Saturday 30 June 2007

Intrepid Rescue Dog

This morning's walk took us down past the "water board house", where we met Jim from next door, out with (Brown Cocker Spaniel) Megan (2) (no relation). While we chatted, our Megan strolled on ahead and then, while no-one was looking, vanished. We stopped chatting to Jim and set off, realising straight way of course, that we did not have the Megster. There are 2 possible routes from here, either of which she'd be likely to have strolled on down.

Dad, mildly concerned at this point, started whistling and shouting, running 100 yds down the first option (across the field where long grass means that unless Meg was actually on the path, we'd not see her), then back, then 100 yds down the 2nd option (tarmac lane where she'd rapidly disappear round corners out of sight. By now we'd enrolled the help of 2 other passing dog walkers - Steve from the allotments (sandy coloured Labrador) and random passer-by-Lady (black spaniel)

Much whistling and shouting later (but probably only about 5 minutes) we are back at the chatting-to-Jim spot. Dad says to me "Where's that Meggie". I look at him as if to say "Ahhh! That's what we're doing! - she's over here you fool!", I spring 10 yards back up the lane and dive off left into the long grass (out of sight) hotly persued by Haggis and then Dad. There, when the long grass parts, is Meggie's wet face looking back from the bottom of the roadside ditch, where she's presumably jumped down and now can't get out (SCRUFF GROWL SQUEAK and other fighting noises as Meg wrestles the keyboard off me......). Excuse me. One was not lost in the ditch... one was intrepidly exploring like a redoubtable Victorian Dowager... fi you don't mind.
(Stalks off abandoning keyboard)

Now dad doesn't know if the lucky find was due to him saying "Where's Meggie", or whether just at that moment Megan made a rustling noise which we thought might be a rat. Let's not tell him shall we

Releif all round anyway


Friday 29 June 2007

Dodging the Showers

Flaming June? The humans got that one wrong didn't they? Inevitably we return from our dog walk via the allotments, where Dad collects a carrier bag full of pea pods, the first 2 courgettes and a couple of fat lettuce. We're half an eye on the weather though, as big showers have been blasting through all day, and another is building up just west of us.

We leave it to the last minute, then race for home. Well, Haggis and me do the racing. Meggie doesn't so much race as drag reluctantly 15 feet back on the end of the extending lead. She's the first one to complain mind, when the rain drops start falling on her head, but her answer is not to race for home, but to stand, sulk and look pleading, sure that Dad will magic a car, or preferably the back door out of nowhere, so she can simply step into the dry. Warm dog towels? That's the ticket

Have a good weekend. Mum and Dad are off to a posh "Garden" party tonight, but I suspect it may end up being a Marquee party or even a "retreat indoors" party


Thursday 28 June 2007

Love thy Neighbour

Here we are - just the three of us. Me on the table, Haggis face front and the old girl Meggie, profile. Seconds later we were handed a chunk of lamb bone each, passed across the fence by our neighbours (other side from the Angel Bettie). Gotta love those neighbours. So now we are noses down, 6 feet apart by choice, mantling over the "prey" like one of those raptors dad was playing with last week, gnawing frantically lest we don't finish first and someone else comes a-prowling

Nightjars and Glow-worms

Doctor Lew's new 2CV graveyard - look at the ratting, mousing and getting dirty opportunities here!

Dad was leading a guided walk in Challock Forest yesterday, at dusk, in search of nightjars. Nightjars there were, but also added bonus - fallow deer, glow-worms and bats. Everyone went home happy!

Just a short one today. Work to do, people to see, allotments to check over, dry demo-gardens to plant for the in-Bloom team. Not sure I'll be allowed to help on the latter, mind


Tuesday 26 June 2007

Risotto Lotto

It is said that if Haggis ever comes back as a human, he will make his wife very happy. He is a true carnivore and hates anything "with plants in". He will take a bowl of gravy and peas, lick all the gravy up from around and between the peas, and leave you with an immaculate plate and a pile of shiny bright green peas. He does the same to fish bones, with his dexterous little tongue, removing all the flesh and leaving a little row of fish bones, clean and shiny white

Megan has no such niceties, and a plate of food is either good (wooolffff! gulp) or bad. There is no licking between or choosing from among. Me, I suppose I'm in the middle. I will do some veg, but not all.

So, last night, Dad had cooked rather too much of a risotto with red peppers, broad beans, chicken, bacon and garlic in. Plus a few tomatoes. We were all presented with a small lump of left overs. Megan; Woooolllfff! Gulp! Is there any more? Haggis looked extrememly dubious but eventually conceded that rice soaked in bacon and chicken juice (plus fish-stock) was probably not "plant" really, and did his usual, leaving only 2 shiny red peices of red-pepper. I actually ate the pepper, but left two shiny grren broad beans. Dad only knows this becuse he looked in the bowls in the split second between us lifting our heads out, and Megan diving in to tidy up. Wooollfff Gulp!

Meanwhile, word comes that real-Mum (Mollie), dad (Hector) and bro (Archie) have all got the same illness - a sore throat each picked up at an RSPCA doggie gathering. So they are getting pills for this crushed into ice cream.... Ice Cream! How does a girl get that ill? And, No Haggis - it's got "plant" in it - seaweed gelatine to be precise! Yoiks


Sunday 24 June 2007


Thought we'd got away with it this weekend, having been postponed because yesterday was so busy, and today it was tipping it down. But no, Dad found a chance in between showers, and by sheltering under the big parasol on the terrace, to buzz us all over. That's "All" three of us, not each of us "All over". So now I am short back sides and neck, with a bit of a show-dog head and nice feathering along my chest, belly and legs. feel quite grown up.

Plus the humans have finally got around to buying one of those "Flexi" extending leads for me, so I can keep up with Haggis. The normal mode for Meg and the H before I came along was both on flexi leads, H 15 feet out in front, Meggie 15 feet behind, so that the whole "rig" was long enough to cause chaos on a pavement, and took several hours to cross a road. :-)). I will be up the front with Haggis. Like him, I have no idea where we're going, but I am sure I want to be there first.


Friday 22 June 2007

Peas and Raspberries

A fine thing. We're all back to normal, which for us means lots of sleeping during the day, till the Angel Betty comes round to let us out for a comfort break. And the humans are a bit jaded and tired, so we get a little walk, taking in the allotment, so Dad could harvest his (first ever) peas and some raspberries. An evening of TV - the humans are mad keen on the new series of "Rome", but we aren't choosy. It gives us all a chance to collapse on the sofa. Haggis is on the seat between Mum and Dad, I'm usually up on the top of the sofa-back, and Meggie can take it or leave it. Sometimes she'll join us, but as often as not she mooches off to one of the dog beds and sleeps there.

Have a great weekend

Thursday 21 June 2007

The Longest Day

Just one more pic from the 2CV camp (which all seems like a distant memory now it's effects have all been shampoo'd and trimmed away. The is a shot of a lovely lady we met on camp (well... I met - Meg and the H already knew her) with one of her brother/sister collie cross combination, Ben (seen here) and Nellie. This is a pic of Haggis lying down next to her and me giving her a kiss. We had great times running about with Ben and Nellie. The humans are always amazed that the dogs, in a camp environment, seem to be completely unfazed, joining together to form one big loose family pack and sharing the camping field as common territory. We all move about the site intermingling. Nobody fights or tries to declare any one bit of the field as theirs.

Sooo.... we get to the Summer Solstice... the longest Day. Dad is now back from a "team building" away-day where he tells us he acheived a lifetime ambition of having a go at Falconry. Steve who normally works up in Stratford, brought down a buzzard, Lanner Falcon, Harris Hawk, Saker Falcon, and Eagle owl and a Barn Owl and the gang were all given training and shown how to hold them and fly them. He now thinks (pah!) that a Saker falcon might be better at catching rabbits than a westie!

Even me!


