Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Olympic Torch Bearer... Not!

My master got nominated by his work to carry the Olympic Flame. He'd have got to do it too if he'd just passed the fitness test. All he had to do was run one hundred yards carrying the torch. Unfortunately he's so unfit all his huffing and puffing blew it out. Not good for a supposed health professional. They're going with someone else.

I tried to cheer him up by getting him to chase me around the garden at night. I was sure I could smell a cat in the neighbour's garden. As I bounced and bounded up and down the plant area, barking loudly, he made a valiant attempt at catching me but ended up skidding and falling on the bark, while shushing me and trying to grab my collar. It's important to push him that extra distance. Make him feel the burn. I don't want an unfit master cutting my walks short because he's out of breath. I even help him eat less by begging for the last scraps of any snack he's eating. Every little helps.

But do I get any thanks? No, the ungrateful sod. I didn't get a treat before bed tonight. But it's him that'll suffer in the long run (if you'll pardon the pun). The way he's going, I'm going to outlive him. A dog should never bury his owner. Just ask Greyfriars Bobby. I wonder what he's left me in his will.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Kaiser Chiefs in Riot Prediction Success.

The Kaiser Chiefs wrote a song "I predict a riot!" which won't be getting played on any radio station any time soon. Cities all over the country are on alert following nights of social unrest in areas of London, Manchester and Birmingham. Youths have been looting stores and setting fires to buildings and cars and attacking emergency services and the police. David Cameron and Boris Johnston both had to return early from holiday.

Coincidentally the stock markets were crashing all over the world. But I don't think the riots were triggered by the nation's youth being incandescent over the effect on their future pensions. 

I don't know what started it but I do know it became opportunistic. The police didn't quell the disorder at the beginning so it escalated. Young children and formerly upstanding citizens decided to go late night shopping because it appeared they could do so with impunity.

That's what I'm like. When I sense opportunity for a food snack, I don't hesitate. If my nose can get tongue deep into my mistress' jacket pocket to retrieve the bits of Schmacko she didn't give me on the walk, I'm in there, licking until that pocket is clean and soggy. The only deterrent I respond to is if the master and mistress might catch me. 

I guess the looters are like that too. But I'm an animal. What's their excuse?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Live Short and Prosper

My master was disappointed yesterday when he discovered that the bread had gone mouldy and the milk was off. Both were within their expiry dates. He was in a grump for the rest of the day.

It got me thinking: why do people pick fresh? What is the problem with long life?

Humans want to live a long life but they prefer not to eat long life.

Is it the taste argument? Fresh tastes better. Scientists haven't found a way to reproduce the naturally nicer tasting originals in a longer lasting form. This could also be down to investment not being put in.

Is it the economic argument? Long life products cost more and this deters the consumer. Less people buy them so production cannot be scaled up sufficiently to bring the price down. 

Is this why pets are so popular? We are all generally fresh, with a relatively short lifespan compared to humans. When we're battery farmed we end up with physical and emotional issues.  

Would long life dogs be less popular? If we lived 30 years instead of 12-15 years would as many people keep us as pets? Would we be regarded as a bad investment?

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Second Coming

I did get to go on holiday but not to Pompeii. We all went up to the cabin instead. Not much had changed, except for the weather. It was hot, boiling hot, at least at the start of the week. I had to scratch at the patio door window to let them know it was my sunbathing time. Latterly they just kept the doors open so I could decide if I wanted heat or cool.

The loony dogs of the dog asylum were still barking their message, "they're coming, they're coming". Then all of a sudden it was true: the campsite turned into a bug dive. The sky darkened as a flash mob of horny winged ants filled the air (and the grooves of the decking), fornicating wherever male could grab female. Mass panic ensued across the camp as patio doors were closed over, windows were locked shut and little children had their eyes covered by protective parents. All around humans were staring out in disgust and trepidation. A pleasant sunny evening ruined by insect life. 

Then after two hours the ants all lifted off and departed for a post exertion cigarette or whatever it is they do. The mistress sent the master out onto the decking to check we were safe again. I didn't join him. I'd encountered a similar event before in the field above the Robertson car park and it was not pleasant. Thousands of beasties carpeting the grass, bursting into the air as you walked by disturbing them. Yuk! I got bitten loads that day. I was happy to miss my evening constitutional that night too though I still insisted on my Bonio. Priorities!

Another freaky visitation happened at dinnertime last night. I was on the decking chewing on my squeaky Kong toy, the red one with the tails, when I was surprised to get a reply. I thought I was imagining it. It wasn't an echo. I'd squeak then hear a similar shrill sound high above me. I looked up and there were six buzzards circling. The mistress laughed as she implied I was mimicking their mating call. These were birds of prey I was duping. I found it funny too and continued to squeak away, until the master suggested that they might swoop down and take me away for their dinner. I didn't want to be a takeaway. I tell you it took all the fun out of that toy. He's a bad man! 

Living in the country can be very interesting. They've got loads of different animals. I've sniffed froglets, followed a wandering grouse and, yesterday, found a hedgehog and I don't mean run over on the verge of the road. What is it with roadhogs that they insist on squishing their hedge cousins? It can't be good for their tyres.

The hedgehog was shimmying its way along the path up from the dog walk area, perhaps returning to its hedge. When it saw me it rolled itself into a small ball. I wasn't falling for it. I may be ball obsessed but even I draw the line at biting a pin cushion. Besides I could see loads of insects crawling between its spines. It looked really itchy. I bet the hedgehog would have loved to have been able to pluck out one of those spines and give itself a really good scratch. Maybe that was why it walked the way it did, a compromise shimmy, enough to soothe the itch without pricking itself. Maybe all the roadkill hedgehogs weren't just unlucky with their road crossing skills but deliberately decided to end it all, unable to cope with the intense itch. Doesn't explain the dead foxes though.

Lastly, I had my second ever experience of 'window bombing' at the cabin. The first time it happened I thought it was an accident. Little did I realise it was actually a dangerous pastime, adopted by bored, young, mainly male birds as a competition to see who could concuss themselves the longest by flying head first into a closed window. Despite advertising condemning the activity by the RSPB, many are ignoring the advice and still ramming into windows, getting off on the dizzy head spin as they revive. But with limited street corners to hang around on in the country setting, it is anticipated this home made entertainment will grow until eventually, regretfully, someone dies. The RSPB have created a series of window stickers in the shape of splatted birds to try to deter these bored bird delinquents. Only time will tell if they've been effective. You can order them here: