Friday 29 February 2008

Will You Marry Me?

Have been leaping around plenty.

If I get to propose, does that over-ride Mum and Dad's right to de-select any in-appropriate choices?

Rags.... will you marry me?

Ahhh sigh...

Deefer (love-lorn... rejected.... unloved.... neglected.... passed by..... clock's ticking... on the shelf...)

Thursday 28 February 2008

Getting picky

Mum tells Dad an umusing story from her work-at-home day today. Our "sweeties", often referred to in this blog, are almost invariably of the dried meat variety. Hartz (as was, not sure if they haven't been swallowed up) "Treatsters" were always a favourite - the square flat "half dice" shaped ones, with a hole punched into the centre. Since they've become harder to find round town we've moved onto (Purina) Bakers "Rewards" - the 4 inch long "sticks" of dried meaty stuff marked in segments.

This (meaty) choice was because Haggis does not "do plants" so no kind of biscuit or choc drops was acceptable. This causes much wrinkling of noses from well-meaning little old ladies who while out walking their own dogs, try to offer us a treat. Myself and Meggie take ANYTHING eagerly, while Haggis gingerly takes any offered treat between his lips, then drops (almost "spits" it out - you can almost hear the Peanuts-cartoon "pftoui!" noise) it onto the ground, walking away in disgust.

Mum and Dad though have, since Christmas, had a bag of choc drops, which Dad, in the dark, recently opened thinking it was "real" sweeties. Megs is happy with this and Dad had taken, whenever a sweetie opportunity arose (I'll explain the "rules" another time) to grabbing a meaty one for the H (hoping we'd not notice) and a small pinch of choc-drops for us. Worked OK for a while, but today, when Mum went to call me in, I sussed her out.

I came to the door to accept the sweetie. H got his meaty one and trotted in, Meg her choc drops and trotted in, but I took a sniff, realised they were chocolate ones, not "real" ones and , in a way the made Mum crack up, strolled off in a teenager manner till Mum produced a proper sweetie. I then trotted in with a "that's OK then" look at her as I went by

Gotta keep these humans under control you know - or you'd not know what they were up to


Wednesday 27 February 2008

It's No Good

A nice shot of Megan standing guard over the spot where she'd buried the latest raw-bone when we were visted by Asbo at the weekend. We're not very subtle, we dogs, so we stand where we "never stand" in the garden for any other reason, and it's obvious (apparently) to humans where we've buried the bone, even though we try to look nonchalant

And it's no good Dad slipping off to Citroen Car Club, and pretending it's all innocent car people. We could smell the new Labradoodle Pippa, of the old Austin-Seven restoring couple Dick and Molly. 6 months old and full of puppy bounce, she had the body of a golden lab, but the longer snout of the poodle, and starting to get the rougher poodle coat. She fell in love with Dad and tried to stick her tongue down his ear, much to the amusement of the rest of the pub.

Nice walk in the Rec tonight, and much throwing and retrieving of the yellow frisbee, plus we met up with westies Misha and Jack, of Mick-the-Chammy fame. We love those dogs and much gossip is exchanged before we are dragged off in separate directions. Dad nearly wins 4-nil (instead of 3-3) when Misha decides to come home with us, and only Jack follows Mick home!


Tuesday 26 February 2008


Here. Just to prove Rags (aka "Asbo") has not always been such a disreputable looking bandit, with his Lawson eyebrows, is a pic of him as a pup.

OK - gone a bit downhill from there, maybe, but we still love him.

