Monday, 21 December 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Yesterday over 5 hours driving in a total whiteout - so not fun! But made worthwhle by my dogs enjoying some proper deep and crispy snow Muuuummmmmm!! Whats this stuff??? Hmmm its crispy Its cold
Its pretty Yeeeeahhhhh its FUNNNNNN

Here is a small vid of them playing (first thing in the morning so they had to pee!)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Kiss the dog, my new venture has a name (and a facebook page)

For ages I have been trying to think of names for dog behaviour training classes.
I am rubbish at names - and I know how important they are.

So thinking about what I wanted the name to say

First - that training should be kind and fair to the dog
Second - that its simple - too many training methods seem to over complicate dog training. Trying to imagine what your dog is thinking and figuring out how he is being bad, disobedient or dominant and then how to assert your authority over the dog.
For example - and this is something I have actually seen
Dog chases children
Problem must be dog is thinking it is too dominant
Dog cant go on sofa or upstairs and must wait till after owner has eaten before it gets to eat

Too complicated!!
Problem - dog chases children
Solution - teach the dog not to chase children

Simples (OK well there is more to it than that but you get the point)

So thinking of my old days in the world of business I remembered their fave acronym
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid
and thought that was perfect way to say what I wanted to say

Kiss The Dog, Kind Simple Effective dog behaviour training

What do you all think??

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Cara needs a home - or even a foster home

I have been asked to spread the word to as many in the UK as possible

This little girl needs a home

The lady she is with just now has 9 dogs, so even a foster place would be great.

She is in Scotland at the moment

Hi Pam, I have a 18month old terrier x bitch looking for a home. Her name
is Cara and she is vaccinated, wormed and spayed. She is about spaniel sized and
a bit of an all sorts mix. She is very clever and gorgeous although she needs
some training as she has never had any. If you know of anyone that might be
interested can you let me know. , I can send you some photos of her if you send
me your email add. I would like to rehome her asap as she was only supposed to
be here 1 night but the home she was supposed to go to dont want her as she is
bigger than they wanted. Thanks a million

She is a stray picked up in Wexford, Ireland. She is great with my dogs, great with my cat, not sure about children as she hasnt met any whilst with me but I would say yes fine with them as she is just a lovely friendly wee thing and loves people. She is very lively and a little cheeky madam but she is picking things up fast. She does not understand even basics like sit and really pulls on the lead but she will learn no problem. She has no serious behavioural problems and doesnt seem bothered by anything, she will adapt in any situation I would think. She is just a bouncy puppy that needs a good home to give her some boundaries and she will be a brilliant pet

Poor Ben

Yesterday was a lovely frosty winters day.
I took the dogs for a great long walk. It was lovely the dogs were perfectly behaved, we did lots of playing together, trick training and the dogs sniffing and zooming about.

Perfectly lovely walk, until..

5 min before home I see Bens paw is bright red. No yelp, no limping no crying his paw is just bleeding.

I get him home and clean it up and its stopped bleeding but there is a big cut there

So we had a long wait in the vets and now he is sporting a lovely lamphade, and his skinny wee leg is shaved.
Poor wee guy - he must have been feeling left out with all the vets attention Mia was getting.

On the great point for the day tho - I got word back that the venue I was looking at is fine for me to run training classes. Initially for Mia and some of her friends but if they go OK I might be taking my first steps into becoming a behaviourist
(well the 2nd steps - just one more essay to go on this module for my diploma!)

Monday, 30 November 2009

For those of you not sure about positive dog training

I know (but totally dont understand) that there are people out there who dont like the idea of positive training, they doubt the effectiveness of especially treat training.
I had heard that people use choke chains to teach dogs heelwork but I just couldnt figure out how you could really teach a dog using that method.
A quick you tube search showed me just how (and lots of other things people do to their dogs in the name of training)
If you are not convinced then have a look here.
First we have a guy training his dog with the choke chain - and when he stops he teaches the dog to sit by whacking it on the bum with the other end of the lead. Take a look at the poor dog during all this, panting, licking its lips and avoiding eye contact and when he hits her with the lead she cringes and flinches.
Not a great looking heel, not a happy looking dog - and an owner who is only looking out for the dog doing the wrong thing and punishing it for that - at no point does he praise the dog for doing the right thing.

