Wednesday 30 April 2008

I heard a Rumour

Heavy rain precludes any walks tonight but we have it on good authority that Dad has tomorrow off work and may take us for a Bluebell Walk in Challock Forest. No Friends of Kingswood "members of the public" to shepherd about this time, so he can give us his undivided and we will therefore be going with Meggie (I'm almost 12 you know), and I guess a camera. Let's pray for sunshine!

Meanwhile, Dad's chum from work, Shirley, is all excited to be moving house soon but when she describes it you'd think that the new house is just an accessory to the fact that once she's in there and set up she can get the NEW PUPPY! She was the owner of the westie Penny mentioned in earlier posts, and is now looking to get back into pup-ownership. Dad keeps threatening to descend upon her with we three (the old house, not the new!) dogs but she is beating us off with a sharp stick at the monent saying "Mmmmm.... maybe we'll come to you???"

Scared-y cat!


Tuesday 29 April 2008

Rumbling Closer

Despite me voicing my protests in the most strident, loud manner to the builders, they insist on rumbling ever closer. Just beyond our beech hedge a big tracked hydraulic digger is scooping off the top 2 feet of the old hard-standing carpark into big 8-wheeler lorries, and another is laying a new foot of finer stuff, which is being smoothed by a road roller.

I have already mentioned that an enourmous estate behind our house is currently being developed to include 390 dwellings and a Home for the Bewildered. the Home is right at our backs, and as the houses gradually encroach on us the space is being cleared for the car parking for the Home.

Dad is impressed tonight on the dog walk when a small shaggy terrier is let out of the front of his house on our busy road by a bloke in a white van, and trots 50 yards down the pavement to the van looking up adoringly at the bloke, before leaping in as soon as the guy opens the door, and sits on the passenger seat looking out of the windscreen, waiting quietly while the guy belts in and fires up.

Dad comments to the bloke that he wishes he could trust us to do that (theory is we'd take off after a cat or stroll about aimlessly across the lanes), and says that H for one, has never voluntarily got into a vehicle in all his (almost) 11 years.

Ah so.

Saturday 26 April 2008

Famous Charlie

Meet Charlie. Fairly famous round here for his pond clearing antics. If he sees a pond he's into it. If he sees a floating stick or log in the pond he has to get it out. If your mission in life was these ecoliogical volunteer stylee pond-clearances, you could do no better than to take him to the pond, then sit and have a picnic.
Charlie would set to work to grab all the floating logs in the water and drag them safely to the shore. No-body knows why, least of all his owners, but that's just what he does.
Here we are all out on the Friends of King's Wood 2nd Bluebell Walk (more bluebells open this time - photo's to follow) but is was also, by co-incidence, Charlie's 8th Birthday. The walk inevitably took us past one of the Friends' ponds, so we let the birthday boy indulge himself.
His owners are quite heavily involved in the Rare Breeds Trust ( and the pond there gets cleared on a regular basis, but down in the Forest, Charlie is an infrequent visitor, so there was a huge backlog (groan... geddit? backlog?) of debris in the water
Go Charlie - and Happy Birthday

Friday 25 April 2008

Saving the Best....

You didn't think that having posted a pic of Megan (She's nearly 12 you know!) and then of the H, you'd get away without one of my good self did you? Here I am, as usual, trying to barge my way into centre-field, next to a rather bored looking Haggis.

Dad cusses me up all the time when the camera's out - I'm either right up too close, trying to lick the lens filter, or I'm completely distracted and wandered off somewhere.

Ahhh the trials of being a "model"

Have a great weekend


Strawberry Fields

You'd think after 20 months of tramping the local highways and bye-ways, there'd be nowhere within a mile that we hadn't been, wouldn't you? Last night though, I went for the first time round a walk that everyone else knew but which we hadn't used since I'd been on the scene - a footpath that runs out East from half way up Love Lane on the East side of town.

This has been, till recently, accessible only through an awful, tumble down, shored-up-with-chain-link stile, which Dad had to carry each dog over one by one, tying each up either side to do do the other. The faff wasn't worth the rewards. We noticed yesterday though, that all this wire and stuff is replaced with a lovely solid, ground level "kissing gate", so we went exploring.

It's a lovely path - part grass, some hard road and some dirt which was, admittedly, a bit sticky after the rain (and thunder storm!) of Thursday afternoon, but it cuts through fields of barley and orchards of fruit trees, fields of strawberries and acres of poly-tunnels full of young strawberries. There are on-the-lead bits (the farmer asks this so Haggis doesn't wee up against a strawberry plant!) but most of it's free.

