Sunday 31 December 2006

B-B-Blustery Day

Yoiks - what happened to the weather? Dad had to work this morning (but I'm told it's just a ploy to get out of having to work tomorrow morning!), but once he was home he loaded us all into the car and we headed for Reculver. What a great place that is for dogs! A quick grassy hill with an old church ruin on top, then miles and miles of sea wall and beach.

Dad decided I was ready for a longer walk now, so we did what he calls the inland-railway circuit. From the towers, head East, but before the oyster farm, head inland and follow the bank to the railway line. then east along the path parallel to the railway for half a mile or so, before cutting north up a hard track to the beach. back along the beach. Takes about an hour and a half allowing for Meggie's slightly more stately pace these days. The railway bit gives Haggis a chance to indulge his "racing alongside the train" stuff. Train usually wins on speed but H is magnificent, and sees it off with a finishing barking/bouncing session at the end of the sprint!

But what a wind! Howling across from the southwest (inland) and blowing out to sea, it had all us westies looking like we were wearing ruffs if we ran with the wind, and looking like jack russells if we faced into it! We met 2 dogs definitely dressed for it though - genuine Huskies, blue eyes an' all. Loping along with a guy on a push bike. Dad joked with the guy that he needed snow and a sledge, and the guy only turned out to be a keen husky racer, land sleds mainly (due to lack of snow), but hoping to try these 2 dogs out with a real sled weather permitting!

Happy New Year
Mum and Dad off out tonight but promised to return before all the fireworks kick off. We need to get out there and SHOUT at those beggars! The nerve! In OUR air-space, too!


Saturday 30 December 2006

Tammy the Chow??

This is "that dog" - just an overgrown puppy really. Still young but lots bigger than me. Dad thinks she's a Chow, but is more than willing to be out-voted on this one. As you can see she towers over me and was so bouncy in the forest near Silverwood's house, that I was glad she was kept on the lead. Still - all the humans think it's only that she doesn't get enough exercise and given enough practise she'd be grand and calm. Mr-Em is quite taken with her. She's called Tammy, and I think he has visions of donning a black balaclava and smuggling her out under cover of darkness!
By the way - I should have said, the Guinea Pigs all survived but have not, to my knowledge, produced their babies (kittens? Guinea piglets?) yet
Ah well, from wet, rain swept, soggy. gale-blown Kent, chewing a bit of goose-neck (the hard life).......

A long long way from there to here

Wow! Home again after the biggest adventure ever, and back on my own PC. We left the Steak Lady's place (in passable condition!) early Thursday morning for another millpond smooth Irish Sea crossing, coming off the ferry at Holyhead by midday. We are glad we slipped out when we did - the weather ever since has been gales and "severe weather warnings", and Mum does not go too much on the rough stuff.

The run home was OK - but plenty of broken down cars and lorries, roadworks and diversions round accidents, meant that we were not indoors till 7pm. I have added 3 more to the list of Motorway services I have peed in the carpark of and been walked round. Scent-marking the UK!

I was so delighted to be home I had to have a mad half hour racing round checking all my beds were still here, toys had not gone astray and cats needed bouncing at just in case they'd forgotten me. Evereyone is asking how did Deefer get on - and Mum and Dad have been singing my praises for being so well socialised and not having indoor accidents in other peoples' houses all the time we were abroad (maybe just one or two...). So, just to make sure no-one was getting compacent, I had a good one to make up for it in the Hall here.

News comes on the grapevine that brother Archie has broken the ligaments in his knee, so he is under the vet, x-rayed up and now suffering 2 weeks of being strapped up to stop him moving his leg, and crated to minimised his movement and exercise. Poor feller! I know from Dad that he loves a run-around and a scrap with Mollie and Hector, just the same as I do with Haggis and Megan. I shall have to take care not to end up in the same boat. Mind you they all say I'm such a screaming drama-queen, I'm shrieking "with pain" before the thing actually touches me! Maybe that'll protect me from real impacts! Get well soon, Arch'

Ah well, back at home now and getting back into the old routine. Growing all the time, and with it, a curious new power over the humans. A week ago, I couldn't leap off the bed, so I woke up, dying for a pee, but had to wake up Dad, who'd then lift me down stairs and lob me out the back door before I could do one. Now (heh heh!) I can leap off the bed and pee where I like, so Dad has to wake up really quick to stop me. Alpha-female, or what?

More soon

Wednesday 27 December 2006

Look what they DID to me!

Oh dear, Oh Dear. Look what they did to me! That Angel-Betty who is normally on my side! Doesn't she realise I have to face my gang on the Rec and beat them up occasionally. All my street cred will be gone! I can just hear that Ellie now, and Archie.... "They did WHAT to you?" I am meant to be a ruffty-tuffty Scottish Highland dog, out in all weathers, tirelessly pursuing vermin across the heather and bracken, fur full of burrs and wildlife, feet muddy from peat bogs, nose bloodied and eyes gimlet thin, the steely-eyed killer look.
Ah well - thanks for the photo's Angel-B. They are great!
Meanwhile, today finds us back in Portmarnock, at the Steak Lady's house, but the Steak Lady is away on hols, so the house, which is a B+B, is immaculate and quiet, with even the crackin' little Yorkie, Cracker, being dog-sat next door. I've been used to the Silverwood house, baby-M trying out his 1 year old vocals, J-M and Em-J racing about excited by all the Santa provisions, piles of toys and games and wrappings, toys that make tunes and noise electronically, like trains and planes, dog/child-friendly furnishings, dogs Chance and Sam periodically taking us on for bouts of play-fighting, comings and goings, and the voices of Silverwood and Mr-Em, plus our own Mum and Dad rising above it all. Mayhem, but Puppy-heaven.
I am afraid, I'm suited more to that than the peace, quiet and "keep off the furniture" of Mum (nursing, it has to be said, a minor hang-over) and Dad (scared stiff we'll break something or I might leave a small curl of poo somewhere bad). I have already been shoo-ed out of the "best room" when I was caught lifting every thing one-by-one out of a pot-pourri, so now I'm confined to the more dog friendly kitchen area, where there are at least dog toys. One (rather alarmingly) looks like a pink ghost and laughs like the Laughing Policeman when you chew it's arm
Never will suss humans. Why can't we just stay in Silverwood?