Tuesday 19 June 2007

Thunder and Lightning

Coo! My first proper thunderstorm. A big ol' lairy one is crashing and rattling through from the south - the direction of Challock Forest. Squally winds are thrashing about in the bay, the beech, the jasmine and the Paulownia, and bucketting rain is smashing down the tired old brown petals from the Albertine on the back of the house

None of us are scared of thunder. Meg and H are more "angry" at it invading their air-space. M+H are lined up in the back door way looking out, whictling and groaning and gruffing at it sotto-voce, or when there's a really big bang they race out and around the garden, looking at the sky and bouncing on their front feet, barking at it - you do that ONE MORE TIME and I'll really show you! Dad says I'm totally un-fazed by it all, lying on the dining room carpet watching Meg and H's antics curiously

When we do go out, of course we are getting wet, so Mum has brought down a load of doggie towels and we are getting periodic rub downs in between the excursions

I'm kinda glad this didn't happen while we were camping. This much rain would surely have penetrated the tent and the thunder would have had us barking about all over the camp site. Towelling off wet dogs in a tent is no-where near as much fun!

Deefs (Crack! Bang! Rumble!)

Sunday 17 June 2007

Kazoo Orchestra

It's all over, and I think I rescued dad just in time. The humans are truly mad, and yesterday, completely lost the plot. They started by cooking out of doors in a barbecue made out of 2CV bits. This did not, as predicted by Meg and the H, result in a shower of meat bits from on high, although the odd kind human snuck us bits of sausage and burger.

There was also much drinking of something appropriately French, called Pastis. At one stage a Hong Kong Chinese guy turned up pushing a bike with a puncture. He was called Herbert (I kid you not) and was riding from London to Belgium, but his bike was described as "like one you'd drag off a scrap yard". He got all the help he could need with the bike, plus liberal Pastis, and was then invited to join us at our barbecue, and to camp with us for the night, which he accepted. He had a sense of humour (needed one) and at one point he joked (I think) that if we kept hassling him for scraps, we'd find out if it was true that he ate dog. Gulp

We then all retreated into a tent for a raffle, a lucky dip called the SCUM bucket (don't ask), and then all hell broke loose, as the humans dished out plastic kazoos and proceeded to make the most unholy racket, en masse perforoming warfilm theme tunes (633, Battle of Britain, River Kwai, Geat Escape etc) as well as the Marseillaise, Jerusalem, Land of Hope, plus assorted other tomfoolery.

I was completely freaked out by this - even Dad was blasting away. Me and the "grown ups" had to charge around barking and running in and out of the marquee. Madness

Today though it's been a much quieter day as we all helped take down the tents and stuff. I mainly helped by walking to the middle of any tent canvas that was being folded up to stop it blowing away. I was, I have to admit, also very grey again, from my habit of diving under oily car engines. The joke went round that Dad had trained me to do this and would clean your sump for a quid.

Now though, we're all home and I have been shampoo'd AGAIN. Must be a record for the most baths in a week

It's been a gas , but now I'm tired oput, and could sleep for a week

Deefs zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday 16 June 2007

Three Dog Night(s)

Busted again. The 2CV camp continues, and I was getting away with being cute and fluffy and immaculate white again. Then I was walking past the boss's tent and I spotted some pasta sauce left on a plate which MAY have been a little too coloured up with whisker-staining orange food colouring. I strolled back into the crowd, all innocent (say nothing, act natural) and was met by hoots of laughter and - "Why are your Pup's chops bright orange??" See photo. Looked even brighter in real life - the full-on flash has dulled the colours. Just helping with the washing up, guv..... Plate's so clean he could almost put it back in the rack!

The red item? I'm told that's a flat-twin air-cooled barbecue, that the boys built for a "Scrap-heap challenge". Due to be tested tonight, communally. Meg and H tell me that communal barbecue's normally end up with quite a bit of food dropped or put down by mistake by inebriated campers.....

And the grey car. That's the club's 2007 Project car, and 1950's into 60's dogs breakfast of bodgery francais. Once a twinning gift from the village Francais of La Chapelle d'Armentieres to the Kentish Village of Birchington, then the property of Dover transport museum, now "ours". Boys being boys - the only thing they know about Armentieres is the song about dirty Germans (Hinky pinky parlez vous) - so the car has almost inevitably become known as Mademoiselle d'Armentieres. They have her on display at this year's camp so that the campers can all admire her "before".

