Friday, 16 November 2012

Petnanny Ninny nativity mark 2

We now ( finally) have a Justgiving page for our Nativity event.

Photos and more information to follow

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dogs give blood

Did you know just like humans that blood products are needed during surgery and for different conditions and therefore blood donors are needed for dogs and cats.

At the moment The Pet Blood Bank don't take cats for blood donation but there is a site that you can register your cat for donation.

The Pet Blood Bank is always in desperate need for blood donors and whilst dogs can receive a transfusion once regardless of their blood type if they need any further transfusions they need their own blood type.  There are criteria's for blood donation and if your dogs fits into this group I would ask you to please bear in mind how much you could help dogs in need by simply donating.

Many years ago my dog Buck donated blood for a dog that was hit by a car.  I found it fascinating and have to admit felt very proud we may have helped this poor dog.

So what happens?

Usually like us there are days booked in at different venues around the country and once you are registered they ring you to ask if you are available.  Once you have an appointment and all is in order all you have to do is turn up with your dog and they explain everything to you.

Despite being at a vet's surgery the dogs rarely get upset and thoroughly enjoy all the attention.  I took along Belle and Mila the St Bernard, Archie the saluki lurcher and My two lads Flute and Tips the Ibizan hounds.   After all the attention or gentle hellos depending on their emotional need, they go into a quiet room and have their necks shaved and some local anaesthetic cream rubbed in, some blood is then taken to be tested to if it is suitable.  By now most dogs are getting nosey and have a bit look around and any that want attention receive it.  Belle and Archie were a little shy at first but were soon won over though Belle was a bit of a liability nearly knocking the partition wall down with her rather firm butt in her enthusiasm.  Archie started kissing the ladies so I knew he was relaxing!  Mila did what Mila does best and did a great impression of a clicky mat.  Flute just likes kissing all the ladies and checking out the benches!  Unfortunately Tips was still too light so he didn't donate but still enjoyed all the attention.

Next they move into the donation room, all is pretty quiet other than the girls chatting and after more introductions they are lifted onto a flat padded table.  Now this is no mean feat with Belle and Mila so while we hauled huffed and puffed they flopped onto the table and waited to see what was going to happen next!

Now they are kept flat with the ladies making sure they can't fall off or move around too much and I was surprised to see how relaxed our guys and gals were especially since it is a very different environment and two are very comfortable at vets or in close contact with strangers.  Once settled into a routine of lying flat and being tickled within an inch of their lives the needle is gently put in and donation starts.  it is amazing how fast it is all done and Flute, Archie and Belle were close to falling asleep.  Mila however got stage fright and as many very laid back dogs like to do she showed she wasn't about to let someone steal her life's blood hehe.  Not to worry the girls just put some practise in let her lie being fussed and once totally calm allowed her down ready for the next step....

Not quite a coffee and a biscuit they get a bowl of chappie a couple of treats and a nice drink of cold water.  More fuss and off to the van for a kip!

I am so proud of us helping, of how well the guys and gals coped and am very grateful to the ladies for looking after the guys so well and it is fantastic to think they could be helping dogs in need.

If your dogs aren't suitable why don't you help by volunteering to help out on donation days or even just help spread the word about this invaluable service, remember it might be our dogs in need one day heaven forbid.

For all the information you need please check out their website:

Oh and they receive a welcome treat and surprise for their donation which all the dogs appreciate!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Got the kind of face I could slap all day and not get bored.

Flute and I are having a crisis.  Well maybe it is me having a crisis with Flute?  Either way I am selling him to the circus.

He has turned deaf, ignorant, wilful and his recall is a mere distant memory.

I have turned frustrated, a little angry and totally disappointed.  Which of course is not helpful at all, despite me wanting to hop up and down with steam coming out of my ears, much gnashing of teeth and   envisioning myself running faster than lightning to rugby tackle his scrawny butt to the ground and probably wrestling him too I am keeping a hold of myself.  Just.

If anyone came up to me and said aw dogs are so good for your stress levels I can genuinely say I would probably slap them daft.

It will of course all be fine.  It has to be, lets face it I am not work shy or have no idea of where to go now.  I could even take the easy option ( one I may need to take in the future if his recall doesn't improve) and keep him on the lead.  The only thing is I KNOW he can do it I just need to find the key, the piece that is missing that will allow things to slot into place.

So in the meanwhile I shall look at him and sigh resisting the urge to grab him by the cheeks and say 'Flute you lanky fool use them massive big lugs to listen to what I am saying!  All you gotta do is come back when I say and you can have as much freedom as you long for, twit.'

Wish us luck I get the feeling this is gonna be a bumpy ride!

Surprising results

Today Rez the Viszla pup and Elvis the black lump of a lab had words.

It doesn't happen as often as you expect, you deal with multiple dogs from different home with different rules even within that household and you are bound to come across glitches.  Often it is just down to dogs being dogs taking advantage, gambling on the off chance this one time they might just get away with things.  Or maybe I am feeling just a little out of control and the dogs feel it.

Today was about old habits dying hard and sheer puppiness.

Rez is a blimp of a pup absorbing all that goes around him and boy is he confident!  He things life is for the taking, dogs are wonderful play machines and that he is only whole if he is by you, near you on you!  He has also found his voice and armed and dangerous  he shouts, he complains and throws himself around when he isn't by you, near you or on you, or indeed the dogs or the excitement.  He also things an open cage is an open invitation now that is hardly surprising he has to be taught in order to understand the rules lets face it how can you understand you have broken the rules if you didn't know the rules in the first place.

