Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

We'd like to wish you all a ...

Winter Wonderland

Last Monday we had a lovely walk with Lian and Colin and their shelties in Epping Forest. The weather was good and the woods were still covered in lots of snow. It was absolutely beautiful. And the dogs loved it too. Skye played with (or should I say harassed) her mum a lot again. She just won't leave her alone and keeps going after her. But Samber doesn't seem to mind too much. I guess she is a bit of a loonie too.
Lian took some lovely pictures of them. (I forgot my camera ... again, aaarrggghhh!)

And one of Skye, Sizzle and Saturn.
Thanks Lian for sending me all these lovely pictures!

Afterwards we went to our home for a drink and a meal. After a few hours of walking we could surely do with some refreshments. But as we were happily chatting away, the weather started to change. First it started to rain. And then the rain turned into sleet and then into snow. It was a beautiful sight and soon everything was covered in a blanket of snow. But for Colin and Lian it wasn't good news at all. They still had to go home.

After a short walk with the dogs in the communal gardens surrounding the apartments, they set off. And what a journey it would be. It took them more than six hours to get home!! You can read all about it on Lian's blog. I felt so sorry for them. We had such a lovely day and now it had to end like this.

Friday, 18 December 2009

More snow!!

Last night and early this morning we had some more snow. Not quite the eight inches the weatherman was warning us about, but a nice amount for Skye to play in.

Yummie! More snow!!
(Somehow she looks tiny in this picture.)

Snowy face

This afternoon we went for a walk in the park. Even though the snow was already starting to melt, it still looked absolutely beautiful. And Skye enjoyed herself so much!!

We met a lovely hound called Jack. He is such a sweet boy. He is only nine months old and played so gently with Skye. It was a joy to watch them run after each other through the snow covered grass.

Run Forrest, run!

What amazes me is how easily Skye comes back to me when she's playing with another dog. After Skye and Jack had been playing for a while, it was time to move on. I started to walk away from them slowly and only had to call her once or twice and she came straight to me.

The light is so beautiful right now, even in the middle of the day. I'm not a very good photographer, but I quite like this picture.

And one last one of my little girlie.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

What's that white stuff?

Today we had a little bit of snow!! Ok, it wasn't much, but it looked nice.

Skye didn't quite know what to do with it though.
At first she wanted to eat it ... all.

But some further investigation showed ...

... that snow is really funny stuff.

Little poser

Sunday, 13 December 2009

More puppy play

This morning we had another puppy class at Whirlwind's. There were quite a few puppies this time. Besides the ones we met the first lesson, there were two new puppies as well: a border collie (Squiffy's sister) and a lagotto romagnolo. Still no smaller breeds unfortunately, but Skye did quite well anyway. If she got knocked of her feet by a bigger dog, she usually was quick to join in the fun again. Still, some puppies were quite rough with her, so I had to protect her a bit at times, too.

After some play, we first did a few handling exercises. We held each others puppies and looked in their ears, eyes and under their tails. I quite like this part of the lesson. Although I'm not sure Skye likes it that much too. She doesn't feel comfortable when people she doesn't know, touch her all over right away. She needs a bit more time. But she didn't do too bad. We'll keep working on this.

We also let the dogs walk over a ladder which was lying on the floor. The idea was that the puppies would carefully and deliberately put their feet in the holes between the rungs. Skye did this very well. Her co-ordination is very good. Lian's early work with wobble boards, mini dog walks and such, is really paying off.

After some more play time, we did a recall and some 'sits' and 'downs'. Skye's recall was pretty good this time. Even with all the distractions that were thrown at her. Skye was held by a helper on one side of the room, while I walked all the way to the other side. The others would sit in the middle with their dogs on a lead. So Skye had to go past them, before she would reach me. I brought some cheese, especially for this exercise. Skye loved it and came running to me quite quickly.

We ended this lesson with an exercise where the puppies had to step over two bars lying on the floor. Skye sat next to me while I threw one of her favourite toys over the bars. Skye went after it, picked it up and came back to me for a game of tug. I was so proud that she did this so well. She was very distracted by the other puppies at first, but she liked her toy enough to play this game with me. Clever girl.

I took a few pictures this morning, but most of them are pretty blurry. Here are a few of the ones that weren't too bad. ;-)

A blur of puppies.

Skye and Fiona (I think her name was...)

Skye and Toby

Anto and Squiffy, both trying to reach the little piece of cheese
in the middle of the table.

On our way back home, we picked up Joost, who had been mountainbiking in Epping Forest. A very muddy Epping Forest that is. So Skye had to share the car with a very dirty bike.

Saturday, 12 December 2009


It's official: Skye's teething. I tried to save one of her tiny lower teeth when I saw that it had become very loose. But the next moment I looked in her mouth, it was gone. She had eaten it!!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Meeting up with mum and dad

Skye's been living with us for more than two months now! So it was about time we visited her mum and dad again. And she surely hadn't forgotten them. As soon as we set foot in Lian's house, she turned into a complete loony. She seemed so happy to see everybody again. She zoomed through the rooms, trying to play with everybody all at once. But she was especially keen on playing with her mum.
We had a very nice walk on Mitcham's common. That's where I took the pictures below.

Playing with mum ...

... with daddy on the watch out.

When we came back, we dressed Skye up in Samber's Christmas costume, which she liked very much of course ... not!! But we had a great day anyway!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Puppy playtime

Yesterday we had our second puppy class at Whirlwind Agility. There were only three puppies this time. But that was actually quite a good thing. Now, Skye got the chance to play with the other two (bigger and heavier) puppies in a more controlled way. At first Skye tried to hide behind my legs, but after a while she became more confident and really started to enjoy herself.

Even if Squiffy wanted to sit on her ... again ;-)

Toby made himself a bit smaller for Skye. What a sweetie.

Having a good time!

Squiffy's mischievous little face!

Of course we did a few other things as well. We practised some 'sits' and 'downs' and our trainer Sue explained to us how we could teach our dogs to stay in these positions for a while. We also picked up each other's dogs, carefully looked in their ears and mouth and checked their feet. Both the boys didn't really mind. They were very good. Skye was a bit more reluctant, I think. So we need to practise a bit more on that. Handling the other pups was quite a nice experience. They felt so different compared to Skye. They both are a lot chunkier than her and quite a bit heavier too.

I think these classes are very good for Skye. It's nice to see her develop into a confident little girl. Can't wait to go again next week!
All the photos in this post were made by Sue White.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Christmas time in London

Today we went to one of London's many Christmas markets. We chose the one in Hyde Park, so we could take Skye with us as well. Even though it's quite a long journey on the tube for us, Skye didn't mind at all. She just dozed off on my lap. The Christmas market was a bit different from what we expected. They didn't sell many things for Christmas, it was more like a fun fair with lots of food and drink stands. But we had a good time anyway. And Skye got a lot of attention of course. Everywhere we go, people always want to say hello to her. Maybe I should start charging a pound from everyone who wants to pet her or take a picture of her. We'd be rich. Haha.

Later on, we went for a stroll through Hyde park, Green park, past Buckingham Palace to St James park, all the way to Trafalgar Square. And Skye of course wanted to go after every bird and squirrel in sight. She is very intrigued by birds. It was very funny to watch her near the Serpentine in Hyde Park. The birds there aren't very afraid of people (and dogs!), so she could take a good look at them.

On the steps of a statue in front of Buckingham Palace (OK, you
can't see the statue nor the palace, but I think she looks very
pretty in this picture.)

On Trafalgar Square the big Christmas tree was already up. Even though it wasn't dark yet, it looked really nice. We tried to make a picture of Skye between the paws of one of the big Lions surrounding Nelsons's Obelisk. But she wasn't too keen...

Can anyone get me off please?

We decided to go back home early, before the tube is completely overcrowded. This time of the year, when everybody seems to be shopping for Christmas, it can be so incredibly busy in the tube. I didn't want Skye to go through that. When we got on, a nice lady immediately offered me a place to sit down with Skye. I guess the dog-eat-dog mentality, the papers keep writing about, hasn't infected everybody quite yet.