Monday 29 September 2008

Top of the Heap

Did I mention what a fun garden the Pud Lady in Hastings has? As well as all the woodland glade stuff, there is this cracking steep sided, piled up compost heap which, if you are light like me and scramble to the top of, you can almost look over the hedge. An assortment of dogs live 2 doors down (an ever changing motley crew), so this lets me keep an eye on them.
Meanwhile, the new pup-on-the-block, Poppy, who has come to live with Shirley, is now through her injections and took her first walk out doors this morning. She is everywhere, apparently, making straight for any people to get a fuss made of her, curious about everything and pulls Shirley round the block like a train. Puppy classes soon, says Shirley, ominously.
Poopy - you need some advice from arch-puppy classer Megan when she was little. In the classes, which took place in a fully fenced and gated dog-proof field, to allow for off-the lead, long distance "stay" commands etc, Megan was the model student, picking everything up quickly, the perfect socialiser and Teacher's pet. Dad would proudly walk her back to the car, thinking she'd stay to heel just like in the field.
Once out of the field she would look at Dad in amazement at any command. No-o-oh , Dad. That's what we do, only when we're in there. Out here, those rules don't apply and I can run around like a lunatic.
Never did learn to "come". Even now, 13 years later the best we'll do is "stay" while Dad walks all the way over to her to put her lead on.

Friday 26 September 2008

Number plates

Nice picture taken here by the Angel Betty, when she came round to let us all out for a comfort stop. What better place for a relaxing dog, than on the table on the sun terrace? Mind you, I look a bit anxious here, with my ears back, so maybe I think I'm not meant to be up there!

Nice that Betty takes some notice, Dad is completely distracted by the fact that the DVLA have finally sent through the registration for their project 2CV rebuild, Mademoiselle d'Armentieres. They're all delighted it's a proper historic plate, in pre-1965 format (123 ABC), rather than the more problematic "Q" plates. Don't ask.

Betty loves me.


Thursday 25 September 2008

Millie, Mollie, Mandy

We've mentioned before that Ellie is pretty much a self cleaning dog. Even after falling in the lake at Leybourne on Sunday, and then getting grimed up with dust on the rest of the walk she was, as predicted, almost immaculate again by the time she got back to the car. Unlike those of us doomed to go through life a kind of grubby squirrel-poo beigey colour, my Sis seems to have that kind of fur that sheds dirt as she dries.

Her Mum says that put her down wet and muddy with a clean dry towel, and by dint of rummaging around for half an hour, you will come away with a clean white dry dog, and a grubby wet muddy towel.

But tonight she is exceeding even her high standards! She's been groomed properly by a local outfit called Dapper Dogs. (Sorry, can't give you a link - this is a very well used name and there are dozens of Dapper dogs websites all round the world, none of which probably have anything to do with these guys). She is immaculate white, trimmed and spruced and looks like a million dollars. She's like your too-perfect big sis when you were still an ungainly adolescent, who got all the boyfriends chasing after her. She could be a Show Dog - Crufts people watch out!

Actually it's a good day all round for westies on the Rec. Not only do we meet Ellie on our way down, but on the Rec we meet Barney out with his Mum ( "I'm sure one of your dogs is called Deefer, but I can never remember which one, so I just think of them as "Millie, Mollie, Mandy"" - When Mum hears of this, she decides Haggis better be "Molly", because he could be "Molyneux") and we also meet up with Magic ("Madge" rather confusingly).

And you gotta love Megan, who saunters around like Dowager-Duchess of Kent out for a promenade (I'm very old you know, and I have to take it easy), until (taraaa) she meets a glossy black young-man labrador when she suddenly comes over all flirty, bouncing on her front feet, flashing her eyelashes and coming over all playful, kittenish and coy. Outrageous Flirt!


Sunday 21 September 2008

8 go mad in Maidstone

After the emotional turmoil of yesterday, we needed a happy relaxing day today. We certainly got one! Today, all the family went on our annual birthday joint-walk, on this occasion around Leybourne Lakes in Maidstone - that's we three (Meggie, Haggis and (me) Deefer), plus my real-Mum Mollie, real Dad Hector, bro' Archie and sis' Ellie, plus, on this one, sis's owner's daughter's 6 month old Rottie pup, another Mollie.

Here are a couple of shots of the day. Anyone who knows Ellie will laugh at the one of her looking like a drowned rat, having just been in the lake (by mistake). Always immaculate, our Ellie is pretty much a self-cleaning dog. Her long hair seems to shed dirt, so, having got wet, and then picked up a load of dust on the wet fur she looked like a right tramp. By the time she got back to the car, she was pristine!

The one of the four westies near the chair, with Rottie, Molly is there to give you a look at Moll. She's a lovely soft, very well socialised, gentle, gangly loose-limbed babe, who regularly trips over her own feet.

And then there's the group photo. Dad had not managed to get a decent one of all 7 westies on the way round, so we were posed on this bit of grass. Even then it was difficult to get everyone to look at the camera, and this is one everybody looking, selected from among about 10 failures!

We had a fantastic day, and then many of us retreated to first-Mum's house for the humans to have a coffee. Happy Birthday everyone and we must do it all again next year! More pics soon


Saturday 20 September 2008

Sad News

Sad news to bring you, I'm afraid. Denis, step-father of Diamond and owner of Rags (Asbo, our old mate) passed away at 5 o'clock this morning. Our thoughts are all with Diamond and the family. Mum stays round there today to lend moral support, and Dad takes us in the 2CV down to Hastings to see the Pud Lady and the Stamp Man.

Out of nowhere, the South East of England is finally having an Indian Summer, so it's a chance for Dad to don shorts and sandals and roll the roof down on the 2CV for the run down (and back). Gotta catch up on the Poros tans somehow - just a shame we couldn't have had decent sunshine for narrow boating, or Duncombe Park, or any other of the wet windy events we've been involved in this "Summer"

We have great fun feretting about in Pud Lady's mature woodland garden. Pud Lady is convinced they have seen a rat, so we are put to work a-sniffing. Dad knows that if there are rats hiding anywhere, Meggie's unfailing nose will sniff them out and we will all "point" - noses pressed to a hole, ears pricked, tails up, sniffing and darting about in prey-focus mode. No such luck. We wander about aimlessly, with no sign of the little varmints. False alarm this time, Pud Lady, unless they're scentless rats!

Deepest sympathies to Diamond

The Girls are Back

...ahhh that's better. We tried to post on here last night, and the auto-save kept killing us. Just a big red and yellow stripe, and no news!...

All is returned to normality here (well nearly). Diamond and Mum are back from their 10 days in the Greek island of Poros, and to prove it, here is a shot Mum took on her new camera, of a Greek octopus-fisherman beating 7 bells out of an octopus to tenderise it.

I say "nearly" - all is in fact not well with young Denis, Diamond's dad and Rags's owner. He's in hospital at the moment, so we are thinking of them.

Dad's bought steak and fizz to celebrate Mum's return (crawler!) so we get a small amount of that. Everybody's tired out though what with all the overnighting and whizzing to and from airports, so we all crash out at just gone 8pm, like a couple of old gits!

These old ones - no stamina!


Thursday 18 September 2008

Party's Over

Ah well, back down to earth with a bump after the porky excesses of yesterday. No matter. There is the welcome prospect of Mum and Diamond returning from the Greek island of Poros at about midnight (no doubt Dad will be sparko, but we will be ever watchful and alert, and will spring into yappy action (jumping across Dad's nethers in the process) at the sound of the key in the door.

Also coming up soon, the promise of a trip to Hastings to see Pud-Lady and Stamp-Man, and then the exciting prospect of a joint dog-walk with bro, sis, real-Mum and real-Dad plus any other hangers on, waifs and strays we can rope in. 7 - westie bundle!

Gotta love it!


Wednesday 17 September 2008

Party Girl!

Happy Birthday to me! 2 years old today. "Birthday cake" as ever, is raw pork ribs, so here am I graciously and gently (yeah?) accepting one from Dad, and one of me doing it some serious damage in my (rather scuzzy) dogbed.

