The life and times of an English Airedale Terrier puppy

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Me & My Stick

When I posted the other day about the spring flowers & blossoms around my neighbourhood, I told you about my special sticky that I keep hidden in the undergrowth. Now I know some of you might have been a bit dubious about this, so mum decided to video me out on my walks the last couple of days so you can see for yourselves.

I am very good at walking along to heel with mum or dad unless I need to go to pee pee or poop, but I know the exact spot where my sticky is hidden & as we approach I have to drag whoever's walking me over to my hiding spot so I can have a little chew-chew.

This was my walk yesterday afternoon.

And this was my walk this morning. Don't laugh at my inside out ear - it was windy, OK?

As you can see, I make myself nice & comfy so I can have a good old chew.

I don't know what I am going to do when sticky is all gone, or if - doG forbid, some other pooch pinches it. It will be a sad, sad day.

Oscar x

Monday, February 26, 2007

It's Showtime!

I had the most exciting day yesterday. I wasn't too impressed when it started out though, as mum got me out of bed at 7am! Sunday is normally lie-in day around here. Dad was working so mum dropped him off, then we went out for walkies. I met 2 really fluffy chow dogs. When we got home mum opened the stair gate which only ever means one thing...bath time. Noooooooooooooooo. I actually wasn't very dirty, so it was only a quick splash about luckily. When mum had dried me off with the towel, I could see she was thinking about something. She disappeared off into her bedroom & came back with a machine. She turned it on & hot wind was blowing at me. I think mum thought I was going to be scared of it, but I LOVED it! It felt so nice & it was fun opening my mouth wide & trying to eat the wind. Mum found that pretty hysterical, weird hoomans.

Anyway, once I was all groomed, mum put my harness on & we got in the car. We drove down a big motorway where lots of cars were zooming past. After about an hour we arrived at a hall a bit like where I go to Puppy Class. I could hear dogs barking. I suddenly remembered that mum told me a while ago that we had entered my Airedale Club's show in the Companion dog classes. Well, she natters on about so much stuff that I can only remember so much of it!

The dogs were first to be judged. This is my brother on the right of the photo. He's not my litter mate, but has the same parents as me. I think his pet name is Arthur. 2 of my actual litter mates were here as well. They are called Dylan & Bertie. I didn't manage to get my photo taken with them, but their dad said he has some nice photos of us together from when I went back to the breeders after my original owner took me back, so they are going to e-mail them to mum. They are both going to Crufts, so keep your paws crossed for them.

After all the dog classes, it was time for the Companion classes. Here the judge is deciding the 1st - 3rd placings for best puppy under 18 months. That's me & mum in the centre. We got 2nd place! I was trying my best to behave even though the others wanted to play.

The judge looked me all over, felt my body, looked at how I stood & moved & even checked my teeth. I was a really good boy & stood nice & calm, so mum was very proud of me.

We also entered "Best Movement". We got a Reserve in this. The judge spoke to mum afterwards & said that although I moved the best on the lead (leash), I didn't have the correct gait in my back legs (I carried them close together), so she had to mark me down. The dog that won was dragging his owner round the ring! Mum said she would rather I walked nicely to heel than anything!

I also got a 2nd placing for "Most Handsome Dog". Mum was so proud of me for performing so well & being so well behaved. I got LOADS of liver treats when we had finished! I loved being the centre of attention & strutting my stuff!

This is my dad, Patrick. He is lovely. He is really strong & solid, so I hope I grow up to be like him as I am quite gangly & skinny at the moment.

This is Rupert. He was a really noisy boy & barked almost the whole day. He was desperate to hump my, so I was giving him the cold shoulder, which was just making him bark even more, oops!

This little guy was 6 months old. His name is Archie. He was still really fuzzy like I used to be, & was really playful.

This big guy is Dennis. He is 6 years old. He was really gentle, & really seemed to like me as I am very calm for a puppy. He kept licking my ears which was sooooo tickly!

Meeting all these other Airedales was a perfect chance to swap stories & tips. Here we are discussing ways to score more food & treats from the hoomans. As Dennis has 6 years on the clock, he was a great fountain of knowledge & information.

I passed on a few tips myself to my younger Airedale brethren. Seems like he's listening hard to my tips on getting the hoomans to play tuggie & ball with you for hours on end.

There were Airedale's of all shapes, ages & sizes there. Lots were show dogs, but there were lots like me who are pets too. Mum says everyone was really friendly & happy to swap tips & chat about us Airedales. Mum got a few people's email addresses so hopefully we can meet up with them again soon.

