Pippin Pringle, Brutus and the ‘Testicle Incident’

Brutus was round Pippin Pringle’s house for tea and bone broth. They were hanging out quite a bit really and the tiny little dog was teaching Brutus how to be intelligent but as Rocky said, ‘you can’t polish a turd’. However, Pippin felt flattered that Brutus had asked him to make him a clever boy and was only too happy to oblige.

Brutus and Pippin

Pippin teaches Brutus how to be a clever boy (Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Brutus was sat on one chair with a mug of bone broth and Pippin was on the other. Bronte was round Ayla’s house having a girly night with Gigi, Nica and Zara. Fat Harry had tried to gatecrash it to try but was caught out and sent away by Gigi.

Brutus balls

Brutus trying to replicate the ‘Shelby position’ (Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Pippin’ Brutus asked him.

‘Yes Brutus?’ Pippin said without looking up.

‘How come Shelby has such large testicles and we don’t have any?’

Shelby is an Italian greyhound with a set of testicles that could be used as door knockers for a castle and was often seen proudly displaying them to make other dogs jealous.

Shelby

Shelby’s testicle door knockers (Photograph Gabrielle)

Blushing in response, Pippin replied ‘Well because we had ours removed when we were younger. Some dogs have them and some dogs don’t’.

‘But do you miss having testicles because Shelby’s are enormous and Dash told August who told Rocco who told me that he has been seen bouncing down the road on them like spacehoppers’ said Brutus.

Pippin was now going red as he was not used to talking about such things. Not knowing what to say, he merely muttered something about ‘Testicles just get in the way of stuff’.

‘But wouldn’t you want to have a set like Shelby’s?’ Brutus asked Pippin who had buried his head in a ‘Dogs Today’ magazine.

Pretending that he didn’t care about Shelby’s testicles, Pippin sighed and taking a swig of bone broth, he replied simply ‘No, I don’t do heavy weights as I have a bad back’.

Brutus looked thoughtful ‘Mine were never heavy, they were like two frozen peas in a handkerchief when they were removed’.

Ears2

Brutus has testicle envy of Shelby (Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Looking up in embarrassment Pippin said firmly ‘Please can we talk about something else’.

‘Just going to the toilet’ Brutus said as he jumped up to go to the loo.

Ten minutes later and Brutus hadn’t returned.

‘Goodness me, where is he?’ Pippin said impatiently. That dog could get lost in anyones house as he wasn’t the brightest dog on the block. Pippin had been told that the other night Brutus had used his head to push open the sliding patio security door and had literally popped the entire sliding security door out of its frame causing his Mum (me) to get up and catch it before it fell on the car (yes really).

The guy that came to fix it yesterday just stared at Brutus and said ‘Yes, well……’ as Brutus blushed at the fact that his hammer-head was capable of such destruction – but that is another (expensive) story and I shall leave that to my husband to tell.

Anyway, Pippin was wondering where Brutus had got to and just as he was about to get up, he heard snorting and laughing as ‘Pigaloo’ (Brutus’s nickname) came staggering out of Denise Pringle’s bedroom walking like a cowboy.

‘Hey Pippin, do I look as good as Shelby?’ Brutus grinned at Pippin who had his mouth open so wide that he could have caught flies in it.

‘Oh my god…..’ Pippin spluttered as bone broth shot out of his nostrils.

Pippin mouth

Pippin says ‘Oh my god’ (Photograph by Samantha Rose)

There stood Brutus with a silken handkerchief tied around the base of his tail with two scented round (large) candles stuffed inside. Barely able to walk, Brutus walked like a constipated cowboy with a poo fighting to get out of his bum.

‘Let’s phone Shelby and tell him I have balls as big as he does’ Brutus said proudly while struggling to look in the mirror and admire his new ‘man-shape’.

Dog in the mirror

Brutus checks himself out in the mirror (Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Aren’t you going to say anything?’ Brutus asked Pippin while trying to organise his ‘balls’.

‘Oh my god…’ Pippin repeated and then mopped his brow and took a swig of bone broth before replying ‘They don’t suit you Brutus, they make you look fat’.

Brutus who has a thing for his figure and likes to remain svelte and musclebound, blushed ‘Do you really think so? Do you think I look better without them?

Swallowing his bone broth, Pippin wiped his snout and replied firmly ‘Absolutely’.

‘Oh well, if you insist’ Brutus sighed and then swaggered back to Denise’s bedroom to remove the handkerchief and scented candles from between his legs.

(Sounds of Bronte coming in the door)

‘We have had a marvellous evening but I am so glad to be home, I am totally exhausted’ Bronte said dramatically as she fanned her pretty snout with a copy of ‘Who is who at Dogs West’.

Spotting Brutus, Bronte grinned and said ‘Hi Brutus, how’s it going?’

Brutus got up to greet her and gave her face a little clean to say hello.

Raising her snout to the air, Bronte asked ‘Can anyone smell vanilla?’

‘Don’t ask Bronte, just don’t ask’ Pippin stepped in quickly before the whole story could leak out.

‘Would you like me to fetch you some bone broth?’ Brutus asked Bronte in a bid to impress her.

‘Yes please Brutus, that is kind of you’ Bronte said gratefully.

‘So Pippin, what’s been happening, did you teach Brutus how to be a clever boy?’ Bronte smiled at her brother.

Pip and Bronte

Pippin and Bronte discuss polishing the turd that is Brutus (Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Glancing round to Brutus who was in the kitchen pouring Bronte some of Denise Pringle’s famous bone broth, Pippin sighted some candle staining down Brutus’s legs and a waft of vanilla each time he wagged his tail.

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Brutus smells of vanilla (Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Taking a deep breath Pippin replied firmly ‘I think he has a while to go before he is a clever boy, but he sure knows what to do with candles’.

And with that explanation – Bronte had to be content.

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright November 2015

Dogs party hard at the Furbaby Cafe for Chewie’s birthday party!

Today Brutus, Pippin Pringle and several of their friends attended the birthday party of their good friend ‘Chewy’ which was held at their regular favourite haunt called the ‘Furbaby Cafe’ in Perth in the VID (very important dog) area.

Cake was eaten, dogs were humped by each other from head to toe – literally.  Bottoms were sniffed, hot chips were eaten and croissants were stolen and shoved into tiny pointy snouts so quickly that one questioned if they were ever on the table in the first place.

(The croissant thief has not been confirmed but Dash the Iggy was found with croissant crumbs around his snout, he is refusing to say anything until his lawyer is present)

Legs were cocked against walls, games of ‘angry carrots’ took place as the Italian greyhounds use their legs like angry carrots to box one another and Brutus as usual, was used as the regulation step ladder for the smaller dogs to climb over.

A couple of dogs broke into the kitchen after Dash (an experienced breaker-in of kitchens) taught them how to pretend to be invisible and sneak in with stealth like movement.  Fletch the Iggy could not quite manage ‘stealth’ but did a very good job of hovering by the kitchen door making Furbaby staff feel guilty.

Anyway, here are some of the photographs of the day – hope you enjoy them.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright

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Chewy gets his birthday cake!

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Brutus and his friend Dash discuss party tricks

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Brutus and Lupo do some wrestling

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Happy birthday Chewy! – Love Brutus

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Brutus and his partner in crime Pippin Pringle say ‘wake me up when we get there’

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Brutus is embarrassed when Chewy asks if he will sing ‘Happy birthday’ for him

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Brutus, Dash and Lupo plan some party games

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Zara feels better in her Mum’s arms – she can keep an eye on stuff

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Brutus, Apollo and Dash dare each other to sneak into the kitchen

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Pippin Pringle has his cake and eats it!

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Brutus enjoyed his cake

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Pippin Pringle and Brutus on their way to the party

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Brutus and Dash have a ‘bromance’ thing going on

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Nice cake Mum!

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Brutus and Pippin on their way to the party

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That cake was nice, can we have some more!

All photographs by Samantha Rose (C) Copyright October 2015

The Sweet Dreams of Brutus

*Disclaimer*

Aside from the fact that Brutus really did go in to hospital, the rest of the story is based on fictitious events and any bearing to anyone or anything in real life is purely coincidental.

The little white dog in the story is entirely made up but saying that, I could just imagine him can’t you?

This story is meant in good fun with no harm intended.  It has mild course language and content so parental supervision is advised with regards to its suitability for children.

It is a long read of nearly 5,000 words so you are probably best off reading it over a cuppa and a chocolate digestive or even a Tim Tam (that’s what I would do anyway).

Those darned nails again!

My Brutus has been a bit unlucky with his nails – in particular his dew claws.  On the Monday he managed to injure one of his front dew claws yet again and as it looked particularly nasty, I decided to take him off to the vet.

‘But I don’t want to go to the vet!’ Brutus sobbed as Rocky smirked behind his back and called him a ‘baby’ and then made crying gestures with his paws causing Gordon the cat to snort with laughter.

Rocky dogRocky and Gordon laughing at Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Ignoring his protests I bundled up his big brown self into the back of he car and drove off to the vets while blasting Usher out on the stereo.

‘I shall vomit any second now and then you will be sorry’ Brutus muttered under his breath as we pulled up outside the vets in the car.

11880405_10153077699183317_2151334692541059425_nI shall vomit any second now – said Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘No you won’t Brutus, you are too mean to part with your food’ I laughed.

Brutus looked thoughtful and decided that perhaps he was, in fact he definitely did not like parting with his food, especially through vomiting because he knows that there is many a dog glad of a hot meal.

‘Ouch, don’t touch them, leave me alone, I shall cry if you don’t!’ Brutus shouted before the vet had even touched him.  Brutus hates having his feet and wrists touched and I only have to look at them and he is doing the doggy Riverdance across the floor giving Michael Flatley a run for his money.

Brutus not being the brightest dog on the block fell for the old ‘give me a paw’ trick when the vet handed him a treat in return for his paw giving her a second to assess the damage while leaving Brutus fairly smug that he had not allowed the vet to check his paws which in all fairness to him, were bloody sore.

It was decided as he keeps injuring his dew claws, that it would be better to remove them as the injured one was pretty bad and Brutus was duly booked in for surgery for the Wednesday to give us chance to raise the funds (yes we had to pull from the mortgage – but hey, we love him and wouldn’t have it any other way, let’s hope the insurance pay up quick)

On the morning of the operation

‘Please don’t make me go, I am scared, it’s going to hurt’ Brutus cried like a baby.  Torn between being terrified of going in hospital and being mortified that he had been fasted, the gentle giant was so overcome with emotion that he didn’t quite know what to do.

Even the usual calm and and collected Rocky was nervous about his brother going to the vet.  Normally Rocky gets insanely jealous when Brutus goes in the car and he doesn’t but this time Rocky knew, he just knew and for the first time ever he avoided my car like the flea rinse at the dog wash.

At the Vets

Brutus stood with me in reception as I signed the consent form.  Clutching his little brown ‘Brutus-suitcase’ which contained his Tony Abbott doll, a book titled ‘How to be a good boy’ and a mouldy bone plus his blue and white striped pyjamas, his suitcase had everything that he needed for the day.

11873353_10153074559723317_1257505242758641125_nBrutus looks for a distraction

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Brutus shuffled around from foot to foot and looked around for a distraction.  The smell of the vet hospital infiltrated his nostrils and he just knew that it was not a nice smell for any animal and usually heralded a thermometer up the bum or something equally horrific.

Tony AbbotBrutus and his beloved Tony Abbot doll that he really did take in to hospital

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

A little white dog sat in the waiting room patiently waiting his turn.  Desperately needing to be comforted and given some sympathy from a fellow canine, Brutus smiled gratefully at the little dog who smiled nervously back at him.

‘Dew claw removal’ Brutus said to the little dog and then demonstrated the horror of it all by holding up his wrists and nodding in the direction of his wrists.

‘They are cutting my balls off’ growled the little white dog and then flashed his bottom to Brutus just to prove it.  Although his testicles could not be seen due to all the fluff surrounding his bottom.

‘You win’ Brutus nodded vigorously.

‘Yes I think I do’ The little white dog replied in a resigned voice and then started to wash his testicles in a final act of rebellion while whispering ‘Goodbye old friends, it’s been fun’.

