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.