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, June 27, 2010


"There`s a famous seaside place called Blackpool
That`s famous for fresh air and fun
And Velvet and I, and Allegra
Went there with young Ella, our Chin" *

But there the resemblance ends - there was no lion (Ella would have died of fright while Velvet tried to kill it), and no-one was eaten.

There was, however, lots of eating. Somehow there always is at dog shows - inhibitions go and appetites rage. And in case you think that`s just me - you would have to see Ella.

Ella has life down to a fine art. It is based on comfort and food. She is second to none in finding both. If I abandoned her in a shopping mall, within the hour she would be snuggling on someone`s sofa, being fed cake and ice cream.

She likes shows because the only way I can keep her keen and sparkling in the ring is to feed her constantly. If helps if I start the chicken coming before we actually go in. It`s a bit like getting one of the luxury liners of yesteryear, like the Queen Mary, out of harbour - before you have enough steam to get underway you have to spend a lot of time stoking the boilers.

This time we used about a whole bird to come second to the big Face in the breed, and then somehow Ella managed to consume quite a lot of ice cream, it being a very hot day, and ice cream being no more than her due. I carried a very sticky Chin back to our seats, alternating between having the girly vapours every time she saw another big dog, and trying to lick the sweet residue off her own face .

A slightly cleaner Ella was later taken to visit a friend`s caravan. She settled down beside me on a comfortable sofa, and I saw her noticing a plate of cakes. This was a good place to be, clearly.

The owner`s Papillons were nonplussed. The puppy kept creeping round me to sneak another look at the stranger. What had happened to her face? How had her nose ended up between her eyes? Had it hurt much? You could see her resolving to be very careful around swinging doors and traffic in future.

One of the two resident males came in, having realised that there was a new girl in town. He rushed up to Ella, who raised her little sticky flat face to his - he recoiled in horror and left, no doubt to tell his friend "Don`t much fancy yours.."

And when we eventually had to leave, Ella didn`t move. Couldn`t I see how comfortable she was, and how close to that plate of cakes? What was all this nonsense about going?

I removed my little madam, and we started on the long road home.

And a gentle aroma of vanilla spread from a sleepy little girl, full of ice cream and soft sofa dreams.

* You don`t recognise these lines? The Holloway monologues were part of my childhood, and I could still probably recite "Albert and the Lion" from memory.

If you couldn`t, go here -http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3jXMsfLxhI
That clip sure took me back a long way. There were fragments I could remember from a dim and distant past, so thank you for reviving them! Apart from Albert, I think Ella is a sweetie.
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