Lure Coursing, dogs and friendships

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Brutus – did you say fastest dog in Australia?

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

15th June 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageBrutus and Mouse catch up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The joys of a loose dog!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageMillie – Brutus’s friend

(Photography by Periwinkle Photographic Studio)

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

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

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

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

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

Planet Iggy (Italian Greyhounds)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A French Affair!

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

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

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Brutus social butterflying with his Iggy friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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‘Hannibal Rocco’ in his crate

(Photo by Jeni Sach)

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

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

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

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

ImageBrutus – the honorary ‘Iggy’

(Photography by Jeni Sach)

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageBrutus and Amira the Ridgeback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Brutus ‘winning’ his own race

(Photography by Vicki Clements)

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Brutus smiling his way through his race

(Photography by Jeni Sach)

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

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

‘Yes Brutus?’ I replied.

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

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

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

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked.

‘Yes Brutus?’ I laughed.

‘Am I a winner?’ Said Brutus.

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

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Brutus – The Good Boy!

(Photo by Periwinkle Photographic Studio)

Toys to be won!

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

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

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

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

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Brutus and his toy that he is very proud of!

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

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

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

(Photo by Jet Ska)

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Mouse and her sister Barbie Ska – also her PA

(Photo by Jet Ska)

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

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

(Photo by Jet Ska)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Brutus can smell sausages!

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

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

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

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

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

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Shimmer – the French poodle making her bid for freedom

(Photo by Jeni Sach)

The End of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back at home

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo by Jet Ska)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo on 2014-06-22 at 16.26

Rocky and Brutus hug!

At the House of Mouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mighty Mouse!

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

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

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

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

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2014

A Day at the Races – Part Two

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

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

The Night Before the Race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10313693_638201819601201_8863388431303389228_nRacing Day – May 17th 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10268500_638770302877686_6189505151142907765_nPip – the Italian Greyhound

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

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

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

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

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

10152408_10152031020358317_1821676939_nMouse sets the field alight with her speed

(Photo by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MillieMillie the border collie

(Photo by Melissa Jones)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10338314_10152109070433317_8613175089878768202_nBrutus grins at Vader as he runs by

(Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12127_10203630234453761_6326404827359888024_nBrutus and Vader in their race

(Photo by Melissa Jones)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10291250_10152109257718317_6496861358763547970_nFriends for life!

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

10338823_10152109132393317_3554137582278846980_nBrutus is overcome by Vader’s farts!

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

10366294_10152109132448317_7670961081761961692_nSleepy Brutus!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10295765_10152109256063317_4240338976105511093_nMaking friends is what it’s all about!

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

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

Until next time

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright May 2014

A Day at the Races

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

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

1619285_10152411120332652_747625567_nThe next coursing event 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1939620_604746629613387_1059845108_n‘Brutus cleans Vader’s jowls’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1958211_597413007013416_1230134635_nBrutus is very proud of his Tony Abbott doll

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

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

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

Team Kelpie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brutus and Vader

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1974392_10151937673462136_983204_oBoys taking a rest (Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

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

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

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

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

The next race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A time to shine

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

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

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

10009323_604817362939647_1738074733_nTired boys!

Back home

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

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

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

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

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

1017418_583764918378225_1871994407_nRocky and Brutus discuss the coursing!

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

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

Later that night

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

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

‘Rocky?’ Brutus asked Rocky later that evening.

‘Yes Brutus?’ Rocky replied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And with that answer, Brutus was more than happy.

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

1534290_608138019274248_1581010844_n

The end

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright March 2014

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

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

946812_10151504745738317_1181494632_n

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1185291_609323642489019_183838132_nGordon patiently explains about Rainbow Bridge to Brutus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image

My beautiful tortoiseshell cat – Juniper

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

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

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

ImageJuniper explains to Gordon about Rainbow Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Then what happened?’ Brutus asked.

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

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

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

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

‘What happened then?’ Brutus asked Gordon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageRema at a lure coursing event in Devon

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Gordon and Rema discuss Rainbow Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageGordon chats to Rocky about Rainbow Bridge

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

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

(sounds of Rocky coming in from the garden)

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

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

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

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

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

ImageBrutus ponders on his thoughts about Rainbow Bridge

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

*Fast forward to this week – March 2014*

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

ImageBrutus and Vader the boxer discuss Rainbow Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

According to our pets of course.

