"In 2016 don't forget to, 'Spread a little happiness.'"
I'm still on the coffee at the moment, but plan to transfer onto alcofrolic (That is an intentional dropping of the 'h' for 'fr' in alcoholic) beverages later, because for the first on New Years Eve for a year or two now, I'm not milking New Year morning. Yipee!
All that's left for 2015 is to thank everyone for their support of Poundlane past, present and in the future, and wish everyone a great year in 2016 and if out on the razzle, be careful. x
I had to nip to town late morning, just to get a couple things for our New Years Day dinner tomorrow. I took the three youngest with me and the three oldest children stayed home to do chores for me and once they were done they could watch telly or go on the computer. I arrived home and because it was raining very heavily, I told our son, Thomas, who was in the car with me and offered to open the gate in to our property, that I would open the gate and I then forgot to go and shut it straight away, once the car was inside. So until the children shouted from the doorstep, I was oblivious to the fact the gate was still open, as Blottie and Smudge ran past me and that they could thus go off on a hunt. I turned round to just see the back end of Smudge disappearing down the lane.
No time to waste. I went in pursuit. I know roughly where they are headed. I have tracked my dogs and with my dogs to know now, the way they track from our home. You just got to know which way they have left the home. I saw that they left downwards and footprints in the gateway below us confirmed they had gone across that field and then they drop into dense cover, which I would be unable to travel with out a machete to hand. So I had to take the long way around. After then tracking through three dense boggy covers following deer tracks and listening for pheasants being flushed up. I finally saw the other side of the valley, two fields away and a cover, a white dot and on calling, that white dot bounced around and started to come towards me. I made my way towards it and we meet up either side of a fence of sheep netting topped with barb wire, with dense brambles each side of it. The white dot had been Blottie and she had been joined by her Mum. I found in the fence an area cleared by deer tracking through and thankfully the sheep netting was taut and attached to a strong enough post to take my weight to get over it without ripping myself on the barb wire.
Blottie and Smudge were so excited to see me and I was pleased to see them. We have a lot of pregnant sheep in fields around us at the moment. When dogs go hunting without you, they don't do it to annoy you. They do it because they are a dog, they love hunting and when you find them, they think you have joined them and unless you scold them, they will be overjoyed to see you joining them. So you have to make a fuss of them, because if you don't, why would they ever want to come back to you?
We made our way back and if anyone saw someone looking a bit bedraggled leading two muddy spaniels with their trouser belt along the A377 (which is not a good road for walking dogs on, but the quickest and easiest route from where I ended up) this afternoon and slowed up to pass and the person with the dogs threw their hand up to thank you, that was me. I was really pleased to see the two girls, finding them before darkness fell. The tracking gene is certainly being passed down from Granny Millie.
'Sleep is a country
whose border guards are fickle.
slip in and out without
For them, sleep is routine
and therefore blank.
For others, it is an excursion
from which they bring back
exotic souvenirs and memories of
- ANNE LE DRESSAY, Sleep Is a Country
Rice pudding at lunchtime and for supper stew. When the winter days are short, dark and wet that's stew days.
I do like candles about in the winter time. They do give a lovely warm light. Most of the surfaces in the living room now have candle wax about them.
The dogs love it when we have stew and you can almost gauge how tasty the food is you are putting up, by the interest of the dogs. Tonight they were very interested in the goings on at the supper table and took great pleasure in cleaning all the plates before they were put in the dishwasher.
"To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”
― George Orwell
The photo above I happened to take Christmas eve and looking at it is very interesting to observe the nose length of each dog. Ysobel is one of our old girls being nearly 9 years old now and I got her from a Show breeder when she was around 18 months old. Often show breeders run a couple dogs on from a litter and if they then don't like them so much to look at as an adult or they are not hitting the mark in the show ring, they will re-home them. Ysobel sports the most show champions of all our dogs in her pedigree, over 20 champions in her first four generations. You will easily see that her nose is the most exaggerated being around only 3.5 cm long. you can then see that Jessica's nose is a bit longer and she has been bred by a breeder who breeds solely Cavaliers as pets. Jessica's nose is 4 cm long. We then have Bumble, who is from our first litter of Cavalier cross Brittany pups and at 8 months old her nose is 6.5 cm long.
Now below is a painting of young King Charles II of England with his sister, Mary and his brother, who would become, James II, thought to of been painted around 1630. The spaniels at their knees are thought to be the spaniel type later called the King Charles Spaniel. Looking at the photo above, which of the three dogs resemble the spaniels that were sitting at King Charles II knee as a child in the painting below?
I was up early this morning to go milking and my first job when getting up, is to go to the back house (utility) and let the dogs out for a quick run, before I set off. When they come back in they know that the rest of the home is not awake yet and settle back down to sleep again for a couple hours. It is often a time to catch some cute group photos of them.
