One day while in the Morvan, we decided to make our daily outing to the Saut de Gouloux. Despite the name (saut=leap in French), this is actually a small waterfall which used to be used for milling. This seemed like exactly the kind of thing we could do with Spencer. So we loaded up the car, drove the 10 km or so and then realized we’d forgotten the short leash. Another roundtrip and we started on what we expected to be a nice hike. Continue reading
The area where we went on vacation is a regional natural park. There are several lakes (all artificial as far as I can tell) and lots of trees. While there, we learned that many of the Christmas trees in France are grown in the Morvan. As a matter of fact, our land lady was also a Christmas tree farmer. Continue reading
Apart from the fact that ‘the pack” was together 24/7, one of the things that Spencer really seemed to like about vacation was that there was a walk every time we opened the door! Even just going out into the yard was like a walk because there was a stand of woods on one side and the back edge of the property.
Just across the street was a lovely path along the lakefront (theoretically we could have walked all the way around the lake, but we never got that far). We took this path to the left to go to the recycling bin about 500 metres away (mostly under lovely pines trees). For these walks, Spencer wore his orange backpack and carried the glass. To the right, we could walk as far as some fields with horses, cows and sheep. Sometimes we’d just go across the street and drink from the lake, because everyone knows that lake water tastes better than what’s in your bowl!
We were hoping that the weather would be a bit warmer while we were on vacation so that we could teach Spencer to swim. This summer when it was very hot, we got him a wading pool that he could sit in, but he seemed to be afraid of it. After many hours of training, we finally got him to put two feet in, but he performed highly amusing acrobatics to avoid putting more than two feet in as he crossed it to get the treats we were holding out on the other side.
So, despite the cool weather, Greg decided to take the bull by the horns the first evening. We crossed the street to the lake, and Greg stripped down to his boxers while I documented the experiment. Continue reading
So when we were looking for a vacation rental, we asked lots of questions about fencing. We didn’t want to take any risks of Spencer escaping our attention and trying to chase away some unsuspecting person who wandered by.
Not only did the house we rent have a fence all the way around, the yard was huge (3000 sq. m or 30,000 sq. ft). This meant that we had lots of room to run around off-leash in the yard. We also thought it would give us a comfortable security margin for any passersby. The house is set back in the middle of the lot, and Spencer has never been bothered by strangers at this distance when out walking in the park.
What we didn’t realize was that Spencer apparently understands that the park is a public place. He had very different views about the appropriate distance for people walking by “our” property line. Continue reading
Anyone who’s seen Spencer in action knows that he doesn’t like being wet, and he doesn’t like being cold. This summer, he regularly went out and laid in the noontime sun when the temperatures were over 30C / 85F. We don’t know whether this is because he was abandoned during a cold, rainy March or whether it’s just because he is short-haired and even has some almost bald spots on his tummy. (We mustn’t forget that his breed is originally from Italy.)