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.


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