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Snowballs

We've had snow this week, which has brought fun and problems. Working from home, and home schooling too meant no snow days, but we managed to get out and have some fun. The dogs were so excited by this sudden covering of strange white stuff, and ran around exploring it. We have learned from experience not to let Star go out in the snow for too long. We learned this late one Sunday evening when we were so excited ourselves about an unexpected snowfall that we were all out in the garden at ten o'clock in the evening. Because it was dark, we didn't realise until we went back into the house, that Star had amassed a huge amount of little balls of snow in her fluffy coat.

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Arctic ablutions

We were off to training today, and I wanted Buddy to “toilet” before we went to the class. I always feel (based on experience) that he concentrates better without a full bowel impinging on his brain. The same could probably be said for many people, but I digress.

So this afternoon, in what the media and weather forecasters are describing as arctic conditions yet again, Buddy and I were pounding the streets near the training venue. I repeatedly issued the command to “hurry up” which is our code word attached to toileting.

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Lee Gibson and the funniest thing my dog ever did

I mentioned Lee Gibson's new DVD last week, and it was while we were working with Lee that Buddy did one of the funniest things he's ever done. We were completely new to agility, and so we started where Julie Andrews recommended starting - at the very beginning. Lee believes in getting the basics right; of teaching your dog the commands for each piece of equipment, teaching a right and left command, teaching a pause on the contact points, and a priority is learning to trust your dog, and giving him the space to let him get it right.

It's an approach that pays dividends. You simply can't

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Buddy

Buddy is gorgeous!

Mud and a disturbed night

The other day we returned from a walk in the dark, and I hurriedly let the dogs out of the car and in to the house. Then I was distracted by another task – possibly shutting the ducks in for the night, bringing in something from the car, or most important task of all putting the coffee on! Anyway, it meant that by the time I made it into the lounge both dogs were settled on the couch.

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Buddy's birthday and doggy gifts

It's Buddy's birthday today. He is six years old, and I can't believe that the tiny black bundle we brought home, it seems like not so long ago, is definitely all grown up. Well, physically anyway, at heart he is still a mischievous puppy, and is still full of energy, and I wouldn’t have him any other way!

In the last year he has tried many things for the first time – agility, heelwork to music, and obedience classes and competitions, and taken them all in his stride. He has also passed his Bronze, Silver, and Gold Kennel Club Good Citizen awards.

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Our peaceful menagerie

Hooray – it’s December! Deck the halls and all that! We’ve put our Christmas tree up, and explained to Buddy and Star that they mustn’t pee on it or try to eat it. They are actually outraged that our local pet store has sold out of dog treat advent calendars, and until more stocks arrive they have to make do with watching the smaller pets in the house receive their advent calendar treats, which isn’t quite the same thing at all!

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Man's best friend - whether man likes it or not

This photograph always makes me smile. My husband was busy trying to carry out vital repairs to our boat’s engine, and he was ably assisted by Buddy. I just love the way Buddy has found a way in, and made the most of it. Maybe he has sensed Anthony’s mechanical frustration and is seeking to relax him, maybe he wanted to assess the damage himself, or more probably he just wanted some attention.

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Welcome from Buddy and Star

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251 - grappling with dog issues and guess the dog news story

In this podcast, Julie and Jenny grapple with the dog issues of the day - they discuss some popular google searches anyway. Plus play guess how the dog story ends. So what happened to the dog with cancer in his leg, and the dog who failed as an explosives sniffer dog? Plus will I see my dog in heaven, where should my dog sleep, should my dog wear a coat, does my dog need a seat belt. Pick up some science on the way - what are R&K species?

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.