Tuesday 23 August 2011

All the fun of Wyatt's fair

I am having a great time today at the country fair being hosted by Wyatt for his third birthday.

So I don't have much time to post.

Do stop by Wyatt's blog and see all his blogville friends having fun on the rides.

I got told off for standing up on my ride - but I've got the hang of it now.

Saturday 20 August 2011

Pink to make the boys wink

Today we went to Ashbourne Show.

This is a great agricultural show in Derbyshire about 40 minutes drive from our house organised every year by the Ashbourne Shire Horse Society. And when I say every year I mean the first one was held in 1881. Last year it was one of the first outings I went on with my family.

There are lots of horse competitions - and some people qualify for Horse Of The Year Show.

There are cows.

And sheep. These sheep were having a little chat with their neighbours.

There's lots of trade stands, and nice food, and I liked being with the family having a good look at everything and everyone.

Then it got REALLY exciting because we found the Retired Greyhound Trust stand run by Judith and John from Crossing Cottage Greyhound Rescue who looked after me until I found my forever and ever family. I LOVE them so much and it was so nice to see them, and they were pleased to see me too.

Then the Man Of The House said he thought the combination of my pretty pink grab collar and my blue collar and lead were confusing people who came to pet me about whether I was a boy or girl. So they bought me a NEW PINK collar and lead from the Crossing Cottage stand. (I bet Bunny will be really jealous!!!)

I also met some new nice friends who support the Retired Greyhound Trust and they are organising a greyhound walk around Barton Marina, also near to us, so we are going to go to that.

So, here's a chance for you to make some new friends too, on the Saturday Pet Blog Hop.

The Saturday Pet Blog Hop is 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 19 August 2011

A pleasant walk - spoiled (sometimes)

I guess many of you have had pleasant walks interrupted by unwanted attentions from dogs not on leads. It does wind me and the LOTH up like nothing else.

But this week we've had some nice walks and seen some fun things like this patch of thistles whose flowers had all turned to fluffy stuff that had covered the ground.

Then in Brook Hollows Spinney we got a good view of our friendly neighbourhood heron - who we have nicknamed Harry. He was having a paddle.

Other weeks it's not so peaceful though....which was why the LOTH and I really identified with this little letter (fact or fiction, who knows) which a friend of ours shared on Facebook recently.

So here it is for you to enjoy too. Hope your weekend is stress-free and fun.

Dear Neighbour,
It was good to meet you and your dog once again this morning. I’m sorry the circumstances were such that we couldn’t have a proper chat, but I’m afraid that being in a situation where I was restraining my four agitated and angry dogs whilst trying to ward your dog off with my foot as he tried to hump them indiscriminately wasn’t conducive to chit-chat.  

Unfortunately we have had similar encounters several times since you moved, and as my dogs are neutered males and spayed females who don’t appreciate your dog’s relentless advances things can get a little lively when we meet, so I thought perhaps a letter might help to break the ice as it were.  

I appreciate that your dog ran over two fields and nearly a quarter of a mile to get to mine, so it was going to take you a little time to get there to retrieve him. However, for next time I’d suggest spending 15 minutes standing two fields away angrily screaming his name possibly wasn’t the best use of your time. It hasn’t worked on any previous occasion and didn’t work this morning, so could I respectfully suggest that next time you cut that part out of the process and come and get your dog straight away?  

Anyway, I was certainly pleased to see you after 25 minutes of my dogs being humped, barged and jumped on. It was a shame that having finally managed to catch your dog and get hold of his collar you only let us get a few yards down the path before you released him, so he immediately came after us and the whole performance started again, but hey, that’s dogs for you – who in the world could have predicted he would do that?  

We did talk a little last time about how you could stop your dog continuously running off and bothering other dogs, and I’ll accept that you have indeed tried ‘everything’ – except training apparently. Or rewards, as he ‘should’ do what you tell him without them. Dogs are certainly clever animals, but I’d never before realised that they had a sense of ethics and obligation to do the right thing, I certainly learned a few things from our conversation. To think of all that time I’ve wasted with clickers and treats!  

On that subject, I’m still not entirely sure how smacking him when you do finally manage to get hold of him will make him easier to catch next time - perhaps you could talk me through that one next time we meet?  

We also briefly discussed that neutering might help curb his desire to streak off into the distance and hump anything that moved, but you mentioned that you were considering using him at stud in due course as he a Pedigree Labrador with Papers; and he’s Chocolate – that’s important apparently.  

Now I certainly can’t claim to know a lot about Labradors, but if the standard for the breed specifies a potato-shaped body and short, stumpy legs your boy is certainly a fine example and it would obviously be a shame to rob future generations of his genes; and he has Papers. I hate to break it to you, though - so does my newsagent but that doesn’t make me want to have his babies.  

You told me that you’d thought about an electric shock collar to tackle his tendency to run off, but were concerned about the cost. I’m sure the fact that you didn’t also mention any concerns about the effect of administering electric shocks on your dog’s physical and psychological wellbeing was merely an oversight, but I thought I’d slip it in here just in case it’s an aspect of these collars you may not have considered?  

Anyway, having come home and pondered our mutual problem, I hope you are as pleased as I am that I have managed to come up with a tried and tested 100% effective solution that requires no time, input or effort from you and costs only a few pounds.  

