Monday, 5 September 2016

August round up

Another month gone and looking back at last month's round up, Barney has done a lot of growing over the last 31 days!

As Barney's got older, we've been able to get out and do more, both with and without him which has been really nice. At the start of the month he was looking really shaggy, with a particularly long fringe, so we thought it was time to take him for his first trip to the dog groomer. I thought he'd be awful, as he fidgets like crazy when we brush him at home, but he was fine. He wimpered a little bit, but the groomers were great, they're a mother and daughter team and seemed to just know intuitively when he needed an extra set of hands. He looked much smarter afterwards, and could see out from under his fringe. It didn't take him long to get back to his usual scruffy self though.
Look at his little legs!
We'd done four weeks at Janet's puppy playgroup, not far from where we live. It was good for socialising him with other puppies, with a bit of training and fun thrown in along the way. In the final week there was a musical chairs competition. As you'd guess they play music and when it stops the puppies have to sit and whoever doesn't sit, or gets up first is out. Astonishingly, Barney won. He was very proud of his winner's bandana, although I think it might have been designed for someone a little bigger!
Still sitting, even though the game had finished
That evening we went for a barbecue at a friends house, who kindly suggested we bring Barney. To be honest, I was expecting mayhem. They have two daughters, a five year old, Ffion, who is scared of dogs (including Barney) and a six month old. There was also another couple invited who hadn't met Barney. He was excited when he got there and wanted to meet everyone, but we once we settled him down with something to chew he was really well behaved. He sat on my knee at the end of the night for a sleep and Ffion even came over to stroke him. The other couple are looking at getting a dog and had ruled out smaller dogs as they thought they'd be over-excitable, but I think Barney may have changed their minds.
We took him over to see his brother the next day. The last time they'd met up they barely stopped play fighting for the hour they were together. This time they seemed a little calmer. We even managed to bribe them with treats so we could get a few photos of them together. It's great to see them together and compare and contrast their differences. Barney is definitely little brother.
Luckily they're both motivated by food!
The next weekend we had a couple of friends over who again hadn't met Barney before. Their daughter is nine months old, so we're certainly getting Barney used to children. It was a bit of a struggle containing him as he wanted to meet the visitors, but we didn't want him inadvertently causing any harm as he's still at that stage where everything he encounters goes into his mouth. We went for a walk to distract him, but he was still a bit of a handful. Anyway, it was nice to see them and I don't think they left thinking he was too much of a rabid hound!

We also got to have our first date night out since we've had him, we went out to a local restaurant for our wedding anniversary. The food was amazing, I couldn't finish my dessert so they gave it to me to take home with me. How could I say no?! We came home to a yawning puppy who seemed to have slept the evening away. We can definitely go out more often!

We knew that Pablo had lost his first teeth a few weeks ago and so kept an eye on Barney. He's now lost most of his front incisors (just one to go, I think), and is growing new teeny, perfect teeth. It's so fascinating!
Unfortunately the Dog Tooth Fairy doesn't pay out when he swallows them
We've also been for our first couple of geocaching walks with Barney. It's nice to have him with us when we're out but you can tell when he's had enough as he stops walking nicely and turns into a velociraptor. At least he's not yet eaten a log book!
Time for a water break
Aside from Barney, we've had lots of jobs done around the house. We finally got the septic tank fixed (hurrah!) and then emptied, had the chimney swept and the kitchen work surfaces polished. The house has been a bit of a money pit since we moved in, but we're trying to get on top of things without doing major projects until they really need to be done. We've also made a decision to get the boundary out of the front of the house done next year. That'll be our most costly investment, but hopefully it'll add kerb appeal and a little value when we come to sell. 

Now onto my progress against my plans for the year...

Read sixteen books
No progress on this, in fact I think I should have opted for six, not sixteen. I think I just need to start one on my Kindle and spend some time reading it at lunch time rather than trawling through Twitter or Googling whatever puppy issue is troubling me on any given day.

Find one hundred geocaches
We started the year on 488 finds and we're now at 534, which makes 46 for the year to date. I can't see that we'll make it to one hundred, but hopefully we'll keep doing the odd geocaching walk when we can. It's always a great opportunity to get out and explore a new area. 

Try three gym classes
No progress on this, I'm seeing a physio about my ankle and doing strenghtening and control exercises so I should be able to start more weight bearing exercise shortly. 

Meet up with an old friend
One of the friends we met up with this month I've probably known for over ten years, and we're both quite old, so perhaps that counts?!

Blog once a month
Tick! I wrote about everything we bought when we were getting Barney, so if you're ever in the same position, it may be worth a read. 

Watch a new film once a month
We saw Divergent on DVD this month, I really enjoyed it. Barney less so. There was a snarling German Shepherd near the beginning, and he doesn't really like people fighting. He ran away from the snarling dog and hid behing the sofa when the fighting started. Luckily, he seemed to think sitting on my lap would help, so we managed to watch the film without further interruption.

Take six day trips
No progress on this one, I think this may need to wait until next year, but you never know!

September has already got off to a flying start, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the month holds. I love September, cosy jumpers and the woodburner going at night. I'm just hoping for not too much rain, so we don't have a damp, steaming dog in front of the fire!