Health, beauty and fitness writer Lucia Ferarri – who has worked for Harpers Bazaar and London’s Evening Standard – writes her final blog for the Momo & Me series…
A chance encounter with a bossy but informative professional dog walker on the Putney embankment told me how well socialised puppies should meet “90 dogs in 90 days” and I couldn’t get this phrase out of my head.
Admittedly it could have been her elaborate dog walking attire (Bjorn Borg style towelling sweatband round the head and beige plus-fours) or her booming voice (Barnes residents two miles away could easily hear our conversation) but nevertheless the message hit home.
Momo must be off the lead more, meeting and greeting dogs and puppies of all shapes and sizes wherever possible.
The first time I let him off the lead in our local park I was of course terrified that he wouldn’t ever come back or that local bête noire, a Jack Russell called Tarte Tatin, would savage him. Pocketfuls of sliced chicken and Baby Bel meant of course he returned to me demonstrating (to others who couldn’t see the chicken) an exemplary recall and thankfully no altercations with the Jack Russell.
I also thought it beneficial to vary the walk location and combine with socialising. At one point I had so many weekly dog walks on the go I could have done with a PA or at least a spreadsheet. There was the sporty Monday morning “Putney/Hammersmith Bridges walk”, the Tuesday Holland Park Fashionistas (combined with lunch) and the Friday Besties in the park. And that’s not including the Sunday morning Tooting Bec Common stroll (while my daughter did a gymnastics class). The social possibilities were flooding in.
I was flattered but politely declined the offer from the Tooting Bec Lido Al Fresco swimming group who kept asking us to partake in the ‘honesty’ bar and hang out at the Sunday morning DJ session. Wasn’t sure how much Momo would enjoy it. And it would be a nightmare keeping him out of the pool.