Saturday, 12 November 2011

An afternoon and evening in Houghton

Rodders and I got in the car to head to my sister's to celebrate her birthday a day early with my three nieces.

As always, Rodders was quiet in the car, he settles very easily in his crate as long as he gets a treat as he is put in. We hadn't got far when OH called. This is the first time that the car phone has gone with Rodders in the car and as soon as he heard OH he started to cry, OH apologised and said he would go, I said he should stay talking to Rodders! It worked and Rodders stopped crying.

Once we got close to Houghton I rang to check they were there as I would need help to get everything out of the car. My sister suggested that I drove down the lane initially which I did. When I got there they were all having a picnic so I let myself in with Rodders and the first load, made sure he was OK and he and Finnan had a biscuit and went back for the 2nd load.

Everyone was looking at Rodders (well he is such a cute puppy) and not paying a lot of attention to Finnan so Kirsty took her in the garden. What did she do? She walked straight in to the pond, not the same one as last week either! She came out black and smelly and had to go straight in the bath and then be towelled off and blow dried. Rodders was very interested in all this activity, especially all the whinging Finnan was doing.

Kirsty and I nipped next door with Rodders to check it was OK for me to leave my car in their (huge) drive. They both came out to see Rodders and then let their dog out to meet him. She was a terrier like I have never seen before, black & tan, with big ears and like a slim doberman. she and Rodders got on really well and were prancing about head down and bum in the air for ages. It was so funny to watch.

Once Finnan was dry the girls wanted to go for a walk around the village and learn more about our old haunts, Lisa was a baby when we left in 1985 and the twins were not born until 1986. We turned right out of the cottage and went through the lanes, round the back of our ld family home and across the road to head down the lane to the Mill. Then back down Mill Street stopping off to see the progress on Kirsty's friends cottage which is being extended and then back through the centre of the village and back home. Rodders was very happy to trot along chasing Finnan or one of us and didn't sit down at all unless we had stopped to look at something.

On route we met up with an old friend and his Old English Sheepdog Puppy, Ziggy, who is 11 months old and HUGE! To start with Rodders wasn't sure what to make of this giant and kept his distance but as we all stood talking he got brave and went to have a closer look.

On our way back we met another miniature Schnauzer, Rodders was very interested and seemed to know that she was a kindred spirit.

Back at the cottage we all sat around drinking, eating, and chatting and laughing at Kirtsy's Wedding Album from 1975. Rodders curled himself up against Lisa's leg and had a snooze. This is very unusual as he normally needs to be with OH or me.

Rodders and Finnan didn't get along quite so well this week. Rodders has got braver and more playful and Finnan is an old lady who doesn't like playing with young whipper snapper's so there was a bit of grizzling from her. We left them to sort themselves out.

I took both of them in to the garden while the girls went through the Christmas Decorations that Kirsty is having to trim down. We have all come away with a selection of the ones she is happy to lose, the rest are going to a car boot sale next weekend. Rodders couldn't work out why he had to be on a lead (the garden is not secure) and didn't think it was fair as Finnan was loose. Sorry Rodders, but I know she won't run off and I am not so sure about you! Wonder if I could use a lunge rein on him!

Back inside we shut Finnan in the lounge with Kirsty and the girls so that I could give Rodders his supper. He ate most of it without any fuss although I did have to throw some kibble on the floor to get him to eat a bit more. Getting him to drink out of Finnan's water bowl was a bit more difficult.

We were going to the pub for an earlyish dinner so just before 7pm I out Rodders in the crate in the car and drove through the village to the pub, got out and walked away. I have never done this before and had no idea how he would react but this is the sort of time of day when he collapses so I hoped he would just sleep. He didn't make a sound as I left him and one of Kirsty's friends checked him on her way in, silence. I slipped out again while people were eating starters and all was quiet.

After I had eaten I was going to slip away, let Rodders out for a piddle and then head home. That didn't work, everyone wanted to see him and they all came out. After he had been given a fuss by everyone and had a snuggle with Colin we had a walk around the garden but there were too many new smells and people around so he wasn't interested in having a piddle so I out him back in the car.

Part way home OH rang, Rodders hadn't made a sound until then but he started crying again. It is so funny how OH has that effect on him. Once OH talked to him he went quiet again and we got home just before ten.

Rodders walked in the house and straight through to go out in the garden. He had a piddle and then came back in thinking he wanted a play. He chewed his bone while I made a cuppa but decided he would rather curl up on my lap. Once he was asleep I moved him and snuggle fleece to the floor. It has been a long day and he is exhausted.

We have another long day tomorrow. This is the plans for the grooming workshop - eeeek!

Time: workshop starting at 10am
a Lunch of jacket potatoes with a variety of fillings will be provided 
You will all receive a folder with handout sheets, note pads and pens for you all to make your own notes with, you are all welcome to bring your cameras to take before and after pictures or to photograph any other thing you think will help you to remember.
Please ensure your dogs are brushed through, we will cover brushing correctly and you will all be bathing and drying your dogs before trimming.
There are some spare overalls for those who do not have one yet.
Please remember to bring all your grooming equipment with you so we can show you how to use what you have or to tell you what you will need to groom your dog yourself.

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