Neil's Blog and Photo Blog

To content | To menu | To search

Friday, December 5 2014

Reenee ....

Today we had an early phone call from Harriet with some very sad news, that our old dog Reenee had died in the night. She had just reached her sixteenth birthday last month and we were all hoping that she would last out until Christmas. However it was not to be. We had a long and happy time with her over the years and we will never forget her.

Here are some pictures from over the years.

In May 2007 she came with us for a holiday on Dartmoor.

reenee0507.jpg

Here she is in August 2008

reenee0808.jpg

A little later on, March 2009.

reenee0309.jpg

And one from April 2009

reenee0409.jpg

Remember her.

Sunday, October 26 2014

Anniversary

Today was our wedding anniversary, 46 years in fact. The grandchildren had been staying with us until yesterday evening when they were collected by their parents who were staying at a holiday cottage near Torrington. As it happens, today is also the day for the clocks to go back ready for the winter so we had an extra hour as well. We had booked for Sunday lunch at the Rydon, but early this morning we had a phone call to say that the Rydon would be closed today due to illness. So we had to decide what to do. In the end we managed to book for all of us at the New Inn at Kilkhampton. We were lucky to get in at such short notice.

Hariet and Matthew were also invited so we finished up with nine including the children. Because of the late booking we had to sit at separate tobles, next to each other. The food was really good and everyone enjoyed it. I suspect that Pam and I will be going there again for a lunch on a Sunday. Afterwards we all went to St Pauls Drive as a final gathering. It is not often that all nine of can get together. We had a cake to mark the occasion and several photos were taken. I include one which Dan took using a timer on his phone. I wonder if we will all ever be together again. We also had several cards which was very pleasing. All in all a good day.

anniversary2.jpg

Sunday, August 31 2014

The Pond

I have not written anything for some ttime. Today I took Dotty for a walk by the pond. There are some previous pictures on this pond which makes it look quite reasonable. However, no work has taken place here for a few weeks now and the result is that it is now completely overgrown with weed and does not look at all pleasant. Here is a picture,

dotty13.JPG

See what I mean.

Friday, June 20 2014

Dotty has a Checkup

Since her operation Dotty has recovered well. She has quickly returned to the manic little dog she was before. At first she put up with the jacket we had put on her, to keep her from doing anything to the scar and stitches. However we soon had some problems. Dotty being Dotty she was not going to put up with that jacket for long, especially as the weather was rather hot and made her uncomfortable anyway. The result was that she soon learnt how to remove the jacket when we weren't looking. We did struggle to replace it before putting her in her cage for the night. Of course it was gone by the morning.

So what to do? Actually she was not too bad at attacking the wound, especially as it was covered by a sticking plaster. Pam tried a sleeve from an old jumper, no chance. Then a towel which was tied around her. That didn't last two minutes. Pam also bought a 'lampshade' at Brooks to try that, but it was too big, even though it was the smallest they had available. Dotty was due for a quick check up today so we decided to see what the vet could suggest. In the end we got her another 'lampshade' but this time one small enough to do the job, hopefully. So far it seems to be working. Just another week to go! At least the vet was pleased with the healing process and said she was doing very well.

Here is a photo of her with the latest protector on, not looking too happy ...

dotty12.jpg

See what I mean???

Tuesday, June 17 2014

Dotty has an Operation

Today we took Dotty to the vet to have her spayed. Now that she is six months old she needs to have it done before anything untoward happens. She was her normal full-of-life self when we took her this morning. As arranged we went to collect her at four. Everything had gone well, and I was pleased to hear that Adrian was the vet who did it. We have known him a long time and he has always looked after our animals well.

Dotty was much more subdued when we collected her, as expected. There was a lot of information handed out, luckily most of it in written form. You can see from the picture that she does not have the usual 'lampshade' to stop her from biting the stitches but a more modern 'jacket' which should be less of a nuisance for her. We have to take her for a check up next Friday, and, if all is well, she will have the stiches removed a week later. I bet she will be pleased with that.

Here she is looking rather sorry for herself ...

dotty11.jpg

Sunday, June 15 2014

Willow

Bad news, our little cat Willow has just died. We brought her with us from Bristol when we moved to Holsworthy in October 2002. She was already a few years old then, but we did not know exactly as she was a rescue cat, or really a kitten, when we first welcomed her to our family.

Since Harriet got married Willow and Millie have lived with her, along with Reenie the dog. They are all getting old now so more heartbreak must be on the way. We are now feeling very down about it. She has not been well for some time and was on some special pills. I suppose her time had come. That is the problem with pets, they become part of the family but compared to people they have a very short life span. I will try to find a photo of her somewhere.

