The long and the short of it.

A very short story featuring Bob and his friend Maxwell

It was looking like snow. This was a special event in Ireland.

Bob was sitting staring out the kitchen window. He suspected it might snow but more importantly the oven was humming along with the cook who was rolling out biscuits.

“Hmm, biscuits,” Bob thought and set off to tell Max who lived a short distance away.

Cold, wet weather never bothered him because his thick coat kept everything from touching his skin. The extra bonus was fleas usually died before they fought their way through his coat.

Bob arrived at Max’s door. “Where is Ellie?” Max was peering over Bob’s shoulder.

“Didn’t bring her she is on cookie guard duty.”

Max didn’t linger. His short legs worked hard to keep up with his taller stocky friend.

“What happens if we get lost in this snow,” Max asked Bob as he pushed his way through the deepening snow.

“Trust me,” said Bob, “we won’t.”

However when they passed a tree they had marked some minutes earlier they sought shelter and had a meeting. “We are lost, aren’t we?” Max nudged Bob as he spoke.

“Maybe we should have a nap?” Bob suggested.

Max objected to this and they continued on for a while until they arrived back at the tree once more. “We are lost.” Bob said.

“What can we do?”

Bob sighed. “I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this? How is your singing voice?”

“Superb” Max boasted.

So together they began to sing, their favourite, – who let the dogs out.

Within minutes they heard a familiar bark and Ellie trotted up to them.

She looked at both dogs covered in layers of snow and simply said, “hurry up the biscuits are cool, well not as cool as you guys” and she led them home.

Much later, Bob and Max sat beside the fire munching on lavender dog biscuits.

“Do you know Bob it was worth the trip. But perhaps we shouldn’t go out in it again. What do you think Ellie?”

“Please don’t, your singing almost knocked the tiles off the roof.” She mumbled as she rolled over for a snooze.

They simply joined her in their favourite competition; snoring.

(Future trouble lay in the fact that Bob was dreaming of digging a tunnel to Max’s house.)

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Say Yes and …

I was asked to enter Ellie in a contest called Nose of Tralee. The idea behind the contest is to let people see the amazing lives these animals who are re-homed or rescued can have with their new forever families.

Saying yes, was the easy bit because then I learned that a photograph or photographs of her were needed. That meant giving her a bath, which means I have to catch her, bath her, blow dry her and then clean the bathroom and finally clean me.

So it was done. Then to my surprise many people voted for her and she is now her County Nose of Tralee. Great I thought, until the sash arrived and more photographs were needed, which meant another bothersome bath. Being Ellie each photo session meant more and more items were gathered by me to persuade her to sit still until I ended up with this…

 

It took forever to get her to look at me but when it was done, I went in search of the main man -Bob. He had given up waiting for his photo to be taken and was snoozing. I woke him and this is the awful look he gave me!

sdr

Go away, I am not moving.

 

If you have a moment, because after all the washing and bathing I would appreciate a vote, the link to vote for her is: Ellie

Thank you,

Ssshh, Don’t tell Fred!

I help out in a local kennels as some of you know. Last time the owner was going was on holidays a problem developed with one of the pups, he had a mild skin condition. “Don’t worry, ” we were told, ” he has finished his medicine and he will be fine.”

He was correct the pup was fine, because – Peggy and me held a conference which entailed the dietary needs of a young dog who was getting over the trauma of losing some of its hair. The result was a special diet and a bath in oatmeal water. It worked, the pup’s coat was the softest we had ever felt. He moved on to his forever home and from what we hear he is never leaving.

Last week just before Fred took off on a few days break, one of the labrador’s was very ill. His weight plummeted. He visited the vet, was diagnosed and antibiotics prescribed.

When the antibiotics were finished, he still  had no appetite,

” Don’t worry,” Fred began. Peggy and I – looked at each other, and tuned out.

The plane hadn’t taxied out of Dublin airport when the debate started.  This time we tried coaxing him to eat by trying tasty foods first.

That is by working our way through all the things we did to coax our kids to eat. The result was a visit to our local health shop, butchers, organic vegetable grower and fishmongers.

A little scrambled egg, no go. Special vegan dish featuring broccoli and carrots – no.

Yoghurt and Manuka Honey, separately then mixed together still didn’t get a result. (Why Manuka? Well we couldn’t find any local honeycombs for sale.)

Organic beef stew – (no onions of course) No.

We were desperate but Peggys last suggestion was a tad different – Jelly but no icecream?

Needless to say, the lab eventually gave in to our coaxing (demands?) and began to tuck into his hot roast chicken dinner, even if it looked a little like an all you can eat buffet for one.

