Sunday, 20 November 2011

Chasing the cat and getting the boot

In dog world, this level of extreme exhaustion only comes from a major bout of physical and mental activity.
..........Like eating a pair of Ugg boots and then trying to eat somebody’s cat, perhaps?
So this is a public apology to Vicar Jan and her family, who I suspect are unlikely to ask me to stay for the weekend again. 

I am very, very sorry indeed.

In my defence, I live in a house where the humans have the fashion sense of Timmy Mallett and Sue Pollard, so I had never come across an Ugg before.

I do now apreciate the depth of my crime.

As for the cat... what can I say?  They do say that the cat’s motto is: “No matter what you’ve done wrong, always try to make it look like the dog did it.”

And it did look a bit like a squirrel.
So especially for Vicar Jan – here’s a story I saw on a great South African pet website by a vet, Martha Hardison:
A client brought a litter of golden retriever puppies to my veterinary clinic for inoculations and worming. As the look-alike pups squirmed over and under one another in their box, I realized it would be difficult to tell the treated ones from the rest. So, I turned on the water faucet, wet my fingers, and moistened each dog's head when I had finished. After the fourth puppy, I noticed my talkative client had grown silent. As I sprinkled the last pup's head, the woman leaned forward and whispered, "I didn't know they had to be baptized, too."

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

How could they?

Don't even speak to me

You will have noticed that I have been rather quiet for the last couple of weeks.

Frankly, this because I have been lost for words.
Worse than that, I have been violated.

I went back to the vets for a quick check up, had the plastic bucket removed from my head, and settled back into everyday life.  Then a couple of days later I was at a loose end and it occurred to me that I hadn’t growled at my testicles for a few days (I don’t know why I do this, but I do).

........... But they weren’t there.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  And then it all suddenly made sense.

Having had time to think this through, I suppose I can understand where Weird might be coming from, especially after I accidently broke her fingers through over-excitement. But Beard?  The man who won an axe throwing competition and wears Bear Grylls Survivor trousers? 
The man who straight-facedly describes himself as ‘a bit of a hunk’?

Traitor. Traitor. Traitor.

According to my research, it is possible to buy fake dog testicles called neuticles
They are available in sizes from petite to extra large. According to the manufacturer, they allow dogs like me to maintain their self-esteem.
Somehow I don’t imagine they will be on my Christmas list.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Conehead and the barbarians

Something very strange is going on.

I have what appears to be a plastic bucket attached to my head.
In fact, I look like a triceratops.

Here’s what happened.  A couple of weeks ago I went off for a particularly good walk in the woods with Beard – but on the way home called in at the vets.  This didn’t bother me too much as there is a six foot display of dog food in the corner, which I set about trying to break into while B was in conversation with the nurse.
Then I turned around to find he had vanished. Completely.  Nursey was holding the end of the lead.

To cut a long story short, she took me into the back room, patted me on the nose, shoved a needle in my backside and next thing I woke up with a bucket firmly attached to my head.
So... I am completely baffled.  On the positive side, B and W keep giving me sausages and pieces of chicken (which is usually a sign of guilt) and I have learned very quickly that the bucket doubles as a battering ram to open doors and push humans around the house. It also acts as a sort of giant funnel for dog treats.

On the negative side, it’s impossible to have a good scratch and... to be honest.... my nether regions are feeling a bit strange.
I will report back when I get rid of the bucket. Only then will we solve the mystery...

A bonus of having a bucket on my head was that I missed the inevitable Halloween indignity that would have seen me sporting devil horns or suchlike, for the amusement of the humans. Sadly, many of my distant relatives were not so lucky...........


Monday, 17 October 2011

The Pawshank Redemption


I have returned.
After four days in dog jail for a crime I did not commit.

Which, readers will note, is a MONTH in dog time.
And while I am actually back in the dog bed at the cottage, I feel that I should now be in an open top car, heading for an old sailboat on a Pacific beach.

