Sunday, 21 February 2010

A Dog Walking Knitted Meerkat of course!




I am no wthe very proud owner of a custom made Dog walking Meerkat! Too funny and will be treasure. Thank you to Laura from Chamfron photos




I am sure I will continue to laugh out loud everytime I look at it, whats that? It looks jut like me? Mmm yeh Laura beat you to that one.....could it be the short legs and pointy nose?

Uploaded photos and vids

http://s589.photobucket.com/home/muddypawswaggytails

Friday, 19 February 2010

The ultimate question of trust

I often say I trust people when I don't really know how I would feel IF I was put in a position that would test that trust. It is easy to feel comfortable with someone then for it to be blown apart when something happens.

Petnanny is all about trust.

But would you really know deep down that we did all we could in the circumtances? Would you feel absolutely certain that it wasn't our fault? This may be an uncomfortable thought and one that most people wouldn't discuss.

Well it is something we have to face .

Truffle recently had to have stitches as she cut her leg badly whilst out walking with us. I arranged for her to go under aenesthetic to be stitched and with time he has recovered although the tendons are still repairing. This all took place on a walk we walk weekly and can happen at anytime.

Then to make matters worse yesterday I walked her at Beamish and somehow she injured herself again. As her previous injury is still delicate she wasn't allowed to join in with the ball throwing and frisbee walk so she was taken out for a quieter woodland walk with her pals who also werent allowed to play frisbee. Not once did I see anything that worried me and she was sound when we returned to the van. However once I was ready to walk her for her afternoon walk she wasn't putting that foot down.

Why am I telling you this? Well I am very fortunate that her owners know I have done all I can to keep their girls safe yet sometimes things go wrong. They questioned me on possible causes, coudl she have hurt herself in the van, did she yelp at all and all the things that go through your head and I could only answer honestly....I can't find any reason how she could hurt herself in the van, I have no idea how she did it and that I was and am very sorry Truffs is so sore.

It turns out she has a hairline fracture just below her hock and it could have been from turning sharply.

Whilst I reproach myself I do know I can't stop thse things happening and I am so grateful that the family trust me, a simple word that means so much.

So for everyones sake you need to ask yourself do you really trust us? If there is any doubt it needs to be discussed and acted upon. Lets face it our guys are so precious we need to know for certain that you are happy with who has their welfare and health in their hands.

This isn't meant to be a gloomy post it is so that I can sleep at night!

On that note anyone know of any good activities to tire out a senile old dog who has classic dementia sleeping patterns and feels 3am onwards is a great time to be doing things, funnily enough I disagree! I wake up to the sound of:

A wet black nose pushing the bedroom door making it rattle, yes Buck I know you want to be next to the fire.
Or two front spottie feet tapping the floor hoping I would ( which I inevitably do) wake up and take notice so he can drink out of the bowl in the lounge, no he doesnt want a different bowl or even that bowl brought through into the bedroom, no he wants that bowl in the lounge.
Or even waking up to a face inches away from your face, ears pricked hoping that I will get up and do something, only Buck doesnt know what that something is that he wants.

Yawn, anyone for an afternoon nap? Me! Someone keep Buck awake in the hope he sleeps tonight does he not know its a form of torture?

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Lampposts

Wow what a difference from Beamish to Chester le Street whilst Chester was cloaked in fog Beamish was ablaze with sunshine, needless to say we headed for Beamish.

Today we worked on the lamppost technique as a coule of the livlier dogs were starting to be a little pushy and winding themselves up, the last thing we want is for them to fight with us instead of working out what behaviour gets them their ultimate goal.

This starts off very simply, Jasp was popped into my van just to confuse im therefore distract him for the screaming habjabs he so loves to throw. Once we got out the guys we wanted to walk we tied them up and waited, after a fair amount of huffing and puffing the first dog tried sitting and soon all were sitting anad calm, great! So off we set and what a lovely walk we had, lively of course with Charlie, Hansom, Lil, Takoda, Bertie and Beau! Takoda only had to be popped on a leader once for barking and all was calmly manic. Everyone enjoyed the spoils of their good behaviour with treats and running. Sams crowd Montana, Suzy, Vinnie, Nanci, Harvey and Ziggy all did the same and I am delighted to say after being told to not run down to their play puddle they restrained themselves, well done guys. Its amazing how effective being as argumentative as a lamppost helps in training haha.

The last walk was certainly more eventful as it was our more, shall we call them adventurous?! In short( poppy puppys poopy time) we had the teenagers, the pups and the hunting guys and after one fluff when five of the dogs went down to the water without permission we hid until they found us popped them on leads and had a great over the top play session with the guys who didnt fluff. Oh that worked so well and we had very attentive guys from then on with only a very silly hyper Lola needing to on and even then only once. Bob and Jack are defintely starting to enjoy coming back to us instead of getting their hunting fix, Lola and Louie are steadily learning the rules, Jasper was very good, Harry and Nero treasures, Milliedood and Archie once reminded decided rules were just fine, Oscar after being poorly from eating a peach stone was another who bucked his ideas up after a huffy leader moment.

