Banana & Peanut Butter Kong Filler

img_20180629_112335_303One of Rosie favourite Kong Fillers – Frozen Banana & Peanut Butter, quick and easy to make they are perfect for the hot weather as a refreshing treat, and great to keep her mind busy if I pop out. I always have one in the freezer ready to go!

 

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Ingredients
(For Two Kongs)

x1 Whole Banana
x2 Table Spoons of Natural Yoghurt
x2 Table Spoons of Peanut Butter

 

Step One
Make sure your Kong has been washed and dried, often bits of food can be left inside if they are not cleaned correctly. A goodwash then leave it to dry.  (Pop them into the dishwasher if you have one)

Step Two
Peel and chop the Banana and place into a blender of some kind. (I use a smoothie maker)
Top Tip – Cut a small piece of Banana and place at the bottom of your Kong, its stop the mixture from running out the bottom and creating a very sticky mess!

Step Three
Add x2 Table Spoons of Natural Yogurt & Peanut Butter and blend together. The consistency should be thick enough to pour it into the Kong.
Remember! To check the ingredients when buying Peanut Butter, make sure it does not contain Xylitol and that any Palm Oil is responsibly sourced. My go-to is Whole Earth Smooth or Crunchy

Step Four
Pour the mixture into the Kong and place in the freezer, depending on your freezer they should be ready within a few hours, I leave my overnight. For freshness, I recommend using them within a few days from being made.


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That’s it! They are really simple to make and go down an absolute treat! If I have extra mixture left over, I pour it into a bowl for Rosie!

Me and Rosie love hearing from you, please share how you got on making your Banana & Peanut Butter Kongs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broken Bones – Part One

Rosie is just a little bit taller than a whippet with an athletic build, her skin is thin with little fur, and is prone to injuries, her crazy mentality means running into a tree during a walk around the woods is common, along with the Lurcher Dramatics that follow. Every Lurcher owner I have spoken to is aware of ‘Lurcher Dramatics’, for those unaware this is the ‘dramatic behaviour that follows any type of fall, accident or injury, to ensure the maximum amount of attention and sympathy from a human is received.’ Rosie performs this act perfectly as she wines, cries and limps from an incident then suddenly bounces back, jumping and running around within a 30-second gap.

In January 2018 Rosie fell from a 6ft wall at Banff Beach in Aberdeenshire Scotland, landing on a stone, fracturing her toe. It instantly swelled and turned a purple/blue bruised colour, she yelped and starting limping but it was genuine.

thumbnail_FRONT FOOT-Foot Cranio-caudal SmA-18_06_2018-15_45_27-625An X-ray confirmed the fracture and the vets advised it would take at least six weeks of strict rest to recover.  For such a small fracture Rosie had a bandage that covered her whole paw and a section of her leg with a splint between the toe, which had to be changed two to three times a week by the vet to ensure her skin, stayed healthy. The second X-ray showed no signs of healing, and recovery time became longer, and she became incredibly bored and fed up, soon after the second X-ray. Trying to keep her calm and occupied in the house became a never-ending battle, Flyball had returned from the Christmas break and she enjoyed regular long walks in the hills, yet all she could do was walk around the garden on the lead for a few moments. She was a ball of energy constantly trying to explode and after a few days of painkillers, Rosie learnt to lift her paw and run around the house on three legs to burn off some energy.

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Despite best efforts, Rosie’s thin skin started to break down, she had heat sores and was ripping her bandage off. I was really worried that the sores were going to become infected and Rosie’s leg looked sore and painful myself and the vet agreed to remove the bandages and allow the skin to heal. This decision meant Rosie really had to be careful with her toe, I gave her a few weeks, however, she was struggling to remain calm, it was then decided (with the vet) to give Rosie a small dose of sedatives to calm her down. Rosie wasn’t on them constantly, she would get one if she was being left alone or if she wasn’t settling. Without them, Rosie would have continued to run around the house on her fractured toe and it would never have improved.


Message for the Vets

I am really lucky to have such a fantastic veterinary practice. (Don View Vets in Inverurie Aberdeenshire, Scotland.) Their proactive attitude towards Rosie meant she was seen quickly and didn’t have to wait long for treatment. I left Rosie in their care while she had an X-Ray and received a phone call within hours to say she could come home. They took care of most of the insurance claim process, by completing the paperwork and sending it away with all the relevant information. Simple things, such as regular evening appointments stopped me from having to take huge amounts of time off work and their constant guidance, advice and reassurance took a lot of unnecessary stress away. – Thank you.


This blog post is in two parts as there is so much more I want to share, keep your eyes out for part two.

Please share your experiences below, me and Rosie would love to hear from you. x 

Separation Anxiety

Note I am not a professional dog trainer or behaviourist and don’t claim to be

Returning home after leaving Rosie alone for 30 minutes to find she has messed herself has been the most hearting breaking part of our journey together and the most difficult challenge to overcome. Locking my front door and hearing her bark the house down, as I walked away, filled me with worry, stress, and heartbreak, making daily life feel like a battle. Here is what I have learnt from Rosie to manage her anxiety.

DITCH THE ROUTINE


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I would put my shoes and jacket on, pick up my car keys, say goodbye to Rosie and leave the house. (This is what I call my normal ‘leaving the house routine’). Completely unaware that Rosie was picking up on my actions and learning quickly that after I had completed my routine, she was going to be left alone, giving her time to stress and worry before I had gone. Instead, by switching up my routine, Rosie couldn’t get anxious, about being left alone, as my behaviour didn’t suggest she was going to be.  Changing the way I left the house required a little creativity, however simple things, like leaving my jacket in the car, unlocking the door and putting my shoes on earlier, were practical switches, that even with a busy lifestyle I was able to achieve. Also by randomly wearing my jacket indoors, without leaving the house, picking up my keys, unlocking the door then doing something else and going outside for different lengths of time, helped me desensitize Rosie’s association with the sound of my keys, the rustling of my jacket and the noise from opening the door with being left alone, so when I did leave, she didn’t think anything of it.

HELLO & GOODBYES


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I try not do to the whole Hello and Goodbye ‘thing’ with Rosie. (This is definitely, easier said than done). Of course, every time I leave Rosie, I want to tell her, how much I love her, to be good and that I will be back soon, but the only benefit from doing this is personal. Saying Goodbye to Rosie became another ‘leaving the house routine’  that she could associate with being left alone, plus I was rewarding her anxious behaviour by giving her loads of attention before I left. Rosie is always super excited to greet me at the door when I arrive back, even though it makes me feel loved, making a big deal about my return is also making a bigger deal about me being away. It’s emotionally hard and doesn’t mean I love Rosie any less, however, she had to learn that being left alone is not a big deal!

KEEP THE MIND BUSY


IMG_20180304_104127629Rosie takes great pride, in taking my shoes apart and getting up to mischief when she is alone, and when you think you have moved everything that she could possibly get her paws on, it’s almost certain she would have found something. What I try and do is keep her mind as busy as possible, obviously a good walk or run before I leave means she tired and happy to go for a nap but once that’s over, it’s really time to let the fun and games begin.  I leave the TV on, (Rosie loves Pitbull and Parolees) this keeps any distracting noises from outside to a minimum, and I leave puzzle games and toys for her to find and keep her mind busy while I am away. (My top toys & puzzle games to follow)

Separation anxiety is an emotionally draining behaviour to overcome, torn between heartbreak of leaving your dog stressed and the practicalities of life. Make sure you keep your dog safe if they are/develop destructive behaviour through appropriate crate training, become aware of your own behaviours and don’t forget to be patient.

Please share your experiences below – Rosie and I would love to hear from you x

Friendship

Note I am not a professional dog trainer or behaviourist and don’t claim to be.

Me and Rosie are inseparable best friends. Her infectious, positive outlook on life makes me a better human and I hope in someway I make her a better dog. We ‘just get’ each other and admittedly we spend hours talking about life and random rubbish, while she can’t physically speak back, I know she listening to my ramblings and in an indescribable way I feel her responses. Our close relationship has been building from the moment I got her and has taken some time. Here is a reflection on our friendship.

PATIENCE


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My close friendship with Rosie did not happen overnight and I often wondered whether we would be close. Just like any relationship we had to get to know each other and learn to live together. Her behavioural problems have often been stressful and when she acts out my patience has been tested, especially in the earlier days, however through perseverance and time we have grown close and our friendship continues to grow from strength to strength.

TRUST


20161127_104742Rosie had to learn to trust me, for the first 6 months of her life, she lived with someone else, and everything she knew I took her away, even though it was for the better. By giving Rosie a stable routine, constant training, love and the attention she deserved, she learnt to trust me.

Would I trust Rosie not to chase after a deer? Absolutely not!  However just as much as she has had to learn to trust me, I have had to learn to trust her, by stepping back from time to time to allow her to show me her capabilities and give her the opportunity to make her own judgement, of me and her new life.

