Walking is good for the Soul 🥾❤️

Walking is our favourite kind of therapy, it lifts my mood so much and if I’m feeling sad or blue a sure fire way to cheer up is by taking a wander in the fresh air!

My adventure days with the boys are my favourite way to spend a day!

Friday we went for a mini adventure to the Roaches for a climb and sniffari!

We headed off early so were very lucky and didn’t see many other people – which is perfect for us!

Amos is becoming a super climber now and is much more confident on uneven ground, he still uses Toby to help him out on some sections but is generally a super climber!

We did 5 or so miles on Friday, but we always love exploring the Roaches as there is so many different smells and the boys even get a chance to paddle which they always love!

On Saturday we joined forces with our fellow mental health awareness compadre Sophie to get back out there in our Papyrus & Calm attire!

After last years #10mountains10months we have been plotting and planning this years challenge, we did our first training walk today to tie in with Mental Health Awareness Week.

We had planned on a 15 mile walk along the Ribble Way, however neither Sophie or I are particularly good at directions (how we didn’t get lost up a mountain or in the wilderness last year is a mystery 🤷🏼‍♀️)

We got lost for some time and just aimlessly wandered around a marsh land, then we decided to follow some other public footpath signs for the Lancashire Way, I don’t think either of us could actually tell you where we walked, we at one point ended up in Chorley – we tracked the route to make sure we hit the magic 15 mile target!

Today’s walk was just with Toby, we aren’t sure that Amos will be doing this years charity challenge as it may be too much/stressful for him so he got to nap the day away whilst we trekked.

Toby deserves his solo time too, he’s so good and helpful with Amos that sometimes it’s nice for him to have a walk where he can just kick back and run, sniff and pee to his hearts content without having to look out for his brother.

Toby was a complete star, that is the longest distance he has covered in a fair while! He has always loved long distances but last year we didn’t get to do as much long distance stuff as we were limited with walking Amos and the climbs we were doing to raise awareness for Charity were less about distance more about height!

We’ve worked Amos up to 10 miles so far so hopefully long distance adventures with both my boys won’t be too far off!

Today Toby was rocking his Ruffdog badges with Lets Talk Prevention, doing his bit for Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Awareness.

We are having a VERY lazy evening watching films and eating snacks, I hope you have had a good week and have done something to improve your mental health xx

P.S there are less pictures in this blog post as apparently I have used all my WordPress storage – hopefully I will fix this before the next blog! 🤷🏼‍♀️


Adventuring to Yorkshire 🥾🐾

Today we have been adventuring to the Yorkshire Dales National Park!

We parked in the Malham National Park Centre (£4.50 for the full day)

You can go into the centre to get information on walks in the area, but knowing that Amos is noise reactive I had picked which route we would be doing before we got there to save having to be around the car park for too long.

Although Malham Cove looks like it would be an amazing adventure I decided against it, with it being half term and nice weather I thought that it may be too busy in that area which would make it much harder for Amos to cope with.

We had decided instead on walking to Janet’s Foss.

It was a lovely little walk in absolutely beautiful countryside!

There were a few gates to navigate but even with the boys in their backpacks we managed them all fairly well! We much prefer negotiating gates than stiles 😂

We would have stopped and taken many more pictures but there were a fair amount of people dotted about so I instead needed to focus on working Amos through the noises and distractions.

Amos was doing amazingly and was dealing really well with the couple of people and dogs that we had passed or that had passed us.

We followed the path to the waterfall and there were a few families dotted about taking photos, so we waited our turn for the photo opportunity!

I was so proud of the boys, although there were people around, both boys stayed really focused on me and what we were working on, I got lots of lovely pictures out of it!

We headed back down the path towards the car park and unfortunately that is where we hit a spanner in the works, in the form of an off lead dog, although both of mine were on the lead a gentleman let his dog run at the boys, that was too much for Amos to handle and he got quite stressed.

After a while I got him calm again but then sadly we came across another dog walker with four dogs, and despite me calling that one of my dogs was blind and wouldn’t cope with unknown dogs running at him he grabbed one dog and let three run at us 🤷🏼‍♀️🙄

I am all for dogs being allowed off lead and having freedom but at least be considerate of other dogs on lead, you don’t know why they may be on a lead so if you’re gonna have a dog off lead have it under control!

Thankfully Amos calmed down once we got back to the car!

We had one last place to visit before we headed home – so off we drove (possibly the most stressful drive of my life on single track roads with crazy inclines and not many passing places!!)

We then arrived at Winskill Stones – we didn’t stop for too long as the wind had picked up and Amos can be a little unsure with the wind.

I’m a big lover of adventures but the dogs comfort and happiness is more important than any adventure.

The boys had an absolute blast and we will definitely be going back to explore it more!

Thanks for reading and we hope you have a lovely weekend and some adventures of your own! 🐾🥾❤️

Adventuring Always 🥾🐾

We’ve had a busy weekend!

The boys and I went to a boundary games workshop on Friday evening, which was really good, both boys had a fabulous time and got to engage their brains at some different training and games.

