My 'Try it here' blog with one or two posts. You might want to go the real blog..its better!

This was my practice blog where I made all my mistakes first.

There might be one or two interesting things here but I think you meant to look at my real blog so click here to get you there.

Now I am using this space to help me remember Willow.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

More doggie tales

Once upon a time I had two dogs.
Big dogs.
English pointers.
Daisy and Willow.
I didn't know it then, but I was diabetic and would sleep a lot.
One morning, after I had seen my boys of to school and eaten my white bread toast and marmalade, which is terrible stuff if you are diabetic, I felt very sleepy..the kind of sleepy where you just can't go on, and decided to go back to bed.
I let the dogs in the bedroom so they wouldn't disturb me, (this was pre bedroom makeover days) opened the curtains so as not to let the neighbours know I was in bed in the morning, and we all went off to sleep.
Suddenly the dogs began to bark.
They had heard the window cleaner.
What should I do?
He would be up the ladder at the bedroom window in a matter of minutes.
However I had the lace curtains up at the window so I decided he wouldn't be able to see me through those if I slipped down under the covers .
While he was cleaning the bedroom windows the dogs were going berserk, barking as if they'd burst..understandably. ..there was a strange man at their window!
I heard him go down the ladder and away from the house and the dogs settled down and I opened my eyes and behold!
Nothing but a scrap of lace curtain was left at those windows.
Just the bit at the top where there were a few threads left hanging ..the only bits the dogs couldn't reach.
The window cleaner never mentioned it when he came later in the week to collect his money...very diplomatic.
I suppose it goes with the job.
No dogs now, no lace curtains and, now I know what to eat , definitely no sleeping in the daytime.
(Well maybe if I'm really tired I might doze off in the evening......)

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Dogs on the shingle

Its hard sitting on this but there's plenty to entertain us.

Three boys carry a boat to the waters edge while their interested black dog encourages them.

A family arrive with a highly excited black Scottie and set up camp to our right on the shingle while Scottie plays King Canute, and barks excitedly and continuously at the waves.

A Jack Russell to our left strains on its leash. It wants to play too.

The big black dog laughs and we can see his white crescent of lower teeth against his glossy black fur even from this distance.

Scottie makes it into the sea and then rolls in the shingle to dry himself.

Jack still pulls.

Labradoodle ..thats the big happy black dog with the lovely smile...runs about while his human brothers sail out to see leaving him to the care of their mother.

Scottie dumps a steaming pile on the shingle. His family most of whom are in the sea, don't notice.

The Jack Russell family do, and their dad brings a childs spade and buries the hot heap in the shingle with a decent sized memorial pile of pebbles on top, just in time for Scotties dad to arrive with a plastic bag.
They dig it up, put it in the bag and he takes it over to their camp placing it delicately on the sand next to their beach bag and walks away.

Jack Russell is finally freed and he joyously cavorts with Scottie.

When no one is looking, he trots over to Scotties bagged up pile and pees up against the unattended beach bag and blanket.

Such fun and frolicks.

Sunday, 5 July 2009


Well, Hazel visited us this afternoon.
I must say she is a lovely dog but my response to her was not what I expected.
I was prepared to love her but it just didn't happen when I saw her.
We have decided not to have her, for many reasons, but I feel bad about it.
Her owner is a very capable and lovely young woman who has done a brilliant job with her, showing her the world outside her kennel.
I just didn't feel that Hazel was the dog for me.
I can only put this down to not being ready.
I thought I desperately needed a dog but I think I need longer to get over Willow and had my heart set on a puppy eventually.
I am so sorry Hazel.

To see more of Hazel and her two companions see Their Beautiful Blog. I especially like the most recent post which shows Hazel, happy in the buttercups.

One uncanny fact: The fight between Hazel and her daughter happened on the day Willow died.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


Oh what to do what to do?

We still miss Willow desperately but she's not coming back so we decided we would wait until the summer is over and we have had a few days of spontaneous travel(!) and then go for an Orange and white pointer puppy at the beginning of November.
I am sitting here desperate for a dog.

So I log on to a pointer website and introduce myself. Just to help mourn and familiarise myself with other dogs.
I get a message from someone who is trying to re home a 5 year old, unspeyed, liver and white pointer who doesn't really belong to her but to a breeder .
(The same breeder we got Willow from.)
This dog we shall call 'H' wasn't thriving in kennels and was quite ill, and needed a home so, (lets call her temporary owner 'C',) took her on .She is on steroids for a condition she has recovered from but needs to be weaned off them gradually.
But H fights with one of Cs other dogs so she can't keep her.

BUT( and I know its probably vain,) H is Liver and I want Orange.
I just like them so much better.

We are thinking thinking thinking whether we want H temporarily.
How will be bear to part with her?
She is visiting us on Sunday.
the breeder...lets call her B, has informed me that in November she will have orange and white puppies available.

