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Meg
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Location: Dogsey and Worcestershire
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30-12-2004, 01:52 AM

Mini's Doggy Page



Mini's Doggy Information Page

Index

... Useful doggy information,
... Kennelmaids tales.





Useful Doggy Information
This information is mainly to help the novice dog owner.
There is a huge amount of information on the internet concerning all aspects of dog care, these are just a few notes based on personal experience and I hope they may be of use to those who read them.
IF AT ANY TIME YOU HAVE THE SLIGHTEST DOUBT ABOUT YOUR DOGS HEALTH SEE A VET.

Normal temperature of a dog ….101.5f (38.6c)
12 hours before whelping drops to ….97f or 98f (36c)

A FEW EMERGENCY FIRST AID TIPS
If you have a doggy emergency try to keep calm, any hint of panic will be picked up by your dog and this may make the situation worse. Ring the vet first before going to the surgery so that he will know you are on your way, he will also be able to get some idea of what the problem is. Do not give the dog anything to eat or drink, it may require an anaesthetic and never give a dog 'human' medicine unless advised to do so by a vet.
Remember, if a dog is sick, injured or in pain it will be scared and may not behave normally, it may even attempt to bite you.

If the dog is bleeding place a clean dry cloth or bandage (a smooth tea towel is good) over the wound and hold it firmly in place if you can until you get to the vets, also cover the dog with a blanket to keep it warm.
Minor cuts and Scrapes for minor cuts and scrapes do not use any creams and lotions, the dog will lick them off anyway and may even react badly to them. Instead boil some water, add salt (about teaspoon to a pint) and allow to cool. Now use this with cotton wool to gently wipe the injured area.
Minor Burns and Scalds for minor burns and scalds run the affected area under a cold tap for a few moments to cool the damaged tissue or apply a cold pack wrapped in a towel, keep the rest of the dog's body warm by covering with a blanket.


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Meg
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30-12-2004, 02:06 AM
TEETHING
First baby teeth the incisors (front teeth) erupt at 4/5 weeks followed by the canines (these are like our eye teeth).
The dog loses its incisors at about 4/5months, the canines a month later.
The molars arrive at 5/6/7 months.
A dog’s full compliment of teeth is 42 that are 20 on the lower jaw and 22 on the upper.

WORMING.
Your puppy should have been wormed by the breeder before you get it. It is important to worm regularly but the best advice on when and what to use will be given by your vet as instructions tend to vary according to which product is used.



GROOMING AND DAILY CARE
It is a good idea to groom your dog every day or at least every other day. It only need take a couple of minutes, by doing this you have a chance to spot any problems before they develop and to look out for any changes in appearance or unusual smells or discharges. Also by being groomed regularly puppies learn to be handled, this will be a great help to both you and the vet in the future.
Start by getting a noneslip mat (I find the rubber car mats from Halfords are cheap and do the job very well). I like to do a quick check of the ears, eyes, open and look in the mouth, pick up and look at the feet and finally a quick brush over or comb for longer haired breeds. One quick tip, if you have a smooth coated dog (like a Staffie) buy/get a small piece of PURE SILK and stretch it over a pad of cloth. Now use this to give your dog a final once over to give a shining coat. When you have finished put the dog on the floor and give lots of praise. If you carry out any check on your dog it is best not to call it to you, but to go and pick it up so that being called by you is never associated with anything that may be even slightly unpleasant.

Things to do regularly:

Ears: Wipe inside the inner flap of the ear with cotton wool but never poke anything inside the ears.
Eyes: Check they look clean, if any grey discharge has collected wipe gently with cotton wool moistened with boiled water, one piece for each eye (don’t use cotton wool unless it is wet, the bits stick to the eye ).
Teeth: Brush with toothbrush and special dog toothpaste, also you can apply logic gel from the vet to help prevent tooth decay.
Nails: if you exercise on soft ground the nails will grow longer than those of a dog walked on hard ground. I use a nail file regularly (human) rather than clippers.

A Fishy smell?: A ‘fishy smelling breath ' is not usually caused by bad breath. It can be an infection in the fissure, at the side of the mouth on the bottom jaw near where the top canines sit when the mouth is closed you will see a little fold of skin..a fissure, this can become infected and it then smells fishy so look and sniff. This is more common in bearded/long haired breeds. Wipe with cotton wool and saline solution (boiled water and salt), if infected you need to see the vet.
Has your dog been washing its rear a lot? If there is an anal gland problem and you dog licks the area that can also produce a smell fishy. It is not difficult to empty the anal glands but do not do it and hurt your dog making it fearful of having its back end touched. It is a simple (but smelly) procedure. Hold the dogs tail in your left hand, now with the right hand using your thumb and forefinger gently but firmly squeeze each side of the dogs anus ( take care it does tend to spurt out all over you) . Now clean the area with a saline solution (warm boiled water with a little salt added).




THOUGHTS ON HOUSETRAINING PUPPIES
There are various ways to house train a puppy and everyone who has dogs will have their own tried and tested method. This is the one I like to use, I have used it many times and it has always worked for me.

The moment you arrive home with a new puppy take it into the garden to relieve itself. From now on always take it to the same spot to ‘be clean’, you need to do this after every meal/ sleep/play/excitement/first thing in the morning/last thing at night/when it 'circles' or appears to want to go out and about once every hour during the day. Whenever the puppy performs say 'clean dog’ and give lots of praise and a treat then take it straight back into the house so that it associates going out to that particular spot with one purpose only.

I believe the fewer times a puppy soils in the house the better and the more chance you have of teaching it that the only place to ‘be clean' is outside. Everyone expects a small baby to cry during the night and they attend to it knowing this particular stage in the baby’s development won’t last very long. To me puppies are no different from babies in this respect and I like to give them the same consideration, to do this will mean a bit of inconvenience and getting up in the night a few times so that their daytime routine remains unbroken and there is less opportunity to soil in the house. Most dogs don’t begin to gain bladder and bowel control until around four months of age, so what you are in fact doing is preventing the puppy from soiling in the house until it has matured sufficiently to wait to go out.

Having established a daytime routine, when it comes to bedtime take the puppy upstairs and have it near you in a small box containing a blanket, a jumper with your ‘scent’ on,a small drinking bowl and a soft toy, it should go to sleep quite quickly in the dark and the sound of your breathing will be very comforting. Remember it has only just left its mother and littermates and is now started to bond with you, having you near will help to bond/ build trust between you. If it needs to go out it should cry to alert you not wanting to soil in the small bed. If it wakes pick the puppy up gently, take it outside, place it on the ‘usual spot' saying ‘be clean’ then give lots of praise when it performs. Then take it back to the box with the minimum of fuss.

When the puppy has got used to this routine and has gained a little confidence you may wish to progress to leaving it in the kitchen during the night. Continue to use the same familiar box (now with the front cut out) and contents also leave a ticking clock in the room to provide a reassuring sound . Set an alarm clock for the time it usually wakes and take it out at that time, every couple of nights add a few minutes to the time you go to take it out. Don’t be surprised if there is the odd set back and the puppy has an accident or wakes and cries to go out early, this can happen although some are really good and hardly wake much at all. Alternatively, you may wish to continue having the puppy in the bedroom with you, it's a matter of personal choice.

Until house trained it is best to restrict your little dogs access to one room only like the kitchen, if there are any accidents quickly clean them up with the minimum of fuss and without speaking to or looking at the culprit.

If I catch a pup in 'the act' of having an accident I never shout or punish it and don’t even acknowledge the incident has happened at all . It is easy to get angry and shout but in so doing you will make the puppy fearful and afraid to 'be clean' in your presence. Some people say 'you can’t just say nothing because the puppy will do it in the same place again' but why should it, this was an accident and if you are vigilant accidents won’t happen very often if at all. I prefer to ignore the incident completely, by doing this it should soon be forgotten, and as far as the puppy is concerned it bought no reward whereas 'going' in the right place brings praise. Instead of saying anything I take the puppy outside to the 'spot' in silence, this reinforcing the fact that this is where it should go, then I clean up the soiled place thoroughly and carry on as before.