The End…..

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

Samantha Rose (c) Copyright March 2014

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

ImageRocky can ‘do smart’ when he has to!

 

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

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

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

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

ImageBrutus and his new friend Vader

 

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

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

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

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Best friends and sharer of boxer mucous!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘You bastard!’ Vader yelled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rocky stared back and said ‘Catch ya later’

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

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

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

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

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

‘I thought you hated Vader’ Brutus asked Rocky.

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

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

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

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

‘Wanker!’ Rocky shouted back.

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

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

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

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

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

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Rocky doesn’t want to miss the morning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(sounds of me sighing)

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

No answer was the loud reply.

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

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Brutus – still a ‘baby’ at 10 months old

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

(sounds of scratching at the door)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright Sept 2013

Brutus – if it’s green then eat it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageMy lovely fake lawn!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

389511_10150379739253317_687953316_8426580_762749912_nRocky the good boy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Mum?’ Gordon asked in his ginger voice.

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

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

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

935191_10151431007488317_1267880561_nPlease can I chew the towels Mum?

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

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

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

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

Happy Friday everyone!

Donkey – the ‘Yard Boy’

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Stu should know that if you shake with a paw with Donkey then its ‘law’

My sincerest apologies for not updating sooner, I have had so much going on and really have not had a chance to write.

As you know, on the last update about Donkey, he was being fostered by Sue L and enjoying his life in the haulage yard in Karratha.  Donkey and a guy called Stu had become firm friends and apparently had been hanging out together in the Yard, going for smoko together and discussing boys things like beer, women and AFL.

Handsome Prince or ‘HP’ as he is known, had tried in vain to pretend that Donkey meant nothing to him and was just another foster dog but something happened and I don’t know what, to make HP realise what a valuable asset Donkey is to the yard – guarding it against feral cats that wear leather jackets and are known for carrying flick knives, threatening people and being intimidating.

Quite simply, Donkey knew his worth and made sure HP did and Handsome Prince being who he is – tough on the outside and heart of gold on the inside of that rugged handsome frame, soon accepted that Donkey was going nowhere.  Sue was rather pleased about this as she had grown to love Donkey and even her dog Malcolm had become friends with him and they enjoyed bin raiding together on a regular basis.

Donkey was advertised by SAFE for a new home while being fostered by Sue and because there was no interested in the deformed little (big) dog, Sue had decided that she would adopt Donkey.  Strangely enough, once this had been decided, potential owners started to make enquiries about Donkey but this was short lived as the boys in the yard had threatened an uprising if Donkey left and even Malcolm promised he would go on a hunger strike for two hours if Donkey was re-homed.

So Donkey was officially adopted by Sue L and Stu was exceedingly happy about the situation, in fact all the boys were – Donkey was their mate and he enjoyed talking about the skimpies girls with the lads, Donkey even took the boys to the doggy version of the skimpies bar where local Karratha female dogs got to flash more than their dog collars to the male dogs.  That in itself is a privilege because dogs have their own world and if they allow you into it, you are very lucky, I know because my dogs allow me access and I can ‘talk dog’ which is how I am able to tell you these stories.  You should hear some of the stuff that I am privy to, it would make your toes curl.

Clicky Hips!

Unfortunately although Donkey’s story appears to be going well, Sue had noticed that Donkey was very stiff in his hind legs and x-rays have revealed that he has rather severe hip dysplasia and has been prescribed medication, which if that doesnt work, he may well need a hip replacement.  It is a bad diagnosis for Donkey who is only young and after his adventures, has his new life in Karratha to look forward to so this is not good news at all.

One of the boys called Uncle Les, has also has hip issues and as Donkey was having his photo taken one day, Sue had brought Les a chair outside so that he could sit down.   Uncle Les went to take a seat but before you could say ‘Cliff Richard’, Donkey had jumped in it and refused to move.

