Monday 31 December 2007

Dew Claws and a Happy New Year

Ouch! Why do we dogs have these stupid little vestigial "thumbs" half way down our front lower leg - the "dew claws". They are just in a prime position to get snagged when scrapping with Haggis, or leppin' off the bed, or racing about in the trees, and it really hurts. I screech like a drama queen (no news there then) and Dad winces when he remembers "Dendix Thumb" - a common dry-slope ski-ing injury.

Dendix is the firm that makes the upside down tooth-brush lattice surface dry slopes use, and the gaps in the lattice are big enough to trap hands of falling ski-ers. Not only do you get (says Dad) superb rope-burns and bruises from falling on the plastic bristles, but you can catch a thumb and bend it backwards, smashing the carpel bones - hence the name "Dendix thumb"

In my case, Dad is wondering whether there is an easy surgical op to remove them, and is off to the vet in 2008, to ask. Neither Meg nor Haggis have, apparently ever had any problem with them. Perhaps I'm just clumsy and don't keep my thumbs tucked in.

Our thoughts meanwhile are with Diamond's ol' step Dad, who is spending tonight in hospital. Not very good timing, Denis, as it's......

Happy New Year! That's to all my readers and the friends, dog and human that we've made in our ramblings round this area. Especially to poor old Asbo, who will be missing Denis badly.

Happy New Year

Sunday 30 December 2007


Lovely walk this morning all down round the Creek and the Iron Wharf, where we got a chance to corner a tabby cat. Scary. Up close the cat transformed into an enormous beast of twice my weight, with big teeth and big slashing claws on long front legs. I was contemplating how to withdraw with face saved, when Dad pounced on me by the collar and dragged me away - I noticed that even he was giving the cat a wary, wide berth. Haggis and Megan were nowhere.

Dignity restored then, tonight when we can shout bravely at the yapping huskies on the Top Gear North Pole Special (a repeat but Dad had missed it first time round). He loves that programme but I must admit we normally sleep through it. Not this time - every few minutes something would set the dogs off and Haggis and I would have to charge around the living room and out to the back door, just in case the sledge dogs were upon us!


Saturday 29 December 2007


Needing an afternoon walk, as well as needing (according to Dad) a blast in the 2CV to warm her up and dry her out, we decide to head for Birchington, on the North Kent coast, out beyond Reculver. It's one half of the town-twinning ( the other being La Chapelle d'Armentieres) which has thrown up the "gift 2CV", which Dad and his cronies are currently restoring, so we were curious as to what Birchington was about - never having been there.

It's a very pleasant little seaside town with excellent dog-walking possibilities. Most of it is a-top a 20 foot chalk cliff, which has a huge grassy dog-walk lawns running right to the edge. Down from this to the low promenade, near sea level, are steps and concrete ramps for boat-trailers, and this prom has a lovely flat edge a dog can crane her neck over to see the waves lapping 3 feet below.

There are steps down, too, so maybe there's some beach visible at low tide (?) and the boat launch slipways are also explore-able by dogs, who can nip down bravely and then scurry back up as a wave comes. Unless you are Meggie, in which case you stand there with a look of bliss on your face, as the waves gently lap around your toes, and splash under your belly!

On a clear day like today, when the air is like crystal, from the cliff top you can see right back to the Reculver Towers, the only "lump" between us being the intriguingly named Plum Pudding Island

Home for the raw spine out of a chook (which is now spatch-cocked) and then a relax in front of the fire, waiting the return of Mum and Diamond, who along with John) is round for supper tonight.


Friday 28 December 2007


Tonight we're at the Rec, just missing a possible entertainment with a stunt-kite. We all love those things, and this was a big one - about 6 foot by 4. Sometimes on 2CV camp the guys get them out and buzz them around swooping low over us with the strings whirring menacingly in the wind, and we three westies charge about barking up at the sky trying to attack the kite. But sadly, as we got to the rec at about 4pm, it was just getting dark and the "pilot" decided to land it and put it away

We (I) chased the yellow frisbee instead, working our way up to the top of the Rec, where we nipped down between the tennis courts and the high bank. I heard someone at the top of the bank and raced up there woofing at a possible dog. I then turned tail and ran back down as fast as I could squealing in panic when an alsatian decided he'd take again' lil' white doggies charging up at him. He never got withing 3 feet, but you'd never know from the racket I was making, and Dad saying "Well - you started it!" before the 2 men pee'd themselves laughing! The nerve!

We ended up meeting Bugsy, a bichon who is often there. Dad likes chatting to Bugsy's Dad, but Bugs can be a bit of a yapper, especially when being "ignored" by his Dad, so it never goes on too long, and we were soon back to the frisbee throwing.

Have a good weekend

Thursday 27 December 2007

All around the world

Every now and then we like to have a little look at the stats for this site, and see where and when we're getting viewed. A girl loves the idea that she's being read all around the world. We've now topped 850 visits and 1600 views, and the most recent batch shows us being viewed in the USA (Penn, Arizona etc), as well as in Oz and Finland. We've had most European countries in our time, and places as far away as Malaysia, Bulgaria, Russia. It's quite exciting.

Ah well. Christmas is over now for the Humans - they've all deserted us and gone back to work. Just for the 2 days mind, then it's the weekend, and next week is, of course, New Years. Gulp... Fireworks... Hope Dad's gonna be here with us again.

Look after yourselves

Wednesday 26 December 2007

Badgers' Sett

"Have you been Feeding these horrors Turkey?" The angst-ridden question greets Dad as he returns from a "warm her up and dry her out" run in the 2CV. Why, are they a bit smelly? replies Dad (a bit unsportingly, I felt). Mum has this theory that chicken meat makes one or more of us a bit... um.... windy, and now suspects that turkey is having a similar effect. I went round the house, she says, looking for dead animals!

The cry had gone up "Who wants a walk?", where-upon Haggis and I are bouncing excitedly at the back door waiting to get our (new) collars put on. Meg, though, is glued to the bed, her chin pressed hard into it and her eyes tight shut like a child trying to convince it's mother that it is asleep. Dad relents, and lets Meggie away with it. She's had a big day yesterday, after all. Anyway, without the "Dowager Duchess" we know we can range father and faster round the forest at Dad's "route march" pace, not possible with her in tow.

So we get right down to the "Adder Glade", and come back along the North Downs Way, a chunk of the long distance path that runs through here. Just by that path is one of our top places in Challock, the badger sett. Much opportunity for terriers to do what terriers do best - poke their noses in where they are not welcome. We're not quite brave enough to disappear down one of the holes - besides, we've heard tell that a full grown badger is bigger than us and quite a fearsome adversary, but we still race about sniffing down every hole, playing with fire, as it were.

I am still "interesting", or so thought young black collie cross "Flash", who was very attracted to my back end, and caused me to do drama-queen squeaks to get rescued and drive him off. Sorry Flash - I'm just a victim of my hormones. That's an excuse Dad uses, too....

Keep on Boxing


Emilio Pucci, yet!

A most excellent Christmas. First up, Santa came, and delivered all three of us new collars, from Paris. Mine follows the colours of designer "parfumier" Emilio Pucci (don't you know - I'm sooooo POSH!) Un accord floral vert, radieux et feminin. Naturally. The amaretto, narcissus flower and iris butter make a change from squirrel poo, I guess.
We are all off to Hastings, to see the Pud lady, but the route takes us via the superb "Fire Hills" of Fairlight, just east of Hastings, for a lovely dog walk along the gorse covered tops of the sandstone cliffs. Here we meet big, bouncy, 8 month old Irish Wolfhound pup, "Pippa" who towers over us, and has all of us mildly wary when his bouncing threatens to engulf us.
The humans descend on the Pud Lady for the festive feast, and there are plenty of treats for dogs in the way of pistacchio nuts (!) and bits of unwanted turkey, plus Dad gets a huge "doggie bag" to bring home.
No "white" this year - it's mild and drizzly, but winter's not over yet.
Hope you all had a good one
Deefer Pucci

Monday 24 December 2007

'Twas the Night before Christmas

...and all through the house
Nothing was stirring
Not even a mouse...

