Saturday 29 November 2008

Deefski to Vetski for Jabski

"Gone to Vetski with Deefski for Jabski", says the "amusing" note left by Dad for Mum, fridge-mageneted to the fridge. Very funny I'm sure (how we laughed!) for Mum, and Meggie and the H, but presaging for me the annual booster at nice Vet John's place. Unusually we actually get John - he's usually being much too important and clever to see the likes of us, and we get a succession of 2nd-in-command vets and locums.

I get weighed at 7.6 kgs, poked, prodded, stethoscoped and pronounced 100% fit and well. I get jabbed between the shoulder blades, which seems a bit harsh, but I only whimper instead of shrieking the house down, so everyone pronounces me "very brave". Shucks. Money changes hands and a suspicious crinkly blister-pack of foil is passed across and trousered by Dad.

A couple of days later, supper includes 2 strange pill-shaped white bits, and I get a minor belly ache. Haggis and Megan exchange glances knowingly. Nobody tells me what is going on.

A series of late finishes by Dad at work, have meant a succession of short, in-the-dark walks round the Rec. As long as it's not totally dark, this is a good thing, as lots of dog-walkers get concentrated into a compressed "window" and we meet everybody.

They say you can't be popular with everybody. Although we are a sociable bunch, and have no real enemies, there's this one dark Alsatian who gets walked in the Rec in the dark, always on the lead. suspect this is because he is not the most sociable of beasts. I don't know what it is - he just gets to me, lurking and looming out of the dark like that. I just have to charge at him shouting.

Sometimes I give a few alert barks into the shadows (we'll call it a "pre-emptive strike" but the cynics among you might think I'm nervous of unseen beasties in the dark....."). This gives Dad a chance to grab my collar.

If he fails, and I go into charge mode, we end up with me running round the dark Alsatian shouting, just out of lead range, alternating shouts with squeaks of "He's gonna kill me!" drama-queen-dom. The Alsatian in turn dances round the owner pulling on the lead and shouting and snarling back.

The Dad joins in the shouting and dancing (at me! the nerve!) till he grabs me, apologises to the mysterious, quiet, unspeaking man hanging onto the Alsatian.

It all goes quiet again. Doesn't happen very often, but it did happen on Thursday at about 5 pm, in the dark and the rain. By coincidence, Mum is walking across the bottom of the Rec on her way home from work and hears, in the distance a doggie, shouting commotion which she thinks "vaguely reminds (her) of Deefer", but convinced that we'd not be still out at that time in the rain, she walks on by.

Getting home and finding us all still out she realises it's us she may have heard.

Maybe I deserved the jab and the belly-ache tablets

Thursday 27 November 2008

Long Leather Pouffe

Real Mum (Mollie) is upset and bereft. My real family spend a lot of their time up on the back of the sofa where they can look out of the window, nosey-ing passers by, shouting at the local foxes strolling down the road, and keeping an eye on things. This is thought to be where I got my own love of sleeping along the backs of sofas and settees, even though ours is against a wall, and we can't see the road. Mum and Dad say Meg and the H did enough damage to the back of the old sofa when they were young and the sofa was against the window.

The back of the sofa, says First-Dad, was shot to bits, by the scrabbling actions of multiple dog feet.

Well now the entire downstairs has been re-decorated, paint, wallpaper and new furniture, with the new sofa not being in the same place, so suddenly the dogs cannot see out. Hector and Arch are apparently fairly chilled about this and just crash out on the dog-bed, but real-Mum Mollie is stressed to the max. She paces the room chuntering to herself, moaning and groaning.

First-Dad's answer to this is to buy a "long leather pouffe" to go under the window so that the dogs can all see out again. Such devotion. Don't think there's any chance of my Dad buying me any leather furniture all to myself........

Meanwhile we need another Hallowe'en. One by-product of 4 small children racing round the neighbourhood being given small parcels and bags of sweeties was, when the sweeties were stripped out into the crate, a mountain of small poo-bag sized polythene bags! Almost all used up now, Mr Silverwood, so if you could arrange for another Hallowe'en soon, that'd be great.


Sunday 23 November 2008

White stuff!

We wake up to some quite convincing snowfall - big flakes drifting down, the tops of cars, walls and the pavement white. But this is Kent, where we don't get that lucky. 10 minutes later it's all turned to rain and in half an hour you'd not have known it had even been snowing. Maybe next time.

