Tuesday, 30 November 2010

That all familiar sinking feeling

A white and tan skinny butt retreating in the distance....Oh Swiftly dear are you laughing up there on your star( my friend named a star after her for me...I bet it was the brightest star out there and constantly on the move).

Flutey Tutey the lanky streak of devilment came to the horses with me, he is a very useful aid especially when it comes to mucking out...urm nice! Tonight though he had a bit of tottie with him called Roxy... so they were having a great time competing with each other to see who could eat the most and the freshest fastest. This gave me time to feed the girls give HellsBells her medicine and remind Zaffi she may like to drop kick Badgers, foxes and sheepdogs these two were not fair game.

Normally I don't like dogs to eat that much poop but in Lanky lugs he is a grab and run guy so my main priority is to get him to recall...even if that mean I have to let him eat allsorts of unmentionables and get him to bring them back to me. Usually this is socks, knickers and glasses in the house and dead animals and wool outside.

This brings me neatly to the sinking feeling...Recall. It is of course my own fault. I was bemoaning Bruce's dig about Flute being a future recall nightmare and I was determined to prove him wrong for my sake and also Flutes. So when I went for a walk Monday with Roxy and co I showed off a little with his recall for the magical Primula. One whistle and he stopped his snow play, ran as fast as his legs would carry him( it is handy having in build huge paws to act as snowshoes on the end of very long legs) back to his proud mum and uttered the fateful words....Bruce will eat his words what more do I need to do with a recall like that?

Good god slap me now have I learnt nothing in my time with dogs, don't get me wrong I didn't think for one second that I had a perfect recall...it's just I know to not ever brag about something your pup does. This is a sure way for them to prove you wrong, for a very long time.

Anyway getting back to the story, we finished up at the girls and headed up the bank( slowly as the snow was deep) and he spotted the jeep just as I called him. I could practically see him thinking...jeep means the play stops so I will just run straight past the jeep. So in true mummy style( Petnanny brain not only missed a beat I think it was having a nap)I just shouted louder as Roxy and Flute ran through the lovely quiet hamlet where the horses live...he ran into the gardens down the drives and here there and everywhere, stopping occasionally to see if I was chasing him.

Of course I was now shouting quietly, I know I don't know how that is possible but I was, trying not to let everyone know the Petnanny woman's puppy was running amok whilst she ran ungainly through the snow trying to not trample the plants anymore than they had already been. Now anyone who had met Swift would have been all familiar with the retreating skinny butt as she spent more time heading away from me than towards me.

Swifts fault was Flutes downfall...whereas I could never get through to Swift because of rabbits Flute came a cropper because of a rabbit. One of the gardens contained a rabbit hutch with a rabbit snuggly tucked up in bed...he stared and then looked back in amazement just as he was scooped up by a red faced, high stepping( well the snow is deep you know)indignant me. Ha thank you rabbits.

Lesson? Shut your gob, work harder and put him on a lead before the end of a walk. D'oh

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Group walking

I am guessing you wouldn't expect me to see a group of dogs and feel scared. If I am honest I wouldn't have expected it myself....here's the thing I felt real fear. Fear for what could happen and for Flute.

To come across 12 barking, cursing GSD's all off lead and all caught up in the excitement of a walk and realised how quickly a afternoon walk can turn into a nightmare. Did something happen? Not at all, thank goodness.

What made this so different from what we do?

Leads, we at least carry leads.
Control, of course we can't guarantee our guys are under control 100% all of the time but with six each at the most we know who to watch for and they know what the routine is when we meet people.
Exercise, our guys are walked and walked regularly yes they are still excited but it is excited about this walk rather than excited at A walk.
Fear, we fear that things could go wrong. Fear that we will show ourselves up and that we may upset someone...
We don't walk known aggressive dogs without muzzles or/and lines.

I had to stop myself lifting Flute up! All the possible scenarios where running through my mind and I could feel myself getting wound up. I felt such relief when I whistled at the little lad and he turned and ran straight at me( and the primula), without the dogs following him.

It is a revelation to me, I understand that a group of dogs can feel threatening but I always take great care....now I also understand how it feels to feel fear, it isn't nice.

I always thought knowledge helps to reduce fear, to be able to read the situation and act accordingly yet I now know that knowledge sometimes increases the fear. Great! So now I need to go away and have a good think.

