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November 2013, Dasher and Solo in their "Togs for Dogs" coats! See the whole collection and more at: www.togsfordogs.net
Sighthound blog 2013
This is the continued story of Italian Greyhounds Dasher 4 1/2 years and Solo 1 year.
The newest "happenings" are at the top, so the story unfolds from the bottom and up!

See videos on YouTube under my name: sighthounddotnet - email me or go back at any time to my website: sighthound.net
Happy reading! - Janet
1st. blog July 2009 - 2nd blog 2010 - 3rd. 2011- 4th 2012 - 6th 2014 - 7th 2015 - 8th 2016 - 9th 2s017

This is the last entry in 2013 - I have started a new "page" now so CLICK HERE TO SEE 2014!
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The 28th of December
We had a wonderful Christmas and all the family came here bringing the food and preparing it. The dogs were angels and enjoyed all the extra attention and quite wore themselves out! Solo hardly had time to steal anything and amazed me by NOT "watering" the tree! After Magnus-Whippet forgot himself many years ago and a couple of presents had to be re-wrapped, we have always had a smaller tree standing up on a low table - which is handy, as many presents can be put underneath. But this year the tree was a little too tall so it had to stand on the floor, but no problem, they never lifted their legs once! In fact, both dogs are very clean and house-trained now. (But any dog can get confused with a lovely fresh smelling tree suddenly appearing in the middle of the room, ha ha!!!)
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As usual, the cage is very popular! Below, Solo took this decoration from the tree! We would worry that he was ill, if he didn't steal anything!!!!
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The 23rd of December
Christmas decorations finally all up and suddenly Solo notices the silver painted dog I have made of paper maché has got a "Nisser hue" (Father Christmas has gnome helpers in Scandinavia!) hat on and he is scared of it! Barks and approaches very tense and ready to flee!!! This brings Dasher jumping up to him and as he can't see anything wrong, this comforts Solo, who is photo'ed here "telling" Dasher of the horrible experience! It is Solo's first Christmas in a way, as he was only 4 weeks old last Christmas, so I doubt if he can remember a THING!
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Below, they are always having friendly wrestling matches - it is SUCH good exercise and gives a great looking, well developed body! I really don't know how people manage who only have ONE dog! So much wonderful playing as soon as there are two. Fun to see their mad games - accompanied by lots of heavy breathing! It also takes the strain off us as the dog's sole entertainers.
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Below, the storm a while back left an apple under the table just outside the kitchen, on the patio. I noticed it was being eaten and have since spotted "Momma Blackbird" enjoying it! It can only be her, as our patio is very much HER territory. So I will now keep up a constant supply through the winter for her. It's a silly place under the table with the risk of the dogs running out and chasing after her, but if she likes it there, then so be it.
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Well, you don't expect me to take a photo of Momma as well, do you?!!!


The 16th of December!
We had the family here yesterday and I took many photos, most of them useless! Here are some of my youngest grandchild and the dogs.
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Of couse Solo was in his element stealing all the toys he could get hold of, plus a piece of apple from our grandchild's hand! .

The 8th of December!
Two days ago we had a fierce tornado storm called Bodil sweep across Denmark (taking a day and a half of non-stop storm force) and said to be "one in a thousand years". Our house held up fine, luckily, but our best plum tree is leaning badly and the roots showing... You can see some good storm pictures from Denmark with this daily newspaper link: (On the right of each picture one can click to the next with a white "v" on it's side.)
www.bt.dk/danmark/se-alle-billederne-oversvoemmelser-og-enorme-oedelaeggelser-efter-bodil)
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Just to show you how the water rose to a record height, leading to evacuations various places in Denmark and parts of Copenhagen under water, see the famous little Mermaid. Underneath, taken from another angle, but showing the normal "on dry land" situation!
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Don’t bother to read this column if you are not interested in the neutering of dogs and boring testicle-talk!!!

Saturday the 7th of December
Well, finally the moment was right. I’ve always known that Solo should be neutered, it was an agreement between the breeder and me – for the simple reason that only one testicle descended into his scrotum. This fault plagues many a breeder the world over and is hard to stamp out. I know of it through having Whippets since 1984, a very healthy breed - apart from this stupid annoyance called Cryptorchidism. Although I have never owned a dog with it before, plenty of my friends have. The dog should be operated on at some point as it is very common for cancer to develop in the undescended testicle, which then can spread....
So I purposely waited until he was 1 year old so that his bones and muscles developed properly athough I would have preferred to wait a further year, but he was also getting harsher in his treatment of Dasher and often challenging his position as boss dog and now we are extra nervous after the terrible experience with Racey, I decided the time was right.
So Tuesday at 8.15 am with Dasher accompanying him for moral support, he was delivered to his fate at the vet’s and at 1.30 we were collecting him again.
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Two incisions were of course necessary, so it is painful and soon itching. (They will be removed after 10 days.) Here he is after 2 days.
Meantime, life is a total nightmare watching over him night and day as his instincts tell him to lick and remove the stitches.
I have good experience with Whippets, (although I am against neutering except if a very good reason), where I dress them up in a child’s T-shirt to stop them getting to the stitches. Thus avoiding that instrument of torture: The plastic Elizabethan collar!
This time I figured my grandchild’s outgrown “body-stocking” would be perfect. It was like tailor made for Solo!
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BUT by evening, Solo had found out how he could easily burrow his nose in through one leg hole.

LUCKILY the foresighted vet had sold me an Elizabethan collar, (promising money back if not used), so poor Solo had to spend a miserable night beside my bed with his head stuck in this plastic tunnel. Neither of us got much sleep although he was an angel and accepted all the sudden changes in his life.
Of course he mustn’t run and has to be on the lead even in the garden.
So far Dasher has been wonderful, cuddling up to Solo, (they wash each others ears), sensing his friend is poorly and being really understanding.
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I had expected the all the strange smells of blood would send him in a spin and he’d think we’d brought home a lovely bitch in season! But how wrong I was.
He has no penicillin! (Just a pain killer every morning lasting 24 hours.) Due to a world-wide criticism and awareness about the dire consequences of over-use of penicillin, encouraging resistant bacteria, vets here are cutting down and let’s face it, healthy dogs CAN heal by themselves - and quickly too.
So I am to keep an eye on the sores and can go back at any time if things are not right. A good arrangement.
I am cutting some of his food down due to his inactivity and then will feel my way as regards the fine balance of plenty of exercise contra how much they eat. So far, I have never had an overweight dog!
second day after the op.
I had to get up 4 times in the night to help him turn around as he had to wear the Elizabethan collar – for safety’s sake – but I did get a little more sleep even so.
He also wears a lightweight collar with a very large “cat bell” that has served me well for some 25 years or so – I can hear every movement as it rattles quite loudly! I gave up with my grandchild's "body" and found an old T-shirt that I had sewn for Timmi about 10 years ago and with a few tucks and some sewing, I found it perfect to stop him nibbling and licking at the stitches when I am unable to keep an eye on him:
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- he simply cannot find the way in! The back is closed with velcro and I'm keeping his tail inside.
However, Solo is a lot fresher and cheekier today, his stitches bother him less and he had quite a good play and wrestling match with Dasher this afternoon – much needed by them both! He’s also enjoyed being able to go around “naked” most of the day under our watchful eyes! Here he is enjoying a bone - and asleep. See the collar and bell.
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He HATES being dressed up – all to do with the courser/harsher the hair, the more it resists the fabric rubbing against it and irritates the dog. Solo's is fairly soft but not as soft as Dasher.

Day 4 and Solo is feeling VERY fresh and needing exercise,
so he’s had several wild games with Dasher (the vet would have a fit!) but I keep an eye on the stitches after each session and so far so good. Nothing like a bit of good blood circulation to hurry the healing, ha ha! Here you can see his two neat wounds:
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Below, he is out in the garden and a fleece trouser suit on for the very first time ever. He thinks he can't walk!!!! A severe storm has brought ice and snow and freezing temperatures.
Get yours from: www.togsfordogs.net
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Day 5 and he’s doing just fine.
He only wanted me up to turn him over 3 times in the night. (He has to sleep with the Elizabethan on so I can be SURE he doesn’t pull out his stitches and he feels totally paralysed with it on - he can barely lift his head!) So I slept better and he is fresh as a spring lamb today. Actually, he’s being an angel. I can stop him worrying at the stitches with a loud “ugh ugh!” so no “nightie” needed so far today and he can run free in the garden. I keep checking on the stitches to see if they are fine every time he is active. I never leave him alone and Svend takes over where necessary.
I can't wait for the 10 days to be up and I have an appointment with the vet to get the stitches removed.

Below: Here they are well wrapped up in the freezing weather this morning. In the far distance one can see a farm and a field with a mountain of sugar beet that have been taken up during the last two days.
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The 8th of December and day 6
And he's feeling fine and no need for the much hated "nightie" to be worn! Here's a picture from this evening.-
The 9th of December and day 7
Solo feels so good he went mad crazy in the garden this morning and raced at top speed around and around like a loose torpedo and just like something was chasing after him! I heard him moving around in the night and got up to help him turn over as usual and what do I see: He HAD turned over by himself and the Elizabethan collar was lying beside him in the dog bed! So that's the end of using it, I am trusting him from now on - and what a relief for him. I can't wait for Thursday where he'll get his stitches taken out!
The 10th of December
Solo and his stiches are so doing fine, he doesn't seem to be bothered by them at all. No pain killers today and he's had the usual amount of exercise too. Tonight I am planning to put him back in the cage with Dasher at night, so I can get a decent night's sleep! Boy do I need it!


13th December and yesterday was "stitch-removal day"! I had to walk the 3 1/2 kilometres to the vet’s as Svend was unable to drive me! So I took both dogs and gave plenty of time for stopping sniffing and peeing all the way there – and still was 10 mins. early. The vet. tweaked out the stitches in no time whilst I held Solo comfortably on his back on my lap.
Then I could get my money back on the Elizabethan collar, but I asked if I could trade it in for a nail clip on Dasher!
Two minutes later, I had 2 dogs with the shortest nails in the whole of Denmark!
Then I had the 3 1/2 kilometres to walk home again – and lucky it wasn’t TODAY as it has rained non-stop all day, either very hard or just fine rain!
The slightly bloody holes where the stitches have been removed are healing fine and Solo is as cheeky as ever -  and back to stealing everything in sight!!! I'll spare you the new view of his undercarriage that I took so here are two of him begging at the table instead!!! He wants the walnuts I'm eating, but he's not having any!
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Boy was I tired after all that walking and I thought, after the dogs had their lunch, they would sleep and I could have a lie down but oh no, they were busy noisily chewing bones or playing wrestling together the whole afternoon! Seven kilomtres is NOTHING to an Italian!
They were, however a bit more quiet in the evening!
So that’s the last word in the successful testicle-saga!

The 2nd of December!
Time for Dasher to air his stunning Father Christmas coat and bring smiles to the face of everyone who sees him! (First year he wore it, there was nearly a car crash as he momentarily distracted two motorists!!!) Photos from yesterday.
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The 29th of November

more Solo tricks! He steals the new selotape:
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and he's after my garden shoes as usual! Left: caught in the act, right, knowing the game's up!
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- and changing the subject, a pretty little pansy still survives after severe frost and winds!
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The 27th of November
how to tell Solo he should act like a mature adult now?
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Last night he ran around the living room with Svend's tv glasses held delicately by one earpiece. Here he is under the safety of the coffee table and daring us to chase him! I photo'ed while Svend stood in suspense! The glasses are one of Solo's favourite items to steal! This morning it was my sandles and outdoor shoes!
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The dogs have a whole shelf full of toys in the kitchen and chew bones of all kinds lie around all over the place (so we are experts at NOT tripping up on stuff), but still OUR property is preferred by Solo! We are careful not to reward him with a big fuss or attention, just quietly take the item back and say thank you and turn away from him so his "reward" is us ignoring him - for at least 5 seconds!!!

A new "spy cat" enjoying the early morning sun on a neighbour's roof. (He is extending his house and it's not finished yet.) The cat lives next door to him but it's own roof is not so comfy due to the large area of sun-panels put up there giving an extra electricity supply. See previous shot 9th of March.
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The 25th of November
and Solo is one year old today! How time flies! Thank you Gitte for "making" him - and then deciding that I should have him!!!
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Here he is holding a balloon (this time something I GAVE him, not something he stole, ha ha!) - he played with it for quite a while before the inevitable happened! And to the right, he and Dasher can see the Blue Tits taking peanuts from a holder I have fixed up on the window - a really smart bird window feeder! So they are both pop-eyed with the frustration of seeing birds they haven't a chance of going after! See it here: www.coolstuff.dk/Fuglefoderbrat-til-Vinduet
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Here is some of the fabulous sunset last evening, between a neighbour's house and their garage. They have the most fantastic views but also must take the full brunt of any storm winds, (plus a certain amount of road noise) so we are well pleased to be in the second row!
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A totally boring little crab apple tree that suddenly goes beautiful in the late autumn!


The 24th of November
and we had a shock yesterday! Christmas celebrations must have started for one motorist in the night or early hours of the morning, as we saw the following sight on the way to the shops:-
Our brand new (only just finished a few months ago!) little local  round-about - long wished for due to many children and cyclists crossing to and from the local school just a few steps away and which has been SUCH an inconvenience for MANY  months whilst they built it, now has a “work of art” adorning the top of it!!
A  Mercedes travelling at incredible speed has charged straight over the pedestrian crossing in the foreground, knocked its red sign down, mounted and ripped up the new granite curb stones and ploughed its undercarriage all the way up the steep side of the newly sewn grass and soft, muddy earth, finally coming to rest at the top like the “modern sculpture art” of the kind you see costing the tax payer thousands paid to the “smart artist” involved!!! You can see the entire bumper was torn off and lies at the curb by the blue sign, and the undercarriage, exhaust and gear box has dragged all the way up and is now leaking...the driver must have had a shake-up!
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You can see it for free just around the  corner to us!!! You have to hurry though, there may be limited viewing!
Happened Friday night or early Sat. morning.
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It is clearly signposted and well lit up so the mind boggles as to how it could happen.
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We had quite a giggle - as did all the other gawping motorists all Saturday!!!!


The 22nd of November
and December with all its Christmas decorations is looming up fast - many have started already and of course the shops have been full of stuff since October. We all miss Timmi terribly. There's always been a Whippet in my life since 1984 when I got my first and went crazy over the breed! It's hard, but now I no longer can go on the beach every day and walks of up to 1 1/2 hours at times, it is best with a smaller breed - that also can do coursing.
Here are some photos. Despite the first frost and many gloomy, cold days, (plus a terrible storm destroying many things some three weeks ago), my roses are still bravely flowering:
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And a single digitalis/Foxgloves doing a late flowering! No bees to make the seeds though.
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Bad weather means time for indoor games, but Solo is not having any of the "treats in a box" game, he just tears the top open and methodically destroys the box. Not like the time with Magnus and Timmi with Dasher goading them on: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zngjPNfyYcA They were too polite!
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Dasher enjoying a hazelnut! They seem to instinctively know that the tasty part is inside and immediately crack open all nuts, neatly discarding the shells. Although I have a friend whose Whippets eat walnuts whole - and afterwards she sees the "sawdust" come out!!! Amazingly, the scratchy bits don't harm them. Right: Solo demonstrating a new way of sitting on the settee!
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It's a long time since I "shot" a cat! Solo noticed this one hurrying to creep away from us!
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... and yes, he's got the toilet paper again...always when we have guests and get distracted...
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Waiting for their dinner! Dasher's back is curvier. They are two very different types, despite being related.

The 10th of November
and Timmi is badly missed, we think of him all the time. Dasher seems very subdued as if he too is missing his best friend. He has never known a life without sweet uncle Timmi. Dogs definitely mourn the loss of others they have loved - I have experienced it many times and not least Timmi, who never quite got over the loss of Magnus. They show it in many different ways.
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However here is a picture of Dasher, the silly way he often sits half in and half out of a bed, usually occupied so he wants permission to get in - but it's his back legs that fascinate me! How can this be comfortable?

8th of November and life does go on even so...
Solo's up to his usual tricks, he steals anything and everything and I don't get to photograph the half... Two days ago, Svend's reading glasses disappeared and we hunted high and low to find where he had left them. I spent ages patroling the garden and going up and down the lawn like someone with a metal-detector to see if they were dropped in the grass - but then Svend found them safe and sound in a cupboard! So we had to apologise to Solo!
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Anyone want some selotape? Well, you'll have to ask the neighbours as this is/was our only roll...
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Sunday, our family came to lunch and youngest grandchild made a bee-line for the dog's cage! One minute he was behind his mother, then when she turned around to check on him, he had disappeared so she got quite a shock until she realised where he was! How children adore small spaces! He left two matchbox cars in there which we didn't notice, so the dogs had an uneasy night sleeping on them!
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We are having a lot of local elections soon, meaning hundreds of posters of our local politicians are hung up on every street lamp and other places. A storm wind on Monday created havoc and many fell down and Solo was clearly frightened by the human faces on nose level. He hesitated every time, but Dasher didn’t care, he showed him it was just all the more to pee on!!!
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The three horses in the field we pass every day, came rushing over like I had shown them some carrots! Dasher barked but they didn't mind at all.
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Thursday the last day in October - and winter starts in November...
I must remind everyone to look at this SO funny video, showing how Timmi could completely ignore all Dasher's annoyances:
www.youtube. from 2009com/watch?v=eTOXTLKoQo8

Sunday 27. October 2013

Now my heart really IS broken and I have NO WHIPPETS AT ALL.
Our darling, so beautiful and so sweet natured Timmi the Tea Leaf* is no longer with us.
His “bad neck” turned out to be a discosprolaps. (It probably has been all along, but he managed to get better each time. He was happily doing Lure coursing as late as middle of August this year.)
The vet was pretty sure, (and I got convinced after reading all about it with the help of Google, also of human patients who could tell of neck pain radiating down one arm, as Timmi also limped when it was worst), but she gave us some good pain-killers in the hopes that once again he could get better.
At first they seemed to work, but then he took a turn for the worse, nearly collapsed and went downhill, clearly in agony despite painkillers and Friday evening was a nightmare where I even gave him an extra pill at 8pm, but it barely helped.
Saturday morning I was faced with the choice of him being admitted to our Animal hospital and being x-rayed and scanned and then having a very expensive operation - with no guarantee of cure. He is sickness-insured, so I would not have to pay, so money wasn’t the deciding factor. The only alternative was to end his life and stop further suffering. At over 11 years of age, he only had one year of life left possibly nearly two if we were very lucky and I could not face putting him through days of examination, operation and then a long convalescence with confinement, keeping him from moving etc. just for the sake of one more year, if that, with possibility of more pain and certainly never running again. I decided he needed a break from his severe pain right away and the future was too black. As I said to the vet., I was extra shocked as he was so fit otherwise, but he pointed out that we all get something that “wears out” sooner or later...
This is going to take the rest of my life to get over – we both loved our Whippets from the bottom of our hearts.
I don’t know how I will mange without one. I got my first in 1984 a year later, the second and was amazed at how much I loved them all.
But the life where we live now is more suited to small dogs who can run around on flexi-leashes when on walks.

*He got the nickname: "The Tea Leaf" from two girlfriends who met up here for a holiday with us in our previous house in 2007.
One came up from Australia and the other from Florida – but like me, we were all English born! We had a whale of a time together “doing Copenhagen etc.” for ten days but Timmi raided their rooms despite warnings and closed doors and we all did our best, he still sneaked in at every chance – he ate a packet of nuts and some chocolate, for one thing.
He was and always has been, a big thief! Tea Leaf is rhyming cockney slang for thief and kind of “stuck” ever since my friends started to call him that! We called him "Tea" if we didn't want him to hear his name in a conversation!
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhyming_slang
see also: www.youtube.com/watch?v=327s3lo-q0w
I recall an almond cake he got at while my back was turned as I talked to guests, which I repaired and no one ever knew, Svend and I taking from the “bottomless” part. Here is how I’ll remember him, looking very beautiful:
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or being kind to wild puppy Dasher, where he lets Dasher take his bone by lifting his paw off to show it’s OK. My first ever video on Youtube and so sweet...takes less than a minute: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE1afg_cOXg
- and the cake episode - left: Half gulped down and right: Repaired with my filling of strawberries and blueberries with cream!!!
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Not to speak of how good he was at Lure coursing: Here's a favourite of mine, after 2 false starts in about the middle of the video when he was doing a come-back in fine style after a dislocated toe injury: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLcVrh_ve8Q
It is a tragic way to go, but he is free from his dreadful pains at last - I miss him so badly, but I did what was best for HIM...

My two Italians must take over the entertainment now and certainly Solo is an even bigger Tea-Leaf than Timmi ever was!!!!!! At the moment, they miss him too as they also loved him very dearly...

The 20th of October 2013:
Another photo for my coming book "Reasons Why I Get Mad at My Dog!" (see below). Solo has stolen and chewed up the cover of Svend's Motor magazine, so is not very popular! He is looking up at Svend who is daring him NOT to touch it while I photograph!
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Above: How I've trimmed the box hedge around the patio!
Poor Timmi has had his neck troubles come back again. A mystery injury he did in March 2011 but got completely over. This has happened once before. Last time, just one old painkiller left over was enough to fix him up. But about 3 weeks ago, he showed us it was back again so I gave a painkiller, which lasts a whole day and the next day he was cured!
But then 6 days ago, the pain came back and I only had one old pain killer left! This time he was NOT much better next day so we went to the vet's and he was prescribed twice daily Mandolgin for 3 days and Previcox once a day, but 1 1/2 tabs. instead of the one I gave! (It's his weight that decides the amount and he is 15 kilos.) Now he has pronounced himself cured yet again and is his usual happy dog self, but I hardly exercise him apart from walks and we are keeping him from too much wild play – although I did allow a short tug-of-war just for the camera! Muscle and sinue injuries CAN take 6 weeks to heal so we are being careful. We don't know what's wrong so I hope it will once again go away by itself!
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(We keep him molly-coddled warm, in case it is any kind of arthritis.) Once he is off the pain killers in a couple of days, it will be interesting to see if the problem returns. Keep fingers crossed.

Below: New photo of Momma Black bird yesterday, taken whilst the dogs ran around searching for her just underneath! She takes the most awful risks. We are eye to eye - and me brandishing a bright pink camera right up in her face!
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Some inspiring and smart ideas as to how to fit one's pet into the home in a decorative way that suits all parties!
www.houzz.com/ideabooks/18810408

October 14 2013
I have been wanting to tell about Momma Blackbird for some time. She is incredibly trusting with me despite two of her babies being killed by the dogs. After the babies left the nest and would have been fed for a week or two until they could fend for themselves, she, as all the other birds at this time of year, went into a severe moult. They re-new just EVERY feather at this time, including the long wing and tail feathers. They get quite depressed and miserable while this is going on bit by bit, bunches of feathers falling out each day and new ones popping out just as fast. This I know from my Canaries. For a while she had no tail at all and looked simply dreadful.
She hangs out in a laurel bush set amid other bushes at the end of the garden in a corner, despite Solo constantly racing around trying to find her and she is only on eye level with me.
I squeeze past the bushes several times a day on "poo patrol" and while she was moulting at her worst, she seemed to be there all the time. I can stop and stare for a second, then I move on. I don’t want to risk “staring her out”. She knows I will move on and sits quite still only a matter 2 feet or less away from my face!!!
Now her tail is fine and long and her body looking prepared for the cold winter to come, she just needs her small head feathers to grow out, one can see all the white un-opened quills – see photo below.
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The other day I went past, I couldn’t see her in her normal position, so a spent a moment peering around and then realised she was watching me from a branch around to the right and so near my head! I even exclaimed “Oh my God!” I was so surprised. She KNEW I hadn’t yet seen her and waited patiently while I peered in vain after her - then she obligingly hopped back to her usual position so that I could pass. The path is very narrow due to the box hedge all around our garden.
I can take all the photos all I want – it doesn’t worry her!
I hope she survives the winter – I will be putting food out including our apples – so she maybe will nest again next year.


I was very amused by this new book just coming out:
Reasons-My-Son-is-Crying - absolutely hysterical and for two pins I'd buy it - it's a good present to give young parents too!! I suddenly thought, well I should write a fully illustrated book about "Reasons why I get mad at my dog!" (This written with tongue in cheek of course, in case anyone thinks I DO get mad - we are mostly laughing hysterically!)
For example: See the toilet paper we are using right now:
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I am a thrifty person, so I carefully re-wound the (nearly new) roll, as we have already lost so much.
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- and a new Solo sin: He took BOTH of Svend's shoes onto the guest bed! I was just going in to retrieve the one, when he shot past me and jumped up with the other one in his mouth! So of course I whipped out the camera.

Photo below: "Let us in!"
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October 9th
and it's about time I showed a photo of Dasher! Here he is sitting patiently on the guest bed behind me as I work on the computer, Timmi in the same position. Timmi is wearing an old knee-warmer of mine as he has had his neck trouble come back for a few days. An old injury. He is FINE now, but I'm keeping it on for good luck as these are cold days now especially evenings...if he has a form of arthritis in his neck, then warmth is good.
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The most amazing thing!
I am in the house when Solo starts a warning barking out in the garden. Finally I come out and realise he is aware of a pheasant on the other side of our hedge, by our neighbour's front door. The pheasant is answering him when he barks. Incredible! I manage to capture "the conversation" for just one minute, before we unfortunately scare it into flying away in a loud flurry of wings and more screeching.
The dreadful noise I make of rustling plastic, is because I have been trimming the box hedge and collect the pieces in a tarpaulin for easy clearing up afterwards! www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7q6HFFYJsk

October 2nd
and at last I have photographed my amazing dog with "Magpie blood" in him, as he steals anything even shiny metal things -like this shoehorn! At last, caught in the act ON CAMERA!
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Most dogs steal your shoes - Solo does both - and more, as everything's on the move here!!! Most of it ends in the garden, but you can never be sure what you'll find in the dog - or human beds.

