Thursday 29 March 2007

Hugo the Dane

Dad comes home smelling of big ol' brown Dane, Hugo ("Hughie" for short). Dad's giving a guy lifts to work at present, and stopped for tea and cookies, met the folks and met the Great Dane. He's a big boy. His head is as big as I am, and he's as soft and friendly as you'd want. Doesn't like to be ignored though, so he tends to shout if you stop fussing him or leave him indoors when you're in the garden - big bellowy bass barks. You'd know he was there!

When Megan and Haggis were young they made friends with 2 danes who walked regularly on the Rec, Rudolph and Valentine. They'd run in circles and dive under the danes' bellies, causing those big ol' gangling, unco-ordinated, over-sized pups to trip over as they tried to chase the disappearing westie tail under their own self. Looks of confusion on their faces, and if westies could hide behind their hands and giggle.....

Our walk tonight is round the cemetery, where hot and cold running rabbits are provided for terrier entertainment. The rabbits are lazy and unfazed by mere terriers. The can scurry off twice as fast as even a young fit (ahem) terrier, and are always in range of the vertical cast metal paling boundary fence - the pales wide enough to take a rabbit at gallop speed, but too narrow for a westie (even a young svelt, slim, good looking one!).

Good fun trying though


Wednesday 28 March 2007

Climbing Feet, Climbing Feat

Mum and Dad are getting used to the fact that they have a climbing dog about the place, achieving remarkable feats of climbing which neither Capt. Haggis nor The Lady Megan ever tried. Tonight Dad was just back from a post-work, post-walk session up at the allotment (He's enjoying the late evenings now we're on BST, and the warm dry digging weather; Makes a nice change. says he) and was in the kitchen briefly to make a coffee. He came back to find me on the dining room table, just about to explore a re-sealable sachet of dog-sweets. He's sussed that I can sprong onto the chairs from the floor, and from there onto the table top

They've already got used to seeing me on the patio table - even quite young I could leap from the flower bed onto the shelf beneath the table, from there to the chair and from there to the table top. Piece of cake. Climbing Westies. A new breed? Mind you, both real-Mum (Mollie) and real-Dad (Hector) are great ones for lying along the backs of sofas, and all 3 of us kids must have that in our blood (or we saw it enough times when we were pups and it stayed in our heads).

Archie now always joins Moll+Hector along the back of the sofa, looking out of the big living room window, it's my favourite place when the humans are sat watching TV, and (we learned a couple of days back) that it is also Ellie's favourite perch, especially as her new-Dad loves eating his supper sitting on the sofa. He is forever battling off Ellie, who sneaks round the back of his neck and sneaks a wet nose round his collar, past his ear and onwards to try to intercept food en route from plate to mouth....

Think I'd probably die if I tried that. Discretion is the better part of cowardice


Monday 26 March 2007

What big eyes you have...

Unlike Megan and the H, who usually sleep through the experience (see photo, H is left, Meggie right), I like to enhance any photo-opportunity if possible by getting as close as possible to Dad's camera. If I can get a slurp of wet nose onto his UV filter, I feel I have scored maximum points (although Dad does not seem to appreciate this)

Had a superb run around today with sis' Ellie, whose walk to the Rec coincided with our own charge down the side path of the house towards the pavement. We were all complimented on our behaviour, and we were at our most charming when sitting properly in a neat circle round Ellie's Mum's feet. Her rattling the "sweetie" pot had nothing to do with this, I swear. We are always that obedient!



Sunday 25 March 2007

Shouldn't laugh but....

Descended on this afternoon by Diamond, John, Den and Asbo (also known as Ragworth / Rags), all the humans tucking into a roast lamb meal (Yay! Bones for us when the guests have gone!). Rags used to bully me a bit (although 'tis said I was a screaming drama queen and wailed even if he didn't actually touch me), so it was funny to hear tonight of him coming unstuck when out being walked by Den.

Apparently he had spotted a big ol' ginger Tom cat near a car, and when the cat crept under the car, Rags lunged under too, to the full length of his lead. The cat struck back! Rags emerged backwards from under the car, screaming like a drama queen ( :-)) ), with the ginger Tom on top of him gripping on and biting into his spine. Den had to separate the two animals and retreat, with Rags looking anxiously over his shoulder till the cat was well out of range. They crossed the road, and the cat crossed too, ending up sitting on the pavement coolly washing himself.

Also, I hear that Asbo, as a pup, was terrified of the decorated wheelie-bins. Plain green ones were OK, but some people like to customise their wheelie bin with stick-on transfers of clematis plants, or clown faces. Rags gave these a very wide berth.

The bigger they are.....


ps - No more of the r*t. Dad blocked up the holes with some square section weld-mesh, and the varmint has not, so far, been back. Megan is watching out for developments. meanwhile we had a squirrel in the Albertine on the back of the house, as an alternative entertainment today

Saturday 24 March 2007

Sussed it, Tim, I think


Thanks for your advice. I have now managed to add the site meter java script bit to the page. What a clever Pup I am. A wet misearble wintry day. The poor old Magnolia stellata in the front garden is reduced to brown rags by the wind and cold of last week. I am denied access to the greenhouse in case I trample on the emerging seedlings. But - (devilishly exciting!) we have a r*t in the compost heap. Megan knows it - she is down there every time we are let out of the back door - we streak down the garden in a shower of gravel and yips as we barge each other out of the way to get there first (and Megan's meant to be an old girl! She can't 'alf move when there's a varmint to git).

It's one of those big plastic dalek type compost bins and and the varmint has chewed a hole in the front by the inspection slidey door. Dad has opened the top and found burrow up to the top so the little critter presumably sits up there, under the lid and gorges on our old compost peelings. Dad has tried the live trap a number of nights with different baits, but there's no ratter quite like Meggie, and I'm proud to be her apprentice. Meggie had 20-30 of the little b***ards while our humans had bantams, and she'll not have forgotten the fun and the technique.

Deefer (Trainee R*tter)

Thursday 22 March 2007

Pics of the Iron Wharf

Hi. I keep talking about the local creek and the boat yard (Iron Wharf and Standard Quay) where the old Thames Sailing Barges are restored and maintained, but it occurred to me that I've never given you any pictures. Here are a couple to sort that out.
The first (if they stay in the same order when I press "publish") is of me chasing around on the quay-side with Greta's barge-dog Alfie. who is great fun. Sorry about the back view of the ship-wright man who snuck in there.
The grassy one is the three of us approaching the boatyard along the creek side path. In the distance stands a typical reefed in "sprit-sail"rig but this boat, the "Alice of Rochester" is, I am told, not a "real" old sailing barge, but a converted lighter, made to look like a barge top-sides. The rigging and masts look genuine enough to me, but then, I'm only a pup, so what do I know?
Finally, that's me chasing Alfie and a passer-by terrier "Dotty" around the quayside again, with the blue and yellow striped sprit pole of Decima behind us, the gear lowered for winter maintenance. The quay side is actually streaked with the oily mixture (I think lanolin, veg oil and ochre) with which the guys paint the terracotta coloured sails to preserve them. Lovely smelly mess, great for a white dog to roll in and chest-plough through till they get shouted at. Personally, I can't think of a nicer thing for a westie to "ming" of, but Meggie prefers dead slugs or fox poo.
The gear is designed to be lowered, by the way, so that the barges could get under the Thames bridges. They'd sail up to them, getting plenty of way on, then quickly drop the rigging and let the momentum carry them under, before raising the masts again the other side. So Dad says anyway.
Coo - what an educational post we're having tonight

Tuesday 20 March 2007

Ellie's bigger than me!

Sometimes Dad wishes he had his camera with him. Tonight we sneaked a quick walk round via the cemetery, in between wintry showers, and we were delighted when we met Ellie, my sister, out with her Mum. She's gorgeous! She's a s big as Archie, but has not had the hair cut yet, so with all the thickness of bright white fur, she looks bigger still - about one and a quarter times my size in any direction

We were both off the lead, so we had a superb race about. Gone was the wee cowering submissive thing of our first visit - here's a dog who is confident, fast, manouvre-able, full of beans and who loves to rough-and-tumble. She was easily my equal and often got the better of me, bowling me over! We loved it!. Dad and her Mum watched grinning to see the change, and enjoyed (meanies!) me not getting the upper hand all the time. We ran and ran and ran, and back in the Rec Haggis also decided to join in, so three dogs were racing about, cannoning into each other and trying to roll each other over. Quite a sight

Dad has told Ellie's Mum about Leybourne Lakes too, so maybe next time we'll have 7 dogs gathered!

