It should’ve been a good update

I started writing this update earlier and it was all good (but laptop crashed so didn’t work); I went on about how well the boys have behaved all week for me with B being away. They’ve been really good and I’ve been much firmer with them out on walks, i.e I said sit that means sit, and they’ve responded really well. I’ve been out walking them on my own, and Zeph even met a retriever head on by accident and we quickly turned on the spot and walked away and he did great!

Unfortunately, I’ve come home from my backshift (B is home this week), and just as I’ve sat down to have a cuppa before I head to bed, Echo was getting more and more ‘crazy’. More noise and not sitting at all still, usually he’s a bit more settled by this time of night. B told me that he’s been like that for an hour. He started tug of war with Zeph over a pillow, that was taken off him and then he lunged over the dog bed and shook it all the while growling and gave a bark and then he went to Zeph trying to hump him and then a fight broke out. Echo went for Zeph and the big guy defended himself. In a ‘usual’ little skirmish all I need to say is ‘HERE’ and they stop but this was more. B grabbed Zephyr and pulled him away and Echo took it as an opportunity to go for Zephs face, go for B and then as I grabbed him, he went for me too!! I took him to his bed (I can honestly say calmly – we are quite skilled at calm intervention these days) and as I went to close the cage he was snarling and trying to bite me every time I tried to slide the catch over. Ended up having to use a pillow against the door so I could safely fasten the door. Both are in their beds at the moment to calm down. Another 5 minutes and they can come back out and try again. Just mad all of a sudden.

Anyway, my update was originally all happy and joyful! So let’s get back to a bit of that. I came home from nightshift yesterday morning to this:

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Loving the cheeky tongue from Echo. Gives you an idea of what I have to deal with. He just oozes wild. Apparently they slept outside my bedroom door while I had my sleep. It’s nice to be loved. Look at this smooshy face!

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Just love cuddles from the big guy. He has been quite clingy recently, more so than normal anyway! And I am enjoying all of it.

I made it to agility last night again, feeling more confident now with my broken finger (it’s still very squint). Managed to get back to normal agility, lots of running about. B came along to catch a few pictures and a few clips:

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Small dog walk, trying to get him to stop properly when I’m in front.

 

To make up for Zeph being stuck in the house on his own (he gets the kitchen to himself and toys), I took him for a walk by himself up my favourite hill this morning. Unfortunately there were lots of sheep with lambs! Zeph is always on lead anyway so there was no danger to the livestock. Following on from the previous post about how well he did passing the sheep, he surpassed himself today. He was trying to pull to get to them but there was no growling or singing. He was quivering with excitement but did ‘sit’ when he was told. The sheep, despite having a whole landscape to venture on, walked up the path in front of us just to spite me really. Zeph did pull and I had to really brace to keep a hold of him. The sheep finally left the path after what felt like miles, was actually less than a hundred yards, but with a rotti pulling like a freight train against you a metre feels like forever. As the sheep left the path he did stop to watch them but I made him sit to calm himself down and after a stern “Leave it” as I walked away he followed and didn’t look back which was great. So lots of fuss. We came across a few more sheep as the walk progressed but he handled those ones much calmer as they were much further away. I didn’t go up to the summit as all I could see was sheep all the way up the main climb and I decided that a broken finger was enough and I didn’t want to fly again and although Zeph did well, I thought a whole hillside of sheep was pushing it. We came across more sheep on the way back, or possibly the same sheep just back where they stared, who knows? One of the sheep was very confident and didn’t move for us to get past (was a good 3 metres away but again felt closer, nerves getting the best of me I think). I had to just keep walking, Zeph went up on his back legs but otherwise made no fuss. I don’t know if it was his way of saying “looks how big I am fluffy animal”. Anyway, we kept walking and the sheep didn’t seem to care at all so that was good. (Before anyone says, there wasn’t a safe way to go around the sheep otherwise I would’ve done it.) Anyway, the weather was lovely and Zeph did great and I feel good about it 🙂

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So all in all, it has been a good week up until tonight which is crap. But one bad night out of a while week isn’t bad. It has taken me a while to write this (waiting on videos to upload). In that time, the dogs have been let back out, have had bedtime wee’s and are now sleeping in the kitchen and hall respectively with the baby gate between them. Echo has calmed down. In hindsight we should’ve made him go to bed sooner rather than let it escalate but lessons learned. All is calm and the boys are happier and no one was hurt which is the main thing, hoepfully just a silly episode and not a common thing. Tomorrow morning it’s Echo’s turn for a longer walk. Might take a walk along the coast. I will update if I do and share some pics.

Goodnight 🙂

First of many field trips

So this week I’ve been lucky in that B has been home therefore he has walked Zephyr for me. I am in the uncomfortable situation of next week being left on my own with both dogs. To try to compensate for the shorter walks both dogs will be having with me and to relieve some of my anxiety re the broken finger/walking dogs I have booked use of the Rescue field every day next week. I am happy enough walking Echo but still a little nervous of taking out Zeph. The lack of balance and extra hand to hold the lead should I need it is making me a little unsettled. I am petrified that I might fall again! The rescue field takes out one of the walks a day and also really tires the boys out. I love it. I can drive up, open the gate and release the dogs. We do playtime mixed with training and we all have a good time.

