Getting a Dog | Pupdate

I love dogs, like LOVE them. I have never wanted children, totally not my thing. Dogs are my thing. We had Peggy dog from 2004-2013 and when we lost her we were so devastated that up until recently, we haven’t felt ready to have another pupster in the house. There were lots of other factors and things to consider and the time never really felt right, but in the last few months things, things have changed and the upshot is that last weekend we started the search for a doggy to share our lives with. Here’s the story so far:

Sunday 8th April 2018

OK, today is the day we start our search for a dog. As Peggy dog was a rescue, we have decided to try and adopt another dog. However, we drove past the place we got Peggy from yesterday and there were protestors outside brandishing banners that said things like “Dogs Die Here”. So maybe we won’t go there! We decided to go to The Dogs Trust in Manchester instead here:

When we arrived it was MASSIVE with plenty of parking and many branded vehicles outside. However inside the experience was a little…clinical. It was a huge double height building, with big indoor areas containing park benches and places to exercise dogs (presumably). But there was no reception as such and the staff we did see where dealing with other people or doing other things. It also wasn’t very clear where the dogs where at first, as we thought we could see kennels, but not many dogs. We were sort of separated from the perspex kennels by a walkway and a wall. The wall contained mounted iPads which held each dog’s photograph, story, and sometimes a short video, but the actual dog was more often than not, not visible in the kennel. We didn’t know what to do, so to be honest, after a short look round, we left. I am sure it works very well for lots of people as there is no doubt it’s an excellent facility, but for me, it was more like a school or hospital and I personally, didn’t get a good vibe. Shame.

We sat in the car and decided we would remain positive and try the Dogs Trust in Merseyside here:

From the start our visit here was much more successful as it was busier and there seemed to be many more dogs to look at. They were in more traditional kennels, which meant it was easier to see the dogs and to get an idea of size and temperament. We walked around for a while, saying hello to each dog in turn, trying hard to resist the urge to kidnap every pair of sad doggie eyes and waggy tails we saw. Do you know what was really interesting, the main 2 type of dogs that we saw in both Dogs Trust centres were Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Lurchers! It’s a shame as neither of these breeds appeal to us for different reasons.

However, towards the of our time there, we came across a terrier cross called Dexter.

I think we can all agree he’s pretty cute. We went to the office and spoke to a staff member and she told us that he hadn’t been properly assessed yet, but after checking she told us a bit about him, including the worrying news that he had shown aggression towards children. M & I have 2 nieces under 13 and so we quickly realised that unfortunately Dexter would not find his forever home with us. Sad times. However after visiting the Merseyside centre, we left more hopeful and decided to continue our search another day.

Saturday 14th April 2018

Today’s dog search took us a little further afield, as during the week both people in my office and one of my Twitter friends had suggested alternative rescue centres for us to try. The first one being Freshfields Animal Sanctuary here:

It took us a little longer to get there than usual for 2 reasons, one being today is Grand National Day and the second one being, despite Sat Nav, I took a wrong turn and ended up in Race Day traffic! ANYWAY…. we arrived at Freshfields and there wasn’t any parking, which was ok as we parked in a little lane nearby. We followed the signs for the entrance, but the first odd thing was that we had ring a doorbell for someone to let us in. It turns out, they don’t have any public viewing facilities and they kicked off by asking if we had seen a dog we liked on the website. We hadn’t.  We were then shown to reception and given a folder of prospective dogs to look through, then if we liked any of them, and we met the criteria, the dog would be brought out to meet us. I don’t know why, but this felt like I was hiring a prostitute in a brothel. 😣

But we politely perused the books just in case, but ultimately left with a slightly odd feeling. *sighs*. So our final place that someone had told me about was a place called Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary in Ramsbottom.  So we set off, wondering what on earth we would find when we got there.

Bleakholt is here:

Again, despite Sat Nav, it was a little tricky to find, especially because my route took me up a large hill and down some tiny country lanes, but as it turned out, that was exactly right and we did end up in the right place! Bleakholt was lovely, it’s positioned with 360° stunning views and not only rescues dogs and cats, but some large and small animals too.

We found reception and a lovely lady told us all about the rehoming procedure and where all the kennels where. Bleakholt probably had about 20-25 dogs for adoption and the place was packed out with prospective owners. There were lots of staff/volunteers around and about and it was a lovely place to visit. We even met a sheep:

But despite the good vibes, we didn’t find a dog for our family. 🐶 We did however, sit on a bench in the sunshine and start to formulate another plan…..

You might just have to keep your eye on gilliblogs.co.uk to see what happens next… I for one am VERY excited!!!

Mood:

via GIPHY

 

Follow:

An 80th Celebration & A Musical Surprise

So on Saturday we travelled to a little town just outside Wrexham in North Wales to celebrate the 80th birthday of on of our lovely family friends. She’s had a tough couple of years with one thing and another and so to turn up to find her enjoying a lovely party with an Afternoon Tea theme was a joy.

