The Wrath of Mother Nature and Lure Coursing

IMG_0459

Pippin is not amused

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Urgent News By Walkie-talkie (just like they did in the war)

Pippin Pringle had called an important meeting of all dogs that attend lure coursing.  He wasn’t sure what it was about but knew it was urgent as Dee Cole had asked for it to happen and Pippin had to in turn, relay the message.

‘But why do I have to leave my nice warm bed for this meeting?’ Millie the border collie said impatiently.  She had a DVD put aside for that night about sheep herding and the modern-day bitch and had no plans to leave the house.

‘Not sure, but if Pippin has asked for it then that is what we need to do’ Brutus replied and then added ‘Come on Vader, stop dragging your jowls’ to Vader who looked as though he had lost his bottom lip the way his head was near to the floor.

Vader I should add, was feeling very sorry for himself as he had stolen Lexies’ marshmallows and had scoffed an entire packet and was now feeling sick.

Zara, Olive, Nica, Gigi, Rocco, Cino, Pino, Fat Harry, Apollo, Starbuck, Poppy, Woody, Fletch, Soobi, Bronte to name but a few had now gathered in Pippin’s living room to see what was going to be announced.

Even Bundy the Samoyed (AKA The Town Crier) was there just to announce everything and anything that might need announcing as he was rather good at that.

‘Z’ the cop dog was there in full uniform, just to give the boys a thrill as some dogs like a female dog in uniform and Z wore it so well.

Eugene the Angry Afghan was there fighting with himself while Bentley was trying to interrupt with Eugene’s invisible friend and tell him to piss off.

Mouse Norris looked thoroughly bored by the wait and was now admiring her nails and talking about the raw food diet with Barbie.

Basically it was a full house and the dogs were impatient at what news was going to be relayed to them.

2014-07-11 20.10.22

Millie the border collie

(Photograph by Belinda)

‘I am tired, I want my bed’ Brutus cried to Vader who nodded his head in agreement.  Having the attention spans of goldfish, the boys couldn’t stay interested in anything for long.

10458545_10152714712678317_3587942318488960048_n

Brutus – wants his bed

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Millie who has never been known for her patience and has even sat up all night waiting for lure coursing, had decided to go over to where the tiny walkie-talkie was placed on the mantlepiece.

Picking it up and turning it on, she could just hear the ‘hissing’ of a badly tuned radio, feeling frustrated she tried to shake it.

‘Millie, what are you doing?’ Pippin demanded impatiently and snatched it from her and tuned it in.

‘Are we there yet?’ Brutus demanded to Rocco who calmly told him to ‘Shit off’ and then went back to washing himself.

‘I believe that we could be at war!’ Bundy the Samoyed announced to nobody in particular and when they ignored him, he shouted ‘Long live the Queen’ and when only Gigi responded, he decided to give up.  There was no point in being the Town Crier if nobody listened to you.

‘Shhh, I can hear something!’ Millie hissed to everyone and waved her slender black and white paws to shut everyone up.

Aside from Rocco, Bentley and Eugene having fights with their invisible friends, everyone else was quiet – except for Soobi and Olive who were tickling each other and chewing on each others snouts in a game of ‘bitey face’.

‘Hello, this is Mac – Dee Coles Ridgeback, can you all hear me out there?’ A loud deep booming voice of a Rhodesian Ridgeback filled the air.

‘Since when did he get such a sexy voice?’ Bronte giggled to Gigi, Hershey, Nica and Starbuck.

‘Will you be quiet you lot, I am trying to listen’ Pippin growled and then pressed the button to speak.

You see – walkie-talkies are used for urgent announcements as they are far more dramatic than phones and stuff.

‘Mac, we can hear you – please go ahead with the announcement’ Pippin said in his ‘BBC English’ accent (think of a posh voice from the olden days announcing ‘Britain is at War’ and you will get the drift).

‘Good evening everyone, we regret to announce that due to bad weather predictions, lure coursing is now cancelled for this Saturday and Sunday.

‘As we still have memories of dogs floating off down the polo grounds at last years storm and cages sailing away and being found in other countries, we thought it safer to cancel’  Mac barked in his powerful voice.

‘Oh my god, I think I am going to die right here and now!’ Millie shouted dramatically and then behaved like any border collie who has had her sheep removed from her, and promptly threw herself on the floor and sobbed.

Taking a deep breath, Pippin replied ‘Thank you Mac and goodnight from us’ and then quickly turned the radio off and faced the group of dogs that were in his living room.

Met with a canine wall of silence, this was Pippin’s worst nightmare.  There was nothing quite like a group of dogs (and good friends) that had been looking forward to lure coursing, to have Mother Nature literally piss on their parade and cancel it due to bad weather.

‘Did you say cancelled?’ Brutus asked as his bottom lip quivered.

‘Cancelled?’ Vader added.

One by one it was echoed around the room ‘Lure coursing cancelled?’

‘But how shall we spend our weekend now?’ Madam Gigi demanded.

‘I could organise a day of vomiting but that would only take an hour’ Nica said out loud.

‘I might just have to die’ Eugene the Angry Afghan growled and then accused his invisible friend of orchestrating it all and started to swear at him.

As the other dogs all shouted their protest, Starbuck and Poppy sat under the table and cried, Chewy hid behind his fur while Mako and Apollo were already on the phone to a dog psychologist to book a counselling session.

Bundy the Town Crier had decided that he had kept quiet for long enough and was no barking ‘Everybody, save yourselves and your family before they get eaten.  We are now at war and lure coursing has been cancelled because the weather is going to be crap – may your souls be saved!’

Pippin takes control

Pippin was not amused and had taken a few moments to stand outside to get away from the upset dogs protesting in his living room.  Several had now started arguing with invisible friends and were barking at fresh air and accusing it of severe weather control and ruining their lives.  Mouse Norris was now threatening to go on a hunger strike and Barbie was threatening to join her.

Normally a kind, placid and gentle dog, Pippin was upset that their doggy plans had been ruined.  However he knew that safety had to come first and the lure coursing would not have been called off if it was at all avoidable.

After taking a few minutes away from the group, Pippin took a deep breath and marched back inside.

He didn’t need to say much, they all stopped fighting, arguing and in Nica’s case – vomiting, and stared at him, silently pleading with him for direction and answers.

‘Right you bunch of girls, lure coursing is cancelled for our own safety, it has been put off for a week and thank god it has too because none of us want to be injured slipping on wet grass’. Pippin said to the group.

‘Save your mothers, fathers and save your dog chow!’ Bundy barked in his Samoyed voice.

‘Bundy please be quiet’ Pippin growled at Bundy who blushed and stopped shouting his announcements.

‘Who wants to be on the course anyway in thunder and lightning, not me that’s for sure and everyone knows dogs like us melt in the rain!’ Brutus said loudly.

Several dogs nodded their head in agreement as the Iggies also remembered that they actually do melt in the rain, well Brutus melts in the rain himself so I guess he knows what he is on about.

‘Apollo told me that thunder is the dogs over at Rainbow Bridge having a party over our heads and having fun’ Starbuck said to  Poppy who said that she had heard the same thing.

‘Right, you lot can find your own entertainment for the weekend and you can all work on your techniques for the Fastest Dog in Australia second heats in a weeks time’ Pippin nodded to the group.

‘Fancy coming to mine to watch some naughty videos on dog training?’ Brutus asked Millie who grinned back at him.

‘Yes, sounds good – will you be there Vader?’ Millie barked in Vader’s direction.

‘Yep, count me in!’ Vader agreed and then asked Brutus to pull his paw so that he could fart.  A very childish habit that the boys developed from a young age where they simply would not fart unless the other dog pulled their paw and made it more dramatic.

Finally the dogs left Pippin’s house to go back to their own homes. You could all hear them discussing the nights events as there was seldom anything bigger than lure coursing being cancelled, aside from the Fastest Dog Comp.

Goodnight Pippin

‘Glad that is over and done with’ Pippin said to Bronte and went to close the curtain.  As he did so, he could hear Bundy’s unmistakable bark doing his ‘Town Crier’ bit.

‘Don’t worry everyone, it is a war effort and we all need a cup of tea, tea solves everything’ Bundy shouted.  Pippin smiled at Bundy who was shouting stuff about cups of tea – Bundy is such a funny dog.

As Pippin watched his friends disappear out of sight, the last thing he saw was Bundy taking a piss up someones car.

Closing the curtains, Pippin thought to himself ‘Tea?  Yes I think I could do with a mug of tea after the night I have had’

‘Cup of tea Bronte?’ Pippin asked his sister.

‘Don’t mind if I do’ Bronte replied and followed him to the kitchen to help him make it.

‘They were quite well-behaved really, all things considering’ Bronte said to Pippin as she pulled out two bone China cups from the cupboard and found a China teapot and stuffed a few teabags in it for good measure.

‘Yes, very well-behaved really’ Pippin smiled, ‘All things considered of course’.

But what Pippin didn’t see was Brutus, Vader, Bentley, Rocco and Fat Harry pressing their bottoms and leaving ‘marks of bum’ on the neighbours cars and Eugene the Angry Afghan doing a monster turd in someones garden and getting a large lump of poo stuck to his pantaloons much to the admiration of Chewy who tried to shit his own pants so he could copy him.

But other than that, yes – they were very good dogs indeed.

The End….

Lure Coursing for Guildford Polo Grounds Cancelled this Weekend Due to Predicted Severe Weather Conditions.

Sadly this is true and for safety reasons lure coursing has been cancelled for this weekend which is fair enough as the dogs safety is paramount.

There is talk of the Fastest Dog heats taking place the weekend after but this is yet to be confirmed – details will follow.

Sam Rose (C) Copyright May 2015

Dogs of War

Townie

Brutus – named after a war dog

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

An Important Meeting

Pippin Pringle had called a meeting at his house, all the Iggies, Chewy, Starbuck and Poppy, Brutus and Vader were invited.

It was a serious meeting and most of the dogs realised it except for the special ones – Brutus and Vader.

‘What on earth could be wrong? I haven’t dug the garden in ages and the hole in Mum’s bra was done by Gordon’ Brutus said fretfully.

‘Not sure but we better go, you know how cross Pippin will get if we don’t’ Vader growled back with a mouthful of tongue.

Team Pringle’s House

On arrival at Pippin’s house, the boys were greeted by Bronte who was looking strangely naked and just wearing a smart collar.

‘Hi guys, just go through’ Bronte said cheerfully.

In the lounge was Zara, Nica, Olive, Bambi, Gigi, Rocco, Cino, Pino, Bentley, Fat Harry, Poppy, Starbuck, Dash, Apollo, Soobi, Lupo, Dobby, Mako, Woody, Chewy, Fletcher, Lilly and of course Pippin and Bronte.

‘Hi everyone, what’s occurring?’ Brutus said in his deep voice.

Normally there would be squealing when Brutus and Vader arrived as the girl dogs enjoyed having bigger dogs to flirt with and they saw Brutus as an Iggy anyway as he tried to make himself as small as them.

But tonight it was a case of sensible and respectable ‘Hello boys’ and that was that.
Wanting to make a joke or fart or something, Brutus’s instinct told him not to and he kept quiet, as did Vader.

Placing his spectacles over his long snout, Pippin checked some papers and then leaned over to his laptop and saw an email from Amex in QLD giving him some long awaited info.

Taking a deep breath, Pippin announced in his ‘BBC English’ accent ‘Right everyone, most of you know why we are here except for Brutus as he was too young to come last year, we are here to pay our respects to the Anzacs and the dogs of war’

‘Dogs of war?’ Brutus whispered to Vader, ‘I didn’t know there were dogs of war’.

Vader nodded solemnly ‘Yes there were, but not too many think or remember them’.

‘As you all know there were many great dogs that served in both wars, doing brave things and serving their masters – both man and dog sacrificing their lives so that we could have our freedom’ Pippin said firmly.

Brutus who normally has the attention span of a goldfish, found himself listening to Pippin’s authoritative voice. The other Iggies sat silently and listened to what Pippin had to say.

‘These dogs were also used as moral boosters, can you imagine being away from your family and everything you love, not knowing if you were going to make it home.

‘Being in the trenches, cold, hungry and thirsty, not being able to trust anyone other than your fellow soldier, where every sound was a potential threat?’ Pippin said.

Brutus briefly thought about it, he couldn’t imagine any dog being in a war, after all he hated being outside for more than 5 minutes, let alone sleeping outside with soldiers.

‘Brutus – do you have any ideas as to how great your name is?’ Pippin barked at him.

Brutus blushed and hung his head, he had no idea he just knew it was his name (along with ‘naughty boy’)

‘I shall tell you – Pte Chad Sherrin had a dog called Brutus, he was in the 8th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (8 RAR) and Brutus was his first dog. Chad began as a tracking dog handler and was promoted to Sergeant while serving in the 8 RAR’. Pippin added.

‘I am named after a war dog?’ Brutus stuttered, feeling suddenly very proud indeed.
Bronte looked at the big brown gentle giant and briefly thought how unsuitable Brutus would have been as a war dog. But at the same time he looked so proud to share the same name as Brutus the war dog, that he really looked as though his chest might have expanded with pride.

‘There was also a dog called Horrie the wonder dog who was an Egyptian Terrier that made friends with Australian Soldier Pte Jim Moody in Egypt’.

‘Horrie was used as a guard dog and was really good at warning the soldiers about the enemy. Horrie survived when the troop carrier ‘Costa Rica was sunk’ while being evacuated from Grease.

‘He was also hurt by a bomb splinter in Crete. In 1942 Pte Moody was sent back to Australia where he really wanted to take Horrie with him.

This was stopped due to the quarantine laws which as you know are strict’ Pippin said to the group as they hung on to his every word.

‘Moody loved Horrie so much that he smuggled him into Australia in a canvas bag that had wooden slats in it so Horrie could breathe otherwise he would have surely suffocated.

‘He smuggled him in, really?’ Olive gasped as Zara gripped Olives paw while listening in awe.

‘In 1945 Moody found out about smuggling Horrie when they realised that Horrie had been smuggled in illegally and they told Moody that Horrie had to be put to sleep’ Pippin growled.

‘But he was a wonder dog, why did they want to destroy him?’ Brutus stuttered, clearly getting upset about Horrie the wonder dog.

‘Because he should have gone through quarantine’ Pippin said firmly.

‘But you can’t shoot a war hero?’ Vader barked and the other Iggies agreed with him.

‘After being told that Horrie had to be put to sleep, Moody found another dog and gave it to the authorities instead, tricking them into thinking it was Horrie, except it wasn’t and the other dog was shot instead of Horrie’ Pippin barked.

‘What happened then?’ Zara cried, she was easily upset at these stories and Nica was now patting her shoulder.

‘Horrie the wonder dog lived the rest of his life in some rural part of Victoria’ Pippin finished.

‘Dogs have been involved in wars and battles all over the world, they are the unsung heroes of the animal kingdom, and let us not forget the military horses as well.

‘I can’t go into every war dog but those are just two examples of canine bravery. Dogs that kept their masters safe, gave company and affection in times of dangerous conflict when everything around them was hostile’ Pippin sighed.

‘And for Pte Moody to risk everything to smuggle Horrie the wonder dog back into Australia shows how much love and respect he had for Horrie’ Pippin said as he removed his spectacles, puffed on them and cleaned the lenses.

The other Iggies were silent, none of them knew what to say but suddenly they felt very grateful for the likes of war dogs Brutus and Horrie the wonder dog.

‘Here is a poem that was written by Horrie the wonder dog, it is jolly nice if I admit’

Horrie the Wog-Dog by Ion L. Idriess
Written from the diary of Private VX13091 J. B. Moody, A.I.F. in 1945

“The Wog-dog blossomed into a war-dog as if by magic, despite the fact that we long since had ceased to wonder at his instinct and intelligence and adaptability.

He knew the whistle of bullets,
the whine of shells,
the scream of a bomb,
he knew exactly what to do.
In a moment he could act at some sudden alarm;
he knew at any time what was doing and was intelligently
ready to take his place at the right time and in the right way.

The Wog-dog grew very dear to all of us”

Madam Gigi, Nica and Bronte were now crying. The other Iggies were trying not to cry and Brutus who had never experienced such emotional pain purely from a story, did not know what to do, what to think or how to react.

He did however, know that he was hurting inside but it was completely alien to him.

‘So you see everyone, whilst our humans honour our brave Anzacs, we shall also honour the dogs of war and if you would like to take a minute to pay your respects, I shall get Rocco to do the honours – Rocco, if you don’t mind?’ Pippin said.

‘Good on you lad’ Fat Harry whispered to Rocco as he walked up to Pippin.

Madam Gigi had no idea as to what Rocco was going to do, she could only hope that he would be sensible.

Without saying another word, Rocco took the microphone that Pippin had given him and in a calm, well spoken and deep voice, he started to speak and without any effort, commanded the silence and the respect of every dog in the room.

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them – Lest we forget’

(Ode by English poet and writer Laurence Binyon)

One by one each and every dog repeated ‘Lest we forget’.

‘That – is MY brother!’ Madam Gigi nodded her head so vigorously as she wiped the tears that fell down her pointy snout. ‘My brother, he is MY brother’.

Brutus who had kept his giant head down through the whole thing had realised that he couldn’t be funny, he couldnt make jokes because he felt too upset, grateful, heart bursting with pride to be an Australian dog.

He might not be a pedigree dog or the smartest dog on the block, but if pride could make him a pedigree – then at that precise moment he would be purebred.

‘Are you OK Brutus?’ Gigi asked him kindly while still wiping her eyes.

Brutus didn’t answer, he turned his head away and replied quietly ‘Yes, yes Gigi, I am fine – thank you for asking’.

But if you looked ever so closely at his face, you would have seen tears pouring down his face as the big dog fought and failed to not cry.

‘Leave him to me’ Pippin said to Gigi.

Later on

Pippin had taken Brutus aside to see if he was OK. There was nothing like a dogs first Anzac memorial and Brutus had not been to last years one.

‘Are you OK Brutus?’ Pippin asked him.

‘Yes, I am just so upset at the dogs of war and how brave Brutus and Horrie the wonder dog were and all the other war dogs’ Brutus sobbed to Pippin.

Not used to seeing the big dog show so much emotion, Pippin hugged him.

‘Pippin?’ Brutus sniffed and then noisily blew his nose on Pippins handkerchief that he had handed him.

‘Yes Brutus’ Pippin replied, making a mental note to throw the handkerchief away.

‘We won’t forget the dogs of war will we?’ Brutus asked him.

‘No Brutus, while just one of us remembers, then they will be remembered’ Pippin nodded firmly to him.

‘Lest we forget?’ Brutus asked Pippin.

‘Yes Brutus, Lest we forget’ Pippin said quietly.

To every soldier, to every war dog that served this great country and sacrificed their lives so that we could have our freedom – we thank you.

Lest we forget

Samantha, Brutus, Rocky and Gordon

Source for the War dog story – I have taken and adapted the text taken from the link below and all credit goes to the original author. Please take a moment to go on to the link as it is an incredible read.

http://www.mariansstudio.us/PDFandPP/till%20stars%20again.pdf

Dogs Do Lunch

 

1610930_10152866900513317_4528406810685966828_n

Chewy – all dressed up for the party!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

When it comes to dog lovers, one thing that is abundantly clear and that is there certainly seems to be a market to cater for those of us that are mad about our dogs in terms of toys, clothes and anything pet related.

The latest thing to pop up in the suburbs are pet cafes that are aimed specifically for your dog, of course you are welcome to join but primarily they will cater for your dog and if you are lucky, there will be something nice for you on the menu as well.

Such cafes will sell a wide selection of clothes, treats, collars, leashes and toys, the food menu will have delights such as lasagna, biscuits and even custom-made birthday cakes – all made from healthy dog friendly ingredients.

Having never been to one of these doggy/pet cafes before, I had often wondered what they would be like to visit and had kind of assumed it would be good food for the dogs and distinctly below average food for the humans.

As far as scenery goes I could not even begin to guess how they would make a dog cafe so comfortable that the humans would want to frequent it too often.

Two of Brutus’s friends Cino and Starbuck were holding a joint birthday party at a dog cafe in Perth and Brutus had been invited and was pretty excited about the whole thing.

The venue was Furbaby Boutique and Cafe in Perth, Western Australia and although the other dogs in the gang had been before, Brutus and I had not.

The Furbaby Boutique and Cafe opened in Perth on Friday 26th December 2014 so as you can see it hasn’t been open that long but judging by how busy they are getting, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Starbuck and Cino’s birthday party – here is the guest list (sorry if I have missed anyone)

  • Cino
  • Apollo
  • Starbuck
  • Fletcher
  • Pippin
  • Bronte
  • Brutus
  • Poppy
  • Chewy
  • Woody
  • Lilly
  • Nora
  • Ciccio
  • Dash
  • Lupo
  • Nica
  • Dobby
  • Mako
  • Soobi
  • Rocco
  • Madam Gigi

The Day of the Party

Brutus was over excited at the thought of his first visit to the Furbaby cafe and was up super early to smooth down his whiskers and make himself smart for the event. He kept grabbing my car keys in an attempt to hurry me up and annoyed Rocky so much that Rocky had to hump his head in order to shut him up.

Rocky as you know is not good with other dogs and the amount of dogs going would be too much for him but that did not stop him feeling a bit left out and I had to heavily bribe him with a bone when I got back.

Brutus was so impatient that before I had even started the car he was asking if we were there yet.

‘We are going to Pippin Pringle’s house and getting a lift with Denise’ I told him firmly.

Brutus was to sit in the front with me in the foot-well while Pippin and Bronte sat in the back.

‘Pippin Pringle! I love him so much, I am SO excited, did I tell you I am excited?’ shouted Brutus.

‘I had gathered that Brutus’ I laughed as I drove out of the garden to start our journey.

11136679_819249808163067_7001234356011479789_nAre we there yet Mum?

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

At Team Pringle’s House

On arrival at Pippin and Bronte’s house, we were welcomed by the fierce barks of the Italian greyhounds that sound like ‘Bup Bup’ kind of noise (ask Denise, she knows what I mean).

‘Brutus, is that you?’ Pippin shouted, absurdly excited that his giant friend had come round to his home.

