In which Cesar Milan 2 tries to encourage me to let my greyhound off the lead… kind of!

“Are you going to let her off then?” said Cesar 2.

We – Cesar Milan 2, his two dogs, my dog – The Daisy Dog and I were idling our Saturday morning away in the field. A field that Cesar 2( my nickname for this fellow dog owner who had been on numerous dog training courses and who admired Cesar Milan and his techniques) classed as being safe and secure enough to let my relatively young greyhound off the lead for the VERY first time!

He smiled his most persuasive smile. This guy clearly knew his stuff and his dogs were proof of that.

However, he didn’t know my dog… I did.

“No, not here and not now.” I told him.

His disappointment was visible. I think he genuinely wanted to help, but, I needed to do things in my time and my own way.

Fast forward to last week.

On a warm, sunny morning the Daisy Dog and I headed twenty minutes down the lane, to a field where I was fairly sure we wouldn’t be disturbed. I was right, there wasn’t a soul in sight. I put a harness on The Daisy Dog… and  she refused to walk in it. I put her collar back on and she walked fine… even though the new training lead was still attached to the harness.

I fed some of the lead out of a new bag that I have purchased to house the monster of a lead( which extends to about three miles!). In the new bag were water bottles for the dog and I, doggy poo bags, about three pounds of sausages and turkey, for training purposes, a picnic – for when I got peckish and  a sleeping bag – for when I got tired. I was a brownie, (Sixer of the Gnomes, to be exact) as a child and my motto still is be prepared! It’s just  these days the preparation has to be housed in a bigger, bag and I sometimes struggle to carry my preparedness. It flops around all over the place and sticks out way too much, and sometimes I trip up over it!

Anyhow, I tied off the lead, to stop it pulling out uncontrollably… and me tripping up over that as well. The Daisy Dog didn’t really seem to realise that she had the freedom to run a bit further from me. In fact she shadowed me all around the field, in much the same way she always does. It could have been something to do with the huge shadow that I was casting. Why bake in the hot sun when you have a huge shadow of preparedness to cool down in?  So, no recall training was done on that outing.

Towards the end of the walk, hot and sticky trudge in the field, in an over zealous attempt to give her some more lead, I got the lead in the bag very tangled up. I also needed the toilet and I’d forgotten to pack one. ( Brown Owl would be so distraught!)

So, I put her back on to her shorter lead and we headed home. Over a cuppa I untangled my messy lead, whilst the Daisy Dog snored loudly on her part of the sofa. Yes, she has her own section of the sofa. No, she isn’t spoilt at all!

I haven’t seen Cesar 2 recently.

Credit: gifsoup.com

I feel sure if I do, he’ll have some advice for me. I wonder if he can give some pointers on how to stop my three miles of training lead getting tangled up in my bag?

The training of the Daisy Dog continues… watch this rather erratic space!

How about you?

Do any of you use training leads for your pooches?

Any bits of advice?

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

In which I meet Cesar Milan… kind of!

I’m working on a commission, writing about cats. So I’m taking a break from cats and writing about greyhounds on here. In particular, one little lady and her mates.

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So, it’s a Saturday morning and the Daisy Dog and I are on one of our plods. We’ve plodded through castle field, past the remains of the castle and down into Forge Valley: an ancient wooded valley, which was formed during the last ice age.

We follow the grassy path, along the edge of the river Derwent. The Daisy Dog reads the numerous doggy newspapers, written by her doggy friends and I look for otter tracks. I’m becoming a bit obsessed with them. I think I’ve found one and then I realise it’s a dog print.

We round the bend and there they are… Cesar Milan and his pack of dogs.

Credit: giphy.com

 

This guy is walking two dogs, off their leads and we get talking, as dog walkers do. One of the dogs, who has some lurcher in him, is a rescue dog. I listen to a bite-size ( sorry!) tale of his previous life. Cesar 2 as I mentally christen him is really into dogs and has been on just about every dog training course he could go on. And it shows… his dogs are calm, friendly and great around the Daisy Dog, who is on her lead. He mentions Cesar Milan and how he is over here at the moment and I swear his eyes glaze over. I must be psychic… how did I know he was a fan of Cesar?

We talk about Cesar 1. I too love watching his TV shows. He has an amazing way with dogs and I marvel at how he gets away with some of the things he does. Oh… a dog bit him? Well, you can’t win them all.

“She has a bit of a nervous look about her,” says Cesar 2.

“Do you think?” says I

Cesar 2’s appraisal of the Daisy Dog may well prove to be correct as just of lately she has been getting a bit mouthy  (make that a lot mouthy!) occasionally,with other dogs. The other dogs just stand and look at her and Mr Whale and I have been wondering whether it is a case of nerves.

I still have a fistful of sausages, lamb or pork whenever I’m out with the Daisy Dog. I smell bloody amazing to dogs and they come from miles around to see me. This is probably not helping the Daisy Dog and her nerves, as they come charging across fields at ridiculous speeds to check out Mrs Sausage Woman!

Meanwhile, back to the sunny pasture where  everything is settled. Cesar 2 has been telling me a few tricks he has learnt about dogs and I’ve been on a brief dog psychology course. It’s all interesting stuff and he seems to know his stuff.

But, I’ve slipped up and told him about my plans to do some recall training with the Daisy Dog… when I get my training lead. I couldn’t help it. He’s been  saying how sad a life it is for dogs that never go off the lead.

My dog is not sad and I do want her to run free… but, not off and away. That is bloody irresponsible.

“So you haven’t  let her off the lead yet?”

“No,” I admit.” Not yet and it won’t be here.  The field is too big and she’ll likely clear off. There’s a definite little madam streak in the Daisy Dog. Besides I need to do some recall training first.

“She could go off here,” he says glancing around the doggy heaven that we are gossiping our Saturday morning away in.

Again, I tell him that I’m not ready to let her off and that it is not as enclosed as I would like. I quickly change the subject and ask him about his dogs.

He gives me a few more of his doggy tips.

Credit: gifsoup.com

His dogs wander around and sniff the grass. The Daisy Dog goes as far as she can on the lead. And I feel so damn guilty.

It’s too late… our Cesar 2 is a mind reader as well it seems.

“So,” says Cesar 2 ” Are you going to let her off then?”

I look around the tranquil, gated at each end field, with the river Derwent winding its way down the east side of it.

” Go on!” and Cesar 2 gives me his best, persuasive grin.

 

I’ll be back to tell you whether I did or I didn’t soon. How soon that soon is will depend on loads of things, that are, as usual out of my control.

I will try to make it back before Christmas.

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

 

A fistful of sausages: training the Daisy dog.

 

the-daisy-dog-1

For a few sausages more I’m hoping my greyhound will be good, not bad and certainly not get us into an ugly situation.

I’m out with the Daisy dog on a bright, late January afternoon. The birds are singing hopeful songs and a gentle, relaxing walk lies ahead of us.

We turn the corner and are immediately thrown into a standoff, not dissimilar to a scene from a spaghetti western – hence the title.

 

Photo credit: pyxurz.blogspot.com

Photo credit: pyxurz.blogspot.com

A beautiful, long-haired, border collie who goes by the name of Flossie leads her pack of two humans. They always trail several yards behind her. The music builds to a climax  in my aching head as I clock Daisy’s body language. She is eyeballing the Flossie and all her muscles have been tensed. Flossie stares the Daisy dog down and keeps coming at us.

There’s no time to retrieve the fistful of sausages in my glove ( yummy!) and I take evasive action by turning my pooch away from her perceived threat to face a wall, whilst calmly, but firmly telling her no… to defuse the situation. But, Daisy’s not having any of this and she lunges at the Flossie. I manage to pull her back in time and tell her no! She gives up and the standoff is over. Phew! The Flossie continues on her walk.

The rest of Flossie’s pack ambles up and a joint and judgemental ooh! is muttered by them and so the finger of blame wafts in my direction.

To say that I’m bloody furious is an understatement.

Standoffs with this Flossie are becoming a regular occurrence.  Usually, I get to deploy my weapon… sliced sausages. A request for the Daisy dog to watch me distracts her as she loves sausages. Don’t all dogs?  The Flossie passes us by and her pack of two loyal followers rush silently past us. Which is odd, to say the least. Most dog walkers like to pass comment on our various canine encounters. Or at least say ” Hello.”

In my quest to train our pooch, I go everywhere with my fists and pockets full of sausages, or bits of beef, pork and when I’m desperate liver. All cooked of course. I smell really yummy and dogs for miles around are thrilled to see me. They all want to stop and say hello. Which is fine… the Daisy dog gets to socialize with other dogs and I get to chat for England.

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All except Flossie that is. Flossie doesn’t stop to chat, her pack never stop, or chat and the Irish Daisy dog thinks it’s highly amusing to shout “Feck off!” at her.

It is not.

This is not acceptable for a lady/female greyhound and so the training continues.

At this stage my husband and I ( one has been watching The Crown on Netflix and is feeling rather regal) can’t decide whether it’s the pack leader thing that is the problem, or the rubber ring that Flossie has rammed in her mouth, at all times. The Daisy dog has lots of toys and things to chew… other than chair legs, mobile phones, pairs of glasses and false teeth, but no rubber ring.

Yet another day and Daisy and I round the corner to be confronted by the Flossie. This time I quickly cross the road, with a very verbal and reluctant Daisy dog in tow. Flossie continues and her single pack member struggles to keep up with her.

I cross back over and explain to Flossie’s guy that it would be very helpful for them to have her on the lead, when we meet. He admits that he can’t walk her on the lead. She “pulls my shoulder out of its socket” he tells me.

We talk on, the Flossie keeps going… somewhere around the corner and walking along the side of the very busy, main road through our village. ( The thought of this scares me to death…  seemingly not him.)

He accuses me  of having a vicious dog. I point out that in all of our standoffs I’m the one that has to deal with both dogs. Never have they made any attempt to call the Flossie to heel. ( There’s no whistling of the pooch going on in this version of The Good , The Bad and The Ugly.) Nor do they put her on a lead; as other dog owners tend to do, when they see an approaching dog being walked on the lead. It evens things up a bit – in the canine world!  The Flossie is presumably still on the roam. Points made and taken, we go our separate ways.

december-2016-new

Several minutes later and the pooch and I are further down the road, and making my way round to the river when we meet…

Flossie leads again, he follows on. His anger is almost tangible.

This time the sausages are deployed, but we’re trapped in between another damn wall and them . He struts past. However, Flossie has stopped to sniff the grass. He shouts her five times, each time more frantically and angrily. Finally, she decides to join him. The Daisy dog is more of a lady this time and doesn’t swear, or attempt a lunge for the collie. She gets an extra-large piece of sausage and oodles of praise.

Bloody marvellous, I think… and head to the river for some chill out time.

dog-walking-daisy-post-3

The Daisy dog’s rubber ring arrives today.

Watch this space as I train our still adjusting to life as a family pet and so occasionally ever so slightly naughty, but absolutely adorable greyhound.

Do you have a free spirit dog? Or are you training your pooch? Feel free to share your experiences and words of wisdom/techniques .

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daisy dog hard at it.

The Daisy dog hard at it.

 

 

 

 

On the wild side: treecreepers.

On a recent  dog walk the Daisy dog daisy-soft-2and I wandered by our local river, the Derwent.

The moist air made the strands of my hair peeping out from my hat damp and the sky was a wash of different shades of grey. The Daisy dog read her morning, doggy newspaper and I was mesmerised by the dark brown water slowly flowing south.

It was only when it started to hop up, from the base of the weeping willow tree trunk, that I spotted it.

A first for me… a treecreeper!

Photo credit: bidddievan.tumblr.com

Photo credit: bidddievan.tumblr.com

This small bird, about 12 centimetres in length was perfectly camouflaged against the rough, brown trunk of the tree and viewed from the side… albeit briefly – it had a  pure, white breast.

I wish I could say that I managed to get a photograph of it, but I didn’t. I had a greyhound on a lead to contend with… remember. How many times do you line up your shot and just as you are about to get a half-decent image – the pooch moves and there goes your chance? Then the animal/bird moves and you’re left with nothing but memories … and a dog that is clearly bored and wants to get on with the walk.

Take it from me – it was great to watch and I will never forget that memory.

It carefully creeped up and  around the tree, picking off insects with its slightly curved beak. Its tail acted as a support.

But, I can’t come on here and sing the praises of this rather clever bird and not let you see for yourself. So, if you want to see what some folk call a tree mouse – because of the way it cleverly scales tree trunks – have a look at this clip. Just click on the links.

Here Bill Oddie ( a great British Institution) and Kate Humble watch and discuss the huddling and cuddling treecreepers.

As for me – I’ve got a permanent stiff neck now, as I walk around looking up trees hoping for another sighting of a treecreeper… my new favourite bird.

Enjoy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Eurasian_Treecreeper#p0085b7r

As part of my new – look Write Dorne I’m going to include some wildlife posts and pages on here in future. So, if  you’re interested in reading about some of the great wildlife I’ve been lucky enough to see in my part of Yorkshireland, call back sometime.

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

A teenage greyhound’s first blog post. Love from the Daisy Dog.

daisy-asleep-1I want to like, wash my bottom on the sofa in the lounge and then I may have another little snooze. Before you’re sick ,mummy has a big fluffy throw on there and a waterproof cover:  and so my bottom will not make the sofa smell. Which is a shame, because I love all things smelly and fluffy. Cool!

She can’t do anything about my farts smells though. They are like something else. They’re awesome! Sometimes I have to run away from them. I mean where do they come from? Well, alright I know where they come from… but, I mean what have I been eating? Like! They’re so GROSS!

I’ve been living in this place like since January and it’s like okay.

I will be five in May of next year. Yeah, because I was like four in May of this year… get it?

I like to be cuddled and I love to get myself comfy on the sofa and screw the covers up. Sometimes I drag the covers off the sofa and dump them at the bottom of the stairs like. That’s awesome.

If dad leaves his empty coffee cup on the coffee table I like to get in there and have a slurp of it. Yummy. Yeah, that’s awesome – me… a teenage greyhound on caffeine. You’ve got to see it to believe it. Heard from downstairs, me in the bedroom sounds like an earthquake… cool – like!

Why is the coffee table called a coffee table like? Like does it need to have coffee all over it? I can help with that!

This thing called Christmas is coming like and mummy has put things called decorations up in the house… the whole house. Daddy says it’s too cluttered and mummy tells him it’s Christmas and to shut up – like. Later on I find daddy looking at the decorations and smiling.  When mummy ( who is also known as she who is usually obeyed) asks daddy to put the lights up outside, at the front of the cottage ( because we have to emphasize we live in a cottage – like) he can’t get out there fast enough – like! This has nothing to do with mummy  – she is trying to get her chocolate  – filled bottom through the loft hatch, to find more Christmas decorations. Daddy may never get back in again. The decorations may fill the house – like.

Anyhow – like. I’ve discovered something called crackers. Mummy had carefully selected some to go with the rest of the rubbish she has on display   – like. I got hold of one the other afternoon and showed  it to daddy. He told she who is usually obeyed and she took the cracker away and then she moved the other crackers.

She’s forgetting that if I stand on my hind legs  – like, I’m nearly six-foot tall… hah, hah! I could get the crackers – like.

Right, I’m bored now – like. I need to sleep a bit more, but I might come back again sometime – like.

If you’ve read this… cool! If not… I’m not really that bothered – like.

Big sloppy kisses and a right awful pong  from The Daisy Dog x

 

Autumn. A song and some thoughts.

I absolutely LOVE autumn. The colours, the weather, the mood… I could go on but, I’ll let this video and song from one of the true masters weave some autumn magic.

 

Then… there’s my take on autumn.

As I’m thinking about it now, I can think of so many other things about this rather special season. You’ve been spared them for now. I may be back with chapter 2.

Talking of which, I’m hoping to do my version of NaNoWriMo ( is that right?). I am putting together a book about greyhounds and I want to use November as a time to get it completed. Then, I can drive myself nuts trying to self publish, as an e-book.

