Wednesday, 11 December 2013

We've been here before yet what a surprise

We've been here before, the ducking and diving, running up close then dashing off.  Taunting and teasing.

And downright dangerous.

We've been here before, the thinking progress has been made when really it has always been about choice.

Choice is a wonderful thing.  Until they choose what we would rather they didn't.

Just because we have been here before doesn't mean the results are the same or indeed that we react the same way each time.

Today we were indeed back to where we have been before and I had the glorious glow of terminal patience.  A near rare condition when it comes along you have to go with it and enjoy the ride.

Archie.

Sigh.

A play in the field after a nice cuddle and stroke, a check in to make sure he is with us and then off he goes gadding about.  Only today his games are like his games before.  Pushing shoving bullying and badgering.  You can see the look in his eyes.

Rez is doing everything right, he isn't allowing the badgering to boil him over the boy is growing up and learning.  He keeps his head aside and keeps his focus elsewhere and slows down fast clear signals that he wants Archie to go away.  Archie then goes after Phoebe where Rez is learning Phoebe has a degree she stops dead, spins and sets off stopping every time Archie gets close.  Clever dogs.  The little dogs aren't even on his radar.

So I call him in and he comes for a stroke and then he is allowed off but the badgering starts again.  We don't do Bullying.

We stop and he knows it is over.

He has fear.  He knows all about fear but this is a different fear not of pain or hurt, fear of it all stopping.  The adrenalin rush, the running with lungs burning, heart thumping and mind free of inhibition.  He is bred to run, to chase and to be relentless.  His default setting.

So he doesn't come back,  he has a plan and rushes the dogs the usual suspects who love the thrill of a run, the dash and buzz of play.  Only today it is different.  A mix we don't normally have.  A field with dogs who were walked ready to go back in after a chance to say hi to their friends and those who had just come out.  The tooing and froing means the adrenalin can hover near the top but not boiling over.  The newbies who have learnt to play, run and trust.  The guys who have been here before many times.  Only this time the ones who have been here before lead the group and they stop.

They do that you know, they stop and this time they all stop.   The newbies and cheekies follow the established guys some huddle next to Sam needing the reassurance feeling the change in the field.  Those are gently put on lead praised and hugged decision is out of the paws now they can relax no thinking required.  The little people either wander slowly or gather with the others.  Ember is scared, Norman frets.  Fluff is a little too still so I give him a command something he understands, he relaxes no longer worried about what ifs.  Is this gonna set Ember back I feel not this might just be the time she understands what we do and what we need.  Norman hates anything to be out of kilter but to focus on him or to snuggle him close isn't helping him to understand it is not him that the focus on so a sweet word or two reassures without rewarding.

So Archie goes and sniffs he isn't really sniffing he is deflecting.  He looks around seeing who might break and who might give him the buzz he craves.

Despite the running past and all he tries they stay.  He then spots Ember.....He runs at Ember she runs.  Then she finds she is on her own and doesn't like it she comes back.  This happens three times and then the change happens.

She runs= Archie scary

She tries sitting the next time.  With a tickle and a well done she stays put and Archie gives up.  She sits firm tucked into Louie nice and tight Louie is solid, a sniff and a sweet check in from Louie means Ember relaxes.  Her huddle of Charlie, Willow, Esther and Louie are her buddies they are watching her back.

And still we wait.

I don't want the good guys to miss out to get cold or to start to worry so love hug and squeeze them telling them how much we love them so and that they really are the best dogs ever.  They shuffle and start to wait for the release, they are gonna go!  I move too fast and off a couple shoot Archie's eyes glowing with excitement and a sharp word stops them and we go back to loving and hugging.

Time to end this.  Sam watches over the good guys and I reject Archie chasing him away ' No More!' 'Go Away!'  until he comes back no more.

The good guys hold firm Norman is struggling I am sending someone away so this needs to stop.

I crouch down and ask if he wants to be back in the fold. He comes slow deliberate and watching in case I become aggressive or angry.  Of course I don't those days for Archie are gone with his last life.

He comes close puts his face in mine and I turn slowly hand gently but firmly on his collar( I don't want to fly through the air with the greatest of ease) and the release is instant, glorious and a relief like no other.

Off they go noisy, joyous and more than a little giddy they come back showing off how good they are wiggling and silly.  More loves and full on play and even Norman is off mooching then coming back for a goose ( playful bum squeeze) before wiggling off again.

It is his default setting, he will revert back whenever he is over excited or has too much energy to burn. He has learnt what gets his release but is yet to really learn what gets his freedom.  Up till now he has been choosing to be good because he is getting all he needs.  Today he had too much energy, too much sass and he reverted.

Of course we have been here before and we will be here again!

We need to do more and he needs to do less, we need to do less and he needs to do more.  He is not a bad dog.  He is what he is meant to be but we changed the rules and his body and brain hasn't caught up yet.

Rez is getting there and I recon Ember is on the first step!



'Eeh I'd love to be a dog walker me, walking through the fields sun on your back, loving and hugging dogs no stress you can't even call it work.'

They are right of course and yet so far removed from the truth I simply smile and carry on!








Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Been a long time since I have felt like blogging



So proud after all this time I have finally saved up and have bought a proper private car( off Mr Gumps)....first one I have had, well it is a Trooper but it is still my first!  So nice to leave the van behind ( I love my transits)it feels a little more civilised.

My first van was an old post office van ( a bright blue ford escort E98 EBB) and I remember vividly receiving it as a gift, I bet Karen Howlett my sister in law can too haha, as I cried and cried and cried, reading out the cards whilst on the phone to Karen the cards read:
Happy birthday, Happy christmas, happy birthday, Happy christmas and they were on a long string all the way round onto the next door neighbours drive.  Being the simple person I am I couldn't quite work it out.  My parents had bought me the van and it was all dressed up and waiting for me.  I was given some bright orange vinyl sticky sheets which I cut out so Baby Bluebell sported exotic fish a breaching humpback whale and I think a dolphin of course I had a clydesdale on the back too.

Then when Baby Bluebell was becoming infirm I then bought a white van with alloys which didn't last long when I took a dog on to get him used to vehicles.  He wouldn't go in a car after the two cars he had travelled in crashed with him in it, well our first journey together someone ran into me and wrote it off, luckily we were both fine and no I never transported him again.

Immediately after that I got UGLY, Ugly was brilliant an ugly lada estate that would run beautifully as long as you didn't go on motorways or long straight roads, I actually made a profit when I sold Ugly to a guy who wanted to deliver locally I warned him to not  have any thoughts of driving off into the sunset with Ugly.

I moved onto a Nissan sunny hatchback to keep me going with my dog walking until I hunted down a van. The van duly arrived Vanny the nissan vannette cargo caged out and a delight until you had to do the water and oil, the dipstick was located under one seat and to fill it was under the next seat now that was bad planning.  This was my first real van with livery on I loved driving around with the drawings on the side!

Soon I needed a bigger van and Lily ( Lily Savage a trannie)came along wow £10,000!  Big money for me when I only earned £5000 a year and ran my house, van, three dogs, a cat, two horses, three guinea pigs and a tank full of fish, the business oh and me to support.  Lily soon sported four photos with the dogs I walked on them, Jake, Monty, Naz, Hiedi, Taz, Swift, Sky, Grace, Buck and Eddie and Grace.  This was also the first van I had my Back off bitch on board sticker.  Before the time of digital cameras I used up a whole roll of film on catching just the right picture of Swift....and how did I get her looking so mean and full of shiny teeth?  Swift hated a bath and all I had to say was ' I am gonna put you in the bath' and we always had a kiss straight after her fierce looking toothy grimace.  Lily lasted until the year before last and I was sad to see her go though equally excited to have Izzy ( Eddie Izzard a trannie) and then we went a tiny bit bigger with Veronica( long story best not shared on here hehe).