After lunch it was time for the girls to be judges, apart from they called them bitches. They were all so pretty. I really liked this girl, she had such pretty eyes that she almost looked like she had eye make up on.

Here are some of the girls comparing beauty secrets.

This little madame was only 6 months & 3 days old, but she clearly already had flirting down to a fine art, poking her cutie butt right at me!

Here are some of the pretty puppy ladies getting judged. They were all so petite. See how nice they all stand. I guess that's how wide apart I'm supposed to hold my back legs, hmmm.

This is my breeder's girl. She is not related to me though. She is a beautiful Airegirl & is groomed to absolute perfection. I think she is called Annie.

Here I am with my breeders. It was so nice to see them again. I remembered David on the left very well & leapt up at him giving him lots of kisses. Mum told me off for jumping up as I don't usually do it, but I was just so excited!

I had such a great day, but I was seriously pooped when we left. I slept like a log the whole way home in the car, then for another 3 hours when we got home.

Mum eventually managed to wake me up to have some dinner & then took some photos of me with my rosettes. See how pretty they are. Shortly after this photo I managed to get my teeth into one of them, but it wasn't all that tasty.

I also got certificates, so they can go with my obedience awards. Mum got some little envelopes with money in, so I have requested some tasty treats & maybe a new toy. I think I more than earned that!

Not a bad haul for a morning out!

I finished off the day with a nice rawhide bone, yummy! What a perfect end to a really fun day.

Oscar x

Friday, February 23, 2007

Spring Is In The Aire

I am feeling full of the joys of Spring today, so this was my reaction when mum suggested an afternoon stroll. I just love my walkies, I could be out all day every day & still want more I reckon.

This is my most special stick. I keep it in the bushes here safely hidden & every walkies I go & have a bit of a nibble on it. Mum finds it hilarious for some reason. If any other doggies ever find it I'm going to be so upset. All the catkins are out on the tree now, so mum says Spring is definitely on the way.

There are lots of daisies coming through in the grass. They are very pretty, so I'll have to be careful not to pee pee or poop on them.

There are quite a few dandelions too. Mum says they make you go pee pee lots if you eat them, that could be amusing!

Mum has been teaching me the names of all the plants & flowers, but she's not certain what this one is, maybe some kind of buttercup? In any case, it's very pretty.

I really like these ones. They are called snowdrops, I guess because they're white! I wish there was still real snow, but I suppose these will have to do.

There are lots of daffodils coming out too. At first there were just lots of green shoots, but now the flowers are opening. Mmm, smells lovely.

The bushes where I hide my stick have these little blossoms on them, very sweet.

Quite often I see squirrels in this tree, but today there's just lots of beautiful blossom.

Phew, all that fresh air & nature watching can really take it out of you, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Oscar x

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Puppy School Graduate

First things first (when would first things ever be second though?), I have to say thank you to Fufu for my lovely Chinese New Year card & Valentine's heart. I have to confess I did chew the loveheart notelet a bit (love nibbles), but I love them both, thank you!

Last night was Puppy Class night, so off me & mum trotted as usual, while dad stayed home & cooked the dinner. I love going so much & I'm always really impatient & twitchy on Wednesday evenings until mum finally puts my harness on & lets me into the car. As soon as we arrive & pull up into the car park I am always desperate to get out & go to see my friends & the trainers.

Last night after we'd all said hello to each other & had a bit of a play, we did a lot of our usual exercises; sit, down, recalls, sit-stays, down-stays, waits, & walking nicely past the other doggies (that means no bottom sniffing or trying to play, sooooooo hard). We normally do 30 minutes of group work, then spend 15 minutes working on our own on the exercises on our progress sheets for our awards, get tested on our skills & have them signed off by the trainers, & the hoomans have chance to talk to the trainers about any naughty things we're doing (who, moi?). Well last night Tracey, the lady who runs the club, came to talk to mum & asked if she would like to start bringing me to the "Big Boy" class from next week as she didn't think the "Puppy" class was challenging me any more. Mum was really pleased & was more than happy to agree. I was like "Whoa, hold your horses there Missy!". I mean, all my friends are in this class, plus what if we don't get treats in the Big Boy class? Mum promised that I'd definitely stil get treats & pointed out that I do make new friends very easily. Yes, I suppose I am super sociable, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue. Plus, I'll still get to see my old mates as they come out of their class & I'm waiting to go in to mine At 8 months, it seems like I'll be the baby of the class by quite a long way though, so I hope they cut me a little slack.
These are the secret of my success!

