The ‘Wrong Trousers’

Photographs added to this blog.

The Pigaloo Diaries

ImageIan and myself filming on Swanbourne beach for a UK media project

Most of us have a talent for something, an ability to do something well, perhaps see things from a unique point of view and if we are really lucky, can make money from it in the form of making it our job.

Now I am a very creative person, I have a wide variation of things that I am interested in ranging from drawing, writing, making/editing videos, photography etc.  Basically I want it all because I love it all but to make the goal a little more fixed, I have to narrow it down because after all, a moving target is harder to hit so I have decided to concentrate on writing (and a bit of photography and movie editing).

The problem with creativity is that competition for jobs in this area is high, and even then, what…

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The ‘Wrong Trousers’

ImageIan and myself filming on Swanbourne beach for a UK media project

Most of us have a talent for something, an ability to do something well, perhaps see things from a unique point of view and if we are really lucky, can make money from it in the form of making it our job.

Now I am a very creative person, I have a wide variation of things that I am interested in ranging from drawing, writing, making/editing videos, photography etc.  Basically I want it all because I love it all but to make the goal a little more fixed, I have to narrow it down because after all, a moving target is harder to hit so I have decided to concentrate on writing (and a bit of photography and movie editing).

The problem with creativity is that competition for jobs in this area is high, and even then, what job do you apply for when you want it all? Opportunities for creative jobs are few and far between and there appears to be a somewhat secret ‘list’ of super cool people that have been carefully harvested and ‘hand reared’ to do the most menial of jobs in the creative world and thus work their way up and earn their place.

You see these people ‘cooling’ it around Oxford Street, London, looking as trendy as trendy can be as though they have been genetically modified to start at the bottom and work their way to the top – think ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and you just about have it right.

So what chance would you have if you are a 40 something ordinary person like me, not trendy, not a ‘hot young thing’ and your resume reads something like a patchwork quilt?  The creative streak is there. the vision is there and the older you get, it is hard to put your creative self back in its box, yet it is often overlooked due to the unwritten rule book that states you not only have to be the epitome of ‘cool’ but you must have completed a due process in order to even get to the bottom place on that special ladder.

How creative people are perceived by others

In the past I have been referred to as ‘amusing’, ‘special’, ‘odd’ to name but a few, by colleagues of different skill sets and talents and some even with the opinion that creative people should be contained in something comparable to a kindergarten with a fine selection of paints. crayons, Lego and sketch pads.

So is creativity a gift or a hindrance?  That all depends on where you work and whether or not you are allowed to express it in the work place.  I say this because I have been in ordinary jobs where myself and my colleagues could get creative and make up our own fun, no we were not paid to do this but we all bounced off one another and would find ways of expressing ourselves in the workplace which involved extensive use of the photocopier, Photoshop and a digital camera.

I have had jobs where there was no room at all for creativity and the only taste of it would be dreaming in the toilets of ‘escaping’ and actually having a job where the job description included making things, designing things and basically using your imagination to the max.

I have vivid memories of literally sitting on the toilet with my head in my hands planning of ways that I could be happy which at one point involved running out of the building, jumping on the tube to Baker Street station (my favorite London station), finding a trendy cafe, sitting there and ‘people watching’ until someone marvelous discovered me and ‘rescued’ me away from normality.

The wrong trousers

Working in the wrong job is like wearing the wrong trousers or having a stone in your shoe that you can tolerate for a short while but the more you walk on it the harder it gets and the more irritating it becomes.

You do normal jobs to exist and you keep putting your creative streak in to a sensible box because you do what you have to do in order to pay the bills but the more you do it, the harder it becomes until one day you realize that you have become grey in color because the color that was once in your life, was because you were doing what you love.

And by not being able to do what you love, well this has changed you into someone that you are not and more to the point, someone that you don’t recognize or even like.

I will say though; that I am exceedingly lucky at the moment in the sense that I have a job that I enjoy and no, it is not a creative position but the people are fabulous, it is near my home, I like the work and for these reasons alone, this allows me to indulge my true self because I feel able to do my writing in my lunch-break or when I get home because I am not ‘brain drained’ due to being in a job that I hate.  Being paid to write would be perfect but you know I can’t complain as life is pretty good at the moment.

But trust me, it wasn’t always that way!

Variety is the spice of life!

I have had many crap jobs in my life and as I have got older, the harder it has become to tolerate the bad parts of being in a bad job.  When I look back on things that have happened or that have been said, it is a wonder that I haven’t gone mad – well some say it is debatable and that I am mad but I beg to differ.

I shall share with you just some of the ‘wrong jobs’ that I have done in my life, well I say ‘wrong’, perhaps they were ‘right’ after all as it has given me fodder to write about and it is all part of life’s great tapestry after all, but either way – here are just some of them.

Good boss

I had rather naively assumed that in the area of veterinary medicine, that all veterinary surgeons would be like my wonderful boss that I trained under – Trevor Turner.  I mean really, my student nurse days at his practice not only equipped me with excellent nursing skills of an exceptionally high standard, but I felt kind of privileged to have been given the chance to train under Trevor and his wife Jean.

262256_10150207996178317_4788561_nMe and ‘The Boss’


Happy days as a student veterinary nurse at the Turners surgery

A vet, a wall and a toothbrush – bad boss

Not long after I qualified as a veterinary nurse, I started working at this veterinary practice.  The journey to and from home was not too bad but the job itself was horrendous.  It was one of those things that you knew right from ‘day one’ that the job was not right but you had to stick it out, if not just to pay the rent.

This vet had a thing for cleaning as in he was obsessed about his walls being cleaned and he had some of his nurses actually clean the walls with a toothbrush.  This I shall emphasize was a fine waste of resources because if you are going to pay for a qualified veterinary nurse to work at your practice then there are far more useful things he/she could be doing than scraping your walls with a toothbrush.

Once the novelty of the wages had worn off, I had started to get nervous and sick feelings each day each time I went in to work and this actually developed into irrational thoughts of wanting my train to break down so that I didn’t have to go in.  One day I had reached saturation point and I walked in and promptly resigned, citing the (short) journey as a reason for not going back and the boss was horrified.

It was one of those jobs where you had to pretend to like the boss when in fact you would rather eat your own head and listen to Celine Dion on replay than spend another second with him.

So one particular afternoon, after cleaning the walls with the toothbrush, I had my moment of clarity and realized that this guy was a bit of an idiot and decided that enough was enough and I was at the stage of wishing illness upon myself in order to not have to go in.  Quitting was an easy decision to make, my husband supported me and although financially it put us in the red for a bit, when you get to the stage where you literally cannot envisage moving forward in a job to the point you feel sick, then it is time to leave.

I felt totally liberated the day that I left that place, my toothbrush was hung up for the next nurse and my days of cleaning dirty walls was over.  Yes I was unemployed, no we had no money but happy?  You bet I was.

The devil in the form of a small woman

I wasn’t actually a veterinary nurse for very long after I qualified – I had a few locum jobs but I sort of grew away from the profession really and found myself in the area of admin which is more 9-5, Mon – Fri plus when you work in admin, at least you don’t have to assist in the euthanasia of people or deal with their anal glands (and clean the walls with a toothbrush).