It all started innocently enough. When I saw B packing up Piggywig , the wubby and the bag of birthday doggie doughnuts,  I just presumed we were off camping again, so I jumped willingly into the car. Twenty minutes later I found   myself outside a strange building being bundled into a cage. Yes a CAGE. And then he was off. Leaving me there with a bunch of barking mutts, who would have been banging their tin mugs on the bars if only they’d had any.
There I was,  left in a wire run, in a yard with some other collies and big dogs.  To add insult to injury, just across the yard were the socially superior dogs, who had their own apartments. Honestly.  They had bedrooms with TVs and four poster beds.  These were mostly little yappy things – the ones that Weird refers to as ‘Handbag Dogs’. Talk about how the other half live.

The yard itself had a definite Shawshank feel, with a big Setter next door called Red and some predatory-looking Rotweilers across the way.  I felt I brought an Andy Dufresne-style influence to the proceedings...

I could see why some of the boys took him for snobby. He had a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn't normal around here. He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place. Yeah, I think it would be fair to say... I liked Andy from the start.
In the end, apart from the appalling injustice, the stay was just about tolerable. My cellmates were friendly enough – and one of them could open doors, despite having only one front paw – so that was impressive. There was much brushing, hosing and jet washing – which have the potential to keep me fascinated for hours – and we got to run in a field. 

To be honest, what with barking, eating and sleeping, I didn’t have much time to plan my escape.  I was just getting onto it when B suddenly appeared from nowhere and tempted me into the back of the Landy with a pig ear. 
Of course, had they been away longer, they just might have found an empty cell....

In 2011 Mr Bounce escaped from prison. All they found of him was a muddy set of paw prints, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. Oh, Bouncy loved geology. I imagine it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here, million years of mountain building there. Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really, pressure, and time.
I love my new blanket
Postscript:  Big thank you to Jodie the Staffy, who sent me a lovely new dog blanket for my birthday. It was waiting for me when I got out of jail. At least someone loves me.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Birthday treats and broken bones

Listening to some birthday tunes

Well it’s been an interesting month in dog world.
The main highlight was my first birthday, which saw me presented with a bag of Sainsbury’s doggie doughnuts (highly recommended) and a new green rubber thing on a string which has become my favourite possession. W keeps calling it my ‘wubby’, which I find more than a little patronising, but what can a dog do? 

Actually, if I’m honest, that was the only highlight.
The first challenge came when Beard disappeared for a while and then came back wearing a leg brace and lay on the settee in the style of a Jane Austen character with an attack of the vapours. Meanwhile W ferried him an endless supply of sandwiches and cups of tea. Skydiver Liz turned up and instead of the usual dog treats, brought jelly babies. To my total disgust he ate the lot, on the grounds that they would make me hyperactive.

Apparently all of this fuss arose because he had been in hospital.
I quickly realised that B had timed the whole hospital thing to coincide with the Rugby World Cup, so we watched most games snuggled up together on the sofa while W made food, tidied up, went to work and generally rushed about getting in the way of the television.

Sadly for me, her daily itinerary included taking on dog walking, at 6.00am and 5.00pm.  I have to say, the morning sessions were marked by excessive grumpiness, which generally started when I ran upstairs and jumped on her head at 5.30am.  One morning I ate her bra straps in all the excitement and, quite frankly, she went mental.  Well, come on... none of this would happen if she didn’t leave it on the floor.
Evening sessions were marginally better, although she did get quite a lot of mosquito bites. B nicknamed her ‘grumpy lumpy’ but I’m not sure she saw the joke.

Then, a couple of weeks into Beard’s convalescence, everything went badly wrong.
Early one Sunday morning, the Grump and I had left B snoozing and we were on our second circuit of the Cow Field, when a black Labrador appeared in the distance.  It came across two fields like a speeding bullet.

And then it tried to steal my green thing.
I am not proud of what happened next, but in the melee, Weird’s engagement ring got caught in my collar.  To be fair, we stopped fighting when we heard her fingers snap.

So now B is hopping about doing the chores while W awaits surgery with her arm in a plaster cast. And we have run out of dog food because apparently Sainsbury is not within hopping distance.
They both have to take me on walks now, but because they can’t actually get very far, they stand at different ends of the football field and kick the ball from one to the other while I shuttle between them. On a positive note W is developing some impressive ball control. If they ever want an angry pre-menopausal woman to appear on Wayne Rooney’s Street Soccer, the girl’s in with a chance.

