News from MagsandRio

  1. I walked from Siena to Rome, Sept 2014. It was nothing like the Camino Frances, very lonely, I only met 2 other pilgrims. There was comparatively little in the way of infrastructure and it was frustrating to see restaurants, water fountains etc. in the guidebook and discover closed or non-existent when we arrived there. We ended up carrying a lot more food and water as a result. The landscape was beautiful but it was up to 30' each day in late September with very little shade. Almost nobody spoke English so you would need to have a basic level of Italian to get by. Arriving in Rome to me was a big anti climax, you are just one of thousands of tourists. Things may have improved in almost 10 years but I would say it's a path for people who are strong, fit and prepared to put up with a bit of hardship and loneliness.

  2. My dog was diagnosed at 2 and lived a great life to 14 with epilepsy. She was on phenobarb and potassium bromide all her life, but once we got the seizures under control, she never had any ever again. She finally succumbed to a brain tumour at 14, but I doubt it was related to the epilepsy, just old age. Hope this helps, I was heartbroken and so worried when she had her first seizures, but she is absolute proof that it's a condition that can be managed very well.

  3. Have you tried diatomaceous earth? It comes in a tub like talcum powder, it's made from ground up sea shells and the tiny particles have silica, which cuts through the outer shell of bugs like ticks, fleas etc it's chemical free and a tiny bit lasts for ages. You can also use it around your home for things like ant infestation or silverfish. It's sold under different brand names but totally natural, safe and really effective.

  4. I brought a tiny travel hairdryer and it was excellent especially for taking the dampness out of my sleeping bag in the evening quite a few times when we were caught in heavy rain! I don't think I ever saw many people in albergues showering and washing hair in the mornings, so making noise with a hairdryer is really not a concern. In fact we were advised not to shower in the mornings as the softened skin on feet would be more prone to blisters. If like me you have unruly hair with a cows lick in your fringe(bangs?), definitely bring a little cheap travel can always off load it en route if you really need to cut weight.

  5. My guy is now 11 months and we were just like you when he was small. What worked for me was to put a crate in a different room and he gets to stay in your office while he is well-behaved- chewing his own toys or resting quietly- but as soon as he starts being a brat he goes into the crate with a chewy toy for a sleep there. Close the door so you can't hear him whinging to get out. You'll be amazed how quickly he starts to improve his behaviour. With regard to the barking while you are cooking, my guy went through a phase of this too. I would say never feed him scraps while you are cooking, teach him to go to his bed in the kitchen and a stay on it. You can toss him scraps and kibble while he is on the bed, gradually increasing the time between rewards. My guy now snoozes in my office while I am working and also stays on his bed in the kitchen when I'm cooking and eating (staring intently at me of course!) He is far from perfect, but starting to become a really nice dog to live with. Best of luck!

  6. Also, how long would you leave him In his crate while you were working? Like if he was being a brat and you put him in there, what would be your cue to take him out?

  7. Maybe an hour or two, he usually would fall asleep and I'd let him back out when he woke up....other people saying get him to sleep more are 100% correct - overtired pups are like overtired children, they just don't know what to do with themselves!

  8. Interested to see answers to this, my 7mth old Border Collie is similar but not as bad. One thing that works is to give him a tug toy to grab instead of my arms, I have a string of sausages toy that seems to work very well. It seems like a comfort thing for him, like chewing me releases stress for him?

  9. Hi, if it makes you feel any better my 7 mths old little fella is exactly the same...model bc pup until about 4 weeks ago but suddenly extremely headstrong and wants to chase everything! We are surrounded by forestry so I can't even leave him out for a quick pee off leash or he is gone off chasing deer. He does come back after 10 mins or so but I'm really worried he will get shot. I've bought a 30 ft long leash which I use on walks and just let it trail on the ground so he is getting the off leash experience but I still have control over him. Also I've gone back to basics on recall training and changed the word from 'come' to 'here'. I can already see an improvement. Have a look at 'Green light/red light' game on youtube....a good one to stop the pulling. Best of luck! Oh if you do go for the long leash, make sure you wear gloves when handling it otherwise you'll get nasty friction burns.

  10. Hi, I have a 5mth old BC pup so I'm just slightly ahead of where you are. Couple of things I would pup isn't hugely food motivated so treats not a great way to train but loves playing and having little jobs to do....yours might be the same? My guy has pretty good recall because I play hide and seek with him all the time....get him to sit and stay, hide and call his name once, his reward is finding you. Now when we are out and about and I call my pup he thinks it's the game and his 'job' is to come find me. Re the fetch, play with a number of toys at once, the kong squeaky tennis balls are excellent. Throw the first one and once he has found it, show him how much fun you are having with the second one, he should come running back to join the party, and bring the first one with him, once he is nearby throw the second one...he should drop the first as he can't carry 2 together.... and repeat, he'll gradually get better. Using lots of different toys thrown at random works well, also don't stand still while he is gone to fetch, walk away from him so he'll have to figure out where the party has moved to 😊 The 'sexier than a squirrel' games are pretty good to make the dog find you super interesting 😊 Re the crate, I always give my pup some good chews when I put him in, but he still always complains and whinges a bit....but I think this is nothing to do with the crate as he does this when settling outside of the crate too. Hope this helps!

  11. Hi, my 13.5 year old collie starting having seizures when she was 2. Got her on meds which controlled to a certain extent and then added in a second medication, she has been seizure free for over 10 years and lived a very active and happy life. Try not to worry, your vet will have seen epilepsy in dogs many times and will help you to get it under control.

  12. Hi, my female BC started having epileptic seizures when she was 2, initially put on phenobarbital by the vet but seizures weren't fully controlled. She ended up having a major cluster of seizures and had to be taken in to vets and anaesthetised. She was under for almost 48 hrs, but eventually the vet managed to break the cycle of seizures. When she came home she had forgotten everything, house training, her way around the rooms and even looked at a ball as if she had never before seen one! The vet added potassium bromide to her meds and within 2 weeks she was back to normal and hasn't had any seizures since. She's now 13.5 and still going strong, managing 4-5 mile walks every day. I hope this helps. I was heart broken when she was first diagnosed, as I really feared her days were numbered, but she has lived a very full and happy life since. The meds possibly have a slightly sedating effect, which is no bad thing for a BC πŸ™‚ I hope your dog will be fine too πŸ’š

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