Well hello again. I have finally got a quick chance to upload all of my pictures and let you see what the boys have been up to. I’m doing it all in one post a it’s a bit easier for me to keep track of what I’m writing.I had my first exam for my MSc on Friday so of course I wasted plenty of good study time being out with the dogs. We’ve had walkies, agility, coat buying, hair cuts, and a visit from a lost dog and yes I’m guilty, the Christmas tree is up!
So as I think I’ve discussed before. Echo hates being brushed. It is one of the few things he will bite us for. So to save us all from the stress, he gets shaved every few months by a friend of mine. She has her own dog grooming business and owns spaniels of her own so she happily has Echo for a visit. He always looks so handsome after a visit:
Following this visit, this is where the new dog coats come in. Although Echo is the dog that gets groomed, I have been asked if Zephy could advertise the dog grooming business. He is quite a head turner (even if I say so myself!) so if the logo is on the jacket it might help advertise for them. Since I have agreed to advertise, Zephy has had a nice new jacket bought for him at no charge to me! So it was only fair that Echo got a nice new cosy coat as well (the price tags are still on in this pic as I’d literally got int he door!):
Since Echo is shaved for winter it was only fair to get him a nice fleecy lined waterproof jacket. He seems quite happy with it. I need to keep him warm before agility too so he’s not jumping around on cold muscles and joints so it’s quite a useful little cosy coat. Zephy hasn’t got to wear his coat yet as it is off being stitched. His isn’t lined with fleece but he’s so big and overheats easily that he only needed something that was waterproof. He looks great in it though. I will get proper pics once we have the coat back.
You need to give me attention. Now please.
How can you say no that face? I had been night shift and I always get made to feel guilty. Love the big bear.
I managed to get Ben to come along to agility and sit in the cold and attempt to take pictures so I could let you guys see a little bit of what I’ve been up to with Echo. Unfortunately Echo moves so fast he is just a black blur in the photos. The first pic with the coloured dots is so I could explain what order we were jumping in:
The order of jumping was: Up the line of purple/red, Right into the blue end of the tunnel, Over the two green with a sharp left over the two blue jumps and into the orange end of the tunnel (which we are doing in this pic) and then down the row of red/purple. It’s a small but technical exercise.
So, it was quite a few jumps all at once and Echo loves a tunnel. He seems to be quite good at the jumps and tunnel combos. I need to really work on his weave as I’ve taken too long at one of the stages so now he is struggling to move on in the exercise. He has a bit of trouble going away from me as well but that will hopefully all come in time with practice and perseverance. Anyway, here are some more pics of us running about like numpties:
The last pic shows Echo clearing the last jump and then getting rewarded with his treat ball. The whole thing has to be controlled fun. Sounds dull, but if he gets it all right and follows the instructions he gets his treat ball. If he misses jumps or doesn’t follow where he is going or if he is down right naughty and wanders off he doesn’t get anything. So he works really hard to get his reward. He is expected to work out some things himself as well. you can’t lead a dog through weaves etc on a course so teaching them that way doesn’t help. You can see him working out what I’m after and the second he gets the exercise right he is rewarded and given a big “yes!”. All the exercises start with the very basics. The first exercise Echo learned was to go round a jump wing. Just a single wing. And look at him go. The instructor is great! I love it. His wee face lights up when we get to the arena and he spends the whole hour just manic.
The good thing about one to one time with Echo (bar the obvious giving him attention and bonding etc) is that Zephy gets all the attention from Ben and a good run about too:
Might get Zephy trained in agility one of these days. Just the jumps and maybe the tunnels. Only for a bit of fun though, he’s to big to be competing at agility properly. Don’t want to damage his joints.
I had to share a couple of pics from the boys playing tug of war in the house. Their eyes are almost popping out of their heads they get so excited! I love how much they love life.
I was on my way back to work after lunch last week and I came across an old black lab just walking himself down the street. I looked around and couldn’t see anyone with him so I stopped the car further down the street and waited on him to catch up. He came trotting right over and hopped into the back of the car. A person on the street saw me and came to help. She called a friend of hers as she thought it may have been the friend’s neighbours dog. Unfortunately it wasn’t. The dog only had a choke chain on and no tags. If he’d been tagged I would’ve just dropped him off at his house but alas, not everyone is following the law. Luckily for me, my manager is a dog man. I took an hours annual leave and I went to the vet to get the old boy scanned. He was chipped but his microchip wasn’t registered anywhere. Typical! My only option was to call the dog warden. They were very good with the old boy and took him to a local kennel. I called the kennel the next day to find out if the owner had appeared. Bizarre story, but apparently this dog was adopted from that kennel 12 years ago! And luckily they have the owners details. They think the old boy is about 14 and apparently he is a bit of a ladies man, so he finds ways to escape to take himself for a wander (another reason to have tags maybe?). Good new is, he was home safe and sound the same night I found him so alls well that ends well.
Another new walk
I was tipped off to another set of walks I could take the boys on. They are both kept on the lead. Echo wouldn’t go far but he taunts Zephy so easier to keep them both on. We walked up the paths in the glen for a good hour before turning back on both Saturday and Sunday. It was a lovely morning both days. Very relaxing.
Not much to say about this picture….Seems to be a common position for our family dogs:
We can learn!
This is proof that my dogs can learn and do as they are told if they really put their minds to it. Bizarrely this is one ‘trick’ they’ve always managed to do despite food being right in front of them. When I put their dinner down to them they are told to ‘leave’ and they wait until I say ‘okay’ before they tuck in. I’m not sure I managed to teach them it but wish I could apply the same technique to a few other things!
Zephy also, occasionally likes to tell me he’s enjoying his tea:
The Christmas Tree!
Well it’s nearly the season. I don’t normally put the tree up this early. It usually goes up about a week before Christmas and is down before my birthday (it’s on the 1st of Jan). But for some reason, I was quite excited about Christmas so the tree is up!
…and now we rest
All this excitement…time for a nap: