So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


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Swingle is Seven

A belated happy birthday to our sweet hound, who was faithfully with us throughout all our waiting to get into the house, having to sleep on hard hotel floors. She had nightmares for weeks after her journey to the UK. She was kept in the dark in the van, and was happy to go back in, but after three days, she began to understandably refuse. For the next few weeks, she would wake us in the night, not to go out, but for confirmation we are here and she’s okay.

On her first train journey, she shook and was terrified, but soon got used to it and now loves the attention she gets, she even got a treat from a guard once! She sits and waits patiently on platforms, hops on and off with alacrity.

She just loves her new walks, the village field, the old tip on the hill with its dingles and streams, and the golf course where she runs around like a nutter.

In Cardiff in the park, she learnt all about hunting squirrels, but not that dogs can’t climb trees!

But being Swingle, her accident prone ness has hit again. I wish I had followed up the thought about getting her insured. We were clearing the garden on our terrace, there were holes and roots where woozels and mice had been making nests. Trouble is Dave was cutting with sheers… need I say more?

Her ear was cut in a jag across,and on the other side of the ear too. Blood flew around the kitchen as she shook her head. Could we find a local vet on a Saturday? Only an accident line. A wonderful neighbour who is doing a house up a few doors down, took us nearly all the way to Cardiff to a 24/7 vets’ clinic. One anesthetic later, she came home with about six inches and the collar of shame.

She took it all in her stride and after two days is legging it around the rough on the golf course as if nothing was wrong, except I keep her out of the long grass. She’s now VERY insured after the huge bill. English vets really are onto a nice earner.

She now has beds upstairs to over the street and bark at people like she did in Madling. She’s lost weight with all her galloping and seems to love Wales!


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Swingle is Six!

She’s a much calmer lady these days, sleep is good! Brisk walk first thing, snooze, help folks with their lunch, shorter walk, snooze, supper, sleep. She has three beds, ours, the spare room and the sofa.

She still plays with Rocky and Kira. She still hunts the Wuhlmaus(sort of gophers). Hate it when she crunches them!

Still barks too much and gets excited with guests. Very sensitive, slightest grumble if I’m writing or Dave and I have a bit of a discussion, she runs in, in a panic. She should have been a therapy dog!

And now, shes learning to bark in English and Welsh, and how to hunt rabbits…


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Swingle is Five!

Can’t believe where the time has gone. She’s such a gentle but NOISY dog! We took the hedge down on our garden and it’s taken her all summer to realise she doesn’t need to bark at everyone.

This years’ disasters have been eating a long-dead, shortly defrosted Wühlmaus (Gopher) in spring which made her incredibly ill and several trips to that nice man with the needles. Eye infection. Another stomach bug from eating fresh slurry!

She sadly lost her bestie, Bella this summer, and her new bestie, Kira is eating for about 10 due in November. Even Dave has vaguely muttered about a second dog, but he won’t put it in writing!

She’s as greedy as ever, and we know definitely her Dad was a labrador. Her only playthings are fluffy cushions, keeps us poor as she’s always breaking the zips and un-stuffing them!


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Birthdays

I just celebrated my 59th birthday. A few decades ago, I would be considered ready for the comfy chair and and a bit of knitting.

Nowadays it’s just another start. I have to work until I’m 66 @:%=#**#=# it! I’m building my career as a writer hope to start some painting, and ride again.

So next year? Be warned! I’m planning a big 60th party in the UK. Then (don’t tell the pension people) I’m going to re-generate, following year I’m going to be 59 again. Good idea???


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Swingle is FOUR!

Happy Birthday, Swingle!

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My accident prone puppy is now a more mature lady. We’re now sure her Dad was the Labrador from the farm up the hill, cos someone told us! The accidents go on. This summer she missed the wasp stings, only because there were only a few. Her bladder still does play up every now and then, giving us broken nights but giving her Cranberry tablets seem to help.

This year’s thing was a ripped dew claw on a back leg. The vet said to leave it open to heal, as a farmer’s dog, she hadn’t had it trimmed off at birth, I can see why now. I wasn’t happy with it and was about to return to the vets and Swingle had to chase a cat out of the garden, blood everywhere. Back to the Vets, Stitches. All healed, stitches out, the first gallop, ripped again. Finally, he amputated it and now all’s well. It was a nightmare keeping her out of the water while she had stitches. If it happens again, I’ll insist it’s cut straight off! I wished the Vet Happy Christmas in August, no more trips, please!

This autumn, maybe the moles and Wühl mouses have been more active, and she has been hunting like mad! Four wuhlmouses, three she ate, two moles which she didn’t!

After writing this, she tore her lower lip, hunting in the ground of course, yet another scar!

She still plays like mad with Bella, Kira and Rocky, and my twice a day walks with her keep me sane and fit. Still a gannet, big sleeping, snoring, pest, but I wouldn’t be without her!


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Happy Birthday Swingle!

Well, I’m guessing really, we know she was born in October. So now she’s officially three!  She’s really grown up this past year. She’s got her qualification in sleeping on the spare bed. She now is more picky about her own food, she’ll even leave her breakfast if I give her the wrong one. But she will never turn down a genuine Scoobie snack of any sort.  She doesn’t need quite so much exercise and now is more inclined when playing with Chira who is only a year old, to sit and watch her gallop around her and then suddenly pounce!  Her best friend is still Bella, they are just the greatest of mates.  I still curse myself for having introduced the two walks a day routine, but can’t break it!She’s an international dog, having travelled with us in the car through France and Germany and England. When we were there, we would go to the town parks to exercise her and there was always someone for her to play with, even if she did get attacked a couple of times. I got so fed up with people asking what breed she is, so I’d reply in German,’Lungaukletterhund’ which means Lungau climbing dog, where she still likes to leg it up steep sides. Most people were impressed, I think!

Her favourite hobby is barking especially with guests, and we haven’t really got on top of that one! She does have a tendancy to panic, if Dave or I raise our voices, where ever she is, she’ll rush in quivering and doing her paw thing until we convince her all is OK. But if we shout at her, it has no effect!  She still hunts woozles and mice in the undergrowth, but she’s not so sharp now and hasn’t had many this summer!  I think I’ve mentioned the wasps!

We can now leave her for about five hours alone at home, and she doesn’t destroy the place if she gets her treats as we leave! She wont now play with rubber or plastic toys, but give her a stuffed toy, she will disembowel it and play with it with great delight! She still rarely sleeps on our bed, which is a relief!

She regularly mugs pensioners, well. Mr B our neighbour who always has a treat for her in his pocket. She will also do anything for a good neck rub!

Wouldn’t be without her, Happy Birthday Swigs!