Dasher's Italian Greyhound blog 2015
This is the continued story of Italian Greyhound Dasher started in July 2009 - see old blogs. The latest "happenings" will be put on at the top at frequent intervals, so the story unfolds from the bottom and up! He lives with his nephew Solo. I have videos of Lure Coursing and other doggy things on YouTube under my name: sighthounddotnet
Email me or go back at any time to my sighthound.net start page.
Happy reading! - Janet
(Photo: Italians Dasher 6 years and Solo 2 years July 2015.)
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New blog started for 2016! Click here.
Sunday the 27th of December
It has rained hard for 24 hours and we have a record amount of 38mm in the rain gauge! Even our Grandchild didn't fill it up that much in the summer! The whole garden is awash and the hedge is standing under water....
Friday the 25th of December 2015
Thursday the 24th of December 2015
Wishing all my faithful readers a Happy Christmas!
Tuesday the 15th of December
First a morning with blinding winter sun...
then a morning with quite a mist!
Friday the 11th of December
I got a shock and a surprise today!
Shortly after we sold the car in April, we were invited to lunch with our friends Heidi and Erik, who live around the corner to our old house. A simple train journey where Erik picked us up and later dropped us off at Høje Tåstrup Station. No problem.
As we still wore wintery shoes, we each took slippers with us to change into while we were with them. We had our usual wonderful day there!
On the train going home, we heard a little crash sound under our seat. Tried to see if we had dropped anything but nothing to be seen. We’ll never know what the sound was. I travelled home with my sunglasses on, as the setting sun was low on the horizon and streamed in the windows. When we got home, I realised my ordinary distance glasses were missing! Big panic!
I must have dropped them out of the plastic bag of shoes I was carrying? (I remembered the clatter and crash we had heard.) So I immediately went on the web and filled in a “Lost Property” form with DSB, the train company, hoping to get them back one day. I never heard a word.
Next day, I went to my favourite opticians. They tested my eyes, it was some 5-6 years ago since last, and I ordered some new glasses. I knew it could be some time before the train company DSB found them and they are my “long distance” glasses, which I cannot be without.
In the meantime, I had to go around with sunglasses on all day – my only other ones with long distance.
Which looked crazy of course on rainy days or watching tv in the evening!
Peter, Sheila and Adam came to stay for 2 weeks and never saw me without these darned sunglasses on, nor did various guests we invited - and sunglasses are annoying things as you cannot see the eyes of the person you're talking to!
These no doubt contributed to the funny “gypsy story”! See: www.sighthound.net/gypsystory.htm
All this was in the start of May.
After our guests had gone home, I collected my new glasses – they cost me nearly 3000 kroner! A dreadful price.
Still not a word from DSB about my old ones – surely the cleaning lady would have found them by now? I kept thinking about them. Summer came and went and now today it is the 11th December.
This afternoon, Svend sees an ad for a cheap pair of men’s slippers in a newspaper that he quite likes and shows me.
I am negative, pointing out, that he hates this kind of slipper, which has a flat sole and doesn't turn up at the toes, because he shuffles along and trips up on things!!!
I go and fetch his slippers, which he has not worn since the Heidi and Erik lunch, to show him.
And yes, he hates them as they are flat and and that’s why he’s not used them since, as he has other shoes he can change into when out at friends. I plonk them on the table beside him and suddenly see... oooh, what is this peeking out of one of them?
It appears to be a glasses case? I am always helping him find his glasses, so now I assume they are his ... but no, I turn them over and see the white cat sticker I carefully described to DSB!!!
I look inside and what a lovely surprise, THEY ARE MY LOST GLASSES FROM MAY!!!!!!
I am completely in shock - and overjoyed!
Svend has clearly put the slippers away on a shelf with other shoes that we never use and not noticed the glasses case tucked well down the toe! What an expensive mistake!
The old ones have “Solo chewed” earpieces but they weigh less on my nose than the new ones, so I think I’ll start wearing them again!
Tuesday the 8th of December
Friday the 4th of December
For one month, Dasher can wear his "Father Christmas coat"! Brings a smile on everyone's face, people stare out of cars, the two girls we passed on ponies this morning had a good giggle and today, we were even photographed! I only took this bad photo due to constant drizzle, mist or wetness plus howling gale winds, so I dare not use the camera.
Thursday the 3rd of December
Tuesday the 1st of December
For Danish readers only!
I buy all my Christmas presents on the web and have amongst many other things, bought some mugs with personalised photos on from a firm I used last year called "fotoSjov.dk" - which means "photofun" in Danish.
Just as they did last year, (and I laughed out loud), instead of the usual boring email notification that they NOW have sent the order and when to expect it, (or how to track it) - with THIS firm is different and so funny. (Best the first time one reads it when it comes as a total surprise!) Here is what they write, best left in Danish, I think! It's priceless.
Kære Janet Frimodt-Møller
Friday the 27th of November
Wednesday the 25th of November
Monday the 23rd of November 2015
Yesterday was both a nightmare day but also a WONDERFUL one together with family and friends!
Unfortunately, the Brunch Party was held on the very day that a big snowstorm hit Denmark.
Photos above taken yesterday at the inn we went to at Bellahøj.
Some places had less snow, like where we live, where it all melted but other places it was very thick - 60 or more centimetres.
Photo above from 2 guests who had to dig their car out yesterday morning before they could drive anywhere!
We left the house at 8.15am in icey, blustery winds and whirling snowflakes. The bus came precisely on time and the train only 3 minutes late. So far so good. (So I proudly texted my friend who was dog-sitting later, that her bad forebodings were put to shame – but little did we know of what was yet to come!)
Photo below waiting for the bus to come over the hill.
At the second station, the train stood for longer than it should and then we were all told over the loudspeaker, that some trees had fallen down under the weight of snow, bringing down the over-head electric wires, so the trains to and fro only had one track to share between them! We were to wait until they figured out the order of things.
After sitting for some time, the loudspeaker announced that people going to the airport should switch to the train standing at the next platform, (meaning down two flights of stairs, along a tunnel under the tracks and up two flights!)
This caused MANY people to start hurrying off our train
– and we thought: If they are going first and getting priority treatment – why don’t we go along as well? So we too, hurried over to the other platform and found the other train now full to bursting, as it had already been half full with the usual amount of passengers and now it was the chaos of passengers from two trains crammed into one!
After about 10 mins. a new announcement was made that everyone wanting the airport would be ferried there in taxis, so please to leave the train!
I thought, what a fantastic good service we have here on the Danish railway system and was most admiring!
So about 50-60 people clambered off again and milled around on the snowy platform, wondering where to go next.
After a further 10 minutes, it was announced that they were all to get back on the train again!
(Somebody at top level had canned the extra expense???)
This time the "airport souls" had to stand up, as we had taken their seats when they left!!!!
We were now most of us feeling like we knew each other and conversations struck up and everyone helped where they could. For example, in the first train, the couple sitting on the other side were "John-Erik" and wife "Sanna" going for 4 days to Barcelona! We know this, as he rang a friend called Bent and told him! So we greeted them like old friends when we met them again on the other train, wished them a good holiday when they got off again and then sympathised when they got back on one more time and had to stand now! I was even able to point out 2 empty seats that were vacated behind their backs at the next station.
Finally we got rolling, but very slowly, especially when we passed the spot where men were desperately working in the cold to remove the trees etc. We passed field after field buried in snow...
This train now decided, being a mixture of people all wanting different destinations, to stop at every stop, so this ALSO dragged out the time. Then they got the rolling indicator working in our carriage, telling what stations the train would stop at and suddenly we realised we were on a train that did not stop at "our" station, Valby! Horrors! The indicator board was quite clear about this.
So we texted our son in a panic, as he was due to pick us up at Valby, (what did we do without mobiles???) - he had now been waiting AGES for us, that he would have to drive off to the main station instead!
But when we passed Valby, the train stopped anyway – only it was too late to rush off it as our son was already on his way to the main station in Copenhagen!
Finally we arrived at Bellahøj, a whole hour late and we had been 3 hours doing a journey that need only take 1 1/2 from door to door!
But we all we had a wonderful time when we got there!
I am so grateful to my friend who was coming to look after the dogs at midday, that she dared to drive! She drove heroically through a snow storm part of the way, then it cleared up when she got to us and the dogs were SO pleased to see her.
Then coming home, we worked out what train suited us, (the 15.33) and our son duly dropped us off at Valby, in good time to catch it and no delays were reported, so we assumed that the tree problem was fixed.
But oh no, all was chaos, the train didn’t come for over an hour in which time we nearly froze to death on the platform bench, all the time thinking “NOW it’s coming!” and the platform sign telling what train was coming just kept changing it’s mind all the time!! All we saw saw were “through trains” that thunder past at hair-raising high speed, leaving us all very jealous!
Finally our train rolls in, we clamber on board, loving the warmth and we had barely chosen a seat and sat down when my eyes read the board: "To Nykøbing Falster" - south when we want west!
I shrieked out the station name as I read it and got up and several other people all jumped up in confusion as THEY TOO, HAD MADE THE SAME MISTAKE! So we all struggled out at the next station – where luckily, we could rectify our mistake, our son who kept in touch with text messages throughout, being very concerned about us, promised he could see on his mobile “app” that “our one” was just behind, only 8 mins. to wait.
By this time I was shaking badly from the cold and almost ill. There was a waiting room, but this was the same temp. as outside, with big wide open glass doors!
Sure enough at long last, after nearly an hour and half in all, “our” train glides into the station and we quickly found seats and enjoyed the warmth and our numb toes were thawing out.
When we got to our station, we decided not to wait for the bus and have a 5 minute walk home in thick slushy snow, but took a taxi – luckily there was one at the ready, as many other people had the same idea. So we were home in no time. However, we were amazed that the roads were cleared and hardly any snow at all here!!! Finally after nearly three hours in all, we were back again, fairly shattered with all the day’s events.
But we were lucky, as no less that 8 other people/families had been forced to stay at home and couldn't come at all! They really missed a great day out. Such a shame.
Below, a photo from 9 am this morning - hard to believe about all the snow we saw yesterday, slipping and sliding about!
Saturday the 21st of November
Saturday the 14th of November
Tuesday the 10th of November
Saturday the 7th of November
Saturday the 31st of October
Wednesday the 28th of October
Spotted this beautiful grasshopper clinging to the door frame this morning! Not quite the right time of year for starting life, but it looked so smart and freshly hatched. Incredibly long feelers!
On the long "through the fields" dog walk this morning and when I get to the village, I admire the very old trees are SO beautiftul in the sunlight. It's a breathtaking time of year... but soon over with now....
Below, the road through the village.
Below, a VERY old tree..
Below: Enjoying the last chance of sunbathing.
Saturday the 24th of October 2015 - now the 8th blog!
Below: The last rose of summer!
This one's called after the famous Danish actress Ghita Nørby. The perfume is wonderful.
Tuesday the 20th of October
The winter corn this morning, (may not be corn, I'll have to wait and see!) is already sprouting well. Compare with September's photos of brown earth below. It's hard to see the grass path now! Bit of a dull day today. Note the traditional Danish white painted, red roofed church in the distance.
Monday the 19th of October
"Who said it was YOUR shoe? I dare you to come and take it!"
Amazing what can grow on a rotten tomato while your back's turned! (Sitting on old potato peelings.)
Sunday the 18th of October
Thursday the 15th of October
Anyone fancy going for a very short ride in a brand new electrically powered BMV car in Copenhagen? My son rented this car to demonstrate a new concept in the car world. A fleet of 400 cars has been bought by the big bus and train concern here in Denmark, where you can find your nearest car via a telephone app. and you collect, drive (paying by the minute!) and then drop off ANYWHERE inside a very large area in and around Copenhagen and suburbs. (You can drive outside the area, but the car must be dropped off INSIDE the area.) Before driving, you rate the car for cleanliness and if rated dirty, it will be cleaned! You pay using the ordinary bus and train card (with chip) having first registered yourself as a user and paying a small start fee.
The comfort is wonderful, the sound almost zero and the power and acceleration second to none!
We were totally wowed!
We speak Danish of course, but there are subtitles!!!
Please take a short drive together with us!
See what I spotted on the new, longer "across the fields" walk this morning!
Same shot zoomed in, two cute deer - they raced off before I could take another photo as they could see I had noticed them.
Manday the 12th of October
It's gone gloomy and colder now, so these virile strawberry plants, thinking the recent sunny days were summer again, can never ripen!
Below, 100 year old beeches and ash in the autumn sun - as I pass on a dog walk.
Wednesday the 30th of September
After a lovely long walk of over an hour this morning, Solo still stole my shoe! Soon three years old, yet behaving like a puppy!
Then he checked the table over for forgotten crumbs!
Yesterday evening, Solo appeared to have been bitten 5-6 times by mosquites. He was shaking his head a lot and a closer examination revealed a lot of allergic bumps. Look closely, nose and all around right eye. He is quite swollen.
I suffer exactly the same right now, so I knew how he was feeling, sure he would get through it and this morning he was just fine again! (I rubbed the bumps with my own Mepyramine cream against itching and it seemed to help him.)
Monday the 28th of September
I do the "over the fields" walk again this morning in beautiful weather and not a breath of wind!
Here you can see the long shadows from the morning sun on the old boulder-stone wall.
An amusing sign in the Royale Kvarter - we could do with more of them, dog owners disgust me with their carelessness...
Below, on way home, the path to nowhere past these nice terrace houses! A wonderful view at the end.
At home, Solo is not too tired to steal Svend's shoe!
Sunday the 27th of September
Photo above: The Mayor of Slagelse (dead centre) makes a speach before cutting the ribbon and declaring the path open. Below: Looking back to the way in and out from the village.
Yesterday morning I met with a crowd of local people to see the opening of a new, what they call in Danish, "trampe sti". Trampe is the same word in English, when you tramp on something - we are going to tramp around on this new path, as indeed we did! Sti means path. This new footpath has been created between two enormous fields joining the very old village of Slots Bjergby, (which we are a part of) in the north, to the new housing area affectionately referred to as "Den Royale Kvarter", (the Royal Quarter/area), because most of the road names are called after the members of the Danish Royal family!!!
This new housing area is south of the village. It means a lot to me as a whole new doggy walk possibility opens up! I can easily walk up, (I say up, as it's hilly here!), to the Royale Kvarter, through a couple of short roads and a sandy path and then I am crossing the fields in the breathtaking peace and quiet of nature. (Where deer, pheasants and foxes roam!) The path runs alongside an old rocky boundry wall from centuries past, (which is completely overgrown) and several fields of corn etc. on each side. At the moment of course the harvest time has passed and the fields are all freshly ploughed. The path ends between old houses with large gardens with trees several hundred years old, running into the main street of the village. I have then a 15 min. walk home.
Below: The halfway view of some houses near us.
Below: We are all walking (tramping!) for the very first time. The tops of the roofs of the Royale Kvarter can just be seen.
Below: Looking back the way I have come and outskirts of the the village of Slots Bjergby.
Below: From a little further along and the red roof of the pretty church in Slots Bjergby, (the highest church on the whole of the island of Sjælland), can be seen to the right - if you look closely with reading glasses on!
I did this walk again this morning, the other way round. The only shame is that the ridge of old, overgrown stones over-shadows the path at this hour, so the dogs miss being warmed by the sun. The above shot is taking at mid-day yesterday, so a shorter shadow. It will be fun seeing them sow the corn and following it's progress growing up tall all summer!
Wednesday the 24th of September
The family were here to lunch yesterday and my oldest son took a few photos:
Wednesday the 16th of September
I went to Tivoli last Sunday! It was their yearly open day for DOGS!
Apart from the pleasure of seeing all the dogs, the fun for Dasher to meet so many others and the BEAUTIFUL gardens,
the Danish Kennel Club always arranges a big parade with everyone’s (pedigree) dogs grouped under the FCI Groups 1-10. (10 being sighthounds, so we came in last!) The leaders of each group or breed wore signs to tell the public the breed and group.
Unfortunately, it poured with rain, easing off to very fine rain but never the less everything and everybody got dripping wet. It only stopped shortly before we were due to leave. Dasher and I were soaked even before we had got up to the bus stop. (Of course we both had rainwear! His is from togsfordogs.)
Here is a short video (only 39 seconds!!!) of the rain pouring down and showing us on the bus to the station,
This should have been the start of a story about the whole day out, (the weather was promised to clear up later) but alas, it rained too much to use my camera, apart just a few photos.
BUT I did have fun anyway meeting the few friends faithful enough to turn up for the parade.
Above, taken by my son! (Only 4 IG's in all, the rest chickened out!)
Above, Dasher wants to meet a Greyhound, so he ducks under it's friend and disappears, see below...
...then jumped back! (He'd hoped it was a female???)
Above right, the dogs who were chosen to be on stage whilst the Kennel Club speaker told all about the breed's history.
Waiting time with friends! Taken by my son. Right, Dasher, now with coat back on, finds a man to kiss, who had an adorable Whippet of 5 months from Norway.
I was deeply impressed by the Greyhound friend with 4 large greyhounds - well all greyhounds are large aren’t they - as believe it or not she had travelled on the train with them. ALL FOUR OF THEM!!!
Tivoli's side entrance is just opposite the main station, so the last bit was easy but I would have loved to have seen people's eyes pop out when they saw FOUR Greyhounds, (and she’s not very tall!), stepping into the train!!! They were wonderfully behaved and kept their cool as all Greyhounds do - except if they spot a hare!
She was quite unfazed at this - more concerned about how she could only get one dog included on her travel card (I have the same, where you can take two other adults, one child or one dog extra on the card – you pay of course), and how she had to buy 3 extra child’s tickets for the other 3 dogs! Wonderful what one can get on public transport here!!!
Can you imagine the scene? I had a very good day, despite the rain.
PS I nearly forgot, I had the most amazing experience when I got on the train at Slagelse to go to Copenhagen.
Expecting the usual half empty Sunday train with plenty of seats, I was amazed to find it totally full up with people and had to go through 3 carriages to find a vacant seat, which was one of a row of emergency extra seats, but quite comfortable.
I realised to my amazement that the train was full to the eyebrows with refugees from Syria and other countries all headed for the main station in Copenhagen, same as me – only whereas I was going to have fun in Tivoli across the road, they were changing to the train to Sweden – and the unknown life ahead of them. I felt very outnumbered.
Most were young men and a few children, many had mobiles and all around me there was a VERY foreign language being spoken! It was most weird. I was in the middle of the terrible tragedy that's happening.
The young man seated to the right side of me glanced briefly at Dasher sitting in his bag on my lap and got up and moved away!
One of the “dogs are unclean” brigade? I hope they all find happiness somewhere, sometime...
Wednesday the 9th of September
Saturday the 5th of September
Spotted some deer on the doggy walk this morning.
The corn has been cut in this field.
Solo doing a show pose in the sun Friday - right ear flapped back. He's just had dinner, so a heavy stomach!
Waiting for me to kick a ball with his ear twisted.
I throw or kick it and he is very good at fetching - when the mood takes him. Dasher doesn't get the point of fetching at all!
Ugh, he's up on my desk again to check it out for "stealables"!
Tuesday the 1st of September
Went on Sunday to lure coursing in the pretty little village of Rækkende and had a fun day. Rain had been forecast but whilst it drizzled en route, it was dry, warm and mostly cloudy - perfect for us all - and dogs could be safely left in cars.
My friend picked me up and drove me there with her two Galgos from Spain who filled the back of the car, so there was only room for Solo down between my feet on the floor in front, on a rug! Below: Camino being a "lap-dog"!
Here below, the female, Karla, a VERY sweet dog, does silly games with Solo in the long waiting time.
See the video of their coursing runs here:
Above, Camino in a shot from the video - he FLIES!
(The Afghan who leapt through a wire fence was quite OK again afterwards, she was only limping because a big tree branch was stuck between her legs in a tangle of hair, so she had difficulty walking!!!)
Above and below, home again and Dasher greets Camino, whom he knows well...
...while Solo gets in the car ready to go again!
We had a WONDERFUL day - thanks to my friend.
PS The dogs quickly get themselves orientated and work out where the hare/lure will run, so we use various different fields all the year so they don’t get too familiar with any one place and also reverse the course after the lunch break.
Never the less, many dogs get so wise, that they can work out where the hare will go, some even know that the plastic coloured cones we use to indicate where the metal reels driven into the earth for the cord to hitch around, (often in long grass) mean a change of direction.
On the very first Whippet run on this video, if you look very closely, you can see the hare actually runs straight ahead of them, yet both dogs turn sharp right!
This is because they already know that the hare MUST stay in the field and will of course turn right being that there’s a fence right ahead and to the left, so they cut out the fancy stuff and race to get ahead, which is sharp right, even though they turn away from the hare!! The poor lady operating the hare has a hard job to keep it running ahead of them - but she's an expert!
These and many other ways, the dogs show their intelligence and how they think for themselves rather than just blindly running behind the lure.
New beginners need to learn the art and some dogs never do, but the few with all their hunting instincts intact, can really be very clever and really tax the hare operator’s abilities to the utmost!
Saturday the 29th of August 2015 - now the 8th blog!
Thusday the 28th of August
Monday the 17th of August
The strawberry season has now been replaced by the first of our 3 plums trees to ripen and so after dinner, they dash to grab up the windfalls for dessert!
Friday the 14th of August
Fanny's just been collected and the place seems empty - it's like loosing a dog! Even two super-lively Italians can't make up for one Whippet!
Here she is last night when she threw herself on top of Solo, (her back legs are weaker now, so she sits rather suddenly!) who tried a growl, then stopped as one doesn't growl at "ladies", one is respectful!! So he suffered in silence until his legs probably went to sleep and he was forced to move! Below another picture I found hysterically funny. Again she had flung herself on top and Solo popped up out of the blanket like a periscope!!! ALL my dogs have always burrowed underneath all blankets, regardless of the temperature around them.
Fanny running again! She loves the game.
Yesterday we had the most wonderful experience, my night blooming Cereus cactus finally opened a flower in the evening, instead of in the middle of the night. The room was filled with a mysterious perfume and we slowly watched it open into a vertitable "bride's bouquet! In the morning it is limp and shriveling up - there's just one night of madness!
This plant was given to me by a friend who had the "mother plant" and asked us round for coffee in August 2011, knowing one of her flowers would open. As the evening progressed, it slowly opened and we saw it's full glory. I just had to have a cutting! I always think of her when I see and tend to this cactus, as tragically, she has passed away.
Wednesday the 12th of August
14 year old Fanny is on holiday here again, just for a couple of days. Here she takes two "rounds", I dare not ask for more.
She is exercised and eaten lunch and now wants to sleep. Solo would love to sit with her, but he is too polite - as yet!
...but he has to give up!
Tuesday the 11th of August
Butterfly on a butterfly bush! So pretty.
Solo hasn't stolen anything for a long time, so in case we worried about him being ok, he took our favourite biro from the kitchen table top today!
Wednesday the 5th of August 2015 - now the 8th blog!
Saturday the 1st of August
Hoverflies are "innocent" little things (and do a lot of good) and at the moment I wade through a field full of waist-high clover and chicory every morning on the dog walk (see below) and see that the flowers are full of them – apart from the usual bees.
They take their time to suck up the nectar, which is apparently SO good, they don’t even notice if I stroke their backs!!!!
I suddenly got this crazy idea to stroke them gently - and they never budged!
Thursday the 30th of July
We had some friends and their children to lunch yesterday - plus dogs, but I was kept so much on the run, I didn't take a single photo! Unheard of! Great fun though. I will have to rely on theirs. (Oh, found out later that they only photographed the food!!!) We had a wonderful time, despite showery weather. However, I must show you the drawing of Fanny-whippet done by their 9 year old son as a present for me! I think he has, in simple lines captured her "whippetyness" and brindle markings very well.
Tuesday the 28th of July
Saturday the 25th of July
Saturday the 15th of July
A bit of excitement on the morning walk: A very lage hare came racing towards us, saw us at the last moment and turned around some bushes, but I manged to get this shot, with the dogs going berserk! NO chance of zooming in, unfort.
A close-up of the same photo:
It was nearly as big as the dogs - just shorter legs!
Thursday the 16th of July
Monday the 13th of July
She has just stepped in to the bed betwen Solo og Dasher and it's a tight squeeze! They ALL insist on sitting beside me as I eat breakfast. Question is, can she manage to lie down? She moves very carefully.....
... and YES! She could just squeeze in!
All three stealing strawberries for dessert after dinner a couple of days ago. They are good ground cover under a plum tree so I let them do their thing - our own strawberries are up in the kitchen garden.
Photo from her last morning here, collar on ready to go..
Thursday the 8th of July
Saturday the 4th of July
More "Fanny-on-holiday" pictures! Below, on walk this morning.
Right: While we watch tv in the evening yesterday.
Some of my strawberries are enormous! Below: Fanny is as addicted to Chinese cabbage, as all my dogs for more than 30 years! They get it as "dessert" after dinner and I must never run out as the look in their eyes will murder me! I'm sure the fiber is good for them. (They don't want the green, just the scrunchy white stem.) We eat the green tips in salads.
Above right Dasher is shattered after a long hot day and his skin is quite pink! See the temperature at 2pm today. (It was over 33 later on.)
Above right: Taken from inside the kitchen, Svend has a coffee on the patio and Fanny sleeps.
Waiting to go in after the early morning pee!
All are agog as Svend is coming home any second!
Wednesday the 1st of July
I arrive home after the walk with the boys and there is Momma blackbird, having bathed in our birdbath, re-organising all her feathers standing on our postbox! She's not budging for us, so we have to wait patiently, as she knew we would!
Solo and then Fanny suddenly shot into the flower bed after something exciting! I wait and photograph them coming out - yet another false alarm - luckily!
Monday the 29th of June
Saturday the 27th of June
Fanny-Whippet's family are on holiday again and so she has her own little holiday with us!
Here she is running around the house with the others yesterday. How many dogs can take this exercise at 14 years of age? She is in good form, back legs just a little rickerty, she's is very deaf and can't see too well either, but this is very normal in extreme old age. She just runs 3-4 times and at her own speed and with enthusiasm - and she's not even breathless!
Dinner time and I grated carrots into our salad and the dogs adore the stump. Fanny got the biggest and in seconds Solo had chewed up his and then stole Fanny's right from under her nose, literally and here he is gulping it down under the table!
Useless to try and rescue any! Below Fanny and Dasher lie beside me in the evening as I see tv.
Today family came to lunch. Here, the dogs assist the unpacking of the car!
Fanny is well used to small boys so she's good for a kiss!
Below Grandchild with my blind canary sitting on his finger! He loves doing this every visit and it's a rare opportunity.
See my rain water measure story below, the 16th of June - here we caught the culprit in the act of doing it again!!!!
Here are the strawberries we ate - well nearly all of them, rest are frozen down!
I idly photographed this fly sunning itself on the wall yesterday and was amazed at what detail there was - my little camera is very good! Of course I have heavily cropped the picture.
Wednesday the 24th of June
I was waiting at the bus stop this morning – more dreary, dull and cold weather with a touch of rain - when the big taxi-bus that drives handicapped people to the hospital, drove past me, then suddenly stopped dead.
After a few seconds I looked, wondering what on earth was wrong.
It just stood there stuck in the middle of road – THEN I saw why: A mother duck wanted to lead her ducklings across the road! The driver must have spotted her on the verge, see dark blob on right side of the road and so he waited for her. She was scared and unsure at first, hence the long wait and just as I was thinking I would have to go and shoo her over to help the driver, she summoned up courage and crossed the road and I got these two very bad shots.
In the first you can just see the little family by the roadside to the right and second photo she was safely over the road and well to the left in the photo, difficult to see as the road is steep downhill, so get your magnifying glass out!!!
Even the horse looks like it is wondering what's happening!
Yesterday, I plucked the first strawberries - nearly 3 weeks later than last year due to the cold weather and not much sun.
Tuesday the 23rd of June
I love chives - the flower is so pretty and my favourite colour, so I even have them in the flower beds! They sow themselves.
The first strawberries today the 22nd of June - 3 weeks later than last year.
Friday the 19th of June
SOO cold here the dogs had to wear coats this morning - it was windy and raining too... we are having a record cold June...
Solo eats the GREEN cherries that keep falling down off the tree! Dasher knows better than to be so stupid.
A cardboard box came in the post and of course Solo grabbed a piece as we unpacked:
A rare day of sun and Svend's shoe is carried outside again!
Tuesday the 16th of June 2015
Sunday the 7th of June
Easy-going Bella came on a visit yesterday! She knows how to behave even with hopeless and rude youngsters like our Solo who ran after her barking and saying "Get the hell out of here!" in dog language! She did her best to ignore him.
Here, even Dasher has a bark, but he knows her and also knows she is female, males have great respect for females!!!
"Everywhere that Bella went, the dogs were sure to go..." as in the nursery rhyme!
But then she did a wee and THAT was interesting and really slowed them up!!!!
Below, later on as we sat outside in the good weather with coffee and cake, she found one of their old, discarded bones to chew. See Solo, he wanted it real bad!!
Below, my chives are flowering so prettily in the kitchen garden.
Below, my garden chair appears to be floating in a cloud!!!
Saturday the 6th of June
The dogs and I just got off the little pathway in time this morning as two ponies crossed the main road and came our way!
Below: Big strawberries on the way, just need some warmth, we've had a very cold spring...
Right: A bee having an afternoon rest!
Tuesday the 2nd of June
The nuisance and happiness-ruining Magpies have been at it again:
Smashed and eaten - still wet and sticky some poor Blackbird's eggs early this morning.
See the baby bird killer spying out it's next victim at the top of the trees? Ugh.
Two flags up this morning - June is a good month for birthdays. The path is so overgrown you can hardly see the dogs!
Monday the 25th of May
Unfortunately, our expert bird-killer Solo has discovered Momma Blackbird's new nest in the box hedge at the end of the patio and I have had to protect with a wheelbarrow and wire netting. He gives high leaps and bangs and shakes the whole hedge so it's just before the eggs are scrambled - but the wheelbarrow foils him now.
It's lilac time!
Dasher looking beautiful as I photograph the lilacs. Below action and chasing about.
Friday the 22th of May
The apple tree has a record amount of blossom. You couldn't squeeze another flower on!
Tuesday the 19th of May
Our guests are unanimous that we have the world's most nature-filled interesting bus stop view to entertain whilst one waits for the bus!
There are always several hares, (the other morning 4 were having a friendly fight!) a Moorhen couple where she is sitting on the nest, two ducks, a noisy Peawit always flapping around screaming and courting his two female partners, a little flock of house martins swooping about after insects and chatting to each other and two horses in the distance held back by an electric wire as half their field has a badly broken down fence. Also various passing seagulls!
Three hares early one morning plus Peawit.
The huge field of mustard and one hare. Below my cousin photographing the dogs sunbathing in the afternoon.
(The cushion behind them is to wedge the door open so it can't slam on a little foot or leg on a windy day. An accident can so easily happen and it's a heavy glass door.)
Tuesday the 12th of May
Solo still steals and this time he has unusually destroyed poor Svend's metal watch strap. We couldn't find Svend's watch after he took it off yesterday evening to wash some dishes and we looked everywhere but then this morning I find it on the lawn, all wet from the night dew - but still working!!! Unfortunately, the metal strap is chewed to a million pieces. Here is Dasher checking it out. He would NEVER do anything like this. So Solo is in disgrace - but he doesn't know it!!!!
Monday the 11th of May
Tragedy hit a few days ago: Momma Blackbird laid 4 eggs and left is a photo of 2 of them. (They lay one a day in the early hours of the morning.) Then I photograph two mornings after and the nest was shockingly empty, see right.
So despite our best efforts, the horrid Magpies HAD seen the nest-building activities, kept an eye and then raided the nest and eaten the 4 eggs for breakfast before we even woke up in the morning. Later on, Dasher showed me where the shells of 2 of them lay on the lawn still all wet and sticky. I am SO upset on Momma's behalf.
Here you can see how near she was to all of us - you can just see the nest on top of the outside light:
Terrible that we were unable to protect her.
Meanwhile, my brother is staying here from Florida and my cousin from the South of France, so I am kept VERY busy!
Below: Help on the morning walk.
Below: Solo loves my brother!
We were 10 for lunch Sunday and here is my youngest grandchild about to hide behind the flower beds with a dog toy he is sneaking off with!