Brutus briefly remembered when he was de-sexed and had to say goodbye to his own testicles, he was kind of glad to get rid of them as they got in the way and promised to be the size of grapefruits had he been allowed to keep them.

‘We have made him up a kennel out the back for him, say goodbye to Mum’ The nurse said to Brutus who then gave me a wash on my neck.

‘Love you Mum’ Brutus said quickly and then trying to fight back the tears from nerves, dutifully trotted after the nurse dragging his little suitcase behind him.

On the ward

Just ten minutes later Brutus was tucked up in his bed wearing his stripey pyjamas, with the blankets right up to his neck and his Tony Abbott doll snuggled up beside him.

Not really being in the mood to read but thought it might take his mind off things, Brutus started to read his book ‘How to be a good boy’.  There was a marvellous section on there about how to get yourself out of trouble and make your owners forgive you.

This would have been useful last week when he jumped on the bonnet of Dad’s car but that was OK, he could save it for next time.

The white fluffy dog was in the bed next to Brutus and was wearing his own set of red and white stripey pyjamas and had a blue rubber bone beside him for comfort.  You see all the dogs like to bring in their own toys in to hospital, it is important to them.

‘Are you nervous?’ Brutus asked the white fluffy dog who was reading his own book on ‘How to say goodbye to your bollocks and still hump cushions’.

The white dog shrugged his shoulders and said in a confident voice ‘No of course not’ and then after checking to see who was listening, added ‘Yes I am, terrified.  Are you scared?’

Brutus sighed and bit his bottom lip to try and stop himself from crying and replied ‘Yes, I am and I want my Mum’.

Carry on bestBrutus in bed

(Photograph from Google images)

Nothing more was said between the two dogs, they both pretended to be engrossed in their reading material but both secretly hoped that it would all soon be over and done with.

‘Your turn Brutus’ said the nurse as Brutus was taken from his bed to go to the prep area for his anesthetic.

‘I want to take my Tony Abbott doll!’ Brutus barked and when the nurse wouldn’t let him, all thoughts of being a brave dog were forgotten and he cried like a baby.

‘But what about my Tony?’ Brutus sobbed as he was restrained for his injection.

‘Don’t you worry about Tony’ the vet smiled as she placed the IV drip into his vein so that he wouldn’t become dehydrated during his surgery.

‘Ouch, that hurt, I am going to tell my Mum, she said I am a good boy, I won the Good Boy Award so why are you doing that to me?’ Brutus cried loudly as his huge chunky body tried to resist the restraint of the nurses.

‘I am a good boy!, I am a good boy!’ Brutus sobbed and he kept on saying it because he hoped it would make everything stop and also because he believed it.

PurpleBeing a good boy is important to Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

But before he could say anything else, he found himself relaxing and sinking down to the table and was soon fast asleep dreaming of his Iggy friends Pippin Pringle and the gang, his hero Cop Dog ‘Rumble’ and Tony Abbott.

Later on….

‘Is he dead?’ a high pitched voice demanded.

‘Don’t be silly, of course he isn’t dead’ snapped another voice impatiently.

‘He looks dead, why is his tongue sticking out like a yard of Christmas ham?’ someone else asked.

‘Did someone say ham?’ another voice barked excitedly.

‘If he is dead then I want his Tony Abbott doll’ someone barked.

‘If he is dead I want his Christmas ham, it’s like a bloody famine here and I haven’t eaten in ten years’ said another voice.

Brutus could hear muffled familiar voices but could not quite recognise them.  He felt dizzy and unable to lift his head so he slowly opened one eye at a time and he wondered where the hell he was.  From the corner of one eye he saw a familiar hideously ugly face of his Tony Abbott doll that had been carefully placed beside him.

Then through blurred vision, Brutus saw a gang of pointy snouts surrounding his bed in the form of Italian greyhounds plus Chewy, Starbuck, Poppy and Vader.

‘Oh look, he has opened his eyes, he isn’t dead!’ Madam Gigi barked in delight.

‘I told you he wasn’t dead, don’t be so dramatic’ Pippin said impatiently and then looked at Brutus and said ‘How are you old chap, bearing up?’

Looking surprisingly tiny and frail in his bed with his sheets tucked up to his neck, his enormous radar ears sticking out and his blue stripey pyjamas rolled up on his arms to reveal bandages on both paws and his IV drip in his arm, Brutus could have melted the hardest of hearts.

Carry on 1Brutus fast asleep while his friends poke him to see if he is alive

(Photograph by Google Images)

It is amazing just how small and vulnerable any dog can look when it is sick or unwell.  I recall my little whippet bitch Rema when she was put to sleep due to kidney failure/old age and she was such a big character yet when I sent her to Rainbow Bridge, her huge character had literally left her body along with her heartbeat leaving the smallest of bodies behind.

‘Pippin, is that you? where am I? Who stole my Tony Abbott doll? Don’t let them take my Tony Abbott doll, who has got the ham?’  Brutus said in a husky dry voice.  Making futile attempts to sit up, Brutus just flopped back down heavily on to his bed.

‘Take it easy old boy, you are still half asleep.  How are you feeling?’ Pippin asked his friend.

‘My paws hurt, where is my Mum?’ Brutus said in a confused voice.

‘It’s OK Brutus; you don’t need your Mum, you have got us’ a familiar ‘special’ voice piped up from the back.  Clutching a bunch of stolen daffodils with most of them snapped at the stems, stood Vader the boxer (and his tongue) – Brutus’s good friend and partner in crime.

10850087_746985655389483_27126447455886745_nBrutus and Vader the boxer – best of friends

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

For those of you that don’t know; Vader the boxer has a fat tongue and like all boxer dogs, speaks in a slow boxer type voice.  Vader had sneaked away from his Mum to visit Brutus and felt quite proud that he had managed to steal flowers from someone’s garden even if half of them were only stalks – it’s the thought that counts.

‘Oh I say, he is rather nice’ Nica whispered to Madam Gigi nodding in the direction of the white fluffy dog that had just been desexed.

‘Not bad at all’ Madam Gigi giggled and then gasped ‘Oh my goodness Harry what are you doing?’.

Harry was now wearing a white doctors coat that he had found plus a stethoscope and had that draped around his neck.  Picking up the fluffy dogs medical chart that was hanging at the end of the bed, Harry nodded to the girls knowingly.

IMG_9089Fat Harry the Italian greyhound (I love this dog)

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘As there doesn’t seem to be one around, I am stepping in as the vet for today and you can call me Dr Harry’ and this dog isn’t a complete man’ said he has had his balls cut off’. Fat Harry said matter-of-factly.

‘That’s OK, he is still cute, testicles are so overrated’ Gigi said to Nica who giggled and then feigned disgust at Gigi’s comments.

The Iggies were really quite naughty and were running amok in the hospital.  Chewy had started up the ‘Hump-train’ and was busy humping Dash who was humping Apollo who was trying to give Mako one on the head.  All of this of course was being supervised by a disapproving Woody and Fletch who were shaking their pointy snouts so vigorously that they both looked like a pair of ‘angry biro pens’.

Bronte was busy admiring herself in the mirror while Rocco fought with his invisible friend and told it to ‘piss off’ and Fat Harry was still dressed as a doctor and was checking the vomit bowls for scraps and looking at the charts on the beds. Really they were being very raucous and badly behaved and how the nurses didn’t kick them out was anyone’s guess.

Suddenly they could hear a commotion coming from the bed next to Brutus.  ‘Someone stole my testicles!’ the little white fluffy dog sobbed drowsily from his bed and then started to make random prayers asking whoever had stolen them to return them instantly.

‘Totally understand mate, mine were stolen as well’ Rocco nodded towards the fluffy dog who was still off his face on painkillers and anaesthetic.

‘Shhh Rocco, don’t get involved in other dogs testicles, it could get messy’ Pippin said in a firm voice.

‘I am still a complete woman if anyone is interested’ Bronte said loudly making Madam Gigi and Nica poke her in her ribs to keep her quiet.

‘You never brag about that kind of stuff in the vets’ Nica said to Bronte, ‘It is simply not ladylike, it’s like taking ones collar off in public – you just don’t do it’.

Zara, Olive, Ari, Ayla and Bambi had all been instructed to sit in the corner and behave which was simply not happening as Zara and Olive had pinched some face masks and were wearing them while threatening to insert thermometers into each others bottoms.

Starbuck, Poppy the Chinese crested, Carlo, Cino, Pino, and Gidget were all having heated discussions about getting de-sexed and whether or not having testicles/uterus made you ‘more or less of a man/woman’.

‘I think I am a big brave boy and my Mum loves me and so does Rumble’ Brutus said in a sleepy voice.

‘What is he on?’ Rocco mouthed to Pippin.

‘Don’t know but I wouldn’t mind some’ Vader laughed.

‘Here Pippin, I dare you to put on a doctors coat’ Vader dared the little Italian greyhound who is known for being straight laced and sensible, well except for when he went ballroom dancing with Eugene the Angry Afghan but we shall say no more on that.

‘Go on Pippin, we dare you’ Rocco and Chewie barked.

Feeling up for a dare, Pippin looked around to check that nobody was looking and put on a spare white coat and then placed his half rimmed spectacles on the end of his nose.

Picking up Brutus’s medical charts to try and decipher them he replied ‘Oh yeah, he is just on drugs and stuff’ and then paraded up to Fat Harry and said ‘You are not the only doctor on the ward you know’.

Pippin and Fat HarryFat Harry (left and Pippin Pringle (right) playing doctors

(Photograph by Google Images)

Woody and Fletch were so shocked at Pippin’s unusually juvenile behaviour that they made a mental note to address the issue at the next Iggie meeting.

‘Nice work Dr Pringle’ Rocco laughed and patted Pippin on the back to congratulate him.  Pippin blushed becomingly because he was so rarely naughty that when he was, he did it so well.

All the commotion of course had disturbed Brutus who was rambling away in his own little drug induced world.

‘When I go for a shit I do monster turds bigger than you’ Brutus said to nobody in particular ‘I love my Tony Abbott and I love everyone, I am a good boy and I can shit dinosaurs’

Bronte, Madam Gigi, Rocco, Nica, Zara and Olive were now laughing.  All of the dogs had gathered round Brutus’s bed aside from Fat Harry who was now winding up the white fluffy dog and had convinced him that the vet had sold his testicles on eBay.

‘Harry will you come here now and stop teasing him about his testicles!’ Woody growled at Harry who looking thoroughly naughty; reluctantly went back to Brutus’s bed.

‘Rumble, it’s Rumble! My hero, I knew you would find me, have you come to save me?’ Brutus said drowsily.  His flappy jowls and deformed bottom lip drooped open, his tongue was so dry it kept sticking to the pillow.

‘Rumble? What is he talking about Rumble for, he must be hallucinating’ Bronte said to Pippin in a concerned voice.

‘Rumble!, is that you?’ Brutus said again.

‘Just ignore him, it’s the drugs’ Pippin whispered to the others.  Poor old Brutus was seeing things that were not there.

‘I am SO not going to let him live this down’ Rocco grinned at Chewy who was trying to look disapproving which is a look that Chewy does that look so well.

11096433_10152811819433317_9032761375785145492_nChewy does disapproving very well you know

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Well well well Brutus, a little birdie tells me that you haven’t been very well’ A deep and authoritative voice growled from behind all of the Iggies.

Turning round to see who had spoken, Rocco splutters ‘Holy shit, it’s Rumble’.

Standing there in his cop uniform in all his glory was Rumble the cop dog complete with his gun and stuff (ask a cop if you don’t know what ‘stuff’ is).  Next to him stood the beautifully stunning female cop dog ‘Z’ in her cop dog uniform also with her gun and stuff.

Brutus and the cops‘Z’ is Brutus’s friend (left) and Rumble (right) is Brutus’s hero

Photograph by Google Images and Tameka

Brutus knew ‘Z’ from lure coursing and had chatted to her a couple of times when he asked about being a cop dog himself, but luckily ‘Z’ had talked him out of it on grounds that it was too violent for him.  But we all know that Brutus is not cut out to be a cop dog we just don’t tell him that.

Sounds of crackling could be heard as a voice was heard over Rumble’s radio. ‘Can you give me your location PD Rumble – over’.

‘Yes I am at the vet hospital just visiting a mate, won’t be long – over’ Rumble spoke into his radio.

