The life and times of an English Airedale Terrier puppy

Monday, April 30, 2007

Terrier Trio On The Thames

Well, as you will see below, I have been taking my pills like a brave little soldier, so mum said that we could go & meet Ralf & Molly as we had planned earlier in the week before I hurt myself, yay!

As we went to my favourite walking spot last time, it was their turn to choose today & they chose Buscot Weir.

Here is the weir, pretty cool isn't it? Asta could go surfing in there!

This part of the river (Lechlade) is very near the start of the Thames, which you may know as the river that runs through London. There were lots of boats & barges on the water, but I didn't see Simba.

There were quite a few locks along the river as there are different levels of water. At this lock there was a man to help, but mostly you have to get out of your boat & use your own muscle power.

We saw lots of animals as we walked. There were lots of pairs of swans. I kept away from them as dad says they don't really like dogs & could attack if I got too close. He said they can break a man's arm, eeek! They are beautiful & graceful though.

We also saw lots of cows along the river bank. They were enjoying dipping their toes & having a refreshing drink.

As soon as Molly & I were let off our leads we were straight in the water! Well, it was a hot morning & we needed to keep cool.

The water was so refreshing & deliciously smelly.

We made sure that we went in at every available access point, just to make sure we didn't miss a particularly good muddy section of river bank.

We did some water kung-fu workout, kind of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dolphin" stylee.

Do you find you have selective hearing when you're having far too much fun in the water? I blame it on water getting in my ears. Terrible.

We also did plenty of running around like crazies in the fields alongside the river. They were getting full of wild flowers & were really pretty, not that I was taking too much notice as I was far too busy having fun.

I am getting stronger & faster week by week, & even with a bit of a sore paw, Molly was having trouble out running me. She is the younger of her & Ralf (She is nearly 5, Ralf is nearly 6), but she is the dominant one & is used to Ralf giving up quickly when she chases him. Not me though! She has met her match with Oscar, hehehe!

She had to have a few lie downs while we were playing to have a breather. Aren't her ears cute?

Her mum tried to glue it when she was a puppy, but it was determined to stick up. I just think it gives her more pawsonality.

Ralf is such a handsome boy. He's not a big fan of dogs other than his sister but he was loads better with me this week. He only barrel rolled me over once. We had some time off the lead together & I think he is accepting me as part of his pack. Hopefully next time he'll be fine with me. I understand he doesn't want me up in his face.

After some lunch & a drink at a nice country pub, we were all refreshed & ready for the walk back. Molly & I did some serious "bum tuck" running!

We ran one way...

We ran the other way...

We ran until we were sooooo tired. We found a nice spot to have a drink under a big shady tree.

Well, a drink & an extra paddle. The cleaner water was further out, OK mum?

Ralf is a real gent & doesn't like getting dirty & stinky, but he really needed a drink too so he carefully went to the edge.

But he was too near the edge & he slipped in! Luckily for him, mum missed getting it on camera. Ralf was so cross with himself! He was frantically trying to give himself an "Airedry" on all the grass, poor Ralf!

There were some really pretty buildings & bridges along the river.

And mum spotted this lovely old tree. Imagine how many dogs must have left pee mail on that over the years!

Here I am with dad, Molly & her mum & dad. Ralf is hiding round the back somewhere I think.

They were watching the lock keeper open the gates to let a barge & another little boat through so they could carry on up the river.

Look how huge the lock gates are! The water needs to get as high as the tide mark then the water will be at the same level as the river beyond & the gates will open easily.

The people on board just have to be patient & wait. It takes about 10 minutes for the lock to fill. In the summer I can imagine queues of boats can build up.

I got bored of waiting for the water & went to say hello to a Spaniel.

I was soooooooo sleepy on the drive home - I had to prop myself up with my leg to stop me wobbling over as I was nearly asleep standing up! Look, even my ears are all droopy & tired!