B had a job to go to today as well so I took the boys to the field this morning too to make sure I was able to manage them. All went well and I am happier.

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The field goes all the way upto the big yellow container at the back. It’s up hill too so the boys have to really work hard to run about. Even Echo takes a little break now and then:

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Another chance for the boys to fight over the toys as well! For being the smallest, Echo is definitely the more fierce of the two!

Proof that each dog knows which ball is his – from a different day but thought I’d share.

 

Beach Clip

Another wee clip I found. One from St Andrews Beach. It was a scorcher of a day. I’m in the sea with shoes on as there was the odd jelly fish about! I’m also trying not to laugh!

Film Time

I found a couple of wee clips on my phone from previous walkies. As promised I’ve now got the ability to post videos. Sometimes a picture just cannot capture the moment as well as a little clip. The first clip is from the boys being silly in the woods. The Second is a very short clip of the pair of them playing on the beach at Calgary Bay in December.

It’s all about the ‘bum defence’ for Zeph when he plays. It’s quite nerve wracking being on the end of a stretchy lead when they play like this. Luckily the big guy is pretty good at going around us but occasionally you get pulled the wrong way!

One of the last times that Zephyr was off lead outside with no fences around him. It makes me a little sad but even him being off on a remote beach was worrying. He kept running off after rabbits and not coming back. But it is nice to see him so happy.

 

Training and “Guarding”

Since being back from our holiday we have thrown ourselves back into training. We went for a walk up the woods and on the way back to the car we had to go past a field of sheep with lambs. Both dogs on leads of course. It has taken us a while but Zeph is getting calmer walking past the field:

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Still a long way to go before he can walk past without us having to intervene (obviously neither dog will ever be off lead around livestock anyway), but look how calm he is, before this he used to be dancing on the end of the lead and crying and whimpering and making noise and a drama so this is a big improvement!

Echo is still bringing us the mail, as I said before, there is no way to stop him so having him bring the mail keeps us all happy. He gets a wee treat and we actually get to read our mail:

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I managed a little walk with Echo through the park the other day. Trying to keep my confidence up for dog walking:

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I decided to face my fear a little with the big guy and I took him outside to the garden by myself for a little obedience. I started the session with making him go out the door and sitting on the top step. I then made him ‘wait’ while I walked down the steps and I called him to me at the bottom. He bounded down a little too quick so sent him back to the top step and calmly made him walk down. First hurdle over we calmly walked to the back garden. A little hiccup as he automatically goes on ‘cat hunt’ as we go in the gate but pulled him back to sit down at the gate and ‘wait’ again. I managed to take of the lead and walk to the middle of the garden and call him to me again and at that point he lost interest in the cat hunt. He did amazingly well! Just did a short session with some ‘sit’,

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‘down’ and ‘waits’ with me either walking away and coming back or as in the next few pics, walking around him while he stays int he same place:

We also had a go at some ‘leave’ and ‘stand’ and he did it all without any hesitation. I also really admire watching the Collies at agility that go to sit between their owners legs. I thought I’d have a go at teaching him something new just to keep him interested. I got him coming through my legs to sit, lie down and also walk forward a few steps with me over the top of him:

He seems to really enjoy it and he is great while he is focused. The problem I have is: if there is a distraction (i.e. dogs/cats etc) I cannot get his attention, and if I get his attention I can’t keep it if there is ‘something better’. It’s frustrating at the best of times.

Anyway, as a reward for being good boys we played fetch and had a bit of fun and of course got a few pictures:

The boys have been there usual protective selves as well. Anytime someone comes to the front door, the boys are told to come to the living room so we can shut a door between them and the front door, this is what we get:

Loving the furry boys, hopefully I’ll be healed soon and we can resume our adventures!

Little Upset

So this is more of a little whinge and complain from me before I do my doggy updates.

I am feeling really upset about my hand. It’s really crooked. I said in A&E that it was squint, told it would be better once the swelling went down. I said at my first consultant appointment that it was squint, he got stroppy and said it looked fine to him. I tried to say it again at my last appointment but he didn’t give me even 5 minutes but I did get my splint off. I now have an unsupported hand, with unhealed broken bones and I am back at work. I am not a good patient at all. I don’t like getting help and I hate people asking me continuously “how’s the hand?” as if it will have healed in the last 5 minutes (I know people are trying to be nice). I am feeling pretty depressed about it all. I can’t walk my big snuggle bear (B is doing it) and I miss that. I feel queasy because my hand looks like this:

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Apparently my finger is straight and fine. I can’t move my pinky or finger as they’ve solidified being kept still for so long. I am waiting on a referral to physio but until then I am on my own. I feel ill because my broken finger keeps overlapping my middle one and it’s uncomfortable, achy and I tell you it make your brain think the bend is even worse. I’m hoping as I get more movement I’l feel better about it all but unless my finger magically straightens I won’t be able to pick up anything properly as my broken finger does not line up right at all. I don’t think I’d mind so much if I was already married but this is really gonna make a mark on the wedding day, luckily I’ve not ordered the wedding rings. Will need to resize I think!! I also feel crap because clearly my finger is bent in the wrong direction and the consultant I am trusting to look after me keeps saying it’s fine!! I know on the grand scheme of things a finger is minor but it’s my finger and it means a lot to me!! No one should feel like they aren’t being taken seriously. Anyway, my little selfish rant is done for now!

