Victory is mine! (for the moment)

I don’t know where you all are but the weather here is aweful. We have gale force winds and rain. I still took the boys for a long walk though. It must get boring being in the house while I’m at work.

I have been getting pulled around constantly by the boys lately. I don’t know what has gotten into them but they have been so naughty on their walks the last week or two. It is exhausting! Zephy’s halti broke the other day so I got a taste this morning of the two of them pulling. We completed a walk in record time since I was being propelled along by the two of them. I can usually hold Echo back but the full 7 and a bit stone of Zephy was just too much for me!

Tonight I bought another halti and  a ‘no pull harness’, it’s similar to the Lupi harness but it’s padded for comfort. Well, it’s a miracle! We had a very pleasant meandre down to the park, I let them off lead on the beach and then we sauntered back up to the house. A good hour walk and my hands are in one piece, my knees (which are wrecked) didn’t hurt and all three of us enjoyed the walk. It was lovely. I actually felt comfortable letting them have longer leads while walking so all in all it was nicer for everyone.

I managed to get to the beach just before the rain started. Got a few pics of the view:

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Visiting Auntie Lola

Managed to get a game of three way fetch going while we visited Auntie Lola on Sunday, quite a skill I have to say.

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The boys were very polite with ladies first, then Echo and then the pup. Zeph might be a smart boy but he is not as quick a thinker as the spaniels.

Ageing

My Dad has recently suffered an injury that has required his muscles in his left leg to need reattached to his bones (he fell out in the garden), and is therefore off work for a few weeks. Recovery time is likely 4-5 months. He’s rather up beat about it all, however due to the fact that he has to use both crutches at the moment (not allowed to bend his leg and has to take it easy) he can’t take things from one room to another i.e. cups of tea, lunch etc. I have been getting a chance to spend more quality time with him which has been great and it means I get to see my little Mo:

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He’s not aging very well the poor boy. He has bad arthritis, is going deaf (although that may just be a man thing!) and we think his sight isn’t as good as it used to be. He is spoilt rotten, and well looked after. He has all the vet treatment he has ever needed and he has recently had surgery to remove a tumour from his bum! Unfortunately, no amount of looking after can fully stave off the horror of growing old.

We stopped at my parent’s house on Saturday night (with the intention of cutting grass but it was raining) and had dinner. While I was having my cuppa, I noticed that all of a sudden Elmo was lying very still on his bed. His eyes were fully open, unblinking and then he started to convulse. It lasted for a matter of 20-30 seconds and then he got up and shook himself over before demanding to be let out. He sat out in the garden under one of the bushes for a brief period before coming back in. Elmo is notorious for his constant barking at anyone in the house. And I mean constant (he lost his voice once from barking). But the whole time we were there, silence. Not a peep out of him. He is off back to the vets at some point but I have a feeling they won’t be able to do anything about it.

A new walk and a lesson learned.

I have lived in and around the same area for a long time (excluded the 3 years I was in Leeds and Lanarkshire), and there are still places I have not walked. Well, last weekend I decided to try out another new walk. It was lovely. Up a steep-ish hill, the boys had plenty time off lead and they ran about like nutters.

It was all going so well. And this is the part where I am a very bad owner. I am very annoyed at myself but here goes.

First things first. Upon that hill that they were running down, there was some sheep (Calm yourselves, this is not a bad bit!). At this stage Zephy stood and stared longingly into the distance at yon tasty sheep. I called him and we started walking briskly down hill away from any of the animals (they were about 1-2 miles away). Now, common sense should have told me “You don’t know this walk, there might be animals up here. Put your dogs on leads”, but for some reason it didn’t. Luckily, this incident passed without worry. And so we continued back to the car. On the way back down we had to pass a field with cows in it, so the boys went on lead (a little bit of sense kicked in there) but Zephy was pulling constantly even though he knows how to walk to heel and I could feel myself getting more and more frustrated with him. Ben even offered to take him instead but my stupid pride got in the way. What’s worse is, that the halti I have for Zeph was in my pocket!! Clearly my brains had a day off. Anyway, We continued past the field and I gave in and let the dogs off the lead. Well, did Zeph not just manage to find his way into the field with the cows!! And he went charging through the long grass. I can tell you I have never felt so sick in my life. I shouted on him and Ben ran off after him. Luckily the grass was so long that Zeph didn’t know where the cows were. At this point all I could think was “I’m the reason my snuggle bear is going to be killed.” I was nearly in tears at my own stupidity! Luckily, Zeph couldn’t see where he was going and headed back towards the shouting Ben who managed to catch him.

