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”:
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.
The boys have been good all afternoon, keeping an eye on me:
Echo has taken full advantage of injuries and the fact I’m ridiculously tired:
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.
As the title suggests, we have had hot humid weather with heavy rain and clear skies with brilliant sunshine! It has been quite nice. I am certainly not one of those that is going to complain about the heat. I spend all winter desperate to see the sunshine! Saying that, the heat has been too much for the boys so doing all I can to keep them nice and cool. Early morning and late night walks to miss the worst of the heat and Zephy has a nice cool mat in his bed.
We managed to get up to the field for a little play once it had cooled down enough for the dogs. They had such a nice time:
I’ve finished all my exams for this semester so now just working on my research project which goes live in January, loads to do before that but I feel a lot better. Seeing my boys running wild makes me so happy. I can feel the worries melting away. Love it!
I got it into my head that I wanted to see the sunset from West Lomond the other night. I was adamant we were going for a walk. The view would be spectacular. Well, some cracking thunderstorms took place. As we drove to the carpark it rained so hard I nearly had to stop the car. I could barely see a thing. Once we had parked up we thought, lets just go for it. We are here now and the dogs need a walk even if it’s a short one. A bit silly I know but by this point it was only rain and no thunder and lightening. We all had waterproofs on (except Zeph, a little too warm for his) so we braved it. The picture below does not do the weather justice:
The rain did tail off for a little bit and we managed to get a few good pictures:
Customary selfie with the big guy while I waited on B and Echo
The hill we planned on walking shrouded in fast moving cloud
A brief glimpse of the hill as the cloud cleared
The view over to East Lomond, a thunderstorm on each side
It wasn’t quite what I had planned and we didn’t venture too close to the hill. We decided to head back to the car once we saw another storm rolling in. The atmosphere was, for lack of a better word, electric. I could have stayed there for hours just watching the weather. And then the heavens opened again and the dogs wanted to go home:
Well, the weather has been aweful the last few days. The rain has been a constant heavy downpour, good Scottish summer as always. Despite the weather, the boys still need a walk. So off we went, waterproofs and all:
One of the few times I will walk the boys together these days. I decided the weather was so bad, there wouldn’t be enough dogs out for me to worry about. The stretch lead gives Zephy a chance to stretch his legs and breaks up the training days for him.
We also had lots of playtime in the sun when it has appeared in the last few weeks:
The boys have been getting a long a lot better these days, still sleeping separately at nights but I think it has helped them:
Lots of cuddling and sofa stealing (before the trainer laid down the law):
It has been a hectic few weeks, and I have started having a play with some wedding makeup (don’t get married until next year) but the dogs have been very helpful:
Anytime I’ve sat down to try on some makeup both of them take it as an opportunity to be very clingy. Any excuse for a cuddle!
Zephyr has taken to nursing some tennis balls. I have to take them off him after he’s finished playing with them properly. He takes them to his bed and nurses them like puppies. It’s the weirdest thing. It can be cute too but not letting him get too protective. However, it does look sweet:
I will start with the ‘boring’ but important bit. We finally got a dog trainer in to see Zephyr. We’ve used her before for Echo when we first moved house. She is a very good trainer, lovely person and uses positive reinforcement mixed with strict rules.
Firstly, It was nice to have someone in the house that wasn’t afraid to tell the dogs off. Both my dogs are obsessed with visitors so they get a bit too close and can be generally quite rude. We decided it was best to have Zephyr out on his own so that we could contain the madness. He was a little unsure about someone else giving him rules but he did do as he was told. We have the suggestion that if we have guests in the house to have one dog out at a time and use leads until they calm down. Since Zeph can be vary especially around men these days (i.e my dad and uncle – both a little nervous around big dogs, so a bad combination). If we put Zeph on a lead, I’ve to stand on the lead which basically forces Zeph to lie down, and when he does I have to say the phrase ‘settle down’. Eventually I should be able to say settle down and he should go and lie down. With Zeph on the lead as well I can put him on one side of me away from guests that way he isn’t going into protect mode.
Secondly, we went for a walk. We are walking him on his halti and collar but have his harness on as an extra ‘hold’ if things do get out of hand. If I see a dog and he’s being really good it’s all positive reinforcement, and calm with the aim of getting closer to dogs in a safe manner. If he starts to focus on a dog, I have to have one end of the lead in one hand and the other in the other hand, and if he is getting irate I’ve to give a quick tug downward with the end of the lead on the halti, with a sharp low “Leave it!”. If he then ‘leaves it’ and walks by or away we go back to positive reinforcement with sausages and a ‘good boy’. If he escalates, and goes to lunge at a dog, I have to hold him and really growl a phrase like “don’t you dare”. Something that can be growled and comes out short and sharp. The aim is to bring his attention back to me. It’s made a difference so far, I think me just taking more charge of things is really the help. I’ve gotten some of my confidence back but to be honest I’ve still not really pushed it yet. Keeping it slow. Walking the dogs separately which means I can focus on training and it means Echo can get a good run off lead without me being dragged along by Zephyr. It has also really improved Zephyr’s ‘heel’. We are taking it slowly. I don’t want to push him to be too close to dogs too soon if it means going backwards again.
Thirdly, dogs are not allowed to follow me around the house. I am putting my foot down with Zephyr wanting to chase everything. I am being a lot stricter, in fact we had a fight over a bone last night, which resulted in Zephyr growling at me because I got too close and me taking the bone off him and him being sent to bed. The stricter rules seem to have benefited both dogs and they actually seem more settled again.
Anyway, I’ll keep you updated. But so far, I have got Zephyrs attention: