Wednesday, 24 December 2008

It's Chrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssstttttmasssssssssss

But I have no idea what that means! 

Strange things have happened to my house:

1. There is a tree growing in the computer room with bright lights on it and things underneath that smell GOOD! I got told off when I tried to have a closer look at the nice smelling things so I have decided not to try that again. I am hearing lots of "good boy"s now  :o)  I love being told that I'm a good boy.

2. There are cards alllllllllll over the place and boy are they yummy! That's my noo trick but nobody seems to be very impressed with it. I've been practising it for ages. It's just not fair. I love cards.

3. There are lots and lots of nice smelling foody things in the house and I am managing to persuade everybody to give me little bits of them now and again. Mummy says that I will need to be going on a D-I-E-T after Christmas because I am a lardy bum, but she isn't worrying about it at the moment because she is sad that Bearthecollie isn't here for Christmas whilst being very happy that I am. I think she loves me a little bit. I love my Mummy almost as much I love the food.

Very exciting news is that Nanny and Grumpy are coming to stay at our house tonight. I love Nanny. And tomorrow night we are all going on holiday to Nanny and Grumpy's house! I love Nanny's house.

I got a present!! Mummy says that it's an early Christmas present and it must be from Santa because there was no label on it. It wasn't even covered in paper or anything! I found it sitting in the middle of the park just waiting for me to find it. It is a football. It is a bit flat but I can carry it easy like that. My very own football! Aren't I a lucky boy?? I love my football.

Ooooh!! I hear crisp packets!! I have to go, but I hope that you all have a very lovely Christmas.

Love from Bran

and love from Flora

Monday, 1 December 2008

Hide the treat

When my mum went shopping with Sophie and Auntie Wendy last week, she bought a very special present for me and Flora to share. It was supposed to train our brains. So far, I've managed to convince her that I am a Very Clever Puppy so she thought that this toy would be nice for me to play with.

Well I don't like it!

What sort of a stupid game would have your mum showing you a yummy smelly treat and then hiding it from you never to be seen again??! How is that fun??

And Flora just laughs at me because she thinks it's easy-peasy :o( She's even got to play with the Other Side which is even harder and is so hard that Mummy won't even let me try it. Good! I don't want to try it because it's a stupid game!

This is what the stupid game looks like...

Flora gets all excited just when she sees the box! She's just a show off.

On one side the yummy smelly treats get hidden under pegs. Torture, I tell you, torture!

On the other side it has slidey things which have more yummy smelly treats hidden under them.

Mummy took some videos of us on her mobile phone this morning (so the pictures are a bit rubbish!) to show how we play with it. Flora got lots of "good girl"s but I just got lots of laughing and even Flora was laughing at me from the crate!

So that was Flora's "brilliant" attempts. She is quite fast isn't she? For a bulldozer anyway!

Here are my goes - I will go and hide my head under a blanket now. Don't laugh too loud!

Well did YOU see where the stupid yummy delicious treat went after it left Mummy's hand?? I couldn't find it at all! I thought i could still smell it but then I couldn't see it! See? I told you it was a stupid game.

Anyway, I got tired of listening to Flora laughing at me (there are another 4 videos of me trying to find the treat that Mummy has kindly not put up to "save my dignity") so Mummy let her out of the crate and she found the treat straight away! Do you think it might be some sort of magic that they don't tell little boy dogs about? She can remove all 7 pegs - one after the other - AND eat the treats in just 20 seconds!! That is quite impressive isn't it? I couldn't find even one treat in 7 minutes!

Stupid game...

Sunday, 30 November 2008

The Shame!!

My mother is horrid :o(

We went to my nanny's house on Friday and there was lots of dressing up going on. Jacob and Sophie and Georgie were putting lots of different clothes on and kept putting strange things on their heads.

So my mum decided that it would be a great idea to put strange things on mine and Flora's heads >:o(

Don't I look like a plank??? I *may* have got Flora to look up the number for the RSPCA - just in case.....
And this all came after she'd been telling me what a veryveryvery good boy I am because I have stopped weeing in the house! This is after I've been good! Just think what she would have done if I'd been naughty. She might have dressed me up like my mate Muppet's mum did to him....!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Can anyone explain what happened??

