Brutus learns the real meaning of Christmas

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Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Brutus and Rocky were in the living room discussing Christmas and their shopping list. Gordon had just done an Exorcist style vomit over the dining room and had gone back to his food bowl to ‘replenish what had been lost’ much to Rocky’s disgust and Brutus’s admiration.

‘So what do you want for Christmas Brutus?’ Rocky asked him.

Brutus looked thoughtful ‘I don’t want much really, I would like a honking pig as Mum killed mine in the garden, I would like some more flappy toys, a spare gingerbread man, maybe a squeaky Santa and another snake, I would like a new collar and ID tag – not one of those crappy collars, perhaps a doggy stocking, a new camp bed for my bedroom and a new stuffed rabbit’ he finished looking absurdly proud of himself for being what he thought was ‘restrained’.

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Brutus with last years gift that ‘exploded’ all by itself in the garden

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Rocky gasped ‘Not much? That is a huge amount Brutus and most dogs don’t get that much and some dogs don’t get anything at all’.

Gordon said nothing but stopped eating to listen to the boys talking. Inwardly he was shocked though as Brutus had lots of toys, admittedly some had ‘exploded’ all by themselves in the garden but he never went without that’s for sure.

‘What about you Rocky?’ Brutus asked him. Stretching out on the sofa, Brutus snuggled his head down on the red pillow and waited for Rocky to tell him his Christmas list for Santa Paws. Brutus loves Christmas and every year in the three Christmas’s we have had him, he makes me tell him bedtime stories about how Santa Paws visits all the dogs and leaves them food and bones that their owners have bought them and given to Santa for storage.

Rocky shrugged his shoulders ‘Well last year I wished for my hips to be not so painful and a bit better, but I have already got that present now because Mum bought me special powder to go in my food and they are so much better although I still can’t walk as far as normal kelpies’.

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Rocky is a simple kelpie dog with simple needs

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘But I would like some new tennis balls to replenish my collection, I would like a generous slice of turkey if Dad can spare it, I would love to be able to get on the sofa with Mum and Dad and maybe even play with my fluffy penguin after lunch.

‘Of course we usually get a collar each year and I love the Rogz collars and always have a red or a blue one and an ID tag is nice as we usually get one every year as well.

But my best gift is when Mum does her Skype call to the UK and gets to talk to her family and I get to talk to her Daddy – AKA John Stocken because I have met him, I think he could be referred to the doggy version of our Grandad if such a thing exists’, Rocky said knowingly. A wise kelpie beyond his years, Rocky just knows ‘stuff’ and is an oracle of information.

‘You know John Stocken? How?’ Brutus demanded, feeling more than a little jealous of this as he only ever hears my Dad over the phone when he calls me.

‘I have met him’ Rocky said smugly, ‘He came to Perth once and threw my tennis ball and rubber chicken for ages, we had fun, we had cuddles and everything and I slept outside his room for 3 days after he flew back because I missed him so much’.

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Rocky, Dad (AKA – John Stocken/Daddy Stocken, and the rubber chicken – Rocky on the left looking camouflaged!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The two dogs fell silent for a bit and all you could hear was the sound of Gordon occasionally crunching his cat biscuit.

‘But Rocky, I don’t understand – most of your presents are not sold in the shops so where would you buy them? How would you get them?’ Brutus asked looking puzzled.

‘That’s just it Brutus, Christmas isn’t about how much money is spent on things or how many toys and bones your owners buy for you, it is about the stuff that money can’t buy.

‘Time with those that love you, video calls to friends and family, nice food, cuddles, turkey dinner, the stuff you can only do or speak about with people you love. You can’t buy any of that in the shops.’

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Rocky creating his own memories on one of our road trips

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Sure having toys and stuff is great but those memories last a whole heap longer than any toy that explodes in the garden’. Rocky finished.

‘But what about my toys, I love opening my toys?’ Brutus frowned.

‘You know out of all the stuff on your list Brutus, the one that is the most important above everything else?’ Rocky asked him.

Brutus shrugged because he didn’t know.

‘The collar and ID tag that Mum gets us and pays to have engraved to say we have a home and family of our own. The rest doesn’t matter’ Rocky said.

Brutus quietly walked off to his bedroom and stared at his bed which contained one of his fluffy blankets, his beloved Tony Abbott doll, his stuffed rabbit, his penguin, his honking hedgehog, his bear, baby teething ring and his deer antler.

It wasn’t a too shabby collection of toys, next to it was a bowl of fresh water and a food bowl, his camp bed and behind that a cupboard containing some more freshly washed blankets in case he shit the bed (don’t ask!) and needed his bum washed and fresh bedding.

He walked back into the kitchen and stared at Rockys bed which had been hand made by Cuzz Bro’s Creations, covered in a red blanket, a Julie Gillard doll, another Tony Abbott doll and a gingerbread man which Brutus thinks is his but it really belongs to Rocky, plus a deer antler, bowl of water and food bowl.

Walking into the dining room Brutus noticed a selection of leashes, head collars, a collar, Rocky’s muzzle and Brutus’s camo harness. Brutus also took in the toy box in the garden packed to the top with toys and his recent birthday present of Fat Cat (flappy cat) and his snake he got from Dee Cole at the Funky Dog Company, as well as shit loads of tennis balls scattered around the garden.

Nothing more was said that afternoon about presents from either of the dogs. Gordon never asks for anything anyway and still has toys from when he was a kitten, even his plastic bed belonged to our cat before him – Bruno and is about 20 years old and Gordon loves it. Gordon likes simple things like bird feathers or being allowed to chew my bras (bastard).

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Gordon  – almost 15 years old and an all round naughty boy and member of the ginger club

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

So today I had to go and do my Christmas shopping and I hate shopping, like really hate it unless I am in a pet shop and then I love it.

‘What would you like for Christmas boys?’ I smiled at them as I was about to leave.

‘Tennis balls would be good and a new ID tag’ Rocky smiled at me.

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I shall have a tennis ball please Mum and lots of cuddles and turkey

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘But if we can go to the farm area on Christmas Day so I can catch up with the sheep that would be good as well’ Rocky added.

‘How about you Brutus?’ I asked him.

Brutus stared at me, his red/brown eyes bore into mine, expecting a long list I got ready for his demands of toys/bones etc.

‘If you can see fit to buying me a new honking pig to replace the one you squished in your car that would be nice, and a new ID tag because I have scraped the writing off mine on the wall when I rub myself against the bricks every morning’ Brutus growled.

‘Is that all? Are you sure?’ I asked him, this was news to me – Brutus is the King of Christmas lists and has even resorted to writing his lists on an entire roll of toilet paper to fit in what he wants which involves half of City Farmers.

‘Some turkey dinner would be nice and if I can be with Rocky when you Skype Daddy John Stocken and everyone else that would be brilliant’ Brutus barked at me.

Shrugging my shoulders I smiled at them and went off to do my shopping while secretly wondered if someone had swapped my dog with a newer angelic version.

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Brutus the Good Boy

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

After I had gone shopping

‘Did you mean that?’ Rocky asked Brutus, he could barely believe what he had just heard.

‘I’ve got loads of toys, I’ve got pretty much everything really and as you say, the rest of the stuff can’t be bought’ Brutus said firmly.

Rocky looked at his brother in admiration, nudging Brutus affectionately with his snout, Rocky grinned ‘Except for the honking pig – they are $11.00 in the supermarket because I have checked on Mum’s computer’.

Brutus laughed and wagged his tail ‘Yes, let’s not forget the honking pig’.

Driving

Going in the car to look at the sheep – cost? Priceless

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Gordon sat washing his anus from the other chair, at almost 15 years old he had seen many Christmases as you can imagine and he had realised long ago that the best Christmas is one that creates memories and not shopping lists, like the time he ate tinsel off the tree and had to shat it out with my help pulling it from his bum (now THAT is a memory!).

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You thought I was joking about the anus!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Three hours later I returned with very little in my bag as shopping had been a total nightmare, we don’t have children so not much to buy anyway really. But what there was in my bag; was a packet of tennis balls and a honking pig.

And in the post winging its way to me is an envelope with two bone shaped ID tags for the boys all engraved with the best present a dog could want – their owners details and enough phone numbers on there to show the world we love them.

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The most important things – the famous honking pig, collar, ID tag and a bone. These were Brutus’s first things bought for him when he came out of hospital after being critically ill.

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Merry Christmas everyone, thank you for the lovely comments and support so many of you have given this page over the years.

Samantha, Gordon, Rocky and Brutus

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright December 2016

A Forbidden Love (Bronte and Rocky)

It was Sunday afternoon and Rocky was in a bad mood as he hadn’t had a good walk in ages, he was also pissed off because he doesn’t have any friends because he hates everyone, including his invisible friends that all dogs have – just ask Rocco about that.

Glasses

Rocky in his Kelpie Spectacles

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘What are we doing today?’ Brutus demanded in a bored voice. Brutus always assumed things had been organised for him and kind of expected it.

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Brutus always expects stuff to be organised for him

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Rocky shook the absurdly large newspaper that he was reading, taking a deep breath he peered over the top of his kelpie spectacles which are just like Harry Potters spectacles except that they are for kelpies.

‘We are probably doing nothing, I hate everyone and I hate everyone even more today’ Rocky snapped and then bent down to chew his anal glands.

Brutus who is not good at ‘reading’ other dogs, shrugged his shoulders and trotted off to Rocky’s bed to steal his gingerbread man who had taken Tony Abbott’s place for suckling time when he needed a comforter.

Unknown to Rocky I had been messaging Denise Pringle asking if she fancied going to North Lake for a walk with Pippin and Bronte and I would bring Rocky.

Telling me that yes she would meet me in the car park I then set about breaking the good news to Rocky that he was to be meeting Pippin and Bronte and Brutus would be staying home with Dad to ‘help in the garden’ (dig the crap out of it).

‘What do you mean I can’t go? I always hang out with Pippin?’ Brutus protested with his bottom lip quivering.

‘What does she mean I can’t go?’ Brutus repeated to Rocky who grinned and replied simply ‘You go everywhere, it’s my turn now – catch ya later alligator!’ Rocky barked back at Brutus.

‘Come on Brutus, go to your room – I have put some treats in there’ I reassured him.