So I have always travelled in vans with a very brief moment or two in cars which could hardly be classed as luxury travel.

Now I need a name for the gold trooper, a wheel cover with a drawing of my girls and boys then decorate it with a few nicknacks.  How exciting.  Thankfully my wages have improved somewhat too! I do wish I earned what people think I do mind........


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A truly hilarious day

I am not known to be a woman of few words I shall today however allow the photos to do the talking.

Thank you ever so much for taking part in our day.  If you haven't donated already please donate no matter what the amount it helps.

 Little Red Riding Hood and Grandma
 Bo Peep and her Sheep
 A rather tremendous dog walk pose
 Cabbagelike hehe
 A very competitive egg and spoon race
 Little red riding dog
 You had to be there
 It isn't just about the dogs
 Goldilocks shall go to the ball
 The usual suspects?
 Little bo peep choosing a better mode of transport than her legs
 Itsy Bitsy spider regrets the humane spider catcher Miss Muffet got for her birthday
 Lady and the tramp?
 Marley from Mini Pony Hire takes his babysitting duties seriously
Didn't even dress up hehe 
 Recall went well then 
 Aren't mothers just great
 Princess on the pea?
 It looked so promising...........
 I recon no one has even noticed the dogs!
 Sam truly is the queen of hearts
 Be afraid be very afraid
 Scooby made an appearence
A family affair 
 We are ready for the off
 The posse know how to travel
 let the games commence
 Three bad blind mice
 Little man Tink strutting his stuff with his new friend
 Old mac donald
 Oh the shame
 There's trouble in the Kingdom
 By gromit
Did you enjoy that?

So far we have raised £418.75 for The Kennel Club Charitable Trust and 
275 Euro's for Ibizan Hound Rescue



Thank you to:





Also to:




Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Lanky Git

You would think in the laws of averages we should have a fair few accidents.  Just because of the dogs we walk, the fact they are fit lively dogs and the very fact we have them out longer.

It is actually, thankfully, pretty rare.

Not rare enough though sigh.

Put two big lanky gits together and there is indeed a chance things could go wrong.

It did.

Fast moving huge lump of a Great Dane and a skinny boney clueless Ibizan hound sniffing merrily away.  Murphy does try to be careful and I always fear more for us than for the dogs, indeed more often than not they run INTO him.

Oh the screams as Murphy ran into Flute's bottom and in a flash I was ever so grateful he had at least had his curly tail down low or I believe it would have been snapped back over his back.  Our other guys were so worried with all the noise and it took quite some time to give them cuddles and reassure them.

Well that was over a week ago and after two vets visits and an Xray Flute is improving with his once limp tail rapidly improving though his pelvis and back will take longer.  We are now at the ARGH stage of healing.  When they feel well enough to be bored and tormenting swines.  For example disappearing from the well fenced garden....5ft foot plus a hedge in front and 7ft on the other side.....yup muppet decided the great escape needed a new airing luckily he was soon recaptured and imprisoned once more.

His walks consist of stalking, mainly imaginary rabbits but it certainly has me on edge, as many of you already know Ibizan Hounds feel every wall, hedge and bridge needs to be looked over and as this usually involves jumping standing on hind legs or balancing on hind legs it is currently banned. You would think I have hobbled him, it is simply killing him.

We had our first trip to the field on lead of course and he was very steady so was allowed time off lead mooching and the first thing he did was walk to the gate and stare at the girls.  I hadn't even considered he hadn't had his daily visits to see his friend Ella and as soon as she saw him she trotted over and they had me sniffling at their lovely hellos and nuzzle of each other.

Everyone who has tried to keep any energetic animals calm during enforced rest knows they can come up with ingenious ways of entertaining themselves and I have braced myself.  I was delighted when he started to gently play ball games with himself, rolling the ball back and forth and grumping and talking away in pod talk to it.  He is even playing well with his brother lying flat mouth wrestling.

Needless to say there are the things that aren't so welcome like his delight at fetching socks going to a whole new level and has become a fully fledged obsession along with knickers preferably worn.  Nice.

Then there is the gate opening....the iron gate is no match for Flute and now he chooses to toilet right next to the cars in the drive rather than the dog garden so I spend more time looking for dollops and Twit features who has also realised at night the huge hedgehog likes to pass between the van and Mr Gumps Car. Unfortunately it took me three nights to work out him asking to go out wasn't for his necessary duties and more for some lighthearted entertainment being a hog harassor luckily the hedgehog is a seasoned campaigner and much to Flute's shame doesn't even bother rolling up at Flute's manly barks from a distance of course those spines are as sharp as they look.

So I have decided being the supposedly smarter species it is more than time to start entertaining that brain with more clicker training and it is a hoot as many of his preferred behaviours he can't do which causes a degree of frustration so he actually has to listen or try something new!  The trick I am trying to teach him at the moment is so very appropriate so watch this space with a bit of luck the lanky git and I will have something to show you!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Sadness



It seems all wrong that a bouncing big lump of a boxer can go through so much yet be beaten by a lump that simply won't stop bleeding.  Like a creaking gate we knew a day would come when some catastrophic event would make the gate fall from the posts that held on so tentatively.  How could it possibly be so small as a delicate piece of skin no longer strong enough to hold back time?

He won't be defined by a lump well not that kind of lump anyway, anyone who has met a boxer knows they are big daft lumps of enthusiasm, gooniness and energy.

In part this energy was the catalyst for a new owner.  Needless to say I was the messenger of this life change when the original owners, beaten by his chewing of all things hoped wrongly, that a new house change of routine and desperate optimism would mean leaving him out of his cage, which did not fit the look of the new house, would magically cure this expensive comforting habit Rogan had.  Unfortunately they soon found, to their cost, this was a huge error of judgement and a new home was required.

Soon Rogan made himself at home where a cage was installed and a new lifestyle soon cured him of chewing and destructiveness.  Taz their resident dog was quite happy with her new live in love and they bashed, slammed and snuggled their way into a very happy relationship.  He was accepted by the two cats though needless to say disgust was a well practised look by now, only cats can achieve this look with such ease.

Rogan always loved toys and for me that will be one of my favourite memories of him.  You could balance a toy on his head and tell him to wait and he would wait......and wait........and wait the second you told him to get it he would spring into life grabbing the toy his eyes glinting with such excitement you couldn't help doing it again and again.  My favourite was a squeaky toy I bought for him which not only squeaked but had a chick that popped up when squeezed, he'd carry it  out the side of his mouth. Seeing him pop the chick out was something else yet what I really loved was a game he invented himself.

Standing on the rug he'd drop the squeaky chick/ egg onto the wooden floor.  He'd stand there staring his body taut, then ever so slowly he'd reach a foot out and the egg would just be out of reach.  So he'd swap legs( not always) and try again so slowly it was as if he was in slow motion.  When he still couldn't reach it he would stalk it as if his life depended on it so slowly you barely believed he moved at all.  Closer and closer he'd move and then POUNCE he'd dive on it squeaking it hard yet you never knew at what moment he would pound only a barely perceptible wag on his stumpy tail would give away the excitement that was building up.

It's hard to say just what made Rogan Rogan, his face was unlike any other his daft expressions and his sheer delight.  In his later years his funny gambolling run, his missing toe and his bark always seemed to have just fallen out of his mouth.

His enthusiasm was infectious and he has left the house/ home/ family a sadder place and a house now for the first time in 41 years dogless.

We miss you Rogan but carry you with us.  In fact I am sure I heard you when the post came through the letter box just now!





Tuesday, 13 August 2013

How time flies

After a silly post on facebook I realised just what Petnanny has meant to me.

Often people will come up to you and say they would love my job, cuddling puppies all day and walking dogs, no stress.  Whilst in some ways this is true they couldn't be further from the truth in their description.  Yet what strikes me, as time passes, is not what I do on a daily basis it is the affect on me and lives having a business like Petnanny has.

