Lure Coursing, breaking barriers and greyhound dramatics

10330344_10204119960096596_7112504982245364946_nThe poster that we all love to love and look forward to

(West Coast Dog Sports)

The day they had all been waiting for had arrived – yes you got it, it was lure coursing day at Kings Meadow Polo Grounds, Guildford.

As the last event had been cancelled, the dogs were more than ready for this and all you could hear was barking, yelping and sounds of boxer dogs flicking their snot everywhere and cries of ‘Vader has your tongue grown?’.

Because at this event there were more boxers than ever before and to be quite honest – the boxers stole the show.

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Vader the boxer (and his tongue)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Brutus was upset that his Pharaoh hound boyfriend ‘Benny’ wasn’t there and even more so that Mouse wasn’t. They all get attached to each other you see and the slightest change in their routine can have them getting into more states than Australia.

‘Hi Mac, Hi Bailey’ Brutus said confidently as he rocked up to where they were crated.

‘Piss off’ Bailey snapped and put his head down – he was in a bad mood as Dee had foiled his plans to pull of a sausage heist and had made sure that whatever would blow over, it would not be their crates to enable their bid for freedom and food.

Brutus and Vader had turned up wearing their finest clothes – Vader was dressed as Superman and Brutus was dressed as a life guard which was laughable really as Brutus has all the buoyancy of a house brick and the only thing he could save is food and even that is questionable.

Brutus lifeguardBrutus the life saver (in his dreams)

(photo by Dee Cole)

10592950_10152334849148317_338218557600371576_nBrutus ‘the brick’ (in reality)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

‘Vader! Over here!’ three boxers belonging to Vicki Clements were all dressed up in their costumes.   Yelling at Vader to get his attentions; Vader looked round they all flashed their bums at him and started farting, boxers are like that you see – they have farting contests and can generally emit foul smells to order, usually in a car with the windows closed on Tonkin Highway (ask Lexie).

‘Vader – let’s have a turd competition!’ Dibbley the boxer shouted to Vader who grinned back at him just as Lexie said that no, there would be no ‘turd competition’ and to stop being so disgustingly juvenile.

Vader superdogVader as ‘Superdog’

(photo by Dee Cole)

You know that all boxer dogs speak in the same kind of slow voice, as though their tongues don’t fit in their mouth? (which of course they don’t), well imagine when a group of boxers meet and all of them talking in the same ‘full tongued’ kind of voice, all sounding slow and very special in a boxer kind of way and you will just about get the idea.

10551033_683596241728425_297137429613025875_nVader’s special magic ever-growing tongue 

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

I will say that in their favour; Boxers try ever so hard to be good but most of the time it just doesn’t happen – you can ask Dozer the boxer as he ate his way out of his soft crate and escaped to the sounds of the other boxers cheering and clapping and Vader yelling ‘Go on my son!’ and wriggling their bums as Dozer ran around the polo grounds shouting ‘Boxers rule the world!’.

Vicki boxer

Dozer the boxer (and crate breaker)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

But as you know, at every single lure coursing meet at least one dog has to escape and if at all possible, roll in horse shit for good measure – it’s The Law and today there was going to be more than one escapee and I shan’t tell you who it is as yet, you will have to be patient and wait.

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No such thing as a mature/sensible boxer!

(Photo by Dee Cole)

The Iggy Stand (hub of activity and generally where it all happens)

Rocco was sitting in his crate and swearing as usual, each dog that dared to go past him was duly told to ‘Piss off’ and insulted and even when no dogs walked by Rocco, he decided to swear at the invisible ones instead. IMG_6577

Rocco (fights with his invisible friends)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

All dogs have invisible dogs to swear at and blame for things so just in case you see your dog barking at fresh air, it is probably an invisible dog that has wound them up or something.

‘You know if I wasn’t in this crate I would eat you and rip your legs off limb by limb!’ Rocco shouted at an invisible American Staffie who just looked back at him and said ‘Yeah, really? and I could pull your legs apart like a wishbone’

‘Your mother is nothing but a street mongrel from Battersea Dogs Home!’ Rocco yelled before Madam Gigi had to gently remind him that Battersea Dogs Home was in London and that invisible dog friends had no parents.

‘Do you like my dress?’ Bronte asked Fletch who blushed before checking to see if Pippin was watching – he wasn’t so Fletch took an admiring glance up Bronte’s dress and nodded in approval.

‘Very nice, SpoiledBratz?’ Fletch asked knowingly – he is SO ‘up’ on his fashion is Fletch and what he doesn’t know about Prada or Gucci is not worth knowing.

Fletch can often be seen in his home with a tape measure around his neck and holding pins in his mouth as he measures the other Iggies for outfits – a bit like a doggy version of that guy Gok Wan the fashion expert.

‘Of course, where else?’ Bronte grinned and then immediately spotted Brutus in the distance and very quickly decided to turn her attentions to him as she had developed quite a crush on the big fella.

‘Brutus! Over here!’ Bronte shouted in her high pitched Iggy voice. Putting her slim paws in her ears; Madam Gigi shook her head and muttered something about ‘there is no need to shout’. Madam Gigi

Madam Gigi (not impressed with the shouting)

(Photography by Gwynneth Cavilla)

Ignoring Madam Gigi’s look of disgust, Bronte galloped across the grass to see Brutus so that he too could take a peek up her dress, after all with a bottom as cute as hers, who wouldn’t want to have a look?

‘Really she is such a flirt’ Fletch said with his lips pursed into a disapproving shape – a bit like a cats bum. Fletch

A disapproving Fletch (look at that cute little Iggy bum!)

(Photography by Denise Pringle)

‘I think it is time for me to faint’ Nica said and then looked around for her team to assist her by holding her ears back.  Apollo was even trained to carry bone flavoured smelling salts to bring Nica round, providing a suitable audience was there of course as Iggies love dramatics and a good audience is essential. Nica

Nica (can faint and vomit with the best of them)

(Photography by Francesca Perino)

But soon all thoughts of fainting went clean out of Nica’s head when she sighted Enzo in the car playing Pavarotti and pretending to be Italian.

Standing there with his tiny Iggy chest puffed out, he waived his arms about and sang in his best opera ‘Pavarotti’ voice while playing ‘Nessun Dorma’ on the car stereo.

The other Iggies clapped and cheered and some of the girls even threw their panties at him and those that were not wearing panties threw their collars instead. Enzo

Enzo (talks Italian and likes Pavarotti)

(Photography by Gabrielle Gill)

‘Enzo darling – how are you?’ Nica shouted as Enzo grinned back and kissed her on both cheeks in a very European way. ‘Looking fabulous as always my beautiful girl, let’s talk opera’ Enzo said in his fake accent.

‘Yes let’s’ Nica said and then clicked her paws to a random whippet and shouted ‘Can someone get us some dog-o-cinnos please’.

By the way, please don’t be surprised at Enzo’s love of opera, all Iggies love opera and singing and can do it beautifully.

Pippin happens to run the Iggy choir where they all gather once a week to practice their singing and in a gang of pointy snouts, they sing their souls out whilst wearing tiny starched white ruffles around their necks like the choir boys at Christmas.

One time Brutus was invited to the Iggy choir at Pippin’s house but only once as it didn’t turn out very well when Brutus ruined the whole event with his ultra deep voice.

By the time the song had finished, there was just Brutus left singing ‘All things bright and beautiful’ with such enthusiasm that he hadn’t noticed that the other Iggies were standing there looking on in horror at him singing in his deep voice with enough volume to fill St Pauls Cathedral.

‘Could you hear that OK?’ Brutus grinned proudly afterwards. choir dog

Brutus singing choir songs (better suited to the ridgeback choir – according to Pippin)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Poor old Pippin had stuffed toilet roll in his ears and gave Brutus a pained smile and replied ‘Yes Brutus, we heard it’ and then gently advised him that whilst he isn’t suitable for the Iggy choir, he could probably join the ridgeback one.

Rocco had no such tact and told him that he sounded like an elephant being castrated and as Brutus is still at the sensitive stage, he didn’t take it very well at all.

But that – as I often say, is another story entirely and as usual, I am digressing (so much to write you see and so many characters banging in my imagination to get out).

*Back to the race day*

Bronte had taken a momentary break from flashing her bum and was standing with a whippet looking at a catalogue for new clothes.  She was hoping that her Mum Denise would go on the next SpoiledBratz auction to get her some more cool stuff.

Actually Bronte would have rather liked some clothes from London and had seen a very nice dress with the Crown Jewels on it amongst other trendy clothes; but she hadn’t worked out a way to get Denise to buy them for her – yet.

‘This is all highly naughty, disorganised and irregular’ Pippin said fretfully as he tried to get the Iggies to behave and have some respect which was hard when Nica was flirting with Enzo and Bronte was still looking at the catalogue for new clothes while Brutus was admiring her ‘lady-garden’ under her dress.

Really when did they get so naughty and perverted? Talking of perverted, we won’t discuss Pippin’s penchant for humping male dogs in any which way he and because that would embarrass Pippin and I wouldn’t want to do that but I have actually seen it for myself.

‘Excuse me everyone, let us have a ‘pre race’ meeting so we can get organised.  Let’s stop all this nonsense and line up’ Pippin said using his ‘Don’t mess with me’ voice.

‘Rocco, what on earth do you think you are doing?’ Pippin demanded as he saw Rocco rolling around in his crate snarling like something rabid and angry.

‘Bashing the crap out of this invisible dog’ Rocco shouted ‘He is trying to kill me, but don’t worry, I got this covered’

Shaking his head in disbelief, Pippin picked up his mobile phone and resigned himself to a game of Candy Crush while he sat at Denise’s feet as she rubbed his ears. Hannibal Rocco

Rocco fighting with his invisible friends

(Photography by Jeni Sach)

Brutus – (high school jock and a letterman sweater)

It was to be Brutus’s first time doing the full course and whilst I would like to tell you that he took those corners like a gazelle and ran like a professional, that would be lying. Because I very quickly learned that not only does Brutus not ‘do’ corners; but he doesn’t appear to have a ‘stop button’ either. 10369915_665925536828829_4846034155693857016_n

Brutus (finger clicking flirter)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

He has also developed this rather embarrassing habit that I am almost too ashamed to admit to you but hey, you guys are like my family so here goes nothing.

Brutus is reaching sexual maturity and has just discovered that young hot bitches like him despite the fact that he has no testicles.

He is a very handsome dog and he incites giggles and flirtatious behaviour from the lady dogs wherever he goes.  (Some have even thrown their dog collars at him to get his attention). 10447056_663023523785697_7934537613617115507_n

Brutus (taking names and taking numbers)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Well when he did his solo race, he galloped by the side of the barrier and was clicking his fingers like one of the ‘High School Jocks’ in the movie ‘Grease’ – you know the ones on the sports pitch that wear Letterman sweaters.

‘Hey ladies, how are you doing, lunch tonight – my place?’  Much to the amusement of the group of female dogs at the side.

A Scottie dog called Penny pursed her lips to a ‘cat bum’ shape and said ‘Ohh, he is a bit forward isn’t he?’ in her Scottish accent and then immediately blushed when Brutus clicked his fingers, pointed at her and said ‘Loving your beard Ms Scotland!’

‘Oh you cheeky wee thing’ Penny the Scottie dog giggled and then remembered her breeding and that ‘nice dogs’ didn’t flirt back, at least not on the first date and they certainly never removed their collars for a boy.

Now I have no idea who has been teaching Brutus this but he is like a walking ‘chat-up’ machine as he runs along, winking, waiving and collecting phone numbers, panties and pink collars.

On one occasion a pretty female dog even threw her dog collar with address tag at him and said ‘Hey, call me!’ Someone told me that it was Rocco that taught him this trick, but others have said it was Vader which I don’t believe as Vader couldn’t possibly make clicking noises without his tongue falling out and slapping him violently.

So my money is on Rocco as I heard Pippin reprimanding him for teaching Brutus how to say ‘Show us your teats’.

Anyway, the second run for Brutus was with his beloved friend Vader and is always good for a laugh.  It was their first time running together on the full proper course and Brutus was showing off doing star jumps and press ups to make himself ‘match fit’ while Vader allowed his tongue to fall out and then lift it back in while insisting that it surely constituted as a warm up?

Dee Cole released Brutus and Lexie released Vader and I just stood there nervously with the camcorder so I could video the whole ‘event’, or should I say ‘scene’ as that is a far more suitable word. Brutus and Dee

Brutus and Vader – ready to race!

‘Ready Brutus?’ Dee asked the big clumsy brown dog.

‘Yep, bring it on – I am going to ‘do the Mouse’ and set the field alight (Mouse Norris taught him to say that).

‘Ready Vader?’ Lexie asked Vader who was trying to organise his tongue in his mouth so he didn’t trip over it.

‘Yeth’ Vader replied – ‘Yeth’ is said with your fat tongue between your teeth and if you say it now, you will know how Vader talks.

Suddenly the lure started and the boys were released!  My heart was bursting with pride, praying that Brutus would not social butterfly with the other dogs and do his embarrassing winking thing.

‘Ohhh, it’s Brutus!’ Penny the Scottie dog said in an excited voice while some whippets giggled near by and clapped.

PennyPenny the Scottie dog (a ‘Tartan’ breed of dog according to Vader)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Now if you imagine a Scottish person saying ‘Brutus’, it would be said rolling the ‘r’s and sound something like ‘Brootus’.  If you have trouble saying it in a Scottish voice, just ask a nice Scottish person to say it for maximum effect.

It all started off well, my heart was bursting with pride but then suddenly Brutus shouted ‘Oh shit, it’s a corner, what do I do?’

Brutus and Vader

Vader and Brutus (a promising start – where did it all go wrong?)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘You turn it Turd Legs’ Mac shouted from the distance while Bailey spat his water all over the puppies while laughing.

‘Did he just ask what to do with a corner? Are you sure he is half ridgeback?’ Mac asked Bailey who replied ‘Yes he did ask, yes he is half ridgeback but you have got to admit the lad is funny’  Mac nodded his head and agreed.

Mac and Bailey playing

Mac and Bailey (they love Brutus really)

(Photography by Dee Cole)

‘How do you do a turn Vader?’ Brutus asked but Vader was long gone and had taken to the course like a natural and had secured his tongue in his head and ran his heart out to the cheers of Vickie Clements boxers who were shouting their support in very slow but loud voices as boxer-snot was flung everywhere.

‘Someone help me, I can’t stop!’ Brutus cried and then ran straight under the barrier to the amusement of everyone watching while Penny the Scottie dog covered her eyes and said ‘Oh dear, Oh dear – poor Brootus!’ (Brutus)

The Samoyed who is a regular fixture on the lure coursing circuit and is the self appointed ‘Town Crier’ was now shouting ‘stampede, loose dog!’ and barking her head off to everyone telling them to get to the shelters to save their own lives and that of their puppies.

Brutus fence breakerBrutus – unable to take a corner and unable to stop

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Does anyone know where I am?’ Brutus yelled as his legs carried him outside the containment fence. Galloping along resembling a wonky donkey, people were laughing and cheering him on. ‘Vader, where am I?’ Brutus shouted, pretending not to be embarrassed, as though it were all part of the ‘big plan’ but secretly he was farting himself with nerves as his legs wouldn’t stop running and he found himself chasing the lure from the wrong side of the fence.

Brutus fence breaker Aug 2014Brutus (where am I?)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Yeah! go on my son!’ A large Saluki shouted from the sidelines as a gang of terriers barked insults at various invisible dogs, but don’t mind them, they were just having a ‘short dog syndrome’ episode.

Several of the Iggies had gathered round to watch Brutus joining the ranks of the ‘break free’ club which was started by the black Afghan that my husband compares to a black silken cloth floating down the race track.  Now when that dog escaped it was quite spectacular – especially when it rolled in horse shit, my husband still laughs about that.

Cloth dog Aug 2014The famous Afghan hound – AKA ‘the silken cloth dog’

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Brutus has broken out!’ Fletch shouted excitedly as Pippin looked up from what he was doing and tried to keep a straight face.  This was the one thing that every single dog aspired to do and that was to break out from the containment fence and have a good old run round a polo field and if they can find horse shit to roll in then that is a bonus.

‘Good job!’ Pippin grinned and then remembered his position of sensibility in society and that he had a reputation to uphold.

(sounds of Italian greyhounds giggling)

‘Oh my god our very own Brutus has broken out’ Rocco roared and at that point was so proud that he forgot to argue with his invisible friend and started to bark with excitement.

‘Brutus where are you?’ Vader shouted while looking round for his friend.

At that moment the girls opened the barrier for Brutus to run back in to and rejoin Vader.  As he went back in everyone clapped and cheered him while Brutus muttered ‘Thank God for that, I thought I would never find you!’

‘Let’s play!’ Vader grinned and then flicked his tongue on Brutus’s back leaving a trail of mucous and snot that could easily stick up wallpaper.

‘Yee ha! Did I win? – this has to be worthy of the Good Boy Award!’ Brutus shouted happily as he and Vader ran around each other joyously oblivious to everyone else.

‘That was so much fun, can we go again?’ Vader replied and then tried to pick his tongue back up as it fell out of his mouth on to the grass.

Vader snot Aug 2014Vader and Brutus playing on the race track – check out the snot on Brutus

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Now that, was priceless!’ Bailey said to Mac who was laughing so hard that he actually pissed himself.

‘Who is due to escape next?’ Bailey asked Mac who was cleaning himself up.

‘Oh that’s easy – It’s Melissa’s Staffords’ Mac nodded, ‘Can’t wait for that one’

Bailey laughed and took a drink of water from his bowl before spluttering it out through his nostrils as he was still laughing about Brutus.

Penny the Scottie dog (the pelmet on wheels with a fine set of ‘furnishings’)

Penny the Scottie dog who has been mentioned before was turning out to be quite a character on the race circuit.

With what can only be described as an ‘angry’ beard and a ‘furious’ set of eyebrows, the solid little black terrier stood proud in her white collar with red trim and black Scottie dogs printed down the side, finishing the look with a black and pink harness on her back.

Whilst our little lure coursing club is very multi cultural in terms of doggy nationalities, very few of the other dogs had heard a Scottish accent before and when Penny started to talk, they all stopped to listen.

(Imagine the following being spoken in a soft Scottish Highlander accent)

‘Well it is all very nice here isn’t it, what are we meant to do – chase that plastic bag?’ Penny asked and then started to rifle around in her handbag and offer some Scottish treats around to the other dogs.

‘Would you like a sweetie?’ Penny asked the other dogs who were looking back in amusement.

What on earth is a ‘sweetie’? – they were all wondering but if it went in your mouth then it couldn’t be that bad, unless it was a heart-worm table and then you had to be pretty desperate to enjoy one of those (OK, Brutus enjoys them but don’t tell him I told you that).

Before Penny had the chance to hand out any more ‘sweeties’ as she called them, she was led up to the starting point to start her race.

‘Excuse me young man, could you not look at my bottom!’ Penny said in a firm no-nonsense Scottish accent at a young ridgeback that had never seen such a furry anus in all his life.

‘OK, how hard can this be, hold on a minute, could somebody please tidy up the course, there is a plastic bag left lying around’ Penny demanded to nobody in particular.

‘The plastic bag is meant to be there, that is what you chase!’ shouted one of the greyhounds while the others laughed.

‘Well if you don’t mind, it is all very untidy and I like to keep a clean house’ Penny replied.

Penny actually reminds me of my Scottish friend Sandra and trust me on this, there is nothing quite like Sandra when she is on a cleaning mission and once the cleaning mission has ended, she is on an ironing mission and even irons underpants, in fact she would iron visitors if they stood still long enough and nobody had facial creases in her house.

You simply do not mess with a Scottish person on a cleaning mission because there is nothing quite like being told off by someone with a Scottish accent.

Before she knew it Penny’s owners had released her to chase the lure and all thoughts of handing out ‘sweeties’ and tidying up the grass had gone out of her head and she ran as fast as her stumpy legs would carry her.

‘Oh dear, oh dear, where did the plastic bag go?’ Penny squeaked in a high pitched voice as she glided down the track looking like like she was on wheels where her legs were hidden by the ‘Scottie dog’ traditional ‘furnishings’.

‘That looks like a curtain pelmet on wheels’ Rogue the staffie said looking highly confused.

‘You leave her furnishings alone!’ said a miniature schnauzer looking somewhat insulted as he had some pretty fine ones himself.

Rogue looked at Millie who was staring at Penny in awe and whispered ‘Pelmet on wheels’ and then added ‘But super cute all the same’. Penny 2

‘Penny – the pelmet on wheels’

(Photography by Studio Joy)

And for her first time at lure coursing, she did very well indeed and by the time she had finished her run, quite a gang of dogs had gathered round the barrier to cheer her on.

‘Well that was very nice thank you’ Penny gasped as she was led off the track looking somewhat dishevelled, and then added ‘Can I do it again?’

‘What breed of dog is that?’Millie the border collie asked Vader.

Vader who was trying hard to impress Millie, replied confidently ‘A tartan one’. Looking more than a little puzzled, Millie mouthed the word ‘Tartan?’ and wondered whether or not to question Vader but decided not to.

After all Vader was a dog of the world and had been in Star Wars movies and even Superman movies, that is what he told her and if he said it was true, then it had to be.

Astro the greyhound (AKA – the ‘pole breaker’)

Astro the greyhound is as serious about lure coursing as Abigail who won the ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ contest.

Nothing stops Astro and when I say nothing, I mean it literally as Astro is a true sportsman as most greyhounds are.

I was standing by the fence and actually saw this happen and it was almost in slow motion for me as I prayed that this dog would not hurt himself and how he didn’t is nothing short of a miracle.

Astro ran with such passion and all the other greyhounds were cheering him on as they always did when quite suddenly he hit one of the plastic poles that had a wooden stick inserted through it that was stuck in the ground.

‘Oh shit!’ Astro shouted and before he could say anything else, he jumped high into the air as the stick snapped in half through the tubing and part of it came out.

‘I can’t look, is he OK?’ Brutus asked Vader nervously. Vader didn’t reply as he had covered his own eyes while little Millie the border collie was nervously looking around wondering whether or not to go down and help but as her Mum had just bought a bacon roll, Millie thought it safer to remain where she was and ‘assist’ her Mum in eating it.

Astro Aug 2014

Astro – the pole breaker!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘It’s OK everyone, it’s OK!’ Astro shouted as he quickly regained composure, looked at the broken fence post as though it had assaulted him before continuing the course like a ‘boss’ as the other dogs clapped and cheered in support.

‘Impressive, highly impressive’ said Mac as Bailey nodded in agreement.

‘It’s turning out to be quite good today I reckon’ Amira the ridgeback thought to herself before leaning around to wash her arse in a most un-ladylike fashion.

‘Nice one Astro, nice one!’ Brutus and Vader congratulated the greyhound as he was led off the course after finishing his run.

‘Phew! that was close – nearly made myself into a spit-roast’ Astro laughed nervously as his long legs were literally shaking from shock as his owner took him away to get a drink and thank his lucky stars he was OK.

‘Did someone say food?’ A chunky Labrador that had heard the words ‘spit-roast’; asked  after being momentarily roused from his slumber as all good Labradors have to be on the lookout for food in whatever form it takes.

Abigail – (it’s only a flesh wound)

Abigail as you may remember, won the Fastest Dog in Australia competition.  A senior greyhound with a passion for lure coursing, food and cuddles from her Mum. Abigail 1 Aug 2014

Abigail – ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ title holder

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Are we good to go, can I go yet?’ Abigail said in a manic voice as the other greyhounds had formed a crowd by the fence to support their friend.

When greyhounds do lure coursing, there is always a crowd at the side and it is usually a flurry of pointy snouts nodding sharply to the point they could almost be weapons of ‘snout destruction’.

‘Remember, if in doubt – chase it, if it doesnt stop chase it and if in doubt chase it again and if not, piss on it’ One greyhound said confidently while the others agreed passionately.

‘Good luck Abigail!’ Pippin shouted and gave the black greyhound the ‘thumbs up’ sign.

‘There goes our pride and joy of WA’ Pippin said proudly and suddenly wished that Mouse Norris was here to add her support.

Actually Abigail is a joy to watch on the track and really does enjoy the whole lure coursing experience. She and Mouse Norris have been known to meet up after dark and discuss racing tactics and ways of improving themselves.

When Mouse did her entry for Fastest Dog in Australia, Abigail broke free from her owner and gatecrashed Mouse’s session as she ran and while Mouse tried to ignore her, Abigail wasn’t having a bar of it and and thoroughly enjoyed herself running up and down trying to get the lure while Mouse told her to ‘piss off’ and pretend she wasn’t there.

Abigail fastestAbigail with her trophy – age is no barrier for this girl

(Photography by Hannah Ruth Ogden)

Abigail was released for her turn and as the lure went past with Abigail in hot pursuit; I had the pleasure of watching her gallop with ease across the track whilst shouting ‘Catch me if you can losers!’

At first I didn’t realise what she had done but I saw her suddenly limp with her front left leg and then with her right hind leg.

‘I am OK, I am OK!’ Abigail cried as she lifted each leg in turn to try and carry on while shouting  ‘Shit that hurts, I am OK! let me at that lure!’

It didn’t take a genius to see that she had really hurt herself but the adrenaline had kicked in and Abigail wanted to complete her race.  Thankfully she was caught and reluctantly forced off the course, I say reluctantly – she was swearing her head off and using worse language than Rocco fighting a team of invisible dogs.

‘Oh no, she has hurt herself!’ One of the greyhounds gasped and then beckoned Pippin over to take control of the situation.

Grabbing his mobile phones and a tiny Iggy sized first aid kit containing nothing but a bandaid as that was all he could carry, Pippin ran down to the track just in time to see Abigail being carried off by her owner to the car to be driven to the emergency vet.

‘It’s OK, it’s just a flesh wound – I will be fine, who needs toes anyway, they are overrated!’ Abigail ranted loudly.

The Samoyed (AKA ‘The Town Crier’) was already on the case and had invented her own version of events and was shouting ‘The greyhound has lost all of her legs but don’t worry, she can still win the greyhound Derby!’ Samoyed 2

The Samoyed – ‘Town Crier’

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘What – all of her legs, really?’ Monty the Brussels Griffon gasped.

The Samoyed nodded and replied firmly ‘Yes Abigail has lost at least 6 of her legs in that race’.

Monty ran up to his brother Dozer the boxer ‘Dozer, do dogs have 6 legs?’ Dozer couldn’t think of a reply so he choked on his tongue as he tried not to laugh as that was a question that made even a boxer sound intelligent. MOT

Monty – a dog of many legs

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Lure coursing newsflash – greyhound injured, call the medics!’ the Samoyed shouted to a puzzled audience of Italian greyhounds and of course all the dramatics were enough to make Nica faint in a ‘pile of Iggy’ and Enzo bring her round with his handsomeness.

Things were somewhat more subdued after Abigail was carried off, even the Samoyed had stopped announcing stuff and couldn’t think of anything to talk about and that my friends is saying something.

The Great Iggy Run

Every lure coursing meet the Iggies have their own race ‘The Great Iggy Run’ which usually has a few humans in it for good measure.  It is the highlight of the day watching these tiny fragile dogs run at various speeds down the track and when their humans compete, it totally ‘makes’ it. Diana Anderson

Humans are welcome in the Great Iggy Run

(Photography by Diana Andersen – Animal Images Photography)

Brutus being their staunchest supporter, is always by the fence cheering them with his loud booming voice yelling as they run past.

It is always good to watch – especially Rocco who is known to shout ‘Bollocks, you are all fat and you are all ugly’ as he runs past the dogs watching at the side.

Bronte has been known to flash her ‘lady-garden’ and Pippin having won the Fastest Iggy in Australia, gets the cheers for doing the Iggy group proud. So it is good to watch and the little dogs look so comical as they run along, Fletch always waves to everyone as he goes by and the other Iggies just squeal with delight as this is THEIR time to shine.

If you ever get the chance to go to see them run, you will hear them squeaking in their high pitched voices – a bit like the little people in ‘Wizard of Oz’ where they sound as though they have breathed in large volumes of helium, really it is quite fabulous.

‘Your arse is grass’ Bronte said to Pippin, vowing to steal his title of fastest dog.

‘Who on earth taught you that profanity?’ Pippin demanded as he stretched ready to be released for the race. ‘Or don’t I need to ask that?’

‘Don’t look at me, why are you looking at me, I always get the blame!’ Rocco shouted in a voice that screamed ‘Guilty as sin’ and then shouted ‘Anal gland face!’ while Bronte giggled as it was indeed Rocco that taught her to say that and much more that Pippin didn’t know about yet.Iggy race

 The great Iggy race – highlight of the day

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Bronte actually beat Pippin in this run and did very well indeed.  Pippin cried ‘foul’ because Bronte wore such a short dress that it was suggested that the boys were led into temptation.

Madam Gigi and Nica were on Bronte’s side but Enzo and the rest of the boys were on Pippin’s but they have all insisted that there is no need for Bronte to stop wearing such short dresses as they are all entitled to a nice ‘view’.