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Uncle Les is the one on the far left in the black shirt – Donkey felt his need for the chair was greater

‘Bollocks, my need is greater than yours!’ Donkey said firmly as Sue shook her head in disbelief – she had brought that chair out for Uncle Les and now Donkey had stolen it!  And that was not the only thing he had stolen, he had been sighted driving in Handsome Princes scooter down the main road in Karratha yelling his head off to the Dingos but that is another story.

Uncle Les laughed ‘Don’t worry, Donkey can have it’

Looking rather smug, Donkey remained on the chair with his legs wide apart, flashing his genitals which he was absurdly proud of because he was somewhat well endowed for his size and even the local kangaroos were jealous of his manhood.

‘You up for the skimpies tonight Donkey?’ Stu asked his little friend.

Donkey glanced up and looked thoughtful, taking a swig of his tea he replied ‘Yep, but as long as they don’t play Cliff Richard on the juke box I don’t mind’ (all dogs hate listening to Cliff Richard as it constitutes as an assault on ones ear drums).

Stu laughed and reassured Donkey that Cliff would not be playing on the juke box.

The banter carried on for a bit until Donkey was asked if he wanted to ride the road train for a trip – road trains excited Donkey, well those and Utes and forklifts of course.

‘Uncle Les?’ Donkey asked later that day.

Uncle Les patted the tatty terrier on his head ‘Yes Donkey?’

‘I didn’t mean to pinch your chair but my hips are bad too’ Donkey said, blushing somewhat.

‘That’s OK, we can have clicky hips together’ Uncle Les laughed and then leant over to straighten Donkeys collar.

‘Uncle Les?’ Donkey asked again.

‘Yes Donkey?’ Uncle Les replied.

‘Is this my real home now?’ Donkey asked, looking suddenly quite scared.

‘Yes Donkey, it is your real home’ Uncle Les smiled and gave Donkey a reassuring pat.

Desert Dogs ‘do bins’ ( middle of the night)

‘Shhhh, she will hear you!’ Malcolm (Sue’s other dog) hissed to Donkey who’s face was covered in some kind of sauce.

‘Hell man, this bin is my favourite!’ Donkey said in a muffled voice as he tried to get his head out of a baked bean can.

‘Every bin is your favourite Derro Dog’ Malcolm snorted – Derro Dog was Malcolm’s nickname for Donkey.

‘Bugger me, there is a bit of fish wrapped in tissue, that has my name on it!’ Donkey shouted.

‘Shut up, Mum will hear you!’ Malcolm tried to silence Donkey.

But eventually the temptation was too much for the normally sensible Malcolm and he tried to grab the fish and tissue from Donkey which resulted in the bin being knocked to the floor and all the rubbish falling out of it.

‘You greedy fat bastard!’ Malcolm shouted to Donkey and then added ‘Have you farted?’

(sounds of Sue getting up)

‘What the hell is going on?’ Sue demanded sleepily.

Both dogs looked as guilty as hell, Donkey had sauce on his face and paws, Malcolm had some fish and tissue on him, they stood erect, puffed out their chests and smoothed their beards in a way that only guilty dogs can.

‘Shhh, say nothing, blame the cat!’ Malcolm hissed.

‘We don’t have a cat’ Donkey replied looking confused, well that was OK they could pretend they had a cat and it would be called ‘Ginger’

Wearily picking up the rubbish and placing it back in the bin and cleaning up the mess, Sue ordered the dogs back to their beds and told them to think about what they had done and she would deal with them in the morning.

‘Have you crapped yourself?’ Malcolm wrinkled his nose in disgust as he sniffed the air.

Donkey blushed, he had indeed farted and it smelt like rotting hamsters if he did say so himself.

‘Was it worth it do you think, getting caught in the bins?’ Donkey said to Malcolm as they snuggled up into their blankets.

Malcolm was silent for a minute and then replied ‘Hell yeah!’

(sounds of both dogs snorting with laughter)

Malcolm sniffed the air – he could smell farts again.

‘Donkey, what the hell have you eaten?’ He demanded.

‘Mushrooms and baked beans from the bin and maybe some tissues’ Donkey said.

‘You are going to shit the bed before long!’ Malcolm said horrified.

‘Malcolm?’ Donkey whispered.

‘Yes Donkey?’ Malcolm said sleepily.

