Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge: Mini-mutt


Duby the Shitzu is a regular guest at Baskerville Manor.  Whenever he visits, he likes to hang around with Izzy.  Height-wise, he is about knee-high to Izzy when he is standing on his tiptoes.  When they both have their full coat and he is tucked up beside her, he practically disappears into the  background of her luxurious tresses.

Typically of his breed, he is quite the little Napoleon and does not seem to realise exactly how diminutive he is compared to the full-time residents of Baskerville Manor.  Poor Shiloh gets quite fed up when Duby stands his ground instead of moving politely out of the way, because the big guy simply sees him as a tripping hazard.

While Izzy is a very sweet-natured lady, with seemingly endless patience, Duby’s been known to demand that she back off from her dinner.  He does this by standing right in front of her as she is dining, and barking at her with his tiny head practically inside her mouth.  Anybody who has an Old English Sheepdog in their life will know that they have an impressive voice, and Izzy is no exception.  On one occasion, it all got too much, so she drew back, took a deep breath and let out a deep, powerful, basso bark that could have done duty as a foghorn.  The force of it was such that Duby’s ears blew backwards and he sat down with shock. Still barking, of course.


Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge



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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Things animal guardians do

2013-11-15 00.03.49This evening I noticed that every time I close a door, I first pause, open it a little further, and then close it properly.  Is this the beginning of OCD? Nope – there is a tail involved.  And that is not a typo.

Think about it, if you have an animal in the house, you need to take care of it. That means not closing a door on Fluffy or Fido’s tail, or otherwise injuring them inadvertently.   So I got to thinking, how many things do I do more or less unconsciously and at least automatically for the benefit of the Baskerville Beasties?

Here goes:

  1. Pause before closing door
  2. Stand back when opening doors to allow the posse through (so I don’t trip)
  3. Never leave an upstairs window open if I’m not in the room
  4. Take small steps to avoid stepping on tails or paws
  5. Purchase stuff specifically for them to pooh in so I can throw it away
  6. Separate onions, raisins and other animal toxic stuff from food waste in case they manage to get at the bin (they are all master criminals – there is an ongoing power struggle in relation to bin access and they can all see the difference between 5 and 1)
  7. Tuck my legs under the chair so they have access to under the table
  8. Sit on one corner of the sofa so there is room for them
  9. Always point aerosol sprays away from them
  10. Since the cats arrived, always close the lid on the loo
  11. I play Angry Birds on my tablet so the cats can chase them

Does anybody else do stuff like this?

Saturday, January 18, 2014 Aaron McKenna: We’re a nation of mass dog murderers


I spotted this article on Android app:

Aaron McKenna: We're a nation of mass dog murderers

About 5,500 dogs are euthanised in Ireland every year – most are perfectly healthy. The only reason they have to die is because otherwise ordinary people are happy to turn a blind eye to the appalling consequences of their actions.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The arrival of Mr Kit-Kat and Little Jet-Black


The story of why Mr Kit-Kat and Little Jet-Black came to live with me can be found in Why Cats Came to Baskerville Manor.

After I made the decision to adopt cats, the questions I had to ask myself were:

  • How will the Princess Chloe the First, The Diva and The Big Guy take it? (2 are large breed, 1 is quite big ,  and only one of them with a known good cat relationship)
  • Kitten or cat? Well, given the size of the dogs, a kitten who had not had time to develop a sense of self preservation might not do to well.
  • One cat? Might feel outnumbered.

So, with two adult cats on the shopping list the next task was to find out what they would need.  Much Google activity and repeats of “My Cat from Hell” later, the list had extended to cat trees, food, beds, bowls, litter boxes, toys and baby gates.  My plan was to follow the wisdom of the internet and house the cats in the attic for the first few days because the dogs don’t like the stairs – to allow them time to settle down, let them have their own space, and so on. The baby gates were for the bottom of the main staircase and the staircase to the attic, so cats could escape enthusiastic dogs if necessary.

Next was to find a pair of adult cats.  There are so many animals needing a new home out there, it’s heartbreaking.  What I couldn’t do was bring traumatised cats into Baskerville Manor which is already full of special-needs dogs, especially when I had no previous feline experience, so true rescue cats were not an option.   I answered an ad from a family who needed to re-home their cats.  Their reasons are their own and very valid, suffice to say that the two boys were cared for, healthy and well-adjusted. Bonus:  they are proven mousers.

After several conversations with the owners, a date was arranged for their move to Baskerville Manor.  The Baskerville Beasties will relate their individual impressions and experiences on their own blogs over the next while, if you are interested, the related stories will all be labelled “The Arrival”.