Sunday, 23 October 2011

Letter from Darcy & family

Hi Paul and Sarah,

I thought you might be interested to know how I am getting on in my new family home in Hampshire.  I have been here for 4 weeks now and my how the time has flown. I think Phil and Jackie would say I settled down very quickly and I have been on my best behaviour except for the odd shoe or slipper that I have taken a fancy to. I can still see them but they seem to be very high up!

I loved my warm and comfy crate from the beginning and I sleep so well there, even sneak off sometimes for a bit of peace and quiet. I have lots of toys and just love to play, especially with my ball and all my chewy things. Phil and Jackie play quite well and think its so funny when I race around the garden at top speed. I am being very inquisitive - there so many things that take my fancy - dogs, cats, squirrels and birds oh and falling leaves.

I love to go socialising and training with lots of other puppies and Phil and Jackie would agree that I knock spots off them and generally I am doing very well. I've made loads of friends and they all love me, but I am so adorable and turn on the charm for everyone. The children come quite often and want to be my playmates, but Jackie makes sure I am calm around them as they can be a bit scary! 

Meal times are great and interesting sometimes in my bowl or kong, which I love and sometimes around the garden, but I am clever enough to find it and never leave a scrap. All in all life is pretty good and certainly interesting and I think Phil and Jackie would agree.

Thank you for finding me a lovely new home.


Pictures to follow

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Letter from Laurel & family

I thought I would update all those interested on the summer that has just gone. Laurel and the family have been on our travels unfortunately it has coincided with a rapid increase in the pain from Arthritis in my knee which has slowed me down a fair bit and meant we have not been to walk the dogs at Wiccs as much as I would have liked but I won't lie and my focus has been on Laurel as he's my buddy and makes me happy.

It's been a great year with him and we have been off travelling the UK, the year started badly with a big bout of depression (long term sufferer) knocking me for six but Loz was there for me, he forced me through it by motivating me to get out and about although sometimes in a daze. This was great and we did a lot of exploring locally (Northampton) and found some wonderful quiet little spots to let our hair down.

Then we visited the New Forest for the first time, what a place stunning for dog walking and as it was March not too busy and a lovely hotel that accepts dogs, after discovering the New Forest well we were to be there as often as we could, Easter we camped, July August we caravanned and late August we camped again. We just loved the walks and just the whol;e atmosphere (not too remote/ not too busy).

The walks were fantastic and Laurel loves water so he was happy in the sea in the morning and the rivers/ponds in the afternoon.

Another trip camping to Leicester and another wonderful night, Laurel becoming a big camping fan now that he has worked out that we are actually in something and not in the middle of a field as he did the first time when bouncing off the tent walls.

Then a trip down to Bath for another camping weekend and more water and walks, lovely camp site, plenty round about to see and do.

A stay in Weymouth with my parents allowed Laurel more time at the seaside.

Finally we have just got back from a hotel in the Cotswolds where again Laurel found a lovely stream to splash along  in the lovely village of Lower Slaughter.

So all in all a very busy summer (skint now) Laurel has been wonderful throughout, he's a very independent dog but does like to know where his flock is and keep us in order, if we are lucky we get a nice lean but if we step out of line he does get all upset and gruffy.

With the two kids finishing school and sixth form early it did mean that Laurel had a summer of company so he was not best pleased when the kids went off to college and university, fortunately they are both local so he's not alone for long and with my wife working on the estate he is only alone for a few hours at max but a Kong soon see's him happy when we leave and to be honest he doesn't notice whilst he is distracted. Like his owners he loves his food but is very polite with it although strange noises emminate from his throat out of a love of the food.

He has managed to stay well apart from one brief injury which typically occurred on the change over day of insurance so immediately we changed back to M&S just in case although that was £30 a month more than the new company (thanks Laurel).

Laurel has now settled with other dogs and actively seeks them out when he can, fortunately over the summer he really has improved his recall skills well I say recall I mean focus, he still has the occasional selective hearing when he is desperate to go seek another dog but as long as the dog is quiet we can sneak past sometimes without him knowing.

