Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Patience

Some days I set myself a task, I plan and work out strategies to cope with the scenarios I am likely to encounter.  Then I introduce the dogs and it is always invariably me who ends up learning the valuable lesson, me who is tested and me who has to review what I am doing!

Today was such a day.

I thought 'Right!  Today would be a great day to work on the usual patience in the van, waiting to be let out and using food to ask them to stay focussed on me.  Then allowed to run and play whilst I repeated the process.  Only the guys who aren't food orientated didn't care one jot for the food reward and bizarrely took it as a choice.  If you want food wait here or you won't get it.  If you don't want food then what the hell run!

Sigh, should have seen that coming.  Did you ever watch that programme with Calista Flockhart ....it'll come to me....ALLY MCBEAL!

If you ever watched that programme she used to see an imaginary dancing baby.  Well I see an imaginary me running after the dogs, flying through the air cartoon style and rugby tackling them before starting again.  Oh to have special powers, not that I need them I just need to be at least half a step in front of these guys.

The field is a wonder as it allows us to iron out any issues or allow them and us some relaxation time.  I see the field and see a field of grass, birds, freedom and space to breath to have time to train without distraction.  They see the field as a heady mix of friends, frolicking and fun.

So Sam and I stopped and we heard it an incessant drone and squeak.  The volume levels are increasing, with Rez chewing the corner of my mat in frustration, a high pitched rarara from Belle desperate to be out playing with her new friends.  Oh Louie, Tallulah and Robbie they were squeaking and whining all at their own particular pitch destined to drive a saint spare.  Maddie was by now barking rhythmically and determinedly with Millypoo making the van rock with her bouncing.  My van was already gently moving to Robbie's frantic spinning.

Sigh.

We waited and they waited.  The frustrated increased their frustration as the good and sweet were let out to free play, sniff and stretch whilst we waited some more.

Soon they were out and a kind of calm descended.  They looked at us looking at them and the calm continued.  Until we brought out the food.  Oh much excitement as the food was shared all able to have some though taking everyones allergies into account made it look much like cardboard.  Despite a frenzied hunt for the food no bickering no complaining so we upped the anti.

We brought out the ball.

Madness descended.

Sigh.

Soon the vans filled up with squealers ( Tallulah, Jasper, Truffle)
Then the vans filled up with grumpers ( Harvey, Harry, Nanci, Poppy, Esther)

All was now a tentative calm.  Slowly Sam raised the throwing arm, mashed up soggy vaguely offensive ball balanced precariously on the throwing stick and they all turned into border collies dashing back and forth rounding us up and we waited.

And Waited

They stopped.  Even Wobbily Robbie.  The ball flew through the air and not a peep.  Not a grump and not a groan.

Ahhhhh this is more like it.

So I have a plan, I am going to have strategies in place to cope with possible scenarios that I will likely encounter.....wish us luck I recon we might just need it.


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Fb post

Everyday I write a little bit about the dogs on facebook.  You have a status bar that you can write in and tell people what you have been up to.  Only today I just couldn't seem to do this in a few words( most of you will understand why I rarely use Twitter how on earth do I say what I want to say in a sentence haha) so have written a blog tis not an exciting blog just one that briefly lets you know what the guys and gals have been doing whilst you have been working hard or stuck in traffic.


Well I have thoroughly enjoyed getting the pups out and about today....I do enjoy a change and it is great to see how it affects the dogs.  With having 22 plus miles to come before my main pick up area I used the jeep and I was impressed with how the little uns behaved though they did spent an awful lot of time standing on two legs watching out the windows occasionally navigating have they not heard of back seat drivers?  

My first walk ( well Petnanny walk I had my three out first thing whilst seeing to the horses then saw to the oldies and cats )was on a private estate which is always a treat with its own lake and stream they had a ball.  Charlie does enjoy the fact that Willow has three clingons( stalkers call them what you like they follow her every move loving her erratic movements and dashes here there and everywhere) allowing Charlie to run about snowploughing and rolling in the snow. Belle, Mila and Leyla were enjoying the cold brisk weather.  Watching Wobbily( Robbie) and Tallulah constantly flip themselves over trying to run through the snow caught in the tussocks of dried standing hay at times you couldn't see Tallulah for snow and hair!  Robbie impressed me with his rock steady stay it was so nice to send them home to their mum with a good report card.

Once dropped off I then took the two colliewobbles out for a quick toiletting moment and then time wrestling each other in the garden until an afternoon visit.

The next walk I hummed and harred about taking Elvis in the jeep as he is only just getting used to the van he surprised me by being settled and on his best behaviour with his seatbelt attachment.  On the walk however it was I that surprised him as he had no collar on and I couldn't find a collar, without my usual mobile dog supply store I used his own halter.   I never trust halters fully and I know he is a terrible runaway at home so thought it was wise to use a spare lead as a anchor to ensure if all else fails and he slipped the halter he would still be attached.  Oh wasn't that a good move!  A move he has obviously done a hundred times with good effect he lunged back slipped his right ear out of the halter and came to a very very abrupt halt.....flummoxed by the fact I was still very much attached to him.  He was an absolute angel for the rest of the walk and I wouldn't have been surprised if I had seen him shaking his head in shock!

We met a few stalwarts out walking their dogs and the usual professional dog walker vans here and there and I was proud our guys behaved themselves beautifully despite the excitement of the snow and at times the skating they were doing on the hidden ice.  Esther was completely on fire and Truffle and Esther were enjoying a bit sparring Truffle at first was a little reluctant as she was wearing her new onesie but soon forgot about it and off they went swearing and smiling at the same time.  I think the mood Esther was in was rubbing off with Bobby who was rabbit then hunter then rabbit though he decided the pheasant in the wood was a bit feisty looking and pretended he hadn't seen it before heading off at a gallop again chased by his favourite nephew round and round in the snow, Roly's little legs were a blur.

Oooh dogs are terrible tittle tattles and Rez definitely made me both shake my head and laugh at how much of a tearaway he is.  He was on the benches, chairs, me and tried to swipe at the coffee so he was a little miffed at me spoiling his fun.  He soon learnt how to get the cheese out of the kong by flinging it across the room I do love watching pups learn.  His walk was very uneventful and he was no impressed this Viszla may be all terrain he is most definitely not all weather!  I am sure he will be less than impressed at not being out in the nanny van but it is all good training and experience.  He will soon forgive me in a moment or two when I head back there to let him out for a widdle or three.

Sam makes me laugh as she is more set in her ways than I am and I am considerably older than her!  So with a heavy heart dreading the turn of events I think she was pleasantly surprised at how good the dogs were on her first walk with Megan and Belle playing well, Stan, Suzy, Nanci and Elsie having fun as ever.  Seeing two deer walk infront of her in the van made the snow all the more christmassy so off she went to walk the next guys and gals….my last phonecall to Sam was interrupted by her telling Murphy yet again that she did NOT want to go Great Dane Skijorking so could he and Fergal stop being complete muppets and walk nicely please!  I look forward to hearing all about that walk before heading back to see to the pups as Winnie has just been spayed so on restricted exercise and obviously Belle needs more opportunities to toilet.  Suzy often needs more wee's being an older lady.