CopPD Rumble – the finest cop dog in WA

(Photograph by Tameka and fit the cop under Rumbles head remains anonymous)

‘Oh my god he is totally gorgeous’ Nica gushed and then pulled out her make up mirror from her back and checked her teeth.  Tempted to remove her collar and throw it at Rumble the way in which women throw their panties at a Tom Jones concert, Nica thought better of it and just loosened it a few notches instead.

Even Zara was star struck over the handsome cop dog.  They had heard Brutus go on about Rumble and knew that Brutus kept a photo of Rumble in his bedroom titled ‘Rumble – my hero’ but they never thought for one moment that Rumble would take time out of his day to see Brutus let alone refer to him as a ‘mate’.  Little did they all know that ‘Z’ had organised this for her buddy Brutus, it was all down to her.

‘Hello there officer pleased to meet you’, Bronte extended her paw towards Rumble.

‘Pleased to meet you ma’am’ Rumble said politely as he tried to ignore Bronte’s impossibly short dress that flashed her Iggy bum.

‘I think I am going to faint’ Gigi whispered to Nica who couldn’t decide whether or not to faint or vomit or do both for good measure.

‘Rumble, is that really you?’ Brutus stuttered in shock.  Staring at Pippin Brutus whispered ‘Is that Rumble? Is that really Rumble?’

Pippin who was still wearing the doctors coat smiled and nodded that yes, it was Rumble and the other dogs were just as shocked to meet him as Brutus who had always managed to bring Rumble into a conversation whenever he could and continually spoke about him.

‘Yes Brutus it really is me, what have you been up to then?’ Rumble grinned at the sleepy brown dog who was still neatly tucked up in his bed with Tony Abbott beside him.

‘I have had my paws operated on, they took my nails away and they stole that dogs testicles’ Brutus said drowsily.

Shuddering at the testicle comment Rumble glanced round at the white fluffy dog who was now ranting about his balls being sold on Ebay – thanks to Fat Harry for telling him that.

‘Well I thought I would come and pay you a visit, ‘Z’ has told me that you have always wanted to be a cop dog’ Rumble said to Brutus.

‘Yes but it is a bit too violent for me so I don’t think I would be very good at it’ Brutus blushed and glanced down at his bandaged paws.

Brutus looked up at Rumble, he looked so smart in his uniform with his gun on his holster.  He had a real job to do and so did ‘Z’, they both served and protected their community.  Brutus couldn’t quite believe that ‘Z’ had organised this for him, he vowed to pay her back somehow.

‘I can’t believe Rumble and ‘Z’ have come to visit Brutus – OUR Brutus’ Rocco said to Fat Harry who agreed with him.

It was all getting too much for Zara and Olive who were now being typical teenagers and threatening to throw their panties at Rumble because they had seen the female dogs do it at a ‘Lassie’ concert once.  It was only Madam Gigi who told them that nice dogs didn’t throw their panties at handsome cop dogs but it was perfectly acceptable to drool though.

Suddenly Rumble’s radio went off ‘PD Rumble please can you get to Leighton Beach in Freo, a beagle is threatening to eat everyone’s lunch, a great Dane has done a shit on someones handbag and it is all getting rather heated – over’.

‘PD Rumble and ‘Z’ are able to respond and will be there right away – over’ Rumble said into his radio as Brutus watched him in awe.

‘Catch ya later Brutus, hopefully lure coursing next week if you can come?’ ‘Z’ winked at him.

Z copPD ‘Z’ – Brutus’s friend

(Photograph by Google Images)

‘I won’t be allowed to race but I can come and watch’ Brutus said in a husky dry voice.

‘Sounds good’ ‘Z’ the cop dog replied and handed him a couple of business cards and then mouthed the words ‘Call me’ as she demonstrated with her paws like a telephone.

Brutus could not believe his eyes, was this really happening? Not only had Rumble rocked up to see him – Brutus, but ‘Z’ had given him her business card and asked her to call him and even though Brutus felt sore from his operation, this had totally made his day.  If this was a drug induced dream then it sure was a good one.

‘Get yourself some rest, there’s a good boy and you lot, don’t over excite Brutus’ Rumble said to the others in his deep voice and when Rumble speaks, everyone listens as he just has that kind of authority.  Hell that dog could make me eat a bone myself if he asked me nicely enough.

‘Sorry officer, it wasn’t me, honest it wasn’t’ Fat Harry said in a guilty voice to Rumble as he walked out.

‘What wasn’t you lad?’ Rumble’s eyes bored into Fat Harry making him blush.

‘These are not my testicles!’ squealed the little white fluffy dog who was clutching two tangerines in a handkerchief and sobbing loudly, ‘Mine were in better shape than that’

‘What can I say officer, the fruit was in the bowl so I made use of it, it’s a fair cop!’ Shrugged Fat Harry.

Shaking his head at Fat Harry, Rumble sighed as he turned round to ‘Z’ and said  ‘Come on ‘Z’, let’s get going to Freo to find out about this beagle and the Great Dane’.

‘Take care Brutus’  Rumble barked at Brutus and gave him a pat on the head, ‘And you are a good boy’.

‘Goodbye Rumble’ said Brutus, he was torn between exhaustion and shitting himself from excitement – you all know Brutus and his bowel problems so you get the picture.

‘Pippin, Rumble said I am a good boy’ Brutus said to Pippin. Being a good boy is important to Brutus as you all know so for Rumble to say it made it extra special.

‘Yes Brutus you are a good boy.  How cool is it that Rumble and ‘Z’ came to see you’ Pippin smiled.

‘Pippin?’ Brutus asked Pippin sleepily.

‘Yes Brutus’ Pippin replied

‘Why are you and Fat Harry wearing white coats?’ Brutus demanded.

Fat Harry looked at Pippin, shrugged his shoulders and said ‘What are your thoughts?’

‘Well, it was like this…..’ Pippin started to say.

But that was as far as he got because when he looked at Brutus he was fast asleep with his tongue sticking out, his blue and white stripey pyjamas all rolled up displaying his bandages and in between his bandaged paws was his Tony Abbott doll.

‘Take care Brutus’ Pippin said quietly and then said to the gang ‘Come on you lot, Brutus needs his rest’.

As they all walked out all they could hear was the white fluffy dog sobbing to the nurse that his testicles had been swapped for tangerines and nothing the nurse said could convince him otherwise.

Back home

It was a drowsy Brutus that I collected from the vets that day, we even had to help him out of the car where he was put straight to bed.

Unimpressed with his ‘cone of shame’ Brutus sat on his bed crying but not quite knowing why he was crying in fact even to this day I don’t even think he remembers crying.

11917674_10153078421973317_3770795908447460476_nBrutus was actually crying in this photo – no kidding

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The next day….

It was night time and the boys were in their respective beds chatting about Brutus’s operation the day before.

‘I had the most marvellous dream that Cop dogs Rumble and ‘Z’ came to visit me in hospital and Rumble said that I was a good boy’ Brutus said to Rocky as he lay on his bed.

Rocky raised his eyebrows and laughed ‘You had too many drugs I bet’ and then stood up and turned the several obligatory circles that dogs tend to do before they lie down.  Taking a deep sigh, Rocky quickly fell asleep.

Brutus sighed and snuggled up to Tony Abbott who still smelt of hospitals and disinfectant.  Feeling something prick his chest in his pyjamas, Brutus sat up and wondered what it was.

Tucked in his pyjama pocket were the two business cop cards that ‘Z’ had given him, one was ‘Z’s card with a message saying ‘See you at lure coursing’ and the other was Rumble’s card and on that one was written ‘Brutus – Catch up some time – Rumble’.

Tempted to wake Rocky up and tell him that it wasn’t a dream after all, Brutus decided against it as Rocky wouldn’t believe him.

But he did come and see him and he said that Brutus was a good boy and in Brutus’s eyes, that was all that mattered.

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright August 2015

Thanks and Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the vets and nurses of Spearwood Veterinary Hospital for the excellent high standard of care that they have given to my Brutus with his recent surgery (and with all of my pets).

It means a great deal to me to find a good compassionate veterinary hospital with a great team that my dogs actually love going to and that I can trust.

The fact that even after his surgery and despite being a bit sore, Brutus was absurdly pleased to go back for his post op visit so he could see the staff there, that really says something.

So thank you guys and keep up the good work.

Samantha

Brutus and Rocky – The Pet Project Exhibition

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Brutus and Rocky strike a pose

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

About the Pet Project Exhibition – ‘One of the Family’

What is the Pet Project?

The Pet Project is a photography exhibition run with the aim to capture the importance of how dogs are part of our family.

This involves three master photographers – Janet Craig, Tina Urie and David Brittain who are working with Cancer Support WA to form The Pet Project.

The photographers are seeking pet owners and their dogs to take part in a professional photo shoot and are looking to capture one photo that demonstrates the love and connection between a person/people and their dogs.

How does the fundraising work?

Each person that enters will have their own fundraising page set up with their chosen photograph and a short write-up about their dog(s).  The next step is to get people to sponsor your fundraising page where all proceeds go to Cancer Support WA.

If you are lucky enough to raise $1,200 then you get a free canvas print of your photograph but either way, anything that is donated to Cancer Support WA is a welcome donation no matter how much it is.

Why?

Apart from showing the bond between dogs and their owners in a photograph and the fun of actually taking part in a photo shoot with your dog, the most important reason is to raise funds for Cancer Support WA.

About Cancer Support WA

I have tried to find the right words to describe the work that Cancer Support WA does, I have tried to find the right words to describe the benefits, the help and the priceless support that they offer to those affected by cancer but nothing I write seems adequate enough.

I have taken some of the information from their website but as for what they do and the services that they offer – I shall leave you to decide just how incredibly amazing Cancer Support WA are.

*Taken from the Cancer Support WA webpage*

“Cancer Support WA is a leading Western Australian cancer support service provider caring for people with cancer and their families”.

Doesn’t that sound simplistic and easy?  Well it isn’t because the words ‘care’ and ‘support’ do not even begin to describe the work that they do and the support that they offer to those that need it.

The Faces of Cancer

I believe that cancer has many faces and it takes on the form of whoever it invades and then the faces of the family and loved ones that it affects.

My friends, family and I are just some of the faces of cancer.  I have lost my Mum to the disease, my Dad, friend and sister are in remission from it, I have two friends currently fighting cancer and I have lost a very close friend in 2014 to the disease. Basically we are part of that cruel jigsaw puzzle that makes up a cancer diagnosis.

Here is a link to a previous blog I have done about my journey when my Mum was diagnosed with cancer.

How cancer has affected myself and my family

You can see it in the eyes of these people in terms of pain, fear, anger, confusion, hurt and a silent voice that screams ‘I am scared and I need help’ and this is where groups like Cancer Support WA can help.

The Importance of Support and Help

To have a counsellor at the end of the phone to offload to, for someone to tell you what assistance that you are entitled to and help you to get it; this can make a big difference to a person going through such a cold and lonely journey, because that is the only way I can describe it – ‘cold and lonely’.

It takes an entire team which include a huge network of professionals to support a family that has been affected by cancer and in order to have that team, it takes funding and lots of it.

*Figures taken directly from the Cancer Support WA website*

For example:

$1,000 can offer support to one person for a year

$120.00 can pay for a counselling session

$35.00 pays for a 24 hour cancer support service

$50.00 pays for a home and hospital visit

$200.00 pays for a family cancer management plan

$300.00 pays for a cancer care pack

$500.00 pays for a research library

These are services that we all hope that we will never need but in the event that we do, we would no doubt be grateful for each and every part of it which is why continued funding is so important.  So let’s help the support groups to support those that do need it.

About our photographer – Janet Craig

Our session was booked with Janet Craig who is a professional portrait photographer and owns a successful studio in North Fremantle. She is a Master Photographer with 3 gold bars with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.

How I got involved in the Pet Project

I had seen the Pet Project advertised on Janet Craig’s Facebook page a couple of weeks ago.  They were seeking out Perth dog owners to see if they wanted to apply.

It looked fun, although the thought of my two boys in a photographic studio filled me with dread but Brutus had assured me that he would be a good boy and Rocky is always a good boy anyway so I thought ‘why not?’ and sent Janet a message, she quickly called me back and a date was organized for the shoot – Saturday 22 May.

A bit about what I write

For those of you that have not read my blog before, I write about talking animals.  Basically I give them their own perspective on life, I write about what they would say if they could talk and I bring their personalities to life in the way of humanizing them.

In my stories my dogs drink coffee, read the paper, have parties, go to school, have meetings and do all the stuff that humans do.  Some of my previous stories are quite adult in nature so if you do choose to read those, please be advised that sometimes adult content is used.  In this story however, it is child friendly and suitable for anyone with a good imagination and sense of humour.

My stories are childish, some may call them daft while others may say ‘animals can’t talk, don’t be stupid’ But I will say just one thing and that is if you do have a pet then I suggest you really observe him/her.

Because when you do, it will open up a whole new world comparable to that of ‘Dr Doolittle’ and once they start talking, you will be hard pressed to shut them up.

As I have said before, all animals can talk – it is just whether or not we choose to listen to them.

A bit about my dogs 

Rocky

Smiling RockyRocky

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Rocky is a 7-year-old kelpie dog, he is grumpy and a bit disabled as he has bad hips.  Like a lot of kelpies, he is tennis ball focused which is difficult as being so disabled he is unable to have the ball thrown for him.

He enjoys barking at the garbage truck every Tuesday morning which is somewhat annoying so we have started to intercept that.  This usually ends up in an argument of some kind with accusations that we have ‘ruined his life’ and how he was ‘saving us from the garbage truck’.

Rocky is a very intelligent and sensible dog, he wears half rimmed spectacles and reads the newspaper while drinking ‘dog-o-cino’ coffees.

Brutus

choir dogBrutus – not the smartest kid on the block

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Brutus is large 2.5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback/Kelpie and could be what is described as the ‘Forrest Gump’ of the dog world.

He is not a smart dog and has a liking for ‘pronking’ (bouncing) in the air trying to catch the water-bombers when they fly over our house to put out bush fires and yes, he believes he can catch them.

On a couple of occasions I have found him on the bonnet of my car perched like a mountain goat while admiring the view and the butterflies.

Brutus talks in a deep, slow voice and if you could compare him to a kid at your school, he would be the annoying, clumsy and naughty child at the back of the class with a bad farting problem.

The morning of the photo shoot

It was the morning of the photo shoot and Brutus and Rocky were getting ready and trying to make themselves look halfway respectable.  Having never had a professional photograph taken before, they were practising various poses in the mirror while jostling each other for prime position.

‘Will you let me have a go!’ Rocky snapped to Brutus who was pouting and trying to flex his muscles.

‘I am trying to make myself look nice’ Brutus growled back which only made Rocky angry enough to nip Brutus on the bum.  Like typical vain teenagers, the dogs were sucking in their bellies, pouting and trying to find the most flattering of positions.

‘It’s so hard being a model’ Brutus said dramatically and briefly wondered if he should have had his dog chow for breakfast, but only briefly as he believed that breakfast breaks the dreadful famine that he has suffered during the night.

Help arrives

My good friend Moira and her son Chad were coming along to give me a hand with the boys.  Brutus at 30kgs and Rocky at 20kgs are a little bit too much for me to handle on my own so I was more than grateful for Moira and Chad’s offer of help.

We were taking my car and I was to sit in the back between the boys while Chad sat with Moira in the front.  Not used to having people in the back with them, Rocky and Brutus were clearly not happy at having to share the back of my car with me and it was only then that I realised just how disgusting my boys are.

The journey was quite dreadful with Brutus kicking me with his long legs claiming that there was not enough room for him to stretch.  Rocky was blatantly farting in front of me and when I told him off, he blushed and tried to claim that was what the back seat of a car was for – dogs and farting.  (I think it was the steak that I had fed him from the night before)

By the time we arrived at the studio in North Fremantle I was more than relieved to get out of the car and the boys were raring to get on with their photo shoot.

Getting ready for the shoot

Janet introduced herself and what a lovely lady she is as is her assistant.  They made us feel very welcome indeed.

The studio was large, light and airy with lots of props placed around it and the first thing that struck me was a gorgeous print of several dogs all sat outside a house, it was an incredible shot that spoke volumes and commanded your attention.

‘Oh my god, this place is enormous, it is bigger than our garden, can I dig it?’ Brutus barked excitedly and then jumped up on his hind legs to stare at himself in the mirror.

‘Right, show me where the sheep are, do you have sheep, if not tennis balls will do’ Rocky said firmly and glanced around to see if there was anything for him to herd up.

I had brought some props with me which included Brutus’s Harley Davidson cap, his beloved Tony Abbott doll which is his favourite toy of all time, a black vest that he sometimes wears and a tennis ball for Rocky who was already wearing his smart Australian flag neckerchief that he saves for special occasions.

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Brutus when I first bought him his Harley Davidson cap

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

While Janet got everything set up, we were waiting in the reception area that happened to have a large mirror there.  Now I don’t know if your dog’s ever react against their reflection in the mirror or even if they have ever seen themselves in the mirror but my Rocky dog has never really taken notice of himself in the mirror before up until now that is.

11377267_10152879323733317_2234150612644594788_nDon’t worry Brutus – Rocky has it covered!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Brutus was oblivious to the mirror as Brutus is oblivious to everything really except food and his friends, Tony Abbott and his puppy blanket.

AbbotBrutus, Tony Abbott and his puppy blanket (and a carrot)

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

But Rocky wasn’t and once Rocky had seen his reflection, he was absolutely furious about it because he doesn’t like other dogs gate crashing his personal space – even his own reflection.

RockyRocky – not amused by his own reflection

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Excuse me, what on earth do you think you are doing here?’ Rocky growled at the angry little black kelpie dog that was staring back at him mirroring his expressions which annoyed Rocky so much that he was beside himself (in the mirror).

‘Who is that?’ Brutus demanded to Rocky and then stared at the reflection but only really noticing Rocky’s reflection.

‘Don’t worry Brutus, I’ve got this covered’ Rocky growled in an authoritative voice and then puffed himself up and to his horror, the dog in the reflection did the same.  It was ‘game on’ and Rocky would fight this kelpie dog to save his family – if he had to of course.

‘You have two seconds to get out of here before I make you cry’ barked Rocky and then looked back at Brutus and mouthed to him ‘It’s OK, I think he is scared of me’.

I could see things were going to get out of control and Rocky would end up beating his own mirror image up if I didn’t stop him, so thought I had better put him out of his misery.

‘Rocky, there is something I need to tell you’ I said to him gently, after all there is nothing worse than embarrassing your dog in public and it is quite unforgivable.

‘Step back Mum, this dog is aggressive’ Rocky said tried to nudge me backwards.

‘Rocky, it is not another dog, it is your reflection in the mirror’ I whispered to him.

Looking boot-faced, Rocky bristled with anger and after a painful silence replied simply ‘I knew that, I totally knew that’ and then did what any other dog that had been so publicly shamed would do, turned round and looked for another diversion.

‘Oh look, there is my tennis ball’ Rocky said in a voice that clearly said ‘I have been shamed’ and then trotted off with his hackles still raised.

‘Ha ha ha! You were growling at your own reflection!’ Brutus laughed to Rocky.

Then with a confused look on his face, Brutus asked him ‘Rocky, what is a reflection?’ Bless him, as I said he is not the smartest dog on the block.

Fun in the Studio

We were able to let the dogs go off the leash as the studio door was shut and as you can imagine this went down very well with the boys and totally unused to trotting around on a shiny floor, Brutus galloped around like a new-born foal getting tangled up in its legs.

‘Yay! Look at me!’ Brutus yelled as he ran from one end of the studio to the other.

‘He is SO childish, he is not my brother, please ignore him’ Rocky said looking so embarrassed to be in the same room as Brutus let alone witness the giant dog skidding all over the studio narrowly missing furniture as he did so looking like Scooby Doo on a ghost chase.

When it came to getting ready for the photos both dogs thought it was just one big game and perhaps it was but either way Janet had the patience of a saint.

The tennis ball was duly brought out and Rocky went into ‘Perfect Kelpie’ mode and some good shots of him catching his ball were taken while Brutus just galloped around the studio in his own little world, skidding along the floor and admiring himself in the mirror.

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Rocky knows how to be a good boy!

(Photograph by Moira Humphry)

‘This is great fun, I can move really fast without trying!’ Brutus shouted to Rocky as he came thundering round the corner tripping up in his own legs while Rocky was being ever the professional and doing marvellous things with his tennis ball.

When it came to Brutus’s turn to pose it was a bit like asking a child to sit quietly through a Cliff Richard concert – it just wasn’t happening.

We got some shots of the boys together while Brutus was asking Janet if he was THE most handsome dog she had ever laid eyes on.  Rocky just rolled his eyes at such vanity and looked fed up while secretly hoping that HE was the most handsome dog that Janet had ever seen.

After all, every dog loves to think that he/she is the most handsome and well-loved dog in the world don’t they?

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Trying to get the boys in one shot – not happening!

(Photograph by Moira Humphry)

I would like to tell you that both boys did everything obediently and for nothing other than praise but I would be lying.  Both dogs were heavily bribed with treats and high pitched squeaky sounds to make them look the part.

Brutus took full advantage of the bribery and ate his treats with such speed that one could be forgiven for thinking that he had been starved for 50 years.  Rocky was also bribed and quickly disowned his tennis ball in return for the dog treats.

‘I am SO loving it here, I love you Janet – do you love me? Can I play here on a weekday and have treats and run around and everything, do you do doggy daycare?’ Brutus said in a deep voice while speaking as quickly as the words could fall out of his mouth.

I am sure that Janet has heard it all before as there are several fabulous photographs of dogs in her studio looking all serene and obedient – unlike mine.  But Brutus decided that he liked Janet and her assistant, he liked skidding round the studios but most of all, he loved the treats.

The final few photographs were taken of the boys in my car and the reason behind that was that Rocky adores going in my car and loves it when I drive him round the palm tree in the garden with the seat belt on him in the front passenger seat.  In fact I actually believe that Rocky drives my car and hoons around Fremantle when I am not using it but that as they say, is another story.

CAR 2Rocky is a bit of a hoon in my car

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Move over, it is my turn to drive’ Brutus growled at Rocky from the back seat.

‘No way, you think I am going to let you drive?’ Rocky snorted with laughter.  Rocky always gets his ‘Cop face’ on when he is in the front seat which I will add he always secured by his leash as well as a human seat belt when I drive him around the palm tree.

CArThis is Rocky with his ‘Cop Face’ on

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

His ‘Cop face’ is the kind of face you pull when a cop pulls up next to you in the traffic lights, where you look and check your mirrors, nod curtly at the officer, smile and pull away gently and slowly and then once the cop is out of sight, you shout and swear at the car/cyclist that has just cut you up.  Rocky has a professional and full on ‘Cop face’ when he is in the front of my car.

That is why it was fun to photograph the boys in the car, Rocky in the front and Brutus in the back looking like a dirty teenager.  Although whether or not the photographs turned out is anyone’s guess as Brutus wouldn’t look at the camera.

The dogs enjoyed themselves so much that they lost track of time and before we all knew it, the shoot had come to an end and it was time to go home.

‘And that as they say, is a wrap’ said Rocky.

‘Wrap? Did someone say wrap?  Chicken wrap?’ Brutus asked with his ears pricked up at the thought of food.

Rolling his eyes, Rocky shook his head and replied ‘That’s the lingo you see, that is what they all say in media – that’s a wrap’.

‘Who taught you that?’ Brutus demanded to know.

‘I saw it on TV once’ Rocky said knowingly.

‘Well if it’s a wrap, then why can’t mine be chicken?’ Brutus added and jumped in to the back seat so that I could secure him to his seat belt.

‘You have food on the brain’ Rocky snapped and then said in an apologetic voice to Janet ‘Please excuse my brother, his middle name is stomach’

‘Bye Janet, love you Janet’ shouted Brutus from the car as his big boofy brown head hung out of the window in order to say goodbye to his new friend.

‘Well that was fun wasn’t it?’ I said to the boys as we drove away from the studio towards home.

‘I am so tired that I think I might need extra food to compensate’ Brutus said in his most pleading ‘hungry’ voice and yes, he does actually have a ‘hungry’ voice that he uses when he is trying to get more food.

