The more men I meet….. the more I’m sticking with my dog.

The other night when I had BD I decided it would be nice to go on a walk around a local forest together. It’s a lovely place to walk, it’s close to where I pick him up from and the gravel path means that he doesn’t get too mucky (I love him, but I have new creamish carpets so although I want him to have loads of fun on our walks at the moment I am all about good clean fun!) It’s also nice and quiet, we very rarely run into other people or dogs and when we do the path is big enough I know we can easily pass – I call it a low stress walk!

However, last night my ‘low stress’ walk backfired slightly when an idiot male passed crossed my path and I went from relaxed to full out stress in the space of about 5 minutes, and it was all his bloody fault.

Bd and I were happily walking along, BD had is tennis ball and I was chattering away to him and focusing on being in the moment when in the distance I spotted a man running and a black dog behind him. Now anyone with a reactive dog will tell you one of the skills you develop when your dog doesn’t like others is an ability to spot another dog at 1000 paces.

I knew this was going to be a challenging situation for BD and that more than likely we would have a reaction. For some unknown reason he has started barking at every dog he sees (not a popular habit he has formed!) however the massive improvement is it isn’t a ‘grrr I’m going to kill you’ bark more a ‘look, look, over there is a dog, have you seen it?’ bark. To me this is a big improvement, not so much to the people with the other dog, you should have seen the dirty look the cute young vet gave me when he passed me in the street, his terrier trotting along nicely in front of him while my ginger nutcase bounced and barked and tried to pull me into the street, while I told him he was a good boy, to calm down and tried to persuade him to sit (apparently asking for a ‘trick’ distracts them). Anyway I digress!

So I called BD to me, took his tennis ball from him and put on his muzzle.

This is my fail safe way to get BD past a dog. I do not put him back on his lead as he feels restricted and so is more likely to react. So I muzzle and then carry on with the walk. With his muzzle on he can’t bite the other dog, so even if anything was to look like it may happen BD can’t do any damage. But the really play is to make sure I have the tennis ball in my hand. My boy is ball obsessed and so long as I have the tennis ball his eyes will be on me. A marching band could parade past him and unless they got in his face he would not bat an eyelid – the ball is all that matters.

Ideally in this situation I will just try and walk past the other dog, as I once read you need to make seeing another dog a ‘none event’ but as this was a running dog I thought it was better to pause in a nice wide part of the trail and wait for them to pass.

Which the runner did. He said hello as he ran past, but the dog froze. I called after the runner to ask if that was his dog, but he just ignored me and carried on his way.

I assumed that one of two things would happen. One the runner would stop and wait for the dog to catch up, encouraging him past me and BD so they could carry on with their walk or b the dog would pause slightly but as his ‘dad’ carried on he would run past us both to catch up.

Neither of these things happened.

The man kept on running, as in out of sight, gone, forgotten about.

And the dog froze.

I waited and then I swore.

The man had gone. Clearly this was not his dog.

There was no one else about, and we had been walking for a while. I knew we were in the middle of nowhere and for a dog to be here alone it was probably lost.

I swore again.

I couldn’t just leave it.

But I was with BD, I will admit to grumbling something along the lines of “why does this only ever happen when I have BD with me.” Had this situation presented itself with Mity he would have trotted along happily next to the new dog, thinking he had found a new friend. In fact once we used Mity as ‘bait’ when a neighbours scared dog got out. We encouraged it to follow Mity all the way home and Mity thought the whole thing was the most fun game ever.

BD would not think this is the most fun game ever. BD would not like this dog following him home.

I told BD to wait, and I slowly crept towards the strange dog. I noticed it was wearing a collar and so I decided I would ring the number on it. Simples.

I crept forward, talking calmly.

BD watched my every mood.

I have to admit he was very good and he didn’t make a fuss and let me approach this dog.

As I swapped between watching this dog and checking BD for signs of concern/reactivity I tried to assess the condition of the strange dog to see how long it may have been out there.

I found some dog treats in my pocket and held one out, hoping that the other dog would be tempted. I kept my tone low and my movements slow.

As I got close the dog let out an almighty yelp and raced off.

I swore again.

BD watched it go he sort of went to follow it, but not in an aggressive manner and returned to me as soon as I called. But now I was more upset. In this situation I can’t help but wonder what would happen if it was BD or Mity; how I would feel about them being out there alone. I felt like I had let down this dog and its owner. I wondered what I should have done different. I considered leaving the rest of my treats on the trail so it would have a little something to eat. Granted it was about 4 large treats, but still it would have been something.

I decided to pull myself together. Unmuzzled BD and chucked his ball for him resigned to the fact that I couldn’t do anything more.

And at the point the idiot running man came back into view with the dog clearly with him; turns out his was his dog after all. Initially I was relieved that the dog was going to be ok, but the relief was replaced with annoyance with this bloke. He had seen my muzzle BD. His dog had been held up, too afraid to pass me and BD and yet he had ran off and not given a flying ……..feck.

You don’t have to have a dog. It is a choice not a necessity and if you can’t be arsed to properly care and look after a dog, then don’t have one.

I tell you this guys complete disregard has me boiling for quite some time. In fact even now it gets me cross just thinking about it.

Until it doesn’t

Or at least the dog shares rocks until he has to go back.

And then I hate it.

I hate having to say goodbye to him again. I hate cuddling him and willing him to understand that I don’t want this. I hate leaving him. I hate that we only get a few days together a week. I hate that I couldn’t make it work – that I wasn’t enough.

I pray that he understands this isn’t his fault.

I didn’t want to leave, not like the other ‘mum’ did.

I want him to understand that even when we are apart, a little bit of me stays with him. That I count down the days until I next see him, and wonder what I can move in the diary to fit him in.

It’s a balancing act.

Seeing him as much as I want but not annoying the ex too much. Not being overly demanding – BD is not my dog and if I over step the mark the ex could cut all ties, then and there and there is nothing I can do about it. It’s funny, this time last year (ok maybe a little over a year, let’s say 2 years ago!) I would have told you that my ex was a man of his word and that if he has promised I can continue to see BD he will let me…….but I’m not that naïve anymore.

I am acutely aware that any minute all this could end. BD could be taken from me, and that thought terrifies me. So I jump through whatever hoops the ex asks me to jump through.

I pray he doesn’t find anyone else.

Not because the idea of him with someone else kills me. It does; but that’s not the motivation. I’m scared about what sort of woman he will choose, and how high he will jump when she asks him to…. “of course you’re ex can’t continue to walk your dog twice a week.” If he’s listened to anything I ever said to him he won’t let an old relationship ruin a new one. And so I will be out; replaced.

I know it would have been easier, and possibly better to make the clean break. But I promised BD I wouldn’t leave him, and I can’t. You’ve seen the videos of how crazy a dog goes when re-united with a soldier who has been on tour, I watch those videos and think how much the dog has missed their owner. After tours lasting 6 months the dogs still remember and are over joyed at the reunion. I don’t want BD to suffer that separation – not if it is in my power to spare him that.

Don’t worry I am very aware of the elephant in the room, the unspoken fear in my friends and family. The nagging voice that sometimes can be heard in my own head “are you hanging onto him, because it lets you hang on to your ex?”

Honestly, I don’t think I am. Do I like that on occasions having BD means I can pop back into my ‘other house’ very much so. But am I hanging onto the ex, the life I had….maybe. But I know that it can’t be. I can’t go back. I have to move on. And although I don’t want to, I will. And to be honest, there are months at a time when I don’t see the ex, where conversation is literally a text confirming date and times so I think it’s more holding onto my second home.

But I would give it all up if I could only guarantee a future relationship with BD. If a new girlfriend lands on the scene I would happily negotiate access with her. I would cut all contact with the ex, and stay away from the house so long as she didn’t take my dog from me.

But that’s the problem, he isn’t my dog.

What a difference a dog makes!

Today I am in a good mood. The sun is shining (ok, it’s not but I feel as though it should be!) the sky isn’t even close to blue but should be and all in all I’m very happy. And what I hear you ask is the reason for this good mood?

Well it simple, tonight I have BD. Again!

The ex has been away all weekend at some sort of race in Scotland (I don’t know details and I didn’t ask) all I know is the important stuff, he left early Friday morning and returns late this evening meaning I get to chill with BD this evening as well. We really have had a lovely 4 days. On Friday night I had my sister coming to stay with me and as she wasn’t getting there until late BD and I went on one of the old walks we used to do together. I had forgotten how far we used to walk together and how much I loved it. The huge smile on BDs face was almost as large as my own.

Friday nights walk inspired me and so together this weekend we have explored some of the new walks near my house. I have loved every minute of having him – even when he decided we were going to play catch this morning while I was having my shower. The shower took twice as long and ended up with his toy bobbing around in the bath water but I didn’t care. I have valued and treasured every moment we have spent together and I am so excited to go an pick him up tonight for another long walk followed by en evening cuddling on the settee.

We seem to have found our little routine, and if I am honest there is a whole load of me that wishes he didn’t have to go ‘home’ tomorrow. In fact there is a whole load of me that wishes he didn’t ever have to go back.

But he does.

And I have to admit our relationship is much stronger it. When I have BD I have BD. His name gets put into my calendar and for the night, day, weekend, whatever I have no plans but him. I make sure the shopping is done before he arrives and so when he arrives it is our time. I’ll admit at the moment he is having to share my attention with DIY but I don’t take the time I have with him for granted and that is brilliant.

When I am with him I am in the moment. I was so excited about picking him up on Friday night I was like a kid at Christmas, the day dragged and when I finally got into my car I squeaked with excitement.

It’s a weird situation, and if it had been my choice I would not be doing a ‘part-time’ dog share.

But it’s not my choice and so I have to make do. However, the more I do it the less it is ‘making do’. Spending quality time with BD is amazing, not taking him for granted is eye opening. I hate leaving him, but love picking him up, and without the guilt of leaving him if I am having a social life. I feel slightly bad for admitting it but truth be told this dog share actually kinda rocks!


So what do you think, am I the most awful person in the world for admitting that sharing BD is actually not too bad, would you dog share if you could, or am I dammed for all of eternity for admitting that I love my time without him as much as I love my time with him?

Holding my boys a little closer tonight!

I was going to write a much longer post bit it’s been a long, hectic week and so my brain just doesn’t seem to be working well enough to put down on ‘paper’ the thoughts that are swirling through my head.

50 dogs died as a result of an arson attack this morning. I feel that can’t go by without something being done, without it being marked in some way.

I wanted today to add my voice to the millions of others who call for tougher punishment for those people who torture or kill animals.

But today the words will not come….

I can’t form a coherent argument….

So for today I won’t.

Today, I will be extra thankful that I am having BD for the entire weekend (yes he’s mine until Tuesday morning  – I am so excited!!!) and tomorrow I will have Mity up ‘helping’ in the house as well.

So instead of ranting and getting angry, motivating people to do something, to fight for tougher punishments. I will instead rejoice in the fact that people have done something. Donations are flooding in, offers of alternative homes for these dogs are coming from all over. Firefighters and ‘local heroes’ are being applauded for the work they did to save the lives that were saved and so for today I will focus on the positive and cuddle my two a little closer when I see them!


If you can make a donation to help you can donate via the just giving page and in the next few days details of the help needed will be released.


This morning on my drive into work I was listening to a tribute to the 9/11 victims which was playing on the radio. It was moving, thought provoking and everything a good tribute should be. It made me feel even more compelled to write something about this event on my blog.

But where do you start?

What do you say that hasn’t been said before?

How do you even begin to put into words what it is you want to say?

I was considering voicing my annoyance with the wording used to describe the terrorists, but I feel today isn’t a day for anger. There is already enough anger and hatred in this world, on today of all days we should not seek to add more anger.

Do I talk about forgiveness – but it’s not my place to forgive. I will not comment on how those people affected by the tragedy should or should not find a way to move on with their lives. If they have found a way to forgive then I am happy for them but if they are still in a place where the hatred is pulling them through the day then I am not going to judge them for that.

Instead I wanted to focus on love.

I strongly believe that violence does not prevent or atone for another act of violence, remember An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth only leaves the whole world hungry and blind. But love, love does something greater.

I couldn’t help but follow a little of the #911remembered twitter stream this morning. The tweets started off as much as I expected, touching tributes, photos of the events, stories of survivors. But as I scrolled lower my screen became filled with images of injured, dead and dying children with comments along the lines of “you shot my daughter so you deserve this” or “you brought this on yourself”.

My heart couldn’t help but bleed a little.

So much hurt, so much hatred.

Violence resulting in Violence.

Innocent people killed in revenge for other innocent people deaths…. this is madness.

I can’t help but feel this world is becoming a rather dark place. One where people take what they want with very little regard for the thought of the people they are taking it from. Just open the newspaper and you can read horror stories of the dad who was kicked to death for stopping some yobs for destroying his hedge or the Indian health worker who went to the aid of a gang-rape victim and has now been raped herself.

If the lives lost on 9/11 are not going to have died in vain then we need to change and we need to change now.

Look at the World War 1 & 2 (I had originally put the Great Wars, but removed that as no war is Great!) I remember as a child being confused “if the 1st World War was so horrific that it was supposed to be the War to end all Wars, how did they let a second one happen?” We have learnt no lessons, we still send hundreds of men and woman off to die and sometimes I have to ask for what? I would like to say because ‘we’ are making a difference, that it’s to end a fascist regime but I fear the truth is  ‘we want the oil’ or some other entity and human suffer has very little to do with it.

So today I am going to ask you to find a little time in your life to love a little more.



” At this moment, 13 years ago, millions of Americans went to bed quietly, with no thought that the next morning their world would change forever. That night, hundreds packed flight bags they would not live to open. Thousands slept with loved ones for the last time.

One never knows what a new day has in store. Let us live each day to the fullest, and never miss an opportunity to let those nearest and dearest to us know of our love for them. So tonight, if you have someone in your life that you love, tell them!”










(The above was seen on the internet. if this is your wording and you object to me using it let me know and I will remove it)

Not another #BadgerCull

I am massively disappointed to have just learnt that yet again the powers that be have sanctioned a completely ineffective badger cull. I had hoped we had seen the last of this ‘great plan’ as I am pretty certain the last one was described as an “abysmal failure” by anyone with half a brain cell. But I was wrong, it would appear the powers that be haven’t learnt their lesson and are going to yet again ‘cull’.

I have been considering a post on the badger cull for a few days now. I was watching the ‘Young Farmers’ programme on Channel 4 and this week it touched on bovine TB. You couldn’t help but feel the despair of these farmers as they struggled with infected cattle. One farmer had been shut down for over a year, unable to buy or sell cows. Another was facing financial ruin, his mates and other farmers rallied round to help but still he was struggling. One told the story of a friend who had been pushed to the edge as he had had to shoot all of the cows he owned, watching the calves kicking in the bellies of their slaughtered mother. Watching the programme I was getting crosser and crosser and a number of times I couldn’t help but exclaim “we should be doing more”.

However killing badgers is not the answer.

I can’t help but a badge cull is seen as an easy out. The government can loudly proclaim ‘look at us doing our bit to help the poor farmers (give it time and I’m sure they will be visiting them for the obligatory ‘we care’ photo shoot) whilst actually being completely ineffective and failing to achieve anything – although that shouldn’t be a surprise I am starting to think that completely ineffective and out of touch should be the definition of government in the dictionary.

So what would I do?

You know what I’m not 100% sure. I don’t have all the answers but how about

  1. We start paying farmers a fair price for their produce. Farming is a high risk business, they are reliant on so many variable which they cannot control, let’s make sure they can afford to have a small nest egg to be built up so they have something to fall back on when they face hard times, a failed harvest, a TB farm closure…… I believe the pile it high, sell it cheap culture that we are breeding is extremely detrimental. Everyone is up in arms about obesity epidemic but the powers that be don’t seem to understand that it is in no small part tied to the crap that people put in their mouths. “Madam would you like this naturally raised, organic high welfare chicken breast for £5 or can I instead tempt you with this low welfare, stuffed full of growth hormone, water and god knows what ‘chicken breast’ 10 for 30p?” And you know full well the cuts are being made on the price paid to the farmers. When we have farmers pouring gallons of milk down the drain because they can’t sell it you know something is wrong.
  2. We financially support the famers when times are hard. As a nation we support people when they are too ill to work, we support people when they are searching for jobs and we support bankers who need to have their big bonuses because we all know they just simply couldn’t survive if they could not afford their month on their private yacht, eating caviar and coiffing Dom Perignon. Yet the hard working farmer… if times are hard they should be able to turn to the government for support.
  3. We work harder on finding a solution to bovine TB which actually works. From what I have read there is a vaccine, however we can’t use as once vaccinated, if a cow had a ‘test’ it will provide a positive result and then ‘we’ don’t know if the cow has TB or has been vaccinated. Surely with greater minds then mine working on this there is a way to get round this problem while the scientists work out a way to differentiate between a ‘positive result’ and a vaccinated cow. I can’t help but believe that with a little planning, maybe some short term inconvenience using a system of quarantine, country wide (and for the country I am including Scotland and Wales) vaccination and a little financial backing a workable solution is not 10 years away and does not have to involve the mass slaughter of hundreds of innocent creatures (not only the badgers but the thousands of cattle that have to be killed).

As I said, I don’t have all the answers. But I couldn’t stay quiet any longer. The situation the farmers find themselves in and the cull is wrong.

Growing up I naively believed that the government listened to and represented its people. So I am adding my voice to the hundreds of others calling for an end to the cull. I am adding my voice to the hundreds of others calling for better support for our farmers.

I am very aware that I don’t have the power to change anything. However I am hoping that by speaking out, someone who does is somewhere listening and will feel empowered to act.

If you would like to make a stand for badgers then visit to send an email to the new Environment Secretary, Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP

Well I thought it was exciting

I am very lucky to have had another lovely weekend! It involved an errand running Saturday which ended with my stopping the nights with my folks, drinking wine and watching the new Hitchcock film (which I really enjoyed and would recommend you see!) and then on Sunday my sister and her bloke descended to cook us a cooked breakfast  – which in itself is a huge treat because the last time I had a cooked breakfast was exactly a year ago. I remember as it was the day the ex and I headed to France on our ‘make or break’ holiday – yep I’ve almost been single for an entire year! Anyway, I’m sure I will touch on that in a later post! (I hear you waiting with bated breath!) Anywho…

After the breakfast we all piled into the car as we were attending my Great Aunt and Uncles 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebrations. It was the most lovely day, good food, good wine (perhaps a little too much), my sister is currently complaining about her ‘wine head’ that started at 10pm last night! It was a chance to meet up with family members that I haven’t seen for far too many years (the last one was 4 years ago) and we took the obligatory photos adding in different levels of the family as we grew. It was one of those days that made me proud of my roots and desperate to strengthen the family bonds that we share.

However, today I want to tell you about the fun and games we had before the ‘event’ itself. You see the event was a good 3 hour drive away from my mum and dads house. I know for some of you that live in more exotic lands 3 hours may not seem that far, but for me from little old England a 3 hour journey is quite an undertaking. To allow time for traffic we set off giving ourselves about 5 hours to get there. You see Dad had been on the internet and so he knew that there was a nice garden center only a junction away from the restaurant that this meet up was taking place in. So we had a plan, get down there and then potter around the garden center and treat ourselves to a coffee out.

I will admit we did look a site all walking into the garden center in our Sunday best. I don’t know many people who go garden shopping in high heels with a clutch bag but on Sunday I did…..or at least I would have had the power not gone off in the garden center about 5 minutes after we arrived forcing the staff to remove everyone from the store.

Luckily, on getting into the store Mum and I had made a bee-line for the toilets and so we at least got to ‘spend a penny’ before being kicked out, my sister bless her however was not as lucky and spent the entire time stood out side the store with her legs crossed. But don’t worry, I was a lovely big sister and was sure to point out all the water features that were within sight and offer her a mouthful of my bottle of water every few minutes!

Although it was not my sisters ‘need’ that caused the most merriment as we stood outside the store. No you see everyone was laughing at me. The moments the lights had gone off Mum and I were in the disabled toilet and we thought the lights had gone out because we had been in there too long  – seriously, you have no idea how shoddy disabled toilets are until you attempt to use them when you have a disability, the stories I could (and might) tell. So we assumed this was just another shoddy toilet and that the lights were motion censored and just hadn’t been set for long enough. So in an attempt to turn the lights I started to do laps of the disabled loo. I must have done at least 10 laps of the loo before giving it up as a bad job.

I appreciate that it probably is one of those ‘had to be there moments’ but it didn’t half make us laugh!

Is it just me?

