The life and times of an English Airedale Terrier puppy

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I'm Famous!

I'm ready for my close-up
...Well kinda.

When mum & I were out walking there was a lady coming along the lane with her doggie, a black lab called Alf. As she got nearer she asked "Is that Oscar?". Mum told her I was indeed that handsome chap, and she said "Oh, I've been reading his blog, it's really good!". What do you think about that?! She knows Tara from the Tara's Trails website we've been using to find exciting new walks. Fame! Stardom! Hmm, maybe not, but it was still quite exciting, & I made a new friend. Hello Alf!

In other news, I have had poorly eyes. Mum noticed they were a bit gunky last week, and they weren't clearing so she took me to the vets & turns out I have an eye infection, so I've had to have drops. I hate having them put in, but I do have to admit that my eyes feel a whole lot better. Emma the vet said it was probably caused by me sticking my head somewhere disgusting. Moi? Surely not! Hopefully I'll soon be back to my handsome self.

Oscar x

Monday, January 29, 2007

Walk Your Dog Day

Well, I get 2 or 3 walks every day anyway, but during the week they are mainly around our neighbourhood & I mostly stay on my lead because there are roads & cars.

Weekends we go to exciting new places where there are loats of new smells to sniff, doggies to meet, places to explore & fun to be had!

As Sunday was "Walk Your Dog Day" on Dogs with Blogs, I asked mum & dad if we could go to my favourite walking spot, Nightingale Wood. It's on the Tara's Trails website, but we had managed to find this one on our own a while back.

So, off we set in dad's car, which is now adorned with my lovely Christmas present from Miss Sunshade

There's a handy map at the entrance to the wood, though it's actually very easy to find your way around as it's nicely signposted & with good non-muddy paths. And yes, I did steal that wellie boot to play with!

As soon as we got going mum got that blasted camera out! For pete's sake mum, can't a guy enjoy a nice stick in peace? I'm NOT posing!

As it's still fairly cold & wintry here, there was hardly anyone about. Look how much space there is to run about in!

We did meet a 2 year old Boxer. He was on his lead so dad called me back & put me on mine in case he wasn't friendly. Quite the opposite! He was really cool & just wanted to play. His mum & dad said he just has to stay on his lead as he is naughty & doesn't come back when called. I am working hard recall at the moment so I could sympathise with him. He showed me some of his best boxing moves & we had a whale of a time until the parents said we had to move on.

These woods are really geared up for us doggies, even having a state of the art "Dog Dip". I didn't fancy it today as it didn't look as nice as where I had my swim last weekend. I'm sure it will be good in the summer though.

Mum & dad were wandering along holding hands (yuck!), whereas I just wanted to get on with the walk. Trouble is I'm a bit of a wimp & only go about 50 metres ahead before stopping dead & waiting for them. Added to this they keep hiding when I'm not looking so that I have to go & find them. They say it's to help with my recall training, but I think they're just meanies!

Today there were lots of men running through the wood. Dad said they were doing cross country racing. One man was going ahead & laying this white stuff on the floor in blobs & arrows. Dad explained it was so the men knew where to run. Trouble was I just couldn't resist eating it. Mum panicked at first, but dad promised her it was only flour. I hope no-one got lost because of my impromptu snacks all along the route!

There are 2 routes around the wood, & we did both today as I was having such fun & being such a good boy. What a great mum & dad I have!

We even went off trail & did some stalking through the grass & baby trees. This was the best fun, much better than walking on the paths.

There were lots of smells to trail, and I felt quite at home sniffing about. I didn't find anything to chase though. Maybe they were scared off by mum & dad crunching after me in their wellies!

We were out for AGES & I was totally pooped when we got back in the car. Even my ears look tired!

Oscar x

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Big Adventure

Phew, I had SUCH a busy day yesterday. Mum got me out of bed at 5:45 am! I am normally still snoring when she gets me up at the usual time of 7:15, so I was a little dazed & confused to say the least. After lots of stretching & yawning, mum put my lead on & opened the front door. Guess what was outside? SNOW!!! OK, maybe not a lot, but snow all the same! We walked to the shop to get some milk, but all I could do was prance about & eat the snow. It was so hard to concentrate on walking nicely. I did slide a couple of times, which was a bit embarrassing, but luckily there weren't any people around as it was so early, plus it was still dark.