Maybe this isn't new...I was always surprised when I was younger that the horse handlers who had the most experience, where the ones who took more care. I took it as fear or reluctance whereas it was likely to be sensible self preservation. Is this another example of balance? Oh I do find balance, consistency and patience to be so tedious on occasions! Once in a while I'd like to go by the seat of my pants, go in like a bull in a china shop and see what happens...

Next time I meet a old lady walking her plump pooch and she hurriedly lifts it up I will no longer feel so frustrated and upset I will remember how it feels to be worried and scared....

The empty bed

I just keep looking at the empty bed. I never saw it as Bucks bed, it was just a bed on the floor that the unfortunate dog who couldn't fit on the settee had to use as a last resort. Yet it is now the empty bed. Maybe Shy doesn't need to use it as he has the settee to himself as Flute rarely stops still long enough. Yes maybe its that. Yet even when I feed Shy on the floor he won't lie or stand on it.

If I move it is it making a bigger issue of it? Or should I just move it? Maybe I can wash it, again?

Its just a bed. The bed Buck used to lie on.

It visually shows how I feel that bed, not dramatic just a little odd. Just there.

Now I have mentioned it I am going to do something. It can't just sit there. I am going to put it into Flutes cage. Then Flute has a better bed to lie on and Shy doesn't have to skirt around it and I don't have to look at an empty bed.

I am happy looking at the grandad print and the sign above the door, they raise a smile, the long point nose and the dozy look on the greyhounds face riding in the wheelbarrow with the leeks in and the sign that summed Buck up in the latter years.....Agenda for the day: Let the dog out, let the dog in.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Photos from today at Waldridge Fell


Thursday, 18 November 2010

What can I say?

Have you ever known me stuck for words? Mmm doubt you have.

The thing is I just don't now how to say it. I just haven't been able to say.

Tuesday night Buck died.

After fourteen and a half years he is no longer an integral part of my life. He is now with Swift, sharing the field with Molly and Loki.

For once I am not going to tell you all about my boy, who he was and why I loved him. For once it is all about me and Buck. So this weekend I am not Petnanny, the phone won't be answered and I will just be me. I have never wanted my working week to end so badly, to just be home with my guys and no one elses.

Have a lovely weekend with the guys and I will see you as ever next week.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Anyone fancy a party?

I am hopefully going, anyone else....non snorty dogs very welcome which is just as well as Flute is about as unsnorty as you can get!

Praise indeed! I took the picture ' snug as a pug' into jayne's house while picking up oscar and hugo. Connie looked at it with those beautiful eyes

I wanted to show Jayne today the 'Snug as a Pug' print so I headed up the stairs as she was seeing to the lovely Connie.

I lifted up the picture and Connie looked with her beautiful eyes....she looked and looked then chirped 'ahhhh dog' and pointed down at Oscar and Hugo the pugs! What more could an artist want...

Funny how the opinion of a 11 month old is so important.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Tis a bit fresh today

Eek I felt like I needed a rope to hold onto today in the wind! Funnily enough the guys had a fab time and certainly it tired us all out.

The wind was so bad I didn't dare use the back doors so they all kindly helped me out by sharing the middle for a moment before being allocated their rooms.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Competition is good for you and good for your pup

Ah competition is my nemesis! I don't do competition therefore despite being a very good swimmer and swimming competitively as a child I never really cared about winning. There are occasions when I want to beat an individual( tonight I really wanted to beat a person but that is a WHOLE different story hehe) but rarely to win a competition.

Where is this going? Well to my eternal shame I have barely trained Flute, ok I have trained a lot but not in a formal lets sit down and train Flute kind of way. Then I get a lovely email from Flute breeder telling me all the things she has been training Rowley, Salley and Ghostie to do....Now I can't have Flutes brothers and sisters showing Tutey up now can I?

So I sat down and thought what I had been working on so far. Teaching his name, getting him to settle on his own, to travel in the car/ van. Mix with dogs. Recall, recall with distraction. We do a teeny weeny bit of recall. Mix with the horses. Ignore sheep and cattle. For an all terrain dog he can go pretty much anywhere he is happy to walk on most surfaces. Walk on leader. Sit, down and wait for his food. Leave.