So far so good for the Piggies

Still Silverwood-ing, so some of each day spent sifting through the wreckage of human discarded "stuff"; new piles of packaging to pull out of bags and redistribute (re-use, reduce, recycle?), bits to chew. Plenty of play-time too,with extra friends, Sam and Chance. Doesn't always work. Chance is an old boy, and Sam sometimes has eyes only for Megan (I think it's lurve)
Went for a lovely walk in the local forest. Silverwood and Mr-Em have been left with a lovely dog next door to dog sit for a few days. Name of Tammy, she's a big fluffy wolf type thing, a bit Husky, maybe. Not sure of the breed but she may be a white Chow. Young and scatty and full of bounce,plus not reliable off the lead, so she had to stay on, but the humans used Megan's extendy one, so Tammy got a good run around (bounce around) with us.
Megan made every one laugh. She's a very plain-speaking dog, and can make humans understand most things. Stand by door pawing it or barking for "let me out", nudging shins with nose for "give me a fuss",woofing then looking pointedly at the waterbowl, for "fill my bowl" - same for food. Other demands are made with gruffing noises and teeth clashing. If what she wants is not totally clear, Mum and Dad have a way of saying "Show me then" and she will trot off and they follow her to where ever she leads them, and it all becomes clear what she wants. So yesterday the humans were teaching the children Cluedo, and Megan started all this "I want" stuff. They tried fussing, water etc, but eventually came to "Show me then". Megan promptly trotted over to the Guinea Pig cage and chuffed at it as if to say,"Gissa Guinea pig to play with then"
Nice try Megs!

Monday 25 December 2006

Paper Storm

Before I start, one quick thing I didn't mention yesterday; there is another member of the Silverwood family,the current foster-baby, Baby-M (yes, another M)
Well - I've had an exciting day, that's for sure. I have never seen the likes. You would not beleive the frenzied activity this morning, as 3 small humans unwrapped a small mountain of gifts in record time, the paper ripping and flying about like leaves in a hurricane.
I can now list for yousome good things to eat on Christmas Day,
Custard cream biscuit dropped by baby
Baby's dummy
Wheels of toy train (train also worth barking at as you can make it change direction)
Santa sacks
Unfortunately, all the more likely doggie-fare was kept from me on the grounds that I already have a "squitty bum" (whatever that is) due to food-thefts over that last few days,of inapropriate food stuffs.I am reduced to "proper puppy food" (zzzzz)
My Dad is an expert at extracting Bratz dolls from their wrappings (lots of card board, wire, threads and strands.), has been thrashed by an 8 year old girl at Battle ships, has chatted to Mr-Em on a Nintedo DS from next door rooms in the same house (comments from Mum that it's easy to keep 2 blokes amused).
Plus I've been for a nice walk round the town via a stream path (lovely dark brown peaty water). Have to go now - must supervise Dad doing the roast potatoes
More (and more pics) when I have more time

T'was the Night before Christmas

Coo! Christmas Eve,yet! The adventure continues. We've left Portmarnock and headed westward to the next step of the journey,off to visit Mum's sister,"Silverwood", hubby Mr-Em and the neices, Em-J and J-M (There's lots of Em's and J's in this family). They have a collie-cross as old as Meggie, called Chance, and another young one called Sam. Yet again, amazingly enough, we stroll in and these dogs accept us straight away onto their turf.

That's great because we are soon playing and romping around in their house and garden.

There is just one fly in the ointment, and that's Megan. Silverwood has a couple of guinea pigs, one of which is heavily pregnant and about to give birth. Megan is Kent's No. 1 ratter, her deadly skills honed when Mum and Dad had chickens, before I was born. Spilt chicken food inevitably attracts rats (don't let anyone try to kid you different!) and Megan became quite adept at nailing these critters when they ran into the greenhouse to take cover, and found there was no way out. No problem- who wants rats anyway?

BUT , when they (Meg,H,Mum and Dad) were here (in Silverwood's house) a couple of years back, Meg's targetting system locked onto the family hamster cage, and she'd not leave it alone, spending hours looking up at it and whistling, just willing that hamster to leave the cage and come down and "play" with her. Then one day when M+D were not being particularly vigilant, Meg sussed that if she grabbed a corner of the tea-towel on which sat the cage and pulled, the whole lot might just fall on top of her and burst open. Ooops. Meg 1; Hamster nil

So this time the gang are fore-warned.The guinea pigs are 3 feet up on top of the dish washer,with no tea towel. Much to Meg's disgust

Ah well.... currently doing "Little orphan Annie" impression 3 steps up in the hall, due to extreme exhaustion (Sam loves me.... so many men, so little time! )

Merry Christmas One and All


Sunday 24 December 2006

Portmarnock Beach

A couple of pics of Portmarnock Beach for you - you can see what a Heaven it is for dogs.

In the one pic you can see us all trotting along behind Mum, with the huge sand dunes in the background. She looks like Mother Hen, with all her chicks scurrying along behind! For anyone who knows the area, we're out towards Baldoyle end looking back towards the Country Club. In the other pic, with Megan on the left, me on the right, the small uninhabited island of Ireland's Eye in the background. The locals have it that the island in profile from over here, looks like a short fat man lying on his back with his arms folded across his chest.

You can see what they mean

Ah well - next stage of the adventure starts now. We move on from Portmarnock, down to wards the middle of the country, and Mum's Sister. We are all quaking with fear at what Megan might do to the pregnant Guinea Pig, but more of that later


The Late Lady and the Artist

This is Puppy-Heaven! Portmarnock beach, now I've seen it in daylight is massive - acres of flat sand backed by sand dunes and walked on by dozens of nice people and their friendly dogs! (Well, so far anyway, I've not got into any arguments, but I guess there's still plenty of time!).

All that night driving and ferry stuff left us all a bit tired, so we crashed out and slept till mid morning, before venturing out onto the beach. Dad has some pics on the camera which we'll put up if we can suss out this strange PC. We walked out from the Portmarnock town end, all along the sand spit towards Baldoyle and Howth, and we met a labrador cross pup with eyes different colours, various terriers, spaniels, greyhounds and cross breeds and said nice hello's to all of them. We ran in and out of the sea and we three westies charged about occasionally play-attacking each other or chasing through the waves (We don't do proper swimming, but everyone likes a paddle!)