Meanwhile, Meg's guts are all sorted, and Dad has her on Chum "Senior" to see how that goes.

Look after yourselves


Monday 19 March 2007

Symphonia Gastrica

We all wake to the (loud) sounds of Meggie's guts squelching and gurgling. This in our house is known as the Syphonia Gastrica. Meggie had the same a couple of weeks back and was off her breakfast, just wanting to eat grass, with the inevitable consequences. Sure enough, she's off breakfast today and worries the humans whether to visit the vets. But (as last time) by tonight she's all settled down again and ravenous. Who knows why? Megan (say the humans) has always been our most interesting dog, in alimentary tract terms, sometimes managing to go from poo that is bullet hard to ever so soft in the same dog walk. Doggy humans, I have found, often talk about poo. Dad decides that maybe it's time to try Meggie on an "old girls" dog food variety.

Meanwhile, hurray! I have finally lost my last puppy-tooth, Yesterday when I was exactly 6 months old and a day. Megan, they tell me came "on heat" (what ever that is) at 6 months to the day, but they've checked and I'm nowhere near there yet. They'll tell me about it soon, enough, they say. Something to do with birds, bees, storks and stuff.


Sunday 18 March 2007

More Leybourne Lakes

I have dug out another Leybourne Lakes shot. Myself and Archie having a scruff about, watched by Hector (real-Dad) and not watched by Mollie (real-Mum). Dad says it gives a good impression of how very different our coats are. New-Mum suspects that a Sheltie may have snuck in there while Hector was not watching!
A relaxing day today - we needed one. We got a good walk in early all over the Abbey Fields behind the allotments, but since then we've all mooched around the house and garden
Thanks to "CandyLei" for the nice comment. The "Webb" bit was just a joke by the way - after cross-channel swimmer Matthew Webb. I am just plain Deefer, or D-for-Dog, if you prefer. No other name required.
Lovely sunny day but we're all waiting for Caddie's snow to arrive. Wind has swung round to the West and turned really cold (well, 7 degrees - but we've all been used to Spring and 14's)

Saturday 17 March 2007

Westie Sextet

Fantastic Day! As well as our normal early morning, dug-Dad-out-of-bed-at-7 walk, and once Dad had got his spuds into the allotment, the humans arranged for we 3 dogs to meet up with my first family - Mollie, Hector and Archie, for a chase about round Leybourne Lakes, down by Maidstone. What a cracking venue for a dog walk - hard tracks for the humans to walk on and big lakes to house the swans and geese that we can chase (oops).
We all got on like a house on fire and quickly formed a good pack. I got lots of chasing in with brother Archie (that's him chasing me in the 2-dog photo). Doesn't he look all groomed and smart. He always was a short/smoothe coated boy, where I was (and still am to some degree) a silky blow-away mop head. He's also now a bit bigger and more muscly than me, but I am quick and manouvreable so we had a great run around.
The 6-dog photo's are superb, aren't they. One is a tribute to talking too soon. Although the park was mainly dry, there are the odd mud-wallow scattered about, and we found this one just as Dad was saying "they're keeping quite clean, aren't they". That's me in the middle of the wallow, Mollie, Hector and Arch' top of picture, and Megan and H behind me.
The lake-side pic is also fun becuase seconds later some swans swam close to the bank and I launched myself 2 feet into the water. Instead of swimming off, they hissed and came closer. I now hold the world Westie record for learning how to a) swim, b) turn 180 degrees in mid-stroke and c) beat it to the bank and scrabble out. Never mind Crufts - show me the Olympics!
We adjourned back to "their place" for more chasing about and for the humans to have a coffee.
Have a great weekend
Deefer Webb

Friday 16 March 2007

Going wobbly

That final upper left baby-canine. Not long for this world. Have a great weekend. Beannachtai na Feile Padraig, an' all that.

