Friday, 6 November 2015

A wonderful Motley crew that is we.

I have always known that our dogs have multiple relationships within our little motley crew.  Over the years the relationships change and morph, yet there is a constant and a home base.

We have the usual Nanny/ dog relationship, then the dog/ dog relationship then we have the 'relationship' they have with their van and of course the group as a whole.  Being in the enviable position of very few dogs moving on, very few changes to my charges and handlers has a profound affect on the dogs.

Dogs are known to share their scent with ours making everyone smell the same, making the family and the members in that group we. The Petnanny dogs, to a degree the K9-5 dogs, Autumn and I have become we.

Having customers ring me saying their dog had behaved strangely with a dog they met on a walk, only to have another customer phone with the same story.....they talked about how both dogs leapt about, behaved in a very over the top manner and they hadn't wanted to come away, whilst their dogs revelled in the fact they had unexpectedly chanced upon their 'friend' on a walk.  Both dogs had rushed back to their owners and back again as if to say 'hey its my Petnanny pal come see!'

Feeling like I have time to enjoy watch and immerse myself in our guys and gals has been a delight.  I know them so well and sometimes not at all.  Isn't that what makes dogs so fascinating?  Familiarity may breed contempt in many, not me.  On a day to day basis I find myself more and more interested and intrigued by dog.

I appreciate the individual, I love being a small part in their lives long term and introducing them into a part of life where they can be dog then them heading home and being a much loved member of their family.

Recently on a walk I was faced with four dogs without a handler.....not something I want to see!  My guys tucked in and they promptly sat, that didn't last long when the chunky lurcher in the free roaming dogs continued to stalk Ember the dobermann, I released her and gently talked to her but it was too much she ran only to leap into the heather and head back to behind me.  Megan was tucked in behind my legs but she was scared when an aggressive spaniel bowled in and mounted Rez our entire Vizsla.  Every attempt to remove the pest from Rez escalated its behaviour and talking calmly to my guys ( Ember hiding behind me, Megan now backed into heather and Rez for being so stoical until I could remove the sodding dog) for now stopped anything getting out of control.  Being deathly calm so that the tension couldn't tip the lurcher and spaniel over the edge I could finally see the handler and insisted she put the dogs on leads and attempted some control.

This is no story of the trials of a dog walker this is a moment of complete delight and genius.

Lolly the daft lab was getting antsy and I released her...She promptly moved firmly in front of the stationary but still in full stalk Lurcher and the stalk was broken.  She then turned tail and walked straight up to the spaniel, myself and Rez.  In what I can only describe as a slide she mounted Rez and slid down his body promptly removing idiot Spaniel.  That allowed me to safely grab the spaniel and wait for the moment responsibility returned to the handler.

Off we went as a startled and a little unsettled band and Lolly had become the guardian bouncing back and forth between us all happy and silly.  Megan and Lolly had a bit gamble about, something that normally wouldn't happen as Lolly is a bit full on for Megan then she enrolled Ember into a daft game.  Rez was chatting Lolly up and being a bit giddy likely more than a little relieved all was well. They all checked in and asked for cuddles way more than normal.  Wars cause communities to band together to fight a common enemy and the same had happened with us.

Then we have poor Maddi.  Maddi has all the problems some labs are known for and over time her elbows had started to really trouble her.  She was operated on and her recovery was slow.  This meant she was away from her group for some time, away from home and more than a little overwhelmed.

Once Maddi came home I started single walks mooching around trying to engage her and there was a little tail wag, a lean in and glance but no more.  Soon I introduced another calm dog and her mood was still worryingly low.  Bodily she improved so well she joined us in the van, enjoying multiple tootles in different areas and what a difference the trips out made.  Hardly surprising of course however again this isn't about Maddi's moods so much as the response from our guys.

Phoebe is a typical collie, sensitive and enthusiastic, a bit of a Womble and uses the dogs as a way to use her brain.  She invents games and no one else knows the rules.  Only she focussed on little sad Maddi.  She stopped wombling, stopped her games and walked alongside Maddi.  She sniffed her mouth with great passion gently wagging her tail and doing an almost puppy tilt of her head when they come to tuck their heads into your neck.  It worked Maddi responded and picked up a bit of speed.  A bit more sniffing here and there.  Then her other walking partners started to examine her and soon they were gently body touching her.

Yesterday Phoebe was on a tootle after being upset with the fireworks, joined by Maddi, Autumn and I with Beau and Lolly.  Phoebe once again rubbed herself up to Maddi and focussed around Maddi's has made such a profound difference to Maddi and to myself.  I wonder if the care and attention will continue once Maddi recovers fully...I doubt it.

As I drive around in Veronica ( van) I chuckle as passing dogs being walked by their owners turn their noses, catching a whiff of our little happy band.  Most are sleeping, one always stays awake and most times Louie falls asleep with his head on the windowsill. I know people see a large van with dogs in and wonder how on earth that works....they see dogs yet I see Molly Mc Dolly tucked in beside Breeze knowing he likes to settle so she can sleep with anyone waking her by moving.  I see Charlie, Tips and Bobby snuggled in close enough to the heater to be cosy but not having the air blowing on their faces.  Truffle is asleep by her cage door she needs to be ready for action! These aren't just dogs they are a funny little motley crew heading for a day of entertainment and rest.