Except, of course for small white furry dogs who are racing around restlessly wishing the humans would put their feet up and relax, where upon we can also crash out. While humans are on the move, a dog can't sleep in case he or she misses something!

Dad skanked off work nice and early today, so we got a good daylight walk, as part of which we met young Jack Russell Bindy (her of the green hollow-centred frisbee). This was a signal for much tearing round in circles and out after the frisbee and back with it. Retriever? Yes, I can do that! Megan and H were by that point happy to stand around and watch the young ones playing, or occasionally scrounge a sneaky treat from Bindy's Mum

But now we're all indoors, all is safely gathered in, prezzies are wrapped and ready, everything we can remember that we need to buy is bought (it was all a victim of one of Mum's famous "LISTS" - we have lists for everything in this house. There's probably a list of what Mum needs to take when we go to the Rec ... Poo bags (check), collars (check), leads (check), spongey balls (check), Megan (check), Haggis (check), Rat* (check) etc).

It's turned mild, so the fire, though laid will not need lighting

So it just remains for WOOF WOOF WOOF! We all interupt this blog to tear downstairs shouting at the top of our voices because a scream has rent the air (screams always do that to the air in the best stories...). Jim next door has inadvertantly stood on Spaniel-Megan's tail while trying to wash her feet after a walk!

... it just remains for me to wish all my readers and viewers a very Happy Christmas.

Have a great one


* It's what she still calls me.

Sunday 23 December 2007

Glam'd up

Well, we all survived our "posh frocks" party, where Mum's "team" of ladies turned up glam'd to the nines (Poor Dad - it's a tough life being the only rooster in the henhouse!) and Mum did "hostess with the mostest". They all had a good time, and we even sneaked a bit of cheese and biscuits off one of them when no-one was looking. My, but they can talk (and laugh!). The food was (allegedly) a great success but the main course being salmon and nobody fancying a race to the vets, we didn't get any! Referee!

Dad had to work this morning (those Supermarkets just never sleep at this time of year) but was back at mid-day so plenty of time to take us for a misty moisty walk in Challock Forest. We dropped Mum off at Diamond's on the way round and collected her on the way back). We met an 8 month old bouncy Labrador called Ella, owned by a Polish guy and out walking with him and his son. I found the bouncy lab all a bit much and resorted to my "drama queen" squeaks till she backed off a bit.

Now we're all home and chilling out. Mum's watching an episode of "House" on TV and Dad's sipping on a small Calvados.

Nearly there!

Saturday 22 December 2007


Bit of a thaw. After a succession of mornings at minus 5 degrees C, this morning was either warmer, or us getting up at a lazy 9am instead of the workday 04:15 meant that all the white frost had had a chance to melt.

Still steering clear of the Rec, our walk this morning took us down to the creek abnd back through the Iron Wharf and the boatyard. We were able to check on sailing barge "Cambria" now cocooned inside her poly tunnel of white tarpaulins. She also now has her smart new gang-plank and here, in the pic, you can see the railway sleepers the men have laid down to stop the cranes, when they use them, from collapsing the creek bank.

At home today, all is mad preparation for Mum's "posh frocks" do tonight, where Dad will be descended upon by 6 more glamorous ladeeeez in their finest (it's a hard life, Dad, but some-one's got to do it!). We have been despatched to the allotment to harvest leeks, kale and savoy cabbage, we have laid the fire, we have been shopping (nearest Sainsburys surprisingly not too manic!), we have been tidying and readying the house, polishing champagne glasses and getting out the finest china. Coo... aren't we the elegant ones!


Friday 21 December 2007

Jacko and Ozzie

Freezing fog tonight, so now we're back indoors in the warm of the coal fire, a few more pics of Reculver to remind ourselves of that lovely sunny day a short while back. Megan having a paddle and showing off her fruit-bat ears, Reculver towers (as used in the film "Dambusters" because Reculver is where Barnes Wallis tried out and demo'd his famous bouncing bomb, the planes lining up on the towers as practise for the dam raids), and some of the over-wintering Brent geese that this area is famous for.
With me in my current hormonal state we avoid the Rec on our walk, and take ourselves off through the fog, round the back paths to the allotments. Here we meet up with allotments boss "Sand" out walking with her Jack Russell "Meadow". Sand also has a red Patterdale called Fern, which is sister and litter mate to Diamond's "Rags" (aka Asbo). Complicated innit?
We are all standing chatting when frequent allotments dog walker lady (sorry, don't know her name.... why do humans have no problem conversing with all these other humans about and around dogs, talking to the dogs and learning the dog's name, but never quite pluck up the courage to ask the other human their name? You end up with dog walkers trying to describe who they've met with expressions like "... Ah you know.... Sams' Mum!...") comes through with Jack Russel Jacko and Patterdale Ozzie.
These are superb fit dogs. The JR is one of those superfit bouncy ones who can spring up from their hind legs to (human) chest-height. The Patterdale is a chunky stocky chap, looking more like a Staffie in build. Both Rags and Fern are much more "rangey" by comparison - a good 4-6 inches taller, longer and lighter built. I have not seen a pedigree Patterdale, so I have no idea what the correct standard is, but rags/Fern and Ozzie are almost 2 different breeds!
Ah well. Nuff for now. Dad is mellowing out on Shep's Christmas Ale
...and Ellie's mum has apparently bought herself some new specs....

Thursday 20 December 2007

'Tis the Season

Oh Dear. It appears that I am well and truly "in Season". This now has me confined to walks on lead whenever there is a risk we'll meet other dogs, so the Rec in particular. Tonight we met Gigot, Truffles and Storm out with their "Dad". Gigot is now back to match fitness after his rescue and having spent several months now with his new family

He can be a bit choosy about his chums - he's used to Lab's (Truffles is a black lab) but can be a bit nervous still of "other" types including (apparently) Westies, but not it seems, we three, whom he has decided are a "good thing". His rescuers and now owners are delighted that he is starting to come out of his shell and play tentatively with more dogs.

Tonight though he was right out, bouncing around skittishly and taking a lot of notice of my back end area. Yep, and I may be only 15 months, and not have a clue of the effect, but I was there too, bouncing around and reversing at him, with my tail skewed right round. That was till the two men saw what was going on and started laughing about "brazen hussies" and "tarts" and "scarlet Jezzebel"s. Me? I'm still white, as far as I know.... but anyway, I was rounded up and wrestled back onto the lead and marched off.

Dad made one last joke with the man - "Now then.... a Bedlington x Westie, that would be an interesting beast, wouldn't it?"

Ahhh sigh.... Gigot.................
Works for me


Wednesday 19 December 2007

Proper Westies!

Look at these two handsome puppies! Time for a reality check this morning, when we get this lovely card from Mum and Dad's friends Jane and Ida. We are all cute, undoubtedly, and we're white and we look mainly like westies, but we'd have to admit that we 'd get no where in proper dog showing.

Go to a proper dog show and you'll see a whole different animal, and it's not just the primping and preening. Read the breed standard, and you'll read about a whole different animal for that matter. These two, in the pic are "proper" westies - pedigree'd up and almost certain to become Champions, bred by Jane and Ida

Watch them strut their stuff in the ring - lovely gait (as opposed to H's back-legs-out-of-line-with-front scrabble), straight back-line (now look at mine in any picture), high set tails, tails carried vertically and shaped like a (straight) carrot, nice broad heads (we love Meg to death but even she'd admit to the narrow nose and unpronounced "stop"). Double coated, as opposed to my and H's silky fly-away fluff and Meggie's indeterminate wiry stuff. These pups are as far "up" from us as a Citroen DS is from Dad's old 2CV.

But heh... we're not pretending to be anything else. We're not complaining. We're just scruffy pet dogs but we are well looked after and we're happy. Doesn't stop us admiring the "real thing" though, does it. Gorgeous! Go Jane, Go Ida! (and thanks for the card)


Tuesday 18 December 2007

Oh Ellie!

The grapevine has it that my Sis, Ellie is in "twouble" again. Her Mum has grassed her up to Uncle Jim, found guilty of chewing up her glasses. Ellie's Mum says she has 2 pairs - her "spare" pair and her "best" pair. We'll leave you all to guess which pair Ellie has written off......

Dad has a Team Lunch today and skanks off work a bit early, so is home to walk us round the boat yards loop in daylight. We pass the project Sailing Barge "Cambria" in her dry-dock "lighter" and see the guys just finishing off assembling her "polytunnel" of bright white lorry tarpaulins. Dad hails one of the shipwright guys. "She'll start to dry out now", he says, "So we can start doing some proper work on her.

We also pass the barge Greta, as sailed on by Mum and Dad (twice now) under her own transparent plastic polytunnel. We say Hello to skipper Steve and barge-dog Alfie

Meanwhile at home, all is oprepping up for Christmas. Ever more cards are amassing on mantle shelf and window sills, and present wrapping has commenced. There is some stuff being kept out of sight of dogs, which is promising.


Monday 17 December 2007

The North Wind Shall Blow

...and we shall (maybe) have snow. Brrrr - it's turned really cold and we're all glad Dad leaves us fairly shaggy at this time of year.

Some more pics of Reculver yesterday and a nice artistic one of the Christmas Tree taken without flash
There's a story attached to the one of me, head and shoulders. You can't see it but I'm up on a low wall on the landward side of the sea-wall, where H and I kept hopping up to look inland, scouring the reed beds for prey animals (we being steely eyed hunter-killers an' all). Along near the Oyster farm the wall is only 6 inches tall from the sea-wall side, but the drop down to landward is a good 5 feet, onto a 45 degree downsloping "buttress" bit.
I was hop-skipping along here without a care in the world, when I hop-skipped a bit too carelessly. There was a skittering scritch of claws on wall, and my front legs went over. Dad watched in horror as in slow motion I scrabbled to reverse, then seemed to have succeeded but was still off balance. I did a little slow motion dance trying out various limbs on the edge and various limbs in thin air, but my body was slowly moving over the precipice. After what seemed like ages, but was only a few seconds, I gave in to the inevitable, dropped my nose and leapt, 5 feet down and 3 feet out, as Dad gasped "Noooooooo!!!".
But I landed perfectly and ran on down the 45 degree buttress, stopping eventually and turning to Dad with a look that said "Didn't hurt! You see - I meant to do that!"
Paratroop forward rolls next

Sunday 16 December 2007

Reculver in December Sun

You might be able to tell from these shots (compared to any from a few days ago) that we have been shampoo'd again. Megan got us in trouble this time - she's a devil for wading through puddles, and the puddles around the boat yard can be particularly feeeeelthy - spilt oil and old stagnant mud being 2 key ingredients.
Partly for that reason we got our proper walk this morning at Reculver - the theory being that even we cannot get muddy and disgusting at Reculver - the sea water washes itself off and any "mud" is just sand and beach really, so it falls off as we dry on the way back along the sea wall.
So, here we all are - first me bouncing around on the grass up by the tower, then a cracking close up of Haggis (we were actually walking back along the sea wall and a croaking noise inland in the oyster farm attracted our attention, so H is looking in land and the sun just caught him nicely). Double click the pic and get it up to full screen - it is crisp and clear around the eyes and nose perfect!
Finally, there's good old Megan under full sail, with her long "skirts" reaching the ground, and dazzling white, powering across the lawns and knocking all those lies about her slowing down and relaxing gracefully into old age into the long grass. Not this morning, she wasn't. Spronging about like a young lamb, she was!

More pics tomorrow - we took loads!

Saturday 15 December 2007

Cracker and Seti

Readers who were with me a year ago might recall the time we passed through Portmarnock (Co. Dublin, Rep. of Ireland) early in the morning and called in on the house of the Steak lady. Here I, as a pup in those days raced around the house unearthing all bones and toys buried by the house dog "Cracker" (a tiny Yorkie who was, in the absence of Steak Lady (holiday in N Africa) being house sat "en famille" by the neighbours; the house was deserted!).

I brought them all proudly back to the kitchen, where Mum or Dad would take them off me with "That's Cracker's" and put them in a wooden bowl on the worktop. I nipped off to find another, and another, and another, till the bowl was full of stuff, and Dad had to leave a message for Steak Lady explaining why there was a bowl full of old bones and chewed toys!

Well, Cracker, the tiny Yorkie has now been joined by a Siamese (Seal point?). The family has always had Siameses, the most recent being called Piewacket, who lived to a ripe old age (20 plus I think) and passed away only a couple of years ago. This new cat is named Seti, following Steak Lady's fascination with all things Egyptological - Pharoahs, Pyramids, the Nile etc. Google it and you'll find that....

"Seti I was the father of perhaps Egypt's greatest rulers, Ramesses II, and was in his own right also a great leader. His birth name is Seti Mery-en-ptah, etc"

Today's pic is of Cracker and Seti curled up in the bed.

Friday 14 December 2007


At last - some pictures of Xena's new pup Keira, one at 6 weeks and one at 8 weeks. She looks remarkably like a black bear in the 6 week one, but by 8 weeks her true Alsatian sticky-up ears are getting the right shape.
In both you can see how absolutely jet black she is. She is, we hear, a very brave girl, and didn't utter a peep when she was having her jabs (unlike one white girlie I could mention (ahem)). She can go "public" from January 6th, so Dad and First-Dad are trying to get up a joint walk at our favourite Leybourne Lakes.
My real-Dad (Hector) and bro' Archie have been (the grapevine says) a tad boisterous lately, most recently with a couple of Shih-Tzu's, so First Dad is uttering dark threats about having them "done" (whatever that is!). Look out boys.... it's not gonna be good. Probably for the best. Doesn't seem to have done Haggis any harm anyway....
Talking of which, I am told that I might also be "on" soon - I'm coming up to 16 months now and my first time was at 8 months.
Love is in the air.....
Have a great weekend

Thursday 13 December 2007


Hard frost this morning, and there is still a good amount of rime on shaded areas by evening. On the rugby pitch at the rec the ground under foot feels like shingle, but these aren't stones - they are marble sized bits of frozen mud. White foot prints show up in the half-light, the impressions left by morning walkers, where the grass was flattened while frozen and brittle, and has never thawed and been able to spring back.

We love to roll on our backs in the frosty grass, arching our backs so that our heads and rumps take our weight, and we get up and shake ice crystals off our fur.

The water butts are frozen over and the ponds almost so. The wild birds are enjoying the food Dad puts out.

Even better, though, to come home and have Dad light a real fire while we eat our supper, the way we can spread out on the rug with as many cats as want to join us.

Winter's here!

Tuesday 11 December 2007

The Forest is Coming to get Me

Not content with taking us to the Forest, Dad has decided to bring a chunk of forest (OK not the same one!) home to the house. This has me mildly concerned, as you can tell from the first picture, which Mum thinks looks like me about to have a .... um.... Number 2

But by the second pic we are all looking nice and festive, and we are so chilled with the idea of humans doing daft things to trees in the living room, that we agree to sit (momentarily) in front of it to accept a sweet. Hence the slightly "looking upwards" aproach, at Mum, just out of shot.

We are, of course, Haggis to the left of the photo, my ears in the middle, with me below them, and Megan on the right. Let's not list the "out-takes" with me racing towards Mum or racing towards the cameraman - I never did quite master the sit and stay when there was bribery involved. Meg and the H might get there first, you see, and steal MINE!

Merry Christmas


Monday 10 December 2007

Human Diets

Human diets - we dogs love them. Mum and Dad were off yesterday for a "gathering of the clans" family meal (at the Queen's Head in Icklesham, if you're interested, and Dad is happy to recommend it . ). They tend to serve big portions, and yesterday a lot of the rels chose either the turkey, or the great big slab of venison

Being humans just before Christmas and worrying about their waistlines, a good few of them couldn't finish theirs off and both Dad's Auntie Sylvia (who goes in for dalmatians) and Dad are always equipped with a few plastic bags in their back pockets for dog kind of reasons. So they split the left over booty between them and tonight we dined very nicely on real meat mixed in with our "Butchers' Tripe" tinned. Yum

I am a bit lame at present. There is a (totally unfounded in my view) suspicion that I have been battling with Haggis as we charged down the stairs and I have come a cropper and pulled a muscle. I now do a good line in looking pathetic with front right paw raised slightly. Dad says he knows it's nothing serious because I'm such a squealing drama queen if I have a real sharp pain (or the vetgives me an injection), and he has poked, prodded, flexed and squeezed and got no noisy reaction, so they are just easing off our walks till I am better.


Saturday 8 December 2007

Christmas Shopping, Dad-style

Ha! (Says Dad) ... You ladeeez can keep your Paris and your Galaries Lafayette, your Chanel counter and your Fragonard! He is destined this morning to host a "Mulled wine practical day" at the Challock Forest - a gang of volunteers are due to assemble at the forest for a few hours of clearing scrub, having a bonfire, baking potatoes and warming their cockles on mulled wine. Dad's job is to bring the mulled wine, so the house is smelling very festive this morning, nice and early

In the event, it's tanking down with rain and only 2 volunteers show, so the session gets cancelled, and Dad must bring the mulled wine back home again (didn't hear him complaining, and it seems to have all gone by the time I write this - 25 past 5. ) He comes home via "SCATS" - old and venerable farmers' supplies shop in Canterbury (on Wincheap) - he needs good solid outdoor wear for these sessions restoring the sailing barge Cambria

So he spends a happy half hour choosing rigger boots, leather gauntlets, overalls, waterproof (hi-viz yellow!) strides and an equally bright waterproof coat. He is happy as can be. That's Christmas shopping Dad-style, says he as he struggles back indoors (where Mum is still cosy in pj's and we're all warm, dry and asleep) with bags of shopping in each hand. Good to see he's not forgotten us - there are dog sweeties too.

Think I'll stick to Paris and the girlie stuff! Rigger boots indeed!


Friday 7 December 2007

Shopping in Paris

Retail Therapy! Mum and that Diamond have been in Paris for the last 4 days, shopping. Sounds fabulous - Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Bon Marche; all the make up and parfum counters - Chanel, Sisley, Fragonard..... ahhh sigh

Mum is home now (collected by Dad from the Eurostar last night) and is buzzing with tales of the bright lights, the window displays, eager-to-please assistance who naturally ask whether your purchase is "une cadeau" (a gift) which they will then beautifully gift-wrap in a neat pretty little box with ribbons and a bow.

Mum also collects all the designer shopping bags she can find (the pic is me diving into a Sisley "Soir de Lune" one to see what I might find. A dog sweetie? Maybe just possibly Dad snuck that in there to get me to stick my head in the bag?) I LOVE to smell hand cream and to lick it off Mum's hands, so you can imaging how I am as the car is unloaded - nose everywhere. Mind you, the Angel B, rather ungraciously says my nose is "everywhere" even when she is hoovering or tidying, curious to see if the hoover should unearth anything edible.

This way, Mum gets a break in Paris, Dad gets 99% of the Christmas shopping done without lifting a finger, so everyone is happy.

Hmmm... Christmas shopping. I wonder if there's anything in there for 3 angelic dogs.....

Have a good weekend


Thursday 6 December 2007

Christmas Cards

I'm dreaming of a whiiiiiite Christmas......
with every Christmas card I write

It's that time of year again! As usual, Mum and Dad are sending 60-odd cards out in the post, and a good few of these go to Westie related friends they've accumulated over the years of Westie owning, including some as far afield as Mississippi in good old US of A. Those are people Mum and Dad "met" on a Westie chat room / subscriber list which, as far as we know, is still going. Meggie was young then and Haggis a mere pup, but they had great adventures on those lists, with Dad inventing stories and all the listers contributing plot twists and characters

Others are the people who bought Meggie's pups. Meg had 2 litters, 5 pups by Haggis, and then 3 by a very handsome, Champion chap called Wellie. (Megan sighs at this point, the sigh of one who feels she is destined for far higher things and now has to slum it with Haggis and me due to reduced circumstances, or something). Posh bird!

Haggis, by the way, doesn't know that the 2nd litter was not his. He did "his bit" after all, and the pups came out white and exactly the same shape as the first litter, so he Fathered them, played with them and enjoyed them just the same, so please don't tell him about Wellie

So we still send all these people Christmas cards and a small note about the continuing health and life of Meg and the H, so they can tell the "kids". We dont always hear back, so we're not sure how they are all getting on. We know, of course, that poor Ben (first litter), who went to the Angel B and Jim is no longer with us, tragically hit by a car a month or so before I was born. And we are pleased to still get to run around with Owen (2nd litter), who went to Mum and Dad's friend Bob. Likewise, we still see Lady (2nd), who went to Bill and Pauline on the other side of town and we hear regularly from Holly (1st) who lives with two of Dad's colleagues, Tracy and Sarah.

As far as we know, our cards are still being enjoyed by the other three from the first litter, Cassie, Benji and Tinker, and the remaining pup from the 2nd litter, Daisy but they lived further a-field and do not reply to our cards

Cunningly, Dad has included the blog address in the cards this year, so maybe a few of you silent ones will pop up and have a read, leave a comment or whatever. We hope you're all well


Tuesday 4 December 2007

Keira is among us

Mmmmm... will have to check spelling of that, the newest dog in our "circle". She is, I think, a character in Lion King, so it shouldn't be too hard.

Anyway, Xena did successfully collect her from Romney Marsh and she is as black as your hat and very fluffy. She has quickly settled into the new house and is now plagueing them with all the usual puppy things - biting Xena's hair, romping enthusiastically with the grandchild till the grandchild wusses out, pooing on the floor just by the bed so that Xena treads in it in the morning (the humans love that - when it squishes up between their toes.... Go Keira!)

She is, though, a terror to photograph - all the auto-focus technology gets confused by the blackness and the fluff, so all they have so far is out of focus shadow-dogs!

She is, apparently, very young at only 6 weeks old, which surprised us all (including Xena, I think), but she's fully weaned and all her bro's and sis's are leaving too, so not much point inn leaving her there. She is, apparently, about the size of a Westie already.

Hope we meet her soon, before she gets toooooo big!


Sunday 2 December 2007

Crystal Palace Colours

What a change from yesterday - it's tanking down and blowing a gale, so we don't get a walk first thing. Dad is out most of the day playing with the Sailing Barge Cambria, getting filthy and soaking wet all morning, then filthy and drying out for the afternoon. When he comes in Mum makes him strip to the jocks before he's allowed in the door. (OK, not quite, but you get the picture).

Warm and dry again, and coffee'd up, he's fit to give us a walk, so we head for the Rec armed with my yellow frisbee. We straight away meet up with a Springer "we've" known since he and Haggis we're pups (Barney-Boy), plus the smart westies of Mick the Window Cleaner, Misha and Jack, today replendent in their claret and blue new coats.

"Westham" colours? we ask. No no no... says Mick, Crystal Palace. What Dad knows about footie can be written in capitals on the back of a postage stamp BUT (he claims) would include this one fact because when he was at Junior School (Elphinstone Road, in Hastings, in case you ask) his school colours were claret and (pale) blue, so, to a man, his fellow school-kiddies either supported Westham or the Palace. Mind you (he says) it was the 60's and according to Dad, Westham made up "half the England team". Shows how much he knows.....

Under their coats, Misha and Jack are (as always) bright white and spotlessly clean. We go in for a more "lived in" beige colour. Misha is apparently in a coat because she's had bad colitis and has had a big operation at the vets, so is bald down one side. Jack has a coat because Misha has one.

Look after yourselves

Saturday 1 December 2007

Shipwrights' Arms

A lovely walk today as it turned out to be breezy and fairly warm, blue skies and sunshine. Mum drove us all to the Shipwrights' Arms pub. There had been signs up saying Christmas Trees for sale, but in the event that has been delayed a week by an "accident". The Shipwrights' is one of Dad's favourite pubs - one time meeting place of the 2CV club local group he is part of, then the base for a pub quiz team Mum and Dad were part of (Shepherd Neame League), plus source of a bitter Dad loved called "Ship Wreck" (we don't know if it still sells it - an excuse to call in maybe!).

