Thursday, 13 December 2012

Santa Stop Here!

Christmas is approaching. Lights and decorations hang from every home, illuminating gardens, balconies and trees. Electricity bills go through the roof, even with discounted loft insulation. And in one window of a house nearby sits a sign that reads: "SANTA STOP HERE!".

I'm sure their children love that sign but I think it's just selfish. They want Santa to stop there, not pause or visit. They'll get everything he has left in his sack for themselves. What about everybody else? Greedy sods! 

I hope if Santa's journey is coming to a premature end there, they're going to put out a huge feast for him. He has a massive appetite. He usually gets a snack in every home. That's probably why he only works once a year, recovering from the Christmas Eve food hangover. He's going to be a bit miffed if he stops at that house and only gets a glass of milk and a mince pie. I'll hear his belly rumble from here.

I wonder if I'll smell his reindeer from our garden. 

Sunday, 9 December 2012


I thought I was the luckiest dog alive. 

I went for a walk in the woods behind the cabin and everywhere I sniffed I found a spray of chocolate drops among the ferns and grass. I hoovered them up as fast as my tongue would allow. Then the human's cottoned on to my good fortune and shoo'd me away from the treats, eventually grabbing me and reconnecting my lead, but not before I'd snaffled a tummy full.

Next day, after breakfast, my tummy was talking. It grumbled a need for immediate walkies. I barely made the grass before I needed to poop. Those drops must have contained a novelty laxative, because my poop came out like a slightly melted tube of dark Rolos. And not just once. Three times during the walk my bottom coughed out my doggy confection. This upset my master as he was only carrying two poop bags and needed to use two tissues to pick up the third. It was slightly moist too after it hit the wet ground so he needed to wash his hands a lot afterwards. 

The humans blamed the 'deer droppings'. I never knew deer produced such a delicacy. It's a wonder of mother nature. Perhaps that's why deer were created as such timid creatures: "What's that noise? (plop)," and then they run away to drop some more somewhere else, sharing the goodness.  

I wonder if Santa makes use of Rudolph's poo in a similar manner and is this the inspiration behind the Lindt chocolate reindeer?

Monday, 3 December 2012

Puppy Reflections

In my last blog I was feeling my age. I'd injured my leg and was limping. That pain went away after a few days and I can walk normally again, I'm pleased to tell you. No trip to the vet required.

After an occasion like that, when you think your young life is over, it's nice to get a chance to remember what you used to be like. On Sunday I met a new pal, a six month old Staffie cross called Racey, who looked liked she could have been my sister if our parents had been the other way round. By that I mean her head, face and ears were typically Staffie in shape, rather than whippet like, but in almost every other way she was me as a pup: brindle, skinny, fast and playful.

My master and I were at the park beside the Thornley Dam and had already done a circuit up to the waterfall and back. It was a cold afternoon with a hard frost crunching under foot. My master had nearly slipped and fallen a couple of times as his walking boots slid across invisible patches of ice. 

Although I hate the cold, it's one saving grace is the fresh scents that linger in the ice. I love to explore the undergrowth and track whatever has been passing through. I rarely find the source but they're fun to follow. The thrill of the chase distracts me from the cold itself.

We'd passed a few dogs without incident, so I wasn't nervous for a change. I'm often wary of unknown dogs, not knowing how they'll react, especially puppies with their playful jumping and biting. I sometimes give them a warning snap, in case they hurt me, even by accident. It doesn't go down well with my master as he thinks I should know better at my age. I just shrug. Better safe than sorry. But that thought didn't enter my mind when I met Racey. When she looked at me, I saw myself reflected in her eyes. This was me six and a half years ago and I knew exactly what to do.

We both adopted the starting position, front legs low and stretched apart, ready to push off at the signal, staring eye to eye, watching for that first twitch. Then the dance began. We jumped and turned and twisted, wrestling playfully until I saw the opportunity to run so she'd give chase. I'd jink and dart and turn inside her path, teasing her to catch me and then I'd slow down to let her (but not until I'd done a couple of show boating laps of the grounds first). When she caught me she'd lick my face and mouth, roll on her back, slide along her front then bounce up and startle herself with a decision of what to do next. Then she'd look sideways at me and we'd run again. She paused once, distracted by a long twig that needed lifting. I grabbed the other end and we played a tug of war until it snapped and we both ran off with our half, only she dropped hers because she wanted mine.

She was tireless but I drew energy from her exuberance. We only stopped playing when my nose caught a whiff of her owner's treat pouch on one of my swift passes (when being chased, I often use the humans as a means of ditching my tail, as it were). I tried to help myself but she was wise to it and prevented my intrusion. She asked my master what tricks I could do and made me sit then crouch before parting with a reward. Racey got hers too for just coming back. She's got a lot to learn but time is on her side. She's got a long journey ahead. It's exciting to think about.

I hope we meet again. I was tired later but it was good to feel young again.