Friday, 30 November 2018

End Of Another Season

 Walking at home with the first 2 groups. It was still pretty blustery and I jumped at the chance of being dropped off at  Bryn Derwin for walk 3 when Steve said he needed to go for logs.
 Maybe I'll go back with some artificial snow and go back to get a photo for a Xmas card 
Alternatively .. I could cheat! 
Love this of the boys - "she" of course had vanished!
Ross is 18 months old today, I do love my mouth from the south!

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Height Above Sea Level

Well with the seed planted I had to try and figure out how high we were above sea level. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing? So, if I've worked it out correctly, our cottage, which you can see under the blue arrow, is 332M above sea level. So for those of us dealing in old money that's 1,089 feet, you can even see my van! Moel Tryfan the mountain the village sits on peaks at 427m -  1,401m

At the peak of Moel Tryfan 

Bored Boys

Bless them, 3 days of wind and rain doesn't please these either. 

Rough On The Hill

Zooming in on "Home" from Cwm Dulyn last Sunday
Days like today sure do show the downsides of living so high above sea level. (I often wonder how high we actually are) Despite my suggestion that maybe it wasn't wise Steve decided in his wisdom to take the recycling out. Even though he tied the trolley to the fence by 11am it was all back home! The boxes have gone to never never land and our own land was scattered with cans and plastics.
Whilst eating breakfast I couldn't help but feel unnerved as things where rattling in the kitchen. I've experienced it before, I remember when Ziva had her pups that there was a lot of unnerving noises in the kitchen then too. I guess when the wind hits that side wall with such power that the cottage can't help but judder.
It's the third day of the most horrendous winds but the dogs had missed out on walks yesterday so I decided to give them a run in the field and to go out collecting cans on the track. It pissed it down whilst we where out and though the wind had dropped it was still strong enough to give me a hard time whilst I was getting the cans into the last remaining container. I can't leave cans all over the countryside, it's a danger to our pets as well as the wild animals. Whilst out I noticed a large chunk of the wall in the bottom field had been knocked down. Where it is I just can't imagine how or why?
He indoors was moaning about wet dog towels? But what can I do? I don't have an outbuilding to use the blaster so towels it is. Now I have damp dogs, damp towels and damp throws on the sofa.
To top it all Kaiah knocked Ross flying, he was screaming and holding up his front leg, my stomach churned as he looked like he did when he had the original injury late last year. Why the hell did I not take them for a walk as I had planned? I came back home near in tears .. he's stopped limping and try as I do I can't get this stupid brain to remember which leg it was now!
This morning I spent £25 on a hair cut, yes I do it twice a year or so, this afternoon I was out in the gales collecting tins. I guess it looked nice when it was done eh!

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Merioneth and LLandudno Critiques

O (7,4) 1 Stanley's Lokean Of Blanik ShCM. 3 and a half year old male, super head with medium dark eyes, head fitting in proportions to body, super front assembly, stood on strong straight limbs with correct slope to front pasterns, retains a good strong top line both static and on the move, lovely length to tail, moved with good reach in front and a powerful rear action, a super balanced gait throughout, presented in good coat and condition Best of Breed GSD:
(4) 1 Stanley & Bibby's Silkenwood Poldark at Blanik. 17mth Male Good head, kind eye, masculine head, well carried ears, good length of neck flowing into a good body shape, good shoulders but preferred the topline of the BOB, moved well on sound legs, good showmanship. 2 Don't have owners name Marinka Briana of Kumara? 3 Hughes Conbhairean Ronaldo.
O (3,1a) 1 Stanley's Lokean of Blanik ShCm. 4 year old dog, my type of GSD, the whole outline spoke of a sound dog capable of doing a days work, masculine head, of good length, kind eye, nice ear carriage, excellent neck which flowed into well laid shoulders, had a lovely topline, which he held on the move, very sound legs with good feet, correct angulations which gave him powerful efficient movement, at one with his handler, good showman. BOB & Group 3.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

We Got Out

The wind died and the rain became showers so off we went. 
 The shortest walk but they are happy to get out
 On the way back the heavens opened and the ladies got a right soaking 
 Walk three and we are heading this way
but looking back behind us the weather is improving again

The mist clearing and I can see Mynydd Mawr again.
These three had me in stitches again. Kaiah stood stalking as she does but then both boys started to stare back at her, just as I thought "She's gonna get a beating" she was off like a whippet with both boys behind her. They all ran hell for leather, I swear she's so agile they don't have a hope in hell of catching her. Obsessed as she is by the van she ran to it with Ross still hot on her tail, Loki gave up as he does, and then she ran round and round and round the van .. the gap between her and Ross widening on every circuit. As I got to the van I called him to me for his kong, he stopped the game, so she bit him! As I put them in the van I could see tracks of paws mark in the mud in a circuit around the van. If anyone else goes there tonight I bet they'll wonder what the hell had been going on? It was 4pm when I got home, just starting to go dark ... only just over 3 weeks till the shortest day! 

In Contradiction

Well today I won't be walking, today is barely safe to go in the yard let alone go for a walk. The wind is strong, the gusts are scary, and to top it all it's pissing it down now too. I hate being confined to barracks like this, it doesn't help my head and it's boring for the dogs. I contacted two friends, one in Penygroes the other in Clynnog and it's wild down there too so no point going onto lower ground either. Mind you Steve has just said that I would be silly taking the van out anyway .. True I guess.
Ross and Kaiah will no doubt be loud and annoying today, they really are not use to days indoors. So yes today the "what ifs" of Snowdonia are keeping me indoors!
I love the above photo from yesterday, it's that moment when you wonder what they are looking at, so you take the photo and then look to see a dozen sheep running your way followed by the farmer and his dog. But they waited ... Good girls, very relieved and proud. I then went on my way feeling a little uncomfortable as someone else was by then also following me up the track. I had to go straight as my van was at the shooting range. It's quite a pull up and the person was right on our heels, he was coming faster and faster. I got to the van just in time before he was there behind me. I then realised that I wan't that unfit, my girls were loose and he was being dragged up the track by a rather nutty looking sheepdog. I was considering asking him if we were in a similar situation again if he would give me a little more space .. but when I saw who it was, I recognised him as a young man with learning problems so rightly or wrongly I said nothing .. If I see him again I think I'll go off track, even if does mean going in the opposite direction to where I need to go!
Last week on the day I was walking with Tish these boys didn't quite behave to their usual standard. They both ran round the corner to the rickety bridge, I called them back and as they came flying towards me I heard the yapping of a small dog. The terrier was being a hero and chasing them, of course they both turned round .. neither of them listened to me and set off after the terrier. The male owner screamed in panic, but the woman reassured him. I had seen her before and she told me the terrier was a hero until challenged. The boys did nothing to him, but I was pissed off that they hadn't listened, they embarrassed me in front of my friend.
We walked to the end of the path, but rather than going back on the road we turned back to follow the track back. We saw a woman just in front of us and all three dogs went on the lead. Again just to embarrass me Ross would not come without his 3ft stick and we had quite a battle of strength and wills over it. Still struggling with Ross and his stick we passed the woman who looked rather odd sat hunched on the rock. About 20 ft after passing her I let Loki off the lead, after all Loki is not only obedient but he is very aloof with strangers, he has no interest in people other than his small circle of privileged friends. That's why I could no believe what he did next. He turned round and went back to the woman, and to add insult to injury he put his front feet on the rock and put his face in her face. OMFG, what the hell was he thinking? The woman shrieked "get it away get it away." I did and apologised, she said she was terrified of dogs and was physically shaking. I felt dreadful, why did he do that? If it was Ross I'd get it, he's an idiot, but not Mr aloof Loki. Ok he's a sensitive dog, he possibly contributed to saving my life as that night is the only night he has ever barked endlessly after we went to bed, he was also extremely sensitive to my bad heads for about a year or so after my surgery.
You may remember he would sit on the sofa with a very worried expression the whole time I slept. (I'll find the photo) I can only think that Loki picked up on this woman's fear and being sensitive needed to investigate the strange smell for himself.
" Because dogs are experts at reading body language, they can quickly pick up on someone who is afraid of them. They can actually smell fear. When we are scared, sweat glands are more active which will produce “body odor” a dog can smell. There's even evidence dogs can see fear as well as other emotions on our face. Experts who have studied dogs and their sense of smell have concluded that dogs can't necessarily smell the emotion that is fear. They can, however, detect smells and see movements and body postures that may help them sense when a person is nervous, anxious, or afraid."
No doubt Loki picked up on something, her posture was hunched and she was obviously therefore giving off an odor that made him investigate her further. Sticking his face in her face must have been terrifying for her and I'm whole heartily sorry that he did it, but I can't help but wonder why? What did he need to know? If I'm faced with a similar situation again I would not let him off the lead so quickly, but we had seen 2 other people on the track and I'd done exactly the same .. well I didn't even put him on the lead to pass the terrier people.
I'm not making an excuses for the incident, Loki was wrong to not listen and now I know I was
wrong to let him off the lead so quickly, lesson learned. Dogs are amazing creatures, all I can conclude is that she was giving off a smell that concerned him, possibly a similar smell to when I was ill?  Then as you can see from this photo he could not settle or relax until the episode was over.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Safety On Walks?

