Tag Archive | pets

“W.A.L.K”

This week is ‘Get Walking Week’ and The Adoption Social have chosen this weeks’ #WASO theme ‘Where I walk’ to fit in with this.

Where I live, we are blessed with so many wonderful places to walk and visit. So much so that I couldn’t chose which one to write about. But, it did get me thinking about a sentence that is used daily in our house and one that is met with a mixed response from members of the household

“I think it is time we all went out for a walk”

Bumble enjoys a nice afternoon walk and recently the lucky devil managed to bag himself a weekend away with some of his mates on a walking weekend along the coastal paths in Devon, while using my parent’s caravan as a base.

follow the muddy track

The boys! Well……. Let’s be honest they are less than keen most of the time with the idea of ‘going for a walk’, despite loving being outdoors. In truth, it often comes across to Bumble and I, that both of them couldn’t think of anything worse than going for a nice family stroll and over the years, I think I have heard every excuse and moan that they could possibly come up with, before, after and during the walk, as to why they can’t or don’t want to do it. To be fair, if they have trees to climb or enough open space to race each other then they will tolerate it but if we were heading further afield or attempting a picturesque coastal path…. Oh my god it is like pulling hens teeth, and often I end up feeling frustrated and wondering if all the stress is worth it.

Myself, I have always loved going for nice long peaceful walks, especially at times when I really need to cool down or I have so much going on in my tiny brain that I just need to be alone with my thoughts (although, in all honesty, lately this has not been such a good idea – unhelpful dialogues with myself. Not to mention the looks you can get from others when you start talking yourself. Not good). Being outside and taking in the beauty that surrounds me sounds really cliché but so many time it has been my saviour. Nature doesn’t judge you. The birds are singing not screeching and shouting or saying ‘all boys do that’. The soft, firm (OK mostly muddy at the moment) ground I walk on, isn’t going to crumble and disappear from under my feet, and every tear stained step I take, it is there to hold me up and keep me company when I am feeling lost.

Now, that brings me on to our resident furry, four-legged ‘family therapist’. The one member of our household, for who is always happy to hear the words “Let’s go for a walk”. It is music to her big, brown floppy ears and is guaranteed to send our crazy girl into a manic spiral of over-excitement.

It wouldn’t take a genius to realise that I am talking about Beedog. No matter if she is wide awake or snoring her head off, snoozing on the couch. At the slightest whisper/mention or even spelling of W.A.L.K, she is up on her feet and going absolutely crackers, right up until the point you clip the lead onto her collar and open the front door, ready to head out.

Like many spaniels I have met, her manners on a lead leave a lot to be desired and god help you if you are the unfortunate person on the other end of her lead if she spots a blackbird (she has been trained by the best hunters in our village – our 2 cats). Having said this she is absolutely brilliant at walking nicely most of the time if Buzzbee is walking her.

bird brain

Luckily for us we are surrounded by beautiful fields and walks within a couple of minutes of our doorstep, so Beedog has plenty of opportunities to run freely off her lead. Usually with Buzzbee or Beeswax in hot pursuit, laughing freely and without care.

Love it or hate it, both the boys know that owning a dog comes with responsibilities and taking Beedog for regular walks is important – and not only for her health and wellbeing, but for the sake of their socks and sanity too.

And, while they would never admit it openly…….taking Beedog for a walk helps them feel calmer and gives them the space and time to recharge their emotional batteries.

keep calm

Pick a pet pet shop project

For a few weeks now, I have been thinking about writing a post about how we are getting along with home educating Buzzbee, but between creating creative ways of helping him learn, in a way which is going to boost his self-esteem and confidence, and also trying to keep up with the unending housework, attend post adoption and school meetings, be a mother/wife/daughter ………. I have not really had the chance, until this weekend, to really sit down and piece together the work he had done during his most recently completed project on ‘Pets’

I have probably written this before, but very quickly after removing Buzz from mainstream education, I learnt that Buzzbee is not the kind of child who can sit at a desk and work through workbooks or worksheets – I can get him to sit for short periods of time writing or completing maths questions, but if I want results from Buzzbee, I have to be more hands-on with his learning, and using projects to do this is providing positive results and is allowing to cover as many of the National Curriculum subjects as possible.