Still It worked. So we admit we are both relieved that this four legged friend is now eating a little more each day.

burst

burst

 

I know we sound a little bit nutty, (Crazy) but if it works ??

A place to hide

Lately we have noticed that in the hotter days of Summer (yes, we do get a few here in Ireland), both dogs appear to disappear.

So I investigated. His loud snoring does have one advantage. He is easy to find.

When i did I discovered a really neat house.

The weeping willow has grown and its drooping curtain of branches forms a perfect hideaway for both dogs. Though, I did get the impression someone was not happy that I discovered their secret.

 

Bob on exercise

We took the (home made) agility gear out and Ellie did her usual, raced over jumps, through the tunnel and kept on going for a few laps until she had taken the tunnel apart.

the best way to use buckets.

We spent quite a bit of time trying to persuade the Bob to have a go. There was no treats in my pocket so the best he could manage was – a roll over!

dav

Saturday afternoon games or why I don’t like thick hedges.

My Saturday afternoon was taken over by a game of soccer. I wasn’t watching it, as it wasn’t on TV, or on a local pitch.

I will start at the beginning. The dog next door was barking, not unusual so I paid no attention while I was gardening, weeding to be exact.

The two young voices got me curious.

“I wouldn’t go in there. He looks mental.”

“Hey anybody at home?” This was repeated over and over again.

I stood on a bucket and peeped over the wall. “What’s up””

“Ah missus, this dog is sounding and looking a bit mad. Our ball is in the back and we dare not go in.” The speaker was ten at the most and was twisting the ends of his tee shirt around his hand as he spoke. His friend was hanging back close to the road in case the old woman turned out to be as crazy as the dog.

I nodded. “No bother, just go round the back of the house and tell me where you think it is.”

Easy peasy, I thought as I walked through my garden and hopped the lower wall into my neighbours. “Hi Boot, ” I continued to talk to the black labrador who is overweight enough to resemble a sealion. He and I walked around the large house and entered the back garden. I stood and scratched my head. The hedge was almost as thick as the house.

So the next ten minutes were spent with me scurrying up and down the hedge, dropping to my knees and peering into it. Boot watched all of this with interest. I suppose it was the most excitement he had in hours.

We found, three footballs, one frisbee and one shoe. None of which belonged to the boys. However we did find their mate Derek’s ball. Finally, tired of wearing a hedge, I became Judge Judy.

“Right, here you go, Derek’s ball and one for you guys.” I handed the better looking of the two balls over amidst a protest of “we can’t take someone elses ball?”

“Well it is all I have, take it or leave it and if you are asked where you got it,” I hesitated tempted to say — don’t tell them it was me. “Tell them I gave it to you.”

I returned home wearing a good bit of that hedge along with scratches and scrapes. Could I count this as a random act of kindness or plain stupidity? I will let you decide.

 

What connects dogs to their two legged friends?

Have you like me ever wondered about the strong bond we have with our canine buddies?

Scientists believe the answer lies in their genetic makeup. But you still have to wonder how or why they choose you from the many people they have met.

I have known seven dogs in my lifetime and on each occasion I was aware that the dog chose me or the family member they arrived home with. 

I am also aware of how they are feeling from the tone and variation of the bark. Ellie, the BC is a great example, if she is searching for an individual she becomes excited and yaps incessantly at the rescue group to hurry up. When she locate s or finds the person her tone is louder deeper and slower. 

They, get to know our feelings too. And if you have ever been ill or in pain you will know what I mean. Both of our dogs seem to search our faces, stare  into  our eyes before they decide if we need their assistance or company. I have witnessed Bob attach himself to one member who is asthmatic and allergic to many things. He knows before the rest of us that an attack is on the way.

 Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations?

Dogs are always pups

For some dogs never grow up and we have plenty of shredded evidence. I bought Bob a soft rug . It lasted two days, so I resorted to making dog duvets for him from old (washed) duvets. 

Now I don’t know what to try next, as you can see she (Ellie) shreds everything. And  Bob? He patiently waits to see if he will be left with anything to lie on.

No Change

I went to Amsterdam for a quick (2 day) visit,  with my art loving daughter, Sara. We had a great time managing to visit The Rijks museum, Rembrandt House, The Maritime Museum along with a couple of canal tours.  It was perfect weather to explore this amazing city.  And we made the best of it. 

Though I did worry about Bob and his side kick.

 When I returned, I was delighted and relieved to see nothing much had changed. 

Ellie had added some socks to her collection and Bob. Well he just whiled away his time dreaming.