‘Yes I enjoyed that and it was nice to play with my tennis ball’ Rocky said happily.  You will have to forgive him for being obsessed with his ball to the point that he has a book called ‘Tennis balls and the modern-day Kelpie’ on his bookcase.

‘What about you Brutus, have you got anything to say?’ I asked him.

‘Do you think I have what it takes to be a model?’ Brutus asked as he tried to catch his reflection in my rear view mirror.

And that my friends is one question that I never got chance to answer because all I could hear was Rocky snorting with laughter.  But Brutus as a model?  I shall leave that one to you.

The End

Brutus and Rocky’s Pet Project Fundraising Page

If you would like to sponsor our photograph and donate to Cancer Support WA, please follow this link.  Donating is safe and easy to do and you will be making a difference.  You can also check out the photograph that Janet has picked from our session – but don’t be fooled by how angelic Brutus looks!

Please sponsor us if you can.

Brutus and Rocky Fundraising Page for Cancer Support WA

PurplePlease sponsor us if you can

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Links

If you or your loved ones have been affected by cancer and would like to contact Cancer Support WA; the website is: Cancer Support WA

Cancer Support WA – Facebook Page

If you would like to book a photograph session with Janet Craig, the link to her page is: Janet Craig

Janet Craig Facebook Page

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright June 2015

Cancer Support WA figures and parts of Cancer Support WA write up – taken from their website as stated in article.

If Dogs Could Celebrate Mothers Day……

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We love you Mum

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

It was Mothers Day in Australia and I had been woken up to the sounds of Rocky telling Brutus to ‘Shhhh’ and Brutus whispering so loudly to the point of shouting ‘Stop it, you will make me spill it’.

I had no idea as to what was going on and thought it best to peer out of the door to see what the boys were up to.

There stood Brutus clutching a tray with a piece of palm tree in glass of water, a glass with a quarter of orange juice in it and the rest spilt on the tray, a piece of paper with doggy scrawl on it saying ‘Love you Mum, U R The Bestest Mum’ on it, a dog biscuit, a tennis ball and Tony Abbott.

Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, I stared at the boys – Rocky was quivering in anticipation, Brutus had mud over his face and paws clumsily clutched the tray while standing tall and proud to show what a good boy he was. Posing

Brutus the good boy!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Oh boys, that is a lovely surprise, dog biscuits – my favourite and you have brought me your favourite toys and as for the piece of palm tree, it must have taken you ages to snap that off’ I gushed at them.

‘I had to swing on that tree for quite a while’ Brutus said proudly.

‘And I had to crawl right under your car to get that tennis ball’ Rocky added. Tie

Rocky – also a good boy

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Wondering what to do with the tray, I stood there for what seemed ages until Rocky could stand it no longer and said ‘If you are not going to play with that tennis ball, could we please go into the garden so I can play with it?’

‘And if you are not going to have that dog biscuit, could I have it?’ Brutus asked hopefully.

‘Oh go on then!’ I laughed and gave Brutus the dog biscuit and Rocky his tennis ball.

‘Thanks Mum, love you Mum!’ Brutus yelled and then added ‘Oh, sorry I forgot – can I have my Tony Abbott as well please?’

Handing him his Tony Abbott doll, I was left with a piece of palm tree and an inch of orange juice. 1958211_597413007013416_1230134635_n

Brutus and his beloved Tony Abbott doll

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

I watched the boys play in the garden, ‘Do you think she liked the presents?’ Brutus asked Rocky.   IMG_5857

Brutus and Rocky – they are a team you know

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Rocky who was throwing his ball in the air and catching it, replied ‘Yep, she loved them – you could just tell’.

‘I love Mothers Day, it is such fun’ Brutus barked excitedly.

And as I stared down at the tiny piece of palm tree and orange juice, I am inclined to agree with him.

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright May 2015

Toppa goes to QLD

22Toppa Fran ForbesToppa the Iggy strikes a pose

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Is your bum clean?’ Pippin demanded.

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

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

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

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

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

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the plane a while after take off

Toppa Jeni SachToppa – flying high to QLD

(Photograph by Jeni Sach)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to QLD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back in Perth

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

‘What’s up?’ Pippin asked sleepily.

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

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

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

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

ECF

At Fran’s House in QLD

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

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Gracie introduces herself to Toppa

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later that night

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

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

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

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

Amex and Shine burst out laughing.

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

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

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

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

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

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Amex, Shine and Toppa

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

To be continued…..

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright February 2015

Brutus, Vader, Guns (and rifles)

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Vader the boxer – confused about canine weaponry

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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Vader admires Brutus’s muscles

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘See you later Vader’ Brutus said quietly.

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

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

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Rocky lied to Brutus about his ‘rifles’

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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Gordon finds Brutus’s gullibility so very funny

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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Brutus is dreaming about his ‘rifles’

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

‘What’s up Vader?’ Brutus barked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tess – loves teasing her brother Vader

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

‘Mum?’ Brutus barked.

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

‘What’s a shot gun?’ said Brutus.

(deep sigh)

‘Brutus, I think we need to talk……..’

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Brutus – so many questions

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright February 2015

Rocco’s Christmas

Rocco

Rocco

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Here is my Christmas story about Rocco the Italian Greyhound who learns about the true meaning of Christmas.

It contains mild adult course language and content and may not be suitable for children or those easily offended by adult humour.

There are also a couple of Christmas carols that have had the words substituted for doggy ones so this may offend you if you are particularly religious. (no offence intended but I thought I would warn you in advance)

This is a HUGE read of over 8,880 words and is probably best read with a cup of tea/coffee – maybe even several (if you are like me).

So now take a step into the secret world of Italian Greyhounds and if you would like your Iggy to be in one of my stories, let me know and I will write them in.

Christmas Party at Pippin Pringles House

It was Christmas Eve and the Iggies were at the Iggy Headquarters (Pippin’s house) busy preparing for Christmas and by that I mean decorating the tree, urinating up the tree, running round the tree doing ‘zoomies’, placing wrapped up doggy treats under the tree that invariably ended up being eaten by one of the puppies.

‘Zara and Olive, will you please stop stealing the dog treats!’ growled Pippin, really it was no good; as fast as Rambow, Fletch, Hershey and Woody were wrapping them, Olive, Soobi and Zara were unwrapping them and cramming them into their slender mouths which were could hold a surprising amount of food.

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Olive – the raider of the Christmas tree 

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘If you have it in your mouth they have nothing to pin on you, just make sure you have no evidence’ Soobi whispered to Zara.

‘Treats? What treats?’ Zara replied innocently in a voice that sounds like it had just swallowed a Schmacko – which of course it had.

‘Mouth! Crumbs around it!’ Olive hissed to Zara who quickly wiped her snout and then got back to looking innocent.

‘Did you get me any biscuits?’ Fat Harry asked Zara, not that he needed any food but if it was under the tree then it was fair game because Harry is convinced that there is a constant famine going on and it is every dog for himself.

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Fat Harry and the famine!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Don’t know what you are talking about Harry’ Zara said in a breezy voice and then turned her back on the chunky Iggy to try and hide the guilt that was clearly written all over her snout in the form of crumbs.

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Bronte (left) and Zara (right)

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘A dog could starve to death around here!’ Fat Harry growled at nobody in particular and then sat down to keep an eye on a tray of Denise’s delicious famous ‘satin balls’ that had been made up for Mako to help him gain weight.

Actually Fat Harry was convinced those satin balls were for him and no amount of persuasion could convince him otherwise not even the fact that Harry didn’t need to gain weight as he could technically be classed as two very cute Iggies rolled into one.

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Fat Harry (I love him)

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Rocco had his ‘grump on’ and was not joining in the festivities at all, he didn’t believe in the ‘Santa Paws’ Christmas thing, and certainly didn’t believe that some fat bastard went around on a sleigh giving out toys to the dogs that had been good. He just assumed that the gifts under the tree ‘just got there’ although he always did enjoy ripping them open.

Rocco loves his mum

Rocco loves his Mum

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

After having a fight with his invisible friend over the situation which involved Bentley joining in and attacking ‘fresh air’ to make Rocco feel more supported, both Rocco and Bentley were now sat in the corner furious over everything and nothing.

‘It’s all a load of old bollocks’ Rocco growled to Bentley who nodded in agreement, aside from the gifts and the food that is – they totally believed in getting their ‘food on’ when it was on offer and unlike Nica, never vomited afterwards on grounds of there being many a starving dog in Africa that would be glad of a hot meal.

‘If I see Santa Paws I will bite him’ Bentley said angrily.

‘Santa Paws my arse, how can anyone believe in such a thing?’ Rocco snapped.

‘But you have to believe in Santa Paws!’ Soobie barked looking upset; ‘Every animal believes in Santa Paws’.

‘Yeah right’ Rocco muttered and placed his snout between his paws. Honestly, there was no such thing and the rest of the Iggies were so gullible in believing otherwise.

‘Rocco, just because you are in a bad mood, don’t ruin Christmas for the puppies, now please everyone will you gather round the piano so we can practice for the choir’ Pippin said in his firm voice, which he tried to save for special occasions that involved naughtiness, farting and trying to gain order.

Wearing his half rimmed spectacles and his silk ruffle around his neck, Pippin sat bolt upright at the piano while frequently peering above his glasses to see that the Iggies were concentrating. He could already see Gidget trying to distract the girls by showing off her new outfit.

‘Gidget will you stop showing off now!’ Pippin said sounding exasperated.

‘I’ll try but I can’t promise you!’ Gidget giggled as Nica gave her the thumbs up to encourage her.

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Gidget – can’t promise anything about behaving!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

The Iggy Christmas Choir I’ll have you know; is the most important event of the year and involves all of the Iggies wearing ‘ruffles’ around their necks and standing round the piano which is always played by Pippin while Madam Gigi tries to get them to hit the high notes.

‘Right everyone, take it from the top!’ Pippin shouted and then with a curt nod in Madam Gigi’s direction, started to play the piano and in turn Madam Gigi started waving her front pointy legs about to the Iggies to instruct them.

‘No, no no! – You need to go higher!’ Madam Gigi snapped as Enzo sang in a forced deep voice.

‘Told you that you needed to go higher, didn’t I tell them Topper, they just don’t listen, I told you so’ Gidget said smugly to the other Iggies as they glared back at her – their snouts appearing more pointy and dangerous the angrier they got.

‘It’s like trying to polish a turd with this lot’ Pino whispered to Enzo who really wanted to sound like Pavarotti – except Pavarotti is dead and he wouldn’t really be suited to the Iggy Choir now would he?

‘I feel so silly wearing this’ Enzo said fretfully and tried to pull his ruffle off his neck until Pippin gave him ‘a look’ that said ‘leave the hell alone’.

‘I really don’t see why we have to wear them’ Rocco said angrily as Bentley agreed with him and muttered something about ‘ruffles up the arse’ or something equally as vulgar.

‘I think I might wet my pants if they don’t get started soon’ Bronte growled to Nica. She wouldn’t really wet herself of course; she purely wanted to draw attention to the fact that she was wearing her new ‘Diva Pantz’ from her favourite store ‘Spoiled Bratzwear Canine Couture’.

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Bronte likes the boys to check out her bum!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘If I could sit on someone’s lap that would make me sing better’ Woody said meekly but secretly praying that Madam Gigi would allow that to happen.

Woody is quite stealth in his approach to the humans and how he can wrangle his way on to their laps for attention without them even realizing it. Even my husband did not escape Woody’s charms one day when he found himself hugging the Iggy for quite a while before Woody sloped off and found several other laps to sit on, with each one he took the scent of the aftershave or perfume with him.

‘No Woody, you cannot sit on anyone’s lap – now concentrate please. Now once again everyone; take it from the top!’ Gigi barked and then nodded to Pippin for him to start playing the piano as the entire Iggy choir started to sing the canine version of ‘Away in a manger’.

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The Iggies getting ready to do some singing

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

All Italian greyhounds have high pitched voices – it is ‘The Law’, they talk as though they have inhaled vast quantities of helium but once they sing, they have Aled Jones (The Snowman) style choir voices and even Rocco with his Tourette’s, can go from sounding vulgar to a high pitched angelic voice the moment he sings.

