19th August 2011
A very satisfactory evening!Â I thought Mum could do with a bit of a change of scenery, so took her out to see my friend Flossieâ€™s humans â€“ theyâ€™re really nice and didnâ€™t seem to mind us popping in â€“ in fact they seemed to be expecting us and we stayed for dinner!Â Well Mum did â€“ I only got to play around with Flossie while the others ate.
Anyway, Flossieâ€™s special human Mikey had made a rather good little jumping course for us, with all the jumps at just the right height for a small chap like me.Â We had a very fine time.Â Then I tried to teach Flossie about this seesaw thing he had put together for us, but she was frightened!Â I ask you â€“ what are girls like? â€“ Still we worked at it patiently until she managed to get all four paws on it. Â Then Mum said it would be best to leave it on a good note, so Mikey, whoâ€™s great fun, let me have a go on his skateboard.Â I think Flossie was pretty impressed and I guess I must have been looking quite cool.Â Then, just before we went indoors mum and Mikey made up some more jumps â€“ using chairs for wings and I made them all crack up with laughter by jumping on the chairs instead of over the bars!
Flossie and I carried on messing around in the garden while Mum and the other humans had their dinner and later I was able to cuddle up on Mums lap while Anezka showed her a card trick Mum looked pretty impressed but she didnâ€™t give her any of my treats so I didnâ€™t mind.
When we left Flossieâ€™s Mum said what a good boy Iâ€™d been and gave me a very scrummy bit of chicken!Â Mmmmm, hope we can go there again soonâ€¦.
This is a link to a clip Anezka prepared from videos she took that day and some earlier photos – Arnie and I thought it was pretty good and that others might like to see it too.
10th August 2011
Just back from agility and not only did I keep it together all evening, but it seems I was a something of a star! Â What I had to do was to take mum round a â€˜boxâ€™ of jumps.Â Well, actually I did all the jumping and she just stayed in the middle and waved her arms â€“ I ask you â€“ whereâ€™s her sense of fun?Â Anyway, Aunty Lin said Iâ€™d done it so well she wanted me to give a â€˜demonstrationâ€™ and I think that means I was a star.Â Iâ€™m not normally one for blowing my own trumpet, but I do believe on this occasion I did do the exercise rather spectacularly – jumping out from the centre and running in through the corners – later I had to jump into the centre and go out through the corners.Â Mumâ€™s done me a couple of diagrams in case anyone doesnâ€™t understand what I am talking about.
To be honest itâ€™s still really hard for me to keep from growling at the others when they stare at me and some of them are so huge, but mum makes friends with them all and I am getting used more to them.Â Actually it was a bit easier because there were only nine of us there, which helped as I didnâ€™t have to watch my back so much.Â Anyway everyone seemed pretty pleased with me and I got loads of treats so Iâ€™m feeling rather smug â€“ but mum says pride comes before a fall and she hopes that getting so big headed doesnâ€™t mean it will all go to pieces next week. Â As if?Â Iâ€™m a Star now arenâ€™t Iâ€¦..?
24th & 25th July 2011
Wehey â€“ Iâ€™ve got a new friend!
Wasnâ€™t too sure at first as she is a big black lab and you never quite know what they are thinking â€˜cos you canâ€™t see their eyes properly against their black coats.
When we first met she looked like such a mad thing â€“ pulling on her lead to get to me and so big that if she sat on me Iâ€™d have gone splat (not so big as Janus at training but he doesnâ€™t want to get at me, just my treats and his Mum gives me some of his â€“ HUGE ones â€“ so I donâ€™t mind him).Â So anyway, thought Iâ€™d best warn her off â€“ did a few of my best growly snaps and you wouldnâ€™t believe the noise that she set up!Â Well I couldnâ€™t work out if she wanted to kill me or play with me so I made a great effort to outshout her while I tried to get near her, though not quite sure why as she was trying to get to me which was a bit of a worry â€“ then it suddenly occurred to me that she wanted to be friends!
