So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria, God and life, teaching and gardening plus the occasional cow

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How to tire a puppy


We had long known that we would have to put a fence around our garden in the event of a dog as we’re about 25 metres from a main road. And we should have done it BEFORE we got her, it would have made my life much easier! We also have fussy farmers who get stressed if there’s a dog on their precious hay fields.

So, with Dave over his bug we set to work, putting in tall metal fencing along one side, chicken wire along the hedge and building gates at each end.I say we, I was there, doing what I could -honestly!!!

Swingle spent the whole two days with us, helping remove pieces of wood we needed, digging bomb craters in the veggie plot, and running us ragged. I also took her our for a short walk up the lane. Result -when she came in with us at about 5, she collapsed in a heap, then forced some supper down and then slept practically through until the next morning!

As I write,we’ll have had her four weeks on Thursday. House training, nearly there. She thinks its a huge joke to bang on the door at 4 a.m and then refuse to go out. She now comes into the bedroom for while before we get up -moving herself up the pack. She actually chased her tail today, and has discovered the joy of barking at all and sundry. We’re trying to stop the baby nipping and jumping up. She knows down and sit.


And today, to my joy, the dog door is going in the porch. NO more standing in my dressing gown and  jacket in the cold, just open the door and let her go-luxury!


Swingle growing up

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I sometimes wonder if our pup is on a time delay, having missed a lot of early puppy behavior she’s on catch up. Our main task at the moment is trying to stop her jumping up by only stroking her when she’s down, and stopping the nipping and mouthing by not giving her our hands, and tapping, saying no when she does- not always successful but we’re making progress.

She’s discovered barking at people as well, which I have to get her not to shout at everyone she meets!

She’s lovely on the lead and has got the walkies idea. I’ve not let her off the extendable lead yet as she always has her nose in something and switches off. I have a small pot of goodies to rattle to get her attention so I’m doing that. It seems she’s better later into the walk as she relaxes. I will let her off soon!

She does sometimes have accidents at night, I think she forgets to ask as she wakes up with a full bladder. The first time she went out in the recent snow there was an expression of shock as her bum hit the cold!  I’m now feeding her less in the evenings to see if that helps her. My amazing husband has now put a dog door on the porch, luxury to open the door and stay in the warm for her to return. And she wont go out if she don’t want to either! The trouble is, when she’s out in the garden, she gets up to mischief -such as digging a bomb crater as in the slideshow above!

She comes into our room in the mornings -buys us a little time before the a.m. naughtiness bout comes on- the latest thing is nicking and chewing firelogs but at least that’s cheap!

She now has a Passport, second jab and Frontline on her back – she had a tick on her neck at this time of the year!  Now we have to consider whether to get her spayed now or after her first season -although at possibly eight months she may have already had one.  Our vet says do it now, would you wait or go for it?

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Spring Bounces On


Apparently a lot of the bad weather earlier last week was due to Hurricane Niklaus, and we got off lightly due to the protection of the mountains at Obertauern.


Early evening on Maunday Thursday, just as we thought the rain was easing off a sudden storm came hurtling up the valley and it snowed like it hasn’t done all winter. We woke up to about six inches, much to a certain puppy’s delight! The skies cleared and it began to thaw in the warmish sunshine, we even went for a walk along the river.


Slightly wonky Easter fire at Tamsweg. I wonder if they will be able to light them?

Then blow me down, if it didn’t begin snowing again on Easter Saturday, but just rainy sleet  all day. Easter Sunday was cold with snow showers, and we walked in the woods in deep snow, of course for Swingle’s playtime. Monday it did the same, snowed over on to Tuesday BUT they say this is the last, it may get to +20 by the end of the week- I’m trying not to get too excited!

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Birds seeking refuge!

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Following the last post, we had our day of snowy rain on Maunday Thursday, but it was melting rapidly, and we were cosily in the sitting room wondering why the dog was so fixated out the window. So I looked to, to see lots of birds using our small patch of green to find food.

Mostly Mistle thrushes, there were four,  a Tree creeper, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and the robin. It gave Swingle and I loads of opportunities for ornithology!


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As you hide the Easter eggs, prepare a huge meal, meet with the family, pause for a minute and try and remember just why we are having this holiday. I bet less than 50% of you will mutter something about a cross and Jesus but get no further. Such a Shame. If you delved in just a little, maybe you would find why this day is so special and can mean so much to you. No religion, no rules, no years of misinterpretation. Read the gospel of Mark like a book and maybe you’ll begin to get an inkling! Blessings on this day of days!


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