Iggy Choir

Rocco left, Pippin middle and Fat Harry right

(Photograph from Google and ruined beyond recognition by myself)

Fat Harry puffed his fat chest out as he hit the high notes, Enzo, Cino, Pino, Mako, Topper, Rocco, Bentley, Fletch, Woody, Dash, Rambow, Apollo, Charlie and Starbucks gave it their all as did the others. Zara and the other puppies were still at the embarrassed stage at the thought of singing in public and were miming – just like we used to be at school when Assembly was on and we were forced to sing but would mime along to morning hymns.

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Fat Harry hitting those high notes!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

(I still have nightmares about miming to ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ – but we won’t go there, it is too traumatic but it involved Nuns and stuff)

You are now privy to read the Iggy Lyrics to ‘Away in a Manger’ – please feel free to sing along using the words below to the music.

Away in a manger, no place for a dog

Cuzz Bro the Maori boi carved a bed from a log

The dogs were all happy and the cats went to stay

On the scratch post he made them

And they ran off to play

 

Some dogs go cold and hungry

Some have no bones

While some have no toys

And some have no homes

 

We Iggies are so lucky

That we are loved and well fed

And at night we are cuddled

And tucked up in our beds

‘Not bad everyone for the first attempt, take a few minutes break and we will try again’ Madam Gigi said approvingly.

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Madam Gigi – she can get those Iggies singing!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

*Cuzz Bro Kennels – the fabulous Maori boi that hand makes dog beds, kennels and any other pet stuff for the people of Perth.  Lovely guy, everyone knows and respects him and I can highly recommend him to make stuff for your pet*

Unexpected Visitors

Suddenly sounds of singing could be heard from outside Pippin’s house that were only comparable to something being murdered, or Cliff Richard singing with a bad dose of gastro.

Either way, it sounded awful and it was coming from outside Pippin’s front door and it sounded suspiciously like a pair of large, clumsy and uncoordinated dogs with a penchant for licking windows, lure coursing, farting and loving each other. Can you guess which dogs I am talking about?

‘Hark the herald angels sing

Glory to the new born king’

‘Give me food and give me toys

Our Mums said we’re both good boys’

 

‘I didn’t mean to dig the garden

Belch in your face and not say pardon’

‘Hark the herald angels groan

I deserve a juicy bone’

‘We’re both good boys for our Mums

With our jowls and dirty bums’

 ‘Do you think they liked it?’ Vader slurred his words at Brutus from outside Pippin’s house.

‘They must have, we sounded bloody awesome’ Brutus said proudly and then hiccupped loudly ‘Pardon me!’ – Yes, both boys were drunk.

Clutching their dog beers in their paws, they propped one another up and after visiting a local skimpies bar that had naked whippets inside dancing for Schmackos; the boys had decided to gatecrash Pippin’s Iggy Christmas Eve meeting.

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Brutus and Vader – never could hold their drink

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Bloody hell, what on earth is that?’ Pippin spluttered as he took his glasses off to wipe off some smudges.

‘I think someone has been murdered’ Nica replied and then placed her skinny little paws in her ears to block out the sound.

Apollo, Mako, Fletch and Starbucks were trying hard not to laugh as Pippin looked positively furious at the disturbance.

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Starbucks – laughing at the disturbance (she is an Iggy in disguise!)

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Someone must have lost their testicles or something,’ Bentley spluttered and then checked to see what could be causing the noise.

Just as the Iggies thought the dreadful noise was over, Brutus and Vader decided to sing (or rather invent) the words to ‘Silent Night’.

‘Silent Night in my home

God protect me and my bones’

‘Happy and grateful for my Kong

My Mum thinks I can do no wrong’

‘I did chew up the palm tree

I did chew up the tree’

 ‘And you shit yourself – several times, even I know that!’ Vader belched and slurred to Brutus.

‘Yeah alright, those days are behind me’ Brutus blushed and then poked Vader in the ribs to shut him up and added ‘I – AM – A- GROWN – UP’ as Vader burst out laughing at such a statement.

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Brutus and Vader – grown ups you know!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Leaning out of the window, Rocco strained his neck to see what the assault on their ears could be.

‘Oh god, it’s Brutus and Vader and they are drunk’ Rocco growled to Bentley who was wiping the tears from his eyes as he was laughing so much.

‘Priceless, totally priceless – come on Pippin, let them in before someone calls the rangers’. Bentley said while snorting with laughter.

‘Really this is highly irregular, they are not part of the Iggy Choir and it is our official practice night and they know they shouldn’t come round’ Pippin sighed.

‘Starbucks isn’t an Iggy?’ Zara said pointedly.

‘Yes but Starbucks is the same size as us so almost an Iggy’ Olive added as the other dogs nodded.

‘You can’t say no to them Pippin, they are virtually family’ Soobi cried as Pippin rolled his eyes.

But really it was no good, the boys would end up gatecrashing the meeting and Pippin knew it, in fact we all knew it.

‘Excellent!’ Bronte giggled to Nica, Zara, Olive and Enzo who were all trembling with excitement as there is nothing like an impromptu visitor to get everyone into the spirit of things not to mention cause a happy diversion from the routine.

Fat Harry who is pretty much welcoming to anyone just sat there grinning while Woody and Hershey took the piss out of him for how excited he always gets when anyone turns up, probably because Harry is convinced he will get food out of it – which of course he usually does.

‘Oh for goodness sake let them in before they embarrass us further!’ Madam Gigi snapped and then nodded to Bentley to open the door.

The smell of alcohol fumes could have lit a fire – the boys had been drinking dog beer.

‘Merry Christmas!’ Vader shouted with a mouthful of his own tongue as the door to Pippins house opened. Burping and hiccupping, Vader slurred ‘we have been to admire the whippets in the skimpies bar and man, do they know how to dance round a bone’

‘Whippet real good, she whipped off her collar that whippet did, even WA cop dog Rumble threw dog chocs at the whippets and ‘Z’ the Cop dog had to arrest him!’ Brutus giggled childishly and then tried hard to stand straight in a way that only a drunk person does but ended up hitting the wall and apologising to it.

‘Have you been drinking dog beer again?’ Hershey demanded.

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Hershey – have you been drinking beer?

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

‘Yes, we have’ Vader hiccupped and then added ‘It was bloody nice as well, and we have been whippeted all over our bottoms. Mind if we come in?’ And without waiting for a response barged past Pippin into the living room leaving a trail of mucous behind him and a smell of farts that indicated that he really needed to go to the toilet.

‘Pippin, I just want to tell you that I love you as much as I do Tony Abbott!’ Brutus said with a big grin on his face as he walked past Pippin into the living room and then promptly collapsed in a big brown heap on the floor by the TV – leaving Pippin looking mortified, Madam Gigi looking furious and the other Iggies laughing hysterically.

Pippin looked down at the large brown dog that was now comatose on the floor and looked up to the other Iggies standing around him. ‘Not a word to anyone about this you lot and remember – what happens at the Iggy meeting, stays at the Iggy meeting’.

The Iggies all nodded their heads quickly in agreement; after all some pretty naughty things go down at Iggy meetings you know – we don’t know half of it although Enzo was making a mental note to tell Luciano in Karratha everything as he was the Karratha Correspondent after all and if he could get the news to Fabian in Puerto Rico all the better.

Enzo was laughing at the sight of a pissed up Brutus who was now snoring loudly with Vader curled up fast asleep beside him resting his head on Brutus’s bum with his huge tongue hanging out like a yard of Christmas ham.

‘At least he can’t get up to any trouble here’ Hershey whispered to Enzo just as Brutus let out an enormous fart, which caused Vader to wake slightly, snort with laughter and mumble ‘Nice one Brutus, don’t shit yourself’ before falling back to sleep.

‘Wanna bet on that?’ Enzo laughed as Pippin shook his head and clasped his pointy snout to avoid breathing in the Brutus’s bottom-offerings.

A bit about Rocco

Little Rocco hated Christmas and refused to get into the spirit of it all, saying that Santa Paws was a waste of time and a fat judgmental bastard that didn’t have a clue about how ‘real dogs’ lived their lives.

Saying that Rocco never questioned the presents that lay under his tree for him and Madam Gigi every year, he still didn’t care how they got there. Christmas is just ‘another day in the year – except that you get toys’, according to Rocco.

Bentley thought a bit differently about the situation as he totally believed in Santa Paws but would never admit it to Rocco so thought it better if he too declared that he hated Christmas.

But when nobody was looking, Bentley would make his list for Santa and lie in his bed at night, shaking with anticipation at what Santa Paws would bring him for ‘being a good boy’.

Even Keno, Amex and Shine in QLD would start their Santa Paws list months in advance for what they wanted.

Barney the horse-dog, Ruby the kelpie and Kath the greyhound in QLD also had their traditions for Christmas, which normally involved Barney eating far too much Christmas BBQ and spending the afternoon farting it off while Kath and Ruby covered their snouts. It was all in good fun though and farting aside, party games were played including ‘Who has the biggest paws’ and ‘The Ministers Cat’.

It was only Rocco that didn’t really get into the spirit because he didn’t believe in it either.

You know what they say – and that is we all need something to believe in; Santa, the fairies, and the spirit of our loved ones watching over us, or simply the fact that something nice is always waiting for us around the corner. Either way, it just keeps that tiny bit of magic in an otherwise ordinary life.

‘But why don’t you believe in Santa Paws?’ Zara asked Rocco one day.

‘I just don’t, it’s for puppies and idiots to believe in!’ Rocco growled Zara leaving her confused and upset at such a declaration.

‘And another thing, how can you believe in something you can’t see idiot?’ he sneered at Zara.

Looking thoughtful, Zara replied ‘You believe in your invisible friend and we can’t see him!’

‘That is different!’ Rocco spluttered, he was getting angry, as he didn’t like his logic being challenged.

‘Well I believe in Santa Paws and I don’t care what you think’ Zara snapped back and picked up her squeaky toy and walked off with it to tell Soobi and Olive how unreasonable Rocco was being about the whole thing.

So you see Rocco had no belief at all, except for his invisible friend who he enjoyed fighting with on a daily basis but as for Santa Paws – well that was for puppies and idiots.

Back to the party

The Iggies had abandoned hope of practicing for the Xmas choir and were now either dancing or playing party games around Pippin’s Christmas tree.

Zara, Soobi, Olive and Dobby were standing in a large circle while Madam Gigi and Nica danced in the middle as the others clapped.

Some of them were playing party games, some were just chatting about next years lure coursing season with West Coast Dog Sports and the next ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ contest which was a huge success this year and promised to be next year.

Pippin was now totally relaxed and was joining in the fun which the other Iggies loved as it was rather like seeing your teacher relax at the school disco and do the ‘Dad dance’ across the dance floor.

*The Dad Dance is where you dance like a middle aged man and do ridiculous and embarrassing moves across the dance floor in a bid to look ‘cool’ whilst embarrassing your children*

‘Oh come on Pippin, show us your moves!’ Nica squealed at the normally very reserved little Pippin who was feeling brave at such encouragement.

Apollo, Mako and Pino started to clap and chant ‘Pippin! Pippin! Pippin!’ and pretty soon the others were joining until Pippin had no choice but to dance.

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Pippin getting into the Christmas spirit

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Well I say dance, Pippin tried his best and ended up doing a mixture of the ‘Funky Chicken’ and the ‘Dad Dance’ around the tree as the other Iggies clapped and cheered in delight at their leader letting his guard down.

‘We can bribe him with this for years to come’ Hershey whispered to Woody.

‘Oh don’t you worry, I am recording it on my iPhone’ Enzo laughed.

‘Let’s do The River Dance’ Gigi cried and all the Iggies suddenly lined up with their paws across each others shoulders as they started to dance to Irish music with their hind legs kicking furiously in time to the beat – except for Fat Harry who could not keep up and danced in a circle on his own at the end ‘doing his thang’.

Just one solitary and lonely little figure didn’t join in and that was Rocco. He stared at his sister Madam Gigi and the others all enjoying themselves.

Rocco shook his head at the other Iggies and decided that he simply could not cope with watching it any more.

Without anyone noticing him, he slipped quietly out of the living room and went into the cat room for his own company and this time not even his invisible friend went with him and nobody noticed he had gone either.