I had started working for one company that had a PA who had been working there for so long, she had all but appointed herself as the Queen and there were many people that were scared of her.  Think ‘Office Bitch’ and that barely covers it, think ‘Office Bitch and Bully Supreme’ and you are nearly there but either way she was evil in the form of a short person in a suit with a fat camel toe and a mouth like a distorted minge.

‘There was a girl before you but WE got rid of HER‘ the bitch smirked with a knowing look on her face, smug satisfaction that she had chased some poor girl out of the company.  I remember thinking ‘what the hell have I done in coming here?’

I think we all forget when we have an interview, that it goes both ways – employers interview you to see if you are suitable but we are also entitled to interview them and see if their working culture/ethics fit in with us and I remember at the interview for that particular job, the Bitch was wheeled out like the Pope in the ‘Pope Mobile’ to meet me and to this day, I remember her harsh gaze, pursed lips, bad vibe and her staring me up and down as though I were a brood mare that wouldn’t make the grade.

Why oh why did I not take that as a warning and run for the hills because I was not desperate for that job and even if I was, I deserved better.  But I didn’t listen to my inner voice and I duly showed up for work on the Monday with my freshly pressed suit, shiny shoes, neat handbag and a bag full of nerves because I knew before I had even entered the building, that I had made a big fat mistake.

Her nastiness knew no boundaries and nobody escaped her vicious and somewhat acidic tongue.  Those that claimed to like her did so purely because they were scared of her and they would feign a display of affection around her that made me want to vomit slightly into mouth.

‘I tell you now that if you mess with me, you will be sorry’ I heard her sneer down the phone one day.  Goodness knows who she was talking to but the vitriol in her voice was almost tangible.

I would sit at my desk each morning, relishing in the fact that she had not yet arrived and I would enjoy my coffee until I could hear her voice from down the corridor sounding like the equivalent to nails running down glass, I would hear her walking like a dwarf in stiletto heels and I would smell her perfume which although may have been expensive, just smelt of ‘nastiness’ in the form of a cologne.

When I say that some non creative jobs allow for those creative fun moments that keep people like me going, well in this job there were none – none at all.  There was one lovely woman that worked there who was hidden away in her office and we would have a chat and when I left that job, I almost wanted to kidnap her and take her with me as she also deserved so much better.

Not only was I in a job that had no allowance for creativity, but the only laughter you could hear were on the days that the ‘poison dwarf’ was not in and that was not often.  On the days that she was in, I had learned to escape by frequenting the ladies toilet where I would sit on the loo and rest my head in my hands and had it not been for people hearing me, I would have cried – honestly it was that bad.

I would wish that I had a cold or something – perhaps even diarrhoea in order to call in sick, yes I had become that desperate and I am still suitably ashamed for having those thoughts.  Well these thoughts had actually escalated and I had started to wish the train would have a slight crash, not so that anyone would be hurt but just so that I did not have to go in and see this woman and have to deal with her, to see her and her chunky camel toe which always made a guest appearance each time she wore pants and could even have had its own voting rights.

With each day that I went in, it got harder to do it and to add insult to injury, I had not been diagnosed with my auto immune disease at the time so still had nasty and untreated symptoms to contend with as in fluoro lights which incidentally were directly above my head making me feel sick and dizzy and making my already dry eyes so bad, that trying to look at the computer screen was horrendously hard.

So not only was I battling with the devil herself, I was also battling my yet to be diagnosed auto immune disease – great, the whole world and his bitch was out to get me and all I wanted was a quiet life where I could make, paint, write and design things and get paid for the privilege but instead I had to contend with the menopausal moody monster that had made it her life ambition to rip the skin and personality off anyone that took her fancy which appeared to be me.

That job came to a rather abrupt end that I won’t go in to but I will tell you that I had the last words (and laugh) which were and I quote verbatim ‘You are nothing but a bully, and you are a fat and ugly bully at that’.  That was the last thing that I said to her and the look on her face with her mouth open wide in shock, made the past 6 weeks worthwhile – purely for that moment.

Great, I was unemployed again, only this time with a big fat mortgage but it was worth it just to see her face when I called her a fat, ugly bully.  A classic moment that I will remember for always.

My heart goes out to anyone that is in this position because nobody should dread going in to work and nobody has the right to talk to or treat someone like that in the workplace and it is shocking when you speak to other people, just how many of them have been a victim of workplace bullying in the many different forms that it can take.

Always remember that anyone that bullies you in the workplace, whether it be a manager or colleague, it says far more about them than it does you – it not only makes them unprofessional, it makes them a lousy boss/colleague and do you really want to work for someone like that?  Of course you don’t, you deserve better and you know it.

It’s story time!

I was about 17 years old and I was working in a supermarket as a cashier in the ‘home n’ wear’ department.  Under each till there were small piles of paper bags for small purchases and next to that, were a couple of pens.

What can I say, the days were long and boring, the customers often rude, the management sleazy, so give me a pen and paper along with my imagination and I will write and write I did – in between customers and more often than not, about the customers too.

I would write stories on the paper bags, my writing was messy but still readable and I would do fiction stories using my colleagues and the customers as characters.  I remember writing about my sleazy boss, making him an evil man that kidnapped us all and locked us in cupboards and ran a secret slavery at the supermarket in the evenings.

One day I was writing my little fingers off, I was so busy that I didn’t see the manager ‘Mr Sleaze’ creep up behind me and snatch the pile of paper bags containing my story – and when I say pile, I mean it was a big pile as I had used nearly all of them.

‘I will take these!’ He snapped at me and snatched them away and marched to his office clutching a huge pile of paper bags with Biro ink scrawled on them.

Damn it, I was in trouble, I would be fired for sure.  My legs felt like jelly with that weak feeling you get when you know you are in trouble.

About half an hour later he returned.  I could see him through the menswear section, the top of his head with his highlighted hair with little ‘wings’ over each ear and then his pin striped suit as he came towards me.  Bracing myself for the fallout, for the telling off and/or dismissal, I blushed furiously and put my head down.  My writing was about to get me in to trouble and I knew it.

‘Samantha, for the record, I do not kidnap people’ Mr Sleaze said, his mouth twitching as he tried not to laugh. As he was about to walk off in the direction of the escalator, he added ‘And Samantha, those bags are meant for the customers – got it?’

‘Yes, sorry, won’t happen again’ I muttered – Jesus, did I really just get away with that? I must have done, I still had my job, I was still at my till and I had not been sacked.

I never wrote another story on the paper bags again but by God I wanted to and it took all my strength to contain my twitching fingers to not pick up the biro to write on the bags that were just sat there begging to be written on.  Stories bashed around in my head, characters just begging to be let out, my pen almost danced into my hand in a bid to force me to write but I remained strong and suppressed that desire to write until it eventually climbed back in my creative box to be locked away.  But I still to this day, do not regret writing that story on those bags and my only regret is, that I never got to keep them and I do often wonder what Mr Sleaze did with the stories and if he took them home or not for bedtime reading.

It takes one to know one

Only a fellow creative person can understand where you are coming from and if you are lucky enough to be working with such a person, then even if you don’t have that perfect job, just by having a creative colleague can enhance your day and change it from ordinary or mundane, to a place that you can actually enjoy working in – yes Adam, I am talking about you!.