I had to have a power nap when I got home as I wanted to be up ready to chat with you guys in the evening! How much fun was the pawty? I had such an excellent time chatting to old friends & making new ones. Sorry to any of you who had Airedale bombardment on Sunday when we were all in there, hehehe!


Oscar x

Friday, April 27, 2007

Poorly Paw & Pawty!

As some of you will know, a major part of my outdoor activities includes trying to catch me a squirrel, or better still a rabbit. I mean, mum calls squirrels tree rats which doesn't sound altogether appetising. But rabbits, mmm...I eat rabbit & I know it's good (sorry Sunshade's Georgie!). I have not however had much luck bagging myself one of those furry friends though. And then I had a cunning plan...maybe I could pose undercover as a rabbit! Surely then I could get close to the cotton-tailed cuties then...yummy!

First I practiced chomping on a carrot. Well if it's good enough for Bugs Bunny it's good enough for me!

Yep, not bad at all. Oh, and if you're wondering why my nose is brown, its because I was erm "helping" dad paint the fence. You know how helpful us Airedales are!

I also tried chomping on some grass as I have heard that rabbits are partial to a bit of the green stuff too. Mmm, how deliciously sweet & tender.

And the final part of my masterplan was to learn to hop!

Hmm, not really. I hurt my paw. I cut it on Wednesday when I was on my walkies. It was bleeding quite a lot. Mum cleaned it up when we got home & could not see anything in it. However yesterday & this morning I was limping a lot & was not my usual perky self. Normally in the mornings I am eager to get up & out on my walk, but the last 2 days I have been quiet & subdued.

I wasn't really fussed about getting up.

I'd rather stay cosied up on the sofa. Any of my Airedale buddies will concur that this is not typical behaviour.

Everything was just too much effort (apart from eating. I'd have to be really sick to lose my appetite!)

So this afternoon we went to the vet. My friend Barney the Red Setter wasn't there today which was a big disappointment as I love seeing him. When we went in Emma the vet had a good look all over. I had also eaten yet another washing up sponge on Wednesday too you see (my 4th!) so she wanted to make sure the lethargy wasn't due to anything being blocked. All seems OK, so I guess mum will have the delight of finding that in my poo sometime soon. Well things started to go downhill after that. She only went & stuck a thermometer where the sun don't shine! Oh my doG, that was a shock. The she looked at my paw. She couldn't see anything in the cut either, but said it was quite infected. I was crying a lot when she was feeling it. When mum read up about Airedales before getting me, a lot of the books warned about Airedales having high pain thresholds & to watch that they weren't being stoic about bad pain. Well, I think I got the wimp gene in my family, because when I hurt everyone knows cos I cry like a baby! After the poking & prodding at my paw, she stuck not one but two needles in the scruff of my neck. Well it was cry me a river time then. I'm embarrassed to tell you how much of a cry baby I was. Emma said I was a total wuss & mum agreed. Thanks for the support there mum, cos we all know how brave you are when you're hurt don't we? Anyhow, Emma gave me some liver treats when she's done & we left on good terms. She said at lest I just act like a big girlie rather than snapping & biting so I think she still loves me. I did feel a bit guilty when we went back into the waiting room & there was an 8 month old Lab waiting to go in. He must have been thinking oh my doG, I do not want to go in there!!!". Sorry black Lab!

I have to take pain killers & antibiotics for the next 3 days,have my foot leaned with warm salty water (that's going to sting isn't it, gulp) and have little exercise. If I am still limping on Monday I have to go back so they can look harder at my cut to see if there is something in there. Please let me not be limping by Monday!

Still, at least if I'm house bound I'm going to have plenty of time to chat to you all at the pawty! Every cloud has a silver lining. Mum's happy too as she gets to drink all the wine as I can't drink with my antibiotics. As long as I get extra cheese that's fine by me.


