Sunday, 23 August 2015

Harry The Springer Spaniel

Here he is! Our new pet and marvellous little dog Harry who is fifteen months old.

We are enjoying great walks and lots of play time with him. He is quick to learn and great fun.

The important things like sit, stay, lie down, are done and paw, high five and roll over are coming along nicely. However walking on a lead is proving to be a challenge and something Harry is not keen on learning.

Harry is a little underweight at 12 kg and needs to gain about 2 kg according to our vet, but we are working on that and he's gaining around 200 grams a week on his new quality food and a little extra pasta and scrambled egg just before bed time (also recommended by the vet).

A working Springer Spaniel, he needs lots of stimulation, both mental and physical, however with his weight being so low we are regulating his activities and walks so that there is a balance between calorie expenditure and intake. We measure his food, time his walks and weigh him weekly!

It won't be for long, as you can see he's coming along nicely.

He also needs to take his time building up muscles and joints as he spent all his young life in kennels.

On his walkies at Broadsands Green, what a backdrop for a young Springer...I hope he appreciates it! Really his only interest is the tennis ball.

Sleeping soundly. 
Harry is great with the cats and showed very little interest in them right from the beginning. 

So we are all settling in nicely. It's never easy taking on an adolescent dog especially one which hasn't been socialised, there's a lot to learn and a lot that can go wrong very quickly.

These dogs need time, patience and very gentle handling, but without allowing them to get away with everything.

We enlisted the help of a behaviourist recommended by our vet, just to give us some pointers and get a proper assessment of his temperament and how to handle such a timid and nervous character. 

I'm happy to say being experienced Springer owners we had made a good start. We got some great advice and Harry is adjusting to his new life very well.

Wishing you all a lovely week ahead despite the dismal weather forecast.
Until next time

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Holidays at Home

I must say a huge thank you to Denise, her husband Greg and her family for a lovely evening spent with them during their European holiday this summer. 
We went to a very pretty country pub in Marldon Village called The Church House Inn
We had a marvellous meal and a chat and it was such a treat to meet up. You can read all about their holiday adventures over at An English Girl Rambles.

I hope I can treat you on your next visit to Devon.

 The decorating starts as the holiday begins

A cat sleeps in the sunshine

The temperatures have varied 

The tomatoes have still to ripen

Mr & Mrs Blackbird are still together but it's very hard to get a photo of them. She looks much better today, her foot and her ability to stand have improved. Maybe it's all the care and attention from Mr Blackbird or perhaps the RSPB fat balls I put out in the garden which they are eating very quickly.

Having a rest today from the decorating and I'll write about our new dog in the next post.
Wishing you a happy and sunny week ahead
Until next time

Friday, 7 August 2015

August Flowers

There really are some beautiful flowers and plants in this garden. I took out the Sigma macro lens with the Nikon and spent a peaceful time taking these photos. I've never tried this lens with general shots before, but I think it did a great job.

The rose below is the most beautiful colour and sits perfectly with the orange of the crocosmia

A stunning rose I rescued from a dilapidated pot
Seed heads already

Insects -a very small spider!

The Vapourer Moth caterpillar, back again for another year with me. They've moved house twice on the same shrub, which is looking very moth eaten at the moment.

New shoots and stunning colours close up with the macro lens

The Herring Gull chicks continue to fledge, butterflies are everywhere and bees are busy, isn't August a lovely month?

A while ago I posted some photos of the garden Blackbird family with their chicks. The adults are still about but the female has a problem with one leg and cannot use it. I thought she'd be gone long ago but I was delighted to see her with the male this morning basking in the early morning sunshine.
He stayed very close to her and they sat on the ground together warming up. 
I was surprised to see this behaviour as I didn't think they would stay quite so close after nesting was over (although I know they are monogamous) and they've already had two broods. 
It really was a very sweet thing to see and made my day.

Leaving you on that positive note, we're off for a dog walk and a cuppa at Broadsands
Have a lovely week ahead

Saturday, 1 August 2015

After a short break

Time has flown by since I last posted. We've done quite a few things, a little bit more on the house, a short break in Cornwall and we have a new dog. So just to get started again, here's a few photos from home. 

I also have photos to follow showing the Solitaire Du Figaro, Brixham Trawler Race, some new shops in Brixham and of course the dog who we have decided to call Harry.

There's been some bad press recently concerning gulls. Shocking incidents for the family and poor little dogs of course, but it gives the haters of these wild animals something to latch onto as if to justify their hate. We have to find a way to live with wild animals instead of killing them and we need to find workable solutions to the problems we encounter.

Here are some gulls living peacefully in Brixham and where they should be, beside the sea. I also found this beautiful Privet Hawk Moth in the back garden, with a wingspan of 90-120mm, it really is huge.

These were the happy and healthy family of Herring Gulls on next doors roof and our garage roof. They were doing so well until a few weeks ago when a fox got them. I was so looking forward to watching this family up close and getting photos as they grew. However there are plenty of healthy chicks on Broadsands Beach now and more arriving every day.

A quick view of the garden, a new olive tree and a pretty rose that was already here. As you can see the cats get the best seats in the room for us!

I managed to see my first ringed gull at Broadsands and reported the sighting. It turns out the bird was ringed as a chick on the Channel Islands in 2014.

I didn't get as much free time as I had planned during my blogging break, the house and the new dog seem to be taking up all of my free time in between work, but we did have a lovely short break in Cornwall (photos to follow). In fact we enjoyed going away so much, that we'd really like to go to Scotland next year. We found a very nice cattery too which makes us feel that holidays are possible once again.

Beautiful weather here, in fact the national weather predictions are rubbish and really do not reflect the local weather here in Torbay. I do have concerns that this may adversely affect tourism.

If I don't press publish now, this post will sit for another week as a draft, so without delay, I wish you all a lovely week ahead.

Until next time