Saturday 25 February 2012

Happy (belated!!) New Year!

Don't know where to start - its been so long since I've had time to sit and update this - I seem to start every post with an apology of some sort!

Last time, we were looking forward to our Christmas Party with Being Canine Dog Training. That was a great success. We were keeping an eye on the weather but it was fine - a hail shower just as we were setting up but that soon blew over and the party went ahead. Everyone joined into the spirit of things and dressed up - dogs too. Helen, Jim and Bailey came as a Christmas tree, Santa and a present for under the tree respectively - looked great too. Poor Helen had been up half the night sewing her tree costume! There was lots of lovely grub including fantastic homemade soup courtesy of Carol-Ann which hit the spot on a cold December's day, and we all had great fun - not least the dogs! Dale had prizes for various things and made sure no-one went home empty handed. Just as it came to an end, the wind got up and we were all hanging on to the gazebo for grim death. Fortunately we had the "added weight" of David, Holly and Carol-Ann to help so averted catastrophe. We are already looking forward to this year's get togethers - we're planning a treasure hunt, barbeque etc so the Training has become very sociable too which is what we were aiming for.
The agility equipment is being added to on a regular basis thanks to Stuart and we have been able to carry on with the classes right through the winter - only losing one to the weather.
Ayrshire dog Care has been very busy with lots of new friends added to the mix on a regular basis. The services we offer are proving very popular and already have bookings for December. Its great to see all the newbies joining in with all the fun and games after the initial observation period.
Improvements to the facilities are on going - we have two chill-out rooms which the dogs love so we are planning a third (poor Stuart!) and we are looking at perhaps erecting a log cabin in the training arena - lots to consider though! Looking at prices for that just now, but I think it will be well worth the expense and effort - again it will be over to Stuart to build it! I'll soon have to be looking at getting the paddling pools out again - roll on the lighter nights and better weather! Stuart in a moment of madness which he's no doubt already regretting, offered to make me a new sandpit. I think he thinks I've forgotten that but ........!
We had Buick staying with us for three weeks over Christmas and he's booked in for Christmas 2012. Boris is here just now for his extended holiday while his Mum is in Oz. He's had a great time - been very active despite how it looks on my Facebook pics! He's enjoyed the company of the other dogs and his little walks with Axl. Which brings me to my new addition!
We lost Chili, one of my own girls I had bred, and decided to look for a boy puppy. After a lot of research I found a breeder in Ireland whose lines I liked and bought Axl (as we named him) sight unseen. Stuart and I made the trip over to Belfast and Alan the breeder was kind enough to drive up from Southern Ireland to meet us at the ferry and hand over the puppy, then it was back on the ferry for the return trip. We're delighted with Axl - he settled in from Day One and is getting on great with all the other dogs - our own and the ones who come here for Day Care and Home Boarding - he is one very well sociallised wee pup! I take him to Dale's puppy class on a Sunday morning and he's hilarious - just gets on with everything asked of him with an expression on his face that defies description! We're really pleased with him although of course, we'd love him no matter what.
We've got lots of puppies who come to us for Day Care now and that's great to see - it shows people are being responsible and don't expect the pup to be ok left at home all day alone - something I am very much against and feel very strongly about. Whilst here, they have great fun, are very well socialised, learn manners from the other dogs and go home tired and happy which makes for a contented household!
As we havent had a day off since March last year (yes, really!) we have scored the diary of for a weekend in March and are taking Axl for a long weekend away. Carol, Stuart's sister, is holding the fort here and looking after the rest of our dogs. That's always fun and games for her as they tend to have a lot of fun at her expense - add the pigs into the mix and its chaos!! I don't like leaving our clients bereft of our company but I'm sure they'll all survive and maybe realise how lucky they are to have found us (she says, tongue firmly in cheek:-) )!!
Until next time, whenever that might be!

Friday 2 December 2011

December already!

