Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Current Vacancies

Due to the news that two of the dogs I walk are moving out of the area, I will have spaces for new dogs from 15th February.

One space is on my 8am walk, which I know seems early, but if you have a new baby, or are at home during the day for other reasons, it's a nice time of day for me to call. Once I've been and gone (usually by 9.30) the day is yours and you don't have to wait in for me, or rush home for me to collect the dog. It also means your dog has burnt off all his energy nice and early, leading to a calmer, better behaved dog during the day.[This space has now been filled]

The other space is lunchtime, so ideal for commuters.

Dogs are walked in small groups, normally not more than four dogs, which is why spaces are so limited.

Alternatively, if you have a puppy, or are waiting for a puppy to be old enough to bring home, call me as I can hold the space for you, for one month, with the first week's fee as a deposit.

I wish my outgoing dogs all the best in their new homes!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

It was the 1980s, it was allowed...

I mention on my main website that my parents both bred dogs. My mum's chosen breed was Yorkshire Terriers, my Dad's Jack Russell Terriers, so my love of terriers is in the blood!

Although I was only a teenager (with what seemed a perfectly acceptable hairstyle at the time) here's a delightful photograph of me socialising one of the pups. I think at the time I probably thought I was just having a cuddle.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Training and Behaviour News

I passed Introduction Instructors Course with Mic Martin today. Got a lovely certificate too, which I wasn't expecting!

I will be assisting at Mic's Dog Training School from 31st January as part of my ongoing training. Closer to home, I did my first behavioural/training consultation this month too, which went well. Within the next few weeks or so I hope the clients will let me know how things are going and what the improvements are. Next month I hope to do the first of my 'recall training walks' where I take the client and their dog on a walk around the local country park (permission granted by the Rangers) to teach them how to get a good recall. Minor issues only to start with!

Also in the pipeline for me is some sort of 'responsible dog owners' event at Thorndon Country Park, with the Rangers, details still being worked out, but will at least be ready to publicise from February.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Completely Full

I have no vacancies for dog walking. I've had to close my books to new dogs as I am now full. This includes puppies as I have no spaces on my adult walks to move puppies into as they grow up.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Cat Sitting in Brentwood - Min

Linda had very positive references and was very trustworthy whilst I was on holiday. My cat Min is very independent and it was important that she was able to stay in the environment she knows whilst having freedom outdoors when she wanted it. Linda was flexible to make this possible and on my return my cat was very healthy and happy.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Puppy Package & Adult Spaces


My puppies have grown up! They have graduated to my adult dog walks this month, so I now have space for a full time puppy, or just part time if you don't need every day.

Puppies are accepted between 8 weeks and 6 months old. They get one or two half hour visits per day when they get my undivided attention. Once they are fully vaccinated I take them out for short walks, feed where necessary, clear up any mess, and play educational games designed to give your puppy the skills needed for life with people. Puppy walks are for roughly five minutes per month of life, so start at five minutes per visit, working up to the full half hour just before puppy moves to my lunchtime group walks.

If you are at home but are interested in the educational games I can still visit, or teach you the games to play.

Spaces are linited so are taken very quickly - typically within two weeks of becoming available. I only have one space on average every three to four months, so if you are waiting for your puppy to be old enough to bring home and want me to visit, a non-refundable first week's deposit will hold the space for up to one month.

Thanks again for giving Pongo such a great start in life.
Tina F., crossbreed

Dog Walking

An experienced dog walker, I walk dogs around Brentwood in small groups of three or four. Your dog is important to me, and walks of this size allow each dog to benefit from being with their own species while still having time for personal attention from me.

I have one full time space available (Mondays & Wednesdays may be a 'split shift' walk of two half hour sessions), with extra spaces available on Thursdays and Fridays.

Thanks for your help so far. I feel really happy knowing someone is calling in to see her in the day.
Nikki D., Labradoodle

Bingley has a walker who looks after him so well, that's the most important thing!
Natalie O., Whippet

Home Dog Boarding

I am already taking bookings for school holiday times, so if you would like your dog taken care of in a home boarding environment, please contact me sooner rather than later.

I am limited in the number of dogs I can board and I will not overload my house, which makes early booking essential. Dogs need individual attention when at home as well as when out on walks, so I will only take in the amount I can sensibly cope with. Dogs are not kept in conservatories, outhouses, summer houses, sheds, kennels or kitchens. They live in the house as part of the family and are expected to get on with their chores and behave the same way my dogs do!

Very reliable & trustworthy, Nelson loves Linda and I wouldn't send him anywhere else!
Hazel S., Fox Terrier

I would recommend Linda to anybody who is looking for a holiday for their hounds. Peanut and Ali have just spent a week in the very capable hands of Linda and I think they enjoyed the lovely peace and quiet of her house (compared to mine).
Mary K., Greyhounds

If your dog has some habits you would rather they didn't have, that can be safely dealt with in a home environment, please ask me about my residential training programmes.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Snow Day!

