Tag Archives: Vivvy

Birthday Girl

15 weeks old

Vivvy at 15 weeks!

It’s hard to believe but Ms. Vivvy will be three years old next week! Wowee, where has the time gone? We adopted her just under two years’ ago and she’s been an absolute joy…and in unexpected ways. She’s not only gorgeous, well-behaved (mostly) and adaptable, but she’s so friendly and cheeky that she’s got quite the reputation here in the village where we live. We’ve lived here over twenty years now and until we started puppy-walking for guide dogs we only really knew a handful of people. That wasn’t helped by the fact we were both working during the day, too. Walking Vivvy has changed all that and now we have made so many lovely new friends and we really enjoy exploring the gorgeous countryside surrounding us.

Almost 3!

Vivvy – almost 3!

Because Vivvy has loads of doggy friends in the village I wanted to throw a ‘four-paws-party’ next weekend to celebrate her birthday and invite her chums along for fun and games in the garden. AJ thinks I’ve taken leave of my senses 🙂 While considering logistics I think he might be right. One of Vivvy’s BFFs is a sensitive little girl who gets stressed about the vagaries of the outside world, and her mum is currently trying to get her to come into our garden so that the girls can play while we enjoy a coffee, but until that happens I can’t consider a party without Vivvy’s special pal in attendance. Then there are a couple of dogs who don’t like each other, one who is very possessive over balls, another who barks incessantly when he gets excited…all in all, maybe a party is a trifle ambitious.

So, I’ll be making a special liver cake (yuk!) for our birthday girl (with candles of course) and she’ll have a special outing to the seaside  (her most favourite place on earth) and extra special hugs from us.

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Proud Daddy!

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What Happened to February?

Well, what happened to February? It’s gone by in a flashier flash than even January did! 20170226_111643Maybe it’s because Chez Jones has been inundated with workmen since the beginning of the year with a bathroom remodel and copious other little jobs that spun from that one big one. I’m sure you know the sort of thing I mean: the leak from the newly installed toilet that produced a waterfall through the kitchen ceiling which consequently required repainting, the drip from the mains water tap discovered when they turned off the water supply to start the work, and which had resulted in an annual water bill which was basically double the norm (since been sorted, thankfully – both the leak and the bill!), and the new bathroom spotlights and extractor fan which resulted in discovering that the whole house needing re-wiring!! Suffice to say, we are doing the re-wiring thing in stages. Our nerves (and bank account) need time to settle down 😉 But that said, we absolutely love the new bathroom and said workmen did a fab job with everything. Such a great group of chaps – artisans, all of them.

20170218_113500In other news, Vivvy is doing really well with her training. She now has her bronze and silver awards and we are currently working on her gold (although Daddy says she’s already his golden girl *eye roll*). She picks up things really fast, especially if there’s a treat at the end of it, and seems to love scent work and hide & seek games the best. I’m trying to teach her to put her toys back in the box at the moment, but that’s a work in progress. I think she wonders why her minions can’t do that sort of menial task, thank you very much. I’m also attempting to teach her the cup game, but she just knocks all the cups over until she finds the treat underneath. Something to keep working on, I think, and maybe one day she’ll be as good at the task as Snow the cat in the following video:

 

 

Proud Mummy Time

I hope you’ll excuse me while I enjoy a proud mummy moment. Vivvy took her Kennel Club silver award recently and not only passed the exam, but scored top marks! One hundred out of one hundred! That’s my girl! Although *whisper* at one stage she did move when she was supposed not to move, but the examiner must have been looking the other way at the time 😉20160726_175911

We’ve had her for just over a year now (wow, where did that go?) and during that time she’s gone from strength to strength. We got to adopt her after she was withdrawn from her guide dog training because she was a little anxious over certain things – like pet shops, sudden noises, open-backed lorries, and… the ironing board. I’m pleased to say she’s improved with all those things, except pet shops. She still shakes from head to paw if we even go near the door of one of those. Clings to AJ so close that she’d probably jump in his pocket if she could.

Lately, we’ve noticed that she gets a teensie bit anxious around very small children, so we’re working on that. I think it’s because of the quick movements, but she’ll no doubt get better the more she’s exposed to the situation. We have a small children’s play area in the park near us, so we’re letting her sit nearby and just watch and listen. So far, so good. 20160522_112831

We’re off on a trip for a few days and Vivvy is going to stay with friends who are also boarders for Guide Dogs. Vivvy loves going to them and doesn’t give us a backward glance when we leave. We’ve only left her overnight before so this will be the longest we’ve been away from her. I’m already suffering separation pangs. Stupid, isn’t it?

Ah well, I’ll just have to distract myself with some retail therapy while we’re away. No doubt with a gift (or several) for my little golden girl thrown in.

Happy Easter Weekend!

Oh, I love Easter. It’s perhaps my favourite time of year. The days are drawing out, daffodils are everywhere, the lambs are frolicking in the fields around us, and we have the promise of better weather on the horizon.

20160325_131758Today the weather here in the UK is glorious, so we took Vivvy to the seaside. It’s the first time she has seen the sea and felt the sand beneath her paws and she absolutely loved it. We did an hour’s walk one way, then stopped for coffee and a hot cross bun at a lovely seaside cafe, before heading back the other way for another hour’s walk. Apart from coaxing her still for a photo shoot, I don’t think Vivvy stopped running once. There were so many dogs around and it was lovely to see them all playing and enjoying themselves in the sunshine.

20160325_164603I’m going to do an awful lot of walking this weekend because then I can have a guilt-free chocolate Easter egg. A friend bought one each for me and AJ and I’ve spent the last couple of days with that egg sitting on my table just calling to be eaten. I so love chocolate. And I heard that the chocolate of an Easter egg once broken becomes devoid of all calories. Apparently, it’s something to do with the chocolate pieces coming into contact with the air 😉 Ha. Works for me 😆

Happy Easter!

 

Living with Her Ladyship

Years ago, I h20150708_141657eard Cesar Millan say that when you adopted a dog, you didn’t necessarily get the dog you wanted, but you certainly got the dog you needed. Well, when we adopted Vivvy we certainly wanted her, but in the eight months she’s been with us she has given us some lessons we didn’t even know we needed to learn. She has taught us to slow down, to savour the days and not just rush through them in a hive of activity. We’ve both learned to stop and smell those proverbial roses. A huge part of the day is spent walking her, playing with her, and just watching and enjoying her antics.

20160226_165027We’d boarded her as a guide dog puppy so knew her character, her little ways, and her basic needs. She was a nervous little thing, but extremely loving and sweet. She can also be a little madam, very adept at getting her own way, especially when her daddy is around. She answers to a variety of names, which should give you some idea of her status in the Jones’ household, among them are Her Ladyship, Princess Vivvy, The Duchess, Her Majesty and Lady Vivien of Somerset.Favourite Spot

We don’t have children so have never really had the responsibility of looking after anyone but ourselves on a day to day basis. If we wanted to go out for the day we just went, if we fancied a few days away somewhere we just packed our bags. On the days one of us was out with friends, and the other one wanted to do something too, we didn’t have to think twice. All that has changed. It took a little adjusting at first. There was now a third party to consider and neither of us had ever had to do that. But we’ve gotten into a great routine and are lucky to have some lovely friends who regularly look after Vivvy for us if we have to be away. She loves going to stay and is thoroughly spoiled, it’s like a home from home for her.

Bronze Assessment Nov 15I take her clicker training oncea week (daddy doesn’t come with us because he thinks she’s already perfect 🙂 ). She recently attained her Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze Award with a score of 97 out of 100 (giving her daddy further fuel for his argument that she is the perfect dog, LOL).

We love her with a passion, sometimes frighteningly so. She has made such a difference to our lifestyle, but we truly wouldn’t be without her. Vivvy makes us laugh, worry, relax, plan and procrastinate, especially when it comes to my writing routine. Often, as I’m trying to focus on a plot point, a toy gets dumped in my lap or two paws land on the keyboard. One look at those eager eyes and it’s hard not to indulge her. She has widened our hearts, stretched our brains, depleted our bank account, gotten us fitter, and given us much joy. Having her was one of the best decisions we have ever made.

 

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Puppy Update…with a difference!

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First off, a thousand apologies for my late post. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever forgotten to put up my blog on my assigned final Friday of the month. Anyway, here we go… Being boarders for guide dog … Continue reading