The full loop takes you out on the path twoards Goodnestone and then comes back through the fields and over the railway line to Dad's allotment, but we didn't go that far. We were a bit muddy by then so we cut home the shorter way, down the Graveney Road. Muddy undercarriages are us!


Tuesday 22 April 2008

Bright eyes

Couldn't resist another picture of "us", in this case Meggie looking particularly cute and wistful. Also for a girl in her Autumn Years, very fit and healthy, clear, bright eyed and cold wet nosed.

Ooops - must dash. Someone is riding horses up the street and the clippety clop of hooves sends us dashing out and round the the side gate to see. This being the brewery town that it is, it is quite often the local brewery's drey on it's way to or from shows, but it's a bit late for that. Turns out to be just a couple of horse riders bravely taking on what constitutes a "rush hour" round here

The sun is out and it is warming up, so Dad is hopeful of a good (or certainly "better") show of bluebells at Challock this weekend compared to last.

By the way - just got another "traffic report" from the site-meter and we've now passed 2500 views and 1500 visits.

Look after yourself


Monday 21 April 2008

Handsome Boy, Mad Vehicle

Quite a nice pic of Haggis, I think you'll agree. What a handsome boy! And who's that gorgeous girl sneaking a look round from the other end of the table - ah that'll be me then!

Meanwhile, is this, or is this not, the craziest vehicle you've seen on this blog so far. It is called a "Solyto" (google it if you like!) and is the product of a merge between Lyon (France) motorcycle maker "New Map" and a sheet metal firm. It is powered by a motorcycle engine and has DAF style variomatic ("rubber band") drive. This one has been bought, and brought back from France by one of Dad's nutty 2CV mates.

It claims to be the "camping" variant but all the humans we know would struggle to stretch out for a good camping sleep in it, so we dogs have the perfect solution. You humans can have the tents - chuck a few blankets down on the floor and we three Westies, plus the camping farm dogs Daisy and Dinky (see earlier posts), plus any other (small dogs) who would like to join us, can all sleep in a big heap in the warm dry confines of the Solyto!



Saturday 19 April 2008

2 weeks early...

We have had the absolute BIGGEST day! The main event being Dad leading the first "Bluebell Walk" in Challock Forest for the "Friends of..." and this being likely to be a 1.5 hours one, he decided that Meggie might now struggle to keep up, and therefore we'd leave her to rest. She does though need some kind of walk, so we all got up early and headed for the Rec for a chase about, and to let dogs do what dogs have to do in the morning.

That done, and Breakfast taken, Dad, the H and myself head off for the forest in the car to meet up with the new "Friends" committee and any members of the public who might want to come a-walking. Not many as it turned out, although a young lad called Charlie latched onto Dad and me, and made a big fuss of me - they used to have a Westie called "Titchy", so I was happy to be his chum for the walk.

As for Bluebells the poor old Friends never seem to get this timing right. We have to decide back in October when the Bluebells will be at their best, so that we can book the walks and print the fixture list. Last couple of years, when we've done April it's been a cold Spring and we're too early. When we book May it's a scorcher and they're all over.

This is one of the cold wet (and snowy!) Springs, so April 19th is, as it happens, about 2 weeks too soon. Just the odd bluebells are open, and a slight blue thin haze is starting in the best places. They need a warm fortnight, truthfully, to be a good show. Maybe next year we'll book 2 dates about 3 weeks apart

We had a good walk though abnd everyone enjoyed seeing bits of the Forest off the beaten track that they'd not normally see.

We slept through the afternoon, while Dad went off to get some spuds and broad beans in up at the allotment, then we all crashed on the sofa for Dad to have an "Eric Clapton" (see earlier post). Next we were all up again and off to Diamond's place for a supper, and a chase around with Rags (Asbo). Add to that the walk home, and H and I have had 4 walks. No wonder we're exhausted. Won't need anyone to sing us a lullaby tonight!


Friday 18 April 2008

Yellow frisbee RIP

The poor old yellow frisbee has been either loved to death, or cut through by little dog incisors, depending on how you look at it. We took it out tonight for a good old throw about, but it was never going to last long, being almost chewed through at that point. Sure enough, after a half hour one big throw saw it burst open on impact and turn into a wobbly kind of boomerang. Never mind. There are plans for a replacement next time the humans go to "Pets Are Us".