Well its time to see to Poppy and Poppy puppy.

Enjoy a little bit of sun if you can.

Waldridge Fell

Well I now have time to blog after seeing to Poppy Puppy.

Yesterday we headed off for Waldridge Fell, we don't often meet people yet when we do we notice a range of reactions, often people are intrigued and impressed with the dogs, then we have the people who move on quickly, of course we meet people we know and end up joining us and lastly the people who want to talk.

Needless to say the dogs hate the ones who want to talk or are intrigued...how dare they spoil their enjoyement! As for the people who know us they just love that, it means fun and frolics with their extended friends. The people who move in tend to be people who are worried, what I have come to recognise though is they are rarely frightened of us and our dogs its the reaction of their dog.

Yesterday we had the whole combo! The intrigued people were used to desensitise Montana, the talky people used to teach and remind them patience but the most interesting were undoubtedly the people who know us and the people who avoided us.

I had noticed a black lab come around the corner and realised it was Callie who I used to walk so over she came with her mum and off we wandered, Gypsy her new Lurcher took a little while to realise we were friends and then she became 'rabbit' and she ran and ran even slowing down so Tallulah could keep up! Her new pup a tiny jack russell was swinging from chasing Hugo Pug to sitting in amazement at the sheer size of Mila. It was so nice to see how well they all looked and even better the old friends reaquainting themselves with Callie.

Shortly after meeting Callie the lady with the GSD who had moved off met us at the 'Pass' and was delighted that her big entire boy was mixing quite happily with all and sundry. She went form being worried to delighted that not only had he had fun (and a new love interest, Belle)she had also thoroughly enjoyed seeing him play. Just as we got back we had all the guys on the leads and the gentleman with a lively boxer who had walked the opposite way came up the lane and we moved to let him pass. After a quick chat we started introducing them and once again we had happy dogs and happy owners.

Now thats what I call a successful walk.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Morning delights

My morning delights, not every morningand you just never know when you will see them:

The jogger with the bassett...never will tire of that sight! Throckley

The little owls sitting on the hedge/tree. Colwell and Ponteland

The barn owls hovering in the field that is setaside. Military road

The lame guy who walks slightly faster than the very slow westie. Blaydon

The galloping pigs they dont always gallop mostly they just eat! Near Newburn

The hares that give you a heart attack as they decide to run into the road. Anywhere up till military road.

The sheep waiting impatiently for their grub and the on sheep who doesnt wait and jumps into the ring feeder to get the best hay out of the middle. Stagshaw

The racehorses on morning exercise Newburn

The old english sheepdog with a fulltail and always immaculate. Ponteland

The rescue spanish pointer and naughty pug. Ponteland

The roedeer no matter where they are I never tire of seeing roe. Everywhere!

Of course I am concentrating fully on the road!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Its not all about snips and snails and puppydog tails...

When we think of puppies we think of snuggles, cutsy faces and fun and frolics...In reality we often feel the pressure of responsibily, tiredness from sleepless night and an endless attachment to the mop!

We currently have Lola (showgirl), Poppy ( tinker terrier), Louie ( shan't)and CharlieLab (ahh but)all under a year and don't we know it.

So 'Showgirl' first. She was born running I am sure, she knows what she likes and think the whole world is a hoot. Her new thing is run up to exciting things ( people, dogs etc) and then come back IF her playmate comes back or IF she has finished what she has doing. ow this is normal, it's also incredibly dangerous, running up to anything without your permission or control is potentially fatal.

What you can do is to help show her that she can go and visit all those eciting things only if you have okey'd it first. How? Well lots of ways: Use her normal daily food to encourage her to hang around you to earn her food or maybe you can use a longline so if she goes to shoot off you can prompty dive on it before she gets the oppurtunity. Each and everytime she managed to get her fun fix by running away from you ( not running away as such)she will continue to do it and the habit will be harder to fix...what happens when the day she shoots off to visit a dog and it happens to be across a road?

What I should also mention with 'Showgirl' is she is remarkebly well mannered for a Puggle, ses fun, clean in the house and doesn't eat people or other dogs, she goes into her cage without a fuss and is generally exaclty what you want from a puggle pup...fun!

Next we have 'Ahhh But' now he will be coming up a year and is a typical teenager, he torments, he pushes and he spits the dummy out when it doesn't go 'his' way. His new thing is to lunge at dogs just as they are walking past, it's not that he is being aggressive he just feels he should be able to greet whoever he likes. So rather than give ourselves a lot of hard work we are concentrating on basic manners, overall control and then wait for the next new thing. So he now wears a halter and rather than make him sit his mum will be walking firmly past then IF he has walked past quietly a ball game.