Compare and contrast to these dogs
The position of being in heel is so rewarding to the dogs that they just love it, no matter where she walks the dogs are glued to her side, other commands are followed as fast as lightning
and for those of you who complain that treats make a dog that is too focused on the reward and has to be treated all the time - look at how much her dogs do for a tiny treat or a game of tug. They are working with her because working with her is fun and rewarding.
If I come back as a dog I hope it is to a trainer as good and kind as her

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Petition - Stop National Geographic showing Cesar Millan

In response to the post below and the many dog behaviour experts expressing great concern about Cesar Millans methods this petition has been started

Online petition - National Geographic: Stop showing Cesar Millan

I know that many people are divided on Cesar Millans methods but as the National Geographic channel is supposed to support animal welfare then I strongly believe that if there is any doubt at all that dog suffer during Cesar Millans training methods then it is their responsibility to stop broadcasting his show until it can be proved that his methods are not cruel and abusive.

Denmark has already banned his shows and Italy is in the process of banning him. If you are in any doubt then consider the evidence that a country would need to ban a high ratings TV show.
Please sign the petition and post links to it to all your dog loving friends

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Cesar Millan - Exercise
The TV 'entertainer' Cesar Millan is coming to the UK on a tour. I will not put links to the pages to get tickets because I don't want in any way to help this man.

I have been meaning to post about his methods for quite some time but this tour has given me the boost I needed

I will try and keep it nice :D

Among other more controversial methods that I will get to later Cesar Millan I wanted to talk about his fundamental philosophy for living with dogs.
Exercise, Discipline, Affection

In that order

So to start with Exercise.

It is true often on Cesars show he sees owners who never walk their dog. This is cruel and stupid - every trainer or behaviourist will tell you to exercise your dog to a level that is appropriate for the breed. This is not Cesars way - this is nothing new.


Cesar advocates exercising the dog to exhaustion - often dragging unfit or puppies around at speed - sometimes with him on his roller blades. He even recommends running perfectly fit dogs on a treadmill (there was a case brought against him when a dog at his facility was left unsupervised on a treadmill wearing a choke chain)

One major problem with this is what happens next week when two hours running do not tire out the dog because it is becoming fitter??

Also running on a treadmill or alongside someone is good for fitness but it does nothing for the mental well being of an animal

Most zoos nowadays are looking to improve the lot of their captive animals, some animals who naturally would cover long distances every day in the wild.

Do these zoos put giant mouse wheels in the enclosures? Take lions out for a run beside a bike?

No they look at enrichment strategies

Enrichment can be defined as:

“…a process for improving or enhancing animal environments and
care within the context of their inhabitants’ behavioral biology and natural
history. It is a dynamic process in which changes to structures and husbandry
practices are made with the goal of increasing behavioral choices available to
animals and drawing out their species-appropriate behaviors and abilities, thus
enhancing animal welfare (AZA/BAG 1999).

So better to think of ways to enrich your dogs environment and have moderate exercise this way your dog will be mentally and physically satisfied.

Ways to enrich a dogs environment - considering natural behaviours of a dog

Chasing - many dogs love chasing things - just make sure its things you are happy with and not cars, joggers, children on bikes. A few games of fetch and even chasing you around the park will be far more fun for both of you than hours on a treadmill - and changes of pace, twisting and turning and even eye paw coordination will all tire the dog out more.

Chewing - Not only puppies but all dogs love to chew, I love watching Ben chewing a nice knuckle bone - he is on his side with a dreamy look on his face. This is good for their teeth, gums, jaws, and even neck muscles. If you don't fancy big stinky bones think of other things for them to safely chew - chew toys, rawhide/treats, even kongs all satisfy this behaviour

Tugging - Tugging is a natural behaviour too and if your dog enjoys it and you are physically able to why not have a game of tug - just set rules like no biting, let go when I say, and stop it before they get overexcited.

