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Showing posts from February, 2011


I thought I would write a couple of words about Tilly, who has been staying with me for nearly two weeks now and has another few days to go. I had several goals to achieve when she first arrived. She had a habit of jumping up at people she met, which needed to be stopped. This has certainly improved and I have every confidence that come Friday, Tilly will be going home a reformed character. Her recall when there were distractions was not good. Through eye contact and respect, gained on walks, this has certainly been achieved. In our garden, she loved running after birds, with blackbirds a speciality! Yesterday's unexpected trial came as a real test, when she "put up" a pheasant right next to her. The command of "leave" then "Tilly, come", resulted with her by my side. Fantastic !

Roma has a friend !

Finally, after FIVE years or more, Roma has found a friend in Tilly, our lovely black Cocker from Shap, who's staying until Friday. Roma has always been the moody mutt, to put it bluntly. She's always appeared as a dog who would rather look down her nose as the others play, rather than joining in - but Tilly has changed all of that. Quite what she has is beyond me! But it's lovely to see the two of them playing like two young pups, for what seems an eternity. It won't just be me who misses Tilly at the end of this week. The top two photos show play - believe it or not, while the third one gives a better idea of how life in my home usually is !

Back !

After a few days away from the computer, I thought I'd return and say how things have been going. My guest dog Tilly has turned the corner and is now returning on the recall, even when on the scent - very rewarding. With eye contact now established, tomorrow I'll starting to cure her chasing of wildlife and interesting smells! The habit she had of jumping up has all but gone, which is just as well considering some of the wet weather of late. Nobody wants to be greeted with muddy paws! Tilly is a lovely dog, typical of the Cocker breed. Inquisitive, alert and just lovely. I may end up getting one myself !! And if Tilly and Fran's dog Maddy wasn't enough, we have another Cockerstaying!  Brook's back - to everyone's joy by the looks of the photos. Dogs love to experiance new bedding, whether it's too big or small......or even just right! And no dog proves that point more than Paul's dog Jaffa. Suffice to say, one word this old dog plays deaf to is &quo

Time for a rest...

The last 24 hours have been hectic. Yesterday I had a telephone interview with the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald about the business, then this afternoon I had the photographer come to take some pics. We walked down the road and I think that he took some good ones of me, Maddy, Tilly .......and Tilly ! (more later). Anyway, I'll have to see either this weekend or next. Yesterday evening I was on BBC Radio Cumbria's Dan Chisolm show. They wanted me to discuss aggressive dogs, which in the end, was fine. I was very nervous beforehand, but once in, the 10 minute slot went quickly and my nerves disappeared. Dexter's owner came to collect him today. The place seems a little bit bigger in his abscence. I'm pleased to have had the experiance of training him. He is such a different dog to that which arrived a month ago. His lovely owner was delighted with the way he now is. The hard work is now down to her to ensure that she sticks to the co

Coming to an end

Dexter is now in his final week and what a time he's had. I've often said it but I really am so very pleased with the way this dog has changed - and in such a short time. When he arrived he was very nervous and unsure but his confidence has really come on. No more nervous dribbling or worried look on his face. Fantastic! Lots of walks and training having made Dexter not only a better behaved dog but one who is far calmer. Being around other dogs has certainly helped, from little Brook who was so affectionate to him to little Roma, who was and is not averse to snapping at any dog who starts to irritate her (she is a touchy little thing !!!). The photos from yesterday show us with Tilly and Paul's dog Jaffa. Jaffa was a rescue dog who we bought for just a few pounds 12 years ago. A real Heinz dog, she epitomise the term "easy going".

Dexter the puppy

With Brook now gone, Dexter seems a little lost. However, a couple of good walks will soon cheer him up! He’s great fun to take on a walk. His size makes it very easy to forget that he’s only a year old, but I’m reminded of this when he suddenly starts to play, and the way he seems to bounce on the spot, ready to be “challenged”. Yesterday we went on two long walks and last night he was out for the count, sprawled out in the living room. Thankfully for me this continued throughout the night. I was very pleased with him yesterday. I had to leave him for a couple of hours as I dealt with Brook and her owners. In the past I was never too sure what I would find when he’d been left on his own but he’s come to respect my home. As such, I returned to find him half asleep with nothing damaged or out of place. Just what I wanted, for both for my home and for Dexter’s attitude to it.

Brook's packed....nearly

Our final night with Brook and I think it's been a very good month. She's increased her weight and learnt commands and manners she never knew existed!  At 6.5 months old she still has alot of play in her but Dexter or Fran's dog Maddy have been more than happy to help out there. The sock stealing thief is no more - now she'll pick up a sock and bring it to me, walking almost sideways while her tail wags furiously. And on the simple command of "dead", I have the sock in my hand ( before she goes off and looks for something else !). Typical trait of a Cocker. I'm looking forward to Brook's owners collecting her as I know they think the world of her and hope they'll be pleased with how they find she can behave and act. Dexter is now sleeping throughout the night and is a very relaxed dog. The sight of him jumping about wanting to play with Brook or Maddy is something to be seen - thankfully I have no fancy china! Again, I'm very pleased with

If Janet's wearing the lead .....

........ where's the dog ?

A Sunday morning stroll.............

.......there's nothing like it. Horizontal rain lashing into your face, the realisation that your 100% waterproof coat may be 90% at best. Thank goodness for the huge pile of towels I have! I'm drying off and warming up following a good walk and equally satisfying training session with Dexter. Fran came with her Palamino, Pan, so for once Dexter was looking up to something. But he was very chilled out about him, no panic attacks or anything. Brook will be exercised and trained in one of the local lanes soon. With so many large puddles around, the last thing I want is for water to get over the protective plastic bag I put on it every time she leaves the house. I'm particulary pleased with Dexter and these photos go to prove that he can do as told.

The beauty of long legs....

Dexter's long legs really came into their own today! While other dogs were trying their best to avoid some deep puddles on the walk, he was quite happy being on the lead and walking right through them! At the time Paul was with me and it was very satisfying to see Dexter behaving exactly as he should, but with a different person - and a man, rather than a woman. Walking on and off lead has become a joy. The dog who originally pulled when I first met him only two weeks ago has long gone, replaced by one who is really tuned into the person walking him. He was sound asleep by the fire when Brook ( cheeky as ever ), took one of his toys and had a jolly good game with it right next to him !! The difference in their sizes is amply demonstrated by the size of their paws. However, big or small, the main thing is that they both do as they're told - which they do.

We're Still Here !

After a few days away from the blog I thought I'd take the opportunity to recap on one or two things which have been going on. Unfortunately Brook has hurt her foot, so at the moment it has a bright red bandage around it. I have no idea what she did, as she's has been with me so much of the time. My vets - Frame & Swift in Penrith - have carried out various tests and x-rays and are a little puzzled themselves. No breaks, bruises or cuts etc. Thankfully, she's slowly on the mend and I'll be taking her back on Monday. As for Dexter. His training is really coming on very well and I'm pleased with his progress. However, he enjoys a nocturnal stroll - made easier by his ability to open doors! For the past two weeks I've been sleeping on the settee in an effort to make him stay on his own bed and he has slowly got the message!! This is not just for my benefit but also for that of his owner, who, when reunited, should also be able to have an undisturbed night!