Saturday, 30 June 2012

A little light

Rodders recall has always been somewhat iffy but recently there has been a real change in him, it is like a little light has come on in his head and he realises what I want. Now, when I call him, he usually comes bounding towards me, he will also react to hand signals or a whistle.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule and, being a stubborn Schnauzer, Rodders has a few exceptions.

1. He will run all the way to the other side of a field, ignoring me completely, so that he can say hello to another dog and will then come back to me. Eventually! Occasionally I can even stop him in his tracks and get him to come back before he has said hello.

2. The exception to rule number one is when he hears a specific dog whistle. He know it is Dave and his three springer spaniels and he runs off to join in their fun. There is no way he will come back to me then. Luckily Dave knows Rodders very well and his digs are incredibly obedient. Dave Just gets his dogs to sit and wait until I catch up. We sometimes walk a little way together or I put Rodders on his lead and take him away. Dave thinks he wants to be an honorary Springer and has been encouraging Rodders in to the puddles and bushes!

3. If Rodders is in the garden and any of the neighbours are in the garden he likes to bark at them (to let them know he is there of course!) and will not come in. He always has to have the last bark too. I have resorted to bribery on occasions and use a treat or a toy to get him back. As a last resort I have been known to go out there and pick him up.

A professional groom

Although I trim Rodders at home myself I want him to have a professional groom a couple of times a year (so that I have decent lines to follow) and so I booked him in to see Dannie and Linda at Mr Groom in Harlow.

I had to warn them that he REALLY does not like having his ears done and seems frightened by it, so much so that my poor little boy wet himself the last time I tried.

It felt very strange to walk away without him but I took myself off to try out the delights of Harlow for just over 2 hours until I could go and get him back. I have to say that Harlow is not the most exciting town centre I have been too but I had a wander around the shops and got myself a cuppa and a sandwich.

When I got back to pick Rodders up I was gutted to be told that he his mouth had made contact with Dannie's hand and that they had decided to muzzle him for his own safety. He had tolerated them doing his ears with one of them holding him in a towel and the other plucking. He was very pleased to see me and wanted straight up for a snuggle and to cover me in licks. Then he couldn't wait to get the hell out of there!

But what a smart boy I brought home!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

What is in my garden?

Rodders asked to go out quite early this morning and I was watching him from the kitchen window. He was happily sniffing about and as he approached the tree ( a weeping thing that comes right down to the grass) he suddenly got spooked by something and shot back towards the patio sideways. He then started barking, a low deep bark that I haven't heard before.

I went outside to see if I could find out what the matter was and to calm him down. Rodders wasn't having any of it, he just kept barking at the tree from a distance. Eventually a cat shot out from under it and leapt over the fence.

Rodders carried on barking even after the cat had gone so I had to bring him inside.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Daily fun with the 5 o'clock club

Rodders and I still join the gang up on the rugby club at 5 0'clock most evenings, in fact he barks the house down from me getting home from work until I have changed and put my coat on and we are heading out the door. He really loves running about and playing with his friends and he usually comes home starving and exhausted.

He can be a bit of a monkey though and will run off towards any other dog he see's which is not always a good thing as not all dogs are friendly and he has ended up being bowled over and pinned down a couple of times now.

There are some dogs that he just cannot resist running after and I have to work hard to keep him with me, not that I always succeed. He loves Dave and his three Springers, Dave uses a whistle and once Rodders hears it he is usually off and running to wherever they are on the field. I know that the Springers will not harm him in any way but I wish I could get Rodders to come back to me, but this is a work in progress. Usually I end up having to walk the width of the field to collect him while Dave keeps his dogs close to give me a chance to catch him. They are such well behaved dogs, I dream of having that sort of control.

Rodders isn't very happy with the boisterous dogs and when Higgins and Oscar are running about playing he usually stays very close to me one one of the other owners and barks and bounces as they run past. From the very shy puppy he used to be he is friendly and confident with everyone and is quite happy to have a fuss or be picked up for cuddles. Unfortunately this has also led on to another problem. When he is getting treats from them he can get a bit naughty if any of the other dogs are trying to get in on the act. We are now working to stop this, so far he has been put back on his lead and given a time out, as this isn't being very successful we are now trying clipping him on his lead and walking straight of the field. We will see how this goes.

Been away too long! Did I mention Dovedale?

I can't believe it is almost 2 months since I last updated, where has the time gone?

So many things have happened and Rodders has changed so much and had so many new experiences.

The hi-light has to be our weekend away in the Peak District for the Mother of all Schnauzer Walks. We went up on the saturday morning and came home on Sunday afternoon and spent both days walking with lots of lovely Schnauzers of all shapes and sizes - about 60 over the two days. All the dogs loved it and us owners had a great time too, chatting as we walked. Some people camped, others in caravans, the less hardy of us were in hotels or B&B's and the lucky ones were able to stay home as we were close enough for them to drive one each day. We walked for about 6 miles on the first day and 3 on the second day. One sticky moment was when Rodders spotted some ducks in the stream and went wading in to try and get his own dinner, luckily his recall worked and he came back to me when asked.

We also crossed a stream twice using stepping stones, Rodders was brilliant and crossed by himself, I was a little nervous and wobbly!

Everywhere you looked each day there were Schnauzers!

We had such a great time that we plan on doing it again next year!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

How clever is Rodders!

It was my birthday this week and Rodders managed to buy, write and post a card to me and buy presents. How clever is he?

I suspect he had some help from OH, but still!

I had a lovely day although it was very wet for a lot of it. Rodders and I started with a walk around the rugby field in the rain, then home for me to have a shower.

We then had a bit of a lazy morning until my sister arrived with presses and cards galore. Rodders then got left at home while Kirsty and I went to do a bit of shopping, had a lovely lunch out and a nice afternoon at The Rex Cinema in Berko seeing the Best Ever Marigold Hotel. A really nice, gentle film with a brilliant cast in fantastic surroundings - The Rex is a reclaims art deco cinema and is just stunning inside. It is all very civilised and we chose to sit downstairs around little tables in very comfy red leather seats. There is a bar at the back selling drinks, sweets and chocolates.

Back home and I was pleased to see that Skevi, our lady that does, was here and had let Rodders out. as he had been on his own for quite a while. As soon as he saw me he started barking as he wanted to go up the field. I managed to keep him quiet for a little while but gave in and put on our wet weather gear and headed out. When it was obvious that the rain wasn't stopping and was coming down harder Rodders and I headed for home so he didn't get to play for as long as normal. He wasn't happy and kept stopping and pulling to go back. I stomped on and suddenly found myself with just a lead and collar! Rodders had just stopped and sat down patiently waiting for me to go back and out the collar back around his neck.

An hour or so later we headed to dog training (I will write more about this but it deserves a separate post) where we got very wet and muddy. Luckily OH was one and was waiting for us at the door with towels to dry Rodders off with. This gave me time to get my wet clothes off and have a quick wash before my beautiful nieces arrived for a birthday tea of takeaway pizza's and a few glasses of wine.