We've also been to see Mum's longest standing friend, the "Late-Lady" and hubby "The Artist". Don't worry, she's only "late" in the sense of having a very relaxed attitude to dead-lines. She always gets there at the last minute (or soon after) but drives everyone crazy in the process. They say, never to rely on her for a lift to the airport - she'll get you there in time to sprint on board, but your nerves will be frazzled. In one story, she actually took the family on holiday with a dustbin liner of wet clothes in her luggage, where she'd not got organised soon enough to dry and iron them by the departure minute!.

The LL and the A (he paints in oils - Mum and Dad have a couple of his pics up in our house) have a lovely old Cocker Spaniel called Jack. Jack's feet are about 4 inches across, like human hands, and he has big floppy-down ears and doleful eyes. He is 10, same age as Megan, and they've known each other since puppy-days. Jack generally doesn't tolerate other dogs on his turf, but he's always made an exception for Meg, and then for Haggis, and not (to everyone's amazement) for me. So we had a great time playing and charging round the house

More soon

Saturday 23 December 2006

Really Here!

Well - we made it. I can't quite believe I'm really in the "Steak-Lady's" house in Portmarnock, Co. Dublin. Mum and Dad finished work yesterday afternoon, and we all got a quick walk in the Rec to wear off some surplus energy. Then we were all loaded into the car - some of us in between the legs of an old wicker child's crib, that M+D have to take over to Ireland ready for Baby-Cotcho (more of that later).

Dad was issuing dire warning of how awful the M25 would be on the last Friday before Christmas, and with Heathrow-killer fog everywhere. But we sailed through. M+D share the driving in 2 hour chunks, and Meg, Haggis and I share the sleeping crashed out on the back seat. Every 2 hours we are rudely awoken and encouraged to charge around places called Motorway Services. These seem to be great big, well lit car parks with lots of grass for dogs to find comfort on (ahem), and shops for humans to get coffee in

6 hours later we were in Holyhead, and very quickly (after another carpark comfort stop) driving into the gaping maw of a HUGE ferry called Ulysses. We dogs get to stay in the car and sleep for another 4 hours then listening to the thrum of big engines but not being able to see anything except everyone else's parked car

Then we drive off the ferry, sprint North through Dublin's dock area (cars can't use the new tunnel yet), and round the edge of Dublin bay, inland at Baldoyle, and so to Portmarnock. here we park up for a proper walk along the huge flat, sand-dune-ish beach. But now everyone's tired out, so we have adjourned to the Steak Lady's house for breakfast and more sleeping. SL's house is amazing! Normally inhabitted by a cracking small Yorkie called Cracker, it is a treasure trove of hidden bones, treats and toys that no-one but an inquisitive pup could find. I have scared dad to death several times by suddenly going quiet, only to be found under a sofa with a nice, crunchy bone! The Git keeps taking them off me! ... Ah well, plenty more if you know where to look

More soon

Thursday 21 December 2006

A Huge Adventure

Tomorrow, we are all off on a huge adventure, sailing away to spend Christmas in Ireland; that's we three dogs, no cats, and enough humans to keep us out of mischief. We are driving through the night and embarking on our ferry at crack of sparrow's on saturday morning. I am hoping that there is a PC I can get on, to keep you up to date with the adventure and post up a few pictures. If there isn't, then I'll wish you now a very happy Christmas and see you asgain in the New Year

Have a good 'un


Monday 18 December 2006

Mississippi the Cat

I am going to try something a bit different today - more than one picture in a posting, see if I can wrap the text around the photo's no matter whether they're right or left justified. Cool....

This is a pic of Mississippi the brindled half tail cat, who I landed on a couple of days back when I fell down a few stairs. I think she is the MacBeth cat who lived with the 3 witches - as in "Thrice the brinded cat has mewed" etc. She (and her brother the same) has only half a tail. The end finishes with a little raggedy stump where the end bones didn't form properly, and she kind of swooshes it around downwards, instead of being able to sway it delicately upwards like "We are Siamese if you plee-ease". Doesn't seem to worry her though. More worried about pesky pups falling from the sky I guess.. (ahem)

Now for the 2nd picture..... (oops - it has shot to the top. Wonder how you get them to come down with the relevant text. Will have to consult the help screens) A pic of me asleep after a particularly exhausting walk in the Rec.

Had a lovely walk today, by the way. I met the beautifully groomed and shampoo'd westies of our dapper friend Mike. The dogs are called Misha (a lady, who made a big fuss of me) and Jack, who totally ignored me. Mike says he "doesn't do pups" And just when I thought there wasn't a dog in the world who wouldn't submit to my charms....

And finally another picture, this time of the three of us, and I'll see if I can persuade it to stay down here. You'll see the results, and how successful I was, but i guess I won't know till I look back on the blog after publication.

I have no idea how that happened - anyway, you'll see it's a shot of Megan (left), Haggis (right) and me (centre), being cunningly distracted by Mum holding a treat just out of shot!

More soon - although I face eviction according to Mum if i don't soon learn to control my bowels
What ever that means

Friday 15 December 2006

You couldn't make it up

Today, what I want to tell you about, and what my Dad says I should write are poles apart.

Me First! Another lovely walk today, in the gathering gloom where we met a lovely lady and her gentleman westie, Barney. All neatly groomed, clipped and washed, he was very spruce, but was up for a game, and the four of us joined up for a nice stroll round the park

But dad thinks we should have called this blog entry "Free-Style Cat Jumping", or "Snared in a laundry basket"

Cat Jumping? You know those accidents where humans say "It all happened so fast! I could only watch helplessly!"There I was leppin' down the stairs, 5 or 6 from the bottom, when I was distracted by Haggis in the hall, swerved right, and lost my footing. The big ol' soft brindled cat (Mississippi) was asleep at the foot of the stairs, over by the bannister. I rolled and bounced side over side down the last few treads, luckily well padded with soft carpet, the last bounce bringing me side-down splat on top of the cat's sleeping form. She screamed and shot up the stairs, I got up all dazed and shook myself off, and I'm sure I saw Haggis sniggering with his hand over his mouth. Dad nearly peed himself laughing (once he'd dusted me down and was sure I was OK)

Tonight, Dad's doing "domesticated man". Our laundry basket is like a plastic crate, about 2'6" long, 1'6" wide and a foot high, with slatted sides. Dad had carried all the laundry downstairs, loaded the machine once, then stuck the basket, right way up, on the pile of clothes waiting to be the 2nd load. Mum and Dad had returned to watch telly. They heard a scrabbling in the kitchen and Dad went to investigate. Trying to climb up the side of the basket to see what was on top, I had put my weight on the front edge. the basket flipped over fight on top of me, making a very effective cage which I was running around inside trying to find the exit and, in so doing, was shuffling the crate about the kitchen floor. Dad was laughing again, saying "Have you seen this muppet?". Mum just said "Now THERE's a bloomin' good idea! Perhaps we could leave her like that?"