Alex had a lovely combo of Fluffy, Hunter, Bobby, Breeze and Archie.  Bobby is diabolical near home so he enjoyed a less than wonderful leader walk, such a shame he couldn't wouldn't sit or walk nicely to heel!  Hunter was babysat by Breeze who took it all a little too seriously and insisted on no running or even jogging!  Hunter took it all in their stride and they all partook in a bit of doggy snowploughing a sport that all dogs flat faced or otherwise seem to revel in.  Fluffy and Archie were a delight firmly placing themselves in Alex's heart with their funny little ways.

Well it is time for me to head off again soon oh I have enjoyed my cuppa and I hope Kim has a great weekend with her two louts being very unlout like with a bit of luck!


I would like to thank all who volunteered to do Mammy and daddy day care with their guys that weren't working or working from home.  I really do appreciate you all taking us into consideration.





Saturday, 1 December 2012

Petnanny's Ninny Nativity

I still feel slightly shellshocked hehe.

We had a great turnout despite the odd late drop outs which always happens.  Despite the weather a whopping 34 dogs turned up with their respective families and even the rain held off for us.

I have to say I much prefer more time to plan and next time I am going to have a formed and definite plan of how we are going to do something!

The costumes were just magical and so much effort had been put in, though I have to admit naked baby Jesus ( Rez) and Chav Jesus ( leyla) made me laugh as I am pretty sure Jesus didn't turn up in Chanel leather and pearls but then Jesus wasn't a pug!  Our Human Jaysus was not impressed with the lack of warmth for the event and despite Mad Mary( Cait ) feeling a little overwhelmed I am pretty sure that will have been authentic which mother turns up to an event with a well behaved baby at all times?!

We had a great showing of shepherds and a couple of sheep, the black sheep Maddie)should have swapped with the blonde sheep( Duke) as their roles were clearly reversed!  Our oxen( cow Millypoo) was unfortunately stuck in traffic but I feel the donkeys did actually make up for it with Smurf and Izzy doing a great job though darling Izzy was more Eeyore than Little donkey.

The camels( Flute and Tips) did far better than expected as rarely are beasts of burden left to fend for themselves and Tips had bad thoughts about going feral until absconded by a rather fetching king with a tremendous Mo nabbed him.  The random bright king( me) was completely overwhelmed and felt very much like the headmaster trying to placate everyone at the school nativity whilst trying to rein in a bunch of children  after they went awol in a sweet factory.

The angels were indeed angelic with Mick and Minnie being exceptional with a holier than thou look on their face that really becomes them.  Truffle in true staffie fashion was angelic until she got bored and then had a bit wander before begrudgingly playing her role beautifully.  Xena Angelic princess was angelic whether she wanted to or not as she was absconded by the very King Mo that had a hold of Camel number two.

King number two ( Sam) had her girls by her side looking rather lovely though I feel the lamb( Pixie) had a petulant moment as I definitely remember her flailing around on her back at one point.  We had another King on standby and I feel he should wear his crown more often as it really did suit him ( Archie) very regal he looked too.

Our very own star ( Roly)was a little subdued as it was all a bit rushed and he sat in the middle of the madness with the most reluctant sheep ever seen( Poppy) or was that Duke ( he most definitely should have come as the black sheep of the family)looking around looking a little disgruntled at the lack of fun and entertainment.

The inn keeper had a very appropriate look on her face ( Isabelle) I think she could have turned away people with one look whereas Mary Moo could have had any look on her face we simply couldn't see as her little face was swamped by costume!

Mary and Joseph stuck with their plead of innocence ( Willow and Charlie) by sitting like pro's never even giving each other a look.  I think a couple of the shepherds( Tallulah and Wobbily) were more Whirling dervishes than dependable carers of all things woolly.

Our little foreign sheep (Fluffy) deserves a special mention for his impeccable behaviour and also Debbie for her tremendous costume and beard!  Lastly Bobby who is going to be on sitting detention forever as he was diabolical!  I recon he had managed to work his magic on the innkeeper and was worse for wear!

I think the hardest part was trying to manage the humans and I lost Laura PetNanny's official photographer at least most of the time!  In a sea of faces I couldn't even spot her lens so next time I shall have to provide her with a tabard, a lanyard and pass then provide a fence to keep the throngs back haha.  Laura does love a challenge though so next time I think we will see her on her beautiful mule taking full advantage of the better vantage point as long as she can see past those fabulous ears.

The photos can be found here : http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/chamfronphotos/albums/other_events/312134

And as you can see as usual they are brilliant.

I would also like to thank Fluffy's mam for doing my boys wonderful camel costumes and my mam for helping me with my random king costume.  Thank you to Kim Leighton who I blame fully for me holding the mini event!

All in all it made for a very interesting afternoon and I would like to say a heart felt thank you to all who made the effort to come out on a cold November day with their treasures dressed up in order to help animals in need.

So far we have raised over £500 with Kim's Tuna cakes, Sue's dog biscuits and Sharon's delicious human cakes not only being gratefully consumed and contributing handsomely to our monies raised.  Thank you to Elliot who made our great crib, Mini Pony Hire for yet again raising money and turning up in costume with Smurf to keep the kiddies happy and Edward heslop for allowing us to borrow some straw in the vain hope of keeping at least some of the doggy bottoms dry and comfortable.

I now have a mission!  That mission will come clear...I hope most of you are up for it and I promise it will involve no dressing up, lots of cake for us and treats for the dogs.

We are aiming to hold a Nursery Rhyme themed event August/ september time with a great walk and fun and frolic so we need everyone to get their thinking caps on to choose a charity to support and for costumes and if you would like any games throughout the day.


The expert at home


When did it all get so complicated?

I think ( maybe that is where I go wrong) dog ownership is so much harder than it used to be.  First of all there are soooo many types/ breeds/ crosses of dogs to choose from.  

Then there is the correct responsible way of doing things.  Or maybe the fashionable way of doing things.  Maybe you have dogs for a reason like obedience or showing so you need to get a dog appropriate for that job.

What if dogs are an extension of your persona and need to reflect ho you want to be seen?

To be responsible you need to put your dog first, do the training right at the appropriate time in order to take full advantage or the optimum learning time.  Don't forget feeding the best food and to be seen to prevent all manner of nasty things that will happen if you just don't take enough notice.  Where to start with health care, you have to be willing to sell your soul in order to protect your dog, treat your dog and save your dog.

Why did it get so terribly complicated.  

Dogs are one of the most malleable creatures on this earth, they morph and change to take advantage of any given situation to survive and even thrive.  Arguably they evolved to live on our waste and I mean OUR waste not just what we throw away.  They learnt who and what to avoid and what to do to get more than the dog beside them.  We inevitably changed them and they changed themselves too.

I am increasingly seeing people, with both horses and dogs, constantly going to courses for training with masters or experts, different techniques or styles.  Maybe a famous person who will show you the magic key so that you will end up with a dog that practically glows it is so perfect.

There are courses for feeding, training, behavioural, tricks you name it everyone attentive to what they might learn.

