September is my favourite month for many, many reasons.
The end of September always makes me a little sad but but I am always looking forward very much to the next one.
It is filled with lovely things for us:-
It is the month we take our main annual holiday
It is the month of Burghley Horse Trials
It is the month of harvest
It is the month of Sandringham Game Fair
It is a month when we do most of our walking
It is the month when the best fungi appear.
It is the month of Food Festivals across the country. Ludlow being our favourite.
It is the month for Bramble picking & making Jam.
It is the month of Indian Summers when the heat has left the sun but the cold months are not showing themselves yet.
It is the month we got our hound and collected him when he was just 8 weeks old.
And it is the month we got married
JC bought a Go Pro Hero 3 + black edition in August 2014 and has been playing with it and buying bits for it ever since. He is officially in love with this little bit of tech heaven and now our friend’s daughter has one (from Santa) so they can be geeks together.
Geek aside, it is rather sweet to watch them getting over excited about a tiny box of tricks. There are a good few decades separating them.
Anyway, in the interest of Go Pro advancement in our household, our terrier Max has been persecuted with a cumbersome harness and a little camera recording his every move on some of our weekend walks.
To be fair, Max is completely ok with all of this and just takes it in his stride.
I think the harness is designed for a larger dog and some adaptions will be needed to the straps but they get by and Max seems unaffected by it. On occasion, he does try to bury into a straw stack or some undergrowth and can’t quite seems to understand why his progress is limited.
JC doesn’t have much footage that he has chosen to keep yet but he is persevering and we have some half decent stills so far.
Watch this space, our little Go Pro mule might offer some interesting images to show you yet!
It’s safe to say that Max does not like the water.
He’s spent an extraordinary amount of time getting wet with weekly baths to sort out his skin problem so I can understand the aversion to it.
But even before the allergy started, he wasn’t the first into the sea or any body of water that you’d throw a stick into.
He might venture into the shallows to retrieve a treat but we have lost a lot of balls and toys on the beaches of norfolk because he just won’t go in to get them if a swim or deep water of any kind is required.
Add a bit of competition though and that is a completely different matter as we found out recently.
We have my sis’s JRT, Hamlet with us for a while again and we took Max for a walk with him to a pond nearby and as soon as there was a chance that Hamlet might beat him to the retrieve, he was right in there.
Swimming no less!!! (well, it actually looked a lot like drowning a lot of the time to be fair).
It was such a lovely evening that we stayed for ages, wearing out the boys and enjoying the sun set.
It feels like an age since we were on the beach with Max and his little blue ball and this warm weather really makes you want to be somewhere with a cool breeze and easy access to the water.
This heat is very hard on dogs and owners are frighteningly careless with their 4 legged friend’s wellbeing at this time of year.
There are too many tales of windscreens having to be smashed to relieve a distressed and possibly dying dog in a hot car. Too many feet injuries from hot tarmac and surfaces that we protect ourselves against with shoes.
We’re pretty diligent and since Max now has fur (long story), he feels the heat much more than before. He didn’t have a high rate of tolerance for it at the best of times and has been to drag along on his late afternoon/early evening second walk when it is warm and humid.
He is a terrier however and he isn’t beyond baking himself on the decking before retreating to the shade panting like a steam train but he’s able to control that.
It is easy for a little dog to forget about cooling off when he is tanking around enjoying ourself when it is hot. And I think it is easy for owners to forget too.
The beach offers the chance to cool off in the water and as long as there is fresh water to drink (the effects of drinking sea water are pretty unpleasant, rapid and can be quite dramatic), it’s the best place to be in the sunshine.
Even so, JC found a novel way to cool Max right down. He was buried up to his neck in cool damp sand while we were taking a well earned rest and a bit of a snooze over the papers.
He loved it and stayed there for ages. He even managed 40 winks at one point.
We have been enjoying the Kate Humble and Steve Leonard ‘The Wonder of Dogs’ programme on BBC2 Thursday nights which explores all the amazing things that a lot of us don’t know about our best friends.
