Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Rodders makes a friend

When we walk around the rugby field in the morning we quite often bump in to a chap with a Westie and stop to pass the time of day while the dogs have a little play.

Today Rodders and the Westie spotted each other from opposite sides of the field and were desperate to get to each other. The Westie was off lead and so made most of the running but Rodders was pulling in his direction so we walked over to meet him part way. His owner stood still so I ended up walking both dogs back towards him with them both running and playing around me.

Once we had had a chat and talked about the weather they were both happy to go in different directions to carry on their walk.

Monday, 30 January 2012

A visit to the vet

Rodders needs some more Flea and Worm treatment so I booked him in for a Veterinary Nurse check for after work today.

Rodders was very happy to walk in to the vets as most of his experiences here have been good and he usually gets fussed by the girls.

When we got in there today there was a Rottie cross and a Staffie already waiting and they were barking across the waiting room at each other. Rodders just had to join in and so the volume increased. We were all working hard to get our dogs to sit quietly but no sooner had we managed it and one would start barking and set the other two off again. A cat came in hiding in its cat box and Rodders ignored it and a small puppy in a crate came out of a consulting room and was put down on the floor. Rodders had a sniff of her but didn't bark.

While we were waiting Sam from Puppy School popped through reception and spotted Rodders and stopped to check that he was OK.

We got called in to see Nicci and she gave Rodders a big fuss and a liver treat as she was checking him over and we were chatting about how he has been. She popped him on the scales and the little porker is 6.3kg so it would seem that my concerns about him not eating enough are unfounded. Nicci has reminded me that Rodders is a terrier and they usually just eat what they want and walk away so I need to put his food down and lift it once he has had what he wants and I am not to worry if he doesn't eat one day.

We talked about neutering and I explained that I want to wait until he is a year old and fully mature. She was happy with that. I also mentioned that I want to have him micro chipped sooner rather than later as I am concerned now that he is going off lead a bit. She said that wasn't a problem and she is happy to do it in a nurse appointment. A few more liver treats and we went back to reception to wait for his prescription and bill to be done.

There was now a Springer Spaniel and a Cavalier King Charles in there and these too were making all sorts of strange noises so Rodders started to bark again. I got him to sit and be quiet (mostly) and he ignored yet another cat.

Just as our bill was ready Nicci popped out to say her next appointment hadn't turned up so if we wanted Rodders microchipped today we could come back in. It wasn't a difficult decision and we were back in the clinic straight away. Rodders couldn't believe his luck as Nicci put a whole line of liver treats on the table. He didn't notice as she swabbed an area between his shoulders and only flinched slightly, knocking a liver treat on the floor, as she inserted the micro chip. It was all over and he got another big fuss before we went back out to pay.

I had remembered my money off vouchers from puppy party and so the bill was £10 less than it could have been. We picked up the flew and worm treatment, paid up and headed home.

Rodders doesn't seem bothered by his experience and is now fast asleep at my feet.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

More new experiences for Rodders

When Rodders and I got home from Puppy School I had some lunch while he played in the garden and then I packed an overnight bag and some stuff for him as we are staying at my sister's tonight so that I can join her and some friends for dinner at the local pub. He still wouldn't eat anything though except for the kibble I dropped on the floor accidentally.

I left him inside while I packed the car and I could hear him barking the whole time. We drove up to Houghton and met my sister round at a friend of hers. She has two standard poodles who are now getting on in years and one of them isn't in the best of health. Poor Rodders was desperate to play but Daisy couldn't get off her bed and Lulu just barked at him and danced about a bit. Rodders was very good and once he realised that they wouldn't play he sat at my feet, only moving when the builder called in with some flooring samples.

We then went off for me to get my hair cut and their dog Becky had been out hunting all day and so she wouldn't play with Rodders either. She was lying in her bed and Rodders kept jumping in front of her and wasn't deterred by her growling at him. After about 15 minutes he realised that he wasn't getting anywhere so went off to explore the kitchen.

I then drove to my sisters and unloaded the bags and Rodders crate before going off to park my car. Apparently Rodders cried for a minute but was easily distracted. Finnan still isn't her usual self but she wanted up on my knee for a fuss. Rodders was very good about it and just played with his toys. When the dogs went in the garden I put Rodders on his extendable lead as it was dark and the garden isn't secure. Rodders was very good even when Finnan got grumpy with him.

When Kirsty and I went upstairs to get washed and dressed Rodders came up with us. It is a steep staircase with deep treads with a bend in it and once up there he didn't know how to get down so had to be carried.

When we were ready to go out we put Rodders in his crate in the lounge and Finnan in her bed in the dining room, giving both dogs their dinner. As we waled out the door and down the lane both dogs were quiet.

We got back about three hours later after a nice dinner with good company to find both dogs pleased to see us, Finnan had eaten her dinner but Rodders hadn't eaten anything. We sat up for a couple of hours watching TV and playing with Rodders before going to bed. Finnan sleep upstairs and I wasn't sure what Rodders would make of that but he went in to his crate without any problems.

At 5.30am I woke up to hear both dogs barking so I came down to let Rodders out of the crate with Finnan following me, he was desperate to get out in the garden for a piddle. By the time we came back in Kirsty had come down and made a cuppa for both of us. Both dogs went back out in to the garden and Rodders had a poo. We then managed to settle down on the sofa's with a dog each and dozed off for about an hour and a half by which time it was light and so I let Rodders off his lead when we went back in to the garden. He was having a great time exploring but wouldn't come back when called so I had to out my boots on and go and get him. Once I was beside him he was happy to follow me back.

Kirsty and I got washed and dressed and while she was upstairs with Finnan I got Rodders to eat almost a whole bowlful of kibble.  We then we headed out with the dogs to walk up to the cemetery. Once back  we had another and some toast. Rodders wanted out in to the garden again and was happy sniffing about as Kirsty showed me what they have done to it since I was last there. When we were ready to head back inside he wanted to stay out so I played chase with him for a little while.

As we went back inside Kirsty had got the first few set of drawings for her planned extension up on the computer for me to see. These are just to give her  a rough idea of what the possibilities are, nothing is set in stone yet and she has a long way to go as she needs listed building consent.

As we sat chatting Finnan jumped up on my knee and Rodders wasn't too happy about it but I managed to fuss both of them for a while before he went off to play.

About 11am I went and got the car so we could pack up and head home.

Lost and gained - Puppy Class No 10

Rodders woke at 6.48 on Saturday morning and wanted out in to the garden, he was then happy to go on his bed pad for a snooze.

He came upstairs with me while I got washed and dressed but was quite quiet. I couldn't get him to eat any breakfast at all.

When we got to Puppy School he couldn't wait to get out of the car as he could hear Leo barking. Soon we were joined by Leon, Lucky and a new girl called Beau who had arrived with the whole family including two little ones. Rodders took a real shine to Beau and she didn't seem to mind the attention. It was good to see how much Lucky had improved since we last saw him.

The class before us stopped on their way out to say hello and Rodders seems to love the bigger dogs best. He just wants to play with them and it doesn't matter how big they are or how deep their bark they don't scare him at all. This is a good job as he could be in their class next week!

Sam came out and joined us in the car park and she welcomed everyone and made a fuss of all he puppies before we made our way in to the hall. Rodders led the way and did a beautiful sit and wait at the door. Poor Abs with Lucky didn't do so well and it took him nearly 10 minutes to get in the door. As we were all sitting waiting inside Rodders was sitting nicely but kept looking over at Liam who was making squeaking noises. Liam is so funny, he makes these noises all the way through class whenever he has to sit for a little while.

Sam checked how many classes each puppy had done and confirmed that it would be Rodders last class, Lucky and Leo's 3rd, Liam's 5th and Beau's first. We put Beau in the middle of the room so that she got a chance to watch as we did heel and sit around the hall.

We then moved in to the car park and were doing heel and turn, heel and sit so that Beau could have a go. Rodders was doing really well at this. Once we got in to the field he was being a bit more challenging and kept stopping to scratch or bite his back leg or he was too busy sniffing about to pay attention to me.

He was very good at sitting while the other dogs weaved through him and was happy when it was his turn to have a go. We then swapped puppy's to get them used to other people and I got to play with Beau, Liam and Leo. I have found that I need to move right away from Rodders though or he just spends his time watching me and doesn't pay any attention to whoever has him.

We then did sit and stay before moving on to sit and wait. Rodders was not bad at the first but brilliant at the second, I was able to let go of his lead altogether and move quite far away before calling him to me.  Sam also got me to get him to heel without his lead but this didn't quite go to plan as he wasn't prepared to walk at all without me holding the lead so I tucked it in to my jeans which worked quite well. Next we played with their tuggies, getting the dogs excited and playing before getting them to let go of the toy and sitting before we threw it for them to play with again. We did end up with Lucky on the loose but he came back quite easily once Abs stopped running after him.

Sam got me out to the front a couple of times to show how to do things, this just shows how far Rodders has come in the 10 weeks especially as he did what he was asked without problems.

As we headed down the field doing heel sit and heel and down towards the agility course I spotted something on Rodders back leg and bent down to see what it was and he had another tooth caught in his fur. That will explain all the scratching and biting then!

Rodders just loves to go through the tunnel and over the A Frame and he is getting better at the low jumps. We didn't even need Sam to hold him at the start of the tunnel, he was happy to sit and wait until I called him through.  He did poo while we were waiting so I cleared that up and dropped the bag by the A Frame to collect later.

We made our way back to the hall and there was a loose dog being walked on the field so it was more important to get our dog to concentrate on us. Luckily Rodders didn't seem to notice it! Again Rodders sat and waited beautifully at the door and while we were waiting for the others he was lying between my legs. Sam gave everyone their homework for the week and then presented us with Rodders certificate to show that he has successfully completed puppy training. I am very proud of how far he has come from the scared puppy all those weeks ago.

After we left the hall we went back up on to the field to collect the poop bag and I let him have another go at the tunnel and the A Frame and then let him follow me back to the edge of the field with his lead trailing behind him.

