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Welcome to the Dog Blog.   I've made this page because sometimes it's good to share something interesting or even something amazing.  Some of the previous articles can be found here. 7> 6> 5> 4> 3> 2> 1>

Tuesday 9th July - Why Agility Bits has been so quiet

Oh dear what a lot has happened to us in the last three months.  Jilly is a delight and is growing fast.  Sasha loves having a playmate and they go everywhere together.  We're so privileged to have found this little puppy. 

We have been to various training classes and events and we have been so busy.  Unfortunately Bernie has also been very ill in hospital and is now on dialysis for the forseeable future.  This is why Agility Bits has been so quiet lately.  We are happy to report that he's now out of hospital and is doing well.  He has started to come out for short walks again with the dogs and both Jilly and Sasha are very excited to have him home again. 

Dogs love it when the whole pack is together and ours are no exception.  Here's Bernie on an evening walk when it's not so hot and the dogs can enjoy running around. 




Saturday 6th April

Jilly has now been with us since April Fool's day and she's already grown a bit.  It looks as if she's going to be a promising gardener and hopefully Sasha can teach her. 

Sasha generally helps me dig the vegetable garden at this time of the year.  I turn the soil over and she breaks up the clods of earth by digging.  Together we get the work done very quickly.  Jilly has quickly cottoned on to the idea of gardening but  perhaps not in a very helpful way yet.  Still, we don't want to dampen her enthusiasm.

      Above:  Checking the compost to see if it's OK to plant the lilies.

      Below:  We have to make sure Bernie's got it right.




Left:  The all important taste test.

Tuesday 5th March - Puppy pictures imminent

After weeks of searching we have found a new little puppy to join our family.  Jilly will join us on April Fools Day and we're so excited!  She's the little one with the white zig zag at the bottom of the picture.

Jilly is a sprollie.  Mum is a collie and Dad is a black and white springer spaniel.  It was an accidental mating and Mum will spayed as soon as she has recovered from rearing her litter.  Sasha isn't particularly impressed.  At three and a half weeks puppies are no good for playing with! 

Having a new puppy brings enormous responsibilities.   It means we'll miss all our shows in April and May as puppies have to be four calendar months old to go to a KC show.  At UKA shows, puppies as young as six weeks can attend as long as they are kept safe and not put under any stress.  One thing we can do is to take the dogs along to the set up days before the shows.  This is an ideal introduction to agility shows for a little puppy.  Setting up a show is a lot of fun and everyone is much more relaxed than on the show day.  When all the rings are set up and the equipment is out we go off to play with it and have some fun competition.  I'm sure there will be no shortage of puppy sitters while I run Sasha.  It will also give Jilly a chance to have a little walk around an agility ring and see all the equipment.


Tuesday 19th February - Warning, Serial Cake Eaters at Large

It was a lovely sunny day and we had decided to go to Pencarrow House for the special "Snowdrop Sunday" event. We went early to get a parking space but no sooner had we got there than Bernie said,
"Oh look, there's some cake stalls and I'm hungry.  I'm going to get a cake" and off he went with a pocket full of change and a big grin.  He came back munching happily and we set off for our walk round the lovely gardens.  We didn't get very far.

"I'm hungry," said Bernie as we got to the path near the lake, "I'm going to eat my Wagon Wheel.""A Wagon Wheel!"  I said in astonishment, "have you got worms?" but he couldn't speak with his mouth full of chocolate and so we walked on. 

It was a beautiful day.  Sasha said hello to all the dogs and visitors and she was so polite I was worried.  It didn't last.   Soon Lady Molesworth had told her off for wanting to jump on a new and rare variety of daffodil and has sent her away to jump on something more common.  Sasha replied by barking and diving in the stream and then she looked around for somewhere to go and do her party piece. She had saved this up until she found some people sitting on a seat.  As she drew level she stopped and shook herself and trotted off with a grin. 
"Thank you, " they said as muddy droplets flew through the air.  We apologised profusely and hurried on but by the time we got back to the house Bernie was grumbling again.  "I'm starving, I need something to eat." 

By this time I was peckish too and we went in search of food. A bowl of soup and a roll later and Bernie said he was still hungry so he set to on the most enormous slice of cake you've ever seen.  This time he only managed to eat half of it.

"My eyes are bigger than my belly."  He wrapped the cake up and asked me to carry it, (why do men do always do this?) and I put it in my bag along with Sasha's treats. 

