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!

Monday, 28 November 2011

christmas is coming!

The doggie advent calendars are up and ready,their stockings are on their way and their presents have started to be bought! I don't have a big family or children to spoil at Christmas...but i do have my furkids! Some people may think I am mad....naaah!

Friday, 25 November 2011

staffies, collies and hounds! Oh my!

So by now you may have guessed I love collies. This has happened totally by accident! There are so many wonderful breeds out there and there isn’t one I wouldn’t consider being a proud parent of. We all have our own ways of looking at dogs and how much the breed matters, this is just my way of looking at it and I welcome other people’s thoughts on this.

First of all they are a dog. They bark, sniff, pee, poop, investigate, love you amongst other doggie kind of things. Whatever dog you get you will get this but it is down to the dog’s individual personality to how these doggie things show themselves. For example Darkley will bark when our gate is opened or at the bin men coming and Holly wont (yet!), yet Holly will howl in excitement when she sees you and I don’t think Darkley has ever howled.  Then there are other factors that will influence their personality which is where breed and environment come in to play. Collies can be a very nervous breed and I know many who are, Holly included. Then you get Darkley who is cautious but not a nervous boy at all. So the breed CAN be an influence on your pup but this definitely is not always the case! Then there is environment which I feel can have a factor in your pup much more than anything else.  When I say environment I mean things that the dog has experienced and is currently experiencing. Over the past few weeks Holly has gone totally mad and barked at a MALE delivery driver and our MALE next door neighbour. She doesn’t bark as much as gobby Darkley so when she does you know something has annoyed her or upset her some way.  Has something in her past environment made her wary of males? I have introduced her to male friends of mine with no problems so maybe it is just males with really deep voices? No idea and sadly I won’t find out what has caused this or what it is that is exactly setting her off but I can help her in this new environment to deal with whatever issues she has. My point is that no two dogs will be exactly alike. Even litter mates bought up in the same house will have their differences, one might trip over a wire one day and develop a fear of wires and the other might get in a fight with a larger dog and develop a disliking for larger dogs. No dog can be judged easily which is why when dogs are judged just by breed it saddens me so much. Ask me my opinion on staffies? I can only tell you about the ones I have met, all of which have been so friendly and smothered me with kisses! My opinions on greyhounds? All that I have met have been sweet natured and friendly. I do know however there are going to be dogs within these breed types that are not going to be like that..which is what a lot of people seem to not think about (thankfully a lot of people also do think like that!). I am sure there is going to be a staffie which doesn’t want to give you tons of kisses but instead will bark in excitement to see you or will roll about on the floor to say hello. For me part of the fun of owning (and rescuing!) a dog is discovering their ways, quirks and naughty habits! Every day I get to watch my two grow and learn new things (from learning commands to learning how to get that toy that mum has hidden because the squeaker is driving her mad!) Holly is still coming out of her shell and nothing makes me smile like when I see a little bit of her cheeky self shine through. She play bowed at me for the first time the other day which may not seem much too some people but I got excited! Darkley is learning to “Talk” now when we play, which makes me laugh so much!
So I have just gone on about how not to judge on breed, yet I have two collie crosses. Firstly note the crosses part to that..they are not the stereotypical sheepdog by any means! Holly has been called a Labrador, whippet, greyhound, spaniel cross collie and I have no idea what Darkley is crossed with! I grew up with a border collie and having one around makes me feel safe in a weird way. Their smart arseness makes me laugh and their madness goes well with mine!  However all three dogs I have owned/part owned are so very different! My life just feels weird without some sort of collie in it!

Not a normal blog post I know, but I get judged on the dogs I own because of their breed and I know for sure I am not alone! (a boy once jumped a fence because of seeing Darkley, who was busy looking for squirrels anyways!) Comments like “you must have to walk loads with your collies” and “They are too hyper, Collies would drive me mad! How do you cope?!” make me grin more than anything now as my two are as lazy as I am…as I type this Darkley is asleep across both dog beds and Holly is dreaming next to me (and kicking me as she dreams!) Darkley gets bored of walks after a while and wants to just go home and play and Holly is happy to plod/drag me along wherever even if it is just round the block. Also they can’t drive me mad as I think I already am. A lot of people only get to see my pups for a short time and usually they are just excited to meet someone, not a lot get to see them relaxing and snoozing about the house.

I read a story the other day about a collie that was taken back to a rescue because it had “snapped” at someone. That someone apparently had blown air in the dogs face and it snapped back at them…would you like that? Think I would snap at someone doing that to me! The dog was then labelled as a temperamental sensitive collie. Gah!