Very happy with my boy today!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Friday was a bit of a strange day for Rodders

Rodders woke up first at 4.10am, barked twice and then settled. At 5.18am he was barking again but a different sort of bark so I came down and let him in to the garden without putting on any lights. When he came back in he was happy to settle on his bed pad so I curled up on the sofa and managed to get back off to sleep until 6.30am.

Once I was awake I made a cuppa and my sandwich for lunch and then dashed upstairs to get washed and dressed. We then headed to the rugby field for a quick walk. It was very strange, there was a heavy frost so the trees were white and so was the grass but underfoot was still very soggy and mushy. We met up with a Westie that we see regularly and they had a quick runabout together before we headed off in different directions.

Rodders didn't eat any breakfast so I filled his Kong and left him with that and his puppy treats when I headed out to work. When I got home at lunchtime Skevi was here and so Rodders was running about. He had already been in the garden (and frightened Skevi to death when she couldn't see him hiding behind the tree) but he was happy to come out and chase after me as I poop scooped. We then had a play with his ball, he still doesn't really understand the concept of dropping it so that I can throw it again and he runs about with it in his mouth for ages, stopping to play with it and then run off with it again.

All too soon it was time for me to head back to work so I sorted out another Kong and some puppy treats and shut the crate door so that they were there for when Skevi needed to go. She sent me a text to let me know that she had to put him in his crate as he wouldn't walk in by himself.

I got off work just after 4pm and came home, swapped boots and took Rodders out for a walk. We headed up to the Nicky Line and I swapped to the extendable lead, I am still not brave enough to let him off on my own. We started to walk up towards Keen Fields but he didn't seem to want to walk that way again so after about 15 minutes I turned and walked back towards the rugby field. I could hear the rain but the trees were keeping it off us mostly. We walked the length of the rugby field on the Nicky Line and then moved on to the field itself by which time it was raining pretty hard so I kept to the tree line and headed towards home. It was chucking it down and very soon we were both soaked. Rodders doesn't seem to mind it too much, he just stops and shakes every now and again to try and get rid of it.

We had been out for 40 minutes and it really wasn't nice. The problem with my dog walking coat is that the rain just falls off it so the top half of me was dry and buy wellies had done a great job with my feet and legs up to my knees but the bit in the middle was soaked through. I towelled Rodders off and then went upstairs to peel off my wet jeans and hang them on the radiator. I threw on my fleecy trousers to try and warm me up and then went to sort out our tea.

Rodders isn't showing much interest in his kibble so I threw in some of a sample kibble from the vets and he ate half a bowl full of the mixed kibble. I really am concerned about how little he eats. Logic tells me he is still active and playful so he must be OK but I reckon he is eating half of what he should a day.

I had a rushed dinner of pizza and then went to get changed again and pack a bag of drinks and nibbles as I was off out with friends this evening. Rodders and I had a bit of a play and then a cuddle before it was time for me to go out, this is only the second evening I have ever left him. He went in to his crate without any bother with more treats.

I had a great time watching the Leverstock Green Players show, it was a mixture of song, dance and sketches and really well put together. Everyone else was going to carry on the evening but I headed home so that I could get back to Rodders, three hours on his own is enough I think.

He was happy to see me and we had a play and a cuddle before he wanted out out in to the garden. After a while he settled on to a bed pad and went back to sleep.

I don't like him being left for so long in a day but it really doesn't happen very often.

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Rodders regularly gets put on the grooming table and combed through to remove knots and dried mud. He is quite happy on the grooming table and will let me mess about with him for ages.

OH spotted that Rodders is slipping quite a lot on our laminate floors so he had a look at his feet and thought that the hair between his pads needed trimming. I looked and think that he is right but his nails also need trimming.

Since the Schnauzer Grooming Workshop in November I have managed to trim two of his pads but I haven't tried to trim his nails, this could be fun.

So I put him on the grooming table and managed to trim two claws but he was wriggling all the time and I had to give in. When OH was here we both had a go at trimming the hair between his pads and we got 2 done but it was a bit of a trauma and Rodders just won't stay still.

I have also charged up the clippers as I think I am going to have to get him used to the noise before I go anywhere near him with them.

So, we have a lot of work to do to get him used to being groomed properly and not just being combed or brushed through.

Flippin internet and eating

My internet is still very flaky, not sure why but apologies for not managing to update.

Rodders still isn't eating brilliantly and we are due at the vet nurse climic for a weight check on Monday so we will see if he is managing to maintain his weight on the little he is eating.

I have tried just about everything including hand feeding him and so has OH! It would appear that he isn't too interested in plain kibble but add in some cooked carrot and swede and he shows more interest, stick it in a Kong and he is a little interested. Add in some chicken and he will eat that too. Some days he wolfs down his kibble other days he just picks at it.

It really isn't anything to do with his teeth anymore as he will eat his puppy treats which are hard, he will sometimes eat straight kibble, sometimes he will eat soaked kibble.

Maybe it is time to change his food to something else? Or am I pandering to his whims? I wish I knew.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Our first Schnauzer Walk

Rodders was barking the house down just after 7am so I came down to let him out in to the garden.

Once back in he was happy to play but kept barking again. I wondered if it was because he was hungry so I gave him the last of the open tin of id diet and he wolfed that down. He did start to eat it by himself but then he stood back and barked at the dish so I went and held the dish. He almost licked the plate clean so I thought he was still hungry and made up some kibble. He sniffed it and walked away so I put it down to see if he would go back to it. He did eventually but he only ate a small amount of it.

He still seems to be barking a lot and I have no idea what at, I really hope that he isn't doing this while I am at work and that he isn't upsetting the neighbours.

When I went up to get washed and dressed he stayed downstairs initially but then followed me up. And then disappeared again so I knew that he had stolen something. For the first time he actually brought it back and it was only my slipper.

Once I was dressed I had to leave him at home while I went to do food shopping. He is really funny with food shopping, as long as he can put his nose in the bags to check what is there he is happy to go off and leave me to put the shopping away, if I try to stop him doing it he won't leave me to get on.

Rodders seemed to realise that something was going on as I started to sort out the things I needed to take with me today as we head off on our first Schnauzer walk and he would hardly leave my side. By the time I was stuffing things in to the pockets of my dog walking jacket he was almost doing somersaults! He was very excited to get out of the house and barked at some of our neighbours as we made our way to the car.

Schnauzer walks are organised by people on the forum. Someone local to the walk will have checked it out and made sure that there is sufficient parking, a tea room and a decent off road walk and then suggest it. Anyone is welcome to come and join us and can bring friends, family and dogs - they don't have to be Schnauzers but anything else can expect to be out numbered! Today's walk was at Bocketts Farm, just outside Dorking in Surrey. Luckily I had already checked the directions as the forum has been down since last night. Dean, one of the admin team was trying to do an upgrade and he seems to have broken it! As he was coming on today's walk he didn't have time to fix it. There are other walks today in Wales, the North West and Dorset too, so there are lots of Schnauzers out and about.

Rodders was really good in the car but he did make one bark just before I came off the M25. We were a bit early so I stopped in a car park about a mile from our destination (thinking I was in the right place but realising I wasn't when nobody else joined me) to give him a walk about and let him have a piddle for twenty minutes. I then put him back in the car and checked further up the road.

As we pulled in to the (right) car park we could see people and Schnauzers across the road. I let Rodders out of his crate and popped his lead on, almost straight away he spotted them and started to pull in their direction. But once we were across the road he seemed overwhelmed and didn't want to cross the small bridge to join them so I gently encouraged him and he made it after a few moments. Straight away other Schnauzers were greeting him and he seemed to be OK. As he was the youngest there most people could guess who he was and I had already met a couple of them at the Schnauzer grooming day in November so we were all soon chatting. A few more people joined us and then we started to head off for our walk.

I started Rodders off on his normal lead and then swapped to his extendable lead but that proved to be problematic. Rodders was so desperate to be up there with the big boys and girls that he was weaving his way through people and his lead was in danger of tripping people up. Jeanette, who organised today's walk, said that he would be fine off lead as they tend to stick together and there were enough people around to help catch him if he didn't come back. So, with my heart in my mouth, I unclipped him. He was so happy to be able to run off and keep up with the other dogs and I soon got used to the fact that he was just following the pack and wasn't in any danger.

We did have to round them all up as a car passed us (unheard of down here usually apparently), and we were passed by a cyclist and some horses but generally the dogs were able to run free with Rodders chasing them and trying to keep up.

We stopped for a breather at the top of a hill with a nice view and then again at some fallen logs for a photo opportunity. Rodders did get bowled over by a Standard Schnauzer a couple of times so they both had to go back on lead for a little while until we could separate them.

Rodders found out that he likes to eat horse poo and was happy stopping to sniff whatever the other dogs did. He did his usual and stopped when he got anything stuck to him and ended up quite happily letting anyone near stop and pull them off if I wasn't close enough.

He did follow a couple of dogs off the track. They came back when called but he panicked and couldn't see his way out. As I was going in to get him out Michel, Jeanette's husband, encouraged him through some shrubbery.

He did sit a few times to look around and came racing to me when I called him. When he seemed tired I picked him up to carry him for a little while but very soon he was wriggling to get down.

There was a lot of discussion over Rodders colour, most people assumed he is black and silver, rather than pepper and salt, I don't really care! But he is meant to be pepper and salt. There were also a few people that wanted to kidnap (or should that be dognap?) him as everyone thought he was very cute.

Two hours later we arrived back at Bocketts Farm and headed to the Tea Room. Yvonne held Rodders so that I could go and get a cuppa, when I came back out Rodders was happily sitting on her daughters knee - until he spotted me and was wriggling to get down and come to me! He was still fascinated by the other dogs, especially when they were barking or playing. For a puppy that likes to bark he hardly made any noise today!

All too soon it was time to head home with a tired but happy puppy. He didn't make a sound in the car and he must have been asleep as he wasn't too bothered about getting out when I pulled up outside.