No chance of a walk then?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

High days, holidays and a hurricane

I have triumphed.
Prolonged good behaviour - including walking to heel; collapsing dramatically to the floor when they pretend to shoot me; and wearing a ridiculous blue snood without attempting to tear it off, meant that I avoided the dreaded kennels and got to go on holiday.
And where did we go in the worst summer in living memory? Scotland.
On a positive note there were no midgies. They had all drowned or died of hypothermia.
We drove through the night to get to the beautiful Isle of Arran. Well until the starter motor seized on the Landy and we had to be towed by an articulated lorry.
Sadly, we were followed by Hurricane Katya, which meant we were trapped there for some considerable time because the ferries were cancelled.  Of course, I don’t mind 70 mile an hour winds and torrential rain, so I had a pretty good time with lots of walks, football and swimming in the sea, mostly accompanied by a cheerful Beard, whose mantra was: “why let a bit of water spoil your holiday?”
Despite the conditions he spent hours collecting driftwood, foraging for mushrooms and cooking on an open fire (no matches allowed though as those are for wimps). He also made friends with Angus the mechanic and his brother-in-law Robin who let us camp in his field.  This was helpful because when the serious weather warning finally meant we had to abandon the tent for our own safety, he also let us stay in his cottage. 

Baking bread


Weird seemed strangely quiet during the trip, although to be fair I could only see a small proportion of her face through her waterproofs.  When these started to leak, B said he would buy her an American army poncho for the next holiday for when she was collecting firewood.  At this point she zipped herself into the tent storage area for some considerable time. 

All in all I had a fantastic time. The only downside was when Weird (who has poor eye-leg coordination) kicked my football into the sea and it was lost.  To be fair, I think the layers of clothing and balaclava restricted her movements.
So... we’re back home and B and I are on our own this week because W had to go and do some work in Cyprus.  We took her to the airport, shared a Ginsters breakfast bar on the way back and went for a game of football.  Then I settled down in the special out-of-bounds chair while B watched the rugby.
Life is good.
I must NEVER sit in this char

Friday, 16 September 2011

Dancing sheep and scary toast

September has been an interesting month.  One of the highlights has been this week with the World Sheepdog Trials on TV.  Mind you, it took me a while to realise all the whistling wasn’t aimed at me – I stared intently at B and W for the first 15 minutes to see if their lips were moving, then did a couple of tours of the house looking for the phantom shepherd before I realised where the sound was coming from.  In their usual juvenile way, they found this highly amusing of course.  I then spent the next hour glued to the screen, occasionally checking behind it when the sheep ran off into the distance.
Sheep have played a big part in my life recently. It all started when, in a sudden moment of clarity one morning, I realised that the garden fence is actually only three feet tall, so I jumped over it.  Next I jumped over the neighbours’ fence – and then, having reached maximum velocity*, cleared the five foot wall into the sheep field.   The woolly ones got quite a shock at my sudden arrival, and by the time Beard followed me over the wall in his pyjama trousers, I had them neatly pinned into one corner.  I thought he’d be impressed by this, but he was incandescent, dragged me back to the cottage and set up a complicated rope system that means I am now clipped on to a wire every time I go out of the front door.  Grrrr.
We went to the local Food and Drink Festival not long after that, which is held at a nearby farm. Due to the fantastic British summer weather, this had all the charms of the Somme, with desperate looking stall holders plying gourmet cheeses and chilli flavoured chocolate, while cagoule-clad visitors stumbled through two feet of welly-sucking mud to get to them.  I passed several toddlers spread-eagled face-down in the mud while their parents attempted to carry buggies over the mire. There were cooking demonstrations, folk musicians and even a circus tent, but the best thing of all was the sheep show.
photo: Flickr Richard Gillin

This was hosted by Craig the New Zealander, who introduced us to his collection of sheep friends. With much abuse targeted at Australians and rather too much innuendo for a morning’s family entertainment, he ended the performance brilliantly with a whole row of sheep, who were dancing ... yes dancing....  to ‘The Hustle’ by the late great Van McCoy.  Baaahrilliant.

I have also had lots of visitors – Skydiver Liz (who has now gone off to throw herself out of a plane); Pilates Susie; Andrea the Accountant; Vicar Jan (who I will love forever because she brought her empty butter container to lick) and -perhaps  most exciting of all – Friendly Pete, who brought my first ever dog visitor, Poppy the Spaniel.  In all honesty, she didn’t share my enthusiasm for intimacy on a first date but we had a good run around on the field, so all was not lost.

Finally, the downside of the month is that I have developed a morbid fear of toast.  Apparently this is a Pavlovian thing.  For some unknown reason, W routinely burns the toast.  This sets off the smoke alarm, which hurts my sensitive dog ears, so I run away.  Now I only have to sniff or clap eyes on a piece of jammy toast and I have a complete panic attack.
So, in conclusion, I love dancing sheep and I really, really hate toast.

*A fit collie can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. That’s faster than Beard’s Landrover

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Sorry Vicar!

Jan the vicar came for lunch today, during which I ransacked her handbag and chewed her sunglasses.

But she has forgiven me.

She should be a role model for all the rest of you humans.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Definitely not bad to the bone (this week)

I am still on my best behaviour and quite frankly, everyone is amazed.  I have been walking to heel, sitting, offering paws and looking adoringly at all and sundry.

I think the kennels idea may have been abandoned as B was looking at campsites on the Internet today.  Paws crossed.

Friendly Pete turned up this afternoon. He works with Weird so I was warned to be on my best behaviour.  His friends have taken a year off to travel around the world and each picked their favourite five albums to take with them to indoctrinate their children ..... so he threw B and W the challenge of choosing theirs.

They are still pondering, so here are mine for the record:

Who let the dogs out? Baha Men
Diamond Dogs  Bowie
Rain Dogs  Tom Waits
A Dog's Life  Bonzo Dog Band
Black Dog  Led Zep

Beard - who I am beginning to suspect is clinically insane - was telling Friendly Pete that he has been looking for a motorbike and sidecar for a while, so I can wear goggles and travel around with him.

This is the kind of thing he has in mind..........
But this is more like it- check out Chopper the Biker Dog on Youtube along with George Thorogood's iconic Bad to the Bone.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

An encounter with Batman

I am on my best behaviour this week.
This is all because I overheard a discussion about holidays, which centred on the pros and cons of kennels. 
The options are currently ‘Scotland’ and ‘Abroad’.  Obviously I have no intention of being left locked up with a bunch of other mutts while they go swanning about in the sun, so for the time being I am being the most adorable, obedient dog imaginable. I am verging on the wonder dog. In fact on Sunday night we were out on the marsh and I walked next to B holding the end of my lead in the style of Lassie!
Other than the self-imposed creeping, I am having a good week, with a trip to the beach in North Wales yesterday and dog-sitting by Grandad Ronbo and Auntie Jean on Saturday night – spelling a plentiful supply of dog biscuits and other treats.
While this was fun, I do worry that the humans are becoming increasingly eccentric.  On Saturday night they strapped on their hiking boots and marched up to the Cow Field. Without me.

Nothing strange about that, you might think.
Except that they went with a Bat Expert, called Laurence, and they were carrying bat detectors. 

This one looks a bit like me

Laurence, from the Bat Conservation Trust, is the world’s most enthusiastic expert on bats.  He knows everything there is to know.  For instance, there are 18 different kinds in the UK and two million of the little blighters, all eating 3,000 insects each night. Who’d have thought it?  And they can live for 30 years... which means there are bats around who remember Bucks Fizz winning the Eurovision Song Contest.
How many people spend their Saturday nights bat detecting?  Especially when they rush back, bursting with excitement because they have identified four types of bat: a pipistrelle, a noctule, a long eared and a whiskered.  A whiskered bat? How can you tell in the dark at 100 miles an hour?
Predictably, Beard is now scouring the web to buy his own bat detector.  Amazingly there is an online shop for bat fanatics, where you can buy these along with other fascinating and useful items.