It is that flicker of recognition when you meet that person and you realize that they too are wearing the ‘wrong trousers’ and are doing so just to pay the bills.  You form a creative bond with them because you bounce off one another and in your lunch break can have excellent photo-shopping sessions to satisfy the increasing need to make/paint/design/write stuff.

Keep the dream alive

Creativity often dies when you are in the wrong job, you literally fade and become somewhat robotic, nothing fits, nothing works and it is as though you are misaligned and floating around in a hostile environment with the words ‘Creative Person’ stamped on your forehead – you stand out, you feel out of place because quite frankly, you are out of place.

So how do you get in the right job?  you find yourself reading life coaching articles but don’t know how to act on it or what to do, if someone could give you a map about life and how to live it, how marvelous would that be?  I have spent many an evening gazing at my computer screen looking for answers on how to escape from ordinary life and move into a world where I feel that I belong.

My happiest creative times have been when I used to write freelance articles for a veterinary publication plus do the odd bit of film extra/character model work in between locum veterinary nurse jobs. I am assuming this is because it was a variety and having the opportunity to dip into each world of writing, nursing and acting made for a perfect ‘spice’ of life.  I would propose my own article ideas to the veterinary journal, then do my own research and get the photographs, write up the article – sweating buckets to meet the deadline and then wait in anticipation for the publication date.

The money I made was not much but as any writer will tell you, the thrill of seeing your article in print far outweighed the financial rewards and pretty soon I had almost monthly submissions to write for that journal.


One of my articles – ‘A nose for trouble’, a day spent with HM Customs  sniffer dogs

The film extra/editorial work was erratic but when it did come in, was brilliant.  It involved ridiculously early starts, lots of standing around, meeting fantastic people, feeling fat and paranoid as there were so many ‘slim, hot young things’ on the scene it was hard not to feel self aware.  But it was great fun and I had the best agent which at the time was Lee from a company called ‘Lees People’, really nice guy, down to earth and had this ability to know who all of his extras on set were and could easily put a face to the name and remembered every single person on his books (just how did you do that Lee!).


One editorial photo shoot I did for Lees People – playing the part of a housewife in debt – note the ‘gaunt fearful look’

My last job as an Extra before flying to Australia was doing a Pimms commercial which was filmed during the Summer of 2007 and I had to wear a leather jacket and be a bit of a ‘rock chick’ at a festival.  I miss the work but in order to do that for a living, you need to be working constantly or have enough money to do it when the work arises.

p1Me all dressed for the Pimms festival – (note the cool leather jacket from wardrobe)


I am the one with the curly hair (left)- the Pimms man is in the white dressing gown (right)

Honesty is the best policy

I am now at the point where I realize that I owe it to myself to be happy and to do what is right for me as I have put my creative self in its box so many times that it refuses to go back and bangs loudly on the doors of my mind like a naughty child and there is nothing I can do to stop it.

Is that a blessing or a hindrance – I will let you know but either way, it is time to be honest with myself and finally ‘step out of the wrong trousers’.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright April 2013

Owning a pet – the good, the bad and the heartbreaking

Some of the animals of the past

‘I am never having another dog again’ I sobbed – at the tender age of 23, my heart had been broken when my greyhound called Caesar had peacefully died in his sleep – an ending most of us could wish for when it comes to our pets.

Fast forward to 2007 – I am holding my beautiful blue whippet bitch, 12 years old with kidney failure – her time had come to let her go and suddenly every single memory I had of her was flashing in front of my eyes as the vet who is my friend and ex employer, gently injected her with the lethal injection and that tiny blue bitch that at one point seemed so enormous in character, literally shrunk before my eyes.

I will never forget seeing her looking so tiny on that table after she was euthanized. Funny how you can have a dog with big character and/or big in stature/appearance, become so tiny and little once they have been put to sleep. This really does confirm my thoughts that the spirit and character of your pet merely lives in the body and it is not really the body that we love – but the personality of the animal because once they are gone, you could get an identical breed, but at the end of the day, it just wont be the same. All pets have their own personality that makes us love them – end of.

‘That is it! I am never ever doing that again’ I sobbed to my friend Norma, who drove me home clutching Rema’s toys and blankets that still smelt of her.

And yet again, here I am with my kelpie Rocky and my newly acquired Kelpie mix Brutus whom as you all know, we nearly lost due to severe gastro.

So why do we do it? Why do we get an animal that we know will worm its way into our hearts, spend our money on various vet fees – knowing that we will end up going without essentials for ourselves in order to get them their treatment (as it should be).

Why do we get so attached to our pets that we sob and cry and feel a gap so large once they have died, that we can never envisage it ever being filled again? We are mad, we are gluttons for punishment and pain.

So what are the benefits of pet ownership? I would say the memories that they give you and that you build together. My memories of my greyhound Caesar taking a shit up a shop window one day, he had diarrhoea and trust me, it looked as though someone had spray painted the shop window with turd. This is going back almost 30 years when I first got him when I was 16 years old, in the days when it was safe to tie your dog up outside a shop without fear of it being stolen.

Well Caesar shamed himself and splattered the window with turd and the shop owner came out and told me off and I did what Brutus does when he has been naughty and denied it and said ‘It wasn’t my dog who did that’ Which of course could have been plausible had it not been for Caesar still trying to empty the rest of his stomach and was leaving drops of turd over the pavement. Being a kid, I ran off with my greyhound in hot pursuit, as fast as my skinny legs would carry me away from the faecal mountain – much to the horror of the shop owner.

Then there was the time Caesar jumped into someones garden, he was an ex racer and built like a gazelle and he would dig up cabbages, only cabbages mind you but he would dig them all up and look absurdly pleased with himself, jump back over the fence and come home.

Then there were my cats Bruno and Juniper who on one occasion  stole 3 trout that had been defrosting for our tea, and they had eaten everything except one trout head and when I got home from work I was greeted with the strong smell of fish along with an empty wrapper and two very bloated and sick looking cats.

Bruno and Juniper also shredded their share of sofas and carpets, in fact Bruno used to eat carpets and had seen a vet on many an occasion due to vomiting.

Juniper had a liking for pulling apart our venetian blinds and would completely dismantle them and find herself stuck on the sash window crying.  I would get off the bus and see her stuck on the window, with her pink mouth opening and closing, frantically denying all involvement and claiming that someone put her there and it wasn’t her fault at all.

There was another time when we moved house in Devon, that Juniper got her head stuck in the ‘S’ bend of the sink and it took my mate Veronica several goes to get her out and some phenobarbitone from the vet (our boss) to calm her down afterwards (the cat not Veronica!).

Bruno also broke into a box of mince pies and scoffed most of them and he also had a bad habit of breaking in to 20kg sacks of dog food where he would emerge looking like a Bovril stock cube because he would be covered in gravy dust from the bag.  I think that he had a bit of an eating disorder to be honest and I fondly remember him for his food theft and robbery of chicken bones from your plate.