There is a handy little gadget that savvy dog owners have been using for many years to address your sort of problem. It’s very simple, a long strip of rope or leather with a loop at one end you can use as a handle, and a clever little clip at the other end that attaches to your dog’s collar (you might have seen that metal ring on his collar and wondered what it was for?). This brilliant device is called a lead - L.E.A.D. You attach it to your dog, hold the handle and hey presto, you have control of your dog and he can no longer run away! Most pet shops sell them – in fact I probably have a spare I can loan you to try, just let me know.  

You can thank me next time we meet.

Or better still, if we don't meet that will be thanks enough.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

I see ice cream

That looks nice. Is there some for me?

I don't think the Girl Of The House wants to share.

It's nearly gone, but she's looking at her phone. Is this my chance to sneak a bite?

Aww! She saw me coming and moved it.

I don't think it's going to be my day for ice cream.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Happy Barkday, dear Sugar...

.....Happy Barkday to you.

How beautiful does sweet Sugar look! 
A smile certainly is contagious.

But my smile's not quite as wide as Sugar's but it is just as happy.
Hope you have lots to smile about today too.

Here's my friend Biscuit who wants to say Happy Birthday to Sugar too.
Biscuit doesn't have a blog (yet!) but he DOES have a beautiful smile.

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Canal boat dog day

I think I harbour an ambition to be a canal boat dog - like Jim and Jess and other lucky hounds I sometimes see sailing regally past as I walk the pathways.

So it was fun to go to the BIG Inland Waterways Festival which was held just a hop, a skip and a splash from my home.

As we got close to Shobnall Fields, where the festival was, there were lots and lots of boats moored along the canal through Burton-on-Trent. The Man Of The House looked off once side of the bridge - and I looked the other way so between us we didn't miss a thing.

It was a lovely hot, sunny day and inside the festival there was a fun fair, and bands playing, and lots of charity stalls and trade stands and nice food.

This boat was on the grass for people to look round. Maybe it was for people who hadn't got their sea legs yet, or those who couldn't swim.

I liked the boats that where on the water. I think I'd like a holiday on a boat one day.

These Vikings seemed to be having a rest in the arena - like I do after a walk. The Lady Of The House said they were playing dead as part of a battle re-enactment. But I think she was wrong. I think they were just snoozing in the sunshine.

Anyway, before I go can I ask a quick favour? My friend Frankie tends to jump in the water a lot when her 'dad' goes out in his canoe and her 'mum' wants to get her a dog life jacket/buoyancy aid. Although Frankie swims they'd feel safer if she had a jacket. But her 'mum's' really confused about how many different makes and types there are. If anyone has any recommendations for good websites (especially UK ones), or what to look out for they would be very grateful.

Sorry I'm not posting as often these days, but the LOTH is busy with other writing to keep me in the style to which I have rapidly grown-accustomed and she keeps hoping the computer. I am REALLY trying to visit you all as often as I can and I do post the odd quick update on my Facebook page when I can.

Thanks also to all those of you spread the word about the Nowzad Dogs fund to get Tundra out of Afghanistan to a new home in America. It worked!! Hurray!!

Monday 1 August 2011

My year in pictures

Hard to believe - but August 1 is my first anniversary.

A year ago today I was led out of my kennel at Crossing Cottage Greyhound Sanctuary in Lincolnshire and over to a blue car. I jumped in the boot and after a drive of about an hour I walked into this house - and lay straight down in the living room with a contented sigh.

I knew that after a long time, I was finally home.

So I thought I'd do a little review of the last 12 months in pictures. Those of you have been with me from the early days of my blog will recognise some of these pictures below. Forgive me for re-running my favourites. 

I'd also like to thank everyone who has read my ramblings and looked at my pictures here and on Facebook over the last year.I never thought anyone would (unless I forced them)

I had no idea I would make SO MANY good friends through blogging - and that I would meet the nicest dogs and people (yes...and CATS) in the world.

I love it when we make each other laugh and when we can raise awareness of the great work of charities and rescues across the globe. Thanks for all the help and advice and here's to the next 12 months of my happy-ever-after.

This is the picture that my new-family-to-be first saw on the Crossing Cottage, Retired Greyhound Trust website - and they say they fell a little bit in love with me on the spot. 

In July 2010, the family drove out to meet me and take me for a little walk. I was very sad in the kennels and John and Judith said I would really like to go to a home with no other dogs (and definitely no cats, I'm afraid). My family needed to make sure the Boy Of The House was OK with me as he's very nervous of dogs. Luckily we all hit it off from the start.

When they went away I was a bit sad again - but they were soon back to collect me and bring me home - where I was soon perfecting the art of relaxation.

But I do love my walks and we've been out in all weathers as the year has gone by.

I have added my own personal touch to the back garden and shown them how I used to run during my racing career.

Christmas was fun and I loved my presents

I improved my social skills at the Spring Fair that the LOTH organised in aid of the Retired Greyhound Trust where I met some more greyhounds and we showed people what great pets we make.

In May it was my 9th birthday and I got a special cake made from beef. A Beef-day Cake!

I have really enjoyed going to the parties that my new friends in Blogville organised

And now it is summer again - and the sun has been shining for my anniversary.

Thank you again for your friendship.

Love and licks, Winnie