As well as rib(s) - I suspect there may have been 7 in the pack so that Megan, who eats faster than the other 2 of us, may have scored 3 while we only got 2 - I further suspect that these were pork even though Dad says that Mum, who is currently on Poros Island (Greece), sent them over and that they were Greek goat - we got one tin of good old Butchers Tripe to fill any gaps.

It was three very bloated doggies who tried to make it to the Rec for a walk, but, to be honest, none of us were really up for it. We had a half hearted run around with Gigot, Truffles and Storm, and the Ben, but if the truth were told we all just need a lie down, so we hope the TV's good tonight, so that Dad will collapse in the sofa. Then we can all lean on him and gonk out.

I got a birthday card, too, from Bro' Archie, real Mum (Mollie), real Dad (Hector) and the folks

Happy Birthday to meeeeeeeee.... and of course, litter-mates Bro' Archie and Sis' Ellie

Deefer (2)

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Symphonia Gastronica

Poor Meg is suffering from a poorly tummy. She wakes Dad to be let out at 03:30 this morning and stays out ages eating grass. By "proper" wake up time she's off food althogether, and ignores her breakfast, which is good news for me as I get to hoover it up when no-one's looking.

She sits on her bed looking pathetic, and with her abdomen making an interesting cacophony of squelches, belches and groans. This, you may recall, is called the Symphonia Gastrica in the local family humour. Megan is not amused, and is definitely feeling sorry for herself. Dad leaves paper down and alerts the Angel B to let her out for comfort stops "in case she explodes".

When dad gets back from work, Angel B reports that she has been sick, and now seems to be recovering. She greets Dad along with the rest of us as enthusiastically as normal, and then walks to her food bowl, noses it against the skirting board with a clunk, and stands back and gruffs at Dad, looking him in the eye as if to challenge him to pretend he doesn't get it!

She ate a hearty supper.

Go Meggie, and thanks for the breakfast


Monday 15 September 2008

Molly the Rottweiler

There we were, tired out from a good old session of chasing the yellow frisbee tonight and just on our way home, when we came upon my sister, Ellie, whose Mum is just back from Mexico. Exciting enough, but they'd just met up with "Mum's" daughter-in-law and grandson, who were out with 6 month old Rottie, Molly.

What a soppy dog! Only half grown and all soft and gangly, unco-ordinated and clumsy, like all young dogs are when their limbs are growing faster than their sense of how big they are. This called for an all in chase about and "give-as-good-as-you-get" bundle. Dad was delighted. Sometimes, he says, when we sisters get together, Ellie tends to do the submissive and lets me get away with beating the living daylights out of her, and sometimes (he also alleges) I have been bounced at by an unco-ordinated pup and have run off squealing like a stuck pig, doing my "drama queen" bit. It's gonna KILL me!!!!

Not this time. Balance seems to have been suddenly restored (maybe I've been practising on Rags). Ellie, Molly and I (plus Haggis while his tired old-boy strength holds out) run and chase and bark and wrestle as equals, no-one getting the better of any other, and no-one allowing anyone the peace to lie down and rest, racing in big figure-of-eight patterns, barging occasionally into human legs (mainly Molly there!), and carrying on when joined by Dad's allotment chum Stephanie, and her black collie cross Monty, and brown non-descript terrier Charlie. That just seemed to give us a new lease of life.

Tired? We've all collapsed back here after our supper, and we are rather hoping Dad will settle down with the TV and not move all evening.


Sunday 14 September 2008

Kes comes a-visiting

Dad must work today so he's out early for a while - long enough that the Angel B spots the missing car and volunteers to let us out for a chase about. It's a beautiful warm day, so we can stretch out on the terrace and watch the world come and go. The Geordie roofers working on the "Home-for-the-Bewildered" behind us shout to each other and sing along to the reggae music on the radio. Very surreal - No Woman No Cry in an "Auf Wiedersehen" accent.