I have had Nero in my life for 13 years, he is now too old to be walked but he is there you know.  Needless to say by walking Nero I also had a relationship with Madeleine it is inevitable.  Been there every morning ( five days a week mostly) sometimes a mere ' Morning I have Nero see you later' to a good natter over coffee and pasta.  So Madeleine is in there too.

Then we have Sisko.  Sisko has been walked just under 11 years a mere slip of a mini poodle all flouncy hair and theatricals.  Yet Lindsay and Trevor snuck into my world, full of Disney world and now there is Adam and Luke, I know Lindsay's parents with their beautiful little mini smokey cream and blue poodle.  How our lives have changed in that time.  From house moves and births it is a little snippet of their lives I have shared.

I doubt I will ever forget Pebble and Poppy's family.  We met through tragedy 11 years ago, I was needed to help their beautiful snugglebugs through a difficult time yet they have helped me through many mini traumas in my life too always being there.  Lyn has a dry sense of humour and quick wit, a closer family you will not find and I love to catch up with Sharon and Chris.  They are a hoot together the banter makes your hair curl hehe. I can't imagine life without them being around I think I have cried more with and for this family than any other.

As for crying and traumas the same can be said for Oscar and Hugo.  Another lovely family who went from two to three from one dog to two with many horrible health problems along the way.  At times I couldn't see how they would keep going yet they show a strength I can only hope I would have if ever needed.   I miss the daily contact now Sam's picks the lads up but they are there.

Harry's first walk was a privilege,  his big puppy feet bouncing and running as fast as they will travel.  It is hard to believe so much time has passed, nine years I believe.  Another family who started out as two and the dog!  Then lovely Oliver was born and Harry coped beautifully soon to be followed by Grace.  Another house move and we all toddle along living our own lives yet sharing odd moments.

Tash was with us many years and she came along with Sarah and Keith.  I have to admit to chuckling at Keith engrossed in his computer games to the point Nero once wee'd on him eeek!  As laid back as Keith is Sarah is there keeping everything going.  Now they are soon to be three( all being well) and whilst Tash is no longer here physically she is there binding us all together.

Loki was the apple of Sonia's eye I was interviewed within an inch of my life.  I passed the rigorous testing and became part of their band.  Time passes and life's dramas, deaths and push you to the limits whilst you both follow the path that you set off upon.  With nanci being left and a new born the new stage of their lives came and we watch from the sidelines years and life passing, checking in with simple hello's and messages back and forth.  8 years on and we are still intertwined.

I just never expected the effect people would have on my indirectly, how they become as important as the dogs.  How as time passes the relationships change, morph and still we plod along mutually joined by one common factor.......the dogs.  They get older, some pass and second/ third generations come along never forgetting that first dog, learning to love the subsequent ones.

Then we have Sam who I met in 2000 when she came to do work experience, the niece of my next neighbour who would have thought that chance meeting could change our lives.  With Barney, Kodi, Pebbles, Katy only Barney is still with us, Mia who died so terribly young was one I never met then Ruby Demi and Pixie.  Maggie binds us to Linda with Moo and Isa after Linda rescued her from the meat trade and needed to rehome with a fabulous person, Sam was that fabulous person and the bond is there linked with work, dogs horses and friends.

It occasionally scares me to think we are 'just' a service and people do walk away when we are no longer needed yet that is all part of the deal.  Time passes and you wonder just how the dogs are and if they are well.

So if you ever set up a dog walking company, ever start caring for someone else's animals don't forget your responsibility to all those you meet for good or for bad.  It is part of your life, part of that web that makes us human.  The good part of human.


Eeeh who would have thought it

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Fat camp imminent sigh.

                     13th June            31st July

Harry             29.5kg               30.10kg       0.60kg increase no worries as he drops weight

Montanna      34.25kg             33.60kg       0.65kg loss well done!

Harvey                                    24.5kg         Really needs to lose weight

Poppy            11.75kg            12.35kg       0.60kg increase

Roly              11.90kg            12.85kg       0.95kg increase

Jasper            21.30kg            21.90kg       0.6kg increase 

Maddi           29kg                 30.55kg       1.55kg increase

Rez               24.50kg            24.60kg       Still growing

Martha          22.05kg            16.70kg       Still growing

Hugo            8.95kg              9.10kg         0.15kg increase pug

Oscar           10.05kg            10.10kg        0.05kg increase excellent 

Nell             10.90kg            11.05kg        0. 15kg increase 

Winnie         6.30kg              6.15kg         0.15kg no worries either way

Bobajob       39.15kg            37.80kg       1.35kg loss absolutely fantastic well done!

Louie           36.70kg            35.70kg       1kg fabulous well done

Esther          19.40kg            19.10kg       0.30kg loss yeh

Truffle                                  21.10kg       Will need to check records I think small loss

Tallulah                                6.65kg         On a par

Wobbily                               7.85kg         On a par

Willow       20.20kg             21.25kg       1.05kg weigh increase

Charlie       32kg                  33.80kg        1.70kg increase

Ember        27.10kg             23.80kg        Still growing

Sandy                                   6.80kg         on a par excellent weight

Fluffy         10.65kg             10.65kg       Wow haha

Archie                                  25.70kg        need to check records.


Rest to follow






Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Bad blog owner

I am such a bad blog owner as Fb has taken over, seems to me like you have to make an effort to write something with depth on here whereas Facebook is more of a conversation.

This month has seen quite a bit of change with four dogs moving on, I am safe in the knowledge they have wonderful loving families and lots of fun ahead of them.  We are in no hurry to replace them happy to wait for the right dogs to come along as we have such a lovely happy band of dogs I will do all I can to prevent this from changing.  A foolish thought that is though as we have little control over life!

Time marches on yet I feel we are lucky enough to want a fair wage for a fair days care, this also enables us to take less and focus more( not chasing profit margins), to enjoy our charges for however long we have them for.

With this in mind we are seeing such improvement in our young dogs with Tinks, Rez and Archie coming along beautifully with moments of sheer cheek and naughtiness but then we couldn't have them being perfect could we where would be the fun in that.  Even Fergal 'I really don't have to do that as I am Fergal' has improved and occasionally shocks us by his prompt interaction.

The likes of Harry, Molly Mc dolly, Montanna, Harvey, Charlie, Izzy and Bobajob are such treasures with moments of silliness I can't imagine life at Petnanny without them.

Poor Nanci hurt herself yesterday whilst out with her grandmar and grandad she gave them such a fright.  After playing and romping with another dog she turned sharply and fell, not being able to use her back end they had to go get the car to pick her up and managed to get her straight to the vet.  She seems to be improving and is having a quiet week so we wish her a speedy recovery poor lass.

It was lovely to see Ruby and Pixie out with Nanny Sam and to see them all recovering from losing Demi.  This job is the hardest job to do when you are going through stuff with your own animals and I applaud Sam for doing so so professionally and thank you to Alex for helping me keep an eye on Sam making sure she was supported during this time.  It means so much to me that we have a small support system in place each watching out for each other when it is needed.


I just can't do a blog without mentioning the weather.....whoa there can you believe we have good weather?!  As in dry, hot/ warm.

 Wow.

It has been sometime since I have seen so much pasty flesh on show and quite frankly I am putting it in the same bracket as Flies, Ticks and Sunstroke I can live without it!  Slowly our pasty skin is turning a rich and probably unhealthy tan colour despite my nagging to wear sunscreen, yet still I see VoLUMPtuous bellies glowing in the sunshine as we are out walking often belonging to workmen....what does that say about the work part of their job description?

My mind is starting to turn to our next charity event.  I have a big show to go to at the end of this month and once that is aside I shall knuckle down and plan our next moment of madness in the quest for money raising and owner humiliation, people may think dressing our dogs up for charity is degrading ....not so!  They are too busy having fun ripping their hard made outfits up and the humiliation is firmly at our door haha luckily we are a humour fuelled bunch so it washes over us.

The theme shall be Nursery Rhymes or Stories and I hope to be putting on a little show to raise further funds so hope you will all be there in all your glory, please make sure you bring a sense of humour and a big smile!  As soon as the dates and details are finalised I will let you know.




Thursday, 25 April 2013

What is the answer to my question problem?

I often pose questions on Fb asking people's opinion usually though the people who reply invariably talk about us when I want to discuss something in general.  I don't want to hear how much they love using us( well I am not sure you can hear that too often hehe) I want a discussion and some thought being put to the question.  You might know me, Sam and Alex but do you really know what happens with us or indeed other companies?

So what I want to know is how can anyone work out which ones are good dog walkers and which are not?

Many many people are very good at painting a pretty picture( I don't mean literally!) sell a wonderful product only to provide a far inferior service than portrayed.  Indeed how do you even know you are getting what you think you are.

It is very easy to post photos and talk the talk yet how do you really know?

When I take on new customers, despite most being send via recommendation, few if any ask for references, I always invite people along and even suggest they 'spy' on us for however long it takes to feel they genuinely are happy with what they get.

What else can you do?

I am curious.

The more I am in this vocation the more I hear that scares me.  Does one deed tar all?  If you know bad things happen and you know of people who let the dogs out and read a paper leaving them to their own devices, or don't even take the dogs out do you presume all in that profession are the same?

Recently we had left a muzzle on a dog in the van, something that we just don't do unless absolutely required and the customer asked us if we had and not to do it in future.  We could have sugar coated it, we could have blatantly lied yet our business is based on as much honesty as possible, it breeds trust.  So we owned up and problem solved.  No anxiety, no disgruntled moments just a simple request.


When was the last time you asked just where and when your dog is walked, how long he goes out for and how many are in the cage or car with him, the questions are infinite and most need answers, the real answers to the questions are often in what is missed out of the conversation or skirted around.  Do you believe them?

If you have never checked before why not now?

There is nothing nicer than an honest answer to confirm what you had hoped, a reliable service provider who cares and who provides what they say they do.

All we ask is for people to treat us with the same courtesy.....Honesty might not be the sweetest pill to swallow at times but it really is the only way.

Do you have the answers?  How do you know?

You do housework we do body work!

I do chuckle at the idea that people normally have stuff like housework to catch up on when we have body work to catch up on.  Today we had a nail trim catch up and Minnie's usual ear trim, oh lordy she was not a happy little shiht!

We must video it some time as the noises that come out of her are pretty impressive, funniest of all she doesn't make the noises when we are plucking just before!  It has been so long since she has screeched on like a banshee so will keep an eye on her maybe it is just because she has had less of a problem with her ears so isn't having them done so often.

Very impressed with Martha and Tinks having their nails done, we were very sweet with them and made a fuss for their braveness.  Archie thought I was possibly going to torture him but soon realised I wasn't doing anything drastic.  Hunter and Esther were disgusted and if they want talons they will keep talons, foolish pups...we can't risk long nails when they get the walks ours do as they can pull them clean out of split them.  It still occasionally happens but it is at least kept to a minimum.

Everyone else was good and some like Charlie, Millpoo and Harvey didn't need doing:
Belle, Mila Leyla
Bobajob
Louie
Truffle
Lola
Tallulah
Wobbily
Willow
Duke
Sirus
Nanci
Fergal
Murphy
Harry
Elsie
Suzy
Breeze
Bobby spaniel
Fluffy
Maddi
Martha
Tinks
Molly Mc Dolly
Montanna
Thought it would be a little mean to do Minnies haha





Friday, 12 April 2013

I feel cheated

My Smartie egg had no smarties in it.

There is something so very wrong with that and I feel cheated.

My hound ran away today, he didn't even deem it necessary to go faster than a damned trot.  It is just not right that I can train and have trained many many dogs and my dog laughs at my efforts.  Oh I can see it happening, the scenario unfolding and we play the roles perfectly.  It's not good for my inner peace.

I feel cheated cos they are meant to be a delight, to take away all your stresses.  A pal by your side that never judges you, always loves you and makes you a better human.  When in that lovely set up does it say it can turn you into a profanity spouting, neurotic inducing idiot?  When?

He trots, he sniffs stopping occasionally for a pee and a good old scrat just to show everone he the man.  I follow in the jeep resisting the bad voices in my head.  I stop he stops bemused by this new development, he has never been followed in a jeep before how terribly exciting.  I step out and at least find myself not weedling or screeching like a fish wife.

I use a useful trick to entice him toward me, a world of adrenalin inducing trip that only a frisbee/ ball or rabbit can produce and don't i just go and  fall at the last hurdle.  He came, wary about losing the freedom that drives his legs onward he even sits when I ask him and I throw it just far enough to catch him not the frisbee and I failed utterly oh I caught him but I shan't tomorrow I just set it up so I wouldn't.I put him in the jeep containing the rage, the disappointment that even overrides the smartie free smartie egg.  Why oh why didn't I throw the frisbee and play the game....give him the good feeling about being with me instead of giving him the feeling of being tricked and put into the jeep?

I am a muppet.

Should know better.

Do know better.

But hey I got the dog!

It isn't just me that inwardly groans at the thought of walking the dog.  You see all those perfect dogs walking with adoring eyes barely leaving the side of the owner that has all the answers....humph say I! I can't be the only one.

Bloody bugger.

It isn't all bad.  My other dog was very good today, he was funny giddy and everything it says on the tin/ breed standard.

And I have a rather large Galaxy Egg with my name on it so be gone you worthless Smartie egg.

I dunno

I just don't know what I want the blog to do.

Is it for Petnanny or it a way of emptying my head?  It's not like it is a busy old site/ blog and there are people waiting to read it.

The ones I have enjoyed writing the most are about what I want to jot down to remind me when I can't remember if I had my tea or not.  SO maybe I will feel less obliged to be a good dog walker, good writer and good trainer and just be me.  I wonder if I can get that right cos you change don't you?!

I often feel a fraud am I who people think I am?  I have a need to share, yet what to share and what should be kept close to your chest is there a manual to say where that line is?

Yup I am gonna try an write for me and hope someone wants to read it.

I really dislike constant happy positive status updates.  That life is wonderful and delightful....does that mean I am a grump or a cynic or even both haha.  I feel like replying are you trying to convince me or you?

I passionately hate people who can talk the talk paint a pretty picture ( not of the art variety I LOVE people who can do that!) and make no effort to Do the job right.

Why is everything so middle of the blooming road?  Or outrageously outspoken..The world is a jumble of madness and I can't make sense of it.  There's a guy in the village( oh please don't him let him hunt me down) who tells me all about the real world....how we are mere puppets playing our part in an elaborate game...he keeps tins of food stocked up and has survival strategies in place and at times more and more I find myself seeing the sense in it.  Show me some truth, nature at least is honest, brutal and blatant yet I fight against nature because it is brutal and blatant...

A lovely man I know died yesterday.  Friends of mine are fighting to get some normality in their lives with their bodies fighting to stay healthy and not succeeding at the minute.  Is it normal to just keep tiddling along wrapped up in a world that only you know?

Time for the blog I wanted to do if I can catch the thoughts before something pushes them out never to be found again.





Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Funny odd

Funny odd day today.

Wanted to work on the guys walking and calm happy thoughts so we headed to Ouston and you could tell it was frustrating them to not know quite what was coming.

A walk down the road is nothing new and they knew the park was in reach so bouncy bouncy they go. Occassionally they jostle only to be placed back to their place.....Bouncy bouncy they go.


