Happy Christmas from CraftyTails!

Are you ready for this? The cuteness that is my gorgeous girl Mia in her new Christmas jumper (even if I do say so myself) ? Christmas jumper are *everywhere* this year so it’s only right that Mia has one of her very own. I intend on knitting one for Ollie too but he hates wearing clothes, absolutely hates it. Mia is such a little girl though, she loves dressing up.Santa Coat 009The pattern is from Debbie Bliss Fall/Winter 2013 magazine. The instant I saw the pattern I knew I was destined to make at least one of them. The yarn is Garnstudio DROPS Nepal that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show from Winnie’s Wool Wagon. It was on sale and cost less than €2 per ball from memory. In the end I bought enough for about 4 coats I’d say, I ended up needing far less yarn that the pattern suggested, less than one ball of each colour for Mia’s coat (she’s a Yorkie/Chihuahua cross, so pretty small).

Santa Coat 020This pattern is great as it’s very easy to tailor to your own dog, I just had to keep measuring it against Mia as I was knitting. The cables felt like they were taking FOREVER, but in the end they add great stability around the neck, and also on the belt. You can barley see the cabling on the belt because it’s black but it’s a lot more structured than garter stitch would be. I love it, and Mia loves it. She gets so much attention when she’s wearing it and she loves that too.

Happy Christmas everyone!!

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Week 2: Pooing machines

Katie and Taylor have been with us for a whole week now and we’re heading into week 2. The changes in them are amazing, they are so much more sturdier, there are no more worms and they have grown so much.

Pit bull X puppyThey’re eating really well and they’re full of energy. All this good quality food has turned them into pooing machines, hence the blog post title. However, because they’re being fed the good quality food their poos (and excuse me here, I’ll try not to get too graphic) are less frequent, more predictable, more solid and less smelly. All reason enough to invest in good quality food for your pooches in my opinion!!

We’re keeping accidents to a minimum by taking them out the back straight after eating, and as soon as they wake up, when they are guaranteed to need to go to the toilet. I wouldn’t say this is house training, they’re a bit too young yet. But it saves us the constant cleaning and it is hopefully setting up good habits.

Pit bull X puppyThey pretty much sleep, eat and poo. But the gaps between sleeping are getting longer and longer and it’s so funny to watch them tumbling and wrestling with each other. They’re also getting more interested in toys in the last day or so. We have plenty of puppy toys left over from Ollie and Mia, which is great because puppies need soft toys that won’t damage their teeth. There are no real discernible personalities yet but they’re beginning to emerge.

Pit bull X puppyOllie is still pretty much ignoring their existence, but Mia is becoming more and more curious. She still isn’t playing with them and growls if they get too close but every so often I find her inching closer and closer to them to have a sniff. With each of our other foster pups it has taken about a week for her to really start playing so there may be hope yet.

Pit bull X puppy

Week 1: Gratuitous Puppy Pics

Last week I talked about fostering, why animals might need a foster home and what is expected from foster parents. This week I’m putting my money where my mouth is and I bring you: cute puppy pictures.

Four week old pit bull puppyMeet Katie and Taylor, two four week old Pit Bull X puppies. They are named after the Irish World Champion [and now Olympic Gold Medalist] female boxer Katie Taylor, because strength and power can be feminine too. I’m not going to go into the politics of Pit Bulls here other than to say I personally believe there are no bad dogs, only bad owners.

Four week old pit bull puppy

Katie

These guys will stay with us until they are nine weeks old and ready to be put up for adoption. They are adorable and I am totally in love already. They are so tiny and ideally would still be with their mother until they are eight weeks old. The Dublin SPCA have given us a crate, blankets, hot water bottle, toys and food. They’re on extra special baby puppy food because they’re so young. When we go our or during the night we have the crate set up in the utility room and the settle down pretty quickly.

Four week old pit bull puppy

Taylor

When you get over the constant cleaning up after them they are so much fun. They want to be in your arms all the time and love wrestling and playing with each other. You don’t need a telly when there are puppies around. I’ll try and post an update every week on their progress, they’re going to grow very, very quickly.

Introducing Ollie and Mia

Ollie and Mia have already made an appearance in a blog post or two so I thought it was time to properly introduce them to you.

Ollie

Ollie

When Rossa and I first started looking for somewhere to buy I insisted we get somewhere with a back garden because I wanted a dog. We adopted Ollie from Dogs In Distress in July of 2009. We met him in his foster home when he was 6 weeks old and was just a tiny bundle of fluff. We think he is a Shuh-Tzu/Fox Terrier X and were told he was found wandering the streets at 6 weeks old.

Ollie is a real little character. He is such a gentle soul too. He loves to play and has two games. He drops a toy at your feet and then it’s a game of ‘fastest draw’ to see if you or he gets to the toy first. His other favourite game is ‘tug of war’. When I get home or someone comes into the house Ollie will run off to find a toy for them to play with.

Ollie grown up

Ollie grown up

He’s also very clever. He know sit, down, paw and ‘bang’ where we taught him to roll over and play dead. He knows who his ‘Aunty Aoife’ is, knows that we’re going out even before we know ourselves and can instinctively tell whether he’s coming with us or not. (If he’s coming he waits by the front door, if he’s not he hides under the couch.) He knows walk, park and ‘go in the car’ and sits when we come to a road until he is told to cross.

He loves cuddles and will keep nudging your hand for more, but isn’t a snuggly dog, he won’t sit on your lap for hours, although loves to snuggle against our legs in bed (where he sleeps at the weekends).

Mia

Mia

When I started volunteering at the DSPCA I started to pine for a second dog. A friend for Ollie don’t you know. After bullying Rossa into eventually agreeing we contacted several rehoming organisations, including going back to Dogs in Distress. I think because we had kept in touch with them since we adopted Ollie we were given first choice on Mia.

We met Mia in the same foster home in November 2010. We fell in love immediately. How could you not! Mia is a Chihuahua Yorkie X and was surrendered by a family at 4 months old. The first few weeks Ollie was very jealous and we had to be careful not to give her too much attention, but bit by bit he realised she wasn’t going anywhere.

Mia all grown up

Mia all grown up

Mia is mental. Totally mental, but she is also the sweetest little thing you will ever come across. She is hyper and demanding, high maintenance and exhausting. She is also a bit thick. Alright, a lot thick. She barks at 5am at mysterious shadows in the garden and still isn’t 100% house-trained. Right now she won’t leave my hand alone as I try to type demanding cuddles.

When she gets really excited she climbs up on our shoulder and starts rolling around like she wants to cover herself in our scent. She wants ‘up’ all the time but will snuggle in against your neck or flop her head on your shoulder in a way that makes my heart melt. She is utterly adorable (even if she is crazy.)

She is besotted with Ollie and bullies him at the same time. When she gets excited she pulls at his ears, she bites his neck and pulls at his legs. But I think we can finally say they are friends. Kind of.

Waiting patiently to cross the road

Waiting patiently to cross the road