Deefer O'Carogan

Thursday 15 March 2007

The Squirrels

Spring is definitely with us, and even the Forest is drying out. We went a lovely long walk, the reverse of the Friends of Kingswood "Deer walk" - Dad was out with the telephoto again trying to get that prized Fallow Deer picture; and no, he won't sneak off to the deer park in Sevenoaks and blag one. This has to be (apparently) a real Challock Forest deer in Challock Forest. It's an obsession. He had to make do yesterday though with this charmer of Meggie at one of the Friends' ponds, with me in the background.
Out on the Rec the squirrels are out and about in force, and I am getting to really enjoy the hunt. Used to be Meggie's thing, but lately she's feeling her age and can't run them down like she used to, so she looks on proudly while I charge about.
The second pic is me on one of the patio chairs. Definitely in need of a hair cut!
Snow on the way, apparently, Sunday

Tuesday 13 March 2007

Alfie - Ship's Dog

We have often mentionned Sailing Barges in this diary, and specifically the ones maintained at the Iron Wharf in town, on our creek. Dad's favourite is almost certainly one called "Greta" on which they (before I was born) went sailing last year. Skipper Steve, invited Mum and Dad to bring Megan and Haggis, because they get on so well with Barge-Dog Alfie. We meet Alfie often, when we walk through (as tonight, in fact), so I thought you'd like a shot of Alfie, on board, on his special bed on the main hatchway, with his life belt. Excellent dog!

Sunday 11 March 2007

Pay Attention, Rat!

Pat attention, Rat! That's how she speaks to me, that Mum of mine. There we were, unusually, the entire family all chilling out on the sofa - Mississippi on Mum's lap, Felix on Dad's, Meg and H on the sofa seat and me, as usual, lying along the back of the sofa. Crufts was on TV and the Obendience chamionships were about to start. Mum obviously thinks I need some coaching... in this area

Ah well. Now it's all over and Mum's favourite, the Tibetan, "Fabulous Willy" has won Best in Show. Dad is thinking the tabloids are gonna make hay with that name on tomorrow's front pages. A wire-haired fox terrier got Reserve BiS. The weekend is over

Pay Attention
Rat... :-((

Saturday 10 March 2007

Westies on TV (ignored)

Well, there was, briefly, a Westie on crufts tonight, shortlisted on the terrier group, but I must admit, I was too busy beating up Haggis, that we both missed it. I perked up a bit and paid attention while the fly-ball was on (here's me looking at the collies leppin' back and forth - I bet I'd be good at that!) But it was a tiring old day, so here's a shot of me asleep with Meggie. By the way, I have now lost my penultimate puppy-tooth. I have one upper (lft) canine to go - looks very odd with both, as the adult tooth has now emerged fully, so I have 2 "fangs" that side.
Love, Deefer

Get Fresh at the Weekend

Spring is sprung - the grass is Ris'
(I wonder where the birdies is....)

We're out nice and early because it is, at last, a lovely, Sunny Spring morning. We get a nice long walk all around the Iron Wharf and back up through town, across the Rec, before breakfast

Dad can, at last, mow up at the allotments, so he's happy. We also harvest purple sprouting broccoli, carrots, cabbage, chard, black kale and leeks (euch - Human food). More interesting is dad's decision to finally clean up the two fallow deer skulls from the February "gruesome finds" story - scrubbing brush, hot soapy bleachy water, and then the blighter leaves them to dry out of dog reach! Mean

First-dad is asking whether we've seen my sister (Ellie) lately, and I must admit we haven't. Dad's tried texting a couple of times, but maybe her new Mum is like ours - phone is always either out of credit, or on "discrete" in the bottom of the cavernous hand-bag

At last - Terrier day on Crufts tonight

Go Westies!


Friday 9 March 2007

A muddy walk, then Crufts

The weekend again, and we get a nice extended walk round the Abbey Fields. Was muddier than we expected. Myself and Haggis , we trot delicately round the worst bits, but Meggie is the world's worst mud-plugger. Straight through the middle of every swamp, she goes, and ends up black up to the plimsoll line. Then wonders why she gets a wade in the deep sink and a towelling off, while we just get brushed out when we're dry

Loved the bit in Crufts where the agility dog leaps triumphantly into the handlers arms, knocking him backwards over the fence! Also, we liked the bit of mini-agility the presenter lady did with her dog Archie in the studio. Loud and exciting, especially with me and the H joining in!

And Dad has finally managed to suss how to embed the site meter into this site. Be interesting to see what the traffic is like. Dad is firmly convinced that barring friends and neighbours, nobody even knows we're here!