Bronte Dress Aug 2014

Bronte in her dress

(Photography by Studio Joy)PippinPippin doing his race (the little dog with a big heart)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

 After the Great Iggy Run, all the Iggies all went back to the Iggy tent to regroup and Pippin was to be awarded his certificate for the Fastest Italian Greyhound in Australia and had to walk up to accept the certificate which made him blush as he was a humble dog that did not like ‘bigging’ himself up so to speak.

‘Speech! Speech!’ Rocco shouted while Fletch slammed his water bowl on the floor and replied ‘Here here!’ ‘Come on Pippin, give us few words!’

Madam Gigi smiled at the little Iggy that ran his group with a paw of iron but also looked on them as his family and he would do anything for them.

Bronte sat proudly in the corner wiping tears from her pointy face and tried hard not to openly cry.

Such displays of restraint did not go unnoticed by Nica who loved a bit of dramatics and decided to dig out a white silken handkerchief and cry as well.

‘You are not going to vomit are you?’ Bronte asked Nica, really there was no place for vomit at lure coursing because there was always another dog to eat the offerings and that ruined the dramatics of it all.

I mean what is the point in vomiting if some scabby dog is going to snarf it down straight afterwards so nobody sees it?

‘I would like to thank my servant (Mum) who buys me nice clothes from Spoiled Bratz and loves me.  I would like to thank my sister Bronte and everyone in the Iggy group and their owners that love me as much as I love them’.

Pippin looked round at the ‘Pointy snout brigade’ as he fondly referred to them –  greyhounds, whippets and Iggies all standing there to see him get his certificate and he was so proud he felt sure that his chest would burst.

‘Who wins the ‘Good Boy Award’? Bronte asked.

‘The same dog that always wins it as he is the only one that he can win!’ Rocco said while laughing.

‘Don’t be horrible Rocco, it’s his award and he loves winning it!’ Madam Gigi replied, Nica and Fletch nodded in support.

Pippin smiled and said in a voice loud enough for Brutus to hear ‘And the Good Boy Award for this month, goes to Brutus!’

Brutus who was washing his bottom, suddenly lifted his head up and said ‘Did someone say my name? Have I won the Good Boy Award, that is awesome!’

The Good Boy Award is something that has been invented just for Brutus as he doesn’t win any other awards and as he is so naughty to the point of cute, he qualifies for the Good Boy Award.

This gentle giant of a dog that doesnt have a bad bone in his body, he is scared of his own shadow and especially scared of the Iggies and although this dog has made my garden resemble a desert and eaten my plants, he is my ‘Good Boy’ and deserves this fictitious award.

‘To Brutus the Good Boy!’ Bronte shouted to Brutus as the other dogs all clapped for him.

Good boy

My favourite ‘Good Boy’ photo of Brutus

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Although the other dogs had to endure this pretend award at each race meet, not one of them really begrudged Brutus because it was worth it to see his face each and every time he received it because never has a dog been so grateful for recognition and acceptance as Brutus. Pippin and Brutus

Pippin checks out Brutus on the computer for the Good Boy Award

(Photography by Denise Pringle)

Pippin was about to finish up his speech but then remembered something important he had to say.

‘But one thing before before we all go home, please can we spare a thought to Abigail who has been rushed to the veterinary hospital with her injury that she got doing what she loves best and the reason why we are all here – lure coursing’.

One by one the greyhounds, the whippets, and the Iggies all started to clap and shout out ‘To Abigail!’. What started off as a smallish gathering started to spread as other dogs gathered round and they too started shouting ‘To Abigail’ until every dog on the track was saying it and it became so loud that any human would have had to be deaf and daft not to have heard and more to the point, understood what the those dogs were saying.

‘To Abigail!’ Brutus and Vader said to each other while Millie the border collie wiped the tomato sauce off her face from robbing her Mum’s burger, so that she could also pay her respects to the senior greyhound that injured herself that day.

And that was how the lure coursing day ended.

Abigail Update

Abigail was taken to the vet and given pain relief and X-rays which revealed two badly dislocated toes on her left hind and one minor dislocated toe on her front left foot.  She was sent home with her injuries strapped up and the injuries would be monitored. Abigail strapped

Abigail (strapped up after her injury)

(Photography by Hannah Ruth Ogden)

Sadly for Abigail; a couple of her toes did not heal as well as was hoped and on the 25th September, she had to have her two middle toes amputated in order to give her the best chance of mobility and a normal life. Abigail Xrays

Abigails initial X-Rays

(X-Rays – Malibu Veterinary Hospital Radiology)

Like any finely tuned athlete, Abigail was somewhat pissed off with this, especially when Mouse Norris, Barbie and Bender offered to make her some callipers to assist her. This was made worse by Brutus offering to push her around in a wheelchair with a tartan blanket around her legs while Rocco could stand next to her with a tin demanding money for ‘dogs for the disabled’.

Bentley had gone one better and was suggesting that the Iggies tell everyone that Abigail lost her toes in the war but that idea was quickly quashed by Pippin.

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Abigail after her anaesthetic (has anyone seen my tongue?)

(Photography by Hannah Ruth Ogden)

 ‘How on earth will I manage without my toes?’ Abigail sobbed when some of the dogs came to visit her after her surgery.

Mouse was busy throwing dog biscuits at Rocco to incite a reaction so that she could tempt him into arguing with his invisible friend for a laugh while Bender was asking Bronte to pull his paw so that he could fart a selection of nasty smelling guffs.

Really though; it was no good trying to console Abigail about her missing toes, she was still drowsy and in pain and could not yet understand that the surgery had been done for the best.

‘Will you all still be my friend when I have my toes chopped off?’ Abigail asked Barbie. ‘Of course I will, don’t be daft – I don’t mind being friends with an amputee’ Barbie said firmly – she had actually decided that it would be quite trendy doing her bit for the disabled.

‘I can’t do lure coursing any more’ Abigail muttered drowsily to Pippin.

‘You might not be able to do it but you can still come and be the team mascot’ Pippin said thoughtfully.

‘That’s not a bad idea actually’ Rocco grinned, ‘We can put her high on a stretcher decorated in gold and carry her around’.

‘We can buy her a buggy and make it look like the Pope Mobile!’ Vader shouted, forgetting that he had put his tongue away for the night as it fell out and hit his chest.

‘Would you do that for me?’ Abigail said in a weak and tired voice, really her friends were just the best.

The dogs all looked at one another and smiled as Pippin said ‘Of course we would, you are our friend, why would we not help?’

‘You can sit at the Iggy stand and be like the Queen’ Bronte said excitedly.

‘And I can teach you how to vomit for effect’ Nica added.

‘Nica – no!’ Fletch and Apollo shouted out together just as Rocco rubbed his paws in glee at the thought of all those hungry dogs that could benefit.

And that was that, it was decided that one way or another Abigail would still go lure coursing and her friends would always be there to support her – just as it should be.

Thanks and acknowledgements

I would like to thank each and every dog owner and their dogs for coming to the lure coursing event and inspiring me to write about them.  I do try to include as many dogs as I can in different stories.

Thank you to West Coast Dog Sports for organising this wonderful sport and giving our dogs the chance to take part and for the owners to socialise and make such good friends.

Thank you to the Italian greyhound community as this breed of dog gets to my imagination more than any other breed.  Little dogs with huge characters and yes, Rocco really does argue with himself and Pippin is the organiser of them all.

Thanks to everyone that has supplied me with their photographs because they truly make the story come to life when you can put a face to a name.

Amy Joy – Studio Joy Photography

Amy Joy is one of the regular photographers at West Coast Dog Sports and works tirelessly to get the incredible and unique shots of our beautiful dogs.

Amy kindly allows me to use her watermarked photographs for my blog and for that I am grateful as she captures the moments that I describe just perfectly – for example, what happened to Astro the greyhound and Brutus when he escaped, not to mention Penny the Scotty dog floating down the track like a curtain pelmet.

Amy is a student at Curtin University studying Digital Design and Illustration and Photography Design. Not only is she building up her portfolio for her coursework but she is also now offering a professional service as a pet photographer.

This talented young photographer has made so many people happy with the outstanding photographs of their dogs, that owners are requesting personal shoots for their pets.

I have the pleasure of watching Amy work at lure coursing events and get to see the quality of the photographs that she takes and I would not hesitate to recommend her services.

If you live in Perth and are interested in booking a photo shoot for your pet, Amy’s details are as follows:

Amy Joy

M:                    0430 549 346

E:                      amyjoy2213@gmail.com

Facebook:      https://www.facebook.com/PhotographyStudioJoy

Charges are:  $100 for a 30 minute – 1 hour session which includes a disc with all the edited images on there. Amy will go to a location that suits the clients i.e. a park, beach, etc.

Help for Abigail and her Owner – Hannah Ruth Ogden

Abigail Aug 2014Abigail – any help appreciated

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Abigail’s veterinary bills as you can imagine; are very high – the amputated toes alone cost in the region of $1,000 and that is not including the initial emergency visit to the vets, strapping and follow up visits, pain relief, dressing changes and antibiotics etc.

Although Abigail’s owner has not asked for any financial help, I do happen to know that Hannah is struggling to find the money to cover the bills and when you don’t have a lot of money for whatever reason, this amount is a huge expense.

I also happen to know that Hannah loves her dog to distraction and if there is one thing that I will never forget and that is seeing Hannah’s face when she realised how badly Abigail was injured and watching her struggle as she carried her precious greyhound to the car.

Greyhounds are so easily discarded in the racing industry and Abigail is one of the lucky ones to have a good loving home with Hannah who obviously treasures this senior greyhound and the bond between them is clear for all to see.

Anyway, if you would like to help towards Abigail’s veterinary bills, any donations would gratefully be received.  Hannah’s bank account details are as follows:

Bank:              Bankwest

BSB:                306 097

Account No:    0377985 

As I have said, Hannah has not asked for anything; this is purely my idea.  I just know that things are hard for her at the moment and I also know what it is like to struggle.  It doesn’t mean we don’t love our pets any less, it doesn’t mean we are neglectful, it just means our situation has changed and we could use a little help.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright Sept 2014

All photographs remain the copyright of the photographers – please do not use, print or reproduce any of them without the consent of the photographer concerned.

The Secret World of Dogs – and Lure Coursing

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As you all know, the ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ heats are happening Australia wide – held by different clubs in each state.  One Western Australian group – Lure Coursers Anonymous have held their heats already and West Coast Dog Sports are holding theirs at the Polo grounds in Guildford this weekend.  And as usual with the dogs, the excitement is building up to fever pitch.

Now before any lure coursing event, there are always doggy meetings and gatherings held by various breeds of dog to discuss race tactics, who is going to wear what and general doggy discussions take place talking about all highly important stuff and these meetings are looked forward to by every dog and are a highlight on the canine social calendar.

At Gidget’s House – The Meeting of the Italian Greyhounds (or Iggy’s as they are known)

The Italian greyhounds were holding their regular board meeting to discuss ‘stuff’ and by ‘stuff’ that could mean a multitude of things aside from racing because this breed of dog rarely stay on one subject for long.

Pippin always chairs the meeting and religiously has two mobile phones and has an admirable ability to be able to talk on both of them at the same time. Pippin is the ‘Mouse’ of the Iggy world and has his pointy snout into everyone’s business.

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Pippin the Italian greyhound – and chairman of all meetings!

 Gidget was there, and although a typical nosy Italian greyhound, was more of a fashionista and absolutely refused to go outside unless everything matched and was totally designer.

‘Gidget – will you please concentrate!’ Snapped Pippin looking annoyed at the tiny little dog who had been admiring her own reflection for over an hour, blowing steam into her tiny hand mirror and wiping it in hope of a clearer view of her beautifully chiseled pointy features.

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Gidget – the fashionista of the group

‘I will not be racing, I am far too delicate – I have legs that snap like carrots and cannot possibly risk myself’ Gidget replied sounding mortally wounded at the suggestion that she should concentrate on anyone other than herself.

Pippin rolled his eyes and said ‘I know you are not racing but at the moment we are discussing the cat situation in the suburbs and how the ferals keep threatening us with intent, only last week two Iggys were threatened by a feral tabby and they are still being treated for shock’.

Nica another fashionista and somewhat model of the dog world, promptly started to sob at Pippin’s announcement of the feral cat situation. Being rather dramatic, she was prone to crying in public and had started to carry some decorated gift bags from the David Jones store in Perth in her designer purse so that she could hyperventilate with style.

10369184_10152129514866921_3560933864050153625_nNica – another fashionista and all round delicate soul

‘We might need to call an ambulance’ Gidget shouted as she put her skinny paw around Nica who was checking from the corner of her eyes to see who was watching and moaning something about smelling salts.

‘Don’t let the cats get me, don’t let them – save me from the litter tray!’ Nica sobbed, she was playing the part now.

‘You don’t need an ambulance and the cats can’t come in here so stop being so silly!’ Pippin said firmly. Really this lot were so hard to control, they could be so very naughty.

Rocco – a smooth talking Italian greyhound, was looking somewhat bored as Pippin tried to quieten the others down.  Rocco is quite a character that has taken to speaking in a fake Italian accent and ordering ‘Pup-o-cinos’ and Panini plus listening to Pavarotti in a bid to look more Italian.  He even carries an Italian dictionary in his pocket for emergencies.

Rocco also claims to know Pavarotti personally despite being advised that Pavarotti died in 2007, Rocco strongly maintains that he is in fact his 25th cousin, the other dogs are too scared to shatter his illusions and let him continue to believe it.

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Rocco – (Pavarotti’s 25th cousin)

‘Let’s play with the toy rabbit!’ Rocco said in a high pitched shrill voice and then frantically started shaking a bed sock that he had found on the floor whilst growling at it to make sure it was ‘dead’.

‘That is not a rabbit that is my Mums bed sock’ Gidget yelled and then tried to snatch it back resulting in a tug of war between the two dogs.

‘Right, next on the agenda – are you lot listening?’ Pippin yelled and then blew his whistle loudly to get attention.

It was no good, all the other Iggys were now thoroughly over excited and all talking over one another in true Iggy fashion, each one not letting the other finish a sentence, each one with their own story to tell and every one of them totally full of gossip. Some of them were now joining in playing tug of war with the sock and Nica was periodically pretending to faint and demanding someone mop her forehead to alleviate shock.

Basically this was a typical Italian greyhound board meeting and Pippin was run ragged trying to organise them all and control them. Don’t be fooled by the Iggys you see, they are tougher than they look and have even been known to have food fights and flick dog meat at one another.