Sadly it is now finished but it covered the science of breeding, intelligence, breed traits, how humans have ‘used’ dogs in history as well as how we have welcomed them into our homes.
It is done in hand with an open university course so it is scientific in it’s approach but it is executed with a huge sense of fun. If you have the slightest interest in dogs or our relationship with them, you will find it fascinating and it can’t do dog reputation any harm after some of the horrendous and tragic articles in the news about dogs lately.
We have taken quite a lot of stick from friends and family about the parentage of our JRT Max who was supposed to be 10″ long (the last coat we bout him was 20″ long). He displays traits that you’d find in other breeds and not JRTs (he points – sort of ha ha). He isn’t mad and yappy like a lot of terriers and he isn’t very terrier like in many other ways.
Fox Hound, Dalmation, labrador, beagle are to name but a few of the breeds that people have wondered what he really might be. Pretty much anything other than a Jack Russell!!
We did everything right when we got him, we met the parents, went to the home where he was born and all of the things that the sellers told us about the others that they had from the same parents was pretty true.
He is a great family dog, he loves kids and he does look like his mum and his dad.
Clearly there is something else going on somewhere though and the breed traits and DNA tests that were covered in the programme a couple of weeks ago got us thinking.
So JC sent for a home doggy DNA kit (is there ANYTHING that Amazon don’t sell?) and the results were emailed through to us this week.
So!! To all those doubters…….
He is in fact very much a Jack Russell Terrier but he also has a bit of Fox Terrier in him from grandparents and from his great grandparents there is…………………..
I hate mess and things that are untidy need to be out of the way; behind a door or drawer front of some sort if remotely possible.
I love a well ordered, easy to manage spaces
These spaces in other peoples homes are inspiring and I’m very envious.
We have an odd shaped area off our lincolnshire kitchen which was used as a dining space by the previous owners.
It’s narrow and really doesn’t lend itself to anything other than somewhere to dump stuff. It houses the hoover, dishwasher, washing machine, ironing and has become somewhere to hang coats so it has become our Utility/Boot Room.
It is far from perfect but does a sterling job in providing hanging space for a rather large collection of green coats and long boots. It needs a few things adding such as a clothes dolly so we can dry the washing without calling on the radiators or having a clothes horse standing in the way somewhere on those wet days when it will be wetter if it was hung outside.
We have a clothes dolly; it is stored in the garage but that is as far as it has got so far.
The space also needs blocking off with a bit or wall and a dipped pine door (that we also have stored in our garage). The opening is already partly closed off and begs to be finished.
We have made some progress though……
It now boasts a worktop where there had previously been none.
It has transformed the space. It provides a valuable and incredibly useful surface for dumping things on such as the dog’s towels, shopping basket, dog leads, binoculars, cameras, wallets, keys and all those other things that we need handy pretty much all of the time.
I think the dogs feel safer having their beds underneath something when they have a sleep to so I think they like the change.
It has worked well so far and I can’t wait for the door and wall to be done so we can close it off from our coats smelling of our last meal and we won’t have to look at all the mess anymore. Just as it should be!!
There’s a man in the village who I have all my hopes pinned on!
We had a wonderful weekend away with friends last weekend. Their luscious long legged lady, Agnes came with them.
She and Max officially love each other to bits.
It is very sweet to watch them and they never seem to tire of the endless entertainment that is to be had from play.
They conk out every now and again but the spells of rest are short lived and they are off with their playfulness once more.
The expressions are hilarious and even though there are teeth on show during the whole game, there are moment when they really look like they are having a bit of a kiss and a cuddle.
It is exhausting to watch but completely engrossing.
Their physical closeness and joy that they find in each other is very sweet. If they were human, you’d tell them to get a room! It is intimate and physically close and there is nothing but play and fun in that closeness. Highly recommended I’d say!!
It is also an exercise in outwitting your opponent and moving just that bit quicker than them.
Other times they look like they are just whispering the very best secret ever to one another.
There is nibbling, fake biting and getting as much of your opponents actual head into your mouth as possible
Tantalising and incredibly funny to watch.
There was a LOT of sleeping on Monday with no more playful distractions.