Monday, October 31, 2011


Friday, October 28, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow... la la la

I am really excited because Mum is coming home tomorrow.... YAY!!!

See the dust on this sofa Mum!!!

As you can see, other mum has been running me ragged getting me to help with the housework.... Excuse me, but surely that is what you humans are for! Jeez, she even needed instructions on how to work the washing machine, I do hope that she doesn't plead ignorance about the vacuum cleaner too... surely she can't expect me to push that around!

I do hope I am going to get a present for all the hard work I have put in....

Don't I look really really cool in a baseball hat?
Now I REALLY need everyone's help with this... My Uncle Flynn always wanted one and so do I, but somehow our pleas fell on DEAF ears!
I have been a really good boy this last week and I deserve a present...

Pleeeeese Mum?
Of course I had to borrow one for the photo shoot but it would be oh so nice if I had my own.............

It would be so much nicer than a new scarf..........

Sooooo.... I need EVERYBODY to vote which present I should get.... If you can't decide which one just click the one at the top it's ok with me... and if any of your friends want to pop along and vote I would be ever so grateful, we need as many votes as we can get..... hehehe.... 

Deccy x 

We’re participating in this Saturday’s Pet Blog Hop, hosted by Life With DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Declan's cat training wasn't quite going as well as he hoped.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lathams V-Plan Dog Food Review

Well, my mum has left me for the week and other mum is in charge now, or that's what she would like to think... I have left her with instructions to clean the cooker so that I can take control of the laptop... he he he :)

Anyway, I was very excited to receive an email the other day from a nice lady who works for Lathams Dog Food. She said I was terribly good looking, she loved my blog and I looked like a bloke with good taste. Well, I might be paraphrasing a little, but I'm sure that's what she meant.... Well, the lady asked if I'd like to review their new V- plan formula complete dog food. I like to see myself as helpful, and I'm not one to turn down a nice bowl of food, so I said I'd give it a go.....

Lathams V-Plan 2kg Turkey & Rice Large Breed-Adult

Latham's V-Plan comes in a number of varieties including, large breed, adult, puppy, mature, sensitive and light. It is available in 2kg,(£6.50), 7.5kg, (£20.00) and 10kg, (£25.00) bags from Tesco

Is this what you want me to check out?
Well, it smells nice & meaty....
Looks alright to me.....

And I like the taste.....   :-)

Mum says she likes the fact that it is veterinarian approved, hypo-allergenic and contains no artificial colours or flavourings. It also has added Glucosamine & Chondroitin which Mum currently feeds to me as a supplement, so she liked that too.

I weigh just over 30kg which means I need about 400g of V-Plan a day. A 2kg bag should last me about 5 days. I have a splash of cold water with my kibble and Mum usually adds a little something to make meal times a bit more interesting; chicken, boiled potatoes, vegetables, rice, pasta, cooked liver or a tin of sardines. Having said that, I tried the V-Plan on its own and was quite happy to eat it!

If I have one small criticism, (well I don't have any, it's just Mum being overly concerned AGAIN) it is that, as you can see, the kibble pieces are quite large. I think this is probably just a Greyhoundcentic problem, as we do tend to bolt our food and large pieces can make me cough. Mum thinks this would be fine for most large dogs though, and personally I don't mind the odd cough if there's a bowl of decent nosh involved Hehe!

For more information visit Lathams Dog Food

Declan did not receive any financial or in-kind compensation for this review

Sunday, October 23, 2011

HELP! I'm being abandoned!!!!!

See how dejected I look....?
I have just learnt that I am to be abandoned. Mum is going to see Ganny tomorrow for nearly a whole week and she's not taking me with her. It's simply preposterous! I ALWAYS go to Ganny's, I like going to Ganny's and I DON'T like being left.

Apparently the reason for this is two-fold. Firstly Mum says it will give her a chance to do stuff with Ganny without having to worry about how long I'm left for or organise for someone to walk me. RUBBISH! How could they possibly want to do anything that didn't involve me anyway?  Secondly Mum thinks that her being away may help to break what she calls my "slight over-dependence" on her. Huh! I think it's the other way around. It is true that because we do pretty much spend all day every day together I can get a bit anxious when Mum is out of sight. Don't get me wrong; I adore other Mum; you should see my bouncy wagginess when she comes home from work, but I'm just not quite as needy around her.

