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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