On Saturday we went exploring in Wales, it was the biggest adventure Amos has ever been on!

The walk we did was 9.5 miles but we ended up doing 12 miles as we kept sneaking off the path for photos or to hide from other walkers.

To confirm I don’t mean actually hide in a creepy manner, I just mean give them a wide berth to make life easier for Amos 🙄😂

Amos is 16 months now and we consulted our vets regarding longer walks before we considered taking him on bigger adventures, after getting the OK from the vets we have gradually increased the distance he covers, but today was his longest walk – Toby and I were very proud Adventure companions – he did great!

We decided to ditch the backpacks for today’s walk as I knew the increase in distance, new place and new smells would be tiring for Amos, even though his back pack doesn’t have much in at present it is still extra weight which he didn’t need today whilst we focused on increasing his distance.

We arrived nice and early, which meant that we had a good hour or so of walking without seeing another soul!

We went the opposite way round the walk than I usually do as I know the stretch back to the car park can be busy so switched it to try and make it easier for Amos!

The boys got to have an early morning paddle and I got to take lots of pretty pictures 😍

It was a beautiful day and the scenery around the lake is gorgeous so it made a change from the usual cold and dreary walks we’ve been on!

We came across a couple of flocks of sheep on route but thankfully when they spotted us the scarpered – I’m not sure what Amos would have made of a sheep, up close and personal/ within good sniffing distance!

The paths for this walk are fairly easy to navigate (another bonus for Amos’ first longer distance walk) there are a few cattle grids but there are gates so you can pass.

It was a little busier than I had anticipated, but I suppose it was the first day of really nice weather and a Saturday 🤷🏼‍♀️

Amos coped really well though, he has a couple of situations where he was reactive, but who can blame him and they are getting much less difficult to manage – which is really rewarding to see.

Toby of course was a dream – he had a whale of a time, being the giant sweetheart he is, when Amos had a little reaction to something he plodded over to him gave him a lick and then carried on his merry way, he’s such a good little big brother ❤️

There is nothing better than exploring with your besties 🥾🐾❤️

We hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend 💚

Love truly is Blind 😍

Bringing home a Rescue Pup with the added hurdle of him being blind.
I have been adding to this post on and off for a year, the photos are a selection of my favourites – hopefully it’s not too disjointed, 💚
We fostered Amos because we fell in love with him and his kind (slightly hooligan like) nature, I was worried about the kind of life he would have due to him being blind and how he would cope in the outside world, ultimately I didn’t want him to have a boring life of being wrapped in cotton wool and not getting to experience adventure, or only being taken on boring walks, because of a bug at the dogs home he was unable to be walked before we fostered him, so he spent 4 months not experiencing any kind of adventures and I didn’t want that to be the rest of his life.

Billy is a sucker for any puppy – so for him and Amos it was love at first sight 😍
Since being with us he is getting much braver in the outside world, walks are still scary but manageable with the support of Toby and the occasional woof at noises he doesn’t like.
He’s mapped the downstairs of our house and can navigate with minimal bumping from room to room. He has also worked out how to get on and off the sofa – but does it with extreme flair and a dramatic twist.
The things we (Human folk) have learnt in the last year:
– If you leave shoes out, they get fallen over, or half eaten chews placed inside them
– Walking in a straight line is for losers
– Bins are scary
– Water bowls spill all by themselves sometimes ….. It’s spooky.
– There is a moat around the sofa that can only be sensed by puppies that can’t see
– Teething puppies are hard work
– Kong / Chew toys are life
– Puppies have hard heads
– Toilet training is a barrel of laughs
– Sometimes beds explode
– Sometimes toys explode
– Sometimes socks make a magical escape attempt from the washing and into the garden
– Being head butted by a big ginger puppy is a painful but regular occurrence
– The garden is a secret treasure trove and although we can see where Amos has hidden his treasure – he cannot so we honour the secret code and pretend we too cannot see the items.
The things Toby has learnt:
– Personal space is a thing of the past
– Puppies are annoying
– Sharing the sofa isn’t as bad as initially assumed
– Puppy teeth are sharp – and not enjoyable when nibbling your leg.
– Amos likes to body bump when walking which is all fun except that he is heavier than me and occasionally sends me flying!
– Puppies are SLOW and walks take FOREVER
– I’m a GOOD BOY & Amos is a GOOD BOY (but not as good as me …..)
– Apparently weeing and pooping outside is a big deal! Humans have a party with pup every time he poops / pees outside
– If I walk really slowly, my tags don’t make noise and the puppy cannot find me or follow me!
– I have to be very LOUD if I want Amos to play with me or he doesn’t get the game
– I like to put my feet/legs in his big staffy mouth (I like to live dangerously what can I say?!)
– Every time Amos gets a treat I get a treat – its very exciting
– I still get to have my one on one time with Momma – Which I LOVE
– Adventures with Amos aren’t as long as I would like but he is a puppy who is still growing so I make allowances
– Adventures without Amos are FUN!
– Amos doesn’t like it when I go off my lead, he can’t find me so I have to stay close to him to make him feel better
– Amos although initially annoying has grown on me and now he’s my best friend (secretly I’m rather fond of him)
What Amos has learnt:
– Food is LIFE
– Walking is a good time to test how nimble your new carers are by rapidly cutting in front of them so they almost fall down!
– Bins smell good but are ultimately scary
– Sitting means FOOD
– Toby is patient with me but gets annoyed when I am being a ‘giddy kipper’
– I am a GOOD BOY
– Food is LIFE
– Bird noises are weird
– Toby does NOT like it when I sit on him – he’s a grumpy old man apparently
– Toby sometimes magically disappears and I try to play with thin air ….
– Motorbikes sounds aren’t nice and scare me
– Food is LIFE
– Sausages are delicious
– Carrots are not
– Food is LIFE
– Training is fun – it means lots of food and fuss
– The garden is a GOOD hiding place, sometimes I hide half a turkey leg or beef pipe out there and no one can ever find it, I also store the socks I have rescued and some of Toby’s toys out there
– Pate is delicious, especially when smothered on my Licki Mat
– Bicycles are the root of all EVIL – they make an unnatural noise that I just cannot get on board with
– Humans aren’t a fan of being head-butted too often
– Toby is my best friend
– Food is LIFE
Life post Amos – 5 months later
We are still learning – every day literally is a school day!
Amos has grown (A LOT) in the time we have had him not only in height and weight but in confidence and bravery.
He has GREAT days and he has bad days, we just accept the bad days, its hard being a puppy, its even harder being a blind puppy.
Amos has grown in confidence but that sometimes means that his reactions to things he isn’t sure of can be loud and dramatic – he’s still learning and is slowly but surely getting there.
He is such a happy dog, he is always really eager to please and has made the connection between humans and an endless supply of food and cuddles.

