third time lucky #3 amigurumi . . . and . . . what a good-looking lad!

Okay everyone, this is the last time you’ll have to admire one of these owlets, I promise. 

amigurumi pink olw

Pattern by A Morning Cup of Jo, and downloadable on Ravelry.  This is my third attempt and this time, I feel I really have nailed it.  My owlet’s eyes are smaller and I’m still not an expert beak embroiderer, but those are minor details  It’s the crochet I was concentrating on. I’ve got the shape right, and the correct number of stitches & rows.  Successfully followed the pattern without having to unravel all the time. 

amigurumi owls X3

Here are my 3 owlets.  Attempts one, two and three.  I crocheted a little loop for them all using DMC Perle cotton, the idea being, to hang them in a tree in the orchard for photos. Unfortunately it was too breezey so I had to make do with laying them on a few logs.

My parliament of owls stands at three with this particular pattern therefore.  That’s not to say I won’t be crocheting more owls in the future.  In fact I will.  But they will be following different patterns.

Weather has been gorgeous these past few days. Gibbs has been enjoying lots of fresh air and play time.  And here is a photo I managed to snap, after one very energetic play session.

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Okay, I know I’m his “Mum”, so I’m biaised . . . but I do think he’s a good-looking lad lol.

Gibbs 6 months

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Hello everyone, well Gibbs is 6 months old today and beginning to look more like an adult than a puppy.

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Here he is, somewhat dirty, after a romp around outside.  He has a mouthful of gleaming adult teeth, and his coat is getting thicker and glossier.

We didn’t weigh him for this month, but I reckon he must be about 22 kilos now.  He’s growing taller, but also beginning to fill out a little, while still remaining very slim and athletic.

The big growth spurt, in theory, will be over the next few months.  We’re following feeding instructions given by the breeder, and as from today, Gibbs will be on 2 meals a day, instead of 3.  However rations will be 300g twice a day . . . so that 12 kilo sack of Royal Canin isn’t going to last long!

We haven’t had any chewing incidents in a while, and the cats have all more or less accepted him.  None of the cats appreciate a close encounter, but they no longer try to avoid Gibbs who has learned not to chase after them.  Gibbs learns very quickly.  He is excellent nowadays at the “fetch” game.  He brings whatever I throw back every time, and obeys the “drop” command 8 times out of 10.  Walks on the lead are very pleasant too.  He walks ever so well, without tugging, and most of the time one finger looped through the leash “handle” is all it takes.  He does tend to get distracted very easily though, and during walks, we have to keep our eyes open for: cyclists, pedestrians, cats, other dogs, and flying leaves . . . any of these sightings can make Gibbs spring into action and want to go dashing off to play.

Gibbs 5 months

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Gibbs is 5 months old today, and growing.  Weighed in at 19 kilos, so that’s 4 kilos gained in one month – I think that’s a reasonable gain.  We haven’t had too many chewing episodes since I posted about him last time – but then again, we’re learning to not leave things lying around.  That way there isn’t too much to tempt him.

tooth fairy

Milk teeth are falling out, and being replaced with bigger adult teeth.  Here’s one I found before Gibbs had a chance to swallow it. 

Gibbs 5 months 03

As you can see, he’s gradually losing his fluffy puppy coat, and growing a shinier coat . . . but there’s still a lot of growing/maturing to go.

when it’s cold outside

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When it’s cold outside, the best place is indoors – I think you’ll all agree.  We’ve been having regular snow flurries in our part of France.  So far, a couple of days of snow flurries which then melt away . . . only for it to start snowing again.

On Thursday we took Gibbs out for some exercise and fresh air – snow had melted everywhere as you can see from the green grass, but it started snowing during our walk.

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So we woke up yesterday morning to the first photo.  Cats must have had a vote during the night, and have agreed unanimously, that the best place to be today is indoors.  I wandered around with my camera to see what they were all up to. 

Abby was keeping the chinchilla company

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Ducky was happy because he had an entire double bed to himself

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Merlin was trying to get some sunlight

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and Le Bleu was flaked out on a chair in the guest room.

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I find it interesting that each cat finds a completely different place to sleep, and in this instance, each cat in a totally different part of the house.  Often I find at least one, or even two, in my sewing room because it’s a well-established fact that cats like to sleep on WIPs. But the only living creature in my sewing room yesterday was Rio – since that’s where he lives.

