Monday, 17 August 2015

Leaving your dog at the Kennels

Having to leave your dog at the kennels is probably traumatic for most owners.  I certainly felt very guilty but sometimes it just has to be done.  I chose a kennel that had been recommended to me and I did go for a visit to check it out before hand.  I recommend that you should visit the kennel before leaving your dog and ask plenty of questions about food and exercise etc.

Dodger the beagle had to have two visits this summer.  The first was just for a weekend but it pained me to leave him.  His tail was down between his legs as he was taken through the gate.  We could hear lots of barking from the other dog guests.

When we returned to collect him we were taken to the office first.  The owner looked at us and said, "Dodger is a lovely dog but......", and there was a pause, "he has completely destroyed his bed."  At this news we burst out laughing as Dodger has a history of bed destruction.  The owner looked relieved but then told us that she had replaced it with some vet bed which he had also ripped to shreds.  I guess the poor dog was stressed or maybe just punishing us for leaving him.  He was over joyed to see us again and obviously heard us approaching as his tail was frantically wagging as soon as we saw him.

A few weeks later we had to leave him there again but this time for a week.  Again we felt extremely guilty about doing this.  We bought a new hard plastic bed with a lovely soft cushion inside.  At least the outer plastic part would not be destroyed this time.  The poor dog knew exactly where he was so the tail was down between his legs.  I felt sad about leaving him.  If I could stop him from suffering from travel sickness then he would come with us.

When we returned to collect him we were informed that his cushion lasted about four hours before it was in pieces.  The replacement vet bed didn't last much longer but Dodger left all the bits in his plastic bed so they were left their and he slept on them.  Once again there was frantic tail wagging and licking.  When we got him home he was exhausted and slept all day.

Now to work on the travel sickness.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Dodger the Beagle. The 20 months update.

It has been a while since I last posted about my young beagle Dodger. One of the reasons for that is because he has calmed down quite a bit and is not quite so naughty.  Don't get me wrong - he's not transformed over night but he is a calmer dog.  Being a beagle he is still a dreadful food thief. Nothing can be left within his reach for even a second.

Dodger the Beagle enjoying a leap

Christmas time with cats and dogs can usually be interesting.  Dodger liked removing the baubles from the tree and running about with them with one us chasing him.  Very annoying when this started to take place about 15 times a day.  The Christmas tree ended up looking ridiculous with most of the decorations all at the top where he couldn't reach them.

Dodger at Christmas

He still has many naughty dog moments.  This week he dug up a plant in the garden and brought in the roots complete with all the soil which left a brown trail all down the hallway and into the lounge.
Despite this I would say that he has calmed down considerably and we all adore him.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Is it time for stricter dog controls?

Over the last week there have been two publicised incidents where babies have tragically been killed by dogs.  The latest is a six day old baby killed by an Alaskan Malamute. Both incidents involved large powerful dogs.

Once again many people are thinking that it is time to have stricter controls on large powerful dogs.  Those against further controls will often proclaim that there is no such thing as a bad dog, only bad owners.  This statement is to a certain extent true as a dog is not capable of an act of evil but instead acts purely on its instinct.  Sadly these instincts can make a dog potentially very dangerous when around very young children that they may feel are a threat to the stability of the pack (family members).  I believe that dogs (especially large powerful breeds) can never be trusted around young children unsupervised and should not be able to get access to an unattended child. I also believe that when you own a dog that has never shown any signs of aggression it is easy to become too trustworthy.  We can also feel great love and affection towards our pets and can forget the potential dangers.

The Alaskan Malamute is a very beautiful breed of dog and was originally bred as a working dog to pull sledges and is therefore very powerfully built.  I think it is time to consider whether such powerful breeds should be kept as family pets.  No one needs to keep a large powerful dog as a pet when there are so many smaller breeds to choose from.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

John Lewis , Norwich, Place to Eat

John Lewis, Place to Eat, Norwich is a good place to stop for some refreshment while shopping.  We were out this afternoon doing a bit of Christmas window shopping and as hubby has the new John Lewis membership card we decided to stop at Place to Eat.

We had 2 pots of tea and 2  large slices of Christmas Cake.  The Christmas Cake was very good indeed with just the right moisture level. I have pictured it below. The pot of tea was large enough for one and a half cups.  I must add that the cups were quite large in size.  The atmosphere is that of a department store cafeteria but there are lots of friendly staff making sure that everything is kept clean and tidy.  The service is of the high standard that I have come to expect at John Lewis.

