It’s been almost two years since my darling kelpie Rocky crossed over to Rainbow Bridge – 2 years on 9th September to be precise. I remember that day as though it were yesterday and never did I imagine that losing a pet would hurt that much, it were as though he took a piece of me with him.
Brutus took months and months to find himself after Rocky left before he realised that he could bark at the garbage truck with the best of them. He even learned how to swim in the ocean which is something that we never thought that he would do. Rocky was the swimmer, Brutus was the barker that would give accusing looks if he was made to go in the water. Now Brutus can swim like a fish, although his motive is to catch water birds but that is another story entirely.
So this story is dedicated to the memory of my Rocky dog because this is just what I can imagine him doing.
Sunday afternoon at Brutus’s house
It was a cold, wet and windy Sunday afternoon where most animals would be snuggled up inside their warm kennels or their homes. Kevin was curled up on his cat tree planning on what he would have for his tea. He spent a large part of his day thinking about food and this was a perfectly acceptable way to pass the time for him.
Brutus was standing by the dining room window. He was bored and rather fancied catching up with Vader and Pippin but he knew that they would be up to other things. Turning round to Kevin, Brutus shouted “Catch you later, I am just going for a walk!” and before Kevin had chance to reply, Brutus had slammed the door and was trotting down the garden path. Kevin barely looked up, in fact I don’t even think that he heard him. “Yes, I am definitely looking forward to my roo meat tonight!” He mumbled to himself and noticing that he was already salivating, he quickly tried to clean the drool off his face with his paws.
Brutus didn’t need to go far to amuse himself. He stopped at the side of the road and checked for cars – just like his human had taught him. Straining his eyes to look at the park, he saw that there were no dogs or people there and it was completely empty.
Making his way to the small row of shops at the edge of the park, Brutus thought that perhaps if he checked the cafe out, he might be able to score a snack of some kind. And you can’t blame him for that as any self respecting dog would do the same.
Sighing, he saw that all the shops were closed – except for one and it was a shop that he had never noticed before. All the same, it was open and Brutus thought he would go and take a sticky beak to pass the time. ‘Antique Dog Toys’ Brutus read the sign on the outside of the shop out loud, “How strange, I wonder when this opened?” Then giving himself a good shake, he decided to go in and see what toys they had on offer.
As he walked in, a loud bell sounded to alert the owner. The shop smelled positively delicious to Brutus, it was a mix of cooked beef, bones, Schmackos dog treats and a touch of excitement. “Wow, where am I?” Brutus gasped and as curiosity got the better of him, he started checking out the shop in more detail.
Heaps of tennis balls, old stuffed toys, rope tugs, frisbees to name but a few, adorned the shelves. There was a shelf with an old cash register on top and a bowl of dog treats was placed next to it. On a lower shelf were old smelly bones that may well make a human look away in disgust, but to any dog – it was like the best thing for them to smell. And the older the bone, the better especially if it has been buried for months and then dug up. Just ask your own dog if you don’t believe me.
Brutus gasped when he noticed in the corner of the shop, was a bright red mini lamp post with a small picket white fence surrounding it in the corner of the shop – it was there for dogs to cock their leg if they chose to. Not Brutus though, he still squats like a female dog.
“How on earth did I not notice this shop before? All these old toys, do they belong to other dogs?” Brutus thought to himself. It was true, the toys didn’t look new at all, far from it. They looked chewed, played with, tatty and some might say, ‘well loved’.
Brutus was so engrossed in looking around this little shop, that he didn’t notice the owner sitting in a leather chair behind the counter. A little black kelpie dog sat on an antique leather chair from behind the counter. Wearing a tweed suit with gold half rimmed spectacles perched right on the edge of his snout, the look was complete with a large gold watch on a chain that was carefully placed in the inside pocket.
The kelpie studied Brutus noting his excitement to be in such a shop. His tail wagging furiously like the propellor of a helicopter, he managed to knock a few tennis balls off the shelf. Feeling his jowls burn with embarrassment, Brutus frantically tried to grab some of the tennis balls in his mouth. Managing to pick up only two of them, he looked up to see the little kelpie peeking over the top of his gold rimmed spectacles and staring at him.
“Oh my days, no way, it can’t be! Is that you?” Brutus dropped the tennis balls out of his mouth letting them bounce on the floor of the shop.
“Hello Brutus!” The kelpie wagged his tail and jumped off his chair towards Brutus who had his tail tucked in between his legs because he was so overwhelmed.
“Rocky!” Brutus yelped and playfully nudged Rocky in recognition, “It is you! I knew you would come back for me!” As the two dogs greeted each other, their tails wagged so hard that they not only cleared all the tennis balls off the shelves, but managed to knock off a few stuffed toys as well.
“Come on my friend, we have some catching up to do!” Rocky said firmly.
“What if someone comes in and disturbs us?” Brutus frowned.
“They won’t, well they can’t actually.” Rocky replied.
Brutus pondered about asking further questions but didn’t. He had never needed to question Rocky because Rocky knew everything – he had been to Kelpie university you know. As the storm picked up outside and the rain lashed against the windows of the shop, the two dogs chatted without barely stopping for breath. They didn’t even notice the weather outside because they were so engrossed in each other.
A short while later
“So what’s with all of these old toys? I don’t get it?” Brutus questioned Rocky.
“Well, when a pet crosses over to Rainbow Bridge, their spirit remains in their toys, furniture or anything that they may have loved, chewed or loved sleeping on. Take Kevin for instance.”
“I’d rather not, he is a right bastard!” Brutus muttered.
Rocky laughed and carried on talking. “Kevin is sleeping in that old grey plastic bed that Mum bought for their very first cat Bruno way back in 1995 I think it was. “That catnip blue mouse with the leg chewed off, well the leg that I chewed off. That belonged to Mums other cat in England called Juniper and then it was handed down to Gordon.”
Brutus cocked his head to the side, “Yes, you are right. Mum has the box of toys that belonged to Gordon and she gave them to Kevin and some of those toys were way back from when they lived in England.”
“It’s not just toys Brutus, it can be anything that the animal loved. Take the food bowls that Mum brought over from England – they belonged to Bruno and Juniper. Gordon used them and now Kevin has them.” Rocky added.
“But what’s the connection with these toys in the shop?” Brutus repeated his question to
Rocky, “What IS this shop?” He pulled off his spectacles from his snout and fiddled with them for a few seconds. Then removing his silken red handkerchief from his pocket, he huffed on his glasses and set about cleaning them.
Once he had done that, he looked at Brutus and said matter-of-factly, “It’s a magic shop of memories because every toy in this store is just that – a memory. They have all belonged to a dog or cat that was loved and has now crossed to Rainbow Bridge.”
“Even the tennis balls?” Brutus questioned and looked at the tatty tennis balls scattered on the floor.
“Especially the tennis balls!” Rocky smiled and placed his spectacles back on the end of his snout.
About ten minutes later Brutus reluctantly stood up. “I guess I had better go home now, Mum will be worried about me.”
“Take care my friend and remember that those you love, never really leave you – we are always around somewhere and our memories appear when you least expect them to.” Rocky gave Brutus a friendly nudge. “Now if you will excuse me, I have work to do!” Rocky said with a firm nod before jumping back on his leather chair and fiddling with the cash register.
“Goodbye Rocky and thank you!” Brutus smiled at him and walked out of the door. As the door shut behind him, Brutus realised that he had meant to ask Rocky if he would see him again. Turning round to go back in, Brutus was confused to see that the shop that he had just left, was actually nothing but a vacant building with ‘For Rent’ on the front and not the antique store that it was a few minutes ago.
Sounds of thunder rumbled in the distance and it had started to rain heavily again. Brutus shivered and looked at the shop before running home as fast as he could because he hated storms.
It was a cold and wet Brutus that arrived back home. His Mum hadn’t even noticed that he had gone and Kevin was fast asleep in his basket.
After rubbing his soaking wet body on his blankets to dry himself, Brutus inspected the toy box outside under the pergola. There were dog tugs, tennis balls, Brutus’s old tatty flappy cat which no longer had any stuffing inside, there were cracked rubber dog tugs, old honking pigs without the squeak inside them and a few old scruffy Kong toys that were there before Brutus’s time and had belonged to Rocky as a pup.
Brutus startled as he heard a noise from behind him. Three tennis balls bounced randomly on the concrete – it were as though they had been thrown from the box.
The balls were tatty and fluffed up from where Rocky used to carry them around for hours on end. They had certainly seen better days that’s for sure. But you know what, they were still OK and had some life left in them.
As Brutus carefully picked up the tennis balls one by one, he placed them back in his toy box and went back inside.
Every toy in your pets toy box tells a story and keeps the memory of the last pet that played with it, alive. Especially tennis balls, let’s not forget the tennis balls.
This is a story about Kevin’s Christmas – it contains mild adult content and lots of talking animals. You may not believe that your pet can talk in which case, it might be best to leave now because in my little world – animals have active social lives, can talk and even go to work and drive cars. If you are a believer, then pour yourself a glass of wine (or make a cuppa) grab a chair, put your feet up and enter a world where cats talk, swear, smoke catnip cigars and rule the world.
Introducing the following kitties for this Christmas story
Kevin (domestic longhair)
Kevin is our semi feral, grumpy cat who has a nasty habit of biting/attacking people depending on how he is feeling.
Don’t get me wrong because despite his behaviour, we do love him very much and there are days where we as his humans just want to bury our faces in that floofy belly and kiss him but that would just be silly because we would probably die, well maybe not die but get our faces shredded. It would be like kitty graffiti – with antibiotics, where he puts his mark on us like some people tag fences and public buildings. Only it would be our face and all the cats in the neighbourhood would know that it was the work of Kevin the bastard.
If Kevin were human, he would be the Christmas ‘Grump’ and be one of those people that would frequently say ‘I bloody well hate Christmas’ and make a huge point of telling everyone that there is no such thing as Santa and no, he absolutely does NOT want a Christmas present from you but then gets annoyed when he doesn’t get one.
Kevin has a pretty impressive set of pantaloons and in case you don’t know, pantaloons are the fluffy area on a cat’s bum which give the impression of wearing pants.
Kevin attends a young offenders program to try and rehabilitate him from biting people. This involves learning new skills and anger management but doesn’t always work and he ends up using our legs as scratch posts.
Brutus (Kelpie/ridgeback mix and the ‘goodest’ boy ever)
Brutus is Kevin’s brother from another mother. He is a large, clumsy dog with a heart of gold and he hates confrontation much preferring to run away from a fight than towards it. Brutus is not the smartest dog on the block but he has lots of friends that love him for who he is and that is a beautiful smoochy dog that still believes in all things good and fluffy teddy bears.
In his spare time Brutus likes to chase butterflies and sing in the local dog choir. He once starred in a doggy boy band called the ‘Breeder Boyz’ but that is another story and if you want to read about that, you will have to buy my book titled ‘Planet Iggy’. But I warn you, that contains stories about talking dogs and is even more childish than this one.
Omar (Maine Coon)
Omar is the largest cat out of all of his friends and is so big that he even makes Kevin look small. He is a kind boy that likes to pick flowers for his Mum and he assists the elderly neighbours by digging up their weeds for them in return for the odd chicken neck. If he were human, he would run errands for the elderly and visit nursing homes to sing songs for them on a Sunday.
Omar loves to celebrate things, especially Christmas. Well actually, Omar celebrates everything in his life and enthusiastically gives his thanks when his humans serve his food, empty his litter tray and tell him how gorgeous he is.
Omar takes immense pride in his appearance and makes his humans spend hours grooming out his pantaloons. Some say that there are small song birds hiding out in Omar’s pantaloons, but that could just be gossip.
He is a university educated cat and has studied the art of being a good boy and how to climb the Christmas tree without wrecking it.
Oliver (Cream Burmese)
Oliver is a darling little cat and is employed as the CEO of his Mum’s raw pet food company – Raw Meow.
He is a well-spoken boy and works from his own office at home. He has a computer and one of those year planners on the wall because he is such a busy working cat with a habit of double booking his time.
Oliver takes the orders for his Mum and keeps everything running smoothly. He answers questions about raw cat food and goes to visit kitty schools to talk about the benefits of ‘Kitty crack’ which is freeze dried chicken that cats have been known to commit crimes in order to obtain.
Oliver is well respected within the kitty community but doesn’t take shit from anyone and if he slams his paw down on the desk and tells you to listen – then listen you must or face a jolly good telling off and a stern look guaranteed to shrivel you up.
Teddy (British Shorthair)
Teddy is a naughty cat and like Kevin, can be feisty. He is the one that will sit quietly for a bit and then launch himself onto whoever is annoying him at the time and then when his Mum catches him, he will deny all knowledge of wrong-doing.
Teddy enjoys sushi and by that I mean stealing fish from the neighbour’s fish ponds and using two twigs as chopsticks to eat it and pretending to speak Japanese which he does just to show off to the neighbours.
In his spare time Teddy likes to teach feral kittens how to use a litter tray and on a Saturday evening, Teddy goes to the gym to lift catnip mice to build up his muscles.
Petunia happens to be Kevin’s secret crush. Kevin has a photograph of her in his bedroom but don’t tell anyone I said that as he will kill me.
She is a feminine little cat that enjoys her pop music and likes all things girly. She tried to insist that her microchip be pink but the vet said that was not possible. Petunia got so upset that the vet pretended it was pink just to placate her.