Have a great weekend

Thursday 8 March 2007

More shouting at the TV

Ahhh.. more chances to shout at the TV. Crufts Gundog Day and a nice shouty dog being raced round a field by a lady on a horse. Just looked tooooo dog-shaped on the TV and the noise of the whisltling were all too much for me. I just had to lep, across the room and get my nore up close to that screen. Haggis was going mad too, so it was doggie mayhem in our house for a while.

Terriers tomorrow, I think

Wednesday 7 March 2007

Salty Sea Dog

Ooops. Took a wrong turn on our walk tonight, which went through the boat yard, and caused Dad to have caniptions. He suddenly couldn't see me - I'd turned sharp right down a wide (gang) plank from the wharf-side onto the deck of the sailing barge Decima, and was casually strolling around the main hatch. Luckliy the owner was either out, or tucked up below decks, so was none the wiser.

Just exploring my environment, Dad

Luckliy he's been away on an "Effective Management" course, and is supposedly converted to new "behaviours". He can't slap me around now, he has to "counsel" me and "coach" me.

We'll see


Sunday 4 March 2007

Crufts on TV

Gotta love this dog-friendly TV. Tonight a pre-view of Crufts and this week from Weds onwards , the real thing. Or maybe Thursday, I'll get Dad to look it up. "We" apparently, always watch the terrier day but Westies never seem to come anywhere, not since Olac Moonpilot in the 80's. Haggis has apparently got some Olac DNA (well) hidden away somewhere. Here's me leppin' up to shout at the TV from close range (in this case a collie being put through her dancing paces). That's when I've finished shouting from the sofa. the nerve! Strange dogs in the flickering box. A girl needs to take a firm stand
Go you Westies!

Saturday 3 March 2007

Bluebells and Snowdrops

A brilliant day - the weekend and both Mum and Dad around for almost the whole day. Sunny and breezy, so they both got all inspired to get cracking in the garden, and I was there to help. Every year they order another 100 snowdrops "in the green" for under the big James Grieves apple tree. The originals were wiped out by the chooks, when they had them a few years back. Chickens annihilate anything green that emerges through the soil (except Rose of Sharon and daffodils for some reason) and quickly reduced the inside of the chicken "paddock" to brown - either desert or mud depending on season.

This year, along with the snowdrops we also got some bluebells (from a reputable source, of course) and these, too, were to go into the mini-orchard (where the chooks were - now the JG above, but also greengage, damson, quince and (this year) a Black Wonder cherry from Brogdale. We also re-sowed the orchard with grass mix

Mum was up the top of the garden weeding, tidying and planting (and picking up doggy gifts), Dad was down in the chicken run and then in the greenhouse sowing multifarious kinds of seeds. We dogs were scampering to and from making ourselves useful as follows

  • Helping dig slits for snowdrops
  • Rescuing snowdrops accidentally left in the slits by dad before he could tread down the soil again
  • Dis-interring old beef bones we buried many moons ago, in case they were in the way.
  • Biting the end of the hoe when it tried to make threatening noises against the stones in the soil
  • Biting then end of the duckweed net.
  • Biting the sharp end of the spade. You can't be too careful!
  • Chasing blackbirds (You can't be too careful with them either)
  • Duffing up Haggis when he tried to stop moving
  • Shouting at the doozers in the building site out back
  • Shouting at the street cleaning lorry clearing up the mud left by the doozers driving in and out of the building site
  • Shouting at the thunder - that scared it. The cloud cruised right on by without raining on our parade
  • Re-distributing empty flower pots. Seems unfair that the greenhouse gets them all
  • Collecting mud and grime on fur, especially chin. Dad loves it when I nuzzle into his neck with my chin all wet and muddy
  • Saying a quick "hello" to little Eve next door. She still doesn't beleive I type this all myself....

Have a great weekend


Thursday 1 March 2007

On the Sofa

Thought you'd like this picture of Meggie, just to prove Westies can swim. She's in the forest here on a hot August day, and they were walking to one of the ponds "built" by the Friends of Kingswood (of which Dad is Treasurer). Megan had not shown any inclination to swim before, but that day she trotted round to the back of the pond, then strolled in down the "beach" and swam straight across the middle
I can now leap onto the sofa from the floor un-aided. There is now no escape from me for Haggis there, so if he gets fed up with me he has to go upstairs and leap onto the bed, which is still too high for me.
We were down at the boat yard ("Iron Wharf") today and met up with "Alfie", ship's dog for the Sailing Barge Greta. Fantastic dog.
All the best