A Training Exercise

Ishtar and Mozart

MozartIt’s a long time since I last did any writing, these days it’s so difficult to get onto the computer, I’ve asked Pam for an iPad, which I think will be easier and I can use it any time of day and anywhere. So far she hasn’t produced one for me, but I live in hope …

Anyway, I’ve been so excited by our training recently I just have to tell you all about it. We was out walking along one of our favourite tracks by the river yesterday when suddenly bearing down on us like a swarm of angry bees was a small motorbike. Of course being German Shepherd Dogs we were immediately alert and on guard, but the bike slowed down and as Pam’s always going on about us being nice and friendly to other people and animals Ishtar dashed off to the man to say hello, but he wasn’t happy to see her and started shouting at her, how rude is that?

FieldsSo she came back and Pam made a grab for her collar but missed it and at that moment the motorbike suddenly veered off the track and took off loudly across the field. WO, how exciting and what fun, we wasn’t expecting that! I wanted to go after it, but sometimes Pam has this uncanny knack of reading my mind and she already had me on a short lead so I didn’t think I’d get very far, even dragging her along with me, (she’s quite heavy these days), but Ishtar rose to the occasion and took off after him. She can move that girl, must be all the practice she gets chasing those Hairs with the big ears that bounce around the fields. I was so pleased to see Pam cheering Ishtar on, she was making a lot of noise, jumping up and down, waving her arms around and shouting herself horse (I’ve never understood that expression, but it sounds impressive). Of course I was loudly barking encouragement as well “GO GIRL GO”!!

Then I saw Ishtar overtake the motorbike and make an attempt to round it up, OH YES, YES, all the time I’ve spent teaching her hasn’t been wasted and finally it’s all coming together. Roma would have been so pleased as rounding up was her speciality, though I blame it on those nutty Border Collies, Tess and Gill, that we sometimes go out with. Then they disappeared behind some of that tall maze and Ishtar finally reappeared, looking very pleased with herself, tongue hanging out so far I thought she might trip over it and saying what good fun that was, she must do it again – you know training should always be fun, it’s the best way to learn ….

IshtarPam meanwhile was looking quite thunderous, I couldn’t understand why as Ishtar had come back, was she supposed to bring the man and the motorbike back as well? I know us German Shepherd Dogs are very clever, but that really is a bit advanced for Ishtar at the moment. Pam was muttering something about dangerous and accidents, I couldn’t catch it all, she always gets so excited when we do training exercises that I don’t pay much attention any more. Then Ishtar looked over at me and wanted to know what I’d done to upset Pam while she was away – WHAT? MOI??? – I’m devoted to Pam and I would never do anything to upset her, I think she was still really excited by our training and to see Ishtar moving so fast!

In my excitement about our training and the man on the motorbike I nearly forgot to tell you that it’s my BIRTHDAY and as of TODAY I’m 10 years old, double figures, can you believe it, still as handsome and intelligent as ever and the grey on my chin makes me look very refined. Ishtar will be 2 years old tomorrow, can’t believe that either and difficult to believe she’s been with us for so long already.

Hey ho, they say that time flies by the older you get and I never used to believe them, but I’m thinking now they may be right …

Mozart and Ishtar

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Another Birthday

Ishtar and Mozart

TODAY IS SPECIAL, IT’S MY BIRTHDAYMozart!!!  Yes, I’m 9 years old today, oh I just get more and more handsome as the years go by.  Plus tomorrow Ishtar will have her first birthday, so it’s a very special week for us and I can’t believe that Ishtar has been with us almost a year. 

RomaYou’re probably wondering why I’ve been quiet for so long, especially bearing in mind that I do have such a fine voice and I’m so good at using it.  Well, we lost Roma. She was almost 12 years old which is ancient for a German Shepherd Dog, she had lots of problems and was having trouble walking, and in the end it just got too difficult for her.  We was all very sad and I didn’t feel like battling with the computer to write anything for ages.  But now time has passed and we’re not sad any more, just happy she spent so long with us and happy that we know she’s ok now.

Ishtar is growing up and becoming quite the young lady, we have a great time together, we go for long walks with Pam and do lots of fun things and you know, she’s becoming quite pretty.  Good thing she has me, handsome and responsible German Shepherd IshtarHunk, to look after her, especially when we go out with those 2 Labradors Bruno and Rebus. Rebus has started calling her “his Ishtar”, can you believe that, just who does he think he is?  I don’t know what he’s up to and I really do need to keep my eyes on him!  I must say I’m always much happier when she goes out with her girl friends, Tess and Gill.