We get a nice walk round the cemetery and the Rec but Meggie's a bit tired after her forest yesterday, and she's not really into it. She drags behind looking mopey, and Dad cuts short the route out of sympathy for her tired ol' frame. We all come back, anyway, looking grubby and drowned-rat ish, so we get shut behind the dog-gate while we dry out.

Mum is packing, off with Diamond on their annual Christmas Shopping mission. This year, for various reasons, it's not to Paris, but instead to a marvellous retail therapy centre they've heard all about in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Look out Bicester!


Saturday 22 November 2008

Banjo on my Knee

None of the forecast snow yet; we wake up to beautiful clear skies and bright sunshine. That biting wind is still blowing, though. We get two walks today, one round the Rec to let off steam, and have a good run around with brown nondescript terrier (no offence!) Murphy and one, later to Challock Forest. In between the humans have a bit of a lazy morning reading the papers and what-not, and Dad scoots up to the allotment to give it one last tidy-up mow before winter really sets in.

Mum's off to the shops with Diamond in the "normal" car, so Dad and we dogs are 2CV-ing it to the forest. The leaves are all down - the chestnut, larch and even the beech are in stark skeleton form, and the forest floor is a blanket of the russets and browns of slightly soiled, bedraggled autumn leaves.

Here we meet and chase about with 6 month old black and white Staffie, Banjo. "Why Banjo?" asks Dad. Well, when he was a pup he used to like perching on my knee when ever I sat down, and "her indoors" called him Banjo on my Knee, and the name stuck. Fair enough.

It's a good walk, and now we're all crashing out in various corners of the house to sleep at each other.... Dad included


Friday 21 November 2008

The North Wind Shall Blow

...well, the North West one, maybe. Suffice to say the wind has swung round to the North and is bitterly cold. After a run of mild evenings and still-ish nights , the temperature has plummeted to 3 degrees and it's perishing. Luckily we have a coal fire laid that Dad can just put a match to.

He was home at a sensible time for once, so we all converged on the Rec while there was still plenty of light, and we knew lots of other dog walkers would be about. These short evenings compress everybody into the same short hour, after work and before it's dark.

Everybody was about - we saw young male westie, Magic, red setter Bailey, an unknown Staffie came racing over to say Hi, and we met two new kids on the block. A small red spaniel (King Charles?) called Rua (which we are told is Irish for "red"), and a gorgeous blond young Goldie called Angus.

I also had a major charge about after the yellow frisbee-ring, looking a bit the worse for wear by now, but still (just) a complete ring, so throw-able. Now we're "home and hosed", fed and chilling out round the fire.

Have a great weekend, one and all.

Thursday 20 November 2008

Aye Aye Chicken Pie

Pssssst....... (shhhhh!) pretend you've not noticed we said we might stop.......

"Aye Aye, Chicken Pie" is an expression they use a lot at Dad's work - it's just an embellished version of the ordinary "Aye aye", as in "hello hello - what's going on here then?", or "Hey - I didn't expect that". Dad's brought it home and came out with a couple of times in Ireland, at Silverwood's, to 3 year old "M"

"M" took to it like a duck to water and Dad and he were frequently to be heard parrotting "Aye aye chicken pie" 's back and forth. M seemed to like the sound of it and it was a new bit of vocabulary to practise his skills on. Cutely, though, in the way of 3 year olds, he couldn't quite get it right and half the reason Dad kept him going with it was the smile they all had when he didn't quite copy it.

His was more like "Aye yike cheeky poy!" (the same way he says "I like that, or I don't "yike" that). We ended up with these series of bizarre exchanges - Dad would say "Aye aye Chicken pie", M would come back with "I yike cheeky poy" and Mrs Silverwood or Mum would say "do you fancy some for tea then?"

And while we're on Ireland you Silverwoods. Mum has now got back the statements for the diesel we bought over there. Coming from UK, where diesel hit £1.25 / litre at worst, so a tank full was £75 GB, Dad is all nostalgic for the tank full we bought in Portmarnock for 1.09 Euros a litre - 52.41 Eutos total - a big £ 42.84 UK. What's that all about? he says.


