Doggy News and other bits

Doggy News and other bits

Well - he did it. Berry passed his Grade one Gundog Test yesterday with a merit pass. His sit and stay was absolutely spot on - he sat like the proverbial statue as I walked away from him and never moved until the examiner told me to call him. His walking to heel was brilliant (apart from the lovely smells in the grass!). His retrieve was better than I thought it would be (been having nightmares about it).

Whilst we waited for the results, we watched the Grade 3 dogs going through their tests. Their retrieves to the gun and whistle the length of 2 fields were absolutely brilliant. So obedient to all commands even just hand signals.

Berry will be that good one of these days. He starts the Grade 2 in about 3/4 weeks time which will involve a lot of responding to whistles and the start of using hand signals. Come the autumn we may be allowed to take him on a shoot to see how he manages (permission of the gamekeepers required before seeing if he will retrieve game).

Did all this with a massive flare up in my left hand and wrist. Could hardly move my thumb, first and second fingers and for anyone to touch it, I nearly hit the roof. It has been coming on for a couple of weeks with the thumb joints very painful but it really let me know about it yesterday. Last night, had a bad night as it was so painful and I couldn't seem to get any relief no matter where I rested my hand. I used cold packs and heat and today have taken two lots of paracetemol (have run out of Nurofen) which helped. I even managed to wash and colour my hair this morning when the hand had eased up a bit.

Private visit to Sandringham House last Friday by kind permission of HM, followed by drinks. It has all been moved about since I was last there and some different wallpaper in the small drawing room (used to be Queen Alexandra's morning room - very cosy). The wallpaper is silk and really pretty and made locally. Dining Room was set with crystal with the royal cipher on it, and Meissen, Copeland and Sevres china everywhere some of it too fragile to use and is kept on shelves behind. The table has 9 leaves and can seat 22/24 people. Views across the gardens down to the lakes spectacular and the paths lined with bluebells and other wild flowers.

Weather has been pretty miserable here - with torrential rain, local flooding etc. Barely seen the sun at all. Went to lunch with my best friend on Thursday and bought two hanging baskets filled with violas for the front of the house. Garden is looking good - just got to get the fountain working again. Berry chewed off the top! So need a new pump. Now have another skip as we are clearing out the shed and the greenhouse. Painter coming tomorrow to start on the kitchen.

House cleaners been in and have done a good job. Coming back next week as still have to do the sitting room and conservatory, Because we were going out on Friday, they ran out of time.

Carpet cleaner came on Wednesday and the carpets and upholstery all cleaned. We put the chair covers (freshly washed) back on the armchairs but have left the sofa as it is as it came up so well. Himself has now lost the remote for freesat box! He had it on Thursday evening and it has not been seen since. I expect he put it down somewhere and now can't remember. So we are left with just Freeview as cancelled Sky some months ago.

Will stop now as hand is hurting. Lovely to hear Julie 55 is back in touch and Tricia-P. Love to everyone. LavendarLady x

14 Replies

LL, it is so nice to hear from you again,despite the problem with your hand and being busy get berry ready for his test. I'm pleased that he got through it as well.

Do you i've grown round cambs and norfolk and i've never been into sandringham house,been round the grounds though. I bet you thought you were royalty being there.

We have been in the garden setting beans,courgettes,runners,cucmbers and marrows so they get a good start up here before we take take them down to the allotment. I am getting very frustrated as i can't do much out there as my knee is giving me a bit of stick,to put it politely.

Thats a good idea having people coming in to clean your carpets and seats every now and then. I might give that some thought.

Take care love sylvi.xx


Hi Dotty.. Love to hear about your doings, comings and goings. Berry, bless him, I bet you are proud. We have a scruffy Jack Russell Shih tzu cross belonging to number one son and he is left to run wild. Makes me mad, because he is so intelligent and no-one is bothering with him. If I had the time and energy I would train him... will see what I can do when I get back off hols.


Yes it's great to read about Berry doing so well LL! I admit we took Fred to dog training class but couldn't hack it and quit after about 6 months - I think he was too young and the hall was so freezing and the woman so bossy and overwhelming that I couldn't cope with the pressure of the impending test so I wriggled out. I have to hide when I see her now though - what a wimp I am?!

