Monday, 12 November 2012

Little & Large............

Will take some more photos later this week; the pups are growing so quickly, it almost seems as though they grow daily.

I was having a cuddle with the chocolate pup, he's so adorable and those beautiful eyes........he settled into my arms and we were having a little chat, as you do, when I noticed Lola looking at me, she clearly wasn't happy with the division of labour.  

Me with one and her with the rest of the football team!! and surely 'crowd control' is my thing, not hers.

I did laugh, if she could have talked, I would have been soundly told indeed!

Now you may wonder why I have two such different photos on this post, and you'll have to ignore the lovely little Daschund at the front of the second photo (sorry Roco) but both the girls are called Lola, and since I can't photograph them together, this was the best I could do.

The whole of my little Chihuahua friend would fit very neatly between Mastiff Lola's paws....and her pups are already as big as small Lola!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

And they're growing...........

Latest photos of pups.....they're growing really fast now and are playing.
Makes cleaning up after them fun as they're constantly trying to get my attention by pulling my trouser legs or ripping the newspaper up as I put it down!!

Monday, 22 October 2012

23 days old ...............

 The puppies are now 23 days old, their eyes opened by day 10 and they are now starting to move around quite a bit.  There are small play growls starting and they are becoming aware of each other, not just as a source of comfort but also as potential playmates.

And they're growing - quickly too, I hadn't seen them since Friday and they've changed just in that time.

Lola still sometimes has this look of pure amazement on her face, as if to say 'are they really mine'?

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Meet Lola & her pups .........

Its all a bit should try having 11!!

Say hello to Lola, a beautiful, 5yr old Neapolitan Mastiff & her first litter of pups.

I shall be following their development on the blog and hope that you'll be as fascinated with their progress as I am.

The puppies were born 17 days ago and are so sweet; you can already see their wrinkles and their eyes were all open by day 10.  They're growing slowly but surely and Lola is such a good Mum to them.

I'm lucky enough to be going into them half way through the day to let Lola out for a bit of 'me time' and feed her.  Of course once the pups are weaned things will change but for the time being she's enjoying the chance to stretch her legs.

She has a lovely, calm nature and although large, is exceptionally gentle with her puppies.

If anyone is interested in offering the pups a home, please follow the link below, which will show more beautiful pictures, together with contact details and further information.

As with owning any dog, please give serious thought to it before acting.  These puppies may be tiny now but Mastiffs are a large breed dog, with everything that it entails.   Please do your homework and ensure that a pup would fit in with your lifestyle, not only when they're 10 weeks old, but also when they're the size of Lola.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Summer's end...............

Is it just me or are there a lot of squirrels about suddenly?
Everywhere I look I'm seeing them and I've seen so many sadly on the road this year.
But there's a definite nip in the air now and they're gathering food and burying it in preparation for winter.
 There are a pair in the garden next door and I've watched them a couple of afternoons stealing the peanuts from the bird feeder and industriously burying them in the grass.
It always amazes me how they manage to find them again, but they do.

The birds too are busily stocking up on peanuts, and the suet feeders are mobbed morning and night by a large flock of starlings, many of them this year's youngsters. 
The noise as they squabble bring Jet & Jax rushing to the window to chatter at them, but the birds carry on, oblivious to the threat.   They obviously know the cats can't get them. 

Sometimes when I'm walking the dogs in the nature reserve the noise from the sparrows is overwhelming, until they sense me near and then a sudden quiet descends.  I've stood quietly waiting to see if I can trick them into thinking I've moved on but they're too wise to fall for it, but as I walk away they gradually start up again, one by one.

           The end of summer brings with it a sweet sadness for the warm, sunny days but I love 
Autumn and her wonderful colours; the fields are bare now except for stacks of hay waiting to be taken in and the fields are already ploughed and sown with winter seeds, bright green shoots already visible.