Willow is the firm favourite for sleeping partner when in the van yet on a walk she chooses Charlie over all or a good game with a flirty male.  Fluffy settles happily with all in the van with no real preference. He does love the front with me on the way there yet he likes to travel in the back on the way back...on a walk however his heart is with Poppy and Lola, with ball play or frisbee he has to try to keep up with Rez.

All such wonderful individuals yet they belong to another family all of which they know and trust, they may not choose to play with all however when the chips are down we face the common enemy.

Since I have missed blogging about what I love most....the silly little relationships, the changes of allegiances and firm friendships, I shall have to find my inner mutterings and share the funny little world I have created with your loyal and long standing help.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Quiet Day

They are overrated.

You get up safe in the knowledge the school holidays allow for a brief lull that allows you time to recoup.

It'll be a breeze you think.

Not a chance.

You take longer than you should, the guys and gals shake their heads and bodies ( literally) instead of  that brisk sit by the door as you lock the door.

Once on the walk they are positively twitchy, quirky and worky sigh a long deep breath and wait.  Wait for their attention, wait for their agreement and mostly wait for the partnership to begin.

They watch the birds, they watch the people, the dogs, the air sniff the fabulous smells and they definitely don't watch you.  Give me a busy day I start to think.....

Its not like I had a date with the sofa with a magazine and glass of wine in mind or the chance to ride your spotted wonders in the beautiful countryside......

Of course its not because you just want to get it over with its a few different management changes.

A quiet day means we can go exploring and enjoying different walks, it means mixing less experienced dogs with more inexperienced dogs and it means you are in a more smell the roses kind of mood.

So no surprise the moods, new places and new friends sends them all a bit giddy!

Busy day tomorrow
yeehaw haha

That moment

She stands feeling panic rising up.

When is it her turn to step back and let someone solve the problems, to have that helping hand to make the madness stop?

Wants to scream 'what about me'?

She sets off and meets up with her friend and colleague, she steals herself and the inevitable .....

"How are you, you seem quiet?"

Then that moment happens, she turns and says....

'Oh I am fine thank you!'

Funny things people you know.

True story.....

Thursday, 9 July 2015

I can't even write the title

Sweet dreams, please leave Bracken and Porsche alone, spin like you've never spun before, purrrup like no other and most of all jump as high as you want even if you can't land......

I may write a blog about the boy sometime however the time is not now.

I made a promise to him and I stuck by it.  I made the decision whilst you were still Tumble.

15 years and boy what a 15 years it has been.  Never are you prepared yet we know it is always the way it is going to be.

Oh Tumble how quiet the house is, not to see that white spot behind the fire and never again will I see you try to drag a 27kg pod around by his throat or do your funny racetrack jumping all who lay in the way.

Bye bye Foghorn, Weed, Tumbleweed

Don't let anyone call him just a cat or we shall have words.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Yoyo dogs and yum

Today was so interesting....

We decided to have yoyo dogs today, swapping long walks for short walks in multiples.  Not only does this wear them out it also really emphasises your recall training, your emotional bonds and their frustration control initially.

After toilet stops ( yes I know I am obsessed with them!) it was time to work on 'Do not eat Nanny or other hoomans when they have food or each other'.

Out came the fruit and also the yummy home made treats thank you to Tybaly Penfold's mam for them.
All we wanted to work on was being able to eat in front of the guys and gals however it isn't as simple as that.  Food is a very exciting resource for many dogs and of course not only do they have to restrain themselves with us eating they also have each other to deal with.

Of course our guys were not at all aggressive with each other, all those hours working on it has kept us all safe.  I could certainly tell who was used to being fed and who wasn't and over all they were actually better than expected.  Louie definitely got the gold star with bonios on it for his very good behaviour around food, well done Rachel!

Soon it was time to do Buddy and Bailey for some mixing and Flexi proofing.  Flexi's are not liked by many professionals and amateurs alike however they like lines have a real use as an aid and of course for safety so I simply choose to train against the very things people dislike about them.  one of those things are when they are dropped behind a dog and they spook or hurt I train them like you train horse to pull a cart....well yet again they delighted us with their cool as cucumber behaviour and once allowed off with a short line Bailey rewarded us with lovely moments on attention and cracking recalls, well I never!

Carlisle and Rez, Rufus and Lolly went out together.  So Carlisle is walking testicles at the moment and being prickly with entire dogs, Rez is currently called Rezticles with his sex drive ( he is well mannered however he is certainly the lothario at the moment!  Then we have Rufus who is Mr Control and Lolly giddy annie.  They all know each other well and it was time to deal with the tension we see between the boys and Rufus's need to try and control any situation.....  With the start of the first mini jaunt Carlisle surprised me with a kiss whilst Rezticles stayed with me albeit still, the kind of still that is in preparation for strutting and posturing....

What ended up happening taught them valuable lessons with very little management from us, Lolly was playing with Carlisle and as he got rough she refused to play whilst still hanging around.....then she would run to Rezticles and play with him and everyone ignored Rufus who decided I was actually his best bet then Lolly would start playing with Carlisle.  It didn't take long for Carlisle to play more gently, lolly to have fun with Rez and Carlisle and Rufus was a treasure and had me all to himself.

