Wednesday, September 26, 2007

FOUND: Squeak

Well. This morning I emptied the washing machine, putting stuff on radiators as the forecast is a bit dodgy for today. I picked Sheep 1 out (he's looking much better and definitely smells nicer) and put him on the kitchen radiator, and as I did so, guess what I spotted? Yep, the squeak that I'd 'lost'. I remember now, it was soaked through but not dirty, so I put it across the fins on the radiator to dry out. Oh dear....time to do some brain training!

On the dog front - Mollie wasn't in a morning mood today. It took some persuading to get her out of bed, and even then she just curled up and went back to sleep on the settee. So when I took her next door, I took a pouch of food with me and asked them to feed her when she wakes up...

Has anyone else got a dog that hibernates/suffers from S.A.D.?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


When I disembowelled Sheep 1 yesterday and put him in the washing machine, I put his little squeaky pouch on the side above the machine. Last night, it was gone. Thinking it might have fallen, or been accidentally put, in the bin, I dutifully rummaged underneath the leftovers from our fish & chips dinner - but I couldn't see it.

Our current working theory is that the cats have made off with it, or knocked it down and Mollie's taken it somewhere.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The curious tale of the lion, the sheep and the tennis buddy

Once upon a time, there was a small cuddly Lion who lived next door, and was Mollie's daytime toy. Mollie loved her Lion, and regularly pulled all its stuffing out. Mollie's adopted grandma, Marlene, kept fixing the Lion and making it as good as new, but one day while Mollie was trying her best to pull his head off, she succeeded - and that was the end of the Lion.

Luckily, one of Mollie's mums (ME) had bought her a new toy that very day - a Dr Noy's squeaky sheep. Mollie took to it straight away and showed it all her favourite places in both her homes. Some days the sheep would snooze under the table on the patio while Mollie played ball, on colder days he might lie in front of the fire - and no matter how hard she tried, Mollie couldn't pull his stuffing out, as he didn't have any.

Meanwhile, at home, Mollie had a blue tennis buddy (a blue tennis playing dog - now discontinued I think). Sometimes, when she got excited, Mollie would try her best to pull its legs off. Then one day (yesterday), she was playing tug when a leg AND an arm came off! Luckily, one of her mums (ME!) had bought a new Dr Noy's sheep so that Mollie could have one in each house. What a spoiled girl.

Mollie was very tired after her day of killing the blue tennis buddy.

But once she'd rested she spent some time teaching her new sheep the ropes. It tried to escape into the kitchen to steal her biscuits, but she chased it and caught it. Later, she took it up to bed so that she could keep an eye on it. It is not as trustworthy as the other sheep.

Then, today, Mollie was so excited by the small piece of battered cod that she managed to scrounge, that she had to play with her new sheep again.

Did I mention that sheep number 1 seems to have suffered from a bout of depression following the acquisition of sheep 2? I found him on a garden chair on our patio this morning. In the rain. He has now been disembowelled and put in the washing machine..

Mollie versus football

When we first got Mollie, she had this mad obsession with footballs. If she saw one, she not only wanted to chase it, she wanted to kill it. Walking past kids playing with one was an utter nightmare - even on a canny collar she turned into a slavering beast with remarkable similarities to the cartoon character Taz. Our solution - we bought a nice sturdy football (she popped our plastic one!) and started playing with her in the back garden. We took care not to kick the ball directly at her, and if she caught it and bit it, we said 'leave' - and she did. Now, if we play footie in the back garden, she only barks if one of us lets a goal through, and she rarely tries to catch the ball - preferring instead to run around after it with a tennis ball in her mouth, squeaking frantically if it gets too exciting or the ball goes offside..