(sounds of silence, smells of bad stomach)

‘Bet you five bucks you can’t raid the bin in the haulage yard without HP seeing you’ Donkey said excitedly.

‘Goodnight Donkey!’ and with that, Malcolm fell asleep.

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Donkey reserves the right to raid all bins!

Until next time…..

Sue and Donkey

Finally, may I just add that it takes a special kind of pet owner to adopt a dog with pre existing health problems and the fact that Sue loves him and has adopted him knowing this, well every dog deserves an owner like Sue who is prepared to stick with their pets through thick and thin – Sue, you are brilliant.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Brutus – the good boy!

999673_10151484531758317_267512270_n‘Am I a good boy?”

My puppy Brutus graduated from Puppy group last Saturday, he did if I say so myself, do exceptionally well and won the sniffing contest and had to sniff out food under cones and got to eat everything that he found. Well I dont call him Brutus ‘the breakfast boy’ for nothing. (he does a breakfast dance every morning)

Anyway, all the dogs were chatting except for the staffie, she hadnt turned up for the last day. The dogs were all moaning about how cold it was, how some of them were tired and could have easily stayed in bed, one of them – the tatty terrier had his own jacket on which Brutus was jealous of, although why I do not know as he eats everything I give him and no doubt he would eat his jacket had he been wearing it.

‘She won’t get her certificate’ Jackie the border collie whispered to Shadow the retriever who nodded in agreement.

‘Does that mean she is not a good girl?’ Brutus asked, his forehead creased with worry, in fact Brutus always looked worried – life in general made Brutus worry, as did the thought of a food shortage.

‘Oh she is a good girl I am sure, but perhaps her owners were busy or something’ Jackie reassured Brutus and then licked his genitals while he cleaned round her mouth in return. Personally I would not have allowed it as I know where Brutus’s mouth has been and it usually involves Gordons butt and more lately, the litter tray – need I say any more!

‘Shhh, it’s started’ Shadow said in his firm retriever voice. You see all dogs have their own voice – be it a mongrel voice, a whippet voice, a kelpie voice, a mixed breed voice or in Brutus’s case, a bloody big deep voice.

Puppy group was good fun as we all had to put our dogs through an obstacle course – Jackie was first and then Brutus was second.

Jackie did a stirling and somewhat perfect job of sitting in the hoop, weaving in and out of the cones and laying down in the cones for 10 seconds.

‘Go on Jackie, you can do this!’ Shadow and the small tatty terriers yelled from the sidelines.

‘Go on, run yer tits off!’ Brutus shouted in his deep voice that sounded like a big fierce dog and not a six month old puppy.

‘Brutus don’t be so rude!’ Shadow said in his firm voice, trying to be grown up as he was the biggest of the group.

Brutus blushed at his reprimand and then before he knew it, it was his turn to do the course.

‘Go on Brutus, you can nail this, you’ve got this!’ Tatty terrier shouted in his tatty voice.

‘Go on Brutus, you can do it!’ Jackie the border collie shouted. She really did have a crush on him and it would be rather marvellous if he did well. Perhaps they could get a job together on a farm and herd sheep, she would like that and although you wouldn’t think it, Brutus is rather good at herding, his inner Ridgeback has frequent battles with his inner kelpie and he often finds himself herding everything (including me) and then wanting to bring it down like the lions in Africa – which is what Ridgebacks were originally bred for.

Brutus swallowed nervously and took his place and we were given the command to do the course.

‘Sit in the circle’ The dog trainer instructed and Brutus dutifully sat down trembling in the circle like a good boy.

‘Weave in and out of the cones’ She ordered and we went in and out of the cones.

‘Drop for ten seconds’ She ordered and Brutus dropped although the treat in my hand made lying on the cold wet grass for ten seconds a lot easier.

‘Go on Brutus!’ his pals all yelled from the side, even the magpies who were watching from the trees were shouting ‘Go on my son!’ and clapping their wings. It was rather nice that the local birds had got involved with supporting the dogs, they were a regular group that watched the class in the hope of treats that fell on the floor.

When all the dogs had finished, we did the sniffing contest where treats were hidden under the cones and each dog had to race one another as to who could sniff out the treats and get to the end.

‘I will be good at this, I can sniff out dead bodies and the food inside them’ Brutus said dramatically.