It's a lovely pub right out of town on the creek bank, in a place called "Hollow Shore" and a path gives out from its garden onto the creek bank itself. We walk home back into town all along this bank - we guess about 3-4 miles, coming back into town over the swing bridge and past the big open-spired parish church.

Coming back across the Rec we see smoke from our chimney - Mum has the fire lit and spicy chicken, packchoi and rice noodles soup on the go. Dad is most impressed.

We're all whacked, so it's good to collapse on the new bed (Megan is not sure about the bright orange colour) and even though Dad is out in the garden planting tulips, daffs and irises, we don't go out and help.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ... all that fresh air


Friday 30 November 2007

Keira - welcome to our World

A new friend! Being collected today from Romney Marsh by Xena the Warrior Princess, husband Steve and top Grandson Cole, an 8 week old black-furred ball of fluff German Shepherd bitch puppy. At least we hope so - was meant to happen at 1pm but Dad (whose colleague Xena is) has had no replies yet to his text. Pics and excited descriptions soon, we hope.

Go Keira!

Meanwhile, warm and wet. Dad's laid a fire because he promised Megan one last night, but we can't realistically see anyone lighting it - we'd bake!

Weekend is here..... have a crackin' one


Wednesday 28 November 2007

Howlin' Wolf

Funny ol' chap, Haggis on occasions. Normally fairly contented and happy with life, but always looking slightly anxious - see quite a few of the pics on this blog if you don't know what I mean.

But in H's world, he likes "order". That means when a phone rings, a human races to answer it promptly, and when an alarm clock goes off a human is not only in the bed, but also wakes up, stretches out a drowsy arm and silences the thing. Within seconds - after a few rings (phone) or beeps (clock).

If this does not happen, Haggis's little world falls apart. He is desolated and deeply distressed; traumatised even. He can cope for a few rings but then sure enough, drifting through from the next room comes Owwoo - owwoo - owwooooo, tentatively at first, but quickly rising to a crescendo of oWWOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! going on and on and on. It's no good just raising your voice, you humans and saying "OK Haggis - it's only the phone... shhh now!". Once he's up and running he needs a human to go to him and cuddle him reassuringly, where upon he'll calm down.

Humans, being humans are most concerned about this and hate to be a nuisance to their lovely neighbours, so they're mortified at the thought that he'll be heard and annoy anyone. The neighbours luckily love us and reassure Mum and Dad that "You'd never know you guys had three dogs - we never hear a peep out of them!...... except occasionally when we hear Haggis. We used to race round to see what was up, thinking he was in deep distress... but now we know it's just the phone". Dad hopes they're not just being nice, and it really is just "occasionally"

Impressive noise, though H!


Tuesday 27 November 2007

Challock Forest

We love these stray days off work Dad is taking to use up his hols (we're told you lose them unless you take them, but to us, every day is a holiday....). We always get a good walk - Challock Forest this morning which is all fallen leaves, just a few left up on the trees, and autumn colours even on the baby larches. The Dad is always coming and going on various errands. We all got bought a brightly coloured new bed today, as the old one, even when freshly washed, looks decidedly grey.

As well as that he's been up in the loft, down to the shed, under the sink and all over, ticking off jobs on a list as he goes. I think he's about to collapse for an "old gits lie-down", poor old soul


Monday 26 November 2007

Oooo-ow... My Tummy Hurts!

It is said that I may have dug up something unspeakable in the garden and eaten it. This has to do with Mum finding me coming back indoors with a wet dirty chin and looking a bit hang dog. Ears are down - in "Yoda" mode. It is further said that I do a good line in "dying swan" ("just like Megan used to do") to get sympathy when I am feeling awful and my belly aches. Ah well, I'm off my food to a point - cat food and sweeties are still attractive, but the bowls of standard dog food remain untouched or, at least, uncleared. Tonight I managed half a bowl.

Dad's no help. He disappeared again for most of Sunday, off with his 2CV boys ripping chunks off their project car, Mademoiselle d'Armentieres. We got a brilliant walk first, admittedly, all round the blackcurrant fields (as were) but even so I feel a bit of a 2CV widow. Made up for it tonight when he curls up with Top Gear and "Long Way Down", 2 hours of relaxing on the sofa with Dad, 3 dogs and 2 cats. Mum? She'd snuck off with a book - not a great one for Jeremy Clarkson, my Mum!

Real-Dad, Hector finally got to the vet about his hedgehog scar, and is now on 6 weeks of antibiotics. First-Dad is dispairing, running out of cunning ways to hide pills. Our Dad has it easy,as we're all suckers for cat food at breakfast time. A teaspoon after he's fed the cats, hides Meggie's Vetoryl, and we don't mind that ours contain no "secret additives". First Dad though has tried old favourites like cheese triangles (Hector can suck the cheese off then spits out the pill -- pftui!), normal cheese, crumbling the tablet into ice cream , and even icecream with crumbled ginger-nuts. Hector's gonna be free of infection but 30 kilo's


Saturday 24 November 2007

Albertine and Stag Beetles

The gang have been off work today, so they've been catching up on a few tidying jobs around the garden, which is good for us, because we get to snuffle about "helping" eaten up by curiosity at some of the human antics. First job, it seemed was to trim the enormous Albertine climbing rose adorning the back of the house. This involves Dad scurrying up and down a ladder with secateurs and lobbing prickly bits of rose down to Mum on the terrace below. Her job is to gather these up and bag them in a huge "Builder Centre" one ton bag, before we dogs can get entangled in them.

Occasionally this also involves Dad getting entangled himself, as she is a thorny old girl, but I think calling her a "vicious, spiteful demon" is a bit unwarranted. Also this is the chance to rake out the old sparrow nests from the "sparrow terrace" (all 3 compartments used this year) and the other nest boxes among the Albertine.

Mum and Dad are fascinated by the building materials the spugs seem to use - lots of dog hair as you'd expect - still identifiable hanks of Megan's wavy belly-hair -, but also loft insulation lagging, bits of a green spongey ball they can recall me ripping to bits on the paving, baler twine and so on. Even a mummified dead dried up unsuccessful fledgeling buried under a 2nd nest (we dogs have grabbed that and run off, but we are spotted by Mum who yells and chases us, saying it's "gross").

Dad also digs up the buried B+Q buckets of shredded rotting wood, buried last year up to their rims as part of a Stag-Beetle survey for the People's Trust for Endangered Species ( . We rummage through the old wood but no stag beetle grubs this year

Our nice long walk takes us round the boat yard and back through town, where the loud speakers are now playing Slade Christmas songs and all is festive jolliness... Hmmm. We meet a couple who live up the road opposite where my Sis' Ellie lives. They have a 5 year old westie (Jock) and a "cav" called "Twig" (Twiglet?). Jock is always immaculate - bright persil white and always looking "just groomed".

This must be a high maintenance system, which is (in my unbiassed opinion (!)) bad for dogs and should be discouraged at all costs. We don't mind looking, by comparison, grey, shaggy and scruffed, Dad, especially Haggis who, despite being shampoo'd a couple of weeks back, looks like he's not been bathed for months.

The pictures? That's Megan on the left, haggis centre and me right. Felix is far left

Enjoy the rest of the weekend


Friday 23 November 2007

Shut out by the Angel

Possibly divine punishment for chewing that lighter. I love, at the moment, as soon as I'm released through the back door, to race down the garden and check out the builders and their cars through the beech hedge; the guys working on the huge building sit behind our house.

The Angel Betty had come round during the day to let us out and then had nipped upstairs for something. Shutting the door, she'd gone back round to her house. A couple of hours later, Jim was saying to her "Ahhhh.... (Deefer's Mum) must be back - is that Deefer I can hear barking?". Later still the Angel B had looked out the front and noticed that our car was not back, so she asked Jim "Are you sure she's back?".

They decided to check on me and my occasional shouts (it's these builders - they need telling!) and realised that they'd shut me out for a couple of hours. No damage done - it was a warm day. I had shot out while B was upstairs and then kept quiet while the Angel vamoosed! Cunning escape plot huh?