Back and forth we went, each time recalling and popping back without a twist although Truffle did her 'slow walk to the gallows' then tried the ooh look in that bush I am wayyy to busy to go back in the van haha I love a girl who tries...

oh and last but not least.....there was someone else who got a gold star.....Autumn!  She found my first dropped van keys in years....luckily he were close and bemused 'sniffer' hound enjoyed her extra mini trip out....well down Carmen

Thursday, 25 June 2015

The pen

Sitting with our backs to our vans we are watching the little dramas in our new pen.  All our charges know each other well, most have years of companionship and many of friendship.

Yet we watch tension and big shows of power and a little bit of sexy talk!

Rufus the control freak is checking the fence as is elsie however for completely different reasons. Elsie wants to hunt to see what's out there, Rufus well he is just disgusted at a new barrier, how very dare we!

Bailey however feels freedom she is playing with an unlikely new friend Raymond with a little bit of confusion when winnie replaces Raymond and bailey is oblivious.

Poppy and Esther are having a power struggle something I haven't seen for an age once friends poppy grew up and Esther started her hormone treatment. 

It only consists of looks, poses and struts.

Oh I can't tell you funny it is watching the play. Hugo and Raymond now Bailey and Lola Stan and Raymond even having a play. Raymond plays a lot doesn't he haha.

Well time to switch and let the new games commence!

Ready to come in after a drink

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Check out our shop

Check out the Etsy shop, mainly for the jewellery made by David baggaley designed by myself!

The fine art of saw piercing and how we make our jewellery.

When I say our jewellery I simply design the piece, the real magic starts when David receives the design.  I am, however, jumping the gun.

Silhouettes and pierced designs differ in difficulty and a few important restraints.  Silhouettes by their very nature are a solid shape, the pierced designs have cuts within the design.  I have to ensure the cuts don't overwhelm the strength of the piece and make sure pieces don't drop off!  Once you have mastered this simple idea you really can have some fun.  It takes practise and I want to show they are hand made and each step dependent on the next.

Once the design is made it is printed out the correct size, once the design would be drawn onto the metal however the paper method certainly aids accuracy.

Trial and error is often the only way to find a system that is just perfect and even down to the glue that is used to attach the image.

First the metal is brushed this allows the glue to bond the paper to the metal.  The glue used is solvent and pvc free, too strong and you can't remove the paper, too weak and the design moves or creases.  It is then allowed to dry often on top of the radiator or the polishing motor in summer.

The blade is inserted into the saw frame, teeth facing down and it cuts on a downward stroke.  Beeswax on the blade helps to glide it smoothly and protects the blade to a degree.  The blades of choice are swiss made Vallorbe, named after the village where they are made.  £4 a dozen and  generally use one a week.

David was always taught to work with your tools not against heavy handed and they snap, you can't force the blade to cut.  If it snags, it snaps.  Turn it quickly and it snaps.  You listen to the blade as it cuts, the sound tells you if it could snap, snag or needs more a constant hum any deviation from the sound tells you if it needs help.

I am getting ahead of myself again!

The blade is tensioned in the frame, the bottom edge is righted on the blade and the frame is pushed about a quarter of an inch to get the blade tight in the frame.  A simple trained pluck with one finger, a clear ping sound tells me it is correct fitted.  Too high its too tight, too low its too loose.

The work to be cut out is then placed on the bench peg the one in use is 3"wide and 6" long Davids has a large V cut out of the peg, the smaller the work the further up the V you go, the blade is kept central within the V by hand.

Then the cutting start, using both methods of moving the saw around the work and the work around the saw.

When I pass a design to David I don't add the bail ( the hole made in order to fit the jumping loop in that your chain fits through), it is the work of a master.  He either visualises the weight on each side and finds the centre of balance or you balance the design on the blade to find its natural centre point.  The design has to support itself.

With a pierced design a hole is drilled and the blade treaded through the hole, cutting the bail from the inside.  This is the same for all the internal cuts,  the hole drilled in order to allow the saw access.  Each time sawing from the inside then undone and treaded into the next hole.

Each time you remove the blade from the design you have to remove from the saw frame.

Fingers need to be strategically placed!

Once the design is cut out it is placed in water which allows the paper design to lift off.  Then it is rinsed and cleaned in clean water then dried.

David is a purist and when checking the design and cut out he feels using a file means you have deviated from your plan, good cutting negates the use of a file as a rule.  As an apprentice you are taught to keep your standards high, it sticks with you.  The guys who taught David didn't like mistakes, mistakes were for learning from.

Still with us?

Next is buffing and polishing.

Buffing used to be a job on its own at one time, it was mostly done by woman as men were seen to be inferior to woman as buffers and polishers.  In reality it was a shortage of workers after the wars however David believed their is some truth in it and all the men buffers and polishers that David was trained by were themselves trained by woman.

The piece is placed in one hand and the buffing sand in the other, it is fed onto the design going between the piece and the wheel. The wheel is hard gelt or calico mop.  All surface marks are removed by buffing them out.  Once the work has been buffed it is washed to remove the pumice.

To polish a rouge compound is used, a bar that has one end dipped in meths which turns it into a liquid, once applied to the polishing wheel the pendant is polished on the wheel changing direction before finishing off all in one direction.  The wheel is made of wool or swan's down, the softer the better.  It is polished until all marks are completely removed.  Whilst polishing, the design is checked and checked again until perfect.

