Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Today I can breathe.

Maybe I have unknowingly taken stock, or maybe I have had a moment or two to reflect, either way I fit into my life.

I remember so well the heaviness that comes with day in day out having to function without fitting into your life.  A job that is merely a job, people who make you invent new ways to torturing humans, if only in your mind and the relentlessness of a routine you don't know how you got into.

I wouldn't take stock then if I had I feared all would come crashing down.

Now I feel no heaviness, room to breathe, people who I admire and most days actually quite like.  The dogs forcefully remind me what life really is about if I take their advice.  The horses remind me how life is about graft and how tentative life is.

There was a sign yesterday placed on a bridge where people sometimes find their off switch.  And I sighed with relief that that sign isn't for me and just hope it isn't for all I know.

The hard work has been worth it and is still ever present.  My self worth is still tentative but there grimly holding on and I am proud to have knuckled down and followed a path I chose and even created a path for some to follow.

Anyway I can feel the cinnamon danish pastry glow slowly fading and it is time to walk these daft dogs.

My love and thoughts are with a special family who need all the healings thoughts we can muster.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

It's been a while

It's been a while since we have had a dog who doesn't come back and it is certainly testing our nerve.  It is also more worrying as the little lad is the size of a large grasshopper.  Ok maybe I am telling an ickle lie but you get the drift.

There are many ways of dealing with it, from not ever letting it off ( one day trust me that dog will be free then what), fasten him to another, just hope all will go well and of course train him to understand recall and to actually do it.  We do two of above...

Today we popped him on a line whilst we were playing around with who should go out with who and had to tell Harvey and Poppy puppy to behave....Mr Darcy instantly reacted by sloping off....one good lesson learnt about him he doesn't like confrontation even if he isn't involved.

Nell was being a homing dog and was keeping an eye on him so it was nice to know they are already bonded enough for her to watch out for him.

Everytime Mr Darcy comes near or chooses to be with us or play we make a huge fuss, he likes cuddles so they are ready available when he wants them and as time progresses we will choose a good babysitter for him( not always Nell as she can be a dizzy dora and likes to wander aimlessly at will) that has a fantastic recall that won't scare him to help us teach him recall.

It sounds daft but it really does help that we like him.  Teaching recall to a dog you don't actually want to be with is a tough one I recon you ooze your feelings out of your pores and who would want to spend time with someone who doesn't like you?

Then we have the dizzy doras of the group who need more work...Bonbon, Megan and Nell like to walk their own path so I look forward to the day when all our hard work pays off and the path they wanna walk is ours.....

Young Fluffy feet is doing well and whilst he does like to stay with us he doesn't let you catch him up so I am delighted with his improvement although the faces he pulls when he comes back are hilarious its like his emotions are playing out on his facial expressions.

Well whilst our guys and gals sleep I am off to have my lunch.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A rainy day in July....again

Well my first walk this morning was with Justine and her gang.  Elsie and Leyla were no impressed a being cold and wet so they were not their usual cheery selves, seemed a little odd not having elsie flying around like a bouncing ball and Leyla not having puggy fun with Winnie.  Oh Winnie is currently suffering from baboon bum and I think poor Justine is in mourning ahha puppies first season is a big event!   Esther, Lola, Flute and Tips not to mention Stan made up for the wet not happy dogs and they were whizzing back and forth taking turns to chase each other or rather Esther Stan and Lola were Flute and Tips were merely chasing.  All the dogs have some routine and head off to toilet then they start to feel the giddiness to take over and head for their favourite puddles, they are a little bigger and more numerous at the moment needless to say.  We met a couple with their two male labs one of which cocked his leg on me just before asking if I would dog walk for them!  Mmm let me think about that one.....Oddly Esther barked at them and both Mila and Flute were a bit on edge so we had a quick chat then headed off, oh the guys are acting weird.

Then we came across a huge Bordeaux luckily we recognised him but his elderly limping owner was nowhere to be found.  Flute was not at all happy and strutted feeling the need to be protective so he was put on lead.  Eventually we found his owner who was plodding up the incline and asked if his young lad was with us.  Esther of course ( she just doesn't bark with us at all) barked, Willow shocked us both by saying hi to his friend with the umbrella, Lola hid behind me( urm Lola is a social hussy normally)and after a quick catch up we headed off Lola and Flute started to relax, esther finally stopped barking and Elsie no longer had to be brave whilst the young horny Bordeuax was kissing hugging and squeezing her.    Seems like the weather might be getting to us all!

