Three is the magic number

Today is Tilley’s gotcha day, three years with us.

It’s been so great to have her around. Her legs are good, yes now and again she jars it and have a day or two limping. But her tail is wagging high and happy to go walkies.

She even started to like driving, when we get going she lays down on my lap, though still keep an eye on my driving. She have now learnt the last roundabout before we get to Mum, she squeals/whines like no tomorrow as soon as we get to it.

She got a few friends she loves to go play with, funny that she is very good off lead when other dogs are around. Some morning we get to meet 5-7 other dogs and she get a good sniff and run.

Yes she is still a right old Diva and tries to boss us around and is sometimes hard work. But no matter what they said in that article where they said dogs don’t like hugs, she demands them, Pressing her head in, leaning hard against us and if we don’t do it right we get a pad with her paw.

She started on raw food and she is much better for it. She also get a bone from the butchers about every week and is utterly knackered after an hour chewing away.

Oooops I forgot, we visited Dogs Trust at Darlington and they remembered Tilley 🙂

Sit down here is a few snaps of her over the last year.

2nd birthday walk

We celebrated Tilley’s second birthday, well the date we picked since we don’t know the real date, with a little walk to Wycoller. On the Ferndean way which makes a nice four mile loop. It is a bonus walk for us all :

– We get to see Tilley’s favourite person, Mum, so plenty of cuddles for her and cups of tea for us.
– She gets to run loose: there is a nice enclosed area, which is nicely away from busy roads and surrounded with fields.

We have also found a way to keep her from running around in her crate or back seat of the car and sounding like we are taking her to an abattoir. Let her sit on the front seat, so Vicky is now relegated to the back seat. There is the odd whine and whimper from her, else she is quiet as a mouse, while she studies my driving.

The T-shirt of shame

Over the last few days Tilley’s spay scar started to play up. It was looking good the first few days we had her and she didn’t mind us touching her belly or even the scar itself. But, this morning, an area of her scar had swollen up quite badly and she showed slight discomfort when we touched it.

After Sunday afternoon’s ‘deposit’, which was rather runny, she was clearly under the weather. She just wasn’t her normal self (normally her tail is held high, lots of wagging, and wanting to be near us). She clearly couldn’t get comfortable, held her tail low and often went to her crate and looked rather sad. She wasn’t that keen either to go out for her evening walk.

When I came down to do the the middle of the night trip to the toilet, she was out cold and very slow to get going and not keen on going out. She did a quick lap of the yarden, while I did the watering can trick, but she went straight back to her crate where sadly she did a leak before I could get in and do anything. From what we’ve read, this is most unusual as dogs don’t like to toilet where they sleep.

Quite worried, we called the vet up as soon as it opened on Monday morning and got an early appointment. The staff at the Kingsway vet’s in Skipton were so nice and caring – full marks to them. Tilley was reasonably OK to get into the car and very energetic in the vet’s waiting room, since there were people to be met and other animals to be wagged at! The vet agreed that the scar was unfortunately infected. She cut off the bit of the stitch that was sticking out and pricked a hole in the worst bit of the infected lump, without a yelp from Tilley. She really is very good. Tilley was prescribed antibiotics and we made a follow-up appointment for next week.

The vet suggested either a Cone of ShameTM or t-shirt to stop Tilley from licking or otherwise messing with the wound. We settled for the t-shirt since we were very sure that the cone would drive her nuts. We found out that she is 11.2Kg, so not a big dog at all, and the vet is pretty sure that she is near fully grown now too.

We tried to get Tilley back into the car and she wouldn’t any of it so we decided that Peli would walk her home and I would drive back and get the crate ready and go to work. After a hour’s walk home (where all the loose-lead training went right out the window) and the first installment of the antibiotics both Peli and Tilley were rather shattered! Tilley did receive lots of compliments from fellow dog-walkers on the walk, however, and she wagged (and pulled) a lot in return. She seemed to perk up during the day, and spent a happy hour knocking about her Kong and plastic bottles in exchange for kibble.

When I got home from work Tilley was spreadeagled across a cross-legged Peli and took some time to wake up and greet me. I’ve just spent 30min playing with her and her favourite toy. Hopefully she will be better for tomorrow evening as it is her first day at school – Junior doggy training.

Day nine in the dog house

We didn’t have time this weekend to write a post to mark a full week with Tilley. She has been good as gold and Peli has done some splendid work with her. I walked her for 15 minutes one night with a loose lead and no pulling at all. It’s not her natural walking state, shall we say, and it’s taken a lot of patience (using Victoria Stilwell’s ‘reverse direction’ technique) to get to this point!