Phew â€“ relief – I could give the noise a rest â€“ relax a bit and take a proper look.Â As I set about lowering my hackles and relaxed, I could see she was doing the same and her great pink tongue came peeping out out â€“ a sign of peace in my world â€“ though you donâ€™t often see humans doing it.Â Â Just about the only thing you can see properly in all that black come to think of it – so I started snuffling on the ground.Â She seemed to approve and came to sniff with me.Â Mum was pretty chuffed by this and patted us both and quietly slipped me a treat, out of everyoneâ€™s sight.
Well that was OK, I learned that my new friend is called Tilly and her Mum is Judy; we had a great walk together.Â First we ambled companionably along for about a mile on roads and paths which I knew mum had planned so I would be able to walk side by side with Tilly and Judy, just in case it took a long time to get to know each other (I do that sometimes â€“ I donâ€™t like everyone Mum makes me walk with) but Tilly was fine.Â Then we things became a tad more interesting as we vetured on through fields and woods until we came to one of my favourite swimming spots and I had a lovely dip – needed it really.Â Iâ€™d got a bit hot and bothered in those first few minutes after we met and though I wasnâ€™t admitting to it making all that noise had made my throat a bit rough so a good drink was welcome too.Â I guess Tilly was glad of a chance fro a drink too as her tongue was hanging out and she was panting – not so fit as me – unless it was just the excitement of meeting such a good looking chap (wuff, wuff)!
Then home for a little snack and a half an hour with my paws up taking a quick forty winks while Mum took Arnie out.Â What more could a chap ask for?
Another great day â€“ back out with Tilly.
Of course when we met I had to just test her mood so I gave a few exploratory growls and snaps to see if she would kick-off again like she did yesterday but not a sign of it â€“ a little tug in my direction and then she was off up the hill with Judy.Â Well I wasnâ€™t having that â€“ I shut up pretty smartly and told Mum to get a move on.Â By the time we were at the top of the hill we had caught up and I found that I could even walk a pace or two in front of her without panicking about what she might be up to!
Well it was another great walk, this time in the Greenwoods, with another lovely swim.Â Not quite such a long walk but, as Mum pointed out, itâ€™s training on a Monday night and I would need a bit of energy.
Actually she was quite right and I was pretty pleased that I wasnâ€™t too tired as I was able to do all the exercises rather well and was very calm â€“ apart from loosing my cool a couple of times!Â Once my mate Bingly caused a bit of a rumpus and thinking he was going to start a rumble I found myself offering my support before I remembered that Mum wouldnâ€™t allow such things.Â Then just as I was leaving I went out the door and slap into the face of Ella and Jazzie.Â I nearly had a fit and went straight into shocked growl mode â€“ they are HUGE [Liamburgers] and have long fur all over their faces.Â They are class 3 dogs so donâ€™t see them very often â€“ except at agility where they go with their nice sister Hanna. Â She is a very old and placid chocolate Lab who likes to come over and share my treats. I donâ€™t really mind that, although I do make a bit of a face at her if I think she is getting too many!
26th June 2011
Arnie has had a bit of a bad leg so Mum let me have his place at Super Dogs since she said I was getting better with the anger management thing (Grrrrr â€“ Iâ€™ll show her!)
When we got there Arnie and I were both given a walk round and chance for a wee then Arnie went back in the car to rest his leg while I went with mum to do my bit for our team.
Well first it was obedience, which I am pretty good at on the whole â€“ at least Iâ€™ve been told I can do some cool heel work.Â Mind you I never look quite as good as Indy or Blaze, pressing their cheeks against their mums thighs, because my mum is too tall â€“ does anyone know where I can find one my size?
There was a great expectation for me to do well for my team and I think this must have got to my bladder â€“ no sooner had I got into that ring than I needed a tree.Â I tried to concentrate as hard as I could while we did all that stuff on the lead and then we started the off lead work and as we passed the hedge I saw my chance and nipped under to â€˜cock a legâ€™.Â Having relieved the pressure, my brain clicked back into action and I decided that what I had done was not really going to give our team a winning score – but what is a chap supposed to do?Â Anyway people were pretty nice about it.
Later on I did a bit of jumping but mum kept me on my lead as she said eating the opposition wasnâ€™t an option and it didnâ€™t matter because the best score would count for the team anyway.
Our last event was the obstacle course â€“ in which I showed great restraint.Â Mum had to move a load of kibble from a box into a feed bowl with something called tweezers and I was supposed to sit there and watch her do it without eating any.Â Well I just sampled one bit to make sure it really was food but apart from that I was just about perfectâ€¦..
Best of all â€“ when our team came in last no-one blamed me and later on mum gave me a yummy bit of sausage left over from the BBQ.Â Anyway I think I did pretty well considering I was the only Class 1 dog there.
29th October 2010
Life has been quite a lot of fun recently â€“ today I took my friend Badger for a walk. Â Badge is a pretty important person because she belongs to Julia, my trainer, and I really want her to be able to report back favourably about me.
Also Badge is a bit like me – she gets very worried about meeting strangers â€“ especially those horrid â€˜I love everyoneâ€™ in-your-face types like some of the Springer Spaniels I know. But she has learned to hide her feelings pretty well so Mum says thereâ€™s quite a lot I can learn from her. Â To be honest sheâ€™s quite a good teacher because she doesnâ€™t nag or frighten me but she does let me know if I donâ€™t get things quite right.
We went on one of my bestest walks right through the forest where the humans got quite excited about finding some chestnuts. Badger was allowed to go free as soon as we got into the woods but I had to stay on my lead â€“ which was pretty mean when I wanted to show her round but Mum thought I might be too bouncy and if I bounced on Badge I could hurt her bad back. Â Then when I was set free I had to wear my muzzle â€“ but I looked pathetically at Julia and gave a few side swipes at it so she said that it was rather hard on me to have to wear one when Badger wasnâ€™t as it could make me feel vulnerable (how right she was) and perhaps we should both be on our leads. Thatâ€™s Badge and me not Julia or mum and me!
Still not too bad as when we got to the steam I was set free (no muzzle â€“ theyâ€™d realised that I wasnâ€™t a risk to Badge and no other dogs around) and had a swim â€“ ha! Â That was something I could show off with because Badge prefers paddling round the edges. Â I ran up and down the banks and swam over to the other side and was generally enjoying myself when I noticed the humans crossing the big bridge. Well I knew â€¦â€¦. I could beat them by racing across the lower bridge, but had forgotten that the railway-lines it was made from used to have sleepers on them! Â Well my momentum (good word that) took me half way over the rail and then I lost my footing and splosh!! Down into the stream below â€“ I think I must have swallowed half of it Â â€¦ and Â â€¦ Â all the humans could do was laugh! Grrrhh!
Well I shook myself off over them all and went off with Badger, who was far too polite to laugh â€“ in fact I thing she was pretty impressed by my bravery. Â We had the greatest fun exploring those woods, although Badge was boss, even though I knew my way round better, and she wouldnâ€™t let me take any liberties.
Eventually we got to the Pub where Mum and Julia wanted to stop for lunch and a very nice lady brought us a big bowl of water. Badger was very thirsty but I had swallowed half the stream when I fell in and was happy with a couple of laps. Mum and Julia were pretty pleased with us except when one old guy with a stick came and patted me â€“ he crowded me dreadfully and I thought I might not be able to breath â€“ Mum saw me looking at her â€“ willing her to help with the feeling of panic which was welling up inside – and tried to reassure me but when he turned to go I was overwhelmed with an urge to make sure he left me alone in future and gave a lunge after him with a great snarling growl that leapt out from deep inside me. Â A bit later a woman came across and said she was sorry and that he was deaf so he couldnâ€™t hear mum and Julia asking him to leave me alone. She was very nice and stayed a few steps away from me so I didnâ€™t feel trapped â€“ so I wouldnâ€™t have minded being friends with her.
When we left the pub Mum and Julia gave Badger and me some really yummy chips that they had kept for us â€“ then we went home. Â It really was the greatest fun, so I hope weâ€™ll be able to do it again soon.
Mum has been getting pretty idle about keeping my diary up but had a bit of a nag today as really exciting news to share!Â we had something called Annual Comps at Club today – this wasn’t like ordinary school more like Test Night but easier.
