Friday, 28 September 2012

Caoimhe Remembered

Message from Leigh: Sorry to all Magic's blog followers and friends that we have not been keeping up with your posts recently...or posting here either. It is because we have been through a very traumatic week since last weekend and I have been unable to pull myself together until now to do this post about our dear Caoimhe. 

As some of you may know Caoimhe came to us as a happy loving pup and all was just as would be expected until not long after her puppy vaccinations when she changed from a laid back curious fun-loving pup to being fearful, hyperactive, screaming rather than barking and at times quite aggressive. We spent a year trying every behavioural modification techniques and products to no avail having being initially advised by everyone we spoke to that Caoimhe's problems were simply a training/behaviour issue. After a frightening incident some months back when Caoimhe attacked our cats - on 2 separate occasions very aggressively - someone suggested that she might have suffered encephalitis as a result of vaccination and her behaviour could be a result of this. As our regular vets would not or could not help us with regard to any exploration of the vaccination reaction idea, we travelled to a homeopathic vet who confirmed after a 2 hour observation and consultation with Caoimhe  that the most likely explanation for her behaviour was encephalitis brought on as a reaction to vaccination . 

We were given a homeopathic remedy which initially showed very good results in that Caoimhe stopped the screaming, calmed down considerably from the hyperactivity and seemed somewhat less fearful on walks and in the house. However 3 months in and, despite times of calm and periods when we thought we were managing the situation, Caoimhe's aggression increased. We had kept the cats well away from her but she suddenly for no apparent reason attacked our affenpinscher Aoife. The screaming was terrible, the other dogs were in pandemonium, I managed to prise Aoife from Caoimhe's jaws whereupon she turned and bit me all over my hands. Aoife was cut, bruised and had lost some of her fur but although not seriously injured physically was badly traumatised. This was not the first time that she had attacked Aoife or bitten me and things seemed to be getting worse.  I could not get an appointment quickly to see the homeopathic vet again so we went to our regular vet who advised that (whatever the cause) with Caoimhe's mental state being so unstable - he likened it to human paranoid schizophrenia - she would only get worse, that there was no medication to treat this kind of mental illness in dogs and that for the safety of our own animals, ourselves and others, the kindest and safest course was euthanasia before serious injury was done.

The shock and devastation we have been through this week have been indescribable - I was so sure we would be able to help her even though looking back it was clear that things were very wrong with Caoimhe mentally and that our other animals were all suffering stress as a result of her behaviour and she was having a bad effect in many ways upon young Trilby. I will leave here a few pictures in memory of a sweet loving puppy that had a few  months of happiness before the illness took over and hope I have captured some of those other moments when she felt something of joy and not the mental anguish I think she must have been in for much of the time.

The day she came to live with us

A beautiful girl

Seeing snow for the first time

Running down the garden with Trilby in pursuit

A rare moment of peace this last week

Run free dear Caoimhe - you will never be forgotten and I hope that you are truly at peace now with no  pain, fear or anger to disturb your mind. 

When it is time for me to go 

And join her there, this much I know 

I shall not fear the transient dark 

For she will greet me with a bark. 

Author Unknown 

Friday, 21 September 2012

Burton Agnes Gardens Part 1

Hello friends - Magic back - with Crybbe - for another mammoth bloggy post :-) We went on a wonderful day out to visit Burton Agnes Hall in East Yorkshire 2 days ago and Leigh took so many pictures we will have to do 2 posts to fit even a few of them in! This place is pretty dog-friendly as you will see but we were not allowed in the House so all our day was spent in the woodland and gardens but it was great fun!

This is the gateway entrance to the Hall and gardens. It is a very old place that has been in the same family for 900 years!! The original house was built in 1173 by a man called Roger de Stuteville and is still standing but not used now:

This is the ground floor that was used for storage.

and this is the 1st floor up a tiny winding staircase.

But in the 16th century the family decided to upgrade their house and they built this:

It is very beautiful and the grounds were good to explore - we headed for the woodland first

where we found little sculptures of animals like these hedgehogs

and this owl. 
There were lots of strange bugs and things in the trees too - pretty big ones at that:

We even caught sight of a hare in the fields but it scampered away before Leigh could get a picture.

This was the view across the cornfields from the woodland.

As we headed back we saw these wind-chimes in the trees - you could hear them all through the woods.

Back in the gardens we decided to have a rest for a while under the trees:

I don't know what I'd done to upset Crybbe but he looks in a bit of a huff in this photo :-)
This was only part of our day at Burton Agnes so I'll post some more photos of our exploration of the flower and vegetable gardens, the maze..and the cafe soon.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Darlington Championship Dog Show

Hello bloggy friends - this is Caoimhe here today doing a post about my trip to Darlington Dog Show. As some of you may know I've been not very well after being vaccinated last year and I'm trying to cope with scary situations better with the help of some homeopathic treatment from a special vet. Yesterday my peeps took me for a day out to a big dog show to see if I would be able to manage in the crowds ..and even in the show ring. It was a sunny day so the showing was being done outside on the grass. Here I am being prepared for my go in the ring.