‘Of course it is him silly, who else is that big in our gang?’ said Bronte impatiently.  It was true, there was no mistaking Brutus who resembled a small pony from behind the slats of the fence.

Brutus grinned as Pippin jumped all over him while Bronte felt a burning need to run around the garden and show Brutus her latest outfit in flirtatious fashion before taking a pee in the sand like a real lady.

‘Very nice Bronte’ Brutus blushed approvingly and then asked Pippin ‘I am so excited about today, we are going to have such fun, do they really do doggy food especially for dogs?’

‘Oh yes, they have doggy cakes, lasagna and everything!’ Pippin grinned and as Brutus drooled in festoons from his mouth, Pippin went on to tell him just how delicious the food at Furbaby’s is.

‘Come on kids, let’s get in the car’ Denise said firmly to the three dogs, ‘Pippin – you are in the back with Bronte and Brutus is in the front with Sam’.

Pippin looked mortified and also aware that he didn’t want to look like a wuss in front of his pal Brutus, blushed like the posh kid being told off in front of his mates.

‘But, but I always sit in the front’ Pippin faltered and then bit his lip to stop himself going ‘Full Pringle’ and bursting in to tears.

‘Brutus can sit in the back with me’ Bronte giggled.

‘No, he sits in the front.  Now Pippin get in the back now!’ Denise instructed him.

With his pointy snout virtually touching his chest, Pippin’s face went bright red as he tried hard to think about doggy lasagna to stop himself crying and looking like a girl.

‘Sorry’ Brutus mouthed to Pippin as he hung his head in shame while Denise securely fastened in his harness.

‘That’s OK’ Pippin mumbled.  Had it been anyone else Pippin would be sobbing by now but as it was Brutus, he had an image to keep up.

On Arrival at the Furbaby Boutique and Cafe

We were the first there from our group and I must say I was pretty impressed with what I saw.  The place was clean, tidy, bright and welcoming.

We had hired the ‘VID’ (Very Important Dog) area which was a secure fenced off Alfresco area especially for private functions.

In the public cafe area it was also lovely to see dogs on the leash as not all dogs like having other dogs running up to them and it was a delight to see owners having their dogs beside them enjoying their own treats.

Dog Cafes – through the eyes and mind of your dog

Enough of a human point of view, let us take a trip into the Furbaby cafe from the eyes of the dogs because it is far more fun.

The staff welcomed us as we walked into the shop part of the cafe and advised Denise and myself that the VID area would be opened at 10am for our group but in the meantime we could sit in the public area or browse the shop and as I had my heart set on buying something for Brutus, Denise and I decided to browse.

Everything you could want for your dog was on offer, collars, leashes, harnesses, clothes, even capes and a Batman costume to name but a few, toys, treats, bedding – the list goes on.

‘Mum, are you going to buy me some toys?’ Brutus shouted excitedly as Pippin and Bronte were eying up various items of clothing.  Although they have a wardrobe to rival Gucci but we shall say no more on that.

I had been keeping my eye on a Harley Davidson cap for Brutus and at first was not sure if the large size would fit him but as he has a strange shaped head, a large would have to do.  Having seen Francesca’s Iggy – Zara wearing hers, I was convinced it would be perfect for Brutus.

Carefully placing it on his head, I stood back to admire Brutus.  With a large snout like well nourished leather, deep red/brown eyes, I thought he looked very nice in his hat.

‘Are you serious, I am NOT wearing that!’ Brutus cried while blushing furiously as Pippin snorted with laughter.

‘Oh my god you SO look like an extra from the Village People!’ Pippin barked while Bronte was a little more mischievous and started singing and dancing to ‘YMCA’.

10404852_844892512248829_1231344596190812741_nBrutus in his Harley Davidson cap – ‘Don’t make me wear it Mum’

(Photograph by Denise Pringle)

‘If you buy me this I shall never speak to you again’ Brutus threatened.

‘Hello there big boy!’ A small but chunky Jack Russell with large genitals smirked at Brutus and then winked at him.

‘Thank you I will take it!’ I smiled and dragged a reluctant Brutus to the counter to pay for the hat as the girls in the shop admired him wearing it.

‘My life is over, totally over, I may as well be dead’ Brutus howled as I paid for the hat.

But the dramatics were short-lived as when he was led outside to the VID area and Poppy the Chinese crested who had arrived, saw him and told him how handsome he looked. Brutus decided that perhaps he did not look too bad at all and started to wear the hat ‘like a boss’.

11148668_10205537576774076_685039937911804874_n

Poppy admires Brutus – wearing it like a boss

(Photograph by Tanya Bennett)

The Social Set of Dogs

If you ever get the chance, observe your dog when he/she greets his friends because if you listen carefully then you will be privilege to their social lives and that is what it is – a privilege.

Anyway, a few of us were now in the VID area that we had reserved, Brutus and Poppy were catching up and discussing food.  Totally beside himself Brutus simply could not decide what to have from the menu.  I hadn’t told him that I was not ordering dog stuff for him and that he would be sharing my breakfast as the slightest change in his diet can turn him into gastro-pup and I know he can tolerate a small bit of sausage and some gluten-free bread.

‘I shan’t eat much, I have to watch my figure you know’ Poppy said pointedly to Brutus who totally missed the hint, ‘I said I have to watch my figure you know, I am SO fat’ Poppy added in a loud voice and then fretfully grabbed a leaf from the ground and started to eat it as if to prove a point.

Poppy stared at her slender non-existent belly and waited for Brutus to say ‘Oh you are not fat, you are just perfect’ but Brutus has never been one to ‘talk female’ and just didn’t take the hint.

It was down to Pippin to sharply elbow Brutus in the ribs before he got the gist of the conversation and stuttered ‘Oh no Poppy, you are perfect the way you are’ while Bronte nodded her head quickly in agreement.  After all it is a girl solidarity thing that they must all agree on the weight issue and throw in the obligatory placating comments.

Satisfied that she was absolutely perfect, Poppy happily trotted off to talk to Madam Gigi about the latest in glitter collar designs.

Suddenly the gate to the VID area opened and standing there like Danny De Vito on a power trip was Chewy.  A big dog in a little dogs clothing, Chewy stood there in all of his red hairy glory whilst proudly sporting a purple patterned tie.

Waiting for a few seconds until everyone had seen him, Chew barked loudly ‘I am here, you can relax now!’

11096433_10152811819433317_9032761375785145492_nChewy –  his beautiful coat makes an entrance before he does

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Chewy darling! You are here!’ Poppy cried and then went to air-kiss him and tell him how marvellous he was.  Brutus was a little more restrained and offered Chewy is back in case Chewy wanted to hump him.

Pretty soon everyone had arrived and the party was underway.  The humans had ordered food for their pets and for themselves and I was in for a surprise when my food arrived.

Having ordered a cooked breakfast, I can tell you it was delicious.  The presentation was great, there was enough food at a reasonable price and the food itself was tasty so what more could you want?

The amusing thing about ordering food from a dog cafe is that whatever you may have ordered for your dogs, they also believe what you have ordered for yourself is theirs by rights.

‘Is that my bacon and sausage on that plate?’ Brutus asked and before I could answer, Pippin and Mako had gathered round and had made claims of ownership to my bacon.  I had managed to eat a good part of it while fending the dogs off but as I had promised Brutus some of my bacon, then I had to honour it of course.

Unfortunately, according to Pippin and Mako by promising Brutus some bacon, I had promised them by default.

10418482_10152866900808317_1492424079905927212_n

Is that bacon I can taste in your mouth?

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Brutus, stand still – I need to get that bacon’ Pippin said firmly and then in one swift agile movement, Pippin had jumped on top of Brutus’s back like a mountain goat, using him as a step-ladder to lean over the table for a piece of MY bacon.

‘It’s my turn Pippin!’ Dash appeared from nowhere growling impatiently as Brutus stood there while the two Iggies attempted to stand on his back – there certainly was room on him for both of them.  Standing as still as he possibly could like a good boy, Brutus allowed the Iggies to use him as a chair

‘Thanks Brutus’ Pippin grinned as he jumped down with a piece of bacon in his mouth and some ketchup on his pointy snout.

‘Yeah thanks Brutus’ Dash added and then ran off before Starbuck could nip his bottom for having legs long enough to even jump on top of Brutus in the first place.

Despite having Iggies use him as a platform for food opportunities, Brutus was checking out the remainder of the bacon on the plate while trying very hard not to drool because he wanted some so badly.

‘Here you go Brutus’ I smiled at him and gave him a large slice of bacon from my plate just in time for Starbuck to jump up and snatch it from his mouth and run off with it with Poppy in hot pursuit yelling to ‘not be so bloody greedy’.

Looking as though someone had bashed him, Brutus stared at me with a confused expression on his face and said ‘Where did my bacon go?’.

11150865_10152811815538317_5816555307085083423_n

Brutus – where did my bacon go?

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

It was a good job I had some more but we had to be quick about it as there were a few pointy snouts including Pippin Pringle’s, hanging around ready to take advantage of Brutus and rob him of it.

Dogs squabbling between them and then hiding under/behind Brutus for protection

As with any doggy function there is often a bit of squabbling over toys, leaves, invisible stuff.  Dogs get tired and burst into tears and bitches get tired of dogs sniffing their bums and will snap back to put them in their place.

‘Will you leave my bum alone, I have told you several times before that you can’t sniff it until I say so!’ Bronte growled at Dash.

Meanwhile Nica absolutely did not want to play rough and tumble with the others on the floor and had insisted that she was carried around everywhere to be petted by each and every person at the table who told her how gorgeous she looked.

Woody with his stealth like ability to get woman’s perfume all over him by loaning himself out to every female at the table, had totally exhausted himself and had lost count as to who he had cuddled and who he hadn’t.

Dobby, Olive and Soobi were chasing each other round the table and looked like something out of a Benny Hill sketch as Soobi ran after the girls and tripped over his own legs.

Mako was on his Mum’s knee whilst admiring Brutus and was involved in some mutual jowl washing.  Brutus was simply delighting the fact that the little Iggy was happy to have Brutus clean his snout and vice versa, although Brutus’s tongue was almost longer than Mako’s head.

11164823_10152811817503317_7013554678036054970_n

Mako blesses Brutus with a mighty paw

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Soobi was a bit obsessed with Mako and wanted to play a professional game of ‘Bitey Face’ and was quite relentless in his mission to do so.

‘If you don’t leave me alone I shall get cross!’ Mako yelled and then tried to look tough which was not happening as the moment was totally ruined because Brutus washed the anger off Mako’s face like a wet face cloth.

As the dogs squabbled between them, they used Brutus to their full advantage by hiding under him, behind him and even on top of him.  Rocco even suggested that Brutus could be made into a giant Iggy that they could use for camouflage if ever they needed to hide.

The significance of humping

Soobi had decided to hump everything and was quite proud of himself because he had started one big humping-train which is where dogs all jostle for pack position and it is rarely sexual, except in Pippin Pringle’s case and he loves boy dogs but that is another story.

‘Will you keep still Brutus!’ Soobi barked at the big brown dog who had even lowered his head so that Soobi could reach it to hump it.

Like a child full of sugar, Soobi spoke fast and in excited fashion as clumsily tried to hump Brutus’s head which probably weighed more than he did.

Dash had mounted Soobi’s bottom and at the end of Dash was Chewy looking mighty fine in his ‘pantaloons’ and a purple tie around his neck.  It was a humping-train and there was no other word for it and Brutus’s head was at one end and Chewy’s bottom at the other.

‘It’s called Going Roman’ Pippin said confidently to Poppy the Chinese crested who was shaking her beautiful head in horror while Bronte just looked utterly bored with the whole thing as she had to watch Pippin do it at every Iggy meet and often with his invisible friends in the garden.

‘They are just showing off as they have longer legs than me’ Starbucks said fretfully and then gobbled up a bit of lettuce she found on the floor.

There was nothing we owners could do except to watch and laugh of course, because it really was that funny.

11269806_10152866900688317_2615376840843712679_n

Let’s talk about ‘going Roman’ 

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Of course the staff at Furbaby are privy to this kind of stuff every day.  I am sure that they ‘speak dog’ and get to see rowdy dogs enjoying their birthday parties and getting a bit raucous.  They just took it all in their stride which is just as well for what I saw next.

It was one of those moments where I was not taking notice of anything, just observing the dogs all enjoying themselves and ‘partying’.  I happened to glance round to the door to the kitchen where the staff come out with a plate of food when I saw Dash come running out behind them – completely unseen by anyone except for me.

He looked quite pumped and proud of himself and just blended in between whoever was walking out of the door and then he ran off and hid behind the table with ‘guilt’ written all over his face.

‘Did you see that? Dash has just come out of the kitchen!’ I yelled to everyone.  All eyes were on Dash who was no blushing and shrugging his shoulders while mouthing ‘Who me? Don’t know what you are talking about’.

10407909_10152811819038317_9064357064922809190_n

Brutus knows why Dash was in the kitchen – but he ain’t telling!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Nobody knows to this day how long Dash had been in the kitchen, or if the staff saw him, or what he got up to.  No-one except for the other Iggies and they have taken a vow of silence to protect their own.

But rumours have it and I don’t know who started them, that in the time that Dash was in the kitchen, he ate like a King, vomited like Nica and ate it like Brutus.  Others say that ‘Dash was here – 2015’ was scraped on the wall by the food cupboard in the kitchen, but how true that is, is anyone’s guess.

Anyway, when the Iggies had got bored with playing with each other, they decided that Brutus would make a very good toy and they would all play with him instead.  Because Brutus is so big and doesn’t know his own strength, he has to stay on the leash which is often hard for him as he would love to play with the Iggies off the leash.

Brutus and Dash were enjoying each others company as they had formed a ‘brotherhood’ kind of thing or you could say ‘bro-mance’ and it was wonderful to watch.

‘I love you bro, seriously I totally love you’ Dash said to Brutus as he hugged him.

‘Love you back man, you are my bro, can you teach me to cock my leg like a big boy?’ Brutus replied.

‘Honoured man, totally honoured’ Dash barked and carried on hugging him.  It was their moment and I just had to photograph it.

1908198_10152811821608317_3697636899115953782_n

Dash and Brutus – ‘Bro-mance’

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘It’s my turn to play with Brutus!’ Mako shouted, followed by Soobi who had already started to play ‘bitey face’ on Brutus’s flappy jowls.

Brutus was so happy, he loves his friends and doesn’t feel quite so ‘special’ when they all include him.

11118382_10152811820943317_3075551681171437184_n

Brutus loves his friends

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Like a little child that is unable to play with the other kids, he will stare wistfully at the other dogs, longing to play with them. He doesn’t mean to be clumsy and uncoordinated and can’t help his appearance.

People have crossed the road to avoid him because of how he looks but he really is a very kind and gentle, submissive male with a tendency to make himself as small as possible to fit in with his group.

So having all of these Iggies pay him attention made his heart burst with pride, well except for Soobi humping his head and that was just embarrassing for Brutus as only Rocky is allowed to do that, even if he does have to stand on a plant pot in order to do it with his bad hips clicking like fingers.

Rocky on macbook

Rocky – the main humper of Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The arrival of the cake – dogs all excited and squealing for cake

The arrival of the birthday cake caused a huge amount of excitement with Nica threatening to vomit up whatever she ate purely to show off.

‘Oh my god, it’s doggy birthday cake! ‘ Brutus gasped and then added ‘It is amazing, look Mum, look at the cake!’.

I had no heart to tell him that he wouldn’t be getting an actual piece but he could have one of the biscuit bones on the top of it.

11036447_10152866900328317_1654941879379556956_n

Doggy birthday cake – enough for all!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Wagging tails circling around like the propellers of a helicopter, bums wriggling, happy dogs all excited at the thought of a piece of the magnificent cake that was put in front of them.  Each and every dog thought that the cake was there just for them.

‘I do believe that is all mine’ Rocco said firmly.

‘In your dreams, it is mine’ Poppy snapped at him.

‘I beg to differ here, Chewy and I have decided to share that’ Starbuck said under her breath.

IMG_9059

Starbuck – that cake is mine!

(Photograph by Sam Rose – 2014)

‘Excuse me, but I am the one with the iPad and the mobile phone collection, it is mine!’ Pippin shouted, his eyes threatening to cry at the thought of him not getting the lions share of the cake.

Well none of the dogs need have worried as there was not only more than enough to go round but plenty leftover as well for other dogs.

Soobi, Olive, Lilly, Dobby, Ciccio, Woody, Apollo, Fletcher, Nora, Dobby and Lupo were enjoying a bit of a food fight and had started to throw bits of sponge at one another.

‘Excuse me, but could you not throw sponge at my coat!’ Chewy barked angrily.  Being very proud of his coat, there was nothing worse than cream and sponge once it had set.

‘Oh not to worry Chewy, I can get that out for you’ Poppy said happily and then started to clean bits of sponge from Chewy’s coat.

‘This is the best day ever!’ Brutus said to me.  With some tomato sauce still on his face and some crumbs from the bone shaped biscuit from the cake, I have never seen him look so happy.

Rocco and his outbursts

Rocco who as you know struggles with what I can only describe as doggy Tourettes, had  been trying ever so hard to keep his outbursts under control.

IMG_9290Rocco – argues with himself

(Photograph by Sam Rose – 2014)

Having previously had some bitter fights with his invisible friends and fights that involved dreadful language and growling, Rocco had promised himself that for this birthday party he would be a good boy.

But as we all know Rocco, his potty mouth sometimes gets the better of him, especially if he gets tired.

It was all going very well as Rocco was being carried around the venue and sat happily in his Mums arms while being taken round to say ‘hello’ to everyone.

‘Good afternoon, very pleased to meet you’ Rocco said politely to every person and every Iggy that he greeted.

‘Bloody hell, what has happened to him?’ Bronte whispered to Pippin who had stopped humping his invisible friend and stared at Rocco.

‘How has your day been?’ Rocco asked each dog/person and nodded sweetly like a gentle old man.  Even Gigi and Nica stopped talking about dog clothes and stared at him as though he had two heads or something.

‘That is not Rocco, it can’t be – someone has swapped him’ Woody said to Fletch who looked just as confused.

‘Why are you talking like Prince William?’ Olive demanded.

‘I am NOT talking like Prince William’ Rocco replied indignantly.

‘Oh my god, you so are! He is SO talking like Prince William!’ Olive squeaked loudly.

‘No I am not, I am trying to be polite and talk in the Queens English, you should try it some time’ Rocco said in a hurt voice and then sat in his Mums arms looking as though his pride had been punched.

‘He will never be able to keep this up, no way’ Pippin whispered to Brutus.

‘Five bucks says he can’ Brutus challenged Pippin.

‘You’re on – so say goodbye to your money Brutus’ Pippin laughed.

Girls – you just can’t understand them

Poppy who has told Brutus off a few times for ‘getting a bit fresh’ had decided that at the party, she was going to claim him for herself and was shamelessly flirting with him.  It was not one sided either as Brutus had developed a crush on her quite some time ago and had a few of her Facebook photographs saved in his kennel.

‘Brutus, do you like my feathering on my tail and ears?’ Poppy giggled and then walked right up to his snout to invite him to sniff her face.

Brutus still blushes if girls flirt directly with him but was aware that Pippin, Cino, Dash, Apollo and Woody were all staring at him in admiration and giving him the ‘thumbs up’ and shouting ‘Go on my son!’.

Rocco was pretending not to care and was still wearing his sensible expression which occasionally was betrayed by his facial muscles twitching as he fought to swallow the swear words that threatened to escape from his mouth.

Suddenly Poppy spotted a bit of food on the floor and went to get it and Starbuck also saw it and felt that she too should have it.

‘Give that back to me, I saw it first!’ Poppy growled as Starbuck replied ‘No way, it is MINE!’.

Suddenly both dogs were arguing over the tiniest bit of food as Starbuck jumped on top of Poppy and called her a ‘bitch’ and threatened to pull her hair while Poppy squealed back and said ‘You are so fat, you don’t need that food!’.

As quickly as it started it all ended and both girls were separated as Starbuck was carried off sobbing to her Mum ‘Mum, am I really fat?’ and no amount of placating could convince her that she wasn’t and she would go on the Bonio Diet right away.

Poppy sat on her Mum’s knee crying ‘I saw it first and I need it the most’ as Brutus stared at her sympathetically and vowed to wash her tears away later.

‘Women’ Pippin sighed at Rocco, ‘I just don’t understand them Rocco’.

Rocco who had witnessed the whole thing, replied ‘Jolly right old chap’ and then rested his head on his Mums arms while Gigi choked on her ‘pup-o-cino’ at Rocco sounding more like Prince William by the second.

11108207_10152811817203317_4945549052212439776_n

Chewy and the boys just don’t get women

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Waste not want not

Soon the argument between the girls was forgotten and food was back in the minds of the dogs – if it ever disappeared in the first place.

Brutus had a piece of my mushroom and in his usual disgusting style, he had chewed the mushroom in his mouth a few times and then spat it out on the floor and before I had chance to pick it up, Starbuck was back on the scene and quickly ate it.  ‘Waste not want not’ She nodded firmly as the other dogs all nodded in agreement.

I pee, you pee, we all pee – the laws of dog urination

Part of the fun of any dog gathering is the opportunity to cock the leg or squat and generally spread ones piss around the venue.

Furbaby are really on the ball with this and full cleaning facilities are available to owners to clean up after their pets but it seems the more you clean up their pee, the bigger the challenge to do another one.

‘If you piss on that wall, I shall piss on it and then you will be sorry’ Mako said to Apollo.

‘Yeah, and if you piss on my piss, I shall piss on your piss and then it will be YOU who is sorry’ Apollo growled back.

‘I shall piss until there is no more piss in my body and even then, I shall do invisible piss’ Pippin added to the conversation and to prove a point, he tried to empty his already empty bladder to show to Mako and Apollo that he could piss with the best of them.

‘I can beat that’ Bronte grinned and squatted to make her mark, she was shortly followed by Starbuck and Poppy while Gigi and Nica decided that they could not be bothered and sat with Lilly to discuss how rude it all was.

But I guess we shall never understand the delights of the doggy urination club and how marvellous it must be for them to leave their ‘perfume/aftershave’ for another dog that says ‘I was here’ or simply ‘Piss off’.

Welcome back Rocco

‘I think it was a jolly nice day today’ Said Pippin his ‘BBC English’ type accent, ‘I declare it a total success’.

‘I declare Dash getting into the kitchen unnoticed an even bigger success’ Apollo and Ciccio laughed.

Fletch and Woody were still in heated discussions as to whether or not they too could get into the kitchen while little Mako said he much preferred to stand on Brutus’s back for bacon.

11169954_10152811815758317_3107791397617036890_n

The dogs declare the day a success

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Rocco who was on the floor and circling round looking for a good spot to pee had caught the attention of Dash.

‘Rocco, now you are speaking like Prince William, would you like to give a Royal speech?’ Dash asked Rocco with a big grin on his face.

Looking up at Dash, Rocco puffed his chest up and took a deep breath and replied in a posh voice ‘Bollocks, that is all I have to say on the matter’ and then started to attack his invisible friend and call it a ‘bastard’.

‘I guess I owe you five bucks’ Brutus laughed to Pippin.

‘I guess you do’ Pippin replied smugly.

‘Rocco is back’ Bronte laughed to Gigi who smiled happily and one by one, the dogs all clapped because Rocco being posh, is just not Rocco at all.

Home Time

Soon it was time to go home and the sound of high-pitched Iggy voices filled the air. The female dogs air-kissed and Gigi could be heard saying ‘Catch up soon darling’ to Nica.

Olive was using ‘teen-talk’ to Bronte and saying things like ‘Oh my god, that is SO totes adorbs’ and ‘Snap Chat me’.

The boys shuffled around and looked uncomfortable at the thought of going back to their respective homes. After all, who wants to leave the party when they have had so much fun and games?

‘I don’t want to go home’ Brutus said in a sulky voice as he looked around at the leftover cake, puddles of urine that had lovingly been forced out of every dogs bladder – just to prove they had been there, a bit like the doggy version of graffiti I suppose.

‘Nor do I’ Apollo sighed.

‘We have internet, we could all chat about it tonight and discuss the days events!’ Olive piped up.

‘That’s true’ Fletch said and the others all nodded their heads.

Then as if by magic they all remembered the marvels of modern technology, Facebook and Skype and realised that they could easily meet up that night in Cyber land.

The Iggies happily wagged their tails as their owners clipped their leashes to their collars or picked them up to be carried to their cars.

Brutus always gets jealous of the Iggies that get carried to their cars and would dearly love me to carry him but we all know that will never happen – not at 29 kgs and a pile of long legs anyway.

‘Mum, can you carry me to the car like the other Iggies?’ Brutus cried and then pointed his head in the direction of Rocco who was being held by his Mum.

‘No Brutus, you are too big to be carried’ I told him firmly.

‘So not fair, I can’t help it if I am big – stop picking on me because I am big’ Brutus grumbled under his breath and started to purposely drag his feet to the gate in protest like a naughty toddler, causing his nails to scrape on the concrete.

And soon the VID area was empty with the only trace of our party being the doggy graffiti in the form of pee on every post and that my friends; in dog language screams ‘The Italian Greyhound Club of Western Australia were here and we loved it’.

The End

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thank you to Cino and Starbuck’s owners for the wonderful birthday party and inviting us all and to Furbaby Boutique and Cafe in Perth for such a fabulous venue, excellent staff and great food and hospitality and of course that lovely cake.

Copyright (C) Samantha Rose May 2015

The Fastest Dog in Australia 2015 – First Heats

IMG_0496

Pippin Pringle talks to Gordon about lure coursing

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Firstly I would like to apologise in the delay of the Toppa in QLD story, I am halfway through that but have had a few personal things going on. Toppa has done very well in QLD in the show ring and his testicles are the talk of the town but that is another story and I shall get that finished as soon as I possibly can.

The Fastest Dog in Australia Heats 2015

This years contest is bigger than last year and the following clubs are now also competing which is fantastic news.

Adelaide Lure Coursing and Lure Racing are taking part as are the Yarra Valley Whippet Social Racing Club, Victoria so four states are competing this year.  So come on Northern Territory, I have made up stories for your crocs, dingoes and kangaroos but having your dogs on board would be fabulous!

The Big Day Arrives

It was Good Friday and the day for lure coursing and the first set of heats for West Coast Dog Sports for the Fastest Dog in Australia for 2015.

It was also being held at a new venue – Dogs West Show Grounds in Southern River, instead of our usual Kings Meadow Polo Grounds site which was actually quite nice for a change although some of the dogs were a bit nervous about having their routine changed – well Brutus in particular.

‘Will the grass be as nice?’ Brutus sobbed to me that morning as I got him ready, he was panicking at the slightest change and for Brutus; another venue may as well mean the end of his big brown world. IMG_0054

Poor old Brutus – doesn’t take much to confuse him!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Did you just ask if the grass would be as nice, did you just really ask that?’ Rocky demanded in amusement. IMG_0276

What did you just say? said Rocky

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Vader told me that the grass on the South of the River is brown and the grass in the Polo Club is a nice green colour and if we run on different grass then our legs will fall off’ Brutus protested.

He quite liked his legs and really did not want them to fall off. Rocky bit his lip to avoid responding but Gordon who had no such self-restraint muttered stuff about Brutus falling from the idiot tree and banging his head on every branch as he fell down. J6

Gordon can give a dirty look that shrivels grown men

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Don’t worry Brutus, you will not lose your legs’ I reassured him and gave Gordon a dirty look which was totally wasted as he was washing his bum and ignoring me.

‘Good luck Brutus!’ Rocky waved to us as we pulled out of the driveway.

Brutus pressed his face up against the car window leaving nose art smeared on the glass and waved back at Rocky until he disappeared out of sight.

‘Are we there yet?’ Brutus demanded as we got on to the main road.

‘No Brutus, we are not there yet’ I replied. ‘Have you farted?’ I demanded to him as I smelt the familiar smell of ‘gastro-pup’ fill the car.

Sniffing his own bum Brutus then looked at me and said flatly ‘Yes, I have’.

And with that reply I had could say nothing.

On arrival at the lure coursing grounds (Dogs West)

The Italian Greyhound gazebo was already set up with several of our group already settled.  The first dog we saw was Chewy who was full of excitement at what the day had to offer him.

‘Hi Brutus, how’s it going?’ Chewy grinned to Brutus.  Wearing his finest pants (pantaloons), Chewy the Tibetan, looked quite splendid in all his ‘smallness’ and for such a small dog, exuded presence that demanded that your admiration.

When Chewy runs down the track his sole aim is to get you to admire his coat, the fact that he looks uber cute as he runs is a bonus. IMG_0356

Chewy – the big dog in a little body with cute pants

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Hi Chewy, have you seen Vader – he came with his Mum and Dad and Tess in their car?’ Brutus asked nervously.

‘Nope, he isn’t here yet’ Chewy replied and then stuffed his nose up Poppy’s bum to see where she had been.

Deciding to have a look around to see who was there, Brutus left the Iggy camp and went for a walk.

Sighting the Mouse Norris the greyhound who was there with her sister Barbie and some other greyhounds, Brutus went over to say hello to them.

Mouse is officially head of ‘The Cool Gang’ and always does cool stuff like travelling, kayaking and just going everywhere and anywhere including riding in her own trailer at the back of her Mums bike.

Someone said that Mouse actually has her own passport and has been around the world but that is just a rumour although it wouldn’t surprise me. 10517584_662020460552670_2824292422610396961_n

Brutus and Mouse Norris in the early days of their friendship

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Hi Mouse!’ Brutus shouted.  At one point Mouse would have ignored such a strange-looking dog but Brutus had been on the circuit enough to have proven himself and Mouse now greeted him like one of her cool gang.

Nodding at him and smiling, Mouse replied ‘Hi Brutus, good luck for today!’ while Barbie looked round and gave him the paws-up symbol for good luck.

Brutus was absurdly pleased and tried to look ‘cool’ at such an acknowledgement. As he walked off, he turned round and smiled back at Mouse and at the same time tripped over a blade of grass but thankfully nobody saw it except for a chunky looking Pug that snorted with laughter but everyone else thought that was just his breathing and totally ignored him.

Team Pringle

Brutus was now back in the Iggy section and Vader had arrived with his sister Tess who was air-kissing Woody and Hamish and telling them how marvellous it was to see them. 10641229_10152780218323317_2720869455981626668_n

Brutus and Pippin discuss race tactics

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘It felt wrong us not being in the car together this morning’ Vader whispered to Brutus who agreed with him, although it was for the best as three dogs in the car and three humans would be far too much even by Brutus’s standards.

‘Haven’t seen you in years, shall we chew each others jowls?’ Vader asked Brutus who obliged by cleaning Vader’s mouth which caused Tess to wrinkle up her snout in disgust at such a public display of snot exchange. 10256912_638694072885309_8121693479915909382_n

Brutus and Vader – Jowl lickers forever

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Pippin was busy on his iPad trying to liaise with Nica and Zara who had gone with their Mums down South for the Easter break. He wanted to find out how things were going down there and so that he could give Nica all the updates and although they were on holiday; the girls were still expected to keep up with the lure coursing gossip. 11065898_10152780095983317_4961539582172621579_n

Pippin trying to organise everyone

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Rocco and Madam Gigi were also absent as were Olive and Bambi and several of the others so the Iggy contingent were pretty thin on the ground although Woody made up for it with his stealth like ability to get on the knees of everyone that he met and would come off smelling of various perfumes from intense cuddle and petting sessions.

Brutus got quite excited at the little Dachshund and almost asked for its mobile number until Poppy told him that he was in fact a boy, not that it bothered Brutus as Pippin told him little things like that don’t matter.

‘Did your Mum get you that?  I would SO love one of those’ Poppy the Chinese Crested gushed at Bronte who was showing off her beautiful collar that Dee Cole (The Canine Company) had hand-made for her.  Pippin also has one – ‘Fifty Shades of Pippin’.

‘Yes she did and she has ordered me some other clothes as well’ Bronte said confidently. Bronte had the best wardrobe for miles only rivalled by that of Tess, with a rich selection of dresses, skirts, tops and collars to name but a few.

IMG_7627

The latest on the catwalk – according to Bronte

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

In fact rumours had it that even the top fashion designers from Paris, New York and Rome would come to Bronte’s house for ideas for Paris Fashion Week and consult with the tiny Italian greyhound about ‘what is hot’ and ‘what is not’ in the world of Iggies.

‘Do you like my pants?’ Chewy barked loudly, feeling a bit left out; he wanted to direct the conversation towards himself to show off his ‘pantaloons’ which looked just like the baggy Arabic dance pants and very good they looked too.

‘I wouldn’t mind a pair of pants like that’ Brutus nodded approvingly and then asked Vader for his opinion on Chewy’s pants. ‘I could shit in those and Mum would never know, how much fun that would be!’ Vader replied momentarily excited at the thought of having some pants to store turd in.  He could use them as weapons to flick over the fence to hit next doors cat, now that would be fun.

‘Please excuse my brother, he is quite revolting’ Tess sighed and then went back to discussing joint issues and the benefits of supplements with Woody. IMG_7905

There are two Woody’s in Tess’s life – here is the toy one

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Millie the border collie, Poppy and Bronte were busy looking through some samples of dog collars and clothes. ‘I wouldn’t mind one of those collars’ Millie said pointedly at her Mum who must have overheard as the next minute she was rifling through the box looking for something to order her.

‘I wish my Mum would buy me one of those collars, I tried a Hugh Hefner style collar on at the last event and thought I looked quite mature for my age’ Brutus said wistfully to Vader who giggled as the words ‘mature’ and ‘Brutus’ simply did not go in the same sentence.

‘My Mum said there is no point in wasting one on me, she reckons I would break it in seconds’ Vader laughed truthfully.

Brutus just hung his head and said nothing.  He thought he looked jolly nice in the collar he tried on and would have loved one for himself but a new collar was certainly not on my priority list for him when I had other things to think about financially.

The Cloth Dogs and the ‘Crate of Barks’

You have all read about what I describe as ‘The Cloth Dogs’ which are Kim and Ian Cross’s Afghan hounds. I use the term ‘Cloth Dog’ as when they run down the track they look like a piece of silk cloth floating along the grass and the image can be very suddenly ruined when they decide to roll in horse shit which although hilarious to watch, must take ages to get out of the fur.

One of the Cloth Dogs is called Eugene and he also plays the piano and enjoys a bit of 70s dancing but once again, that is another story. 603870_10152780096713317_6197082827611651898_n

Eugene – The Cloth Dog

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Eugene like Rocco, Bentley and Sting the Italian greyhounds, suffers a bit of Tourette’s and is prone to outbursts of bad language and insults and can always be heard from his crate yelling stuff to other dogs as they go by.

Today was no different and surrounded by his wives, Eugene was absolutely furious at every dog that had the audacity to walk past his crate.

Eugene has a strong foreign accent that gets harder to understand the angrier he gets and when he is in his crate with his wives, it can get quite heated.  The crate I might add is known as ‘The Crate of Barks’.

‘Your Mumma she eat turd for her breakfast!’ Eugene yelled in broken English to a couple of Ridgebacks that walked by while Lucy – one of Eugene’s wives giggled behind him and hid behind her fringe for anonymity .

‘Your Mumma she lick the cats bottom!’ shouted a grizzled looking dog in a fake Italian accent back to Eugene while a group of Weimaraners looked horrified at such words and shook their heads in horror. (dogs will often talk in fake foreign accents purely for effect)

All you could hear was the exchange of angry words between the grizzled dog and Eugene with stuff like ‘Your Mumma she did this’ and ‘Your Mumma she did that’ and my personal favourite ‘Your Mumma has a snout like my Mumma’s anus!’.

‘I eat your family for breakfast!’ growled Eugene and then whispered to his wives in the crate ‘You girls can bark as well and make it sound scary’.

‘This is the bad-ass crate for the bad dogs, you are in my hood now!’ the angry Afghan barked.

‘Yeah, I could eat you for breakfast you big fat hairball!’ squealed a Jack Russell Terrier who looked a bit like Danny De Vito, ‘I have contacts you know and I could snap you like a twig!’

‘You have been watching too many movies little dog, I shit things out of my bum bigger than you’ Eugene barked.

‘I will come back with my friends’ spluttered the Jack Russell angrily and then realised that he hadn’t actually brought any friends and would have to round-up some invisible ones instead.

‘And that man-bun on the top of your head makes you look like a hairy sumo girl!’ snarled the Jack Russell which caused Eugene to stop yelling and ask Lucy if he really did look like a hairy sumo girl.

‘I don’t look like a girl do I?’ Eugene asked her. Lucy flicked her fringe dramatically and replied soothingly ‘Just ignore him, he is jealous’.

‘Big fat hairy sumo girl!’ barked the Jack Russell and then started to flash Eugene his bum to antagonise him.

The thing is with little dogs, the smaller they are the bigger that they think they are and the more you reprimand them and hold them back, the more they say ‘Let me at it, I shall eat him alive’ – even if the dog is the size of a small snack, it simply won’t stop them thinking how big and tough they are.

Just as it was about to all kick off, Brutus walked past with Millie and grinned at Eugene ‘Hi Eugene, how’s it going?’

‘Piss off and don’t ruin my moment’ Eugene growled harshly at Brutus.

‘He is such a kidder, he is a teddy bear really, I love him’ Brutus said confidently to Millie (Brutus loves everyone and thinks everyone loves him which is not strictly true).

‘I am not so sure about that Brutus’ Millie said nervously as Eugene flipped Brutus the bird through the bars of his crate and gave a flick of his ‘man bun’ which is the hair on top of his head all pinned up so that it doesn’t get knotted.

Leaving Eugene and his wives to defend his ‘crate of growls’, Brutus and Millie made their way to the sausage sizzle because Millie wanted to give Brutus a lesson in how to vacuum off a sausage from the counter in one easy step while ignoring the onions.

Millie I should add, was an expert in this as she had already inhaled her human brothers cheese and salad wrap from the table leaving no evidence except for a bit of cheese on her black and white snout.

11137129_1633570590205421_6789360281179030844_n

Millie the border collie and expert inhaler of food

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

A Hot Dog Affair

‘So you see what you do is to pretend you are asleep but have the sausage firmly set in your sights and when your parents are not looking you quickly lean up with your head to the side and inhale the sausage’.  Millie whispered to Brutus.

‘But watch you don’t choke on it and always run away and eat the evidence so they can pin nothing on you and never eat the onions as they are poisonous’ Millie added confidently.

Brutus was taking on board everything Millie told him but then he realised that we never actually have sausages in our house so he would have to try something else.  He briefly wondered if hash browns would be as good but if he swallowed one of those whole he would end up with a triangular shape in his throat (or so I can imagine).

Bundy – The Town Crier and Brutus The Good Boy

You all know Bundy the fluffy Samoyed otherwise known as the Town Crier, he announces everything and anything and nothing but does so with such passion and enthusiasm that the title cannot possibly be removed from him.

Bundy and Brutus have become good friends after Bundy came to Brutus’s birthday party and the boys always enjoy catching up. IMG_8830

Brutus and Bundy – the Town Crier

(Photography by Sam Rose)

Dogs have been known to watch Bundy to see what he has to say and even clap afterwards despite his speeches making no sense whatsoever.  Bundy is what you might call the Martin Luther King of the dog world when it comes to giving speeches.

‘Here I am everyone, I am here, I am there and I am everywhere!’ Bundy barked to everyone that would listen and anyone that wouldn’t.

‘Race for your lives, race for your families, race for the world and then spread the word that lure is the cure!’ Bundy barked hysterically working himself up to fever pitch. A small crowd of dogs had gathered round Bundy who was totally not stopping for breath.

One husky wagged his tail enthusiastically, proud to be part of such a gathering while Millie and Brutus had left the sausage sizzle and had joined Bundy to hear what he had to say.

‘Brutus you must go back to Team Pringle at the Iggy stand at once!’ Bundy barked in a firm voice. ‘Yes, you must go at once’ the Husky added to the instruction and then every dog in the area had added their part ‘You must go at once’ until it became so loud that ignoring it was simply not an option.

‘Goodness what on earth could this be about?’ Brutus asked Millie who shrugged her shoulders as she had no idea at all.

‘Your Mumma eat the shoe off my foot!’ Eugene shouted from his ‘Cage of Barks’ and as Brutus and Millie walked by he added ‘Go to Team Pringle at once!’ followed by ‘Your father eat mouldy socks for tea’ while a tough looking Dachshund standing next to him did a ‘cut throat’ sign with his paw for effect and nodded so vigorously that his head nearly fell off.

‘What have I done wrong? I only washed Pippin’s genitals once and I haven’t chewed Mum’s bras in ages’ Brutus thought nervously.  He had been a good boy, or at least he thought he had.

It was very important  for Brutus to be a ‘good boy’ and it had got to the stage where Dee Cole and the Iggy crew had even awarded him a certificate for a pretend ‘Good Boy Award’ because it meant so much to him.

On arrival at the Team Pringle tent, Pippin was holding court to the group who were all whispering and nodding and doing the usual stuff that is indicative of gossip.

IMG_0600

Pippin Pringle calls the meeting

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Shhh, here he is!’ Bronte hissed to Pippin who blushed and then picked up a piece of paper with a speech written down on it.

‘Oh I can’t wait for this one!’ Woody grinned to Vader who was now trying to persuade his tongue to get back into his mouth and stop interrupting.

‘Can I stand next to Brutus so that he can sniff my bum?’ Poppy the Chinese Crested asked Pippin who frowned at her and told her to remember her manners. Tess had no such self-control and was flashing her pink paws and tidy bottom at Brutus who was so scared of what was to come that he never even noticed.

Chewy, Millie and Taia sat impatiently waiting for the announcement and Bronte was whispering stuff in Pippin’s ear as he went through what was written on the paper.

‘What’s going on? What have I done?’ Brutus asked Pippin who had put his half rimmed spectacles on (with no glass on them but they make him look smarter) to read the speech.

‘Sit down Brutus please’ Pippin ordered the big brown gentle giant who was so nervous that his bottom had started to have a party all by itself by farting.

Wrinkling her delicate nose, Poppy said ‘What on earth is that smell?’

Vader whispered ‘He has farted, we always fart when we are nervous – it is a medical condition you know.

‘Right, let’s get started!’ Pippin coughed to clear his throat and then clapped his skinny paws together to get everyone’s attention.

‘We – the Iggies and honorary Iggies would like to award you The Good Boy Award for being a good boy and would very much like you to have this collar – hand-made by Dee Cole (The Canine Company) which means you are officially a Good Boy and an honorary Iggy’ Pippin said proudly.

‘But Rocco said that the Good Boy Award was just made up to keep me happy’ Brutus faltered, blushing and trying to make himself small as everyone was staring at him.

‘Yes that may well be so but you are OUR Good Boy, and you protect us Iggies and have become part of our little group so that makes the award official’ Pippin added.

‘And Dee Cole, Kim Cross and Denise Pringle say you are a Good Boy, so does Fran Forbes in QLD and all the others in the Iggie club say it so it must be true’ Bronte said in a tearful voice, (she always gets emotional at speeches and has been known to thank everyone including the Queen, Gucci, Prada and her Mum).

Looking down at the beautiful hand-made leather collar, Brutus examined it closely and admired the soft leather and the gold patterns on it.  It really was gorgeous and it was the Hugh Hefner collar that he had tried on and had always wanted but never thought he would have.

‘I don’t know what to say’ Brutus said quietly as he did his famous Brutus-expression with his bottom lip hanging down like a coin slot.

‘Well you could try it on for starters!’ Chewy laughed at the big brown dog who was going red and clearly about to go ‘Full Pippin’ and burst into tears.

*Pippin Pringle is prone to bursting into tears when he is tired or emotional – hence the term ‘Full Pippin*

‘I shall help you put it on’ Tess said gently to Brutus and then stood on her little white hind legs as Brutus bowed his head down to have his Good Boy Collar placed on his neck and it fitted him very well I might add and made him look very handsome. 11107735_10152780219063317_6938734160774915211_n

Pippin presents Brutus with his ‘Good Boy Collar Award’

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Speech! Speech!’ Bronte and Millie squealed together as Woody, Tess and the others all started to join in with a slow and deliberate clap of paws.