‘OK, that is the end of this meeting’ Pippin shouted at the top of his little voice, clutching his clip board he fretfully ticked stuff off the list that had been achieved (or not) and then added ‘Anything to talk about next week?’

The Iggys were all shouting and yelling, Nica was back to checking her reflection and smoothing down her ears, Gidget was checking her appearance and holding her stomach in and asking if ‘her bum looked big in black’ and Rocco was back to talking in his fake Italian accent to gain attention.

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 Italian greyhounds – gossips of the dog world 

‘Winter jackets’ Gidget replied firmly ‘I would like to talk about winter jackets and are Gucci doing anything for this season?’

Pippin rolled his eyes – ‘Surely there is more to life than clothes? What about lure coursing?’ he said sounding frustrated.

‘Lure coursing – could be fun I guess’ Rocco said absent-mindedly.

The Iggys stared at one another, some cocked their heads in interest at the mention of lure coursing, but the fashionistas of the group – Gidget and Nica to name but two, rolled their eyes to the heavens and said at the same time ‘Let’s talk about Gucci’.

‘OK, Gucci it is then but don’t forget to all of you that are racing at the weekend to make sure that you meet Mouse Norris and myself under the Terrace where we can discuss pre-race tactics’ Pippin announced.

The dogs all started to talk over one another again – some discussed the race, others discussed clothes and one or two even discussed diets because they had a fixation of their weight and would often hold their bellies in and pinch skin on their ribs as they were paranoid about their weight.

‘See you at the weekend!’ Pippin shouted over the excited Iggys all trying to talk at once as their tails wagged frantically and as nobody had listened to him, he declared the meeting closed and instructed Gidget to type up the minutes, except Gidget was now outside discussing Prada with Nica.

At Dee Coles House

Dee’s ridgebacks were all lounging about on the bed, which they frequently took over leaving Dee with nowhere to sleep.

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Your bed is our bed – so Dee’s ridgebacks believe

Mac, Bailey, Princess and Jazz were spread out as far as their bodies would allow. Mac was reading a book about lure coursing to try and get tips for the race at the weekend while Bailey tried to watch TV while lying upside down.

Jazz and Princess were being typical naughty pups and vying for attention from the boys who took the lure-coursing thing very seriously. Jazz kept nipping Bailey on the tail while Princess tried to be a good girl but failed miserably because she didn’t like the grown up dogs ignoring her.

‘Mirror mirror on the wall, am I the fastest dog of them all?’ Princess said aloud to herself.

‘Don’t know about that, Mouse is the fastest I should imagine’ Jazz replied.

‘Will you two be quiet, we are trying to study for the run!’ Mac said impatiently.

But trying to keep two young ridgie puppies calm and quiet was like trying to keep Brutus from eating a steak and simply cannot be done.

‘Bailey?’ Princess asked.

‘Yes Princess’ Bailey replied without lifting his head up.

‘I am so excited that I don’t think I can sleep’ Said Princess in a high-pitched voice.

Bailey looked at the young ridgie and smiled ‘Yes, but don’t get too excited or you will do what is commonly known as ‘the Brutus’ which is not pleasant’.

‘What is The Brutus?’ Princess asked.

‘The Brutus is where you get so excited that you shit yourself and trust me, it is not pleasant’ Bailey said to the disgust of Princess who could never imagine doing such a thing.

Poor old Brutus, he has never managed to live down his title of Turd Legs and has actually crapped himself more than any dog I have ever known.

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The shame of crapping himself has never left Brutus

‘Bailey?’ Princess asked again.

‘Yes Princess’ Bailey replied patiently, honestly he was a very patient boy.

‘I can be excited without shitting myself’ Princess said firmly but made a mental effort to clench her bottom – just in case.

‘Good girl’ Bailey smiled and got back to his studies.

At Brutus’s house

‘Rocky I am so excited, I can’t wait for lure coursing, I just wish that Vader could come’ Brutus said to Rocky as they were busy digging graves in the garden. You see graves have to be dug on a daily basis purely to turn over the soil or so Brutus tells me.

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Rocky and Brutus discuss the weekend ahead

‘I wish I could come as well’ Vader yelled through the fence and then made some special noises that only boxers can make.

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Vader and Brutus – they do EVERYTHING together including window licking

‘Well personally I would rather herd sheep’ Rocky sniffed without looking up and then herded up his tennis ball to stop it from running away, tennis balls have a mind of their own you know.  Rocky has exceptional herding talents and has even herded up food on a picnic mat before and yes, I am being serious.

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 Rocky herding up our picnic

‘Rocky will you play with me when Brutus is at lure coursing?’ Vader pleaded through the fence while snuffling loudly.

‘Piss off, I would rather play with a dugite’ Rocky shouted back ‘But I guess a little bark-off through the fence won’t hurt’.

Vader grinned, a bark-off would do for now, it might not be racing but it was better than nothing.

‘I am going in now, I want to learn my stuff for the dog racing’ Brutus said happily and told Vader he would speak to him later.

‘He likes this racing lark doesn’t he?’ Rocky muttered to Vader.

‘Yep he does, and so do I. Do you like anything Rocky, aside from your ball?’ Vader asked the little black kelpie dog.

Rocky looked thoughtful and after a few seconds replied ‘I used to like having my tennis ball thrown for me but I have bad hips so can’t have that anymore. But I do like swimming and I would love the chance to herd up sheep as soon as Mum can afford for me to do that’

And he did love his swimming and is really good at it, Rocky’s hip dysplasia completely disappears in the water and that is a joy to see.  He has been to hydrotherapy once and we have plans to take him again as he loved it that much.

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Rocky in hydrotherapy

Both dogs sat there quietly at either side of the fence. It was almost a moment of friendship, I say almost because at the same time, both dogs remembered that they don’t actually like each other.

‘Bastard, snub nosed mucus face monkey-pig’ Rocky growled through the fence.

‘Spastic clicky hipped big eared batfink’ Vader growled back and both boys launched into a tirade of angry barks, growls and snot flicks through the fence while doing the obligatory ‘fence run’ where they run up and down and chase one another from each side of the fence – fence running is an Olympic sport in the doggy world and most dogs take it seriously.

‘Will you two stop it! Rocky come in right now!’ I shouted through the patio door.

‘Same time tomorrow?’ Rocky said to Vader.

‘Yep, same time – catch ya later’ Vader replied.

And that was that – as quickly as it started, it had finished.

Let the fun commence!

The build up to the lure coursing has started, the dogs are in training, or discussing training, probably doing squat jumps and press ups in attempts to get fit.

There will be heated discussions and meetings, test runs around the garden and lots of activity in the home.

You may well come downstairs in the night to find your dogs huddled up in a group reading about lure coursing tactics, you may even catch them out trying a high protein diet for faster performance. Just don’t be surprised at your dogs embracing lure coursing and getting excited about it.

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Brutus dreams of lure coursing (and chewing Tony Abbotts testicles)

So to all of you that are going on Sunday, keep an eye out for Brutus who has promised not to shit himself with excitement. We will probably be under the terrace I should think.

Pippin will be holding a meeting with the Iggys and also holding court to Mouse, Barbie and the greyhound contingent and Dee’s ridgebacks will probably be around other ridgebacks discussing lions and stuff.

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Dee’s ridgebacks – discussing lions and stuff

The cattle dogs/kelpies will be having heated discussions about sheep as they normally do and probably won’t even notice you staring at them unless you shout ‘Bahhhhh’, in which case you will be promptly herded up.

Melissa Jone’s Staffordshire bull terriers will no doubt be trying to make their regular big bid for freedom as they open their own crates whilst the other dogs cheer them on and whistle the tune ‘The Great Escape’.

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One of Melissa Jones’s Staffords – think ‘The Great Escape’

Photo by Melissa Jones

Basically it’s all going to happen at this event so dust down your most comfy shoes, bring enough cash to treat yourself to the sausage sizzle and a cold drink and bring with you a good sense of humour and imagination because if you are really lucky, you will hear all the dogs talking – just like I do.

It’s a great day out – for the dogs to catch up, for friends to catch up and just to have a nice time.

See you on Sunday!

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright June 2014

A Day at the Races – Part Two

West Coast Dog Sports – a Day at the Races May 2014

(This is a long story so you might want to make a cuppa and put your feet up)

The Night Before the Race

It was the night before the Lure Coursing event with West Coast Dog Sports and excitement could be smelt at home in the form of anal glands.

‘Why are you tidying up your ears, you are running not trying to impress someone’ Rocky sniggered at Brutus who was busy putting his mums hair products in his ears to make him look less like Scooby Doo.

‘If I suck my belly in, do I look like a greyhound?’ Brutus asked Rocky as he held himself in and looked in the mirror.

Gordon sat near by and snorted with laughter and muttered something about ‘you can’t polish a turd’.

‘Look like a greyhound? What the hell are you on about?’ Rocky burst out laughing.

After a few seconds it clicked and Rocky opened his eyes wide and shouted out exceptionally loudly ‘Oh my god, it’s true what everyone is saying, you are trying to impress Mouse Norris aren’t you?’

Brutus blushed and pursed his lips together looking mortally wounded and said rather too loudly ‘No, I just fancy the greyhound look, it’s said to be more athletic’.

‘Fancy Mouse more like, as if she would ever look at a turd legs like you!; Rocky said whilst laughing his kelpie head off.

Brutus pretended that he didn’t care but he did and it was true, he loved Mouse, she was so pretty but last time he met her and tried to talk to her, she told him to ‘piss off’. She was the most popular dog and all the greyhounds would hang around her and the Italian Greyhounds and Whippets were all in her gang.

She was the fastest dog on the track and rumours had it that when Mouse Norris races, that she leaves flames in the grass burning because she is that fast. Someone else said that she runs so fast that she can power a road train but that also could be just a rumour.

Either way Brutus liked her and had her photo on the wall in his room. He had been practising greyhound poses all week – sucking his face in, trying to hold his belly in and more drastically, shutting his own snout in the door in a bid to make it more pointy like a greyhound.

He thought of changing his name to ‘Fly’ as that seemed very greyhound-like but to be honest he looked just like a ‘Brutus’.

Later that evening Brutus was on the phone to Vader, they were planning their day for tomorrow. Brutus was trying to show off a bit as he had been at the last event when Vader hadn’t.

‘Don’t worry Vader, I know Dee’s ridgebacks now – we are best friends’ Brutus told Vader over the phone.

And before you ask, yes dogs do have their own mobiles, it’s just you haven’t seen them using them yet.

‘You said hello to Dee’s ridgebacks?’ Vader said sounding suitably impressed.

‘Yep, I think we are best mates’ Brutus replied, feeling happy that he had impressed his flappy jowled friend.

Brutus did in fact meet Dee’s ridgebacks but the male told him to ‘get his brown arse away from the puppy cage’ as he was protecting the pups.

Brutus blushed and said ‘Yeah, no worries – call me, we can do drinks sometime’ and did a telephone demonstration with his paws and walked off.

Anyway, Brutus was demonstrating to Vader his ‘knowledge’ about the last event and even got Vader to believe that he had won a trophy. Vader was drooling, he was so jealous as he wanted to win a trophy too – for the largest jowls; now that would be nice.

But Brutus was just adding to his own story because it sounded better in his head and was far nicer to believe.

‘I am going to ask Mouse on a date’ Brutus said to Vader on the phone.

‘You are going to ask Mouse?’ Vader gasped.

‘Yep, I am going to offer her my Tony Abbott doll’ Brutus said sounding quite determined.

‘Ha ha haha! That will go down well’ Rocky shouted as he overheard the conversation.

After about ten minutes of talking about whether or not Vaders tongue would have to race on its own, Brutus ended his conversation telling him he would see him tomorrow and they would be doing some squat jumps to warm up.

‘Come on Brutus, big day ahead for you – go and lie down’ I said to Brutus.

Brutus took himself off to his bed and I took a few seconds to spy on him as he said his ‘puppy prayers’.

Sitting on his bed with his eyes tightly closed, Brutus said his own little prayer, he said it so quietly that I could only just make out the words.

‘Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray for Mouse my heart to keep,
And if I win the big dog race
I give my bum for Mouse to chase’

Curling up in a tiny ball on his fluffy pink blanket, he snuggled down and wriggled his head on the blanket to get comfy, closing his eyes, leaving the little black tufts of fur on his eyelids visible as though he wore eyeshadow.

And within five minutes, Brutus was fast asleep dreaming of Lure racing with his best mate Vader, making friends with the ridgebacks and having his beloved Mouse cheering him on at the sidelines.

10313693_638201819601201_8863388431303389228_nRacing Day – May 17th 2014

Lexie and I had just arrived at the Polo grounds for the lure coursing event. Brutus was quivering with excitement, his back twitching, stomping his feet, snorting like a pig – he could barely contain himself.

Vader was looking around taking in the atmosphere, he had only been once before but knew that as well as getting to run a big distance off leash, he would also get some of his Mum’s hot dog and whatever treats his Dad had packed for him so he was pretty stoked at that thought.

It was a scene of heightened activity, dogs were prancing around, some were in their breed groups, some were in crates, some were burning off excess energy to bide their time until the afternoon race and some like Mouse, had done the big race with twists and turns which was reserved for members.

‘Can you see Mouse?’ Brutus asked, straining his eyes to keep an eye out for the beautiful white greyhound that as you know was rumoured to be the fastest dog ever and had powered rockets with her speed.

‘Nope, can’t see her – why are you interested in girls for? They all smell’ Vader said looking hurt that Brutus didn’t want to do ‘boy stuff’ with him like fart and belch.

‘Oi, piss off!’ A little dog growled at Vader as he walked by. Vader pretended he didn’t care and just ignored him.

We made our way to pay for our races where we were met with some whippets and some Italian greyhounds who were all talking very fast and in high pitched voices because that is the way they speak you see and it is a very posh accent if truth be known.

‘Oh my god, here he comes!’ One of the whippets giggled and then blushed becomingly.

‘That’s him, that’s him!’ Another whippet whispered and then placed a paw over her mouth and looked embarrassed.

‘Hi Brutus!’ Pip the Italian greyhound said confidently.

Brutus looked around him, having been an outsider in the beginning; he wasn’t familiar with other dogs greeting him.

‘Mouse Norris is here, she knows you are coming’ Pip said and then nodded his tiny little head vigorously, his pointy snout looking like the nib of a fountain pen.

Another Italian greyhound in a smart green outfit was also highly excited about the whole conversation and kept lifting one paw off the ground and then placing it back down again.

You see Mouse Norris is like the Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) of the dog world, all the sight hounds know here, all the greyhound bitches want to be with her and we won’t even talk about what the boy dogs want to do with her.