They are lovely but can be a little loud and overwhelming, poor Rodders didn't know what to do and bolted for OH in the conservatory where he tried to climb up his leg! OH picked him up and calmed him down until things were quieter.

I was thoroughly spoilt with presents and birthday cake. It really was a lovely day.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Recall - a different tack

While we were up with the 5 o'clock club today Rodders tried to run off a couple of times and I didn't follow him.

Instead I crouched down as I called him and he stopped, looked at me and came bounding back looking very happy with himself. Each time he got lots of fuss and a treat for being such a good boy.

We then saw Kevin, Jane and Polo on the field and wandered down to meet them. Rodders was happy saying hello and trotted back up the field with us all before diverting off for a poo. I bagged it up and then made my way to the poo bin and called for him to come with me which he did.

Once we were at the poo bin he spotted Polo again and wanted to go off to play. As they were walking away from us I crouched down and called him back. He came running back and Kevin and Jane were impressed at how well he was behaving.

And then it all went wrong! We had made our way back to the 5 o'clock club and Rodders was playing happily, especially as his girlfriend Piper had arrived. Then he spotted Polo the other side of the field and he took off. I tried calling him back but he wasn't paying any attention at all so I started to walk towards him, calling him periodically. Once I was within 25 feet of him he suddenly realised what I wanted and came bounding over. I wasn't best pleased and put him on his lead using the choke chain this time.

We walked back across the field with him at heel and he was made to sit at my feet while the others played. We will get the hang of this and I will be able to trust him!

Recall and well behaved dogs

We have a chap called Dave locally with three brilliantly trained Springer Spaniels. Watching him work with them is a joy, they are so well behaved. He can make them sit in a row and walk the full length of the field before calling one of them to him, the other two will stay where they are until they are called, just amazing!

Occasionally he will come over and going the 5 o'clock club and let his dogs run about and play with the others so Rodders knows them quite well.

One Friday recently Dave was the opposite side of the field training his dogs. He had got them all to sit and had walked away when another dog went over towards them and one broke away. Dave went back to them and made it sit. He walked away again and his dogs were just sat there when Rodders spotted them and went over to disrupt them. I was calling him back and walking towards him but he wasn't listening. Poor Dave gave up at that point and let them all have a run around together. I eventually caught up with Rodders and put him on his lead.

Twice since then Dave has been on the field with his dogs and Rodders has broken away to go and say hello. The first time Dave got his dogs to sit and stay once he saw that Rodders was ignoring me and I had to go all the way across the field to get him. The second time Dave had to get his dogs to sit and stay and I got Rodders to come back to me when I was about 25 feet away.

Each time I have thanked Dave and apologised to him. I envy his dogs behaviour.

Recall and agressive dogs

Rodders can be a little angel and come back when called or he can be a complete nightmare and go deaf on me and refuse to return, this is usually when there are more exciting things to be doing like saying hello to other dogs.

One of the joys of the 5 o'clock club is that the dogs all get on and have a great time playing and running after each other. The other dog owners are all great and seem to know every dog in the area so can warn me if there are any particularly aggressive dogs in the vicinity. If I have warning I can make sure that Rodders is engaged in something either with me or one of his play mates and know that he will not run off.

A week or so ago there was a lady walking two jack russell's along the opposite edge of the rugby field, one on a lead and one off and I was warned that they didn't socialise too well with other dogs at all, especially the one on the lead. Rodders seemed to be OK and was staying close so, foolishly, I didn't put him back on his lead.

All of a sudden he spotted them and ran off towards them to say hello, taking Higgins with him. Higgins came back when called but Rodders just kept going. I was walking towards him and calling him but he was still running towards them. Luckily he had enough sense to know that these dogs were not friendly and he backed off. The little horror still wouldn't come back to me though and went off to have a sniff around the rugby posts. When I caught up with him he got put on his lead and marched back across the field where he was made to sit rather than interact with his friends.

Last week we saw them again and they were quite a distance away walking along the fence around the main rugby pitch. Again I didn't put Rodders on his lead, you would think that I would learn.

Rodders was playing happily when one of the other dogs, Teddy, spotted them and started heading towards them with Rodders happily trotting off after him. Teddy came back when called, Rodders didn't. By this stage the two dogs were about three quarters of the way along the fence and the woman walking them could see that Rodders was not coming back despite me calling him. She picked up the more aggressive  dog and walked briskly away with her other dog following but stopping to sniff every now and again, he wasn't in any rush to go home it would seem. Rodders said hello to the other dog, looked at me and decided he would rather follow them.

I kept calling him to come and was walking towards him all the time. I am aware that running towards him isn't a good idea and I know that walking away from him works when there are no other dogs around but I was worried about him actually getting off the field, especially as this was traffic side and not the Nicky Line side.

By this time I had got almost the full width of the field and the woman was off the field and on the path still trying to get her other dog to come to her. All of a sudden Rodders hearing came back and he realised that I was calling him. He stopped, turned, looked at me and came trotting over as though he had been listening all the time.

Again he was put back on his lead and marched back across the field and made to sit at my feet while his pals played.

After a few days away

The day after we got home from a few days away Rodders was exhausted and, after a short morning walk, was happy to snooze they day away. Until about 4pm.

From then he was pacing up and down and barking, heading to the front door and back to me to bark again, on and on it went. He was obviously telling me that it was time to go and meet the 5 o'clock club to tell them about his great time away.

At 4.45 I couldn't stand it any more and we headed off up to the rugby field. Rodders was gutted when we got there and nobody else was there and seemed quite deflated. We walked twice around the field and were about to give up and head home when we spotted Judy and Brewster. Rodders was very excited as he raced towards him and after an initial greeting they were soon scurrying about as normal. Gradually all the usual suspects turned up and Rodders was delighted to sat hello to his pals again.

After an hour he headed home with me quite happily and wasn't even bothered when I put him in his crate and headed out for an evening with my own friends.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Friday by the sea

Rodders and I had breakfast with OH before he had to head off for work.

We then had a play around with the ball in the garden before Rodders finished his breakfast (what he left over from supper the night before) and then a bit of a snooze while I sat quietly reading my book.

As I packed the last of my things in to the car Rodders was a very good boy and waited on the path for me.  We dropped the key off in reception and Sue had a last snuggle with Rodders before I popped him in the car and headed for Hayling Island. We did a Schnauzer Walk on the Billy Trail back in February so we aimed for there. It was a really lovely morning and we were very happy ambling along there looking at the spring flowers and blossom.

If you look closely at this photo you can see the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, I love this building!

We saw a few other people around, mainly on bikes, a couple on horses and a few dog walkers. Rodders was happy to let us carry on our way as long as he could say hello to the dogs first. The last dog we met was a Giant Schnauzer called Blue.

Rodders was OK as I had brought his travel water bottle with me so he had stopped for a drink a couple of times but I was getting thirsty so we went in to Hayling Island and parked up to find somewhere for me to get a cuppa. We found a cafe with tables outside where you can order from a window at the front -  very useful when you have a puppy with you! We sat in the sunshine for almost a hour, me reading a book and Rodders watching the world going by from under the table. He did get a bit vocal when he spotted another dog but he really was very good.

