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.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Exterminate! Exterminate! Papillons rule!"

Friday, January 30, 2009

Two of my new lodgers

Greeting the dawn


We have some new arrivals.


No, not mine. The fields have been rented out, and five assorted cuddies, two with half-grown foals at foot, are chomping away at the ovegrown grass and weedy stuff.

My neighbour, having met the funny little mn who talked me into this, said "He`s an odd one. You know, the way he talks and dresses, he belongs in the fifties."

And so do his horses. Thoroughbreds they are not. They are of a type older people might think of as "vanners" - undistinguished light draft. Most of them are piebald,and almost everyone who has seen them has stared, and then said with a faraway look - "When I was a kid, our milkman had one just like that!" My puzzle is why anyone would want five like that.....

But they are quiet and friendly.

And the dogs are not. This is the excitement they have craved for months. It beats cat-hunting hands down. These invaders are so much bigger and smellier. Just the whiff of horse in the air is enough to set them off.

The horses couldn`t care less. They stare indifferently at the tiny screaming balls of fluff. They are not even curious about them. It infuriates my lot, who really need a reaction, preferably one involving terror and much galloping. When you have just put on a big production number involving your most horrible barking and jumping up and down, it`s very galling when the audience just snorts and produces a big pile of dung. (Although I think Merlin is quite reassured to see that the senior dogs make no more impression than he does.)

The last time they all came and leaned over the gate, Allegra screeched herself into a hissy fit and damaged a toenail bouncing about. The horses yawned a bit. Horses one, Papillons nil.

I`d like to think they will get tired and give it up, but I know them better than that. Until a bigger target comes along, they will concentrate on these poor beasties.

Tyrannosaurus, anyone?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Peel me a grape...."


I had to leave the dogs for a day last week. I came home to the alarm racketing on and a worried police presence.

I opened the door and out popped Truly.

She had discovered that in the front of her large crate there is a little hatch for providing food. Not too little for our Truly. She had squeezed out at 11.40am (that`s the first time the alarm was logged as going off.) No doubt some time was spent sneering at the others who were still confined - then I think she had spent the day in my bed, judging by the warm Truly-sized dent I found in the middle.

There was the slight problem of the call of nature. No problem to our Truly. Truly uses the bathroom, like any civilised person.

I discovered this when she had her litter - they were kept in my bedroom, on the other side of the bed from the door, in a large box with a clamshell lid. I was awakened during the first night by Truly walking over me. She opened the lid, climbed up on the bed, jumped down on the other side , opened the bedroom door, went across the hall and visited the bathroom - then made the return journey, crossed the bed, jumped down, opened the clamshell lid and popped back in with the puppies. I suggested that she could at least have closed the doors behind her, and was favoured with the intensly smug look I know so well....

So throughout the day when I was away she had visited the bathroom, leaving small deposits - and setting off the alarm again each time.

Truly was quite uinrepentant. She had had a lovely day.

So much so that at the next show she sulked and pouted and made it clear that there were better ways of spending a day than posing in the ring.

And looking at the way the judging went that day, I had to admit that she had something there.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A sign of the hard times - a dead Woolies

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Took myself off to see the sales, and the film AUSTRALIA, in the hope of lightening the mood a bit.

The sales in Glasgow were scary. No-one was there. I went into a big department store and found that all eyes were on me...every salesperson gazing hopefully at me as I went past. Very unnerving. I got out quickly.

I headed up to my usual cineplex. This is a gloomy place, and built as a tower block to boot - it was said at the time that a huge bung was required to get the plans past fire regulations. As it is, if you are on the top floor and there is a fire, you had better have packed your parachute.

The staff are - how shall I put it? - not all that committed to the product. They study you and offer awful warnings. Maybe it`s just me and how I look. In the past I have had -

"Are you sure, because...."

"....this one is quite violent" (you obviously have a serious heart condition)
...."it has subtitles " (you are obviously illiterate)
...."it is a long one" (you are obviously incontinent)

This time it was -

......"are you aware it is three hours long?"

Clearly his opinion of my life expectancy was alarmingly poor. He was no doubt going to continue to advise me not to take out any long library books, but I moved on quickly.

And I did like the film. Apart from the scrupulously correct attitude to race problems, it belongs in the forties, a big sprawly romance owing a lot to Gone With The Wind, Red River, and The Sundowners. Very predictable in plot, but Jackmann is a nice piece of eye candy and the pace is good.

It helps to cheer me up in a hard financial winter, in which my investment income dwindles and the government informed me for Christmas that it is cutting my work pension. I have suggested to my ageing, robustly hungry pack that they should try eating grass, with no result beyond wide grins.

Florian The Climbing Dog, however, continues to try to supplement his diet with cat, and last night, with the light failing fast, he at last achieved a lifetime goal of climbing right up to one. The cat of course jumped out of the tree, right on to a very interested Shelby, and Florian promptly fell on top of both of them. Cue for a lot of screeching, spitting, barking and truly amazing Chin vocalese.

I ran around cursing them, with a torch. The cat legged it. I collared Florian and told him just what I thought of him. Shelby was running in circles, his eyes as big as saucers, so terminally excited it took the offer of three Tesco Value sausage rolls to get him in. As I removed him, the cat returned, growling, tail like a bottle brush. I was informed in no uncertain terms that only a very large meal of his favourite cat food would soothe him....

No luck on the grass diet with him either, then.....

Looks like I`m the one who`ll have to eat it.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

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