The storm…it’s coming

…and I don’t just mean this Storm Ophelia, although my goodness it’s a bit scary! Luckily for us we are on he East Coast, however, B is on storm call and is in Oban (on the West) to deal with any downed trees etc. I always worry when he is on call for these things. Too many what ifs!

Well, in preparation for the storm and winter in general, we have purchased some lights. I say ‘we’, I mean B found some lights in Lidl for the dogs to help light them up in the dark. The trouble we have every winter is that with the boys being dark, they vanish in the darkness:

The white light is actually blinding, but Echo still needs off lead in the semi-darkness and therefore we need a beacon:

The problem with the lights are that they are blinding! If you want any kind of night vision, don’t get one. I am pretty sure the flashing white light may be causing some kind of brain damage. I am going to have to find a way to direct the light away from eyes. Worried I might cause an accident as the little UFO runs all over the place!

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Zephy loves his red light and harness back on. He trots so happily wearing it all.

In other news, Echo has been on the spider hunt again, I couldn’t rescue it in time and it was giant!

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You can clearly see it’s large and threatening size in the picture….Zeph the coward stayed at my feet where it was safer.

 

Updates are coming

I promise I will add some stories soon. I have plenty of pictures to share. I have a few exams coming up over the next few weeks so I’m afraid you will just need to bare with me at the moment.

Thanks! xx

Pay to Play

It seems to be more common now but did you know that there are fields you can pay to let your dogs into and you get it to yourself? It seems like a silly concept because why can’t you just walk your dog in the park!? There is something nice about having an enclosed field to yourself and the dogs and they can run free though!

Anway, the Rottie rescue near us has a field that is enclosed by a 6ft deer fence and for a few pound my boys can play fetch for a whole hour if they so desire with no need to watch around me, or any need to worry about who’s coming past etc. It’s not going to be an every week thing but it is nice knowing that I can go there to let them run free. I’ve really enjoyed seeing them run about having fun.

Look those happy little faces. I don’t think either of them are really fit enough to run for  a full hour but they gave it a good try!

It’s such a quiet place to go as well, not a lot of traffic running along the road and the view is quite nice too.

A student at my work let me know about another place near Perth which sounded great. It sounded like there was a whole meadow to go walk through and again only a few pound and you got the place to yourself. My engagement ring needed a repair so we were up there anyway so stopped at this meadow. It turned out to just be a huge field but we walked around it a few times and again the pups had a great time.

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There really needs to be more places like this where, if you want to let your dogs off lead, that you actually have priority for a change.

It was so nice to have the four of us together. With B working away during the week, its a rare occurrence for us all to be together. I think the boys enjoyed having the two of us.

I went back upto the FRR field this morning, currently nightshift so wanted to give them a good run. They’ve been settled for the rest of the day. Nice view again, and despite the passing storm, the weather was quite nice.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

 

A training update

I’ve been working furiously with Zeph to get a hold on his on lead dog aggression. I don’t go anywhere with him without sausages or cheese in my pocket. He is doing really well and just yesterday a black lab dog walked past us on the other side of the road and he barely even looked at the dog! Really pleased with him. Still a lot of work to do in regards to small yappy dogs (the quiet ones he is fine with!) but I think the attitude of some of the owners I have encountered is never going to help either. He is certainly better although occasionally he still has a little outburst. But all in all, perseverance and sausages are really paying off.