Generally though I’ve been impressed with the way Ishtar has been learning the important things, but disappointed that these days she often pays more attention to Pam than me, really, I ask you, who is more important?  She does do very well at shouting loudly BONJOUR ÇA VA? to all the animals we drive past in the car and she barks at the postman when he comes too close to the house, but sadly she will never be able to take over my title of Champion Barker, she just doesn’t have the drive, or quite frankly, the tone of bark needed. 

I’ve also noticed that she isn’t interested in entertaining the troops at dog training, this is extremely disappointing as even though I shout out encouragement from the car where I usually sit watching, I can see she makes no effort at all to make the class more interesting by providing some kind of entertainment.  It must be soooHaving fun at Lac Montbel boring for the dogs doing all those silly Sit, Down and Stay exercises, just waiting for  their people to get it right and with nothing to liven things up for them.

Anyway to celebrate our birthdays in advance we went to the lac a few days ago and had a brilliant time splashing around in the water, running around shaking water over everyone and seeing how far we could make the drops go ….  I LOVE IT, especially when Cooling down in the lacthe weather’s hot and sunny and it’s so cool to sit in the water.  Hector and Bertie came with us, I’ve noticed them getting a bit friendly with Ishtar, but I don’t have to worry about them, they’re far too small!

Hey ho, it’s never easy being a responsible dog with a young lady to look after …

Ishtar and Mozart Lac Montbel

A PUPPY!

MozartHello folks, bad weather here so I’m back at the computer again.  We were all so busy over the summer I didn’t get a chance to put paws to keyboard, we also had something sad happen and I didn’t much feel like writing. 

In July Calypso, our number 2 cat, went out through the cat hole and hasn’t come back yet, Pam’s very sad and says we’ll never see her again.  You know I always knew that cat hole was dangerous and should be made big enough for us dogs to go out with the cats to look after them, we are German Shepherd Dogs after all and protection is what we’re good at. But my best cat friend Jazz says this is what cats do, and they certainly don’t need a dog to look after them. Well, sorry I mentioned it, but she might not be lost now if I’d been able to go out with her. CIshtar 11 weeksan only hope she’ll be able to get home on her own one day soon.

Then a few weeks ago everything changed because Pam’s gone and done it again, except this time it’s a PUPPY! Whatever possessed her to bring a puppy into the house to live with us??? Me an Roma were quite shocked to begin with, but not as shocked as the cats who are still very upset and say she’s invaded their house, anyone would think the house belonged to them ……

Of course she’s a German Shepherd Dog, what other breed is there? Though she’s a short coat, not like me an Roma with our lovely long coats.  She won’t be as warm as us in the winter but I suppose it won’t get all tangled up and uncomfortable like mine does, especially Ishtar 13 weeksthis time of year.

She’s called Ishtar after the goddess of love and war from Babylon. As you know I’m a very well travelled dog but I’ve never been to Babylon and don’t even know where it is, so it can’t be a very important place.  I originally thought Ishtar’s not a very musical name either, but apparently Ishtar is an opera character, just like Figaro, and there is even a pop singer called Ishtar – so I suppose it is a musical name of sorts after all. Of course it’s nothing as refined and important as Mozart, but then who could be as important and refined as me!

Well, none of us was very happy at first to have this little thing with sharp teeth thrust into our lives, but actually I’ve discovered that even though she can be a bit silly she’s ok and quite fun to play with, although I’m worried I might go bald in places as she keeps on grabbing my lovely thick coat and coming away with mouthfuls of it – OUCH!Mozart and Ishtar on the steps

I’ve decided I can pass over to her all the knowledge and experience that I’ve gathered over the years, such as how to be a champion barker, how to be very friendly and say hello to everyone we meet, even if they run away and it means chasing after them and other important things, like how to entertain all the dogs at dog training and making as much noise as possible when the postman comes to frighten him away.

So I’m working very hard at teaching her all these things.  Pam says she learns very quickly but I’m sorry to say that’s not my experience and at the moment I’m beginning to doubt she will ever be able to take over my title of champion barker or be able to do the job with the postman, she’s just not noisy enough and doesn’t seem to have the drive to bark a lot.

