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Dasher's Italian Greyhound blog 2014
This is the continued story of Italian Greyhound Dasher started in July 2009 - see old blogs. The latest "happenings" will be put on at the top at frequent intervals, so the story unfolds from the bottom and up! He lives with his nephew Solo.
I have videos of Lure Coursing and other doggy things on YouTube under my name: sighthounddotnet
Email me or go back at any time to my sighthound.net start page.
Happy reading! - Janet

(Photo 2013: Italians Dasher nearly 5 years old and Solo just 1 year waiting for their dinner to be served!)
 
1st blog July 2009 - 2nd blog 2010 - 3rd blog 2011- 4th blog 2012 - 5th blog 2013 - 7th 2015 - 8th 2016 -- 9th 2017

Tuesday the 30th of December 2014 - click for new blog started Jan. 4th 2015!
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The cutest and fattest Robin is a regular visitor to the cycle basket in the honeysuckle that I fill with fresh food every day - mostly for Momma Blackbird. (She eats a whole apple every day!) I can see him from my office window. I photographed through the glass and with zoom, so I'm amazed it was as clear as this. I'm surprised he's still here, he should have flown south with the others, but maybe the mild weather has made him reluctant to go?
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Above is Momma, also taken through the office window. I had to wait ages for her to finish eating, with camera at the ready! She just sits for a few seconds before flying off. She looks in good condition. We have now been friends for 3 years.
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This is how much snow we woke up to yesterday! Now all melting as it is 4 plus degrees today.
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At 8.30 am I rushed out to photograph the house with the Christmas lights still on. The pavement had been cleared but the road was "knee deep"!!!
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Dogs in the frost and snow - they hated all the salt spread everywhere so I kept to the grass as much as possible.
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The wonderful view of the bridge to the island of Fyn on the dog walk yesterday. I enjoy this view every day - it's never the same, but always changing.


Saturday the 27nd of December 2014 - and now the 7th blog!
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Snow and ice on the morning dog walk.

Friday the 26th of December 2014
We had the most wonderful Christmas Eve at our youngest son's house, where we stayed the night. (Christmas EVE is what is celebrated in Denmark, not Christmas Day - although most Danes eat the huge Cold Table lunch on the 25th - even after the huge traditional feast at 6pm on the 24th!)
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We were only 9 but had a bumper number of gifts. We were up to 1 am before we were finished opening them all! Right shows my idea of putting passport size photos on each gift, so Louis, (only 2 3/4 years old), could instantly see who was to have them. (Each person, on receiving, read aloud the "to and from" label that Louis is too young for.) He understood my idea immediately and did a fantastic job long after his bedtime. At 11pm his mother decided he needed his beauty sleep and he was carried screaming in protest up the stairs, but fell asleep within a couple of minutes! Up until then, he had tirelessly run to and fro with the many presents, some of which he could choose himself and some where we could ask him to find for a particular person, so everyone received more or less in turn. He was brilliant, we were all most admiring! He enjoyed helping unwrap, finding the scissors and seeing what each person got before running off to find a new parcel.
I should add, that the tradition here is that after the traditional 3 course hot dinner, the youngest family member gives out the presents stacked under the (real!) tree, one by one. Each is unpacked with everyone watching and sharing in the pleasure of both the person receiving and the giver and often discussed or passed around and generally "savoured to the full" before choosing the next well-wrapped parcel!
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Louis giving out the gifts and right: David stroking the dogs with a crazy helium-balloon head-gear present!
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Left: Dogs out and Louis playing in the cage so it's now full of toys! The dogs have learnt how to open the zip, so we gave up trying to shut them in whilst we were eating. However, by a miracle, they didn't succeed in eating anything they shouldn't!
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Above: The Father Christmas surprises Louis. That's why he's called FATHER Christmas - because he IS your father!!! Right photo of snow by the front door: The dogs were the first out in the snow storm we got in the morning lasting about an hour!
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Our car when we went to drive home Christmas day!!!


Monday the 22nd of December 2014
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"Did you say food???"

Wednesday the 17th of December 2014
A last desparate count-down to Christmas - but we NEARLY have got all the presents!
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Here a funny photo of Solo caught with his paw cutely around Dasher's neck - can't have been comfortable!

Wednesday the 10th of December 2014

I have again this year bought all my presents from websites. But THIS, (packet of 3 special socks for Svend), made me smile...

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when I opened the standard plastic postal packet, here is what I saw - what a kind and cheerful Christmas thought! The wrapping would make anyone feel happy and good - then a mini-Snickers as well - made my day!


Saturday the 6th of December 2014
Adrian and Anne came for lunch and he is so good and loving with the dogs, who are really taking advantage!!!
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Adrian is trying to eat some chocolate cake!!!!!

Thursday the 4th of December 2014
You have to see this - you can't get a better, more cheering photo of the spirit of Christmas! We have the cutest "Day Care children" living round here, and their wonderful "Day Care mothers", (unfort. one was not with them today) and I took several photos - and sent this one to them for the parents to see!
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I can't seem to convince any children, that Santa Claus is actually a DOG! They all know better!

Tuesday the 1st of December 2014
We have alternating days of brilliant sunshine (yesterday) and deep gloom (today)! Yesterday Dasher wore his Santa costume for the first time this year - and we got a few smiles and comments!
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Freezing degrees and light frost plus a wind makes it very cold after all our mild weather. Below: A last rose.
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Sunday the 30th of November
Body language! Left: Dasher who it waiting impatiently to go on the morning walk, doesn't care WHAT clothes, harness or collar he has on, on the right Solo who is HATING having coat and harness so much he nearly won't go out with us. He would sooner run free and NEVER have anything on his body. He can just about bare a collar, but any coat or harness and he convinced he can't walk and is completely miserable! Here they are in the mud room waiting for me to get ready.
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Solo is facing back into the kitchen where he would run and hide if he could. (And yes, I have checked if anything chafes, is too tight or sits badly - but all is fine.)


Wednesday the 26th of November
Yesterday it was Solo's second birthday!
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- and what did he get as a present? Nothing! Unlike many kinder friends, I don't do birthday cakes for dogs! However, he was such a pest at dinner time - as usual, never gets anything but in all the time he's lived with us, he never stops hoping... so I put some mustard on the tip of my finger and he licked it all off without flinching!!! (He DID get a long extra cuddle in the evening.)
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We were amazed!
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This never-ending mild weather is confusing the plants and now this morning, we have opening buds and spring blossom on a little tree by the main door!
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On the morning walk yesterday, (should have rained all day as it was Solo's birthday and a naughtier dog doesn't exist!*) I saw the youngest horse apparently dead, head on the ground. This is his back view with tail spread out. The other two are dots in the distance. I could see no rising and sinking of his huge chest and he never reacted to the dogs growling. Then as I passed, I could see puffs of his breath in the cold air - he had fallen soundly asleep in the sun!

*In Denmark, they say it rains on your birthday if you have been bad! Solo must be an angel as it was the sunniest day we've had for ages!)

Wednesday the 19th of November 2014
I was an idiot! I had baked 4 loaves of bread and wanted them cooled fast, ready for freezing, so I put them on the garden table covered by a cloth. I KNEW I was risking letting the dogs out and Solo would of course jump up.... but I said to myself: "Oh you'll remember alright!"....well I DIDN'T and so he got a loaf down and ate quite a lot before I realised!
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I had to cut away a good bit and so the wild birds are currently loving it!
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"What was that you just shouted - did you say I should get down??"
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Spring has come - already in November this year!!!


Wednesday the 12th of November
The family to lunch last Saturday and here are some grandchild photos - of COURSE he made a bee-line for the cage!!
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Photo taken by his father who afterwards had serious doubts, as looks like he lives in a cage, he said!!!
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Right: Solo would SO like to have some of that choco milk-shake !
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Watching/filming Dasher and Solo running 10 times around the house before dinner!


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A good one of Svend and Solo having a loving session!

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The 10th of November and the bees are still slaving away! This one's on an Evening Primrose.


Saturday the 8th of November
A fantastic place:
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Vemmetofte Kloster, in Faxe, Denmark. From about 1694. Members of the Danish Sighthound club all meet up for a beautiful autumn walk around this wonderful castle and grounds. A feeble sun came out just exactly when we were out and then disappeared again as we left for home - perfect timing! Of course, our dogs were disappointed, thinking it was Lure coursing, but they got a good sniff on the roughly 2 mile walk around the grounds.
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Friends Bille and Freddie hold my dogs, plus their Whippets, Monty, Barnie and Jax so I could get a "scenic shot"!
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Left, at Saluki pup meets up once again with his breeder! Right an old oak - one of many that are several hundred years old.
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Of course we all cleaned up after our dogs!
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We met up in a parking space.
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Some of the coffee and cakes afterwards! We all have a good chat
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Karin, apparently in her second childhood with a lolly, ha ha!!!
We owe Karin a lot for countless hours/years - of fun and entertainment doing Lure coursing - starting in the middle of the local racetrack in 1996/1997 we have followed her around ever since attending all the lure coursing we possibly can! We and our dogs are crazy about it! She has worked very hard so that we others could enjoy the sport. For many years, she was the only person who could work the hare, (a huge responsibility), now luckily we have several others who dare to take a turn.
Friday the 7th of November
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The last rose of summer! Still flowering in November with more buds on the way!

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Yesterday evening was very gloomy with heavy black rain clouds and the wierd lighting making the glass on the roof of our neighbour at the end of the garden shine silver! He designed his house in his head - to be 8 sided. He made a miniature model of it and persuaded the bank to lend him the money. He built this by himself some 25 years ago. The top is of glass and so the light shines directly down in the centrally placed kitchen - a unique and amazing house, hidden behind our trees!

Sunday the 2nd of November
I love Peanut butter, (a particular organic one without other ingredients than salt) and my dogs love Peanut butter - any type!
Dasher has always licked the empty glass clean! Solo has a teaspoon the lid.
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Dasher eats behind a child's safety gate, so he doesn't get murdered by Solo. They get all their treats safely split up!
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My strawberries are completely confused by the mild weather and are flowering and producing strawberries as best they can!
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A handful of juicy raspberries for dessert last night! I boil up some of our delicious frozen plums, toss the raspberries in at the last minute, add a spoonful of honey and make a tasty compote with potato flour thickener - a Danish "thing"! These late raspberries: "Autumn Bliss", will fruit until totally killed off by frost.

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The sky is a (sadly mostly unknown or appreciated), souce of ever changing and beautiful "abstract art" - I never cease to be amazed at the beauty up there. The sun goes down earlier now, here is yesterday evening about 4.30 pm.


Thursday the 30th of October 2014
A dear little Chaffiinch has been visiting - taking the sunflower seeds I put out for my Bluetits! I have never seen one around here before - but I guess it's on the move south, as so many other birds are right now. Same as a Robin I can hear singing these days - all on their way south for the winter.
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Bad photo taken at a great distance with zoom and through a very dirty window!!!
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Being silly dogs and playing silly games! This is the joy of having two dogs the same breed, they exercise and entertain each other, all I have to do is admire - and laugh!
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The sky late afternoon, nearly ready for a game of Naughts and Crosses! It's been a lovely day.
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Left: "I don't believe it, you say it's NOT mine? It was just lying on the floor ready to take...."

"Uugh uugh, trouble... he's spotted me!"
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"Aaargh, I'd give anything for a piece of that!"


Saturday the 25th of October
We drove to Lure Coursing today in thick mist and light rain - having read that it would clear up. We have been going to coursing since about 1997 when Karin, our driving force, (and without whom, there would be no Lure coursing to this very day!) started it all up again after a lapse in the Sighthound Club - with us coursing our dogs in the middle of the racing track, which our dogs also raced on at the time. (Of course on a day where no one else came!) She with her beloved Afghan hounds and we with our wonderful Whippets and several other friends with Whippets, Greyhounds and Borzois.
We loved it and all our dogs ran well, despite the fears of some other owners who refused to come on the grounds that it would teach their dogs to jump over the railing during dog racing in order to cheat and cut a corner. (Only Afghans ever did this at the time and long before coursing started up – the only breed with brain enough to leap over and cut corners if left behind!!! It didn’t help, that there were so few Afghans, (because owners were scared the sandy track would ruin the beautiful coat), that often a race would be unevenly matched, with fast as well as slow dogs so of course this easily led to a dog getting left behind – and jumping over the railing in a logical attempt to catch up. However NONE of the coursing dogs ever did jump over. One of mine was "Whippet of the Year" in 1998 too, despite being brlliant at coursing in the middle of the track!
After a year or two, a Whippet owner with a huge back garden, offered us the use of this instead! We were overjoyed and at the time as her field seemed enormous, but actually it was tiny compared to the huge fields we use today!!!
But we grew tired of this back garden, as the dogs quickly got to know it.
So we started branching out and finding kind farmers who would lend us a field for the day – usually grass. At first, we would only use a field with a nearby farm or house where there was a toilet available for us ladies, considered then an absolute must! But now we just use any available field regardless. We must just be sure we have “been” on the long drive down and not drink too much coffee!
We have to change venue all the time, as the dogs quickly learn the place and can know or anticipate which way the hare will jink, even though we make all manner of changes and go anti-clockwise for the second run of the day. They soon learn the hare doesn’t disappear into bushes, that an obstacle will make it turn and that it goes basically in a circle and ends up near where it started, so they can calculate WHICH WAY it will jink! They have this "area map" up in their minds wherever they run, and they are fully aware of exactly how the hare will react when headed for say a fence or bushes - no matter how many zig-zags there are. So we do our best to confuse and surprise them and prevent them from knowing things beforehand, which is VERY difficult as they soon become little experts! Some dogs even learn that the coloured cones we are forced to use as markers at each twist and turn, mean a zig-zag! Only new beginners are easily fooled!
Well as I say, Svend and I have been coming to coursing for some 16-17 years – but NEVER have we had to cancel – today was the first time, such a shame!!!
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The rain did more or less stop, but we found that the field was badly under water from several days of hard rain!
Karin, amongst the first to arrive as usual, bravely drove her van out to start setting up the course but quickly sunk in and got stuck in no time. See her waiting below and see the muddy car tracks! The kind Falck man has sized up the situation and is seen here changing into a pair of wellies! In the shot above, she is almost winched in.
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They had rung after “Falck” who help motorists, (amongst a million other assistances they give non-stop 24 hours a day all the year round) and after an hour’s wait, this man came.
You cannot see in the photos, but there was a long line of about 30 cars back up the narrow road.
So we used up the time chatting, eating the many home-made cakes and drinking the many thermo cans of coffee - plus taking the terribly disappointed dogs for walks. (Ours know when we are going coursing as soon as we start making the coffee in it's "special Lure coursing themo", so they were bitterly disappointed!!!) I only took a couple of photos due to the fine rain and mist, which could ruin the camera.


Monday the 20th of October
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Non-stop rain all day yesterday alternating between very heavy and just pouring! Easing at times to give us fresh hope of it stopping, only to become a downpour before we could get out of the door! We got 34 mm in all, incredible!
The year's last pansy in the rain:
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Despite a day of soggy rain and wind and I hadn't plucked for 3 days, my faithful raspberries came up trumps for dessert tonight!

Thursday EVENING the 16th of October
A new, very large and heavy hedgehog comes onto the patio and the dogs have fits of excitement this evening. I quickly took 4 photos, unfortunately not getting the moments when they were actually pawing roughly at it! Then I got them inside and took it for a little walk. This was definately a different one and it refused to be rolled on it's side for a last, cute photo!!! See here:
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Thursday the 16th of October
Harnesses and coats for Sighthounds!
I have never been happy with Dasher and Solo’s harnesses. They dig in behind the front legs if one pulls a dog away from something it shouldn’t eat, or in emergency situations, plus they could get them off with a struggle. Solo, who absolutely hates collars, harness and coats, often protests and stands like a mule right when I need to hurry him up. I have to stop and wait for him to decide to move. Many a time I am forced to pull, if say a car is coming or some other emergency.
So I have always had an eye on what others are using, particularly Whippets, who have the same shape with the tucked up stomach behind the very deep rib cage.
I finally fell for this extra soft (fleece lined) and comfortable harness, which I saw some friends use at coursing. It is incredibly simple in design, (should have an award for design!)  and does the job just fine. See this beautiful Magic Colour Whippet in Sweden, wearing the harness (and looking so like our Timmi in the face!)
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The harness (selar in Swedish) is made in Sweden, so I contacted Jeannette who owns the Magic Colour Whippet kennel,
see www.magiccolour.se - and she kindly agreed to make two for  me – for the first time in this small size!
I had problems measuring from the above picture and so I bought one the same as she was making for her 4 month old Whippet puppy, (height 41cm at shoulder like both my two) but of course quite different puppy proportions.
This was the solution, as I could now see what alterations were needed to make it fit my dogs - and I was lucky to sell the puppy one to a Basenji owner, who badly needed a harness!
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Fits perfectly, even tho’ they haven’t quite got the same lines as Whippets!
Finally mine were delivered yesterday - and this morning I went on the first walk with my new Magic Colour harnesses!
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Above, in our driveway about to set off.
The harnesses are perfect and very adjustable, although Solo still baulks – now at all the straps around his waist! Come the spring, I know they will enjoy walking out with such soft and comfortable harnesses - and no coat.
I can warmly recommend them, so place your order now!!!
The other thing I should mention (have mentioned before), is that I buy all my coats from England, from
Togs For Dogs
, as I have known (but never met!) Helen for over 25 years, from before she even thought of starting “Togs for Dogs”! I helped her with a drawing for an English Italian Greyhound Club centenary t-shirt print and she thanked me with a cushion cover she had sewn with a black silk IG on it!! I still have it on show behind the sofa! She is an expert IG breeder and her dogs have also won at Crufts.
See her website: togsfordogs.net/the-italian-greyhound-collection
See an old video of Dasher in his newly bought soft fleece trouser-suit from Helen, an absolute "must" for every IG during cold winters: www.youtube.com/watch?v – only 41 seconds!
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AFTER the walk, the sun came out and I got Dasher to pose, so you can see the harness fitting him well. The grey bit in front is a reflector for night walking - it's very strong too!

Saturday the 11th of October 2014
Woke up to a very misty morning - and a full moon! Photo from 7am:
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Below: Also in the mist, Starlings gather on a house roof - they are getting ready for their trip southwards for the winter!
I counted 71 birds!
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Below, dogs in the mist!
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Thursday 8th of October
A friend of mine had a bit of a wilderness in the corner of her large garden, so she cleared it today - and found to her suprise, a big green pumpkin that had sown itself in the middle of the weeds - which she immediately cut into a wicked Halloween cat! I loved it, so here it is! She says she has been cutting pumpkins for Halloween since BEFORE Denmark started properly celebrating Halloween - copying America, who "invented" it! She gives away a lot of them to friends and family.
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Wednesday 8th of October

Sunday, we went to our grandchild's 15th birthday party and took the dogs as well. Whilst we all ate lunch, they were in the canvas cage we have. But look what happened when they were let out:
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Our youngest grandchild just had to try it out for size! Apparently perfect for tv viewing!
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Right: Dasher gets petted by Morfar Carl! Below, not easy to get your telephone out when it rings, with two dogs on your lap!
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Below: A cat drama. A few days ago, the dogs indicated, that there was "animal" hidden in some bushes with a tree in the middle and so I dragged them past. Next morning, Saturday, there was a pathetic meowing from the same bushes, so I raced home and got Svend to drive me back. I found a half grown kitten up the tree, calling desparately for help!
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I managed to get it down and we drove home and fed it and gave milk, as I presume it had been up the tree at least 24 hours. I knocked on a few doors, but no one knew of it. Then we drove to a nearby cat home. They were VERY unwilling to take it in as they were full to the eyebrows with cats, even a cage of tiny kittens blocking reception!! They checked it for a tattoo or chip and confirmed it was a female, but there was nothing and they strongly recommended that we put her back at the foot of the tree, so either she could find her way home, or be rescued as it was weekend and the owners might be going around calling and looking. I fell for this bad idea and really regret it now, as I will never know if it got home. I got a local man to put it on Facebook, a group for our area, but so far no one has responded. I go past the tree every day, but no sign. It is dreadful how people take in a kitten, then when it need sterilising, which will cost money, they just chuck it out. I just hope and pray it's ok.

Yesterday, two friends came for lunch and here is Solo doing his "leap up like a mountain goat" act:
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On the right: He's just licked Flemming's face!

Below: My last two birds. The yellow is a Canary now 13 years old and handicapped by cataracts in both eyes, so he mainly lives on the bottom of the cage - but stills sings prettily, so he can't be too depressed.
On the left is a cross between a Canary and a "Grey Singing Finch". They are sitting together watching me clean out the small aviary, as I do every morning.
I had read that one could cross a Singing Finch and a Canary, so I put a Canary female with a Singing Finch male and lo and behold, 4 youngsters - for EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO! Two youngsters only lived to be about 5 –6 years old, but a female and this male, lived together as a devoted pair all this time – their birthday being in April.
Last summer, at 17 1/2, she died after a short illness, so he now gets some comfort from the canary.
The four young were sterile, just as the case of a horse and a donkey mating, the offspring cannot carry on the strange gene mixture any further. He still seems very fit and certainly can see alright! However, after loosing his partner, he doesn’t sing any more. He apears to be grey like his father, but he has a yellow back and some yellow tones as you can see.
PS The day after I wrote this, he did give a little song!!!
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Below: A very big spider had made a web filling the entire window last night!
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Monday 6th of October
Solo can jump vertically up on people's laps with great precision. Suddenly he is standing there with all 4 feet - completely "out of the blue"! Dasher wouldn't dream of doing this, he always asks to be helped up first. So here's Svend trying to drink a mug of coffee, when all of a sudden, there's a dog in the way! No coffee was spilt! Solo also does this to "chosen" guests who come here. They only have to lean a tiny bit away from the table and whoops, they are trying to chat over the top of a dog's back! (Most seem to find it flattering that he chose them!!!)
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Below, after a good run 10 times around the house, they share the bird's water!-


Thursday 2nd of October
When we got Solo, he was 7 months old and had the neatest, well trimmed nails you ever could wish for. However, we think the experience had been so traumatic for him, that he vowed “never again”!
We have tried everything, both pedagogically correct,
see Dashers blog 21st January 2010: 2nd. blog 2010
HOW TO CUT YOUR IG's NAILS!!!

