Hurrah this is my 400th post!
I was hoping I'd get the timing right so I could use this one to announce the winner of the giveaway!
All the people who commented on the giveaway are listed below in the order in which they commented, this is so I can then choose which of you is the winner using a random number generator - there will only be ONE winner of the journal, etc:
- Connie, an Illustration Friday regular who lives in Scotland and is visiting Bristol this week - so I'll be meeting her, her husband and small dog soon.
- quitecontrary1977, who appears to run a blog devoted to giveaways but, despite having commented here, did not advertise my giveaway on it - I guess that means she is really hoping to win it for herself ;-)
- Maria, who lives in Vienna and shows many photos of it on her blog - as one of my brother's lives close to Vienna but only ever sends me photos of his son or wildlife her blog is a great way to picture his newly adopted home.
- webradio, a French blogger who has just posted a wonderful cat and mouse photo
- tinker, one of my most oldest and highly valued blog friends
- Anji, someone I recognise from Dru's blog but haven't been visiting before now, she is interested in postcards
- Dru, someone I know from flickr and her blog, she lives in Bristol but we've yet to turn up to one of the flickrmeets at the same time
- soulbrush, a recent frequent visitor who has been encouraging me to get a dog...
- Joy Eliz, another long-standing blog friend
- Ces, someone who inhabits the same blog orbit that I do (in other words she's a frequent commenter on blogs what I too visit) but whose blog I've only recently visited
- Andrea, one of my earliest and longest-lasting blog friends of all!
- Jo, whose blog is full of the most amazing colours of yarns that she's dyed and spun herself - I used to knit a lot but haven't in yonks...
- cms, someone Jim used to work with and whose blog I read - the very best story on there is about his dog and the lost keys
As I mentioned above I have decided to use one of the random number generators to pick the winner, so without more ado here we go. This is grabbed from the screen given by random.org's sequence generator:
Connie with whom I'm due to meet up for the first time ever this week - what amazing luck! Since that's going to save me the postage I'd assumed I'd be paying, I'll also send something to the second on the random list... and that is #9 - Joy Eliz!
Congratulations to both of you and I hope you enjoy your prizes (though, as yet, I've no idea what I'm going to give Joy Eliz!).
Whilst I was typing the above the doorbell went - it was the window cleaner who is a fascinating person to talk to. Today he let me take his photo:
Notice that his T-shirt has a puppy on it.
In one of my recent posts I mentioned that I was wondering about getting a pet. One of the things that I have realised is that I really want a dog. Whenever I talk about moving into the country one of the main reasons I give is its so that I can have a dog.
I grew up in the country and we had all sorts of animals including several dogs. When my father died and we had to sell up and move into town, the dog and cats came with us, whilst our hens, and other more country oriented animals, went to new homes. Unfortunately our dog did not like the transition from a life of great freedom in the country to one of great confinement in the town.
- One day we were all out and when one of my brothers got home it was to see Torrie, our Bearded Collie, balanced on the windowsill of one of the upper storey bedrooms. There was a huge crowd below none of whom had had any idea what to do. My brother went in and lifted Torrie back in. We were careful not to open the lower halves of the sash-windows after that.
- Another thing that upset me was that, as number one dog-walker, I had to put up with abuse from various "dog-lovers" who would shout at me that such a dog ought not to be living in town. I just longed to tell them that such a dog would not be living in town if my father hadn't died and nor would I! It added immeasurably to my grief at the time.
As a pack we'd disintegrated, lost our territory and failed to elect a new leader! She was doing her best to keep us together and keep an eye on us...
I've been reading The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell and Dog Watching by Desmond Morris which is why I am thinking about dogs in terms of their position in the pack. I think I'll order The Practical Dog Listener: The 30-day Path to a Lifelong Understanding of Your Dog also by Jan Fennell - as I was so impressed by her first book and am now determined that when I do get a dog I'm going to make sure it knows that Jim and I are the top dogs and it doesn't have the stress of attempting to fill that role with us so all of us can relax and be happy!
Yesterday we went to visit a possible dog to buy - it was, unfortunately, extremely badly behaved and clearly saw herself, at 13 months old, as very much the top dog. She was advertised as a Miniature Schnauzer with a bit of West Highland Terrier in her, though apparently a vet had identified her as mostly something else, I can't remember what. She looked more like a Westie to me (probably because she was mostly white) though with a very strange coat and somewhat larger. They were selling her because she "couldn't be left on her own". She jumped up on their settee and barked out of the window whenever anyone went past. We decided that she was too much of a challenge for us - we did not fancy being woken up all night long with her barks as people went by - and besides we really didn't warm to her - if we had, it would have been different!
Her owners had bought her as a Miniature Schnauzer, though without any papers. They also had another one that really did look like one - he was a completely different kettle of fish - or rather dog - and altogether calmer, softer, nicer. He was a few months younger than her and clearly was happy to let her be top dog whilst he had a quieter time of it.
We then went to visit one of my friends who has recently moved. We all went for a walk around her new village, which is only a mile or so from her previous one. Whilst we were out we met some people with a lovely dog. I asked them what it was. As I'd suspected it was a male adult Miniature Schnauzer! I asked them if they knew where I could get one too (after they'd told me what a sweetie he was of course).
They mentioned that there was someone near the Old Neighbourhood pub who had recently had one as a puppy. It turned out that the people with the puppy were living in the house next door to the one my friend had only just moved from! So it was easy to find and we went there on our way home - they most kindly gave us all the details of the breeder from whom they'd got their puppy and let us play with him for a while too.
I don't know if we will end up with a Miniature Schnauzer or not... but I certainly liked all of the actual ones that I met yesterday!
Something else that has challenged my ideas about what one can do in the town was seeing a chicken in someone's garden on one of my morning walks. However these wonderful pigs might be a little more than our neighbours could cope with:
I had to get right inside the hedge to get that photo whilst we were out walking yesterday - what a lovely day out we had!
I'm so excited at the idea of getting a dog that I'm going to have to calm down before I do.