Maybe just making sure he doesn't jump on you or ignoring the barking might just mean the difference between a well mannered adult and a brat. Again it is easy to focus on the negatives and to lose sight of the wonderful big lump that is your boy....he is incredibly steady for his age, he is a loving, happy dog who feels so secure that he can risk working his ticket to see if he can make his life even better.

'Shan't' has his own little habits, he doesn't seem to like taking risks, he likes life nice and secure and safe. So when he decided he liked weeing in the kitchen( he is a puppy that is what they do) it stuck. It stuck even when it didnt make sense....he goes for a walk and he would still rather pee in the kitchen so we have set up a routine that means he doesnt have access to his comfort peeing spot until he relearns when to wee. Sounds simple doesn't it but it is so frustrating and upsetting when your young adorable pup would rather hold on all day than have to wee somewhere he deems unsafe. When this is worked through we will be able to enjoy a wonderful determined, kind young dog who will be as steady and reliabel as a rock.

Now 'Tinker Terrier' is a prime example of a pup, she is doing so well with her toilet training and fitting in with her new life yet she would poop and trample it around in the cage when she was left. it wasn't because she wasnt used to the cage or that she wasn't left alone it was just a symptom of how she was feeling at that particular moment.

Nobody has failed their lovely dogs, non of the dogs are a bad dog or a hard dog they are just learning and living. They are learning to fit in and become the dog you have helped to mould and form with a good dose of their own individuality. Bringing up a well mannered dog is sometimes sheer slog, looking back though you won't care one jot because you will all be too busy basking in your own glory when you can walk your guys anywhere and do anything with them and if by chance they dont become the perfect citizen will you care, I doubt it you will be too busy having fun!

So well done Lola, well done Charlielab, well done Poppy and well done Louie you are doing exactly what young dogs are supposed to do and well done to all the owners because they care enough to worry and put in the effort to try and bring up a happy well mannered dog.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

A remarkable find

As you all may know I uually have my phone with me at all times but at weekends it's sometimes nice to have a break from my responsibilities. So when I left my phone at home for lunch out with Bruce I was worried to see Holly had rang Bruces phone.

I obviously rang her back hoping it wasn't somegthing serious and she shocked me with her reply

Never would I have guessed what she would have said, not ever.

The conversation went a little like this:

' Hi Holly is everything ok?' said I.
' Yes but Caroline, Vicky was walking at Beamish and she's found a Dinosaur'
Pause.
'A Dinosaur! A Dinosaur, what makes you think it's a dinosaur?' said I with total shock
now bear in mind I was expecting her to say her car wouldn't start or maybe one of her dogs wasn't well.....not a dinosaur!
Holly then says, cool as you like' Well it's got webbed feet and no beak'
Obviously I thought whilst wiping the tears streaming from my eyes, at this point I could stand it no more I asked Bruce to pull over so I could pass the phone over to him.
No I just wish I could explain fully the disbelief and hilarity on Bruces face as the story was told to him....well I am guessing thats what passed over his face, I have no idea because by now I was howling laughing.
So passing the phone back silently Holly preceeded to say how she'd sent a picture to me so I could Identify it, now bear in mind other than Jurassic park I would have no idea what I was looking at if it truly was a dinosaur. Of course as she described the skeleton my imagination was going wild and I coud now picture Vicky and Holly on the front page of every newspaper as the finders of the first ever Dinosaur found on the surface with some skin left on it.
Holly was still asking me why I was laughing and speech was way past my capabilities so I hung up and waited with baited breath to see said photo.
Well Vickys grizzly find didnt have webbed feet, the skin had merely draped over the remaining toes and it didnt have a beak because sadly I believe it was mammal rather than a dinosaur!
Ah well those headlines may have just been a fantasy, I will definately leave grizzly finds to Holly.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Haiti

Whilst we wwatched the disaster in Haiti unfold I thought about the animals also suffering in silence.

The following blog helps explain what has been done to help the animals.

http://www.animalsindisasters.typepad.com/

I am proud to think we helped to raise money( pyjama walk) to help WSPA help in situations like this.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Karma

Just sometimes Karma rules.

First of all whilst sitting, listening to Chris Evans on the radio, in traffic I noticed the woman in front of me was not only going to work she was actually working in her jeep. Not only reading her paperwork actually writing, grrr. I refrained from parping her then after holding up the traffic with her office work she proceeded to put mascara on, my hand crept closer to my horn. What did she do next? File her nails of course, needless to say she was unceremoniuosly parped and told to stop doing her office work and beauty routine and pull up to the junction.

Calm happy thoughts! So where does the Karma come into it? With nail file still in hand she must have been a little flustered when pulling out at the roundabout and managed to stall while everyone looked at her aghast. Karma.

