Saturday 14 April 2012

Meet Lolli

A Trail…Star In the Making?


Guys, this is Lolli our 16 week old English Springer Spaniel. She’s a darl but incredibly hard work! I’ve wanted a puppy since I was a child but never really thought it would be possible for us to own one given our hectic lifestyles and heavy workloads. Nevertheless an opportunity came up and it was impossible to resist!

In the short time we have had her she’s grown an awful lot and changed dramatically, its been hard to keep up:

Lolli_wants_food Lolli’s first day with her new humans.

Its all a steep learning curve but I think for our first dog we’re doing pretty well and Lolli seems eager to learn new things.

3 weeks ago Lolli had her final jab and we went walking together for the first time. It’s early days by all accounts but I have no doubts that she will love joining me on some long day walks and eventually some wild-camps. Her breed is an energetic one and I’m told she will go for miles. I cannot wait!

Obviously we’ll need some new gear (crying shame) and needless to say preparations are already underway with the purchase of ‘our’ new shelter – the MLD Trailstar. Lolli loved the photos on the website and made it perfectly celar that she just had to have one! She fell in love with Orikaso fold flat bowls so I subbed her on those whilst her new shelter also means I needed a replacement walking pole to erect it (see this post for why) from Rotalocura.

I’ve got a head full of ideas for some custom gear: ultralight dog blanket, sleep mat and backpack. There’s a whole new world of gear to research so I’d better get on….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Lolli wondering why she can’t eat grass

Seriously though guys, any advice on lightweight doggy gear will always be gratefully received and James I’m looking at you here for some guidance too!


Unknown said...

Congrats on getting Lolli!

I have an English Springer, and he's a great dog. Super friendly with everyone - perhaps a little too friendly and excitable.

I have to say though, that he's not the best backpacking dog. He's well-behaved on the trail, but really easily distracted. If he gets a scent he's running all over the place, so he requires a constant watchful eye. It he gets the scent of a reindeer, hare or elk I often have no idea where he's disappeared or how long he'll be gone. (I should add he's quite well trained, but in the hierarchy of interesting things, elks run higher than my wishes).

One thing: as he's long-haired, if he gets wet it takes a long time for him to dry off, and he brings a lot of mud and dirt along with him. On one night in mid July he was wet, then temperatures dropped to a nice midsummer low of 4C, and all night long he was shivering, poor thing. His hair is a magnet for burrs too, so, I'd advise some judicious hair clipping, warm gear for the nights, and perhaps a jacket (waterproof, breathable, 950+ down, with side pockets for snacks ;) ).

But yes, they love to be outdoors, and will run for many manu miles before getting tired. Smart, but goofy. Terrible guard dog - he'd try to play with burglars or bears alike.

Marcus said...

Cheers for this Mark. Lots of things to consider by all accounts.

Not sure we'll have too many problems with Elk around Lolli but it remains to be seen how she reacts to sheep and other livestock.

I'm thinking about getting Lolli some sort of insulation to wear at night and I"ve got a few ideas for lightweight bedding.

It's a big change to my outdoor life but having said that I haven't had an outdoor life since Norway and my shoulder injury.

Looking forward to seeing how she takes to her first night out but that will be a way off just yet. I think I'll wait until she's around 9 months old before venturing out all night.

alison hayward said...

ah she is lovely i used to have a springer. we have just got a chocolate labrador x collie called branston but somehow i dont think he is in for such an energetic lifestyle as lolli !! Cant wait to see her.

Marcus said...

Hi Alison

You're probably right because at the moment she rarely stops! Might be wishing for a quieter life before the year is out!

James Boulter said...

Nice one! I hope that she is the perfect trail companion when older. Backpacking with a dog is fantastic! Any questions give me a shout.