Ten years of GotThem – and more on the harnies

It’s my Gotcha Day. Or rather GotThem Day. It’s ten whole years since I found a pair of waifs and strays wandering around the streets of a Spanish village and I decided they needed looking after.

Ten long and happy years, so much has happened I can hardly remember. I’ve seen dogs come and go. First Paddy went, except he was always horrid to me so that didn’t upset me. But then my best friend Princey went. Prince taught me to lie at the gate and look after it. I have tried to pass that onto the Little Rat, who has been the dog who has recently come.

I have sat in three of my Land Rovers, although the oldest one doesn’t go anywhere for now because it is stored in our workshop.

Me in my oldest Landy, from an avatar pic

Me in my oldest Landy, from an avatar pic

I got a passport so that I could travel to Gib where Master and Misery bought me a new kennel flat. I like Gib because people come up to me in the street and give me hugs and pats. I consider I am rather well-known in Gib. After all, when Misery went out on Sunday and met another blogger, Amy had already met me and knew exactly who I was.

I have been carbooting in Spain. Master has been to work in Gib. Misery, of course has done nothing.

Off to market we go

Off to market we go

I have chased cats 🙂 And killed rats.

I have had tick disease, but that wasn’t very nice, at least I got better though. Now I have arthritis which is worse in winter, so I am a tired sleepy Pippadog these days. Unless I see a cat. Or a barky aggressive dog.

Today I have spent some quality time on my sofa. It is very difficult to get on there with Little Rat who, for a small dog, manages to take up an awful lot of my sofa. But Misery told him to get off, it was MY day, so I should be left in peace on MY sofa.

Me. On MY sofa

Me. On MY sofa

Waiting for gotchaday eggybread. Look at greedy rat, on MY sofa, and look at the length of his tongue

Waiting for gotchaday eggybread. Look at greedy rat, on MY sofa, and look at the length of his tongue

Now, on my last post about our lovely new harnesses, a few friends asked about them. Misery can write this next bit for me.

There are stockists in America:

• Shaggy Chic Pet Boutique; 818879 9663; California 91377
• Modern Sport Dog Intl; 904-733-2984; Florida 32217
• Veterinary Behaviour Consultation; 5043923411; Lousiana 70131 PERFECT FIT SPECIALIST
• GR8K9S, LLC; 301-788-7112; Maryland 21771

But the company also ships around the world, you can click on prices in US Dollars.

Sizing – you measure around the dog’s girth, ie just behind the front legs.

Snowy’s girth is 45cms and his harness is a Perfect Fit 20mm one. The sizes of each part of the harness are:

the throat part – XS
the underneath part – S
the top part – S

cost (excl VAT because Gib is rest of the world) – £25

Pippa’s girth is 83cms and he has a 40mm Perfect Fit.

The 20mm and 40mm refer to the width of the webbing, not the actual harness as the fleece then sits underneath that.

the throat (front) part – M
the underneath (girth) part – L
the top part – L

Pippa’s really is a perfect fit.

As on the last post, Snowy is a growing dog, so there is some flex there and we have already loosened up the girth, but at the moment, the only part that is slightly loose while fully tightened up is the throat section. Don’t know if XXS would have been better, but it fits well enough not to worry about it.

Anyway, I just emailed the girth measurements to the firm, told them what type of dogs they were, approx weight, and age. I also pointed out that Snowy can be very pully and I did need a strong harness for him even though he is small and young.

This is so much stronger and comfortable, I feel much, much better walking Snowy with it. Having a feisty Podenco on a lead one moment and charging around a car park the next because the D Ring had snapped was not good. These are so much more solid and sturdy.

And although Pippa is normally the most docile dog in the world – a cat or a bad dog will suddenly see an arthritic elderly dog transformed into 30kgs plus of sheer muscle and pulling power. So again the need for a strong harness.

We bought matching one metre leads to go with them. You can get a double length lead and attach one end to a D ring under the throat to use for guidance. That sounded beyond me at the time, but I might consider it for Snowy.

Costs in sterling:

Snowy – £25
Pippa – £32.49
Two leads – £20
P&P – £12.77

Total cost – £90.26

In US pricing Pippa’s would be around $60 and Snowy’s around $40.

I’ve given the detail of both harnesses and their prices so that you can get a good idea for comparison.

This page gives a very good explanation of it, and you can see the different components.

Now if all that sounds very complicated (it did to me which was why I emailed the company), my friend Vicky who suggested I try them, bought the fleece-lined harnesses, which she was very pleased with. She bought them for her two dogs, and then bought another one for her mum’s dog when she went to stay with her.

