Sunday, 17 August 2014

The End of Summer Summary


Summer fun is at an end. The temperature has cooled and the rain and wind have returned. The evening walk now ends under neon street lights, instead of daylight. I spend my days alone at home, not with Jess (my surrogate sister) or at the cabin or in Ardrossan. The holidays are over. 

I'm quite tired. In the morning when the master is about to leave for work and I get called downstairs, I can barely lift my head from their bed. He has to come upstairs to get me. He's not amused. It's not my fault. The noise from their bedroom has been keeping me awake most of the night. They both look very tired too. And not as happy as you'd expect. That's the thing with asthma. It kills and at four in the morning sometimes I wish it would (but not really). She's on stronger medication now. Part of me wishes she would get worse so she ends up off work again and I get a break from my kitchen bed. That way I can snooze with her on the soft warm couch or snuggle together in bed. It's better if she has a fever. Toasty!

The mistress got through a lot of holidays during her break: Jersey with her mum, London with the master and Majorca with her friends. Plus with me at the cabin. No wonder she's ill. She's going to need a holiday from all those holidays to recover.

The summer weather was so hot at times I wished my winter coat would grow a zip so I could take it off. That way when I smelled of sweat they could send it to a dry cleaners instead of having to bath me and I could have continued to sunbathe naked. Although, in all honesty, I enjoyed that bath, watching those winter hairs get scrubbed out of me, clogging the plug hole. It left me feeling summer fresh.

After all the fuss over wasps at the cabin, there was a certain irony to discovering we had a nest at home. The master was alerted to its presence by a neighbour and finally got to see what a wasp airport should look like. It's in the roof and we're waiting to see if the council can treat it. They are not bothering us yet (the wasps that is, not the council, although they haven't arrived yet because they're very busy at the moment). The wasps are not inside the loft but, given what they did to the bench and canopy pole at the cabin, it might not be long before they've munched their way in. 

I keep thinking I can hear them buzzing but then think it might be tinnitus induced by the volume at which the master listens to the television nowadays. He says he has ringing in his ears too, like the Master from Doctor Who. It would be great if he was THE Master from Doctor Who, having transformed himself into a human using a chameleon arch. That way when his weight and unhealthiness are about to kill him he can change back into a Time Lord and regenerate into a fitter person, like Peter Capaldi. And I don't lose a dog walker.

He's really looking forward to seeing the new season of Doctor Who. He's even paying to see it at the cinema on the big screen. I hope he doesn't go for a curry first. The smells that issue from his tail end would gas the entire cinema. I know the episode is called "Deep Breath" but I'm sure that is not what Steven Moffat meant. I call his flatulence problem "curry butt". When he has a curry and drinks Coke Zero, or any fizzy drink, he ends up farting uncontrollably. It's like any little movement releases gas. During one walk recently every step resulted in a noisy emission. He had his earbuds in so wasn't aware how loud it was. I winced and pretended it was squeaky trainers but my nose said otherwise. Luckily it was windy in other ways so no one else was any the wiser. 
Venus in Ferns

Friday, 8 August 2014

The Dogs of War Tribute


I read an article today that paid tribute to the dogs that assisted the troops during the first World War. These Airdales acted as guard dogs, carried medicines, located wounded soldiers on the front line and carried communications between bases. They were even trained to wear gas masks in order to survive in the trenches. I don't know how they did it. I couldn't even bear wearing a muzzle and that only covered my mouth. 

Paying my own tribute to these fallen companions I decided today to get as trench dirty as I could, rolling twice in a fresh, juicy, brown cow pat to get both sides. After we'd retrieved a tennis ball from a foreign field it was my duty to carry it home and I was going to do it, no matter what impediments lay in our path. I needed to traverse mud pools, drink ditch water and investigate small craters for bombs. I rolled in many smells along the way to blend in with my surroundings in my new camouflage coat. Not that you can tell from the picture above. The problem with being a brindle is shit may stick but it doesn't show (until you're close enough to smell it). The mistress didn't appreciate it when I brushed past her legs, marking her denims. Apparently the master is going to pay: the wages of war!

I never got any shrapnel in my jaw or my coat torn by a shell (we were nowhere near a beach) and my paws remained intact but I still dragged myself through those hills in the summer heat all the way back to the car. That ball came home again. I made sure of it. (Actually in truth the master had to send me back for it a couple of times when I got distracted by the present day but forgive me some artistic licence).

Then, for a heroes return, I was welcomed home with my second bath of the summer. My trench coat was replaced with a velvety soft one so I could return to civvy street and the couch. I bet it wasn't as simple as that for the dogs that did come home from war. A warm bath wouldn't wash away those sights and memories.


Figbane is just off camera in his new poop coat

Monday, 4 August 2014

Wild Life in Pictures

Ferguslie Cricket Gull Pond - members only - no crows

Shy frog papped

A plague of flying ants descends
Dinner time at the web
Do dogs get to ride in ambulances? If my master was in a walking accident and needed rescuing, would I get a lift too? I ask the question because he's been eating an awful lot again and I fear he's going to collapse on one of our walks. That's why I lead him round and round the dog exercise field. At least there we're near the cabin and I can make my own way home if he dies.