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

Brutus goes to puppy school

THE NIGHT BEFORE SCHOOL

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Brutus – looking forward to puppy school!

‘I can’t find my school bag, Mum, where is my school bag?’ Brutus shrieked in a panic.

Rocky was lying on his bed rolling his eyes at Gordon, he could afford to be confident you see as he had done puppy school himself back in 2010, although he started it later than Brutus, much later in fact and was one of the oldest dogs there but he still did his time, excluding the fact he missed two lessons due to his hip dysplasia.

Gordon was on his favourite chair smoking a rolled up catnip cigarette and blowing smoke from his nostrils – it came out in strange shapes and that never fails to amuse me.

‘Don’t forget to do a turd by the big tree where all the dogs meet and if you sniff round all the bags, you might find something tasty’ Rocky said, Gordon sniggered as he exhaled on his fag and then flicked ash on to the chair and rubbed it in with his paw, making it go all grey.

ImageRocky and Gordon tease Brutus about school

‘Do a crap by the tree? But I always crap in the garden at home?’ Brutus said, looking a touch anxious.

‘Right, that is your bag packed for tomorrow – vaccination certificate, your homework sheets, I have researched about your breeding – Rhodesian Ridgeback and of course I know about kelpies, a water bowl, bottle of water, poo bags and your breakfast puppy meal allocation for treats and rewards’ I said firmly and then added ‘And no, you do not take a shit by the tree or steal food from other dogs school bags’. Glaring at Rocky as I said it.

I had planned to buy tasty meaty treats for Brutus tomorrow but the vet said due to Brutus being prone to colitis, he has to stick rigidly to his own diet and a measured amount of it and so far, it seems to be working.

Actually talking of vets, Brutus and Rocky were at the vet tonight, Rocky had his hip injection and Brutus came along for the ride. Rocky adores going to our vet and dragged me across the car park so he could say hello to his nurses and the vet, Brutus decided that he too liked going to the vet and assisted in helping Rocky drag me to the door.

‘You are a bit keen aren’t you?’ A chunky chocolate Labrador shouted as he waited by the gate.

‘Cuddles from the nurses’ Rocky replied simply and told Brutus to get a move on.

The Labrador nodded in recognition but then told Rocky that he hoped it was worth it because he had just had a finger up his arse to empty his anal glands and even the liver treats afterwards were a poor consolation prize although being a Labrador, there was very little if anything that he wouldn’t eat – anal glands or not.

‘Hi girls, I am here, how have you been – it’s been too long, you never phone, we never catch up!’ Rocky said in a breathless voice as he greeted his favourite nurse. Checking him in at reception, I took both the boys to the scales where Rocky weighed in at 20.7kgs – he had lost a bit of weight but the vet said he is in rude health. He has also gained muscle tone and condition overall due to the fact he is constantly playing with Brutus.

Brutus surprised me, he didn’t weigh nearly as much as I had thought, 17.7kgs, I thought he was at least 20kgs, but the vet assured me that he is the perfect weight. So I guess I was making him fat before as I wasn’t sure how much he was supposed to weigh, still I/We are on a learning curve.

Rocky had his hip injection and Brutus had a check over and the vet said Brutus has a lovely temperament and is so trusting, Rocky had already advised Brutus which nurses to flirt with and how to wash the vets neck and Brutus now agrees with Rocky that the vets is a very nice place to be indeed – until you get a finger up your arse of course which Rocky does frequently and the look on his face is priceless because I swear that he blushes.

Rocky claims he needs counselling for dog abuse each time he has his anal glands emptying and Gordon didn’t help by buying him the ‘Brokeback Mountain’ DVD but that is another story and a rather adult one at that.

Anyway, back to tonight – everything is packed and I had just put the dogs to bed, telling Brutus that he had to get some sleep as we have to be at puppy group for 9am.

‘Don’t forget to write a note with ‘turd legs’ and stick it on the teachers back’ Rocky said to Brutus.

(sniggering from Gordon)

‘Mum’ Brutus shouted while I was in the kitchen.

‘Yes Brutus’ I replied

‘Will they teach me how to be a good boy, Rocky said that is impossible’

‘You are already a good boy Brutus, they will just teach you other nice and fun stuff’ I reassured him. I could just see the black tufts above his eyes as he snuggled down into his crate – he looked so cute.

ImagePuppy dreams!

‘They are going to steal your anal glands’ Gordon shouted from the dining area.

‘Mum, are they going to steal my anal glands’ Brutus cried.

(Rocky snorting with laughter)

‘No Brutus, they won’t go near your anal glands’ I told him.

‘Mum, will the other dogs bash me up?’ Brutus asked – god he was being persistent.

‘No Brutus, they won’t bash you up, you will make friends, learn manners and get treats for doing it’ I told him.

‘Mum’ Brutus said in a quiet voice.

‘Yes Brutus’ I said while making a drink.

‘Is my bag packed’ The little dog asked desperately.

‘Yes Brutus, your bag is packed’.

‘Brutus’ Rocky said in a tired voice.

‘Yes Rocky’ Brutus lifted his head up and looked at Rocky who was snuggled up on his bed.

‘Shut the fuck up’ Rocky laughed and winked affectionately at the fractious puppy.

‘Goodnight Mum’ Brutus yelled and put his head down.

‘Night Brutus’ I replied to him.

‘Night Mum’ Rocky said – that was unusual for him, he normally crashes and falls asleep at night.

‘Night Rocky’ I laughed.

‘Goodnight Gordon’ Brutus shouted to the fat ginger Tom on who was now sitting on the dining room table.

‘What are we, the fucking Waltons?’ Gordon piped up.

‘Language Gordon, language’ I burst out laughing – honestly it was so funny, you should have been there – Gordon swears in a ginger voice and if you don’t know what I mean by that and you have a ginger cat, go and piss him off and you will find out for yourself that all cats have their own voices, especially gingers.

And that my dears, is that – it is now 12.35am, I really ought to get to sleep as I have a rather over excited pup to take to dog school.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright May 2013

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs! – (warning contains bad language and talking animals!)

THE STORM

We are currently as I type, starting a thunder storm – lightening is lighting up my pathway, deep rumbles of thunder can be heard despite the TV being loud and Rocky who is trying so hard to prove himself as head man over Brutus, has been reduced to a quivering wreck and as I can’t afford a thunder jacket for him, I am trying to find alternative ways like singing stupid songs to my animals (yes really).

Brutus is looking perplexed and confused by the loud clap of thunder we have just had, but even more offended by me singing ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’, Rocky didn’t care and was shaking the shit out of himself by my feet and Gordon just told me to piss right off with that noise and that he preferred the sound of thunder.

ImageNothing phases Gordon

‘Jesus Christ on a bike, we are all going to die, save yourselves and your kittens’ Rocky shrieked in a high pitched voice as I tried to eat my apple.

