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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Take a hike!

I spent a pleasant couple of hours earlier, walking to Sketty and back with Jake. The walk there and back is just a little over three miles. Since becoming a dog owner, I've shopped more at smaller, local shops, rather than heading into town. With the small shops, I can simply tie Jake up outside, where I can keep my eye on him, get what I want within a couple of minutes, and be on my way. I used to avoid the smaller shops, as they tend to be a bit more expensive than the big supermarkets. But as I'm walking more these days, and not spending so much on bus fares, I'm actually finding it cheaper to do a bit of local shopping.

By heading through the side streets and back lanes, we ended up avoiding Sketty Cross, and spent a little while exploring the small shops along Frogmore Avenue and Eversley Road. It was like stepping back in time, to my childhood days. There was a traditional butcher's (where I bought some ham), a bakery, a pet shop, an old-style grocery, and an old-fashioned hardware shop, with plant pots, watering cans, dustbins and growbags sitting outside. It was nice to see so many small, independent shops clustered together, each with its own character, instead of the uniform, characterless, and impersonal chain stores endemic to so many of our towns and cities nowadays.

Jake seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself. I'm no longer cautious about taking him for longer walks. When I thought he was a pure-bred Shih Tzu, I worried that I was pushing him too hard, as they're not known for their love of walking. However, since discovering he's half Shih Tzu, half Lhasa Apso, I've realised I've got a much hardier, and far more energetic dog on my hands than a pure Shih Tzu. He's not only capable of long walks - he positively adores them. Lhasa Apsos are high energy dogs, who would traditionally walk for miles over the Tibetan plains, accompanying the monks whose temples they used to guard. Jake, weighing in at 10 kg, is bigger than any Shih Tzu or Lhasa I've seen, and he's a hardy little beggar. So no more worries, and plenty more long walks.

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1 comment:

Aileni said...

I miss those small hardware stores. My father was an ironmonger so I grew up with the ambience.
Is Cooks still in Uplands? Dad was an apprentice with the founder of that shop.
Great that you being exercised by Jake.