Tuesday 18 November 2008

Knick Knack Paddy-Whack

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday, you Deefer-Dawg Blog
Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuu!
(Cheers, cries of "Speech! speech!" etc)

Yes, this blog is 2 years old today, so in celebration we have been tried out on a new chew food-stuff, going by the name of "paddy whack". Possibly it's only known as paddy-whack by canny dog food marketing men cashing in on the "give the dog a bone" context, but that's what it's called at our animal feeds store, Gillett Cook's, just outside Teynham

It looks like it might be the tendonny, sinewy bits of beef, cut away into 1-2" wide, 6 inch long "battens". Very tough, anyway - where you can cut down tripe sticks and pigs ears with a garden secateurs, you don't make much impression on this stuff. As a result, we dogs LOVE it, and it keeps us amused for hours a-chewing.

As to the 2 year anniversary, is that enough do you think? Is now a sensible time to run out of steam and call it a day? I don't know - watch this space. I may return as and when things inspire me.

Meanwhile, down in Hastings, the T-fer mobile is not well after its tete-a-tete with the 5-up car. As T-fer texts to say repairs would be £4750, only minutely less than the vehicle was worth, "so it's good bye from her". T-fer will be out hunting down a replacement.

Ah well, readers - just in case this is the last posting, thank you all for your interest, and your kind comments. It's been fun to write this, and take and choose the photo's for it, to go with the adventures. In truth, I am a bit of a diary addict, so I'll probably crack and sneak in every now and again to add a post here and there. Watch this space.

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's paddy-whack to work on.

Fare well
Deefer, and love too from all the other characters I've featured.

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Her Name is Lola

Her name is Lola
She was a Show Girl........

Or in this case she was a young black greyhound wearing a rather superb chunky-knit sweater; turtle neck, cabling, stripes and toasty-warm thickness. She looked very well in it, and we all had to make a fuss of her.

Meanwhile, do you realise this blog has nearly been running 2 years. I first posted on 18th November 2006, when I was a very young girlie, so Tuesday will be a kind of Birthday. (Dad , if you're listening, you know that Birthday cake translates as "raw pork ribs" in Westie-lingo.)

In the sleepy bungalow suburb of Hastings where Pud-Lady, Stamp-Man and T-fer live, nothing normally happens worth reporting. A text from T-fer today, though reads...

"Who said it was boring here? 6pm Tuesday, blue flashing lights galore outside our house. 3 fire engines, 2 ambulances, 5 cop cars and one car on its side. Chopping off doors, boot, roof etc. 5 people extracted. It was going up our road and clipped the front wheel / wing of my Espace, crossed road and ended up on its side. My car has damaged front wing and bent suspension, so it's the joys of an insurance claim for me. Happy Days. T"

It's all go!
Hope you get it all sorted, T-fer. At least there shouldn't be any doubt about whether there was an incident number!


Sunday 9 November 2008

Warming the Cockles

Nuff said we think. First coal fire of Winter - first pic is of Meg on the carpet basking, 2nd one is of me on the chair with Megan peeping underneath. H is there too. If you want to feel warm just double click either image and blow it up to full screen. You can almost feel the heat on your brow!


Saturday 8 November 2008


Denis (the late Dad to rags and step-dad to Diamond) was something of an artist, and had accumulated during his living in this town, a goodly pile of artist's equipment - fine papers, pallet knives, paints, pastels, crayons, pencils, brushes and a brilliant elabourate easel. To add to these, during the last years before he got really ill, he used to walk down in to town every day while Diamond was at work and visit the market and the shops.

He was always buying "bargains" and reporting back to Diamond what a good deal he had got. We may have already told you that when the humans cleared his shed and took the contents to a boot sale, they had crates and buckets of "tool shop" purchases - hinges still in their packets, mint condition tools, packets of screws and nails etc.

Well, the same applied to artist's stuff - so in his painting cases and boxes there were huge bundles of un-used brushes and untouched paints, and, as he knew what he was doing quality-wise, they were all top drawer stuff.

When he passed away, and Diamond started to clear this stuff, the only other artist we know is "The Artist", husband of the "Late Lady" (No, she's not dead - she's "late in the other sense, being the most "manana", lacksadaisical, relaxed timekeeper we know.) in Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, a very good friend of Mum from when she lived there (and still now when we all visit).