Once I met up with Sam we headed off for my second walk, down in the park and a good ol' ball throw.  Ideal weather I knew they wouldn't overheat and we chose the appropriate dogs and off we went.  Jasper and Sirus couldn't bring themselves to sit down and shut up so they were sidelined whilst their mates had fun.  The first four started and unusually it wasn't just Charlie and Truffle who caught the ball.  Before long we added more and Poppy started her mugging so she had a warning before we put her on the 'chill out, get a grip and miss out for a moment lead'!  Jasper genuinely couldn't believe he had been quiet and still enough to be let off, I am sure he was holding his breath when Sam let him off....he sat, he was so still it was surreal then I shouted Get it Jasper and he was off like a shot boowoowing with delight.  The gentleman who had been walking up the hill past the park decided to watch and his smile and eyes looked as bright and wide as the guys playing ball.  His Jack Russell was straining on the lead judging by the look on his lively face he would have caused havic if he'd been allowed to join in.

By now the odd one would have been tiring but not today they were relentless...legs a flying, ears flapping tongues seemingly stretched beyond their natural length.

It was funny to watch Phoebe stand by the side so she could run and sideswipe giving her more chance of catching but also giving me a heart attack as she was much more likely to be hit sideways!  Once Sirus behaved himself he flew past without a flicker even when Jasper refused to have anything to do with him and even barked at him when he joined in with ball throwing....clearly in Jasper's world it was all Sirus's fault he had been restrained on the leader in the first place.  I know a few people like that too its NEVER their fault!

Louie was very good at not mugging which was a pleasant surprise, Poppy only fluffed one more time and Fluffy feet had a ball chasing all the dogs though at no point in time do I think he spotted the ball.

Belle was still in the game but Harry had joined Harv and headed over to Sam so we took the opportunity to pop him on so he didn't overtire himself he was clearly pooped!  It wasn't long before Phoebe was keeping Harry and Harv company though she would have kept going till she dropped.

With the rain and it being cooler we were amazed at their stamina, we know they are fit but normally we have to stop due to them getting over hot so it was nice to be abel to tire them out knowing they were hydrate and cooler than normal.

Both Jasper and Sirus excelled themselves by retrieving well as did Louie, the ones to reach the ball now changed and Charlie and Truffle started to beat Poppy and the rest not sure if it is stamina or dogged determination.  Fluffy feet didn't falter and still flew around chasing whoever was closest but by now Belle sensibly took to watching from the sidelines.  Harry looked up at Sam as if to say I wanna chase the ball but his body stayed put unable or unwilling to move bless him.

By now everyone was flagging so ball was put away everyone was off and despite the odd invite to play they all had a nice sniff, a cool down and a wander with slightly dazed/ manic/ wired looks on their faces.

I do love to see the guys happy, tired and interacting, there is always a moment at the end of an exciting game where they wind down and reaffirm friendships, whether that is a mere nose touch or a good gentle play I always imagine them saying to each other how much fun that was!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Like walking in a botanical garden!

Walking the guys in our current weather is like walking in the greenhouses in a botanical garden( I nicked that description from chief Petnan photographer Laura) though the mere thought of that made me laugh as I believe that would be any gardens worse nightmare!

A quick change of plan saw us at the field with the paddling pool out and horrors of horrors nail clippers at the ready.  The top of our eight acre field has the grass flattened down and clover so they love to roll, play and chase each other round this area and is positively jungle like in the rest of the field...great for those that like to go feral in a small way!

Today was a big day for the new guys up till now we have focussed on getting to know them and introducing them to our way of doing things, meeting their new colleagues hopefully soon to be friends.  So we first called Megan in, took a little while as she was hurtling around with her new best mate Fluffy feet( Oscar Tibetan), and Sam hugged her tight as we gently trimmed her nails.  She definitely wasn't excited at the prospect however I can't fault her and we very quickly had all four feet neatly trimmed I did laugh as we put her down she quickly resumed where she had left so definitely not traumatised.

Next was Duke.  Now Duke is a little precious so we took our time and despite a few ' I am NOT amused' look he also let us trim his nails with no fuss and seemed non the worse if a little giddy afterwards.  Fluffy feet decided it was against all his beliefs and tried wriggling, tried huffing and puffing and ended up enjoying a cuddle whilst he supervised me closely as I trimmed his nails!  Now how about that for a result.

Poor Truffle got a real telling off from Leyla who mistakenly though Truffle was being too rough...as usual Lola came out smelling of roses as she was being a wassick and Truffle got the blame...I do find annoyed pugs hilarious and as no one was in any danger of being hurt I watched on and tried not to laugh.  The indignation on Leylas face, the confusion on Truffles and I swear Lola looked Smug.

Murphy still has a very sore foot though there is some improvement after we took him to the vets last week, bacterial infections are such a nightmare to deal with and it isn't helped by the fact that Murphy is a lolloping baffoon who doesn't know how to slow up with delicate skin that a whippet would be proud of.  His mum despairs and keeps treating him regardless.

Max finally seems to have relaxed since our return from holiday and enjoyed being at the field with his mates muzzle less though the mugginess definitely got the better of him, his house sister however never seems affected by anything at all and flounces around like the floozy she is, just amazing Suzy is at her age and we shan't tell her how old she is either!

Today is Bailey and Roxy's last day visiting Petnan.  Apart from Bailey's barking if you even suggest you are going to leave him I really can't fault them....I am looking after them for a neighbour as we are good friends I though it'd be nice for them to join us.  Roxy is like an old pro but you do forget how much our guys know when you get visiting dogs coming along.

Well its that time again, wee's and leg stretch time( for the dogs and maybe me too haha) so I shall get going and very well done newbies I can't get over how well they are learning to join in, playing with new friends and a very well done for the regulars who hope to make it happen so smooothly.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Blog doldrums

I have decided I need a secretary, chef( mmm kind of have one of those already), a driver  ( I have decided I do not like driving after last weeks transport delights) and PA!

Doing my own website seemed a great idea until I fail miserably and take four days and over twelve hours to do a job that should take a couple of hours.  A blog is a great idea to keep everyone in touch until Facebook comes along and you have access to a lazy mans way of communicating.  Doing your own van livery gives you so much freedom if you have the time to do something with the photos you ( and Chamfron photos of course) planned and took!

I wonder if I continue to go so slow that I will go backwards enough to meet myself at the other end?

So I am going to continue my theme of this blog post.  Last week was a bad bad week, it would have bypassed the naughty tree and gone straight home.

Monday started well until I loaded the horses and my mare sank gracefully through the floor that had been professionally checked.  The rest of the day was running around trying to sort the trailer and of course drowning myself whilst supposedly washing the trailer!

Tues and wednesday were those nondescript days that match the current weather. I decided it was a great idea to update my website and managed to lose a photo everytime I loaded a new one only it took me ten hours to work it out....

Thursday, where do I start?  You know things are bad when you get a phonecall first thing.....so with dread I answered the phone and yup bad news....poor Alex had been badly bitten by a dog she was seeing too.  A diabetic dog she had recently done injections for whilst his mum was away decided he no longer required her assistance and bit her before he even saw the needle... So I rearranged the dogs told her to get to mams and headed straight there....I did notice Sam seemed a little taken aback when I changed dog pick ups around but didn't realise I had just woken her up her first sleep in haha.

After mam gave Alex first aid I whizzed over sorted feisty fido re injection and took Alex for her own injection!  Once dressed and sorted I dropped her back off with a big hug or three and started picking up the dogs.  This is where the field comes into its own as we could go straight there.  Walks were done and we headed off for lunch and make new arrangements for Feisty Fido.

Then I got a phonecall, whilst trying to magically undo all errors on the website, to say the weather was unbelievable up in hexham and it looked to be on its way just as I was finishing off Sam rang to say trouble was indeed on its way!  Oh it was definitely trouble.

With the dogs in the van we set off to be met by torrential storms, thunder and lightning and even worse random drivers!  The first road closure was at the bottom of Grange Villa luckily with careful manoeuvres I managed to get through the deep puddle and off we went to drop of Fluffyfeet.  We we re drenched just walking from the cages to the back door but he was home safe so off we went to the next drop off.  Now things did get exciting.....I am certainly a dab hand at driving on pavements now!  The bank heading up to Stanley had bits of the road that had come away and the smell was unbelievable mind the dogs enjoyed that part as the sewage swept down the hill.  Going across the tops was our scariest moments as the lightning and thunder was coming at the same time and at one point as we headed toward a huge puddle the lightning split above our heads and came down in two forks on either side of the van...my hair was standing on end.

