Our Rescue Dog Judy & A Paint Job

My blog is a little bit longer than normal this week …. I hope this is ok with you.

A Bit Of Good News:

A lot of people have been asking about Judy, the rescue dog we brought home in October.

Her first day home

Her first day home looking very thin!

I have written about her a few times, but for those who don’t know, it was clear from the start that she had a lot of problems and by December she had bitten a dog and we had to contact a behaviourist for help.  We tried training her with treats, clicker training etc. and she had a ‘kalm aid’ in her food and a pheromone diffuser plugged in the house all day long.

We were beginning to think we were getting somewhere and then the next day for no apparent reason she would go backwards again and we were no further forward.  I have shed a lot of tears over this dog and I have been shouted out so many times for not controlling her (even though she was always muzzled and on a lead).

By February our behaviourist suggested we should think about re-homing her as she felt she was in the wrong environment.  However, as a last attempt to help her we decided to take her to the vets for tablets to calm her down, which did help her a lot in the home, but outside she still couldn’t tolerate cars, lorries, bikes, dogs, birds, men in dark clothes or hats etc. etc.

I have got to admit at this stage we found ourselves thinking that we couldn’t do anything to help her and we were devastated.

A 'cheeky girl' found cuddling my daughters teddies

A ‘cheeky girl’ found cuddling my daughters teddies

Then six weeks ago, a wonderful person called ‘Michelle’ from my gardening forum, emailed me to say she had just listened to ‘Steven Havers’ on Radio Leicester and he was a dog trainer / behaviourist and sounded really good.  I rang him and he visited on the 27th April.

I have been taking Judy to his classes each week since and in just five weeks, Judy will now walk along side other dogs on her extendable lead without reacting.  Mr Thrift counted twenty two dogs surrounding her a couple of weeks ago in his class and she wasn’t barking, lunging or taking any notice of them!…It is absolutely incredible to watch.

Previously in the home we had also blocked all our windows with a plastic ‘film’ to give a frosted effect so she couldn’t see out and bark at everything she saw…..this week we have also managed to remove the film and she really doesn’t bark too much at all.

We still have a long way to go, as she isn’t so good on the short lead yet and though she is better with cars she still doesn’t like the lorries and motor bikes and next doors dog is still a big problem for Judy, but we have come an awful long way in a short time.

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 We are very pleased with her progress and I’ve got to say Steven Havers training is brilliant….it is obvious that he has so much experience with dogs and right from the start he said that Judy wanted to learn.  He concentrates on training the ‘owner’ rather than the dog and he uses praise to reward the dog and not food treats.

Hopefully very soon we can also try and wean her off the tablets that the vet gives her.

So thank you Steven for your continued training and advice and thank you ‘Michelle’ for emailing me with his details.

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A Walk In The Park:

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Last Sunday I woke early and took Judy for a walk in Western Park at 6.45am.

The sun was shinning, there was no one around and it was so peaceful.  I felt like I had discovered a place that no one else knew about, it was absolutely magical.  I have never heard the birds sing this beautifully before.

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“In the 19th Century ‘Leicester Corporation’ purchased the land for £30,000 to create a park for the people of the ‘West End’ of Leicester and it is one of the largest parks in the City covering 73 hectares.  The park was opened in 1899”.

Leicester City Council work hard maintaining this park and they have recently put lots of signs around giving interesting information about the wildlife here:

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I have lived in this area for nearly twenty years now and it is only since October (when I have been walking Judy) that I have realised how beautiful the park is and how lucky we are to have it on our door step.

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There is also a 400 year old Oak tree in the park, that is nick named the ‘Old Major’.  I have walked past this tree many times without really taking much notice…..but when I stopped and actually took the time to look at it, it is absolutely magnificient.  My photograph below doesn’t really do the tree justice:

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There are so many beautiful places around me that I have walked past without noticing or never bothered to go and see.  I feel it is time for me to take more notice of the things that are right under my nose and I will write about them as I do.

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare”.

William Henry Davis

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This week in my garden:

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I started by thinning out my kohl rabi and my beetroot.  I used a pair of scissors to just ‘snip off’ the unwanted plants:

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My wall flowers had finally finished flowering, so I dug them up and planted the dwarf peas I was growing in guttering.  They were a bit ‘leggy’ but I’m sure they will be fine.  I am trying to plant in every area possible, so I thought the peas would grow nicely using the chicken wire fence as a support.  All I need to do now is stop Judy from destroying them!

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This week I also planted my french beans and some more lettuces:

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….And gave the area under my bay tree a bit of a tiny up:

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In my home this week:

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At the beginning of the week Mr Thrift was poorly with a viral infection.  When he started to feel a little bit better, I made him a vegetable soup to get him to start eating again.

I had an ’emergency’ bag of mixed vegetables in my freezer that I used and I’m glad to say Mr Thrift enjoyed it.

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(You can find the recipe for the soup here.  I didn’t use all the vegetables in the recipe, I just used the pack of frozen vegetables together with potato and onions).

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In the home this week I also made a big batch of pasta sauce to freeze.  I love the days when I can take something out of my freezer, defrost it and then just reheat it in the microwave and add it to pasta.

This recipe also doubles up as a pizza sauce too.

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I had also ran out of my dishwasher liquid, so I made some more.  I make it with ‘soup nuts’ and it saves me a lot of money in the long run.

You can find the recipe here.

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As you have probably guessed, I struggle to sit still and I like to keep myself busy….On Sunday I mentioned to Mr Thrift that our bathroom looked awful.  I gave it a lick of paint when we first moved into our house thirteen years ago and it hasn’t really been touched since then. The plan has always been to have a new bathroom suit as the bath, sink and tiles are really old and have seen better days, but we certainly can’t afford this for a very long time.

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Over the years our window blind had also become discoloured in places too:

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…..So on Monday I decided to spruce it up a little by giving it a lick of paint….it actually took two coats in the end, but I was very pleased with the result.

I put up a new blind and changed the light and shower cords, so they looked fresh and new.

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After I put the shelves back up I gave all the families toiletries a good sort out and put them back neatly.

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I then put our shower curtains back up….unfortunately we have to use the curtains to stop any water from going down the side of the bath.  We have tried numerous times to seal between the tiles and the bath, but unfortunately it never works as the bath is slightly too far away from the wall!…so we have resorted in lining the shower area with two large shower curtains.  Unfortunately this area doesn’t look good, so I cover it with a ‘nicer’ shower curtain on the outside of the bath:

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Incidentally, you can see in the photo above my handwash.  This is a Marks and Spencer ‘luxury’ hand wash bottle that I refill each time with cheap ‘value’ bubblebath…..no one ever knows and it saves me buying expensive handwash.

So overall, I am very pleased with our bath room.  It still needs ‘gutting’ in the future, but until then it doesn’t look quite as bad:

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Thank you for reading my blog today.  I will be back next Friday at my usual time.

Have a good weekend!

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26 thoughts on “Our Rescue Dog Judy & A Paint Job

  1. Hello,
    Really pleased that you are making progress with Judy. Pets can be so difficult but that cute photo of her with the toys makes it all look worthwhile! And you have done a great job with your bathroom.
    Nikki x

  2. I too am glad that Judy is so much happier and her behaviour more predictable. You will remember I have told you about my agrophobic dog Barney, so I do understand how difficult it can be to live with a dog who has problems. I would imagine it would be very hard to re-home Judy (only a very special person would take on a do with such troubles), and another move for her would be heartbreaking, so it is wonderful that you have found someone who can help her and give you hope for her future. Good too that you have such a lovely space to walk Judy in.

    I find your blog so inspiring, particularly a the moment when things are not going so well in our garden (slugs, aphids, poor germination etc) and do enjoy reading about your cookery successes as well as the garden. Thank you!

    Sara

    • Hi Sara and thank you for your kind words. How is your dog doing?…If I remember rightly you were thinking of putting him on Selgian tablets too…did you do this. It really is heart breaking when your pets have problems isn’t it.

      Things aren’t really moving yet in the garden as the weather has been quite cool for this time of year, so unfortunately young plants having been a sitting target for slugs and snails and to top it all, things are taking much longer to germinate as the soil is either too cold or the seeds are just rotting in wet weather……hopefully the weather will change soon and we can catch up with new seeds.

      • You have a good memory! Yes we did put Barney on Selgian but unfortunately it didn’t help. He is on Soloxine (he has an underactive thyroid which can cause behavioural probs in dogs, also aggression which Barney doesn’t have) and the only calming med I have found useful which is Zylkene, available without prescription and much cheaper online. On both of these meds he is at last returning to the personality we have known and loved and has a reasonable level of happiness, although still largely agrophobic. We love him to bits, and will alter our lives to accommodate the way he has become, but it is so sad for him, he used to love his walks and trips to the beach etc. We also have another labrador, a very happy sociable girl, so that helps to balance the sad bits out.

        Yes, the slugs and snails must be fat an happy this year! I go out into the garden just as it is going dark and do manage to find quite a few each evening. I cannot bear to kill them so throw them over the hedge into the field next door. They probably spend the next 24 hours crawling back, and arrive in our garden tired and VERY hungry!