It has now become fashionable to buy dog crates; I think they are very good if used correctly but have never needed one myself preferring to use a large homemade playpen which can be moved into the garden when needed. One problem with a crate is the size required by a full grown dog is usually too large for house training purposes and I prefer something smaller and more cosy. Crates can be expensive so if you are buying one it is best to buy a large crate the puppy can grow into and make sure it is strong and well made with no sharp edges. If you are intending to use a crate for night time training you will need to section it off so that the area in which the puppy sleeps is kept to a minimum to deter soiling, one way to do this is to put a small box in the front of the crate allowing room for the bed only and no space in which to soil.

For some people getting up during the night may seem like a lot of effort particularly when they may have to get up early to go to work, but I think it is well worth the trouble and in no time at all you should have a clean and happy dog that can be taken anywhere.


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30-12-2004, 02:21 AM
Food for weaning puppies

Age 4-12weeks = 7am / noon / 5pm/ 10pm
Age 3-6 months = 7am/ noon / 5pm
Age 6-12months = 7am/5pm
1 year onwards = 5pm
You can of course alter the timing slightly to suit your particular circumstances.

The type of food you feed your puppy is very important. It needs to be varied and of good quality to insure you puppy gets the right nutrients to build strong bones and a healthy body. I am not a great advocate of supplements and feel if you feed good quality food in the correct amounts they should not be necessary. If you have recently bought a puppy no doubt the breeder will have supplied you with a feeding chart. If not, or if for any reason you wish to change the puppy’s food give it at least a week to settle in before you do so and change over gradually by substituting a little of the new food with some of the old at each meal.
Although modern complete puppy foods no doubt contain all that is required for a fit and healthy puppy, I still prefer to feed fresh food to puppies from weaning up to at least 9 months. It is ok to start weaning as soon as the teeth can be felt in the puppies mouth around the 17 day after birth. To begin weaning I give each puppy a small amount of food individually. I start very small puppies on scraped beef, unlike mince it contains no gristle for little ones to choke on. I give about two teaspoons in all at different times on the first day. This amount can gradually be increased .To make it; buy slices of stewing steak and scrape the raw slice of meat with a knife to produce a sort of fine paste. This is very easy for the puppies to lick and they love it. Then I slowly introduce other things off the following list and to begin with of the four daily meals I feed two milky and two other:

Milky Meals Fine oatmeal cooked (microwave is good for this) puppy milk/honey.
Beaten raw egg with puppy milk/honey.
Cooked rice/puppy milk.
Other A small amount of soaked puppy meal or cooked rice with one of the these:
Carrots/peas/ steamed and mashed,
Cooked chicken/Minced raw beef/ Minced cooked lamb/minced cooked rabbit/minced cooked chicken,
Boned cooked fish (coley is reasonably priced) or canned fish (in olive oil not brine),
Oxtail and shin beef when cooked slowly give off lovely juices, after cooking mince or chop the meat and added to the cooking juices, this will set to a lovely gel.
If you happen to have a pressure cooker try cooking a whole chicken or sheep’s head until the bones are soft then mince the lot. This produces a nutritious paste similar to brawn.
I try whenever possible to feed organic food to puppies, although it is more expensive I feel it gives a good healthy start. I have particular concerns with regard to chicken as some non organic birds can contain antibiotic residues. I never feed pork to dogs. The reason I cook most of the meat is to prevent any worms/bacteria being passed to the puppies, but as they get older and stronger I feed most of the meat raw (except the special stew/paste).

Quantities

It is difficult to specify quantities of food for a puppy as this is not an exact science and is dependant on a number of factors, the individual/the age of the puppy/ the type of food/ and to some extent the breed. When feeding the above diet I never had any problems and gauged the amounts fed according to what a puppy could eat in a certain time and as a rule of thumb gave twice the amount of nutrients required per day by an adult dog but spread over the number of meals the puppy is being given at that time. However, if you are feeding a concentrated complete food I feel this changes things somewhat in that a puppy fed on this type of food may tend to put on more weight more quickly. I think you need to judge for yourself if the puppy is too fat/thin and vary the amounts accordingly. There will probably be a weight chart for your breed on your the breeds web site. If you are feeding a complete food obviously you will be following the manufacturer’s instructions on the amount to feed and when to start feeding it. Whatever you choose to feed always have plenty of fresh water available to your puppy.

