Millie Visits a Care Home

Snip and I have been visiting care homes with the Best Friends project. Older humans who live in care homes can’t have dogs with them, and many of them miss a friendly canine face around the place. The project also helps younger humans, who come along to learn about empathy and other valuable lessons we dogs can teach.

I’m not so young myself now (91 in dog years) and sometimes I get a little confused. On the first visit I wasn’t sure why we were there, and I did wonder if I was going to be booked in permanently! Snip confused things further by telling me we were there for treats. I saw some cake on a tea trolley, but when I went to eat it, I was pulled away. Then I found some food in a bowl on the floor and tried to eat that, but somebody picked it up and said it was for the cat, if you please.

I spent a bit of time looking for this cat – if there’s a cat in the building I have to check it out – but I couldn’t find it. I went to tell Snip we’d been cheated, that the treats were for some cat, and I found him talking to one of the residents.

Snip on Millie's first care home visit

Afterwards, he explained how the project is supposed to work. We go around the care home with the young humans, who give treats to the residents to give to us. That way, the young people get to chat with the older ones, the old people get to stroke us dogs, and we get to enjoy the treats! It’s a win-win situation all round.

On the next visit I felt more confident because I knew what I was doing. We met some lovely humans and a gentle blonde Greyhound called Beth…

Care home visit 070817

…and this time I made sure I didn’t miss out on the treats!

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A Fairy House and a Computer Eater

This new build has recently appeared on Sandy Lane.

Fairy House

We actually watched the fairies move in. They’re quite happy to appear in the daytime now – no more hiding away in woods and hedgerows. They know the humans who live here respect Nature and won’t interfere with their way of life.

In other news, our Greyhound Rescue friends Jan and Alain have been fostering an Irish Greyhound called Maud. She is 9 months old and very playful in spite of a leg injury. When she heard about this blog, she decided to have a go herself, but she had a bit of trouble working Jan’s computer and ended up swallowing some of the keys.

Maud

Now we’re waiting for her to serve up alphabet poop!

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We’ve been Liebstered!

Liebster award logo

We’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award, much coveted among bloggers! Many thanks to prolific writer and blogger Karen Dowdall for this honour.

The Rules:

  • Say thank you to the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Answer the 11 questions you have been asked.
  • Nominate and notify 11 bloggers for the award.
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions.

The Questions:

  1. Why did you choose book blogging over something else?  Easy! I write books, so it had to be book blogging. Though according to Millie it’s a dog blog, and I’m lucky she allows me to post here at all.
  2. What is the one thing you’re really passionate about beside books?  Music – the weirder, the better. And dogs, of course. That’s two things.
  3. Have your reading tastes changed over the years?  No. I still like Enid Blyton and the Beano.
  4. What is your favourite vacation spot?  Skyros, Greece.
  5. Do you collect anything (other than books)?  No. I amass too much clutter accidentally to add to it deliberately.
  6. What has been your favourite book so far this year?  Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh. I love his take on the antics and absurdities of the 1920s party generation.
  7. What is one law you would change if you could?  Abuse of animals would carry the same penalties as abuse of human beings.
  8. If you had to donate money to a charity, which one would you choose? Greyhound Rescue Wales. Without them, Millie and Pearl – and many other sighthounds – wouldn’t have survived.
  9. What is your favourite genre to read?  Anything that enchants me, scares me or makes me laugh – and if it does all three, all the better! I like Stephen King’s writing, and classic fantasies like Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea books. And children’s comedy. I love Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum series, and Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants. Plus, of course, Enid Blyton and the Beano.
  10. What is your dream car?  An aquamarine blue one. I’ve always wanted an aquamarine blue car.
  11. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?  Giving up smoking.

My Nominees:

Writing About Writing

BlondeWriteMore

Books From Dusk Till Dawn

Love Books Group

The Page Turner

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

Linda G. Hill

Bookish Wormy

Books & Music

Barb Caffrey’s Blog

M J Mallon, Author

The Rules:

  • Say thank you to the person who nominated your for the award.
  • Answer the 11 questions you have been asked.
  • Nominate and notify 11 bloggers for the award.
  • Ask those you have nominated 11 questions.

The Questions:

  1. Why did you choose book blogging over something else?
  2. What is one thing you’re really passionate about beside books?
  3. Have you reading tastes changed over the years?
  4. What is your favourite vacation spot?
  5. Do you collect anything (other than books?)
  6. What has been your favourite book so far this year?
  7. What is one law you would change if you could?
  8. If you had to donate money to a charity, which one would you choose?
  9. What is your favourite genre to read?
  10. What is your favourite music?
  11. What do you consider your greatest accomplishments?

I liked these questions, so I’ve only changed one. My apologies if you’ve already been Liebstered or would rather not participate – no pressure!

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Joyful Trouble by Patricia Furstenberg #Children’s Book 6-10 #Historical Africa @PatFurstenberg

We love a good doggie tale – especially when it’s based on a real dog!

BOOKS FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

34876880

Independently Published with Kindle Direct Publishing
ISBN: 978-1521089576
ASIN: B07227P973
Publication date: April 17, 2017
180 pages
Target audience: 6-10
Genre: Children,s, animals (dogs), historical (Africa)

BOOK DESCRIPTION

A humorous read about an incredible dog and how he had found his true, yet unexpected calling.

A dog. A friendship. A purpose.

When a Great Dane arrives in a navy base nobody expects him to win everybody’s hearts, although breaking some rules along the way. But things soon turn sour as somebody threatens to put him to sleep. Who will stand up for this for-legged gentle giant?

Tackling universal themes and voicing animal rights and the importance of fighting for what is right.

HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW

Set in South Africa this is a wonderful uplifting children’s story which can be read by the child independently or by an adult to be listened to.

Tommy age 4 and Ana…

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Millie Goes to Uni!

It’s exam time at Swansea University. I’ve been helping to de-stress the students, along with other dogs from Greyhound Rescue Wales, as part of the CBSA Best Friends project. Our humans hand out treats for the students to give us, then the students get to play with us and absorb our calming energy.

CBSA 1

The first session took place outside so we could enjoy the sunshine. It’s not a very good shot of me, is it? You can just see my bum on the far right.

To be fair, no one could get a good shot of me because I kept wandering off. I was trying to avoid a terrier who’d come along with one of the sighthounds – he kept kicking off and starting fights. Also, being a literate Lurcher, I wanted to check out the University. I’d almost managed to get into one of the buildings when I was caught and brought back to the garden. I tried to explain I was thinking of enrolling, but no one was listening.

I got a chance to see inside two weeks later. The weather had turned nasty, so we were in the Students Union building.

We were inside

I don’t think I helped the students much. We literary types can be quite introverted, and I’m no exception. I didn’t mind the humans, but there were far too many boisterous dogs around for my liking. They didn’t seem to understand the treats were for the students to hand out. When Annabelle opened the treat bag, she was mobbed by a gang of Greyhounds before she could get anywhere near the students.

This guy was particularly scary!

Scary guy

I felt quite intimidated, and I’m ashamed to say I spent most of the evening hiding in the corner.

Hiding in the corner

I noticed a student on his own in the opposite corner. He didn’t seem to want to move away from the door – I suspect he felt as nervous as I did – so I went across to say hello.

Helpful Millie 2

Helpful Millie

Snip and Freda were more chilled, and enjoyed the attention.

Snip did well

Freda did well too

All in all, it’s been an interesting adventure, but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. I’m going to try helping out in care homes. Only quiet dogs are allowed to visit the people there – and, as Pearl has so kindly pointed out, they’re more my age group.

Helpful Millie 3

 

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Review! Cheesus Was Here by J.C. Davis

This looks like my kind of book – certainly my kind of title!

This Kid Reviews Books

Cheesus Was Here
By J.C. Davis
272 pages – ages 13+
Published by Sky Pony Press on April 11, 2017

Synopsis– Delaney Delgado isn’t the biggest fan of God. After all, if there was a God, why would he have let her sister die? It’s just easier to think that He doesn’t exist then to think he has a vendetta against her family. When she buys a piece of cheese-a Babybel cheese wheel!-appears at a convenience store, she thinks nothing of it. Until the Baby Jesus is revealed underneath the wrapping. Suddenly her town is full of “miracles” and hopeful tourists. Delaney is sure the miracles are fake, even as more and more keep appearing. Enlisting her best friend, she sets out to prove them wrong. But can she handle the truth?

What I Thought- This was a really good book – I like how Davis has made it…

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The Heartbreaker

Milton Spilk was an Extreme Romantic Hero. His hair was so black it had actually turned into a black hole and sucked out his brain, his eyes were so intensely electric blue they burned holes in everything they looked at, his jaw was so chiselled it could cut steel at twenty paces and his chin was so huge he had to wheel it about in a shopping cart.

All the women wanted to marry him, but he wasn’t interested in marriage. He just wanted to have fun with movie stars and supermodels. His mousy little secretary Dimity Jones was madly in love with him, even though he treated her like dirt. She lived in hope that one day he would see her true worth, just like in the romantic novels.

