Thursday 31 March 2011

A reindeer is not just for Christmas

Mr Reindeer thinks he's a Christmas toy - but I think he's fun all-year round and I decided this week that it was my responsibility to expand his horizons and show him a bit about the world outside.

So, Mr Reindeer, this is our garden....Over there is the pear tree starting to blossom and the bird table. We have to keep the squirrels away - if we can - so the nice birds can have their breakfast in peace.

Now, let me take you for a little gallop....You can see that some strands of green grass are trying to fight their way through the VERY SMALL (tiny, I would say) bare patch I caused in the lawn this winter.

Did you see the daffodils? Are you paying attention, Mr Reindeer?

That's enough lessons for one day. Being a teacher is tiring.

Friday 25 March 2011

Love is in the air

Spring my be the traditional time for falling in love - but in my opinion some young couples pick some very strange places to set up their love nests.

Take these two who I nearly trod on during yesterday's walk.

But even more risky is the home chosen by a pair of swans. If we walk through our village and down on to the canal and the Kingfisher Trail you come across these two who have made their nest on a little patch of ground in the middle of a housing estate.

The lady swan - on the right - is already sitting on her nest and her fella is keeping guard. I wisely kept my distance. Swans are beautiful but I wouldn't want to frighten them or make them cross.

The Lady Of The House tells me this couple have nested here for a few years now and local people keep their eye out for them to make sure they are left in peace.

Personally I prefer my home comforts at the end of a walk. I'm glad I don't have to live outside.

Saturday 19 March 2011

Stepping up to the mark

So here I am, minding my own business, thinking it is about time for the Lady Of The House to head out to a weekly dance class she's joined.

But instead she starts digging around in the cupboard under the stairs and appears eventually with this long blue box.

She puts this old video on the television and then starts hopping on and off the blue box. Well, naturally I am concerned. So I go over to see if she needs any help.

She seemed to be breathing quite heavily, so I start barking to summon help. But she tells me she's all right really. Plus, my friends Benny and Lily posted a blog about exercise this week so that helped me understand what was going on here.

No emergency, so I'll go and lie down again.

Today I am again joining the Saturday Pet Blog Hop hosted by Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume.

If you'd like to join in and make new pet blogger friends, please follow your three hosts, add your blog to the Linky and copy and paste this week's new Linky code into the html editor of your own blog. The list will automatically update on everyone's blogs as new sites add themselves over this weekend and we can all hop from blog to blog and find out everybody's news.Thanks again to our three hosts for putting on the hop!
If you follow a new blog after finding them in the blog hop - please let them know that you found them on the Saturday Pet Blog Hop.

Monday 14 March 2011

Read all about it

The Lady Of The House and her friend Alyson are holding a spring fair next month in our village to raise money for the Retired Greyhound Trust.

The nice people at that charity have sent us lots of posters and promotional materials, which I thought I had better cast an eye over.

Yes..... They look fine. Can't see any printing errors. And they are right. We greyhounds do make great pets.

I know a lot of you who follow my blog live a LOOOOOOONG way away from us - but for those who ARE in the Burton-on-Trent area here's a few details.

The Spring Fair is on from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday April 2 and it's a great chance to pick up last-minute gifts for Mother's Day (which for us in the UK is Sunday April 3). It is at the Priory Centre (which is Stretton's village hall).

Stalls will include Alyson and the LOTH selling eco-friendly cleaning products and toiletries - which are kind to the environment and your pocket; Dawn's Jewellery; The Honey B's (homemade jams, pickles and chutneys); a lovely yummy cake stall; Craftybugs gifts for all occasions and a lady who makes dolls clothes and peg bags. There's also a bric-a-brac stall where all proceeds will go to the Retired Greyhound Trust and a fund-raising tombola for them. There's no charge for admission - but donations for the RGT are welcome.

I might take a stroll down with the Man Of The House to do a bit of meeting and greeting and see if I can show the folks that even if they can't adopt their own greyhound just now they might be able to make a small donation to help re-home other hounds.

Sunday 13 March 2011

A grand day out

The Lady Of The House and the Girl Of The House seem to have had a great day out at Crufts.

