Wednesday, 4 December 2013

OK, so I'm a thief...

Whilst sitting with the hounds last night, I noticed something shimmering on the floor. On closer inspection I saw it was plastic wrapper, once the home of three doggy bone chews - the property of Ellie, who had been given one an hour or so earlier. Louis had been given a BIG 'special' hound bone commensurate with his BIG size and intended to last at least an hour or so.

While I was working in the office, the cheeky boy had decided to follow his nose to the kitchen, and with his ample height managed to thieve the remaining bones from the kitchen work top. Ellie's bones!

In his bed lay a bone of the same quality and, (presumably) taste, half eaten and unloved.
The look on his face depicts a knowing that I have seen before.....guilty!! What a little tinker.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Deer Chase

It's always a possibility that we will come across deer on our walks on the lovely Cannock Chase in the mornings. We always go early, but especially at the week ends, as there are bikes and runners around later on which we aim to avoid. Today saw the opening of the Christmas Tree sale, so there was lots of human activity everywhere, cars were arriving and the Christmas Carols were flowing across the forest.

We were walking along and suddenly I spied a herd of Fallow deer on the brow of the path we were following. Ellie and Louis spotted them immediately and were off like bolts from a gun. There was no stopping them. I always fear for the deer........just in case.....but am fearful too of the hounds getting lost or close to a road. I waited for 5 long minutes blowing the whistle, when I spotted Ellie in the trees bounding towards me, great I thought, that's one hound home. I kept whistling, no Louis. I kept walking and whistling, and then I saw a hound in the distance a bit lost so I raced over and shouted.....he eventually saw me, and came bounding over. On the lead now for a calm down. All was well and the deer I hope and pray also survived the ordeal......I am sure they would do. Phew!!

The hounds got some exercise that's for sure. They are now flat out on their beds, enjoying some happy doggy dreams no doubt :)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Here or Australia?

After a grim couple of weeks of (what seemed like) never ending rain, we have sunshine two days in a row!
Brilliant.Great for getting out with the hounds for a lovely long walk on the Chase. They are getting all set for the Christmas Tree Sale. Each year they seem to add more to the mix to make it more attractive to visitors.

This year, they have added another Go Ape feature, this time for youngsters under 12, looks great fun - wish I was younger. There are loads more huts than last year, not sure what they are all for just yet, but all will be clear in a couple weeks no doubt. The Christmas trees are all appearing little by little so it will be mad in no time at all. I will be posting some pictures to show the action soon.

While I was walking I met a friend whose sister lived in Oz near the Gold Coast, and returned to England. She said it was wonderful scenery, beach every day, weather 6 degrees lowest during winter time, though summer was hotter than ours. Problem is - they don't have anything but the beach to do all day, sounds good for a while, but if that is ALL there is, it could get a bit monotonous I suppose. Apparently they never go anywhere because to do so it is a plane journey to get there. So for the average Joe, it is beach beach or beach for your daily dose of leisure. Here though, we can hop in the car and go to any part of the country within a couple of hours and have a huge diversity of things to see, do and experience.

I think I will stay put........ 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Oh what a beautiful day...

Not sure who sang it, but I remember singing it with my mum when I was small. (Was it Howard Keel from 7 Brides for 7 Brothers?)

Anyway it really is a glorious day for being out there walking hounds, or just being out there for any reason. After yesterday's poured and poured all day, it is a welcome relief.

Going to make sure we get out there and enjoy it before it all goes away.
Hope you manage to get out there too. If not, let's hope the week end will bring some more :)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

After the 5th

Good morning all. Hope you survived the 'war zone' atmosphere last night. It was noisy here from about 6 to 8pm; then quieter - until around 10. Then the bombs started going off. They were random bangs all over the place, probably youngsters.

I checked on the Fireworks Act or law on Wikipedia and it seems fireworks can be let off between 7am in the morning until 11pm at night.

Fireworks must not be let off between 11pm and 7am, except on Chinese New Year, Diwali and New Year's Eve, when the period is extended until 1am, and on Guy Fawkes Night, when the period is extended until midnight. This restriction does not apply to displays organized by local Councils.
It is illegal to set off fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or public place. Breaking these laws can result in an on-the-spot fine of £80.[11]

That seems to imply that fireworks can be let off randomly throughout the day? 

We have a long way to go before the end of the 'season' so I guess we just need to 'get through it' and look forward to the usual fog that always comes after 2 relentless weeks of gunpowder being blasted into the atmosphere.

Happy days

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

What's the Point of Fireworks?

I ask this question every year, and dread the prospect of November 5th looming closer as we move into late Autumn. I don't really GET why we 'celebrate' such an event anyway?

Or, is it just an excuse for turning the whole country into a war zone. Trouble is, fireworks are often not in good hands, if they were controlled properly, and only used on one day for a short period, we just MIGHT all cope a lot better with it. Being in a fairly rural part of Staffordshire I feel great sympathy for the grazing animals, like horses, sheep and cattle, and for the deer on the Chase nearby. How can a nation possibly justify such a barrage of sound pollution. It goes beyond one night, usually 2 weeks at least.

My two hounds suffer a great deal - both tremble with fear, and won't go outside, eat or relax for a moment, they hide and look terrified.

Here's a picture of Lou hiding in a corner I made for him on Sunday evening (you can see a small section of paw poking out at the top) when it was particularly bad.

Think it is time for a change of law.

Dear Mr. Cameron - will you PLEASE control fireworks........

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Hey Hey there - it's a spooky night tonight, its Hallow..eeeeeen. So far all is quiet tricks or treats YET! We used to buy a big box of mini chocolate bars or bags of sweets, and have them at the ready for the door knockers on Halloween, but we don't seem to see them much here. I'm happy with that!

I always think of my father on this night. He was born on the 1st November, the day after All Hallows Eve. and used to love to tell us that it was All Saints Day! (hardly a saintly chap but there you go!)..

Anyway, today we launch our new website, and what better day than All Saints Day! Well its memorable - to me anyway! We can edit all parts ourselves now, so if there are any cock ups, then it's down to me and no one else! 

Well the nights are dark, we got back from our walk around 5.15 and it was well dark. I don't like wishing life away but I do look forward to the 21st December - the winter solstice, so I can dream of longer days and have spring closer.

In the meantime, we have plenty of rain to come, so check out our new shower macs with a full hood to keep heads and neck dry. They're in red or royal blue with black trim. Here is Louis in his first wearing of the coat earlier this week.


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Update, update

It's been a really crazy few weeks lately, so many places to be and things to do, all hound and Lily Peeps related. But we ARE getting somewhere. We've had professional patterns made for our hound coats which look very smart; we've had a few small tweaks and adjustments to make them, we hope, perfect for all hounds and whippets.

Ellie and Louis have been enjoying the cooler weather, out on Cannock Chase every morning for their daily constitutional; sometimes it's a chore to get your skates on early morning when the weather is dull and dreary, but once you're out there in the woods, the smells sounds and views are breathtaking and give you a really good start to the day ahead; and sometimes too, we have it (almost) to ourselves.

Here's a picture of Ellie this morning about 8 am, it was a cool fresh, and brilliantly bright sunny morning, with a low mist feathering the open grass areas as can be seen in the background with streaks of blinding sunlight piercing the barely dressed trees. Lovely stuff :)  

Monday, 5 August 2013

More rain...

Well it's Monday, and we have more 'weather' to talk about.

The grass which was like hay is now verdant and fresh again......and growing like the clappers. We'll be able to graze cattle on it at this rate.

My two hounds won't even go and get their feet wet to wee if it's raining, so we have to dodge the showers to get out to walk. Oh well, we mustn't grumble we've had our annual summer 'feast' of weather. Be nice though to get some of our old fashioned summers ......nothing extreme, just nice and sunny and fresh.  Wonder if anyone else remembers them?

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Well we needed the rain - but not this much

We have had a lot of rain in the last 24 hours, torrential this morning, so much so, it was a struggle to get my two even out of the door, and it was a very short walk to boot. We were all soaked after a very short trip to the park. No Cannock Chase and bunny rabbit chasing for us today, it was two soggy dogs who returned hang dog to their beds looking forlorn and sad at the very cheek of the weather for messing up their morning constitutional. (I have to agree with them)

On the up side, I am told it is back to heatwave's again tomorrow with temps up to 28c round here. We'll see. It's hard to keep up with it all.

Wouldn't mind a little 'moderate' weather for a short while - everything seems so extreme - boiling hot, or chucking it down. Ah well, it keeps us entertained - never short of a conversation piece if you live in England!

Hedgehogs to Greyhounds!

This blog is called Hound News Wire for a reason..........and currently it is all about Hedgehogs....!

Greyhounds are my life, and they are loved above all things (even chocolate!). But the hedgehogs have been rather overwhelming me lately. I have been ferrying, rescuing and writing about, talking about and generally being a hedgehog person for a fortnight.

However, I am firmly back in the driving seat of Lily Peeps and am planning a new raincoat which I think will suit A LOT of people.

Should be available within the next week, it won't be expensive, I think you will want one!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Hedgehogs .........and Friday already

The last seven days have been manic, and nothing to do with Greyhounds....never mind, mine are still getting all the love and cuddles in between 'other events'!

It seems that Hedgehogs are now on the top 10 British Endangered species list, I was shocked to learn.