Apples and pears are already flooding the farm shop, the bright reds and greens in sharp contrast to the warm colours of summer pineapples, bananas & plums. And out in the verges near the trees, mushrooms and toadstools are plentiful.

There'll be a rich harvest this autumn for the wildlife & birds, with perhaps just a little help from their human friends

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Drama on the river .........

I was out walking as normal on Thursday and had just put Jada & Harvey back into the van when I noticed a commotion going on down on the river.

Mute swans are strongly territorial, but for the most part the large group on the river live quite harmoniously together.  Obvious exceptions are mating, breeding times and defence of cygnets.

I was horrified to see a very large adult, which I presumed to be a cob, literally trying to drown another swan.
Whether this was a juvenile (anywhere between 2 & 4yrs as it had distinctive white plumage, as opposed mixed or brown feathers of this year's cygnets) I have no idea, but whatever it's age it had clearly upset the more dominant male who was intent on killing it.

It was a particularly vicious and prolonged attack, which was both distressing from my viewpoint and obviously of concern to the other swans who were milling around with some appearing to try and intervene only to be severely reprimanded.

The dominant cob was literally on top of the smaller swan and chased it right across the river, pushing it's head under the water at every opportunity.  I had no idea how to help (and know that we shouldn't intervene in nature) but could only stand and watch as they came back across where the smaller swan suddenly managed to find some extra strength and pull free.  It actually took to the air and was able to move a little further downriver and out of reach, whereby I felt a huge surge of relief.

The cob moved very quickly to the side of another swan, I'm presuming it's mate, and carried on as though nothing had happened, only to reaffirm their affection as the last photo shows. 

PS. there is a postscript to this.......saw the same kind of behaviour again, not so aggressive but saw it from the beginning this time, it seems as though a new group of swans is joining the established swans, maybe the cause?

Just for info if case you're interested:

Sebastian ................

Sebastian is a beautiful Daschund, as you can see he's black with wonderful dashes of caramel; his fur is silky soft and he's a lovely natured dog.
I was lucky enough to dog sit for him for a few days recently and he was the perfect gent!

He loves nothing more than to snooze on your lap and took a great interest in everything I did, nothing escaped his attention and for a small dog I was fascinated how quickly he ate his food - he was like a mini vacuum cleaner, he almost inhaled it, but ever so gently.......a real sweetie!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Molly's holiday..........

                             MOLLY'S  HOLIDAY

         Back in September Molly came to stay; now she's a very beautiful
         Golden Retriever, as you can see, but would she stand still for her
         photo to be taken?     I'll let you be the judge of that !

        We had some great walks together and some funny episodes, but one
        of the funniest was when I came in one day and found her curled up
        on the armchair - she didn't hear me come in and the first she knew
        was me asking her what she thought she was doing.
        Her front legs slipped down of their own accord, she gave a mighty
        stretch, looked at me as if to say 'I'm getting down' and very pointedly
        just relaxed off the chair, until she was sitting on the floor.
       'No idea what that was all about', and two minutes later she was sound 
        asleep again!

It can't have gone THAT  far!
Down here??
where did it go?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Forever Autumn.........

Well the calender says Autumn is finally here...........but yesterday was one of those wonderful days when the sky is cornflower blue, there's a slight breeze, just enough to cool things down and so beautiful I almost don't know where to start!

The river was exactly at high tide on my fifth dog walk of the day and very high, in fact probably the highest I've seen for a few months now.  The swans were almost level with the top of the bank and I could barely see the plants that had been on dry land only a couple of hours previously.

A flock of gulls were dive bombing a kestrel that was flying high on the thermals to escape and even though I watched for some time, I couldn't see it's prey.  Obviously it was too near the gulls for their liking and eventually they tired of the game and turned as one, an arc of silver,turning this way and that, until they eventually disappeared, leaving it to drift aimlessly higher, swooping at the last, only to miss and begin the cycle over again.