We went home & mum & dad had a cup of tea, then we all got in the car. Dad had pushed all the snow off it.

We drove & drove for ages. There was lots of snow on the fields that we drove past. Dad was driving fast, so the photo is very blurry!

There was lots to see out of the window. Lots of other cars, lorries, villages, countryside, people, shops, other doggies. We stopped after an hour & a half so we could all go pee pee. Dad went in this big shop while I waited with mum & came out with some food & drinks. Yummy!

I slept for pretty much all the second half of the journey as it was pretty tiring watching the world go by, plus I had missed out on some shut eye this morning. I was strapped in so felt pretty safe & relaxed.

Eventually we stopped at a big tall building & dad got out with his laptop bag. He told me that he was working in Sheffield today, but that I was off to have some fun with mum, so to be a good boy & he would see me later.
Me & mum headed off out of the town centre, & in about 10 minutes we stopped on a quiet street. We went to a house & grandma opened the door! I have met grandma (mum's mum) once when she came to our house, but I have never been to her house before! I had a good sniff round & explored, before mum gave me a big drink & my breakfast (finally!!). I thought I was on starvation again, but mum said she just didn't want me to be car sick, hmm. Grandma is a bit nervous of dogs & somehow I seem to understand that, so I don't jump about near her, but let her pat my head & stroke me.
Her & mum were doing lots of chattering as the hoomans always seem to, so I went to have an explore of grandma's garden. At least I was allowed on the grass here, so a big improvement on my garden already!

There was a little bit of snow left on the ground - well, until I ate it all that is.
It just feels so nice on your tongue, so I couldn't resist chomping away on it.

When I went back inside I found mum & grandma in the living room in front of a big fire. I put my nose near it to see what it was - ouch, it was really hot.
Then I saw a puss cat sitting on the chair. It was really quiet & still. I went & gave it a nose poke but it still didn't swipe me or run off (Flakes' usual tactics), so I lifted it gently down off the chair to have a proper look. Nope, it was definitely not moving. I was a bit worried by now that the kitty was poorly. Yeah, I know I think Flakes is a pain, but I wouldn't want a fellow animal to be ill. Mum explained that the cat was just a very realistic toy cat, which was kind of hard to understand, but I did leave it be & go & eat my marrow bone in front of the fire instead.

So mum, can we swap Flakes for grandma's cat please? This one's much more fun to play with!

Later on dad phoned to say he'd finished work, so we said our goodbyes to grandma & Simon the cat, ate a bit more snow in the garden & drove to pick dad up.
We drove to Rother Valley Country Park. Mum said she used to come here when she was a little girl.

There are some really big lakes, some for wildlife & some for the hoomans to play on. We had a walk around this lake. There were lots of ducks, geese & swans. We couldn't get too close because one of the swans had some fluffy babies, & she was hissing at everyone. Dad explained she was protecting her babies.
It was really cold & started to hailstone which was kind of painful, so we went back to the cafe & had a drink. Water for me, hot chocolate for mum & coffee for dad.

We then drove through the countryside to a village where there was a big castle that had all fallen down

We went to meet mum's bestest friend at this pub. Mum's friend had called the man who owns the pub & he said he was very doggy friendly it was fine to take me in as long as we didn't want to go in the restaurant. What a nice man!

We drove home later in the evening. I don't remember much of the journey as I was so pooped after all the socialising & all the new sights, smells & sounds. Mum & dad said they were really impressed at how well behaved I had been all day, & said it means I can go & visit lots more people, yay!
Oscar x

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pesky Squirrels

I have obviously been doing far too much napping recently, because do you know what I saw this morning?

Evil pesky squirrels in MY garden!! I thought they were supposed to hibernate in winter, but it seems no-one told these guys that.

Whilst I've taken my eye of the ball & been out shopping, having mud baths & playing with my Kong with its' many new tasty fillings, it seems my garden is being invaded. I obviously can't keep watch on MY back garden when I'm out & about, & those sneaky squirrels are obviously more than aware of the fact.

Look, they're eating all the peanuts that mum & dad put out. I'm sure they were supposed to be treats for ME!
And they're on MY grass, in MY mud. If that's not good reason for dad to take the fence down again, then I don't know what is. I need to protect my pawperty from the invaders.