‘Bollocks can you’ Shadow snorted with laughter and even the magpies on the sidelines sniggered.

‘It’s the hound in me you see, I am half ridgeback’ Brutus said and then added ‘I have the best of both worlds, I sniff, I hunt and I herd it up and I eat it and I can shit like a man’

‘Off you go Turd Legs’ Tatty terrier yelled to Brutus, who had earned the name ‘Turd Legs’ long ago when he had that episode of shitting the bed and slipping in his own turd in the garden and more recently, eating Gordons turd from the litter tray and justifying it on the grounds that it was ‘cat nuggets’.

Almost trance like, Brutus snorted along the floor and with an uncanny speed, snouted out the treats from each cone and before the others had barely started, Brutus stood proudly at the end smacking his chops which are so crumpled, he looked like an old man with no teeth, chewing a toffee.

‘I am so going to get diarrhoea for this’ He yelled proudly, he did as well, his stomach is that sensitive but as he had been a good boy, a bit of diarrhoea in return for treats could be overlooked – just this once, a bit like eating chocolate when you know it will make you sick.

‘Good boy!’ Jackie shouted proudly and then blushed as everyone looked at her.

After that we did another game called ‘Simon Says’ involving obedience commands so you get the general picture and Rocky was rather good at it and came third I think (not sure).

‘Bollocks!’ tatty terrier yelled as he was eliminated and then shouted ‘I was robbed’

By the end of it, Brutus got sent off because he was too tired to sit quickly or do anything quickly and the only thing he could do quickly was say ‘fuck it, I have had enough, I am hungry and tired’ – never mind the fact he had stuffed his face all morning with puppy chow and treats.

And before we knew it, the class was over and our prizes were handed out, Brutus got a Dentastix chew for coming first in the sniffing contest, he got a bonio for the obstacle course and a dog biscuit for the ‘Simon Says’ – all of which could give him the shits so it was decided to share the treats with Rocky – much to Brutus’s protests as he believes that all food belongs to him.

‘Give us a bit of that dog biscuit’ One of the magpies yelled from the branch. He was quite a tough magpie and wore a leather jacket and carried a flick knife, he was a formidable enemy and Brutus was rather scared. However, come between Brutus and his food and that was another matter.

‘Fuck off, I ain’t sharing’ Brutus hissed back and tatty terrier giggled at Brutus’s bravery.

‘Just you wait till breeding season Turd Legs, I am gonna swoop you’ Magpie replied and then crapped – just missing Brutus’s head. I believed him too as I have been swooped by magpies when I used to ride my electric bike to work and could regularly be seen cycling down the road at 40km an hour with my bike on full power as I tried to dodge magpies, I may have even been shouting ‘Piss off you bastards’ as I did so.

*GRADUATION*

We all stood up to receive the certificates of graduation, the boy dogs puffed out their chests and smoothed their ears out, you could see them standing so proud, all ready to graduate. Those that had beards cleaned them, the girls checked their teeth and ears – it was so sweet, you should have seen them all trying to straighten themselves out and smarten themselves up.

‘Don’t we throw our hats in the air like they do at Uni?’ Shadow asked – the other dogs laughed.

‘I don’t have a hat’ Brutus whispered to me looking worried.

‘You don’t need a hat to throw Brutus, this is not a degree you are getting’ I comforted him as his little head creased again with worry. I hadn’t seen him look that worried since Rocky pissed on his head the other week.

‘You can throw your collar – I dare you’ Jackie suggested and then giggled as the other tatty terrier snorted with laughter. The other dogs then all got excited about throwing their collars in the air until someone said that was not allowed as their leash was attached.

So the certificates were handed out with the dogs names on them – each dog examined their certificate and they were all unusually quiet as though they couldnt quite believe they were all officially ‘good dogs’.

‘Are you crying Brutus?’ Shadow asked sternly and then gave Brutus a friendly poke.

Brutus bit his lip and stood up and said ‘No, don’t be daft’. (he is such a liar, he was crying because I saw him.

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Brutus gets his certificate of graduation

Even the magpies were nodding proudly, acknowledging the puppies and their achievement.

‘Will I see you again?’ Jackie whispered to Brutus as we all said goodbye to one another.