The polishing compound now needs to be removed from the jewellery piece using an ultrasonic cleaner.  The metal tank has ultrasonic waves passing through the walls into the water which lifts the compound from the piece.

Once rinsed in clean water it is dried with a smooth clean cloth.

The piece is checked again then polished one last time with a silver cloth to remove finger makes and placed into a sealed bag.

There are many different types of jewellery made around the world, many by casting often using craftsmen for each process, more frequently by machines and mass produced.

There are two people involved in our jewellery production.

David the master Gold and Silversmith and myself.  I am a small part of an amazing process.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

It could only happen to me

You mock

It's very true.

It started sadly and innocently enough.  A pigeon hit by car lying dead in the road with a crow taking full advantage of the unexpected meal falling from the sky.  Hating to see it lying in the road I picked up the pigeon and realised it had been a racing pigeon so took the leg ring details to send to the racing pigeon association.

Deceased pigeon was gently popped onto the verge, long grass hiding it from view and I carried on with the lads and the golden gang taking in all the smells and the disgruntled crow cursing me from the wall.  With the old boy ( Buzz) in tow I only toddled along to the end of the lane before heading back toward home.  Unusually Tips decided to find the pigeon and promptly stopped dead and ran to me, running back to the pigeon and back again.  Being of the slower variety I laughed at him 'finding' the pigeon he had seen me place in the long grass telling him he was a cheat he already knew it was there.  Then Flute shocked me by running to where pigeon was and barking at me.  Flute doesn't bark at stuff like that so I hurried up and realised the poor pigeon had been knocked out and was now alive and suffering badly.  Sadly due to the car collision and then the crow it was never going to survive so I had to dispatch it.

Once home feeling less than cheery I registered the pigeon with the appropriate association.  Though I wasn't particularly happy giving my address these days people take great care to protect your information so in order to fill the form and send it I filled it in.  Note to self: If your gut is doing the fandango take note.

Soon I received a prompt reply and I was a little taken aback that the reply had the owner of the pigeons full name, full address and telephone number.  Being nosey I noticed he was in hospital!  All thoughts of things ran through my head and I thought of this poor pigeon and owner .  The curse of the  internet means you can look up stuff instantly so of course I did.

Wow pigeon travelled from middle of Scotland!

Then I learnt what kind of hospital it was.

A secure mental health hospital for 'Patients are admitted to the Hospital under The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) **************** and other related legislation because of their dangerous, violent or criminal propensities.'

So now I was starting to worry....what if he got my full name address and telephone number?  Had I just killed with my own hands his favourite pigeon and he, at the first opportunity, was going to hunt me down( wouldn't take much hunting) to reek revenge?

Calming myself down I emailed the association and reassured myself I was being silly.


He had indeed been send everything direct baring my inside leg ( or would it be neck) measurement and they were sure he would be delighted to hear.

Oh goody.  What was I going to tell Mr Gumps it is after all his house....

With a poorly elderly cat to nurse through the night I pushed all psychotic thoughts out of my mind and waited for the reply to my last email asking, a little desperately, if they knew that they had send the information to a person who may have been dangerous, violent or have criminal propensities?!

I both chuckled and bristled at the cheery reply Pigeon fanciers are quite used to losing birds for a variety of reasons; it's a commonplace event unfortunately. It's not clear that the owner is a patient at the hospital - he is a paid up and active member of a couple of clubs.'  
Oh that is ok then cos if he is a paid up active member of the club he couldn't possibly be any of the above!

Well as I said earlier I am a little slow, nevertheless I soon worked out I had a number to ring so ring I did......I rang the hospital and was relieved to hear the owner was a staff nurse and I could actually even speak to him.  How funny....can you imagine the laugh they had over it?  It certainly made me laugh albeit a little manically.

So next time I find a pigeon in the road......

I shall tell the crow to get stuck in and move on very quickly.

Monday, 4 May 2015

PetNanny Muzzled for DDA Watch

PetNanny Caroline will spend the day muzzled up in order to raise awareness of the dangers of using breed as template for temperament, encourage Deed Not Breed legislation and why muzzles are a responsible persons badge of honour.  
There are many reasons dogs wear muzzles do you know why they might?
Please sponsor me not only to wear a muzzle all day including eating, driving and THEN YOU CAN NOMINATE AND PAY ME TO DO THINGS WHILST IN MY MUZZLE AS LONG AS I CAN SAFELY DO IT IN MY DAY TO DAY WORK AND WITHIN A CERTAIN RADIUS. Autumn Cordell and Samantha Nicholson will be working as normal so the dogs will be walked and seen to as per usual and yes I will be walking dogs in a muzzle.

We can raise money aka cash, via a paypal button. They also have a wish list on Amazon if you would prefer to buy a product and donate direct.....this is an ongoing, planning as we go kind of event and as it only really involves me you can sit back and enjoy( laugh, cringe and/ or shake your head) but please don't forget to I need to practise eating cake through the hot can a straw take I wonder I do after all need my cappuccinos?!