Sadly if we do get to Scotland I will probably be forced to spend the week listening to high pitched squeaks.
Which reminds me. ... this is not the first family bat experience. When the New Zealand Weirds were visiting recently, there was a clan gathering at Chester Zoo, where the junior Weirds were very taken with the Bat Cave.  Not surprisingly, after half an hour of bat-watching wonderment this led to one of them emerging into the daylight, elated but comprehensively doused in bat droppings. 
During the ensuing (major) clean-up operation, one of the staff mentioned a couple who had been leaving the zoo a week before, only to find a fruit bat hanging upside down, asleep on the back of their pushchair in the car park. 
To  confirm the fact that both my humans are completely mad, Weird has spent the week singing ‘Bat out of Hell’ by Meatloaf to herself.  You can join in here.
Ironically, Meat Loaf was a vegetarian for 15 years.

Rin Tin Tin eat your heart out

Friday, 12 August 2011

A new toy box!

Hmmmm. What a shame that Habitat has gone into administration.

Goodbye Drift

The world lost a special and much-loved dog this week.  Goodbye to my friend Drift.

Smiley, who is a very special dog person, summed it up best:

"Run free, little blue dog".


Big cats and bush craft

In my bush shelter, just like Bear Grrrrrrrrrr ylls

Where does the time go?  I have been having one heck of a summer here in dog world. 
I should start with a massive tail wag  by thanking everyone for reading this – I have now had well over 1000 views from as far afield as the US, Australia, NZ , Holland, Germany, Singapore, Canada, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.  I would particularly like to thank Skydiver Liz, who recently toured Australia’s Apple shops, switching all the display laptops to my home page. Guerrilla marketing at its best!
So what’s been happening.... well, where to start?  Since our holiday at Camp Weird in June I have had some fantastic days out including a particularly good one with the Leigh dog pack and their super-chilled humans, Beardy Gary and Vicar Jan – who had no problem at all with me drinking out of the lavatory, eating a shower scrunchie and at one point climbing onto the dining room table to finish off the delicious fish pie and rhubarb crumble.  B and W were totally mortified of course, which made it even better. 
Another really good day was a couple of weeks’ back when B and W went to help Hairy and Smiley in Wales with the bush craft course they were running. 
Just before we arrived at the farm there was a reliable report of ANOTHER big cat sighting (yes really... see 7th June blog), and I have to say, I felt this news was treated rather too casually by B and W – especially when Hairy mentioned the words ‘seven feet long’ and ‘glowing yellow eyes’.  Anyhow, fast forward to my evening walk, before going to bed.  It was absolutely pitch black outside and the three of us set off to wander around the big field.  Well, get this – I waited until we were as far away from the farm house as we were going to get, then simply ran into the middle of the field, stared into the blackness and growled as ferociously as I could. 
B and W stopped dead, peered into the gloom for about two minutes and then, to my everlasting delight, turned and did a Linford Christie back to the house.  They could have qualified for the 2012 Olympics.  As B had the only torch, and that was strapped to his head, this resulted in W doing a forward roll into the ditch and both being covered in nettle stings.  Humans are so gullible!
The bush craft course the following day took place in Hairy and Smiley’s woods.  Weird was sent off with Hairy’s mum, Horsey Ann, to make a giant pot of stew, while I went with Beard (aka Ray Mears) to join the course.  It was great. Not only did I sneak up and steal people’s twigs as they desperately tried to light a fire without matches (why?) ... at one point I actually ran right through one bloke’s pathetic little fire and put it out just as the instructor walked towards him.  I waited until lunchtime to run away with the stew ladle (and ate the whole thing) before being flung into the Landrover for the rest of the day. RSPCA take note.
On a positive note, despite B and W’s extreme grumpiness, they seem to have forgotten their threats of castration – although I had a narrow escape when Skydiver Liz called in with some dog treats, which turned out to make me hyperactive.  Frankly that is not my fault – and if Beard will leave his favourite sunglasses next to my bed, what does he expect? 
As well as being grumpy, they are also increasingly eccentric – B has now taken to wearing Bear Grylls survival clothing (quote ‘designed for the alpha male’)  along with a racoon fur hat.  W meanwhile is tackling middle age by having her eyebrows tinted. I got the shock of my life when she walked in on Saturday – she currently looks like the love child of Susan Boyle and Leonid Brezhnev.  B, who never learns, made the fatal mistake of looking up from the laptop and saying “Nice hair but what’s with the Groucho Marx?” You can imagine the consequences.
Which leads me to my news item of the week – also involving a flying missile.  What joy, on the heels of Rupert Murdoch’s custard pie, to see that our favourite magician, Paul Daniels, was hospitalised when Sooty threw a pizza at him. Go bear! 
That’s all folks. I’m off to loot Pets at Home.
Look - no matches!

Full of stew

Friday, 24 June 2011

Baggy pants and bad ideas

You know, humans really can be unfathomably stupid.

The latest news from Uncle Pippo (he of the Yorkshire Weirds) surrounds an employee of his who has been banned from travelling to Thailand for life after being arrested for smuggling contraband.

Cocaine? Heroin? Cannabis?

None of the above.

After noting the price of pet tortoises in Doncaster (apparently now a staggering £600 per beast), he invested in a pair of baggy trousers and a roll of duct tape, and strapped three to each leg for the flight home.  An absolute gift for the sniffer dog who stopped him in international departures.

You really couldn't make it up.


I would like to apologise formally to Skydiver Liz for my anti-social behaviour earlier today and to W for eating the timer knob on the cooker.

As B explained, when he got back from Mountain Rescue this evening, this is not actually my fault. It is all down to my recently-developed testicles, which are confusing me.

it is something that only men can understand.

Let sleeping dogs lie....

Just back from some very British camping in freezing, monsoon conditions in North Wales with the Weird family – fifteen of them, and with my friend Sam the Lab (as opposed to my friend Big Sam, whom you may remember is a German Shepherd).
The clan gathering involved the humans commandeering a very muddy field with three large tents and a caravan, vast amounts of patio furniture, two barbeques and a home-made badminton court. The group included B and W, Uncle Pippo and family (the Yorkshire Weirds) and Dr Dave and family (the New Zealand Weirds). Add to the party Grandad Ronbo (an ex-spy and possible assassin... more to follow on this), Auntie Jean (Brown Owl) and Uncle Deggsie the unhinged family friend.
What can I say? Beard (or should I say Uncle Beard) surpassed himself by instructing the children in knot tying and how to make fires by twirling bits of wood for hours to produce a spark. He also spent quite some time teaching them to body belay in the vague possibility that a bunch of ten year olds would suddenly have to lower a heavy object down a slope.
Weird assumed a Camp Commander role and simply bossed everyone about. (Uncle Pippo had already offended her pre-arrival by refusing to produce a list of equipment and referring to her as ‘The Commandant’).
I had a great time, except for being repeatedly hosed down after rolling in fresh cow pats. Despite being tied to metal stakes (are you listening, Esther Rantzen?) Sam the Lab and I were able to perform a pincer movement on the big barbeque for sausage-stealing purposes and managed to purloin vast quantities of food from the children, who fell for the adoring dog looks and simply passed it to us under the table. Bonus of the week was a whole gammon steak!
Apart from watching everyone trudge up Moel Famau in a gale and driving rain, the highlight of the whole trip was sharing the tent with B & W, who had no option but to give me access to the double inflatable mattress. Each night I just waited until they dozed off, then abandoned the dog bed and squeezed in between them. By putting my back against one and all four paws against the other, I could force at least one of them off the edge and guarantee myself a fantastic night’s sleep.
The reason for this is that Beard has a strongly-held theory that you must never wake a sleeping dog.  According to this tin-pot animal psychology, us dogs are at our most defensive when suddenly awoken - so in such circumstances, even the most amenable furry friend may accidently bite your face off. He mentioned this while we were away and to my everlasting doggy delight, it was verified by Uncle Pippo who claimed to know a woman in Rotheram whose Poodle bit her nose off when she tried to move it off her knitting.
So all I have to do is pretend to be asleep the whole time and nobody bothers me!
Two pieces of interesting news, to finish. I left home to the ultimate dog tease on You Tube and returned to find the country’s worst sheep dog had hit the headlines. Poor b*ggers.

Friday, 10 June 2011

The mystery of the yellow poo

B and W's growing worries caused by me being 'off my food' for two days and then producing several, rather startling canary-yellow poos have been resolved, after they discovered the entire lemon drizzle cake missing from the cupboard.

I am pretty proud of myself, actually. Given the choice, most people would rather take on the Taliban than part W from her favourite cake.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The bad dog and the good book

I believe I am winning the battle of minds!
Picture this.
I wait until they are completely engrossed in the TV, then walk quietly across the room, select the big Bible from the bottom book shelf, carry it over and deposit it gently at their feet.
This not a random act – I’ve been doing it most nights and Weird has been switching the books around in the hope I’ll pick an Alan Bennett or Nelson Mandela’s autobiography – but I’m way ahead of them.
I had a particularly good result tonight while B was out at Mountain Rescue training and W was transfixed by ‘Psychic Sally on the Road’ on Sky Living TV.  Someone’s Uncle Reg had just started communicating from the spirit world when I placed the Bible at her feet, looked into her face meaningfully (see photo) and popped back to bed.
This prompted an outburst in which she informed me I would go to hell for nibbling the cover.
In actual fact, based on the phone conversations I’ve been listening to, she can’t decide whether it’s a message from God or (bearing in mind the house is supposed to be haunted) she’s about to re-live the Amityville Horror.
Last word goes to B and W’s friend Tracey, who heard about the spooky goings on. She suggested I might be dyslexic and believe it to be the Word of Dog.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Guns, burgers and bad ideas

Just back from an overnight stay in North Wales with B and W’s friends, Hairy and Smiley.  And what a refreshing change!  Not only did they take the humans off my hands for a while, but I was allowed to go off with my dog friend Big Sam, presented with a new bone and discovered there were loads of cow pats to roll in.
Hairy and Smiley live on a farm, which reminded me of my parent’s farm in Nelson.  There was a whole gang of dogs (– including Storm Norris, who I’ve been talking to on Facebook) – along with sheep, cows and a barn full of terrifying big birds, which I attempted to strike up a conversation with, only to beat a hasty retreat when the squawky b******s tried to peck my eyes out.
However, it was not all good.  What is it with these humans?  As soon as the Sauvignon Blanc starts to flow, they seem to forget we can actually speak English. 
To start with, Sam and I were quietly finishing off some unwanted cheesecake behind the barbeque when I suddenly realised the conversation had turned to me ... and ..... I kid you not.........the pros and cons of having me CASTRATED.  I couldn’t believe my pointy ears.

To be fair, Beard defended me as if he was fighting to keep his own, but I am very, very suspicious that I have not heard the last of this.
And then, it got even worse.  Smiley blithely explained that her sheep are being killed and eaten by a mystery predator which tests say is not indigenous to the British Isles... and there have been multiple sightings of a gigantic black panther-like creature roaming the area.
I’m sorry – what did you just say?
Immediately following this conversation, Beard attempted to make me run around a remote field in the pitch black because I hadn’t done a poo all day.  I think not. 
And then, to my complete amazement, Hairy.... wait for it... gave him a gun. 
Now, Hairy might be a Bear Grylls type of a guy.  But let’s face it, Beard is a lunatic – I’ve seen the damage he can do with an egg whisk – the idea of a gun doesn’t bear thinking about.
To cut a long story short, I beat a hasty retreat to the corner of the guest bedroom and didn’t move all night.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Caught in the act

If they want to mess with my head, then I can mess with theirs.
Unfortunately however, after sneaking up on me in the dark they have now solved the mystery of the cooker timer that goes off in the middle of the night.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Surely some mistake?

Is it just me or does the latest addition to B and W's art collection consititute psychological torture for a sheepdog?

Surely they can't be serious?  If only I had opposable thumbs, I'd be straight on the phone to Esther Rantzen.

Right back in the dog house

Blogging may be limited this week as I ate some of the keys on the laptop and even though I regurgitated them, it now needs to go to the computer shop to be repaired.

I am also dealing with a major human over-reaction, including W threatening to send me to live on a farm,  after B took me to the pub (for socialisation purposes). He was delighted to see me lie down quietly under the table while he enjoyed a few pints. 

It was only when he and his companion stood up to leave that they realised I had spent the time gnawing through his friend's artificial leg.

How the **** was I to know?

