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!)

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Quiet but Wet Sunday

Last post 19 July - not good enough - so here I am to rectify that and bring you up to date. In my defence, I have been really busy as we've had a constant stream of "my" babies and as I've said before, they come first.
I only have stalwart Bella in today - she's been staying with us for a couple of nights - goes "home" tonight. She's currently snoring her pretty little head off as are my lot so all is quiet and peaceful at Ayrshire Dog Care! All change tomorrow as we have a full house starting about 8am so I'm making the most of today!
Bella and I have had a "lovely" walk in the pouring rain but in a perverse way it was really enjoyable. Bella did her usual disappearing act (she is a beagle, after all!) but she always comes back after 5 minutes or so, so I have learned not to panic! Her mum knows she does this too so I am now comfortable with it.
Home for a cuppa, a snooze for the dogs and catch up on emails etc for me.
An update on the little cockapoo I told you about last time.  She is coming on really well.  The three consecutive days we had her really paid off and we then arranged for her to come two days the following week. She is now out and about with the rest of them and they are DETERMINED she will be part of their happy gang! Its great to watch dogs and how they sort things out  in their own world when humans don't interfere and try and force things along. She actually goes into the paddling pool with some of the others and has begun to play chase with them too. She's still mainly on the periphery of the "goings on" but she really is taking an interest now and goes about wagging her tail and looks really relaxed. Its wonderful to see and so rewarding. I keep in close touch with her mum and dad and they have reported she's a lot happier when out and about with them and doesn't hide behind their legs like she used to.  She's actually going and investigating on her own. Her family are doing everything right and their hard work is really paying off.  Ultimately we are all looking for her to be a lot more relaxed with other dogs after her trauma and I really feel we are getting there. Its always tempting when seeing an improvement to step the pace up but that would be the wrong thing to do so we are still taking it very slowly.
The training classes continue to go very well.  Dale and Theo were down on an advanced training course with Lynne Davis (of Dog Borstal fame) last week and both thoroughly enjoyed that.  The good news for her "pupils" in our classes is that Lynne was struggling to find anything to improve in Dale's methods and training tecniques!  A huge pat on the back for Dale!  She puts in a huge amount of time and effort into preparing for the classes as well as boundless enthusiasm and it shows. Keep up the good work!   Next year she is hoping  to ask Lynne Davis up here so looking forward to that already.  Dale has other things planned too, so watch this space!
Jaro the little (not so little, anymore!) GSD is doing really well on his days here. He has already become a ring leader in many of the "tricks"  (nice way of puting it) they get up to, to keep me on my toes - he's a very clever little person and his mum and dad have to be early up to keep up with him!  He's going for a photo shoot tomorrow night so that will be interesting for Paul at Paws Pet Photography.
Summer and Carol Ann were there to get Summer "done" last Thursday and it went really well. Paul was given strict instructions - No poncing, no primping, no posing, no preening  - Summer is definitely not that kind of dog!! They went to Belleisle and had a great time. I'm desperate to see the results. Knowing Paul's work, I'm sure they will be stunning. Paul already has one of the pics on his Facebook page and it is Summer to a "T" - he's got her cheeky expression spot on!
Maisy continues to be Maisy - take that as you like, Holly!! She's another one who is full of mischief and always in the centre of things. I'm sure between Summer, Maisy and Jaro, it won't be long before Poppy the little Cockapoo will be as "well adjusted and relaxed" as them - watch out, Mum and Dad!! You won't be thanking me for much longer - at least that's what I am hoping for in a nice way!!  In a few weeks all being well, a little Pomeranian puppy will be joining us so will report on that when the time comes.
 In the meantime we've had other regulars for Day Care and Sleepovers - Scooby, Hector and Boris to name a few. It won't be long until Pat goes back to college again so once more we'll have Hector back on a regular basis. He comes to our training classes and Pat and Brendan have been working hard with him in between and it shows.  Don't tell Hector but he is booked in for "the op" soon!!!
I've been walking Dixie and Casey too.  Had them down the beach on Friday and shudder to think how much sand poor Dawn had to clear up when she came in from work!  Dixie has been coming to training classes and both she and Dawn are doing really well and are enjoying it.
We've also had lots of others here for Home Boarding and without exception they have all settled in really well and had a great time. In fact some of them are already booked in for more of the same.  What is it with these people and their holidays anyway!! Had another stint looking after Betty and Shadow - the guinea pigs - while the family were on holiday. Had lots of lovely conversations with them, believe it or not.  They are very vocal! Great fun.
Another busy week ahead.  Its great after all these years to actually look forward to "work"!
Still pouring down and looks like its on for the day. The kettle beckons again. All the dogs are STILL asleep and lots of snoring going on.
'til next time.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Where to start?!

