Helllloooo from sunny SUNNY Santorini!

Its been a curse AND a boon that our rather lovely apartment has a ‘pay as you go’ computer right outside our room! So you don’t even have to trudge off to an internet cafe! So of an evening, when I’ve soaked up as much sun as possible, or we’ve done the million and one things we are doing here (I shall report on Al forcing me 1000metres up a mountain, to look at some ruins which looked like a bunch of rocks, me moaning my way round the ancient site, and then trekking for an hour and a bit, in two o’clock heat, down the mountain like some suicidal Mountain Goat! Seriously… YES, Ok, I’m a drama queen but by god i’m lucky to be alive… HIM even more so I can tell you!!!)

Laying around for mucho hours when your life is usually a blur of activity, is not the easiest sometimes. Well, its easy for a while, and I’m loving it, but then my brain starts thinking… and a collection of ideas i’ve had for ages have merged into a big fat idea, a (hopefully) do’able idea, which i’m very excited about. Basic puppy classes, in an indoor riding school (for safety and so evenings can be used in winter!), but with a gundog twist! Small personal groups of max 6 probably (to offer far more attention than your average mass bundle puppy class….), from 12 weeks or so, all the stuff they need to learn but all themed towards them growing into little sponges with the fundamentals basically in place, such as: starting heelwork right…. not glued to you like for obedience, but gently and reliably ‘there’, and not thinking about going anywhere else! Early whistle commands. Loving the act of carrying things around. The idea that holding is a pleasure not something needing forcing later. Then owners can hopefully go on to, either just enjoy their dogs decent manners for everyday life, or start with gundog trainers who take them forward to greater things! But without a plunging, dropping, pulling, unreliable fool at their side 😉

Well thats the idea anyway! 😉 I’ve found, in my training experiences, one of the difficulties in dealing with novice owners and novice dogs and youngsters, is that the first few weeks, maybe months, are all about undoing what has already been learnt in various ways. Not because the owners have done anything wrong, but that what they have taught the dog is just not quite condusive with trying to have a go at gundog training. I’ve often (and owners have often!) said to me how they wish they had started out right. So maybe theres mileage in this. In the style of Puppy classes that a great many people go to….yes, absolutely, but these with gentle tweeking to make them gundog styley! 😉

News from home is that lucky old Tom had a lady love come calling this week….. I’m delighted AND dismayed he rose to the challenge without the slightest help from Mum, seen as she was one-hundred-million miles away! Good lad. That boy is turning into a bit of a humpety genius! Specialising hopefully in birds…. and BIRDS….. now where have I heard that before…? 😉

I’m a bit of a reading machine on holiday, now on novel five in five days, I’ve brought a few dog behavioural and training texts that i’m going to force myself to read between something slightly more exciting. Funny how I love collecting them but they so rarely get read!

Santorini is gorgeous, we visited some vineyards today and wineries and took a drive, VERY cautiously, round the island… (wine TASTING with little finger in the air – NOT wine guzzling I’ll have you know!!….) The island is tranquil and pretty sophisticated (what ARE we doing here then???!!! Grin…) however …. they do like their Karoke!!! So tonight, Matthew…. I am going to be ….. Annie Lennox!!!!!!! No REALLY……! (You should have heard my Bonnie Tyler on Weds night…. X-factor here we come!!!)

Off now as we are two hours infront of you so its WELL past wine o’clock!!! Byyyyeeeeee!

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