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.

Lure Coursing and a day of mourning (according to Barney)

Hi everyone – sorry it has been ages since I did any stories on lure coursing which as you know is a huge part of my life (not sure if that is sad or not but either way I love the sport and it’s my highlight of the month).

You may remember that I have been working on a story from the last lure coursing meet which is the second instalment from the last story.  Due to some personal stuff and health issues, it has been taking me ages to write but I will try and finish it in the next week or so.  It is annoying as I normally get them written up straight after lure coursing but this one has been a challenge.

Now a lure coursing meet was planned for this Sunday 21st September but bad weather has been predicted for Perth and yesterday it was declared cancelled due to safety reasons.

You all know the dogs in my story and how badly they would have taken this news and as soon as we heard last night, I had to write the story up immediately as the dogs were threatening a canine uprising.

It’s funny how when I try and plan a story in the organised methodical way that other writers do, I get lost and I struggle with it (especially when illness is a factor).  But give me a last minute bit of news that I find inspiring and I can bang out 3,500 words in 3 hours no worries and write the story as thoughts come into my head.  But hey ho, we are all different in our own ‘special’ way.

Anyway, as you can imagine the dogs were not happy and I have been inspired to write about it from their point of view and I can only go on what they have told me.

*This story contains adult content and is NOT suitable for children*

It was a typical Friday night before lure coursing. The dogs were in their respective homes planning strategies, clothes, fashion, who would steal sausages, who would make their bid for freedom, who would go all ‘rock n’ roll’ and trash their crate and try and beat Dozer the boxers efforts at the last meet.

At the Iggy Head Quarters – Pippin’s House

Pippin was busy reading a magazine and doing a crossword. Wearing his half rimmed spectacles, he was highlighting areas with an orange pen that may be of interest – stuff like obedience and the modern day Iggy and designer collars.

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Pippin – ‘the organiser’

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Bronte was on the phone to Nica, they were planning the next Iggy play date and having girly gossip about the latest in SpoiledBratz fashion labels and ‘Diva Pantz’.

At the House of Mouse

Mouse Norris was chewing on Benders leg who had his nose on Barbie’s bum, the cat was just watching in disgust at how 3 large dogs could be quite so revolting.

‘I am so going to set the grass alight when I run, it’s been far too long’ Mouse said confidently to Bender. Admiring her long slim white legs, Mouse didn’t need to try and impress anyone because she did so effortlessly.

‘Mouse, you are SO big headed’ Bender said sounding a bit jealous of his nimble sister.

‘Yep, I know but you love me all the same’ Mouse replied confidently.

‘Ouch!, do you mind!’ Mouse squeaked as Bender nipped her on the arse.

‘Yes Mouse, I love you’ Bender grinned and then farted for payback and then added ‘But you are such a big head’.

‘Someone’s shit themselves’ Barbie shouted dramatically as Bender and Mouse snorted with laughter at the sheer vulgarity of it all.

Brutus’s House

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Brutus – dreams of lure coursing

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Brutus and Rocky had just enjoyed a meal of dog chow, raw kangaroo, beef and lamb and were lying on their beds digesting their meal.

‘Try not to crash through the barrier this time’ Rocky said to Brutus.

Brutus fence breaker

Brutus the fence breaker

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Oh that, it was all part of my trick’ Brutus replied, blushing because he was lying. He had crashed through that barrier twice now, the first time he actually tore it.

‘Shame Vader can’t come lure coursing’ Brutus said fretfully and started to wash his genitals in such noisy fashion that Gordon the cat had to check he wasn’t having a second meal.

Dee’s House

Mac and Bailey were on the Internet checking their Facebook – and yes they do have Facebook as do all dogs.

‘Have you seen this message from Melissa?’ Mac whispered to Bailey who was admiring himself in between farting.

‘What’s up?’ Bailey replied without even looking up.

‘This is awful, this is truly awful – I cannot believe it, it must be wrong, I shall call Melissa’s Stafford’s’ Mac said sounding very distressed and trust me it takes a lot to distress Mac.

‘Oh come on lad, it can’t be that bad – don’t be such a drama queen’ Bailey snapped and then had a look at the computer himself. Gasping loudly Bailey could barely find the words but when he did, they were not polite ones.

‘Bloody hell, that’s a shitter!’ Bailey said and then looked around to the puppies and wondered how the hell he was going to break the news to them and also Amy’s ridgebacks as well – in fact, all the ridgebacks in the group, Amira would be devastated and as for Patricia Gleeson’s ridgies – he was sure that they would declare war on the situation.

Melissa’s House

Melissa’s Stafford’s had already been told the news and in their protest; had locked themselves in their kennels and were now unreachable. Their little Staffie mobile phones were ringing frantically, their emails in overload but to no avail. These dogs were officially in mourning and nothing and I mean nothing would cheer them up.

At Various Other Dogs Houses

Benny and Isis the Pharaoh Hounds were playing strip poker and whoever lost had to remove their collar. Benny loved this game as he always beat Isis and he so loved seeing her without her collar.

‘Can’t wait to see Brutus on Sunday, it’s going to be fab!’ Benny said happily as he smoothed his ears down. The Pharaoh hound had a huge soft spot for the clumsy young dog.

Both he and Brutus had become firm friends right from day one and they thoroughly enjoyed one another’s company while discussing anal glands and bones.

Benny

Brutus and Benny the Pharaoh Hound – best mates

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Willow the French Bulldog was so overexcited that she wanted to piss herself, she loved lure coursing and truly believed that she had wings under her little legs and if you could see her running then you would see what I mean. Willow was ‘match fit’ and had been seen doing squat jumps and press ups in a bid to warm up for Sunday.

Ex Cop Dog, Belgian Millinois ‘Z’ loved her lure coursing so much that she had to be bribed to get off the course with a padded arm like the cops use.

ZZ

‘ZZ’ the ex cop dog – (she knows Rumble the WA police dog I bet)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

You can always spot her shouting obscenities like ‘I will eat you – you bastard’ and she gets so hyped up after chasing the lure that she has been known to hang on to the padded arm and get carried off the course while shouting ‘Let me at that lure, you are going in the slammer’.

‘I can’t wait for Sunday’ ‘Z’ thought to herself and then tried to savage a pillow and arrest it afterwards for ‘resisting arrest’.

Millie’s House

Millie the Border collie was lying on her bed playing a game of strategies. This is a home made game that Millie invented for herself about various ways she can increase her speeds, she was proud of her invention and did very well in the Fastest Dog in Australia competition which she put down to this game.

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 Millie the border collie plans her strategy

(Photography by Belinda)

‘I can’t wait to run, I can’t wait to see Brutus and Chewy and I can’t wait to share Mum’s burger’ Millie thought to herself.

Basically it was every dogs right to enjoy a bit of their owners burgers/sausage and stuff the diet, as what happens at lure coursing, stays in lure coursing – according to Brutus who was told that by Dee’s ridgebacks.

And if a dog goes home with gastro and shits in the laundry room, then they just blame the invisible German Shepherd dogs that go around the world making dog beds explode and other such naughty things.

Pippin’s House

‘Pippin, your phone is ringing’ Bronte yelled to Pippin who was doing a Skype call with Rocco, Bentley, Amex, Toppa, Madam Gigi, Rambow and Dash – the topic being that Dash had lost his testicles and was forced to wear the cone of shame.

Kylie Elaine Woodward

Dash – wearing his cone of shame

(Photography by Kylie Elaine Woodward)

Rocco had laughed heartily about this and had convinced poor young Dash that his testicles had in fact been sold to Cash Converters, and Pippin was trying to undo the mental damaged caused by Rocco but that is another story.

‘I’m coming!’ Pippin shouted and then said to the camera where all of his friends were on a conference call; ‘Back in a sec, I won’t disconnect you’

‘So Nica, have you vomited lately?’ Bronte asked Nica who had vomiting for attention down to a fine art.

‘Not in 3 days but I am working on teaching Zara the puppy to do it’ Nica sighed happily. Really it was quite a skill because the key was not to actually vomit up your hard earned food but just make it as though you are and it was awesome the attention it got you.

‘What did you say?’ Pippin gasped loudly enough to stop Bronte chatting to Nica and all the dogs on the conference video call to stop discussing Dash’s non-existent testicles.

‘Are you OK Pippin?’ Bronte asked her brother. Pippin looked visibly shaken and grabbed his iPhone and quickly started checking diary dates and reorganizing things.

‘Everyone, I have an announcement to make’ Pippin said in a firm voice.

(Ten minutes later)

‘That is awful’ Bronte sobbed to Nica who was shaking her pointy snout in grief.

‘I can’t believe it, does Mouse Norris know yet, and the others?’ Rocco said in a panicked voice.

‘Not yet, I have to tell the big fella first’ Pippin said sadly.

‘Oh my goodness, yes, we have to tell Brutus’ Bronte cried and then looked at Madam Gigi down the camera for support.

‘Bronte, is this an appropriate time to vomit now?’ Nica said in a high-pitched voice of an Iggy who is about to make a scene.

‘Yes, Nica – I think it is’ Said Bronte.

‘Thank you’ Nica replied simply and then without warning puked up an entire bowl of dog chow all over the floor while Zara shouted ‘Eughhh, that is disgusting – can I eat it?’

At Brutus’s House

Brutus was so excited that he was beside himself, he wouldn’t sleep for excitement and may even fart if it got too much. He is always like this before lure coursing and gets up stupidly early to jog around the garden while singing ‘You can’t touch this’.

His velvet smooth brown jowls, his huge brown eyes, shiny black leather-like nose and pointy ears, he could give Scooby Doo a run for his money he was sure of that.

At 22 months old, Brutus is still a puppy with lots of baby behaviors, still prone to throwing himself on the ground, still crying if you take his puppy blanket away and knows each and every toy that is on his bed and god help you if you remove one.

A dog of routine, he has to have 3 carrots a day, enjoys washing his kelpie brothers mouth and Gordon the cats ears – my big brown gentle giant of a dog Brutus.

He is not a brave dog and I had better not say too much about Rocco and Bentley plus a few others ganging up on him last week barking at him and calling him a ‘big girls blouse’, so don’t tell him I told you that.

IMG_6429

 Pippin puts Brutus in his place

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

‘Brutus, Pippin is on the phone for you, I think it is about Sunday’ Rocky shouted to Brutus who was busy chewing Tony Abbotts genitals (his Tony Abbott doll silly!)

‘I am a champion and I am going to win the Good Boy Award’ The Good Boy Award is something that I have invented; that I award to Brutus to make him feel special, I taught him that months ago and he has never forgotten it either.

He gets that award every month, sometimes twice a month and all I can say is it is a good job there is no trophy attached to it, as my house would be full of them.

‘Brutus, are you listening – Pippin is on the phone for you!’ Rocky said sharply and dropped the phone on Brutus’s bed and walked off to his own bed to finish his carrot.

‘Hi Pippin, are you excited? I am excited, god I am so excited I might have gastro’ Brutus said happily.

‘Brutus, I am really sorry lad but I have some bad news for you’ Pippin said quietly.

lure coursing

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Brutus sat quietly clutching the phone and his happy smiling face just fell and his jowls sagged and his bottom lip hung down like the bottom of a wash hand basin.

‘But that’s not fair’ Brutus stuttered to Pippin down the phone.

‘I know lad, I know but we can’t control the weather’ Pippin tried to reason with the heartbroken young dog who simply could not and would not understand why his most favourite event next to washing Vader’s genitals had been cancelled.

‘Brutus, are you OK?’ Pippin said after a few minutes.

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A distraught Brutus takes to his bed

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

But there was no answer because Brutus had dropped the phone on the floor, gone back to his bed and had curled up clutching his Tony Abbott doll and a crumpled photo of him with his friends at the polo grounds at the last lure coursing meet.

And quite suddenly the big brown dog looked very small, very sad and actually quite vulnerable.

Rocky went over to Brutus to check on him, he was going to call him a ‘girly arsed bastard’ for taking it so bad but when he saw Brutus’s normally happy face look so resigned, he thought better of it and went back to his own bed.

At the House of Mouse

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Mouse Norris – checking out UK greyhound Derby winners

(Photography by Jet Ska)

Mouse was lying on her bed while looking at pictures of greyhound derby winners of the UK. Pretending that the news didn’t bother her, she faked a non-committal smile as Barbie kept stuffing her snout up Benders bum.

‘You OK Mouse?’ Bender asked his sister who was staring vacantly at the wall.

(no answer)

‘I think she is upset’ Barbie nodded to Bender.

