Olly’s road to Ironpup

My human mum sent me away on holidays again to Tenby while she prepared herself for one of her biggest challenges to become an “Ironman”. I get so excited about going to Tenby as I get so spoiled by my Nanny and Bampi but I also know that my human mum will miss me loads as she attached a Fitbark (Fitbit) tracker to my collar before I left just to keep an eye on what I was doing and how my training was going.

On arrival in Tenby I quickly checked out the house and garden. All the plants had been lifted off the ground onto tubs so I now have to cock my leg up even higher to water the plants. My bed and toys have been put in the kitchen but don’t know why they continue to do this as the only place I am going to sleep is on their bed.

I am also in training to be an Ironpup so I need to get the miles in. On my first morning I was dragged off the bed and pushed into the garden for a quick pee but was back on their bed before Bampi could finish making the tea. I’m not a morning dog, in fact I like to laze around until midday when I start coming to life.

On day one, like most days, I’m driven to town, my Nanny goes one way for coffee with her friends while Bampi and I go for a walk. Today I am dragged onto the South Beach but I’m not up for a long walk. If there were more dogs around to sniff I might have wanted to stay but after a couple of stretches I dig my feet in and decide its time to go home. My thoughts are in Barry where all my doggy friends are.

My days are structured much like my human mum, I get out walking three times a day although two would suit me better. On one evening walk with Bampi I picked up a large clump of cut grass which I had planned to take home to play around with but the human tried to get it out of my mouth. I don’t like people trying to open my mouth or sticking their fingers down my throat so I bit him. As soon as I did it I was immediately sorry as he was jumping around looking for a hanky. He was not happy with me and he virtually dragged me home only to be put in the garden in the dark. After a couple of minutes he came looking for me but I had hidden from him under the garden table and I would not go to him. Nanny then came looking for me and after some persuasion I went back into the warm house with her where I spent the rest of the evening lying on her lap and completely ignoring Bampi.

Next day all was forgotten and we were friends again so off we went to Giltar Point, this is one of my favourite walks. For those dogs out there get your humans to park in Penally station car park, which is free, cross the railway line and follow the path to the headland keeping the MOD firing range on your right. No need for a lead as I run free and fast and there are loads of places to stop and sniff. The views of Tenby and Caldy Island from the top are beautiful. My favourite run is down the sandy cliff face from the top of the headland, through the wooded area to the beach below where a fresh water stream runs into the sea. When we do this walk I leave Bampi behind and watch from the beach for him to make his way slowly down the narrow path. When he catches up with me he says that the next day we will do it again as he has spotted loads of blackberries that Nanny would like to make a tart with.

My Ironman pup training also takes me to Manobier beach which is dominated by a castle overlooking the sandy bay with loads of rocky pools for me to explore. On the path leading to the beach I spot where a horse has left a huge mound of poo which I try to get to but I’m dragged away. There is something about horses and foxes poo that I am attracted to. On the beach I do find some and the race is on to avoid Bampi from catching me. I’m too fast for him while I dodge in and out of people sitting in their deck chairs and kicking up sand while they watch the sun go down. I know he is not happy but he leaves me to it while they both take a rest.

With one day to go before by human mother arrives, my Bampi goes off to play bowls so its Nanny’s turn to take me on my run. She decides to take me into the field alongside the house. The field is earmarked for housing development which is a shame as its a playground for many animals, birds and other wildlife but people need housing unfortunately at our expense. The field is big and Nanny does not like being in it by herself but I try to remind her that I will look after her but we still end up jogging around it.

I had a restless nights sleep as the next day my human mum was arriving. The day saw loads of activity in the kitchen as a chicken dinner was being prepared, which I always look forward to and the cooking of a blackberry and apple pie which I help pick on Giltar Point. Like myself my human mother gets spoiled when she come home. When she walked through the door I had so many hugs I knew she had missed me.

The day before Ironman Sunday we all walk down to town to visit the Expo tent to buy some goodies. I get myself an Ironman snood as a belated birthday present while the humans buy tee-shirts. Human mum and her friend then spent the afternoon relaxing playing pool badly from what I can see. My human mum leaves me later to go off to her hotel to chill out by herself and organize her kit for the big day tomorrow. I give her a great big kissie.

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It’s Sunday September 9th and the big day is here. I’m forced out of bed at 5.30am, dressed in my new Ironman snood and ready to go within a half an hour. Treats have been put into pockets and the long day begins.

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When we get to town I have never seen so many people, we have to make our way to the North Walk to watch my human mum swim the first leg of the Ironman which means walking through a forest of people that goes on for miles. I am only small and all these people are towering over me, I’m scared and what is making it worse is that I can hear cow bells, clappers and banging things going off. We finally arrive at our vantage point to see the swimmers take to the water. Its like watching a shoal of piranhas after a piece of meat, the water is boiling. My human mum is being tracked so we know she is doing well and is going to finish in a good time.

We leave the sea front to make our way into the town to see my human mum head for the bike transition station. I see here coming down the road and start barking but she is looking the wrong way but finally turns to wave to me. Now that I started barking I can’t stop so loads of treats are forced into my mouth. Some minutes later she passes on her bike but with so many people about she doesn’t see me.

With my mum now heading out into the country we head home, this is another mile walk all up hill for breakfast. I know that my training is going to pay off today. After a bowl of meaty delights and a little rest we are off again to the Bell’s Corner to watch the first bike riders come in heading for transition and the slower ones complete lap one. The race leaders are on the marathon leg of the race when my human mum comes into view on her bike which starts me barking again. She is doing well. After a period of barking at the bikes we decide to pop home for a drink.

Having had a short break we head back to town to see the leading runners. Again we head for the crowds which are scary. I am about to cross the road when a runner appears, I get excited and jump out and frighten the startled runner who was none other than the women’s champion Lucy Gossage. I was then put on a very short lead. Sorry Lucy.

I needed a rest by now and as my human mum had some time before her transition from bike to run I pulled my supporting family towards the Bowling Club. This is a “no dogs allowed club” but I get special treatment as I’ve been called a “squirrel” here since I was a little pup. I managed to get some sleep on the lap of the chairman before we go back out to cheer our human cyclist over the last 100 metres of the bike ride. Again I could not contain my barking on seeing her pumping the air with her fist knowing that she had cracked the hardest part of the race.

After a little wait my human was out of transition and heading out on her marathon run but not before she gave me a great big cuddle or as my Nanny would say a “cwtch”. With 4 laps of running in and out of town we set out for a vantage point not far from home. After getting some chairs to sit by the roadside I was getting tired and grumpy barking at all the runners so I was taken home for an hour to get some sleep.

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It was dark when the door opened and I had my lead put back on. We were off for the final stage of Ironman Wales. We got to a position on the finish line and with Bampi carrying me we waited for my best friend to complete a challenge she had trained for a year. I saw her as she hit the red carpet and barked as loud as I could, she had done it, I hear her name being shouted out….Georgie Lloyd you are an Ironman. I barked and barked my love. After loads of hugs and kisses we made the mile long walk home only for me to collapse on the rug at home and fall a sleep. I had done my Ironman and my human was a legend with the medal around her neck.

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