Yesterday, we took her to a local football field so we could use the ball chucker. We walked slowly round the perimeter, chucking the ball for her as we went. As we neared the entrance, some lads started coming on the field, with a football. Initially, she paid absolutely no attention. As the numbers grew and they inevitably started shouting and kicking the ball, she lost it a bit and ran over BUT she still had her ball in her mouth and wasn't barking, so that was a major relief. Unfortunately the stupid boys (teenagers) started pretending to throw the ball at her, and carried on playing even though Trace was on her way over to get Mollie back. All the teasing wound Mollie up a bit and she dropped her ball and tried to bite theirs, we got her back just in time. I wish people would just apply some common sense in situations like that - if they'd have picked the ball up and stood still she would probably have come back to us... Anyway, I'm still impressed that she wasn't barking or angry like she used to get, even when they wound her up she was still better than she used to be!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Country dog in the city

As far as I'm aware, Mollie had never been into a city before yesterday, and so I was a little nervous - my mum, sis and I had decided to go to Aylestone Meadows in Leicester which is an urban wilderness park type thing. We walked from my sister's house, across two busy main roads. At each one, Mollie sat when told to, and waited until released. The only bark, despite all the strange new smells and noises, was at an off lead GSD - Mollie was on lead at the time so decided to tell him that she was dangerous in case he came too close. He waited until he was at a safe distance before shouting back... rolleyes.gif

At one point, Mollie was mugged by the most gorgeous brindle and white Cardigan Corgi, whose owner also fell in love with Mollie - although when I said she was a Jack Russell, there was the almost inevitable discussion about Parson's versus Jack, KC breed standards versus JRGB etc etc. The corgi's owner also had a bulldog x mongrel bitch with her. She was white with a patch - in fact virtually the same colouring as Mollie - but looked just like a Staffy except for the jowls. She wasn't in the slightest interested in Mollie and just stood behind her owner looking bored and absent mindedly sniffing a bush. Mollie was completely enamoured with the corgi and even gave him her ball! He didn't want it, he just wanted to give her a good wash. It was very sweet!

We had a lovely walk all in all, although we inevitably lost the ball in some nettles, and on the way back to my sister's she was just as calm again, except for barking at an electricity box that jumped out at her.

A few months ago she would have been incredibly agitated the whole way there and back, and I would barely have trusted her off the lead. She's so much calmer, and I think the harness helps as well as she seems to feel safe with it on.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I know my dog.

My dog doesn't get up in the mornings unless you make her.

My dog refuses breakfast when she eventually does get up, and sometimes won't eat until lunchtime.

My dog gets out of our bed, comes downstairs and goes straight back to sleep.

Who is this strange dog I have today who woke me up with a cold nose and an 'uff' at 8 a.m.?

Who is this dog that demanded breakfast as soon as she got downstairs?

Oh no, hang on - after 20 mins of playing ball, she's curled up and gone to sleep. That's my dog!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Where's Tracy?

Tracy has gone away for the residential part of her shiatsu course. I'm sure she'll blog about it when she gets back! In the meantime, it was kind of weird being alone last night.

I didn't get much extra space in bed either, as I let Mollie share it with me. She snores, which was actually quite comforting. Mollie quite enjoyed having half the bed. It could be interesting persuading her to go into her own bed on Sunday.

Mollie would like to tell QB that his pln for burying the TDF's car might not work. Yesterday Tracy left without taking her car. This meant that poor Mollie kept looking out of the window, seeing the car and thinking that Tracy was about to come through the front door - so she'd go and stare at the hall door for a few minutes, working herself up into a frenzy, pacing and muttering and occasionally barking at me. I couldn't help. After a while she settled down and accepted that she was stuck with just me.

We went to my sister's in the evening, after Mollie had spent most of the day playing ball. All she wanted to do when she got there was sleep, although she was very pleased to see my sis and my mum. My sister's cat, Icklepest, wasn't too sure, but she came into the living room a couple of times and all Mollie did was gaze adoringly at her so she eventually settled on my sister's lap, which was conveniently near the door. At around 9.30, Mollie just really really wanted to go home, so she jumped down from the armchair where she'd been sleeping and put her paws on my knee, gazing deep into my eyes and gently wagging. Then she said her goodbyes, giving both my sister and my mum lots of kisses (but not Icklepest!), and gave me a look. Given that I was back at work today I thought she probably had a point, so off we pootled...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Name Game

I've been tagged for the name game by flowerpot. Since this is Mollie's blog, I really should do it with Mollie's name, which is quite hard!

