“Only Lazy Gods make snakes”. I’ve liked this as a title ever since I watched children using Play-Doh.’

For my big brother – a wonderful Grandad. 

 

Harry sat in the middle of a grassy lawn.  He was surrounded by beautiful flowers and fantastic insects.

He frowned with concentration as he picked out the colours and shapes.

Every object had to be different, and he smiled as he placed them on the grass and watched them come to life.

Other small gods occupied the lawn, each intent on their own marvellous creations.

The Big Benevolent One smiled as he wandered past looking at their labours.

His fingertips touched Harry’s head.

Harry looked up and smiled back.  He was very happy.

“Good job Harry.  You can move on to something bigger now.  Some animals and birds perhaps?”

Flushed with pride at such a compliment, Harry collected more materials and set to work.

He started small; a mouse and then a brightly coloured lizard.

Placed carefully on the grass, the mouse shook his whiskers and scurried off to make a home.

The lizard took his time. He stretched and let the sunshine warm his shimmering skin.

“Time for something bigger now.  I shall call it Dog and it will be my friend.” Harry said to himself and was just putting together the items he needed when he heard an unfamiliar sound.

The Big Benevolent One was standing in the corner of the lawn staring down at Milo; a slightly larger god who had put together some especially clumsy-looking cactus plants.

There was an ominous rumbling.

“You can do better than this Milo.  Look around you. Look at the colours and the shapes. Move on to something beautiful or you’ll have to spend time making rocks.”

Milo frowned. He hated making rocks. It was boring, hot and the other larger gods shouted at him.  They had only a few more days to finish the Earth after all. and everyone was working as hard as they could.

Except Milo, who just wanted to lie under the trees and watch everyone else working.

The Big Benevolent One moved on to admire someone else’s work and Milo sulkily picked up some brown clay.

He rolled it idly between his hands, then on a piece of flat stone until it grew longer and thinner.

He started another, and another until the stone was covered with a number of long thin brown snakes of varying sizes.

Harry glanced over at the snakes; all blind and hungry and dull.

He got to his feet, picked up a handful of pieces left over from the lizard and walked over to Milo who felt that he had done enough and had fallen asleep.

The snakes were given jewel-bright eyes and long forked tongues.  Harry striped their brown skin with green and white, red  and blue for the big ones, and for the last he covered the brown with yellow and white stripes.

Stroking the warm skin as it came to life, Harry smiled.

“You will be a corn snake and your name will be Dave.'”

Hearing the sound of the Big Benevolent One approaching, Harry got up and returned to creating Dog.

Milo woke and looked at the fabulous snakes slithering around happily in front of him.

“Well done Milo!  Take a little break now.  Usually only lazy gods make snakes but you have done well. ” The Big Benevolent One patted Milo’s head but looked across at Harry and winked.

Harry was happy, especially when Dog came to life, wagged his tail and licked Harry’s face.

Milo snored in the sunshine.

corn snake

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I didn’t mean to hurt you – I’m sorry that I made you …. fall over

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Hola!

Back into the Spanish sunshine mode.  My Valencian roots are emerging, together with the need to laze, eat and occasionally go walkies in the fresh air.

My Mum has taken to sitting outside and studying at the garden table – which I like particularly because I have to keep an eye on her.

The Big Boy is home from this Uni place and he seems to have been bitten by the sunshine bug too. Every other time he’s been home he stays in his room with big books – occasionally popping out to have a shower or cook food that smells wonderfully of garlic.

My Dad goes off to the work in the CAR but he doesn’t take me.  I am sad for a little while when he leaves but overjoyed and bouncing when he returns.  I think he is just as pleased to see me although it usually means he has to take me out for a walk no matter what time of day it is.

My Boy spends most of his time shouting at friends on his computer thing – he shouts because he has something over his ears – he can’t hear himself and he can’t hear my Mum and Dad when they shout at him either.  I love it when he comes downstairs because he gives me lots of fuss and !

My Mum had this idea of getting some kind of paddling pool for us to cool our toes/claws in – they tracked one down and my Dad set off in hot (very hot) pursuit, snatching up the last one in the shop from the sweaty hands of some other doting dad.