‘It’s all a load of crap’ Rocco growled to himself and looked around for his invisible friend to back him up but for once he couldn’t see him and he was truly on his own except for his demons that he didn’t know existed.

Feeling somewhat unsettled, Rocco sighed and placed his head down on his front paws and within minutes he was fast asleep.

Rocco woke up with a start and the first thing he noticed was how quiet it was, no sound of the Iggies playing – had they gone home without him? The second thing he noticed was the sound of howling, very loud and almost ghostly and also that the room had gone icy cold to the point that he could see his own breath.

The howling got louder and Rocco lifted his head up and looked around him – what the hell could that be howling like a bloody wolf?

Standing up, Rocco trotted around the room to check what was going on and seeing that everything was in order, he lay back down; perhaps he was imagining it all.

The howling got louder until Rocco snapped and said ‘Look if that is you Dobby, you can piss off as I am not in the mood!’ God they were all so juvenile and he would be glad when Christmas was over.

‘Rocco my friend, are you there?’ A strong QLD accent came out of nowhere.

‘Bloody hell, what is that – Enzo, Pino, Hershey, is that you?’ Rocco shouted – clearly unsettled by the strange, loud but haunting voice.

Realizing that none of those Iggies had a QLD accent, he then switched his attentions to Keno, Shine, Gracie and Amex, or even Ruby, Kath the greyhound and Barney the horse-dog. Maybe they had set up some kind of webcam to tease him or something.

Except that once Rocco realized that it didn’t sound like any of them and the howling could not be explained, he was very afraid.

Rocco ran towards the entrance of the cat room to get out except that he couldn’t because the door was shut and there was nowhere to go and the house was now eerily silent. Where was everyone? Where had they gone?

Although it was a Christmas Eve party, the plans were that they would all go to their respective homes with their families but surely they wouldn’t have gone home without him?

‘I am dreaming, I am so dreaming – God if I find out Fat Harry or the others are involved in this, then I am going to be pissed off’ Rocco said to himself. Turning round to look for another escape, he came face to face with a large, majestic, beautiful white greyhound that stood so tall his presence almost filled the room.

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Bowie – the Angel Dog (before he crossed over to Rainbow Bridge)

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

With a large set of white wings on his back, he floated just above the ground and not quite touching it. His lean and muscular body quivered, his long pointy snout was bigger than Rocco himself and his kind eyes looked down on the tiny little Italian greyhound who was now so terrified that he had ‘done a Brutus’ and urinated down his own legs.

‘Hello Rocco, do you know who I am?’ The greyhound asked. His voice had an echo and at that moment in time appeared to be the only voice that Rocco had ever really tuned in to.

‘I don’t think so, who are you?’ Rocco stuttered and tried to stand on the cat scratch post to make himself big and brave to face the greyhound.

‘My name is Bowie and I am the brother of Keno, Amex, Gracie and Shine – I passed away a few months ago and I am now an angel dog and I get to go around and help dogs on earth that need some guidance and you my friend need some guidance over this Christmas issue that you have’ Bowie said as he looked directly into Rocco’s eyes.

‘I do NOT have an issue with Christmas!’ Rocco growled forgetting how scared he was.

‘Do you believe in Santa Paws?’ Bowie asked him.

‘Of course not, Santa Paws is for…..’ Rocco sneered.

‘Puppies and idiots?’ Bowie finished the sentence for him, ‘Well Rocco, there must be a lot of puppies and idiots in this world as Santa Paws is mightily busy this time of year’.

Blushing at Bowie’s words, Rocco quickly changed the subject; ‘Where is everyone, have they gone home? Do Amex, Keno, Gracie and Shine know you are here?’

‘No they haven’t gone home, they are oblivious to you and to me and as far as they are concerned you are fast asleep sulking away in your Christmas misery, you cannot see them and they can only see you sleeping but have no desire to come and find you’.

‘But can they see you? I could call Amex and the others and tell them I am speaking to you, they would be so happy’ Rocco sighed and he knew they would as well. Actually they wouldn’t believe him and would think he was talking to his invisible friends again.

‘They don’t know I am here as very few dogs get to see us Angel dogs until they are ready to do so’ Bowie smiled at Rocco.

‘Now Rocco, tell me why you really hate Christmas and if you don’t mind, could you refrain from swearing or at least not use the word ‘bollocks’ and take your time my friend’.   Bowie said gently to Rocco who was looking boot-faced at the prospect of not only opening his heart but also unlocking thoughts and fears that he had buried some time ago.

The Pandora’s box of Rocco

‘I asked Santa Paws if I could be a big dog. I waited on Christmas Eve for it to happen, I went to sleep and woke up on Christmas Day and I was still – well, I was still me, tiny Rocco weighing less than Gordon the cat’. Rocco looked angry just by remembering such a travesty.

Bowie tried not to smile at Rocco who had his front paws folded tight and his hind legs crossed to try and hide his emotions by folding everything possible.

‘I wanted to be a big dog, I wanted to be able to go to the park and the other dogs admire how big I am and I would be afraid of nothing’.

‘But it never happened and I woke up still little, still vulnerable and I felt let down. Santa let me down’ Rocco sighed.

‘But did you get anything else for Christmas?’ Bowie asked Rocco.

Rocco looked thoughtful and replied ‘Oh sure, there were toys around the tree, lots of them but not what I had asked for’

‘Did you get treats and food on Christmas Day?’ Bowie asked in a patient voice.

Rocco nodded his head ‘Oh yes, there were lots of those – treats, sausages, BBQ food – everything really, but I still woke up being me, I still woke up being short’.

‘Did your Mum cuddle you on Christmas Day?’ asked Bowie as he stared intently at Rocco.

Cocking his head to the side, Rocco thought for a few minutes before replying ‘Oh yes, all the time, I was and still am always covered in her perfume’.

‘Do you get treats, cuddles, pats, love, warm bed, food, toys, social outings at any other time other than Christmas?’ Bowie growled gently at Rocco.

Rocco was getting annoyed now, such stupid questions, ‘Why of course – all the time, what dog doesn’t get all of these basic necessities?’

Bowie shook his head in disbelief and from nowhere he produced an iPad and beckoned Rocco to come and look at it.

‘What am I looking at?’ Rocco demanded.

‘Your reality, that’s what you are looking at’ Bowie said flatly.

Staring at the iPad, Rocco saw an elderly border collie, with a grizzled muzzle, grey tufts above his eyebrows, thick matted coat and feathering around his paws, his tail a tangled mess – just a scruffy, tatty and unloved dog.

An almost empty water bowl with barely a dribble on the bottom sat near the pergola. No kennel, no proper shelter, no blankets, no food until his owner deemed it fit to throw some and certainly no toys.

With a rope tied around his neck, he was tethered to the post, no collar, no council tag, no rego, no identity and no name.

Rocco looked horrified, was this joke? ‘What is this dog doing living outside? Where are his toys/treats/food bowls?’

‘Why is his coat in that condition, has his Mum not heard of Lexie the groomer?’ Rocco demanded to know.

Shaking his head sadly, Bowie said nothing and Rocco kept watching.

Rocco watched the video for 10 minutes, which showed a time lapse of 24 hours and in those 24 hours, Rocco could not help but notice that no owner came to check on the dog.

The border collie had given up lifting his head to check for his owner, he had given up on food being given and a bowl of fresh water and he had long since given up on the prospect of a pat/cuddle because to be brutally honest, he wouldn’t recognize affection if he saw it. With regards to food – perhaps tomorrow, who knows? – Not him that’s for sure.

Just as Rocco was about to look away from the screen, he saw on the video that the owner had returned.

‘Look, see his owner has come back – I knew he would!’ Rocco said in a smug voice.

Bowie ignored him.

The border collie looked up with a glimmer of hope, which was quickly replaced by pain as his owner threw a bit of meat on the floor and then kicked the frail elderly dog hard in the ribs – just for being there.

The elderly grizzled dog remained by the pergola too afraid to move and the meat remained next to him untouched.

‘Why did his owner do that to him?’ Rocco asked Bowie.

‘Why not?’ Bowie sniffed in response, ‘Why do you get toys? Why do you tell everyone to ‘piss off’? Why do we do anything in life – because we CHOOSE to that’s why.  You choose how to behave and you choose how to react to the behaviour of others’.

Suddenly the footage on the iPad changed – It was Christmas Day and the scene was set at Rocco’s house where his Mum Gwynneth was sat cross-legged on the floor playing with his sister Madam Gigi. Rocco was nowhere to be seen.

‘That’s my house, that is my sister and that is my Mum!’ Rocco said excitedly, wagging his whippy tail so furiously that he almost cleared the table. Bowie smiled at such a genuine reaction from the tiny ball of Iggy fury.

‘Where am I though, I can only see Gigi?’ Rocco barked.

‘Keep looking’ Bowie instructed and Rocco kept looking.

There sat behind the sofa was Rocco in a curled up ball of angriness and resentment. He was so busy fighting with his invisible friend and telling it to ‘Piss off and to stop trying to put Christmas on him that he never noticed his Mum Gwynneth and sister Gigi happily organizing treats – HIS treats under the tree

Gwynneth was sorting out toys that Santa Paws had brought Rocco, soft toys, squeaky balls, chews, delicious yummy treats for him to eat – everything a dog could want and so much more.

Gigi was prancing around impatiently waiting for Rocco so that they could open their presents together.

‘Rocco, come on! We can open our gifts and see what Santa Paws brought us!’ Gigi squeaked in her high-pitched voice.

‘Bollocks, I don’t believe in Santa Paws!’ Growled Rocco and turned his back on his sister.

‘So you don’t want your presents then?’ Gigi replied, totally unabated by her grumpy brother and then proceeded to wave one of his presents under his pointy snout.

‘I never said that, give that to me!’ Rocco said firmly and snatched a beautifully wrapped gift with his name on it.

Rocco unwrapped each and every gift and trust me; there were lots of them.

Not one single ‘thank you’ passed his lips as he shoved some presents to the side although a great deal of food did as he ate his treats without even looking to see what they were.

He ignored the loving looks from his Mum who clearly loved him to bits, he ignored the fond glances of Gigi who loved him faults and all and he totally bypassed the amount of love that had been poured into these gifts.

‘What do you think Rocco? Do you believe in Santa Paws now?’ Gigi grinned at her brother.

Rocco lifted his head up and looked thoughtful before replying simply ‘Bollocks’

Bowie was staring sadly at Rocco who had the grace to blush at this behavior. Neither dog said a word, they didn’t need to really as the video said it all.

‘Rocco, what else did you want for Christmas aside from being a big dog?’ Bowie asked him.

Rocco was about to answer but thought better of it, he was already feeling pretty small with his behavior and being forced to watch it back was actually quite embarrassing not to mention shameful.

‘Well, was there anything else you wanted Santa Paws to get you for Christmas?’ Bowie repeated the question.

Remembering a bright red Kong Wubba toy that he had always wanted that Santa Paws never got him, it all seemed so trivial. It was silly really but Rocco had always wanted one of those and had every toy a dog could wish for but the Kong Wubba toy – now that WOULD have been a real treat.

But what Rocco did not realize was that in order to get your hearts desire from Santa Paws, you had to believe in him first because without that believe, everything was meaningless – even Kong Wubba toys.

Deciding to keep his wish for a Wubba quiet, Rocco whispered to Bowie ‘No Bowie, nothing else from Santa Paws’.

‘Well if you are sure…’ Bowie took a deep breath as he replied.

‘Yes, I am sure’ Rocco said so quietly that you could barely hear him.

‘How do you feel Rocco?’ Bowie asked while stretching his long legs.

Shrugging his shoulders Rocco didn’t trust himself to reply and carried on watching the screen on the iPad.

‘So Santa Paws let you down did he?’ Bowie said quite sarcastically.

‘Santa Paws didn’t make you into a big dog so you decided not to believe in him, yet you still expect every single Christmas Day to wake up bigger than what you are purely to prove a point to your friends and yourself that he still exists?’

Even to Rocco, this was sounding more ridiculous by the minute.

‘Rocco my dear, I repeat myself – to experience the magic in ones life, one has to believe in it and have faith in it’

‘Now take a look again’ Bowie ordered Rocco as he pointed to the screen of the iPad.