Oscar x

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pawty, Pawty, Pawty

So, you're all coming to the biggest social event of the year aren't you? That's right ladies & gents, the weekend of the Dogs with Blogs Wine, Cheese & Chat Pawty is almost upon us! See the link below or Miss Sunshade's blog for all the details...well, what are you waiting for? it's going to be so much fun!


I persuaded mum that we really needed to crack open the cheese & wine early to get us in the mood to pawty! She was easily swayed, although she bagged the wine early on as she said she needed to chill out. Something about having an exam this Thursday & her boss being on holiday meaning she's super busy at work, yadda, yadda. You think I have it easy while you're out? Keeping an eye on the local squirrel population, making sure Flakes is OK & that her food is safe to eat by careful taste testing (I wish, it's WELL out of my reach) & hoping the postman posts some treats through the letter box along with the mail can really take its toll you know.

I am so looking forward to chatting to everyone & hopefully making some new friends. Look at my happy little face. I really hope my girl Faya will come along. I think she got a bit worried about me meeting Ruby & Willow at grooming class at the weekend. Faya, you are the one & only girl for me pretty lady! I promise there will be no flirting at the pawty.

Mum was making me wait ages while she took stoopid photos & the smell of those cheese & crackers was getting hard to ignore. Surely eating one teeny cracker would be OK mum?

They smell soooooooo good, but mean mum said I couldn't eat the cracker, just the cheese. Fine by me. I lurve cheese, especially goat's cheese which mum takes to training class as it keeps me nice & focused, hehehe! I saw some doggies have got other treats lined up for the pawty, so I'll demand mum provides me with lots of snacks to keep me going.

Ooh, wonder if I can sneak a bit more while she's not looking?

So, roll on the weekend I say! We are kind of between the dogs in Australia/Asia & the pooches in the US & Canada here in the UK as far as time zones go, so hopefully people will be popping in & out & we'll get to chat to lots of you!


Oscar x

Monday, April 23, 2007


Hey all, hope you all had fun weekends! Mine was pretty good. Dad's girls were here for the weekend so I had plenty of fun playing with them. They have just got a new puppy themselves, a Border Collie called Maisie. Apparently they got their mum to buy Maisie lots of toys the same as mine, yay!

I also realised that my Doggles can double up as safety specs! Not only are they cool, but they're practical too. What more could you ask for?

Now then, you know how scruffy I have been looking of late? Here's a reminder if you need it! Well, on Sunday mum & I went to a stripping class. No, not that kind of stripping! Hair stripping. You see, us Airedales don't really shed apart from when we blow our coat all at once twice a year. We have a double coat - a soft undercoat & a harder, wiry top coat. Left to our own devices, we would end up looking like a big woolly mammoth or a tumbleweed on legs, to quote 2 peoples opinions! Our coat can be clippered, but this can lead to the tan of our coats becoming very pale, & the black jacket turning quite grizzled. It will also mean that our coat is soft rather than wiry. The alternative is to hand strip our coats, whereby the undercoat is removed with a stripping knife or fingers allowing the wiry top coat to grow through. It is fiddly & time consuming, but the result is a much better coat & is it the required grooming method if Airedales are to be shown.

As you know, I have been clippered before, but I was starting to get a lot of white hairs coming through, which mum thought it was a shame as I have a very good coat otherwise. She decided to give the stripping class run by our local Airedale club a try. She had been told that Ruth, the lady who runs the class & the other members who go to class were all really friendly & helpful & thought that it would be a nice afternoon out if nothing else.

When we arrived, another car had just pulled up too. It was a 7 month old girlie called Ruby with her mum & dad. As we were a bit early, we went onto the field for a play. She was GREAT at bitey face game, & we played with my aire Kong on a rope, both running round with it in our mouths. Mum had left her camera in the car, so no photos of her, but hopefully if we go next month I'll meet her again.

There were some boys there too. Some of them such as Rupert were at the show in Hewish that we went to back in February. This time we could play outside properly like adolescent boys should. It was fun, but because most of the other guys are show dogs, they still have all their boy bits & they were all obsessed with trying to hump me! I got my revenge with some Kung-fu moves though.