Keep on enjoying the weekend. We have one more night of camp, then we're all back tomorrow
Deefs Bolognese

Thursday 14 June 2007

Sump Oil and Fox Poo

"What are you guys doing home?" I hear you ask. "Left the Building" wasn't it? Ah well. Let's just say that within minutes of arriving at the camping field (which had been up till the day before had been grazing for horses) I had found some horse poo to roll in. 15-love. Not too noxious. Then within an hour we'd found the long-grass next door, and in it some seriously sticky wet fox poo. Ahhhhh all up me back. 30-love. And now the fellow campers are starting to make comments like "Very sweet dog, son, but it don't half whiff!"
Totally hot day, so I then took shelter under an ancient Citroen Ami 6, little knowing (or caring) that it had a leaky sump, so I came out with gobs of black sump oil on my back. Advantage Deefer. Now nobody will let me near their tent, or even their scuzzy camping jeans.
I asked Meggie why she's not joining me in the farmyard frolic. Lady Megan puts on her hoity toity voice and says "My Dear.... One does not stroll through the perfume store trying on all these samplers willy-nilly (do we Diamond?). One ends up smelling like a tart's boudoir" One of the campers actually said "Turkish wrestlers armpit" which sounds even more exotic. Megan goes on... "One is selctive, and chooses just the right scent for the occasion. I found Fox 2005 to be a very good year". I prefer ASBO 2007. Reminds me of that jollop the Sailing Barge boys use to protect their sails. Was probably even better when it had horse-pee in it.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I am driven home this morning (45:15), dumped in the sink (45:30), shampoo'd to within an inch of my life (Deuce), towelled down (Advantage Dad), and presented back to the camp white and fluffy (Game to Dad). This is considered cheating by the camping afficionadoes - you're meant to tough it out, skanky dogs in the tent an' all
As for horses. Aren't they a gas! Like big shuffly, snorting dogs. Great to race up and down the next field to and shout at (till you get recalled and told to shut up). Other fun featues of this farm. Chooks in a big fox proof run (great to run up and down the next ...etc). The farm's cavalier spaniels (Great to race up and ...etc). An old scuzzy sheeps fleece chucked onto a compost heap.
Westie Bliss
Right. Never mind Game to Dad. Now to plan my revenge. White fluffy pup plus farm.... What say you?

Wednesday 13 June 2007

Deefer has left the building

Ha! I knew something was up. This morning, no sooner than Mum was packed off to work, than Dad has started loading all the stuff into the 2CV. Dad say we're off camping for a few days, though I have no idea what that is. The car is loaded, dog beds and food are in (phew) plus a few other less important bits like tents, human beds, beer etc. It is a bright hot sunny, blue skies day and the 2CV roof is rolled back.

I'll be off air for a couple of days, then I'll tell you all about it.

Mum? Nooooooo - she doesn't do camping. Holidays for Mum involve compulsory sun, en-suite showers and room service. So she's on cat duty and baby bird duty. I suspect that the bed will be changed for fresh, scented candles will be lit, chick-lit will be got out, wine chilled or breathed and weird stuff like face-packs, that don't come out when Dad's around, will be applied. Look after yourself, Mum. Will you miss us?

One day we'll get hold of a wi-fi laptop, then we could carry on bloggin' but till then, au revoir, mes amis

Outward Bound Deefer

Tuesday 12 June 2007

Something's up

Something's cooking at Deefer Towers. Stuff - long parcels etc - is being got down from the loft, and rootled out of the shed. Freezer blocks are being rediscovered in cupboards and frozen. Shopping is being shopped for - unusual stuff. And the surest sign that something is a-foot, Mum is drawing up "A List". Mum loves her lists! Any party, trip or special event can give rise to a list, sometimes a scratched one on rough paper, sometimes a poshly written out one on a clean sheet, and sometimes, like today, one keyed into the computer and printed out. Serious lists!

I have snuck a peek at the lists and I am interested to note that we dogs are on it - dogs, it says, and then food, bowls, collars and leads, sweeties, poo-bags, Meggie's tablets, water.....

What can it all mean? Watch this space.....