‘I wish he’d ask me out,’ she sobbed on her girlfriends’ shoulders.

‘Even if he did, it wouldn’t last more than a night,’ they said. ‘Don’t waste your tears on him, he’s a player.’

Then one day something wonderful happened. When Dimity brought Milton his morning coffee, he looked at her with new eyes. They were still intensely electric blue, but he was wearing magic glasses with built-in fireguards so they wouldn’t burn holes in stuff anymore. The magic glasses were also capable of seeing the true worth of mousy secretaries, and he got down on one knee there and then and asked her to marry him.

‘Yes!’ she breathed ecstatically.

On the day of the wedding, Dimity’s girlfriends transformed her from a mousy secretary into a golden princess with blonde hair and a huge bottom. As she walked down the aisle she shone like a million suns, and Milton’s heart melted at the sight of her. Unfortunately, his magic glasses melted as well, and he could no longer see her true worth. He left her on the second day of the honeymoon.

Her girlfriends came to meet her off the plane and found her sobbing in the airport.

‘What did we tell you?’ they said. ‘It’s no good crying over Milt Spilk!’

Andi in a Hovis

 

 

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Pearl’s Power Trip

Pearl claims she’s the alpha bitch around here, but she has some odd ideas about what this entails. The alpha is supposed to look after the pack, but Pearl is only interested in looking after Number One and throwing her weight around.

Pearl's ass

KISS THAT!

For instance, there’s the job of guarding the house – a demanding job that requires a lot of time and energy. Although I’m getting on in years, Pearl leaves this exhausting task to me. As well as warning off intruders during the day, I have to make sure the house stays safe through the night while we’re all asleep indoors. This involves evening sentry duty – a half-hour stint of barking to let everyone in the area know the place is well guarded.

The only person Pearl guards the house against is me. She seems to think my place is outside – all the time. She doesn’t bark at me – Annabelle would put a stop to that – she just stands at the door, sneakily vibing me out with smellepathic signals.

Pearl on guard

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being outside, especially when spring comes and the world warms up. The air is full of birdsong and interesting new smells. There’s a spot in the front garden that’s perfect for sunbathing and I love to lie there and watch the world go by.

Millie in garden 3

But there are disadvantages to being outdoors, like wind and rain and bird poo. A lot of birds nest in the conifers near my spot – and while I enjoy the music that comes from their beaks, I don’t appreciate what comes out the other end.

Collar dove 1

Recently, the birds have been using my spot as a toilet. I ‘ve noticed a lot more poo than usual – thick, black, rubbery blobs that stick to my fur and paws. I didn’t think birds ate liquorice, but looking at their poo lately I might have to think again.

Bird's ass

KISS THAT!

Much as I love the great outdoors, there are times when I need to be inside on a clean, soft bed or a comfy chair. Alpha or no, Pearl needs to remember that I was here first, and as an old lady I deserve respect and consideration.

Alpha is not about being a bully.

NB – Human readers may think I have a fixation on bottoms, but this is normal for a dog. You can learn a lot about someone by sniffing their bottom. Try it sometime – you could save yourselves a lot of grief at the hands of con artists. The face might be telling porkies, but the bottom can’t lie.

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Annabelle on Writer’s Block

Writing is like pulling teeth at the moment and it’s driving me mad.

Full page veg

These creatures may eventually feature in a book.

Carrot

I’m not just trying to put off doing some actual writing. Honest.

Potato

Every first draft is mostly crap.

Parsnip

These pages will be worth a lot of money when I’m famous.

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Job Description – The Writer’s Pet #MondayBlogs #Writer #WritersLife

An amusing post from lovely Lucy of Blondewritemore on the skills and qualities needed for the important role of Writer’s Pet. We storyhounds work so hard!
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BlondeWriteMore

On those dark and gloomy days when it feels like the world has turned away from our work, we can always rely on our pets to make us smile again.

Pets play an important role in the life of a writer.So, I have given some thought to the job description for a writer’s pet. Here goes:

Vacancy For A Writer’s Pet.

About The Role:

Animal needed to provide long-term emotional and creative support to a writer.

Hours:

Can vary each week. Dependent upon a number of factors:

  • The writer’s feelings towards their work.
  • The writer’s procrastination levels.
  • The amount of emotional support a writer gets from a human loved one. If they don’t get enough emotional support the pet will have to step in and do overtime.

Location:

This is a live in role with the writer.

Key Duties /Responsibilities:

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