Monday, January 23, 2012

Not at home

Or rather - moved home.

All Pippadog posts now over on my wordpress blog here. Please note, blogger pals, I have asked you to let me know if you have any problems commenting over there. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blogger or Wordpress? - a Pippadog review

Here, is the tale of my Blogger tribulations.

There I was happily minding my own business, blogging away peaceably, when Nasty Horrid Blogger told me I couldn't get into my own blog.

Hello NHB. Why not? Apparently there was 'unusual activity'. Uh? What did that mean? There was no spam. We were using a different Browser so that Misery Mistress could be schizophrenic and log in to different blogs with all her millions of identities but so what?

We sent in a support request (or whatever it is called). And another. And another. They wanted a telephone number but Misery did not think she should have to do that.

One of her friends told her that she had been locked out of FB and had to do the same thing.

In the end Master took pity on poor blogless Pippadog and told Misery to give out his work number.

Surprise surprise. They sent a message immediately with a code to unlock the blog.

Well, we don't think this is necessary. At all. Just because it is free doesn't mean people should invade a dog's privacy. It is like that bad Facebook which Misery wrote about on her blog here.

So Misery went off to investigate Wordpress for me. She investigated it many years ago and didn't like it. But when she gets a bee in her waxed cotton hat she takes things seriously.

Actually the truth is she had already been dabbling with Wordpress for her own boring blog. Since she stupidly took up Blogger's offer to try their new look, decided she didn't like it, and switched back, she has had problems with fonts and layouts. Even when she upgraded her editor or some such jargon.

Now, I love my blog very much, there are so many pictures of handsome me on there. But I thought if Misery could have a new Wordpress blog, I could have one too.

So she made me one, and she imported all the posts over too. The photos haven't blown up so big, but that's not a huge issue. I didn't want it to look as though I had only just started blogging when I have been doing it for nearly Five! Whole! Years! And twice as many Pippapix floating around the web seemed like A Good Thing to me.

My favourite Wireys - Jake and Just Harry, The Barkalot Boyz - asked if I might write up about it all.

So here we go:

1 Setting it all up is pretty easy. The first step is like Blogger and just involves getting a name and a URL.

2 Then you get into the admin which is not at all like Blogger. It is a different dashboard, and the controls are down the side instead of across the top, so that takes a bit of adjusting.

3 Importing the old posts is probably one of the easiest bits of all. It is just a flick of a switch. I have no idea if you can make your imported pix bigger, but Misery is not prepared to go through a couple of hundred of my posts trying to find out. She is still busy going through the posts on her Clouds blog sorting the text out after Blogger stuffed that one up too and took away her paragraphs. She is obsessed with short paragraphs. Although this one is a bit long.

4 There is a HUGE choice of templates. One hundred and forty something the last time we looked. You can pay for templates with extra twirls options. We haven't done. The customisation is not as flexible as Blogger (unless you pay I guess) but with that sort of choice it's not too difficult to find something you are happy with.

5 Writing posts is pretty straightforward and easy.

6 Loading photos is easy. You can either upload a bunch at once or insert them where you want - I think Blogger has started doing that now.

7 Posts are allocated to a default of Uncategorised which we think is annoying, so best to either categorise them all with the blog name eg Pippadog, or actually think up a few categories which Misery has done on her blog.

8 There is a wide choice of comment settings and fortunately no ghastly word verification string. You can moderate or not - and you can set it so that people don't have to submit their email address which we consider to be an invasion of privacy. Best to make it comment mod rather than ask for pups' pawsonal details. You can also have embedded comments if somepup wants to reply to a specific comment.

9 I don't think the blogroll is as good :( It doesn't seem to come up with piccies or updates like Blogger does. So that one is a PippaPawDown.

10 You can set favicons or avatars or gravatars or whatever you want to call them so that they come up when you comment on a wordpress blog (but not on blogger) and you can have one next to your url in the top bar.

11 You can have little stars at the top so that people can rate your posts. That's very nice if people give you five stars, although I guess if they only give you one that's not very good.

12 You can also have stars so you can rate people's comments which is nice I think.

13 And if people can't be bothered to comment they can 'like' your posts. Which is better than nothing.

14 What else - well you can post to twitter, google, facebook, all the mainstream social network sites with a flick of the paw, although we haven't done that.

15 The summary statistics are neat, and I think, better than the Blogger ones. Plus the spam filter seems pretty effective - according to Misery who seems to attract spammers :D

Pippa's Summary

Is it easy to use? Yes
Is it different to Blogger? Yes in quite a few respects
Is it easy to import the old blog? Yes
But we recommend NOT getting rid of any old blogs - just in case.
Is it worth a try? Yes
Can you spend hours in front of the computer trying out different options? Almost certainly

A couple of Misery's pals have said they like the look of the Wordpress blogs, and one said they found the clean lines attractive. We think they are too, although we tried to keep our Blogger blogs pretty clean and simple.

Basically the overall package is not too different to Blogger, but there are some tweaks where the two companies do differ. Most of our friends use Blogger, and we have been pretty happy with it over the last five years. But over the last few months it has annoyed us very much and the insistence on demanding a 'phone number - and not responding to three support requests - when we had done nothing wrong was VERY annoying.

To us, over the years, Blogger has not improved. There wasn't anything wrong with it when we started, and any changes they have made have not been for the better. Misery thought Wordpress was terrible when she looked at it a zillion years ago - but it definitely has improved which is why it gets a PippaPawUp. And Blogger gets the PippaPawDown.

So I may write the odd post on here. But I will keep up to the new WP blog out of principle. If nothing else, it's often good to change and try something new. Us pups need to keep up with things.

I'm cross posting this on my other blog here - so comment, if you wish - on whichever blog you find easiest. I'll read them both. Any questions - ask away.

Here is a picture of me, for those of you who can't be bothered to read all that techy review stuff. Or for those of you who have and need some light relief.

Happy holidays whether you are celebrating Hanukah, the Winter Solstice (which I guess is over now), or Christmas. Or anything else that I have missed.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Checking out at my finca

We went back to my finca.

I checked out my gate.

My gate, letting everyone know I am back and on guard

I checked out MY spinach patch (not yours Misery).

Lying by my spinach patch

Multi-tasking - lying in my corner and looking at the gate too

I checked out Misery cooking in my kitchen.

Always best to lie in the doorway I find

Give me food, Misery

I checked out the dining room for food.

Waiting patiently, as ever

Looking sorry for self - where is the food?

I checked out the spinach patch more closely.

Getting right into MY spinach patch

I checked out the cat up the street.

There he is - stalking me

Keeping my eye on that CAT

And I went to the VET to check him out too but that's for another post.

Editor's note: for anyone who didn't get chance to follow the riveting saga on fb - Misery and I got very annoyed with Blogger so we have gone over to the dark side. You can find me at (natch) my other Pippadogblog address now. I shall write up the long and exciting tale when I have recovered from all the stress.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pippa goes into politics (briefly)

As there is something called elections happening all around the place, I thought I would go into Poorly Ticks.

[No, Pippa, Politics. You were poorly when you had tick disease. Not the same, although....... there could always be something rotten in the state....]

Haroo, Paw-lie-ticks then?

[OK, near enough]

Now, seems there was an election in Spain the other week. The party in government was the PSOE.

Hmm, I thought to myself, what could that stand for?

[Partido Socialista Obrero Español - Spanish Socialist Worker's Party]

I'll ignore that. Thank you Misery. Now, it could be Pippa's Super Omelette Eatables.

[Pippa, it needs to be vaguely about politics not food]

OK, then well Powerful Siberians Overcome - er Elephants? Nope, maybe not. Powerful Siberians Overcome Everything.

Yes, that one is OK, I think. Except the PSOE didn't win. Or overcome anything at all.