‘I do feel like you are my family really and I know that you are all smarter than me and I am a bit clumsy but I do love you all and would like to thank you for my lovely collar’ Brutus stuttered as he tried to find his words and not quite knowing what to do next; he farted and then turned round and checked his bum for stains.

‘Good lad!’ Vader said with his voice full of pride as Tess poked him to be quiet,

‘And I know that I am not a pedigree or a show dog but winning The Good Boy Collar Award means so much to me’ unable to find the words to say anything else, Brutus was so overcome with emotion, that he hung his big boofy head down and couldn’t think of what else to say as he took little gasps of breath while trying not to cry as tears poured down his brown cheeks. 11129350_10152780217533317_1478480799006317683_n

Brutus displays his collar and tries to stand like a show dog

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Here’s to Brutus the Good boy!’ Eugene shouted from outside the Iggy tent as the other dogs clapped and cheered. Having dragged his Mum Kim down to the Iggy camp.  Eugene was wearing his 70s flared pants and still proudly sporting his ‘man-bun’ above his head.

Not used to seeing Brutus show so much emotion, Pippin decided that a diversion was in order to get things back on track and to save the big brown dog from further embarrassment.

‘Come on you lot, rumours have it that Brutus and Vader are going to be called for their first trial for the Fastest Dog in Australia contest, so let’s get these boys ready!’ Pippin shouted to his team.

Standing there wearing his ‘Good Boy Collar’, Brutus stared round at his friends.  They were all smiling at him and wagging their tails.

Even Eugene had stopped his bout of Tourette’s and was wagging his big fluffy tail in response, but don’t be fooled by that – he was back to swearing and shouting ‘Your Mumma eat turd for breakfast’ a few minutes later.

‘My friends – they are all my friends and I love them’ Brutus thought to himself and remembering just a year ago when he first went lure coursing and hadn’t met the Iggies, now he could not imagine his life without them in it.

And let us not forget Vader, his trusty ‘special’ mate that body slams him, that engages in mutual cleaning of the jowl flaps and enjoys bad habits with, now that is a friendship that is truly special.

The Fastest Dog in Australia – Brutus and Vader do their bit

‘Oh god I am nervous, what do I do, where do I run?’ Brutus cried as Lexie took his leash – she was going to release him and I would catch him at the other end.

This time he had to go through narrow timing gates to get a precise timing for the competition. ‘You know what to do, you have done it before and however you do I am proud of you’ I reassured the trembling dog who just a week before had been laid up with gastro due to some dodgy kangaroo meat.

Making my way down to the other end I nervously bit my lip waiting for him to be released. ‘Is that Brutus, who normally crashes the barrier?’ laughed the lure operator and feeling my cheeks burn, I said that yes it was.  (Brutus can’t turn corners you see and just thinks it is easier to crash the barriers).

Within seconds Lexie had released him, the lure had been set off and Brutus shot forward with his mates cheering him on shouting ‘Go on Turd Legs, you can do it!’.

He ran so well and was right on the lure and totally ignored me – he was fixed on it like a good boy.  Usually he looks for his Mum (me) but this time he knew what he had to chase and was hell-bent on getting it.

Vader stood at the side waiting his turn and shouted ‘Go on Brutus, you can do it!’ in between choking on his tongue and farting with nerves and excitement.

Brutus I must add; has a fabulous imagination and each time he runs he has the ‘Chariots of Fire’ theme tune in his head as he imagines he is running is own Grand National.

Although you and I both know that he is running alone chasing a plastic bag on a lure, in Brutus’s eyes he is a professional racing dog. FD6

Brutus taking his turn for the Fastest Dog in Australia competition

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

He has been known to get so emotional that he cries down the track and imagines people cheering him and congratulating him for ‘winning his race’.

I am not one for ruining his dreams as we are all entitled to those but I do get fed up with the Chariots of Fire theme tune though that Brutus insisted on playing in the car on the way down to get him in the mood.

I was very proud of him though as this was a new venue and Brutus ran straight through the timing barriers like a champion and in true Brutus style ran straight past me and then came back for me to put his leash on. FD8

Brutus going through the timing gates at the finish

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

‘Did I win? Did I win?’ Brutus panted and as usual I did not have the heart to tell him that it was more a timing thing than a race and that he wasn’t racing against anyone but let him enjoy his moment all the same.

Then it was Vader’s turn and in a true Jowls of Fire event, Vader, his tongue and his jowls flapped their way down the track in a flurry of snot as the chunky boxer dog also ran like a champ.

Being a total pro at turning corners, Vader was only mildly disappointed that there were none there but did very well all the same.

The dogs were all watching Vader while chanting the Chariots of Fire theme tune which sounded hilarious if you can imagine a gang of dogs shouting ‘Da da da da da da, da da da da da, da da da da da da, da da da da da’ (I bet you have just sung it yourselves haven’t you!)

‘Look at that tongue!’ Bundy shouted and then started to bark frantically to announce the arrival of Vader’s tongue. Vader 2

Vader – (Jowls of Fire) does his heat in the Fastest Dog in Australia competition

‘Go on flappy jowls!’ the Irish terrier growled in support as he did like to cheer on the other dogs and was a passionate lure courser himself.

Vader thundered over the finish line to be met by his mates who all congratulated him for his effort.

‘Proud of you Vader, you did well.  Where is your tongue?’ Brutus asked his friend.

Opening his mouth, Vader displayed his enormous tongue and said ‘I think it is here’.

‘Good, now keep it tucked inside safe before someone mistakes it for a Christmas ham’ Brutus told him as both boys walked back towards the Iggy tent while trying to talk over one another as to who ran the fastest and it was decided that Vader’s tongue won by a metre. 10551075_683596318395084_4256826329900557973_n

Never underestimate the power of Vader’s tongue

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Bundy has his turn

As Bundy took his turn to run it was soon realised that there was no-one to announce it so Bundy decided to do it himself.

‘I am running now, lock up your families and feed your children, I am about to set the grass on fire’ Bundy barked to everyone.

He got so excited that he actually almost pulled his Mum round the wrong way and nearly ran in the wrong direction. ‘Let me at it, where is that lure?’ Bundy demanded angrily.

‘It’s behind you, if you run in that direction you shall end up in the ladies toilets!’ Eugene barked while Lucy his wife tried not to laugh.

‘I knew that, I totally knew that’ Bundy said in an embarrassed voice before his Mum had managed to turn him in the right direction.

‘And he is off!’ Eugene nodded approvingly as Bundy set off like a cotton ball shot out of a cannon as he chased after the lure while continuing to bark and announce himself to the world. 10401947_1633567683539045_2585048158794137530_n

Bundy the Cotton-Cannonball takes his turn in the contest

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

The importance of friendships – both real and invisible

I have said before that every dog has an invisible friend for the days when there is no-one else to fight or argue or play with and the power of these invisible friendships should never be underestimated.

If you look around the grounds at any doggy event be it a dog show, agility or lure coursing, you will see dogs playing with their invisible friends.  You will see dogs barking at nothing – except that it isn’t nothing, it is their invisible friend.

You will see tails wagging at nothing in particular but what you won’t see is the invisible dog that is inciting that reaction.  It really is a marvellous phenomenon, not to mention the fact that when your dog does something naughty in the home, the invisible dogs are always to blame.

Anyway back to lure coursing where one dog was having a fight with his invisible friend over the lure and threatening to bite him.  Growls and barks filled the air as the terrier insulted his invisible friend and threatened to piss on his head until his owners came and got him for his turn to race and then it was ‘game on’ as the little dog ran its legs off. 11115714_1633571233538690_1237426702309039608_n

All dogs have invisible friends you know

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

A beautiful chocolate colour kelpie called Bruiser didn’t appear to have any invisible friends.  It was his first time at lure coursing and he was busy taking in the atmosphere while trying to work out who was what and whether or not Bundy was a sheep that needed to be herded up. 18489_10152780096273317_2704418740714725084_n

Bruiser the Kelpie‘s first time at lure coursing

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Hi, the name is Brutus’ Brutus barked at Bruiser the kelpie and offered his bum to be sniffed as a greeting which Bruiser did quite happily.

‘You look just like my brother Rocky except you are chocolate colour’ Brutus said in his special voice – he is a bit of a Forrest Gump is my Brutus.

‘Pleased to meet you’ Bruiser grinned, ‘So, tell me what all this lure coursing is about then’.

‘Well, it’s like this…..’  Brutus started to say.  As the two boys sat side by side, Brutus patiently explained to Bruiser about how lure coursing is a sport for both dogs and their owners to enjoy, a day out for everyone and a display of  fitness and endurance.

Not just limited to Australia, lure coursing is also popular in many countries around the world and the day is made extra nice if you can scrounge some treats from your Mum/Dad.

As quickly as Bruiser thought he had come to the event with no friends, he had made a new one in Brutus, Vader and the rest of the gang.  That is how it is at lure coursing you see, you are never without a friend for long be it invisible or real.

Bronte and Pippin – Their entries for Fastest Dog in Australia

Bronte was now at the starting line waiting to be released as Denise waited at the finish line to catch her.

‘That’s my sister that is!’ Pippin nodded to a Borzoi who was standing next to him.

In a strong Russian accent the Borzoi replied ‘Zat is a tiny leetle dog with a long snout, I bet she go very fast’.

But before they had chance to discuss Bronte further, she had already reached the finish line in such good speeds that the dogs around the barriers had taken out their calculators to see whose time she had beaten.

Looking the epitome of elegance and beauty, the Borzoi who called himself Valdov, was oblivious to all around him except for Bronte.  Who was this beautiful little red and white dog with long legs and he wondered if he could he take her back to Russia to be his wife?

‘I did it! Did I do it well?’ Bronte panted as Denise proudly carried her away from the track.

Pippin was not happy at the way Valdov was eyeing up his sister and he especially wasn’t happy with the way the giant dog was swigging Russian water from a hip flask either.

‘Pippin, it’s your turn’ Bronte said breathlessly, ‘Hello, I am Bronte – pleased to meet you’ she added holding out her slim paw to acknowledge Valdov who was boring his eyes in to her.

‘Hello Bronte, Vood you like me to teach you how to speak Russian?’ Valdov asked Bronte  causing her to blush. (Imagine that sentence in a Russian accent to get the idea)

Before she had chance to answer, Pippin whispered to the Borzoi ‘I know some Russian’.

‘Eeez zat right?’ Valdov smirked.

‘Yes’ Pippin said firmly and then stood up on his hind legs to make himself bigger and said loudly ‘Leave my sister alone or I shall piss in your vodka bottle’.

And with that Pippin walked off and took his position on the starting line to do his entry for the Fastest Dog in Australia while secretly shitting his pants as he had been so brave in standing up to the Borzoi.

But that is what you do for those you love, you stand up for them even when it scares you.

‘Go on my Pippin, you can do it!’ Bronte squealed as the little dog ran for his life towards his Mum Denise.

Brutus was cheering him on in his deep voice from the sidelines. He looked on Pippin and Bronte as family and loves to see them racing, especially as this contest is a big event for any Australian lure coursing dog.

Jumping into his Mum’s arms, Pippin was every inch the hero as he was carried off the track.

Winner of the Fastest Iggy in Australia last year, the Iggies were very proud of Pippin and how passionately flew the flag for the club in the competition for 2014 and had equally high hopes this year.

However, we shall not say anything about his secret penchant for ballroom dancing though and his liking for tight satin pants because you shall find out all about that another time and without saying too much, Eugene is heavily involved in that as well which kind of makes fun of his ‘Crate of Barks’ and ruins his reputation but there you go, we all have a guilty secret somewhere.

Lucy – Wife of Eugene and ‘Cloth Dog has her turn

Lucy the Cloth Dog was about to take her turn for the run and as usual provided some fabulous entertainment as she ran down the track in elegant fashion whilst resembling a piece of black silk cloth in the wind.

With the Cloth Dogs it is not the actually race that people come to see, it is the show they put on at the end which usually involves leaping over the barrier, joyously running around and if there is some horse turd to roll in then all the better.

The trouble was is at Dogs West Show Grounds there is no horse manure for them to roll in but that did not stop Lucy standing there after her race and saying ‘Who has hidden the horse shit?’ while the Dachshunds yelled things like ‘Little dogs have rights too’. 644434_1633568180205662_383941116012881424_n

Lucy the Cloth Dog floats down the track

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

This of course set everyone else off including Bundy who was barking away shouting ‘I am the fastest cotton dog in the West!’

Satisfied that Lucy had caused enough of a rumpus with her antics, Eugene had gone back to the ‘Crate of Barks’ and was busy trying to find his own bottom amongst all that fur so that he could wash his anus.

The life of Tess

Tess had made herself comfortable in my chair and was busy discussing respectable things with Hamish and Woody.

‘I have two homes you know and in one of them I get to do as I like and have my own personal chef (my husband) and two leather sofas. (Tess looks on my house as her house and that is fine because Gordon loves her as well).

‘I have lots of laps to go on and I can get cuddles and pats whenever I want’ Woody added to the conversation.

‘I just love everyone’ Vader replied to nobody in particular and reached out to wash Brutus’s jowls which was quite a disgusting habit enjoyed by both dogs but really was not pleasant for public viewing.

The End of the Day

The exhausted dogs were resting around the gazebo, some were asleep, some falling asleep but those that were awake were discussing the day and the next lure coursing session.  Always planning in advance for their next social event, nothing excited them more than lure coursing (well except for a play date at the Furbaby Cafe). 11081436_10152780096433317_5482140589938400588_n

Tess being a social butterfly while the others rest after a busy day

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Brutus was sitting in my chair with his legs apart and his manhood rudely on display which of course had Vader making comments about sausages and stuff. (I never even realised that until after I posted the photo on Facebook). 19800_10152780095848317_6364989530331126065_n

Brutus on my chair – once you see it, you cannot ‘un-see’ it

(Photograph ignorantly taken by myself – Sam Rose)

‘Pippin?’ asked Brutus, ‘Will you be having lots of mobile phones like last year and talking to all the States in Australia?’

Pippin looked thoughtful and replied ‘Of course I will, in fact I have a new mobile phone as well – do you like it?’ whipping out a Galaxy Note 3, it looked as though he was holding a laptop.

‘That’s enormous!’ Bronte gasped, ‘We could watch TV on that’.

‘Oh yes and Barney, Kath and Ruby will be reporting for their side and Amex, Shine and Gracie will be helping them and I do believe Luciano will be the Karratha Correspondent’ Pippin added.

‘Will you be talking to the Northern Territory again like last year, I remember some, crocs, roos and dingoes were involved’ barked Vader.

‘Oh yes, we must not forget the Northern Territory, the crocs are hardcore supporters of lure coursing you know’ Pippin grinned.

‘Can crocs do lure coursing, I never knew that?’ Brutus piped up from his (my) chair.

Poppy, Chewy, Hamish, Woody, Bronte, Taia, Millie and the little Dachshund burst out laughing. ‘Crocs don’t do lure coursing silly!’ Tess shook her head while giggling at Brutus.

‘I knew that, I was just seeing if you knew that’ Brutus blushed as even Vader laughed at him.

‘Yes, more people are involved this year and each year will see it get bigger and better than the last as we learn from each event’. Pippin said firmly.

‘It’s good to be part of it though isn’t it?’ Millie barked as the others all agreed with her.

‘Do you remember us all sat at our computers last year for the finals, that was awesome’ Bronte reminded the others.

‘Oh yes, none of us got much sleep that night’ Pippin laughed, ‘But it was worth it though’.

‘Well, here’s to the next heat for the contest and let’s hope we can better our times and if not, we shall have a bloody good time anyway’ Brutus barked loudly.

‘Here here!’ barked the others and for a few minutes that is all you could hear – the sound of barking and the sight of tails wagging as the gang acknowledged that the Fastest Dog in Australia competition 2015 was well and truly underway.

At Barney’s House in QLD

‘So is everything in order then, what happens now?’ Kath the greyhound asked Barney who was sitting at his desk typing up notes for the Fastest Dog in Australia contest.

‘Let the competition commence and may the best dog win!’  Barney replied as he nodded to Kath.

At Amex’s House in QLD

As one of the official correspondents, Amex had been ready for this contest months. In fact he was born ready and being meticulously organised, had his office sorted, computer connected and webcam wired up for a live feed around Australia to keep up with the contest.

Remembering how much fun it had been last year Amex was really looking forward to it this year and had even purchased an ear piece so that he could listen to updates when he went outside for a pee.

Yes, Amex was ready for the competition and was proud to be a part of it all.  It was something that united the dogs of Australia and raised awareness about the sport and the great fun that dogs and owners can have together.

Back home at Brutus’s House

Brutus had shown his ‘Good Boy Collar Award’ to Rocky who although he had called Brutus a ‘Girls blouse’ for wearing such a posh collar, Rocky was secretly jealous that he hadn’t got anything.

I did actually remind Rocky that Fran Forbes from QLD had bought him a Julie Gillard doll and Brutus a second Tony Abbott doll but Rocky still maintained he deserved a Good Boy Award even though he hasn’t always been a good boy if you know what I mean. J4

Rocky and his Julia Gillard doll that Fran Forbes bought him

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘So, how fast did you go today Turd Legs?’ Rocky asked Brutus later that night.

‘Don’t know really but I had great fun’ Brutus replied simply.  Curled up on the sofa with Gordon the cat, Brutus was exhausted after his day.

Rocky looked thoughtful and barked ‘Yep and that’s what counts’

‘Here Brutus, tell me about your Good Boy Collar Award again’ Gordon asked.  Being an indoor cat he loved hearing about their stories. 10342001_10152782927138317_264238942954362727_n

Brutus winning his race (in his dreams of course)

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

But Gordon never did get to hear about it because when he glanced round to Brutus, he saw that he was fast asleep with his legs twitching.  No doubt dreaming about ‘winning his own race’ – which in my book, he does so well.

Until next time……..

Acknowledgements and Thanks The Australian Lure Coursing Association 

Thank you to the Australian Lure Coursing Association for their promotion of the sport in Australia at a National level and for overseeing that it is run fairly, appropriately and to a high standard.

Sandra Burrows and the team put in a huge amount of work to get the results of the Fastest Dog contest out to us, it is no small job either so thank you Sandra for all your hard work in doing this, we do appreciate it .

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1399559963621860/?fref=ts

West Coast Dog Sports

Thank you to Dee Cole and all of the team at West Coast Dog Sports for their hard work in organising their heats for the Fastest Dog in Australia competition and for the lure coursing events in general that give our dogs the chance to compete in the sport.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/242717789174231/?fref=ts

Amy Joy from Studio Joy

Thank you to Amy Joy for kindly allowing me to use her photographs for my blog to bring it to life. Amy is available to take stunning photographs your animals at very reasonable prices  and If you would like a photo shoot with her then please contact her directly:

Amy Joy tel:  0430 549 346

https://www.facebook.com/PhotographyStudioJoy?fref=ts

A  special thank you from Brutus

Thank you to Dee Cole, Denise Pringle and everyone at the Italian Greyhound Club of Western Australia and Kim Cross for Brutus’s Good Boy Collar.  He will be saving it for evening wear and lure coursing.

If any of you would like a ‘Good Boy Collar’ for your own dog, please contact Dee Cole at the Canine Company:

https://www.facebook.com/thecaninecompanywa?fref=ts

Disclaimer:

No offence is intended by this story and I just write things down as they come in to my head. Whilst some (not all) of the dogs in my stories are in fact real, the dialogue that I give them is invented and any bearing or resemblance to the real dogs is purely coincidental and is in good fun and from my imagination only.

And if my husband is reading this and you suddenly find a tuxedo in Brutus’s wardrobe, you can blame Lexie as she got me started on all this and said that Brutus needed formal wear and as for the Hells Angels cap – I am saying nothing.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright April 2015

Watermarked photographs remain the sole copyright of Studio Joy and unmarked photographs remain the copyright of myself.

The Night Before Lure Coursing – March 2015

IMG_0353

Pippin Pringle – The Organiser

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

At the Pringle Headquarters

You all know the drill – it was the night before lure coursing and Pippin Pringle was doing his usual organising of what was to be expected on the biggest night of all self respecting lure coursers agenda’

‘No Bronte, you cannot possibly wear that dress as it is far too short!’ Pippin said firmly to his sister Bronte who was wearing a dress so short that you could see her knickers (had she been wearing them).

IMG_0380

Bronte

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Straining to look at her bottom in the mirror, Bronte gave a haughty to look Pippin and then carried on admiring her bum causing Pippin to roll his eyes impatiently.  He had so much to do before tomorrow, things like make lists and stuff and organising the Iggy meeting where no doubt Rocco, Bentley, Fat Harry and the gang would cause a scene of some sort involving Rocco’s invisible friends to fight with.

(Pippin’s phone rings)

‘Hello, Pippin Pringle here’  Pippin said in his posh voice that he does so well, you know a ‘telephone voice’ that we all adopt when we answer our phone in the hope that someone says ‘Aren’t you posh’.

‘What did you say?  James?  Are you sure?, Well this changes everything – no, don’t worry, I shall tell them tomorrow’.  Pippin said quietly while staring at Bronte who without a care in the world was now kissing her own reflection in the mirror and telling herself how hot she was.

‘What’s up bro?’ Bronte giggled to Pippin and just as she was about to give her brother a playful poke, she saw his face and thought better of it.

‘James the mini wired Dachshund tragically crossed over to Rainbow Bridge – I have only just been notified’ Pippin said sadly.  Being ‘The Organiser’ of his little group, it was down to him to break the news.

‘James has gone over to Rainbow Bridge? Are you sure?’ Bronte’s voice faltered as she fought to stop herself from crying.

That was the thing you see, when any of their lure coursing pals went over to Rainbow Bridge it was always sad, well not for the dogs that have crossed over because Rainbow Bridge is a lovely place but sad for the loved ones that have been left behind to miss them and mourn their empty bed.

‘Yes I am afraid so, a feisty little dog as well who will no doubt be keeping them on their toes up there but it does mean that Kim and Ian his parents will need special hugs and dog licks tomorrow at lure coursing’ said Pippin firmly.

