Posts tagged ‘Torrington’

Finley – Belatarr Art Tatum

We’re extremely lucky to have the very handsome Finley living approx. 2 miles from us here at Belatarr HQ.  This means that, right from the get-go, we’ve been able to see lots of him. He and his brother Django (along with their parents) have enjoyed many romps together as well as both having been obedience trained by Tracey and her team over at Puppy Gurus, just like their parents before them:

Finley arrives home.

...and re-arranges his furniture.

Settled into his new bed.

Christmas!

It's a tiring life...Finley takes to the new sofa - the one that he wasn't going to be allowed onto 🙂

Another favourite snoozing spot.

Growing up.

Finley, now 5 months old, takes a seat at the kitchen table.

Who can resist!

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19/04/2012 at 17:05 Leave a comment

Crufts + Puppy Progress.

Time for another long overdue update…

First up, last weekend saw our very first trip to Crufts! We’ve never previously attended as spectators, let alone exhibitors, so it was with much excitement and some trepidation that we ventured with Phoenix to the show-of-shows to take our place in the big ring alongside 74 other HWV’s.

Phoenix stacked for judging at Crufts.

In the end Crufts proved to be pretty much like any other Champ Show (albeit with adjoining vast arenas stuffed full of every conceivable canine related product and thronging with punters.) The actual dog show element of Crufts seemed to pass by most of the general public, which resulted in lots of space and a remarkably relaxed atmosphere.

Phoenix was in Special Junior Bitch class and despite our concerns about her slightly jumpy, hormonal, post-season demeanour (which has seen her pull away from the last few judges who examined her rear end) she stood beautifully. Sadly her movement was not so hot (blame operator error…) and we were awarded 2nd Place, which does mean, though, that she’s automatically qualified for Crufts 2011.

Unfortunately our in-house photographer failed to produce much that was usable to document the day.

Mingus - 16 weeks Head Shot.

Meanwhile, back at HQ, young Mingus has come on in leaps and bounds – often quite literally so. Advice from Tracey at Puppy Gurus saw us relocating his cage to be right beside Phoenix overnight and an immediate good-nights-sleep for all was the result. In fact he’s never failed to sleep right through the night ever since – yippee!

At the grand-old-age of 16 weeks Mingus has now perfected all his Puppy Gurus obedience training moves and will be tested this coming week. He’s also picked up all the basics of ringcraft incredibly well and just loves being taken along for training where he struts his stuff with the big dogs – leading one very experienced Champ show judge to comment this week that Mingus was: “Just amazingly good!” He has proven to be vastly easier and quicker to train than Phoenix, although a large part of that must surely be down to us knowing roughly what we’re doing this time around!

Mingus - Called to attention on the common.

Mingus’ utterly delightful, affectionate, calm and polite nature never fails to charm everyone who he meets. Today on a socialisation trip around Torrington Common he hooked up with a wide assortment of walkers and their dogs, from Labs to Cockapoos to Spaniels to Scotties, all with great waggy success.

As was the case with Phoenix’ puppyhood we’re also now back in the land of “he’s got big paws – he’s going to be a big dog,” together with the usual (sometimes rather surreal) attempts at playing Guess The Breed – today’s examples being:
1) Labrador

2) That Dog With The Ridgeback (that would a Ridgeback Madam)

3) Newfoundland (see below)??!!

err....Mingus? (apparently!)

21/03/2010 at 19:39 Leave a comment

Sling Shots.

Riding in the sling on the Tarka Trail.

Mingus reached the grand old age of 9 weeks yesterday, and has been with us for 1 of those weeks, so it seems like a good time for an update. He’s settled in incredibly quickly and remarkably easily, is very eager to learn and be trained – again, the miracle of clicker/treat training works every time, in every situation – and he and Phoenix are now inseparable…

What's that about letting sleeping dogs lie?

More sofa action.

He’s almost toilet trained, and today, for the first time, he trotted to the front door to ask to be taken to the toilet – where he gets a click and training treat. After some “howl” issues on nights 2 and 3, he’s  slept well for the last 4 nights in a row, and, with two night time trips out to the toilet area, he doesn’t wake ’til after 7:00AM, which is fine with us!

Sling ride.

Mindful of that vital 8 weeks to 12 weeks socialization window we’ve been taking Mingus out and about as much as possible so he can get used to all the wonders of his world. Because he’s not fully vaccinated for another 3 weeks he travels in the same baby sling that we used for Phoenix, which works fine for a while, but he’s already getting increasingly frustrated that he can’t zoom around like his big sister, and after 20 mins or so starts to get very wriggly.

Taking in the world.

"But Dad, I wanna get down and run around!"

Ultra-confident, so far he’s been unfazed  by all manner of people, dogs, prams, cycles etc. etc. and travels without any concern in the cars, but was a little spooked by the traffic when we went out and about in Torrington town yesterday, so that seems like the one area to focus on.

Curiouser and curiouser.

24/01/2010 at 13:01 3 comments

Out for Tea.

We took Phoenix to meet our friend Robie, she’s not a big dog fan, but seemed to like our large eared lady. Of course Phoenix did slightly let the side down by chewing on Robie’s rugs – but I guess we should have taken a stuffed kong to distract. I don’t think we’ve been banned, but it took a good deal of playing the cute puppy card to get away with it. It also helped that one of us faked a heart murmur to take the heat off of her.  Oh, and there were flapjacks and a trip to the Common too,  but nothing exciting happened.

01/02/2009 at 01:47 Leave a comment

Emancipation Proclamation.

Heeling on the Common

Heeling on the Common

Phoenix is eleven weeks old today. It’s quite hard to get your head around the fact she’s only been on the earth for less than three months. It feels like she’s been with us forever (in a good way – well,  mostly!).

Perhaps even more importantly,  Phoenix is now allowed on the ground and can socialise with other dogs. Something that both we and she were desperately keen to get started with in order to desensitise her to other dogs, and learn that not every dog is an exciting puppy-like playmate (although some still will be, which is always a bonus in life).

With this in mind,  after following the usual morning routine of clicker training and heel walking at home, we headed out for Torrington Common to see what canine introductions we could rustle up for the little’un.

To begin with, Phoenix was excited but “contained” and walked very closely with us without too much prompting.  She met an extremely playful Malamute with whom she had a great romp for five minutes or so.  Next up was a grumpy collie who also taught her a crucial lesson about canine etiquette (i.e. not all dogs are puppies and not everyone wants to play). 😦

More Healing on the Common,

More Heeling on the Common,

Finally, amongst a rather sparse showing, were a pair of Chows who despite their reputation as being the dogs most likely to eat their owners*, turned out to be relatively friendly and of course extremely fluffy. Everyone enjoyed a good sniffing session. Later in the day we went back and met eight dogs who gave Phoenix a kaleidoscope of different reactions from gentle playful Clumber Spaniels to a snarly Black Labrador who we gave a wide berth.

Yet More Healing on the Common.

Yet More Heeling on the Common.

Overall, a pretty intensive day for Phoenix but mission was definitely accomplished in terms of canine socialisation V.1

*this was quoted in an episode of Pushing Daisies and is of course untrue.

27/01/2009 at 20:07 Leave a comment

Fan Club.

On the Town.

On the Town.

Big Day Out today. We took Phoenix (by sling)  into Torrington where she was spoken to and touched by about twenty people. She saw lots of machines, cars, lorries, and a  few other dogs too. Lots of cooing and comments of “adorable”. Somebody else stopped us in the street by saying “I had to say ‘Hello’ to her, I couldn’t help myself”. Somebody else asked “Is she a Visssla?” then wandered a way saying “I thought so”, before we could vigorously intervene…

We also carried Phoenix down to the river and she went in up to her waist – boldly striding into the fast flowing and quite deep water, quite merrily. We knew that WHVs had an affinity for water, but this had not really been demonstrated in the way she looks disapprovingly at the rain and generally turns her paws up if we have to take her out in the wet.

We also had a lovely walk in the Winter sun along the river around the bottom of the garden. Phoenix is fantastically attentive and trots quite merrily alongside you as you walk. No pulling on the lead at all. She’s walking to heel really well. All the books say this is a tough nut to crack so we’re very pleased that Phoenix has managed it so quickly in such a distracting and stimulating environment.  Stuffed kongs all round.

24/01/2009 at 18:59 Leave a comment

Parrots, Petting and Popularity.

Phoenix and Tim.

Phoenix and Tim.

Another trip around town in the sling. Phoenix was a huge hit in the local pet shop. Over a dozen people of all shapes and sizes came up to speak and pet her. One person said she liked the way Phoenix’s skin was so loose – we explained that she still had a lot more growing to do…  More great socialisation experience – as usual she greeted everyone like a long lost friend, despite the towers of dog chews, pigs ears and assorted canine ephemera, she remained remarkably well controlled. We tried to introduce her to Jethro the African Grey parrot but he was more interested than she was.

17/01/2009 at 19:20 Leave a comment


Phoenix Flickrstream.

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