Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spending Time with Hoolie...

When you're a dog person as I am, dogs punctuate certain moments of your life in a similar fashion to how particular songs do. Hoolie, the black Labrador that you see in the photo to the left, will, for example, always be the dog who stayed with us throughout Mavis's funeral. He was a real comfort to have around.

Hoolie is the latest dog to have passed through Barkingham Palace as a home-boarder. Having stayed with us for eighteen nights, he's also the dog who has spent the most time with us in one stay. At the risk of reading like a sycophant, I absolutely loved having him stay. Again, similarly to the case of 'the Doodles', some dogs just take you by surprise with their charm. Hoolie is, for me, an almost perfect blend of energy and calm. He can have moments of incredible energy which makes for great walks. He certainly loved running around the fields with Ellie, and even allowed Ellie to practise her herding on him. But then, in the house, he just relaxed and you barely knew you had him. Though I did consider calling the Guinness Book of Records to see if he could take the title of world's fastest eater. I swear that it took longer for me to put the food down to the floor, than it took for him to swallow it!

It didn't take him long to learn what a soft touch I am, as he managed to join me on the sofa after just a few days. That is one area where he most certainly does differ from the Doodles. Having two JRTs on a sofa with you is nothing like having a dog the size of Hoolie on the sofa with you, let me tell you! Don't tell the Doodles, but I've had to put Hoolie in joint first place for the title of my favourite boarding dogs.

Ellie got on really quite well with Hoolie too. There were several times where she just laid her head on his chest and went to sleep. Isn't romance a wonderful thing... And then, to tell you what a charmer Hoolie really is, a day or two after he left, he sent us some flowers to thank us for the stay! Hmm, thinking about it, maybe he sent them to Ellie? Regardless, they were a lovely gift, though we do wonder what other trouble he's been getting into with his online credit-card shopping!

As Hoolie left on the Wednesday, two pugs, Bert and Ernie, joined us on Saturday (Yesterday.) They are now with us until next Saturday. They have come at a good time really. We believe Ellie was entering into a second phantom pregnancy. She was showing all the signs again. However, Bert and Ernie seem to have distracted her, which is a good thing as we want to get her spayed next month.

So far, they are proving to be good dogs. An occasional bout of energy, but they spend most of their time sleeping together. They really are very cute when you see them together....

In other news, Ellie is doing well. As mentioned already, she is on the cusp of another phantom pregnancy, but we're hoping that she will through this one as we so desperately want to get her spayed next month. Aside from that, it can't be nice for her. The discomfort in my fingers has now turned to bouts of pain as opposed to just discomfort, which is not helped, I suspect, by the cooler weather we are experiencing. I shall be very glad to get to the hospital at the end of November. There are already certain tasks that I am finding quite challenging and it is this that I want to remedy more than anything. Luckily, I can still operate my camera, but the time spent at the computer to process the photos, is just too much at the moment, due to my fingers being locked around the mouse for prolonged periods. I am shortly purchasing a brand new professional camera so that the time needed to make post-processing edits is minimised. That should help me incredibly. (Not to mention those who are waiting to see their photos, I suspect.)

My brain seems to have dried up in regards to thinking up new tricks for Ellie to learn. Maybe it's just because we've had quite some time of having Jan's mum's illness to deal with, as well as the problem of my fingers. Jan's mum is now at peace and hopefully things will start moving on my fingers after the hospital visit so that we can get back to normal at Barkingham Palace.

Finally, both Jan and I would like to thank everyone who helped us both during the illness and passing of Jan's mum, Mavis. Whether that help came by way of cards or messages of support, offers of dog-sitting, company, or anything else, it was hugely appreciated. Thank you.

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