With the park there in front of them the whiners start...Louie whinerador and Tallulah Mc Whiner, Tinks by now is attempting a record back flip record whilst Jasper bloody beagle is working out if he can pee on the grass tussock from underneath Flute.  So we stop in a flash Tallulah sits, woooooo.  Charlie gets it and sits too.  A couple we know one of which trains dogs rushes to pop their dogs on the lead and our guys ready themselves for fun and frolics.

Only impatience takes over.  Tinks barks at Nanny Sam who has dared to stand away from her, Jasper is trying to contort himself into an unbeagle like shape stumped as to why he of all dogs should be restrained( Jasper has a default setting set to ' I am Beagle God and should be obeyed you heathens).  Bobby spaniel is sneaking backwards to just test he is indeed attached and if he can succeed where Jasper failed....can he hit the tussock from here?

A lovely gentleman walks past and says hi with his little jack russell( looks like it has chihuahua in too) Patch.  Love the fact his tongue seems to have its own agenda and is completely unruly sticking out at the front and wobbling delightfully.  Off they go two friends out for a walk.

We let off Poppy feral who true to her name shot down to say hi to Patch but recalled instantly with a angelic look on her face little baggage haha.  Montanna's halo is firmly in place as they promptly toilet and have a bit romp about.  Mixing and switching which dogs are on and which are off is highlighting behaviour traits and we have the odd minor tantrum.....' my mammy is paying good money for me to have fun Nanny!' so we just wait which causes a little consternation with the couple who now have walked four times round the small park....I kind of wonder what they are thinking but I have an idea they must be wondering not just what we are doing but what I am thinking haha.

Now for the proper walking or at least it would be if it wasn't for the constant stops for locals asking all about our guys and gals two even saying they'd seen them on our vans.  Ooooh!

We failed miserably in the 'what kind of dog is Jasper and Tinks stalking game' poor hairy terrier went from a bassett to a bulldog then a spaniel, we really ought to put our glasses on next time, we can't live all our lives in rose tinted soft focus hehe.

The next group took less time waiting for calm at the park and the same amount of time out walking as all the local children made a game of working out what breeds and how many there were.  Mr Darcy if he were a car would most definitely be in the garage, with a serious left hand lean he doesn't do it out walking normally but walking on paths he certainly does.  Sandy's first dedicated street walking showed her up as a charger storming along like a little trooper though sausages went a long way to show her where I wanted her to be.  Wobbily is hard work on lead though massive improvements have been made as I am no longer walking a hairy spinning top thank goodness.

After discussions about petulance and good manners Duke was a treasure walking well and not fussing about who he was walking with.

All in all the walks went well and only Rez the destroyer put a dampener on the morning with a session of digging, ripping and chomping....he isn't the first and most definitely won't be the last.

It's so nice to be walking along proud as punch of our guys they make a stunning sight trotting along beside us occasionally punctuated with Tinks swearing and ' eeh you've got your hands full there pet' though the favourite today was....' would you like another one?  You walk them lot better than I can walk me own!'


Friday, 29 March 2013

I never did win a pony

As a pony mad youngster who longed for a pony of my own, I used to look out of the window at school pretending my pony was waiting for me outside and in my mind I would jump on its back and gallop away from my physics lesson away from the teacher who's moles seemed to have a not so secret plan to take over the world.

I had progressed from the comics and now used to read Horse and Pony Magazine every page would be read and reread, adverts ringed and numbered in order of preference but the most important time was when one of the horse magazines held a yearly competition.  The excitement and anticipation was intense as the prize was a horse or pony!  My brother and I would read the instructions, read the terms and conditions then we would desperately try and write that magical sentence in so many words as to why we should win a horse.

We worryworted over it, we faffed and we made sure our hand writing was the best it could be then off to the post office and then the dreadful wait would commence.  When would we hear?  Oooh what it would be like to actually have my own horse, what colour would it be only then could I decide what colour brushes and headcollar it would wear.  Paul and I would occasionally look at each other in anticipation when the post arrived, as it did then first thing in the morning....would this be the morning?  What if he won it and not me would he share and if I won would I have to share?!

Well I have had the same anticipation and the same feeling when I am the one not to receive an email, to hear the delighted messages of people succeeding where I have failed.

Only this time I had always avoided competitions, to enter a competition is to lay yourself  bare and your craft.  I have, until now, entered two competitions, one I was shortlisted one not.  Busying myself with getting down to the business in hand I shied away from public judging.  You can't lose if you don't race now can you?

What changed?  I have grown up and realised I can't grow without pushing myself, scaring myself witless is often the only way.

A plan formed, everything put in place then bit by bit my entry took form.  Soon it was time to enter and the forms were filled and that was it.  A long wait was next and I settled myself safe in the knowledge I knew little of what they looked for, knew nothing of the current trends and desires.  Yet it was there a tiny little glimmer of hope.

Normal life resumed and then I saw it.  A post that made my heart thump, my head spin and my face burn.  All her entries had been shortlisted.

So I checked my email.  Ten times.

I checked it again and then rechecked my spam box.

Then I realised how much I had wanted it.

I have lost nothing. But......

And I never did win that pony.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Ouch

Why ouch?

I have just weighed my guys today.

Now I am delighted my two put some weight on with
Tips weighing in at 22.70kg
Flute 27.8kg which is great.
Robbie,
Tallulah
Willow
Phoebe are all in lovely condition
Harry is a little light again at 29.80kg
However not so excited at the rest.
Leyla a whopping and very worrying 7.4kg Small framed Pug
Mila is just as bad at 74.4kg St Bernard
Belle eeek 76.8kg St Bernard
Esther 20.5kg Springador
Lola 14.45kg  Puggle
Charlie 32.10kg Labrador
Louie 38.4kg Labrador
Bobby 39.7kg Flabrador
Truff 20.85kg Staffie cross
Megan 10.9kg Cookie monster I mean Cockerpoo!
Jasper 20.9kg beagle Detox, Fat camp and bootcamp needed
Sirus 33.05g dalmation a few more laps round the horse paddock
Harvey 23.80kg cocker( sprocker type) Fat camp needed
Hugo 9.10kg large Pug start on the salads hehe
Breeze 14.25kg working small cocker Ouch eek yikes Maybe more work less treats?
Montanna 33.80kg steady on lass think of your hips!
Nanny Caro 66.7kg whoa there heifer get jogging up them hills and lay off the biscuits, crisps, chocolates.....

Oh lordy Petnanny is going to be know as Fatnanny at this rate.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Lets go for a walk

Shall we go for a walk?

Okies.

This give you an idea of how we go for a walk hope you enjoy a virtual guide to our walking.  We pull up in the van and wait.  Wait for quiet.  Quiet often means calm.  Now time can make this an added pressure yet we know it is vital for a safe happy walk.

Out I get and open the doors, I love getting out into the brisk weather and feeling the warmth seeping out of the van.....yet again we need calm.  Get our leaders and choose who we walk.

Our walk already chosen, our dogs chosen and our walking companions ready to go, I open the cage door and choose the lucky dog, no pushing, no jumping out and most definitely no bitching about who is going and who isn't.  Leader on dog asked to come out and cage shut.  Depending on how the ground is we ask the dogs coming out to sit.  This continues until all dogs coming are out but those guys have to be calm no spinning, no playfighting and no lurching to say hi to the nannies/ walking companions.

Next we walk....walking to us means loose leader, stay where we put you ( no changing sides no lunging for a wee or playing) and settle into a spot you prefer to walk in without bothering your happy neighbour.

Soon to be let off we not only need calm and a sit if asked( sometimes calm nice walking earns freedom) but is the coast clear, is there anything out of place and important for the poor recallers do we have their attention are they with us so to speak.

Those that can are let off and asked to go wee wees easier to get most of the bags out and filled as soon as poss makes for more pleasant walking.  Whilst you are focussing on the ones you are letting off we watch the ones that are free and watch for toiletting to sort out.  So many times this is when someone turns up!  Sigh back we call them some mid poop haha bless them but still we ask and because we expect and know they can do it we don't hesitate or faff just ask and expect.  Once the person passes with our guys by us off they can go again but no hammering off at high speed unless we can get them to stop handbreak turn style if we need them back.

