Archive for the ‘Gillians Puppy Blog’ Category

A Busy Weekend

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Puppy training

What a busy weekend I have had. How come everything seems to come at one time? Saturday was spent up at Dogs Trust in West Calder listening to world renowned dog trainer and behaviourist John Rogerson link. This is the third time that I have been to one of John’s courses/seminars. This one was about mending a broken relationship with your dog so very useful for those experiencing problems with their canine companion. The first course I went one was John’s Advanced Puppy Development Diploma while I was still working with Dogs Trust, the second was a weekend of training and instruction at the Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Dogs. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, jump on it! The second half was equally as busy but it involved my daughters, sequins, makeup, lycra and tutus!

Its a pity I had to miss the second half of the seminar but Life is all about juggling your priorities.

The main thing that I took away from that seminar (apart from John’s copy of a very useful computer disc) was quite a sobering thought about my own pup Harry. I had thought that Harry was coping being left alone when we were out of the house but I filmed him and listened to him howl, so heartbreaking. He had been fine because I had filmed him before while Midas was alive. So today has been all about Harry and putting John’s advice into practice. I do stress however that it’s not full blown separation anxiety as Harry sleeps on his own at night and can be shut away on his own during the day with no noise at all. The first time we left him this morning we were in a rush to get to school, and left Harry quite wound up as we rushed around so when I checked the film he was doing most of the signs that would indicate that all was not well in Harry’s world. I was gutted, apart from worrying about the neighbours, I had thought that Harry’s training was going so well . The second time I left him I put John’s advice into practice and made a few small changes as to the mood harry was in when he was left, much calmer, tired, I even left the telly on and put my dog walking jacket at the gap in the door. So far no more noise when left but we’ll see what tomorrow brings!

Hermione kills Harry

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008


Well, what do you think of the new vid? We had a lot of fun teaching Harry that trick for the end of his beginners course.  Though I had to fib a little on how difficult it was to teach to the other owners in the class. I honestly thought they might lynch me when I said it had only taken us under two hours spread over two days to get him to ‘die’ on command.  We had practised a ‘rollover’ to perform on the last night (which again only took us 2 days) but my eldest daughter who’s been handling Harry in the class wanted to get Harry to die on command using the command word ‘Avada Kedavra’ and a wand. The only thing was that she declared this deepest wish on Tuesday morning only leaving me until the following evening to teach him it.

 Anyway Harry performed both tricks perfectly so we thought we would film them for a new vid for youtube, hope you like the results!

Previous Post

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Obviously the last post (well, obvious to me ) was a dig at me by my hubby. Thanks dear! The last week has been so emotionally draining what with Midas dying that I’m afraid Harry’s training was kind of left to the side.  On Monday, however, I thought that I had better give myself a kick up the butt and make an effort but to be honest my heart wasn’t in it. Consequently, Harry wasn’t making any headway with the ‘down’ and continued to look at me like I was speaking gobbledegook.  My fault not his but I didn’t see it like that at the time and called him a ‘thick spaniel’ so I took some time out, ate some chocolate, took a deep breath and approached the teaching of the down in a different way.  I’ve been wanting to try using the ‘clicker’ for some time but to be honest never really took the time to read about it properly or put in the groundwork but I did and now Harry can do the ‘down’ on command or just using a hand signal.  Golden rule – if you are not in the right frame of mind to train , don’t bother! Come back to it.


Saturday, March 22nd, 2008





27th August 1994 – 18th March 2008


Sleep peacefully and remember that we will love you always

Beach fun!

Monday, March 3rd, 2008


A couple of weeks back when it actually wasn’t raining  we decided to head up to St. Andrews for some beachy fun with Harry and the kids. We left Midas at home, the excitement might have been too much for him and quite frankly any exercise  and he’s wiped for hours if not days afterwards. For those who don’t live in Scotland (apparently we do have visitors to our website from as far a field as Australia, Germany and Croatia, I could try and be smart and say ‘Hi’ in your native lauguage but I would fail miserably, only ever did French at school), St. Andrews has the most perfect beach for dog walking, lots of dunes to hide in and explore.

My current video project at the moment is the footage I took on the beach of the kids and Harry running up and down the dunes .  Most of it is very dodgily shot as everyone was moving so fast and let’s be honest I’m no cameraman or editor or director but doing these things at night stops me eating chocolate.