Decided after lunch to treat Henry and take him on his own to the river for a run. If you have several dogs, it is good to have some one on one time with them.
You may of noticed that I use a choker chain with Henry. Choker chains are now one of those training aids that can kick up a shit storm on social forums. Henry was a puller, some dogs are pullers regardless of the training given, in my experience. So if your dog does pull, don't be to hard on yourself. The problem with choker chains is the misuse of them, not the use of them. I nearly became a choker chain hater, but that was because I was a bit smug, with not having had a dog that was what I call a dead weight puller for a few years. I forgot how hard a dog can pull and what a pain a dog pulling can be.
Henry has been a wonderful dog to train and he walks to heel off the lead lovely, but put a lead on him and whatever it was attached to, his collar, his harness or a head collar thing we tried, you could give him treats until the cows came home, but still the dead pull. So I went back to what worked for me before with dead pullers, the choker chain and Henry is now a light weight in my hand on the lead. So for me using a choker chain and the discomfort Henry had at first when I needed to use it as a choker chain on him, is proportionate to what it has achieved with Henry, an attentive dog that is under control on a lead.
Some dog trainers will tell you that a choker chain, 'won’t stop your dog pulling on the lead' and if you have not been taught how to use one correctly, the chances are they won't, but if you use a choker chain correctly, in my experience they will stop a dog pulling on the lead.
Back in October I wrote the blog Bringing in the cows and told of a cow where I milk, that back in the Summer, had suddenly gone blind and then as quick as she lost her sight regained it. We were unsure of the cause, as blood tests came back with nothing. At the time she was around 3 months pregnant and only time would tell if what had caused her sudden blindness would have an effect on the development of the fetus. I'm pleased to tell that she has carried full term and last night produced a grand Angus/Frisian bull calf, both mother and calf are fit and well. She came in the parlour tonight for her first time to be milked after calving. 'All's well that ends well.'
Christmas day night as my husband, David and I were about to retire. I had a brain wave. I went and checked that we had enough sausages and bacon about the place and suggested to David, that we could have breakfast a bit later in the morning, having a good old English fry up and thus skip lunch and get out for a good walk with the children and dogs.
I don't often do a good old English fry up. We don't tend to eat very much fried found, but as an occasional treat it goes down a real treat. I do like a bit of Brown sauce along with my fry up and rather than HP Brown sauce, which is made now in Holland. I like a Brown sauce that I consider is head and tails above HP sauce in texture and taste and it is still made in the UK by Wilkin and Sons Ltd based at Tiptree, Essex, England. You can find this Brown sauce in most supermarkets and if you have not tried it yet and like Brown sauce, you won't be disappointed.
So we had our hearty breakfast just after 10 am, this morning, got the dogs that were not coming with us run out and the house chores done, and then set off for Saunton Sands beach just after 2 pm with Millie and her Granddaughters, Blottie and Bumble in tow.
Where we live it is on the side of the Taw Valley and our home sits in what locally we refer to as ,'the lew of the hill.' The word 'lew' in this case comes from Old English meaning “warm, sunny, sheltered”and often I can leave our home with hardly a breeze in my face to walk just above our home and be nearly blown over, as was the case today at home it hardly seemed much of a breeze, but at the beach it was really blowing, it was dry and mild though. Got a few photos of the dogs running about and some lovely landscape photos with the low Winter sun coming through the clouds.
This lovely email came in my mailbox on Christmas morning from Emma, who has Bertie Boo, who is another of our Blottie and Bumble's litter siblings from our first ever litter of Brittany cross Cavalier puppies born April this year. Tank for getting in touch Emma and hope you are having a wonderful Christmas time!
'Hi Jane & Family
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
We keep up to date reading your blog, love seeing all the photos!
Bertie is doing very well! He enjoys his morning walks on the Common and since September we've been going to the beach more regularly! He's a bundle of legs and fun! We adore him!
Em, Stu, Romi, Daisy, Otis & Bertie Boo xx xx'
One last seasonal greeting before the off from Laura, who has Daisy. Daisy is our Blottie and Bumble's litter sibling. She is from our first ever litter of Brittany cross Cavalier puppies born Spring 2015. Great to hear from you Laura. Thanks for contacting me and letting me know that Daisy is doing well. Have a wonderful first Christmas with Daisy..
'Hello Jane and family,
Just a quick note to wish you all a merry Christmas. We're very much looking forward to Daisy's first Christmas, although it's hard to imagine a time when we didn't have her. She really is the sweetest girl, a bit naughty at times but very loving and fun. Thank you so much for bringing her into our lives.
Laura and family x'
Just done me sprouts and Henry got to chew on the stalk.. Don't worry, he did not get to eat all of it, because I don't want to wake up tomorrow morning wondering what the smell is about the home and find he's rough scat the back house. Henry really does love his Brassicas.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!