HARLEY HEELERS




What do you think of these two gorgeous gals? I'm still fond of Mini my Finnish filly but Poppy and Penny look like girls who enjoy a bit of turbo-charged excitement.





(Photos by Pete and Jan Jones www.lancashire-heeler.co.uk)

FINNISH FUN


At last, a girl after my own heart, one who obviously adores collars as much as I do. Her name is Mini and she is from Finland. Her owner Anna Ritta got lots of mosquito bites making it for her but I certainly think it was worth it. Do you think I could tempt her over to look at my collar collection?

A "PATCH" OF GARDEN

Here I am helping to weed the garden in preparation for an open day. We are supporting Patch (a very fetching little lady) and her owner Sophie who are walking to Lands End from John O'Groats.
They are raising money for The Dogs Trust.
Follow their progress on Patch's blog.

Below is a Virtual Tour of the garden (in case you couldn't visit). Shame, I hear you saying, that I or Silver had to sneak into each picture.







That's all, folks!

RECIPE FOR DISASTER

My twitter followers will know that she came home from helping out the other day at Collarways with a massive tuggy toy BUT IT WASN'T FOR ME.  Apparently it's because Silver (GSD) loves to play after we've been fed.  But that is just when she's trying to cook their supper so she thinks she can do two things at once by stirring sauces on the Aga whilst dangling the toy over one arm.

I think it's a recipe for disaster. It seems to me that either Silver's going to get tugged head first into the simmering oven, or she's going to go flying across the kitchen, spoon in hand. My bet's on Silver winning the tug-of-war.  As you can see, I'm keeping well out of it, though I am carefully positioned to take advantage of any spills.

BOWING OUT OF AGILITY

It seems that I have been retired from agility - shame that really as, unbeknown to her, I was thinking about making a bit more of an effort as I am actually quite fond of her and she obviously enjoyed it. Anyway, it turns out that, now I've been diagnosed with Primary Lens Luxation (PPL), it's perhaps not that sensible for me to do anything which might raise the pressure in my eyes.












Here we are about to set off on our last ever agility round a couple of weeks ago (we were placed 8th).













And this was last winter - do you like my bottom?
(Photo by David King www.dk-capture.com)













I still enjoy a bit of Agility Lite at home AND I'm better than Silver (GSD) especially on the see-saw though she did manage to show off one day by jumping over Diamond (pot-bellied pig) who was grazing in the middle of the course.  Well it is easy to mistake Diamond for part of the tunnel - black and rotund!

RUB A DUB DUB

I did say I was going to introduce you to my other (very) big sister, Diamond the Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pig, but I think she's going to be quite cross that I'm showing you a picture of her having a shower and I may well have to keep out of her way for the next few days.  

I will tell you all about her another time but I couldn't resist using this photo to tell you about the Pooch Pampering Day this Saturday (18th April) at Collarways - you didn't think you'd get to see ME in the bath, did you?  Anyway, I hardly need more than a quick brush but I do hope to see lots of you there at the Collarways shop smelling delicious and flashing newly manicured nails.

Perhaps I'd better take a bottle of Shimmering Mist back for Diamond as an appeasement present - she could certainly do with "a little bit of bling" and, even better, it "repels dirt and dust".

PALS

Thought you might like to hear about my big sister, Silver. She's a German Shepherd and is three years older than me.

It was quite tricky at first getting her to play gently with me as her paws were nearly as big as me.

She's also a bit of a gullumphing lass and apparently she should have been called Joyce (after Joyce Grenfell) as she's got that jolly-hockey-sticks, clumsy, big-boned way of moving around.

However, if we have a tuggy or a toy such as the Vibram Ball on a Rope to share then she's very patient with me and even lets me pull her along - yes she does.

I'll tell you about my other (very) big sister, Diamond the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, another time - bet you can't wait.

KEEP FIT VIDEO

After all the talk about healthy eating (see 'Working Weekend' 4th March and 'Lack of Treats' 12th March) she's now muttering about an exercise regime, though thankfully I think it's for her rather than me as I am, of course, at the peak of fitness. 

And to prove it, you only have to look at this video of me jumping over my friend Shadow. I can tell you that after all that leaping I was jolly glad to have a lie down on my Eco Nap.
video


LACK OF TREATS

Honestly, that was a bit of a swizz on Saturday at the 'Natural Feeding Open Day' (see 'Working Weekend 4th March). I got short-changed again at breakfast and it wasn't even an agility day (see Snakes and Ladders 21st Feb). She said it was because no doubt I was going to be scoffing lots of samples later on and she didn't want me losing my trim figure. She, on the other hand, had her usual bowl of porridge and honey and then still tucked into the chocolate digestives during the break - 's not fair.

Anyway, Rebecca the lovely lady representative from Natures Menu, took pity on me and sneaked me quite a few of their banquet nuggets and then also presented me with a packet of beef treats for being such a good boy. I was just about to make sure that they really were '95% pure meat' when the packet was whipped away, "Oh, thank you SO much, Turbo will really enjoy earning those at his next agility class." Excuse me, I thought I'd already earned them by posing for the paparazzi sent along by the local paper and doing endless bows and begs to amuse everybody.

Still, at least I didn't have to wear a coat though it did take us absolutely ages to leave as she couldn't decide which collar or harness I should have on - the utility room at home resembles a tack room what with mine and Silver's accoutrements collection. In the end she settled on the Moo Cow Step-in Harness as it didn't clash with what she was wearing and she seemed to think that people would make the connection between cows and the fact that I'm a cattle dog - pathetic.


WORKING WEEKEND

Hmmm, I've just been told that I'm to earn my keep this Saturday at the 'Natural Feeding' Open Day. I'm going to have to stand around in the Collarways' showroom looking a right twerp, sorry, "a picture of vitality and good health", whilst she goes on about how she's a BARFer and that I'm only fed as "nature intended" on raw bones and food.

Then I expect I'm going to have to prance around showing off my muscular physique whilst she tells anybody who'll listen that right from a puppy I had to gnaw and chew my way through raw venison backs, lamb and chicken bones and even bison ribs which is what has given me my rippling muscles and gleaming tartar-free teeth. She's even got this embarrassing video clip of me as a pup tackling a bit of venison which I bet she adds to this post (done). She also tends to go on and on about how wonderful she thinks the Nature's Menu range of raw minced vegetables and meat is for supplementing the raw bones - it's the closest I ever get to a fast food feast.

video

Anyway it might not be so bad if enough of you fans turn up to see me and I get lots of pats, and you sneak me some of the Nature's Menu samples which are really meant for the visitors. I'm also going to be modelling my favourite collars and harnesses (10% off everything on the day). So that you don't miss me, you'd better check out the 'Open Days' section of the Collarways site at http://tinyurl/collarways for times and special offers. Look forward to giving you a lick.


FLIRTING IN THE NEW FOREST




Well, I REALLY enjoyed the Turbo Tour walk last Sunday (see my profile if you don't know about Turbo Tours). Whilst all the humans were twittering on about how gorgeous the New Forest was looking and what simply splendid weather it was for a long walk, I'd spotted /whiffed that young Millie the gorgeous Golden Retriever might well be susceptible to a little bit of male attention. "Oh no, she can't be in season," her owner kept on saying to everybody who commented that Millie seemed to be flirting quite a lot but I suspected otherwise. Unfortunately so did Charlie the black lab and Wilson the Weimaraner even though we've all been "done". However with a bit of ducking and weaving I soon assumed pole position trotting along after Millie as she led us all a merry dance. All harmless fun and I did manage one sneaky sniff (above), well at least that's one advantage of short legs .

I did used to have quite a thing for Sophie the Dobermann and I must say that she was looking particularly fetching in her new pink harness on Sunday (right) but for some reason she seems to have run out of that wonderful perfume she used to wear occasionally.

I've got a feeling it's something to do with that nasty antiseptic smell she was covered in a couple of years ago. Millie's owner was being given lots of advice by all the humans so I suspect that that's the last time she's going to be such fun to walk alongside.


SNAKES AND LADDERS

Well, I've just been given a smaller than usual breakfast (1/3 of a raw chicken wing instead of a whole half) which means it must be Agility Class this afternoon. She seems to think that if I'm slightly peckish I might try harder - as if I'm THAT desperate for a miniscule piece of dried liver! 

Now, unlike all those irritatingly keen Collies, us Heelers have a slightly more nonchalant attitude to negotiating an agility course so, actually, I'm not particularly excited at the prospect of toddling in and out of poles, scrambling up A-frames and rushing (sort of) down a line of jumps.  The tunnels aren't too bad as there's always the opportunity for a quick rest in the middle.  It's quite amusing peeking out to see where she's got to on the course before she realises I'm not with her.

Last week she had to really concentrate as Amy (our jolly teacher) had them all working out where the hidden 'snakes' were in the course. And we had to do some strange exercise involving stepping along a ladder laid on the ground. It was supposed to teach us to pick up our paws and develop 'rear leg awareness'. Well that was fine for Rufus as Tollers have fine elegant legs but for me it was like having to do a dozen mini jumps in short succession. I pity the miniature Dachshund in the next class...

Just spotted her rummaging in the freezer so, with any luck, she's getting out a bag of yummy turkey leftovers so perhaps I might deign to kick in the turbo-charger occasionally this afternoon. 

WIND TUNNEL TEST


Looking back on my last post (Coat Testing 18th Feb), I don't just have to stand around in icy puddles you know, I also have to run as fast as my little legs can go just to prove that the harness won't come off. Honestly, it was really hard work and all I got was a measly piece of cheese though it was a piece of local Dorset Blue Vinney.
Photograph by David King who brings his Weimaraner, Wilson, on my Turbo Tours (www.dk-capture.com)

COAT TESTING

Right, let's get to grips with this blogging lark. I'm going to assume right from the beginning that anybody reading this is going to be fantastically interested in absolutely everything I get up to which, being a Lancashire Heeler, can involve such diverse activities as sofa-testing to rat-hunting to "heeling" my owner's Vietnamese pot-bellied pig away from the Aga. At the moment I'm looking forward to this Sunday and our monthly social dog walk in the New Forest which my owner kindly organises for not just me, but also my big sister Silver (a German Shepherd) and about a dozen of our 4-legged friends. These walks are, of course, known as 'Turbo Tours' and the only downside can be when I have to mix work with pleasure by testing out coats for Collarways.

You see that really fancy stretchy red number I'm modelling in the posh shot at the top of this blog? Well, I had to wear that same coat first of all back in
November on a Turbo Tour just so that it could be checked out for ease of movement and washability (I, of course, only had to do the movement bit). Actually, don't tell anybody but I was quite glad I'd got it on after negotiating that freezing puddle. Not long afterwards I found a great bit of pony poo to roll in but it all came out in the wash - shame.