27 November 2017

Sit & Stay

Today we have been doing some sit and stay training. We tend to do stuff in small amounts rather than prolonged sessions on one subject. I'm not a trainer so don't know if this is the right approach, it just feels right. He is very good at sitting when asked, especially if there is a treat to be had, very often sitting without even being asked. He is not so eager to stay though.

We have also done more work in the car. Up until now most of the car work has involved the back seat, mainly because he really didn't like the tailgate entrance to the car and also I am able to get on to the back seat and so encourage him to do so. Anyway now that he seems to have got the back seat under control I thought why not now move on to the rear compartment which is where he will be travelling along with Tess when we go places. The back seat is okay but we really like to keep that area of the car clean for people to use. So at feeding time tonight I showed him his dinner bowl before putting it in the rear of the car and then tried to get him to jump in but he didn't want to so I remembered what Cesar Millan once said which was to keep them moving forward so I walked him away and then turned back to the car and walked towards it and as he got close told him UP and like magic he jumped straight in the car and eat his dinner. After he finished I asked him to leave which he did but as I turned to get his bowl he jumped straight back in again so that was the icing on the cake for that lesson.

Apart from the usual walks the rest of the day has been spent helping me in the garden. We have been moving plants from the unheated conservatory to the heated greenhouses. He likes to help me either watching or following me around.

Below is a sit and stay moment for the camera.

18 November 2017

Timmy playing.

This is our 7th day of having Timothy- Michael stay with us.

This is our 7th day of having Timothy- Michael stay with us. In the main he is fitting in very well and although there have been set backs the general progress is going forward at quite a pace. So far there are 3 main problems we need to work together on and they are possession of toys, and maybe other things. Twice now he has attacked Tess after attention was switched from him to her and it's quite upsetting when that happens.

Spending more time alone. He can be with me alot of the time at work but not all the time. He'd been fine by himself for an hour or so but on Thursday afternoon he took to the work tops in the kitchen and broke a couple of vases and was quite upset when I got home. I had introduced a crate in to the area in the morning, not to shut him in but to make him a doggy cave like the one Tess has so whether that spooked him or whether he just loves being with me so much in the garden I don't know as I haven't forced the issue since thinking it best to let the memories of the other day fade away.

The other problem is the car. He is quite afraid of it but needs to lose his fear or he will miss out on holidays, days out on the hills and getting spoilt rotten by grandma and grandad. I know I could just get hold of him and throw him in but I would rather he chose to go in of his own accord.

On the plus side he has stopped marking both indoors and out. He has a place in the garden to go and a couple of places on our walks where he is encouraged to go and he seems happy with that. I do often remind him when indoors but mostly when we sit down he also does the same, no more pacing.

He is happy to follow me around when working only wandering off now and again and he usually comes when I call him although I don't feel confident in letting him off on walks yet as he sometimes shows an interest in pheasants.

He is also showing more and more interest in playing with toys, in particular balls. He likes to push them around with his nose and feet and throw them in the air which is quite a joy to see. I try to throw the ball for him but for some reason that frightens him, he backs off and walks away. He seems to have a strong instinct for owning things so maybe he sees me as claiming it as mine and so moves away.

Timmy with his work ball, he has a nice new red one on a rope at home.

16 November 2017

Cheeky Boy

Timothy-Michael back at work after his visit to the hairdressers yesterday. He surprised me yesterday when I discovered him walking round the garden with one of Tesses tennis balls in his mouth. Up until then he had shown no interest in balls. This morning I left him alone for an hour while I did some chores and came back to find he had been playing with my old shoes so I'm going to find him some stuff to play with. It's good to see him slowly coming out and showing his real charactor. He's a very cheeky boy who already has me trained to open the treats cupboard door.

15 November 2017

Timothy Michael.

Here are a few pictures of Michael, who has been re-named Timmy. I had nothing against the name Michael but all our dogs have had a name beginning with T so we thought it would be good to keep up the tradition.

As you will see from the pictures he has started to make himself at home in the garden, he enjoys coming to work with me whenever he can which has been most of the time this week. It's nice to see him settle down and be quite content just to listen and look around. Tess has never been able to do this, if I don't keep her occupied with a ball she either goes and sits by the gate waiting to go home or she is off doing things which is okay as she never does any harm but it's not much company for me. So I find it nice to have company and reminds me very much of Tommy in this respect.

We knew before we took to Timmy that there would be things to overcome and this has turned out to be true. The least desirable of his habits was his desire to mark with wee. I noticed this when walking him at the rescue but it also continued indoors when we got him home. He left his mark several times on the Sunday evening and many more times on the Monday so I looked up some information on it and decided to watch him every second that he was on his feet and every time he took an interest in something tell him, 'No wee wee'. I don't suppose at this stage he understands the words but I think he knows what I mean because the last two days have been completely wee free indoors. It might seem a strange thing to do but I try not to allow him to wee when out on a walk. Because he is confined by the lead for the time being his wee wee place for the time being is anywhere in the garden so I give him time to go before I put the lead on and leave the garden. After that there are to be no wee's. I allow him to sniff but move him on before he gets chance to mark and then say, 'good boy'. I don't know if this is having any affect or whether he has marked everything he wants to in the house but since I started there have been no more accidents indoors.

