Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

It would have to involve quite a few dogs.... Posted by Picasa


Back at last with a renewed laptop - wish I could parcel myself up, post myself off, and come back all fresh and spruced up.

A year - feels like ten - in the showring has not left me feeling like that. Entries in our breed have evaporated - and no wonder. People are voting with their feet. In December 2005 I listed the many types of judge to whose opinion we submit ourselves. Amazingly I can now add two more:

The judge who remembered help with transport
The judge who sold top honours for some straws of semen

An annus mirabilis indeed. And not much to show for it but bus bum, sore knees, and a lot of expense.

What I need is a new hobby. Perhaps just tearing up tenners and throwing them down the nearest drain...? Or something a little more creative?


It just might have to involve quite a few dogs.....

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Well, for a while, anyway. This computer goes in for repair tomorrow, and will not be back for at least a week....that is, if Shelby doesn`t manage to crunch it up between now and tomorrow morning...

Watch this space.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What do I care?...... Posted by Picasa
.....I`ve got a biscuit ! Posted by Picasa


I left my handbag on an outside table for a moment. I forgot that Chin can climb like cats.

Shelby had.

I came out to find him strutting around with the spoils. My purse had been removed, and Shelby was sporting a mouthful of euro notes. The rest of the contents had been dragged out and worked over. The iPod had been crunched, but still worked.

The Papillons had of course helped. The guilt was plain on their faces, as was most of my lipstick, which had obviously been very tasty. They quickly melted away into the scenery before judgment descended.

Shelby doesn`t know guilt. He wagged his tail happily. He`d had such fun.

I`m going to have to keep everything somewhere near the ceiling somehow.

Meanwhile, I`m wandering about with one bare foot. And one sandal.

I think Shelby has struck again....

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

He owns the place.....imperial Shelby Posted by Picasa
The garden can only benefit Posted by Picasa


It wasn`t until people began congratulating me on actually managing to get a Chin bitch that I realised that I will be campaigning a male dog with a girl`s name. The name "Shelby" is not exactly common up here and I hadn`t given it too much thought.

It won`t worry Shelby. He has taken over. He owns the place. He is accepted by the males and has charmed the pants off the girls. He has investigated the whole house (Chins climb like cats) and whenever he finds something valuable and chews it into pulp he has the innocent good manners to bring it to me and show me. He is completely unaware of the difference between right and wrong. (Papillons are very aware, but usually react by thinking - "this is forbidden and wrong and wicked and leads to eternal damnation so I`ll do it really quietly, behind a chair...").

He has at last given up making amorous advances to Allegra. She used to whirl round to bite his nose - but he hasn`t got one, so her teeth would close on empty air and Shelby would favour her with a wide Chin grin.

No doubt about it, Chin are different. Just as clever, but not so frantic.

And they have different tastes. This morning I was out with them when I heard Shelby crunching. Crunching hard.

Now there is always a dish of assorted biscuit out for them, but I couldn`t think of anything quite that hard in it. I called Shelby, who came, crunching harder still. Eventually I managed to prise out a few remaining fragments......

Shelby eats snails. En coquille. Without garlic butter, even.

Well, the garden can only benefit.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A little show on a lawn under the trees on a hot day Posted by Picasa


Had a busy week, involving judging a little open show in the NE of England at a charming hall where the lawns outside were ideal, with shade trees for dogs on a hot day. Even the lunchwas good - I remember judging in the Midlands when the lunch can only be described as "brown adhesive stuff with the consistency of Araldite just before it sets, and potatoes".....yes you do have to be polite and eat it.

So, a good experience, and a journey home through the north of England. England were to play another match that night. Footie fever. Every house had an England flag. Every second car had one too. People wandered about Newcastle station painted red and white. I`ve never seen anything quite like that before. It`s strange to see people in the grip of an obsession that means nothing to you. Probably that`s what the taxi driver thinks when he delivers me to that lonely carpark at midnight to catch the Big White Dogbus...

I did that this week too. Just before I was due to go, with the dogs all packed and the taxi lumbering down the road, I fell, hard, on both knees.

A sensible person would have cancelled the taxi and let the dogs loose. Of course I went. Allegra came away with a red first card , and I came away with a knee the size of a football. It didn`t help that I have to take pictures of the winning dogs for the Scottish Papillon Website, an photographing small dogs means - you guessed it - going down on your knees. So, all the way home from Wales with an unbending knee, walking like Frankenstein`s monster after a hard day terrorizing villagers. The bus was agony, the comfort stops were ....none too comfortable..

At one of the latter, a sad sight - all those World Cup England flags and favours being sold off in a dumpbin. A friend picked up a squashy little England lion mascot.

"Does it make a noise if you squeeze it?" she asked

"Aye," said a voice behind her - "it says `penalty shoot-out` and then cries"...

I think the final is tonight. No I`m not watching. And at least no-one is going to ask me why I`m not supporting Englsnd.

I believe Brazil is out.

But - although I have Brazilian relatives.....

....I have a lot more Italian ones. So I suppose it`s "avanti ragazzi !"

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