Friday, May 31

We're off!

The house is quiet.....the bags are packed.
Earlier today we drove through the thick fog to Scarborough, where Elsie is sharing a kennel with Bing and Ella has a little place all to herself.
Freida was driven to Auntie Joyce, a neighbour and the hens are busy at work laying eggs as a daily thank you to Emma our immediate neighbour who is looking after them!

The weather has been dreadful but hey ho - the sun shines on the righteous and I have faith that tomorrow the sun will shine down on Jon and I as we tootle over the Yorkshire moors, through the Yorkshire dales then over the Irish sea to the Isle of Man!

Watch this space!

Tuesday, May 28

T is for Tropical Fruit Salad.

Bing LOVES fruit - he could have eaten a whole pineapple or a whole nectarine, even a banana - but being the culinary whizz he is he went for a bit of each fruit.

Afterwards he was very tired so hap a nap on the patio!
T in my alphabet of life with Bing - ABC Wednesday.
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Sunday, May 26

Sod's Law!

Every year something happens just before we go away. Whilst I am blessed with a technically minded, nay gifted engineer he has a day job.....a very important day job as he earns the pennies  by running his own engineering business. Last year he informed his customers he would be away for a week in June and they asked him to do work on various projects before we left......basically he has been busy ever since. Last week he told the same customers our plans and exactly the same thing has happened. Jon likes to keep Thursday free to get the motorbike ready, take the animals to their accommodation and sort the house it looks as though he will be working right up until then. Even as I sit here on a lovely Sunday morning Jon is at the workshop. Tomorrow is a bank holiday - again Jon will most probably be at the workshop.
Yesterday as I emptied the dishwasher I felt a drop of water fall on my head. Looking up to the ceiling it was obvious all was not well. The bathroom is directly above the kitchen and to my horror I discovered the floor around the toilet was soaking wet. After various flushing of the toilet the dripping stopped but not entirely. We have put some newspaper down so we can monitor the drippings, but who needs this at this precise time?
As luck would have it we are having a new bathroom fitted on June 24th so we are winging it until then!

Tuesday, May 21

S is for.......

Skimmed milk. Picture the situation........bathroom fitters due round to quote.......Bing finds dried skimmed milk carton and eats the lot!

That was last Monday - today was Shredded wheat! and there has been strawberries,
Sage blue cheese
Special K big time!!!!

Quite healthy then?

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Friday, May 17

Nesbitt Pet Business.

It's that time of the year again......preparing for our annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Man TT. The animals are all booked in to their various accommodation .

 Elsie and Bing will be going over to Scarborough to stay with Auntie Jill here. Ella will also be staying there in the cattery. Ella does not travel well and whilst normally she is a very clean cat we tend to have a little accident on route. We daren't let her out on the morning we take them to Scarborough in case she didn't return in time and this would have our plans out of the window. So - we pack the dogs, bedding, food then bring Ella's transport cage into the house and try to get her in with minimum fuss! (Easier said than done!) We then head out to Scarborough hoping....
1. The road wont be too busy 
2. We don't get stuck behind a slow moving vehicle...or
3. Hit roadworks.

Past experience would indicate we will encounter one of the three and Ella will get stressed and drop a little protest.

Freida will be staying with a neighbour and enjoying 3 walks a day as Joyce loves walking....and dogs - so they will both be happy! Freida will have a rest from puppy rearing and a break from Elsie.

We have taken them for their various boosters and kennel cough treatments at a cost of £94. The boarding fees alone will be approaching £350 so hopefully we may have a few pence left for the odd meal whilst we are away! lol!

I was quite worried about taking Ella to the vets. She has a cyst which fills up with fluid on a regular basis. We take her to get it drained but it returns. She is well over 15 and we don't want to cause her any unnecessary when I discovered more lumps I was very concerned. The vet gave her a full examination and concluded that they were not causing Ella any pain or discomfort and it would be wise not to have them drained at the moment as the process would interfere with her immune system and the booster's impact would be decreased - so we will attend to this on our return.

The hens will stay in the henhouse but will be let out and locked away at night by our neighbour. The benefit for Emma our neighbour is she will get fresh eggs on a daily basis whilst we are away!

Monday, May 13

R is for Rearing a German Shepherd Puppy.

Bing is nearly 7 months old. We made the decision to get a puppy as we know Elsie and Freida are not getting any younger and would be able to help out with his upbringing. We wanted a puppy so we could have some input into his personal development. Neither of us have had a puppy before so it has been a learning process. Thanks to the internet there is a wealth of information out there so when I came across the following article by a leading dog breeder/psychologist it was of great interest.

Raising a Confident Puppy By Yuliya Matvyeyeva

" Different people have different needs and may look for different characteristics in a dog. However, everyone will agree that they want a confident German Shepherd Dog, a dog that will not hide behind the owner each time it comes across something new.

A big portion of a dog’s confidence is genetic. There are dogs that are born to hide under the bed at the first sound of a thunderstorm. The only thing you can do to prevent this is to do your homework and get a dog from proven bloodlines. But even when you get a puppy from sound parents and bloodlines, it is your responsibility to raise your puppy in such a way that his confidence is developed to its full potential.

