As a matter of fact

Bit of 90s Britpop for you this lovely Monday with the Longpigs and She Said

I’ve been mostly enjoying the sunshine this fine week, and cramming in all the lessons I missed the week before because of the filthy diseases that are doing the rounds. Amigo is wheezy and raspy, but he loves to be outside. We’ve been doing a lot of proprioception exercises to help him get his balance back, and he’s much better now he’s off the medicine. I’ve been teaching him signs too – not so easy to get dogs to do stuff when they can’t hear you.

I also had a very exciting offer last week, which is a little on hold until I finish the course I’m doing, but I was delighted to be asked and I was really happy to be asked. The coursework for the unit I’m doing currently is ‘Emotional Issues’ and I’ve picked up a few dogs with issues. Like I don’t have a house-full to study myself. Still, spending a couple of days talking to people about dogs is never time wasted if you ask me. Modern life is often very hard for a dog, and we ask so much of them. I’m reading the very excellent Behaviour Adjustment Techniques book by Grisha Stewart, and it’s validating everything I’ve done with Heston these past few years. She talks about the triple whammy of reactivity: genetic – picking up those reactive genes from mum or dad, pre-natal – picking up on mum’s stresses during pregnancy, and social – inadequate or inappropriate socialisation from 5 – 13 weeks. I love it when I read some authors of canine books – John Bradshaw, Jean Donaldson, Grisha Stewart, Alexandra Horowitz, Zazie Todd, Linda P Case, Brian Hare, Ian Dunbar… they have me underlining so much on my Kindle that I might as well underline the whole flipping book.

Apart from that, I was trying to make progress with a little fiction, but it’s not happening. I was reading The Echo Maker, but I got halfway through and lost the impetus. I know it won awards and that, but it’s not floating my boat. I’ll try to finish it, because I feel like I should, but I suspect it will only be in the wee hours when Amigo has got me out of bed for a 5am pee and I’m struggling to get back to sleep that I’ll be using it as a soporific.

This week, the schools have broken up, but I’ve picked up more lessons – somehow, and I know not how – as some of my students are off skiing next week. Bit of a busy one. Happily, the evenings are growing longer, the snowdrops are drooping and there’s actual light in the sky around 8am.

This week I’m also picking up some knitting, which I’d put down on account of thumby arthritis, and digging out a super-cute pattern to get some knitting done for a very special birth in June. There is not a single thing that can make me smile more than thinking of a little baby due in the family on the 27th June. That leaves me with some very short months to knit an enormous amount of comical outfits and to come up with a range of inappropriate names to suggest.

Anyway, have a lovely week and may there be a little spring warmth in your heart this week too.

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