After lunch we went to speak to the ladies who were running the cake stalls and raffles.  The whole event was in aid of Canine Crusaders, a local rescue centre.  I asked if they had any very young dogs that would like agility and become our new family member.  They didn't unfortunately but they did have lots of cake and home made dog treats.  They also had special cup cakes for dogs so I bought one for Sasha.  She licked the cream cheese off the top and then swallowed the rest whole.  Honestly, Sasha never tastes her food.  While everyone was watching so see who was going to win the battle of the rest of the cup cakes I bribed Sasha into doing a trick.  "It's a dancing dog," they said as she lifted each of her front paws and twirled.  I gave her a sweetie and swiftly got her away from the cakes and whatever was in a bag under the table.  I still don't know what it was but some of it went in Sasha's tummy before we made a bolt for it. 

On the way back to the car I noticed Bernie was carrying a bag.

"What have you bought?" I asked.

"Cakes," he said, "For when we get home."


Pictured right:  A dog with belly full of cup cake and something stolen from under a table.


Monday 11th February - Are you Mummy and Daddy to your dog?

We are definitely Mummy and Daddy.  The vet is Aunty Nicky or Aunty Anna or whoever else is on duty.  Our friends are all aunties and uncles and Daddy's mother was Grandma.  The Tesco man is the sweetie man and the builders are the Really men.  (This comes from Faulty Towers when Manuel asked a builder called O'Reilly if he was the "Really man".)  As for dogs knowing their family as Mummy and Daddy, Aunty and Uncle etc. I know exactly where this comes from and it has nothing to do with being soppy. It all started like this.


Photo right: Daddy's Woodgie Woo and Sweetie Pie




Long, long ago, when people began to go to dog training classes, we would set off once a week to gather in the village hall with our dogs.  When the class began we would tramp round and round in a group while the trainer called out instructions. 

"Forward, Halt, Forward, Halt. Leave your dogs, call your dogs." 

We all knew the trainer's name and in a very short time we all knew the dogs' names.  We were mostly training in a big group and different people would join and leave the group from week to week.  We never kept track of each other's names.  The dogs' names may have stuck but it was so much easier for a gang of absent minded females to know each other as Rosie's Mum or Ben's Mum.  We all did it.  Every single one of us. It saved all the bother and embarrassment of saying, "I'm sorry, I can't remember your name."  Sometimes it went even further and if you met someone from the class in the street they would introduce you to other people as Rosie's mum or Ben's mum. It seemed perfectly normal.  There is still a village nearby where half the population thinks I have a daughter called Hazel. 

Photo left: Mummy's little Hazel Wazel Pazel bunch



And so the idea of being Mummy or Daddy to your dog was born.  I know this is true and that it has nothing to do with being soppy.  I promise you that a certain hairy husband has never called his dog, "Come to Daddy Woodgie Woodgie Woo," and a certain elderly and rather matronly lady has never called her dog, "Come to Mummy Sweetie Weetie Pie."  As if we would be so silly.  Being Mummy and Daddy to the family dog is perfectly normal and purely a matter of convenience.  There, you feel better now don't you?
                                                                     Photo right: My little sweetie pie.

Photos below:  Penny Wenny, Cider Wider Pider and Tilly Wumps.


25th December - What did your dog have for Christmas?

Sasha woke us up at 4.30 in the morning wanting to open her presents. Half an hour later we said seeing as we were awake now so we might as well start Christmas day....



Left to right above: A holee ball, head in sweetie box, a tuggy, and the paper's fun to play with as well.

Sunday 11th November

On 11th November 2012 our beloved Jamie passed away.  He was 15. 

He always enjoyed a good bark and a run in the fields but his favourite activities were agility and fetching things.  Just two days before he died he had a grand time running over some poles on the ground and through the tunnel.  Then he fetched all his toys for titbits just as he always did. 

The end came very peacefully at home.  We miss him so much and he will always have a special place in our hearts. 

I would like to thank healer Monica Acosta Baptista for all the healing that she channelled when Jamie needed it and also all the other people who sent healing thoughts.  I know it helped. 

Later that day I remembered something that had happened a few weeks before.  Jamie was sleeping peacefully but suddenly he looked up and looked across the room.  It was as if he had seen someone walk into the room.  His face showed first astonishment and then pleasure and he began to wag his tail.  We had seen that look so many times before when he saw old friends or met dogs that he knew.  A little shiver went down my spine. He was greeting an old friend and I knew that this could be someone he would see again soon in another world.

The week before Jamie passed away we went to a match but we left early because he was feeling tired.  On the way home we saw two of the most beautiful rainbows.  They were just like a bridge.... I know we'll meet him there one day  and he'll be with all the other dogs we've ever loved.  See you on the other side our beloved boy.

Monday 5th November

That moment when you're walking a course and you realise everyone is laughing.  You don't know why they're laughing but gradually it dawns on you that all of them are looking in your direction. It's not just a little giggle either.  It's a great big side splitting, finger pointing, tear stained belly laugh that is making everyone turn and look.



The first thing I did was to check and make sure I'd got my  clothes on.  Mine all appeared to be present and correct. 

Was it perhaps one of the club members up their tricks again pinning funny notices to people's backs and then laughing hysterically?  (They did this to Bernie and they took photos before someone told him.)



I checked.  There was nothing on my back, so I confronted them. 

"What are you all laughing at?"

This produced a fresh round of hysteria but eventually someone choked out a reply.

"It's Bernie.  He's won Fifty Shades of grey in the raffle." 

This was enough to set them all off again and then I made it worse by asking, "What's fifty shades of grey?"

It must have been a full five minutes before they were able to tell me it was a dirty book.  Worse!  It wasn't just  a dirty book it was a filthy book.

"Oh,"  I said, "I thought for a minute you were going to say he'd won a box of condoms," and off they went again into fresh hysterics.

"He'll need them after he's read that!"

Now, what I want to know is how did they all know what the book was about?  Had they all sneaked off somewhere and had a quick read or was it someone's Christmas present from last year?   And then of course there's the question of who had donated it in the first place?  Whoever it was it certainly beat the tub of stuff for ingrowing toenails that I won earlier this year and it gave everyone a good laugh.   

Just for the record Bernie put the book back for the next raffle.  The next morning he said,

"I've run out of something to read!"


Wednesday 17th October

I'm fed up.  I got up this morning hoping I was going to have another day's fun barking at the builders and I ended up at the vet's!  A horrible woman carted me out the back and stuck needles in me.  Apparently it's some sort of blood test I had to have so that I can have pills for creaky joints.  I got my own back though.  I showed my teeth and growled and then I did a great big poo.   My mum asked the vet if the poo was nice and firm.  Honestly! they get obsessed with what comes out of our back ends. The vet said it was nice and firm, so then we went home.  My mum was laughing on the way back though.   "That's my boy" she said.  "Keep them on the back foot."


Sunday 16th September - The gruesome twosome take up flyball

A little while ago our club bought a flyball set and yesterday we decided to go and make use of it at one of the flyball lessons.  I don't know if you've ever done flyball but it looks great.  The dogs are having a whale of a time as they race up and down over the jumps.  There's usually a lot of noise and the air is charged with excitement as the humans egg them on with encouragement and silliness.  It's a noisy happy sport, or at least it was until Sasha and Jamie changed the rules.

Now the gruesome twosome haven't informed the Kennel Club yet but the rules of flyball shall henceforth be altered to include the points below.

After two goes over four little jumps to fetch a ball back to an ungrateful human the dog shall not be expected to repeat the exercise.  The four little jumps are clearly not going anywhere and so any further repetition is pointless.

If the ungrateful humans really want a ball you may pick one out of the bucket of balls they've left lying around and offer it to the human.  (See the photo on the left in which Sasha has her head in a whole big bucket of balls)

In the event of the human refusing the ball you may go and bark at the ball loader to see if it will give you a freebie to take back.  You don't need to do any jumping to achieve this.  Just go and bark and see what happens.  (see photo below)



If the ungrateful humans expect you to go over the jumps again to get a ball then the dog will not be penalised if it takes the ball and runs back alongside the jumps.

The ball throwing thing at the end of the jumps is useless.  It's even worse at throwing than the average human.  This contraption should henceforce be abandoned and replaced by a human who can attempt to throw the ball properly or the ball should just be left on the ground where the dog can pick it up if it feels like it.  A toy can be substituted for a ball.  (see photo left)


Older dogs should not be expected to jump anything even it's only 2 inches high.  The ball should be placed on the ground for them to fetch if they feel inclined but if they don't want to fetch then the dog should be given a biscuit and drink of water and left in peace to sniff.  

Our mum has insisted that there should be at least one video of one of us making some effort.

(We aren't telling her that it was quite fun really and we loved going to visit Ruth who gave us the lesson.)






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