So far my challenges have certainly been varied ( and pretty cruel I have broad shoulder hehe)

I have my first Challenge and donation

£10 to kiss my partner in my muzzle.....of course I will take photo as proof! Kim Leighton
£15 and the spaghetti bolognese : Cáit Thorpe I'll give you £15 if you will go and have spaghetti at an Italian Restaurant in the evening x

 Michelle McMenam donated £10 just for being me 

Sherleen and David Cuthbert £10 just cos!

Thanks so much for your donation from the wish list Cheryl Waddell

£10 from Lesley Robson

Elsie wilkie has challenged me for £1 not to tell her off for be a gobby bint on the day of the challenge just as well I will be muzzled hehe

Winifred Wilkie has challenged me to take her to her weigh in at Westway Vets in my muzzle. £1

That teaches me to keep my mouth shut. When I take Winnie to get weighed in I have to climb on scales first on all fours looking like a muppet....hang on I am DEFINITELY gonna look like a muppet all day...

 Ive donated a Kong  hope you raise lots Caroline. Deb Orah

Thank you so much for your donation from the wish list Helen Crosby

 I'll give £10 for a pic of mutts and cat xx

'I challenge you whilst wearing your muzzle to also wear a yellow t-shirt that reads 'I need space' and a harness.
If you do this I will donate £30'

 Eileen Locatelli donation of £10 thanks ever so much

I'll be donating via the Amazon wishlist on behalf of Mind Over Muzzle UK - and we'll run a competition via our page for our members to win DDA Wristbands (that we'll buy/donate for) IF you can drink a cup-a-soup through the muzzle!, Willow Gardner-Hall

I'll get something from the wish list. I challenge you to eat an ice cream flake and monkey's blood optional, Lucy V Elizabeth Johns

 WOW £50 donated for me to walk Jason Atherton's dogs at the Westway veterinary group surgery dogs ( hounds how lucky am I) whilst wearing my muzzle of course

May be we could get photo with you and Aston ( Westways again)

New challenge, designing a secret logo while wearing he muzzle and post photos haha lucky person getting THOSE designs! £10 Mini Pony Hire

£1 from Stan wilkie for a photo of him, me and a man in uniform....
Roly & Poppy have been plotting their challenge - they think Nanny should go in the van cage for her coffee break - if she is up for the challenge they will pay her 2 gravybones and a tenner

So are you happy to donate off the wish list or support me by donating 
Or heaven forbid....set me a challenge?


Got me thinking it did

Do you remember the border collie who knew hundreds of words and the name of all her toys?

Well it got me thinking just how special our dogs are.

So I jotted down the words and things I say that my Pods recognise.

Some are just Flute's and some are both Tips and Flute.  Obviously some are names of people that they would recognise and some are things we teach on purpose and many are ones we have taught by accident!

In no order at all:

titty bumbum
whoop ( recall which actually means heehaw cracking food awaits you oh super pod)
go to bed
hup ride ( jump on Ella for a ride, or for Tips all four feet on Pod egg)
wanna ride
not yet ( slightly different to wait it means hold off just a second I am not ready)
get in
not be long
want a drink
want to go out
feet up
all four
gonna getchya
walk on
find the yabbas
get over
watching ( are you watching?  I think something very interesting is around keep watching! also a pose request for photo)
I see ( I see a rabbit or fox or mouse, not necessarily a release...also a photo graph pose )
not be long
oh poor baby ( magic cuddle that fixes all ills)
feet floor
ahha ( my version of NO)
leave it
out the kitchen
back up
that one
go ( release signal for most things)
psssss ( go catch meeeces/ yabbas)
too far
find it
keep going/ trying
Whoopsie ( again keep trying but that wasn't quite right)
get it
thank you ( my drop it command)
hot ( similar to careful but temperature linked haha)
other side/ way ( mostly lead getting caught round tree or similar)
get over
go to mat
go through
watch out ( near death experience)
let me look ( are you hurt? let me look)
be quiet

Shut up ( in that order)

So I recon that is just short of a hundred how many do you think your dog knows and why not try increase his knowledge.

Then you have all the hand signals, cues and body language.

Never underestimate your pet dog, they've picked up an awful lot despite all!

I can just tell I will be adding to this list as I remember....

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Today's little adventure

Oh don't get excited it really wasn't exciting at all and I'm not even sure it was an adventure either but couldn't think of a better title.

I do enjoy a change!

This morning Izzy was having her heater removed which meant a new explore, new smells and a new view for me. Granted you may never choose to walk within an industrial area however where we are there are lots of green spaces in between and it is an area that is well walked by locals, often with dogs.  We passed many and you never guess what?  For the first time someone got their staffie to sit to let us pass, amazing, we are ALWAYS the ones to tuck in,  I was a little over enthusiastic with my thank yous.

The first walk was with my two having a good mooch only of course it wasn't a mooch it was a full blown squirrel watch then rabbit watch and even blackbird watch but hey we had fun.  Then out with the 'committee members' and I can tell you they weren't at all impressed with their walk choice despite it being nearly the same as the walk with the pods.  They had obviously envisioned open fields, lakes and woodland they got small pockets of grass, roadwork and car parks though they seemed a little more animated passing all the catering vans.