Meanwhile, real-Mum (Mollie) was back off to the vets, and is being kept on the antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for the moment. As the weird sores continue to heal and scar over they are a bit itchy for her, and if she's not careful she could make it all flare up again with her scratching

..and our chum Bugsy, the Bichon is now being joined by an 11 week old baby brother. he's not been allowed out in public yet as he's only 11 weeks, but we'll look forward to meeting him. Being "Show" people and ex Afghan breeders, only the best pedigree will do for them, and I gather that they are paying sensible-ish money only because this very well bred boy is for "pet" use only (ie you enter an agreement not to breed with him, verbal only maybe, but still kept to as a matter of homour among breeders). Full on pedigree bichons from this source are upwards of £700 these days!!! How much? Something to be said for disreputable maybe.......... Good ol' Ragster


Monday 25 February 2008

Blissed Out

It had been a tiring day - chasing about, eating bones, protecting the world from "Asbo" - nuff said

Deefs zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday 24 February 2008

ASBO - a reformed character

Regular readers will remember "Asbo", also known as "Ragworth", Patterdale terrier of Diamond and ol' Denis. You won't have seen much of him lately in these pages, since there was a problem on one of his visits, with the late Felix, our black and white cat, and Diamond has not felt safe bringing him since.

Well, lots of water has flowed under the bridge since then, Felix has gone, Rags has grown up a bit and Denis is now in hospital. So today, Rags is spruced up, shampood, combed and made to look a picture of non-asbo-ness, fluffed and clean (see first picture). Off he goes to hospital in our car as good as gold, trots obediently in, visits Denis, makes a big fuss of him, allows Denis to show him off round the day-room, meeting other patients. He is perfectly behaved, sociable, a credit to Diamond.

Then they adjourn back here for a roast lamb meal. We barely have time to take the first picture, before he rediscovers the "frog pond" (see 2nd picture). He emerges as ever covered in smelly water and duckweed, mush to the exasperation of poor Diamond.

Do we re-instate the "asbo", we ask?


Friday 22 February 2008


Belly ache? Moi? Nothing of the sort. Half an hour after refusing my supper so definitely, I am coming in from outdoors to receive the traditional "sweetie" (dog treat) snapping at which in my usual eagerness I take 4 of Dad's fingers off at the wrist (ok - slight exaggeration). Mum puts my bowl back down and, fending off the M and H marauders (who are wondering how come i got a "2nd bowl") I wolf it down at normal speed.

Now I have Mum and Dad confused (but relieved). They put it down to the "1st bowl" being offered on coming indoors instead of a sweetie, which threw me out somehow. Ah well, got my supper in the end.

No such confusion tonight, and a good frisbee-throwing walk on the Rec, in which we meet close-clipped Wheaten terrier "Shamrock" (She's really a people-person and not interested in dogs at all), plus the usual suspects Patch and Trixie (Jack Russells almost as old and shuffle-along as Meggie)

Have a great weekend

Thursday 21 February 2008


I'm sure it's quite unjustified, my reputation for being a "gannet", necking as quickly as possible even huge bowls of food, maximising the chances of 2nd helpings should either M or H step back from their own bowls, stealing their "sweeties" and picking up any bits of old cast-off take-away dropped by the herberts walking round town. Saturday morning walks are best for this.

Unless I am separated from them at an early stage, I also end up with all the real dog bones and it's therefore me that buries them in the garden, me that remembers where they lie, festering and, eventually me that dis-inters them secretly and slurps deliciously (but surreptitiously) on the rotting remains. Mum and Dad would kill me for this if they saw, and they say "if you don't kill yourself first!...", but they don't.

So, it's nobody's surprise then, that I'm off my food again, refusing an entire bowl. It's not happened for a while. Used to happen every couple of months before I was restricted to only the "Butchers' Tripe" tinned food, but the parents still recall some of the more explosive, looser, "dietary ghastliness". Generally I'd be like this for 24 hours, then it'd all go back to normal (gannet mode), so let's hope that's the case this time.

Mum and Dad keep eye-ing me up with concern, as if expecting to need to grab me and post me out into the back garden at short notice.


Wednesday 20 February 2008

Ear ear

More frost and fog, but all gone by the afternoon when Dad takes us a nice circuit the back way round to the allotments

We meet an Alsatian we've met before but whose name escapes me for now. He is a lovely dog - terracotta brown and very fluffy at the moment; a good winter coat. Odd though for having his left ear pricked upright like a proper alsatian's ear, and the right ear completely flopped over.