The 29th of September
and if you haven't seen Dasher's half sister Zoe do this trick, then it's about time!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dqOdD303qU


The 24th of September
Left: Not much wrong with Timmi's eyesight! He spotted a cat on some steps at a great distance, (see microscopic black dot middle of handrail!!!) and made such a hysterical scene!
Right: We had guests on Saturday, and despite strict instructions to the contrary, the toilet door was left ajar and OF COURSE Solo noticed the toilet roll was back in position.... ugh!
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The 22nd of September

As I have shown before, the dogs just love a plastic sack to play with! (One that contained earth for my garden plants, so quite strong.) No need to buy expensive toys!
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Dasher's holding a small piece he has torn off! I thought his attitude looks so funny here!
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Afterwards!
The 16th of September
Another tragedy, Solo killed a second baby Blackbird. It had stayed in our garden and he had been running around in some bushes off and on for days. I couldn't see anything but finally his dream came true. Now there is only one baby surviving.
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A picture of innocence!
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Look what he's got now! I have never had a dog who took METAL items!

The 14th of September
A heavy mist this morning reavealed hundreds of dew/jewel covered spider webs - so pretty...
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The one above is incomplete no doubt due to it being such heavy going!!! And finally a spider in the middle:
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Thursday the 12th of September
About a week ago, the three baby blackbirds left the nest. Here is the last photo.
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They were in and around the garden for about three days but unfortunately the dogs, headed by Solo, did kill one baby.
Below: The hard working mother looks a total wreck as she is starting the autumn moult.
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The first few days were very empty especially for Solo, whose biggest ambition was to catch mom! She knew this and spent a long time deliberately teasing him every day. Of course basically her instinct is to lure him away from the nest so as to be able to pop back unseen and feed her young in private. But she seemed to enjoy repeatedly hopping to and fro on the other side of the fence with Solo frantically trying to get to her, then she would fly over the top and zoom past really low over his head so he’d race up the other end of the patio after her. Below, see him looking for her while she stands laughing just behind him!!!!
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Look closely, she is nearly at my feet whilst Solo is stuck in the fence looking for her there! See the worms in her beak.
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Above: She doesn't mind me, she's just at my feet as I photograph!
Or she’d watch him race out through the gate and around to where she was, whilst she, at very the last second would pop through the wire fencing so once again, he was on the wrong side and going mad. She was quite casual about me standing photographing too!
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After flying really low across the patio, she would stand taunting him on the fence in absolutely NO hurry to go!
Solo was often whimpering with frustration and got literally hours of extra exercise. Dasher wasn't interested as he could see the total hopelessness of "the game"! He is wiser due to his age.
I hope she’s getting a well earned break now.

Monday the 9th:
Our plum trees have gone crazy this year and despite the nasty cold, wet spring, they are LOADED with fruit - which the dogs are either jumping up to get or eating the ones that fall down. They love them!
Here is a very determined Solo.
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Saturday the 7th:

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"I don't believe it - you say this isn't a dog toy either????"

Tuesday
the 3rd and he's stealing again!
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...and you mean this isn't a dog toy???

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The baby Blackbirds are nearly ready to leave the nest. I think I can see a male and two females? Compare these fat babies with the tiny chicks the 25th of August! They grow so fast.


Sunday the 1st of September
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Did you say I have done something wrong again?
Saturday the 31st of August - and where did this month go?
I took Solo to the vet’s playground again today.
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This time there were several smaller dogs, but as soon as one bounced towards him, he chased it off barking horribly and with harsh near-bites at it’s tail. So again he ended up all alone in the small enclosure of the three.
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But it does him good to just watch the others in peace.
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I rewarded him for good behaviour, (when he sniffed the other dogs quietly, which he did after a while) and he spent a lot of time watching the others chase and play and have fun. He can see he’s missing out but doesn’t know what he does wrong. He’s good on the see-saw as well.
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One man came over (there’s always at least one sympathetic dog-owner who takes pity on me!) and told me he had a Labrador he’d got from the breeder when it was 6 months of age. It was now 8 years old and he had spent the last 7 1/2 years trying to get it to be able to socialise with other dogs! He now has a lovely puppy of 15 weeks and was coming to the vet’s playground every week to avoid the same problem happening again.
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Afterwards, sleeping off all his experiences!

Regarding the problem with Solo stealing our toilet paper from the guest bathroom, I tried another strategy: Instead of having to keep the door closed, (which we failed at miserably, so often re-using rescued tatty and chewed rolls!!!) and the room really needs the ventilation, I hid the toilet paper in a little basket behind the loo and the first day, Solo was running to check it out many times. The second day only a couple of times and now he can’t be bothered at all because he has learnt that all the fun has gone! So soon we can put the paper roll back again – and cross our fingers! Anyway, all too soon he’ll grow out of his youthful, joyful silliness and become a “sensible” dog!
So what did he do next, September 1st? Stole the roll of dog poo bags!!!
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For those who can remember back to the wild clematis that so disappointed me with it’s tiny flowers shown on the 27th of July - a friend just sent me today a picture of this beautiful "late summer" bouquet that her mother has created – which includes “my” clematis flowers as background interest, (again, get your magnifying glasses out...) as she too has this variety in her garden!
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I think I’ve found out what it might be: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clematis_vitalba#Characteristics
- a plant I’ve known as a child called “Old Man’s Beard” because of the seed heads. See mine now:
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And finally the now VERY noisy Blackbird babies with plenty of feathers on the way:
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Just hope they survived a hard sqall of rain this afternoon - much needed in the garden...
looked later on and they are just fine!

We were baby-sitting our youngest grandson (now  1 1/2 years) last night, (he is SO entertaining now and cuter than  ever! After he finally fell asleep (at 8.20 pm), we ate our dinner  - boy, were we hungry!
He is so privileged that he has his own iPad now, (his mother’s old one), which has been put in a “specially designed by Fisher Price” frame to protect it. So we found the “Daily  Mail” app, a very good online English newspaper that’s always up to date  
amongst all the children’s musical things and enjoyed reading this over dinner.
But then I suddenly had a fit of laughter seeing Svend sitting  so seriously and earnestly studying the English news with this very  baby-like toy with teething rings on the handle!!!!! Ha ha!
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(Maybe  they should have this cover in all the old people’s care homes, in case the elderly and disabled drop their iPads occasionally? Grandson had even accidentally stepped on it during the evening and it was unharmed!)
Is Svend in his second childhood? Someone wrote to me that only if he begins to chew the rings, should I start to worry!!!
PS Note the beautiful Alsace wine we were given to wash our dinner down with!!! Delicious!
Get YOUR own Fisher Price iPad protective cover here:
www.toysrus.com


Wednesday the 28th
The sky last night around 8 pm - so pretty.
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It's wild cornflower time - the blue is so beautiful, impossible to catch on camera, Dasher is sniffing. My friend writes: De blomster, du har fotograferet, er ikke kornblomster, men cikorie! Det var deres rødder, man brugte til kaffeerstatning under krigen! De blev dyrket ligesom roer. For et par år sider var der her i nærheden en cikoriemark, og rødderne blev taget op om efteråret og lagt i en stak ligesom roer; men de lå hele vinteren og blev aldrig hentet, så der var nok ikke noget marked!
That what I call cornflower is actually chikorie - one learns something new every day!!! Read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicory
"...In Napoleonic Era France chicory frequently appeared as either an adulterant in coffee, or a coffee substitute. Chicory was also adopted as a coffee substitute by Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War, and has become common in the United States. It was also used in the United Kingdom during the Second World War, where Camp Coffee, a coffee and chicory essence, has been on sale since 1885....." Denmark also "lived" off chickory coffeee during the last war!
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Above: The latest on the Blackbird babies from this morning - now only three.
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Above, playing with a plastic sack and Timmi wants it all to himself and tells them off - then when the others stand back, he gets bored!
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I am asking Solo where Dasher is - and he tries hard to understand, head on one side!


Manday the 26th of August
Another bee story!
Yet another bee was clinging to a big, juicy raspberry when I went to pick dessert last evening! Unfort. the bee is totally out of focus and it's better of the distant apple tree, but those with keen eyesight will be able to detect it!
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This time instead of trying to move it, I decided I had plenty of fruit so I wouldn’t disturb, though I hate to let a good berry go.
I kept coming back to look at it, but it wasn’t moving at all.
So this morning I went out there at 7.30 am wondering if it would be lying dead on the earth.
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Amazingly enough, it was still there, with a tiny shaft of the early morning sun on its back, so I lifted the branch and angled it into the sun so the bee could get properly warmed up.
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This was much appreciated and it slowly crawled on top and got warmer, but for the sudden moment of take off, I was too unprepared and slow, but here it is flying off over the garage roof and going around in giant circles as if to orientate itself.
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So it did live to work another day! What would we do without them?

Sunday the 25th of August
Below: The 4 Blackbirds eggs have hatched out - I knew as I could hear some faint cheeping whenever I passed but "Mom" has been sitting on them every time I peeked! However, this morning I got lucky!
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Above, unfortunately Solo, who is a big thief right now, has suddenly discovered the joys of stealing toilet paper, so from now on the guest bathroom door must be kept firmly shut! This was a brand new roll...

Tuesday the 20th of August
I was picking raspberries for our dessert late yesterday evening when there was a new bee problem! A Bumblebee was stubbornly clinging to an extra big and juicy raspberry - see picture -
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but I was determined to pluck the berry while it was at it's best! So I managed to coax the bee onto my finger and then tried to get it to walk on to a sunflower head, where I have seen bees over-night before.
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(At this time of the evening, many leave it too late to get back to base, get stiff with the chill of the evening and are forced to stay out all night - possibly dying as they only live for a few weeks anyway.) But this one refused to have anything to do with the sunflower and flew off very sluggishly... but I got the berry, it was a whopper!!!

The 18th of August
and we are in a wet period, (much needed but so irritating how it spoils plans!) I cancelled the vet's doggy playground yesterday as it rained so much, and today, at Lure coursing, it rained hard again so all I managed to film as the run between Spanish Greyhounds Camino and Rayo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuIRNyroiVE - not even some of my own dogs! I took only a few pictures:
-.-Solo interested in Camino (ready to run with his racing muzzle on) and Athena and below, he's sniffing newcomer Galgo Leo - who ran well but needs to build his muscles up, as he has come directly from Spain and has clearly lacked having any exercise at all for a very long time.
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Solo ran fantasically well and only stopped because we stopped him, as I won't have him run the whole distance - yet - his body is still developing. Even tho' it was only 390 meters today, it was "rough going". Dasher ran like the wind as usual but again, Athena refused to run with him. It's in the family, as her mother won't run with him as either! Timmi of course went wild and run the half he's allowedto do in fine style.


Below, our crazy Blackbird couple are having their fourth clutch of babies, despite the fact that all other birds have stopped, don't sing and many are moulting...
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Funny story from yesterday!
I squeezed a bee! I was picking these lovely big raspberries,
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(Plus four Backberries I found as well!)
(a late sort called Autumn Bliss that goes on until the frost gets them) and you have to be very careful to pluck gently as they sit together with a lot of undeveloped ones on very fragile stems. See photo below.
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The immature ones can fall off, or stems snap, if one isn’t very careful. I give each ripe one a little squeeze to loosen it before I pull it off. The berries often sit under leaves and well hidden, sometimes very low down, so it’s easy to miss one or two and it was a grey evening, gloomy and a bit late so I thought I saw a very dark coloured half-shrivelled one. As I always pluck off dried or sick berries to keep the plants healthy, I grabbed a hold of it... but it vibrated and buzzed vigorously between my fingers so I gave a little scream and let go immediately – then saw it was a bee!!!
Luckily a poorly and tired one obviously not going to make it back to the hive at this late hour, so she just protested mildly at being squeezed whilst trying to have a private rest!
Phew, what a shock I got!
Tuesday the 13th August 2013: Miscellaneous shots:
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A Bumblebee enjoying one of my sunflowers! The sunflowers sow themselves all over the garden as I feed the birds during the winter and they always drop some around the place.
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It's blackberry time! These are some growing wild that I pass on my dog walks. Right: The start of the potato crop - they are hardly larger than strawberries due to the terrible hot dry weather we have had - despite me watering them a bit. BUT they taste great and don't need peeling.
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Above: Rain clouds are so fascinating, so dark and threatening - even some thunder and lightening - but not much rain - someone else is getting it all!
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All three squeezed in one bed! Timmi puts up with it for the sake of peace.