Deciding that I had to share my apple with Rocky as he loves apples, I bit off a piece ‘one for you, and one for me’ I told him.

‘What about me?’ Brutus shouted, oh god, it meant giving the Diarrhoea Brother a new food and trying him on a piece of apple and praying he didnt crap the bed later.

(lightening followed by loud clap of thunder)

‘Bugger me, that is awful!’ Brutus screamed loudly and looked at the ceiling as though it had assaulted him.

‘And some apple for Brutus’ I said in a happy voice – bloody hell, I could feel Rocky shaking.

‘You two are nothing but a pair of girls, you want loud? You wanna be in the hold of a Qantas jet like I was when I flew here from London’ Gordon said smugly and lit up a cigarette – bastard, he knows he can’t smoke in the house.

‘Brutus, we need to build an air raid shelter – get the supplies in before the rains come and we can sing war songs’ Rocky said literally sobbing, yet trying to remain all ‘alpha’.

‘Bollocks to this, this cannot be normal’ Brutus shouted – his little head creased with concern at the noise – which was probably more from me singing the second verse of the song.

ImageBrutus is not amused with the thunder

‘We are all going to die!’ Rocky cried.

‘Fuck me, I have only just got my big dog teeth through and I haven’t had a chance to use them’ Sobbed Brutus, totally wound up by Rocky while I just simply stopped singing and turned up the TV and ignored them.

‘Don’t you care?’ Brutus shouted and then added ‘You will when we run out of puppy meal and we all starve to death and have to eat bones from the garden’

‘You don’t half talk shit Brutus’ Gordon sighed and then flashed him his bum, knowing that Brutus likes to clean it of an evening. Brutus however was not interested in this fine display of feline ginger bottom.

Image

Gordon tells Brutus all kinds of horror stories about thunder

‘Damn it, I am dead – I have been shot by God from the skies, I am sure I have’ Rocky whimpered and then superglued himself to my feet by the table while checking his belly for gunshot wounds by God.

By now I am swigging my tea (nice cup of Yorkshire tea with one sugar) and watching some animation film on 7Two, while waiting for my crime series to start, when I could hear the sounds of the heavens opening.

‘God is taking a pee!’ Gordon yelled happily, he was so excited – he loves watching storms from the window.

Brutus looked horrified and then looked up at me and said ‘I don’t want God peeing on my head’

‘Brutus, it’s rain – just ignore Gordon, he is teasing you’ I told him firmly.

‘Oh my god, build Noahs Arc, we are going to die – go and get the Zebra!’ Rocky cried noisily from beneath my feet.

Gordon was snorting with laughter at the commotion and then went into the story of how he played Poker with some zoo animals in the hold of the plane from London to Singapore – how true that is I don’t know as I only have Gordon’s word for it, still, it makes for a nice story.

(sounds of farting and smells of shit)

‘Who did that?’ Gordon spluttered from the sofa, and put his ginger paw over his nose and started making choking noises while trying to comfort Brutus.

ImageGordon and Brutus discuss Rocky’s wind problem

‘Sorry, it’s my stomach, my nerves have kicked in – are we dead yet?’ Rocky replied.

‘I didn’t know I was dead, Mum – tell him, am I dead? Please tell me I am not dead!” Brutus yelped as the thunder rattled.

‘Will you all stop it now! Brutus, Rocky is talking shit, Rocky – stop talking shit and stop smelling of shit, you are not dead and Gordon stop stirring shit!’ Honestly, it was like dealing with children.

‘Oh that’s it, I am going!’ Gordon made vomiting sounds as he gagged, and even Rocky blushed at his own wind.

‘Ooops, I think it may have been my heartworm chew coupled up with my nerves and the thunder’ Rocky replied going red at his own smell.

ImageRocky admits his wind problem and puts it down to nerves

‘Fuck me you stink Rocky, go to the toilet now!’ Gordon shouted from the safety of his bedroom.

Even Brutus looked mortified and disgusted at the smells that came from his brothers arse ‘You do Rocky, you smell of bad stomach’.

‘Will you all be quiet and calm down – it is only a thunder storm and it will be over shortly’ (I said hopefully).

(sounds of silence)

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked.

Taking another mouthful of my nearly cold tea, I replied ‘Yes Brutus?’

Brutus stared at me with his cute little pinhead (he has a pinhead) ‘Do you fart when you are scared?’

(sounds of Gordon laughing from the spare room)

Rocky looked up and forgot his fear for a bit and sniggered.

Oh dear god, Dogs ask the most embarrassing of questions don’t they?

‘Yes Brutus but mine smell of roses’. I told him.

‘Awesome’ Brutus said and put his head down in his basket.

‘You are so going to hell for that lie’ Rocky whispered to me as he lay in his basket, he knew the truth.

ImageRocky knows the truth…

And all you could hear after that were the sounds of Gordon gulping with laughter from his bedroom.

ImageGordon found the whole episode hilarious!

Now I shall finish my tea and as it has gone cold, I shall be a devil and make another one and hopefully this time I will get to drink it in peace.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright May 2013

Donkey Diaries! – you can take the dog out of the Pilbara…..

ImageDonkey with his squeaky burger toy

As many of you know, Donkey had found a wonderful home in Perth with a lovely couple.  He enjoyed the beach life, his home life and continuing his incredible skill of raiding the pantry on a daily basis, sorting out the rubbish in the bins – on the basis of one should never pass up an opportunity of a good ‘bin feed’.

Whilst everything was looking good for him, sadly due to no fault of his own, Donkey’s owner suffered a relationship break up and had to move house and due to unavoidable circumstances, Donkey had to be re-homed.   It was decided that Donkey would be flown back to Karratha to go into foster care.  So armed with his toys, a bed ,leash and a muzzle (some dogs he likes, some dogs he doesn’t and cats are definitely not welcome!)

Last week Donkey landed back in the Pilbara and was met by his foster mum Sue.  Sue informed me that it was lovely to see Donkey’s nose twitching in recognition of the familiar smells of Karratha (and I don’t mean from the skimpies bar!).  He truly seemed to recognize it and remembered exactly where he was and even looked happy to be back.

‘I know this place, I remember that sand, can we go to the skimpies bar?’ Donkey said excitedly as he sat in the car.

Sue smiled at him and said that no he could not go to the skimpies bar, it was late and he was going back to her house with her dog Malcolm.

‘That’s OK’ Donkey said happily as he strained his head to look out of the window, the smells were so familiar and whilst he had enjoyed his life in Perth and his owner was a lovely lady, he knew within himself that he had come home.

As Sue let him into her home, Donkey was somewhat more subdued around Malcolm.  Having been a bit of a bully/bossy dog in the past, he and Malcolm had not always seen eye to eye.  Being full of testosterone hadn’t helped either but now it had been several months since Donkey had been de-sexed and his hormone levels had dropped considerably and he no longer wanted to boss Malcolm around, although Malcolm still had not forgiven him and that was obvious.