When we came in he went straight to his water bowl and then wanted his tea. Since then he has been asleep most of the time although he did come in to the kitchen with me while I cooked dinner. I could do with him eating another bowl of kibble as he hasn't had that much today.

Saturday - Puppy class No 9

I woke first at 6am and decided to go back to sleep thinking Rodders would wake me with the hour anyway. Wrong! I woke again just after 8am and he didn't make a sound until I was downstairs so I must have woken him up!

We had a bit of a lazy morning and so I didn't actually get washed and dressed until just before we left for puppy school.

Amazingly Rodders is now the most experienced, if not the best behaved, puppy in the class and is due to graduate next week! We had a new puppy join this week too, Leo a King Charles who is really cute so the class was full of various Spaniels (Two cockers, another King Charles and a Clumber) and Rodders. After passing all the puppy's between us to give them all a fuss, treats and get them used to other people we started the class properly and lined up in the car park with our puppy's sat beside us before walking them to the field at heel. Rodders did quite well at this today (well, his version of heel which is about a foot in front of me!) . He was also quite good at letting the other pup's weave through us and he walked to heel when it was our turn. We tried down and stay while I walked around him and he was OK for most of that and then we did sit and wait before calling our puppy to us. He didn't always wait until called and he didn't always sit in front of me so he didn't get a treat all the time.

It was then on to the agility course, his favourite bit! His first go through the tunnel he had to be held as he wouldn't wait but after that he was very good. He came flying through the second time and I missed him, luckily he ran straight off to the A Frame and I managed to catch him up. He wasn't too keen on the little jump but he did go over it twice. He is much better at going through the tunnel and over the A Frame though.

We then played with the tuggy's and he really is very good at letting go when told but he isn't quite so good at holding the toy and bringing it back to you so we need to practice that.

As we were walking back to the hall the tutor (who's name I can't remember) said that Rodders has really come on since the shy, nervous dog that started at the beginning of November and is ready to graduate next week! I wish I felt as confidant about moving up to the next class.

Back at the hall Rodders sat and waited nicely at the door and went in to the down position without too much trouble. He really is very good at lying there with me stood astride him.

On the way back from class we stopped at Pets at Home to see what treats they had as we were running low. He got spotted by Kirsty, one of the staff, who came over to give him a fuss and see how he was so we ended up in there for ages.

We came home and had some lunch but it was obvious that Rodders was tired so I left him at home and went out to do some shopping, except I had left the car key in my dog walking jacket and I had to pop back in straight away. Rodders was brilliant, I gave him an extra treat as I grabbed what I needed and disappeared again and he didn't make a sound. It is good to know that I can pop back in and leave him in his crate. By the time I got back I had a stinking headache so I was quite happy that Rodders wanted up on the sofa with me for a snuggle. We both went off to sleep for almost an hour! By the time we woke up my head felt much better luckily.

During the evening Rodders was alternatively playing and sleeping. At one point we were playing with his duck when I heard something go pinging across the floor so I went to investigate and it looks as though the troublesome tooth is out. Lets hope that he will soon be eating properly again.

There is a lot of barking going on at the moment and I am not sure why. He keeps asking to go in the garden and not going once the door is open or he does go out and just stands and barks so I make him come back in.

Rodders was fast asleep at bedtime and I felt mean waking him up to go out in to the garden. He was very good and went out by himself and sat on the grass for a little while before having a piddle and coming back in. He went straight in to his crate as I locked up and got his treats.

Shite internet connection

My internet connection has been really iffy since Friday so it has been difficult to update, sorry :-(

Friday was quite a good day, and just to give you the hilights:

Rodders has started to bark at the pigeons that sit on the fence between us and Bob and Pat. It is really funny as he can see them from the conservatory and is desperate to get out there to chase them off. He barks like mad as he races out of the door, across the patio and on to the grass but the pigeons just look at him. When they eventually fly away Rodders looks really confused about where they have gone.

At lunchtime he was happy playing in the garden but popped in to see me a couple of times! When it was time for me to go back to work he came in when asked and, when he saw me go to the treat tin, he went straight in to the crate without being asked.

He heard OH pull up out the back and was desperate to get outside so that he could meet him at the gate. As they came up the path Rodders was dancing around OH's feet with excitement. The pair of them had a play as I made a sandwich to keep OH going until he got home. As he was eating it we sat at the dining table and had a chat.

OH wrapped Rodders in a towel to stop him wriggling so that he could check his mouth as I am sure it is sore by the way he is eating, his breath smells a little too so I just wanted to check there was nothing too serious going on in there. Luckily it just seems to be a poorly tooth and I am sure it will be out soon.

When OH went Rodders went out to say goodbye and then came back in when I called him. A few seconds later he wanted to check if OH had really gone and so asked to go back in the garden. He then had a mad five minutes running in and out, up the path, around the garden, under the patio table and back. It is hard not to giggle at him when he does this.

At bedtime he went out in to the garden without too much fuss but then lay down on the grass for ages before actually doing anything. I didn't think we were ever getting to bed!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Thursday has been a good day, shame about the night!

Rodders went out in to the garden at bedtime but flatly refused to do anything, however long he was out there so I gave up and let him come in. He went straight in to his crate as he saw me getting his treats.

Just after 4am he was barking the house down so I thought he wanted in to the garden. I came down and went to let him out if the crate without putting on any lights. He wanted a fuss but didn't want to go out and then went to try and curl up on his bed pad! I wasn't having that so Picked him up, told him it was bed time, and put him in his crate. He went back to sleep without any problems until he heard my alarm go off at 6am.

It was chucking it down with rain but Rodders was happy to go out in to the garden and even happier to be towel dried when he came in. And then he went out again and in to be towelled and out and in, I was beginning to think that it was just a game!

I gave him 50g id diet for breakfast and he was happy to eat it from the dish to start with but then stood back and barked at it until I went and held the dish. He then ate the rest of it without any problem.

He was happy playing as I pottered about filling the dishwasher and making my sandwich and followed me upstairs when I went to get washed and dressed. He stayed on the bed while I wandered about upstairs getting my clothes out and for once didn't try to steal anything so I was lulled in to a false sense of security when he got off the bed a snuck a sock out of the laundry on his way past.

He is getting very good at going in his crate. Although he does try to back off when I tell him it is time for me to go to work he doesn't actually run  away so I can pick him up and give him a cuddle before putting him on the floor by the crate and he goes straight in.

Although I had parked out the back I went out the front door and walked around the back, Rodders seemed happier with this and didn't bark at all.

When I got home at lunchtime Rodders was still out with Sue, the dog walker, so I got a chance to raid the freezer to see what I could have for dinner and then put my feet up with a cuppa. Just as I was about to get ready to go back to work he arrived home full of energy and up to his tummy in mud. He had obviously had a great time. I had just enough time to rub him down with a towel before having to put him in his crate. As I didn't have enough time to feed him I gave him extra treats including a liver treat and a dentastick.

When I got back after work he hadn't touched the dentastick but he did go and get it once he had calmed down and he was having a lovely time throwing it about and playing with it.

Once he went out in to the garden I got him some kibble out and soaked it ready for him coming back in. He started to eat it out the dish but after a few minutes he barked at it and so I went and lifted it for him to eat out of. The kibble soon disappeared and then he was off to see what mischief he could get up to.

I had a chat with OH on his way back to the hotel while letting Rodders in and out of the garden and then my sister while Rodders was playing. He does have a new game, he goes and stands at the door and barks so that I will go and open the door, once open he has a sniff outside and then walks away. He has done it about 5 times this evening.

My eldest nice also called for a catch up and to see how her cousin is doing! She is a bit worried about me as she isn't used to me not loving my job so I had to explain that the most important thing for me nowadays is that I am working in Hemel and can be home for Rodders at lunchtime and at a reasonable hour in the evening. She seemed a little happier now that she understands it is more of a life change than she had anticipated.

It is raining again so Rodders has had to be towelled off when he has been out in the garden, luckily he thinks this is fun.

I got my dinner ready to go in the oven and then put Rodders on the grooming table to try and get rid of the mud. Luckily it had dried and as I was combing him it was coming away as dust. There was only a few areas that were a bit knotted or clumpy and he was very patient with me as I teased it out so I gave him a liver treat afterwards.

He did curl up on his snuggle fleece as I ate my dinner but was soon playing again afterwards. He has been up to some mischief though: -
- the doorstop went walkabout
- he managed to get hold of a packet of cigarettes and got one out of the packet and started to chew it before I spotted him (I don't think he has actually eaten any of it)
- he tried to get my teddy of the crate it sits on
- he has dragged the back door mat all the way to the kitchen door

He has also had another 50g of id diet and still seemed to be hungry after that as he would not come out of the kitchen and kept barking. I then got him another dish of soaked kibble and he ate that too. He still won't eat much if it is on the floor and I have to lift the dish for him.

Once he had a full tummy he was very playful and was lying on his back under the bed pad moving it about, he was also trying to do the same with a snuggle fleece and he has been taking toys out of the toy box.

I did try to check his mouth to see if he has lost another tooth but he wasn't happy with me doing it, I obviously don't have OH's knack!

He is now sleeping at my feet.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Happy Wednesday

At one point last night we were all asleep in the lounge but I didn't want to go to bed until the washing machine had finished. The flipping thing has a count down timer on it and at 10.30 it said 5 minutes to go and it still didn't finish until 11pm!

Rodders went out in to the garden for a piddle and then came back in and went in to his crate fairly easily.

OH got up with him quite early and I was woken by a wet tongue just after 6am. I came down and saw OH off, Rodders went to the gate with him but came back when I called him. I then put on a load of washing before sorting out my lunch and then giving Rodders a breakfast of ID diet. Again he ate it from the plate as long as I held it up for him. It was then time to get washed and dressed to take Rodders up to the rugby field.

