Small ones, large ones, and all sizes inbetween

28/06/2013 17:32

We have small dogs, large dogs, very small dogs, very large dogs, and medium-sized dogs. But one thing they all have in common is that they seem to like our purple dog bed! Note - it's the same bed in both photos.

Can you imagine the shock these little cavaliers had when they attempted to come in from the garden, and met Bruce, the German Shepherd/Malimou in the doorway. Tilley was petrified for a few moments. And Murphy growled at him. Don't do that!!!

But they soon got used to each other and got on fine. We still never left them alone together, though, just in case Bruce sat in the wrong place.

We had already got the big crate out, We do not use this as punishment, but we could see that it could provide a "time-out box". Indeed, we did use it for that purpose, just for a couple of minutes at a time. And it seemed to work. Even better, it didn't put the dogs off. Besides them all liking the purple dog bed, it turns out they all also like the crate! The door is always propped open, and we find various combinations of them inside. I think they see it as a refuge. This morning, Murphy flatly refused to come out of it, even staying fast asleep! 7.15am was obviously too early for him after a late night. David agrees, but I don't let him go in the crate.See to see more photos. See to see our website.

From the heart....

24/06/2013 17:30

Well! We have had an interesting time this last week or two. With the start of summer, we've had quite a few dogs through our doors one way or another - and it has caused us to re-think our whole "strategy" (I've obviously been watching too much of Lord Sugar recently).

Because all our dogs, up to now,have seemed to get on well generally, and we have been quite busy, we have become rather lax about doing overnight stays first to make sure the dogs are OK. We have learnt, to our cost, that this is an error. We have enough rooms to split the dogs up if necessary, but this is not a pleasant experience for us if we have a dog for a fortnight. We are not "kennels". The idea is that we treat the dogs as we would our own.

We knew we would have to re-think our pricing structure soon, (Don't worry - we will honour any bookings we already have at the old price) so it seems as well to get the whole of our house in order.

In future:
we will only board un-neutered males on their own, or with dogs from the same household. For this, the minimum charge will be that of boarding two individual dogs. I'm afraid that we have to be a bit business-like on this, as we have bills to pay.

We will only walk or board dogs which are non-agressive with both people and other dogs.

Before taking a boarding booking for a "new" dog, we need it booking in for 4 hours day-care, or an overnight stay at the standard rate. We will only make a firm reservation once that has been successful.

My short break - by Molly

22/06/2013 14:23

"I'll teach them!!! She told them I was an escapologist, and hyperactive at that. But did they realise? No! 14 years in a house with a good fence all round? Ha! They thought it was Fort Knox... but I showed them! Two guide dog pups, numerous guide dogs, loads of other dogs, and not one escaped. Teehee. I changed all that. It did take me at least 15 minutes though. Sadly next door's garden had the same sort of fence as theirs... and you've never seen David and Pauline react so fast. Pauline tore through the house and round the front, but she couldn't get into the garden and had to knock on the door. By the time she'd got through, David and the next door neighbour had already put a stop to my adventure. Shame!

Now, they seem intent on not letting me get out. David took me for a walk, with my friend, Sadie - she's brilliant. She can't run as fast as me, but she has a good try, and then has to stop for a rest. But just look at my photo. I normally have a halty on, but Pauline was worried I might back out of it and so made David put ANOTHER extending lead on my collar as well. Just in case! But I'll save that for next time. The 3 of us had quite a long walk up the railway line, past the viaduct. I've been trying to teach Sadie a few tricks too. Turns out she was in a dog's home too, probably Bleakholt, so we've got a lot in common. Anyway, at the viaduct, she jumped onto the wall with a 30 foot drop the other side. But of course David's had her on a tight lead, so she didn't get any further.

I just can't believe Pauline and David. Now they always make sure that, not only do they have the front and back doors close, but they have other doors closed as well. They keep calling the utility the "anti-chamber", whatever that is. And we have to have leads on before they will open the front door. I've had a little rest now... so they'd better watch out!"

Message from Lucy

16/06/2013 20:35

I'm having a wonderful holiday! I've not had time to miss my mum and dad yet. On Friday, Alexia came to stay. She's Pauline and David's daughter. I did meet her last time, briefly, but this time she stayed for a couple of days, and I found a very cosy place under her bed. I can't get under Pauline and David's cos it doesn't have a space. Then Steve came up as well, so I had lots of people to throw the ball for me. But they both left this morning. It's not really that bad, though, just being left with Pauline and David.