By now poor Lola, Louie and Truffle were distraught and even with me singing at the top of my lungs( maybe that was what was distressing them come to think of it!) and at one point I had to move Lola in back cage so she could hide under Mila's large boobies. Even on our highest windscreen wiper speed we still couldn't see what we were doing but in time we managed to get to Sunniside more blockages but again thanks to Izzy super transit we managed to persuade the police to let us pass and the whickham dogs were dropped off.  Lola had her face wiped and a big cuddle after being sick and I was grateful most owners got back in time to have supervise their worried dogs.

The next part was a delight and I ended up turning round six times trying to find a way home one of the times was certainly interesting as I watched a car gracefully float past us.....urm yup definitely too deep even for us!

By now I wasn't the only one feeling our own water pressures so I pulled the van up onto the embankment (we were going anywhere and had sat in the same place for twenty plus minutes)I one by one got the remaining guys out for a tootle and a wee and tried not to embarrass myself in front of all those stationary cars....Mila and Charlie thought it was a hoot to be walking on a A road embankment and I certainly entertained everyone for a little while especially as Mila and Leyla went out together and started playfighting ( Mila is a ST Bernard and Leyla a pug).  Certainly the weirdest place I have walked the dogs!

In time I managed to dodge the fire engines, police, ambulances and other drivers and dropped the last dog off who happened to be the first picked up a full 13 hours after I had picked them up!  Phew all safe all I had to do was get home.  Northumberland was certainly less affected than Gateshead and Newcastle and I managed to get home safely.  In fact you could barely tell what had hit but it was interesting to see the hares and roe deer all out in the open obviously enjoying the lack of rain, I dread to think how many young animals drowned in the downpour.

As a treat we headed to Morpeth the following day allowing me a bit art research and pick up some bits and bobs.  If only we knew!  After a good luck around we headed back for my appointment and we started the car...nothing.  Zilch.  I looked at Mr grumps and giggled.  He tried again and the realisation hit we were stuck.  So I phoned the AA to find they had a five hour delay due to all the drowned cars needing rescue.  Oh deep joy and as I looked at Mr Grumps I realised there would be another trauma ahead of me if I didn't get rid of Mr Grumps!  Once phonecall to the other emergency service ( parents) and I was at least relieved I wouldn't be stuck in a car for five hours with a black cloud.  Soon they arrived to take Mr G home to see to our guys at home and I waited and waited.  2pm turned into 5pm and still nothing.  5pm turned into 7pm we knew the problem but no knight in shining armour.  Sigh.  Finally at 8.45pm those glorious yellow flashing lights came and I was rescued by a fruit and veg man.

I was beyond worry as the fruit and veg man explained they were so busy he had offered to help and I would have to bare with him as he worked out the winch etc I had to say I was relieved when he worked out how to stop and hold us up whilst on the flat bed as I had no urge to slide off backwards with no brakes!

People are funny aren't they as they tell you their lives and problems. As we hammered along ( the words 'keep an eye on your car missus you just never know when I tie the straps' ringing in my ears) he told me how his two females friends scared the bejesus out of him as one was so bossy and just told him what to do and the other used her child and need for money as a bargaining device whilst his wife thought they were lovely...he'd never sleep with them you know cos they'd eat him alive!

I had a quick lesson in fruit and veg box preferences and then finally he asked me where we were going....just as well he had been heading the right direction I just presumed he knew!

Eight hours later I headed home with Mr Grumps and was met by four enthusiastic dogs looking forward to their evening walk ....I had bad thoughts about missing their walk out entirely luckily my butt reminded me it had been over used so my legs took over and off we went!  Upon opening the door to my neighbours house ( they needed their pooches let out) I was met by liquid poop blurgh.  Roxy had obviously found Mr Grumps too exciting and instead of toiletting on the walk had held it in ...until now.

So that was my pants week.  Nothing disastrous( apart from Alex's bite) just tiring, irritating and tedious!

I feel for the likes of Justine who had her salon and all its contents wrecked by the flood, to anyone who had their homes flooded and any animals who lost their lives in the storm....Mother Nature occasionally has to remind us what she is capable of....

Life with Dogs

Woooo check out this:


Our clever dogs were featured on the fabulous Life with Dogs website and Facebook page.  I laughed at Sam being incensed at the suggestion that we had photoshopped it!