I have managed to find a photo of her ...

willow.jpg

Brings back memories.

Monday, June 2 2014

More News

Some time since my last entry. Over the half term holiday we had the three grandchildren to stay, from the Friday to the Wednesday. I think we both found it rather tiring. Dotty on the other hand was very pleased to have some one else to play with, so she was very happy. The weather was not very good so we were not able to do very much going out. We did manage a visit to the Weir one day and Filter Through on another.

It has been much more peaceful since the visit. Yesterday for a change we both took Dotty for a walk and finished up by the pond. I did not take aniy more photos of her, but I did notice that there were a lot of yellow irises in the field by the pond so I took some photos. Here is one of a plant which was near to the path. I like this colour for a change.

iris.jpg

Rather a quiet time recently so not much to report.

Thursday, May 8 2014

Dotty Relaxing

One of the problems for us with Dotty is that she is so full of energy. One result is that when we let her come into the lounge with us in the evening and we want to sit quietly watching television, we find it difficult to get Dotty to be happy with that and to sit quietly with us. Often she has to be banned to the hall just to give us a bit of peace.

Yesterday we found one possible answer. As you can see from the photo she has found somewhere to lie quietly and to have a sleep. Why she has chosen this is a mystery still, but Pam says she is quite comfortable with it and doesn't mind. I would much rather have Dotty on my lap or sitting on the floor near me. Still, I must remember that I am not top of the list as far as she is concerned. When Pam is also in the room I am more or less ignored. I know my place. These will show you what we mean.

dotty9.jpg dotty10.jpg

Monday, May 5 2014

Dotty Has a Visitor

Yesterday Harriet and Matt had arranged to visit Caspar at his new stables. Since this was going to take most of the day they asked us to look after Reenie while they were away. So Dotty had a visitor. We did wonder how she was going to react and at first she was very excited. However she soon settled down and the two dogs got on very well.

The weather was very good and, as arranged, we took them both out for a walk in the afternoon. This time, to make it easier for Reenie, we went on to the school field. We let them both off the lead and it was amusing to see the difference between the new puppy and the old stager. Dotty ran around like a mad thing at first while Reenie just plodded along with the occasional trot. I took some photos while we were there, though it was difficult to get them both together. In all we were out for quite a long time and they both seemed to really enjoy it.

Here are a couple of pictures showing them both together, enjoying themselves and being great friends.

dotty7.jpg

dotty8.jpg

Hope you like them.

Friday, May 2 2014

Dotty Sit

Dotty is coming along now, and not biting so much. She does still have her mad moments, but not so often. Pam went to Waitrose so I decided to take Dotty for a short walk. As usual we went up the hill past the school and round into the road to town. On the way we passed some bluebells in flower alongside the path, which happens around this time every year. I tried to take some quick photos but she was on the move all the time. So I tried the command Dotty sit. As you can see this did work.

We met a few people on the walk and Dotty expects them to all want to make a fuss of her. I try to judge their reactions as best I can, but indeed usually people are happy to make a fuss of her. I am using the short lead for walks nowadays, still trying to get her to walk alongside me without pulling. It is starting to work but it is a slow job.

Here is the photo of her, sitting and waiting for me to photograph her ...

dotty6.jpg

Hope you like it.

Wednesday, April 23 2014

Short Visit to the Family in Swindon

Normally we do not go anywhere during a bank holiday, but this Easter we had arranged a quick visit to see the grandchildren. Dotty came with us, of course, and as usual she was no trouble on the journey. We travelled up on Saturday morning 19th, no problems on the way. The girls were waiting for us and their immediate reaction was surprise at how small Dotty is. The next hurdle was Tana, what would he think of this strange visitor? In the event he was very good and they spent some time rushing around the house getting acquainted. While we were there the two dogs got on very well.

We had a good time there and the food was great as usual. On the Saturday the weather was very good so Tana and Dotty had a good time in the garden. Sunday however was rainy and we all had to stay in most of the day. It was only a short visit and we returned home on the Monday morning. Travelling on a bank holiday Monday! Never. We did notice on the journey that the traffic leaving the west country was rather congested, but we had no problems. In fact we made it home in exactly three hours which we think was very good.

Visit to a Dog Behaviour Specialist

Last Wednesday, 16th of April, we took Dotty to visit Carol who works with dogs and owners to help with any behaviour problems. As usual Dotty was very good on the journey, she has no problems with travel. We spent quite a long time with Carol, talking about Dotty in general, and especially the biting problem. I must say that while we were there Dotty was very good. She also showed how she goes from running around exploring everything to suddenly settling down and having a rest and a sleep. No halfway house with her.

