Monday, 16 July 2012

Beside the seaside, beside the sea

There was a teeny tiny break in the horrible weather we've been having over the summer and I took Scooby to see the sea.  He'd never seen the sea before and he loved it!!

Formby beach is huge and dogs are allowed off lead so he went mad running around.  There was loads of space and hardly any people when we got there so he could run wild and free.

He had a few paddles in the sea, chased after some driftwood, found a jellyfish and had a big walk through the dunes....and then fell asleep in the car on the way home.

There is a red squirrel nature reserve in Formby and dogs can go there too on the lead.

Definitely a great place to go with your dog!  Click for more details and directions.

The added bonus is that your dog will be so cute and sleepy for the rest of the day AND the day after! :-)

Sunday, 29 April 2012

and relax.....snoozes for the Scooby

There was a competition the other week asking for photos that represented friendship and I thought this could be quite nice.  Though I do have to keep reminding Scooby he is just a dog and not an actual person/equal.  I think the dog training is helping with that....although he still is on my bed every morning when I wake up we're not entirely there.

This image of the saddest little face in the world haunted me when I went away for a few days.  It was the longest I was away from Scooby since I've had him.  I missed him really badly and did have to check how he was a few times.

He was fine, of course.

I went to Belgium over Easter on my motorbike.  Belgium is a lovely country.  There are loads of dogs.  Everyone takes their dogs with them wherever they go, walking on the prom, around town, into cafe bars.  I think somewhere that everyone has dogs has got to be a good place to live.  I'm sure Scooby would love it!

These are all Scooby's.  He has more toys, but these are definitely his.
He's spoiled.
For teddies anyway.

Back home and straight back into the usual routines of long walks, dog training, baths, and humiliating the Scooby...  My inspiration in thsi picture was from a very good book called Stuff On My Cat.  There is a related website here  There are some absolute genii (genius's?) on there.  I bow to their expert piling on on domestic animals.  I can only dream of getting 225 items on Scooby, unlike the person who did get 225 items on their cat AND take a picture. 

 .....and relax

This is Scooby the other day after a long walk in the rain.  For someone who loves paddling in the dirtiest mankiest ponds and puddles he is very unhappy when he's wet and will insist on being towel-dried until he's decided he's dry enough.

And then he stretches out along the entire length of the settee and sleeps until tea-time.  He has a very hard life.

I would love to get a kitten.
One of these yoga kittehs would be great.
But not if it'll be really bossy and make me do yoga everyday,
or when I don't feel like it.....

Sunday, 4 March 2012

the many faces of Scooby

Scooby's been doing some modelling for the blog.

This would be his 'Horse & Hounds' / Cheshire Life profile...
Happily trotting along the canal.  If he were human he would be all Burberry and Hunter wellies.

A Putin-esque action shot.  To be truly authentic he would have to be wrestling an alligator or holding an ancient relic he had just 'discovered'.  Whilst simultaneously doing some karate.

The sun worshipper pose.  As could be employed while summering with his famous pals in Barbados or Hawaii.

Scooby as Rodin.  He thinks therefore he is.
(more likely he stinks therefore he is)

 A philosophical Scooby contemplating the meaning of life, the universe and everything.
(It's 42)

Pensive Scooby.
Wondering when he's going to get his breakfast.

I've had a suggestion that the next instalment should be the many faeces of Scooby.  Eurgh!  It won't be!!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

dog-hair dog-hair everywhere

There is some great news and some terrible news.

The good news is that Scooby's eczema flare-up has gone and his previously bald bits are now furred over.

The bad news is that he's moulting again.  His fur is everywhere.  Wherever he goes he leaves a trail of the stuff.  I've been combing him with his furminator comb and bagging up loads of it and still my vacuum cleaner fills up with the swirling manky canine stuff.


Scooby is not bothered about the trail of destruction he leaves everywhere he goes.

Scooby isn't that much bother really, as long as he has the settee to himself.

More good news is that Scooby seems to have adjusted to his new food and is slightly less hyper than he was.  He still has his moments but he's very much concentrating on being seriously chillaxed...