The bin men came and went without any noise from Tilley, we even had someone knock on the door and she didn’t bark. Though when the postman did his drop she had something to say. Dogs never change!

A normal day in the dog house, I get up around 4-5 in the morning depending on what time we put her to bed, just to see if she needs a leak. We get up again at 7.30 – 8 am and immediately take her for a walk. Our morning walks are rather chaotic – she understandably has a lot of energy in the morning after a night in her crate! Then we chill a bit with some gentle training – sits and downs and stays and a game of ‘ping-pong puppy’ which allows us to practise her ‘recall’. Then feeding time at the zoo is noisy because we hide her kibble in various toys and bottles, so that she has to work for the food. She loves this, and her tail never stops wagging as she hunts out the grub! It also exhausts her and she tends to have a good long nap after food.

Sorry for the lack of photos and quality, just got so into it that I forgot and when remembered only had a phone camera at a hand.

Just before 10am I leave for work and Peli has her for the day. Peli’s well tired when I get home and Tilley is still happy to play more! She gets training walks, play sessions and quick bursts of training throughout the day, interspersed with lots of dozing, depending on what Peli’s schedule is. When I get home at 6pm Peli shows me the new tricks and a run down of the ‘day at school’. 🙂

While Peli cooks I check the internet (to see if it is broken) and since we don’t have desks yet I sit on the floor. I usually then have a cuddly and rather tired Tilley plonked on my lap, half on me and the other half on both sides of me, most uncomfortable but she snores away and is generally affectionate and adorable!

On Saturday we took her to a local reservoir for a walk. Getting her in to the car was a bit tricky as she isn’t that keen. The idea was to get her to get used to the car and the journey with small ones at first, so she hopefully would learn that the car would mean a fun walk at the end. Sadly the five minute drive ended with her emptying her guts (again) in her crate. We’re going to have to work on this!

All the training that Peli put in was right out the window since this was new ground to be explored. Tilley saw her first rams, met seven other dogs and three kids covered in great smelling candy.

She did brilliantly when she saw the rams and got within 3 metres, OK she was pulling like a mad thing and was keen to get closer to them, but there was no barking or growling or even herding. The same was with the other dogs though she went extra mad when the other dogs were off lead. The three little girls got to pet her and feed her treats, though she was more interested in licking their candy-covered fingers. She’s definitely a gentle soul who likes meeting new people.

Getting her back in the car was hard work and we had to part-lift her in. She was rather glad to get out when we got home, but went into the crate to sleep as we went shopping for more dog food.

You can’t go into a super pet store and only go out with dog food, we came home with a Kong Wobbler for to play with. She was nicely tired for the rest of the day after she had food from the Kong.

The next day she was very good meeting and playing with two new friends (Peli’s sister and her partner), with next-to-no jumping. (Though she did try to take some cake from a plate on the table, of course you see how far you can push it when guests are around, especially when the cake in question is so delicious!)

Meet Tilley

Today we picked up Scrappy, from now on known as Tilley, from Darlington Dog’s Trust. We had a 45 minute talk about us what to expect and what support we can get from the Dogs Trust and then filled out a few forms. We were pleased to get four weeks’ free insurance from the trust, as well as a welcome pack of food, a harness and lead, a subscription to Pet24, and all Tilley’s veterinary information. All this for a donation of £80. It is such a good way to welcome a dog into the family.

Tilley was all over the place at the end of the lead, this way then that way. One of the staff from the trust gave her a bone and she jumped right into the car and crate happily. We had a hour and a half journey back, but we heard nothing from her, not even when she puked in the car. Poor thing was a bit car sick, clearly. A quick stop to clean the crate and a little more talking into the car we were off. She was rather quiet after that and fell fast asleep.

Arrived home and she was rather happy to get out of the car, a whole new world for her and tons of new exciting smells. We closed the downstairs up so that she had a free run of the kitchen and the yarden (garden + yard, see what we did there…). Nothing major, just the nose everywhere, that corner to this corner.

After 20 minutes we sat down for some dinner (lunch for you lot from down south) and she just looked at us eating our food. After a minute or so of that she laid down and enjoyed the sun, though with a keen ear, nose and eye on what we were doing.

No barking and very gentle jumping, we just have to get used to having this trip hazard around our legs as we are moving around the house. She will need a bath but that will be tomorrow, because she does have that kennel smell. Welcome home, Tilley! I’m sure we’re all going to have lots of adventures together.