Isn’t he lovely? Max is a Golden Labrador Retriever. We took him into foster care recently, with a view to adopt. While his background is unknown, he is thought to be approximately two years of age, and one would hope he’d better be fully grown.

He’s pretty big already, and very strong. While he is generally very gentle and a quick learner, his urge to hasten towards other dogs frightens them, and his overpowering urge towards any decent size puddle or pond makes him very hard to control.

We decided not to keep him, but the dog isn’t really to blame. He’s been extremely gentle, kind and good-natured, grateful and totally loveable, and completely uninterested in the cat. The cat wasn’t able to return the favour though; poor little thing spend hours in panic-induced cramps with eyes as big as saucers. Max didn’t beg, didn’t chew the furniture, howl or bark at night. He settled in within an hour, relaxed, ate and slept, and was able to respond to some basic commands, at least to some extend, immediately.

In a combination of realization of his size and strength, a good amount of new dog owners’ reality check towards the romantic vision, and mercy on the cat, we decided not to keep him. Maybe we’ll try again with a smaller breed, some day. When we do, I am pretty sure we’ll compare the new dog and say Max had a better character. It’ll be hard to compete, but unfortunately, this one just isn’t working for us right now.

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Cavia Porcellus Update

c-and-pI just realised that I have two almost identical photos of myself with Castor (bottom) and Pollux (top), how nice.

You might know that Pollux died in January. Still makes me sad when I see him, he was such a beauty. (And one greedy little gourmand, too!)

I shall team up with the W7 in-house photography department for a similar set of photos once the little General and Castor move back into the great outdoors. They still enjoy their winter holidays in the relative warmth and comfort of our hall, and the little General isn’t little at all any more.


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Cavia Porcellus Update

theBoysSome of you have wondered how the two Guinea pigs are getting along in the snow and cold, and I am happy to report that they are getting on fine in the relative warmth of our hall. It’s too cold outside, especially for the little one which hasn’t had a chance to grow a fat layer or winter fur.

I am mighty proud of them. I really am. They didn’t have much of the gentle step-by-step introductions, but were housed together in a cage pretty quickly (on account of the weather turning cold and snowy). After 36 hours of very high excitement with constant squealing and running about, sniffing and calling each other, but without any significant fighting, they settled in incredibly well. The older one clearly adopted the little one, giving shelter and protection, and the little one clearly accepted. They even call each other when I take one out of their cage, how sweet is that?

So, all is well. All we need now is a turn to milder weather so that they can return to their larger run in the garden.


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DSC_0009Many of you will know about the considerable difficulties administering a pill to a cat (for those who don’t, here’s the classic tale of How to Give A Cat A Pill). Many of you will know about the ease of wrapping a pill into bacon for administering a pill to a dog, but how do you give antibiotics to a Guinea Pig?


Grab it under the front arms and lift it. The little bugger will squeak, thus open its mouth. Squirt the medicine into the mouth using a small syringe, and your furry friend goes Nom nom nom food!

Pollox cut his ear somehow, so I took him to the vet to have the dangling bits of ear trimmed off, and to get some antibiotics for him. Great stuff from the vet by the way: rung 9:06 AM on New Year’s Eve, saw the good doctor at 9:30, back home 9:56. Brilliant short-notice service! (

Happy New Year!


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Castor & Pollux

Castor (bottom) and Pollux (top)Meet Castor and Pollux, the Gemini twins, who have now taken up residence in my study while I am building their outdoors pen. Two Guinea Pig boys. Castor is a mostly black British Shorthair with a white curl right on top of his head, Pollux is a salt-and-pepper Abyssinian with big curls, making his hair stand up straight where the curls meet. Both are very lovely, but only Pollux is immortal. 

The boys settle in really well. They quickly learned to associate my voice with food; now we are learning about trust and about being held. One little step at the time, but the speed of progress is very nice. I buy their sympathies with food, of course. Regrettably, they don’t like celery greens very much, of which we have an abundance in the garden.

Dandelions and Sow Thistle are already a thing of the past in our garden. I have now taken to roaming the streets…

Oh, and fighting also seems to be a thing of the past. They fought heavily for little over an hour (with breaks and loud squeals) and appear to have established a hierarchy now. Not sure if the last word is said on that already, as the dominant one, Pollux (shown on top as is fit for his rank), is more shy than the more inquisitive Castor.

More pictures are right here.


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