At the beginning of November 2005 we brought Rosie home with us from The Dogs Trust. (See earlier post for more on Rosie). We used to go out into our enclosed back garden which had a big lawn and play with her, throwing balls for her to retrieve (she never liked that game) and just running and playing with her. Then it got a bit too cold to play in the garden (which is in the shade during the winter months) so we often took her to the beach, which she loved.
The following spring we started playing in the garden again but it was quickly obvious that there was something wrong! Rosie no longer wanted to play on the lawn. She would go out to poo and wee but wouldn’t play. She loved running after her toys (not balls, though) in the house and I made it a point to have a game with her every day in the house as well as going to the beach. Rather unfortunately, the beach became a no-no if there were other dogs there as Rosie seemed to be very aggressive with them and eventually we had to give up taking her there.
In 2015 we gave our garden a complete make-over with raised beds, a ‘wildflower meadow’, a seating area and a much smaller lawn. The lawn itself was returfed and for a short while it seemed that whatever the problem had been, it had gone! But, sadly, not for long. Within a few weeks Rosie again refused to ‘play’ in the garden.
Come forward now to June, 2018. Rosie has been gone since March, 2017 and Lola has come to try to mend our broken hearts. She is small and sweet and *loves* to play on the lawn. She runs and chases her toys, sometimes bringing them back and sometimes taking them to another part of the garden.
We were able to get good use of our garden but, SUDDENLY, a couple of weeks ago, that all stopped. I noticed that if I threw a ball for Lola she would chase it across the grass but come back atop the wall of a raised bed or via the seating area.Now she *might* go onto the grass for a moment or two but rush back to the raised verandah next to the house.
When we had Rosie I spent a load of time researching what could be the cause of her dislike of the lawn. There don’t seem to be chiggers here like there were in Ohio, though she did sometimes have raised itchy spots on her tummy. One vet thought she must be allergic to something in the garden but we couldn’t figure out what it could be. Now, it seems very unlikely that Lola, a totally different type of dog, would have the same allergy as Rosie but what else could it be?
NB: When we are out with Lola, and when we took Rosie out, both would walk on other grass quite happily.
Perhaps there is a botanist out there in blog world who has an idea or an entomologist who can give me a clue. We have a lovely garden which we enjoy sitting and working in but we want Lola to enjoy it too. Could it be an allergy and if so, to what? Could there be a little bug that likes biting dogs? (The cats next door often sat happily in the sun on our lawn – between losing Rosie and getting Lola)
If you know what it is or have an idea, please let me know. We would be so grateful, especially Lola!