WEEK ONE

This is the first installment of Freya’s Diary. So in addition to my usual odd look at the world with the Bankers Notes I am now the proud scribe for Freya’s diary.

I intend to keep this going for the first 12 months complete with pictures of her and of course covering the key points as she grows up in our wacky but wonderful world with the Spins……

I hope you enjoy keeping up to date with Freya’s growing up, and for those new owners who are now the PROUD owners of Freya’s Sisters and Brothers that it brings to you some kind of assistance in how we are getting on in raising our own home grown Spin and that you can compare notes as we go along (or not)
I admit that your world will be different to ours and indeed Freya’s – but the synergy will be there all the same. We will have a kindred spirit………

So without further ado – let the madness begin

Week One - 8 Weeks Old

Clearly from the outset this was not going to be easy.

We’ve had puppies before haven’t we?

But what has changed? Why does it seem so hard now, yet before we seemed to breeze through all the issues associated to bringing up a small blob of fur? I reckon it’s because you get so used to the ‘Big Dogs’ that you very easily forget the rules that now have to be instilled from day one.

Freya is now 8 weeks old and her sisters and brothers have moved onwards and upwards in the world with their new owners.

Let’s be clear about this for the new owners?

The new owners have a lovely new puppy in their household. The puppy on the other hand is now starting its slow and cunning plan to dominate the household. Oh yes folks, it won’t be long before you are the subservient ones. Been there, done that and got poo on the T-shirt!!!

Freya has already shown her standing in the rest of the pack??

We let her out into the Ménage with the rest of ‘them’ and Savanna got in her way. Savanna now has less hair than me!!!

You can clearly see that even at 8 weeks, and by the look on her face Freya has something to prove to the others.

Freya from this moment on will find her own niche within the pack and of course with us. She is already using our oldest and wisest Spin, Mia, to hide behind when things go wrong and of course whilst she is learning.

If she gets in the slightest bit muddy or collects dirt on her she then goes to her own stylist to ensure she comes out from there looking all prim and proper as girls do of course.

What stylist?? I hear you say…………

Our old Springer, Max has dutifully volunteered?? To ensure she is kept clean and tidy and presentable at all times, she goes to him, he puts his paw on her to hold down and then proceeds to give her the beauty treatment this involves licking her clean…….

I have to say quickly that Max tries this with the BIG dogs as well……..and I am sure there is a canine equivalent to go away you ridiculous creature!!!!! In time I am sure Freya will learn the same language, but for now she’s in dog heaven.

The Dearest One (all hail the Dearest One) took her to the vet recently for her updated injection. Here our young Freya did not let us down?? Typical Spinone – stands on the table whilst she is ooohd and ahd over, then flops down in dying fly position making it almost impossible to put the needle anywhere. As the Dearest One went to sit her up the vet accidentally injected the Dearest One!!!! Oh no…..

This pleased me knowing the Dearest One is now free of distemper, hard pad and Pirovirus. Especially the bad temper – sorry distemper!!!!!

Actually the above I just made up…….my mind wandered off as it tends to

So even a ‘simple’ trip to the vet is a major exercise in patience and perseverance as the puppy Spin maximizes the “you WILL take notice of me, I’m the gorgeous one in here” “and oh really? And just where do you think you’re going to stick that thing”?

Two minute job?? Think again??

Now my favorite Spin is as most of you know, is – JJ. When I’m home, as I have been recently he comes everywhere with me and no matter what I’m doing and where I am he is always there.

The other day we noticed Freya consistently taking an interest in him?? JJs reaction to this pesky little creature??

“Oh yea Baby, I’m the man”
“But you are way too small and too young”
“But carry on as you are and I might let you join my Harem later on” “then I’ll see what I can do for you”!!

But more seriously she is recognizing the Alpha male of the pack – unlike me who’s not!!!!

It’s not all fun and games and when things don’t go right for you and especially in the Middle East, what do you do? Of course, you stick your head in the sand!! Then after a while it all goes away!!

However, we are a little short of sand but this does not stop Freya taking the equivalent approach and when it did go wrong she skulked off to a quiet corner and stuck her head in the – mud, which was dry.

So now she learned lesson number 23?? Don’t bury your head in the dry mud as it gets up your nose and you look really stupid running around snorting and clearing the dust out.

Where’s Max my stylist??

On a more serious note!!

What the Dearest One is doing is introducing Freya to her boundaries, she is showing her where she can go and where she cannot go. Although at the moment it’s all fun and frolics you would be very surprised just how crucial these early day lessons are. If we let her run around our land freely she would not understand the discipline required to bring her in line with the others.

We do have one advantage of course? Freya will follow the pack………this too is how they learn.

But from experience and with a pack or not it cannot be stressed enough just how important it is to teach them from day one some of the basics. Make it fun - make it big fun and only in short spells of 5 minutes or so. They will tell you and you will know when they have had enough or are bored!!!! It’s a Spin!!!

That’s it for this week and more adventures next week, same time, same channel……….


