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Everyone local knew Cora, the happy little Border Terrier who lived in the wool shop on Kingsley park front. In the summer she’d sun herself on the street in front of the shop and she would always have a smile and a wag for anyone who’d tickle her ear. She befriended so many people who would then give her treats that her Mum, Racheal had to put her on a diet. I like to crochet and would so often be in the wool shop that one day, about 2 years ago, Racheal asked me to walk Cora for half an hour twice a week.

Cora loved her Mum and didn’t like being apart from her, so at first I had quite the job on my hands. She didn’t want to walk too far or for too long, she’d go so far and put the breaks on hard if she didn’t want to go in the direction I had picked. At first she’d only go a few yards and I would end up going backwards and forwards several times in the effort to get her to come with me, making the locals laugh as she’d look at me stubbornly and put the breaks on. It made me look a complete twit, but I didn’t care. Bribery helped a bit, but Cora knew her own mind and she wasn’t fooled easily. I like a dog with character and spirit. Little by little, our bond grew until eventually she would look for me and pull me to the door for her walk. I’d let her pick where she wanted to go, much to the amusement of the people at the bus stop. Mostly she wanted to play find it with me on our little patch of grass next to the In and Out garage, or sniff for cats near the garages behind. It wasn’t always half an hour, sometimes, if the weather was awful or she’d had fun chasing the squirrels in her morning walk, she just wanted to go up the street for a wee. On those occasions she’d put the breaks on and want to go back home to Mum.  I’d try then try to divert her attention and go the other way and visit the pet shop in Collingtree Road, as she liked the treats the shop owner would give her. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t, but always worth a try. Once when we were in there she sneaked a toy off the shelf and ripped it to bits in about 10 seconds. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

She sang if you squeaked her toy, she was about as good at singing as I am, but she was a good listener. “Stu left all the damp towels on the bathroom floor again, Cora! What ever can I do with him?” She would look up at me with a wise expression and wag. I talked to her so much as we walked that I would often hear people giggle behind me. If I don’t fall in love with the dogs in my care, I’m not sure I’d be doing my job properly- you can’t help it once you get to know them.

I am crying because Cora ran out into the road on Sunday and was hit by a car and killed.

I saw her a little bit before that, as I was passing by on the way home from Tescos. She ran up to me, grinning, really pleased to see me, wagging so much she was nearly thwacking her ears with her tail. I tickled and fussed her and talked nonsense for a while, never imagining it would be the last time.

I really will miss her. About now I should be getting ready to take her out, but my shoes remain by the door and I am just sitting here, wishing I would be racing round the house collecting the lead, my keys and her treats.

My heart goes out to her family, Mum Racheal, sister Racheal and Grace, her “Granny”.

 

Work on your emergency stops, everyone, please.

 

 

After last night’s classes, we now have a cuddly monkey toy and black puffer jacket

 

Will bring them next week- as usual, if you need the item before that, do give us a shout!

 

 

Update update (Friday)

Yay back from town and we have a working phone- phew!

Sadly, our texts and contact list have been wiped, so please drop us a text if you want us to remember your number.

Thank you for bearing with us and apologies if this fiasco has caused any inconvenience

Sue and Stu

 

Update (5:20pm) – Just turned the phone on. It seems that it’s still not working- now our sim card is missing and it doesn’t look like we have the right provider! Think I will have to go back to the market and return the phone AGAIN!

Should never have paid them first.

 

Just plugged in our new phone!

I have to thank Andy and Vanessa (Mum and Dad to Molly, the beardie/ border collie) for giving us the new Nokia 🙂 We had to unlock it, which has taken really too long. Not sure while it couldn’t be “while you wait” as advertised, but thats another (long winded) story. I will be working through our texts asap.

Feeling better to be back in the 21st century!

Many apologies if you have found it hard to get in contact with us.

 

 

Ohhh it’s all gone wrong and there’s one thing to blame- manflu. Everyone caught it (even Sue). Thank goodness for the labs being considerate and the beardies making us laugh. They’ve certainly kept our spirits up.

But there’s been a casualty- the phone. It went missing yesterday and Stu found it this morning (wed)  under a chair with a shattered screen.

We don’t usually plug our landline in (so many sales calls), but we have today. If you have reached out recently to no reply or need to contact us, then please ring 01604 947728. 

We’ll get an new mobile asap. Many apologies!

Where to hold and how to move your treats

With “lure- reward” training, the dog follows the treat and so it is easy to get them into position. Here we show how to get your pet to sit, lie down and stand up.  Once they are in position, give them the treat and teach them the word. Most dogs need a little practise- but they will soon understand what you want. When the penny drops, you can then reward less frequently or make things harder- try chaining things together. Pay attention to your hand positions- if you are consistent you will be able to signal to them- in fact they usually learn these signals faster than the English- no surprise when dogs are masters of body language!

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 “Sit”.

Start with the dog standing up and, using the treat, encourage them look up. As they strain to bend their necks, they will often sit down. Try starting with the treat near their nose, where the “x” is in the photo and move the treat, following the red and white lines. If they are inclined to walk backwards, try positioning them in the corner of the room first.

Here’s our eldest, Poppy.

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“Down”

Look at Barney, on the left.

With the dog in the sitting position, move the treat in an “L” shape. Encourage the dog to put their nose near their paws and then draw the treat across the floor so they lie down. Again, don’t forget to teach them the word and reward them as they do it. Most dogs need to repeat the process several times before they understand. Let us know if their bottoms keep popping up.

Our darling Widget is on the right and they’re siblings. He was born 7th and she 9th in Smudgey and Cosmo’s litter of 10- I think they look like twins!

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“Stand”

This command is quite useful when you’re grooming and putting on a harness. Encourage the dog to stand up- try and be quick with your rewards here and treat them before they take a step.

Here’s Widget again.

It’s one of those days already and it’s only half past one! It’s Saturday the 15th but feels like Friday the 13th!

Someone cut Stu up and the van can’t be fixed til Monday

We had an appointment this afternoon in Daventry, but we cannot get there and we don’t seem to be able contact the lady … here’s hoping she’ll see this and give us a call…..

Wish we could rewind and start the day again lol!

Born today, all doing well- 3 boys and 4 girls. We’re proud and delighted.

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Here’s some photos from today’s new set of puppy class- which included a few familiar faces from Smudgey’s litter! I must admit I hardly slept last night, I was so excited- fantastic to see the cute pups again.

Appropriate greetings- Barney’s too excited! A famous beardie bounce …

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Gaining focus isn’t easy with new friends and family in the room…

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Here they are learning the basics- sit, down and stand

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Walking to heel nicely is difficult, but it does get easier each week!

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Well done everyone- really looking forward to next time 🙂

 

 

Smudge and Cossie’s puppies are doing amazingly well! Here’s some photos taken by Callum Burns- his website is here .

First born, a girl. She is the largest  in the litter, although it is getting increasingly hard to tell as there is not much between them. She had just woken up here, poor little dot- think the flash surprised her!

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Underneath is Mr 2, a boy. He too was just waking up as we took the photos- how cute does he look when he’s yawning! The diamond on the back of his head is getting fluffier and more indistinct as he grows. Of coursed I’m biased, but I think he will have fabulous hair markings!

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(Although Callum took all the others, the next photo was taken by Cherie Gardner)

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Next to be born was Miss 3, just about the smallest of the litter. I love her in these- now we know where they got the expression “puppy dog eyes”!

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Fourth to be born is a boy

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Mrs. 5

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Mr 6, our first brown puppy

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Mr 7

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Mr 8

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Number 9 to be born is our brown girl, Widget

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Number 10

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Smudgey’s still smiling and the pups are getting bigger- their little tails are beginning to work and their eyes look less tight.

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Getting the pups ready for their new homes is forefront in our minds. Their ears and eyes will soon open and when they do, they will hear all the sounds of a normal household- hoovers, radios, video games, the TV and  the washing machine, which being used relentlessly at the moment. It will be interestng to see what happens when they hear music- they seem to have favourites- I played Mozart (Queen of the Night, from the Magic Flute) to our last litter when they were around 5 weeks old and it made them all bark! They’ll also hear us talking and laughing. Dogs love it when people are laughing and most rush over to see what is going on.

As trainers, we recognise the importance of socialisation and thankfully we have no shortage of volunteers to come and visit the pups once their eyes have opened. Ian Dunbar stresses how young dogs must become accustomed to people and in order to be well rounded adults,  he recommends that puppies see between 2 and 3 new people every day. The postman has also agreed to see them occasionally while he is in his uniform. Our young relatives and friends have been invited and we are really pleased that some of the children from our class has agreed to come and help us with some basic training.

If you are, or have been a customer of ours and would like to visit the pups, please call us! 07 51 976 2411

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