Last Friday a friend from Greyhound Gap in Stafford contacted me about a lady who founded and runs West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue, single handed. Her name is Joan Lockley and she is in her mid to late 60's. She is very well known in these parts for her absolute devotion, care and knowledge of Hedgehogs that she has been saving and re-rehabilitating for years. 

She is currently overwhelmed with new admissions to the 'hosprickle' which is at the bottom of her very modest garden. There she rescues and treats hedgehogs which have been run over, injured, 'cat damaged' de-hydrated, starving or orphaned, and brings them back to life and hopefully re-entry back to the wild.

Unfortunately she not only cares for her hospital patients she collects them from all over the place too, which  has become impossible - many of her inmates need feeding every two hours. 

So Diane and I started a Facebook page as Friends of West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue, simply to get volunteer transport to help Joan. This took all of last week end, and with the action that has followed, most, if not all, of this week.

As with all things, getting it off the ground and working properly and efficiently is the hardest part, I think it will all start to get easier now the plans and processes are in place.

I knew very little about hedgehogs, but I'm learning fast!  Hedgehogs must have water - if you find one, put him in a box with paper on the base, GIVE WATER (not milk ever) and dog or cat food (not fish flavour) wet or dry, or chopped unsalted peanuts - or mealworms that birds eat, and then contact a local Hedgehog rescue centre if you have one.

If you haven't, Joan would certainly advise or help, even if she is out of your area.

Landline Number: 01922 419532
Mobile Number: 07837 409533

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Three wheels on my wagon.....!

Ellie, my beautiful 6 year old Greyhound, had lost a nail on her 'near side rear' foot before I adopted her from Perry Barr RGT, (Daybreaks Kennels) 3 years ago. She has in the last 12 months started carrying this foot more when we are out walking. However when we walk on Cannock Chase and there are bunny rabbits in sight the limp mysteriously disappears.

Ellie taking her elevenses in the sun

The toe is quite small and gnarled now, though no corns are present. When we make periodic visits to Straiton's, our Vets in Penkridge, he checks it all thoroughly. There is little they can do other than remove the toe. Problem is, that in January this year she nearly lost her life in an horrific dose of colonic enteral haemorrhaging, the outcome of which (stress, medication, etc.) affected her heart rhythm so seriously we nearly lost her.

An option would be to move the toe digit - but the Vets aren't keen on the idea due to her previous heart problem. However she is now fully recovered and all is well. But..... she set MY heart racing yesterday evening. We were out walking and noticed she is now limping slightly on a FRONT leg.....I've checked feet, ankles, joints and so on, but nothing seems amiss. Will keep an eye on it, seems a teeny bit better this morning.

I had been singing 'three wheels on my wagon' to her, but now it's two!

I hope it's temporary......we can't lose any more legs.....

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Thunder and Lightning - Scary Houndies!

Woke up to the lovely fresh smell of rain today. The garden, though a bit battered is looking relieved and I am sure the grass has grown in the last 12 hours.....It'll be lawn mowers on stand by again soon.

An hour later we had a ferocious thunderstorm with very strong lightning and HUGE thunderclaps overhead - quite scary for those who don't understand the reason for this BIG noise. Louis who is a relative newbie to our house was completely terrified.

He sat panting, shaking and trembling for the next hour and would not even consider a visit to the garden. I put on all the radios, and the TV, closed the blinds to reduce the visibility of the lightening, and put a light on (in the now relative darkness) and whispered kindly to him that it was 'alright' He calmed down eventually, and found a quiet spot in the back hall where it is quiet and a bit darker and began to compose himself.

We had our normal walk much later when the rain and storm ceased.

Such a shame for dogs, wish we could help them to understand.....the next big horror for me and my two is Bonfire Night.....dread it, dread it. Tranquilizers will be needed then.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Hounds & Hedgehogs

Cooler for Hounds

Well I'm still on the subject of weather, (sorry!). It's blissfully cooler today, and no more evident than in my two hounds who are looking nice and relaxed on their beds, instead of tongues hanging out and wandering around looking helpless and worried about some relief from the heat.


A pretty please request......Can you please leave water for Hedgehogs during this hot spell - in a quiet peaceful part of the garden and top it up daily.

My friend Joan Lockley who runs West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue is on her knees with calls right up to midnight at night from people who have injured or dehydrated hedgehogs and don't know what to do. She is nearly 70 and works tirelessly for these little guys, feeding every two hours and collecting hoggies from all over the Midlands. So please if you can do one small thing.....leave water.

Thank you   

Friday, 19 July 2013


The hot weather has brought the unwelcome influx of house flies. I had one in the office a little while ago, and was completely distracted by it - it made so much noise. I wondered what caused the noise to be so loud, so I did a little research. Hardly a Greyhound topic, but having said that, I do think they could pose a threat to them if we were a little careless with their food.