Can't believe its the 19 July already - the time is flying by but they say that's a sign of old age!
Its been hell for leather here at Ayrshire Dog Care this last while, obviously word's getting about that we vaguely know what we are doing when it comes to dogs - a bit of a pity that doesn't apply to the rest of our lives!
We've got a "newbie" in the form of Jaro the German Shepherd puppy who is adorable.  He came for the first time last week and to start with was introduced to "the regulars" through a baby gate, behind which he could see everything that was going on without being overwhelmed by the "hooligans". It quickly became clear that he would fit in just fine so I introduced him to Maisy who was great with him as she is with all dogs. (We are very fortunate here that they all seem to "gel" but of course we do take great care with introductions - more of that later.) He was then introduced to "old timer" Bella, Max the Cocker Spaniel who is spending overnights with his gran and  comes here for day care while Mum and Dad are on holiday, and Bute the Working Cocker Spaniel who is here for his holidays while mum and dad are on theirs. They all settled in very well together and Jaro fitted in as if he had always been with them. He goes home at night a tired but happy puppy.  Everyone always has time out during the day though, to avoid any of them getting over tired.
Introduction to Summer had to wait until yesterday as Carol Ann had the cheek to be on holiday and decided she wanted time alone with Summer at home! I think though, that Summer was delighted to be back as her whole body went into "one huge wag" mode when she arrived yesterday morning - no backward looks at Carol Ann! Summer has the best of both worlds as does Maisy and all the other dogs who we are lucky enough to spend time with.
We are looking forward to having a beautiful little Cockapoo join us in the near future for day care. Her parents and I have been in conversation about her as she had a bad experience when at day "care" (!) elsewhere so we are having to undo the trauma and start again with her carefully. Her parents are doing everything right and with us all working together I'm sure she'll be fine. She was here for the day last week  and again using the baby gate we were able to let her see the rest of the dogs and experience the day to day happenings from a comfortable distance. We've organised that she come for three consecutive days next week so I'll report on that. Keep your fingers crossed for her.
The training classes are going really well and everyone is thoroughly enjoying them - including the dogs! We have the agility equipment set up - just beginner standard at the moment - and they are all taking to it like ducks to water! The training area is working really well - a good size with plenty of room - and Dale is working her magic with humans and canines! The main thing is we want everyone to enjoy it and that seems to be what is happening - we are getting along like a house on fire and having a laugh too! We do half an hour of obedience and then half an hour of agility. We have a beginners/puppy class as well so something for everyone!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


I had every intention of finding some time yesterday  to let you all know what we have been up to recently and all about our new arrivals.  However I had a phone call from Ella the Bull Mastiff's mum to break the bad news that our Ella had passed away peacefully at the weekend. Mel is obviously devastated and I'm afraid I didn't keep a stiff upper lip when she told me, sorry Mel.
Ella and her brother Boris came to me on a regular basis for sleepovers and they totally made themselves at home right from the start. We used to laugh at Ella and the  "Les Dawson" faces she used to pull! She was such a great dog and Stuart and I will miss her visits so much. Only because we personally have lost dogs in the past, can we begin to imagine how Mel is feeling. I'm sure you all send her your best wishes.
Mel gave Ella such a good life and hopefully she can take some comfort from that.
We are looking forward to Boris's visits at the end of the month, when he will be thoroughly spoiled!

Fly high, Ella

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Sorry to you all, Dear Readers!!

