We have two rescue dogs and we do agility with both of them. Actually, when I say ‘We’, I really mean DD1 and DD3.
DD1 has taken on the training of our newest dog and I used to train our older dog myself but I’m too slow for him. So DD3, who is 10, has taken him over and she is doing a brilliant job.
She’s been running him for about a year now and they are probably almost ready to start competing. It’s been a steep learning curve for her and she found it hard at first taking directions from the lady who takes the classes.
She’s had to learn how to use her body language to give her dog the signals he needs to know what’s coming next.
She’s had to learn to think about the dog’s point of view.
And the rules involved in tackling different bits of equipment.
Most importantly, she’s had to learn to cope with making mistakes and disappointment in a way that keeps her dog’s tail wagging.
I think agility is a brilliant sport if you have a dog of any shape or size.
It’s loads of fun for dogs and owners, even if you end up relegated to the sidelines and function as a mobile hitching post. watching your daughters do all the work!
My eldest girls did Brownies, then moved onto Guides and both still attend now. They are 12 and 14 and DD1 is about to move on to the Senior Section.
DD3 did the Brownies thing too, but then she and a friend wanted to join cubs as well. Now they are both 10, in the next month or so they are going to start the move to Scouts.
Part of the reason DD3 wanted to go to Scouts is because they do real camping in tents
their parents they put up themselves. The Brownie and Guide groups around here tend to do indoor camps where the girls stay in dorms or perhaps already-erected tipis.
DD’s kit listed included ‘up to two soft toys’ to make bedtime easier. These are the two that DDs chose, AND I had to evict a 4 foot snake and 3 ft teddy from the black bag under the sleep mat.
She wouldn’t give up the wolf or the lion though and we drove them out to the campgrounds and lugged them across the fields to the site. I was expecting Akela to say no, but the other girl DD3 was sharing with didn’t mind, so the soft toys got to stay the weekend.
Next time I think Akela may be adding dimensions to the kit list.
When your kids are little, and you come across an ice cream van parked outside your school that you don’t want to patronise, you can just say no. Or tell them you have no money, or no time, or the van has run out of ice cream or…something …
But when your kids are a bit older, and you live really close to the school, and one of your children is old enough to run home and let herself into the house to find her purse, then run back to you and her little brother with the said money and offer to pay for ice creams out of her own money, you have a problem.
Or maybe you don’t. Choose your battles, remember?
At least DS didn’t complain about the difference in the size and build quality of their ice creams; he knows not to look a gift horse ( sister?) in the mouth.
We are lucky enough to have a local farmer’s market close by.
It runs every second Sunday and we often go for lunch as it has a good selection of food stalls.
It also has a petting zoo, and the kids sometimes use their pocket money to go and hold/stroke chickens, rabbits, piglets, lambs etc.
Last week it had something we’ve never seen before. For £1, kids ( and their parents) could take a goat for a walk! Of course walking goats is different from walking dogs, as DD found out. The secret is to have something green and juicy in your hand to encourage the goat to follow you…
Even then, they didn’t get far. Goats can be very stubborn, as can DD, and I think she may have met her match.
Last week DD3 and I visited a very special animal sanctuary and got to meet a couple of her favourite animals.
I will write about this later, as it was a great day out and deserves a post of its own.
But while we were there we visited a small stand manned by Teaching Talons, an animal encounters company, who were lovely and patient with everyone as we waited our turn to visit the main attraction.
One of the girls convinced DD to hold an owl, something she’s never dared do before. I took loads of photos but this is the closest I got to getting them both looking at the camera!
This is a young African Barn Owl. Isn’t she beautiful?
‘Whatever’ is not the most annoying word in our house.
Don’t get me wrong, it is pretty annoying; especially when used by a teen or tween who is determined to have the last word and thinks they know it all.
It is used as a last resort word though, mainly when things have not gone their way but they want it to look like they have the situation totally under control.
So let me tell you, if your child is using ‘Whatever’, you have won and they know it. You don’t have to have the last word.
Another really annoying word in our house is my eldest’s sudden adoption of ‘Yikes’.
I know this doesn’t sound that annoying but she manages just the right mix of rudeness and condescension when she uses it. I don’t much like the word; she knows it annoys me and I’ve asked her not to use it. but you have to pick your battles when they are 14.
Most of the time I ignore it, but DD2 HATES the word and is often reduced to tears by her older sister’s use of it. DD1 is totally aware of this, of course…
But the most annoying word used in our house is..are you ready for this, it’s a four letter one…’Wait’.
‘Can you turn the TV off?’-‘Wait’
‘Can you get off the computer?- ‘Wait’.
‘It’s time to get ready for school”- ‘Wait’.
‘Time for bed!’-‘Wait’.
My children seem incapable of hurrying when asked, but just casually put one hand up and drawl ‘wait’ while they finish what they are doing. And this is after 10 and 5 minute warnings of the need to cease and desist. The seem to think that time stops when they do!
What’s the most annoying word in your house?
This was the scene in our kitchen on Wednesday night.
Our cats are always bringing in small furry things and dropping them as soon as they get in the house. The said furry thing then makes a beeline ( or should that be mouseline?) for the nearest large appliance and this results in very frustrated felines.
On Thursday night, it was obvious the Furry Thing had relocated to the living room. We had cats in cupboards, up the chimney, behind the TV- they were definitely on the prowl.
When we went to bed, we shut them in the lounge and let them get on with it…
This was the sight that met our eyes on Friday morning. The scene of the crime has not been altered in any way.
Do you think our cats are trying to tell us something?
Most of you will have a computer mouse, but how many of you have computer rats?
I do, everytime I have to ratsit my eldest DD’s pet rats while she cleans out their cage.
We have four of them and they are really naughty, always trying to escape!
Last Sunday I took my 14 yo eldest into London to meet a friend she had met online.
I know it sounds like something out of a cautionary tale, but I was going to be right there with her, making sure her friend was actually a young girl, and not some internet weirdo. And as DD pointed out, I have plenty of friends I met online myself.
So, come Sunday, there we were , on the train into town. DD had arranged the meeting place, Hamleys, and knew what her friend looked like. Her friend was going to be with her mother too.
So we got to Hamleys, and there was no friend to be seen. DD realised she didn’t have a phone number for her friend (duh!), and while she tweeted her, we wandered around Hamleys and accidentally spent £50 on stuff we didn’t need.
Finally DD’s friend replied, they were supposed to have met in Harrods! Just in case you don’t know this, Hamleys is not right next door to Harrods.
So we got in a cab and trundled across London to a store I’d normally not ever step foot in.
DD’s friend was very sweet and her mother was nice too, and we sat in the cafe in Harrods and had a coffee while the girls blethered on about YouTubers. This was mine, it cost over £5.
I don’t know if everyone gets this sort of message with their cappuccino in Harrods, but it’s awfully familiar, don’t you think?!
One of the dangers of being the younger brother to a sister or three, is that they often like to practice their ‘skills’ on you.
DS has been dressed up and made up more times than he can remember, but at 8 he is starting to ‘ Say No’ .
He’s still happy to have his nails painted though, but draws the line at pink.