Puppy Journals: Growing Fast

It is safe to say that Wedgy is now a big part of our lives. We revolve our day partly around him and make sure that he is always looked after. We make use of time when he is asleep so we can do our errants. We also put hum in his crate when we want to go out. He likes to sleep in there anyway so he is very easy to deal with.

He is growing so fast, that soon we will be unable to pick him up and carry him. He likes to climb and bite things now – legs, shoes, arms, chairs you name it. He is also too young to train at the moment so we just have to try and distract him with toys. Sometimes that fails  though, as a pair of baggy jeans or laced shoes are more intriguing than his small collection of dog toys.

 

He also met another dog last week and was handled it well. He did his usual sniffing and Toby just sat there, allowing it. They had a lovely play around and little Wedgy was out for the count for the rest of the night.

Wedgy recently got out to explore another new room in the house, despite our efforts to stop him. He’s always eager to discover more of the house when the  kitchen door opens – he pokes his head in between your ankles in the hope that you will move and give him space to get through.  Saying that, he is very clever too and has sussed out how to get extra playtime outside – he likes to sniff the floor and any dog owners know that sniffing is a sign that they want to do their business.

Despite all this, he is adorable and I’m so happy that we have him. He makes me smile every day and  he is always does funny things, like fight with the bin.

 

 

 

 

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Rio Olympics and Paralympics 2016

It’s 8 days to the Olympics! They commence from the 5th to the 21st August. You can indulge in all that sport has to offer from Tennis and Gymnastics to Athletics and Aquatics. We are also welcomed by new sports including Golf, Sevens Rugby and Kitesurfing.

Rio 2016 will be aired on various BBC channels with hosts like Hazel Irvine, Mark Chapman, Gabby Logan, Clare Balding and Jason Mohammad summarising on BBC One.

We have all the best athletes competing for GB. Well known faces such as Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Andy Murray, Nicola Adams and many others are all taking part. You can see the full list at http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/34813797 .

You may also be aware that Individual Board Federations have been deliberating on Russian athletes being banned from Rio, after Russian state doping allegations. Decisions are still being made, but so far 8 competitors in canoeing, modern pentathlon and sailing have been banned. More decisions are yet to come. 

Medal expectations have been lowered this year to 48. The 2012 London Olympic athletes won 65 medals overall, putting GB in third place behind the US (104 medals) and China (88 medals). 

Let’s not forget that we also have the Paralympics with a great line up of athletes including Richard Whitehead, Ellie Simmonds, Hannah Cockroft, Jessica-Jane Applegate and many more. Again for the full list, go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/disability-sport/35621008 .

I am always very excited about the Olympics/Paralympics and find myself to be very patriotic. I’m always the one to shout at the telly. If you feel the same about the Olympics, please let me know and comment!

Puppy Journals: Home Sweet Home

Wedgy has adjusted well to his new life since his arrival on Saturday. It has been a culture shock for all of the family as we are all responsible for caring for him. Our routine board has helped and we can now keep track of his feeding times and make note of his last wee and poo, and his socialisation tally.

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Routine board to track his progress

I thought it would be a lot harder, but he is a good boy. He is doing his business outside with little mess in the house.

He is also enjoying life to the full and going outside regularly. We have to distract him with his toys so he does not chase the bunny! Luckily there is wire dividing them. Wedgy has however got used to Smudge and now bothers him less, instead he decides to eat Smudge’s little parcels on the grass.

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Wedgy playing with on of his toys

Exciting news is that he can now feel confident going up and down small stairs. He is only small (for now) so we keep him off bigger steps in case he damages his joints

All this activity is making him tired so he sleeps most of the day in the most adorable positions. It sounds bad, but I sometimes forget we have a dog, as he is so quiet.

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Catching up on his sleep after active days of feeding and playing 

He also went to the vet for his first trip out and he was very well behaved . The vet described him as a “Cutie” and invited him for another checkup tomorrow.

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Wedgy at the vet: His first trip out!

Wedgy has also been visited by friends and cousins, and he has been petted in closer contact. He did well and liked the attention.

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Cousins petting and giving the dog attention

One thing I would say is that he can put his teeth on you, especially if you put your arm in front of his mouth. He thinks that it is a toy and although he does no damage, this is just one thing that socialisation will bring out.

So much happens in one week but its too much to write down. I will keep you informed through this blog – keep reading!

 

 

Puppy Journals: The Collection

We made our way to his home in Bristol and our minds were wondering. We had not owned a dog before so we didn’t know what to expect. Nor did we know how he would cope on the journey back.