What was most unexpected was the surprise performance that her daughters had booked for her and I have to say I was blown away! They were called A Handbag of Harmonies:

They were led by the wonderful Matt Baker and after their heart exploding rendition of Shine by Take That (Swipe left on the above Insta to hear)… I was just blown away. They were incredible and if you are looking for something different for your next event, and you just want to smile for 20 minutes… then look no further. Loved every single minute!

G x

Follow:

Yippee!!! Finished work for 2017!

Ok so if you follow me on social media at all, you might have guessed that yesterday I worked my last day in 2017! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job at The Prince’s Trust and I have been mad busy doing new cool stuff since October, travelling the UK having cool adventures. However, as much as I do love my job, I love being at home and spending all day with M more. MUCH MORE.

So we have a full 17 days off work together and we realised this morning, we have lots of relaxing and wonderful things to look forward to, namely:

  • Christmas card swap breakfast tomorrow
  • A mini-break to Harrogate
  • Christmas Eve party with my fam
  • Christmas & Boxing Day with all the fam
  • A mini-break to Chester
  • Lots of lovely time off doing nothing.

Christmas really is my favourite time of the year, our house is looking twinkly and it’s tends to be the only time all year where we have a full 2 weeks break. I love it.

We are visiting Harrogate for the 3rd time at Christmas as we ended up there December 2015 after a failed trip to Wetherby. We are going for a few nights and it’s such a great way to wind down before the whole Christmas parade kicks in. We are staying again at the White Hart Hotel as it’s right in the centre of Harrogate and within walking distance of most things.

Whilst we are there, we are also going to watch The Last Jedi at the cinema as for the last 2 pre-Christmas trip there, the latest Star Wars film has been out and this year is no different. Tickets are already booked and I can’t wait.

I have to admit though, that I feel a bit guilty as I haven’t been doing much with my You Tube Channel since October and I don’t feel fab about that. With so much on I just haven’t had the head space to get creative. But it’s not the end of the world is it,  I am sure once the new year rolls around, I will be able to kick it back into life!

Hope you have got something fab planned for your Christmas time and remember that if Christmas isn’t your thing or it just gives you the sads. Then it’s just another day.

Call the Samaritan. It’s ok not to be ok.

Follow:

Getting a Dog: Update!

I blogged last week that we had decided to get another dog. One of the criteria for whether or not we would get a dog in September or next year, was whether or not I got offered a new job at work….

Well the bittersweet news is that I DID get offered the job and so we are going to get a dog in the Spring of 2018. Whilst I am really pleased about being promoted and excited to start something new, I am also disappointed that a doggo won’t be joining our family for a while yet. Quite a few people have been asking what type of dog we would like and the honest answer is we aren’t sure. Our lovely neighbours have just got a puppy, who is the cutest thing alive, but I am not sure we want a puppy and whilst reputable dog breeders are great, I think we are leaning towards getting a rescue dog.

I just love the idea of giving an abandoned dog a home and we just have to hope that we find a pupster that isn’t as high maintenance as Peggy was! If anything, I would like a dog that is not a handbag dog, but not taller than me and a non-shedding dog would be ideal. But I have a sneaky feeling I will go to the rescue centre and just fall in love.

Here’s hoping.

G x

Follow:

Seeing our Anfield Forever Stone

On Saturday we had such a special day as we went to the new Fan Zone at  Liverpool Football Club (aka Anfield) and we say the stone with a special inscription which has now been laid and forms part of the brand new fan zone. M actually bought it almost a year ago and so today was a big day as we got to see it in situ.

I filmed a vlog as I just had to capture the day… enjoy:

 

Follow:

The “Getting a New Dog” Plan

2008

Is it obvious what this post is about from the title? But first let me tell you about Peggy.

Peggy was a German Shepherd/Whippet cross-breed dog that we had from June 2004 until February 2013. Michael gave her to me as my 30th birthday present and honestly she was such a lovely dog, that she gave us utter joy and devotion on a daily basis.

She was, let’s say “high maintenance” in terms of temperament as she was VERY accident prone, had desperate separation anxiety and was submissive and destructive when stressed. BUT, she had such a sweet, friendly nature  and when we went out, small children would often want to come over and stroke her – she never minded.

Peggy was actually a 5-year-old rescue dog when she arrived and we never really knew anything about her history, other than her owners hadn’t got time to deal with her. We lost her in February 2013 on the Friday of my very first week at The Prince’s Trust. We have missed her so much since she went and she will never be replaced – but maybe it’s time to add another animal to our family…..

*drum roll*

We have decided to get another dog!!!!! But not yet. You see, in my current job, I work from home quite a lot, which would be ideal to settle a new dog in, but I am currently waiting to hear the results from an interview I had at work for a secondment to another role. If I am successful, it means I will be working away from home for periods, which isn’t ideal for a new dog. So the plan is this:

  1. If I don’t get offered the job, when are off in September for a week, we will get a dog then. (OMG)
  2. If I DO get offered the job, then we will get one when the secondment is over, which will be early next year. If this is the case, we might actually wait until the weather picks up, as getting a new dog in the depths of winter perhaps isn’t ideal.

