Sunday, 24 December 2017

Scotland’s First Dog Cafe

As you'll have noticed, I've not been doing a lot of writing recently. I only wrote this because a loud master fart woke me during the night and I needed to get up. He slept on but the curry smell was atrocious.

Something interesting happened the other evening. It was during the cold spell when the pavements on our estate were hazardous with black ice. Even I was slipping. The master looked like he was skating badly, arms waving randomly with every wobble. As we were tied together by a leash, I was scared if he fell he would crush me. After a couple of close calls, he decided to return to the house and put me in the car to drive to Barshaw Park. Not that he allowed me to drive. I was in the boot. 

It had been ages since we'd been there. Upon arrival, I jumped out of the back and immediately smelled my old pals, Pat and Rick. They're labradoodle twins and completely mental. I've known them since we were pups. We used to run up to the joggers and bark at them, 'that's not how you do it.' Then we'd run rings round them really fast. It was great fun, although our masters did get some abuse to 'keep those animals under control'. That's joggers for you. No sense of humour. That's why they run so slow, cos the life's draining out of them like a used battery.

Speaking of which, the master's amazing torch failed that night so he had no way of knowing where I was. Pat, Rick and I had a great toodle around in the dark. We were sniffing everywhere. 

I heard a woman calling "Ball... Biscuit" and went to investigate. I thought she was advertising. Looking back it was a silly thing to do. She could have been a Barshaw witch luring me in for her pot. Fortunately, she wasn't. It turned out those were the names of her two dogs. They were chihuahuas. They weren't very happy and snarled at me as I approached for my anticipated treat. I growled back and things got a bit heated until the master angrily summoned me back. I got told off for misbehaving and put back on the lead.

I then overheard Pat and Rick's owner discussing how those dogs were always angry because they'd been turned down for the Edinburgh Dog Cafe, as he called it. My ears pricked up at this point. Disappointingly, he didn't elaborate so I had to wait til later to look it up.

I didn't know quite what to expect. I knew it couldn't be a cafe with Dog on the menu. Even in the exotic, eastern wilds of Edinburgh, they wouldn't let witches serve up dog commercially. It was possible (but highly improbable) that the chihuahuas had been turned down because they didn't have enough meat on their bones but they might still have qualified as a starter or as tapas*. Anyway, I dropped that suggestion. 

Then, just as I was getting excited at the thought of a cafe specifically for me, I found the website and howled with disappointment. It is the "Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe", a place where humans can go to interact with the cute little monsters while eating cake. I think it's the humans that eat the cake or else quickly it would be known as the Fat Chihuahua Cafe. 

The website has a profile page for their dogs, making them out to be like reality show stars with descriptions of their personalities. I think I'm just jealous because they get to receive lots of hugs and cuddles all day as a job and I'm not welcome. It is for humans only, although I did spot they had a special "doggy friends social" event recently. It was for well-behaved dogs so I guess that rules me out.

So if any of my human friends are interested in a session, you can book online on their website. Entry costs £10 per person for fifty minutes.    

I think the smells cleared in the bedroom now. It's just as well the mistress has a cold. 

Good night.



* That's what I'm going to call those two bitches if I ever meet them again: "Starter" and "Tapas".


Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Dirty Weekend

Now, before I explain my story, I want to make clear this isn't a tale of sordid bestiality. The master and I may have slept in the same bed, as we always do, but nothing happened (except me being sick in the early morning but that's another story that doesn't involve pregnancy).

Not that romance was off the cards. I did meet an actual German German Shepherd, which was a novelty, and, from his body language (if you know what I mean) he seemed very interested in me. But there was no magic. I couldn't understand a word he barked. He sounded so gruff and he wasn't my type: too tall, too foreign. As he drooled and foamed at the mouth, all I could think about was rabies, not babies. And he was called Hitler too. Or Hitler 2. Or maybe it was just his nickname, I couldn't tell. His owners only spoke German.

Hitler, you're not sticking that tongue down my throat. 

So the master and I were at the cabin, just the two of us, without the mistress. She stayed at home, busy with school homework and seeing friends, and he needed a rest from her coughing. 

The weather was gorgeous, despite it being September. The air was clean, the sky was blue and the patio doors remained open all morning after his sneaky fried breakfast at McMillans. I don't blame him. He didn't want to upset me after my curious barfing incident in the night: another Dentastix chewed but undigested returning to stain the bedroom carpet. He didn't complain; he loves me so much.

After writing his yawn-some novel for a while, in the afternoon he took me on a long romantic walk at Lamahamish. I was surprised he braved the potholed track in his new Seat Ateca but I guess he wanted to try its 4x4 feature. It was bumpy as hell in the boot whatever suspension type he was using.

The car park was empty, despite the fine weather, and it felt like we had the world to ourselves. We climbed the hill, making him breathless and regret wearing his best trainers. He calls them his best trainers but really they're only his best ones because he hasn't thrown the old ones out yet, despite them being worn and holey of sole. He'd forgotten just how much rain had fallen during the week and hadn't anticipated the mud. 

Now, I love mud. It's great for the skin and leaves such wonderful aromas on my coat. And if he'd caught me rolling in it, he would have been justified in shouting "Not 'expletive' mud". But he didn't. There was no mention of mud in what he screamed. Because I rolled in horse droppings. 

It's not often I get a bath. It's not often he cleans his car. It's not often he buys a replacement car air freshener. But all three happened this weekend. Thanks to our dirty weekend.

On a sad note, we saw a dead bambi (not on TV), lying on the verge of the road. It's lifeless brown eyes were wide open, all four legs rigid pointing towards the tarmac, body contorted awkwardly. We'd past it the night before but weren't sure what it was. In the clear daylight, it looked like it could have been enjoying the sunshine, lying so still, maybe even sleeping, if not for being undisturbed by the noisy vehicles flying past. 

Is this why they call it countrycide? Maybe we shouldn't repair country roads so drivers are forced to drive slower. Give the animals a chance to get out of the way. I hope it died quickly and someone removes it soon.

And that I dry quickly or the master will not let me into bed tonight. I really don't want to sleep alone. 

I wonder where that Alsatian is. 

Say nothing. 

Thursday, 31 August 2017

A Dog Bed Fit for a Queen

I sleep a lot. It's just what I do. I spend most of my life in one bed or another. Not that I'm a floozy. My dignity is intact.

I love my bed so much I've accumulated three: one in the kitchen for post-meal snoozing; one in the front bedroom, for when it's sunny; and a third in the master's room, near the master and his dog treat stash. Recently I was able to negotiate access to another one, the master and mistress' double king size, thanks to some worrying night time whining. I can be persistent. I knew eventually they'd cave due to sleep deprivation. Plus I had the advantage of not having to go to work the next day. They had no counter argument worth listening to. It's big enough for me to sleep down the middle. The memory foam remembers me too.

I really don't understand why all dog beds are not like this and I've looked around. Here are some examples.

The basic dog bed: flat, fabric, usually padded around the edges, sometimes high sided. Only accept this if they are threatening you with abandonment.

The dog couch: plush, double-stacked for deeper comfort, with a raised bolster for a greater sense of security. Expensive but you're worth it.

The compromise: for an older dog, steps up to a comfy mattress, with a tidy drawer for all your toys. Cuddles too.

The sleeping bag: for occasions when your owners take you camping.  

The complete package: Water bowl, food bowl underneath and a staircase with banister for safe passage to your bunk. Add a bell to summon the butler with your gravy bones and life would be complete.  

For when you have a platonic friend of similar size staying over. You get the top bed, obviously.

And some bespoke others:

The Disney Princess

The Boudoir
As Seen on TV

And finally me:


Saturday, 28 January 2017

The Consequence of Night Time Vomits

Bundled into the car by the master today at 9.15am, we were soon bouncing along the motorway, then country roads, eventually stopping at a car park I'd never been to. I poop outside as soon as I can, such is my opinion of his driving skill. I think he sometimes forgets I'm in the boot. He says he doesn't want to be late. I say, 'then leave earlier'.

Anyway, with all the new smells around me, I leave my spoor everywhere to remind the locals of my visit, even crossing a bed of shrubbery to pee on a particularly fragrant plant. The master isn't amused as he has to follow me and people are looking. It's an affluent area where the locals respect the footpaths and don't use rockeries as stepping stones.Then we follow the main road for a while until he stops and opens a shop door. 

It's the vet's. 

My nose is overwhelmed by all the smells, particularly that of fear. My rear starts to tremor worse than an epileptic alcoholic with the DTs. The master reassures me, then tells me to behave. I reckon he's scared a confused vet will treat me for alcoholism and epilepsy and not the real reason I am there: vomiting.

You see, for a few nights now, I've been jumping off their bed and puking on the bedroom carpet, bringing up undigested omelette that the master shared with me for breakfast (he adds an extra egg so I get my fair share). I thought I was being respectful throwing up away from the bed. They didn't see it that way. They became increasingly irritated. I can't help it if my tummy doesn't puke to a timetable that fits in around their alarm clock.

The vet checked my weight - the same, despite being starved for 24hrs; my teeth and gums; then my temperature. Bear in mind this is the first time I have met the woman and off she goes with her thermometer probing areas not even my tongue has ever breached. I am not amused. I climb up on the master, who is assisting the molester, but his grip on me is firm. A minute later the vet woman removes it and calls me 'hot'. Yeah, well, your compliments are too late. Next time, I expect dinner and a date before I'll allow you access to that part of my anatomy again. When she starts squeezing into my stomach, I've had enough. I growl then snarl until she desists. 

By this time the examination table is wobbling like an earthquake, such is my shaking. 

She pulls out three syringes.

The shaking gets louder.

The noise reminds me of the last time I was in this surgery: when my chance of having pups was taken away. I also remember that this is where they put us to sleep. I am not ready to die. I've still got a new toy that needs the stuffing pulled out of it. My life is not over. 

My hackles rise, allowing her to jab me in the soft bit without too much discomfort: antibiotics, anti-inflammatories then antacids, injected one after another. When I'm lifted off the table, I make for the door but the master and the vet want to discuss my dietary needs over the next few days, plus he's oh so interested in the medication.

By the time we get out, there is a waiting room full of annoyed canines, who bark their irritation at me.

"Do hurry up. Some of us are properly ill." That's posh designer dogs from a well-groomed area for you. 

I tell them to 'Woof off' but I'm in a minority here and they are bigger than me. I change tack and sit quietly, longing to be outside again, away from the stink. 

I'm relieved to be taken home. I'm on a special diet now and off the morning omelette. Life isn't fair. Just to be awkward I spit out the tablets I've got to take for my stomach. And if they think I'm waiting an hour before breakfast because of medication, they can shove that idea right up their own thermometer probe area.   

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

A Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

"You could have been killed!" screamed the master at me from the roadside.

It wasn't my fault. I heard 'Right' (which is universal shorthand for 'Right let's go') and I went. How was I supposed to know Jess had decided she wanted to sniff the letterbox causing her lead to get tangled with my extending lead handle, making the lead's lock click off? I walked across the road and, as he yanked me back, the lead cord just zipped longer. The master looked back at me to find me staring back at him from the middle of the road as a white Skoda Octavia's brakes screeched it to a halt. If I'd known it was that easy to make traffic stop, I would do it more often. I'm like a brindle crossing.   

The way he related the tale to the mistress you would have thought it was a drama. I didn't know the vet's was closed because of the holiday. I think if he'd made any more of it, he would have needed the hospital himself. I'm sorry he got a fright. I'm not looking to get a new master just yet.

Later, when he felt better, he joked if I had been squished, it would have been the perfect time of year to pick up a replacement. In the Post-Christmas Dog Rescue Sale there's always lots of choice and plenty of puppies. 'Christmas leftovers' he called them. I didn't think this was funny. If he'd said it on social media, he would have been flamed by dog lovers across the world, except in China. There, dogs are not just for Christmas, they're for Christmas dinner. Plus, for those so inclined, there's the bonus of four legs. I wonder if the Chinese butchers team up with puppy farms prior to Christmas, offering a shortened life in return for an all-u-can-eat dog treat buffet. 

I checked out the menu at a 'Buffet King Charles Spaniel' restaurant in Beijing. They offer multiple canine meal deal options: a 'Chihuahua for one', a 'Labrador for a family' and a 'Newfoundland for visiting Americans'. I think it was a joke. Newfoundland is in Canada.

Westerners don't eat dog for psychological reasons, because we're their best friends. It's frowned upon to eat carnivores.There's a lesson for cows, pigs and sheep. Eat other animals and humans will stop eating you.  

Sunday, 20 November 2016

An Old Dog

Today a stranger called me 'pup'. I've not been called that in a long time. I'm old now, with a grey face to prove it. I enquired at the pet shop if they had any 'Just For Dogs' in brindle. The assistant laughed and suggested I try mixing a few colourants. What a waste of money. If I wanted the 'mud brown' look, I could have rolled in a field of cowpats.

I've also got arthritis. That's mainly why I've not been writing. My joints have been too sore. For a time I was hobbling around on three legs; then I got special medicine, and now the master's got me on cod liver oil to stop my joints clicking. It helps a little but my legs still get shaky after exercise. Licking helps but I keep getting told off about it. Especially in bed.

I've finally achieved my life-long ambition of sleeping every night in a human bed. I've devoted lots of crying and whining late at night until finally, the master and mistress relented. And by that, I mean the mistress.Their bed is big enough for the three of us but I still like a heat so tend to pick a side to warm me, pressing myself against their body. If I share the love on alternate nights they don't get too cranky. A couple of nights ago, I pushed a little too hard to get comfy and the master ended up with his legs on the floor. No wonder he's got a bad back. Maybe he should take cod liver oil too.

My main reason for writing this was to warn all my dog friends about a scam that is being perpetrated by the local estate agents. All across Paisley, they have erected 'For Sale' or 'Coming To Market' signs allegedly selling lamp posts, fences, street signs and patches of grass. Do not be fooled. Not only do you not get exclusivity on the marked object, you also have to buy a house too. I nearly fell for it. I went along for a viewing and was furious when I discovered what was going on. I commented in the middle of the garden and didn't use a poo bag. You don't need one if it's on private property. That's what I think about your despicable behaviour, estate agents. Besides, now I'm old, you said I didn't qualify for a mortgage.

It's just as well I'm settled where I am.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

The Dog-Friendly Pub

I was disappointed by my first visit to a dog-friendly pub. It was not what I expected. It was just a smelly room, full of lumpy people who smiled and laughed a lot, despite being sad inside. There weren't any notices but it seemed like it was competition night: to see who could be the noisiest. As the night went on the volume of the chatting got louder and louder until everyone was shouting. I wasn't even allowed to participate, which I would describe as particularly dog-unfriendly.   

I'm not sure exactly what constitutes 'dog-friendly'. I didn't notice any canine modifications at all. I don't think getting a rub on the head by the tipsy woman smoking in the doorway justifies the title 'friendly', especially as she subsequently blew smoke in my face while calling me cute. As the pub served food, I had hoped to join the master for dinner, or at least hoover the spilled food from around the other tables but that wasn't allowed. I was to sit quietly and not start a fight with any of the other dogs. No fun at all.

My idea of a dog friendly pub would have dog bouncers at the door (dobermans probably); it would have a roaring, wood-burning, open fire to lie in front of; when that floor space was full, the other dogs would have comfortable couches to sit and lie upon; there would be a choice of drinks at the bar, not just what was on tap; it would have constantly refilled bowls of free gravy bones and Burns nibbles to snack on at each low table; the games' room would have tug toys to pull and tennis balls to chew; the toilets would consist of a wet room with tree stumps of varying heights, with a grass patch beside them to scratch at afterwards. It would be a howl when we start to sing. Our anthem would be "Who let the dogs out?" Answer: "woof, woof, w-woof, woof". We could drink as much as we liked and not have to worry about getting arrested when we got caught short on the way home. 

Maybe I should start up my own chain. I like the sound of 'The Brindle Breed' but can you think of any other appropriate dog-friendly pub names? Replies in the comment section please.