Monday 31 January 2011

Pick it up, people! Please.

It's been SUCH a busy weekend that I've not had time to visit as many other pet blogs as I'd have liked.

But I did get signposted towards this wonderful diagram on the website. which was originally posted there last month.

It's called simply, It's winter. Your dog has pooped. What now?

It struck a chord with my family - and it probably will with yours.

If your eyesight's as bad as the Lady Of The House (we greyhounds of course are sight hounds so we have no problem) and you can't read it below...then click on the link above and enjoy it there.

Saturday 29 January 2011

Ready for the weekend - honestly

Happy weekend!

I love weekends because the Man Of The House is around and he usually takes me for my walks on Saturdays and Sunday.

I may not look too excited in this picture, but I'm just resting ready for a brisk walk across the nature reserve and thinking back over all the fun I've had this week and looking forward to what's to come.

Our weekends are always busy. Today, the Boy has got football training and then he's got a friend coming round afterwards. The Lady Of The House has got to get stuff organised for her mum's 80th birthday on Wednesday and pick up materials from the local Marie Curie Cancer Care shop because she's collecting for them outside our Tesco supermarket on Thursday. The MOTH is threatening to tidy up the LOTH's home office (with her inside if necessary) - it's all good fun.

There's not much I can do to help with all these things but I will make sure I'm around so they can take a break to give me a hug and a nice long stroke whenever they want. I see it as my most important job to de-stress them when they are busy - and I can tell you they really appreciate it.

As it's Saturday we are taking part again in the Saturday Pet Blog Hop kindly co-hosted by by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs, and Baby Patches from Confessions of the Plume.

To take part, click on "Click here" at the bottom of the list of blogs below and add details of your own pet blog. Then grab the pink Pet Bloggers Blog Hop button (right) that our friends over on Life with Dogs made for us and include it in your post this weekend and add the linky code to your own posting then everyone who visits any of the posts on the list can see links to all the others and you can hop from one post to another all week making new friends.

It's easy, honestly. Remember to follow your three co-hosts in the first three spots on the list and if you follow a new blog you find on the pet blog hop - remember to tell them that you found them through the blog hop.

Have fun.

Love and licks, Winnie x

Thursday 27 January 2011

Training dogs the Woodhouse Way

When members of my family get nostalgic I just lie down, close my eyes and pretend to be asleep until they've finished reminiscing about something that happened long before I was here (which kind of means it can't be THAT important, doesn't it?)

Anyway, today it was this thought-provoking post by Kristine at her Rescued Insanity blog that brought that faraway look into the Lady Of The Loth's eyes.

Kristine was making some very good points about dog training techniques. We agree with what Kristine says and it seems to us that there are some people who get dog trainers a bad name. Anyway, before I knew what happened I'd been unceremoniously booted off the computer so the LOTH could look for clips of someone called Barbara Woodhouse.

You see these days there are all sorts of TV shows about dog trainers - most of them seem to make the fatal mistake of thinking it's the owner who should train the dog when any fool knows any decent dog trains its owner - but back in the UK of the 1970s and 1980s there was just Barbara Woodhouse, so the LOTH says.

She was a very scary lady who was famous for encouraging owners to give the command "Sitttttttttt" with a really clicky "T" on the end. Her training methods (like some of today's so-called celebrity dog trainers) were unpopular and controversial with many but she had a huge personality and got her first TV show at the age of 70.

You should be able to see a short video montage of clips about her - including the famous "Sitttttttt" command - on this BBC cult TV website

And on YouTube we found this parody song about her by a group called the Barron Knights called The Sit Song.

We are in no way advocating the Woodhouse way of training dogs, but it reminded the LOTH of her childhood so we thought we'd share it.

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Two new friends - but neither of them are ducks

There were lots and lots of ducks in Rolleston brook when we walked that way this morning.

The Lady Of The House likes them - I can take them or leave them.

Can we go now?
I enjoyed our morning walk earlier this week when I met a new friend called Lucy when we walked down the Kingfisher Trail.

From a distance, I thought Lucy looked a bit like me, but when we got closer I could see her ears were very different. Hers were quite feathery and hung down. She was actually a cross between a Saluki and a Lurcher. I would like to have shown you a picture of her...but the LOTH was so busy talking to the lady that Lucy owned that she forgot to take her camera out of her pocket.

Lucy's story was that she'd been adopted from kennels in Tutbury some years ago having been abandoned by travellers. She was very nervous at first and showed signs of having been treated harshly. She also has some scars on her front leg which look like they might have been barbed wire injuries.

Anyway, Lucy is a very pretty girl now with a happy life and clearly devoted to the lovely lady she owns. I hope we meet her again and if we do I'll nudge the LOTH and try and bring you a picture.

I also met a new virtual friend yesterday - Mayzie - and she is celebrating her first anniversary of blogging tomorrow (Jan 27) by trying to get as many people as possible commenting on her blog. For every comment she gets on that day's post her mum is going to give 25 cents to Second Chance Animal Rescue Foundation which rescued Mayzie.

So do pop across and say hello to Mayzie and add your comment tomorrow.

Monday 24 January 2011

Water adventure

Yesterday all my family and me took the short car ride to Branston Water Park for a bracing walk around the lake.
There were lots of ducks and geese and swans and assorted wildfowl (but they were camera-shy), but I didn't bother them and they didn't bother me.

The Man Of The House and The Boy Of The House were very fond of peering in to the lake at regular intervals. 
The first time I had a good look too. But I couldn't see anything interesting.

The next time they stopped I decided not to look.

I really don't get the fascination. It's water...I've seen it.
Now the smell over here in this long grass - THAT'S what I call interesting.

Saturday 22 January 2011

Saturday blog hop - and a lovely rawhide bone

Hello! It's Saturday again which means there's a pet blog hop kindly hosted by Two Little Cavaliers, Life With Dogs and Confessions of the Plume.

If you are new to pet blog hopping (as I was a few weeks ago) you should know that a blog hop is a linky list that is shared on multiple blogs. When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the exact same list appears on each blog and automatically updates everywhere when anyone adds a new blog to it on any of the sites hosting the list.

Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can then "HOP" from blog to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP! It's a great way to meet new friends and find some wonderful, funny, thought-provoking and interesting blogs to read.

I'll mention the rules you are asked to follow if you want to join in shortly. But first I want to tell you about my treat this week. Mickey the cat (he's 19 and belongs to the Lady Of The House's mum and dad) bought me a late Christmas present this week of this beautiful rawhide bone - which you can see me proudly showing off below - and a blue squeaky bone which says "JUMP" on it in big red letters.

I very quickly gnawed one end off the rawhide bone and carried it everywhere with me round the house for a long time. I wanted to make it last so I chewed at the big piece of bone sometimes and savoured the smaller piece.

For the first couple of days when it was walk time and the LOTH put on her boots and coat and fetched my collar and lead I ran up to her with the prize piece of rawhide bone in my mouth.

She pointed to my bed and said "Go and put that down". But I thought she was telling me to lie down and that I wasn't going for a walk. So I mooched off with the big piece of bone in my mouth and lay down.

Then she shook her head and said: "No. YOU come - but leave the bone there."

So I was happy again and ran towards her with the bone in my mouth still.

This continued for some time. I think all the chewing maybe affected my hearing temporarily. LOL!! And the LOTH can confuse me at the best of times with her words and gestures. I'm still training her.

It took quite a while to get  me out of the door and the bone inside waiting for my return. But we managed it eventually.

There's not much of either piece left now - but I have enjoyed it.

Hope you get a treat this weekend.

Also, can I quickly recommend to you today's post byTwo Little Cavaliers regarding the sale of live animals on Ebay.

Here's the rules to follow if you want to join the blog hop, and the list is at the bottom of the page for you to find new friends.

1. Link up your blog name and its URL using the Linky Tool below.
2. Grab the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop button that our friends over on Life with Dogs made for us and include it in your Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop post so that your readers will know what is going on.
3. Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool and comment on their blogs to say hello!
4. Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like.
5. Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop.
6. Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop.

Friday 21 January 2011

On the scent

Is it just me or does a crisp, frosty morning just make everything smell so much better and more intense?

Our morning walk was taken at a leisurely pace today so I could get every little aroma right up my nostrils.

The fields and the spinney at Brook Hollows looked lovely too.

Hope you get to sniff to your heart's content today as well.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Bereaved pet owners - victims of fraud

A serious post today - so if you are looking for laughs maybe skip off to the next blog on your list.

This week the Lady Of The House met some lovely, lovely pet owners - but in very, very sad circumstances.

They were at Derby Crown Court for the trial of a woman who ran a pet crematorium business - until a number of pets she was supposed to have cremated were found dumped in a Derbyshire field back in August 2009.

This woman - whose business was called Peak Pet Cremations (it's closed now) - had a contract with a local veterinary group to handle pet cremations for them.

This week when she appeared in court she changed her previous 'not guilty' plea to 'guilty' to six charges of fraud relating to falsely claiming that she had cremated three dogs, two cats and a guinea pig. She will be sentenced next month.

The Lady Of The House has been covering the news story for the last few days on her Lost & Fond website and if you want to find out more, you can read those stories here

These pet owners have been so brave for nearly 18 months now since the bodies were first found. At one point it looked as if the criminal case might be dropped - but they got their MP involved and fought on.

They still can't understand why this woman did what she did - and they hope there might be some answers when she is sentenced by the Judge and more information comes out.

In the UK we have a wonderful organisation called the Association Of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria (APPCC) which has a code of conduct its members agree to abide by regarding how pet cremations and burials are handled. They have provided a lot of support for the families in this sad case. So has a lovely lady called Dawn Murray who runs her own pet undertaker's service in Scotland and is a trained pet bereavement counsellor.

Kevin Spurgeon, director of the APPCC, said: "This case damages the reputation of the many genuine pet crematoria that help owners through the loss of their pet. Our members adhere to a strict code of practice ensuring that sites are licensed and individual cremations are carried out properly and it is sickening to think that someone has abused the trust of these grieving pet owners at such a vulnerable time."

The families will, of course, never forget the pets they lost. I just hope that they can find peace and some closure after next month's sentencing.

I promise to have a little more of an upbeat post for you tomorrow to round off the week.

Now go and give your pets an extra big hug.

Monday 17 January 2011

Look what Sonja made!

I am particularly happy and comfy-cosy right now thanks to this beautiful knitted patchwork blanket that has been made for me by the Lady Of The House's friend Sonja.

Isn't it lovely? As soon as the LOTH brought it home I had my nose inside the bag it was in and I just KNEW it was something for me.

I think it's beautiful and it must have taken her ages to do.

Thank you Sonja.

Sunday 16 January 2011

Racing form

Thought I'd share with you today some photos of me running in the garden.

Please notice how I skilfully avoid running into both the pear tree or the rotary clothes dryer (sleeping in its winter hibernation beneath a pea-green cover) even when going at a top speed of bluuurrrrr.

It reminds me of when a neighbour's little girl came to our door soon after I arrived last year to say 'hello' to me....and, without realising what he'd said, the Man Of The House told her "Winnie can go from naughty to forty in just a few seconds".

He meant NOUGHT to forty. I've never lived it down.

Hope you got to do some running this weekend too.

Saturday 15 January 2011

Saturday Blog Hop and an unscheduled vet visit

We are Saturday pet blog hopping again today, but first let me tell you about yesterday.

So, we're having a really nice walk and we've been across the nature reserve and down to the canal and then suddenly a chillingly-familiar door looms ahead....and the LADY OF THE HOUSE IS WALKING ME INTO THE VILLAGE VETS!!!

Last time I was there in September they clipped off a damaged dew claw and I didn't enjoy it. So I start shaking and my tail disappears right under my tummy.

"Don't worry, Win," says the LOTH. "Nobody's going to do anything to you. I just want to ask them a question."

This does not help me.

In fact, I am so caught up with my fears that when a lady walk out of the consulting room a few feet away from me carrying a cat in her arms (not even in a cat carrier) I don't react at all. THE LOTH jumped up to stand between me and the kitty but I just looked at her and said: "You really think I'm going to worry about cats NOW?"

Anyway, the lady vet is really lovely and she loves greyhound particularly. But then after the LOTH has asked her question, I hear the vet say...."Pop through and I'll give Winnie a free check-up."

Very nice I'm sure - if you are the LOTH. Not if you are Winnie.

She weighed me (I'm still slim and gorgeous, since you ask) and listened to my heart and a few things, then she told the LOTH that my scent glands, you know, (round the back) were full and needed 'expressing'. This is why I've been suddenly jumping up, twisting round and looking as if I was trying to chew my tail.

You will be glad to hear that I was very brave and let the vet do what she had to do and now things are a lot less itchy. I couldn't WAIT to get out of there though.

As we walked home the LOTH explained that she hadn't lied to me....she just didn't know we were going to get offered the free check-up.

Anyway, when I got home I got lots of pampering and cuddles and I arranged my day bed in the living room to fashion myself a little pillow as you can see above.

Hope you join in the great Saturday Blog Hop co-hosted by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs and Confessions of the Plume.

To take part:

  • Link up your blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below. You only need to add you link once to be seen on all the Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week.

  • Grab the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop button that our friends over on Life with Dogs Made for us and include it in your blog post so that your readers will know what is going on.

  • Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool.

  • Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you’d like.

  • Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you’re from the Blog Hop. 

  • Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop!

  • It makes it really easy to find new blogs to follow and for blogs to find you. Links can be added all day Saturday and Sunday but the list closes on Monday.

    If you are like us it then takes us ALL week to visit new blogs!

    Have fun

    Friday 14 January 2011

    More foot thoughts

    So, why - ever since her recent birthday - is the Lady Of The House wearing what appears to be two white rabbits on her feet when she's inside the house?

    They don't SMELL like rabbits - but they do look like rabbits. Why would anyone want to do that?

    On the subject of feet....HUGE thanks to everyone who chipped in this week with ideas about my little problem of turning the back lawn into a battlefield of mud.

    We're going to have a good think about it and probably look to pave part of it and put some sort of mulch stuff on another bit.

    Went round to see the LOTH's friend Jane the other day who has two beautiful greyhounds and she has paved her back garden and her dogs are fine with it.

    Thanks for all the help. You are lovely!!

    Thursday 13 January 2011

    Unidentified object in the sky

    There was something most strange on our morning walk today. The sky was blue and there was the big bright shiny thing in the sky. It seemed slightly familiar but I'm really not sure what it was. (Ha ha!!).

    The Lady Of The House is all for us having a one-hour walk in the morning every day that we can manage it. I enjoy it and then I am happy to sleep while she gets on with work.

    This is the approach to the Kingfisher Trail (I'm enjoying it far more than I appear to be here)
    We are lucky with the nice areas there are to walk close to our house. Yesterday we went along the canal path and there was still some well-disguised ice patches and it was funny to watch a little moorhen apparently walking on water.

    I'm hoping for a trip out in the car this weekend. I keep dropping hints (like jumping up at the back of the car as we walk past it on the drive).

    Hope you are having a nice day too.

    Tuesday 11 January 2011

    Fancy footwork is a muddy problem

    Today I am appealing for help from my fellow bloggers!

    There must be someone out there with the same problem.

    I have churned the back lawn into a quagmire doing zoomies at least once a day.

    Now, whenever I have had my fun  - the Lady Of The House makes me go in through the back door where she has to pull clods of grass and earth from between my toes and usually wash my feet, legs and tails too as now that the ground has thawed I get mud everywhere.
    My handiwork (or footwork)
    I know some of you lucky dogs in America have safely enclosed dog parks where you can let off steam - but there's nowhere round here where I can do that. The LOTH daren't let me off the lead in a normal park because I have SUCH a high prey drive that I'd be off without a backward glance if something took my fancy - which she says could end up with me under a car on the road.

    The Man Of The House wondered about paving the back garden - but the LOTH thought I'd miss the grass (or mud, as it is now). She wondered about artificial turf....but that might not be suitable when I need to do what a girl's got to do inbetween walks.

    Anyone got any thoughts?

    Monday 10 January 2011

    The Pet Blogger Challenge Q & A

    After dithering "Will I, won't I?" all day I've made a late decision to join the Pet Blogger Challenge which was the brainchild of Amy at GoPetFriendly.

    Click the button below to get involved - if there's still time!!

    Pet Blogger Challenge

    When did you begin your blog?
    During August 2010 the month I came to live with my new forever family.

    What was the original purpose of starting the blog?
    The Lady Of The House (my new mum, let's be honest) was so excited about me coming to live with them that she really wanted to share the news with everyone. She also was shocked to find out how many people misunderstood greyhounds and didn't consider them as pets because they thought they would need hours of exercise a day. The LOTH thought lots of pictures of me being a couch potato might help.