Sunday 10 June 2007


A real scorcher! Hot sun, blue skies and not a breath of wind! A treat for all of us. Mum and Dad take us to visit friends of theirs in the village of Dunkirk who, 9 years ago, bought one of Meggie's own pups, a very handsome fella called Owen (named after the footballer, Michael Owen). Meg and Haggis are always delighted to see their son again, so they were all romping around happily and I liked him too.
I mean REALLY liked him. Came over quite un-necessary in fact, so that the humans were making sideways comments about tarts and flirting and holding my tail in an unusual way and never leaving him alone. He didn't mind. There were rueful looks too. I gather that Owen is the last in Meg and H's "line" and Mum and Dad were harbouring low level dreams about my future and possible continuation of that line, but a recent medical issue has led to him being "done". Bad timing, I guess. Never mind - I love him anyway.
But what a day we had. We had lots of time to race around the garden (see pics of Owen and I on the sun deck, and the two of us romping on the lawn), and then we were all taken on a gorgeous, rabbit-filled walk all through the orchards to the Red Lion pub in Herne Hill, so that Dad and his mate could try out the extra cold Genius. The we walked all the way back. That was hot. We all cooled off by either lying in the shade (Haggis, Owen, moi) or jumping into the pond! (Go Meggie!)

Hope you had a great weekend

Saturday 9 June 2007

Camber Sands

A rare treat for us, and a first for me. Mum and Dad are off to Hastings to visit the Pud-Lady (steak and Kidney pud, every Saturday for the last 50 years or so!), so they decide to leave early and walk us all at the River Rother end of Camber sands. What an excellent place! The tide was miles out so there was loads of space to run around in. It was thundery hot.

Dad swears that this is as good a place as any to get your dogs groomed "au naturel" for free. The sea water washes them a treat, the run back across miles of beach and the climb over the sand dunes dries and bleaches them. Then the marram grass and the rabbit-running sea buckthorn behind the dunes combs and strips everybody till they could be at Crufts. Well... maybe it works for young dogs who have the energy to chase through the buckthorn, and Dad says that he'd often walk that way when Meg and H were in their prime. They'd walk East from the mouth of the Rother for half an hour or more, then head inland and fight their way back west through the thorn bushes chasing dozens of young bunnies. But now, poor Meggie is an old girl, and even with her efficient rolling gait she's still hot and panting by the time we reach the sea.
More for her a stroll down the beach, then a wade (as you can see) to cool off the belly and the feet. Then in her case a roll in the sand to "clean and dry" herself (ha!) before we stroll back to the car. Dad says one day he'll take Meggie a short walk, then bring Haggis and I out to Camber on a proper one. Can't wait
My photo's today are of (in no particular order)
  • sniffing and old dead skate on the beach, me on the right
  • cooling off - me on the right again
  • Meggie rolling on the sand luxuriously
  • The buckthorn scrub
  • Me at the top of the old stairs in Hastings

Enjoy the weekend


Friday 8 June 2007

This Starling is Reversing

You know how good these starlings are at mimickry. We have one around our house that "sings" the electronic bleeping "doodle-oop... doodle-oop" rising and falling notes of HGV reversing warnings. Mum and Dad expect any minute to hear a voice recorder saying "This Starling is Reversing"

We saw Ellie tonight - wow! She's finally had her haircut and what a transformation! She is brilliant white immaculate, with the close cropped back and flanks, very close cut neck and the longer hair on the head and the "feathers" along her belly and legs. She is beautiful. She looks just like a show dog! Dad must take a photo to show you. I don't think I'll ever be that gorgeous, even if Dad practises for years with those clippers.

Have a great weekend

Thursday 7 June 2007

I Love Mungo Park

No, not the real Scottish explorer who bimbled up the Niger river; the little fox cub in Springwatch's "Fox in the City" footage. Part of the "Chip Shop Family", tonight he was being shown some road safety by mum-fox, and the foxy shapes nipping about on the wide-screen were enough to have me glued to the screen

Apparently we have "company". Mum found a "little friend" on herself yesterday, and Haggis, who is the family's "bell-wether" for the parasitic beasties (he seems to get bitten first, and then starts licking the short fur at the base of his tail, which turns pink with the iron stain in his saliva), giving the game away.