There are also a couple of practical things we need to do to prepare for a dog too. Our living room looks out onto our garden with french doors and this is the way we access the garden. We have carpet in the living room and I am pretty sure it would be filthy in five minutes with a dog coming in and out all the time. So one of the things we need to do is get the carpet taken up and a wooden floor put down instead. Mops at the ready.

So there it is, the job situation is win/win really. Dog in September if I don’t get it and dog next year if I don’t. But more importantly DOG!!!!! Yippee!!!!!

G x

 

 

Follow:

A Few Days in Keswick

What a wonderful few days away we have had this week, as on Tuesday we made our way to Keswick for a little break. M’s middle sister turned 50 on the 23rd and all the family were invited to stay with her and her husband for a few days. Lovely.

M actually has 2 sisters, both with partners and is lucky enough to still have his mum & dad. We all stayed in a self-catering property called Fernbank House, which is part of a quad of properties all owned by the same person in and around Keswick. M’s sister booked it because we had stayed in the sister property River Cottage a couple of years ago and it was just lovely.

We arrived around lunchtime and after a buffet lunch, we all decided to go and play crazy golf in Hope Park as M had cunningly devised a scoring system. The weather, it had to be said was HOT and much MUCH hotter than expected. I actually burnt my arm it was so hot!!

It’s fair to say the weather in the Lakes was better than expected #lovethelakes #lakedistrict #sunburn

A post shared by Gill Lysons ? (@gilliblogs) on

After the Crazy Golf we went home and as this was the actual day of M’s sister’s birthday, her husband had arranged for an outside caterer to come and make us Dinner. ?

The menu consisted of:

Starter
Trout with Asparagus & potato salad

Main
Saddle of Lamb with Dauphinoise Potatoes & seasonal vegetable

Dessert

Profiteroles with lemon cream and white chocolate curls

Every single bit of food was delicious and was made by Laura in the Lakes. She has a coffee shop/cafe in the centre of Keswick, a cake making business as well as doing outside catering.

Laura did know in advance that I was lactose intolerant, so as a delicious alternative she did new potatoes for me with my main (Dauphinoise contains cream)  and for dessert she gave me a lemon and blueberry cake with strawberries, which was divine!!! I am only sorry I don’t have pictures to show you, I was too busy shoving it in my face!!!

M’s mum also had a birthday cake made for M’s sis as you can tell, she loves travelling and is going to see the gorillas (in the wild) for her main birthday present.

On our second day, we all did our own thing in the early part of the day and M and I went off to Keswick for a wander round and we ended up in Fitz park just enjoying the warm weather and the amazing feeling of having nothing to do. But we had to make sure we were back at the house in plenty of time, as we were booked in to Armathwaite Hall again for afternoon Tea at 3pm. It was a slightly larger affair this time, with their being 8 of us and full disclosure, we got off to a bumpy start as the sandwiches they brought me were ones I didn’t like (egg mayo, tuna & sweetcorn & something indeterminable) so I had to wait for quite a while to get anything to eat. Then they told me the cakes were dairy free, but I wasn’t convinced and sure enough I was poorly at the end of the meal. ?

However, the staff were wonderful and the afternoon was a lovely and honestly for around £25 per person, I don’t think you can get better.

In the evening we spent some time just hanging out and the boys even went for fish & chips. It’s funny isn’t it, before they went no-one was hungry, at the mention of chips, 6/8 hands went up to put their chippy order in!!! Could we be more English?!

I had also done a quiz for everyone in the evening and it was won by M’s eldest sister, who was double chuffed. Competitive should have been her middle name.

We finished our trip with another walk to Whinlatter Forest where  the first mission of the day was to find a missing diary. M’s mum lives by her diary – she asks for one every Christmas with an attached pen and her (and our) whole life is written in it. So you can imagine how mortified she was on Wednesday night when she couldn’t find it. We turned the house upside down, but no luck.

However, when we got to Whinlatter we asked at the desk to see if it had seen it (MIL had been there the day before) and sure enough some kind soul had handed it in. THRILLED!!!

Anyway… the last time we were at Whinlatter we did the Red route and on Thursday we did the Blue route, both marked as moderate, both very strenuous to me. However it was idyllic in the sunshine, no matter how hard the very steep and windy uphills were at the end, and we even had a mini photo shoot half way round!!!

We set off for home about 2ish with a smile on our faces and just thrilled that M’s sister and her husband invited us to spend some time with them for J’s birthday. M is so lucky to have such a kind and caring family. Also if you ever have a chance to visit the Lake District, then do. It’s my favourite place in the whole world as it’s a beautiful as it is green and exfoliates my brain every single time we visit.

G x

Follow: