A mid week treat

The extra light is not being missed here and we are trying to make the best of it! We gave ourselves a little mid week treat and took the boys down to the banks of the Moray Firth. We were only there for about 40 minutes but the pups had a good run and the views across the Firth were amazing.




It certainly made the usual mid week hump feel a little better.


As I have said many times before, one of the many advantages of having a forester as your other half is that you get to go walking up roads and paths that very few others appear to know about. We went out last weekend for a wee drive with the dogs in the back.

We found a few frozen lochs. B asked if I’d thrown rocks onto a frozen lake because the sound it makes is like a laser ping. Well, needless to say, I haven’t but now I have! It was great fun!! Dogs stayed safely in the car because I didn’t want them running out onto the ice.


Not all those rocks are ours, it’s obviously a past time for a few people!

A drive a little further on and we found a lovely walk for us and the boys. We had a stroll in the chilly day and the dugs had a chance to run about. Only on lead time for Echo was over the bridge, the water was just a bit too fast and I didn’t want him going for a swim!


I absolutely love how happy the boys look on these type of days. It’s a great treat for us all.

No Snow for us!

No snow drama for us so far, we’ve missed it completely! So, here is a clip of Zephy giving me a burp. He does it after every meal. He seeks me out, begs for a fuss and then burps for me. I probably encourage it by always saying thank you!!

Training, cuddles and sooky blankets

As I posted a little while ago I was frustrated at the lack of progress we seemed to be making with Zephyr. I took the advice from a lovely Rottie owner and I bought a soft muzzle. It may seem like a drastic decision but bare with me on this one.

I have always been against a muzzle. I felt it was punishing Zeph for something he hasn’t done. But having done some reading and really thought about it, we felt it was a good safety net for Zeph to wear a soft muzzle. His reactivity was getting out of hand and there is always the worry of, if I was to fall or hurt myself (with my track record, not unlikely), what would the clown do? It is not a permanent feature in case anyone is worrying that I’ve gone from one extreme to another. The big bear isn’t thrilled about the muzzle, but we’ve been giving him treats and spoiling him when he has it on:


He only has it on for very short periods of time, i.e. for a few minutes while passing groups of dogs or dogs we think might cause problems. The rest of the time, the muzzle is folded down off his face so he can breathe properly and enjoy his walks as always. I’ve taken off the harness so he only has a lead, halti and a muzzle. It is being used as a back up, but I have to say it has calmed us all down.

B and I have been going out together with just Zeph on his own, and the team effort has made a huge difference! – and most of the time no muzzle!

Zeph has made it past loads of dogs at a distance with very little fuss. While B concentrates on Zeph I can slip him some treats and/or if needed run some interference if absolutely necessary (i.e. if a dog is off lead and runs at us I can go fuss the stranger dog while B turns Zeph away etc). We’ve only had to put the muzzle on a few times if the distance between us and passing dogs is too close to be sensible and I have to say it has made a huge difference. With Zeph unable to cause quite as much of a scene, even passing strangers aren’t as uptight as they would normally be which has had a positive effect on us all.

Saying that, I’ve also gotten better at praising Zeph. And I mean really praising! I read a good article about how praising your dog while training is all that really matters, who cares about a strangers opinion. By caring about strangers the dog suffers as he doesn’t know when he is doing well or not. I have decided that I care not one bit about other peoples opinions. Look where it has gotten me! Anxious with a stressed out dog. So, I now really praise Zeph. I’m certain I’ve had some weird looks as I open my arms wide and tell Zeph in a really loud and excitable voice “What a good boy! YES! Well done!”. So the combination of a safety net (muzzle), the training as a couple, and all the fuss seems to be finally making a difference to the big guy! I am so excited to keep this going and here’s hoping it all pays off one day.

In other puppy news: B had bother with his back the other day and the boys rallied around him for support;

The pups love a good snuggle up and when one of us is immobilised they take full advantage. The two pups have been very clingy of late, Zeph has been carting around his sooky blanket. I told him it was for babies and that he was supposed to be a grown up dog now….this was the response:


The face of “How could you!?”. He really is the softest most cowardly lump. I just want to cuddle up with him and his gorgeous face. Look how handsome he is!!

Anyway, I am desperate for summer. I miss the longer nights. I have been pushing it a little on the walks at night in my desperation to get into the woods for a walk after work. The woods are a little creepy in the dark I have to say but also very peaceful but B has asked me to not go into the woods on my own just in case. *sighs* I’ll be sensible!

Back to the training thing, now at some point B and I may wish to try for a family. We aren’t there yet I hasten to add! but at some point in the future who knows. And I was thinking about the dogs manners. I often wonder how other people manage to have such well behaved dogs and mine are a riot. I am well aware I am not the best at making boundaries (we all know how the no dogs on the sofa rule went)

So I was thinking about boundaries and well obviously we might have to make more to accommodate any new arrivals and besides that, it is about time I actually taught my dogs properly.  So I thought I would try out a new  rule. I like to sit up in the office with the door open so I can hear the dogs downstairs. The downside being, that they often join me in the office, which is fine if they come and lie down but often they want to steal things, climb on the bed etc. So I decided that no, they cannot come through the door. It is still a work in progress but I managed to get them to lie out in the hallway. I did this by getting up out of my chair and walking towards the dogs as they tried to come in the room. As soon as they went back out the door I backed off and sat back in the chair. It took a few attempts for them to get the idea but eventually they realised that I was in the room, it was mine and I didn’t want them in it. They sulked a little and Echo had a tantrum (full on, flail about on the floor like a child) but they got the hint. I am going to stick with it. I will need to make the wedding bouquets soon and the office is the only place to do that so obviously I don’t want them stealing anything! Once we get this under wraps, I will think of what I want to teach them next.