A harness for Pippa in that would have come in around $42 (size 6), and a Snowy one around $33 (size 2), maybe a size 3 as/if he grows more, so $36 later for a larger one? Approx 3/4 of the price compared with the ones we bought.

I am happy with the ones we bought, Vicky is happy with the ones she bought.

The advantage with the perfect fit for Snowy, is that if he does grow, and any of it gets too small, we can just buy the one part, and won’t need a full harness.

All the parts are fully adjustable, so you can tighten/loosen up to obtain the best fit for your dog.

Yvonne mentioned collars to me, and they also do fleece-lined collars, which are priced between $13 and $16.

I hope that gives everyone some more idea about these excellent products. They are made in the UK, the quality is very good, and the helpfulness and service combined with fast packaging and delivery is some of the best I have ever had.

While they are not cheap products, cheap does not = good. If my dog is safe and comfortable, to me that is paramount. Plus the fleece lined leads are comfortable for the person holding the dog too.

If you are seriously interested in these, then I would suggest contacting one of the American outlets or the UK company directly at:

Dog Games

Meanwhile although this is Pippa’s Gotchaday post, or rather GotUs day, here is a vid of Snowy in his harnie, where you can see some close-up piccies of him wearing it.

And an earlier Snowy post from his diaries about his first visit to the sea.

October 2013

Snowy’s Diary – 11 – To the sea, the sea

One evening, we went for a walk down the river bed. It is not a river at all. It is an arroyo. A stream. And in summer it is dry, dry, dry. I enjoyed it. It was fun.

The next morning after my breakfast, while it was still cool, and cloudy, off we went again. But when I turned to go right for home, we continued down the arroyo.

Then we came to a busy road. Except it wasn’t very busy because it was Sunday. Lots of people on two wheels. [PD: bicycles, Snowy]. I sat at the road as My Person has taught me. I don’t know why she doesn’t sit though. Then when she gave the all clear, across we went.

After not very long we turned down a long, straight, quiet road. I had no idea where we were. MP seemed captivated by the state of the cabbages. As you all know she is no good at gardening and I do my best to help her. These were very large cabbages. Hers are very small. More Podenco help needed in the garden.

Then we heard a whooshing noise and we turned right. Houses to the right of us and nothing to the left. [PD: Stuck in the middle with you] We spoke to a handsome young Spaniard or maybe she spoke to his dog. Who knows? I would have spoken to his friendly dog, he was brown and looked sort of like me, but I had MP to exercise so onward we went.

Next she turned left onto the nothingness. We followed some wooden boards. There were holes that she strode across. My little puppy legs couldn’t manage that so I used Podenco initiative and went up and down the gaps. Or down and up actually.

Then down some soft stuff until we came to the whoosh whoosh moving blue liquid. I think My Person thought I might like to go in. I don’t think so. My paws are clean enough.A slight Podenco whimper alerted her of my disapproval and off we went again. My first visit to the beach and the sea. There was no sea outside my rubbish bin where I was found.

I hope we go again. We were out for a whole hour and I didn’t do a single pee or poo. Wasn’t that good of me? [PD: Er Snowy, the point of going out is to pee and poo outside. You might realise that when you come to Gibflat] It was also MP’s longest walk since she sprained her ankle so it was a good result for both of us.

I have to say Podenco Activities for the rest of the morning were largely on the sleeping side. My Person seems to think long walks may be a good thing for lively Podenco puppies.

Someone told her that salt water may be good for poorly ankles so next time I will make sure she gets her feet wet. If I see her do it, I may consider it too. But she is much taller than me so I will need to be very careful with that wet stuff. We will see. Or sea.

………

Pippa will be out and around to comment in the next day or so and reply to your last ones.

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Me – and more of the Rat

Thank you to everyone who has said they want to see pictures of me on my blog. I have decided to put my pic at the beginning of the post and not the end. So here I am. Not only is Little Rat not on the photo, but I have total possession of The Toy.

Eating Little Rat's toy

Eating Little Rat’s toy

Anyway, having stamped my authority over my blog, the Little Rat can now post some more excerpts from his diaries.

August 2013

Snowy’s Diary – 2 – Let sleeping puppies lie

Puppies need to sleep. The limping woman has a fine lap. It is puppy sized. And she strokes me too. Nice.