We had a quick wander about to check out the shops, it didn't take long! I also spotted a lady with about a dozen chihuahua's (one in a pushchair and the others trotting along side her) and so turned around fairly quickly before Rodders noticed them.

Once back in the car we headed towards Littlehampton to see my friend Mike. It was lovely to catch up and I showed him how to throw together a Macaroni Cheese before we took Rodders for a run on the beach.

He really loved it, so last night with OH wasn't a one off. He was zooming about having a great time. He wasn't too sure about the waves trying to chase him up the beach though! So please my little boy loves the seaside.

We left Mike just after 7 in the hope that the usual Friday traffic on the M25 had eased off a bit and we got home just before 9. Rodders was happy to follow me backwards and forwards as I emptied the car. He was very tired after all the activity of the last few days and didn't want any supper though.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

An open crate

I quickly changed and we headed off for dinner. Again Rodders was really well behaved and he got to meet another dog as we came out as the owners son was working in reception and had his Cavalier with him.

Rodders wasn't very interested in his supper tonight and only ate half of it.

OH decided that he would just put Rodders in the crate but not shut it. Madness I thought, I was sure that Rodders would be out of it in 5 minutes but I was proved wrong again. He curled up and went straight to sleep and there wasn't a movement until 5.50am when he shook himself and then climbed out to go and find OH.

He got lots of fuss and praise for being such a good boy.

On the beach

I wanted OH to be there when Rodders got his first run on the beach so we headed back across to Branksome Chine. OH got changed in the car and then we let Rodders out of his crate. He was very excited once he realised OH was there.

We headed on to the beach and Rodders was really funny, he seemed to like the change of texture under his feet and started to zoom about. I had taken his ball launcher with us and he was quite happy chasing after it as he ran about. He did go near the water but wasn't too sure what to make of the waves coming towards him so didn't hang about for too long.

Unfortunately the weather changed very quickly and heavy rain started to come down so we headed back to the car after about 10 minutes.

The roads were awful as we headed back to the hotel and we had to divert off through the new forest due to an accident so we were a bit late back.

A day at the seaside

Rodders and I joined OH for breakfast and Rodders was nearly as well behaved as he was at dinner the night before. He did bark when OH left the table to go to the buffet to get his fruit and yoghurt but was quiet other than that.

After breakfast we grabbed our bags and drove OH to work in Poole. This was the first time OH had done a longer journey with Rodders in the car and he commented that you would not know he was there, once the car is moving Rodders just settles down and doesn't make a sound.

Once we had dropped off OH we headed out to Sandbanks and I parked the car. The forecast was for rain showers through the day so I opened the boot to let Rodders see what was going on while I put on my waterproof trousers, boots and coat before letting him out of his crate.

Today was going to be Rodders first visit to the seaside and I hoped he was going to love it as much as me. The plan was to walk along the promenade from Sandbanks towards Bournemouth and back. Almost as soon as we started moving Rodders seemed to be excited by the sea air and he was bouncing around like a spring lamb as she you can see on the video below.

We met lots of dogs on our way and Rodders wanted to say hello to all of them. Some stopped and some didn't (especially the one out jogging with his owner!). We stopped part way at Branksome Chine for a sit in the sunshine and to let Rodders have a drink and then a bit further on for me to pick up a cuppa. Once we were within reach of the pier we turned around and headed back. Rodders still seemed to be full of energy and was still skipping along, paying attention to everything going on around him.

Once we were back at Sandbanks I let him have another drink and we had a sit down before going in to the Jazz Cafe for me to have some lunch and a cuppa. Rodders wouldn't really settle in there as there were lots of dogs at other tables and he didn't want to stay with me when there were other dogs to meet so we didn't stay too long.

I popped Rodders in the car and took off my wet weather gear as the forecast now said no rain until the evening. That was the morning done, what should we do with the afternoon? Looks like we should head to the Quay for a while.

We got parked in the multi storey fairly easily and Rodders came down the stairs with ease. We ambled down towards the Sunseeker site to drool at the pretty boats before finding a bench to sit for a while. Rodders didn't settle down at all even though I was sure that he would need a rest. He wanted to say hello to all the people or to chase the pigeons.

After a while we moved over the road to one of the tables outside Corkers so I could have a cuppa. I tied Rodders to the table and he lay down and watched what was going on, he did eventually have a bit of a rest.

We then had a slow amble down to the Harbourside Park and back, stopping to look at the crab fishermen on route.

We got stopped by a lady and gentlemen from Wales who were there for a few days holiday. They were pleased to see a miniature schnauzer as they have left their two at the breeders while they are away. They thought Rodders was lovely and as we chatted I found out she used to show. I thought I should apologise for Rodders home trim but she was lovely and told me I had done a great job, I was really chuffed!

We had another cuppa at Corkers to while away another hour before heading off to Sandbanks and then back across town towards OH. Once we were close I tried to park up and read my book but Rodders hates to be in the car crate when we are stationary so I drove around the block checking out different routes until OH called and said he was done for the day.

Visiting friends and joining OH in Southampton

Luckily I have three days off work so Rodders and I got  to go out and about.

He knew something was up as I was packing bags and getting food ready so he hardly left my side. By the time I was ready to pack the car he was getting very excited and so wasn't very impressed when he got shut in the lounge for me to load the car and he barked the house down until I came ack inside to lock up and get him.

Our first stop was to see Denise, who I used to work with, and her dog Amber. This was Rodders and Ambers first meeting and it didn't go too well as she would not stop barking at him. We tried letting them out in the garden and they eventually seemed to get on a little better but Amber still carried on barking. Denise and I managed to catch up on each others news and have a cuppa though so it wasn't all bad.

We then stopped in at my old offices so we could say hi to Lisa for 10 minutes. Lots of people came past and said hi as we sat in reception talking.

We said goodbye and it was time to get back in the car and head to Southampton to join OH. We got to the hotel about an hour before he did so we said hello to Sue, the hotel manager, and she got to give Rodders a quick fuss before she had to go and get on with some work. Once Rodders and I had settled in to our room we went out for a play around in the garden with his ball launcher. He was quite good at bringing the ball back for me to throw again but he did also get distracted by the copious amount of rabbit poo - it would seem to be a bit of a delicacy by the way he was hoovering it up!

Once we knew OH was close by I put Rodders on his lead and we headed out to the front of the hotel to wait for him. As he drove over the bridge he stopped, wound the window down, and said hello to Rodders before moving off to park. I thought Rodders was going to pull me over in his desperation to get to him. I checked that there were no other vehicles about and let go of the lead once OH was out of his car. Rodders ran straight to him and I could hear him squeaking with delight as I followed him across the car park.

We helped OH in with his luggage and had a cuppa before bringing in Rodders crate and my bags. I put down Rodders supper but he wasn't really interested in it.

