Thursday, 1 July 2010

Paddy can jump!

From the start Guinness was the jumping dog. Paddy would get through fences by squeezing under them, but Guinness would climb catlike up the fencing until he found a large enough space to get through.
This all changed on May 19th. Normal morning routine was in progress except that I had been so busy with breakfast I had not fed the dogs. Guinness was lying outside the door whining, so I assumed he was hungry. I finally had a chance to tend to the dogs and was a little surprised to find Paddy gone, especially as all the doors were closed. The only explanation was that he had jumped out of the window! This was confirmed seconds later when a guest came down and told me he had seen Paddy sniffing around on the front lawn. Alarm bells rang because there is nothing to stop the puppies running onto the A38 from the garden. Breakfast service came to a standstill, guests left the tables and a search party was formed. After 10 minutes (which felt like 30) we had not found him. So I again walked up to the main road and suddenly saw Paddy running at top speed down the driveway opposite, towards the busy main road. There was not an immediate gap in the traffic, and with mounting panic I eventually ran across just as he came to the entrance. Fortunately he saw me and swerved onto the pavement into my arms. If he had continued in a straight line he would have run under the wheels of a passing police car, the consequences of that do not bear thinking about. I could not be cross with him as I was so relived he was still alive.
Later on in the day I answered the front door and Paddy came too - he had jumped over the baby gate, which is supposed to stop them getting to the front of the house. His morning adventure seemed to have given him the confidence to defy all barriers.
2 days later I stupidly left the upstairs baby gate open whilst cleaning the bedrooms, unbeknown to me the puppies came up to explore. They went into a room I had serviced and jumped all over the bed with muddy feet. I came out of a different room to find Guinness wandering along the landing and expected to see Paddy following. But there was no sign of him. It was then that I discovered the mess they had made of my clean room, so I followed the muddy paw prints. Unbelieveably they led to the open window, and were also on the outside ledge. Paddy had jumped out of a first floor window! Heart pounding I raced downstairs expecting to find a very damaged dog in the flower bed. However he was lying quietly in the hallway. Carefully I felt him all over and he appeared to be unhurt. The only telltale sign was a very wet coat. Somehow he had fallen through the wet bushes without impaling himself and landed on his feet. He is a very lucky dog.

Monday, 28 June 2010

4 months old - May 2010

Guinness and Paddy have been with us for a couple of months and their different personalities are beginning to show. Paddy is very confident, can be defiant and thinks that everyone who visits the guest house has come just to see him. Consequently I have had to buy baby gates for passageways and staircases, as not everyone likes to be pestered by an over-enthusiastic puppy. In contrast Guinness will stand back and assess a situation before committing himself. He is definitely the clever one and if he can misbehave, but let Paddy take the rap, he will.
At breakfast time I try to eat my food in between feeding guests and saying goodbye to those checking out. One morning I had to see to a guest halfway through eating my cereal. I was astonished when I returned, to find Paddy standing on the dining table demolishing the contents of my breakfast bowl! He had climbed onto the chair and from there onto the table. Guinness meanwhile was innocently lying on his bed. . . then I noticed an empty packet of treats lying next to him on the floor. He had evidently climbed onto the table as well, stolen the treats and retreated to his bed.
A couple of days later I had inadvertently left the kitchen door open (don't tell the Environmental Health Officer!) and discovered Paddy in the kitchen with his nose in the overturned waste bin, and rubbish all over the floor. Naturally Guinness was not in the kitchen, however a tell-tale piece of paper was hanging from his mouth - caught again.
Of course they are both still regularly getting into the veggie patch. I'm not sure the asparagus will survive being dug up again. The day after the kitchen incident I was fed up with constantly removing Paddy from there so I gave him a time out inside, away from Guinness. He showed his defiance by pulling my pot of newly sprouting corainder from the shelf and spreading it all over the floor. What can I do to change the behaviour of a creature who enjoys being naughty?

Helpful pups

I may give the impression that the puppies are nothing but trouble! However they can be very helpful. Whilst digging an area ready to grass it Paddy thought he could help remove the weeds.

Then they both decided I was not doing a good enough job, so they took over. In fact they dug until they uncovered a bone, which, incredibily must predate my ownership of the property (Coco did not have bones to eat or bury).

After their hard work it was playtime - Guinness thought trampolining seemed a good idea. Paddy was a little unsure......

He preferred to relax in the sunshine

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Sleepy- heads

At first human contact was the most important factor when sleeping......


More often than not they curl up together . These days they tend to spread themselves out, on the sofa if they can, which does not leave a lot of space for me! They will soon need another bed as the first one did not last very long, as you have already seen.