I have a bit of the same as you in my feet. It's not as bad as what you describe but in the night my left foot becomes very painful - especially the big toe and I can't wiggle my toes at all when it's like this. But by morning it's usually okay and doesn't hurt when I walk on it so not really complaining - but it's as if the RA has wandered off and abandoned my hands in favour of my feet?! TT x


That Berry is clever dog x,, great to hear from you x


It so satisfying to get a dog behaving itself properly isn't it? You must feel pleased that the work has paid off and he did you proud But sorry to hear that you were in pain as that must have been hard. I'm hugely looking forward to being able to get a dog again later this year, as the house isn't the same without one. But with cows and horses next door, chickens wandering around and a forest full of game 50 yards away i'm not sure even the best behaved gun dog would resist temptation so we may have to get something less inclined to follow its nose! Hope the flare dies down quickly. Pollyx


Hi Polly - any type of dog can cause problems around livestock - but I think you are better with a gun dog who is trained to obey and not dash off after anything it spots. The chickens could be a temptation I agree (see my note below about the duck!) but if the dog is kept on a lead, walked past the chickens and told very firmly "No" and keep reinforcing that, it should be ok. I never let a dog off the lead around livestock anyway no matter how well trained, as a farmer is entitled to shoot a dog which is sheep or cattle worrying. LL x


Well done that dog! My springers respond to whistle and hand signal commands most of the time - but are greatly tempted by the chance to chase rabbits, if one is foolish enough to dash into their sightline!

Sorry to hear about your flaring hands - I've been ready to allow amputation of my thumbs recently as they've been so acutely painful:-(

Cece x


Hi Cece, just before his test, hubby took Berry for a long walk off the lead to get rid of some of his energy. He spotted a duck, chased it across 2 fields and eventually came back to a whistle. The duck wasn't daft - it kept about 2 yards ahead of him flying just above the ground so he couldn't catch it. He really can move when he wants to. He shot out of the side gate the other day which had been left open but returned to my whistle at the speed of an exocet missile! He's such a good dog and I love him to bits. LL x


Hello. I am newly diagnosed by my GP and I am afraid I am still a bit shocked about it all. I am a puppy walker for Guide Dogs and was thinking I will have to give it us as the training is intense for 14 months. I am not due to get a new puppy until Jan do you think the medicines they give you help a lot?

My problem is my hands and right wrist and the constant flu feeling.

Fi :D


Hi Rockpool, sorry to hear you have joined the RA Club - I better you would have preferred not to but we are all in the same boat. The initial diagnosis does knock you for six. I know it did with me 4 years ago. I still resent it as well! The meds we are on do help a lot. I couldn't manage without the methotrexate and the anti tnf which keep me going apart from the odd flare up. I train with Berry every week and Hubby takes him for long walks as I can't manage that. I have to be careful on uneven ground in fields that I don't trip and fall but otherwise I can manage the training which is non stop for an hour or more. The trainer knows my situation so allows me to have a few minutes break whilst the other dogs go through their paces which helps.

Have a word with Guide Dogs and let them know the problems - it may be you will need to take a break from training if it is that intensive but wait and see how you feel over the next few months on your meds.

Don't forget pain killers and anti inflammatories either - they are a good standby if the joints suddenly start up and get irritable as well as ice packs or heat packs whichever suits you.

Good luck with it all. We are all here on the site for support when needed or just a chat. LavendarLady x


Thank you so much for your support and kind words. I will take your advice and ask Guide Dogs about the training as commitment to another 14 months with a puppy is a lot to take on. I am very apprehensive about what happens and feel really sad about it all. I have a Go Walkies for Guide Dogs on Sunday so fingers crossed it will go well. Thank you again x


Don't be in too much of a hurry to quit the puppy walking as things should get a whole lot better if you're only just diagnosed. I could hardly walk by the time I started the drugs, and really thought "normal" life was over. It took a while but I now look after a puppy with no problem. January is a long way away and you should be feeling very different by then! Polly


Helixhelix thank you. Are you a puppy walker?

We are having a break anyway as I have walked 3 in a row and it will be nice to not to the intensive training. I think it is just because I am feeling low at the moment. Thank you x


No I just look after a friends puppy - a Bernese mountain dog so huge even tho' still only 4 months. I find that she suits me fine, and makes me get out and walk!


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