‘Hi Pip’ Brutus said nervously, he remembered Pip from last time, and had met him before but never classed himself as part of any gang – except Vaders gang and that contained just him and Vader. Even Rocky wasn’t part of that gang, mind you Rocky hates Vader with a passion, actually aside from Tess, Rocky hates every dog with a passion and the only one in Rocky’s gang is Rocky himself.

10268500_638770302877686_6189505151142907765_nPip – the Italian Greyhound

‘What did you say about Mouse?’ Brutus asked, he had to know, he NEEDED to know.

‘I said Mouse Norris knows you are coming, all the whippets are talking about it too and the Italian greyhounds!’ Pip said, so excited that his already high pitched voice was going even higher.

Always remember that no dog gossips as well as a whippet and Italian greyhound, they are the ‘canine newspapers’ of the dog world and are messengers to the greyhounds. If you want something kept a secret, never tell an Italian greyhound or a whippet. But saying that, they are all so damn cute they could get away with anything.

Brutus didn’t know what to make of it, how could Mouse be interested in him if he wasn’t a greyhound? Having tried very hard to change his shape to be like a greyhound, Brutus had done things like starving himself to get extra ribs to show, shutting his own snout in the door to make it pointier, right down to chasing invisible rabbits around the garden.

But in the end he resigned himself to the fact that he would never be a greyhound. And to be honest, his ‘inner-kelpie’ that had been trying to emerge lately in the way of crouching down and herding Rocky up, had been taken over by his ‘inner ridgeback’ in the way of a deep loud bark, clumsiness, dislike of cold/wet weather and a love of his warm bed and big bowls of food.

‘Brutus are you coming?’ Vader shouted, just as a red kelpie called him a ‘fat tongue pig-dog’ and shouted other obscenities at him like ‘Vader no balls’.

‘Why is everyone telling me off today?’ Vader asked Brutus who shrugged his shoulders because he didn’t know.

‘Vader, hold on a sec, Pip is telling me something about Mouse’ Brutus replied, he was shaking now. He had dreamed of this moment for a long time. The first time Brutus met Mouse she barked at him, the second time she was too busy to bother with him and was holding court to her beautiful pointy snouted friends looking like Liz Hurley at a party for cool people.

Whatever was going on, all the whippets were interested in Brutus and they were all sniffing him and allowing him to sniff them. Brutus couldn’t believe it.

10177230_638770249544358_1381842609864989979_nBrutus and Vader gossip with the the ‘pointy snout’ brigade

(Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

‘How come they are talking to you?’ Vader asked, his tongue hanging out to get in on the action. (His tongue has voting rights)

Brutus was showing off now and replied ‘Oh, I saw them all last time’.

Vader looked boot-faced, let out a fart and then pretended that he didn’t care, after all; girl’s smell. He didn’t need a girlfriend; he had Brutus, all boys together and let’s sniff each other’s bums.

‘Come and see Mouse!’ Pip shouted and as some of the whippets stood aside to form a ‘corridor of whippet’, there was Mouse in all her glory. She had already run her races and was watching some of her friends run.

10152408_10152031020358317_1821676939_nMouse sets the field alight with her speed

(Photo by Samantha Rose)

‘Hi Mouse’ Brutus stuttered. He was going to embarrass himself, he was sure of that.

Mouse looked aloof for a second and then stuffed her pointy snout under Brutus’s belly. Brutus still being a baby at 18 months old adopted a submissive posture and allowed Mouse to do her inspection.

‘He has respect, I like that’ Mouse said in her posh voice to the whippets who giggled. The Italian greyhounds hid behind the whippets, except for Pip who wanted in on the action and stood there for a good look.

Brutus was thrilled; Mouse even let Brutus have a sniff of her bottom which went down very well indeed.

‘Vader – did you see that, did you see that?’ Brutus whispered loudly to Vader who was looking disgusted with his friend.

‘I have seen it, I cannot ‘un-see’ it, what have I told you about all girls smelling!’ Vader snapped and then walked off with Lexie to be measured for some doggy pyjamas that the IGGY stall were selling.

After Vader had been measured for his pyjamas, we walked up to the terrace to see the ridgebacks who were sitting rather chilled out in their crates, some were reading magazines, some were listening to music.

10277834_10152109255533317_4605252723151431108_nThe Ridgbacks in their crate – ‘the cool gang’

‘Piss off’ One of the male ridgies said to Vader who stuck his tongue out in response.

‘Hi Brutus’ the male ridgie said to him, it was the same male that told him off last month for getting too close to the puppies. But today it appeared that Brutus had ‘earned his stripes’ and was getting some recognition and that meant the world to Brutus just to be accepted.

‘You are such a brown nose’ Vader muttered to Brutus who was now so happy all these dogs had remembered him and if nothing else nice happened today, Mouse had acknowledged him and the whippets had flirted with him. He would go home a King today, King in his own imagination.

‘Come on Vader, let’s go and drool over our Mums hot dogs’ Brutus said to Vader. Vader looked at his mate, stuck his big fat tongue out and grinned.

‘OK then’ Vader said and gave Brutus a gentle nudge as they walked up the hill together.

By now it was getting crowded and you could feel the excitement in the air.

The red kelpie that had told Vader off was now having a meeting with some other dogs, I think they were discussing sheep or something but it was getting rather heated.

‘She thinks that sheep are intelligent’ A cattle dog said whilst laughing at the very thought of sheep being clever.

‘The only thing she has herded up in her life are her toys’ a border collie said bitchily.

‘I vote that we don’t let her into obedience until she admits sheep have no brains’ The red kelpie said firmly while the other dogs in the gang barked their approval.

We managed to find a table and ordered our hot dogs and cold drinks and the dogs sat near us. Brutus was telling Vader that Mouse let him sniff her and she sniffed him and two whippets had asked him for his mobile number.

‘Well I have new pyjamas’ Vader said firmly and then added ‘Wanna pull my paw?’

Brutus pulled Vader’s paw who then promptly farted and then laughed and snorted at his own daring.

Brutus shook his head trying not to laugh. He was trying very hard to be a good boy and make friends and so far, this was the best day of his life with all these dogs talking to him and the best of all, Mouse acknowledging him.

As I was eating my hotdog, I could hear sounds from under the table.

‘Good day to you, Vot eez your name?’ A strong German accent came from near where my bag was by the table.

Brutus stopped talking to Vader and glanced down to see who was speaking, and there was the cutest little Schnauzer ever.

‘Nice clip, did my Mum groom you?’ Vader said approvingly at the little dog and then added ‘Mum likes Schnauzers’ Vader nodded at an elderly dog who was lying nearby.

‘My name is Franz and I am German’ the schnauzer said in his broken English accent.

‘Are you running?’ Vader asked Franz the Schnauzer.

‘I vood like to run and perhaps I vill, but I prefer to clean up leftover hot dog’ Franz replied and then true to his word, started scooting about the floor looking for a stray sausage like a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

‘My good man, your nose impresses me’ Brutus laughed at the skill of the little Schnauzer as he neatly checked the floor for food.

‘One never knows when one will need ones nose’ Franz said firmly.

‘And may I add, that is a good tongue, in Germany we vood be jealous of such a tongue’ Franz said to Vader who looked pleased at the complement.

Meanwhile there was quite a line up to wait for turns to run so Lexie and I thought it best to take our place in the line.

Brutus’s friend Millie the border collie had turned up for her first attempt at lure coursing and Brutus was trying to explain to her how it is done. He felt that he knew enough to show her the ropes at least.

‘Always remember, don’t kill the lure – it’s a plastic bag and it’s not alive’ Brutus said patiently to a wide eyed Millie.

MillieMillie the border collie

(Photo by Melissa Jones)

‘Come on Brutus, we are going to take our turn’ I told him and we took a slow walk down with everyone else while Lexie and Vader waited at the side to take photographs.

The tiny dogs totally ‘owned it’, full of their own ‘inner-big-dog’, they ran down that track with their tiny legs barely touching the floor.

A sweet little Westie puppy gave half hearted chase but thought it would be such fun to skip and frolic down while keeping an eye out for his Mum.

A dog at the sidelines was a bit of a hooligan and each time the lure went by, he shouted and cheered and if you can imagine a footy fan yelling at the top of his voice, you just about get the picture.

‘Come on, kill it, get it!’ The little dog shouted loudly while his Mum tried very hard to make him stop. He sounded a bit like a donkey with his loud yell.

‘Come on, nice butt, look at that, nice legs, lovely snout, cute ears!’ He yelled to each dog running by, his owner tried so hard to make him stop but he was enjoying himself so much and looked so cute making his donkey like sounds as he screamed.

We were standing next to an English bull terrier was going in for his first time and was looking somewhat puzzled at the course.

‘What’s the point in it?’ He asked Brutus.

‘You chase the lure and you try and win the race’ Brutus replied happily. He knew the ropes now, he had friends, he was a dog going places – you just see!

‘Win what race? I am running alone’ The English bull terrier told Brutus in his posh English accent. EBT’s tend to speak like Prince Charles if you want to know what they sound like.

‘What race? Why it’s the most important race in the world – the race in your head, the race of your life’ Brutus replied, proud that he could offload some of his knowledge.

And with that, the bull terrier nodded approvingly, as though it all made perfect sense.

He wasn’t particularly fast but he had a look in his face, a look of determination that every other dog knew, he was running for himself, he was running because he wanted to and he was running because he loved it and that my friends, is the real meaning of ‘running the race of your life’ – doing things because you love them and because you want to.

Brutus had started to shake, I could hardly hold him and when it came to my turn, I handed him over to the guy to release him while I went to the other end to catch him.

‘Come on Brutus, you can do it!’ A ridgeback shouted over to where we were standing.

A couple of fluffy dogs also shouted out words of support and some of the bigger dogs too.

Brutus looked so proud, he finally had some ‘mates’ to call his own and a beautiful girl had taken notice of him – his beloved Mouse.

He was now feeling almost – but not quite grown up, I say not quite as he still reserves the rights to temper tantrums but hey, we all have our quirks.

‘Right Brutus, see you at the other end’ I whispered in his ears and then made my way to the other end to catch him.

It’s always a bit nerve wracking wondering if your dog will run and if he does run, will he run to you or will he make his bid for freedom like the Afghan did at the last event and was careering round the field happily avoiding his owners, frolicking around like a gazelle, his fur blowing in the wind and in a grand finale of finding some horse shit to roll in. Now that, I did not want Brutus to do so you can see why I was worried.

The guy let Brutus off and I will say that this is the fastest I have ever seen Brutus run and he has done 6 runs in total now at 3 events. He was like 34kgs of brown bullet the way he shot down that course.

‘Come on Brutus, you can do it! A gang of Italian greyhounds shouted from the sidelines. Now Mouse had checked Brutus out and had approved him, all the whippets and the Iggy’s saw him as a friend as well. He had never had so many girls after him before and despite Vader telling him that girl’s smell, he rather liked it.

A couple of cattle dogs were yelling from the sidelines and I think that the dog that sounding like a donkey was also shouting ‘Go on my son!’

‘Go on turd legs, you can do it!’ Vader shouted from the side as Lexie tried to take photographs.

Brutus turned round and grinned at Vader while continuing to run.

10338314_10152109070433317_8613175089878768202_nBrutus grins at Vader as he runs by

(Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

His speed shocked me, he put everything he had into that run and I would have loved to have known his times because he was that quick.

Just as he got into the swing of it, the course ended and he had to stop, except that he didn’t as he was going too fast.

‘Go Brutus, my hero!’ Millie shouted while bouncing around.

‘Oh god, he is going to hit the barrier!’ a border collie said and then covered her eyes.

‘Bloody hell, he has improved’ One of the ridgebacks said to her friend.

‘Watch out Brutus – too late!’ a little terrier cried with a pained expression on his face.

‘Shit, I don’t think I can stop!’ Brutus shouted looking alarmed and then sighted Millie, looked momentarily excited before he not only crashed in to the barrier, but tore right through it, leaving a gaping hole.

I needn’t have worried about him running off; he couldn’t exactly go far with all that netting around his neck.

Everyone laughed at the clumsy brown dog tangled up with orange plastic netting around him and I untangled him so the fence could be repaired.

‘Did you get a photo of him?’ I asked the photographer who was standing at the end.

‘I am not sure’ she laughed as she looked at the ripped netting and Brutus standing next to it.

‘Well done Brutus!’ dogs were shouting to him, congratulating him. Millie was so proud; she wanted to claim him for herself, totally unaware that his heart belonged to Mouse. And talking of Mouse, oh how he wished she could have seen him run, he might not set the field alight like she could but he rather hoped she would be proud of him.

‘My hero!’ Millie said happily and then proceeded to lick round Brutus’s jowls to congratulate him. That is just how some dogs congratulate each other you see – by a good jowl licking.

Just as we were about to prepare for Vader’s race, another border collie tried to introduce himself to Millie.

‘Well hello there little lady, fancy a drink of water with me?’ He asked in a smooth voice with a hint of Devonshire accent.

‘Piss off, she is mine!’ Brutus snapped back and for the first time ever, puffed himself up and displayed some jealousy in protecting Millie whom he had declared his true friend a couple of months ago.

Well it took me by surprise, Brutus being protective of Millie. Probably because she comes into his garden for play dates and he has known her since she was small. But either way, Brutus sent this border collie away with a flea in his ear and then called him ‘turd face’ for good effect.

Before long it was Vaders turn so we got ready to cheer him on.

‘Come on Professor Jowls!’ A white fluffy dog shouted from the side.

Several dogs were heatedly discussing whether or not Vader’s tongue should enter a race on its own and some were even saying it was the longest tongue in the world and could be used as a red carpet for royalty; others compared it to a yard of wet ham.

A couple of Italian greyhounds shouted in their high pitched voices words of encouragement and an elderly boxer also cheered in his ‘rusty dog bark’ (you know all elderly dogs have a rusty bark, you just have to listen out for it).

‘Come on Vader!’ Brutus shouted as he danced around from paw to paw whilst beating his tail on my legs.

Vaders jowls flapped in the wind and the little brown and white boxer romped to the end and straight into his Mums arms like a good boy complete with snot over his face like all good boxer dogs.

‘Let me lick your jowls’ Brutus said enthusiastically and set about cleaning the mucous from Vaders mouth to congratulate his buddy.

‘How did I do?’ Vader asked Brutus in his boxer voice speaking with a ‘fat tongue’.

‘You are the jowls of fire Vader, you are the jowls of fire’ Brutus said and then held his paw up to ‘high five’ Vader.