We get a nice walk round the allotment, and Dad spots that the new French beans are pick-able, so returns with hoe to do a bit of hoeing, and bags to harvest into - beans, chard, toms, courgettes, salad potatoes, raspberries and a carrier bag of perpetual spinach. So much in fact that he can pass a bit to the neighbours

He heads for the SB Cambria (barge) hoping to deliver a saved newspaper to da boss (Basil), but Basil has swapped his volunteer shift out with friends Mark and Cath, and the Jack Russell, "Kes". Dad invites these guys back to the terrace for tea after their stint, and we get to "welcome" Kes into our abode. Welcome? Meg and Haggis, quick sniff, decide it's Kes and are immediately chilled out to the idea of this "invasion" (especially when Mark and Cath make a fuss of them).

Me? I'm not so sure and I have a few gruffs and growls along the way, not sure if this interloper should be here, or be borrowing my stuffed robin toy, or getting on my Dad's lap. I settle down soon enough though, and we wander round each other being polite, but keeping a wary eye.

And then there's the rock! Kes has a thing about rocks. When she gets bored she attacks them. She chooses a likely one, about fist sized and starts paw-ing at it with her front feet, the pouncing on it, dragging it towards her using her paws, and scratching all around it vigorously, as if there might be a mouse under it. Kes and the rock are soon zooming across the ground in a bewildering battle.

On this occasion, I'm on Dad's lap, looking down at her warily, when she suddenly starts poking at a suitable pebble, in the pebble-gutter at the edge of the terrace, then pulls it out onto the terrace. I am outraged, leap onto the patio table and shout loudly at her "Yaff!". She stops, taken by surprise at my shout, but then starts on the rock again, dragging it across the terrace, and reversing herself in front of it. I try a few more shouts, but she keeps going, so I have to lep' down off the table and check this out. She won't listen to me and I shout at her to stop till the humans, looking on in bewilderment and confused amusement, shut me up.

The nerve! Moving Mummy's rock like that!


Friday 12 September 2008

Something borrowed

The big black and white Great Dane we'd seen out with Gigot and family turns ourt to be a "borrow" with Gigot's owner looking after him for her own Father. He is, apparently, very "naughty" and had to be kept on the lead. That reminds me, "Long John" with the two Danes, "Rudolph" and "Valentine" which Haggis knew from pup-dom, has not been seen out in ages. We knew they were getting on a bit, and Danes never live to a great age, so with Haggis now 12, we all assume they have gone the way....

Yesterday we are given a treat - a walk at Reculver

The towers at Reculver were, as "any fule know" used for practise line-ups in bombing runs by the Dambuster squadrons when the Barnes Wallis bouncing bombs were being developed in the war (cue theme music). There are now interpretive signs in the carpark, to prove it !

Tonight we are on "soul food" - bangers, bacon, eggs and beans. Dad has allegedly had a bitch of a week, which is now shaping up to be a doozie of a weekend as he's on call. There's been a fire in the Channel Tunnel, "Operation Stack" has been invoked and traffic chaos in Kent is the order of the day. Basically, no-one can get across the channel using that route, so all the backed up HGV's are stacked in the lanes of the M20. We're all used to it - it's probably a monthly occurrence at least, at this stage - if it's not fierce storms, or French customs men, it's French farmers blockading the ports or something like this fire.

Deep joy


Wednesday 10 September 2008

Poppy's in da House

Ah well, here she is at last, the

little brindly girl! I suppose the face does look a bit westie-pup shaped, but then I've never seen a Sheltie pup so only time, I guess, will tell what the final dog looks like. She is still enjoying herself and settling in well, and reportedly "too active to photograph well".

You go girl!


Tuesday 9 September 2008


Can I just say here that we've now passed 4000 views - famous or what? Thank you all for your interest. We are, though, beginning to think that maybe as my 2nd birthday approaches, enough is enough. Been here before, I know (about a year ago in fact!), but watch this space. My birthday is 17th Sept.

Meanwhile in "new-kids-on-the-block" dept, we have regularly now seen Gigot's family out with a black and white Great Dane. We have yet to cross paths and ask whether this is a new recruit, or a borrow. Also, Dad's friend Shirley has now taken delivery of the sheltie x westie "Poppy" (also known as "chav-dog"). We've seen mobile-phone pics but not in any format I can pass on yet, but as soon as I do, I will.

