Thursday 30 June 2011

Tidy-up Thursday

Visitors were coming, so the Lady Of The House decided my toys needed to be tidied away in a corner of another room. She thought they looked messy scattered all over the living room floor.

But I snuck in when she wasn't looking.

Everyone needs a stuffie to cuddle every day - and she's NOT getting her hands on this one.

Please notice that I DID choose the cleanest toy from the pile.

Saturday 25 June 2011

Please look out for Petula in the UK

Richard King - who is a fan of my Facebook page - has asked me to blog about a distinctive and beautiful lurcher called Petula who it appears has been stolen from Bath Dogs and Cats Home.

Petula is still very shy and timid after her experiences before she found security at the kennels from where she appears to have been stolen after hours on June 24, 2011.

You can read more about Petula - and if you are in the UK you can download a poster to advertise her loss - at the DogLost website.

Blogger seems to be playing up a little at the moment and won't let me add a picture. But you can see Petula on my Facebook page or on the DogLost website to which I've added links above. She has very distinctive black and white markings on her head.

Simply sailing down the canal

We've had some lovely walks along the canal in recent days. I love all the tantalising smells in the hedges by the path.

I was a bit jealous when I saw these two hounds who smiled and waved (in a doggy way) as they sailed past us. That looks a great way to ride.

I suppose for now I have to stick to walking the paths...but maybe one day we'll have our own canal boat trip.

Have you ever read Narrow Dog to Carcasonne?

It's a brilliant book by a man called Terry Darlington from the Midlands who took his whippet (and his wife) on a really adventurous trip to France on a canal boat. The LOTH can thoroughly recommend it. It's a fabulously funny and entertaining read.

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 24 June 2011

Take your dog to work day - or take the work to your dog

So, June 24 is TYDTW Day.

That's Take Your Dog To Work Day - which you can read more about here

The Lady Of The House works from she thought it was more a case of bringing some work to me.

She appointed me Director of Marketing. As you can see, I took a very laid-back approach to the whole idea.

Well, it IS Friday.

Now, earlier this week I mentioned about the two awards we'd recently very kindly been awarded. Now as a condition of accepting these awards you are asked to share the love around and award them on to other blogs.

I thought the best thing would be for me to choose ten blogs I'd like to share with you (you may know some of them already) and the owners of these blogs (listed below) can choose which award (if either) they would like to accept. Some of these blogs may already have been given one of these awards of which case they've now been given another copy.

Thanks again to K-Koira and What Dogs Do who gave us these awards originally.

1. CowspotDog - I love the story behind this blog's name (you'll have to read it to find out if you don't know) The blog is about Reilly who is a beautiful Shetland Sheepdog

2. Two Greyhound Town - I admire Scout's folks so much for keeping on with this blog since the recent sad and sudden loss of Jack.

3. Wilf the PON Discovers France - A very well-travelled Polish Lowland Sheepdog.

4. Kind Hearts - The unmissable adventures of Grumpy Bobby, Dippy Pip and a succession of foster dogs who share their lives with the very wonderful John and Brenda in Sunderland.

5. Bouncing Bertie's Blog - I always smile at the pictures and stories from Berties (and Gail) in Aberdeen, Scotland.

6. All About Jon Terry - An almost unbearably cute Shih Tzu pup.

7. Graceful Greyhounds - Sue makes some lovely crafts as well as being 'mum' to Song and she was one of the first bloggers to follow me and make me welcome and I will always be grateful for her kindness.

8. Scottishdogs Blog - I was delighted to find this entertaining blog - and even more thrilled to find out they lived just a few miles away from us.

9. Going Gently - This one is the LOTH's choice (I thought I'd let her choose one). She thinks John Gray from Wales is always an entertaining and thought-provoking read and his television memories indicate he's a similar age to her!

10. The Court of Tails - Always interesting posts about training tips and other dog-related fun and games from the owner of  Jess and Lola

Monday 20 June 2011

Manic Monday - and the rest of the week

The Lady Of The House has been hogging the computer again so it's all I can do to get on here and try and catch up with all the things I've not told you yet......

Firstly, for those of you in the UK, PLEASE don't forget that it's the second-ever Great British Greyhound Walk coming up on Sunday (June 26). I'm sorry to exclude so many of my dog friends but it IS just for greyhounds and lurchers and the idea is to get as many people walking their hounds at the same time across the country.

It's about getting our people together to socialise and also raising the profile of greyhounds and lurchers.

I'm not happy because it looks like I can't join one of the many organised walks, which is a shame now I'm being a lot more sociable and confident with dog friends.

But the LOTH is in another play next week with Little Theatre Company and Sunday is the day they set up the scenery and have the technical dress rehearsal. And as the Man Of The House doesn't drive we can't get to one of the walks without her.

Maybe next year.....