As my hubby has a membership card which entitles you to one free hot drink and cake of your choice  once a month, we only expected to pay for one person.  We were very pleasantly surprised when we were not charged at all.  The receipt did say email promotion on it so maybe that was the reason or maybe it was because it was obvious that we were married.  Whatever the case, it made us a saving of £9.70 which I think is amazing.  Some of the other cakes on offer are fresh cream Victoria sandwich, carrot cake and a variety of muffins and cupcakes.

I have already been on-line to register for my membership card so that we can go again in December.

John Lewis
Christmas Cake at John Lewis, Norwich, Place to Eat

Monday, 11 November 2013

Beagle not sleeping at night

Our beagle has not been sleeping through the night for several weeks.  His bed time routine has not changed but a few weeks ago he started waking up in the middle of the night barking.

When this problem first started one of us would go down and put him outside to go to the toilet and then try to settle him again in his crate. Dodger would not settle so one of us would stay downstairs with him and sleep on the sofa. Our main concern was that his barking would disturb our neighbours.
After a couple of nights of this we realised that we had a problem.  Dodger liked cuddling up on the sofa and sleeping with someone.

We changed tactics and after letting him out and putting him back in his crate, my husband would get into a sleeping bag next to the crate and wait for Dodger to go back to sleep.  This started to take quite a long time and I would wake up in the morning and find poor husband asleep on the hall floor.  We then tried a product called Adaptil that uses pheromones to keep dogs calm.  That night he slept all the way through till we got up in the morning.  We thought the problem was solved.  How wrong we were.  The next night he woke up after a couple of hours again and would not settle.

At the weekend we decided that we needed to show him that this barking behaviour was not going to get our attention so on Saturday night we left him to bark.  I thought that it would go on for a few hours maximum.  How wrong I was!  He barked for seven hours.  There were a few pauses of no longer than ten minutes each time.  These pauses became more stressful than the barking as we were dreading it starting again.  After seven hours we got up and let him out of the crate. His bedding was completely destroyed.  He went straight to the sofa and curled up and went to sleep.  I was exhausted and worried about people complaining.  The dog has won.

Last night Dodger slept in our room.  He is not normally allowed upstairs so we went to bed early to allow him some time to adjust.  He looked very confused but after an hour he relaxed and laid down. He slept all night.  It was the best nights sleep that we have had in a while. Long may it continue.

This dog bed has been destroyed.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Marks & Spencer Norwich, Cafeteria

We stopped off at Marks & Spencer Norwich while shopping at the weekend.  The food here is all well presented and there is a large bench with several large sandwich cakes to choose from.  When I say large I mean triple layered.  We have visited this cafeteria many times before and have always found it to be clean and tidy with many efficient staff.

On this occasion we chose a slice of carrot cake and a slice of chocolate and salted caramel cake.  They were both of the  high standard that you expect of M&S.  I believe that you can buy smaller versions of these cakes in-store. They were both moist with the right level of sweetness.

The atmosphere here is of a department store cafe but if you need a break during a shopping trip it is a good place to go.

1 carrot cake                                           £2.75
1 chocolate & salted caramel cake £2.75
1 Medium Latte                                      £2.45
1 Medium Americano                          £2.15
 Total                                                        £10.10

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Destructive Beagle

I do seem to have a destructive beagle although speaking to some other beagle owners it seems to be common problem.  As he is our first dog I don't know if all dogs are a bit like this given the opportunity.  Our beagle has managed to damage or destroy many things so far.

Clothes have been ruined by him jumping up and biting at them especially loose clothing or anything that ties up.  shoe laces are a definite target for a bored beagle.  The andrex puppy moments were cute the first few times but not any more.  we have to be careful and make sure that we close the downstairs loo door properly or he will notice.  We used to have hooks in our hallway for coats but they were too much of a target so the hooks are now in the downstairs loo as are shoes.

Our lovely dog loves to get hold of something that he knows he shouldn't have and then stand in front of us with it in his mouth. He fully understands the command "leave" but will rarely do so unless he sees a treat in your hand.  I think he does this just because he wants a treat.  If you don't have a treat then you will have to chase him around the house/garden which he loves.

The Sky remote has always been a popular target and we have had to replace our original one as the first was held together by tape and eventually stopped working altogether.  We try to be very careful with the new one and keep it well out of his reach but this somehow defeats the object of a TV remote as we have to keep getting up to use it.  I have included some pictures of the old remote that I took before throwing it away and my computer key board that has a missing number 3 key
Despite all this destruction we do, of course, still adore our lovely beagle (now asleep on the sofa).

Beagle  bite