Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Walk in the park

On Sunday morning, while Tracy was at work, I took Mollie to Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire. It's South East of Derby, just off the A6, and has beautiful gardens which are open to the public.

We went to meet a virtual friend, Bev, from the D For Dog forum, and her beautiful whippet Katie - we'd never met face-to-face but since we only live half an hour apart it seemed daft not to get together. Bev forgot her camera completely, and I forgot that I had mine with me so didn't take any pics until we got half way round!

Here are Katie Whippet and Mollie. They didn't really want to pose. Katie was busy watching everything and trying to remove her Halti, and Mollie was just busy, as terrierists always are.

The Border Collie below is Maggie. Maggie likes to sit and watch the ducks, and herd them back into the water if they come out, apparently. We called her to get her to look at us, but if you look closely you'll see that she stuck her tongue out!!

When we were nearly back at the car park, we met up with another of Katie's friends, Ryka. He's like a whippet sized version of a Pharaoh hound, with the most amazing ears, and he took to Mollie straight away. It was mutual, and they spent quite a while chasing each other round the field and playing with the tennis ball - stealing it off each other. A couple of times, Ryka tried to mount Mollie (although he apparently doesn't quite know why he's doing it yet!!), but she just gently told him off and moved away, then rugby tackled him for the ball!

The fantastic thing about all this is that, apart from a quick woof at Katie when they first met, Mollie was fine with all the dogs. And Katie doesn't normally like strange dogs either (I witnessed her threatening a GSD pup!) but was instantly friends with Mollie - which is great news, because we fully intend to meet up again, this time with more photos!

On the way home from the castle, I dragged an exhausted Mollie into a big pet shop (well known chain store but I'm not going to give them free advertising!) in Loughborough. I'd never taken her there before as I was worried that she'd bark at everything, but she was incredibly well behaved. She didn't steal anything, even though all the interesting toys were on the bottom shelf, and didn't bark once. As a reward, I let her sniff all the different dried meats to see which she wanted. She selected dried chicken fillets, and has now become addicted to them - as have the cats!

Oh, and while I'm praising Mollie, she went straight into a sit when told to, when bikes & horses came past, and even a down once! (ah, the power of the tennis ball!) And with the help of tiny bits of chicken jerky and doggie choccie chip cookies, she's been learning paw. If you hold something out in a closed fist, fingers upwards, she will paw to get it. Next step - associate the command with the action...

Oh, nearly forgot - Mollie gained a new nickname, from Bev - "Mollie chops". She seemed to quite like it!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What did you call me??

I've been tagged by Ralphie to divulge Mollie's nicknames... here goes then:

Mollie dog
Little dog
Rambo (seriously, Charlie next door calls her this)
Buggalugs (also next door, Marlene this time)
Dog features
Furface (but I call the cats this too, so it might not count)

Can't think of any more...

Haha!! My turn. I tag the mighty QB(if he's got time, he's such a busy Wolfie) and the gorgeous and glamorous Lola.

Rubber Chicken Update

When I got home yesterday, the rubber chicken was nowhere to be seen.

Apparently, Mollie had come home to fetch it (out through the door flap, over the fence). Instead of spending the day outside playing ball, Mollie and Marlene spent the day outside playing fetch with a rubber chicken.

You should try it. Especially if you have a big rubber chicken and a small dog - see previous post for correct chicken to dog proportions. It's utterly, utterly hilarious. I'll try and video it at some point...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Belvoir Castle Country and Game Show

That's where we took Mollie dog on Sunday afternoon. The weather was OK - not too hot, not too cold, no wind or rain. And best of all, Mollie was a VERY good girl. There were loads of people,dogs and kids around, and she only barked a couple of times when she got really excited/frustrated (we wouldn't let her play with the clay pigeons or go in the agility ring).

Here you can see Mollie straining to get at the clay pigeons (skeets) - I reckon she thought they were little orange frisbees!

There were lots of stalls with doggie things (obviously working dogs like to have fun, too), so we bought her a new Kong Flyer frisbee; a rubber chicken and a new, soft fleece-lined harness. The new harness is much more comfy than the EzyDog, which just didn't seem to be the right shape.

Mollie saw someone else with a rubber chicken and wanted one, so we went and got one. Then she amused the crowds by running round with it in her mouth!

Here you can see her in her new harness, with her rubber chicken.

All in all, we were very impressed with her. A few months ago she would've barked and barked at all those strange dogs, but yesterday she met large and small with equanimity and a friendly, waggy tail. She thoroughly enjoyed herself, as you can see!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Sophie Brador Interview

The lovely Sophie agreed to interview Mollie. Mollie was a bit blown away by the glamour of it all, so it took me a couple of days to get her to actually answer...

1. Do you get extra attention because of the lovely spot on your eye? How do you deal with it?
Everybody thinks I'm beautiful. In fact, sometimes people offer to take me home and my peoples have to say no. I don't think I want to change home again though, especially since I have two homes and all the tennis balls I can eat. I'm not really bothered by all the attention, I just want lots of cuddles, somewhere snuggly to sleep (preferably under my mums' duvet) and lots of squeaky tennis balls and my cats.