Humans! No sympathy


Wednesday 13 December 2006

Up and Down like a Yo-Yo

Ha! Within seconds of writing yesterday that I couldn't do the top 3 stairs, there I was, like a natural! OK the top 3 are still a bit tentative and careful, but as I approach the bottom, I accelerate, finishing the last 2 in a majestic leap, usually straight into Haggis who has arrived, encouraged by Dad's encouraging cries of "Come on Deefs! One more! One more!, almost there!" etc, knowing I'll get a sweetie as a reward (and therefore by House-Rules, so will he).

House rules are "A Good Thing". Every time we come willingly in from the terrace we also get a sweetie. Haggis, I have noticed, pushes this to it's very limits. "I've been out and come back in" can sometimes be just a couple of steps out, and I've seen him try it on with just the back step, or even, the door opened and i LOOKED out - does that count? Sometimes even - "I watched Megan and the Pup go out.... does that...... No OK, I won't try that one on!



Tuesday 12 December 2006

The Borrowers

The Humans think I am one of the "Borrowers" out of the children's film. Anthing they leave on the floor, they say, will end up in my bed, and even stuff they don't think they've left on the floor, if they've lost it these days, they say it'll turn up in my bed. In fact I have 2 beds, one upstairs, one down, to ensure I have enough space.

Up stairs bedroom bed ; latest score

Tissue bits (various)
Felt pen (dried up, no lid, blue)
Insole from one of mum's shoe (perhaps better hide that)
Bit of inside of one of dad's slippers
Hair brush
Wine bottle cork (chewed)
Flower pot (very chewed)
Small pebble
Single gents sock (grey)
Half of screw-together knob off top of old Citroen gearstick
Chieftain main battle tank (OK , I made that one up)

Life is good - plenty of walks , Mum in the morning and a slightly longer one with Dad in the evening. I am very good off the lead and have met lots and lots of dogs, all of whom have been nice to me so far. Meals (all called "breakfast") are now routine and I no longer have to mug a cat to get grub. I wait paitiently outside the kitchen while the cat's bowls are put down, and then follow the human into the dining room. The liturgy then runs "Meggie's breakfast.... (pause while that gets put down near the cupboard).... Haggis's breakfast ... pause while that goes by the old fireplace) and then it's my turn.... "Deefer's breakfast"... mine goes by the door. We all then tuck into our bowls, although I strongly suspect that the grown ups might be getting more exciting food than me

About 7/8's of the way down my bowl, this suspicion gets the better of me and I wander over to see if it's true of Meg's. When I get within a foot, she emits a sub-sonic rumble like an elephant, which I translate into "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough". I stroll on by as if I never intended to look in her bowl, and wander over to Haggis's. He, by now, has inevitably eaten 99% of his so he wanders off unconcerned, then nips round to my bowl and wolfs the last eighth while I lick fruitlessly in his. Sneaky divvil!

Ears-up count now fixed at 2
Maximum stairs descent still 10... it's just too tempting to run off back from that top one and try to get people to play, rather than leppin' over the edge


Sunday 10 December 2006

We are Family

There you are - as promised, a pic by the Angel-B of all 4 of us returning from Ellie's first ever walk (in which I am ashamed to say, I tried to beat her up) ; Come on... who hasn't at some point, tried to kill their sister? This is, from left to right, Ellie, Meg, yours truly and the H-Man

Out again today and MUCH better behaved. Once I'd said a (vigorous) hello to Ellie we were like best mates, and trotted around the Rec together as happy as Larry. Dad wishes he'd taken the camera because at one point we were looking very cute looking over a small cliff together (at a very handsome Setter called Bailey, who'd been chatting up that ol' tart Megan. Our stances, shape, poise and size were identical, like 2 peas in a pod, except for the fact that I am the shaggiest dog you ever saw, and Ellie is immaculate bright white and smooth coated. Probably why I tried to roll her on her back in the mud!

Came home via the cemetery - the world just keeps getting bigger each time we explore!

Look after yourselves


(Maximum stairs descent now 10. It can only be days before I realise that if you can do 10 without a controlled plummet, you can probably do all 13......)

Saturday 9 December 2006

Sister Act

Well - the world is getting bigger, broader and much more exciting, all in a rush. I have now been for 2 "proper" walks (as opposed to a quick amble to the Rec and then a charge-around-in-circles). The first, yesterday saw us all down paths and through countryside to where dad has his allotment, and then we went on a (soggy) tour of inspection. More of a mud bath than an allotment at present

Then today, an even longer one which took about an hour, down lanes and paths in a big circuit to some feilds where I was allowed off the lead (I prefer to follow Haggis about than run off), down to the tidal creek which was our Town's original reason to be. We saw where they now restore the 100 year old Thames Sailing Barges (100 years! Wow! I'm not even 100 days yet!), and then we strolled along the creek bank up on the levee, making a big circuit back to home

And then, Excitement of Excitements, Dad got a text to say that my Sister (Ellie) was being taken to "our" Rec for her first ever walk outdoors, and we were to be there to meet her. The photo shows us minutes after greeting (It's a dog thing, that sniffing bums!). Haggis is behind us, Megan off to the right. I am (obviously) the shaggy, grubby individual, and Ellie, in spanking bright white, is yet to be soiled by the outside world.