He completely rocked puppy class and was an actual star! He has now also completed his Bronze Kennel Club Citizen classes and passed the assessment and moved through to the next class.

He has experienced so much in the time he has been with us:
– He’s learnt all about walking in the hills and climbing up rocky paths using Toby’s tail as a navigational tool
– He has learnt that a car journey usually means he is going some where fun
– He has (sort of) learnt to play Frisbee with Toby – he never wins and Toby always beats him to the Frisbee
– Been on a boat (was also Toby’s first experience in a boat – they acted as moral support for one another)
– Had his first off-lead experience in a big field – it was a blast! He rolled in bird poop and ran in circles and wrestled to his hearts content with Toby.
– First ever bath (he STANK)
– First Test (Bronze Kennel Club Good Citizen)
– First Holiday (http://norfolkbythesea.com/index.html)
– Tried lots of weird and wacky food – his favourite of which is Chicken Hearts, Lamb Ribs, Beef Pipes and Turkey Legs
– Had a bi-lateral enucleation
– Looked like a horror movie extra for a few weeks
– Eaten a few beds / magically exploded a few beds
– Likes to bite big circular holes into each corner of his blankets
– First trip to Snowdonia National Park
– Visited the lovely folk at PAPYRUS office so he could become an unofficial mascot with Toby (https://papyrus-uk.org/)
– Accompanied Toby to the Theatre, met the cast of Beauty and the Beast at the Brindley Theatre and experienced a little segment of stage life!
– Developed a deep love for Hairy Cows Ears
– Developed a deep hatred for actual Cows
Toby has dealt with the giant ginger disruption to his life so much better than we anticipated – he has taken Amos under his wing and when we go somewhere new always helps Amos locate the water bowl (as he did when Amos first came home with us)
Toby is enjoying his role as little big brother, he also enjoys the occasions of peace and quiet when Amos is sleeping or he is having time alone with me or Billy.

Life post Amos – 11 Months Later:
Life in the Wonder Dog household is now in our new reality.
We are STILL learning, seriously – EVERYDAY is a school day.
The boys have the ultimate bro-mance on the go, Toby seems to have worked out that Amos is a fantastic snuggle buddy/ hot water bottle, so is more than happy to spend his evenings curled up with his big ginger spoon on the Sofa.

Toby has been amazing at adapting and getting used to Amos living with us, for a dog who was never snuggly with other dogs and always liked his own space to how he and Amos interact is just heart-warming.
They have their own way of communicating with each other, obviously Amos cannot read Body Language so he and Toby make lots of noises etc. to interact and play with one another.
Amos is currently working towards his Gold Kennel Club Good Citizen, he has done his Silver Classes and will eventually be taking the test.
Today is our Ginger Hurricane anniversary, its mad to think that we have had Amos in our lives for a year!

It has been a challenging year for all of us, make no mistake but I can honestly say that we wouldn’t change it ❤️

Weekend Wanders 🥾🐾

Just a little update from this weekend and last weekend’s adventures!

Last weekend we headed for a true adventure!

We picked a new adventure location in Wales, part of the Clwydian Range and decided we would wander rather than pick a set route.

To be honest we wouldn’t normally do that with Amos as I like to know beforehand what terrain we will be facing, if their are stiles etc.

We parked up and set off up one of the many paths and decided to see where it would take us!

It was a gorgeous route – and really peaceful too!