The man tells us he's a rescue dog and has always been like that, the vet telling him that there is no nerve supply to that ear, possibly as a result of abuse. This owner is the third since the rescue - no-one else had been able to stop, or put up with his 24 hours a day, 7 days a week barking. This guy has persisted and trained the dog, and is in work that means the dog can stay with him all the time, so he's a reformed character.

He was rescued, apparently, from a tiny concrete yard - you know the story, wee and poo everywhere, abuse by neglect.... has Dad and the man quoting that cliche about "people like that shouldn't have dogs."

Good to know he's having a happy ending.....


Tuesday 19 February 2008

In the bleak mid Winter

My but it's cold these mornings. OK, not really by European or any other standards - just compared to what we've been used to. Minus 4 this morning and thick fog. Ponds and butts all frozen over but, as I said, probably no more than a centimetre thick, and the soil probably still dig-able.

We have been living off an ENORMOUS chicken, Mum got from our internet shopping provider. She said "large" but didn't necessarily expect this ostrich to turn up. The humans seem to have eaten meals off it for days - and Mum has created a huge quantity of stock. That means, as any dog will tell you, that there is a goodly pile of skeleton bits (avoiding the hollow, shatter-able long bones of course) - spine, pelvis, rib cage, "hands", Parson's nose etc and the supply of dog treats here actually ran out, so we had to "slum" it with bits of chook!

Life's tough sometimes, isn't it?


Monday 18 February 2008


I said the other day that we were allowed the rare treat of checking in on the 2CV boys working on their old car, Mademoiselle d'Armentieres. Here's one of me and one of the guys, working on the rear of the body shell. I was, of course, most helpful

Good news from real-Mum. Her sores are all dried up and no longer itching her. She's on the mend. First Dad gave up on trying to keep the "lamp shade" on her and, instead, whenever she got itchy he would hustle her out for another long walk so she'd forget to scratch and be too tired to start again when she got home. He and she were walked off their feet over the weekend, but it's done the trick!

Nice walk tonight - well more of a frisbee chasing session to the Rec. We meet Ben of the peepie-toes shoes (see earlier blog) and a Cav called Rolo, who is good entertainment. We're as tired as poor old Mollie


Sunday 17 February 2008

Poor ual' Mum

News comes that "real-Mum" (Mollie) is not well. She has some sort of acute excema around her face and jowls, which means raw, weeping sores. She is under the vet (obviously) but for now looks a very sorry Westie, with shaved patches and forced to wear one of those "lamp shade" protectors to stop her from aggravating her sores by scratching with her feet or just rubbing her face on any convenient rough surface.

Get well soon Mum - we are all thinking of you.

By the way, that r*t from a few posts ago. We finally nailed the critter and presented him to Dad as a trophy, leaving the limp but salivated on form in the middle of the circle garden. Discretion has dictated that Dad quietly dispose of the corpse, but WE KNOW WE GOT HIM!

Deefer - steely-eyed Killer

Saturday 16 February 2008


...that missing picture

Full of the joys...

A good day today, blue skies and Spring like weather. First walk brings us through the Cemetery where we are kept feircely on leads (can't for the life of me remember why!) but then on to the Rec where we get to dash about beneath the new blossom (almond? - white anyway, but what exotic trees are planted by the Borough's landscaping dept is anybody's guess.
Then. once Dad has done with allotmenting, another treat. We get taken over to where the 2CV boys are restoring Mademoiselle d'Armentieres, their project 2CV. It's a real working farm, so there are, at this time of year, some very new spring lambs. The one pictured had us fascinated with it's high pitched, one day old, bleating, but it's Mum was keepiong a very watchful eye and at one stage butted the fence when I got too close and shoo'd the curious infant away from us.
ps - "edit" doesn't seem to want me to add another picture, so I'll sneak another post in to show you the blossom

Friday 15 February 2008


Burst of excitement tonight when Dad gets home and releases us, and (as usual) we do the "welcome home" bit but then race off down the garden to see what's about.

