the weeks that followed were a bit strange. Elmo in particular had been very close to Zulu and it has been heart-warming to witness Saffi and Elmo becoming closer and closer as time goes by. Where Elmo goes, Saffi goes and visa versa – I often find them behind the garden shed together or hear them chasing each other up and down the stairs. They are true partners in crime.

Saffi & Elmo

Please love me, pleeeeeeease 

In December preparations for Christmas and New Year were all-consuming and I was so shocked to find myself carefully choosing presents for Saffi. I have always rolled my eyes at ‘silly dog owners’ who buy their pets presents, I mean as if they know it is for them! I stand corrected. There is no doubt in my mind that Saffi enjoyed the present sharing as much as the rest of us!

saffi christmas

A red squeaky rubber toy… for me?

Like us, Saffi also enjoyed the glutinous food of the festive period… a little too much. She managed to devour a pork knuckle and at midnight on 30 December, when she started vomiting and had diarrhoea, we rushed her to the emergency vet. She had an x-ray – seeing the contents of her stomach was a bit disturbing but also reassuring as it showed that she was digesting the bone gradually and there didn’t appear to be any shards or sharp pieces which could have been fatal. £350 later and scared out of our lives Marcus and I agreed never to give her a cooked bone again. Lesson learnt.

On 1 January Saffi turned a year. How did I feel? I mourned the fact that Saffi could probably no longer be considered our ‘baby’ but elated that I could say she had turned out to be the most perfect dog I could have hoped for. Getting Saffi has been a life-changing decision – and her presence hasn’t only affected Marcus and me but also our parents and wider family. My Mum even joined Cockapoo Chat, something I never expected to happen. Her first post:

“Saffi’s Grandma. If you had called me that 8 months ago, I would probably have objected – just a bit too much humanising (?) of dogs. Fast forward. Oh my. I absolutely adore her. My heart constricts and misses a beat when I think about her. When we don’t have her (we look after Saffi for Turi and Marcus three days a week) I worry about her. Traffic (a real big one even if she is off the lead in the middle of nowhere ), meeting a big bad dog, swallowing a snail. What has happened? We (I include my husband in this) have entered the world of besotted dog-owners (well, almost). We miss her when she isn’t here but the amazing welcome she gives us when we have her for the day or when Turi or Marcus drop by almost makes up for not having her all to ourselves.

Seriously, we want a bit of freedom, and if we had a dog full-time we couldn’t do some of the things we want to do. But having her some of the time – we absolutely love it. I have discovered things about a dog that only dog owners know. Her eyes follow me, and if I look directly at her, her tail starting to wag furiously, and she tilts her head to one side as she looks at me – honestly! If I lie down on the carpet beside her (the truth now) she flops beside me and does ‘spoons’. And her defiant pose reduces me to hidden giggles – I have to because when she sees me laugh her tail starts wagging and she comes up and licks my feet. Walking her is a joy – we have met so many people – well dog-owners – who always say ‘She is just gorgeous! Is she always this lively??’

The ‘feel good’ factor of having Saffi in our lives is just lovely, and I wouldn’t have believed it before she came.

So now I enjoy browsing here and seeing all these gorgeous cockapoos out there!”

Now my parents just need to be convinced to get their own Cockapoo. I had a lovely catch up with Anne at Broadreach Dogs, where we got Saffi from, who told us that she is having a litter of black puppies later this year… I am keeping my fingers & toes crossed that my parents will get Saffi a little companion… watch this space!

SaFFI SHOE

Grandma loves me which means I can get away with ruining her favourite shoes 

January bought lots of snow – I don’t think I have ever spent so much time outside in such cold weather. One Sunday Saffi and I walked for four hours and neither of us got tired – it was too much fun!

Saffi snow 1

Saffi and I enjoy ‘snow football’

Saffi snow two

We built that (… we didn’t really but isn’t it good?!)

In February I decided it was about time that Saffi got her first ‘real’ collar. I bought her a beautiful Argentinian collar from http://polkadotpie.co.uk/ . Tracey at Polka Dot Pie was so helpful and we laughed when I told her Saffi’s neck circumference – we had to order their smallest size which is normally reserved for toy dogs!  With hindsight I should have bought a darker collar given that Saffi is such a mud-lover but I love the Argentinian designs so much that I might just buy another… and a coordinating belt for me!

Collar 1

Saffi looking beautiful in her first adult collar 

At the end of February it was a year since we’d bought Saffi home. We went through all our videos and pictures and got quite emotional – prior to getting Saffi I would never have acknowledged the all-consuming love you have for your dog.

