Bit of a nightmare... :(
I should really update hencam more often, apologies, but things have been hectic so I'll try and explain a little.
A couple of years ago work became a bit horrible due to my (very nice) boss leaving as the office politics were becoming ridiculous (the owner employed a starbucks server on a whim to run the programming team for the entire company!), which left me in a terrible working environment having to deal with the new regime.
Anyway, long story short my ex-boss contacted me with an offer of a job at his new company - yay! I've been there just over a year now and it's head and shoulders better than the last one, so that's good. It involves travelling once a week to Pontefract (about 40 miles away) but it's not too bad considering.
We were hoping to replace the old coop (it's rotting in several places and the nest box leaks, and it has red-mite on and off due to the old-style roofing used). I found some easy-clean alternatives but as we were about to buy circumstances plotted against us. We just can't afford it at the moment :(
The main reason is we're having some major building work carried out - the front room, stairs and landing were in desperate need of stripping and re-plastering, the ceilings need ripping out, wooden cladding taking out, and our condemned wood-burning stove needs sorting for winter, etc etc.
On top of this, a few months ago some coward hit my car whilst it was parked outside my house but didn't leave a note - the scraped and dented every panel down the side of the car - the repairers said it looked like it was either a large lorry or a drunk-driver. As nobody admitted responsibility, I had to pay for the repairs myself. I am in the process of fitting CCTV outside my house (hencam has given me a bit of experience on this subject at least!) so if it happens again I'll have evidence.
And a couple of weeks ago somebody changed lane into my car (the same side I'd just had repaired) - damaging the rear wheel arch. Although the other party was very apologetic at the time, they haven't reported it to their insurer as of now so I've had to pay for the repairs AGAIN. My insurance will go up through no fault of my own. :(
On the plus side, we found a lovely original York stone floor when the carpets were ripped up so we're going to have it restored...
Since yesterday I've been working on getting Zoey to offer snorting / sneezing in reward for a treat.
I only marked the behaviour a few times, and then she began offering it herself! That's the thing I love about Zoey, not only does she catch on very quickly with what I want her to do, but she also offers new behaviours constantly...Kasper would sit and stare at me for minutes waiting for a treat, whereas Zoey will offer numerous behaviours in the hopes of winning it...all I have to do is mark one that I like! :)
(you might have to turn the volume up, her snorts are easy to miss!)
Damn this dog is clever and loves to learn :)
Zoey is our 2.5 year old rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier. She is trained using only positive reinforcement, and knows over 25 tricks!
Happy Easter everyone, from all of us at hencam HQ!
May the Easter Bunny bring you lots of chocolate eggs :)
Here's mine and Lyle's Easter eggs...needless to say a certain fat-dog (aka Kasper) was very interested in them :P
If you fill in the simple form at http://menunited.prostatecanceruk.org they'll donate 50p to the charity completely free of charge!
Today we celebrated having Kasper for four years!!
We've had plenty of ups and downs with Kasper, but he is my heart dog. He has taught me so much, I knew basically nothing about dogs before we adopted him, and I love him so, so much.
We adopted him at 9 months old. He had little obedience training, was very, VERY enthusiastic around other dogs, had poor recall, was scared of strangers (especially men) and flinched if you moved too quickly towards him.
In four years he has come such a long way. He is polite when greeting other dogs, and will tell them to sod off if they are rude! He accepted his sister Zoey into the family with quite a few grumbles, but now he loves her dearly. He loves his walks, loves his treats and, surprisingly, enjoys making new (human) friends when introduced properly. He's fantastic when people are in the house and, unlike Zoey, will readily perform tricks to impress them! (Zoey is too busy hanging off their arms to do tricks!!)
HAPPY GOTCHA DAY KASPER!
(Please check out this thread here on the forum for all the pics of Kasper's day!)
Ivy died yesterday, so we have no chickens anymore. :-(
Our first chickens seemed a lot hardier - although they were a 'commercial' breed so pumped full of anti-biotics and chemicals as a chick, which helped them be as resistant to pest and disease.
Unfortunately our later chickens didn't prove as hardy - it's been horrible losing them slowly over a couple of years, and now we're not sure if we want to go through it again.
If we do, we will have to replace the coop - it's lasted an amazing length of time, but it's showing it's age now and bits of it are rotting, the door hinges are snapped, it's becoming more susceptible to red-mite infestations etc. I'm thinking of replacing it with a plastic coop, or at least one that is easier to clean and look after (and red-mite resistant).
Not really sure what to do in the meantime - I'll try and get the outdoor cam working so at least there's something on.
Sorry guys. :-(
I was eating a peanut butter sandwich the other day, and put it down to get a drink.
I didn't have to say anything to Kasper, didn't even have to ask him to 'leave it' - he knew not to touch it.
I think showing such restraint really got to him though :)
Such a good boy!
Despite the fact that Zoey is two years old now, we still leave her in her crate when we're not home. We do the same with Kasper, but for an entirely different reason: Kasper has severe separation anxiety, and being in his crate calms this. Zoey, however, is in her crate for a somewhat different reason...
Mainly because she can't be trusted when left alone, she is destructo dog extraordinaire!
Just this evening we put her in her crate as usual, with two stuffed Kongs, an antler and a Nylabone. What we didn't realise is that a cylinder of wrapping paper was too close to her crate...the result?
Zoey doesn't have separation anxiety at all...she simply loves to shred and destroy things!! I can only imagine the fun she had making this mess:
And here's one of her Kongs, the antler and Nylabone, discarded :)
Ah well, at least she had a good time - even if it meant she didn't touch either of her Kongs!
