Thursday, 3 December 2015

Just a Wife?

From Dogs Naturally Magazine Facebook page
The master read this and got upset. I don't know why. I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon. He shared the sentiment with the mistress and she got upset too. Not at the thought of me dying. No, about the fact that he'd miss me more.

He replied that this was not true. She was a lot more difficult to replace. She smiled. He should have stopped at this point but he didn't.

"It's not as if I could go down to a wife rescue centre and pick up a replacement; one that's already been neutered, had all their shots, having been checked over by a GP. Preferably one that's not been abused in case they have issues." He then wondered if he would be better selecting a cute, young wifey or one who's already been house-trained. 

He's sleeping on my couch tonight.

Remember a wife is for life, not just for Christmas. And any more comments like that and he'll be getting a Christmas card from her divorce attorney. 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Fine Line Between Lost and Abandoned

There is a fine line between wanting to stay out on a walk and getting abandoned. I nearly discovered where that line was today. Fortunately I made it to the car in time before the master drove off.


Not wanting to go back to the car
And this time with perspective


We had had a great walk in the park off Glenfield Road. We walked all the way up to the waterfall and back. With all the rain it was very large and loud.





I know I've refused to come back many times, especially when I was younger. It would make him furious. But now I'm worried in case he has found a way of replacing me. 

There is a dog called Boe on the Underheugh Ark website. They are a charity that take in abandoned animals and find them foster homes until someone is able to adopt them. Boe is about the same age as me. You can see why I'm worried. He's the one on the right. 



He could be my brother. And he has the name of a character from Dr Who. The master would love to take him. Fortunately the mistress is the one with the final say and she is sensible. This is a one dog house. There's no room on my couch for two, unless it's for cuddles.

If I did end up abandoned by virtue of my own stubborn stupidity, I think the master would still find and recover me. He's always looking at the dogs up for adoption at the Dogs Trust and Underheugh. I just hope he would get in there first. I'd hate to have to relocate and train another family to my ways.


Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Dog Pope

It's been all over the news recently about Pope Francis' visit to America. In celebration, the news media published lots of photos of dogs wearing their pope costumes, like it was a regular thing. I don't understand it. Are American dogs Catholic?



It's possible I suppose. America is made up with all kinds of cultures and belief systems as it's essentially a country of immigrants. Maybe there is a separate Catholic Church for Dogs in the USA. Perhaps they have their own dog priests, dog bishops and, who knows, maybe even a dog Pope. Just because I've never seen a Dog Chapel or Canine Cathedral and never heard any of my friends mention the need to go to confession or attend mass doesn't mean it can't exist. I mean it's not as if we dogs go much in for contraception (it tends to be our human masters that make that decision for us, without consultation).

Which breed would you like to be Dog Pope?

A cocapapal?
A popuggle?

A Bull Pope?

Would there ever be a Pope Figbane? 
I don't think I'd suit the hat. I prefer this one.



For writing this I've been advised to say ten Hail Marys as penance. No idea what that means.



White God

I bumped into my old Staffie pal Rizza again the other day. I hadn't seen him in ages. He was wearing sunglasses as he strolled down Lounsdale Road heading into town. The sun was out, an unusual occurrence for October in Paisley but we'd been experiencing a bit of an Indian summer, but it wasn't so bright that he needed to shade his eyes, so I asked him, "What's with the specs? You a big Who fan now?"

He gave me that big grin, raised his eyebrows in a distinctly Jack Nicholson manner and told me, "It's in case I get papped."

"What do you mean 'papped'?" I replied.

"I'm in the movies now. Did you not catch me in 'White God'?"

"What's that? Sounds racist," said I, wondering if Rizza had been brainwashed by some cult.

"I'm acting now in films. In Europe. You should watch it. I'm not the lead, but I'm in all the pivotal scenes."

"Speaking part?"

"I bark a bit."

"Good for you."

The master was getting antsy, wondering how long the interaction was going to take. He's so selfish. It's not like I complain when he stops to chat with the neighbours. Tugging me away, I called out to Rizza, "You want to join us at the park?. The master's got two tennis balls with him. We could share."

"Like you ever shared a tennis ball," remarked Rizza. "Catch you later." And he headed off.

Not even a sniff for a bit of doggy. He had changed, matured even. Maybe he was a European cinema star now. Perhaps no longer a virgin. Heading in opposite directions, I never got to ask. 

I looked up the film on IMDB. No mention of Rizza in the cast credits. But then I thought maybe he has a stage name now. I realised I would need to watch it. 

Speaking nicely to the master I suggested he add it to his Lovefilm rental list, high priority, and he agreed. He's a sucker for a dog picture. He gives them lots of 'Likes' on Facebook. A few days later it arrived and I got to watch it while he was at work. 