The scenery was absolutely stunning and the boys had a whale of a time sniffing and exploring.

As soon as we got near to the top however we all almost blew away!

We did make it to the top and whilst I sorted my hair out (it had flown free of its pony tail!) the boys huddled together out of the wind! 😍

Amos did admirably – he managed two stiles (with some assistance from Toby and I) and managed to go past the few walkers and dogs that we encountered without too much fuss (it is something we’ve been working on!)

It was a great place to explore and I will definitely be taking the boys back there!

This weekend we opted for a slightly shorter adventure in the snow!

We headed to the Cloud in Congleton to have a little climb ☺️

When we set off from the car it was a very chilly -5 so the boys were very very thankful for their Equafleece Jumpers!

We had a lovely couple of hours playing in the snow and sunshine at the Cloud!

It was so beautiful in the snow!

Amos struggled a little bit to navigate in the snow at first but soon worked out what was what!

We caught the tail end of sunrise as we were climbing up which was gorgeous, normally the Cloud is where we head for sunset adventures so it was nice to see the other way around!

We kept this adventure shorter than normal as I was conscious of the boys getting too cold and Toby with his scruffy hair usually ends up with icicles in his feet and beard!

The trip down was a little more hazardous and we had a few slips, mainly me and Amos had a little slide in one section, Toby was as ever the mountain goat and didn’t have any problems!

We did some wait and recall in the snow, to work the boys through some different distractions (not often we get snow!)

And of course took some beautiful pictures along the way!

We hope you’ve had a lovely weekend and had some adventures of your own! ❤️

Adventure Saturday! 🐾🥾

We had planned a trip to Snowdonia this weekend but had to have a re-think on Friday evening as the weather and roads were set to be pretty bad.

We decided instead to head to Lyme Park!

As with the majority of our walks we try to avoid busy places or times where possible to make sure that Amos can enjoy his exploring without be charged at or scared by other dogs/walkers.

So we set off early to get to Lyme as I know it can get super busy on the weekends!

There was a tiny dusting of snow on some areas of Lyme Park but not enough for a snow day sadly!

This was Amos’ first outing in his new Back Pack (Ruffwear Approach Pack) we get lots of questions/comments about their backpacks but I can assure you that both Amos and Toby are happy to wear their backpacks – they are the same make as the harnesses they have worn for a long while so fit and sit the same in them.

Toby (as many of you already know!) carries first aid kits in his backpack, at the moment as Amos is still young and is still getting used to his back pack he is not yet carrying anything much, for our adventure to Lyme Park he had a toy in each pocket, just to allow him to get used to the pockets being expanded.

The plan eventually is that Amos will be able to carry a little more on bigger walks, which will of course all be done at his own pace! It’s nice for him to have a job and I’m also hopeful that the backpack will help him with spacial awareness too – as when the pockets have stuff in them the harness will be wider so will hopefully help Amos know where obstacles are on our adventures.

At the moment I narrate our adventures to him so he knows where there are big steps or other obstacles that he needs to tackle but I’m hoping the back pack will give him a little more independence.

Obviously we have spoken to our vet before considering a back pack for Amos and they are happy that he can start to wear it and getting used to using it to carry small items. So now we all take part in carry adventure equipment!

We had a very muddy walk at Lyme, it was really nice to be back out in the fresh air exploring after our busy few weeks at Panto!

A few sections of the walk were slightly difficult to negotiate with a blind dog, but generally we try not to let that get in the way of Amos having exciting adventures!

As we were at Lyme fairly early we got a large chunk of the walk without coming across many other people or dogs and it only started to get a little busier towards the end of or walk and heading back to the car as most people were just starting on their adventures.

We tend to stick to the far end of Lyme as it is more peaceful but just as beautiful!

We haven’t decided where we at heading this weekend, but I would love a snow day if I’m honest!! 🥾

Hopefully someone exciting too 😉

We’ve officially been bad bloggers 🙄

We’ve had a rather busy few months so haven’t kept as up to date blogging our adventures – here’s a potted history of what we’ve been up to for the past few months (eek!)

We went my gorgeous cousins wedding at the end of October, which was a lovely weekend away.

This was also Amos’ first stay in a hotel and Toby’s first attendance at a wedding (Amos didn’t attend the wedding as it would have been sensory overload for him and he wouldn’t have enjoyed himself at all!)

Toby however was in his element, he rocked a little tux and loved being involved in the day ❤️

Our hotel was on the beach front so we enjoyed lots of sunrise walks along the sea whilst we were away 🐾

The boys got signed up to be Cheshire Fire and Cheshire Police new recruits to help spread some safety messages across Halloween and Bonfire Night – a role they both took very seriously!

Not all heroes wear capes – our emergency services are all super heroes too! ❤️

Amos turned 1!! 🎉🎉

I can’t quite believe he’s one already! Time flies when you have a crazy ginger hurricane to entertain! 😂

The boys had a birthday tea party and got to have a fun run in the secure field hire!

Amos got lots of delicious (icky) treats to try for his big day! He shared them all with Toby of course as a good brother would 😉

Toby and Amos became Darth Pupper and the Evil Ewok just in time for Halloween!