Tuesday the 5th of May
Despite torrential rain and high winds, our oldest cherry tree struggles on - you couldn't squeeze another blossom on it's overloaded branches! Right: The ornamental cherry by the front door - excuse window reflections
Momma Blackbird has changed her mind! She is now building on a patio lamp by the back door! This time I will let her have her way. She will have to put up with us eating out there just underneath and her swooping over our heads to and fro...
Here she is yesterday morning and this morning - it's not going to be easy.....
Saturday the 2nd of May
Camino and mistress visited us again last week. Cam found an old discarded bone on the floor and started chewing on it. This woke Dasher up to the fact that it was HIS bone and NOW he wanted it badly...
- after ignoring it completely for months!!!
Dasher tries to paw and prod Cam on his back and does all sorts of distracting moves, dancing around him.
Camino knows it's not his and looks up at his Mistress for help!
Dasher gets ready to grab whilst pretending to look the other way...
Finally, Dasher grabs the bone as Cam stands back - Cam is on best manners as he is fully aware he is not at home!!!
Then Dasher has the cheek to prance around showing off and saying to Cam: "See what I've got and you can't have it, ha ha!" and is really taunting him!!! Cam is surely cursing under his breath but he's a kind, polite dog when out visiting!
Later: Begging our guest for attention at the kitchen table.
Left: Hare in a nearby field and right: The first Blackbird egg has hatched and the shell tossed away onto the lawn!
A big fat pigeon on a visit - until he spotted the dogs....
Sunday the 26th of April
I can now see where the nest is! Same place as the Linnet's last year. She has started building today as it rained and this gives slushy, mouldable nesting material of dead leaves and my rock plants. Below, caught in the act!
A cute pansy sowed itself last year, survived the winter and now is flowering!
Below, Greyhound Camino and mistress visited us briefly last week.
Dasher is daring him to give chase - and he did chase them both but we had to stop it as for obvious reasons - it's no good big dogs playing with tiny "pencil thin-boned" little dogs. Collisions happen so easily and the "prey" want to stop, whilst the one giving chase is having too much fun to stop...
Below Cam after Solo - see how high Solo is off the ground!
Coffee and cake outside in the sun.
Tuesday the 20th of April
Monday the 20th of April
I step outside early this morning with the dogs and Momma Blackbird shoots past my face and lands on the patio light. Stays put while I photograph her and watches Solo leaping up as high as he can to get to her. She remains unmoved!
It's a bit of a mess outside as the sitting-outside-season is only just about to begin! Below, a close-up of her, but you can see her above, top left.
Above right you can just see Solo leaping up the wall in vain, giving small shrieks of frustration!
The view on the dog walk this morning, usually more misty due to the sea... the bridge is to the island of Fyn including a long road crossing a small island that is very conveniently just between. In the foreground is a road.
Enjoying the early morning sun! And below, Solo tired out and asleep in the last rays in the evening.
You will never believe this story, but I have had this pretty little sign hanging by our front door for many years, at least 15 - a gift from some American friends. All my favourite colours of mauve and pink! Yesterday morning, a huge Bumble bee came past and actually hovered for some time investigating the flowers as if it nearly believed they were real! I was amazed and didn’t take a photo as I never knew it would take SO long time to check them out – I wish I could see through a bee’s eyes for a minute or two – but it’s compliment to the artist, they nearly fooled a professional flower expert!
Friday the 17th of April
Friday the 10th of April
Tuesday the 7th of April
Monday the 6th of April
Sunday the 5th of April:
Saturday the 4th of April:
Plenty of sun today, but still cold, so the dogs preferred to sunbathe indoors! However, below you can see, that when Fanny decides to sit in a bed, she ignores any occupant who might be there first! See Solo squashed flat in first picture! Then she grudgingly makes room and he struggles out from underneath, so they agree to share!
Above: Fanny LOVES Chinese cabbage - which mine eat every day as dessert after dinner! It's the crunchy white stem they go for and maybe get good extra fiber this way? Below: Funny photo, as they keep me company in my office.
The last crocuses in the evening sun...
Sunset over the neighbour's house.
The robin has stayed and is singing a lot, so I do hope he finds a mate, or he'll soon change his mind! This is the first one ever who stayed with us and not just moved on. Must be the whole meal brown toast I put out every morning!
Thursday the 2nd of April
Some shots from a day with Fanny!
It was cold this morning and they quickly want to go in!
Dasher and Fanny posing artistically this afternoon.
There hasn't been the usual queue to sit with or preferably on top of, Fanny this time. But this morning, Solo tentatively crept in beside her!
One of the perks of staying here is, that after lunch, they each get a strip of dried tripe to chew on! They love it.
Wednesday the 1st of April
Monday the 30th of March 2015 - and now the 8th blog!
Wednesday the 25th of March
Monday the 23rd of March
Went to the first lure coursing of the year yesterday! Dasher not running due to the now cured and invisable "mystery neck strain" on Thursday but he took the disappointment very well. Below friends waiting for their turn.
A very short video of Mephisto, Karla (seen above) and Solo's runs:
Photo's below from the video:
Karla looking beautiful.
Karla takes off - literally!!!
Mephisto takes off too...
Vincenza and Solo take off after the white hare... and Solo is just a dot running at top speed...
Below, Svend enjoying the cakes and coffee! The weather was FREEZING, only about 2-3 degrees after a frosty night, and the sun too weak to help.
Below left, Dasher with good friend Greyhound Camino and right a new young Spanish Galgo, never tried before, called Karla, is unimpressed by his attentions! ( I will be made a short video, link above, so her owner can see it, as she did not come.)