I had a good view of everything going on from up on the grooming table :-)
There were lots of dogs there of all shapes and sizes - not just schnauzers. Huge ones like this wolfhound:
and this borzoi:
Spotty ones - like these dalmations:
Laughing bull terriers:
Basset hounds like Fred & Gloria:
and mini me...time for the ring!
I had to stand on a table to be examined - being a small kind of dog :-)
Well there were eleven of us in the ring and in the end the judge thought I wasn't one of the best :-( so I didn't get a rosette but my peeps were so happy with how I managed in the show ring and with all the other dogs they said I was a superstar anyway :-) We went for a tea break and saw these salukis lounging in their coats:
and then it was time to get back home. I could hardly wait to tell the others about my day:
Hurry up and pack the bags in the back!
And by the end of the day I was ready for a snooze in the sun:
Catch up with you all again soon :-)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Pictures of Otto

Since my last post some lovely photos of Otto arrived from his family. Here they are:

In the garden posing by flowers.
Snuggles with Molly
Cheeky boy!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Puppy Awareness Week


Here in the UK this week is Puppy Awareness Week. The Kennel Club is trying to let all the peeps who are looking for a puppy know where to go and how to find a happy healthy pup from a loved and cared for mother. When I had my pups Judith & Leigh did everything they could to make me comfortable and safe and helped me raise my babies in a lovely clean whelping box. You can see all about my first litter in the archive posts on this blog for March-May 2012.

This is me in the whelping box with a heated pad to keep the pups warm and a guard rail to make sure I don't roll on one (as if I would!). We were well cared for but many poor doggy mothers are not loved - they are used to have puppies to make money for peeps who don't love dogs at all. Lots of kind owners don't realise their puppy has come from a 'puppy farm' which is what they call places where pups are bred just for money.

Puppy Awareness Week is to try and explain what you should and shouldn't do when looking for a new canine family member:

1. Never buy from a pet shop - these are almost certain to be from a puppy farm
2. Always visit the place where the puppies have been born and see them with their mother.
3. Don't agree to meet somewhere else to pick up the puppy from the back of the car.
4. Make sure you understand the needs of the breed of dog you have chosen - you don't want a dog who needs a 20 mile run a day if you can't walk very far. Find out about its grooming needs, exercise, and its characteristics before you buy - all puppies look sweet but some grow up to be very big and need lots of care and attention.

There is more advice on the Kennel Club's website where there is a special page for Puppy Awareness Week:

There is lots more good advice on that website if you are looking for a puppy too. There is also a video you can watch about puppy farming and the horrific conditions the poor mother dogs and their pups suffer in such places but Leigh didn't want to make all you dog loving peeps cry when you're reading the blog. You can watch the video on the KC page if you want to see the details...but to cheer you up after that serious stuff  here are some photos of my pups sent by their new owners to show them enjoying their new life now they are growing up:

This was Smudge a few months ago wondering if he should jump in the paddling pool for his toy.

And he did!
and this is Malfi - 5 months old!
I don't have a photo of my sweet boy Otto but I hear he is enjoying life with Dusty and Molly and getting up to mischief at every opportunity!
and he looks such an innocent little boy here!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Robin Hood's Bay

On Sunday we had a special day out to meet some of the peeps that Leigh knows through a schnauzer forum on the internet. They had arranged to meet at Robin Hood's Bay which is a little village by the sea in North Yorkshire. As not all the peeps knew each other we all met in the car park first.

This is me saying hello to a sweet little mini called Maisie.
And here is her handsome 'brother' Monty!
When we set off first we were walking along country lanes with cows and sheep in the fields on either side. We had to walk carefully as there were lots of peeps on bikes riding along too.

Here I'm trying to get Leigh to hurry up and stop taking photos. Trilby was so excited to meet all the other schnauzers she couldn't stop squeaking for about half an hour! Or maybe she could smell the sea.

It got very hot while we were walking and we had to stop for refreshment on the way. Maisie has a very smart travel bowl for her water but Monty thinks bowls are for girls - he drinks it straight from the bottle:

Well after quite a way even our peeps were getting tired and then they headed for a cafe called Boggle Hole! There were benches and tables and we could all have a rest:

These 3 boys all live together in Lincolnshire - Shadow, Reuben in the front and Bruce!
But we could see the sea from the cafe so we set off for the beach this time.
I didn't want to get my paws wet but Trilby was straight into the first bit of water she saw which is why we ended up like this:
Even Crybbe had sand on his paws:
There were lots of peeps and dogs and....donkeys on the beach for little peeps to ride:
But after a good run about on the sand we were ready to go home - so one last pose for the camera:

As you can see we decided to do alternate face forward and side on poses for this one :-)

and then home for a rest - I was so-o tired after that day but it was great fun!

Trilby doing her frog pose and me - snoozing!