He didn't seem to want to walk around the edge of the field so we zig zagged across it and then back down to where we started. We got home and I let go of his lead while I unlocked the door after making him sit and wait, luckily he did as he was told!

I had just enough time to unload the washing machine and hang it on the radiators and get changed in to work trousers before giving Rodders a cuddle and asking him to go in his crate.

When I came home at lunchtime he was happy to play outside after I had given him a cuddle and so I made a cuppa and sorted his lunch out. When he came back in he was happy to eat more id diet as long as I held the plate. He walked straight in to his crate when I asked him to.

I drove home after work to check that Skevi was here before nipping to the little Tesco for milk and ham for my sandwiches for the rest of the week. By the time I got back there was nowhere to park and so I ended up out the back. As soon as I opened the car door I could hear Rodders in the garden barking, he knew it was me and he was going mad. As soon as I opened the gate he shot out, circled me, and then followed me back in. I heaved a sigh of relief!

Apparently he barked when Skevi got here, even before she had opened the door, and was very pleased to get out of his crate. As she cleaned he was happy following her about but did bark to go out in to the garden for a piddle. He also came back in when she called him. Just before she left she asked him to sit and then gave him a fuss. He did try to follow her out of the door but stopped when I told him he had to stay here.

He was happy that I was home and was being quite playful, toys he hasn't played with in ages were being taken out of his toy box and he seems to like the things that he can bite at the moment. You can see him opening and closing his jaw, not yawning, trying to make it comfortable.

I gave him a small amount of soaked kibble for his tea and he was happy to eat it as long as I held the dish again.  After he had eaten he was quite happy to curl up on the bed pad for a snooze at my feet.

He was woken by Kev calling in for a cuppa. He was happy for me to go to the door and let him in but then came to the end of the sofa to bark at him! Once Kev picked up his duck and threw it for him he was OK though.

Just before 9pm I gave him another small amount of soaked kibble but he didn't seem to want it. I put it down on the floor and about 5 minutes later he started eating it, or so I thought. What he was actually doing was licking the liquid out of it. Once that had gone he stood back and barked at it until I lifted the dish for him to eat it, he then cleared the lot up. He did bark at the dish once it was empty but I don't want to feed him too much this late at night.

He then went off to play and found a small cardboard box. Once I checked it was empty I let him play with it and he has had some fun chewing it, one corner has gone so far. The duck, teddy and a kitchen roll inner have also had some attention before he asked to go out in the garden.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Tuesday hilights and lowlight

Rodders was up early with OH and got sent up to wake me, twice! I am really not good in the mornings and usually have two alarms, I suppose I really shouldn't need Rodders nose in my face twice to get me out of bed.

Once up we saw OH off and then I made Rodders some scrambled egg. He wouldn't eat it rom the plate but was quite happy licking it off my hand. He ate his way through most of two eggs.

It took so long to feed him that I had to rush to get washed and dressed and only had time to walk him around the block.

He was so good when I needed to go to work, I gave him a cuddle and he then walked straight in to his crate.

At lunchtime we went straight in to the garden and he ran about while I poop scooped and then he waited at the lounge door while I went to the bin at the front door. Once I had washed my hands I fed him some more scrambled eggs. After a cuddle he went back in to his crate without any problems.

I knew that Rodders was in for a lovely surprise this afternoon as OH was going to be home early. Rodders heard his car pull up outside and as he got out there was one excited bark. He was so excited by the time OH came in the back door he could hardly contain himself.

What I didn't know is that I was in for some nice surprises too. By the time I got home Rodders had been bathed, dried and groomed, he looked so lovely and fluffy, a really smart boy. OH had also taken down the outside lights and put them away and cleaned the kitchen for me. He really is a star!

I had time for a shower and wash my hair and then we went to the pub for dinner. We are lucky that one of the best local foodie pubs lets dogs in. When we first got there we found a table and Rodders sat down with me while OH went to the bar to get drinks. Rodders was not happy with that and was squeaking and giving strangled barks to make sure OH knew that he had been left behind.

While we ordered and ate Rodders was happy under the table even if he did keep moving about to have a look at what was going on. We were both keeping an eye on him but OH had hold of the lead. And the next time I glanced down Rodders had thrown up under the table :-( I had taken a snuggle fleece for him so I used that to clear up. Luckily I had a carrier bag and a box of tissues in the car so I nipped out to get them so I could clean up better. Ah well, decision made, we won't be staying for pudding!

Back home I put the snuggle fleece in the washing machine and OH and Rodders went for a snuggle on the papasan chair. I heard OH ask if Rodders wanted down and then if he wanted in to the garden. The next thing was that Rodders had thrown up again. Bless him, he had tried to get outside but had thrown up on the doormat. It just seemed to be frothy bile this time.

He hasn't eaten since lunch time so we gave him a small amount of id diet as it is soft and easier for him to eat. It took him a while to eat it though. Since then he has been fast asleep on his bed pad at OH's feet. OH has checked Rodders tummy and it seems to be quiet, lets hope he is OK now.

Stupid me, four eggs in one day, when he has never had any before is probably too much for him.

Monday hilights

I was chopping vegetables first thing and Rodders wanted the carrot top. He really just played with it this time and didn't eat it, it is probably too hard on his tender mouth.

When I left for work this morning I went out the back door as my car was parked out there. Rodders was not impressed and barked and barked. Note to self, leave by the front door and walk round.

Rodders got taken out by Sue the dog walker today and came home happy but very muddy! And of course he wanted to jump all over me to say hello. I managed to keep reasonably clean so that I didn't have to change before going back to work.

When I got home Rodders was barking as I walked from the car. Seems like there has been a lot of barking today, I hope it hasn't gone on all day.

I have continued to soak kibble for him but he has not been eating a great deal and I always worry when he isn't eating. I am sure he won't waste away as everyone tells me he has a good covering on him, but I still worry.

Rodders and I spent 15 minutes outside walking around Pentland practicing heel and sit, heel and down, heel and turn. He was very good but he still doesn't really understand that heel means my heel and not 3 foot away from me! He sat when asked but didn't want to lie down at all, mind you the temperature was below freezing so who could blame him. 15 minutes was enough and he was starting to get bored.

When OH got home Rodders was very pleased to see him and met him on the patio, jumping up and dancing on his back legs with excitement. As OH was fussing him and saying hello he was also having a sneaky check of his mouth. Rodders seems very tender on the back left, but OH could not work out which tooth it actually is giving him problems or he would have helped it out.

Rodders seems happy enough and is playful but eating out of his bowl seems to be an issue. OH is much better at understanding these sorts of things than I am and he thinks that the way dogs eat is to snatch food out of the bowl and throw it to the back of their mouths where they crunch down on in, and it is the crunching down on it that seems to hurt. He almost jumps like he has had an electric shock.

By 10pm both Rodders and I were asleep so it seemed sensible to go to bed. He went in to the garden without complaint and didn't need much encouragement to climb in to the crate.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

So who do I thing that special someone is watching over us?

I am sure finding the things I have lost and seeing Finnan improving is something that didn't just happen, I am convinced that my Mum is watching over us.

She was the most amazing lady and she would have been 90 years old today. She was the most amazing lady and a brilliant Mum. She was born in Glasgow, the youngest of 7 children, and was brought up on Loch Long on the Clyde Coast. She married my Dad, who was in the RAF, in 1942 when she was 22 years old by special licence and went on to have 7 children of her own with me being the youngest.

She saw many heartaches including losing four of her children and her first grandchild but nothing ever brought her down until the later years of her life. She was an amazing role model for all of us and we miss her dearly.

I have been asked many times to write down the stories of her life and maybe it is something I should start to do. I am sure that she continues to look down upon us and guide us through life.

Her proudest achievement was her grandchildren and, from the day we knew she was going to be a Granny, we all started to call her Granny. She would be very proud of how brilliantly her three granddaughters have turned out and with the paths that they have all chosen.

Thank you Granny for everything you did for us all over the years and for continuing to do that. You are much loved and missed.

Jean Stafford Mitchell, nee Martin, or just Granny - 15/01/1922 - 10/9/2006

Someone is watching over us on this special day!

We went to bed after midnight again and I woke at 8.45am to silence. I came downstairs to more silence to see Rodders sat up in his crate looking in my direction as I came around the corner in to the lounge. Once he spotted me he started to squeak and wanted out for a fuss before asking to go out in to the garden.

I made a cuppa while trying to make a plan for the day. I had expected to be up earlier so that we could go for a walk to look for the keys first thing but I also need a shower and we need to leave for my sisters by 10.30ish. OK, so we will have to forego searching for keys & I will have to do that tomorrow lunchtime.

Once Rodders came back in we had a bit of a snuggle before going upstairs so that I could have a shower, he has ignored the breakfast I put down for him.

After showering and washing my hair Rodders wanted out again and then was happy to sit on the bed while I dried my hair and got dressed.

Back downstairs I was busy sorting out a bag of food, treats and toys to take with me for Rodders when I got a text to let me know that Finnan had been let out of the vets! Fabulous news, but I am not sure she needs an annoying puppy running around her today. I rang my sister for a chat and she reluctantly agreed that I was right, time to put plan B in to operation!

I ran upstairs and changed in  to dog walking gear much to Rodders delight and we headed out the door, this time with the house keys firmly tucked away in an inside pocket. We hadn't got to the end of Pentland when I spotted my lost house keys on the pavement! I back tracked and posted the spares through Bob and Pat's letter box so that they have them for my next mishap and then Rodders and I carried on onwards the Nicky Line.

As we got to the bottom of the steps by the church Rodders sat, without being asked, for me to swap leads. We hadn't gone far when he sat again, I called him to me and he came running so I walked on. And then he sat again and again. I have no idea what was wrong but he didn't want to go that way, as soon as we turned around he was happily skipping along.

I thought we would carry on down the Nicky Line to the end of the Rugby field and then cross over in to the field itself, walk around there and then home. Wrong again! Rodders would not move beyond the steps up to the start of the rugby field. I gave in and followed him up there.