For your's a nice picture!

You will already know they are carriers of disease. (I don't fall into the houseproud category - cleaning and polishing daily - we are a 'lived in' household here), but I was surprised at just how many diseases these flies actually carry.  Here's an extract from Wikipedia

The flies (musca domestica) are capable of carrying over 100 pathogens, such as those causing
  • Typhoid
  • Cholera
  • Salmonellosis
  • Bacillary Dysentery
  • Tuberculosis
  • Anthrax
  • Opthalmia
  • Parasitic worms
Some species have also become immune to most common insecticides.

Life Cycle: Each female fly can lay approximately 500 eggs (in several batches of between 75-150. Within a day, larvae (maggots) hatch.

36 hours or so after emerging from the pupa, the female is receptive for mating.
These flies depend on warm temperatures; the warmer the weather, the faster the flies will develop.

House flies feed on liquid or semi liquid substances, household rubbish and faeces, beside solid material which has been softened by saliva or vomit. Because of their large intake of food, they deposit faeces constantly, one of the factors that makes the insect a dangerous carrier of pathogens. Although they are domestic flies, usually confined to human habitations, they can fly for several miles from the breeding place.

They are active only in daytime, and rest at night, e.g., at the corners of rooms, ceiling hangings, cellars, and barns, where they can survive the coldest winters by hibernation, and when spring arrives, adult flies are seen only a few days after the first thaw

If you'd like to know more here's a link to a useful page on the subject = = > House Flies, Bluebottles etc.

......and to answer the question about noise......which was the reason why I researched in the first place
here's the answer I found

Returning to Greyhounds (ahh yes please) and food. I do actually cook for my two and so the food I give invites considerable interest to the fly species, so I cover each meal with a wet tea towel for the period it is 'out' until it is eaten or finished with, and this seems to deter them.

Hope you found this a fascinating post........not the best I know, but nevertheless I've learned a little more than I knew an hour ago......and, I have answered the question about noisy flies!

Have a good day all :)

Thursday, 18 July 2013

This is getting monotonous!

Yes, it's hot again, and as I post here at 2.05pm it's 27 degrees again.

I was brought up in the imperial 'dynasty' (eg non-metric!) which means I had to learn about the decimal system. I have to say I still struggle, particularly with centimeters and their allies the millimeters and co.

This also means that Fahrenheit was the only thing I knew at school. I knew that if it was in 'the 70's' it meant it was hot, and I understood that.

Today, it's all Celsius.....(why did we change)?
Well, to keep the familiar close to my heart, during this flipping hot month, I learned to convert the temperature, It's a doddle. Yertiz.....

  1. Get your iPhone or smart phone out and get the calculator app opened up  
  2. Key in the temperature now - eg 27
  3. multiply it by 1.8
  4. And then +32
  5. Result - 80.6
  6. Hot for hounds, (and hounds Mums and Dads)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

27 degrees in far!

At 2pm here near Stafford it is showing 27 degrees. I don't know if it's my imagination, but the sun seems to get hotter in the afternoon? Maybe by then, I've just had enough HOT-ness don't know.

This morning while watering the pots and so on I was outside in the heat for about half an hour and I could feel the sun really burning the back of my neck and legs. The dogs are in the house with the blinds down, the windows open and periodic layers of cool wet towels on their tums and feet.

I was at the shops earlier today and a lady at the green grocers who was queuing with me while we were all in various states of a lather, said, 'Oh its wonderful for getting the hay in' and we've got another 10 days of this at least. Perfect!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Nearly a website...then, eventually...we're live :)

Well, we were nearly live yesterday, until a few error issues cropped the elation has slumped a teeny's been SUCH a huge long wait to get this far.

It reminds me of a mountain climb; you get almost to the top, and then just as you get to the 'peak' there's another peak in front of you to climb, and then another.

Never mind, all part of life's rich (and very annoying, at times) pattern!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Online at last....


At LAST we have a Website for Lily Peeps......during the hottest week of the whole year!
Couldn't have timed it better!! Expecting to sell TONS of coats over the next few days (not!!)

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Greyhound Summer Coats

Today we launched our Greyhound Summer Coat - also for Whippets of course :)


Pure white 100% cotton linen look summer coat - light, cool and airy.
The hood adds a cover to the neck and head if required, allowing protection from the sun while 'hoomans' stand gassing for hours about their favourite subject (dogs) - and the dogs stand about getting hot and bored. The hood has two small ties beneath the chin to secure hood if needed.

Once the coat is on the hound, it can be be lightly sprayed with cool water to add coolness. 

The bright white cotton will reflect sun away from the hound, especially those wearing black fur-coat birthday suits!

Greyhound and Whippet Summer Cool Coat 100% pure linen look cotton