Below: Show Greyhound/Borzoi mix Mephisto is showing where he flew off at the start of his run and dug great clumps of turf up on take-off, he is so powerful! (He's by far our biggest dog.)
Below: Solo ran with Vincenza in fine style - shrieking all the way round as usual!
... but at the first turn, Vincenza is seen leaping high in the air - we don't know but maybe they nearly had an accident, or if it was some bushes and big weeds she ran into, but she lost valuable time so she gave up and ran back to Mum!
Such a shame, as for once she is in top form and more than willing to run with Solo. Females are so fickle - their perfomance depends so much on where they are in their season.
The lunch break! Below tired out after a long day.
Saturday the 21st of March
Below: Earlier in the day:
Thursday the 19th of March
The dogs sunbathe, see Dasher's funny position! He has the same warm knee-warmer on that we gave to Timmi when he had a bad neck. Now Dasher has done something mysterious to HIS neck and it often hurts, especially turning to the left. He is not in constant pain, but often yelps if pushed or shoved by Solo or making an unfortunate movement. He doesn't want to play, which is hard on Solo. So he can't do lure coursing either until he's better.
Solo stole Svend's newspaper but perhaps he wanted my attention, as the bed was running out of sun and needed moving!
Above, some of the pollen giving me the worst hayfever for years! This will be hazel nuts in the autumn, the tree is loaded.
The dogs play their usual mad wrestling games about three days ago!
Saturday the 14th of March
Yesterday I went with some trepidation to the vets with Dasher and Solo, who should have their yearly vaccination. That is, I get it done every two years as their health insurance demands it, but the Kennel Club here say every fourth year is good enough - however most vets recommend every year. This discrepancy is because no one has ever done any testing on hundreds of random dogs to control how long the vaccine actually protects. Solo has not been vaccinated since he was with his breeder.
I was very worried, as back then, at his second of two for all puppies here, he had a violent allergic reaction. His whole face swelled up – see breeder’s shocking photo here!
So I discussed this with the vet and firstly, the manufacturer is different, secondly she (the vet) went for a milder “cocktail“ of illnesses after hearing about their lives and asking if they were in contact with rats? Yikes!!! NO, they are most definitely not!! And then we went for a short walk before going home, to see if he would react and I could dash back inside and get instant help. But he was just fine! What a relief! The vet looked at his health booklet and identified that the second injection was the same as the first, plus another, different one – which she said, is known to “give more trouble”. So he’s never having that one again!
Here they are driving away from the vet’s an hour later and a finer face (distorted by the camera lense, which I held over my shoulder) you never did see!
A wonderful sunny day on Thursday and someone had their flag flying. Danes are good to fly their lovely red flag at just any occasion, always birthdays and anniversaries but also there are many national flag days and other special days including the royal family’s birthdays etc. always such an uplifting sight as somebody is happy and celebrating.
Tuesday the 10th of March
I put a dog-bed outside yesterday and today, so the dogs could enjoy sunbathing for the first time this year!
The snowdrops on their last legs now!
Sønday the 8th of March
The round-about that a car crashed up on top of and stuck there for a day in November 2013, is nearly recovered and the crucusses are flowering - although one can still clearly see the car tracks... and a few scattered crocus that got dragged out of place!
Below is from 24th November 2013!!!
Everyone came from miles around to see it and it was "the talk of the town" and in the local newspapers!
Another photo taken through my office window of "my" Robin - still here, so I am hoping and praying he will stay, as I love their song - and it reminds me of England, where they are to be heard "all over". He can see me, so I only have a split second to focus and shoot in.
Wednesday the 25th of February
Solo is crazy to get hold of Momma Blackbird while she sits there (hidden in the tangle of branches), laughing at him!
So later on, in the sun, he dug a hole instead!
Sunday the 22th of February
Wednesday the 18th of February 2015
Solo has stolen Svend's slipper again!
Yesterday, late afternoon, my friend on the island of Fyn, took this picture of sunset. I laughed, as sunset usually means fantastic bright and beautiful colours! This time, you'd think it was the moon! (We never saw the sun at all.)
Today I was on my knees gardening the most of the day. Momma Blackbird came down to see if I had disturbed any worms or insects for her and stayed with me for about 5 - 10 minutes. She was only a yard away and watched me get the camera out, but she has seen it SO many times before, even the flash doesn't bother her.
Tuesday the 17th of February
Solo is the most professional thief we have ever had, and god knows, we have owned MANY!!!
He is also the first we have had who can jump up on tables with extreme accuracy – so little is private from him!
This day, he was presumably sound asleep with me in my office, Svend made a cup of coffee and took biscuits as usual.
Then the second that Svend got up and went into the lounge Solo awoke and zoomed into the kitchen to check for forgotten biscuits and crumbs! He knows that in the past, Svend has accidentally left him something to steal... (it took time for us to learn new habits and to take extra care!) so although apparently sound asleep, he is actually noting Svend’s every move!
Below, he is just dropping back after checking the table top as he sees Svend has noticed him!
Below, caught in the act of cleaning up imaginary crumbs!
A little about my last two elderly birds, both bred by me.
Sunday the 1st of Febuary
Sunny one day then dark, rainy days the next - and up to 4 degrees in the day! An unusual winter!
Dasher giving my son a kiss - quite a gymnastic feat!
Dasher looking loving!
Saturday the 17th of January
Wednesday the 14th of January
Monday the 12th of January 2015 - and now the 8th blog!
Sunday the 4th of January 2015 - and now the 8th blog!
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