Saturday, 30 June 2012

A little light

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

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

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

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

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

A professional groom

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

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

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

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

But what a smart boy I brought home!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

What is in my garden?

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

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

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

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Daily fun with the 5 o'clock club

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

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

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

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

Been away too long! Did I mention Dovedale?

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

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

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

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

Everywhere you looked each day there were Schnauzers!

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