Monday the 12th August 2013:
Saturday, we went to Lure coursing at a new and fantastic place in Præstø. Timmi now only runs a half a distance. Although HE thinks he can run ""for ever" and I'm sure he actually could do more as I keep him very fit, I don't want to risk his health in his old age. Dasher ran like his usual maniacal self, but unfortunately females are more fickle, so his partner Athena, who normally runs like the wind, hesitated - and for every split second, it was soon out of sight at top speed! You can see her in the video. She's a very pretty dog.
Solo, (also only doing a half due to his young age) is now starting to get really keen, but he stopped up at a quarter of the distance, decided he was too far away and after thinking about it for a while, ran back to me. (Typical for many young dogs.)
It was a wonderful place, they even lent us ladies their bathroom, which was extremely kind and everyone had a great time, although it was a VERY long day with 72 runs!
See the video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSOr2egVzjY
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Solo being greeted by Camino the Greyhound, plus Athena (middle) and Dasher.
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Above: Svend holding the little ones
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We packed the car the evening before and Solo knew something exciting was up (he helped us pack!) and wouldn't come in afterwards - he was ready to go!
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Left: Just SOME of the cakes! Right: After a very tiring day!

Thursday the 8th of August

The  most amazing thing happened last week.
We have lived where we are now for just over 5 years. Before this, we lived near the sea south of Copenhagen and I had a family of crows who knew me and came to my feet for dog food crumbs every day during my 5 kilometer dog walk on the beach every morning! It’s a VERY long story that goes back to the first crow in 1986, who was near death from the severe cold during this last really hard winter. He had obviously seen me give the dogs treats, (Frolic broken up to 4 pieces) every time they came when I called and stood his ground by the side of the path to the beach, staring up at me and clearly begging for some.
So I tossed these tiny bits to his feet each day and he became quite tame, landing just beside me and his very shy “wife” was always nearby - easily identifiable by having a crippled foot.
Their newly hatched offspring each spring also got given these treats by the parents and they grew up and settled in various parts around our area. A particular son taught himself to sit on my head-scarf or winter hat and took his treat in mid-flight from my fingers when I held it up! He moved a kilometer or two away, but still knew me and came to the beach each day.
Two old photos taken at different times from 2006, Svend, who followed me at a respectable distance. He wsa never able to photo the moment the crow took the food from my fingers, but as he sat om my hat for quite a while, that was easy to shoot.
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Yet another offspring settled up a side road to our house:
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Photo from 2006. This must be the one who recognised me.
Well last week, we were invited to dinner by some old friends who still live up another road 3 minutes walk from where we were before and they agreed we could take “old Timmi” with us. (He is no trouble at all – just wants to lie in his bed beside me.) Because Timmi was with us, Svend dropped me off early some minutes walk away so Timmi could lift his leg before we arrived! Well, no sooner had I crossed this side road – for the first time in 5 years, (apart from driving in the car to our friends many a time), when there was a flurry of wings past my shoulder and a crow landed at my feet looking up attentively! I was so speechless, I forgot all about photographing!
I DID have treats with me because of Timmi, so I tossed one and the crow swallowed this and again asked for more, following me along as I walked with giant hops. (A sure sign of a crow who knows me, is when I toss a tit-bit to it's feet, they stay put and calmly pick it up. If I toss a tit-bit to any strange crow, they will fly off in fear, not knowing it is food but thinking I am saying "go away!") He managed to get his crop filled to bursting point before I rounded the corner and I was soon in our friend's driveway!
It is truly amazing, that this bird knew me again after more than 5 years of absence! Probably he recognised Timmi as well, so it was the combination of cream coloured Whippet and a person that he recognised.
SUCH a shame that I was so taken aback, that I forgot I had my camera with me.
I must try this again some time!

Wednesday the 7th of August and it is Timmi's birthday today! He is 11 years old!
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Svend was shopping and bought three chew bones. I laughed when I saw them as they are designed to attract the eye of the human, not the dog. A dog couldn't care less that there's a twist dyed a bright pink colour! (Svend couldn't get blue for a boy!)
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I also condemn the dog food manufacturers that make food in all different shapes and colours - again, the dog couldn't care less if his food is shaped like a tiny bone, heart shaped or coloured green or red etc! ALSO, this bone is of rawhide that has been bleached - which I normally also avoid, but Timmi loved it anyway and the other two got one each as well.
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Timmi with a full stomach yesterday evening!
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Some beautiful day lilies taken yesterday evening.
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We had a tiny shower of much needed rain, this threatening cloud just passed on it's way!
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Funny sleeping position!!!

At the vet’s playground, Saturday the 3. august.
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Solo has an awful lot to learn. He doesn’t know how to greet another dog in a calm and normal manner!
He barks and lunges aggressively with teeth bared at the other dog – even when it’s completely harmless.
He started off badly last time by being chased around, which made him turn around and be aggressive to stop the other dog. Now he makes an aggressive show to EVERY dog, even innocent 3 month old puppies. He all but bites them.
It ended up with all the dogs playing together in the big enclosure and him all alone.
But this gave him a chance to watch them all and see what it’s all about.
When a dog came to the fence interested to see him, at first, he did his aggressive barking and attitude, but after a while he could see this was not the right reaction and the others ignored him and walked off uninterested and so he started to be able to tolerate them coming to him and he even dared to sniff carefully in silence quite a few times.
He definately benefitted from being able, in his own time, to see the other dogs and who they were.
I too have  a lot to learn as I have never before had a young dog that could not greet another dog in the normal doggy fashion.
(Apart from adults who have become racists after being social to start with! They only warmly greet their own breed or grudgingly other sighthounds – but all other breeds can go to hell!)
A woman with a young Alsatian that was flying around having a good time with the others, came over to me and we discussed Solo’s problem. He needs time to take in the vet’s playground and all that happens there. Dasher just started playing immediately and loved every second, so I had assumed that one could just put Solo “in the deep end" and let him figure it all out by himself, learning some doggy manners from the others. But this has proved to be wrong in his case. He is scared stiff and on his guard. Unfortunately the others are all much bigger than him. I am hoping this will change when people come home from their holidays.
He must learn by observing – and I praise him for good behaviour, but I cannot really reprimand him for bad behaviour.
He is supposed to be having a good time, sotelling him off or any negative experiences will only make him hate the whole thing.
He really needs to go daily, then he would start to relax, but we will have to keep persevering on a weekly basis.
However, he is very much at home on the agility see-saw and went on it alone behind my back and made it crash down, which didn’t worry him at all! So we spent some time practising on that.
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Tuesday the 30th of July
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A wonderful evening, warm and sunny - although we all drove through torrential rain to get there! We all had great fun including a flock of young boys who cheered us on and betted amongst themselves on the dog's performances!
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Above: A rare sight at coursing: A Greyhound and a Greyhound puppy. The Greyhound ran well!
The venue is perfect with well-trimmed grass. Timmi ran a half a distance due to his age and Dasher ran with young Athena (long needed competition) and they were great together.
Solo started for the very first time and amazed me by running well! He took a pee-break in some trees, then emerged after I called and took up the chase once more – also only doing a half a distance due to his young age. After that he knew ALL about the excitement of the chase, wanted more and started to look as keen as the others who’s screams of frustration had completely mystified him earlier on – but NOW he knows WHY!!!!
See the video:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIpmfrTxdUI
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Above: All three dogs are in one bed, with Solo on top!!!! Goodness knows how he got away with that. Below, IG's make good pillows too! Timmi rests his head comfortably across Solo!
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Solo idly chewing a bone while Dasher cosies up to him!
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33 degrees today -in the shade!

Saturday the 27th of July
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and we took Solo to the vet's doggy playground to learn how to socialise with others. Due to the holiday period, there were only 10 dogs and all bar two 12 week old puppies, were way too big to play with unfortunately. He did start a game which ended in crazy fast chasing several times with a 6 month puppy, but the dog was so large, Solo got really scared (so did I, big dogs after little ones is deadly dangerous if they collide etc) and he had to show his teeth and act really aggressive to stop it each time. NOT a good start! I have bought for 5 times/hours, so we'll see how we go. He did, however learn to go up and down on the agility see-saw!
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I have waited nearly 5 years for these flowers! The plant, which appeared to be a clematis, sowed itself in the kitchen garden around 5 years ago. I kept an eye and after about 3 years, I planted it so it could grow up the support post and dingle attractively down on our patio roofing. After further 2 years at LAST it decided to flower yesterday - and these tiny (size of my thumb nail), nothing special at all/total waste of time flowers are opening at last. I am VERY disappointed!

Tuesday the 23rd of July.:
The dogs and I eat the cherries! The tree flowered profusely in May but I only saw one bee and two flies, ha ha, so was worried we would not have any cherries - but there has been a record number! Dasher is seen here looking for one, Timmi even eats the stones I spit out in the flower bed, will have to be more careful...!
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He's actually standing up on his back legs here.
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Dasher scoots off with a cherry while Solo is green with envy!
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A wonderful sweet scented rose named after one of Denmark's most famous and much loved actress Ghita Nørby and right the "gate clematis" again now with even more blooms.
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Yesterday evening our outside themometer showed 30 degrees - in the shade! Not much for some viewers, I know, (!!!) but big stuff for Denmark! 32 is the highest I have ever experienced here - I found it more than enough.
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Even the bees felt tired! Here's yesterday evening apparently having a rest.


The 21st of July
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Looking cute on the bed in my office! Timmi either has a warm back or a warm stomach.
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Running to and fro doing what we call the "whistle game" !

"Well, we've arrived...hit with them treats!!!"

The 18th of July
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and nothing at all to do with dogs, but some of you might enjoy this little sailing trip that we took my cousin on, from our local fiord town of Skælskør, who's history goes back to 1414. So very Danish and "cute" and the weather was perfect. The ferry is seen above right.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq1Onpt_Sc0


The 15th of July
We are picking enormous amounts of blackcurrants at least 4 pounds every day! And still the bushes, (mother bush and 8 "offspring" bushes of only 4 years old!), are black with fruit! Many are much bigger then the normal size! (Look closely!) All are frozen down and we'll be eating black current compote the whole winter through where they are vitamin bombs in the dark, cold winter ahead!
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Dasher stole a bone that Solo had been chewing and they ran out into the garden where I took this series of photos, not knowing how it would end!
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Dasher chews happily and Solo is broken hearted - ANYTHING another dog has got is ALWAYS better than what you've got yourself in the dog world!
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Dasher checks to see if I am approving!
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Dasher runs off with the bone. See Solo's face - boy does he want it real bad!!!!!
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They chase about.
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Solo keeps a respectful distance.
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Then Dasher, amazingly enough, lets Solo walk slowly up to him and take it!!! How kind.
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Solo can't believe his luck!
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"Oh well, I never REALLY wanted it anyway!"


14th of July
and at last I get a chance to see how the third nest of baby Blackbirds are getting along. It seemed to take ages for them to hatch out and now they are well feathered and I can see 4 beaks - and one beady eye looking at me!
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Whilst walking Timmi this morning, I saw these FOUR frisky hares in the horses field beside the road - and got a slightly better photo so you don't need your microscope to see this time!
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Below: Some of the surroundings and just three of them.
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Luckily for me, Timmi never saw them or he would have had a fit and shot off at 90 miles an hour - and pulled me over!!!


13th of July:
Dasher now trusts Solo in wild games and play, so they can relax and have fun and he's not on his guard. This is the view into my office that I noticed this morning!!! Hilarious!
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Then they carried on mucking about:
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Solo's body is developing nicely with a fine set of muscles, so he gets more beautiful every day!


July 12th
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Svend holding the dogs while I exercise Timmi.
We took Solo to his first Lure coursing training last Saturday - not to run but the soak in the atmosphere! Only a few photos as it was too difficult to steer the dogs and camera and it was the most perfect evening but the car was too hot to leave them in it, even tho' it was in the shade.
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I had put Timmi (who is 11 years old on the 7th of August) down to run only a half distance - just in case. I know he is not so athletic as he has been and best not to over do things when one is old. The coursing manager poo-poo'd my short choice of distance so after a little discussion, (him being very positive about Timmi's abilities - and he makes notes about each dog every time, so he knows!), we agreed the man on the lure machine would stop if Timmi became tired. Well Timmi did the whole distance, which I should imagine was about 700 metres, I forgot to ask. He was clearly not quite to maniacal fast at the end, but still running well! I was proud of him. I do try to keep him in good training with exercise every day -and this is paying off.
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Left: The cakes and freshly picked strawberries! (And mini-muffins!) Right: I took this photo over my shoulder as they were so tired, they went to sleep immediately as we drove home from coursing!
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Now they don't avoid sitting with each other, but can sleep together at times. They both share Dasher's cage at night.
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I have had NO time to write and I'm now SO busy catching up on things - the garden is needing a lot of work and the kitchen garden is bursting with fruit. Whilst my cousin was here, she did help with picking some red currents - and I leaned a lesson! I only have two bushes but we have plucked KILOS of large juicy berries! She had the colander, I used a washing up bowl that is only used for washing fruit.
Afterwards we looked at the contents. Whilst I had just quickly ripped everything off including the plant stalks and even some unripe berries, she had patiently picked ONLY the ripened fruit with love and care. We had a good laugh at the difference! Hers only needed a good rinse through and then freezing down, whereas mine take ages to sort out, get off the stems and then wash. So from now on I am always picking “the cousin way”!!!! (Now it's the blackcurrents.)
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Solo still has "puppy ears" that sit on top when he is wondering about something! I remember my first Italian, up at the vet's for his 3 month injection and he sat with much larger ears that Solos, (they get smaller in comparison as they grow up) that completely covered the top of his head like a kind of hat. The vet took a step backwards and studied the dog for a while and then asked "Is this normal for the breed?" I roared with laughter and assured him this "hat" was perfectly normal!

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A beautiful clematis that insists on hanging all over the gate to the kitchen garden so we can hardly get in or out right now!
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We have guests and a lot happening, so Solo is tired out and takes a nap in the sun.

July 5th
No time to write as my cousin who lives in France is on a stay here before going on up to Stockholm where more family live. But I did manage to upload this short video showing how the two IGs are starting to cement their friendship with good play.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWDuN79bJ74


July 2nd
The dogs are getting along just fine and even Timmi has livened up. "The whole family" came to lunch on Sunday and got a nice surprise and Solo was well loved, stroked and carried around etc! He took it all in his stride, even our grandchild of 16 months whose idea of petting a dog is giving hard blows on the head!! Unfortunately I took too few photos - never any spare time when being hostess and feeding the hungry hoards.
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Dasher is well used to sharing his cage and thinks it is fun! Solo just copies him.
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Of course Dasher's cage is the usual big attraction and everyone has to go in there, including these our two grandchildren for the first time together in it! They did baulk however, at my suggestion that their father should get in there with them for a threesome!!!! (Yes, he also has tried it out for size!)
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Solo looking up through the coffee table glass!
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Two bookends! We have now said yes please, we would love to keep Solo, so he is soon ours!

June 28th
(and still so cold and rainy - we have had a really horrid June this year - otherwise the best month of the year with long light evenings.) Solo is widening his diet here with us! True sighthounds eat all sorts of veggies, berries, roots and fruits and definitely could survive without human help if the need be, what with the ability to "catch meat" for themselves! My dogs LOVE Chinese cabbage - the thick white and juicy stem. So this this their dessert" after the evening meal. Solo is trying hard to like it, but so far Timmi finishes his up for him!
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The other funny addition is strawberries! I have many plants that have sown themselvs in the flowerbeds and are good ground cover. Now they are ripening and Timmi and Dasher feast on them as fast as they ripen. After fours days of spurning them, Solo gave in today and ate his first, a small wild one, so no photo as yet - but it won't be his last!!!
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Dasher says: "clear out! These are mine!"
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Dasher enjoying his booty!
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He enjoys saying: "See what I've got and you are not having any!" to Solo!

June 26th and some more pictures:
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This is Timmi asleep together with Solo, who has gone round and round under the blanket and got in a right twist! After I took the photo I flipped the blanket over Timmi's back, so he too was completely covered up. The weather is so cold right now...
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Left: My favourite foxgloves! Right: This morning I finally took a photo of the bonfire after Saint Hans evening on the 23rd of June! (See below) This is how it is now. I am standing up high on a very steep slope. They managed to get it to burn down, despite several days of really heavy rain, so it all must have been very wet. You can clearly see which way the wind blew that evening!
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Solo in the living room, VERY interested in my two elderly canaries!
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They all three started a tug-of war game this morning with Timmi's favourite teddy bear! Dasher and Timmi won't do it alone, they need a third dog to wrestle with.

June 25th
and all is going well, although they don't lie together and have not "wrestled" together yet, which is vital to create a good relationship of trust and understanding.
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Here is Solo helping me do some gardening! He eats the grass I pull up! The others have gone inside as it is chilly, but he won't leave my side.
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Here is what we eat each evening for dessert right now! They taste FABULOUS!

June 24th
I
n the middle of the empty hole that Racey has left in our life, as he was our catalyst who ensured hours of entertainment,
came a big (grey) ray of sunshine!!! Little “Solo” has changed homes and changed blogs from:
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from
www.mynder.dk/MinnieogBertosBlog3.htm to here - because yesterday, we met our friends who bred him at a “halfway house” between our respective homes, to see if Dasher would accept him and get a new playmate.
Italian Greyhounds, as most other breeds, are best in pairs. They have a massive need for play and plenty of exercise racing around, so a built-in playmate and sleeping/cuddle partner is wonderful - quite apart from the fantastic entertainment seeing two dogs get along, their "language” and how they figure things out together – and they can get very devoted.
Dasher did quite like Solo, especially when he found he could scare him! Solo is the tender teenage time of life (he's 7 months) where you are still feeling your way, inexperienced and easily “impressed".
We met in between heavy rain showers. Had time for a coffee and a chat near a beach, which should have been longer and a tiny walk with the dogs, and then, before the heavens opened up again, we all hurried to the cars and home. I sat on the back seat with the three dogs (Solo on my lap) and everyone in a safety harness, Solos’s attached to mine. No one moved!
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It is going SO well here.
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Whilst Dasher sleeps alone on the left, Solo chooses to sit next to kind "uncle Timmi".
We have him “on approval” - Dasher’s approval - but not for long before we must decide, as we are falling for him big time and he us! And WE approve! He is already my devoted shadow and a very nice dog. His soft coat is grey tinged with his father’s brown, so it is a very pretty colour. Dasher is enjoying his "power" as boss dog, something he couldn't do with Racey, who he was often scared of. Today during a mad game of chase he was once again, too harsh on Solo and they both came to me to help sort things out. Solo, who had squeaked in pain and was upset, briefly showed Dasher his teeth and I think and hope that Dasher could see he must be more careful. It looked like it by his respectful reaction. Dasher has been through a dreadful experience, that has changed his character for life. He is slowly getting over it - and this is why we are so cautious. He feels insecure, which he has never been before.
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Dasher turning on the charm before a game.
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Dasher has stolen Solo's toy that he came with - and slept with, as the only thing he knew from home. He clearly missed his family in the evening. Not so this evening though. He is slowly settling in.
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Timmi teaching Solo how to roll on a seagull's dropping!!! A job that MUST be done properly, says Timmi!
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I was cleaning the car from yesterday - some blankets were wet and I let Solo "help"! He jumped in by himself! Maybe he thought he could get a lift home? He is clearly well used to car rides.
He loves our garden and races madly around – even when Dasher isn’t after him! He's better to twist and turn than Dasher.
They don’t sit together yet, but I put him in Dasher’s cage last night and slept on a guest bed right alongside in the kitchen. But there was hardly a sound and we all slept well!
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Photo: On the first walk. After his very first walk – he knew our gate and stopped outside! I was amazed - and impressed.
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Running between us - a game we play three times a day. Teaches them to come when called too - and what we look like at a distance. Dasher not in picture as he'd already arrived.


June 21st and the longest day!
For those of you with super-acute eyesight plus a magnifying glass, will be able to see two big hares relaxing in the middle of the field with three horses, that I passed this morning. This is the best my little camera can do.
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- and just to make your mouth water, these strawberries are what we get every day now! Soon there will be even more...mmmnnnn.....a spate of rainy days has made them grow really big.
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June 17 - and and good news!
The Blackbird couple have put the dreadful loss of their halfgrown babies behind them now and built a new nest a little further along on our patio! Dead centre of picture and now a little higher up. I think they like our company as we scare off the greedy Magpies that are always after an egg or two - or preferably a plump, helpless baby bird!
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Here is the place, in the middle of a huge honyesuckle bush, where thousands of flowers will soon open and the whole area will be swarming with wild bees. Bees go crazy over honeysuckle!
Yesterday we were busy as 5 good friends visited for lunch together with their dogs! I had little time to photograph as I was slaving in the kitchen as fast as they devoured all the food!!!!
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Dasher was more interested in a particular Whippet than lovely Augusta of 10 years old. They'd make a great couple!
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We had a wonderful time and all talked non-stop!!! But then we have known each other some 12 years or so.


June 15 - and tragedy has struck.
Two days of heavy rain showers and the poor little blackbird babies died of wet and exposure in their nest yesterday. I got tears in my eyes when I found out this evening. They were dead in the morning, only I thought they were sleeping, but then they were in the same position this evening after another really heavy downpour, I poked in a finger and got a nasty shock...nature is so cruel. The parents have had all day to realise, (and "mum" enjoyed a strawberry I tossed to her! Not much pickings as they are all covered in nets.) so I have now removed the nest to photograph and "buried" them in our rubbish bin. Poor little souls.
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On a lighter note: the day before yesterday, I plucked our first strawberrys - all four of them!
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Yesterday the 17 above was the booty from the kitchen garden. Today it was nearly a pound! (All eaten now - yummy!!!) Some are really huge, due to the torrents of rain. (But some are a type that ARE small and very sweet.)

June 12th, 2013

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Timmi running towards me with his favourite "teddy" toy! (Was once blue!) He always runs faster and more enthusiastically, if he has "prey" in his mouth! Below the view of the sea I enjoy (and often photograph) every doggy walk. I can see the island of Fyn - but my camera isn't good enough for distant shots.
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Left Dasher goes berserk after a cat! Right: We survey the progress of our local "Saint Hans bonfire" being built for the evening of the 23rd, where there are bonfires over the whole of Denmark - all burning a "witch" effigy on top! An old "heathen" tradition everyone loves because of the fun party and barbeque orgy!
Below are two witches from 2004 and 2005 made by a friend. We used to have two of our Whippets race at the local racing track and the club always had a bonfire in the grass in the middle of the track. My grandson was with us several years so his parents could be up very late and party with friends!
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See the wart on the nose of the right hand one? They all went up in flames...


The 2nd of June - how time flies!
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Dasher playing with a chew stick! He loves it if I pretend to come after him to take it from him!
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Left: The Blackbird couple have now laid 5 more eggs! Of the first 3, I know for sure that two are doing well and have been living in each his/her different part of our hedge. Probably only the male feeding them as the female is now sitting almost non-stop on these 5 new babies! Right: A lovely mauve rhododrendron is opening late this year. My favourite colour!


The 20th of May
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This morning we delivered "therapy dogs" Kris and Nardo to their owner! We went for a lovely walk along the beach and back through some absolutely beautiful and so breathtakingly QUIET woods... I loved every minute. There was NO sound apart from the occasional bird song, even tho' we are fairly near a road. Full of atmospere and the smell of moss and leaves. There were quite a few people with children around as it was a bank holiday, so I couldn’t let Timmi run free and Dasher was only free part of the time. Oh, the house is SO empty now.
They did a good job of helping get Dasher over his terrible experience where Racey tried to kill him. They also proved again what I already knew: That un-neutered male Italians CAN live peacefully together, it is a question of having a good temperament. (And of course no lovely bitch in season around!!!)

The 19th of May
a
nd we went Lure coursing today and not one photo to show for it! This because it rained non-stop - a funny kind of fine rain, so no way could I use my camera. There were some extra interesting runs (and a wonderful course that really tested the hounds!): a Borzoi with a lovely dog who is half Borzoi and half Greyhound! A Pharaoh ran with an Afghan and the funniest of all was a Whippet at top speed who leapt into a small lake in an attempt to cut off the hare as he got a bit behind his racing friend! He swam over as fast as he could and caught up by cutting more corners! I didn’t see it but everyone had thoroughly enjoyed the laugh and told me all about it. And Whippets hate getting wet! I would have loved to seen and filmed it!
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Photo by Lisa Schönnemann - who took some brilliant photos IN the drizzle!!! Click on her name.
We rushed home after just 2 hours as Kris and Nardo were all alone and missing us! The venue was 1 1/2 hours drive each way. Only Dasher ran - perfectly in fine style, as Timmi limped when I got him out of the car, (I think he banged his leg as he is quite OK this evening) so I decided he shouldn't run, I won't take any chances. Boy was he disappointed!!!

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Two days ago and only two baby birds in the early morning and later: All had left the nest under great difficulty and fuss from the worried parents as a crow arrived plus two magpies, but I clapped my hands and the babies have survived, even the four dogs!
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Left mucking about in the garden and right sunning themselves - photo taken through the window.
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Left Nardo and Dasher and right Kris and Dasher - they are giving him therapy.

The 17th of May

and the wind has been so cold that it was first yesterday that we stopped freezing!
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Two days ago, I kept the dog's coats on so they could sunbathe in the garden, as clouds kept passing over so the sun was in and THEN it was cold! The dogs here look like basking seals!

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Nardo sharing a bed with beautiful Timmi!
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All coats are from "Tog for Dogs" www.togsfordogs.net/the-italian-greyhound-collection.html
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Kris and Nardo love sunbathing! Coats are needed in the very cold wind.
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A very good cherry tree already loosing it's blossoms in the wind - and no sign of any bees - I do hope we get some fruit this year, it doesn't look too good...
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The baby Blackbirds on the the May.

The 14th of May!
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Have a laugh! I drew this drawing over 20 years ago of my first Italian Greyhound and the three whippets I had then. His dream was to be "boss dog" but the Whippets never took him seriously, so he never succeeded. The two breeds are so different they are not really on the same wavelength. This drawing, together with others, was sent in connection with an amusing article I wrote for the American Italian Greyhound magazine and illustrates how Gucci saw himself - but the reality was quite different! My brother just found it in some old photos, photographed it and sent it to me today!