The other problem I need to sort out is his reluctance to get in the car. I'm wondering if he associates this with being moved to various different places and left there. If so hopefully as he travels to more places and doesn't get left there he will become okay with it. He is a bit stressed when travelling but so far has not made any mess which is worth a great deal.

13 November 2017

Collecting Michael.

Yesterday we went over to Wiccaweys to take a look at Michael and as everything went alright we ended up bringing him home. Everything is at sixes and sevens at the moment but he is a good natured boy so I'm sure things will turn out fine in time. The worst problem he has at the moment is his desire to mark what he thinks should belong to him so that is the first thing that I need to work on.

Daughter Fallon, me and Vicki with Tess and Michael taken at the rescue place.

Me with Michael.

11 November 2017

New Things For A New Start.

All being well this time tomorrow we will have a new member of the family and in preparation for this I have bought him/her a new bed, collar and lead. We already have plenty of everything but I thought that it would be nice for it to start of with new things of it's own.

Below is the bed, the cover is removable and washable and cost £30 from Amazon.

Below is the matching collar and lead. Again from Amazon costing £13.

5 November 2017

An inspection from a Wiccaweys representative.

Yesterday morning we had the home inspection from a Wiccaweys representative. We had a good chat with him and learnt more about the adoption process. We also had to fill in an extensive questionnaire so that the adoption people can better gauge our experience and therefore hopefully match a dog to our needs. We did apply for one named Michael originally but maybe there is someone else better suited to us. Also Michael is the sort of dog that can be easily homed so maybe it would be more worthwhile if we could use our experience to provide a home to a dog that is not so desirable for whatever reason.

So the next step is to give the a few days to look through everything and decide what might suit us and we can give them a call and arrange a visit to the adoption home and get to see our new family member. They like all members plus any dogs to attend so that they can make sure the dogs and people are all in harmony so I am hoping that will happen next weekend.

1 November 2017

Home Inspection

We've just had some good news. The home inspection with regard to dog adoption has been arranged for Saturday morning at 10am. This is quite a relief because we had become disheartened due to not having heard anything from the adoption people. Both Vicki and I had made phone calls but neither had been replied too so we were sort of giving up and looking elsewhere. I'm probably not going to be able to sleep now!

22 October 2017

Waiting For A Home Inspection.

There was good news today regarding Michael. After a bit of a mix up we managed to make contact with the dog rescue people and after a few questions and what have you over the telephone we have managed to get a home visit by one of their representatives to see if we are suitable candidates for his adoption so everything is being crossed in preparation for the visit, a time and date for which has yet to be arranged.

20 October 2017


Tonight we made a call to enquire about this Collie dog who is currently staying at Wiccaweys Border Collie rescue

His name is Michael and is around 6 years old. Unfortunately there was no one there to take our call so had to leave a message.

25 September 2017

Weekend Away

Vicki and I are spending a few days away with my parents. Yesterday was mostly spent in Scarborough a seaside town in Northern England. Above is a picture of Scarborough harbour.

4 April 2017

Hydrangea Pruning Day

Today is to be Hydrangea Pruning Day, two of which are by the Gardeners Cottage. I'm always in two minds on how to Prune these two bushes, do I cut them well down to let more light in to the house or leave them higher to restrict nosey parkers.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

16 March 2017

Moving Grass

I haven't done a live post for a few days now, mainly due to the fact that most of that time has been spent cutting grass. As it was the first proper cut of the year I have given it a good going over and the gardens look better for it. This morning I have had several big heaps of grass cuttings to move as a result of all my hard work. Some have gone on the compost heap and the rest I have put around the Base of shrubs down the avenue.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

13 March 2017

Memorial Garden Rose Pruning

Having seen to the dogs, sheep greenhouse, been for petrol, ‎swept the front drive and harrowed the gravel parking area on the North Front I am now about to start pruning the two rose beds in the memorial gardens.

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Apricot Blossom

One of the important jobs at this time of year for me is to polinate the Apricot Blossom. I do have the doors of the conservatory open provide the weather is decent in the hope of attracting some bees or whatever indoors but there aren't to many around at the moment so around noon I get out the paint brush and tickle the flowers with it.

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9 March 2017

Woodland Daffodils.

Woodland Daffodils spotted during our evening dog walk.

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Steps Cleaning.

I've managed to get the waste ground job finished in good time so I am going to finish the day off by sweeping the back steps to the office. Up until recently these steps h‎Ave been piled high with stone slates so no chance to look after them.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.