Within an hour, Donkey had made himself at home and before bed time, Donkey had remembered his favorite past time of raiding the pantry – Donkey was home and things were back to normal and Sue realized just how much she loved having him there – bin and pantry raiding and all!

Handsome Prince and his new best friend.

Do you remember me telling you about Handsome Prince (HP as he is known), who is in charge of the yard and he helped in the big escape of Donkey when Donkey flew to Perth in a flurry of TC Narelle?  Well in case you need your memory jogging, here is a photograph of HP on his motorized scooter and no, he is not disabled – in fact he has a rather cracking pair of legs, he just thinks the scooter is better to get around the yard on.  Donkey happens to agree with him and is currently plotting ways to share the scooter with HP, but whether or not that works out is anyone’s guess.

ImageHP on his ‘mean machine’ – just look at those sexy legs!

So there we have it, Donkey is back in the Pilbara and he most certainly has had the biggest adventures from the SAFE rescue dogs.  What is to become of the tatty little terrier mix that really doesn’t like cats and is particularly fussy with certain dogs but adores people and squeaky toys?

Well it would appear the answer may be closer than one would think, why? I hear you ask, well I shall tell you.

Donkey is a bit of a ‘mans dog’, in the short time he has been back in Karratha, he goes to work with Sue and enjoys hanging out in the yard and especially loves hanging around the boys at smoko time and he has his own secure and safe area to keep him in.

He gets excited when he sees guys in high viz, he just likes hanging out with the lads and basically he is a mans dog and will happily pass on the luxuries and home comforts of life in favour of sitting round the smoko table with the boys and keeping an eye on the trucks that come in to the yard.

 ImageDonkey in his high viz – ‘one of the lads’

Donkey has taken quite a shine to HP (Handsome Prince), probably due to HP heroically coming along with the bolt cutters to help him escape when he first left Karratha.  In fact I have heard on the canine grapevine that HP and Donkey have shared a coffee and a burger and a good yarn on many an occasion.

HP has even let Donkey drive the forklift around the yard, although Donkey is not the best of drivers and attempted to drive to the skimpies bar instead but the least said about that episode the better as HP had to go and bring him back and explain to the locals why a large terrier was sitting in the skimpies bars trying to put dog bones in the undies of the girls.

ImageDonkey just before he drove off in the forklift

Donkey really appears to have found himself in the haulage yard and reckons HP could teach him a thing or two about being a bloke.

HP and Donkey were playing cards last night, enjoying a beer and Donkey was happily relaying tales of Perth and the beaches and how the female dogs there are up for anything but he really does rather prefer it in Karratha.

‘I am not having a dog!’ HP said firmly to Sue, and he meant it, honestly he did.  Donkey sat hiding behind a road train, his super large ears could tune in to anything and would hear everything – he could even track police cars with his satellite ears not to mention listen to the truckies chatting on their radios.

ImageDonkey – listening to HP talking

Donkey bit his lip and put his head down, surely he wouldn’t be sent away from this yard when he fitted in so well with the boys?

It was no good, he would have to try harder – he would even try and not hate cats so much, perhaps it was because he didn’t like cats? After all, he didn’t mean to go for Gordon the cat in Perth, but the sight of the overweight ginger tom cat through the baby gate was too much even for Donkey to stand.

‘He doesn’t like cats’ Sue told HP over coffee one afternoon, and then added ‘Like he really hates them’.

HP looked up thoughtfully from his coffee and then glanced over to Donkey who was curled up under the parked road train.  ‘Cats you say? Does he really hate cats?’ HP said and then took a swig of his coffee.

‘Cats are bastards!’ Donkey blurted out, unable to contain himself, he said it so loudly that even HP heard him.

Staring at the little dog, HP looked suitably impressed.  Putting down his coffee cup, HP whistled to Donkey who was still under the road train pretending to be deaf, he wouldn’t tell HP that he had in fact heard everything.

‘Come on lad’ HP called to Donkey and then walked towards the road train.

Donkey’s ears pricked up and he ran towards HP who was now standing by the door of the road train.

ImageDonkey and HP discuss ‘road train stuff’

‘Wow, this is awesome!’ Donkey said in a rather excited voice, he loved trucks/road trains and had his legs been long enough, he would have jumped in right there and then.

Smiling down at Donkey, HP looked on thoughtfully, a dog that loves high viz, loves hanging out with the boys, enjoys a smoko with the lads, eats anything that you put in front of him and hates cats – really he was a perfect yard dog.

‘Donkey, we have a huge feral cat problem here, reckon you can chase em’ off?’ HP said to Donkey as they were both admiring the prime mover.

‘Reckon I can, you won’t have any feral cats while I am here – I can chase them off for you’ Donkey said firmly and he meant it too and even poor old Gordon could testify to that as Donkey had chased him a few times when he lived in Perth.

‘HP’ Donkey said in a quiet voice, barely daring to speak.

‘Yes Donkey’ HP replied.

‘Can I go back in the forklift again?’  Donkey whispered, he thought that if he whispered then a refusal would not be so bad.

‘Go on then’ HP laughed.

And off Donkey ran to the forklift and jumped right up in the seat all by himself.

Image

Donkey riding high!

So that is where we are at.  Currently Donkey is being cared for by Sue and comes to work with her in the yard with her Handsome Prince and Donkey has his own space and enjoys hanging out with the boys at smoko time, he gets fed all kinds of tasty scraps and gets to ride the forklift and keep an eye on the road trains (when they are parked of course).  He has his own high viz vest, his own squeaky hamburger toys and of course, he gets to hang out with HP which he loves to do – basically he is a mans dog!

Image

Donkey and his squeaky burger toy!

ImageDonkey and his mate – HP

What will happen with Donkey? Who knows, not me that’s for sure.  What do HP and Donkey find to talk about when they are hanging round the road trains?  Well that my friends, is between the HP and Donkey and is something that none of us will ever know – not even Sue.

More news as it happens but for the moment Donkey remains in Karratha.  He has had quite some journey so far and has some tales to tell but one thing is for sure, you can take the dog out of the Pilbara but you cannot take the Pilbara out of the dog!

ImageDonkey – a proper ‘Yard Dog’

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright May 2013

Owning a pet – the good, the bad and the heartbreaking

Image
Some of the animals of the past

‘I am never having another dog again’ I sobbed – at the tender age of 23, my heart had been broken when my greyhound called Caesar had peacefully died in his sleep – an ending most of us could wish for when it comes to our pets.

Fast forward to 2007 – I am holding my beautiful blue whippet bitch, 12 years old with kidney failure – her time had come to let her go and suddenly every single memory I had of her was flashing in front of my eyes as the vet who is my friend and ex employer, gently injected her with the lethal injection and that tiny blue bitch that at one point seemed so enormous in character, literally shrunk before my eyes.