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Animal Attraction

You know, it always amazes me how much the British public love us animals.
This week’s news has been dominated by wildlife stories. First of all a ‘hopping mad’ wallaby was caught in Lyme Regis after being rugby tackled by a fire fighter. No-one knows where it came from, but, the RSPCA says there are lot of them living wild.  Really?  My biggest shock of the week was coming face-to-face with a depressed-looking fox outside the front door of the cottage. Imagine suddenly bumping into a random marsupial!
Then a man tried to take his pony on the train from Wrexham to Holyhead.
And finally, staff at Blackpool Aquarium found a secret shark living in their half a million litre tank. To be precise, they discovered eggs from a carpet shark, which had until then been living undetected – apparently hiding fro the other, much nastier sharks. (It may not be a shark ,of course – it may turn out to be a red herring.  Boom boom!)
In dog world, I went to see Skydiver Liz (one of my favourite humans) to wish her happy birthday and then headed off to Wrexham town centre, fund raising for the Mountain Rescue Team.  I was hugged, stroked and petted by the population of North Wales and, along with  a few other humans and search dog Bonnie we managed to raise more than £500.
Apart from my failed attempts to sexually assault search dog Bonnie and to steal a child's sausage roll, the day was deemed a great success. Weird gave out more than 150 stickers to people handing over their cash, while B used bacon strips to convince me to do tricks. 

At least we now know that if it all goes wrong he can tie me to the end of a piece of string and between us we can generate enough small change for a bottle of White Lightning and a pig’s ear.

Before fund raising

After fund raising

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Just call me Kenny Dogleash

My favourite ball on a string

Back from the Cow Field, where I found myself in trouble yet again.
The Cow Field is next to the Football Field and I simply joined in a game of football.  I am actually very good at it. In fact when I was holiday and stole a toddler’s ball, then dribbled it up the beach; the child’s father said I should have been called Rooney.
This started me imagining a dog fantasy football team, called The Rovers, obviously...  
Sir Bobby Paw (Team Captain)
Peter Bonetti (goalkeeper)
Brian LaBone
Ross Barkley
Johan Crufts
Didier Dogba
Doggo Maradona  
EL Hadji Woof
Gnashley Cole
Chris Barker
Robbie Growler
With Alan Ball (on a string) and Butch Wilkins in reserve.

Sorry, I digress. Back to the story.
Invading the pitch is unusual for a Tuesday – it’s something I usually do on a Wednesday, when Beard is at mountain rescue training and Weird has to take me out on her own.  This usually results in her trying to catch me for 10 minutes while both teams leave the field, followed by a round of apologies and general grovelling.
I must say that the Cow Field has become one of my favourite places since rabid Bono (see February blog) has now disappeared (presumably he’s been made into Araldite based on his previous performance). Other than a crazy German Shepherd whose human jogs around wearing Speedos and occasionally wrestles him to the ground for no apparent reason, the local dog population is very civilised. Top of my list are Rosie, Galu, Caspar, Molly and Trevor – all collies, along with spaniels Harvey and Charlie. We all meet up once or twice a day and  generally go berserk. 
What’s best about the Cow Field is that it is an egalitarian community.  The humans refer to each other as ‘Bounce’s dad’, ‘Rosie’s mum’ ........ and even ‘Harvey’s nan’. Hysterical!  No-one talks about work , money, cars, they just talk about dogs.
B and Galu’s mum have recently come up with a dog socialisation training project that involves spending Thursday evenings in the bar at The Ship and this is proving surprisingly popular.  Not for us dogs, mind, who have to lie quietly under the table.  We mostly spend the time searching for discarded chips and peeling previously-used chewing gum from under the table tops. This is delicious - you should try it.
I did have one moment of joy at the Cow Field last week.  Being Wednesday night, B was off being Ray Mears, so W had to take me out, which she plainly loathed.  After trudging around for an hour she threw my ball on a string over the barbed wire fence (RSPCA-level negligence in my opinion) and I dropped in on the way back. 
Too lazy to walk to the end of the field, she crawled through, reached the ball and found herself firmly fixed by the hair.  So there she was, bum in the air in the middle of an empty field, trapped. 

I suppose I could have attempted some Lassie-style rescue, but frankly I couldn’t be bothered, so I lay down and had a doze. It took her half an hour to escape.  
Just as well that German Shepherd and Speedo guy didn’t put in an appearance... anything could have happened.