Stephen Chapman

The second incarnation of my blog

Norfolk weekend

We have been in North Norfolk this weekend at Pete’s brothers holiday home. We arrived on Friday night and went to the local pub for Tapas… not very Norfolk I grant you.

On Saturday morning I ran in the Sheringham Parkrun. It was a deceptive course as it started downhill on good paths, but finished uphill through the woods on extremely muddy paths. I had to walk several parts due to the mud. Not fun!

Also on Saturday, we walked along the beach to Sheringham and Zac loved it. The beach and cliffs have been decimated by the recent storms and it was sad to see the remains of several beach huts from some unknown location.

Just before going out for dinner we had a short but powerful electric storm. For dinner we returned to The Gunton Arms where we had eaten in October. This location is very strange; it’s down a track and then through the dark windy night to a stunning gastropub. The odd thing was that we heard the head chef saying he was going to our town on Monday for a Gastropub awards show. It’s a small world.

On Sunday we walked to Cromer along the beach at low tide (yes, I looked the tide times up!), which took about just over an hour each way. Zac loved playing with the many dogs we met.

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6 comments on “Norfolk weekend

  1. Pingback: This week I have been… | Stephen Chapman

  2. Nik the Greek
    January 27, 2014

    Can I ask you something about Zac? What do you do when you have to go to work? Do you leave him alone? This is something that concerns me and JJ. We’re thinking of getting a dog this summer. I work weekdays. I leave home around 7:30 in the morning and come back around 7pm. JJ is doing shifts. He could be working mornings or evenings. He could have a weekday off and written during weekend. That means that the dog could be staying maximum alone for 5 hours, nor every day, but some days. I’ve read online that that’s bad. We’re puzzled, because we don’t want the dog to suffer. But there are ways to train him to stay alone? Someone told us that JJ’s irregular schedule could even be worse for the animal, confusing. That doesn’t mean we can’t keep a schedule of walks, though… Anyway, sorry for my long comment…

  3. sfchapman
    January 28, 2014

    Hi Nik

    I never leave Zac more than about 4.5 hours and he has free reign of much of the downstairs. We are lucky in that I tend to work from home one day a week and Pete one day a week, so we only have 3 days to arrange. It also helps that I work from home officially so I don’t have a commute to factor in.

    If I am to be out longer than 4.5 hours, I take him to Pete’s Mum’s house and in some rare occasions, our neighbour has helped out.

    We built up to the 4.5 hours over a few months – a puppy will get stressed if left alone for a long period, so we started with 15 minutes, then increased that by 15 minutes a day. It stressed me out to think he would be upset when we leave the house! Now I just leave and don’t make a fuss other than sprinkling biscuits everywhere to keep him busy while I leave. When he was a puppy, I would hide biscuits for him to find.

    We’ve considered getting a dog walker, but so far we haven’t needed to but that may have to change.

    Dogs do like routine, but it’s difficult to meet their requirements. I think we have been lucky as I’m sure Zac just sleeps in the daytime anyway.

  4. Nik
    January 28, 2014

    Thanks a lot for that and the quick reply. You’re lucky being able to do that. For us it’s different. When JJ is doing morning shifts, the dog would be alone between 7:40am and 14:00. When he’s nights, from 3pm to 7pm, with some days off, never the same, during the week.

    I read that if you give your dog some good morning exercise and a special treat or toy when you leave, it should be OK. You can train it in a way to be a bit independent by teaching him the word ‘bed’ and not making a big fuss when you leave. It also depends on the breed, right?

    We have no family or friends in the close area around us. We could maybe look for a dog walker. I’ve seen lots of dogs in the street we live in. I believe that since I have a steady schedule, we could keep our walk times the same and some sort of weekly routine. I’ll look into it a bit more…

    Thank you again for answering my question.

  5. John
    January 29, 2014

    Just found your blog
    Love it ( apart from the format which I find difficult to navigate)
    The words however are cracking
    Best
    John

  6. sfchapman
    January 29, 2014

    Hi Nik

    I know a couple of people that leave dogs for longer than 5 hours, but those dogs are older and seem happy. Though I know that younger dogs can get very stressed being left for long periods. So if I were in that position, I would pay for a professional dog walker to come in each day.

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This entry was posted on January 26, 2014 by in Misc., Pete, Zac and tagged , , .

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