I will never forget seeing her looking so tiny on that table after she was euthanized. Funny how you can have a dog with big character and/or big in stature/appearance, become so tiny and little once they have been put to sleep. This really does confirm my thoughts that the spirit and character of your pet merely lives in the body and it is not really the body that we love – but the personality of the animal because once they are gone, you could get an identical breed, but at the end of the day, it just wont be the same. All pets have their own personality that makes us love them – end of.

‘That is it! I am never ever doing that again’ I sobbed to my friend Norma, who drove me home clutching Rema’s toys and blankets that still smelt of her.

And yet again, here I am with my kelpie Rocky and my newly acquired Kelpie mix Brutus whom as you all know, we nearly lost due to severe gastro.

So why do we do it? Why do we get an animal that we know will worm its way into our hearts, spend our money on various vet fees – knowing that we will end up going without essentials for ourselves in order to get them their treatment (as it should be).

Why do we get so attached to our pets that we sob and cry and feel a gap so large once they have died, that we can never envisage it ever being filled again? We are mad, we are gluttons for punishment and pain.

So what are the benefits of pet ownership? I would say the memories that they give you and that you build together. My memories of my greyhound Caesar taking a shit up a shop window one day, he had diarrhoea and trust me, it looked as though someone had spray painted the shop window with turd. This is going back almost 30 years when I first got him when I was 16 years old, in the days when it was safe to tie your dog up outside a shop without fear of it being stolen.

Well Caesar shamed himself and splattered the window with turd and the shop owner came out and told me off and I did what Brutus does when he has been naughty and denied it and said ‘It wasn’t my dog who did that’ Which of course could have been plausible had it not been for Caesar still trying to empty the rest of his stomach and was leaving drops of turd over the pavement. Being a kid, I ran off with my greyhound in hot pursuit, as fast as my skinny legs would carry me away from the faecal mountain – much to the horror of the shop owner.

Then there was the time Caesar jumped into someones garden, he was an ex racer and built like a gazelle and he would dig up cabbages, only cabbages mind you but he would dig them all up and look absurdly pleased with himself, jump back over the fence and come home.

Then there were my cats Bruno and Juniper who on one occasion  stole 3 trout that had been defrosting for our tea, and they had eaten everything except one trout head and when I got home from work I was greeted with the strong smell of fish along with an empty wrapper and two very bloated and sick looking cats.

Bruno and Juniper also shredded their share of sofas and carpets, in fact Bruno used to eat carpets and had seen a vet on many an occasion due to vomiting.

Juniper had a liking for pulling apart our venetian blinds and would completely dismantle them and find herself stuck on the sash window crying.  I would get off the bus and see her stuck on the window, with her pink mouth opening and closing, frantically denying all involvement and claiming that someone put her there and it wasn’t her fault at all.

There was another time when we moved house in Devon, that Juniper got her head stuck in the ‘S’ bend of the sink and it took my mate Veronica several goes to get her out and some phenobarbitone from the vet (our boss) to calm her down afterwards (the cat not Veronica!).

Bruno also broke into a box of mince pies and scoffed most of them and he also had a bad habit of breaking in to 20kg sacks of dog food where he would emerge looking like a Bovril stock cube because he would be covered in gravy dust from the bag.  I think that he had a bit of an eating disorder to be honest and I fondly remember him for his food theft and robbery of chicken bones from your plate.

In London, Juniper would enjoy digging up the sofa and would love to dig before she lay down.  She was diagnosed as ‘retarded’ by the vet at the Royal Veterinary College where I worked at the time and would actually ‘get lost’ in our flat and if she wondered downstairs, would cry and look at the ceiling with a vacant expression and one of us would have to go down and ‘save her’ and bring her back and convince her that she was safe and her family loved her.  Her nickname later became ‘Family’ as if we said it in a high pitched voice she would get quite excited and appear absurdly happy about that word and found it reassuring.

Sadly both cats died within 18 months of each other due to pancreatic cancer which we suspect was down to a vaccine that they both had at the same time when we lived in Devon but that was never proven, suspected but not proven.

I was totally devastated – Bruno was put to sleep whilst still on the operating table and I wasn’t there for that but Juniper was brought out of theatre and wrapped in a blanket and  and I held her tiny body as she was injected.

I remember seeing her tortie body which reminded me of a patchwork quilt, her fur so soft, I stroked her and held her as she went and always remember saying ‘thank you for being my cat’ as she died in my arms and I also remember the vet nurses Sarah and Wendy being there at the time and Sarah driving me home as I clutched Junipers cat basket (thank you girls and thank you to Sarah for driving me home that day).  Talking of baskets, there is a term called ’empty basket syndrome’ and this is where you go to the vet with a cat and leave with an empty basket and is the most devastating thing for a cat owner to go through.

As for my whippet Rema – now she was a well traveled dog. In England, dogs can go on public transport with you, I used to bring her to work with me when I worked at the Royal Veterinary College in Camden and Rema knew the time of the train to Marylebone and even the platform from Marylebone to our station, she would always know which side the doors of the train would open.

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Gordon the cat and Rema the whippet discuss naughty tactics

Rema loved the tube and would jump into my arms to be carried up the escalator and when we got off the tube at Marylebone, she would run and almost drag me to the escalator as she had learned that is what people do – run from one train to the next.

There were times where I would be drunk on a Friday night after a night out round my friends house (Our Maria) and I would have Rema with me, looking all nice, blue and dainty (she was a blue whippet), wearing her muzzle as she used to bite, and I would be pissed out of my head at the platform and Rema would protectively wait with me and not let anyone near me. You could almost see her looking apologetic to other passengers as if to say ‘I am sorry, but she got herself into this state’ And that little dog would escort me home. If there is anyone reading this from London that used the Marylebone line that remembers the blue whippet bitch wearing her jacket and muzzle back in 2005-6, well she was my girl.

When I studied for my NCTJ Preliminary Journalist exams in Islington, I sometimes even took Rema to college with me and she would sit in the boss’s office – I think she actually quite liked him (remember that Steve?)  In fact the more places I took that little whippet, the more traveling she did, the happier she seemed.

We bought Rema when we lived in Devon and then moved to London and when I used to go back to visit my friend Veronica in Torquay, Rema would sit on my knee for the three hour train journey.  She also loved going up on the train to Chesterfield to see ‘Our Maria’.  Rema really should have had her own travel card I reckon.

Image‘Hannibal Rema’ in her muzzle.  Too pretty to bite – well don’t judge a book by it’s cover

When I failed my first year vet nursing exams, after work we all went to the pub and got pissed (you can see a pattern here!) and I tried to sneak Rema in as a ‘hearing dog for the deaf’ and for a while it worked, as she was hidden under the table but we got sussed out and kicked out. I turned up home in a drunken misery a few hours later and Abdel opened the door to find me standing there with Rema who had no muzzle or leash on. Rema looked embarrassed and said to Abdel ‘I tried to stop her, honest I did’ and shook her head in disbelief while Abdel led me upstairs and put me to bed whilst I cried about failing my exams. Rema snuggled up to me that night and never left my side which was brave of her as my breath reeked of alcohol.

Image          My boss Trevor or ‘TT’ as he was known – and me as a student veterinary nurse

Rema was also there when I passed my vet nurse finals and lay on the bed with me as I cried, I cried because it had been so hard and I had failed both part one (written) and part two (practical) first time so the relief of passing my exams was immense.

ImageAbdel and me at my graduation – finally qualifying as a Veterinary Nurse

(my proudest moment – I love my VN badge!)

Rema had earned a nickname called ‘The Goat’ as she found a goat on Torre Abbey Sands in Torquay, Devon and proceeded to chase it round the beach and nip it on any part she could reach – blaming the owners saying it was their fault for having a goat on the beach.

My little whippet used to enter Exemption dog shows and do very well in them and I also entered her in scurry races as well and she would bark her head off in excitement as she raced – she loved it and had a good circle of doggy friends on the show circuit.

When I worked as a vet nurse at Crufts Dog show one year, Rema came with me and had her own bed in the Hilton Hotel, my friend ‘Our Maria’ was with me that night, I remember it well as she got chicken pox (do you remember that Maria!). Rema looked so funny snuggled up in her own bed, and she had her own cage in the vet centre when I was working and would tell the show dogs off by barking at them when they came in.

One day I remember when I was out with my friend Sam Porter and her boxer dog ‘Bags’, Rema chased a squirrel and broke her hock and had to have surgery. If you could see the xrays, it must have been like repairing the leg of a fawn as Rema’s legs were like matchsticks but the vet did a superb job on that (thank you Trevor xx).

On another night, Sam and I dressed up our dogs, Rema wore my bra and knickers and Bags wore boxer shorts (don’t ask!) and we drew big red Bindi’s on their foreheads and went out collecting for the Big Issue. But we won’t say any more on that as there is no excuse for dressing a dog up in a bra any more than there is collecting for the Big Issue when you have no business to.

I had entered Rema in a contest for Dogs Today magazine – this was for 2000 – the Millennium Calendar – ‘best advert for dog ownership’ and Rema won it, she was Ms February and posed on a pink silk love heart cushion and even appeared on London Tonight (any of my London pals remember that or have a copy of the photo I could have?)

Rema was also a chewer and enjoyed chewing Abdel’s trousers, the curtains and other bits and pieces.

ImageRema and Gordon – both ‘chewers’ in fact Gordon still is!

Animals of the present

Gordon the cat chews towels and still does so, despite being a respectable old gentleman of 11 years old.

Gordon is my piece of England, he is from the Motherland – having just lost my Mum, I was in no way prepared to lose my Gordon so I went to extreme lengths to raise the funds by writing a blog and also doing writing for people, so that I could pay for his passage to Australia.

He was naughty in quarantine and chewed the carpet on his cat run and has continued his chewing in Australia.

ImageGordon in quarantine – he chewed the carpet on the ladder

Rocky has dug 4 feet under the retainer wall, eaten my mortgage settlement documents the day we moved into the house, he has stolen cushions and eaten my entire CD collection and chewed a rare one of a kind, hand made artists bear made out of alpaca wool.

Brutus is following in hot pursuit in terms of naughtiness, he gathers stones and brings them to the door, chews our shoes and is planning what his next line of attack will be in the form of chewing.  He is also learning from Rocky on how to be a proficient digger to the point I am thinking of hiring out the pair of them for bobcat purposes.

ImageThe new ‘canine bobcat’ – Rocky and Brutus ‘dig for Britain’

So I shall ask again – why do we do it? They chew our stuff, they demand our time, they cause us worry and they cost us money, so why do we pay for the privilege of the above?

Because quite simply, they provide us with love and they provide us with memories – all of the memories that my animals have given me have and still do make me laugh.

Animals stand by us when we make crap decisions, when we are in a bad mood, when we think that the rest of the world hates us, when we dont want to communicate – our pets are always there for us.

ImageOne man (girl) and his dog

They don’t care if we embarrass them and trust me, I have embarrassed Rocky in public on many an occasion. I have dived in when he has been attacked by another dog and yelled, screamed and threw a punch at the dog attacking him when Rocky couldn’t defend himself.

At the end of the day the stuff that they chew is just that – stuff and more to the point it can be replaced. ‘Stuff’ cannot give you the memories that an animal can give you.

I was there for Rema when she was put to sleep and I promise I will be there for Gordon, Rocky and Brutus when their time comes.

I know it is painful, I know I will be the sobbing wreck that I vowed never to become again but I want the only person to be holding my pets when they leave this life – to be me.

So never ever regret having your pets, and never let the pain of losing them stop you from embracing another animal into your life.

You may think that by getting another pet, you are ‘replacing’ the one that you have lost. Well you are not, in your life there are in fact many places – unlimited places for animals waiting to be loved and the new pet is not replacing the old one, just merely making a new place for himself.

And the spirit of all your animals will live on in the sofa, the chairs, your shoes and whatever else they may have chewed.

ImageGordon – from the ‘Motherland’ still chewing his way around the world

That my friends, is why we do it.

Happy Friday.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Brutus and his trip to the vet

Image

This morning I took Brutus to our local vet to have his stitches removed and to say that Rocky was devastated that he wasn’t going, is an understatement.

‘Where are you taking him?’ Rocky demanded, his ears and tail erect, and his body language showed that he was pissed off.

‘To the vet to get his stitches removed’ I said firmly and clipped Brutus’s leash onto his blue collar. His little brown body wriggled as he was so excited.

‘Bastard, why does he get to go and I don’t, can I have my stitches removed too?’ Rocky asked, looking really jealous now.

‘Rocky you are such a dick head, you don’t have stitches!’ Gordon sniggered from the safety of the dining room table. Rocky flipped him the bird and stuck his tongue out back at Gordon.

‘Yeah, but they don’t know that’ Rocky replied. In the end he became so upset because he wasn’t going that I had to shut him up in the laundry room to calm down.

And as for the language that came out of that kelpie dogs mouth as I put Brutus in the Yaris and secured him to the seat belt in the back, well that was truly shocking and the last word I heard from Rocky’s mouth was ‘wanker’.

We got to the vets a bit early and had to wait outside which was fun with a partially leash trained pup who was thoroughly over excited and trying to herd up birds and stones – adopting the ‘cattle dog crouch’ when they go down to herd.

‘Brutus, you can’t herd up stones, they are not going anywhere’ I laughed at him.

‘But they might be, you never know’ was all he replied and then tried circling the stones to make sure.

A car pulled up in the driveway and I could just make out the head of a small white fluffy dog in the front seat next to his owner.

‘Puggles, come on get down’ An elderly man got out and spoke to his dog.

‘Piss off, I am not jumping that height, are you trying to break my cruciate ligament or something?’ the white dog snapped and then glanced in the mirror to smooth down his beard and make himself look presentable.

It was a tense stand off and Brutus looked interested in the stubborn white fluffy thing that resembled a sheep, that refused to jump down from the SUV.

I will in his favour say that I don’t blame him because many injuries can be caused from dogs jumping in/out of cars and Brutus is terrified to jump in/out of my car so I always help him.

Puggles the white dog (or sheep according to Brutus) was eventually lifted down and you could hear him bossing his owner around and saying things like ‘watch my stitches’ and ‘don’t mess with my fur’.

Brutus looked enchanted at the dog (sheep) and looked up at me and said ‘Is that a sheep, can I herd him?’ which made me laugh. Brutus may be a kelpie/ridgeback but he is 95% kelpie in behaviour and looks so cute when he adopts the herding position.

Fuggles walked up to Brutus and promptly pissed on a pile of polished pebbles, he lifted his little leg as high as it would go and strong yellow urine dribbled down his pristine white coat.

‘How did you do that?’ Brutus asked him in admiration. Brutus is still at the squatting stage and when he did try and lift his leg to copy Rocky, he fell over. Mind you, Rocky didn’t cock his leg until he was two years old – and I am not kidding you either, very late developer. In fact Rocky barely has a penis, it is more like a mealworm.

‘Puggles has been de-sexed, he is here to have his stitches out’ The owner said to me and then shook his head as Puggles tried to dig up the concrete floor with his hind legs to ‘spread himself around’.

‘He is only 8 months old’ His owner added.

‘Brutus was done at 16 weeks, the cat couldn’t take it any more and Rocky was tired of having his bed and head urinated upon’ I said almost apologetically. The old man looked horrified that I had robbed Brutus of his manhood far too early but I didn’t care, Rocky has a stash of dog porn in his kennel and he and Brutus always like to read it of an evening over a can of beer and some nuts.

Brutus sniggered at the white dog and said ‘Why are you digging up concrete?”

‘Spreading my piss around’ Puggles said matter-of-factly and then added ‘I am still very alpha even though they made me have the op’ Puggles looked accusingly at his owner.

‘What op?” Brutus asked – such an innocent boy and a virgin too, bless his socks.

Puggles looked at Brutus as though he were stupid and lit a cigarette and exhaled deeply. Flicking ash into the pavement, he rubbed it in with his paw, making it go all smudged and grey.

‘De-sexing op, so you had it done as well?’ Puggles asked Brutus.

‘Yeah, I kept mating the cat and humping my brothers head and pissing on his bed/head/everything’ Brutus replied sadly, almost missing the experience. Gordon I will add, is very glad he has been done because he only has a tiny bottom and it is certainly not meant for amorous puppies with a thriving sex hormone production.

Just then the nurse opened the surgery door for us all to go in and I popped Brutus on the scales and am pleased to announce that he now weighs 12.6kgs. If you remember when he came out of hospital he was around 7.6kgs – I think so he is doing marvellously and is looking rather good.

I went back to the counter to give the nurses the weight for his records when I heard a commotion.

‘Puggles, you naughty boy, you can’t do that here!’ Puggles owner looked horrified.

Puggles sat by the door and had just finished taking a large shit by the mat.

Brutus still being of the giggly childish schoolboy mentality, snorted with laughter – he takes after me you see, make me laugh and I snort loudly, I can’t help it.

Brutus was snorting and giggling and yelling his favourite expression (you all know what it is!) ‘Turd legs’ to Puggles who looked thoroughly pleased with himself at the monster turd he had dropped by the mat.

A large cat in a pink basket pursed his lips together, disgusted at the scene and yelled ‘Could you have not waited until you had used your litter tray?’

‘Chew on that big boy that will teach you to rip my balls off!’ Puggles shouted to his owner and then promptly turned around and gave him full view of his fluffy white bum which now had nasty brown bits on the side. My goodness am I glad my dogs dont have fluffy white bums that could be called poo magnets.

The nurse calmly came round from the counter armed with rubber gloves and some paper and something to clean the matt with and as quickly as it was produced, the offending turd was picked up and disposed of. But not before Puggles yelled to the nurse ‘There are plenty more from where that came from’ and vowed to shit in his owners bed when he got home.

‘Don’t you ever do that Brutus’ I told him, trying not to laugh myself, really it was very funny and I do have a toilet sense of humour, so does Rocky and actually Gordon as well. I have lost count of the times that Gordon has had a hard piece of turd stuck to his bum and has released it and played ‘ping pong’ with it in the hall way.

Brutus was called in by the nurse to have his stitches out, off he trotted with his super abnormally long tail wagging behind him – you can see the vertebrae of his tail ‘clicking’ by the tail bone when he wags it, as though it is too long for his spine/body.

The nurse said he was a very good boy but his stitches had become too tight so I have to watch it doesnt weep or get sore and that I had brought him in just at the right time to get them out (9 days) but either way, they were more than ready to come out.

I bought him his heartworm/multiwormer as well – he now requires the same size heartworm treatment as Rocky which is good. Vet predicts he may reach up to 25 kgs so could be the same size as Rocky or slightly bigger. He is going to be a chunky old ‘unit’ though I should imagine.

We said goodbye to Puggles (Turd Dog as Brutus called him) and I lifted Brutus into the car and secured him and we drove home.

‘Where the hell have you been?’ Rocky demanded and inspected Brutus thoroughly as a mass sniffing of genitals took place from both dogs.

I let both boys outside to let off some steam and I could hear Brutus excitedly tell Rocky about what had happened at the vet with Puggles.

‘Really? He took a shit on the mat?’ I heard Rocky say, he sounded quite jealous. Bastard better not try that when I take him to the vet.

I still have memories of when I worked at the Royal Veterinary College as a Veterinary Nurse and my whippet bitch Rema took a shit on the platform inside London Marylebone Station (pets can travel on public transport in the UK).

She did several hard nuggets that rolled all over the platform and thank God I had a poo bag because I was scrabbling around a busy commuter platform trying to recover nuggets of turd. Rema blamed it on the high fibre diet, the commuters blamed me for the smell and all I can say is thank god I was in a nurses uniform so I could pull off the ‘I am an animal nurse’ kind of face and deal with this shit every day.

So you can forgive me for thinking those days are behind me and I do not want to encourage my boys to open their bowels in inappropriate places.

Abdel and I are taking the boys out for a walk later, just need to keep an eye on the suture site as the nurse said but I think it will be OK.

It has gone very quiet in the garden so I had better check on the dogs and hope that whatever they are planning to do, it does not involve what Puggles did at the vet this morning.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Brutus – Puppy Temper Tantrums

Image‘But why can’t I play with the cat?’

Puppy temper tantrums – they all get them, all pups go through the temper tantrum stage and it is up to you how you deal with it as in the old saying ‘you make your bed, you will lie in it’ kind of thing.