We see a r*t dash for cover into an open-stacked pile of blocks, on top of which is an old concrete step. We are onto this in a trice, all three of us circling, sniffing, nosing, scrabbling and running round - ears up, noses down, tail wagging.

It's all happening in the old chicken run under the James Grieves apple tree. At one point Meg (old veteran of 30 r*t kills when the chooks were with us) is outside the run trying to get at the beastie through the wooden pale fence and the r*t makes a dash for freedom along the side of ther greenhouse, but H and me are onto him and get a few bites in, making him squeal a bit, but we don't have the killer instincts or skill of the Megster and we lose him among the fallen leaves, so he escapes back to the block pile.

Sussing out by then that the pile is an impenetrable fortress, he then stays put despite 45 minutes more of us patrolling, digging, scrabbling, whimpering and occasionally yapping, at which point Dad also got bored and wandered off. So did Haggis (lightweight!).

We never did get him out. We'll get him some day though, little blighter


Thursday 14 February 2008

All loved up

Ah well, we can't all be sensible..... Valentine's Day and the postie wasn't exactly struggling and giving himself a hernia bringing me all the cards from my suitors.

But Dad is grinning like an eejit over this prezzie from Mum (and thanks also to the one and only "Diamond" who may have a hand in it). In case you can't read the small print, it reads "with a touch of" (Champagne). Tonight the menu seems to be steak and pink Moet.

So all is happiness and silliness in our house and I don't even mind not being included. One day, when I'm older, a nice young man-dog will fall for me and sweep me off my feet. You wait and see

Mum and Dad, we dogs and Mississippi love you both


Wednesday 13 February 2008

Rosie's Gaff

Day off work for Dad so we get 2 walks, and it's foggy for both of them. It wasn't foggy all day, or everywhere, just where we were when we were there, if you get my drift.

First to the Rec early morning where it was so thick we could have been anywhere. Then after a gap while Dad enjoyed some very warm sunny allotment-ing, as the sun burned off the last wisps of mist, nipping down to Rosie's gaff (Dad calls it "Llew's place") where we unfortunately missed Rosie but got, instead, to explore the local bridleway walk.

Again - we were walking through some lovely scenery just East of Wingham, near Canetrbury, but we could have been anywhere. Down there the fog was still hanging ariound, and we couldn't see 50 yards. Never mind, we dogs only look at the next blade of grass or possible rat hole anyway.


Tuesday 12 February 2008

Target-rich Environment

Conyer Creek in the fog. We walk around the flat area which was presumably once buildings, roads and low walls - now it is finely rabbit-grazed turf and low shrubs, the surface liberally pitted with rabbit scrapes and every where you look, bunnies running for cover. What the US airmen chasing fleeing invaders back up the road to Baghdad liked to call a "target-rich environment".

We had tried to contact Hugo but he wasn't allowed out to play. Shame. Instead we met 2 superb dogs, a saturated black labrador called Pepper, and an even bigger, less wet, lurcher-looking thing called "Moose" (I kid you not).

The reason for Pepper's wetness soon becomes clear. He collects stones from under water. The dogs were with a lady in a red coat. She explained that she had had 5 labs and this was the worst "water baby". Always in and out fo the water and, if a suitable stone cannot be found above water, Pepper will wade out deep then effectively dive to the bottom to grab a stone, letting go great boiling surges of bubbles. Moose will chase in amazed at the sight, only to get Pepper surfacing like a whale beneath him, snorting and blowing.

"They are like kids" said the lady - "Anything one has the other wants..." so Moose will often steal Pepper's stone, so Pepper has to go back in and get another. "We often walk at Minster" she said "Where there are lots of loose single bricks. I am often walking home with each dog carrying a brick. I feel like everyone is going to ask me whether I'm building a house, snd we are carrying it home in kit form, one brick at a time!"

