It’s still a week and a half until Grenson gets his final jabs and is, at last, allowed out for an actual walk. Until then I am having to carry him around the streets, which is not only causing people to stare and enquire about his health, but also making me feel a little like Paris Hilton (admittedly wearing pink isn’t helping!).
Anyway, I’ve been reading Puppy Raising Made Easy by Di Williamson and it has now become a bit of a bible for me. I’m clicking and treating away like a mad man wherever we go. Touching wood and crossing fingers, all is going well so far. The boy has done good in his first two weeks with us. However, the vital piece of advice that I have picked up from this book concerned ‘socialisation’ (chapter 3). Within this chapter Di states that even before the full vaccinations have taken place ‘you cannot sit at home with your puppy in isolation’. In fact, she goes on to say ‘a new puppy is the best excuse I can think of for giving your social life a boost. It is also an excuse to go to the pub!’…What’s that you say Di?? I should go to the pub?? God bless you Di, it is a wonderful book indeed!
And so we did the only thing we could do, we went to the pub:
Here we are settled down in our local pub The Station Hotel in Hither Green.
To say The Station Hotel is dog friendly would be an understatement. Next to the jars holding peanuts, wasabi peas and pistachio nuts, you’ll find a jar full of these little beauties:
Halfway through my very enjoyable pint of Guinness, the barman came over with two of these complementary dog biscuits (I’m pretty certain that Grenson is never going to let me take him in there again without procuring him at least a handful of these tasty treats). It was a timely intervention. His first pub visit was on the whole very encouraging, but at this very point he had become slightly restless. He started to climb up around my shoulders – at first I thought he was simply a little scared and wanted to get closer to me (ahhh, bless him), but then he climbed right over me and onto the windowsill behind and I realised he just wanted to see outside! Anyway, the biscuits helped greatly in bringing his attention back to the inside of the pub.
And it’s a pub that deserves attention. The Station has been our local for over 10 years but it is only in recent years that it has been a pub I enjoy visiting. Before the refurbishment it was a ‘chicken in a basket’ type place that you may get stuck in if you didn’t leave quickly enough…and by that I mean you ran the risk of the soles of your shoes sticking to the carpets! Now it is all changed with a refurbished main bar area incorporating a railway station waiting room vibe and a huge eating area. Going for a meal with Grenson is a way off yet, but from previous experience I know that the food is good hearty grub. Past the restaurant area is a large garden, lovely in the summer, especially if you can get one of the beach hut-style seating areas filled with a party of friends. As soon as Grenson can go on the floor I think he’ll enjoy a summer evening in the beer garden.
The beer selection is excellent with an ever-changing choice of real ales. The only negatives are that getting served during busy times can be difficult (although a puppy in my arms may help to get the bar staff’s attention), and they could also do with a bit more seating for people who aren’t interested in a meal and simply want a beer. But again, it’s only a problem during very busy periods.
On the whole it is a thoroughly good pub and an excellent first pub for Grenson. He definitely seemed to like it. Which just goes to show that bribery does work!
Thanks for ordering us to go Di.
The Man and the Dog.