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The beach can be fun!

17 Jul

At 6 months old, so far Max hasn’t been keen on the beach, and even less keen on swimming! In fact, he hates getting wet. Until today!

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First it all started with me getting my feet with. Just as a did with Maya, i took the dogs to the beach when it was calm and warm, took off my shoes and socks and in i went. It never takes long before they follow me and tip toe (or paw) into the sea towards me.

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Ok, so he wasn’t sure at first and just hovered around where it was shallow. Each time a wave came he tensed or ran back.

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Maya on the other hand, already knows how to swim and loves it! She loves it even more when she has a friend to swim with and seemed to be really happy that i joined her in the sea! Something i’ve not really done properly since she was a tiny pup. She quite literally swam circles around me!Image

So, what was it that eventually got Max to get right in the water and go for his first real swim? Seagulls!

Both of my dogs love chasing seagulls along the beach, and little Max never gives up on a chase, so in he went!

Of course, Maya was there to make sure he was ok!

Adventures in the sunshine

26 May

Now that Max is finally able to go out for walks again (after having his dew claw removed), he is getting up to all sorts of mischief with his big sister. Lucky for these two sun loving hounds, it has been a beautiful weekend, and that of course, means i have had my camera out.

 

 

A long, long walk:

 

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The best thing about the sunshine is that we can go on nice long walks (until it gets too hot that is). This was Max’s longest walk yet, through the woods, to the beach and back again!

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            You want to point that camera at me? Here, is this close enough?

 

Going for walks is a great time to keep up with practicing recall training. The dogs have a great time roaming about and having a sniff, but every time they get to a certain distance (i go with the approx length of the garden), call them back, whistle, whatever you do. See how quickly they come running, its great practice for when you need them to come back in an emergency.

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Coming back to the whistle like pro’s. Both with a “smile” on their face, bonus!

 

Here Maya spotted a deer in the distance. This time, she just stood and watched for a moment before we called her back. Later in the day a deer jumped out right in front of her, and off she went, hot on its heels. Don’t worry, she came back once she had had enough! In this isntance, the deer was much more exciting than her recall response!

 

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The best thing to do when the sun is shining and it’s hot out? You got it! SWIMMING!

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   Fancy a dip anyone?

 

 

One of the nice things about where i live, is all of the bird reserves. Here we are taking a peek from one of the hides. Max was particularly interested, we didn’t see many birds though!

 

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After all of those adventures, we wondered if little Max would even make it home. He hopped straight into the car and collapsed.

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A long walk makes a tired puppy!

 

Oh look! The sea!

Ok, so this little trip wasn’t entirely planned.  When the dog’s get messy, what is the easiest way to clean them off? The beach!

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Sorry we got so mucky and smelly…. we really didn’t mean to “fall” in the swamp.

 

Really, when you have two “big” dogs, bathing them isn’t always easy. We try not to get into situations where we have to put them in the bath, its dirty, smelly and they scratch the porcelain. Then of course, too many baths isn’t good for these dogs anyway. Why bath them when you can take them swimming in the sea anyway?

 

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Maya is much happier to go in the sea now that she is a big girl, little Max wasn’t so keen to follow her. So, my shoes and socks came off and in i went!

 

Sunbathing:

 

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Maya was born for the sun

 

 

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Even indoors these two find the sunshine and make the most of it!

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Garden fun, and bubbles!

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floppy ears! The bubble is getting away!

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Come on! Blow some bubbles!

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Just before the big jump!

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Throw the ball! Go on, throw it!

 

The end!

So, sorry again for being not posting much lately, but hopefully these pictures of the terrible two will make you smile!

 

Licks and cuddles from Maya and Max, keep wagging!

 

 

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CUDDLES!

13 May

CUDDLES!

I don’t think i have ever seen two animals get as cuddly as this. My doggies really do love each other.

It’s my birthday!

1 Apr

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Guess what?! I’m a whole year old today, and that means i’m nearly a grown up. It won’t be long before i am fully grown, but mum say’s i will still be considered a puppy for another year.

I started my day today by going for a walk with my little brother, have you met Max yet? He’s super fun, but sometimes he is a bit slow and i have to hurry him along, other times he gets tired and wants to sleep. Mum says it won’t be long now though until he is big enough to play properly, i guess that means he’s here to stay then!