Now Abdel always puts Brutus to bed in his crate – it is the routine, at about midnight, both boys are let out for a pee in the garden and Brutus is put into a fresh clean crate, nice clean towel to lie on, fresh water and his teething toy.

Last night Abdel got in later than normal so while he was having his shower, I put the dogs to bed. Rocky being a good boy went straight for a pee outside and then went on his bed.

Brutus looked horrified and I mean horrified, one would think that I had smashed his Kong toy and offered it to the birds.

‘You never put me to bed, never – where is dad?’ Brutus demanded.

‘Brutus, just shut up and go to bed’ Rocky growled, he was still pissed off for Brutus biting his genitals earlier (don’t ask but I think George Michael may have been playing on the radio at the time).

Shutting the crate, I went off to bed and only seconds later I heard Brutus barking and shouting his head off in protest.

‘Open the door now! If you don’t I shall shit everywhere and do handstands!’ Brutus yelled – very loudly indeed.

(sounds of metal bowl clanking on cage and newspaper being shredded up)

‘Just ignore him’ Abdel said from the living room.

Except that I couldn’t because I knew from the sounds that were coming from the laundry room that Brutus had no water, he had tipped it up and I couldn’t have him going all night with no water.

‘It’s because you didn’t put him to bed’ I told Abdel and Abdel had to agree with me because it was true – this is the second time he has done this and the last time was because Abdel didn’t put him to bed as well.

I went into the laundry room and sure enough, the nice clean towel was soaked and bunched up, the newspaper shredded, the water bowl upside down and Brutus was very wet indeed.

Making puppy growls and noises, Brutus then stood up and wriggled his entire body in that guilty sheepish kind of way while Rocky sat on his own bed and called him a girly turd legs.

I let them both out into the garden and then cleaned his kennel, put fresh paper, water and a towel in there. I never realized just how precious newspaper and towels would become until I got Brutus, never has my washing machine been used as much as it is now and I have even started to greedily stare at free papers in shopping centers and will think nothing of walking out with piles of them under my arm. That is puppy-hood for you I guess.

Telling Abdel that he could put Brutus to bed, I went back to bed myself and sure enough, when Abdel brought the boys back in, Brutus not only went back to his crate like a good boy but his crate was also immaculate this morning when he was let out.

THIS MORNING

‘I don’t want to wear brown socks, I want black legs like Rocky!’ Brutus whinged when I let him outside this morning.

Rocky stopped sniffing the garden and looked at Brutus as though he couldn’t believe his ears.

‘Twat, those are your bloody legs and you are stuck with them!’ Rocky snorted with laughter as Brutus gazed down at his long brown legs with white socks on his paws.

‘I want my testicles back!’ Brutus sobbed and then started to bark trying to look tough but the only thing he succeeded in doing was making me giggle and making Abdel laugh from the bedroom as he heard him as well and it is rather hard to take Brutus seriously when he barks as his entire mouth caves in as his tiny teeth don’t seem big enough to support his head.

‘Dear Dog in heaven help me’ Rocky sighed and lit up a fag and blew smoke in funny shapes from his nostrils.

‘Is it tomorrow yet?’ Brutus asked Rocky, he is due to get his stitches out tomorrow and is quite excited about it, only because Sunny the red heeler told him he could get prosthetic testicles like space hoppers which is a total lie but Brutus believed him.

Rocky shook his head and went to sit down by the tree and said that no, it was not tomorrow yet and no, he could not have his testicles back and no, he cannot change the colour of his legs.

‘Are we there yet?’ Brutus asked me and then picked up some stones in his mouth, chewed them for a bit and gobbed them out on the floor.

Rocky took a piss by the side of the fence and Brutus happily stood under him and ended up with urine all over his head. Brutus looked thoroughly over excited by it as well.

As you will see, the curiosity of a young pup is equal to that of a child and you get all the same daft questions that no matter how many times you answer, there will be new questions being asked all the time.

‘My tail doesn’t fit!’ Brutus shouted and then started to chase his own tail until he eventually got dizzy and fell over and looked like Stephen Hawkings in a magnet factory.

Rocky looked at me and shrugged his shoulders and said ‘I was never like that was I?”

Gently reminding him that he herded up some children who were on their boat on the Murray River one time, children I might add that didn’t need ‘saving’, I told Rocky that he would have to be patient.

‘Rocky?’ Brutus squeaked in his high pitched puppy voice.

‘Yes Brutus’ Rocky replied – oh god, what was he going to ask now?

‘Can I sniff your bum?’ Brutus asked happily.

‘Piss off!’ Rocky snapped and as he ran off to get his tennis ball, Brutus stuffed his nose up Rocky’s bum anyway.

Brutus has a thing about bottoms, he likes cleaning Gordon’s bottom and has even stuffed his nose up Sunny’s bottom and Sunny has a bottom like an over ripe peach with a hole in it. Brutus nearly lost his head up there but we won’t talk about that.

The joys of puppy-hood!

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013

Brutus Update

ImageBrutus – on the mend

You may remember a blog entry I did about stress and Sjogrens syndrome and I mentioned that I had acquired a new puppy called Brutus, which was struck down with severe gastro which very nearly cost him his life.

Well Brutus now has his own Facebook page as he has many followers supporting his journey and progress and for those of you that are interested – here is the link to his page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Pup-called-Brutus/429308250490560

I have had a request on here for a Brutus update and photographs, these are all on his Facebook page but I shall do a quick update on here.

Here is a photo of Brutus two nights before the gastro struck:

ImageChunky Brutus – just before the gastro struck

Brutus was admitted to Murdoch two days after this photo was taken, he stayed for one day, was admitted to Swan Veterinary Hospital, came out the next day when this photo was taken:

ImageSkeletal Brutus

He was then readmitted a few hours after being discharged from hospital where he spent the rest of the week – here is a photo of him in hospital:

ImageBrutus in hospital with severe gastro

Brutus finally came out of hospital on 9th March and has been home for a week, on Saturday 16th March he went to the vet for his vaccine as the first hadn’t taken and he weighed about 7.8kgs which is still underweight for him although each day he is looking better.

Here are some photographs that I took from over last weekend and this weekend – see the differences and changes in him:

ImageLook at my ribcage!

ImageRocky and Brutus

Image

ImageBrutus and his new ‘brother’ – Gordon

ImageBrutus at the vets waiting for his vaccine

ImageAm I a cat or a dog? (Brutus asks)

And finally, here is a photo that summarizes just how an older dog can guide a young pup and often teach them about life far better than their owners, I have cut and pasted an update I did on Facebook yesterday, it is about the relationship I have with Rocky as his owner and how although I thought I was doing what is best for him, the arrival of Brutus has taught me otherwise.

ImageRocky – Brutus’s guardian angel.

Dedicated to Rocky:

Today I realized that dog ownership often highlights issues that owners have with the relationship with their dogs and it often says an awful lot about the owner as well.

