Sunday, 2 October 2016

Holidays with you

Holidays with you , aren’t the same as before.
We are not quite as rested and calm anymore.
We never quite know from one break to the next,
Will we be carefree  or will we be vexed.

Making a tick list of things just for you.
The long lead, the short lead, some bags for your poo,
Some bowls cos your fussy and know what you like.
A bed so your comfy and cosy at night.

Remembering Monday, to shop for a willy.
So we can unpack and you won’t be silly.
Remembering Tuesday, that Monday is done
And the man on the stall and his willies are gone.

So driving to town for a chewy to eat.
Paying a fortune for a ‘pets at home’ treat.
You munch it but blimey! What ever’s  that smell?
It seems that trachea don’t sit very well.

We arrive at the site and you see there’s a mole.
You try to evict him by digging a hole!
Even on holiday, work never ends.
Are you plumping the cushions or just making friends!

Over the Deer park, your lead comes undone,
With breath held, we pray, there’s no Fenton, rerun.
But no, you wait nicely to go on your lead,
This time not having to beg and to plead.

Sleeping with legs tucked up under my chin
We brought you the bed but you wouldn’t go in
Good morning cuddles and tumbling and leaping
Pulling of pillows and under quilt creeping.

We buy you a lolly, all milky, to lick
Try not to chew it No! Don’t eat the stick
We worry for one day we worry for two
Then carefree, you pop out a lolly pop poo.

The man in the cafe laughs at our tale.
Says they don’t really have doggy ice cream for sale,
But he makes one just right for a doggy to lick.
This time in a cornet and not on a stick

Made up fun games of the terrier kind.
Rolling down hillocks and mounds that you find,
Again and again til your heads in a spin,
Then you look for a mud pool to roll around in

Terrier bungee when your on your long lead,
You find a good run and then take off at speed.
You judge it just right and fly through the air,
and twang in the grass, with the wind in your hair

Holidays with you, are the best kind of fun,
We dance in the rain while we wait for the sun.
Seeing the world through a terriers eyes,
A joyful adventure, A constant surprise.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Yellow dog.

It has been a fairly uneventful winter for us, hence a lack of posts. Since the weather has improved, it seems our usually quiet walk, has become popular. We mostly trot over the fields without having to socialise too much. We have seen the odd friendly native. The neighbours dogs are all familiar and deemed to be acceptable. There are a couple of black Labradors who always evoke a strong reaction. Muffin is not breedist. Some Black labradors , elicit a very excited response. She can spot friend or enemy from a good distance away. When it comes to Black Labradors, I can only tell which is which by looking at the human on the other end of the lead. Apart from these few dogs to whom she has reacted strongly , she has been doing very well at passing by with aloof disinterest then coming with a hopeful happy face to see if her efforts are treat worthy.

Sadly our safe but chilly winter bubble has now popped. The dogs are out in increasing numbers and many of them are off lead. Muffin now stays on her lead due to both her habit of going deaf when in pursuit of small furry creatures and also an occasional urge to go out of her way to shout at another dog. She has a long lead so some exploring is possible but she doesn't come off at all.

For a couple of weeks, we have had at least one off lead dog per walk, bounce over, bounce in her face and ignore their owners attempts to call them back. I normally have a dirty look of the human if Muffin has reacted. I have been surprisingly tolerant as am surely due some bad canine etiquette karma for my initial ignorance in terms of the world of terrier. My learning curve has been more of a roller coaster but we are still hanging in there. The encounters are remarkably similar, if the owner is close enough. 'it's okay, he is friendly'

'she isn't'
'Oh well he will soon move'
'yes but we are working on reactivity as strange dogs make her stressed'

Having recently taken up sewing for a hobby, I decided to use some natty yellow polka dot material to make a little vest

Somewhat optimistically, I hoped the meaning of Yellow on a dog is universally understood. I carefully embroidered the words for those who may be new to the concept and just to highlight the point further, I added a rocket ship. The main problem became apparent quickly. Dogs can't read and the owners are usually so far away that they probably can't even see Muffin, let alone her vest. Straight after being accosted while wearing her vest, she decided to take a dip in a ditch which she had resisted going in for most of the year.  A cynical human would suspect an attempt to sabotage the vest.                                                                    
We gave it another go today. Not a success! I am thinking that since it has now been ripped off by an off lead marauder, maybe we can fashion it into a ribbon for her lead.                                                        
Credit where it is due though, this morning she was surrounded by lurchers and stayed calm, she did not react while her vest was ripped off this evening (probably secretly delighted) Yesterday she walked calmly passed three dogs straight after being set on by another off lead dog.  She has come a long way.  Sometimes Yellow has the unhappy reputation of being  the colour representing cowardice but  I could not be prouder of my brave little dog .

My next move may well be a big yellow vest for me stating 'WE NEED SPACE'                                                                                                                                              

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Muffy has been a very typical terrier today! She was having a long weekday walk with her male human. There is one area where she is allowed off lead because we can see all around. We will spot any potential stress triggers in time to put the lead back on. She is generally good with her recall. BUT, as with all terriers, she goes completely deaf, if a small furry distracts her. 

