Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Another good class, and garden stuff

Thank you for the comments, we are so glad to have found Carrie-Anne the trainer and Betty is doing so well.  Chris - £70 for training, blimey!  Was that for just one class? 

This morning Betty did brilliantly, I was so pleased and Carrie said she really is getting on very well.  We did more loose lead walking and even off the lead walking to heel - well, it was kind of off the lead.  Carrie had brought along a massively long training lead, about 30 feet or so, she held the very end of the lead very loosely with most of it just lying on the ground, and Betty walked alongside first OH, then me, with us keeping her attention and at our sides by holding treats, she did it perfectly. 

Betty's fine with her collar on but has never liked us putting a harness on her - it's not the particular type of harness as we have tried 3 different ones, she just seems to have an aversion to them when we first put it on her, although is ok with it once we're actually out walking.  Carrie showed us how to coax her to accept the harness, by first putting it on the ground and putting some food treats beside it, letting her come and take them of her own accord, and then letting her back away if she wanted to.  After a few minutes of this when she was more confident about staying beside the harness, Carrie said to then pick it up and hold a treat for her just inside the head opening.  We did this a few times until she was comfortable about putting her head inside the harness.  Then it was a case of actually putting it on her, praising her and giving her another treat once it was on.  Problem solved, Betty now doesn't mind the harness at all, and this took only about 15 minutes to teach her to accept it willingly.  Carrie-Anne really is worth every penny, she explains things so clearly and is so patient with both Betty and us.  We're seeing her again next week, she encourages us to think about any problems we might be having with Betty and promises to work on them the next time.

For various reasons, we're very late with veg seed buying and planting this year - in fact we've done nothing at all up until this week.  We've decided to not grow so much this year....having reviewed what we've grown for the past few years, we think it will be better to grow fewer things (as in varieties of veg), but instead concentrate on growing just the things we really like the taste of home grown, and that we use the most of.  So this year we will just be growing new potatoes, peas, onions & leeks, butternut squash, cherry toms, a few cucumbers, carrots, courgettes, purple sprouting broccoli and a few cabbages.  We won't be growing maincrop spuds - they get eaten very badly by slugs here, and maincrop spuds are so cheap to buy it's not really worth growing them for the space they take up.  We tried 2 or 3 different squashes/pumpkins last year - didn't get many, they didn't store as well as the butternuts do, and we weren't all that keen on the taste, so they're out as well.  No French beans either, we got totally inundated with them last year, to the point where we got sick of them in the end.  Fewer cucumbers, as again we had loads and it's not like you can cook or freeze them - our neighbours and OH's work colleagues were almost running away when they saw him coming for fear of having another couple of cucumbers foisted on them!  No tomatoes for cooking - I get fed up with skinning/cooking them all for sauces, when it's so much easier to make sauces using cheap tinned chopped toms. 

At least we have an established and good supply of soft fruit which we don't have to continually replant each year - strawberries, blackcurrants, blueberries and raspberries.  We also have 5 young fruit trees - 1 cooking apple, 1 dessert, 2 pears and a plum, not had much fruit yet as they're all young, but hoping to have some this year.


  1. Good girl Betty and very well done.

    Sounds like you are still going to be growing a good amount of food for yourselves. Hope you get some wonderful crops-x-

  2. Glad all is going well for Betty at last, I haven't done so much in the greenhouse this year, it is nice to grow your own, but with the yellow stickers I can get, I think of all the other things I can do with the time, we have potatoes, garlic, couple of courgettes, toms, peppers and cucumber.

  3. So pleased you and Betty are getting on well with training, Sol has a harness issue, as he wore one all his working days we thought we would get him a harness when he started having neck issues, first time we put it on he sulked, he refuses to walk with it on, I think he associates it with working days as soon as you take it off he is a happy jumpy around again, we have tried several times but he just lies down and sulks so we have decided against a harness for him, Tess is happy in a harness.

  4. So glad to hear Betty doing so well, it's as much about training you as her, I'm so pleased it's working for you.

  5. Very glad Betty is a quick study. I believe she is at a prime age to learn and with a good teacher to help all of you.
    In the garden we have grown all the experimental things and now just stick with what we use most and we have favorite kinds of each . Time to pare down in all things at this point for us.Makes life a lot simpler and leaves time for other pursuits.
    You asked , and I don't remember if I answered you. Gemma is a German Shepherd.

  6. running late with planting this year , but there is no hurry ,nature never seems to mind , tons of broad beans , french beans , beans for storing as well , but we use tons so its always a saving . we grow a few potatoes but not tons , leeks , sweetcorn , courgettes a few pumpkins for the munchkin , root crops are a nightmare our ground gets so hard you cant dig them so its dinky carrots this year again and lots of saladings


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