With the driving over and the walking starting we started walking. Sirus however didnt want to do just walking and tried to set off at a steady gallop only to be stopped by a very slow moving Nanny, me, I stopped him as I was still attached to the lead that was attached to his collar!, He huffed and he puffed and lunged at Taggart hoping to sneak a bit of playful aggrivation out of Taggart. It was just at this point that Taggart decided to have a pee. Yup just as Sirus opened his mouth Taggart skillfully aimed ( at the mound rather than the feckless wonder) and bingo we have Karma. I can honestly say I have never seen a dog recoil so fast and all was calm apart from a certain spottie dog frantically trying to expel the foul tasting liquid from his big fat gob.

Lastly we have Hansom. Hansom runs down the hill after pogoing around me wanting me to react to his foolish ways, he builds up speed looking forward to his illicit dip in the big puddle. He bounds, he leaps and CRACK! The big puddle is frozen and his well aimed leap has landed him straight through the ice in a big crack and he runs straight back to Nanny a little shaken by the unexpected feeling. Karma!

So watch out today if you get up to mischief you might just find it turns around and bites you on the bum!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Mathematical genuis

So we were walking the guys.

Sam looked to me and said 'we are missing some dogs'.

I counted and said 'no they are all there'.

Sam and Cait counted the dogs, twelve and Tallulah. 'See told you there are dogs missing, you brought six, I brought six and Cait had Tallulah that makes fifteen' said Sam.

Urm no that makes thirteen!

I am so pleased Sam looked more than a little embarassed and we had a good laugh especially when Cait piped up that she can't believe Sam had thought there was three dogs missing. They had the cheek to look at me like I was mad when I said fifteen dogs minus thirteen makes two dogs not three!

Sheesh what are they teaching young'uns today haha.....am I showing my age?

Petnanny is officially 12 years old ( yes not 13 or 11) woohoo.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Weekend catch up

Well I had a lovely day, did you?
Pop and Truffle's family came to visit today so I got stuck in with some house work, you know I may do it a little more often I actually enjoyed it.....Once that was done we headed for lunch meeting up with Lin, Sharon and Chris with Pop and Truf languishing in the car, they were not at all happy I can tell you. Once fed watered and much yakking we headed back to home getting ready to take the guys out.
Buck is now frightened of travelling and it was a bit too wet for his liking so he stayed at home but Shy was ready and waiting for fun with the girls. Now as walks go I have to admit it wasn't the most exciting or most scenic yet the guys didn't seem to care and I dragged everyone up to see the old settlement just at the back of our village and in front of the quarry.
Shy did his usual badger and rabbit run check just incase he missed anything and we luckily didn't have to endure any fresh fox smells. Poppy as usual was very excited Truffle however was a real chatterbox( not just me then) and muttered the whole way round I really think she was a little overwhelmed at walking with Nanny and her family and a new exciting walk.
Once they were all suitably sated we headed home again for chocs and cuppas before heading off to visit the spottie dotties. I had forgotten to warn them the once lovely road is now more like a well used farn track with holes in it deep enough to lose a small elephant. See what happens when you have a flash flood and the road becomes a stream?

As usual the girls ran alongside the van hoping I would bring gifts or more importantly more food despite having a big new round bale of haylage, just as well I brought a treat. I subjected my visitors to some horse feeding then they watched aghast as I scratched Zaffis big spottie butt under her rug...go on admit it we all like to give our dogs a good butt scratch so why not the girls.


To round of the night I sketched an owl before starting my next commission...a funny looking but lovely spaniel.


Happy walking!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

updated photos

http://s589.photobucket.com/albums/ss338/muddypawswaggytails/

And next we have Poppy puppy




Our last new girl is Poppy a rescue terrier pup who is currently eight weeks.

I went to visit her yesterday with a view of replacing( not literally you can't replace him) Dexter when he moves on.



She's a pick n mix ( you pick what mix you think she is) and a real cutee, as you can see she decided I was just fine and promptly fell asleep.

Say hi to the new girls first Ricola


Now Ricola is a very special girl: she is a 15 year old Akita yup 15! I haven't heard of any other Akitas that age and certainly not ones who have travelled as a 14yr old from America.


A sweet old lady who doesn't like to go down the stairs we go and take her for a mini tootle, give her treats and gentle hugs then spend a little time with her. Here's hoping we will care for her for a longtime yet. It's funny I do love little (or big) old guys and gals.




Monday, 1 February 2010

A Crying Tree?







Wandering round the churchyard, St Wilfred's at Kirkharle we spotted what looked to be a crying tree.

I just seemed to strange one the edge of the graveyard a tree obviously must have had a wound that was weeping and because it was so cold the sap was freezing creating a stalactite( spelling?) with a small puddle below. I was amazed the tree even had rising sap.


I couldn't help but think of it as a crying tree in a graveyard.