Thursday, May 30, 2013
Twinkle is doing ok for the most part. Less accidents in the house, and more garden business. She loves the area of the garden where we have put bark chippings, and is using it for her toileting. Accidents in the house have been few and far between the last couple of days, and the positive reinforcement is definitely working to my mind. Though I did not know whether to laugh or strangle her a couple of hours ago. I was steam-cleaning the carpet to get rid of the doggy smell, Twinkle came up, sniffed where I'd just cleaned, and deposited a nice fresh wee to re-stink the area!
I consulted with a friend of a friend who heads a dog rescue in Cornwall, and she not only condemned the Wagtails boss for her advice to use a dog crate as a punishment, but also gave me some excellent advice on how to help Twinks through this blip.
I took great delight in texting Corinne and telling her that Twink was accident-free the night before last, thanks to POSITIVE reinforcement, NOT punishment! Would have spoken to her in person, but the woman never answers her phone!
I have put Twinks back on Bakers dog food. It is what she was being fed when she arrived, but some people consider Bakers to be really bad, so when Corinne insisted I switch to James Wellbeloved and Chappie I did it, even though Sophie ate Bakers for ten years and was fine on it. Thing is, I think that was when Twinkle's fussy eating and dreadful stomach noises started. She has been back on Bakers for three days, and her tummy and eating is back to normal, and she shows no signs of the health issues some people claim Bakers causes! I'm thinking that sticking with Bakers would be best for her, but I will chat to the vets and see if I can get any samples of other food to see if she likes them. I can't afford to spend lots of money on food she may not get on with.
The garden is getting there, but it is very stop/start now that we are nearing the end, which is getting very frustrating. Joe is trying to juggle several different jobs at once, plus he went down with man-flu last week that didn't help, and right now I am sitting here with a small amount of paving still to finish, a half-completed potting shed roof, no potting bench, and half-filled raised veg beds. *sigh*
As for the planting, nothing doing at all as yet. But I have treated myself to two plants: A beautiful red-leaved Acer (Japanese Maple), and an Olive Tree. (Remember the Greek Myth about the naming of Athens?)
Had to have one of those in my garden! In fact, I couldn't believe that it was sitting there in Waitrose today, when I went grocery shopping. :-)
But hey, I have lawn! :-) And it will be ready for its first cut in a couple of weeks:
I also have several packs of veggie seeds: beetroot, runner beans, kohl rabi, carrots, courgettes, parsnips, fennel and cauliflower. Plus the inevitable basil. YUM! I'm pushing my luck with some of the growing dates, but as spring was a late starter anyway, and is still way colder than normal, I may get away with it, if only Joe can get the rest of my beds filled with compost.
I'm going to be using the Square Foot Gardening method:
Wow! The possibilities for exercise in the garden are endless! From strength training - lugging bags of compost and full watering cans, and working your core bending to plant, and reaching for tools, to the sheer number of steps involved in wandering around nurseries and shops in search of the ideal garden goodies. :-)
In other news...
My central heating has packed in. I put the boiler on to do the dishes last night, and it started making alarming gargling noises, and most of the radiators won't heat up. Council coming tomorrow, hopefully to fix it. Not holding my breath, though. I've been waiting nearly two months for them to fix the fence at the bottom of the garden, and this isn't classed as an emergency because we still have hot water.
To try and be more environmentally friendly in the fizzy water department, I bought a Sodastream. You get around 60 litres of fizzy water out of one gas bottle (for £10 after you get your discount for returning the gas bottle). So works out a lot cheaper, once you recoup the cost of the purchase. 16.6 pence per litre with sodastream, versus 50 pence per litre for the little plastic bottles I used to buy. So, saving the environment AND saving money! Win Win!
They sent a selection of flavourings with the sodastream, and I was disappointed to see that almost every flavour has artificial sweeteners in it. But hey, it keeps me from drinking them, and helps me stick to my water. :-)
Dinner tonight was grilled salmon tail with heritage baked potatoes and cute little baby carrots. Yummy! Yes, there was a little butter and cheese involved, but not too much. :-)
Exercise was Step to the Beat. I've been playing this every day since 13th March! I am close to completing my third island, and I've really loved the game, as you can tell. :-) Most days I walk at least an hour, and never less than 20 minutes. I do that so I can play hangman on Sparkpeople, which is annoying because I keep forgetting to make my guesses these days. *shakes head* My brain is largely bent around the garden design, the dog training, and studying my new professional software for cross stitch design.
There really are way too few hours in a day these days. :-)
12 stone 10 lbs and holding this week. Crept back up to 12:12, and started to worry that I was going to see 13 stone on the scale, but fortunately I gradually slid back down 1/4 lb by excrutiating 1/4 lb.
Water consumption is steady, but I miss a bit on the veggies from time to time. I love that even when I have no time to track, most of the rules are coming naturally to me now.
Right, must dash! Got a dog crossing her legs, and I'm also gasping for my bedtime cuppa.
Catch you later!
Monday, May 27, 2013
So, when I tell the rescue centre boss woman that Twinks (our foster dog) has been having some 'accidents' in the house, the woman tells me no one will want her if she does that, and that dogs get put to sleep if they mess in the house! Then she tells me to get a crate for her and shut her in it for a week except for bathroom breaks to fix her!
Comments? Because I am beyond disgusted with the woman!
Incidentally, my way of dealing with it:
I have smothered the bathroom floor in puppy training pads, because that is where she has her little accidents. sensible dog really, using the bathroom! And I have a can of that spray for outside that you spray where you'd like them to do their business, which works when the gardener doesn't go and put smelly varnish cans in her spot! And she gets lots of praise when she does it outside, but does NOT get told off if she has an accident. Plus I have a steam cleaner which fixes any smells and overspill from the pads. I was, frankly, horrified by the woman's attitude, and especially as it came from someone who supposedly cares about rescue dogs!
I reckon with a lot of patience, positive reinforcement, and dog treats, she will get past this little blip.
Friday, March 29, 2013
She took to Tara straight away. :-)
So far, Twinkle has had a nice romp in the garden, and a walk to Highwoods, and we already have an enquiry for her. We bumped into a lady I know, and she is looking for a companion for her 2 year old staffie, who is completely deaf. The two dogs were playing nicely at Highwoods, so we are arranging some play dates to see if they continue to get on, and if the lady's hubby takes to her.
Keeping everything crossed that Mumbles (the Staffie) can become Twinkle's new best friend, and maybe give her a forever home and a doggy companion to help her get over losing her brother.
Oooh! I just discovered she understands 'paw'! :-)
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Twinkle, the little dog I am about to foster, has no worldly goods to speak of, so she will be turning up with only has a collar and lead to her name, so that was all the excuse I needed for a little doggy-related shopping! :-)
Brand new food and water bowls...
Cupboard full of doggy noms and treats...
New extending lead and harnesses...
And some new friends for her to play with. If she gets particularly attached to any of these she can take them to her forever home with her, if they survive that long! LOL
Ok, so I got a little carried away, and she may not like everything I bought, but future dogs may if she doesn't, and I made sure to get the food she is used to eating, so her diet won't be affected.
Getting quite excited now. We are expecting her about 11am tomorrow.
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