Sunday, 29 August 2021

Half way there


The weather has turned out to be beautiful for the Bank Holiday weekend not that we're planning on going anywhere as the roads are too busy and too many visitors here. We sat in the garden yesterday afternoon after returning from the puppy socialisation class just enjoying the sunshine and I had the last bottle of cider bought over a month ago and that must have been the last time we had really decent weather when Tilly enjoyed being in the paddling pool. The peace was only shattered by a young seagull on the neighbour's roof with it's constant loud squawking calling for it's mother or food. I do resist the temptation to feed seagulls but I did feel sorry for this one all the same.

We're half way through the puppy training course now but only four pups were in our group yesterday. I know all the puppies names but not those of the owners although I have chatted to them while waiting our turn to go inside the hall. It was a good session and with so few there I got more of a one-to-one with the trainer. Tilly is very good at the wait command even when I walk away from her although she's still kept on her lead. The trainers were doing checks on the pups, all scanned for their microchips, dog tags checked, teeth and coats checked and Tilly is in good condition as she has been fully groomed and her coat is shiny and she's not over or under weight. I'd taken her grooming brush and favourite toy as requested last time but none of the pups were interested in playing with their favourite toys, too interested in what else was going on. The idea was to teach them to leave when told to and Tilly is not very good at doing that especially when she steals things she shouldn't and likes me to chase her around the house. I thought I'd show you Tilly's favourite toy only bought on Monday. It's a unicorn tugger  except it now has a missing tail and only one arm but just look at the back of it, tugged ad destroyed in just four days! Tilly is a lean, mean wrecking machine :)

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Updates and pupdates

Time is passing by so quickly just lately and so with my few updates I'll work backwards. I've felt a little unwell the past few days but unsurprising as I had my six monthly infusion on Monday, this was the second of six and I do remember the first one made me feel ill afterwards too. It was originally booked in at the cancer centre but changed to the hospital here. The shops in the town are at the top of a steep hill and that is where I got off the bus so I could have a bite to eat before my appointment. I decided to walk the half mile or so down the hill to the hospital and the weather had changed from being chilly when I set out to being very warm and I felt exhausted having to carry my jacket. There are a couple of supermarkets en route so I called in one and bought a new toy for Tilly to take to this week's puppy class and some treats for her. Having my infusion was quite relaxing, I could put my feet up and I was brought a very welcome cup of coffee. Needless to say once that was all done I caught the bus home from the bottom of the hill.

The day before on the Sunday  I'd been to buy a new dog tag for Tilly from a key cutting kiosk in the grounds of a supermarket  ready for next week's puppy class. We'd been told it was not advisable to have the dog's name on a disc just surname, address and phone number. This was the third disc I've bought for her and hopefully will be the last. Before going home we went to the park where I met a friend I've recently made with her two year old cockapoo and I suggested that her dog Sadie and Tilly could have a run together in the secure dog-friendly section of the park. Walking towards it we met another lady Ive never met before with her one year old cockapoo. All three cockapoos did run together chasing a ball but I think Tilly became a little overwhelmed at times being the youngest. Shortly afterwards we were joined by Bob a friend of ours and his one year old cockapoo and it really was a cockapoo party and so much fun. I wonder if all four cockapooos will meet up again like that sometime and I do hope so. 

The day before that was Saturday and the third puppy training class and there were even less dogs there this time. Whether the other pups are going to classes at a different times I don't know. but a class is always leaving the hall just as we arrive so maybe that's it. Anyway, we practiced walking and turning and waiting at the gate and recall again and the fun exercise was putting two paws then four paws on top of all sorts of different shaped boxes and stools and such and Tilly did really well at that for treats of course. So the educational part was telling us about dog tags, needing to secure our dogs in the car and then asking us to take our grooming brushes and a favourite toy they like to tug next week. Tilly has lots of toys but she has de-stuffed so many of them I wanted  her to have a new one to take but already that has been well attacked.

So during last week I had to have blood tests ready for my infusion but I also had a telephone review with my oncologist. It's been almost eighteen months since my diagnosis and the good news is she won't be sending me any more appointments, my blood test results are fine but of course she will be there for me if I have any concerns at all, so very good news indeed. 

I'll just leave this post with a photo of Tilly in the garden panting after chasing her ball, her most favourite of pastimes. She may like de-stuffing her toys but nothing beats chasing a ball.

I'd put her collar back on the right way round as I did notice that having replaced her dog tag hubby had put it back on upside down but never mind you can see she is smiling :)


Sunday, 15 August 2021

All by myself and second lesson

I had a hospital appointment on Friday and  decided I would dust off my bus pass and have an away day all by myself. I'm with hubby and Tilly 24/7 so I quite enjoyed a day left to my own devices.  I caught the bus into town and then the bus to Holywell where the community hospital is based, very different from the general hospital I attended so many times last year. I had plenty of time to spare before my appointment so I had a look in a few shops and then went for a leisurely breakfast and two cups of coffee before I made my way to the hospital. 

I usually carry my point and shoot camera with me and took a photo of the sculpture in the main street it's called The Miracle and was unveiled in 2014.  I saw a signpost to the holy well and did consider going to visit but changed my mind as I wasn't sure of how long it would take me to find and was in a different direction to the hospital but it's something I plan to do on another day.


So I arrived at the hospital with an hour to spare but it was such a beautiful day I enjoyed sitting in the sunshine outside the main entrance.

I spent an hour with the nurse, she is such a lovely lady and gave me a great deal of help and understanding and a further appointment for October. On returning home I had the most wonderful greeting from Tilly you'd think she hadn't seen me for a week. I have a plaque on my kitchen wall and this sums it up perfectly.

What a difference in the weather for Tilly's puppy training class on Saturday, showers of rain on and off all day. It was fine outside the hall when we arrived and I managed to speak with some of the other puppy owners which was nice. I asked Tilly's lookalike owner if I could take a photo of Milly and he said of course I could. I discovered Milly and Tilly aren't sisters, Milly is slightly older than Tilly and comes from Anglesey.

 There were less puppies at the second training session but I don't know why that was. We practiced walking around the hall again and doing a right turn and later we were split into two groups. This time Tilly and I were in the group that went into another room where we practiced  recall again. We were meant to do that training outside in the secure garden but it had started raining again so back inside we went. Tilly quickly learned to "look at me" and rewarded every time with a treat. I haven't been able to teach Tilly "down" but she did it first time for the trainer and we have  now had success at home. I'm still working on the "wait" command as she always want to rush ahead of me through the stair gate or to get to the front door before me to go on her walk.  Finally an agility course was set up and I was able to take a sneaky photo of the first few obstacles. That was great fun and Tilly didn't have much of a clue as to what was expected of her and of course she was on her lead so it was a bit of a challenge for me too. I'm looking forward to next week as this course is really excellent.

Saturday, 7 August 2021

First lesson

Before I tell you about today's puppy training class I need  to tell you why Tilly needs to calm down and behave herself. Yesterday I was sitting at my computer desk and she decided to leap from the back of the sofa and landed right  in front of me and onto my keyboard. Not only did she give me the fright of my life but she could have seriously injured herself. She must have been watching the long jump at the Olympics on the television as distance travelled was five feet exactly and the gap from the wall to the edge of the desk a mere twelve inches in width. Silly dog. My computer screen went extremely dark and I could barely see the cursor but I managed to find the settings and turn up the brightness after telling her what a naughty dog she was but no harm done to dog or computer, thank goodness.

So today was the start of the eight week course. I took Tilly for a walk before heading out but the heavens opened and we were soaked through and when I got home I had to change all my clothes, dry my hair and give Tilly a good rub down. Just as we were about to leave the house for the course our new window cleaner arrived, would you believe it in weather like this.  I don't know what's happened to our old window cleaner as we haven't seen or heard from him since late last year so the windows definitely needed cleaning. As I was about to set out I told him to go ahead and clean the windows and paid him.

So there were a lot of dogs on the course and we were separated into two groups the larger dogs going into a separate room. There were three other dogs similar to Tilly and one in particular looked like she could have been her sister and was called Milly. Unfortunately as we were socially distanced and the dogs kept apart I didn't manage to speak to any other owners. We handed in our registration forms and were given information leaflets and a diary to keep and the trainer asked how old Tilly was and she commented she was small and I have to agree we did think she would be bigger than she is at seven months old.

Firstly we took our pups and tried to interest them in toys from two large tubs but Tilly was more interested in the other pups but wary of them at the same time. There was quite a bit of barking from the pups, Tilly included. Next was individually walking our dogs round the hall trying to get them to focus on us and the treats in our hands, talking to them as we walked. Then it was the recall, two lines of toys were put down and we had to call our dogs to us although they were put on a long line just in case they wandered off or were more interested in the toys. We're told not to mind criticism as that's how we'll learn so I was told my voice was a bit flat and I had to call Tilly more enthusiastically and hold out my arms for her and to bend down to her level with her treat so she she doesn't jump up at me to get it. Next training exercise was the wooden gate, to make her wait for me to open it then for me to go through first, methinks we'll need to practice that one. I had to laugh as one pup stopped at the gate for a good sniff seems, a dog had cocked his leg on it at some time.  Finally it was a short talk from the trainer about what dogs need to be happy and healthy and what signs to recognise if our dogs are unwell. So all in all it went well, we were told the first couple of lessons are usually bedlam :)

It was still raining heavily when we left the training place and it still is now and it's early evening There are flood warnings in place and thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow. Well at least my windows are clean.

Sunday's viewings

Just a  couple of photos from yesterday's walk at the harbour, it was a bright day despite all those clouds. I stood and watched the lif...