Today I am continuing to clear some waste ground behind the office. I call it waste ground because it's where the builders have been dumping roofing materials and other rubbish for the past few years. I did clear it out once before but as I say this wasn't respected so now I'm back doing it again. Hopefully it will be left alone now on account of the new wedding business that's kicking off this year. I've cleared off most of the Ivy, stones, rotting pieces of wood and now I have some light pruning and finishing touches to do.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

8 March 2017

Potting On

Before I get started on work out in the gardens I need to pot on some Banana plants that I have grown from seeds sown last year.

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Wordless Wednesday - I've Got My Eye On You.

7 March 2017

That's Another Lot Of Roses Pruned.

That's another lot of roses pruned, I just need to weed and top dress the beds when the soil dries up a bit. I had a bit of time to spare so I also swept off the paving and tidied up outside the garden house to finish off the day.

Rose Pruning

This morning I am going to be pruning the Poets Wife roses. They are two beds which we renewed a couple of years ago.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

The Easy Way To Fill A Bag.

In a previous post I said that I would try to show you what other use I have for the ring of wire netting that I used as an example. So here it is again, this time being used for it's proper purpose rather than just a model.

The purpose of the netting here is to hold open a bag while I fill it. If you've tried to fill bags with garden rubbish the last thing they want to do is to assist you by staying open which I find to be a nuisance because usually I need both hands to hold the tools I'm using so what I do is stand the ring close to where I'm working as in the picture.
Next thing it to take your bag and put it over the ring, you will obviously need the ring to be slightly smaller than the bag you are using. You could put the ring in to the bag but I prefer to put the bag over the ring if you see what I mean.
When this is done turn the whole lot the right way up so that it ends up looking like this.
Now fill with whatever you are wanting to transport in the bag making sure to keep on testing the weight because when it's easy to fill it's also easy to put too much in without realising it.
Once you have the required amount lift the ring out of the bag and Bob's your uncle, off you go to wherever you are going. In my case I'm off to feed the sheep.
This post is one of Tipp's Top Tips in memory of Tippy the Border Collie.

6 March 2017

Bedding Geraniums

I've been busy transplanting bedding Geranium seedlings for some of the time this morning. These will eventually find themselves in the South Front wall. I had a variety of plants in the wall last and previous years but it's been the Geraniums that have done the best and for longer than anything else so I am giving them star billing this year.

24 February 2017

Protea Project

Last year the boss brought some Protea seeds back from a trip to South Africa which I attempted to grow. I didn't have much success only managing to get three seedlings one of which died, another got eaten by mice and the remaining one got taken to London. So not wanting to be beaten on the first go I've decided to have another go so I did a bit of research before buying a few more seeds and a seed primer sheet which is something I didn't have or even knew about last time.

Here you can see the three packets of Protea seeds plus the seed primer packet.

The primer comes in the form of an impregnated sheet of paper which you have to soak for a few minutes in warm water which turns green when ready to use. 
Instructions for the primer.
This is how things stand at the moment. Because I have three different variety of seeds and only one primer I needed three different containers so as the packets are made of foil I just put a drop of primer in each packet that way there can be no mix ups.
Some time today I will sow the seeds, it recommends that they are soaked for between 8 and 24 hours so they have spent the night in the kitchen here at home - thankfully no one has made a nice cup of tea with them.

18 February 2017

A View From Pilsley.

We had a nice drive down to my parents stopping off at Bamford for a spot of lunch and a look around the garden centre. After that we popped in at Chatsworth farm shop at Pilsley where we bought a few bits and bobs.

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Home Visit

Today we are taking a road trip ending up at my parents home sometime this afternoon.

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17 February 2017

No Money, No Brawn - Just A Will.

I was asked yesterday to remove this white rose that grows behind the bench. By remove I mean cut off at ground level, one person actually suggesting I dig it up altogether. I wasn't happy about it and even less happy that no other solution was considered first. It's fair to say that the wall behind the rose needs repairing desperately but something could be done to appease both the builders and gardener. Anyway I have taken it upon myself to take the rose away from the wall and tie it back out of the way until the work has been done when it can once again be tied back on to the wall. This has met with the builders approval so everything should be good.

The moral of this story is that if you have brains and will, you don't need either money or brawn.

16 February 2017

A Bit Of A Mess.

Today has been a bit of a mess (like in the picture) as I planned on doing more work on the South Front but got interrupted so decided to move to the Lily Pond Area and do some tidying up there only to have my plans disrupted there too. At the moment I'm felling like what's the point in trying to do anything because it seems that whatever I do my plans get thwarted.

12 February 2017

Removing Ivy.

One of the jobs that I undertook last week was to remove some overhanging Ivy from the wall opposite the potting shed. The main reason for this being that it spends all summer shedding leaves below. Also it appears to be pushing the Fig tree away from the corner. Anyway I gave it a trim and later on when it greens up I think it will be an improvement to the area.