An Extra Four Legs

It has been weeks since I have written anything. There are many reasons for this,  and the main one is that I lost my mojo as some would call it back when Dad and Bob passed away.

Time has stretched as days have been spent sorting through Dad’s many years of collecting books,  which he stored in a random fashion in his study or in an extra shed outside. The second reason is that we have, as you may know, given a lot of time to finding Ellie a companion.

Our visits to the pounds in the various counties resulted in nothing sparking an interest in her. We would gladly have taken quite a few of those dogs home but, she didn’t seem to show any sign of friendship to any of them.

Then one afternoon for some strange reason I called to our vets and spoke to them. This is where I learnt about Dugg /Doug (jury is out on how we spell it). He is three years old, a golden labrador who lived with a lot of other dogs but whose owner needed to find him a home. So we met him and Ellie didn’t shy from him or look annoyed when she met him.

We brought him home on trial. It was a trial. He appeared happy to be with us until each evening when the howling and barking began. It was like having a baby in the house. We were not sleeping and many a conversation ended with, “he is a sweet dog but his howling is driving me nuts.” In short, we gave him time, attention and he, in turn, tried our patience, but Ellie tolerated him and was no longer crying or looking sad. Sometimes she looked frustrated and tired, like us, but he didn’t have many issues beyond his night time love of howling.  He wasn’t overly fond of men but he is losing his distrust. Ellie and Doug are getting closer as you can see from the pictures. He is still a little too thin but as my kids say, “you will easily fix that mum!”

He loves babies, likes Brook and Belle two other four-legged occasional visitors and is a gentle sloppy idiot, who likes to eat fruit straight from the garden. It seems as though my pal Bob pushed me to the vets on that afternoon, so Doug is staying, what else could I do?

 

 

Weather and Dogs.

We are never happy. We, meaning Irish people, moan and groan about the weather constantly. It is always a hot topic. None more so than today, after suffering through, snow, ice and the country coming to a stop in March we are now meeting the blissful sight of sunshine, every morning.

But with temperatures tipping 32 degrees we are simply melting in the heat. Icecream sales have rocketed. Not so good is the fate of farmers who struggle with water shortages for their animals. A peat bog some distance from us has been burning for the past two days, an unheard of event.

Some of us who invested in rainwater harvesting tanks and systems are trying hard not to be smug about the large tanks of rainwater we have at our disposal.

But the question is, why isn’t everyone thinking of collecting what falls from the sky in abundance during most of the year.

Bob is the only one who snores on blissfully ignorant of all the dilemmas and debates going on around him. He continues to trundle about the house and garden, nabbing the few strawberries and raspberries that dare to ripen within his reach.  He is truly the main wonder of our world as he defies all vets prognosis and greets us each day with a smile on his face, a twinkle in his eyes and a wagging tail.

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I know she dropped one

Lazy Days

Time is short for everyone these days so I have decided to be just like Bob and make this a short and sweet post.

I am dog crazy, always was and always will be but sometimes I don’t get that people fail to see the benefits that we get from having a four-legged friend in the house. The bonus in our house is varied;

  1. Getting rid of scraps is no problem as Bob is always too happy to help out. It doesn’t matter what type of meat or veg is left over, he will gladly reduce the amount heading to the bin.
  2. Getting in our 10,000 steps a day is not a huge problem in this house as Bob gets a very short sedate walk and then the crazy collie gets her fast-paced walk or jog. She is not limited by terrain either, beach, riverside, fields or roads Ellie will take them all on.
  3. Finding a person to give you a hug (Bob) or nudge (Ellie) to help reduce stress levels is a handier way of bringing down blood pressure than trying to remember to take pills.
  4. Time – on the odd occasion when the batteries in the clock failed, our friendly four-legged friends were highly reliable regarding meal times.
  5. Then there are the amazing way dogs can assist people, – Therapy dogs, Assistance (guide) dogs, Search Dogs, Security Dogs, Cancer Detection, The trouble with this one benefit is that it takes time and patience to find which category the dog fits best with

Happy Mothers Day everyone!

 

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Two pups gaining access to a bus

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Willow learning from Bob

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Ellie, making snowballs

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Bob doing what he does best, relaxing

Bob on exercise

We took the (home made) agility gear out and Ellie did her usual, raced over jumps, through the tunnel and kept on going for a few laps until she had taken the tunnel apart.

the best way to use buckets.

We spent quite a bit of time trying to persuade the Bob to have a go. There was no treats in my pocket so the best he could manage was – a roll over!

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How Bob arrived.

A co-worker of my husband asked, “would you be interested in a 2 year old dog?”

The question caught him out, as he kindly asked what kind of dog. Fast forward to the weekend and we went to see this Norwegian Elkhound. Bob was bought for a lady in her eighties. But he was too big, too strong and heedless.

We arrived at the house in the country and were greeted by Bob, front paws on the top of the gate and hind ones planted firmly on the ground. He took one look at us and smiled. I think he was saying, gotcha!

He was correct. He had us from that goofy smile and ceaseless tail wagging.

He came home with us quietly. We stopped to buy leash, bowls, dog food etc. And then the trouble started. He decided he would be boss and eat everything in sight. Wellington boots, shoes or slippers weren’t good enough they were simply a starter. What he liked was the tough teeth crunching wooden posts, his kennel and finally his coupe de resistance, the electric gate leads.

As everyone knows he obviously survived the electricity but didn’t go back for seconds. The reason being the wires were encased in plastic casing then a metal casing. In fact everything we thought he might eat was encased, or locked away or hidden.

Luckily he mellowed as he settled down though he never lost that heedlessness making teaching him a very big challenge. In the end though I think he has been the teacher.img_0201

Take this idea I had for photos of him and Ellie.

I had everything set up then he decided he wasn’t in the mood for modelling.

On this occasion I didn’t give in.

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It isn’t easy getting the bow in place, getting him to allow it to sit there was the big problem.

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There is that look on his face again, wouldn’t you love to know what he was thinking?

 

Hot Days, Cool Dogs & Flowers

It was hidden from sight for seven months but at last we have some “terrible hot weather” as we call it because Summer is here, again, however briefly. Truth is most Irish people wilt at anything above 21 degrees.

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But Bob has his own solution, which consists of sitting (no surprise there), in the shade.

Though I suspect he is simply waiting on those raspberries to ripen.IMG_0065

 

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While Ellie as always is searching

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intently.

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Not noticing the beauty popping up around her.

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Strange things happen in Summer

Irish Summers mean many things to many people but in this house Summer makes dogs do unusual things.

And we seem to attract them in all sizes and shapes,

This one loves….

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Wheelbarrows

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And some are a mystery, in this case  a wet pup

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His missing sister solved the puzzle of how he got wet

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It was bath time,

which explained why Bob was last seen

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Running!

Yes strange things happen in Summer