Well, I've been given a right royal rollicking by one of my clients - that's your card marked, Carol-Ann - for not updating this for a while, but the question is, do you, my clients want me to sit at the computer furiously typing away or have hours of fun with your dogs?!! NO CONTEST!
On this occasion, I will forgive her as the other day she came bearing gifts in the form of a home made chicken tikka curry that was out of this world. I'm wondering how long it is going to be before there is a follow up - you know I don't have time to cook AND look after Summer, C-A!!
Anyway back to my life with dogs.  I've been so busy - my feet hit the floor at 6am and we are lucky if we sit down to dinner at 8.30.  Last night is was 9.30 - not good for the digestive system.
Today, I have here Scarlett, Bella, Summer, Maisy, Toby and Zak - if you look on the website you will see a pic of them out in the courtyard - title PPP - Petit Puppy Party!
Scarlett's mum has been poorly and in hospital so she has been a fixture for the last couple of weeks or so although of course, she is a regular for day care. Jane is feeling better so Scarlett is going home today with the proviso that her mum MUST phone me to pick her back up if she can't manage.  I'm sure she will be fine as Scarlett is such an easy dog to look after and an absolute pleasure.
Bella the Beagle is another regular but at the moment, she is having restricted exercise as she has "tweaked" her leg so we are trying to rest it - tell that to Bella! However I can confine her to the courtyard here where she can still play and have fun without over doing things too much.  Her best friend just now is Maisy the adorable Cockapoo puppy, Maisy is rather fickle though and her best friend could be somebody different tomorrow - typical female I hear some of you guys say!  Maisy is rather partial to diving in the goldfish pond so Stuart is currently making a wire frame up to put the kybosh on that little game!
Summer has been with me since before she had her vaccinations 5 days a week and she has made herself totally at home!  She never stops, in fact every so often I have to put her and Maisy into their crates for some "time out" otherwise by the time they get home at night, all their parents will see them do is sleep! Summer is as sharp as a pin and leads the rest of them a merry dance as she learned very quickly that she fits under things that the others don't so she torments the life out of them and then high tails it for whatever else she can get under and goes from cover to cover, thumbing her nose at the rest of them!
Zak is here for home boarding again while mum and dad are away at a concert so he goes home this afternoon.  He's having great fun playing with his new pals - they all get on really well.
And then we come to Toby.  Toby has been coming for day care over the past few days as his mum is on holiday. He is nearly 16 and everyone who meets him wants to take him home.  His ancestry is a bit suspect - we don't know what he is exactly but what we do know is that he is wonderful.  He was a rescue and was found being used as a football by some kids when he was about three. Emily found him in the rescue home and fell in love with him right away - I can totally understand why - and he's had the best life ever since.  He is very much loved.
In between times, I have been busy walking Alfie, a Spanish Water Dog, while his mum was on hoilday.  It took him a couple of days to get used to me (no comments on that, please!) but he soon was looking forward to his daily walk along the sea front.
Dixie and Casey are still regular fixtures and we have great fun out on our walks - Dixie loves to go and meet and play with every dog she sees while Casey has cost me a fortune in tennis balls.  She loves them but will insist on taking them into the stream with her only to see them bobbing off down the water!
Scooby the beautiful retriever was with us overnight the other night and like all of them, always settles really well - home from home! Archie the Great Dane/Mastiff, and Boris and Ella the Bull Mastiffs are all regular fixtures now for overnights and they too feel totally at home from the minute they arrive.  It gives Stuart and I so much pleasure to know that the dogs are all so happy here with us - whether it be for day care or sleep overs.
Hector the labradoodle is spending some quality time with his mum just now as Pat is finished college for this term.  She came out top of her class so all the hard work paid off, Pat - well done and remember I'm looking for some pics of Muirburn Ash to grace my walls! Hector is joining us this weekend for a few sleep overs so there is always fun when he's here! I mean that in a nice way, Pat and Brendan!
We have a busy summer to look forward to with new "babies" coming for day care and lots of home boarders booked in while their lucky owners jet of for some sun and relaxation!
We have been doing some work on an area we used to school the horses in, and are intending holding dog training classes, including fun agility classes so anyone interested in that, do get in touch.  They will be very sociable occasions for humans and canines  - I feel sometimes that some training clubs lack that aspect and can sometimes be a bit too serious - but probably that's just me! The classes will be great fun whilst learning at the same time. Dale my friend who is a whizz with dogs and has a great rapport with them,  and is currently studying for her qualifications in canine behaviour and psychology, will be taking the classes.  She will also do "one to one" for those of you who think you would benefit from that. We want everyone to totally enjoy their dogs and if we can help to make that happen, that's great!
Anyway, is that enough for now, Carol-Ann?
I'm off to drop Toby off at home ready for his mum coming back and to take Scarlett home to see her mum so will be back to write more in the near future - is that a threat or a promise, I wonder!!!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Hello to Dixie and Casey