Tearing - Does your dog like ripping toys to pieces?? It is natural behaviour, how about going to a charity shop and getting lots of cheep toys he can deestuff, then you can restuff, fix them up (care not to let them swallow thread) and give them back again - you could even stuff old socks with treats and let them get them (but keep your good clothes away from them)

Digging - its fun and natural. You could get a kiddys sandbox and fill it with earth, hide treats in there and teach your dog to dig there (and not in your flowerbed) or how about a big box filled with scrunched up newspaper and a few treats?

Sniffing - teach your dog to sniff out treats or even scatter a handfull of kibble in the grass and let them sniff it out.

Working with humans - Dogs are descended from the wolves who worked best with people so most dogs (with the right motivation) love to work with people, if you dont have animals to hunt or sheep to herd then you can teach tricks and that can be your dogs work, clicker training is great because it makes the dog use its mind to figure out what you want, this tires them out far more.

Sleeping - dogs like to sleep lots, give them plenty of down time where they can chill and file away all the things they have learnt for the day - it is possible to overstimulate a dog and then they become hyper and difficult to train.

Depending on the breed most dogs need between 1 - 2 hours walking a day, if you made 20 min of that fetching and chasing, played a game of tug and did some clicker work before settling the dog down with a chew then you should have a pretty content dog

I would love to hear your ideas for enriching your dogs environment

Monday, 16 November 2009

I am featured! Crafted by design

This lovely blog has featured my shop today

Also be sure to check in with her fab blog giveaway with the chance to win a great stuffed stocking of lots and lots of goodies

including this fab pendant.

Which reminds me

A few weeks ago mum and myself went to the crafts for Christmas at the SECC, and of course I have come back with a new craft!

I am going to be having a go at making resin jewelery with the fur of your beloved pet encapsulated for all time in the lovely coloured resin.

Stay tuned - hopefully I will have some examples soon!!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Does sit mean the same for you and your dog??

Dogs can be pretty bad at generalising the meaning of things
You might think you have trained your dog really well to sit but what exactly does your dog think you mean.

You like to think that 'sit' means dog still with its bum on the floor and legs straight
Its not as easy as that

Your dog might have learnt that when you are in the sitting room, with a treat in your hand, lifting the treat above its nose, when its all quiet and saying 'sit' means the dog goes from standing and puts its bum on the ground until it is told 'good boy' and given the treat then it can do what it wants

Dogs can be as specific as that

So decide EXACTLY what you want your command to mean
I want sit to mean go into the sitting position from standing, lying down or upside down. Do it from infront of me, to the side, behind or at a distance. Do it in the sitting room, kitchen, hall, outside, wherever. Do it when I say and/or give the hand signal, do it no matter what distractions, do it whether there is a treat there or not, and hold the position until I tell you to do something else.

So I have to train for ALL of these things - train in different locations with dog in different positions with different distractions.

So if your dog dosent do what you want ask yourself have you actually trained it how to do that SPECIFIC thing?

Sunday, 1 November 2009

The dead walked Glasgow

Yesterday was the first ever scottish zombie walk
and it was great fun!

We think about 400 people turned up and groaned and lurched our way around Glasgow.
Some great fotos on the facebook page

and for all you trying your hardest to market things the people in charge of this spent less than £10 advertising all these people to turn up - and his great outfit.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

I realised in terms of shipping to America its getting close to Christmas time (I know I hate that the shops go Christmassy so early)

So I have started making some Christmas themed dogs.

and I felt like making the wee yorkie

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Adopt a shelter dog month

The Lonesome Road Studio reminded me in her blog that October is 'Adopt a shelter dog month'

It is also 1 year ago this month that my little pound dog Mia came to live with me.

