Thursday, 29 September 2011

A dog blog

We arranged a visit last week from a dog behaviour specialist, as Jacky in particular gets really worked up around other dogs, and it means we never let him off the lead on walks, which is a shame (Mishka isn't let off either, but that's another problem!). Also, they both go nuts for a few minutes any time we have visitors, and whilst it's not a major problem, they shouldn't do that, and we want to learn how to calm them down. So since last Tuesday we've been working on the boys' behaviour at home and out on walks. I've taken Jackson on his own to pick Lara up from nursery one day, and we walk them on separate leads now, to try and stop Jacky from nipping poor Mishka when we bump into other dogs. Jacky gets so frustrated that we don't let him play that he takes it out on the nearest thing, which happens to be Mishka, but has been our jeans sometimes, and we can't risk him nipping Lara one day. So, we're making more of an effort to socialise him with other dogs, so he'll be going to training classes soon enough. We have got him a muzzle though, so once he's used to wearing it on walks, we'll feel better about letting him go and investigate other dogs, without concerns about nipping. As the behaviourist rightly put it, we can feel "confident that we'll have the safest dog in the park [with the muzzle on]".
I baked them a cake too! To help with training, it's good to give them better treats than standard dog biscuits, so I baked Liver Cake:

It came out better than I was expecting, and as I was out picking Lara up when Olga was expected home from a meeting on Monday, I put a post it note on it explaining what it was, in case she mistook it for a nice brown loaf and took a bite!!
And today we've moved the boys onto some posher food too, away from pedigree chum (good marketing, average dog food, apparently). We'll be ordering it on t'internet, but given we'd run out of pedigree chum today, we had to buy some in from the local pet shop. There's 2 weeks supply there!

I'll have to cancel my Sky Sports TV package to pay the extra monthly cost (sorry, Simon!!)!

To help the behaviourist monitor our progress with the boys, and Jackson in particular, I've created a separate blog just about them. In case there are any doggy-people out there, this is the link.

Oh, and how could I not post some photos from Mishka's birthday on the 20th Septemeber!?:

Windsor & Heathrow this week

It's been a busy week work-wise this week, so I'm only getting round to a blog post now, once I've finished what I have been doing, and it's late on Thursday night. Tomorrow I've got a day off for my Littlewick Green Cricket Club Annual Golf Day and Presentation Dinner :-) I had a second golf lesson on Wednesday, some more slight tweaks to my stance and swing were offered, and whilst I was a long was from perfect, hopefully if I can conquer nerves tomorrow, I might get round without looking like a complete arse (depends on what I choose to wear, I suppose!).
Last Thursday night we had a little party for Olga's birthday in the evening. Lara was desperate to help blow out the candles:
On Friday night Olga and I went to the "pubhotel" where we had our Wedding Reception, the Bird in Hand in Knowl Hill, for a nice meal and a change of scenery, as we stayed the night too, courtesy of a great GroupOn deal.  On Saturday we went to Windsor to meet my sister, brother-in-law and their two children for a picnic on The Long Walk. Lara and Elizabeth collected dozens of conkers (I think we've still got Lara's share somewhere at home), and William occupied himself with Lara's football, or anyone else's football he could find. His dribbling is excellent, I'll put some money on him playing for England one day, and he's got a better vocabulary at age nearly 2 than a lot of premier league players.

Sunday morning was all about taking Baba Luda to the airport for her trip back to Russia. Auntie Lucy has gone with her for two weeks, so we had no worries about Luda travelling on her own. Apart from her baggage, a lot of which was secreted into Lucy's suitcase, although Sergei was still concerned about the weight of Luda's holdall:

There was time for one last hug before departure:

Afterwards there was some time for retail therapy to get over the upset of Baba going home, and we found Lara her own trolley:
Bizarrely, we bought her some cute earmuffs and a hat-scarf combo, ready for the autumnal weather, and for the past 2 days the sun has been cracking the flags and it's set to get warmer over the weekend!