‘I think you are right although it’s only lure coursing, god knows why she loves it so much’ Bender sighed.

And if looks could turn a dog to turd, Bender would be diarrhea with the look that Mouse gave him.

At QLD Headquarters – Barney’s House

‘Yes Pippin, I will pass on the news. Devastating my friend, we all know how the dogs look forward to their lure coursing and one can never turn down a piece of sausage either’ Kath said on the phone to Pippin.

‘What was that all about?’ Ruby the kelpie asked as Kath the greyhound got off the phone.

‘Lure coursing has been cancelled in Perth due to bad weather predicted for Sunday’ Kath said in a sad voice.

Barney, who was lying on his back doing silent farts, suddenly sat upright and said ‘That is tragic, we should declare it a National Disaster’.

And for once, Kath and Ruby agreed with him.

Barney the Supervisor

Barney declares it a National Disaster

(Photography by Sandra Burrows)

Somewhere in the Northern Territory where the crocs are big, the kangaroos have attitude and the dingoes do roam

A couple of dingoes were having a beer and a joint around the campfire; several kangaroos were hanging around as well. It is like that in the outback you see – all the animals socialize together and don’t have the hang-ups about differences that we humans have.

‘Have you heard that the lure coursing has been cancelled for Perth?’ One large red kangaroo said in between swigging his beer and inhaling on his joint.

The dingoes looked up in shock ‘Really, are you serious – now that is a disaster’ One of the dingoes replied.

The kangaroos nodded in agreement while one muttered ‘Poor bastards’

And with that sentiment, they all took a mouthful of beer and shook their heads in sympathy.

Pippin’s House

A huge video conference call on the same scale as the Fastest Dog in Australia Finals was taking place in Pippin’s house. Wide screen computers, laptops – Skype calls on mobiles, you name it – Pippin’s house was the hub of activity.

‘But Pippin, what are we going to do on Sunday now we are not lure coursing?’ Poppy the Chinese Crested demanded to know.

Poppy Tanya Bennett

Poppy the Chinese Crested pup

(Photography by Tanya Bennett)

Shimmer the poodle was smoking a French cigarette in one of those glamorous plastic holders, her husky voice from too much brandy and smoke filled the air and for effect she put on a French accent to gain attention.

‘We must have something to do on Sunday’ Shimmer said in a loud voice sounding like a mix of Gerard Depardieu and Manu from ‘My Kitchen Rules’.

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Shimmer the poodle (with a French accent0

(Photography by Jeni Sach)

Penny the Scottie dog appeared oblivious to the whole drama and was now handing out Tunnocks Tea Cakes and shortbread which have been known to solve all problems in the world, just as any Scottish person the power of a Tunnocks Tea Cake and shortbread.

‘Would you like a tea cake?’ Penny asked Rocco in her soft Scottish accent that made one think of the old program ‘Take the High Road’.

‘What’s a tea cake?’ Rocco asked and before Penny could answer, grabbed one and swallowed it whole so that his slender neck had a sort of round shape halfway down – just like in a cartoon.

Penny

Penny the Scotty dog

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘That’s it, I am going to shit the bed’ Rogue the Staffie threatened.

Brutus who had decided to join the conference call grinned at that point and offered to give Rogue tips; after all he was king of ‘shit the bed’ and could do it to order.

‘Well I for one am furious and demand to see my lawyer’ Chewy shouted as Millie the Border collie barked in agreement.

 Chewy

Chewy threatens lawyers

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Dee’s ridgebacks were too lazy to join the conference call but were yelling suggestions in the background much to Pippin’s horror. You all know Pippin, he likes things organized and everyone has their turn and there is a turn for everyone.

‘Mouse, any suggestions for Sunday?’ Pippin asked Mouse who was staring at her painted toenails and admiring them.

Shrugging her shoulders Mouse replied that no, she had no suggestions unless anyone had a cork to put up Benders arse to stop him farting.

‘Rocco – do you have anything to say?’ Pippin asked the angry Italian greyhound who was having an ‘angry-contest’ with Bentley who I may add gives Rocco a run for his money with Tourette’s as he has been known to run around the park insulting much bigger dogs and shouting things like ‘turd head’ at them.

Bentley

Bentley the Italian Greyhound, he is prone to swearing and outbursts like Rocco

(Photography by Denise Pringle)

Ignoring Pippin, Rocco carried on talking to Bentley about an article they had read; called ’20 ways to insult a Labrador’.

Pippin clapped his paws together and said ‘OK then, if there is nothing more to be said, then we shall all plan for the next meeting in October and insist on double helpings of burgers as compensation for Sunday’s meet being cancelled.

‘Oh yes, and it has been decided by myself as head of the Iggy Group and general organizer of nothing in particular, that Brutus should win the Good Boy Award for this month’ Pippin added smiling at Brutus who was busy chewing his feet.

‘What again? He is the only one that wins that award’ Rocco snorted with laughter.

‘Shhhh, don’t upset him, he is still a baby and you know he throws himself on the floor and makes himself sick. Let him have his pretend award’ Nica hissed to Rocco as quietly as she could without Brutus overhearing.

Madam Gigi shook her head in disapproval, really Rocco was getting quite raucous and since he had made friends with Bentley, he had started wearing leather jackets and tight white T shirts and both boys had called themselves the ‘T Birds’ just like in the movie Grease and would chew gum in an insolent manner and smooth their ears back with hair gel.

Brutus reminds me of a racing greyhound I saw on TV in the UK once. This dog was the slowest dog ever so his trainer decided to run him on his own, complete with a crowd cheering and then praised him for being a winner and he even had his own trophy. Although the dog didn’t actually win any race as such, he was so pleased to hear the crowd cheering and get his trophy, he didn’t care that he was actually the slowest dog in the world.

That is how Brutus is you see, each time he gets the Good Boy Award, he is so proud and really believes it is real and of course in my eyes – it is.

All dogs deserve the Good Boy Award at some point in their lives and the more often you recognize them as ‘Good Boys’ (or girls), the better.

Good boy

Brutus prays for his Good Boy Award

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

‘Did I really win that award?’ Brutus looked confused, staring at his friends on the conference calls, they all had enough compassion to agree that yes, he had won the Good Boy Award.

Brutus wagged his tail so hard and grinned at Benny the Pharaoh hound on video call and whispered ‘You see, I am a good boy’.

