Welcome to The Critter Sermon! Where I will be talking about all things fur, feathered and scaled related! It may be general news stories or the adventures my own critters get up too! We are still new and spreading our wings so come back soon to see how we grow!

Friday, 28 October 2011

how to make your cute pets cuter!

So a few months back I went to the dogs trust open day. Twas such a hot day so we left Darkley to snooze at home as he would just get hot and over excited! I got to see my Holly as she was still in kennels at that point -I sat by the glass trying to say hello to her and proudly telling anyone who would listen that I was adopting her soon! (haha proud mum already!) While we were there I was, as always, on the hunt for presents and treats for Darkley and now Holly. I came across a stall selling handmade Bandanas..they were SO cute! There was a little dog next to me who had just been bought one and he was sitting there proudly wearing it! they are little company called puppylove (click the link you will not be disappointed!) I was greeted with smiley helpful faces and more importantly dog lovers! I showed them photos of Darkley and said about how I was hoping to adopt Holly and all the issues we were having with that...anyone who is willing to listen to me rattle on about my dogs is an awesome person in my books! I ummed and ahhed about what size to get Darkley and I had no idea if Holly would even wear one, so I took their card and bookmarked their website when I got home.

So with Holly home and more than happy to be dressed up I wanted to get some made for Holly and Darkley. The awesome thing is that if you want a particular colour or something extra snazzy for your pup they will try and do it if they can...I of course wanted purple and green..and in certain shades! I own diva dogs! As they are handmade they can be made exactly how you want for your pups and best of all at such a reasonable price- because dogs will be dogs and I knew full well that mud and all sorts will end up on them! I dont want to be paying a lot for something I know my pups may abuse! 

Darkley has worn his to agility and on walks...oh the comments from people! A sweet group of older ladies gathered around him saying how cute and handsome he looked..that he was so smart! They can happily play in them too, they don't bother them in the slightest! My two were chasing each other about the garden in them! (see the photo above!)They are also made with Velcro at the back so if the bandana gets caught it wont hurt them at all as it will just undo (which is good to know with my clumsy pups...but i haven't had any problems!)

They do other stuff for your pampered pooches too! plus it is so nice to buy handmade things and not the same old stuff from pets at home! I will most likely be getting another one for them both for Christmas..because why not? 

So have a look at http://www.puppylovepets.co.uk/ there is a blog on there which is an awesome read AND see if you can spot the photo of Darkley on there! happy shopping people!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

ickle update!

so a little fireworks update!

It was diwali last night and in this part of London it is celebrated just as much as bonfire night...actually sounded like bombs going off! my neighbors were setting them off so close our house shook!

So at around 4pm it was still light out so the pups were wandering in and out playing. A huge squeal and bang goes off! Holly Freaks out and Darkley jumps in front of her and barks like mad AT the firework. He looked so pissed that the firework DARE to scare Holly! Holly went and hid in my bed as per normal while I started to shut up the house and make it as soundproofed as possible. 

Holly came down for her dinner and hung about..the constant fireworks going off didnt seem AS scary as the odd bang now and then. I got her to curl up next to me and snooze there for most of the evening..her head bopped up now and then when a huge one went off but apart from some fast breathing and concerned looks she seemed better than expected! So now Darkley was asking to go out to pee...which is fine but it made me realise holly will need to too...and she has a weak bladder so its more important that she does. So off Darkley  goes to pee and explore the garden (ignoring the fireworks!) and i put holly on a leash and gradually walk to the door with her..she takes a step outside and then thinks "screw this!" and runs back to her bed! I dont force her so I go outside with Darkley who is trying to get me to play tuggie with him! Holly comes up to the door a few times to see what we are doing then runs back to her bed...we praise her for coming to the door to which we get a happy wag but we dont push it any further than that. An hour or so later we try again...this time we have a plan. Darkley and me are outside playing and my mum throws a ball out for Darkley...Holly automatically forgets there is fireworks as there is a ball being thrown! She runs outside and grabs her ball and runs about looking all pleased with herself! We tell her she is brave and a good girl over and over! We throw the ball again and she runs to get it ignoring the fireworks now. She strolls over for the longest pee in history before collecting her toys up to take them in...from then on wards she seems way more relaxed about the fireworks! yay! 

So every animal dealt with the fireworks okay, even holly was better then expected. Now we just have actual bon fire night to look forward too ugh!

in other non firework related news.. Holly tried a new harness today and she wasnt as much as a monster on her walk! My arm didnt hurt, I didnt get stressed and she got to have a good sniff about! 

hope everyone else's pets are coping okay!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Bam! Pow! Bang!

Hello world!

So anything new in my little animal world? Hm not really which is okay by me really! Bon fire night is fast approaching and so is the amount of fireworks being let off which annoys me let alone the animals ( I don’t mind fireworks, just fireworks let off by fools who don’t know what they are doing aka everyone who lives around here!). Luckily Darkley is not too bothered by them unless they are loud and aimed at our house (like my lovely neighbours like to do, that’s when I can’t tell who is more freaked out me or the animals?!) most of the time when he hears a bang he will run to the door to go investigate! Last year I sat with him at the back door (with the door shut so he couldn’t make a run for it if he got spooked!) and we watched the fireworks for a while. Holly could not be more opposite! One bang and she is in her “safe places”, which are the dog bed downstairs or my bed. I am going to make the dog bed in to a den for her by next weekend hopefully to help her and my room has blackout curtains so she can hide in there away from the flashes if need be. Some of you may have seen on my facebook ( I had a “I need to tell everyone about my awesome dogs” moment on there! ) about Darkley being a good big brother to her last night. Holly was camped out in her bed refusing to move and just looking scared by every bang. Darkley came over to see if she was okay, he gave a sniff and a nudge then licked her face. He then trotted back and forth offering her toys to play with until she couldn’t resist any more and started to play with him and forgot to be scared. He actually made me go “awwww” outloud.. he is such a big softie. 

It’s been raining here tonight and pretty quiet on the fireworks front so I let the pups out for their evening pee. Suddenly there was a huge bang really close by, luckily Holly was right by me as it happened so she just ran behind me and then in the house…Darkley carried on sniffing! Looking panicked Holly headed upstairs (taking her ball with her of course) and I could hear her jump on to my bed. I left her up there a while then went to find her with Darkley. She didn’t seem too shaken, happy but on guard. We played for a while (with the collection of dog toys appearing on my bed somehow!) and she was happy enough to follow us downstairs. Thankfully all has been quiet since! I don’t mind people buying fireworks in general but I mind that a lot of places around here sell them to underage kids who just let them off randomly and dangerously.

So I got woken up this morning the usual way- Darkley and Holly sitting on the bed pawing at each other and “talking” at each other. As I open my eyes all I see is Holly stand up and flip upside down on to the floor landing on her head! She then bops back up waging her tail looking at me as if to say  “woah mum did you see that?! I totally did a flip!” and bounced back on the bed! She also managed to head-butt my laptop and walk in to a table today… this my friends is why I have pet insurance and I am doing a first aid course for pets!

Mojo the dragon has been looking a tad miserable lately. She struggles with shedding due to the bad breeding so I think that is making her a sad lizard right now. A lot of people say that lizards cant show emotions, which in part is true. Most, but not all, don’t want cuddles or even to be handled much really but like any pet you can tell when they are content or “happy”. I feel that as a pet owner you know your animals best and you know when something is wrong or right. So I moved all the rocks and things about her vivarium, I hadn’t done this much before because of her eyesight issues and I didn’t want to confuse her. She totally loved it though, leaping about, hiding in corners and dangling of branches! (had to rescue her though as she got stuck down the side of a rock and all I could see were her tiny legs waving about in the air! Haha luckily I was sitting next to her when she did it the fool!) Even with rubbish eyesight she can do so much, proud of the little lizard we didn’t think would live past last summer!

I also witnessed yesterday what I would call and temper tantrum from Holly. It was hilarious! She was chewing some toy for ages and it was getting to the stage that it was no longer a toy just a mass of rope and dog drool. She started to get bored with it so I took it off her and hid it behind my chair (if I put it in the bin I know full well where she would break in too when I weren’t looking!). Holly’s eyes widened and she started stomping/pacing past me going “roo roo roooooo”, then she thumped down and sat staring right at me! She repeated this a few times before stomping off to find something else to destroy! I spoke on a forum about this and someone else told me that the rooing noise is common in collie type lurchers (Colliexsighthound) dogs! She has starting to turn these “roos” in to howls when she is excited as well!

So as I was avoiding doing work on the computer today I ended up playing angry birds (as you do) my phone rang so I wandered off and left the laptop on the floor with and angry bird making angry bird noises as it was waiting for me to play. When I get back it sounds like there is some sort of budgie riot going on! The noise must have triggered them off to start bickering and shouting, which in turn set the rest of them off. High pitched chirps and toys being thrown about, I actually had my own flock of angry birds in my living room! Note to self: mute the computer from now on.

So enough of my babbling on, I have two snoring pups on my bed (Darkley is kicking me in his sleep!) and I can hear a gecko exploring their vivarium and seeing as they are nocturnal I should be asleep! For those with dogs afraid of fireworks http://www.dogsandfireworks.com is a good source of information to help you all and it is all free! 