I just have to keep my confidence up as well. It was shaken a little the other day. Now Zephyrs recall is still appalling so he doesn’t get off lead much (a vicious circle really :/) but in the mornings I had been letting them off to play fetch. They love it! Zephyr comes back every time with the ball and he’s been really good. If I see other dogs I usually just get a hold of him until they leave and we continue the game. Never had any problems. Until the other morning. An older man and a little Shi Tzu (a bit grumpy both the dog and owner!), caught me off guard and Zeph much to my relief went bounding over like the giant puppy he is to say hello! I was really pleased (he never seems to have problems with dogs while off lead) and I shouted to the guy “He’s fine, I’m just coming.” I could see him freaking out despite the fact zeph was down on his front with his bum up and tail wagging! I had sprained my ankle the week before so couldn’t jog over. I saw the man bend down to pick up his dog. He picked up his dog!! Actually lifted him and then of course the normal reaction from any other dog is to jump up to see what the problem is! So Zeph went to jump up and the guy punched him to get him away from him. I finally run over and grab Zeph and make him lie down. I said calmly to the man “You shouldn’t have picked your dog up, he was being friendly.” And he replied with “What? Leave him on the ground to be savaged.” I was mortified. And really upset that someone would think my snuggle bear would ‘savage’ another dog!! I never used to be a crier but lately my emotions have been a bit wild so I cried. I actually cried at the guy and said “I’m sorry he jumped up at you but he isn’t dangerous”. I’m so annoyed that I apologised! I am fed up of being overly polite to everyone and being helpful and I say good morning to everyone I pass and all I am greeted with is hostility. It’s no wonder my boy doesn’t know how to behave around people, they don’t give him a chance. It has made me furious! Anyway, just means I have to keep working at Zeph. He’s a good boy, I just have to keep training him and persevere. Owning a dog should be a pleasure not a fight with the community. But I love my boy and that’s all that matters.

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“What’s a savage??”

 

I have still being going to agility with the wee man. He is now three by the way! We are really working hard on his weave at the moment. He’s testing me to see if I will give in. He can weave, he has shown me he can weave but he’s also very rude and will batter past me rather than weave properly if he can get away with it. When he’s being naughty (which I don’t understand because at agility he is just shaking with excitement to be allowed to play!), I just calmly say ‘oopsie’ and we go back to the start and try again. I have two set ups in the garden. I have 4 poles set out as 2 by 2, so we can work on entering a weave from different angles and he seems to like the challenge and I have 6 poles set out as a channel weave at the moment.

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Basically a channel weave creates a channel and all the dog has to do it run down the middle and you slowly close the channel from the end back to the start so they start to weave the poles. I have managed to close the last two poles but pole 2 and 4 are still sticking out as you can just see in the picture.

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He can run at speed through it but he needs to slow down a little and concentrate. He’s getting the hang of it now, back at class on Sunday so hopefully our teacher will help us out closing the gap. I’m enjoying the challenge with him and it is really tiring him out.

 

 

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 🙂

Happy New Year!

Firstly Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Hope you have all had as stress free a week as is possible over the holidays. I don’t know about any of you but for me the holidays are a week long marathon of family visits and work. I have such a good time though which is the main thing 🙂

It was also my birthday yesterday, long story short it was a bit of a disaster. So I had a snooze with Zephy:

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He is such a snuggle bear, I absolutely adore him!


 

Wrong measurements.

I was working a lot over the holiday period but it was relatively quiet on a few occasions, so I tried to order a wee waterproof jacket for Echo. Despite being a breed of dog designed for working outdoors, he is not waterproof in the slightest! After a walk in the rain he always looks so cold and miserable so I thought a wee jacket might help him out in the worst of the weather. Well, I put faith in Ben to take the measurements for Echo and when he sent them to me I did think “That sounds a bit big”, But due to the coat I had an eye on being in the sale I thought I’d just go with it. Well, The coat is a bit big for Echo…

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Yes the Jacket fits Zephy :/

So I am now in the process of ordering another wee coat so that they match. I’m sure Zephy will appreciated being a bit warmer on those soggy days.

 


 

Update on Echo’s health

As I mentioned in a previous post, Echo has had a few lumps that will not go away. In order to  avoid stressing Echo out too much the vet didn’t want to go for any invasive techniques too early. He was found to have a wee bit of a temperature so we have tried a coarse of antibiotics (although I personally think it was more likely to be a viral thing if it was an infection; but thought I’d stick it through). We finished the coarse but his glands are all still up. After a further consult with the vet, the only way to know what is happening is to take a biopsy but she doesn’t think it is anything to worry about. So we have decided to go for the wait and see approach. He is still as happy as ever, the only difference being that he loves a wee cuddle:

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Guard Dog

Zephy is not happy about the kids playing in the street….they are clearly a threat.

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I wish I could relax.