Needless to say all these things are a working progress. Tonight we had a game then focused on the leave command so I can teach him to not pick up my knickers, socks and Bruce's slippers rather than have to swap them for something which is what we are currently having to do. Then we had a play at what he would offer me if I showed him a treat( called free offering). Well he sits then paws really high, next he lifts both paws up really high so I rewarded that, doesn't matter that is isn't really that useful, it's just cute. We had another go at targetting which is interesting when he is more of a snatch and run kind of boy. His down is hilarious....I am still luring him so I get him to sit( on a word command now) then lure him to a down which makes him throw both front legs high in the air then thumps down into a down wagging his tail furiously.

By now I have Buck doing his repertoire which is getting less and less as he forgets more but you can't knock an old lad for trying now can you? So this makes Flute more competitive which makes him more demonstrative so legs are flying all over the place and his dreaded gob starts. Then you hear a thump, thump, thump. Not it is Shys turn to make his presence known, thump thump hump his tail goes so he is rewarded for staying put and not butting in.

Soon after all the food and tickles have run out Buck is running in his sleep, Shy is cuddled up and Flute is sleeping taking all the new information in that he is learning. I love a tired puppy and lets hope if Lizzi keeps feeding me snippets of her good work with her pups I will have a well trained pup too!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A special moment

How is it that you need so few ingredients to make a day special for a dog.

Today all we had was the dogs, a wet soggy smelly bog and walk, me and him.

They ran, sloshed, sniffed all the way to happiness and you know they took me with them.

Oh and liver but I can honestly say I didn't share that with them..blurgh

Chocolate Bobster

I am hoping everyone will send loving thoughts to Chocolate Bobby as he either had a fit yesterday or passed out after choking....very traumatic for his owners so they could do with some healing thought sent their way. Glad to report he seems to have recovered and we are now waiting to find out if it is worth having tests done. ( posted on Facebook today)

    • profile.php.jpg

      Wasgraham Cuthbert Awww, poor Bobby, glad he's ok, that must have been so scarey, healing thoughts winging their way.........
      6 hours ago · · 1 person ·
    • Lizzi Egan poor bobby.. know what you are all going through,,, our healing thoughts sent your way ..xx
      6 hours ago · ·
    • Kim Leighton Hope Bobby is ok, and it isn't too serious - poor lad x
      5 hours ago · ·
    • Pat Grieve Sending lots of healling thoughts to Bobby and his owners xx
      4 hours ago · ·
    • Justine Wilkie sending good thoughts........x
      4 hours ago · ·

Saturday, 6 November 2010

X factor

As I sit here and watch X Factor I groan. A long drawn out, tired groan.

It isn't just the dire singing, the horrendous stage effects and the fact the judges and audience seem to hear something far removed from what I can hear. It is the background music of a certain big eared, loud mouthed little treasure who is having a, not so quiet, tantrum in the corner. To add to this cacophony of sound Hugo the pug then kicks off with what can only be described as carking. Yes carking, you couldn't possibly call it barking as it is more a coughing sound with his whole body lifting off the floor.

Oh and did I mention a grumpy ol' bloke in the corner, who is actually being very tolerant, going steadily more puce. No pressure then to shut the little baggage up.

At this point I do a check list; has he had enough exercise, does he need food, drink or toilet, has he had enough him time? The list goes on and you know it is all ticked off. I know what he wants...he wants me. I am not being egotistical he just wants some aggravation and to play, run and do all the things pups want. Unfortunately he can't have endless play session that just isn't what his life will be about.

So this is about frustration, waiting for an opportunity to let him have a good energy burning session once he stops demanding, stropping and throwing Aardvark out of his pram! So I am waiting. Hugo is still joining in with his odd carking intermittently and my patient ol' man has gone to bed whether that was down to Wagner or Flute the jury is still out.

Now we are watching Subo I never really got the whole Subo phenomenon ( I still say that word in a sing song voice saying it in time to the muppet tune....phenomenon dumdumdedumdum). Yes she was a surprise but really is she a worldwide celebrity? Why can't someone with a good voice look like a bogstandard wifey from down the street?

Stop, shhhh it has gone quiet! Dare I lift the cover that now is draped over his cage partly to muffle the noise and partly to deaden the stimulous of the coming and goings of the room. No I best wait a moment longer....do I praise him for being quiet? Uhoh there are still some mutterings coming from within, oh poor lovey lion is now receiving a thrashing for just being there. Ah I almost miss him being humpy lion at least Flute was shattered after giving him some action!