Their favourite position is upside-down

Friday, 28 May 2010

Making friends

Paddy and Guinness were introduced to other dogs as soon as they had their injections. Having previously had a dog who had not been socialised properly, I was determined to be able to go for walks without having to avoid other dogs. Muffin, a bouncy black lab, was the first dog to call in. Paddy was so excited and wanted to play straight away. Guinness, on the other hand, was terrified and hid behind a bush until he found enough courage to come out. Even then he made sure with sister Bella there was a sturdy pair of human legs to hide behind, and he squealed whenever Muffin got close to him. Paddy started a game of chase but then looked over his shoulder to see this giant lab running after him, at which point his courage failed and he squealed and hid behind a bush!
Their next encounter was with Winston, an energetic field spaniel. Winston was not in the least bit interested in the puppies and thought it was more fun to play chase with their ball. Again Guinness was not very brave, but he was better than the first time. So we decided a familiar face would perhaps give them more confidence. Bella came over and they recognised her immediately and had a wonderful romp.
Now it was time to vist friends in their own homes. So we went for a barbecue lunch and introduced the pups to Summer and Sacha, 2 beautiful golden retrievers. Sacha, an old lady, decided to absent herself from the party. Summer, however was thrilled to have two playmates and they had a fabulous time charging around the garden. Guinness was much braver, and Paddy was his usual excited self. I was assured that the garden was escape-proof....until we realised that Paddy and Guinness were missing. They had found a ditch where the fence was insecure and wandered off through a walled garden and an orchard. Neither of them was the least bit worried when I eventually found them and they had obviously had a great adventure.
They also found the pond in the garden, and Guinness
wanted to investigate further.
Since then they have met many more dogs whilst walking around the village, and at training classes and so far have been very friendly, if a little over-exuberant. Some dogs are a bit bewildered when confronted by these two bouncy puppies, but on the whole they all get on well.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


Easter is a busy time at The Greenwood. Many families come to stay which means that I have less time to devote to the puppies. They have their own way of getting my attention......
This photo hardly needs any explanation - their new, comfy bed is no more simply because I was busy elsewhere. If you look closely you can see Guinness hiding in the background - he does not like getting into trouble and is very good at setting Paddy up to take the blame. Paddy, contrastingly, is very proud of his exploits.
Easter Sunday - 14 people in for breakfast - dogs in the garden out of harm's way. They thought they could get away with escaping into the paddock. (They had by now found another route - through the garden waste area). So there I am cooking sausages, bacon, eggs, pancakes etc and have to rush off to rescue pups. My poor guests thought they were in a mad house, breakfast was complete chaos and I was totally stressed. Hopefully they all had a good laugh at my expense and it did not let it ruin their holiday. So more fencing was installed!

Butter wouldn't melt would it? However the pups soon let me know that adventure was what life was all about. A fence was not a barrier but a hurdle, especially when the strawberry plants taste so good. This was one occasion when I did not laugh at their antics. My strawberries are my pride and joy and my guests enjoy having fresh berries on the table at breakfast, so to lose several plants (20 at the last count) was not amusing. So, more fence posts had be bought and a higher fence erected. Paddy and Guinness now had to look elsewhere for their entertainment.

There is a post and rail fence between the paddock and garden with stock fencing all around, so I was really surprised to find the puppies in the paddock. They discovered they were small enough to squeeze through the wire and freedom was on the other side. I was a little worried one day to find they had disappeared completely and found them trotting side by side up the neighbouring footpath towards the A38. So more fencing was bought. This stopped Paddy. Guinness however discovered that he has powerful springy legs and has an amazing ability to climb and he still managed to get through the fence. Initially Paddy was very upset at this and would howl and scrabble at the fence, but he eventually gave up and would simply lie down and wait for me to rescue Guinness. Easter was the worst time for retreiving escaping hounds.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Let me introduce Paddy and Guinness

Paddy Guinness

These two cute puppies were born on Christmas Day 2009 and came to live at The Greenwood at 8 weeks old. Their Dad, Chas, is a Siberian Husky, and Mum, Roxy, is a Doberman/Labrador cross. Amazingly Roxy had 9 healthy puppies so finding homes was not that easy and I agreed to take two of them. Two weeks later I was beginning to regret my decision, but thankfully we have settled down together and I cannot imagine life without them. They certainly get into some scrapes and life would be much less fun without them (it would also be less stressful!)
When they arrived they were a little overawed by the amount of space in the house and garden and confined their wanderings to a few square metres, however it was not long before they began exploring and I discovered that the fences were no barrier to two determined puppies. Several strawberry plants were unearthed and eaten, a new rose bush was chewed – a drastic way to prune it, and holes were dug in the lawn in an attempt to eat dandelion roots.
All this activity was accompanied by long periods of sleep allowing me to catch up with chores in the house. Naturally my regular guests wanted to see the pups, but they were always asleep when they arrived.
They adore human contact and like all babies always sleep better when being cuddled. If I am not available they always snuggle up together. They are growing very fast and now look more like dogs and less like puppies. Not a day goes by without them doing something they should not be doing and I will be documenting their antics over the coming weeks. Most of the time I have to laugh…..but not always!