Sunday, 29 April 2018

Flower Power

Isla is now 15 weeks old, and has developed a taste for gardening.  Bluebells are great for pooping in; pansies are tasty; grape vines are chewy; roses are nice and crunchy; but clematis is probably the most interesting because of the human reaction it provokes.  Hope none of them are particularly poisonous...

Current Weight:  10.9kg

Current State with the Cats:  Increasingly anarchic.

London Salon 2018

Super-chuffed to have three images accepted for this year's London Salon of Photography exhibition - especially since I though the limit was two!  It turns out that the rules have been changed, and it's now possible to achieve two acceptances per section.  Since I only had one colour image accepted, I clearly need to do better next year...

I can't imagine why, but my entries this year had quite a strong canine theme.


"Beach Bum"

"The Hairdresser"

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Growing Up

Isla is growing up at a frightening rate, and now is looking like a small dog rather than a puppy.  She's still very much a toddler in her behaviour, though - especially the needle-sharp teeth, which she uses to great effect on fingers, toes, ankles, etc.  Mostly she's pretty angelic, though.

Andrea, a friend in the village, gave Isla a rather wonderful dragon, which she loves.  It had been de-honked within 24 hours, however...

Isla, being a labrador, loves food.  Any kind of food, edible or not.  A recent discovery is yogurt, which is almost as much fun as the pot it comes in.

We started puppy training classes last night, and the instructor suggested dried sprats as a reward for good behaviour.  Tasty they might be (if one is a labrador), but I'm sure everyone in the Lane can smell them.

Current Weight:  9.2kg

Current State with the Cats:  Don't ask.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Waterlogged Wimpole

On Friday afternoon I had the hare-brained idea that Wimpole Hall would be a good location to walk Isla in relatively calm and peaceful surroundings.  This failed miserably on two counts: firstly, I didn't realise that the schools were still on holiday, meaning that there were kids everywhere; and, secondly, the grounds were so waterlogged that only the main gravel car park was open.  This soon filled up, of course, meaning that there was a queue to get in - even at lunchtime.  Isla was a little worried by the noise of the cars and the number of kids running around, but eventually we managed to cajole her into the (relatively empty) area in front of the hall.  At this point she started to enjoy her walk.

For a labrador, Isla is a bit of a wuss when it comes to water.  Puddles have to be avoided at all costs, and she really doesn't like rain at all.  Still, the occasional Gravy Bone as a bribe did seem to help a bit.

She was glad to be back in the safety of our crate after such an exhausting outing.  What cruel and thoughtless humans she's been saddled with...

Vital statistics at 13 weeks old:

Weight:  8.2kg

Situation with cats:  Desperately frustrated that they won't play with her, so there is much barking and jumping around in an attempt to spur them into action.  Needless to say, it doesn't work...

Sunday, 8 April 2018


Being a week after Isla's second set of injections, Saturday was "Walkies Day".  We were warned by the vet about an outbreak of Parvovirus, to which young pups are particularly vulnerable until their immunity is established.  The advice was to avoid places where people normally walk their dogs.  Working on the assumption that this is pretty well everywhere, we decided to combine a trip to Girton College for Harriet with our first real walk in the grounds.

We needn't have worried about Isla in the big wide world, though, since she took to it like - well - like a labrador to walkies.

She clearly has the "pack" instinct, as she became very hesitant as soon as one of us (usually me with a camera) held back for any length of time.

We're limited to 15 minutes per day at the moment, but at least Isla will now be able to work off some of that energy which has been building up.  The daily dog walks are the main thing I've missed after losing Amber last October, and I can't wait to re-establish them.  It will be a little while before we're able to go for a ten-mile stomp, unfortunately, but I was always told that patience is a virtue.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Crufts 2018 (part 2)

I mentioned in the previous post about the size of some of the dogs we saw.  The St Bernard, although large, was actually quite restrained compared to others.  I've included a few humans for scale...

As always at Crufts, however, it's the dogs who are the stars.  Here are some of the beautiful animals we had the privilege of meeting while at the show.

For some breeds it appeared to be de rigueur to wear a bib in order to stay pristine for the show.  Not sure I'd want a dog which needed a bib, but that's another matter.

Now, I'm fully acquainted with a Norwegian Blue, but a Norwgian Purple was a new one on me.  A real bonus that they were on offer, though...

Finally, a picture from the Toft stand, which was selling wool and patterns to make dozens of different dog breeds.  Issy is a Toft addict, so it was essential that we spent lots of time (and money) at this particular stand.  The dogs really are pretty special, though, including the Schnauzer pictured below.  Just look at those eyebrows.

That's it for another year, but hopefully we'll manage to get back to Crufts in 2019.  It really is a "Grand Day Out".