Once OH and I were both changed we headed over to the Wine Bar for dinner. Rodders was really good  as we ate. He was tied to my chair so he couldn't go too far but he spent his time either curled up on his fleece or peaking out at the edge of the table to see what was going on.

Once dinner was over we headed back to our room and Rodders ate his supper. We had all been up early and so it was going to be an early night so I took Rodders for a quick run around the garden before bed. OH decided to leave Rodders crate in our room this time, we have out it in the bathroom before. I wasn't sure how this would go but it worked like a dream. Rodders settled down straight away and went to sleep even though I had the lights on and read for a little while. There wasn't a peep out of him until 6.15am when OH got up with him. They both went out in the garden for a wander around before I got up.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Our second home groom

So after a lovely walk to A) Try out my new waterproof trousers and B) Wear Rodders out a bit (which seems to have worked as we bumped in to his pal Teddy the Dogue de Bordeaux) it was time to attempt our second home trim.

This is what we started with

Rodders is brilliant in the bath, he just stands there and doesn't move until you get his head wet. He really doesn't like that at all and always makes at least one attempt at getting out if he can (he can't!).

I always lift him out of the bath in a towel and manage to get the worst of the water off him before putting him down on the floor.

Caution, I am about to shake!

I did warn you!

Back downstairs Rodders got a wash and blow dry before being allowed off the grooming table for a bit of a play.

It was then time to comb him trough again before starting with the clippers. I am gutted that there were 4 knots on his tummy that I just couldn't get out so I had to resort to the scissors.

Half way through clipping him the clippers ran out of power and we had to stop while they recharged. But I managed to finish him off eventually.

He isn't perfect as I still need to do his ears and shave his tummy but he really had been through enough for one day and was beginning to tell me about it.

He does seem to have forgiven me though as he came for cuddles as soon as he was let off the grooming table and he is now curled up on the sofa with his head on my legs.

He really is such a good puppy and I am so lucky to have him!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Rodders the guard dog

Rodders loves being in his garden and will amuse himself for ages playing with the stones, sunning himself on the patio, chewing sticks or he will take a chew out there to munch on or a toy to play with.

While he is out there he does like to let me know if any of the neighbours are in their garden or if anyone comes to the garages behind us and I am getting used to what the different barks mean. If I think it is getting too much I go out and bring him back inside.

On Friday evening he was barking consistently and I didn't recognise this sort of bark at all so I went out to see what the matter was.

Rodders was on the back lawn barking madly and prancing at a young lad stood on our fence! I told Rodders he was a good boy and let him carry on barking while asking the lad what he thought he was doing. Apparently his ball was in next doors garden and they weren't in so he was trying to climb in to their garden to get it.

Rodders and I stood and watched as he made his way across the fence, hanging off the tree, and then dropping down in to the garden to get his ball and we watched him climb back out.

Rodders barked all the time and I didn't try to stop him untie they had gone. He got lots of fuss for being such a good boy and alerting me to intruders.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A trip to London

Rodders and I headed off early today to attend a Schnauzer Walk in Hyde Park. I decided that we would go by train and tube as this would be a new experience for Rodders. With the help of the National Rail Enquiries Website and the Transport for London route planner I knew exactly what our route would be..... Or did I!

We drove down to the station and parked up. Rodders seemed very excited to be out of the car and trotted down to the station quite happily. I used the automatic ticket machine which is just outside the main entrance. Rodders was pulling to get in to the station itself and walked inside without any problems. I picked him up to go through the automatic barriers but the station staff opened the gate for us so I put him down again. He was happy to walk up the stairs to the platform and we walked up the platform so we could sit at the back of the cafe tucked away in case any trains going straight through frightened Rodders. I needn't have worried, he hardly batted an eye!

I picked him up as the train came in to the station and carried him on to the train. To start with he was happy to sit on my knee but about halfway to London he moved on to the seat beside me.

Once we got to Euston I carried Rodders off the train and let him walk to the ticket barriers and then put him down the other side. He was quite happy walking through the crowds of people until we got to the staircase down to the tube when he stopped and refused to move so I had to pick him up again. Once down the first flight he was happy to walk by himself again.

Our planned route was the Victoria Line to Brixton, getting off at Victoria to swap on to the Circle Line to High Street Kensington giving us a short walk to the meeting point at Palace Walk in Hyde Park.

Except the Victoria Line is closed ALL weekend! So why doesn't the TFL website tell you that when it asks when you are travelling?

Anyway I managed to ask an underground employee and he suggested the Northern Line to Embankment and then the Circle Line to High Street Kensington. Except at Embankment we ended up on a District Line Train :-( So we got off at South Kensington and followed the signs to the Royal Albert Hall as I knew this would take us in the right direction.

It worked really well as there is a long pedestrian underpass that takes you all the way to Imperial College on Princes Gate. The only minor hiccup was that Rodders pooped in the underpass and there are no bins until you get to Hyde Park.

Once in the park we headed left towards the meeting point and I managed to grab a cuppa from a cafe on route. As we get to the meeting point we bumped in to Schnitzel and Pretzel with their family and we were soon joined by many others. The weather was amazing and before we started walking I took my coat off and tied it around my waist.

The dogs were all having a great time and were mostly off lead. Widget, the youngest there at 5 months but also the biggest, was brilliant at coming back when called. Rodders was quite good but I did have to go off and get him at one point when he thought some children football training were more interesting that me and another time when he thought he would like to play with a Yorkie. We all had water with us so we stopped a few times to make sure the dogs didn't get dehydrated. We did have an issue with the dogs invading a picnic at one point! But we soon got them all back and under control.  We were attracting quite a bit of attention having so many of the same type of dog together - at one point I got asked if they were all mine!

We walked all the way to the Serpentine Cafe where we all stopped for lunch. I was stood outside for a while with three dogs. Once we all had our picnics we went and sat on the grass and the dogs were quite happy to have a rest. Rodders let some children fuss him which is a first, he usually tries to hide behind my legs!

We then headed back using the other side of the Serpentine. There were no complaints at the dogs being on lead, I think they were all tired.

Rodders and I said our goodbyes and then headed to High Street kensington tube where again, our travel plans were foiled. We couldn't get a circle line train to Embankment, only District to Edgeware Road. Never mind, we can get the Circle Line to Euston Square from there and then walk to Euston.

It worked well and we walked straight on to the train home. I think I have one tired puppy as Rodders couldn't even be bothered to sit on my knee and was soon fast asleep!

Walking with Giants

Last Saturday Rodders and I headed to Chelmsford for a Schnauzer walk with Rufus a Giant Schnauzer (who came 2nd in his class at Crufts just two weeks before) along with a Standard and a few other mini's.

We were extremely lucky with the weather and we had a great time at Hylands Park. I had forgotten my camera so I had to make do with my phone. At least you can see the difference in size!

When we stopped for a cuppa we did bump in to another couple of Schnauzers (one puppy on it's 2nd ever outing) and the biggest Great Dane I have ever seen.

Rodders was being very affectionate to one particular Schnauzer on the walk and kept trying to give him cuddles. I am told I need to stop this as it is a sign of dominance!

Doggy Day Care

Our dog walker, Sue, also does Doggy Day Care and also home from home Doggy Boarding where your dog lives in the house with her, her family and pets.

Although Rodders is used to Sue and loves to go off with her we hadn't had the opportunity to try out a longer stay with her although Rodders is booked in when I go away for a week in July with OH.

Sadly one of my school chums died recently after a short illness (well, he had been ill for a while but was only diagnosed in the three weeks before he died) and I was keen to attend his funeral. It was going to be a long day as I needed to leave home before 8.30am and didn't know when I would be back so it seemed sensible to let him go to Sue for the day.

She picked him up just after 9am and took him for a couple of walks through the day and I went and got him from her at just before 5pm. He seemed to have had a lovely day but was very excited to see me when I got there to pick him up.

I am sure he will be fine with her for a longer stay.

Clean dog

Rodders has decided that he no longer wants to poo in his own garden so it is even more important that he gets taken out in the morning than ever.

He also seems to like clumps of grass as his toilet rather than short grass so it can be a bit of a challenge to find it sometimes when he is off lead.

But it does mean that our garden is now only used for a piddle or to play in.

Life continues

Life continues in Rodders household with little variation to our weekly routine.

Mondays - Short walk around the block, out with dog walker for 2 hours (30 minutes in van, 1 hour walk, 30 minutes in van), quick fuss and play with me at lunch time, 5 o'clock club, supper, play, sleep.
Tuesdays - Half hour walk, fuss and play with me at lunchtime, 5 o'clock club, supper, play, sleep.
Wednesday - Half hour walk, fuss and play with me at lunchtime, 5 o'clock club, supper, play, dog training school, sleep.
Thursdays - Short walk around the block, out with dog walker for 2 hours (30 minutes in van, 1 hour walk, 30 minutes in van), quick fuss and play with me at lunch time, 5 o'clock club, supper, play, sleep.
Fridays - Half hour walk, fuss and play with me at lunchtime, 5 o'clock club, supper, play, sleep.
Weekends - Couple of walks a day, or a trip to family, or a group walk somewhere nice, play, supper, sleep.
On top of this he gets groomed every other day and my cleaner comes in and lets him run about chasing her for a couple of hours once a week. 

He loves his garden and spends a lot of time out there just mooching around and he is turning in to a great guard dog - a lad tried climbing our fence to get his ball back the other day but Rodders wasn't having any of it! 

He also gets additional play time when OH is here. They adore each other and Rodders goes mental when he arrives home. He can now be trusted to sit and wait at the gate for OH to open it, as he doesn't run off the second it is open. In fact  in the morning when OH leaves, Rodders sits and watches him pack the car before saying goodbye to him!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Rodders gets a treat

It is Mothering Sunday and Rodders got me a card! How clever is he???? I would have been happier if it contained some sweeties for me but he had put kibble in it! Never mind, I can't complain too much, at least I got one.

I had to go food shopping and while I was out I managed to get Rodders some Chicken Wings. I have been toying with the idea of changing him to a BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food) as he really does seem to get fed up with just kibble. I have tried adding in some vegetables which has kept his interest for a little while and I have recently added in some wet food mixed through it which he seems to enjoy.

Todays experiment with a chicken wing was to see how he coped with it. Well he has picked it up, carried it about, chewed on it, slept a bit, chewed some more, thrown it about, slept again and finally finished it.

It looks like it was a big success. But I think we are going to have to find a way to either pen him in while he is eating these sorts of things or he is going to have to eat in the garden!

Before we can move to a BARF diet I do need to do some more research so that I can ensure he is getting all the essential vitamins and minerals and I probably need a larger freezer and a food processor so that I can prepare ahead and freeze in portions.

You can also buy it in ready prepared but I need to research that more too.

We got told off

Rodders and I headed off up the Nicky Line early this morning as the sun was shining. He was really good and came back when called and was happy running about and sniffing as we made our way to Keans Fields.

Once we turned around and headed home things didn't go quite so well. There was a family of four in front of us. Rodders would run up behind them and then stop and wait for me. He then got braver and got ahead of them a couple of times. The young boy seemed to be fascinated by Rodders and kept turning around to talk to me. He asked if he could stroke Rodders and I explained that he is only a puppy and still getting used to people and if he tried to approach him Rodders would probably come running back to me, sure enough he did!

Looking back I should probably have put Rodders back on his lead but I didn't. By the time we got to the bridge by the church Rodders was happily skipping ahead of us and I managed to overtake the family.

As we got near the steps to the Rugby Field I was calling Rodders back to me when the young boy shouted I'll get him for you and ran past me. I did ask him not to as Rodders would just run away from him and he said that it would be OK, he would get in front of him. Um, how do you expect to do that without chasing him? Grrrrr.

Sure enough Rodders was a bit spooked and ran off up the steps to the right, heading away from the Ruby Field, in to some garages out of my sight. The young boy stopped on the Nicky Line, probably spooked by the loud barking coming from the direction Rodders had gone in.

As soon as I could see up there I spotted two men with two Staffie type dogs. One of the men was holding both dogs, the other man was trying to keep Rodders away from them. I walked towards them and got Rodders to come to me so that I could put his lead back on and apologised and explained that he had a child running after him and wasn't paying attention to me. They were not impressed and said it is people like us that give their dogs a bad name, if Rodders hadn't been kept away he doesn't know what his older dog would have done. I apologised again and beat a hasty retreat and headed back towards home.

On the way back we stopped to talk to Lillian, one of my neighbours. She mentioned that Rodders seems to love going out with the dog walker but she was a bit concerned that he gets such a long walk for a little dog. She was happier once I explained that Sue picks up a lot of dogs, walks them for an hour, and then drops them all back home.

A Family Lunch

Rodders and I had a busy day yesterday as we were going to a family lunch at my big sisters.

We were up early and had a walk before coming home for me to shower and change. Rodders got a spruce up too so that he was looking his best.

It takes us almost two hours to get there and Rodders was his usual brilliant self in the car, he wasn't even bothered about getting out of his crate when we got there so I suspect he had been fast asleep.

As we walked in to the house he started off quite confidently and then realised that there were lots of people there making a noise and darted back to my side. Gradually he was happy to let people approach him for a play or a fuss though. When he is used to just me and sometimes OH it must seem a bit daunting to be surrounded by my sisters, nieces, boyfriends, guests and the odd husband!

He was happy running about the garden playing off lead and came back when called.

During lunch he settled on his snuggle fleece once we had all sat down and didn't move until people were getting up from the table to clear away the main course things and bring in dessert.

After lunch he even went out in to the garden with my sister Kirstty and her friend Gill for a run about without me.

As you can see, by the end of the day he was more than happy to be snuggled up with someone else!

I wonder if he remembers that Pete and Ailie were the first people that looked after him so that I could go out for the day.

Once everyone settled down to watch England playing rugby things got a little loud. Rodders took it in his stride but stayed close to my side.

All too soon it was time to head home. Rodders seemed to be worn out by his day as, after he hd eaten his supper, he flopped on the bed pad and stayed there until bed time!