I had five out for a walk, three little people and two labs....we are walking along, me checking out people as they go past whilst trying my hardest not to stare, them marching long stopping for sniffs and checking out the daily reports left by those who had been earlier and we get looks.  Lots of looks, cars slow down, people smile, frown and point.  I sometimes imagine its because I am truly magnificent however I do think that is a little unlikely.

Wouldn't it be amazing or maybe alarming to be able to see what they think ( humans) when they see us?  And what the dogs 'see' when their noses and ears ( definitely with my two) are working overtime....Is it like Facebook for dogs or twitter for the likes of Carmen ( Autumn's new pharaoh hound has a penchant for bird chasing) or more like a wonderful technicolour assault on the senses?

After a walk through one innocent looking grass patch only to find us all doing the nettle dance we stuck to the car parks and roads enjoying the rhythm where we all match our speed and steps and walk as one, or at least two because Rufus walks his own path apparently.

Soon it was time to hop into Izzy and off we went again to have a meet up and walk with the louts and the hippo.  With a break looming it was deemed sensible to mix the three to make sure there are no holiday showdowns and they did a great job though I feel the Hippo should take up sledding or Cani-X he made my already brisk walking positively warp speed.  I do like to plan ahead and whilst they ain't likely to be buxom buddies there is nothing nicer than being able to o for a walk without feeling like you are doing the convict shuffle.

Next was Bernie boutique, a vain attempt to find skin on a hairy St Bernard who has missed a couple of grooming appointments....I did my own version of the haka and with my trusty committee mooching and playing I set to.

Two hours later four of the committee members had popped themselves into their beds in the van and only Charlie was left by my side as I lay flat on the floor trying to persuade my back it was able to once again be straight and upright.  Mila was positively floating on air and the birds were forming an orderly queue ready for their share of the hairy spoils....

Good fun this dog walking had a way with ya I'm ganning for a cuppa.

The Louts and The Hippo ( Poppy, Roly and George)

Charlie last man lying down

Pods spots squirrel
The Committee members
Rufus, Tallulah, Wobbily
Willow and Charlie
Wobbily and Rufus

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Check out my Etsy shop for our jewellery

Check out our Etsy shop:

We ship worldwide and if you don't see one you would like why don't you commission your own.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The unfamiliar new familiar

A phenomenal change has been unfolding, not tidily as you'd hope more like a cupboard opened and the contents spilling out!  More than a year of life changers for all of us, us three.

Three woman, three very different yet similar lives and all facing different life changing challenges in the same year.  What we have had is us three and hopefully once all is sorted and settled we will still have us three just a stronger slightly different three.  It is not for me to share other peoples lives on here so I shall focus on me and lets face it it has been said its all about me!

Life has thrown many things our way and it has made me question all, including who I am and what I want, need and am working toward.  Without doubt we have choices yet many of these choices are a part of a larger shift.

The ripples ( think more creaking, lurching rolls) have effected every part of my life.  Petnanny, family, my animals, 'my team' and of course me and relationships.  Those deep questions that shake your very core.

Am I living a life that fits my ideals and who I truly am?

There have been casualties along the way and that is something I am coming to terms with.  I will try and deal with each in term though in reality it has come pretty much together.

Petnanny.  Petnanny is also the Team and also in part relationships.  Petnanny I have come to realise is me, without me it isn't really Petnanny.  The responsibility that that brings along with it is what motivates my relentless quest for safety and attention to detail.  

The team is no more.  Sam and I have worked as a team and I am going to miss that feeling.  One of the toughest things to hear is that the day to day challenge and routine we share is no longer enough, that life out there is too big a draw.  So will I be on my own?  Who knows, in the end yes in some way and maybe soon maybe not, we are working together both aiming in different directions and helping each other out.  The sadness is gone, the fear is now replaced with the knowledge we are on a new journey.  Without doubt Autumn and I have a similar mutually beneficial relationship yet so completely different and one of individuals rather than a team.

For some time I haven't been able to trust my health and to come to the stage where my life was at risk has to change you.  I've been so fortunate to find an angel to help ( do angels take payment?) and now I can trust my health and simply get on with life.

Having family, my partner and the knowledge they are by your side is an aspect I hadn't considered fully.  Of course they are there they have always been there yet what has made me see more clearly is how my life affects theirs so completely, just as theirs affect me we are inextricably connected.  I will have to stand alone one day without them, until then I feel protected and grateful.

People well they are plain complicated.  I never thought I would have to protect myself legally with someone who has been so close and I hope never to again.  I left myself wide open but only to someone who was looking for an opening.  Will I meet the same ever again?  I hope not but I won't let that change who I am and how I invite people in.

So many parts make up your secure feeling, for me having my little house helps make me feel safer in my balancing act of securing a living from a healthy fit persons occupation and relying on just me.  To have my house so completely trashed takes away some of that security until of course you take the fear away and replace it with doing, fixing and solving.  Once done the security returns.

Throughout this I have learnt about what fits.  I need to be needed, I feel worth in being busy and value integrity and honesty.   If this is questioned, you question you.