‘Right, if nobody has anything to say, then I declare this crisis meeting over’ Pippin smiled and then put his notepad down and 3 of his 6 mobile phones.

‘I have something I would like to say’ Rocco shouted loudly.

Sighing, Pippin responded ‘Yes Rocco’.

IMG_6577 Rocco has the last word

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

‘Bollocks, great big fat hairy bollocks – to the lot of ya’ Rocco yelled and then flashed his bum to the camera.

And with that every dog in every house that was connected to that call, burst out laughing and clapped in appreciation of Rocco’s sense of humour and personality.

And that my friends; is how the meeting ended – on a good note which is how it always ends with these dogs.

They love their lure coursing; they love the socialization, the treats, the fuss, and the attention – catching up with their friends.

It’s not just a sport, it is a date for our social diaries both humans and dogs alike where after each meet, we all regroup on Facebook and dissect the day and discuss the funny moments and what our dogs got up to.

At each meeting you can guarantee that at least one dog will escape and make its bid for freedom. You can be assured that at least one dog will steal a sausage to the cheers and approval of their mates.

You can bet your life that Dee’s famous chocolate cake will be gone in seconds and everyone will enjoy the sausages/burgers as diets will be forgotten – because what happens at lure coursing stays at lure coursing (especially calories).

So now our dogs have sorted out their social calendar and have quickly moved on, it is over to you guys.

What shall we do this Sunday?

Have a lovely weekend.

Thank you to Amy from Studio Joy for kindly allowing me to use her beautiful photographs.  Amy works tirelessly at West Coast Dog Sports spending hours taking photographs of our dogs and it is much appreciated by everyone.

If you are Perth based and are looking for an animal photographer, you can contact Amy via her Facebook page:

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

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright September 2014

All photographs are copyright, please do not reproduce or copy without the consent of the individual photographer.

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.

 

 

 

 

The Mystery of Exploding Dog Beds

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 Brutus ponders on why his beds ‘explode’

You know when you read the words ‘Indestructible’ and it is in the same sentence as ‘dogs’?  Well we dog owners just know that it is all a load of crap and those words are just not compatible in any sentence – ever.

And when you do see a so called ‘Indestructible dog bed’ for sale in the pet shop, it usually comes at a fairly high cost which is fine, but that just means preparing yourself that the bed may last only marginally longer than a ‘normal’ bed but it will however, earn you bragging rights in the dog park that you have lavished such a luxury on your dog.  I know this as I have had six of the above mentioned beds and I am still traumatised by the whole event and I can still see the stuffing on my grass.

Lexie had bought her boxer dog Vader one of those ‘chew proof’ beds; it was beautiful and so well made; in fact Brutus was jealous as he wanted one for himself and pestered me for one.

But knowing that Brutus would make a light snack out of it and I don’t even trust him to sleep on the new bed that Cuzz Bro’s Kennels made for him as he has shown a keen interest in the mattress and has made threats to make it explode in the stilly watches of the night.

So Brutus is limited to daytime use of the bed only until he matures and even then he prefers the leather sofa.

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The potential for a ‘bed explosion’ is always there!

Anyway, late last night there were some ‘comings and goings’ in the garden, Rocky was barking, Brutus was barking and Vader was barking and it wasn’t the usual ‘dog choir’ that heralds and invisible or real intruder either.

‘What’s going on?’ My husband asked me.

Shrugging my shoulders I peered out of the back door and saw Rocky and Brutus having a heated discussion through the fence.

I shall now tell the story from the dogs point of view as only they know the truth of what happened.

In the garden – late at night

‘Brutus – are you there?’ Vader’s husky ‘boxer voice’ could be heard from his garden.

Brutus was busy sniffing where Rocky had urinated and was squatting like a girl so he could take a piss on top of where Rocky had marked – and yes, Brutus still squats and pees down his own legs.

‘Bad aim lad, bad aim, why not try lifting your leg like a real man?’ Rocky smirked and then showed him how to do it by pissing on Brutus’s head. Brutus loved that, he always presented his head for Rocky to piss on.

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Brutus – the master of pissing down his own legs!

‘Brutus! Answer me, are you there? It’s a disaster, I have been thrown out of the house and nobody is talking to me!’ Vader shouted even louder.

Brutus and Rocky both stopped what they were doing and charged up to the fence. Rocky with his hackles up and tail erect, trotted around full of his own importance.

‘What’s up?’ Rocky said in a sharp voice – Rocky is not Vader’s best fan, actually Rocky isn’t a fan of anyone really except for Tess, Gordon and his tennis balls.

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Rocky Dog – he is a fan of no-one

‘My bed exploded in the middle of the night and now nobody is talking to me and Mum has sent me outside’ Vader said as he tried hard to control his tongue which was escaping from all gaps in his mouth like the Royal red carpet.

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Vader the boxer (and his unfeasibly large tongue)

‘That’s crap man, why did you get the blame? Everyone knows these beds are known to explode’ Brutus said sounding sympathetic.

‘Isn’t that dog abuse?’ Rocky said thoughtfully, he was sure it was. After all everyone knew about the invisible German Shepherd dogs that came to dogs houses and gardens overnight, wrecked them and disappeared into thin air while the pet dogs got the blame.

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Vader’s exploding bed!

Vader kept trying to place his tongue back in his mouth like a game of ‘catch’. Devastated at being sent outside, he wondered if the bed had really exploded or could it have been him that chewed his own bed?

He may have nibbled it just a little because the stuffing was so gloriously wonderful to share around, surely that could not be a crime?  However, after a few minutes of thought, Vader quickly decided that he had been a victim of his own bed exploding and he would defend his right to innocence and get a lawyer (Brutus) if his Mum wanted to question him on the matter ‘Admit nothing’ was the motto of every dog that had been a victim of this crime.

‘We used to have comfy beds in our kennel’ Rocky said wistfully before adding ‘Until HE (Brutus) ate them all and spread them round the garden like butter’.  Rocky glared at Brutus accusingly.

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Brutus – one minute he is asleep on his bed

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The next minute it has exploded everywhere!

Brutus blushed in response because it was true, but the beds had deserved it, they had mocked him and teased him and it was a case of ‘kill or be killed’ when it came to those beds. Besides, he had done the world a favour by killing them, and the plants and digging the trenches in the garden – that was a ‘war effort’ for sure.

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And those plants – they were so naughty!

‘What are you going to do?’ Rocky asked him.

Vader shook his head and flicked drool everywhere; ‘Don’t know, Mum will buy me a new one I expect and I shall see if it is safe to have around and I may or may not kill it again’

Brutus nodded approvingly and said ‘Sounds like a plan’.

Rocky had now tired of the conversation and was herding up the tennis ball and calling it a bastard for rolling away.

‘Boys, come on, stop barking, it’s time to come in!’ I shouted to them and as they thundered down the garden and through the patio door, Brutus was muttering something about ‘being bloody cold out there and could I please put his pyjamas on’.

‘What was all that barking about?’ My husband asked me as I settled the boys down for bed.

‘Not sure but Vader was involved’ I replied and then busied myself in the kitchen to make a hot drink.

‘Rocky?’ Brutus whispered from his bed.

‘Yes Brutus?’ Rocky replied.

‘Will our beds explode in the night and we get into trouble?’ Brutus asked, sounding worried.

Rocky sighed and said ‘Not if you don’t make it explode it won’t’.

‘That’s OK then but sometimes these things just happen and it’s not our fault, I have heard that exploding bed syndrome is a real condition’ Brutus said confidently. (That’s what he believes anyway)

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Brutus – Admit to nothing!

‘Mouse Norris said that her bed explodes frequently’ Brutus whispered to Rocky, after all if it happened to Mouse then it could happen to anyone.

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Even Mouse Norris was a victim of her bed exploding!

‘Brutus our beds will not explode unless you make them of course’ Rocky said firmly as he snuggled down with his toy gingerbread man that Lexie had bought him for Christmas.

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Rocky – trying to sleep with his gingerbread man

‘OK then, I will try not to make them explode’ Brutus replied.

Rocky sighed and shook his head looking a touch sanctimonious about it all – yeah right, many a bed had died in our garden and Rocky himself should not be quite so smug about the subject as one night TWO beds met their demise in our garden and I strongly suspect that Rocky had a ‘paw’ in that incident.

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Rocky implicated in TWO exploding beds

But secretly Brutus liked exploding beds and like many dogs, he got quite excited at the site of all that foam and fluff, it was really too much temptation for any dog.

In Vader’s House

‘I am sorry Mum, I don’t know how it happened, don’t be cross with me’ Vader pleaded in his boxer-voice that sounded as though he had a mouth full of cotton wool, except that it was tongue instead.

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Vader is very sorry for the bed he DID NOT destroy

Lexie knew she should be cross with him but he looked so cute and he was very sorry indeed and he promised never to do it again if she bought him a nice new bed, which of course she will.

‘I have decided to join Brutus’s Good Boy Club’ Vader said gratefully to Lexie who snorted with laughter because the Brutus Good Boy Club really means the Brutus Bad Boy Club.

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Vader and Brutus – members of The Good Boys Club

‘God help us’ Lexie muttered and then started thinking about new beds – preferably ones that did not explode.

Always remember..

So if you ever find your dogs bed has exploded, please explore the thought that it could be the mystery German Shepherd dogs that are active worldwide.  They get into people’s houses and gardens, do the damage, dig up gardens, make dog beds explode and they blame your dog.

They are clever like that – just ask Brutus, Rocky and Vader.

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright July 2014

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.

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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.

Photo on 2014-06-22 at 16.26

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

A Day at the Races

1688057_10152385410912652_1298145600_nBrutus and Vader enter their first Lure Coursing Event (Photo by Mel Jones/Dee Cole)

This is a story of Brutus and Vader and their first attempts at lure coursing at Guildford Polo Grounds, Western Australia.

1619285_10152411120332652_747625567_nThe next coursing event 

Brutus is my dog – a kelpie/ridgeback mix and I also have Rocky who is a kelpie.  Vader the boxer is my friend Lexies dog and also Brutus’s best friend.

We decided to take them Lure coursing which is a totally fun event aimed at all breeds of dog, they can run solo or with other dogs.

This is the story as how I see it, as usual if you have followed my previous animal blogs, you will see that I animate my animals, make them talk, have an adult sense of humour and yes, at times they use bad language.  I aim my stories at adults to indulge the child within and make them laugh.

Warning – this blog is not suitable for children, or if you would like to read it to your child, that is fine but you will need to remove some of the language that my pets tend to use.

In the car with Lexie – Vader’s owner, myself and Brutus

‘Are we there yet?’ Brutus asked impatiently and for the millionth time as Lexie drove us to the Guildford Polo Grounds for the lure coursing event.

‘No Brutus, we are not there yet’ Lexie replied patiently.

‘Are we even nearly there yet?’ Vader asked in his boxer voice – any boxer dog owner will tell you that boxers talk in a certain way which is with an exceptionally fat tongue and rather slow. Just like kelpies talk really quickly and manage to throw the words ‘tennis ball’ or ‘sheep’ in between each sentence.

Greyhounds/whippets/Italian greyhounds tend to talk in a posh English accent whilst Jack Russell terriers speak in a sort of eccentric public school accent and discuss rabbits and stuff.

Anyway as usual I digress – I am terrible for doing that so you must all excuse me.

‘No Vader, we are not nearly there yet’ I told the impatient boxer who looked quite upset at my response.

‘I am bored, I am so bored – can anyone help me, I am bored’ Vader said with his tongue getting caught up in his mouth as it was far too big.

Brutus looked upwards as though it would have all the answers ‘Lick the windows, that’s what we usually do when we are bored’ he said happily and then began licking the windows of Lexie’s car.

Vader looked thoughtful and after a few seconds, decided that yes, licking the windows constituted a sport and one that he was quite good at.

Two special dogs licking the windows – very nice until Brutus realised that Vader had some sort of skin irritation under his mouth and thought that he could clean it very well thank you while Vader patiently let the young pup wash him.

1939620_604746629613387_1059845108_n‘Brutus cleans Vader’s jowls’

On arrival at the polo grounds the boys were met with an array of strange but exciting smells including “fresh bitch”, dog urine and hot dogs.

‘Are we there yet?’ Brutus and Vader yelled together, they were so excited that one of them farted and neither would own up as it smelt so foul, in fact I was sure that one of them had shat themselves except there was no evidence.

The scene was a hub of activity – greyhounds jogging round the track and showing off to all those slower than themselves, Italian greyhounds doing test runs; a couple of Irish wolfhounds were also warming up by jumping around and bouncing in a way that only an Irish wolfhound can do.

Some huskies were barking their heads off and discussing sled dog racing and a border collie was doing squat jumps whilst a Jack Russell terrier timed him on a stop watch.

‘What was my time?’ The border collie said in a breathless voice.

’40 secs’ The JRT replied looking very important with the stop watch round his neck.

‘Bollocks, I am down on my last time’ The collie said looking disappointed.

‘Yep but only by two seconds, you will beat the arse off the huskies for sure’ The JRT said confidently and then mouthed ‘Fuck off’ to the huskies that were eying him up in bitchy fashion.

A couple of Rhodesian ridgeback bitches sat in their cages, looking rather regal and majestic as they were sipped their water while discussing the lions in Africa, not that they hunted lions but it was what their ancestors used to do so it was only fair that they discussed it.

‘And she reckoned she brought down 14 lions in one day’ One of the bitches said to her friend in the next cage.

‘Well I heard it was only 10 but you know what she is like, prone to lying of course’ the other dog said.

Glancing round for a distraction, one of the ridgeback bitches spotted Brutus who was literally glued to the spot in awe of all these other important and athletic looking dogs all doing their own prep for the race.

‘Well hello there, and who is your father?’ The ridgeback bitch giggled at Brutus who looked like a cross between a kangaroo and Scooby Doo.

Brutus blushed and elbowed Vader in the ribs for support, he had never in his puppy long-legged life seen quite so many dogs at one point and to be honest, he felt more than a little intimidated and he also felt upset about being asked about his father who was rumoured to be very good at herding sheep I’ll have you know.

‘Hey, Scooby Doo, I said who’s your father?’ The other ridgeback bitch giggled from her cage.

It was no good, Brutus would have to answer the question, feeling totally out of his depth he really wanted Vader’s support in this matter but Vader was busy being admired by people and proudly displaying his long tongue.

Taking a deep breath, Brutus replied in his surprisingly deep voice ‘My Mum is a ridgeback and my Daddy is a kelpie’

The two ridgeback bitches stared at each other in surprise and after what seemed like ages, nodded approvingly and smiled at Brutus.

‘Well you do look a bit odd but I guess you can join our gang’ the large bitch replied.
‘Where’s your ridge?’ the smaller bitch asked accusingly, she had a ridge and rather a splendid one at that, where was Brutus’s ridge?

‘Oh I only get my ridge on for special occasions’ Brutus blurted out. He didn’t actually have a ridge and it was his hackles that he got out for special occasions but his response was enough to shut the dogs up and keep them happy.

‘Never heard of that before but that’s OK, we like you’ the smaller bitch said happily before taking another drink from her water bowl. Really she was rather glamourous.

Brutus smiled gratefully, he had always wanted to be in a gang – anyone’s gang would do.

‘Do you chase lions?’ The bigger of the ridgeback bitches asked Brutus.

‘No, I don’t’ Brutus replied and then added ‘Do you have a Tony Abbott doll?’

1958211_597413007013416_1230134635_nBrutus is very proud of his Tony Abbott doll

The ridgebacks looked at one another confused; ‘Tony Abbot – why would I have a Tony Abbott doll?’ One mouthed to the other and the next minute they had decided that they were bored with Brutus and went back to discussing lion hunting in Africa and in their own unique way, dismissed Brutus leaving him clumsily fiddling with his collar and kicking the grass wondering what to do next.

Vader in the meantime was busy taking in the scenery; he was the only boxer there and was quivering with excitement. He didn’t know whether or not to greet the other dogs, bash them up, snot on them or shit himself. Standing there with his tail held erect, he did his best ‘village idiot’ impression and let his tongue hang out of his mouth like a yard of wet ham.

1536547_10152378867352652_533518134_nVader the boxer (and his tongue) (Photo by Mel Jones/Dee Cole)

Team Kelpie

A group of kelpies sat in the corner whilst discussing sheep trials. They barely showed any interest in the course and positively scorned at the greyhounds who were still doing squat jumps and warm ups for the race. Several of the kelpies were throwing tennis balls at one another to test their speed and reflex, each time a dog dropped the ball the others would laugh and cheer loudly.

‘I heard that the sheep were all disabled to give them the best chance’ said one tri coloured kelpie who was holding court to the rest of the kelpies.

‘Well I heard that she can’t even do backing and is meant to be a started worker’ a red cloud added to the conversation.

‘She can’t even herd up ducks so I have been told’ said a black kelpie in a sarcastic voice causing the other to laugh at the shock of it all.

‘Have you seen them – over there are a group of Alpacas?’ the tri coloured kelpie said in excitement whilst nodding to a group of Alpacas in the next field.

It was true, over the road was a group of Alpacas hanging out by the fence, just begging to be herded up and once Team Kelpie had spotted them, all thoughts of the race was abandoned.

Team Kelpie all ran over to where the Alpacas were and before you knew it, were discussing the logistics of herding and how quickly they reckoned they could do it. The Alpacas were quite antagonistic in their response and knowing that they were safe in their field, started moving around to annoy the kelpies who were barking in frustration at not being able to herd them up.

The sight-hounds were totally acing it really, they always did, they were so fast and effortless as though they ran down the track whilst chatting about shopping and stuff.

1658727_10152375231567652_304372915_oMaking it look easy! (Photo by Mel Jones/Dee Cole)

The smaller dogs were arguing heatedly about who was going to go next and some were  literally smiling as they were enjoying themselves so much.

It was all so distracting and exciting for our boys, it was a wonder they didn’t piss have a meltdown with all the fuss going on around them.

1780801_10152375181802652_432395408_nLittle ones enjoying the day (Photo by Mel Jones/Dee Cole)

Brutus and Vader

Brutus and Vader were looking nervously at the other dogs around them. Neither of them knew what to do or how to race and everyone else seemed so professional, they all knew what to do and just fitted in with everything while Brutus and Vader like new kids on the block, felt awkward.

‘If he doesn’t stop doing squats I am going to fart on his head’ Vader growled at a greyhound who was bouncing around like a twat.

1920464_10152378868727652_1128461753_nThe Greyhounds showing off with their fitness (Photo by Mel Jones/Dee Cole)

Brutus wasn’t listening; he had sighted a beautiful Weimaraner bitch who was flirting with him. Blushing furiously, Brutus plucked up the courage to ask for her phone number which she willingly gave. Suddenly a vigorous game of ‘play bow’ and ‘sniff the genitals’ took place much to the jealousy of Vader who was barking hysterically asking Brutus to stop embarrassing him.

1924783_10152378882107652_1599347589_nBrutus and his new girlfriend (Photo by Mel Jones/Dee Cole)

Vader isn’t really in to girls like Brutus and feels quite disgusted when Brutus looks up girls’ bottoms and has been known to throw jealous fits over it. Girls smell in Vaders eyes and the only thing girl dogs genitals are good for is to store your bones in.

Sitting down in the little chairs that Lexie had bought for us, we enjoyed a hotdog and a can of coke which I shared with Brutus. I knew it could give him diarrhoea but it was a treat and he enjoyed it so much and it was lovely to see him with sauce on his snout.

Brutus was very puppy like in his behaviour and spent a lot of time play bowing to other dogs and being very submissive which was nice as he posed no threat and there was no aggression shown to him by other dogs.

1969351_10152378887517652_1061023993_nBrutus gets her phone number! (Photo by Mel Jones/Dee Cole)

Team Kelpie had now isolated themselves in the corner and were making elaborate plans for the Alpacas, there was even talk of breaking in to the field to herd them but that was only talk at that stage and I don’t think it actually happened.

We all registered for our races – we entered Brutus and Vader in for two races each – one solo and one with each other.

‘I am scared; I don’t know what to do’ Brutus whispered to me, and then stuffed his nose in my face and said ‘tell me what I have to do’.

‘You run Brutus, you chase the lure and you run’ I reassured him.

Vader and Lexie had gone down to the bottom for Vader’s first solo run and a guy very kindly held Brutus for me whilst I waited to catch Vader.

‘Mum, where have you gone – who is this man?’ Brutus shouted from the sides as the guy held him.

I had no time to placate him – the excitement had built up amongst the dogs.

The greyhounds quivered in excitement, some dogs were yelling and shouting at no-one in particular, there was barking and crying, even the ridgebacks had stopped gossiping to see what was going on.

‘Jesus Christ on a bike, would you take a look at the mouth flaps on that!’ A large husky shouted as Vader thundered down the track like a champion.

He was proud, his heart was bursting – he ran as though his life depended on it and he took his jowls with him as they flapped in the wind. He could hear his very own music – ‘Chariots of Fire’ and it was playing in his mind, he could hear it loud and clear.

People clapped and people cheered – we all did, it was pure joy to watch each dog run his/her heart out down that track and I was so proud of Vader.

‘They are clapping for me; I am going to win my race!’ Vader thought to himself, totally exhausted by his run but the applause just made him go faster until he and his jowls reached the end where he was caught.

None of us dared tell Vader the only one in ‘his race’ was himself and there was no-one to beat, we didn’t want to ruin it for him and he was so proud of himself and rightly so as well.

‘Well done Vader!’ Brutus shouted, he was thrilled for his friend and even the ridgeback bitches congratulated him.

It was a while before Brutus went down for his turn but while we were waiting; he made friends with a couple of whippets and enjoyed sniffing out their genitals and handing out his phone number. They seemed quite taken with the gentle giant and were amused by his baby-like behaviours to make himself non-threatening to the bigger dogs and utterly cute to the smaller ones.

Two large male ridgebacks sat in their cages – full of their own self importance, they were reading copies of dogs’ magazines and discussed dog shows and stuff and barely acknowledged Brutus as he went down for his race.

Brutus smiled at them nervously and was met with a brief acknowledgement and a nod from both dogs that then carried on with their conversation.

Soon it was Brutus’s turn and one of the ladies released him for me while I went to the end of the course to catch him.

‘Go on lad, you can do it’ A couple of greyhounds shouted in a sudden display of support and solidarity.

Team Kelpie barely lifted their heads to show interest, I had only seen one kelpie down the track while his mates yelled insults about sheep to him resulting in him mouthing ‘fuck off’ and flipping them the bird.

‘Everyone is looking at me’ Brutus sobbed as I started to run down the track and then added ‘Don’t leave me!’.

Ignoring him, I ran to the end and gave my hand signal to the lady that was holding him, he was released as the lure was set off and started to give chase.

I was so proud of my boy running down, somewhat distracted by the other dogs but he did his best and people cheered him on.

‘I did it, I won! Do I get a prize?’ Brutus shouted breathlessly as I put his collar back on.

It took some explaining to tell him that he wouldn’t get a prize and as we walked back, other dogs were telling him he had done well which pleased Brutus as he loves praise.

We rested the boys up to prepare them for their run with each other and Brutus played with his new girlfriend the Weimaraner bitch while Vader barked on in jealousy and flicked his snot everywhere.

‘That was fun, I loved that’ Vader said happily as he took treats from Lexie.

1974392_10151937673462136_983204_oBoys taking a rest (Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

Because I had a thumping headache, I was consuming rather too much caffeine in the form of a can of “Mother” which always seems to help with headaches but suffice to say the rest was much needed.

‘Did you see the Italian greyhounds?’ Brutus asked Vader, he was over excited and talking super fast because he wanted to get all of his words out.

10007504_10152379103392652_988747498_nItalian Greyhounds getting into the spirit! (Photo by Mel Jones/Dee Cole)

‘Legs that snap like carrots’ Vader muttered, he had no time for such tiny dogs that couldn’t take the rough and tumble of boxer-games.

The next race

Before long it was our turn for the next race and both Brutus and Vader were going to run together.

‘Right boys, let’s go’ Lexie and I announced to the dogs.

It was all getting rather serious and the other dogs were now drinking sports drinks and discussing the Olympic Games and agility and whether or not consuming roast kangaroo before a race constituted cheating.

Now I will say that although our boys are not sporty like the others, they did hold their own and were very well behaved and we were proud of them.

We took our place in the line to enter both of our boys and aside from Vader poking a large greyhound that growled back at him, it all went rather well. Vader denies that it was his fault and said the greyhound started it by calling him a ‘snub nose mucous mouth’ He was merely defending himself and accused the greyhound of having an eating disorder and ribs you could stack plates on.

‘Fuck you skinny legs’ Vader yelled when the greyhound told him to ‘fuck off’ and then added that he eats lots of food thank you and is blessed with naturally skinny genes.

‘Yeah right, your snout is so sharp we could chop wood with it!’ Vader shouted at the greyhound who was making exceedingly rude gestures to the angry boxer dog.

‘Vader will you stop it!’ Lexie told Vader off causing him to blush; he didn’t like being told off in public.

Brutus remained quiet, he was getting nervous again, or was it excitement? Perhaps it was both, so just to be safe, he farted.

Leaving the boys with Lexie, I ran to the end of the course ready to try and catch them – a thought that filled me with utter dread.

I gave the hand signal, the boys were then released and I will say that in their favour, they ran beautifully – Vader literally leaving the ground as he ran so fast and Brutus smiled his way down the track.

We cheered them on and even Team Kelpie showed some enthusiasm but that was only because they had heard that Brutus’s Dad is a kelpie so he constitutes in their eyes, half a kelpie and therefore should be supported. This also meant that once the ridgebacks had confirmed that the other half of Brutus was a ridgeback, they could cheer on that part of his breeding. Pedigrees can be so picky you know.

The greyhounds had tried to claim a part of Brutus for themselves on the grounds that he had very long legs but that idea was thrown out when they realised that Brutus had a penchant for cats – as in he loved them.

Brutus came back easily but Vader didn’t like the guy that tried to catch him and told him to ‘piss off’ and ran towards me but as the guy moved in the same direction, Vader swore and ran off, taking a few minutes to be caught by Lexie.

1536514_10152385412282652_1050285127_nBrutus and Vader – both ‘winning their own race’ (Photo by Mel Jones/Dee Cole)

A time to shine

We decided to go home after that, the boys were so exhausted they barely had the energy to jump in the car as they were that tired.

Kings they came home that day – they had ‘won’ their very own personal races, they had faced their challenges, they had made friends, told others to ‘fuck off’, they had stepped right out of their comfort zone and had mixed with dogs of all shapes and sizes and they had proven themselves as good boys.

On the way home they excitedly discussed their day and how much they enjoyed it, Brutus was extra happy as he had scored a few bitches phone numbers.

10009323_604817362939647_1738074733_nTired boys!

Back home

I helped Brutus out of the car to take him to the house and said goodbye to Lexie.

‘Catch ya later Vader’ Brutus grinned at Vader who was so tired he could barely lift his tongue back in his own mouth.

‘See you later, catch up next week?’ Vader asked hopefully.

Rocky always rubbishes Brutus when he has been away and he shouldn’t really as he has his treats and trips out – and even has a hydrotherapy session booked. An entire swimming pool booked for Rocky and Tess for a whole hour, toys provided, some might say he is too spoiled but Rocky would beg to differ.

Rocky pissed on Brutus’s head as soon as he saw him and bashed him up a bit and by ‘bashed up’ I mean roughed him up and when he had finished, he asked Brutus how his day had gone.

1017418_583764918378225_1871994407_nRocky and Brutus discuss the coursing!

I didn’t hear the whole conversation but overheard Brutus saying about ‘racing’ and ‘winning’ and in typical puppy fashion, by the time Brutus had finished telling his story, he was claiming to have raced with 5 greyhounds and had beaten them hands down.

But that was just Brutus trying to impress Rocky and Rocky knew Brutus was bullshitting but let him have his moment of glory anyway.

Later that night

Brutus was crashed out on his bed; barely able to move and was in such a deep sleep at one point, he must have been dreaming as I could see his legs twitching and his tail wagging in his sleep.

Vader was also exhausted and had told his own version of events to his sister Tess who also didn’t quite believe that Vader had beaten every dog in the event and was going to enter the Greyhound Derby as a boxer dog.

‘Rocky?’ Brutus asked Rocky later that evening.

‘Yes Brutus?’ Rocky replied.

‘You know that each dog has a job and your job is herding?’ Brutus asked.

Rocky looked thoughtful and after a few seconds replied ‘Yes’.

‘Well what is my job? If Dad was a kelpie and Mum was a ridgeback, what is my job?’ Brutus asked sounding confused. He wanted a job of his own like the greyhounds and huskies he met today at the lure coursing.

Rocky stared at him for a minute, realising that this was important to Brutus and that he needed his very own ‘job’.

‘Well lad, let’s say that you are a guard dog for the house and our family, you might not be a racing dog like those greyhounds, or a sled dog like the huskies or a sheep dog like myself but guard dog is just as important if not more so’ Rocky said to Brutus who was taking in every word.

Brutus thought for a moment and then satisfied with the answer, replied ‘Guard dog – I like the sound of that’.

And with that answer, Brutus was more than happy.

Because all dogs should have a ‘job’ and protecting the family is the most important job of all and Brutus does it so well – my very own ‘pedigree’ and I am so proud of him.

1534290_608138019274248_1581010844_n

The end

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright March 2014

Photographs Copyright (C) to Mel Jones/Dee Cole and Lexie Goldsmith March 2014

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

946812_10151504745738317_1181494632_n

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1185291_609323642489019_183838132_nGordon patiently explains about Rainbow Bridge to Brutus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image

My beautiful tortoiseshell cat – Juniper

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

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

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

ImageJuniper explains to Gordon about Rainbow Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Then what happened?’ Brutus asked.

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

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

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

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

‘What happened then?’ Brutus asked Gordon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageRema at a lure coursing event in Devon

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Gordon and Rema discuss Rainbow Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageGordon chats to Rocky about Rainbow Bridge

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

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

(sounds of Rocky coming in from the garden)

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

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

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

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

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

ImageBrutus ponders on his thoughts about Rainbow Bridge

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

*Fast forward to this week – March 2014*

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

ImageBrutus and Vader the boxer discuss Rainbow Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

According to our pets of course.

The End…..

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

Samantha Rose (c) Copyright March 2014

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

ImageRocky can ‘do smart’ when he has to!

 

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

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

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

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

ImageBrutus and his new friend Vader

 

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

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

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

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Best friends and sharer of boxer mucous!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘You bastard!’ Vader yelled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rocky stared back and said ‘Catch ya later’

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

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

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

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

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

‘I thought you hated Vader’ Brutus asked Rocky.

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

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

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

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

‘Wanker!’ Rocky shouted back.

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

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

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

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

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

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Rocky doesn’t want to miss the morning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(sounds of me sighing)

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

No answer was the loud reply.

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

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Brutus – still a ‘baby’ at 10 months old

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

(sounds of scratching at the door)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright Sept 2013