They told me all about it when they got home and this afternoon we've watched the highlights they recorded on TV last night.

Tonight is the BIG night when Crufts ends with the choosing of the Best In Show. The LOTH tells me she's rooting for a Flat-coated Retriever called Jet who won the Gundog class on Thursday. He's nine-and-a-half years old (striking a blow for we more mature canines) and his family had brought him all the way from his home in Edinburgh to compete. Today they've got to bring him ALL the way back again. Hope he's not too tired.

The LOTH's friend Mandy was in the Discover Dogs section of Crufts with her four Flat-Coats, Scout, Jenson, Liffey and Forrest. Mandy's going back to Crufts tonight to support Jet and his family. The LOTH can't make it sadly, but she'll be catching up on the results when she gets in later tonight.

I don't mind my lack of show awards - especially now because the GOTH kindly brought me back my own little rosette. She said I was the best dog in our house not at Crufts. That's good enough for me. As you can see I took the honour in my usual laid-back way.

The LOTH made a point of saying hello to some lovely examples of many of the breeds of dogs who follow this blog - including GSDs, Scotties, French Bulldogs, Airedales and of course Greyhounds to name but a few.

The nice things about Crufts though is that it's not really all about the breeds. You get to meet lots of cross-breeds too who compete in agility, obedience, Flyball, heelwork to music and freestyle in the arena. Then there are the medical assistance dogs and Pets as Therapy dogs who also show what they can do in the ring and meet show-goers on some of the charity stands.

There are also lots of dogs there who take part in The Kennel Club's Good Citizen Dog Scheme. The LOTH says she might enroll me for that. I think I'm pretty good already but I wouldn't mind winning a certificate with Gromit on it. I love Wallace and Gromit.

It was a LOT of walking, the LOTH said. Crufts covers about 25 acres indoors. That's big. The LOTH says she might go for two days next year as there's just too much to see in one day.

She met some lovely people including Ivor from the Retired Greyhound Trust, Debbie Connolly, an animal behaviourist and TV vet Marc Abraham. He signed a copy of his book to the LOTH AND me. I was very pleased about that.

The LOTH has started reading the book already and says it's really interesting, and funny and informative - a bit like Marc the vet himself.

I also got brought back some presents specially for me, but I'll tell you about them another time.

Friday 11 March 2011

Ready steady go at Crufts

The Lady Of The House and the Girl Of The House are going to be up really, really early tomorrow to spend the day at Crufts.

I'm staying at home with the Man and the Boy Of The House - and I'm quite pleased because I think they are going to have an exhausting day.

Crufts - or dfs Crufts to give it its proper sponsored title - is celebrating its 120th anniversary and as you probably know it's a MASSIVE event at the NEC in Birmingham.

The LOTH and the GOTH have got to make a bee-line for the Discover Dogs area when they arrive to see their friend Mandy who will be with her flat-coated retrievers. Discover Dogs is great because they have areas for ALL the breeds of dogs there are and you can meet them and their owners.

Then they have a long list of exhibitors they want to say hello to - and charities. And then there's the main arena where you can watch heelwork to music, flyball and all sorts of fun canine sports. Then of course there's the little business of the thousands of dogs being put through their paces in the show rings. Crufts is so big it even has its own radio station for the four days that it runs.

The LOTH is also hoping to talk to charities about getting nominated to be charity of the year on the Lost & Fond website. Which reminds me..... if any of my blog readers would like to nominate their favourite pet charity to be supported by Lost & Fond from August 2011 to 2012, you should visit Lost & Fond's pet charities page and find out how easy it is to put a charity forward.

Meanwhile, I'm just going to chill here and wait for them to come back.

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Woof Factor 2011

All this month there's a competition being run by a charity called The Oldies Club which - as its name suggests - works hard to find forever homes for older dogs who sometimes get overlooked at rescue shelters.

The Oldies Club is running Woof Factor 2011 throughout March 2011. It's a great idea for a fund-raising photo competition for dogs aged seven and older. You pay £2 to The Oldies Club for each photo you enter - and you can enter as many times as you like.