So, when we went over to Ireland this time, we took the crates, easel and other artistic goodies to "The Artist", en route. He was delighted - completely blown away by the bounty. All fantastic quality, he said. keep him amused for the next 30 years! We dropped the stuff and drove on down to Silverwood's. On the way back we dropped in again to collect a painting by "The Artist" for Mum. We sat down and were offered coffee and soon became aware that The Artist had a twinkle in his eye and was dying to tell us something funny.

Turns out that in among all the paints and brushes, he had found a complete set of Denis's old false teeth!


Friday 7 November 2008

Incest - oops!

This here is Dancer (The dog, not the Juvenile Herring Gull (he was only there watching George the Seal - see earlier post). Dancer is a Samoyed cross labrador - "Her mother was a Lady, her father was a handsome stranger". See "Tammy" posts of yore. Dancer is female and neutered, and owned by Mr Silverwood. Unfortunately, Tammy's other pups did not all sell, so there's a boy still knocking around the dog-run, who is sibling and litter mate to Dancer.

Don't people think that boy dogs are attracted to lady dogs, no matter whether they are Mum/Son? Anyway, to cut a long story short, Tammy has had pups again by Dancer's brother. They look fine at the moment, at about a week old, with their eyes still closed, but........

Meanwhile, all's well here and we have just had a pig's ear treat. The humans are chillin' for the weekend around a good bottle of Rioja, and comfort food - Cumbrian sausages, mash and beans - Denis would be soooooo proud!

Have a good weekend


Wednesday 5 November 2008

Respect for the Dead

Ah well. All good things must come to an end, and we are back home at the end of our lovely holiday, and getting back in the old routine. Food is just "food" again, no longer supplemented by the sprinklings of careless 3-year-old fingers, or the generosity of the Steak Lady's over-catering

Here are 3 nice pics to recall it by, now that we and the camera are back and re-united with the PC. 3 dogs on cat-patrol. The Silverwood's young black and white cat moved out while we were around, feeling a bit harrassed by yours truly, but insisted on hovering around the front garden and being visible through the front window.... I know! The Nerve!
Also some rather good elabourately carved pumpkins done by Dad and Mr Silverwood. Ah, we don't just do eyes and toothy evil grins any more - it's all got quite clever. We even do "clouds" by paring off the outer yellow skin and leaving the whiter flesh to shine through (see the witch pumpkin for the effect)
And finally, Haggis showing a due amount of respect for the dead dude in the front garden.
Also, nip back and look at a few earlier posts, which have now had appropriate pics inserted.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Handy Manny et al

We are safe home. Another 12 hour journey from door to door, brings us in through the doors at 18:30. We could better these times, but we were slowed by the blizzards on the way out, and by traffic jams on the approaches to Dartford Bridge on the way back. Other than that it was a good run, and we have visited yet more Motorway services for "comfort stops"

It is pure joy to be back indoors, where it is quiet. We love the human kids madly, but we are used to our quiet house and it is lovely to be able to "give them back". Especially now , in our random sample of "houses with children", all of Ireland seems to have bought a 40" plus plasma, or wide screen TV, plus satellite TV, and paid their subs to Disney's Playhouse Channel. Worse, they have taught their kids to use the remote control and to expect, nay demand, that the TV is on from the moment they get up, till bedtime.

We are totally OD'd at this stage on serial, music-bound, cutesy, moral-message-laden cartoon TV, from "Handy Manny" (Hispanic handy man plus talking tools helping all his neighbours), to Bunnytown (muppet-style rabbits), Pooh-bear (including spin offs like "My Friends Pooh and Tigger" which seems to have gone beyond any Christopher Robin involvement), "5 minutes more" (bedtime stories), "Imagination movers" and something we think was called Higgsytown Heroes, but might not have been.

We know more stupid theme tunes and catch phrases ("Heh Toooodles!") after a week of saturation exposure, than it is healthy for any puppy to know. Conversations in houses-with-kids all involve a nervous-twitch glancing at the TV.

Never mind. It's all over, and we're home, where the TV only goes on for must-see TV. Having said that, Mum, who is a dedicated follower of politics, is about to embark on an all night stay-up watching the American election results roll in, so we have the red wine, glasses, desk-top, internet links and our own wide screen TV set up downstairs and eagerly anticipating midnight (GMT) when the first results will start to appear from the East Coast. Dad will be dead to the world by then, but Mum has nabbed a day off tomorrow to recover.