‘Not going, won’t go, can’t make me’ Brutus said in a high pitched voice and then promptly threw himself to the floor (I am not joking either)

Brutus sulking twice

Brutus – an expert on sulking

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The large brown dog buckled to the floor and started to howl. Now the reason for him not going was because I am working on Rocky’s behaviour and confidence around other dogs and he is far better when he is not with Brutus and Pippin has a calming influence on him.

Eventually I got Brutus to his bed and placated him with a carrot but not before he threatened to do rude things with it and the last I heard of him was him threatening to self harm as I drove off with Rocky in the car.

‘Yeah, this is so cool! Do you mind if I drive?’ Rocky grinned at me.

‘No, you are not driving’ I said firmly.

‘Oh well, I shall yell stuff out of the window then’ Rocky shrugged and before I could stop him; he was calling a Jack Russell terrier a ‘flea bitten stumpy legs’.

Soon we pulled up at North Lake and Denise, Pippin and Bronte arrived minutes after we did.

‘Hi Rocky!’ Pippin’s face beamed through the car window as he steamed it up trying to talk and greet Rocky.

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Rocky and Pippin – members of the Sensible Club

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Rocky who is so sensible and full of self control, tried to contain himself but as he doesn’t have any friends except for Lexie’s Tess and Pippin and Bronte, he was absurdly pleased to see the two little dogs. He was especially pleased to see Pippin as on the whole and when they are not being corrupted, are both very sensible dogs that wear spectacles and read large newspapers with big words and get on very well together.

‘Hi Rocky, do you think I have my figure back after my babies?’ Bronte said flirtatiously to Rocky who looked approvingly at her skinny bum.

‘Bronte, don’t be so forward!’ Pippin reprimanded her. Bronte looked boot-faced at Pippin and winked naughtily at Rocky causing him to blush and look away.

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Rocky and Bronte – a forbidden love

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Call me’ Bronte mouthed and did a phone gesture with her paws before running off ahead so that Rocky could get the full benefit of her svelte figure and pretty purple outfit.

‘Girls, I will never understand them’ Pippin sighed to Rocky, ‘Now – shall we discuss what has been happening in the UK as I understand they have voted out and I am not sure what that means for exporting dog collars and clothes’

Rocky pretended to listen but kept a beady eye on Bronte who kept turning round to see if he was looking and remaining in one place just long enough to catch his glance.

It was a very pleasant walk and aside from discussing politics, Rocky and Pippin had a jolly nice time that involved treats from Denise’s pocket, discussing the benefits of making ones bed explode and the glories of rolling in horse shit.

‘You see this is the equivalent to Facebook, if I pee on that post then you have to pee on where I have peed’ Bronte said confidently to Rocky as they trotted beside each other.

‘Oh I see, let me see if I can get a bit more out’ Rocky replied and then cocked his leg up a tree and was followed by Pippin who had enough pee for all three of them which made them all laugh.

Anyway the rest of the walk went very well, treats were given and eaten, bottoms were sniffed and the three dogs just enjoyed each others company.

At the End of the Walk

‘Oh I wish I didn’t have to go home I have had so much fun’ Rocky said to Pippin while looking longingly at Bronte who was smiling back at him and doing her ‘call me’ gestures again and was frantically sending Rocky a text. They always have had a bit of a forbidden crush on one another much to the horror of Nica, Zara and the rest of the girls.

‘We can meet up next time old chap’ Pippin patted Rocky reassuringly on the back. Knowing that Rocky had bad hips, Pippin always liked to do his bit for the disabled and felt that it was no trouble helping Rocky as the two had become quite good friends and members of the ‘sensible club’ – well we won’t count the time that Pippin ended up in a lap dancing club run by whippets as that is another story.

Rocky was reluctantly put in the back of the car. With his black snout pressed against the window, he yelled out through the gap ‘Catch ya later Pippin’ and before Pippin could see him, Rocky gave a cheeky wink to Bronte who waved back at him.

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Sweet Kelpie Dreams (of Bronte)

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

In Denise’s Car

‘What a lovely boy he is, so polite and handsome’ Bronte sighed as she settled into her bed.

‘Bronte!’ Pippin chastised her.

‘Well, he is jolly handsome’ Bronte barked back and then huffed some steam on the window and drew a love heart on it with her paws.

‘Rocky is too sensible to have flirtations with Italian greyhounds’ Pippin said firmly.

‘Yeah, I guess he is – but a girl can try….’ Bronte said quietly.

IMG_0639Bronte the pretty girl

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Back at Home

‘You are such a bastard, I hate you, I am never talking to you again!’ Brutus sobbed as Rocky jumped out of the car.

Ignoring him Rocky took a pee up the garden pot, well he had actually used his pee allocation while out with Pippin and Bronte and was now doing invisible pee, but even invisible pee counts when it comes to dogs.

‘I said I hate you and I am never talking to you again’ Brutus said loudly and as if to prove a point, he squatted down and pissed down his own legs. Brutus always looks as though life got a bit too much for him and when he gets upset he gets very loud and very cute.

‘You just did talk to me silly’ Rocky laughed.

‘I said I am never talking to you again, that’s it!’ Brutus started to cry and remained by my car as Rocky marked his spots around the garden to make sure that strange invisible dogs had not infiltrated our security system while we were out and my husband was in bed or whatever he did while we were out.

Later that afternoon

Having thawed out somewhat and deciding that he was totally unable to ignore or be ignored, Brutus decided to ask Rocky about how it went with Pippin and Bronte.

‘Well she is very nice isn’t she, she looked so beautiful in that purple outfit and she has lost so much weight – you wouldn’t believe she had not long had pups’ Rocky said as his face softened at the memory of the afternoon.

‘You fancy her don’t you?’ Brutus burst out and then catching Rocky blushing furiously, he stood up and farted with excitement. ‘You do, you fancy her, you fancy Bronte Pringle!’

‘You are SO childish, I don’t know why I bother with you’ Rocky growled and nipped Brutus smartly on his brown bum to shut him up and made him cry.

Curling up on his bed Rocky hid under his blanket and pretended to be asleep.

‘Rocky, are you asleep?’ Brutus whispered, ‘I am sorry, I didn’t mean to say you fancied Bronte, I know you prefer sheep to girl dogs, I was just joking’ Brutus who was mortified that he had upset his brother.

Rocky stayed silent and kept his eyes tightly shut until he was sure that Brutus had gone back to his own bed. But clutched tightly between his paws was a photo of Bronte that she had texted him plus her mobile number with a message saying ‘Call me’.

But the question is – will he?……

To be continued…..

 

Walk with me to the bridge (and by your side I’ll be)

Any pet owner that has had to have their animal euthanized can testify as to how difficult that decision was to make, but to stay by their beloved pets side while this is being done can prove to be too much for many people.

Some owners choose to leave their animal with the vet and some owners choose to stay with their pets when the time has come for them to be put to sleep.  There is no right or wrong decision, everyone has their own way of dealing with their own emotions and what one person can cope with, another can’t.

My first cat Bruno was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while undergoing surgery to see why he was vomiting.  There was no option but to have him put to sleep and as I was a veterinary nurse at the time, I got to see him on the operating table to say goodbye before the vet sent him on his way to Rainbow Bridge.

I could not face staying with him as it was done, I don’t know why but I just couldn’t and that is something I never quite forgave myself for.  I know that he was asleep and knew nothing about it and yes, I know that I did the right thing – and the kindest thing, but it still to this day haunts me that I wasn’t there until the end.

For months afterwards I was haunted with images and nightmares that my precious Bruno was not really dead even though the rational side of my brain knew he was.

My second cat Juniper was diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct just less than two years after we lost Bruno, she was also undergoing an exploratory operation to see why she was vomiting and once again we were cruelly hit with the cancer diagnosis.

‘Would you like to stay with her while I do it?’ The vet asked me.

There was no question about it, of course I had to stay with her.

Juniper was lying on a knitted multi colored blanket, still fast asleep from her anesthetic and her IV drip taped onto her leg.  I took in her soft and gentle face, pink nose leathers and stunning tortoiseshell markings, I felt the cool pink pads of her paws with the feathering in between the pads and memorized every inch of her while inside my heart was breaking at the thought of what I was going to witness.

Would she know I was there, would she know if I wasn’t?  Half of me wanted to run out of the surgery so that I couldn’t see the vet purposely ending my cats life.  But the other half was still hanging on to the pain of walking away from Bruno nearly two years before.

Why did I want to run away – self preservation for me? Why did I want to stay – to put right about how bad I felt for leaving Bruno or was it because it was the right thing for Juniper?  Who knows, possibly all of those reasons I guess.

I kissed her and hugged her as the vet injected into her IV drip and within a few minutes I could feel her tiny heart slow down until it stopped and that my friends, was my first ever time of what I term ‘walking my pet to the bridge’.

I recall crying so hard that I could barely breathe but I also remember feeling an immense sense of relief because it meant that cancer could no longer rob my tiny little cat of her health and cause her any more pain and suffering.

That was my first experience, the second was with my elderly whippet Rema who was in renal failure and although she looked healthy, she really wasn’t and on the day she went ‘to the Bridge’, she turned down a beef sausage and that was totally unheard of.  She looked into my eyes and silently screamed ‘I have had enough’.

I held her in my arms as the vet put her to sleep and once again I took in her scent, her fur, her grey muzzle and cloudy opaque eyes and then broke my heart as her larger than life character left her body at the same time that her heart stopped beating, leaving nothing more than a frail grizzled and skinny whippet lying on the table.

Was that really my dog?  She looked so tiny, I was sure she had been bigger than that or was that just her character?

Did Rema care that I was there?  I like to think she did.  She didn’t fight it, she relaxed in my arms and gazed up at me – and you can bet your sweet life she knew I was there and I like to think that she knew I had walked her to ‘the Bridge’.

Once again my heart was broken, the pain inside was tangible – why the hell was I putting myself through this again with Rema when it hurt so much with Juniper?  Now that begged a question.

I did it because I felt I had to, I did it because I regretted not doing it with Bruno, I did it because it was the final journey and I did it because I knew if I collapsed alone at home my pets would probably rather sit and die with me than escape to look for food elsewhere for their survival.

Now I am not judging anyone that feels unable to be with their pet on their final journey, it is a totally personal decision that only you as a pet owner can make.

I am purely describing it as someone that has not been there and also as someone that has been there.