We parked in the drive and were greeted with equal enthusiasm. We saw Wedgy with his sister Ginny and Otters sad face. I just hoped that she was happy with what was going on.

We were given information about his vaccinations and feeding times. They were given their last chance to run in their garden and feed until we prepped the travel crate and take him home.

He was so hyper – running around and getting distracted very easily. I just hoped that he would tire himself out and fall asleep quickly in the car.

After receiving lots of food and placing him gently in the crate, we were ready to go.

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Wedgy in the crate

We set off at 1.00 pm to Newcastle with a cute and winey puppy. At first he was vocal, but eventually after playing with Phillis, he fell asleep. This repeated a few times throughout our journey.

I started to get the giggles a few times as his wines started as cute barks and ended as a laughing sound. Wedgy definitely entertained us on the way back.

We stopped once for sandwiches and to check if he was ok.

We tried to follow advice in our puppy book by not giving him too much attention when he was scared. It was hard and it sounds quite mean but we had to refrain from petting and talking to him.

Overall the journey was nice. Little Wedge was well behaved and with little traffic, we were back home by 6.00 pm. We all helped play and entertain the dog to help him get used to his new surroundings.

 

We stuck to the advice we were given by Emma and found that by the end of the day, Wedgy had settled in well. Not only had he been good on journey but he had also had warmed to the family and put himself to bed gradually . We are so proud of him. It has been a very good day.

We will let you know about his progress in the next article – Puppy Journals: Home Sweet Home.

Reality meets Virtual Life

This craze has swept the UK after its release on Wednesday 13th this year. Everyone is now obsessed with the new app and reliving their childhood dream of Pokémon Emerald on your Gameboy and DS.

But what exactly is it? Well the Pokémon Company and Nintendo have created and launched a new app that can locate Pokémon while on the go.

Your GPS and location on your phone can track your movements and allow you to follow routes in the search for Pokémon. You can find and catch Pokémon with Pokeballs and develop your collection in your Pokedex.


In order to download the game, you need a Gmail account and  to agree for Pokémon to use your location, GPS and access to your email for any promotional content.
It has been applauded by many who say that it can get children and adults walking more regularly. Despite this, the NSPCC stated that it can put children in danger and help lure children into certain places. Only recently  numbers of users got trapped in a cave due to the game. The app has also been banned from locations such as the Holocaust as it was seen as disrespectful, with visits being unrelated to the victims.

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Pokemon found and placed in inappropriate places

In my opinion, I really like the idea and find I can relive my childhood! I am not addicted to it yet but I think that it is a bit of fun. Many organisations such as the Church of England are opening their doors to Pokémon Go users as “Pokestops”. It’s getting people together and developing community between organisations and residents. The main tip I would say is to be safe but have fun!

What can Theresa May do for our economy?

So you have all probably heard by now that Theresa May is now the new prime minister and that she has moved into 10 Downing Street.

The next question that we need to ask is how she proposes to continue developing our economy. In a recent article by the CMI, May stated that she wanted to address “employee participation on boards, gender pay and a more inclusive industrial strategy” (Scott, 2016). She followed this in her speech this afternoon, ensuring that she wanted to build a better economy and would base her decisions, not for the benefit of the government, but for the benefit of the people.

Do you think that she can continue the work that David Cameron has achieved?

In my opinion, I think she can. David Cameron has reduced unemployment rates, got the UK through the Scottish Referendum and introduced same sex marriage laws over the last six years. It is now time to address issues that he has not put first on his agenda – equal pay for women and an overall exclusive society for all. She has a vision that we all  need, in order to lead us in the right direction.

I think that although leaving the EU is risky with unknown consequences, Theresa May has the ability to get us through these dark times and mend EU trade agreements and relationships.

If you agree or have an opinion on this, feel free to comment!

Sources:

Scott, M. (2016). PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY: WHAT’S HER PLAN FOR THE COUNTRY?. Available: http://www.managers.org.uk/insights/news/2016/july/prime-minister-theresa-may-whats-her-plan-for-the-country. Last accessed 13th July 2016.

Theakston, K. (2016). Evaluating David Cameron as Prime Minister by Professor Kevin Theakston, University of Leeds. Available: http://www.britpolitics.co.uk/academic-articles-all/evaluating-david-cameron-as-prime-minister. Last accessed 13th July 2016.

UK Politics. (2016). Theresa May vows to be ‘one nation’ prime minister. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36788782. Last accessed 13th July 2016.