Thankyou for all those that read this, you are all automatically now awesome for doing so!

Monday, 17 October 2011

dress rehearsal!

I should start by saying that my two LOVE the attention of getting brushed and dressed up! They prance about all excitedly (making it hard to take photos!) such spoiled vain pups eh? hehe! So I was in town in our local "everything is £1 shop" looking about and I saw some cheap children Halloween outfits..so I picked two up for the pups for a giggle! Dont worry I wont be making them wear them for long..Just long enough to take some cute photos of them!

So we had a little dress rehearsal today..just to see if they would even fit! meet skeledog and pumpkin pup!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Hello everyone!

I am all tucked up in bed with two pups sprawled out snoozing. The poor things are feeling sorry for themselves right now.

I will start with Holly pup, who is not herself at all this evening. Friday morning we lowered her medication. (she is on medication to control her incontinence, her lady parts aren’t as strong as they should be) All seemed to be going well until I had to leave her and Darkley yesterday as I had to accompany my mum to a long hospital appointment. We were gone for quite a while and I said to my mum that I expected to see a puddle when we got in and I was right. I was greeted with a very excited but upset looking Holly who was doing her little excited dance to see me then realising there was pee there and backing off- Darkley was looking guilty in his bed too. I totally ignored the pee and greeted them both as usual and let them out to play. To be honest I needed to clean the kitchen floor anyways it was covered in muddy paw prints! This evening I was tidying up my room when Holly wandered up to see what I was up too and she jumped up on my bed to watch me. I suddenly see her turn and lick her back end…a move I have seen Darkley do many times with his gland issues. Instantly I knew what was going on and let her finish licking herself before I went downstairs and she followed me out in to the garden to play. I came back up and she had “leaked” a little.. thankfully I keep towels and extra covers on the bed because of this exact reason. With Holly’s “issue” and Darkley’s “issue” it is better to be safe than sorry!

 People might say “why don’t you just not let them on the bed?”, good point but these accidents don’t happen often at all really (twice a month at most) plus I don’t want them to miss out on snuggles because of something they can’t help doing. I feel safer with them by me at night and they like to sprawl out on a warm double bed, so everyone wins. So anyways since then Holly has been very quiet and looking a bit nervous really. No idea how her previous owners dealt with her issue (they didn’t know it was a medical problem till they got her to the rescue centre here in London) but I don’t think they dealt with it well. So my bed is currently covered in towels and blankets and all sorts, I don’t want to change her routine just for one accident as I am upping her meds again in the morning and hopefully all will return to normal. I just feel for her right now, it really knocked the confidence out of her and stole the wag from her tail.

Darkley is having issues, sibling issues! Darkley is a soft touch and Holly has really become the dog in charge. This is something Darkley is still dealing with, as well as sharing his mum with another dog. Most of the time they just try and barge each other out the way (they knock each other out the way with their bums which is pretty amusing to watch!) when they do this I tend to ignore both of them but it hasn’t stopped them jumping about for my attention any less. The past few nights Darkley has gone off in a sulk and slept at the bottom of the bed and not on the bed as if to be making a point! I kept calling him up and he just gave me his stubborn look and flumped down on the floor like a bratty teenager. Been getting a lot of teenage tantrums from him and a lot of ignoring me when I ask him to do something- I have a little rebel on my hands! He isn’t that good at rebelling though as he usually gives in and does what he is told! It has spilled over in to agility as well, with him deciding that playing is way more fun than jumping and running about. We have just started to practise with a new class with the jumps up high, both of which seemed to have annoyed him! I am sure it is just him adjusting and getting used to everything, some days he is the same old pup and others he is a grumpy teen!

Talking of the new agility class, my lord was I nervous! I felt like it was my first day at school! Darkley did really well for his second go at jumping with the jumps up high and trying to resist the new dogs to go look at. He gave me the “but it is easier to go under the jumps mum!” look quite a few times and on our last run we crashed through most of the jumps BUT we did the course..kinda! We have SO much to learn still (still can’t get him to snake through them bloomin jumps! I am all over the place!) I also need to teach him his left and right now (any agility people with tips on teaching this PLEASE drop me a message!) but on the plus side Darkley is doing very well with his weaves finally!

One of the reasons I don’t get to update this as much is that when I am at my computer I am either too tired to do much or I am working on my animal first aid course. Today I needed to show that I could improvise some equipment in an emergency. So I chose to make a little muzzle out of a bandage so if the animal is scared they can’t snap out in fear and to lay the animal on a towel to make them easy to move. Darkley was my model and he loved it! Such a good boy!