They even appeared on BBC Northwest news as doggy superheroes!

Toby had a trip to the National Pet Show to do his fundraising thing for the Dogs Home – it was a fun packed weekend where he sampled lots of new beds and blankets …. he’s likes the comfortable things in life!

First trip to Snowdonia National Park for Amos he loved exploring in the mountains – he is going to be a super adventure pup when he’s a little older ⛰🐾

We had an little adventure to a peaceful Forrest in Wales, the weather was shocking but thankfully we didn’t see another soul and the boys had a whale of a time!

The boys got all autumnal! Rocking those rugby shirts 😍

We had a very windy adventure to the Roaches – I’m sure Amos and Toby almost got blown away!

Amos is doing much better at coping with the wind, he used to find it a little scary but he’s getting used to it now and knows he doesn’t need to panic about it! He’s got me and Toby to look out for him ☺️

Then life got extra busy! Toby had auditioned for a pantomime in the summer and rehearsals started in December!

We’ve had a very very busy December with rehearsals and shows, we had an amazing Christmas, it was Amos’ first Christmas at home with us and boy did they get spoilt!

They of course had their own Christmas dinner and they got the most beautiful Collar and Lead sets from Fetch and Follow (www.fetchandfollow.co.uk) they were featured as the Christmas Special in Fetch and Follow also (we highly recommend you give it a read ❤️)

Toby has absolutely loved his time at the Panto, he got fussed by LOADS of people, got loads of treats and got to run around stage like he owned the joint!

We have done a total of 21 performance and just had our final panto weekend – it’s been an incredible experience and Toby has thoroughly enjoyed being fussed and pampered by all of the cast and crew! He got lots of cuddles from Fairy Sugar babe Amelle ❤️

Here he is with beautiful Belle ⭐️🎭

As much as we’ve loved pantoing and our busy few months, we are excited to get back to adventuring and exploring!

I think we’ve definitely missed things out of this blog post, as we’ve been such busy bees!

We will be getting back to more regular blogs now though – thanks for hanging in their with us! ❤️

The final chapter of #10mountains10months ⛰

A month ago we were preparing for / travelling to complete part 10 of our 2018 challenge!

For Part 10 we were climbing Snowdon – the biggest Peak of our Challenge and we were adding a twist!

We had planned an amazing end to our final climb – we were going to hike up in the dark so we could watch the sunrise from the top.

With the final walk being in October we wanted to make sure that we completed in early October to try and avoid as much of the bad weather as we could.

We checked the sunrise times and worked out exactly what time we needed to start our final climb, sadly for us this was at 4:00am!!

With this being the final walk we had roped in some other supporters to accompany us on our mission, we are forever grateful to those people who were bonkers enough to agree to climb a mountain in the dark with us!

I left home at 1:30am ish to ensure that I was at the correct carpark in plenty of time to meet the other walkers, Toby was most confused at being asked to get up at that time of day!

Once we all arrived at the car park and were donned in our various Purple and Orange charity shirts, headlights, torches and reflective attire we set off on our merry way up the Llanberis Path.

We had researched paths beforehand in order to ensure that we were using a path that would be safe in the dark, I have previously walked up Snowdon via the Snowdon Ranger Path, but I wouldn’t like to attempt that path in the dark. We spoke to a few people who had walked Snowdon in the dark to gauge which path would be best suited and Llanberis was recommended.

I don’t need to tell you that the path was steep for this as what more can we expect with it being the tallest climb of our challenge?!

Surprisingly for 12 of us walking in the dark I don’t think anyone actually fell over (impressive!) there were a few slips/trips which is understandable I guess when you climb in the darkness! We had a few little scares on the walk – mainly sheep appearing out of nowhere and making us jump! I can confirm that sheep are quite creepy in the dark, the way their eyes glint is slightly sinister when you have had limited sleep!

The climb although quite tough was extremely rewarding as we arrived at the top to the clouds parting and being able to see some beautiful scenery. Sadly for us we didn’t get to see a sunrise, we arrived at the top in plenty of time, we had made sure we packed plenty of blankets and extra layers in case we arrived early and had to wait around, but it was too cloudy for us to see the sunrise, which is a shame but we still thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Whilst we were at the top the clouds parted slightly and we managed to get a few nice pictures, as we didn’t get to see the sunrise and as it started to snow whilst we were at the top we didn’t wait on the top for too long before we began the return trip to the warmth of the cars!

It was odd going back down in the daylight as we didn’t recognise any of the scenery that was around us, we were able to use the land marks around to ensure that we were on the correct path down and had made a note of which side the railway was on etc. to ensure that we didn’t stray from the correct path on the way down.

The benefit of climbing in the dark was that all the really steep sections that would have been horribly off putting to see before you climbed, we couldn’t see – so didn’t actually know how long all of the very steep sections went on for!

This no doubt went in our favour as we did have a few walkers who needed a morale boost on the steep sections and those horribly steep sections would not have acted as such! I think with this being the tallest climb and us all being so tired we did have some dips in morale during the climb, but once we have got to the top and knew we had completed the hardest part of the challenge we all perked up considerably.