Harry had great fun investigating the water though he rapidly found out that you don’t drink sea water.  In fact Harry found out about a lot of things that you don’t do at the beach:

1. Don’t approach big black labradors carrying whole trees in their mouths, no matter how polite you are being they don’t want to share that tree ( seriously, it was huge!)

2. Don’t eat sand

3. Don’t eat wet sand

4. Don’t eat shells

5. Don’t eat seaweed

6. Don’t chase kite surfers (they can chase back!)

7. Lastly, don’t assume that if you are running down a sand dune that you will be able to stop at the bottom.

On the ‘Do’ side:

 Do have fun and lots of it!

PS Watch out for the video, promise it will be up soonsandy-harry.jpg

The Start of Harry’s Story

Monday, March 3rd, 2008


Firstly , I must apologise for not blogging, I’ve had the folllowing written for some time and never got round to putting it up (it should have gone up with the video), just been too busy, with what escapes me at present but well, here it is, the missing blog.

When we had decided that we were going to get a puppy I had already made my mind up that I wanted one from Liz . We had had a few dogs come through our classes that had come from Liz and without exception all were, not only beautiful to look at but had the sweetest dispositions and I fell in love with each and every one of them.

Midas had started to become ill and at one point we thought that losing him would be a very real problem that we would have to face sooner rather than later so we put the puppy plan into action.  It probably sounds quite mercenary to think of bringing a new life into the family as one leaves it but the kids were really upset with Midas so ill that a little joy and excitement was enough to lift their spirits when they were faced with losing a much loved friend.  So in June 2007 we first made contact with Liz to see about getting our name on the waiting list for one of her puppies.  A good breeder will have  a waiting list.

 We kept in regular touch with Liz , as to how things were going on the puppy front and eventually on the 12th October Liz sent us an email and photos of the pups when they were a few hours old.  Over the next few weeks as the video shows we took to almost camping out in Liz’s house to watch the pups change from furry little blobs to the cutest puppies ever (me biased, never!).

New Vid of Harry

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Hope you like the video I’ve made of Harry’s first few weeks of life.  Also in the vid I’ve revealed his new Kennel Club registered name, just in case you’ve missed it, it’s Rancecraig Just Harry.  We got to choose Harry’s name ourselves and for anyone who is not a Harry Potter fan (yes, guilty as charged and no, I’m not receiving any psychiatric help), the name is from the first movie , Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  Harry says upon meeting Hagrid for the first time ‘I’m Harry, just Harry’ don’t know why but its always stuck with me and we always knew what we were going to call our new pup. 

I would just like to say a big thank you to Liz Craig (Rancecraig) our wonderful breeder who has put up with a lot of visits prior to getting Harry and for giving Harry the best possible start in life which is evident in the way he has settled into his new home.

Harry Cocker

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Who says dogs and cats can’t be friends?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Thought you might like to see a picture of Harry and his new best friend Lily. Harry obviously thought that if Midas, the boring old fart wouldn’t play and Fizzy has made her sentiments known that rushing around at 50mph is quite frankly vulgar then Lily would be the best choice for a game of rough and tumble! Though, one thing bothers me about this unlikely pairing, has Lily realised that Harry will get a lot bigger too. At present she can pin him to the floor better than any WWF wrestler but how long can she keep him in check?

Lily beats Harry up!

Harry New pics

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Harry Christmas 2007 #1

I think I’ll change Harry’s name to Harriet. What a big wuss, he is! He’s so confident in the house but now that he is getting out in the big, bad world, we are seeing a different side to him. He has met a couple of dogs when he has been out for his walkies, a very calm Golden Retriever and two Westies that all live in the same street. I took him out for a walk with Sandra’s youngster Olivia and a lovely,bouncy Labrador called Charlie, well, the noise that Harry set up was quite frankly embarrassing, you would of thought that he was being murdered! Consequently the other two dogs decided to steer clear of him and carried on their own game of rough and tumble and completely ignored him. Harry was off lead and just toddled along at heel, (wonder how long that will last) for the rest of the walk and was well and truly shattered by the end of it. By the end of the walk there were a few sniffs exchanged and no noise , so maybe next time he’ll be brave enough to get stuck in and have a good play. The thing is when you see a young pup getting distressed like that, you do have to fight the urge to reassure them but I knew he was in no danger so I just had to let Harry see that I wasn’t worried. Always remember to praise the behaviour that you want to keep and ignore the stuff you want to get rid of, but its harder to do in practice.

Harry Christmas 2007