The 13th of May!
Now it is time to look after Kris and Nardo again whilst their “mom” is on holiday in Sweden!
They have been here a few times before (are on the blog) and get along very well with Dasher. Now that Dasher has had the terrifying experience the 19th of April, that has changed him and he is scared of and has growled at other male IG’s - even his best friend Santi, who he adored. (Although he was playing with the females! Typical!)
So I had a few sleepless nights worrying how it would go and how best to get them together with least trouble.
Sunday lunch the “evil” moment came and he started the nasty growling when he saw them but Kris and Nardo just completely ignored him and were busy greeting us with Italian style leaps of joy whilst Dasher did the same to my friend and her daughter. All dogs recognised the situation again and the two guests have settled in to our routine just as if they have been here all the time! This proves to me that two unneutered males CAN live together in harmony (Kris and Nardo) - it is partly a question of “good temperament”. Plus they are helping Dasher “get up on the horse again” and learn how to relax by having a good relationship and some therapy treatment with two old friends. Here are the first photos!
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During the morning dog walk! It is bitterly cold again - and we need rain.
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They have baggied Dasher's favourite bed!
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Left: Timmi enjoying the warmth! Right: I noticed Kris looked funny with his back legs stuffed so far through his front ones!


Photo from the 11th May
and the Blackbird babies are growing fast!! They actually look like birds now!!! (See the little foot stuck up in the air? It's already getting a bit crowded!)
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The 10th of May

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and we had a wonderful day's Lure Coursing yesterday. (A bank holiday in Denmark.) A beautiful hilly and simply HUGE field, (only about a quarter of it seen here), of lush grass and millions of Dandelions! The weather was great, not too hot and sunny so the dogs could be resting in the cars with no fear of over-heating.
Unfortunately, Dasher is badly affected by the deadly fight with Racey and he is now scared of other male Italians and growled horribly, even at his best friend Santi, (who is SUCH a sweet natured dog). Santi is seen elsewhere in this blog. But he did play with Camino, the lovely black Greyhound! Plus some Salukis, who he's always had a soft spot for them.
See some clips from the day: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNvCdK7YOAo
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Trying to pose Camino and Dasher, who is supposed to be a miniature Greyhound!
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They played silly games as we sat and talked.
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Timmi after his run - still hoping for a second go! But at 10 and 3/4 I don't think he should.
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While we wait our turns...
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It's become my mission now, not only to get everyone to pick up their dog's poop in plastic bags, (very easily obtainable here) - but ALSO to take it home to their rubbish bins and trash cans! Far too many people still do NOT pick up and far too many of these chuck the filled bag behind a bush or in the woods, creating a worse problem.
It is just too difficult to walk a dog AND carry an "iffy" bag in one hand – maybe for miles.
I am writing an article for the Danish Kennel Club's magazine, where I suggest solutions for this problem in several ways – different ways to suit everyone's individual taste and needs. From my own completely free but not so smart looking solution to the most expensive 5 star and by far the best way of transport as seen above on Camino. Presenting the soft round "Dicky Bag" - seen here in camouflage colours. This is made of very lightweight neoprene, with room for spare bags in the lid. Zips up and confines all smell within it!
Comes in various sizes and patterns. Not only this, it has three different ways of fixing it to you or the dog: One way, you can pass your belt through a loop on it's side, if you have a belt or a bumbag as I do. Another with a lockable hook so it can dingle from just anything plus any belt - and the third way is with velcro lock on your dog's harness! A must for every dog owner. Take action and keep your countryside and streets clean! Please read all about it here and order yours straight away!
www.dickybag.com/
Good as a present too, so buy two in one go like I did! See a demo here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8LdzC78RE8

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Small size.

The 6th of May
and a photo from yesterday morning showing the now "fluffy" baby Blackbirds all hatched. I think there's four. They doze in the warm morning sun.
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The 4th of May

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Dasher is four years old! What did we do? We left him all evening to have fun eating out in Copenhagen at a very exclusive restaurant together with our sons! Their treat - a Christmas present that we first get now! A truly fabulous evening. Shame for Dasher, but then he didn't know what day is was!

The 3rd of May

and guests to lunch. Here is their desert, a home-grown blackcurrant and red current compot topped with BLUE whipped cream (inspired by Grandchild's cake for his little brother see March 1st) - and a violet plus orange chocolate sticks!
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AND we saw that the Blackbird couple have 2 babies hatched out!! I took a quick foto: (Only one in view.)
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The 30th of April
and we go on a lovely long beach walk with a close friend and her two Italians Kris and Nardo, who we sometimes look after. A great time was had by all, then we had a wonderful lunch back at her house and the dogs were suitably tired!
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The 28th of April
and I had a nasty shock this morning! As soon as I get up each day, I of course let the dogs straight out into the garden. I always escort them, see what they do and pick up after them. Well Timmy never does the big greeting, he is still sleepy, but outside, I could hear one foot was scraping strangely on the patio stones, looked round at him and saw he was dragging one foot badly and as I looked closer, the whole foot turned backwards in a curious way and he limped badly. The next minute he was twisting back on himself and staggering around in a circle with his head twisted on one side and I was nearly panicking, sure now that he was having a stroke!
My very first Whippet, Jiffy, collapsed when nearly home on a dog walk when he was around 12 1/2 and I had to carry him the rest of the way. I put him in a dog bed and had just covered him up when the doorbell rang and I saw that he couldn't get up to run to the door. He fell over and was half paralyzed on one side - so we went to the vets straight away and they diagnosed a severe stroke. But 12 1/2 is a good age for a Whippet. A friend’s Whippet, had a minor stroke that left her permanently limping on one back leg, so thinking of this, I went in a spin sure that Timmi was VERY ill, called Svend, who was still sleeping and raced up and we stood watching Timmi for about 10 minutes in his bed in the kitchen.
After a while I said to Svend “watch what he does if I start preparing their breakfast as usual!”
As soon as I rustled the bag of dog food and their bowls, he leapt out of his bed and trotted towards me, walking perfectly normally!!! We got him to walk around a bit and he was clearly FINE! So we think his leg must have “gone to sleep” in the night as he slept and when he got up, it was numb and painful with the painful “pins and needles” sensation we all know so well!
Phew – our dogs do give us some scares at times!
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This time of year we have "carpets" of violets!

The 23rd of April
and my Blackbird couple are getting along fine - so far so good! There are at least three beautiful blue/green eggs, and she tolerates me taking a photo at really close range - you can see her beady eye watching me - dead centre of the picture!
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The 22. april
and we went to Lure coursing yesterday in brilliant sun although a freezing cold wind got through to us all in the end! Here are a few feeble photos. A video coming soon (also feeble as I never intended to make a video but some asked me to and so I missed many good things. I really wasn't in the mood yesterday....) Only Timmi ran - in his usual fine style, but Dasher could enjoy meeting and greeting all the other dogs. Here's a modest video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KJUc7jFw7g
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Left: Whippets need warmth! Here after a good run. Right my favourite photo of the day: Two beautiful salukis stand watching their "Dad" in the far distance who is running around the course to help with a problem.

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Dashers cheek after 3 days. He has a lump under his ear which is probably a swollen gland but the two big collections of blood swinging around under his neck skin are almost gone. His skin is still bright red.
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Dasher can now enjoy the comfort of lying with Timmi. See the swelling on his left side?

The 19th of April 2013
I have done a terrible thing and many will shoot me down, but I can only say that I did what I thought was the best for all concerned – after deep thought and struggling for a good way out. No one can really understand until they have been in a similar situation.
What I have never written about is, that whilst Dasher is a friendly, loving and open minded dog taking the world in his stride, Racey has turned out to be very nervous and unsure and harsh behaving dog. A while back, he began to bully and threaten Dasher daily with a deep growl, which we have all learned means business and they often had small disagreements where Racey insisted he got his way by threatening and scaring Dasher. Everything that Racey wanted, he made sure that he got. He also quickly took offence at the slightest thing. Just the two of them momentarily jammed in the door way as they rushed through, would cause him to go for Dasher and be mad at him. This escalated to three bad fights this year where Racey really bit Dasher hard, held on tight and went into a kind of frenzy. The bites have not needed the vet. and I have managed to stop the fight, get them to “make up” and they have even played nicely when the mood takes them each day.
Through good play, dogs cement their friendships and learn to trust each other – but time and time again, Racey showed he was no REAL friend and Dasher has spent much of each day being afraid and nervous of Racey.
We have worked hard at keeping the peace, by always being on the look-out and avoiding the obvious trouble-making situations. I have taught them to come to me (or be called) for a titbit if tempers get dangerously high. But the truth is, Racey became a little tyrant. He's always been a very determined dog.
My idea was to get Racey past the ghastly teenager period and into maturity, where he might calm down a little. Most dogs have a mad-teenager phase. Plus I do give them an enormous amount of exercise every day - and happily tired dogs are always good dogs - or so I thought!
But Dasher, although much older, showed he was unable to hold the boss dog role and he became fearful of Racey and Racey could see this, which of course creates an very unstable situation. If we’d got Racey first and then Dasher after, I think things might have been a little different. But there's no way of knowing how an 8 week old puppy will turn out.
Then two days ago, for seemingly no reason while running out in the garden, I heard Racey give his terrible growls and then he set on Dasher – and this time he was going to kill him. This was no ordinary dog fight. He got Dasher by the throat and shook him like it was a rat – many times and hanging on tight - it was unbelievably awful to see and the sounds he was making was blood curdling. This is the way Sighthounds kill. They either shake the victim so the neck breaks or suffocate it.
They fought hard, Dasher trying to defend himself while Racey bit at his head and neck like a maniac and I kept lifting Dasher to get him away, only to have Racey leap up, bite onto his neck and hang on tight, dragging them down and they are as slippery as eels to hold so they would continually get away from me. I would grab again as they fought and lift one up and all over again I was forced to let go. This fight went on for a very, VERY VERY long time and I got so breathless I was nearly choking with exertion. Racey's growling was horrific. We were behind the house, so Svend never heard anything. (I was lucky he was even home.) After a very long time – and my hands were bitten all over, (but only small bites) all I wanted was for them to stop, I gave up and ran indoors shouting to Svend for help. So Dasher ran down the garden trying to escape and hide in some bushes but Racey, who has always been fastest and is bigger and heavier, chased after him and they were still fighting, twisting and turning and Racey kept going for the throat when I ran outside again together with Svend, who now could see this all for himself and was deeply shocked - but this time when I managed to pick Dasher up, I could turn away into some high bushes and this stopped Racey from jumping up and getting a hold yet again. I was completely exhausted by this time. (I had also spent the entire day working in the garden and the time was about 17.30 – and of course after the vet. was closed!)
With Svend’s help we got them indoors in separate rooms and (I was shaking all over) surveyed the damage.
Racey was covered in blood (Dasher's) and some small sores and scratches, but nothing at all serious. He was wide-eyed in shock. He's acting on a wild instinct, I don't think he entirely knows what he's doing.
Dasher was very badly bitten. His head, throat and neck were simply chewed up all over and red with a mass of bite holes and scratches and a big bite just under his left eye had left two rips in the skin gaping open on his cheek – and a graze under the eye that was narrowly missed, plus a sore on the lip underneath. His lip on the other side was cut open. His throat quickly got two swollen lumps from internal bleeding from all the shaking at the throat that Racey had done. He'd nearly killed him. What said click for us was the way that Racey just would not stop, but went on and on and on attacking for so long time. We were very shocked at this SO DETERMINED and so seriously murderous behaviour. He was like a pitbull - they sink their teeth in and never let go. I was also deeply shocked at my complete inability to stop them.
We rang and immediately got permission to come to the vet. who was on emergency overtime near where we live.

Meanwhile, Svend and I were unanimous that we couldn’t live any longer with this constant threat of such a deadly fight. One that we are unable to stop. All dogs can have disagreements, but this was completely different from anything we have ever experienced before. It’s not the way we live with our dogs. We want them to be happy, if our dogs are not happy, nor can we be happy. We have had dogs for some 40 years now and had some wonderful times and owned dream dogs - up to six males at one time (and no cages until we moved here 5 years ago!) – and although Whippets can act wild at times, the breed is calm compared with the temperament of an Italian when excited!!! We were also quite determined now, that Dasher should never experience this kind of treatment again nor continue living in constant fear of “doing something wrong” that Racey might turn nasty over and loose control. Any kind of stress situation - even the excitement of running to the gate to bark at passers by made Racey go over-wild and threatening. Now we could no longer trust him.
Racey was everything I had ever dreamed of: Beautiful to the extreme with his body, really well developed, super movement, very agile and a sheer pleasure to look at every single day. I love the brown with "white socks" too - so attractive. I have enjoyed all his many good points to the full. A truly wonderful dog - physically. He adored me from the first moment I got him and I loved my half American, half Swedish dog. I was also very proud that I had got him completely housetrained and that he could ask to go outside in three different ways. Same with Dasher - although Italians are notorously difficult to get "clean".
Part of why I love sighthounds is my “artistic trained" eyes love to see their beauty and elegance – the same pleasure as seeing the look and movement of thoroughbred horses...Racey had that extreme elegance. Then there's their play and doggy-interaction, which SO very entertaining – people with only one dog just don’t know what they are missing.