For any pet owner, it is a painful and emotional thing to go through. Whatever you decide to do, I can guarantee that it will either hurt like hell to walk away and leave your pet with the vet, or it will hurt like hell to hold them as they die in your arms.

The right to say goodbye is denied to so many pet owners when their animal suffers a traumatic death and for me personally, if my pet has to go to Rainbow Bridge, then I will walk by their side to the gates.

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My precious little cat Juniper

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright September 2015

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.

Abigail recovery 2

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 Night Before Lure Coursing August 2014

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It was the night before lure coursing and every dog in Perth had nervously gathered round their computers checking the weather on Facebook while praying that the rain would hold off so that their day of fun, hot dog consumption and ‘social butterflying’ could take place.

Bearing in mind that the last event was cancelled due to bad weather, the dogs still hadn’t gotten over that little episode as the whole thing was rather dramatic, especially when the ridgebacks crates were blown over and Dee’s ridgies escaped and were found in the kitchen along with a few substantially sized sausages but that is another story entirely.

At the House of Mouse

Mouse, Barbie and Bender had just come back from their extended holiday in kennels and having stuffed their faces and been rather lazy, it was decided that Mouse would not be competing in the lure coursing as she was out of condition.

10501703_718650281511884_4420443276249970110_nMouse Norris – threatening a hunger strike

(Photography by Jet Ska)

‘But I want to enter, they cannot possibly run the course if I am not there’ The little white greyhound sobbed dramatically and threw herself on the floor and pretended to faint while Barbie fanned her with a bit of paper and muttered ‘Now see what you have done!.

The mere thought of NOT lure coursing on Sunday was too much for Mouse to contemplate, perhaps they could erect a life size cut out in her absence or maybe she could be placed in a buggy and paraded up and down so people could cheer her on? She would ask Brutus and get his opinion.

It took a whole heap of comforting from her owner in order to calm her down and even the promise of another exploding bed could not placate her, she wanted to go to lure coursing and that was that and Mouse had already decided to go on a hunger strike for 2 hours to make a few ribs stick out – that would teach them!

Pippin’s House

Pippin was on his computer checking the weather page for updates.  As the last meeting was cancelled, every dog known to man had gone in to a serious decline as it had been so long since their last lure coursing meet up, would they even remember each other?

‘Well, it says it will be OK in the morning but in the late afternoon there could be showers, but nothing is carved in stone as they say!’ Pippin said firmly and then took a delicate sip of water followed by a wiping of his pointy snout on his fleecy blanket.

‘I heard at the last meet, that all the dogs were blown away and that Vader and Brutus were actually blown along with Melissa’s Stafford’s down the Nullabor’ Bronte said in a matter-of-fact voice.

Pippin rolled his eyes and replied ‘Don’t exaggerate Bronte, everyone knows that Melissa’s Stafford’s floated away across the field on a bench and that Dee’s ridgebacks ended up in QLD’.

Bronte sighed and peered over Pippin’s shoulders to check out the weather for herself, after all – if this event ends up getting cancelled, she might be forced to do ‘whizzies’ round the garden, but then again, she does that anyway so perhaps not.

(sounds of Pippin’s phone ringing)

‘Hello? Mouse, good to hear from you, how was the holiday – all ready for Sunday?’ Pippin said in a super efficient which he reserved as a ‘special phone voice’ to impress people.

‘What do you mean?  That isn’t possible – out of condition?, you have to come, even the lure won’t run without you!’ Pippin squeaked, his normal ‘cool’ reduced to flustered.  Pippin hated it when his routine was messed up, he was ‘Mr Organized’ personified and if Mouse wasn’t going to lure coursing then he would have to re-organize everyone’s diaries.

Placing his fountain pen behind his ears, Pippin pursed his lips and started checking his iPhone to see just what he could do to make things ‘fit’.  Actually Pippin didn’t need to make anything ‘fit’ as the day would run wonderfully – providing there was no rain, but you all know Pippin, he is a super organized ‘Personal Assistant of Life’ and would have God himself organized if he could, actually I believe he does have God organised as God told me he did.

But that was OK, Pippin still had Brutus and Vaders diaries to re-arrange not to mention keeping the other Italian greyhounds in order – especially Rocco who has dreadful Tourettes and can be seen on the lure coursing grounds swearing and barking at any dog that cares to listen and any dog that doesn’t and his favourite word is ‘bollocks’.

Pippin was secretly very excited about lure coursing because there is nothing quite like a gang of Iggies trying to run down the track, well we can’t count Fletch in this as Fletch makes it his mission to go as slow as possible.

It will also be Pippin’s first race since the ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ competition and the other Iggies have planned to cheer him on when it comes to his turn to run so as you see, it is all going to kick off on Sunday at lure coursing – providing of course, it does not rain.

IMG_6184Pippin – in charge of everything really!

‘Pippin?’ Bronte asked her little brother.

‘Yes Bronte?’ Pippin replied.

‘Do you think it will rain?’ Bronte sighed, her little face so pointy that you could have dipped her snout in ink and written the word ‘Iggy’ with it.

‘Don’t know Bronte, I just don’t know’ Pippin sighed and crossed his little paws so tightly and secretly prayed that the rain would limit to falling on Tony Abbott’s head.

At Vader’s house

Vader and Brutus were having a play date which normally involves pulling down the underwear on Vader’s toys (yes toys wear undies), running round the garden, humping one another, arguing over a cows hoof and urinating over each other.

10606318_684483248306391_3219564786319427487_nCaught with its pants down and yes, the dogs did it!

‘I don’t know what I will do if it rains, is there any way we can stop it?’ Brutus asked Vader before pissing on his head.  Brutus was feeling quite fretful and totally devastated at the thought of not seeing his friends, let alone trying out the full course which involved corners/turns.

Vader lifted his head and stared at his new invisible boxer friend that he called ‘Frugal McGuff’.

Yes, I am afraid that Vader has an invisible friend that he often barked with, played with and argued with and his name was Frugal and I can testify that as I often hear Vader barking at fresh air in his garden and have come to accept the fact that dogs have invisible friends too.

And please don’t laugh at this, I bet you all had invisible friends as a child – I know I did, mine was called ‘Mr Manager’ who lived in Switzerland which was actually a camp that my Dad built out of sticks in the lane.  I used to ride invisible horses around the estate with my best friend Nicola and we had the rising-trot down to an art form as well as slapping our thighs with a stick, but let’s not go there please as it is quite frankly embarrassing.

‘Vader do you love Frugal McGuff more than me?’ Brutus asked Vader.  That was a hard one as Vader really did seem to enjoy arguing with his invisible friend and could be heard from over the fence barking and growling at him or with him and this made Brutus feel very insecure indeed.  Brutus doesn’t have an invisible friend as such, but he does have a strange relationship with his toys and can be heard growling at them so I guess it is the same really.

Vader looked at Frugal and then at Brutus, he couldn’t quite make his mind up as Brutus was not with him 24/7 but Frugal McGuff could be wherever he imagined him to be.  Frugal never judged him for making his beds explode and Frugal even took the blame for Vader’s naughtiness and Frugal never took the piss out of Vader’s exceedingly long tongue that was comparable to a slice of Christmas ham – as to quote Denise Pringle.

10577070_10152272532608317_899915858575841282_nVader – tongue like a Christmas ham!

However, Brutus was his best friend and nobody pissed on his head quite like Brutus did so that had to be something to consider surely?

‘I love Frugal’ Vader said with his huge fat tongue getting in the way.  Brutus’s face crumpled; did he love him (Brutus) as well?

‘But I love you more and we will be best friends forever and ever!’ Vader grinned and then washed Brutus’s jowls which made Brutus so happy that he had no choice other than to piss down his own legs with excitement.

10551075_683596318395084_4256826329900557973_nBest friends forever and ever!

‘Vader?’ Brutus asked the little boxer.

‘Yes Brutus?’ Vader replied while trying to reorganize his tongue and make it fit in his mouth.

‘Do you think it will rain on Sunday?’ Brutus asked again, thinking if he asked the question often enough, it would emphasize just how important it was for it to NOT rain on Sunday.

 Vader looked thoughtfully at Brutus before picking up one of his toys, ‘Nope, I don’t think so’

‘But how can you tell?’ Brutus demanded impatiently.

‘Because it’s lure coursing day!’ Vader replied simply.

And nothing more was said on the subject as both boys decided to sniff the same spot of dirt to find out if anything exciting had left its mark since they last sniffed it five minutes ago.

Dee Cole’s House

Dee was busy making some of her famous cakes which she knew would go down well as they always did.  There are absolutely zero calories in her cakes, once you cut the cake the calories fall out and that has been scientifically proven by some expert so I hear.

Dee’s ridgebacks were pretending to be good dogs but secretly Mac was planning how he could do ‘the great escape’ again and was trying to orchestrate an enormous large gust of wind to tip the crates over.

This was proving a problem as gusts of wind are not that easy to come by and it is not as though you can buy them in ‘Big W’ either.  Then it was suggested that Brutus be fed some Savoy cabbage and baked beans so that he could create a suitable gust of wind.  But as Brutus is known to follow a fart by explosive diarrhoea, Bailey quickly corrected Mac and the idea was canned.  It was no good, they would have to find their way to the kitchen by other means.

‘I am so excited I might be sick’ Mac muttered under his breath so that the puppies couldn’t hear it.

‘I hope we have nice weather’ Bailey replied.

And with that both dogs said nothing, they just sat there staring at Dee as she baked cakes, while making secret plans for a mass crate escape and a hostile takeover of the kitchen area and BBQ and taking all the sausages hostage.

At Sandra Burrow’s House – QLD

Kath the greyhound, Barney the big brindle horse/dog mix and Ruby the kelpie were having a chilled night in round Sandra’s house while playing the ‘Guess who?’ game.

All the dogs had a piece of paper stuck to their forehead while the other dogs had to give hints as to what or who was drawn on the paper, it is actually a very popular game amongst the dogs you know.

‘It’s white, woolly, makes a baahahahah noise and it gets its feet nipped’ Ruby the kelpie yelled in excitement to Barney.

‘A tampon on a string!’ Barney shouted with such excitement that he let out a huge fart which embarrassed him so much that he started noisily cleaning his genitals so Kath couldn’t see him blushing.

‘Barney you are SO disgusting!’ Kath said and wrinkled her long slender nose in disgust.  Greyhounds simply do not fart, they let out ‘puffs’ of air that smell of Sunday dinner farts, or if you don’t have Sunday dinner, then compare it to pumpkin farts as they too can be quite vile to inhale.

‘No it’s a sheep silly, not a tampon!’ Ruby sighed impatiently and then ran around the living room to herd up the cushions to show Barney how it was done.

‘You lot are SO childish!’ Kath said, shaking her head in disapproval before jumping off the sofa totally forgetting that she had a white sticker on her head with ‘Celine Dion’ written on it.

‘Don’t you want to know who you are meant to be?’ Barney shouted to Kath who was now in the garden behind her favourite bush squatting down to take a piss.

Barney and Ruby were patiently waiting for Kath to finish her toileting so they could get on with their favourite game.

Kath sighed ‘If you must, give me a clue’, then proceeded to dig up the grass with her hind legs and scatter soil everywhere.

‘Horse face Titanic Canadian’ Ruby the kelpie giggled as she said the clue to Kath.

Looking confused Kath replied ‘What the heck are you on about Ruby?’

‘Horse face Titanic Canadian’ Ruby repeated.

‘I know, I know! Black Caviar the racehorse!’ Barney shouted.  Not being the brightest dog on the block and a little bit ‘Brutus’ in the way of ‘gentle giant but not so smart’ title, Barney was so excited that he could even put out a clue, despite him not grasping the game that it wasn’t his turn to guess.

‘I give up, let’s go inside – ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ is on shortly and I want to watch Dr Harry’ Kath said firmly and walked inside with her sticker still on her head.

Ruby looked momentarily boot-faced but then agreed that they should go in as it would soon be tea time and she too liked watching Better Homes and Gardens especially when sheep and naughty dogs were involved.

The three dogs took their places on their favourite chairs, Kath had put her spectacles on so she could watch TV, Barney was lying on his back while flashing his genitals and periodically farting in between washing his anus and Ruby the kelpie was cuddled up to her toy sheep and occasionally nipping it to ‘keep it in its place’.

‘You know what day it is tomorrow?’ Ruby asked Kath.

‘Sunday’ Kath replied without looking up and then said ‘Why?’.

‘It’s West Coast Dog Sports lure coursing day in Western Australia, remember the last day Noah had to get his arc out as the day was a washout and dog were blown away and were seen floating down the Swan River on wooden crates, that is what I was told’ Ruby replied.

Barney stopped washing his bum and looked up ‘Oh yes, I heard they were meeting up, I had forgotten about that’.

Kath nodded approvingly and said ‘Well I hope they have a good day, it is a total tragedy when these events get cancelled and dogs can go into full depression when their lure coursing days don’t happen’.

‘Well I hear that it is going to be a beautiful day in Perth that day, wish I could come and meet all those Perth dogs, don’t you Kath?’ Ruby sighed and then went back to chewing on her toy.

‘Right everyone, quiet now – Dr Harry is on and I want to see the segment on stopping dogs digging the garden’ Kath said firmly and then spread her hind legs out like butter and her front legs to the skies like Superman as she stretched out in true greyhound fashion.

(Sandra Burrows walks in the door)

‘Hi dogs, I hope you have been good – who has been farting in here, is that you Barney?’ Sandra greeted the dogs that she had so lovingly trusted to have a ‘doggy night’ on their own.

‘I’ve got it, I’ve got it!’ Barney shouted at the top of his brindle voice.

‘What have you got – fleas?’ Kath said impatiently.

‘Titanic Horse Face Canadian – Celine Dion’ Barney snorted with laughter and carried on snorting despite Ruby nipping his feet to make him shut up.

‘That is SO not funny, I hate Celine Dion’ Kath said sounding totally fed up, her pointy snout appearing more sharp with ‘pissed-off-ness’, pulling the note off her head with her front paws, Kath looked the epitome of a dog with all the wounded pride of being called ‘Celine Dion’.

‘I know, I know, Barney shut up, that is SO not funny’ Ruby said to Barney while trying not to laugh.

‘Yes it is’ Barney snorted with laughter and ran inside before Ruby could nip him again.

Suddenly Kath received a text message on her mobile, this was most unusual for so late this evening but it must be urgent.  Glancing down at her phone she saw the message ‘It’s me Pippin, I need to speak to you urgently!’

Kath who had Pippin’s number on speed dial, called the Italian greyhound to find out what the problem was.

‘Hi Pippin everything OK?’ Kath said in a concerned voice and then yelled ‘Barney will you stop it, I am trying to have a serious discussion with Pippin’ Kath said in her best superior voice.  She was looking over the top of her spectacles now which always heralded that she was cross.

‘Kath, I have just had some bad news – thought you should know….’ Pippin said trying very hard to be strong.

Barney and Ruby could see Kaths face change from her normal greyhound expression to one of great sadness and it was a look that each and every dog knew and understood and nothing more needed to be said.

‘Oh Pippin, I am so very sorry – give my regards to the group’ Kath said now looking visibly upset.

‘We have only just found out ourselves this evening Kath so it is a shock for all of us but I will keep you posted how it goes tomorrow, it is going to be quite a sad day and even the humans don’t know about our plans as they have been so last minute but suffice to say that tomorrow we will be officially racing for a reason’.  Pippin replied.

‘Well it is lovely what the West Coast dogs are planning, but I don’t envy you on keeping it together, I know I couldn’t’ Kath said quietly.

‘I am sure you could Kath, I am sure you could – anyway, speak soon’ Pippin nodded trying not to show any emotion but we all know Pippin, the harder Pippin tries to be, the more we know that he is hurting.

‘Oh, Pippin, just one more thing before you go!’ Kath shouted at the computer.

‘Yes Kath?’ Said Pippin.

‘Good luck mate – with everything and do it for all of us in QLD!’ Kath nodded and just for once, Ruby and Barney sat quietly behind her and said nothing.

‘You OK Kath?’ Ruby asked Kath.

‘Yep, just got something in my eyes, that is all – I think it is a bit of grass or something, damn grass gets everywhere’ Kath said quietly and shuffled off to her bed.

Ruby and Barney nodded in sympathy because if you looked at them; they also had ‘something’ in their eyes and they too, needed a quiet moment to reflect, remember and wish with all their hearts that they could be in Perth on Sunday to join their friends in what was going to be a remarkable act of canine solidarity and support.

At Vader’s House

Vader sat subdued by his bed – nothing interested him, not even his toys.  He didn’t know what to say so he said nothing and even saying nothing, even doing nothing – hurt him.

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Vader 

At Brutus’s House

Brutus and Rocky had also heard the news that had filtered via Pippin that evening and unable to process it, both dogs had gone to their respective beds to make sense of it all.

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Brutus and Rocky discuss the news

Brutus was hugging his Tony Abbott doll and Rocky was curled up with his gingerbread man, both boys were uncharacteristically quiet.

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When only his Tony Abbott toy will comfort Brutus

‘Rocky?’ Brutus whispered quietly.

‘Yes Brutus’ Rocky replied.

‘Will I be a brave boy tomorrow?’ Brutus asked.

Rocky took a deep breath before he replied ‘Yes Brutus, I am sure you will, and Vader will as well’

‘I don’t want to cry, what happens if I cry?’ Brutus asked Rocky.

You could just make out the shadows of Rocky’s huge kelpie ears as he sat up, the moon shone brightly into the living room making ‘kelpie shadows’ by Rocky’s bed.

‘All dogs cry and providing you cry when it counts, it makes you a brave dog so please don’t worry about it’ Rocky said to reassure Brutus.

‘I don’t care about the race, I just hope I am a brave boy tomorrow – that is all’ Brutus sighed.

‘I am sure you will be’ Said Rocky.

‘Goodnight Rocky’ Brutus sniffed a few minutes later.

‘Goodnight lad and do us proud tomorrow’ Rocky replied.

But Brutus never heard that bit as he was fast asleep while clutching his Tony Abbott doll and dreaming about lure coursing, how painful life can be and absent friends.

Winston

This story is dedicated to Winston who crossed over to Rainbow Bridge far sooner than he should have done.

I would like to thank Winston’s owner Vanessa, for kindly allowing me to pay this tribute to Winston whom I had the pleasure to see at the recent Lure Coursers Anonymous lure coursing event at the Naval Base near Rockingham.

Winston had such fun with his lure coursing and was a joy to watch and even won a trophy on the day.

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Winston proudly displaying his trophy.

(Photography by Vanessa Pusey)

Racing for a reason

So tomorrow we shall go to our lure coursing event, we shall have fun, we shall catch up with friends.  Our dogs will have fun and enjoy themselves and no doubt have a blast as they chase the lure.

But when they do it, my guess is that if I know the characters that frequent my stories and I think I do, they will not only run for themselves – but they will sure as hell do it for Winston and they will ‘race for a reason’.

Next instalment to follow.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright August 2014

All photography is copyright by myself, Jet Ska and Vanessa Pusey.

 

 

 

 

All is fair in love (and lure coursing)

10525871_671147862973263_2402178646121030253_nBrutus – always second best to the lure

At Brutus’s house

‘Where are you going all dressed up?’ Rocky asked Brutus as he had spotted him smoothing down his ears and whiskers, not to mention he was wearing new leather collar on his neck.

‘Going to visit Millie in hospital as she is being de-sexed today’ Brutus replied and then with both paws, breathed out on them to check if he had ‘bone breath’.

Rocky nodded approvingly, anything to do with dogs being de-sexed he was a passionate and avid supporter knowing that many dogs were not as lucky as he and Brutus had been in finding good loving homes.

‘Can I borrow some of your doggy aftershave?’ Brutus asked Rocky who grinned and told him to help himself but then added something about ‘not being able to polish a turd’.

Brutus was nervous, he remembered his own de-sexing operation and knew that it wasn’t so bad but he was worried if Millie would even want him to visit.

‘Catch ya later Rocky!’ Brutus shouted and then gave his reflection a last glance in the mirror before leaving, totally oblivious to the gravy stains on his snout, the mucous stains on his neck from his play session from Vader and the scratch on his head where Gordon smacked him the other day.

‘Give my love to Millie!’ Rocky yelled back, but it was too late – Brutus was long gone.

At the Vets – now please just imagine a proper old-fashioned human hospital type set up purely for imaginative effect.

Millie had already been admitted to hospital and was tucked up in bed wearing her new nightdress – a white Victorian style one with a high lacey collar giving an impression of innocence and a non chewing, non digging dog.

The female dogs were all in one ward and the boy dogs in another ward and all the vet nurses wore old-fashioned green and white striped dresses with starched white aprons (just like the olden days).

2014-07-11 20.10.22Millie

‘Hello, the name is Millie – pleased to meet you’ Millie leaned forward in her bed to speak to a rather nice brindle whippet bitch who was wearing a pie frilled collared nightdress and had a pair of half rimmed spectacles on the end of her nose as she tried to read her ‘Dogs Today’ magazine.

‘My name is Dolly, pleased to meet you, are you in for de-sexing as well?’ Dolly the whippet replied as she peered over her glasses.

‘Yes, I think we all are today, there are 3 of us getting de-sexed’ Millie replied sounding grateful that someone was able to talk to her and take her mind off how nervous she was.

Dolly who was now polishing her spectacles on the bed sheets, was also pleased that Millie had struck up a conversation, after all we all know what it’s like to be in hospital and how scary it can be.

Dolly looked beautifully elegant in her nightdress, while clutching a knitted patchwork blanket and a stuffed rabbit that her Mum had given her as a comforter. Her Dogs Today magazine was opened on an article titled ‘De-sexing and the modern day bitch’, which was about how bitches can have a normal, active and fulfilling life after de-sexing.

‘Will you be having visitors aside from your family?’ Dolly asked Millie who was trying to take in the scenery and thinking how much the pillows resembled sheep and should she herd them up?

Millie sighed and said ‘No, Mum will collect me later this afternoon when it’s over’ and then added fretfully ‘I hope it doesn’t hurt too much, I am a lure courser you know’.

‘Don’t worry, you will be fine’ Said a large chunky Labrador bitch who was sitting upright in her bed, wearing a soft flannelette nightdress with pictures of bones on it. ‘My name is Anne, pleased to meet you’.

Both Dolly and Millie smiled back at Anne who was now busy sniffing for food, her nose appeared to have a mind of its own as it tried to pick up various smells, because at the end of the day, all good Labradors love their grub!

Outside the veterinary hospital

Clutching a bunch of wilted flowers, Brutus once again smoothed his face and made his ears look nice and frantically tried to wipe the gravy off his snout before entering the building.

‘Hello’ said Brutus to a large overweight British Bulldog who was busy checking his Facebook account on his iPhone. The bulldog nodded back to acknowledge Brutus before updating his Facebook with a status of ‘About to have my balls cut off’.

A large white poodle with a diamante stud collar; sat at the reception desk assisting the public (well those that believe in my stories anyway), after rustling through some papers, she looked up and smiled at Brutus and said in what I can only describe as in a ‘BBC English’ type accent; ‘Can I help you?’

Brutus cleared his throat and clutched the wilted half-dead flowers and replied in his best-spoken voice ‘I am looking for Millie who is in for de-sexing’.

The poodle smiled at the large clumsy teenage dog that was obviously trying to impress his visitor with his wilted flowers.

Standing up, the white poodle looked at Brutus and said curtly ‘Turn around lad, let me see your butt, no testicles allowed on male visitors of the doggy kind’

Blushing, Brutus turned round while the poodle gave him a quick visual examination before replying ‘No testicles, that is what I like to see – very good! yes lad – you can go straight up to the ‘de-sexing ward, 2nd floor, first right’

Brutus smiled nervously and found that he had gripped his flowers so tightly that two of them had snapped, leaving only the stalks visible.

‘Oh excuse me lad?’ The poodle receptionist said in a quiet voice.

Turning round, Brutus looked at her to see what she wanted.

‘You might want to wipe that bit of gravy off your face and clean that bit of mucous off your neck’ The poodle grinned and then beckoned for Brutus to lean over while she cleaned him up with a baby wipe.

‘All good to go’ The poodle smiled after she had finished tidying Brutus up and then immediately gave her attentions to a large black greyhound called ‘Cowboy’ who was in for his de-sexing.

Brutus walked along the corridor; which smelt of animal hospital and disinfectant. Vets and vet nurses rushed around, trolleys were being pushed around with sleeping or sleepy pets on them; it was a medical and veterinary hub of activity.

‘No, please! Not my testicles, please – I shall do anything, I promise not to hump the cat/rabbit/child/sofa ever again, I swear I did not get the blanket pregnant and will take no responsibility for the mini blankets!’ A boxer with unfeasibly large testicles yelled as a veterinary nurse fought to get him down the corridor to the boy dogs de-sexing area.

‘Someone told me I will sing in a high voice once I lose my balls and Boris the beagle down the road told me that I will turn into a girl’ the boxer sobbed to anyone that would listen and everyone that wouldn’t.

‘No, you will not sing in a high voice, no you will not turn into a girl, you will just not be able to get the girls pregnant, now come on and be a good boy and follow me!’ The nurse reassured him.

The boxer stopped yelling and reluctantly started to follow the nurse while looking around for moral support from other male dogs.

‘Hey mate, they are taking away my balls!’ The boxer shouted to Brutus as he walked by.

‘That blanket episode, it wasn’t my fault and about the other incident, I swear it didn’t look like a rabbit when I found it’ The boxer yelped as he was reluctantly dragged onto the dog ward, but not before he cocked his leg and took a piss up the wall.

‘Can I help you?’ A vet nurse asked Brutus who had by now snapped some more heads off the already wilted flowers.

‘Yes please, I am here to visit Millie’ Brutus stuttered and was so nervous that he let out a fart. The nurse was far too polite to say anything but her nose wrinkled up and she swallowed a few times and tried hard not to breath while at the same time, pointing to the direction of the female dog ward where Millie was being kept.

Dolly, Anne and Millie were lying in their beds, somewhat sleepy, as they had been given their pre-med. Anne the Labrador was now so hungry she had almost convinced a vet nurse to give her lunch by pretending to be diabetic. It had almost worked as well had Dolly the whippet not told her off for doing so.

‘For goodness sake Anne, you only had your tea last night, just how hungry can you be?’ Dolly said impatiently.

‘Bloody starving actually, anything over 2 hours constitutes as Labrador starvation’ Anne said looking sulky. Any second now she would be forced to eat the sheets, then they would be sorry.

‘Millie, you have a visitor’ the veterinary nurse said to her as she straightened the bed sheets and tidied Millie up.

‘I am not expecting Mum to come and get me until after the operation’ Millie replied sounding confused.

(Sounds of whispering and giggling from Anne and Dolly)

‘Ooohhh, sexy!’ Dolly the whippet grinned and then sat up and removed her spectacles and unbuttoned a few buttons on her nightdress to show her teats.

Brutus with all the clumsiness of a young lad who has never properly dated a female dog before (we can’t count Mouse as that is a one sided relationship where Mouse only had eyes for the lure), walked awkwardly down the ward, almost tripping over the sheer length of his own legs, whilst farting at the same time as he was so nervous, you know when some old ladies fart with each step when they walk to the toilet on their walking frames? Well that was Brutus.

Being a young, fit and very handsome boy, despite being clumsy and not knowing how to behave in front of the bitches, Brutus got a lot of attention and by now both Dolly and Anne were smoothing their whiskers and flashing their teats in a bid to get his attention.

Millie’s face lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw him and sat up in her bed and frantically wagged her tail under her nightdress.

Not quite sure on how to behave, Brutus bent down to kiss Millie on the cheek and almost head-butted her in the process, causing Anne and Dolly to giggle and blush.

‘Thank you so much for coming to see me’ Millie said, also going red as she could hear Dolly and Anne giggling as they tried to hide their heads under their sheets.

‘These are for you’ Brutus stumbled and handed her the wilted flowers which by now had been squeezed so tightly with nerves, that only one very wilted flower remained amongst the stalks of the other flowers.

Millie stared at the broken stalks and the one remaining flower as though it were the most beautiful thing she had ever been given in her entire life. ‘Oh Brutus, that is truly beautiful!’ She replied and carefully took the flower and put it in a cup of water by her bed.

Brutus nodded, suddenly aware that the other two dogs were staring at him and he wasn’t used to that, well aside from some of the Iggy’s staring at him and getting attention from Madam Gigi, this was all new to him.

‘Are you nervous?’ Brutus asked Millie who was now quite sleepy from her pre-med, with her eyes flickering as she tried to stay awake and stare at Brutus.

‘Nope, not all’ Millie lied and then said quietly ‘Well maybe just a bit’.

Squeezing her paw to reassure her, he nodded looked around the ward and noticed that Millie was the only one with a visitor.

‘Excuse me young man, we are taking Millie down now for her surgery, you can wait outside’ The nurse smiled to Brutus and then led him to the corridor where a miniature Schnauzer was pacing up and down while talking in German on a mobile phone.

‘Take care Millie, see you soon!’ Brutus said in his loud ‘Brutus-voice’. And the last thing he saw was Millie being lifted on to a trolley to be wheeled to be de-sexed.

‘See you later Millie!’ Dolly the whippet said, her voice wobbling, as she too was nervous.

‘I wonder how long we will have to wait?’ Anne the Labrador said sounding concerned, she was starving and if she didn’t wake up with a pig’s ear in her mouth, she would report everyone for cruelty to Labradors and you could be sure of that.

‘Right now, by the looks of it’ Dolly replied as a couple of veterinary nurses arrived at their beds to take them for their operations.

Brutus sat outside in the corridor watching the Schnauzer talking in German on his phone whilst occasionally farting while he heatedly discussed the pros and cons of the kennel cough vaccine.

‘Man, you need to go to the toilet, to think they call me Turd Legs’ Brutus said sounding highly disgusted.

‘Sorry, it was zee sausage’ The Schnauzer whispered to Brutus in broken English and then went back to talking on his phone before ‘winking’ with his bottom which usually means ‘take me to the garden before I crap myself’ – at least that’s what it means with Vader the boxer.

10352827_10152176710677136_7274661883758195746_nSchnauzers – talking in German you know

In Recovery

‘Millie, Millie – wake up my lovely! There’s a good girl!’ A nurse was stroking Millie’s tiny black and white head to try and wake her up.

Millie’s throat was a bit sore from the tube that had been put down, she felt a bit of pain in her tummy but painkillers had helped that. Everything seemed loud, she could smell disinfectant and she could still taste the gas that had been used to keep her asleep during the operation.

‘Where’s my Mum?’ Millie asked sleepily, she wanted her Mum – where was she?

‘It’s OK Millie, your Mum will be here later when you are more awake’ a vet nurse reassured her and then covered her with another blanket to keep her warm.

Next to Millie lay Anne and Dolly on their recovery trolleys; they had also both had their surgery done. Being a whippet with no body fat on her Dolly was taking her time to wake up but Anne the Labrador was already starting to wake and was shouting something about Shepherd pie and carrots whilst chowing down on her blankets because she was so hungry.

The boxer dog we had seen earlier was also in recovery himself and waking up in noisy fashion while shouting ‘We’re on the ball!’ and other such English soccer songs to do with balls and testicles.

Brutus meanwhile, was waiting patiently like a good boy outside the ward and he was hoping that he would be allowed back in for a quick visit before going home.

He was still embarrassed about the snapped and damaged flowers and hoped that Millie wasn’t too upset but little did he know, Millie didn’t see the snapped stalks, she saw the one flower that was there and to her it was beautiful.

‘Brutus, you can go back in quickly before Millie’s Mum comes to collect her’ a veterinary nurse said to Brutus who had been staring at the ‘National De-sexing Month’ posters that were on the wall.

Millie had now been taken back to her bed and was still a bit groggy but not too groggy to forget her vanity and was tidying herself up when she saw Brutus walking in.

‘Hi Millie, are you OK?’ Brutus asked her as she struggled to sit up.

‘Yep, I am fine but I won’t be able to come round to play for a bit’ Millie replied.

‘That’s OK, it doesn’t matter’ Brutus mumbled, he was still blushing each time she spoke to him.

‘When you are better we can go lure coursing perhaps?’ Brutus asked Millie who was averting her gaze because Anne and Dolly were making rude gestures from behind Brutus’s back. Really these girls were so naughty.

The two dogs sat in silence for a bit, there was nothing to be said really – they were just comfortable in each others company and with their paws just slightly touching, there was no need for words.

‘Millie, your Mum is here to get you’ the vet in charge said to Millie who wagged her tail so hard that she almost got it caught in the bed sheets as she spotted her Mum clutching her leash all ready to take her home.

Brutus stood up and suddenly felt clumsy and embarrassed, he got up to go and as Millie was so excited to see her Mum she didn’t even notice he had left.

‘Come on Millie, let’s get you home’ Millie’s Mum said to her. She had been so worried about the little dog and couldn’t wait to get her home.

Clipping the leash on Millie’s collar, the tiny dog was led out of the ward leaving Dolly and Anne in their beds waving their paws as they said goodbye.

‘She was nice’ Anne the Labrador sighed, ‘I would like to see her again and do some of this lure coursing stuff she was going on about’.

Dolly was polishing her glasses again, after all there is nothing quite like a whippet that wears glasses, it makes them look so intelligent you know. If you have a whippet at home, put some glasses on them if you don’t believe me.

10351729_10154476281985206_3291143147023844551_nWhippets in glasses

‘Oh look, she has forgotten the flower beside her bed’ Dolly said as she spotted something.

And beside Millie’s bed was a glass with water in it and a single wilted flower that Brutus had brought in earlier.

‘Should we call her back?’ Anne the Labrador asked Dolly.

After a few seconds Dolly replied ‘No, don’t bother, it was dead anyway, she won’t miss it’.

And then both dogs started talking about more important things like what they would have for their dinner and if they were lucky, perhaps it would be a bone.

Back at Millie’s House

‘But I want it, it was mine, we must go back for it!’ Millie sobbed as she tried desperately to break out of her Mum’s clutches.

‘Millie, what do you want? What is the matter?’ Millie’s Mum tried to reason with the young dog that was so upset she was almost inconsolable.

‘My flower, my flower – Brutus brought it for me’ Millie barked loudly looking visibly distressed.

And do you know something – that little dog was so upset that she cried long into the night to the point she almost made herself vomit.

Back at Brutus’s House

‘How was Millie?’ Rocky asked Brutus as they lay on their new bed that Cuzz Bro had made for them.

‘Oh yeah, she was OK’ Brutus replied and then set about chewing his leg and pretending it was a beef bone.

‘Don’t worry too much about her, it’s good that she has been de-sexed – there are not enough good homes for dogs as it is’ Rocky said in a firm voice, always the voice of reason is my Rocky.

‘Yep I know, Pippin already went through this with me’ Brutus sighed.

‘What’s the matter then?’ Rocky demanded, his huge kelpie head and big ears showing up as a big ‘shadow of kelpie’ in the light.

‘Nothing’ Brutus said flatly and then stuffed his nose to his bottom and pretended to be asleep. Because when Brutus is upset, he finds that his bottom is the only place that Rocky won’t pester him for answers.

10426701_671147892973260_9064432844046885149_nRocky pesters Brutus for information

Later that night

(Sound of Millie’s mobile phone ringing)

‘Hello Brutus is that you?’ Millie said sleepily. She had been given some more painkillers to keep her settled and felt a bit drowsy.

Brutus stuttered not quite knowing what to say, he hadn’t expected her to answer. ‘Yes, that’s me, just checking how you are?’

‘What about Mouse will she mind you calling me?’ Millie asked him, she didn’t want to know the answer but had to ask anyway.

‘I have heard rumours that Mouse is living the high life in some pet resort while flirting with other dogs, besides – she loves the lure more than me’ Brutus said fretfully.

‘Thank you for my flower, I left it at the hospital by mistake’ Millie said quietly.

‘That’s OK, I shall get you better ones next time’ said Brutus.

‘Are you glad you got de-sexed?’ Brutus asked Millie.

Millie took a few seconds to answer before replying ‘Yes, now I can concentrate on what is important in my life without worrying about coming on heat and having unwanted puppies’

Brutus momentarily felt quite excited, perhaps this one would be different and he could actually find a dog that loved him for being him and not a lure – Brutus.

But the excitement was only momentary because what Millie said next made Brutus’s heart sink.

‘Lure coursing’ Millie replied happily and then said ‘Do you think I will be well enough for the next event?’

‘Goodnight Millie’ Brutus said quietly and then shuffled off to his bed to play with the one thing that doesn’t mind him chewing its genitals – his beloved Tony Abbott doll.

AbbotBrutus, Tony Abbott and the Carrot – enough said

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright July 2014

Lure Coursing, dogs and friendships

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Brutus – did you say fastest dog in Australia?

Lure Coursing – Heats for the ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ Contest
West Coast Dog Sports, Kings Meadow Polo Grounds, Guildford

15th June 2014

*Warning – this story is a long one as in a really long one, it is not a quick read so you will need to put the kettle on and put your feet up. Contains some adult content – parental supervision may be required if your children are reading this*

It was the day of the heats for the Fastest Dog in Australia and each dog was to run twice and have the fastest time recorded to count towards the Australia wide contest.

There was considerable excitement as this was unlike any other coursing day because it was competitive and instead of the usual gossiping and bitching that the dogs did, they were trying desperately to warm up and improve on fitness.

Brutus had just arrived, he had started to shake and cry as we drove into the Polo grounds, he always does you see; he gets so very excited that he has dreadful wind and rots the car out with each ‘puff’. Excitement of seeing his new friends, excitement of racing, excitement of seeing his beloved Mouse and excitement that Pippin had accepted him as an honorary member of the Italian greyhound group; so to say he is happy with his lot is an understatement.

You will find that each time you arrive for the lure coursing events, the same dogs stick to the same groups – it’s ‘The Law’, an unwritten rule but they usually congregate in their own gangs.

The first dog that Brutus saw was Mouse of course, she was sitting with her family under the terrace, totally oblivious to anything other than the lure. In fact if I ever turned up at lure coursing and Mouse and her family were not there, it simply would not be right and I would not be happy – Mouse is a lovely dog owned by a lovely couple and I believe that Brutus would throw a huge tantrum if he didn’t see her.

ImageBrutus and Mouse catch up

‘Hello Mouse’ Brutus said nervously, it was rather like meeting the Queen for Brutus and he always got nervous before addressing her and was never sure if he should bow or not.

Mouse totally blanked him as she was staring at the lure wishing evil things upon it like being able to shred it and attack it and murder it and then pee on it.

‘Hi Mouse’ Brutus repeated in a slightly louder voice.

‘Hi Brutus’ Mouse replied curtly as she strained her beautiful sculpted head which looked like a piece of fine bone china, and stared at the lure and a young female dog who was chasing it.

‘She took off too quickly, that’s no good at all’ Mouse muttered to nobody in particular.

Not quite knowing what to say, Brutus agreed with her that ‘she’ whomever ‘she’ was as in the dog running at the time, did indeed take off far too quickly. Brutus always did agree with the majority and never had his own opinion.

After a greeting of mutual genital sniffing, Mouse then made it abundantly clear that she had to watch the next run but not before Brutus posed for a few photographs of his beloved white greyhound that was so elusive, she almost gave unicorns a run for their money, except that when Mouse gives anything a run for its money, she always wins and sets fire to the ground leaving a ring of flames and a fair bit of smoulder.

The joys of a loose dog!

I have mentioned previously that there is seldom anything as joyful as a dog that has escaped its leash and West Coast Dog Sports has seen many a loose dog including the time that the naughty Afghan hound that looked like a piece of black silken cloth floating across the field as it ran along in gay abandon while the other dogs cheered it on.

Invariably Melissa Jones’s Staffords will escape by undoing their own cages and chasing their Melissa down the track. They are positively expert in the art of escaping and have even written a book titled ‘Escaping and the modern day dog’.

This race meet was no different. A dog had to escape – it was an unwritten rule and the other dogs not only expected it, they set their watches by it.

‘Whose turn is it today?’ Amira the ridgeback asked Bailey and Mac.

‘Not sure, we shall see in a minute’ Mac replied and then went back to washing his bum.

‘Oh my god, Copper has escaped!’ Someone yelled as a large ridgeback galloped past the trees while their owner desperately tried to catch him. As the large brown ridgie galloped happily towards the bushland as the other dogs yelled ‘Yay! Go on my son, do it for all of us!’

‘Do it for Africa!’ Milly the Border collie squealed.