Serious lesson learned: DO NOT LET DOGS OFF NEAR ANIMALS!!

What is most annoying, is that I have never allowed my dogs off lead near cattle, sheep or any other animal for that matter. Why I did it on this occasion I will never know. It was the stupidest thing I have ever done and if the farmer (who passed by not 10 minutes later) had seen us in the field chasing our dog, god knows what would have happened. I can tell you I will never ever put my dogs in that situation again.

(P.S no animals were hurt during this episode. The cows were oblivious to our presence as were the sheep.)

Therapy Dogs

This is an oddly personal blog but I had to write it to feel better.

So, I have had a bit of a rough time again lately. I will be honest, I actually had a full scale panic attack last night on the way home in the car ( I don’t really want to talk about it but I had to say in order to highlight how important my dogs are to me).  I cannot stress enough how much my dogs both help me. Yes, they drive me insane sometimes. Yes, Echo’s thieving is exhausting and Yes, when they misbehave I get frustrated. But, when I am having a bad day they are fabulous.

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Cuddles on the floor

Last night all I wanted was to get home to my boys. I knew they would help me ground myself again and they do love a cuddle. It’s very calming having a dog to fuss and no matter what, they are full of love and always so happy to see me.

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Even now, I am writing this with an Echo cuddled into my feet. It’s a very comforting feeling and it makes me feel safe having the two of them around (B is working away a lot at the moment). What I love the most about being at home with my pups is that I can be me. I know that sounds very cliche’ but it’s true. At work and with my family I am a relatively confident seeming person. Inside I am terrified of not being good enough. My dogs don’t care if I am laughing or hysterically crying. They just want to be close and be petted. It is very freeing. It might sound very odd to people that I put so much emotion into my dogs but I find it very rewarding. They aren’t just dogs to me. I really wouldn’t be without them (even though I sometimes tell them that if they don’t behave they will go to the farm when they are being particularly trying! They know I’m only joking, I hope!).

A wee show day

So I went to a wee open show, just me and Zephyr. It was a chance for a friend of mine to have a practice showing him in preparation for a Champ show the following week. I thought I’d see if he would move “faster” with someone else. I have come to the conclusion that he runs in the ring as fast as he is gonna move regardless of who’s on the end of the lead and I’m ok with that! (He got a 2nd in Junior at the Champ show btw, super pleased! It was a big ish class.)

Anyway, It was a lovely day and we were next to the beach. I thought despite Zephy being at a show and having to be a ‘show dog’ doesn’t mean he can’t play and have fun. We were done in the ring and he behaved so well he deserved a treat. I took off my shoes and pulled up my trouser legs and the pair of us had a run up and down the beach in the water. I forgot how good it is to just let go and run about. It was very liberating! And Zephy had fun bambi bouncing in the water.

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Always on the move:

We’ve found a few more new places to walk that the boys can get off lead. They’ve been running riot and having a great time. We’ve also had a lot of beach time too. All in all, the boys are having a good life! Managed to get some good pics too:

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I do love the peace and quiet you get on a secluded walk. No having to catch the dogs every two minutes. Or avoiding people with ‘yappy’ dogs which Zeph has taken a disliking too (Can’t say I blame him!). I have been very unsociable at the moment and the dogs are enabling me! They don’t seem to mind the ‘lonely’ walk,

or the fact it was raining while we were on the beach! They do love to stop for photos too:

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My lovely little poser 🙂 xx

I have even managed to fit in some training. Lots of sit and stays etc, I’m trying to encourage Zephy to ignore other dogs and children. In our neighbourhood there is unfortunately lots of both! The game of fetch seems to be a great distraction for him. He seems to love it! So, as a reward for walking away from something like people and dogs (we are still in the dog park so there is always a barrier between us and them) he gets a big fuss and we play fetch. It’s been working to a degree too, but, he has unfortunately discovered rabbits which has taken our training back a step but I’m persevering (with the darker mornings the bunnies have been out!).

With all the training, agility, long walks and the forever threat of the neighbours cat attacking us all(!):

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“We’ll get him one day!”

it leads to two relatively settled boys (I won’t lie thought they have their moments!):

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Happy days 🙂