Rachel tells us about a typical day looking after Dougal the Cockapoo and walks us through her favourite spots in Birmingham

7am:

When I’m boarding dogs, my wake up call usually comes in the form of a wet nose on my face or a bark to let me know it's time to get up.

Today I am boarding the delightful Dougal. He's a wonderfully handsome 2 year old in possession of all the best characteristics of his breed, the popular Cockapoo.

I let Dougal out in the garden while I stumble to the kettle for my morning coffee.  After surveying the weather, I decide to head further afield for our morning walk in the beautiful Waseley Hills Country Park.

9.30am:

After Dougal and I have been sufficiently fed and watered I make sure I have everything I need for our adventure:

Poo bags: check. Doggy water bottle: check. Dog treats: check. We're ready to go!

Next up, it’s time to hop on the bus.  Dougal, unaccustomed to public transport is surprisingly unfazed by the bus journey and soon acquires an array of admirers. From cooing old ladies, to a group of excitable 3 year olds to a young lad who spent the whole time stroking Dougal, he went down a treat!

Dougal’s behaviour was impeccable throughout and he lapped up the constant stream of attention!

10.30am:

Waseley Hills is a popular destination and attracts a huge variety of people. From families to ramblers to dog walkers, and it’s easy to see why.  We stride across the rolling fields, explore the woodlands and enjoy the scenery. The Malvern Hills are particularly striking in the distance on this beautiful autumn morning.  Dougal is in his element, zooming and prancing around - although he does appear to have taken a liking to the local delicacy of cowpats which are in abundant supply!

As I decide it’s time to head home, we come across two adorable bearded collies.  Not being one to pass up the opportunity to make a new friend or two, Dougal tugs on his lead to make their acquaintance.

Finally, after one last lap of the field and admiring the views, it’s time to head back home for a well deserved rest!

1pm:

Dougal spends most of the afternoon snoozing on the sofa while I catch up with emails, housework and study… It’s a hard life being a dog!

4pm:

My son arrives home from school and as the weather is still so lovely we decide to head back out for another walk.  This time we head for somewhere closer to home, Rowheath playing fields.

This is a firm favourite with the locals for dog walking and it is not unusual to bump into the same dog owners time and time again.  The large open playing fields and relatively enclosed space make it a safe and popular choice for dogs to be let off the the lead and have a good run!

Unfortunately for Dougal his owners have requested he be kept on the lead as they are not 100% he would come back!

6pm:

After all the walking we’ve done today it’s not surprising we have all worked up quite an appetite so I prepare dinner for us all and Dougal wolfs his down in a matter of minutes!

Then I check in with Dougal’s owners and inform them of Dougal’s adventures and send some pictures.  Now all that remains left to do is settle down for a quiet evening in front of the television with Dougal snoozing contently on Ewan’s lap.

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