September – Harvest time!

I relised I had not posted on this site in a while. No excuse just like many others, getting to grips with our new normal, though I believe there is no such thing as a normal routine, not any more.

However September is here which should mean, slow lazy gardening days, collecting, gathering an generally enjoying the fruits of our busy summer in the garden. It was going well until the brocoli incident.

You would think we had learnt to be a bit more watchful. But we don’t do anything easy or simple in this house. The Garden was looking good until we learnt that Doug loves …

Brocoli, Peas, Beans, Courgettes, Carrots, Tomatoes (red and green) in fact Doug just likes to eat! The result was flattened areas where he harvested his greens, and reds.

Update on the garden

Having 4 dogs pottering around the garden does create a challenge in itself. For various reasons, the main ones being:

 

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Odd things grow in Irish Gardens

 

Ellie, loves to dig, and hide tennis balls. We believe she does this as a – in case of accidents policy. (In other words some kid accidentally enter the garden and they do not have a tennis or football with them.) She buries them in the ground in odd places, hides them in the hawthorne hedge and even carefully places them in the branches of a thick shrub at the far corner of the garden.

All-focus

All-focus

Doug; loves to ramble and eat. He will eat, nasturtiums, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, courgette and any fruit. He is currently eyeing up the apple tree.

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Brook – energetic greyhound will lie down on any part of the garden or just anywhere.

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Bell will eat her way through any tall shrub or plant just to create a short cut.

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So all in all I think we are doing ok.

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This is the new wildflower area of the garden, seeds and weeds flourish as do ocassional children who decide to be a gardener for a while.

How about you guys and ladies and your gardening exploits during the past few months, any success stories?

Staying,

It seems that everything we talk about these days is or could be precluded with the word: Stay. Stay Safe, Stay at Home, Stay Positive, Stay fit, StayInside.

It is the one word Bob never had any difficulty with until this time of year, – stay away from the strawberries was like releasing a race horse from a starting gate.

I know she dropped one

So I won’t say it but I hope everyone in the blogging world is being happy, positive and finding a little kindness in this strange world.

Does anyone know how to build an ark?

It is cold, it is very wet. So wet in fact I am contemplating building an ark. But Ellie, Judy and Cooper are not bothered all they want to do is run and play, or train.

As I pull another pair of leaking wellington boots off my soggy feet, I wonder how did I get into this? Then I look at her sparkling eyes and realise – it is all your fault. But, we do have fun even on the wettest coldest days.

Lessons Learnt

In our inconsistent world, some of the most powerful lessons we learn come from children and (in my case) our dogs. This is only my opinion before I get a truckload of replies all denying this is the case.

There is a tv program that tracks young four and five-year-olds at play. I love watching it as I am reminded or there resilience and love of basically having fun. They also say what they think, which is also a mind opener. If we say what we honestly think the only thing we often open is a can of worms!

I have had many dogs come and go in my life and they all taught me something different, some times about myself. The poodles my mum had basically taught me:

you cannot make someone do something just because you wish it to happen. Poodle number one often was dragged by me out on a walk and I inevitably arrived home carrying him!

Poodle number two taught me that simply giving someone time and sitting with them, listening or holding their hand is often all that is required.

Poodle number three; fun is important.

However, I was reminded of all of these things when Bob arrived into our lives. He was a great people dog. He loved to sit at the gate and wait for the children to pass by on the way home from school. This feat alone gained him many jelly babies, some crisps and a few extra inches around his middle, and a long list of admirers.  While he did this, Ellie and her collection of tennis balls would appear and she would push the balls through the gate while the children chucked them back.

He was patient, sitting calmly staring at me at 6pm each evening to remind me it was time for his food and meds.

He gave comfort to both Ellie and me whenever we returned from a long search cold and tired, with a wag of his tail and a lick across my hand and on her ear, he appeared to say, tomorrow is another day. 

It has become evident that Ellie continues to miss him but that too is another learning curve – dogs emotions run deep.

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From Ellie I have learnt a different set of lessons, never give up, don’t say can’t without trying. We have done some crazy things like swimming the river Boyne, or on one occasion climbed a great height (in torrential rain)to get around fallen trees and blocked pathway to find a missing person. Taking shelter from a snowstorm in a forest and then hitching a lift back to base in a tractor.

I would love to know what others have learnt from their canine buddies and what adventures they have taken with them.

 

Curiosity

Now that the elder dog (Bob) no longer can walk beyond the end of the next house’s driveway, Ellie’s morning walks are a little more varied. However, we do see some curious things as we saunter along.

Take this pair, they would not stop following us or cock a doodle dooing!

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Ellie shook her head at me and moved on.

Then we spotted this guy sitting at the side of the road:

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She positively glared at him and turning on her heel walked home for breakfast!

Hot days, Cool dogs.

August is in and the days are rolling by, Bob is astounding everyone with his determination to reach his 14th birthday. It helps that he avoids exercise, seeks the coolest place in the garden or house and ignores those visitors who have a high energy output.

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We abandoned him last night to have a rare night out. We packed a picnic, rug, fold up seats and went to Tullynally Castle located just outside of Castlepollard. The aim of the evening was to be entertained by a Sherlock Holmes who dun it play. And entertained we were. So much so that few photos were taken. The evening was balmy, warm and not too sunny, perfect for eating and relaxing. The play was fast paced, funny and well supported by the enthusiastic munching audience.img_20180805_234228_9231074686668.jpg

 

Training in extreme weather

Irish heatwaves are a rare thing, but 8 weeks into extremely sticky heat and we are experiencing problems. For me and the four dogs, training now takes place at unlikely hours or at unlikely venues. We try to vary it as much as possible. Most days they are each given a task to do and so trained individually but then if the two-legged handler sleeps late, training takes place in the river. The dogs love this but I don’t as I generally end up the wettest of the lot.

 

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Ellie is on the left on the last photo in the slides she prefers to stand on the bank and manage the recovery – this collie only gets wet as the last resort.

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Sunny Days and Sandcastles

It was hot. We were hot and sticky so a trip to the beach was suggested and agreed upon.

Unfortunately, we were not alone. There was standing room only at the nearest beach to us and half of the county.   However, we did get to see some amazing Sand sculptures.  Let’s hear what you think of these,

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