So when we got to the vet’s we told her that Racey would have to pay the ultimate price for his so extreme behaviour.
We could not go on with him after this. This was not a normal dog fight that often stops quickly, we've experienced some of this in our time. I could not get them apart and they went on and on and on...he was intent on killing Dasher. We couldn't live with the possibility of him exploding at any minute - perhaps next time while we are out, or in the furthest part of the garden and out of sight? I was deeply shocked that he was SO determined and SO unstoppable and so completely out of control.
This decision was the culmination of many worries and difficulties we have had with Racey. All of which we would gladly live with as he was so wonderful in other ways, but this mad killer instinct that also was in him, was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Dasher had to be completely anaesthetised and stitched, given shots of penicillin plus something she said would speed up the natural removal of the blood congestion around his throat.
So as you can guess, we are in severe shock and mourning, Dasher and Timmi are depressed because we are clearly not happy.
The place is SO empty and I miss him SO BAD...I really adored that little dog and he me...
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Dasher at the vet's, anesthetized and waiting to be sewn together. Note his swollen lip and his neck is double the size, so his collar is on the last hole.
People will argue: Could I have found a new home for him?
But Denmark is full up with dogs already – and he was SO loyal to me. Who would be good enough? It could take years (as with many other dogs), before a new, suitable home came along. What if he attacked again? We wouldn’t have an easy moment thinking of him desperately missing us all...he was devoted to us and I know of many an unwanted dog that just circulates from home to home, never finding permanent happiness.
Some would have delivered him to a stray dogs home to avoid the evil moment at the vet’s and give him a chance at living. I am sorry but I would/could NEVER just abandon (give away or give back) any dog of mine, once we have bonded - and certainly not a dog who has a "bad" temperament problem and could shock any new owner just as we have been shocked.
Some would say he should have been neutered - maybe, but I have very bad experience of how the nervous, unsure type of dog becomes far worse when they loose their identity. They feel even more insecure especially with other dogs and this can easily lead to aggression. Neutering only has an effect on any sexually based behaviour, but cannot change a dog’s intrinsic character and individual personality and mind set. True that Racey's male hormones were behind a lot of this, plus a good portion of jealousy, he wanted me (and his beloved Timmi), all to himself, but the deciding factor for us was his unsure, nervous ways in the daily run, not only here at home, but when out amongst others, both dogs and humans.
For example he never wanted to go on walks! Can you imagine a dog that did not like walks? He had to be fetched from his bed or “bribed” with a titbit although once outside he seemed to enjoy himself to a point, but he couldn’t wait to get home again. He wasn’t interested in other dogs or people. He would stand watching while Dasher did all the greeting, playing with another dog or jumping up at the owner! At the vet’s playground for dogs where they can play and socialise, Dasher has always thoroughly enjoyed himself and I have many a fun video of him playing, but Racey hated every second and spent most of his time baring his teeth to keep the others at bay. In fact, he hated it so much, I stopped going after several months. He was like the little dictator when here at home, getting his way whatever it cost, but outside of our gates he was scared. All dogs are different - but here the difference proved to be too great to work out. He was a very strange and extreme dog in many ways.
This was a question of doing what was best for everyone involved and not least for Racey himself – who never knew a thing. He fell asleep and just never woke up. He knew nothing. This was what we felt was best for HIM even tho’ our hearts are broken and my dog life (and not least my pride) is in ruins. He did had a very good life, short as it was.
WE are the ones who suffer, not him.
This isn’t a question of keeping a dog alive at all costs, it is a question of QUALITY of life – every dog pet should have a REALLY GOOD, HAPPY, QUALITY life doing their doggy thing – or, it's best not to have a life at all, in my opinion. A “half life” or one of physical or mental suffering, or dogs that are shut away in a run and a kennel all their lives and who never get out etc. - this is no good life worth having. My dogs can and will only get the best we can give.
The vet said: This is what dogs do - at times! A wild dog (the looser) would run away, leave the pack and find another, but in our human lives they are trapped together and cannot cannot escape their aggressor.
Their temperaments were such, that they could NOT get along. Not every single combination of two dogs put together can work out, as many people have experienced.This apparently was one of the worst possible combinations.
Of course we are all very depressed and in deep mourning. This has hit me unbelievably hard and now poor Dasher has no playmate and that was the WHOLE POINT of getting Racey - but at least Dasher is free of being repeatedly scared or attacked. I spent the first night sleeping beside his cage in case he needed to go out in the night or be comforted and I only slept a couple of hours, re-living over and over again the dreadful fight that just went on and on and I was so helpless to stop them...
He is getting better fast and the large swellings dangling from his throat are already almost gone on this, the second day.
He is relaxing a lot on the penicillin and still comes out for walks of course.
I guess I’ll get over this in time, but my dream come true is now smashed and gone forever....I cry as I write...

..so sorry to have to share this, but having started this blog - I must go on - and be honest about things.

The 3rd of May
and don't think I/we took this decision lightly. We are all four BADLY missing Racey. My heart's broken. I loved him dearly and he was the most beautiful dog. I have shed many a tear. When he was good, he was very very good and when he was bad, he was very very bad, as the saying goes, and all his good has left a giant, empty hole in our lives so we are all depressed and the dogs miss him too. I have never known or heard of a better Italian Greyhound, when it comes to looks and entertainment value. I adored him but unfortunately there’s more things to life that good looks...the mind needs to be liveable with too...he was too extreme - in so many ways and we had worried about him long...but none of us could live any longer in fear of things exploding all over again...what if I had not heard them out in the garden?...Dasher would have been killed... he put up a fight, but Racey was unharmed!

At last spring is busting out all over! The 16th now
and my crocus strip in the driveway, not as good as last year though when it was a thick "carpet", is in full flower:
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Sunday the 14th of April


Spring must be on it's way at last, as our crazy Blackbird couple are building a nest in the hedge:
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Bad photo through a window, but here's the female Blackbird collecting dead leaves - in the rain.
This year, I cannot bring myself to take them all away each time, it is too sad-making, so I will just let nature take it's course - and in return they will have to put up with me photographing them!
The dogs know exactly what's going on. It's going to be a constant worry from now on.
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The nest is on chest level - they really haven't a clue!

Sunday 7th
I can't stop being fascinated by the sky - and photographing it! I'll have to start another blog with just sky pictures before everyone gets too bored! Here are two more, one 5th April 7.30 in the morning and the other yesterday at nearly 7.30 in the evening!
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Monday the 1st of April,

cold but a blazing sun - and the days are "longer" as we put the clocks forward yesterday. The dogs enjoy the sunshine and here is Racey challenging Dasher to a game of chase!
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A search in the garden for signs of life revealed the year's first crocusses flowering bravely in the frozen, seemingly barren earth:
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The 30th of March

Milder in the day and the dogs enjoy a mad game of "tug" with an elderly football! Note my apparently dead lawn - yet in about a month, it will be up to "golf course standard" again!
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The 28th of March
- ugh! More snow.. .the stubs are my daffodils on the way!
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The 27th of March
and I would like to share with you a frightening experience my friend Gitte has just had, which I feel everyone should be aware of, in case it happens to them. (She owns Dasher's big sister Minnie, who is mom to puppy Solo who is seen here below.) I learn every day! (May well apply to cat owners too, Lisbet!) Read below:
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Above a picture of Solo from today the 27th where Gitte writes: "Once again he's "mom's fine fellow" today! I was just about thinking it was a Bulldog that I owned yesterday! But luckily Solo is completely his usual self today and the same teasing terrorist as usual!" (Solo is still looking for his "forever home", by the way, if anyone falls on love with him...)

Den 26. marts 2013
Hi all blog readers*
I would like to share a nasty experience - for the benefit of others who might have to go through the same situation one day. Yesterday, we took little Solo to the vet. for his second puppy vaccination. Roughly one hour after we got home, he began to swell up really badly. His lips swelled up, his eyes swelled and puffed up and one could clearly see that he itched and was very bothered by it.
So we rushed back to our vet, who says he sees this approximately once a year and it's an allergic reaction caused by the vaccine. Solo immediately got medicine to fix the allergy and shortly afterwards he was fine, eating, drinking and being a happy dog as usual. I should add that he looked VERY different. I felt like I went to the vet. with one breed of dog and came home with a completely different but one I’m not sure what! The vet. has now made a note in his records, so Solo doesn't ever get that particular vaccine again.
Everything’s ok again now and no grounds for panic – but it is obviously important to consult your vet. very quickly with any kind of allergic reaction.
Kind regards Gitte and Co.
* Translated from Danish!
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Left Gitte holding poor Solo and look really closely his enormous mouth/lips! Right Solo feeling really bad.
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Above: Solo at his worst.
PS Gitte writes later: "Yes, he looks terrible but he is now acting quite normally and his usual cheeky teenager self, he flies around the house full of energy and enjoys teasing his parents. So the allergy hasn't spoiled his good humour!

March 25th
and we have the cutest, fattest Robin I ever have seen! Spends his spare time "tuning up" sotto voce, as he KNOWS spring is around the corner, despite our Antarctic conditions right now. I took this photo through my office window where he is sitting on the bird food container and he can clearly see me. I gradually moved the camera towards the window, but this is the nearest I could get before he flew. I am hoping he stays all summer as they have a beautiful song that reminds me of England where there are SO many of them.
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March 23rd

Freezing cold and still it snows - when not blazing sunshine - and here is the delicate sunset yesterday!
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Read this true story and have a good cry: www.spanieljournal.com/smcclure.html

The 20th of March - and two days of snow - here is 8 cms but later on it was 10cm. We are all sick of it!
.

The 18th of March
and the most terrible storm wind outdoors and made a little video of how I amuse the dogs at hard times like this (even though they still run around the house outside for exercise as described below!)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctXqYkJkQIc
I have a very bad chesty cold at the moment, so some difficulty in talking, breathing and using the camera with one hand only!!!!

March 17

can you spot the extra pair of legs? Whereever Timmi sleeps, Racey is always to be found beside him!
Racey adores big, gentle Timmi! But Timmi wouldn't mind if Racey dropped dead!
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March 14

and it snowed ALL DAY yesterday so all my pretty flowers are frozen and buried ...here is the scene at 9am this morning:
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Below, the same morning view but now the 13th of March and taken from indoors due to the constant snow falling. So bleak.
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The 10th of March
and we never cease to be amazed at the setting sun and not least, the sky over our neighbour-at-the-end-of-the-garden's roof!
(They have an 8 sided house with glass at the top that shines down into the centrally placed kitchen. He designed and built it himself!) See here:
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The extreme easterly winds, (now 4th day and we are so sick of it), have combed and carded the woolly clouds so this is the view from the kitchen window last evening around 6 pm!

The 9th of March
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and a howling gale wind and several freezing degrees makes it as bitterly cold as if we were at the North Pole. (Snow is on it’s way too, ugh!) The dogs need their coats even when running, as the wind just instantly blows all their body heat away. Here they are playing tug of war on the hard frozen grass (that will soon be SO lush and green!) - and you can see how hideous the neighbour’s solar panels are, dominating the view on what was once a nice red roof. But never mind, it's all in a good cause!

4th of March 2013
-
and the dogs are running around the house in the midday sun! Very difficult to photo. I send them on their way through a side gate on the right, then rush into position on one knee to photograph. (The left gate can just be seen fixed open.) Due to the inevitable delay in the shutter reaction on digital cameras, I have to press as soon as I spot their legs moving under a bush dashing around the corner. This gives the possibility of the shutter opening as the dogs rush past me. So here are the best shots. They soon learned I was stationed behind a flower pot and started coming towards me instead of going past!
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Below: The neighbour's cat sunning itself after an inspection of the new sun-cell heating panels that were fixed up during the weekend! Ugly as sin to look at, but a growingly popular supplement to everyone's electricity bills here in Denmark.
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The 1st of March
and the sun's out and now so strong that I was sweating on the dog walks this morning ! My aconites have opened for the first time:
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Above: they are still dirty from the earth and melted snow. Such a pretty, early spring flower.
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The almost full moon early this morning over our neighbour's frosty garage roof! Below: My grandson of 13 made this fabulous birthday cake for his little brother of 1 year and his father 36 - both born on the same day!
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Tuesday the 19th.

Spring IS on the way - again - and aconites have forced their "sunshine heads" up through the snow and ice! They are the first spring flowers, closely followed by snowdrops - and boy are we desparate for this sign of life after the long winter!
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Monday the 18th.