I thought the visit was very useful and came away with some good ideas. We were given some help sheets to keep as it would be impossible to remember everything we had been told. Whether it is a coincidence or not I don't know but since then Dotty has been getting better and does not bite Pam's ankles at all now. We arrived home shortly before six o'clock so it was too late to go to the puppy training session at Whitstone. However, an afternoon well spent.

Tuesday, April 15 2014

Dotty at the Pond Again

Today I took dotty for another walk, by the pond again. she is much better now at going for a walk. When we first had her she did not understand about walkies at all. Now, when I put on my shoes and fetch the lead she is there on her cushion in the hall, ready for me.

It was peaceful again today, just the sound of some birdsong. This time however there were two Canada geese swimming around quietly on the water. I tried a few photos with my phone, but it was difficult to see the screen because the sun was so bright. Anyway, I include one picture, the best of a poor bunch. Another time I will take my 'proper' camera.

pond2.jpg

Hope you like it.

Monday, April 14 2014

A Walk with Dotty

Today Pam was out visiting her sewing group so I took Dotty out for a walk in the sunshine. We went along St Peters Road and down the steps. On a whim I decided to have another look at the work that has been done around the pond. There is now a walkway around most of it, with a fence to keep you safe and small bridges across any stream. Dotty was well impressed and had a great time looking around at everything she could see. It was very peaceful there, just the sound of some birds singing including a blackbird. There does seem to be some work still to do.

As for Dotty herself, she is still having a go at Pam on a regular basis, biting quite hard on occasion. She does not try it on me for some reason. People tell us that she will grow out of it, but I do wonder. Meanwhile she is often put outside in the hallway while we are eating or watching television. Shame.

A picture of her on the walk today

dotty5.jpg

And a picture of the pond looking much better than the first time I saw it.

pond.jpg

Sunday, March 30 2014

Dotty - Update

Some time since I wrote about Dotty. She is still sometimes lovely and quiet and at other times she gets rather hyper and runs around like mad. The main problem is still that she bites Pam rather a lot. She is not so bad with me, but then I will not stand for it. Meanwhile she is growing bigger although she will never be other than a small dog ever. Her mother was quite little too.

Strangely she does not seem very keen on going out for a walk, which I find surprising. I thought most dogs liked to be out and about, meeting other dogs and people and finding all sorts of exciting smells. On the other hand both times we have taken her up to the local market she has been fine. Plenty going on there to interest her I suppose.

Recently she had a bit of a bad stomach, she must have picked up something in the garden which did not suit her. We did take her to the vet where she had a couple of injections, much to her annoyance, which soon settled her. For most of that day she was lovely and quiet and just wanted to sit on someone's lap. Why can't she always be like that?.

Today 30th March happens to be Mothering Sunday and also one of the best days for warmth for some time. We have spent some of the time sitting outside on the deck. Here are a couple of pictures of Dotty to show that sometimes she can be lovely and quiet. I have noticed that she does like sitting in the sun, She obviously likes to be warm and cosy.

Two pictures to show how much she has grown, and that she can be quiet sometimes.

dotty3.jpg

dotty4.jpg

Wednesday, March 19 2014

Dotty Goes to Market - again

Today was dry, although there was a cold wind, so we went up to the market again with Dotty. Last week a lot of fuss was made of her by a lot of people, and today was no different. She is very small and also very friendly which is a great help.

Today also there seemed to be even more dogs than last week and they all wanted to say hullo. Some of them were quite large breeds but Dotty was not fazed at all. One day she is going to have some trouble with assuming all dogs are friendly.

I took the opportunity to have a haircut while we were up there so Pam got a bit tired waiting around for me. She has not been very well lately, in fact I think the time she spent without some of her tablets did not help her one bit. She is now waiting for the results of some recent blood tests.

So far we are pleased with the way Dotty has taken to being out and about. We are also pleased with her in the car, she just lies down on her cushion and stays quiet for the whole journey. Oddly though she does not seem to like to go for a walk with me at home. I have to almost force her to go any distance and all the time she is anxious to return to the house. Strange.

I should mention that we took Dotty for her last visit to meet other puppies at Penbode vets last Monday. Quite a noisy time now that the four dogs know each other a bit, but I think she enjoyed it. At the end all the dogs were given a certificate to show they had completed the course. A first for us.