I didn’t like the noise the long snake thing that spits water made and I was quite wary of the big blue plastic shell that appeared in MY yard.  My Mum sat on the bench with her feet in the cold water and smiled. It really was a very hot day.

 

My Boy decided to put me in the blue shell.  He lifted me up and I stood, uncertain and wary, up to my elbows in cold water.  Then he poured the water over my back and tail.  I remained where I was, shivering, and  my Dad took pity on me and told my Boy to get me out. I shook water all over my Boy for that.

I have given the blue shell a wide berth since but my Mum still likes it because she can watch the blackbirds flying into the ivy with food for their fledglings.  I am NOT allowed to harass the blackbirds however tempted I am.

The other new garden acquisition is less scary. So overjoyed was my Mum to find that her eldest son wasn’t a vampire after all (with all that garlic – no chance!), she and my Dad bought him a sun lounger and a long lime green cushion to go on top.  It looks very inviting but once he sat down there was very little that would move my Big Boy upright and away from his extremely large and heavy books.  He is currently reading ‘Organic Chemistry’.  My Mum is reading ‘Cognitive Psychology’, my Dad has ‘Shares’ magazines and my boy is shooting BBs out of the bathroom window (he’s not allowed to do it if any of us are in the garden but sometimes he forgets).

So, yesterday afternoon we are out in the garden – well – me, my Mum and my Boy.  My Dad has gone back to bed because he was up at five o’clock in the morning and my Boy was in shouty mode again.

We had an unexpected but extremely welcome visitor – on a bicycle.

Bicycles make me anxious at the best of times and unexpected visitors make me very excited.  My Mum sent the Big Boy for Scooby Snacks so that I could be bribed into submission.  He went, my Mum grabbed my collar, I pulled and she went down – in her words – lie a sack of spuds.

Since the bad crate bashed her toe, my Mum’s balance has been decidedly off.  She tries to fall on soft things – sofas, chairs, my Dad –  but on this occasion she failed.  Her knee hit the ground, her elbow hit the brickwork edge of the flower bed and her head hit the side of the garage.  My Big Boy, my Mum’s friend and I watched her go down in slow motion.  Ouch. We were all very sympathetic and concerned.

She was okay though (she whispered to me later that if we’d been alone she would have cried a bit – but it wouldn’t have happened if we’d been alone because I wouldn’t have gotso  excited.)

With a stiff upper – how do humans do that? – she got up slowly and staggered over to the chair she uses for studying al fresco. Big swollen knee, bleeding elbow and bumpy head, but my Mum and her friend had a nice long chat and by the time my Dad came down she had lost the green tinge and was smiling again.

It has been a difficult weekend with my Mum making some important decisions.  She’s had some help in this and I’m putting some links (who am I kidding – dogs don’t do typing or computers or links!) at the end of this piece of FICTIONAL writing.

I’m sorry Mum.  I didn’t mean to pull you over and hurt you.  I’m just an anxious guy. xxx

SUMO – Shut Up and Move On

http://www.thesumoguy.com/default.aspx

http://thesumoguy.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

Birds do it, Bees do it …..

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Whilst I am loving the sunshine  and the opportunity to loll in the garden, there are some disadvantages to the outdoor life.

The year of the cat has come and gone, so the birds have returned to our garden with a vengeance.

We have – according to my Dad who knows these things – pigeons, blackbirds, starlings, dunnocks and sparrows in the side garden, and a variety of tits in the front garden – steady – I am a dog and I don’t do innuendos.  The blackbirds have got a nest in the back courtyard and the pigeons are getting through the fatballs at a rate of knots.  My Mum has been a bit sneaky and hung a container of fatballs on a very wobbly branch so that only the lightest of birds can land there.

Talking of balls – she has sown these seedballs all over the garden – little clay balls that contain flower seeds. Part of the strategy to bring back the bees and other insects.

I can cope with most of the birds but those blackbirds keeping hopping about behind me when I’m trying to kip under my very own sunshade.  They swoop down over my head in order to tease me and they even had the cheek to grab a lump of my discarded fur after my Mum had brushed me. OI!  MY FUR!