    Is your current purpose the same?
    We're still keen to let people know what great pets greyhounds make and to speak up for dogs everywhere. But we also hope that sometimes we can make people smile. At the start the LOTH thought that only her own friends and family would be reading the blog, and maybe some people from the Retired Greyhound Trust in England. It's been a surprise and delight to 'meet' pets across the world through their blogs. So many of the blogs we follow are so funny.....we try and keep up (we can but try). 

    If so how do you feel you’ve met your goals?
    The people who comment on our blog are 'dog people' and quite a few of them have greyhounds so they know how wonderful we are - but maybe some people read the blog and don't comment and maybe we get our message across to some people that way.

    Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
    We try and blog once every day...but it can be any time when we have time and inspiration.

    Are you generating income from your blog?
    I have a couple of Adsense slots and a couple of Amazon affiliates to see what happened. I've made £2.55 so far! 

    What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?
    I love the people I've met through blogging and it's always a thrill when someone goes to the trouble of commenting.

    What do you like least?
    When I can't think of a title to a blog post - or something to blog about....though that doesn't happen too often.

    How do you see the blog changing in 2011?
    I hope I can get more followers and maybe come up with some blogs as good as my own hero dogs (and cats) in the blogging world. It would also be nice if it led to a few people finding the LOTH's pet bereavement website Lost & Fond which we hope will help people share memories of the pets they have loved and lost down the years.

    Tidy bed - for five minutes

    The Lady Of The House has told me I should try and keep my day bed in the living room a bit more tidy.

    So I tried lying on it very neatly like this.

    But it's much more fun to ruckle it all up and make a nest and have a play like this.

    Sunday 9 January 2011

    A lucky macot indeed

    Yesterday there was a LOT of excitement in our house when the Boy Of The House got to be a mascot for our local football side Burton Albion in the third round of the FA Cup (which is a big deal apparently).

    I had to stay at home, but they left me the radio on, and I not only got to hear all about the excitment when they got home...but I go to watch the highlights on TV later that night when they showed the Boy Of The House on national TV!!

    It was exciting because Burton Albion beat Middlesbrough (who are two divisions higher) 2 goals to 1. So the BOTH turned out to be a VERY lucky mascot indeed.

    As mascot he (and another boy who was a mascot too) got to warm up on the pitch with the players, and then lead the teams out of the tunnel, and shake hands with all the players of both sides and officials and then watch the game. They also got their names on the big electronic scoreboard and their pictures in the match programme.

    Funnily, the Lady Of The House got a message on Facebook last night from a friend in Slovakia who said the WHOLE of the Burton v Middlesbrough game was shown on TV out there. Funny to think of all those people seeing my boy!
    The LOTH took this picture off the TV as the BOTH led the teams out. The referee is next to him

    The BOTH (the smaller of the two) steps on to the pitch - his name is actually up on the scoreboard in this shot.
    Shaking hands before kick-off
    Me watching the TV coverage - Yes I DO have eyes in the back of my head

    I am also very grateful to the nice people at Pet Blogs United who let the Lady Of The House do a guest post on their blog about her Lost & Fond website.

    Pet Blogs United: Lost & Fond ~ Guest Post

    Finally, we would like to add our condolences to all the other bloggers who have expressed their sadness at the passing of The Luke yesterday.

    We sent our card off to his family yesterday by air mail, and although it will not arrive for a few days we hope that knowing how much Luke and all his family were in the thoughts of so many people will bring some small comfort in the days ahead.

    Saturday 8 January 2011

    He wears it well

    Well, the snow's all gone with lots of rain overnight so it looks as if the football match will be on this afternoon and the Boy Of The House can still be mascot. I'll tell you more tomorrow.

    I told you yesterday about the lovely walks I've been on this week with the Man Of The House while he's been on a weeks' holiday from work. It's also given him a chance to wear one of his Christmas presents from the Lady Of The House. You can see it below - and you can also see that I obviously approve!!

    Today we are taking part in another edition of Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop brought to you by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs, and Confessions of the Plume!

    If you are new to this (like us) here's how you can join the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop celebration:

    * Link up your blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below. You only need to add you link once to be seen on all the Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week.

    ** Grab the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop button that our friends over on Life with Dogs made for us and include it in your Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop post so that your readers will know what is going on.

    *** Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool and comment on their blogs to say hello!

    **** Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like

    ***** Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop

    ****** Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop