Thursday, March 25

Red foxes!

Sorry I have not written in a while, I have been very ill with a throat infection.
It has been a very interesting experience which is one thing I never expected being in to much pain to eat or drink to be.

Harry has truly shown that he cares for me, once and for all which has really made my fortnight. He will not leave me alone for love nor money, he chooses to look after me over going to play with Sprite and Elspeth which is not something I expected to happen for one second.

Harry is normally not at all into hugging yet since I have been ill whenever I feel at my very worst he will come and sit with me, not on my lap or anything, just with me so he can keep an eye on me. When I sit anywhere he has been licking my feet and sort of stroking them with his little nose. This is such odd behaviour for a fox. Normally if they go near my feet they play fight them, not clean them.

He also has been sleeping in his crate on the raised bed I made him which is not out of the ordinary but he has insisted in keeping one of his paws on the bed and his nose through the bars on my foot. (Last night after watching Paranormal Activity randomly getting a hairy paw on my foot in the dead of the night was a tad nerve racking!)

A few nights ago my partner and I fell to sleep while watching TV before putting the foxes to bed and I woke up to the oddest thing; Harry laying between us licking up my nose, as in inside my nostrils! Before I opened my eyes I had no idea what it was and when I opened them I was just very confused. Elspeth seems to have slept in her crate all night even though the door was open.

Both foxes also had not broken, stolen or eaten anything random in my room which made me happy. If I was well I know they would have so it would seem these sneaky, cunning and smart creatures are also sweet and caring. It really warmed my heart.

Last Sunday myself and my partner took our 6 year old daughter and her best friend out to see a play. I was very much worse for wear at 9am while we were in our car on the way to Birmingham and I was in a bit of a daze looking out the window. We passed field after field and then I saw him; a beautiful red fox. He was sitting in the middle of the field surrounded by fog. He looked up at the sky when we were about level with him and then off he walked. He looked so pretty and it made me wonder, like I always do when I see them, why on earth anyone would shoot these marvellous creatures?

Today I we were going to Buckingham but I had to get a coffee first so we went Via Milton Keynes to go to Starbucks and in the city centre no less there was another red fox, in the middle of the day!!! I was amazed. Counting the one I saw on the Sunday I had only ever seen two in the flesh and now I had seen three, two in one week!!!

He was about to cross a busy road and we slowed down and upon seeing the car he turned round and headed away from the road. My partner said that we saved him and maybe we did as I know some people would speed up to hit the poor little guy.

Sadly no new photos of the foxes today as since the throat infection I have been really down in the dumps but I will get some for next time, hope you can forgive me.


Saturday, March 13

Peek -a-boo!

Gosh have I been busy lately!

Before we got Sprite we thought that we would try clicker training as it seemed really effective. I now have one clicker upstairs and one downstairs along with a bag of treats in either place. (I always forget where I leave things I need.)

The night before we collected Sprite I thought I would try out the clicker on Harry and Elspeth. The first step is showing them that 'click' meant treat incoming so they adored their first 15 minuet session as I did as the book told me and just clicked the clicker and gave them each a treat. After they clearly understood that I started tried 'target'. I had one problem with this and that was that I had no stick with an obvious place to poke with their noses so I looked all over the house and all I could find that would work was one of my daughters drum sticks so that was the stick sorted. Then we had to find something to put on the end to make them want to poke it.

In the fridge we had stinky cheese of some sort but I did not want to deal with their stomach upset the next day and peanut butter! So peanut butter it was to be.

I proceeded into my office which is the quietest room as it has sound proofing. (I have a 5yr old with a drum kit, trust me the sound proofing was needed hehe.)

Harry was first. He smelt the peanut butter and that was it, that stick was to be his!

I had no sooner lowered the stick and 'woosh!' it, and Harry were gone off to the far corner of my office and under my desk! I went to retrieve the stick. Harry looked at me like I had done something horrid and hurtful when I pulled it out of his paws but none the less he followed me back to the sofa.

Harry sat down and looked at me so very confused as to why I had offered him a treat and then taken it away again.

I firmly held the stick this time and held it out, pointed to the end and said 'target'.

Harry sniffed the stick and then went up to it with his mouth open ready to take it again. I quickly tapped his nose with the end, clicked the clicker and told him 'good target!' and gave him a treat.

He then spat the treat out, licked his nose and headed for the stick again. This time when I tapped it on his nose with hopes he would get the idea he was ready for it. The second it came near him he pounced on it and licked the stick.

At the same time my partner had decided this clicker thing can't be so hard and went about showing Elspeth what she should do. He taught her somehow in little to no time that 'crate' means go in your crate!

Harry and I decided to take a break and went to see Elspeth doing her amazing new trick.

I am astounded how well my partner and Elspeth managed to accomplish this. Normally to get them to go in their crate they have to know it's bedtime or a meal time but now just the word 'crate' when said by my partner and aimed at Elspeth and off she trots, happy as Larry!

Harry seems to need a class mate to learn with.

Now that we have Sprite Harry will happily learn with her. I think it helps that as she is a dog she is easier to train and Harry has been learning by example. The two of them have become very good friends.

Here is the two of them playing:

Well good night!

Wednesday, March 3


On Monday the 1st of March a new member joined our family, a Papillon puppy by the name of Sprite.

Sprite is a mothers day gift for me from my 5 year old daughter and my partner. She is wonderful!

Harry and Elspeth are quite taken with her. As she is very small they seem to understand that she is a baby and so they are both very sweet to her. Harry likes to lick her face. I am not totally sure if he is kissing her or grooming her but they both seem to enjoy the activity.

Elspeth likes to talk to her which is odd to see as obviously puppies do not gekker....

The one thing that has been a problem is that when Sprite 'talks' she sounds like a squeaky toy which is the one sound that both Harry and Elspeth are terrified of. I think they are getting accustomed to her slowly.

I have not yet allowed them to see one another when 'loose' all meetings have been with the foxes in their sleeping crate or the puppy in her travel crate but I will soon allow them to run freely around the house together.

I am really impressed with Harry and Elspeth's behaviour around Sprite as after my mothers dog tried to attack before I thought that they might despise her but that has thankfully not been the case. In fact Harry and Elspeth seem to have made her an honorary fox as with all the grooming of her Harry has done she now smells like them and my mothers dog had no idea what to make of her! She also cries when she cannot see her beloved foxes hehe. Really happy with their relationship so far.

I made a video of Sprite's trip home and shall film her with the foxes when I have the chance.