Our new home dreams get a little closer

It’s been a very exciting week as I’ve finally accepted an offer on my flat in London!

I’m thrilled, because it means I can start looking for a dream home for Archie and me. I’ve been fantasising about a new place for a long time – lots of lovely Edinburgh features (high ceilings, a big bay window, wooden floors), a spare bedroom for guests and to turn into a little home office, and a sun-filled kitchen for cooking tasty meals and eating leisurely breakfasts. Most of all I’ve dreamed about having our own private garden for both of us to enjoy. I can’t wait just to fling open the back door and let Archie run about to his heart’s content, without worrying about the neighbours (especially the ones who don’t like dogs). And when he wants a pee at 6.30am, not needing to put my jacket on over my pyjamas, remember the keys (I live in fear of locking us out in the dark and cold) and trudge down the stairs, hoping not to run into a neighbour and have Archie wake the whole building with his barking. I’m looking forward to learning about shrubs and flowers and how to tend a garden, and getting a little table and chairs to sit out and enjoy a glass of wine on a summer’s evening. I had a lovely balcony in Brussels, but have never had proper outside space before so I can’t wait.

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Edinburgh is such a beautiful city, and the outdoors is never far away

I haven’t quite decided what part of Edinburgh I want to live in, but know I want a much quieter street, ideally near either the beach, a big park or the hills, so we can make the most of the outdoors and have great places on our doorstep for walking and running.

It’s so excited that our new life is coming together. I’ll definitely miss London, especially my beloved Putney. I ran many, many miles west along the Thames and round Richmond Park pre-Archie, and loved those beautiful views. And of course spent lots of time with all my lovely friends, who I miss so much. So it’ll be great to finally get the pay off for giving all of that up with the new lifestyle I’ve dreamed of. And to have room for guests to come to stay!

In the meantime, I’ve been working hard on Archie’s training. I’ve notice a big difference around the house – he’s really good now at asking for permission, sitting politely, and staying calm. I’m working on getting him more and more comfortable with his crate, and leaving him there for a few minutes at a time while I do something in another room, so that (hopefully) eventually I can leave him there to relax when I go out. He’s getting so much better at being left home alone, which is a massive relief. I left him for an hour yesterday and today, and while he didn’t exactly relax, there was no crying or barking, and he did seem to eventually relax a bit (I watch him on a dog monitor app so that I can see what he’s up to). I’ll keep working hard on this, as leaving him home alone has been my biggest challenge and I want to absolutely reinforce his progress.

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Ripping cardboard and spitting the bits all over the floor; inexplicably, Archie’s favourite game

Outside has been more challenging; I’m not sure there’s been any improvement to his nervousness so far. We’ll keep pressing on, but I’m looking forward to our follow-up session with Linnea next week and getting some more advice.

Archie also had his weigh-in at the vet – he’s gained a whole 200g! The working dog food didn’t agree with him at all. I introduced it gradually and tried it for two weeks but he suffered with diarrhoea and pooped three times in the kitchen – something he never does – so clearly it didn’t suit his sensitive tummy. Instead, I’ve stuck with bigger portions of his high quality kibble, which seems to have done the trick. I think he looks a lot better, and the vet is happy that while he’s still on the skinny side his weight is no longer a worry. I definitely thought he’d gained more though!

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Always on alert, Archie can’t seem to relax outside

How was  your week? Are you working on dog training? I’d love to hear your experiences.



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