JAZZ.

There’s a lot to be said for sharing the outdoors with special and loyal friends. Watching them grow from mischievous wee scamps, into mature adults with their set routines and quirky habits, is all part of the fun.

And this was certainly the way with Jazz,  a nine-year old black labrador.

Jazz started walking with me at the age of five months, so was one of the ‘senior’ members of the pack and took on the unofficial role of pack leader. He was indeed one of the ‘lads,’ readily accepted by the others, but he was always seemed to remain a little bit aloof.  I likened him to an army brigadier at times, strutting around, head held high …. and in my imagination with a silver topped staff tucked under his front legs!

If some of the dogs were getting a bit excited and needed to be brought in, I’d simply call on Jazz who would respond immediately, and the others would follow.

This may have been because they realised Jazz was the one most likely to elicit a positive response from me to the request for a biscuit.
“Go on, Jazz – you ask. You’re good at it.”

And, ok – I’m a bit of a mug for a cheeky and pleading face. The ploy generally worked, and everyone was happy.

Jazz with his ‘special’ friend, Cali.

Sadly, Jazz passed away in his sleep earlier this week.

He will be sorely missed by both his human and doggie families.

And me, of course.

R.I.P. Big Man.

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Tenacious Puppy! & The Beach Dogs.

Leading Petcare Productions present:

TENACIOUS PUPPY! & THE BEACH DOGS.

The seven-piece group have just announced a season long residency at the STARFISH SHACK on Arossim Beach, South Goa, India.

With a minimum twice daily performances (around lunch-time and sunset) this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Entry free … once you’ve paid for flights to India, that is.

A Mom & Tenacious Puppy bonding moment. (Mom is actually last year’s pup.)

All this home-schooling fair takes it outta ya.

Phwar! You just let one go?

Did you just mention the … ‘f” word?

Scarface

Life’s a beach.

Yeah, I know – I’m the cute one!

 

 

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Say ‘Hi’ to wee Jet and Henry.

Well, that’s it. My annual two-week holiday is done for another year. Only fifty week till my next break. Almost forty-nine in fact.

In the past thirty-six hours, I’ve gone from this: 

to this:
On the plus side, though, the first walks of 2018, saw Leading Petcare welcome two more puppies to the fold.

Every cloud and all that.

JET – a toy poodle / lhaso apso cross, and little ‘brother’ to Harry & Buddy.

Henry – a brown flatcoat, & little ‘brother’ to Louis.

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No Tears – Just Smiles.

Staffies often get a bum rap and unfortunately their most often unmerited ‘reputation’ frequently precedes them. But if ever there was an example of why a book should not be judged by its cover, then Gem was it.

She was a gentle, loving wee soul who could sense when I wasn’t feeling myself, and genuinely did show signs of concern. That wasn’t very often, though. Normally, she was a bundle of hyper activity – especially when she saw the chance to chase and fetch a tennis ball.
UK readers of a certain age will recollect a television advert for a well known brand of cigar, where the dog chases a ball through an open top-storey flat. Gem wasn’t far from that – I’m just glad that where we walked there were no trees or walls. As it was, there were a couple of bushes that had Gem-shaped silhouettes forcibly imprinted on their foliage as she frantically followed an escaping ball!

Her (sort of) brother, Sam the cairn terrier was the opposite. Well, regards being ultra friendly, they were similar. But Sam was not the active type. he was more into mooching and letting any doggie pals know how may blades of grass he’d passed by. But he too was a gentle wee thing, although when push came to shove, he was quick to let Gem and Ozzie (the beardie ‘half brother’ from the same household as the others in the photo)  just who was the boss.

Sadly, Gem passed away almost two years ago, and Sam a couple of months back.

Their owner had asked that Gem’s ashes be returned to her , but no similar request was made regards Sam, simply because she was too upset to scatter Gem’s and couldn’t face going through it all again.

Consequently, I was asked if I’d mind disposing of Gem’s remains. I’d never been requested to this before, but in a funny way, I felt quite honoured.

In fact, I didn’t feel sad at all. Memories of the seven years or so I walked her with Ozzie and Sam came flooding back. I knew the perfect place for her.

And so there she was. Back in her old haunt on Gleniffer Braes, looking over the town of Paisley, early on a bright and chilly November morning. And at the spot where Gem knew that, clear of any obstacles,  I could launch a ball for a good seventy yards. She’d bound up and down on her hind legs in excitement and anticipation, letting out pleading yelps until I drew my hand back and released ball into the air.

The spot was chosen carefully. Gem never did this ‘rest’ thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run in Peace wee Gem. 

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Amusing tales of a Scottish dog walker. (99 cents till 17th August.)

Sample Amazon review from USA reader:
Mrs. G on October 1, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Oh my goodness, what’s not to love about this book? The author is supremely Scottish and it’s all about antics with animals. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. I’d hire Mr. Jackson to care for my pets in a heartbeat–except I think I’d prefer to go along on the walks to see all the adventures myself.

This marvelous narration takes the reader through the ins and outs of life as a Pet Care Professional. Dog, cat, and bunny lovers will all find moments they recognize as well as plenty of surprises. The writing is engaging, real, articulate … in a word–BRILLIANT! My kindle’s pages are marked all over with passages that had me in stitches. Mr. Jackson could surely make any profession or commonplace activity sound far more entertaining than it really is, but when the spirited cast includes these special dogs (and one alarming hamster in particular), it’s even better.

Since this is a real life story, I don’t know how we wrangle a sequel, but I certainly want to read more from this author!
______________

Just over eleven years ago, redundancy struck for the second time in two years. Ten unemployed months later, and with little demand for ex branch banking managers, I decided to set up Leading Petcare.

‘DAMP DOGS & RABBIT WEE‘ documents many of the amusing and sometimes poignant moments from the first eight years of what was, at the time, a relatively new type of business venture here in the West of Scotland.

To date, the book has garnered twenty-nine, 5-star reviews across Amazon UK and Amazon USA, and in celebration of its second anniversary, you can buy the Kindle version for only 99 cents ….. until 17th August.

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Night Night wee Roxy.

Wee ‘shakybum’ Roxy with Ted.

Roxy the Schnauzer was my wee pal. She was the first dog (well, with her late ‘sister’ Cassie) that I walked when I set up Leading Petcare over ten years ago.

She had been unwell a few months ago, but rallied well after treatment. Recently, she was back to her kindly, and perky best, her whole hind quarters wagging throughout our walks with her young ‘brother’ Ted.

Sadly though, last week, after a short recurrence of her illness, Roxy had to go to sleep.

I walked Ted on his own last week – it was sad to see how he evidently missed his big ‘sister.’

He’s not the only one.

 

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Sorry, lads! Am I keeping you awake?

This gallery contains 3 photos.

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