Too hot!

Oh my word, what a scorcher!

All the sudden, the summer had arrived in London and it took us by surprise. Bella the Hairy and I hit the park as soon as the sun was out because a good weather was never guaranteed when it came to the British weather. However, the past few days were a little too warm for Bella.

Shall I throw a ball for you?

Despite drinking water throughout the walk, she appeared a bit worse for wear.

Ok, let’s have a break in the shade…

The forecast was 26°C max – later, it turned out to be  29°C! – but I felt it was hotter than that. I wished if I came in shorts not in skinny jeans!

After the break, we pressed on…

 

It is probably about time Bella should have her summer haircut. I shall ask her groomer to make her more streamlined…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Happy return

The weather seems to be finally improving! Is the spring here at last? It is about time we should have a proper springtime, is it not?

Instead of a blanket of grey cloud above us, which was all too familiar for the past few months, there are patches of fluffy white cloud against a backdrop of the baby blue sky. How this makes me feeling uplifted, I can’t emphasise it enough.

Understandably, my furry princess Bella is also very happy with the arrival of warmer (& drier) weather.

Follow me, QUICKLY!!

Yes, yes, I hear you.

As usual, we entered Regents Park via Chester Road, and Bella couldn’t wait being let off-leash.

Look, I am rolling!

I am ecstatic!

It was a pure joy to behold how joyous she was to be doing all things doggie – running around, digging, chasing a ball and rolling on grass.

Well, Bay-Bay. How can I throw a ball if you don’t return it to me!

Clearly, she was itching to chase the ball yet the ball I was supposed to throw was in her mouth! Oh well, never mind.

The ground of the soon-to-be cricket field was still scarcely turfed. The near-boldness of the sports field was the result of being stampeded by the spikes of football boots during the winter months and TLC by the park maintainence crew was very much needed.

Bella’s love of mud and puddle took a toll on her fine fur…

How am I gonna take you home..

She was soggy and smelt like seaweed. Yes, seaweed! Oh, never mind. I’m happy if you are happy.

By the way, a ballista at the Pavilion Café made me a lovely cup of latte…

Isn’t it amazing? I was so reluctant to drink it because it was so cute!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

#britishweathersucks

Oh boy, we should have stayed away from the park today, I felt truly miserable in Regent’s Park yesterday lunchtime. It was raining, cold and windy. Apart from keen lunchtime runners, there was hardly anyone in the park.

Even normally an outdoorsy sort of girl Bella was not too crazy about being in this rather dismal surrounding…

Oh no, I am not going in there!

We did play with a Chuckit but every time the ball landed on the ground which was saturated with the precipitation of the recent weeks, she refused to retrieve it.

I sighed and waded into the puddles so I could pick up the ball which used to be neon orange but now resembled a giant dark chocolate truffle.

Hey Bay-Bay, why can’t you stop pining?

She appeared to be distracted by the wind and as a result, she was much less responsive to my recall command. What if she catches a whiff of a squirrel and decides to give a chase?, the thought concerned me because she could go beyond the fencing surrounding St John’s Lodge.

I found myself screaming at her, ‘stop!!’ as she broke into a trot, making a beeline to the nearby hedge. I sprinted as fast as my Timberland boots clad feet could carry me. Thankfully, she froze on the spot, sensing the seriousness in a tone of my voice. I did not like shouting at her but the thought of losing her really panicked me.

Sorry Bella, but I will have to keep you away from the park until the ground becomes firm and dry. Or I will have to buy a pair of football boots with studs so I can run after you even if the ground is greasy…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Contingency plan

There was an incident in the park the other day which made me realise that I needed a contingency plan in case of losing Bella’s ball.

It was mid-afternoon and Bella and I just enter Regent’s Park through the gate near Chester Road. We saw a large Labradoodle and its owner playing with a tennis ball in the distance – a familiar sight, so I didn’t think much of it and let Bella off from the leash. As usual, Bella begged me to throw a ball for her and I obliged to her request.

However, the Labradoodle galloped towards us as soon as our ball landed and snatched it from the ground. Bella was only very happy to see another dog and started to dance around it like a butterfly around a luscious bloom. I sent a pleading look to the owner of the “ball-snatcher” and she came over to sort out the situation.

It didn’t work, unfortunately. The harder we tried, the more the dog resisted. While we tempted him with treats and his own ball, this naughty Labradoodle kept us at his paw length, gnawing on Bella’s ball like a chewing gum. I could see the neon orange ball gradually losing its shape through his teeth and saliva. Alas. ‘Never mind our ball. But you make sure that he won’t swallow it.’ I told the embarrassed girl and we walked away.

Then, we moved on to the rugby pitch and looked for a ball we lost a few days ago. Again, exactly like it happened in Hampstead Heath last Sunday, the ball disappeared like magic under the mud and the fallen leaves in the sports field. I combed the ground with the ball launcher and kicked up leaves but failed to find it.

Oh Bay-bay, what can we do?

Out of desperation, I throw the launcher for her…

She went for it but looked a bit confused. Where is my ball?’

Never mind that, Bella. So we continued to play with the launcher…

 

At first, Bella was happy to carry the stick because it was new. She was showing off her new trophy and trotting around with it.

But then, she realised that the launcher didn’t fly very far and it didn’t bounce either…

 

“No! I am not playing with this crap! Where is my BALL?’

Sorry, Bay-Bay, I shall bring a spare ball or a frisbee as our contingency plan next time…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Bella & mud bath

Bella had a good run at Regent’s Park this afternoon. Unlike yesterday, it was very mild today and we had loads of fun, meeting other dogs and chasing a ball and each other in the park.

It was because of the recent bad weather, the sports field, where we always visited, was heavily saturated with the water and the ground was like a wet sponge.

The field may look green from the distance…

 

However, it was more brown than green when I approached it. The weather was too cold to dry the ground thoroughly and also the field was in constant use as football pitches which didn’t help the matter either.

We arrived at the Hub Café but found it was closed until the 2nd January…

Oh well, I’ll have to have a cup of tea at home then, I shrugged my shoulders and we headed towards the Broad Walk, throwing a ball and greeting four-legged friends as we encountered them.

Oh Bay-Bay, you are so DIRTY!

With the exception of her furry chest area which was under the harness, the rest of her body was covered with mud and the bits and pieces from the fallen leaves. Oh dear.

Bella and I, playing tag…

 

We teased each other, pretending to run away or to run after one another. Eventually, we had enough of running around and left the park for home.

While we were walking along the pavement next to the hedge of the Avenue Gardens, we met Bella’s nemesis, Mr.Squirrel.

Upon sensing Bella’s presence, Mr.Squirrel quickly but calmly took refuge up amongst the tree branches…

Can you see him?

Don’t be so smug, Mister!

Sorry Bella, but Mr.Squirrel is out of your reach and out of your life.

Now, we must hurry because we have a more pressing matter at hand. If you will like it or not, you are going to have a proper hose down as soon as I have a cup of tea at home. I am sorry but you are intolerably dirty.

p.s. Bella was washed, blow-dried and combed after I shared tea and panettone with Hubbie. Now, she is very tired and having a well-deserved kip next to me on the sofa…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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