A few well timed barks sent this squirrel scurrying away across the fence tops. For now at least. Seems I'm going to have to keep a much closer eye on things around here.


Oscar x

Monday, January 22, 2007

A Busy Weekend

Hello everyone,

Phew! I've had such a busy weekend. On Saturday dad got me into my car harness, popped me in the car & off we went. We didn't go any of our usual routes for walks or puppy class so I was very intrigued. As I peered out of the window I could see lots of cars, buses, people & buildings.

We parked with lots of other cars & dad put some pennies in a machine. Dad got me out of the car & it was sensory overload. There were loads of people & so many new sights & smells everywhere. Mum explained that her & dad had to do some shopping so they had decided it would do me good to experience the town centre for the first time! It was really exciting. There were loads of pigeons to chase, people to be admired by, bit of food to snaffle off the floor, & best of all we bumped into another Airedale, a 2 year old boy! It was so exciting, and his owners made a real fuss of me & said how handsome I was (I know it already!) with my proper Airedale hair do (their doggie was REALLY wild & wooly).

Later we met an Italian Spinone puppy almost exactly the same age as me! She looked like the picture below and was very eager to play with me, but all the hoomans said that the middle of town on a Saturday morning wasn't the best place, so we just had a little bit of a wrestle while the hoomans nattered! I was well behaved whilst waiting outside shops. I either stayed with mum or dad while the other went in, and lots of people stopped to admire me & ask what kind of dog I was. One person thought my Halti lead was a muzzle, so mum soon put them straight!

Cute Spinone doggy

We stopped at a place called MacDonald's on the way home & dad asked a funny machine for some stuff, them we drove up to a window & picked up some yummy smelling food! I sat really nicely while they muched & my patience was rewarded with a bit of Chicken Nugget. Yummy!

When we got home I was so tired from all the new sights & smells that I slept for the whole afternoon & most of the evening!


Sunday was another beautiful sunny day, though still freezing cold I have to say. Yet again dad put my stoopid car harness on, grabbed my lead & some poopy bags & off we set. We only drove about 10 minutes away then parked up on a country lane. We were off on a 3 mile walk round Stanton Park & the Great Wood.

Mum found the walk on a really cool website called Tara's Trails
It's written by a local doggie & has loads of great walks around our town. Mum says we can try new ones out at the weekends, which is great as I simply adore going out & exploring new places.

As soon as we got going I tried to find the best stick I could for mum & dad to throw & me to chew on - sticks make such a tasty snack don't you think? No? Hmm, maybe just me then. After careful inspection, I decided this one wasn't quite perfect.

The first part of the track was REALLY muddy due to the amount of rain we have had recently. Dad was sinking but mum thought it was more important to take photos of his predicament than help him! Good job mum bought him new wellies this week!

I had such a great time running through the mud, across the fields & in the woods. There was a field with some horses in with some really tasty food that I enjoyed eating (mum: it was horse poop!). We also saw some sheep & some deer, but I was a good boy & ignored them.

There were lots of men sitting by the edge of the lake. Dad said they were fishing. They had buckets with worms in which I was keen to eat, so dad had to put me back on my lead until we got past them. Boring!

I enjoyed watching this water flowing really fast out of the lake. It was quite noisy all crashing down on the rocks.

There were lots of trees that had fallen over because of the gale force winds we had last week, though none were as impressive as Miss Sunshade's big tree that toppled over.

I finally found the perfect stick. I think I look a bit like a martial arts dog with a Kendo stick! I had to leave it behind as it was kind of difficult to navigate through the trees with it!

There were loads of crystal clear streams & ponds in the wood, and dad FINALLY managed to persuade me to take a dip. Brr, it was fr-fr-freezing, but it was actually fun, and I did have a little swim. Mum was really excited, cheering & saying "good boy, good boy". Thank Dog there was no-one nearby as she was embarrasing! I will try it again when the weather is a bit warmer.

This was the result of walking through all that mud & having a dip in the pond. Check out the state of my feet - excellent!

I did fear that mud in that extreme could only lead to one thing & yep, I was right. Dad took his t-shirt off, picked me up (no mean feat as I'm getting pretty big), carried me upstairs & unceremoniously dumped me in the bath. You guys, why did you have to spoil such a good day? I had a wash in the pond & it's only a little bit of dirt for pete's sake!

