The dogs of spring

NICK BARNETT
Last updated 07:00 05/10/2012

Yesterday at the park I saw teams of puffing junior cricketers out training, warily unstiffening for the coming season. Between and each side of the training groups, at least a score of dog owners were striding around with their pets, grinning and marvelling that it was so bright and mild at 7 o'clock in the evening.

Such is the first week of daylight saving time for many a dog owner. Suddenly you can take the dog out for a walk after dinner, and still see where you're walking!

To mark this great shift in our routines, here are some dogs in the sun, in the shade, in the fresh air, in the water, in the sand - anywhere but indoors.

Meet Paddy, having a day at the beach and smiling with every part of her face.

Paddy

Another smiler in the sun is Lui.

Lui

Samba the Jack Russell/Huntaway cross is at Newdicks beach in the Bay of Plenty.

Samba

This glossy girl is named Lucy.

Lucy

Xanthe the Jack Russell/Foxy is made for the sunny months - she's super-energetic and loves running and tramping with her human companions. Being an independent spirit, she of course carries her own burden - a backpack containing food, snacks, and a poo bag.

Xanthe

Cinder the English Mastiff pup is another spring-lover, despite the frown.

Cinder

Sprout is out and about in the Waitakeres, and loving it. She's a Brussels Griffon.

Sprout

Perfect positioning: Charlie has the sun where he wants it, and the shade where he needs it.

Charlie

Meet calm, wise and well-mannered Pearl. Her owner, Alex, says he acquired Pitbull Pearl and her daughter Chloe from what he later learned was a puppy miller (and an abusive household). "Pearl has certainly been beaten and abused in her former life," says Alex. "She soon got over that when she realised she was in a safe environment when she moved in with me though."

Alex's Pearl

Trisha sent this picture of her German Shorthaired Pointers relishing the sun-warmed boards of her porch.

GSPs

This happy, high-leaping Staffy is named Reef.

Reef

Shadow is in her element.

Shadow

It's an excellent time of year for garden deconstruction, so Dudley and Mr Chipps pitch in.

Dudley and Mr Chipps

Hugo swims and fetches - who says males can't multitask?

Hugo

A sunny day, lots of water, and a mate - Snoopy and Rocky have all that a dog could want. Until it's dinner time.

Snoopy and Rocky

This is Jazz, in pursuit of a stick.

Jazz

Here's another Pearl, this time a (mostly) white one.

Pearl

Romi is the best kind of excuse for visiting the beach - often.

Romi

This cool customer is Zac, patrolling Papamoa beach.

Zac

Just stopping for a cup of tea... Storm, Merlin, Ben, Coby, Morgan and Millie are glad for a moment's rest. Baths tonight, I think.

Storm etc

Stellar and Harlem have detected some divine scent among the weeds...

Stellar and Harlem 1

...and here they are running back to the boss after an adventure.

Stellar and Harlem 2

Milo loves a big, flat expanse of green - perfect for testing his top speed.

Milo

This is a conga line, as achieved by dogs: slightly untidy, but in the correct general direction. The participants are Poppy, Josie and Lola.

Poppy Josie Lola

Finally, the race to the pond. I love this shot because it says so much about what gives joy to a dog - space, companionship, competition, and something wet to jump in. Great picture, Karen.

Race to the pond

Thanks to all for posting your photos. Please email me your own photos, or go to the Four Legs Good Facebook page and use the Upload Photo button. While you're there, browse through the 2000 photos that readers have posted by clicking the Photos link.

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