In fact, they took me to 7-Acre Wood, in Bolton today. It was brill. It had fields, paths....and a river. I tried very hard to train them what to do with a ball, but failed, really. I kept taking it into the river, and dropping it. (Luckily it floated!) Then when it moved a bit, I could pounce on it again. But David and Pauline didn't seem to understand that I wanted them to throw it in for me. I think they were afraid that I wouldn't swim to get it. They did throw it on the grass, and the path though. But they still don't understand "Fetch". I keep putting it down and looking at it for them to run and get it, but they don't! They just keep telling me to bring it closer first. They haven't got the right idea at all.Ah well. I keep them amused sometimes. They seem to like to throw the ball, If they throw it my direction, I usually catch it. But if they throw it a different way on the field, I pretend that I'm rounding up a sheep. I watch it carefully to see where it's going to lie down, circle it, so it doesn't realise what I'm doing, and then when it's not looking at me, I dash and pick it up. It makes David and Pauline laugh. I like to try to make them smile.

And then......Guess what...... They gave me my tea (a bit late, actually, because we spent a long time in 7-acre Wood, but never mind). Then they had theirs. But then, there was a bit of the fish sauce left, and they put it over the biscuits I'd left. (They were too dry once I'd eaten the cheese.) But once they had the sauce on, they were really scrumptious!! I hope they get the M&S 2 eat in for £10 again.Anyway, I'm shattered now, and falling asleep.

Oh - the other good thing was that Pauline didn't have the camera. Sometimes she messes about with it something shocking, so it's better when she doesn't have it with her. I get better attention then. But I did hear them say something about bringinig it another day, and then adding the photo to this blog. Good news, Bad news! The good news is that I presume it means we'll go back THERE again. The bad news is that we'll have to keep stopping for her to take photos. Ah well. Can't win 'em all.

'Night. Lucy x

P.S. They liked my Wainwright Mr Fox so much that Pauline's just bought a Wainwright Mrs Duck this morning - and it squeaks still!!


Reply from Jean and Les:

Hi Lucy just read the blog and were rolling over with laughter, Pauline and David have really got you weighed up and we are really glad you're just being you and teasing with the ball. Tell David there is no chance you would go out of your depth in water and that your strictly a paddling girl only. Although I think you have been up to your old scrounging tricks which is very naughty of you. Dad and I are missing you loads but although we are enjoying new york, you would not like it at all, it's like a concrete jungle and very, very crowded.
To David and Pauline : "Once again, thank you for all your care, it's really appreciated. Going to have the luxury of a long soak in the
bath now to ease my weary legs. Xxx"



The 3 little ones

15/05/2013 23:58

These three are all little characters, which have developed with their stay with us. Tia, the eldest, has become much more vocal and animated, especially if she thinks there is any chance of a "treat". She actually does a little dance now, stamping her front paws, and going round in circles.Pippin is very cuddly, standing on her hind legs and reaching up for the cuddles. Whilst Lacy is just always at my feet, wherever I am. Lacy actually enjoyed it when there were bigger dogs round to play with - and she really did like to play with them.

The morning after the night before

13/05/2013 09:08

Well! We had a really weird night with the 4 of them. Lacy was the only one who was acting "normally". Normal, for Lacy, that is! She was still sitting on my feet, ignoring what was going on. But I was really worried about Holly, the spaniel, who was sitting on the stairs and wouldn't come down, and just didn't look her usual happy self. And she would give a low growl if you went anywhere near her paws. I wondered if she had a thorn or something. And I wasn't sure just what her growl meant, but we still stroked her. But as she was going home today, I decided to leave her paws alone.

Then Tia and Pippin were just hyper! Tia, especially, was getting really excited, and trying to get me to do something. And getting very frustrated that I wouldn't do it! I thought at first, after the morning, that she wanted to go in the garden, but no. And both of them wanted lots of cuddles.

Eventually, after an hour or two, it seemed that they were all hungry. Holly especially. Even though we have always given her a bit more than her allocated 110gm, she had almost another full meal, and returned to being her happy waggy-tailed self. Tia and Pippin had a few treats, and Lacy had a couple to keep up with them. Perhaps they all get more exercise than usual, and maybe work off some nervous energy as well. All went to bed happy.

And now this morning. Willow, the retriever has arrived for a few hours. Holly (she goes back this afternoon) has a playmate again - she's in her element. Lacy desperately wants to play with them, but can't quite bring herself to do it. The other two are just finding a quiet spot.  Brrr! It's freezing cold. I'll put a photo on here later.