Its been quite a steep learning curve with Mia learning how to deal with a dog with 'issues' But she is smart and loving and once I realised that she is like Scrappy Doo - all shouting because she is v scared of strange dogs. She is actually a gentle soul and has never attacked another dog (except settling in scuffles with Ben)

Ben is also a rescue dog from the Dogs Trust

I urge anyone considering a new dog to think about a rescue. It is so difficult to find a decent breeder these days with so many people churning out thousands of puppies just for money with no thought for the poor breeding dogs, the temperament or health of the puppies or the poor new owners who they fleece for thousands of £'s to buy their poorly bred 'designer crossbreeds' (read mutts) or 'pedigrees with papers' (papers can be anything - and a pedigree is no proof of good breeding)

Rescues can have puppies, they can have older mature dogs whos temperament has been assessed and you can KNOW if the dog will fit into your lifestyle. Rescues can compete successfully in the highest levels of dog sports or can be great family companions.

Before you buy that cute puppy (and encourage the breeder to churn out the next litter of puppies into an overcrowded world) take a while to look around a rescue.

and if you cannot take on another dog at the moment how about a little donation to one of the great charities that help look after and rehome these poor guys who need a chance to find a loving home??

To make it even easier I have a listing in my shop, for only $3 (all of which goes to the charity that rescued Mia) you receive a collage of lots of rescued dogs happy in their new home and a lovely poem of thanks.
Or if you are looking for a lovely Greyhound in Scotland - have a look here

Monday, 12 October 2009

'Red zone' dogs, or positive training for aggressive dogs

I have been looking for this vid for ages ( for facebook readers)

A fantastic example of how you can use kind non confrontational methods on even 'red zone' aggressive dogs.

The tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth

B asked if we could keep Mias tooth from her surgery - so here it is

I have no idea what he plans to do with it!!

It is amazing how h

uge the roots of the tooth are, much longer than the bit of the visible tooth.

The good news is the surgery was pretty easy and Mia is healing well. She bounced back pretty quickly although she is a little sore and grumpy in the mornings till she gets her painkillers.

She is a little more jumpy with dogs at the moment but we have had her on nice long walks and if I think back to what she was like before then she really isnt bad. B was handling her yesterday and another onlead dog came up. I sent them of to the side of the path and Mia was sitting nicely until the dog got to about 2m away then she started lunging. Really thats such good progress cos it used to be like that for any dog she could see on the horizon.

Fingers crossed we can get her calm and happier again in no time.

Thankyou all so much for all your kind words. Its lovely and heartwarming how much good feeling there is out there for this amazing little dog.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


The winner of the 'I heart my dog' contest was the cute Teddy

Here is my sculpture of him

and here is the photo that melted the judges heart

Mia is home now, sleepy and clingy but not to bad at all!

Mia's operation day

The head vet decided she wanted to do the surgery on Mia today and she isnt in on Friday so she moved the operation forward to today.

Ben is wanting to send his best wishes to Mia, he is crossing his paws that all will go well and asking 'please please' can he get his little playmate back ASAP.
Thankfully Mias bite wounds are looking OK, no signs of infections so that is really good and in the house she is totally bright and bouncy - not bothered by her tooth at all.
Outside she is a little jumpy but is fine with all her friends and was even able to make friends with a new little puppy in the park.
She is weary of Storm and Lucy. When we went out this morning they were right outside the gate. Mia barked lots but settled down and was quiet although v timid.

She was giving off some v good calming signals tho - sitting facing away and turning her head away. It is a good sign.
We walked round the park a bit behind Storm and Lucy (who is now on the lead all the time around Mia) and thinks were pretty calm, Mia was almost relaxed.
Then off to the vets - and the crazy lady tried to pull me all the way along the road desperate to get to the vets where the nice nurse makes a fuss of her.
One dog came in when we were waiting and she barked a bit but then settled down and had a nice calm sniff of him.