Just assume it is a 50/50 situation - 50% of your puppy’s confidence comes from his genes, and 50% comes from the way you raise him. While proper socialization is the key, there are other necessities in order to help your German Shepherd puppy develop into a confident dog: respect your puppy’s social needs, avoid physical punishment, and protect your puppy from other dogs. The following guidelines for raising your German Shepherd puppy are very important- whether you are raising a future Schutzhund dog or a family pet.

First of all, you should respect your puppy’s need for a secure nest. It should be the only place in the house that is “his.” It should be like a castle for your puppy. Puppy is first and foremost a pack animal, and in the pack, every dog, even the lowest in rank, will not be rudely bothered when it’s resting. For a healthy state of mind and some sense of security, every social creature needs to have a place where it can go and not be bothered, the place that is theirs. You should not brusquely pull your puppy out of his nest. If you need your puppy to leave the nest and come to you, use treats. Show a treat to your puppy, crouch down, clap your hands - he will gladly come to you. THEN, you can pick him up and do whatever you intended (after you give the treat). Never punish your puppy in any way, even verbally, when he is in his nest.

I think we can tick that box!

Another rule you should follow is to avoid physically punishing your German Shepherd puppy. In nature, young puppies are “untouchable.” They are not attacked or punished by the adult members of their pack. This is why you have probably seen a little pup fearlessly biting on the ankles of a huge adult dog, which will only try to evade, and never hurt the puppy. In this case, the puppy is not fearless, he just “knows,” due to his instincts, that he will NEVER be hurt by another pack member. And the adult dog is not helpless - it just CANNOT hurt the puppy (even though it probably wants to!). It doesn’t mean, however that the puppy should be allowed to do anything and never get corrected. There are certain situations, especially if you have a dominant puppy, when you should show that you are a leader who must be respected early on, but that is a different story. A puppy should never be physically punished for such mischief as chewed up shoes, digging holes in the yard or puddles on the floor.

Bing pushes his luck with both Elsie and Freida but they keep him in order and all get along so well.

The third rule that applies to all puppies, regardless of whether they are being raised as Schutzhund prospects or not, is that you should not allow other, especially older, dogs to bully your puppy. Often, a dog that has been attacked at a young age will grow to be dog aggressive. Sometimes just one incident is enough. The dog will then think that the best defense is to go on the offensive, and will show aggression towards any dog he meets. This problem is very difficult to fix. In nature, if a young puppy is attacked by a strange adult, this usually means the death of the puppy. This is a very traumatizing experience that may lead to a loss of self-confidence, and some puppies actually never get over it, even when they grow up.

This is why it is extremely important to protect your German Shepherd puppy from such occurrences. The best thing to do is to avoid the company of adult dogs, that is - do not take your pup to dog parks, or to friends who have adult dogs (unless they are known for their absolute tolerance of puppies). Remember, for your German Shepherd puppy you are the ultimate leader and it is up to you to provide the proper environment in which he can grow and reach his potential. Your kindness, patience, and lots of quality time spent with your puppy will help to establish a very strong bond which will make your life together more enjoyable for both of you.

We are fortunate to have a secluded beach only a couple of miles away so Bing can enjoy real exciting adventures with Freida and Elsie.
All in all - I think we are rearing Bing in a way that is making him a well balanced, happy, loving pup.

Sunday, May 12

More work in the garden.(Sunday)

We decided to do some more work in the garden today. Jon wanted to cut the lawn with the other mower so the front lawn it was.

From nowhere the front border became the popular place for the particular the one which smells of garlic. A good session sorted it out and I was in the throws of clearing it all when rain stopped play. Nevertheless still can see results.

I find removing dandelion roots very therapeutic.

Again still some finishing off but a big improvement.


The front lawn is looking much better - the prepared, dug over area in between Jon and Elsie will be turfed.
A good morning's work.....then the rain arrived. Dam good timing!

Wednesday, May 8

The Garden

We have been busy in the garden of late. Whilst we have managed to have a great weekend out tootling on the motorbike we have also put some hours into the garden. I have rambled on many occasions about how I often feel overawed by the sheer scale of the garden I have been looking through some previous projects we have undertaken and feel quite enlightened.

This was the dry stone wall many years ago. I spent an entire summer pulling out the grass and weeds.
Even then, although the succulents I planted brought lovely colours and interest to the wall, the surface area was a constant weeding project. The field on the other side of the fence is where the horses graze and pop their heads we can not plant anything which could cause them harm....
So last year we did this.

Just spotted a weed below!

Looking onto the front lawn the bulbs we planted are coming through - I can see a lawn edging afternoon is on the cards.

Again here - the Euphorbia needs some tall flowers amongst the vivid greens.

We have been busy clearing another area in the front lawn - this will be turfed with a small bulb interest around the base of the trees. We are not sure what the trees are but they are a popular spot for the bird food and are just opposite the snug window.


At the side of the house, overlooking the paddock we have removed old shrubs and again this area will be turfed - linking the garden to the paddock. This is where we sit on an evening - a sun trap.

At the bottom of the garden - an old tree root Jon winched out. The hedge has been cut back and will grow thicker.

The hens love to roam freely - the pond is another project. Originally for the geese, now we have no geese we want to do some work on the pond area.

The bonfire increases in size by the minute.

This was the back shrubbery a couple of years ago...

Now cleared and awaiting turf.

Whist out on the motorbike we spotted this garden clock in a sale.....

The area at the base of the cherry tree wants digging out again for bulb interest.

So whilst I see there is lots to do I feel  more relaxed and organised when I see the progress we have made.