Over the years I have been subjected to people telling me how to feed my horses after a seminar or two they have taken and yet looking at their own horses what they desperately needed was basic nutrition just to have some slices of hay put in front of them instead of them standing hungry in bare fields or so fat I feel a little faint when I see them with a bucket of feed for them. 

Instead of all those lessons or seminars, those organised events and training session just spend time with the expert at home.  Use that time and get to know your dog/ horse. Exercise them until you are both too tired to exercise anymore.  Listen to what they have to say but don't read into it. 

Feed your dog a good food that makes them fit not fat, exercise them when and as much as you and them can stand, show them what you expect them to do and what not to do and enjoy them.  If it's not broken don't fix it or even try and look for a problem.  

Pick some rules I believe all dogs need to have a few basic rules 

Don't eat people
Don't eat other dogs
Don't eat other animals that belong to someone or shouldn't be eaten
Don't poop pee where we live


Then you start to polish what you want and don't want

I can tell you what I want my guys to do but I can't tell you what you expect your guys to do and what you can live with.

Then relax.  They don't have to be precious and always on your mind, they don't need constant attention or reassurance.  It isn't the end of the world if they miss a walk or aren't allowed to sleep on the settee.  

Don't look for the magic key or the enlightened moment that that trainer/ book or method will surely give you.  

I had to get it out of my system…how many times have I wanted to say to people….
instead of reading what to do why don't you actually ride your horse and the same with dogs.   There is no harm learning all you can learn as long as it doesn't impinge on your time and enjoyment of your dog.  My boys loved showing yet I found showing for me meant having to look for faults and to constantly have to show them in their best light…with such a subjective opinion of that judge on that day I am happier enjoying the parts ( pretty much all of them) that make me happy than trying to hide the parts that aren't quite perfect.

I have fallen foul to all of the above apart from the feeding.  My motto is enjoy my animals and make sure they are enjoying it too.  As long as we all play by the rules hehe

Friday, 16 November 2012

Petnanny Ninny nativity mark 2

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

http://www.justgiving.com/Petnannynativity

Photos and more information to follow

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dogs give blood

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

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

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

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

So what happens?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.petbloodbankuk.org






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

Thursday, 8 November 2012

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Surprising results

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

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

Today was about old habits dying hard and sheer puppiness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They recalled.

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

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

Whooooo I like it.

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

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

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

Interesting.

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

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

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Donate via Facebook



https://www.facebook.com/PetnannyPawzForThought

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

Friday, 2 November 2012

PetNanny's Ninny Nativity


The date is set.

I hope you can feel the excitement from here!

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


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

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

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

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


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

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Today was a little odd

Today was a little odd yet I can't really tell you why.

We had a busy day today as poor Alex was off and we had a full house!  I do feel very proud we cope even when the unexpected happens so we went to the field with me getting there first.

This gave me the chance to see how Elvis was after a weekend off after his first week.  Oh he was so pleased to be out with us again!  Despite being scared of cars after having a car accident as a young dog he was quite happy to get into the van and this time didn't try and pepe le pew his buddy.

Lola was completely wired and combined with Yipyipyip Tallulah and the sealion sounding Wobbily I decided their next walk would be on lead!  Esther and Elvis paired up which is a great combo as Esther is very clever at games and introductions and wouldn't be overly concerned if he was a little over the top.  Well I didn't take into account she might fancy him so there was one time out when Elvis tried out his famous hip shake.....no rudies on my watch thank you guys.

Leyla was on fire enjoying a good dash about and gad about with Truffle when she wasn't playing with Esther.  Roly was tipping over the edge a little which is very him but he tried which is all I can ask.  Poppy however made no effort whatsoever and pretended to be completely deaf whilst digging up the local critters, once she did come back she lucked out by spending boring leader time whilst her mates and critters played.

Rez the vizsla pup has been a little star, thankfully drinking whilst out and about, eating well and toiletting like a pro.  He is still clingy but it all takes time.  We have worked on getting him desensitised to noises with a cheery laugh everytime he get is startled by anything new it is working a treat I have to say.

Norman made me laugh as he had his hackles up at Elvis yet was pretty giddy chatting him up and doing those funny little bum slaps he usually saves for his bestest friends, he is such a steady lovely dog its nice to see him being a little silly.

Once Sam came loaded with goodies ( human rather than Canine) we swapped some of the dogs and only Archie fluffed by bullying the second he came in the field which was a real shame as he greeted me beautifully and enthusiastically for the first real time .  A leader walk after a cool down in the van worked a treat and we worked on him walking quietly even whilst his pals played around him.  With three entire males and an entire girl we kept a close eye and other a little posturing from Fergal I was very pleased with them.  Winifred laps up the interest and is learning good doggy manners and behaviours an important thing to any dog but even more important for small or oversized breeds.  Too much adoration from Hunter had her dipping her shoulders and stopping, an instant change from Hunter had her swaggering in delight!

Hunter and Bobby were much better matched today with Bobby enjoying having the freedom to say TOO MUCH to Hunter and it was effective.  I can see subtle changes in Hunter for the better yet we have so far to go I'd say he has the most to learn of all our dogs.  Bobby continued to impress us by playing with a rag toy with no signs of possessiveness and he was rewarded not only by us but by increased attention and play from the guys.

Megan is coming on leaps and bounds even deciding new boy Elvis was a little scary but well worth a good romp with yet still listening when we asked her to recall.  Her and Fluffy whirled around in complete delight and you can't help but go awwww at two friends enjoying each others company.

Elsie and Molly Mc Dolly were no bother and as Molly is on a strict no ball throwing rule to protect her delicate shoulder she was happy to mooch and hunt whilst joining us in the group to have a good sniff or attention from us.  Elsie and Stanley were on planet Wilkie which was great for us as it inevitably involved dashing off full tilt racing each other before wheeling round and heading back how about that for tiring everyone out.

Tash and Sophie are a miss Sophie was always so full of bounce rolling in everything nasty, smelly or dirty that wonderful canter she had I can't help but look for her and Tash well Tash would have loved the labrAdoring from the two entire boys and to see her skip about like a young'un was always a delight.  Introducing new guys is both exciting, hard work and sad you miss the guys before them but it is always great to see what they have to teach you and entertain you.

Murphy still has ongoing tummy issues and these are still being investigated by the vets, Danes can be so delicate and even his special diet is no longer maintaining him.  It is such a worry and he has lost weight.  He makes up for it though by being completely hyper and spending most of his time i the air rather than on the ground.

I think depending on weather next week will be a decent training week with calm( boring for them hehe) steady walking on lead mixed with some off lead as I felt today they are building up too much adrenalin and an assumption their time out walking is fun fun fun.

Well time for afternoon widdles so I look forward to more doggy time.
More videos uploaded on YouTube!
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lurchersand1cat?feature=mhee

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Welcome young Elvis

Elvis doesn't know it but he has been waiting for this to happen for sometime.  He was wanting to come on board quite sometime ago( about a year ago) unfortunately as usual we were full then as luck would have it they asked just as the last space was available and finally Elvis has joined PetNanny.