She looks a darling little thing with a westie-pup shaped head, but only her feet are white. Her body is like a brindled or tortoise-shell cat. Apparently she's really good, already "asking" (little cries) to be let out of the house to poo, on account of being allowed in and out all the time with her Mum. A feisty little thing too by all accounts, so proud of having wee'd on the special sanitary mat, that she then showed off by savaging (and ripping up) the said mat!

The humans are currently weaning her onto the idea that some of her time she will be left in the house alone, starting off with half hours and building up, and she seems quite cool with that. Good at night too, apparently - nice and quiet.

Good luck Poppy - you've landed on your feet this time!


Thursday 4 September 2008

Madge is a bloke

We've mentionned before, I'm sure, a westie we met in the Rec, who was, then quite a young pup. We met again the other day, and had quite a nice run around. The owner was slightly anxious in case "Madge" got a bit too excited and killed us three, but there was no danger and we charged about giving as good as we were getting. Dad spotted that "Madge" appeared to have bits undernieth not appropriate to a dog named "Madge". "Madge?" he quizzed the owner. "Umm.... it's short for 'Majic' but it does confuse people!" she said

The Kentish Hoppers 2CV group are back up to their camping tricks, but it's windy and showery and not at all good camping weather. Dad (and Megan), still a bit fed up with wet windy camping after Yorkshire, is not at all sure we will pitch this time - we may wuss out and just do day-visit.

Today, anyway, we had to get the 2CV round to 2CV-Llew's to drop the fuel tank out and cure the sucking-air leak. Excellent opportunity for we dogs to meet up with tea-drinking, beer-slurping Jack Russell, "Rosie", and to chase about Llew's out-buildings and old abandonned commercial greenhouses looking for rats

From there we headed for the camp site, there to help the guys erect the big party-tent marquee, rig up power cabling and set out safety notices and what not. Excellent opportunity for me, as usual, to get sump oil all up my back, horse poo well smeared into my chin, cheeks, neck and chest, and that general camping-westie grubbiness. Unfortunately, because we are not pitching tonight, when Dad comes home for supper, I get bathed back to innocent whiteness. Mum will never know!

...and Dad's friend Shirley, who sadly lost her Westie "Penny" a good year ago now, is getting a new pup - picked it up last night. Always intending this to be another westie, they fell in love with a cute westie x sheltie cross, which "looks a bit like a chav westie, in a pale biscuitty brown". (So says Shirley). We have yet to see any pics of this dog, which is named "Poppy", but Poppy, if you're collected yet and now "with us" we look forward to meeting you.

There's always tomorrow

Monday 1 September 2008

More Mayors than you can shake a stick at

It's Hop Festival weekend this weekend and the town is choc-a-block with people and crawling with Morris Dancers. They seem to descend on the place as if it's some kind of Morris-ing convention, with several "sides" performing at once up and down the main thoroughfares; blackened faces, bells, staffs clashing, decorated wes'c'ts twirling in the breeze. The "people" themselves all seem to be wandering around with pints of Shep's various products in plastic take-away "skiff" type "glasses", a cause of much anguish to thirsty, glued-to-his-post Dad on such a hot day.

Dad's own part in this is to avoid Morris dancers and head for the Standard Quay, where-at the Visitor Centre for the Sailing Barge Cambria. It's being opened officially (although it's been open all Summer really) by the Mayor of Swale, cutting the ribbon, hacking chunks out of the cake etc. In fact, the M-of-S is actually wandering about in a gaggle of other Cinque Port Mayors. I gather they each try to support each others' functions when possible, and I'm guessing a beer-rich Hop Festival is a prime attraction. So we have 9 dignitaries in fact opening the Centre. How posh are we?

We also have our own folk band, who one of our lot borrows from Deal on a reciprocal basis - the Deal Hoodeners, who perform a variety of Sea Shanties before also retreating for a well earned beer.

Too hot for dogs, really, though, and we head for the shade.


By the way, traffic on this site seems to have suddenly picked up. We have approaching 4000 views and we are getting visited 60-70 times a week. Thank you all for your interest.