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.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Black and white Sunday

Some days are just for laying in Dads arms and contemplating life

We are joining the Black and white sunday blog hop kindly hosted by Sugar and Nola

Friday, 3 July 2015


We are joining in Rascal and Rocco's pet parade hop and have chosen a poem for all dogs (especially terriers)

Your tail is too curly, Just like a pig
Your Manners are poor and you’re not very big
your legs are too short and they bend the wrong way
You snore in your bed at the end of the day

Your ears are too pointy, you look like a bat
You won’t wear a coat or a jumper or hat
Your fur is unruly it’s always in knots
You will roll on a dead thing, just after it rots

Your body is long, Like Gnashers, you’re tatty
But you don’t like the brush and can get a bit ratty
You grumble and swear if your dinner is late
Not a morsel of food will be left on your plate

Your eyes, they are covered you can’t see through your fur
You zoom through the house til you’re only a blur
Your temper is firey, you are quick to mouth off
You can pull on your lead til you splutter and cough

Your skittish outside when the night starts to fall
You sometimes won’t ‘leave it’ or ‘come’ when I call
You dance in the water no matter how dirty
You’re a little bit strange and your habits are quirky

Curled like a coil, that tail starts to wiggle
and it fills me with joy that bursts out in a  giggle
Your short legs are strong, you can run very fast
And you snore cos you learned, you can trust us, at last

When your bat ears point  high and your eyes fill with light,
I know you’ve heard Dad, coming home for the night
When you are smelly, you play in the bath
Jumping and splashing and making me laugh

Your body’s just right to fit curled  on my knee
Your fur’s  beautifully grey and as soft as can be
Whatever we feed you, we know you will finish
You eat all your meat and even your spinach

When your fur’s brushed away, your eyes, black like coal,
glisten and shine like your beautiful  soul
The barking’s  all bluster, but you'd die for your pack
The noise making up, for the stature you lack

You snuggle inside when the night starts to fall
and mostly you ‘leave it’ and ‘come’ when I call.
My terrier angel, My sweet contradiction,
Eclectic and beautiful, flawed, yet perfection

- See more at:

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Can dogs have Autism?

It is a question that must have crossed a few people's minds because Google came up with a variety of writings on the subject. Rather worryingly, I have actually asked google questions which don't appear to have been pondered by any other human being but that's another story!

This particular question was prompted by a walk which started off as a pleasant evening stroll and ended with an epic battle of wills and a very sweaty human.

I have mentioned that Muffin prefers to stick to the route she usually walks. Last night, as the path we normally go down is overgrown with nettles and thistles, I decided to go along a wider, dusty path. We turned left in the little meadow. This was considered by Muffin, for a time and deemed acceptable. We sometimes go this way at weekends but not weekdays so it threw her for a while. When I then turned left instead of, weekend walk right, it was just all too much and madam refused to walk another step!

I tried gentle encouragement and even a crunchy bribe but to no avail. I then picked her up just to let her know that we were going that way, with or without her cooperation. Still no walking going on when I put her down. I don't really think she understood when I told her that since she had had her summer trim she had less protection against the stingers. I don't think I had been forgiven for handing her over to Richard from dial a dog wash earlier anyway!

I carried on walking until the 50ft lead ran out and still she did not follow. I sat down to wait it out. She came running over but as soon as I stood up, the paws dug in and the bottom went down. I tried a stand off but she won. I ended up carrying her down the path and phoning hubby to get us in the car when I got to the road. When she spotted the car, she suddenly sprinted into action.

After browsing some articles and posts about the question of autism in dogs, I came to the conclusion that I already felt in my heart. There was much debate speculating about how indicators of autism in people can be apparent in dogs. Was it an inherent condition or behaviour formed by socialisation differences. What I read suggested that signs such as

*Avoiding eye contact and other physical contact with humans
*Not engaging in play
*Dislike changes to routine
* Problems with social relationships with other dogs
*Organising toys by shape, size or colour
may indicate autism. Some argued that if autism was present, then it must be in the genetic make up and not created.
My own thoughts about our little diva, is that she doesn't have autism but very much like her human family, her life experience, has shaped some tendencies that place her a little bit on the autistic spectrum.

As a family/pack, we all tend to be slow to trust and bond. At some point, we have all been let down badly by somebody we trusted. I am guessing the same is true of Muffy, who came to us as a stray, with nothing known about her past.

Once we have, against the odds, formed those bonds, they are strong. We are not really a demonstrative bunch but despite the lack of hearts and flowers, there is a feeling of security, of strength and a deep love that is always felt but rarely spoken.

The truth is, anyone of our family unit is likely to feel wobbly if our routine is messed with. It was apparent from once putting Muffy in kennels and trying her with a home boarder, she tends to display many of the signs of autism to a much greater degree when not in her normal environment.If her little world is static, then it is safe. Very important for a dog whose experience of the big wide world may well have been scary.

If hubby has had his shredded wheat on the right day and I have ensured that every lone magpie is saluted. If muffy has not deviated from her usual path, then all is normal and safe. Irrational maybe but perfectly sane from where we are standing. Our little dog, who may or may not, be autistic, fits right in. <3

Monday, 22 June 2015

Dad (Fathers day 2015)

D is for dance, like I do when you’re home
and you give me a stroke and a small crunchy bone.