Petunia is studying how to meow in three languages and bird watching.
Kevin of course is becoming quite obsessed with her despite Omar telling him that Petunia is too young for him. Petunia doesn’t help matters because she knows how beautiful she is and thinks that Kev is rather handsome. She has walked past the dining room window a few times pretending to go to the mailbox and seductively digs up the soil with her hind legs when she sees him.
Pippin (Domestic Shorthair)
Pippin lives down the road from Kevin and was initially his nemesis because Kevin resented Pippin coming up to his window and leaving ‘bum marks’ on the glass but after Pippin rocked up one day with a dried sardine in his mouth as a peace offering, they became firm friends.
Pippin is a free spirit, preferring to chase parrots, pretend he is homeless and targets old ladies in order to get more food. He claims that he belongs to everyone and nobody and has been known to do busking while singing the song of his people in the form of yowling and screeching outside his house at midnight in return for kitty crack.
Pippin attends TAFE and is studying furniture shredding and hopes to have his own art gallery one day.
Ned (Domestic Shorthair)
Ned is a kind hearted chonk and is pretty much friends with everyone. He can’t even walk down the street without other cats stopping him for a chat or call in for a bowl of milk and a catnip cigar.
Food is important to Ned and he has a habit of hoarding it in case Australia ever went to war because he simply cannot cope with the thought of going hungry. He is so convinced this will happen, that he has built an air-raid shelter out of the pillows on the sofa and stashed some catnip mice and kitty crack in there.
He has learned some impressive survival skills and can start a fire using just his nails and two sticks. Ned aspires to be the next jungle cat and in his spare time he likes to hang out where there are trees and bushes. This is so he can jump out and surprise people and shout ‘Caught ya’ which has become his catch phrase. One time his vet popped a thermometer up his bum and Ned squealed ‘Caught ya!’ in a high pitched voice which was better than swearing I suppose.
Diesel (Domestic Shorthair)
Diesel is a handsome boy with a busy life. He is always late for things and when he does show up, he puffs dramatically and arrives in a waft of floof, smelling of sexy cat pheromones and his pantaloons all messed up. Omar tells him off for it saying that any cat with pantaloons, should always have them nice and tidy. Diesel likes the wild look and spends ages fluffing up his fur to make it look as though he has a mane.
In his spare time, Diesel attends the local stage school where he hopes to get into acting, in particular for cat adverts. He already has some of the female cats throwing their collars at him and asking him for his ‘pawtograph’.
Diesel likes to dress up in costume and speak in a fake French accent to give off an air of mystery.
It was Christmas Eve and Kevin was sulking because his friends Oliver, Ned, Teddy, Omar, Diesel and Pippin had been talking incessantly about their plans and what they were going to get up to. Their humans were going to buy them gifts, Christmas stockings, treats and probably spoil them with prawns and cold meats. They were bloody going on about it and getting on Kevin’s nerves and Kev was tempted to tell them all to be quiet. Which is why Kevin was at home and not with them joining in the festive banter.
Christmas movies were playing on the TV, with all the usual favourites that people save for Christmas. There were no decorations though as Kevin would destroy them, you should see the fake plant he ruined, oh and the yoga matt as well and whatever he can pull off the walls. That is why we don’t have Christmas decorations.
Kevin was sat in his usual position by the dining room window. He had been waiting for ages for Pippin to call round but he hadn’t turned up, probably sucking up to his humans to get a better gift. Kevin scowled “I bloody hate Christmas! Brutus do you hate Christmas?”
Brutus looked sadly at his brother and knew that nothing could make Kevin change his mind on this one. “No Kevin, I love Christmas and I plan to have a good one catching up with my friends.” He did as well, Brutus knew that he would get more soft toys, a new collar and probably some nice treats so why wouldn’t he like it?
“Well I am off out, you can keep your Christmas cheer and stick it up yer bum!” Kevin shouted at Brutus and then in a flash, he was out of the window to see whose day he could ruin.
Ignoring him, Brutus carried on watching TV, occasionally farting and wagging his tail because he was so happy.
Once outside Kevin went straight to Pippin’s house and sat outside his window to see if he was home. Lifting his paw up to knock on the window, Kevin stopped when he saw Pippin and his human together in the living room. They were watching a Christmas movie together, Pippin was stretched out like a starfish next to his human and she was stroking his belly.
“Bloody idiot letting her do that to him. I would hate to be touched like that! That hand would be in pieces if that was me!” Kevin said out loud. He couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about just on that one day of the year. Why the bloody hell did humans have to get so ridiculously drunk and affectionate – declaring their love for everyone after a few glasses of wine?
Unless of course it was Petunia the cheeky little Persian girl. Kevin had a huge crush on Petunia and he would love to head boop her, except that he didn’t have the courage to tell her how he felt.
Kevin pushed his face up against the window, he knew that he shouldn’t because it would irritate him all the more but if he was honest with himself, it was also because he felt a bit left out of this ‘Christmas cheer’ when all of his friends were enjoying themselves. He didn’t see the point in it and found himself feeling isolated and lonely. Even if it was purely his own doing because of the wall of aggression that he had built up around himself.
There was no point in hanging around, he knew when he wasn’t wanted. Feeling irritated with life in general, Kevin decided to go back home so that he could hump his toys and work off his anger. When he got back to his house, he was so wrapped up in his bad mood that he didn’t see his friends Oliver, Ned, Omar, Pippin and Teddy standing outside his window talking to Brutus.
“You can try but I don’t hold out any hope.” Brutus could be heard saying.
Oliver licked his lips and straightened himself up. “He won’t be able to refuse!”
Shrugging, Brutus nudged the window open so the cats could all jump through it. They hadn’t noticed Kevin hiding behind the palm tree in his garden.
Should he run off now and leave them in his house with Brutus? He could you know, he could hide somewhere until they had gone and leave them to worry about him. It would serve them right for trying to spread Christmas cheer like butter.
Eventually curiosity got the better of him, and after washing his bum for a few minutes, Kevin decided to take himself and his bad mood back home because a tiny bit of him was quite glad that his friends had called round for him.
The window was still open and Kevin fully intended to sneak in unseen. This is somewhat hard when you are as large as Kevin because however you land, it is going to be with a thump.
“There he is – It’s Kevin!” Oliver chirruped to let Ned, Teddy, Pippin and Omar know that he had come home.
“I shall leave you to it, I am going to my kennel and will leave you to try and cheer this Christmas misery paws up!” Brutus wagged his tail and picked up his favourite squeaky hippo toy and went outside to the garden.
The Christmas Grinch
“We have brought you some stuff!” Oliver grinned and without waiting for an answer, he shoved a bag of treats in Kevin’s direction.
It is very hard to be grumpy in the company of a cat like Oliver. He has impeccable manners and is nicely spoken and has the most adorable little face, he also has the skill of being able to get cats to confide in him and cheer them up. Some say he should work for the kitty counselling group because he is that nice.
“Cheer up Kev, we have a night of fun planned for you!” Omar nudged him. He hated the thought of Kevin not enjoying Christmas and would never give up on his ginger friend.
“Is that a little smile I can see before me?” Oliver tilted his head to get a better look at Kevin’s mouth where sure enough, the beginnings of a smile were starting to appear. Kevin stood up on his hind legs and looked behind his friends to see if they were hiding anything, “I don’t suppose Petunia is with you?” He asked hopefully.
Oliver patted Kevin on his back, “Sorry old chap but I don’t think her owners would let her out to an all boys party.”
“Oh well, I don’t need her anyway – this is totally a boys’ party.” Kevin said unconvincingly.
“You my friend may as well join in because we are not going to shut up until you get happy with us!” Ned leaned towards him and gave him a rough head-boop and nearly knocked him over.
“If you don’t laugh I shall piss in your litter tray!” Pippin promised, knowing that it is a huge insult to piss in another cat’s litter tray, almost comparable to sneaking through another cat’s cat-flap to steal its food.
“You wouldn’t?” Omar gasped.
Pippin winked at him, “Might do, depends if he cheers up or not!”
But before they could say anything else, the cats were disturbed by a tuneless voice outside the window trying to sing Christmas songs.
“Silent night, it’s a full moon,
I am a cat with nice pantaloons
I am a good boy and I’d like some fish
Come to my house and please fill up my dish
My name is Diesel the good boy, My name is Diesel the cat”
“Who the hell is that?” Ned winced at the noise and put his paws in his ears to muffle the sound.
Omar shook his head, “That is Diesel – and he sounds drunk!”
“Party time! Now this is gonna be fun!” Teddy did a little dance with his front paws, hopping from paw to paw.
Kevin looked through the window to see Diesel standing there wearing a Christmas elf outfit. “What the bloody hell do ya think you’re doing?” Kev spluttered.
“Hello there Mr Bastard!” Diesel bowed to Kevin, “I have come to spread my Christmas cheer!” Then taking a leap through the open window, Diesel pounced on top of Kevin to wrestle him to the ground nearly splitting his elf costume in the process.
“Who would like a beer?” Ned loudly tapped on a glass to get everyone’s attention.
Diesel looked up and spat out a mouthful of Kevin’s fur, “Sounds good to me!”
Kevin momentarily stopped sparring with Diesel, “Yes please,” and then went back to some energetic bicycling with his hind legs – bicycling is where your cat kicks the crap out of something with its hind legs and is quite cute to look at unless it’s your arm, in which case it hurts.
“Diesel?” Kevin asked him after they had stopped play fighting.
“Yes my good man?” Diesel replied in his best English accent.
Kevin shook his head at Diesel’s outfit with his elf costume straining at the seams and his pantaloons puffing out through the gaps. “What the hell are you wearing?”
“Christmas spirit my friend, Christmas spirit!” Diesel grinned at him, “And don’t I look sexy!”
Only Omar managed to contain himself but as for the others, it was quite a few minutes before they managed to stop laughing.
It’s Party Time!
As the party kicked off, Kevin had suspended his grump and had started to cheer up. But not too much, because he had a reputation to keep up and being too happy would get people talking.
It doesn’t take much to get a cat drunk, not really, just a few cans of cat beer and they are pretty much done. But if you put a whole group of kitty friends together then they always drink far more than they should and that is when they start doing stupid things – a bit like humans.
Several cat beers later and it was all kicking off. Cans littered the floor, the smell of catnip filled the air as the boys took it in turns to smoke it or roll in it and after an hour or so, the cats were ready to take the party to the next level and do some party games.
“Let’s play truth or dare!” Oliver hiccupped, he was drunk. Not that he ever intended to get anything other than tipsy, but Pippin had mixed his drinks together and dared him to drink it. Oliver didn’t want to look silly and finished the entire can in one gulp and was so pissed that he was asking the other cats to pull his paw so that he could fart. Not that he needed permission to fart but there is something hilarious about getting it anyway.
“Oliver, stop it! Remember what happened last time you did this, you soiled yourself.” Omar reminded him sternly.
“OK then, I dare Omar to climb the Christmas tree!” Oliver nodded several times to each cat in the room so that they could see what a splendid idea it was. Such a fine idea, nobody else could think of it, he was sure of that, what a bloody genius!
“Yeah, OK.” Omar agreed, “Except that there is one little problem.”
“What’s that then, are you scared?” Oliver said and let out a huge smelly belch. Placing a paw over his mouth, he giggled “Oops, excuse me!”.
Kevin had forgotten his bad temper and stifling his laughter. Covering his pink nose with his paws, he couldn’t contain himself because Oliver’s manners were usually so perfect that he would even spray air freshener after using his litter tray.
“So what’s the problem then?” Oliver repeated.
Omar’s face was deadpan, he had this skill of keeping a perfectly straight face when he wanted to. Some say he has a poker face and I believe it too.
“There is no Christmas tree Oliver, they can’t have decorations here because Kevin eats them!”
Confused and drunk, Oliver bumped into furniture, swearing blind that he could see a Christmas tree and where the hell was it, and who had moved it because it was there a minute ago.
Whatever mood Kevin had been in earlier, had vanished as he, Omar, Ned, Teddy, Diesel and Pippin laughed at Oliver as he continued to search for the invisible Christmas tree while randomly saying sorry to his Mum for farting letting her down with his bad manners.
Pippin lay on his back drinking his beer from a straw, leaning to his side so he could see Kevin, he shouted “It’s Kevin’s turn for a dare!”
Teddy snatched the packet of catnip cigarettes from the floor and lit one up. He inhaled deeply and blew smoke out in funny shapes through his nostrils, “Kevin, I dare you to go and take a crap in middle of next doors pathway.”
Ned took a swig of his beer and wiped the froth off his whiskers, “I second that!”
“I bet you won’t do it, he won’t do it you know, he is too scared!” Pippin goaded Kevin.
Taking a deep breath, Kevin handed his bottle to Pippin, “Hold my beer!”
Omar raised his eyebrows, “Bloody hell, do you think he will?”
“Don’t know but let’s go and watch through the window to see if he will do it.” Pippin placed Kev’s beer on the table and the group ran to the dining room where Kevin had already got out through the window and was sneaking off to the neighbour’s opposite.
“How on earth can he cat shit on command like that?” Teddy shook his head in disbelief.
