Maria’s Stuff: Memories of our first garden.

The vegetable Garden

The vegetable Garden

niall and sara under beech

sara flowersOur first home was as I remember – picture perfect. The garden the most lived in room.

The nearest neighbor a long walk up a leafy rickety lane-way.

The garden, a field then, stretched on forever. It wasn’t perfect, but it sat on a height overlooking the farms stretched out below and beyond it. We gained aches and pains as we eliminated the abandoned glass bottles, old tin cans and iron bed frames, tainted and rusty to touch. Everything safely sent to a recyclable life via a tractor and trailer.

A lawn and driveway arrived. Tiny hands were tickled by flitting butterflies as they played in this large space sprinkled with roses and hebes of all varieties.  Tree climbers were carefully minded by the one hundred year old solid beech tree. From its lofty height it loved to sprinkle the lawn with helicopters. Pulled by the wind they twisted and turned toward the green velvet carpet where they added their golden brown hue to its richness. All around me I can see nature at its best, soft rolling hillsides displaying every shade of green.

No heavy traffic or exhaust fumes filled the air, here, birdsong was the mainstay of my day. Passing of time was told by every passing vehicle: the milkman, neighbors ferrying children to and from school, husbands returning from work.

The seasons saw some changes which colored the air, spreading manure, making hay, or cows being herded home.
Home – I can almost taste it! Though I have changed house, the memories of this home will never be forgotten. It was a heartfelt first home.


Bob’s Diary: Peace is sought.

I have a hard life and here is the evidence.Bob with hat one

I was settling down for a pleasant snooze in the afternoon sunshine when she appeared.

fun one




I knew she had a plan

She had it went like this:

fun 2



You need to play;





fun 3










fun 5










fun 9











Then I thought it was safe but…she nicked my hat!

nicking hat

running with hat




















Eventually there was peace.

Game over











Until next time.


Bob’s Diary: Baby sitting

Maria left early this morning. We suspected something was happening as Sara was with her.They returned with these two,









and his sister Daisy or as I call her Crazy Daisy. She likes to jump at my ears and tail.


I did my best at getting them to stay still for a picture but it wasn’t easy.

bob with pups





Finally I gave up and went for a rest.

bob in shade

Ellie had trouble with them. There was a mountain of balls lying about but the only one they wanted was the one she had in her mouth.

ellie and pepper

So eventually, she went for a rest.

ellie in shadeWe missed them when they went home.

Bob’s Diary: DIY

I decided I’d paint my own background for my blog page;

bob painting 1Trouble is

bob painting 2

it was getting hot,

bob painting 3


and I was getting tired, artistic block, isn’t that it?

bob paint 4So I decided to leave it for another day,

bob awayI don’t think it is going anywhere.



Maria’s Stuff: How we found Ellie a job.

Bob never needed a job, correction, Bob didn’t want a job.

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product, Eleanor Roosevelt

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product,
Eleanor Roosevelt

But Ellie was constantly moving, if there wasn’t a ball around she was up to mischief. She taught Bob how to open gates and doors. Before this he presumed that was our job, to let him get from A to B, when he huffed or barked, demanding it to be done.

Ellie looking at camera

Ellie’s relentless energy threatened to wear me out. If she got into the utility room nothing was safe. Her favorite game as a pup was to tumble the unwashed clothes from the basket , then carefully, one by one distribute them around the garden. As it is a large old garden this did annoy me but the neighbors enjoyed watching me retrieve, bra, socks etc from trees or shrubs. Or if she got into Pat’s shed she would rearrange what ever she managed to reach from the nearest shelves and hide them around the place.

I began researching ways to wear Ellie out.

I took her to agility lessons. She loved the whole buzz about the place.

We brought Bob and he enjoyed the attention and the endless treats that were bestowed on him by his new friends while he watched her work.

To get to the center was a 45 minute car journey and it didn’t tire her out, but it did me. Bob was the added factor, he was gaining fans and weight. So I stopped the driving bought a tunnel, we made a see saw, and we use buckets and garden canes as jumps. It is not Crufts but it works.

ellie playing 4

I knew she wouldn’t make it as a service dog but I began to wonder about her ability to find her beloved ball. No matter where I hid it, she would find it and quickly. I moved up a gear and began to hide, socks and gloves about the garden. She still worked tirelessly and efficiently at finding the articles. While listening to the news one day I heard of a young woman who was missing. I remembered a friend of mine who was distressed for many years when a cousin of hers walked away from the house.

This and Ellie’s love for finding things is how we came to work with her as a search and rescue dog. She and I train everyday in some small way, but go out on searches (pretend ones) once or twice a week. It is a job she loves doing. The minute that harness is strapped on her she changes from being a crazy ball driven animal to a dog who has a serious job to do.

Bob seems to enjoy her absences as he is spoiled by everyone. Especially Louise who comes and takes him for a stroll if she knows he will be home alone. Mostly he does what Bob does best absorbs the beauty of the day and sleeps his time away.




Bob’s Diary: St. Patrick’s Day

Yi ay it’s 17th March, parades, bacon, for breakfast what more could you ask for?

yyii aah

Balloons, Beer, fun… oh oh…

she is doing it again

Why do I always fall for: there is a dog biscuit in it for you?

ellie no way

Ellie never does, but then she is more into balls and running…

burke bob

What I need now is a Lepreachaun or an Ogre

New home

I feel such a twat… an Irish twat.. I think I’ll move home.. anyone looking for a cute cuddly no exercise type of dog?? Apply here please.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.