Back from holiday

Well B and I survived the family holiday. Two weeks in France with my parents, my sister, brother in law and my Niece. Seven people in one house. For us it was a bit manic, only holiday I’ve been on where I’ve gotten up at 6am!! If a two year old is awake, you’re all awake! It was nice to spend so much time together. We had a good mix of spending time with everyone and spending time just the two of us. Anyway, the one down side, we had to leave the furry babies at home.

Zephyr went to kennels and Echo to B’s Mum and Dad’s – we have our reasons for splitting them up. Anyway, despite having a good holiday I love having the boys back! Look at those smiley faces!!

My finger is still strapped up so I can’t go to work because I can’t wash my hands properly (I work in a lab). So I’m at a loose end this week, I’ve booked our honeymoon to Singapore and Bali next year which is exciting, we’ve never been so really looking forward to it. Other than that, I’ve napped and cuddled the boys. A good Monday all round.

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A little agility – gently

I am still pretty sore, finger isn’t straight (being seen ‘urgently’ on Thursday by the orthopaedics), and I’m all swollen and bruised everywhere.

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Still went to agility though! I had to borrow B to be my handler and my hands! but since we are going on holiday soon (good timing I know), it didn’t seem fair to Echo to miss so much considering how well he’s been doing. As well as being my handler for the day, B also managed to get a few pictures for me to show you. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get any of Echo on the seesaw, dog walk or A frame as B was helping me out with those but a few of Echo weaving and a wee jump:

And the weave, onto 8 poles now!

When it comes to your dogs sanity, Minor injuries shouldn’t stop you(obviously depends on the injury!), I had to adapt my agility to slow down, but that’s not a bad thing. There is always a way to improvise. If you are really stuck there are plenty of good puzzle games to play, or even a well stuffed Kong can help keep your pups occupied, a local trusted dog walker can also be a god send! (Luckily for me B is home this week). I have taught my boys to play fetch in the garden and I’ll only throw it if they drop the ball at my feet, saving me from stumbling about. Zephyr actually very gently now hands me the ball.

I’ve obviously got to go back to square one on door etiquette which B is dealing with every time he takes them outside for me. I dare not take one on a lead out the door at the moment. As a compromise I’ve walked Echo; I can open the front door and let him out in the garden off lead, he’s much more responsive these days so waits for me. I then put him on lead for the short walk to the field and once he’s off lead playing fetch (a good throwing stick is worth its money) I’m safe! B is walking the big guy for me as I can’t handle him at the moment. Terrified I’m going to fall!! Otherwise, thankfully the boys are settled. It’s a rainy day here too so all tucked up until lunch time:

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All about the injuries – don’t read if you’re squeamish!!

So today I flew. From the top step at my front door to the driveway, roughly 6 feet away. I was taking the boys out for a last wee before work when I took my maiden flight. I was untangling the leads as I opened the front door and Zeph saw that bloody cat in the driveway. Before I knew it, I was on the drive, dragged along an extra foot before he stopped. I had to pop the middle joint back in on my ring finger on the left. I was in shock and it took me a minute to find the strength to stand back up. I managed to get the boys in the house and in bed. And I drove to A&E!! I thought my finger was just dislocated and maybe I’d not managed to put it in right. It’s a bit wonky. I’m not ashamed to say I had a good greet in the reception while I waited!

The nurse helped clean me up from all the cuts and scrapes and thankfully nothing else feels broken. She agreed that it looked dislocated but sent me for x-ray to make sure. Well, in her own words, it’s a “spectacular break”:

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So a nice long break from the knuckle upto the first joint. Thank god they x-ray’d it! So I have a splint on at the moment and a sling to keep it elevated. All my other joints hurt too and I feel sorry for myself now.

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The boys have been good all afternoon, keeping an eye on me:

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Echo has taken full advantage of injuries and the fact I’m ridiculously tired:

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I joined B for a short dog walk down the hospital to get the car (not allowed to drive now so had to abandon the car) and stretch out a little. Now to eat my weight in chocolate an drink tea.

 

 

New Walkies

It’s crazy how little of the countryside I have actually explored. We have stumbled upon a different walk yet again. It’s very secluded, easy enough walking and there is loads more for us to adventure on when we can. We did a little round walk which was 2 miles but with plenty of nonesense from the boys they are now ready for bed.

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We didn’t meet another soul, it was perfect. Just what I needed post nightshift. A good relaxing walk with the boys. We are all off to bed now, suitably tired.