Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Eight Pounds

Today's blog is not a sequel to the Will Smith film 'Seven Pounds' but is about my master losing eight pounds in two weeks. 

It's a mystery to me. Each Tuesday morning he goes into the bathroom and when he comes out the mistress asks, "Well?" and he says two numbers and she tells him how much money he's lost. So far it's eight pounds. I don't understand it. 

Is it some game where he has to guess what number she's thinking of and the closer he is the less money it costs him, unless he thinks of a higher number and then she pays him? I've never seen any money change hands though.

Do we have a secret casino in our bathroom? If we do, he's very unlucky at it. He's barely in there a minute and he's lost. I poked my nose in on Thursday but he was just standing there on a metal box looking at his feet. The box does have a tiny screen so maybe it's a puggy. I can't see where it pays out though or where he feeds the coins in. Maybe its online or Wifi or something.   

Or maybe he's discovered a portal to another temporal dimension, like the fitting room in the costume shop that Mr Benn visited? He could be away dressed as a spaceman or a cowboy or a knight having an adventure before work. Perhaps the money is the costume deposit which he tells the shopkeeper to keep because he's generous that way. He is usually semi naked when he returns. It would explain why he is eating less if he was filling up on adventure calories, which don't make you fat. 

I think he should take me. I'd love a fat free adventure with walking and snacking. It's doing him the world of good because he's looking thinner. He can see his feet without stooping.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Return of Rizza

I hadn't seen my dearest puppyhood pal, Rizza, for ages. We met again at the park, where he was walking along with a blind woman and her golden Lab guide dog. For a moment I thought he was with Guido and my heart stopped. Then I realised this was not my other long gone pal, but just another member of the guide dog club. Rizza was delighted to see me and ran over,  docked tail wagging. 

"I'm going to be a Hollywood star!", he declared as he sniffed my bits.

"How so?" I enquired, sloping my rear to sitting position. He was always a very randy dog so precautions were necessary, not that he'd ever been successful .

"I'm going to be a stunt dog in the new film, Fast and Furious 6, filming in Glasgow next week."

"A stunt dog?"

"Yes, I've been practising on the Paisley roads, running in front of traffic and dodging the cars and I'm great at it."

"Isn't that dangerous?"

"Out here, definitely, but on set it'll be a lot safer."

"How did you get involved with the production?"

"Officially, I'm not, but since my World War Z debut, I've figured out how to get on set and make the maximum expression."

"Don't you mean 'impression'?"

"No, 'expression' " and he pulled a face of utter, wide-eyed shock. "The camera will close in on my face as three racing cars zoom towards me. I'm stuck in the middle of the road like a rabbit in their headlights. At the last minute one car zips left, another zips right and the third runs right over the top of me. We see the cars heading off into the distance and the camera pans back towards where I was, the audience expecting the worst, only I'm still cowering unharmed, the same expression stuck on my face. I turn to my rear, the camera following my line of sight and spots the little poop that I've dropped. I look to the heavens... then the action continues elsewhere."

"Wow, they wrote that part for you?"

"Not exactly. I've still to pitch it to them. I figured I'd just turn up and audition live, during one of the set ups. It sounds amazing doesn't it?"

"Will it be real poop or fake?"

"Depends on how many takes we do."

I considered dashing his dreams with a bite of reality but seeing the excitement in his eyes went with, "Good luck with that. Break a leg, as they say."

Rizza looked stunned. "I'm a stunt dog, not an actor. You never say that to a stunt dog."

I changed the subject. "So where is your master?"

"Oh we've split up again. I hooked up with that blind lady. Morris, her guide dog, doesn't mind me tagging along and sharing his food and water She doesn't know I'm even there. Morris loves my road manoeuvres. He isn't even allowed to cross the road unless there's a green man flashing and beeping."

Rizza then noticed his new owner had exited the park gate and was about to cross the main road.

"Better be off. Watch this for a quick exit," and he sped off at full tilt. Then he skidded and ran back.

"When we meet again ask me about the book I'm writing. I need your help with some of the lady bits."

A book? Rizza was writing a book? He didn't even know how to read. I didn't get a chance to ask him more because he turned and ran out of the gate and across the road just as the lights turned to green. He must lead a charmed life because all of the cars missed him. Or maybe he is just a good stunt dog. 

I can't wait to find out about this book though.  

Thursday, 23 August 2012

A Spot of Bother

The mistress is unwell. Spots appeared overnight and, following a brief glance, the master pronounced "shingles". It sounded lovely, a mixture of 'shivers' and 'tingles' but apparently it's not.  He directed her to go to the doctor but she delayed. "I'll wait and see if it gets worse." It did. She's now on pills and a cream.  