The self drying dog

If you throw a towel over Rodders when he comes inside on a wet day he does quite a good job of trying to dry himself off!

The 5 o'clock club

Every evening about 5pm there is an unofficial dog club meet up on the Rugby Field. People just turn up with their dogs and we stand around chatting while the dogs run about and play off lead. There are dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages but they all seem to get on.

We have Springer Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Dogue de Bordeaux, German Shepherds, Greyhounds, Labradors and of course a Miniature Schnauzer.

Some times they are happy chasing a ball, others times chasing each other. So far Rodders seems to get on with all of them but his favourite is Basil (from Basildon) the toy poodle. This is them playing.

New Dog School

Rodders and I went off to the new dog school on Wednesday evening and it was very different to what we are used to. I'm not even sure that he realised he was at school!

It is much more relaxed and not regimented in any way. They are happy if the dog is on a loose lead walking somewhere close to you, it doesn't matter if they are not right at your side as long as they are somewhere near you. It doesn't even seem to matter if the dog is on your left or right. When they show you an exercise to do you go off and do it in your own space with the trainer walking around amongst you and offering help. They also change the exercise fairly quickly so that the dogs do not get bored.

Rodders did brilliantly at sit and stay while I walked away from him and then came back, he was fine while I pretended to tie my shoe laces at his side too. In fact he just ignored me. He was fine with walking and stop, when I said stop he just sat at my side.

I am not sure he has got the hang of clicker training, he just sits down whenever I click.

There was one exercise that confused the hell out of him though. The trainer brought around a washing up bowl and the idea was to get your dog to interact with it as a way of learning to free shape and to work away from you. For every interaction you click and treat in the bowl. Rodders didn't get this at all. He just sat and looked at it. If I did get him to acknowledge it and gave a click and treat he didn't take the treat out of the bowl. We tried to move the bowl and out it back down, still nothing. We swapped the bowl for a cardboard box, still nothing. We swapped it for a bit of round plastic with a hole in the middle for putting posts in to and we got a reaction.

In some ways he is already more advanced than the other dogs there. hey still seem to be working in front whereas Rodders is used to doing things at my side.

The other nice thing is that they email you course notes the following morning so I can share them with OH and we can talk about them. So far he seems to understand this sort of training more than me.

We will keep going and see how we do over the 7 weeks.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Rodders relationship with OH

Rodders gets so excited when OH arrives and he just cannot wait to be picked up for a fuss. Whenever possible he goes out to the gate to meet him and dances all the way to the back door beside him.

They always play rough which Rodders seems to love and they chase each other about both upstairs and downstairs. When OH sits in the Papasan Chair Rodders goes running for a snuggle.

This week a couple of different things happened.

Firstly Rodders asked to go up for a cuddle.

Also, when he was tired and wanted to flop, rather than lay at my feet on his bed pad he lay on the floor at OH's feet.

OH is probably much more lenient with Rodders than I am but he still manages to get him to do anything he wants him too and can say no to him if he needs to (normally when Rodders wants to come upstairs to wake me too early!). That is one of the reasons he gets to do the good jobs like checking his teeth and giving him his flea and worm treatment. OH has had dogs before and he really is far better with them than me, he is also teaching me as I go. Luckily some of it is common sense but I do need the occasional pointer. There really isn't much I can't do with him now, although he isn't keen on me doing his ears.

OH isn't here everyday and Rodders seems to understand that but on Saturday morning he just wouldn't settle until I had let him go upstairs to check out the bedroom and bathroom. Once he knew that OH wasn't here he was happy to be with me.

I am so glad that they have a special relationship! My relationship with them is pretty special too!

Sorry Pet Supermarket

Yesterday we went to Pet Supermanrket at St Albans to get Rodders new collar and lead. The little horror piddled his way around the shop and they had to get the mop and bucket out a couple of times to clear up after him.

He got to say hello to a few dogs, including a poodle crossed with an Old English and a Staffie Cross that had only been rescued from a Dogs Home that morning, she was very sweet and quiet.

We were in their ages and came out with some treats for Rodders (Some Rawhides, Bulls Pizzle, Fish4Dogs Little Stars), a couple of tins of dog food to add to his kibble as well as the collar and lead.

The staff in here are really good and always ask before they approach your dog. The young girl on the till came out to say hello to Rodders and he was a little shy with her, even when she was trying to give him a treat but he did sit nicely when asked.


Rodders has always been quite good at coming back when called but he has been chancing his arm more and more recently. This probably coincides with me giving him a little bit more freedom. For example when we go out to the car I have been letting him walk there on his own, he has had a little run around the green but comes back to me when called. He has also been allowed off lead on the Nicky Line and he has been testing that by running up the steps back to the Rugby field and not coming back when asked.

Yesterday when we went out to the car he ran off around the corner, luckily he didn't go off the grass but he also didn't come back and I had to tell him off when I caught up with him.

Later in the day I had my car out the back to clean it out. To start with Rodders was happy in the garden with the gate open (especially when Bob and Pat tried to go and say hello to him!), he then got a bit braver and came out beside the car and was happy sniffing around.  Then he started to wander off towards the road and I called him back but he wouldn't come, he did stop and look back before carrying on out of the garages and on to the grass where I caught up with him. He got told off again and put back in the garden with the gate shut.

This mornings walk on the Nicky Line he just would not come back at all and  tried to chase after a jogger so he ended up back on his lead for the rest of the walk, even when we bumped in to Higgins the German Shepherd with his Dad. I don't think he was too happy at not being allowed to run around and play but he has to learn.

We have done some practice in the house during the day with the clicker and treats and he was coming back fine & he came back in from the garden when called so we went off for another walk on the Nicky Line.

This afternoon's walk was so different from this morning. He was happy running about off lead and either coming back when called or waiting when told for me to catch him up. He even sat and waited for 3 joggers to go past us. I did have to change direction and walk away a couple of times but he soon came running after me. There was one sticky point when he tried to go up some steps half way between the church and Queensway but I stayed where I was and he came back to me after he had had a sniff about.

After walking from the church to Queensway and back to the Rugby field I was really pleased with how well he had done. He also said hello to a greyhound and let his owners give him a fuss but he gave a couple sitting on a log drinking a wide berth - probably best!

And then it went wrong! He heard a family on the rugby field playing and went to investigate. As he isn't used to children, and he wasn't showing any signs of coming back, I went after him. He had sat himself down and was watching them playing with a ball. I clicked him back on his lead and we headed home. After this morning's walk I was quite pleased with how we had done.

Time for a change

I have been really unsettled at Dog School since the woman with the Doberman and the Electric Collar and so I have been investigating other options.

I have decided to go with a company called The Family Dog in Redbourn after reading their website and visiting their class (without Rodders) last Wednesday evening. It is a completely different way of training, they use clickers, and it seems much gentler and geared towards a family pet who can have fun but behave  with the emphasis on rewarding good behaviour rather than the regimented sort of training we are used to where bad behaviour is checked. I am hoping that Rodders will take to it.