Since Elvis was moved to Woodbank Nurseries (a garden centre near us in Harden), it's been a bit sad as we usually see him locked up in a tiny cage.
However the last couple of times we've visited he's been enjoying himself roaming the Pet department which is great to see - yesterday he was having fun taking a bath in an aquarium!
Sorry that the cam is off this morning, but our electricity supplier has had to cut all power to the street from 9:30am until 1pm!
Ridiculous really... But apologies for the downtime, nothing we can do about it unfortunately.
Hopefully it will be back soon!
Yes, it was two years ago today that we picked Zoey up from her neglectful owners' house and brought her home with us on the train, snuggled in a blanket :)
She's had a lovely day so far, and got a nice little bundle of goodies!
She really liked the Pedigree denta-stick-thing, which is something we'd never normally give her, but as a special treat she loved it...and it even lasted a few minutes too! ;)
Once she'd eaten her fill it was time to get her out on a walk, and although I took my camera I couldn't get any photos because as soon as we stepped out the door the 'low battery' signal began flashing...despite the fact the camera had half battery left *sigh!*
But here is Zoey getting ready to head out :)
She only had a short walk, as it's so windy here and Zoey isn't keen on wind. We did take her up by the farm though, where she doesn't normally get to go, so she found that very exciting!
I can't believe we have had her two years. She’s intelligent, eager to learn, willing to push past her fears, LOVES people (friends and strangers alike) and is an absolute dream to snuggle! Zoey, you are an amazing little dog and we love you to pieces. You can be a pain in the bum, and sure you have your kinks, but we couldn't be prouder of you.
HAPPY GOTCHA DAY!
For anyone following the forum, you'll know that about a week ago I ordered an XXL dog crate to house the bunny I'm training, Iden.
It arrived today *cue excited dancing*
Iden was originally living in a Ferplast 120 cage, but there just wasn't enough room in there, even with plenty of time hopping free!
So we opted for an XXL dog crate with run attached. Iden did great in his carrier whilst we set everything up
We used some rubber matting flooring to keep the chill of the metal base away, and also put some between the base and the bars on the bottom so that it didn't clang everytime Iden hopped around!
Iden has so much more room in there now and has been tentatively exploring everything :)
Just reminding you all that you can send delightfully "classy" free online Christmas cards right here!
You know you want to :)
Here's the video of bonfire night as promised :)
Hello all hencammers!
You are all invited to attend a wonderfully impressive (!) Bonfire Night firework display at my parent's house tomorrow night at around 8pm (GMT).
My parents have spent £80 on fireworks, so it's promising to be a cracking display :)
Hope to see you there - we'll be watching!
Well it's that time of the year when ghouls and ghosts walk down the street knocking on doors asking for sweets...
Whatever your plans for tonight (quiet, or partying, or anything in-between!), have a good one!
I hope you have a really wonderful day! :)
It was awesome seeing you yesterday and I'm glad you enjoyed your gifts - enjoy the themepark tomorrow, me and Lyle are jealous! :D
It's Zoey's second birthday tomorrow - can you believe it?! She sure doesn't act like she's two!!
We've bought her some awesome presents, including a stuffed pink Octopus that she had (and destroyed!) as a puppy, now how fitting is that?! She's also got some beef & liver chews, lots of hide twists, a fortune cookie shaped puzzle feeder and an interactive treat toy.
I'm not sure how she'll do with the treat toy, we tried Kasper with one years ago and he just attempted to destroy it to get the treats out!!
With the treat toy, you hide treats under the red circles. The dog then has to move the circles to one of the two exit points; the circle drops out and the treat is released!
Hopefully Zoey will have an awesome birthday tomorrow, even if she is being left for a little while for my birthday meal with my family! I'm baking Zoey a cake later today and using mashed potato as icing! :D
Happy Birthday Zoey! You are the most mischievous, whirlwind pup I have ever known! You brightened our lives and you're the smallest, most adorable Staffy out there! We love you to bits, even when you're a pain, and hope to have many, many years ahead with you :D
Our local BT exchange was recently (in the last day or so) enabled for superfast fibre broadband, so I've done the sums and pulled the trigger!
Swapping providers from BT has enabled me to get a lot faster broadband for a little bit less than I'm paying now - result!
It means that the streaming should be more reliable, maybe even with less buffering when you open the page. It will also mean we can go even higher in the image quality and resolution... Exciting!
If anyone else wants a cracking deal on broadband (both fibre and standard), look no further than:
Lyle bought me a target stick combined with a clicker as a surprise, and it arrived yesterday. It's brilliant!
You can make the target longer and shorter and the click is a nice volume too. You press the button to produce a click.
So essentially when the dog touches the target, you click (the click is what tells the dog they did the right thing) and then reward. At first you might need to break the behaviour down into smaller pieces (which is called shaping); for example with Zoey I clicked when she looked toward the target at first, then when she moved towards it, and finally when she nudged it with her nose.
It was funny, with Zoey she picked it up faster when the target was longer. Kasper on the other hand was confused by such a long target. Zoey went instinctively to the ball on the end of the target and picked it up super quickly.
Kasper, however, took a lot longer to pick up what the target stick was for, which was surprising. He offered all sorts of behaviours bless him trying to figure out what I wanted (lie down, sit, tall and even a sit pretty which we haven't even mastered yet!). I had to click/treat him as he approached the stick, and toss a treat across the room to reset his position so he could approach again.
We trained for about a minute and by the end he was really getting the hang of it. I've had another session with Zoey since then, and already can get her to jump on and off of furniture following the target stick :D
Check out the forum for extra pics :)