Word comes from real-Mum's place that all is restored to calmness between my Dad and my Brother. We now play like pups again and roll about lovingly all over each other. So I'm told that either the testosterone smell challenges from Archie (bro') which were upsetting Hector (Dad) have dispersed now since the "op", or first-Mum has had enough of them and the threats of death and banishment had become a bit too real for them to ignore any more!

A good night for Springers tonight at the Rec, including a lovely young male one called "Spooner" (I kid you not) and a red and white one we didn't catch the name of.

Have a great weekend

Monday 14 April 2008

The Way to Dad's Heart

The garden is a-buzz with signs of Spring, starlings whizzing about with enormous bits of grass for nesting, blackbirds, finches and sparrows, blue- and great-tits, the robins, dunnocks and collared doves. The starlings in particular seem to think that if they use really big bits of nest material, the nest will be completed that bit sooner because they'll need fewer.

The collared doves efforts are usually laugh-able. They tend to build a platform in full view from above, then lay a huge white egg which might as well say on it "This way, you Magpies!". They last about 5 minutes. Last year we did have a successful nest in the Albertine rose and it was built of such rudimentary stuff - wire, a few bits of stick and then a solid layer of baby-pigeon guano. Cup shaped and lined with downy fluff, it was most definitely not! At least the wire was stripped bits of telephone wire, so there was a bit of colour there.

Mum and Dad have a long running joke about this in which they adopt the nasal Dubliner voice of Dustin the Turkey "a left over bit of angle iron and a scrap of 4 by 2". Mum is brilliant at this, hailing as she does from that City (but not, she hastens to add, from "those parts")

Tonight though, we can do no wrong. It's Dad's birthday and to him, the absolute best music in the world is guitar blues, so anything he can get hold of featuring BB King, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler etc. We have bought him for his birthday, tickets to Mark Knopfler.

Yay us!

Now enjoying getting spoiled by chosen chunks of duck carcase.... It's a tough job but somebody has to do it....


Saturday 12 April 2008

Between the Hail storms

What a day! Dad's been trying to finish his digging and put the rotovator across the allotments and has been dodging between the hail storms by hiding in a nearby plot holder's shed. The goons apparently run for cover and then spend the next 10 minutes waving and grinning and exchanging banter from inside their various open shed doors.

We get our walk when a particularly big blue patch of sky comes over the horizon, and we decide to "risk it for a biscuit", the Rec, the Parish Church and back down through the boat yard, where we are surprised to see S.B.Greta still moored up. Steve is on deck and Alfie is barking at us from the starboard bulwarks. He didn't want to risk the sail he says, on that dodgy weather yesterday evening, so he sat tight and they'll head for Whitstable Monday or Tuesday.

We meet Molly the beagle on the way home. As I race in circles and Molly shows every sign of wanting to join me, Dad suggetsts she is let off the lead and is amazed to find that the lady has "not yet plucked up courage" to let her off because some helpful soul has said "Oooh - Beagles - they have a reputation for taking off and never being seen again". We've not heard of that at all and don't beleive it but the idea is fixated in the lady's head and the dog is now stuck on the lead. We suggest some places and situations where it could be low risk (out in a "pack" with us, and along the levee where the opportunities to scoot are limited. We'll see

Treat tonight. Mum's cooking duck in Guinness for a posh dinner party, so we get the cooked giblets.

That's the life!


Friday 11 April 2008

Jolly bargin' weather

Brilliant walk tonight. At the weekend, Dad had been down at his labours on sailing barge S.B. Cambria, and in idle moments they had been enjoying the sight of the crew of S.B. Repertor hauling their barge out of the sunken dry-dock. She'd been having her bottom cleaned and anti-fouled, but was now spick and span. These dry docks are converted Thames Lighters, so when they want to release the barge they simply open the cocks as the tide comes in. The dock sinks (or rather stays sitting on the mud) and the barge floats off. They then used one of her own winches to haul her out backwards.

The pic was improved by the falling snow swirling around. Dad decided to print it and give the boys a copy, so tonight we were on a mission to find Repertor and either hail the skipper, or nip on board to plant the (laminated) pic in a suitable position. That also meant we were at the boat yard as our own favourite barge (the one Meg and H have actually sailed on), S.B.Greta was being readied for a sail round to her Summer quarters, the fishing harbour at Whitstable. All her winter maintenance has been completed under her poly tunnel cocoon, so now she's back open to the elements and rigged up for sailing.