Anyway the exciting bit was the end – just before we went home they gave me a wooden shield and a red rosette which excited Mum so much that she gave me loads of rewards, not just cheese but cheese and sausage then tummy tickles followed byÂ sausage and cheese and more cheese and ….
…. well there is only so much you can say about rewards so I won’t go on but I could tell I had done something pretty cool.
Actually I think even Arnie was impressed because although he has loads of rosettes he did say it was pretty good for a beginner and he forgot what he was meant to be doing and lay down when he should have sat so he didn’t get any ribbons!
12th SeptemberÂ 2010
Today we saw a dragon
Well to be more exact we heard it first; breathing its fiery breath over the forest.
Arnie and I were sooo scared â€“ I barked at him and he started to run pulling and tugging at his lead so I ran too. Â Mum said to calm down and even yawned a couple of times but we were pretty scared because it kept gasping and huffing. Â We couldnâ€™t see the fire but I recognised the sound as I have seenÂ them before butÂ never so close. Â Mum was pretty brave cos she just walked on regardless as if she didnâ€™t have a care in the world and fire breathing sky born dragons were an every day occurrence. Â Well I was just beginning to feel a bit better when for a few seconds it hovered malevolently between us and the sun, momentarily darkening the woods as if it were a big cloud â€“ but no cloud moves that fast soÂ that set us off pulling on our leads again. Â We knew we would have to run pretty fast to escape its evil presence.
I think maybe we were hidden by the trees cos the dragon started to move away and when we came to the gate and mum made us wait I felt pretty relaxed again and ready for my treat but Arnie just kept staring and staring where it had gone and wasnâ€™t interested in listening to mum.
As we walked up the lane I could see the dragon flying off into the distance â€“ still belching out fire! Â But mum didnâ€™t seem in the least bit bothered and said she didnâ€™t know what all the fuss was about â€“ it was justa balloon â€“ I guess that must be human-speak for DRAGON
2nd September 2010
Today Auntie Didi (mum says she is just an adopted Aunt â€“ not a real one like Auntie Singie) came to visit and I had another adventure of my very own â€“ Arnie didnâ€™t even come with us.
When Aunti Didi (AD) arrived she and Mum were REALLY boring and drank coffee and ate cake â€“ mum said they were not really cakes at all but called chocolate croissants and that I couldnâ€™t have any â€˜cos they would be really bad for me (I bet they were really bad for her too)
Then the adventure began; we shut Arnie up in the kitchen and dressed in my best red collar and lead we took AD for a walk through our favourite woods. Â She did look at one or two foxholes with me but seemed much more interested in the mushrooms and toadstools (I ask you â€“ how sad is that?). Anyway quite soon Mum took off my lead â€¦ so instead of trying to make her see sense and follow me I was able to romp off on my own.Â It was ages since Iâ€™d had a good explore and we even went down to the river for a swim AD was very impressed with my doggie paddle; especially as I came back every time I was called.Â I have to say it is something I donâ€™t mind doing anyway, but it also gets me a lot of fuss and sometimes even treats â€“ honestly I canâ€™t understand why Arnie doesnâ€™t do it when the effort to reward ration is so good â€“ sometimes I just donâ€™t understand him â€¦
Anyway after lots of running around we came to â€˜the horse fieldâ€™ where there was a woman feeding hands full of grass to the horses (like they canâ€™t just put their heads down and get it themselves?) and she had two pretty lady Jacks with her.Â Straight off I went on the alert but mum said leave, which I did at first but then they came right up to me â€“ it was pretty scary just in the beginning but then I realised that they wanted to be friends so we had a bit of a sniff and did some tail wagging at each other then mum said to move on â€“ which I did; after all you can have too much of a good thing.Â Actually I think one of them took a bit of a shine to me because she wanted to come with us but the woman called her back.