‘If Brutus and Vader lick them then that will be more of a bath than a lick don’t you think?’ Bronte asked Pippin who looked somewhat alarmed at the suggestion because it was so accurate.

‘Yes, but she does have Eugene and the rest of the ‘Cloth dogs’ (Afghans) and remember when one escaped the barrier at lure coursing and rolled in horse shit?  Well I am sure they are ‘hard core’ and familiar with all things like that’ Pippin barked his response.

‘What do we do Pippin? You always know what to do, What do we do?’ Bronte asked her brother.

‘That is easy Bronte, we race for a reason and tomorrow’s reason is James’ Pippin said confidently.

These dogs do not often race for a reason, in fact the last time they raced for a reason was for a beautiful staffie so this time they will be doing it for James.

11014733_10206109349958924_164627571_n

Race for a reason – James the mini wired Dachshund

(Photography by Kim Ian Cross)

Because racing for a reason means that each dog is released to catch the lure and their purpose is to celebrate the canine friend that has crossed to Rainbow Bridge to honour them.

Brutus’s House

11054375_10152714712828317_7730541624758595776_n

Brutus – the energetic lure courser with his new Julia Gillard doll

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

‘What does wait and see mean?’ Brutus sobbed loudly to me as I tried to ignore his pleading eyes.

‘It means providing that you can keep your dinner down and stop farting like a shit machine, that you can go to lure coursing tomorrow’ I replied.

Brutus being Brutus had eaten some kind of crap in the garden and having a sensitive stomach, it had inflamed his tummy and caused him to vomit up the copious amounts of grass that he had eaten and also fart like a guffing truck.

Totally refusing all food, he was also accusing his own bottom of assaulting him because he farted so loudly that he stared at his anus for a bit and then went ‘full Pringle’ and burst into tears.

*Full Pringle is to do what Pippin does when he can’t get his own way and that is to burst in to tears*

‘But I want to go to lure coursing with Vader!’ Brutus broke out into noisy sobs which of course put pressure on his stomach and he farted in between each word.

‘Let’s see how you go Brutus’ I tried to sooth him but it was no good, he had got into more states than Australia and was now walking around the living room with Rocky’s gingerbread man tightly gripped in his mouth as he tried to plonk the soggy wet toy on both my husband and myself to try and prove a point.

‘You are such a girl’ Rocky sneered, secretly jealous that Brutus got to go lure coursing and he didn’t.

Smiling Rocky

Rocky on holiday on the farm in Denmark 

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Brutus walked aimlessly around the living room for a few minutes, contemplating that his entire world would end if he could not go lure coursing.

Already deciding he would go on a hunger strike once his appetite came back, he would also do a dirty protest and crap on the floor like prisoners did in their cells.  But hold on a minute, Brutus has done dirty protests before so let’s not go there.

Planet Iggy – Zara and Nica’s house

‘I am so excited I might be sick’ Zara squealed happily.  It was to be her first lure coursing event and she had already packed some cycling shorts and several hats.

‘Nica, what are you trying to do?’ Zara asked her sister who had her back facing her.

‘I am practising my vomiting techniques for when people ignore me and thought that if I made more noises when vomiting, then I could also throw in a fainting episode’ Nica growled.

Raising her eyebrows, Zara grinned ‘That should work but it might be better to pretend that you are lame as well’.

Nica who SO did not ‘do’ lame, looked horrified, ‘I shall stick to what I do best and that is vomiting’.

‘Your loss but I think it would be far better if you had a walking stick as well’ Zara shrugged her shoulders.

‘What would you know, you are only a puppy’ Nica snapped and then did the new vomiting sound that she had perfected that made her sound like Kylie Minogue on helium.

Vader and Tess’s house

rifles

Vader – tongue firmly inside mouth (for now)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Lure coursing was very nearly a non-event for Vader when he had a bit of an accident involving a tongue and a tuna can and as you all know, he has a substantial tongue to have an incident with and he is still very embarrassed about it.

I cannot go in to too much detail other than that he ran up to Lexie shouting ‘Mum! My tongue, save my tongue!’ in a special lick-the-kennel-windows kind of way, except that he couldn’t lick the windows because his tongue was too busy being tangled in the open lid of the tuna can.

‘Oh Vader what have you done’ Lexie sighed.  Honestly this boy was at the vets far too often for her liking.

‘My tongue is caught’ Vader sobbed as Lexie spotted his tongue caught in the tuna lid and yes, there was a fair amount of blood to go with it.

Saving Vader and his tongue and freeing him from the tuna can, Lexie gave him first aid and sent to his bed to feel very sorry for himself while Tess laughed at him and made jokes about his tongue now being served in cans in the supermarket.

Fast forward to now and Vader is fit and well for lure coursing and has been making himself ‘match fit’ by doing squats and press ups in the garden and also jogging round in circles.

‘Can you please stop, I am so tired’ Tess sighed as Vader managed to do one sit-up and then insist on a rest.

‘I can’t stop, I am racing tomorrow’ Vader puffed and then managed another sit-up before falling over and lying on his back forcing him to admire the cloud formation in the sky.

‘I can’t wait to see Brutus’ Vader said happily.

‘You two are such girls’ Tess laughed, ‘I am going in to lie on my bed’ and with that she shuffled off like an old lady towards the house.

‘Brutus, are you there?’ Vader shouted at the fence.

(sounds of fence snuffling)

‘Yes, I am here! Are you excited for tomorrow?’ Brutus barked excitedly.

‘Yes, so excited and I am doing vigorous exercises in the garden and have a body like a finely toned greyhound’ Vader said hopefully.

Trying to imagine Vader with a body like Mouse Norris, Brutus felt a bit nervous as he was not match-fit and had been rough housing with Rocky in the garden but that was about it really, aside from walks on the farm in Denmark on holiday a couple of weeks ago.

‘I am going to get the Good Boy Award tomorrow I am sure’ Brutus said to Vader.

The only two dogs I might add that actually believe The Good Boy Award exists are Vader and Brutus and every race meet, Brutus believes that the crowds are there to see him and if they cheer him on, he truly thinks that he has won The Good Boy Award.

And the only dog that really believes that Brutus has won it, is Vader who passionately supports his good friend and when Brutus thinks he has won it, Vader happily cries along side him because he is so happy for him.

‘You have won The Good Boy Award? Really?’ Vader barked and then mentally started to imagine the scene on the day so that he could cry for him.

‘Yes but I have had a bad tummy for eating stuff in the garden and Mum has said I have to be normal better by tonight or I can’t go’ Brutus said to Vader.

‘But you have to go, if they don’t let you then go on a hunger strike’ Vader growled to him.

‘I am already on one of those but I did manage some dog biscuit and tried to steal Mum’s lamb and veggies so I think I am feeling better’ Brutus sighed.

‘Good lad, right I had better go as Mum is calling me to lie on the sofa with her and Dad for a belly rub’ lied Vader who I might add really was lying because I know his Dad would not do that but it was enough to make Brutus jealous.

‘See you tomorrow!’ Brutus barked at Vader and then ran off towards the door and demanded to be let in.

‘Mum, Vader is going on his sofa for a belly rub, can I get on the sofa for a belly rub?’ Brutus insisted hopefully.

Letting him inside the house, Brutus jumped on the sofa and then displayed his belly for me to rub it.  Only he is so big there was nowhere for me to sit so I relented and let him have the whole sofa and then moved to the chair that I am sitting in now so I could write this story.

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked me.

‘Yes Brutus?’

‘I have been told that I have won The Good Boy Award tomorrow’ Brutus said proudly.

Rocky did not even look up as he was used to this routine of The Good Boy Award now and knew it didn’t actually exist and to correct Brutus would break his heart.

‘You are a good boy Brutus’ I laughed at him.

‘I like The Good Boy Award, it makes me feel like Rumble the cop dog’ Brutus growled.

Rumble the cop dog is Brutus’s hero and Brutus has convinced himself that one day he too will be a cop dog just like Rumble which is probably why he thinks he has won a Good Boy Award each month at lure coursing, just so he can big up his ego.

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked again.

‘Yes Brutus’

‘I hope I can remember how to run’ Brutus said sounding a bit worried.

Remembering how he crashed through the barriers because he couldn’t turn corners, I replied ‘So do I Brutus, so do I’.

Rainbow Bridge

For the benefit of those that do not know about Rainbow Bridge – feel free to read a blog post I did on it last year.

https://jotitmedown.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/rainbow-bridge-just-a-nice-place-for-any-pet-to-go/

James the mini wire haired Dachshund sat comfortably from his chair at Rainbow Bridge and stared down at his parents Kim and Ian as they prepared their dogs for lure coursing tomorrow.

He felt somewhat sad that he wouldn’t be there to greet them when they got back but he also knew that they were OK about it, after all every dog that goes to Rainbow Bridge lives the life of a strong and healthy dog and isn’t that what counts?

‘How do you reckon our lot will do?’ Bowie the white greyhound asked James.

‘Probably jump the barrier and roll in horse shit like they normally do’ James grinned.

‘Bowie, is farting still allowed in Rainbow Bridge?’ James asked Bowie.  Still being unsure of the rules, he thought it best to ask.

‘Farting?’ Bowie laughed and then added ‘Yep, louder the better and you won’t get told off for it either’.

‘Great’ James barked and then let out such a loud fart that several dogs stopped chasing butterflies and clapped in appreciation.

Rainbow Bridge – the rules are that there are no rules aside from laughter and that of course, is mandatory.

Until next time…

Dedicated to James – the mini wire haired Dachshund who is now bossing everyone around at Rainbow Bridge and farting with the best of them.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright March 2015

Toppa goes to QLD

22Toppa Fran ForbesToppa the Iggy strikes a pose

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

The day had arrived for Toppa to fly to QLD to stay with Fran and her Iggies – Shine, Gracie and Amex and show Fran what he could do in the show ring.

For those of you that have not read the first installment of this story, here is the link if you fancied reading it.

https://jotitmedown.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/toppa-the-italian-greyhound-goes-to-qld/

Pippin and Bronte were round Toppa’s house to see him on his way and Pippin was doing the organizing and finalizing of the finer details.

‘Are you bags packed? Do you have your passport? Have you packed a clean collar?’ Pippin asked Toppa.

‘Yes, I have checked my bags three times, I think everything is there – I am a bit nervous though and I have a clean collar’ Toppa said fretfully.

‘Is your bum clean?’ Pippin demanded.

Toppa glanced round to his bum and had a brief check before replying ‘Yes, I believe so and my anal glands are empty’.

‘Good, because we don’t want the QLD dogs thinking we have dirty bottoms’ Pippin growled.

Pippin was in his element checking and organizing everything.  He had 4 mobile phones, an iPad, a notepad and a pen plus a packet of Schmackos to chew on for his nerves.

Bronte was looking boot-faced because she was not invited and we won’t even go into how upset Brutus and Vader were that that the invite had not extended to them because they had totally convinced themselves that they were also going on this little trip.

IMG_8891

Brutus and Vader the boxer wanting in on the trip to QLD

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘I have heard that you will have to wear a muzzle in QLD and that the cane toads are so big that they can carry you off to their homes and feed you to their families and everything’ Bronte said without looking up as she admired her nails.

‘Bronte – Toppa will not have to wear a muzzle and no, the cane toads do not kidnap dogs and feed them to their families and if you can’t say anything helpful then say nothing’ Pippin growled back firmly.

Doing a last minute document check, Pippin nodded towards Toppa.  This was it, the moment they had all been waiting for – Toppa going to represent the WA Iggies in QLD to help Fran Forbes in the dog show ring.  It was not just good news, it was positively exciting for all concerned and the QLD Iggies were also looking forward to meeting Toppa as well.

‘Right then my good man, are you ready?’ Pippin said in his best ‘BBC English’ type voice, took a deep breath and straightened Toppa’s collar as a last minute tidy-up and then put some saliva on his paw to wipe some dirt off Toppa’s face (the way your mother did to you when you were a child).

‘Yep, I think so – that’s it then, I shall call you from the other side’ Toppa said sounding far braver than he actually felt.  He wasn’t really a brave boy at all but he was determined to show Fran how what a handsome show dog he is and do his best in the show ring in QLD which incidentally; Brutus had convinced him was officially known as ‘The land of the banana, cane toad and Bindi Irwin’.

‘Brutus said that there are more bananas than people there and that they don’t speak English, is that so?’ Toppa whispered to Pippin who rolled his eyes and made a mental note to tell Brutus off next time he saw him.

‘Ignore what Brutus and Vader tell you, they are the ones that believed their muscles were called rifles and pistols instead of guns so the less you believe from them the better’ Pippin replied.

‘I’ll miss you Toppa, will you bring me back a present?’ Bronte said hopefully.

‘I’ll try and I will miss you too’ Toppa said as he hugged her.

‘Safe flight’ Pippin grinned and say hello to Fran, Shine, Gracie and Amex for me’.

Toppa was carefully loaded into his airline crate and placed in the car to go to Perth airport where he was to take his flight to QLD and he didn’t mind admitting that he was more than a bit nervous about the whole adventure.

‘Do you think he will be OK?’ Bronte asked Pippin.

‘Yep of course he will, he is going to be ace!’ Pippin said confidently.

‘Ace? What does that mean? Who taught you that word?’ Bronte demanded to know.  She had never heard that word used before except in the show ring.

‘Ace? Oh all the dogs in the North of England use it, Brutus told me’ Pippin said firmly.

‘You told me never to believe what Brutus says’ Bronte replied, ‘And how would he know what they say in England when he has never been?’

‘He told me he has seen the photos and everything, don’t ask such daft questions Bronte’ Pippin said dismissively and then grabbed one of his phones and sent a text to the entire Iggy group saying ‘The Eagle has taken off’.

And the last Pippin and Bronte saw of Toppa was him waving frantically from his cage as the doors to the van were shut.

Bronte hung her head down, she hated it when one of the Iggy gang left to go anywhere and QLD was so far away.

‘It’s OK Bronte, he will do us proud – now let’s go back inside and if you behave yourself I will share with you my Schmackos’ Pippin said affectionately to his sister who managed a grateful smile and wag of the tail.

On the plane a while after take off

Toppa Jeni SachToppa – flying high to QLD

(Photograph by Jeni Sach)

It was one hour after take-off and Toppa was in his cage in the hold of the plane in the special area that the animals go in to.  Humans don’t go in there and have no idea as to what goes on and I only know because I am a bit special like that and have an imagination as fertile as a female guinea pig.

‘Hello Toppa, would you like a drink sir?’ A beautiful blue whippet bitch stewardess stood next to Toppa holding a bowl of chilled water.

‘Hmm, no thank you – if it is all the same with you I am going to try and sleep’ Toppa said nervously.  He wasn’t sure what to do and through sheer nerves, he farted.  The whippet wrinkled her nose in disgust but quickly regained composure and pretended to not smell the horrible gas that was indicative of Toppa going on a bin raiding session the night before.

‘If you need anything please don’t hesitate to contact me and if you need the toilet – it is over there’ The whippet said pointedly while cupping her beautiful grey snout and staring at the toilet.

‘Thank you, perhaps later’. Toppa smiled and then shut his eyes to try and sleep, which he would have done quite happily had it not been for a couple of Schnauzer puppies arguing over a Kong toy and who was going to take a piss on the bedding in the cage.

Just as he was about to drift off he felt someone kicking the back of his cage, glancing round he could see a beautifully hand stripped Irish terrier wearing a neckerchief with the Irish flag on it.

‘Excuse me do you mind not doing that?’ Toppa asked politely.

‘Oh would you listen to that Aussie accent, I love the Aussie accent.  Will you not be so boring and talk to me, I am flying to QLD as well you know – I am going to be a show dog’ The Irish terrier said in a cheerful Irish accent.

Toppa glared back, who was this dog with the strange wired coat, neatly clipped furnishings on its feet and an angry beard and why was his snout not as refined as an Iggies or whippets/greyhounds?  As for being a show dog, would that mean he would be at the same shows as Toppa, surely not?

‘The name is Ronan and I am from Ballybunion in Ireland’ The terrier said in a high pitched ‘sing-song’ voice.  (I think the Southern Irish accent is my most favourite accent ever)

‘The name is Toppa and I am from Perth’ Toppa grinned, ‘Ballybunion? Did you just make that up?’ he added and then laughed mercilessly as the Irish terrier looked positively furious at such an accusation.

‘No I did not make it up, it is a real place I’ll have you know’ He snapped back at Toppa who was already making notes to ask Pippin if it really existed

(Actually it does exist because my good friend Joe from my veterinary nursing days lived there).

‘Would you like me to tell you some jokes, I have some good jokes from my Daddy – he is a top prize winning Irish terrier you know’ Ronan said happily, and he was happy as well as there was nothing nicer than meeting someone on the plane and making friends with them.

‘I am rather tired if you don’t mind’ Toppa sighed and then closed his eyes.  He couldn’t wait to see Fran and meet the other Iggies and then report back to Pippin and he had grand plans to display his ‘walnuts’ (testicles) to Gracie and show her his ‘Magic Mike’ impressions that Brutus had taught him.  (Brutus had a lot to answer for).

‘Did I ever tell you about my brother Justin, he was a Crufts champion you know and he liked a bowl of beer every week or he would simply not perform.  That is the truth you know’ Ronan said quickly without drawing for breath and adding ‘you know’ to each sentence while managing to sound like Mrs Brown from the show ‘Mrs Browns Boys’.

‘He was a right fecker though you know and he would take a shit on my bed, did you ever take a shit on someone’s bed?  I took a shit on my human sisters bed and my mother rubbed my snout in it, I was picking shite out of my beard for weeks afterwards’.

But that little story was lost on Toppa because the little Iggy had fallen asleep in his crate and was now dreaming of QLD, Fran and her gang and winning all the prizes in the show ring.

‘Oh he is such a dote, don’t you just love him?’ Ronan said to the whippet stewardess who had come to check on them.

‘I think he is asleep Ronan, best you leave him be’ The whippet smiled at the Irish Terrier who was quivering with excitement at the idea of having a new friend.

‘Well he is not very talkative but I think we are going to be great friends’ Ronan said to nobody in particular as the whippet had walked off and was using her pointy snout to do a head count as she nodded from left to write to make a note of who was sat where.

‘Would you like a Schmacko?’ Ronan asked a loudly snoring Toppa.

‘Perhaps not’ Ronan sighed and looked around for someone else to talk to and seeing that everyone else was fast asleep, he began to talk to his invisible friend about the time that his Aunty Coshene the Irish terrier had bitten the ankles of the milkman and pissed on his legs.

Welcome to QLD

‘Thank you for flying with us, hope to see you soon’ The whippet stewardess said in robotic fashion to each animal that was offloaded from the plane onto the tarmac.

Toppa was first off the plane and never got to see the Irish terrier, not that he cared really as he was so hyped up about meeting Fran, he had heard that she was really strict and Amex had said that Fran would not take any nonsense so Toppa was a bit scared really because Jeni (his Mum) and all the other Iggy Mums had all spoilt him at some point.

Most Iggies have ‘nonsense’ down to a fine art and have their humans so well trained that the humans don’t even know when ‘nonsense’ has crept up on them. But the rumors in QLD were as such that Fran wore a ‘no nonsense suit of Armour’ when it came to her Iggies.

(However, let us not talk about the prawns, smoked trout or sleeping on the bed which has since come to light since Toppa has been there, I am sure Fran can explain it all).

As Toppa was wheeled to the animal collection area he was greeted by Fran who looked absurdly pleased to meet him which was very nice and although Toppa scrutinised her, he could see no evidence of the ‘No Nonsense’ suit of armour he was told about.

She did have a funny accent though which Toppa later learned was a QLD accent but he was relieved to know that despite Rocco and Bentley trying to convince him otherwise, Fran did speak English as did all QLDers and there were no cane toads waiting for him in ‘Arrivals’ to eat him like Brutus had said there would be.

Toppa sat in his crate at the back of the car back for the journey to Frans house and took in the sights, sounds and smells as they left the airport.  This was to be his home for a while and he had to do his Mum proud not to mention show Fran what a good boy he is in the show ring.

But first he had to do the most important thing and that was to update his FB status to tell Pippin and the gang that he was OK.

Grabbing his mobile phone Toppa typed in the status update and the message was simple ‘The Eagle has landed’.

Back in Perth

Pippin’s phone bleeped, he did not hear it initially as he was snoozing but Bronte gave him a nip on the bum which woke him up.

‘What’s up?’ Pippin asked sleepily.

‘Your phone, it bleeped – I think it is from Facebook’ Bronte said and nodded towards his phone.

Pippin saw the message come through and grinned.  ‘Toppa has done his FB status update, he said that he is in QLD, that’s good he has got there safe and sound’.

Going over to his laptop, Pippin added to the status update ‘Remember to keep your bum clean and your walnuts tidy’ Pippin wrote back.

And within minutes some of the other Iggies had all responded to add their congratulations to the status including Brutus who posted something about not knowing any eagles and he thought that it was Toppa that had gone to QLD.

ECF

At Fran’s House in QLD

The first thing that Toppa noticed when he arrived was how beautiful the place was.  Fran’s garden looked beautiful and like a treasure trove fit for any Iggy, lots of places to hide, plants to dig, room to run – he was going to love it there, he was sure of it.

gracie and toppa

Gracie introduces herself to Toppa

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

‘How are you going, the name is Gracie, I have heard lots about you’ Gracie the Iggy introduced herself to Toppa in her strong QLD accent.

‘My name is Toppa and I am pleased to meet you’ Toppa stuttered nervously and then remembered this was the girl he was meant to be impressing with his testicles (walnuts) and doing Magic Mike impressions for.

‘You must be tired after your trip, allow me to show you round the garden and you can meet Shine and Amex’ Gracie smiled at Toppa.

Toppa suddenly felt homesick and a bit disorientated, he wanted his Mum, he felt lost and out of his depth and was sure he would never be able to converse with this confident little Iggy who was so proud of her home and family, let alone impress her with his testicles.

As Gracie led him to where Shine and Amex were standing, Toppa nodded politely as the two Iggies greeted him warmly.

‘Welcome to our home, hope you are not too tired as we shall be having a delicious feed later’ Amex said cheerfully to Toppa.