These are the “official” rules ( cut and pasted)
  • Players must list one fact, word, or tidbit that is somehow relevant to their life for each letter of your first or middle name.
  • When you are tagged you need to write your own post containing your first or middle name game facts, word, or tidbit.
  • At the end of your post choose one person for each letter of your name to tag.
  • Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them that they have been tagged, and to read your blog.
M is for Meaty Chunks. She's not meant to have these as they send her hyperactive, but we use them as occasional treats and rewards.

O is for Outdoors. Mollie loves nothing better than to be outdoors, either running after a tennis ball or frisbee, or just rummaging around in the undergrowth.

L is for Lie-in. If she could stay in (our) bed until lunchtime every day, I think she would. Mollie just isn't a morning dog!

L is for Little dog. Sometimes, we forget how small Mollie is, and then we see her next to one of the cats, or with a 'normal' sized dog and we suddenly realise how little she really is. I guess it's a bit of a giveaway that she'll fit easily on a my lap without squashing me...

I is for Itch. She always has an itchy spot somewhere... I gather some dogs just do.

E is for Enthusiasm, excitement and exuberance. Given sunshine, a big field and a tennis ball, she has all of these in bucket loads.

Crikey, that was hard work!!

And now for the even harder bit - finding 5 other bloggers to tag who haven't already been tagged!

Here goes:


Tony's Shiatsu Blog
Larry & Lady
Graham and Prince

Love's Leftovers

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Textbook Performance

When I got home from work, a few minutes ago, Mollie was in our back garden waiting for me. As always, she followed me through to the hallway as I made my way upstairs to get changed. On the way, she stopped to eat the post. We had a parcel, one of those bubble-wrap lined jiffy bags. They're good to chew, apparently.

Would you like to know what was in the jiffy bag? All right then. It was...









Victoria Stilwell's book, "It's me or the dog - how to have the perfect pet".

I don't think Mollie appreciated the irony as much as she appreciated the jiffy bag...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Spare a thought please

for my friend Helena, who sadly lost her mum on Friday.

They were very close and it must feel a little like the rug has been pulled out from under her feet. Hopefully Ben and Jenny, Helena's two beautiful Airedales, will take it in turns to be teddy bears and furry handkerchiefs.

Stop! Thief!

Since we got Mollie dog, I've moved the cat bowls onto the dining table so that Mollie can't get at them. The cats get fed a pouch between them twice a day, and have biscuits down the rest of the time, and Mollie LOVES the biscuits. The reason the cats only get a pouch between the three of them is that I feed them Nature's Menu, which is extremely good quality, but isn't exactly the cheapest food around. It's very tasty, apparently. I wouldn't feed them meat at all but they get very upset if we give Mollie meat and they don't get any - to the extent that they will actually steal it from under her nose. While she's eating.

You would think that a small terrier wouldn't be able to get onto a dining table with all the chairs pushed in and table cloth on. After all, even the cats find that the addition of a table cloth makes it a bit trickier.

But you'd be wrong.

Last night, with all the cats in the living room, I heard crunching from the kitchen. It sounded like the kind of crunching that comes from a small dog with a mouth crammed full of tiny cat biscuits, eating as fast as possible because they know it's only a matter of time before they get caught.

It was.

I snuck in (I'm good at sneaking), and tried to keep a straight face while shouting "Get DOWN!!". I only had to say it once. She dutifully jumped down, still crunching, and ran into the living room, tail between legs, straight to the hall door - which I opened, saying " GO TO BED" in my most authoritative voice. She ran upstairs and we heard our bed creak.

I closed the door and looked at Tracy, who had been watching from the armchair - at which point we could contain ourselves no longer, and burst out laughing. I can't explain quite what it was that was so funny - possibly it was the way that Mollie just decided that she should go to bed. Possibly it was the way she was still munching cat biscuits as she ran upstairs.

Any ideas how we can stop her getting at the biscuits? Putting them on the kitchen side isn't an option...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

For the love of puppies

I've just been informed of a new website, set up by a couple of D For Dog forum members to aid the campaign against puppy farming by providing information and posters.