The boys watched Kevin creep off to the neighbour’s garden, his fluffy pantaloons resembling a pair of clown’s pants as he waddled down the path. Oliver always said to him that if he had balls under those pantaloons, he would be lethal with the ladies.
“Oh my days, look at him!” Pippin stifled a laugh and covered his mouth with his paw.
Kevin was not used to going to the toilet quite so publicly and he hadn’t been since the night before and was more than ready to go. He was so engrossed in the dare, that he didn’t notice the security light had come on, lighting up the path where Kevin could be seen taking a crap on the driveway.
But the others noticed it and they couldn’t shout to Kevin because it would just draw more attention to him.
A shadow of a lady appeared from behind the blinds and took a peak outside. She couldn’t see Kevin but the security light was still on and it was only a matter of time before she would come out to investigate it. Kevin was still doing his business and could not be hurried. We all know what that’s like, you can’t hurry the act of toileting because the more you try, the more you have to do and end up being stuck on the toilet for ages – forced to check Facebook on your mobile or do some online shopping.
Teddy had jumped onto the dining room table and was noisily knocking bits of paper out of the way. “What are you doing? This is no time to play games!” Ned panicked.
“I am looking for a torch. Ah, there is one!” Teddy picked up the torch and got off the table and ran back to the window.
The hallway light come on and they could see the woman behind the door, any second now she was going to open it and catch Kevin shitting in her garden.
“If we don’t do something soon, he is going to get caught and in to trouble!” Omar fretted, “Someone do something!”
“I could go and help him?” Diesel piped up, but his idea was quickly rubbished because there was no way that he could sneak out unnoticed in his elf costume. Still, the thought was there.
Teddy turned the torch on and shone it directly in Kevin’s direction and kept turning it on and off. “I heard that they did this in the war, it’s some kind of code or something.”
Pippin was impressed, Teddy was like an army cat that knew things that other cats didn’t, he had ‘street smarts’ and had done some outback survival training. No-one else would have thought about using a torch except for Teddy.
It was by some stroke of luck that Kevin looked up and saw the torch flashing from his window. He could make out the silhouettes of Omar, Teddy, Pippin, Ned and Diesel in his elf costume – all of them were waving desperately at him. It didn’t take long for him to realise that something was wrong.
Kevin heard the key turning in the front door and knew someone was coming out. With no time to run back home, he quickly ran behind the grass tree and buried himself in the branches. He felt their sharp edges poke into him and tangle up in his long fur. The security light had gone out at that point but the lady had already opened the door to see what could have triggered the light.
Not daring to move, Kevin stayed hidden by the grass tree until he heard the front door slam shut. Then the sight of the torch flashing again told him that the coast was clear and he could come back to his house.
Never had he run so fast, he ran until he got to the dining room window and in one jump, he was back inside the dining room where the boys were waiting for him.
“That my friend was brilliant!” Pippin coughed because he was laughing so much.
“Do you think she will see it when she wakes up tomorrow?” Kevin panted.
Diesel puffed air out of his cheeks, “My friend, there ain’t no missing that one. It looks like a bloody oak tree, I am surprised you didn’t name it!”
“Oliver, did you see what Kevin has done?” Ned shouted to him.
Oliver walked unsteadily to where the Kevin was and all he managed to say was “I am sure there is a Christmas tree here somewhere” Before he vomited up an entire chicken neck and passed out on the floor.
“Great, who is going to clean that up?” Kevin looked at them for answers.
“Hi boys, can I come in now, it’s a bit cold out here?” Brutus asked from the garden.
“And there’s your answer.” Teddy nodded in Brutus’s direction.
Time To Go Home
All good parties come to an end and this one was no different. Omar had booked a taxi for them all to get home safely so they could wake up in their own homes on Christmas Day rather than on Kevin’s floor wondering where they all went wrong.
Kevin stood at the window and waved as the taxi pulled out with Oliver’s head hanging out of the window, gulping in the fresh air and muttering stuff about missing Christmas trees and how he will never ever drink again.
“Are you feeling any better?” Brutus asked him and handed him a cup of water.
Kevin replied that yes, he was feeling much better, in fact his grumpy mood had completely vanished because he had enjoyed himself so much. He never used to have any friends until Pippin, Ned, Omar, Diesel Teddy and Oliver came along.
And those friends had made a big difference to his life and although he wasn’t happy all of the time, they made him happy most of the time which is better than nothing because a moment of happiness is better than an hour of misery.
Kevin yawned, displaying his healthy pink tongue and white teeth that have caused quite a few scars in their short life and put fear into a couple of vets as well.
“I am going to bed now, I could sleep for a week after this.” Kevin got up to go to his room.
“What do you want for Christmas Kevin?’ Brutus asked him.
Kevin tilted his head, “Money can’t buy what I want so nothing I guess. Merry Christmas Brutus.”
Brutus looked thoughtful and watched Kevin disappear into his bedroom room. He waited a few minutes by his door to make sure that he was asleep, then he trotted back to the living room, nudged open the sliding door and disappeared into the darkness.
Kevin wasn’t sure what woke him up the next day, it might have been Brutus insisting that he get up immediately because it was Christmas Day. It might have been his mobile phone beeping alerting him to the 23 text messages sent by Oliver during the night asking where the Christmas tree was, or it could have been the lady opposite standing in her garden, shouting and demanding to know why there was a huge turd in her driveway.
Kevin didn’t know which one it was but he suspected it was probably all of them.
Stretching himself, Kevin repeated under his breath “Today I am going to be happy and I shall not bite my humans because today is Christmas Day.”
When Kevin opened his bedroom door, he was greeted with the sight of Brutus clutching his new rubber squeaky pig. “Merry Christmas Kevin, you have to come into the living room to get your gifts. Oh yes; and you have some visitors.” Brutus barked excitedly.
Mustering up as much energy and enthusiasm as he could, Kevin stretched and checked his reflection in the mirror – he looked like a homeless feral cat with his fur all stuck together with catnip and beer from the party the night before. His mouth tasted like the bottom of his litter tray, my goodness whatever possessed him to get into such a state.
Walking slowly into the living room, Kevin was about to tell Brutus off for being too cheerful when he spotted Omar sitting in the chair. “Merry Christmas Mr Bastard!” Omar grinned. He didn’t get up though, in fact he didn’t move an inch – almost as though he was hiding something behind his back.
“What are you doing here Omar? Merry Christmas to you as well!” Kevin yawned, taken aback by the sight of him. He should be with his family, what on earth was he doing here on Christmas Day? “Brutus, you said visitors but there is only Omar – you need to learn to count!”
“I have a little something for you, it might cheer you up a bit Mr Grumpy Loons!” Omar grinned at him.
“I may have enjoyed myself last night but let’s not take advantage of the situation!” Kevin growled, “And what are you hiding behind your back?”
“Merry Christmas Kevin!” A little voice sounded from behind Omar stepped aside and revealed a freshly bathed and groomed Petunia, who was sporting her brand new pink diamond studded collar on her neck.
“I don’t understand, I thought you were not allowed to hang around with us?” Kevin fumbled his words but tried to remain composed so that Petunia couldn’t see how embarrassed he was.
“Let’s just say that your brother Brutus can be very persuasive when he wants to be.” Omar replied and winked at Brutus.
Sensing his embarrassment, Omar sat with Brutus to give Kevin some time alone with Petunia.
Not knowing what to say, Kevin pointed to the dining room. “Would you like to come and look out of my dining room window with me, it’s my favourite window and I get to see all the birds and everything?”
Petunia smiled at him, “I would love to.” She shuffled up to sit closer to Kevin and looked at the parrots in the palm tree outside. “You’re right, it’s a beautiful window to look out from Kevin.” Petunia nodded appreciatively and snuggled her little head next to Kevin’s.
And that was where they remained for some time while discussing Christmas, families, friends and all things nice.
Samantha Rose (C) Copyright December 2019
Thanks go to the following:
Thank you to the following people that have kindly provided me with photographs of their cats to use in this story:
Renee Lee, Stephy Jayne, Laura Antonia, Michelle Anne Bullas Au, Jazzy Flick Hill, Julia Soul and Ieva Christine – you guys have been great.
And finally, thank you to Laura Antonia, owner of the Perth raw cat food company – Raw Meow. She loves Kevin even when he is grumpy and gifted him some lovely things for his birthday, including kitty crack and a toy. If you live in Australia and are interested in raw feeding your cat, check out Laura’s Facebook page for Raw Meow.
All characters in this story are purely fictitious and any resemblance to real life cats is purely coincidental. Unless you want to admit to your cat smoking, drinking and living a life of debauchery, in which case everyone will think you are bonkers. I just write it as I go along and use the photos to help me get ideas.
The cats and their photos have been used with the kind permission of their owners. I have credited the photos according to the Facebook names which may or may not be the real names of the owners’.
The story is intended to be harmless and in good fun and no offence is intended.
We have all heard the saying that some owners look like their dogs and as I write this, I alternate my gaze between Rocky and Brutus wondering which one I resemble. I do have to agree though, because I have seen lots of people in my life that do a fabulous ‘look-a-like’ when it comes to their pets and I don’t mean that in a bad way, after all I think that our pets are perfect in their own individual way. I just find it amusing that some people really can pull it off.
Rocky is not amused at being compared to me
(Photograph by Samantha Rose)
Schnauzer – I love these dogs, such characters
(Free Stock Photo Provided by Pexels)
For instance I have seen some elderly men that actually look like their Schnauzer, complete with grey bushy/tufty eyebrows and grey beards and I am not even joking. Next time you see an old man with an abundance of grey wiry facial and eyebrow hair, think Schnauzer and I bet he has one at home if he isn’t out walking it.
When it comes to giving the standard description of a person, I am pretty rubbish and the best I can come up with is ‘Short/tall, fat/thin, grey hair’ kind of thing. But I do wonder if I said ‘Elderly Schnauzer looking man’, if that would that cut it with the cops when describing a suspect? Maybe the cops could introduce a doggy comparison chart for us dog lovers that see a breed of dog in everyone. (Well I find it amusing but then I am a bit wierd like that).
Can you just imagine it in a police line up where there is a GSD, a greyhound, a pug and an Airedale terrier, ‘Officer he looked like number three’, you say firmly as you point to the pug. God that would make life so much easier.
The Afghan Incident
I still hold the mental scars and embarrassment over this, it is so raw that I blush at the mere mention of it so please be patient with me as I relive the shame.
We were living in Devon in the UK at the time and I was walking in to town when I spotted a car parked on the side of the road by the pathway. The window was completely down and partially sticking out was the glistening golden head of a gloriously well-kept Afghan hound.
Now in those days I could never resist a dog, especially when it is so tantalizingly close to me like this one was. Stretching out my arm, I stupidly went to pat the dog on the head (I say stupidly because now I would never touch a dog without the owners consent – ever). ‘Aren’t you gorgeous!’ I sighed and patted the dogs silky fur.
‘Excuse me, do you mind!’ A furious voice piped up and the glorious ‘Afghan’ that I had touched, moved its head, looked up and revealed an obvious human face instead of a canine one as a pissed off looking female glared at me.
Feeling my cheeks burning with embarrassment, I muttered something about being sorry and poor eyesight and needing new glasses. This was and still is true, as I do recall when we were on holiday in Namibia in 2007, I mistook a pile of black rubbish sacks in the distance for a group of ostriches and wanted to go and take photos – but let’s not discuss that as my husband still reminds me of that one.
I quickly walked off and left the ‘Afghan’ woman with her lips pursed tightly like a cats anus and a look of disbelief at what had just happened and as for me, well I just pretended that it never happened. She should be flattered really, does she have any idea that goes into making an Afghan hounds coat stand out like that? I think not.
I thought I had put all this behind me I really did but only this week as I was driving to work I saw a guy walking his greyhound. Well of course I had to have a good look at the dog, you all know I am a sucker for a pointy snout brigade (whippet/greyhound/Iggy).
Unable to believe my eyes, I blinked a few times and looked again – well it was at a red traffic light so I could get a few glances in. This man had a nose just like his greyhound, he had sharp chiselled features and I could have sworn he was walking in sync with his dog with that delightful bounce that greyhounds sometimes have when they walk. The only thing missing was that the guy wasn’t brindle and shiny like his dog but then you can’t have everything.
As for me…
I definitely don’t look like my kelpie Rocky and I don’t think I look like Brutus either. My hair which is a huge mop, could possibly do Afghan when I straighten it or Briard if I go wavy – who knows, but the next time I go to my hairdresser I might just ask her to ‘Do an Afghan’ and just enjoy the moment, providing nobody ruffles my hair through my car window of course.
Brutus and Rocky were in the living room discussing Christmas and their shopping list. Gordon had just done an Exorcist style vomit over the dining room and had gone back to his food bowl to ‘replenish what had been lost’ much to Rocky’s disgust and Brutus’s admiration.
‘So what do you want for Christmas Brutus?’ Rocky asked him.
Brutus looked thoughtful ‘I don’t want much really, I would like a honking pig as Mum killed mine in the garden, I would like some more flappy toys, a spare gingerbread man, maybe a squeaky Santa and another snake, I would like a new collar and ID tag – not one of those crappy collars, perhaps a doggy stocking, a new camp bed for my bedroom and a new stuffed rabbit’ he finished looking absurdly proud of himself for being what he thought was ‘restrained’.
