Tag: oxfordshire

The Poppy Diaries – Week 2

Poppy Dog

Poppy Dog

We’ve had Poppy for two weeks now & I’m pretty sure she’s happy to still be with us! We’ve had another interesting week and we’re all still trying to figure things out. For example, for the last few nights, Poppy has gone to bed without a fuss and slept well until getting up time. Then, last night, she refused to go to bed. Let me give you some background to this. Her previous owners said that she wasn’t great at going to bed, so they made her sleep in a crate. Looking online, this is one of the biggest pieces of advice dog owners are given, along with covering the crate & leaving the radio on. So, to help her settle in well, as she was used to the crate, we carried on using it, with the intention of getting rid of when the time felt right. We don’t want a crate in our small house, but if Poppy needed it, so be it. Last night, Poppy refused to get in it. No amount of treats would get her in that crate. We were at quite a loss of what to do. So we just left her to find her own place to sleep. She chose the day bed in the room next to our bedroom & slept as close to the wall as she could, meaning she was as close to us as she could be. (We don’t want her to sleep in our room, as we don’t want her on our bed.) I did a quick Google & refusal to sleep in a crate, which is out of character, can be a result of ‘over bonding’! I think it’s fair to say that we bonded yesterday, as we took her for a walk near the river, which is something she may never have done before and she loved it!

As we were going to try & train her out of using the crate, we’re going to let her sleep wherever she wants. She didn’t make a peep all night, even when it got light. As long as she’s happy & lets us sleep, I’m happy for her to make the day bed her own.

Here’s what I’ve learnt about Poppy this week:

  • She likes walking by the river. There were a lot of smells as we walked by the Thames & she enjoyed tracking them. We walked for just under 2 miles so she was pretty worn out by the end, but she really seemed happy!
  • She’ll do almost anything for a treat. In her first training session, we learned that while she might not understand playing, she will quite happily sit, stay, walk on the lead, wait to cross the road & stop barking at pigeons for a treat.
  • She wants to eat my knitting needles. I knit with wooden needles & she’s very interested in them. She’s tried to bite them a few times & has snuffled her way through the knitting to get to the needles!
  • She’s a seat-stealer! If you get up from your seat on the sofa, Poppy will jump into it in a millisecond! Not sure if it’s warm or because we’ve created some awesome bum grooves, but she will always get in your seat.
  • She’s a cake lover. There isn’t much human food that Poppy is overly interested in. She can take it or leave it. Unless it’s cake. My OH brought me a muffin on Saturday & as I sat to eat it, Poppy went crazy & tried it & the wrapper which I left on the plate.

Every day we learn something new & often hilarious about Poppy. When she’s in a playful mood, she gets this crazy look in her eyes. It’s the funniest thing! She’s getting better at not getting frustrated by dogs on the lead, but we’re attending some training on improving this further next weekend. In the meantime, you’ll still see me trying to encourage her not to get distracted by other dogs, by running & jumping around like a crazy person. Oh the shame!

Poppy and her First Training Lesson

Poppy Chewing the Hoof

Yesterday Poppy had her first training session. I contacted Sheila from Teach My Dog and asked about attending classes, but after I explained the situation with Poppy, she recommended a 1:1 session first, get her into some good behaviour and then go to classes. It was fantastic and a real eye opener.

Sheila had asked us to make a list of things we wanted to ask her & boy were we ready! As we sat & chatted about how to get Poppy to walk better on the lead, not bark during the night, react calmly to other dogs, people & pigeons, Sheila gave Poppy a cow hoof to chew on. Yep. An actual cow hoof. I was not expecting that. Never seen a cow hoof that hasn’t been attached to a cow! Having said that, at least all the parts of the cow are getting used! And Poppy loved it. Wouldn’t put it down! We talked through our concerns, what we’ve done so far and how Poppy was reacting. The best thing was that we learnt we’re doing everything right and Poppy is still settling in. We need to be patient with Poppy – she’s been through a lot of changes in a short space of time. Plus it’s becoming clear that she hasn’t seen an awful lot in her life so every new experience is going to overwhelm her. Though, not the cow hoof. She loved that!