I have to say tho I am totally fed up of well meaning dog owners asking me if I think Mia will now be better with other dogs cos Lucy has 'put her in her place' or 'shown her who the boss is'
It is sad to see what a lack of basic canine understanding the average dog owner has. They can all see that Mia is a nervous dog, can (finally) understand that she is barking and lunging through fear and when she sees there is nothing to fear she calms down and makes friends with dogs. If you were really scared of someone and then that person without warning came up and thumped you would you feel calmer the next time you saw that person?

Sunday, 4 October 2009


I am sad to see that many many dog owners do not really understand what our furry friends are saying to us and without meaning to can make a dog become aggressive.
Pretty much everyone understands a happy dog, tail flying, relaxed happy mouth and eyes. Its when the dog is not happy that the communication problems arise.
This is made worse still if the owner is constantly putting themselves under stress to be the 'pack leader' (more about that another time)
Dogs have many many different signals to tell us they are unhappy, many are very slight and quick and us clumsy humans miss them.
What we do notice is when our dog growls. It may be the case that your dog has been trying to communicate lots and lots that it is not happy in a situation, and what dogs do is they build up the communication. They start with a little head turn or a tiny licking of the lips, mibby they will sniff the ground. But us silly humans just don't notice - or worse still we mistake this for the dog being disobedient, stubborn or just plain 'at it'
How do we respond to that?
More likely we get a little angry or more insistent that the dog does the thing it isnt happy with.
Lets imagine in this case we are taking the dog to greet a child.
It is trying its best to tell you it is not comfy being dragged over to this strange unpredictable small thing.
You keep dragging it because toddler wants to meet fluffy.
Fluffy tries and tries to tell you it is not comfy in this situation.
What is the next step? Fluffy now shows its teeth and mibby even growls at the child.

This is NOT aggression - this is a GOOD DOG telling you it really isnt happy in the situation.
But what do we do??
Now we really punish the dog, that is BAD BAD BAD, dont you EVER growl at children.

So what has Fluffy learnt here??
It was correct that the little humans make bad things happen.
Its human doesn't understand its 'errmm, I am a little unsure here' signals - so there is no point using them.
Growling gets you punished - better not growl any more.

Human is happy and thinks 'what a good dog trainer I am, look I stopped Fluffy growling at children'

But the problem is ALL you have done is taught the dog not to warn you it is not happy, you have not solved the problem of the fact that the dog is not comfy in the presence of children.
So at the least you have a dog who is not happy - but if the situation gets worse, say that unhappy dog, around a child where it is expecting bad things to happen and the child reaches out for the dog - or something else that makes the dog feel even more scared - what can the dog do?? It has no warnings it wants to use cos it will get punished - better to just attack swiftly

It makes me feel sick just to post that. Of course this dosent happen in all cases or in even many cases but you can see that

Punishing a dog for growling can make a ticking time bomb

(For those of you reading this on facebook the video is at )

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Mia day 2

Well today we were back to the vets.

Mia was an angel, alert enough that she barked at new dogs when they came in but turned her attention to me quickly when I asked her to look at me. She has also worked out her own little version of 'look at that dog' game where she was sitting nicely facing me, had a wee look over her shoulder and a 'wuff' at the other dog then looked back to me for her treat. What a clever girl, at least its a nice 'wuff' and she was calm and happy.

With the vet she was great too, let the lady do anything - although she did give me a look when getting her temperature taken.

We discovered another puncture on her back so the vet clipped some of the fur away, its quite big but looks clean at the moment.

Her tooth does need to come out - you can kinda see in one of the fotos how it makes her lip curl up in a sneer. But she has to wait till next Friday to see how the puncture wounds are healing up.

Poor girl, little lead walks, soft food, no playing with Ben and antibiotics for a week but she is enjoying all the fuss

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Poor Mia

Sorry facebook friends cos this will come up twice.