Last week I posted this photo on Facebook and got a response that I had not been expecting.  The lady posted ..."It's a wonder they don't cut their paws on the slate years ago one of mine did in a river ...twas a race to the nearest vet!"
You know in all the years of walking this terrain (Close to 25 years) I can only think of one nasty paw injury on the slate and that was Louis. Louis cut his stop pad on a walk, it was quite a mess and he needed staples and laser treatment to help it heal. I'm not saying there haven't been others but none come to mind, and as anyone can surely see they are huge lumps of slate and not fine sharp pieces.
If you start thinking too much about it then where would you walk your dogs in Snowdonia? Down the high street or on the cycle track? Are the slates too sharp on the mountain and the drops in the quarrys too steep? Is the river too wild or the lake too deep? Is there palm oil or jellyfish on the beach? Or worse still people and their disgraceful rubbish? Are there free roaming cattle and sheep on the the common land? Is the long grass dangerous to their eyes or will they get ticks from the reeds? The "what ifs" are just endless here, if you choose to consider them all then you'll just stay indoors and watch telly, you won't see the natural beauty of this place that we are blessed to live in.
Of course you can have some hairy moments. An old Tali not considering her age and swimming into the middle of the lake, or jumping into a fast flowing river and Ross running into a rock sticking out of the snow come to mind. But you take care, you look ahead and always consider the safety of the dogs, but they are intelligent well trained animals and you must also give them credit for common sense whilst allowing them to enjoy their freedom. I worry more about seeing irresponsible dog walkers than I do about any of this country's natural beauty. Of course accidents happen to all of us, well some more than others eh Ross! And I may as well confess that I involuntarily came down those slates on my bottom and also fell onto it in Cwm Dulyn yesterday. Was I hurt? Hell no just my pride and I would never let that stop me going back there or exploring further and deeper into rural Snowdonia. Just think if I avoided the mountains, the quarrys, the rivers and lakes then I would be missing out on so much, and worse still so would my dogs!
 The Quarrys
The Lake
The River
The Beach

Walking At Home

We spent the morning out making the most of what is forecast to be the last dry day this week. It's been a great couple of weeks, ideal walking weather but now we must be prepared to be battered by wind and rain tomorrow and Wednesday .. ah well Winter is on it's way! 