‘But I have heard that your Mum doesn’t spoil dogs?’ Toppa asked looking bewildered.

Shine snorted with laughter, Gracie giggled and Amex said firmly, ‘That my dear, is what we lead people to believe but you shall find out the truth later’.

Toppa did not need to wait long for the truth to come out either because not much later, the ‘truth’ involved smoked trout, prawns and power naps on Fran’s bed and as for cuddles and kisses – Toppa was positively overdosed on them and all worries of homesickness had gone as Fran loved him as one of her own.

Later that night

The three Iggies were curled up on the bed discussing the events of the day.

‘Do you think you will like it here Toppa?’ Amex asked him.

Toppa looked thoughtful, although he missed his Mum and all of his friends – even Brutus despite all the stories he had told him about cane toads and Bindi Irwin, he just knew he was going to like it in QLD and he also knew that he was going to love living with Fran and showing her about dog shows.

‘Yes, I think I will like it here and I especially love Fran’s version of ‘no nonsense’ Toppa replied.

Amex and Shine burst out laughing.

‘Yes but don’t you tell those WA Iggies, we have a reputation to keep up’ Amex barked in between snorts of laughter.

‘Goodnight, see you in the morning’ Toppa said to the others.

‘Goodnight Toppa, good to have you here’ Shine smiled.

What would tomorrow bring? Who knows, but Toppa was ready for it and his time in QLD was his for the taking – he could do with it what he wanted and not a day would be wasted either.

And within a few minutes, Toppa and the other Iggies had fallen asleep to dream about smoked trout, prawns and Fran’s bed.

amex shine and toppa

Amex, Shine and Toppa

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

To be continued…..

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright February 2015

Brutus, Vader, Guns (and rifles)

rifles

Vader the boxer – confused about canine weaponry

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The other day Brutus and Vader were in the courts together playing. Brutus was doing his usual twenty laps of the court to check out the ridgeback/cattledog bitch that was trotting on the other side of the courts.

10850087_746985655389483_27126447455886745_n

Brutus (left) Vader (right) – ‘special’ in every way

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

He (Brutus) has started to beef himself up a bit and puff himself out when he wants to impress the girls and if you can imagine a young man slapping on aftershave and suddenly taking a huge interest in his appearance, then you can imagine Brutus.

1491613_746985125389536_8891399587345025270_n

Vader admires Brutus’s muscles

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Vader was looking at Brutus, totally fixated on the large brown dog; Vader kept looking at his own body and feeling parts of it and then looking back at Brutus.

Brutus was unaware that Vader was staring at him and he kept winking at the ridgie bitch and asking her if he could have her phone number.

‘Call me’ Brutus mouthed and did the typical phone gesture with his paws, the ridgie bitch giggled and blushed furiously in response.

‘Brutus, what is that on your back and on your shoulders?’ Vader asked him.

‘What is what?’ Brutus replied and then strained his head to have a look at what Vader was trying to tell him.

‘That!’ Vader said and then wiped his snotty face on Brutus’s back to show him what he meant – the muscle pads on Brutus’s shoulders/arms.

‘Oh, that, they are my rifles’ Brutus replied knowingly.

‘Rifles?’ Vader spluttered, ‘What the fuck are rifles and how did you get rifles on your back’

‘It is what young men and dogs build up on their bodies when they mature’ Brutus growled in a superior voice, he liked knowing stuff that Vader didn’t.

‘Rifles? Are you sure? Why don’t I have rifles? Brutus, do I have rifles?’ Vader demanded and then promptly burst into tears and wailed to Lexie ‘Mum, where are my rifles?’.

He became so upset that he was drooling in festoons from his mouth and almost shit himself in the courts which would have been a disaster.

‘Every dog should have rifles on their back’ Brutus tried to placate Vader but Vader just got worse.

‘Mum, haven’t I got rifles on my back?’ Brutus ran up to me for reassurance, his huge brown eyes stared at me, silently demanding a confirmation about his ‘rifles’.

‘What did you say?’ I asked him, trying not to laugh.

‘I have rifles on my back and Vader doesn’t and now he is upset’ Brutus stuttered and then like any kid that has overdone it on defending himself, also burst into tears.

‘Brutus, that thing on your back and shoulders is known as muscle and all adult male dogs will develop it, some more than others and the term for it is not ‘rifles’ it is ‘guns’, who on earth told you it was called Rifles?’ I demanded to know, while trying not to snort with laughter.

Meanwhile Lexie was trying to reassure Vader that he had his own ‘guns’ and not ‘rifles’ but Vader was beyond comforting and was now a fully fledged boxer snot-monster.

‘I am never going to be normal unless I get rifles’ Vader howled before adding ‘I need to go for a poo’

So there was Vader with his anus winking like a pervert in a panty shop, Brutus was now crying that he didn’t have ‘rifles’ and now had ‘guns’ and I was wondering who the hell had started all of this.

Both boys had to stand next to each other while we explained about how muscles (guns) could look different on each dog and Vader had his own set of guns that were a bit more hidden than Brutus’s.

Anyway, after that we decided to go home and the boys said goodbye to each other.

‘See you later Vader’ Brutus said quietly.

‘Catch you later Brutus, we shall have to sort this out so we know what we have on our back if it is rifles or guns’ Vader cried and that was the last I saw of him as his big fat winking anus disappeared behind his door to no doubt treat his garden to a ‘man-shit’ later on.

‘How was your walk Turd Legs?’ Rocky grinned at Brutus when we got inside the house.

rifles 3

Rocky lied to Brutus about his ‘rifles’

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘It was OK but Vader is upset as he doesn’t have rifles like me and then Mum said I don’t have rifles and I have guns, so I don’t know anything any more, it is all so confusing’ Brutus said fretfully.

Rocky snorted with laughter ‘You SO did not believe me about the rifles, really you believed me? Oh my god I am going to tell everyone!’

‘Rocky, did you tell him his guns were called rifles?’ I snapped at the little black kelpie dog who was laughing so hard that he almost wet himself.

1185300_10151629729423317_837643979_n

Gordon finds Brutus’s gullibility so very funny

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Rifles?’ Gordon cried, ‘Oh Rocky you didn’t, now that is funny’.

‘Pretty good isn’t it, I didn’t think he would believe me but he did’ Rocky smirked.

Poor old Brutus, it took some living down for that little episode and he still gets embarrassed about the fact that he asked the ridgie bitch in the park if she would like to ‘tickle his rifles’.

guns

Brutus is dreaming about his ‘rifles’

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

This morning the boys were in the garden when Vader was at the fence trying to get Brutus’s attention.

‘Oi, Brutus – come here – I have some news for you’ Vader said with a mouth full of his tongue.

‘What’s up Vader?’ Brutus barked.

‘Wanna see the pistols on my back?’ Vader said teasingly.

‘Pistols?’ Brutus replied and then looked at Rocky while mouthing the word ‘Pistols?’

Rocky laughed and picked up his tennis ball and muttered ‘nice one Tess’.

‘Yeah, Tess said that I have pistols on my back’ Vader snotted back through the fence.

‘Told you he would believe me Rocky’ Tess shouted through the fence to Rocky.

‘Window lickers – the pair of them’ Rocky barked at Tess who giggled back at him.

IMG_7905

Tess – loves teasing her brother Vader

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Guns, pistols or rifles – I don’t know what we are meant to have’ Vader growled to Brutus through the fence.

But Brutus had already gone back inside and was busy on my laptop trying to Google about weapons and the modern day dog.

‘Mum?’ Brutus barked.

‘Yes Brutus?’ I replied while trying to make a coffee, he always disturbs me when I am making coffee.

‘What’s a shot gun?’ said Brutus.

(deep sigh)

‘Brutus, I think we need to talk……..’

shot gun

Brutus – so many questions

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright February 2015

Italian Greyhounds and Nail Trimming (leg amputation)

IMG_9515Pippin Pringle knows the horrors of nail clipping

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Anyone that owns an Italian greyhound will testify that they are not the bravest of dogs and the most seemingly simple of things for any other dog, is a fate worse than death for an Iggy.

They will also tell you that there is nothing and I emphasize that word ‘NOTHING’ worse than the Iggy scream of death which is often performed during routine stuff such as expressing of anal glands, general restraint, being bitten by an insect and of course trimming the nails.

This scream of death can be heard in the next suburb and some say, in the neighbouring States of Australia but that is just a rumour which was actually started by Amex the QLD Iggy who claimed to have heard the screams of Nica one day.

Any activity that has resulted in the Iggy scream of death is usually followed up by accusing looks, long guilt trips and the classic hurt gaze of an Iggy where they stare at you with bulging eyes that almost look as though they have tears in them.

This blog entry is dedicated to Zara and Nica – two beautiful Italian greyhounds that are characters in my stories and owned by two lovely ladies that are the epitome of ‘coolness’ and look exceptionally trendy just by their presence so it is no surprise that their Iggies are cool as well.

10979386_10152605695836921_2102825064_n

Francesca and Zara – part of the cool gang

(Photograph by Denise Pringle)

At Lexie the Dog Groomers House

Zara and Nica were due at Lexie’s this morning for a quick nail trim. Now please understand that when I say ‘nail trim’, in Iggy terms it roughly translates to having all four legs removed in the most brutal fashion and it jolly well sounds like it too.

Well today I was to witness it for myself as I was round Lexie’s to organise our afternoon play session with Brutus and Vader so I can totally vouch just how traumatic it is for Iggies to have their nails (legs) cut.

Their Mums pulled up in the tiny little car which is really an Iggy car and tiny like the Iggies but full of attitude and fun.

Zara who is a cheeky young pup and in my stories she wears one of those special helmets to stop her bumping into things and hurting herself – just imagine a tiny Iggy with a huge bobble head wearing a crash helmet and you will get the idea.

She was so full of beans and speaking in her super fast voice that goes up several octaves at the end.

‘Hi everyone, how are you all, we had such fun, we had breakfast, we played in the garden, I went for a turd, Nica vomited for attention, everything happened, how are you all?’ Zara said without drawing breath and totally forgetting why she was at Lexie’s.

‘Oh god, please don’t cut my legs off, don’t kill me, I need my legs!’ Nica sobbed dramatically into her handkerchief. Why she had started crying so soon was beyond me, she wasn’t even in the salon.

It was decided that Zara had to be done first so she would not be alarmed by Nica’s dying dog routine.

Nica was already looking distraught at the thought of her sisters legs being amputated and had started the warning system to try to ‘save her’ from the dog groomer.

‘Zara, call the police, if they cut your legs off tell the police, tell them that you need your legs!’ Nica shouted after Zara who was wearing her special helmet to stop her bouncing into things and hurting herself.

‘I will be OK Nica, I can do this!’ Zara said with a fake confidence which came from wearing her tough-girl harness.

‘I can do this, I can do this, who needs legs anyway, they are so overrated’ Zara said quickly in between making whimpering noises. ‘Where is Brutus, I demand to see Brutus, I know he is here somewhere!’ Zara shouted.

Brutus had been there twenty minutes before but I never told her that but as she has met Brutus before, she has decided that she quite likes him.

‘Oh my god, was that my leg? You chopped my leg off! Nica was right all along!’ Zara cried, ‘I am SO going to report you!’ Bashing her special helmet around as her head wriggled around like a bobble head.

‘That’s you done’ Lexie the dog groomer told Zara and carried her out to her parents.

‘I did it, I fought them and I won and I still have my legs, it didn’t hurt and I was a brave girl and everything!’ Zara reassured Nica who was having none of it as Zara was still trembling at being assaulted by the nail clippers which was a dead giveaway that she wasn’t as brave as she was making out.

Handing Zara over to her parents, a quick swap was done in return for Nica who was announcing to anyone that would listen and everyone that wouldn’t.

‘I have done my Last Will and Testament, I leave everything I own to Zara, including my collar selection, I leave my iPad to Pippin because he loves iPads and I leave anything I vomit to Brutus’ Nica howled.

‘And if I should survive this ordeal, I have ordered myself a wheelchair for when I am disabled and Brutus can push me around in it and I shall need a specially adapted house for disabled dogs plus a tartan blanket to cover my knees’ Nica said firmly as Lexie carried her inside the salon.

‘I love you all, never forget that and I hope you can love me too, even when all of my legs have been amputated in the guise of a nail clip’ Nica squeaked as Lexie shut the salon door so all Zara could see was Inca’s mouth opening and closing like two biro pens clicking together.

‘Love you Nica and I will love you with no legs as well’ Zara barked and then decided that she too had better check all of her legs were there and not amputated along with her nails. ‘Oh my god help me! That hurt!’ Nica squealed.

‘That’s OK Nica, I haven’t touched you yet’ Lexie reassured her.

‘Just testing’ Nica said with her lips pursed together, ‘Keeping you on your toes’. ‘Ouch, that was my leg, that was my other leg, that was all of my legs, that was my head!’ Nica cried and then started reciting various prayers that dogs do when they get desperate.

‘Oh my god, how in the name of god can you expect me to run around on stumps? Did you have to cut my legs that short?’ Nica said in a voice so high-pitched that she sounded somewhat like Aled Jones with his testicles slammed in the door.

‘Nica, don’t be so dramatic’ Lexie said firmly and then picked up the nail file to finish the job.

‘What are you going to do with that?’ Nica looked horrified as Lexie gripped the nail file.

‘Tidy up your nails’ Lexie laughed and then set about filing Inca’s nails down to make them tidy.

‘You can’t file my head off – I need my head!

‘Zara please come and help me, go and tell Brutus to come and get me!’ squealed Nica.

Brutus however was oblivious to the noise as he was helping his Dad to finish his toast next door.

‘I won’t be good as an amputee, do amputees lead next to normal lives?’ Nica cried fretfully.

Nica was soon finished and carried out back to her owners looking as though someone had bashed her and cut her own head off and used her snout as a fountain pen.

Fanning her pointy nose with her paws, she briefly glanced around to see if any of the neighbors dogs had seen anything.

‘I am never coming back; each time I come here my legs are amputated. I have to draw the line somewhere so I am never coming back’ Nica shouted with a new-found bravado.

‘And I am never coming back either!’ Zara said firmly and then shouted ‘Oi, you – brindle staffie over the road, what are you looking at?’ to our neighbors dogs over the road.

It was very easy for Zara to be brave with other dogs while snuggled up in her owners’ arms but she always feels tough when she wears her camo harness.

The girls were put back in the car and as quickly as the drama had started, it had all finished.

‘Are you OK Nica?’ Zara asked her sister. Dabbing her eyes and composing herself,

Nica cried ‘Yes, I think so – now. My legs have grown back which is something’.

‘That’s good, I think my legs have grown back as well’ Zara said gratefully and then bent down to admire them.

‘See you in three weeks’ Lexie waved to the girls and their mums.

‘Oh god, we have to go through this again?’ Zara barked in a horrified voice.

‘Awful isn’t it, it’s a wonder we don’t run out of legs’ Nica sighed.

As the car pulled out of the driveway I could just see Zara’s special helmet wobbling around and Nica was being quite animated as she was telling Zara her grand plans to vomit everywhere once she got back home – purely for attention.

Iggy nail clips – it is never ever just a nail clip; it is a partial or total leg amputation at the very least.  Never underestimate it.

10968054_10152605695961921_215579022_nNica (left) and Zara (right) – Trust no-one

(Photo by Francesca Perino)

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright Feb 2015

Chinese (Crested) Whispers and your dog

Pippin was sat at his desk wearing his half rimmed spectacles whilst attempting to do his spreadsheets on the laptop and yes, dogs can and do wear spectacles, even if they have no glass in them in a bid to look more intelligent and what is more, they can use computers as well but you should all know that by now, especially if you have dogs yourself.

Pippin and Brutus

Pippin Pringle at his computer

(Photograph by Denise Pringle)

(sounds of Pippin’s phone ringing) ‘Hello, Pippin Pringle here’ Pippin said in his clipped posh voice that sounds a bit like ‘BBC English’ in the way they announce a war.

10670274_746996402055075_82575937971292471_nPippin – speaks in a ‘BBC English’ accent you know, just imagine him with spectacles on the end of his nose

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Yes it’s Amex here, we have it on good authority that Toppa will be coming to QLD to show Mum the ropes about showing, can you pass on the news that he must have his bags packed ASAP and tell him whatever he does, he must not bring budgie smugglers’. Amex said full of his own importance at such wonderful news that would send the Iggies from all over Australia and Puerto Rico, completely into meltdown.

AMEX

Amex in QLD – giving Pip the good news!

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

‘What? Are you sure?’ Pippin gasped causing Bronte to put down her edition of ‘Lure Coursing and the modern day Bitch’ and look up at him for answers. ‘Toppa is going to QLD to hang out with Amex and the gang’ Pippin mouthed to Bronte while covering the phone with his paw.

‘OMG, do you think I could come? I have always wanted to travel’ Bronte said excitedly as she had mental visions of her lazing on Surfers Paradise in a skimpy bikini purchased from a trendy surf shop, wearing over sized sunnies while sipping cold water and watching the hot-dogs go by.

IMG_9510Bronte (left) pleads to be able to come to QLD

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘No, the invite isn’t for you, it’s for Toppa and we had better get the word out ASAP so he can prepare himself for the QLD show ring’ Pippin said firmly, and then added ‘OK Amex, I’ll spread the word and will speak to you later’.

Within ten minutes, Pippin had circulated the news round the entire Iggy group, well with the assistance of Bronte who was ‘snap chatting’ on her phone and had even passed it on to the Texas Iggy Group who had promised faithfully to tell the Iggies in the rest of the USA.

‘I must tell Brutus’ Bronte said fretfully, she had run out of dogs to tell and still had a burning desire to tell someone – anyone, so she would tell Brutus as he had a tendency to hang off her every word purely because she was a girl and she was pretty.

Before Pippin could tell Bronte that Brutus is not a proper Iggy, only a pretend one, Bronte was on the phone to him.

‘Hi Bronte, how are you doing?’ Brutus said putting on his posh voice but really he sounded like Mick Dundee from Crocodile Dundee – in fact, that is actually Brutus, well it could be if Brutus were human.

Brutus 2Brutus – AKA ‘Forrest Gump or Mick Dundee’

(Photograph by Francesca Perino)

‘I am fine thanks, I’ve got some news for you’ Bronte said quickly, ‘Toppa is going to QLD to teach Amex’s Mum about the show-ring and they will be all sunbathing on Surfers Paradise with the hot-dogs’.

Now I have explained in my blogs/stories before that when dogs get news or one dog on the street barks at invisible intruders and garbage men, that ‘Canine Chinese Whispers’ always follows and what starts off as one conversation will end up in another entirely.

IMG_8728

Hamish the Chinese Crested dog and is in charge of all doggy newspaper releases for the CCW

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Canine Chinese Whispers or CCW are always started by Chinese Crested dogs – they are the best at it you see and even if you don’t have a Chinese Crested dog on your estate or suburb, you can bet your bottom dollar that one will have started the rumour from somewhere and spread it around for other dogs to feed on and enjoy.

Because really, what fun are the garbage men if they are just garbage men, when in fact if you ask a Chinese Crested, they can be garbage men with super bones in their pockets, out to eat your family and rip your toys up and shit on your lawn?

Chinese Crested dogs are such majestic and marvellous dogs, they can make any story worth listening to and everything so much more exciting in the ordinary world of a dog that may spend time on his own in the garden.

IMG_9498

A Chinese Crested – preparing for Canine Chinese Whispers

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Anyway, Brutus being Brutus totally got the wrong end of the stick and carried the ‘CCW stick’ and run with it like the Olympic Torch, because he really thought that both he and Vader were invited as Brutus only hears what he wants to hear.

IMG_8677

Brutus – he has selective hearing with those satellite ears

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘What? QLD? OMG, I think I might shit myself!’ Brutus yelled and then promptly farted before hanging up leaving Bronte open mouthed in shock at such a response.

‘Shitting oneself for Toppa going to QLD is a bit much don’t you think?’ Bronte said to Pippin and then shrugged her shoulders and wondered who else she could tell.

IMG_9572

Bronte – who else could she tell?

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Brutus grabbed his mobile and ignoring the surprised looks from Rocky, called Vader to tell him the news.

IMG_5590

Rocky is surprised by Brutus’s announcement

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Vader, it’s Brutus – we have been invited to QLD to be life guard dogs on Surfers Paradise and we have to wear board shorts which we can stuff with socks to make our genitals look bigger!’ Brutus said happily.

‘Oh my god!’ Vader barked and then choked on his tongue and had to sick it up again so that he could continue the conversation. ‘I must tell Tess!’

IMG_8492

Vader – am I really going to America?

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Tess, Brutus and I are going to America to see some Iggies from QLD so we can be film stars in a Bond movie and we get to wear a Tuxedo and budgie smugglers and hang out with Tony Abbott’ Vader said importantly while quietly farting in excitement causing the cats to cover their noses and say stuff like ‘Jesus Christ that stinks’.

IMG_8891

Brutus and Vader think they are going to be Bond Dogs

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Tess looked thoughtful and being rather different as a Powderpuff girl and having pink paws, she had never been one for Canine Chinese Whispers and thought she should do the sensible thing and call Bronte to get the truth.

IMG_8754

Tess – a Powderpuff but not into whispers

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Hi Bronte, it’s Tess – what’s this about the boys going to America to be Bond stars?’ Tess asked Bronte.

‘Oh dear, no it’s Toppa going to QLD to show Amex’s Mum about dog shows and stuff, Brutus and Vader are not invited’ Bronte said firmly.

‘Not invited?’ Tess gasped and then looked at Vader who was pretending that his tongue was a red Hollywood style carpet and trying to persuade the cats to walk on it.

10577070_10152272532608317_899915858575841282_n

Vader using his tongue as a red carpet

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Nope, this is Toppa’s adventure, good God, can you imagine Brutus and Vader on a plane?’ Bronte giggled.

At Toppa’s House

By now the news had got back to Toppa that he was going to QLD and he was busy packing his Iggy suitcase which consisted of some clothes, a selection of collars, his favourite toy, some dog magazines and a bone.

‘I-am-going-to QLD!’ Toppa grinned as he poked his reflection in the mirror.

Toppa

Toppa – going to QLD but will he pick up a QLD accent?