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Postman came with lots of bills, but also a lovely card from Virginie.

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I think that’s probably the last of the seasonal mail. 

Gibbs update

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Gibbs, our Flat coated retriever pup, was 4 months old on 6th January, and like all proud parents of a fluffy puppy, we’re keeping tabs on his growth chart.  He now weighs in at 15 kilos so that’s 3 kilos in one month – sounds about right to me.

He’s now fully house-trained and “asks” to go outside for pees and poops rather than waiting for us to decide it’s time.  He is also doing very well with basic commands.  After mastering the “sit” and “down”, he can now also manage the “stay” and walking to heel is getting better & better every day. 

Teething is going to be the next obstacle as Gibbs will chew anything he can get his teeth into.

chewing

For the moment, nothing of great value, but we’re more worried about him swallowing dangerous items than about actual damage.  Mind you, he did manage to steal a couple of goat cheeses the other night but he doesn’t just go for plastic. 

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I managed to get a photo of Gibbs sporting the bandana made & sent by Lynn, (please admire the “sit” and “stay” position lol)  but sadly, I can’t let him wear this without supervision, no matter how cute he looks in it, because . . . yes, he tries to chew it. 

meet Gibbs

Anyone who has a dog knows that the house suddenly feels so empty when our canine friend is no longer there. Barely 24 hours after saying goodbye to Blackjack, my husband was already talking about getting another dog.  Another 24 hours later, and he’d phoned a local breeder to make an appointment to visit.  And a further 24 hours later, we were at the breeder’s, getting licked to death.

72 hours is all it took, not to forget Blackjack, because he will never be forgotten, but to bring another furball into the home.

Please meet Gibbs

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He’s 3 months old, weighs in at 12 kilos, and is a Flat Coated Retriever.  His real name is actually Mako de la Passe de l’Eider but, aside from being something of a mouthful, our neighbour has a chocolate Labrador puppy called Moka.  Moka, Mako, Mako, Moka, we knew we’d be asking for trouble and adding to the general confusion with a name like that lol.  So we’re keeping to our NCIS theme with animal names.

Photo doesn’t do him justice, but it’s very overcast here, and Gibbs is a black dog.  What I hope you can see from the photo is how gorgeous he is, and how alert. 

First 24 hours with him have been brilliant.  We have only had one puddle in the house and Gibbs already obeys the command “assis” (sit), knows that our front door and back garden gate lead into HIS house.  He has already taken possession of his bed, his toys, and boy, can he wolf down his food rations in the blink of an eye!

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The cats haven’t yet reached a decision on whether or not Gibbs is welcome.  Our cats have always lived with a dog, but they don’t like change, and Gibbs’ arrival means just that. 

I’m also facing the added problem that Ducky has to stay indoors for over a week following his unblocking.  He also has medication to take twice a day but has decided not to cooperate at all.  Need to put on my thinking cap and find creative solutions for that. 

Anyway, you’ll be seeing more of Gibbs as he grows, and befriends the cats.  I don’t think it’ll be long before cats grudgingly accept him. 

in memory of

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Blackjack:  June 2006 – December 2016.

Sadly we had to make the decision on Friday to have Blackjack put to sleep.  Despite medication over the last couple of months, and a slight improvement for a while, his heart just couldn’t cope.  Lungs kept on filling up with liquid and diuretics couldn’t help to dry them out fast enough.

Blackjack was our little ray of sunshine.  A cross Labrador/Griffon, who we adopted at the approximate age of 6 months from an animal shelter.

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Above photo was his first Christmas with us in December 2006. 

Blackjack shared our life and home for 10 years.  The house seems very quiet and empty without him. 

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Other animal news . . .

Ducky had to spend 2 days and nights at the vet’s.  I noticed, on Thursday morning, that he was having difficulty urinating.  On Thursday afternoon, alarm bells started ringing in my head, and we whisked him off to the vet’s.  A good job we did too.  Poor chap was suffering from a blocked urinary tract which could have proved fatal if left untreated more than 48 hours. 

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He’s back home now,all unblocked and none the worse for wear (wish I could say the same for our bank balance).  I’ve immediately changed dried cat food.  Ducky will need a specific food in future, to avoid any further blockage and the vet has said there’s no harm if the other cats all eat the same food (which is just as well since with 4 cats it’s impossible to keep a check on who eats what).