I was off the lead and I must admit I probably piled in a bit fiercely (OK, rolling her on her back and growling MIGHT have been a bit strong!), and the humans decided it was in nobody's best interest for Ellie to be beaten up on her first ever walk, so (shame) I was put back on the lead. There-after it was all a bit more sensible, and Ellie quickly grew in confidence. Dare say she'll be beating me up next time, as the word is I'm a bit of a tart and a scared-y cat. Great fun though to see her again and , yet again, the Angel B was on hand to take pics, so I'll put up a few of those over the next few days

The humans are drinking mulled wine



Thursday 7 December 2006

Fred Basset

A quick pic of me out on my first ever walk, taken by Angel-B with Haggis in the background getting up close and personal with my posterior. Snazzy lead and harness huh?
Talking of walks, had agreat one yesterday evening, as dusk fell. Out across the Rec again where there are acres of space, was chasing Haggis around. 50 yards away, Megan who had been doing "stand-off-ish" was suddenly swept away by her inner tart, when a 9 month old Basset hound appeared on the scene. Aloof? Huh - she was soon romping around like a pup herself, chatting up this new talent
Before long the two had moved over close enough to us that we all suddenly merged into one mad scrum of playing dogs. The Basset (I admit, almost as cute as me!) was called Fred (Dad says that's compulsory for male Bassets), and he was great. I'm told the more of these good social meetings I get during my "formative" weeks, the better, and off the lead is better than on. So far so good - loads of meetings and nobody has actually beaten me up yet! I may come out of this a half way sensible Westie
Maximum stairs descent now 6
Success at peeing on paper or outdoors, rather than carpet; approx 70%
Success at pooing as above.... hmmm... we'll draw a veil over that one
Pricked-up ear count 1 (unless facing into wind)
(Good luck Theo-whoosh)

Tuesday 5 December 2006

Flower Pots and Washing Machine Dosing Balls

Real Mum (Mollie) went in to vets today for her spay operation. Recovering well. Reported to be "sitting up in bed". Must find out name of Hospital Ward and visiting hours, so that I can take along bunch of grapes, well-thumbed "Womens' Own" mags and a bunch of flowers which the nurse will refuse to put in a vase. That's it for Mum in the pups dept, but she scared everyone to death by getting milk-fever badly when we were about 4 weeks old. Luckily all ended happily

Good things for pups to chew. 3 inch plastic flower pot. Nice satisfying stiff "give" to the needle-sharp teeth. Given enough chewing and biting you can splay out the rim of the flower pot with a pleasing Nottingham lace-work effect. Disadvantages are when gripped by the lower rim between puppy teeth, upper rim, at 3 inches higher is outside puppy eye-line, hence entire face effectively buried in pot. Not so good when evading Haggis at speed, due to impaired vision. Collisions with door frames tend to damage forehead, neck and street-cred

Slightly better, washing machine plastic dosing-ball (well rinsed). Same al-dente bite and semi-transparent, so can see door frame approaching at speed but large shiny sphere enclosing entire nose tends to look like a circus clown false-nose and draws comments from humans like "Look at that muppet!". Not good for street cred either, but hey, I'm a cute white pup.

Have heard comment to the effect, my bum is a little crusty tonight, and Dad waving beard-trimmer around muttering stuff about Brazilians. Also landing strips. Not sure what that's all about

Stair-count maximum now 5 (bottom 5)


Monday 4 December 2006

Them Stairs

Just a quick one today - no time. Dad's been trying to teach me stairs. Puts a "sweetie" on each one and tries to entice me over. I'm not having any of it, though, so I just shout at the sweeties from the top step and wag my tail a lot, hoping that by sheer force of will power, I can attract those sweeties up quicker than Haggis can hoover them up as he climbs. I can do the bottom 3 steps OK, but the whole 13? Too awesome

Mum and Dad eating soft shelled crab tonight following a recipe they found in a New Orleans cook book. What's that all about?

Met another very young Westie out walking today, name of Fleur. Not much older than me

Enough for now

Sunday 3 December 2006

Now that's what I call a bone!

2nd walk today, despite the gales and rain (we nipped out between 2 showers), and I get to meet 4 lovely dogs - an elderly westie, a young Irish Setter, a very bouncy black labrador and a nervous Springer. So surprised I woofed at the first one and ran away, but pretty soon got into the swing of it and by the end was pretty blase. Great fun anyway charging about through the autumn leaves and helping Meggie and Haggis chase squirrels. To be honest, havn't got a clue what a squirrel is; never seen one, but there must me some reason Meg suddenly charges off straight at a tree and then looks up it

The picture - me with a bit of a beast I managed to bring down single handedly while hunting on the savannah..... well, OK, there's a butcher in town who brought it down while hunting in the savannah. He promptly whipped all the meat off for the humans and was left with this huge shank, which he quickly split into three, two knobbly ends for the grown-up dogs and this tubular shanky bit for me. Great fun ripping all the membrane-y bits off and found my little jaws could do a good job of nibbling up the ends to get at the marrow.

Dad was laughing. When Meggie and Haggis were young, Dad was regularly in contact with some westie owners from the US of A who swore by something called the ARF diet - that is (Species-) appropriate raw food diet. The idea was that you fed your dogs on raw meat and bones only, with all the health benefits, you can imaging from that. Sounds "appropriate" to me - westie pup, dead cow. Just the sort of thing a dog my size would eat in the wild! :-))


Saturday 2 December 2006

The Biggest Day

I have had the BIGGEST day today. So much stuff that I wonder how I fitted it all into 1 day.

My first proper walk, for a start. There was a brief hiatus when the posh Paris-bought harness proved to be faulty (one of the plastic snaps was not properly made and wouldn't stay closed, but we bodged it with a fetching bit of ribbon. Dad will buy a new harness today - so I'll be Parisian lead, Kent-bought harness for a while). Then we were off, the 100 yards along the fairly busy road (Mum keeping me on a tight rein) to the Recreation Ground ("The Rec"). Puppy heaven. Carpets of fallen autumn leaves, Megan and Haggis running about chasing squirrels, me allowed off the lead once we were well away from the cars. Fantastic

Dad texted the Angel Betty and she came back saying she'd photo us all on our return, which she did.

Exhausted breakfast

Mum is off to London for a meal with friends and colleagues and, would you beleive, a Tango lesson, so we were at a loose end back at the ranch

We went down to where I was born, to visit my real Mum (Molly) and Dad (Hector) plus brother Archie. Again, "Fantastic". I was welcomed in with much tail wagging and lots of excited racing about the house - pretty much what we then did for the next three quarters of an hours without stopping - all around the red carpet, under furniture, out into the kitchen and garden, round and round.