(Photograph by Jeni Sach)

He wondered if he would learn to speak in a QLD accent, perhaps he should start practising now in the hope that nobody would know any different when he got there.

He briefly toyed with the idea of being nervous of flying but then remembered how Brutus told him that he has flown around the lure coursing grounds before and he was OK, so quickly squashed those nerves on the head.

So Toppa is going to QLD to hang out with Amex and the gang, will he come back with a QLD accent? Will he start wearing Steve Irwin style shirts and shorts and will he develop a love for surfing and hot bitches on the beach?

Who knows, not me that’s for sure – I make it up as I go along so quite frankly, anything could happen.

To be continued.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright January 2015

All photographs remain copyright of the photographers, please do not use them or reproduce them without their consent.

Rocco’s Christmas

Rocco

Rocco

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Here is my Christmas story about Rocco the Italian Greyhound who learns about the true meaning of Christmas.

It contains mild adult course language and content and may not be suitable for children or those easily offended by adult humour.

There are also a couple of Christmas carols that have had the words substituted for doggy ones so this may offend you if you are particularly religious. (no offence intended but I thought I would warn you in advance)

This is a HUGE read of over 8,880 words and is probably best read with a cup of tea/coffee – maybe even several (if you are like me).

So now take a step into the secret world of Italian Greyhounds and if you would like your Iggy to be in one of my stories, let me know and I will write them in.

Christmas Party at Pippin Pringles House

It was Christmas Eve and the Iggies were at the Iggy Headquarters (Pippin’s house) busy preparing for Christmas and by that I mean decorating the tree, urinating up the tree, running round the tree doing ‘zoomies’, placing wrapped up doggy treats under the tree that invariably ended up being eaten by one of the puppies.

‘Zara and Olive, will you please stop stealing the dog treats!’ growled Pippin, really it was no good; as fast as Rambow, Fletch, Hershey and Woody were wrapping them, Olive, Soobi and Zara were unwrapping them and cramming them into their slender mouths which were could hold a surprising amount of food.

IMG_8736

Olive – the raider of the Christmas tree 

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘If you have it in your mouth they have nothing to pin on you, just make sure you have no evidence’ Soobi whispered to Zara.

‘Treats? What treats?’ Zara replied innocently in a voice that sounds like it had just swallowed a Schmacko – which of course it had.

‘Mouth! Crumbs around it!’ Olive hissed to Zara who quickly wiped her snout and then got back to looking innocent.

‘Did you get me any biscuits?’ Fat Harry asked Zara, not that he needed any food but if it was under the tree then it was fair game because Harry is convinced that there is a constant famine going on and it is every dog for himself.

IMG_9268

Fat Harry and the famine!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Don’t know what you are talking about Harry’ Zara said in a breezy voice and then turned her back on the chunky Iggy to try and hide the guilt that was clearly written all over her snout in the form of crumbs.

IMG_8894

Bronte (left) and Zara (right)

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘A dog could starve to death around here!’ Fat Harry growled at nobody in particular and then sat down to keep an eye on a tray of Denise’s delicious famous ‘satin balls’ that had been made up for Mako to help him gain weight.

Actually Fat Harry was convinced those satin balls were for him and no amount of persuasion could convince him otherwise not even the fact that Harry didn’t need to gain weight as he could technically be classed as two very cute Iggies rolled into one.

Fat Harry 1

Fat Harry (I love him)

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Rocco had his ‘grump on’ and was not joining in the festivities at all, he didn’t believe in the ‘Santa Paws’ Christmas thing, and certainly didn’t believe that some fat bastard went around on a sleigh giving out toys to the dogs that had been good. He just assumed that the gifts under the tree ‘just got there’ although he always did enjoy ripping them open.

Rocco loves his mum

Rocco loves his Mum

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

After having a fight with his invisible friend over the situation which involved Bentley joining in and attacking ‘fresh air’ to make Rocco feel more supported, both Rocco and Bentley were now sat in the corner furious over everything and nothing.

‘It’s all a load of old bollocks’ Rocco growled to Bentley who nodded in agreement, aside from the gifts and the food that is – they totally believed in getting their ‘food on’ when it was on offer and unlike Nica, never vomited afterwards on grounds of there being many a starving dog in Africa that would be glad of a hot meal.

‘If I see Santa Paws I will bite him’ Bentley said angrily.

‘Santa Paws my arse, how can anyone believe in such a thing?’ Rocco snapped.

‘But you have to believe in Santa Paws!’ Soobie barked looking upset; ‘Every animal believes in Santa Paws’.

‘Yeah right’ Rocco muttered and placed his snout between his paws. Honestly, there was no such thing and the rest of the Iggies were so gullible in believing otherwise.

‘Rocco, just because you are in a bad mood, don’t ruin Christmas for the puppies, now please everyone will you gather round the piano so we can practice for the choir’ Pippin said in his firm voice, which he tried to save for special occasions that involved naughtiness, farting and trying to gain order.

Wearing his half rimmed spectacles and his silk ruffle around his neck, Pippin sat bolt upright at the piano while frequently peering above his glasses to see that the Iggies were concentrating. He could already see Gidget trying to distract the girls by showing off her new outfit.

‘Gidget will you stop showing off now!’ Pippin said sounding exasperated.

‘I’ll try but I can’t promise you!’ Gidget giggled as Nica gave her the thumbs up to encourage her.

Gidget

Gidget – can’t promise anything about behaving!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

The Iggy Christmas Choir I’ll have you know; is the most important event of the year and involves all of the Iggies wearing ‘ruffles’ around their necks and standing round the piano which is always played by Pippin while Madam Gigi tries to get them to hit the high notes.

‘Right everyone, take it from the top!’ Pippin shouted and then with a curt nod in Madam Gigi’s direction, started to play the piano and in turn Madam Gigi started waving her front pointy legs about to the Iggies to instruct them.

‘No, no no! – You need to go higher!’ Madam Gigi snapped as Enzo sang in a forced deep voice.

‘Told you that you needed to go higher, didn’t I tell them Topper, they just don’t listen, I told you so’ Gidget said smugly to the other Iggies as they glared back at her – their snouts appearing more pointy and dangerous the angrier they got.

‘It’s like trying to polish a turd with this lot’ Pino whispered to Enzo who really wanted to sound like Pavarotti – except Pavarotti is dead and he wouldn’t really be suited to the Iggy Choir now would he?

‘I feel so silly wearing this’ Enzo said fretfully and tried to pull his ruffle off his neck until Pippin gave him ‘a look’ that said ‘leave the hell alone’.

‘I really don’t see why we have to wear them’ Rocco said angrily as Bentley agreed with him and muttered something about ‘ruffles up the arse’ or something equally as vulgar.

‘I think I might wet my pants if they don’t get started soon’ Bronte growled to Nica. She wouldn’t really wet herself of course; she purely wanted to draw attention to the fact that she was wearing her new ‘Diva Pantz’ from her favourite store ‘Spoiled Bratzwear Canine Couture’.

IMG_7627

Bronte likes the boys to check out her bum!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘If I could sit on someone’s lap that would make me sing better’ Woody said meekly but secretly praying that Madam Gigi would allow that to happen.

Woody is quite stealth in his approach to the humans and how he can wrangle his way on to their laps for attention without them even realizing it. Even my husband did not escape Woody’s charms one day when he found himself hugging the Iggy for quite a while before Woody sloped off and found several other laps to sit on, with each one he took the scent of the aftershave or perfume with him.

‘No Woody, you cannot sit on anyone’s lap – now concentrate please. Now once again everyone; take it from the top!’ Gigi barked and then nodded to Pippin for him to start playing the piano as the entire Iggy choir started to sing the canine version of ‘Away in a manger’.

IMG_9233

The Iggies getting ready to do some singing

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

All Italian greyhounds have high pitched voices – it is ‘The Law’, they talk as though they have inhaled vast quantities of helium but once they sing, they have Aled Jones (The Snowman) style choir voices and even Rocco with his Tourette’s, can go from sounding vulgar to a high pitched angelic voice the moment he sings.

Iggy Choir

Rocco left, Pippin middle and Fat Harry right

(Photograph from Google and ruined beyond recognition by myself)

Fat Harry puffed his fat chest out as he hit the high notes, Enzo, Cino, Pino, Mako, Topper, Rocco, Bentley, Fletch, Woody, Dash, Rambow, Apollo, Charlie and Starbucks gave it their all as did the others. Zara and the other puppies were still at the embarrassed stage at the thought of singing in public and were miming – just like we used to be at school when Assembly was on and we were forced to sing but would mime along to morning hymns.

IMG_9279

Fat Harry hitting those high notes!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

(I still have nightmares about miming to ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ – but we won’t go there, it is too traumatic but it involved Nuns and stuff)

You are now privy to read the Iggy Lyrics to ‘Away in a Manger’ – please feel free to sing along using the words below to the music.

Away in a manger, no place for a dog

Cuzz Bro the Maori boi carved a bed from a log

The dogs were all happy and the cats went to stay

On the scratch post he made them

And they ran off to play

 

Some dogs go cold and hungry

Some have no bones

While some have no toys

And some have no homes

 

We Iggies are so lucky

That we are loved and well fed

And at night we are cuddled

And tucked up in our beds

‘Not bad everyone for the first attempt, take a few minutes break and we will try again’ Madam Gigi said approvingly.

IMG_6171

Madam Gigi – she can get those Iggies singing!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

*Cuzz Bro Kennels – the fabulous Maori boi that hand makes dog beds, kennels and any other pet stuff for the people of Perth.  Lovely guy, everyone knows and respects him and I can highly recommend him to make stuff for your pet*

Unexpected Visitors

Suddenly sounds of singing could be heard from outside Pippin’s house that were only comparable to something being murdered, or Cliff Richard singing with a bad dose of gastro.

Either way, it sounded awful and it was coming from outside Pippin’s front door and it sounded suspiciously like a pair of large, clumsy and uncoordinated dogs with a penchant for licking windows, lure coursing, farting and loving each other. Can you guess which dogs I am talking about?

‘Hark the herald angels sing

Glory to the new born king’

‘Give me food and give me toys

Our Mums said we’re both good boys’

 

‘I didn’t mean to dig the garden

Belch in your face and not say pardon’

‘Hark the herald angels groan

I deserve a juicy bone’

‘We’re both good boys for our Mums

With our jowls and dirty bums’

 ‘Do you think they liked it?’ Vader slurred his words at Brutus from outside Pippin’s house.

‘They must have, we sounded bloody awesome’ Brutus said proudly and then hiccupped loudly ‘Pardon me!’ – Yes, both boys were drunk.

Clutching their dog beers in their paws, they propped one another up and after visiting a local skimpies bar that had naked whippets inside dancing for Schmackos; the boys had decided to gatecrash Pippin’s Iggy Christmas Eve meeting.

10850087_746985655389483_27126447455886745_n

Brutus and Vader – never could hold their drink

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Bloody hell, what on earth is that?’ Pippin spluttered as he took his glasses off to wipe off some smudges.

‘I think someone has been murdered’ Nica replied and then placed her skinny little paws in her ears to block out the sound.

Apollo, Mako, Fletch and Starbucks were trying hard not to laugh as Pippin looked positively furious at the disturbance.

IMG_9059

Starbucks – laughing at the disturbance (she is an Iggy in disguise!)

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Someone must have lost their testicles or something,’ Bentley spluttered and then checked to see what could be causing the noise.

Just as the Iggies thought the dreadful noise was over, Brutus and Vader decided to sing (or rather invent) the words to ‘Silent Night’.

‘Silent Night in my home

God protect me and my bones’

‘Happy and grateful for my Kong

My Mum thinks I can do no wrong’

‘I did chew up the palm tree

I did chew up the tree’

 ‘And you shit yourself – several times, even I know that!’ Vader belched and slurred to Brutus.

‘Yeah alright, those days are behind me’ Brutus blushed and then poked Vader in the ribs to shut him up and added ‘I – AM – A- GROWN – UP’ as Vader burst out laughing at such a statement.

IMG_8663

Brutus and Vader – grown ups you know!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Leaning out of the window, Rocco strained his neck to see what the assault on their ears could be.

‘Oh god, it’s Brutus and Vader and they are drunk’ Rocco growled to Bentley who was wiping the tears from his eyes as he was laughing so much.

‘Priceless, totally priceless – come on Pippin, let them in before someone calls the rangers’. Bentley said while snorting with laughter.

‘Really this is highly irregular, they are not part of the Iggy Choir and it is our official practice night and they know they shouldn’t come round’ Pippin sighed.

‘Starbucks isn’t an Iggy?’ Zara said pointedly.

‘Yes but Starbucks is the same size as us so almost an Iggy’ Olive added as the other dogs nodded.

‘You can’t say no to them Pippin, they are virtually family’ Soobi cried as Pippin rolled his eyes.

But really it was no good, the boys would end up gatecrashing the meeting and Pippin knew it, in fact we all knew it.

‘Excellent!’ Bronte giggled to Nica, Zara, Olive and Enzo who were all trembling with excitement as there is nothing like an impromptu visitor to get everyone into the spirit of things not to mention cause a happy diversion from the routine.

Fat Harry who is pretty much welcoming to anyone just sat there grinning while Woody and Hershey took the piss out of him for how excited he always gets when anyone turns up, probably because Harry is convinced he will get food out of it – which of course he usually does.

‘Oh for goodness sake let them in before they embarrass us further!’ Madam Gigi snapped and then nodded to Bentley to open the door.

The smell of alcohol fumes could have lit a fire – the boys had been drinking dog beer.

‘Merry Christmas!’ Vader shouted with a mouthful of his own tongue as the door to Pippins house opened. Burping and hiccupping, Vader slurred ‘we have been to admire the whippets in the skimpies bar and man, do they know how to dance round a bone’

‘Whippet real good, she whipped off her collar that whippet did, even WA cop dog Rumble threw dog chocs at the whippets and ‘Z’ the Cop dog had to arrest him!’ Brutus giggled childishly and then tried hard to stand straight in a way that only a drunk person does but ended up hitting the wall and apologising to it.

‘Have you been drinking dog beer again?’ Hershey demanded.

IMG_6042

Hershey – have you been drinking beer?

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Yes, we have’ Vader hiccupped and then added ‘It was bloody nice as well, and we have been whippeted all over our bottoms. Mind if we come in?’ And without waiting for a response barged past Pippin into the living room leaving a trail of mucous behind him and a smell of farts that indicated that he really needed to go to the toilet.

‘Pippin, I just want to tell you that I love you as much as I do Tony Abbott!’ Brutus said with a big grin on his face as he walked past Pippin into the living room and then promptly collapsed in a big brown heap on the floor by the TV – leaving Pippin looking mortified, Madam Gigi looking furious and the other Iggies laughing hysterically.

Pippin looked down at the large brown dog that was now comatose on the floor and looked up to the other Iggies standing around him. ‘Not a word to anyone about this you lot and remember – what happens at the Iggy meeting, stays at the Iggy meeting’.

The Iggies all nodded their heads quickly in agreement; after all some pretty naughty things go down at Iggy meetings you know – we don’t know half of it although Enzo was making a mental note to tell Luciano in Karratha everything as he was the Karratha Correspondent after all and if he could get the news to Fabian in Puerto Rico all the better.

Enzo was laughing at the sight of a pissed up Brutus who was now snoring loudly with Vader curled up fast asleep beside him resting his head on Brutus’s bum with his huge tongue hanging out like a yard of Christmas ham.

‘At least he can’t get up to any trouble here’ Hershey whispered to Enzo just as Brutus let out an enormous fart, which caused Vader to wake slightly, snort with laughter and mumble ‘Nice one Brutus, don’t shit yourself’ before falling back to sleep.

‘Wanna bet on that?’ Enzo laughed as Pippin shook his head and clasped his pointy snout to avoid breathing in the Brutus’s bottom-offerings.

A bit about Rocco

Little Rocco hated Christmas and refused to get into the spirit of it all, saying that Santa Paws was a waste of time and a fat judgmental bastard that didn’t have a clue about how ‘real dogs’ lived their lives.

Saying that Rocco never questioned the presents that lay under his tree for him and Madam Gigi every year, he still didn’t care how they got there. Christmas is just ‘another day in the year – except that you get toys’, according to Rocco.

Bentley thought a bit differently about the situation as he totally believed in Santa Paws but would never admit it to Rocco so thought it better if he too declared that he hated Christmas.

But when nobody was looking, Bentley would make his list for Santa and lie in his bed at night, shaking with anticipation at what Santa Paws would bring him for ‘being a good boy’.

Even Keno, Amex and Shine in QLD would start their Santa Paws list months in advance for what they wanted.

Barney the horse-dog, Ruby the kelpie and Kath the greyhound in QLD also had their traditions for Christmas, which normally involved Barney eating far too much Christmas BBQ and spending the afternoon farting it off while Kath and Ruby covered their snouts. It was all in good fun though and farting aside, party games were played including ‘Who has the biggest paws’ and ‘The Ministers Cat’.

It was only Rocco that didn’t really get into the spirit because he didn’t believe in it either.

You know what they say – and that is we all need something to believe in; Santa, the fairies, and the spirit of our loved ones watching over us, or simply the fact that something nice is always waiting for us around the corner. Either way, it just keeps that tiny bit of magic in an otherwise ordinary life.

‘But why don’t you believe in Santa Paws?’ Zara asked Rocco one day.

‘I just don’t, it’s for puppies and idiots to believe in!’ Rocco growled Zara leaving her confused and upset at such a declaration.

‘And another thing, how can you believe in something you can’t see idiot?’ he sneered at Zara.

Looking thoughtful, Zara replied ‘You believe in your invisible friend and we can’t see him!’

‘That is different!’ Rocco spluttered, he was getting angry, as he didn’t like his logic being challenged.

‘Well I believe in Santa Paws and I don’t care what you think’ Zara snapped back and picked up her squeaky toy and walked off with it to tell Soobi and Olive how unreasonable Rocco was being about the whole thing.

So you see Rocco had no belief at all, except for his invisible friend who he enjoyed fighting with on a daily basis but as for Santa Paws – well that was for puppies and idiots.

Back to the party

The Iggies had abandoned hope of practicing for the Xmas choir and were now either dancing or playing party games around Pippin’s Christmas tree.

Zara, Soobi, Olive and Dobby were standing in a large circle while Madam Gigi and Nica danced in the middle as the others clapped.

Some of them were playing party games, some were just chatting about next years lure coursing season with West Coast Dog Sports and the next ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ contest which was a huge success this year and promised to be next year.

Pippin was now totally relaxed and was joining in the fun which the other Iggies loved as it was rather like seeing your teacher relax at the school disco and do the ‘Dad dance’ across the dance floor.

*The Dad Dance is where you dance like a middle aged man and do ridiculous and embarrassing moves across the dance floor in a bid to look ‘cool’ whilst embarrassing your children*

‘Oh come on Pippin, show us your moves!’ Nica squealed at the normally very reserved little Pippin who was feeling brave at such encouragement.

Apollo, Mako and Pino started to clap and chant ‘Pippin! Pippin! Pippin!’ and pretty soon the others were joining until Pippin had no choice but to dance.

IMG_9515

Pippin getting into the Christmas spirit

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Well I say dance, Pippin tried his best and ended up doing a mixture of the ‘Funky Chicken’ and the ‘Dad Dance’ around the tree as the other Iggies clapped and cheered in delight at their leader letting his guard down.

‘We can bribe him with this for years to come’ Hershey whispered to Woody.

‘Oh don’t you worry, I am recording it on my iPhone’ Enzo laughed.

‘Let’s do The River Dance’ Gigi cried and all the Iggies suddenly lined up with their paws across each others shoulders as they started to dance to Irish music with their hind legs kicking furiously in time to the beat – except for Fat Harry who could not keep up and danced in a circle on his own at the end ‘doing his thang’.

Just one solitary and lonely little figure didn’t join in and that was Rocco. He stared at his sister Madam Gigi and the others all enjoying themselves.

Rocco shook his head at the other Iggies and decided that he simply could not cope with watching it any more.

Without anyone noticing him, he slipped quietly out of the living room and went into the cat room for his own company and this time not even his invisible friend went with him and nobody noticed he had gone either.

‘It’s all a load of crap’ Rocco growled to himself and looked around for his invisible friend to back him up but for once he couldn’t see him and he was truly on his own except for his demons that he didn’t know existed.

Feeling somewhat unsettled, Rocco sighed and placed his head down on his front paws and within minutes he was fast asleep.

Rocco woke up with a start and the first thing he noticed was how quiet it was, no sound of the Iggies playing – had they gone home without him? The second thing he noticed was the sound of howling, very loud and almost ghostly and also that the room had gone icy cold to the point that he could see his own breath.

The howling got louder and Rocco lifted his head up and looked around him – what the hell could that be howling like a bloody wolf?

Standing up, Rocco trotted around the room to check what was going on and seeing that everything was in order, he lay back down; perhaps he was imagining it all.

The howling got louder until Rocco snapped and said ‘Look if that is you Dobby, you can piss off as I am not in the mood!’ God they were all so juvenile and he would be glad when Christmas was over.

‘Rocco my friend, are you there?’ A strong QLD accent came out of nowhere.

‘Bloody hell, what is that – Enzo, Pino, Hershey, is that you?’ Rocco shouted – clearly unsettled by the strange, loud but haunting voice.

Realizing that none of those Iggies had a QLD accent, he then switched his attentions to Keno, Shine, Gracie and Amex, or even Ruby, Kath the greyhound and Barney the horse-dog. Maybe they had set up some kind of webcam to tease him or something.

Except that once Rocco realized that it didn’t sound like any of them and the howling could not be explained, he was very afraid.

Rocco ran towards the entrance of the cat room to get out except that he couldn’t because the door was shut and there was nowhere to go and the house was now eerily silent. Where was everyone? Where had they gone?

Although it was a Christmas Eve party, the plans were that they would all go to their respective homes with their families but surely they wouldn’t have gone home without him?

‘I am dreaming, I am so dreaming – God if I find out Fat Harry or the others are involved in this, then I am going to be pissed off’ Rocco said to himself. Turning round to look for another escape, he came face to face with a large, majestic, beautiful white greyhound that stood so tall his presence almost filled the room.

