The mindful act of walking with Chewie at PumpjackPiddlewick

Today is my last day walking with Chewie. And I will miss it. But before I sound too dramatic, today is also the day (or rather night) that Pumpjack returns home. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

Mr P had to leave very abruptly a couple weeks ago, to take care of family, which meant a sudden switch in chore loads, eg he was not here to do his. And my goodness you notice, when you share the load, if someone is no longer there to do them.

His chief chore when it comes to the animals is walking with Chewie. That includes at least 3 walks a day, more often 4. Sometimes 5, if the mastered puppy dog look is particularly effective. It would be more, essentially every 5 minutes, if Chewie could have his way. And if there is a girl dog out there he has his eye on (or maybe that is nose?), well honestly, I don’t know why we don’t let him just roam the village on his own. Except we have a busy road out front of the house and he is so not very car savvy, especially when he has girls on his mind. So instead we have to contend with those puppy dog eyes asking if it is time to go out yet. Such is life with a teenager.

The first few days were the worst. Chewie, of course, was worried now that it was only myself. What about his walking routine? All our animals hate when their routine is interrupted and get all out of sorts, especially the ducks. So we try to keep to routine as much as possible, or establish a new one as quickly as possible in this case. By the third day we were more or less there, and my bouncing, excitable and cheerful mutt was essentially back to himself with only the odd moment of pining.

Luckily Chewie is not a morning dog. He is good to sleep until it’s light outside, so I am free to write, work or read during my quiet time still. But when he hears the lid of the laptop shut, he suddenly bounds up, gives me the puppy dog eye treatment and we are off.

And each morning, per our current routine, I have to explain to him that we have to let the ducks out first. Then walk. He always looks at me like ‘today too?’. Yes, today, too.

He is actually quite jealous of the ducks, especially Maggie. If they are seen to be getting lots of attention he wants some of that for himself and will nose his way into the group. As he is bigger than them (which may be the point) he easily can take over the attention seeking.

Ducks let out, and separated into their current two little flocks, then watered and fed, and we are finally (!) ready to head out ourselves. We carry on out the bottom of the garden since we are already there. This means that Gigi will often join us on at least the beginning of the walk along the old path behind our property.

Now that we have been here a bit more than a year I have noticed that the cats have established their territory boundaries. When we first moved in they were walking with Chewie and myself for quite a ways, but always getting more and more nervous the further we walked away from home. I am glad they have determined their limits now. It makes our walks much, much easier.

We follow the same route each morning, with Chewie checking out if any new dogs or other animals. such as deer, fox but particularly boar, have been about. When we loop back to the path, we find Gigi waiting for us on one of the stone walls. She meouws to let me know she was very patient indeed.

I’m a 3 walk a day sort of gal whilst contending with life here on my own. More is just not possible in the confines of the day. So, there will be two more walks, one after lunch and one when the ducks go to bed. Yes, simply reverse the process as noted above for the latter. Chewie comes to find me almost on the dot of the same time, when it is time to go for these walks. Who needs a clock when you have a Chewie?

I have really enjoyed once again getting out and about in and around the village. It’s a wonderful opportunity to clear the head, focus thoughts or simply breathe in the fresh air. There is always a promise to myself, when I have taken over walking with Chewie, that I will walk more, make it more of my daily routine. But somehow the other animals always seem to demand their time at these times. So instead, and in case regular future walks don’t happen as hoped, I will make certain to enjoy the walks today all the more.



  1. Sorry to hear about the urgent trip, but fun keeping up with your news even if I don’t notify you each time. Take care and hug Chewie and Maggie for us.

    1. Thanks Barbara. Always lovely to hear from you and that you are reading my posts 🙂 Maggie is such a hoot at the moment. She has become incredibly playful. I keep waiting for The Brood to set in, but thus far she is just being a cheeky duck. Hugging both of them per your request 🙂

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