- to using brute force by holding him tight and forcing him to give in – which he doesn’t. He puts all the strength he has into struggling like a maniac, (and he is VERY STRONG, I keep my dogs so fit!)
He tosses his head from side to side so the wire racing-muzzle we put on, (as he would probably bite), bangs us hard in the face so we get painful blows and red marks. I have been at my wit’s end.
Our grandchild David recommended that we should be 7 people: One to hold his body lying on the table, four to each grip a leg, one holding his head still and one to cut the nails!
So I took him to the vet’s.
They decided they would take him away to a back room and the vet plus assistant would do the job together, relying on him being overawed by the strange place/determined people and giving in. Even “impossible” dogs are often totally tamed, when standing on the vet’s table – but not our Solo!!!
After about 15 minutes, they came back looking very ashamed – only one nail was cut! They think he should have a general anaesthetic and maybe with the ends of the nails cauterised after cutting – costing me 1200 Danish kroner – which was a bargain, as their first offer was 1400 kroner!!! No way!
This cannot be the solution if the dog is going to live 15 years, (as indeed they easily do), and nails need cutting at LEAST every 3 months, preferable monthly or less. Think what this would cost during his lifetime!
Also each anaesthetic would be risking his life and killing brain cells.
On hearing this, a kind young couple we know well, who also have Italian Greyhounds, offered to help.
He is good to hold, his hands being well used to handling the breed, (as against the vet, who was scared of Solo wrenching or dislocating something – AND the vet was against the fact that it is a brutal and wrong way of treating any dog - and I agree entirely but one can be desperate!)
She is a “no nonsense” type who, full of confidence from cutting her own dogs for years ready for showing, managed to cut the very tips off whilst we were on a visit in the summer. He showed me afterwards how he held Solo comfortably cradled on his back on his lap –  but when we tried weeks later and Svend couldn’t hold him like that at all and got a big bleeding scratch on the back of his hand for his pains!!!! Well of course our friend’s light nail trim didn’t last long.
They had planned to do it again after 3 weeks, but never got around to it, as they are very involved moving house and VERY busy.
Other friends, on hearing the tale of woe, recommended a vet they knew who travels out and about visiting people in their own homes. She could either hold Solo so I can cut or she cuts and I hold.
But we didn’t go for this as he still would knock us unconscious by banging his head to and fro – and struggle like the devil, even wrapped in a blanket like you would a cat.
All this struggling to hold him got me very nervous of doing it and the fact that YES, it IS entirely wrong to use force – even tho’ we give treats.
Suddenly I got the idea what to do.
He prefers to be on the ground. Svend bends over him gripping his harness in one hand and collar with the other whilst I show him the treats, (bits of cheese I have cut for him), and I cut just 4 nails very quickly. We stand in a good light so I can see.
This we do once a week on the same day, regular as clockwork so in time it will become a routine he’ll never like but will submit to, as it is so quickly over and he loves the cheese and fuss!
Just 4 nails each time – then he is freed and praised – it’s very quick. (I make up my mind which ones beforehand!) Immediately, he is happy again and we are forgiven, so the trauma is nothing that lasts. After 4 times like this, we can notice he is already calmer about it, still struggles but not nearly as much – and he cannot knock us about with his head.
So I think we have found a good working solution! Phew, what a relief.
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Wednesday evening 1st of October 2014
Dasher understood straight away, when the plums were all plucked but Solo cannot accept this, he LOVED gorging on them after dinner and he STILL looks to see if he can find some for dessert!!! It's quite sad!
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This plum tree is one of two and gives the juiciest ones!

Wednesday morning the 1st of October

Thanks to a friend reminding me, I rushed out with my ceramic Halloween pumpkins this morning - in drizzel! Their cheery faces only have a short time outside, (a month) then in again to gather dust until next year.
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Monday the 29th of September

Are they STILL looking for cherries???
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Sunday the 28th of September
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Went to Lure coursing, but not a big success, a HUGE, rough field full of lush tall grass and of course weeds, so I couldn't film as the dogs were the size of pin-pricks in seconds and Solo quickly lost sight of the "hare" and ran around looking for it so I rushed to get him, whilst Dasher finished in fine style and was caught by a friend who also helped to start them. Solo was very dissatisfied
and felt cheated. This is the trouble with being little - just as wild, but too low down to see the prey!!!
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They start and are quickly out of sight:
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The green strawberry shown below has ripened - and been eaten by yours truly - after a good wash!!!!
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Sunday the 21st of September
Spent a lovely afternoon at Svend's brother's summerhouse and walked around "his" lake with the dogs, a pretty walk of just over a half an hour.

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We drove home half blinded by the VERY bright setting sun, but luckily a big black rain cloud came in the way!
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Below, orange cloud effects over our house in the evening!
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Clouds can be SO fascinating!
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(A friend wanted to know if this was the result of a terrorist bomb explosion?!!!)

Saturday the 20th of September
Friends come for an afternoon visit yesterday and Solo insists on sitting so amusingly! He does this on the sofa too - as can be seen below on the 23rd of June.
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Above right: A mad position, cosying up to each other in the sun!
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A beautiful little rose that nearly died, changed it's mind and has now produced one single flower!

Below: As usual I test the swelling point of a "new" dog food, Science Plan "mini" with chicken - one I use quite a lot. It's impossible to judge how much to feed, if one doesn't know how much it will swell up later on in the dog's stomach. This one becomes more than the double. Can cause a dog to throw up, if the stomach is full to bursting.
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Monday the 15th of September
I've been weeding all afternoon in the kitchen garden. I had made 4 new rows of strawberry plants each a little higher up so they have new earth - and the parent plants are thrown away on the compost as I have planted out their offspring! You must do this every 3rd or 4th year. This was a couple of weeks ago and now the weeds are growing like crazy with all this rain. I noticed several plants were flowering! They think it's summer again, the weather is so mild and at last they have the rain they needed all summer. One baby plant has even grown a little strawberry - green so far - this plant should first flower next June, so they are very virile!
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Every day, after the dogs have had their dinner, they race outside for their dessert of plums. But I have plucked them all! Here is Solo STILL checking out the empty tree 3 days later!
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He just can't believe they are not there any more! He ate so many every day - discarded stones litter the lawn.


Sunday the 14th of September
It's been raining non-stop all day, sometimes light rain, sometimes quite hard - so now we are up to 22 cms in the rain gauge as from last evening!
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The dogs are chilly and before I noticed that their blanket had fallen out on the floor, they had huddled together like this:
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- Just waiting for me to notice and cover them up!
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Close-up: A very pretty sedum seen also below - my favourite.

Friday the 12th of September

It’s been a bumper year for one plum tree tree, which was simply loaded with fruit.
I have plucked over 7 kilos a day for 3 days, see photo. Threw just as many away. Left: Washed, cut open and the stone removed all ready for freezing, right: Just plucked! They taste fantastic. Friends believe the type to be a "prune" plum tree.
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I had to hurry and strip the tree as the dogs are eating them non-stop! Solo knows to leave the stone, but unfortunately Dasher eats the lot and either he is sick in the night, where his stomach has in a miraculous way, held back the stones but passed all food on down, or they pass through him – and are in danger of harming his intestines. I have heard of a dog who died from the damage caused by swallowing a stone.
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Above: The collection of shoes stolen while I worked up in the kitchen garden yesterday morning!
He’s still up to his tricks!

Saturday the 6th of September-
A fantastic photo taken by Sanne Kirsten Nielsen, from Møn last Sunday where Solo ran with Sorento!

Sunday the 31st of August
We are out all day doing Lure coursing on the island of Møn. Here is young helper Jonas starting Solo, (red jacket) who is running with Sorento, who is back after a 3 year break with awful problems with his nails. They both ran well, Sorento barking the whole way around, whilst Solo screams in frustration! A right pair.
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Saturday the 30th of August
Our oldest son and wife come to lunch and here are the dogs trying to lick and kiss him! They just love to show their affection, but it's very overwhelming! Below is also the dessert, with a thick layer of our own raspberries sprinkled with blueberries from Chile on an almond (from California) cake base!!
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Friday the 29th of August

We look after our youngest grandchild from 4pm to 11pm in his home in Copenhagen and had lots of fun.
Solo, up to his usual tricks, while we were all greeting each other and unpacking all the things we had brought with us, he apparently stole a bag of food, (I had wrapped their dinners separately) and hidden it on the settee full of cushions. Shortly after, I had put both dogs in the canvas travel cage we take with us. Well an hour later, when I went to give them their dinner, there was only ONE little bag of dog food. We looked high and low in the car boot and everywhere but the other bag was nowhere to be found. So Svend had to take the car, (in the pouring rain), to the nearest shops and buy a small tin of dog food, which I never normally give them and they shared this plus their own food. Later on in the evening, when they were out of their cage yet again, Solo came running up to me carrying the bag of food in his mouth! Goodness how we laughed! He had made us go to to all the trouble of buying a tin of dog food, while all the time, the other bag was merely on the sofa!
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Later, putting my Grandson to bed, this is him hiding when I said now he must brush his teeth! At 2 years and 5 months he still thinks that if his head and body is out of sight, he cannot be seen - not realising that I can see his feet!!! He just needs to be a little older, then he will know. Of course I pretended I couldn't find him!
Below the dogs are in safety harnesses fixed to the back seat, but thinking we are nearly there, they are both peering forwards between Svend and me in the front, trying to guess where we are going!
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Friday the 22nd of August

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Can't find your shoe? Sorry no, we haven't seen it!

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Last evening's raspberry pickings - mmmmn!

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Tuesday the 19th of August 2014
Above: Two hares spotted on the dog walk this morning. Below, Solo has exceeded himself and taken TWO shoes, one of mine and one of Svend's!

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An amazing thing the other evening: Solo found a new hedgehog and then a little later, "our" hedgehog! You may wonder how I can tell them apart? Well, they have different characters! The new hedgehog is scared stiff and completely quiet and refused to unroll and walk off, no matter how long I waited. "Our" hedgehog is a feisty beast and makes a dreadful fuss, but so used to me handling him, (with gloves on I keep handy for the same reason of course!), he hardly bothers to roll up, lies relaxed in one hand as I open and close gates and can unroll within a short while and toddle off completely unfased.
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Here they are both of them. "Ours" on the right just sniffed at the other one and then walked off - not interested!
The picture was taken in pitch dark!

Seen on the web some years ago, I noted it and just found the note again:

TOP TEN REASONS NOT TO GET AN ITALIAN GREYHOUND...
(OR WHY AN ITALIAN GREYHOUND IS NOT A MINIATURE GREYHOUND)


NOTE: This is somewhat of a humorous account written by a friend and fellow owner of both Greyhounds and Italian Greyhounds. Italian Greyhounds are NOT small Greyhounds. IGs are a toy breed whose only similarity to the Greyhound is their looks! That's it. They are NOT couch potatoes, they are not easy to train like Greyhound as they have a strong will of their own, they can not "hold it" while you are at work all day and they will keep you "on the go" all day. If you love Greyhounds, get a Greyhound NOT an IG. There is a price for that small size...they are MUCH more of a handful to live with.

