Sunday, February 10, 2019

A New Park

Olga and I decided to go on an adventure yesterday morning. (She was an active participant in the decision-making, I swear.) I was feeling unenthusiastic about visiting one of the same old parks we always go to -- so I got on Google Maps and searched for a new destination.

We wound up at Fryent Country Park, five tube stops north of us near Wembley. (Which sounds farther than it really is.) Olga found a scenic grassy hilltop on which to roll...

...and it was freaking windy up there, as I demonstrated using my scarf.

I decided to make another GoPro video, so I fastened on Olga's camera harness. Most of the time she was fine with it, but when she got to this post she tried very hard to rub it off. If you watch the video, below, you'll see this process from her perspective!

By the way, do you see the little trail indicator on the post? We accidentally found ourselves on the Capital Ring trail, a footpath that circles London. Remember how I was walking the LOOP at this time last year? Well, that's a 150-mile circular walk. The Capital Ring is a smaller circle closer in to the city -- 78 miles. And it's my next challenge, I've decided. When the weather gets just a little drier, I'm going to tackle it.

Anyway, here's our edited video. You'll see Olga barking at the beginning to get me to throw her ball. Then she rubs against the post before we cross Fryent Way, a busy road that bisects the park. She rolls in the grass, knocking the camera askew and briefly leaving me with footage of her back harness. Then I tried something new -- I moved the camera to the mount on her chest, rather than her back, so I got the view from beneath her. That led to some funny moments, and gave us a good (albeit upside-down) perspective when she met a curious beagle.



  1. Thanks for the interesting walk. I enjoyed it as I was busily coughing and wheezing...I also liked the background music. Who did that? Hope you and Dave are doing well.

  2. Thanks, E! The music is "Mykonos" by Fleet Foxes. Hope you feel better soon!

  3. Great background music. I am not sure that you caught in the act of waving a scarf proves that it was windy. You may have just been waving to another dog owner or a passing librarian.

  4. I wasn't waving it! I was just holding out my arm! The scarf went horizontal of its own accord!

  5. Hi Steve. Sorry I've never commented before. Found your blog thru JG's blog about a year ago. Love being on your walk this morning and seeing Olga enjoy herself as always. She's such a happy girl!
    Loved your adventures while you were in Florida. We were in Jacksonville in Oct of'17 visiting my husband's brother. My first time there and it was not long after hurricane Irma. Even south of the city their was damage. Unbelievable! On our next visit we plan to see some of the places you visited. Being from the Midwest I was fascinated by how different everything is there!
    Thank you for writing such an interesting blog!I enjoy it every morning with my coffee!
    p.s. Does Olga go on the tube? Here in Illinois only service animals can ride public transportation.

  6. That music almost brought a Wes Anderson feel to the footage! Cool.
    Olga definitely covers some ground on those four short legs of hers. Well, relatively short.
    It'll be fun to have a new challenge. Can't wait to see what this loop has to offer.

  7. nice to have a change of pace when out with the dog. I think I'll drive over to Riverside Park this afternoon for Minnie's walk.

  8. That first shot of Olga rolling in the grass made me laugh out loud when I opened your blog. It's so joyful! I loved the video too. When she was barking to get you to the throw the ball, you can tell exactly what she wants the way she looks at you and then the ball, and then you again and then the ball again. How fun!

  9. It looked to me like Olga was more concerned with protecting her ball then playing with that beagle. That shows good judgement.

  10. What a fun video Olga sure is a lucky dog to go on so many adventures, thanks for sharing.

  11. Olga is such a good companion. Love when she snacks on a little grass. It's nice that you can let her off leash to run and play. Is she allowed to ride the tube with you?

  12. A dog's experience of a walk has to be SO different from ours, even when we're walking the same place at the same time. Your video brings that home as Olga starts, stops, sniffs, grabs the ball, takes off again, through water, mud, grass, tasting whenever the urge takes here, runs some more . . . and all we do is walk . . . it's cool to get the dog's eye view!

  13. Hello Steve and Olga of course I found your blog thru JG too and I am loving it. Olga is such fun as was my Staffie they have the biggest personalities don't they.
    Thanks for all that you share I feel very privileged to read your blog. Best wishes from Coventry x

  14. Hi Steve, what a glorious muddy excursion!. Olga really only has eyes for you and the ball - hardly fussed about cars or other dogs when there is a park to run in! These videos are great, although most ladies wouldn't appreciate that intimate look at their double chin!

  15. Patty: Thanks so much for reading! Yes, Olga (and other dogs) can ride the tube here. They can also ride the bus, though I haven't tried that with Olga yet. :) I go back and forth to Jacksonville a fair amount so you'll see more Jax news here eventually!

    Ms Moon: She is the most energetic walker! And then when she's home she sleeps so soundly she's unconscious.

    Ellen: A new park is always welcome! You should get a Minnie GoPro!

    Sharon: That barking at the ball is so funny, isn't it? She's very communicative!

    Catalyst: Absolutely! She protects her ball at all costs!

    Margo: Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the vid!

    Sue: She is a great companion. I really do experience the joy in things through her, because she is so unabashedly joyful. And yes, she rides the tube quite happily!

    Jenny-O: Yeah, dogs are very impulsive that way. Olga is, at any rate!

    Jomo: Thanks for stopping by! So glad you're reading! Staffies really are amazing dogs. We could not have asked for better.

    Pipistrello: Ha! Yeah, the chin is not the most flattering angle for Olga, I agree. She is actually completely heedless of cars -- that's why I have to leash her anytime we're near a road. And although she spends a lot of time with other dogs while out on her daily walks, she seems pretty indifferent to them. As you said, she's focused on her ball, as well as on any squirrels in the vicinity!

  16. Olga's ears flapping as she runs along - my happy place :)