Laptime - naptime

Laptime – naptime

And the other way around

And the other way around

Chairs will also do

Chairs will also do

Shoulders are good too

Shoulders are good too

And arms

And arms

A bit more about me. The nice man decided to call me Snowy because I am all white. My Spanish neighbours call me Copito (de nieve). Little snowflake. I have two names. Isn’t that impressive? In fact I had another as Rocío called me Poncho. Poncho? What sort of name is that? Can you image someone calling for their Poncho? It’s like calling for trousers or for a shirt. Snowy or Little Snowflake are much more me I think.

I have green eyes. Perhaps they will become brown. For now they are pretty. I have nice sharp teeth. After all I am a puppy. And I am very good at worrying. Towels, rugs, toys, anything really. I think Pippa (the big furry dog) is too big for me to worry but maybe we could go on a worrying expedition together. Cats. Rats. Who knows.

The world is our worrying oyster.

Let me up onto your lap, I am your little green-eyed dog

Let me up onto your lap, I am your little green-eyed dog

September 2013

Snowy’s Diary – 3 – From Snowflake to Rat

One morning limping woman woke up at 5am. We sat outside on the terrace together. It was warm, tranquil, peaceful. She put our outside light on because the street lights weren’t working. She wonders why she pays her contribución for council services.

Trying to take off her bandage

Trying to take off her bandage

On my terrace. Not at 5am but you get the idea

On my terrace. Not at 5am but you get the idea

After an hour we went back inside. I didn’t go to my patio den, I went to my den in her bedroom, and a little while later, I went to the rug on the other side of her bed. I like rugs. You can lie on them, chew them, and tug them.

My bedroom den. Note, the door is not closed on my den, I go there when I want, if I want

My bedroom den. Note, the door is not closed on my den, I go there when I want, if I want

Kitchen rug

Kitchen rug

Playing on my rug

Playing on my rug

At 9.30am she woke up and took me outside. [Pippadog: Lazy toerag isn’t she? Master had been working for an hour and a half by then. And he’d taken me out and fed me.] I think I am getting her trained as the first thing she does when she wakes up is to take me out. After all, she can wait and I can’t.

Some of her friends have told her that goats milk is good for puppies. Plenty of goats here but no milk for sale as it all goes off to the big dairy factories. So she bought me some queso de cabra (fresco). It is lip-licking yummy. I get a tiny helping with my lunch. But it seems to have gone very quickly. I am sure I haven’t eaten that much. Perhaps SOME PERSON has been raiding it.

Last week I weighed 2lbs and 13ozs. My first week in my new home. Now in my second week I weigh an extra pound. 3lbs and 13ozs. Soon she won’t be able to weigh me on the kitchen scales as they only go up to 4lbs.

She has stopped calling me Little Rat and now calls me Fat Rat. I prefer Snowy or Copito or Little Snowflake. Much nicer names. I am NOT a rat. Even if I am small, and white and have sharp teeth.

I am not fat am I?  It's just the angle created by the bad photographer

I am not fat am I? It’s just the angle created by the bad photographer

Snowy’s Diaries

Being a nice dog I am allowing the Little Rat to post excerpts from his diaries on my blog.

So without further ado … introducing Snowy. The rubbish bin rat.

August 2013

Excerpts from Snowy’s Diary – 1

My Rocío took me in her car for a ride. I don’t know much about my Rocío. She found me at the side of a rubbish bin when I was a few days old.

Some people had asked their vet if he knew of any dogs who needed a home, so my Rocío emailed them. A month later we went to visit to see if we got along. They couldn’t take me straightaway because the woman had stupidly injured herself and because I am so young I’ve not got my passport yet.

But the nice man decided they would take me straightaway. The limping woman looked horrified as she knew what that meant. Three months of coping with a new puppy when she couldn’t even walk properly.

There was another huge dog there. His tail was bigger than me. I pulled it anyway.

After a couple of days the nice man and the big furry dog had to leave for WORK. I was left with limping woman.

I wasn’t sure what she was. A mama? A sibling? A toy? A food provider? Or all of those in one? She certainly has tasty toes. I don’t remember my mama or my siblings.

Just over four weeks old and I have had a busy life already. Three homes so far: the side of the rubbish bin, Rocío’s home, and now this one. Maybe another one before the rubbish bin? One for every week of my life.

Me at a few days old

Me at a few days old

Me with my new master

Me with my new master

Such a big person to lie on

Such a big person to lie on

Me on my, I mean our, rug

Me on my, I mean our, rug

Puilling the big dog's tail

Puilling the big dog’s tail

My blog, so here is a pic of me, just in case anyone has forgotten what I look like in the last few months

My blog, so here is a pic of me, just in case anyone has forgotten what I look like