1. An IG is NOT a miniature Greyhound. They have much more energy and they are a real challenge to potty train. This is the number one reason we see them in rescue.
2. An IG WILL care what weather they go to the bathroom in. A Greyhound can wade in mud a foot deep and enjoy using the restroom. This is not the case with an IG.
3. A Greyhound is a 45 mile per hour couch potato. When forced to leave the couch, Greyhounds usually walk. An IG is a 2 year old with ADHD. They never walk, unless forced to by the leash you are holding.
4. An IG can break limbs by pole-vaulting off furniture. A Greyhound sees no reasons to get off the couch once they have secured the location.
5. A Greyhound will drag you to the door to go out and potty. An IG may save you the time and effort by peeing or pooping on a kitchen rug.
6. A Greyhound in the backyard playing with an IG may kick into prey drive and decide to course. A Greyhound may also forget to apply the brakes or crash over on his side when his little friend cuts him off or doubles back.
7. Greyhounds are very intelligent, but IGs are not only very intelligent, but usually much more intelligent than their owners.
8. A Greyhound just wants to please you, while an IG wants to know what you have done for him lately.
9. Most Greyhounds get along with any dog. Most IGs hate any dogs who are not "sighthounds."
10. People say: “An IG and a Greyhound look so cute together.” Looking cute has nothing to do with commitment.


Monday the 11th of August 2014
The last evening Lure coursing for this year on the 5th and we have the most perfect weather and a wonderful time - and I make the most entertaining LC video to date: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUBeSC4L0Tg
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Above: the start of Solo and Dasher's run - a screen shot from my video! They run like the wind, see video link above.
Here below two fantastic photos taken by Saluki owner Kaj Frøling - and I have filmed Kaj in action on my videofilm!!!
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Below: Funny shots of calm Greyhound Camino and his owner sitting quietly watching the coursing and my two jealously hysterical Italians tied to a tree behind them!
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Their leads are digging into Camino's back, but he ignores it!
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Here, one can really see the difference in mentality!

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A bad photo as I took it too quickly, but here is Afghan Suzy watching coursing - but how much can she see???

Sunday the 3rd of August 2014
A young friend arranges an "Italian Get-together" where we walk 5 kilometres around a beautiful lake
then sit and chat in her parent-in-law's garden with cold drinks, coffee and home-made cakes - great fun was had by all! A wonderful day - and the weather held hot and fine although a thunderstorm was predicted!
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Picture stolen from web as I forgot to take any!
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Left, we meet two donkeys.
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Tired out and relaxing with Dad!


The 29th of July
Lure coursing in beautiful Jørlunde again
(another area though) and yet another hot and sunny evening! (We are praying for rain after about a month with just one short shower!)
See just 5 minutes here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJEoOJEELUs
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At last I have bought the right kit for coursing, from Sweden. A friend was ordering new for herself and ordered for me as well. Lure coursing here is under the FCI rules, so the dogs run in either red, white or blue. Red always starts on the left. I have bought red and white. Will have at alter Dasher's as he is very large in the chest! Here he is all ready to run.
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The special muzzle is designed with good depth so that the dogs can open the mouth in order to gasp in air as they run at top speed. No ordinary dog muzzle can be used here, it would be cruel. Solo ran the whole way with his muzzle hanging underneath his chin! See little photo taken from my video.
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Greeting "the girls" Momma Vincenza and daughter Athena!
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Dasher sniffs a Whippet baby of 12 weeks!
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Below: Svend at the cakes!!!
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Video link from the perfect evening is above!

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Two new cats to get hysterical over!


The 29th of July 20th
A video from Lure coursing the 23rd of July, as mentioned below - a wonderful hot sunny evening!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8LeiyeOdxU


The 27th of July
The hedgehog keeps on coming back every evening and sending Solo into fits, so this time I have got him/her on film! Have a peek, only 3 minutes - I roll it over so you can see, before taking it for a short walk!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X01eGfTXfE
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The 26th of July

Another wonderful evening's Lure coursing on the 23rd. - we use the long summer evenings where it doesn't start to get dark until 10pm!
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- a video with short clips www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8LeiyeOdxU
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The dogs get hot and thirsty, but whereas in England they might drink from a tea-cup or saucer, in Denmark they can drink from a beer glass! Here two Galgos enjoy refreshment. Below, Grandson starting Dasher for me.
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Below: Solo and Camino awaiting their turn...
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The 25th of July
We've had our oldest grandson staying here for a few days - giving Solo even more possibilities of stealing something!!!
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Helping walk the dogs!

The 21st of July
Yesterday we drove Fanny back to her family and had a wonderful afternoon in their garden...the weather is so perfect right now. Below the fabulous ice-cream and meringue cake they made for us with home grown strawberries...yummy!
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They have hens and a cockerel, which are so beautiful right now with every feather in place! Dasher lost all interest when he saw they were safely caged in, but Solo couldn't understand, he wanted to get at them and he was disappointed when he couldn't scare them! But then he was quite scared of them himself.
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He is stiff-legged and ready to run.
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It's very strange back at home now without Fanny and the dogs clearly miss her too and are very lifeless today.

The 19th of July
A beautiful hot sunny summer day and the whole family come to lunch to celebrate Adrian's birthday. He would have taken us out somewhere exciting in Copenhagen, but on hearing that Fanny can no longer be left alone at home, he arranged for food to be delivered here. FABULOUSLY delicious and we ate to bursting point!
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Fanny leads the troop to greet Louis on arrival! She lives with 3 small boys!
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Louis takes his first ever "selfie" with Adrian's "Gopro" camera, which is very wide angle. I am most admiring!
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Not sure h
ow to sit on a lap?
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The hedgehog comes in the evening, providing extra entertainment!

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Left: Finally, all three together! Right: No prize for guessing who dropped my shoe in with Fanny and tried to make her take the blame! She's been an angel dog.
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Still he takes my shoes...see the other one in the background!!!

The 18th of July

It's been a VERY hot day and late afternoon Solo goes crazy zooming around and around the garden at top speed to get Fanny to run after him! She studies his antics and then pretends she cannot see him.
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Around and around and around he goes...
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Finally, he's utterly exhausted!
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We were not amused!

The 17th of July
We were invited to lunch by some close friends yesterday and Fanny has decided she cannot be alone, (I think she badly misses her sister - and also my three Whippets) and demands that one of us is in sight at all times -so we took her with us. Our friends were looking after their son's Border terrier. All went well, Fanny ignored Terri and Terri soon found there was no fun to be had and so he ignored her!
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Back home late evening and Solo says"Shall we play?"


The 12th of July
Fanny is doing just fine and is in training with the others who run 10-14 times around the house 3 times a day to get her muscles back! She started by doing only 3-4 times at her own tempo - one must be VERY careful at her age - and the "boys" could run twice around in the time it took her to do once! Now she does 6 times and faster with enthusiasm so I can no longer fit 2 times round with the boys, she is now only a tad slower - and never out of breath!
Funny photos from inside - as it rained a lot today, 35 mm to be precise - just what we needed after a long drought.
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Above, Solo has wrapped himself up
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As I wrote the 11th of July, Italians have a compulsion to sit on top of other dogs.
This time Fanny has turned the tables and is lying on top of little Solo! Below: She's leaning on Dasher.
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My dogs never forgive me if they can't have their daily piece of Chinese cabbage after dinner! It's the juicy white stem they want, not the green - which we (and my canaries) eat. Fanny eats hers in the mud room so the other two can't grab it from her.

The 12th of July 2014
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Lure coursing in Præstø, a lovely hot and sunny summer day where our coursing was the centre piece of a village fair!
See the video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlhOZAeurSc
So funny: Solo was drawn to wear the red jacket, (see videoen) so everyone thought he must be a winner dog and betted on him, but alas for them, he is a little slower than Dasher, so there were many groans of disappointment over money lost in vain! I could have told them!
Fanny didn't run of course, but she enjoyed meeting other dogs and relaxing. Photos above and below taken by my eldest son who has a tiny wide angle camera. I am walking the dogs as we have just arrived.

Here we sit with friends. The wide angle distorts things, below is Fanny 's nose!!!
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Above right, she has her own bed in the shade.
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Before Solo and Dasher were due to run. Solo still running with a Whippet jacket, I'm afraid. (A friend is now getting the right ones for me.)
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See the video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlhOZAeurSc
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Left admirer Anne and right, walking down the country lane for a pee break.
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Sweet Saluki "Annabelle" wants to share our shade on several occasions.
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Above: Fanny and Solo play. He likes to get her excited.


The 11th of July
New video of Solo going berserk as there's a hedgehog in the hedge!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=edRCKboBOek
Fanny and Dasher share a bed beside me this morning and Solo wants to get in as well, but dare not, so he gives up - he doesn't know that Fanny is actually used to having an Italian lying on top of her!
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Below: A photo from two years ago taken by Fanny's owners who often look after Italian greyhound Augusta:
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- THIS is how Italians like to sleep!
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Above: Fanny goes all frisky and tries to play with Solo! There's life in the old girl yet!!!! only she is very rickety and nearly falls over if chasing them for a second or two! Jumping up or down is hard when you are 13, not to speak of "tight cornering" as the Italians do with ease, of course. Fanny has a light-weight round leather collar on with our name and address, telephone no. etc as an extra security if she ever escaped from the garden, heaven forbid. Better be safe than sorry, I always say.

View through the back door - Svend is hanging washing on the line to the left and they were hoping for something more exciting to happen! Fanny is VERY fond of Svend, he seems more important than me, I only feed and walk her - but he has "it" in her eyes!!!

The 9th of July 2014
Our friend's Whippet "Fanny" has come here for two weeks holiday! She is all we have left from a group of 6 Whippets who often saw each other on holidays and "get-togethers": Our 3 "boys" and our friend's 3 "girls
". She is now 13 years old and very deaf, tho' I have found she can hear my "soundless" dog whistle - and she has cataracts, but seems to see alright. We looked after her last time in July 2010 but have met up every year with her family and other friends for a doggy lunch.
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Here she is eating one of Dasher's bones! He sees how close he can get and MAYBE be able to grab it. -
The first evening she sticks with Svend as I am too busy dashing around doing a thousand things!
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The first meeting... she is used to Italians and already knows Dasher (they first met in 2009) but not Solo and just ignores them the way Timmi and Magnus always did! Basically Whippets don't like Italians, but they can "put up with them" if forced to!
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Sniffing in the garden.
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Later, on the first day!
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Exploring the garden.
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She's running around the house at her own speed - the two terrors run 2 times around in the same time!!! I have to be careful though, as the weather is very hot.
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Above, enjoying my chair in the evening.
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"Any burglers coming?"
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They play for a few seconds.
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Hedgehog "Onslo" visited the other evening and snuffled in the hedge so Solo got quite hysterical - video here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=edRCKboBOek
I carried Onslo up to the kitchen garden, (with gloves on!) but he was soon behind the hedge again trying to get into the back garden!
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Stealing cherries!