Poor Mia had a bit of a bad day today. Lucy is a friend of Bens but a nervous reactive dog too.
We have been working hard for months so that they can be in the same park as each other, Ben can play and I can talk to Lucys owner.
Today Mia was being so good, not a sound when Lucy came up - Lucy off lead Mia on. Another dog Storm (who Mia loves) was with us too, both Lucy and Storm had their balls and were playing with them.
Mia stopped to have a sniff at something and Storm came up behind her to see what she was sniffing at. Mia was startled with him coming up behind (and possibly worried it was Lucy) so she turned and snapped at him. He is a total gent and she realised who it was so both pulled back (without any contact) and all would be fine
Except Lucy saw a threat to Storm and lanched herself at Mia. Mia was pinned to the floor screaming. Thankfully Storms owner got Lucy off her but there was blood gushing from Mias mouth and she was limping badly.
I didnt even wait to look her over just phoned the vet and got right down there.
Mia was so shellshocked she hardly even grumbled at a waiting room of several dogs.
Then let the vet look her all over and give her injections and she didnt bother at all.
Turns our she has some puncture wounds in her shoulder and her bottom canine tooth has been knocked out of position - it is now poking out making her lip stick on it.
Vet thinks they will need to operate to remove the tooth! But they dont want to do that right away cos they want her leg to heal a bit first.
Poor darling, she is cuddled right up to me.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Painting your dogs

I havent done any painting for a long while - never been that good at it - and I have never tried acrylics but I thought I would give it a wee go tonight to do a painting of my dogs

Turned out better than I hoped - I can still see lots of faults but decided to not fiddle with it too much else I would make it worse.

A really easy method - infact its totaly cheating! Give it a go and see if you can do your dogs too

Friday, 25 September 2009

Oh no! There has been a terrible accident!

My fault totaly.

Weather was nice but windy the other day so I opened the back door to let the dogs have a zoomie with the fallen leaves.

My 'rehoming box' (where my sculptures live till they find a new home) was open as I was doing a photoshoot and a gust of wind sent some of the smaller critters flying.
I thought I had picked them all up but later in the day Mia wondered past with a little bit of gray hanging out her mouth.

She killed Dyllan! Cant blame her he was fully felted from shetland wool and my mum, as a spinner and knitter informs me that that is a strong smelling fleece.

Poor Dyllan - I remembered to take his listing down.

On a happier note I put up a couple of new listings, a red fox and a JRT

I have to admit with the Jack Russell I actually had in mind to make a newfoundland dog, I didnt have a photo just an idea in my head but the wool decided that JRT was what it wanted to be!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Not exactly the good life :D

Last year I planted some salad potatoes in a tub. They were pretty easy to grow and tasty too.

Guess I didnt get them all out the tub last year cos this year I got a few extra!!

I also planted up carrots and some beans. The beans suffered a 'accident' when someone cut down my greenhouse! but the carrots are doing good - here is one of them - there is quite a few more. Not the best looking in the world - but for me (who would love to grow bonsai trees but all plants seem to die when I look at them) I am quite happy.

Who knows - next year the plates the limit :D

and I solved another puzzle tonight as to where all my cranberries were going - seems little miss Mia has a fondness for the berries and was helping herself!!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

I heart my dog contest update

Have a look here for some of the entries in the 'I heart my dog' contest.
Just a reminder that SkylarsCandyclips is doing a fab blog givaway for all dog lovers.

Get over there with some cute pictures of your dog and you get the chance to WIN one of my needle felted sculptures

Sunday, 13 September 2009

What to say, when to say it?

Today in the park I was watching a whole load of people train their dogs to do the exact opposite of what they wanted.

One dog running off was called to come back when his recall wasn't good enough and the other dog more interesting, another being told to be quiet when it was barking.

As I have already covered, dogs don't speak English, although we like to think they do and then assume they are being bad when they don't do what we ask.

Dogs learn associations with things.

Person says 'sit' I put my bum on the floor person is happy, person says 'Fido come' that seems to mean when I get close to them they will shout at me and put the lead on.

The way a dog will learn best is to ask it to do the thing when it is already doing it.

So if you are trying to teach a recall and your dog hasn't really got it yet it doesn't help much to call the dog when it is running away from you, call it back when it has finished what it was doing and is already running back to you at full pelt.