Instead the PP - Partido Popular (Popular Party) - won the Spanish election. They have right paw politics.

That's easy isn't it? PP? Pippa's Pawty. Pippa's Pups. Pups' Party. Pawfect Pups.

[More than enough Pippa]

Oh well, moving onto Gibraltar. Our election is in a couple of weeks' time.

We have the GSD, the GSLP (Lib Alliance), and the PP too.

GSD is an obvious one isn't it? Clearly the German Shepherd Dogs. Or the German Siberian Dictatorship? That's good isn't it?

[No, Pippa, we aren't really into that sort of dictator idea at all].

Oh. Disarm? Direct? How about German Siberians Discuss? That's good, I think, we can be all touchy barky with that.

How about the GSLP? That's another super one. German Shepherd/Sibes Lead Pups (and People in my dreams). I'm running with that one. I hope they get in. They are the Slightly Left Pawty. Perhaps that is what GSLP stands for. Gibraltar Slightly Left Pawty.

Now, PP.

[Thank you Pippa, we had enough of Pups' Pawties in Spain, no more suggestions for that one in Gibraltar].

Haroooooo!! This is too difficult.

I think I will leave paw-lie-ticks to Turbo, who is much more astute and experienced than me in this sort of rough tough paw-lie-tickle world. I shall go back to my pharma studies.

What else? I still haven't told you the cockroach tale, but that's for another post.

And, because so many pups on my blogroll no longer update, I had a little lookie for some new pals.

So next time, I will post up some linkies to some new dogblogs I have found because it is always nice to share new friends. If I remember of course.

Now, in other news, we have pawed out of the DWB card exchange because Misery is useless at it (and the truth is, as you all know, it costs so much to send abroad). We have however, sent some cards to the pups (shock horror and a pesky cat too) who exchanged with us last year. If you want a Pippacard by email or snailmail, please let me know before the end of the month and I will try and paw Misery into action. Unlikely, but hey, I'll try.

But, I did manage to get her to put a pic of me for submission in the DWB calendar.

So here are all my pics from our rubbish shoot-out. Hehe!! Such fun. Which one did Misery choose? If any?

I am asleep. Go away.

No. Not interested in photos. At all.

Ha! Laughing, and, wolf look-a-like time.

Thinking (not about paw-lie-ticks). My studious side.

Cultivating the mean and moody look, aka I really need to go to sleep again

Saturday, November 19, 2011

PippaPawUp for Wagg

I have seen some pups do product reviews. I have decided to do a few, although not many. They will either get the PippaPawUp, or the PippaPawDown. Easy huh?

So, today when Master and Misery went out I guarded the flat in my normal fashion. You know, asleep, under my table den.

Misery came back, panting and puffing up the stairs. But what did she have with her? - A HUGE sack of Wagg dog food.

I love Wagg. It is yummissimo.

This was a beef and veg sack. The other one I eat is chicken and veg. Misery thinks it is good because it comes from Yorkshire. But Misery thinks everything that comes out of Yorkshire is good because she did too.

Importantly, it has no added sugar or artificial flavourings or colourings. And any meat apparently is suitable for humans to eat. No ground up hooves there then. Good eh?

Cost: A 15 kg sack is £13.65 - works out at 91p a kilo. On the sack it says it is enough to feed a large dog (20-40kg) for a month at about 500 grammes a day.

There are small bags too, which are only 2.5kg but work out dearer, approx £1.30 a kilo. That's why Misery was panting and puffing up the stairs with the better value big sack.

I can happily recommend both varieties. Available from Morrisons and probably loads of other shops too, but we only have Morries in Gib.

They have a cool website, where you can buy their stuff on-line (cheaper too), and one of their dogs even has his own blog.

No, I did not get a single free Wagg biscuit for writing this up. Just thought it would be an interesting diversification for my CV. Or DV. Or whatever.

But for any pups living in the UK with a blog, they have been offering free treats in exchange for a review. Hey ho. You can't win 'em all (or even a lot, get the joke? winalot? all I can manage today) so I can't get those treats but other pups may be interested.

Anyways, here are some piccies of me out on my walk with Master. And then I go home for my lunch.

How embarrassing. Why is Master hopping?? Look at my sedate and graceful walk

A dog has to sniff

And more sniffs....

Hmm, there is another dog approaching. Always got to check them all out

And don't forget to check out Bolo's Nosevember contest where you have to guess whose nose belongs to who. Here is the post for week two.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November round up

Here I am with my weekly monthly update. Well I live in hopes. It used to be weekly.

Of course, Misery being the technologically incompetent person that she is, has been messing around with her blogs again. So then she decided to start another one. I ask you, how many blogs can a person have? How many neglected blogs does a poor sad Pippadog have? Huh? One. A measly one. Anyway, it is a new wordpress one - roughseasinthemed for anyone interested in reading about her utterly boring life.

Oh, but she has made me a favicon - can you see it next to my blog address in the top bar?? And I have added icons on the right in my blogroll so you can have a look - hardly any of us have icons, most have an orange B for Blogger. Come along pups, get your pix out there on your favicon, you don't even need to mess with HTML now, you can just upload a tiny pic max size 100 x 100. So go do it.

Now onto ME. I had a fine time on gate duty at my finca as usual. Then it rained and I wasn't allowed to go out and lie in the wet. OK, so maybe I didn't really mind too much, so I took me under my table den.

Table den with my head under Misery's pretentious stool

Then I thought I might practise a little for my friend Bolo's Snosevember Contest I mean Nosevember. I think these are good fun. The trouble is you have to guess the dog belonging to the nose, so now you will all know which is my nose. Maybe I need to take different piccies.

Nose and face - nope, too much of me showing there

That's better - my snose nose

Next up, I tried to eat my friend Mango. That would be silly wouldn't it - I think he is a bit too big for me. I really tried to eat Misery's mango that she had for breakfast. Look at that plateful - far too much for a person to eat without sharing with a poor starving Pippadog (well I had already had my breakfast but I had forgotten about it by then).

Yummy mango. Far too much for greedy Misery

Waiting for MY mango

I've already posed once - you want more pix?? I need mango

Haha even I can't keep a straight face forever

I could be waiting a while. I decided to lie down

Here I am later on patiently waiting for brunch

I don't know why there isn't a place set for me

Thank goodness for kind Master - he always shares with me

And in other news, I had a super cockroach tale for you, but I will save that one for next time.

Don't forget to sign up for the DWB card exchange if you like to exchange cards or emails - details on Ping's blog here. And you need to send your piccy for the calendar too. Deadline for these is November 15.

I'll finish with a sad comment - seems my scary eyes didn't scare enough to keep the lovely Claudette with us. I came back from Spain to find she had gone to the Rainbow Bridge. (Misery wrote her tribute here if you haven't already seen it.)

We had been blog friends pretty much since she started some four years ago (I was a bit surprised to discover that when I did my research), and she was always one of my first and most frequent commenters, first with Lacy Lulu, and then with Rocky.

RIP Sweet Claudette, and if you see Prince over there (he's a barky GSD) - please give him a paws up from me. Tell him you are my pal, and he won't bark too much at you :)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Pippa the Pharma

Here is some more info from Pippa the Pharmacologist about my cox-2 inhibitor, Cimicoxib (generic). Or Cimalgex (brand).

Misery is always very keen to read the information leaflets about any drugs, well they are usually mine, as she doesn't take any.

In fact she thinks it is so important, she wrote about it on her Clouds bloggy, which is not as good as mine because there are no pictures of me. But if you are interested in pharmaceutical and pharmacological issues, check out her paracetamol post.

Back to me. As we didn't get an information sheet for my tablets, she looked up the info on the tinties for me.

They come in three varieties. Cimalgex 8mg, 30mg amd 80mg. Each tablet has the same quantity of active ingredient cimicoxib, ie 8mg of cimicoxib in the 8mg tablet, 30mg in the 30mg tablet and 80mg in the 80mg tablet. The tablets are chewable ones and tasty. I can vouch for that.

Here are the other ingredients:

• Lactose monohydrate
• Povidone K25
• Crospovidone
• Sodium laurylsulfate
• Macrogol 400
• Sodium stearyl fumarate
• Pork liver powder

Misery wasn't very pleased to see the last one on that list. And she thought sodium lauryl sulphate was something you got in shampoo.

Big dogs like me need to take one tablet a day of the 80mg version, ie that's 20.1 - 40kg dog weight. You can take them with, or without food. I started eating them with my food, but when Misery was helping me research, she read something about taking the recommended dose without food.

So then I ate it before my breakfast with some tasty fake beefy slices. After a couple of days though, I began to feel a bit lethargic and couldn't be bothered to jump up and down for my breakfast. And when we went out for my walks, I didn't want to do anything. I even had a few tiny retches although nothing came up.

Misery looked at the internet again and checked out the adverse reactions. Here is what she found:

• Mild and transient gastro-intestinal disorders (vomiting and/or diarrhoea) were very commonly reported.

• On rare occasions, serious gastrointestinal disorders such as haemorrhage and ulcer formation have been noted. Other adverse reactions including anorexia or lethargy may also be observed on rare occasions.

• In very rare cases, increases in renal biochemistry parameters were noted. As for any long term NSAID treatment, renal function should be monitored.

Well I certainly didn't have diarrhoea, quite the opposite, but I had been trying to vomit. And I was not my usual perky self. I'm not even sure if I could have been bothered to chase a cat.

I'd had about ten tablets at this point out of my two week supply and my paw was much better. So Master and Misery decided to stop the tablets immediately, as advised, and I was soon back to my normal cheerful self. I even found a cat that I thought Master might want to look at more closely so I tried to pull him over. He didn't. Want to look at it I mean.

So, as Mango particularly asked about side effects, I thought it was worth making a separate post for you all in case you get arthritis or a trophy. Perhaps I will win a trophy for my pharmacological research?

In summary about my tablets:

1 They are tasty

2 They made my paw get better very quickly, and so far it has not hurt again

3 They are better taken with food, in my experience

They are not expensive at 19.20€ for 16 tablets and because I stopped taking them before I had used them all, it means there are some in my medicine cabinet in case my paw starts to hurt again.

Thank you all for your very kind comments about my pawly paw and I hope I don't need to put on my pharmacological hat again in the near future. Although I am happy to do any research for any pups who need it.

And here are some piccies. After all this is a dogblog. Finally, I end with a special pic for my friend Claudette where I am doing paws crossed and evil eyes to ward off bad things. Thinking of you, Claudette, big Pippahugs to you.

Pippa the Pharmacologist resting after research

Busy morning with a yoghurt pot

The obligatory boring old tablet shot

Breakfast time. So happy. Bread from Misery and toast from Master.

One of my favourite positions. Front paws on the floor, back ones on the sofa, ready to turn whichever way

Oh! Yes! Toast!

Eyes wide shut? while crunching toasties -
I hope Nicole Kidman appreciates my eyes wide shut

Licking my lips but I look drunk on here. Drunk on toast!!

Paws crossed for my lovely friend Claudette, and sending evil green eyes to help get rid of her pawlinesses

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Pawly paw

I had a pawly paw so off we went to see my favourite vet, Doctor Pedro.

Master and Misery thought it might be arthritis because I am old. They bought me some glucosamine which I wrote about last month but it didn't seem to make any difference.

We have learned two things about going to see Pedro. Not to go on a Monday morning because it is full of people who have waited over the weekend, and not to go first thing when there is a queue.

So we went about half tennish (he opens at 10) on a Tuesday, and walked straight in. Pedro walked over to see us in the waiting area. Unless I am going for my jabs, he likes to see us in the public area. I like that too, it's sort of friendly and informal.

