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skycat last won the day on June 14 2014

skycat had the most liked content!

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About skycat

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  1. skycat

    Red Squirrels

    Ah ha! So, wild, but habituated squirrels and there I was imagining you crawling in a gillie suit, freezing immobile like an SAS sniper and lying in wait for hours on end for a squirrel to pass by. Impressive shots all the same.
  2. skycat

    Red Squirrels

    Superb. Were they really taken outdoors? Look good enough for studio shots!!!
  3. Some things never change: the lurcher was known as a nasty, skulking thieving brute back in the 1700s, and the 'them and us' syndrome between landowner and those without land has been around ever since royalty and so-called nobility claimed all the land for themselves. Funny how landowners who own lurchers deem themselves above the law when it comes to illegal game, but those who don't own the land they hunt are just poachers.
  4. skycat

    Umbilical hernias

    Yes, bred from two with so called umbilical hernias. But there is a big difference between a true hernia, where the abdominal wall hasn't closed properly after birth, and the small fatty bobble you sometimes see on the umbilical site, which is where a tiny bit of fat/tissue (not the guts) has become trapped when the hole closed up. If you're not sure, get her checked by a vet.
  5. Not heard that expression before: dirty hunting. Curious as to why people would label lurcher work in this way. Hunting with dogs is one of the oldest methods of hunting. Is it because shooters etc look down their noses at those who hunt with lurchers, or does it merely refer to illegal hunting, poaching?
  6. But you are at least on mainland Europe and you have access to other countries where hunting with dogs is permitted without having to cross the Channel! Good luck with your pup. She looks bright and alert.
  7. skycat

    versatillaty in dogs.

    My dad told me about a Lab that lived out on the moors in Cornwall back in the early 50s in a very remote house. His owner was a slightly weird artist, but the dog was an incredible guard, though his main claim to fame was the fact that his owner sent him to fetch the paper from the newsagents every Sunday ... over 5 miles away along the main road. Of course, back then there was very little traffic along that coast road, but apparently the dog was well known for it. The owner also had a 'guard' raven, that sat on the roof and attacked anyone who approached the house!
  8. skycat

    Retrieve training

    And that's exactly the problem with training lurchers, as their temperaments and drive are so variable depending on how they are bred. There can't be a 'one size fits all' method when training lurchers. A novice owner who wants to get a handle on their own lurcher's nature would be best looking at how it is bred, and then speaking to as many people as possible about how to train those particular breeds, and even then, it's not simple, for so many lurchers are a composite of many breeds and a composite of different temperaments. A pup could start out by showing signs of total scattiness and later display traits which are recognisable from a breed that you didn't even know it had in its ancestry! billhardy, you got it in one: mental toughness makes life so much easier for us!
  9. skycat

    Retrieve training

    Keeping the hands positive is the most important, quite agree. Never using your hand to hit, even a light telling-off tap while the pup is growing up, and always being overjoyed when the pup comes to you, no matter how much of a pain in the arse it has been, winding you up etc. But I do use tennis balls as a retrieve game, and have never had a problem, though also play tug with old towels and socks etc. Every pup I've had has retrieved its first rabbit with no histrionics which I now believe has more to do with the fact that the pup sees me as the 'safe place' to bring its catch, and even if that first catch has been a manky old myxi rabbit, I still carry it home to let the pup see that its catch is valuable to me, before disposing of it when the pup is not around to see me bin it.
  10. skycat

    Camper van conversions

    They are truly lovely vehicles. Our bus stood for 3 years after my husband had a stroke. Never once turned the engine over. When my nephew arrived to get it taken for its MOT it started first time! Drove just fine, and the only thing it needed to go through its MOT was new brake lines. They really are built to last and last and last.
  11. skycat

    Let this be a lesson

    Yes, I hear what you're saying, but I've noticed that leg wounds, where there is very little underlying tissue before you reach bone, can cause problems if not properly treated. I've left various gashes on lower legs unsutured, because the skin was already too tight to stretch to cover the wound. Most times they have healed well, but I know of a couple of instances where that lack of tissue, and a damaged blood supply to the area, have caused problems such as proud flesh, which is where the tissues go mad and keep on growing, thereby stopping the skin covering the wound. I've also seen bad cuts just below the carpal pad keep opening up, again and again. In fact, there was one mentioned on this site, quite a few years ago now, where the dog eventually had to have its carpal pad removed,which is never a good option. I think that unless you are absolutely sure of your ability to diagnose and correctly treat a wound, it is best to go to a professional. That was all.
  12. skycat

    Camper van conversions

    Before we got our narrowboat, we were converting a Mercedes 604 minibus that had been a charity bus. Yes, there's a load of work involved in lining and insulating the windows to give more wall space for storage, and my nephew is currently finishing it off to live in himself. The thing is, whether you use a van or a bus, you still have to insulate and clad the walls inside, and windows can be blocked up, but the thing I particularly liked about the bus was that the walls were nigh on vertical, whereas most vans have walls that lean in, which makes it just that bit harder to hang shelves, cupboards etc. and that makes them feel smaller when you standing up. Just a thought.
  13. skycat

    Let this be a lesson

    Interesting question: whether or not you actually save money by getting a dog insured. I've had lurchers go through their whole lives without having to go to the vet, stapling minor wounds myself or letting them heal naturally and by keeping them clean with salt water. I've also paid ridiculous sums of money for operations. The last was to get a benign tumour removed from a lurcher; that cost £320, but as that bitch hadn't ever had to see a vet before and she is now over 9 years old, just imagine what she would have cost me in insurance fees over those years! My own vet says that you'd be better off sticking a certain amount of money in a savings account every month rather than paying for insurance. That makes a lot of sense, and if the dog is one of the lucky ones and hasn't cost you the money you've saved, then you've actually saved yourself a lot of money over the years. As for the dog with the wound around its carpal pad: I think I'd have taken it to be professionally sutured as well. Because right at that spot there is a lot of movement of skin and underlying tissue each time the dog puts its foot to the ground, especially at a gallop. If left to heal naturally, there would have been a lot of scar tissue which might not have been elastic enough to stretch and the scar could have split and broken down time after time.
  14. skycat

    1 good dog in a life time

    I think those who say they've only had one good dog can't be very good dog men or women, or maybe they've only had a couple of dogs! Sure, you'll get some that are better than others, but the best dogs are always owned by people how understand what their dogs' talents are and work them to those strengths, rather than trying to force the dog to behave in a way which isn't natural for it. Like trying to force an out and out hunter to only work on the lamp, or getting a coursing bred stamina animal and moaning when it hasn't got the take off speed to take rabbits in tiny fields. And a dog only gets to be any good if it's given the maximum amount of opportunities to learn and progress anyway, and some people give up while the dog is still learning: they can't all become brilliant overnight.
  15. How lovely to hear such good news. It's horrible going through any illness and not being sure of the outcome. So pleased everything has turned out so well. Best wishes to you both.