After talking things through, Sheila walked us through some basic training, which was awesome! Poppy can already sit, but if she doesn’t get what she wants quickly, she jumps up & barks in your face! We worked on sit, stay, watch, leave and walking nicely on the lead. Poppy was really good and worked really hard – well, she’ll do anything for treats. Wouldn’t we all?!

The sad thing we discovered though, is that Poppy doesn’t know how to play. She’s obviously never been taught and while she enjoys ripping Mr Chicken to pieces & can run up & down the garden with a toy in her mouth like a crazed pooch, she only plays for a few minutes at a time. So one of the things we need to do is help her learn to play and make it more exciting than anything else, that way we can use it as a distraction technique when we’re out walking. No pressure there then!

Even though it feels a bit like we’ve got a mountain to climb, we both know it’ll be worth it and Poppy will be a happier dog for it. Plus we’ll be happier owners, mainly because we’ll get to sleep through the night! Once we’ve got Poppy calmer around other dogs, we can attend classes and improve her socialising skills, which I know Poppy will love!

Lunch at the Kings Head and Bell

Veggie Stack

I hate cooking. Any opportunity to eat out, I will grab it with both hands! So my OH & I felt that we should go and try out some of the lunch items on the menu at the Kings Head & Bell in Abingdon, especially as they’ve got a few different veggie ones on there.

Veggie Stack

I opted for the grilled veggie stack & a side of fries. I chose this because it’s a bit different, pretty healthy and it meant I could have fries on the side! I really enjoyed it. The goat’s cheese that came as part of the stack was really nice & really added to the flavour. The fries were good & I couldn’t finish it all because it was really filling.


My OH opted for the scampi. It came with thick cut chips & mushy peas. He really enjoyed it. The scampi was nice & crispy on the outside and it had a good crunch. He also thought that the thick chips were some of the best he’d had – Quite the compliment!

The only criticism we could find was that when we asked for ketchup, we got a tiny little portion in a paper cup, the kind that you get from McDonald’s. I don’t like it when restaurants do this. Don’t ration my ketchup! My napkin was also wet from when it had wrapped the cutlery. But this is me being ultra picky! The food was great & I’ll definitely be going back and I can’t wait!


The Field Kitchen

Carrot Cake

After another busy week, I was looking forward to a catch up & some cake with a friend. Sadly, they had to cancel so my OH was challenged with finding somewhere new to go for tCarrot Cakeea & cake. He didn’t disappoint as we went to The Field Kitchen in Nettlebed.

It has a really lovely look & feel to it; quite rustic but very sophisticated at the same time. We arrived quite late in the afternoon so there were only a few cakes left. Both my OH & I opted for the carrot cake. It was delicious. The icing was very tasty & complimented the cake nicely without being too sweet. The portion was generous & I should’ve left some of mine, but I couldn’t because it was so nice! The other cake options were chocolate covered doughnuts & profiteroles. You could buy the profiteroles individually, which I thought was a nice touch. Sometimes you just want something little to go with your coffee & they would go well together. All the other food menus looked really tasty, with a few decent veggie options, that I will be going back to try!

They offer the typical tea & coffee options, and I was presently surprised to see a tub ofHuge Chai Latte Drink Me chai on the windowsill. Naturally I ordered that & my OH ordered a flat white. When they arrived, both were boiling hot – we both burnt our tongues a little (greedy!). Sadly, my chai was far too milky. It needed much more chai in it. My OH’s flat white was also lacking. He described it as cappuccino with very little foam. The biggest problem with the coffee was that flat whites should be served in quite small cups & my OH’s cup wasn’t. The Field Kitchen offer all drinks, including the flat white, in three sizes: regular, mug and bowl. This doesn’t work with flat whites. Similarly, if you’re making a big chai, you’ll need to increase the ratio of the chai with the increase in liquid. We were a bit disappointed with this, but I doubt this is the last time that my OH is disappointed with a flat white!