I’m Not Entirely Sure How This Happened… But I Have Another Dog

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So, you may notice this has been my first post since November 2012 and there’s a reason for that – there was nothing to write. Once you get used to a dog, life just falls in to a routine and by routine, I mean the same old monotony happening over and over again.

Walks, food, grooming, walks, food, grooming… until this week.


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Helen has for the last few months been harping on about how CJ needs a companion to stop her getting bored during the day, and perhaps to do something about her separation aniexity.

Personally, I find the separation anxiety really useful as it means she never strays far when we’re out walking and if she runs off, I know she’ll coming screaming back the moment she loses sight of us.

However Helen has had her mind set and for months has been looking a pet listings for a suitable new dog. A couple of times she thought she’d found the perfect dog only to have it snatched away by another seller. Until now.

Yesterday, she excitedly showed me a listing for a six month old Old English Sheepdog. Apparently a family had to give her up due to ‘changed circumstances.’ I, being the logical person that I am, pointed out extra costs, extra work and extra stress that would go with this new addition, the majority of which would be thrust upon her.

Undeterred, Helen wrote the seller a mini-essay detailing why we’d be perfect owners for this dog as we already have a similar breed in the half Old English/half Newfoundland poodle CJ. The seller seemed to agree and came round the next day to visit Helen to see if we were the right type of people.

Later that day, I got a call. We have a new dog. Apparently the seller was suitably impressed and left the dog instantly, so as not to prolong the trauma of separation. He had even bought all the papers, food, toys and paraphernalia just in case we were. That’s efficiency.

Boom. Done. Dusted.

So something I thought would take a few weeks was resolved in 24 hours and now we have a new dog – a six-month old Old English Sheepdog puppy called Scully. I say puppy, she appears to be just as big as CJ. And she’s going to get bigger.

It’s fair to say my initial reaction was something like this.


We’ve now had Scully for three days and it’s been a baptism of fire for her. We had friends down for the weekend, and the past two days has seen her inflicted to a medieval festival, loud music, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on 5.1 surround sound and, of course, CJ.

Apparently she came from a very quiet household where she didn’t often see other dogs, so naturally there has been a lot of excitement. And by excitement, I mean for the past two days she has been weeing herself with excitement over the smallest things.

Yay. The house now smells like a men’s bathroom in a pub.

Helen however has been Johnny on the Spot with carpet cleaner, puppy pads and all that malarky, however it’s CJ that seems the most bemused by it all.

Scully is quite loud and barks at everything. In comparison, CJ just lies there throwing us the odd look of “Who the hell is this young upstart that’s barking a motorbikes and at you wearing your cycle helmet?”

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She’s also been putting Scully in her place if she a) gets near her food b) interrupts her when she’s trying to sleep and c) gets between her and myself and Helen. Clearly she’s trying to establish her dominance in the pecking order and has been doing so with some quite aggressive growling and barking.

Needless to say, I hope it all calms down soon, but the past three days have been loud…

The office seems like almost a welcome respite.

Still, she is very adorable and fluffy. Like Ambrosius in Labyrinth.

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Ear Infections, Bugs And The Cone Of Shame

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How naive I was. I thought that once CJ was shaved, we could start from scratch in terms of grooming and, after a few months, would be able to trim her ourselves with no problems whatsoever. I forsaw a hassle-free future, a chilled out dog and no need to buy a batch of chicken if grooming was required. However since CJ was shaved, Helen and I (mostly Helen) have faced a fresh heap of problems.

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CJ Gets A Close Shave: A Mat Too Far

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There are benefits of having a hairy dog. They don’t moult, they are warm on a cold evening and they can double as a pillow. However when they like to play in rivers and mud, there is an unfortunate side-effect – mats.

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How To: Removing A Tick For The First Time

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So while sitting down to watch the Jubilee Concert, we discovered CJ had a massive tick on her front leg. We assumed she must have picked it up whilst running around up on The Downs earlier, but after a quick browse on the Internet, it was clear we had to remove it.

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The Dog’s In Season! Run Away… And Protect The Carpets!

So it’s a Bank Holiday Weekend and Helen and CJ are back in the house with rather big news. CJ is officially in season. In layman’s terms, she is on her first period which means blood (potentially) everywhere. On top of that, as she is quite a furry dog, the blood is matting certain parts of her undercarriage which means that, despite CJ’s emotions being all over the place, we also have to trim, cut and groom her.

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Home… And Away

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“You’re back!”

So for the last couple of weeks, we’ve been away on holiday in the US (it was lovely, thank you for asking) and during that time we left CJ with the people that run the local puppy classes. It’s a lovely setup – CJ gets her own cabin with a sofa, bed and 24/7 Radio 2. She also has a massive garden to run and play in, complete with numerous balls and toys.
Now she’s back at home (well, not currently – more on that later) to where the garden is barely the size of a box room.

It seems that while our absence has made her grown fonder (and wider), she also appears to be needier and whinier. As I left for work the other day, she seemed determined to follow me despite being previously been used to this daily occurrence. As I left the house, I could hear her moaning in dismay while clawing at the front door. Well, I am very miss-able.

However, she has now moved again to a place where she will be no doubt be showered with attention.

Helen has got a new job outside of Bristol, so for a large portion of the week CJ and her will be staying at her mother’s in Swindon. This means CJ will be showered with adoration and treats and it means I get a dog free house.

The thing is while it is now tidier, less muddy and noticeably free of ‘dog smell’, it is quieter. Too quiet. Oh well, I’ll just have to up the volume on the surround sound.

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Shaving A Dog: Take 2 (This Time We Use Scissors)

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The last time I ‘trimmed’ the dog, it was a nightmare. It took ages, hair went everywhere and she hated me as a result. This time, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of using the noisy trimmers, I opted for the stealthy scissors. The result? A much tidier dog.

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