Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Montanna update



New photos uploaded

http://picasaweb.google.com/Petnannyuk

Hopefully this will work this time!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Best laid plans

Despite the saying being, don't work with animals or children I find it hard with people in general! Today was Tommy two tones d day with him being vetted to see if he was fit and well ready to go to his new home. Horses are often vetted before sold as you are paying out large sums. Horses are also required to do a job over and above being a pet so vetting helps to decrease the risks when paying dearly for your new dream animal.

So Tommy was going to gone over with a fine tooth comb checking his wind (he definitely had that), eyesight general condition blah de blah. I had it planned to a tee. Pick up the guys early, get them walked at the fields next to the riding school before the vet came to vet TTT let them have a kip then give them another good walk rather than their normal afternoon pee stop.

Armed with a ball and thrower, six eager hounds and a challenge, see if I can get the dogs to ignore the grass cutting tractor...Lola, Truffle, Izzo, Esther, Charlielab and Fergus ran like the wind, back and forth with even Izzo trying to make those little stumpy legs go faster than they ever had before. They all focused on me and the ball and the rest of the world didn't exist. I was so impressed with the no longer luscious Lola, Esther swapped between playing fetch and playing with Nanny and Charlie managed to sit much better than normal.

Next was the steadier guys, taking them out for wees and poos before the vet came, Mila and Belle chasing Tallulah who in turn was chasing Hugo whilst Poppy watched in frustration. The look on their faces when we stayed out just minutes, these guys are used to proper walks non of these mamby pampy waddles around the park.

Once the vetting was finally and painfully over( he failed sob) and the people involved left with tears in their eyes I realised unhappily that I hadn't replaced the raincoat after cleaning out the van. Well I own't be doing that again in a hurry as I was inevitably going to get soaked taking the steady guys out again. What was worse was Sam who had arrived later than me and had more dogs to walk was now comfortable in her warm van with tired happy dogs!

Once out in the rain it is never so bad that is until the dogs start to look as bedraggled as you do, then it becomes a bit of a slog. Tallulah and Hugo were pretty stoical, playing and dashing around making Mila and Belle run in order to keep up with them. Poppy who was on the lead was just focusing on behaving in the hope she would be let off for good behaviour( poor lamb how do you explain she can run free yet?).

Just past the three quarter mark of the walk Hugo decided to do a sit down protest about being out in the rain, only he didn't want to sit down as it was so wet so he stood instead. It took a wee while before he clicked on it was actually further to go back the way he was insisting we went than the way we were going....once this was worked out he set of at a fair rate for a physically challenged pug. The motivation of a dry, heated van is obviously a good one and we arrived at the van grateful for her sanctuary.

Thank good ness for heaters!

Right I am off for a warming coffee and maybe an extra slice of homemade cake after all I ust have burnt off som extra calories.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Washington fields

I headed over to the fields in Washington and bourght out the early guys....Truffle eager to get going, Murphy turning himself inside out as usual, Esther looking around clearly on grub alert, Charlielab staring at the ball, Fergus staring at Charlielab and lastly Hugo.

Now the great thing about fields is you can see far ahead, the bad thing about fields is the dogs can see a far away ahead! Would today be the day for great escapes or would the training stand us in good stead.

We had some major obstacles, a jogging man( why was he running, he wasn't trying to catch anything and no one was chasing him? wierd hehe), lots of rubbish and border collies. I don't no why just border collies, it is just one of those great mysteries!

I was heavily armed....Food check, poo bags check, leads check, line on Esther check, ball and thrower check, squeeky ball CHECK.
Adrenalin was flowing, ready for action.
I asked them to sit, they did
I clipped the leads off, the sat
I told them to go, they most definitely did.

And they ran and the ran.
The jogger speeded up, I raised my arm and squawked 'are you ready?'
And there was a pile up!
Charlielab was at the bottom of the scrum, Truffle and Esther somewhere in the middle, Fergus wiggled out and Murphy Jumped in time to miss them all, as for Hugo he was still trying to catch up, bless!

Truffle say the ball just before Charlie and the chase was on, Who would catch the ball and would the slower dogs use the excitement as an excuse to mug the jogger ( seriously why would you run, just run?)....

Hugo, despite his head start, was last again but was not lacking in enthusiasm, Esther practically did a handstand when she smelt a Mc Donalds bag and I had to rapidly multitask, calling Esther for her lunch at the same time as placing my foot on the captured ball.