He was very happy to be on the field and was soon off sniffing and running about. We walked the full length of the field up to where some youngsters were playing football, I didn't even know there was a football pitch up there! It looks to be a 5  A Side sized pitch. Rodders seemed fascinated and was happy to sit and watch for a while. A lady came over to chat as they are looking to get a miniature schnauzer, Rodders did his usual trick of hiding behind my legs and wouldn't say hello to her. We eventually carried on our walk and then headed home.

I ran back upstairs to change again and came down to find Rodders had been eating his breakfast but had only got halfway. I was running out of time so I shoved his bowl in to his crate along with his treats and then picked him up for a cuddle and to explain that I was going out and he had to stay here. Bless him, he walked in to the crate without a murmur.

I was late getting to the pub for lunch and they were all waiting for me. It was a small gathering of family and friends to celebrate, what would have been, my Mum's 90th birthday. We had a lovely lunch, chatting and telling stories about her. I handed out the bunches of freesias to everyone as they were Mum's favourite flowers.

After lunch I nipped back to Kirsty's in Houghton so that I could see Finnan for myself, she was very pleased to see us but obviously not her usual self. Her tummy and side have both been shaved and she has further bald patches on her legs where the drips have gone in. She was quite happy to let me fuss her and she was able to jump up on to the sofa. While fussing her I found that she had some micropore tape stuck to her so I gently started to peal it away from the fur. She wasn't too happy about that but I persevered, even when she started growling at me. I had to move my hand a bit sharpish when she got really upset and then had another go. Just as she gave another nasty snarl I managed to whip it off and get my hand out the way. She has never actually bitten anyone but there is always a first time. I only stayed for a short time as A) I wanted to get home to Rodders and B) She has been through enough in the last few days and needs to be kept quiet.

The drive home seemed to go one forever, it always seems to be bad on a Sunday afternoon as people head back to London after a weekend away. For the last bit of the journey I was chatting to my bestest friend who lives in America, she always rings on significant dates. We hung up just as I pulled up outside. Parking is a nightmare around here today, no idea why, so I ended up parking out the back. As soon as I opened the car door I could hear Rodders barking, I hope he hasn't been doing that for long. I let myself in the back door and he was going frantic. I let him out the crate, gave him a quick fuss and then he was off in to the garden. This is the longest he has ever been left and he was desperate to get outside bless him.

Once back in he calmed down fairly quickly and came upstairs with me when I went to get changed. We have had a quiet evening with him playing, eating supper and sleeping.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Oh dear, the clock has gone wrong!

Having worn Rodders out during the day he slept on the bed pad until almost 10pm. He couldn't even be bothered to get up and come upstairs with me through the evening.

But once he woke up he was hungry (he slept through tea!) and then wanted to play. He has now been chasing his toys for nearly an hour and a half with a brief interlude for a cuddle.

I really hope he is ready to sleep soon as I am cream crackered!

Puppy School - Week 8

I thought we were going to be late for puppy school as I hadn't banked on having to scape the car but it was still minus 2 degrees when we went out! No wonder my feet got cold when we walked around the rugby field!

As soon as I got outside I started the car and set the front and rear screens to defrost and started to scrape the windows. Rodders was walking around the car with me and ended up looking as though he had been out in the snow! He wasn't very happy with the noise and did start barking when I was doing the windscreen.

I also decided to go the main road way rather than through the lanes and this meant going across town, not a good move on a saturday! Almost as soon as I pulled in the gate at Puppy School Rodders started barking, this is the first time that he has seemed to know where he is! I parked up and went to let him out of his crate, he was half out of it in seconds but did wait while I put his lead on. 

As we walked towards the others waiting he was pulling on his lead quite hard so I had to check him but it seemed a shame to have to curtail his excitement. I spotted Wordsworth (Cavalier) and Liam (Cocker) from last week but there were two other puppies as well, Bo (CockerPoo) and Lucky a rather large Staffie. It turned out that Bo was just there to have a quick look and see how things worked and Lucky was here for his first lesson. Rodders said hello to everyone and really seemed to like both the newcomers, especially Bo.

A few of the dogs from the class before us came to say hello and Rodders got his first experience of a big dog barking and lunging for him. He did go back for more so he can't have been that frightened.

Sam came out to join us in the car park and had a quick chat with Bo's owner and told him what he needed to do to register and then moved on to Lucky's owners. This really could be an interesting lesson as Lucky has had little training (he does know how to sit!), he is incredibly strong and just drags the very quietly spoken lady around. Straight away Sam said that she thought they were using the wrong sort of equipment on the dog as it had a harness rather than a collar which meant that it was able to use the full strength of it's body to pull her and asked her to look around at what other people were using. 

Sam left the 4 of us outside to swap puppy's and went off with Lucky and his owner in to the school to see what they could do to improve the situation. She came back out with a choke chain and tried to show the lady how to use it while we carried on swapping puppy's until we ended up with our own. By then she had managed to get the dog walking better.

She then turned her attention back to us and we started to do heal and turn up and down the car park with some sits and downs thrown in. Rodders has got much better at down and didn't need me to stand on his lead today. She made sure that Lucky was OK at all times and said that for today they should just concentrate on walk and sit.

After a short time we headed out to the field and practised wait and come while Sam gave some more attention to Lucky. Lucky's Mum really needs to learn how to be a bit more assertive and meaner, this staff is going to take some controlling. Sam was showing her what to do and then letting her try it, but with little success. I also heard Sam ask what had made them go for this breed, apparently her son wanted it as his cousin has the same!

We then moved on to tuggy's. Rodders is great at playing and lets it go when I say no but he cannot get his head around bringing it to me, I think I need more help with this. 

We then moved down the field to the agility course, Rodders loves this bit of the class. He got to go through the tunnel twice & we nearly got him to wait without him being held the 2nd time and I only just managed to catch him at the other end, over the A Frame twice with a stop to lap water at the top the first time and through a lifebelt - he wasn't so sure about this as he really doesn't seem to like the jumping side of it. Sam did ask if we were going to carry on and go through the agility classes after puppy school as he does seem to enjoy it.

Having disappeared off a few times to work with Lucky Sam diverted her attention back to us to watch how each of us were doing with each activity which is much better than last weeks trainer, I really do prefer to be at Sams lessons & it is a shame that she only does every other Saturday or that I can't find a way to get to Friday's class. I wonder if they change them in the summer and do evenings?

Anyway, we ended up still on the field at gone midday so we heeled back to the training room. I don't know if Rodders was getting bored but he started to mess about when he was supposed to be in the down position and rolled over on to his back for his tummy to be rubbed! After being firm with him he did behave though. Sam gave us all feedback, checked that we knew which week we were on (I was told week 9 but I have checked and it is week 8 so must make them check their records) and made sure that everyone knew that they can do the Friday, Saturday or Sunday class each week and then it was time to go for another week. 

We do have homework this week. We need to work on our heel work, turns, sit and down so we may end up tramping the streets for a little while in the evenings to do this as I still want him to have one play time walk a day.

A busy saturday resulting in a tired puppy

We didn't go to bed until after midnight and Rodders was out in the garden for a good ten minutes before bed. He didn't wake up until 8.30am!

After a quick snuggle he was happy to go out in to the garden for a while as I made a cuppa. We then had a quick snuggle on the sofa and he ate some breakfast before going upstairs for me to get washed and dressed. Rodders was happy to lie on the bed while I pottered about the bedroom getting my clothes ready and get dressed, in fact he didn't want to get off there once I was dressed!

He had no choice as I wanted to do a circuit of the rugby field early to see if I could find his lead, otherwise we would have to go to the Pet Shop for another one before puppy school.

Once he was down on the floor he didn't want to come downstairs to start with and then when he did he wanted to go out in to the garden which was fine, it gives me a chance to put my coat on and grab what I need before he starts leaping all over me!

Just before I was ready to put on my wellies I called him in.  He hesitated for a moment, until he spotted that I had my coat on, and then he came flying in. As I was putting on my wellies he was jumping all over them and making it very difficult as usual. Once the door is open and he is told to sit and wait he does calm down but we do need to sort out his behaviour while we are getting ready to go out, being excited is fine but he needs to stop trying to attack my wellies as this just slows us down.

Again we have had a heavy frost and it was very crisp underfoot. We got to the rugby field without him me falling over to be greeted with white grass and trees, it was really pretty. We started to retrace our steps from yesterday and got about of a third of the way down the first side when I spotted the lead hanging from a branch of a tree. Thank you so much to the dog walker that put it up there for me to find! It was frozen solid and wouldn't bend to start with! We carried on around the field taking our time now that we knew we didn't have to go shopping. We met two people stood together with Westies. Jackie who we have met before just barked at Rodders but the other one was happy to say hello and a bit if a play. After a few minutes we carried on our way and Jackie followed not far behind. Rodders kept looking back and trying to go to him so it was a bit of a nightmare trying to get him off the field but we did it eventually. My feet were freezing by the time I got home. While I unlocked the door I made Rodders sit and then dropped the lead, luckily he didn't run off! I haven't let him loose at all yet and this was just an experiment to see how we did.

I managed a cuppa and found my ski socks for extra insulation before it was time to go to Puppy School, there is lots to say about that so I will leave it for a separate post.

When we got back I swapped out of my wellies in to my boots and swapped coats before putting Rodders in his bed with some treats and a chew. I went and treated myself to a Windmill Breakfast, washed down with a cuppa, before going off in search of Freesia's for tomorrow. I eventually found them in the third shop I visited and got them to wrap me up four lots of three stems for tomorrow with an extra set for me.

Back home Rodders wanted to go in the garden after a quick fuss and then came back in to eat his lunch. He is quite happy eating now that I am soaking his kibble again.