The 2nd of July

Below: Yesterday, after eating dinner, Solo decided to have dessert and went straight out to some strawberries I am using as ground cover under a plum tree - and tucked in!

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Three hares sunning themselves in a field this morning!
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Little angels....or maybe not, can you see what is behind Solo's head?
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Two fantastic photos of Solo doing lure coursing last time, taken by Saluki friend and keen photographer Kaj Frøling. (Solo wears a Whippet racing jacket as I have not yet bought the proper ones for my Italians!)
See www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRGJcQfmOMM
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Momma Blackbird , done with breeding for this year and attempting to put her messy feathers in place!


The 26th of June
Seen a few minutes ago - the weather never ceases to amaze me. Below left is the sunny, innocent view from the back door, (facing west) but I just move yards through the house and take a shot from the front door of the car port and facing east and the difference is amazing! (Copenhagen is having heavy hail-storms at the moment!)
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Below: Some shots from the garden yesterday evening...
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Dasher at only 5 years is getting a lot of white hairs!
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Above: Solo wearing "funny ears" and standing watching a bird.
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Above, Solo checking to see if the plums are ripe yet! (He's missed the strawberries underneath!)
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Me yesterday evening, Solo showing his love by licking my watch and Dasher has crawled behind me and is dozing off!
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Dasher stepping out!

The 24th of June

The saying goes: “Out of the mouths of babes.....”
Well I got one served this morning:
This morning, as I was nearing our gate with the dogs on their leads going off for their walk, a lot of young children around 9-10 years of age and on bicycles shot past downhill and around our little island and back again all laughing happily and talking.

By the time I was getting the gate open and going through, they had all lined up with great precision on the other side of the very narrow road, young woman teacher at the front higher up and the children in single file - now gawping at the two small dogs.
Dasher gave a woof of nervousness!
I thought they all looked so wonderful, full of the joys of youth and all cutely lined up with their giant safety helmets on, so I gasped out an admiring:
”What a lovely sight – I wish you would all come EVERY morning!” - in Danish of course!

The teacher smiled and the children were still all eyes on the dogs now trotting past, when one little girl with shoulder length light brown hair sticking out in wisps from under her huge helmet and peering at me through glasses said: “Do you remember me?”
Well I couldn’t say “no, sorry” and ruin her day, so I said
“yes, I think so”,  adding, grasping at straws, “did you used to come to play here when Dasher was a puppy?” (Pointing at Dasher.)
(The neighbour’s children were here often when he was little and brought various friends – tho’ none looked like her.)

“NO”, she snapped out real loud so all could hear, “it’s because you bought that house from my dad!!!”

I was speechless, (so was everyone else, no doubt!) and gave a big silly smile,
remembering afterwards that the previous young owners had two daughters aged about 4 and 6
– this would be the youngest, who I do vaguely remember now – from over 6 years ago – without glasses and cycle helmet!

I couldn’t wait to get home and laugh about it with Svend!
PS The family liked the area so much that they only moved about a ten minute walk away as they wanted a larger house.


The 23rd of June
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Today we celebrate that we got Solo one year ago! The "nightmare dog from hell" (said with tongue very much in cheek!) who has kept us entertained and on our toes (and running!!!) ever since and never have we jumped out of our chairs so often or so fast as he's "up to tricks" just about non-stop!!!!
Our oldest son and daughter-in-law came for a lovely summer lunch yesterday, and Solo was up on all the tables stealing everything, including a bunch of grapes, which I had to quickly get back again, as grapes are said to be poisonous for dogs - here he has taken a large piece of water melon - which he enjoyed, rind and all! Dasher was very jealous.
Solo also jumps up on people's laps - completely without warning and guaging the distance with extreme precision, suddenly he is there, up in the middle of a conversation and blocking the view completely, or if they just sit back for a second in the middle of eating! It gives quite a shock but no one seems to mind - can be awkward if you are drinking from a glass!!!
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Above right, our son lies down and immediately gets a thorough ear wash - he's protecting himself against face wash and laughing!
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Dessert, with our home-grown strawberries, whipped cream and borrage flowers.
Below, the other evening after dinner on the patio, he suddenly jumps up, even tho' he knows it's forbidden!
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The huge potatoes growing in our compost - with juicy self-sown rucola salad growing at the foot. Right: My pansies can have two different flowers on one stem, I'm amazed.

The 18th of June
At last a cat photo - but very bad! Solo never saw it but was aware of Dasher's excitement. It never moved as we passed!
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The 16th of June
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On the dog walk above four days ago with long grass and yesterday morning it had all been cut.

Below, Solo has been stealing things from my office and I can see it from the mouse pad! I have the only mouse pad decorated in muddy dog footprints!
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The 15th of June
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A fantastic view from a dog walk this morning. One can just see the island of Fyn across the very blue sea. I have often photo'ed from this path!
Yesterday, guess who was caught in the strawberry nets: Big Daddy Blackbird himself! Eyes popping and absolutely terrified at the horrific situation, he was forced to let me hold him as he had the net thoroughly wrapped around one leg, which I worried was dislocated. However, in minutes, there he was singing loudly from a roof top and this morning when I appeared out there to do a check of the nets, he flew off casually, so he'd been looking for loose strawberries again. For two pins I'd take the nets off, there is enough for us all. I freeze them down (apart from the huge bowls we eat ourselves) and they are good vitamin-bomb desserts through the winter. But if I left the nets off, the birds would run along the rows and eat a bite or two out of MANY strawberries, they don’t just eat one! They tend to go for the biggest and best as well! Here's a photo from yesterday's plucking, when I missed out the day before: (They are very small due to the drought right now.)
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Below: A photo from May of my half Grey Singing Finch and half yellow Canary bird who celebrated his 18th birthday in April! Still going strong - and singing loudly. He lost his mate, who was his sister, last summer. Here, I had just cut some new branches from an apple tree in blossom, so I took a photo.
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Offspring from a cross of this nature are sterile. He lives with an elderly Canary of some 13 years in a big voliere.

The 11th of June

Drama in the kitchen garden:
Sunday, two of the baby blackbirds got stuck under the strawberry nets. We had been out all day unfortunately. One could fly off straight away, but the other had the plastic net around it’s throat, under wings and all around it’s legs.
I always have a pair of nail scissors on me and quickly got to work cutting it free. The bird is very large for one hand so very difficult to hold and it took many minutes to cut through all the bits, whilst it screamed and pecked me and the parents went mad shrieking and fussing in the trees nearby.
I needed to cut net on it’s left side with my left hand, but found I couldn't operate the scissors with my left hand! So I changed hands again and was nearly done when the bird gave an extra wrench, got free and disappeared behind the dense blackcurrant bushes. I was very upset, being sure that it still had some net around it’s neck, buried deep in the thick feathers. I spent a long time searching, went away and came back to hear if it would reveal itself by calling to the parents, but I couldn’t find it.
Next day, Monday, the family was here to lunch. After a huge meal, we staggered off for a walk and on the way back, they wanted to see the kitchen garden and the 75 strawberry plants!
Well, I can hardy believe it, but there was the same silly baby Blackbird baby caught under a new piece of netting!
This time some blue nets, so I could show the family the green netting from yesterday that was still around it’s throat, plus the new blue net - ALL of which I successfully cut off this time.
My grandson of 2 1/2 could even stroke the bird carefully, then cried his eyes out as it pecked him!! The peck was painless, but it was the shock of being “attacked” in what was a moment of loving and caring for a wild animal!!!
This time I could lift the bird over the hedge and release it into a grassy path beside our house and see that it could fly ok too.
But what GOOD LUCK, to be caught the second time, so I could finish the job!
No photos as it was such an emergency.
I now check the kitchen garden many times a day.

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It's very hot and Solo crashes out on the rugs spread out so our Grandson to play with cars. He is too hot and tired to bother with cars being driven around on his chest!!!
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Later on, Dasher, not to be outdone, thinks he too will sit on the rugs!


The 9th of June 2014
We had yet another day's wonderful lure coursing yesterday. Here are some photos.
See the video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRGJcQfmOMM
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As our ATV had broken down and is not yet mended and the last time we borrowed a small one, we all had to take turn to lay out the course on foot after our dog had run. However, many kind persons offered to help and this young man (photo below) took MANY turns, must have quite worn himself out. (Just heard the club has bought a new second hand one - with the money we all donated - super!)
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Many thanks to Jonas! Right: Having a rest in the car between runs!
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All having a good sniff!
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Left, Dasher is very fond of Greyhound Camino! Right Italian Athena meeting Deerhound Pearl, the biggest dog she's ever seen!
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Friend Per, who works very hard for us every time at LC, is very proud of the splendid rosette that his clever Basenji earned at shows a while back!
Right: Inside the red tent!
Below: All I got of Memphisto, a Greyhound/Borzoi mix! I had zoomed in and I couldn't follow with him when he took off at full speed!
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The 6th of June
Momma Blackbird had big plans for building her next nest on top of our patio lamp! (Same procedure as last year.) She sat tight whilst we all came out early morning, but now she has seen the light, (literally, ha ha) and given up! It was madness, she would have been too near everything! She wouldn't have a private moment!
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Enjoying a shaft of morning sun!

The 3rd of June
We plucked our first strawberries today - small due to a draught at the moment, so I have to water a bit.
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- but ready way ahead of the usual time.. There were more, but the blackbirds are eating them - they make good "smoothies" for the youngsters in dry weather - even tho' our own apples from last year have long run out and I am giving them an apple a day, which I have to buy!
See here, just the skin is left over each time!!!
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So we had to put all the nets on today and here is Momma Blackbird coming for inspection and looking VERYdisapproving!

The red currents are coming along too - only two bushes but they give POUNDS of big juicy fruit, which I freeze down, they are great vitamin bombs in the winter when made into a compot.
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The 1st of June
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I disturbed a hare on the doggy walk this morning! Of course both dogs went berserk!
Right picture: It is hopping away in the far distance between the two football goals.

The 1st of June
Video from Lure coursing Thursday:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm4JwjbHyqo

The 30th of May
We went to Lure Coursing yesterday at our favourite and most beautiful venue - also the furthest away, unfortunately!
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The most wonderful weather - although cold except in the full sun. However, the hare-machine gave endless trouble - but thanks to kind "Carsten", we could borrow an ATV - and hard-working Karin, who unravelled kilometres of tangled cord after each run! Photo of this on the video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm4JwjbHyqo
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An elderly Afghan lady of almost 12 years, who did not want our boys too close
!

The 28th of May
Beautiful Balder Whippet came on a visit! Of course Dasher wanted to play immediately, he just loves all Whippets and Salukis, but even Solo warmed up and played well too - we had to stop them at times, as it got too wild. Balder didn't know what to make of these two small creatures that reminded him of Whippets yet clearly were not.
-.-Below is how they were after he went home!
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Below, one of Momma Blackbird's offspring has found the cycle basket with the food!
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Solo has already killed one - so four to go! But they get wiser every day...


