Friday, November 21, 2008

IF - Opinion

Opinion - for Illustration Friday - in Corel Painter

Have you noticed that opinions seem to bloom whenever they are given a chance? I remember, when a teenager, that a classmate said she hadn't realised she had so many opinions until she went to a dinner party and was asked what she thought about this and that.

Today I realised I had some strong opinions about Miniature Schnauzers - we met one that was a couple of years old and its owner told me very forcefully that:
  • Miniature Schnauzers all bark
  • Their recall, when called, is bad
  • That they are terriers
Now I do realise that I've only had Teasel for a few weeks but one of the things I did before we got her was a lot of research about dog breeds and once I'd started to seriously consider a Miniature Schnauzer even more about them.

One book did warn that many of them bark as a hobby - however not all the owners I've met so far have had barky dogs and Teasel is the quietest, least barking puppy in the puppy class we go to - she can bark and will give the odd bark but not repetitively - and her mother didn't bark at us as far as I can remember - so although I do know it could be a problem its not necessarily so. (Any hints on what to do if she starts to get barky would be appreciated!)

On the recall... Teasel's is currently good (most of the time and especially when there is sausage in the offing) and certainly very good compared to the older ones. I assume that this is something we'll have to keep on working on. However I have noticed that none of the other owners take treats of any sort out to reward their dogs for returning - its as though they assume that just because the dog knows that its meant to come back it will and this is despite also knowing that their dog isn't that good at coming to them when they call... we currently take the tastiest treats with us when we are going to the park and I think that is something I'll continue for as long as necessary... it may well be that she'll always needs some sort of an incentive.

Miniature Schnauzers are Schnauzers, not terriers. In this country they are in the same kennel club category as the bigger Schnauzers (utility dogs), in the US the American Kennel Club has them in the terrier category but they were not actually breed from terriers so have no more genes in common with them that with other types of dogs.

What they do have in common is that they were breed to hunt rats and other small creatures. This means that they like to shake things and can be very persistent. But they don't have the same argumentative nature that so many terriers have though here too there are, of course, exceptions in both directions. As a child we had two West Highland Terriers - the first was as sweet as pie, the next an absolute monster!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tagged: Another 6 curious things

My Mind Reels - in Corel Painter

Connie has tagged me to divulge 6 random things about myself - I've done at least one version of this tag yonks ago (though that one wasn't very random as they all seem to be about elephants!) but there must be another 6 things for me to confess to - especially if I can now dismiss elephants from my mind:
  1. When people say "Try not to think about pink elephants..." and then wait a while before saying "I bet you thought about pink elephants..." - I usually haven't as I purposely programmed myself to think about something completely different when challenged like this... and from this you may deduce that I was teased a lot as a child and found various coping strategies!

    One of the ways of getting away from something like that quickly is by playing word association games:

    pink elephants - purple tigers - red pantaloons - green macaws - squawk - animal noises - etc.

    (I have no idea why those pantaloons crept in... )

  2. When I was first working and living in north London I discovered that I had a fear of going down escalators. I got over it by learning to ski downhill - and in particular to learn how to stop whilst skiing downhill. I tackled a fear of hypodermic injections by having acupuncture - once I'd survived all those needles being put in me I no longer panicked when I needed a jab from a single needle.

  3. Long ago I heard about the theory that if one disliked someone else intensely it was likely to be because we were projecting parts of our own unacknowledged shadow onto them. I discovered that sometimes this was clearly true and consequently made friends with all sorts of people I'd otherwise have avoided.

    It also helps when one inadvertently happens to be on the wrong end of someone else's dislike or fear; though they are less likely to want to come to terms with it!

  4. Before I went to university I was really into making or growing things and selling them - somehow I lost this entrepreneurial urge when I started to work and had to earn a living.

    For instance, in the sixth form (aged 18ish), I painted stones that I made into jewelry and was thrilled when I sold some to a local boutique. I was even more thrilled when I saw someone wearing one of them that they had bought

  5. I used to love wearing wigs to parties. Come to think of it I loved wearing a wig to a party only last April...

  6. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I used to say:

    An astrophysicist or an artist
I'm not going to tag anyone else explicitly (too many of my tags have been ignored in the past to encourage me to tag explicitly any more) but do let me know if you do it - I'd love to see what you've written.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A splash of Colour

I painted this in Corel Painter yesterday but if I wait for the words to go with it you'll never see it. So here it is!

Sunday, November 09, 2008


How come there seems to be so much more time in the day these days but its all filled with puppy?

Teasel photos on Flickr