So if I meet you and your pups know that I am will always be secretly geeking out about how awesome they are! Big dogs, small ones, scruffy ones, older ones..ones that are supposed to be big scary child eating machines…none of this matters to me! Dogs are wonderful companions and awesome animals to me… I will just be happy with a few cuddles from them really!

Ps sorry for spelling and punctuation..maybe 2am is not the right time to be writing up things!

Monday, 14 November 2011

a quick hello!

Hello all sorry for the lack of posting!

So I will start with a positive note, Holly has is unsure of fireworks but isn’t bothered as much as she was at all. She snoozed most of bon fire night and there have been some going off (STILL!) all this week and she hasn’t been bothered by them. However since the fireworks have started to go off (3 weeks agoish!) Holly has been acting a bit off. Not sure what is up but as I said in my last post Holly had decided to sneak downstairs in the middle of the night and wake my mum up to let her out. I have been making sure she goes out to pee as late as I can (2am sometimes!) but she was still sneaking downstairs. Then she stopped asking to go out and just ran downstairs and went for a pee. A few days ago we had the back door open all day so the dogs could wander in and out as the pleased. I went upstairs for a quick nap before work and was joined by the pups who would wander downstairs now and then. My mum shut the door and 20 minutes later Holly ran down the stairs and just ran to the back door and went for a pee before my mum could even see what she was doing! Nightmare. So I have made a new “plan of action” with her which involves lots of praise and jumping about excitedly over pee!

Had a lovely start to last week though, Holly won 2nd best pumpkin and they both won photo of the week in their Halloween outfits from another site! A bag with two toys turned up Tuesday and a pretty orange Halloween rosette turned up for holly a few days later. Proud of my cuties!

The lizards are the ones who are having issues right now. Mojo is trying her hardest to hibernate (she is too small to do this really, but she is damn determined!) She is also trying to shed her skin still which is a major issue with her since I got her, lord knows what the “breeder” did with her. She just got all her lights replaced and I have made her tank more exciting but she isn’t bothered! Thunder the gecko seems to have an issue with her eye, it is very swollen and isn’t as clear as it should be. She has just shed her skin so she could have done it with that or it could be dust in her eye or she could just be clumsy and did it some other way! The thing with Thunder that she was not hand tamed at all when I got her, she is however a lot better and loves chin tickles now but not being held too long! (gotten a few nips from her!) So I just tried to put an eye drop in her eye to clean it out without being nipped…somehow I managed to get away with all fingers intact. She calmed down a bit actually after the gel stuff when in, so maybe it has soothed her eye. She can still see out of it as she chased after a worm when I put her back in the tank! So I will be keeping an close watch on her…there is always one animal having issues! She will be having a bath tomorrow (all my rescue geckos have no idea about going in to a moist hide to shed…its very strange so they have issues with shedding.) Thunder has some skin stuck on her toes so she will get a nice warm bath and I will wash her eye then too. I am expecting her to rebel by trying to poop on me…again!

Darkley is also having issues bless him, had an upset tummy since the end of last week. He had some rice and chicken which has seemed to help him today. He has been extra cuddly which automatically alerted me to him feeling a bit rubbish. He is eating, drinking and playing as normal though so might just be a doggie bug going about.

So my cockatiel Louie is a bit of an antisocial bird. He will chat happily too you through the bars of his cage but touch his cage and you will get a cat like hiss out of him…then he will run for it! He however will bite you like he was 18 months old and not 18 years, I saw him go for the vet once and I couldn’t help but secretly be rooting for him to land a good bite on the vet who wasn’t the nicest of people! Seeing as he is so old I would only take him to the vets in an emergency, it would be too much for him to having to travel there and be handled by strangers outside of his cage. He does however need his claws cut soon.. something I am dreading! Last time I did it, it didn’t go too badly but he managed to get a couple of impressive bites on my hand.. he doesn’t like to let go either. The other birds move about a lot more which helps keep their claws short but with Louie’s age and his arthritis he isn’t hopping about much these days, just climbs around when he can be bothered too. It sucks watching him get old; I have had him since he was 13 weeks old and can’t even imagine him not being in my living room hurling abuse at someone or another bird. Even thinking about it makes me chest ache.

Sorry for the quick update and it isn’t very cheerful either! Hopefully the next one will be a tad more happier!
my angel who is still looking after me

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

dont mention the W.A.L.K word!

Evening all!

Only few things going on with us! Holly is finally telling us when she needs to go out to pee! Haha! It has taken her a while to work out that she can do certain things to get our attention. However she is choosing to do this in the middle of the night now! She sneaks off my bed and downstairs to where my mum sleeps. She sneaks up to my mum and “talks” quietly next to her and then goes and sits by the door..my mum is unimpressed that she is letting me sleep and not her! We have had a few toilet accidents with Holly over the past few days as she does not want to go out and pee because of fireworks. I can get her out there a few times over the evening but I don’t want to push her to go out there too much. She is getting better at dealing with the fireworks though, she sulks more than anything else when they are going off instead of bolting. Slow progress but progress never the less!