Vader grinned and the two boys walked back to the terrace speaking over one another in excited voices about their race and how they ran it.

When we sat down, a very nice lady came up and offered the boys half a sausage each which they both had, probably not a good idea as they were going to run with each other in their next race but as Brutus was eyeing up the sausage on the table like a starving person on a diet, I relented and so did Lexie and in the end, the boys enjoyed the sausage.

‘Hmm, nice bit of sausage’ Vader said as he chowed down on his piece.

‘Very nice indeed’ Brutus replied and then sucked his teeth to get the bits out.

A bit later Lexie and I took the boys down for their final run of the day and took our place in the line where Vader was chatting to a Springer Spaniel puppy and Brutus was making friends with a beautiful fawn whippet.

A ridgeback was shouting, the Italian greyhounds were raring to go, Millie was waiting for her place in her first ever run, and Brutus I believe, was starting to tire and when he gets tired, he goes right back to baby behaviours.

1513761_10152109261713317_5646475764718238397_nNothing like a temper tantrum when you are a tired pup!

(‘Mum, I am tired, can I have a sausage?’ Brutus asked. Honestly, that dog never made sense half the time.

‘No Brutus, you cannot have a sausage. You will do this run and then we are going home. I told him.

Before I could stop him, Brutus started to roll on the grass and he did it with such passion that it could only mean one thing – horse shit. With it being the polo grounds, the scent of horses is too much for any dog to cope with.

‘Oh this is fun!’ As Brutus rolled over and kicked his long legs in the air rolling in every bit of scent he could find.

1380257_10152109261853317_7026929957206179547_nBrutus rolls in horse scent while Vader chats to Franz the Schnauzer

I suppose I ought to be grateful it was scent of horse shit rather than horse shit itself and I should be even more grateful that it wasn’t fox shit as I still have memories of my old whippet in London who loved fox shit so much, she would actively seek it out to roll in it and spent more time in the bath than she did on the field.

‘Loose dog!’ Someone shouted and as we turned round, we saw a whippet happily galloping across the field and let me tell you, there is nothing quite as joyous as a loose whippet or Afghan hound when it has slipped its leash.

‘Life so wonderful, look at the trees, and watch out world I am here!’ The whippet said in a high pitched ‘sing-song’ kind of voice as it announced its arrival.

The dog was eventually caught but not before the other dogs gave it a round of applause for its bid for freedom which whether or not you like it, all dogs like an illicit gallop around the field knowing that their owners don’t have a hope in hell of catching them.

Anyway, Brutus and Vader were being held for their run while Lexie and I went down the bottom to catch them.

‘Oh shit, I should not have had that sausage’ Brutus said to Vader as they ran.

Vader belched and replied ‘I know what you mean, I think I have wind’

We cheered them on, but you could just tell they were having a chat as they ran down the track because I could see them both laughing at times. God knows what they were chatting about but I guess they were tired and ready for home.

12127_10203630234453761_6326404827359888024_nBrutus and Vader in their race

(Photo by Melissa Jones)

We caught them with no problems and their friends cheered and clapped at their effort.

And that was that, they had done their two races and it was time to go home so we said goodbye to Millie and her Mum and a few others and put the boys in the car to drive home.

‘Did you get Mouse’s number?’ Vader asked Brutus.

Brutus sniffed and put his head down ‘Nope but Pip gave her mine, so he told me’ and then added ‘I like Pip, he’s cool’.

Vader went quiet and then said to Brutus ‘If you get a girlfriend, will you still be my friend?’

Brutus looked at his flappy jowled mate, whom he had known ever since he moved to his new home. He was his true friend, they urinated on each other, humped each other, shared toys, shared owners – shared everything.

‘Vader, you will always be my friend, actually you are sort of like my brother’ Brutus told him while nodding his head.

Vader grinned back and without any warning, licked Brutus on his face before settling down.

10291250_10152109257718317_6496861358763547970_nFriends for life!

On the way home Vader kept farting in the car, Lexie nearly vomited and I didn’t smell it till we pulled up outside the house and then it was like Vaders stomach had fallen into his butt. Honestly it was that vile, I actually think that we nearly died from the smell of Vaders farts.

10338823_10152109132393317_3554137582278846980_nBrutus is overcome by Vader’s farts!

When I got into the house I let Brutus out to catch up with Rocky as that is what they both like to do when they have been apart.

10366294_10152109132448317_7670961081761961692_nSleepy Brutus!

Then Brutus was put to bed for an hour so I could let him settle down before feeding him.

Brutus was so tired he could barely hold his head up. He glanced down and saw that on his mobile phone was a message from Mouse Norris.

‘Hi Brutus, see you at the next event, we can share a bowl of water if you like. Mouse’

Brutus gasped and looked at the message again, nope – he wasn’t dreaming, it was there for all to see.

Mouse Norris had messaged him – Brutus, she had messaged him and he would never ever delete that message.

It was a very proud Brutus that went to bed tonight. Proud because he has overcome his ‘in your face’ and ‘over the top’ puppy behaviour that has seen him told off a few times and now he has made some friends.

He was proud that Mouse had sent him a message and finally, he was proud that he has found something that he loves doing and that he is good at – lure coursing.

You see that is what lure coursing is about – dogs socialising, racing, taking part, discussing the day’s events, being spoilt with treats of sausage, forging friendships and relationships with other dogs and going home so exhausted that in their sleep, you can see their legs moving, tails wagging and eyes twitching because you know, you just know that they are re-living the day’s events in a wonderfully fabulous technicolour dream.

And while they are asleep, their owners all come on to the West Coast Dog Sports Facebook page to discuss the day, admire the photos, chat to old friends, make new friends and enjoy the memories while counting down the weeks until the next lure coursing event where the fun will start again.

Lure coursing – it’s the place where your dog wins ‘its own race’ and you make friends into the bargain.

10295765_10152109256063317_4240338976105511093_nMaking friends is what it’s all about!

My thanks go to Dee and the team at West Coast Dog Sports for organising the event and making it such a brilliant day.

And to all the lovely dogs that have tapped into my imagination and made themselves heard in the most human way possible.

Until next time

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright May 2014

Rainbow Bridge – (a nice place for any pet to go)

946812_10151504745738317_1181494632_n

Rainbow Bridge – it’s wherever you imagine it to be

Today I want to discuss a place called Rainbow Bridge and most pet lovers/owners will know what I mean by that.

It is a place that our pets go to when they die and I know this because my pets have told me.  Whether or not you choose to believe in this is entirely up to you, after all we are all entitled to believe in what we like.

But I know one thing, when we as pet owners are forced to make the difficult decision of having our pets put to sleep, we know of several things;

1. We know that we are ending their pain and suffering

2. We know that we are doing this because we love them and although a hard and painful decision, we know it is for their best

3. And if we are taking steps to end their suffering then surely they are going to a better place?

Rainbow Bridge – you can see it and believe in it if you choose to.

This story is told by my animals and for those of you that follow this blog, will know that I make my animals talk and have social lives, I am a bit of a ‘Dr Doolittle’ if you like.  My stories are aimed at adults and often have adult content.

It is aimed at any pet owner who may be struggling to make the decision to send their pet on its final journey and I hope in some way, that it can make it easier to imagine and  realise that although owning a pet is incredibly painful when we have to say goodbye, it is also a privilege that can enrich our lives and teach us well, leaving us with wonderful memories to treasure.

1185291_609323642489019_183838132_nGordon patiently explains about Rainbow Bridge to Brutus

One day (last year) Brutus and Gordon were lying next to each other on the sofa chatting about life – they often did this and at that time, Brutus was much younger then and would positively drink any knowledge that the elderly ginger cat gave to him.

‘Gordon, what is Rainbow Bridge? I heard some dogs in the park talk about it one day, they were all really nice about it but said their owners were upset, what is it?’ Brutus asked Gordon who stared at the young pup intently.

‘What is Rainbow Bridge? – Well let me tell you but I warn you now, there is no quick or easy explanation’ Gordon replied, then wriggled around a bit and settled down so that he could see Brutus and talk to him.

‘Rainbow Bridge is a place that we animals go to when our time with our owners and our life on this earth is done, basically it is when our beating hearts can no longer beat’. Gordon started to say.

‘But where is it, is it in the park, can we walk there?’ Brutus asked Gordon who was now washing his anus in a quick interlude.

‘Oh we can’t get to it until we are sent there and our owners certainly can’t but we animals all know about it and what happens and if you close your eyes and imagine a place where no animal is hungry, no animal has pain, no animal has arthritis or any illness and there are toys and tennis balls and water and mud to play in, all the food we could want and every animal is happy, you get the idea’. Gordon replied.

Brutus looked confused, he had pretty much everything he loved including his Tony Abbott doll and he could never imagine being hungry, well actually he could because he got pretty hungry at meal times but he guessed that was different.

‘No-one should ever be afraid of going to Rainbow Bridge, it is just a lovely place for any pet to go to’ Gordon said firmly.

‘Do you know anyone that has gone there?’ Brutus asked Gordon.

Gordon went quiet for a few minutes, it was still difficult for him to talk about but as Brutus was asking the question, it meant that he was ready to hear the answer.

‘Firstly there was Juniper’ Gordon started to say and then said ‘Let me tell you about Juniper – that was when we lived in London’.

Brutus sat glued to his seat while Gordon explained about the little torti long haired cat called Juniper, whom he loved and cherished, washed and groomed, chased, bashed and just loved her – actually may I just add that I loved her and still to this day miss her and never quite got over her having to go to Rainbow Bridge before I considered her ready but that is another story.

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My beautiful tortoiseshell cat – Juniper

‘Juniper developed stomach problems one day and collapsed – it all happened very quickly and I remember Mum coming back from town and finding her lying on the carpet with her tummy swollen.

‘I knew something was wrong’ Gordon carried on speaking and Brutus carried on listening.

‘I remember asking her where she was going and she said to me in her quite torti voice ‘It is time for me to go to Rainbow Bridge’ and that was when I learned about Rainbow Bridge for myself and what it meant’.

ImageJuniper explains to Gordon about Rainbow Bridge

‘Of course I didn’t want her to go, I loved her and lived for her and even forgave her for sicking up a furball on my bed, she was a chatty cat who would talk to everyone and noone and it was only when the vet examined her and reckoned she was brain damaged that we realised why she was so special and would run around the house with dried turd stuck to her bum’. Gordon told Brutus.

‘What was wrong with her, couldn’t the vet help her?’ Brutus asked confused. He would have liked Juniper, he was sure of that.

‘Well I remember Mum having a look on her face, she was working as a veterinary nurse at the time and knew something was wrong, she picked up Juniper and placed her in the white basket that we still have to this day and got her in a taxi to rush her to the vet and that was the last I saw of her’.

‘Two days later, Mum was called to the vet as they had observed Juniper and had decided to open her up in an operation and Mum had to go and see Juniper before they did it’

‘Now I wasn’t there but Mum said she remembered seeing Junipers tortoiseshell coat through the frosty glass as the vet took her from the basket and Mum went in to give her a cuddle, I think they talked about ‘stuff’ but I don’t know what as Mum never told me’. Gordon said quietly – he was finding it a bit hard to remember this but could not admit it to Brutus.

‘All I know is that Mum came home with an empty basket and told me that Juniper had died of cancer that had and Mum had held her in her arms while she was sent to Rainbow Bridge.

‘The only thing she knew and all that any animal knows is when they leave this life and go on to the next, they do get to see a bit of their owners so that they can keep an eye on things until they know they are alright and this can often take a while’.

‘But how do you know what they see at Rainbow Bridge if you are still here?’ Brutus asked.

‘It is something that at some point in our lives, we just get told – just like I am telling you, I have told Rocky and Juniper told me and Junipers brother before me – Bruno the cat, told Juniper. It is a fact of life that comes to us all and a fine piece of knowledge to know’ Gordon said.

(Gordon held his leg high in the air as he washed his anus until he was ready to talk again)

‘Juniper had felt sick and had hidden it for so long that Mum and Dad didn’t have a clue and Juniper knew that when Mum came to the vet to see her before her operation, that it would be the last time she would see her and that is why they had their moment alone together.

‘Juniper felt a bit scared, she didn’t want to leave Mum and she clearly remembers Mum holding her and crying and that made it hard for Juniper to leave. But her body was no longer working and no longer ‘fit her enormous personality’ and really was not good for her anymore and Rainbow Bridge would make her young and fit again, although she was only eight years old, she could have a new lease of life where she would never age and never feel pain again’. Said Gordon.

‘Then what happened?’ Brutus asked.

‘Juniper suddenly saw herself on the vet table with Mum holding her, she looked down for a bit and then looked up and saw a group of cats asking her to go to them. The temptation was too much and as Juniper slowly started to walk to the cats above her, with each step, the pain got less until she reached the cats and there was no pain at all.

‘She didn’t know what to do but she knew she couldn’t go back down to Mum. She could see Mum holding a small torti cat and crying but it no longer felt like it was her – Juniper. She could also see beyond the group of cats, was a large field with all kinds of birds and butterflies and all things that cats like to chase and it looked like such a nice place, she really wanted to go in there.

‘Juniper followed the group of cats and went through the gate and was met with lots of other cats but the thing that surprised her the most, was she met with her brother who had died 18 months prior – Bruno the large black cat. In fact just after Bruno was sent to Rainbow Bridge, Mum was so upset that she went out and rescued me and I came into her life at 9 weeks old.

‘Juniper kept looking back to Mum, not knowing what to do but she knew Mum would be OK, she just knew it because Mum had already done the kindest thing and the only thing she could do and that was send her to Rainbow Bridge and anyone with that kind of strength to do what is right by their pet even though it hurts them as owners, is always going to be OK in life.

‘What happened then?’ Brutus asked Gordon.

‘Well, Juniper saw Bruno and ran up to him – he looked marvellous, so healthy and no sign of the illness that he had when he lived with Mum and Dad. Apparently Bruno greeted Juniper with an affectionate head butt and said ‘Hi Juniper, welcome to Rainbow Bridge’.

‘Juniper walked a bit hesitantly at first and then after a few minutes, was chasing bits of ribbon and butterflies and anything that could float higher than she could in the wind. Ten minutes later, it were as though she had been there forever’.

‘Did you miss her Gordon?’ Brutus asked his brother.

Gordon went quiet for a few minutes and then replied ‘Yes lad, and I still do’.

‘How come you know what happens there when you haven’t been?’ Brutus asked Gordon.

‘We animals are privileged and it is our duty to pass this knowledge on to the younger ones so when it happens to us, you are prepared and in turn, once you gain this knowledge, at some point you will experience it with one of us or yourself. We are lucky to know what we know and to see what we see’. Gordon told Brutus.