WEEK TWO

I guess in some respects, most things when taking on a new puppy are inevitable and fairly obvious. Other things are spontaneous and provide moments of sheer exasperation, fun, laughs and tears.
It is no different for us either and week 9 provided some moments where the only tears were those of laughing too much.
But before we move on the task now is too house train Freya and we are well versed in this area. We are now getting used to her smelling the ground moment prior to stooping to do her business. This takes time and patience and despite the setbacks is obviously well worth the effort later on.
She is with the big dogs now for a lot of the time and they keep her at a distance whilst she finds her own level and of course where she stands within the pack hierarchy, which at the moment is not very high!!!

But Freya will find her space as they all do at some point. Much easier of course if this is your only dog, its place is behind that of the owner, or in the mind of the Spinone in front and above the owner.

Its only week 9 admittedly but I wonder how many out there (of ours at least) have taken over the couch??

Anyway, Freya has been busy this week!!

We continue to teach her, the boundary to which she has to adhere to and of course introducing her to the outside world, and beyond…………but the beyond will come much later on when she has grown and is a lot stronger. So for now it’s around and about the house.

The chickens are a source of strange entertainment for her because at the moment the damned chickens are a) taller than her b) don’t bark c) have only got two legs and d) are not covered in hair

Here we see Freya staring at the alien being hidden in the shadows………….

When all you’ve ever seen before is another dog or dogs this is a terrifying moment as Freya tries to establish what the hell that thing is. Whilst the chicken is just laid back about the whole thing:

“Call yourself a dog?? You wanna see the others that come here and look us, now they’re dogs, big, strong and fearsome”
“Now clear off you wimp before we peck you to oblivion”

Meanwhile having skulked away from the chicken house, things were not going to get any easier for Freya and her little mate.

The ménage is fenced in on all sides and has a human guard their all the time!!!!!

On the outside is the Viz!!! clever dog this one as he is the sneaker??

Viz to pups………..

“Look I’ve told you two before, that dog biscuits and meat treats I can get you no problem, but the file, hacksaw and wire cutters will take a while”

“And you ain’t got the money for them anyway”

“And another thing? I can’t drive so forget the getaway car”…………………….

“Now clear off the guards coming round”……………

This is just not Freya’s week……………

Later on in the week Freya was ambling around in the ménage and in the nearby tree sat one of ‘our’ Red Kites from 160 Squadron of the Red Kite Flying Corps. He sat and waited (as they do) for an appropriate moment to take off and start his high circling of the area, reviewing no doubt the ideal time to seek out an appropriate food source.

It wasn’t long before he came down very low for a look before turning away and realign for his final approach and run in for the potential munchies running around below him.

In he came, low fast and silent………….the guard on the ground steps forward, a puppy runs in behind her and the other idiot seeing a game starting, starts to chase the Red Kite across the ménage. Oh no this is going to end in tears………..

Sometime later we see the Dearest One (the guard) finally reaching the peak of the old oak tree where the Red Kite has left Freya dangling over a branch. He’s gone off to brag to his mates about the 4 legged odd shaped and weird looking rabbit he’s just caught and captured.

The Kite describes all to his mates – then they send him to Spec savers………….!!!

That last paragraph was me losing the plot!!!!!!! Now where was I……………

Oh yes my mate JJ now wearing, or rather has asked me if I can get him a gold stud for his left ear???

They were all out the other day and Freya, even at her tender age has taken quite a shine to JJ. I suspect a sort of childish hero worship. I know when I was young my hero was Barberella……..but that’s another story!!!!!!

Anyway, Freya loves JJ and I’m sure she would carve his initials in a nearby tree if she could……..but not the old oak tree!!!!!! That at the moment is asking for trouble

So enthusiastic is she with JJ that during this “play time” period he was ignoring her completely. Enough was enough and Freya decided to get his attention through one means or another!!!
She grabbed his ear. In fact she grabbed his ear so hard she pierced it!!! She grabbed his ear and would not let go to the extent that for a few seconds he was walking around with a mini spin ear ring hanging off him.

JJ is pretty laid back of course and took it all in his stride and after the Dearest One had cleared up the mess and what was left of Freya had been mopped up, all was peaceful again (just joking)

Anyway, JJ does take this all in his stride and I’ve no doubt he has another agenda for her in about 2 years time!!!!!! Revenge is sweetened over time ……….

If you look closely you can see the piercing in JJs ear, and equally you can see that oversized annoyance that caused it crawling over him.

JJ thinking – “yea yea, time is on my side little one and in a couple of years you won’t be so smug”!!!

Well that’s it for this week………see ya next time. Same time, same channel


WEEK THREE

During the course of this week Freya said goodbye to the last of her litter buddies after the new owners took control of the new addition to their family.
For Freya she was now on her own and with only the big dogs as companions it was time she settled in with them. Although for the first hour or so she was a little out of sorts and moaned a little, but it did not take long for her to realize that before her was an opportunity not to be missed?
With all those big dogs and the toys as well she found herself in puppy heaven. However, Freya is learning quickly and the best fun to be had was that of terrorizing the big dogs who by now were all wishing she was quiet and sulky again. But I am delighted to say that she has settled in well and has established herself as a key member of the dog family – especially the other Spins – but keeping up with them was another matter altogether!!