Everyone is amazed at how different Archie and I look. I have the long-haired fluffy look (which old-dad Steve, says exactly matches a pic he has of Hector at 6 months)while Archie is smoothe, short coated and with that hard terrier coat, that Jack Russells have. The books say we're meant to have a double coat - the hard coat for rough-country, mixed in with the silky soft under-coat for warmth and waterproofing. Nobody told our DNA. I have all the fluff, Archie, all the hard-wearing stuff

Completely whacked by the end of this - slept all the way home in the car, then for a good 2 hours after, only waking up at 9pm for a chase around with Haggis

More tomorrow


Friday 1 December 2006

Drowned rat

Ah dear. This is a not-so-happy picture of me in mid clean-up following my impromptu swim and rescue by the Angel Betty

Not the first adventure and, I expect not the last

Have a good weekend


Ultimate Victory (Yey Me!)

Heh! A photo of me beating the living daylights out of big brother, Haggis. Here he is lying on his back, utterly defeated (?) and me with my big fangs round his throat. Megan you can just see in the dark under the chair, top left. She was last seen wandering off muttering that H had rolled over willingly and I kinda fell on top of him, but what do big sisters know?
I love these play-fights. Sometimes I start them, but equally often it's either Meg or H takes the mood. We end up scampering all over the house, much to the amusement of the humans, with much skittering of little feet on the skiddy laminate floors (who invented that stuff?) diving around and under furniture.
Every couple of minutes we break off for a drink of water, or a breather - most civilised... everybody waits till an unseen signal and then piles back in where we left off.
Just every now and then it all gets a bit rough and with the two "grown-ups" at me at once, I sometimes squeak in alarm, then everybody backs off, we all calm down, and then pile in once more. Goes on for 15-20 minutes, then all of a sudden we stop, fall on the dog bed and sleep in a neat row.
It's a dog thing

Thursday 30 November 2006

Real "Brushing" ; a second swim

Amazing co-incidence. There I was yesterday, chatting about blow-dries and poshe dog grooming in la France. Today I acheived a goal that I've been trying for, for weeks. In the garden here, there's a low brick wall making a rectangle, about 5 courses high-no more. A small pup can stand on her hind legs and peer up to look over the top, just, but not jump over.

Or she couldn't. With the Angel Betty round today to let us all out for a pit-stop, I was mooching around, as one does. Then when she wasn't looking properly I "mooched" over to this wall and had a go at leppin' up and over it. To my amazement, I suddenly could. To my amazement, the top of the wall was only 4 inches wide, which is not a lot of distance for a speeding westie to stop in. To my amazement the rectangle held a rather weedy, overgrown, duck-weed infested pond!!! Suddenly I was paddling about and swimming between the pickerel weed and goosefoot, the duckweed and waterlily. It was cold and wet! Green with duckweed and soggy with black mud. I squeaked for help, but Betty was already running my way

So, to cut a long story short, with the boss away, I was suddenly, having my first bath, in Dad's "Belfast sink" - warm water, shampoo, Uncle Jim holding me and Angel Betty doing the honours. Even got a blow-dry, Jim holding me while Betty brushed and held the hair dryer. So now I am fragrant, white, fluffy and gorgeous, and in disgrace at the same time!

Betty has apparently taken some photos of me covered in duck weed, so I'll post those when she sends them.

More tomorrow. By the way, If you're reading this and having a laugh, please do say so. I sometimes feel that I'm writing these blogs into a black hole, read by no-one. It would be good to know that one or two out there are enjoying them


Wednesday 29 November 2006

Le Brushing Dogs

What a lot to talk about!

Bit confused just now about the family dynamics. Mum went off the Paris for le Christmas Shopping, and while she was still gone, Dad took off on a business trip. In between, the Angel Betty (Bless Her) ministered to my needs, and reported back to both M+D my brilliance at nipping out to perform all functions you'd expect of a pup without keeping anyone waiting

Eventually (!) Mum returned from Paris and brought me the most beautiful harness and lead in girly red/pink check. It comes (don't you know) from a shop called "Brushing Dogs" from Rue Damremont in Montmartre. "Brushing" might look like an English word, but it is the word used in the sophistimicated Paree salons, for what we know as a blow-dry. They don't go in for any of this boring "laver les cheveux" (wash your hair) nonsense, like you'd learn in school. It's all "le shampoo-ing" and "le-brushing" (said in your most alluring French accent to make dad go all goo-ey). So "Brushing Dogs" is not, in fact a boring name for a shop, but a clever tilt at the poshe dog-grooming market. This shops sells, I am told, all manner of collars, leads, grooming stuff, dog beds etc, so I am very proud. Now I can go out and meet le publique and hold my head up alongside la Duchesse Meggie et le Captaine 'Aggeeeees. Mais oui!

However, these highbrow notions were not long lasting, and the first thing Dad heard when he came back from le business treep to find me confined behind the "stable door" into the laminated floors of the dining room was Mum, in best Irish-Landlady tones, saying "She's BARRED, the little demon!" . It's outrageous! I only did a FEW poo's and MOST of them were on the newspaper. So now I'm grounded in the laminated floor bits of the house

Soon though - freedom. 2nd jab done and this a low risk area for parvo and distemper, there is talk of me maybe getting a first walk on Saturday

I'll keep you posted!


Sunday 26 November 2006

Meet the Family

Hi - meet the big sis (Megan) on the left (your left, not mine) and the bro', Haggis (your right, on the other chair, and looking a tad wary in this picture because his chair was not sitting flat on the terrace. Every time he moved the chair shifted just enough to unsettle him, and he's a bit of an anxious fella at the best of times. Not the best shot in the world - we took several but either one, 2 or all three dogs are not looking at the camera in each, and this is the nearest we got.
Really need Mum to come back from Paris, then she can attract our attention with a "sweetie" while Dad clicks away. She's back tomorrow.
Oh... in case you were keeping up with the "ears" story, Archie's are still undecided. Sometimes one up, sometimes 2, then none.....
More soon

Saturday 25 November 2006

Ear Ear

Oh Dear - feeling quite inadequate and inferior. Have heard through the grapevine that brother Archie can go both up and down stairs. I am still in that stage where I can scrurry up them very efficiently...