Anyway, when i got home, my mum had prepared THE best breakfast i have EVER had!.

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You see, not only did i have my normal puppy food, but i also got some chicken, some carrot, some olive oil and an egg! Even max got a little bit extra in his food, but he only got some chicken and carrot.

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Oh, it was a delicious treat! I left the egg ’till last because that was my favourite part. Mum says that i must point out to you that many people are concerned over giving their dog’s raw egg, but there are actually lots of health benefits and they are a good treat. All i know is that they taste GREAT and i wish i had them more often.

After eating, it is always important to have a nap, so Max and I snuggled up on the sofa for a little while.

Then the sun came out and we felt ever so lucky that it had made an appearance after all this time. You know, i’m not one to complain but i really am fed up of having to go for walks in the cold. The sun is much better. So of course, we spent much of the day running circles around mum in the garden.

Even Max is getting good at this game now, although he is no match for my speed!

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Time for another nap in the sunshine.

Mum disappeared out for a little while, but when she got back, it was time for a run! We went to the field with my aunty and all ran around it, we even played hide and seek and i played in the big puddles. Oh i bet that Max was jealous sat at home whilst i was out having all the fun.

When we got home, it was time for Max and I to do some training. I’m pretty much a pro now, and if i am feeling in the right mood, i’ll do anything my mum asks of me. My favourite trick at the moment is the army crawl! I wonder what i will learn next. That little Max is also doing well, although, he does have a long way to go. I am TRYING to guide him and show him the rules in this family, but it’s hard work. Like earlier today when the back gate was left open and he just wandered out, who did he think he was? I stood in the doorway and watched whilst he was retrieved by one of the humans. Silly boy! He will learn though, mum is a good teacher, and this time she has me to help her!

That’s it really for my day. The afternoon consisted of more games in the garden, another nap and our tea time. Oh! i almost forget, i’m on big girl food now! How cool is that?

All in all, i have had a pretty good birthday, but then again, most of my days are pretty special!

By for now!

Lots of love and licks,

the birthday girl, Maya

Irish Wolfhound

31 Mar

 

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Description:

This dog truly is the giant of the dog world, being one of the tallest breeds, even reaching the size of a small pony. The reach 28-35 inches in height and weigh 40-69kg (90-150 pounds). When standing on its hind legs. this is a dog that can be taller than a man, reaching up to 7 feet tall! This dog has a long head with a long and pointed muzzle. When the dog is relaxed, it holds its ears back against the head, and you will see them partway pricked when it is excited. They have a long tail which hangs down and is slightly curved. They have a shaggy, wiry coat that is rough to the tough. It is longer over the eyes and under the jaw. The colours include grey, brindle, red, black, pure white or fawn. Although the most commonly seen is grey.

 

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Health problems:

Prone to cardiomyopathy, bone cancer, bloat, PRA, Von Willebrands, and hip dysplasia.

 

Origin:

This is a very old breed of dog, even appearing in Roman records. The dog was used in wars, for guarding and also for hunting with their name coming from their use of hunting wolves. This is a dog that was highly treasured with battles being fought over them and often being given as royal presents. When the boar and wolf became extinct in Ireland, the Irish Wolfhound declined, but the breed was restored using the introduction of great dane and deerhound blood. The breed was recognized by the american kennle clb in 1897 shortly after the Irish Wolfhound Club was founded. In 1935 they were recognized as a sporting breed by the kennel  club.

 

Temperament:

Although you might feel intimidated by their size, these tend to be very gentle, good natured and patient animals. They are very intelligent and always eager to please their humans. They respond very well to firm, but gentle leadership and like all dogs they need consistency when it comes to following rules and boundires. They tend to get on well with children and can generally get on with anybody they meet. As a giant breed, they are often very clumsy and also take about two years before they are fully grown. This also means that they take longer to mature regarding their mind (they stay young for a long time). Whilst it is still young, walks must be kept short so to allow its developing legs to stay strong without putting too much pressure on it. It is important that they are trained to heel before they get too large.