Judging is by a panel of celebrities including TV vet and Oldies Club patron Marc Abraham; Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan; "Doggerel" author Angela Patmore (she sounds nice with a surname like that!) and dog trainer Karen Wild.

The Lady Of The House just couldn't decide which photos of me to enter, but in the end we narrowed it down to just these four.

At the end of the day it's all about raising money for The Oldies Club - so do consider entering your dog (as many times as you want) to help other older dogs find their forever homes.

Monday 7 March 2011

Homer gives us a mention

Homer is the official newsletter of the Retired Greyhound Trust - and how excited was I when the latest copy dropped on our doormat this morning and I found out that I was their Page 4 girl.

Well, I was ON page 4 anyway.

They'd given me - and this blog - a mention in return for the used stamps I've been helping the Lady Of The House collect. I have written about the appeal for stamps before, but you can read more here on the RGT website if you want to catch up.

Huge thanks to Alyson, Eileen and everyone else who has been helping me collect my stamps. I have another bag-full nearly ready to go now.

A very nice lady called Janette wrote on the wall of my Facebook page a couple of days ago that she'd seen me in Homer magazine - but I didn't know what she meant at that stage.

What a nice surprise!

The newsletter also says what a tough 12 months it has been in the UK for so many people - and that the RGT has been no exception.

More than 4,200 lovely homes for retired dogs were found in 2010 through this one greyhound charity - but they need more help to continue their great work.

I was shocked to see that the RGT's annual veterinary bill alone is more than half a million pounds!!

The newsletter also talks about model Twiggy's support for RGT which I blogged about last month.

If you are in the UK and able to help the RGT fundraise through collecting used stamps - or loose change - or anything you can contact them through their website or by ringing 0844 826 8424.

Saturday 5 March 2011

Scented scenic Saturday

It's lovely to see signs that Spring really is on the way as we walk round Rolleston and Stretton.

There's a real carpet of snowdrops down by Rolleston brook.

Hmmm. They smell quite nice too.

The Lady Of The House loved these baby daffodils that were peeking out - but she didn't get anything else in the shot (like me!) to show you how tiny they are. But they are really mini and sweet.

These purple crocuses (or is that crocusi?) are in our own front garden.

Hope you're getting the chance to get out and about and enjoy the smells and sights and sounds of whatever part of the world you are in.

Love and licks, Winnie.

Today I am again joining the Saturday Pet Blog Hop hosted by Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume.

If you'd like to join in and make new pet blogger friends, please follow your three hosts, add your blog to the Linky and copy and paste this week's new Linky code  into the html editor of your own blog.  The list will automatically update on everyone's blogs as new sites add themselves over this weekend and we can all hop from blog to blog and find out everybody's news.

Thanks again to our three hosts for putting on the hop!

If you follow a new blog after finding them in the blog hop - please let them know that you found them on the Saturday Pet Blog Hop.

Friday 4 March 2011

The postman calls three times

I'm the kind of dog that loves postmen, mainly because just recently they've been bringing me some lovely goodies.

First of all came a surprise package all the way from Scotland which contained the items the Lady Of The House bid for in an online auction in aid of RoyalHeart Greyhound Rescue and run by the lovely people at the Living with Pet Bereavement forums.

It wasn't just paper,like it looks in this picture, honestly. In fact there were two parcels. Once had some boring stuff for the LOTH but the other had two collars for me, a big bag of rawhide chips and a special chewy shoe from my great friend King Presley.

Then there were some packages of posters and a big banner from the Retired Greyhound Trust for the event the LOTH and her friend Alyson are doing in April (of which more on another day).

Then this week, the postman rang for a third time with a big box, and this is what happened next:

It turns out that the LOTH and I had won a competition we entered in the magazine that comes from our pet insurance people at PetPlan and we'd won a leather lead, a non-slip water bowl, a furry bed an a lot of dog food from Natural Instinct - who pride themselves on dog food as nature intended.

I am planning to share with food with my good friends Biscuit, Fender and Revel who live nearby but I've made myself at home on the bed already.

Hope you are lucky too in everything you do this weekend. Have a great time.