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01-01-2005, 11:57 PM
KENNEL MAID TALES
THESE ARE SOME PHOTOGRAPHS FROM MY KENNEL MAID DAYS stories to follow.


The first Kennel. 'The Manor House '




















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04-01-2005, 01:29 AM
KENNEL MAID TALES

These are a few little stories about my time as a kennel maid from the late 1960s on wards. It is quite possible no one will ever read them, but they were fun to write and may amuse some passing person.
1) Starting out.
2) A new addition.
3) On the move again.
4) A step further.
5) Birth, puppies the highs and the very lows.
*Thomas who thought he was a dog.
*A Great Escape


1) Starting out.

My first thought as I walked into the kennel yard was have I made a big mistake coming here and is this really the same place I visited on the day of my interview. It all looked different and quite daunting.
A friend of Dad’s had dropped me at the gates of the Manor House Kennels and as I entered the kennel yard a river of green slime flowed down the middle to meet me. I approached the open double doors of a building and was met with a sight more suited to a horror film. On the floor two huge vats overflowing with green paunches bubbled and hissed on gas rings while a girl in blue overalls chopping sheep’s heads open with a small axe. The girl smiled and wiping her dirty hands down her front offered to take me to see my room . As we walked across the yard towards the house I discovered she was the head kennel maid, we went through a side door into the house , climbed some stairs then entered a small room. Perched on one of two beds in the room was a girl I recognised from the day of my interview, we were going to train together as kennel maids. The head girl left us to our unpacking, as we began my new friend complained about the lack of storage space, one small chest between the two of us. I looked down at the contents of my small suitcase and the carrier bag containing my Wellingtons and thought how little there was to show for my fifteen year of life, I would have no problem fitting my belongings into one draw. Having finished unpacking the girl and myself went to look around the kennels, we walked past what seemed to be miles of dog pens where happy looking dogs pressed their noses to the wire, past an enormous incinerator looking like a space ship, past endless beds of marrows and eventually we arrived back at the dog kitchen. My first job was to mince the paunches I had seen bubbling in the vats earlier on, no wandering leafy lanes in my new blue overall with a team of dogs. As I plunged my hands into the green slime I considered my plight, yes I had made a mistake coming here but it was too late now, I would have to make the best of it.


2) A new addition.

The days passed, unfamiliar duties turned into routine and although unhappy I learnt to get by. Everyone had said I wouldn't stick the life of a kennel maid for more than a week and I intended to prove them wrong. It was very hard work, our day started at 6am and frequently didn’t finish until 10pm, in return for the long hours we were paid one pound a week and also received training and what was laughingly referred to as ‘food and board’ . The food was limited and consisted mainly of potatoes and marrow, the board was a shared almost bare room. Time off was half a day a week and one whole day ever month. The dogs ate much better than we did, they got porridge with honey and milk, stews with lamb and pearl barley, mounds of beef and trays of glistening fish, (as well as the sheeps heads and the paunches) we girls were always hungry. The kennels were kept immaculately clean, everywhere was scrubbed and disinfected endlessly and the dogs were exercised, groomed, content and extremely well cared for. The lady who owned the kennel was ‘something big’ in industry and the dogs were her hobby and her passion. Each weekday she returned from work at 6pm and swept up the drive in her car while we kennel maids lined the way, then came her tour of the kennels to check all was to as it should be, and fines for us girls if it wasn’t.

One morning I walked into the kennel yard and sitting in a spare pen was the most amazing little dog I had ever seen, it was dark grey with a fluffy white beard and legs, it was love at first sight for me. I found out the little dog was a Miniature Schnauzer and he was a famous show dog who would be spending the day with us awaiting collection by his professional handler. Every spare second I had that day was spent with the little dog, I could think of nothing better than owning one just like him, but on my wage that would be years away. The kennel manager at that time was a lovely lady whose home was overseas; she hoped to buy some stock in the UK to take back to her own kennels. Returning from a buying trip one day she told me there was a gift for me in her car, I went to look and there in the map pocket was a tiny grey Schnauzer puppy fast asleep on a jumper. I found out later the puppy had been booked some time before to be purchased as new stock for the kennel, but once seen it was not thought to be good enough for that purpose. I didn’t care, to me the puppy was just perfect.