I'm a bit worried. It says online that she is infectious to anyone who hasn't had chickenpox. I've never had it and I've had regular close contact with her. I keep expecting to find blisters. I wonder what they'll smell like. If I end up biting off and eating the itchy scabs, will I end up scarred or just bloated? Will my coat cover up the pock marks? Will I be given a bicarbonate bath to stop me scratching and end up sick from salt overdose when I lick myself dry? Does having chickenpox stop you eating chicken? Why doesn't wikipedia answer these questions?

Will the master make her wear a solid, plastic tutu above the shingle line to stop her interacting with the blisters, like what they make me wear round my head to stop me licking my wounds when I'm injured? Or maybe something more akin to a herring-bone shuttlecock from the armpits down? I've never seen these devices but now I have the images in my head they seem plausible. How would she perform toilet tasks though if her arms couldn't reach below her waist? Nappies or newspaper?

I think I'm just being bitter because I'm not allowed in the bed tonight because she's tired and irritated. I might accidentally stretch and touch her spots and cause her more discomfort. Or lick off the cream like I do her hand cream. 


Maybe the master will let me join him on the couch tonight. He's due another bout of insomnia now he's back on his special diet. I just hope his wind has died down. I can sleep through the tummy gurgles, I can sleep through the fart noises. It's just when the smell hits my nostrils it's like being panelled by a defibrillator. The smell could revive the dead. His diet consists of meat, eggs and veg only. He doesn't pass faeces any more, he poos compost. Roll on his birthday when he can go back to cake and chocolate and crisps and ice cream between snacks. I don't mind because he always shares.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Pet Shop Hindsight

I wanted to go into a pet shop. I figured I'm a pet, it's a shop, I ought to go. It's made for me. And the wonders I found. Toys, treats and more than one flavour of Burns dog food. I couldn't believe it. For over six years I've been getting the same chicken and rice for breakfast and dinner, barring occasions when I'm sick. It's no wonder that I scavenge for a bit of variety. Best case I find a nice nibble, worst I get ill and am given an alternative dinner of scrambled egg and rice. Win, win (but not Winalot: another brand I discovered but have never tasted). It would be nice to be given a menu once in a while for a little choice. "Would madam like the chicken or the fish? The duck or the lamb? With rice or maize? And for dessert...?" One thing I don't understand is why does a dog's breakfast and dog's dinner mean the opposite of one another? My dinner and breakfast look exactly the same (quantity excepting). One's no more a mess or tidier than the other. 

The main problem I encountered in the shop was following shop etiquette. No one explained to me that you had to buy before you eat. It wasn't obvious. I mean if you put food on open display at mouth height, you should expect me to eat some of it. I had a similar problem in the newsagents with the newspapers being on the lowest shelf. Apparently you need to buy them too before soiling them. I never saw any prohibition notices. I think that's why most shops only allow entry to guide dogs. They've obviously read the guide on how to behave in shops. 

We were asked to leave the pet shop but only after my master had paid for my snacking. We're not allowed back. I hope I managed to 'contaminate' enough food (their word not mine) to keep me going till he finds me another food source. I don't want to end up starving. Speaking of which, somewhere in my genetics, I'm told, I've got a bit of whippet. I can't see it myself. I met three muzzled whippets at the campsite and they just looked anorexic. I love food too much to look that thin. Maybe the owner forgets to remove their muzzles at meals times. No wonder they're bad tempered.

I've been following the blog of author, Caro Ramsayin the run up to the release of her new book, 'The Blood of Crows'. In real life she's an osteopath, with a different name. She treats humans and animals. I once tried to get an appointment with her for a stress-relieving massage. With all the cats living on my street and especially with the new one next door, my hackles were cramping. But when I phoned for an appointment, her receptionist couldn't understand me. So I ate a snack instead. In hindsight, I should have sent an email instead. Hindsight is wonderful. It stops you being attacked in the rear, important if you want to protect your integrity. And would have saved me getting a smacking outside the pet shop. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Tonight Night

My master has been working very hard, staying late at work to catch up after our holiday. He's very tired. Tonight I thought I wasn't getting walked.

The normal evening routine is his tea, check emails, surf the net then get changed and walk me. Tonight, he had his tea, checked his emails, surfed the net, went to the bathroom to get changed then I heard the radio go on and the buzz of the electric toothbrush. I nudged open the door to check what was going on. Then he remembered he wasn't there to get ready for bed. Autopilot disengaged, he spat out the toothpaste and laughed. Silly boy! The walk on the Braes was very slow. I think you'd call it a sleep walk.  