After a bit of a rest and a bit of television for me, while Rodders had a play, we headed out for a walk up the Nicky Line and down towards Keen Fields. Rodders was really good until we bumped in to a lady with four children and they seemed to unsettle him a bit. After that he kept sitting and waiting for me to call him. The light was beginning to go by the time we got to Keen Fields so, after a quick run around where Rodders found a stray ball, we headed back towards home. He did keep sitting but he was happy to run and chase the ball if I threw it in front of me. We usually carry on up the Nicky Line and come home via the rugby field but Rodders sat at the bottom of the steps by the church and refused to go any further so I swapped leads and we came back the way we came.

Once home I stood on the doorstep and went to get the key out but it wasn't there. I then checked all of my pockets and still couldn't find it. Damn, looks like we will be walking the Nicky Line again early tomorrow to see if we can find it. It must have come out of my pocket when I got a poo bag out. It really is becoming a habit for me to lose something on a walk but this is a bit more serious than a lead. Luckily Bob and Pat next door have spares and, even better, they were home.

I was quite chilly by the time we got back so I decided to have a bath. I haven't done this on my own in the house since Rodders got here so I put some liver treats in his dental Kong and then we headed upstairs. He was a little star as I ran the bath and got undressed. His Kong kept him amused and quiet for about 15-20 minutes before he got bored. He stood at the door and was barking as he wanted out of the bathroom but I asked him to sit and wait. He did sit but carried on making a noise, almost talking to me, until I got out of the bath. Not a bad first attempt.

Since we came downstairs he has been asleep on his bed pad. Obviously two walks and puppy school is too much for one day!

Friday hilights

There had been a sharp frost overnight which made the patio a bit slippy and all the cars were covered in ice.

OH got up with Rodders when my alarm went so I was able to go back to sleep, I even switched off the second alarm so OH sent Rodders up to wake me. When that failed he sent him back up after Rodders had just had a drink so I was woken by a very wet, cold kiss from Rodders. I have to tell you it really is difficult  to ignore that!

While Rodders was upstairs with OH I shut them in the bedroom so that I could put the bin out in peace.

Rodders went out to the gate with OH when he left for work and started to come back up the garden when called but stopped halfway. OH let himself out of the gate and then Rodders went back to sniff around until he heard the car go.

By the time I got washed and dressed we were running out of time so Rodders only got a walk around the block. He was so busy barking at the bin men he completely ignored people walking past, so a success of sorts.

Giving him a cuddle before I put him by the crate door seems to work and he walks straight in.

At lunchtime I nipped home and swapped straight in to my dog walking coat and wellies much to Rodders delight and we headed to the rugby field. H had a great time running about and sniffing. He also got to say hello to a very gentle staffie. And then disaster struck, as we got back to the edge of the field I realised I had lost his normal lead. We had enough time to do another circuit to see if we could find it but we didn't.

It was then a bit of a rush to get him home, back in his crate and back to work on time.

When I finished work I had to go and collect a parcel from the sorting office, more grooming bits for Rodders. I don't think we need anything else now, I just need to be brave enough to actually do it. But not this week, he might be too cold on the Schnauzer walk on the 22nd if the weather keeps like this.

I have already blogged about him losing his teeth and the fact that he is now eating again, a huge relief!

Hilights of thursday

Really haven't got time to catch up properly so thought I would add in the hilights for the two days I missed!

Rodders got a quick walk with me in the morning and a long walk with Sue, the dog walker, late morning. I was home when he got back and he was wet and muddy to the belly.

When I got back from work and he had calmed down a bit I put him on the grooming table and combed him through. I managed to get seeds, grass, moss, leaves and twigs out of his coat! He was so good that I stopped half way to give him a cuddle, he can't hate being groomed too much as he was happy to give me a lick!

OH decided to have toffee yoghurt for dessert and let Rodders lick out the pot. He then used some dog wipes to clean off his beard which, unfortunately, failed miserably. Rodders beard set solid so just before bedtime OH had to give Rodders beard a wash and then comb it through. He still smelled of toffee though!

Friday, 13 January 2012

The other (more serious) worry

My sister's dog, Finnan the Westie, has spent the last 24 hours in the vet seriously ill with Pancreatitis.

She hasn't really been right since before Christmas and my sister has tried everything as she has always had a sensitive tummy but when there was no improvement she knew it was time to go to the vet.

This was the email I got from her yesterday:
Finnan has been quite poorly this week and took her back to the vet today and they have kept her in, she has pancreatitis.  They scanned her this afternoon and it looks like it is caused by infection rather than a tumour, she is on intravenous drugs and stuff but will probably be in until Monday as her liver function is not good but it could all be connected.  I will get a daily update from the vet and will keep you posted.

Unfortunately there has been no improvement in the last 24 hours and they are concerned that she is not eating. They have tried to tempt her with all sorts of things including cottage cheese. My sister has suggested that they try tuna as Finnan usually does summersaults when you open a tin.

Finnan is the most beautiful Westie I have ever seen, easily as pretty as the one in the Cesar Dog food commercial, and a real character. She is probably the most stubborn and naughty dog I have ever known but we love her all the same. At 11 years old she can still act like a puppy even if she is a bit grumpy at times.

Get well soon Finnan!

A worrying couple of days

As you have probably realised Rodders really hasn't eaten much at all this week and I have tried everything I could think of, used any idea OH had and asked for advice on the Schnauzer forum. The answers varied from get him to the vet, to put his bowl down & if he doesn't eat it in 15 minutes lift it and he will eat when he is hungry to he is just playing you to see if you will give in and give him back the yummy id diet.

I had decided that I was going to wait until the morning and then see if I could get a Vet Nurse check as you have to ring on the day for a saturday appointment.

And then.......

About 5.30pm he was playing with something on the kitchen floor and trying to eat it. As I knew he hadn't been given anything to eat I went to check what it was - A tooth!

About an hour later he asked for his supper for the first time in a week - I have been putting his meals down all week and lifting them again when he hasn't eaten them. I gave him a bowl of kibble and he ate most of it in one sitting.

I went back on the Schnauzer Forum to let them know and comments have come back saying Doh! Why didn't we think of that, Poor Rodders and suggestions of giving him scrambled eggs or soaked kibble.

About 9.30pm he lost another tooth so I popped him on the grooming table to check his mouth in case it was red or swollen, luckily it seems fine. I then combed him through and sorted out his gunky eyes. He was so good. As a treat I put down some soaked kibble for him and after looking at it for a minute and letting him eat some off my hand he wolfed it down - So it is soaked kibble for the next few days!

Now he has a full tummy he seems so much happier, I really could kick myself for not realising what was the matter with him.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A quiet night, not a lot of food but a goodish day

I had to waker Rodders to go in to the garden at bedtime and, despite putting him on the grass twice, he refused to have a piddle.

I picked him up once he was back inside and gave him a cuddle while walking around and locking up before putting him at the crate door. He walked straight in to his bed to find his treats and another Kong full of kibble. I switched out the lights and said goodnight and I didn't hear anything else from him until I was in the bathroom at 6.30am the next morning.

He was happy to have a quick snuggle when I let him out the crate but soon wanted out in to the garden for a piddle. I left the door open while I went to make a cuppa and he came back in for a fuss before going back out for a poo. I put his breakfast down but he really didn't seem interested in it.

He then came up on the sofa with me until it was time to go and get washed and dressed. He wanted up on to the bed and instead of stealing my socks he was stealing the tissues out of my dressing gown pocket.

As soon as we got back downstairs I locked the back door and out my coat on. Rodders was almost doing summersaults as I tried to get his lead on and put my wellies on. We were eventually ready to go out and he sat nicely at the door waiting and walked nicely to the rugby field. Once there he sat while I swapped to the extendable lead and then was off sniffing and running about. He stopped for a piddle and a poo and waited while I cleaned up. We bumped in to the man and Westie we saw yesterday and stopped to pass the time of day while the dogs played and were then on our way again. When we got near the road there were some people walking towards the school with children and Rodders was quite happy to sit and watch them for a while before I called him to come to me and we headed back to the edge of the field, swapped leads and then on our way home. He had a bark at a couple of people on route but carried on walking beside me.

Back indoors I got changed out of my jeans and then got him a kong ready before putting on my coat and gathering my things ready to leave for work. I gave him a cuddle and put him down at the crate door and then he walked straight in.

When I got back at lunchtime he was happy to have a snuggle but wanted out in the garden to play fairly quickly. I made tea and toast and ate it quickly then followed him in to the garden with the ball launcher. He was happy to chase after the ball but didn't want to give it back even though it was difficult to bark at Bob and Pat next door when they came out. All too soon it was time for me to go back to work. Luckily he had already come back in so all I had to do was get him in his crate. As he hadn't shown any interest in his lunch I gave him another kong as well as some treats.

I got held up at work tonight and so I didn't get home until 5.30pm. Luckily Skevi had been here since 4.30pm and had already let him out of the crate and in to the garden a couple of times. He was quite happy chasing her about but she had decided to leave him downstairs while she cleaned upstairs as he was stealing things out of the bedroom so when I got in he was behind the lounge door.

After she and I said hello I came downstairs with Rodders to make a cuppa. While I was stood in the kitchen I threw a few bits of kibble down and he hoovered them up so I threw down more and more. I then swapped his kibble in to a different bowl as he seems hungry but isn't eating from the bowl he got for Christmas. As soon as I swapped back to his old bowl he ate half the kibble in there.

Skevi finished upstairs and got a bark when she came down with the mop and bucket. Once she had tidied up she had a quick play with Rodders before leaving us for another week.

Rodders and I had a quick snuggle and then he came in to the kitchen with me while I cooked my dinner. As I was eating he was playing behind me in the conservatory, when I turned around to look he had thrown all his toys out of the toy box and was in there trying to curl up in it - I think he is too big for it now!

When I finished eating he came and lay down beside me on the bed pad and didn't move when I went to make a cuppa. The only thing that got him to move was when OH FaceTimed us. He had a chat with both of us.

I have put a post up on the Schnauzer Forum about how badly Rodders is eating for some advice but I am beginning to wonder if he is just bored as each time I stand in the kitchen and throw the kibble down for him to chase he eats it all up, he just won't eat it from the bowl.