....but then when I turn round and look down from the top it's like looking over BeachyHead. It's MILES down there. I can hop down the last 2, and (with bribery and coercion) maybe the last 3, but all of them? Think I'll just stand at the top and shout for help

Also - rather miffed to find that sis Ellie (was called Beryl till she moved) who now lives not far up the road, has both ears up already. That seems to be the thing with smoothe coated westies. It must be the weight of all the fluff on mine, holding the tips down like the animation dog Grommit. Ah well, patience. It happens eventually. One morning you wake up and you have one sticky-up ear, then two, then maybe one, two, one... till after a few days they're up and they stay that way, looking like a demented fruit-bat. Wonder how brother Archie is getting on Ears-wise (Molly, if you read this, let me know)

Looking forward to meeting Ellie again. I've had my 2nd jab, Ellie gets hers Wednesday, so we'll be out to meet our public on about the 8th Dec. Can't wait.

Lashin' with rain, miserable cold wet November Day


Friday 24 November 2006

Only Minutes old

A thought occurred - you guys might like to see what a westie pup looks like only minutes old. No way of telling now whether this is me, or sis Beryl-the-Barrel, or brother Archie, but here is one of us nestling into the maternal flank, only minutes old. Eyes and ears are closed over, hair is white and very short, legs are too weak to take the weight of our little bodies, but we're remarkably good at squirming around, especially in the direction of mum's teats.
New-dad was there as midwife, while old Dad calmed the nerves of old-Mum with tea and sympathy. It went well. About an hour and a half all told, including a long pause when everyone relaxed and thought that two was our lot. Then suddenly Mum-Molly arched up from her "sleep", made a funny yowp! noise and pumped out a third (girl) pup
From there on for a few weeks it's a case of suckling like mad and inflating visibly before your eyes, getting cuter and cuter till at 7 weeks we look either like my main pic, or a smoother-coated version of same (I am told I am unusually fluffy and bear-like (Beryl's Mum says I am a westie-cross-goat!) but the vet-nurses today exclaimed as I got carried into their Reception foyer, "Ahhh loooooook", and raced round either side of the desk to try to be the first to grab me for a cuddle!
Deefs (still a bit sore from the jab)

A complete tart and drama queen

Been for my jabs today and was, as predicted by my old Dad, not the stoic, hardy, tough young lady that is expected of the rugged, Scottish Highlands breed... cough cough. Even my new dad said in advance that big Sis Megan stands and takes it like a warrior, little flinch - "That didn't hurt!" hissed between gritten teeth. Haggis, apparently, it depends.... sometimes stoic, sometimes a whimper or a yip. But me? Nice man in white coat came towards me and looked friendly, poked and prodded, listened to my chest, made a fuss. You know - lulling me into a false sense of security.


Ooops - suitably embarrassed. Wonder if I'll be invited back?


Thursday 23 November 2006

La Shopping Parisienne ... ooh la la!

Oooh la la! I am a single parent family. Mum has departed today on the Eurostar train to Paris, with my "Auntie" Diane (owner of ASBO the dog, who I have not met yet, but whose reputation precedes him). She has filled me with wonder and exciting dreams - Galeries Lafayette! the Barbes Market! Montmartre! the Christmas Lights, posh restaurants where (quiet, well mannered) dogs are welcome, seedy smoky tabacs where tired shoppers can take the weight off their feet with a calvados and a ciggie, hydrants that are turned on daily to flush the dog poo down the gutters into the drains (ah.... what a romantic idea!)

Mum tells me she will buy me not one, but two collars, while she is in Paris (indeed, she tells me that that is the main reason she is going :-)) ), one for while I'm puppy sized, one for when my neck is thickened up to grown-up size. Sounds good to me, though I have not yet actually had a collar on. Meggie's black-spotted, dalmation coloured collar and Haggis's tartan ones both come from Paris after all.

2nd Jab tomorrow, then in a few weeks time, I'm allowed out in public

Ahhhh! Just scared myself silly. Was idly lying on the put-up bed chewing the nearest thing that came to hand (which happened to be the front paw of one of the "singing westie" toys I told you about yesterday. How was I to know that the switch to start them singing is in the paw of the "boy" toy! Suddenly started off on "They say we're young and we don't know.. we won't find out until we grow". Blimey! Didn't know my little legs could leap off that bed so stylishly and run that fast out into the landing

Scarier than "Torchwood" last night!

(Panting) Deefer

Wednesday 22 November 2006

Big Bed - Small Dog

Here - just becauise I know that by now you love a cute pic. This, I beleive, called "The Lap of Luxury" - all this bed space just for me. Most dogs just get a scrawny old sheepskin thing!

By the way, the stuffed dog on the left of the headboard, Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton V (the fifth, to you) is, I think, a Shar-Pei. I apparently have an Aunt Summer, who is a Shar Pei but I'm not allowed to talk to her yet as I have not been "jabbed". Anyone know what that is? Sounds most unpleasant

Gotta go. Mum has taken leave of her senses and is making a 2 toy Westies (a Christmas Prezzie from last year from 2 neices I have also not yet met) sing a duet of "I got you babe" (Sonny and Cher). Some cunning technology lets one sing "I got you to hold my hand" while dancing about, before handing over to the other one who sings "I got you to understand" taking up the dance.

Ooops - Haggis is now trying to beat me up. Must sign off to defend myself


How to Beat Up a Pine-Cone

Should you find a pine cone on your put-me-up bed, this must be dealt with immediately and convincingly

First, lie down next to it, belly flat on the floor. Surprise it by darting out a front paw and batting down on one side of it, so that it spins in one spot, making an interesting rustling noise. Do this several times. Occasionally dart out your nose and mouth it, but do not bite it yet. Wag your tail at it. Bounce around changing your position so that it does not get used to where you are, all the time batting it and mouthing it.

Try a yap if you think that a) that will help and b) you can get away with it. The louder, high piercing one will be most effective.

Leap at it in a small pounce but not in such a way that you cannot retreat at high speed if it does anything unpredictable. Keep an eye on the brindled cat. She pretends she is mean, and if you bounce near her she may hiss and whack you across the nose. Luckily she's a big soft old sod really, and she will keep her claws sheathed

Should your cone become bored with this game, leap on it more convincingly, holding it down with both paws, and start to rip out the cone's segments. These will come away with a satisfying crunch and can then be bitten through and killed, so that they do not move any more. Continue ripping till you have a scrawny stem section and a good, wide pile of splintered coney bits.

This will keep the Dyson-beast entertained for a while and may win you lots of Brownie points with the local humans

Good luck

Tuesday 21 November 2006

I fought the Law and the .... Law Won

Breakin' rocks in the .......... hot sun
I fought the law and the.... law won

Coo - went in to try to change my personal profile. Typed in my real date of birth (17th Sep 2006) and the Blogger law enforcement agency said..

