Tuesday, 22 June 2010


SSAFA Forces Help are immediately available to support you and your family, whether you are serving at home, overseas or in an operational environment. They provide several services including but not are not limited to; Health care abroad, confidential support line, holidays for special needs children and their siblings as well as financial support and advice. They are a relatively small charity that do a lot of important work!

There is an army of SSAFA volunteers who offer practical help when you need a helping hand. They provide essential support when partners are away or when times get tough. I am one of those volunteers and can help with hands on stuff, ie look after the children or take them out while the service user gets some rest/catches up with chores/has some me time etc and can take dogs out for a walk, mow the lawn for you and help out at home if your partner is away.

Lots of people will feel vulnerable by asking for help, that they can't cope but serving with the forces is not a normal lifestyle, single parenting etc with out the support family and friends that regular families have around is never easy which is why ssafa is there to help you out : )

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Mr Toffee Retires

You may have noticed the lack of photos posts and updates so far this year, Mr Toffee is doing well but is now in retirement : ) Last year he started to go blind and over the past 9 months of so he has been slowing down, he doesn't run in his wheel very much or have play time and is often sleeping. Mr T is 4 and half human years old which is the equivalent of 75 in hedgie pig years, he is an old man now. Africian Pygmy Hedgehogs have an average life span of 3-5 years so he is in the winter period of his life. And what a good one he has had, lots of adventures and fun, being spoilt rotten and having everyone who meets him falls in love immediately ^_^

Toffee did lose some weight at the start of the year but he seems more than happy living on a diet of worms which of course any pygmy hog would love! He is spoilt and has an unlimited amount of meal worms and wax worms at his disposal : ) At the end of last year poor old Toffee did have an incontinence issue which I hope are now gone.

Mr Toffee in oils ♥

His lil' whiskers are getting tatty, and his eyes are both glazed over with blindness and although I still take photos of him (especially when he is in a active mood and gets into mischief!) he doesn't look like the model hog he once was. Luckily I have dozens of beautiful photos to remember his youth by, the last 3 years have been wonderful and I hope we have more time to enjoy together : ) Here is an oil painted version of my favourite photo of Mr Toffee, I hope you like it : )

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Dog Training

In April I finally bagged a full time job, a good one too, as a dog handler and I was pleased with the new job -still in secuirty industry- although it is very challenging.

I am self employed and work for TBW, I have a company owned dog Monty to care for, he was passed around the houses and hasn't had a female handler/trainer before so at first completely ignored my commands, taking a preference to any male present - even strangers. He was police trained at 18 months old but was passed up for government work and has spent his career in private security as a guard dog. He has been with me for a few months now and has learnt that I am the master, he is generally obedient and quiet although has some behavioural issues when out on walks or around other dogs - the worst of which is that he is male dog aggressive.

I have been trying to train him to heel but with little success, and he nearly always kicks of when we are at work. He knows when he is working and enjoys being on guard, but when colluegues with thier own working dogs (all of which are un-nurtured males) are around he becomes very defensive and aggressive.

In the next few months I am hoping to teach him to "watch" only on command, he is a big dog and is hard to handle; he can easily pull me over. It will be hard work but I plan to update the blog as I go, hopefully giving you guys an insight into the mind of a Working Dog : )