The Four Littlies

11/05/2013 21:03

At the moment we have our full quota of 4 dogs - but, thankfully when they come back drenched after a walk in the rain and need drying, they are all small. Holly, the springer spaniel with the never-still waggy tail, is nearing the end of her 2-week holiday. She is full of energy, and always ready to go. Tia and Pippin, are both quite old, but still relatively good for their ages, are not impressed with the rain! (Like us!). The first evening, they were a bit subdued, and took themselves off to their baskets in the kitchen. But this has all changed now they have settled in. Pippin's always there, wanting attention, and Tia was very vocal this evening when she was telling us that we were late with her dinner! Actually we can have quite a long conversation, but I'm not quite sure what language she speaks - just now, I decided maybe she wanted to go into the garden, but clearly not, after I opened the door, and she still continued "talking"Tia is the matriarch, and doesn't want to be bothered, generally with frolicking youngsters like Holly, but a quick "go away", and she's fine. Then Lacy. Lacy has been here a few times now, but not to stay overnight. We knew she was a people dog, rather than a dog dog. And wherever we are in the house, lacy won't be far from our feet. She was a bit grumpy with the the other dogs just at first, but has soon learnt to get along, so tonight, instead of them all being in separate rooms, hopefully they are all going to have the run of the house. (But I'm afraid we don't allow any dogs into our bedroom when we go to bed.)

We don't let them on the furniture either - but more often than not, we sit on the floor with them! Luckily, David and I both have 2 sides and 2 hands each - one for each dog! It generally works out well. The other thing we don't do, is feed them at the table. But if we know they have left-overs at home, and we have any, we will put them in their dishes at the end of the meal; or mix it with their food for the next meal.

While I write this, stitting on a chair with my laptop on my knee, and David on the settee, with his ipad, first Lacy jumped onto my knee. Then Tia and Pippin tried to climb onto my chair. And then Holly came in from her stair, and jumped onto the settee beside David. I think we may need a bit of revision on this lesson!


05/05/2013 12:29

OK. I've found that it is generally easier to publish a number of photos on our facebook page -  Your dog will probaby have its own album there (if that is what you have agreed), and just the odd photo on this website. If you prefer not to have any photos/videos put on-line, please just let us know.

Alfie - in bad books

05/05/2013 12:16

Oh dear! It has been suggested that Alfie knows his holiday is coming to an end. The last couple of days he's been testing us. Alfie! Alfie! Alfie! Come!!!! "Nope. I'm going to play with that husky on a lead, or that lab, or whatever dog I see." I've realised that the only time he actually SITS is when he is being told off. Otherwise he either stands or lies down. But being shouted at, he immediately sits.

He WILL come back eventually, but he has to learn that we can't have behaviour like this, and consequently has ended up back on his lead. Today he's going to be on a long lead. But David took pity on him this morning and did some training with him off-lead - "sit, come, wait". He was obedient - 99% of the time. (The 1% when he saw another dog of course.)

He's a little (sorry, big) love, and we will miss him when he goes home. We're still having lots of fun with him - and he's got another friend coming tonight, so no doubt he will be in his element. But he still has to toe the line. I think he's decided he prefers me to feed him - David thinks I'm soft, but it's just we've had a couple of bits of food over. Some bits of chicken rescued from the carcass, and a drop of the soup (warmed up of course) we made makes his food much more appetising. We never feed the dogs at the table, and the only time they have left-overs are if it is bits of meat (no bones of course) and vegetables, or some stock/soup. Of course if you say your dog has not to have anything other than the food you have brought, we are very happy ot abide by that.

A busy weekend with Alfie and Ruby

30/04/2013 20:14

Alfie is now totally at home here, but he thought his boat had really come in at the weekend, when we had a beautiful ginger retriever, Ruby, to stay. Thankfully, Ruby had "been done", but neither of the dogs seemed to fully acknowledge the fact. Consequently, they were never left in the same room alone, together, if you see what I mean. Alfie tended to get the blame for getting amorous, but in reality, Ruby was a real tease. But they got on great guns. It was only an introductory, overnight visit for Ruby - we are having her for a couple of weeks later on, but her owners were busy on Saturday evening and asked if we could have her. This is a great idea for all concerned. It gives us chance to ask any questions which may arise, and gives the owners peace of mind when they can see how well settled their dog is. 

We took them down to The Burrs Country Park on Sunday morning, where they had a whale of a time, but racing for the ball. (Ruby generally won, but Alfie had his moments as well.) They ran and ran, and came back home exhausted. Ruby was collected shortly after, and later on we received a text from "her" saying that she had just slept all the time. Alfie did similarly - I think he was pining. As it happened, we had to be up before 6am on the Monday - and woke Alfie up (not that he actually GOT up!). After half an hour or so, David and I went back to bed. I got up again at 7.45am - stepping on a very soft "cushion" at the side of the bed. Obviously I had forgotten to shut the bedroom door. But Alfie hardly stirred. Eventually David and he came down at 9.30am! And he still slept much of the day.

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