Sunday, February 12, 2023

Our Old Stomping Ground

Olga and I took a nostalgic trip back to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens yesterday. We often walked there when we lived in Notting Hill and she was still a relatively young pup. I sometimes wonder how much she remembers of that time. It seemed like we were in the park constantly, especially in the spring of 2013 when I wasn't yet working in the library and was home a lot more.

I think the last time we went was four years ago. From where we live now in West Hampstead, it's kind of an ordeal because it involves tube travel.

But yesterday we took up the challenge and had a great time. We saw:

...Kensington Palace (from a distance)...

...and the bandstand...

...and Queen Caroline's Temple, which usually looks like this but seems to be undergoing some sort of renovation.

I made a little video so you can watch Olga:

-- navigating a tube station (she always puts her ears down and stays close to the wall)
-- watching for squirrels as another dog lopes past
-- demolishing a tennis ball near the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall
-- barking at squirrels near the Italian Gardens at Lancaster Gate
-- riding in a taxi on the way home.

(Yes! We took a cab home, which I never do. But by the time we'd walked all that distance I didn't want to subject her to the tube again, so it was worth it.)

My conclusion is that she does remember the park and knew exactly where we were. We followed the route that we usually walked back then, and when I tried to turn in an unexpected direction she'd pause and look at me like, "Why are we going that way?" Dogs are pretty smart!


Andrew said...

I've never noticed Olga's dominating markings as I did in your clip. I am not surprised about her remembering Hyde Park. I am surprised you can take a pet dog in a taxi cab. We can't do that here.

Frances said...

What a lovely time you both had! Nice to see some parts of London. Can't remember when we last went there.

crafty cat corner said...

Felt a bit down this morning, your video really cheered me up. Olga looks in such good shape. Thanks.

Rachel Phillips said...

I enjoyed the video, Olga appears to be a very obedient dog, walking in the underground and riding in the taxi.

Moving with Mitchell said...

What a great video. It looks like Olga remembered being a puppy, too.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

It was nice to hear you having an in-depth conversation with the taxi driver about the different merits and prospects of London's Premier League football teams.

Ed said...

My dog remembered every grain auger a rat ever came from his entire life. Sometimes it was hard getting a grain auger set in place if it happened to be one where he once caught a rat because he couldn't wait for us to fire it up and see if another one came out.

Marty said...

Sort of soothing, watching her demolish that tennis ball. She was so thorough that it was hard to tell if it had originally been red or green!
I enjoyed the taxi ride and seeing London go by.

Marcia LaRue said...

Olga is such a pretty and obedient girl can see the love she has for you when she turns to look at you! ❤

Bob said...

She looks like she had a feisty good time.

Ms. Moon said...

Who's a good girl?
Olga is! She's such a dear sweet beauty.

Boud said...

Dogs can go on the tube and in taxis? I don't think that's an option here other than service dogs. If course we could make the case that she's an emotional support dog to an international blogging community.

Ellen D. said...

Looks like you both enjoyed that hike. There were quite a few people out and about.

NewRobin13 said...

What a wonderful walk in the park there. Olga looks like she had a great day and enjoyed that taxi ride home.

Sharon said...

I LOVED the video and it looks like Olga enjoyed the Hyde Park outing very much. I usually stick close to the wall in the tube station too. I think I've seen way to many movies where some gets pushed onto the tracks. I love how relaxed she seems in the cab while sticking close to you.

Pixie said...

Heidi has a fondness for squirrel meat, she used to supplement her meagre diet with squirrels. She's a good hunter. I loved looking at those old photos of Olga, she looks so young.

I didn't know you could take dogs on the tube. Apparently you can take dogs on the bus in Calgary, on a leash, but in Edmonton, they have to be in a carrier, on your lap, so no great danes:)

Mike O'Brien said...

What a lovely outing. Olga is so happy being out and about. As several commenters have said, London dogs have a lot more freedom than urban American dogs, and seem to handle all that freedom quite responsibly (dogs and owners both).

