Due to other commitments, things didn’t get done on time yesterday so I ended up eating later than usual and only having time for a quick visit to Arkwright’s shop where Granville was adapting the shop bike by means of a lawnmower engine. Needless to say, the motor fell off the bike before he managed to go out on his maiden run.

I slept inside but with the fan pointing my direction as it seems the dogs were mostly on the floor so not using it. For some reason, I woke up at 03:00, got up and turned it around, away from me as I was cool enough. I was asleep when the alarm went off at 04:30 but I’ve not quite got used to the different alert tone. I do like the way the watch display gives a battery readout and the current outdoor temperature also the watch face transforms into a huge digital display which is nicely dimmed.

We managed to get out in a reasonably timely fashion to discover just a couple of vehicles parked in the beach car park and no FreeLoaders to be seen. We followed our usual routine but I sent a text to Sascha to see if he was up and out with Zora and wanted to join us for the river valley walk.

We walked up the track as it’s easier and there are not too many distractions to have to avoid. VGD was interested and unmotivated remaining quiet during and after our passage. Perhaps the thought of a walk with that lot is more than he could contemplate.

When BullDozer Man approached up the track I had time to organise the dogs into a convenient space by the roadside. Of course, one dog, a certain female to narrow it down, decided to approach his Mitsubishi as he drove slowly by. She returned when I called her back. He drove by and parked further up near to his machine. When we arrived at his van I could see why he wanted to be close. The back of the van was full with what I assume to be around a dozen twenty-five-litre plastic drums of diesel. I now understand why he was approaching so slowly up the track. It would have been less than amusing if he’d had an accident on the road!

We continued on our way as far as the 2.5km marker which is an olive tree where the track forks. We turned around at this point although Isabella sloped off to partake of some of the rotting carcass I’d hoped to avoid.

We set off down the river bed which has been mostly bulldozed up to that point so it’s easier to make progress. I had one eye open for Sascha and Zora but Isabella spotted the two ladies and their dogs walking up the track before me. She climbed the steep sides of the river bed to get a better view then stood calmly by as we had our conversation. The ladies remembered me from the camping where they’d visited a couple of years previously. It’s hard not to spot me as there aren’t too many people who walk seven dogs in the Grammeno area. All of the dogs retained their composure despite two alien dogs being on the track above them. I’d like to say it’s my magnetic personality and brilliant training however it’s really down to Mr SportDog’s remote training collars. The couple commented on the calmness of the dogs but I gave away my secret.

We continued to the beach where some dogs swam. The chat had delayed us a little and I wanted to drop the vacuum cleaner to Sascha before going for a swim. It needed the bag replacing as it was not only nearly full but smelly! I didn’t get to swim until gone 08:30 so got on with it. For some reason, I ended up swimming around the little island off the Small Beach even though it’s very rocky and shallow in places. My swim was a record-breaker for me as I burned over 1,650kJ – wow! It was a great day for swimming as the sea was flat, the sky blue and the sun shining merrily.

It was well past nine so I let out the dogs before standing under the hosepipe for a shower and to wash my shorts.

I noticed an email from the guy who was selling the SportDog collar on eBay. He’d had an offer greater than mine so I thought I’d heard the last from him but I did say he should come back to me if the other deal fell through. He came back to say he’d accept my offer and post out the collar today if I paid for it immediately. I was happy to do this as someone had already bid up to £100 and I was pretty sure it would make over £200 if the auction were to finish. After much messing around, he changed the auction into a Buy It Now so that I could complete the transaction on eBay. The plan was for him to send an invoice so that I could pay via direct bank transfer which is quick, painless and avoids PayPal charging the seller a fee for collecting the money and passing it on. Sadly for the seller, the BIN sale only allows immediate payment via PayPal so he will have to pay the eBay final amount fee and the PayPal payment processing fee. The good thing about eBay and PayPal is that it’s reasonably safe and secure but they like to take their cut.

The seller had said in the original listing that he’d only post to UK however I persuaded him to ship to me in Crete with me paying the shipping fee, naturally. With all the messing around with the auction, he tells me that eBay has put a hold on the cash so he has to sort that one out too. From his feedback, he doesn’t appear to have done much selling only buying. Some of the listing options can become a little complicated.

As and when this collar and transmitter finally makes it to me, it will be destined for Skinny as it has a range of 1,200 metres so even with his speed, I’ll still be able to keep control of him. He can also go underwater to a depth of 7.5m (unlikely) and I can add another five collars to the transmitter even though I will have only four remote collars plus the bark collar. I’ve not let on to Luis that I have no control over the bark collar so he’s still being obedient as well as not barking. It’s so pleasant not to have Luis and Oskar’s barking outbursts and Luis’ excited yapping when I feed them in the evening. I’ll not keep them on the collars so long once the camping has only a few customers. If only Georgia would get at least one baek collar to stop her dogs from barking at nighttime, it would make my life more pleasant during the winter.

Other activities today included preparing the Doggy Dinners and macerating the result. I still think it looks unattractive but they like it which is what matters.

I think that’s the extent of the exciting news for today…

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