Ahhh barges.... Dad's in Heaven. Tonight, it being his birthday weekend he is being taken out for a meal, so we get a consolatory "tripe stick". These dried up leathery chunks of (presumably) gut are black and rough-surfaced, and the humans find them rather gross, but we dogs love 'em and chew and grind and slurp them out of existence. Then we come back for more.

Have a great weekend


Wednesday 9 April 2008

Hot on the Trail

The soft plastic yellow frisbee is not long for this world. This is due to its texture being sooooo tempting to have a good old gnaw once I've run it down. I have almost cut through it in one place and the incisor-cut gnarly edges are plain to see. Mind you it deserves it, the way it bounces and keeps on rolling when Dad gives it a good throw, then curves round tighter and tighter as it leans over. Sometimes so tight I can't turn that fast and I have to bark at it in frustration as I race by, completely out-manouvred.

We break off from frisbee concerns to show tender lovin' to a tiny toddler, Olivia. Only about 15 months, I'd say, but obviously dead keen on little white dogs, she is watched over by 2 keen but anxious parents as she wobbles over to us and strokes our heads and tums. Gotta love her - they'll be having to buy her a pup of her own soon, I can tell.

But we must move on, as we are being tracked by big, soft-skinned, droopy eye-lidded Bloodhound Beaney. She is grogeous and completely soppy. Seeing us rolling on our backs, she joins us - it's like a brown hairy beached Beluga Whale writhing around.

Great stories come of frinds dogs Millie, the Spaniel pup, and Summer, veteran Shar-Pei, and their reactions to snow. They got 3 inches or more down in their part of Kent. Millie was ecstatic and lost all reason, charging about like a thing possessed, racing in circles round the garden, dipping her nose down below the surface of the snow as she went so that her snout and brow sent up great snow-plough gouts of the stuff.

Summer hates it, and tried to get all four feet off the ground at once. Mind you, given a "sweetie" and a clear bit of patio on which to eat it, she chose to carry it to a bit of buried lawn, and then nibble if off the top of the inches of snow. No accounting for taste.

G'Night all


Tuesday 8 April 2008

Dad takes a Dive

Sometimes I'm so proud of my Dad - tall - strong, protective, a cunning hunter-gatherer and all other alpha-male attributes..... and then again....

We'd barely set out on tonight's walk and Dad was juggling the three of us, as ever, on the flexi leads, trying to look not too much like a maypole. We'd crossed the road OK and then turned right up a side street. Dad had just steered the H from going straight on across the T junction, when he kicked into a big crevasse in the pavement.

In a "dive" that would have done a Premiership footie player proud he landed on his hands and a knee, dropping all three flexi leads and shooting his mobile phone forwards out of his top pocket so that he heard the skittering away of it but had not seen it. He may have sworn under his breath. I have tactfully forgotten.

As ever, when we're walking, I was up front and pulling, so my lead accelerated out of his hands and barrelled up behind me; Dad saw the departing of it but not where it went, as he was concentrating on not getting injured. Meg and the H were behind and dragging, so their leads shot back towards them, blocking their paths and stopping them in their tracks.

Feeling foolish and embarrassed, Dad scrambled to his feet, dusting himself off, rubbing grit out of his palms and checking his trousers for tears and holes. He was quickly able to grab up the leads of Meg and the H, but looked ahead and couldn't see me so, thinking I'd be round the next corner, which was a car-less cul-de-sac, he stooped to look for the phone. This involved more hands-and-knees, whereupon he attracted a concerned old guy saying "Are you OK?" and had to explain the circumstances. He found the phone face down wedged under the tyre of a parked car. Lucky.

He, meg and the H then set off in "hot pursuit" of me, racing to the corner but still no sign. Then, back the way they'd come, they heard the unmistakeable "meep" of a Deefer in distress. Racing back the found me trying to emerge from under another parked car, where the cord of my lead had become wrapped round the road-contact-patch of another tyre. I was stuck, three quarters under the car, and invisible from most directions

Thank goodness for "Meep!" as a noise. No harm done to anyone or anything...

Except for Dad's pride. he now feels there's no fool like an old fool!


Monday 7 April 2008

All over the place...

Mum's a great one for this kind of thing. It's fun every now and then, to type "Deefer-Dawg" into the google search field and see what comes up. The links that come up on the front page seem to stretch back through time and across a myriad of subjects. Languages too - tonight's had one in Arabic script (I think - correct me if I'm wrong).

