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Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Beardies’ World blog tour. First off I’d like to say a huge thank you to Faye, for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, and to Joyce Ives, author of Beardies’ World, who has written a lovely guest post for me to share with you all today.
In case you haven’t heard of Beardies’ World before, I’m going to start by giving you some more information about the book, before I share some briefs thoughts about it in a spoiler-free review.
If you already have a dog/dogs or are even thinking of buying one, read this book, which shows what fun and laughter we had with ours over twenty-six years, making a lot of friends along the way.
This book is Joyce Ives’ narrative to the twenty-six years she and husband John owned, cared for and loved their four Bearded Collies. The memories shared by Joyce in this book are likely to touch the heart of anyone who has had any experience of growing up and growing old with dogs. In her narrative Joyce has been able to capture beautifully how our special bond with our canine friends often becomes so significant in our life’s journey; our experiences of joy and laughter and at times our sadness and loss.
If you’re interested in learning more about Beardies’ World, click on the cover to check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!
So, what did I think of Beardies’ World?
When I first started reading Beardies’ World I found it a little disorienting, as it’s told from the perspective of the dogs rather than from Joyce herself. As I got used to the writing style I found it charming and quirky, but it did take a little while to adjust as it’s very different to any non-fiction I’ve read before.
A combination of memoir and travel guide, Beardies’ World is informative, sharing tips about the best places to visit with dogs in the UK, as well as the best walking holidays you can take with or without four-legged friends. Joyce’s descriptions bring the various British locations to life in your mind. I particularly enjoyed their trip to the Isle of Wight, somewhere I visited when I was a child – it made me remember a lot about my week away that I’d forgotten, and now I’m desperate to return.
But Joyce doesn’t only use this book to educate; it’s also highly entertaining. Stuffed full of humorous – yet often disastrous – tales, Joyce welcomes you into her family and into her home, delivering anecdotes that will remind you of the best and worst times you’ve had with your own dogs. Joyce’s Beardies seem to particularly enjoy water and mud, and I laughed out loud at multiple points (helped along by adorable illustrations and photographs, showing the dogs in their moments of mayhem). Be warned: you will shed tears at multiple points, but Joyce begins the book by describing the Rainbow Bridge with optimism and positivity, so try not to get too upset!
Reading Beardies’ World is like eating stew: it warms you from the inside out, it’s inoffensive and it’s easily digestible. I didn’t feel as though I could rate it higher than three stars because it did take me quite a while to feel comfortable with the writing style, but this is bound to appeal to other readers and I’m sure it’s going to become a fast favourite among dog lovers.
Now it’s time for me to pass you over to Joyce, who has some advice for those who are considering getting a four-legged friend of their own…
Ten tips to give new dog owners
- Breeders do not usually sell you a puppy if you work full time as it cannot be trained if left all day and he/she would be lonely. You cannot train a puppy to become clean if you are not there.
- A crate is good to have, large enough for a growing puppy, with washable bedding at the back (not bean bag, puppies are inclined to rip these open and all the balls fall out) and several sheets of paper at the front. A crate is ideal at night time until he/she is clean and not for keeping the puppy in all day, but helpful if you want to pop out to get some shopping and stops it getting into mischief. During the day you need to constantly take your dog out, praising it every time it functions. i.e. “Name – go and do a wee wee, Name – go and do a poo”, or whatever word you want to use. This helps if you are visiting friends and you ask your dog to function before you leave, although on a long journey it is best to make them comfortable before entering a friend’s house
- Find a good training school, this is usually once a week in the evening and you are expected to practice every day. Do not spend more than half an hour at a time training as the puppy will tire easily and then they will not give you their full attention. I always use titbits when they do something right, using from the amount of food when you feed them, don’t overfeed.
- Socialise your dog before their vaccinations. If they are not a large puppy I always took them out in a holdall zipped up with just their head out so they can see and get used to all the traffic noise. You are right up close to them to assure them. Hang the bag around your neck at your front. Once allowed down on the ground, I took my puppies to my local town on market day, making sure they got used to the air brakes on buses.
- Bonfire night. It seems fireworks/bangers are being set off before the 5th November. Rather than going to the vet and asking for calming pills, there is a C.D. you can buy especially for dogs. You play it at home in the evenings prior to the 5th starting the sounds low, then gradually increase the noise over a period of a few weeks so they get used to the noise.
- Allowing the dogs on furniture and on or in your bed is up to you, if you have guests they are not really happy sitting on dog hairs. As for the bed, if the dog picks up mites running through long grass in the summer, then you will get badly bitten and itchy and the sheets will need changing.
- Always remember if you allow a dog to do something just once, their mindset is they are allowed to do it all the time. It is always bad manners to feed your dog from the table, there is nothing worse than a begging drooling and dribbling dog.
- If you take your dog out regularly, at least three times a day, they probably will not use the garden when is an asset if you have young children there is nothing worse than poo covered shoes.