I love the snow - I love the way it makes all the dogs go a bit bonkers, although normally I'm too slow to catch it on the dogcam!

Here are some stills instead.

Winter Care for Pets

I have posted this before, but thought now was a good time to repeat it.

Young, elderly, ill or infirm dogs (sighthounds such as Greyhounds, Whippets or Salukis in particular) may need a coat when out of doors this winter.

Wind can be particularly chilling. Dogs with short coats living in centrally heated homes don't grow a winter coat in the same way an outdoor dog would. If you turn your heating off at night or while you are out, consider whether your dog might be cold, even indoors and think about getting a separate coat for night times.

Dogs don't usually need more food in the winter unless they are kept outside, so don't be tempted to give extra food. Outdoor water bowls can ice over, and very cold water is not good for dogs. There is a danger of ice burns to the tongue if the bowl is metal and cold enough, or a ceramic bowl can crack. Float a ball in the water to help prevent icing over, bring the bowl in, or empty it on very cold nights.

It can be just as dangerous to leave a dog in a cold car as a hot one, because the car keeps cold air in – make sure your dog is warm enough if you have to leave them for a while. Dogs, but in particular cats, have a great liking for anti-freeze
due to its sweet taste. Keep it well away from your pets because it can be fatal.

Cats have a tendency to climb into warm places in winter, and this includes car engines. Please be aware and try to be sure where your cat is before you drive off.

Chocolate and mistletoe are more in evidence at Christmas. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, although they may be able to tolerate a small amount of milk chocolate - small dogs are more at risk as they don’t need to eat much to be ill. Call the vet if you
suspect they have been in the Quality Streets – cooking chocolate is much worse, so watch out when chocolate cakes are around.

Mistletoe, and in particular the berries, are highly toxic, so make sure they are hung up carefully and can't be pulled down by the dogs. Watch out for fallen berries.
Rabbits and guinea pigs are often left outside in the winter.

Rabbits can deal with this as long as they are not in a draught or getting damp. For guinea pigs it’s pure misery! Bring your guinea pigs into a shed or unused garage, and give them, and rabbits, thick newspaper under the bedding to help insulate,
and plenty of extra bedding, changed more frequently as if it gets wet (either rain or urine), it will freeze. Bubble wrap is your furry friend’s Best Friend. Keep two water bottles, and make sure to swap them over if one freezes. Don’t forget to spend
time with your pets, even if it is cold and dark outside.

Snow and fur is not a good mix, and sometimes snow balls form on long haired dogs. Even shorter haired breeds can gather these on their feet, and once they have formed they need to be left to melt (hairdryers can help if your dog will tolerate it). They
are very painful for your dog to walk on, so if you spot them, take the dog home for a break. Vaseline between the toes, and keeping long fur trimmed can help. Leave some fur on, as is will help to protect their pads from frozen ground.

If we get heavy snowfall again this season, watch out for snow on buildings or trees that might melt and fall – just as your dog is underneath. Check that the height of the snow in the garden doesn't open up an escape route for your dog.

Snow, ice and hail usually lead to gritting lorries. The salt and other materials can irritate your dogs feet, so you may need to give them a damp wipe over when returning from a walk; try not to let your dogs lick their feet in case they ingest something that could make them ill.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Good Morning, Alfie here!

I've hijacked the laptop while Aunty Linda has nipped out to the kitchen to make my breakfast. At least I hope that's what she's doing. She can be a bit funny, keeps carrying around these cups of muddy hot water saying it's all too much and she can't cope with the little menace running around without this 'kofy' stuff. Not sure who this little menace is. There's only me here, well, and those other dogs who I think must live here cos every time I come to stay they're hanging around. One's very noisy, and the other keeps making the room a bit (okay, be truthful, a LOT) smelly.

It's nice to come and stay for a holiday but we went out for walks in the POURING RAIN! I couldn't believe it. I didn't like that coat they tried to make me wear, I'd rather be a bit damp. I saw some other dogs as well, including one who was shorter than me! He's about twice as long, but we had a good wrestle and I got him on the floor a couple of times, his name was Max. And there was the most ENORMOUS dog I'd ever seen, I think she was lovely really, but I couldn't reach her important bits for a good smell to be sure so I said no thank you to the photo Aunty was desperate to take. Aunty Linda said she is a Great Dane called Scarlet. Not Aunty Linda, she's not a Great Dane, I mean the very big dog. I don't know what's so funny about me and a Great Dane. We're both dogs, right?

Anyway, must go, Aunty Linda is making noises as if she's going to come back in the room with some jammy toast which I think is probably my breakfast, and I don't want her knowing I'm computer literate or she'll have me doing the book-keeping.

Bye bye, and Happy New Year!