The 21st of May
Two Blackbird babies leave the nest today!
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Sunday we went Lure coursing and Solo ran SO well with a racing muzzle for the very first time. It is necessary for him to learn it so that he can run with another dog. Next time he will run with Dasher.
No photos, (except a video one day) as I had two dogs in tow all the time, but the ATV broke down and here they are trying to mend it - my brother helping too:
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The 16th of May
The latest rapport from Momma Blackbird - the babies are growing so fast:
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Came home from a walk with the dogs
this morning and Momma Blackbird sat for a long time on a fence post whilst Solo had a fit trying reach her - I had good time to get photos! (Her neck is partly hidden behind behind a small branch.)
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Below, my brother being thoroughly greeted when he comes for a visit here, all the way from Florida.
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The 11th of May
A Canadian friend of mine has a Whippet puppy, who has been such an angel, he’s just too good to be true! Whippets can be little devils in their youth. But at LAST he is being like a true Whippet, see picture below! Does this look familiar?
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She writes: "Cooper was pretty quiet on Friday while I was cleaning. This pic. is what I saw when I peeked into the living room to check on him. He’d grabbed a new roll of toilet paper when I wasn't looking!"


The 10th of May 2014- and now the 7th blog!
They hatched out yesterday but here they are, 5 naked Blackbird babies all the same age, thanks to clever parents.
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Caught in the act of feeding their babies - now dad has to work hard as well, instead of sitting around singing all day!
Below: Solo last night! How they sleep is always good for a laugh.
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Here, 2 days ago, Solo is trying to climb the mower to get up, he's very frustrated.

The 5th of May

On a dog walk this morning and even though grey skies, the distant rape fields shine golden yellow!
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Sitting watching Downton Abbey last night, whilst Solo is sitting curiously watching Svend!
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The 5th of May 2014
Dasher's birthday yesterday and he was 5 years old, how time flies!
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Sitting looking like angel dogs!
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Solo is still pestering the "toilet paper" nest, Dasher watches whilst Solo scrambles around inside the hedge - those with a good magnifying glass can see his nose! The Blackbird couple are devotedly carrying on, despite the disturbances.
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Meanwhile the Blackbird's nest at the end of the garden has three big and healthy chicks in it! Solo hasn't discovered this one yet although he sniffs the air a lot when down there...

The 30th of April

I was on my knees weeding when I saw Solo start to leap up at the Blackbird nest with toilet paper.
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He worked away off and on all afternoon trying to reach and petulantly tearing small branches down. I've tried to stop him by putting a wheel-barrow there now. He's going to be lovely and tired this evening so we can get peace to relax in front of the tv.

The 29th of April

I am getting a little tired of Solo stealing my shoes all the time. I need them by the backdoor so I can pop them on if I step outside, then switch back to clean indoor ones when I come in again. Left is the bed they sun themselves in yesterday:
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- so I have decided to lock them with a cycle lock to the shelf where I keep them! Much to his disgust!
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Not to brag too much, but some of our strawberries are flowering already!!!

The 27th of April
Now there are five eggs in the car port nest and she is settling down for along, boring period of time just sitting keeping them warm!
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- meanwhile, the nest at the end of the garden has three small chicks - and egg with a hole - as this pair didn't waste days building in vain on top of our outdoor lamps!!!
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This is a very pretty white rhododendron, but the buds are a delicate pink before opening - really charming!


The 25th of April
Svend was preparing the car to drive to buy a new motorised lawn mower - ours has just broken down for the last time. (Svend had been walking it around for at least 10 minutes before he realised it wasn't cutting a single thing, ha ha!!!) But see Momma Blackbird peering over the nest as we chat and walk to and fro - and his hand is just a foot or two from the nest!
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left: A close-up of the above shot:
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...meantime, because I was too slow to play with the dogs before they have lunch, (and they know exactly what the time is!) so Solo has destroyed a whole lot of a trailing pot plant and thrown it around! Anyone else would have given him back to the breeder long ago, saying with tears in their eyes: "He is too much for me!" Ha ha!
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The 24th of April

Eggs at last! It is definately Momma Blackbird! Svend went out to start the car and drive off this morning, just as she flew to the nest and she totally ignored him and fussed over the nest, which looks like this now inside:
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I can't see anything as it's above my head, but just hold the camera up and click! She comes to give them a warm up here and there during the day. But not sitting non-stop until the last egg is laid, (one each day at dawn), this way she slows down their development so that all will hatch at around the same time! If not, the 5 and 4 days old chicks would likely crush the tiny last born one - they grow very fast. So watch this space! Takes them about 3 weeks to hatch - I believe.
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Left, pretty blossom, right our fantastic cherry tree in bloom. It never fails: Just as the flowers are all open, wind and rain comes, ruining them far too soon - yet this tree will be still be faithfully loaded with cherries late summer!

The 22nd of April
Nest update! The Blackbird nest that tried to use toilet paper from the photo the 6th of April is not Momma Blackbird's! We now have 3 possibly 4 nests in the garden and the one in the carport is definitely Momma! Because no matter what I do, she trusts me not to harm her. Today I came out with a heavy wash-load to hang up outside. The dogs trailed outside with me. I dropped the heavy plastic basket and KICKED it over to the wash-line, making a dreadful noise, but it did save me carrying it. Then I started to hang up the washing and suddenly realised that just 2 metres away, was a mother blackbird calmly sitting in her nest watching all this! I apologised and got on with hanging up the rest of the clothes but also taking a quick photo. ONLY Mommma Blackbird would endure all that noise, me hanging up clothes and using a flashing camera - and still sit tight! Here's the photo:
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The 21st of April
Little Lure coursing video from Saturday:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6dZVdrtcqc

The 20th of April

Went to Lure coursing yesterday and had the most wonderful day! The weather was perfect, strong sun, spring in the air, buds, leaves and blossoms everywhere and the field we used went right down to the fiord!
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The field was very up and down, so the dogs constantly ran out of sight! A good time was had by all.
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New Italian "Carlo" who ran like the wind! Right: Greeting Solo.
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Solo and Dasher greeting "the girls", mother Vincenta and daughter Athena whose owner very kindly started Dasher and Solo for me. On the left: Santi. The girls have no interest whatsoever in mine, they are completely aloof!!!
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Of course my two love all Whippets as they grew up with Magnus and Timmi, but Dasher also has a real soft spot for Salukis, and here he is with his long time favourite called simply "Saluki"- but he gets all the Salukis to want to play as he makes himself irresistable!
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Waiting.
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Dasher finds two Whippets he can get to play with him!
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The 18th of April
Our “Outdoor lamp building Blackbirds” have at last settled for a good compromise!
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In the carport and high up on a ladder and a hook holding it up, out of the way of wind and rain – I caught them at it early this morning (photos through one of the bathroom windows) and now the nest is enormous. A light shower of rain has made “nesting material” easier to mould and she is in full action. Later on, I put a load of washing out to dry and watched her reaction. It was clearly in the way of her usual flight path, so she sat on the ground thinking for a bit, then found a new way in and continued the hard work! She needs to get used to our habits – and Solo has already discovered the nest and would like to stand vigil, so he is reluctant to come in when called!
Below is another Blackbird nest at the end of the garden - MUCH more advanced!
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The 17th of April
Here is a better shot of Pappa Linnet! This is turning into quite an ornithological blog! They are still building the nest, I see long straws of dead plants being slowly dragged into the dense box bush!
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This morning, I cleared up the Blackbird nesting mess shown below - after 3 days, she had still not succeded in getting anything to stay up on the lamp and had moved to one on the back patio, with same bad result!

The 16th of April
We are surrounded by desparate nest building birds! The entrance to the front door now has a Blackbird trying to build on top of the lamp! It did succeed in a really good solid nest last year, but this year nothing will stay up there, it all falls to the ground making a dreadful mess. I am letting it "get it out of it's system" before clearing up!
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The 13th of April

I was wondering if they really were Linnets, as I had not yet seen the male's characteristic pink flush on his chest - until this morning. Bad quality photo as the glass door is dirty from a night's rain, and the distance was great, but here he is:
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There was also a bit of drama this morning as a female Blackbird, with beak loaded with nesting material, flew into the box hedge just under the Linnet nest! Out shoots the Linnet in shock, the female Blackbird must have spotted the nest and out she comes too and they sit an eye each other. Shame I was too slow to get the camera out! Would be activity if we got TWO nests in the same hedge!


The 11th of April
The cutest little Linnet couple have built a nest just outside the back door. The male has a very short sweet song, which I love, but he sings all day. There are many of these birds all around us, but this is the first time one has come so close - no doubt as we protect them from the opposite neighbour’s Magpies! The door was ajar for the dogs and I sat near, so I managed to get a minute long video of him, (Svend on the phone in the background unfort.) and these photos. I am amazed at what my humble little Canon camera can do at times!
Here is the 1 minute video:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=debCf0rSx00

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Above is Momma Linnet - with full pixels!
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Here are the two of them taken just as he flew off because Solo suddenly ran outside.

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Pansies and violets giving colour to the garden.
Below: Last year I showed a newly built local round-about, with a car that had crashed and perched on top of it. Well, it's hard to believe, but now a second car, maybe two have ploughed it up from the other side It's unbeliveable!! The 2 tyre marks on the left are from where the first car was towed away. The marks to the right are from two more cars that have ploughed deep into the soft earth and ruined the circles of yellow crocusses! They have now put a red marker buoy and an arrow pointing right!
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The 6th of April
Momma Blackbird's new spring nest! I woudn't have noticed if it was not for the large piece of toilet paper (white "cloud" on left!) that she clearly gave up trying to place, so now it hung out of the box hedge for all to see! I have just removed it. I thought I had cleared all the big pieces that Solo leaves - hoping the mower will pick up the small bits, but alas not - and they never rot away! I am beginning to wonder what they make toilet paper from - and it should "disappear" better than this?
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The 1st of April
A nice photo of Dasher all alert to see if there is any reason he can find to bark at the neighbours!
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The 30th of March

Returning after a dog walk, I close the gate, take off Dasher's harness then, still bent over, I start to take off Solo's when I hear a loud splashing sound from the bird-bath and see it's Momma Blackbird having a good wash quite un-nerved by us! I even get time to get my camera out when suddenly Dasher realises he is free, and shoots off like a streak of lightening. I just get this one shot! She flies instantly of course. (Momma is the tiny blob in the bird-bath, top left of picture - you may need new reading glasses to see her!) The distance looks great with the camera lens but is less than 3 metres in fact!
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The 27th of March
Solo has definitely lost interest now that he can't get the whole toilet roll any more, but yesterday I heard mystical sounds and just shouted "NO!" in time, and so the saga goes on...
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The 24th of March
Aaargh! Solo has ignored the bathroom for a couple of days and I was SO pleased with our dog-proof toilet roll holder solution, but today he suddenly shot past me with a lot of “white” in his mouth and I had to “pay” him out in the garden to give it to me: He had taken a giant mouthful and run – see Dasher inspecting the torn edges!
So now, we can leave the door ajar, but must now remember that maximum two millimetres of paper must be showing!!!
Sigh!
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Everything had frosty tips this morning! Just to remind us it is still only March even tho' summer feels near.


