A few weeks ago we decided to go to my homelands and have lunch in Llanberis. It was such a beautiful day, the sun was out, the sky was blue and we had lakes and mountains to look at, and to round the evening off we had fish, chips and mushy peas which were delicious.
Llyn Padarn is a glacial formed lake and the largest natural lake in Cymru, 105 meters above sea level and surrounded by the slate mountains, so it is quite spectacular. It is however quite cold in the water as both the dogs found out. Mazikeen was first in after seeing something in the water that she thought she could fish out and fell straight into it. When her little head bobbed up out of the water she looked a little shocked. I had to help her out as it was a little too high for her to get out, but she shook herself and carried on as if nothing happened. We were laughing at her doing it when both of them decided to go down one of the boat jetties which stops about 2 feet into the water and there is a drop. Harper was the first to look down at the edge whilst she was paddling about, then decided she could keep waking and went head first in. She was under the water for about 5 seconds and I thought I would have to jump in to get her out and then her head popped up and I pulled her out as she still had her harness on. Mazikeen, completely unperturbed by falling in and also seeing Harper fall in kept walking further out and then she vanished under the surface. I stepped forward ready to wake in and her little head popped up and she was swimming further out then realised and started going to the right to get back to the shore. Second dunking and she was not put off, and in and out the water for most of the day, but she was a little more careful from that point onwards.
I have three tanks with fish in. One large tank with cichlids and a smaller on with just on Malawi who does not want to integrate, and finally I have another smaller tank with small fish in it.
So, on Tuesday I bought a lovely orange cichlid that was going to be a tank mate for the Malawi, but he did nothing but chase her constantly. As I wanted her to thrive I put her in the communal big tank. She seemed okay at first, but then a few of the other fish chased her, but it settled down, well, for a bit until the Parrot fish and her BFF a yellow Lab decided to go after her. Now, she was not tiny, and only a little bit smaller than most of the tank. There are fish in there that are the same size as she was, so that should not be a problem, and I have not had problems introducing others to the tanks in the past. But, this was not to be, as I discovered on Wednesday evening. The Parrot slammed her on the side which caused instant swim bladder problems. I moved quick and put here in an isolation pod in the tank, but knew she would not make it as I have seen this in the past. Thursday early hours she died, and was buried in the garden with the other animals from our 20 years here. It was a shame as she was very pretty. I have decided that I will not be getting any more for the two cichlid tanks unless the fish are large and I know they can handle themselves.
Over the years we have been asked what breed Harper is, which, every time, made me shake my head in disbelief as she is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. We bought her as a Staffy and over the years we have had no reason not to believe that she is a Staffy. To us, she has all the traits and looks how a Staffy should look. 6 years after getting her we decided to have her DNA mapped, not for any real reason but curiosity and to see if she had any genetic conditions that could be a problem. Today the results came in and I am happy to say that she is a Staffy, but somewhere in the deep deep history of her mother’s line of ancestry, there is 4% Dalmation DNA, which is bizarre but could explain why she is a little taller than other Staffies. The tests were also 100% with her description of colour, tan points and what they call a “mask” which is that she has a blue face. They also said that she had Hind Dewclaws, which was true, but we had them removed due to them catching on things.
Purely due to the genetic conditions that they scan for, I am going to get Mazikeen’s DNA done. She is a pure breed English Springer Spaniel, we got her ancestry records though the Kennel Club which was presented on a huge certificate showing all the champion gun dogs she is descended from.