Working independently or reading and writing is a challenge for Buzzbee and one that he would, given half a chance, avoid, but with a compromise of mummy writing down what he wants to say and then he copies it out in his own handwriting, he really enjoyed designing and writing his own ‘Pet owners guide book’ featuring not only how to care for his favourite four-legged canine, Beedog, and our resident felines, but our neighbours’ Guinea pigs have also made a guest appearance. In the pursuit of trying to encourage his literacy skills, I am finding that I need several tricks up my sleeves, but one discovery I have made is that Buzz finds too many words on one page overwhelming and so I have one very important piece of stationary that has turned a stressful exercise into one of relative fun and therapeutic  benefit – ‘post it’ notes.  I can write a sensible amount on a sheet then stick it to the page I want him to write on and then once he is finished he simply can remove it from the page and do what he wants with it (often this means him trying to toss them into the bin and Beedog intercepting his attempts)

pet owners guide

Buzz’s projects tend to develop a pattern of their own and is always driven from whatever has popped into Buzz’s head that morning – and trust me his curious mind is never short of questions and, as I have said before, no two days are ever the same and often the original plan for the day goes out the window when something else catches Buzz’s attention. One example of this is a day that I had set out earmarking the day as a sneaky history of pets lesson, rapidly turning into a lengthy discussion and research about artists and their painting styles. By the end of the day Buzzbee had become a wacky artist and produced his own ‘Pup – Casso’ and ‘Kitty cat’ pop art canvas masterpieces.

wacky art

Another day it will be obvious from the moment Buzz has woken up that today would be a tricky day and creative thinking would be needed to make sure he felt at the end of the day that he had succeeded in one way or another – he particularly enjoyed trawling through Pinterest researching handmade pet toys and treats and then making them (sadly the dog ate all the treats before I could take a photo but it is safe to say there were no complaints from her either for the treats or her handmade crinkly toy).

pettoy

The original inspiration for Buzz’s ‘pet project’ came from his curiosity about who had pets and how they took care of their own pets. He started off creating a questionnaire and including all the burning questions he had and then with my help he bravely shared his questionnaire on my Facebook page and to his delight received more than 20 responses including the children of The boys behaviour  (Mini and Dollop) , and The puffin diaries (Stig and Tink).  When I say Buzzbee was delighted maybe a better description was that he was amazed and taken aback by the generosity of people he didn’t know, who were prepared not only to take the time to answer his questions but to send him supportive messages along with it.  For a child who is mistrustful of pretty much all adults (Yes, even his dad and I) to suddenly experience and comment on the kindness of people he has never met, is a huge step for him. I cannot describe the feelings that overwhelm you when you hear your mistrustful son saying “Why did so many grownups want to help me by answering my questions? Maybe not ALL adults are as mean as I thought and don’t think I am a naughty little boy”.

Once the responses stopped coming in, Buzzbee and I began collating the information, and putting the answers into tables, which at some point turned into windows on a house and a roof (one window for each question/answer).

petplan

This then opened the door (apologies for the unintentional pun) to expanding his project using first maths and later creative thinking and 3D design with the help of Minecraft.

Buzzbee decided that using the information he had about the different variety of pets that people have owned and how many pets were in each group, he wanted to design his own ‘pet shop’. First we agreed that he needed to work out how much space he wanted to give to each pet and then work out how much space each group of animal’s enclosure would need – he chose a scale of 10 squares for each pet. As he was designing his pet shop, Buzzbee used his research and knowledge of pets to decide where each enclosure had to be – i.e. cats not placed near the birds, or dogs near the cats.

And as a reward for all his hard work (or so he thinks) Buzzbee was given a ‘free day’ and allowed time on Minecraft to make his ‘Pick a pet. Pet shop’ complete with inventive substitutions for a handful of the pets

  • Fish were replaced by Squids
  • The Bearded dragon was replace by a Spider
  • Rabbits have been replaced by Silver fish
  • And can you guess what the Guinea pigs have been replaced with? Yes that is right they are now just Pigs

pickapetpetshop

While some who read this #WASO post will just see a post about Buzzbee’s home education journey, for me (and Bumble) this post is not so much about what he has been learning, but about his journey in gaining confidence in his ability to learn, which is something he lost whilst in main-stream education.

 

 

My best friend – Beedog

OK this  post is kind of soppy and quite cute at the same time – Oh! and also written by Buzzbee with the help of mummy.

The title of this post is a big enough clue to this weeks’ #WASO theme ‘friendships’.

This week Beedog has had her 2nd birthday and is now older than me in dog years. My cute baby girl is now a big girl. She is my best friend (well at home) and makes me feel better when I am sad and cross.

