Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nautical setters

Big one, that one...

Yeah, right, big fishing boat, maybe?...

Tug boat approaching port quarter...

Tug boat...ahoy!

Starboard seagull one o'clock! Aye, aye captain!

Steady on course, it is...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Miserable weather...

It's so rainy, cold and miserable again today I just have to cheer myself up with this picture of Nobu in the sunny spring weather of a few days ago. Today I took the dogs for a long morning walk and they were soaked and soiled with dirt kicked up from the road and park, so I've shampooed them down before breakfast and they're on the sofa relaxing now, while I have to attack the pile of dishes in the sink and take out the trash. Blogging right now is pure procrastination!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Higashiogijima Dogrun

Yokohama dog runs leave so much to be desired, I find myself driving on the expressway to neighboring Kawasaki to enjoy the dogrun in the park. There's also a beach and Claire likes to swim after the waterfowl too, and then dry off in the dog run again.  Planes and boats go steaming by along with many kinds of birds, so both dogs really make full use of the run, getting good healthy exercise and mental stimulus, while I get to rest my weary bones on the bench.
Claire arrived from the CACI gundog rescue shelter a full eight months ago now, and her coat has improved incredibly, her tail is soft and silky and flowing. She has very fine downy hair, and it looks great in the wind. She's got a matronly air of satisfaction and confidence, a happy, beautiful English setter.
Meanwhile Nobu loves to play, lolloping round the dogrun, barking furiously, rolling in the grass and generally catching up on his lost childhood, nurturing the inner puppy. He's such a warm softie, gets me all mellow and protective. He's at his happiest playing with other friends, here with a friendly Saluki.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I've been bloggin rescued English setters Nobunaga and Claire almost daily since August last year when Claire arrived from the setter pointer gundog rescue CACI in Chiba. Before Nobu and Claire in response to the Tohoku disaster we were caring for darling English setter Sofie, who sadly passed away two months after we adopted her. I think the pictures in this blog show how much Nobu and Claire are loved and appreciated, and how they have grown to feel relaxed and happy in their forever home.

Now I'd like to devote my energies to my work as the new term begins, and my dancing chacha to celebrate my fiftieth birthday in December, so I won't be blogging every day any more. Many of the pictures in the blog are classics, as I've tried to highlight the beauty and grace of setters, and I'll be scrolling back through the months from time to time to enjoy the pictures myself.

The rescue shelter desperately needs volunteers to walk the many dogs still waiting for adoption, and if you live in or near Ichikawa, Chiba, please lend a hand, or consider adopting one of these gorgeous darlings for your own home. Meanwhile, thank you for visiting my blog: enjoy :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cherry Blossoms

 The day started off freezing and with blue skies, and the two pictures below are from Okamura park which was recommended on FM Yokohama as a cherry viewing spot this weekend: I never noticed the cherry blossoms before, but with the dogs I walk by there often, so I decided to check it out. It's not that big an area so perhaps no hanami crowds, but nice flat lawn and low hanging trees to picnic under. Meanwhile every year I go with friends to Kuraki park pictured above, but it was so cold most people left really soon and the sky was dull and overcast, so I had Claire on my lap to keep warm :)

Buddy and Lisa come to play

 On our walk this morning we met up with Buddy and LIsa and they dropped by our garden to play...Nobu was thrilled, and he and Buddy had fun playing tug of war with toys, chasing each other round and round the house, weaving in and out of the shrubs. Meanwhile Lisa and Claire are two of a kind, calm and unfazed by the wild young things disturbing the morning peace, pottering around quietly sniffing and enjoying the sunshine. I hope they drop by again soon, these four make a good combination :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Gale force winds

 In spite of the clear blue skies and gorgeous sunshine we were buffeted by gale force winds yesterday. The dogs weren't really able to concentrate on their training with all the wild spring scents, plus I admit I haven't been reinforcing training throughout the week. I decided they needed a dose of freedom, and we went out. The washing was flapping gaily in the wind, and I didn't realize just how strong the winds were until we got to the deserted dog run...the tennis ball I tossed was rolled along the grass, the birds had trouble flying, the sea was choppy, and my hair was flying all over the place getting in the way so I couldn't see the picture I was taking. Fortunately it didn't stop the dogs having fun. Claire prefers to have the run to herself, rimming the fence happily, whereas if there are other dogs she sits down and sticks close to me or hides somewhere, but equally since Nobu has arrived she feels she needs to set an example, so she roves all over the run, and even teases him with a ball, so he goes wild chasing her.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Garden

 Claire guards the door lounging in the sun waiting for our training session with Dodo sensei. The spiraea japonica are in full bloom, the literal translation of the name is snow willow, far prettier than the genus.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rabies Shots

Both dogs had their rabies shots at the local community hall today. After our usual morning walk we got collared up, and I took with me the 2 postcards each (4 in all) informing us of the time and place for the shots and rabies tag, plus the dogs' green envelopes with their registration number which remains the same for as long as they live. When we got there about fifteen or so dogs and their owners were waiting in line for things to start at ten, and we waited in line chatting to black lab Honey and her owner who we often see on morning walks. In no time a lady came by with jags stuffed in her pocket, and she asked me to hold the dog still so they couldn't see the shot...but with two on the leash, it was a bit tricky...she jabbed the needle in in no time, grabbing the dogs by the scruff of the neck, one two, in and out, and we were free to move on to pay our 7000yen at the booth. I was surprised it all went so smoothly and painlessly, over in a twinkling and the dogs were no bother whatsoever. Nobu enjoyed saying hello to friends as an added bonus.
Since it was all over so quickly I decided to pop down to Kamiooka on an errand, and to walk down with the dogs. We've been down once before, and they enjoyed the walk, although when we got to the crowded areas with cars coming I had to keep my eyes and ears open to heel the dogs and make sure they were safe (not all roads here have pavements for pedestrians). I tied them up outside the store right beside the big main road on the other side of the fence, and kept popping out to check up on their "Wait", with tidbits to encourage them. I must have been in and out about four times in all , so it was really good training for waiting patiently in crowds and with noisy traffic close by. They were great.
In the early afternoon we then went to the local store for some groceries, and the dogs waited outside again...only this time I sat with them and took this snapshot. 13705 steps today and they're still on the go - where do they get the energy from?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nobu growing up

Nobu at the dog run: while Claire looked on, he played in turn with a whippet, running like the wind, then a fat little shiba, barking excitedly and taking turns playing tag, and finally a schnauzer who chased his ball while Nobu chased him, and they got to kissing each other and rolling around playbiting ever so gently. I was so busy enjoying watching I didn't take pictures, so here are Nobu and Claire looking longingly after a heron which flew over to the river. The cherries are blossoming, hooray!

Monday, April 2, 2012


One thing I love about walking the dogs is how everyone we meet compliments them on how beautiful they are...I couldn't agree more :P

Sunday, April 1, 2012

After the storm

We were very fortunate yesterday to be in from our morning walk and visit to the vet before the storm, which got progressively wilder with lashing rain and fearful winds...the plum blossoms have been decimated even as the cherry begins to bloom. I kept the dogs busy with a kangaroo tailbone each. Round four it had subsided and we got out for a nice walk, fortunately without meeting any cats, and popped into Anjing for a coffee on the way home. The dogs were delighted, and devoured their plate in no time. We got home just before six, and the rain set in again in the evening, so we got the best of the weather on our walks.