He is now happily playing in the kitchen chasing his ball, he seems to like the enclosed space for it to bounce off.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A noisy night and a noisy day

Rodders has played and run about for most of the evening, his only rest was when he was stood on the grooming table so he should be a tired puppy.

When OH and I were ready for bed I started to collect up all the toys to put back in the toy box and told Rodders it was bedtime. Rodders went in to the garden for a piddle and OH said he would get him to go in to his crate as I have been struggling recently. Rodders came back in and sat on the doormat. OH sat on the floor by the crate and called him, Rodders ignored him and moved across the conservatory. After a minute or two OH went over to him and was talking quietly in to his ear, gradually they both moved towards the crate and Rodders climbed in. We both said goodnight to him as we gave him his treats and OH locked the crate.

Rodders was quiet while we were in the bathroom and as we got undressed for bed but he started to bark soon after that. OH came down to him the first time and managed to get him to be quiet. It didn't last long and he started again. OH thought maybe he needed to go in to the garden so I came down and let him out of his crate and in to the garden, all he wanted to do was stand beside me and bark. I wondered if he was hungry as he hadn't eaten that much today so I out him back in his crate with another Kong full of kibble. It didn't work and he was soon barking again so OH came down yet again. He lay on the floor beside the crate and gradually Rodders settled down and curled up to go to sleep so OH left him and came back to bed. An hour after we first went upstairs we could both settle down and go to sleep.

OH was up early and came downstairs, Rodders was fast asleep and didn't make a sound until he was beside the crate. Rodders almost slithered out but was soon running when OH went to sit in the papasan chair as he loves to snuggle up with him on it. Very soon they headed upstairs so that OH could have a shower and Rodders could come and wake me. He comes and stands on his back legs at my side of the bed and squeaks until I out an arm out to give him a fuss, he then starts to lick every bit of me he can reach. It is hard to resist and it always manages to get me up.

I came downstairs to find my cuppa, OH always makes me one if he is up first. Rodders was running up and down between us. Once OH was dressed he came down to say goodbye and head out the door. Rodders went with him to the gate and when I called him to come back he thought about it for a minute and then came running. I was really pleased about that as he has not been coming when called much recently so I gave him a big fuss.

We then headed upstairs so that I could get washed and dressed. When it was time to go back downstairs Rodders wouldn't come out of the bedroom when I called him so I pulled the door to for a minute. When I opened it he was right behind the door and happy to come out.

I was making myself a tuna sandwich for lunch and I put the empty tuna tin on the floor for Rodders. He wouldn't go near it, he just sat and barked at it! He hasn't shown much interest in his breakfast either :-( I am still weighing out his food and he only ate 160g of yesterdays 180g allowance, not the end of the world but I need to keep an eye on it.

At 7.30am we headed up the rugby field. Rodders sat and waited at the door and walked nicely to the field, sitting and waiting before we crossed the road. When we got to the field he sat and waited while I swapped to the extendable lead and then he was off running and sniffing and then running some more. He was having a lovely time. Half way around the field we met a man and a Westie that was off the lead. He and Rodders said hello and had a lovely time playing for a few minutes. As we tried to part and go our separate ways the Westie had other ideas and kept following us. His owner had to come and get him and put him on his lead, apparently this is really unusual!

As we got off the field Rodders sat without being asked while I swapped leads but he did try to run as we started to walk towards home and so had to be checked. As we got near home we could see workmen arriving next door at Bob and Pat's. Scaffolding had gone up yesterday and it looks as though soffits and gutters are going up today. I hope Rodders won't bark all morning at them.

I nipped upstairs to swap out of my jeans and then came down to finish getting ready for work. As it has taken so long to get Rodders in to his crate for the last few days I started early but he fooled me and went in quite easily, probably helped by a Kong full of kibble and a couple of treats.

When I came home at lunchtime the workmen next door had finished and Rodders didn't seem to be too upset by any disruption or strange noises. He was pleased to see me and after a quick fuss he went out in to the garden. He didn't want to play fetch with the ball launcher and was quite happy out there on his own enjoying the sunshine. He did try to take his duck out there but I went and brought it back in, soft toys should not be in the garden! He did eventually come back inside.

When it was time for me to go back to work I picked him up and gave him a cuddle, told him I had to go back to work and then put him down at the crate door. He walked straight in! I gave him another kong full of kibble as he hasn't eaten any lunch.

As I came home from work and walked to the front door Rodders gave one bark. I unlocked the door and came in and I could see him in his crate but he didn't bark again until I spoke. He was very excited to be let out of the crate and wanted to come up for a fuss.

From then on the evening seemed to go downhill for a while. Rodders didn't want to play with me and he barked a lot of the time, he constantly wanted in or out of the garden. The only time he seemed to be happy was when I said I was going upstairs, he was so excited to be heading upstairs and ran to the lounge door and rushed up the stair. Once up there he was happy to play with the toilet roll inner or find the slippers in the bedroom. Back downstairs he was back to barking or trying to bite my trousers and wanting in and out of the garden. By 7.30pm I was running out of ideas. I thought maybe he was hungry so I gave him his supper early but he hardly touched it.

Eventually he came and settled on his bed pad for an hour. I checked to see how much he has eaten today, 80g, not good. I wonder if I need to put him back on to wet food?

Monday, 9 January 2012

An exciting Monday

Rodders didn't seem to want his kibble this evening but he did have a late lunch and he has eaten almost a whole Dentastix.

Rodders spent most of the evening asleep, when he wasn't barking, and I couldn't get him to eat any more during the evening.

I had to wake him up to go out for a piddle at bedtime. He went out by himself and while he was out there I filled his Kong with kibble. Once he was back inside he just sat on the doormat and it took me ages to get him to come to me and walk in to the crate by himself. I am not sure what this is about but it is becoming a habit.

I didn't hear anything from him until I wandered in to the bathroom at 6.30am when he started barking. I came down stairs and he wanted a quick fuss before going out in to the garden for a piddle. As I was making a cuppa he came back in and then went out again.

I got his breakfast ready but he wasn't interested in it, he just wanted to snuggle on the sofa with me until it was time for a shower. I filled his Kong and took it with us and he was happy to munch through that as I showered and washed my hair. As soon as I opened the shower door he came in to drink from the shower tray and then licked my feet, this really tickles by the way.

By the time I had dried my hair, with Rodders sat beside me on the bed trying to catch the hot air, and had got dressed we were running a bit late. OH rang to say hello and disappeared very quickly when he heard how behind I was!

It was then downstairs to make some rolls for lunch before taking Rodders for a quick walk around the block. I sorted out another kong filled with kibble so that Sue, the dog walker, could give him that when she brings him back later and then it was time for me to leave for work.

Rodders wasn't happy to go in to his crate and it took me a while to encourage him in but he did eventually go in there by himself.

I hadn't planned on coming hime at lunchtime as I needed a bit of shopping but I was done in 10 minutes flat so I decided to drop it off at home. Rodders was very pleased to see me and had obviously had a lovely muddy walk by the state of him. He had already eaten the kong full of kibble so I filled another one ready for when I go back to work.

We then went out in to the garden to play with his ball launcher and he was much better at bringing the ball back and dropping it somewhere near me. Ten minutes before I needed to head back to work I started to try and get him in the crate, good job I did as that is how long to took. It is so silly as he doesn't make a sound once he is in his crate so it isn't distressing him.

When I got home from work he was very happy to see me and didn't want to go out in the garden for ages. We had a fuss and a snuggle on the sofa (while I was picking bits of tree out of him!) followed by a bit of a play before he wanted to go out, this boy has a very strong bladder! He was trying to chew my boots while I was sat on the sofa with my legs crossed and gave a very strange half bark, half squeak when he was told no.

Once OH rang to say he was on his way Rodders came in to the kitchen with me while I started dinner and was playing at my feet. I started jumping about to amuse him and he was dancing in front of me, barking for me to do it again.

He heard OH's car arrive out the back and was sat at the door barking to go out. OH was taking ages and Rodders was getting more frustrated so I popped on his extendable lead so that he could go out and greet him. He was so excited and ran straight towards the gate. The only problem with doing this is he gets so excited that he runs around in circles and ended up tying himself in knots. Luckily it untangles very quickly once you can reduce the tension on the lead and take it off.

Rodders hardly leaves OH's side for the first hour he is home, chasing him everywhere. The only exception to this is when he runs off with OH's slipper. OH and I both got changed and then he came downstairs to play with Rodders while I finished off dinner.

Once Rodders realised I was chopping vegetables he came in to the kitchen to see what was on offer and was very happy to be given a broccoli stalk, these keep him quiet for ages and it meant I only had to get up from dinner twice to let him in and out of the garden.

Once we had eaten Rodders got his supper and ate quite a lot before wandering off to play. He seems to amble between OH and I quit happily looking to see who will play with him next. I threw his ball up the lounge for a while playing fetch until he got bored. A bit later I found him playing with his Kong so I filled it up with what was left from his dinner and he has eaten most of that too. He has also found the last bit of the Dentastix from yesterday and has been munching on that.

After dinner OH had a yoghurt for his pudding and Rodders got to lick the bowl out. This meant that he ended up with a sticky beard. OH decided he would clean it and comb it which then led on to Rodders being put on the grooming table and being done all over. It was funny to be sat here listening to OH talking gently to him as he did it. Rodders looked gorgeous by the time he had finished, all soft and fluffy.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

A busy day

Once I was washed and dressed Rodders wanted out in to the garden so I went with him to poop scoop. We then played with his ball launcher for a while. He still hasn't got the hang of bringing the ball back but does usually drop it somewhere near me. While he was running about with the ball in his mouth Pat next door came out to hang out her washing and Rodders was giving a very muffled bark which made me laugh!

Pat stopped to say hello and says that they hardly hear Rodders when I am out at work, he does give the occasional bark if he can hear them in the passage though.