There were dragonflies aplenty this summer too, mostly blue and they filled the air in various places, a small fetch or flight of them, busily darting here and there, sometimes almost too fast to see, just a vivid flash of azure blue out of the corner of my eye.

Of course no September day would be complete without spiders webs, they're so delicate and yet so strong,  and always where we least expect them to be (usually when we've walked into one, head first)!

Blackberries, sloes and rosehips are plentiful this year, in fact the sloes and even damsons in some areas are just falling onto the ground to lay forgotten by most but the birds and insects who are taking full advantage of the feast.

It looks to be a bountiful harvest, plenty for the birds and small mammals to eat and store in preparation for the winter to come.

Monday, 27 August 2012


On quiet days I allow myself to look back over the animals who have shared my life and although they all hold a special place in my heart, there is one that I wish I had known longer and been able to give more to.

Molly came into my life unexpectedly, as most animals that steal your heart do.
I was volunteering with GSD Welfare at the time and used to spend my Sunday mornings walking dogs at the local kennels.  They were there for a variety of reasons, some genuine and some not.

Molly and eight other Shepherds were living at a breeding kennels in Wales.  Their 'owner' was un-licenced and a prospective customer had been so appalled at the conditions that the dogs were kept in that they reported them to the local council. GSD Welfare subsequently received a call to say that if no one came and collected the dogs within 24hrs, they would all be shot.  Needless to say the van was on it's way within hours and arrived back at the kennels late that night. All of the dogs were scared, traumatised and filthy dirty.

I think I fell in love with Molly the first time I saw her, she was long-haired, black and tan and had the saddest eyes of any I have seen.  She was approximately 9yrs old and had been kept as a breeding bitch in a concrete kennel her whole life.  To her, the outside world was an unknown place of loud noises and strange people, she was literally frightened of everything and everyone.
She sat at the very back of her kennel, her face to the wall as she tried desperately to avoid any kind of eye contact with anyone who approached her.  She never growled, or attempted to bite, even in fear, but froze whenever anyone stopped to talk to her or try and stroke her.

Eventually she would reluctantly come outside with the kennel staff and volunteers but she was always happiest when she was put back in her kennel. To her it was home and meant she was safe. I used to save special tit-bits for her but she wouldn't eat them until the kennel door was safely shut behind me and she was alone again.

One Sunday I arrived to find that she had been rehomed and although I was sad for me, I was so happy to think that finally she had a home of her own where she could live as she was meant to. Her new owners had a few acres of land but only her second day on the property, she ran away.  She must have been terrified, she'd never known such space.  Thankfully she was found but not before she had managed to cross the A13 - how she wasn't killed I have no idea, but the following week she was back in her kennel and I knew this time that the only person she would be coming home with would be me.

I brought her back for a couple of weekend visits, to make sure she was ok with my cats (who had already lived with a GSD previously) and once I knew she wasn't concerned with them, or them with her, it became a permanent arrangement.

I have many memories of the 2 1/2yrs she was with me but my most abiding was the first day I took her for a walk up to the river.  It was a sunny morning, one of those perfect days when it's warm and bright and we walked through the fields and from there up onto the sea wall.

I'll never forget her standing on the bank, so still she might have been a statue, watching the sunlight dancing off the water and the swans swimming lazily across from the other side. To think that she had never seen anything like it still makes me sad, but the reality was of course she hadn't -  a collar and lead were unknown so how could she have ever been for a walk.

I like to think that she came to trust me, and I know she did, but the one thing she had never done despite repeated attempts to teach her, was to offer her paw.  Most GSD's will fling their paw at you at breakneck speed if they think a treats in the offing but not Molly, she would have waited and then waited some more until I grew tired of the game and gave her the treat anyway.

Her final day came all too soon, despite an operation to remove multiple tumours, they just had too great a hold and I had to say goodbye to my old friend.  As I gently stroked her and told her it was ok I remember she looked up at me and without her eyes leaving mine, just as gently, finally gave me her paw.

Her trust in me was complete.......