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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Holidays for Dogs Granada, Costa Women and next El Camino dates

Just a quick one to say that we are on the move tomorrow - May 1st.  The truck has already delivered most of our things to Alhama de Granada and we leave with the dogs, Cleo and the remaining bits and bobs!  A bit scary and we are not sure yet how we will all fit - the cat box is just the wrong size!  However, we just want to get going now, settle in and get started with our new ventures.  I have already had some interest in the dog holidays and workshops and all thanks to the new Leadchanges website - www.leadchanges.net (which is looking good but not yet finished) and a great group called "Costa Women".

Costa Women is a social and business networking community for women living in Spain.  It's super friendly and proactive and I would thoroughly recommend joining!  The website address is www.costawomen.ning.com/

I have been very honoured to be a "featured woman" this week and you can read the fun Q&A I did with them on the Costa Women website.

We will be without internet for a short while until we get set up, but will catch up with the blog and website asap so watch this space and I will post pics soon!  We also look set for the next Camino stages to be held over a couple of weeks in October - around 11th to 29th with a short stop over and break at a 4* pet friendly in Ávila before heading on to Zamora.  The new place will be excellent for preparing for our walk as there are kilometres of walks we can cover from the house!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Camino Update and the Latest from Chella

Hot enough in Chella for the dogs to start swimming
again.  They are taking a holiday from the Camino
while we relocate!
I'm sure a number of friends and those who have been following my Camino have wondered what is happening now and if I am about to start the next leg of the walk.  However, there is news and change in the air, so the Camino is on hold for a few months - sadly and a little frustratingly although all for good and exciting reasons!

The first reason for a delay is that the snows up on the hills toward Cebreros were still there well into March and the second - we have decided to make a move!  Where we are headed, there are more options for Michael with his solar work (already with some projects on the go) and there are more chances for Leadchanges, running workshops along with helping and boarding dogs.

Our new residence will be about 2.8km from Alhama de Granada in the Province of Andalucia.  A great location in easy reach of Granada, Malaga, Seville and Cordoba!  It is a stunning town and full of history.  A big plus for us is that the property is in rolling hills, with some olives and almonds surrounding it.  It is rural but close to all amenities and has the most amazing dog walking country.  The best part - it's not pine tree country!  Something we have been desperate to find since moving to Spain as dog walking in Chella is so restricted for almost 5 months of the year!  Even in many areas of Andalucia, there are pines in the hills and we wanted to find somewhere where we did not have to stress on every walk about processionary caterpillars.

I hope to contact the various dog charities shortly once my new website is up and running as often their adopters need to kennel when holidaying or heading off to visit family, especially if they have settled in Spain from other countries.

I also want to continue fostering dogs and will put whichever one is currently with us on the website. As usual, this gives the dog a better chance of finding a home.  We plan a three level service of accommodation, something like Gold, Silver and Bronze and for those who adopt a resident foster dog staying with us, they will be given the Silver entry level and one weekend during their first year, as a free stay.

I will also be able to help with rehab cases as well as help owners understand their dogs better.  We want to offer a day sitting/creche type service for those who are holidaying with their dogs or who might normally go out with their dogs, but want to do a city break or day trip where it is much harder to have a dog with them.  We personally understand the need for this as often, when walking the Camino for example, we have wanted to add on some site seeing but are strapped for time or unable to do so because the dogs re with us.   For a trip to the city for example, the day is often too long, the city too hot, you can't hang out at a nice restaurant or suddenly decide to stay on a bit longer to see one more monument or take in a movie because you have dogs waiting.

If you have been able to find somewhere to leave your dog, then you worry that they might be getting unsettled as it is an unfamiliar place, or that they have been alone too long.  If they are in the car, even if only for a short time, is it getting too hot, has the shade moved, has their water run out?  We want to be able to give owners the peace of mind, that they can spend the day touring without worry.

Set in open farmland
Another option we plan is to offer a pick up service - possibly an hour's radius from the property - and include collections from just outside of Malaga and through to Granada.  We will offer small scale, personal service with no more than 4 dogs at any one time and for those who are happy for their dogs to socialise and play, this will take place with our dogs only (I know how ours respond).

Guest dogs will get one on one time, training given and issues addressed (where required and this option taken), walks, play time and time to be a family dog and join us in the house (again where owners are happy for this and one at a time only with our own dogs).  So many kennels just offer an exercise area, not much personal attention and very few offer walks.  We want to offer a place where we would be happy to leave our own dogs.

Perfect dog walking country!
My usual Leadchanges dog/human psychology workshops will continue to run and which help owners understand more about their dogs, more about themselves and the relationship between the two.  I have been working on the format to a "new and improved style" which people seem to like and there the workshops will also be suitable for those who just love dogs and want to have a fun day out.

For more information - go to our website (currently under construction so not everything is listed yet - please bear with us) and have a look at what is on offer: www.leadchanges.net.

If you are looking for somewhere a bit different to kennel your dog or if you have questions or requirements for help on behaviour, do get in touch.

We plan to be open from mid-June 2013 once we have put in the working, shade/playground areas and finished the accommodation and fencing.