Friday, March 14 2014

Dotty Visits the Weir

Yesterday, Thursday, was misty at first but soon turned into a lovely sunny day. I suggested a visit to the Weir just outside Bude for a coffee and cake, and that we should take Dotty with us. To my surprise as we approached Bude the weather changed and it became quite misty. However we pressed on and arrived at the Weir as arranged. As we walked up to the café we came across some ducks which Dotty simply ignored. Good. Although it was not sunny we sat outside and had a coffee and a cake each. Pam's coffe came with a picture on the top. coffee.jpg

Meanwhile some of the other visitors made a fuss of Dotty, which we are now beginning to expect. Pam spent some time chatting to a man and his wife who were particularly impressed with her. The man said that we had a really good dog there and she must have cost us a lot of money. Praise indeed. We seem to have had quite a bargain there. I will be even more pleased once she gives up on the biting.

Here is Dotty when we arrived, looking a bit worried. She soon perked up.

dotty2.jpg

The mist showed no sign of lifting so we went home as soon as we had finished our drinks. A short distance outside Bude, on the Holsworthy road the mist disappeared and the sun came out again. Sometimes Holsworthy and Bude have very different weather even though they are not far apart. Back home the weather was good enough to encourage us to have our midday meal outside on the deck. So, two visits in two days and Dotty was very good for both.

Dotty Goes to Market

Last Wednesday, 12th March, was market day in Holsworthy as usual so we decided to take Dotty up to town to see how she would deal with meeting people and other dogs. It was a lovely sunny day and not at all cold. We were both very pleased with her. Many people made a fuss of her, which she loved, and she really was no trouble at all. We also met some other dogs which she was happy about. We did wonder if she would be a bit snappy since she still bites us sometimes, but no, not at all.

She also met some children, fine again, and in the La Dolce Vita shop she said a quick hullo to Paddy's little dog Maisie. They were fine together, although Maisie was a bit nervous as usual. She is quite a timid little thing. Harriet and Rachel were visiting the cattle marked so we arranged for them to call in at our house since Harriet had some eggs for us. So we went back home, and they soon arrived. Harriet's first reaction about Dotty was that she has grown a lot bigger. I had not realised just how much, seeing her every day makes it difficult for me to notice this. For Dotty a successful day.

Saturday, March 8 2014

Short Break in Newquay

Last Tuesday, 4th March, Pam and I went to Newquay for a short stay at the Pentire Hotel. So what to do about Dotty? Well, we had arranged for her to stay at a kennels near Wadebridge while we were away. This was her first time and we wondered how she would cope. The place took some finding as it turned out to be miles from anywhere. There were a few dogs already in residence, some of them making a noise, and Dotty seemed a bit bemused by it all. Still, it was all booked so we left her there and went on to the hotel.

I was a bit worried about Dotty, so on the Wednesday morning I made a quick phone call to ask how she was getting on. I was assured that she was fine and not to worry. Fair enough. We stayed at the hotel until Friday 7th. We had a very quiet time, the weather was not very good so we spent a lot of the time in the hotel, apart from a couple of short trips. This was fine, especially for Pam who had a rest from all the organising she normally has to do.

Friday morning we set off back home, On the way we stopped at a café which Pam spotted. It turned out to be recently opened and run by a couple who are real coffee enthusiasts. So Pam had a cup of flat white which she has not tasted since she was in New Zealand nine years ago. We also chatted to the girl owner who turned out to be Swedish. I just had a filter coffee which was really tasty too. Pam's coffee was prepared by the young owner who drew a picture of a fern on the top, all by hand, Here is a picture

coffee.png

Then on to collect Dotty who was very pleased to see us and seemed to be full of energy. It turned out the she had made friends with some of the other dogs there, and had had a good time with a lot of fuss and attention from the owners. From there the journey home was very pleasant, the weather now having improved a lot. Typical. This break has done all of us some good, and now that we know that Dotty is fine at a kennels we can book others without worrying about her.

Saturday, March 1 2014

Dotty, a Quieter Day

Today Dotty has been a lot quieter, and has not been trying to bite everything so much. Pam is wondering if it has something to do with a change in her diet. Up to now we have been feeding her mostly James Wellbeloved dried food. This is well recommended and seems to be very popular. However the vet sells a make called Hills and Pam bought a small bag of the recently. "We have been trying her with that and today she seems much better.

Even so, things should also improve even more once we can take her out for a walk regularly. Up to now she has been indoors most of the time and she must be getting bored. A few walks will give her something new to look at and also use up some of her boundless energy. Next Thursday is the day she should be fine to go out, having had both injections. For me at least it can't some soon enough. I wonder how she will get on with the dogs she meets. The local ones are all good natured so not expecting any problems there.

- page 1 of 2