Friday, 30 December 2011

Update on weather, dogs etc.

So far this winter has not tried to emulate the previous one. Everything round here is thoroughly muddy but, thank goodness, no snow. I actually got to have Christmas dinner with a friend and then get to other friends in Boxing Day. Last year my neighbour brought me Christmas dinner as my van was under a snow drift and I couldn't set foot outside.
So now I'm grateful for small mercies. Silver is still whirling round the lawn and churning the surface but, thanks to the plastic mesh I put down at the beginning of summer, she can't actually produce trenches so I expect when spring comes it will regenerate and still be flattish. She is a lunatic.
Dyfi Dog is back to supervising my dishing out of sheep's breakfasts and is behaving quite well, but is attached to a bungy rope just in case he gets any bad ideas about chasing.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Summer's End at Bodyfuddau

Wasn't much of a summer, was it? I quite enjoyed some of it as, at least when I could abandon the computer, I could do some gardening. I did have quite big areas in front of and behind the house. Behind was only accessible by either going right round the house and through several gates or through the archway where they used to keep the carts [and I used to keep my goat]. A small part of that is raised beds and slate paths but it has been taken over by a jungle of ras[pberries and tay berries, rhubarb and black currents so I leave it as it is and gather what i can. All the rest of the back is grass and is mown by pet sheep. I am in process of extending it to make a big playground for dogs, including training for Dyfi. The latter will happen more in the winter as I can then bribe the woollies into that area with food and make him behave in their vicinity. That's the plan anyway. I'm awaiting a nice big shed to keep dog agility equipment and grooming wherewithall.

The front I've kept as garden and, with an hour a week of help, I can more or less manage that and it has been quite pretty this year. The improvements included a rockery beside the front door and two weeks ago I was putting Dyfi's lead on before a walk when Silver ran full tilt into my feet, canoning me into the rockery face down so I have spent all that time eating only spahgetti, soup or bread with no crusts. Just got to managing marmelade with thin peel. Apart from such accidents I manage very well gardening now as, so long as I'm on the flat, I don't even notice the knee. My right arm is getting worse but I'm getting fairly adept at some things left handed.
Two photos give an idea of the front garden. One is my trellis after last winter's gales, showing also the state of the lawn after much circling by Silver, who runs in circles whenever excited [that's how come she collided with me]. The other is after resurrecting the clematis and putting green plastic mesh on the lawn for the grass to grow through. She still circles but only mows pathways, doesn't make excavations.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Dyfi's Progress

When I acquired Dyfi four years ago I found out at onece that he was a dyed in the wool sheep-chaser. I only went to the post office to get my pension and was asked if I re-homed dogs. I didn't but in a weak moment accepted Dyfi and thought I'd just house train him and find him a home. When we got home I tied him to a shed that used to house my neighbour's dogs when he was on holiday. In about 30 seconds he chewed through the rope and was chasing sheep in the next field. I caught him after nearly 2 hours.
Since then he has become quite civilised and is a lovely obedient dog except if he can see a possibly accessible sheep. Consequently he has to wear a muzzle on all walks etc around home as we live in the middle of Snowdonia sheep country.
On Thursday I left a kind dog sitter friend to look after Jess and Silver and drove Dyfi down to a farm near Abergavenny and yesterday we had one-to-one lessons with Sue Harper, a brilliant specialist trainer.
Dyfi did very well and enjoyed it immensely as he had all the attention all day without competition from the girls.
Now I have to put the training into practice every day. I have made the back garden over to dog training and ordered a shed to keep agility equipment etc in. WEhen not in use by me and dogs, it will be left open for the 3 pet sheep to mow.
I'll post in a week or so how we are getting on. Fortunately my new knee has given me back my mobility.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sorry for the long gap. I have been hindered by many hospital visits of which I don't think you all need details. The final result is that I am now back home with a complete new knee and it is fast getting so much better that I'm beginning to forget how awful the old one was. Before the date for the new one arrived the old one bled into the joint and I had to be rescued by two very kind para-medics and spent the week in hospital on morphine with about a binbag full of ice round my leg. When they brought me back Welsh winter had kicked in and the ambulance just got up my lane and my front garden was an ice sheet I didn't dare walk on.
Fortunately Emma had been in residence ever since I went and she walked a 3 mile round trip in the snow every day to walk the collies and feed ducks and sheep.
Then at last I had the op. Managed to give 6 extra drakes to a good home the night before I left. To catch them one has to arrange for the recipient of ducks to come here at about dusk so that I can corrall them as they come in for their tea. Anyway I now have a more suitable little flock ready for spring but no one is laying. They haven't forgiven me for being kept in through two long periods of snow.
Emma moved back in while I was back in hospital and is still here most of the time, bless her, although I am now quite good walking about indoors and even outside a bit. Haven't risked walking dogs yet as Dyfi could chrge into me and dislodge crutches. The dogs are thoroughly enjoying Emma and her dog, Rocky. who is their bosom friend.
Picture of snow play. The one up above that isn't a collie is Rocky. He is bulldogxboxer and is exactly like a very small boxer with chopped of legs - very energetic.

Now I wonder if this site will let me post the collie one down here? Evidently not so see above.