Hello everybody. This is Bran. Usually, I let my mum do the typing because I am farrrrrrr too busy annoying....I mean....playing with my big sister, but yesterday I had a very very strange day and my mum couldn't tell me exactly what happened so I thought I'd ask you nice people if you knew.

It all started when I went to bed on Monday night. I'd had my tea and everything, but when I went to bed I did not get any chewies. I ALWAYS have chewies when I go to bed. I thought that my silly mum might have forgotten (she had had some of that yummy wine stuff) so I shouted to remind her, but she just told me to be quiet and did not bring me any chewies. I was very sad, but I went to sleep anyway.

When I got up yesterday, everybody was already up! Mummy and Jacob and Sophie were awake as well as me and Flora! I was very happy to see them and did a little dance before going out for a wee. I came in and waited on the mat for my special big cuddle from Mummy - as usual - which is ALWAYS followed by my breakfast. My favourite bit of the morning :oD I got an extra special squeezy big cuddle from Mummy. It was very nice but I nearly couldn't breathe!! So then I ran out to my bowl and sat waiting for breakfast to appear.

But guess what?

It didn't!!!

I shouted at my silly mum again and said "Excuse me, but you appear to have forgotten something" (I am a very polite puppy ;o) ). She just looked at me and shook her head and said "not today, Pickle". I was a bit cross and a bit sad and VERY HUNGRY so I said "I am sitting nicely. I am waiting. WHERE IS MY BREAKFAST???". Mummy laughed at me and told me that I couldn't have any and that we were going in the car soon.

And so then me and Mummy and Sophie got in the car and went on a nice little drive. When we got out of the car it was freeeeeeeeeezing and I shivered. We went for a little walk and I didn't know where we were going so I checked in every garden that we passed, just in case that was where we were going. Mummy kept saying "come on, Beans, you're having breakfast out today at a very special place" so I was very excited and thought we were going to a new house for breakfast!

We stopped outside of a big door and we all shivered, but then a nice man let us in and told us we could sit down in the warm.

It was a Very Strange Place. Mummy and Sophie sat down, but the room was all echoey and there was nobody else in there and it was a bit dark and it smelled funny. It sort of smelled like other dogs and cats and another thing - but I didn't know what - and like clean all at the same time.

After a bit, the nice man who had let us in opened another door and called my name! I was very excited and ran in to see him. He smiled at me and sat on the floor so I gave him great big kisses. He stood up to talk to Mummy and said something about my being there for "cats-at-the-station". Silly man! I wasn't there for cats-at-the-station! I was there for a special breakfast :o) The man took my collar and lead off and put a not comfy (or handsome!) collar and lead on me, then Mummy and Sophie gave me great big kisses and cuddles, and then they walked out of the room!! I was a bit worried but then I remembered that the nice man was going to give me breakfast so I walked nicely with him.



AND THEY PUT ME IN A CRATE!!! And the crate didn't have my duvet in it. Nor my Nylabone. And no chewies. What was going on??

After a little bit, a nice lady came to make a fuss of me and I gave her big kisses. She put the not comfy collar and lead on me and took me to see the nice man again. I gave him more kisses! I like giving kisses. Even though the man had told Mummy that I was too big to go on his table before, they lifted me up and put me on this table! People are very strange sometimes. The nice lady tickled my ears while the nice man did something to my leg.

And then I was back in the crate..........!

I cried a bit then because I wanted somebody to tell me what was happening. And I hurted a little bit. And I wanted my mummy to give me a cuddle.

The nice lady came and gave me some water and then took me outside for a wee and told me that I was a very good boy. Tut. Like I didn't know that. My mummy tells me that all the time. Then she took me back to my crate and said that my mummy would be coming to see me soon and that I could go home. That made me happy so I bounced on her and made her laugh and gave her a big kiss.

Another nice lady came in and put my handsome collar and lead on me and took me away from the crate and back into the funny smelling place and Mummy and Sophie were there!! I jumped up at the door and wagged my tail very very very fast and everybody laughed.

So anyway. Then we went home and Flora bounced on me and it hurted a bit and I cried, but I don't know what hurted or why. I just felt a bit wrong. Like something was missing.