Anyway, I've had a couple of new experiences this weekend. Whenever I go out with my family we usually keep on the move - either walking across country or maybe walking round a country show or a fair. But on Saturday we went to watch the Boy Of The House play his first official game for Rolleston against Stretton. So there's all this grass and we're just standing there. I couldn't quite understand it and after we'd stood there for a while watching the BOTH and his friends run about I "roo-woo'd" a bit to tell my folks I was confused.

After that they took it in turns to take me for a little amble round the pitch now and then and to watch the Swifts who were swooping down and around (I love watching those clever little birds). The MOTH and the GOTH tried to persuade me to sit down with them on the grass but I wasn't having it. I did like being with them all - and the BOTH's team won 6-3 so that was good.

You can see the BOTH on this picture in the red "No 5" shirt. Look at those black clouds too! It rained on
us three times but then was really hot in between times.

The LOTH and the GOTH decided I needed to have a few more experiences that involved me realising that sometimes we go out and we stay in one place for a while.

Today it was lovely and warm and sunny and so the GOTH and the LOTH took me for a nice walk down the canal and then we stopped on some seats outside a canalside pub for lunch. I was a bit confused again and "roo-woo'd" a bit again. But after a while I lay down in the shade. But I stayed alert and was quite happy when we moved off again.

By the way, I am still on my lead in these photos. It's loose behind me but the LOTH has still got it in case I spotted something chaseable. The LOTH thinks that might be what confused me. I associate my collar and lead with walking. I'm not sure what it is.

Anyway, next thing to tell was Father's Day this weekend too and the MOTH was HUGELY surprised that the rest of us had organised for him to fly to Ireland for five days next month with the GOTH. Here he is reading the piece of paper that explained about this little holiday. We wrapped it round a bottle of Guinness. The MOTH's grandparents were from Ireland but he's never been there. The GOTH went to Dublin (which is where they are staying) last year so she can show him round.

Me the LOTH and the BOTH will do some nice fun stuff while they are away so don't worry about us.

Finally - because the LOTH is looming as if she's going to demand the computer again - a BIG and VERY belated thank you to K-Koira who awarded us the Versatile Blogger award AGES AGO. I LOVE reading about the adventures of the Flyball dogs but it sometimes makes me feel quite tired because they have so much stamina. Do check this blog out if you don't already visit.

More recently, What Dogs Do - another great blog by some fellow Brits (hurray!) - passed on to us an Inspiration Award. Thank you so much too. I was really really pleased and proud.

I am supposed to pass on these awards to other blogs....and I PROMISE I will but I really have run out of time today.

Monday 13 June 2011

My first rosette

Do I look pleased with myself?

Just a little bit, maybe?

Yesterday, despite the driving rain that didn't stop ALL day, me and the Lady Of The House and the Girl Of The House piled into the car and drove for an hour up to Bakewell in Derbyshire.

I LOVE going out in the car and the journey was great fun. When we got there the LOTH got my big rain coat on and we went in to Barlow Show (which is a three-day horse show) but where my old friends John and Judith from Crossing Cottage Greyhound Sanctuary hold a Greyhound Show and a big information stand every year on the final day.

It was such a shame the weather was so bad because I'm sure lots more greyhounds and their owners would have been there. But we got there JUST in time to enter me for Class 7 - Vintage and Veteran Dogs - Seven Years Plus. And I came second - and won my first-ever rosette!! Well, my first rosette in THIS life anyway.

Actually I deliberately wanted to get second place because I liked the blue rosette best.

The LOTH says she's very sorry that she didn't take any pictures at the show but it really was very rainy and she was busy making sure I was all right with the other dogs and not getting too wet and cold and taking pictures would have just been too complicated.

Here's me and the GOTH pictured at the start of our roadtrip though.

You can see that we are both quite excited.

It was lovely to see John and Judith again. I would have recognised them anywhere - even though they both had big anoraks with hoods on.

The LOTH was also very pleased with how happy and sociable I was with the other greyhounds. I think that meet-and-greet afternoon I did a while back has helped me be more confident and a lot less nervous around other dogs - especially greyhounds.

I'm now really looking forward to lots more dog days out over the summer. There's lots of Retired Greyhound Trust events coming up - plus the Great British Greyhound Walk - which I'll tell you more abut later this week. Maybe the rain will stop for some of them as well.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Old dogs and new tricks

The Lady Of The House learned the lovely story behind the picture of the dog that appears on the cover of the latest album by American blues singer Seasick Steve.

It turns out this handsome old fella (the dog, I mean) was cruelly dumped years ago on the M4 motorway at Swansea - but ten years ago he chose a nice lady owner who came to the rescue shelter where he'd been taken.

Now they live happily together in Portsmouth where she took this picture of him - his name is Twm - paddling in the sea.

Apparently, Seasick Steve spotted the picture she'd uploaded to Flickr and thought he'd be the perfect illustration for the cover of his record which was called: "You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks".

How lovely!!