ImageMillie – Brutus’s friend

(Photography by Periwinkle Photographic Studio)

‘Africa? What are you talking about?’ A poodle type dog with a cute beard whose name escapes me, said to Milly.

‘Do it for me – quick, they are gonna catch ya!’ Brutus shouted in his deep voice.

The dogs were going mad shouting at Copper the ridgeback and even Dee’s ridgebacks; Bailey, Mac, Princess and Jaz were so excited that all of them were farting and snorting and in between that, shouting support to Copper who was fast approaching the bush.

‘Catch me a sheep’ An excited kelpie bitch squealed and then added ‘Bugger it, he’s been caught – bad luck Copper!’

‘Nice try lad, nice try’ Bailey shouted to Copper who grinned back and flipped him the bird in an act of ridgie naughtiness. Brutus who wasn’t sure whether or not to praise Copper for his attempt to make a bid for freedom, merely farted instead and then realized Milly was next to him holding her nose and making choking sounds.

Planet Iggy (Italian Greyhounds)

Pippin was doing his usual running around with two mobile phones trying to keep everyone in order. Rocco was feeling particularly bad tempered and was shouting at random strangers from his crate; while telling them to ‘piss off’ in between looking super dainty and highly regal and exceptionally pointy in appearance.

‘Call yourself a dog? Yeah right, you need to diet – you look like a coffee table!’ Rocco yelled to one elderly dog with a grizzled face that plodded past as though he had calipers on.

‘Rocco, where are your manners?’ Pippin told Rocco off while looking totally horrified at such an outburst from an Iggy.

‘At least I don’t have legs that snap like carrots!’ The elderly dog shouted back and then flashed his anus in a bid to end the argument leaving Rocco looking boot-faced, as he couldn’t get the last word in, after all one never spoke to a dogs anus – ever.

Madam Gigi was sitting on a nice cushion while a couple of Iggys fanned her down and mopped her brow, not that she needed to be fanned or her brow mopped but she did like that kind of attention and at times had been known to faint so that she could be brought round and waited upon.

Fletch was smoothing down his ears and admiring himself in the mirror while continually glancing around him to see ‘who was who’ and ‘who was there’ in Planet Iggy. Fletch commanded respect and he got it as well.

Nica was dramatically making vomiting noises, she was pretending to have an eating disorder to try and persuade her Mum to give her human food instead of dog biscuit and as far as vomiting noises went, Nica had it down to a fine art and even made the other dogs hold her ears as she pretended to vomit down the toilet in return for a piece of steak.

Bronte who is the new girl on the block and Pippin’s new girlfriend, hadn’t quite worked out who was who, only that Pippin was in charge but he was showing her the ropes and she loved him because they had their laundry baskets side by side in the back of Denise’s car, complete with safety harnesses and straps and Bronte thought that was a cool way to travel.

Suddenly one of the Iggy’s had sighted Brutus who had left Millie at the table and was now plodding along like Forrest Gump through the crowds, saying in his loud goofy voice ‘Hi everyone!’ to anyone that even looked at him.

‘Quick, it’s Brutus!’ Nica squeaked, momentarily forgetting about her eating disorder and quickly smoothed her ears down and rearranged the tiny whiskers on her snout.

(Sounds of excited Iggy’s all shouting in high-pitched voices as though they had inhaled large quantities of helium, just imagine the little people in the Wizard of Oz saying ‘follow the yellow brick road’ and that is just how Iggys talk)

‘Brutus! Over here!’ Pippin yelled and then skillfully spoke into both of his mobile phones, one of which was a conversation with Gidget who although was deemed to fragile to race, still insisted on getting the gossip and phoning up Pippin to find out what was going on, the other call was to Vader who was highly pissed off that he had been left at home and also wanted updates on the day.

‘Hi Brutus’ Amira the ridgeback shouted to Brutus and then blushed as she always did when she spoke to boy dogs. Dee’s puppies waved while Bailey and Mac tried to be more restrained and grown up, except for the moment being ruined when Mac farted quite loudly causing Bailey to purse his lips in disgust. (There is nothing quite like a ridgeback fart by the way, aside from a Labrador that has eaten sprouts).

A French Affair!

It was all going on, excitement, barking, lure chasing, the cocking of legs as dogs urinated in various spots to mark them as their own in a secret code that shouts ‘I have been here’, a bit like graffiti except for dogs.  Well Brutus at 19 months is still not cocking his leg and prefers to squat like a girl and piss on himself.

Brutus was doing a bit of ‘social butterflying’ with the other dogs, he had lots of mates now and was very proud of that fact; but that is lure coursing for you – it is a social event and owners as well as their dogs, get to catch up with friends and make new ones which is why we all love going and without being biased, I think our little club is the best.

10468372_10204214772839625_4593949629770017694_n

Brutus social butterflying with his Iggy friends

At first he didn’t notice, he was too busy saying hello to his ‘Iggy friends’ (Italian greyhounds). Brutus didn’t notice that a beautiful white French poodle called Shimmer was staring him.

She sat there smoking a posh cigarette in a long cigarette holder, smelling of expensive French perfume and ‘high class’, she spotted Brutus and once she saw him, she had no intentions of looking away.

‘Bonjour Mr Brown Dog, my name is Shimmer and who are you?’ Shimmer said to Brutus in a French accent. Her voice was husky from too many cigarettes, brandy and singing at the ‘Canine Moulin Rouge’ at the weekends, but she sounded quite sexy to Brutus, as he had never heard a dog speak in a French accent before.

Brutus looked around to see who was watching and then looked back at the poodle and replied ‘I am Brutus, pleased to meet you’.

The Iggy’s were all giggling and whispering to one another ‘did you hear that, did you see that? That French poodle Shimmer is chatting up our Brutus!’

Completely unsettled by the attention that the little poodle was giving Brutus; Pippin looked boot-faced and butted in abruptly; ‘Look puff-ball, this is a lure coursing event and not a powder puff contest, besides – don’t let Mouse see you chatting up Brutus or there will be trouble’

Pippin bristled with anger and self-importance while Rocco and the others all nodded their heads so vigorously that it was a flurry of pointy snouts almost whacking one another.

‘Mouse? Who is this Mouse you talk of?’ Shimmer demanded and then as if bored by the moment, she glanced down at her perfectly manicured nails to admire the handy work of her dog groomer.

(Sounds of gasping and looks of horror on all the Iggys faces)

‘You don’t know who Mouse is?’ Pippin spluttered in disbelief.
‘That is what I said isn’t it?’ Shimmer snapped back in her sexy French accent.

‘Sorry, better go’ Brutus mouthed to the poodle and was immediately surrounded and protected by his tiny Iggy friends. Rocco was absolutely livid and was already having a burst of temper while muttering to the poodle to ‘piss off before he ate her a new face’. Rocco was the toughie of the group and frequently wore leather jackets with ‘Dog Zone’ on the back and chewed gum for effect and had to stay in his crate, as he believed that he was bigger than he actually was and had given himself the nickname of ‘Hannibal Rocco’ and demanded that his Mum bought him a metal muzzle to complete the image.

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‘Hannibal Rocco’ in his crate

(Photo by Jeni Sach)

‘There are things that every dog in this group should know and knowing who Mouse is, is one of them’ Pippin said firmly as the Iggys all nodded in agreement.

The line had been drawn – the husky voice French poodle had declared herself to Brutus who had already declared himself to Mouse. The Iggys were upset and in turn, so were the whippets that Pippin had told and by the end of the day – everyone was talking about it. Even Melissa’s Staffords had held a meeting about the whole thing and the word on the course was that Mouse was not happy and if Mouse wasn’t happy, then nobody was happy.

‘Such strange dogs at this place, all is fair in love and war and zee mysterious clumsy brown handsome dog Brutus’ Shimmer said in her strong accent and then shrugged her shoulders in a ‘devil may care’ attitude that had Pippin so furious that he almost urinated down his own legs.

‘Bastard’ Rocco shouted but not before Denise told him off for his ‘Tourette’s’ moment and reminded him of the ‘Three Ps’ of the Iggy World ‘Polite, Proud and Pointy’.

ImageBrutus – the honorary ‘Iggy’

(Photography by Jeni Sach)

Brutus – (not) the fastest dog in Australia but gave it a damn good go!

Brutus was busy gossiping to one of his good friends – Benny the Pharaoh hound, he totally loves him and they both enjoyed indulging in a bit of bottom sniffing and have always got on well right from when they very first met.

‘Do you think you will stand a chance?’ Benny asked Brutus who was trying hard to roll in some horse shit on the ground.

Without looking up, Brutus replied ‘Nope, my legs are all wrong and Mum said I am ever so clumsy’.

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Brutus and Benny the Pharaoh hound – waiting their turn to run

Benny laughed and then both boys remembered the story of when Brutus cleared a coffee table complete with wine with one swipe of his tail, not to mention the time when Brutus jumped on top of my car and fell off but we won’t talk about that as the memory still haunts me.  Clumsy was indeed a fine word to describe Brutus, as was ‘Turd Legs’.

ImageBrutus and Amira the Ridgeback

Dogs were cheering each other on at the sidelines, the kelpies were barking and yelling stuff about sheep and tennis balls, a couple of gorgeous Irish terriers were getting thoroughly over excited and had to be split up as they started having arguments with invisible dogs which nearly ended in an invisible fight.

An elderly dog was then put to run while the other dogs waited to cheer it on. The frail dog looking somewhat confused, grizzled and tired; stared at the lure and then muttered ‘Stuff that, I can’t be bothered’ and stiffly trotted back to its Dad.

‘Oh too old and too tired’ the owner laughed and picked up his dog. Now although the old dog didn’t run, every dog likes to think he/she is a winner and every dog likes to be applauded.

‘Yeah, that was brilliant, well done!’ One of the Irish terriers shouted in a strong Irish accent and one by one the other dogs clapped the tiny frail dog in a canine act of support and solidarity while the elderly dog started to wag its tail looking absurdly pleased with itself.

The humans cheered as well and by the time it was Brutus’s turn to run, the elderly grizzled dog with its grey muzzle and tufts above its eyes; really believed that he/she had won the whole thing. And that my friends, is what it is all about – believing you can win and more to the point knowing in your heart that you have won because your mates supported you.

‘Good luck Brutus’ Benny said to his friend and Brutus grinned back at him.

