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.