I accidentally got a great emergency recall for Ben that way. In agility I have an 'in' command - it means come in towards me - it was taught when he was sent around a jump and I stood still or turned away he naturally turned in towards me - every time I did that I said 'in' and it became a habit for him.

Also as a pup when I came to a fork in the path and he had gone one way I went they other, just said 'This way' and carried on walking. He lost sight of me and so came running to find me, he learnt 'this way' meant I was about to disappear if he didn't keep his eye on me.

The same goes for barking. When a dog is barking people often tell it to 'shut up' or something. If you haven't taught what the word means then the dog will learn to associate 'shut up' to mean to actually bark.

It is really sad today that people think owning and training a dog is a battle of wills, that if your dog is bad it is because you are not a strong enough pack leader for it. This is simply not true, a dog is not bad, it is just being a dog, your job is to think like a human and figure out how you can train your dog to do what you would like rather than punishing it for either natural behaviour, or worse still behaviour YOU have taught without meaning too.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Lockerbie bomber

I usually keep the blog well out of the way of politics, in fact I usually dont watch much of the news at all.
But I have to talk about this!

Scotlands law, rightly or wrongly, allow a person with a terminal illness to be sent home to die.
The Lockerbie bomber was imprisoned in Scotland under Scottish law.

That should be the end of the matter. If one of our people commits a crime in another country they are subjected to their rules. Our governments may petition for people not to get the death sentence or something but at the end of the day we have no power to do anything.

But no
America tried to bully us and England has turned its back on us and condemned us.

I for one am actually really proud that our politicians refused to be forced to go against our law.
I am happy that our small country isnt forced to shell out for the security that would have been needed to allow this man to die in one of our hospitals surrounded by police.

I am sorry that our compassion caused people to wish to boycott our country but I am so proud that we were strong enough to stand up for ourselves and not be bullied.

Scotland will not benefit from any oil deals or anything, if there was any deals (which I dont believe there was - else England would have been happy with us) then it would be England, as always, getting the money.

Scotts, be proud of us having the strength to stand up for our laws we can hold our heads up high.

Monday, 31 August 2009

I heart my dog - photography comp with the chance to WIN one of my custom doggies

SkylarsCandyclips is doing a fab blog givaway for all dog lovers.

"So to celebrate the bond between humans and canines and the unconditional and unlimited love that we feel for them, I would like to hold a contest - an I HEART MY DOG contest.

This contest is only open to my blog readers so please follow my blog if you would like to enter. Two winners will be chosen. One for a comment entry and another for a photography entry. All photos submitted will be posted on my blog at the end of the contest. "

The winner of the comment entry will win a bag of Wendy's favorite organic dog treats from Grandma Lucy's Diner


The winner of the foto entry will win a custom needle felted sculpture of their doggy from me :D

So please tell all the dog lovers you know to pop over to her blog.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Dundee agility show

Looks like this may have been the last show of the year, and Bens first show in grade 3
Managed to get a few vids as my mum came along (thanks mum)

A 2 day event with 3 runs per day
SatRun 1, Combined 1-5 agility - 5 faults but nice weaves and we got all our contacts!!
Run 2, Combined 1-4 jumping - Clear round - a bit time lost as I slowed him too much for the weaves and he bounced up at me But we placed 4th!!!

Run 3, Graded Jumping. Lovely right up until the last weave pole at the end of the run, even the judge went 'OHHHH' got him back in, 5 faults and a 4th place!!