In London, Juniper would enjoy digging up the sofa and would love to dig before she lay down.  She was diagnosed as ‘retarded’ by the vet at the Royal Veterinary College where I worked at the time and would actually ‘get lost’ in our flat and if she wondered downstairs, would cry and look at the ceiling with a vacant expression and one of us would have to go down and ‘save her’ and bring her back and convince her that she was safe and her family loved her.  Her nickname later became ‘Family’ as if we said it in a high pitched voice she would get quite excited and appear absurdly happy about that word and found it reassuring.

Sadly both cats died within 18 months of each other due to pancreatic cancer which we suspect was down to a vaccine that they both had at the same time when we lived in Devon but that was never proven, suspected but not proven.

I was totally devastated – Bruno was put to sleep whilst still on the operating table and I wasn’t there for that but Juniper was brought out of theatre and wrapped in a blanket and  and I held her tiny body as she was injected.

I remember seeing her tortie body which reminded me of a patchwork quilt, her fur so soft, I stroked her and held her as she went and always remember saying ‘thank you for being my cat’ as she died in my arms and I also remember the vet nurses Sarah and Wendy being there at the time and Sarah driving me home as I clutched Junipers cat basket (thank you girls and thank you to Sarah for driving me home that day).  Talking of baskets, there is a term called ’empty basket syndrome’ and this is where you go to the vet with a cat and leave with an empty basket and is the most devastating thing for a cat owner to go through.

As for my whippet Rema – now she was a well traveled dog. In England, dogs can go on public transport with you, I used to bring her to work with me when I worked at the Royal Veterinary College in Camden and Rema knew the time of the train to Marylebone and even the platform from Marylebone to our station, she would always know which side the doors of the train would open.


Gordon the cat and Rema the whippet discuss naughty tactics

Rema loved the tube and would jump into my arms to be carried up the escalator and when we got off the tube at Marylebone, she would run and almost drag me to the escalator as she had learned that is what people do – run from one train to the next.

There were times where I would be drunk on a Friday night after a night out round my friends house (Our Maria) and I would have Rema with me, looking all nice, blue and dainty (she was a blue whippet), wearing her muzzle as she used to bite, and I would be pissed out of my head at the platform and Rema would protectively wait with me and not let anyone near me. You could almost see her looking apologetic to other passengers as if to say ‘I am sorry, but she got herself into this state’ And that little dog would escort me home. If there is anyone reading this from London that used the Marylebone line that remembers the blue whippet bitch wearing her jacket and muzzle back in 2005-6, well she was my girl.

When I studied for my NCTJ Preliminary Journalist exams in Islington, I sometimes even took Rema to college with me and she would sit in the boss’s office – I think she actually quite liked him (remember that Steve?)  In fact the more places I took that little whippet, the more traveling she did, the happier she seemed.

We bought Rema when we lived in Devon and then moved to London and when I used to go back to visit my friend Veronica in Torquay, Rema would sit on my knee for the three hour train journey.  She also loved going up on the train to Chesterfield to see ‘Our Maria’.  Rema really should have had her own travel card I reckon.

Image‘Hannibal Rema’ in her muzzle.  Too pretty to bite – well don’t judge a book by it’s cover

When I failed my first year vet nursing exams, after work we all went to the pub and got pissed (you can see a pattern here!) and I tried to sneak Rema in as a ‘hearing dog for the deaf’ and for a while it worked, as she was hidden under the table but we got sussed out and kicked out. I turned up home in a drunken misery a few hours later and Abdel opened the door to find me standing there with Rema who had no muzzle or leash on. Rema looked embarrassed and said to Abdel ‘I tried to stop her, honest I did’ and shook her head in disbelief while Abdel led me upstairs and put me to bed whilst I cried about failing my exams. Rema snuggled up to me that night and never left my side which was brave of her as my breath reeked of alcohol.

Image          My boss Trevor or ‘TT’ as he was known – and me as a student veterinary nurse

Rema was also there when I passed my vet nurse finals and lay on the bed with me as I cried, I cried because it had been so hard and I had failed both part one (written) and part two (practical) first time so the relief of passing my exams was immense.

ImageAbdel and me at my graduation – finally qualifying as a Veterinary Nurse

(my proudest moment – I love my VN badge!)

Rema had earned a nickname called ‘The Goat’ as she found a goat on Torre Abbey Sands in Torquay, Devon and proceeded to chase it round the beach and nip it on any part she could reach – blaming the owners saying it was their fault for having a goat on the beach.

My little whippet used to enter Exemption dog shows and do very well in them and I also entered her in scurry races as well and she would bark her head off in excitement as she raced – she loved it and had a good circle of doggy friends on the show circuit.

When I worked as a vet nurse at Crufts Dog show one year, Rema came with me and had her own bed in the Hilton Hotel, my friend ‘Our Maria’ was with me that night, I remember it well as she got chicken pox (do you remember that Maria!). Rema looked so funny snuggled up in her own bed, and she had her own cage in the vet centre when I was working and would tell the show dogs off by barking at them when they came in.

One day I remember when I was out with my friend Sam Porter and her boxer dog ‘Bags’, Rema chased a squirrel and broke her hock and had to have surgery. If you could see the xrays, it must have been like repairing the leg of a fawn as Rema’s legs were like matchsticks but the vet did a superb job on that (thank you Trevor xx).

On another night, Sam and I dressed up our dogs, Rema wore my bra and knickers and Bags wore boxer shorts (don’t ask!) and we drew big red Bindi’s on their foreheads and went out collecting for the Big Issue. But we won’t say any more on that as there is no excuse for dressing a dog up in a bra any more than there is collecting for the Big Issue when you have no business to.

I had entered Rema in a contest for Dogs Today magazine – this was for 2000 – the Millennium Calendar – ‘best advert for dog ownership’ and Rema won it, she was Ms February and posed on a pink silk love heart cushion and even appeared on London Tonight (any of my London pals remember that or have a copy of the photo I could have?)

Rema was also a chewer and enjoyed chewing Abdel’s trousers, the curtains and other bits and pieces.

ImageRema and Gordon – both ‘chewers’ in fact Gordon still is!

Animals of the present

Gordon the cat chews towels and still does so, despite being a respectable old gentleman of 11 years old.

Gordon is my piece of England, he is from the Motherland – having just lost my Mum, I was in no way prepared to lose my Gordon so I went to extreme lengths to raise the funds by writing a blog and also doing writing for people, so that I could pay for his passage to Australia.

He was naughty in quarantine and chewed the carpet on his cat run and has continued his chewing in Australia.

ImageGordon in quarantine – he chewed the carpet on the ladder

Rocky has dug 4 feet under the retainer wall, eaten my mortgage settlement documents the day we moved into the house, he has stolen cushions and eaten my entire CD collection and chewed a rare one of a kind, hand made artists bear made out of alpaca wool.

Brutus is following in hot pursuit in terms of naughtiness, he gathers stones and brings them to the door, chews our shoes and is planning what his next line of attack will be in the form of chewing.  He is also learning from Rocky on how to be a proficient digger to the point I am thinking of hiring out the pair of them for bobcat purposes.

ImageThe new ‘canine bobcat’ – Rocky and Brutus ‘dig for Britain’

So I shall ask again – why do we do it? They chew our stuff, they demand our time, they cause us worry and they cost us money, so why do we pay for the privilege of the above?

Because quite simply, they provide us with love and they provide us with memories – all of the memories that my animals have given me have and still do make me laugh.

Animals stand by us when we make crap decisions, when we are in a bad mood, when we think that the rest of the world hates us, when we dont want to communicate – our pets are always there for us.

ImageOne man (girl) and his dog

They don’t care if we embarrass them and trust me, I have embarrassed Rocky in public on many an occasion. I have dived in when he has been attacked by another dog and yelled, screamed and threw a punch at the dog attacking him when Rocky couldn’t defend himself.

At the end of the day the stuff that they chew is just that – stuff and more to the point it can be replaced. ‘Stuff’ cannot give you the memories that an animal can give you.

I was there for Rema when she was put to sleep and I promise I will be there for Gordon, Rocky and Brutus when their time comes.

I know it is painful, I know I will be the sobbing wreck that I vowed never to become again but I want the only person to be holding my pets when they leave this life – to be me.

So never ever regret having your pets, and never let the pain of losing them stop you from embracing another animal into your life.

You may think that by getting another pet, you are ‘replacing’ the one that you have lost. Well you are not, in your life there are in fact many places – unlimited places for animals waiting to be loved and the new pet is not replacing the old one, just merely making a new place for himself.

And the spirit of all your animals will live on in the sofa, the chairs, your shoes and whatever else they may have chewed.

ImageGordon – from the ‘Motherland’ still chewing his way around the world

That my friends, is why we do it.

Happy Friday.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Brutus and his trip to the vet


This morning I took Brutus to our local vet to have his stitches removed and to say that Rocky was devastated that he wasn’t going, is an understatement.

‘Where are you taking him?’ Rocky demanded, his ears and tail erect, and his body language showed that he was pissed off.

‘To the vet to get his stitches removed’ I said firmly and clipped Brutus’s leash onto his blue collar. His little brown body wriggled as he was so excited.

‘Bastard, why does he get to go and I don’t, can I have my stitches removed too?’ Rocky asked, looking really jealous now.

‘Rocky you are such a dick head, you don’t have stitches!’ Gordon sniggered from the safety of the dining room table. Rocky flipped him the bird and stuck his tongue out back at Gordon.

‘Yeah, but they don’t know that’ Rocky replied. In the end he became so upset because he wasn’t going that I had to shut him up in the laundry room to calm down.

And as for the language that came out of that kelpie dogs mouth as I put Brutus in the Yaris and secured him to the seat belt in the back, well that was truly shocking and the last word I heard from Rocky’s mouth was ‘wanker’.

We got to the vets a bit early and had to wait outside which was fun with a partially leash trained pup who was thoroughly over excited and trying to herd up birds and stones – adopting the ‘cattle dog crouch’ when they go down to herd.

‘Brutus, you can’t herd up stones, they are not going anywhere’ I laughed at him.

‘But they might be, you never know’ was all he replied and then tried circling the stones to make sure.

A car pulled up in the driveway and I could just make out the head of a small white fluffy dog in the front seat next to his owner.

‘Puggles, come on get down’ An elderly man got out and spoke to his dog.

‘Piss off, I am not jumping that height, are you trying to break my cruciate ligament or something?’ the white dog snapped and then glanced in the mirror to smooth down his beard and make himself look presentable.

It was a tense stand off and Brutus looked interested in the stubborn white fluffy thing that resembled a sheep, that refused to jump down from the SUV.

I will in his favour say that I don’t blame him because many injuries can be caused from dogs jumping in/out of cars and Brutus is terrified to jump in/out of my car so I always help him.

Puggles the white dog (or sheep according to Brutus) was eventually lifted down and you could hear him bossing his owner around and saying things like ‘watch my stitches’ and ‘don’t mess with my fur’.

Brutus looked enchanted at the dog (sheep) and looked up at me and said ‘Is that a sheep, can I herd him?’ which made me laugh. Brutus may be a kelpie/ridgeback but he is 95% kelpie in behaviour and looks so cute when he adopts the herding position.

Fuggles walked up to Brutus and promptly pissed on a pile of polished pebbles, he lifted his little leg as high as it would go and strong yellow urine dribbled down his pristine white coat.

‘How did you do that?’ Brutus asked him in admiration. Brutus is still at the squatting stage and when he did try and lift his leg to copy Rocky, he fell over. Mind you, Rocky didn’t cock his leg until he was two years old – and I am not kidding you either, very late developer. In fact Rocky barely has a penis, it is more like a mealworm.

‘Puggles has been de-sexed, he is here to have his stitches out’ The owner said to me and then shook his head as Puggles tried to dig up the concrete floor with his hind legs to ‘spread himself around’.

‘He is only 8 months old’ His owner added.

‘Brutus was done at 16 weeks, the cat couldn’t take it any more and Rocky was tired of having his bed and head urinated upon’ I said almost apologetically. The old man looked horrified that I had robbed Brutus of his manhood far too early but I didn’t care, Rocky has a stash of dog porn in his kennel and he and Brutus always like to read it of an evening over a can of beer and some nuts.

Brutus sniggered at the white dog and said ‘Why are you digging up concrete?”

‘Spreading my piss around’ Puggles said matter-of-factly and then added ‘I am still very alpha even though they made me have the op’ Puggles looked accusingly at his owner.

‘What op?” Brutus asked – such an innocent boy and a virgin too, bless his socks.

Puggles looked at Brutus as though he were stupid and lit a cigarette and exhaled deeply. Flicking ash into the pavement, he rubbed it in with his paw, making it go all smudged and grey.

‘De-sexing op, so you had it done as well?’ Puggles asked Brutus.

‘Yeah, I kept mating the cat and humping my brothers head and pissing on his bed/head/everything’ Brutus replied sadly, almost missing the experience. Gordon I will add, is very glad he has been done because he only has a tiny bottom and it is certainly not meant for amorous puppies with a thriving sex hormone production.

Just then the nurse opened the surgery door for us all to go in and I popped Brutus on the scales and am pleased to announce that he now weighs 12.6kgs. If you remember when he came out of hospital he was around 7.6kgs – I think so he is doing marvellously and is looking rather good.

I went back to the counter to give the nurses the weight for his records when I heard a commotion.

‘Puggles, you naughty boy, you can’t do that here!’ Puggles owner looked horrified.

Puggles sat by the door and had just finished taking a large shit by the mat.

Brutus still being of the giggly childish schoolboy mentality, snorted with laughter – he takes after me you see, make me laugh and I snort loudly, I can’t help it.

Brutus was snorting and giggling and yelling his favourite expression (you all know what it is!) ‘Turd legs’ to Puggles who looked thoroughly pleased with himself at the monster turd he had dropped by the mat.

A large cat in a pink basket pursed his lips together, disgusted at the scene and yelled ‘Could you have not waited until you had used your litter tray?’

‘Chew on that big boy that will teach you to rip my balls off!’ Puggles shouted to his owner and then promptly turned around and gave him full view of his fluffy white bum which now had nasty brown bits on the side. My goodness am I glad my dogs dont have fluffy white bums that could be called poo magnets.

The nurse calmly came round from the counter armed with rubber gloves and some paper and something to clean the matt with and as quickly as it was produced, the offending turd was picked up and disposed of. But not before Puggles yelled to the nurse ‘There are plenty more from where that came from’ and vowed to shit in his owners bed when he got home.

‘Don’t you ever do that Brutus’ I told him, trying not to laugh myself, really it was very funny and I do have a toilet sense of humour, so does Rocky and actually Gordon as well. I have lost count of the times that Gordon has had a hard piece of turd stuck to his bum and has released it and played ‘ping pong’ with it in the hall way.

Brutus was called in by the nurse to have his stitches out, off he trotted with his super abnormally long tail wagging behind him – you can see the vertebrae of his tail ‘clicking’ by the tail bone when he wags it, as though it is too long for his spine/body.

The nurse said he was a very good boy but his stitches had become too tight so I have to watch it doesnt weep or get sore and that I had brought him in just at the right time to get them out (9 days) but either way, they were more than ready to come out.

I bought him his heartworm/multiwormer as well – he now requires the same size heartworm treatment as Rocky which is good. Vet predicts he may reach up to 25 kgs so could be the same size as Rocky or slightly bigger. He is going to be a chunky old ‘unit’ though I should imagine.

We said goodbye to Puggles (Turd Dog as Brutus called him) and I lifted Brutus into the car and secured him and we drove home.

‘Where the hell have you been?’ Rocky demanded and inspected Brutus thoroughly as a mass sniffing of genitals took place from both dogs.

I let both boys outside to let off some steam and I could hear Brutus excitedly tell Rocky about what had happened at the vet with Puggles.

‘Really? He took a shit on the mat?’ I heard Rocky say, he sounded quite jealous. Bastard better not try that when I take him to the vet.

I still have memories of when I worked at the Royal Veterinary College as a Veterinary Nurse and my whippet bitch Rema took a shit on the platform inside London Marylebone Station (pets can travel on public transport in the UK).

She did several hard nuggets that rolled all over the platform and thank God I had a poo bag because I was scrabbling around a busy commuter platform trying to recover nuggets of turd. Rema blamed it on the high fibre diet, the commuters blamed me for the smell and all I can say is thank god I was in a nurses uniform so I could pull off the ‘I am an animal nurse’ kind of face and deal with this shit every day.

So you can forgive me for thinking those days are behind me and I do not want to encourage my boys to open their bowels in inappropriate places.

Abdel and I are taking the boys out for a walk later, just need to keep an eye on the suture site as the nurse said but I think it will be OK.

It has gone very quiet in the garden so I had better check on the dogs and hope that whatever they are planning to do, it does not involve what Puggles did at the vet this morning.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Brutus – Puppy Temper Tantrums

Image‘But why can’t I play with the cat?’

Puppy temper tantrums – they all get them, all pups go through the temper tantrum stage and it is up to you how you deal with it as in the old saying ‘you make your bed, you will lie in it’ kind of thing.

Now Abdel always puts Brutus to bed in his crate – it is the routine, at about midnight, both boys are let out for a pee in the garden and Brutus is put into a fresh clean crate, nice clean towel to lie on, fresh water and his teething toy.

Last night Abdel got in later than normal so while he was having his shower, I put the dogs to bed. Rocky being a good boy went straight for a pee outside and then went on his bed.

Brutus looked horrified and I mean horrified, one would think that I had smashed his Kong toy and offered it to the birds.

‘You never put me to bed, never – where is dad?’ Brutus demanded.

‘Brutus, just shut up and go to bed’ Rocky growled, he was still pissed off for Brutus biting his genitals earlier (don’t ask but I think George Michael may have been playing on the radio at the time).

Shutting the crate, I went off to bed and only seconds later I heard Brutus barking and shouting his head off in protest.

‘Open the door now! If you don’t I shall shit everywhere and do handstands!’ Brutus yelled – very loudly indeed.

(sounds of metal bowl clanking on cage and newspaper being shredded up)

‘Just ignore him’ Abdel said from the living room.

Except that I couldn’t because I knew from the sounds that were coming from the laundry room that Brutus had no water, he had tipped it up and I couldn’t have him going all night with no water.

‘It’s because you didn’t put him to bed’ I told Abdel and Abdel had to agree with me because it was true – this is the second time he has done this and the last time was because Abdel didn’t put him to bed as well.

I went into the laundry room and sure enough, the nice clean towel was soaked and bunched up, the newspaper shredded, the water bowl upside down and Brutus was very wet indeed.

Making puppy growls and noises, Brutus then stood up and wriggled his entire body in that guilty sheepish kind of way while Rocky sat on his own bed and called him a girly turd legs.

I let them both out into the garden and then cleaned his kennel, put fresh paper, water and a towel in there. I never realized just how precious newspaper and towels would become until I got Brutus, never has my washing machine been used as much as it is now and I have even started to greedily stare at free papers in shopping centers and will think nothing of walking out with piles of them under my arm. That is puppy-hood for you I guess.

Telling Abdel that he could put Brutus to bed, I went back to bed myself and sure enough, when Abdel brought the boys back in, Brutus not only went back to his crate like a good boy but his crate was also immaculate this morning when he was let out.


‘I don’t want to wear brown socks, I want black legs like Rocky!’ Brutus whinged when I let him outside this morning.

Rocky stopped sniffing the garden and looked at Brutus as though he couldn’t believe his ears.

‘Twat, those are your bloody legs and you are stuck with them!’ Rocky snorted with laughter as Brutus gazed down at his long brown legs with white socks on his paws.

‘I want my testicles back!’ Brutus sobbed and then started to bark trying to look tough but the only thing he succeeded in doing was making me giggle and making Abdel laugh from the bedroom as he heard him as well and it is rather hard to take Brutus seriously when he barks as his entire mouth caves in as his tiny teeth don’t seem big enough to support his head.

‘Dear Dog in heaven help me’ Rocky sighed and lit up a fag and blew smoke in funny shapes from his nostrils.

‘Is it tomorrow yet?’ Brutus asked Rocky, he is due to get his stitches out tomorrow and is quite excited about it, only because Sunny the red heeler told him he could get prosthetic testicles like space hoppers which is a total lie but Brutus believed him.

Rocky shook his head and went to sit down by the tree and said that no, it was not tomorrow yet and no, he could not have his testicles back and no, he cannot change the colour of his legs.

‘Are we there yet?’ Brutus asked me and then picked up some stones in his mouth, chewed them for a bit and gobbed them out on the floor.

Rocky took a piss by the side of the fence and Brutus happily stood under him and ended up with urine all over his head. Brutus looked thoroughly over excited by it as well.

As you will see, the curiosity of a young pup is equal to that of a child and you get all the same daft questions that no matter how many times you answer, there will be new questions being asked all the time.

‘My tail doesn’t fit!’ Brutus shouted and then started to chase his own tail until he eventually got dizzy and fell over and looked like Stephen Hawkings in a magnet factory.

Rocky looked at me and shrugged his shoulders and said ‘I was never like that was I?”

Gently reminding him that he herded up some children who were on their boat on the Murray River one time, children I might add that didn’t need ‘saving’, I told Rocky that he would have to be patient.

‘Rocky?’ Brutus squeaked in his high pitched puppy voice.

‘Yes Brutus’ Rocky replied – oh god, what was he going to ask now?

‘Can I sniff your bum?’ Brutus asked happily.

‘Piss off!’ Rocky snapped and as he ran off to get his tennis ball, Brutus stuffed his nose up Rocky’s bum anyway.

Brutus has a thing about bottoms, he likes cleaning Gordon’s bottom and has even stuffed his nose up Sunny’s bottom and Sunny has a bottom like an over ripe peach with a hole in it. Brutus nearly lost his head up there but we won’t talk about that.

The joys of puppy-hood!

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Brutus and the Garbage Men


Brutus officially started his guard dog training today – well I say guard dog training, Rocky is teaching him the ways of the world and who to bark at, who to threaten, who to abuse from the fence – that kind of thing.

Abdel and I were in bed when we heard the familiar sound of the bin men doing the garbage collection – you know the sound of bins being lobbed across the street.

Rocky always barks but he always wait for the dog over the road to start first. Now this dog has a rusty bark that all elderly dogs have that can normally be heard around 11pm when people come home from the pub.

The rusty bark is normally translated into ‘Keep the noise down you piss head, I am trying to eat a bone’ Then all the dogs start yelling for the drunken yobs to be quiet and before you know it, the whole suburb has kicked off in canine uprising.

Well this morning I heard the obligatory rusty dog bark from the senior dog from over the road.

I will make no apologies for the language because if you only knew what your dog yelled at from the confines of your garden, you would be shocked to high heaven.

When you see dogs running up and down through the garden and jumping up at the fence barking at the postmen, Telstra people, religious nutters – they are not just barking. Oh no, just you listen and you listen good because they are shouting things like ‘piss off or I will eat your balls off’

Some of the more rebellious dogs shout out ‘wanker’ at Telstra engineers. Honestly I have seen Rocky do it and even flip the bird at the Water Corp people while Gordon flashed his arse in the window and called them ‘Turd legs’.

Anyway, I digress as usual, Abdel and I were lying in bed with Gordon when we heard the rusty dog bark which was the official signal for all self respecting dogs to stand by their gates and being the wave of abuse that occurs on garbage day.

‘The wankers have arrived!’ The elderly dog barked in his rusty voice.

Rocky ran up to the next level of the garden, his hackles up like the spine of a dinosaur.

‘Oi, wanker! Get off my land’ Rocky yelled. Dog with rusty bark shouted back ‘Good on ya Rocky!’

Brutus is only a baby and doesn’t even get left in the garden on his own as his guard dog instincts have not kicked in yet, whilst Rocky’s are superb and he is an excellent guard dog.

‘What do I do?’ The little brown dog asked Rocky who looked so important as he did ‘wanker’ gestures with his paws to the bin men.

‘Just copy me lad!’ Rocky said and then as the garbage truck picked up our recycling bin, Rocky had worked himself into a pitch of hysteria and shouted ‘Get off my bin you fat twat!’

Honestly, the language was dreadful and now the old woman’s dog next door but one, was joining in and calling the bin men ‘Derro Face’.

The staffie in the house opposite who isn’t the brightest dog on the block, had gone one better and had a moldy bone in his mouth and was yelling ‘Don’t you touch my bone you turd mouth’ in an Italian accent as his owners are Italian.

Rocky I might add, does have to accept some responsibility for the bad language from the dogs in my suburb as he has at some point in their lives, taught them a selection of words that he had learned as a working dog on a farm down South. I mean, how those working dogs talk to the sheep would shock the Pope himself.

In the meantime Brutus had decided that it was now or never, he had to defend his property and even as a baby dog, he still had teeth that he could savage with. Yes, some of those teeth had fallen out and what was left no longer fitted nicely in his puppy mouth as they were either loose or too small but he could still bite the ankles of many and gas them with puppy breath.

Taking a deep breath, Brutus followed Rocky to the next level and said to the black kelpie dog that now looked like a dinosaur with his hackles up ‘What do I shout?’

Rocky sighed impatiently ‘I don’t know, just look and act scary, this is a hostile invasion of our garbage bins’ And with that, he carried on flipping the bird, shouting and swearing at the truck as it picked up the bins from each house, emptied them and threw them back on the ground.

Brutus felt nervous, this was his time to prove himself as a man so he stepped closer to the fence and started to yell.

‘Save your children! Save your families! Burn the bitch, gouge her eyes, drown the fishes, kill the pirates, steal my bones and shit on your floor!’ Brutus sounded almost triumphant and then yelled ‘Turd legs’ (Rockys favourite expression and one of mine as well)

‘Wanker bin thieves…..’ Stopping mid-sentence, Rocky stared at Brutus and said ‘Drown the fishes, kill the pirates, what the hell does that mean?’

Brutus blushed but by now was over excited at his own bravery and promptly pissed himself.

Gordon sat at the window and was shouting his bit ‘Gingers have souls too’ and then added ‘Drown the fishes?, what is he on about?’

(sounds of raucous laughter from other dogs in the suburb, all taking the piss out of Brutus, his puppy voice and what he was saying)

‘You have to swear Brutus, there are no fishes to drown’ Rocky hissed in the little dogs ear. Really he had embarrassed him now, there would be no living this down.

‘Bum hole’ Brutus shouted and then let out an enormous fart that even impressed Rocky.

Nodding approvingly, Rocky did the thumbs up sign to the Italian staffie over the road who then cheered back.

And so the barking went on, Rocky and the other boys yelling violence and obscenities at the garbage truck and Brutus still shouting about pirates and fishes, trying to look like a big dog, not really sure as to what he was barking at but copying Rocky and trying to look as menacing as a baby dog could with milk teeth and legs too big for his body.

Honestly, it was like dog borstal. All the dogs running up to their fences yelling rude stuff and calling the garbage truck ‘shit heads’ and ‘wankers’.

Some dogs took it further and flashed their genitals and bums to the bin men, one dog from over the road – an elderly border collie went one further and said he was assaulted by the garbage truck and now fears for his life.

‘Did I do OK?’ Brutus asked Rocky, he felt totally exhausted after that, it was time to eat some stones and kick up some dog shit – Rocky had done a nice white dog poo from having his bone the other day, although I never let the dog turd dry on my grass, it is picked up as soon as it falls out of their bums.

Rocky who was still confused about the fishes and pirate comments, looked at Brutus and stared at him.

After what seemed ages, he nodded and replied ‘You are getting there lad, you are getting there’

Ten minutes later the suburb was quiet again, garbage bins lay in various positions along the pavement where they had been picked up and dropped. People came in/out of their homes to wheel their bins in.

The dogs were all quiet and it were as though nothing had happened.

Brutus went back to the fence where he could only just see outside.

‘Oi!’ Brutus shouted to a woman who was walking by.

She glanced round to see who was talking – she must have ‘spoken dog’ to understand Brutus.

‘Turd legs’ Brutus yelled and then ran back to where Rocky was, so fast that he fell down the last step.

‘Good lad Brutus, good lad’ Rocky grinned and then nodded to Brutus ‘Next time I will teach you what to say to Telstra people’

Both dogs sat by their kennels, Brutus felt so grown up and aside from his fishes and pirates comments, he felt as though the morning had been a success.

Rocky was secretly proud of him as well – he would make a guard dog out of him yet.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Brutus’s First Trip to the Beach



‘Are we there yet?’

Our trip to the beach on Saturday sort of went well except that Brutus shouted to anyone that would listen and anyone that wouldn’t that he was being murdered and tortured and how on earth could the other dogs enjoy running into the ocean with such passion?

Rocky was severely pissed off because he wanted to go swimming but we didn’t let him as he needs one of us to go in with him. He is such a strong swimmer he can out swim us and normally has to be dragged back to shore screaming and kicking in a full blown kelpie temper tantrum.

‘This is your fault I can’t go swimming, I am going to bash you for this!’ Rocky sneered at Brutus who was trembling at the sound of the Corellas in the trees above him.

(sounds of a dirty evil human laugh)

‘What the hell was that?’ I asked Abdel – seriously, this laugh was evil and very loud.

‘Parrots’ Abdel replied and nodded towards the tree where this white cockatoo was on a low branch and sure enough was laughing loudly. Another one in the tree was shouting ‘hello’ repeatedly, I can only assume they were once pets or extremely imprinted with human contact.

Still it was somewhat amusing hearing parrots laugh and say ‘Hello’ to you.

‘Bloody hell – a talking bird, that is so not normal!’ Brutus cried.

‘Bloody hell, a talking dog!’ The Corella shouted to his mate in the next tree.

‘Oi, long legs! Whatcha doin’?’ One of the parrots shouted to Brutus.

Brutus looked up and sighted a Corella smoking a fag from his branch – and that bit is true, you ask Abdel.

‘Yeah, I am talkin’ to you’ The Corella said in a strong Aussie accent.

Brutus looked up in shock and then at Rocky for support. ‘Don’t look so surprised, all animals can talk’ Rocky said; momentarily breaking out of his ‘I want the ocean’ kind of trance.

We carried on walking, well I say that, it was quite hard as Brutus suddenly found his legs too big for him and kept tripping up over his huge paws.

‘Who on earth gave me these legs and paws, they just don’t fit!’ Brutus said fretfully as he tried so hard to walk normally like Rocky does.

It is however, quite funny leash training a puppy, Brutus follows Rocky’s lead and Rocky becomes a bit ‘special needs’ when he gets to the beach as he lives for the ocean.

‘Must get into the ocean, must get into the ocean, where is my tennis ball, must get into the ocean’ The little black kelpie dog said in almost robotic fashion while dragging Abdel across the pavement.

Then he started sideways prancing like a badly coordinated racehorse and tripping over his legs. When he finally composed himself and realised that the parrots were not going to kill him, he decided that having everyone look at him and smile at him because he looked cute was actually quite nice.

‘Are you here to see me? Oh how kind of you’ Brutus said happily to everyone that looked at him. His long clumsy legs and large paws kept tripping him up which made people laugh and one guy even went up to him and gave him a kiss and a cuddle. Mind you, he appeared off his face on dope judging by the smell coming from his van but still, he showered Brutus with hugs and kisses which made Brutus truly believe that everyone was on the beach purely for him.

When we got to the beach Brutus looked totally horrified and terrified at the same time. The waves crashed onto the beach, lots of other dogs happily ran into the ocean, barking and chasing toys.

‘Oh let me swim!’ Rocky pleaded and when we told him he couldn’t on this occasion, he launched into a stream of abusive words that included ‘Turd legs’ and ‘Twattage’ – which is very rude indeed even for Rocky.

‘Tsunami, we are all going to be swept away!’ Brutus shouted hysterically as a wave came near his paws.

‘Bloody girl dog, look at ya!’ A large bull Arab sniggered and then came too close to Brutus and sniffed his arse which angered Rocky somewhat.

‘First time on the beach?’ A Labradoodle bitch asked Rocky whilst nodding in the direction of Brutus.

Rocky sighed and said yes, it was his first time on the beach and he was embarrassing the hell out of him.

We managed to walk up and down the beach once before Brutus threw himself on the sand and refused to walk any more on grounds that the waves were sent to sweep him away and make him sink to the bottom of the ocean to swim with the fishes – he had seen the film ‘Godfather’, or was it ‘Dogfather’? Either way, he wanted to get away from the water and pronto.

A reluctant Rocky was dragged away from the ocean leaving his doggy friends looking on in dismay that he wouldnt be staying to swim with them.

‘Call me!’ Mouthed the bull Arab to Rocky and did the phone gesture with his paws – you know the one I mean, humans do it as well.

Shrugging his shoulders, Rocky smiled apologetically and said to the Labradoodle ‘See you next week?’

The Labradoodle blew him a kiss and said that yes, she would see him next week but only if obedience class was cancelled.

We all made our way to South Beach cafe where Brutus made friends with a whippet bitch called Poppy. He was really quite taken in with the skinny little dog with a snout so pointy it could almost be a weapon, and washed her ears for her and did some ‘puppy munching’ by the side of her mouth and she in turn, loved him back.

It all got too much for Rocky, the frustration of not being able to swim and everything and when Brutus put a paw on Rockys back which he does all the time at home, Rocky snapped and really told the little pup off and actually displayed teeth.

‘Do not show me up in front of my mates!’ Rocky snarled at Brutus who blushed and his head creased into a worried frown. Sighing in a way that only a reprimanded dog can, Brutus sank to the floor and made eyes at Poppy to try and get sympathy – Poppy looked back and pulled an expression that told Brutus ‘Putting ones paw on another dogs back in public is not cool’

The South Beach canine crew were quite interested to see Rocky’s new brother and agreed that whilst he is far too young to bother with, he could make for an interesting friend when he is older but only if he gets over his girly fear of water.

(Don’t tell Rocky I told you but Rocky used to have a fear of water – even the smallest amount and now he is the finest swimmer South of the River).

When we got home Brutus was exhausted and went straight to his crate to sleep. Later on when I fed the dogs, I heard him talking to Rocky.


Rocky and Brutus discuss their fears

‘Rocky, I shall never be brave enough to go in the water’

Rocky who was half asleep on his bed took a deep breath and replied ‘You will one day I promise’.

‘Rocky’ Brutus asked again.

‘Yes Brutus’ Rocky was being ever so patient with him.

‘I bet you don’t know what it is like to be scared of water’ Brutus said, his voice wobbled, he was going to cry. So many new things, so many naughty things that were easier to do than behaving, so many distractions and so much to learn, he was thoroughly overwhelmed by life itself.

The shiny black kelpie (beetle dog) glanced at Brutus thoughtfully. Little did Brutus know that when Rocky came to us with a damaged hip caused by someone kicking him, plus he came to us with a phobia of water that was so severe that it could only be explained by someone punishing him and scaring him so badly using water that Rocky couldnt even have the stuff near him.

‘Yeah, I know what it is like to be scared and I know what it is like to not be scared if that makes sense’ Rocky said quietly.

Brutus stared at Rocky and placed his head on his front paws to sleep.

‘Yep, that makes perfect sense’ Brutus replied.

And with that, both dogs went to sleep.

Happy Easter everyone.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013