Ello, Ello Ello! What's goin' on 'ere then?
You can't do bloggin unless you are 13 years old, little Missy

Thirteen! That's older even than my "big sis'" Meggie. I'll be all arthritic and crotchetty by then!

Meanwhile, for me the honeymoon period is over, and the humans have all gone back to work. So I get abandonned (hear that!) for huge long stretches of time. However - I have discovered a phenomenon called "The Angel Betty". Rumoured to be the lady next door, this lovely person keeps coming round to make a fuss and let me out for a pit-stop. Sometimes her husband too, "Uncle Jim". They tell me I'm cute and all that

Life's Good

More later

Monday 20 November 2006

Best seat in the House

Look - I'm a pup; I can look cute anywhere. If I want to sleep on dad's wellington boot, then who's to say I can't

Sunday 19 November 2006

Assistant Gardener

Ha! Not quite as clean as this now. Been helping my Dad in the garden, digging out ground elder and a serious infestation of wild strawberries. Quite good at digging, reasonably good at grabbing weeds and running away with them, good at biting the hand fork. Not so good at identifying the offending plants and having them out.
Incidentally, lying on a sheepskin rug here - it's not some shaggy dog I'm leaning on.
Said yesterday that I can get up stairs but not down. Not strictly true any more. Dashed out of upstairs bedroom anxious not to get left behind by Dad coming down the stairs, failed to stop, almost overtook Dad on the way down. Bit surprised all round. Luckily stairs are well padded with carpet and pups fairly elastic. No damage done but treating that top step with a bit more respect now.
More soon - good gardening!

The Battle of Hastings

Wow! Big day yesterday! In the car all the way to "Grandma's House" in Sussex. What a place! What a garden! Not too sure about cars to start with - cried for a short while, but then fell asleep. Oh - by the way - word of advice. Don't try to climb up on big brother Haggis to get a better view out the window, especially via treading on his face when he's asleep.

Grandma's garden dominated by an enormous 40 year old willow tree, with similarly old but much smaller copper beech, yew and fig trees, plus a gnarly old quince run through with a huge old clematis, trunk as thick as your arm. Underneith, Puppy-Heaven. Paths all laid out with wood chip so you can charge round in circles like a mad thing, sneaking through the ground plants - periwinkle, white cyclamen, hellebores. There's a pond (but I know all about ponds from an involuntary swim on day 1 with the new-parents; Jeez that was cold. Luckily Dad has done pups-in-garden before and knows to hover near the pond with an enormous towel. It's that ol' duckweed on the pond surface. Looks like a green smoothe carpet. Too tempting. Not too good at holding the weight of a pup though

I was tired out. Apparently they took some pics of me sleeping on an old armchair, looking cute, I gather when my bum slipped slowly down the back of the big soft cushion and just my front legs and head were visible

See if I can get that pic up here.

Still struggling with the technology. Screen advice says download "Hello". Hello says run Hello and click on "invite". Can I find an "invite" button. Nope. Never mind - Mum knows about these things - she'll suss it all out

ps - Deefer's advice of the day. Don't bite the black and white cat's tail


Saturday 18 November 2006

Meet the new family

Seem to have fallen on my feet with this new family, but it's a bit of a learning curve (ach - hate those cliches).

Human Mum and Dad - nuff said. Mad keen Westie fans; have had them for years. Used to post on the Westie chat lists. Even up loaded some pictures in the old days. Probably if you type Megan and Haggis into either Yahoo or Google, You'll get a picture of my new housemates when they were a lot younger, with one of their own pups). If you're on the Westie lists you might recall from years back, the adventures of Captain H ' Aggis, and the Lady Megan. The adventures they had (so they say) with Westies from the Deep South, Hawaii, Colorado, Pennsylvania

The Lady Megan (Dowager Duchess of Kent). 10 years old. Like all the best dogs, knows her place in the family (running it). 10 years old now so slowing up, rather stand-off ish. Tends to look down her nose at the lunatic running around yapping antics of younger dogs. Most unseemly. Uncouth! Had pups of her own in her youth, 2 litters - the web-famed "Faversham Five" and then three more the next year. All, (as is the way of these things) wrenched from her arms at 8 weeks old, (although one only went to live next door). That's probably why she's welcomed me with open arms. Took an immediate shine - follows me around, nudges me with her nose till I roll over, then licks me like my Mum. I'm gonna like it here

Haggis - big brother. Bit of an anxious boy, at 9, was a bit concerned I'd usurp his position as Favourite Son (yeah... I know), so can be a curmudgeonly old git, and grumps at me with a loud "WAFF!" if I get too insistent, or bounce too close to him. Getting used to me though, after 3 days

Mississippi - brindled cat with half a tail. Kinda tolerates me but not too close. She'll get used to the idea. Spends most of her time growling at....

Felix - black and white cat like the one on the tin. Difficult to judge. Seems to not want to know but then goes through mad half hours of teasing me by sneaking in, nicking my toy and running off again. Just wait till I can do stairs as quick as him. I'm OK going up. Not so hot on coming down.

More later. Am trying to get a picture posted

Bear with me on this one...........


Bear with me on this one. At only 9 weeks old, I'm a bit new to this Blogging game. I'm hoping to bring you a flavour of what it's like for a Westie pup growing up in Kent. At the same time I'll be learning how to get the best out of this blogging game. Any advice would be welcome.

Born 17th Sept 2006, I spent the first 8 weeks of my life named Gloria, with my sister (Beryl the Barrel) and brother (Archie), Mum (Mollie) and Dad (Hector) - the humans had a thing about the TV series "Monarch of the Glen", but my human Mum drew the line at a westie pup being called "Gollie" (as in "Don't be silly, Molly, it's only Gollie the Ghillie")

But at 8 weeks, I was whipped away in a car to my new home - all a big adventure - I now have a new big brother (Haggis) and sister (Megan) ; although, must admit, Meg thinks she's my mum. Meg had pups when she was young, so I'm like a blast from the past

Anyway - more of this soon. I am posting this as a first shot, just to check I've got the technology sorted. Hope you like the photo. New-dad says it's very difficult to take a non-cute photo of a westie pup, but ...ah shucks.... It's hard to be humble, when you're a s cute as I am


ps - wonder how you can set up "key words" so that people out there typing in "westie pup" get to see this?