The Perfect Puppy

I’ve been a dog owner for over a year now and I love it. It feels natural to look after the tiny, fluffy, living creature that I essentially keep captive in my house, but it wasn’t something that came easy. I was really worried – I had no previous knowledge of keeping or training a dog. Growing up, my family were more goldfish people!

As I like to do with any new project, I spent weeks researching what I’m supposed to buy, prepare, and expect. I think it’s fair to say that there is a lot of information out there, and everyone has an opinion. It was pretty overwhelming, so I ended up going back to basics and looked for a book.

After reading a ridiculous number of book reviews, I settled on the number one book for Dogs on Amazon (with 300 x 5 star reviews): The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey.

It took me a couple of days to read it cover to cover, but I came out of it with so much knowledge and confidence in what was to come. The main questions I had were:

  • What should I expect on the first night?
  • What happens if he tries to go to the toilet in the middle of the living room floor?
  • When do I feed him?
  • How do I teach him what’s right and wrong?
  • When can I take him for a walk?

The book covered everything I wanted to know and more. One of my favourite sections was the suggested routine, something I was quite worried about:

The Perfect Puppy

I didn’t go for the exact routine they laid out, but just knowing what was needed (a LOT of pee breaks) really helped.

I won’t go through the book page by page, but if you have a puppy and are looking for something simple to read to get you started, this is it. It breaks down all the training into easy chunks, and answers the stupid questions you’re afraid to ask.

Among the many things I took away from this book, two things stood out for me:

  • It’s all about patience. Just keep at it and your puppy will get it eventually.
  • Never punish, only praise. Dogs don’t understand why you’re shouting, so there’s no point.

A year down the line, this still holds true.

The book is also bursting with cute puppy pictures. This was my favourite, his little face is adorable!

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Recommended!

Recommended Reading for Adult Twilight Fans

I’ve been reading paranormal romance books for years, and it’s just recently that it’s become sort of cool (thanks Twilight). I wanted to put together a quick list of some books I think you would enjoy if you’re looking for something a little more adult than Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Rae, nicknamed Sunshine by her stepfather, is the baker at her family’s coffeehouse. She’s happy getting up at 4 am to make cinnamon rolls for the breakfast rush, and dealing with people and food all day. But one evening she needed somewhere she could be alone for a little while, and there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years. She never thought of vampires. Until they found her.

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

Can you ever really trust a vampire? Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits – talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk … a lot. The undead are another matter. Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection. The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire – and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay …..

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (The Study Trilogy)

Choose: A quick death…or a slow poison…About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace – and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust – and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonising death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan (The Black Magician Trilogy)

Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe. Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who bear witness, the stone passes unhindered through the barrier and renders a magician unconscious. The guild’s worst fear has been realised …There is an untrained magician loose on the streets. She must be found before her uncontrolled powers unleash forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home.

I love all four of these and would thoroughly recommend them all to you. They’re more adult than the Twilight series, less mainstream as the Sookie Stackhouse novels (on which the True Blood TV series is based) and generally a very good read.

I know I should be thinking ‘yes, lovely’, but there’s something about Robert Pattinson that I just don’t get. I’ve read the Twilight saga and watched the film, and I just don’t get him or the character. I feel cheated. It may be because Edward in the book is just a bit… meh. I don’t get all the pining and soulful staring. I like my vampires with balls.

(pic via fuckyeahtwilight:twilightforever)

Swearing removed from kids’ book

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Swearing removed from kids’ book

After three, yes three, complaints about a word in a children’s book, publishers have changed the offending word (by one letter) to ‘twit’.

Three parents thought it was unacceptable for their children to read.

Here’s a thought: don’t buy it for your kids then!