Once walking we constantly watch our guys but rarely call unless we are calling them.  We watch for people and dogs, wildlife and horses always ready to call the guys and gals in when needed.

Puddles are always around and they know no heading for a stream/ pond deep puddle without asking first always aware one day that stream will be a torrent or unsafe for the pups or indeed across a field with horses in.  If always allowed how can they know that that one time it isn't allowed?  What if that one time meant they were no longer with you?

Brambles and Nettles mean a few things...low slung dogs and pugs etc need a lift up no one likes to be stung or scratched, for hunting dogs they often mean fair game!  So a warning watch your manners for hunting dogs and a loving hand for the little people.

Corners never used to mean anything to me many moons ago, now they mean so much.  What is around the corner?  So call the guys in and ask for a nice walk around the corner if all clear off they can go.  Same with narrow tracks, we ask for calm as non of us like to be pushed and shoved, for delicates or dogs with chronic conditions it can mean pain and insecurity.  So get in line guys and enjoy the view!

They stop heads in the air and you just know something, don't know what is firing their senses up, making their instincts and muscles twitch.

Why is it you always meet someone at the most inopportune moment?  Maybe just as you have gotten them all excited or on a narrow track heading for a corner!  This is when we have to use our training or even fun distraction....asking them 'are you ready?'  expectant faces turn around waiting to see what mad nanny is going to do rather than the new dog and person advancing on them.

Sometimes a stop for someone morphs into a sit wait or just a wait, sometimes it is the sign of an exciting moment soon to be had, with a go go go and off they shoot giddy with their friends.

As we turn for home, wind on our backs we watch for the wayward wanderers, there are a few types.  The back of the walk wanderers, the lets get back to the warm van little wanderers and the oh no end of walk imminent wanderers!

Shivvying up the back of walk guys, making the oh no end of walk guys play and grabbing bums and chasing them usually makes them forget their woes and the lets get warm puplets usually have nanny speeding up and giving them snuggles, cuddles or if a speeding up of nanny coincides with the speeding up of the dog the a spell on the leader cools their progress!

A head shoots up, a bum tucks under and we know it means a fast moving bike bumping along the track so in they all come again and a wait just because we can.  A good wait means another fun run, a poor wait means a great time for leads to go on before heading back the warm van( or in hot weather cool van) even more welcome now.

So how does you walk compare?

Even with a single dog you have to watch for hotspots( corners, bushed and trees, open areas where they can see far into the distance and rivers, ponds and stock in fields), meet people, avoid dangers and set up a happy long term walking relationship.

With my guys I know when Flute is going feral on me, know what makes Tips slip Ghost like into the trees or run for fear if trapped with a strangers dog crowding him.  I know when it is important to get Little Foxy lady Isabelle or Hugo tucked into my legs when an over boisterous dogs comes bounding over.

Then we have windy days!  That is a whole other blog.....




Friday, 15 February 2013

What we and they eat


The horsemeat saga doesn't look to be slowing down and hope some good comes out of it.  Will it make more people buy from a local butcher where the supply chain is so much shorter and a fair price is paid for a product?  I have mixed feelings about horse meat.  My brain ( my heart screams no!) says it is fine we do eat cows etc after all and I am pretty sure from the animals point of view neither would like to be killed or eaten.

What I long for is for them to have good lives, as stress free death as is possible and some transparency in the processes. We have moved so far away from the realities of living we don't even know what meat we are eating.  I could do far more yet simple changes have made a difference in our household.  Bruce and I buy from a local butcher and we also buy direct from the farmer for our pig products and Sheep products.  We still buy some bacon and chicken products from a supermarket and rarely if ever eat ready meals.

Horses are often shipped thousands of miles from the uk to be slaughtered in terrible conditions abroad with different welfare standards to our own( and our own aren't that great) we have a horse surplus problem here as we do dogs and cats so why don't we just knuckle down admit to it and deal with it but like many things that happen in life we feel we can change little and what can one person do.  Would it harm to try?  I would rather see horses slaughtered and eaten in britain or abroad( as carcasses) rather than the current system of shipping them out.

Then we also have the allegations of euthanised dogs and cats in dog and cat food.  I have no doubts there are unmentionables in dog food and if it were 'clean product' I am sure dogs would cope they did after all evolve as waste product creatures!  What is very wrong is the fact that yet again there is no transparency, no way of knowing what medications any cull animal or roadkill or any other meat product that goes into the meat and animal derivatives bracket.

There are again fairly simple ways to get round this.

There is no set way how you should feed your dog, having the optimum food is not how dogs evolved so I don't fret about making sure they have the best at all times, I use some raw some dried some tinned, the raw can be interesting as my two will only eat certain things and I am notoriously bad for chewing my fingers when tired whilst dogs are well suited to raw food and is inherent risks if I don't thoroughly wash and scrub my hands it will inevitably end up in my mouth too( blurgh that and my dogs licking me haha).

How to help avoid any chances of Bobo eating Rover or Kitty?
Budget for your dog.  Dogs and cats cost money accept it and own it.
Buy as good a quality as you can but also if you can cook a few extra veg and don't waste your meat etc give it to the dog.  A little bit of stuff isn't going to spiral into disaster they weren't bred to have a balanced diet weekly never mind daily.

Check the back of your dog food:

Each batch of rendered product is labeled… according to its dominant animal source.  That’s why on a dog food label you’ll see so many ingredients that look like these…
Poultry by-product meal
Meat by-product meal
Fish meal
Animal fat

All are products of the rendering process.I personally worry about pet food being made by a confectionary giant ( Mars) or Pharmaceutical companies it doesn't sit right with me I want a food company to make dog FOOD!Anyway this is a complex subject and I haven't the knowledge to go into it fully but don't do any harm to think on.  Take five minutes and see what you can do.  Check those food bags and I am going to try harder.  I have a bit of a mission on to avoid as many Chinese products as possible.  From toxic ingredients, terrible welfare issues and for me personally many of the endangered animals are endangered because of persecution for tradition medicine and I don't want to help fund it.Oh lordy what next I wonder, when did we forget to keep it simple....maybe I should start keeping chickens and get a vegetable patch....BRUCE!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Just a short blog today

Is that a hurrah I hear?

Today we wanted to work on the puplets who are going through the hideous hounds phase!  Tinkerbelle is currently the whirling, seething, no recalling hissy huff and Rez is the thumping, shouting hauling bowling ball......

As you may know by now we favour the lamppost method so we started with this once we got them out of the van.  Even that needs lots of time and effort.  Door open no coming out.  Hands reach forward no leaping with gay abandonment into those arms. Lifted out no leaping forth into thin air.  be placed on floor without backflipping setting off at nanny breaking speed and keep feet on the floor.  Lordy feel a lie down coming on.

This achieved we stand....lammpost like, one hand gripping tightly whilst being sensitive to any give in tension the other tentatively ready to bring forth magical goodies in the guise of Primula and Chicken.  They really are the most flexible little boogers and I revel in their ability to have at least four legs in the air at anyone time it seems.

Then it happens.

An impatient glance weeeeeeeeeeee clever puppy much fuss and all that and shove some chicken/ cheese into their mouths before their grasshopper minds return to freedom, running and just about anything other than standing by nanny.

We build this up into nigh on constant attention then we start to move or rather we try and move whilst still with their attention or at least some of it.

Rez was frustrated so he huffed puffed and jumped.  He launched, he yarked and he rolled over.  Tinks however was much feistier and she was mad.  It was like watching the crocodile death roll mixed with a freshly born lamb one minute rolling and plunging in temper the next gambolling about like it was the funnest moment in time ever.

We were really quite gobsmacked to progress to free time for good behaviour and in the end they had a great time we even managed a quiet stand together with Sam holding them and soon were ready to get back into a warm van for a snooze whilst thawing out.









Thursday, 10 January 2013

Today I was not to be beaten!

A visit to the field is quite often the ultimate for our guys.  It is the one time we allow them to head off a little more, allow the poor recalling dogs time to practise safely and of course a larger group which often creates the most excitement.

So we pulled up and sure enough the squeaking started.  Hah!  I will fox you my little beauties.  With Sam facing the mammoth task of putting coats on the hairy beasties I started to sort who should go out with whom.

We made Murphy, Duke, Lola and Tallulah pooches in charge of pups.  Murphy and Lola shared the duties with Rez.  This was definitely a good move as Rez toned down a currently idiotic Murphy and Lola was perfect for Rez playful but tough, tolerant yet forceful.  The best part was seeing instinct take over and Rez stalked and pointed Lola never quite sure what he was doing just making shapes as his ancestors had done for tens possibly hundred of years.  Once all were tired and relaxed we swapped for Duke, Tallulah and Tinks with Elvis put on the tyre.

Popping an over enthusiastic, ignorant in ya face dog on the tyre may be a little unorthodox but we find it works. Elvis has this awful habit of slamming into dogs sides not aggressively but it is a very dangerous potentially lethal move and he hauls and hauls.  By working on his heel work he has improved immeasurably using a harness when on the tyre means he can pull haul and get some of his pent up frustration out of his system before he is given freedom.  Very like Roly the behaviour on the tyre is a barometer for how  and what he is thinking.  Using a halter muzzle on Roly is his barometer.  If he rubs it calmly we know he is calm but slightly irritated by halter but if he stands on his hind legs scrabbling frantically on his face we know he wants that halter off badly so he has free access to his mouth.  Whilst he rarely used his mouth he wanted to many many times.  So with Elvis when he is barking spinning and hauling the tyre back and forth he would be side slamming the dogs and being argumentative.  Once he pulls only how much you need to move Tug the tyre and greets everyone we know we can trust him off to learn even more about the right way to behave.



Duke is a sweet, opinionated ninny and needed work on shooting off shouting and yelling so after we worked on steadiness even before coming in the field we then got him to sit calmly whilst clicking the lead clip.  Most dogs that come to us run as soon as the lead is unclipped, the mere sound sending them off at high speed the only other sound to be heard is our shoulders plopping back in their sockets after being pulled out!

He did very well and shot off earning his nickname the flying tent as he flapped across the field in his cagool!

Tallulah's turn we were aiming for the impossible that illusive wonderful thing called a quiet excited Border terrier.  All went well her sit was good her stay good and she was quiet right up till the moment( ok for all of two seconds) she was released and she yipped off into the distance, sigh.....

Duke was seriously Grumpy once Tinks earned her right to come into the field ( indeed way faster than I anticipated) with lots of face pulling and cursing so we supervised heavily and soon he huffed and puffed and gave up and accepted his duties with amazingly good grace heading off for a run with Tinks alongside albeit about three foot away.  Harvey joined us not long after and he was told off for joining Archie's club ' Elvis needs to leave the building club'

Soon it was time to swap around again and we brought out a larger group who had earned their freedom together throughout the week.  Nanci was restricted at the gate so she couldn't wind her friends up and this did make her spit the dummy out and soon she was joined by an equally disgruntled Bobby who after failing to do a sit stay wasn't allowed straight in the field.  After Archie proved with Flute he was capable of recall and nice play he was allowed in and we had a lovely walk watching Montanna rough play with her new Beau Archie and Even funnier was Megan playing with Fluffy.  They play constantly together only this time Megan decided she'd had enough until, shock horror, Fluffy decided to play with Esther.  I have yet to see a dog do a turnaround so fast and Megan shot between Fluffy and Esther jealous of them playing haha.

This is already a long blog and so much happened it could be three times as long!  The over whelming thing today was they accepted it was a calm play day rather than full on blasting, considering it is only the first week back for some and second for others is very pleasing.

The last walk was a naughty dog or can't do much walk so Poppy who had been far too full of herself came out with Louie who simply couldn't wait and whined pushed and shoved in the van with truffle who needs a quieter walk despite no longer appearing stiff.  Lastly Sirus who has been completely planetary this week having him on a lead is like having a large spotted helium balloon.  

Sirus and Louie took the longest to actually get in the field but in they did in the end.  Louie shot in giddy with the fun he was soon to have only to find he was faced with a rather irritated Poppy!  Being stopped from pulling Sirus's line was nearly too much and she consoled herself by scoffing her daily allowance of food readily then tootled about hunting field mice.  Truffle was very happy to read her field heading off here and there finding out all she could stuff we can't even start to comprehend.

All in all it was a very productive day and thank goodness we know our guys so well and spend so much time with them!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Cinnabar wander and a training session

We headed to the cinnabar walk today hoping to have some mud free time, foolish ever hopeful people that we are!

Needing to put some training into the pups we brought out Tinks and Rez with Truffle joining us as Pooch in charge of Pups. Although she is a great one for play if taken out with the pups she is brilliant at just chilling, sniffing and ignoring bad behaviour.

The training started in the cages and the one receiving most of the training was Jasper BB who was trying to put his case as to why HE should be out first as He was in greatest need.  Once Tinks came out we left an indignant, disgusted Beagle huffing and puffing!  With a halter under the collar and the lead on the collar we stood at the beginning of the walk and waited....We call it The Lamppost.

She rolled around, she leapt up, cried, squealed then stopped "yay what a girl' we said and off she went again with much gusto only to stop again so we waited Sam directed Alex as I watched and she watched me then watched Sam then relaxed 'Yey what a girl lets go' and we set off on the walk.  With Tinks we just need calm, she loves food and is responsive but needs frustration control and to learn to be relaxed and less demanding to do this she needs to be taught as unfortunately it doesn't just happen.

Rez was much calmer though still jumping up at times though his recall and response to his name has really deteriorated so I worked on that sometimes calling him and rewarding him other times just stopping and letting him choose to come to be before calling him and having snuggles.  Truffle enjoyed her mooching loosening up her stiffness and enjoying having some sun on her back glad it was sun and not puppies haha.

Soon the walk was over and they were popped back into their warm vans whilst we unloaded the next guys.  Jasper volunteered his services again though with a look of mild hesitation only to find not only did he not get to go on this walk he was now Pooch in charge of Pups.  Did I see a glint in Sam's eye?

With Flute, Tips, Rossi, Elsie, Robbie and Tallulah amongst others it was going to be an exciting walk. Without doubt the priority is getting control early on( sounds obvious) so we faffed on taking photos with some on, some off and some having to pose oh the trauma how very dare we take up their walking time!

We met a couple of people and one lady took one look at us and scooped her terrier up and we carrie don walking with the dogs to heel.  She soon stopped looked behind to see if she was being hunted down my a pack of rabid dogs only to see them angelically by our sides whilst her little darling barked manically at us.  Made my day that she laughed and waved whilst I thought well at least she got her vocal little gobmonster up out of the way of our good guys hehe.

We say a marked improvement with the odd ball moment with Elsie not screaming blue murder and earning herself some primula( While we still had some) though needless to say Talullah the torturous was popped on the lead to dampen down her excitement.  Flute was good at staying with us and Tips only just stayed close enough to us though he ended up on the lead for leading Robbie astray( not that it takes much).

With me having a change of routine it was nice to know our guys mix and match so most of my guys were put back into Sam's Veronica and some of Sam's put in Alex's Hueghy without so much as a backward glance!