Well apologies again for the long time between updates. I have had a very stressful few weeks with various family issues and work. I have an assessment on Tuesday which I have been working towards for two years and I feel so under-prepared! So feeling very uptight at the moment and lo and behold I am now full of the cold. I’m supposed to be doing some studying right now but thought I’d give myself a wee chance to relax a bit first.

Echo has decided he will help me to study.

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“I will be the quiz master…”

He is fascinated by the laptop and always does his little lamb curl in front of it. I think I’m getting him into bad habits always being on it! Hopefully after the assessment I can spend much more time (although I am already crazy dog lady) with the two of them rather than on this!

The sofa fight is still continuing but the boys have changed tactics. Zephy uses it as a safe place from the hoover:

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“I don’t like the noise mum.”

The sad face makes it difficult to move him but I am still being good and sticking to the ‘no dogs on the furniture’ rule. It is so tiring and I don’t think I’m actually getting anywhere. Echo at the minute is more determined than ever to stand on everything he shouldn’t be. This morning I caught him standing on the record player! I didn’t get a pic because I was so annoyed and moved him instantly. For an intelligent breed, staying off things he shouldn’t be on seems to not compute! He is the most frustrating dog I’ve ever met. However, saying that, he is settling down more and more these days. He does love a snuggle and the two of them are cuddling up together more and more which is nice…just wish it wasn’t on the sofa:

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“Can we help you?”

The argument continues.

We all went camping :)

We decided last minute that we wanted to go away for the weekend. Well funds are tight at the moment so we decided to go camping! It was a first for Zeph and only a second for Echo so it was quite interesting but all in all they behaved really well!

…We did have one minor hiccup and it was just as we had pitched the tent. The dogs were staked outside and we thought they were a sensible distance away, and I had just finished saying to Ben ‘we better get the tent back in one piece’ (we had borrowed it from Ben’s parents so we could get the dogs with us), when we heard a lovely ‘riiiiip’…’riiiiip’. So, in our haste to tie the dogs up and get the stuff unpacked in the tent, we hadn’t quite got Echo far enough away from the tent. The mesh door was still sealed and Echo, being him, decided that if he pawed at it, it would open for him. Well his paw went straight through the door…twice:

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This incident was an instant bad mood for Ben, who like all children when they break something that belongs to their parents, panicked (as I would’ve done had it belonged to my parents!). So for the first half an hour of our trip we spent it in irritated silence, great!

It didn’t take long for us to get back to having fun though and I am quite proud of us for managing to put up this giant tent! It sleeps six!

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The dogs took to camping quite well, luckily, and they have enjoyed all the walking and playing and the extra attention that camping gives them. Although at one point when we were cooking dinner, the dogs looked pretty fed up with us.

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They are both absolute masters at the ‘don’t you feel guilty’ face. I can tell you, it takes skill to eat dinner with that face looking at you. Luckily, it takes a lot for me to be put off my food. Just look at those spaniel eyes those!

The tent was still bothering Ben, so he spent a quick half an hour in town looking for needle and thread to fix the damage and he did a decent job of it considering it is mesh:

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We spent Saturday driving round the entire Cairngorms national park (a good 150 mile round trip from the campsite). Doing some sightseeing (sights we have seen before but we just love being out in the ‘wild’), and stopping for a few walks along the way and a wee picnic with the boys.

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Zephy site seeing

The Falls of Bruar.

The Falls of Bruar

It’s a bit of a steep drop upto the Falls of Bruar but a lovely site and worth the very short trek, although I think the dogs preferred running through the woods that we walked through later on in the day.

Back at the campsite, while we rested before a fantastic dinner at a local restaurant (I highly recommend The Loft, in Blair Atholl if you are ever in the area, the food is to die for!), the dogs relaxed and spent time fly catching and getting an hour of bone chewing:

Catching Flies

We were very lucky that around the campsite there was plenty of walks for the pups and Zephy had his first real taste of water fun, in the adjoining river. I couldn’t manage to get pics as he was on the lead and I was making sure he didn’t drown, but the view was lovely.

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By this morning I think we were all ready to come home to relax!!

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