Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Dog walking and squirrel chasing - a fun day out with Chester and Henry.

I mentioned in my last Country Kids post that we did a Gruffalo trail as part of the 15th Anniversary celebrations a few weeks ago.  It wasn't as much fun as we'd hoped as the boy was in such a bad mood, so it was with trepidation that we decided to give it another go in a different location where there is a Gruffalo trail all year round and not just part of the celebrations.

High Five Gruffalo's child
At the weekend we took our boy out to Sunny Essex to visit a friend who we haven't seen for ages - well not since her lovely wedding actually. Carole told me about Thorndon Country Park as she thought our boy would like it there and she has two great dogs that we thought the boy would like to meet. I've mentioned our boy's obsession with the movie Firehouse Dog and I really hoped he would get on with Auntie Carole's dogs so I told him about Chester and Henry before we went so he would be prepared.

On the day we weren't sure if the weather was going to be ok so we packed a boot full of wellies and waterproofs and a massive picnic bag filled with treats and drinks to keep us going in the wilds of Essex. It was actually really lovely when we got to the park so we got out and ate our picnic while we waited for Aunty Carole, Chester and Henry to join us. The boy was so excited he could barely eat and kept watching the car park to see if they'd arrived.

Making friends using dog treats
Hubbie spotted them first and as Chester and Henry bounded over the boy couldn't wait to say hello.  He shared a few mini sausages with his new furry friends and we put the picnic back in the car to go off a-hunting in the woods. Aunty Carole had warned us that Henry can be a bit barky and nervous around children while Chester is the child friendly one. She showed the boy how to give them dog treats and he listened really nicely and made friends with them.

We made our way round the park spotting the Gruffalo characters dotted around the woods and Chester was allowed off the lead so he ran off into the trees to explore. Our boy asked if he could follow him so I said so long as he could still see us that was fine. Off they went, boy and dog in harmony - sort of.
It's the Big Bad Mouse !!
Being brave around the Ssssnake
Checking out the Gruffalo's prickly back 
After a while the boy asked if he could walk Chester and as he'd been listening nicely Aunty Carole said he could. Chester went from running around to being ever so calm and considerate to his young walker. Well, that was until he spotted a squirrel and chased it up a tree - with our boy still holding onto him ! The boy let go of the lead just in time to prevent being dragged along so it was mostly comical and when Chester realised he couldn't follow the squirrel up the tree he came back.
Wait for me Chester !!
My boy enjoyed spotting the Gruffalo characters in the woods. It was really nicely done. I'm so proud of how well he behaved with both Chester and Henry. It made our day out in the country a little bit special and different for him and we saw a new responsible side to our toddler too.

It bodes well for our holiday at Coombe Mill in a few weeks and I hope he enjoys helping with the animals on the farm during our stay. He certainly shows promise don't you think ? 

Walking nicely 
This post is being shared with the lovely Coombe Mill linky #countrykids

 Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 


  1. Ah this looks like a very successful visit and Chester and Henry certainly gave that added interest, lovely photos and I do indeed think you have the perfect farmer Nick helper there, It will be a pleasure to welcome you all in few weeks time! Thank you for sharing your dog walking Gruffalo day with Country Kids.

    1. Hi Fiona,
      He's really looking forward to helping with the animals. I'm hoping he won't be too shy when we get there :)

  2. This place looks amazing, my 3G would luuuuuuve it....and yeah so would I! Thanks for the tip. Defo on the list for summer hols.

    1. It's a fun day out that's for sure - I'm so glad we took him there.