‘Not sure, I hope so’ Brutus’s little brown face stared at Jackies black and white one. She really was the star pupil of the class and I am sure will have her own flock of sheep one day.

‘Call me!’ Jackie mouthed to Brutus and did a phone impression as he got in the car.

It was a subdued puppy that I drove home that day, despite getting his certificate and winning prizes for both himself and Rocky, he loved his puppy group and would miss it, and I had no doubts about his attraction for Jackie.

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked as we were about halfway home.

‘Yes Brutus?’ I asked him – canine question time again!

‘Can I go back for the intermediate puppy group?’ Brutus asked hopefully. He had grand plans for agility and everything!

Just as I was looking forward to getting my Saturday mornings back, I sighed and replied ‘Maybe Brutus, maybe’.

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked again.

Staring at him through my rear view mirror ‘Yes Brutus?’ I said.

‘Am I a good dog now that I have been to school?’ Brutus asked with his forehead all creased up.

Thinking of the past week where he had dug up a small section of $7,000 worth of fake lawn, eaten cat shit, pulled Abdel’s shirt off the line and stolen my knickers, the answer was debatable.

But then on the other side of the coin, he had started life out as a critically sick puppy, fought back from gastro, weighed little more than 7kgs when he came out of hospital and had fought back, attended and completed his course at puppy group.

He could now sit, drop, stay, shake hands, herd up the cat and myself, barks like a bastard to protect the garden, has a heart of gold, loves his family and his cuddles, adores Gordon (and cleaning his arse and eating cat shit).

He is six months old, he is an adolescent, he is pushing the boundaries with Rocky who duffs him up on a daily basis to put him in his place. He is not naughty, he is a normal healthy puppy doing normally puppy things.

He greets us when we get home, he sleeps quietly in his crate when it is required of him.

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked impatiently, ‘Am I a good boy now?’

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

And with that, Brutus curled up happily on the back seat and went to sleep.

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Brutus loves his puppy group

He is a good boy, he is our boy, he is my little Turd Legs, he is my eating machine, my kangaroo dog – he can jump 6 foot, he can dig a 2 foot hole he can chew, and he ‘talks’ like any good hound can.

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Brutus sings the song of his people

Brutus – my dog and my very own good boy and yep, what is a bit of fake lawn anyway.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright June 2013

Brutus – Storm in an E Cup!

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Naughtiness in the form of Rocky and Brutus

We have had full on naughtiness today and quite frankly I am exhausted but never have I laughed so much at my dogs as I have today and I did ladies and gentlemen, have the last laugh.

I bought a duvet from the Salvo’s yesterday for Brutus’s crate – he loves his crate and if he doesnt get his afternoon nap, he gets really pissed off and sits outside waiting to go in to his crate – it is ‘boy-zone’ where he goes to eat, have his bones and have his naps.

Anyway, I had washed the duvet and hung it out on the line to dry and more fool me because it dried yesterday and I was too lazy to bring it in. (you know where I am going with this don’t you!)

Abdel and I went out for breakfast this morning – we were not long at all, no more than an hour as Abdel felt a bit unwell with a headache so we came home quickly.

Rocky was left in the garden as he is the guard dog and Brutus had just had his breakfast and was asleep and our neighbour keeps an eye on our property.

Rocky was pissed off we were going out, I know this as he was yelling obscenities from the fence and threatening to self harm if we went out.

A very nice breakfast was had and when we got back home; I let Brutus out into the garden and it had been ‘snowing’ – yes Rocky had pulled the new duvet off the line and had ‘killed it’ on grounds that we had been to a cafe that was not dog friendly instead of his favourite haunt at South Beach and had left him behind.

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Lovely morning walk on the beach after breakfast

I swallowed my pride, admitted it was all my fault and picked up the mess. Brutus and Rocky were whispering behind my back and I heard Rocky briefly say ‘I will show you’ but I took no notice and went back inside. More fool me – again because when dogs whisper behind their owners backs, they are usually up to mischief.

We took the boys out for a nice walk to tire them out, it was very hot and Brutus does not do well in the heat like Rocky does, who just adapts accordingly. Brutus however overheats very quickly and this will no doubt pose a problem in the summer, especially as he hates water so a splash pool won’t be of use to him.