And they say we're mad!


Monday 11 February 2008

Dirt Bikes

Not for any reason other than it's pretty, it's got Dad's 2CV in the picture and it's right near where his 2CV crowd are doing up their project car, Mademoiselle d'Armentieres; a picture of Sarre Windmill, in Kent

Look at that blue sky. That's how it's been here for the last couple of days - a good thing in some ways. not in others. "Not" when it keeps Dad away playing 2CV's without us, "not" when he disappears up to the allotment without us for hours digging (something about the havoc we create when allowed off the lead to rootle in peoples' compost heaps for mice , rats and hibernating hedgehogs, or trample all over their plots). Allegedly.

Good though when Dad manages to get off work at a sensible hour and there's hours of bright daylight for us to have a sensible walk across the Abbey Fields. The fields are within 5 minutes of our front door and the bone of much contention in the town. Bought off the local farmer(s) at least 13 years ago, by a developper - he has earmarked them for the usual thousand or so dwellings, but the locals have so far fought him off.

So the fields are abandonned arable land, gradually reverting to bramble and birch thickets, but kept nice and walkable by the passing of plenty of "herberts" on dirt bikes. Many locals seem to moan about the bikers, and I guess they can be noisy and just the odd one (usually the younger ones) can be a bit irresponsible with their speed and noise. But we've found the vast majority to be OK, polite and respectful of the fact that other people use the fields for dog walking. So, they get a huge playground to mess about in, we get an ever changing pattern of tracks where the passing of bikes has flattened or kept down the vegetation.

This fight between locals and developpers has dragged on now so long it's given Meg and Haggis superb walking territory, 5 minutes from the house, for all their long lives, and Dad, for one, is hoping it carries on that way fo my whole life and beyond. Saves using the car to get to the "countryside", anyway!

So we say fair play you (responsible) bikers. Long may your knobbly tyres keep our paths walk-able


Saturday 9 February 2008

All better now...

You'll be pleased to know that poor old belly-achey Haggis is now all better. Having produced a goodly range of gurgles and squelches all night, he woke up looking a bit perkier, and straight way scrounged the cat's left overs. He was then given his share of the left-over venison (Meg and I had ours last night, and we got the chop-bones because H wasn't looking!), which he also ate.

Now we're all back on en even keel. All three of us have had normal breakfasts and a normal supper.


Friday 8 February 2008

Alimentary, My Dear

No, not a mis-spelling of "Elimentary", or some Sherlock Holmes plot - but a tale of gurgling guts and number two's. (Ach - and before Supper, too!)

News comes from the one-time agarophobic Alsatian pup Keira, that she had, last night, for the first time ever, not "used her newspaper" in the kitchen overnight. When released in the morning she shot out onto the grass and did the necessary, but got heaps of praise from Xena and husband for being "clean through the night" - Well Done Keira!

Xena was also amusing them all at dad's work, with a story (including mime-acting) of a walk they had done. Apparently Keira still hates stairs and steps, so she gets to the front door and freezes, cringing, fearful of the three steps down to the front path, but once she's lifted down those she is now enjoying her walks. Yesterday, says Xena, she had a nice bounce around a small paddock with another local dog, and still had plenty of energy to bounce around with Tigger, aka Mia the labradoodle when they got home

The gurgling guts are those of Haggis tonight, who is off his supper and producing quite a resounding line in "Symphonia Gastrica" gurgles and emanations. We don't know what's upset him but he was trying to eat grass while out on the walk, didn't touch his supper, and is now looking all "wounded soldier" at passing humans.

Worse thing is, Dad won't give out the dried tripe-strips to Meg and I while H is incapacitated, as it wouldn't be fair. We have to wait till he's better. Spoilsport!