Have I missed things? Probably! Life is so full and varied with a Cockapoo. But don’t worry, I won’t leave it so long this time between updates! 

Turi (& Saffi) x 

8 Comments

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8 responses to “The longest and most overdue update I will ever post

  1. Nik

    What a lovely update, so long overdue, welcome back xx

  2. Lisa Agnew

    Lovely to hear your news Saffi x

  3. Delighted to read about how much joy your little dog has brought! I too have a cockapoo in London, now aged 14 weeks. I would be interested to know how old she was when you felt she could handle walks of 2-4 hours? And how much daily exercise does she need now?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Lovely to hear from you!

      Some people said that it was unfair to have a dog in London but that couldn’t be further from the truth in my opinion. Saffi loves the tube and public transport – she gets so much attention! Where are you based?

      Saffi is now 14 months old and gets between 1 and 3 hours exercise a day. We have never got into a daily routine and as a result she isn’t hyper on the days she only gets 1 hour (though that is quite rare).

      At 14 weeks Saffi would occasionally go on two hour walks though she would be good for nothing afterwards! We built it up gradually and I’d say at 6 months we started going on longer walks more regularly.

      At 10 months we started running with her… now that is fun!!!

      I’ve just read my response and feel I haven’t answered your question very well… reason is that each dog is different and I think you have to judge each one differently. You will know if your dog is over tired and then you can adjust the walk length accordingly.

      Turi x

  4. Im wondering how old she was when you tried 2-4 hour hikes with her?
    Now she is grown, how much exercise does she need a day?
    I’m keen to know as i have a 14 week old cockapoo/labradoodle cross who looks very like her!

  5. Joan Higham

    Hi Turi,
    I was delighted to see your most recent post!! You’re back! Your blog guided me through my cockapoo search and I met my little Doris last Saturday at 5 weeks old – and taking her home Easter weekend! Your blog was amazing and I found myself doing my own breeder excel spreadsheet!
    I followed in your footsteps and joined the ILMC forum, where I stumbled on a few of your old threads and posts, but couldn’t see any recent ones! I also spoke to Anne at Broadreach and think she was due a litter last week, but after a bit more research I decided for our lifestyle I would go for a show type cockapoo!
    Anyway – thanks for all your help! I have been directing any cockapoo enthusiasts to your blog for guidance! If you hear of any cockapoo walks in London (Hampstead or Richmond etc) or if you ever fancy a walk then please do let me know. I live in North West London but work in Barnes where Doris will be travelling with me to go to her posh doggy day care!
    Thanks for all your help!
    Best,

    Joan

    • Hi Joan,

      Thank you so much for your message.

      I haven’t been on ILMC for a while… I should probably pop in and say ‘hello’.

      Doris sounds lovely – I can’t wait to hear more about her. And what a cute name!

      I live on the Putney/Barnes border – small world – is Doris going to Bruce’s dog walking?

      Turi x

      • Joan Higham

        Hi Turi,
        Thanks for your response!

        Yes I saw a few people had been asking after you on ILMC, but then I recently joined GBCC and saw you were still active on there!

        It is a small world we really are not too far away from each other – I will keep in touch and send you pics of the little Doris when she gets home and who knows what may come of it! I did meet my husband online afterall….. ha ha 🙂

        I am using same doggy day care that a colleague uses – her name is Brodie and her company is called 4 Paws in the Park! She picks up and drops off from work so very handy and then Doris and I will get the train home together… Going to give it a try anyway and see how it goes – I also have 2 doggy day cares local to me at home! But using Barnes will get to spend an extra 2 hours a day with her and the parks are nicer!

        So I am beyond excited… I am already having sleepless nights with excitement and still 22 days to go….My husband is somewhat preturbed by the amount of cuddly toys and blankets I have in the bed with us so our smells rub off on them. He has never had a dog before so I’ve started him on what I call an intensive training programme which we kicked off last night watching Martin Clunes DVD/TV series called ‘Man & his dogs’ (it’s really very good and highly recommended), lesson 2 will involve something a little heavier ‘The Dog Listener’ and will round up with watching one of my favourite films ‘Marley & Me’…..Tim is being very patient and humouring me… but is getting a little more frustrated by my wriggling and tapping away on cockapoo forums from 5am every morning – this is worse than the run up to our wedding 2 years ago!

        Anyway it is lovely to finally meet you and your little celebrity blogger Saffi – who is gorgeous by the way but you already know that!

        I’ll be in touch again soon – and you have my email x

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