Exercising a puppy is an essential part to growing up of course and for us it means keeping Freya under a close eye to ensure she does not push herself to keep up with the big dogs. It’s important she gets the right balance of rest and play. This at times is not easy because she wants to keep – or try to keep up with the big dogs and this is where it can go wrong. Over stretching muscles, and putting undue stress on growing bones could cause issues later on. To avoid this we have always adopted an approach that, before we think she’s had enough we call her in. Of course being a young adventurous puppy she wants to be with the big boys so to speak. But for her sake and the sake of her development we have to be disciplined enough to maintain a balance.
The careful input at this stage and potentially for her first year into maturity this disciplined approach will pay dividends later on as she develops into a strong and mature dog.

So after meal times all the dogs get let out for the usual business and no doubt play and generally wreaking havoc in and around the house. Some go around sniffing; others look for the old toys and bring them back to us for throwing away again. There are those who prefer the tranquility of the little pond we have. For Freya this is a new experience and clearly being naïve in these matters she sauntered over to see what the others were doing around the pond.

You can teach some dogs’ tricks, and others learn the hard way and for Freya this was a hard lesson? Venture to close to the edge and the result is inevitable – she fell in!!!! The result was a sad and very wet Freya…………the good thing was that she did not panic and managed to haul herself out. If a dog could be embarrassed then this was the moment. The not so strange thing from this little mishap?? She hasn’t been within a mile of that pond since!! Lesson learned me thinks

This next piece is a bit obvious but I suppose is worth mentioning because it can sometimes get overlooked as the dog grows and becomes bigger and stronger. We have found through experience that at some point the dogs have to get used to a collar, whether this is for getting them used to being on a lead, preparation for the show ring or just to keep tabs on them, we all have our reasons. But the younger this is introduced the better it is for all concerned.
The Dearest One has put a collar on Freya so she can get used to it for probably all of the above. But for us it’s more important because in the wood or in the long grass she easily goes out of sight, obviously she tries to follow the big dogs so with our collar which has a couple of metal name tags on she can be heard “clanging” around if she’s out in the rough so to speak.
Later on of course we will take it off as she grows – Why? Because it is a potential hazard for us if it gets caught on something………..she is not big enough or strong enough yet so we err on the side of caution. For the big dogs who are well controlled anyway this is not such an issue and none of them have collars whilst in and around our house.

Now as we know, JJ is her favourite Spin and we never realized just how much of a favourite SHE was to him until he gave her his favourite toy?

His tennis ball……….JJs at his happiest when he is retrieving his tennis ball from the ménage, long grass, the fields the woods and so on. His challenge ‘should he choose to accept it’ is to find the ball assuming it’s not so much lost, as finding it is a challenge for him. He rarely fails.
Meanwhile back in the house JJ sits over his tennis ball almost challenging the others to ‘dare’ to take it from him. They don’t – they’ve got used to his tricks and they’re all fed up with his attitude………..with the exception of Freya!!!

She does not know of his tennis ball fetish…………and for reasons we have not yet worked out he gave her his favourite tennis ball – with a catch??

The tennis ball in question is twice the size of a normal one and whilst ideal for the mature mouth of a fully grown dog it is a bit of an issue for an immature dog just a few weeks old. Nevertheless, Freya got the ball and cleared off with it – but when the ball is bigger than your head then escaping and running to the Dearest One with it then you must accept that you do look ridiculous. Very ridiculous in fact……………

So far so good and the Spin soap (Spinenders) (Spin Street) (Spindale Farm) continues as the new addition starts her road to life with us and her buddies…………..

Well that’s it for this week, more on the growing pains of our Freya next week. She should have dried out by then!!!!!



WEEK FOUR

And for this week we have 2 horrific case studies to contemplate over a cup of tea, or for those with a nervous disposition maybe something a little stronger.

Then we have a moment of seriousness for those bringing on their new puppy, all fairly obvious for those who already have dogs but maybe if you’ve been dog less for a while then it may go some way to easing those frustrations of suddenly having a new dog in the house again……

But before that we have this?

Naughty Freya….

Freya spends quite a bit of time outside with us, especially with the weather being as pleasant as it is. She does her own thing and potters about in the garden or in the ménage with the others. When she’s had enough she just lies down and takes in what’s going on around her. When she’s ready and we’re all going inside then she follows the routine and duly comes inside to cause or create havoc.

The one thing we had not accounted for in her behavior is her rather devious (some may say clever) methodology of making things disappear?

Now this is no Paul Daniels Dog doing magic tricks but more of the ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ scenario.

When we came inside for a break and the dogs came in with us it was then the Dearest One discovered that she was one short of a pair of house shoes. One shoe is no good of course and it was exactly where she left it – except it really was only one. Not the pair??

We searched high and low and just as we were about to give up the Dearest One went in the front room to discover Freya playfully destroying a perfectly good house shoe. Naughty Freya!!!
Whilst it amused me (which did not go down well) Freya was disciplined and the shoe was swopped out for a suitable toy from the basket.