By coincidence, we also got sent an email story about wise old dogs yesterday which I thought I'd also share and dedicate it to the GSDs who visit my blog and say hello from time to time as well as all dogs of more mature years (like me). Here it goes:

One day an old German Shepherd Dog is out enjoying a run in the woods when, eventually, he realises that he's lost.

As he looks for a way home he suddenly sees a hungry young panther running towards him determined to eat someone for lunch.

The GSD thinks to himself: "Oh, oh! I'm in big trouble now!"

But then, noticing some bones on the ground nearby, he lies down to chew on them with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the GSD says loudly: "That was one delicious panther! I wonder, if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.

"Phew!" says the panther. "That was close! That old dog nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had seen the whole thing from a nearby tree, decides he can put this knowledge to good use and earn protection from the panther. So, off he goes.  

The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans about the trick the GSD has played and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.  

The young panther is furious at being made to look a fool and says: "Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that old dog!"  

Now, the GSD sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks: "What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to the panther and the squirrel pretending he hasn't seen them.

When they get close enough to hear, the GSD says out loud:"I wonder where that squirrel's got to? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"  
The moral of this story...

Don't mess with the old dogs... Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery!

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Bespoke biscuitry (if that's a phrase)

If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen me (and the Lady of the House) swapping banter with Sarah and Vicky from a new business local to me called The Bespoke Dog Bakery.

Before I go any further I must assure you they have NOT paid me for my celebrity endorsement - but I did win their competition to name the dog on their company logo.

I chose the name Biscuit because I have a friend called Biscuit who lives nearby and he's very smiley like the dog in the logo (See pictures below - can you tell which is which?). And of course Biscuit is a nice name for a bakery dog. It was a public vote between ALL the names that people voted for, and then a final vote-off between the three names that got the most votes in round one. Maybe I asked a few Facebook friends to back my choice.....but to be honest some of them voted for other names anyway because they are awkward independent-minded.

Anyway, before the naming competition was held online, the LOTH went to a school fair where Sarah and Vicky had a stall and bought me FOUR bags of their home-baked dog biscuits for me to taste test. She warned them I could not be bought and I would tell it how it is. We did this taste test a while back but the LOTH's been too lazy busy to sort the pictures out for me. It's a good job I'm patient as you can tell by these images.

So here is my verdict:

1. My Mate biscuits (Firstly if you're not local you need to know that Burton-on-Trent is the home of Marmite, a yeast extract that is a by-product of the brewing industry. You either love it or hate it - the saying goes).

I loved these biscuits. They contain wholemeal flour, self-raising flour, CHEESE, organic rapeseed oil, yeast extract and an egg glaze.

They were yummy.

2. Turkey and Rosemary biscuits (grain-free if your doggy diet requires it)

These may look like the My Mate biscuits, but they contain turkey and rosemary and egg glaze and organic rapeseed oil and Gram Flour.

These were also yummy. It's a good job the LOTH took her pictures quickly and gave me my taste - I tell you. That's a determined look in my eye. But I was very good and patient because I do have good table hand-to-floor manners.

3. Pork and Sage nibbles

These are GORGEOUS, I tell you.

They contain wholemeal flour, plain flour, pork mince, porridge oats, organic rapeseed oil and sage.

4. Apple and Mint biscuits

Made from wholemeal flour, rice flour, stewed apples, egg, mint and parsley.

They are supposed to make my breath smell nice? What are you saying? Can you tell I look a bit hurt in this picture?

However, I did like these biscuits too especially the pretty heart shape.

The good news is the biscuits last for up to three weeks in an air-tight container......but they didn't get chance to last any longer anyway.

Monday 6 June 2011

I've got my eye on you

Yesterday was the Man Of The House's birthday. It was one that ended in a big round number. That's all I've been told to say on the subject.

Anyway, having shared that with you I thought I'd share with you some of the lovely pictures he's been taking on our walks recently. The Lady Of The House bought him a camera for Christmas which means he can take pictures that allow him to zoom in really close.

Here's one of me - well, a bit of me.

Do you want to gaze into my eye a little closer?

The MOTH loves the little bees and bugs he sees (maybe it's because of his name?)

I love this picture of a Poppy's centre.

I know people think Dandelions are weeds - but they are really just plants that grow where some people sometimes don't want them. I think they are beautiful and I love all the smells in the hedgerows where they grow.

I hope you liked the MOTH's pictures.

Now a bit of sad news. Our lovely friend Sonja - who knitted my beautiful patchwork blanket for me - has today said a last goodbye to her beautiful, very regal and graceful cat Chloe (known to all as Dame Chloe) who was close to her 20th birthday.

Dame Chloe had been seriously ill for a while but the vet was keeping an eye on her and said she wasn't suffering and she was eating and enjoying her time with Sonja in her quiet way. But in recent days she took a turn for the worse and Sonja knew regretfully that it was time to take that hardest of all decisions.

We know Sonja's heart is breaking tonight but we know she's done the right thing by Chloe as she always did. We send them both all our love and we know you will too.