The plan is for other Mum and me to have bonding sessions, whatever they are. I know what it'll be; I'll snuggle on the sofa and she'll be glued to the laptop, doing complicated stuff that gives Mum and me a headache. Yeah well, she better remember that the laptop is MINE during weekdays. I need to blog and everything. I hope Mum has left her strict instructions as sometimes I need a bit of help. Actually I bet Mum has left her instructions covering everything from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night, hehe! Not that she worries or thinks the world will stop turning if she's not there to personally direct it. Ooooh no; perish the thought.....!

So, If I can drag my miserable dejected body from the sofa and I can wrestle the laptop from other Mum, I may speak to you during the week. If not, wish me luck.......

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Beryl is right; Greyhounds CAN Sit!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

In Memory of Flynn

Hello there, it’s Deccy’s Mum here. Under normal circumstances, my beloved son wouldn’t let me anywhere near his precious blog, but he’s a big hearted lad and he knows that today is a little poignant for his other Mum and me.

Today would have been Flynn's 13th birthday. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on 25th May this year. One minute he was eating his dinner in the sunshine, the next he bolted across the lawn like a bullet from a gun and then collapsed. Within 10 minutes he’d gone. Just like that. We couldn’t believe it; still can’t sometimes. We walked around like zombies for days. If I functioned at all, it was on autopilot. 12 ½ isn’t exactly young but I had such high hopes of him making a grand old man. He’d never had a major illness, he was fit and well as far as we knew. I guess it just wasn’t to be.

He always slept at the side of the bed and even now, half asleep in the middle of the night, I reach out to stroke his soft silky ears before I remember that he’s not there and never will be again. He took to sleeping very soundly in his latter years and sometimes my nocturnal ear tickling would startle him, causing him to leap in the air with a mighty growl, fangs flashing, until he realised it was just his old Mum. He would then spend the rest of the night gently licking my hand by way of an apology for nearly causing me to have a heart attack!

I remember the first time I met him on 26th December 2001 at his racing kennels. There he was, this huge yellow smelly misshapen greyhound with a broken tail. I took him for a walk, or more accurately, he dragged me along frozen country lanes for half an hour, nearly pulling my arms from their sockets. I said I’d think about adopting him and went home to discuss him for hours on end.

 I have faults..many many faults but I like to think that I’m not shallow. Well, I might be about shoes and cars and trashy TV, but not about important stuff. I knew if I didn’t take him on just because he was going to be a bit of hard work and maybe he wasn’t at the front of the queue when the good looks were handed out, I would never be able to live with myself. I didn’t realise at the time, but he stole a piece my heart at the very first meeting.

I took him home in January 2002, collecting him from his kennels the day after he’d been neutered. He was still walking a bit like a recently dismounted cowboy! I was working freelance at the time and had decided to take some time off to settle him in. In my mind I was thinking about 4 weeks. In the end it was 10 weeks before I went back to work. People kept asking me when I was going back and I would insist that Flynn needed a bit more time. In truth it was me that didn’t want to leave him. Even then I needed him every bit as much as he needed me.

The first time he met his Granny (my mother) she looked a little startled and said something like “what an odd looking dog; only his mother would love him!” He was tall and very long. A bit like a stretch limo, he looked like he’d been cut in half and had an extra mid section inserted! It was therefore testament to his gentle disposition that she became his biggest fan. He always came with me when I went to stay with her, and often when I awoke I would find that he wasn’t in his usual place next to my bed. I would find him lying next to my mother, being fed digestive biscuits and  gently berated for dropping crumbs. She sent him money for his birthday and he always got a Christmas card. (My family are all slightly barmy when it comes to animals – I love them all the more for it!) He adored his Granny and losing him broke her heart too.

Most of us have big upheavals in our life from time to time and I’ve certainly had my fair share. There have been times when I really couldn’t have cared less about myself, and cliché it may be, but Flynn gave me a reason to get up in the mornings. He never judged, he just loved me. Our relationships with other humans can be complex; good and bad, genuine and fickle but there is a beautiful simplicity  about our relationship with our pets. We love them and take care of them and in return they trust us completely. It may take a while to get there but it’s all the more satisfying for it. The trust of an animal is the most precious gift we can be given and even on dark days I can’t help but feel just a little bit good about myself.

I was able to spend the last 12 months of Flynn’s life at home with him and I will always be grateful for having that time with him. I’m glad that he had a happy and safe home in the last years of his life. That is mainly thanks to his other Mum. I don’t think either Flynn or I would have done too well without her unending love, kindness and generosity. Flynn loved her. Scrap that; he idolised her. So do I.