Brutus was nervous, he knew that he wouldn’t do an earthly in this contest but he wanted his Mum (me) to be proud of him. I ran to the end of the course to catch him while a lovely lady released him for me.

Brutus who is not used to running that kind of distance; and as this course was much longer than he was used to, it certainly was a challenge for him but my gentle giant did ever so well and looked so happy when I caught him that he was almost smiling.

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Brutus ‘winning’ his own race

(Photography by Vicki Clements)

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Brutus smiling his way through his race

(Photography by Jeni Sach)

‘I won, I won!’ Brutus shouted happily as his mates clapped and cheered, even the Iggys yelled raucously in their high pitched ‘helium’ voices and applauded Brutus – their honorary Iggy mate; as he was led out off the course.

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked me as I proudly walked him back to our table where his friend Milly the Border collie was waiting for him to congratulate him.

‘Yes Brutus?’ I replied.

‘Am I a good boy?’ Brutus asked, needing constant reassurance that he was a ‘good boy’, it was important to him to know this.

Remembering the multiple chewed (expensive) beds, the graves dug in the garden, the destroyed plants, the scaling and jumping of a 6 foot fence, I looked down at him as he panted and tried to get his breath after his race. He might not always be a ‘good boy’ but he was ‘my boy’ and I was proud of him and how he had taken to lure coursing and had socialized and made so many friends into the bargain – both animal and human alike.

‘Yes Brutus, you are a good boy’ I smiled at him.

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked.

‘Yes Brutus?’ I laughed.

‘Am I a winner?’ Said Brutus.

‘Oh yes Brutus, you most certainly are’ and with that I bent down and kissed his huge brown head and momentarily loved the kiss that he gave me back, but only momentarily as I quickly remembered that he had washed Mouses’s and Benny’s genitals earlier.

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Brutus – The Good Boy!

(Photo by Periwinkle Photographic Studio)

Toys to be won!

‘Who is number 34?’ Dee shouted through the microphone ‘Number 34 you have won a spot prize, please come and collect it before we give it to someone else’

Momentarily forgetting what number Brutus was, my husband said ‘that’s you, number 34’.

And so it was! Brutus and myself walked down to where Dee was to claim our spot prize.

‘It’s Brutus, Brutus has won a prize!’ said Dee laughing and then looked around for something strong and robust enough that Brutus could safely play with and he was given a tough canvas toy, which he happily took and gripped in his mouth tightly and took it back to show his ‘Dad’ – (my husband).

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Brutus and his toy that he is very proud of!

Meanwhile, the Italian greyhounds were heatedly discussing the fastest times; Pippin was looking rather serious with his clipboard and stopwatch, which was hooked to his collar and was nearly as big as him. Checking Mouse’s time records against the other dogs, Pippin nodded approvingly at the speeds of Mighty Mouse and looked around to see if he could see her to discuss the results.

Mouse however, had long since left the grounds as she had to be somewhere else and had a rather busy social calendar and had resorted to using Bender (her brother) as a bodyguard and Barbie Ska (her greyhound sister) as a PA. Barbie took this job seriously and even wore spectacles on the end of her exceptionally long snout to make herself look more intelligent, not to mention wearing a pie frilled collar as she tried to go for the sensible look.

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Mouse and her brother ‘Bender’ who is also her bodyguard

(Photo by Jet Ska)

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Mouse and her sister Barbie Ska – also her PA

(Photo by Jet Ska)

Mouse I might add, actually goes to a doggy painting group and does paintings with her paws and rumors have it that she painted the Mona Lisa but as Barbie Ska had started the rumor; I would take that with a spoonful of salt.

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Mouse at her painting class – did she really paint the Mona Lisa?

(Photo by Jet Ska)

Bender also claimed that he had seen Mouse wearing an artist’s apron and a beret, while doing nude portraits of other male dogs at playgroup but who knows if that was true; not me that’s for sure. Still, Mouse can paint and that is quite some skill to have to add to her racing talents.

Anyway, as usual I digress and I am terrible for doing that so please forgive me.

‘Pippin, do we know who is leading in the times for the Fastest Dog in Australia yet?’ Madam Gigi asked.

‘Nope, we are not allowed to know yet’ Pippin sighed.

‘Loose dog!’ A Westie shouted happily and one by one the other dogs yelled ‘Loose dog!’ until that was all you could hear in a variety of deep and high toned barks – depending on the size of the dog of course as small dogs always talk in high pitched voices.

‘Oh dear, who has escaped now?’ Pippin sighed.

‘Second one of the day, good effort!’ Rocco grinned from his crate.

‘Don’t know but I am starving, I can smell sausage – can you smell sausage?’ and looked around to see where the smell of sausage was coming from.

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Brutus can smell sausages!

‘Brutus, it is me! I fight zee Mouse for you, I don’t care if you are big and clumsy, I like you!’ said the unmistakable French accent of Shimmer the French poodle.

‘What?’ Brutus spluttered and then hid behind Rocco as he had never had a girl so blatantly chasing him before. Rocco despite being in his crate; puffed himself up and stood in front of his friend to defend him.

‘That is SO pushy, fancy that – how brazen!’ Melissa’s Staffords muttered.

‘Hey Cotton Dog, I bet you can’t make it to the paddock!’ Shouted the little kelpie bitch who had temporarily forgotten about discussing sheep and tennis balls and was now egging Shimmer on to run as far as the paddock with the Alpacas in it.

Shimmer was eventually caught but not before she insulted several of the dogs and accused them of not having class and breeding on the basis that they didn’t speak French.

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Shimmer – the French poodle making her bid for freedom

(Photo by Jeni Sach)

The End of the Day

‘Right, everyone keep an eye out tonight for Dee to post the results of our places, they will be on the WCDS website’ Pippin instructed his group. (And yes, your dogs can use the Internet just like us)

‘Brutus – we should all be on the internet tonight, get your phone switched on and ready’ Bailey told Brutus.

‘Will do Bailey, catch you at the next race meet?’ Brutus shouted back and Bailey grinned and nodded while Princess and Jazz played ‘bottom games’ and did some genital sniffing as Mac rolled his eyes in disgust – puppies, quite revolting at times.

‘Farewell Mr Big Ears, I ‘ave not forgotten you’ Shimmer whispered in Brutus’s ear. Brutus blushed and pretended to clean his bum to take away his embarrassment.

‘That accent is SO fake’ Bronte whispered to Rocco as the other Iggys nodded in agreement. And when Iggys nod, it is like the mass nodding of a heap of pointy snouts – get in their way and you will be ‘snout stabbed’.

The whippet contingent were packing up and so were the greyhounds, people were starting to leave, a few stayed behind for the fun run but so many wanted to get home so that they could prepare for the results of the race.

Goodbyes were said, arrangements made, numbers exchanged and yet again, another good day had come to an end but this time there was one last part to come before it was finally over – the results of the fastest dog.

‘I am so excited, I shall never sleep until I know who has won’ Brutus said firmly as I helped him get in the car.

And before we had even started the engine, Brutus was snoring loudly on the back seat in a sleep so deep that he didn’t wake up until we arrived home 45 mins later.

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Brutus – asleep as soon as he got in the back seat of the car

Back at home

Every dog that had been to the lure coursing, had been fed, watered and rested and were now gathered around their computers waiting in on the results to see who had won the fastest dog on the day.

‘Oh I do hope it’s Mouse’ Brutus said to Rocky who although he hadn’t met Mouse, certainly knew of her.

Vader and Tess were by their computer patiently waiting. Vader had forgotten that he was meant to be sulking and was also praying that Mouse had done it for Western Australia.

Mouse, Barbie and Bender were all sitting round the computer, Mouse was as cool as a cucumber and certainly betraying no emotion to show her expectations, hopes and fears about the results.

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Mouse – keeping an eye out for the results of the race!

(Photo by Jet Ska)

Dee’s ridgebacks were as usual on Dee’s bed playing with the iPad to keep updated, in fact every dog that had entered was anxiously waiting and even dogs that had not attended were waiting to see how Mouse had done.

Pippin and Bronte was in their pajamas, Pippin was ready to settle down for the night and had just got off the phone to Madam Gigi and Gidget when he heard an excited high pitched squeal from Bronte.

‘Oh my god! Oh my god!’ Bronte shouted and quick as you like, Pippin ran over to see what was going on.

‘Well I’ll be damned!’ Mac and Bailey said together as they both hugged the iPad.

‘Brutus – quick, look at this!’ Rocky shouted to Brutus.

Brutus leaned over and stared at the screen – he saw that he had come 8th out of 11 dogs which was rather nice to see his name in such an official capacity.

‘No, not that – look who has won the fastest dog on the day!’ Rocky said impatiently.

Brutus stared closely, looked at Rocky and then stared again to see if his eyes were playing tricks on him – and they weren’t and for the first time ever, the normally aloof Rocky who rarely shows any emotion except for when he argues with Vader, hugged Brutus because he was so pleased for Mouse.

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Rocky and Brutus hug!

At the House of Mouse

Mouse sat on her bed looking as cool and elegant as ever while Barbie and Bender were keeping a check on the results to come up on the computer.

‘Mouse, you have done it, you have won the fastest dog on the day!’ Barbie and Bender both yelled at the same time.

Mouse looked thoughtful and just for one moment, it was thought that she might lose her legendary ‘cool’ attitude and go a bit mad but she stood up, shook herself and said simply ‘good result’, before turning a few circles and laying back down.

‘Now I wonder if I can beat the arse off those Eastern States dogs?’ Mouse thought to herself.

The news spread, and every dog now knew that Mouse had won the fastest dog on the day and the question that everyone wanted to know was how did Mouse compare to the Eastern States dogs?

But one thing was certain – Mouse was not only representing our little club but also WA and whatever the end results are, she has done us proud.

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Mighty Mouse!

Thanks go to Dee Cole, Melissa Jones and everyone else that organised the event and to each and every owner that attended with their wonderful dogs.

I would also personally like to thank the Iggy people for being so nice and especially Rocco for proving little dogs can have attitude and thank you to Pippin for running such a tight ship and having a superb ability to talk into two mobile phones at once.

And finally I would like to wish Mouse all the best for the finals and whatever happens, you really have done your owners and Western Australia very proud.

Aside from the little snaps I have taken with my iphone, all photographs remain copyright of the photographers named.  Please do not reproduce these photographs without their permission.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2014