My attempt at the month-long writing challenge would probably be best called NaNoMayAllthingsbeing wellFingersCrossedMo.

So, if I go comatose on here you know why. It could be argued that I’m comatose on here anyway. No difference then.

 

Halloween is powerful.

Halloween is powerful.

 

The heady days of summer are a becoming a distant memory.

The harvest is done

and thanks will be given.

Long fingers of darkness finger the landscape,

and cover it

like an incoming tide.

halloween-blog-post

Halloween finds the kids in their costumes… excitedly tricking and treating.

Ghosts of spirits good and bad are at large on the street

and lanterns are made and lit,

 to keep them from our homes.

That thin veil between our world, the other world, or even worlds… whatever our beliefs, is almost tangible.

It’s powerful stuff… this Halloween fun!

 

The birds sing their mellow songs now.

Above us, migrating birds bid us farewell.

Leaves drift down from the trees; like golden snowflakes.

Our boots kick through red and yellow drifts of leaves.

The horse-chestnut trees give up their treasures and returned to a temporary childhood, we hunt for the shiny, red conkers again.

The fire is lit and body, and souls snuggle up under soft blankets and are kidnapped by books, that have collected dust, during the summer months. Now, they take us prisoner in their familiar and not so familiar worlds.

Scarves are knitted and proudly worn on our forays out into the colder, sleepy world.

halloween-blog-post-5

There’s a sense of peacefulness.

A need to sleep.

A sense of everything coming full circle.

The bonfires and fireworks light up the dark skies and our spirits.

The sunrises and sunsets go all out for a show of amazing colour.

 

There are Festivals of Light, Christmas and New Year celebrations to prepare for and celebrate.

So much to do.

In a matter of weeks

the first snowdrops will sleepily raise their pretty, little heads above the frozen, hard earth.

A stillness will cloak our land.

As we semi hibernate

And ready ourselves for the new seasons to come.

New plans, new hopes, new life.

There is always hope… until there isn’t.

Then, there is an acceptance.

There is always the cycle of life.

There is always Halloween – to help settle us in, to the new season.

 

Thanks for reading and have yourself a great Halloween.

Sees ya later.

Dorne x

 

 

 

A weather check.

Photo credit : Animation Plaza

Photo credit : Animation Plaza

It’s rained on and off for most of today. Good news if you’re a plant, tree, or a duck. Rumour has it that it also keeps the pollen count down… wrong.

Yours truly has spent most of the day coughing my stupid head off. My eyes feel like I’ve had red hot pokers stuck in them and if I wipe my poor nose anymore, I won’t need a torch to light my way, on the bedtime dog walk, tonight.

You get the picture? I’m consumed by hay fever. And I take daily antihistamines and eye drops to help my symptoms. If I didn’t I quite possibly might have died by now.

I don’t help matters any. I choose to live surrounded by trees and fields, and regularly make my way through long grass and other coughy/sneezy inducing things. So, I’ve only got myself to blame.

On the upside, yes, there is usually an upside… the garden looks totally chilled and refreshed. Everything is a glowing green and the colour of the flowers is intense. We’re cocooned under a pale grey sky that is sending down a fine drizzle.

I’m making the most of it, because there will be a return to the hot and sticky weather that we enjoyed in sunny Scarborough, over the weekend. The sort of weather that drains every ounce of energy from you and leaves you needing another shower, as soon as you step out of one.

There’ll be a return to the nights when you throw the bedroom window open to its maximum and still need the fan on to cool down the poor, panting greyhound, who has to survive the ridiculous heat wearing a fur coat.

We’ll have those long summer days back, when you have no alternative but to just take it easy on your sun lounger and watch the birds darting around above you, in a cobalt blue sky.

So, today we can breathe – well some people can! Cool off a bit and prepare ourselves for the forthcoming heat wave.

I plan to find a big, clear ball and stick my head in it. Then I might be able to survive this summer!

How about you?

  • Do you get hay fever?
  • Love summer?
  • Like the rain?
  • Have any tips for surviving hay fever/a heat wave?

That’s it… I’ve done moaning, for now.

Thanks for dropping by and have a great night.

Until the next time.

Dorne x