Due to  Dawn, the owner's, work committments, I have started walking Dixie the Doodle and Casey the Labrador, 4 times a week every couple of weeks and it is going very well indeed. I pick them up at their home and always get a very enthusiastic welcome from both of them.  They pop into the van like they have been doing it all their lives and off we go to Rozelle for some fun and  exercise.  After the first couple of walks, I let them off the leads and they are so good.  Casey tends to stay close to me while Dixie loves nothing more than heading off to meet and greet every other dog she spots, or for a change, makes mad dashes to try and catch birds - totally unsuccessful so far! She always comes back to the whistle as she knows she gets treats!  They are so good and friendly and a pleasure to be with. Yesterday, Casey insisted in carting a 5 foot long branch with her for most of the walk - and I've got the bruises to prove it on the backs of my legs!  I had to call out a warning to everyone we met! There is a rather large and smelly puddle that I keep forgetting about BUT they don't and they always make a beeline for it, so more often than not they are in it before I can call them away.  They are returned home a bit "pongy" but very happy.  Sorry, Dawn!


Hector's dad and Summer's mum took them to training on Wednesday evening for the first time  along at Auchincruive. There is no negative punishment involved in the training at all  - only positive re-inforcement - and the dogs respond so much better to this form of training rather than the old fashioned methods still used by some trainers.
Anyway we had a great time on Wednesday night and Hector and Summer did really well as did their owners - much to their delight!
After the training Dale took Theo her wonderful rescue Rottweiler, who is so brilliant with every dog he meets and such a great mentor and I took Hector, for some fantastic playtime in the grounds of Auchincruive and they had an absolute ball together!
Back again next Wednesday and it is Hector's mum taking him this time so watch this space for a progress report!

Friday, 27 May 2011

So Far So Good and Oh Scooby!

Summer's intro to Scarlett yesterday went very well and they played happily under supervision for 10 minutes at a time throughout the day.
Today, summer has been introduced to Scooby the beautiful (more of that later!) Retriever and Boris and Ella the so lovable Bull Mastiffs who were here again for a sleepover.  They get themselves settled, make themselves totally at home and keep Stuart and I awake all night with their snoring!!  We absolutely love having them here and are looking forward to the next visit next month.
On to Scooby's escapades today! Scooby is one of those dogs who arrives in pristine condition and ALWAYS manages to go home looking like nothing on earth!  This is mainly due to the fact that he loves to roll in anything he finds - the smellier and dirtier the better!  Bear in mind he is a beautiful golden colour and you can now begin to get the picture!
We survived our morning walk with just some mud on his feet and the bottom half of his legs and I gave myself a pat on the back for managing this near impossible feat.  Too soon for congratulations!  We went down the field early afternoon for a run around and he immediately found the freshest, largest, sloppiest horse poo he could find, which incidentally was perched on top of a pile of mud, and boy, did he go to town on that little lot! He was covered in the stuff from head to tail and the aroma was incredible.  When we got back into the courtyard, he was very quickly washed down and lathered up with some herbal shampoo but I'm afraid to say even that didn't get rid of the smell!  I hate to think what Paul's  (his owner) car smelt like by the time they got home! I made my feeble apologies via email and ended it by saying, "never mind, he really enjoyed himself" or words to that effect!

Thursday, 26 May 2011


Now that Summer has had her vaccinations and enough time has passed, I am starting to introduce her to the other dogs in small doses. Up until now she has been able to view them from a safe distance but yesterday we started letting her meet up with them in her room.  Yesterday it was Bella the Beagle who started things off and it went very well indeed. When Bella plays with her best friend, Vinnie, its quite a rough and tumble play time but it was amazing to watch how gentle Bella was with Summer - she reined herself in and was really good with the puppy and put up with  being jumped on and getting her paws and ears chewed!  They thoroughly enjoyed the supervised play and Bella got an extra piece of liver cake for being so good. I have to say though, that Summer is no shrinking violet!
Today, it is the turn of Scarlett the lovely Cockapoo so a report will follow!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Confession Time!

My conscience has been weighing heavily on me for some time and its time to come clean!  All my wonderful (human) clients think the dogs love to be with me but I am now owning up and telling you the real reason - HOME MADE LIVER CAKE!! The dogs would kill for it.
I'll give you the recipe as a sort of penance for being deceitful but be warned - making this is not for the squeamish!  If I tell you I keep separate utensils and a dedicated mixer just to make this, it will give you some idea just how awful it is to prepare!