Now as you may know we tend to give our guys nicknames often this is necessary as their names have so many bad habits linked to them....their names just tend to happen and this is how Elvis received his somewhat longwinded nickname.

After an introduction and assessment today was his first day and he was buddied up with Truffle.  Not by mistake Truffle is small, feisty and very good at getting her point across without being stressed about it.  Now Elvis is rules by his Gonads and soon did his best to chat her up a move he obviously had done many times before on any passing dogs.  I know this as I have been here before so many times.  He trots past his owner, ears up, tail up trotting that smart trot that catches the eye.  Despite an arrogant air I have no doubts his heart is beating fast and he approaches with his best Lothario smouldering looks.  The strangers dog rebuffs him and with a flick of his black ears he cocks his leg on the nearest bush with a devil may care attitude.

How do I know?  Cos I watching his get in chat up Truffle and when he was rebuffed he cocked his leg ....on Truffle.  Mmm not the best way to endear yourself to your new love interest!  Somewhat bemused he sat down and Truffle looked at me and was promptly washed, given a hug and a bit of chicken and dizzy dora gonad brain did the exact same thing again with a now slightly pee'd off ( excuse the pun) Truffle ready to pull up her sleeves and bop him on the nose....I swear she stepped out the cage and looked at the shower and chicken as if to say hurry up. I was more than a little surprised when she asked to back into the same cage....( Truffle likes the middle or bottom cages she does DO the top cages if she has a choice which most weeks is the case) this time she walked straight up to him waited till he sat in a sheepish kind of way before the familiar sexy whine came from the back cage.....at least this time he widdled where he was needing to sit!

Elvis Pelvis Pissy Pants ( well come on it had to be) didn't pee again and after changing the bedding we stayed pittle free hurrah( whether that will be the case next time is a different matter).

Once at the field the usual battering ram problem was apparent when I opened the door to let his buddy( we buddy up the new dogs with a dog the should get on to help show them the ropes they speak the same language so they learn quicker)Truffle out and lets face it she earned her first dog out privilege!

Well this move has been perfected over the years he was somewhat bemused to find himself back in the cage facing the middle.  So he jumped out again and found himself back in the cage again this time facing the exit.  It was my turn to be surprised as he looked at me, looked at Truffle and then sat door open field there for the taking!  Clever boy.  So out he came with a perky invite and he trotted around completely unaware of his line tied round his tummy loose but knotted so it couldn't tighten.

Amazingly he realised Truffle should be treat gently and he was a picture of virtue and continued to be so until Sirus came out....Like many labs ElvisPPP just didn't really see the small dogs so when he saw one the same size as him he lost his mind to his you know whats.  If you know Sirus you don't automatically think patient.  I often say he has a spot for every naught moment he has had.  He has a lot of spots!  Yet he managed Elvis ppp very well with some supervision from us.

Once we realised he wasn't at all phased by a few dogs we introduced a couple more so he wouldn't obsess over one and the majority of the time it worked though he was quite smitten with Sirus.  He did attempt a couple of times to roughhouse( play) with a couple of the quieter ones only to find out they aren't that quite when you badger them, again this had a brilliant side affect of him heading to me for reassurance so he not only learnt some manners he learnt a safe spot was right next to us...fabulous!

I imagine him now flat out at home, legs furiously going in his sleep absorbing and sorting out the jumble of experiences he had and tomorrow is a whole other day!

Wish Elvis and us luck and hope you enjoy the journey with us as you have with many of our others.

Working on stuff

I once was told by someone I know that she had overheard( don't worry it isn't as complicated as it sounds)someone saying that THAT Petnanny just lets all her dogs out of the van and they just run around and sh*t everywhere.....I remember being very upset and then I got to thinking.

Just because that is what people see doesn't mean that is what was happening.

We do indeed let dogs out of the van and sometimes most of the dogs together.  We also let them sh*t.  They definitely run.

What they didn't see was we let them out once they have fulfilled a few simple requests.  They mix, a mixture of mostly trained educated dogs with the odd uneducated one in order to learn.  They obviously don't see us picking up their poop despite it being our main occupation.  They run because they can, they stop when they are asked and so it goes on.  Oh and of course it is our own private field.

So then you get the photos.  We all have opinions on what we see even if we aren't fully aware of it.  We see a muzzle and what do you think? You see a dog ears flat to their head crouched down and what  opinion do you have?

If you see group photos do you think wild pack or fun friends?

Anyway today was a big day in my mind.  In order to walk as we do, me with my dogs, Sam with hers( they mix and are all our dogs but here I mean the ones we have on any given walk) Alex with her we need not only a degree of obedience, a modicum of manners toward each other, us and the public in all their forms.  But then don't forget we have to throw in the mix the social mix, the moods, the hormones and how they feel.  Of course Nannies also have their moods, their worries and their preferences.

Oh a forbidden subject!  Working with dogs rarely means you like every dog, every breed and every type it tends to affirm your opinion on the type of dogs you like and most definitely what you don't like....We all know my love of Flat Faced F*ckers as my friend calls them, my love of pointy hounds and of course pix n mixes.  Whilst I don't dislike Labradors I do wonder why there is such a strong following, why they are the most popular dog of the moment.  Can I hear a collection of gasps?  It is the truth yet I can also tell you I would jump into a flame or dive into a cesspit for everyone of our labs no hesitation( been there done that with Tyler the husky( cesspit) and gone into a seriously dangerous house( to save Florrie the spaniel and Geordie the cat).

What we have is a blessing.  A fenced off field, where we can test, assess and teach our charges.  It is also a place we run too when we are under the weather( therefore less able to be on guard and fully aware).

Today was such a day.  Lucy is a large lurcher found wandering down a durham main road as a pup.  We rescued her and rehomed her.  Oh she is rough, a default setting rather than learned behaviour.  She has a big gob and despite having a great temperament she hurts!  Then we have Archie he is a bit of a bully with a high drive to chase and a low desire to select his quarry.  Hunter is a young hoodlum, cheeky rude and cute as a button.  A pocket rocket whippet who grabs, tugs and generally uses his brother and anyone who will tolerate it as a real living rag toy.  Bobby is a spaniel who was always a toy guarder and a sufferer of selective hearing who unfortunately recently had a thumping form a terrier.  His temperament means he now tries to get in there first before he is hurt.  Poor lad.

So where do we start.....what do I want them to do rather than what they are doing now?

Lucy is just with us this week( the perks of being a Petnan rehomed dog) so we just wanted her to be as gentle as she could.

Archie needs to learn that bullying not only stops his games it also might just land him in trouble.

Hunter needs to not use real live dogs as ragtoys.

Bobby needs to not eat little dogs on the off chance they want to thump him.

Simple!

Bobby has had a head start and we were now moving onto a non muzzle day.  We have shown him what is allowed and what isn't, loads of praise and fun for first avoiding terriers and now we have progressed to ignoring screaming yipping running terriers to actively sniffing greeting and then moving on without altercation we will have to work on coping with terriers having toys in his presence but for now we have managed other small dogs with toys with him and terrier without with great success.