I had to stay in my crate allllllll night which was rubbish, because Flora was playing with Jacob and I wanted to play. I moaned and nagged and nagged and moaned for a long long time and eventually Mummy let me out and I was SO EXCITED that I ran as fast as I could around the room and on Flora and on the chair and on Sophie and on the sofa and on Jacob and into the hallway and then Mummy caught me and put me back in the crate and told me that I had to rest! Rubbish, I tell ya. I did get a very yummy tea though and Mummy called me "a brave little soldier".

But I don't understand. Why am I brave? What is missing? I've checked all over me and everything looks normal, but it still feels like something is missing. I have been bouncing and running lots with Flora today and Mummy keeps telling me to "slow down" and "be careful" and "not so rough". And how did I go from the table with the nice man and lady to the crate? Was it magic?

I tried asking Flora but she looks sad and says that she remembers when it happened to the gingers and now she has to check them every time she sees them to see if they've grown back, but she won't tell me what happened to them or what isn't growing back!!

Sometimes, it's really rubbish being a puppy!!

Monday, 24 November 2008

More Lovely Walks

Yesterday we went for another lovely walk at Barton Country Park in Bradford on Avon with Wendy, Wiggle and Sir Henery, Elaine with Amber and Freddie, Amy and Louie, Lynne and Todd.

We had hoped that our friends Ange and Minnie-Moo were going to join us as well, but Minnie's dad had a car accident and although, very happily, he is ok their car really isn't :o( We missed them though :o)

The weather was meant to be very cold and very wet, but luckily the sun shone and we only had a few short showers. The dogs couldn't have cared less about the weather anyway! They smelled the fresh air, saw the water and grass and mud and had a wonderful time!

Before heading off on the rest of the walk, we stopped at the river to let the dogs have a splash. Flora and Wiggle made the most of it, but Bran was rather more sensible and didn't go in too far this time.

And then it was time to head off through the fields. Rather precariously, there were lots and lots of fishermen out and the dogs were very interested in what they were doing - or perhaps it was the contents of their tuck boxes that interested them!

Amber trying to keep up with Bran and Flora

Sophie with her bestest friend - Sir Henery - and Amber

Bran and Flora racing

Bran displaying a view that, unbeknown to him, will be changing forever tomorrow!

Group shot

We then stopped at the pub for the humans to warm up on coffee, hot chocolate, mulled wine, chips, whatever... The pub is a very lovely, dog friendly place called The Cross Guns. Last time we went they told us that the dogs would be very welcome inside the pub by the fire, but, as this time, we chose to sit outside and enjoy the autumn sunshine. We sat right beside the river and it was just beautiful. We couldn't have inflicted so many filthy, dirty dogs on a public house anyway!!

Bran giving his Auntie Wendy a sneaky snog

Bran and Flora looking not very clean at all!

Todd tried to convince his mum to feed him scraps using his telepathic powers

Wiggle and Sir Henery looking very handsome

Freddie and Amber the beautiful, barky bassetts

Louie very sensibly decided to get rid of the bulk of his mud by wiping it on his mum!

The dogs were sooooooo dirty by the time that we got home, that they both had a nice (I'm not sure that they would have chosen that word to describe the torture that they endured!) bath, were put into snuggly jumpers, and curled up in their beds with chews before having a nice long sleep.

After such a long walk where she did so much running around, Flora's hips were very sore this morning and Bran didn't help matters by trying to bounce all over her, so I decided to leave Flora at home in the warm and take Bran to the park by himself to try and tire him out a bit. I also decided to take his puppy dummy with us to do some work on his retrieving. Just recently he has become more and more interested in playing with balls above any other toy - which can only help with the whole retriever thing - and so I took a tennis ball too.
He loves the puppy dummy! I do have a brand new one but Wendy sent us one that used to be Dolly's so it obviously smells much much nicer than the new one ;o)
He was very keen to chase after it and brought it back with no trouble at all and for no reward other than a big fuss from his mum :o)

To try and keep the excitement with chasing after the dummy, I replaced it with the tennis ball after a few very fast and excited retrievals. Again, Bran raced after the ball and brought it straight back to me to hand over.

Whilst off fetching the tennis ball, Bran spotted what looked like a discarded carrier bag from where I was. He kept looking at it suspiciously and then started bouncing at it and barking! Rather than ignore his confusion, I walked over to the "carrier bag" with him to give him a bit of moral support whilst he bravely investigated his find.
"What's this funny thing, Mum?"

"Oooooooooh! It smells like a different ball!!"

"Yay!! I can play "fetch" with this one too. Look! Aren't I a clever boy?"

We then had a bit of a modelling session amongst the autumnal backdrop. Bran was very distracted by the wind blowing the leaves around and there seemed to be an awful lot of interesting smells about today, but I got a couple of lovely pictures.

I love the colours in this photo, even if he is looking the wrong way

And this photo just shows how grown up Bran is becoming. He is beginning to lose his puppy looks and looks almost like a real lab now.

He is still my very handsome, baby boy though xxx

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Proof of the Growth Spurt!

Following the photos making Bran look like a right heifer, I thought I'd check on his measurements.

The results:

Height: 18"
Neck: 18"
Length: 27"
Weight: 26kgs (that'll be another 4kgs gained in 2 weeks then!!) that puts him at just 4-4.5" shy of the expected adult male height and at the bottom end of the expected adult male weight.

At 6 months.

With another 6 - 12 months of growing to do!! :oO

Monday, 17 November 2008

Mid-November Catch Up!

Ooops! I really must get on here more often. The boy is growing so quickly and this time is never going to be gotten back.

Ok then. 1st November was the last update. So what were the next things that happened?

Monday 3rd November: In the evening the dogs had a trip with my mum and I all the way to Frankley Services where we collected the children and Jacob's best friend Tom. Nina and Stew (Tom's parents and my great friends) had brought them all down from Cheshire to the handover point and they were thrilled to see Bran. They'd been at our house the day that Bran arrived so the last time they'd seen him he looked like a teeny little puppy. They've seen photos of how he's grown, but I think they were still surprised to see him in the flesh!! Flora was absolutely beside herself with excitement at seeing so many of her favourite people in one place, but was also scared because there were fireworks going off nearby :o( Fairly appropriate really as *bang* went our peace and quiet!

Tuesday 4th November: Sophie and I visited Cardiff with Wendy, Loobie and Fi to go to a fantastic place called Batleys. It's a cash and carry that has a wonderful pet section. Amongst all of the ridiculously girly giggling, we managed to bag some fantastic bargains and - sssssssshhh, don't tell them! - I got lots of Christmas presents for my spoiled puppies. Jacob and Tom had stayed at home and looked after the dogs and so upon our return I was regaled with the horrendous tale of just how norty Bran had been in my absence!! He had destroyed 2 pieces of post, suspectedly eaten a keyring (which he hadn't), chewed the back off of the remote control, chomped on a battery, hidden the remaining battery and the rest of the remote control!! Within 2 minutes, Sophie and I had managed to find all the missing bits and Bran was fine but he'd never been so norty in such a short space of time!! Little monkey had a lucky escape.

Wednesday 5th November: The dreaded Bonfire Night. Fortunately, Bran couldn't care less about fireworks - the noise or the sight of them. Flora is transformed into a quivering wreck and I ended up having to give her a diazepam to calm her down. Bran didn't quite know what to do with himself as his playmate snoozed her way through the evening. The kids did a great job of entertaining him though ;o)

Thursday 6th November: Ah the much awaited day arrived!! My temporary fencing and fencing pins arrived in the post. Despite the fact that we were due to be going out, I couldn't wait to put it up so got the kids to help me poo pick the main lawn for the last time until Spring and then we put the fencing up. I am absolutely thrilled that my poor lawn has been granted a reprieve for a few months, grass seed needs to be scattered to give it a chance to grass properly again, the floors won't be covered in mud and poo picking will be sooooooooo much easier! The dogs are less than happy, but they still have the patio, the concrete area at the end of the garden and a small grassed area to play/toilet in.

Friday 7th November: Bran got to meet a new friend and Flora reacquainted herself with a summer holiday friend. The children's friend Kyle came to visit for the weekend.

Saturday 8th November: My mum's birthday. My mum and dad came to visit for the evening but, unfortunately, there were HUGE amounts of fireworks going off and Flora was absolutely terrified :o( She had another diazepam but I also covered the crate with a heavy blanket and let her settle in there for the evening with various chews and bones. This meant that Bran got alllllllll the attention, dropped bits of food and extra treats for being such a good boy. The covered crate settling Flora gave us the brilliant idea of leaving the crate covered through the night whilst Bran is in it to see if it encourages him to sleep in a bit longer.

Sunday 9th November: I woke up at 9 o'clock and came downstairs to wake Bran up!!! Astonishing result for the covered crate!! Flora was very poorly all day as I think she'd got herself so stressed throughout Saturday evening, so again Bran had to entertain himself for the day - fortunately, he opted to not fill his time with more nortiness!!

Tuesday 11th November: The dogs thoroughly enjoyed themselves today! We had an official Lazy Day (which started with me not getting up until 10 o'clock!! Woohoo for the covered crate!!), so they had lots and lots of cuddles and people on hand to play with them for the whole day.

Wednesday 12th November: Another norty Bran day. However, he did have huge amounts of temptation put in his path so I can hardly blame him. We sorted the 3 outside sheds out so emptied the contents of all of them onto the patio before cleaning them out and putting things away again, so Bran spent the whole afternoon racing around with something that he shouldn't have in his mouth and, inevitably, with somebody on his tail yelling for him to drop whatever it was he had! He had a wonderful time and we were all absolutely shattered! Hahahahaha...

Saturday 15th November: Another new friend for Bran. Auntie Fi came for a visit. Initially, she arrived just for a couple of hours with our old friend Twister and a new friend - a very beautiful, gentle GSD girl called Nouska. Nouska was going to be adopted by Fi's friends who live in Portugal but were visiting Bristol for the weekend, so Fi was due to take Nouska to meet her new family. We were utterly smitten by the stunning girl, although Flora wasn't quite so impressed with having another big girl in *her* house. Bran thought she was fab xx Fi then took Nouska off to her family and returned to stop over for the night.

Sunday 16th November: What a busy day!! Bran and Flo were very excited to see Auntie Fi coming down the stairs in the morning and she got well and truly dozered!!! Flora has been educating Bran sufficiently that we have now decided that he isn't "just" a labrador but is a labradozer. They leapt all over poor Fi and covered her in kisses before getting excited enough that they just had to start wrestling!

Wendy then arrived with Wiggle and Sir H and we headed off to the park for a while. Flora was very noisy but Bran was a star, although I'm not sure that Twister would agree! Bran has taking an immense liking to Twister and has made it his mission to get her to play with him one day. In the house, this means that he has to bounce in front of her and bark whilst she is snoozing on the sofa. In the park, this means that he has to run right next to her and try to grab her if she stands still for long enough. Needless to say that, at 12, Twister is far from impressed with this behaviour and has completely blanked him so far. The Pickle isn't one to admit defeat though!! We were a bit shocked to realise that Bran is nearly as tall as Wiggle now!!
Big Boy
(doesn't look so bad until you realise that the bed he's in (or almost in!) is 3 feet across!)

And then.......Nina and Stew arrived with their cavalier boys - Ricky and Charlie. Wendy and the labby boys left and Bran focussed his attention on annoying Ricky as much as possible by employing the same tactics as had been wasted on Twister!!

And finally... Monday 17th November: Thankfully for me, the manic weekend has meant that after an inital manic hour or so of mad wrestling this morning, both dogs have been snoozing soundly!! Bliss. Absolute bliss!!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

A Big Catch-Up

Oooh I have been *very* rubbish at keeping this up to date. We have been a very very busy family so I'll try my best to get you up to date with what's been happening here....

Wednesday 15th October - We went for another walk with friends to a lovely place called Barton Farm Country Park in Bradford-on-Avon. We went with Wendy, Wiggle and Sir H and also met up with Ange and the very beautiful Minnie-Moo for the first time. There was a lovely river for the dogs to play in - Bran was very brave with the water this time and had great fun splashing with the others. Flora decided to be very stupid and threw herself in at a point where she couldn't get out by herself so I needed to lie in the mud to pull her out. Bran very helpfully sat very close to my head so that I couldn't get up easily after pulling her out so I very nearly ended up in the river myself!! We walked through lots of fields and eventually came to a lovely pub called The Cross Guns. We (people) sat outside and ate chips and drank coffee and hot chocolate whilst the dogs sat very quietly, looking cute and trying to beg chips. We walked back along the canal together before collecting yummy cakes from Wendy and heading home.

Auntie Wendy tried to drown Bran!