Anyway eventually we got to somewhere they called â€˜The Pubâ€™ and in we went â€¦ (I have walked past it before but never stopped there although I have always thought it smelt rather good).Â So in I marched with Mum and AD, who sat down at a table and I hunkered down beside them to wait and see what happened.Â After a bit they got up, talked to someone then went and sat in the garden.Â This didnâ€™t seem like such a great idea to me as there was a dog quite nearby who started growling at me.Â But Mum told me to sit where I could see the other dog if I wanted to and gave me a treat then she went to wash her hands (said they were gungy from my treats â€“ what a fuss why couldnâ€™t she just lick them â€“ or let me do it for her?)Â Anyway, I turned my back on the other dog because I wanted to watch her and make sure she didnâ€™t leave me.Â By the time she came back I had almost forgotten about the other dog.Â Soon big plates of food were brought out for mum and AD (why not me too?) But I didnâ€™t ask for any and just lay on the ground until mum gave me a piece of something she called â€˜pannini with brie and peppersâ€™.Â It was soooh yummy that I ignored the other dog going away even though he had to walk quite close to me.Â Certainly wonâ€™t mind going back to â€˜the pubâ€™ again if I get the chance though they could have given me a fairer share of the food!
On the way home we met another two Jacks and even though they were a bit thug-like and scary I still managed to look as though I was keeping my cool but inside I was quite anxious and even though mum said how good I was and gave me treats my tummy churned and I felt quite sick â€“ as soon as I was safe my insides just exploded â€“ it so often happens like this when I am frightened â€“ I sooo glad to get home as I was quite worn out. Â It was great to have a bite to eat and a good nap. Â By the time I woke up my tum was feeling a lot better and mum gave me a cuddle and told me what a good dog I had been. Â What a day!
7th May 2010
Had a really good day today it started with our morning walk which was an extra long one through the woods. On the way home we had to go past a man with a scary black Labrador we have seen before and he always makes me feel wobbly inside but Mum got a treat out (I noticed out of the corner of my eye) and told me to â€˜leaveâ€™ quite firmly â€“ well what with thinking about her saying leave and knowing there was a treat at stake I managed to get all the way past without giving in to the terrible urge to growl. Mum was so pleased with me that she gave both of us several treats. It was so good that I was even able to walk passed Indy (a black collie) without a treat at all â€“ though Mum gave us some after and told us how wonderful we were.
28th Â April 2010
Good day today. First we had raw tripe for dinner and secondly I had great post from Jake â€“ looks like heâ€™s a bit of a hero because he saved a small human from a â€˜justaâ€™ – and Iâ€™ve got a new pen-friend from Wales called Manny. It was Manny who told us about â€˜justasâ€™.
I had a nice time out with Mum on our by-our-selves walk and managed to keep so â€˜closeâ€™ that my face was nearly on her boot. I didnâ€™t even have my lead on and Mum was very pleased with me and gave me loads of yummy sausage scraps.
Only bad bit was that it was so warm I wanted a drink and there are some pools we go past but they have big holes above them (Mum says they are called drains.) Anyway, you can only take one lick then you have to look at the hole to make sure there are no Justas coming out. I managed to get four licks before the fear got too much. On the way home it was worse â€“ there was a different pool but it still had a hole, which was bad enough, but just when I was about to drink a justa flew across and made me jump dreadfully. Mum said not to be so silly, it was justa crane fly … But I wasnâ€™t going back!
4th Â March 2010
If Arnie can have a diary so can I!
You wouldnâ€™t belive what Mum spent an hour doing today â€“ she made something she calls a â€˜Chickcrowâ€™ to go out in the front garden for a village competition.
Why doesnâ€™t the village have a sensible competition like making the best dogsâ€™ dinner or some other activity which would benefit us village dogs?
Anyway there are loads of the pesky things and the people walking round looking at them is making the lanes quite crowded It was bad enough that most of them were walking their dogs which spoiled my walk but worse than that one of the â€˜chicksâ€™ gave me a bad fright by lying in wait for us on our morning walk and appearing unexpectedly.Â I barked and growled but it didnâ€™t go away
My friend Flossies Mum has some human pups and they made their own version â€“ the humans seem to think it is funny â€“ something to do with the words and the box at the bottom.Â Arnie and I couldnâ€™t see what was funny and all Mum said was that no doubt my pen-friend Jake Â and ourÂ cousin Lily in France Â would understand!