We start the 7 week intermediate classes on Wednesday evening at 7.30.and we have started clicker training today. I have also had to buy Rodders a new collar (& lead as it had to match!) as they will not accept choke chains.

My last task after class on Saturday was to have a quick chat with Sam to let her know. She was brilliant and said that there were no hard feelings and the door is always open for us to come back. I would probably had said a bit more about our reasons for leaving but Pete had done the class and was still about. If our classes were always with Sam I probably wouldn't even have considered changing to be fair but she only does every other saturday and we can't do the Friday class.

Anyway, time will tell if we are making the right choice.

Rodders Dog School - how different 2 weeks can be!

Last week at Dog School Rodders and I had a disastrous lesson. I don't know if it was because I wasn't feeling well or if he just had the devil in him but not a lot seemed to go right, he wanted to play with the other dogs rather than walk to heel, he wouldn't go down, his recall was iffy and his sit and wait was dreadful. The only thing he seemed to do right was to sit!

This week he was a different dog entirely. We got there early so that he could run about and play with the other dogs first (we did this for a short time last week too) and he had a great time and was starting to stick up for himself a bit better if bigger dogs were bowling him over or getting a bit rough.

When Sam called us in to class he took a few minutes to realise that he was back on his lead and it was time to stop playing and it was difficult to get him to line up and lay down at the start but he was really good after that. We were doing a lot of close heel work, working in two lines going in opposite directions, and he was paying attention to me rather than the other dogs. When it came to weaving through the lines of dogs he sat and waited patiently with only one blip as a dog came past and then walked to heel through to the front when it was our turn. This was also done in parallel lines so he had Wordsworth (the King Charles from his puppy class) beside him. Wordsworth kept whining while we were sitting waiting and Rodders looked over at him a couple of times but didn't leave my side.

We then jogged up the field towards the agility course throwing in some sits and downs. Once on the agility course Rodders did really well. He went through the lifebelt without too much trouble and jumped over a couple of the fences that he has refused to entertain before. As always he loved the A Frame and the Tunnel.

After a play with tuggy's (Rodders will let his go and sit for you to throw it again but will not fetch it) we walked to the end of the field to let the dogs off lead for some play and to practice recall. Rodders went a little to pot here, once he went to the wrong person but sat beautifully, another time he wouldn't come at all and another time he and four other dogs ran off to play together - to his credit he was the first dog to come back. We also practiced sit and wait, which is quite tough when there are 10 other dogs around you, but Rodders was fine.

By now it was almost the end of the class and we walked back to the hall walking to heel and sitting. He sat and waited at the door nicely and was happy to lay between my legs when Sam ran through todays good and bad points and came round to meet and greet as she took our money.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The rest of Friday

when I popped home at lunch time the cleaner was in and Rodders was already out in the garden, he didn't even hear me come in the door, chat to Skevi or walk through the house and open the patio door. Once he did spot me he was very excited and came running over for a cuddle.

Rodders was very good when it was time for me to go back to work, I asked him to sit and stay as I told him I had to go to work and gave him a treat before heading out of the door. He didn't make a peep.

As soon as I got home I changed in to my dog walking jeans and we headed up to the rugby field and on to the Nicky Line. We walked parallel to the rugby field with Rodders off lead and he was a very good boy, coming back to me when called.

We came on to the rugby field by the 5 A Side pitch and Rodders had a scamper about on the grass. He loves being off lead but there is something extra exciting about being off lead on grass. When I called him back to me to slip his lead back on he came full pelt with his ears flapping.

There were a couple of people out on the field with their dogs already, a lab and a young German Shepherd, and I wasn't sure how Rodders would react. Once we were with them it was obvious that they all wanted to play so I let Rodders off again. He was having a great time chasing about after the other 2 dogs although the German Shepherds owner was a bit worried that he was being a bit rough, he may have been but Rodders kept his tail up and kept going back for more. They played for about 30 minutes before we all went our separate ways.

I don't think that Rodders has anything wrong with his tummy but in the 45 minutes that we were out he managed to poo four times! All quite firm and normal, but a lot of it.

Once back home Rodders had a play in the garden and his tea before we settled down on the sofa for a while. This cold has taken it out of me a bit and I was cream crackered after a couple of days back at work.

I was making poached eggs for my tea and managed to break one so Rodders got an extra treat. He was really funny, he wouldn't eat it out of the bowl unless I held it up for him but lapped it up eagerly when I did.  He usually gets fed just outside the kitchen door and I out the eggy bowl down there while I served up my dinner. Rodders was in the kitchen at that point and when I went and sat at the dining table to eat he stayed there barking at the bowl just outside the door. The silly puppy would not come out the kitchen until I got up and lifted the bowl, I have no idea what that was about!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Friday morning

OH got up with Rodders at some ungodly hour and let me stay in bed for a while. I mislaid my phone last night and he and Rodders found it when the alarm went off!

Once OH was ready to get ready for work he sent Rodders upstairs to wake me. There is nothing like a beardy nose poking in to your face to wake you with a smile. In fact it is so good that Rodders usually has to get sent upstairs to do it again before I actually get up! When he goes down stairs in between he usually takes one of my dirty socks with him that OH has to rescue from his mouth.

Rodders has been really cuddly all week and this morning was no exception. He came up on to my knee for a while and, when OH was ready to go, he had to stop and give Rodders a last cuddle.

As always Rodders went out to the gate to say goodbye to OH. Usually he comes back to me as soon as OH opens the gate but this morning he didn't want to. OH told him to sit and stay and Rodders sat there and watched him as he packed the car, he didn't move a muscle!

He was happy to stay out in the garden once OH shut the gate and only came in when I wanted to go upstairs.

When it was time for me to go to work he was lying on his bed pad by the sofa. He usually comes and climbs in to his crate without being asked, not this morning though. I went over to talk to him and he just rolled on to his back so that I could rub his tummy. I then picked him up and gave him a cuddle before putting him down on the floor. He was then happy to walk in to his crate.

Thursday night

OH was going to be home at a reasonable time tonight so he suggested that we went to the pub for dinner. We like going there as Rodders is allowed to come too.

I gave him his supper before we went but he didn't eat too much of it. Good job really as I had a pocket full of treats with me incase they were needed and then the pub staff gave him three huge dog biscuits - we only let him munch his way through 2 of them they were that big!

OH was in charge of Rodders tonight and made sure that he sat and waited at the door on the way out. The only thing he forgot is that Rodders gets a treat each time he goes in his crate.

When we got to the pub it was really busy, and we were there just after 6.30pm, luckily we found a small table. There wasn't much space for Rodders but he found a spot at OH's feet where he could see what was going on.

He was so good, he didn't try to wander too far and he did sit or lie down for most of the time. We had a great meal, as always, and were well looked after by the staff. As we went to leave a couple were asking us about Rodders and commented about how well he was behaved for a youngster. OH reminded me that I wanted a dog that I can take anywhere and I have succeeded. I keep reading about dogs getting to 7 months and then being really naughty or wilful, I really hope that we don't have to go through that with Rodders. He really is such a good little boy and I am very lucky.