I can't believe its almost two months since I last posted! The time has flown in and I've been very pleasantly surprised that business hasn't dropped off as autumn (and winter!) arrived - rather the opposite in fact. Most of our business now is by recommendation which is great - I'm delighted that my clients  (human and canine) are so pleased with what we do.
We've had lots of new friends joining us while the originals appear to be "in with the bricks"!! Willow has been back for another visit and again made herself at home. When her mum and dad came to pick her up, she was absolutely filthy but at least it proves she wasn't shut away in a kennel all day! I always tell people at the first consultation visit not to expect their dog to go back to them clean. I don't want to waste time cleaning them up when we could be having fun instead. Luckily all my owners are very good about that - even Holly, mum of Maisy the gold coloured cockapoo doesn't complain too much when she sees the state of her at home time! Maisy now treats bath time as an extension of the fun and leads Holly a merry dance!
Millie and Molly, the Cocker Spaniels,  are back for a week while mum and dad jet off to the sun. We have
Milly and Holly, the black labradors, come every week for a play day and go home tired out - can hardly keep their eyes open. Moss and Blue a yellow lab and a black lab, come every week to use up their excess energy.These four love it when Hector the Labradoodle is here and the feeling is mutual - they have great fun together. Its lovely to see all the dogs socialise and make new friends - its how its meant to be in my opinion.
Another new addition is Harley the Cocker Spaniel puppy who has settled in really well and loves to play with the other dogs. A knock on effect of him being with us is that he goes home and teaches Murphy his much older "brother" how to be sociable, something up until now, Murphy wasn't sure about!"
Bailey, a young Springer Spaniel comes to visit and also comes to our training on a Sunday morning - he has come on in leaps and bounds. All credit to Dale the trainer and to Bailey's mum and dad for following through and working hard with him in between. Bailey has a new "sister" a chocolate Lab by the name of Gracie so she will be joining us once she's had her vaccinations.
Daisy, the Westie is a regular visitor now - she is such a character and keeps up with the bigger dogs no problem - definitely gives them a run for their money!
Jaro, the German Shepherd "puppy" appears to grow overnight - he is getting so big, but because he has been with the other dogs since he was a baby, he is so well socialised and plays with them very nicely even though some of them are just the size of his head!
We still have Maisy and Summer every day and again because they have been with us since they were weeks old, they are so sociable when being introduced to the "newbies". They don't know how to behave any other way and soon have even the shiest of dogs playing happily with them! They make my work easy!
Bella the Beagle is here at least twice a week and Scarlet is still with us on a regular basis. Scooby is also here regularly and still makes full use of the pool despite the weather. He was here for a few weeks while his mum and dad were in the States on holiday - they then sprung the surprise when they came back that they had got married in Vegas!
We have many other dogs come and stay with us - too numerous to mention - but all settle in really well and seem to thoroughly enjoy themselves during their stay. Many of them have been back quite a few times since their first visit and always remember us from previous visits. We pack so much into the day, its no wonder they remember us - hopefully in a positive way!
I'm already taking bookings for home boarding into May next year so it looks like next year is going to be as frantic as this year but it is SO MUCH FUN!!

Saturday 8 October 2011

And Still they Come!

Been very busy - lots of new friends to introduce to, and have fun with, the stalwarts. I've given up the dog walking side of things and am now concentrating on the Day Care and Home Boarding as there just aren't enough hours in the day to walk the Day Care and Home Boarding dogs and do dog walking too.
The Home Boarding side of things continues to be very popular as people jet off to find the sun. They like the idea that the dogs live with us as part of the family and have all the home comforts at night and lots of lovely play with their friends during the day. It certainly works very well and so far we have had no stressed dogs missing their family!
Willow a little Cockapoo we have staying with us just now is case in point - she made herself totally at home from the minute she arrived and gets on like a house on fire with all the dogs she's been introduced to - she's having a whale of a time. She gets herself up onto one of our rocking chairs at night, snuggles into the cushions and watches TV with us until walk and bed time! She sleeps in a cage at home so we have a lovely big crate for her complete with a soft duvet and in she goes at night with not a cheep out of her the whole night.
The walks in the woods just now are a rather muddy experience, although that doesn't deter the dogs from having a great time - they don't mind the mud, it seems, in fact for some of them, the muddier the better.
I thought it would be time to put the paddling pools away until next Spring but I think I would have a mutiny on my hands if I did as the dogs are still making full use of them - fortunately the kitchen floor is flag stones so when they career back into the kitchen from the pool, there's no harm done - apart from a very wet floor!
They've set up circuit training  - pool, sandpit, into the kitchen, a race round the kitchen table then straight back out again for a few laps round the courtyard and then a repeat performance. No wonder they all go home tired at night and sleep the sleep of the "innocent"!!

Tuesday 6 September 2011


Torrential rain and blowing a hoolie! Can't get any of the dogs to go out - the kitchen and living room is carpeted end to end with dogs all snoring their heads off but it sounds wonderful. We had it dry up until about an hour ago so we've all had great fun.
Jaro is staying tonight and for the next few nights so he will be in the lovely company of Millie and Molly the Cocker Spaniels. I almost sent him packing earlier as he had jumped into the pool and from there into one of the planters which is filled with lovely dark compost - great for digging in! (no flowers though, thanks to the earlier exploits of Maisy and Summer asssisted by Jaro)  He looked like nothing on earth with clumps of mud sticking to him everywhere. Fortunately (?!) he then jumped back in the pool so was just soaking wet rather than wet and dirty.
Milly and Holly the black labs are here for day care from yesterday until Saturday and they are getting on great guns with the gang, Hector in particular - they've become "his" girls - they're in love!
Training went well last night until after the first class when Holly  had a "blonde moment" and shut Maisy AND the car keys in the car. Maisy proceeded to sit on the keys and activated the central locking. I think it was just a ruse so Maisy could stay here! (Carol Ann had the "bright" idea of trying to get Maisy to jump about in the car to see if she would dance on the keys - that didn't work, Maisy just looked at her as if she was daft - hmmmm!!)Maisy would be more than welcome to stay but Holly ........  well that's something else! Fortunately David, Holly's husband, who was 60 miles away at the time,  came to the rescue with the spare set. Unfortunately that meant we had to put up with Holly until later than we anticipated!! Happily Maisy was none the worse of her adventure and settled down for a snooze to recover from the training.

Wednesday 31 August 2011

Welcome to Flynn the Pomeranian!

Flynn's first day with us and he's already making friends with the others from behind the baby gate, Maisy in particular. She's the type of gal who wants to be friends with everyone and doesn't take "no" for an answer - she can't believe that someone wouldn't want to be her friend, which is great  for me and the rest of the "inmates" here at Ayrshire Dog Care. We've got Scooby, Scarlett, Maisy and Poppy here as well as Flynn so he's getting plenty to choose from. (They are all, of course, fully vaccinated and wormed etc.) He's only 8 weeks old and tiny so it will be some time before he is let loose with the rest and as usual, we will take things very slowly. He seems to have settled in really well already in "his" room and at the moment, (and for the near future), he has taken over Summer's garden where he can have some play time outside and lets us get on with his toilet training in peace!
Scooby's already been in the pool this morning  (kitchen floor is swimming!) and they are currently playing "tig" around the yard with Poppy watching from a safe distance - wise girl! She is definitely showing much more interest in the other dogs now and sniffs them and lets them sniff her.  She also on occasion, joins in their chase games, making sure she is on the edge of the chaos!
Because Flynn is here as a baby he will quickly get used to all that goes on and as we have started his socialisation at this critical early age, I'm sure he will be as "well adjusted" as the rest of them - well adjusted? - that's a matter of opinion I hear some of you say!
Summer's on holiday, yet again so he won't meet her until Monday.
I'll forgive Carol-Ann for taking her away as she brought us up a home made curry on Monday night. I was desperate to get stuck into it that night but we had training on and by the time Dale and Nat went home, I felt it was a bit late for that!! Please bear that in mind in the future, you McLellands!! (Only joking - I enjoy our cuppa and "post mortems"!)
The curry was out of this world - we had some last night with enough for tonight too - dinner sorted -curry's always better the second night! I think CA thought she was feeding 20 and not two - very welcome though and don't be tempted to cut back on the portions next time (hint! hint!).
We are all settleing down for a snooze now so its time to put the kettle on before the fun and games start again.

Sunday 28 August 2011


Just a quick update on Holly and Milly after their first day at Ayrshire Dog Care yesterday. I checked up with mum this morning and she reports that they were very tired and very happy dogs who snored the night away after I dropped them off - they didn't even want to go for their walk - an unheard off occurrence! Mum and dad were delighted that Milly (who is a bit unsure of strangers) was sitting beside me very relaxed and giving me kisses, while I gave mum and dad a run down of the day. They couldn't believe they had hopped into the van no problem either. The fact that the girls are so relaxed and happy here means that mum and dad can go off on holiday next week and enjoy themselves without worrying. We are really looking forward to them joining the "gang".
Scoobs had a peaceful night here at his second home and went off this morning after making sure he had a last dip in the pool and a roll in the sand pit 5 minutes before his parents came to collect him!
Boris duly arrived this morning for his sleep over and as I type this, is snoring his huge head off - totally at home as usual!
Bella and Scarlett have been for their walk in the woods and luckily we got back home before the rain came on. Bella did her usual disappearing act - off chasing goodness knows what, but she always appears again and from a totally different direction to what I expect!
Its a bit worrying that the trees are shedding their leaves already - too soon, too soon!

Saturday 27 August 2011

Dogs' Abuse!

Can't be putting up with this - who do my clients think they are - giving me verbal because I haven't been updating my blog for a couple of weeks! I think some of them  (Holly!!) think I sit all day drinking tea and eating biccies! I don't know how many warnings Holly has had about her behaviour BUT I really feel she must be on her last warning by now. If it wasn't for the "adorable" Maisy, she'd be out the door long ago.
I'm having such fun doing this doggy thing (on reflection, perhaps I could have worded that better!)- every day is different and I can't wait to see what all my babies get up while they're here!
We've been really busy and lots of "newbies" finding their way to us - and after carefully introducing everyone - they all get on like a house on fire and have great fun. Its great to see them all socialising - how its meant to be in a dog's world!
We had the pleasure of Summer's company for a few nights as Carol Ann was ill so while I felt sorry for Carol Ann, it was great to have Summer here for overnights. Wee soul trotted upstairs to bed each night, snuggled into her duvet and that was her until it was time to get up - not a bother. Glad you are feeling better now, Carol Ann, but missed Summer last night!
Maisy was on holiday a couple of weeks ago and  things were strangely quiet however she certainly made up for lost time this week and when she and Jaro get together well - CHAOS!! They love jumping into the pool together  from a great distance to create a huge tidal wave so look out if you happen to be within 4 feet of the pool when they do it. Summer doesn't have anything to do with this as she hates the water but will be in the thick of everything else that goes on during the day. Jaro is growing quickly but as he has been with us since he was a small puppy, the others don't seem to notice that he is growing fast and is a  lot bigger than them already!
Poppy is coming on really well and enjoys her days here with her friends. Her mum and dad tell me that her new confidence is also very much in evidence now when they are out and about with her.
Hector's mum starts college again in September so we are looking forward to him coming back for a couple of days a week - he's such good company and great with all the other dogs. We have been seeing him on a regular basis however, as he comes to training every week and is loving it and really coming on. He's taken to the agility like a duck to water.
Daisy the West Highland Terrier will be a regular  -  she very quickly made friends with the others and was soon joining in their games. The "old timers" are always very welcoming to the newcomers and don't take "no" for an answer when it comes to playtime!
We are looking forward to welcoming a Pomeranian puppy next week, courtesy of Naomi who works with Carol Ann. Name to be finally decided but the favourite at the moment is "Flynn". He''ll be here three days a week so again, getting the puppies socialised from an early age can only be of great benefit to them. Its certainly paid off with the other babies who came here when they were 12 weeks - sometimes I think its paid off too well - not mentioning any names! Even with older dogs its never too late, just takes longer and lots of patience, but very rewarding for everyone, not least the dog.
We've had all the regulars coming for day care and sleep overs - Scooby's coming tonight and  Boris is coming tomorrow for a sleep over. Scarlett is back with us now that Jane is well enough to go back to work - glad you are feeling better, Jane, and great to have Scarlett back where she belongs! Bella is here at least two days a week. Bella and Scarlett are both here today with Holly and Milly who are here for a wee trial day before Mum and Dad go on holiday next week, then Holly and Milly will be here every day for day care. Bella and Scarlett very quickly showed them the ropes and have all settled in well together. Lots of the other dogs who were in earlier this year are booked in  while the parents jet off again so we are really busy in September and October and already November and December have started to fill up with the holiday makers - this on top of the regular day care babies.
Anyway, Stuart has made lunch and more importantly my cuppa so that trumps everything! Will update at some point in the near future (she says, optimistically!)