Tracey, Kevin, Lauren, Alix & Ria 1st September 2007
Through the square window

An update for Kevin

Cookie_001 I must be getting lazy! Updates are getting a bit sporadic for which I apologise so today I am remedying the situation.

First of all, why the title? - I won't go into detail too much because of client confidentiality but save to say that we have just had a delightful two weeks with a family from South Wales.

What I discovered is that since booking their holiday with us that Kevin,  has kept up with what is going on here at Jean Blanc by reading the blog on an almost daily basis.

It was quite funny when sitting over a glass of wine when Donna or I would mention a detail that we had done or an event that had happened and Kevin finished the story off.

So Guys, we hope that you had a good and safe journey back yesterday and that we see you again in the future.

Cookie_032 Cookie

Do you remember Cookie? The little or should I say diminutive Collie cross. I did not really fancy getting a new pet. What with the horse, a cat, three ducks, Hector and two kids there is enough to do but I must say (and this must be my age) she has become one of the family very very quickly.

Cookie is a great companion for Hector and they play endlessly. She is mischief and chases him down the track with his hind leg in her mouth.

What really is a revelation is the speed with which she has responded to her training. I hold the view that dogs need to have a strong sense of discipline in their lives. After all they are pack animals and if you let a strong willed dog do it's own thing then it will see itself as the leader.

Cookie_074 The first thing that needed to be cured was chasing of cars. Hector has always greeted any car with a wuffle and grumble and tends to walk in front of the car as it turns into the last bend before the house.
When Cookie arrived she started to run down the track to meet them (and then Hector followed suit). It meant that often the last 50 yards took about 3 minutes as they would both block the track.

We spent the last two months anticipating arrivals so that we could form a disciplinary (not physical) barrier and using words (sometimes Cookies collar had to be felt). Cookie would also chase the car back down the track when visitors would leave which was far from acceptable. She is so small that we feared, discipline aside, that she would be crushed under the wheels.

Probably the best of all is she will walk to heel without any intervention. Last Sunday, whilst walking with Fleur we did a training session and had both dogs laying down with just a hand signal at 40 yards. Hector is an old hand at this having trained him at an early age (although laziness meant we did not continue regularly with training every week).

Post Script

I started to write this post some hour and a half ago but due to a visit from Mathieu Filliette - my French friend who worked with me to finish the Pigeonnaire - and also a strange happening.

Cue music! Dan dan daaaan!

Two walkers decided to take a rest at the bottom of the track where the Grande Randonnée passes between us and Mr Bertrand. The dogs, in an attempt to undo all of the praise that I have heaped on their ability to be good dogs, rushed off down the track towards the walkers.

As they ran down, with me shouting Noooooooo! behind them a Boar, yes a Boar ran out of the sunflowers behind them, crossed the track and the small grass field and into the second sunflower field. It was barely 50 yards from the house - honest Kevin!