Bowie 2

Bowie – the Angel Dog (before he crossed over to Rainbow Bridge)

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

With a large set of white wings on his back, he floated just above the ground and not quite touching it. His lean and muscular body quivered, his long pointy snout was bigger than Rocco himself and his kind eyes looked down on the tiny little Italian greyhound who was now so terrified that he had ‘done a Brutus’ and urinated down his own legs.

‘Hello Rocco, do you know who I am?’ The greyhound asked. His voice had an echo and at that moment in time appeared to be the only voice that Rocco had ever really tuned in to.

‘I don’t think so, who are you?’ Rocco stuttered and tried to stand on the cat scratch post to make himself big and brave to face the greyhound.

‘My name is Bowie and I am the brother of Keno, Amex, Gracie and Shine – I passed away a few months ago and I am now an angel dog and I get to go around and help dogs on earth that need some guidance and you my friend need some guidance over this Christmas issue that you have’ Bowie said as he looked directly into Rocco’s eyes.

‘I do NOT have an issue with Christmas!’ Rocco growled forgetting how scared he was.

‘Do you believe in Santa Paws?’ Bowie asked him.

‘Of course not, Santa Paws is for…..’ Rocco sneered.

‘Puppies and idiots?’ Bowie finished the sentence for him, ‘Well Rocco, there must be a lot of puppies and idiots in this world as Santa Paws is mightily busy this time of year’.

Blushing at Bowie’s words, Rocco quickly changed the subject; ‘Where is everyone, have they gone home? Do Amex, Keno, Gracie and Shine know you are here?’

‘No they haven’t gone home, they are oblivious to you and to me and as far as they are concerned you are fast asleep sulking away in your Christmas misery, you cannot see them and they can only see you sleeping but have no desire to come and find you’.

‘But can they see you? I could call Amex and the others and tell them I am speaking to you, they would be so happy’ Rocco sighed and he knew they would as well. Actually they wouldn’t believe him and would think he was talking to his invisible friends again.

‘They don’t know I am here as very few dogs get to see us Angel dogs until they are ready to do so’ Bowie smiled at Rocco.

‘Now Rocco, tell me why you really hate Christmas and if you don’t mind, could you refrain from swearing or at least not use the word ‘bollocks’ and take your time my friend’.   Bowie said gently to Rocco who was looking boot-faced at the prospect of not only opening his heart but also unlocking thoughts and fears that he had buried some time ago.

The Pandora’s box of Rocco

‘I asked Santa Paws if I could be a big dog. I waited on Christmas Eve for it to happen, I went to sleep and woke up on Christmas Day and I was still – well, I was still me, tiny Rocco weighing less than Gordon the cat’. Rocco looked angry just by remembering such a travesty.

Bowie tried not to smile at Rocco who had his front paws folded tight and his hind legs crossed to try and hide his emotions by folding everything possible.

‘I wanted to be a big dog, I wanted to be able to go to the park and the other dogs admire how big I am and I would be afraid of nothing’.

‘But it never happened and I woke up still little, still vulnerable and I felt let down. Santa let me down’ Rocco sighed.

‘But did you get anything else for Christmas?’ Bowie asked Rocco.

Rocco looked thoughtful and replied ‘Oh sure, there were toys around the tree, lots of them but not what I had asked for’

‘Did you get treats and food on Christmas Day?’ Bowie asked in a patient voice.

Rocco nodded his head ‘Oh yes, there were lots of those – treats, sausages, BBQ food – everything really, but I still woke up being me, I still woke up being short’.

‘Did your Mum cuddle you on Christmas Day?’ asked Bowie as he stared intently at Rocco.

Cocking his head to the side, Rocco thought for a few minutes before replying ‘Oh yes, all the time, I was and still am always covered in her perfume’.

‘Do you get treats, cuddles, pats, love, warm bed, food, toys, social outings at any other time other than Christmas?’ Bowie growled gently at Rocco.

Rocco was getting annoyed now, such stupid questions, ‘Why of course – all the time, what dog doesn’t get all of these basic necessities?’

Bowie shook his head in disbelief and from nowhere he produced an iPad and beckoned Rocco to come and look at it.

‘What am I looking at?’ Rocco demanded.

‘Your reality, that’s what you are looking at’ Bowie said flatly.

Staring at the iPad, Rocco saw an elderly border collie, with a grizzled muzzle, grey tufts above his eyebrows, thick matted coat and feathering around his paws, his tail a tangled mess – just a scruffy, tatty and unloved dog.

An almost empty water bowl with barely a dribble on the bottom sat near the pergola. No kennel, no proper shelter, no blankets, no food until his owner deemed it fit to throw some and certainly no toys.

With a rope tied around his neck, he was tethered to the post, no collar, no council tag, no rego, no identity and no name.

Rocco looked horrified, was this joke? ‘What is this dog doing living outside? Where are his toys/treats/food bowls?’

‘Why is his coat in that condition, has his Mum not heard of Lexie the groomer?’ Rocco demanded to know.

Shaking his head sadly, Bowie said nothing and Rocco kept watching.

Rocco watched the video for 10 minutes, which showed a time lapse of 24 hours and in those 24 hours, Rocco could not help but notice that no owner came to check on the dog.

The border collie had given up lifting his head to check for his owner, he had given up on food being given and a bowl of fresh water and he had long since given up on the prospect of a pat/cuddle because to be brutally honest, he wouldn’t recognize affection if he saw it. With regards to food – perhaps tomorrow, who knows? – Not him that’s for sure.

Just as Rocco was about to look away from the screen, he saw on the video that the owner had returned.

‘Look, see his owner has come back – I knew he would!’ Rocco said in a smug voice.

Bowie ignored him.

The border collie looked up with a glimmer of hope, which was quickly replaced by pain as his owner threw a bit of meat on the floor and then kicked the frail elderly dog hard in the ribs – just for being there.

The elderly grizzled dog remained by the pergola too afraid to move and the meat remained next to him untouched.

‘Why did his owner do that to him?’ Rocco asked Bowie.

‘Why not?’ Bowie sniffed in response, ‘Why do you get toys? Why do you tell everyone to ‘piss off’? Why do we do anything in life – because we CHOOSE to that’s why.  You choose how to behave and you choose how to react to the behaviour of others’.

Suddenly the footage on the iPad changed – It was Christmas Day and the scene was set at Rocco’s house where his Mum Gwynneth was sat cross-legged on the floor playing with his sister Madam Gigi. Rocco was nowhere to be seen.

‘That’s my house, that is my sister and that is my Mum!’ Rocco said excitedly, wagging his whippy tail so furiously that he almost cleared the table. Bowie smiled at such a genuine reaction from the tiny ball of Iggy fury.

‘Where am I though, I can only see Gigi?’ Rocco barked.

‘Keep looking’ Bowie instructed and Rocco kept looking.

There sat behind the sofa was Rocco in a curled up ball of angriness and resentment. He was so busy fighting with his invisible friend and telling it to ‘Piss off and to stop trying to put Christmas on him that he never noticed his Mum Gwynneth and sister Gigi happily organizing treats – HIS treats under the tree

Gwynneth was sorting out toys that Santa Paws had brought Rocco, soft toys, squeaky balls, chews, delicious yummy treats for him to eat – everything a dog could want and so much more.

Gigi was prancing around impatiently waiting for Rocco so that they could open their presents together.

‘Rocco, come on! We can open our gifts and see what Santa Paws brought us!’ Gigi squeaked in her high-pitched voice.

‘Bollocks, I don’t believe in Santa Paws!’ Growled Rocco and turned his back on his sister.

‘So you don’t want your presents then?’ Gigi replied, totally unabated by her grumpy brother and then proceeded to wave one of his presents under his pointy snout.

‘I never said that, give that to me!’ Rocco said firmly and snatched a beautifully wrapped gift with his name on it.

Rocco unwrapped each and every gift and trust me; there were lots of them.

Not one single ‘thank you’ passed his lips as he shoved some presents to the side although a great deal of food did as he ate his treats without even looking to see what they were.

He ignored the loving looks from his Mum who clearly loved him to bits, he ignored the fond glances of Gigi who loved him faults and all and he totally bypassed the amount of love that had been poured into these gifts.

‘What do you think Rocco? Do you believe in Santa Paws now?’ Gigi grinned at her brother.

Rocco lifted his head up and looked thoughtful before replying simply ‘Bollocks’

Bowie was staring sadly at Rocco who had the grace to blush at this behavior. Neither dog said a word, they didn’t need to really as the video said it all.

‘Rocco, what else did you want for Christmas aside from being a big dog?’ Bowie asked him.

Rocco was about to answer but thought better of it, he was already feeling pretty small with his behavior and being forced to watch it back was actually quite embarrassing not to mention shameful.

‘Well, was there anything else you wanted Santa Paws to get you for Christmas?’ Bowie repeated the question.

Remembering a bright red Kong Wubba toy that he had always wanted that Santa Paws never got him, it all seemed so trivial. It was silly really but Rocco had always wanted one of those and had every toy a dog could wish for but the Kong Wubba toy – now that WOULD have been a real treat.

But what Rocco did not realize was that in order to get your hearts desire from Santa Paws, you had to believe in him first because without that believe, everything was meaningless – even Kong Wubba toys.

Deciding to keep his wish for a Wubba quiet, Rocco whispered to Bowie ‘No Bowie, nothing else from Santa Paws’.

‘Well if you are sure…’ Bowie took a deep breath as he replied.

‘Yes, I am sure’ Rocco said so quietly that you could barely hear him.

‘How do you feel Rocco?’ Bowie asked while stretching his long legs.

Shrugging his shoulders Rocco didn’t trust himself to reply and carried on watching the screen on the iPad.

‘So Santa Paws let you down did he?’ Bowie said quite sarcastically.

‘Santa Paws didn’t make you into a big dog so you decided not to believe in him, yet you still expect every single Christmas Day to wake up bigger than what you are purely to prove a point to your friends and yourself that he still exists?’

Even to Rocco, this was sounding more ridiculous by the minute.

‘Rocco my dear, I repeat myself – to experience the magic in ones life, one has to believe in it and have faith in it’

‘Now take a look again’ Bowie ordered Rocco as he pointed to the screen of the iPad.

Rocco could see his Mum cradling him, his thin legs all folded up as he lay on his back in her arms while she rubbed his belly.

Smothering the Iggy with kisses and smoothing down his ears, she made promises of lavish gifts, food and attention and despite Rocco thinking Santa Paws was not real, she still patiently told him that he would be getting a visit which would result in all the toys and treats that he and Gigi wanted.

And in spite of knowing about Rocco’s lack of faith and belief in anything except for his invisible friend, she kept telling him this story so that one day he too would see the magic in something invisible yet so powerful that it had dogs all over the world on the edge of their beds hoping for presents (or just a loving home).

‘What do you have to say for yourself Rocco?’ Bowie finished as he slowly and purposely turned off the iPad.

‘That I have been stupid, that I am lucky to have my Mum who loves me, my sister Madam Gigi and all of my friends and that I have more than lots of other dogs have, and I don’t just mean toys either’ Rocco said while hanging his head in shame.

‘Do you believe in Santa Paws yet?’ Bowie asked him.

‘I think so, I haven’t felt any magic yet but I can see what I do have instead of what I don’t in my life’ Rocco replied nodding his head to convince himself.

‘And that my friend, is a start’ Bowie grinned.

‘What happens now?’ Rocco asked the big white greyhound.

‘It’s time for you to join the real world and your friends and when you do, they will know nothing of this and neither will they believe you if you told them’.

‘When you wake up it will be as though you had a good sleep’ The greyhound said firmly as he stood up and had a good stretch with his bum in the air, his wings stretched out and his front legs on the floor in a ‘play bow’ kind of way that only a greyhound can pull off.

‘Bowie?’ Rocco asked him.

‘Yes Rocco?’ Bowie yawned as he looked out of the window.

‘Thank you’ Rocco gave a very ‘un-Rocco’ like smile.

‘No worries lad, no worries’ Bowie grinned and ordered Rocco to shut his eyes.

One more glimpse wouldn’t hurt surely? Rocco wanted to see where Bowie went to, where he came from, surely he could take a peek?

Rocco closed his eyes for a second and then decided to open them. When he did; he found himself curled up on the floor by the cat scratch post in the same position that he had laid down earlier when he first entered the room.

Looking up to see if Bowie was still there, he noticed the time on the clock – it was just five minutes since he had left the others and not the hour it had seemed.

Back to the party

Rocco crept back into the living room unseen by the others. Pippin was playing ‘Blind dogs bluff’ and was blind folded while Zara, Soobi, Olive and Mako were spinning him around and the other Iggies were hiding and Pippin had to find them.

Squeals of delight could be heard as the Iggies teased Pippin and had even placed his spectacles over the blindfold to confuse him further while Bronte took the opportunity to flash her pretty little Diva Pantz and lift up her skirt at Enzo.

Brutus and Vader were still fast asleep and alternating between farting and snorting on the floor as everyone played around them and even using the giant dogs as stepping-stones.

‘Look at me, I am king of the world!’ Zara yelled as she stood on a sleeping Vader’s head trying to do a Titanic impression as Fat Harry stood behind her and held her paws.

‘Zara and Fat Harry get down now!’ Nica screamed, my goodness the last thing they needed were Brutus and Vader waking up. It would be like the giant in Gulliver’s Travels.

Rocco stood in the background quietly watching his friends enjoying their Christmas party.

Rocco was thinking that it would soon be time for them to go home and be put to bed so that Santa Paws could come and sort out gifts when he suddenly realized that he hadn’t even joined in with any of the games in any of the parties.

‘Oh I can’t do it, I am dizzy!’ Pippin laughed as Nica removed the blindfold leaving the other Iggies giggling.

‘What are you laughing at Fletch?’ Pippin said sounding confused.

‘Nothing’ Fletch grinned as the other dogs snorted with laughter.

Unaware that the girls had placed lipstick on Pip’s cheeks and ears and a love heart on his bottom, they left him to discover it himself, which he did on Christmas morning but that is another story.

‘Who is next? Come on Nica, you have a go!’ Soobi shouted.

‘Oh no, not me – I shall more than likely vomit if I do that’ Nica said in a prim and proper voice.

‘Let’s get two of us to do it, it will be fun!’ Bentley yelled and everyone clapped as though it was the best idea since Schmackos.

As the girls blindfolded Bentley, they looked around for someone else when Rocco quietly stepped forward.

‘Oh there you are; you were quiet, what were you up to?’ Pippin smiled at Rocco.

‘I’ll be your second dog’ Rocco said nervously.

Silence filled the room – you could have heard a bone drop.

‘What did you say?’ Pippin asked looking visibly shocked.

‘Yeah right, you never join in and never have done’ Enzo growled.

‘Now this I must see’ Bronte giggled to Nica and the girls.

Madam Gigi looked at her brother intently and after a few agonizing seconds, Gigi grabbed the spare blindfold and blindfolded Rocco and placed him in the middle of the room with Bentley where both Iggies were spun around until they begged to stop.

Rocco was terrified, not only about being blindfolded and the thought of the girls putting lipstick on him but also allowing himself to let go and admit that Christmas is rather fun.

‘I’ve got someone, I’ve got someone – who is it? They have a pointy snout and a fat neck!’ Rocco shouted happily.

‘We all have pointy snouts Rocco!’ Woody giggled as Pino went one step further and pissed himself while Cino snorted.

‘Oh my God, it’s a Labrador!’ Rocco yelled.

‘That is SO not funny, Pippin – tell them that is not funny, I am not a Labrador!’ Fat Harry said sounding awfully offended while everyone laughed at the horror on Fat Harry’s face.

‘I can smell turd, who has shit themselves?’ Bentley said in a worried voice as he clutched his blindfold.

‘Oh don’t worry, Vader has farted’ Zara said matter-of-factly.

‘That figures!’ laughed Rocco and then he and Bentley carried on with their front paws rigid in front of them as they walked around like a pair of robots trying to feel their way.

Nica stood next to Madam Gigi as they watched Rocco and Bentley knock ornaments over, take advantage of being ‘blind’ and generally groping the girls as the puppies teased them by nipping Rocco’s paws to confuse him and pull his tail.

‘What has changed do you think – with Rocco?’ Nica asked Gigi who could not take her eyes off her brother.

Nodding her response, Gigi replied simply ‘I don’t know, but you know what? I like it’.

‘Yep, and so do I – welcome to the fold Rocco. Nica agreed.

Back in their respective homes – tucked up in bed

The party was a success, the dogs were all back in their homes in their beds or their owners beds and everything was there for Santa Paws arrival (for the lucky dogs at least).

Madam Gigi was curled up next to Rocco who was resting his pointy snout on his paws with his eyes tightly closed.

‘Rocco, are you awake?’ Madam Gigi asked her brother.

After a few seconds Rocco replied ‘Yes Gigi, I am awake’.

‘Did you ask Santa Paws if he can make you in to a big dog for Christmas?’ Gigi whispered.

‘No Gigi, not this year, I don’t want to be a big dog any more’ Rocco replied.

‘But why not, that was always what you wanted?’ Gigi said sounding shocked.

‘Gigi, big doesn’t mean lucky and I think I have everything I need right here. Santa Paws can help the other dogs’ Rocco said with a newfound confidence.

The two dogs lay side by side for a few minutes until Gigi whispered to him ‘Rocco, I think you are perfect the way you are and will always be my big brother no matter what size you are’.

Rocco said nothing but without any prompting, he stretched his long slender brown paw out and gently touched Gigi’s leg and held it tight.

‘Merry Christmas Gigi’ Rocco said in a voice so quiet it was barely audible.

‘Merry Christmas Rocco’ Gigi smiled and snuggled into her bed where she quickly fell asleep to dream of all things nice and luxuries fit for an Iggy.

Rainbow Bridge

Bowie sat on his favourite sofa at Rainbow Bridge looking down at a fast asleep Rocco and Gigi curled up together.

It was a successful evening and turned out far better than he had hoped but it was painful for him to visit real life again and not see his Mum.

Surely once wouldn’t hurt, just to check on them? Of course it wouldn’t, after all being an Angel Dog must have some perks.

Bowie looked down in the QLD direction and allowed himself to peek into his Mum Fran’s home to check on his family – Shine, Keno, Amex and Gracie and of course his Mum Fran.

The gifts were round the tree, the house was as he remembered it and his Mum was sitting in the sofa while clutching a photograph of Bowie, tears filled her eyes as she remembered the gentle white greyhound that she loved so much.

‘I miss you so much big lad, why did you leave me?’ Fran sighed. With nobody watching her, she allowed the tears to fall.

Unknown to her, Bowie was now standing beside her so close that he almost went through her.

‘I never did leave you and I never will’ Bowie said quietly in her ear.

Fran looked at her sleeping Iggies and carefully placed Bowies photograph on the side. Standing up to go to bed, she noticed some pure white hairs on her chair – Bowie’s hairs.

Smiling to herself, she wiped her eyes and muttered ‘That greyhound gets everywhere’.

Turning off the light switch, she whispered to her dogs ‘Merry Christmas kids and Merry Christmas Bowie – wherever you are’.

‘Merry Christmas Mum’ Bowie replied and within a blink of an eye, he disappeared.

Christmas morning at Rocco’s house

‘Come on, let’s go and wake Rocco up’ Gwynneth said to Madam Gigi. Neither of them had given up on getting Rocco to believe in Christmas (or magic).

‘Rocco! It’s Christmas!’ Madam Gigi shouted.

As they burst open the door, there stood Rocco wearing a Santa hat, looking a bit out of place but with a big grin on his face.

‘Merry Christmas Mum, Merry Christmas Gigi!’ he said looking nervous.

Gwynneth didn’t know whether to be happy or send for the vet, for the first time ever Rocco was displaying enthusiasm for someone other than his invisible friend.

As they gathered round the tree to open their presents, aside from the usual toys they get, there was just one single present under the tree with Rocco’s name on it that no-one recognized the writing on the gift tag.

‘I love believing in Santa Paws’ Gigi said happily and then added ‘what is that present Rocco?’

Carefully opening the present, Rocco gasped when he saw it – a bright red Kong Wubba and next to it was the original tatty note that Rocco wrote when he was a puppy which read ‘Dear Santa Paws, please can I have a Kong Wubba, bright red if you can manage it – love Rocco’.

‘Oooh Rocco, what a lovely Kong Wubba, you never told us you wanted one of those’ Gigi gasped.

‘I never told anyone, not even myself’ Rocco responded as he stared at his Wubba toy in awe.

‘What’s that message on the back of your note?’ Gwynneth asked Rocco.

As Rocco carefully smoothed out the note, he could see on the back of it was written ‘Dearest Rocco, hope this puts the magic back in your life – love Santa Paws’.

‘How did that Kong get there Rocco?’ Gigi asked him as he read Santa’s note several times over.

Taking a deep breath, Rocco looked at his Mum and Gigi and nodded happily ‘I don’t know, probably magic and a bit of that never hurt anyone!’

Merry Christmas

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright December 2014

Acknowledgements and Thanks 

I would like to thank each and every member of the Italian Greyhound Club of Western Australia for their warmth, hospitality and friendship.  For allowing me to meet and socialise with their dogs and learn about their personalities and characters that have enabled me to write stories about them (including Starbucks who is not an Italian Greyhound but thinks she is and has starred in this story).

Iggy Club

The photo says it all ‘Enjoy the Club’ (and we do!)

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Also to Fran Forbes in QLD who runs the Facebook group Queensland Italian Greyhounds. Fran has been a great help to me when I have been writing until early hours of the morning helping me with the QLD characters, and a special mention goes to her beloved Greyhound Bowie who crossed over to Rainbow Bridge a few months back.

Finally, thank you to Denise Pringle and her lovely Iggies Pippin and Bronte, who for some reason, totally inspire me to write about the Italian greyhounds.  Pippin has seemingly become the main character in my stories and has actually overtaken Brutus as the main character and has so much personality for a little dog, as do all the Italian greyhounds.

I might not own an Italian greyhound but I have found myself in their world and the more I know about them the more I love them.  After all, every pointy snout tells a story.

Have a wonderful and safe Christmas and fabulous New Year, wherever you are in the world.

*More photos to come*