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, September 29, 2013


Cupcake has gone.

No, not dead.  He has gone abroad to seek his fortune, as many  young Scots have in the past.

We were in Ireland at a show, and he was admired by an Irish friend.   She studied him and then offered to take him and show him for me in Ireland, under FCI rules, where Phalenes are judged separately, (unlike here where you are depending on whether the judge of the day is willing to accept drop ears as equal to erect ones.) 

Cupcake 2 Aug 13
"It`s a very big world out there for a little dog..."   -  Cupcake

I had to think about it.  I am very fond of Cupcake, and he is seriously attached to me.   But this lady has a wonderful way with dogs, and hers live long active lives.  And, as I have pointed out to Cupcake, dropping his ears was not the best career choice in this country.  Eventually I decided the offer was far too good to let go.

So Cupcake was handed over, and was very puzzled indeed.  Where was Mum going?    I told him to be good.

And off he went.  As it turned out he settled in well.  And of course he will be coming back to me in time.

I still remember his new handler`s face when I told her his name.  I could see her thinking “And I have to say that out loud in the ring…?”

But he is in very good hands.

We shall see if he manages to make his fortune.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Almost immobilised as a result of an eye operation and warned that if I do anything, lift anything, bend down, I will damage the eye, I feel very confined and limited at the moment.   Obviously no shows this weekend.  And just try to live a normal life – with puppies!- without bending down.   I suppose I am pushing the limits, but as yet the eye is still there.

Autumn is sweeping in, and usually at this time of year I am on wasp watch, but this year there aren`t many, thank goodness.   Not that they trouble me, but with dogs they are a danger.   But this time I can`t locate any nests.wasps_1438963c

My usual technique for dealing with them is fairly spectacular.  It involves a bottle of white spirit and a cane with a candle fixed to the end.   I locate the nest, which here is usually underground, and wait till twilight, when the wasps return for the night.   Then I pour in the white spirit, light it, and s they say on the firework box “retire immediately”.

This method is not foolproof.   Using it, I have discovered that conifers transform into torches in seconds, and that putting out grassfires is a slow and dirty business.  It does for the wasps, though.

For a wasp nest indoors, obviously the above method is not recommended.   If. as usual, the nest is hanging above, I would suggest the Two Idiots method.   This involves one machete, one dustbin with a tight fitting lid, one ladder, and two men with more machismo than sense.  None of these items is too hard to find….the machete is probably the most difficult.

Idiot one climbs the ladder and stands on it beside the wasp nest with the machete.   Idiot two stands below with the dustbin open.  Then comes the action –   Idiot one slashes the nest free of the roof, and Idiot two neatly catches it in the bin and slams the lid on. 

I don`t need to tell you of the many possible outcomes of this manoeuvre.  Chaplin, or Buster Keaton, could have made much of it.  The least troublesome is that Idiot one falls off the ladder….the one that doesn`t bear thinking about is that the wasps miss the dustbin altogether.    I suppose there is the remote possibility that Idiot one cuts his own arm off – remember, we are not dealing with intelligent people here.   Intelligent people ran a mile when the wasp nest was first discovered.

Speaking of which, I remember one particularly wasp-plagued summer when Old Peter, my neighbour was busy having his fruit harvest packed in the fruit shed.  Suddenly two shots were fired.  I ran out to see women running in all directions, screaming.  Thinking murder, i ran up to see – and ran straight into a swarm of demented and rather smoky wasps.   What had happened?

“Aye well, said Peter, “we`re behind with this fruit as it is, and then we saw the wasp bike hanging from the roof and the women said they wouldn`t work in there.   So I sorta lost my temper and just gave it both barrels of the twelve-bore…”

This method is absolutely not recommended.

Unless you are Quentin Tarantino making a film….

Saturday, September 07, 2013


I haven`t exactly been shouting it from the rooftops, but we do have puppies.
The problem is that they weren`t exactly planned.

Well, that`s not strictly true, as Cupcake obviously had great plans, and Dora didn`t exactly say no.  I rashly supposed that he was young and hadn`t done anything.   He had, and here are the results.

This is Petra:

"I`m not really a guinea pig - it`s just a passing resemblance" - Petra

And this is her brother, Mr Wag:

Mr Wag
"I`m not wagging it stuck up here on a table!" - Mr Wag

They are just a few weeks old, and it`s hard to tell how they will turn out.  Cupcake is extremely uninterested in them, possibly due to the severe lecture he had from me.

And no, I have no idea what their ears will be doing.

Neither do they.

Monday, September 02, 2013


Sorry about the mess - Blogger is not coping with pictures these days.  Please scroll right on down  to get the rest of the story.

It would be easier to send this out to everyone by pigeon than use Blogger these days.


Off to another show with the terrible three, two of which need a travel pill before we leave. Cupcake (aka Mr Floppy), is quite happy to eat anything he is given, but his sister Belle is  a different problem altogether.   She refuses all pills, whether in food or not, and when I tried powdering it and putting it on her tongue she foamed saliva everywhere.   I  was not at all sure how much had gone down.

Not enough.   When we arrived, Cupcake, as usual was dripping and wet.  Belle was fine.  The bedding was fine.   Angel, who had shared with her, came out sulking, with one ear down.

The ear was full of vomit.
"I sure got an earful!" - Angel

Angel likes to sleep on her back with her legs in the air.    Belle, obviously wanting to keep her bed clean, had very good aim, it seems.   Being sick in your friend`s ear takes some skill!

Well, out came the spirit shampoo, and on with the cleanup of the toxic spill.  Angel was not co-operative.  She informed me that she was disgusted and wanted nothing further to do with this show.   I ignored this and scrubbed away at the ear, wondering why I bothered at all.

Somehow I got the ear clean.   Angel stated that it would never go up again.  I had  had enough ear nonsense from Cupcake, and was very firm with her.   And sure enough, by the time she was due in the ring the ear was dry and up and didn`t really smell too bad.  She swaggered about as usual and was 3rd in a large class.

Every show, something new and exciting!

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