Have a great weekend


Thursday 22 November 2007

Solvent Abuse

Ahhh Busted again! This time I'm not so much in trouble, as the subject of curiosity among the humans. The lighter pictured was found in my bed (with the bits) and with puppy tooth marks around the hole (allegedly) chewed in it. Now come on! That's not conclusive proof. The cats use that bed sometimes, M'Lud.

Round here, though, there's no justice. Just because I destroyed a similar lighter about 2 weeks ago (allegedly) chewing the top right off. It didn't go on the blog at the time and I would have got away with it as a "one-off" but now Mum and Dad are thinking there is a pattern forming, and are looking under my dog-bed "rug" for Evostick tubes and plastic bags.

Both are wishing they could have been flies on the wall when I bit through the casing and got my first mouthful of the lighter fluid. How mean is that. Cleared my sinusses out a treat!


Wednesday 21 November 2007

How do you manage three?

All warm again, but fairly wet. Dad home fairly late, but armed with a surprise - a yellow tough-plastic frisbee, like the one I tried to half-inch off Bindy. But this one's mine! It's excellent - Dad throws it edge-ways so it rolls and rolls, gradually curving in more and more as it slows down and leans over. And again... and again... and again

All three of us thoroughly approve of this. I get to run myself ragged, and come home panting like a marathon runner, while Haggis gets a night off from being persecuted by me chasing him about and launching "Kato" attacks on him ("Not NOW, Kato!"). Megan gets to mooch about in a casual manner, as befits a Dowager Duchess of advancing years

On the Rec we meet a young father returning from the kiddie's play furniture with 2 tots (maybe 18 months and 3?) and a very smartly groomed 5 year old bitch westie called Magic (which seems to get shortened to "Madge" which I'm sure can't be right!). The father asks our Dad "How do you manage three?" as Magic runs in circles chased by me and derailed occasionally by Haggis. Unseen, the oldest tot lep's out of the push chair and takes off across the grass. "A bit easier than you manage three where only one is a dog", says Dad. The father sees where our Dad's pointing and laughs.. "Oy! How did you get out of there?". Child is safely retrieved and strapped more successfully into push chair


Monday 19 November 2007

They said there'd be snow...

Ooops - can't quite get the keyboard into the right position - Haggis sitting on the wire!

Well - mighty cold it may have been yesterday and there was talk of snow on the radio, but it just kept on raining, and now it's turned a bit milder, so I guess we'll have to wait. Haggis was actually 6 by the time he saw proper snow - just the way it worked out with his youth and 5 mild winters. In Megan's pup-hood, there was so much snow that Dad remembers building her an igloo, then lobbing "sweeties" in through the entrance so she'd go in for them and he could get photo's of her emerging.

These wet evenings, and with Dad liking to lay the fire before he walks us, it's often dark by the time we go out. OK for us - we're white, so we can be seen in the dark. Tonight we met Darcie, a young black cocker with a red flashing collar. Good idea!


Sunday 18 November 2007

Jim, Gigot and Mademoiselle

Up early this morning and off on a nice long walk round the boat yard and back through town. We meet up with neighbour Jim and brown cocker Megan (no relation) - very confusing to have 2 Megan's next door to each other; "ours" keeps hearing Jim talking to "his" and thinking he's calling her. But Meg-next-door was a rescue dog and came already named, so there was no getting round it.

We also meet Gigot's family out for a stroll as we're crossing back across the Rec. Gigot (see his sad story in an earlier post) is obviously thriving in his new family and looks extremely well. He's just been clipped and groomed too, so he put us raggamuffins to shame with his gorgeous clip. Maybe it's a "show" clip, I'm not sure, but he even had his ears almost shaved except for a little frilly pom-pom on the end of each. (Dad - don't even THINK about it!). Out with him are his housemates, Truffles and Storm. We also see the Jack Russell "Bindy" and have a great chase about.

Once we're back, Dad's shot off to Preston, east of Canterbury to find his 2CV mates to finally start work on the club's project car, known as "Mademoiselle d'Armentieres". Today, they tell me, they're in destruct mode, taking off doors, bonnet, roof, bootlid, removing engine and gearbox, and starting to cut out rusty floors and bulkhead. And all in among those lovely farm buildings where we have such fun when we're on 2CV camp.

Dad comes home freezing cold and starving, to be revived by some Mum soup. It feels like it might snow. It's cold and damp, and with the wind chill we can all beleive it. The news is full of snow reports in places up north like "Snake Pass" and even down as far as Kidderminster.

Winter's here alright


Saturday 17 November 2007

Levee loop

Dad had been hoping for some frost this morning, to get some nice white pics, but it was not to be. If there had been any, then it had gone by the time we stirred from the "scratcher". No matter - we got a lovely long walk out through the allotments, then east along the North side of the railway line as far as you can go. We turned north through the fields to Nagden's Farm and came back along the creek's levee bank. Normally we can't do that in November (unless it's frosty) because it's so sloppy wet, but not this year.

Aside from that, a nice lazy weekend day, with the humans doing a bit of shopping and a lot of sitting around reading. They've now lit a fire, so we're doing a lot of sitting around basking.


Friday 16 November 2007

Jack Frost nippin' at your nose

Freezing evenings and cold frosty mornings. Proper frost to scrape off the car in the morning before Dad can start driving. First thing Dad does when he gets home is lay the fire. A pure indulgence - the house has central heating and in fact (Says Dad) the thermostat is in the dining room where the fire is, so the fire heats the thermostat, the heating turns off and the rest of the house goes cold!
Never mind, we (That's especially Mum, but also all three dogs and both cats, plus Dad) love a coal and log fire, so here's a pic of us stretched out tonight after our walk. Mississippi on the left, me centrally (natch!) and Felix right. Look carefully* and you can also see Haggis peering round the fire breast on the (oops - very grubby) dog bed to the right. Look even more carefully and you can see, bottom left a small fragment of Meggie (trust me! it is!). Dad is taking this shot. Mum is sitting at the dining table just out of shot to the right, reading a book, warming her "kiddlies". A blissful Friday night, when all's said and done. The entire family enjoying a real fire.
Have a great weekend
ps -* I assume, dear reader, that you've sussed that if you click on the pics here you can expand them up to full screen size and even save them down to your own machine.

Thursday 15 November 2007

Phone the RSPCA

Fantastic walk tonight - all round the back of the allotments, but AT NIGHT! Night noises - animals scurrying for cover - rabbits and r*ts, frosty air, damp grass. Even Meggie was all fired up and electric in the dark, racing about like a young one, rather than her usual slow plod. I, unfortunately, raced through a particularly fluffy dry pile of old compost and got absolutely covered in bits, so I needed a brush out. I hate that! Dad tells me to shoosh and that he's not pulling much or very hard, but I enjoy a good "drama queen" squeak every now and then, just to scare him!

No such sympathy from Mum this morning. She sends an email to Dad from work which covers all sorts but ends with .....

" She's also off her feed. She seems to think she'll be better later though, as she was carefully guarding her food bowl from all comers. In the end, I picked it up as the sight of her desperately trying to find a way to go out and pee while remaining on guard - in the face of a slying circling Haggis - was making me laugh too hard."

Now, I ask you, is that anyway to treat a poor defenceless puppy.

Somebody should phone the RSPCA


Wednesday 14 November 2007

Dash to the Vet's

Mum was having a nightmare morning. It's never a good sign - Mum is rather like the Dowager Duchess Megan when it comes to mornings. Mornings are for lying in bed luxuriating while reading the papers and being brought cups of tea by those of a male, early riser persuasion. Felix had pee'd up a door post in the kitchen, and a spreading puddle of pee was taking over the kitchen floor.

