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?