Obama or McCain?

Monday 3 November 2008

Follow the Three Year Old

A dog learns very quickly to0 follow the three year old. In this case M is almost continuously armed with food, some of which is dog-friendly; biscuits, crisps and so on. Being 3 he is fairly careless when it comes to dropping it on the floor, and fairly easily distracted by the TV, or his baby sister, or passing dogs or humans, so the food tends to get put down and forgotten, or at least forgotten for long enough for a nippy dog to sneak in and neck it.

Where ever M is, there too am I, a little shadow sneaking from room to room, while the humans only ever (if I'm lucky) notice the chattering whirlwind of "Mummy... What you doin'?" and "Why" that is preceding me. I'm doing so well off this unexpected bounty, that when it comes to my own meal times, Dad is amazed to find I'm not wolfing the normal portions down with the usual speed.

The humans were up late again with their Murder Mystery night. Mum done it. No surprise there then. She's threatened us with murder on many occasions.

Today, the girls are back to school after the mid term break, and it's Haggis's and my job to take them to school. We leave Megan (Mrs Silverwood distracts her at the opportune moment with a slice of roast beef) on the basis that we need to get there some time before midday, but then with Em-J walking Haggis, and J-M walking me, you'd be amazed how the usual dithering and dawdling gives way to a fast trot. Lots of the girls friends and parents of friends smile at the sight and greet us.

Dad is joking with the girls that they must make us behave, no talking in the back of class, and concentrate on the lessons. He wouldn't really make us go to school all day would he?


Sunday 2 November 2008

George the Seal

I keep making reference to George the Seal. He is, I think, a Grey Seal (Though I am quite willing to be corrected on this one - big seal, "roman" nose with no sign of a Westie-style "stop" at the eyebrows)

While staying with the Steak Lady we had promised to treat them to a "Thank You" meal at a well known fish restaurant on the Howth Eastern Pier waterfront, the "Oar House" (doesn't seem to have a website, but seems to be owned by (I think) local Fishing Boat and Fish Shop owner Doran's).

As part of this deal you get to meet local celebrity seal "George" who hangs around bobbing up and down in the harbour getting very well fed on fish heads and fish scraps by local fish shop owners and locals nwho love him enough to buy fish to throw to him. He looks very well on it. I'll put a photo up when I can get back to my own PC. He has lately brought some younger companions in with him, whom the locals suspect may be his progeny

The fish meal was gorgeous, and Dad comes out smelling beautifully of cajun squid, and whole sea bream with ginger and oyster sauce. Only one criticism, says Dad. No beers, so no Guinness. Splitting hairs, I think


Packed Away

Early Sunday morning and we're all just breakfasted and back from our daily walk along the side of the Owenass River. It's a 20-30 foot wide, 2-3 foot deep fast flowing stream here, all brown and peaty from its passage through the Slieve Bloom mountains, before it joins the Barrow river just below the town. The water is as clear as dark whiskey, and you can see the stony bottom.

We stroll into town, then along the river bank before circling back along the town streets, before anyone else in the house is up and about. Well, maybe little M is awake, but he's confined behind his baby-gate and can only shout for his bottle till he rouses J-M, whose job it is to nip down and heat up his milk.

We are all a bit jaded this morning having played several games of Cluedo till after about midnight last night (a big exciting treat, stay-up-late for the girls, because we (and especially Mum and Dad (who are Uncle and Auntie to them) are over visiting. Inspired by this, more lunacy is planned for today, as the humans are all going to enact one of those Murder Mystery role play games. According to J-M, Dad is going to play the vicar. He probably "done it" (Reverend Green in the kitchen with the lead pipe, etc, or is that Cluedo?)

So now we have a few minutes peace to chill out after our Owenass adventure, before the troops descend the stairs and set the day into motion. I promised to tell you all about George the Seal ; I've not forgotten... just not got around to it yet.

Hallowe'en is all packed away as if by magic. All the drapes, ghosties and ghouls, skeletons, cauldrons, grave stones and other paraphernalia are boxed up and back in the loft. Only remaining out are several hundredweight of childrens sweeties and lollies, jelly worms and chocolate eye-balls, witches fingers and other e-number and sugar-filled "nourishment" which should keep the human kids a-buzzing till well past Christmas.

Have a great Sunday