Pleased

I have had a few small victories. For the first time since I have broken my finger I took both the dogs out together! It was first thing so it would be quieter and although there was a few little moments I regretted everything, we made it round and they did behave really well. Zephyr was an absolute gentleman and Echo only had a few moments of cheekiness:

20170929_065319

Echo is giving it the crazy face in this pic. I feel he might be trying to signal me “Help me! He’s gonna eat me!!”, or something similar. It was tiring for us all concentrating for so long:

20170929_181554

I am also really pleased with them this morning too. I was nightshift last night which is 12 hours. I have for the past 3 years of shifts always taken the boys to either B’s parent’s or to the kennels. The problem with kennels so often, it’s expensive and I have to collect the boys at 10am. The problem with going to the parents house; it’s a hassle in every way. I have to take cages (they aren’t able to just settle), food, and beds and it takes up a huge bit of my day dropping them off and picking them up the next day. Plus, it’s a hassle for B’s parents having three dogs in the house. I have on occasion taken the dogs with me in the car which is only possible if it’s not going to be too cold or too hot but I don’t think they settle very well in the car either. So, last night I left them in the hall and kitchen as they do every night at bed time. I leave the house at about 8.40 and I was back at 9am (I live 2 minutes away from the house). My reasoning (and I don’t condone leaving dogs this long on a regular basis but thankfully my nightshifts don’t follow each other), is that over night the dogs sleep in the kitchen and hallway on their own beds anyway, they sleep for about 10 hours over night on a weekend (8 usually on a weekday) and I’m certain they are happier being in their own beds in their own house. Anyway, I walked them 4 odd miles in the morning, we had a play in the afternoon and then ran about the field from half 6 to half 7 at night to tire them out. This gave me time to do housework and have a reasonable sleep as well. I was really worried that they might get agitated waiting so long but I came home to them snuggled up on their beds waiting patiently. I was thrilled and amazed! Like I said, it won’t be a regular occurrence leaving them that long but it’s good to know that I can leave them over night. As a reward we went back to the field to run wild:

20170923_171427

Happy boys we have. I am writing this with Echo on his duvet and Zeph curled up on the sofa beside me. I feel so relieved!

They have both been very helpful lately as well. I was watched while I was making dinner, head chefs to make sure I did it right. I can’t turn in the kitchen without bumping into a dog:

 

We are thieves

I have managed to acquire a new toy for the puppies. It all started innocently enough. I was walking Zephyr first in the morning and we stumbled upon a wonderful football. Zephyr had a little play and seemed taken by it but I thought: “No, it’s not ours.” So we left the park and headed home. Echo’s turn next and I had actually forgotten about the ball, he had a great time running across the park pushing it about with his nose.

Long story short; we now have a football.

20170920_121400

20170920_121726

Not sure they have the toys the right way round!

It has been busy

Hello all, Sorry (again!) for the delay in updates again. It has been a very busy few weeks. I am still mid existential crisis (What do I do with my life!), and I have been helping B out with his business amongst other things. In order to actually spend time with the elusive fiance’ I slid my way (literally with the amount of oil on them) into a pair of chainsaw trousers and got down to business on the site of a tree felling to give B a hand. I was shown how to operate the chipper and away I went:

20170825_093803

I think I look rather fetching! The problem with having a partner that does forestry type work is that my own garden is neglected so I drafted in some help:

20170824_170044

I also managed to fit in a journey of a few hundred miles to help transport a very sweet Rotti boy to rescue. If we had space and Zeph was happier with dogs I would’ve brought him home myself! 20170827_145112

Good news is, he already has a new home and looks ever so happy. So job well done I think!

The dogs have had to be very patient with us both recently with everything being so busy but to make it up to them we have managed a few really good walks.

I will say, honestly, we all fell out on this walk. I was annoyed it took us so long to get out the house. I wanted to go up a proper munro, had a full walk planned, maps and all. We drive to the middle of nowhere to find the carpark packed! Typical, you drive to escape people and they’ve all had the same idea. So instead of doing a round trip of 5 hours we walked along the opposite side of the loch (Loch Turret reservoir), B got annoyed with Echo pulling like a train. I got annoyed at B for changing our walking plans and shouting at Echo. Echo snapped at Zephyr so they fell out and then I fell out with Zeph because he nearly hauled me down a hill. Just before this next pic was taken, I literally said “I f***ing hate you guys for ruining my day”. All in all, a good day! we all made up at picnic time and we had a laugh:

20170820_124818

Zeph decided though that the view was not worth it at picnic time and had a wee tantrum:

20170820_121638

I promised after that trip that if I was going hill walking again I would go myself and not take any of the three of them…so two weeks later we all went for a walk up the Cairngorms! No hill walking but through the glens. I had a bad day and had a wee anxiety attack (lots on our plate at the moment) on the way up… and I can tell you that getting out and walking 13 miles was just what we all needed. I felt better. Got back to myself and we managed to relax.

20170902_15452920170902_17033920170902_17332120170902_17095820170902_163032

It was amazingly a really warm day and such a quiet walk too for a Saturday. We only saw three other people and all in the distance so perfect peace. We even had time for a few power poses:

 

On the way home, and with the boys snoozing in the boot, we stopped on the road out the glens towards Braemar. 6 and a half years ago we stopped in the same place. We had only been dating a few months and took a drive together and ended up at the Lin of Dee. I tried to take a few similar pics:

And us now:

It was a great day trip and much needed. I think we all benefited from a good long walk. Plenty of snuggles followed the next day. It’s nice to be lazy sometimes too!