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Grooming:

Despite its scruffy appearance, this dog does need regular and thorough grooming with a bursh and groom. The coat should be plucked once or twice a year to remove excess dead hair.

 

Living conditions:

Although it is relatively inactive indoors, this dog is not suited for apartment life and does best with a large yard. As a giant breed, it needs some space. This also might mean that you need to invest in a larger car in order to take it for trips out or to visit the vet. Although large in size, they would be unhappy living in a kennel as they love to be a part of the family. These dogs need lots of space to run, but in reality do not need any more exercise than smaller breeds. As always they need a minimum of a one walk a day in order to fulfill their instincts to walk. Make sure they they are made to heel as not only do they need to see you as their leader but they are also easily big enough to pull you over.

 

Life expectancy:

6-8 years

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C3ISiZ4W04

 

 

 

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/irishwolfhound.htm

http://www.europuppy.com/dog_breed_choosing/irish_wolfhound_puppies.html

http://www.irishwolfhounds.org/

http://www.akc.org/breeds/irish_wolfhound/index.cfm

 

 

 

Bernese Mountain Dog

30 Mar

 

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Description:

The Bernese Mountain dog is a pretty large, dog weighing in at between 36 and 50 kg (80-110 pounds) and reaching 23-28 inches in height with males being slightly larger. Although they are strong and sturdy in build, they are also agile. They have a broad head with a strong and straight muzzle, the teeth meeting in a scissor bite. They have triangular ears which are medium in size and set high on the head. Their tail is long and bushy, carried low. They have a fairly long coat which is thick and slightly wavy or straight and is weather resistant. The dog is tricoloured and has symmetrical markings of black, white and rust. The dog will have a white blaze on the chest and also on the head, toes and top of the tail. The rust colour is seen on the cheeks, over each eye, on each side of the chest, on all four legs and underneath the tail.

 

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Health problems:

This is another breed that generally do not have too many health issues to contend with. However they are prone to bloat and so feeding needs to be careful managed so that it is suitable i.e more small meals rather than large meals.  They are also prone to some cancers, problems with their eyelids and hip and elbow dysplasia. This is another breed that will gain wait easily and so feeding and exercise must be appropriate.

 

Origin:

This breed originated in the Swiss mountains. They are working dogs often used at pulling carts to market and also used to drive cattle and to watch over the farm. The numbers decreased in the 19th century as other working breeds were being introduced to Switzerland.

 

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Grooming:

Due to their long, thick coat, weekly brushing is needed and is particularly important when they are shedding.  The breed is a seasonal, heavy shedder. Baths are only required when necessary.

 

Temperament:

These dogs make great companions and members of the family as they get on great with children. They also tend to get on well with other pets and also often are friendly with strangers.  With any dog it is important to socialize well. These dogs are very intelligent and easy to train and although they are very confident, they are not often overly dominant.  As will all breeds of dog it is important for an owner of a Bernese mountain dog to show strong leadership. If you are calm and assertive, setting out clear rules and boundaries for your dog to follow, a Bernese mountain dog owner should encounter very few problems.

 

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Living conditions:

These large, active dogs are not generally recommended for life as an apartment dog. They are relatively active indoors but would be happiest with a large, fenced in yard to play in. It is important that they get regular exercise which may even include being trained to pull a cart or wagon for periods of time. A long daily walk is a must in order to fulfill both their exercise needs and their instincts to walk. Due to their thick coats they can be sensitive to heat and tend to do best in colder temperatures.

 

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Life expectancy:

6-8 years

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gqGZFrSeyI

 

 

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/bernesemountain.htm

http://www.bmdinfo.org/

http://www.justdogbreeds.com/bernese-mountain-dog.html

Live like a dog

25 Mar

I know that i have made this post before, but i decided i would re-post it, and this time add some pictures.

Dogs bring many things into our lives: friendship, endless love, loyalty, a listener, someone to exercise with, a work mate and much more. Studies have shown that owning a dog can enhance our life and even our health, largely due to the happy hormones we release when we are around them. If we look a little closer into man’s best friend, we could certainly learn a few more lessons that could help improve our lives.

1. Be loyal: You hear the word loyal, you see a dog. They are faithful and reliable. Even a dog that has been abused by humans its whole life can forgive and forget. Dogs don’t hold grudges. They love us unconditionally.

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2. Forgive and forget. Ever accidentally stood on your cat’s tail and its ignored you for days? Cats are like that. Dogs, are not. A dog will want to be your friend no matter what you do to him. It is one of his best and possibly worst traits (making them an easy target for the wrong people). It’s not that they cant remember when something bad happens, its that they choose not to. They live in the moment, and love every minute of it. Don’t hold on to the memory of that friend who couldn’t make it to that event you organised, forgive them, forget it and move on.

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3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. Every time your dog see’s you, its like they havent seen you in years. They run up to you, wagging their tail, panting, jumping up and desperate to give you as many kisses as you will accept from them. Maybe you should greet people with the same excitement (although maybe you shouldn’t smother them with kisses or sniff their crotch).

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Kisses from Maya

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Kisses from Max

4. Thrive on attention and let people touch you. Being alone is nice sometimes, but you also need to be around people. Share your life with others.

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Maya gets a tummy rub

5. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. There is no need for a fill blown argument when a simple discussion can solve a problem. Don’t overreact.

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6. Live life to the fullest: Everything in a dog’s life is something new. The same boring old walk around the field might feel monotonous and boring to you, but your dog will find something new to appreciate, a new scent, taste, sight or sound. Every day is a gift, look out for new things and appreciate everything.

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Maya shows Max what is hidden under the snow… an old tree stump

7. Run, romp and play daily. Ever noticed just how much your dog loves spending time in the great outdoors, just playing. We all know that exercise is good for our minds, but it is also good for our mind and our spirit. We have all had periods of time where we have barely left the house for any manner of reasons, but it makes you feel rubbish, doesn’t it? Go for a daily hike, a small jog or just play outside with your four legged friend, it will make you feel energized and happier. Hanging out in the great outdoors with your dog is a great way to bond.

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Maya racing behind me along the beach when she was just a few months old

8. Take naps. Whoever says naps were a waste of time, has clearly never had one. Dog’s will settle down and take a nap anywhere: a comfy bed, the kitchen floor, a shady patch under the tree, anywhere is a good nap spot. We might not just sleep anywhere, but that doesn’t mean that a nap isn’t good for us. Studies show 15 to 30 minutes a day is the perfect length nap to leave us feeling energized and more alert. Take a few minutes out of each day to find a comfy spot and curl up with your dog to get some much needed zzz’s.

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The perfect nap, surround by my puppies

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Maya and Max cuddle up on my lap for a nap

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She makes a great pillow

9. On warm days, stop to lie on the grass. Appreciate the things around you. The blue sky, the birds singing, a cool breeze, everything is something special if you just take a moment to really see it.

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So, they are not lying on the grass, but you get the idea – appreciating their surroundings

10. Never pretend to be something your not. There is no pretending with a dog, if it is happy then its happy, if its not, its not. Let people see you for who you are and let them love you for it.

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Maya doesn’t care what she looks like

11. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body. If something good happens that makes your want to jump for joy, then jump for joy. It feels much better to show your happiness than play it cool and pretend you don’t care.

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Max loving his first experience of the snow

12. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. Ok, so maybe don’t go for an actual joyride, but get in the car and go for a drive, see where you end up. You might find a new place that you never knew existed, or maybe just enjoy the scenery

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13. Stretch before rising. It sounds simple, but feels good.

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14. Anyone can be a friend. Dogs are probably one of the few animals that can make friends with any other species. They get on with each other, humans, cats, farm animals and there has even been a story of a dog and a dolphin who were best friends. As a human, say hello more often, hold a door open, give directions. We are always in a rush, or judging people on what they look like, what they are wearing, how they speak, when really we should just be smiling.

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My old dog Clay and the “wonder cat” Sam – We were speaking earlier about how the night before Clay got put to sleep because he got hepatitis, Sam spent the whole night by his side

15. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently. Sometimes people just need to know that you are there for them. A dog is great at comforting you, they don’t need to know whats wrong, they just know that they want to make you feel better and will wait by your side until you do.

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Maya is always there to comfort me when i’m down

“There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…”

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Maya certainly knows how to live… but do you?