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Three Different Walks At Cwm Dulyn

 Nico and Jezi 

 Ziva, Asha, Sammi 

 Loki, Kaiah and Ross
Another stunningly beautiful day to walk. Sunny but a bite to the breeze. I must admit it was colder there than here today but I'll always try my best to get away from Fron to walk on a Sunday. I had suggested he indoors and I go for a run out this afternoon, make the most of the weather but it fell on deaf ears. Whilst at Cwm Dulyn I saw Sharon and Mark arrive with their dogs, I can't help but sometimes feel a little jealousy and sadness, I just wish he and I could do more walks together. I understand that what I do in the mornings is not something we can do together but today would have been just wonderful for and extra hour out in the afternoon. In my opinion there is nothing nicer than sharing these times with your precious partners. 
As I was leaving Cwm Dulyn Ian was arriving with his girls. Such a stunning place and only us GSD folks there on such a glorious day. I never understand why it's not busier, hell I'm not complaining, it's just an observation, but what attracts all the Sunday walkers to Fron .. and non of them to Cwm Dulyn I wonder?  

More Photos From Yesterday

 Ross at almost 18 months yesterday. He really is looking super for his age. Other than more coat I wouldn't really want anything different about him right now. The judge who gave him Best Male and Best Puppy at NWGSD earlier this year saw him yesterday and was still very enthusiastic about him which was nice.
 Mr Loki, a little lean and throwing his coat, but not looking too bad. We have one more show in 2 weeks, we'll just have to see what he looks like by then.
 Nico's daughter Kasey with Ross - she's tied to a tree like Kaiah use to be!
Nico kids and siblings Loki and Bella. 

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Almost The End Of Our Show Season

Lovely day catching up with absent friends at Southport and Birkdale KA today. Our larger than life judge was funny, pleasant and chatty. If I could be a tad critical he was a little hard on the dogs mouths, not that the GSD's cared today and I'm hopeful he would be a little more gentle with a pup. Loki was BOB and Ross RBOB. Nothing for Loki in the group but thanks to the other spectator/exhibitors who took the time to comment that he looked and moved beautifully. It does mean a lot when people take time to complement the dogs.
At the beginning of the judging I went in the ring with Ross, he was the only one entered in GSD junior and the judge said loudly .. Stand anywhere you like, I'll find you. I just laughed. 
With both my boys winning their class Ian took Loki into the challenge. As the judge went to move us both together I said "this may not work," he replied .. "It's Ok I know what I'm doing anyway" but he did add, "unless it goes drastically wrong now." Though I felt Ross out moved Loki he gave Loki BOB, but I guess Loki is more moderate in type than Ross. The judge then approached us and said "you could do the formalities of bringing the bitch in to challenge for RBOB but the young dog will get it anyway." I was quite taken aback and I left it to Ian to decide, he said "no it's OK then as there is no point."
Don't get me wrong he was a nice man, and maybe we should take comfort that he knew his own mind?  He just seems to say what he thought, he had no filter I guess! I must admit I was a little disappointed that Loki was not placed in the group, bless him showed so well and I don't understand how he could be past by .. rose tinted glasses maybe? 

Friday, 23 November 2018

Quarry's And Dogs

This morning I went exploring around Pen Yr Orsedd Quarry on my first two walks. So close to us, being between Fron and Nantlle, but I'd never been there. In my first few years here the quarry was still working and we'd hear the siren followed by the explosions. Googling it it says it's been closed since about the year 2000, but I really don't think it's that long since I heard the blasts, is it? It was a very interesting place with a lot of the working equipment still there and I wondered what it was like at the height of it's use. Was I suppose to be there?  .. Hell I'm not sure, but I'd love to go back!  

I opted not to take the last three that way, with Ross being a male version of calamity Jane I thought it was best to stick to somewhere more familiar. He doesn't like ledges so I had no concerns with him there, and I do always give them credit for common sense in the quarrys. Anyway maybe another day ...

Thursday, 22 November 2018

You Have To Laugh At Him Don't You

I hope the Perry photos are not getting boring, but he just makes me laugh ..
What a place to settle, it can't be comfortable .. can it?

Walking With A Friend

 A stunning afternoon walk for the boys with Noya and her human! 
Late Autumn snow on Snowdon - Stunning
 Love this photo of Ross - twigs and all
 Loki hiding 
Lovely Noya with my boys