Thanks for the tour of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens!

Chris from Boise

Onevikinggirl said...

She’s a really good dog!

Kelly said...

On my last visit to London we stayed in a hotel in that area.

This was a perfect post: great photos of Olga, ending with a fun video.

Allison said...

Olga certainly can savage a tennis ball!

Jim Davis said...

No surprise she doesn't like the tube, from her perspective she's surrounded by giants. Do you buy tennis balls in bulk? :)

Margaret said...

How wonderful to take her back on a nostalgic walk and it sounds and looks like she appreciated it too!

Linda Sue said...

Incredibly satisfying, the tearing apart of ball...Ahhhh. Olga is such a darling dog, she looks amazing! Wonderful video , thank you!

The Bug said...

Thank you for that video - her joyous barking at the squirrels made my day!

37paddington said...

I love Olga. She has a wonderful spirit.

jenny_o said...

I love the video. Dogs' noses are just so velvety and when they crinkle them I just want to reach out and feel the velvet :D Olga was a very good girl indeed. I am slightly indignant on her behalf that the human walking in the subway nearly ran her over going around the corner.

River said...

It's a lovely park and it was nice to see Olga running around barking at squirrels and chewing her ball.

Debby said...

I have always loved how dog friendly the UK is.

Side comments: Not ALL dogs are smart. Just putting THAT little factoid out there.

Steve Reed said...

Andrew: London is very accommodating to dogs, though you do have to ask the driver. Sometimes they say no.

Frances: The scenes from the cab windows show the area right around Edgeware Road and Sussex Gardens. (Just FYI!)

Briony: Glad Olga could give you a boost. :)

Rachel: She is very obedient. She loses her mind about squirrels and cats but otherwise is very well-behaved.

Mitchell: She's still surprisingly puppyish at times!

YP: Ha! Yeah, that didn't happen.

Ed: It's like Olga always looking in the same places for cats where she's found them before!

Marty: It was red AND green. But now it's gone. :)

Marcia: I do love those brown eyes!

Bob: She did have a great time.

Ms Moon: 99 percent of the time, she's a good girl. In fact I use the word "bad" with her so rarely that when she hears it she KNOWS she's in big trouble.

Boud: Ha! Yeah, dogs can go pretty much everywhere here. Pubs and sometimes shops, too.

Ellen D: There were! When the weather is good(-ish) people seize the moment.

Robin: She loves cars -- always has, even as a young dog.

Sharon: Yes, on the platform, I do the same thing -- stay close to the wall!

Pixie: Olga killed a squirrel once, many years ago, and then had no idea what to do with it.

Chris: Yeah, it's very common in London to see dogs off-leash, for example. In America that's pretty rare in a public park.

OneVikingGirl: She is indeed!

Kelly: Glad you liked it! There are tons of hotels in the Queensway/Paddington area. I also stayed there when I first visited London many years ago.

Allison: She can be vicious! (Not really.)

Jim: Yeah, it's got to be weird for her to be surrounded by all those legs! Weirdly we have never had to buy tennis balls. She finds them on our walks. (We live near a tennis club so they're often in the street!)

Margaret: I think she did!

Linda Sue: She just can't resist pulling them apart when they start to tear.

Bug: She has that funny high-pitched bark when she's excited!

37P: She does indeed. :)

Jenny O: He did clip her, didn't he?! She didn't seem to mind, though.

River: It is a very nice park, undoubtedly one of the prettiest in the city.

Debby: Ha! Yeah, that's true. When I was a kid my dog Herman wasn't too bright.

Andrew said...

I saw in a comment you mentioned Sussex Gardens. We stayed there for my first visit to England.

Coppa's girl said...

Lovely to see the video of Olga enjoying herself, and how well behaved she was in the taxi. I'm not sure if dogs are allowed on trains, buses or in taxis here (Spain). I've always taken the dogs in the car, just to save any inconvenience. Probably the sensible option at the time when we had three!