Rocco could see his Mum cradling him, his thin legs all folded up as he lay on his back in her arms while she rubbed his belly.

Smothering the Iggy with kisses and smoothing down his ears, she made promises of lavish gifts, food and attention and despite Rocco thinking Santa Paws was not real, she still patiently told him that he would be getting a visit which would result in all the toys and treats that he and Gigi wanted.

And in spite of knowing about Rocco’s lack of faith and belief in anything except for his invisible friend, she kept telling him this story so that one day he too would see the magic in something invisible yet so powerful that it had dogs all over the world on the edge of their beds hoping for presents (or just a loving home).

‘What do you have to say for yourself Rocco?’ Bowie finished as he slowly and purposely turned off the iPad.

‘That I have been stupid, that I am lucky to have my Mum who loves me, my sister Madam Gigi and all of my friends and that I have more than lots of other dogs have, and I don’t just mean toys either’ Rocco said while hanging his head in shame.

‘Do you believe in Santa Paws yet?’ Bowie asked him.

‘I think so, I haven’t felt any magic yet but I can see what I do have instead of what I don’t in my life’ Rocco replied nodding his head to convince himself.

‘And that my friend, is a start’ Bowie grinned.

‘What happens now?’ Rocco asked the big white greyhound.

‘It’s time for you to join the real world and your friends and when you do, they will know nothing of this and neither will they believe you if you told them’.

‘When you wake up it will be as though you had a good sleep’ The greyhound said firmly as he stood up and had a good stretch with his bum in the air, his wings stretched out and his front legs on the floor in a ‘play bow’ kind of way that only a greyhound can pull off.

‘Bowie?’ Rocco asked him.

‘Yes Rocco?’ Bowie yawned as he looked out of the window.

‘Thank you’ Rocco gave a very ‘un-Rocco’ like smile.

‘No worries lad, no worries’ Bowie grinned and ordered Rocco to shut his eyes.

One more glimpse wouldn’t hurt surely? Rocco wanted to see where Bowie went to, where he came from, surely he could take a peek?

Rocco closed his eyes for a second and then decided to open them. When he did; he found himself curled up on the floor by the cat scratch post in the same position that he had laid down earlier when he first entered the room.

Looking up to see if Bowie was still there, he noticed the time on the clock – it was just five minutes since he had left the others and not the hour it had seemed.

Back to the party

Rocco crept back into the living room unseen by the others. Pippin was playing ‘Blind dogs bluff’ and was blind folded while Zara, Soobi, Olive and Mako were spinning him around and the other Iggies were hiding and Pippin had to find them.

Squeals of delight could be heard as the Iggies teased Pippin and had even placed his spectacles over the blindfold to confuse him further while Bronte took the opportunity to flash her pretty little Diva Pantz and lift up her skirt at Enzo.

Brutus and Vader were still fast asleep and alternating between farting and snorting on the floor as everyone played around them and even using the giant dogs as stepping-stones.

‘Look at me, I am king of the world!’ Zara yelled as she stood on a sleeping Vader’s head trying to do a Titanic impression as Fat Harry stood behind her and held her paws.

‘Zara and Fat Harry get down now!’ Nica screamed, my goodness the last thing they needed were Brutus and Vader waking up. It would be like the giant in Gulliver’s Travels.

Rocco stood in the background quietly watching his friends enjoying their Christmas party.

Rocco was thinking that it would soon be time for them to go home and be put to bed so that Santa Paws could come and sort out gifts when he suddenly realized that he hadn’t even joined in with any of the games in any of the parties.

‘Oh I can’t do it, I am dizzy!’ Pippin laughed as Nica removed the blindfold leaving the other Iggies giggling.

‘What are you laughing at Fletch?’ Pippin said sounding confused.

‘Nothing’ Fletch grinned as the other dogs snorted with laughter.

Unaware that the girls had placed lipstick on Pip’s cheeks and ears and a love heart on his bottom, they left him to discover it himself, which he did on Christmas morning but that is another story.

‘Who is next? Come on Nica, you have a go!’ Soobi shouted.

‘Oh no, not me – I shall more than likely vomit if I do that’ Nica said in a prim and proper voice.

‘Let’s get two of us to do it, it will be fun!’ Bentley yelled and everyone clapped as though it was the best idea since Schmackos.

As the girls blindfolded Bentley, they looked around for someone else when Rocco quietly stepped forward.

‘Oh there you are; you were quiet, what were you up to?’ Pippin smiled at Rocco.

‘I’ll be your second dog’ Rocco said nervously.

Silence filled the room – you could have heard a bone drop.

‘What did you say?’ Pippin asked looking visibly shocked.

‘Yeah right, you never join in and never have done’ Enzo growled.

‘Now this I must see’ Bronte giggled to Nica and the girls.

Madam Gigi looked at her brother intently and after a few agonizing seconds, Gigi grabbed the spare blindfold and blindfolded Rocco and placed him in the middle of the room with Bentley where both Iggies were spun around until they begged to stop.

Rocco was terrified, not only about being blindfolded and the thought of the girls putting lipstick on him but also allowing himself to let go and admit that Christmas is rather fun.

‘I’ve got someone, I’ve got someone – who is it? They have a pointy snout and a fat neck!’ Rocco shouted happily.

‘We all have pointy snouts Rocco!’ Woody giggled as Pino went one step further and pissed himself while Cino snorted.

‘Oh my God, it’s a Labrador!’ Rocco yelled.

‘That is SO not funny, Pippin – tell them that is not funny, I am not a Labrador!’ Fat Harry said sounding awfully offended while everyone laughed at the horror on Fat Harry’s face.

‘I can smell turd, who has shit themselves?’ Bentley said in a worried voice as he clutched his blindfold.

‘Oh don’t worry, Vader has farted’ Zara said matter-of-factly.

‘That figures!’ laughed Rocco and then he and Bentley carried on with their front paws rigid in front of them as they walked around like a pair of robots trying to feel their way.

Nica stood next to Madam Gigi as they watched Rocco and Bentley knock ornaments over, take advantage of being ‘blind’ and generally groping the girls as the puppies teased them by nipping Rocco’s paws to confuse him and pull his tail.

‘What has changed do you think – with Rocco?’ Nica asked Gigi who could not take her eyes off her brother.

Nodding her response, Gigi replied simply ‘I don’t know, but you know what? I like it’.

‘Yep, and so do I – welcome to the fold Rocco. Nica agreed.

Back in their respective homes – tucked up in bed

The party was a success, the dogs were all back in their homes in their beds or their owners beds and everything was there for Santa Paws arrival (for the lucky dogs at least).

Madam Gigi was curled up next to Rocco who was resting his pointy snout on his paws with his eyes tightly closed.

‘Rocco, are you awake?’ Madam Gigi asked her brother.

After a few seconds Rocco replied ‘Yes Gigi, I am awake’.

‘Did you ask Santa Paws if he can make you in to a big dog for Christmas?’ Gigi whispered.

‘No Gigi, not this year, I don’t want to be a big dog any more’ Rocco replied.

‘But why not, that was always what you wanted?’ Gigi said sounding shocked.

‘Gigi, big doesn’t mean lucky and I think I have everything I need right here. Santa Paws can help the other dogs’ Rocco said with a newfound confidence.

The two dogs lay side by side for a few minutes until Gigi whispered to him ‘Rocco, I think you are perfect the way you are and will always be my big brother no matter what size you are’.

Rocco said nothing but without any prompting, he stretched his long slender brown paw out and gently touched Gigi’s leg and held it tight.

‘Merry Christmas Gigi’ Rocco said in a voice so quiet it was barely audible.

‘Merry Christmas Rocco’ Gigi smiled and snuggled into her bed where she quickly fell asleep to dream of all things nice and luxuries fit for an Iggy.

Rainbow Bridge

Bowie sat on his favourite sofa at Rainbow Bridge looking down at a fast asleep Rocco and Gigi curled up together.

It was a successful evening and turned out far better than he had hoped but it was painful for him to visit real life again and not see his Mum.

Surely once wouldn’t hurt, just to check on them? Of course it wouldn’t, after all being an Angel Dog must have some perks.

Bowie looked down in the QLD direction and allowed himself to peek into his Mum Fran’s home to check on his family – Shine, Keno, Amex and Gracie and of course his Mum Fran.

The gifts were round the tree, the house was as he remembered it and his Mum was sitting in the sofa while clutching a photograph of Bowie, tears filled her eyes as she remembered the gentle white greyhound that she loved so much.

‘I miss you so much big lad, why did you leave me?’ Fran sighed. With nobody watching her, she allowed the tears to fall.

Unknown to her, Bowie was now standing beside her so close that he almost went through her.

‘I never did leave you and I never will’ Bowie said quietly in her ear.

Fran looked at her sleeping Iggies and carefully placed Bowies photograph on the side. Standing up to go to bed, she noticed some pure white hairs on her chair – Bowie’s hairs.

Smiling to herself, she wiped her eyes and muttered ‘That greyhound gets everywhere’.

Turning off the light switch, she whispered to her dogs ‘Merry Christmas kids and Merry Christmas Bowie – wherever you are’.

‘Merry Christmas Mum’ Bowie replied and within a blink of an eye, he disappeared.

Christmas morning at Rocco’s house

‘Come on, let’s go and wake Rocco up’ Gwynneth said to Madam Gigi. Neither of them had given up on getting Rocco to believe in Christmas (or magic).

‘Rocco! It’s Christmas!’ Madam Gigi shouted.

As they burst open the door, there stood Rocco wearing a Santa hat, looking a bit out of place but with a big grin on his face.

‘Merry Christmas Mum, Merry Christmas Gigi!’ he said looking nervous.

Gwynneth didn’t know whether to be happy or send for the vet, for the first time ever Rocco was displaying enthusiasm for someone other than his invisible friend.

As they gathered round the tree to open their presents, aside from the usual toys they get, there was just one single present under the tree with Rocco’s name on it that no-one recognized the writing on the gift tag.

‘I love believing in Santa Paws’ Gigi said happily and then added ‘what is that present Rocco?’

Carefully opening the present, Rocco gasped when he saw it – a bright red Kong Wubba and next to it was the original tatty note that Rocco wrote when he was a puppy which read ‘Dear Santa Paws, please can I have a Kong Wubba, bright red if you can manage it – love Rocco’.

‘Oooh Rocco, what a lovely Kong Wubba, you never told us you wanted one of those’ Gigi gasped.

‘I never told anyone, not even myself’ Rocco responded as he stared at his Wubba toy in awe.

‘What’s that message on the back of your note?’ Gwynneth asked Rocco.

As Rocco carefully smoothed out the note, he could see on the back of it was written ‘Dearest Rocco, hope this puts the magic back in your life – love Santa Paws’.

‘How did that Kong get there Rocco?’ Gigi asked him as he read Santa’s note several times over.

Taking a deep breath, Rocco looked at his Mum and Gigi and nodded happily ‘I don’t know, probably magic and a bit of that never hurt anyone!’

Merry Christmas

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright December 2014

Acknowledgements and Thanks 

I would like to thank each and every member of the Italian Greyhound Club of Western Australia for their warmth, hospitality and friendship.  For allowing me to meet and socialise with their dogs and learn about their personalities and characters that have enabled me to write stories about them (including Starbucks who is not an Italian Greyhound but thinks she is and has starred in this story).

Iggy Club

The photo says it all ‘Enjoy the Club’ (and we do!)

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

Also to Fran Forbes in QLD who runs the Facebook group Queensland Italian Greyhounds. Fran has been a great help to me when I have been writing until early hours of the morning helping me with the QLD characters, and a special mention goes to her beloved Greyhound Bowie who crossed over to Rainbow Bridge a few months back.

Finally, thank you to Denise Pringle and her lovely Iggies Pippin and Bronte, who for some reason, totally inspire me to write about the Italian greyhounds.  Pippin has seemingly become the main character in my stories and has actually overtaken Brutus as the main character and has so much personality for a little dog, as do all the Italian greyhounds.

I might not own an Italian greyhound but I have found myself in their world and the more I know about them the more I love them.  After all, every pointy snout tells a story.

Have a wonderful and safe Christmas and fabulous New Year, wherever you are in the world.

*More photos to come*