1 lb flour - anything but I normally use wholemeal or granary
1 lb liver - I normally use ox
3 -4 cloves garlic
2 large eggs
Milk to mix

Process the liver and garlic (told you!!) and then mix in the flour and eggs with enough milk to make a spreading consistency. (Ugh!)
WELL grease and line a baking tray and spread in the mixture. Bake it at 180 for about 20 minutes or until it is firm.  When cool, cut it into small pieces and freeze. Any you keep back from freezing, keep in fridge.

A good alternative is to make Pilchard Cake.

2 large tins pilchards in tomato sauce
About 10 oz flour
2 large eggs
Milk to mix
Mix all together, grease and line the baking tray and spread in the mixture. About 160 degrees until firm.

There I feel better for having confessed my dark secret!

Hailstones at the end of May!!

Well, one of yesterday's walks was interesting to say the least!  I had been avoiding the woods as the weather has been so awful so, coward that I am, decided to stay in open countryside for the walks! The wind had died down quite considerably yesterday so I decided to re-visit the woods - out of all the walks, this appears to be the dogs' favourite - lots of lovely smells and great fun for hide and seek - yes I'm ashamed to admit it but we do play it!  I do get some odd looks from other walkers.
Off we went and when we got into the woods, the landscape had changed massively since a few days back.  The tracks were absolutely carpeted with small branches and leaves, and many trees had bitten the dust, literally.  Quite a few of the damaged ones still up-standing but creaking ominously! The dogs loved it as there were so many more additions to the normal obstacle course - not so good for my old legs though!!
We had been cavorting about in the woods for about half an hour when, without warning, we were pelted by hailstones - it felt like they were the size of golf balls! One of the dogs I had with me - Hector the Doodle - ended up looking like he had a really bad case of dandruff  because of all the hailstones snagged in  his woolly coat - this was topped off  with a lovely layer of Mayflower as he careered in and out the bushes and trees! We all had great fun though and that's what it's all about.

Friday, 6 May 2011


Oh, by the way the woodpecker I've tried and failed miserably to spot in the woods, is either rubbing my nose in it or taking pity on me and has taken to visiting my bird feeders 3 or 4 times a day. (I know, its probably not the same one, but I like to think it is!)
I'm also 99.9% sure I am hearing a Cuckoo - used to hear them a lot but not now - so I'd love for it to be the case, although in the excitement, I had forgotten until my hubbie "kindly" reminded me how they go about getting their eggs hatched and chicks reared!

Welcome Summer!

No, not that Summer (not yet anyway!!)  This Summer is a 10 week old Bichon who has been entrusted to us to look after during office hours 5 days a week, due to owner's unforseen change in circumstances - her loss is my gain!
Summer settled in really well right from the first day - it was as if she's always been here!  She has her own room (with a haven in the form of a large cage) where from behind a baby gate, she can see the other dogs and everything else that happens in a "normal" day at Ayrshire Dog Care.  She also has her own private, secure garden where she can have some supervised play and training and where her toilet training is coming along very well indeed!
Check out her photos on the website

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

This is the life!

Out for our first walk this morning at 9am and what a beautiful morning!  Why did I work in an office for so long?  Oh, I know, to pay the bills!! Anyway we had the woods to ourselves - just me the dogs and the confounded woodpecker that I hear every time but have never managed to spot! The forest floor is covered in a carpet of bluebells and wild garlic and looks and smells magnificent. The dogs, however don't care about that,  but boy, do they have fun! Its noses down and away they go. We always play hide and seek, to make sure they still focus on me but our antics must look rather strange to any innocent passers by!
Back home after 2 hours for a well deserved cuppa for me and a snooze for the dogs.  Bliss!  I've just filled up the paddling pools and re-arranged the agility course ready for fun and games once it gets a bit cooler this afternoon - its hot but I'm not complaining!

On a more serious note, please remember to talk to your vet about getting your dog protected against lungworm.  I'm noticing a LOT of slug trails just now so don't put it off.  The problem arises when dogs accidentally (or on purpose!!) eat slugs or snails.  Also the larvae of the parasite are expelled in a dog's faeces and this increases the chances of other dogs becoming infected. If your dog gets infected it can be fatal.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Launch message

Hi all dog lovers

Ayrshiredogcare has moved forward and launched our own blog.  We will be posting snippets of information and ideas for dog care from our own experience but would also encourage input and discussion from amongst our many friends throughout the world.

Ayrshire Dog Care Clients.JPG
PS - as an example how about toilet training!
Suggest a topic. solution or idea and we will see what results.