Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Happy Couple

I'm in the huff.

My master and mistress announced their engagement this week, a fact I've known for ages as he actually popped the question in March. I did my part and kept it secret. (Sorry Moby, she was never seriously interested in you). 

But that's not why I'm in the huff.

After fourteen years together they are talking about having a quick wedding, probably in the summer when they are both off work, or else they'll have to wait till next year.

That didn't upset me either.

They want it to be a quiet affair, with minimum fuss and minimum guests, with just the mothers as witnesses.

Yelp! What the hell happened? Where's my invite? Do I not get to go? I'm family, not just the pet dog. I deserve to be there. Who do they think they are!

They can be so selfish. Imagine planning a wedding and suiting themselves. Do they not know that the whole point of a wedding is for it to be a big, expensive party with family and friends and presents and opinions and alcohol and fighting and bitching and crying.

If they don't change their mind I'm going to disown them. I'll apply for a legal separation and see how they like it. I'll get a super-injunction barring them from ever seeing me again. They won't even be allowed to access this blog or mention my name on Twitter. That'll show them!

I don't understand why they can't squeeze me into the ceremony. I don't take up much space. I could lie on my back on the floor between them, with my legs in the air. They could hang the rings from the claws of my paws. Then when it's time to hand them over I could scarper and they'd have to chase me round the room for ages till they caught me. That would make it a 'day to remember', especially if I accidentally swallowed the rings. Ceremony in the morning, surgery in the afternoon. They could spend their honeymoon on the vet bill. 

Maybe that's why I'm not invited. They don't trust me to keep my mouth shut and behave. Perhaps I should let them have their day. It is 'their' day after all. I've got all their other days to share with them. I don't even know if they let dogs in anyway.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

'To Let' Humour

My mistress is disappointed that for another season her bird box has remained unoccupied. This is not a euphemism for pregnancy. She erected an actual bird box in our garden and, despite healthy bird viewings, it remained nest-free. She couldn't explain why so I, ever helpful, generated this report:

1. Health and Safety issues - the bird box does not pass fire safety regulations as it only possesses one entrance/exit. As nesting material is particularly flammable, being made of fluff and twigs and stuff, potential bird parents take fire safety very seriously. They don't want to come home and find their future loved ones turned into barbequed eggs. No yolking matter.

2. A small entrance way -  this prevents any larger bits of furniture being brought into the box. Mrs Bird will always dissuade Mr Bird with the argument, 'How are we going to get our large twig in here? It won't fit through the door.' Birds are not great building renovators. They would rather nest in an open plan tree than remodel an existing property.

3. Location, location, location - the box sits quite near the top of the fence, which a local cat has taken to perching on in the hope of catching some easy takeaway food. And my efforts to repel this garden invader has the unfortunate side effect of also scaring off potential bird box tenants. They don't know I'm not growling and barking at them.

4. Hiring estate agents 'Bad Move': the clue was in the name. Any bird box conveyancing firm fronted by a magpie and wanting paid in shiny silver is not to be trusted.

5. No advertising on the Dawn Chorus. Every morning I tuned into the birdsong radio station listening for the chirp adverts they play between bird songs but never once heard a cheep about the bird box let. You can't rely on word-of-beak to move a property these days.

6. It's a difficult time for first time nesters at the moment. The property ladder collapsed when birds realised they didn't need one because they could fly.

And finally,

7. Birds don't like having to share an outside toilet with me. And, if I'm being honest, I don't like sharing one with them either.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

There's Bin a Murder...

On Monday, President Barack Obama announced to the world that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, shot by U.S. troops on a secret mission inside Pakistan. No photos of the corpse were released and, it was declared, the body had been dumped at sea.

On Tuesday, I discovered this gruesome find.

I was being taken for my evening constitutional across the Gleniffer Braes by my master and we had just crossed the Sergeant Law Road at the lower gate when I noted an intriguing aroma coming from the copse of trees on the right. With tennis ball still in mouth, I ran over to investigate, nimbly bouncing across the trampled barbed wire fencing. Inside the thicket on the bare ground I found a length of sheeting wrapped around something stinky. It smelled so pungent I immediately rolled in it for evidence. I wanted this one to linger.

