Monday, 29 September 2008

Well Boot Camp continues. The bedroom door is shut, I have been denied access to the chair. I did get on the sofa in the night, so ha! to them, but apart from that my soft furnishings quota is well down. Also, I was shut out on the balcony to eat my breakfast alone this morning, which was a terrible miscarriage of justice. There we all were, enjoying a bit of sunshine and lamb bones (yummy), when Dylan (evidently in a generous mood) put down his bit of lamb right in front of me! I, being a slightly faster eater than him, had no lamb in my mouth at the time so rightly took him up on his offer. I mean, he was offering it to me, wasn't he? Why else would he put it down? But before I knew it, I was all alone and Dylan was being offered compensation in the form of one of my bits! Mum said it was only fair, but he offered it to me! He did! I did get the rest of my breakfast eventually (Dylan's soooo slow I have to wait for each piece until he's had his...yawn).

Anyway, all this stress has been somewhat alleviated by a trip to the beach! It was huge! And I made Mum pick up 6 different lots of poo (all my own, of course). Unfortunately, she had taken lots of bags with her, so didn't get to that awkward running out stage. Serve her right for trying to limit which bit of balcony I poo on - now I don't poo at home at all and just save it up for trips out.

It was a very good trip to the beach. I did lots of running around. I ate a bit of seaweed (traditional, got to be done) and Dad and I played The Game. I definitely won today. I think he only got the ball off me 2 or 3 times which is pants, to be honest. I need to have a chat with him before we go again next time, about trying a bit harder. The Game only really works if we're both fully commited. Maybe I should get him into training, get that running speed up a bit.

I'm a little concerned about dinner. I haven't seen anything emerue from the freezer and I'm pretty sure she only came home from the butchers with enough for breakfast. If I've not starved before tomorrow, I'll let you all know how it worked out.

Boot Camp Prisoner No.1 signing off.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

I have the distinct feeling that I may have done something they think I shouldn't. The bedroom door is shut, so no lounging around on their bed. I have been denied access to the pub for most of the evening. There have been no toys. None. Not even after dinner (ahhh...dinner, Italian tonight with pilchards and pasta!), which is a sacred tradition! Smells of boot camp to me. I'm not even allowed up on the chair in the living room. I mean, it's my chair! I tried standing outside the bedroom door, sitting beside it even, but Mum never opened it. Just shook her head at me. I am having to sleep on my own bed!

I am at a loss to explain it. I have behaved impeccably, as usual. It's been a fairly normal day. Of course, there was that really weird loud bell noise in a neighbour's house that we had to investigate on the way back from our walk. Turned out not to be a problem, but then Dad got a bit grumpy because me and Dylan had had words in the hallway while he did stuff round the house. What does he expect? Strange house, small hallway, I mean we were keeping to a timetable! Dinner follows walk, so if you linger too long on the way home from walk you might miss dinner! At the very least, you delay dinner and that, quite frankly, is just not on.

Anyway, if anything it should be me that is hacked off with them, not vice versa. Letting Dylan get all smoochy with them up on their bed all the time. They know I don't like it. Just because I don't want to go on their bed with them all the time, doesn't mean he should be able to. There is an order to the world, and they shouldn't mess with it. I am Clive and he is Dylan. I am first, he is second. I am Cocker!

Before you all start getting worried, let me reassure you. I am perfectly reasonable. I let Dylan pull me round the floor by his silly half-eaten plastic orange bear thing just this morning! I haven't been stealing his food, and he's not hurt. He and I made it up hours ago. But we're still in boot camp.

Boot camp sucks.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

A Very Exciting Discovery!

I have incredible news for you. So incredible I am still having to pinch myself to realise it is true. It would seem, though I acknowledge how much of a doubter I was, that it is Well Worth sending parcels of treats to London! Yes, I know! I couldn't believe it when Mum sent off some of our favourite treats to some unknown dog, but what do you know - she sent some back!

I am beside myself with excitement, and am now busily drawing up a plan of action for where else we can send treats to. Particularly - and this is the best bit - since the treats that came back were:

(a) different to the ones we sent
(b) had meat in them and were therefore better than the ones we sent (which only had cheese in them) and
(c) just as numerous than the ones we sent, if not more so!!!

Boy oh boy oh boy. The world just gets better and better!

ps. I have a lot more to say about this week so far, as it has been very exciting all round, but I need to go off and remind mum she hasn't given us any of our delicious London treats yet today, so will be back later. Did I mention they had meat in them?

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Well it's Sunday morning after a long hard week. Mum and Dad have been very busy in the pub each night with crowds of people who don't look where they're putting their big feet. I haven't seen many of my regulars as they get lost in amongst all the strangers. Consequently, I have spent quite a lot of time upstairs with That Whippet.

Mum mentioned to me the other day that I might be being a little harsh calling him That Whippet. I have been pondering this. I admit that the name is technically inaccurate, because he's not a whippet. He proably has whippet in him (damn him and his annoying speed), but there's also a healthy dose of hairy collie (or something like that, I don't believe that's the exact breed name). But I can't call him That Hairy Collie Crossed with a Whippet can I? It doesn't exactly slip off the tongue easily. And yes, I know, I could just call him 'Dylan'. And sometimes I do. We're just going through a bit of a phase at the moment. So That Whippet he stays. Anyway, I'm not sure it was really the name that Mum was bothered by, but as she was also muttering something about 'cocker attitude' at the time, I wandered off to sniff out something more interesting.

Tomorrow, I am lead to believe, is not only Monday but is also a very special celebration day! Yes, a double whammy! It's Dad birthday and we're going to dedicate all day to having fun. I'm sure that means there will be loads of pilchard bread and cheesey herb biscuits and bones for breakfast and dinner and several walks and games and belly rubs (oooohh Dad's belly rubs......) and more pilchard bread. Oh and a third meal too. I'm sure that's what Dad would want for his birthday, it's what I'd want for mine! And if he's very lucky, we might take him to the beach.

It's going to be a Great Day.

Monday, 15 September 2008


A subject close to my heart. Very close. And, happily, the theme for TWO days in a row! Yes, it's true! Both yesterday and today have featured BALLS! Forgive me if I notice your lack of excitement...but it's okay, I find balls exciting enough to make up for any lapse on your part.

So. Today was "Day Off". That means pub shut, down tools and head for fun city! Today, we went to the beach. The beach is great. I don't know if you've ever seen one, but boy would you know about it if you did! They're kind of yellow to start with, and then a bluey-grey at the other side. Wet. Very wet. But also soft and yielding...ooooh. I love the beach. And, best of all, it's where I have my BALL! It's the only walk where I have my ball (which is kind of sad so I prefer to think of it as making the beach extra special). I get to carry my ball, and bury it in the yellow stuff...oh! and there's this slimy green stuff as well that gets heaped up around the place, and I bury my ball in that too! Sometimes I eat the slimy green stuff, but They don't like that and to be honest, nor do I much because it makes me throw up in the car on the way home. Still, I take comfort in the fact that That Whippet has to endure the smell of sick all the way home as well as me. I've not yet managed to get any of it directly on him, but I live in hope.

Anyway, back to the yellow stuff. And my ball. I dig holes and I run and run and run. And Dad and I have this Great Game. We play it all the way up the beach and down again. It goes like this. I have the ball, which I would do because it's mine. Dad doesn't have a ball. He doesn't play with balls. Unless he's playing with mine, that is. So. The game is to see how close he can get to me before I notice him and then run away. He tries to catch me and I run away. Get it? It's great! That's why it's a Great Game. Sometimes I let him catch me, because then I know he'll throw the ball way down the beach and I will charge after it and catch it and come running back and the game will start all over again!

Oh yes, life doesn't get much better than being at the beach! Or so I thought...Yesterday, I was surprised, no that's not enough, I was amazed to be given my ball in the Pub! It wasn't my beach ball but a lovely new tennis ball. I really was amazed because I don't normally get balls in the house these days (something to do with them being a danger to customers if I leave them lying around, I don't understand it myself, how could something as wonderful as a ball be a danger?). But there was no-one in and Mum was muttering something along the lines off "but he's chewed up all his other toys" which must have been directed at That Whippet because I don't chew toys, and then she produced this ball!

It was so new I don't think it had ever been played with! It bounced and I leapt. I took it under the big bench and then for a tour of the front room. It tasted great! And Mum kept bouncing it off the wooden floor and, boy! you should have seen it fly around the place! I was doing these great flying jumps into the back room after it. Really athletic! I didn't know, you see, if I'd be given it again so I really went to town. It was brilliant.

Balls really are a boy's best friend.

Friday, 12 September 2008

A thoughtful day

Tonight I am pondering the fickleness of personal attraction. I'm not talking about doggy love, but dog-human stuff. Let me explain.

There's this one woman, a local, a customer. For some reason unknown to doggydom I had an instant and strong aversion to her. It wasn't anything I could put my paw on, it just was. Everytime I saw her I was struck by that classic doggy quandry: stand your ground or flee. So I ricocheted emotionally between barking my head off (yes, I hold my paw up, sometimes I bark at people - well, honestly, some of these people...but I digress). So, either I barked or I ran, as fast as I could, to the safety of Upstairs.