Hmm, is all that mud really coming from me? OK, maybe I did need a teeny rinse.

When I got out of the bath my "Aire Dry" was interrupted by grandma & grandad coming over, so there was more excitement. I hope they didn't mind getting sprayed with the remains of my bath water as I ran round them like a crazy!
It was still a really good day despite the bath, & yet again I certainly had an excellent snooze later on!
Oscar x

Friday, January 19, 2007

Home Alone

Well folks, I did my first out of crate stint, and you know what? It was actually pretty nice. It's true what mum & dad were trying to tell me - I can have much more fun when I'm not squished up in my crate. I was really good too. No chewing forbidden things, no stealing stuff, no barking (according to our neighbour who mum checked up with, sneaky mum!), no little "accidents", not that mum & dad were expecting any as I have been house trained for AGES. I am liking my bed being under the stairway, it's super cosy in there, and that's where I was when mum got home (though I came trotting to the door pretty fast when I heard the key turn). Mum thinks I did a bit more of a crazy greeting then when I get let out of my crate, but I was just so keen to show her that I had been a well-behaved boy.

I was watching mum fill up my Kong here. I got peanut butter & carrot today, thanks to all your good recommendations on my last post. Yummy!

Mum was determined that I wasn't going to get bored! I had my Kong as just mentioned, my Busy Buddy with a teeny smear of Marmite - I love it, dad loves it, mum hates it (so guess she won't be stealing my Busy Buddy anytime soon), & my Buster Cube with half my breakfast in it. I had wondered where the rest was when I had my brekkie.

Yep, lots of space in the kitchen to play. And a nice bowl of water wth ice cubes, excellent.

Lots of room out here to. I'm keeping an eye out for Fat Flakes, but she's probably busy scoffing her food upstairs.

Which one to choose first, decisions decisions. In the end I plumped for the Kong as the peanut butter smelt soooooooooooooooooo good.

I actually didn't even notice mum & dad had gone out. They left the radio on low which was nice, and by the time I had worked on my Kong & other toys, I was ready for naps with my stuffies. It didn't seem long at all until I heard that key turn in the door.
I think I could get used to this. It seems like a good way to get more food if nothing else!
Oscar x

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Your Suggestions Please

Ever since mum & dad brought me home, I have had my own puppy crate. I like it a lot and have never whined or cried when I have been in it. In fact most nights I take myself off to bed in it when I start to feel sleepy. It's in the living room, in a corner beside one of the sofas & under the stairs, so I feel nice & safe & cosy there.

Now as you can see, it is getting a little bit cramped in there now that I am getting to be a big grown up boy, and mum & dad are starting to worry that I will get bored being in there when they're out or overnight.

They have suggested that I start going in the kitchen & hallway if they're out & overnight. Now I am not too impressed by this idea as it seems a bit scary not being shut up nice & safe in my crate. Yeah, I know I'm a big girlie. I know it makes sense as I will have much more space to stretch out, play, wander around, spy on Fat Flakes, etc, etc, but it still seems a bit, umm, weird.

Mum thinks that here under the stairs would be a good place to put my bed, as it's a cosy space where I can snuggle up, a bit like in my crate. Hmm, I can see what she means, but where's the door?

She says she'll leave me with my new red Kong so that I have something to keep me busy & distracted. I thought I could just chase Fat Flakes around the house, but mum wasn't too keen on that idea. Flakes could certainly use the exercise though, little porker.

Mum bought me this new boredom busting toy in preparation. It's called a "Busy Buddy".

The humans put food or spread stuff in the middle, then screw it up, & I have to work out how to get the food out. It's not that tricky in my opinion, took me about 5 minutes to suss it out, but it's still good fun. Mmm, cheese.

So this is where you guys come in. Mum & dad aren't very inventive when it comes to stuffing my Kong & Busy Buddy. As I am apparently going to be left loose from tomorrow I need some yummy suggestions for fillings for my toys. I am a little sensitive in the tummy department (who said "girlie" again?), so mum would prefer natural, wholesome foods ideally (yawn).

I'm really looking forward to hearing your recipe ideas. If you have any other tips for un-crate training me, leave them on my comments section. I'll let you know how I get on tomorrow!
Oscar x