And to finish it all off, here is some nice pics of the boys:





We won!

Scotland v France today in the six nations. We actually won!! I can’t believe it. Final score 32-26. Absolutely wonderful game to watch with great play from both teams, worth the watch. I’m putting the win down to our lucky mascot:


(Echo wouldn’t sit still for me to put the scarf on him.)

Movie time!

I say movies but a few short clips. I felt bad that the boys were back to being left in the house while I went back to work so I bought them new toys. I decided to get them treat reward toys to make them work for it a little bit. And here we see the difference in personality and brain power.

I give you first, the Rottie. A powerful breed, known for it’s strength, muscle…Zephy not so much. It took him a wee bit to work it out but he got it.

I love watching this. He is incredibly gentle with it. Very sweet.

And now I present, the spaniel. A small (ish) gundog breed, known for brains and energy. I couldn’t get footage of him going crazy, but he throws this around and once it is empty he is breathless! While Zeph just ambles around the room with his.

It has been a tiring few weeks for all of us, with new jobs and extra walks to make it up to the dogs. Before you can snooze you have to get comfy:

You might want the sound on for this next one, hopefully you can hear him snoring. He always seems to be dreaming.

Not very long clips but I thought I’d share them with you anyway.

Enjoy the weekend! x


Bed Fixing and Movie making

I’ve been annoyed by the bed Zeph slept on for a while. He destroyed every bed we gave him until we let him have an old duvet. They are his favourite kind of bed but unfortunately are very stinky as obviously not easy things to wash. I was cleaning the duvet covers but the duvet itself was getting a bit whiffy. Anyway, I thought we’d have a little swap around with dog beds, so I fixed one of the torn apart ones and now Zeph has that, the duvet is in the bin (thank god!), and they both got new fleecy blankets cheap from tesco. Echo thought he’d help me fix the bed:


Obviously lying on the bed while I’m sowing was absolutely helpful. It really made the job much easier having a sleepy spaniel on the very thing I was stitching just sped things up…


So as I said, I was bored being stuck in the house, so I started to find film references in the woods. It was quite fun actually! It all started with this tree. I don’t know if anyone remembers, but there was a film called Fern Gully when I was younger (90’s) and the evil spirit/being Hexxus, was imprisoned in a tree. I could imagine that he could be trapped inside here which means that there are fairies about watching over it!


Not long after this, I discovered Narnia, the unfrozen one. I think the white witch must be dead! Perhaps if I stood long enough Tumnus would appear for tea! Thankfully no lions about though! Aslan was nice but not sure I’d like to meet one in the woods.


A friend of mine suggest I find a picture that was a bit more sinister, the Blair witch project! I couldn’t think how best to capture this film so here is what I have. This made her laugh though when I sent it to her:


I should really have taken this picture in the dark but I was a scared to just in case something was to appear behind me!

Who could resist this view though! The reward for making it through all the trees and up the hill:



Our own private woodland

I say ours, it’s not. The pro to being engaged to a forester and in particular the type of job B does, we sometimes have permission to access land that isn’t as popular as forestry commission woodland. So far fewer people around and with the access keys for the gates we can drive a little deeper into the woodland. It’s not very often but it’s a nice treat for us all. We’ve been up twice to this particular patch of wood and only on the second walk did we have to interact with other humans. A beautiful spot though! Zeph managed the whole walk on a stretchy lead and it gave him the chance to have a wee run about with his brother. Made me happy.


I don’t feel like I need to explain these pictures so I’ll just let you look and enjoy 🙂



All this running about has led to some very happy and sleepy dogs:


Hand Recovery so far

I hope none of you are squeamish!? Thought I would try and do some updates in a sensible order. The first thing, and still dog related; my hand!

I was getting a bit frustrated in the house, and I am notorious for ‘over doing it’, so two days after surgery, I was out with Echo.


I may be smiling in the picture, but I was certain I was going to pass out by this point in the walk, only about a quarter of the way round. I walked round the walk in a but of a daze but I think the fresh air was needed. I think it took me about a full day to recover from the walk, but it certainly made my week a little better. I had been snoozing quite a lot on my days off and I tell you, it is so satisfying having lazy days with the dogs. Nothing better really.


Anyway being stuck in the house, I went a little mad. I would like to introduce you all to Henry:


So Henry and I got bored so we went for lunch in Aberdeen with a friend of mine. I felt spoilt by being out for the day!

We’ve had a good giggle over it. I kept messaging B to let him know what we were up to. You will all be pleased to know that come last Friday, I had all my bandages off – it was pretty gory looking!

I have to say the surgeon has done a fab job. The stitching is very tidy! I can’t fully straighten my finger now but I haven’t been able to since I broke it, and apparently I’ll need further surgery to fix it but at least it is now straight which is something!

All this hassle because my dogs didn’t have manners and love the thought of catching a cat!! It is amazing how one silly decision can impact you so much and it’s only a finger!