Brutus with last years gift that ‘exploded’ all by itself in the garden
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Rocky gasped ‘Not much? That is a huge amount Brutus and most dogs don’t get that much and some dogs don’t get anything at all’.
Gordon said nothing but stopped eating to listen to the boys talking. Inwardly he was shocked though as Brutus had lots of toys, admittedly some had ‘exploded’ all by themselves in the garden but he never went without that’s for sure.
‘What about you Rocky?’ Brutus asked him. Stretching out on the sofa, Brutus snuggled his head down on the red pillow and waited for Rocky to tell him his Christmas list for Santa Paws. Brutus loves Christmas and every year in the three Christmas’s we have had him, he makes me tell him bedtime stories about how Santa Paws visits all the dogs and leaves them food and bones that their owners have bought them and given to Santa for storage.
Rocky shrugged his shoulders ‘Well last year I wished for my hips to be not so painful and a bit better, but I have already got that present now because Mum bought me special powder to go in my food and they are so much better although I still can’t walk as far as normal kelpies’.
Rocky is a simple kelpie dog with simple needs
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘But I would like some new tennis balls to replenish my collection, I would like a generous slice of turkey if Dad can spare it, I would love to be able to get on the sofa with Mum and Dad and maybe even play with my fluffy penguin after lunch.
‘Of course we usually get a collar each year and I love the Rogz collars and always have a red or a blue one and an ID tag is nice as we usually get one every year as well.
But my best gift is when Mum does her Skype call to the UK and gets to talk to her family and I get to talk to her Daddy – AKA John Stocken because I have met him, I think he could be referred to the doggy version of our Grandad if such a thing exists’, Rocky said knowingly. A wise kelpie beyond his years, Rocky just knows ‘stuff’ and is an oracle of information.
‘You know John Stocken? How?’ Brutus demanded, feeling more than a little jealous of this as he only ever hears my Dad over the phone when he calls me.
‘I have met him’ Rocky said smugly, ‘He came to Perth once and threw my tennis ball and rubber chicken for ages, we had fun, we had cuddles and everything and I slept outside his room for 3 days after he flew back because I missed him so much’.
Rocky, Dad (AKA – John Stocken/Daddy Stocken, and the rubber chicken – Rocky on the left looking camouflaged!
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
The two dogs fell silent for a bit and all you could hear was the sound of Gordon occasionally crunching his cat biscuit.
‘But Rocky, I don’t understand – most of your presents are not sold in the shops so where would you buy them? How would you get them?’ Brutus asked looking puzzled.
‘That’s just it Brutus, Christmas isn’t about how much money is spent on things or how many toys and bones your owners buy for you, it is about the stuff that money can’t buy.
‘Time with those that love you, video calls to friends and family, nice food, cuddles, turkey dinner, the stuff you can only do or speak about with people you love. You can’t buy any of that in the shops.’
Rocky creating his own memories on one of our road trips
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘Sure having toys and stuff is great but those memories last a whole heap longer than any toy that explodes in the garden’. Rocky finished.
‘But what about my toys, I love opening my toys?’ Brutus frowned.
‘You know out of all the stuff on your list Brutus, the one that is the most important above everything else?’ Rocky asked him.
Brutus shrugged because he didn’t know.
‘The collar and ID tag that Mum gets us and pays to have engraved to say we have a home and family of our own. The rest doesn’t matter’ Rocky said.
Brutus quietly walked off to his bedroom and stared at his bed which contained one of his fluffy blankets, his beloved Tony Abbott doll, his stuffed rabbit, his penguin, his honking hedgehog, his bear, baby teething ring and his deer antler.
It wasn’t a too shabby collection of toys, next to it was a bowl of fresh water and a food bowl, his camp bed and behind that a cupboard containing some more freshly washed blankets in case he shit the bed (don’t ask!) and needed his bum washed and fresh bedding.
He walked back into the kitchen and stared at Rockys bed which had been hand made by Cuzz Bro’s Creations, covered in a red blanket, a Julie Gillard doll, another Tony Abbott doll and a gingerbread man which Brutus thinks is his but it really belongs to Rocky, plus a deer antler, bowl of water and food bowl.
Walking into the dining room Brutus noticed a selection of leashes, head collars, a collar, Rocky’s muzzle and Brutus’s camo harness. Brutus also took in the toy box in the garden packed to the top with toys and his recent birthday present of Fat Cat (flappy cat) and his snake he got from Dee Cole at the Funky Dog Company, as well as shit loads of tennis balls scattered around the garden.
Nothing more was said that afternoon about presents from either of the dogs. Gordon never asks for anything anyway and still has toys from when he was a kitten, even his plastic bed belonged to our cat before him – Bruno and is about 20 years old and Gordon loves it. Gordon likes simple things like bird feathers or being allowed to chew my bras (bastard).
Gordon – almost 15 years old and an all round naughty boy and member of the ginger club
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
So today I had to go and do my Christmas shopping and I hate shopping, like really hate it unless I am in a pet shop and then I love it.
‘What would you like for Christmas boys?’ I smiled at them as I was about to leave.
‘Tennis balls would be good and a new ID tag’ Rocky smiled at me.
I shall have a tennis ball please Mum and lots of cuddles and turkey
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘But if we can go to the farm area on Christmas Day so I can catch up with the sheep that would be good as well’ Rocky added.
‘How about you Brutus?’ I asked him.
Brutus stared at me, his red/brown eyes bore into mine, expecting a long list I got ready for his demands of toys/bones etc.
‘If you can see fit to buying me a new honking pig to replace the one you squished in your car that would be nice, and a new ID tag because I have scraped the writing off mine on the wall when I rub myself against the bricks every morning’ Brutus growled.
‘Is that all? Are you sure?’ I asked him, this was news to me – Brutus is the King of Christmas lists and has even resorted to writing his lists on an entire roll of toilet paper to fit in what he wants which involves half of City Farmers.
‘Some turkey dinner would be nice and if I can be with Rocky when you Skype Daddy John Stocken and everyone else that would be brilliant’ Brutus barked at me.
Shrugging my shoulders I smiled at them and went off to do my shopping while secretly wondered if someone had swapped my dog with a newer angelic version.
Brutus the Good Boy
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
After I had gone shopping
‘Did you mean that?’ Rocky asked Brutus, he could barely believe what he had just heard.
‘I’ve got loads of toys, I’ve got pretty much everything really and as you say, the rest of the stuff can’t be bought’ Brutus said firmly.
Rocky looked at his brother in admiration, nudging Brutus affectionately with his snout, Rocky grinned ‘Except for the honking pig – they are $11.00 in the supermarket because I have checked on Mum’s computer’.
Brutus laughed and wagged his tail ‘Yes, let’s not forget the honking pig’.
Going in the car to look at the sheep – cost? Priceless
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Gordon sat washing his anus from the other chair, at almost 15 years old he had seen many Christmases as you can imagine and he had realised long ago that the best Christmas is one that creates memories and not shopping lists, like the time he ate tinsel off the tree and had to shat it out with my help pulling it from his bum (now THAT is a memory!).
You thought I was joking about the anus!
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Three hours later I returned with very little in my bag as shopping had been a total nightmare, we don’t have children so not much to buy anyway really. But what there was in my bag; was a packet of tennis balls and a honking pig.
And in the post winging its way to me is an envelope with two bone shaped ID tags for the boys all engraved with the best present a dog could want – their owners details and enough phone numbers on there to show the world we love them.
The most important things – the famous honking pig, collar, ID tag and a bone. These were Brutus’s first things bought for him when he came out of hospital after being critically ill.
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Merry Christmas everyone, thank you for the lovely comments and support so many of you have given this page over the years.
It was Sunday afternoon and Rocky was in a bad mood as he hadn’t had a good walk in ages, he was also pissed off because he doesn’t have any friends because he hates everyone, including his invisible friends that all dogs have – just ask Rocco about that.
Rocky in his Kelpie Spectacles
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘What are we doing today?’ Brutus demanded in a bored voice. Brutus always assumed things had been organised for him and kind of expected it.
Brutus always expects stuff to be organised for him
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Rocky shook the absurdly large newspaper that he was reading, taking a deep breath he peered over the top of his kelpie spectacles which are just like Harry Potters spectacles except that they are for kelpies.
‘We are probably doing nothing, I hate everyone and I hate everyone even more today’ Rocky snapped and then bent down to chew his anal glands.
Brutus who is not good at ‘reading’ other dogs, shrugged his shoulders and trotted off to Rocky’s bed to steal his gingerbread man who had taken Tony Abbott’s place for suckling time when he needed a comforter.
Unknown to Rocky I had been messaging Denise Pringle asking if she fancied going to North Lake for a walk with Pippin and Bronte and I would bring Rocky.
Telling me that yes she would meet me in the car park I then set about breaking the good news to Rocky that he was to be meeting Pippin and Bronte and Brutus would be staying home with Dad to ‘help in the garden’ (dig the crap out of it).
‘What do you mean I can’t go? I always hang out with Pippin?’ Brutus protested with his bottom lip quivering.
‘What does she mean I can’t go?’ Brutus repeated to Rocky who grinned and replied simply ‘You go everywhere, it’s my turn now – catch ya later alligator!’ Rocky barked back at Brutus.
‘Come on Brutus, go to your room – I have put some treats in there’ I reassured him.
‘Not going, won’t go, can’t make me’ Brutus said in a high pitched voice and then promptly threw himself to the floor (I am not joking either)
Brutus – an expert on sulking
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
The large brown dog buckled to the floor and started to howl. Now the reason for him not going was because I am working on Rocky’s behaviour and confidence around other dogs and he is far better when he is not with Brutus and Pippin has a calming influence on him.
Eventually I got Brutus to his bed and placated him with a carrot but not before he threatened to do rude things with it and the last I heard of him was him threatening to self harm as I drove off with Rocky in the car.
‘Yeah, this is so cool! Do you mind if I drive?’ Rocky grinned at me.
‘No, you are not driving’ I said firmly.
‘Oh well, I shall yell stuff out of the window then’ Rocky shrugged and before I could stop him; he was calling a Jack Russell terrier a ‘flea bitten stumpy legs’.
Soon we pulled up at North Lake and Denise, Pippin and Bronte arrived minutes after we did.
‘Hi Rocky!’ Pippin’s face beamed through the car window as he steamed it up trying to talk and greet Rocky.
Rocky and Pippin – members of the Sensible Club
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Rocky who is so sensible and full of self control, tried to contain himself but as he doesn’t have any friends except for Lexie’s Tess and Pippin and Bronte, he was absurdly pleased to see the two little dogs. He was especially pleased to see Pippin as on the whole and when they are not being corrupted, are both very sensible dogs that wear spectacles and read large newspapers with big words and get on very well together.
‘Hi Rocky, do you think I have my figure back after my babies?’ Bronte said flirtatiously to Rocky who looked approvingly at her skinny bum.
‘Bronte, don’t be so forward!’ Pippin reprimanded her. Bronte looked boot-faced at Pippin and winked naughtily at Rocky causing him to blush and look away.
Rocky and Bronte – a forbidden love
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘Call me’ Bronte mouthed and did a phone gesture with her paws before running off ahead so that Rocky could get the full benefit of her svelte figure and pretty purple outfit.
‘Girls, I will never understand them’ Pippin sighed to Rocky, ‘Now – shall we discuss what has been happening in the UK as I understand they have voted out and I am not sure what that means for exporting dog collars and clothes’
Rocky pretended to listen but kept a beady eye on Bronte who kept turning round to see if he was looking and remaining in one place just long enough to catch his glance.
It was a very pleasant walk and aside from discussing politics, Rocky and Pippin had a jolly nice time that involved treats from Denise’s pocket, discussing the benefits of making ones bed explode and the glories of rolling in horse shit.
‘You see this is the equivalent to Facebook, if I pee on that post then you have to pee on where I have peed’ Bronte said confidently to Rocky as they trotted beside each other.
‘Oh I see, let me see if I can get a bit more out’ Rocky replied and then cocked his leg up a tree and was followed by Pippin who had enough pee for all three of them which made them all laugh.
Anyway the rest of the walk went very well, treats were given and eaten, bottoms were sniffed and the three dogs just enjoyed each others company.
At the End of the Walk
‘Oh I wish I didn’t have to go home I have had so much fun’ Rocky said to Pippin while looking longingly at Bronte who was smiling back at him and doing her ‘call me’ gestures again and was frantically sending Rocky a text. They always have had a bit of a forbidden crush on one another much to the horror of Nica, Zara and the rest of the girls.
‘We can meet up next time old chap’ Pippin patted Rocky reassuringly on the back. Knowing that Rocky had bad hips, Pippin always liked to do his bit for the disabled and felt that it was no trouble helping Rocky as the two had become quite good friends and members of the ‘sensible club’ – well we won’t count the time that Pippin ended up in a lap dancing club run by whippets as that is another story.
Rocky was reluctantly put in the back of the car. With his black snout pressed against the window, he yelled out through the gap ‘Catch ya later Pippin’ and before Pippin could see him, Rocky gave a cheeky wink to Bronte who waved back at him.
Sweet Kelpie Dreams (of Bronte)
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
In Denise’s Car
‘What a lovely boy he is, so polite and handsome’ Bronte sighed as she settled into her bed.
‘Bronte!’ Pippin chastised her.
‘Well, he is jolly handsome’ Bronte barked back and then huffed some steam on the window and drew a love heart on it with her paws.