So I open the cage and a flying red wrinkle ends up on my head or even my shoulder and head.  It wags furiously those wrinkles jiggling about whilst the sharp little teeth find skin.  I put him back in and he grumps, he barks and he pushes his buddies aside.  He is bred to be determined, capable of thought and he is and back and forth he goes from head back into cage back on head into cage.  Then he starts barking when put back in cage so we had a discussion on manners.  Oh how he hates discussions.  Hold his collar ( our discussion) and say my no word and he tries the crocodile roll, the chomp the scratch and all the things that show he has no inhibition, no frustration control.  He is here now, wants, needs and emotions.

It tiring always looking for that perfect timing, that moment in time often brief to say 'Yeh you got it!' but tiring or not that is what we do.  And being smart he gets it.  He waits for the briefest moment and gets all he needs to be by you, near you and on you!

Elvis is a brute.  He may only have come out with us a couple of weeks but he gets Petnanny. He gets the play, the mixing and even the rules that he has been shown.  What he doesn't get is the need to do it via the van.  He doesn't like the van, or cars, or any moving object.  It makes him fret, makes him anxious hot and long for the moment of freedom.  Only not only does he get freedom he also gets the play, new friends and the bliss of his time being a dog.  So he wants it even more now.

He whines, barks, cries longing for the moment the doors open and he can fly.  I learnt today he can just about keep a lid on his feelings if the van isn't moving, even if the engine is running but as soon as we move faster than first gear he starts.......are we there yet are we there yet are we there yet?  We have to try different things.  Does he like a view not like a view, does he like a calm bossy dog or a snuggle buddy he can cuddle into?  Or be alone? so we have to try middle cage, back cage only he wants out so badly he bolts as soon as the cage is opened a desperate deep longing.

Things are improving he jumps in enthusiastically with no help, no force.  So there is hope.

What he needs to learn is being a brute, barging bashing pushing and shoving makes you lose what you want.  It's the trying, waiting that gives you your freedom.  So we had words, repetitive, endless freedom to make decisions and mistakes kind of words....He jumps out flattening me landing on my bum.  I put him back in the lead stopping him from his goal.  He bolts again at the opening cage this time I stepped aside not using indications from me or body blocks it has to be his choice for him to understand it isn't bolting that gives freedom its calm decisions.

This continues until he hesitates and soon he is waiting still desperately longing but no longer physically or mentally wired in its place is calm determination to get what he wants and you know what he did it.  Old habits die hard though and relief is the biggest most determined motivator.  So we have a long road of bolting and whining before he realises just what gets him what he wants.

Now and again things transpire to change your plan, alter your routine and review.  We often do of course and as usual it wasn't only Rez and Elvis learning today.  We changed things around and did things a little differently and the results were surprising.

Three vans, three nannies and lots of expectant guys and gals.

An eight acre field and all the time in the world.

We opened the doors and waited. Most waited some didn't.
The ones that hadn't were called back in and put back in whilst the ones who waited were released and allowed to play.  Many went about there business many waited and watched.

This continued until we had a few guys and gals and off we went for a walk, play and sniff.  They were all calm, happy and more than a little bemused. after a lap we called all back in and popped back into our vans.....

They recalled.

Even though they knew they could run, play, play the fool and despite just being let out.

More exciting no grumping, no anxiety and no tempers flying.

Whooooo I like it.

So we did the same with the next guys with the same results even the recall and being put back in the van with just one lap of the field.

This was repeated until all had been out and then we did it again same results.

They were calm.  Interested and eager to see what would happen next.  No barking, very little rough play and not travelling as far.


Soon we mixed the guys and continued walking and the effects stayed.  We always recall them, we always make them wait, we always insist they are gentle and kind with each other. Of course they don't  always choose to do it and we step in but today they used their own restraint, their own inhibition despite their urge to blast, run and play with gay abandon.

So well done guys.  Lovely to see our guys learning, enjoying and absorbing and all the while having fun.  And now they sleep, together some in huddles some in tidy little spaces.  The pup drapped over Willow, Murphy and Tallulah on watch.  Esther with her head over Lolas back and Tips curled tight into a ball.  Harry and Harvey lying down alongside each other politely whilst Elvis lies down tentatively succumbing to the Petnanny effect but with an air of anxiety that I hope in time will disperse to leave a relaxed happy lad in its place.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Donate via Facebook

I believe you can donate without being a facebook user so please give generously!

Friday, 2 November 2012

PetNanny's Ninny Nativity

The date is set.

I hope you can feel the excitement from here!

Petnanny's Ninny Nativity is go.  Sunday 25th November 1pm At Sunniside Park.  There is plenty of parking, there will be cakes to buy and if I can find a willing victim I will try and get a coffee van to call even if only for an hour.

The theme you may have guessed…..Nativity now we have the baby Jesus ( Rez the Viszla)but in true doggy fashion dogs rarely have one pup so we shall have a few more Jesus's the only restriction is they must be small.

No restrictions on costumes and if you are a Pagan feel free to come dressed any which way you choose!

As you all may know already we only dress up our dogs for charity and the Charity this time is Pawz For Thought a small local charity that rescues and rehomed pretty much all companion animals and they have not one person on the payroll or with expenses so it truly is a labour of love.

I am trying to set up a page for their paypal account so we can keep a track of our donations so please give generously we prefer using JustGiving but they can't even spare the money for the monthly charges  for a JustGiving page.  Further details to follow

The photographs will of course be available for sale( are we really mad enough to buy photos of our guys in nativity gear….of course hehe) and the main photograph of the group will be starring in Petnanny's superduper Calendar 2013.