When we got back home I told OH to drop his lead and let him walk to the house on his own. Well Rodders decided that he wasn't coming straight in like normal, there was lots of PMail to pick up at the street sign and then some lovely grass to sniff and wee on. The journey from the car to the house usually takes seconds took about 5 minutes. OH was all for going and bringing him in but I just kept calling him and he did come eventually.

By the time we got home we were all exhausted and after a cuppa and a bit of television it was time for bed. Rodders has started being a monkey at bed time and, even if he does go out in to the garden, he usually doesn't bother having a piddle. Luckily his bladder seems to be quite strong and this hasn't been a problem. So far.......

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Where did that come from?

To get me some fresh air to try and clear my head, and to make sure that Rodders didn't go stir crazy, we headed out for a walk this afternoon.

We headed up to the rugby field and down on to the Nicky Line so that he could have a bit of off lead time. He was so good, he did try to get back on to the rugby field in a couple of places but came back when called. He also spotted another dog quite a way behind us and stopped and looked at it but decided that me and treats was a better option.

Once we were level with the 5 A Side pitch we moved on to the field. There is something about being on grass that makes him more excited and he runs about more. I carried on walking don the field while he was chasing about and when I was almost at the end of the fence I called him to me. He came flying towards me and skidded to a halt ready for a treat. I slipped on his extendable lead so that we could carry on our walk.

When we were about half way along the side of the rugby pitch a Brindle Staffie came running up behind us. I looked about but couldn't see anyone else on the field at all. Luckily it seemed friendly and just wanted to play. Rodders was quite happy with that to start with and then the Staffie bowled him over a couple of times and so his tail went down and I could see that it wasn't fun any more. I was trying to keep my eye on the dogs and look out for signs of an owner, still no one else about.

I started to tell the Staffie off and it seemed to be paying attention. Then I spotted a lady with a pushchair coming up from the Nicky Line and calling him. The Staffie was torn and wanted to stay with us so I turned and started to walk a little way towards her. Eventually the Staffie went back to her and she told it to sit so that she could put his lead on, once he was back under control she shouted sorry before turning around and heading back the way she had come. It had taken her 5 minutes to find her dog and get it back to her at least.

Luckily Rodders didn't seem to bothered by the encounter and was quite happy to carry on our walk.

Rodders likes.....

When I fed Rodders last night I used the last of the fresh vegetables and meant to take the next lot out of the freezer. Feeling as awful as I was I forgot and fell asleep on the sofa instead.

So tonight when Rodders asked for his supper there was a bit of a panic. I took his vegetables out of the freezer and some bits were quite easy to get out of the bag as they hadn't frozen in a solid lump, just not as much as he would usually have. So I added some frozen peas to his bowl along with his kibble and he has eaten to all! He obviously likes frozen veg!

He has been such a good boy today as I have had to take the day off sick. He has spent a fair amount of the time in the garden and seems to be very interested in the birds. He has barked at big fat pigeons sat on the fence, he has eyed up the blackbirds eating bread on next doors lawn and he has chased the sparrows as they flit from the fence to the tree and back again. When inside he has also been quite cuddly and stayed up on the sofa with me for over an hour sleeping.

Rodders has also been happy to amuse himself and has emptied the toy box and then pushed it around the conservatory floor, that made a great noise. He has also run up and down from the conservatory to the lounge and back a few times with different toys having a great time.

He has also barked a couple of times, once to let me know he had managed to get his collar off again and another time to let me know that there was a pen on the floor. I keep saying how lucky I am that he is such a good boy but days like this remind me how much.

Last night

I got home from work last night feeling pretty dreadful (it is only a cold) but had a play with Rodders and gave him his tea.

By 7pm I was fast asleep on the sofa where I dozed for most of the evening. Rodders came up with me for a little while and washed my face for me before settling down for a cuddle. He then moved on to his bed pad at my feet.

Apparently my neighbour knocked the door a couple of times and Rodders didn't make a peep.

We gave up and went to bed at 10pm and there wasn't a peep out of him until he heard my 2nd alarm go just before 6.30am.

He really is such a good boy!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Rodders and his collar

Very odd, this has happened twice in the last week.

While Rodders is playing with one specific toy, his cow, he has managed to get his collar off. Both times he has just sat there and barked until I come to see why and there is his collar in a heap on the floor. He obviously knows he should be wearing it!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Rodders SHOULD be worn out

I don't know if it is because we were excited about today but Rodders and I have been up since 6am.

Before we left for Hayling Island he had played with his toys, eaten two kongs of kibble, played in the garden, played in the bathroom while I showered and run about excitedly once he realised I was packing a bag of things for him.

He spent a while in the car and then got to sit outside a cafe with me while I had a cuppa, then a visit to a public toilet with me, a short walk and then another sit down for another cuppa.

He was then popped back in the car for 10 minutes while we drove to the meeting point and as we were 2nd there he got to meet all the other dogs and owner as they arrived. He then walked and ran about for another two hours before being put back in the car for a 10 minute journey to the chip shop where he got tied up outside to a table (with Yvonne keeping a close eye on him) while I grabbed chips and a drink. He then played under the table with his friends Renae, Susie-Belle and Rupert. He had to come to the loo with me again before a quick walk across the beach and then back to the car for the journey home.

Once back he went straight in the garden for a play, then chased me about while I got changed and sorted myself out and then he played with his kong so I filled it up for him.

He eventually settled for a rest but that didn't even last 2 hours as the door went and disturbed him. I took the opportunity to give him his supper thinking he would collapse in a heap shortly after.

Nope, time for play! He has now learnt how to get under the chairs in the conservatory to get his toys back but couldn't be bothered tonight and just barked for me to come and get it, then he got his frisbee stuck between the wall and the papasan chair, then he wanted a cuddle......

He had better sleep well tonight!

Rodders is more like me than I realised

Even though there were lots of people and other dogs around today Rodders was happy to have a little time for himself.

Very strange as I do that when I am in a crowd too!

Rodders and Seamus playing

Rodders and Seamus spent a lot of time together today but I didn't get any decent photo's. I am hoping that Seamus's Mum and Aunty did so that they can send them to me. I did manage to get this video of them playing though!

It really was as though they remembered each other and lovely to see them together. I am happy to say that all my hard work with Rodders is paying off and he does generally come back when called, Seamus wasn't quite as well behaved unfortunately and had to be chased after and put back on his lead a couple of times when there was something more exciting to be doing (like playing with a lovely big black lab!)

There is a bit of a difference in size, Rodders being the smaller of the two, but he was smaller when I saw the whole litter together when they were six weeks old.

The Hayling Island Schanuzer Walk

Rodders and I set off early this morning to meet up with many Schnauzer wonder for a walk on Hayling Island. We had a great time with 26 Schnauzers in total walking along the Billy Trail and diverting off so they could have a dip in the water.

Even more special was that Rodders got to meet his littermate Seamus, can you guess which one he is from the following photo's?