At the moment, the usually bare field is full of rapeseeds. You can still see around it and she hasn't been bothered about going into the field. Today however, she spotted a rabbit and took off into the field after it!  Over two hours later, she emerged looking in a sorry state. I don't think she had gotten herself lost because hubby said she would reappear periodically to check he was there then take off again.

I don't think we need words to explain why this poor little face with its sore patches of rubbed off fur, has been evoking lots of sympathy. Not enough to get her out of a visit to the vet though.

We are joining in the blogpaws Wordless Wednesday blog hop. Thanks for hosting

Monday, 20 July 2015

Tasmanian devils

I have never actually seen a Tasmanian devil in the house, but Muffin tells all her facebook pals, that they occasionally burst from pillows and dog beds causing a huge mess. Muffin is a bit put out that she gets the blame for the damage. 

I am not convinced that somehow a devil has found its way into the soft furnishings. Does anybody else have problems with these pesky critters?

Today we are joining the  Monday mischief blog hop hosted by
My Brown Newfies  Snoopy's dogs blog  Alfie's Blog  Thank you for hosting x

Friday, 10 July 2015

The Papier Mache Zoo

There is a strange and wonderful place located somewhere in Norway and happily for me, it can also be found in facebook land.

The papier Mache Zoo can be found here It is a world of small mohair creatures lovingly created in homage to all things animal.

The last photo is a Bosley bear, pictured with the real Bosley. He has his own popular facebook page where you can hear all about his family's exploits, straight from the Boodles mouth.

Of course we have a Muffybear! The real Muffy is not quite sure what to make of the small imposter but I have an inkling that she would like to chew off mini Muffy's limbs, given half a chance.

 I love my little doggy bear, it makes me happy, and I love how a passion for animals inspires such diverse creativity.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Thankful Thursday

Today we are joining  Thankful Thursday Blog hop. We are thankful to Pepismartdog for hosting.

I am thankful that my family weren't put off by my unkempt look and decided to take me home to live with them.

I am thankful that I have rescued them from a dogless life. They are complete now. I am teaching them well.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Living with a shouty bitch!

We don't know anything about Muffin's past but it is clear that lots of things were new and scary to her when she came home. Once she had settled, she appeared to feel secure inside but going out was a whole different story. Throw into the mix, a human who knew nothing about dogs and walk time used to be a stressful time for both of us. Initially I couldn't even get her to walk at all as she found it scary to be by the road.

Muffin was worried about bikes, horses, cars, vans and especially other dogs. She would bark and lunge when she come across any of these scary things. Not really understanding, I was worried that she was aggressive. I had lots of advice and many people said she should be around things that caused a reaction so she got used to them. Twice she was jumped on by another dog and pinned down and once she started a fight. Luckily it was all noise and bluster! These experiences did nothing to ease her worries when it became apparent that she needed to be on the lead, she was even more stressed around dogs.

If I wanted to get her used to being around dogs, she would have to be on the lead and often other dogs would be loose and sometimes in her face. Things just got even harder for her. Training a dog who's reactivity is fear driven is no easy task.
I made the decision to walk her off the beaten track and give up on the idea of spending time around lots of dogs. Immediately both of us relaxed and started to enjoy our walks.

After lots of research, I began to realise that fear was at the heart of her issues and started to use positive reinforcement. We carried high value treats and gave generously for staying calm around scary things. We didn't get too close if we could help it and any successes were heavily praised. She quickly got better near the roads. I think she realised we would soon be away from the traffic and that helped her cope better. She doesn't react to horses at all now or bikes. Dogs are still hit and miss. Once she knows a dog, she is fine. She is generally happy to pass another dog if there is plenty of room. There is one narrow path where the lead has to be kept a bit tighter and she can react on passing. She did so well in a park with lots of on lead dogs, that we took her to a dog funday. She had a few altercations but was much calmer than the first time we had gone. So good in fact, that we took her to a village fete this weekend.

Muffin certainly got into the spirit and when we passed the folk band, who were singing their hearts out accompanied by acoustic guitar, Muffin felt relaxed enough to join in! With a rendition similar to her Christmas wish video, I am not sure she enhanced their performance. She did raise a few smiles though, which makes a change from the dirty looks I have become more accustomed to.

We are so proud of how far she has come. I think the key for us was accepting how she is and working with it rather than trying to get her to fit in a box of our making.
I always try and have a friendly smile when I see somebody else going through a similar thing with their dog. I have had my fair share of negative looks and comments but wish people would understand that she is not nasty or evil. Reactive dogs have the right to be out. We already walk at unsociable hours. We have walked on routes less travelled  even when they have been overgrown with nettles and thistles, just so we don't upset anyone. I wish people who are out with their well adjusted off lead dogs, didn't look outraged when their dogs approach my anxious on lead dog and get shouted at. She is on the lead for a reason. Our skins are thicker  and our resolve is strong. We will no doubt have more bad days. The darker nights drawing in often set us back a little, but we will take each day as it comes and celebrate every success.