My animals always have me questioning my abilities as an owner, I long for the absolute ability to prevent anything happening that could harm or upset them yet I simply don't have the gift!  Over the years my animals have tended to be the less conventional ones, throwing all kinds of conditions and problems our way and I have always been able to battle through and come out the other side, that is until Bella. When I could do nothing to save Bella I doubted more than I have ever doubted before.  There was no one thing to blame and even I couldn't blame me and accepting is one of the hardest things, something I am still working on!  I now accept Ella and her questionable health is just the way it is and no longer fight to change it, I accept it and enjoy the weeks and months, minutes and days she enjoys.  When both Zaffi and Flute both hurt themselves and required surgery my vet saved my skin by working on a day to day, week to week basis never quite over facing me with the, as it seemed, enormity of the task ahead. One which many many people have faced of course.

So where am I heading?

I am still going and vaguely know where I am going.  With seventeen years behind me with Petnanny why not aim for another seventeen years as long as I feel the same way?  I enjoy the dogs, I have amazed myself by enjoying the people and unexpected relationships you find yourself in.  Yet I also know it needs to be in its place.  I can only give so much of me.

I shall enjoy the support and everything else that comes with family and Mr Gumps.  Next time they need me I will be right there.  At the expense of all but my dependents.  As with most people in their forties I am very much aware my time will come where I will be needed to care for those who currently still care in some way for me, my parents and to a degree Mr Gumps.

Not for me the heights, not for me just the slog.  Give me the joy of animals, relationships and a good dash of randomness.

Take care of those who need it, that includes you.  I recon we all muddle through in life even when we have a plan.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Just4Paws Pet Services

Just4Paws Pet Services

Check out this great local service and a very exciting new venture soon to be unveiled

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The wonders of dogs

For the first time in an age we had a meet up at Petnanny.
Three humans
border terriers
german shepherd
welsh terrier
village dogs

Kath from Just4paws and Autumn who often joins us and indeed helps us when needed from K9-5.

Autumns guys and gals are used to many of our dogs and have made friends along the way.

Friday was a drop it off, don't forget and why not kind of day.

One field, our own three professional handlers and their charges.  We worked out who could go out with who, popped leads on and started walking.  Such social creatures we enjoy the catch ups and of course the same can be said for the dogs!

From Pugs to Ibizan hounds, spaniels and poodles, labradoodles to Shepherds and pretty much everything in between.

I watched with fresh eyes and truly saw how special it was.  Kath's Stanley, a huge labradoodle playing with Guinness the bulldog, when did Stanley become so considerate to a young testosterone fuelled bowling ball learning to play? Yet played they did, each matching their power to suit the game....finding the rules and making them up as they played.  Lucy the lurcher trying to control her environment before letting go and running, running until she didn't need to run anymore.  Heart pumping, lung busting running that soothes the lurchers nerves so soon she is playing and smiling.  Chance unable to keep up teaches her she can run from pressure, if the game becomes too much she simply cruises into sixth gear and returns to start again.  Chance knows and slots back into the game until she once again cruises away.

Raymond the birthday boy watches bemused as Sooty the poodle gads about then play bows.  Bemused no more they dash off different styles, it has to be said, with Sooty a little like a demented rabbit and Raymond  working his little sumo moves.  Black pug and black poodle enjoying a very different walk at a different speed to Stanley and Guinness.

Sasha is a rough player more like a boxer than the spaniel that she is yet she can't quite find someone to try her moves on, Holly the welsh terrier is a mirror of her and it makes her change her play.  She plays a polite version of her usual game and you know she is having fun with Tallulah and Holly, new playmates who seem to know what it is about.  How so when they've never met?  Well of course they are educated in the ways of dog.  Playing has rules, fluid and flexible.  Where the name of the game is to let off those pressures and worries to stop being perfect for the children in the household and the confidant of the adults.  We all know that pressure don't we?  Where we are the 'wife', daughter  and boss rather than Caroline?

Then we have little book huddle, the ones who live for the news and music of life.  Happy to absorb a new route, new view and new news.  Not for them the rough and tumble of life, maybe they are the ladies who lunch rather than the nightclub junkies?

The only tension is ours.  Amazing they might be yet we don't have the luxury of being able to simply sit back and watch, we conduct our orchestra.  We watch Kato and Guinness two personalities that could clash, allowing polite meetings and introductions, giving time for a potential friendship to blossom rather than spoil.  It takes time and time is what Guinness needs to become educated and polite.

Autumn's Carlisle the lurcher find a new pal and likely long term friend in Chester the spaniel...the kind of friend you meet now and again and slip straight back into the friendship.  They run, jigging and swerving no contact just running a complicated invisible course, bereft of any other distraction.  What did Carlisle see in Chester?

Ember is hyper aware, a dobermann who needs to watch, focus and worrywart.  She is a typical bully and we expect her to dart from bullying to hiding behind nanny and she does neither.  The girl is growing up!  The lead is popped back round my waist no longer needed....

Rez the entire Viszla shows us how much he has learnt, holding still when a learning dog makes mistakes, no more will he throw his taunt body around.  he plays and mingles not one dog holds his attention, he flutterbys back and forth and only slips up when he demands attention from Kath, slamming, wriggling and pushing soon earns him a brief spell, the briefest moment on lead until he once again whizzes back and forth with Chester joining in.

Bobby chocco lab and Willow carry on their funny little love affair, it's an illicit love affair where he has to share his love with Fergal, the brash lad who manages to catch her eye more than the quiet Bob. Today however Fergal is home with daddy day care so he can enjoy mooning over her and enjoying the fleeting nose kisses she gives in between dashing about with her new pals.