My babies

Spot the difference to the above photo

Watch out! Here comes trouble!!

Abandoned Puppy!


Sir Henery being a hippo

Me and Ange and Wendy with dogs

Flora and her beloved Wiggle

Sir Henery does running :oO

Patiently waiting

Sophie and her bestest friend

Friday 17th October - Our Kevin cat was put to sleep :o( Kevin was an indoor cat and Bran used to have lots of fun standing behind the stairgate and barking at poor Kev, who would sit and stare disdainfully at the dogs and smack them on their faces if they came too close to the gate when he was sitting on the other side of it! We all miss him lots xx

Sunday 19th October - We went on yet another big walk with lots of friends at Brean Sands. It was Bran's first visit to the beach and he loved it! He seemed to be a little bit overwhelmed by the number of people there so stayed very close to his mummy, but he splashed in the sea, chased Flora and said hello to everybody there. He was very very cold, wet and tired at the end of the walk so was quite pleased to see me produce a fleece coat for him to wear on the way home.

Sophie "walking" Morse

Excellent heelwork, that puppy!

My family (minus one 2-legged boy)

Daisy and Duncan

Snoozing and snuggly

Sophie "walking" Morse again

Me and Andrea with our dogs

Monday 20th - Wednesday 22nd October - I took the children to visit friends up in Cheshire/Staffordshire (including a fantastic day at Alton Towers!!) so Bran and Flora had a little holiday at a very special place called Nanny's House. Bran had never been away from us before so I worried lots about how he would be, but Nanny reported that they were both very very good and they were certainly thrilled to see us when we got home (well, me and Sophie anyway as Jacob stayed up North with our friends)!! Strangely, Bran has become much more cuddly since we've returned and whereas before we went he would only get up onto the sofa if at least half of it was free, he will now squish up into the smallest spaces xx

Saturday 25th - Monday 27th October - Our friends Jenny and Bethany came to stay for the weekend. They hadn't met Bran before but Jenny already loves Flora and always calls her Big Dog! Bran was very pleased to have extra people in the house as that inevitably means extra attention!! When they left on Monday evening, Sophie went with them and so me and the dogs are all on our own for a whole week!!

Tuesday 28th October - I had to leave the dogs to go out and do shopping on the afternoon, but I took them to Nanny's House for us all to have tea in the evening. They both adore my dad and so gave Grumpy lots of kisses and cuddles.

Wednesday 29th October - We went to visit Wendy, Wiggle and Sir H "in residence". Bran and Flora paid no heed to the fact that they weren't at home and that Bran had never visited Wendy's house before and played as comfortably and as madly as if they had been at home!! Poor old Henery and Wiggle just looked on in bemusement! We then took all of the dogs out for a lovely walk on the Marlborough Downs. We walked through the woods so there was lots of sniffing to be done and they all had a really lovely run.

Flora looking gorgeous

Running like the wind!

Bran looking very handsome

Bran and Wiggle

Very attractive Autumnal foursome

Having fun

The very gorgeous Wiggle showing just how much better he is since going to live with his new mummy

Doggy Mix-Up!

Flora and Bran do running

Flora and Wiggle do running!

Thursday 30th October - Mr Branston Beans was officially 6 months old. I spent most of the day saying "HOW???" or "WHEN???". I can't believe it. 6 months!!!

Friday 31st October - Halloween for Bran started with his 6 month health check at the vets. We walked through the park where 2 not very nice jack russells kept running up and snapping at him :o( Bless my brave little boy who didn't pay them any attention at all.

When we arrived at the vets, Bran entertained himself by playbowing and enticingly barking at a 16 year old westie who was really above such things and a very old labrador who couldn't even stand up. And then he improved when in walked a man with a 5 month old staffie! They had a lovely, loud play until Bran was called in to see the vet. She was very impressed with him and wanted to take him home :oD She said that he was fit, healthy and perfect. He weighed in at 22kgs and she was pleased that he is so in proportion given the lab tendency to gain weight.

I then went shopping in the afternoon with my friend Sarah and baby Sam for a while and so to make up for leaving the dogs on their own, I snuggled on the sofa with them all evening and sharing yummies with them. I even slept on the sofa so that they wouldn't be on their own all night and Bran wouldn't need to go into his crate again. Spoiled? My dogs?? Never!! ;o)