Early days...

Pebbles, our new dog, has been with us for four days now. When she feels secure and safe she is the sweetest dog. Same as people, really. We've been out in the car, and this afternoon we are going to try the forest walk. Her relationship with the house cats is still - shall we say - a work in progress? Early days. OK. I am prepared for weeks of early days...

 Note that the white front paw is different. Pebbles is on the left, Winnie on the right.
Sister Dog Act

Positives, positives. Pebbles is a quick learner, has a loving nature, and she and Winnie already play well together. Phew! I can't begin to think how I'd cope if they were aggressive towards each other.

Pebbles and the cats...

In the house there is an uneasy calm with the two old cats, both of whom are fairly easy going. Buster, our young black cat, is a runner, and this unfortunately makes for a proper, exhilarating dog-chase-cat. Most inappropriate. But Buster is coping, and Pebbles is learning. Both dogs now sleep in their kennels, so the house is available overnight for the cats to relax in.

 Black as midnight cat.
Buster the Cat

Wednesday 13th September

Our first forest walk went well, so this morning we are going again, with just one other dog friend (and one other dog) for company. The dog park is too overwhelming for Pebbles at the moment. Early days, early days. And later this afternoon big brown Escher is visiting. It will be another big learning day.

Pretty blossom!

The blossom - it's so pretty! The big flowering cherry tree in the driveway lawn looks even bigger (as is will be, hmm...) and the first of the weeping cherries in the Driveway Garden is flowering. Everywhere I look there are little blue Muscari, little purple pansies, yellow daffodils (but often just a single flower from a patch of five or six). And little parachute weeds.

Mustn't ignore the reality of spring. Mustn't let the beautiful blossom fog up the senses too much. Actually, the balance between the marvellous and the maintenance is something that I enjoy as a gardener. Honestly, I do. And those little white weed flowers are so pretty...


No so good. Young Pebbles was very aggressive to Dexter, the dog friend we went walking with. My expectations have been too high too early. In the garden I've started to clean up the Hen House Gardens, while Pebbles and I have done a lot of work on 'recall'. Blimey. This is turning into a Dog Behaviour Blog! We are inside, awaiting the visit of big brown Escher and his father, who are coming to help me with Pebbles. Escher is a benign dog, but his strength of character will be tested this afternoon.

 The first flower.
Deep Pink House Camellia

Enough of this. Let me tell you what I've been doing and what I've seen in the garden. Some Pulmonaria and a Tasmanian tree daisy are both flowering - pretty blues. The Hen House Garden is now scraped clear of obvious weeds, ready for horse manure. I'd say that the soil is pretty desperate for some enrichment. The rugosas will certainly enjoy some food.

Much Later...

Pebbles had a two hour 'socialisation session' taken by Escher's father, with huge help from Escher. I learnt so much just watching them all working together. Escher was so - understanding? And I think I understand why Pebbles' problems are there and how to help resolve them. Six weeks, I give myself, six consistent, vigilant weeks. Aargh! I was pretty naive, thinking everything would fall into place with just some smoochy love and a sweet voice. Obviously, there's still a huge need for both of those...

Thursday 14th September

Pebbles stayed home in her kennel while Winnie and I went for a quick visit to the dog park. This is the way it will be for a while. Then we all did some gardening near the hen house. So far I've spread two bags of horse manure around the roses, and taken out three barrowfuls of burnable mess. The day is shining warm and sunny. And I have four more bags to spread. OK, OK. I'll do it.

 In the Hen House Gardens
Winnie and Pebbles

Now it's dusk. I suppose I've had a good day. The dogs have enjoyed themselves, with no dramas. I've lit the bonfire and added three barrowfuls of hedge trimmings. Aargh! That hedge was trimmed months ago. Do I hear myself say 'Nearly finished'? The story of my gardening life, I reckon!