But not to be out done, or even feel awkward or embarrassed about the heinous act Freya had been caught out with, some 24 hours later a similar incident occurred?? (Oh no – gasp, shock horror)

Freya had decided that in order to make amends she would re-arrange the washing that had come out of the dryer, however, this work was tiring and she needed to rest. So she took a nice clean T-Shirt of the Dearest One’s, trotted off into the front room, placed it on the couch and proceeded to fall asleep on the aforementioned T-Shirt………..

In the meantime of course we had the police dogs, the army search and rescue teams and a helicopter searching for the elusive T-Shirt.

Again it was Dearest One Holmes that investigated and eventually found both culprit and T-Shirt. The search and rescue squads called off and sent back to their bases.

Freya was relocated to the conservatory and the T-Shirt rewashed and is recovering well in the draw.

These ‘little’ incidents reminded us of just how much attention these mini Spins need when they are so young and on the learning ladder.

Whilst the 2 incidents themselves don’t amount to much, they do show that we had or have work to do in ensuring that Freya understands what is ours and what is hers. The dogs have a big basket of toys and I don’t think, without exception, they ALL go to the toy basket if they want to annoy a toy of some sort. The big dogs even from an early age were taught that ‘this is yours’ and these are not.

It’s a discipline.

Gosh!!……a serious moment

It’s the same as the dog learning and understanding where he or she is within the pack.
Dogs of course are a pack animal. Even one dog at home is a pack animal and it should know its position within that pack. Whether it’s a family with children, a couple on their own, or just ‘one man and his dog’ – the dog knows or at least must learn where he is within that pack.
It’s as critical for the dog as it is the owner.

Let the dog decide and you’re heading for trouble and potential confrontation. You need to deal with the issues whilst the dog is young and eager to learn and please.

There has to be a pack leader that the dog takes its instructions from and knows where it can get support, food, praise, play but most importantly this person should teach it. The dog WANTS to learn. They are not stupid creatures!!!

We are no different even though we have dogs around us all the time……….Freya HAS to learn who the leader of the pack is – The Dearest One.

Freya is being kept in line, sensibly and correctly for mutual benefit. When she grows up and is stronger and mature she will go out in the Land Rover to the parks and beaches etc with all the others and with this another learning curve. But of course at this stage of her development she will be easier to handle and train. Prior to that the Dearest One will have taken her down to the village or into town to get her used to the people, noise, smells and of course the attention from strangers she will receive.

Invest the time NOW for a relatively short period in making sure you are the pack leader, someone your dog looks up to. It knows the disciplines and routines and thereafter you will have a reliable, trustworthy dog that’s not just fun, but one to be proud of.

But you must be strong, consistent and disciplined in your approach. If you weaken, so will the dog, as that is how that weakness will not only be perceived but also accepted by the dog as normal.

You tell it off and then confuse it!!! Just be consistent and ensure you teach it repeatedly what you want it to learn. It may seem harsh at first, but think longer term??

Sheer Horror………(If you are of a nervous disposition then look away now)

Case Study 1 – Cross Breeding

A while ago I wrote a piece in the Bankers Notes (JJ Spinone’s Problem Page) about cross breeding and for those of you following that particular section in this rather excellent website then I salute you in your impeccable taste and if you’re new to us and this website, then I hope its intuitive, informative and you’ve had a laugh and of course learned something from it.

You certainly won’t learn anything from this next bit!!!!

A while ago I was thinking about this cross breeding thing? Because I think about these things!!
And it occurred to me that whilst crossing Big Poodles with Labradors is seen as “fashionable” I personally don’t think anyone benefits – very especially the dogs.
I see no point to it at all. Birds don’t cross breed do they? – imagine a Red Kite or a Buzzard being crossed with a little Blue Tit or a Robin?? Bloody Hell………these new Blue Kites would not sit on the side of a peanut net pecking away they would simply rip the branch off the tree and clear off with the lot. The Buzzbin sat on your Spade handle is likely to pick it up and wrap round your head if you don’t feed it……….

I was talking about this cross breeding thing with the Dearest One and I decided to try it. Yes against all my principles I wanted to see what all the fuss about.
However, me being me I wanted to be more radical, push the limits, extend the boundaries, and show scientists just exactly what they were missing…..I would produce the missing link between man and dog!! Wait wait wait………..I wouldn’t produce it, but in my secret laboratory I would.
Oh good grief you’re worse than me!!!!!!!!!

And for the first time ever, I can now proudly expose to the world my creation:

Ladies and Gentlemen – I present to you……….


The African Italian Spinpanze

It has taken patience, a lot of courage and of course belief in the cause to get this result. For now I have named it ‘whatthef’

When it’s grown up a little more I will take it for walks in the woods where it can climb trees and swing from branch to branch, and I’m sure it will be equally at home in the high street where it will take bananas from anyone, steal them from outside fruit shops and cling to small children terrorizing them and their parents.

OK OK so I’ve gone too far this time I hear you say………..you’re right and indeed when I saw this monstrosity I have to agree this was evolutional trip too far. Not to worry I have an antidote already prepared??

Case Study 2 – The Antidote

Enter stage left “Max” – Max is our Old and reliable English Springer. He is the old boy of our family who has been there, done it and got more T-Shirts than I have!!

