Sunday, 26 October 2008

Four seasons in one day

The clocks went back an hour yesterday which means dark nights are upon us and winter is just around the corner. However, it is still autumn, the weather hasn't decided quite what it wants to do just yet and we experienced pretty much everything it could throw at us today!

We had a lovely walk in Quarrywood with three of the dogs in the morning, it was sunny, mild and the trees looked beautiful. The rest of the dogs went out in the afternoon and it seemed like a different day - gloves and head to toe waterproofs would have been handy........pity we didn't have any!

Vizslas are bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy.......

Tigger has competition!

Louis and Teasel stick to racing

Caught in a downpour

On our second walk today I was hoping to take some new shots of Pansy and Desmond to post alongside their show results but the weather put paid to that. The rain, then hailstones, started just after we parked the car. It improved slightly but remained freezing until we were back at the car and about to go home.......whereupon the sun reappeared! Our two walks couldn't have been more different and I know which one I enjoyed the most.

The dogs weren't too put off and it didn't stop Pansy charging through the muddy puddles after her ball. What happened to those winning show dogs of yesterday?


Our local show

Yesterday we were at Banff, Moray and Nairn CC's open show at Lossiemouth, seeing as this is just 6 miles down the road it meant a nice, short journey for us and no getting up at the crack of dawn. Luxury!

Desmond kept up his winning form (as well as his tail!) when he was placed first in his class. Rosa should have been in the second class but is indisposed at the moment.....having finally come into season. Pansy won her class then beat Des for Best of Breed and topped it off by winning the group. She showed her socks off during Best in Show (she really wanted that garlic sausage!) but didn't get any further, the judge was a terrier man and, although he did put his hands on her, I got the distinct feeling that he was afraid he would break her! Small hairy people were probably not his cup of tea.

Desmond - 1st Papillon Novice

Pansy - Best of Breed and Group 1

Pansy competes for Best in Show

Friday, 24 October 2008

A real pain in the neck

Poor Jana has had some bother recently when a swollen gland in her neck became infected and caused huge swellings from her ear down to her chest. My vet suspects a foreign object was lurking somewhere and her body was trying to expel it. Seeing as she has a very bad habit of pulling twigs off my shrubs and chewing them to bits, it seems very likely that a splinter could be the problem.

Things came to a head last week, literally, and the area under her ear burst. Even though she hadn't appeared too bothered by the whole business, this must have been a great relief, I'm sure the pressure must have been quite painful. The hole became quite large, 10p sized, and continued draining for some days. All swelling has now gone and the photo below shows it healing quite nicely. She is in the middle of a long course of antibiotics and I'm hoping that will be enough to clear everything up. If there is a bit of wood in there and it hasn't come out then it's bound to recur.......keep those fingers crossed!

This is the fourth mishap Jana has had in her short life so far, perhaps insurance would be a good idea.

Our walk yesterday took us along part of the coast path and then through a stubble field full of delicous smells. Well, Jana certainly enjoyed the smells and had a great time making out she was a real gundog instead of the papillon in disguise that she usually thinks she is.

Gundog? Moi?

"Was that a bird?.........

........where did it go?......

..........this way...... - that way!"

Friday, 17 October 2008

Keep still while I count you all

We've had a higher than usual number of papillons in the house over the last week or so. First of all Bryan and Jarvis came for a few days while their people, Chris and Greg, had a short break.

Chris describes Bryan as the 'off road' version of a pap, he is slightly larger and is happy not to be encumbered with all that 'girly' hair getting in the way! Jarvis, however, does have to put up with the hair but he doesn't let it slow him down too much. His ear fringing grows profusely and....sensitive pap owners may not want to read any further at this point, you have been warned.........Chris resorts to trimming it (aaargh!) in order that he can actually see where he is going! It really is the most practical thing for him....... so I have forgiven her.

Both boys are lucky to live surrounded by fields full of wildlife and have a whale of a time on their walks. Bird flushing is a favourite and they would make great little gundogs!

For one day we had three extra dogs in the house as Sorrel arrived just before Bryan and Jarvis left. We manage fine with our visitors but it does mean we have a lot of head counting to do!

Although a happy little soul, I have a feeling Sorrel regards her week long stay here rather like doing time. She has to rough it in with the rest of the gang when I'm sure she much prefers being an only pap. Her time is now up as Linda and Ray will be home today.

No doubt Sorrel will be lying blissfully in Linda's lap tonight and regarding the last week as a bad dream.



Saturday, 11 October 2008

Windswept and interesting

Very windy here today and it was playing havoc with Jana's earsl

We didn't have the beach to ourselves today!

Nobody on West Beach though

Too choppy for dolphin spotting

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Great day out at Lochaber show

We headed down to Fort William for Lochaber open show on Sunday, it takes roughly two hours on a very twisty road. We possibly could do it slightly quicker but there would be a much greater chance of all the dogs losing the contents of their stomachs. Our dogs are great travellers but this road would test even a seasoned roller coaster fan. It's a very scenic route so going slower means you can take in the views.

The committee of Lochaber & District Canine Association put on a lovely show, it is really well organised with plenty of prizes (even cash!) and they must be unique in laying on a generous hospitality table which has home baking and drinks (including alcoholic - bit early for me!). A lovely show.

The dogs all did very well.....even Desmond! Rosa was first in her class (there was only her there mind you) but Des won the next class.......and he did have competition! Pansy got a creditable second in her class. Des then took Best of Breed, his first but hopefully not his last! He even managed second place in the group. As I mentioned before, he is not a natural showman but, after having a string of bitches in season at home for the last few weeks, his mind was definitely on the girls. He was obviously out to impress those in the ring!

There was more success to come and profitable too. Louis won the veteran stakes (his third such win this year) and that came with £10 prize money. Des had got £5 for Best of Breed and Pansy's 5th in the open bitch stakes brought in another £2. It's very rare to get any prize money at shows so this was very welcome and probably covered our entry.

Jana won her breed class, her first such win. This was her last time in puppy as it was her first birthday the next day.

I wanted some photos of the dogs for posting on here so tried posing them in the garden the next day, Louis posed perfectly, Jana was a bit more difficult but we got something in the end, and Desmond refused point blank to co-operate! The one of him posted below was the best of the bunch!!
Des says "I will not pose, take that camera out of my face and bring on the girls"
Looking his best - Des on the move

With the trophy which weighs more than he does

Jana - a first place at last!

Louis - Best veteran in show

Louis with his trophy

It's a very twisty road down to Fort William but we are treated to some fantastic scenery on the way, made even more pretty by the changing colours of autumn. Ben Nevis looms over the town and there are hills all around.

This has to be my favourite show.
Ben Nevis

Looking back at Ben Nevis on the way home

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Where we live

Hopeman is a village right beside the Moray Firth and has two lovely beaches with a small harbour in between. At one time the harbour used to be busy with fishing boats but they are long gone and now it's mainly pleasure boats that are tied up there.

Not only do we have these beaches a few minutes walk from the house, we have access to many more all along this coastline - it's a very scenic area.

Jana loves chasing a ball over the sand and she'll have the odd paddle (not progressed to swimmng's a bit too scary) but the papillons are not quite so keen. They are definitely not water dogs and have been known to walk around puddles. Luckily, this area has many forests that we can also walk through and this is much more to their liking. It's a great place to own a dog.
East Beach

The harbour

West Beach

A birds eye view of Hopeman
(Copyright & licenced, Craig Williams photo)

Jana has the beach to herself

It was quite windy yesterday and the waves were crashing over the harbour walls

Friday, 3 October 2008

One other

I can't believe I forgot to include Sheila the budgie in with the others. If you could hear the volume of noise that she creates (in the same room as the computer, I hasten to add), you would also be amazed that I had forgotten about her.

The ringing phone often gets her excited and callers have to put up with shrill calls and wolf whistles punctuating the the odd pap bark of course! Her favourite thing though is when we skype anyone. Quite often we have a bit of an echo and she gets increasingly louder as she tries to communicate with the budgie in the computer.......she must think it's a bit thick when all it ever does is repeat what she says.

I wouldn't say that Sheila is the tamest of budgies, she will sit on your finger..........but she'll peck it first!
Good Sheila.........

........... Bad Sheila

"Just can't help myself......I HAVE to watch this bird"