An unusual walk today. Brace yourself for a gory story!
Coming towards me down the road this morning was a magnificent hare! The biggest and most beautiful specimen I have ever seen - and I’ve seen a few in my life – Denmark is full of them. Timmi took some seconds to realise what it was, he was just as amazed as I was. I often see them playing in the fields alongside where I walk, but never coming up the grass verge beside the road between all the many houses and gardens. So I coughed loudly and it stopped in it’s tracks and saw us for the first time. Then it casually hopped across the road and disappeared into a garden, whilst Timmi had a barking fit with frustration!
When I got to where it had been, there were fresh blood drips in the snow.
-.....-
I followed the blood drips some 70 meters or more, around a large grass play area for children. If the animal stopped, the blood was really bad but as it moved on there were many small drips sprayed around. I got tears in my eyes thinking this poor hare must have been shot? The amount of blood in all was so much, the animal was bleeding to death, I felt sure.
Then the blood drips ceased and Timmi and I carried on the walk.
On the second walk of the day, now with Dasher and Racey who have a large area to run around in as they run on 5 meter long flexi-leads, they showed me that the blood was even down our road, and opposite our gates there was a large scattering of feathers and a clump of feathers with bloody skin attached – and also a pool of blood in the snow on our little round-about. I have now come to the conclusion, that early this morning, a car zoomed around the bend and down the steep slope past our house and hit a crow that was in the road. The crow lost about a half inch square patch of skin and feathers on impact plus many other feathers and landed in the snow on the island. (Hence big pool of blood here.)
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Left: Only part of a mass of feathers including wing feathers - with rain drops on them. Right a small patch ahead of my shoe with bloody skin attached.
From here it has hopped, unable to fly, back up the road and all the way up the path to the children’s area where I first picked up the trail. I followed the trail around but never found the end or any injured crow, not even tho’ the dogs were keen to help! However, we have many cats!!!! I am just glad it was not the beautiful hare. No photo of him although I had the time, because it was snowing lightly, big wet flakes that have now turned to rain..

17th Feb. 2013:
This week was the school winter holiday and we had two fun days with our oldest grandchild:
Racey is VERY long, with his back legs on the bed and front ones on David! He's just given a wet lick!
-.-
Evenings we played first Monopoly. (An English verson my mother bought some 30 years ago, where you buy buy parts of London - and still going strong.) Then the next evening a different one that's nearly as old: "Go for Broke" where the aim is to LOOSE all your money! This one is harder, we are unfamiliar with it so it leads to many lengthy discussions and constant referring to the rules. Here is a funny photo of Svend and David discussing things. Needless to say, David won both times!!!!! He's been playing Monopoly since he was 5 and we had to help him a lot then of course, but now we both have to really mind out or he's quickly got the upper hand!
-
- and OF COURSE he had to get in Dasher and Racey's cage! This cage works like a magnet on children! Dasher LOVES sharing but Racey is more cautious and had to be bribed! Timmi was inside too but I was too slow photographing him. (I was preparing our dinner at the same time!)
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14th Feb.
We wake up to the most incredibly thick layer of frost over everything. Truly wonderful to see - but after an hour or so, it was all gone again.
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This one was taken earlier with the street lights still on...

Racey looking elegant as only Italians can!
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11th February:
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Above: This is the road!
Went again to see if all was OK with my brother-in-law's summer house as now he's working in Sweden for 3 months. We walked the dogs all the way around "his" lake - completely frozen over and beautiful in the sun!
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The weather was cold (minus 5 C) but sunny and no wind.
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Racey lying with his legs twisted!

The 7th of Feb.
We had lunch with some friends 2 days ago, who live just round the corner to our old house and their snowdrops are very advanced:
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Just need some days of sun... and below, another shot of my favourite view of the distant sea from the 6th of Feb.
The snow had melted, but more has come... groan...
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The 3rd of February
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... and my friend on the island of Fyn has again photographed the sunrise showing up the frosty windows of her little summer gazebo! See also further below, the 18th of Jan. (I don't think she got up quite so early for the one above!!!)
(4th Feb. and my friend has just pointed out, that it is the SUN which is up earlier, not she who is late, ha ha!!)

2nd of February
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...more snow again and a snow filled sky with orange in the distance over the sea...if you have good eyesight!
You can also see the bridge to the island of Fyn. Top left to the right of a white flag pole.

1st of Feb.
- and I'm glad to see the back of January and look forward to the spring, which is only around the corner - but takes "forever" in Denmark! This morning, in a patch of weak sun, two mosquitoes flew groggily past me - but half an hour later, it was snowing big flakes! (All melting of course, as it is plus 6 degrees.)
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Here is the scene on the sofa last night where Racey rests his chin elegantly on Timmi's tail - looks so funny!!

The 31. of January
and we have had such "high" temperatures, (plus 6 C seems sweating hot after weeks of minus 6 or much more!) so that all the snow has melted double quick and helped by a day of hard rain all yesterday, our garden has turned into a small lake!
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My poor dogs have to run through this sheet of icey water 10 times, 3 times a day, so they are real "tough guys" and not the wimps that some italians are, ha ha! It just takes a bit longer to exercise them since they walk rather than run, to avoid being splashed! (I have a huge job washing and wiping them down afterwards.) However, spring is on the way! We had some sun this morning and out came a tired looking ladybird, (apparently feeding off the dropped bird food) - and the aconites are about to "raise their heads", which are still trapped below in the earth. They look like bean sprouts! See photos below:
-.-
I shall be closely following their progress!

The 28th of January 2013:
An entertaining phenomena! A man’s footprints in the snow have compressed to ice and are all that’s left after a quite a thaw from minus 6 C degrees to plus 4 C this morning! First photo with Timmi and some feeble sun. (We are walking towards the east.) Second walk and photo with “the little ones” and now it's turned into another gloomy day, ugh!
-.-

18th Jan.
Photo below taken and sent to me early this morning by my friend on the Danish island of Fyn, (sometimes known as Fynen to the rest of the world), who has a view over the sea from her high garden. Here is her little "summer pavillion" with all the glass windows frosted up with the cold, (it's minus about 10C/50f here right now,) and the most wonderful sunrise lighting it all up!
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A pleasure to see as we have only grey, snow-filled clouds over here!

17th Jan.
Two people have asked me about their dog's bald stomach and "thin" hair at ears, knees, neck etc.
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No dog illustrates it better than Dasher. His skin colour is silver all winter, so it really shows through his finest hairs as he is jet black. And yes, his stomach is as good as bald, like SO MANY short-haired sighthounds - often there is hair but you need a microscope to see it. See behind his ear as well. In the summer he looks much better as his skin tans to a very dark brown, so the contrast between hair and skin is almost nothing. Greyhounds, Whippets and not least Italians have very fine hair and no "woolly underneath hair" for warmth, such as the majority of other breeds have. What you see, is all they've got!!! I have taken this photo today, so you can see how "threadbare" he looks. THIS is why they need coats in varying degrees of warmth and protection all winter - but the coats have a tendency to wear away at sparse areas of fine hair, making matters worse! So long as the dog's back hair looks good, healthy, dense and shiny, then it is alright. Any doubts, then change to a better brand of dog food and/or add a fish oil pill once a day for say a month or two, alternatively, a teaspoon of olive oil in their dinner for a while. Many brands of dog food are mean on fats as fat quickly goes rancid and gives problems keeping food fresh. (Leading to addatives/preservatives that aren't all of them good for the dog, so the less of them the better.) So you can add your own "oils" as above, if necessary and only in the winter months.

Racey is racing around the house and doing a flying leap over the corner of a flower bed at top speed coming towards me!
A bad photo I will try to re-do.
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Wednesday the 16th of January:
T
immi always “tries it on”, he’s full of artful tricks.
Whippets are fantastic actors and if they have something to tell, they REALLY make the point in no uncertain way.
Also, they always exaggerate! Yes, it IS bitterly cold right now and yes there IS a lot of salt sprinkled on the pavements to make sure we humans don’t slip and slide around. I use the paw-cream to protect the dog’s feet in snow and ice and I also walk them on the grass verges and other open spaces to avoid using the salted paths, so very rarely do they walk on any salt and if it’s bad, I carry them over the area. But Timmi this morning made SUCH a scene out of walking along.
I tried to hurry him so he (and I)  could keep warm. He was well wrapped up and also I do take each paw when it’s held up pathetically, clean out any grit and salt and warm it briefly in my hand - and usually this helps.
But after 5 minutes of dragging him along and him showing me that ALL FOUR feet were in AGONY (and apparently his legs were half paralysed as well!), I turned back and thought: Oh well, let him stay at home as he is, after all, an old dog.
When we stepped through our gate, I immediately let him off the leash in our driveway – and how I wish I have filmed this, as the total contrast between the dog who was just seconds earlier in distress at every step and limping so exaggeratedly, now trotted forward beautifully, gliding along as if I was showing him in the ring where he would have gained praise for gaiting so well! Suddenly, there wasn’t a thing wrong with him!
How they can act pathetic when they want to! Of course he must have felt SOMETHING under his feet, but he sure made it seem like he was at death’s door.
The two “little ones” , who I took out straight afterwards, didn’t seem to notice a thing, thanks to the paw-cream and only walking on (snow covered) grass!
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A summer photo showing his athletic lines!
Another thing that Timmi does, is try to cheat when all three have to run 10 times around our house.
He either stands on the other side of the gate I’ve just closed, even though I always walk a bit away to encourage him to run off, or he walks just a little way down, so when the two little ones have overtaken him and raced the whole way around the house in a few seconds, (they LOVE the game!), he comes trotting back in the hopes I’ll give him his piece of biscuit reward for doing nothing.
Well in this extreme cold it is hard to wait for him while he realises we are NOT coming through the gate so he can cheat and stroll back, so I call his bluff and go indoors with the other two who HAVE run around – and we wait in the delicious warmth.
Finally, he sees there’s no escaping it and he runs around and off we go again with the game.
I had to do this three or four times today before he realised he can’t win, that he HAS to come around and not stand waiting all alone in the cold. Once he gets going, he’s running happily around at a fair speed, tail waving and thoroughly enjoying it.
This way I keep them all in good training through the winter, so when spring comes and we start Lure coursing again, they are already in top condition! But Timmi just HAS to try it on and see if I will fall for his laziness!

Tuesday the 15th!
Below, even more snow on top of yesterday's - so I barely can see where the path is - but not quite so cold, so the trouser suits were enough! See how the naturally long-sighted Italian Greyhounds have spotted a dog owner in the far distance! They have eyes as like binoculars! To the right is a new sign telling dog owners to pick up after their dogs - but some fool is protesting by leaving their bags dumped up against the sign... how stupid can you be? Clearly someone not used to clearing up and carrying it home! There are still too many owners who don't do it, it's disgusting.
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Monday the 14th:
Snow again - and so extra freezing cold, that the little ones needed two coats on today. I don't know how we would manage without the trouser suits that warm their thin legs...to order yours, click here.
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Below: Whippets do not like Italian greyhounds! Despite the breeds are "look alikes"- they are VERY diffeerent in mentality and the Italian greyhound is by far the most extreme elegant of all dog breeds - but Whippets are mostly kind and tolerent creatures, so they put up with the more restless and excitable sighthound friends for my sake! If it was up to Timmi, no one would ever lie on him or greet him in the typical over-boisterous Italian way. He has given up the battle to make them respect him more and tries to pretend they don't exist.
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Left: Racey greeting Timmi, whom he loves! Right: A really twisted lying postion - and there's a thick cream blanketknotted up in the bed as well!


Tuesday 8th
We went for a romantically misty walk around the lake after seeing if my brother-in-law's summerhouse was ok, as he is in S. Africa right now! The dogs really enjoyed all the new smells! The temp. was 6 degrees C.
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Saturday the 5th of January 2013
Well we survived the terrifying firework shows to celebrate the New Year in Denm
ark! We were lucky this year as 5 of our 6 nearest neighbours were out! (I dread to think how next year will be when it’s their turn to host the party!)
Timmi has never been afraid of all the fireworks exploding all around him including  the window-rattling loud bangs, the worst of which are illegal here but this doesn’t stop them! You would think he was totally deaf to look at him!
Dasher was very afraid – at times, but able to forget in between - not a complete quivering wreck like our Dee Jay used to be, or miserable and clinging like Magnus was. He did sit on my lap most of the evening and this helped!
Racey was taking his cues from Timmi it seems and was very curious, listened and looked mystified yet not directly scared.
Unfortunately for him, he had a bit of a “bad tummy” and was forced to go out and “do something” about several times during the evening, and there he squatted good as gold while the fireworks exploded all around him.
So we don’t have to worry too much about HIM! We never go anywhere any more as we are so concerned for the dogs welfare. It's no fun see ing them suffer.
-.-
Today our Grandson visited – and true to form, made a bee-line for Dasher’s cage (which is also Racey’s now).
Race was too nervous of this invasion of space but Dasher loved it and even Timmi crammed in as well, bribed by tit-bits!
It looks impossible, our Grandson is SO tall now...and yes, he's in there with the door locked in the first picture!!!
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Would you believe that all that boy could get inside this cage - AND Timmi and Dasher?!!!
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On the sofa stretching his legs out afterwards!

Older blogs: 1st. blog July 2009 - 2nd. blog 2010 - 3rd. blog 2010 - 4th. blog 2011 - 5th. blog 2012
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