I instructed Max that if the experimental phase of my cunning cross breeding program had gone wrong he was to step in and deal with the problem as he best sees fit.

Max was stunned when he saw the creation that leapt and swung away from the laboratory, it bounded across the living room, swinging off the lights. It jumped from the desk to the dinner table where it nearly knocked over a cup of the Dearest Ones tea (had it done so it would not have survived the next two minutes)

It looked at the open living room door to the kitchen and went for it.

Max was there………….they don’t call them English SPRINGERS for nothing. He leapt, he grabbed and the creature was bought down to earth and swiftly dealt with.

The hideous creature had been downed and was out.

Well, that was exciting wasn’t it?


Prologue

The Dearest One was thoroughly unimpressed with my experimenting and consequently threw out all my laboratory equipment. I was confined to my workshop and was given lots of jobs to do on the basis that I previously had too much time on my hands.

Since this awful episode I have not tried cross breeding since – Not with the dogs anyway!!!!!!!

Next week…………..”How I crossed a Red Kite with a Jack Russell” and got a yapping flying machine with real attitude. No child under 5 was safe, no adult with a take away was safe and neither am I now………..there finally coming to take me away…………..

The next installment of Freya’s Diary will be sent from an institution where I have a nice room but I’m not allowed any animal pictures………..

Take care out there!!!


WEEK FIVE

Well what a week it’s been……

Last week was the local Spinone Party at those nice peoples emporium in Pembrokeshire. Despite the weather which had the crowds running for cover at times the party was another success. We adapt to adverse conditions and although the food was a plenty and hearty the weather did nothing to quell the enthusiasm of this worthwhile cause.

So to Babs and Mark Davies – Thank you.

This party was Freya’s first ‘open’ air event which meant mixing with a lot of carbon life forms AND equally as important – a LOT of dogs.

So how was she?

Superb, took it all her stride and then some…….that was one happy puppy. Lots of fuss, lots of food, and to balance it all out, lots of charging around with the big boys, and girls.

As for the Dearest One she spent most of her time walking round looking for her which is good as most of the time a puppy would follow or stay close to the owner. Except Freya!!!

Sometime later that day the events of the party caught up with her and the mini Spin took up the usual Spin pose!!!!

A couch was required for her next move and so it was to be – until feeding time that is!!
Freya had found and kept a new buddy to loiter with, a friend of ours was stopping with us and had a Spin in tow with her. This was Freya’s more mature soul mate for the weekend and I’m not entirely sure who wore out who?

The party supplied ample opportunity to meet old friends and new and a unique circumstance arose when we managed to get together Freya with her Mom and Dad (the dogs that is not those humanoids) the picture clearly shows where Freya gets her good looks from??? If only I knew what they were……..still it was an ideal moment not to be missed……and it wasn’t

Incidentally, the Spin in the background is an ex Dogs World page 3 model. You probably recognize her?? Or maybe you don’t……..but for some unknown reason crept into the shot, clearly never getting over her own days of fame and food and walks and where the hell was the owner??

And YES, I know who you are and you should have had your dog under control (bloody poser)



Now at home as I have mentioned before Freya and indeed all the dogs have a basket full of toys. And we have trained them (YES trained them) that that is their ‘toy box’ as it were and Freya is no exception.

Freya had threatened that Monkey on many occasions and today was no exception as we see from this picture that she has given the poor thing a real beating and it has collapsed onto the floor with just its arm on her back – the arm collapsing shortly afterwards. But the ball Freya??
Freya’s new toy – a Eunuch monkey!! Oh work it out for yourselves………….but she did say that if he kept annoying her she would rip his ****s off.

Hell hath no fury etc…………………..

The following picture looks lovely and sweet and all very splendid of the Dearest One down on Aberaeron Harbour with Freya and her buddy Molly.

Two things about this?

1. This was Freya’s soirée into a town, on a lead and of course another first for her. The advantage we had was the fact that Molly being mature and sensible was a good lead for Freya and we were lucky that Molly’s owner had come with us.

Look how happy Molly looks!!!! Happy Molly

2. When I first saw the photo with no explanation I immediately thought that they had fallen into the harbour and Molly had rescued the other dog which after drying out had shrunk in the wash………

Then I thought “grow up you idiot” “as if a dog could shrink in the wash”………
At this point I took another pill………..

I did wonder though if Molly’s owner was dressed in pink again!!!!!!???????? I was looking at Molly’s face and her mouth open and mumbling – “Oh God how embarrassing” “Not round town please, that’s your camouflage gear for when we’re out on a nature shoot”……………

Now it saddens me greatly, but this next photo is a real embarrassment and I want all you responsible owners to take very careful note.

The Spinone Party was for a good cause, it was successful despite the aforementioned weather. The Carbon life forms enjoyed it responsibly and so did the dogs……….

But this really upset me and after due deliberation I have decided for the good of the dog world and especially the Spin owners it should and must be printed.

I am going to take this up with my mate JJ Spinone and get his views and will let you know what he says in due course – we’ll probably put together another problem page!!!

But here we have Freya, Cirra and Mia completely out of it altogether after some heavy wine drinking; you can see the bottle thrown to one side, the brolly just knocked over and towels simply thrown around as these poor dogs have collapsed in a drunken stupor.

Personally, I blame those lunatics from the Italy Trips. If you recall from the Bankers notes the Dearest One had to go into rehab, but this is all too much. The dogs taking a lead (no pun meant) from their owners………..shame on you

I wish I could end on a happier and more sobering conclusion, my only solice is that can only shame the owners into taking a more responsible attitude with their dogs and we can only hope we don’t see this kind of behavior again

Take care out there and keep all alcohol away from the kids……..sorry - dogs



WEEK SIX

An interesting week indeed………………..

Freya is at the stage of testing?? She is testing her resilience to obeying basic commands like come!! When the other dogs are called in from being outside they of course return without hesitation!!!!! Meanwhile Freya sees this as a time to defy the rules of the game.

She goes on walkabout and has to be bought in. However, we’ve been here before and she is being slowly but surely taught that she is not the leader of the pack, the Dearest One is. So we are applying a little bit of firmness with her in the commands given to her and rewarding her for being obedient.

She will see things in a different light given the time and commitment needed to overcome this resilience to being defiant. If our history serves us with a lesson we reckon on about 2 weeks to get this element sorted out.

Occasionally Freya goes a wandering away to establish new areas to play in, this has its upside and a downside……….

Here we see Freya under the nest of the Giant Red Kite………a rare but dangerous bird of prey when you’re only a puppy, remember a few weeks back these birds of prey were hovering above the puppies playground in the ménage, only frightened off by a delirious Dearest One, a Wheel barrow and an odd woman in pink camouflage………. Do not worry? Freya is safe………
The young have fled the nest and it’s now redundant until next year’s breeding season when Freya will be fully grown and more difficult to catch and carry off to the nest!!!!!

To the young puppy everything is worthy of note. Anything and everything is of course worth investigating.

In this classic shot below Freya is testing the dogs ability to detect vibration and associate that vibration, it could be the Landy coming up the lane, horses on the bridle path, a tractor in the field.

In this case as you can clearly see!! she has identified a mole tunneling underneath her and is awaiting it’s presence to her right. If she keep still for long enough she will see one for the first time………..!!!!!!!!

All the dogs have their interests, quirks and artistic natures. I’m sure yours have as well and in the next couple of pictures we can see all too clearly the artistic nature of Freya coming out.

Now again we are back at discipline and leadership and yes it’s true, Freya using her artistic license did choose a bad day and stealing off the Dearest One did not go down well – you only have to look at her expression!!!! (Freya’s)

Now although she was ‘told off’ you cannot escape the skill involved……………

In the picture below we can see Freya with a fresh toilet roll……….Over to Freya……….
“I wanted to be creative, if it’s raining and outside time is restricted I wanted something to do in order I stayed stimulated and motivated until we get let out again”.

“I took the toilet roll, then started to create a paper mache shape of a dog, as I had the bed to myself I wanted to make my own companion”

“I mixed saliva and toilet roll to make the shape which I moulded with my mouth and paws...”

“To cut a long story short and after a while admittedly, I finished the shaping and got my colouring crayons”

“Once the dog I was shaping had dried out it was ready for colouring in”

“I think the finished article is quite good for a first attempt………it’s a model of the Viz”
“Although my owner told me off she was delighted with the result and let me keep it”

“I learned two things? The first was NOT to take things and second NOT to allegedly destroy them”

“Can I just say a big Thank you to the Viz who sat and posed whilst I composed”??

I accept I look a bit sheepish – but I was in the dog house, remember!!!!!

Well there you have it for this week and we hope you and yours are doing as well as we are but without the little mishap with the toilet roll!!!!!!

We all need a little toilet roll – but we don’t make paper mache models from it – do we?
DO WE??

Take care out there and maintain the leader’s role…………..


WEEK SEVEN

We have moved on a stage further this week with Freya going out into the big wide world…….she’s been out with the ‘Big Dogs’ to the park and a stroll around there for a walk and of course introduce her to further exploration opportunities.
No problem………she loved it

Then a little later on in the week was the trip to a local open show where the Dearest One had entered Savanna in the dog show.

I say dog show because most of the open shows do not have breed specific categories. But for Freya it was another adventure and of course as she grows and matures these are all building up her confidence and in turn her disciplines.

But before all of that is this:

In the Photo below is “Alfie” – Freya’s Brother, he went off to a great life ahead in the country working to the gun.

He has become a firm favourite down at the owners local gun club and is with them all the time in around their business where he is becoming something of a celebrity. We are delighted that Alfie has super owners and will use him for the purpose he’s intended for (the gun, not the celebrity)!!

Yes it’s early days of course and he has a long time to get bigger, fitter and stronger, and as long as patience and perseverance prevail then there is no reason why he should not succeed in being a fine support to the gun.

He has a lot to learn and so does the gun. The retrieve should be disciplined, the hold until the command to go should be second nature to the dog. He must be clear in who does what and when and from my own experiences this takes time and patience.

The next 12 months will be crucial for them both. I was always taught that if you invest that first 12 months wisely with the dog then you have a clear 10+ years of a trouble free and terrific working relationship and moreover a partnership with your shooting buddy. You both have a job to do and as long as you both understand each other’s rules then you will both be very successful.

But looking at the photo Alfie’s off to great start, unafraid of the noise, not afraid to pick up and even better he brings it back for his praise and reward.

He looks quite pleased with himself as well…………..and so he should be. Nice owners and a nice life ahead………….great stuff and we’re really delighted for the owners and of course Alfie.

And now back to the newsroom…………….

Out in the park Freya was showing clear signs of ‘The Point’ – the only problem was the point was at another Spin who was 2 feet in front of her, or is this a case of “Oh come on you lazy @!#$%^&*$D get up, the sun’s out the waters lovely and this is no time to sleep” ……

Having beaten off bandits and rogue dogs, Freya has finally reached the cave of cookie fortune. But is it booby trapped, has the Viz laid a cunning trap. Is their food in there or will a giant rabbit suddenly leap out and pounce on me?

Or shall I just lean in and go “Hellllooooo………….is anybody in there”?

Freya couldn’t catch the rabbit and the Dearest One really gave her some stick for that!!!!

The picture below shows another side of Freya. Navy Seal on beach assault…………OK OK, I could have said Freya chasing butterflies in the meadow, or Freya playing hide and seek but that’s about as imaginative if it were real………..”What’s that”? “She was chasing butterflies in the meadow”………………………………………………………..with an assault rifle!!!

At the country show where there was a ring for the show dogs it was here that Freya met up with her sister – Cirra – I’m not sure whether she was talking to Freya’s owner or trying to bite her sisters tail but either way it was another of those reunions that always ignites discussion about “Oh haven’t you grown” and “nice colouring” and “is he feeding you ok”? You know, all the usual doggy chat………and that’s just the sisters talking??

But doesn’t Cirra look well and……..not the slightest bit interested in Freya!!!

Don’t worry Freya………it’s a dog thing

And finally for this week is this last photo to which in all honesty I could have had a field day with but chose to be ‘sensible’!!!!!!

It’s a great shot of a dog’s day out from two perspectives, the show dog post showing and now back in Spin mode – but it’s stopped spinning!!!

And the other is the 4 month old puppy Spin who’s done or tried to do everything it can in the shortest possible time and now also has stopped spinning and gone into Spin mode!!

But I really like this photo…………….

And that’s it for this week…….take care out there



WEEK NINE

I missed a week of the diary and I suspect you will have noticed because your week would have been incomplete without it!!!

But we’re back with a vengeance this week with more of my rhetoric about our ever growing and inquisitive pup………….

Over the past couple of weeks Freya has completed two new firsts? Her first real close encounter with a mini human and second was a full frontal assault on a beach!! ooooooohhhhhhhhh…..

1. She has now met and integrated (sort of) with a mini human. Now this particular mini human is part of the family and came to stay with us for a few days giving Freya the chance to try and work out what you do with a small human.

Certainly no master of the pack this one but nevertheless an interesting liaison between the two…………..and why? Because in the real sense they are both puppies!!!
It is not for me to comment on which one came out best or which one needs more training but I know which one tired out the quickest!!!

Freya had a stick she was running round with and literally whipping the legs of anything within a radius of about a foot either side of her. So the mini human decided that the stick should change hands!! However, Freya was not going to give in and if the mini human wanted a stick she could get her own damned stick. In the photo below the power struggle continues and IF there was another photo then that one would be of Freya running off with the stick………….

Mini human 0 – Freya 1

2. We took the dogs out for a stroll!!!!!!!!! On the beach via a nice parkland forested area and this is Freya’s first look see at a beach with an incoming tide!!!!

This puppy is fearless (or gormless) for she ran her little legs off and at the same time learned a little more about the ground she walks on.

However, this particular beach contained all sorts of bits and pieces washed ashore and in the photo below Mia had found a reasonably dead Dog Fish…………and yes it was really a dog fish – how amazing is that?

Well to be honest it’s not that amazing really, that particular stretch of beach is ideal hunting territory for a growing dog fish and is awash with food sources. Unfortunately, the fishermen who fish from that beach catch them and because they are of no use they are left as waste!!!! Not my thing and it’s a pity they don’t put them back – but that’s another story………..

Anyway, Freya did not know what on earth to make of it and more especially what Mia was going to do with it?

For a while there was a bit of a standoff, but that look of Freya’s says more than I could ever write about……..

“So come on then, show me what you’re going to do with it”

After a while Mia got bored and dropped the fish and thought no more of it.

3. Until that is…………Freya went back for it!!!!

And the next thing we knew she was proudly charging around the beach with this poor old dead dog fish in her mouth. Several attempts were made to extract the fish from her but all to no avail.

Eventually, the Dearest One fearing the worst that the fish would end up in the Landy for the return journey home and with it, all associated smells of a now dead fish. The Dearest One got to Freya and answered the question once and for all?

“Freya, go and bury the fish in the sand”

“And and and…………once buried, leave it there”

“And remember? Bury the fish and not your head in the sand”

So off she went to bury the fish in the sand as instructed!!!!

4. Great stuff and a job well done?

Or so we thought?

Freya did a fine burying job but we had hopelessly underestimated one thing?

Well I hadn’t – the Dearest One had?

She did NOT tell Freya just how deep to bury the fish!!!!

No one could have known that whilst ALL the others were chasing sea birds, chasing the drift wood I had thrown for them or just generally running off into the distance and back again just how much effort and concentration Freya had put into burying that bloody fish!!

I have warned the Dearest One that I will NOT be responsible back home if she steps out into the garden and falls straight into a 6 foot hole with a bone in the bottom of it that Freya had spent all afternoon digging!!!!!!!!

As an addendum to this little piece this week I have over the past few weeks been interested to watch and learn the process of learning that Freya is currently going through as she finds her place within the pack.

On a number of ‘pack’ issues she will watch them and copy them…….if they get told off she backs off. But if they are rewarded she will follow their example most the time.
With the human input (ours) she now knows the routines and what they consist of i.e. feeding time and where her bowl is, toilet breaks, play time, going out in the Landy and so on. When she is out with the others she watches what they do and with what and tries her best to emulate the fun, the serious bits like training and so on.

It is really interesting to watch her as she ‘edits’ what she is deciding is good or bad and what the rewards are or otherwise. At the moment she is still finding her feet as it were but her confidence is growing – and so is her understanding and intelligence.
It’s quite an education for both of us.

Gosh………what a week in which Freya breaks new ground (or sand) and meets a mini human and wins the battle of the stick.

Next week Freya has her first driving lesson and also her first encounter with a strange being from another species………

Coming soon…….Freya opens a bank account and gets a credit card………

Well that’s it for this week and I’m off to take another pill my therapist gave me.


WEEK TEN

I thought this week we would concentrate on courage………….COURAGE

As we grow up we challenge ourselves everyday and some things we perceive initially as risky, then become our normal day to day routines. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean.

For an equally young and adventurous puppy it is no different and with all ‘senses working overtime’ (A great 70s hit for XTC) did I just say that, Oh God I’m giving my youthful age away!!

Anyway, what was I on about? Courage – that’s it. Now with our Freya she is no different and wants to be like the pack, who are bigger, stronger and more wiser of course. But that goes flying out the window as was the same when we were young!!!!! Well for me it was and I learned the hard way in many respects.

And so is Freya……………..

Take for example the picture below

“I see no ships” “just hardships”………and those bloody Spins enjoying the water which is both cold and WET!!! YUKKKK

But it does look damned good fun………and they’re enjoying it so why shouldn’t I be?

So she takes the plunge and that’s when questions need to be asked? Comments made and actions taken:

Freya took the plunge and suddenly realised that she was smaller than those around her and this meant one thing??

“This is ridiculous, I can’t go out as far as you lot because I’m still not as big as you and the water hits my girly bits much sooner than it hits yours and therefore is causing me some moments I can only describe as breathtaking” - “But without the fun”!!!!!!!

“yea yea yea, says Daisy “ “when you grow up we won’t tease you about being just a large piece of pond life”

And so Freya trots off on her own reflecting on her latest lesson…………

“Pond life indeed………what a bloody cheek” “I’m heading for the hills”

And so it’s off back into the forest and a more sensible walkabout – or is it…………..

It is at this stage Freya enters Courage part 2??

What goes up must come down – Eventually!!!!!

When Kallie charges up a small but very steep little hill Freya has to go as well…..however, once the peak has been reached there is a sudden realisation on both of them that they now have to get down again!!!

“No No, I insist you go first”

“No No. age before beauty”

“You cheeky little !@#$%^&”………….(censored)

“OH my god that is really steep isn’t it”?? “I didn’t realize just how bad it was until I got up here” “And you shouldn’t have followed me”

“Oh well……..here goesssssssssssssssssss………….”

So for Freya she was left looking down into the abyss and wondering how the hell to tackle and negotiate her way out of this little mess………

She of course got down OK with no harm done either mentally or physically……

There are important lessons here?

On each occasion we praised her, because the natural instinct is that of learning, exploring and pushing the boundaries and these examples are no exception. These dogs are natural water dogs and are expected to retrieve downed game from the water.

They are also expected to track and point, retrieve and that means taking the dogs through all sorts of terrain……….

And last but not least?

They love it…………

Whilst not wanting to push too hard at this stage of development of the puppy, who is still small and growing and therefore still not fully formed in strength and bone structure she is finding her own levels of endurance and equally we carefully monitor this as we blaze the trail through the forest. When she wants to rest, we let her, and she also rests!!!! (or not) when we do.

It’s a balance………

Freya is coming on nicely……….and learning fast, and at the same time her courage is growing as her confidence develops.

Anecdote: when we got back to the Landy after our walkabout I was ready for a cup of tea and a rest.

Freya?? – was still running around as if on steroids.

But when we got home, we fed them and that was the end of it for the rest of the night…….



As for the Dearest One and myself? We fed ourselves and that was the end of us for the night as well!!!!

Moral of this week’s tale?

Freya is challenging the boundaries…..and has bags of stamina

We know our boundaries……..but ran out of stamina!!!!

Take care out there and enjoy each moment

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