This is an ink drawing of Flynn - broken tail and all - done by other Mum last Christmas.
I treasure it. 
Flynn was a dog in a million. I loved him to the ends of the earth and back. As Greyhound Gardens said yesterday about the loss of their beloved Roxy, we miss him more than words can ever express. But Declan helps. He really helps. To say that he has a few more issues than Flynn is a bit of an understatement but I really hope we’ll get there. Just like I told Flynn all those years  ago, he’s found his forever home now and whilst I have any choice in the matter, I’ll take care of him for the rest of his days.   

It’s been nice to meet some of Declan’s blogging pals. Maybe he might let me guest blog again sometime... but I’m not holding my breath!

17th October 1998 - 25th May 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just a quickie on Comments...

Nibs recent post about comments got me thinking, as I wasn't very happy with how mine worked either. I read the advice that was given to Nibs by Jet and Greyhounds CAN sit and decided to ask techno other Mum if she could help out. Anyway, she has installed IntenseDebate comment thingy for me which means that you can request to be notified if I reply to your comment & that my replys will fall directly under your original comment. Soooo... I will now always reply to your comment on my own blog and it's up to you if you choose to be notified about it. I think that's what techno-Mum said anyway...... Deccy x

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fun in Northumberland

This is our holiday cottage in the village of Lesbury, Near Alnmouth in Northumberland.

I've never been on holiday before, but it didn't take me long to make myself right at home...

The cottage also had a nice garden for me to explore with some VERY interesting things in it...

I told him if he was only after my chicken, he could get lost....

The oldest parts of St Mary's church date back to the 12th century but there has been a settlement on the site of Lesbury since the 8th century

Oddly enough, Mum's favourite bit of the village was The Coach Inn. This dates back to 1750, though I don't think it still has the original Landlord & Landlady......

The pub had a nice beer garden for me to relax in, as I wasn't allowed inside. What kind of stupid idea is it to allow kids into pubs but not dogs, huh?!  I didn't really mind as it was lovely and sunny.

Mums took me to see the sea for the very first time, but I wasn't very keen. 

Mum says she thinks I would have liked it better if I could have been let off my lead, but my recall isn't very good.... It's non-existent Declan. - Mum.

We visited the market at Amble, which is a little fishing port about 9 miles from Lesbury

Coquet Islands lies 1 mile off the coast at amble and is a wildlife reserve managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) It has been inhabited since the 7th century, but today only RSPB wardens live there in the summer months. During summer over 35000 birds nest on the island. Grey seals are also in residence. Are Grey Seals anything like Greyhounds, I wonder......?

We visited Seahouses, another port a little further north. Mums were very keen to visit Swallow Fishmongers who apparently are quite famous in fishy circles. Mum said they supply The Ritz hotel in London - like I'm meant to be impressed or something! Anyway, we left laden down with kippers, monkfish and mussels - and other Mum muttering something about her credit card having a limit.....

This is a photo Mum took of a seagull in mid-flight. She's rubbish isn't she? Hehe!!

On the way home we stopped to at Hartlepool to visit Mums' friends Vinnie & Helen who run a pub there called The Tall Ships They used to manage our local pub at home, so I expect Mum knows them very well..... I took the chance to grab a well earned pigs ear and reflect on my very first holiday, ever...

PS. I would have posted sooner, but I've still been having issues with my bottom, as it were. Mum finally gave in and took me to the V-E-T yesterday. He's given me some antibiotics and told me to return on Tuesday with a stool sample if I'm no better and he will test for Campylobacter... so that's something to look forward to. Not. No accidents overnight & I have produced some evidence this morning, which Mum says is a better consistency (you'd think I'd been baking, wouldn't you?!) so hopefully I'm on the mend. Mum is still muttering Vet = licence to print money etc etc.... good job she loves me! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

It had been a long, hard day and I had reached the end of my tether.......

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Northumberland: A land of Castles, Castles and yet more Castles.....