Time was pressing on towards "going off to work" time. Dad was already long gone in the main car. Megan decided that Mum trying to empty the sink so she could fill a basin with bleachy water, was a good time to poke Mum's calves with her (Meg's) nose in an "I want attention, or at least my water bowl filled up" manner. I chose that moment to sneak past Mum and raid the cat food bowls. I got shoo'd out, I thought rather harshly, and headed upstairs to persecute the H, who was on the put-me-up bed in the spare room. Mum lifted the cat bowls to clean the floor, much to the loud protest of Missi, who already had her nose in hers

Mum sorted the floor, replaced the cat bowls and, having long since run out of time for a dog walk, called us down for a farewell "sweetie" (= dog treat). Half way down the stairs, she noticed me stop running and go to try to attack my own cheek with a front paw (not anything you want to try on a steep flight of stairs). I was struggling for breath, and had started choking. Mum tried to look in my mouth, but I'm a wriggly perisher at the best of times, and she couldn't see anything. There was no immediate danger of me choking to death. Mum, still in "dog walk" casuals, grabbed me, threw me in the 2CV and headed for the vet, while I struggled to dislodge the foreign body, which was squeaking rather like rubber on teeth.

Luckily the 2CV started obediently (Mum HATES that car, so if it hadn't it would surely have been berated with a heavy rock, so Dad was releived at this!) and soon we were at the vets. First our man John couldn't see anything but Mum insisted he look closer, as I'd still been squeaking as recently as at the reception. They found, in the end, the pictured small cylinder of soft plastic / rubber wedged on the inside of the gap between my right canine and the tooth in front, John whipped it out, and we all relaxed.

For being so "bold" I got an anti-inflammatory jab ("Meep!"), and Dad got a text which relayed all this misfortune and ended "and all I've got to look forward to is this chuffin' soup!". The humans are on diets, so lunch is no longer bacon butties, cakes and all the good things in life).

The offending item is the rubber foot from the laminator, which had been lying on the spare bed...... I have (of course) no idea how it got wedged between my teeth.


(not a puppy any more so I don't chew stuff, honest)

Tuesday 13 November 2007

Archie is "Thug" says vet

Ahh, poor Archie, my beloved brother. Contrary to my story last week, he didn't get his jabs on the same night as me, as there was a mix up with the dates. He was last night, with real-Mum, Mollie. Mollie is apparently no problem, licking the vet's face and taking her treatment in true, hard Scottish style. But she was so long on the table that (First-Dad says) Archie got bored and by the time he was up there he wasn't having any of it.

Possibly from as long ago as his hedge-hog carrying-indoors incident, real Dad, Hector has a scarry lump under his chin and the vet needed to look at it, but Hector was not going to co-operate, first-Dad had to wrangle him solidly under an arm while he wriggled and protested. First-Mum was reported to be curling at the edges with shame, as the vet was laughing "Have you done nothing to train this dog?"

I'm proud of them both! They are true blue members of the Monarch* family!

Dad must stop at our vet's tonight for Meggie's Vetoryl, so time he's got in, lit a fire and waited for Mum, it's dark. We go a normal walk - known as the Macknade loop, but at night it's much more exciting - all those unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells! It's cold and spitting in the blustery wind. Some of Dad's work lot were reporting flurries of snow this morning over "Bluebell Hill". Winter is on it's way, for sure


*Monarch? First Dad's mission is to own a gang of westies, all named after characters in the TV series "Monarch of the Glen" - hence Archie, Mollie, Hector. We are all waiting for "Gollie the Ghillie". Dad recalls the series with a laugh - wondering how they got to write lines like "Ach... Don't be silly, Mollie, it's only Gollie the Ghillie" etc

Monday 12 November 2007


We checked the diary. I have now been living at Mum and Dad's a whole year as on Saturday just gone (the 10th)

We have just been for a lovely race about on the Rec. It's really chilly, so it's good to run about and warm up, and what better way than to persecute a plastic bottle. Frijj Strawberry flavour this time, so I can have a surruptitious slurp in between leaving it for Dad to kick or throw and giving it back to him. I do look rather wistfully though, at "proper toys" - had great fun the other day with a soft, luminous green frisbee, and tonight tried to wrangle a ball-on-rope off a golden retriever, but he wasn't having any of it. Da-a-ad..... When's Christmas?

The cats, meanwhile, think they have got away without being "Frontline"d, but Mum was at Mississippi with the fine-tooth comb (=nit comb) while the two were sitting in the easy chairs warming their knees at the coal fire last night, and I have heard the humans plotting. I'm thinking those cats are gonna get sorted as soon as Mum is home from work

We are, it seems, a constant source of education - no local Mum can resist, when they come upon us, asking their toddlers "How many Doggies?". All local children will have a firm grounding in counting up to three, anyway. Most of them get it right, but Dad was chuckling at one little pink-clad mite tonight who proudly declared "One... Two.... Six!"


Saturday 10 November 2007

A Delicious Roll

Some nice pics for you today. I am hoping that following deep research which established that they will appear in the blog in the reverse order to that in which they were uploaded, I can describe them in a sensible order.
The day starts with a lovely walk through Challock Forest - all dried, crunchy, rustly autumn leaves and opportunities to scurry about. Also a chance for a gorgeous delicious roll in the leaves to pick up all the scents a dog could possibly need. Pic 1 is of Meggie (left) and the H walking towards the camera. Pic 2 has Haggis (bottom of shot) and my good self rolling in the leaves.
I am back in the doo-doo having chewed the sole liners out of one of Mum's favourite comfy shoes , so Dad (if he wants to live, apparently) has to get in touch with a guy called the "Shoe Doctor". It's a dog thing. I cannot tell a lie. I did chew up the shoe.
Exhausted from our Challock walk we are delighted that Dad has decided that winter is here and has bought in coal and logs for some real fires. Here is a pic of myself (left) and the H stretched out in front of it
Fianlly, after 3 years of yowling and hissing at each other as soon as one got near the other, the two cats seem to have settled their differences and are now able to sleep together, curled up on the carver chair, much to the amazement of the humans. So here is photographic evidence of Felix (black and white) and Mississippi (brindled) in case we all wake up in the morning and think we've dreamed it!
Have a great weekend
Wound up by the continuing fireworks

Friday 9 November 2007

Tidal Surge

Recovering from my assault by the vet (only joking Rosie, doesn't do to get on the wrong side of medical people. You never know what they'll get called upon to do next!) I find Mum a bit concerned at the possibility of a "tidal surge". It seems that North winds have created a big 3m raise in water level progressing down the North Sea which, if it coincides with high tide at some points might be enough to over-whelm the sea defences. Our town, being on a tidal creek, is among those listed as vulnerable, and all the news broadcasts are mentioning East Anglia and Kent

The tide has already over-topped the Standard Quay once this year, where Dad's beloved Thames Sailing Barges moor up for maintenance, and they only draw about 2 or 3 feet soaking wet, so he's wondering if he'll find them up on the concrete, high and dry.

As it happens the surge bimbles down the coast and passes us without any breaching, so the evening news is full of relieved Environment Agency types saying things like "hair's breadth" and "within a whisker". Mum and Dad relax again.

Loving "Autumn Watch" at present (though we have a night off tonight). Single birds, rabbits, mice - anything scurrying or moving fast has me in full alert mode - ears up, neck craning, tail up, head cocking from side to side. Probably a favourite programme on TV just now.

Ah well. It's the weekend and we have nothing planned. Nobody visiting us, us not visiting anybody, so lots of relaxing and some nice dog walks are planned. A nice bit of forest and the autumn leaves would do me just fine!


Thursday 8 November 2007

Jabbed up!

Megan! I'm never gonna talk to you again. You had it all kept quiet what "annual inocculations" meant, so I went all unsuspecting into that dark night. Now, of course, I know that an apparently nice sweet young lady in a white coat fusses you all over, lets you sniff her face, prods and probes gently to get your trust, then ZAP! (Eeee! EEk! Yip YIP ! EEeeeeeeee-eeee!) ... Ahh, stop being such a drama queen (Dad says). Searing pain between my shoulder blades. She stuck something sharp in me!

I hear that Archie and Mollie are suffering the same fate tonight too, and Archie is reckonned to be as much a drama queen as me.

Worse part was that at the exact moment Dad was leading me round the side of the house to the car the heavens opened and a full waterfall of rain went whooshing down the back of Dad's trousers (he says... drama queen?) as he lent into the car to unhitch my lead from my collar. Payback time!


