Wednesday, January 29, 2014


10th May 2013 ~ 28th January 2014

Oscar loved his walks

Oscar was killed last night.

Our hearts are broken.

Our big gentleman of a puppy has left a huge hole in our hearts and our home.

I feel sick since it happened.  My husband and I have done nothing but hug and cry.

But I want to use his death to try to prevent any other dog owner to lose their beloved pet in the stupidly easy way we lost our darling Oscar.

Every evening my husband would take Oscar for his last walk of the day and while he was out doing this I would make the dinner.

Last night, at 6pm, I heard my husband come back into the house and call my name.  I knew from his voice there was something wrong and ran out into the hall asking him what was wrong.  I knew it was bad ~ there was no Oscar standing there.

He said "I think Oscar is dead".

I very nearly passed out.  The shock as you can imagine was overwhelming.

Just as my husband went to step inside our gates from their walk a noise spooked Oscar and he leapt and pulled backwards.  Ordinarily if the loud noise of a large truck say spooked him he would have leapt forward and had that been the case last night he would be here today.

But by pulling backwards he slipped his collar and was hit and killed instantly by a passing car.

It was a good quality, strong collar correctly fitted ~ Oscar never pulled on his lead so we never used a choke chain just a standard collar.  I have had dogs all my life and in our married life we have rarely been without a dog and have never had a dog slip a collar before and we do know how to fit them so that wasn't the problem.  It was the fact he pulled backwards.

Through my tears last night I swore that I would NEVER use a collar when walking any future dog we have (and we will have another ~ life without a dog to us is not just not normal).

But as my dear friend and adopted daughter, Chelsea in Canada said to me on hearing how Oscar died, this can be Oscar's legacy ~ the warning to all other dog owners to go NOW, RIGHT NOW and buy a harness.

Never again walk your dog with just a collar.  Only walk your beloved pet using a harness.

Put a link to this blogpost on your facebook page, tweet it, text the warning, telephone a friend with a dog ~ do what you have to do but PLEASE tell all dog owners.

Oscar's legacy will be that no-one else loses their beloved pet because of an accident that could so easily be prevented by using a harness instead of a collar.

Our darling Oscar

Monday, November 18, 2013


Ballymacool Park, Letterkenny
We take Oscar to our local park for a walk every day and it is a joy to walk there with him.  The park is beautiful and is truly a gem in Letterkenny's crown.  However, I have noticed that the place is becoming used by some dog owners to allow their pet to use the park as their lavatory and  this is not a good thing!

A lot of money and work went into giving Letterkenny this fabulous park which is enjoyed by walkers, dog owners, children and families of the area and this should be respected by dog owners.

Notice in park
There are of course many signs up asking owners to pick up after their dogs (if they even allow them to "go" in the park in the first place!).  There are even bins throughout the park where the dog owner can pick up their dog's poo and bin it.  Why then do some owners think it is perfectly fine to allow their dog to foul this wonderful place?

Oscar is only 6 months old and he is trained to do his poo and pee in our yard for us to pick up.  He does this prior to his daily walks and has never, nor will never, defecate outside the area we appoint for him.

And if Oscar can be taught to do this so too can other dogs.  It's not difficult and it is such a joy to take a dog for a walk who is not going to do his business during the walk.

From DogTalk101.blogspot:

"Dog poop is a problem we deal with on a daily basis. But is it dangerous? How much do you know? Is pet waste a health hazard?

Here are the dangerous facts:

1. Dog poop is NOT good fertilizer. It's toxic to your lawn! The high nutrient concentration in dog poop will burn and discolor the grass, creating "hot spots".

2. Nearly two decades ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified pet waste as a dangerous pollutant in the same category as toxic chemicals and oil.

3. You may not live near water, but unscooped poop from your yard is carried by overland water flow or is washed into storm drains, ending up in far away streams, rivers and ground water. 

4. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms pet waste can spread parasites including hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and Salmonella. When infected dog poop comes into contact with your lawn, the poop will eventually "disappear", but the parasite eggs can linger for years! When a human or animal comes into contact with that soil through everyday activities like walking barefoot, gardening or playing, they risk infection from those eggs ... even years after the poop is gone.

5. Pet waste is teaming with E. Coli and other harmful bacteria including fecal coliform bacteria, which causes serious kidney disorders, intestinal illness, cramps and diarrhea in humans. (There are 23 million fecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of pet waste!) 

6. Dog poop often contains roundworm larvae, which cause blindness. If a human ingests a roundworm larva, it can migrate through the body causing disease to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart or eyes. So when people (especially children) touch soil, dog toys or anything that has been in contact with dog feces and then touch their mouths, they can become infected
Dog poop doesn't just "wash away" or disappear. So if you're not disposing of your dog's waste, you're putting yourself, your family, your dog and your water supply at risk."

The green at the Childrens' Playground
Surely most dog owners are aware of the dangers of leaving their dog's poo lying around?  If they are not, they should be!  

What is most disturbing to me is the fact that much of the dog poo is on a little area of grass directly beside the childrens' playground!
This means that children using this area who wander out onto the green area are in direct danger of ending up with serious, life-threatening diseases simply because a dog owner decided that leaving their dogs' waste behind was acceptable behaviour!

Nasty droppings in the park!

There is also the added annoyance a person who steps in the stuff rightly feels.  They then have to attempt to wipe their shoes, probably on the grass, thus spreading any worms eggs or viruses in the poo.  Not only that, there may be some traces left of their shoe and they then walk into their house where the germs are spread further and possibly laying down danger for babies in the house or visiting the house.

Dog poo is nasty and potentially dangerous stuff.  If you can't train your dog to do his toilet at home prior to  his walk then it is incumbent on YOU to pick it up and bin it so that some innocent child doesn't end up very ill or worse!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


My humans do training with me, things like not pooping or peeing in the house ~ I leaned that pretty quickly.  I know how to sit when told and Catherine, one of my humans has even trained me to "floor" which basically means I lie down flat on the floor. She was very impressed when I did it the 2 nd time she showed me.  She just put her hand down to the floor when I was sitting down and I automatically followed it to the floor (in case there was a treat there).  She was delighted and that made me happy so when my other human came into the kitchen and Catherine showed him, I did it straight away when told.  I continue to impress them!

Me ~ concentrating
The other evening I was taken to the car and we went on short drive and landed at a place I hadn't been before.  Apparently we were there for my first "Formal Training Session".  There were lots of humans but I was the only dog.  The humans smelled very interesting and I know they must have a dog too.  They must have left their dog at home because even though I could smell them, I couldn't see them.

But this was good because I got lots and lots of pets from these other humans.

Kathleen always gives me treats!
Kathleen appeared ~ I have met her twice before when she came to my home to visit me.  She is really nice and smells of lots of dogs.  I might get to meet them sometime because one of the times she was at our home she said to my human that she should take me for a beach walk with her pack.  Even though I don't like waves and beaches have waves, I would love to go and play with lots of other dogs and especially if Kathleen will be there too!  You can read about my first two beach visits HERE and HERE).

Everyone sat down and Catherine pulled me in to sit beside her while Kathleen spoke to the humans.  I lost interest and lay down until I heard my name which made me perk up.  Kathleen said that although this class was without dogs and puppies, I had come along because I am a big soft lump.  I don't know what a big soft lump is but everyone laughed so I must take it that it is good to be a big soft lump.
Me learning to "stay"
After a LOT of talking ~ humans never stop talking, Kathleen asked Catherine if she had taught me to "stay".  She hasn't because I don't know what that word means.  Catherine told her "no" so Kathleen took my lead to show the others how easy it is to train "stay".  

She had my lead and stood in front of me.  She didn't say anything but just held up her hand.  I decided to site still to see what was going to happen.  She took a step away from me then she walked back to me and gave me a treat.  Then she did the whole thing again, this time taking two steps away from me and I stayed in the same place because I knew I would get a treat!

Look!  I "stayed" even when Kathleen went far away!
The next thing she did was drop my lead and step away from me with her hand up.  I am pretty smart so I knew this meant I had to stay where I was.  I think Catherine and the rest of the class were very impressed with me ~ especially when Kathleen took lots of steps away from me and I stayed where I was.

Afterwards Kathleen gave all the humans some of my treats ~ were they going to eat MY treats?!

No, thankfully.  It was for me!  After my first training session with Kathleen and my doing so well and all that, Kathleen told Catherine to let go my lead and let me wander around the others and as I went to each human they gave me a treat and a pet. 

I really like this formal training (that is what Catherine calls it).  Later, Sean came in to collect us and take us home and Catherine asked Kathleen to show him what I had learned ~ he was very impressed too!

In the car on the way home Catherine told Sean that next week everyone was bringing their dogs or pups so I can't wait until then to meet them all.  And she also told Sean that Kathleen really is amazing with dogs.  I agree!


Of course I knew Kathleen was great at training dogs but I have never been to one of her classes before.  With earlier dogs work and other things got in the way of devoting time to attending classes and I did all the training myself.  Now though, I have a little more spare time so I decided to give it a whirl with Oscar.

The first class is where Kathleen speaks to all the dog owners and we introduce ourselves to each other, telling them what breed we have, his or her name, and what we hope to achieve from the class.  It is a brilliant idea to have the first class (almost) dog free as I would imagine were all the dogs there, we would have been too distracted to take in all that Kathleen was saying.

Kathleen has met Oscar a couple of times so she knows what he is like and she asked me to bring him along so that she could use him to demonstrate on.  He is so docile and calm that it makes him ideal to work on for a quick demonstration.

After chatting for a while with the other owners and Kathleen, she took Oscar's lead and lead him into the middle of the floor for a demonstration to show how she teaches "stay" (she first checked whether I had taught him stay yet but I haven't so that was perfect).  She took Oscar on his lead to the middle of the room and I was almost certain she would have little success straight off.  Yes, Oscar is a smart cookie but given there were so many strangers there and so many distractions, I never in a million years thought he would manage it so quickly.

Kathleen is really amazing.  She took Oscars lead, took a step back holding up her hand in a "stop" sign way.  He stayed!  As he did after she took two steps away.  I was massively impressed but then she said she would do it having dropped the lead.  I was sure Oscar would dash off to investigate something.  He didn't!  No matter how far away she stepped from him, he remained where she told him to.  Now that is some ability in a trainer I think.

Kathleen's website

Friday, September 27, 2013


After my first visit to a beach I was excited to hear my humans telling me we were going to another beach.  This one was called the Coral Beach and is at St. John's Point near my holiday home (yes, we had another mini-break and it was great fun but I will tell you about that another time).

Surveying the beach (I see I still have my baby teeth!)
The beach is below the road we drove over so I had a good chance to survey this new beach from above before we went down to it for me to explore.

There were no dogs on the beach though so no chance to meet up with new dogs.  Ah well, maybe next time.  And there were no birds to chase either.

I didn't much like the way down to the beach because I am not used to climbing and my human, Sean seems to be refusing to lift me anymore ~ he said I am getting too heavy to be hoisted around.  Whatever hoisted is.

Look!  A jellyfish!
There were lots of things to smell on this beach too including what Catherine called jellyfish.  Jellyfish just look like blobs of shiny stuff on the beach.  Catherine was amazed at seeing so many jellyfish and said they must have all been washed in at high tide.  There we go again with this high tide stuff.  I wish I could tell you what it is but maybe one day someone will explain it to me so I can report back to you.  Sadly, I was tugged away from the jellyfish before I could pick one up in my mouth to taste it so I don't know if you can eat them or not.  My humans always tug me away from interesting things!

Yes, more waves!
I have one bad thing to report ~ this beach had waves too!  You will remember my first beach visit where I discovered the horror that is waves.  If you haven't already read about it, you can by clicking HERE.

Beaches would be so good if it wasn't for waves.  There's lots of stuff to smell and investigate but all the time I have to be careful that a wave could creep up on me at any time.  My human, Catherine, says that soon I will love dashing into the waves and swimming.  I don't know what this swimming is but I am sure I won't be dashing into waves any time soon!

We played on the beach for a while and I was really enjoying myself when Catherine said "Oh, look, a herd of cattle.  Let's take Oscar up to meet them".  So that was the end of my beach adventure as I was pulled along back up the path and on to the road.

Look how small they look
And it was there I met cattle for the first time.  From far away they looked tiny and I was looking forward to investigating them.  Maybe they would play with me like my brothers and sisters when I was a little puppy?  

But close up cattle, in case you don't know, are these HUGE beasts who look a bit scary to me.  They are even bigger than my dad Ike ~ and he is huge too.  Even Catherine said they were very big cattle and they were bullocks not cows.  So many names for one thing!  

And look how big they are close up!
They had things sticking out of their heads and I know they are called horns because Catherine said that it was funny they didn't have their horns trimmed whilst pointing at these dangerous looking pointy things.  

I wasn't very scared like I am of waves but I didn't want to get too close either so after investigating for a while (and safely from the other side of the fence), I lay down on the soft grass and watched from an even safer distance as this herd of huge cattle wandered by.

Watching the cattle ~ from a safe distance!

And it is not just me that thinks they are a bit scary.  I heard Catherine say to Sean that she was scared they might break through the fence!  She said we would stay close to the car just in case one of them wanted to chase me!  I am sure I could easily jump into my cage without help if one of these monsters came running at me!

Luckily they didn't attempted any such thing so I could just enjoy the rest on the grass, far from the horrible waves and far enough away from the cattle to feel mostly safe.


Now my shots are finished (I think this refers to my injections, which don't really hurt I am glad to report), I have been out and about a lot and learning lots too.  I had my first visit to a beach and it did look very interesting to me.

Hmm ... this looks interesting!
I now know that a big playground with lots and lots of sand is called a beach and it is great fun to be on, even though I am on a lead and so can't run away and REALLY explore!  There are tons of great smells on the beach but you have to be careful and not sniff up the sand because it makes you sneeze.

Meeting another dog!
And before we got on to the beach I met another dog!  It was strange looking because it was white and had long hair so very different to me.  And another thing, even though it was much older than me, it was much smaller!  And she didn't have a lead on like me.  Maybe humans get rid of leads once you are older?  I really hope so!

My first beach was Rathmullan beach and it felt funny on my paws walking on all this sand that moves around under your feet.  But after the loose sand there is harder sand which is much easier to walk on.

I heard Catherine saying to Sean (Catherine and Sean are my pet humans by the way) that the tide was very high.  I looked up but couldn't see anything up high so I have no idea what a tide is.  Unless it is invisible?

Investigating the water
But I do know what waves are!  And they are very, very scary.  After the sand there is water but it isn't like the water in my bowl because it tastes very strange to me.

When I was trying out this water it and finding I didn't like the taste of it, all of a sudden burst up in my face!  Catherine and Sean found that funny but I didn't and I ran as fast as I could to get away from this strange water.

Escaping the waves!
"It's only waves" said Catherine as if waves were okay things.  Humans are really odd you know.  It's okay for them with their faces so far from the waves to say they are okay but try being down low like me and a big wave coming at you full force!

For the rest of my walk I kept on the other side of Catherine and Sean and as far away as I could from the horrible waves!

Birds are very noisy!

Once safely far enough away from the waves (and on the other side of Sean and Catherine just in case a wave came and got me!) I saw something I really wanted to investigate, birds!

They were black and flew right above me and landed on the beach making lots of noise!  Catherine said "oh, look Oscar wants to chase birds!" and they both laughed.  Humans seem to find a lot of things funny.  I just find them funny most of the time because they have some very strange ideas.

Chasing birds
I took off after them but couldn't get to them because of the lead!  Why can't my humans just take off my lead and let me do what I want?!  I could easily have caught those birds to play with.  Well, except they fly and I don't think I can fly.

After all that excitement it was back to the car and my cage where I took a very well earned snooze.  I think I like beaches but I hope the next one we go to won't have waves.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


"I went on my first "mini-holiday" recently.  Catherine told me that we were going on a mini-holiday but I had no idea what that might be.  I now know, I know I love a mini-holiday.  

"Humans can be very strange creatures"
To get to our mini-holiday I had to travel in my crate.  It is behind Sean and Catherine in the car (the car for any other dogs reading, is a big noisy thing you get into and you end up somewhere away from home when the noise stops.  It can be frightening at first but once you realise that there is usually fun at the end, you get to like it.  But I still don't like the idea of jumping out of the cage once we stop ~ have you SEEN the drop down to the floor from it?!  Sean opens the door and puts my lead on and then says "Come on Oscar, jump" whilst giving a little tug on my lead.  It seems he expects me to jump out but there is no way I am doing that!  And anyway, he always puts his arms around me and lifts me down so why jump?  He mutters whilst doing this "you are going to have to jump when you are too heavy to lift you know!".  I just can't imagine being brave enough to jump at any stage!

Me and one of my little humans
So on our mini-holiday we picked up some of our family before we went.  Two of the little humans and a senior human, all of whom I like because they pet me and tell me what a good boy I am ~ even when I haven't done anything at all so it seems I am clever just sitting still or lying down!  

After we picked up the family, we went on a long journey, well it seemed long to me.  It wasn't as long as the journey from my old home though so that wasn't too bad.

The strange thing about being in the car is my humans now and then open all the windows ~ even if it is cold.  I gather it is something to do with me even though I don't want all the windows open.  I know it is something to do with me because I hear my name.  They say "oh no, Oscar has farted!" and then the cold wind blows all around the car at the same time they are complaining about the cold!  I tell you, humans are very strange creatures indeed!

Stones!  Not nice to walk on!
The mini holiday place was so exciting ~ except for the stones I had to walk on to get to the garden of course.  I didn't much like them but I had to walk on them to get to the garden, which was a very exciting place.  There were lots of new smells in the garden and all my humans played with me and we ran around having great fun.  

Sticks are good
I kept finding lots of twigs in the garden too.  Other dogs who don't know what they are I can tell them because I heard my humans saying.  They are bits that fall from trees, and trees it seems are these very big things that have lots of twigs on them.  You would think that as there are so many lying around they wouldn't mind me chewing on the ones I found.  But every single time I found one and had started to enjoy chewing it, it was taken from me!  I wasn't too bothered because I kept finding more and ran away from my humans to enjoy a wee chew before they caught up with me and took it from me.  Maybe they want to chew them themselves?  Who knows?

But we had lots of games in the garden and I even discovered how to bury my Nylabone!  I don't know how I knew to bury it but something came over me and I had this huge urge to hide it in the garden.  It made the humans laugh watching me ~ humans make this sound when they are happy and it is called a laugh which is very strange because they show their teeth and I used to think showing your teeth was a sign you were angry.  Humans can be very strange animals.

Me running in the garden!
In the garden I played something called "fetch".  It is like the game Catherine and I play at home with my tennis ball on a rope toy but this time it was on grass (it's soft green stuff which is nicer to walk on than stones!).  It took a lot longer to get to my toy when they threw it because the garden is very big, or it seems so to me because I am still only a puppy.

Mmm ... banana!
One of the very best things on my mini-holiday was something called banana.  We were all in the living room one of the nights and Sean gave me a piece of what they called banana.  It is really delicious and I could have wolfed it down in one!  

The next morning Catherine wanted me to sit and instead of giving me a treat of meat, she used slices of banana and I loved it so much I did this sit thing immediately when told knowing I would get a slice of that delicious banana!

This toy says banana!
The funny thing is the little humans have these toys (they don't chew them like I chew my toys) who say "banana" but they never give any to me!  The humans all find these toys very funny but I don't because they say "banana" but don't give any.

We were to go on a trip to a place called a beach but I can't tell you what a beach is because rain stopped play as Catherine said.  Maybe I will find out some other time.