I called the puppy Bunny, having only had her a few days she was nearly lost. While doing night duty I had to put her in an outside pen, from out of nowhere came a terrible thunder storm and Bunny in panic pushed her little head through the railings and got it stuck. The only way to free her was by digging a hole under the railings and sliding her head down and out through the hole. With the storm raging and both of us shaking with fear I got her free, she was soaked through and half dead but survived. The kennel owner did not really allow her girls to have their own dogs, the manager was going home and I had decided to move on. I had learnt a lot in a short time but best of all I had Bunny who turned out to be the most fantastic little dog, sweet natured, intelligent and easy to train. I had her for 16 years.


3) On the move again.

There are few memories remaining of the next place I worked and those that are seem bleak. The kennels was in a large Victorian house looked out over magnificent views of the Amber Valley. It was part boarding/trimming/and occasional breeding kennel. The couple who ran it were kind hearted but very short of money and the whole place was run down and shabby. I had previously been taught to hand strip and now learnt to trim a variety of breeds. Client’s dogs were boarded in the outside kennel along with a few show dogs. As the winter turn bitterly cold the dogs were brought inside and housed in the bare empty bedrooms although it wasn’t much warmer in there than it was outside. The whole house was like an ice box and my bedroom was no exception, with the bare floorboards and a hole in the window I nearly froze to death. Bunny used to sleep on my bed and we shared the thin blanket and kept each other warm as best we could. My strongest memory of the place is of being in a room with a litter of sick orphaned Scotty puppies, in the corner a small black and white television portrayed the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, the whole country was in mourning for the great man's passing and I was mourning the tiny Scotty puppy who had just died in my hands.

I had found a copy of the Our Dogs Christmas annual and flicking through the pages came upon a show kennel of Miniature Schnauzers and Cockers. How wonderful it would be if I could work in a place like that. Without further hesitation I wrote to the kennel and asked to be considered should they ever need a kennel maid. A few weeks late I had a letter back saying I could go there on a month’s trial, so that was it, goodbye cold house and chilblains, Bunny and I were on the move again.


4) A step further.

Just a few weeks later I was on my way to Lancashire many miles away on the other side of the Pennines. We arrived at the beautifully kept Victorian house early one Sunday morning my Father, my Brother and me. There had been a big party in the house the previous night and the occupants were still clearing up the remains. My goodbyes said I followed my new employer into the grandly furnished drawing room and was poined in the direction of a chair where I was to listen to a short lecture on what was expected of me. I felt very uncomfortable, when I first sat down in the floral patterned chair I noticed that someone had ‘been ill’ in it, one of the party goers from the night before no doubt. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, I was so embarrassed and far too scared to say anything, it was my sixteenth birthday and I felt a very long way from home.
My new employers were both well known international show judges, one was the Secretary of a Championship show and between them they had a wealth of knowledge about dogs. They were both very kind and treated me as their daughter and I was given the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the dog world. Bunny loved it there too and enjoyed being in the company of other Schnauzers. The kennels contained about a dozen adult dogs, a number of puppies and the juniors ‘running on’ just enough to keep me busy. They were mainly Miniature Schnauzers with a few blue/orange roan Cockers too, all of them were lovely dogs some already champions and most of those who were not were destined to be so soon. I settled in very well and after a couple of months was considered capable of being left to run the kennels on my own. The owners were frequently away either showing, judging or just busy with the huge amount of work involved in running a Ch. Show. A young trainee kennel maid came to help part time so I was able to attend shows and learnt to handle the dogs in the ring. The best part of showing for me wasn’t the big successes at Championships shows; it was going on my own to the little Saturday shows with a young dog and winning.
During the my time at the kennels many show judges and professional handlers came to stay at the house, I loved to sit quietly listening to their experiences and learnt a lot that way. A few years later I was to move again, the dogs, the cats, the donkey and the kennels were to go with me, but that’s another story.