‘Rocky is too sensible to have flirtations with Italian greyhounds’ Pippin said firmly.
‘Yeah, I guess he is – but a girl can try….’ Bronte said quietly.
Bronte the pretty girl
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Back at Home
‘You are such a bastard, I hate you, I am never talking to you again!’ Brutus sobbed as Rocky jumped out of the car.
Ignoring him Rocky took a pee up the garden pot, well he had actually used his pee allocation while out with Pippin and Bronte and was now doing invisible pee, but even invisible pee counts when it comes to dogs.
‘I said I hate you and I am never talking to you again’ Brutus said loudly and as if to prove a point, he squatted down and pissed down his own legs. Brutus always looks as though life got a bit too much for him and when he gets upset he gets very loud and very cute.
‘You just did talk to me silly’ Rocky laughed.
‘I said I am never talking to you again, that’s it!’ Brutus started to cry and remained by my car as Rocky marked his spots around the garden to make sure that strange invisible dogs had not infiltrated our security system while we were out and my husband was in bed or whatever he did while we were out.
Later that afternoon
Having thawed out somewhat and deciding that he was totally unable to ignore or be ignored, Brutus decided to ask Rocky about how it went with Pippin and Bronte.
‘Well she is very nice isn’t she, she looked so beautiful in that purple outfit and she has lost so much weight – you wouldn’t believe she had not long had pups’ Rocky said as his face softened at the memory of the afternoon.
‘You fancy her don’t you?’ Brutus burst out and then catching Rocky blushing furiously, he stood up and farted with excitement. ‘You do, you fancy her, you fancy Bronte Pringle!’
‘You are SO childish, I don’t know why I bother with you’ Rocky growled and nipped Brutus smartly on his brown bum to shut him up and made him cry.
Curling up on his bed Rocky hid under his blanket and pretended to be asleep.
‘Rocky, are you asleep?’ Brutus whispered, ‘I am sorry, I didn’t mean to say you fancied Bronte, I know you prefer sheep to girl dogs, I was just joking’ Brutus who was mortified that he had upset his brother.
Rocky stayed silent and kept his eyes tightly shut until he was sure that Brutus had gone back to his own bed. But clutched tightly between his paws was a photo of Bronte that she had texted him plus her mobile number with a message saying ‘Call me’.
Brutus was round Pippin Pringle’s house for tea and bone broth. They were hanging out quite a bit really and the tiny little dog was teaching Brutus how to be intelligent but as Rocky said, ‘you can’t polish a turd’. However, Pippin felt flattered that Brutus had asked him to make him a clever boy and was only too happy to oblige.
Pippin teaches Brutus how to be a clever boy (Photograph by Samantha Rose)
Brutus was sat on one chair with a mug of bone broth and Pippin was on the other. Bronte was round Ayla’s house having a girly night with Gigi, Nica and Zara. Fat Harry had tried to gatecrash it to try but was caught out and sent away by Gigi.
Brutus trying to replicate the ‘Shelby position’ (Photograph by Samantha Rose)
‘Pippin’ Brutus asked him.
‘Yes Brutus?’ Pippin said without looking up.
‘How come Shelby has such large testicles and we don’t have any?’
Shelby is an Italian greyhound with a set of testicles that could be used as door knockers for a castle and was often seen proudly displaying them to make other dogs jealous.
Shelby’s testicle door knockers (Photograph Gabrielle)
Blushing in response, Pippin replied ‘Well because we had ours removed when we were younger. Some dogs have them and some dogs don’t’.
‘But do you miss having testicles because Shelby’s are enormous and Dash told August who told Rocco who told me that he has been seen bouncing down the road on them like spacehoppers’ said Brutus.
Pippin was now going red as he was not used to talking about such things. Not knowing what to say, he merely muttered something about ‘Testicles just get in the way of stuff’.
‘But wouldn’t you want to have a set like Shelby’s?’ Brutus asked Pippin who had buried his head in a ‘Dogs Today’ magazine.
Pretending that he didn’t care about Shelby’s testicles, Pippin sighed and taking a swig of bone broth, he replied simply ‘No, I don’t do heavy weights as I have a bad back’.
Brutus looked thoughtful ‘Mine were never heavy, they were like two frozen peas in a handkerchief when they were removed’.
Brutus has testicle envy of Shelby (Photograph by Samantha Rose)
Looking up in embarrassment Pippin said firmly ‘Please can we talk about something else’.
‘Just going to the toilet’ Brutus said as he jumped up to go to the loo.
Ten minutes later and Brutus hadn’t returned.
‘Goodness me, where is he?’ Pippin said impatiently. That dog could get lost in anyones house as he wasn’t the brightest dog on the block. Pippin had been told that the other night Brutus had used his head to push open the sliding patio security door and had literally popped the entire sliding security door out of its frame causing his Mum (me) to get up and catch it before it fell on the car (yes really).
The guy that came to fix it yesterday just stared at Brutus and said ‘Yes, well……’ as Brutus blushed at the fact that his hammer-head was capable of such destruction – but that is another (expensive) story and I shall leave that to my husband to tell.
Anyway, Pippin was wondering where Brutus had got to and just as he was about to get up, he heard snorting and laughing as ‘Pigaloo’ (Brutus’s nickname) came staggering out of Denise Pringle’s bedroom walking like a cowboy.
‘Hey Pippin, do I look as good as Shelby?’ Brutus grinned at Pippin who had his mouth open so wide that he could have caught flies in it.
‘Oh my god…..’ Pippin spluttered as bone broth shot out of his nostrils.
Pippin says ‘Oh my god’ (Photograph by Samantha Rose)
There stood Brutus with a silken handkerchief tied around the base of his tail with two scented round (large) candles stuffed inside. Barely able to walk, Brutus walked like a constipated cowboy with a poo fighting to get out of his bum.
‘Let’s phone Shelby and tell him I have balls as big as he does’ Brutus said proudly while struggling to look in the mirror and admire his new ‘man-shape’.
Brutus checks himself out in the mirror (Photograph by Samantha Rose)
‘Aren’t you going to say anything?’ Brutus asked Pippin while trying to organise his ‘balls’.
‘Oh my god…’ Pippin repeated and then mopped his brow and took a swig of bone broth before replying ‘They don’t suit you Brutus, they make you look fat’.
Brutus who has a thing for his figure and likes to remain svelte and musclebound, blushed ‘Do you really think so? Do you think I look better without them?
Swallowing his bone broth, Pippin wiped his snout and replied firmly ‘Absolutely’.
‘Oh well, if you insist’ Brutus sighed and then swaggered back to Denise’s bedroom to remove the handkerchief and scented candles from between his legs.
(Sounds of Bronte coming in the door)
‘We have had a marvellous evening but I am so glad to be home, I am totally exhausted’ Bronte said dramatically as she fanned her pretty snout with a copy of ‘Who is who at Dogs West’.
Spotting Brutus, Bronte grinned and said ‘Hi Brutus, how’s it going?’
Brutus got up to greet her and gave her face a little clean to say hello.
Raising her snout to the air, Bronte asked ‘Can anyone smell vanilla?’
‘Don’t ask Bronte, just don’t ask’ Pippin stepped in quickly before the whole story could leak out.
‘Would you like me to fetch you some bone broth?’ Brutus asked Bronte in a bid to impress her.
‘Yes please Brutus, that is kind of you’ Bronte said gratefully.
‘So Pippin, what’s been happening, did you teach Brutus how to be a clever boy?’ Bronte smiled at her brother.
Pippin and Bronte discuss polishing the turd that is Brutus (Photograph by Samantha Rose)
Glancing round to Brutus who was in the kitchen pouring Bronte some of Denise Pringle’s famous bone broth, Pippin sighted some candle staining down Brutus’s legs and a waft of vanilla each time he wagged his tail.
Brutus smells of vanilla (Photograph by Samantha Rose)
Taking a deep breath Pippin replied firmly ‘I think he has a while to go before he is a clever boy, but he sure knows what to do with candles’.
And with that explanation – Bronte had to be content.
Today Brutus, Pippin Pringle and several of their friends attended the birthday party of their good friend ‘Chewy’ which was held at their regular favourite haunt called the ‘Furbaby Cafe’ in Perth in the VID (very important dog) area.
Cake was eaten, dogs were humped by each other from head to toe – literally. Bottoms were sniffed, hot chips were eaten and croissants were stolen and shoved into tiny pointy snouts so quickly that one questioned if they were ever on the table in the first place.
(The croissant thief has not been confirmed but Dash the Iggy was found with croissant crumbs around his snout, he is refusing to say anything until his lawyer is present)
Legs were cocked against walls, games of ‘angry carrots’ took place as the Italian greyhounds use their legs like angry carrots to box one another and Brutus as usual, was used as the regulation step ladder for the smaller dogs to climb over.
A couple of dogs broke into the kitchen after Dash (an experienced breaker-in of kitchens) taught them how to pretend to be invisible and sneak in with stealth like movement. Fletch the Iggy could not quite manage ‘stealth’ but did a very good job of hovering by the kitchen door making Furbaby staff feel guilty.
Anyway, here are some of the photographs of the day – hope you enjoy them.
Samantha Rose (C) Copyright
Chewy gets his birthday cake!
Brutus and his friend Dash discuss party tricks
Brutus and Lupo do some wrestling
Happy birthday Chewy! – Love Brutus
Brutus and his partner in crime Pippin Pringle say ‘wake me up when we get there’
Brutus is embarrassed when Chewy asks if he will sing ‘Happy birthday’ for him
Brutus, Dash and Lupo plan some party games
Zara feels better in her Mum’s arms – she can keep an eye on stuff
Brutus, Apollo and Dash dare each other to sneak into the kitchen
Pippin Pringle has his cake and eats it!
Brutus enjoyed his cake
Pippin Pringle and Brutus on their way to the party
Brutus and Dash have a ‘bromance’ thing going on
Nice cake Mum!
Brutus and Pippin on their way to the party
That cake was nice, can we have some more!
All photographs by Samantha Rose (C) Copyright October 2015
Aside from the fact that Brutus really did go in to hospital, the rest of the story is based on fictitious events and any bearing to anyone or anything in real life is purely coincidental.
The little white dog in the story is entirely made up but saying that, I could just imagine him can’t you?
This story is meant in good fun with no harm intended. It has mild course language and content so parental supervision is advised with regards to its suitability for children.
It is a long read of nearly 5,000 words so you are probably best off reading it over a cuppa and a chocolate digestive or even a Tim Tam (that’s what I would do anyway).
Those darned nails again!
My Brutus has been a bit unlucky with his nails – in particular his dew claws. On the Monday he managed to injure one of his front dew claws yet again and as it looked particularly nasty, I decided to take him off to the vet.
‘But I don’t want to go to the vet!’ Brutus sobbed as Rocky smirked behind his back and called him a ‘baby’ and then made crying gestures with his paws causing Gordon the cat to snort with laughter.
Rocky and Gordon laughing at Brutus
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Ignoring his protests I bundled up his big brown self into the back of he car and drove off to the vets while blasting Usher out on the stereo.
‘I shall vomit any second now and then you will be sorry’ Brutus muttered under his breath as we pulled up outside the vets in the car.
I shall vomit any second now – said Brutus
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘No you won’t Brutus, you are too mean to part with your food’ I laughed.
Brutus looked thoughtful and decided that perhaps he was, in fact he definitely did not like parting with his food, especially through vomiting because he knows that there is many a dog glad of a hot meal.
‘Ouch, don’t touch them, leave me alone, I shall cry if you don’t!’ Brutus shouted before the vet had even touched him. Brutus hates having his feet and wrists touched and I only have to look at them and he is doing the doggy Riverdance across the floor giving Michael Flatley a run for his money.
Brutus not being the brightest dog on the block fell for the old ‘give me a paw’ trick when the vet handed him a treat in return for his paw giving her a second to assess the damage while leaving Brutus fairly smug that he had not allowed the vet to check his paws which in all fairness to him, were bloody sore.
It was decided as he keeps injuring his dew claws, that it would be better to remove them as the injured one was pretty bad and Brutus was duly booked in for surgery for the Wednesday to give us chance to raise the funds (yes we had to pull from the mortgage – but hey, we love him and wouldn’t have it any other way, let’s hope the insurance pay up quick)
On the morning of the operation
‘Please don’t make me go, I am scared, it’s going to hurt’ Brutus cried like a baby. Torn between being terrified of going in hospital and being mortified that he had been fasted, the gentle giant was so overcome with emotion that he didn’t quite know what to do.
Even the usual calm and and collected Rocky was nervous about his brother going to the vet. Normally Rocky gets insanely jealous when Brutus goes in the car and he doesn’t but this time Rocky knew, he just knew and for the first time ever he avoided my car like the flea rinse at the dog wash.
At the Vets
Brutus stood with me in reception as I signed the consent form. Clutching his little brown ‘Brutus-suitcase’ which contained his Tony Abbott doll, a book titled ‘How to be a good boy’ and a mouldy bone plus his blue and white striped pyjamas, his suitcase had everything that he needed for the day.
Brutus looks for a distraction
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Brutus shuffled around from foot to foot and looked around for a distraction. The smell of the vet hospital infiltrated his nostrils and he just knew that it was not a nice smell for any animal and usually heralded a thermometer up the bum or something equally horrific.
Brutus and his beloved Tony Abbot doll that he really did take in to hospital
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
A little white dog sat in the waiting room patiently waiting his turn. Desperately needing to be comforted and given some sympathy from a fellow canine, Brutus smiled gratefully at the little dog who smiled nervously back at him.
‘Dew claw removal’ Brutus said to the little dog and then demonstrated the horror of it all by holding up his wrists and nodding in the direction of his wrists.
‘They are cutting my balls off’ growled the little white dog and then flashed his bottom to Brutus just to prove it. Although his testicles could not be seen due to all the fluff surrounding his bottom.
‘You win’ Brutus nodded vigorously.
‘Yes I think I do’ The little white dog replied in a resigned voice and then started to wash his testicles in a final act of rebellion while whispering ‘Goodbye old friends, it’s been fun’.
Brutus briefly remembered when he was de-sexed and had to say goodbye to his own testicles, he was kind of glad to get rid of them as they got in the way and promised to be the size of grapefruits had he been allowed to keep them.
‘We have made him up a kennel out the back for him, say goodbye to Mum’ The nurse said to Brutus who then gave me a wash on my neck.
‘Love you Mum’ Brutus said quickly and then trying to fight back the tears from nerves, dutifully trotted after the nurse dragging his little suitcase behind him.
On the ward
Just ten minutes later Brutus was tucked up in his bed wearing his stripey pyjamas, with the blankets right up to his neck and his Tony Abbott doll snuggled up beside him.
Not really being in the mood to read but thought it might take his mind off things, Brutus started to read his book ‘How to be a good boy’. There was a marvellous section on there about how to get yourself out of trouble and make your owners forgive you.
This would have been useful last week when he jumped on the bonnet of Dad’s car but that was OK, he could save it for next time.
The white fluffy dog was in the bed next to Brutus and was wearing his own set of red and white stripey pyjamas and had a blue rubber bone beside him for comfort. You see all the dogs like to bring in their own toys in to hospital, it is important to them.
‘Are you nervous?’ Brutus asked the white fluffy dog who was reading his own book on ‘How to say goodbye to your bollocks and still hump cushions’.
The white dog shrugged his shoulders and said in a confident voice ‘No of course not’ and then after checking to see who was listening, added ‘Yes I am, terrified. Are you scared?’
Brutus sighed and bit his bottom lip to try and stop himself from crying and replied ‘Yes, I am and I want my Mum’.
Brutus in bed
(Photograph from Google images)
Nothing more was said between the two dogs, they both pretended to be engrossed in their reading material but both secretly hoped that it would all soon be over and done with.
‘Your turn Brutus’ said the nurse as Brutus was taken from his bed to go to the prep area for his anesthetic.
‘I want to take my Tony Abbott doll!’ Brutus barked and when the nurse wouldn’t let him, all thoughts of being a brave dog were forgotten and he cried like a baby.
‘But what about my Tony?’ Brutus sobbed as he was restrained for his injection.
‘Don’t you worry about Tony’ the vet smiled as she placed the IV drip into his vein so that he wouldn’t become dehydrated during his surgery.
‘Ouch, that hurt, I am going to tell my Mum, she said I am a good boy, I won the Good Boy Award so why are you doing that to me?’ Brutus cried loudly as his huge chunky body tried to resist the restraint of the nurses.
‘I am a good boy!, I am a good boy!’ Brutus sobbed and he kept on saying it because he hoped it would make everything stop and also because he believed it.
Being a good boy is important to Brutus
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
But before he could say anything else, he found himself relaxing and sinking down to the table and was soon fast asleep dreaming of his Iggy friends Pippin Pringle and the gang, his hero Cop Dog ‘Rumble’ and Tony Abbott.
‘Is he dead?’ a high pitched voice demanded.
‘Don’t be silly, of course he isn’t dead’ snapped another voice impatiently.
‘He looks dead, why is his tongue sticking out like a yard of Christmas ham?’ someone else asked.
‘Did someone say ham?’ another voice barked excitedly.
‘If he is dead then I want his Tony Abbott doll’ someone barked.
‘If he is dead I want his Christmas ham, it’s like a bloody famine here and I haven’t eaten in ten years’ said another voice.
Brutus could hear muffled familiar voices but could not quite recognise them. He felt dizzy and unable to lift his head so he slowly opened one eye at a time and he wondered where the hell he was. From the corner of one eye he saw a familiar hideously ugly face of his Tony Abbott doll that had been carefully placed beside him.
Then through blurred vision, Brutus saw a gang of pointy snouts surrounding his bed in the form of Italian greyhounds plus Chewy, Starbuck, Poppy and Vader.
‘Oh look, he has opened his eyes, he isn’t dead!’ Madam Gigi barked in delight.
‘I told you he wasn’t dead, don’t be so dramatic’ Pippin said impatiently and then looked at Brutus and said ‘How are you old chap, bearing up?’
Looking surprisingly tiny and frail in his bed with his sheets tucked up to his neck, his enormous radar ears sticking out and his blue stripey pyjamas rolled up on his arms to reveal bandages on both paws and his IV drip in his arm, Brutus could have melted the hardest of hearts.
Brutus fast asleep while his friends poke him to see if he is alive
(Photograph by Google Images)
It is amazing just how small and vulnerable any dog can look when it is sick or unwell. I recall my little whippet bitch Rema when she was put to sleep due to kidney failure/old age and she was such a big character yet when I sent her to Rainbow Bridge, her huge character had literally left her body along with her heartbeat leaving the smallest of bodies behind.
‘Pippin, is that you? where am I? Who stole my Tony Abbott doll? Don’t let them take my Tony Abbott doll, who has got the ham?’ Brutus said in a husky dry voice. Making futile attempts to sit up, Brutus just flopped back down heavily on to his bed.
‘Take it easy old boy, you are still half asleep. How are you feeling?’ Pippin asked his friend.
‘My paws hurt, where is my Mum?’ Brutus said in a confused voice.
‘It’s OK Brutus; you don’t need your Mum, you have got us’ a familiar ‘special’ voice piped up from the back. Clutching a bunch of stolen daffodils with most of them snapped at the stems, stood Vader the boxer (and his tongue) – Brutus’s good friend and partner in crime.
Brutus and Vader the boxer – best of friends
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
For those of you that don’t know; Vader the boxer has a fat tongue and like all boxer dogs, speaks in a slow boxer type voice. Vader had sneaked away from his Mum to visit Brutus and felt quite proud that he had managed to steal flowers from someone’s garden even if half of them were only stalks – it’s the thought that counts.
‘Oh I say, he is rather nice’ Nica whispered to Madam Gigi nodding in the direction of the white fluffy dog that had just been desexed.
‘Not bad at all’ Madam Gigi giggled and then gasped ‘Oh my goodness Harry what are you doing?’.
Harry was now wearing a white doctors coat that he had found plus a stethoscope and had that draped around his neck. Picking up the fluffy dogs medical chart that was hanging at the end of the bed, Harry nodded to the girls knowingly.
Fat Harry the Italian greyhound (I love this dog)
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘As there doesn’t seem to be one around, I am stepping in as the vet for today and you can call me Dr Harry’ and this dog isn’t a complete man’ said he has had his balls cut off’. Fat Harry said matter-of-factly.
‘That’s OK, he is still cute, testicles are so overrated’ Gigi said to Nica who giggled and then feigned disgust at Gigi’s comments.
The Iggies were really quite naughty and were running amok in the hospital. Chewy had started up the ‘Hump-train’ and was busy humping Dash who was humping Apollo who was trying to give Mako one on the head. All of this of course was being supervised by a disapproving Woody and Fletch who were shaking their pointy snouts so vigorously that they both looked like a pair of ‘angry biro pens’.
Bronte was busy admiring herself in the mirror while Rocco fought with his invisible friend and told it to ‘piss off’ and Fat Harry was still dressed as a doctor and was checking the vomit bowls for scraps and looking at the charts on the beds. Really they were being very raucous and badly behaved and how the nurses didn’t kick them out was anyone’s guess.
Suddenly they could hear a commotion coming from the bed next to Brutus. ‘Someone stole my testicles!’ the little white fluffy dog sobbed drowsily from his bed and then started to make random prayers asking whoever had stolen them to return them instantly.
‘Totally understand mate, mine were stolen as well’ Rocco nodded towards the fluffy dog who was still off his face on painkillers and anaesthetic.
‘Shhh Rocco, don’t get involved in other dogs testicles, it could get messy’ Pippin said in a firm voice.
‘I am still a complete woman if anyone is interested’ Bronte said loudly making Madam Gigi and Nica poke her in her ribs to keep her quiet.
‘You never brag about that kind of stuff in the vets’ Nica said to Bronte, ‘It is simply not ladylike, it’s like taking ones collar off in public – you just don’t do it’.
Zara, Olive, Ari, Ayla and Bambi had all been instructed to sit in the corner and behave which was simply not happening as Zara and Olive had pinched some face masks and were wearing them while threatening to insert thermometers into each others bottoms.
Starbuck, Poppy the Chinese crested, Carlo, Cino, Pino, and Gidget were all having heated discussions about getting de-sexed and whether or not having testicles/uterus made you ‘more or less of a man/woman’.
‘I think I am a big brave boy and my Mum loves me and so does Rumble’ Brutus said in a sleepy voice.
‘What is he on?’ Rocco mouthed to Pippin.
‘Don’t know but I wouldn’t mind some’ Vader laughed.
‘Here Pippin, I dare you to put on a doctors coat’ Vader dared the little Italian greyhound who is known for being straight laced and sensible, well except for when he went ballroom dancing with Eugene the Angry Afghan but we shall say no more on that.
‘Go on Pippin, we dare you’ Rocco and Chewie barked.
Feeling up for a dare, Pippin looked around to check that nobody was looking and put on a spare white coat and then placed his half rimmed spectacles on the end of his nose.
Picking up Brutus’s medical charts to try and decipher them he replied ‘Oh yeah, he is just on drugs and stuff’ and then paraded up to Fat Harry and said ‘You are not the only doctor on the ward you know’.
Fat Harry (left and Pippin Pringle (right) playing doctors
(Photograph by Google Images)
Woody and Fletch were so shocked at Pippin’s unusually juvenile behaviour that they made a mental note to address the issue at the next Iggie meeting.
‘Nice work Dr Pringle’ Rocco laughed and patted Pippin on the back to congratulate him. Pippin blushed becomingly because he was so rarely naughty that when he was, he did it so well.
All the commotion of course had disturbed Brutus who was rambling away in his own little drug induced world.
‘When I go for a shit I do monster turds bigger than you’ Brutus said to nobody in particular ‘I love my Tony Abbott and I love everyone, I am a good boy and I can shit dinosaurs’
Bronte, Madam Gigi, Rocco, Nica, Zara and Olive were now laughing. All of the dogs had gathered round Brutus’s bed aside from Fat Harry who was now winding up the white fluffy dog and had convinced him that the vet had sold his testicles on eBay.
‘Harry will you come here now and stop teasing him about his testicles!’ Woody growled at Harry who looking thoroughly naughty; reluctantly went back to Brutus’s bed.
‘Rumble, it’s Rumble! My hero, I knew you would find me, have you come to save me?’ Brutus said drowsily. His flappy jowls and deformed bottom lip drooped open, his tongue was so dry it kept sticking to the pillow.
‘Rumble? What is he talking about Rumble for, he must be hallucinating’ Bronte said to Pippin in a concerned voice.
‘Rumble!, is that you?’ Brutus said again.
‘Just ignore him, it’s the drugs’ Pippin whispered to the others. Poor old Brutus was seeing things that were not there.
‘I am SO not going to let him live this down’ Rocco grinned at Chewy who was trying to look disapproving which is a look that Chewy does that look so well.
Chewy does disapproving very well you know
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘Well well well Brutus, a little birdie tells me that you haven’t been very well’ A deep and authoritative voice growled from behind all of the Iggies.
Turning round to see who had spoken, Rocco splutters ‘Holy shit, it’s Rumble’.
Standing there in his cop uniform in all his glory was Rumble the cop dog complete with his gun and stuff (ask a cop if you don’t know what ‘stuff’ is). Next to him stood the beautifully stunning female cop dog ‘Z’ in her cop dog uniform also with her gun and stuff.
‘Z’ is Brutus’s friend (left) and Rumble (right) is Brutus’s hero
Photograph by Google Images and Tameka
Brutus knew ‘Z’ from lure coursing and had chatted to her a couple of times when he asked about being a cop dog himself, but luckily ‘Z’ had talked him out of it on grounds that it was too violent for him. But we all know that Brutus is not cut out to be a cop dog we just don’t tell him that.
Sounds of crackling could be heard as a voice was heard over Rumble’s radio. ‘Can you give me your location PD Rumble – over’.
‘Yes I am at the vet hospital just visiting a mate, won’t be long – over’ Rumble spoke into his radio.
PD Rumble – the finest cop dog in WA
(Photograph by Tameka and fit the cop under Rumbles head remains anonymous)
‘Oh my god he is totally gorgeous’ Nica gushed and then pulled out her make up mirror from her back and checked her teeth. Tempted to remove her collar and throw it at Rumble the way in which women throw their panties at a Tom Jones concert, Nica thought better of it and just loosened it a few notches instead.
Even Zara was star struck over the handsome cop dog. They had heard Brutus go on about Rumble and knew that Brutus kept a photo of Rumble in his bedroom titled ‘Rumble – my hero’ but they never thought for one moment that Rumble would take time out of his day to see Brutus let alone refer to him as a ‘mate’. Little did they all know that ‘Z’ had organised this for her buddy Brutus, it was all down to her.
‘Hello there officer pleased to meet you’, Bronte extended her paw towards Rumble.
‘Pleased to meet you ma’am’ Rumble said politely as he tried to ignore Bronte’s impossibly short dress that flashed her Iggy bum.
‘I think I am going to faint’ Gigi whispered to Nica who couldn’t decide whether or not to faint or vomit or do both for good measure.
‘Rumble, is that really you?’ Brutus stuttered in shock. Staring at Pippin Brutus whispered ‘Is that Rumble? Is that really Rumble?’
Pippin who was still wearing the doctors coat smiled and nodded that yes, it was Rumble and the other dogs were just as shocked to meet him as Brutus who had always managed to bring Rumble into a conversation whenever he could and continually spoke about him.
‘Yes Brutus it really is me, what have you been up to then?’ Rumble grinned at the sleepy brown dog who was still neatly tucked up in his bed with Tony Abbott beside him.
‘I have had my paws operated on, they took my nails away and they stole that dogs testicles’ Brutus said drowsily.
Shuddering at the testicle comment Rumble glanced round at the white fluffy dog who was now ranting about his balls being sold on Ebay – thanks to Fat Harry for telling him that.
‘Well I thought I would come and pay you a visit, ‘Z’ has told me that you have always wanted to be a cop dog’ Rumble said to Brutus.
‘Yes but it is a bit too violent for me so I don’t think I would be very good at it’ Brutus blushed and glanced down at his bandaged paws.
Brutus looked up at Rumble, he looked so smart in his uniform with his gun on his holster. He had a real job to do and so did ‘Z’, they both served and protected their community. Brutus couldn’t quite believe that ‘Z’ had organised this for him, he vowed to pay her back somehow.
‘I can’t believe Rumble and ‘Z’ have come to visit Brutus – OUR Brutus’ Rocco said to Fat Harry who agreed with him.
It was all getting too much for Zara and Olive who were now being typical teenagers and threatening to throw their panties at Rumble because they had seen the female dogs do it at a ‘Lassie’ concert once. It was only Madam Gigi who told them that nice dogs didn’t throw their panties at handsome cop dogs but it was perfectly acceptable to drool though.
Suddenly Rumble’s radio went off ‘PD Rumble please can you get to Leighton Beach in Freo, a beagle is threatening to eat everyone’s lunch, a great Dane has done a shit on someones handbag and it is all getting rather heated – over’.
‘PD Rumble and ‘Z’ are able to respond and will be there right away – over’ Rumble said into his radio as Brutus watched him in awe.
‘Catch ya later Brutus, hopefully lure coursing next week if you can come?’ ‘Z’ winked at him.
PD ‘Z’ – Brutus’s friend
(Photograph by Google Images)
‘I won’t be allowed to race but I can come and watch’ Brutus said in a husky dry voice.
‘Sounds good’ ‘Z’ the cop dog replied and handed him a couple of business cards and then mouthed the words ‘Call me’ as she demonstrated with her paws like a telephone.
Brutus could not believe his eyes, was this really happening? Not only had Rumble rocked up to see him – Brutus, but ‘Z’ had given him her business card and asked her to call him and even though Brutus felt sore from his operation, this had totally made his day. If this was a drug induced dream then it sure was a good one.
‘Get yourself some rest, there’s a good boy and you lot, don’t over excite Brutus’ Rumble said to the others in his deep voice and when Rumble speaks, everyone listens as he just has that kind of authority. Hell that dog could make me eat a bone myself if he asked me nicely enough.
‘Sorry officer, it wasn’t me, honest it wasn’t’ Fat Harry said in a guilty voice to Rumble as he walked out.
‘What wasn’t you lad?’ Rumble’s eyes bored into Fat Harry making him blush.
‘These are not my testicles!’ squealed the little white fluffy dog who was clutching two tangerines in a handkerchief and sobbing loudly, ‘Mine were in better shape than that’
‘What can I say officer, the fruit was in the bowl so I made use of it, it’s a fair cop!’ Shrugged Fat Harry.
Shaking his head at Fat Harry, Rumble sighed as he turned round to ‘Z’ and said ‘Come on ‘Z’, let’s get going to Freo to find out about this beagle and the Great Dane’.
‘Take care Brutus’ Rumble barked at Brutus and gave him a pat on the head, ‘And you are a good boy’.
‘Goodbye Rumble’ said Brutus, he was torn between exhaustion and shitting himself from excitement – you all know Brutus and his bowel problems so you get the picture.
‘Pippin, Rumble said I am a good boy’ Brutus said to Pippin. Being a good boy is important to Brutus as you all know so for Rumble to say it made it extra special.
‘Yes Brutus you are a good boy. How cool is it that Rumble and ‘Z’ came to see you’ Pippin smiled.
‘Pippin?’ Brutus asked Pippin sleepily.
‘Yes Brutus’ Pippin replied
‘Why are you and Fat Harry wearing white coats?’ Brutus demanded.
Fat Harry looked at Pippin, shrugged his shoulders and said ‘What are your thoughts?’
‘Well, it was like this…..’ Pippin started to say.
But that was as far as he got because when he looked at Brutus he was fast asleep with his tongue sticking out, his blue and white stripey pyjamas all rolled up displaying his bandages and in between his bandaged paws was his Tony Abbott doll.
‘Take care Brutus’ Pippin said quietly and then said to the gang ‘Come on you lot, Brutus needs his rest’.
As they all walked out all they could hear was the white fluffy dog sobbing to the nurse that his testicles had been swapped for tangerines and nothing the nurse said could convince him otherwise.
It was a drowsy Brutus that I collected from the vets that day, we even had to help him out of the car where he was put straight to bed.
Unimpressed with his ‘cone of shame’ Brutus sat on his bed crying but not quite knowing why he was crying in fact even to this day I don’t even think he remembers crying.
Brutus was actually crying in this photo – no kidding
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
The next day….
It was night time and the boys were in their respective beds chatting about Brutus’s operation the day before.
‘I had the most marvellous dream that Cop dogs Rumble and ‘Z’ came to visit me in hospital and Rumble said that I was a good boy’ Brutus said to Rocky as he lay on his bed.
Rocky raised his eyebrows and laughed ‘You had too many drugs I bet’ and then stood up and turned the several obligatory circles that dogs tend to do before they lie down. Taking a deep sigh, Rocky quickly fell asleep.
Brutus sighed and snuggled up to Tony Abbott who still smelt of hospitals and disinfectant. Feeling something prick his chest in his pyjamas, Brutus sat up and wondered what it was.
Tucked in his pyjama pocket were the two business cop cards that ‘Z’ had given him, one was ‘Z’s card with a message saying ‘See you at lure coursing’ and the other was Rumble’s card and on that one was written ‘Brutus – Catch up some time – Rumble’.
Tempted to wake Rocky up and tell him that it wasn’t a dream after all, Brutus decided against it as Rocky wouldn’t believe him.
But he did come and see him and he said that Brutus was a good boy and in Brutus’s eyes, that was all that mattered.
Samantha Rose (C) Copyright August 2015
Thanks and Acknowledgements
I would like to thank the vets and nurses of Spearwood Veterinary Hospital for the excellent high standard of care that they have given to my Brutus with his recent surgery (and with all of my pets).
It means a great deal to me to find a good compassionate veterinary hospital with a great team that my dogs actually love going to and that I can trust.
The fact that even after his surgery and despite being a bit sore, Brutus was absurdly pleased to go back for his post op visit so he could see the staff there, that really says something.
About the Pet Project Exhibition – ‘One of the Family’
What is the Pet Project?
The Pet Project is a photography exhibition run with the aim to capture the importance of how dogs are part of our family.
This involves three master photographers – Janet Craig, Tina Urie and David Brittain who are working with Cancer Support WA to form The Pet Project.
The photographers are seeking pet owners and their dogs to take part in a professional photo shoot and are looking to capture one photo that demonstrates the love and connection between a person/people and their dogs.
How does the fundraising work?
Each person that enters will have their own fundraising page set up with their chosen photograph and a short write-up about their dog(s). The next step is to get people to sponsor your fundraising page where all proceeds go to Cancer Support WA.
If you are lucky enough to raise $1,200 then you get a free canvas print of your photograph but either way, anything that is donated to Cancer Support WA is a welcome donation no matter how much it is.
Apart from showing the bond between dogs and their owners in a photograph and the fun of actually taking part in a photo shoot with your dog, the most important reason is to raise funds for Cancer Support WA.
About Cancer Support WA
I have tried to find the right words to describe the work that Cancer Support WA does, I have tried to find the right words to describe the benefits, the help and the priceless support that they offer to those affected by cancer but nothing I write seems adequate enough.
I have taken some of the information from their website but as for what they do and the services that they offer – I shall leave you to decide just how incredibly amazing Cancer Support WA are.
*Taken from the Cancer Support WA webpage*
“Cancer Support WA is a leading Western Australian cancer support service provider caring for people with cancer and their families”.
Doesn’t that sound simplistic and easy? Well it isn’t because the words ‘care’ and ‘support’ do not even begin to describe the work that they do and the support that they offer to those that need it.
The Faces of Cancer
I believe that cancer has many faces and it takes on the form of whoever it invades and then the faces of the family and loved ones that it affects.
My friends, family and I are just some of the faces of cancer. I have lost my Mum to the disease, my Dad, friend and sister are in remission from it, I have two friends currently fighting cancer and I have lost a very close friend in 2014 to the disease. Basically we are part of that cruel jigsaw puzzle that makes up a cancer diagnosis.
Here is a link to a previous blog I have done about my journey when my Mum was diagnosed with cancer.
You can see it in the eyes of these people in terms of pain, fear, anger, confusion, hurt and a silent voice that screams ‘I am scared and I need help’ and this is where groups like Cancer Support WA can help.
The Importance of Support and Help
To have a counsellor at the end of the phone to offload to, for someone to tell you what assistance that you are entitled to and help you to get it; this can make a big difference to a person going through such a cold and lonely journey, because that is the only way I can describe it – ‘cold and lonely’.
It takes an entire team which include a huge network of professionals to support a family that has been affected by cancer and in order to have that team, it takes funding and lots of it.
*Figures taken directly from the Cancer Support WA website*
$1,000 can offer support to one person for a year
$120.00 can pay for a counselling session
$35.00 pays for a 24 hour cancer support service
$50.00 pays for a home and hospital visit
$200.00 pays for a family cancer management plan
$300.00 pays for a cancer care pack
$500.00 pays for a research library
These are services that we all hope that we will never need but in the event that we do, we would no doubt be grateful for each and every part of it which is why continued funding is so important. So let’s help the support groups to support those that do need it.
About our photographer – Janet Craig
Our session was booked with Janet Craig who is a professional portrait photographer and owns a successful studio in North Fremantle. She is a Master Photographer with 3 gold bars with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.
How I got involved in the Pet Project
I had seen the Pet Project advertised on Janet Craig’s Facebook page a couple of weeks ago. They were seeking out Perth dog owners to see if they wanted to apply.
It looked fun, although the thought of my two boys in a photographic studio filled me with dread but Brutus had assured me that he would be a good boy and Rocky is always a good boy anyway so I thought ‘why not?’ and sent Janet a message, she quickly called me back and a date was organized for the shoot – Saturday 22 May.
A bit about what I write
For those of you that have not read my blog before, I write about talking animals. Basically I give them their own perspective on life, I write about what they would say if they could talk and I bring their personalities to life in the way of humanizing them.
In my stories my dogs drink coffee, read the paper, have parties, go to school, have meetings and do all the stuff that humans do. Some of my previous stories are quite adult in nature so if you do choose to read those, please be advised that sometimes adult content is used. In this story however, it is child friendly and suitable for anyone with a good imagination and sense of humour.
My stories are childish, some may call them daft while others may say ‘animals can’t talk, don’t be stupid’ But I will say just one thing and that is if you do have a pet then I suggest you really observe him/her.
Because when you do, it will open up a whole new world comparable to that of ‘Dr Doolittle’ and once they start talking, you will be hard pressed to shut them up.
As I have said before, all animals can talk – it is just whether or not we choose to listen to them.
A bit about my dogs
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Rocky is a 7-year-old kelpie dog, he is grumpy and a bit disabled as he has bad hips. Like a lot of kelpies, he is tennis ball focused which is difficult as being so disabled he is unable to have the ball thrown for him.
He enjoys barking at the garbage truck every Tuesday morning which is somewhat annoying so we have started to intercept that. This usually ends up in an argument of some kind with accusations that we have ‘ruined his life’ and how he was ‘saving us from the garbage truck’.
Rocky is a very intelligent and sensible dog, he wears half rimmed spectacles and reads the newspaper while drinking ‘dog-o-cino’ coffees.
Brutus – not the smartest kid on the block
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Brutus is large 2.5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback/Kelpie and could be what is described as the ‘Forrest Gump’ of the dog world.
He is not a smart dog and has a liking for ‘pronking’ (bouncing) in the air trying to catch the water-bombers when they fly over our house to put out bush fires and yes, he believes he can catch them.