LOVE


IMG_20180303_214606584Every day I tell Rosie, how much I love her, while she might not understand my words, I hope by saying it, my she picks up on my positive body language, and in her own mind knows, how much she is truly loved.  I spend quality time with her, provide her with a safe home and ensure she is well cared for so that she can feel content, relaxed and at peace around me. Rosie is the perfect nap buddy, Sunday afternoons after a busy weekend we often go for a nap, she is more than happy to come for a snuggle and we both feel calm, relaxed and loved.

 

The strength of your relationship with your dog is not based on the number of material objects you buy them, a truly strong relationship comes from the heart.

Please share your love below – Rosie and I would love to hear from you x

 

 

Reactivity

Note I am not a professional dog trainer or behaviourist and don’t claim to be.

Owning a reactivate dog can be an isolating and a stressful experience, however with the right attitude and tools in place, walks can become manageable and over time improve and most importantly become enjoyable for you and your dog.

Here are a few tips I have learnt from working with Rosie.

 

STOP STRESSING AND WORRYING


When I look back at my training journey with Rosie, I can clearly see it would have been a lot easier if I had gotten into the right frame of mind sooner. Instead of worrying about what other people thought of her barking and lunging I should

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have focused on what was making her behave that way in the first place. Any anxiety or stress I was feeling every time we left the house was going straight down the lead making her feel stressed, and in turn setting her up to fail before we had left. Rosie was desperate for some guidance on how to behave on the lead, so if she thought I was worried about another dog, so would she. Now I leave the house feeling positive and celebrate any successful moments no matter how small with Rosie.

 

UNDERSTAND WHY


I took Rosie to a number of one-to-one training sessions with a professional dog trainer, these were invaluable as I learnt why Rosie was behaving the way she was. Reactivity in dogs is not a clear-cut issue; there are hundreds of reasons and behaviours that fall into the reactivate category. Rosie is reactivate as she missed out on basic puppy socialisation and training, mixed with hyperactivity and natural instincts to chase.

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She felt frustrated every time we walked past another dog as she didn’t know how to say hello calmly and saw the lead as a problem. In her mind, the lead was stopping her getting to where she wanted to go and would bark and lunge as a way of dealing with her frustration.

 

 

 

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STAY IN CONTROL


One of the best decisions I made was to invest in a head collar. It helped me stay in control over Rosie, boosting my confidence which in turn allowed me to get her focus on me. A collar around the neck was not safe for her, she was going to pull and lunge even if she couldn’t breathe, which would stress us both out. Rosie has a body harness as an extra safety net, I found she could still lunge and because it came from the shoulders she also became very strong. A head collar allows me full control as Rosie naturally goes where ever her head goes and stopped her pulling instantly. To make life easier there are some great training techniques to help get the head collar on.

 

DO SOMETHING TOGETHER OTHER THAN WALKING


Flyball was the catalyst for the rest of Rosie’s training, we both absolutely love it and now train twice a week. We have been lucky enough to find a fantastic team who have welcomed Rosie. Flyball has given us the opportunity

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to work on her behaviour and our bond while keeping us both distracted from her behavioural issues. The skills and tricks Rosie has learnt at training have naturally improved her behaviour out with. I don’t have any expectations for her at Flyball and have trained at her own pace. As Rosie is a naturally fast runner she loves the opportunity to show off her speed and she loves every minute of it.

 

There is no overnight fix for reactivity, it takes patience and time. Don’t set your dog up to fail, become more interesting than the problem and make a huge deal out of small achievements. Stick with it, and if you are struggling seek advice and talk about it.

Please share your experiences below – Rosie and I would love to hear from you x

The Begining

 

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Rosie aged 6 Months

Welcome to Lurcher Life With Rosie, this is her story.

Rosie was born on the thirteenth of January 2016, she spent the first six months of her precious life in a chaotic family home. Through no fault of her own, she ended up as an Ad on  Gumtree.

While she was blissfully unaware of the changes she was about to encounter, I was searching online for something to love and care for after a difficult time. Finding Rosie was the best thing to happen to me, I just hadn’t realised it yet.

I paid £120 for her, a tub of food, the collar around her neck and a squeaky snake toy. The car journey home was a complete nightmare, she was stressed, hyper and barked all the way. It was late once we got back, I had bought her a bed but she wanted to be with me. We compromised and she slept on her new bed in my room.

The weeks and months that followed, I often wondered what I had gotten myself in too. Rosie suffered from separation anxiety to the extreme where she would mess herself if she was alone for more than half an hour. Reactive on the lead towards people, dogs and moving vehicles, she was a thin, scared puppy who deserved a new start in life and I set out to provide one for her.