2. How do you survive life with cats, or rather, how does your pretty face survive? Mine ends up all scratched up whenever I meet a cat. While we are talking cats, do you get free and clear access to the kitty litter?
My cats and I have an understanding. They get to clean my food bowl, I get to keep my nose. Seriously, they used to have a big problem with foreign cats in the garden, big mean ones who stole their food, peed in their house and picked fights. But I bark and bark at them and chase them away because they're not MY cats, and so my cats love me even though I'm not a cat. Sometimes they sleep next to me, although I find this a bit scary and sometimes I run away or try and make myself so small that they can't see me. And I play with my Charley cat, we run around the garden together, and sometimes she lets me wash her face which is VERY exciting!! But one thing is that they don't throw my ball for me. I gave Seth my tennis ball yesterday but he just gave me a LOOK. Cats are very confusing because they wag their tails when they're angry but as long as you don't look them in the eye they're fine. And sometimes they don't like a nose up their bottoms. The litter trays are covered over and I can only get my head in, but I don't really see the attraction. I'd much rather jump on the table and steal their biscuits! Sometimes when I'm feeling sad or poorly my Charley cat purrs at me. Now that I've figured out that she's not growling I quite like it and it helps me go to sleep.

3. Are you for or against the monarchy? If that’s too controversial a question to answer and still be able to visit the dog park, then try this one: Are you for or against Marks & Spencer? If that’s still too controversial, are you for or against Madonna in the UK?
I don't understand the question? As long as I get fed, have a snuggly bed, get walks and play and an unlimited supply of squeaky tennis balls, I don't really worry about the rest. I'm not as in-ter-lek-tew-all as Wally or General Jackson. Mum says the monarchy are outdated but serve as am-bass-a-dors (is that like a corgador?) for the nation and provide a focus for the masses with their quaint traditions and rituals. I don't know what that means. And she says that Marks and Spencers make good sandwiches but she can't really say what she thinks of them other than that in a dog blog. We don't much mind where Madonna lives as long as it's not too near us.

4. If you were going to spend a weekend in London, what would you do?
I don't know what a London is, but I think I would probably find somewhere where I could play with my frisbee or tennis balls? Oh, mum tells me it's a city, like Leicester but lots lots bigger. I think I'd try to find somewhere green, are there big parks or woods in London?

5. If you could run around off-leash anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I like places where I can play ball or frisbee, play with other dogs, and where there are lots of small furries I can pretend to chase and trees and things for me to sniff. My mums took me to somewhere called Bradgate Park, and I liked that. It had all my favourite things and we went with my big Staffy friend Stewie. I would quite like to go to Cornwall and run round on the beach with the other Mollie. I quite like swimming, too.

6. As a nudist, I feel compelled to ask one extra question. Are you for or against outfits for dogs?
I get really cold in the Winter, my mums say I have something called 'SAD' which means I don't want to get out of bed when it's dark outside. And I hate cold rain, it gets through my fur and makes me shiver, even when I have my thick Winter fur. So I have a nice red fleece-lined waterproof coat (you can see it here) which my mums say looks like a cape, and I feel so happy and warm when I'm wearing it that they call me superdog. But I don't like it when people put clothes on their dogs just to make them look cute. Dogs are cute just as they are, we only need clothes sometimes when it's cold and wet, not just to make our humans happy.

And now, the small print:

1. If you are interested in being interviewed, leave me a comment saying, 'interview me.' Include your e-mail if you want me to e-mail the questions.
2. I will respond by posting five questions for you. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Red card

Mollie dog is the family referee.

If the cats fight, she runs in and uffs at them, or sometimes even barks, usually doing the terrier bounce plus waggy tail thing.

If we have an argument, Mollie jumps up and barks at us, or sits and howls until we relent; we usually start laughing: she looks so funny and cute when she howls.

If it looks, or sounds, like we MIGHT be having an argument, but she's not 100% sure, she says 'uffuffuff?' (a kind of inhaled, slightly questioning greeting) and does the wet nose thing.

There are times when a wet nose, an inquisitive stare and 'uffuffuff?' can be quite off-putting; times when we're categorically NOT arguing, but it could potentially be misconstrued as such from the perspective of an overly maternal member of the canine diplomatic corps.

At such times, we find the only option is to laugh. And possibly, briefly, wish that the dog slept in the kitchen.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Welcome, Ralph

Everyone, meet Ralph. Ralph is new to the blogosphere. He was only adopted a very short time ago but Jack Russells are a tenacious breed so he's finding his feet fast. Isn't he a cutie? I get the impression he knows it, too. Anyway, as he's another JR I thought I'd be nice and introduce him to my friends.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tennis Buddy lives to fight another day - briefly

Mollie couldn't find her sheep yesterday. So when the time for her evening play session arrived (something she invented this week), Tennis Buddy Had To Die. Even though he was already missing one arm and one leg...


And again.

We found the sheep this evening and have played LOTS. But eventually I managed to persuade Mollie dog that her blog needed updating so people could see more pictures of how beautiful yet dangerous she is. If you're a cuddly toy, that is.

Monday, October 01, 2007

We made someone smile!!

Graham has very kindly given me an award! How nice is that? It's great, as the whole point of this blog was to pass on the smile that Mollie puts on my face, and Graham has arguably been in need of a smile more than some this year. I shall make sure to tell Mollie dog about her award, and I'm sure she'll wag lots and demand something a little more substantial, such as a nice rawhide chew or a tennis ball.

Apparently I have to pass this award on. With apologies to my English readers, my first candidate is Helena, who coined the word 'terrierists' and whose Airedales often have me in stitches. I'm sticking with dog blogs, so the other two would have to be Wally's blog and General Jackson's blog. When I first landed in the blogosphere I wanted to see how other people had done the whole 'writing from the dog's perspective thing' (before I finally decided not to) and I spent a couple of days reading them from the beginning. The LFBP's antics frequently had me in tears of laughter, and Wally's blog is just priceless.