On a couple of occasions I have found him on the bonnet of my car perched like a mountain goat while admiring the view and the butterflies.
Brutus talks in a deep, slow voice and if you could compare him to a kid at your school, he would be the annoying, clumsy and naughty child at the back of the class with a bad farting problem.
The morning of the photo shoot
It was the morning of the photo shoot and Brutus and Rocky were getting ready and trying to make themselves look halfway respectable. Having never had a professional photograph taken before, they were practising various poses in the mirror while jostling each other for prime position.
‘Will you let me have a go!’ Rocky snapped to Brutus who was pouting and trying to flex his muscles.
‘I am trying to make myself look nice’ Brutus growled back which only made Rocky angry enough to nip Brutus on the bum. Like typical vain teenagers, the dogs were sucking in their bellies, pouting and trying to find the most flattering of positions.
‘It’s so hard being a model’ Brutus said dramatically and briefly wondered if he should have had his dog chow for breakfast, but only briefly as he believed that breakfast breaks the dreadful famine that he has suffered during the night.
My good friend Moira and her son Chad were coming along to give me a hand with the boys. Brutus at 30kgs and Rocky at 20kgs are a little bit too much for me to handle on my own so I was more than grateful for Moira and Chad’s offer of help.
We were taking my car and I was to sit in the back between the boys while Chad sat with Moira in the front. Not used to having people in the back with them, Rocky and Brutus were clearly not happy at having to share the back of my car with me and it was only then that I realised just how disgusting my boys are.
The journey was quite dreadful with Brutus kicking me with his long legs claiming that there was not enough room for him to stretch. Rocky was blatantly farting in front of me and when I told him off, he blushed and tried to claim that was what the back seat of a car was for – dogs and farting. (I think it was the steak that I had fed him from the night before)
By the time we arrived at the studio in North Fremantle I was more than relieved to get out of the car and the boys were raring to get on with their photo shoot.
Getting ready for the shoot
Janet introduced herself and what a lovely lady she is as is her assistant. They made us feel very welcome indeed.
The studio was large, light and airy with lots of props placed around it and the first thing that struck me was a gorgeous print of several dogs all sat outside a house, it was an incredible shot that spoke volumes and commanded your attention.
‘Oh my god, this place is enormous, it is bigger than our garden, can I dig it?’ Brutus barked excitedly and then jumped up on his hind legs to stare at himself in the mirror.
‘Right, show me where the sheep are, do you have sheep, if not tennis balls will do’ Rocky said firmly and glanced around to see if there was anything for him to herd up.
I had brought some props with me which included Brutus’s Harley Davidson cap, his beloved Tony Abbott doll which is his favourite toy of all time, a black vest that he sometimes wears and a tennis ball for Rocky who was already wearing his smart Australian flag neckerchief that he saves for special occasions.
Brutus when I first bought him his Harley Davidson cap
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
While Janet got everything set up, we were waiting in the reception area that happened to have a large mirror there. Now I don’t know if your dog’s ever react against their reflection in the mirror or even if they have ever seen themselves in the mirror but my Rocky dog has never really taken notice of himself in the mirror before up until now that is.
Don’t worry Brutus – Rocky has it covered!
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Brutus was oblivious to the mirror as Brutus is oblivious to everything really except food and his friends, Tony Abbott and his puppy blanket.
Brutus, Tony Abbott and his puppy blanket (and a carrot)
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
But Rocky wasn’t and once Rocky had seen his reflection, he was absolutely furious about it because he doesn’t like other dogs gate crashing his personal space – even his own reflection.
Rocky – not amused by his own reflection
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘Excuse me, what on earth do you think you are doing here?’ Rocky growled at the angry little black kelpie dog that was staring back at him mirroring his expressions which annoyed Rocky so much that he was beside himself (in the mirror).
‘Who is that?’ Brutus demanded to Rocky and then stared at the reflection but only really noticing Rocky’s reflection.
‘Don’t worry Brutus, I’ve got this covered’ Rocky growled in an authoritative voice and then puffed himself up and to his horror, the dog in the reflection did the same. It was ‘game on’ and Rocky would fight this kelpie dog to save his family – if he had to of course.
‘You have two seconds to get out of here before I make you cry’ barked Rocky and then looked back at Brutus and mouthed to him ‘It’s OK, I think he is scared of me’.
I could see things were going to get out of control and Rocky would end up beating his own mirror image up if I didn’t stop him, so thought I had better put him out of his misery.
‘Rocky, there is something I need to tell you’ I said to him gently, after all there is nothing worse than embarrassing your dog in public and it is quite unforgivable.
‘Step back Mum, this dog is aggressive’ Rocky said tried to nudge me backwards.
‘Rocky, it is not another dog, it is your reflection in the mirror’ I whispered to him.
Looking boot-faced, Rocky bristled with anger and after a painful silence replied simply ‘I knew that, I totally knew that’ and then did what any other dog that had been so publicly shamed would do, turned round and looked for another diversion.
‘Oh look, there is my tennis ball’ Rocky said in a voice that clearly said ‘I have been shamed’ and then trotted off with his hackles still raised.
‘Ha ha ha! You were growling at your own reflection!’ Brutus laughed to Rocky.
Then with a confused look on his face, Brutus asked him ‘Rocky, what is a reflection?’ Bless him, as I said he is not the smartest dog on the block.
Fun in the Studio
We were able to let the dogs go off the leash as the studio door was shut and as you can imagine this went down very well with the boys and totally unused to trotting around on a shiny floor, Brutus galloped around like a new-born foal getting tangled up in its legs.
‘Yay! Look at me!’ Brutus yelled as he ran from one end of the studio to the other.
‘He is SO childish, he is not my brother, please ignore him’ Rocky said looking so embarrassed to be in the same room as Brutus let alone witness the giant dog skidding all over the studio narrowly missing furniture as he did so looking like Scooby Doo on a ghost chase.
When it came to getting ready for the photos both dogs thought it was just one big game and perhaps it was but either way Janet had the patience of a saint.
The tennis ball was duly brought out and Rocky went into ‘Perfect Kelpie’ mode and some good shots of him catching his ball were taken while Brutus just galloped around the studio in his own little world, skidding along the floor and admiring himself in the mirror.
Rocky knows how to be a good boy!
(Photograph by Moira Humphry)
‘This is great fun, I can move really fast without trying!’ Brutus shouted to Rocky as he came thundering round the corner tripping up in his own legs while Rocky was being ever the professional and doing marvellous things with his tennis ball.
When it came to Brutus’s turn to pose it was a bit like asking a child to sit quietly through a Cliff Richard concert – it just wasn’t happening.
We got some shots of the boys together while Brutus was asking Janet if he was THE most handsome dog she had ever laid eyes on. Rocky just rolled his eyes at such vanity and looked fed up while secretly hoping that HE was the most handsome dog that Janet had ever seen.
After all, every dog loves to think that he/she is the most handsome and well-loved dog in the world don’t they?
Trying to get the boys in one shot – not happening!
(Photograph by Moira Humphry)
I would like to tell you that both boys did everything obediently and for nothing other than praise but I would be lying. Both dogs were heavily bribed with treats and high pitched squeaky sounds to make them look the part.
Brutus took full advantage of the bribery and ate his treats with such speed that one could be forgiven for thinking that he had been starved for 50 years. Rocky was also bribed and quickly disowned his tennis ball in return for the dog treats.
‘I am SO loving it here, I love you Janet – do you love me? Can I play here on a weekday and have treats and run around and everything, do you do doggy daycare?’ Brutus said in a deep voice while speaking as quickly as the words could fall out of his mouth.
I am sure that Janet has heard it all before as there are several fabulous photographs of dogs in her studio looking all serene and obedient – unlike mine. But Brutus decided that he liked Janet and her assistant, he liked skidding round the studios but most of all, he loved the treats.
The final few photographs were taken of the boys in my car and the reason behind that was that Rocky adores going in my car and loves it when I drive him round the palm tree in the garden with the seat belt on him in the front passenger seat. In fact I actually believe that Rocky drives my car and hoons around Fremantle when I am not using it but that as they say, is another story.
Rocky is a bit of a hoon in my car
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘Move over, it is my turn to drive’ Brutus growled at Rocky from the back seat.
‘No way, you think I am going to let you drive?’ Rocky snorted with laughter. Rocky always gets his ‘Cop face’ on when he is in the front seat which I will add he always secured by his leash as well as a human seat belt when I drive him around the palm tree.
This is Rocky with his ‘Cop Face’ on
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
His ‘Cop face’ is the kind of face you pull when a cop pulls up next to you in the traffic lights, where you look and check your mirrors, nod curtly at the officer, smile and pull away gently and slowly and then once the cop is out of sight, you shout and swear at the car/cyclist that has just cut you up. Rocky has a professional and full on ‘Cop face’ when he is in the front of my car.
That is why it was fun to photograph the boys in the car, Rocky in the front and Brutus in the back looking like a dirty teenager. Although whether or not the photographs turned out is anyone’s guess as Brutus wouldn’t look at the camera.
The dogs enjoyed themselves so much that they lost track of time and before we all knew it, the shoot had come to an end and it was time to go home.
‘And that as they say, is a wrap’ said Rocky.
‘Wrap? Did someone say wrap? Chicken wrap?’ Brutus asked with his ears pricked up at the thought of food.
Rolling his eyes, Rocky shook his head and replied ‘That’s the lingo you see, that is what they all say in media – that’s a wrap’.
‘Who taught you that?’ Brutus demanded to know.
‘I saw it on TV once’ Rocky said knowingly.
‘Well if it’s a wrap, then why can’t mine be chicken?’ Brutus added and jumped in to the back seat so that I could secure him to his seat belt.
‘You have food on the brain’ Rocky snapped and then said in an apologetic voice to Janet ‘Please excuse my brother, his middle name is stomach’
‘Bye Janet, love you Janet’ shouted Brutus from the car as his big boofy brown head hung out of the window in order to say goodbye to his new friend.
‘Well that was fun wasn’t it?’ I said to the boys as we drove away from the studio towards home.
‘I am so tired that I think I might need extra food to compensate’ Brutus said in his most pleading ‘hungry’ voice and yes, he does actually have a ‘hungry’ voice that he uses when he is trying to get more food.
‘Yes I enjoyed that and it was nice to play with my tennis ball’ Rocky said happily. You will have to forgive him for being obsessed with his ball to the point that he has a book called ‘Tennis balls and the modern-day Kelpie’ on his bookcase.
‘What about you Brutus, have you got anything to say?’ I asked him.
‘Do you think I have what it takes to be a model?’ Brutus asked as he tried to catch his reflection in my rear view mirror.
And that my friends is one question that I never got chance to answer because all I could hear was Rocky snorting with laughter. But Brutus as a model? I shall leave that one to you.
Brutus and Rocky’s Pet Project Fundraising Page
If you would like to sponsor our photograph and donate to Cancer Support WA, please follow this link. Donating is safe and easy to do and you will be making a difference. You can also check out the photograph that Janet has picked from our session – but don’t be fooled by how angelic Brutus looks!
It was Mothers Day in Australia and I had been woken up to the sounds of Rocky telling Brutus to ‘Shhhh’ and Brutus whispering so loudly to the point of shouting ‘Stop it, you will make me spill it’.
I had no idea as to what was going on and thought it best to peer out of the door to see what the boys were up to.
There stood Brutus clutching a tray with a piece of palm tree in glass of water, a glass with a quarter of orange juice in it and the rest spilt on the tray, a piece of paper with doggy scrawl on it saying ‘Love you Mum, U R The Bestest Mum’ on it, a dog biscuit, a tennis ball and Tony Abbott.
Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, I stared at the boys – Rocky was quivering in anticipation, Brutus had mud over his face and paws clumsily clutched the tray while standing tall and proud to show what a good boy he was.
Brutus the good boy!
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
‘Oh boys, that is a lovely surprise, dog biscuits – my favourite and you have brought me your favourite toys and as for the piece of palm tree, it must have taken you ages to snap that off’ I gushed at them.
‘I had to swing on that tree for quite a while’ Brutus said proudly.
‘And I had to crawl right under your car to get that tennis ball’ Rocky added.
Rocky – also a good boy
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Wondering what to do with the tray, I stood there for what seemed ages until Rocky could stand it no longer and said ‘If you are not going to play with that tennis ball, could we please go into the garden so I can play with it?’
‘And if you are not going to have that dog biscuit, could I have it?’ Brutus asked hopefully.
‘Oh go on then!’ I laughed and gave Brutus the dog biscuit and Rocky his tennis ball.
‘Thanks Mum, love you Mum!’ Brutus yelled and then added ‘Oh, sorry I forgot – can I have my Tony Abbott as well please?’
Handing him his Tony Abbott doll, I was left with a piece of palm tree and an inch of orange juice.
Brutus and his beloved Tony Abbott doll
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
I watched the boys play in the garden, ‘Do you think she liked the presents?’ Brutus asked Rocky.
Brutus and Rocky – they are a team you know
(Photograph by Sam Rose)
Rocky who was throwing his ball in the air and catching it, replied ‘Yep, she loved them – you could just tell’.
‘I love Mothers Day, it is such fun’ Brutus barked excitedly.
And as I stared down at the tiny piece of palm tree and orange juice, I am inclined to agree with him.