Still doesn't see the point in getting up, even if the sun is shining.

Now that the days are longer and the weather is getting milder Scooby still doesn't seem too anxious to be outdoors.  He does run around like a happy loony when he's out but he does need some encouragement to get up in the morning.

He sleeps anywhere and everywhere, and he does look offended if you encroach on his 'snoozing space'.  I think he would sleep most of the time if he could get away with it.  The thing is, it isn't just the snoozing, there's the twitching and the whining too.  And the occasional getting up, turning round a few times, then thumping back down into the same place he was to start off with. 

It's a hard life being Scooby.

Scooby's philosophy involves sleeping.
A lot.

Monday, 6 February 2012

happy half husky

Scooby is a happy bunny.  We've had some snow and he's throroughly enjoyed running around in it.  I occasionally think about hitching him up to a sledge, but to be honest I really don't trust him.  If he saw a squirrel he'd be off like a shot and I'd end up parked up a tree.

I reckon with Scooby's ultra superior olfactory sense this must be what it's like for Scooby all the time, being able to 'see' who's been where.

Nom nom nom Scooby eating some snow

An update on Scooby's skin (as if anyone wants to know)..well, he's been having lots of neem.  Neem oil on the raw bits, neem tea on his food and I've washed him with the neem shampoo.  Apart from the smell there hasn't been a massive difference in his skin so far.

He's still super happy and energetic though. 

This is not Scooby being super energetic.  This is Scooby being super tired after a few hours in the snow.

After some big daylight walks over the weekend we're back to the dog-walking by moonlight.  Which was nice tonight as it looks like a full moon.

Today was my son's birthday.  I haven't been neglecting's his birthday cake: 

He's 20.
Unfortunately Scooby can't have any because it's a chocolate cake.
nom nom nom

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Scooby is bonkers!!!

I don't know if it's a side effect of the change of his food, maybe there's too much protein or something but Scooby is completely bonkers crazy.

Copyright 2003 Eri Izawa

Scooby was a nightmare at dog training class tonight.  He kept running off when it was his turn to do something.  This was despite me having some excellent treats with me!!!  And he'd had lots of exercise beforehand.  He was really happy though.  It's hard to be angry with him when he's just so sodding happy and excited.

I'd get him back and put him in a 'down' to calm him down and he'd just roll over wanting me to tickle his tummy. 

I despair.

I changed his food because of his sensitive skin.  I'm not sure if it's helping his skin yet but he seems to be losing cognitive abilities by the day.  To be fair, he didn't have the full set to start off with, but still...

mystery package - the talk of the Post Office

Following the work-avoidance strategies I've been employing recently (i.e. buying stuff off the internet) I had to call in to the Post Office to collect a parcel that couldn't be delivered the other day.

I joined a long queue (of mostly old people) but by the time I was served the post office was empty.  This gave the men behind the counter the opportunity to quiz me over the contents of my parcel.  They were very impressed with the wrapping "it's been sewn!!  look! they've stitched it together!".  This prompted all kinds of questions about what I'd bought, and from where.  "You been ebaying?" one asked with a suspicious sideways look.

The interrogation wasn't exactly of the Special Branch variety, and to be fair they had been audited that day ("we had to count every stamp!") so I didn't mind providing a bit of a diversion.  The package was indeed very exciting, from Bali, sewn, and from a very exotically named person and impressively made its way to me despite only 50% of my name being spelt correctly.

I had to put them out of their miseries eventually and admitted it was probably just something for my dog's eczema.  This made them laugh.  And then apologise.

an abundance of neem

Open the door, find the scissors and open the mystery parcel and yes, it was something for Scooby's eczema.  Loads and loads and loads of Neem.  Neem shampoo, Neem oil, Neem tea leaves, Neem other stuff...

Yes, I did buy it on impulse, but I'll give it a go to see if it helps the daft dog. 

First impressions?  It's a bit stinky...

This video of one happy dog sums up how Scooby is acting at the moment...

Saturday, 28 January 2012

hello goodbye

It was a nice sunny day today but after the recent weather there were some trees down, and more that looked like they were on their way.

A nice bit of sun for a change, but with lots of ice on the ground

 One of the trees that has come down blocking the path

Like something out of The Railway Children, trees on their way down the hill

Today gave Scooby a chance to play with his brand new frisbee.  It was great!  He loved it.  He chucked it around, and got very excited.

 Hello frisbee

Unfortunately his pathetically short attention span meant the frisbee ended up floating away down the river...

 Goodbye frisbee

I told him I'm never buying him another toy, ever.  Fortunately he doesn't understand a thing I say so he's not bothered.

some ice ice baby

Friday, 27 January 2012

"you got a dog wi' yer?"

I was walking through a park in the dark the other night, when this bloke says "have you got a dog wi' yer?"
Of course I had a dog with me!  What kind of weirdo goes walking in the park, in the dark, in winter... Oh, hang on.

I was glad I had the big massive torch with me.  WHAT *bash* KIND *bash* OF *bash* WEIRDO *bash-bash* DO YOU THINK I AM? *bash*
the big massive torch

To be totally honest though, the only person I've ever hit in the head with the big massive torch was Scooby....oops...(twice).

Scooby's new glow ball

I've had loads of work to do recently.  So of course I've been doing a lot of things that isn't the thing that I need to do.  At lot of this involves buying things on the internet.  A lot of this involves buying things for Scooby on the internet.

I love it when the parcels start coming. 

So far I've got a glow in the dark ball, a book of brain games, some new food and treats, and a toothpaste set for the Scoobs.

The glow in the dark ball is good.  Scooby needs to practice bringing the ball back though.  Good job it glows in the dark.

I gave in to peer pressure getting Scooby some toothpaste.  My sis's dog has lovely teeth and Scooby is two years old and never had a toothbrush!  I am a bit worried that brushing your dog's teeth is a bit of a gateway drug...where will it end?  What happened to Just Say No

Actually dogs aren't colourblind, they're dichromatic.  More on that story later.

As for the new food, this is because Scooby has ridiculously sensitive skin and someone recommended this new stuff.  Fingers crossed it helps his skin.  Unfortunately, from the same site I bought some dried fish skin treats.  They are as disgusting as they sound.  Scooby loves them. 

I have more stuff to come.  Watch this space...

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Play Misty for me

It's very cold and drizzly today, and misty.

Scooby and I have had a long walk, in the nearly daylight.  Scoobs was very happy galloping about and bumping into the occasional dog.  Not sure what they are the rest of the time.

I was a bit worried about Scooby recently.  He'd seemed a bit slower and more tired, so obviously at first I thought he probably had cancer.  After some initial googling it dawned on me that maybe he was just growing up as he'd hit his second birthday and I started to worry less - afterall he was still happy and eating and drinking and doing the other stuff.  He was just sleeping more and ready to come home sooner.

But today he's been really lively.  Completely bonkers.  I did catch him eating a bouncy ball.  I think it might be connected.

Scooby, having a bouncy day today.

Maybe I've been walking him too much.  I'm not even sure if that's possible.  

This dog is not sick, just dog-tired :-)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

War horse, and dog and cat and mule and pigeon...

Scooby and I have been to Woodbank Park again today and I took some pictures of the memorial to animals that received the Dickin Medal (the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross).  The light wasn't brilliant, but I'd recommend you see the memorial in person.

The memorial was made by chainsaw carver Tim Burgess and is over 16 feet tall.  The inscription says 'They died in war - they still serve in conflict'

 A dog that found people in the blitz

The memorial is lovely and a nice use of a tree that would otherwise have been felled.  I've seen chainsaw carvers at work once or twice and am in awe at how they can produce art with something so destructive.

Seeing the memorial prompted a discussion about what happened to people's animals during the war.  Many were put to sleep because the owners feared they wouldn't be able to feed them.  Many were taken by the Government for the war effort.  It wasn't just horses, as shown in the new film 'War Horse', but many dogs were taken as well.

Jess' owner has a friend whose alsation was taken during the war.  Unlike the majority, they did get their dog back at the end but the dog was unable to adjust to being a family pet again after the traumatic experience.

Scooby would be rubbish in a war situation.  He's scared of bubble wrap let alone fireworks and bombs and he'd love burglars rather than scare them off.  Here's hoping he never gets called up.  We'd be doomed.

The burnt out hollow in the scary tree.

The scary tree.  Wouldn't be out of place in a Harry Potter film.

Jess getting some respite from sinking in the mud.

The dogs had a brilliant run around, despite being very cold and very muddy.  First thing I did when I got home was give Scooby a bath.  He's all lovely and fluffy now, and very sleepy.  Bless.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The Frozen Pond

One of Scooby's favourite ponds was frozen over this morning.  I know this because Scooby ran up to paddle in it, one foot touched the ice and he jumped out of his skin.  He was very confused.

I didn't realise he hadn't come across a frozen pond before.  His reaction was very funny.  He tried to get in the pond in a couple of places but everytime he came into contact with the frozen water he jumped back.  Bless.

He cried a lot, and when I picked up pieces of the ice he grabbed them and took them away.  I filmed him 'not going in the pond'.  I wanted to capture his response to the ice but he resolutely refused to go anywhere near the water.  I think this is a good thing, in case he ever comes across a proper frozen pond.

Important: The pond is very shallow (more like a big puddle) and the ice was very thin (less than 1cm thick).  I would never encourage Scooby to do something dangerous and he is never left unattended near anything that could be harmful to him (frozen ponds, water, cars, zombies...)

Another thing to add to the list of
Things Scooby is scared of...

Friday, 13 January 2012

mud glorious mud

I love love love lovely mud.  Today's mud was the best kind of mud, just the right consistency and very deep.  And noisy.  As long as you don't lose your wellies (or anything else).  And as long as you're not at Galstonbury.  Or in the First World War.  Mud is great.

The sign of a good walk is how much mud is on your wellies by the end of it.

The weather was also lovely today, and thanks to a dentist appointment (and a bit of a skive) I was able to take Scooby out in the bright sunshine.  I love it when a plan comes together....but I don't love going to the dentist.

Another plan that didn't exactly come together, or at least had manky unforeseen circumstances was the well intentioned christmas pressie I got Scooby.  I bought him a stuffed hoof.  What an idiot I was.  Little did I know at the time that the hideous disgusting thing would hang around the house for weeks and the more Scooby chews and slobbers on it the more vile the smell emanating from it.

And there's the little bits of dead cow's foot that get liberally sprinkled.  Really, it's the gift that keeps on giving.
If you see one of these  DO NOT BUY ONE!
They are manky disgusting smelly rank things.
Your dog will absolutely love it though.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

My Sunset Sky*

Things are changing.  I took Scooby out for his walk and only had to turn his light-up collar on halfway through.  We were treated to a lovely sunset, but I don't think Scooby was that impressed to be honest.

The red sky gave everything (including Scooby) a lovely orange glow, while he worked on giving his own feet a particular orangey glow.

The camera on my phone doesn't do the sunset any justice.  The whole sky was absolutely stunning. 

A side effect of the lovely afternoon was that the park was heaving with dogs and walkers.  I've never seen so many in the park at the same time.  It was a bit like when you lift up a paving stone and see squillions of woodlice scurrying about.  If you can imagine woodlice with tiny little pet dogs.  Actually it's probably not worth the effort, just imagine lots of actual human dog walkers.  With dogs.  In the park. 

One of the ponds that Scooby was dipping in

As soon as the sun set it got very cold very quickly.  When Scooby was running he appeared to be in a protective bubble of his own breath.  He's very tired now and assuming the position of sprawled across the settee with his head resting on a little table.

He gets tired a lot quicker nowadays.  I think it's because he's getting older.  More on that story later.

I hope you all had some lovely sunsets.

*The title comes from "Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.” by Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), an Indian poet, playwright and essayist, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.