The advantage of having no muzzle on means we can encourage him to say 'no booger off' to his live in pest of a brother.  Of course he is too soft so he is having to learn this in the meanwhile we physically stop hunter from grabbing by muzzling him.   We can and do stop him manually ourselves but by wearing a muzzle we can allow him to enjoy the running and interacting without him actually being able to get his adrenalin hit from grabbing and holding on( poor Bobby).  We also mix him with strong personalities that are not overreactive and willing to say ' Booger off yippet' without eating him a delicate balance needed with experienced dogs who enjoy the right kind of play.

Hunters progress will be slow due to the limited days we have him and of course the sheer delight he gets from doing it.....

Lucy wore a muzzle today so she would remember to rein it in a little something she did which just goes to show how they retain training if there is something in it for them!

Archie was interesting today because he was picking up the heightened atmosphere, he was actively choosing dogs like Tips who he could bully.  His progress has been good, steady which usually means it is retained though today was a big step up and we had to step in, steady him up and let him experiment with what was allowed and what wasn't.  He is also learning that doing it slightly further away doesn't mean the rules change!  Despite what many people think not all dogs will jump in and get into trouble if there is an altercation yet I would say Archie would be one to have a sneaky dig whilst he had the chance...Makes perfect sense if you are a dog and I certainly don't hold it against him or the other dogs who are the same.

So with lines and muzzles it allows us to teach the guys, let them learn, experiment and change what they do.  I would much rather have a dog who knows what it is doing rather than one who just happens to do the right thing.

After all the work we only had to stop each dog maybe three times from rough inappropriate play, Bobby didn't need us to step in even once, he had one attempt at play with Truffle which was a little rough but every terrier interaction just made me happier as the walks progressed!

This leads me promptly to our guys the back up team.  Sirus was simply perfect for today.  He was the object of Archie's run down technique and a simple immediate emergency stop stopped all that play, he was so consistent Archie gave up and tried Lola....Lola soon dealt with that with a swift loud furious swearing session( I sometimes thing I can actually hear swear words coming out of that pretty mouth!) and he moved onto Poppy feral puppy only to be chased with a flea in his ear!  Their whole demeanour was how very dare he without any tension and a jaunt to their step.  Each and everyone of them ( sorry not Lola who has incredible self belief) glanced briefly at us for permission.

Hunter did exactly the same with the same results with all but Sirus.  Just hilarious with Poppy running past him practically wiggling her tushy at him taunting a reaction.

Soon we had a very happy bunch of dogs teaching, learning and best of all having fun with each other.

Elvis shall have his own post just in case you have fallen asleep!

The little people didn't have to work quite as hard as we have stepped up their training after noticing things had slipped and we had fallen into the trap of accepting their foibles!

Minnie was a dog we worked hard to make her an individual rather than Mickeys side kick and with her new found confidence came her own formed opinions.  This usually meant she wanted to choose if she wanted that particular walk and who she would walk with!  So we have been working on stripping everything down to basic obedience being easily achieved and any sit down protests meant hard work..it is working and treat and she soon found out if she hurried up joined in she not only had more fun( thrashing Fluffy mostly) she also could ask for a carry which she got for trying hard.

Megan had to learn not to be a dizzy dora and we are really progressing.  In part down to her love of Breeze and his steadiness and her inability to turn down Fluffy's endless requests to play.  She has grasped the concept of staying with us, of looking up to see if there is the human she came out with once she has had a good sniff and mostly she makes the right decisions.  Sit stays have come on a treat which means we have a way of keeping her safe and I am sure soon we will be able to walk her on all walks off lead without a babysitter.

Before I sign off it is very easy to rely on keeping dogs on leads( remember leads aren't infallible) put muzzles on to get over a problem without dealing with it and use lines forever it is a lazy head in the sand kind of training.  Use them for a reason but don't use them to save on effort.  Many dogs should be muzzled for aggression and will always muzzled for aggression but with a dog in a muzzle there is a huge responsibility toward that vulnerable dog.  Lines are a wonderful device to help with recall or inhibition training again long term use means your training is working!  Flute might be the kind of hound who has to wear a tracking harness and line( holding not dragging line ) forever in high risk areas(he will chase foxes if they bolt in front of him) yet I will never stop training him.

So I hope you enjoy the photos enjoy really looking and seeing what we see, enjoying the friendships, the new introductions and the mistakes along the way.

Friday, 5 October 2012

The Nitty Gritty

Vet visits are a regular part of our work, simple things like injections are usually done by owners however repeat consultations often mean they are a struggle to fit in so we are often booked in to step into the breach.  On this occasion we were required to drop off a dog for surgery as the guilt the owners felt was too much to bear ( those sad eyes boring into your soul for leaving them so vulnerable in the arms of strangers, you know that look!) so better to get Nanny to be the wicked one!

So with a blissfully unaware, slightly grumpy pug in my arms( well she had missed her breakfast) I walked into the specialists practise.  The atmosphere was a little harassed and buzzing with three receptionists discussing, pulling faces and dealing with real humans, phone humans and other staff.  Did I mention that they hadn't my appointment on their books so I had had to contact not only the referring vet but also the owner and the specialist.  Once this was all sorted I said I was here as the conversation was becoming more heated so I sat down.

My impression was of a hotel reception with a huge very expensive sculpture gracing the sweeping staircase, a big flat screen tv on the wall with a coffee maker for use whilst waiting.  Smooth lines, modern designs and all meant to impress.  The place buzzed with movement, noise and fear.  Dogs and cats sat wide eyed and whining, shaking and snuggling in longing only to go back out of the automatic doors to freedom.

Puglet sat on my knee transfixed with all the goings on snorting loudly in order to get the attention all pugs deem necessary to survive.  A gsd sat watching her every time she snorted he turned his head taking all that sound into his large ears, his eyes never left her.  We waited and I tried my hardest( well ok I didn't try hard at all) to not listen to the conversations the receptionist were having with each other, clients( human) and with consultants.

Soon it was our turn to go in and we sat down in a small but pristine room computer at the ready with a window not unlike chat for talking to reception( maybe I peeked).  The specialist came out and we discussed Puglet's eye ulcer and he said surgery for the ulcer was not required due to its improvement and a simple change of drops would suffice.  He did however say that pugs have entropion and she needed this corrected.  I was shocked as I have wonderful close up eyesight, was aware of the condition so was disappointed I hadn't spotted it.  Now this particular Puglet  has a serious fault in her windpipe where it joins her lungs so anaesthetic is very risky so I asked if our Puglet had entropion.  He repeated that all pugs had entropion.  I was starting to feel my pig headedess showing through so I continued I am not asking about pugs I am asking about this Puglet.  Nothing.

Trying to be calm I insisted he agreed that this Puglet would not be operated on if she had no entropion and said I was happy( I was not) to leave her if he would guarantee to leave well alone unless absolutely necessary.

So once I vacated the building I spoke to Puglets owners and said the specialist would ring them.  When I picked her up she had been operated on and nope not for entropion but a non necessary elective surgery to tighten her eyelids......so as suspected no entropion despite ALL pugs having it and a dog having an operation despite having no permission to do this particular surgery.  Mmmm.