5) On birth, puppies the highs and the very lows.

No matter how many times I witness a bitch giving birth the process always remains a thing of wonder to me. Some whelpings I remember for being particularly funny or sad. On one occasion a bitch was having great difficulty, her first puppy had arrived ok and the second was thought to be very big and somehow got stuck. It was late at night, the vet was expecting us and we were all anticipating a caesarean. I was sitting on the back seat of the car with the bitch and her one puppy with my colleague driving when the second puppy decided it wanted to be born naturally after all. I yelled for the driver to stop the car and and to hold the torch while I assisted the bitch, and just as the church clock struck midnight the second puppy was born. I was kneeling on the back seat of the car with the torch, just then a police car stopped behind us to see why the car was parked at an odd angle on a yellow line and exactly what we were up to. When we explained the situation the police turned out to be very helpful and gave us an escort to the vets. The rest of the puppies were born ok and we called the big one ‘Bumble’ He is the large blue cocker puppy in the middle of the litter on the photograph above.The first time I was required to stay and help with a caesarean I was a little reluctant. Being a bit squeamish I quite expected to feel faint but this was not the case, I found the whole experience so fascinated I did not feel ill at all. The whole process was completed very quickly, the bitch was prepared, the incision made and the first puppy handed to me in a matter of minutes. When all the puppies were out of the tummy the vet carefully sewed the bitch back up a layer of skin at a time making a very neat job.
Among the sadder births I can recall was that of Emma a champion bitch who to me was the most perfect Schnauzer I had ever seen. She had her much awaited first (and only litter) and produced just one puppy, it was deformed and had to be PTS . Soon after that Emma became ill and was diagnosed with a type of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a little while later she died. Equally sad was the case of Franny the champion foundation bitch who bought up Thomas the cat in my story. Fran had just produced a lovely litter of puppies and all were doing fine. I was very excited, the people I worked for were both going on a long trip to judge in Mexico and the USA and in case of problems, the dogs had been transferred into our joint names, so that meant I now partly owned them. My excitement was short lived, the couple gone I was all on my own when Franny suddenly became ill. The bitches all had routine injection after whelping to prevent problems but even so Fran developed a womb infection and died. The vet said there was nothing more I could have done, the puppies were all fine but Fran, the lovely dog with a great character was gone. I agonized as to how I was going to tell the couple on their return, I could neither eat nor sleep for worrying about it. This episode came shortly after Emma died so I had already received one nasty shock. The couple returned from their travels and although saddened by Frans death were both sympathetic and understanding. I had learnt a little about responsibility and been given a sharp reminder of the sadness breeding dogs can bring.
One of my best memories regarding whelping was a time just after the kennels moved to Gloucestershire. I had been up all night with a bitch and she having finished whelping was now suckling the litter contentedly. It was early spring, birds were singing and the sun coming up over the blossoms in the orchard. I kicked off my shoes and walked through the wet grass, everywhere around me people were sleeping, they would never experience this magical moment. Just then I felt the luckiest person in the world and so very glad I had chosen to be a kennel maid.



Thomas the Cat who thought he was a dog.

The people I went to live with in Lancashire had not long been at the house and in the garage there were some empty wooden packing cases left over from the move. One time a funny noise was heard coming from inside one of the packing cases and further examination revealed a minute black kitten eyes still closed and mewing pitifully. We guessed it had been placed there by its mother; queens who produce a litter away from home frequently distribute the kittens around, nature’s way of trying to ensure the survival of at least some of them I guess. We put the tiny little thing in a box by the stove and gave it a little warm milk and brandy in an eye dropper, it was obviously newly born and we did not hold out much hope that it would live. Sometime later we went back to the kitchen to find the kitten gone, Fran the Schnauzer had picked up the kitten and taken it into bed with her.
Fran, a wonderful mother had whelped a few months earlier and the litter had been weaned. In no time at all she had produced milk and was feeding the tiny kitten herself. Fran used to sit in the dog bed with the kitten tucked under her and an expression of smug delight on her face.
The kitten stayed with Fran until he was old enough to be weaned and he grew into a magnificent black cat; he was named Thomas T. Shnat. All the dogs were used to him and Thomas, under the mistaken impression that he was a dog would sit with the girls in the dog bed, or in the dog pens, or on the roof of a kennel. This odd little cat also liked to go for long walks with the dogs and could be seen skipping happily along the road behind them. Thomas had a favourite little trick, there was a long path running from the dog kitchen to the dog pens, it had a tall conifer hedge on one side with little gaps in. At feeding time I used to stack the bowls of dog food on a tray to take to the dogs in the pens, when I was halfway up the path Thomas would fling himself out of the middle of the hedge landing on the tray and scattering food and dishes everywhere, then he would leap neatly onto the ground and turn to give a cheeky look before walking proudly away leaving me to clear up the mess. Sadly he eventually got knocked down by a car and although we nursed him for days poor T.T. as he was called had to be PTS. He was buried in the woods he loved with his own little headstone.


A Great Escape

We kept a Donkey called Abigail at the kennels; she was naughty, hated being caught and loved to run around the paddock ears back tail high in the air with a group of the dogs chasing beside her. The kennel was situated in a beautiful part of the Lancashire countryside near Pilkington’s Glass research laboratory; I often walked the dogs that way (along with Thomas the cat too who thought he was a dog). One day after the usual half an hour of swearing I captured Abi to give her a bath, not the most favourite thing in her life. Donkeys are prone to lice and bathing and brushing helps to keep them free of pests. I tethered Abi to the yard gate, got her nicely covered in shampoo then went to get some more water to rinse the suds away. When I returned she was gone. Glancing down the circular drive I caught a glimpse of the Donkey’s rear end turning on to the road so I tore across the lawn in the hope of heading her off. Too late, down the road she trotted suds flying everywhere and me trailing behind. We reached Pilkington’s and Abi, spotting the half barrier of the security gate rushed through the gap and headed towards the offices. I stood in the road powerless to do anything and watched as the Security Guard in his little glass box surveyed the apparition before him. The guard gathered himself together and ran after the wayward animal, she paused to negotiate a flower bed he made a grab at the halter but missed covering the front of his uniform in suds. A small crowd had assembled at the windows of the offices as Abi headed straight for the main door. Suddenly Abi sensing defeat stopped dead and with an air of one in control turned and trotted back towards me. As the Donkey came in reach of my grasp I took the halter and offered up a prayer that this would not be one of those times when she refused to walk. Then with what little dignity I had left we walked back home. It was quite a while before I dared to walk the dogs that way again, taking a black cat on walks was one thing, the episode with the donkey was something else.

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09-01-2005, 02:53 PM
Amy my present Miniature Schnauzer







Why does it take my Mum so long to get ready, had my coat on for ages.
Amy is now 15 years old so has a coat for walks when it is very cold outside.
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Roxy
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Location: Leyland, Lancashire
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 7,651
Female  Diamond Supporter 
 
09-01-2005, 03:08 PM
Brilliant Mini you should turn it in to a book!

It was great getting an insight into your life, and has made me think differently about you, your not the evil arch enenmy I thought you were! (Only joking)
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bellaluna
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Location: Denmark
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Female 
 
09-01-2005, 03:30 PM
Dont know if we are allowed to post here yet, but just wanted to thank yo for doing tis.

Its been very exciting reading. And I have been sitting here waiting for the next bit to be added

Great job Mini
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olive
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Location: West of Scotland
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Posts: 1,204
Female 
 
09-01-2005, 06:03 PM
Wow, Mini I thoroughly enjoyed reading that, thank you so much for taking the time to write it - your stories from your kennel days are just amazing, I was laughing so much at Abigail and had a wee tear in my eye at TT and Fran's stories. You have a real aptitude for story telling, I felt as though I was there with you - kind of wish I was .
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Meg
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Female  Diamond Supporter 
 
10-01-2005, 10:09 AM
thank you so much , it was fun to write and I am very pleased you enjoyed the little stories, there are many more I could write some concerning people who are now well known judges (lol ) but better not
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