If there is one thing Northumberland has, it's castles, LOTS of castles. I suppose they've had a lot of defending to do in their time and clearly, they didn't want to get caught out. Other Mum really likes castles. Mum does too really, but she also likes having something to moan about. Thus I wasn't surprised to over-hear the following conversation:

Other Mum: Oh look, there's Warkworth Castle, lets stop and look.
Mum: What?!?
Other Mum: It's beautiful and of some historic significance (said in a somewhat patronizing manner)
Mum: Oh for god's sake, how many bl***y castles do I have to look at in one day?! Anyway, there's a nice little pub just over....
Other Mum: We're going to the castle.
Mum: But if you've.....
Other Mum: You weren't going to say," if you've seen one castle, you've seen them all", were you darling?
Mum: Humph!

Mum can be a bit of a Philistine when she chooses. Anyway, I thought my friends might be interested in seeing and hearing a little bit about some of the castles we visited, so here goes...

Warkworth Castle

Warkworth is a ruined, but well preserved castle in the village bearing the same name. First mention of the castle is made in a Charter of 1157 - 1164 by King Henry II. The Keep was built by the first Earl of Northumberland in 1377.

Fishing boats with Warkworth Castle in background

 It began to fall into disrepair in 1572 and remained a ruin until mid 19th century when some preservation work was undertaken. It is now maintained by English Heritage.

Alnwick Castle
Alnwick castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England. A castle has been recorded on the site since the 11th century. It was built by the Baron of Alnwick in the classic Norman style. It is currently the home of the Duke of Northumberland.

If you think it looks familiar, many of the external shots of Hogworts School in the Harry Potter movies were filmed here!

Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh is the largest inhabited castle in England and was known as the Royal Seat of the Kings of Northumbria. The original castle was Anglo-Saxon  ( 5th - 11th century) The Keep is the oldest surviving part and was built in 1164.

Bamburgh Castle from Seahouses harbour
1610 saw the final Royal abandonment of the castle by James I. It has been privately owned ever since and is currently the home of the Armstrong family.

Lindisfarne Castle
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is connected to the mainland by a long causeway, which twice a day is covered by the incoming tide of the North Sea.

In 634 Oswald became Northumbria's Saint King and it is he who laid the foundations for Bamburgh and Lindisfarne's worldwide fame as the cradle of Christianity. 

Lindisfarne Priory
Oswald requested that the Abbot of Iona send him a Bishop to help convert his people to Chrstianity. Aidan was sent and was given land on Lindisfarne to build a Priory, which became the centre of learning for all of Europe.
St. Aidan

Ruined church - Lindisfarne
Follow the link to find out more about The Holy Island Of Lindisfarne.

Well I hope you've enjoyed Deccy's Quick Guide to Castles. I have to say, I'm with Mum; they are quite interesting but I'd rather go to the pub.. hehe! Tales from the bits of my holiday that didn't involve castles will follow shortly.

Even then, I was dreaming about castles.....
PS. I am writing this blog from my sick-bed. Having been much better yesterday, Mum had to get up three times last night during which, much cleaning of the kitchen floor occurred :-(  Mum is now talking about the possibility of a trip to the V-E-T. I am however perfectly cheerful in myself and so staying in bed isn't strictly necessary; I just like it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Bad Case of Man-Flu.....

Hello everyone. I had hoped to be telling you all about my lovely Northumberland holiday, but unfortunately, I've come home with a nasty dose of Man-Flu. Well, at least that's what Mum is calling it. Not that she thinks I'm faking it or anything, it's just that I do seem to be making the most of it......

To put it delicately (some of you may be about to eat...) I've got a bit of an upset tummy. Mummies can vouch for this as between them they had to take me outside 8 times in 6 hours overnight, in order for me to use my private bathroom (behind the hedge).

Mum says she doesn't think it's anything to worry about too much at this stage; I just need to take things easy. I have interpreted this as follows: I can sleep where I want, when I want regardless of how inconvenient it is for everyone else. The gas fire and central heating will be left on at all times. Mum will hand feed me fillet steak and coffee cake and there will be warm milk to hand. She will constantly tell me how pleased she is to be taking me outside at 2.00am in the pouring rain and force 10 gale.

Mum's interpretation: My bed will be placed under the window, out of the way. If I am cold I can have my Banky over me and the heating will not be left on all night. I will be starved for 24 hours and then given small meals of chicken, rice and scrambled eggs. I will drink only bottled water. She will try and not be grumpy when being awakened by me loudly breaking wind, but isn't making any promises..

Life can be so very cruel sometimes, or at least Mum can be. Anyway, I'm sure I'll be feeling well enough to raise my head from my pillow in the next day or so and I'll tell you all about my holiday then.