We also left with a note which I did of course read.  They suggested that Puglet should have an operation to widen her nostrils, trim her elongated soft palate and something else I couldn't read cos I succumbing to the red mist!  Why?  Because Puglet had actually had all these done last year( baring nose widening as it is not required) by a specialist who advised they had had to be conservative with the surgery as her windpipe was so dangerously small they didn't want to solve one problem only to put at risk an even greater problem that was not fixable and far more dangerous.  Puglet was so much better after surgery that everyone was delighted that she had had a marked improvement in her quality of life without tipping the balance on her restricted windpipe.

By now it wasn't the bright modern lights lit up in my eyes but pound signs.

I don't actually believe in the good ol' days as the good ol' days are now in a few years time.  I don't believe all vets were James Herriot and worked for the love of it in the past.  Yet I do believe things have changed.  A shift that makes me feel uncomfortable.

Vets work blooming hard without doubt.  Stressful, emotional work that should be paid for appropriately.

As dog owners what are we paying for?

I once helped a wonderful friend during one of the most traumatic times of her life with her beautiful horse Cai and what struck me most was she was offered a mind boggling array of diagnostic tests both non invasive and invasive in order to find out what was wrong with her beloved mare yet even when we knew she was fatally damaged they offered more tests.  I whispered to my friend to ask the vet what they were likely to find, if they could do anything with those results and the response from the vet made me want to weep.   Not only was there nothing that could be done but it was highly likely that the results couldn't be interpreted fully as they hadn't the knowledge to understand all the machine had to reveal.  There is nothing wrong with learning all there is to learn whenever possible but shouldn't this be transparent and reflected in the bill?

I was always lead to believe a vet's caveat was ' FIRST DO NO HARM'.

So how far is too far, how much is too much.  Has animals medicine been reduced to procedures with little thought to what this actually involves, to preserve life at all cost yet how often do they preserve life how many times to they do more harm than benefit?

Vets are required to have everything possible at their finger tips yet who should pay for these super machines?  Do they pay for them in small increments with all their services or when they are used?  I don't know the answer.

What I do know in all certainty is each animal, each situation and each family or individual should be treat as such.  Not judged on a perceived problem.  For a vet when should emotions come into play?  Surely a vet should have a good 'bedside' manner but be the voice of reason a clinician who provide information and advice when asked for it....advice on the best for that individual, what is best for that animal not what the practise has available and certainly not on what that person is willing to spend.

We as owners need to take responsibility for our guys and gals, take advice, listen to the options but don't allow past fears, experiences and emotional blackmail to sway your choices.  First do no harm.  Sometimes the best treatment is rest, wait and always try and do less before you do more.

When I walked into the specialists I wasn't impressed by the opulence I saw an ego pleaser, a mirage much like the church, done to create awe.  I would rather the thousands spent on that spectacular sculpture be spent on research to prevent many of the issues our pets face or on extra nurse hours to reassure and nurse the vulnerable animals.  As for the treatment I saw a practise with excellent skills, very clever sales technique and a firm directive.  Make money whilst also treating animals.  Elective surgery is just that.  If an animals comes in for surgery and that surgery is not required it is morally correct to do an alternative surgery because the animal was there?










Tuesday, 25 September 2012

As I have been neglecting the non Facebook customers I am aiming to make for it by at least uploading more photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67751263@N05/

Don't forget I update regularly on Facebook if you do not want to be on facebook you can make up a profile name( you need a new email) and keep up with all that is happening without anyone knowing who you are!

Will add more soon.

Very proud we have managed to get round everyone despite the dire weather.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Plan all you like

You can plan all you like though rarely does it got to plan!

The girls and I met at the field and after letting the delicates have a good sniff around we bit by bit let the daft dogs out ready for some training and some jumping.  Only we forgot one vital thing....we didn't put a line on Archie and off he went playing with his new friends bit by bit we let them go from their quiet sits and round and round they went.

Watching Roly, Sirus and Murphy and Jasper is like watching teenage boys egging each other on, winding each other up and pushing pushing pushing just for a reaction so it no surprise when Roly boiled over, Sirus spat the dummy out and Jasper fell over the precipice.  Fools!  So we had three sorry faces sitting in a huddle after a discussion on brotherly love, getting a grip and how to put their toys back in the pram. I felt like mummypoos who's just banished their almost adult son to their bedroom!  After less than a minute off they went bestest friends again running as fast as their little/ long legs would carry them.

We called the guys in ready to see what we could do with a rope a bit of carpet and a load of excitable dogs....that is until we realised Archie the Lurcher maybe didn't want to come in...oops.  So we asked our other guys to all sit holding Fergal and Hunter and rather surprisingly they did( bare in mind we had a few newbies, a few who really can't be bothered do as nanny asks and the odd dizzy dora)whilst I walked quietly where ever Archie did and you could tell he had gone from I don't wanna to oh my dog I am being stalked by a mad woman....so we walked and walked stopping only when he stopped and still the puplets sat.

My magic Liver paste just confirmed Archie's worst fears that not only was I bossy and a scary stalker I was also a puppy catcher offering sweeties!  I looked up and saw a naughty spot heading my way but clearly the look on my face convinced him we weren't having that much fun so he may as well head back up to Sam and Alex which I have to say made me laugh fancy spoiling everyones fun, Wicked Nanny.  Then for whatever reason Archie realised/ remembered I really wasn't that scary and walked quietly over to me and after a moment or two of tickles and paste I stood up and shouted go!  Ahhhh to see all those dogs blasting down full tilt the whole length of the eight acre field was a sheer delight and with a line firmly attached Archie carried on his fun with his friends.

After such a fabulous sit stay under pressure we decided they had tried hard enough so why didn't we just have fun fun fun!  So back to the carpet jumping.

The enthusiastic types of course joined in Murphy was pretty much blowing his small but ernest mind, now I am not entirely sure how it was me running and jumping not the young whippersnappers Alex and Sam but hey I am daft enough to join in.  I love how even with play jumping their personalities show through.

We have Minnie: 'there is something in my way'
me: ' jump Minnie you might enjoy it'
Minnie' oh lord she wants me to go over it when I can clearly go round it and even worse there are those dopey fools in the way'.

Murphy: 'Nannies running running ooh running'
Me: 'You didn't even see that jump did you Murphy'

Poppy, Truffe, Lola and their band of merry followers were merely jumping it in the vain hope I would throw the treats I have hidden away would be thrown so they could eat up and continue their chase games.

Belle of course stood on the other side of the jump with the air of complete embarrassment of a dog who knows better and can't work out why the others would join in.

After a couple of goes I loved the fact some were going round the vans, others were jumping two or three times back and forth waiting for their friends to catch up and the even smarter ones were nipping through the gap!

Oh boy have we laughed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNFEaJv1dSQ&feature=share&list=UUaFI95Xd3eDkxnVy5RqiT0w

Hope you enjoy the selection of videos

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Can you just drop her off at the vet.

I had a plan.  Maybe that is where I went wrong.

Leyla was due to have an eye graft operation so with Sam and Alex ably womanning the fort at home I picked up the puplets at my end and went for a walk.  Now the lake the guys usually swim in has been drained so no swimming the look of complete confusion was worth the walk down and to see the dock high in the air was even a little odd for me!

Anyhoo as usual I am on a tangent.  Off we toddled in Izzy the van panting, happy dogs crashed in the back and a rather disgruntled hungry pug sitting on her own in the top cage. Sat nav primed we soon arrived only to find a rather small local surgery that was most definitely closed.  Drat.  I popped an even more disgruntled, hungry now chilly pug back into her cage and phoned the vet.  Oh goody no appointment.  A gentle discussion on who may have done what or rather who hadn't done what and I then phoned the referral vet.

Have you ever come across a troll who has just been told his bridge is closed to passing tourists?  No me neither but this receptionist does a fantastic impression of one.  As I start to talk she cuts me off ( how on earth did she manage to do that normally you don't stand a chance in the hell of stopping me mid flow)and says can you please hold......My teeth started to grind in readiness for the tinny music and I felt almost cheated when non arrived.... I held.

When she came back she then allowed me( how gracious) to actually tell her what I wanted after a gentle telling off and confirmed Puglet did indeed have an appointment at said surgery and that the information had been faxed over.  Hurriedly and more than a little defensively she said it was up to the owner to confirm before backtracking faster than Harry when he see's me wearing rubber gloves.

With a sigh I asked her to sort and then spoke to all concerned as to what was, what might be and what definitely wasn't happening next.  The snoring had a lovely soothing rhythm as did the snorting from a warmer still hungry disgruntled pug.

Soon we once again trundling along and one arrival at the hospital we wandered in pug in arm.  Oooh very swish, big flat screen tv, coffee machine and a buzz of activity.  That was until I arrived and the whispered hurried conversation stopped.  Or at least it stopped once their eyes had gone from my eyes, down to my Petnanny Logo to the pug.  No earwigging required here clearly we were no longer a topic of conversation and I enjoyed a sit down to watch the lovely giggly Philip Schofield.

As Leyla eyeballed I started to listen to people talking about their woes with their dogs, the rabbit and whatever was sitting in the basket.  I am really really bad at earwigging and often have to make it up as I go along.  The brown and white collie kept gently touching his owner with his nose anxious for some attention.  Much like a doctors surgery people kept checking their watches and soon even I could tell they were not a happy band.  So I settled myself down to a long wait.  Leyla was now watching Holly Willabooby when I was called in.

Being the last to arrive I felt a little uncomfortable as many pairs of eyes followed me.  Gulp probably just as well I am pants at earwigging it was't just my face that was burning!

Readied for the trauma of full force abandonment admonishment from a unhappy pug I was surprised to leave the consulting room with puglet still under my arm!  Leyla went from being an urgent surgery case booked for surgery to being a lets leave it till next week and treat her entropion issue then.

Without looking over I wrestled puglet to pop her cone of shame onto her head whilst they added up my bill ( I swear I saw one of them flicking through travel brochures) and started to earwig away.

The little old lady with a stick jumped the queue and started to talk to me about her part blind Poodle how much the two poodles cost her, that she had tripped over one of them and damaged her shoulder so now not only limped on her bad hip but also couldn't use her normal stick cos of her bad shoulder.  After asking how old her poodle was I told her about Shy and telling her he had been 14years old she exclaimed oh dear what on earth happened for him to die so young.  Well saying she had only had poodles!  When I was young I always wondered what happened to poodles they always seemed to be young or old and nowhere in between.  I think it is cos they are old for so long!

After a natter about how long lived poodles are compared to many breeds.   Next walked in a very very stressed Yorkie who clearly had the distended belly of a dog in end stage heart failure and I could feel my heart thump.  Reminding me of a time with a lovely yorkie who died on my knee in the waiting room of a vet waiting for her routine heart check ( I did managed to temporarily revive her unfortunately in vain).

I am not often in a hurry to pay but on this occassion I waggled my cash and soon we were on the road.

Walking dogs is much easier than this lark I can tell you....




Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Lost Lurcher

I had a phonecall last night, whilst down at the exhibition, from the Doglost Co-ordinator asking for help with a lost lurcher if at all possible could you please help or share this folder as his owners are past themselves.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

1.52am

It is 1.52am.

I am sitting on my own with a glass of Southern Comfort with Pear and Elderflower water an odd combination deemed necessary due to my lack of shopping skills, I forgot the lemonade.

Flute and Tips sleep restlessly in their beds and I have just returned from the vet.  I wonder how many people are facing the same emotional journey right at this minute yet no matter how many share your journey you are on your own.

Shy is dying.  Tonight made that crystal clear to me and I am not ready.  Yet what am I fighting against?  After an afternoon of some restlessness he still didn't settle, endless pacing lying down only to jump up that lovely smelly mouth tight with pain his whiskers that always seem to tickle my face or hand tight pushed forward.  His eyes are wide and ears are high on his head a pose once reserved for bunny hunting.

Is now the time?  I look back on my day with him he has eaten his meals with his usual relish, wandered like a drunken man down to the green and even wandered off to take in all those delicious smells.  He supervised our outside jobs before getting bored and heading back indoors.

We even had a nice family portrait where all I could see was my once strong lurcher looking tired and a little forlorn.

Teatime came around with that look he gives me ' surely it is time for tea by now'.  I cooked them all some fish and brown rice with some carrots thrown in for good measure.  Not sure he noticed mind as it is always gone so fast.  But the restlessness is there.  An awful uncomfortable endless time of movement.  The short spells of rest are quickly broken by a sharp jolt and up he gets struggling to his feet only to wander some more panting.

I wait for his painkillers to kick in and when they don't I give him some more.  I walk with him whilst he toddles down the road up the village so he can sniff once more who has been past.  I feed him a little more and wait.

He gets more restless and I feel panic rising.

Soon enough it is midnight and he still hasn't managed to sleep for longer than ten minutes.  I phone the vet knowing we can't pace all night when a whole night is an eternity in his world.

We wait whilst the vet heads to the surgery and we drive there.  He can't pace and just has to focus on keeping his balance but won't lie down.  I drive slowly and try not to think.  I hate getting to the vet yet feel relieved knowing it might at least help.

It is now 2.09am and I sit in the dark and wonder if I did the right thing.  Was the two injections more for me or for Shy?  Nature is cruel and I could leave him to nature although I took over mother natures job many years ago when I took him on.  So I just hope I did the right thing knowing that it is going to be a short reprieve though how short I don't know yet.  She said he has an infection and that his heart is soon beyond help so I brought him home.

He stands here with me panting, crying something I haven't heard for so long.  Maybe I wasn't brave enough but I can't take it back if I am too hasty.  it is possible to be too hasty at this stage?

I will sit with him until the morphine takes some of it away, if it does.

Then I will face it all again tomorrow.  Tomorrow is another day if we get there.  I will soon smile that the midnight dash to the vet had my old boy trying to chase the bunnies in the carpark.

It is now nearly midday and Shy is no longer with us.  After the vets visit he continued to be uncomfortable and restless.  Soon he managed to sleep and it was obvious his heart was no longer able to keep going.  He was quietly PTS and thankfully quickly slipped away with a good dose of liver pate to see him through for Bunny hunting in the happy hunting ground.  That is if Swift and Buck let him join in the fun.  

Thank you as ever to Davy who is my very own personal gravedigger and Alex as I have no doubts she helped.  Thank yo to Brucey Babes for being man enough to show what Shy meant to him and for helping when I needed it.

Shyboy, Bob, Shybob will always be my one and only Blue Eyed Boy.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

How canny

Yesterday whilst dropping the dogs off, a lady putting her milk bottle out smiled sweetly and said 'I love seeing the dog running out the house over the garden wall and leaping in the van saying hello to all his friends how wonderful' She was talking about Louie and part of her breakfast routine was watching out for us to turn up in our vans to pick Louie up.  She watches whilst I park up and Rachel sends Louie out to us, Louie flies over the garden wall( making sure there is no traffic obviously) and leaps into the van eager to get out in his 'schoolbus'!

This made me think of our morning routine.  Mine is a little different from Sams but essentially we use our vans to pick up our charges for the day.  Most of you have seen inside our van but in case you haven't we have Transits with a large open plan area in the middle and four cages in the back two on top of two.  All our dogs are taught to mix although we do tend to put them in with their friends and of course so they are comfortable and safe.

All of our dogs have favourite spots and preference.  Truffle prefers the middle but detests the upstairs cage, she is happy in the back and I haven't found a dog she doesn't like sharing with.  She comes downstairs with her dad and I waiting for her to get back out of bed( she gets up has breakfast toilets and heads back up lucky girl), her time to wait at the door whilst I lock the door and we walk together down the drive.  This is where she subtly positions herself in a neat sit with her head firmly placed so I know she would like to be in the middle.  If she happens to be in the back one gentle come on Truff sends her in a trot never looking up just in case I dare to pop her upstairs.....she gently jumps in and always sweetly greets whoever is in often Phoebe or Bobby both of whom will greet back and a slow thump of their tail.  Once in she likes to settle down and have a doze, as does both Phoebe and Bobby, Bobby is partial to a doze whilst sitting up on the way out but always sleeps lying down on the way home knowing he couldn't possibly miss anything!

Louie however likes to get his moneys worth and jumps in the van and looks to see who he can play with Charlie is always inevitably in the van before him will either be ready dozing or up for a good play  Louie accepts a refusal to play gracefully and usually waits patiently for Esther.  Esther Just loves a good tussle so invited from Louie are impossible to ignore though she prefers Truffle at the moment.  Once upon a time she only had eyes for her best mate Lola and Lola for her but in true teenage girls style they fell out one day over a moments rough play and that was that a polite and affection snuggle is all you will see from these two now.

Whilst Esther and Louie make primordial noises in the back there is a noise like no other......a noise that  had me stopping in my tracks five times the first time I heard it....much like an animal in dire need, a cross between a demented Muppet and a dog with its head stuck this noise emanates from the diminutive Leyla.  Mila simply flumps down in her cage the smaller the better( a remnant from her sad beginnings) and Leyla jumps in and sits in the boarded out wheel arch.  Leyla and Roly both have a love of the wheel arches and I do giggle when I go round a corner and I can hear both of them sliding gently on the wood only to be deposited on to Mila who accepts all input, interaction or indeed insult with much joy.  So back to the ungodly( or is it undogly) noise...Leyla is St Bernard baiting, her moves would have been much prizes by Bull baiters of yore.  As Mila lies motionless only her eyes moving Leyla dives in grabs a choller and worries it before leaping back and diving onto Mila's prone body after a good bounce back she goes pushing with all her might getting under that colossal head and doing goodness knows what.  After a good ten minutes Mila starts to thump her tail, them thump!  Leyla is bashed with a huge paw and her head disappears into a massive gob.....then its starts all over again.  I often wonder how often this is played out at home, Leyla see's Mila as her playdate and Mila lives to worried by the little heathen!

Willow's fond of her upstairs cage and at time is joined by Esther and her usual cage mate is Fluffy.  Now Willow used to be a cage mate with Leyla but Leyla was a little too relentless so now Willow enjoys her comforts and snuggles with one bed and only one any others will be pushed aside and occasionally shoved out of the cage completely!  Her time in the van starts off with watching and inevitably ends up with her fast asleep.  Fluffy however likes to watch and intermittently his tail wags I haven't worked out who he is wagging with though if my two are in it ends up being them as they spend most of the time saying hi to everyone upstairs....the advantage of having long legs and a long nose!

Belle likes to just settle, she sleeps after a walk but rarely before always in a calm state of watchfulness and often the only one on guard whilst the other sleep.  When Poppy is in my van she is a cage hopper which drives me mad yet also makes me chuckle.  The gap is so small but is no match for Feral.  She has a free ranging mind that one and the grass is always greener haha.

Sam's van much like mine has a changing routine dependant on who is in the van, like mine most jump in find a free spot settle and say hi before resuming normal van activities.  Without doubt our guys prefer an open cage rather than the closed type cages that are in Sam's van( we are still waiting for our new cages once the cage man is better).

The cutest pair have to be Breeze and Megan.  The  seek each other out and snuggle in tight whilst not physically rejecting all others they share only each others space.  Unlike my van when Louie is not in Sam's van there is little play this is a snoozy van maybe saving their energy for the walk or being older and more sensible they just settle down for the journey before their day really begins!  Oscar and Bella are playful types and luckily Bella has her playmate Louie on her days Oscar isn't fussy and just plays with whoever will put up with him before settling with his brother Hugo.

Molly Mc and Poppy have a mutual respect and liking of each other and they lie nose to nose against the partition watching all there is to see from their vantage point.  Izzy likes a corner and of course being a lurcher needs a decent bed so ensures she has a good bed a couple of walls to lean on and she is set sometimes being a little reticent about leaving her spot especially if it is raining.  Jasper being Jasper is a flat out across the cage kinda guy much to the disgust of whoever shares with him I do like Nanci or Sirus's style as they just lie across him until he shares nicely.

Nanci and Milliedoodle are window hoggers that is if they can get past Murphy's huge noggin, Murphy is every dog van drivers nightmare with his constant drone, 'are we there yet' 'are we there yet' 'I wanna be there are we there yet?' He also likes to constantly check you are indeed still there( urm how do you think the van is moving my dear).  Harry likes to sit back to back to Sam until sleep overcomes hima dn down he goes a mass of golden fur.

Lastly, although we have of course missed out many, we have to mention Winifred.  No it isn't pug preference it is because she NEVER gives in.  from being a black blimp she refuses to sleep.  Of course she does sleep but she doesn't allow her eyes or body to succumb so you often have a sinking Pug in a hunched over sit with eyes still open yet clearly fast asleep.  Not one to miss out  she is always quite indignant if she lapses and should she see Sam or I leave the van there is a complaint lodged with the management.

Funny things dogs.
You just gotta love 'em