My master was appalled when he caught up. He tried to shoo me away but 'a dog's got to do, what a dog's got to do'. I was desperate to uncover what was inside that sheet and started to tug it away, not even realising I'd dropped the tennis ball until I saw him scoop it up with his dog wand. The action distracted me momentarily and allowed him to hook on my lead and drag me away. Glancing back I could see I had revealed a skull with dog fangs. 

I thought I was going to be in deep trouble but my master wasn't angry with me. He was more in shock and concerned too about being implicated in a potential crime. What if another dog walker witnessed him leaving the scene and reported him to the police? Would he be taken in for questioning? Should he be reporting it himself? I told him that that was the least of his worries: my DNA was all over the crime scene, what with the saliva from the tennis ball and my coat hairs rolled in the blanket.

I had questions too. Where had it come from? I hadn't smelled anything the previous day when we walked the same route. Had it been dumped overnight by an unscrupulous criminal involved in dog fighting? Or dug up from a pet cemetery by some drunken yobs? Or had it simply fallen from the sky?

It was then that my mind went into connective overdrive. Surely this couldn't be the corpse of Osama Bin Laden? He was much taller and didn't have fangs. Unless of course he was a 'vulpine vampire', who upon being killed, reverted back to his wolf form, ageing dramatically until only his hairy skeleton remained. And perhaps those U.S. soldiers, panicked at the sight of this supernatural transformation, immediately dumped the body out of the plane while over Paisley. This would justify the ridiculous cover story about dumping the body at sea and also explain the lack of pictures. It wouldn't be in the world's best interest for Obama to reveal that the leader of Al Quaeda was now not only a mujahid martyr but also an X-file.

Mulder would be so proud of me uncovering this conspiracy. He's a spaniel I know with an interest in the unusual. He swears he keeps getting kidnapped by aliens but I keep telling him aliens don't drive "Barking Buddies" vans. 

So is this the corpse of Osama? I'll let you make up your own mind.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Moby and the Mistress

With the recent fairy tale wedding between Prince William and commoner Kate, my mistress' heart is all in a romantic flutter. However, as it seems unlikely my master will ever propose, she's been looking further afield for a suitable suitor. And she thinks she's found him: Moby.

In 'The New York Times', she spotted an interview with him and became enchanted. You see the mistress has always believed she's a princess and that one day her prince would come. Moby ticks many of her boxes. He is the 'King (of Techno)', owns a castle with a Disney-esque gatehouse with great views overlooking the Hollywood Hills and is looking for a lady to go with his castle. But here's the bit that perked up my ears:

"That is not all I need. I need dogs. A house filled with dogs and a smart, funny, kind, loving girlfriend or wife. It’s terrifying, but actually it seems like a really nice idea.”

It's destiny. She wouldn't be forced to go to work as he's a millionaire. His three acres of garden would keep her busy during the day and in the evening they could jam on guitar and keyboards in his studio. When he's on tour she could go with him to satisfy that travel bug she gets. She's already familiar with living with a tee-totaller and they both share a neurosis for taking shoes off in the house to prevent wear on the carpet. And he would be able to buy her the big diamond she's always wanted. Sure he's bald with glasses and likes music she doesn't but she's used to that and at least Moby is thin. Maybe he could make some calls to his music industry buddies and get her and her friends backstage passes for 'Take That'.

I would be in dog heaven too. I'd have my own luxury bedroom, which I've already picked (see below). I'd have three acres of gardens to roam and sunbathe in and, with it being in L.A., I wouldn't get soaked in the rain every other day, only when I went for a dip in the pool. It would be amazing! 

I wonder if I'd retain my Scottish accent or pick up a transatlantic bark?

I'd have to learn to share, given Moby's desire for lots of dogs, but we could afford to call in Cesar Milan to sort out my issues. Wouldn't that be great, starring in 'The Dog Whisperer"!

And this blog would be massive as all Moby's fans would read it.    


My master, showing atypical concern, did attempt to counter our dreams by reminding us of the imminent arrival of our log cabin. It may not be a castle but it has great views of the Trossachs and was only an hour away. And would the mistress appreciate Moby's stubble? Would he be prepared to shave off his beard for her?

I just told him straight. "When Moby's new album 'Destroyer' comes out, I'm going to get it so I can get to know my new dad." He wasn't amused. He's not sleeping well now. I wonder what he'll do next?      

photos by Trevor Tondro for the New York Times.