And so it starts again. Soon he will need a wee maybe that will break the cycle.

Haha I do admire him for his tenacity, he has systematically gently tugged the cover and now it has flumped ( I don't care if it is not a real word it's my blog!) onto the floor and he is massaging my ear drum.

Shy has plodded up to the top bedroom to lie on the sheepskin rug in peace and Buck lies here oblivious his deafness a real bonus on this occasion. The pugs are worn out after a good ol' wrestle and are now joining in with the noise by panting in their unique snorty way...soon it will turn to snoring.

If my eyes are drooping why aren't his?

Right time for plan 100! I chink the food dishes, feed the guys and wait....all is quiet so I dash in, let him out and he's off lie a bullet running around the gravel in the dog garden, round and round he goes past the first obstacle then clatters into the patio frame, he doesn't pause he is too full of go. He bounces into Nippers pen, slides past the coal bunker then dives on the door. Urm time for a walk I think dark or no dark this pup ain't for sleeping so night night and wish me luck in the beautiful way out village in the country where the only noises are the cows, owls and a certain big eared loud mouthed little baggage...oh and me quietly groaning into my wellies!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Do you like to treat your cat to tuna?

Did you know cats shouldn't be fed tuna?

Surprised? So was I. Well at least years ago I was surprised when my vet had told me NEVER to feed "people" tuna to my cat. I never questioned why, I have this habit of listening to what my vet says much of the time without question so....I never fed either of my cats tuna.

Lately while reading other cat blogs that I follow, Facebook comments and reading various updates on Twitter, I am reading more and more about people serving their cats tuna, for purposes of this blog when I am referring to tuna I am referring to "people" tuna, "human" or "hooman" (if you are an "anipal") tuna, NOT tuna flavored cat food, got it? Good. Now that we are on the same page, STOP FEEDING YOUR CAT PEOPLE TUNA....NOW!


"Cats can develop yellow fat disease from having too much tuna" (from
http://www.connollyac.com/) "Yellow fat disease occurs most commonly in young, overweight male and female cats with inappropriate diets." "Yellow fat disease is an inflammation of the fat tissue in the body due to a deficiency of Vitamin E. Dr.Richard Brancato (a Clearwater, Florida veterinarian) says "although it is (tuna) high in protein, tuna lacks sufficient amounts of certain amino acids, mainly taurine, to maintain feline health. There is insufficient calcium to balance the phosphorus; the ratio in canned tuna is 1-to-14.8 This results in bone disease."

From Yahoo.com "the most you should do is to use the WATER that is drained off from the can of tuna (not the OIL...for another reason), and drizzle it over their dry cat food once or twice a MONTH. They'll think they died and went to cat heaven...but without the danger".Another vet from Yahoo.com said "I've had to treat numerous cats over the years for pretty severe enteritis resulting from eating tuna meat. One of my own babies got so ill from it when someone else left it sitting out on the counter for 5 minutes while he turned his back to take a phone call, that I had to put her on IV fluids for 2 days, in addition to intestinal medications"

"Tuna-FLAVORED food is okay.....Tuna meat.......BAD! How many cats do you know that go swimming in the ocean to catch tuna and eat it as part of their natural diet?"

Oakland County resident Caren Gittleman is a freelance writer who loves cats. Her blog is a labor of love dedicated to the memory of her first cat (Bobo) who lived until the age of 18. She now has a silver gray tabby (Cody) and a Sheltie (Dakota). Caren holds a degree in Rhetoric & Communication from Kent State University. She worked in Advertising at Ohio's largest newspaper (The Plain Dealer) for 21 and a half years before moving to Michigan in 2001.

Tuna + Cats = NO!!!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Murphy Mission

We have a new mission!

Some of our dogs definitely need help with desensitising to perceived scary situations so we have a mission to help you guys along.

So Murphy has already learnt to go through, under and over obstacles( just as well he's a little too big to carry over). He now ties up although with a chain leader as he chews anything else.... He copes with all livestock we have shown him so far and we can walk him up and down busy shopping areas. He will be stroked by men now and today was vet day. No seeing a vet just walking him around whilst the were busy, coping with a slippery floor and new people coming and going. Flute doesn't like the vet so he went to meet the girls again. Went in shaking came out wagging!

I look forward to taking the two black lumpadors for some shopping area walks so they can learn to relax and enjoy the attention.