Following on from this walk I would love to do more climbs in the dark as it is so peaceful and I thoroughly enjoyed myself (I would also like to see a sunrise from the top of somewhere at some point!) so this is something that I may look at doing more frequently, also climbing in the darkness means you come across less people which I know Amos would thoroughly enjoy!

This whole challenge has been incredible, we’ve seen some utterly beautiful places and climbed some really interesting routes. We’ve managed to speak with and engage with several people along the way about Suicide Prevention and Mental Health and have done our best to raise as much awareness as we can to this really important topic.

Planning for the 2019 challenge will be underway soon and we will keep you posted on what we will be getting up to next year to raise awareness for these amazing charities.

Thank you again for all the support that you have shown myself, Sophie and Toby for this challenge – we wholeheartedly appreciate each and every message of support from you all.

Special Thanks to all of the people who have accompanied us on any of the walks we have done throughout this challenge, it really means a lot to the three of us (I include Toby in the appreciation) that you kept us company throughout the walks and helped us make the challenge even more enjoyable! ❤️

#10mountains10months Part 9 ⛰🐾

The last weekend of September we completed Part nine of our #10mountains10months challenge.

For part nine we tackled Glyder Fawr in Snowdonia National Park – it was a very very tough walk!

The walk started in Ogwen Valley which is somewhere Toby and I have walked previously, we have been there a few times to do the Devil’s Kitchen walk.

Parking is tight at the Visitors Centre and there is usually only a limited amount of spaces available, we left at 7:00am and arrived at just before 9:00am and the Car Park was already full! We managed to find a space on the road, but this can be difficult as the cone a large section of the road off – so this is definitely a walk to start early doors!

If you manage to get a space on the Car Park there is a charge of £4.50 for the day. There are facilities at the Visitors Centre, toilets are a welcome treat after a 2 hour drive!

There is also a coffee stall to get hot drinks and cakes after you have been walking!

The walk starts off fairly steady and the walk from the Visitors Centre is fairly straightforward, there is one fork where you veer right and you then carry on until you reach the lake.

The views from the lake are astonishing, it is such a beautiful part of the countryside. Toby always insists of having a paddle no matter how cold it is, he even went in wearing his jumper on this weekend!

The route is beautiful and there are so many places to stop and take in the stunning views.

The walk follows the Devils Kitchen Path for a fair distance around, thankfully one of the sections of the path that is very tough has had some repair work done, as previously when I have visited I have had to scramble into a waterfall and climb over the other side! Which although quite fun, is fairly difficult if there has been rain! Thankfully they have now made a bridge over the waterfall which makes it much easier to negotiate!

Once we got to the more difficult section of the walk (which is still following on the Devil’s Kitchen Walk) you are required to climb a little more and the path becomes very unclear as you pick your way across boulders and rocks.

This is the point that the path for Glyder Fawr leaves the Devil’s Kitchen route, so at this point the route was now unfamiliar to me – it was a shock!

The route was very difficult to negotiate – there was lots of clambering and quite a few sections that required us to use our hands. There were several sections that were just too big of a jump for Toby so we had to climb up and one of us pass Toby up – thankfully his Ruffwear Approach Pack has a helpful handle for such situations so he was easy enough to lift up!

Toby managed to jump and chin a rock and cut the inside of his mouth during this walk so we stopped for a little while to give him a once over and make sure he was happy to carry on – of course being the little mountain goat he is he was raring to get back to climbing and rock hopping!

We were lucky enough to see a couple of mountain goats whilst we were climbing, we named them of course … Alfonso and Romeo, they were having a little domestic unfortunately and we weren’t sure if they were friends or not and Romeo (the bigger of the two) looked to be a bit of a bully!

We managed to speak to a gentleman on this walk who had sadly lost his son to suicide, we had a chat with him about the charities we are supporting and about what we were doing and why, we’ve found this challenge has encouraged other walkers to open up, and it is quite shocking to see just how many people have been affected by suicide or know someone who has been affected by suicide.

This isn’t a walk I would recommend for someone with a dog, unless your dog is very used to climbing and walking in the mountains – some of the sections that needed to be climbed were very difficult and we saw several people struggling with the path and the climb!

This final slog to the summit of Glyder Fawr was also extremely difficult, it was an extremely steep section that was scree, there was so much loose rock that every time you lifted your foot, you were sliding back down! Sophie fell on this section and hurt herself, with her having bad knees already we were getting a little concerned about carrying on up this section as it was getting steeper and the scree was all the way to the top. I was also concerned about Toby’s feet as he was getting his feet stuck in between rocks and was struggling to negotiate the very loose and moving rocks.

We decided to make a judgement call on this one – although this is a challenge we also need to ensure that we all stay safe, the challenge is to raise awareness which we are still able to do without be careless.

We also knew that as the route we were following was a there and back route that we still had quite a lot of difficult sections to get back down before we completed the walk for the day.

Walking back down wasn’t easy at all! The rocks that we had scramble up – we needed to scramble/bum-slide down …. We were very graceful about it of course!