Nothing too exciting going on with the other animals really, they are all doing okay. Casper the canary has taught himself to speak like the budgies! If two budgies weren’t loud enough it now sounds like I have four or five in the room sometimes, something my mother is not impressed by! One of my fishes must have had an accident as she has a bend in her body now, no idea what she did but I turned the filter off for a few hours so she could have some space to recover and not have to fight the water current. She perked up and is back to normal…just a little more bendy! I have a few other fishies that were born deformed and they all adapt really well so I am not too worried about her! Guppies are tough little fish!

Right time to snuggle up with the pups and get some sleep as I have nightshifts the next few days, oh the joy! I think the only downside to getting a second pup has been that there is that extra set of “don’t leave me mum!!” eyes at the door when I have to go to work!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

i knew it was too quiet with the pups!

Hello all

Firstly I wanted to say how sad I am to hear the result of the court case in regards to Lennox the poor pup taken from his family by people who sound like they have no idea what they are doing. It saddens me that things like this are still happening in the world. Like many people I send my love to Lennox’s family, I can’t even imagine what they are going through! 

Bullfighting in Spain has been banned. Thank god. I am under no illusion that it will still be going on in some parts and that many believe that it is part of their culture and refuse to give it up. However there is a new generation of people who are not as interested in Bullfighting. Attendance to these events was down a 3rd which is a positive sign that people are not as interested as they were in it!

Another awesome move is that the horrific Chinese dog eating festival has been banned and stopped. A “festival” that sounds horrific..again people see it as part of their culture and are upset about it. I do however feel that times have changed a lot and not all traditions fit in with societies and cultures, as times as change people need to as well. 

I mentioned this briefly in the pervious post! So at the start of the week Darkley and Holly were having a normal play fight and were running about the garden like mad, when my mum noticed Darkley was walking funny on his front left paw. I called him in and he sits next to me on the sofa and won’t let me get near his paw. Holly is with us and starts sniffing and licking his paw like mad..then I see the blood on the cover on the sofa. (the cover put there because the dogs are mucky pups!)  One of his claws has a chunk out of it! So I clean his claw as best as he would let me and get it to stop bleeding. However Darkley would not stop licking his claw (and Holly kept wanting to clean it too!) and it was obviously getting on his nerves, so I thought a trip to the vet wouldn’t hurt. So Darkley, Holly, my mum and I go to the vets as I wanted to check on Holly’s weight (she is back up to 16kg..slowly getting there!) I take Darkley in to the vet and I hear Holly go mental in the waiting room! Yapping and whining and trying follow us in too. So the vet takes a look at Darkley’s claw and says the only way it will heal is when the nail grows out but he could damage it further waiting for it to grow out. So the best thing to do was to cut the nail right back while he was under general anaesthetic.  He asked me when Darkley last ate and said he could do it right now for me and I would be able to pick Darkley up later that evening. Next thing I know I was saying goodbye to a very upset Darkley and walking out without him! Straight in to a very upset Holly who was confused to what I had done with her brother!  We get home and Holly plays for a bit and then starts to sulk as she really starts to miss Darkley. Meanwhile I am scrambling to work out how to claim on Darkleys insurance (everyone get pet insurance!) my printer has barely any ink but just enough for the form I have to fill in. I go to pick Darkley up and that was not my boy who came out! It was a wobbly, sleepy and depressed version of him. I gave the money and form over and picked up his antibiotics and anti inflammatories before taking a nice calm walk home with him. He is now sporting a bright orange bandage and is lying around the house acting like I have cut a limb off him! Holly has been amazing though, she has respected him enough to know that he is not up for playing and she has let him sulk as much as he wants! Got some food down him finally but he isn’t his normal piggy self! When my newer laptop is fixed I shall post some photos of Darkley acting depressed about his paw! We go back tomorrow to see how his claw is doing.. I am sure Darkley is going to love that!

Darkley and I have been moved in to the collie class at our agility, lord knows if we are good enough though! Darkley tried doing jumps on a higher level on Tuesday and did really well! So I know he is good enough but am I?! Worrying! 

Holly got a Kong dummy this morning, it is for puppies but I expected it to last longer then it did. She ripped through it like it was nothing!  She has such little sharp teeth that it makes me think she is a tad younger then they think she is haha! She also dug a huge hole right by where my little geckos are buried in the garden, thankfully she missed the geckos but she looked pretty proud of the hole!  She kicks the dirt so far though that it spreads out and i have no dirt to refill the hole with, the cheeky monkey! 

So it has been a mixture of a week, lots of good and bad points. Least I can say it wasn’t boring!