 

I hope you’ve all had a good few weeks. Coming into Autumn now. So plenty of soggy walks and sunny days to enjoy.

It should’ve been a good update

I started writing this update earlier and it was all good (but laptop crashed so didn’t work); I went on about how well the boys have behaved all week for me with B being away. They’ve been really good and I’ve been much firmer with them out on walks, i.e I said sit that means sit, and they’ve responded really well. I’ve been out walking them on my own, and Zeph even met a retriever head on by accident and we quickly turned on the spot and walked away and he did great!

Unfortunately, I’ve come home from my backshift (B is home this week), and just as I’ve sat down to have a cuppa before I head to bed, Echo was getting more and more ‘crazy’. More noise and not sitting at all still, usually he’s a bit more settled by this time of night. B told me that he’s been like that for an hour. He started tug of war with Zeph over a pillow, that was taken off him and then he lunged over the dog bed and shook it all the while growling and gave a bark and then he went to Zeph trying to hump him and then a fight broke out. Echo went for Zeph and the big guy defended himself. In a ‘usual’ little skirmish all I need to say is ‘HERE’ and they stop but this was more. B grabbed Zephyr and pulled him away and Echo took it as an opportunity to go for Zephs face, go for B and then as I grabbed him, he went for me too!! I took him to his bed (I can honestly say calmly – we are quite skilled at calm intervention these days) and as I went to close the cage he was snarling and trying to bite me every time I tried to slide the catch over. Ended up having to use a pillow against the door so I could safely fasten the door. Both are in their beds at the moment to calm down. Another 5 minutes and they can come back out and try again. Just mad all of a sudden.

Anyway, my update was originally all happy and joyful! So let’s get back to a bit of that. I came home from nightshift yesterday morning to this:

20170807_092022

Loving the cheeky tongue from Echo. Gives you an idea of what I have to deal with. He just oozes wild. Apparently they slept outside my bedroom door while I had my sleep. It’s nice to be loved. Look at this smooshy face!

20170805_121544

Just love cuddles from the big guy. He has been quite clingy recently, more so than normal anyway! And I am enjoying all of it.

I made it to agility last night again, feeling more confident now with my broken finger (it’s still very squint). Managed to get back to normal agility, lots of running about. B came along to catch a few pictures and a few clips:

20170807_204118_008_01

20170807_204532_061

Small dog walk, trying to get him to stop properly when I’m in front.

 

To make up for Zeph being stuck in the house on his own (he gets the kitchen to himself and toys), I took him for a walk by himself up my favourite hill this morning. Unfortunately there were lots of sheep with lambs! Zeph is always on lead anyway so there was no danger to the livestock. Following on from the previous post about how well he did passing the sheep, he surpassed himself today. He was trying to pull to get to them but there was no growling or singing. He was quivering with excitement but did ‘sit’ when he was told. The sheep, despite having a whole landscape to venture on, walked up the path in front of us just to spite me really. Zeph did pull and I had to really brace to keep a hold of him. The sheep finally left the path after what felt like miles, was actually less than a hundred yards, but with a rotti pulling like a freight train against you a metre feels like forever. As the sheep left the path he did stop to watch them but I made him sit to calm himself down and after a stern “Leave it” as I walked away he followed and didn’t look back which was great. So lots of fuss. We came across a few more sheep as the walk progressed but he handled those ones much calmer as they were much further away. I didn’t go up to the summit as all I could see was sheep all the way up the main climb and I decided that a broken finger was enough and I didn’t want to fly again and although Zeph did well, I thought a whole hillside of sheep was pushing it. We came across more sheep on the way back, or possibly the same sheep just back where they stared, who knows? One of the sheep was very confident and didn’t move for us to get past (was a good 3 metres away but again felt closer, nerves getting the best of me I think). I had to just keep walking, Zeph went up on his back legs but otherwise made no fuss. I don’t know if it was his way of saying “looks how big I am fluffy animal”. Anyway, we kept walking and the sheep didn’t seem to care at all so that was good. (Before anyone says, there wasn’t a safe way to go around the sheep otherwise I would’ve done it.) Anyway, the weather was lovely and Zeph did great and I feel good about it 🙂

20170808_08575020170808_08505120170808_083340

So all in all, it has been a good week up until tonight which is crap. But one bad night out of a while week isn’t bad. It has taken me a while to write this (waiting on videos to upload). In that time, the dogs have been let back out, have had bedtime wee’s and are now sleeping in the kitchen and hall respectively with the baby gate between them. Echo has calmed down. In hindsight we should’ve made him go to bed sooner rather than let it escalate but lessons learned. All is calm and the boys are happier and no one was hurt which is the main thing, hoepfully just a silly episode and not a common thing. Tomorrow morning it’s Echo’s turn for a longer walk. Might take a walk along the coast. I will update if I do and share some pics.

Goodnight 🙂

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.

20170729_094126

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:

20170729_092447

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:

20170725_185251

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:

20170725_122704

I managed a little walk with Echo through the park the other day. Trying to keep my confidence up for dog walking:

20170727_071030

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’,

20170727_181821

‘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:

20170725_214847

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!