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!