- Brush and clean your dog regularly checking their paws for cuts and ears especially if they flap down as they are more prone to get infection not being open to the air. If you buy a Beardie a Mason Pearson brush is best. It is expensive but should last the whole of your dog’s life. It is also good to practice opening your dog’s mouth, so when the vet needs to do it, there shouldn’t be a problem. Cleaning their teeth regularly, you will avoid the expense of your dog having an anaesthetic to have them cleaned to stop decay and bad breath.
- Whether you buy a pedigree dog or a mixed breed, you should consider insuring with a good pet insurance company and remember once they reach ten years old the premium greatly increases.
About the author:
Ever since she was a young girl, Joyce Ives has had a soft spot in her heart for dogs. So when the time came, she decided to leave her full time job to become an owner to her very first Bearded Collie – Kizzy. After this initial decision, they soon became owners to three other beautiful Beardies – Emma, Muffin and Solei. Unfortunately, due to ill health, both Joyce and John no longer look after any dogs but Joyce will always dream of owning more. Joyce now resides in Seaford, East Sussex, and is glad to finally have had time to write her first book.
I’d like to say another huge thank you to Joyce, for writing such a heartwarming book (and a highly informative blog post for my readers!).
Have you ever owned any Beardies, or do you favour a different breed?
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I’m really disappointed in myself, because it’s been almost a month since I’ve blogged. I’ll be honest, I thought it was two weeks at the most… Until I logged in and saw my last post date, and was kind of horrified. Where did September go?
Work is still busier than I’d expected, but with a couple of new employees starting last week it should calm down over the next month or so. The baby is still time-consuming (duh!) but she’s getting better at entertaining herself, so I should find it easier to squeeze in blogging time. Buying a house is still the slowest process I’ve ever undergone… But we’ve been told that we should ideally be moving in the second week of October, so we can keep our fingers crossed on that one.
It’s probably not the best idea to even consider attempting Blogtober – I mean I literally just said that we’re probably moving house in two weeks, so I’m going to be pretty busy as it is! – but I’ve missed blogging. It’s a great outlet, and it’s always helped me channel my creative side. I’ve been getting stressed and anxious a lot more recently, and I think the lack of blogging is adding to that. I’m a writer, and when I don’t write I feel restless and unhinged.
Hopefully I can use Blogtober to catch up on all of the reviews that I’ve intended on posting throughout the past six months that I’ve just never gotten around to. There are going to be some bittersweet moments (reviewing We Came As Romans’ triumphant headline show at Thekla in Bristol is going to be heartbreaking since the loss of vocalist Kyle Pavone) but there are also going to be some fun moments (Taylor Swift’s show at Wembley Stadium in particular – so many snakes!).
Thank you for sticking with me throughout my least active year of blogging. Hopefully the influx of Blogtober content will make up for the radio silence of the past few months, and it should get the ball rolling so I can actually get back on track.
Are you doing Blogtober? If so, let me know in the comments down below – I’ll be excited to follow your content!
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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a back to school based freebie, so I’ve decided to pair each subject up with a book which either features or is about it. If you know you enjoy a subject you know that you’ll like the book, too!
Art – You Don’t Know Me but I Know You by Rebecca Barrow
Audrey is an artist, and her passion is a huge part of Rebecca Barrow’s debut novel.
English – All of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor
All of This is True is a story about an author, told in multiple different styles. This book is the embodiment of English classes, with so much to analyse.
Geography – Paper Towns by John Green
Paper Towns is perfect for a geography lesson, because not only does it feature a road trip but it also educates people on the creation of maps and the definition of what a paper town is.
History – Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
Things a Bright Girl Can Do tells the story of the introduction of voting for women, so although it focuses on a very specific aspect of history it’s an extremely important part, too.
Maths – The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
I haven’t read The Square Root of Summer yet, but it was the most appropriate book I could think to choose to pair up with maths.
Media – It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne
It Only Happens in the Movies examines the truth of romcoms and discusses the sexist nature of the movie industry, so this is a great book to read when focusing on media.
Music – Slay by Kim Curran
Slay are a boyband who travel the world slay-ing demons, but there’s a lot of discussion about music in this book so it works nicely for the subject.
PE – Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
Wing Jones learns to run to deal with grief, and soon enough she’s one of the best runners in school. There are quite a few books which feature running but not all of them get as descriptive as this one, so I couldn’t choose anything else for
Politics – Second Best Friend by Non Pratt
Second Best Friend is the story of two friends who are competing against each other in a general election in their school. Not only is it a great introduction to how political campaigning works, it’s also set in a school which makes it even more appropriate for this topic.
Science – Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein
Chemistry Lessons is specifically about chemistry, but there’s also some biology laced through it, too. I can’t remember it having physics, but it’s close enough to be able to represent science.
If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link (found in the book’s title). If you’d like to read more about each book, please click their cover: you’ll be redirected to their Goodreads page.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! What did you choose to write about for your freebie week?
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