Yesterday JJ could come for wallks with us for the first time after his vaccinations.
We went with scooter first, he enjoyed sitting on the footplate and watching things go past.
He was a bit nervous at first of all the noises it was bin day too which didn’t help loads of people dragging bins about and big refuse trucks, he didn’t walk much of the first walk but got off to explore on some grass when we got to a quieter bit. Later in the afternoon we went to a quieter path like a woodland area that cuts through an estate opposite, he walked more of that and started feeling braver and going further from me.
This morning I decided to go in powerchair to the little park.. maybe not a good choice! Apart from the fact he was heavy on my arms (he already exceeds weight of most puppy carriers 6-9kg) we had just got through the gate and there was a load of dog walkers walking their dogs together with about 8 dogs off-lead. They all came charging up and JJ found it a bit scary. He managed to get under the front of my chair so of course then I couldn’t move in case I ran over him. I had to sit and wait for the people to get to us to call off their dogs and one of them to help me get JJ from under the chair!
Inca’s protective instinct seems to have kicked in and she was stood at side of my chair growling at a large chocolate lab so he couldn’t get to JJ’s face… then further around a large dog came running over to us.. again, owner miles behind. I think it’s a Newfoundland so looks like a giant brown bear so again JJ was trying to get behind my chair.. I managed to grab top of his harness and pull him up on knee before he got too far round the back of me whilst Inca charged at the other dog which slowed him down temporarily but he still came right up and he’s right in my face as I was sat in the chair lower down, with JJ trying to scramble over my shoulder!
So we won’t be going in there at that time again and probably wait until he can easily manage the whole walk and is bigger to protect himself.
On a practical level managing two dogs and a wheelchair/mobility scooter is a challenge, especially when one of them is too young to go off-lead at all and understand things like ‘go round’ where cars park halfway on pavement. What I did was buy a Mikki Jogging lead, it has an wrist strap. In the chair I slipped seatbelt through it to secure him on my knee and took one extending lead attached to armrest. When we were near road Inca was at side of me on extending lead (locked to a certain length close to chair) and JJ on my knee secured to my seatbelt with the jogging lead, then when we got to park Inca came off-lead and put JJ on the extending lead so he could walk around.
On the scooter it worked out better to fasten jogging lead to scooter armrest and have Inca on that where she needed to be on-lead to cross a road etc so I still had that hand free to keep hold of the top of JJs harness (sat between my legs on footplate).
JJ was on extending lead with the chunky handle under my leg, I found it easier to keep it in place with one hand on his harness and both legs around him.. good job I can steer scooter one-handed! When Inca was off-lead I had extending lead handle in left hand when JJ was walking alongside too.
I let him walk as soon as we get off main road as I live on quiet cul-de-sac so don’t have loads of cars flying up and down in the middle of the day and he is learning to sit nicely at the kerb just before we reach my house.
Just hoping he gets more confident quickly as he will grow so fast and soon be too big to sit on my knee in the chair. For now we will stick with the scooter and hopefully he will be soon be walking around the village confidently alongside me and Inca!! 🙂