You can see what I mean here. At one point I had 3 of them trying to mount me. All mum was doing was laughing. Thanks mum. Luckily I'm a good natured boy or they could have got big ticking off from me.

Anyway, once we had had a play it was down to business. There seemed to be lots of hiding under things going on. This old guy wasn't interested in playing with us pups, so he decided to hide under his grooming table.

And look who was hiding under the chairs! She's called Willow & is just 12 weeks old! She was so sweet, I kept going over to give her little licks on the head. Mum was so impressed at how gentle I was with her. Please can I have one mum? I would so love a little sis like her! She went to the class last month when she was just 8 weeks old, & she behaved like a pro on the table this time. Way to go Willow.

Here's my friend Ralf & his mum. Doesn't he look a bit like he's being hung, hehehe! Remember I met Ralf & Molly the other weekend for a romp in the woods? We are going to meet up again this coming weekend, yay! I think we're going somewhere with lots of water, so me & Molly are going to have such fun splashing about together.

And here I am on the table. Mum was shown what to do & she worked on the top of my back & shoulders. After the initial shock of having my hair ripped out, I was pretty well behaved. Only joking, it really doesn't hurt. Ruth, who runs the class said I was a big wimp though as when she started doing my face I was whimpering loads. This eeevil (mum: extremely nice) man Phil held me as Ruth was scared she was going to poke me in the eye with the stripping knife. She told mum it was her fault not mine that I wriggled as she should have got me more used to it at an earlier age. See, I'm perfect mum, it's you that's BAD!

Mum didn't take many photos of me at class as she was too busy balding me. You should see how much hair came off the little section of me that was worked on! Ruth said it was a perfect time to start stripping me as my hair was good & loose. Mum learned lots & we will have a little go each night until my body is done. When we go back next month, Ruth will help with my ears & muzzle & blending my body into my legs.

You can't tell too well from this photo, but the hair on the top of my saddle & going down my front shoulders is a lot thinner. A lot of the dead hair has gone & new hair will start growing in very quickly.

This is the eye & side of my face that Ruth did. I can see again! It looks so much tidier. I still have my Airedale eyebrow, but it is much better shaped. She left the other side for mum to do now that she has the one good side to work from, so I'm a little lop-sided at the moment, but we are going to work on it today. I was so pooped by the time we got home last night that I could only flop.

My profile is starting to look more like the "wedge" that it is supposed to rather than a big fuzzy mess.

There's still a lot to do, so something tells me I'm not going to get much peace this weekend. As long as I get plenty of treats while we work I should be OK though.


Oscar x

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Hey, hey, hey, check me out! The sun's still out & I'm looking super cool in my new Doggles even if I do say so myself! What do you think laydees?

I can't wait to go out in the car with my head out of the window, ears wiggling in the breeze. I'll be stopping traffic, hehehe! Yeah, I know I've got them on a bit wonky, but my eyebrows kept getting in the way!

I think this is going to be my "Don't you know I'm famous?" haughty look.

Mum told me it's cool to wear your shades on top of your head so I tried that out too. I think I still look pretty good. Once I've had my hair done tomorrow I should look even smarter, then the furry catterpillars won't be so annoying!

In other news, remember mum planted some new stuff in the garden the other weekend? Well, this is what the Hebe's looked like then:

And this is what they look like now...Oops. I know I'm naughty, but they are so easy to lift out with your teeth & run around the garden (& once time the house) shaking them about & spraying compost everywhere. I don't think I'll be taking them in the house again as I did get yelled at by mum, as we were about to go out & she had to sweep up!

I realised that Doggles are not such a good look in the house. Hey, is this me or is it Stevie Wonder?

Finally, I don't think I showed you my latest certificate. This is from the Saturday course I took last month. It's up on the wall with my other rosettes & certificates now.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!


Oscar x