When I moved into my place I decided to treat myself and sign up for TalkTalk. My parents have it and so I know when it works it is amazing. The navigation is simple, the features are fab and all in all I love it. The only flaw is when it doesn’t work it is bloody useless. For the last few weeks I have had a few shows ‘fail to record’. For a normal person I am sure this is no biggy….. but for me who has a newly found and loved routine of coming in from work, cooking tea, making lunch for the next day and then treating herself to an hour of Charmed recorded from earlier in the day, when the ‘fail to record’ message appears my whole world kind seems a little less sunny!

Yesterday it yet again failed to record. However, rather than announcing loudly how much I ‘hate technology’ I decided this time the error lied with me as I had not found time to carry out the compulsory re-tune that had to take place on the 3rd. So when the “please retune this box….. blah, blah blah… press blue for more info, press yellow to remove” finally re-appeared on the screen (it was on every day leading up to the 3rd, then on the actual day, could I get it up to find out what to do? could i heck as like!)

Feeling like this was destiny I pressed blue for more information. The instructions were simple:

- Go to Menu

- Select settings

-Select re-tune

(*Please note they may not be the actual words, but it’s the gist!)

I was feeling confident. Another task I would accomplish to prove to myself I don’t need a man. I took my remote in one hand and…..


Can ANYONE see the menu button? I must have spent half and hour pressing every button I could find.

I learnt how to turn subtitles ‘on’ and ‘off’. I learnt how to turn audio description ‘on’ and ‘off’ (If we want to be honest I learnt that my Tv has subtitles and audio descriptions!!)

Half an hour I spent starring at the bl*^$y remote. In desperation I pressed the help button – this annoyed me more – “For help please visit”; I am sure I don’t need to tell you have helpful that little message was!

Finally in desperation I gave up and decided I would just abandon and accept I was a failure. Turns out the ‘settings’ are hidden next to the tv guide, recording schedule and everything else I access on a daily basis and to access them you just need to press the big blue button!

Luckily steps 2 and 3 were significantly easier than step one and I re-tuned no problem. The only problem is that I now no longer have a working guide section so I have no idea what is one tv – but I am sure I can over come that with similar ease…. or I’ll give in an call customer services!

I’m back! (and very unoriginal as apparently this is my 3rd post entitled I’m back!)

Ok, so I will admit I was away slightly longer than I expected, I was intended on being back about 2 days ago but the motivation wasn’t there. Well that’s not completely true, more the one thing I really wanted to say I couldn’t (not yet) and so I needed to wait for inspiration to strike. I know I have a few posts that are needed (I am thinking of you) and I have a review to write but to be honest getting the house right is taking priority and so they are on my newly created ‘to-blog list.’ (Well, not really a list more a nagging feeling following me around!) Anyway, I am sure you will want to know what I have been up to whilst I was AWOL (warning, if you don’t stop reading now!)

Firstly, I had the most lovely day of rest and relaxation with a very dear friend of mine. Overall the day was lovely and it was the brilliant way to start my break. I was a little worried before going as this dear friend is a, ‘in-law’ relation of the ex, and I didn’t want there to be a whole load of weirdness. I knew there wouldn’t be with her, but I was a little concerned about other family members. I was an idiot to be worried. They continue to be lovely people and I am pleased that a friendship of many years has not had to be lost as a result of the split! And i got to play with their new puppy!!!

Slightly disappointingly my newly zenned state lasted until exactly 11am the morning after my relaxing day when I got into my car to find out my sat nav was playing up and refused to lead me home. So after turning it on and off repeatedly, playing with it, pleading with it, threatening it and swearing at it I decided I was a competent single lady and I would use my gut and find my way home without the b*%£dy thing. I think the error may have been deciding I was too cleave for my own good and decided to exit by the bottom of their road rather than the top way the sat nav brought me in. After 20 minutes of slowing at every junction to ‘follow my gut’, congratulating myself  after every ‘correct turn’ and announcing to no-one in particular that “I was a genius” …..I was slightly miffed to find myself yet again back at the top of their road.

I quickly found the sat nav, appologised for everything I had said and was over joyed when this time the sat nav decided to help me out.

The next two days were spent busy with house work. ….

I now have a kitchen…..

with work surfaces…….

and a sink…….

and a working tap……

and a working shower……

and almost fully painted……

I am falling in love with my little place more and more every day and I have now reached a ‘second-level’ of decorating where I am now sorting all the little none essentials but nice to have like doors, door surrounds, complete skirting boards. It’s all very exciting!