Having a dog is an amazing thing. Before we got Kylo we asked friends and they all said the same, "it will change your life...for the better". A year on, and speaking personally our little border terrier has enriched my life beyond what I could ever have imagined. Primarily, I'm not so selfishly focussed on surfing or riding all the time, but cunningly combining the dog walk with the riding, this is a win win for both of us, actually all of us, as I 'm known to get a little grumpy if I can't ride or go surfing. Overall, as a family we've spent more time outdoors, but importantly outdoors as a family. This is making us healthier physically and also mentally. If you own a dog then this will make sense to you all, but those who don't, well a dog is for life, not for Christmas, but if your committed, willing to accept the true meaning and requirements of owning a dog, then having a dog is a such a life bonus. Word of warning though here, don't buy a dog for the small children just because they want one and say they will walk it, feed it, groom it, wash it, they won't. What they want is the cuddly image they've seen on television, the fluffy ball of fun, the cute little puppy that lies on their bed. What they don't like is the sharp teeth, the pulling and snapping,the dog washing when its rolled in cow, dog, horse or even human pooh; all fun in the puppies eyes, but shocking to the child who nagged about getting the cute little puppy. I suppose that as parents we always knew that until Kylo was older, better trained and calmer, we would be the ones doing the walking. washing, feeding; for now.
Anyway, having a dog has meant I've spent more time exploring West Cornwall. I've discovered walks, or new to us. When I mention to friends where we've been they look bemused that we'd never been there before, to us it's the greatest new discovery that we didn't know existed. The beauty of having a dog, is that dogs need walking and it just so happens we live in dog walking paradise. We have such epic locations here in the Wild West of Cornwall, some of the walks are truly stunning, hidden gems, with woodland streams heading to the coast and the beauty is breath taking. To simply sit and take in the views on top of one of the highest points in Cornwall (known as a Marilyn), to breath in the fresh air, to just appreciate where we live, to become more mindful of our surroundings; I believe is really down to us having a dog. As a surfer your often mindful, as we sit and appreciate where we are, we're focussed on the next wave and riding that wave last seconds (granted, this could be the best few seconds of your life), but having a dog, and the opportunities that this provides, and the companionship, is priceless.
Kylos is also becoming a great little trail dog. I've put plenty of shots on my instagram account (@chunky_brother) of Kylo accompanying me on my rides. Best of all he loves it, and I truly believe he's ready for longer rides, the more he gets used to the bike, the better he will become as a trail dog and the more opportunities to take him to places like Dartmoor or Exmoor begin to be in the near future. I've taken my time with him, I've not been too strict about him running in front on the trail, or doing too much with him when he was young, If he's sees other dogs when I'm riding, his recall is excellent, but terrible when I'm walking. Something about being out on the bike with him just completely changes his recall button. I know that having him follow the bike is probably safer, but somehow, having him in front means he also controls my speed too, but I do occasionally race to beat him to a section if the trail splits. Kylo is happy and healthy, and I love watching him run the trails in front of me. I'm also conscious, that he's not being run ragged behind if I'm going to fast. On the mellower rides he happily trots along beside me and thats just perfect, but when we descend, he barks with excitement, and on a couple of our shorter trails, he has just taken it upon himself to run the trail top to bottom, and back up, with out me; now I'd say that proves he loves the trails.
So this blog is simply about a mans best friend, my best friend. He's changed our lives..100% for the better and looking forward to the adventures to come.