Hey ho, she’s still young and there’s plenty of time to teach her ……

Mozart and Ishtar
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Happy Birthday Roma

Mozart

It’s Roma’s birthday today and so this is just to wish her a Happy Birthday. 

I probably shouldn’t say this, but she’s 11 years old today, although she doesn’t look it, only when you talk to her and have to shout because she’s gone quite deaf over the past year.  Of course that’s not a problem for me as I have a very good voice and she says she has no trouble hearing me!  Nobody has trouble hearing me!!  

You know Roma’s still very pretty and even though I wasn’t around then I can see how gorgeous she was when she was younger as well, so I’ve put together a slideshow of some lovely pictures of her, and one especially for a pal of mine in South Africa (you know who you are!).

Roma’s my very best dog and girl friend and I love her very much, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROMA!

Electronic Cats

Aria

Mozart HeaderOur cats have gone electronic!!!  Yep all of ‘em and what a lot of fuss and bother it’s been over the last few weeks. 

It all started with the cats complaining about another cat coming into the house, and they were getting cross with me an Roma for not doing anything.  WELL, as you know we are very special German Shepherd Dogs and I certainly keep a good watch on the house and don’t allow anything bad in, so I wasn’t happy when they kept telling me off (just who do they think they are?). 

They also complained about the smell, well of course I’d smelt it, most unpleasant, cat pee has never been one of my favourite fragrances, butP1050204 quite frankly, I wonder if it’s got anything to do with Figaro when he tries to go through the cat hole.  These days we call him Figaro the Great, or Fat Fig because all he does is eat and sleep, he’s getting very fat and that cat hole is a real tight fit for him to squeeze through.

Anyway, then Pam started agreeing with the cats and said me an Roma must sleep near the cat hole at night to make sure the other cat doesn’t come in.  WOT OTHER CAT? I have perfectly good eyesight and I’ve never seen it!  So we did as requested because we’re always very obedient but we never saw nothing.  In the morning the cats were very upset saying this fictitious black cat, note that it’s black now, was in the kitchen eating their food during the night and we was asleep, it walked right past my nose.  What rubbish, I can assure you NOTHING came in past my nose, German Shepherd Dogs don’t sleep on the job!!!

JazzYou know, when Pam brings in one of them new kittens the cats all go berserk with the hissin an spittin, but when this fictitious cat comes in they just let it come with no fuss, am I supposed to believe that????

Anyway, Pam, who’s normally quite sensible, has been getting as worked up as the cats, but she’s calmed down now the cats have gone all electronic and have the new hole that works with their puce electronique.  For those of you who can’t speak French that’s an electronic flea which is French for microchip.  I’ve no idea how it works, except that it will apparently keep out this fictitious cat and everybody is now very happy.

I was feeling very relieved that it’s all sorted and pleased that I’m not electronic, but then Roma said us dogs have a puce as well and so we’re electronic too, we had to have it to get here from Africa.  It was quite a shock to hear that and I don’t know whether to believe it. I don’t think usCalypso German Shepherd Dogs could possibly have a microchip, we’re too big, it would have to be a macrochip and I don’t know if they make those and anyway, we’re not allowed to have a hole in the door and the cat hole is too small for us, so why would we need one?

It’s a good job I’m such a sensible and clever dog and don’t feel the stress, it’s not easy being a responsible German Shepherd Dog guarding against fictitious cats.  Hey ho, c’est la vie!

Mozart

Bird Food

Mozart and Bertie

Mozart HeaderWe had a fantastic walk with our pals The Tibetan Two the other day, we all went to the Lac where we had a good splash around in the water,  it was a bit cold so didn’t stay in long but there was lots of lovely mud an we all had a great time.

Then Pam an Hazel went off for lunch and left me an Roma with Hector an Bertie in their kitchen.  Bertie was feeling bored and said they had a new cupboard in the corner and he wanted to open it but couldn’t work out how.  Well, I’m a very handsome and intelligent beast, so I strolled over to the cupboard to have a go, no problem of course, it opened first time, easy for a beast with a lovely long nose like myself and so we all stuck our noses in for a goodFat Balls look.