What to do?

Monday, 11 May 2009

Spot the Dog or...

..where's Willow?

This is particularly apt. I feel she is still here but I just can't quite get to her.
Especially on returning home from a few days the mental picture you sometimes rehearse on your way home, she is there.
But in reality she isn't.
So, coming home was like losing her all over again.
And now Jools is missing too.
We haven't seen him since we got home.

hello just testing a new method of background.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Things you can do without a dog

  • wear your decent clothes in the house without fear of drool
  • leave doors to all the rooms open
  • go out for a long time and not have to rush home
  • leave plates of food unattended
  • have the cat on your knee
  • go straight to bed when you feel like it without having to stand with the back door open for 10 minutes
  • go away on holiday
but you don't want to.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Food thoughts.

I am eating pasta with spinach and pine nuts and home made pesto.
There is too much pasta.
I just 'rehearsed' in my head the action of scraping the spinach from some of it and putting the pasta down for Willow to eat.
Then I realised I couldn't.
Its the same when I cut meat up.
Willow was a human dustbin.
Well, you know what I mean.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

When Willow made a splash.

I drove today past a spot that has a Willow related incident attached.
I thought I'd record it here.

About 5 years ago on a very sunny and hot Spring Bank Holiday Monday, I, my husband and my mother ( who was then a very fit 70-odd year old)decided to have a walk with Willow, along the canal to look at the new link to the River Ribble near Preston.

We parked the car at the sports stadium and set off down the old part of the canal and about an hour and a half later we reached the new bit of canal. Willow was her usual nosey and active self, sniffing here and there, and having a thoroughly enjoyable time of it. We decided to continue as far as the brand new lock to see what it was like. When we got there the water was as low as it could be, about 12 feet below us in the lock between the two gates you see here.( Its high in this pic, courtesy of Jes Holland from Flickr who gave me his permission to use the picture.)

Willow was skipping about and we were all looking at the lock when suddenly I heard the scritchy scratchy sound of dog claws trying but failing to hold on to stone and then PLOP as the dear dog landed in the water down below.
Instant panic ensued.
We couldn't even reach her.
We pulled at the gates lower down on the lock but to no avail.
Then we spotted the ladder.
B climbed down the ladder up to his waist into the water, and grabbed poor Willow , who is not built for flotation and had been treading water for about 5 minutes, by the collar, and attached the lead. We tried to drag her out but stopped when the strangulation sounds got dangerous.
It was then that we remembered we had a phone and I rang 999 explaining that the dog was in the water.
The trouble was that we didn't know exactly where we were. They asked what we could see. It was fields and electricity pylons for miles..and the new lock but that was no help.
While we waited for help B held willows head out of the water while her back legs paddled furiously and she whimpered occasionally.
Half an hour went by so I rang again and said my husband was in the water too so that seemed to move things along a bit.
I just expected some policeman with a means of opening the gate, or a rope.
We heard the sound of sirens.
A fire engine appeared.
A crowd gathered from nowhere.
A second fire engine, then a third, followed by a large truck with something like 'Incident support unit' written on the side.
A huge gang of firemen jumped out, took in the scene and threw a large bag on a rope at my husband saying 'Could you put the dog in the bag sir?'. Remember, he was clinging to a ladder with one hand, and holding Willows head with the other and up to his elbows in dirty green canal water.
He managed and the fireman dragged the bagfull of dog out onto the opposite side of the canal to the path.
The next problem was to get a cold wet Willow to walk across the open work metal mesh bridge to our side.
We did.
All this time a man in a British Waterways jacket was leaning on the lock gate watching.
He walked over to me and said 'You know if you'd just pushed on those gates, you could have opened them and she could have swum to the bank'. (We'd pulled.)

The firemen took B back to the car in a fire engine but Mum, and I had to walk with wet traumatised Willow, the hour and a half back to the car.
By the time we got there B was sitting inside with his socks, trousers and boots drying on the car bonnet and an anorak over his nether regions..

The next day there was a teeny little paragraph in the local paper describing Willow as a cross breed, and saying she had to be rescued because she was tired.

I think it had been a quiet bank holiday for those firemen.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Maundering on.

This is the last picture I took of Willow.
I think its obvious she was not herself.
We had a tearful family goodbye on Monday evening and then a visit from the vet on Tuesday evening.
I held her head and shoulders on my knee on a blanket on the settee..a place she was forbidden usually. She sank slowly away.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

End of day 1 without Willow

I have had some moments today when I haven't thought about her. But not many.
The house is empty.
My son came to the village with his dog and we went for a walk, for which I am grateful. I couldn't face it alone yet.
It seems so unfair. The weather is just starting to improve, the bluebells will be out soon. Reminds me of this time last year.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Goodbye Willow

Sweet dreams.

You were the best dog.

8th October 1995 -28th April 2009