I remember the day mummy met me from school with a tiny fluffy lump cuddled up in her coat. All the children thoughts she was adorable.  She was so tiny and the best surprise EVER

babybeedog

Now she isn’t so tiny. She is a huge Cluminger spaniel (Clumber/Springer hybrid) but she is still the bestest dog in the world. Even when she is stealing my football, trying to eat my ice cream or being a cheeky girl.

biggirl

Here are some reasons why I love Beedog and she is by best friend.

  • she loves to have cuddles and play with me
  • she steals all our socks – right off our feet
  • she always walks nicely for me when she is one her lead and ‘mostly’ comes back when I call her (as long as there are no birds around she comes back)
  • she snores REALLY loud all the time when she is asleep and mostly sleeps on her back in a ‘unladylike’ way
  • she loves everyone and everything, especially if they are going to make lots of fuss of her
  • when she is excited she does a funny side wiggle – a bit like a sidewinder snake
  • AND LOTS AND LOTS MORE

mybestfriend

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

A pets point of view

Hi. Mummy is still feeling “ruff” and she has asked the cats and I for some help with this week’s #WASO post.

Beedog

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Beedog and I am the newest member of the ‘Hive’. My grumpy co-writers moved in a little while after my 2 legged best friends Buzzbee and Beeswax moved in.

Anyone who has ever met the boys knows that they absolutely love all kinds of animals and are the kindest, gentlest owners I could ever imagine to have. So, when the cats and I moved in, they have never seen us as a threat. I suppose it helped that we were babies and darn cute ones at that if I do say so myself and mummy believes it helped that we were so young and needed lots of looking after and the boys were included in every aspect of our care.

         Beedog pup              ???
Ok, so one thing the cats and I can agree on is, we are very, very much loved and the boys (and mummy & daddy of course) spoil us rotten.
I am sure CBee1 & CBee2 would agree with me but our friendship with each boy is subtly different.

With that in mind, and because I have the ‘pawprint’ on the pulse of the household. Here is how I see mine and the cats relationship with each of our 2 legged, no tailed BFFs.
Beeswax isn’t home most of the week so the time he spends with us is much shorter and although I am always excited to greet him at the door when he gets home because I have missed him. There is no question that we know he is home. Waxy is always kind to us but we really don’t like how loud and angry he will get with Mummy, Daddy and Buzzbee. We find that if we stay out of the way until he stops and then give him lots of attention by rubbing against his legs, letting him stroke our fur or pinning him down and giving him a big slobbery lick, he soon starts to feel better. Waxy is always fun and I love it when he plays with his football in the house because I get to steal it from him and the cats say that they love it when he uses his belts to tease them but Beeswax doesn’t do any of our day to day care (he doesn’t like chores), sometimes mummy lets him try to walk me but I can be quite naughty on the lead for him and I am not very good at coming back to him because he hasn’t spent very much time practising training me. I guess we have to keep practising.

Now Buzzbee, what can we say about this small little whirlwind? I love him, I love him, I love him. He is my BFF (unlike the cats who don’t want to be my friends) and the cats say his is pretty special too.  Mummy and Daddy say that it is ‘cupboard love’ with the cats and if food is involved I will love anyone too.  No seriously Buzzbee feeds us every day and not just because it is his job but because he wants to and is an expert at sneaking us treats when no-one is looking. Buzzbee is a lively little 2 legged thing and sometimes even I can’t keep up with him.  Like Waxy, Buzz can get very angry and most of the time we stay out of the way, like we would with Beeswax, but sometime what Buzzbee  really needs is for me to get up beside him, lick the tears from his face and then plonk my sloppy chops on his lap and let him play with my ears until he is giggling again.  Something the cats and I agree on is Buzzbee is always excited to see us and happy to play with us no matter if it is the middle of the day or the middle of the night (the late ones are with the naughty moggies not me).  Buzzbee is a bossy boots sometimes and has since I was very little helped mummy train me.  I am better at walking on a lead for Buzzbee although he is only allowed to walk me if an adult is with us.  Some people think I walk nicer for him because he is so dinky but as I said he is bossy and if I am doing something wrong he corrects me (it helps he uses lots of treats to make sure I do as I am told).

CBee1, CBee2 and I love the boys so you could be forgiven for thinking we are biased, but Mummy’s parents have 2 old dogs and they are usually nervous of young children but not Buzzbee and Beeswax. They go bonkers and forget that they are over the hill and want to play with the boys for as long as I do.

football time

Any pet would be honoured to have Buzzbee and Beeswax as their owners but one thing has always puzzled me. If they are so wonderful with four-legged creatures. Why do they find it so hard getting on with or spending time with the two-legged kind?

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out