The seedballs worked and we know have bees in abundance.  They are even more annoying than the birds and far more dangerous.

There I was, innocently chasing a bee and snapping my jaws at it, when it turned round, stuck its bum up my nose and stung me.

Unfortunately the incident happened so quickly that no one else saw.

That afternoon the nice man came to see how my annoying habits were shaping up.

Still pulling.  Still whoofing.  Still randomly growling. Lovely with it though.

We did some more work – the de-stressing was very nice but the bad noise when I woofed was not.  I am learning – slowly. Then I got treats and more de-stressing so all was good.

Except for the fact that I kept licking the air and sneezing – the humans around me came up with various hypotheses to explain my strange behaviour but it wasn’t till the next morning that my Boy and my Mum (with the aid of a torch) looked up my nostril and discovered that the inside was bright red and swollen where the bee’s bum had left its mark.  I was washing everything in sight in order to stop the pain.  Wet sofa, wet cushions, well-washed Mum (my Boy doesn’t like it when I lick him but my Mum doesn’t mind – she keeps baby wipes in the bathrooms still).

Got lots of fuss, Wonky Chomps (Yay! My favourite), treats and a handheld ice cube to ease the swelling (love, love love these doting humans).

They booked me into the vets so that my Dad could take us when he got back from work.  I was doing my best to look pathetic when my Dad came home and it worked because he made a BIG fuss of me.

To the vets – in the CAR.  I love the CAR!  Only a short trip though as the vet is just round the corner.  It was a lady vet this time and I did all the charming head-on-one-side-with-a-slight-tail-wag stuff.  It worked.  She was smitten.  I had a steroid injection but they didn’t charge me for the anti-histamines – did you know that dogs can take 4mg Piriton for insect bites? I was a very GOOD dog (that’s if you ignore the ominous growling at the other smaller dogs who were at the vets as well).

Went home.  Still lickyand a bit dopey from the drugs but oh, the attention I got from all of them – it was worth it.

There have been various other pieces of excitement darting around the house this week.

The Big Boy who lives away has done well in his exams and will be coming home next week.

My Boy has been invited to a wedding in America – so all else has to take second place whilst he holds forth about it. The next two months are going to be horrendous.

My Dad has a very posh new suitcase thing for keeping all his paintball stuff in.

My Mum has been to mysterious meetings that make her alternately mad and sad.

Although I don’t like to see her sad, it does  mean that I get the best cuddles from her when we fall asleep on the sofa together.  When she is tappity-tapping on her laptop I am at her feet to stop the bad people from coming in.

My Dad takes us up to the Monument.  He and I run up and down the hill whilst my Mum puts things back into perspective, says hello to her favourite tree (I’m not allowed to wee on it) and smiles again.

My Dad will be home in half an hour and that should mean walkies if he isn’t too tired from looking at planes and stopping them bumping into each other.  At the very least my Mum will take me outside to the front garden for a late night pitstop and some treats.  There is a bolshy looking Hebe bush that I am slowly subduing with the power of wee.

Our friend Paddy Pickles has an iPee app for his phone – it shows your where you last sprinkled.  My Dad says there is no need for us to get an iPoo for me – scented nappy sacks remove all trace of my whereabouts.

That was a bit of fantasy – Paddy Pickles is a canine chum and doesn’t have a mobile. I am a dog and I don’t do jokes either.

It’s going to be a nice day again tomorrow – takes me back to my days in the Spanish sunshine.  My Boy will be unlikely to surface till lunchtime as he has been running around in heavy boots, camouflage and shooting things with small plastic balls all day today. My Dad will be spending the day shooting people with larger balls of paint and coming home with brightly coloured bruises.  Hope he takes me out for a walk first then.

Sunshine in the garden, cuddles with my Mum, Wonky Chomps and doggy treats.  It’s a dog’s life alright.

Adios amigos.

Oh! Dad’s HOME!

The heat is on ….

Hola amigos!  Wotcha mates! Or even Aiya luv!  See how proficient I am at this multilingual stuff?

