Hello

Today I heard Adele’s new song, called Hello. She has been away for a while and so have I. Which is why I thought it would be appropriate to name my first post in months the same as her first song.

The reason I have been AWOL is that I suffered a loss. And to me it was such a huge loss it just knocked me sideways. My beloved boxer dog, Bessie, suddenly began to show signs of being unwell. I took her to the vet and she was in kidney failure. I was devastated. Within the next week or so she deteriorated rapidly, despite spending a lot of time in doggy hospital. At the beginning of June, aged just two years and two months Bessie passed away. She had Juvenile Kidney Disease which has been badly affecting the boxer community but until it touched our lives I was completely unaware of it.

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Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know that apart from knitting, my favourite thing to post photos of was my morning walks with Bessie in the fields. As it was coming up to the summer holidays I decided I would take some time out and come back to my knitting in the autumn, hopefully recovered and refreshed.

After a few weeks I realised, not only did I miss MY dog, but I also missed having A dog. The walks and the companionship. The need to leave the house everyday for a spot of exercise and fresh air regardless of the weather or how I was feeling. We decided to give puppy walking a go for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Last month Yuma arrived. A little ball of energy that my son very aptly described as ‘Adorable but annoying’! I guess we had forgotten how different having a puppy is to having an adult dog! We are getting into a bit more of a routine now though.

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It has meant, however, that I have had less time for my knitting pattern writing than I am used to. Sometimes this can get a little frustrating! I have ideas whirling around my head and I just don’t have the time to work through them quickly enough. I have been working on a couple of new accessory sets, consisting of headband, short cowl and boot toppers.

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The sets are both up for testing in my Ravelry group – Designs By Emma.  I am always looking out for new test knitters, so if you are interested please sign up to any of the open tests or in the Testers thread for future patterns.   I am really excited to get something new released. Watch this space! I do promise not to be gone for quite so long next time!

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Bessie’s travels

As we prepare to begin our final outing of the year in our caravan I thought I should update you on Bessie’s travels over the summer. We first went to Bridlington.

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Then we went to Alnwick with the most gorgeous beach – Embleton Bay

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We still have a trip to the lakes booked. Bessie is going to be one well travelled dog!!

Bessie the Boxer update

Bessie has been growing in the weeks since I have updated this last.

She has a cushion in the corner of the kitchen which she loves to sleep on & will also take stolen items back to. In the photo she has one of my shoes!

We have been going on a regular walk on a Sunday afternoon with my friend Helen & her lurched Ruby. She is a lovely dog, but puts Bessie in her place when she gets too boisterous.

Bessie has started her puppy training classes. She is a star at sitting, coming when called, shaking hands, giving a high five & doing a twirl. This week we have been working on lying down & she is getting the hang of it very quickly. There is a bull terrier at training & Bessie has really taken a liking to him. I have to work very hard to keep her away from him & get her to concentrate.

With all the hot weather I treated Bessie to her first ever ice cream. I put some puppy milk in a plastic container & froze it. Bessie licked it to death!!

I bought her a new purple ball which holds treats & makes a noise when it rolls. At first Bessie just barked at it but she soon got the idea. Now she will chase it around for hours.

We have just bought a caravan & are getting excited about going away this summer. In preparation we bought Bessie a travel crate which will also be her bed in the awning at night. It seems so big at the moment – Caitlin & Bessie can get in it together! No doubt she will grow into it soon enough.

We took Bessie for her first ever walk on the beach. She seemed to like the feeling of walking on the sand, but wasn’t so sure about all the noise the sea made!

As she was growing so big I had to buy her a new day bed instead of the small cushion she had been using. She dragged it around & scratched at it, she even had a wee on it. But eventually she decided it was comfy enough for snoozing on.

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Bessie the boxer week 6

13 weeks old

Height: 37cm
Length: 48cm
Weight: 10.1kg

I haven’t had much time to myself recently which is why this hasn’t been updated.

A couple of weekends ago it was my daughters 10th birthday. To celebrate we had a few family & friends round for some food. Bessie loved all the attention she was getting. Lots of fussing from the adults, lots of chasing around & playing with the kids. Unfortunately my daughter wasn’t so impressed! Bessie was taking all the attention away from her!

One of the highlights over the past few weeks has been Bessie going out for her first ever walk. My husband was luckily able to get home for this momentous occasion. We went altogether as a family and walked her in the woods. She loved chasing after the children & running through the long grass.

Since that first walk Bessie has learnt to show us that she wants to go out by sitting by the front door. If we get her lead out she goes crazy!! My friend has been looking after her for part of the day now that she can go out. She comes to my house and walks her back to hers. When I have finished work I walk round to collect her. Combining walks with a cuppa with my friend suits both Bessie and I!!

We have been trying to take Bessie with us when we go out as much as possible. She has been into the town a couple of times & an out of town shopping park. She loves to go in the car where she sits on the back seat, in between the kids, with her head on one of their knees.

Only 6 more weeks until we will be taking Bessie on her first ever camping trip – I can’t wait!

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Bessie the boxer week 4

11 weeks old

Height: 34cm
Length: 41cm
Weight: 7.4kg

Another busy week and Bessie continues to grow before our eyes. I am still having trouble keeping her still long enough to take her measurements. I think her length was wrong last week. if only she wasn’t such a wriggle bum!!