So tonight it was "Frontline" time for all 5 of we animals, and machine-wash time for all the dog bedding. Dad swears by this stuff, which he can only get from the vet in quite an expensive trigger pack, as being the only stuff worthwhile. All fleas dead and gone in a couple of days, and none come back for a month or two, depending on how many "total immersion" baptisms we dogs get to wash it off. A good spray will last the water-avoiding cats all summer.

Ah well, Go Mungo


Wednesday 6 June 2007


Every night at present, when we can be, we are glued to the TV and to Springwatch. It is amazing what attracts the young westie's attention. Last night two baby badgers romping around outside their sett "whickering" as they chased about - that is, making squeaky chirrupping noises. I sit on the back of the sofa and when these beasties appear, my head's up, cocked, and my ears pricked up, but special ones like the badgers have me off the seat and skittering around in front of the TV table, or reared up on my hind legs, to get my face nearer to the screen.

Tonight it was the Barnacle geese flocking in to Islay in October, doing that honking thing that flocks of flying geese do.

Meanwhile, my heat progresses. Dad says I look like one of the saggy-bottom boys. Mum's just pleased I'm not dripping any more blood. I flirt outrageously with Haggis, and even sometimes look amazed to find my tail curled round to my side, but Haggis only has eyes for Meggie, the faithful old boy. All too confusing - grown-up stuff


Tuesday 5 June 2007

Musical Bones

More than once, Meggie has fooled us out of bones we were chewing. Having finished her own bit you then see her sit down near the back door with a thoughtful expression. Suddenly she's up a yapping, appearing to charge down the garden. We are bound to follow - brothers in arms and all that, but we don't realise she's not actually with us more than the first few feet, when H and I charge by, barging her aside as we go. Only when we suss that there is, in fact no threat, do we return to the bones, to find Meggie contentedly chewing on one, looking very smug

Well tonight, the tables were turned. 3 dogs, 3 bits of lamb carcase, 3 chewing positions on the terrace. I finish mine and sit back. Then a genuine "noises off" round the side of the house has Megan leaping into action to charge round the side. abandonning her bone. Haggis leaps up to and persues her. Un-noticed by all but Dad, I slide over to Haggis's and nick it, looking at Dad with an "act natural say nuffink" look. Haggis is first back round, sees his own bone gone but spies Meggies. Quick look over his shoulder and a visible gulp, and he's stolen Meg's.

We all got away with this game of musical bones, only because while stealing bones that are abandonned is just about allowed, no-one actually attacks a bone-in-mouth dog, even when it's Haggis.

Fun eh?


Saturday 2 June 2007

Ten Feet Up

Nice trick this morning on the misty moisty dog walk. We went through the fields and came back through the boatyard, where at, several boats up on blocks while they are restored, repaired, painted etc. Some of these are long term projects and they set them up for the duration with makeshift rooves over them, walls round and flights of temporary steps to give access to the decks

One such big old yacht has a keel so tall Dad's head is always below the plimsoll line and the deck level is a full ten feet from the ground. So as we all walked along the creek bank wharf, Dad was a bit surprised when I suddenly shot off after (he knows now) the scraggy big boatyard tom-cat; a black and white, moth-eaten demon of a thing. He kept walking with Meg and the H, till he realised I wasn't among those present. They stopped, whistled, clapped, shouted etc, fully expecting me to emerge, panting from under a pile of rubbish, or a boat, or from behind a caravan with that "Nearly got him, Dad" grin. I did not reappear

Retracing their steps to see where I could have gone, Dad spotted me, ten feet up, looking down at him from the deck of the yacht, about 6 feet back from the prow, where-in sat the cat, glaring and singing "Come on then you tart! Come and have ago if you fink you're 'ard enough!". I couldn't see how to get down to Dad - he had to go all round to the back of the boat, encouraging me to go the same way, ten feet above, till I got to the top of the open flight of ricketty stairs and sussed it.

Happy to be re-united; was in a bit of a pickle there!

Have a good weeekend