So, what are puppy farms? Well, they are concerns run by unscrupulous 'breeders' who are just in it for the money, basically. Think battery hens, but bitches instead of chickens, and smaller sheds. Now take away the regular inspections by government vets, and imagine the bitches being mated repeatedly, as soon as one litter is almost weaned they are bred again. They have very little human contact and are not even fed and watered regularly. Eventually, if they're lucky, they'll end up in a rescue centre where they'll be rehabilitated and hopefully find a loving home to end their days in. But more likely they'll just be disposed of, or end up in a rescue centre and have to be put to sleep, while the puppies are advertised in papers or sold in pet shops. Here's what the website has to say:

Well lets see, first the farmer needs to be paid, he doesn't get much for pups so he keeps them on as little food as possible and doesn't waste his time cleaning them out .He also has to pack them into the smallest space he can so he can get as many as possible into his barn etc. He won't waste money on heat or light so dogs are mostly in the dark, he MAY visit once a day to feed but then again maybe not.

If a bitch is in pup she will be left to take care of herself, she will see no vet. If she has problems giving birth and things go wrong she and pups will be left to die. If all is well her pups will be taken away from her much earlier than they should be so they are not off to a good start. But the farmer is happy he has his cash. He will now get the bitch mated again as soon as possible so he can get more cash.

Here's where the pet shop owner comes in, he will pay to have them delivered to his pet shop near you as soon as he can, he needs to sell these pups before they grow too much. It matters not to him that so far in their young lives they haven't seen a vet to make sure they are fit. He will let you take on that problem when you have parted with your cash. Up to now these pups have had no socialisation, they are not used to everyday sounds and are probably scared stiff. Now the pet shop owner has to let everyone know he has pups for sale so he contacts newspapers and local radio to place advertisements. Now these people are happy they have their cash, it doesn't matter a jot to them where the pups came from or if they are sick or have defects, they will advertise anything for the right money

You can read more at the Puppy Love website: The site does have some disturbing images.

Please have a look. If all you do with the knowledge is tell your friends and family not to buy from pet shops and to ask the right questions when answering ads in a paper, that's a start - but please do spread the word however you feel you can and help these poor animals.

If you do want a new dog, please consider a rescue, or make sure you get to see both parents of any puppy. Dogs Today magazine has a dog-finding service, "Dial-a-dog" which can help you find the right dog for you, and they also offer advice on checking out breeders and what questions to ask.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The strange case of the disappearing balloon

In the drawer in the kitchen which is the miscellaneous drawer; the one with the roll of sellotape, the biros, the shed key, strange bits of leftover plumbing, the washing machine filter key - you get the picture - in this drawer, there is a packet of balloons. Until yesterday, this was Mollie's packet of balloons, for occasional treats. She is nuts about tennis balls, but when faced with a balloon, Mollie goes psycho. You can't even blow one up in peace (as Tracy found out yesterday!).

Yesterday afternoon, Tracy decided Mollie could have a balloon, as a treat. So she picked one out (it was bright pink) , and blew it up. While she was blowing it up, Mollie tried repeatedly to grab it, which somewhat hampered the operation, but eventually the deed was done, Tracy tied a knot in the top, and out into the garden they both trotted. A couple of seconds later, there was the usual bang. But then, Tracy called me outside, where Mollie was sniffing excitedly along the fence. There followed an exchange something like this:

"She ate it."
"What, all of it"
"All but this bit" (displays knot from top of balloon)

So, for the next few days, we'll be carefully inspecting anything that comes out of Mollie dog to see if it's pink and rubbery. Nice. And our neighbour will too. Lets hope it emerges soon. In the meantime, as you can see from the picture above, Mollie is utterly unaware that there might be a problem. In fact, there is absolutely no outward sign that she's eaten anything abnormal at all. Yet.

If it doesn't reappear soon, I guess there'll be a visit to the V.E.T. to see what happens next. I suppose there's no need to tell him how she got hold of the balloon... ?