But. But. Last night in she came and it was like a switch had flipped in my head! I felt an overwhelming welcome bubble up inside me. Before I knew what was what I had risen up off my front paws and placed then on her knee! I was leaning for a kiss...and my tail! You should have seen it! I was helpless in the face of this feeling. I am ashamed to say I even rolled over on my back and encouraged her to tickle my tummy. Why? Why oh why? After months of dislike, I just cannot understand it. I may hate her on sight again tomorrow, but all I know is that for now I am a straw blowing aimlessly in the wind of life. Who knows where it will take me next?

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Tonight has been...well, challenging. We were of course working (hosting duties, meet and greet, you know the kind of thing) and there were plenty of regulars in who all needed sniffing out and making feel special.

2 dogs came in for dinner, who we know a little, but they don't really say hi so we just left them to get on with it. They're very polite, just not all that sociable. I don't take offence at that, each dog to itself I say.

Things got a bit crowded, though, later on. A foxy little spaniel girl came in but boy was she a livewire! A bit old for me too, so I retired upstairs and contented myself with shouting my presence known from the top of the stairs. Just so they knew. She did have good ear hair...

I came back down when Doris arrived. She's a regular who we're still getting to know. She's a bit young still, and well...she's a bit bigger than me so I watch my toes. But she's really friendly. The best thing about Doris though is that she absolutely terrifies Dylan. It's hilarious! He ducks and dives to try and get past her without attracting her attention, but Doris loves Dylan so she's doing everything she can to get to him! Fantastic! I just sit back and watch the show. Sometimes he'll sneak up on her from behind to check out her bootie but as soon as she notices that's it - he runs! Ha!

Anyway, apparently things got "out of hand", whatever that means, and him and I were put upstairs to "chill out". Like we needed it. Still, there are compensations to retiring out of the public eye. We got a cow's ear each and have a good chew on them for a while.

A happy dog is one with a very full stomach.

Monday, 8 September 2008

In which I climb a Mountain

Well what a day today has been. We have been out having adventureus in the Big Outdoors. In fact, this dog has been climbing mountains! Yes, I can now add mountaineer to my many other achievements.

To be honest, I have walked some fairly tough terrain before, with my Dad. We sometimes go for hikes, just the two of us, leaping about the heather and scrambling like pros. We're two of a kind. But today was more of a family affair, and this was the biggest hill I've ever summited.

The day didn't start too well. No breakfast (generally a good thing as it means we're going straight out for a walk) but then Mum and Dad buggered off and left us alone. Swines. They keep doing this. And when they did turn up, we still didn't get any breakfast! I let rip at this point and decided the only course of action was to assume we were going on a walk and get really excited to encourage them. Seems to have done the trick nicely! We were loaded into the car and chauffered to our starting point.

Unfortunately it turns out we had to stay on lead all the way. It was That Whippet's fault; he just can't resist sheep. I have the control required to stay focused but he goes all googoo and given half a chance would gambol right over to them. They, of course, then run around like loons being all "Arrrgh! Wolf!" and everybody gets cross.

We had to take it in turns to tow Mum up the steep bits (which was basically all of it) which was quite frustrating and I may have vented my feelings a little out loud. Still, she seemed to appreciate the helping paw, as it were, though sadly not by providing en route snacks. I had the best time out front with Dad, blazing a trail, choosing the best route and, of course, getting to the best bits first.

Oh boy were there some good bits: fetid bogs which tried to suck me under (naturally I took that in my stride, after all a boy doesn't have a good walk without getting a bit muddy); soft plump heather patches to bounce around in; pure mountain streams to pee in. Oh the beauty of it. Not one to linger on nature's elegance, That Whippet just ate sheep poo and let his tongue loll around in a stupid manner. Embarrassing.

When we finally reached the summit Mum and Dad got all pathetic and wrapped up in fleeces and coats while I just let the mountain air ripple through my fur. I was far too worried by that time about the lack of refreshments. By this time it had been several hours since we got up and I was suffering from a severe lack of ingestion. They, of course, saw to themselves first with delectable smelling sausage rolls, but my constant whinging soon produced results, and Mum got out her homemade cheese biscuits! Yum! Of course there weren't nearly enough of them, and (as I'm pretty good at counting) it seems That Whippet got the same number as I did. Don't they know Whippets are supposed to be skinny? He doesn't need biscuits. I do.