We are all still amazed at how he copes and it really is fascinating to watch him deal with things, to watch him map out a new place in a couple of minutes is stunning and how he copes with small bridges etc is just fantastic. People are always amazed at how he copes and watches with his ears, the amount of people that are shocked when we explain that he is blind is staggering, the only reason they ask is becuase of that infamous blue sheen across hs eyes, certainly nothing about his behaviour gives his disability away.

He is a natural at running by the side of the bike when  we go for a ride, not once have we had a problem with him running into the bike, I swear someone has already trained him on that as he stays the same distance away all the way (apart from stopping to sniff).

He has mastered catch with his rope and a few other toys and knows the rooms around the house by voice, which helps when he can't find a specific toy as we can tell him what room to go and look in.

Real credit goes to my daughter, Becky who has spent a lot of time with him this summer and has really helped him settle and learn things.

We have picked up a few tricks to try and stop this nipping of visitirs when they come round some of the information Paul shared with us on the Knowing Your Collie course has really helped us understand why Loz is behaving like he is  at times, for instance NEVER all stand up at the same time, panic sets in that his flock is out of control and that we need calming down, that's when the barking and nipping starts.

All in all what a wonderful summer and what a wonderful dog he is, he is doing really well and we are so pleased we got over our shallow humand view about his blindness and adopted him, he might not be the loving dog that people dream of and is mister independent but he gives you a stand up cuddle when invited and is my best friend.

All he asks for is routine, a river to swim in a good walk and most importantly food on time. It's such a great sight to see when he walks himself home 40 yards from home, past three houses and straight down the path past the cars and if it's morning his breakfast better be ready :-)

Thanks all for listening I hope it was of interest and really demonstrates to us the value of Wiccs, what would have happened to him 15 years ago I hate to think,


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Letter from Chip 'Chipolata-Trouble-Starter' (now Jasper) & family

Hi Paul, Sarah and Julia

Jasper says a big hello to you all, and hopes you are all well.

Well it has been two and a half weeks since we have had Jasper, and every day brings something new.

Last night he had his first cup of tea from Chris, this is something he always used to do with Tessi and Chris has been trying Jasper but he has been scared of the mug.  Last night he actually tried it and loved it.  Chris wasn’t expecting him to drink so he offered him a full mug, wrong move on Chris’ part as Jasper drank the whole mug.  Later on he tried a bit of Chris’ fresh orange juice too.

I have a poorly knee at the moment which meant I couldn’t get back to sleep this morning when Chris went to work at 4.00 a.m.  Tedi took his usual place in bed, on his back, feet in air and I called Jasper (who has now claimed the bottom of the bed) and he wriggled up the bed like a worm, squashed between Tedi and me, put his head on Tedi’s belly and we all had a big cuddle.

Jasper is now loving cuddles and belly rubs, up until Monday you could only stroke him if he came to you, now we can go up to him and he loves the cuddles.  We have yet to have licks and kisses, or hear him bark but am looking forward to those things happening.

Jasper late last week decided he didn’t like the look of our sofas whilst we were at work, and promptly shredded them!!!  Chris came home to a winter wonderland in the living room, with sofa stuffing resembling snow!!!!  Luckily we are insured.  Tedi and Jasper now stay in the kitchen and hall when we are at work, firstly with Tessi’s fabric cushion (now with holes in and stuffing out but mendable) and now with hard plastic beds and vet bedding in them so it is nice and warm.  Plus tons of toys and chews.

Jasper is coming on outside as well.  On our walk last night he saw bikes, but these are no longer bicyle monsters but just things to be weary of.  All in all good progress all around.  I have lost a little bit of weight with all the extra walks and Tedi is firming up too.

I am taking lots of photos and when I get them developed will send you some.

Rest assured we are looking after him, and we adore him, as does Tedi.  We are off to the seaside this weekend with a very very very long lead so he can run on the beach.

Hope all the Wicceways dogs are doing well.

Take care

Margaret, Chris, Tedi and Jasper (always Chip to you all)