We played for a little bit longer and then I left him out there while I went to the bin at the front door and got ready to go out. When he came in he wasn't happy that I was going out without him and it took me 10 minutes to entice him in to his crate with some kibble and some treats but he did eventually walk in there by himself.

When we came home yesterday I had to park out the back so I left by the back door this time. Rodders wasn't happy about that at all and did not stop barking until I was outside the back gate. I was out shopping for about 2 hours and Rodders was very happy to see me when I got back. He had a quick fuss and then wanted out in to the garden. That gave me time to swap coats and when I called him back in he came straight away and started dancing about. I managed to get his lead and my wellies on although he was leaping all over them and trying to bite them.

We set off towards the Nicky Line and then down towards Keens Fields. Rodders was having a lovely time sniffing and running about. I did make him sit and wait  for me to catch him up a couple of times and I also called him to come to me a few times and gave him a treat if he came and sat at my feet. By the end if the walk he was almost sitting by himself without being asked to.

When we got to Keens Fields we stopped to talk to a lady at the bottom of the steps, she seemed quite knowledgable about dogs and recognised Rodders as a young Miniature Schnauzer. Once she had caught her breath we left her and carried on our walk. We did an extra loop to the walk we have done previously which involved climbing a bit of a hill. It was a bit slippy and Rodders waited for me at the top. We then walked along the top, by the houses, and down in to another bit of the park where I think we spotted a green woodpecker hopping from tree to tree.

We only saw a few other dogs on the field today and Rodders only got to play with one, Eddie, a little terrier cross. As we started climbing the steps back to the Nicky Line a man followed us up and re-assured me that he wasn't an axe murderer! It hadn't even crossed my mind until he said it. He was looking up the path to see where his wife and dogs were, once they were I'm sight he whistled and the two dogs came flying towards us from a long way away. I made Rodders sit as I thought he may get mown down. He was fine until they came past us and then he wanted to run with them.  Once they had greeted their master they were happy to come back and say hello to Rodders until the mans wife caught us up. We talked about the dogs and then parted.

On the way back Rodders kept sitting down so I kept calling him to me, sometimes he got a treat if he came and sat in front of me, other times he ran straight past and got nothing. He has started to show more interest in the squirrels and was barking at them at one point. He also seems to be able to follow a scent by the way he will change direction when he is sniffing.

I thought I may have worn him out as we were out for well over an hour, but as soon as we got home he was running about chasing his toys and then once he calmed down a bit he wanted out in to the garden and was out there for a while. I made myself some lunch and he wanted back out again while I was eating. When he eventually came back in he came straight in to the kitchen to bark for his lunch. He must have been starving as he ate most of it in one go.

After he had eaten he had a short play and then settled down on his bed pad.

A good night and then a fright

Rodders was exhausted after his busy day. He played for a little while and ate some supper but he was happy to sleep on his bed pad for most of the evening, not even getting up when I went upstairs to the bathroom.

At bedtime Rodders went out in to the garden for a piddle by himself and then came back in and went and sat in the lounge looking at me. After 10 minutes of trying to get him to come to me I gave up and went to get him, he tried to escape but failed.

I put him down at the door to the crate and put his treats in there and, at last, he walked in. I had also given him a Kong filled with kibble as he really hasn't eaten much today and it may mean that I don't need to get up so early!

The kong seems to have worked and Rodders didn't wake me until 7.30am. Having gone to bed at midnight that seems quite good to me! He wanted a fuss but was fairly desperate to go out in to the garden for a piddle. Once he came back in he had some breakfast and then went back out for a poo and to play. Once he came back in he was happy to play with his toys for about 40 minutes before asking to come up. He slept on top of me for about an hour before wanting down.

He seemed to be playing at my feet with his duck and then he moved on to his bed pad. After a few minutes there seemed to be something wrong so I got down on the floor with him to have a look. His choke chain was stuck in his mouth. It looks as though he had been trying to chew his dog tag and once he got it in to his mouth the chain tightened and he couldn't get it out again. I quickly slipped it over his head to free him but it looks as though we need to take it off while we are in the house.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

A trip to Brackley

After puppy school Rodders and I headed up the M1 to junction 15A and then on towards Brackley which is off the A43. We were going to meet a couple of ladies (Mooloo and Molly) from a forum I am on to handover the TV to one of them. Mooloo is a lovely lady with 4 grown up children of her own, including twins with special needs, and 4 grand children. Her eldest grandchild (known as DGD on the forum) lives with her and she was in desperate need of a video for her as theirs had broken.  Luckily my old TV from the bedroom had an integral video so is just right for her and will, hopefully, give her Granny some peace to get on with other things.

We got stuck on the M1 for ages because of a broken down lorry - they had reduced the carriageway from three lanes to one - so we were late getting there. I had her phone number so I was able to ring ahead and warn them.

When we got there Mooloo was stood at the door with her DGD watching for us. It is normally a busy road but luckily I managed to get parked right outside. I came in and said hello and then popped Rodders out in to the garden for a piddle while the Mooloo and Molly sorted out tea and biscuits. DGD was a very bright little 4 year old but was a little shy of me to start with and was clinging to her Granny and Molly who she sees on a regular basis. She is a very polite little girl and only needed reminding once to say please and always said thank you. She also checked if she was allowed a second biscuit.

I soon got DGD down on the floor with me to play with Rodders and a ball and she got the hang of making him sit and wait before throwing the ball for him. She didn't like it when he tried to chase her toes or when he was pouncing towards her to play as she was moving around. She is used to dogs but this was her first encounter with a puppy and she did really well. I had left his lead on so that I could grab him quickly if I needed to and I did need to make him come and sit with me to calm down a couple of times.

I popped out and brought in the TV and DGD held Rodders lead although he couldn't have escaped anyway as all the doors were shut.

After a little while DGD was happy to come and sit in my knee while I was chatting to Molly and Mooloo. Rodders did manage a sneaky lick of a biscuit that DGD had left on the coffee table :-( Once she was more sure of me DGD wanted to ask me about the TV and how it worked, she wanted to know where the on/off button was and how to turn the sound up and down as well as asking where the video went in so she is obviously quite capable.

By the time we left DGD seemed to be my best friend and was happy to give me a hug and a kiss goodbye as I went out the door and she and Mooloo both asked me to come and see them again.

I decided to head home a different way so that I didn't have to deal with the motorway so I headed up the A43 towards Oxford before turning off towards Bicester and Aylesbury. Almost home I diverted off in to the little Tesco for emergency supplies and left Rodders in the car for 5 minutes. He was very good and only barked when I got back in the car.

Puppy School No 7

This was our first week at puppy school in a month and Rodders really needed it.

As I was getting him out of the car Rodders spotted Red a Welsh Spaniel and started to bark. There were lots of new puppies for him to meet this week and the class before us stopped on their way past to say hello too so Rodders didn't know which way to look next!

One of the new puppies, Wendy a King Charles, was frightened by Rodders approaching her and squealed really loudly as she disappeared behind her owners legs. I asked if it was her first class as he was trying to entice her back out and apparently it is her 2nd, on her first she squealed the whole time. There was also a clumber spaniel and a beautiful Coker Spaniel called Liam.

Class started by us swapping puppies and giving them all treats and a fuss, it was mayhem as there were 8 of us this week. At the first swap Rodders was not interested and turned his back on the chap that had got him, sat down, and just watched me! He was better with swap 2 and 3 but very happy to come back to me.

We then all lined up and started to walk up towards the field. Rodders was far too busy trying to chase the other dogs to heel properly and so earnt himself a couple of big checks. Once on the field we were all stood in a line with our dogs sitting beside us and we took it in turns to weave through the line from back to front. Rodders was quite well behaved while we weaved but he was a nightmare to keep still while he was being weaved around, he just wanted to leap up and play with the puppy walking past him.

We then did heel and sit as we moved up towards the agility course. Rodders loves the tunnel and the A Frame but his excitement nearly caused us a problem today with the tunnel. The first time he just would not sit and wait and our class leader was up the other end of the field setting up the low jumps so she couldn't hold him so one of the other puppy's owners held him for me. He ran straight through the tunnel when I called him. The second attempt he did sit and wait until I was almost at the other end of the tunnel before he ran through which meant that I wasn't quite there to catch hold of him at the other end and he ran off, luckily only towards the puppy's waiting at the A Frame! The first time he went over the A Frame he stopped at the top to lick something, the second time he stopped to have a look around. We did the jumps twice but he wasn't very happy going over them.

We then moved on to recall, where he has to sit and wait until I call him. He did very well at this (mostly) but I need to call him and wait until he is almost at me before I say sit or he sits wherever he is when I say it. This is another favourite activity as this gets him treats.

We then practiced down which he was quite good at to start with. We then tried a stay command while we walked round them. The first time I did this he was fine but the second and third time he tried to get up and when I put him back in to the down position he just rolled over on to his back and wanted his tummy rubbed.

Finally we played with tuggy's. Rodders had to play with it and them let it go when asked which he did beautifully for a while but then he got bored and wanted to go and play with another puppy and it was difficult to get his attention back. I think we had been doing this for too long but the instructor was concentrating on a couple of puppy's that were not doing very well. She then wanted us to move on to throwing it and getting the dog to hold it and bring it back to us. We did really badly with this as Rodders was fed up with the buggy by this point. I also wondered if he didn't understand what I meant by hold as we use fetch it at home so I tried that too but it didn't work.

It was then time to head in to the hall and Rodders was a star. He sat and waited at the door and came in when asked and then he went in to the down position and stayed there for ages while we talked through how we had all done. The instructor thought that Rodders was much better than the last time she saw him, he is but not as good as he has been.

I got him to sit and wait at the door on the way back out and as I was changing out of my wellies TJ, Red's Mum, stopped for a chat. She asked if I had done the friday class and what it was like. I told her that it was much quieter than the saturday class and I really like it as I prefer Sam as an instructor ( we only get her every other saturday unfortunately) but now I am working I can't do it. She is thinking of swapping as it will work out better for her if her husband is away.