When we got back, both boys were knackered and Brutus went for his nap in his kennel and Rocky went on his bed, both boys given a pigs ear as they get one once a week as a treat.

After 30 mins I let them into the garden and I just knew they were plotting something, what that was I do not know as they were whispering and Gordon wouldn’t tell me either.

Suddenly I heard the sound of pegs falling on the floor and I know that sound very well because Rocky has pulled stuff off the line before. He only does it when he has been for a long swim and I hang his towel on the line. He always pulls the towel off, it isn’t boredom as he has done an hour of swimming – he just likes to pull his own towel off the line. So I know that sound of pegs hitting concrete and I know it well.

I went out into the garden and was met with Brutus walking by with my (large) bra in his mouth, the cup covered his head entirely which means Brutus has an ‘E Cup’ size head! He looked positively thrilled to have that bra in his mouth and managed a sheepish wag of the tail when I saw him.

ImageBrutus with my bra in his mouth – not the shadow of Rocky 

Turning round so he couldnt see me, I tried to hide my laughter.

‘Go on Brutus, run!’ Rocky yelled with a mouth full of tennis ball and Brutus ran off with my bra.

I had to take a photo, I just had to – it was too funny. But he was very obedient and when I said ‘Brutus come’, he came back like a good boy and when I said ‘Brutus leave’ – he gave me the bra, but not before Rocky shouted ‘Bastard, I wanted to try that on’.

‘Tranny, lady-boy!’ Gordon shouted from the laundry room.

‘Yeah, and you owe me a bone’ Brutus grinned at Rocky. Bastards, had bet on my bra, the cheeky of it!

Abdel came outside to say goodbye as he had to go to work and we chatted to my neighbour who admired Brutus from over the fence while he bounced exceptionally high in vertical fashion like a bloody kangaroo on springs.

After Abdel had gone to work, I went inside and made a coffee and while I was in the kitchen, I heard it again – peg on concrete.

‘Little bastard’ I muttered and looked through the window to see Brutus joyously running round the garden with my fluffy dressing gown in his mouth, he had found a new game and whilst I could understand if he was never walked nor stimulated mentally, this was done AFTER a long walk, lots of play and toys and a pigs ear! This was a game, his new game and I had to nip that in the bud.

‘Go on, dare ya to take some knickers!’ Rocky yelled from by the fence.

‘Dare you to take some socks!’ Gordon added his part from the laundry room.

‘I dare you to put that back!’ I said firmly and removed the dressing gown from Brutus’s mouth. I almost felt bad as he looked so happy with that dressing gown.

Now in the defence of our dogs, we do expect rather a lot from them. We wear clothes that we put our scent on them, scent that our dogs know is personal to us.

We establish ourselves as their pack leader, we cuddle our dogs wearing our clothes that have our scent.

And then we hang those clothes on the line and expect them to not touch them. Not all dogs do, many don’t but at the moment Brutus is going through a stage where he follows me around, he went through it as a baby and then stopped but each week brings changes with him and since starting puppy school last week, he is a bit insecure but he will gain in confidence again.

It’s just his hormones are having a party and it seems to be a battle with teenage dog Vs baby dog and he is slowly leaving the baby dog in him behind and it’s confusing for him.

Rocky always pulls his swimming towel off the line because he loves the ocean, he loves the smell of the ocean, the sand, the sound of the ocean and everything about it – he cries and shakes when we pull up to South Beach, Rocky loves his towel when it smells of the ocean, so he pulls it off the line – straight after a swim before I have had chance to wash it.

I am sure if I had a swimming pool, I would come home and find Rocky in a pair of budgie smugglers, having a pool party to the local dogs of my suburb as he loves his swimming so very much.

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Rocky loves swimming in the ocean and can swim for ages without touching ground

So sometimes, dogs get confused – Brutus likes to bring me my shoes or just cuddle up to them. Gordon likes my dressing gown, well they (the animals) all love that bloody dressing gown.

Anyway, I saved my dressing gown from Brutus and decided that enough was enough, this was war!

Carefully filling up a rubbish sack with a pint of water, I hid Brutus so that he couldnt see what I was doing and I carefully tied the bag on the washing line and then let Brutus out and I hid in the laundry room.