Before we completed the walk and headed back to the car however we made sure we went to the little beach area around the lake so Toby could have a refreshing paddle before heading home!

The views from the beachy area are just stunning (as is the majority of the walk!!)

This was a walk I would not rush to do again in a hurry as it was so difficult – it also isn’t a walk I would do on my own! I will be back to the Ogwen Valley to do the Devil’s Kitchen walk as it is such a stunning area and is a really enjoyable walk – it is somewhere I would love to take Amos too one day, but when he is a little older and a little more established as a mountain goat!

The final walk of the challenge will follow soon!

Once again thank you all so much for the support ❤️

Day Trips! 🇪🇸🐾

As the bulk of our time on the road trip has been spent in Spain, we have been for some trips out around the local (ish) area!

Sunday was our first full day not travelling so we had a lovely relaxed day, Toby and I walked to the pebble beach that isn’t far from where we are staying, Mum and Dad showed us around the local area, to give us a few local walks for Toby to explore.

We had a climb on the rocks at the beach and spent the afternoon relaxing and unpacking for the stay, we also had to rescue my mum and dad who got stuck in a thunderstorm when they went for an afternoon stroll!

Toby hates thunder so we were trying our best to keep him calm and relaxed and then had a rescue mission to contend with!!

On Monday we had another walk to the pebble beach and a game of frisbee before we then had a human day (Toby was more than happy to have the afternoon off to snooze!!) we went for a mooch around the local shops and visited the Ondara Centre, which is a shopping centre!

After shopping till we dropped we then went back and took Toby on a little visit to the sandy beach, which is a short drive from where we were staying in Els Poblets, Toby was armed with his Ruffwear Float Coat and I was hoping that this holiday would be the first time Toby swam, my theory was he never paddled until I went in with him but I only ever paddled in shallow water (cold English water) so I thought if I went in deeper he would come with, the plan worked, Toby has swum on this holiday, he will happily go in for his frisbee, the float coat has definitely given him extra confidence in the water and has made me feel safer with him swimming in a sea inlet. He will follow me in to the water and is happy having a paddle, play and swim in the inlet, the waves of the actual sea are however far too scary for him!

Tuesday we had a little disaster, which resulted in a trip to the vets for Toby.

Before heading to Spain I had been advised about and had researched any potential diseases or illnesses that I needed to be aware of taking Toby with me.

The most worrying of these for the time of year we were visiting was Leishmania, which is a disease passed through a bite by an infected Sandfly, I spoke to my vets in Cheshire and also spoke to a Spanish veterinary practice in the area we were staying in to find the best way to combat the risk of this disease.

I was advised that Toby should wear a Seresto collar, which he should have on for two weeks prior to the trip and keep on for the duration of the trip, this would provided 85% protection, the vet had advised that the protection with a vaccination was only a few more percent – so I did some further research including reading some studies about the effectiveness of the slow release collar in the prevention of Leishmania, as a gigantic worry wart I was satisfied with the protection that the collar provided following speaking to the Spanish vet and doing my own research, the Spanish vet advised that it should be sufficient and if I was at all concerned when we were in Spain they could give the vaccination to give the extra percent.

The other things I had researched that would help prevent Toby being bitten were:

– ensure the dog is sleeping indoors (he sleeps with me so no problems there)

– avoid walking at between dusk and dawn

– make sure you keep windows and doors closed after dusk.

I followed all the above advice and made sure that Toby was inside before dusk and that his last pee walks were short and sweet!

On Tuesday however I noticed that a window was open, which had been left open by mistake after dusk, as I have said I am a massive worry bucket so I wanted to be sure that Toby was still ok – so booked him in to the vets for a blood test and if that came back as negative for Leishmania he would then be able to have the vaccine also.

The blood tests were not Toby’s favourite and although he was very brave, he was not a happy bunny! The 10 minutes we had to wait for the result was agonising!!

Thankfully it came back that Toby was negative for Leishmania, so he was able to have the vaccination to give him the few extra percent (and to give me a little bit more piece of mind!!)

After our traumatic morning we then headed to Benidorm as originally planned for Tuesday!

We went for a walk along the beach and Toby got to do some skating on the multi coloured path, which earned him some claps and lots of admirers!

We also took Toby to the Old Town and had a walk around the shopping area – we found so many places in Spain that were dog friendly, the majority of restaurants have tables outside and are more than happy for you to have a dog with you – Toby truly was in his element!

The day we went to Benidorm was another really hot day, Toby’s Ruffwear Cooling Jacket has been absolutely vital on this trip as otherwise Toby would not have been able to join in many of the activities or day trips we had planned – with his cool coat, he was more than happy to be out and about in the heat and was able to enjoy all the new places he got to explore without being too warm and over heating.

On Wednesday we went for a day trip to Calpe to do a walk, originally we had hoped to climb Calpe Rock, but after looking in to it they are limiting numbers that are able to go up due to the rocks being slippy and unsafe, the day that we walked in Calpe was also very very hot, so Toby wouldn’t have thanked us for a climb!