After a couple of nights it was time to leave.  I know it's night because it gets dark and later I go into my crate and Catherine says "night, night Oscar" just before everyone disappears for a very long time and I don't see them until the morning again.  I know now what morning is too because it is daylight and Catherine comes into me and puts me outside to "go pee pee", which I do and then I get my "din-dins".  Din-dins is food by the way.

I had a great time with my humans on my mini-holiday and the very best of all is that I heard them saying we would soon be back there for another mini-holiday.  Then I was put in my crate and we went on a journey and guess what?  I was home again.  Cars are magical!"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


(27th August 2013)

"I wakened up early this morning when one of my new humans, Catherine, came into the kitchen where I sleep.  She took me outside and it was a bit cold after my cosy bed.  I still have no idea why my new humans take me outside and away from the warmth of the kitchen!  After a while she took me inside ~ I think she is learning I need to get back into my bed to do a wee.  Once again when I did this she took my rug away to the other room and once again I heard a machine starting.  So there I am in my cage with just the base to sit on.  Humans are weird.

After my breakfast, Catherine put me on my lead and I sat beside her as she checked her emails.  I fell asleep on the floor beside her and later wakened up to find we were going on an adventure!  She kept saying "lets go and wake Sean up".  I wondered where Sean was and soon I was lead into another room where he was asleep in a very big bed, well bigger than mine anyway.

Who is this other dog?!
It was then I saw the other dog!  I got a bit of a fright and let out a little bark which made my humans burst out laughing.  They were talking about me (I now know my name is Oscar and so I know when they are chatting about me).  

I barked even more to send this dog away but all Sean and Catherine did was laugh and then take a photograph!  Have they no concern for the fact a strange dog, which looks very like me, has wandered into their house?  Or maybe he lives in the room with the humans bed?  The other dog didn't bark and he didn't approach me but stayed where he was for me to approach him.  I think I am safe for now!

Sean got up and we all went back to the kitchen where Sean again took me outside.  They are obsessed with taking me outside for some reason.  But a strange thing happened.  I needed to 'go' and did my business and I got lots of congratulations and pets afterwards.  Maybe my humans prefer me to do my business outside the house?  I might give that a try later if it means I get lots of pets and even a little piece of liver as a treat.  

I came inside and had a sleep for a while and when I wakened up another human was in the house.  Catherine told me her name is Kathleen and she is the best dog trainer in Donegal.  Surely she means human trainer?  I don't know.  But I know one thing, I really like Kathleen.  She petted me and chatted to me like she'd known me for ages!  And I can smell dogs on her!  Lots of exciting new scents.  I know why too.  She told Catherine she had just finished a class to she must have had lots of dogs at it.  I might like to go to her class to see her and meet all these new dogs.  Catherine said I can once I have my inoculations complete.  Whatever that is!

My new ball & rope toy!
When Kathleen left (she said she had another class so there must be a lot of dogs in Donegal ~ even more than my old home!), Catherine took me outside again and this time she took one of my new toys.  

It's like a ball but there's a rope on it and so it's easy for me to carry.  Catherine threw it and I ran after it and brought it back to her and she very quickly learned to keep throwing it for me!  She is going to be easy to train.

We played for ages and Catherine kept throwing the toy in return for my bringing it back to her.  Then I really needed to have a wee and did one in the yard.  Catherine was very happy with me and even gave me a little cube of that delicious liver!  I think I am having another training breakthrough with my humans ~ I 'go pee pee' (as they call it) in the yard and I get a piece of liver.  I am enjoying training my humans as I am getting lots of rewards.  I suppose they are grateful they have such a great trainer.

Resting with my Nylabone
I was quite tired and so Catherine took me inside and I went into my bed and chewed for a while on another new toy (my humans call it a Nylabone).  It is really good to chew on because there is something delicious inside it and it helps take away any aches I get because apparently I am teething (another new word).  

Catherine only gives me it to chew for a little while each day which makes it a bigger treat for me when I get it.

And now for another snooze ~ I am a growing boy after all!"

Dog owners should read this WARNING about Nylabones before giving one to your dog or puppy.