‘What is it?’ Brutus asked as he glanced up at the bag of water.

‘Pair of knickers for a fat girl?’ Rocky said looking confused.

‘Giant testicle?’ Brutus suggested thoughtfully, was it his testicle, surely not, the vet disposed of his months ago and his testicles were like peanuts – but we won’t talk about that as Brutus finds it shameful.

‘Bag of cat shit’ Gordon muttered from the window.

‘Get it, dare you’ Brutus said to Rocky.

‘Bollocks, I am not touching it, you do it’ Rocky told Brutus.

Brutus looked around to see where I was and then did his kangaroo jump and grabbed the bag of water.

Sniggering in anticipation, I thought ‘that will teach you for taking my stuff’.

(sounds of water splashing)

‘Fuck me, what was that!!!!!’ Rocky shouted – he truly looked horrified and ran to the back of the garden and hid by the shed, gingerly sneaking a look at the clothes line as though God himself had appeared and pissed holy urine on the ground – and on Brutus.

‘Bollocks!’ Brutus shouted and looked up at the clothes line and then looked at Rocky, both dogs stared at each other and kept looking up at the clothes line. (seriously!!!)

As for me, I was pissing myself in the laundry room with Gordon, who was wiping his ginger eyes as he cried with laughter.

‘I saw that coming, can’t believe you didn’t!’ Gordon laughed and lit up a cigarette and blew smoke from the side of his mouth as he laughed.

‘Fuck me, God has just pissed on me!’ Brutus shouted and then went to the back door where he stood and looked through the fly screen with water dripping over his back and head.

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Where the fuck did that water come from?

Deciding that I had won the ‘war of the bras’, I let the boys in and had to dry Brutus off.

‘Sod off, I am not coming anywhere near that clothes line, why has that not happened before – I need to speak to my lawyer’ Rocky said, embarrassed at being so scared, especially as Gordon was still laughing his ginger arse off.

Brutus looked bloody hilarious dripping with water and initially wouldnt come in as he was still staring at the clothes line.

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A confused Brutus

I never told them what I did, I couldn’t – but what was even more funny was after their tea tonight, I let them out into the garden and they skirted round the washing line avoiding it as though it were infected, both looked up accusingly, wracking their brains as to how it pissed water over Brutus’s head. The washing line for now is officially ‘the enemy’.

(Rocky and Brutus in the garden chatting)

‘Well I am buggered if I know what happened but I don’t think I will be stealing bras again’ Brutus said.

‘I am 5 years old and I have never seen such things’ Rocky replied.

(Back in the house…)

‘Double my portions or I tell them the truth’ Gordon said from the dining room table.

I turned round and that little bastard was admiring his nails while giving me the sideways glance.

‘What did you say?’ I asked him.

‘You heard, double my food portions or I tell them it was you that did the water bag’. Gordon said firmly.

‘I will not be bribed by a 7kg talking cat’ I laughed.

‘Rocky, I have something to tell you about the water incident’ Gordon yelled in his loudest ginger voice ever.

‘What’s that!’ Rocky demanded, he and Brutus still hadn’t got to the bottom of it and I didn’t want them to because that was my trump card to stop the future theft of my bras.

‘Ok, OK, I’ll do it!’ I hissed to Gordon who smiled and whispered back ‘Good, of course you will’.

‘What is it Gordon?’ Rocky demanded impatiently.

‘It was bloody funny, that’s what’ Gordon said laughing at Rocky.

‘Wanker’ Rocky muttered under his breath and went back to discuss with Brutus about God and his apparent incontinence issues and his ability to soak people from a washing line.

Gordon looked up at me, there were no words needed – all that was said was what needed to be said.

‘More Snappy Tom Gordon?’ I asked him – feeling a bit pissed off and more than a little blackmailed, or ‘gingermailed’ I should say.

‘Snappy Tom would be lovely and while you are there, could you top up my biscuit’ Gordon replied.

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‘Gingermailed (blackmailed) by Gordon

To which I did quite promptly because trust me, this has to be my secret and besides, my bras are from the UK and they need protecting.

They are not cheap either.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright May 2013