Tonight we had reference to the "good guys and villains" posting, and the "it's no good" one from recently, but also the Green Lane allotments we did ages ago

There was one by Fallow Deer lovers at

but the other threads on this were about killing fallow deer - we don't go in for that at all, we hasten to add

There was reference to the technorati, what ever they might be

...and that Arabic one was at

but we think that related to when Dad asked the "something has broken" help thread how to make my pictures work on this thread.

There was even one about spatch cocking chickens...

You should try it - fascinating stuff. I suppose because we introduce such a huge range of subjects from Spatchcocked chooks to Thames barges, and from Fallow deer to 2CV's we are naturally going to cross lots of other paths in our walk through the forest.

Deefs, the broad-ranging intellect....

Sunday 6 April 2008

Git them Doggies Rollin'

Dad feeling very old today having yesterday attended 25th wedding anniversary of his "baby brother". I gather this involved a certain amount of sitting in the car in a traffic jam on the M4, and then some arriving well late and eating very fast to catch up, but they all survived. They were back here in time to watch Doctor Who, taped for them by the Angel Betty, anyway. We'd had our walk really early, so we were OK

Another early walk today round the boat yard. Dad is going that way again today, as it's the Sunday for a stint working on the SB Cambria, but I marked the occasion by rolling in some "skank" (that's what Dad called it. I tend to think it enhanced one's natural fragrance, and was most put out when I was lashed to the outside tap on returning home , while Dad assembled warm soapy water and a dog towel. )

I am now not only being read by Humans from around the world, but also by cyber-chickens. I got a lovely e-mail comment from a Derbyshire chook called Sugar-Lump (Thank you for that). In answer to your question, yes I am boss of this house and I have Dad, Mum and Megan's permission to say so. Haggis thinks he's above me in the pecking order, but he's a boy, so I don't think so.


Friday 4 April 2008

Circus Clown

As far as we know there is not a circus in town.... So , why then, did we see, walking from the railway station to the station carpark, a circus clown in full regalia - red/orange/yellow diamond-pattern baggy romper suit, big white ruff collar, long clown-shoes with bulbous toe-ends, white make-up with big smiley red lips. White hair, so we guess an elderly lady-clown but even so fairly bizarre out of context.

Maybe she was heading for her clown car and was going to drive it out of the carpark with bits falling off and the exhaust banging away with backfires. Dad pleads that he had not, up till then, been drinking. Even so, the ladies in "Alldays" looked at him a bit odd as he bought wine and told them all about it.

For me though, a great run around in the Rec chsaing the yellow frisbee, and a brief meeting with a shaggy, longtailed, standard poodle in chocolate brown. No-one else we recognised. The Rec, normally full of chums, was very quiet. Such a warm evening too. Mum and Dad are actually eating supper al fresco, first time this year


Thursday 3 April 2008

The Early Bunny

We are out at the crack of dawn this morning, Dad having a day off to attend a (non-work) meeting and do the circuit down to the boat yard, which means we are the first dogs through the Abbey Fields. This means that all the nightime bunnies have still to retreat under ground, so great fun can be had by a swift westie, dashing down the path that runs between the bramble thickets where hide the bunnies, and their warrens.

You take off down the path and a few yards in front a bunny dashes across your path, right to left. You run faster, thinking you must hurry to the place where the bunny crossed, so you too can turn left and follow him down the hole, but by the time you nearly get to where he crossed, another dashes across a few yards further on and distracts you.

So it goes on from one end of the path to the other, the path stretching out in front, and the rabbits whizzing across like a blur. A girl can quite forget herself and any notion of "come!" or "DEEEfer!!!" or whistling. She can return ages later completely covered in bramble thicket, grass, burrs and dew. It's a good early morning look!

Once we're quite tired out, we still have the rest of the walk to do, and on that bit we meet a geriatric black and white greyhound. His Mum is holding him firmly and repeatedly saying "NO!" as if the poor old guy is going to leap into the attack. Somebody needs to tell the old girl that he is 104 years old and that his attacking days may be over. The greyhound just stands there looking resigned and bored. If he could say "No what?" he probably would.


Wednesday 2 April 2008

Papers to Prove it!

Ahhhh... friend Keira, jet black German Shepherd owned by Dad's friend "Xena" has now received her papers through from the Kennel Club. It's official! She is, in fact, "Izumis Princess Keira", from the highly rated Izumis breeding kennel, also famous for Staffies...

Look at those pictures - the black dog there gives us some idea of what Keira will grow up to be. Xena has promised photo's when she can get her Bluetooth working.

Keira is now very proudly sporting her "real diamonds" studded collar and looks every bit the true Princess

Go Keira