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family vanhounds

Still working on the reactivity

June 18, 2021

I’m so proud of this hound. Otherwise know as: Bonnie, Bonnie-boo, Bonneroo, Bonners, Bonnington-bean, princess-Bonbon-of-the-waves, Madame Bonnington, beanie-boo, string-bean, baby-boo and also Bon-Bon, but sometimes Bonnieeeeee! She’s doing so well with her positive reinforcement training. It’s changing her every day. And although we’re not the most diligent with learning all the new tricks, we’ve got so good with this when Bonnie sees a new hound. Our biggest problem these days tends to be other dog owners whose dogs aren’t on…

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books creating poetry vanhounds

Committing yourself

March 7, 2021

It’s a strange thing, birthing a book. At times I’ve felt like Kit here, absolutely committed, but wondering if I’m not fully aware of the extent of the ambition. There’s times I thought I should just quit. Aren’t there enough books in the world? What do I have to add? I’ve also given a lot of my power away, expecting others to understand (and validate) my vision, and when they didn’t, I took this as proof that the book should…

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Outdoors vanhounds

Rehab Your Rescue

February 27, 2021

It’s been such a journey with Bonnie the beautiful rescue hound. She’s been with us five years now and she’s the sweetest, most loving hound. When you adopt a rescue hound one of the first things you realise is how easy it is for someone to cause trauma through neglect, and then how difficult it is to unpick those ‘survival behaviours’.Bonnie used to have terrible separation anxiety – she trashed the house when we left her for 10mins, she also…

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*I need to vent*

February 1, 2021

It’s the last day of Spanish hunting season, which means that around 100,000 galgos hounds will be shot, abandoned, or sometimes quite brutally murdered because they’re now considered worthless.  I’m trying really hard not to turn this into a rant, but fuck, I’ve seen a few things today that have pissed me off so badly. Even though I look to the social structures that cause people to behave cruelly: capitalism reduces every action, every product and every life to €…

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creating nature Outdoors vanhounds Wales

snow reels

January 30, 2021

I’ve been really enjoying the Reels function on Instagram recently. Here’s a couple of short clips made of snow-fun-times, soundtracked by Kate Bush’s 50 Words for Snow as I have that on loop every winter until spring. You can find more on my Instagram Reels. View this post on Instagram A post shared by OUTSIDER [Sophie McKeand] (@sophiemckeand_outsider) View this post on Instagram A post shared by OUTSIDER [Sophie McKeand] (@sophiemckeand_outsider) View this post on Instagram A post shared by…

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Outdoors vanhounds vanlife

It is a filthy day

January 26, 2021

Hiked about 7-8k in the sludge. It is a filthy day. All the melting snow leaking out across the muddy landscape.We have a specific system for getting the hounds back into the van after a muddy walk: first, hose down feet and bellies outside using a small hand-pump garden pressure wash that also doubles as our outdoor shower in warmer weather; second, a two towel system in the van to get them as dry as possible, one for feet, one…

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creating family feature food vanhounds

Inter-species zero-waste kitchen

November 8, 2020

This is a lengthy heading! But it’s explains what I’m doing so I’m gonna stick with it. If you’re thinking of switching to home-cooked food for your hound(s) the most difficult aspect is probably finding the time. Part of our slow-living vanlife is that I have more headspace for things like this, but I still don’t to want to spend all my days cooking. I’ve found the easiest way is for us all to eat different variations of the same food…

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food vanhounds

Discovering turmeric

October 17, 2020

A slightly different post to usual and I want to point out that I’m not a healthcare professional  so this is just my own anecdotal story about using turmeric as an anti-inflammatory – along with an algal (or fish) oil.  I did some research on Kit’s lineage (Scottish deerhound x lurcher) because they only tend to live to ten. He turned ten earlier this year and had started to struggle getting up on the bed and getting out of bed in…

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books vanhounds

Never leave the dogs behind

October 15, 2020

Another thing bringing us all joy during lockdown is this gorgeous hardback book sent to me by the truly generous and inspiring Helen Mort. Andy and I are both currently reading it, and it’s wholly Bonnie approved. “There are two types of people in this world: those who love dogs and those who haven’t spent enough time with them yet.” Absolutely. A beautiful book to hold and immerse in, especially if you and your four-legged friends can’t get out in…

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A van called home

March 14, 2020

Europe is our home now. Waking to the song of tree-filled finches feels so familiar. So many of these places echo with memories of Cymru; with the reminder of how much we have in common with people across the world. For this next week we’ve headed into the hills to avoid the wild winds hitting the coast and we`ll, probably stay in Portugal longer than originally planned to avoid any potential Corona virus drama. Wherever we are, this place is…

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