Guru the sheep. | Caroline Fuller

A few weeks ago while having my hair done by Lisamarie I was regaled with tales of Guru the sheep. I don’t often think of sheep as pets but this wooly lady apparently thinks she is a dog, plays with the kids in the family and happily joins the family on walks along with their two dogs Luna and Titch and the cats Whisky and Doreena. Lisamarie tells me that she would come in the house too if she was allowed. Although a hair dresser she says clippers stop short of being able to keep all that wool in check and Guru is professionally clipped once a year. She makes a great pet and earns her keep by keeping the grass down, and everything else apparently, however they do benefit from lots of free fertilizer too. She was originally given to the family as a friend for another sheep who sadly passed on but she doesnt seem to suffer any effects from being the only sheep, she is very much part of the family.

Mr Pusicat

Mr Pusicat is 7, was a stray and rescued by Nicky Bowdidge. Nicky hoped he would be a friend for her old dog but that didn’t work and Mr Pusicat was ignored. After Mr Pusicats arrival another dog Benji, who is our oldie of the week at 15 years old appeared on the scene. Nicky explains “On New Year´s Eve I had gone to a bar on the seafront for the celebrations and just after all the fireworks Benji turned up without a collar and shaking. I nipped home to get a spare collar and lead and took him home, theoretically just for the night until I could check his chip. The following day was a Sunday so I couldn´t get to a vets. By the Monday he had made himself at home. He had no chip and there were never any posters or anyone looking for him despite walking around and asking..

“The old dog proceeded to ignore Benji as well so he and Mr Pusicat teamed up. They don´t play fight as much as they used to but Mr Pusicat will still punch him in the head with no warning if Benji´s sleeping and he wants to play.”

Cooper reviews Es carnatge beach

The Beach of Es Carnatge, birthplace of my alter ego, is about 8km east of Palma and lies between the Hospital San Joan de Deu and Ca’n Pastilla. It’s directly under the flight path for Palma airport, which is just the other side of the motorway.

Parking on the roads on the outskirts of Ca’n Pastilla follow the footpath down to the beach, crossing over the promenade. You will see the ‘rules’ sign with a map of where I am allowed to go. The promenade, for pedestrians and cyclists, runs the behind the beach and may be a bit of a distraction for some furry friends. The beach itself is a rocky ledge with plenty of sandy areas.When the tide is out there are lots of rock pools, ideal for splashing around and just getting your belly wet.

Off the ledge the water can be deep, so just be careful if you have short legs and don’t like to swim. I can play here by myself for hours, rolling my ball across the rocks. However the best thing is when my hoomans throw my ball as far as they can in to the sea. Before it has even left their hands I run across the rocks, leap off the ledge, fly through the air and become ‘Cooperman’, tennis ball rescuer extraordinaire. Many other hoomans often stop and watch me but well if they aren’t throwing a ball I’m not really interested.

The sea can get quite choppy here and sometimes I have to wear my lifejacket, but that’s ok, all superheroes wear an outfit, right? This is my favourite beach but in Summer everyone else seems to love it too and it gets really busy.

If you visit here remember to look up at the sky and although it could be a bird, most probably a plane, it might, it might just be me. I rate Es Carnatge 4 out of 5.

Loose Leash Walking Secrets
(Joachim Sommer: FB: perrocador.

What is the secret of loose leash walking?
For some dogs it is no effort at all to happily walk on a loose leash, others struggle their whole life, so here are a few pointers on how to improve our techniques:

· Choose the right environment

The dog park or a busy city street are not the best place s to start training, your living room or back yard are way better suited to show your dog how you want them to walk with you. Once they master it there you can take them to a different environment like a quiet park or not so busy roads and then increase the distractions little by little. Make sure to heavily reward the dog in the beginning of training in each new environment and then gradually phase out the treats.

· Choose the correct tools
Use a long leash (2m or better 3m) to give the dog space and let them decide to walk with you, manage the length of leash available to the dog depending on the situation.
It does not matter whether the dog wears a normal collar or a harness (unless they choke themselves when walking then a harness is better).
Use a reward your dog really likes.

· DON’T use prong collars, choke collars or “easy walk” harnesses.
Remember leash and collar are safety measures, NOT training tools!

· Set the dog and yourself up to succeed:
Leave the house to train leash walking when they are calm. Train with them leaving the house calmly.

If they get excited during the preparation for the walk disassociate this excitement. Example: if the dog gets excited when you grab the leash, move the leash various times during the day making sure the dog sees you and reward them when they don’t get excited by it.

Break the training process down in as many fractions you have to, sometimes just going out the door on cue is a struggle.

NEVER attempt training when you are tight for time or have a second agenda (like going to the shops or picking up the kid)

If your dog is not food oriented find another motivator.
Training loose leash walking can be a very long and frustrating process, if you struggle, re-think your strategy and maybe change to another environment. If you still struggle contact a professional.