I left just in time to see Alex gather her pups up with Sam's ready for the next walk looking forward to hearing all about their walks.........it wasn't long before I received a phonecall from Sam.  That always makes my heart go BUMP, has a dog hurt itself, run away or girls hurt themselves?  Ah no greed yet again struck our pooches and a certain black labrador lived up to their reputation for gluttony and had thieved the primula and scoffed it....amazing how a dog can ask to be helped over a style can hurdle a four foot tall barrier, battle through coats and dog walking paraphernalia and find a tube of cheese....grrrrrr Jasper is going to be joined on the naughty step for ever after he thieved Sam's much needed and longed for sandwich on Monday.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Group walking, breaks and temper temper

Group walking has many disadvantages so in order for us to make use of the advantages we have to always be aware of the disadvantages.

This isn't a blog to list the good the bad and the ugly just a note on todays walking.  Yet again we went to the field working on the dogs that came back from their holijols tweaking their management and getting the excitement levels down a little.  Or at least that was the plan....you know what usually happens when I have a plan?!

Our aim was to get some of the excited dogs out and work on fun play without the adrenalin taking over.  I also wanted to keep Flute engages with play rather than heading off round the field hunting.  So armed with a frisbee, a squeaky toy some food and leaders we brought them in waited for calm and let them off.  Apart from Truffle who couldn't do calm and appeared to be teetering on the edge of combustion.  Back in the van she went to calm down.

Once I started walking it only took one dog to notice the frisbee and the excitement levels shot skyward and the squeaking, squawking and spinning.  The worse were put on the lead.....Lola the peagle( code for the puggle going over to the dark side and becoming more beagle like than pug like), Tallulah mc Gob( she is a border terrier with a megaphone) and Truffle who by now had redeemed herself for at least 30seconds.  Then once a resemblance of calm descended the frisbee was thrown.  Esther was told to stop shouting and do more frisbee chasing, Molly Mc Dolly gently asked to not break the sound barrier with her inconceivably high pitched peep and Belle to stop stalking Harry.

Soon we were walking again Frisbee hanging loosely on the dog lead round my waist.  Tallulah Mc Gob was still yip yip yipping, Lola whining and Truffle appeared to be hyperventilating with sound effects.  I sent the loose guys off to play and soon we were able to let the squealers off and I was closely shadowed by a wired Truffle and Lola.  Waiting for calm I then squeaked the toy and like turning a light on their eyes shone bright and back to wired skyward bound hounds.  Obviously I didn't throw it.  It certainly took some time for them to chill but with intermittent squeaks with no throwing they were starting to give up all hope of a raucous romp with the aiming spinning disc.

By now we were at the bottom of our 8acre field and I unclipped the frisbee and needless to say Lola, Truffle and Tallulah Mc Gob were back on the lead faster than I can catch a chocolate.  This time no need for finger wagging at Esther ( she is really quite huffy and if her type of fun is stopped she doesn't want to play humph) Belle or even peep peep Molly.  Some progress then.....Lola surprised us all by earning her right to be off and was soon rewarded with the ultimate treat running as fast as her legs would carry her ears a flapping after the spinning disc!

Off we went again with Tallulah off, Lola off and finally Truffle off.  This time Truffle decided to snatch at the frisbee hanging from my waist then at my hand and i knew from the look on her face she was too far gone to be in charge of her facilities!  Funny when you know an animal very well you can forget or ignore what you see.  Had it been any other dog I know I would have acted differently yet this was Truff so I ignore instinct and leant over her to get her collar to say "Quit'!  So I was reminded that dogs are dogs and she promptly jumped and snapped at my face and as my face has a large projectory on my face she happened to nip me on my nose!  Oooh little hyped up opinionated grot bag....

With my hand still on her collar a rather disgruntled still frustrated dog was frog marched to the van and had time out whilst I berated myself for taking 'people' for granted she might be Truffle she is still capable of losing her temper.  It was just amazing to see all the guys standing perfectly calm and still with only Tallulah and Lola agitated and wondering if Truffle needed back up or Nanny!  Whilst Sam and Alex loved hugged and cuddled the guys we carried on with the ball squeaking and frisbee combo training.

Frustration control is I believe one of the most vital and most undertrained thing in the dog training tool box and Truffle showed this to be true. With the combination of having a week away from her pals, now being an only dog and therefore non of the attention to share and lack of playmate at home had meant she was already a little frustrated and the excitement of the field( freedom plus fun) her friends( fun fun fun) and the frisbee( without doubt Truffles most favourite thing ever) meant when reacted as dogs do and much like a frustrated child nipping or biting Truffle did the same.  With no change in her diet we know we have to work very hard to ensure little things like manners, expecting calm and if she cant be calm at this level don't move onto the next....ie: If she can't control herself at the mere sight of the frisbee don't expect her to cope when you throw it or have it in your hand....

Anyhoo we actually managed a calm happy enthusiastic play without backflips, cartwheels or handstands and soon we moved onto the next group....oooh I do love the look on dogs faces when they have had a great.fun, tiring time that goony look just melts me.

Kim arrived with Poppy and Roly and soon Poppy was off like a bullet, Roly a bit wired but excellent considering he was placed in a very exciting environment and he coped really well soon accepting food( Roly is currently on a reward based walk and it is a very easy way to judge his mood, not a nasty dog he used to live for adrenalin and we are teaching to enjoy just running and playing without the need for aggro) so was allowed off I was absolutely delighted when he managed to play nicely with Sirus his rival, friend and challenger.  We then swapped dogs and brought out the next guys and gals making sure we had them calm before they were let off.  Tinkerbelle was acting very differently to the shy silly collie we had met before christmas and her terrible twos have arrived.  With headcollar on and a line on her collar she huffed and puffed and made it quite plan she just wanted to run play and have fun.

Once everyone was in we set off walking and then realised the little minx had gone all feral on us....in an enclosed field we not only spot the weaknesses in the dogs but in ourselves we hadn't watched closely enough and she had gone awol with Mick and Minnie happily at the bottom of the field!  One should never presume is the lesson of the day.  Mmmmm.

We shouted her name in the high pitched happy voice and there came a rather delighted Tinks running full tilt towards us and a look flashed across her face......' why should I?'  haha yup definitely a big change in the little madam.  Armed with food and kisses she soon succumbed and decided we weren't so bad and had a great time albeit not as much as she would have liked as we kept her line on her.  I can see our groundwork needs digging out and restarting and much less freedom needed for more than just Truffle!

Now Harvey is a little red firecracker and we wanted to make sure he didn't fly off skyward when we let him off so we made sure we were all calm( Nannies and dogs) then let him off after being told to be calm only once he settled into nice play instead of wildeyed rabid dog run.  We did the same with Murphy and it was lovely to see the great Dane of a dog enthusiastically playing rather than tail whipping us all whilst he spun around us.  Before long these guys had the same tired goofy look on their faces and it was time to leave...I was so delighted that Archie came first time (unlike Lola Bloody Peagle) and bit by bit we got everyone in ...or at least that is how it should have been if I hadn't let go of Archie as he spun round and his stiff collar threatened to dislocate my finger again.  Without hesitation I shouted his name and I watched in frustration( frustration control Nanny we all know how important it is pah!)as his muscle backside disappeared over he ridge delighted at his newfound freedom.  The few guys who were left in the field knew the score and happily trotted into the heated van ready for the afternoon nap whilst I decided I needed to retire from duties haha.

It didn't take long for him to come when asked( not before a few 'chase me chase me' moments where I refused to play his game) and resigned himself to the end of the play session.

Without making a plan I know we will be working on getting things a little more controlled again, getting them to understand frisbee isn't a free for all again and restricting the guys and gals who need to learn manners and rules before the fun begins.

Saying its a new year I think I will give Roly a gold star, same to Harvey who was sore on his back leg and shock horror begrudgingly allowed us to check him, Silver stars to all I haven't mentioned for being good enough to not be on the hall of shame and a sit on the naughty step for Truffle, Lola, Tallulah though she did just about redeemed herself in the end, Archie and Tinks oh and not forgetting me haha!

Oh I do love my job can't say I ever get bored.