Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Sitting With Nelly

In 1979 I worked as a bank clerk in The National Westminster Bank in Rhyl.
It was a time when the " computers" were vast piano sized monstrosities hidden away in back room " machine rooms" and whereas now the branch has a staff of six or so, then there was a team of perhaps      thirty people.
My first week there I was told to sit with Nelly.
It's seems an archaic, old fashioned system now, what with on line tutorials, mentorships and in service training, but it worked. You sat with a person " doing the job" and you watched.
Simples.
I have adapted this system with Mary, and apart from her habit of Winnie baiting , it seems to be working well.
The Nelly's are George and William. Two old dogs that refuse to be baited. Every night, when Mary is placed back into her crate in the kitchen, one of the dogs will be bedded next to her so every night we are not subjected to howling barks of a puppy feeling neglected.
Mary is walked alongside George, who is pedestrian and calm and when she is particularly overactive one sharp bark from him is all that is needed for her to back off and calm things down.
Old dogs teaching new tricks.
Mind you the " teachers"  need their own break from time to time and this morning was a case in point. The overnight baby sitter was William last night. At 6 am, after their first walk, George took over baby sitting duty in the kitchen and William was allowed to have a break
And this is where he went.........



48 comments:

  1. Some humans could do with that late at night could they not John, a sharp bark and a bite to shut them up.x

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    1. You did try that last night. See if it works.

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  2. There are mornings when I would love to go back to bed. Rest well!

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  3. Sensible boy; what better than going back to bed when you've been on baby duty all night.

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  4. Babysitting is only fun for a little while and then we we need to go to bed.

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  5. What a lovely picture of William, dog tired poor thing after being 'on duty'.

    We did something very similar when we got Rosy, the Jack Russell. At the time we had our wonderful old lady Sophie, the Border Collie. Having a puppy brought out the young dog in her and she galloped about in the fields where we used to live like a much younger dog. But when enough was enough with a young pup shadowing her every move she would calmly and quietly put one huge paw on top of Rosy's head and 'hold' her in one place for a moment. Rosy soon grew to know that when this happened you stopped messing about and curled up quietly in your bed as you had been 'told'.

    Rosy has since tried to pass this on to Suky and Mavis, but they will have none of it. I found Rosy's training so much easier with a big intelligent dog around that knew all the tricks both new and old.

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    1. I can just picture it , the one paw gently on the head :) How sweet ..

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    2. Our ex-feral not quite tame cat does this to us if we touch her! She calmly raises her paw and places it on top of your hand to make you stop.

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  6. That's adorable.

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  7. sweet boy; rest well, william!

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  8. Has cannabis for personal use been legalised in North Wales? If so, Mary should toke on a spliff every night before bedtime. Co-incidentally Winnie looks like a drug dealer who used to come in "The Closed Shop" at Crookesmoor. We nicknamed him Winston.

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    1. The closed shop, is it still open?

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  9. how cute is William. But that George has my heart.

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    1. Parsnip I was hoping for a George at the animal shelter. I will have to wait and see if anyone catches my heart, when we go together.

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  10. your stories make me really miss the dogs I have known

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  11. Oh God bless him, I would not be able to stop kissing him ! What a perfect and brilliant system you have ! just brilliant. This has started my morning off with a big smile :)

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  12. Same here- our feral pit bull Pearl was teamed with our brilliant border collie Angus, and 11 years later she is (almost) a well-behaved dog! I do beleive she took a good year off his life, though.

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  13. I just love him with his head on the pillow -- all nice and cozy and most of all 'peaceful'!

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  14. Seems like Mary is wearing everyone out! William looks dog tired. Give him special treats on a dainty saucer too for all his hard work!! And for you John.... 2 scotch eggs!!!

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  15. It takes a full house to raise a child!

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  16. That is the sweetest photo of William, that beautiful little face. I do love photos of your dogs.

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  17. that picture of gallant william. perfect.
    it doesn't even need any words.
    mary is adorable. as all puppies are.
    but needle teeth are not fun. thank goodness they fall out and are replaced. i hope poor winnie survives til then!

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  18. What a great story and the comparison of the intelligent dogs to the primitive humans. You've got a great family there!

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  19. Yes, the best teachers can be other dogs. Good job!

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  20. Our Angus, our best dog ever, was a cairn with separation anxiety. He must always have his human in sight. He taught that to two subsequent cairns. Consequently we had terriers who did not run. This is not to speak to our ability; Angus was pure luck.

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  21. Our wonderful dog Ginger has had her hands (paws?) full since we adopted George. She has better control over him than we do! She is remarkably patient with his antics, but a sharp bark or a quick nip from her puts him right in his place!

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  22. Aw ... Poor tuckered William. Jack worked hard training Jill for the first six months or so, and then she got bigger and picked up on his bad habits. 'Twas nice to sleep though ...

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  23. I love William!

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  24. Oh, that is so precious!!! He looks as though he is slumbering ever so deeply, in your comfy bed. Bliss!
    I love your technique of raising Mary...such a clever approach!

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  25. That is an incredibly sweet picture! Can I send our 6 month old over to yours to be sat? Our 2 older ones are fed up to the back teeth with her! :)

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  26. Sweeeeeeet...we always used to say 'sitting with nellie' too...I think it was the best way to learn....x

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  27. Excellent approach. I'd heard of it with humans but not with dogs, probably since we've had only cats, but it makes so much sense.

    Sweet picture of William.

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  28. George would be the best teacher for Mary on walks, from all your stories.
    Watson walked so lovely on a lead that when wild and crazy thehamish came along he did learn how to behave from the best. Watson put up with a lot and really only snapped twice but when he did thehamish took note. Watson was his touchstone and he misses him dearly. He is lost.
    Lovely photo of William.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. George is terrible on the lead he just ambles.. But he willcalm mary down

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    2. that is what I used to say about my husband lol

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  29. I am a new reader and want you to know how I enjoy your writings.

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    1. Thank you jenny, welcome aboard

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  30. You are just one big softie.
    Incidentally on the subject of an older dog teaching a pup how to behave, I have a friend who did just that with his Border Collie pup - used his older bitch to train it. Now as a teenager the younger dog is so well behaved. Hope it works as well with Mary.

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  31. All of our pups are brought up by the older dogs now. As a consequence, our first old lady is the most 'human' - we were rubbish first time puppy parents - and the youngest is the most well-adjusted and dog-like...

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  32. We have only ever had one dog at a time. I have missed out on a great training scheme. Does this mean that you don't need a baby (dog) sitter ?

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  33. Potty, it just makes things easier

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  34. That picture is precious. I like George and William have taken their duties seriously. Very sweet.

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  35. It is wonderful when things run so smoothly.

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  36. We housesat a friend's house, their two children and two cats once, when we had a half-grown kitten. She drove the older cats to distraction, and after a couple of weeks we decided that for their sanity we'd take our cat back to our home for the day and return her only at night when we were there for the children.

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  37. I can't wait to 'check in' with you every morning John, you brighten up my day so much, especially today, what a sweet picture!

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