Eyes were glistening, jowls were also glistening( I am using artistic license here urgh) Esther snaffled up her reward for ignoring the junk and We prepared for the next throw, Hugo catching up and ready for action. Truffle started her squeaking, Murphy yodelled and Fergus watched his target( Charlies butt), Esther tried her telepathy on me and off they went again chasing the ball, straight past the bored looking Collies and underneath the goal post...

Basking in the glory of six well behaved dogs I chided myself not to let down my guard, we were faced with the ultimate....horse poo, not just normal stale horse poop, fresh steaming and begging for a bit of action. Hugo passed the target, still wired from chasing the ball, phew most likely candidate was past, Murphy didn't even have it on his radar and soon we were past.

Esther was bombarded by lunch then we walked on with less haste to come face to face with a border collie pup. Now this is where I got lucky, the dogs looked up, looked back and flopped in the shade ready for their breather before the fun started again.

Phew who knew what walking at the football fields would throw up!
There is something special about watching a Pug, Great Dane, Lab, springador, westie and staffie all having fun with each other, what a sight haha.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Skater boy NOT

We all now know I am not a Cowboy and today I also found out I am not a skater boy( or girl) either!

I wanted to teach some of our larger guys to pull. I have bought the proper harnesses used in CaniCross and I borrowed a skateboard as I didn't fancy finding out what it would be like to go over the handlebars on a skooter. Put a dog in the harness and my on the skateboard and you get....
Lots of squeeling, laughing and a happy dog looking at me bemused.
I really thought we would spend much of today getting them used to the scary rattly thing( skateboard) only they didn't care less! So, with Ferns help, we had fun with Bobby first who looked at me as if to say 'hang on a minute you spend your whole time teaching me not to pull and now you want me to pull you'?! I couldn't believe when he finally took up the slack in the line and pulled me a tiny amount, oh he was praised within an inch of his life.
Next was CharlieLab, now I really expected Charles to wimp out as he is young and impressionable...not a bit of it he was a superstar also pulling me a short distance.
Izzo took to it very well although I couldn't get his size harness over his big head haha. I also nearly learnt to fly when he turned around and dove at me to tell me how much fun he though it was!
Belle looked at both of us as if we had turned into aliens, trotted steadily and looked bemused at all the fuss, no hassle at all as far as she was concerned.
Mila didn't get it, too hard having to think of one human in front and one behind but she did enjoy the hugs in the meanwhile.
Lastly was Jasper, now Jasper just loves to pull the bike, so no bother i thought. Foolish me I should know by now Jasper makes his own rules and he preferred to trot delicately along baying all the while with me moving at snails pace, on the plus side I managed at least not to fall on my face and he thought it was all a hoot.

Eeh this Petnanny lark is just soooo boring!

And just in case that didn't work

Here are some of the photos:







The dreaded Facebook!

Petnanny

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Thursday, 12 August 2010

‘I am not a cowboy… just so you know’: A Blog about Blogs

I am surprised to find how many people do Blogs! We all know Caroline does and we all eagerly await her daily blogs (yes Caroline we want them DAILY! haha) but the other night after being accused of cheating at Poppy’s training class (we were not cheating, just being creative!!), I discovered that the trainer also keeps a blog which got me thinking, you never know who is writing a blog! Then I thought ‘maybe I should keep a blog’, but after 3 days of exactly the same entries ‘Got up; went to work; came home; walked the dogs; went to bed’ I decided I am waay too boring to do a blog so I will leave blogging to the interesting people.

You do have to be very careful though, as you never know what Caroline is going to put into the blog, she carefully observes the world around her and that is what makes her blog interesting, but it can be a shock to see she has put something on there that was never intended for the blog – So be warned!!! For example she took a photo of a note left by a customer saying ‘Dog in utility room, been a bad dog’ and put it on the blog (I hardly dare leave a note now). Then there was the time I sent Caroline an email and she put it in the blog which made another customer (Sherleen!) think I had been calling her a swot!

Some of the memorable blogs are: The Sit/Stay video; Petnanny’s Got Talent; Ella in her leotard … oh and let’s not forget poor Hugo on the naughty tree! Then there is facebook where Caroline just goes for it and tells owners their dogs are fat!! or she names and shames the naughty ones! but she is also very supportive of owners and praises the dogs when they are good. One of her funniest (not sure it was meant to be funny!) and most random facebook comments appeared on my newsfeed this week. It was Caroline informing a FB friend in what appeared to be all seriousness ‘I am not a cowboy, just so you know’. - Hahaha how many of us have had to explain to someone that we are not a cowboy – It just doesn’t happen that often in the North East of England!!!!! – Keep it up Caroline – we love it!!!

By Kim Leighton

Poppy puppy and Roly Poly's mum

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Lazy

Well I am being Lazy and not even gonna bother to see if I have mentioned Roly before on the blog! Roly is a pug/patterdale/ border, brother to Poppy and a hoot! From early on he reacted to Poppy and dogs, barking and huffing as I call it. Huffing is that noise they make usually when heading backwards! It is very easy to think he is just full of it or edgy, when in fact it is usually fear that makes them react. Obviously living with Poppy has helped as he now loves her unfortunately this is limited to being comfortable with Poppy alone.

So as soon as he was able we paired him up with a very quiet dog( Doris) until he felt comfortable in her presence before steadily increasing his circle of 'friends'. Each time we aimed to introduce him to different shapes, sizes and colours always sticking to quiet dogs so he build up his confidence.

This has definitely been the case and he is now ( with us and with appropriate dogs) feeling it is well worth trying to play with his mates! Today we did something a little different, whilst working with the guys in the field( our weekly visit today I am sure they count down the days) we took Roly in our arms and we were delighted to hear him giving us his opinion on being restrained. Progress indeed! So after this we popped him down later with slightly livelier dogs, he went straight to the red dog! Harvey was somewhat bemused at the little mans attention and then looked a little disappointed when Roly, realising not all red dogs are Poppy, then turned away to find who else was there to play with.

It is so nice to see him flourish and to know as Nannys and owners we are working towards the same goal. Clever boy!

Beautiful Benji

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Positive reinforcement

Now I have banged on many times about rewarding good behaviour and Fat dogs so I was delighted to be called the Fat Police on facebook, Marvellous!

As for positive reinforcement I would like to say a well done to Sirus's mum as he is looking very slimline and handsome, his basic behaviour has improved no end.

Next is Poppy puppy once feral now nearly tamed( not too tamed she has to be true to herself!), I can tell how much work has been put into her training and it is showing.

Charlielab is proving himself to be a star and you can only find that out if you test them and spend time doing things with them a definite case of perfect match between owners and dog.

Mick and Minnie are doing very well and their mum is really pushing herself to wlak them in different situations, to show Mickey what she expects from him.

Murphys mum needs praise for sticking with the big lad and working steadily through his foibles, for a big lad he is a big wimp!

As for the rest of the guys, we do of course have the swats (Tash for instance) who are good on a daily basis. We have the ok's and that is fine cos that is what they are and the 'need to work harder' guys ( sounds like my school report) but you know what that is what makes this job so interesting!


Snippets

Do you wonder what the person next to you is doing for the rest of the day, whilst sitting in traffic? Or maybe you see someone walking along and wonder who they are and what their life is like?

Well we get to see more than a nano second of people's lives, we get to see their private places (steady on, then again been there and seen that too), share some of the morning regime and more importantly we get to share special moments with the hairy family!

As for the guys routines in a morning we have Nanci watching Jeremy Kyle, Tash lounging on the sofa, CharlieLab usually comes with his lunchbag and sometimes a toilet roll tube, some mornings Pop and Truff are with their dad other times Pop in her cage and Truff loose snuggled in tight to her fleece cover on the settee, how does Poppy manage to wiggle and walk at the same time. Murphy is waiting for me and already yowling, Maddie's mum waits for Sam, Oscar and Hugo are always ready to go and sit impatiently whilst I open the door and tell them to 'go!' to the van. Molly Mc and Elsie have a different routine, they are dropped off early so no sneak into their lives until afternoon.

As for the drop off routine I know what most of them do..........Sleep in complete comfort dreaming of their nighttime cuddles and running with their pals.



Saturday, 7 August 2010

New commission Benji and Montanna

Surprise commission no more, Maybe

I met Maybe when she was a foal as I used to walk the families German Shepherds Naz and Hiedi.

Gill commissioned a portrait of her daughter's horse Maybe as a surprise:









Thursday, 5 August 2010

Vans, Murphy and learning

Well the monster truck has gone back and I can't say I am sorry! It is useful having a wedger of a van but we are so used to having everything to hand it has only confirmed that I am not completely over the top to have both vans kitted out with made to measure cages, specialist matting, showers, heaters and blowers, windows and ventilators.....

I have numerous foldable cages, ventlocks for ventilation and put my matting down with bedding but non of the dogs liked the no windows in the wedger hire van, I was worried about keeping everyone cool enough and certainly in Truffle and Murphy they were showing real signs of stress. Truffle was fairly easy to resolve as she just need the security of the lintran cage I had in there( securely fastened by those ratchety type webbing thingies). Once in there she settled lovely and no more anxiety.

Murphy however not only marked his hocks by leaning on the side of the boarded out van( or maybe banging them on the boxed in wheel arch?)I also realised that this huge quivering sparrow of a dog needs the security of his van mates to feel safe. I had dropped some of the guys off, Sam picked up the rest and I only had Murphy to take home and he was past himself. You can know a dog so well yet in unusual situations you can learn more about them. Once I got him home at a snails pace I made sure he was calm and tucked him into his bed with his mate, the huge tiger teddy.

On a positive note Murphy was a superstar today and stole a few hearts on Chester le Street. He is a worrier and has the same fears many small dogs have but packaged in a strong body. He was starting to show signs of bolting again with his mom so I thought rather than let him have a woodland walk with the rest of the guys he would benefit form a walk through the town. If he hadn't done this before and was fearful of people this would be called flooding and great care has to be taken whilst doing this. Murphy has progressed really well and I was confident he would be fine with the people but we had to find out what was making him want to bolt.

Kath already knew it was when someone came up behind so I had planned to test this. We headed down the street and he did watch far more when people were behind but more importantly it was noise sensitivity that was and is the issue. The first telltale sign was him practically taking off when a canary in the pet shop whistled. He stare just long enough for me to reward him for not running and then the girls in the shop started to spoil him. He started to soften and then he went back to his soppy self.

The next clue was when the workman on some scaffolding dropped a tool, fair enough that would frighten anyone but he was at a distance that it shouldn't have even registered. So I took the opportunity, when one of the workmen said he had a english bull terrier who was as soft as Murphy, to ask the workman to throw some tolls back and forth whilst we petted, fussed and gooned with Murph. Well Murph was always a little bog eyed at men but he took a shine to this fella who was just so fun so he started to goof about, enough to be able to start making some noise without him reacting. After a few play sessions with the tools and fussing we ended on a real positive note and we came away feeling very pleased with ourselves.

I am sure it won't be long before the little spuggy morphs into a braver chicken and then who knows he may even become a .....Turkey?!

Just the background to polish up



I apologise for the horrible tint I haven't managed to photograph it in daylight

Benji and Mont

Two Year celebration

I can barely remember a time without her, Sam has been a Petnanny for two years! It sometimes scares me how much I rely on her and we are fortunate enough to enjoy each others company.

When I started looking for someone I can remember feeling how it was going to be a hopeless case, where do you find someone to put their heart and soul into a 'job' to fit in with my ways, to be loved by the guys, to do as I asked and also have all our customers judging them? Be willing to work in all weathers in all circumstances and to be able to handle all kids of animals.

Sam had done work experience with me and worked in Ireland on a film job when I couldn't go myself, unfortunately she was working fulltime and I had only wanted a parttimer. As time went on and I was struggling I couldn't get past Sam. So in a reckless moment( for me) I phoned my neighbour who was also her uncle and asked if she would leave her comfortable job to come work with me. Needless to say she would only do so to go fulltime also in the full knowledge that she would be taking a substantial wage drop I promised to increase her wage as soon as we were able. Oh what a big leap that was for both of us and definitely the best decision I have made to date.

So two years on I still revel in her care, loyalty and dedication. We laugh over coffee, cry over the dogs, get mad at the vans and shake our heads together at what goes on and long may that last!

Here's hoping there are many more years to come ( I have said she can leave at anytime but if she does she is contracted to still do the dogs with no wage hehe).

Benji

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Update on the Ibizan pups

Well Lotti is doing her puppies proud and Liz the owner is finding it so hard to leave for work when she has these little treasures to gaze at! For her first litter Lotti is obviously coping really well.

Puppy one bitch
Puppy two bitch
Puppy three dog
Puppy Four dog

Puppy five dog
Puppy six dog
Puppy seven dog
Puppy eight dog