        Hope you have a happy week, and thank you for sharing with us.

  3. Oh I just had to leave a comment for you straight away as I am over the moon to know that Judy has improved so much. I have been very worried for you and your family, and Judy herself as she had obviously had a really traumatic background before you took her under your wing. Thank you for your patience with her and for seeking out the extremely skilled dog/people trainer. What a huge difference this is going to make to all of your lives and you can now look forward to wonderful days with Judy. She is so lucky to have found you and I thank you with a “woof-woof” from her. Thank you for keeping us all up to date about her – it’s the best news I have had this millenium! Your blog is so interesting right through and your photo’s are really professional. Up to recently I have been selfish and been just a silent but very interested participant in your life. I think you are absolutely wonderful. Yes, I was thinking awful things about Judy’s future but now I know that everything will be good. I know there is some way to go but she has proved how gorgeous she is. Such a cutie all cuddled up with toys, on the photo. She loves you all lots and lots. I may go back to my silence and just read, but I will read,you can be sure, so no more wobbles required.

    • Oh Patricia you say the nicest things and it is so lovely to hear from you. I really don’t mind if you are silent or not – though I do love to hear what people think of my posts and I really love to hear what people get up to as well.

      I am very proud of Judy and I so adore her now. I can’t imagine what she has been through in her first four years of life, but I hope it was just that she just wasn’t socialised as a puppy and that she wasn’t mistreated as she is such a lovely loyal friend to have around the home.

  4. Lovely to hear of your successes with Judy…..she truly looks so happy with the cuddly toys! Sometimes we’re not too good at looking where we’ve come from are we?…. You’ve done so much with her so far, well done! We have a liver spot Dalmatian called Spencer. He’s 6 years old and we love him loads! But………. he can only eat one type of food, if he eats anything else he is poorly for days…. huge vets bills, sleepless nights, etc etc etc….. However as he gets older, he gets better. These days he self regulates (generally!) and leaves food if he feels ill…such an improvement from earlier times. So glad you’ve found a professional to help and the bathroom looks fab! X

    • HI Helsbels and sorry for the delay in replying. Your poor dog and poor you with all the vets bills and worry you must have had, but thank goodness he is getting a little better as he gets older .

  5. Oh it’s so delightful to hear about Judy! I’m so tickled that she has started responding to your change in technic, and that your walks are becoming a delight! Happy! Happy! Happy!
    Loving the garden! My Kohl Rabi sort of resembles broccoli at the moment. It’s last years, and I have been taking leaves from them enthusiastically for the rabbits, so they never formed their bulbs, just kept growing leaves!
    Your bathroom looks nice. I would be comfortable in it, lol! My bathroom is in need of regular mop pings these days as the weather is mucky, so the outsiders mucky, and the children, after having wandered around outside bare foot, will invariably wash their muddy feet in the bathtub. Grrr. I don’t know where they picked this up from. I’ve a,ways done my feet at the tap outside and asked them to do the same! *sigh*

    • HI Mrs Yub and sorry for the delay in replying. That is a good use of your kohl rabi leaves lol…I better your rabbits love it!
      Mucky feet…..I so miss the days when my girls were young. It’s funny that the annoying things back then seem so lovely now lol…enjoy it

  6. Tat is such good news about Judy, we have two goldens and poor Sage the youngest has had to have two of his back legs operated on, cruciate ligaments,he has never had a normal dog upbringing and we know that once his last leg repair has healed we shall have to get him trained. The garden is looking amazing you have fitted in so much in a small space its great to see what can be done. What a transformation of the bathroom a brilliant job.Do have a good week.
    Sue

  7. I’m pleased Judy is improving. My sister’s dog is losing her eyesight and consequently was getting more aggressive with dogs who came across her when out for a walk. My sister has found a harness and lead which is bright and states clearly “nervous dog” all over it. She says it’s helped other dig owners give them a wider berth and they’re more understanding if Lizzie gets growly. Worth trying if you haven’t already?

    • Hi Kays and thank you for thinking of us. We brought a bright red lead with this on but it didn’t seem to have any effect on dog owners on the park as they still let their dogs run over….though I must say we are usually too far away for their owners to read it when their dogs run over. I so wish that dog owners would realise that not all dogs want to play with their dogs!

  8. hello,
    good news about judy!! your garden looks wonderful. i love your little makeover in your bathroom.
    you have been busy in your kitchen again. i planted all my tomatoes in buckets, i am a little late this year.
    have a nice day,
    regina

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