The ever-sympathetic

Tuesday 5 February 2008

Bouncing Labradoodles

Remember Keira, the agarophobic Alsatian pup? Well, Xena tells us that she is now a lot bigger and braver. She will actually face the back yard now to do her poo, and (if she is carried down the three front-door steps to the front path), she is happy to go fior a walk, even near (shudder) traffic.

Her favourite thing now is to sneak under the back fence into next door's garden where lives huge, 2-year old Labradoodle "Mia" who apparently spends all her waking hours bouncing around like Tigger. Keira loves her, and will spend hours chasing around Kia's garden before sneaking back through the fence, filthy and exhausted

Xena says she will soon be big and brave enough to face "The Six Westies" (Archie, Mollie, Hector, Megan, Haggis and my good ol' self

Go Keira!!!


Sunday 3 February 2008

Deep Down Inside

Deep down inside every Westie, I think there must be a bit of Arctic Wolf lurking. Tonight we were all spread across the sofa when a wildlife programme came on, about the sub-Arctic - snow geese, arctic foxes, gyr-flacons, snowy owls and (delight Ooooo-oooo-ooooooowooooo!) proper white Arctic Wolves, scampering about, slinking, hunting, howling - all sorts

This has Haggis and I leppin' off the sofa to go nose to nose with the screen, and Meggie at least raising her head from sleep. OK, maybe she's got less Arctic Wolf in her than H and I, but then, she is of "Haristocratic Descent", being the Dowager Duchess of Kent an' all. You wouldn't expect her to go around howling and eating snowgoose goslings and stuff, would you now? She'd have the butler do it for her, and present it to her on a silver platter with one of those domed covers over it....


Great stuff
Stirs the very soul of a dog

Deefer, Steely-eyed silent slinking killer of the sub-Arctic

Fast Alfie

Still no sign of that snow, so we guess we've missed it as usual. We are all up nice and early to enjoy a good walk in the chilly sunshine. There's a cold wind blowing. Dad takes us down across the allotments and into the Abbey Fields behind tracing the line of the Whitstable railway and then curving Northwards towards the creek.

We meet a young black greyhound called Alfie who wants to play. We are in some close-grazed (rabbits) scrubby grassland. Alfie starts charging in huge figure-of-eight circuits, so I give chase. By cutting the corners hard (my figure of 8's are about 20 feet across, Alfie's are about a quarter of a mile!) I can keep up with him and when he curves in towards me I send him on his way with a couple of excited yaps, and off he goes again racing out on the next loop.

There! You never knew I could run as fast as a greyhound did you!

Dad then left us to Mum's tender mercies and went off to play with his Cambria restoration buddies. Came back smelling of the other Alfie, barge dog from Greta, so I suspect he may have been communing with Steve and the rest from the boatyard.

Chilly tonight - we have a coal fire going

Saturday 2 February 2008

Penny, Bobby and Mollie

The snow didn't arrive (well, not this far down south anyway) so we woke up to a frost - the Rec as hard as concrete and the pond frozen over, all be it thinly.

The Rec was a-buzz with dogs, so that I barely got time to play with my yellow frisbee. We also made a new freind, Bobby the rescue Jack Russell whose Mum is despairing of ever curing him of jumping up at exciting new people. Dad doesn't mind but we can see that it'd be a trial.

Then we met Penny the small black poodle - extremely smart in a very recent, but not too pom-pom-ish cut. More of a "standard road-going" clip. Also Mollie the soft-pale long haired retriever who must take hours of brushing as she always looks like she's just been groomed. Immaculate.

Even we had a tidy up today - ears, eyes and bums, and toe-nails. Plus we live worryingly near to the Wahl (clippers) factory shop, which is in Herne Bay, and Dad dropped in today to pick up an 8mm comb to give us a bit of a long winter clip. Normally we wait till March and get buzzed quite short, but we are (allegedly) looking exceptionally scruffy just now and I think there'll be an interim cut. Dad is wondering if Asbo, too, might fancy one....