Friday, 25 March 2011

More Bonnets


Shy is, as ever, a shy retiring kind but not wanting to seem grumpy has joined in.
Years of selective breeding have gone into my makeup and this is the result.
Only Joking I think it is mint!
Tumble likes his at a jaunty angle!

Tumble even went for a little garden jaunt in his!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

What it all means

What another beautiful day! In someways it has just made me sadder though.

Whilst heading to the van to get the nail trimmers out I spotted an old lady with an even older dog walking the road. Even then I knew there was a lost look about them. The little dogs was clearly exhausted and whilst the lady was walking strongly there was a hesitancy about her. I said hello and said hello to her lovely old boy and realised she was not only lost but very confused.

After a quick chat of which I understood so little I asked her if she wanted a lift home as Twice ( the little old dog) was clearly past the point of walking. She gratefully accepted and as I helped her in the van, shouted at Sam I was disappearing for a while and popped Twice onto her knee. It was then that I noticed Twice's collar and tag, hurrah at least I knew where they lived now. Once we pulled into the street you could tell she knew this was her street and I knew exactly which house was hers without the number.....her door was standing wide open.

One of Sam's favourite adverts is the 'Randoms' sweet advert where they use random words to explain something. This was just how it was with this dear lady. Only the advert is funny and I felt nothing but sadness. We fear losing so much through life yet to lose your very mind( whatever that means) is such a cruel event...I struggled to understand her which must have been very frustrating, I did feel relief at the fact she wasn't frightened.

Once home I checked the house as she headed upstairs to see if everything was ok....Twice delicately hopped up on to his sofa and sighed gladly, pleased to rest. What to do now?! I had thought if we couldn't find her home I could take her to the police station but what now? I couldn't just leave so I started to quietly look for contact details asking her if she had family.

As part of what we do, we see snippets of peoples lives that many never see yet I felt like I was intruding, intruding into her small bit of security she obviously knew her house so how would she feel when I started to go through her things. I made appropriate noises when she talked about the animals outside the window in the big tinkywinkys, tried not to flicker when she said for me to take everything because the old ladies would put their feet up on me. Soon I found a contact for a carer.

So now all I had to do was wait, I made a cup of tea and poured some orange juice out for her then freshened up Twice's water which he immediately enjoyed.

We sat two strangers...I watched as she chatted quietly to Twice, stroked his tired faded fur and started to chat about her life. She said quite clearly she was a bigwig Doctor in university, a bigwig who was very good and really clever. A different time, a very different person then, I doubt she would recognise the woman she is now back then.

The carer arrived and she thanked me and explained there were no family, no links to her past life that there was the Dr and Twice.

We think we need our guys now, I love my guys so deeply yet what I feel doesn't even touch what Twice is to the Dr. She doesn't forget who he is, he doesn't care if she talks to him using random words at random times. He just feels a kind hand, company and the security of someone always there. I thought she was lost when I met her but it nothing compared to how she would be without her little old man Twice.

I hope they stay safe and that Twice remains well and comfortable until the time comes for him to leave.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


Isn't it funny that you can be told something that spells certain heartache can also make you stop and take note.

This has happened to me and Shy. When Shy lived with Swift and Buck he was always the playful one yet he was always the one who was always in the background. Being in the background is hard when you are so brightly coloured, those eyes always shone out and sucked people in. If Shy could choose a colour he would be flat black, be unremarkable.

When Swift died his role barely changed though he was a little more cheeky. Soon though Buck's dementia meant constant movement, disorientation which meant Shy retreated a little more. His sore legs and feet meant he couldn't have that daily dose of escapism, the rush of air, the cacophony of smells. How must it have felt not to be able to run, run your tension away, run just because you can. I missed his shining eyes and his wide grin after a hard run.

Then my loss was his gain, Buck dying brought Shy into the fore. Was it his time to shine? I just don't know something changed, despite having a young pup in the house Shy changed. He came and told me he wanted a walk even if it mean the couldn't get comfortable that night, even if it made him ache. He demanded hugs, something he always got but never asked for.

