What Are You Looking At?

What Are You Looking At?
Ronnie stares out the camera - and wins!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Dogs, Walks and Hills

Well I know it's been a while since I last posted anything here at Strange Dog and for that I apologise, but I'm back now and ready with a tale of a certain little dog, walks and hills!

Just lately, now that the weather has become warm again and Spring is definitely upon us, Ronnie and I have taken to walking "up the hill" to get to a higher part of where we live for a better view (for me) and more interesting scents (for him). I might add that when I plan a walk up the hill, Daisy declines the invitation as if she knows where we're going. No strenuous hiking up any steep hills for her!

So its just me and Ron tackling the rather steep hill that takes us up into the lofty places of our town and presents marvellous views down to the sea and up to the mountains behind us. Of course, Ronnie is more intent upon the new scents along the way.

But there's one thing about a small dog when it comes to walking up and down hills and that's they have a low centre of gravity and four wheel drive when compared to the build of us more cumbersome humans! Meaning he can scamper up the hills much faster than I can, so it's a tug of war all the way up there! Mind you, having a small power pack of scrabbling arms and legs to pull you up a steep hill is actually quite useful...

Once at the top, there are plenty of interesting areas to explore and Ronnie enjoys this part of the walk too. The best part for me is that up there is the house that I want, with a huge garden and fantastic views. Its called "Art" which is exactly what it was built for, with a high ceilinged living area set out as a large art studio. Perfect for Janice, who is a fine artist. The garden is perfect for me (I love gardening and growing my own organic food). Its also perfect for the dogs, who would love to be able to run around in there!

The mere fact that this particular property is not for sale is neither here nor there. I can dream can't I? And you never know... one day that house will be mine, I'm convinced of that and I often imagine myself playing with the dogs in the garden while Jan is painting her latest masterpiece in the studio. The law of attraction says when I imagine already having something, the law moves into action to make it happen, so I'm certainly making sure I attract that house to me!

Anyway, back to the walk. When its time to go home, there is that very steep hill to be negotiated once more, only this time its downhill and when you've got a small 4x4 powerplant in front of you, going down is a whole different ballgame! He's only small but he still makes me work hard to stop him pulling me over when he gets a real spurt of scramble power on!

If you saw him you just wouldn't believe that such a small package can pack such a powerful punch of pulling power downhill!

See you next time!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Hot Dog Walks

My last post with its tongue in cheek look at the virtues or otherwise of buying expensive dog food in Strange Dogs Dinner, I want to look at walking the dogs in the heat of August in Southern Spain!

As you can imagine, daytime temperatures climb fast by mid morning to the low 30s (centigrade) and by midday they're up to almost 40. Well they stay like that for most of the afternoon and don't start to drop until late evening as the sun goes down.

So when do we walk the dogs?

Early in the morning and late in the evening when its still relatively cool!

This is mainly because its not just us poor humans that suffer in the heat, but so do the dogs. For one, the pavements are so hot later in the day that they will burn the pads on your poor dog's feet which is not very nice. Remember that while you may have your feet protected by sandals or whatever, they don't!

For another the air temperature is very hot and dry and both humans and dogs will dehydrate very quickly in the heat of the day. So its always best to avoid the heat of the day and walk the dogs when its cooler. Oh, and never leave your dog in a car during the day - see my article about this at Hot Dogs.

My favourite time is very early in the morning before the sun (and every other person) rises. Its cool, peaceful and very calming walking through semi-dark, deserted streets with Ronnie (Daisy won't get out of her bed so early) and its a good time to just enjoy the solitude.

Who said walking the dog had to be hard work?

Terry Didcott
Strange Dog

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Strange Dogs Dinner

After writing about More Kong Toys for Dogs, in my last post I want to get back to grass roots here and talk about dogs. Not any old dogs in general, but my two in particular.

Ronnie and Daise are the two little Yorkies in question and this is what happens when their dozy owner is not on the ball.

Breakfast time arrives as it does every morning, which is the reason for the title of this post, by the way. We eat first then the dogs get theirs - the proper way to ensure that the humans rank higher in the pack than the dogs. So we have some nice stuff for the little darlings by way of a change as Jan went out and bough some of those expensive little tubs of the same gunk you can get in a tin for a third of the price, but it says on the packet its for small dogs, so that what they're having for their breakfast this morning.

I may have posted on my ways of dealing with fussy dogs that won't eat their food, so this morning was no different. Down went the bowls onto the kitchen floor, along came two inquisitive noses sniffing the delicasies that awaited their hungry bellies.

One sideways glance at the food, then both look up at me in unison as if to say "...and this is?" and they turn around and walk off leaving the food for the ants which will inevitably come in a bout an hour...

Not happy with this, some coaxing is needed and I manage to get Daisy to eat hers. Now this doesn't often happen, as its usually the very strange dog Ronnie who nearly always eats his food, him being not quite pedigree having something to do with it no doubt. But this morning Ronnie watched Daisy eat her food from a safe distance, not moving.

This is the point where I took my eye off the ball...

When I turned back I saw Daisy polishing off Ronnies breakfast too and with a grin and a wave of her behind, she was off to sleep of fthe unexpected feast.

After calling Ronnie a silly boy for letting her eat his food I gave up and was at least thankful that the bowls could be cleaned up before the ants got a whiff of the aroma and came in single file to see what was on offer today.

After settling down with a nice cup of tea (there is still some English left in me, not much, but enough for me to still enjoy drinking tea)... Well Daisy wakes up prematurely from her snooze and bolts for the cat flap onto the balcony where she throws up Ronnies half of breakfast.

Oh nice.

Guess who had to go clean that up? Mmm.

An hour later, I'm back to work on the computer in the home office with Daisy in her usual place in her bed under the desk when up she gets and throws up her half of breakfast at my feet.

Oh Joy.

More cleaning up and this one will not wait!

The moral of the story - if you're of a mind to go and waste money buying those little tubs of dog food for your little darlings, don't bother. They will just reward your kindness with some well placed dog-sick that you will have to clean up so it might as well have been the cheap stuff...

Terry Didcott
Strange Dog

Friday, 20 June 2008

More Kong Toys for Dogs

In my last post Kong Toys For Dogs, I went through some of the reasons those Kong Toys for Dogs were driving me to distraction with Ronnie the strange dog chasing his Kong all over the room and just not letting up!

Well a week or so has passed by and... ha! If you thought I was going to say that Ronnie was still playing with that damn toy well that would make him some kind of super-dog or the strange dog that never sleeps or even the crazy Yorkshire Terrier strange dog who's so hooked on his Kong dog toy that he forgot to sleep, eat or anything else for over a week!

Ok, that didn't happen and Ronnie did actuall take time off to sleep, as well as all the other things that even strange dogs need to do throughout their hectic daily schedules!

But that doesn't mean he's forgotten his new favourite toy. Oh no!

It has become a bit of a saga we could entitle "Strange Dog Ronnie and Case of the Kong Dog Toys For Small Dogs That Robbed Him of His Sleep" because he still gets the thing out of his toy basket and wants to play non-stop for hours on end! Luckily, right now he's decided to take a nap as even his energetic little frame has to rest sometime. But I can see the cogs turning in his little brain as he builds up new reserves of energy to be expended chasing that crazy Kong dog toy all over the house the second he wakes up!

So I've taken to playing my own little game with him.

While he's been snoozing I stole the Kong dog toy that he was gusrding and hid it under a pile of cushions on the other sofa. I wonder how long it will take him to realise the toy is missing from its last known position, then to sniff it out and find it again!

Well, he can't have all the fun, can he?

Ronnie is such a strange dog, after all!

Terry Didcott
Strange Dog

Monday, 9 June 2008

Kong Toys For Dogs

Kong toys for dogs are driving me nuts!

Well after the photo shoot of those two with their Summer Haircuts for Strange Dogs in my last post, I thought I'd mention one of the toys that drives Ronnie the strange dog into a frenzy.

Its that little red funny shaped contraption that makes up on of the fascinating range of Kong toys for dogs. This isn't going to be a review or sale pitch or anything, I'll leave that sort of thing to other dog oriented blogs. So really this is just a post that was prompted by a game Ronnie was playing a while ago and it started out as a lot of fun but them became more frustrating as it went on.

You see, Ronnie loves to chase things that you throw for him.

It doesn't matter if its a ball or a soft toy or a chewy stick. If you throw it for him, he'll chase it across the room them bring it back for you to throw again - sometines after a minor tug of war which is all part of the game.

But this game included the Kong dog toy we bought him a while ago. That toy is not a ball as such more like a hollow rubber half rugby ball shaped thing that is practically indestructable. Which is necessary with Ronnie, because he might be small but he's a destructive little terror when it comes to balls and soft toys.

Anyway, the kong came out of the toy basket (yes, we have one of those!) and got duly tossed across the room. Unlike a ball, the Kong dog toy bounces and jumps all over the room in all directions meaning Ronnie was chasing it in all directions. Well that was ok for a while until it started bouncing down the stairs.

Well that was funny for a while because it kept bouncing first down a few steps then up a couple and down a few more etc...

Ronnie was going crazy because he couldn't catch it and Daisy, not to be left out of the game stayed at the top of the stairs and yapped her pretty litlle head off! Well it was pandemonim before too long with Ronnie joining in the barking and Daisy running up and down the stairs to try to catch the Kong dog toy as well! They were making so much racket between them it was nearly a case of calling for the dog rescue people to come and take them away! Only joking!

I joined in and managed to catch it and throw it back up teh stairs again and off the game went once more...

I tell you, if you want to have a lot of fun with your dogs, get one of these things for them. Its the original from the range of Kong toys for dogs and comes in different sizes to siut all sizes of dog. Great fun!

Terry Didcott
Strange Dog

Ronnie"s Duck

Ronnie"s Duck
...or is it a pillow?

Ronnie & Daisy

Ronnie & Daisy
Brother & Sister? Not Quite!