I am still here after my first month and my paws are well and truly under the table – well they would be if it wasn’t for the fact that my Mum, Dad and the Boy seem to use the table as a general dumping ground rather than for eating off.    At the moment it is a mess of paperwork, gloves, hats, books, CDs, DVDs and – ooh drool – I can see Scooby snacks half-hidden by a magazine and just waiting for me to devour them (the magazine is ‘Heat’ – bought by my Mum for the ‘Weird Crush’ article – it seems that she has a weird crush on three-quarters of the weirdos therein).

Back to life   – back to reality – back to the here and now.  What a lyrical pooch I am but before the present a small recap to explain the even greater level of disorder and chaos in this house.

The boiler died.  My dogservatory became very cold at night and as a consequence I was permitted to sleep in the living room  – on the sofa – AT NIGHT and ALL NIGHT  – not just when the Boy couldn’t sleep and came down for munchies and a cuddle.

I hasten to point out that during this period I was very, very good, and didn’t eat or destroy anything.  In fact – since the one-off incident with the stale bagel I have not pinched anything at all.  I’ll say this for my family, they provide me with decent grub so that I don’t have to help myself.  Not that I would take anything that my Boy cooks anyway – he has a tendency to lace everything with lashings of Tabasco Sauce – not good for a  doggy constitution.

Whilst my main meals are stable and of high quality (they got a 10% discount at the pet shop and bought some decent food in bulk) my Mum has been browsing in the pet aisles at various supermarkets to find a variety of healthy and enticing snacks with which to encourage good (i.e. subservient) behaviour.  Anything that smells highly of bacon is good for a snuffle hound like me but cheesy stuff is appreciated too.

I digress.  Apparently my Dad has been intending to replace the boiler – and the entire heating system –  for some time and then Fate forced his hand.  It was going to take two days, there would be no heat or hot water and LOTS of disruption.  Not ideal for an old lag like me who is just getting acclimatised to my new surroundings after eighteen months in the chokie but the alternative wasn’t too palatable either.

So there were quite a few days of dust and disorganisation whilst my Mum and Dad cleared away years of detritus from in front of the radiators (there was some recycling but much of the junk has just been moved from one space to another).  On the Sunday before the work was due to begin I became so excited about the patio door being left open that during one of my mad running in and out moments I made the mistake of revealing to my Dad how easy it would be for me to jump over the six-foot wall by the gate (not that pleasant though as there is a huge Pyracanthus bush on the other side that would have seriously wrecked my lovely glossy coat and left my family picking prickles out of me for months afterwards.)

The patio door was shut firmly at that point and the Dyson brought out in an effort to keep the dust levels down and stop my Mum wheezing and sneezing.

Monday morning and the men (well – big boys) arrived.  I should state here that I now I have my own home again I am just a little protective about it – ask the postman.  I confess to a bit of huffing and growling at first, and due to the number of open doors and heavy metal radiators in the yard, I had to wear my lead and be tethered to a family member.  We spent a large amount of the day huddled together for warmth on the sofa whilst the boiler boyz whizzed from room to room whipping out the grungy old radiators and installing the shiny new ones.  There was also a fearsome and intriguing amount of noise from my Mum and Dad’s bedroom which had a lot to do with the removal of a giant copper tank, several smaller tanks and the collapse of a wooden louvred door that used to cover up the big tank.  There was much wuffing on my part but the growling ceased.

On Tuesday a third boiler boy joined the team and there was even more noise so my Mum and Dad took me for a nice walk in the woods.  There were bunnies but although I was on the extending lead I couldn’t quite catch them (well – when I say ‘quite’ I mean they were some distance away in reality but if they’d been cats ….. who knows?)

The boiler boyz were finished by Tuesday tea time; they cleaned up and took all the old radiators, tanks and packaging away with them so that I could have my yard back again.  My day doesn’t seem right unless it starts with me and my shivering Mum out in the yard playing hide and seek for treats – it is best in the dark but she only does this when my Dad is on a morning shift or she can’t sleep.  Once I’ve stretched my legs and consumed sufficient treats we usually curl up on the sofa together and heckle news readers on the BBC.

The house was warm again – a bit too warm until my Mum read the instructions on how to programme the new heating system.  It meant that my freedom of the living room was curtailed though and I was back in my room at night (apart from the time when the Boy didn’t shut the door properly and I sneaked out once he’d gone to bed).

So a week on and we still have dusty boxes and bags scattered around; the pressure  is off so my Mum and Dad have slowed down on their good intentions – the Boy has his own standards of tidiness regarding his room but as I still won’t do stairs they must remain a mystery – I have heard my Mum yelling at him about clearing up his pit, bringing the rubbish down and putting his dirty dishes in the dishwasher.  He only seems to do these things for reward however – and we aren’t talking Scooby snacks either.

Last Friday was a pretty wonderful day for me.  We had our longest drive over to the Wirral and went on a big sandy beach. My Mum and Dad took the extending lead and I ran.  I ran a lot.  In fact I ran so much that I pulled the lead out of my Mum’s hand and legged down the beach. Hampered by wellies, my Dad came after me but couldn’t catch me.  At that point I remembered the Scooby snacks in my Mum’s pocket, took pity on my Dad and ran back to my Mum’s relieved and ever open arms.  I do like to be beside the seaside.

The Boy was helping his friend move house all day that day and we went to collect him – another car trip.  I LOVE our car especially when I can stick my nose out of the window and drool down the glass.  I was allowed in the new house and after some persuasion and many Scooby snacks, I actually made it up the stairs.  Well, they were carpeted, unlike the clattering wooden slats we have at home.  They let me off the lead and I explored but disgraced myself a bit by christening the carpet in one of the bedrooms.  They all needed to be cleaned anyway.  A dog has to leave his mark.

We went visited again a couple of days ago and discovered that their own dog (an elegant older woman greyhound who I have already approved) and a dog belonging to another family member (a skittish little whippet girl who has NO manners at all) had followed suit and also watered the same piece of carpet.  I had to be relegated to the car on this visit because the intrusive nose of the whippet made me bad tempered, growly and I used the edge of the sofa as a lamp post substitute. Oops.

I’m afraid I am being a bit of a trial to my family at the moment.  My wuffing and growling whilst out has become a bit unpredictable and as a consequence there are now places in the neighbourhood that are no-go areas – sometimes only limited by the time of day as with the local school and the demented mothers who park all over the pavement and have yappy designer dogs that they can’t control.  There is also the road where the mad man with long grey hair lives.  He too has a yappy little dog and allows it to hurl abuse from behind a gate usually but the other day when my Mum and I were having a leisurely stroll, he let the thing out and it went for us.  I out-wuffed it but my Mum had me on a tight rein (so tight that she burnt her hands and ripped off a fingernail – I am very strong) so I couldn’t do much more than tell it what I thought of it.  The mad man grabbed his dog by the tail and tried to get it back on to the other side of the road – not back behind the gates – just to the other pavement where he let go and the dog came charging towards us again.

We turned tail and walked back the way we’d come with my Mum muttering about ‘responsible dog ownership’ and the mad man stating that it was a ‘free country’.  I expressed my feelings by having a huge poop when we got out of sight.  It made me feel better but my Mum, already struggling with the burnt hands and torn fingernail, was not impressed.  The mood lifted when we passed the bus stop and a nice old lady remarked on how handsome I was.  My Mum had to agree and doled out the Scooby snacks as I melted hearts with my big brown eyes.

There have been a couple of other incidents since then; I went for a large black husky-type yesterday – well – when I say went for, I mean growled and wuffed and pulled  – but my timing was a bit off.  I really shouldn’t do that sort of thing when my Dad is scooping poop.  He got a bit cross and stern.  The day continued to deteriorate with the visit from the nice man installing some equipment for the broadband upstairs.  Unfortunately, although my Mum and Dad said he was nice, he smelled very strongly of cigarettes and that set me off with the growling and wuffing again.  My Mum put me on lockdown; on the lead and sitting at her feet, banned from the sofa, stern voice and in disgrace for the rest of the afternoon.  They took me out for a walk later but it was one of those ‘we are in charge and you will walk slowly and nicely or we stand still till you do and there are no Scooby snacks’ walks.  Being an intelligent dog, I latched on quickly, did as I was asked and got lots of praise, hugs (and Scooby snacks) as a consequence.  We were all shattered when we got home though.

So – I need to accept that my family are in charge and that they don’t like me to wuff and growl excessively (four wuffs is okay in the house – that’s part of my guard dog duty).  They need to be consistent however, and harden themselves to my imploring eyes.  I think they understand now that sometime in my past a bad man smelling strongly of cigarettes, with a shaven head,and the physique of a bouncer, hit me and made me frightened.  I know they won’t let that happen to me again but I am only a dog (albeit a beautiful and intelligent dog) and such fears are deeply rooted.

On the upside (as my Mum has discovered by reading one of the many dog books that she has acquired) I am very good in the house, I was very gentle with the little girl and the baby that visited last weekend, I don’t get territorial about food, I am not destructive and I wait to be invited to sit on the sofa where I give excellent cuddles.

We are all shaping up – and considering we’ve only had one month together – not doing too badly.

When can we go to the seaside again?

 

 

No one gets hurt if they don’t act funny – aggressive dogs,chatty women,cold callers, joggers – and cats!

Ey Up (that’s Northern speak for Hola)

Week two in my new home and I’m slowly getting my humans sorted out.

I confess – we have all rather fallen for each other – my Mum because she gets up first and plays silly games with me in the garden and is actually beginning to understand what I want.  My Dad because he runs fast with me and makes me grin and I am SO pleased to see him when he comes back from this thing they call work.  My Boy because he laughs when I do funny things, he gets up in the middle of the night and hugs me when everyone else is asleep, and because he is MY BOY.

We’ve done rather a lot of stuff this past week.  After the adventures at Spike Island, my Mum and Dad took me to a local park where they knew there would be lots of dogs, geese, ducks, swans and those funny little black things – coots and moorhens – I think.  There were also some disreputable characters smoking whacky baccy under the railway bridge but we’ll draw a line under them.

We did running – me and my Dad.  My Mum was in charge of the Scooby Snacks; I get them when I sit, stay, lie down and don’t pull anyone’s arm off.  I growled a bit; only at dogs that looked a bit dodgy (and the chavs under the bridge of course). Some of the other dog walkers we encountered put their dogs back on leads when they saw me pulling a bit – very considerate.

We were all enjoying the walk when this woman  with a very wet black labrador came up to us.  The labrador was a bit lippy so I barked a bit  – back atcha Soggy Snout!  My Dad took me over to the pond and gave me a hug so that I stopped barking.  The lippy labby shook smelly canal water all over my Mum, and the woman said she recognised us from the RSPCA.

The woman said “Isn’t he socialised?  I didn’t think they were supposed to be homed until they were socialised?”

Pardon me?  All I did was growl a bit.  Your dog has been chasing the wildlife, jumping in and out of the canal, making people wet and smelly by shaking himself all over them, and actually – he growled at me first!

My Mum was trying to get away from this mad woman who had now gone on to complain about the park and how she hated bringing her dog there because he always jumped in the canal, frightened the ducks and made people wet when he shook himself.

Oh for heaven’s sake woman – put him on a lead then!  Or don’t bring him to the park! And most of all don’t accuse me of not being socialised when your own dog wouldn’t win any prizes for grace or charm. I’m the one that’s been incarcerated for the past eighteen months after all.  Woof!

She went in the end and we walked on through the park, ran a bit more and then I got to stick my nose out of the car window and drool all the way home.  I love fresh air!

By comparison the next day was a bit quiet; my Dad was off shooting things with paintballs and my Boy was off shooting things with little white pellets.  There are a lot of these pellets in the garden but you can’t eat them.  I had a quiet day with my Mum, although she did take me for a walk round the block after I woofed at the United Utilities man outside.  My Mum and I were both very pleased when my Dad and my Boy came home though.  There was much excited tail wagging and grinning – on my part – my Mum doesn’t have a tail but she smiles a lot.

There have been other incidents this week; nothing terrible really but my family now know that in addition to cats, aggressive dogs and mad women, I don’t like joggers either.   Someone knocked at the front door the other evening when my Mum and I were dozing on the sofa/watching Pointless.  Oh boy did I bark!  Whoever it was had vanished by the time my Mum had calmed me down – Hah! Another cold caller bites the dust.