 

Puppy Journals: We are getting a dog?

You can probably gather from my article that we are getting a puppy! This series of articles can inform you of his journey and progress, as well as illustrate the logistics of owning and training a puppy.

You are always told that a pet is for life. Our previous pet, Sycamore  was until he passed earlier this year. At first we did not want another pet, but it felt odd with one less member of the family.

Some of our family had always wanted a dog and she would drop hints. A few members needed more convincing than others, but eventually they agreed to it

To our luck, one of my parents friends breeds black labs and good news arrived in the form of four black lab puppies. Three of these puppies were born in close time, with the fourth remaining in the womb for an extra three days – Hence the name “Wedgy”.

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Otters four adorable puppies

We were delighted to find out that Wedgy was still available and we jumped on the opportunity. We have been sent photos of the puppy on  a daily basis and little Wedgy looked adorable with a cute baby face and a smaller body than his siblings.

We have started to prepare for our new arrival and  have bought all the toys and booked all the dog training sessions. Family discussions concerning  the dog have been taking place all week including the right way to crate train the dog and where he is allowed to roam.

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Doggie supplies!

Recently we visited Wedgy in Bristol and got a chance to see him in the flesh. They climbed on top of us and chewed our shoelaces, before falling asleep in the most adorable positions.

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Wedgy Sleeping

We collect Wedgy next weekend and the realisation that we are getting a dog is now getting more vivid.

That’s it for this week! Keep up with Wedgy’s progress with the my upcoming article  – “Puppy Journals: The Collection”.

 

 

 

Motivation

Introduction:

It is a fact that we all lose motivation at some point – we feel less enthusiastic about completing a task and we have all made excuses on why we should not do it! The funny thing is though that we tell ourselves we should and that we have to, but we still do nothing. For the benefit of those stuck in that dark place, I would like to give you some peace of mind.

I will therefore go over a few types of motivation including Intrinsic motivation and Extrinsic, along with what they mean. Following this, I will suggest a few measures you can put in place to further enjoy these things or improve your perception towards them.

Intrinsic Motivation:

According to Coon & Mitterer, 2010 “Intrinsic motivation occurs when we act without any obvious external rewards. We simply enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potential” (In  Cherry, 2016). This Intrinsic motivation then drives us to do that task and enjoy it.

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Intrinsic Motivation – when you enjoy what you are doing and feel motivated to do it

It may be worth seeing what you need to do in a more positive light. Not that you HAVE to do it, but that it WOULD BE NICE to do. Your attitude towards something can really make a difference on whether you pursue something.

Extrinsic Motivation:

In contrast, saying that you HAVE to do it, is known as as Extrinsic motivation, in which you complete a task to get external awards (Cherry (2), 2016). Examples may include learning to drive because a job requires you to travel and have a full driving license.

We don’t enjoy  doing these things as we are not doing it out of love for the task but for a reward. This way of thinking is crippling as we just see it as more of an effort and sometimes make excuses to avoid it. It also has little impact on your current performance and can make us less likely to undertake similar tasks in the future (Bénabou and Tirole, 2003).

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Extrinsic Motivation – It is seen as a hassle or something that you have to do, rather than something you enjoy

Solutions:

Clearly we are more motivated to do something if we enjoy it, so one way to improve our motivation is to try and change our perception of the activity. By doing it with a friend or just doing it in a different way, it can add excitement to it and help the time go quicker. If we apply this to learning to drive, you could listen to music, drive in a different area or have different people in the car with you. You will then no longer see it as a repetitive task and start to enjoy it!

The last thing I can say is that as you get better at something, you tend to enjoy it more.The phrase “practice makes perfect” comes to mind. So keep on going and stay positive!

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Keep on going – all will become easier!

This is only one scenario but I would love to hear about anything you like/don’t like doing and how you handled it. If you would like any more information, the websites used for this article have a lot more to read up on.

Sources:

Bénabou, R and Tirole, J. (2003). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. Available: http://www.fatih.edu.tr/~hugur/study_hard/Intrinsic%20and%20Extrinsic%20Motivation.pdf. Last accessed 3rd July 2016.

Cherry, K (2). (2016). Differences Between Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation. Available: https://www.verywell.com/differences-between-extrinsic-and-intrinsic-motivation-2795384. Last accessed 3rd July 2016.

Cherry, K. (2016). What Is Intrinsic Motivation?. Available: https://www.verywell.com/what-is-intrinsic-motivation-2795385. Last accessed 3rd July 2016.