‘Have you seen anyone else go to Rainbow Bridge?’ Brutus asked Gordon.

‘Rema, Rema the whippet – I loved her so much, she was the first dog that I fell in love with and one I will never forget’ Gordon replied sounding a bit upset.

‘Rema was a beautiful blue whippet who won dog shows as she was so pretty and Mum even used to race her. I remember when Mum worked in the vets in London, she would take Rema to work because in England, dogs are allowed on buses, tubes and trains and even in some taxis’ Gordon said matter-of-factly.

ImageRema (the commuter) and me (the vet nurse), waiting for our train

He was very proud of the fact that he came from a country that allowed that and had even been on a few buses himself and trains when he had his de-sexing done at the Royal Veterinary College in Camden when his Mum worked there as a veterinary nurse.

ImageRema at a lure coursing event in Devon

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Gordon and Rema discuss Rainbow Bridge

‘So what happened with Rema?’ Brutus asked. He would have liked Rema and would have enjoyed racing with her.

‘Rema got to 12 years old and had developed kidney problems and was also incontinent and would pee herself all the time – you think shitting yourself is bad!, her back legs were very weak and kept giving way and one day Mum had decided that Rema should go to Rainbow Bridge. She had all sores in her mouth from her bad kidneys and her appetite had gone, old age had literally stolen her from herself.

‘Mum’s old friend who is a vet and used to be Mum’s boss and was the one person that Rema loved and would allow him to do anything to her because quite simply, she trusted him.

‘Mums friend examined Rema and said the kindest thing to do was to send her to Rainbow Bridge. Mum had been thinking about it for a while but needed to know it was the right time because Brutus, there is always a right time to go to Rainbow Bridge, it is just a matter of realising it.

‘Mum held Rema as she went over the Bridge and although Rema was sad hearing Mum cry and having to leave her body behind, when she saw Juniper and Bruno at the gate to Rainbow Bridge, she started to trot and the closer she got, she realised that for the first time in ages, she wanted to eat, she wanted to run and she wasn’t wetting herself as she did it.

‘There were dog toys everywhere, there were rabbits to chase (but not hurt), there were blocks of cheese for her to have (Rema loved stealing cheese) and Rema was so happy to see Bruno and Juniper, that she started barking her head off’.

Brutus was taking this all in, it was so much to take in and he would have questions to ask later no doubt; lots of questions.

‘Gordon, what happened then? Was Mum OK, how can she be OK when she has seen three pets go to Rainbow Bridge?’ Brutus asked sounding more than upset, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go to this place where his Mum and Dad were not allowed, he wasn’t sure at all.

Gordon stared at him and touched Brutus’s face to comfort him and replied ‘Mum was just fine, she hugged Rema and said ‘Thank you for being my dog’ so she told me anyway and she said afterwards that knowing Rema wasn’t suffering any more and was at ‘The Bridge’ made it a bit easier. But I will admit to hearing her crying each night for some time and she refused to get rid of Rema’s toys for ages. In fact, she still has her collar which Rocky wore when he was a puppy’

‘Does getting another pet mean you don’t love the one you sent to Rainbow Bridge?’ Brutus asked Gordon, he was confused now.

‘Oh no’ Gordon shook his head vigorously and added ‘Our humans have unlimited space in their lives if they love their pets. We all leave our mark in whatever we have chewed, dug, or destroyed and also in the memories which can never be erased and when a new pet comes into our humans lives needing a loving home, it is never ever a replacement, it just merely takes up a new place to leave his/her own impression on and add to the memory bank of pet ownership.

‘After all, you are hearing about my own memories of Juniper and Rema and in turn, you will have your memories of myself and Rocky but it doesnt mean that there is no room in your life to build up new ones’ Gordon reassured Brutus.

‘Does Rocky know all of this?’ Brutus asked Gordon.

Gordon nodded and said ‘Yes, I had exactly the same chat with Rocky when he was about your age’

ImageGordon chats to Rocky about Rainbow Bridge

‘Is he scared to go there?’ Brutus asked Gordon.

Gordon smiled and touched Brutus’s face again and replied ‘No lad, he isn’t scared – there is nothing to be scared of. We all have a purpose here and that is to teach our owners to love things for their heart and soul, to be loyal, to be nice and be the best we can be; and once our job is done, it then becomes OUR time to live our own lives at Rainbow Bridge’.

(sounds of Rocky coming in from the garden)

‘What are you two up to?’ Rocky grinned at the two boys.

‘Rainbow Bridge – we are having that discussion’ Gordon said to the little black kelpie who was taking a drink.

Rocky glanced up at Brutus, trying to gauge how he was feeling, it was confusing for a young dog when he has ‘that’ discussion.

‘Ah, Rainbow Bridge – now that is a nice place for any pet to go, don’t be afraid lad – we all go there eventually, it’s just at different times that’s all’. Rocky said confidently.

(Later that night – all the animals were in their respective beds)

ImageBrutus ponders on his thoughts about Rainbow Bridge

Brutus couldn’t sleep, it was all too much for him – he was worried about this Rainbow Bridge place and couldn’t understand how Gordon and Rocky were so calm about it all; would he ever accept it?

*Fast forward to this week – March 2014*

Vader the boxer (Brutus’s best friend) and Brutus were in the fenced off courts where we live and were just standing about chatting about stuff. Suddenly and out of the blue Brutus remembered the Rainbow Bridge conversation that he had with Rocky and Gordon last year.

ImageBrutus and Vader the boxer discuss Rainbow Bridge

‘Vader, what do you know about Rainbow Bridge?’ Brutus asked his best friend.

Vader rearranged his enormous over-sized tongue so that he could answer back.

Staring at Brutus for a few seconds, Vader replied ‘Rainbow Bridge? Now that is a nice place for any pet to go to’

Brutus smiled and nodded, he suddenly felt quite comforted about it all and felt very grown up indeed. Looking at Vader, Brutus replied firmly ‘Yep, that is what Gordon and Rocky say too’.

And that was that – all that was said was what needed to be said – Rainbow Bridge – a nice place for any pet to go to.

According to our pets of course.

The End…..

*This entry is dedicated to Bruno, Juniper and Rema – all the pets that I have had the privilege to own and to send over to Rainbow Bridge.*

Samantha Rose (c) Copyright March 2014

Rocky, Vader and the beginning of a beautiful friendship (with mucous)

ImageRocky can ‘do smart’ when he has to!

 

Since we lived in the new house, my Rocky has become quite dog aggressive due to one particular dog that escapes and comes up to our house barking and going at Rocky through the fence, poor old Rocky tries to defend his property and has this huge entire (non desexed) aggressive male going at him through the gate and as a result, Rocky now has zero tolerance to dogs that charge up to him head on and he will bite back.

So if you ever see us in the park (Rocky will always be on the leash unless in the fenced area), we are not being rude if we walk away from your dog, Rocky is in training to get his confidence back and I have to protect him from loose dogs that charge up to him – he is not dog friendly at the moment but we are working on it, but it is best to let Rocky quietly do his thing and not let your dog invade his personal space.

Anyway, the dog in question that teases him from outside is a boxer so when Rocky sees any boxer at all it is game on and he called a couple of boxers in the park ‘minge headed bastards’ the other week and even stuck two paws up to them before flashing his arse, it didn’t end well let me tell you and another kelpie joined in from the sidelines shouting abuse as well and had two magpies not intervened, it would have been messy. But magpies in leather jackets on the sidelines with pointy beaks for weapons, is enough to make anyone soil themselves in fear.

Talking of boxers, Brutus has a special friend – a boxer called ‘Vader’, they snot on each other and even lick each others drool, that is after they have done the genital thing, they are both ‘special’ boys and could lick the windows on any bus that was on offer.

ImageBrutus and his new friend Vader

 

Rocky got quite jealous last week when Brutus met up with Vader and went out for a run with him, in fact Rocky didn’t just rubbish Brutus and call him a ‘wanker’ when he got back, he duffed him up as well and pissed on his head (yes really!).

Vader and Rocky argue frequently from their respective gardens, Rocky calls him a ‘snub nose twattery’ from his side of the fence and Vader calls him a ‘Sheep abuser’ from his side of the fence and the little staffie from the garden opposite usually yells out ‘You are all a pair of girls’ or other similar comments but he normally ends up sounding as though he has been choked in the normal staffie ‘talking’ kind of way.

As Rocky bristles purely by looking at boxers, he could not believe that Brutus went out for a play date with Vader and refused to talk to Brutus for 5 minutes when he got home and it was only when Brutus started crying like a girl, that Rocky relented and made up with him.

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Best friends and sharer of boxer mucous!

 

So today was Rocky’s turn for some ‘Boxer De-sensitisation’ and was led to Vaders garden to wait for him to come out to the park.

‘I don’t know why we are out without Brutus, and I don’t know why we are here’ Rocky sighed in a sulky kelpie voice.

‘You are going out with Vader today’ I told him in a firm voice and then added ‘Part of your training to rehabilitate you into realising that not all dogs are big testicle bastards that are going to go-you and attack you due to an over surge in testosterone due to their owners not desexing them’

Rocky looked totally horrified and mortified both at once. ‘I, am not, repeat NOT; going out with that!’ He said in a high pitched voice as Vader came out of his garden, all proud with his tail erect in the air, his purple head collar on, snorting and choking in excitement and prancing around like a Hackney trotting pony, in happy disbelief that he had another friend to play with.

‘Are you my new friend? I don’t have many friends, Brutus is my friend, do you know Brutus?’ Vader said in a very quick hyperactive voice, he spoke so quickly it all came out in one breath, then he sneezed particles of snot everywhere and tried to remove his purple head collar.

Looking disgusted, Rocky pretended that either he nor Vadar wasn’t there – dear god this was not going to happen. They were actually going to make him walk with a boxer!

ImageRocky prefers swimming and tennis balls to anything else in the world!

 

‘Do you know Brutus?’ Vader repeated his question.

‘I am his brother’ Rocky replied in a stiff voice, he was trying ever so hard to disown the handsome brown and white boxer dog but Vader was trying to get close to him and in a desperate bid to look ‘cool’, wiped his face along the grass and ended up doing some sort of ‘break dance’ with his arse in the air and his front part on the ground as he pushed along like a special dog with his tongue hanging out like a bright pink piece of wet ham.

Once we got to the courts where they could go off the leash, well Rocky went off the leash and Vader stayed on as he was so over excited that he wanted to jump on Rocky’s head but that would have been too much for the little black kelpie ‘with issues’.

Vader stopped what he was doing and looked up at Rocky, ‘Are you the dog that calls me a twat – minge wanker?’ Vader asked slowly.

‘Are you the dog that calls me a sheep molester and a common kelpie from Bunbury that dresses up as a lamb in my spare time?’ Rocky asked in a dangerous voice.

The two dogs momentarily glared at each other with the realisation that the dog that they had been hurling insults at from over the fences for the past two months, were in fact each other.

‘You bastard!’ Vader yelled.

‘Wanker’ Rocky yelled back and then they had a momentary scuffle with Vader on the leash and Rocky off the leash – it was all noise and mucous really and sounded more dramatic than it was. Verbal insults took place like ‘squashed face’ and ‘sheep shagger’ from both parties.

Rocky did a few kelpie herding circles round Vader while barking his head off until he got the firm arm signal and voice from me making him stop what he is doing and sit – which he did very reluctantly as he was enjoying the argument – safe in the knowledge that he was off the leash and Vader was on the leash.

After the ‘disagreement’, we decided to go back as it was rather hot and as we walked home, both boys looked a bit embarrassed by their behaviour.

‘I could have eaten you had I wanted to’ Vader muttered to Rocky.

‘Yeah right and I could have bitten your brown arse’ Rocky replied and then lit a fag, after looking at Vader coldly for a few seconds, he pulled out his packet of ‘Kelpie no: 10’ kelpie cigarettes and offered Vader one.

Taking the cigarette, Vader let Rocky light it for him. Although Vader doesnt normally smoke but didn’t want to show himself up in front of Rocky. Taking a deep puff of the fag which contained catnip and Schmacko chews, Vader coughed his guts up and tried to blame it on a cold virus.

‘Hey, I saw a nice poodle coming out of yours the other day, lovely arse on her’ Rocky said as the boys walked back.

‘Was that the white one?’ Vader replied grinning at Rocky.

‘Yeah I think so, she was hot’ Rocky nodded in a way that only a perverted male can do when he looks at Kylie Minogues arse.

‘She is a regular, Mum clips her up all the time’ Vader told Rocky.

‘Reckon you can get her number for me?’ Rocky asked hopefully. The dogs were walking quite calmly now, and aside from Vader trying to stuff his snout up Rocky’s arse, it was all going swimmingly.

Vader looked up thoughtfully and replied ‘Yeah, I reckon I can, I know some hot bitches that come round for their clips and beauty treatments, I even have photos of them with no collars on’

Rocky looked jealous ‘Lucky bastard, wish I could see them all’.

‘I can get you a back stage pass, you can dress up to be a poodle and Mum can clip you and you can meet the bitches’ Vader said happily. He was over excited now – he could use this and work it to make him the most popular dog on the block – think ‘Project X’. He could see it now, a pool party in the garden with Rocky and Brutus and all the hot bitches in bikinis, the boys would do the BBQ, there would be cool music on and no adult humans to ruin it. Oh yes, he was going to milk this – round up the poodles and remove their collars, he would be the envy of the suburb!

‘Right, that’s us, we are home now’ I told Rocky as we went to the house, Vader looked at Rocky and said nervously ‘Bye Rocky, see you again?’

Rocky stared back and said ‘Catch ya later’

And with that, both dogs were taken to their respective homes.

‘Wanker!’ Rocky yelled to Vader as he went in his house.

‘Sheep shagger from Bunbury!’ Vader yelled back before doing the ‘boxer sneeze’.

But this time, Rocky had a little smile on his face and when Rocky was having a drink in the garden, I could just about hear him talking to Brutus who had broken his ridgeback heart because he had been left behind and howled like a baby from his room when we went out.

‘Here Turd Legs, guess what? – Vader can introduce us to poodles in bikinis and everything and we are going to have a party, can you imagine how popular we will be?’ Rocky was telling a wide eyed Brutus who had forgotten all about being upset about Rocky going out without him.

‘I thought you hated Vader’ Brutus asked Rocky.

Rocky shrugged his shoulders and replied simply ‘He is OK’

‘For a boxer’ Brutus added – grinning in his typical ridgeback grin.

Rocky dipped his head into the water bowl, had a drink and then replied ‘Yeah, for a boxer’.