The 22nd of March 2014
I have at last solved the problem of Solo constantly stealing the toilet roll and turning it to confetti in the garden! He is practically ruining one a week and there are bits everywhere dating months back – and it never rots up!
This is a monster holder, but an elegant design with just the tip of a sheet of paper showing - and he is not interested any more. The joy was in scooting outside with the “prey” and racing madly around before "killing" it!
Here is it, being thoroughly inspected by our two little devils – well actually, only one is a little devil!
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Below: Enjoying a rare shaft of sun:
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A "bouquet" of violets - we have SO many this year. I love them, so I let them grow just anywhere.
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And a minature daffodil called Tête-à-Tête is flowering very early - AND the pansy seedlings survived the bad weather and frost and are MANY this year! I have even sown some indoors too:
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The 19th of March
All the dog's toys are kept piled on these two lower shelves, ready for when they fancy playing with something. Suddenly, yesterday morning, Solo got the idea that he wanted one particular blue plastic ball that has been wedged underneath on the floor for about two days. He started to remove ALL the toys, tossing them on one side in a very funny way, thinking this would help him get to it. I switched on the camera a bit late, but here is the video and end of the story:
-.-Above: Two screen shots from the video! He made me laugh! Italians are undefeatable, they get their way no matter what!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5djHI8wCPU

The 18th of March 2014
To torture my many friends abroad who are still knee-deep in snow and minus degrees - I must just show here, the year's very first blossom! Spotted this morning, I was amazed - must look up when this flowered last year to compare....oh yes, I photographed this little tree fully out and covered in blossoms on the 8th of MAY!!! Crazy weather!!!
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The 17th of March 2014
We attend the year's first lure coursing training. There was a hurrican gale wind with great gusts that nearly blew us off our feet and gave awful problems to the cord pulling the "hare" around. It was cold, about 10c but the sun shone brightly, so that helped. We all had a very good day, all dogs running well. Dasher and Solo were angels to sit waiting patiently in the warm car. I was surprised and pleased. (That is a shaft of sun on Solo's nose.)
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See the totally uninteresting video here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayW2Qib17tg
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Above: A new one of Momma Blackbird, disturbed in the middle of eating her breakfast apple in the cycle basket as I walk SO close by, but she even poses for a couple of photos quite unperturbed! See her beady eye watching me.


The 11th of March 2014
On the 5th, Dasher's big sister Anni gave birth to 3 lovely daughters! Their father is Solos's father!
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See them here: http://www.sissala.dk


The 11th of March 2014
Some days of glorious sunshine and "warm" temps. (up to 15 C) have woken everything up, (including we humans!) - just pray we don't get snow now! Here are some of my crocusses - and today a giant, fluffy bumble bee visited! Absolutely covered in pollen...
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Below, she's caught in mid-flight!
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The keen-eyed person will spot a handful of ladybirds all having a warm-up at the base of the apple tree!
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Friday the 7th of March
I pass a field with three horses every day - usually they are quite far away, but today they hurried towards me as if they mistook me for someone else. They have done this before. I quickly got the camera out and got a short video. The weather is still misty, see here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgqRqWog3TY


In the afternoon, beautiful Cam (Camino) the Greyhound, (saved from cruelty in Spain), came for afternoon coffee. That is, his owner got the coffee and a delicious gluten-free cake from Irma or Kvickly, (you haven't lived if you haven't tasted this one with Daim), mmmmmnn, heavenly!!!
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- whilst Cam stole one of my dog's bones!
I knew Dasher and especially Solo would make a scene at the sudden apearance of a GIANT "Italian" and maybe try to prevent him coming in "their" house, so I shut them behind the dog gate so they could see him and see the fact that he WAS ALREADY inside! They know him from Lure coursing, but seeing him here, was of course different circumstances.
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Cam keeps his cool at all times! He is also well used to playing with a friend's black Italian female, who adores him, so he is very "pro-Italian"! After they saw who we had as a visitor, I let Dasher and Solo come out. Dasher wanted to play, but Solo tried to tell Cam to go back home, which he ignored! Solo soon realised how misplaced his agressive show was and settled down - even tried to play a wild game after a while! I stopped it as they get up to a terrific speed and accidents can and do happen!
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Dasher gets a good sniff!
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In the above pictures, Solo is still reserved and scared, but later completely gets over it.
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Here is Cam chewing on one of their bones, which they absolutely didn't want, has been lying around for weeks - that is, until they saw him "softening up" one end, making it VERY juicy and desirable, so now they both are waiting for a chance to get it!
Monday the 3rd of March
Caught in the act! Unfortunately Solo's long legs can get him up on any table top and he steals too, even though the chairs are pushed in and never any food left up there! Here, I catch him in the act and he knows he's done wrong although I am silent and he jumps down at risk of breaking both front legs as MANY an Italian has done before him, but he has done this a million times before and proved he's strongly built! We just don't know how to stop him.
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My son stopped his cat jumping on a high shelf by lining it with wide double-sided sticky tape, so the cat's paws stuck briefly and this was such a dreadful sensation, (!!!) it never jumped up there again! But we cannot line this table (and others) with sticky tape! A friend said he'd given a very loud shout when his cat had jumped up and it was so scared it also never jumped up again - BUT this shouting is the way many owners have broken their dog's legs, as a dog leaps down in a PANIC and can have a terrible accident. The full weight of the entire body is on the 2 x 2 pencil-thin foreleg bones. So scaring is out of the question. Our floor is of stone tiles as well! Not the softest surface.
I am still working out what to do, although number 1 is not to have anything of any interest up there, but of course he's constantly on patrol to check it out as soon as we turn our backs!
Saturday the 1st of March
One never ceases to be amazed:
A pretty lamp I bought 10 years ago in Florida, which I take inside every winter, I have just hung outside again.
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Inside the lamp was an elderly tea-light I had forgotten last year. I thought I would surprise guests by lighting it on the long warm summer evenings last summer where we often sat outside, but had completely forgotten all about it.
NOW I see it has been half eaten. Dust and dirt cover the rest.
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I wouldn’t know who had eaten it except that I have twice seen a Blue Tit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Blue_Tit  fly to it a couple of times. Tea-lights cannot be good food and especially one coloured mauve and scented!!! Very strange.
So I have put a bit of hard cheese inside now, much better for any desperately hungry Blue Tit!

On a doggy walk this morning and the crows are particularly teasing Solo, who fancies himself as a professional killer after he caught two baby Blackbirds last summer. Dasher knows better: They can fly! I managed to take a 1 minute video of Solo charging the bird and screaming hysterically, yet it just casually carried on looking for food in the grass like we didn't exist!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNwp6WaqZUk
Crows KNOW that when a dog's on the lead, it is helpless to catch them.
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After a rest - he's too hot!

Wednesday the 26th of February:
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Solo won't come in as he knows I will put his coat on so we can go for a walk - and he HATES coats! At the moment he is forced inside due to the cold, but come summer I am very much afraid I will have to get him in with the help of a treat! This because although no coat needed, he hates his harness to be on as well! I HATE the way Italians have to be "paid" for everything they do - or they just won't do it! The Whippets are born obedient and their greatest wish is to please, but Italians are like little Lords and Ladies and absolutely won't do a thing unless there's something in it for them - given by their slave-owners! One is helpless! Do it their way or they do not co-operate. He hates coats as they make him itch. Dasher's fur is softer so he doesn't care and comes enthusiastically to have his coat put on, whilst Solo cowers on the floor! To help the itch and possible fur pushed up the wrong way, I give them both a quick rub down with some gloves I have with rubber "studs" that drag loose hair out - after the coats are taken off again. They both love this!
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Friday the 21st of February
Svend’s birthday today and I had wrapped his present in balloons.
Later, we decided to let the dogs play with them and left them provocatively on the edge of the table as Solo loves to steal.
But he didn’t notice! So, tired of waiting, I took them out in the garden, where he played around with them. He has a gentle mouth, despite sharp young teeth, so they didn’t burst straight way and the bangs never bothered him a scrap!
Dasher is wise and knew what they were, was sorely tempted to a tug of war game, but desisted as HE knew only too well from experience, that it is USELESS to tug at a balloon! Solo was quite disappointed when all were gone!
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Saturday 15th of February 2014
The dogs have a wrestling match EVERY day! Solo has grown, so he's as tall as Dasher. His legs are longer but body much smaller.
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Meanwhile outside, the spring flowers are opening - and my eyes are itching, so there's already pollen in the air!
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Thursday 13th of February
The sun's out the weather is mild (7C) and Solo, full of the joys of spring, grabs a VERY worn out football and races at TOP speed around the garden with it!
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- then he drops it, goes completely crazy and whizzes around and around nearly breaking the sound barrier! So good that we have a fair sized garden - heaven help the poor souls living in apartments or with tiny gardens... young dogs do need to "let rip" occasionally and sighthounds can get up to incredible speeds so they need plenty of space...
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Wednesday 12th of February
Solo is killing himself agonising over my son's slice of chocolate cake and SO BADLY wants it! He will NOT give up trying to reach it!
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He doesn't know my son very well, so he is hoping there might, just MIGHT, be a chance...!!!!!
(Yes, we DO know that chocolate is supposed to be poison for dogs, but even if it wasn't, we never give scraps at the table.)

Saturday 8th of February 2014

Here's the morning sun through the "mud room" door, which has frosted glass like rain is pouring down it, very attractive. Streaks of snow not yet melted show in the driveway.
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Dasher is chewing a bone (the hoof of a cow!) that Solo wants SO BADLY! He gets it in the end.

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Snow drops on the way, despite cold and snow - which has nearly all melted now, thanks to plenty of rain.
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The latest photo of my tough little pansy, still hanging in there despite frost, snow (a clump seen to the right!) and cold. Compare with the photos below!

Wednesday 5th of February 2014

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My friend on the island of Fyn, who lives very high up with a fantastic view from her garden over the sea and a pretty bay, (that's distant summer house roof-tops one can see in the dark), took this fantastic photo this evening, as the sun set. I too had noticed it was extra beautiful tonight, but alas, at the moment, the sun sets behind our neighbours!


Monday 3rd of February
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MORNING! Well worth waiting 6 weeks of depressing gloom, rain, howling gales and snow for! Light mist, thick frost, no wind and the sun just breaking through...

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The dog's fleece tracksuit coats are a "must have" warming their thin legs in this cold... order yours from Togs for Dogs
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Funny sleeping position! Nothing to be seen except one front paw at arrow 1. and one back paw at 2.
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At last a decent photo of Momma Blackbird, having chased Daddy Blackbird away from HIS apple, (she has her own in the cycle basket!), she eats his left-overs. Taken through the window, I am amazed it isn't too bad of her...

Sunday 2nd of February 2014
I gave the dogs an old plastic "activity ball" that neither 3 keen Whippets, nor crazy Dasher and Racey through at least 5 years of playing with it have ever managed to damage - and in less than 15 minutes, Solo had wrecked it!!! I'll have to buy a new one - and supervise him more!
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Here they both play, Dasher holding back as his strategy is to let other dogs "work" the ball, whilst he moves in like lightening and snaps up any biscuits that roll out!
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Left, Solo shooting it through his back legs, right, using both feet to claw the tiny hole wider open.
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Finally it is broken and he runs off with a bit with me in hot pursuit!
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Chewing the bounty - and NOW he can carry the ball!
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But of course, they are both ANGELS really!
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Svend last evening trying to see Downton Abbey with Solos' butt in his face!!!
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Mucking about on the sofa, whlst we watch tv!


Friday 31st of Jan. 2014
Constant winds have made big and small snow drifts everywhere, very irritating.
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Here on a walk, I can't imagine how the man cut through this path for all of us walkers and dog owners, it's so deep! I have to use a liberal amount of wax under their paws every day, as the salt does give them awful pains at times.

Monday 27th of Jan. 2014

Winter's hit us and snow drifts with gale winds blowing it all around and it's freezing cold (minus 6C) ... we knew it would come in the end! Now I have found out who is eating the apple a day that I put out on our patio every morning: Daddy Blackbird! See here, (a bad picture behind dirty glass, but I cannot do better without him seeing me), he's eaten all this inside of an hour!
Meanwhile, Momma Blackbird spends nearly all day sitting eating non-stop in the cycle basket full of food, (plus an apple for her too), much to the irritation of a starving flock of sparrows who can hardly get a look in!
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The dogs can see the Blackbirds outside and go into "kill it!" mode, if I open the door they shoot out like two torpedoes and nearly break their legs in the rush!
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Thursday 23rd of Jan.
After days of high winds freezing temps. and a touch of snow, the pansy is still hanging on! Supposed to die down and grow from scratch from the seeds it sows, this one is exceptionally tough! (Picture to the right from last November!)
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BUT, some of its seeds are already growing in a plant pot by the back door! This shows the effect of the amazingly mild weather we have had up to now:
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Question is: Will they be able to survive?
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Above, the dogs all dressed up for their morning walk, (the weather is FREEZING) and the funny thing is, Dasher is facing the door and ready to get up and go, while Solo has his back to it and saying: "Can't we skip it today?" He is actually tougher than Dasher with the cold, BUT he just HATES any form of clothing (because it makes him itch like crazy) and this track-suit is a form of torture - according to him! He is unable to appreciate the lovely warmth and protection it gives. All my Whippets clearly were aware that they needed and WANTED their coats when it was cold. They were pleased and wagged their tails when I went to put them on, but Solo hasn't understood yet and sees me as a heartless and cruel owner!
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Above left, Momma Black bird waiting for me to go away so she can get to the food I've just put out! See how fat she is with good feathers, not at all like the scruffy run-down wreck from last September - picture on right!


Saturday 18th of Jan. 2014
Yesterday, quite a bit of snow came in the night with some storm winds that blew horizontally in from over the fields - but rain all day soon cleared the most of it away. Here, I am out on a dog walk at 9am and this is how it looks:
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Below: I found a sign post that was decorated in a rather special way, look at the bottom of it:
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EVERYTHING, including all the trees, were snowed up on a strip on the windy side - the other side being bare. On this sign post, it had started to slip down in an interesting loop! I couldn't photo more as it started to rain.
Lunch time today, I was exercising the dogs who ran round the house 14 times, whilst Momma Blackbird sat calmly in the cycle basket that I am using as a wild bird food container. I was a mere three feet away and opening and closing the gate just alongside, while the dogs ran around beneath her. She didn't budge, she was enjoying some of Svend's Ryvita and the apples, so I took my camera out (she is used to this and the flash) and I could photo all I wanted, so here she is:-
- completely unperturbed! And photo below shows the dogs underneath her waiting patiently for their tit-bit before running off around the house once more!!!
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You can just see her in the basket - she's even turned her back on us and looking over her shoulder! I am amazed by her casualness - all extra garden entertainment!
Tuesday 14th of Jan. 2014
Woke up to milder weather, not a scrap of snow and thick mists everywhere. Everything is soaking wet and dripping! (The grass is still covered in small bits of toilet paper.)
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Above right is the same view as the day before. Fun the way every day is different.

Monday 13th of January

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Freezing cold wind and minus temps. this morning, so time to dig out the long-legged "track suits" that protect their boney legs from frostbite! Get yours from: www.togsfordogs.net ....Then in the afternoon, a layer of snow...

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"Come out here", says Dasher, "someone's just thrown some dog biscuits to make me walk in this ruddy snow!"
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"What? You must be joking! I'll just sit here and watch you get cold feet!" Says Solo shuddering.
Sunday 12th of Jan.
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It's all my fault and I have no one to blame, which makes it all the more irritating, but I forgot to close the toilet door properly and Solo got hold of a BRAND NEW toilet roll and made SUCH a mess in the garden, whilst I was busy making some bread! Ugh! I had the back door ajar, as he loves to go in and out especially if he sees a bird! It's been colder but mainly sunny.
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He must have had a whale of a time - the yellow bits are a bath sponge he stole for good measure! Dogs! Who'd have 'em!!!
Below is the absolute last rose of summer, photo taken the 12th of January!
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To the right: Aconites coming along at the foot of the roses, one of the first spring flowers here.
Solo is too hot - the kitchen floor has underfloor heating too!-
The 9th of January

I’ve always looked down on Facebook and Facebook users and the couple of sentences long, utterly boring trash, that people find to write for “the world” to see, (under the impression that others will be highly entertained and give them stacks of thumbs up to approve their empty waffle), but now the record has been broken for complete idiocy!
I have just today heard, that a certain FB group has a “leading, much-loved member”, who is very seriously ill.
That some bright spark, who is also in the group, thought up the kind idea of asking everyone to chip in a small amount paid into a certain account, to buy flowers and choccies to cheer up this “leading, much-loved member” and show their love and appreciation.
A great idea and were it a SURPRISE - it would perhaps have warmed the cockles of the heart of this needy “leading, much-loved member” – BUT the fool wrote and asked everyone from INSIDE THE FB GROUP  – so this “leading, much-loved member” of course, ALSO could read about the idea and request for money and so promptly wrote back, that it would give her more cheer if everyone paid into the group’s own account - which is to help needy dogs - instead of a gift for her, dedicated person that she is. Therefore 1) This “leading, much-loved member” gets NO wonderful surprise present at all, which may well have cheered her up and certainly would have shown the other's appreciation and 2), the kind idea now falls flat on its face (book!)
Whatever happened to good, old fashioned emails?
In an email, one can CHOOSE to send to one person or a hundred in complete privacy with only the receivers reading the content. If one hasn’t got everyone in the group’s emails – well then, they are easily obtained by asking around!
I call this the height of dumbness! Don’t FB users know of any other way of communicating?
I was deeply shocked. Such a shame...
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Snowdrops in our garden, showing spring is on the way!

The 8th of January 2014
See here, a photo from my friend on the island of Fyn – which is sandwiched in between the easterly mainland of Denmark and the westerly island of Sjælland where we live -  has 3 hyacinths in bloom! (2 in photo,)
They think it’s spring because “winter” just hasn’t happened here yet – so they’ve given up waiting!!! Even England’s “nasty” weather hasn’t got here yet and usually they pass on the most of it after a couple of days.
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Below is the view from a friend's window in Michigan - at - 25 C night temp.
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Brrrr......!!!!!!! This could easily be Denmark....(and no, this is not a black and white photo!)


The 7th of January
Whilst USA and England are suffering terribly from the worst possible winter weather they can ever remember, we go scot-free here with possibly the MILDEST winter so far! Wonder when it'll be our turn...?
-.-Left sleeping beside me as I use the computer and right, affectionate earwash in the kitchen.
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Solo falling out of the bed just exactly the same way Timmi always did! Left, see his nose bent sideways on the tiles! Right: He awakens and wonders what I am doing!


The 4th of January 2014
The sun actually shone feebly  through the hazy sky this morning – such a joy after about 6 weeks of almost non-stop dull, grey, misty weather with rain here and there...very depressing, but the days are slowly getting longer again...
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...and it has been so mild, that a tiny pansy has survived right to now in January! Here it is bravely flowering on:-
Solo asleep with his head bent back so far I am amazed it can be comfortable!
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The 1st of January 2014 - and now the 7th blog!
Well, we survived the mad-crazy New Year’s Eve fireworks yet again. Actually it wasn’t quite so prolonged this year and many neighbours were away, which we like!!! No noise from THEM. It all starts as soon as dusk falls, (often because children want to get started), which is 4pm at the moment and goes on to around 1.30 in the morning.
We (the area we live in) had all finally gone off to a fit-full sleep around 2am, when some bright spark let off some  “canon bombs” at three in the morning, that are so loud they almost make the roof lift off and windows rattle! They are illegal here in Denmark but are easily imported from Germany. I visualised all our neighbours waking up with the shock and then all wanting the bathroom at the same time!!!
To get some idea, turn your sound on full and see this video from the famous Town Hall Square in Copenhagen - believe me, our neighbours are no less noisy or colourful!!! www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQkDGBMYZog
Dasher has become increasingly nervous of the fireworks and it certainly hasn’t helped him that Timmi is gone. Timmy was brilliant and never seemed to notice a single firework ever, from loud whooshes, explosions, big bangs or bright lights turning everything red or blue or something. He was always totally unmoved, just like he'd gone deaf and blind!
So he was great to cuddle up to under a warm blanket and has given Dasher the sense of security he needed in previous years. So Dasher didn’t know where to put himself yesterday, mostly stood between my legs pressed up against me, but on also my lap whenever I sat down. But he wasn’t DISTRESSED, just miserable and hating it.
Our Dee Jay, who died in 2009 got totally stressed out. His little heart pounded so fast it nearly exploded, (you could SEE it beating in his chest!) and he panted like he was running at top speed and he shivered badly.
We bought him a fabric “soft crate” and covered it in a thick layer of blankets and I covered his ears with a knee warmer and he was grateful for this and went in the crate for most of the evening. (We never closed it, it was his decision to use it.) He accepted the knee warmer as Whippet's ears fold away naturally, so it was probably quite comfortable. I can't imagine a dog with stand-up ears bearing it! I know he couldn’t hear so well with them "closed".
ALL the window blinds are down of course, but nothing can stop the brightest lights or the terrible canon shots, explosions and other loud bangs, not to speak of whooshes and crackling sounds and the general cacophony...
We also used to play a CD with firework sounds for a whole month beforehand and although of course he is not fooled for a minute, it DID de-sensitise him a bit. But Dasher is no where near as bad as this.
Solo on the other hand was really "cool", it was really his first new Year as he was only an innocent pup of 4 weeks last time. He was interested and looked and listened, but functioned completely like his usual self and no problems at all.
Hope he stays this way as dogs copy each other and if Dasher gets worse and starts shaking in fear, he may get to wonder if there isn’t something to worry about? But so far so good. We could never leave them alone at home and go to friends or a party, so we just have a cosy evening together and eat extra delicious streaks for dinner!
Photos of Dee Jay from 2007:
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Happy New Year everybody!