Anyone who is a regular reader will know how much I love a cup of tea. I even have different cups / mugs for different occasions. I was recently told this is a very ‘British thing’ which is fair enough. So why am I rambling on about this? Well last week while out for lunch (and many cups of tea) with a friend I spotted this in a charity shop window.
Now how could I resist?
The writing reads
Wet nose and twitching paws
Shiny tail and doggie snores
It could have been made with Jake as the model. He even sleeps on the floor in that exact position. Best of all it’s actually china. I’m so enjoying drinking my Ceylon tea out of it. Hmmm….
I love dogs. They really can be your best friend and far more reliable than most creatures. So whenever I hear about research into their history / evolution my curiosity is always engaged. Recently a tweet about the oldest dog remains challenging current theories caught my eye and I just had to find out more.
So here it is in a nut shell. The remains of a dog from part of Russia has been dated at 33,000 years old (independent carbon dating by 3 different labs) and is much closer to domesticated breeds than wild wolves based on bone structure. Previous estimates had placed domestication closer to 26,000 years ago. There is lots of blurb, facts and figures, but the upshot is these remains are being used as evidence that domestication took place earlier than thought. Some researchers are using this (and other evidence) to speculate that it in fact it happened independently in different places across a rather large time frame.
How fascinating! I guess a good idea is simply a good idea, regardless of time and location. I’ve also read about research into dogs which says they have specifically evolved to interpret human facial emotions, allowing them to modify their behaviour appropriately. This is shown by dogs scanning the right side of human faces first because of our asymmetry and how we show our emotions. I’ve been on the look out for this since and my two definitely do it.
Here is Pebbles ‘begging’ in a cafe on holiday recently. Her happiness seemed to revolve around convincing people to let her have their cups of tea, strokes, the occasional bit of toast, cuddles and fuss, with the odd run through some bracken thrown in for good measure. That dog has really worked out how to wrap people round her little paw!
Speculation about domestication includes discussion on the symbiotic relationship which was beneficial to both the wolves/dogs and early humans. When I look at the photo above of Pebbles begging it would be easy to assume that the symbiosis has turned into a parasitic relationship. Neither Jake or Pebbles work, I’m the one going out to earn money to provide us with material things. They certainly don’t have to hunt for their dinner! But you know I think it’s still symbiotic. I provide the shelter, food and warmth (central heating), they provide protection, love and companionship. Whenever and for whatever reasons domestication happened, I’m really glad it did. Ok I’d better go and make pebbles another cup of tea hehe…
Yesterday I felt the urge to make some ‘rock cakes’ to take into work. At this time of year everyone is tired and I also have a new cake tin to christen. Seemed like a good plan to me…
It’s a modified version of a cookie recipe, it’s quick, easy, and they usually disappear very rapidly. There was only one problem. They were disappearing BEFORE anyone could get near them. The culprit was soon found looking guilty behind the sofa. Pebbles the dog had somehow managed to get some off the work top in the kitchen and was intent on scoffing them as fast as possible.
She was duly turfed out into the conservatory as punishment. Jake for his part (which was none) was given an ear rub and allowed to snore on the sofa. I think Pebbles is plotting her revenge against him for that……
I know a few people who post an image a day. That’s an awful lot of work but I’ll admit I kind like the idea. So how about another Jake the dog shot…
Just to prove not all shots are of his bum hehe
Well as you can probably tell I’ve been busy trying to sort the blog etc so crafting time has been a little limited. So I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite shots of Jake while I’m working on those WIP’s.
I just love the way he’s looking over his shoulder at me. Jake is now running around again after breaking his leg last year and I can’t wait to take him walking on holiday again this summer. Perhaps without the near death experience this year tho…
My friend Nicola is getting a new addition to her family. A beautiful baby black labrador puppy called Jasper. Understandably she’s wondering how this new addition will affect her sewing.
So when I looked down to the floor while sewing last night I couldn’t help but laugh. Fortunately I managed to reach for the camera on my phone before he moved.
My big black labrador was snoring beside me completely oblivious to all the threads accumulating on his back leg.
Ever since Jake broke his leg last year walkies have been shorter to allow him to rebuild his strength. Gradually he’s been out for longer periods of time and playtime hasn’t been happening as it used to. I’ve just been scared of him hurting himself again.
All those worries washed away over our weekend away. He coped fine with being out all day and the highlight for him was probably playing in the sea.
He’s always been a real water baby and seeing him jumping about in the waves was fantastic.
Of course there was lots of shaking himself off (much of which ended up over us) and he was covered in salt for the rest of the day. That said he’s a dog and allowed a bad hair day if he wants one hehe…
Today I ended up discussing hares with my friend Maytheweed. We were looking at some art work depicting them and wondering if we should put our hands into our pockets and cough up.
As part of the conversation I commented that while I really liked one of the pieces, I’d rather spend the money on getting one of my hare shots printed up on canvas. She wasn’t sure which image I was talking about, so here it is. I just love the tilt of his head.
It’s a wild hare which I photographed last summer in a field in Perthshire, Scotland. You can find it along with some of my other animal images in my Animal gallery on smugmug.
I love photographing animals and I often take my camera out with me while walking the dogs. Much to my delight my furry friends don’t get fed up of my lens being pointed at them, which is a good things as I do it a lot.
These two shots were taken in Ipswich during the lovely sunshine last weekend.
Given Jakes broken leg last year I feared he’d never be up to a trip down the woods again. Seeing him running about certainly brought a tear to my eye. It’ll be a while longer before I’ll be throwing a ball for him, but he’s running round and enjoying himself. Seeing him so happy is all the reward I need to erase the memories of all those sleepless nights.
Today was another in a long line of vets visits. You may remember that Jake the dog busted his leg way back in October. Well it turned out that he had popped his ligaments and snapped off the bottom of his femur.
Now anyone who has had a similar injury will tell you the bone healing is easy compared to the ligaments. The vets wanted to operate and put a metal framework in but I wasn’t keen. I don’t believe in surgery as a first resort. Don’t get me wrong I have no problem with surgery the way I know some people are against it….. I just believe that Mother Nature is amazing at repairing things and we often don’t give her the chance.
Of course it’s a lot easier when you’re making the decision for yourself. But in this case, it was for my dog. I basically had three choices :
- Surgery to rebuild the ligaments and put a metal frame on the leg, pins etc….
- Strap up his leg with a splint and see if it heals
- Amputate the bottom of his leg
Not a nice list of options. However I decided to go for option number 2. I had a similar injury many years ago and that was the option I chose for myself, so I felt it was ok to choose this for him.
That’s when the on going visits started. Since the end of October he has been going in to the vets roughly twice a week to have his ‘cast’ changed. This was basically a splint bound onto his leg with lots and lots of bandages. It also had to be kept dry as once wet you couldn’t dry it off. Of course getting Jake to understand this wasn’t easy. So no walkies, especially in the snow. Well, 8 weeks later it was time to see if his leg was able to support him without the splint (I might add that he had broken 3 splints bounding about on it while it was bandaged up).
My heart was in my mouth as we got him down off the table and tentatively allowed him to put his foot down on the floor. Then disaster! He immediately tried to jump up and down, squealed in pain and hopped over to ‘mummy’ and refused to leave my side again.
Hoping it was just the initial shock I brought him home and flopped on the sofa feeling sick to my stomach. However slowly he started using his leg again and now 4 days later he’s happily bounding about on it. Phew! Obviously he’s not out of the wood yet and walkies are a long way off (I know how he runs about)….. but it’s looking like he’ll be able to enjoy a lovely holiday next summer exploring somewhere new….. All of these shots were taken on our trip to Bonny Scotland in August this year. Jake thought it was brilliant……
and I’m very glad to have reached the weekend. Some weeks you slide through smoothly and can gaze out the bus window at all the wonderful things passing by. Other weeks you have to fasten your seat belt and hold on tight while praying you don’t loose your dinner. I’m sure you can guess which type of week this one has been.
However if all you do is dwell on the rocky bits you’re going to turn into a pretty miserable so-and-so, so lets not do that but look for some nice things instead.
Nice thing number 1)
My yarn delivery arrived. This is a combination of Blue Faced Leicester and Alpaca sock weight yarns. I’ve had the BFL before but this is the first time I’ve tried the alpaca. I’ve cooked up a few skeins of the BFL but wanted to keep the alpaca for the weekend when I’ve had a bit more sleep. Besides I keep fondling it in it’s bag in the lounge.
2 Skeins of dyed yarn rinsing in the sink
Nice thing number 2)
Jakes leg appears to be healing well and with luck the vets are going to try him without the splint this weekend and see how he goes. Taking him in twice a week for treatment has been a drain financially but also emotionally / time wise. Each visit takes an hour out of the day and when all you want to do is curl up and ignore the world for a while……
Jake lying on the floor beside my chair while I type. Note his leg all bandaged up.
Nice thing number 3)
Ok I’ll admit it, I’m a bit stuck for something to write here. I could go on about how lucky I am to have a job, nice home, friends blah blah….. and don’t get me wrong I am well aware of how lucky I am compared to some people. But if I’m just talking about things for this week and you rule out things like – ‘Well I didn’t fall over yesterday’ I’m struggling…. That said I’m sure things will start looking up as soon as I get some sleep and the sun starts shining (so I can play with my camera)…. Hmm maybe that can be nice thing number 3….. Looking forward to a couple of days off.