It's not as much fun when the cows are over in the fields across the Sergeantlaw Road. There's a lot more dogs, and their walkers, to navigate. My master had to restrict the distance he threw my ball so he didn't hit any other dog walkers or lose it to another dog. I hate it when another dog steals my ball. I hound them until they drop it or bark furiously at their owner. It didn't happen tonight though. I was on my best behaviour. Unlike the black Lab that was interested in acquainting himself with my bottom. I jumped into the burn to get away, not expecting him to follow. I was wrong when I thought it might dampen his enthusiasm. The laugh was on me when I was forced to sit in the water, tail and tush totally submerged, until he gave up and was called away by his owner. I must have looked pathetic. I was waggle-dancing for ages to get dry again.  

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Ah Tissue

I am partial to raiding a bin occasionally for one of the mistress' discarded paper tissues. I enjoy ripping them apart on the bed and chewing on the bits with flavour. I regularly get scolded by my master for it, who then complains to the mistress about the mess because he thinks she should flush them away instead of leaving them in an open waste basket. It can spread infection, he says. She then retorts 'it's because of my hayfever' and that 'she couldn't get at them if you'd would just remember to close the door to the en suite'. And the bickering starts.

Tonight I was summoned by the mistress to the second bedroom, where the clothes are hung to dry, and accused of destroying a tissue. There were bits of it all over the floor, still damp from chewing she presumed. I sniffed the evidence and concluded it wasn't me. There was no smell of my saliva present and indeed an air of fabric softener permeated the fragments. My forensic skills then detected further flecks of tissue upon the drying clothes. How could I have done that too? It seemed obvious to me that she had washed another tissue in the washing machine and this was the consequence.

The master was summoned too. He thought he was going to be praised for noticing the washing machine needed emptying and for hanging up the washing. He too spotted the detritus on the floor. He then admitted he had left it that way, having shaken most of it off the clothes prior to hanging. He wanted it to serve as a visual reminder for her to check the pockets of her clothes prior to putting them in the washing machine. 

Her eyes narrowed as if deciding what torture she should inflict on his person then a memory sparked in her brain and a sheepish grin emerged as she recalled what had happened. She'd been carrying the tissue along with the washing and must have thrown it in too. It makes a change for the mistress to be the one with the memory loss. 

I think all that sneezing is affecting her brain. 

So I Know What I Did Last Summer Next Summer

When will the rain end?
It's been a while since I published anything on this blog. Lately I've not been able to write as my master bought an old computer game called UFO: Enemy Unknown, bundled with a DOS emulator, and he has been hogging the laptop ever since, saving the planet from the alien invaders, finally destroying the alien master brain the other day after months of play. A worthwhile use of £2.99 he says.

So what happened over the summer? 

The shop keeper from the Sunshine store died. No one as yet has been caught. Another blood stain on the reputation of Paisley. 

Team GB did fantastically at the 2012 London Olympics but Olympic fever didn't translate into a tourist boom for London, with hotels slashing room prices and theatres doing likewise for tickets.  

Weather-wise, it started wet. Very wet. Wet like a monsoon wet. I've never been so miserable at the cabin, wondering if the sun would ever appear again. Then it got better. The master joined us, after having used over a hundred pounds of petrol visiting his new nieces, and he brought us new Denby mugs and cups from Cheshire Oaks. The sunshine returned some days later. I got to share the decking with flying ants and other buzzing insects. It almost became a 'drive-fly' holiday because everywhere we drove there were flies. It really bugged the master. He was beginning to think he'd external tinnitus with all the buzzing in his ears. They didn't bother the mistress though but I think that was because her ears were full of wax and she couldn't hear them (also see below). The mistress was annoyed that she kept missing a deer appearance that the master kept reporting each time he took me for my morning or evening walk.
He took pictures as proof of the encounter and made her jealous (she did eventually see it for herself on the last evening).

We had a terrible night in the middle of his stay as the campsite was targeted by criminals who hit a number of cabins and stole the televisions. I never heard a thing despite the cabin next door being one of the ones hit. Maybe I'd tinnitus too. They smashed in the window of the front door to make their ingress. It freaked out the master big time and he stayed on high alert for a couple of nights unable to sleep, although that could have been down to his nightmares about work.

I was abandoned for an evening while the pair of them returned to Glasgow to see 'The Dark Knight Rises' at the Odeon Imax. The mistress struggled to make out what Bane was saying at times but, as the master pointed out, would you want to be the one who asked Bane to repeat himself. They both enjoyed the 'knight' out, despite a forced diversion on the way back. The normal route back to the Trossachs was closed and they feared they'd be forced to turn back, necessitating contacting the park manager to let me out to pee but it was fine. They made it back around midnight and I got a moonlit walk, with the master desperately trying to walk silently in case the caravan residents thought he was a returning burglar. I didn't care. I was making full use of his guilt and wandered all over the park in the dark, making him crunch over the gravel paths and get lots of wet cut grass on his white trainers.