Oh, I have a new bed!  I still have one in the dogservatory but this one is furry and fluffy and takes up quite a lot of floor area in the living room.  I still like getting up on the sofa to have hugs but this new bed is good to crash out on and keep an eye on everyone at the same time.

I’m gradually getting introduced to my family’s favourite places too.  Yesterday we went down to another place on the river by the big bridge, no dogs but a dangerous looking jogger who got the benefit of my most menacing growl.  He passed us again but my Mum was sneaky and spotted him first; she sent me and my Dad up some steps into a lovely smelly wood and by the time we got back the jogger was just a dot in the distance.

I was a bit muddy when we got home and my Boy decided that I should have a bath.  My Mum and Dad were dubious.  Bear in mind that for the past two weeks I have been firmly told that the bathroom is out-of-bounds; it also has a clattery floor that makes my nails slip and it smells of flowers.  My Mum put a towel on the floor and with the generous dispensation of Scooby Snacks managed to get me to acquaint myself with the bath.  I got one paw in it and my snout but that was all.  I think she understood that this bath thing was a non starter so she filled a container full of warm water and we all went back into the living room where I had a fairly decent wash and brush up of the undercarriage area.  Hah! Managed to avoid the bath AND got lots of hugs into the bargain – not  to mention the Scooby Snacks.

Tonight we went up to the Monument to watch the sun set.  It was a bit chilly for the humans but I loved it.  The whole place smells of rabbits and other dogs and even more rabbits but no cats.  I had a really good sniff around, we watched some buzzards circling and a couple of planes and helicopters but the humans wimped out eventually and we went back to the car.

So I am a happy perro.  Life is full of food and snacks and sleeping and running and walking and games of hide and seek in the garden with my Mum, but best of all are the hugs.

Steamy windows, coming from a doggy heat ….

Hiya! (I said I was bilingual).

Well, I’ve been here a week now and I have to admit, this is better than kennels any day.

I have been very good – well – apart from the slight accident with the edge of the settee when my Mum spoke rather harshly to me and I had to stop mid-pee.  I held on though whilst she scrambled into boots and coat, found my lead and took me outside.  No accidents since.

The gates are a bit of a nuisance; although I tried to get through them the first night here, especially the old one, no chance.  I like the old gate best because I can see the car and the road and maybe even  – CATS.  I can smell them.

I have my own room; it used to be called the catservatory but now it is most definitely the dogservatory or Scoob’sRoom.  It has a bed where I can keep my bones and toys (and sometimes sleep when they put me here and shut the door).  It has blankets that smell of my Boy; he had them on his bed for a week before I came home so that when I’m shut in here I can smell him.   I like that.

They’re pretty quick on the uptake, my Mum, my Dad and especially my Boy. They can tell the difference between me being happy, wanting food, wanting to go out, needing hugs and wanting to go out again.  I like going out.

The first night I was here I did a lot of sniffing; they’ve had cats in this house and I can smell all the places that they used to go but it’s an old smell that doesn’t set me off now I’m used to it.

My Mum is an early bird who comes downstairs when it gets light and takes me out to the garden for an early morning sniffle and wee.  She has learnt that before she lets me out of my room, she should unlock the patio door, get her boots and coat on and be ready for my excitable greeting – a couple of circuits of the living room with my tail wagging madly should do it and then a BIG HUG.

Then we come indoors and she tells me how wonderful I am and gives me more hugs.  I sit patiently by the kitchen door whilst she makes her breakfast and I flump on her feet  whilst she eats it.  I am mellow – for a while.

Stairs – I don’t do stairs.  I can manage the first step but the stairs are made of wood and I don’t like the sound my toenails make when they clatter against them.  My Mum and Dad don’t mind about the stairs but my Boy would dearly love to have me up in his room and keeping him company. That’s where I’d be if it wasn’t for the stairs but as it is I have learned to sit at the bottom, look sad and wait patiently for the humans to come back down to me.

I don’t do chairs or sofas either.  I’m a dog and I like to keep at least two of my paws firmly on the floor and if I’m really tired I like to lie down on the carpet (oh carpet – after eighteen months of concrete floor  – I SO love carpet) and if I can put my snout or my paw onto the foot of one of my humans then all the better.  They are mine and they are tethered to me.

I don’t whine.  I don’t bark much either.  Now that  I have taken possession of  my humans and I’ve got used to my new home, I am proving my worth as a guard dog and I like to think that my basso profundo woof would put off the most enterprising intruder.  I am very pleased to meet visitors however – a bit too pleased as apparently not everyone likes having 30 kilos of happy dog in their face.  Why?  I particularly like to have a standing (or a sitting) hug with my paws on my human’s shoulders, grinning happily with my mega-tongue lolling inches from their face.  What’s not to like?  My Mum has told me that we’ll have to turn that down a bit for visitors though and she’d quite like it if I tried not to knock her over with my happiness.  No problem with my Dad and my Boy – they are taller and more steady on their feet.

The food here is good too; the Boy did research on his laptop thing and I have the best doggy food there is, no cheap tinned stuff or dried stuff full of fillers that gives you the runs and makes you windy (well – I am a bit but the humans just wrinkle their noses and turn this fan thing on for a few moments – a dog’s gotta do what a dog’s gotta do).  I get treats too; lots of hugs and nice things said to me but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the treats.

The walks are the best though.  When I was at the RSPCA, my Boy and my Mum walked me up the road, through the woods and back by the field.  I got excited when I saw the kennels but more excited when they took me round for a second circuit and then once we’d got to know each other better, a third.  Now I’m home – well that is a totally different matter.  After my early morning bounce round the garden I wait patiently till my Dad gets up ; sometimes he has his breakfast first and sometimes he can see that I need to go out NOW!  We run.  He likes to run because it is good for his back and I just like to run.  He is still getting used to walking me because he’s never had a dog before but he says lots of nice things to me and doesn’t mind me sniffing for cats.  When my Mum walks me she doesn’t like me to pull so she slows down and stops until I get the message.  Our walks take a long time as a consequence and we don’t go very far.  My Boy is the master when we walk.  He is in control.

Nappy sacks (scented and biodegradable) are much better than pooh bags which have a nasty habit of tearing when you scoop da poop.

The car is cool.  It has big windows and now that my Dad understands that I like to put my nose out of the window, snort and drool horribly at the fresh air (baby wipes are good for drool removal) I am very  happy in the car, so happy that the windows steam up from my happy heavy breathing – zero visibility – good job we have air con.  My humans talked about putting me in a cage for car journeys but bought me a special harness instead.  I would prefer to be free to leap around in the back but I suppose the idea of being hit by a jet-propelled pooch if the car stops suddenly isn’t a very good idea.

My Mum and my Dad (the Boy was still in bed) took me for a long car drive to the seaside.  It was very windy and there were loads of other dogs (including one that was so small I though it was a cat and started to get excited, then it did a little woof and I relaxed).  My Dad and I ran, and ran and ran and ran until my Mum sat down on a bench in a huff.  We came back and my Dad and I gave her hugs as she explained that running was good but it was better when we turned round and ran back to her again.

What is this thing about day and night?  Apparently humans have to go to bed when it gets dark and that’s when I get put in my room.  If my Boy can’t sleep he comes back downstairs and lets me out for a while and we sit on the floor together and watch ‘Mythbusters’ and films about guns and war. We have good hugs when everyone else is asleep. This worried my Mum a bit but she did some research on HER laptop thing and discovered that us dogs are polyphasic – which is a difficult word but it means that we don’t have day and night in Dogworld – we just sleep when we feel tired and wake up again when we want food, walks and cuddles – and when the post man calls – Big Woofs.

Yesterday I took all three of my humans for a walk to a place called Spike Island – loads of sea and woods and old concrete buildings that looked as if you could have a good sniff and wee round them but my Boy said there was broken glass there and kept me away.  My Boy smiled a lot and my Mum and Dad held hands and looked happy too.

So, at the end of the first week, I think that we can agree that I’m here to stay.  These humans are shaping up quite nicely and what they lack in experience they make up for in enthusiasm and big hugs.

Adios or Ta Ra Chuck  – whichever you prefer.