On Saturday I met up with a few lovely people and their dogs for a group walkies. Darkley is struggling with being separated from Holly, so I left him back home to learn that there will be times that they will be separated. (My mum said he barked and whined for a while then went in to a major sulk!) So Holly and I set off for her first long walk without confident Darkley by her side. Our pup friends that were joining us was a lovely staffie girl called Dixie who gives amazing kisses! She has had issues in the past where she hasn’t liked certain other dogs (I don’t blame her really, lots of humans I don’t like too much!) However Dixie has come far and is so so tolerant of other dogs these days. She is a lovely pup who adores her cuddles and kisses! We were also joined by Nemo, a fluffy older boy who is adorable. He has done SO well in the past few months and has become more tolerant of my two hyper pups. When I first met him 6 months or so ago he liked to tell the world about how annoying these younger brats of dogs are but I did not hear one grumble from him on the walk! I am so lucky to know some lovely owners with some awesome dogs to help me with socialising miss Holly. Holly was far more quiet than normal on the walk, she was happy though. She was on the new harness again which seemed to be helping to control her full on pulling and I think in time she will learn how to walk without trying to go a million miles an hour in front of me! She got to see lots of exciting things like squirrels, birds and murky smelly pools of water. She was super excited and her chase instinct kicked in with the birds and squirrels! She got to see a horse pass by and had a look and sniff but wasn’t too fussed. An electric wheelchair passed by us at one point too and she didn’t respond to it at all which was great. Was a lovey walkies!

 I decided to take Darkley on the same walk the next day as it is right by where our agility classes are…oh and how it was a different walk! As soon as we left the house the next morning Darkley was on a mission. No idea what that mission as but it was clear it meant he needed to pull as hard as he could on the lead and ignore me as much as possible! He was acting up at class (playing and putting his nose in other people’s business was FAR more interesting!) he did however show some improvement with his jumping skills. So after class I chucked a longer lead on him and went on the walk, even though he was being naughty. Even with his pulling he seemed to love sniffing and exploring the hedges and trees! He followed trails and hunted down squirrels! He then disappeared down a bank and dragged me behind him…next thing I know he is splashing about in a murky muddy mashup of a pond! Nice! We carry on walking for a bit and Darkley suddenly plops down to the floor with his back leg in the air looking concerned and licking it. The words “now what has he done” pop in to my head! I then pull out of his paw a thorn the length of my thumb! Ouch much?! Soon as it was out and I gave him a cuddle he went off to explore some more. 

I get paid this week and some of that money is going to be spent on a new headcollar and harness for him. He has reverted too far back for me to deal with on just a collar and lead. He is going to hurt himself and me if he carries on being like the steam train he is!

(I just emptied a bag of dog food in to the dog food tub in the kitchen…holly ran in shoved her face in the tub grabbed a mouthful and ran for it! She is a cheeky one tonight!)

So a year ago my mum won a giant stuffed toy of a dog. We had no idea where to put it and just shoved it in the corner where Darkley took an interest in it. He erm tried to “romance” it. Horrified I had to move it..we had no room though so for some random reason I threw it up our tree in the garden! It stayed there till the other day when a creature must have knocked it down and half of the bird feeders down with it. Holly thought that this was most awesome. Darkley joined in to destroy the toy and my garden looked like we had, had a freak snow storm. You know it is bad when you have to sweep your lawn!

I am also a proud mum because Holly actually stayed in the room when I used the hairdryer on Darkley Sunday night (after the bath to rid him of mud!) She hid on my bed and peered over at what we were doing now and then…but she didn’t run! Hurrah!

So today has been one of the THEM days, nothing has gone right. I got home and I finally sat down to relax..but not for long. I was sitting outside watching the pups hunt down the birds that were up the pear tree (not a chance they can ever get anywhere near the birds!) The pups then start zooming about and pouncing on each other as per normal when I notice there is something on Darkley’s face. It had to be one of three things- Mud, poop or blood…and hopefully not all of them. Turns out holly has taken a chunk out his face. Great. I clean the wound which isn’t too deep (Darkley was unimpressed with being cleaned up!) and it isn’t bothering him..he may however get a scar out of it. This my friends is another reason to add to the growing list of reasons why I am doing my animal first aid course!

Think that is enough chit chatting from me! If anyone knows of good harnesses and head collars that would help Darkley do let me know! (he got the gentle leader off somehow!) I just heard it is looking like it is going to rain a lot this week..no more fireworks hopefully!