There at the bottom were some funny coloured balls, my nose spied them straightaway and they were quite mouth watering.  We pulled out the packet to get a better look at them and I decided to try one to see what it tasted like.  They had a funny green mesh covering them, but it didn’t spoil the taste and I wolfed down the whole lot, funny things, full of seeds, but very tasty all the same.  Bertie was also trying to eat one but even though he’s a very large Lhasa Apso he just doesn’t have a big mouth, or rather he does have a big mouth, he talks a lot of rubbish, but he can’t take big bites, so he was struggling to keep up with me.  Roma and Hector decided to join in and we all agreed it was really thoughtful of Hazel to leave such tasty treats for us to eat while they were off having a nice lunch.  After I’d eaten a couple I did get a bit thirsty, but what a fun way to spend thefat balls time, and we made sure we didn’t leave any mess afterwards.

When Pam an Hazel got back they immediately spotted the plastic wrapper that no-one had been able to eat and Hazel called out to Pam that we’d eaten 6 fat balls for the birds.  Is that what they were?  They give that wonderful tasting stuff to the BIRDS?  We just looked at each other, what a waste!!!  Bertie said he was going to learn how to climb the tree outside to get at them in the wild and was thinking about ways to charm the cat next door into teaching him.

Me an Roma both felt a bit funny in the night after eating all those balls. We’re not used to eating at lunchtime, but it wasn’t too bad, and we’re sure they’re not the reason Roma had to visit the vet because she had a really bad stomach a few days later, it must have been something else.

I’ve asked Pam if I can have a Twitter account, I reckon I could do quite well at tweeting now, but she gave me a filthy look and said NO!  Very disappointing, I thought I would be good at it and it would make me even more famous!  In fact Pam has been getting very upset about us eating the food for the birds, going on and on about the mess in the kitchen in the morning and saying that she’ll never be able to eat seed cake again, I don’t understand that, she never usually has any trouble eating cake!  

I do hope there’s another gourmet treat for us to eat next time we come back from the Lac.

Lac Montbel

Back Again!

The View on one of our walks

Mozart HeaderI’ve lost count of the weeks since I last put paws to keyboard and many of my friends have been asking what’s happened and if I’m alright.  Well, actually, I’ve not been very well, I got injured, just like a famous sports star, and hurt my right front leg.  You might not know, but I’m right-pawed and not very ambivalent, such a long word and now Roma’s interfering saying I’ve got it wrong, it should be ambi-something else, who’s writing this I ask?  But I’m sure you know what I mean.

With my hurt leg I had enough trouble getting onto the typing chair and once I got there it was almost impossible to type because my leg was so stiff.  Anyway, I’m pleased to announce that the leg is now much better so I can get writing again, when I get the chance, Pam’s been so busy on the computer just lately I can hardly get my paw in!The Track

You know, even strong, handsome beasts like myself can have accidents and get injured, it happened when my nose spied the most delicious scent coming from the field next to where we were walking.  So naturally, gorgeous, full-blooded male that I am, I casually sauntered over to see what it was all about.  A mind boggling smell, but disappointing in that it was nothing I could use for my range of scents.  I was coming up out of the ditch, which was quite deep, and took a leap up over some brambles, but they grabbed me and caught me up in them and somehow I ended up beside the track on my chin with my legs scrunched underneath me.  Not a very good position for such a Mozarthandsome beast and those brambles were quite vicious, I think they did it deliberately!  And do you know, I thought I could hear them laughing at me!

Pam came and untangled me, she’s very good at doing that, but I couldn’t walk on the leg, it was really stiff and hurt, so Pam had to cut the walk short and we all went back home.  Roma was very cross and told me I shouldn’t have been in the ditch in the first place, and then we would all have had a good walk just like usual.  She’s a girl, what does she understand ….. and you would think she would have some sympathy, my leg was so stiff I could hardly move it.

Apparently I’ve got something called arthritis in my neck and shoulders, I don’t know what it is but it must be quite unusual and special and I know for a fact that Bertie doesn’t have it, (ha! it must be something good then!).  Pam says it was making my leg even more stiff, butThe View I don’t really believe that, I blame those brambles.

Luckily everything’s alright now and we’re going for normal walks in all the usual lovely places.  Tomorrow we’re meeting up with our pals The Tibetan Two, Hector and Bertie, and going out with them, maybe we’ll go to the Lac….. I do hope so ……….

Hey ho, it’s not always easy being a dog with 4 legs to look after, but the walks are great, just have to watch out for those brambles!

Roma and Me