Tuesday 6 November 2007

Autumn-Watch Foxes

Ahhh... it's that time again. Bill Oddie's back, with strangely coloured hair and with (Dad sighs) Kate Humble. More importantly, so are the foxes. We westies LOVE foxes, and as soon as one appears on screen (or even a fox noise is played back with no image) we're there, gazes fixed on the screen, ears forward and locked, heads cocking this way and that, legs "stacked" like a show dog. Little excited whimpery noises are optional.

A really good shot will have us leppin' off the sofa (usually across any humans who happen to be in the way), chasing across to be nose-up to the TV. A good noise will see us charge to the back door to be let out to repel the obvious threat to our garden space

Ahhh Autumn Watch


Monday 5 November 2007

Remember remember

Haggis started it! Awake and scratching all night. "Company" they call it round here, so now Dad's been off to the vets and come back with some Frontline. Dad's done we three dogs already, but the cats are a 2-man job, plus "we" have to do Mississippi first, so she doesn't see Felix getting done and get all upset (I mean, as in "upset wetly all down the front of Mum's Chanel jacket"). Their time is to come, but Mum's not home yet.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that we've had fireworks going off all over the weekend, tonight is yer' actual Guy Fawkes, so we can expect a good bit of sporadic crackling, flashing and banging.

A card comes from the vet, through the post, especially for me. I have no idea at all what "annual inocculations" means but it sounds technical and fun. I heard Meggie say to Haggis "Act nat'ral, say nuttin' ". I'm booked in Thursday at 5pm. I'll tell you all about it when I get back


Sunday 4 November 2007

Woof, woof, Woof, WOOF, WOOF!

Woof, woof, Woof, WOOF, WOOF! - Haggis repelling all boarders of a fireworky nature, attempting to enter our air-space. The Nerve! How dare they!? He races outside and shouts them into submission. Megan joins him sometimes for a half-hearted "Ruff" but there's not much passion there. Me, I tend to protect the rear flank from a strategic position on Dad's lap.

Lovely walk round Reculver this morning. Mum had the "proper car", so we were in the 2CV. It was a lovely warm sunny morning with a gentle breeze blowing, so we did our whole usual loop. From Reculver towers we head Eastwards onto the sea wall, but cut inland (south) "behind" the oyster farm, and along the raised bank to the railway line. Then we head east along the railway till we meet a crossing point plus a north-south path that takes us back to the seawall just where there are some lagoons. Here we drop down onto the beach for a bit of a paddle, before heading back westwards to the towers and the carpark.

We meet a very handsome, newly clipped westie boy called Finlay, plus a "grumpy old git" (the owners words) spaniel who has to stay muzzled and on the lead. The explanation for his (Finlay's) name involved him coming from Romford but we didn't catch that. Perhaps there is a place called Finlay in Essex?

In the afternoon, I've been helping Dad shred all the apple, vibernum, quince and plum clippings. My help seems to involve mainly watching the output chute end to see if anything exciting, or edible should emerge. I promise you, it doesn't, but it's better than being stuck indoors.


Friday 2 November 2007

Terrier Heaven

Heaven! We were just setting off on our walk tonight, headed for the allotments when, coming down the side of the house, we were hailed by Ellie, (my sis) and her Mum, and all four of us immediately decided to head for the Rec where we sisters could have a long overdue run-around together. It's been ages.

We are still similar in size, even though Ellie's a bit shaggier, so she looks a bit bigger. No sooner were we off the leads than we were tearing round in small circles bowling each other over, with Haggis piling in occasionally to unbalance anyone who was still standing up.

We were joined by a lady who knew Ellie's Mum, and her young Jack Russell, Bindy. Next arrived another lady out with a black collie cross, Ben, and then the young jack Russell Mac, who we met the other day. Last came another JR, Patch and a young spaniel, Molly. 4 westies, 3 JR's and 3 other dogs all variously running about, chasing each other, or mooching round the humans. It was great fun - best gas for ages!

Bindy had appeared with a soft, hollow-centred luminous green frizbee, and we soon started chasing that, with Dad lobbing it huge distances, so that we young ones all got really tired

It was dark by the time we were done, and we met Mum walking back across the Rec towards the house.

Terrier Heaven!

Guy Fawkes night coming up, so fireworks to shout at. Not sure I'll have the energy!


Wednesday 31 October 2007


A couple more pics of that Sailing Barge, cambria, now residing a few yards from one of our favourite walks, on the Creekside, at Standard Quay. Nipping onto the website, we found she was built by the Everard yard in Greenhithe in 1906, and was the last remaining sailing barge to be in trade, still under only sail (all the rest had had at least auxillary engines fitted) until 1970. She's 91.1 feet long and was registered as 79 tons.

Meanwhile, back at the Rec, we meet 2 nice new dogs tonight - 4 month old golden lab "Paddy" who is not yet trusted off the lead. We wanted to play but the lady was also bringing home from school a (someone else's) child who was not used to dogs, and wailed in terror every time our romping moved in his direction. This got too much for the lady in the end and she apologetically dragged Paddy away. Only when I was 20 yards off and back wrecking a plastic bottle (Coca Cola Zero) did the little mite quieten down.

Also, lovely tri-colour Jack Russell "Mac". He was new to his owner and she was wary of letting him off but at least she had him on a 20 foot lead, so he could run in huge, fast circles, trying to scythe humans and Megan and Haggis off at the knees at every rotation. Won't be long before he's off the lead, I think. He'll be as much fun to play with as Nelson the other day.

And, of course, it's hallowe'en, so an evening of doggie restlessness is forecast, what with Trick or Treat kids (we don't usually get many - we're always (I'm told) left with shed loads of sweeties), and some fireworks

Happy Hallowe'en


Tuesday 30 October 2007

Even older than Megan

I have no idea what order these 4 pics will come out on the blog - have to "publish" and then go back in and edit if I've said anything that doesn't fit with the pics!
Anyway, dad has day off work today so, other that when he is, yet again, trying to capture a good deer photo in Challock Forest, we have his undivided attention. We get a lovely walk round the fields and the boatyard. Housed there now is the old Sailing barge "Cambria" - poor old girl is in rather grim condition. More on her soon, but suffice to say now she was the last barge still in trade round these parts, eventually being pensionned off in the 60's, and is now in dry-dock at our boatyard pending (we hope) restoration. She's even older than Megan!
Out on that walk, I managed to find some ripe fox poo to roll in. The pic with my head in the shade shows well the amount I managed to get on my rump and right shoulder. Megan was looking on with murder in her heart, remebering, as she did, the mention of shampoo and "minging" at the weekend, and thinking we'd got away with it.

Well, my attempt to improve the doggie fragrance put the tin hat on that, and Dad wrangled us all through the shower, one after the other. Hence my pic of me looking all white and fluffy, completely devoid of fox poo (and street-cred!). The final pic, of all three of us, is just the three of us basking in the warm october sunshine at the back door, all damp from the shower. Megan is at front (out on the step), I'm centre and Haggis is at the back.
Deefer - West Highland WHITE terrier!! :-))

Monday 29 October 2007

Sentry Duty

There are plenty of perfectly good beds in the house - dog, cat and human. Felix though, has decided his favourite place of all is an old shopping box just inside the living room. Here he stands (or sits or lies) guard as if he was a sentry on duty.

We suspect this may be a "Diamond" thing. Perhaps she is secretly twisting her animals heads. Felix once belonged to Diamond, and Diamond's dog, the famous Asbo, has also spurned all clean, new, reputable looking beds in their house , in favour of a beaten up ol' cardboard box, into which he has dragged an old bit of dog-blanket and a few chewed toys. He loves it like nowhere else on this earth. The more tired and frayed it gets around the edges, the more he loves it. It is his spiritual home. He looks like he should have a bit of old bailer twine round his neck in lieu of a collar, and be lying (in his box) alongside some poor homeless soul under a sooty railway arch in Chelsea.

Meanwhile, here, we are deserted by Mum, who is in Portmarnock, and even the Angel B and Jim, so while Dad's at work, Ken and Jackie, neighbours from the other side, come and let us out for our lunch time "comfort stop".

Just for the one night though- Mum's back tonight