After the summit it was pretty much all down hill. Mum didn't seem to appreciate my towing skills so much as on the way up. Kept making me sit down while she clambered over rocks and walked ridiculously slowly. Boy was it dull. I could see That Whippet out front with Dad, where I should have been! I only wanted to catch up with them. There was no need for her to get so crotchity.

Still I'd obviously been a good boy because after a while Dad took both me and That Whippet and we towed him royally down the mountain. He fell over twice, but then he's not a nimble spaniel, is he? He can't help it. In no time at all we were waiting at the bottom of the mountain for Mum to catch up. I could have done it all again, I am a distance kind of guy, but the others wanted to go home.

Once home it was 11 minutes before we were fed, which is far too long. I will be mentioning this in my next memo to Mum and Dad about the ongoing Food Crisis. 8 biscuits between 2 dogs on a mountain walk? Are they crazy?

On a happier note, I have to say it was a corker of a walk. I hope we shall be doing it again tomorrow.
There has been an outrage. I am betrayed. I am still in shock, so bear with me.

It started like any other Sunday. Pub open, quiet, people in, people out. Some ate food (though why they insist on feeding titbits to That Whippet instead of me I shall never know - I alerted Mum to the fact that It was getting fed and she locked the situation down immediately. Ha.) Anyway. We had a darn tasty dinner, some kind of fish with tomatoes, some unidentified soft mush that was probably once a vegetable, a nice seasoning in the rice, a hint of cheese even - in fact now I think about it, an excellent dinner with the obvious exception that there was not enough of it. There never is.

But I get distracted. Pub dinner was over and, excitingly the oven stayed on. I took up position outside the kitchen doorway. There's this tiresome rule that I can't actually enter the kitchen. Something to do with "hygiene" whatever that is. But it does seem to be a Big Rule. That Whippet and I had a conversation early on in our pub careers about this rule and decided it wasn't worth all the finger wagging that went along with so much as a paw hair crossing the threshold. So, for now, we just patrol the borders.

So. The oven stayed on and Mum stayed inside. Soon I could smell cheese, garlic, it was alluring. Then, she ventured upstairs (closely followed by myself) and fetched from the utility room...wait for it...a Tin of PILCHARDS! Now, this can sometimes mean we are about to get fed so I must admit to getting a little ahead of myself, despite having already had 2 (excellent) meals...did I mention breakfast? No, oh okay. Maybe tomorrow.

But the pilchards disappeared into the kitchen with Mum and then the real torment started. The sweet sweet smell of baking pilchard bread. Oh my aching stomach. I sat and sat and waited and waited. Eventually she emerged. Sans pilchard bread! Nope, not a sausage (ooh, sausage!). Instead, I couldn't believe my ears. The perfidy.

The pilchard bread is for Someone Else. Yes, another dog. Not That Whippet, it's not a dog we even know, so it is highly unlikely that they will share with me! It is going in something called "A Parcel" for some damn dog in London. Don't they have pilchard bread in London? I know it's not Wales down there, but even so.

To be honest, I still haven't got over the shock. The pilchard bread is still in the building, so there is hope. Isn't there? I may still find a way to stop the "parcel" taking my pilchard bread away. And I definitely will have to do some research on who this other dog is and what kind of threat they represent to any future pilchard bread batches.

Will keep you posted! Now I have to go bagsy the best bit of the bed.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Well it turns out my secretary is rubbish! All month I've been badgering her to type up my derring-doos with absolutely no response. Finally, today, She is organised.

So. August, where did that go? And what's with all this rain? I am more than happy to go walking in the rain, but it does bug me to have to get my paws wet every single time I go outside to do my business. At least Mum hasn't made me wear that stupid coat. I have told her time and time again, that's why I have fur! I don't need to wear the damn coat. Plus, wearing a coat minimises the need for a good rub down when we get home...grrr baby. Rub downs rule.

Anyway onto the important matter of the day. I have a suspicion that I have been returned to "Boot Camp". This is what Mum mutters whenever I am manfully asserting myself - either over That Whippet or in general around the house. Apparently we have different perceptions of what level of assertion is required. I say that I may sleep on the sofa or bed at any time, and that any plates or food lying around are mine and require guarding from That Whippet. She says that I may take toys off That Whippet if I must (and believe me, I must), but that guarding is out of the question (what???) and she insists of chucking me off the bed and sofa at every opportunity. This, this outrage, is Boot Camp. Otherwise known as "taking me down a peg or two".

So now we're at that tedious stage where she is pulling me up for grumbling at That Whippet, or using that oh so negative command "off!" with boring regularity. But don't worry, I shall get through it. I have infinitely more patience than Her.

So, She has now finished her toast (disgusting, She didn't share any of it). I am due for a snooze.