Sunday - much less nice day - peeing it down with rain! But for 2 of the runs the judge was our trainer so nice difficult courses
Run 1, Combined 1-5 agility, clear round but again bouncing before the weaves so too slow for a place
Run 2, Combined 1-4 Jumping - again the last weave ment 5 faults for us

Run 3, Graded 1-4 jumpingLovely storming run, everything went perfect - except the timer broke!!!!!Ran it again for time - made a mistake and went over an extra jump so assumed we were E'd, went home as both mum and Mia had been stung by a waspFound out last night that the extra jump didnt count as we were only running for time and the clear round counted - He only went and WON it!!! Well done my wee man!!Heres the vid of our winning run - the jump we shoudnt have done was the 2nd after the tunnel (you can see I was daydreaming, happy we had got everything else right and not working the turn)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


Just discovered SoopSee
It seems a really useful tool for Etsy'ers - you can put everything (including your blog and tweets) together in one place - and get lots of stats with funky graphs.
It seemed pretty easy to set up. I will let you know how I get on.
My page is here

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Etsy Treasury

Woohooo, I am on a treasury on Etsy (well not me my horse)

So is my mum and some of my blogger friends. Thats really great.

Treasuries on Etsy can make the front page if enough people click on them - so please even if you are not on etsy can you click the link and then click on a couple of the items on there.

I have never been on the front page and it would be really great if I made it there.

Thankyou for looking

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Mia, Focus and the reactive dog

About time I did some more training posts.

As everyone who has been following knows Mia is a little reactive and so very easily distracted.

I have been working on focus with her using a method I have stolen and adapted from many different trainers.

Mia is not very good in confined spaces - she is always looking for ways to get out. I am lucky and have found a park that has a large field down a slope where the other dog walkers dont tend to go. It is pretty secure but because of the slope it dosent look like it has boundries so Mia is calm enough to play around in it.

First what I do is to just send both the dogs away to play and I wonder about. Any time Mia gets anywhere near to me I chuck her a treat and then just carry on walking about.
After a short while she actually starts comming over to me looking for a treat so each time I wait for a little more before I treat, at first it is just her being close enough to chuck the treat, then its her actually noticing me, then her getting closer to me. Basically I shape it until she is running right up to my side, giving good eye contact and walking with me. Each time I treat then I send her away with big arm movments and say 'GO PLAY'
Once she is really begining to focus on me and wants to work then I will ask for a few tricks - rewarding lots and lots before sending her away to play again. I always send her away before she gets few up and runs away - this means that I have to pay attention to stuff around us that might distract her and send her away before she gets distracted.
After a while of this both dogs really dont want to be sent away but really want to work with me

At the moment this is about where we end it - but hopefully soon I will get the agility stuff down the park, that level of focus would be just great for training.

It is also teaching Mia a habbit of checking in with me just incase fun stuff happens - and a command for to go away and have fun. I like dogs to be dogs and sniff around and stuff, but because of Mias reactivity problems everything has to be a little more structured with her.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Featured shop - theallnaturalface

Here is an Etsy shop I would like to share with you all

Theallnaturalface a totaly lovely shop that sells vegan mineral makeup and a great range of brushes.
Well I say sells but they are so generous they are practically giving it away with tonnes of free samples to try if you buy anything. They know you will totaly fall in love with their stuff.
Heres me trying out my current faves (see the samples are more than plenty for a night out)
'purple ice storm' and 'The Tempest' - even the names are fab!!
There are lots of other colours- many more natural than those I favour - and mum even discovered that if you wouldnt use a colour on your face you can even use them for cardmaking - how cool is that!??!

I am also wearing their fab vegan mascara - which is sooo non clumpy it is amazing, their foundation (such a great range) and lots of other things that I had no idea what they were for but played round and loved the result which lasted perfectly all night - and I am afraid to admit I was v bad and didnt wash it off that night - it was still looking pretty good the morning after (which is more than I can say for me)
Great shop - not often I recommend another shop but totaly go and give this one a look.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

How to needlefelt - a wolf

Click here for my introduction for needle felting - the equipment 

How to shrink over big ears 

Here is a speed video of needle felting as well

and I have felting tutorials and kits avaliable in my shop

How do I turn a pile of fleece into a felted critter??

More links to follow

Click on the links below to see how I needle felted this wolf from nothing more than fleece, a felting needle and a foam pad.

Body and legs

Joining the legs to the body

Adding muscle and feet

Making the head and neck

Ears and adding colour

Eyes and Pawpads


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