We did the Calpe coastal walk instead which is a seven mile walk with gorgeous views of the coast, a very refreshing sea breeze and has a handy bar three quarters of the way round to stop for a drink and a bite to eat!

It was an absolutely gorgeous walk – so many beautiful things to see! There are a few little beaches and coves in the route but a few of them had signs up to say “Perros No” so Toby wasn’t able to explore those!

It was a very warm 29 degrees when we did the coastal walk so once again Toby was very grateful for his cool coat, his Kurgo Bottle and the sea breeze! Toby got used to the heat fairly quickly and I ensured that he had regular drink stops and regular chances to have a rest if he was getting too hot.

Thursday was another relaxing day (not for my parents – they ended the day with a hole in the ceiling courtesy of two plumbers 😂) we had a beach trip with Toby and did some more swimming and then went souvenir shopping and to get plenty of presents for Amos 😍

On Friday we headed to Guadalest for another day trip!

I have been to Guadalest in the past when I have visited Spain and every time I have been it amazes me – it’s so so beautiful!

We had a lovely wander around taking in all the breathtaking views and stopped for a meal and an ice cream in a local bar.

Whilst visiting Guadalest we had another unfortunate incident!

We visited the Torture Museum which was dog friendly and very interesting, I discovered the downside of using the “shaping” training method however!

For those that don’t know shaping is training that lets your dogs work it out for themselves and encourages to use their brains.

Toby had been having a sniff round and a pose every now and then for photos he seemed to be enjoyed his trip back in time!

Once of the rooms had a stock / stockade in, Toby went round the back of it for a sniff (perfectly acceptable) he was still on his lead then he stuck his head through the hole and looked at me as though to say “this would be a great picture mum”

As I went to get my camera out Toby seemed to realise he had put his head in a hole and had a little panic, which resulted in a big panic as he couldn’t get his head back out!!

Me and mum tried our hardest to calm him down, my mum was being sensible talking to him and telling him his head must fit through the hole as it went in … I was trying to keep him calm by stroking him.

He was stuck for what felt like forever, he’s puffed all his fur up and just couldn’t get himself out, we tried lifting the stock but nothing seemed to work, after a little while Billy came up to the room we were in and got my dad to go and get the lady on the front desk, the poor Spanish lady didn’t have a clue what was going on but we all started trying to get him out, after a little while it was as though he realised he’d puffed up and he just pulled his head out!

I checked him over and he was perfectly fine and he just kept looking at me as though to say, well are you going to give me the biscuit or what?!

Needless to say I will continue doing shaping with him, but I will not let him near medieval torture equipment or small holes he can stick his head into!!

We had our final little day trip on Sunday we went to Javea to have a walk around the Arenal and have a meal out.

We stopped in the most beautiful bar overlooking the sea and the beach for a drink, they brought it a bowl of water for Toby as soon as we arrived which was a lovely touch!

The bar had beds and sofas to relax on and was a beautiful peaceful way to spend a few hours in the sunshine!

Toby made himself right at home 😂

Me and mum also went for a little mooch over to the rocks near the sea as to let Toby have a sniff and a climb – again the views and scenery were just beautiful!

Monday was our final day in Spain so we decided to spend the morning at the beach soaking up the sunshine and letting Toby play with his frisbee, paddle and swim!

Then it was heading back for the dreaded packing and loading up the car before we set off the following day!

Toby also had his appointment at the vets to ensure he was treated for worms before he came back into the U.K. and to make sure that all his documentation was correct!

We left for our next stop Zaragoza bright and early on Tuesday morning and arrived early afternoon!

Our hotel was amazing and overlooked the cathedral – which was gorgeous! We had paid for a room with a view and my was it worth it!!

We spent the afternoon wandering around the city and Toby got to do a little more city skating!

The only thing we weren’t fond of about Zaragoza was the hundreds of pigeons that zoomed around at full speed! When you are sitting outside of a restaurant it’s quite nerve wracking when a hoard of Pigeons tries to fly and poop on your dinner!!

On Wednesday we had our final drive in Spain, from Zaragoza to Bilbao to get on the boat home!

I was fairly nervous about the boat trip – I wasn’t sure how well I would manage with the movement as I struggle to not fall down on a bus or train when they are moving and they are usually calmer than the sea …. 🙄

Toby had to be muzzled to embark on the boat, so we had been doing plenty of muzzle training, he doesn’t love it but he knows that good things follow the muzzle so was happy enough with it on.

The boat was the bit I enjoyed the least, I spent the first 16 hours in bed looking very green, thankfully Billy was fine with the sea so Toby had someone who wasn’t walking like they’d downed 20 vodkas to walk him on the exercise deck!

I found Queezibics (human version) a complete life saver and although Toby was coping well also got him some of the dog friendly ones to try! Which he loved! We saved some for Amos to try when we got home too! As they were ginger biscuits for our big ginge!!

Overall we had an amazing trip – it was something we would love to do again, Toby had an absolute blast and loved exploring in three new countries!

In total we drove 2520 miles on our adventure so I think we can officially call Toby an international explorer ❤️

Thanks for reading!! 🇪🇸