‘Love ya Rocky, you are my new best friend!’ Vaders voice yelled from over the fence – still panting from his walk.

‘Wanker!’ Rocky shouted back.

And with that all three boys burst out laughing, sniggering in a way that only naughty dogs can.

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Best friends? Who knows but one day at a time and all that.

Don’t Miss The Morning! (so Rocky says)

I am beginning to realise that my ‘baby’ Ridgie-Kelpie is more than a touch too spoilt, as is Rocky dog.

Each and every Saturday/Sunday morning at 6.30am without fail, Rocky waits by our bedroom door whinging, telling me to ‘hurry up, get a move on, be quick or we will miss it’.

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Rocky doesn’t want to miss the morning

‘What will we miss Rocky?’ I have asked him on each occasion that I would like to stay in bed for just an hour longer.

‘Life’ He replied, ‘We are missing out on life, it’s started and it comes with tennis balls’.

My little black ‘beetle dog’ as he is known, trembles outside my door which ultimately makes the normally lazy Brutus get up in his crate and demand to be let out so he too can catch ‘life and its tennis balls’ before it passes him by.

That is my hint to get up. I open Brutus’s crate and he always stares at me thoughtfully, pondering on whether or not life will wait for him, Rocky decides on Brutus’s behalf that life in fact waits for noone and neither do tennis balls and Brutus stands up, and as he gets out of his crate, he stretches his long, brown and muscular body and uses his whippy tail to whip the shit out of my legs, the bin and anything else it may come into contact with. It is now 6.35am.

I let both boys out into the garden, Brutus idly stares at the Yucca and palm trees and licks his lips, should he eat them yet or is it too early for a ‘green breakfast’? However, he is still half asleep and hasn’t quite got Rocky’s mindset that ‘life is a tennis ball that needs to be caught and played with until your hips give out and you die, then you go to doggy heaven where you can chase tennis balls until your hearts content or you piss God off by barking and he is forced to put a religious ‘bark collar’ around your neck.

Sleepily I set about fixing the boys breakfast and put a scoop of dog chow in each bowl, placing one bowl in Brutus’s crate, then I tidy his favourite fluffy cot blanket which he literally refuses to settle unless he has it. I have to wash it, put it in the drier and then give it back to him and woe betide me if I don’t. Actually, I am on the lookout for spare thick fluffy cot blankets if anyone has spares they no longer use.

6.45am – I am tired and this time I vow to myself that I will go back to bed with Abdel and leave Brutus in his puppy crate, enjoying his dog chow and he WILL go to sleep afterwards.

Except that doesn’t happen, it never happens and I don’t even know why I try and fight it for I, have created a big brown 30kg 10 month old monster – my ridgie-kelpie Brutus, yes I have made him spoilt and he knows, I know it and Rocky knows it – hell even Gordon knows it.

I call the boys in, Brutus goes straight into his open crate and Rocky goes straight back to his bed – so far so good (not!).

Shutting the crate, I can hear Brutus noisily and hungrily snarfing down his breakfast, he is such a noisy and piggy little eater – he loves his food and would eat shit if you put sauce on it, actually he has eaten Gordons shit without sauce on it.

I creep out of the living room and sneak back into the bedroom, my goodness, I am hiding from my own dogs.

6.50am – I am back snuggled in bed with Abdel. He takes no notice of me, he knows there is no point, he knows exactly what will happen and he turns to his side and goes back to sleep.

6.55am – sounds of Brutus whinging doing high pitched puppy cries.

‘You have to come back now! Life is happening, we shall miss it and it comes with tennis balls and palm trees for me to chew!’ Brutus shouts from his crate. Rocky looks on proudly, he has this ‘life thing’ well and truly sussed, you would have to get up early in the morning to catch him out because life will never pass him by, he simply will not allow it to (just like a tennis ball).

(sounds of me sighing)

7.00am – ‘That’s it, I have my drugs to take at 7.30am, I may as well get up now’ I said rather feebly to Abdel.

No answer was the loud reply.

7.002am, I am in the kitchen making a coffee, grabbing my medication to take with it, I stared at Brutus who was in his crate, gripping the corner of his fluffy blanket looking very ‘puppy-like’ in his actions. I guess he is still a puppy at 10 months and it is all to easy to forget that when you look at his size and weight.

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Brutus – still a ‘baby’ at 10 months old

Grabbing the blanket, I snuggle up with my iPhone on the sofa and play a few games of ‘Bejewelled’. Rocky walks up to me as he does each and every Sat/Sun morning, he puts his two front paws on the sofa, rests his huge kelpie head on my chest so I get a whiff of dog-breath, and he leans with his hind legs on the floor so it technically doesnt constitute being on the sofa – something he is not allowed to do. However, it still constitutes a ‘kelpie cuddle’ as the little black dog wraps his front paws around my arm and happily falls asleep while snuggling down into my fleecy PJ top.

(sounds of scratching at the door)

‘Oh god, here we go’ I mutter to myself.

‘Quick, it’s starting – ‘life’ is happening and we cant miss it and it comes in the form of ‘Snappy Tom’ cat food!’ Gordon yells from his bedroom in his ginger voice.

‘Bloody hell’ I sigh and then get up to let Gordon out so he too doesnt miss out on ‘life’.

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Gordon also doesn’t like to miss out on life (or Snappy Tom)

7.10am – I am back curled up on the sofa, sipping my coffee, taking my drugs. Rocky is back on his bed fast asleep, Gordon is happily watching life go by from the dining room window and Brutus has stopped crying like a girl, and is fast asleep snoring like a piglet.

They know I am on the sofa wrapped up in a blanket, they know I will remain here until breakfast and not one of them shall make a sound, they are fast asleep and they are content.

They are also too spoilt, they know it and I know it. This is a weekly occurrence, the 6.30am wake up call, the call to tell me that life is happening, grab it and don’t let go.

For if I was to go back to the bedroom, Brutus would cry, Rocky would wait by the bedroom door and Gordon would just say ‘fuck you’ and destroy the blinds.

I could of course go back to sleep on the sofa should I want to. Except that the sounds of the parrots and birds in my garden is too nice to ignore and I don’t want to miss it, the silence surrounding that is very peaceful indeed. So I won’t go back to bed, I shall stay here.

Besides, we are going out in an hour or so for breakfast with the boys and then take them round the park.

Brutus and Rocky spoilt? Yeah, I reckon they are but what can I say – you have to get up early, life is happening.

And it is happening with tennis balls (according to Rocky).

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright Sept 2013

Brutus – if it’s green then eat it!

ImageBrutus Update: (naughty radar 9/10)
It is jolly hard to be angry at something that has the cute factor and that can ‘talk’ in typical hound fashion the way in which Brutus can.

Brutus is now a whopping 23kgs of solid chunk and muscle, he looks mostly ridgeback, except for a rather odd and small kelpie shaped snout and kelpie ears and an uncanny ability to herd everything up including stones. The rest is ridgeback and his head his becoming enormous.

This morning Abdel got up to let the boys out and I got up a bit later as I was too cold to migrate from my bed – one could hang coats off ones nipples in this weather but that is another story.

I had gone out to do a poo run to pick up the man sized turds from the garden and Brutus was doing his usual ‘breakfast dance’ where he bounces in circles and kangaroo hops around the garden in a fine display of hunger.

‘I am so hungry, I haven’t been fed in 12 years!’ Brutus shouted dramatically.

‘Twat, you are only 7 months old yourself’ Rocky shook his head in disbelief and then lit up a fag and blew smoke in funny shapes through his nostrils (the shape of dog).

As I bent down to pick up some dog turd, I noticed something that ordinarily could very easily be missed, in fact I don’t know how I even saw it – but I did and now I have seen it, I cannot ‘un-see’ it.

It was a tiny, oh so tiny, piece of my (expensive) fake lawn – chewed up and shat out in dog turd. Glancing down to see where it had come from, I sighted a tiny, perhaps 2cm area near the join of the grass to the concrete. Honestly, you probably couldn’t see it if you came round to my house, but I have what many dog owners have and that is ‘the gift of puppy eyes’ where you can see the slightest most miniscule difference in objects/places where your puppy may have chewed. This gift of observation also extends to sounds – I can hear what is normal and what is naughty in the way of sounds and usually tell you exactly what they are doing by the noise that is being made.

For instance, if I haven’t fed Gordon by a certain time and I can hear a dragging noise from the kitchen, then it usually means that Gordon is pushing glasses along the counter and I normally have about 3 minutes to feed him or the glass goes on the floor – hence the reason Gordon weighs about 7kgs, because he is fed on demand because if we don’t feed him, the house gets it – or we do.

Anyway, there I am in my work attire staring at this piece of dog shit which is containing tiny pieces of fake lawn and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

‘What the fuck have you done?’ I demanded to Brutus who was now ‘breakfast dancing’ all over the garden.

‘Told you that you shouldn’t have done it, you are in trouble now’ Rocky said smugly, knowing that he was a good boy but forgetting he did similar at that age and we won’t even discuss about the time that he dug 4 foot under the retainer wall or chewed up the mortgage documents, (he still maintains that the German Shepherds did it).

‘I was told that grass contains roughage and is good for digestion’ Brutus said in his poshest ridgeback voice – he uses his ridgeback voice when he wants to sound assertive and when he herds up stones or bites my ankles then he tends to use his kelpie voice to sound more intelligent. Although the pile of stones outside my door that he has brought to me and spends ages herding up, makes me beg to differ on that score.

‘It’s fake lawn you twattage and it cost a lot of money!’ I told him, he now had the grace to look embarrassed.

ImageMy lovely fake lawn!

 

‘Perhaps if you fed me more often I wouldn’t need to eat the grass!’ Brutus barked back. He was actually ‘talking’ back, you know the way dogs do that funny bark? I think it is a hound thing as my whippet used to do it.

He looked like a large chunky brown turd, with his huge tail wagging in circles like the propeller of a helicopter, his bottom was wriggling and his crumpled mouth that has too much skin around it, caving in around his teeth with each bark, as he tried to justify his chewing of the lawn.

Rocky was shaking his head in disapproval muttering stuff about the puppies of today don’t know that they are born and in his day, all puppies were good dogs that dug nothing and chewed nothing. Gordon sat by the security door smoking a fag shouting the words ‘Bollocks’ and ‘liar’ – it very nearly escalated into a shouting riot of who was the naughtiest or best behaved in ‘their day’ and I am sure that the neighbours didn’t take too kindly to this noise so early in the morning.

‘I can’t believe that you inspected my shit’ Brutus said looking a touch martyred as I continued to pick up the turd from the garden.

‘Can’t you Brutus? Can’t you?’ I snapped, ‘I seem to remember when I took you to the vet when you had kept me up all night with your explosive diarrhoea and I had to take a day off work as I only had one hours sleep and when I cleaned the garden I found several chewed up catkins in your turd’

‘Wasn’t my turd, another dog did it!’ Brutus replied.

‘Oh, and it wasn’t you that produced enough diarrhoea to float a boat I suppose?’ I demanded.

Brutus was blushing now and Rocky was sitting by the shed, smoking his fag and flicking ash on to the grass, rubbing it in and making shapes in the dirt with his paw. Rocky had decided to keep quiet now, as he had shat the bed on a couple of occasions and on the last stomach upset he had suffered, he had even shat in his water bowl which by my own admission, fucking amazed me – I mean that takes skill to do that, even I couldn’t do that if I tried.

‘And what about the time I found red plastic in your poo which I believe, was only last week?’ I said to Brutus.

Stomping back into the house I grabbed the bitter spray that I had bought from City Farmers last week and went back out to the garden with Brutus hotly following me on my heels, nipping my ankles to ‘bring me in’.

‘Ha ha ha ha!’ Rocky yelled and held his belly as he snorted with laughter ‘You are getting the bitter spray treatment!’ The little black kelpie roared his head off.

389511_10150379739253317_687953316_8426580_762749912_nRocky the good boy!

‘Now that shit, SO does not work’ Gordon shouted from the laundry room. And he is right, because I used to use bottles of the stuff to stop Gordon chewing towels and carpets and even resorted to using Vics Vapour rub to stop Gordon from chewing. And all that succeeded in doing was making Gordon chew it more, sneeze a bit and then come back to me and say ‘I don’t care, I chewed it anyway!’

Brutus doesnt appear to like the bitter spray but is clever enough to know that the entire garden cannot be covered in it. Still, he followed me and watched me spray the part of the garden that he had attempted to chew.

‘What are you doing? don’t put that on there, it tastes awful!’ Brutus said looking alarmed.

‘There is no need for that, I can piss on it, I can crap on it, why can’t I chew on it?’ He asked (he has a point there I reckon).

Ignoring him, I saturated that part of the grass in the spray and Brutus started to bark and ‘talk’ and ‘breakfast dance’ around me.

‘That won’t work, I will eat the other corner, perhaps we can talk about this – double my food intake and we could be in business!’ Brutus shouted, almost hysterical now. Telling him that I didn’t negotiate with criminals, I refreshed the water bowls while they both followed me to the door to get their breakfast. Rocky went inside first as he is in charge of Brutus and then Brutus followed him, literally trembling at the sight of the bowl of dog chow that sat in his kennel. (I call it dog chow, don’t know what you call it).

‘You will NOT be left unattended in the garden again’ I told Brutus firmly, shut him in his crate. Ignoring me totally, he snarfed down his bowl of food making snorting/piggy noises as he did so.

Telling Abdel about the fake lawn in Brutus’s turd and to keep an eye on him, Gordon who was now on the bed with Abdel, nodded his head and laughed at my feeble efforts to stop Brutus chewing.

‘Mum?’ Gordon asked in his ginger voice.

‘Yes Gordon, hurry up as I have to go to work’ I replied.

‘Can I eat a towel please?, that nice new bright red one in the bathroom’ Gordon asked.

Staring down at the fat ginger cat that was now wedged behind Abdels back on the bed, I tried not to laugh.

935191_10151431007488317_1267880561_nPlease can I chew the towels Mum?

‘No Gordon, you can’t eat the towels’, and with that, I said goodbye to Abdel as by now, I was late for work. (sounds of Gordon sniggering at my response – he will eat them anyway).

I left the dogs in the laundry room discussing the mornings events, Rocky was trying to chastise him but they were both laughing. ‘Brutus, did it hurt when you crapped out the fake lawn?’ Rocky asked in admiration.

‘Not as much as the plastic bucket did’ Was Brutus’s reply.

I heard nothing after that as I had left the house but believe me, I wonder if children are easier to bring up than dogs – at least they dont eat fake lawn and plastic buckets.

Happy Friday everyone!