It is brilliant, but not for humans. The best way I can describe the film is it's a European/ Tarantino cross breed of a film for the viewing pleasure of dogs. Even the bluray has an option to show the subtitles in 'dog' (I wish). Occasionally, I'll admit, I had to hide my eyes behind my paws: during the dog fighting scenes and in the dog shelter. But then those bastard humans get their comeuppance, which made it all worthwhile.



The lead part of Hagen played by Luke deserve an Oscar for dog acting. He was amazing. Expressive, nuanced and funny in places, yet capable of turning nasty like the best of us. I really enjoyed his performance and 'Luke' forward to his future work (see what I did there). Unless he gets typecast and never works again. That would be sad.


As for Rizza, he does appear in it, briefly, panting in the cages at the dog fight. It's a blink and you miss it role but he seemed happy about it. I didn't notice if he was in the other mass dog scenes. He certainly wasn't shot by the police. I can't see him in the poster either.


Wait! This could be him in the press pics. If it is, what a star!



Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Night of the Blood Moon



The master stayed up last night, wanting to see the Blood Moon, a complete lunar eclipse where the moon turns red. People once believed it was an ill omen, a sign of bad times ahead. How right they were!

He was already very tired and should have joined the mistress when she went to bed. The eclipse wasn't due to start for a few hours so he settled in for a long night. Hot beverage made, he clicked 'play' on the file of a tv programme he'd downloaded, only to discover the audio was out of sync. As this sometimes happens with the player, he decided to switch to the laptop, electing to plug it into the wall socket so he could still watch it on the big screen. Then he stretched the HDMI cable too far and pulled it out of wall socket, the connector falling inside the wall panel. Now he'd have to remove the wall panel to be able to reconnect it.

Searching for a screw driver with no success, he decided to use a blunt dinner knife to loosen the wall plate screw. The mistress wasn't happy with all the drawer pulling and furniture shifting, light switches going on and lots of moving about, and moaned wanting to know what was going on. He tried to explain but she wasn't really interested. The obvious subtext was 'stop making noise, I'm trying to sleep', which I heartily agreed with. We'd had a long walk around Aberfoyle that afternoon and I was looking forward to my snooze on the bed, maybe even a snuggle under the covers in the crook of the mistress' legs. The disturbance must have annoyed her as next thing I was being ushered into the living room, with the door to the bedroom closed behind me. I jumped onto the couch and made myself comfortable.

Shortly afterwards I lifted my head to see why he was cursing and harrumphing. The wall plate screw would not go back in. He'd manage to reattach the HDMI cable to the wall connector but couldn't close up the plate again. The knife blade kept slipping and the screw popped back out again. Time after time. After twenty minutes he gave up and decided to watch the programme anyway. The panel may be sticking out of the wall but the all-important cable was connected properly. Also, his drink was getting cold and he'd just remembered the half-eaten chocolate biscuit. None for me I noticed and sighed. 

He settled down to watch the download on the tv via the laptop only to discover the same sound problem. He wasn't amused. It wasn't the player. It was the file. He wasted all that effort and caused all that damage for nothing. He had to watch something else.

One programme later, he turned his attention back to the laptop, wanting to check the exact times of the lunar happenings but discovered the wifi internet was down. This meant he couldn't play his online game either. He then realised he hadn't brought the file containing the first part of a short story he was working on either and his kindle was missing the book he wanted to read next too. Everything was going wrong.

He decided to force himself to stay awake by nipping outside. The large, bright full moon was beautiful, the illuminated low lying fog giving the fields a fairy tale quality. Later the fog thickened, causing the moon to appear as if behind a gauze in the sky. The air was still. At different times, country animals would make their presence known: cows mooing, dogs barking like danger was imminent. Creepy birds called out from the shadows of the forest. He sat alone on the bench (except for the spiders) and looked up at the sky as the shadow slowly crossed the moon's surface, the night becoming darker. He clicked pictures semi-regularly via his phone (none of which were very good) until eventually the moon was gone. A chill breeze began. His bones trembled, responding to the icy breath which whispered across his face and seeped into his skin. 

With the moon now engulfed by shadow, he sat a little longer outside in the darkness, then decided it was too cold and joined me in the living room. He waited twenty minutes for his blood moon to appear but the sky remained dark. At 4.20am he went to bed.

Later that morning, when he awoke, he discovered on the news that the blood moon was the last phase of the lunar eclipse. If he'd just waited up another forty minutes he'd have seen it. He was very annoyed. And tired. And grumpy. Just his usual in fact. He'll just have to wait thirty years for the next one.

Not that it was much to look at. When I had a peek, it just looked grey to me. I don't know what all the fuss was about. 

Monday, 28 September 2015

I'm Back!



After a year's sabbatical, I'm back. The master has finally allowed me back on the keyboard, now he's got his idea about being a writer out of his system. He did make it into the local paper, but with a marker pen and a stuck on photo. He wasn't fooling anyone. 

I don't know how often I'll post but, rest assured, figbane is very much alive.