It has taken time for us to manage his pain, only to then have to deal with his kidneys. Yet this has also helped as his new diet suits him. Actually any food suits Shy just fine but his food feeds his body, it eases his limbs and has made him giddy.

So what has changed since the diagnosis of his heart failure? I don't know. Could it be Flute? Shy has a low tolerance to dogs yet Flute is his little mate, a sniff and tentative groom in the morning is a gentle ritual I never thought I'd witness. The almost embarrassed air when they try a spot of tug with each other. He even gives up his food for Flute.

Shy was the deciding factor in getting an Ibizan. He is a playful dog, he gets giddy, goony and loves a joke. I love lurchers but wanted a fun type sighthound rather than the more serious type like Buck( my deep deep little lad who was pure athlete).

So I am enjoying every second, I revel in the daft old sod running to the door, pushing past me and standing at the gate with a wag. He runs in such ungainly fashion out on to the green always checking back to see that I am there to share the moment.

Tonight will stay with me forever. It wasn't one of those big events just a moment in time that fixes in your mind. Shy was no longer an old man tonight, he was pure sighthound. We walked down the lane Shy sniffing all the way, he paused fascinated at the pile of rabbit fur( farm dogs caught the mixy rabbit). One sniff transformed him once again into a sighthound and he wanted to run. Like a sniff of catnip to a cat he was buzzing. We headed for the green where his eyes were shining and I waited for what came next. He looked back with that silly grin and he ran. Ran head up, legs all over and slow as a gimpy westie but it didn't matter. He was once again an athlete running and feeling like every running dog feels. Is it the freedom? Maybe it is the adrenalin, I don't know all I know is my boy felt like Shy once again, not the ageing old boy with a dicky heart and knackered legs.

He is sleeping now and his legs are twitching his eyes flickering and I wonder what he is chasing in his dreams?

I stroke his still shining coat, watch him run and smile….I must go for a gallop soon, just to feel alive, just to feel the freedom and to be a little bit scared!

More easter bonnets

Ted ( The pomeranian PomPom that we found on the side of an A road)


Thursday, 10 March 2011

More Easter Bonnets

Minnie and Mickey


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Photos uploaded

After having the bright idea of taking Willow out on a walk in my arms for some experience I set off. Now this isn't unusual as all of our part vaccinated pups are taken out to see, smell and hear the sights safely out of harms way. The only thing was I went on a normal walk with Flute and didn't have my haversack to pop her in so was literally carrying her in my arms....Argh after 20minutes I was struggling! By the time I got back to the van 45mins later I was shattered haha.

Never mind it was all worth it as she is becoming less noise sensitive and was impatient to get down rather than cowering away like the last time.

Oh what a hoot the guys were at Waldridge! They were clearly bouncing out of their skins and impressively they were being very good so I decided there was only one thing for it.....A toy ring, a very steep hill and just for fun a load of heather. Oh my word did I have tired pups at the end! All are more than fit enough to cope with this so it was nice to see them completely and utterly spent!

I hope you enjoy the photos

Update on Flute and Shy

Rossi and Flute
Flute and Shy sharing snooze time

Having a mooch
Shy holding on best he can with very few teeth!

Shy, despite his late stage heart failure, is doing what the Howlett dogs always do and ignoring any diagnosis's and having a ball. He is loving his trips to the horses the door is always open on the vehicle so he can hop in anytime he needs to rest or feels scared. This means he can mooch, tootle and sniff to his dodgy hearts content. Its wonderful to know he is getting so much from such a simple trip. The past few days he has even asked to go out of our yard and actually go for a walk so walk we have.

An even more exciting event has been Shy's willingness to play with Flute, it is only for a short while and is still tentative but this is a first for Shy he doesn't play with other dogs.

Flute? Well he makes me laugh daily, his recall is coming on a treat obviously I know this is something that will always need work. He loves the cat Tumble and usually alarms every visitor we have by grooming him manically. Why does this alarm people? Flute walks over and grooms tumble so hard he keels over then he grooms his head finishing off by gently holding Tumble in his mouth. All the while Tumble is purring frantically and grabs him if he tries to stop...very funny to watch when you know Tumble isn't in immediate danger!

He is starting to feel his feet or rather the two features that are exclusive to boys....he even growled at Rossi when he went near his bone so I am looking forward to the next chapter of Flutes life( of course I am not looking forward to it they are often a pain in the bum!)...Teenager oh joy! Today he confirmed my prognosis by thieving Esther's brand new muzzle from the front of my van( curse those long legs) and neatly dispatched it.


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Izzy the high performance van!

Well I have been brave and had a performance chip fitted to Izzy and next week Lily will be going in for a chip and new cd player.

I made the decision not to get a new van in spring as I had a project in hand, as it is the project hasn't come off so in the meanwhile Lily is having a spruce up before I make a decision on when to get Sam a different van.

Having the chips fitted will also hold off any extra charges, the diesel is sky rocketting and if hey perform as expected it will go someway to ease some of the costs. I am impressed so far the van is feeling like a car and she is positively cruising!

The field has had a bit of an overhaul with all hands and paws helping on Wednesday, the top fence was needing redoing and the temporary fence at the bottom removed. I am aiming to floor the bottom of the stream in the wood with paving stones so the guys can get to the fresh running water without coming out looking like bog monsters. That is the plan anyway.

We are also hoping to plan some more trees down there it is lovely to see all the creatures taht live there so it will be nice to see more. There are also a couple of the dead trees that over hang on the road that need removing. I would love to have more fun equipment there but it is unfortunately just feeding the thieves...last year our thistle jabber and ragwort fork were pinched so agility equipment would be snatched up in days.

My journey to work has become the dance of the hares with me having to avoid on average two hares a day on the first stretch of road one of the hares was fed by me on the worst days of the snow and he looks to be growing well but his ears are so short! Flute could show him a thing or two when it comes to lugs. I have also noticed a small number of red squirrels on a interlinking bit of woodland just past the hare dance road. Hopefully these young squirrels will do well and link up with the Hallington Ponds group.

I am waiting for Sam and Alex to decide a theme for our next charity dress up theme so that could be fun! Easter is late this year so it gives us plenty of time to plan for our egg rolling event for the guys they loved it last year so it will be lovely to do the same again this year.

Well I am sure to have forgotten something! Ah well a round up of some of the goings on in Petnanny!

Easter Bonnet competition

We are holding an Easter Bonnet competition just for fun, please join in it is so much fun!

Please feel free to send me any photos of your little darlings in easter bonnets and I will post on here and facebook.
I look forward to seeing them!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Lost dog

Whilst out on a walk with Julie( Takoda's mum) and Kim ( Mac's mum) my phone droned on mercilessly so despite the dire signal I finally answered to be met with a cheery gentleman exclaiming he had found my dog! My instant reaction was of course to look down and check how many dogs I had. Six, phew. Next I looked internally, as you do, did I lock the van, could Sam have lost a dog?

I then remembered I hadn't asked where, what kind and who it might be. Thoughts of all the possibilities came to mind and I realised some of our guys have my name on the disc as well as their owners not to mention the ones who have no discs on so I pop a red heart Petnanny disc which of course carries my mobile number. The gentleman mentioned it was a border terrier cross Yorkie which confused me even more as I have borders not crosses so wondered if it could be Mitzi a lovely little dog I rehomed but why would she have my number still on her disc!

By now Kim and Julie were just staring at me and the dogs had followed suit. They looked at me trying to decipher my facial expressions of complete confusion to deep though to the slow dawning realisation! I then asked where he was as I had presumed he was near me at Beamish....nope he was miles away and sure enough he had found Tallulah....

Just as I realised he had indeed found Tallulah, her mum was phoning me so the mystery was solved and owner and dog reunited phew minor panic over!

Is your disc up to date, do your guys have a disc on and have you kept your dogs microchip updated? I can't cope with the excitement so please check haha.