The other labs stay with their usual friends happy to have newbies join in but not being tempted away by fresh blood.  Tallulah and Robbie rag each other terriers through and through excited by new faces yet enjoying family time, once again surprising me.

Breeze the cocker, Megan the cockerpoo and Sooty the poodle make me chuckle by hanging out, before Sooty defects to romp with pugs.  Was Megan at home with her 'type?!

Roxy runs for all she is worth joyously happy with the freedom, Elsie and Winnie gravitate toward her and they form a loose happy group running when Roxy's legs need movement then sniffing as a group in between.  Two staffies and their pug friend happy to hang out.

Did I even mention Rosie yet?  Rosie is completely blind and the difference in her this time from last time is oceans apart and all credit to her and Kath.  To see a blind spaniel blend, mingle and play with a host of dogs is testament to all dogs ability to overcome.

With so many creeds and personalities, ages and needs I wonder why we as humans struggle so much to simply be with our own kind.

We worked so hard to get to this point and have so far to go however I am relishing the journey so far and makes me look forward to many more years to come hopefully.  Even with monument poop scooping duties!

Funny ol' life

Funny ol' life this one isn't it.

I bought a foal
and found a friend.
She grew into a horse and my friend was there every step of the way.  Along with the horse and the friend she brought along an extended group of people who had also bought a horse and found a friend.

As time and life marched on another Aztec horse came along and she sprinkled her Sapphire dust along the way extending the horse family further.

I bought a puppy
and found a friend.
He grew into a strong pod and my friend was there every step of the way.  Along with the Pod and the friend he brought along an extended group of people who had also bought a pup and found a friend.

As time and life marched on another Snowlief Pod came along and he spread his ghost like magic and extended the pod family further.

My Pod friend and Andaloosa friend now share the love for one anthers family and it blows me away!

How could I have ever known how buying a horse, that horse and buying a pod, that particular pod would change my life?

So I shall raise a half a glass of lambrini and toast to two special ladies who don't just breed dogs or horses they give a little bit of themselves and take you on a journey you don't wanna miss.  I love family and they are my animal family and I hope long after the super pods and wondrous daloosas are gone my animals family are still sharing our exploits.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Pet Insurance - did you know?

As you may have gathered I have had a rather unfortunate time with my animals.  I have learnt over the years that this is par for the course.  I work with lots of animals and I have a few myself.

Some people are lucky with their animals and some are not.  You can nurture and care for your dog yet they always seem to be the one that comes down with something yet the guy down the road who doesn't give one jot what his dog is fed on or how he is kept will have a dog who never seems to get anything wrong with them.

Funny thing is many people feel because I work with animals,  when something goes wrong it doesn't affect me in the same way.  This is simply not the case and often just because I know the possible outcome and the process of healing or the type of surgery means I am more worried.  With two Petnanny dogs recently ingesting things they shouldn't have and both had surgery one to remove thirty pieces of wire from a wreath and one who was opened up when it was thought part of the toy she ingested had been left in after she vomited the main part.  Whilst there wasn't any left in she now still has the recovery period and all that comes along with such a worrying time.  They may not be mine they are part of my life and are loved.

Anyway I am wandering down the wrong path!

When my pod was booked in for surgery unexpectedly I had little to fear from a finance point of view insurance, whilst the bane of the veterinary world in many ways, had given me the security of instant money.  Or so I thought.

The appointment was made and I handed my boy over, asking them to take good care of my precious big eared fool, handing over my little lad I also handed over my insurance claim form.

No matter how calm you try to be it is very difficult to not run the worse case scenarios in your head whilst trying to sort the practicalities of when to phone for news and when you can take them home.  To then have to find a large sum of money is nearly too much to take.  My estimated bill was £3,000! How do you even find that?

It was suggested using my credit card!  I don't have a credit card, I never have.

So if the worst should happen do you have the means to pay for your dogs or cats surgery/ treatment despite having insurance?

My insurance company was a recommended one, they had advised they would happily and promptly pay in advance so why did I have to pay first?  Maybe it was because I was referred?

I ended up emailing and was very grateful for the prompt reply and now I know what to do in the future heaven forbid it happens again.

Their reply was:

'Our payment terms are payment at the time of treatment.  We give a courtesy call the night before appointments to all clients - referral and our own - to remind them of this.  The circumstance where insurance companies pay us directly are when we have written acceptance that they authorise payment prior to appointment - a pre-authorisation. We would have been more than happy to deal with your insurance company but I can see no notes that you required this.' 

Did I miss something on the consent form?  Maybe and that is fine, I borrowed a credit card and found the remainder and all is well.  However without help this year I simply couldn't have paid, what on earth would I have done, this is why I have pet insurance so that I can guarantee if all else fails I have the money to have my pets treat.

So far things are going well, both my animals who have had surgery have had excellent thoughtful care, treatment and sweet handling.  I have been looked after and considered as part of the equation now I have to just do my part and hope the animals play their part by behaving CALMLY!

It may be hard to plan ahead as you never know quite what can happen with our animals and these instances are a rare occurrence.  Where you would be referred too depends on the skills required however it never does any harm to know that you may need to arrange payment before arriving for treatment even with insurance.

Keep safe and send healing thoughts to our walking wounded please!