Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Flute and Tips love their raw meaty bones from  the butchers.  The bones we usually give for house chewing are knuckle bones as they tend to chew the softer honeycombed part rather than the leg bone.  even when the meat is long gone they do like just lying and gnawing on them.  Only this time I hadn't noticed Tutey had managed to chew right through the honeycombed bit and made a loop then got his bottom jaw stuck.
Oh goody.
Now aren't I pleased the time I spend teaching our guys to accept us around their mouths, cleaning their teeth etc!  I admit there was a moment of panic with me envisioning a long trip to the vet with Flute backflipping over the stuck bone them having to saw it off ( in a dramatic fashion or worse under anaesthetic).  I calmly asked Bruce to help and he wiggled it as I held onto a quivering whimpering lanky dog.  To no avail we went for the big guns and brought out the dremmel....
Our house now smells of singed bones ( thankfully not of singed dog) and Flute went round giving kisses to me, Bruce then Shy and then flopped in front of his brother for an ear wash.  After a cuddle he then looked in vain for his bone.  
Resilient little sods they are, aren't they!?

Saturday, 21 April 2012


The morning started with worried looks and anxious movements.  He rushes past, checks outside before daring to head out then checks as he comes back in.

You want them to have a carefree time, only having to worry about when there next treat is coming or when there next tootle outside will happen.  You don't want them to feel unsafe.

We have a friend staying a friend who makes him feel scared in his own home.  Its not what the friend does it is about his inability to jump up and run away if anything should happen.  If you legs won't do as they are asked how can you feel safe.  Is this how older people feel when they can't get their body to work as it should and could, the fear of a fall.

His right leg is a mere spelk with the nerve firing off inconsistently yet manages to help get the boy on the settee.  His left leg isn't up to supporting his scrawny little bot and his front legs are planning on retiring.

Then he sleeps a deep comforting sleep.  Where he can run as fast as the rabbits he chases or the bitches that play games.

When he wakes up his housemates are playing hide and seek with a rabbit ball and his fear has gone.  His heart might be pounding and skipping a beat but that ball is just a delight, the smell of it the feel of it and best of all because his housemates want it and can't have it.  Not when the boy has it.  Those blue eyes are shining again, the legs are still heading off in different directions but who cares the spirit is flying.

Life with an old boy, in fact each day with an old boy seems to be filled with fear and dread, the dread that never goes away, the inevitability.  Yet those moments of joy are unlike any other, the delight of a pup playing doesn't fill me with the delight I feel when I see my boy eyes shining bright and gambolling along.

So here's hoping there are more moments of sheer delight  and less of those fearful wobbly moments.  Gotta go time for marrowbones, a slice of cheese and a snog on the settee.

Sometimes walking dogs for a living can take the shine out of walking your own.  It becomes a function a necessary job that needs doing.  I have to stop, take a breath and remember to enjoy the view!

Then of course I have to throw the non recall into the mix!  So I can handle 30 plus dogs all of which recall and my two don't have a recall.  Flute is by far the worse but still non recall it is.

That makes for a somewhat frustrating walk.  I know the fault is mine although isolating it isn't very easy.  Of course they are a breed known for their high drive.  So what to do?

Have fun. And lots of it.

It started with chicken fillets, hotdogs, mature cheese and cooked offal.  I offered food like this for anything at all I liked, and offered a lot of it.  I then offered more food with lots of snuggly cuddles that involved then getting close and tight.  All this was done whilst on a lead or safe areas like the garden( pre Rabbit and pre Mouse)we succeeded.  

So we progress to stepping outside of the field and playing ball.  The playing ball started in the horses field, getting so excited every time they showed any enthusiasm…..so once we stepped outside of the safety zone with heart pounding ( think sheep, farmer gun and hound) I throw the ball squealing.  They bring it back and now it is down to timing and the odd hotdog chicken combo.  As soon as minds wander its treat time ball goes back and we head home.

At home is a little harder cos the Mr Grumps indoors isn't so keen on any play in the house ( well canine play anyway hehe).  We wait for the moment, we all know those moments when they go out  and we own the house, the remote and freedom reigns.  I bring out the ultimate.  

Rabbit skin ball.  

They sit.

I hide 

I whistle just once and I hear nails digging up carpet as two frantic Pods ( Abbreviation of Podenco Ibicenco) hunt me down all in the name of rabbit ball.

They find me and Rabbit ball is flung, hunted down and returned for one last throw.

Back in my hand we head back to the lounge.

They sit 

I hide

And off we go again, with their eyes shining, tongues lolling and occasionally giving tongue excitement getting the better of them.

All in the name of recall!

Wish us luck we have a long fun time ahead of us.  Wonder if Mr Grumps will notice the dug up carpet on our made up racetrack?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

A mini jaunt

A short trip away with dogs tends to take a fair amount of planning at the best of times and when those dogs are in their twilight years sometimes a little more planning is needed if only to make you have all the necessary meds required. Then its remembering all their food, bowls, beds, leads and collars. How many of us remember to have a emergency vets number or your vets number handy in case anything happens and you need to pass on details of your little treasures foibles? Many do but where to start how to find out?

So you've packed everything up and remembered to not leave the dog behind of course ( as if they'd let you) and the excitement begins.

Only what happens when the excitement turns to unease when you realise one of your little treasures isn't well. The unease grows to panic and dread.

This time everything was in place, the caravan site was a dog friendly place and they had the emergencies vets number 24 hour cover. A good forty minutes drive and the worst possible news. The long drive back to your little treasure waiting patiently for his little mate to come back to continue on the little holiday jaunt. A little reunion that doesn't happen.

The next morning comes and the first solo walk happens, past the two little working cockers in the caravan next door, past the barking westie and you dread bumping into someone in case they ask. You don't want to hurry your little treasure and it isn't just the cold wind that makes your eyes sting.

When you get back and dry his feet you notice a card. A sympathy card.

A day old friendship, unknown and unseen. Born from mutual appreciation and love. A card to say sorry that you lost your little treasure.

A simple good morning, what is your lovely dog called and watching from the caravan window you entered a little club…where people understand a little of your life, share a common thread and of course a common dread. The empathy when you lose one and the knowledge and relief they weren't the ones suffering this time yet that time will come and everyone knows it.

The mini break is coming to an end and you have that journey home, a sad return where reality has changed and coming home brings that in sharper detail yet you have to remember you aren't alone. For everyone who could never know there are as many who do.

You aren't the only one missing that little treasure, she touched so many people whilst marching along living her wonderful life….even just a day old friendship you never knew you had.

To the couple who shared their sympathy to that lovely couple who lost their little treasure thank you.

There is always good out there if you want to see it.

Don't forget to hug your little treasure you never know when you will have another.