He moved my leg backwards and forwards and I didn't even do the tiniest little yelp. Then he went out the back and came back with some tablets. Hmmmm. Would they taste nasty? Would I get them wrapped in tasty slices? :)

Misery asked what was wrong. Was it arthritis? Pedro said it could be arthritis or atrophy. A trophy? Does that mean I won a prize? Seems not.

Later Misery was puzzled. She spoke to Master about it. She couldn't understand why Pedro had said I was wasting away when he said I looked healthy and a good size.

'Muscle wastage,' said Master intelligently. 'Ah,' said Misery, realising that Master had hidden depths of cleverness.

Anyway, I am allowed to write about my tablets myself this time instead of Misery pretending to be clever and stealing all my interesting info and putting it on her blog. Pippa the Pill Popper. No, I don't think I like that image. Pippa the Pharmacologist, yes, that is much better. Serious and thoughtful.

So, I got Cimicoxib - generic name, brand name is Cimalgex. I got the 80 mg version. It is made by Vetoquinol.

It is a cox-2 inhibitor like the Previcox I had when I was poorly with erlichiosis. Now here comes the techy bit. Cox inhibitors are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS, or AINEs in Spanish). They work by inhibiting ie suppressing or turning off, an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX).

Now, there is COX 1 and COX 2. There is also COX 3 or 1B but that doesn't seem to be important. Just thought I would mention it in case anyone thought I hadn't done my research properly.

NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen inhibit all cox enzymes. But cox-2 inhibitors only go for the enzyme that causes inflammation. It seems cox-1 is a good cox that looks after our stomachs so we don't want to inhibit that one.

There now, I think that is it. Cimalgex is a new tablet that only came out this year. It is chewy and tasty which is always a good thing in my dog opinion. Like all tablets it has side effects. I think I will write about that later as I am tired now after my pharmaceutical research.

My paw is better.

Even though I was on sick leave, I thought it was important to make sure I supervised the painting. And to ensure my table den did not disappear under all those sheets.

Here is my friend Perro Blanco who lives at the finca across the road. Actually he is not my friend at all as we always bark at each other. But he has a pawly paw too - he needs to go and see Pedro the Vet.

Here he is laughing at Misery. Perhaps we have something in common. In fact I think we look similar in some ways? What do you think?

Monday, September 12, 2011

National Day and holidays

As everypup knows, 10 September in Gibraltar is National Day and we all parade around in red and white clothes. Even me.

Master went to one of his paint suppliers and they gave him a red T-shirt. 'Please can I have extra large for my extra large tummy?' he asked.

Then he asked for an extra large one for Misery too. Not that she has an extra large tummy but she likes loose T-shirts.


It's no good getting one for you and one for Misery and leaving me out.

For those pups who haven't seen my earlier photos, I did adorn myself in one of master' red vests in a previous year - here.

People celebrating National Day with Gibraltar and British flags

This display shows when Gibraltar became British in 1704 and celebrated the tercentenary in 2004

Balloons are released at 1pm for everyone who lives in Gib. I wonder which one has Pippa written on it?

Well, anyway, Pippadog did not have a stunningly successful National Day this year.

But at night, Misery went upstairs to watch the fireworks with our neighbour. And when she came back down, I went out onto the landing to say hello to her. My neighbour, not Misery. I know who she is.

Then, thinking, no-one was watching me, I eyed up the staircase, or rather eyed down it, and decided to go out on a quick cat hunt. Oh! Yes! Escape!!

'Where do you think you're going?' said Master and caught hold of me rather too quickly.

Not downstairs. Obviously. Poor sad Pippadog.

Anyway today is yet another holiday. We are having a Bank Holiday for National Day because that was on a Saturday. I am not sure why it is good but Master and Misery are home and we are eating lots of yummy goodies. Omelettes, and fake lamb steakies, and stuffs. Yogs goats too of course.

Breakfast in bed. Er, I have finished now, take the tin away. Thank you.

More about National Day on Misery's blog here.