Twirling and spinning, I’m happy to see you

You tell me I’m beautiful, sweet little muffy moo
A is for action, we’re ready to go
Adventures are waiting, we walk with the flow
We are never quite sure what nice smells we will find
I can be a minx but you’re never unkind.
D is for digging, a hobby of mine
Sometimes you let me, just so I don’t whine
If I find a treasure, from digging so deep
I’ll take it to you and invite you to eat
This poem spells DAD and that’s a great word
one of the nicest that. I’ve ever heard
Each time I hear it, I feel fuzzy inside
Whenever I can, I’ll be right by your side.

Fathers day 2014

When I came to live with you,
It was pretty plain to see
You didn’t really want a dog
especially one like me.

I was a little mixed up
cos my life had been quite hard.
I never had a proper home,
a family or a yard.

We looked each other up and down
and sighed a few big sighs
but I wanted you to like me,
so I told you with my eyes.

Now that lots of time has past
filled with love and walks and snacks
Its plain for everyone to see,
that, we are a perfect match.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

A sweet after thought

A sweet afterthought: (Muffin’s Story)

No dogs at the shelter, they told us that day.
They might get upset, when the kids come to play.
With heart feeling heavy, we walked to the door,
‘Wait’, they called over, and hope rose once more.

We waited again, as they talked in hushed tones.
They looked on their forms and spoke on their phones.
We were told about Muffin, still being assessed,
but you’d made friends with everyone, even the vets

We went out to meet you, it was cold, it was dark.
They moved your doggy pal, because he liked to bark.
You came running over, excited and whirly
Your fur looked all black and crazy and curly.

The lighting was dim and we couldn't see well,
Not a fact of your life, before now, could they tell,
We left you that night but we swore to come back,
So you could come home and be part of our pack.

You got sick the next day, so you stayed a while longer.
Just ‘til you started to feel a bit stronger.
The days went by slowly, we longed for our pet.
You were grumpy with everyone, especially the vet.

It was all hallows eve when they let you come home.
You got straight in your bed and you ripped a toy bone.
Your manners weren't good and you wee'd on the floor.
You pulled on your lead and you whined at the door.

‘She looks just like Toto,’ we heard over again.
I'm not sure that Toto, was as much as a pain!
‘I think she’s a Cairn cross,’ said those in the know.
To the Cairn terrier forum, for help I did go.

I read about Cairns and their rascally stunts,
the digging and chewing, the barking, the hunts.
About chewing up beds and removing the stuffing.
Sounds almost exactly like you, little Muffin!

You taught us a lot, our Halloween dog.
You changed us inside and you helped clear the fog.
Who would have guessed that the answers we sought,
would come in the form of a sweet afterthought.

Real (In memory of Suze)

Face book once deleted you, they said that you weren't real
You didn't laugh, or think or cry. You couldn't really feel.
We never shared our stories,or pictures of our furries.
We never made each other laugh, or sometimes shared our worries.
We never picked each other up, if one of us was down.
Or shared sad doggy tales, which turned our smiles to frowns
We never felt the comfort, of knowing, come what may,
Archie tells us ‘Nite nite’, at the end of every day.
How can someone make believe,Shine their light so far.
To reach across the internet. A shining cyberstar.
You touched so many with your warmth and cheered us with your smile.
You didn’t only add friends, but you went the extra mile.
You would extend your hand in friendship and show you really cared
We never knew if you were down or insecure or scared
Now you have gone forever, not just temporarily deleted
I keep thinking, I will see you back, with Archie, undefeated.
So facebook can you tell us, we are fake and cannot feel
that the tears that fill a river, the shock and loss aren't real.
The heartache for a family left bewildered and alone
Is all a cyber nightmare and Suz isn’t really gone.


It's cold in the fields, and the wind it blows fierce.
My fur is all matted, but the ice rain can pierce.
My paws, they are bleeding, I have walked a long way,
with no destination, no place to stay

I curl up in the bushes and hope they give cover.
I close my sore eyes and I think of my mother.
She was tired but kind and they took me away.
I cried for a long time and did quietly pray.

I stayed in a cage with my brothers and sister.
She went away first and I desperately missed her.
The boys went together and I was alone.
No family, no dinner, no pride and no home.

I tried to get comfy but the cage was so hard.
I saw no green fields just a bare concrete yard.
The men came with scraps they were rough they were cruel.
I slipped out of that cage breaking their rule.

I ran like a bullet and never looked back.
To the pain, and the fear, and the loss of my pack.
It's just me now but at least l'm alive
Battered and broken but still I survive.

I crawl out of the bushes disheartened and numb.
My stomach is growling, I can't find a crumb.
I chew on some grass but it makes me feel ill.
I will move on again if I can muster the will.

I spot in the distance, a human, I'm scared,
but I smell something good and I no longer care,
I run to the man with a devious plot,
I'll grab his good breakfast while it's still nice and hot.

As I approach, he speaks to me gently
He bends down to my left and says god must have sent me.
There are people who long for a friend just like me.
Just to play in their garden and curl on their knee

He gives me his breakfast and smiles as I eat.
He tickles my neck and lifts me off my sore feet.
He carries me home I'm too tired to fight.
I'm taken away to a shelter that night

I still feel lonely but the humans are kind.
They give me some food and my wounds they bind.
They bathe me and brush me and cut out my matts
They give me a bed, and some strokes and some pats

Some new people come in to visit one night.
I am happy to see them, they are moved by my plight.
They promise to come back so I can go with them.
They are sure of the joy and the love I could give them.

I go to the house, there's a garden to play in.
I got my own toys and my own bed to lay in.
I've got lots to learn about life with a family.
But I'm as clever and sharp as a little dog can be.

Soon we are family and now I belong.
My memories of past times will shortly be gone.
I sigh to myself as I munch on my bone.
Now I am happy, now I am home.