I've finished my Silver Award now. To gain it I had to:

Sit - Dog to sit in front & at each side of the handler & stay until told to move

Down - Do to go into a down position in front & at each side of handler & stay in that position until told to move

Walk on a loose lead - Dog to walk in a controlled manner in a circle & a figure of eight pattern

Come when called - Dog to come back to handler on command ignoring any distractions & have a lead attached

Leave it - Dog to walk past & around other dogs in a controlled manner

Calmness - Dog to wait patiently whilst owner has a conversation with another person

Fetch - Handler to throw an article. The dog must pick up the article, bring it back & allow the handler to take it from them

Car - Dog to enter & leave a car in a controlled manner

I've had a look at what I have to do for the Gold Award - yikes! I'm going to need a lots of practice & a LOT of treats!

I guess I'm getting to be a grown up puppy dog!

Oscar x

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pancakes, Yum!

Thanks for all your support for my FIDO nomination!

Mmm, pancakes - delicious!

So last night mum made pancakes as it was Shrove Tuesday. Traditionally, it was the day when Christians used up all the store-cupboard food before the abstinence of Lent began. So that means pancakes. How can flour, milk & egg taste so scrummy?

Mum mixed up the ingredients & heated up the pan. When the oil was hot she poured in some of the batter and swirled it around the pan. When it bubbled she flipped it over. I was really hoping it was going to flip right out of the pan & into my mouth, but alas, it landed in the pan the other way up, boo.

Mum said her & dad were having the traditional sugar & lemon juice with their pancakes, but that sounded rather boring to me, so I requested banana & cream cheese with mine, much more tasty I think you'll agree. Mum chopped it up into gulp-sized pieces, and mixed it up with the philly cheese & banana chunks.

I hoovered it up in an instant. Mum says she doesn't think I even tasted it, but she is soooooo wrong, it was fantastic!

I'm sure there was some more batter left in the jug somewhere up there.

Please mum, can I have some more?

Oscar x

Monday, February 19, 2007

Poodle Pals

Firstly, I am so excited that I have been nominated for a "Cutest Video" FIDO award at Dogs with Blogs! It's for my "Snow Bunny" video. There are lots of great categories to vote for, so head on over & take a look. If you like my video, vote Oscar for an Oscar, erm I mean a FIDO!


I know I have mentioned my Poodle friends to you all before on my Blog. Their mum is Aunty Kim who did my grooming last weekend.

Now although I like all the Poodles a lot, Paddy, who is 2 weeks older than me, has always been a bit scared of me. It's probably nothing to do with the fact that I rugby tackled him to the floor & held him there the first time we met, right? Hmm...anyway, Paddy has always barked at me lots, bared his teeth & run to his mum or his Poodle brother or sister for back up whenever I've been around him. Mum & Aunty Kim were upset about this as they are really good friends & thought it was a shame that we are so close in age, live so near each other, yet didn't get on.

Well, Aunty Kim has been bringing Paddy to the same puppy class as me for a month or so now, so he has got used to seeing me there. When I went to get groomed last week, Paddy didn't do any barking at me, so mum & Aunty Kim decided to let us have a play date to see how we got on. They thought now that Paddy's more used to seeing me he might be calmer, and also now that I've lost my *ahem* " boy bits", he might see me as less of a threat.

So, initial contact was made. See what a big boy he is! I look a bit wary as he has a loud bark when he gets going.

So far so good. Paddy lines up for a good old butt sniff.

There's a Poodle on my bottom!

I decide to go in for a reciprocal sniff, but my timing really sucked! Pee pee alert!!

We had a play with the Kong, but neither of us was that interested as there was no food in it, boring.

I gave Paddy some tips on helping his mum & dad prune the garden shrubs.

When we were all played out we went to see what the others were doing. This is Daisy, Paddy's big sister. She is 7 years old. This is what she does 95% of the time, she's a proper lady of leisure. My dad loves Daisy a lot.

This is Jamie. He's a miniature Poodle & he's 15 years old. He has no time whatsoever for puppies, so I leave him to it, as for a little guy, he has a pretty mean growl. His eyes are all cloudy, but apart from that he's in pretty good shape for an old timer.

As Daisy & Jamie were being boring & snoozing, & the hoomans were all nattering, Paddy & I continued playing with a round of "bitey face game". Check out my gnashers!

A rare pause in play, and mum gets us to pose nicely. It's blurry as she turned the flash off to prevent "devil dog" eyes.

I was soooooooo tired by the end of the afternoon, but Paddy looks like he's got lots more play in him. Go Paddy!

I am so glad that Paddy has realised that I'm not a scary Airedale Terror, and I reckon we're going to have some great fun together!

Oscar x