She is getting into a bit more of a routine. She still wants to be up from 5am onwards. That’s fine during the week, but I still wish she could understand weekends! She is sleeping in longer stretches through the night too. I even managed a single block of four hours once!!

I have been doing some supply teaching. It has killed me to leave Bessie in the mornings, but I know she is well looked after. The very wonderful Veronica who lives next door comes in to let Bessie out, feed her & play with he for a while. In the evenings, after we have spend some time playing and cuddling Bessie thinks it is perfectly acceptable to help me with my planning by trying to chew the wire for the school laptop. Not a good idea Bessie! Time to put it away & wait until she is asleep. Another late night coming up!!

It is comical to watch Bessie going up and down the stairs. She tackles them very much in the same way I imagine a kangaroo would. Her front legs move independently, but the back to bounce up or down the stairs, boing boing boing!!

Bessie has been finding some strange places to sleep. On top of the storage boxes under my bed is a firm favourite. I just hope she doesn’t get wedged in there. Another is the laundry basket. Much more understandable & less likely to cause injury!

We went to the vets for her second injection & microchipping this week. She wasn’t too keen on the car but coped well. The injection wasn’t a problem but the microchip was definitely felt, despite the vet trying to distract her with some treats.

Saturday 15th my husband comes home from work for a few days. So we will all be able to take Bessie out for her first ever walk as a family 🙂

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Bessie the Boxer Week 3

10 weeks old

Weight: 7kg
Height: 32cm
Length: 41cm

The kids have been on holiday this week so have been spending plenty of time with Bessie, wearing her out :). She has especially enjoyed being in the back garden when the weather is nice. Bessie still doesn’t like the rain or cold. She has grown into her rain coat a bit more, but is not impressed with being made to wear it.

My little bundle of joy doesn’t understand the concepts of weekends, holidays or lie-ins. So she has been trying to get me to play anytime between 5 & 6 am. She does this by putting he front paws on the bed next to my head and barking. The odd swipe at my head thrown in for good measure. OK, so i get up and what does she do – goes straight back to sleep! Not funny Bessie!!

We have been practising walking around on the lead in readiness for when we will finally be able to go out for walks. Th first time she was terrified of the open front door, but now she enjoys a little trot around the front garden.

Bessie has continued to earn her nickname Messi, enjoying games of football with anyone who is willing. Callum and his friends are her usual opponents. Although, her favourite England football came to an unfortunate death this week.

We have been making some progress on the toilet training, especially at night. She tends to sleep for around two hours at a time. If I hear her and wake straight up I can get her out without any accidents. She will happily go out, do what is needed and come back into bed straight away. On the few occasions I haven’t woken quickly enough Bessie has just sat at the back door. I know I will find a wet patch somewhere & I am sure I can hear her saying “too late!”

Next week we have our second visit to the vets for jabs & microchipping. We can nearly go for walkies 🙂

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Bessie the Boxer Week 2

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9 weeks old

Weight: 5.1kg
Height: 29.5cm
Length: 38cm

Another full on exhausting week! Bessie seems to be literally growing in front of my eyes! Every time I look at her she seems taller & more grown up. And when I pick her up to carry her down the stairs she seems to be heavier by the day.

But the way she moves around still reminds me so much of a toddler who is all gangly legs. The stage when their body is growing so fast they never seem to know their own parameters and so constantly fall over or move about in an incredibly clumsy way. Bessie is just like that as she runs around the garden chasing her ball. She runs head first into it and ends up falling tail over head. Or the bizarre way she tries to scratch her front leg with her back one. She lifts her leg, doesn’t quite reach and ends up toppling over sideways. Sometimes she does it in such a way I think she is going to poo and it sends me flying towards her shouting “No!” Confusing the poor girl mid-scratch!

Last week we discovered Bessie is not bothered by the Hoover. This week whilst sweeping down the decking we discovered she is not so laid back when it comes to brooms. Maybe it was the unusual noise as the bristles moved on the wood, but Bessie went into full-on attack mode. Front legs down, bum up I the air and barking as if her life depended upon it.

She is discovering new skills all the time. She can climb up and down the few steps from the decking to the grass. When going down she kind of gets a momentum going and is unable to stop until she reaches the bottom. She is also able to go up the stairs inside the house. She struggles with the bottom step which is bare wood, but once she is onto the carpet on the next step there is no stopping her!

This week we have been trying to learn how to play fetch. We have gone from throwing the tennis ball and Bessie just sitting and looking at us as if to say “and?” She will now chase after the ball but isn’t quite sure what to do with it when she reaches it. But give her a football and she is happy to chase it around for ages. Obviously more of a football than a tennis fan. This has caused Callum & his friends to nickname her Messi!

A major milestone this week was our first trip to the vets for her jabs. She caused a bit of a stir with her utter cuteness. When we arrived we had a little bit of a wait as there was a full grown boxer already in with the vet. When he came out the difference in size was astounding! Bessie wasn’t too impressed with the injection but she coped well. Lets hope the second visit goes just as smoothly.

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