Rocky has been my ‘rock’ so to speak since we first got him. When I nearly lost my husband in a car crash, Rocky was the one consistent thing in my life, my husband was in hospital and I had been told to get his affairs in order and I remember sitting on the kitchen floor crying my eyes out so hard that I couldn’t breathe and the solid black body of my little kelpie dog pressing himself into me and washing my face – I will never forget it.

With each crisis that has been in our lives and trust me, in the 5 years we have lived in Australia, there have been many – health, legal, financial, bereavement, I shudder at remembering any of it, Rocky has been there and I too, wonder how I am still here – mentally and physically.

A year ago during a particularly financially difficult time when we came close to losing everything, I remember walking around Beeliar Wetlands with Rocky. He has hip dysplasia and I have severe joint issues from an auto immune disease. You should have seen the pair of us walking around Beeliar, both of us stiff as boards and of course you get halfway round and think ‘damn it, I shall have to complete it now’ and although Rocky looked horrified as he hates road work, he loyally kept up with me – his gait stiff as anything as I limped the 6km or so around the wetlands, we were like Forest Gump doing his long journey.

Rocky has been my best friend and I think with that intense dog/owner relationship that I have with him, I have rather unfairly and unknowingly (until now), taken away some of his ‘doggy-ness’ and stripped him of his normal canine behavior.

‘That dog is like your baby’ I have had said to me on so many occasions by child obsessed people. This I have to hotly deny because we have chosen NOT to have children. My animals are not the children we never had, having ones genitals stretched to 10cms never once appealed to me and I am sorry if that upsets people – I just don’t swing that way.

Yes, I love my animals and yes, having Brutus could be comparable to having a young child as I need eyes in the back of my head and let’s not even discuss toilet training and teething and sleepless nights.

But no, they are not children, and when you have come close to losing your partner – soul mate, when you have held your Mothers hand as she passed away, I can say now that there is no comparison for me. I love my animals dearly as you can tell and they will take priority over visitors but at the end of the day, I must stress that they are not children.

I will admit to humanizing Rocky and being more dependent on him than he is me. He is expressive, his face speaks volumes, so does Gordon’s – hell, I even ‘speak dog’ and make them talk, but then again so do many pet owners.

Rocky only tends to interact with other cattle/working dogs. before Brutus came to live with us, Rocky would happily sit in of an evening and smooch me on the sofa, washing my arms, or the sofa, or the wall – anything really and failing that, the cats ears were always clean.

Now Brutus is here, Rocky is somewhat distancing himself from me and becoming more of a dog and I am observing some traditional canine mannerisms and behavioral patterns that really do shoot the saying ‘I know my dog better than anyone’ into fresh air because no, we never really know our dogs, we domesticate them to a point, but no, we never truly know them because at the end of the day – wild is wild and you can take the dog out of the wild but you cant take the wild instincts out of the dog.

Today I took Rocky for a swim, Brutus had to stay behind as he only had his vaccine yesterday, so Abdel and I decided to go swimming with Rocky and Rocky did his usual swimming until exhausted, swallowing heaps of sea water and then yakking up and being reluctantly dragged from the water when we decided that an hour of solid swimming was quite enough thank you, besides, Abdel had to go to work.

I bathed Rocky in the garden and Brutus was washing the drops as they dripped off Rocky’s sopping black body – he looked like a shiny stag beetle – in fact my nickname for him is ‘beetle dog’.

I had bought Rocky a kangaroo hide chew which I had planned to give to him when Brutus wasn’t around. Trouble is, Rocky is a lazy bone eater – he still has a brand new hide chew from January but the kangaroo chew is much smaller and easier to eat. I have tried telling him that many a dog in Africa would be grateful for that bone but he tells me I am talking crap – which of course is quite plausible.

I had locked Brutus away in the laundry room and Rocky looked at the chew and said ‘Bollocks, I am not eating that’. Sighing, I let Brutus out and intended to pick up the chew, I was worried about Brutus trying to steal the chew as he is too young for stuff like that.

Rocky suddenly wanted the chew and curled his lip at Brutus, it wasn’t like ‘I am going to rip your face off’, it was a warning from a senior dog to the baby of the pack.

‘Piss off away from my bone’ Rocky said to Brutus. This is where it got interesting, Rocky never exhibits normal canine behaviors – why? because I have humanised him and made him the way he is – far too imprinted in a way he has forgotten how to act with other dogs.

‘Mum said I can have it!’ Brutus lied and then made steps to take the bone. Should I intervene? What would happen in the wild?

I sat there and did nothing, my heart pounding wondering if Rocky would hurt Brutus.

Brutus went nearer the bone and Rocky jumped up and really told him off – excuse the bad language but I can only relay it as it happened.

‘Get away from my bone you bastard!’ Rocky shouted, curling his lip up in a fine impression of of Elvis Presley (he used to curl his lip).

Rocky did a mock charge at Brutus while curling his lip, yelling at him to piss off and Brutus squeaked a high pitched squeak and went straight into submission. I saw for myself that Rocky did not actually touch him, but Brutus rolled on his back to say ‘sorry’ to Rocky.

The sneaky pup then went by the side of the coffee table with his rubber chicken in his mouth, laid the chicken by Rocky’s feet and then tried to swap it with the chew – I am being deadly serious.

Rocky did one more mock charge and that was enough to send Brutus on to the sofa, shaking like a girl while huddling up to Gordon, telling Gordon how awful it was. Gordon merely told him that stealing another dogs bones was akin to listening to Cliff Richard’s Millennium Prayer on replay and one should never ever do it. Brutus said he was sorry and Rocky as if to make a point of the Tenth Commandment ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal Other Dogs Bones’, ate the whole kangaroo chew, while watching Brutus, making one hell of a mess which I had to clean up.

I was so tempted to intervene because the whole scene made me uncomfortable but then I asked myself why, why did it make me uncomfortable?

It was normal canine behavior and pack hierarchal structure – dogs needed to learn their place, it isn’t just owner/dog boundaries that need to be set in the home, it is also canine boundaries as well and Brutus today learned that he cannot steal Rocky’s food until Rocky has eaten his fill and left scraps for him.

After Rocky had eaten his chew, there were lots of crumbs left on the bed, Brutus dutifully waited until Rocky had moved way and then jumped off the sofa, Rocky wagged his tail to the young pup and Brutus happily but rather submissively polished off the crumbs.

Once he had done that, he went up to Rocky swishing his long tail and cleaning round Rocky’s mouth and Rocky looked down at Brutus and licked one of his ears, gave a little tail wag and the pair of them carried on like nothing had happened.

And that is because nothing did happen – in their world anyway. It was just doggy stuff – we humans might not like it but it is their world and no matter how much we try and domesticate them, no matter how much we think that we know them, they are wild animals with very primal instincts just waiting to surface.

My dependency on Rocky was quite intense and in hindsight, not entirely fair. At first I felt guilty for Rocky as I had another puppy, a puppy that required a lot more attention but I should have given Rocky credit for how he would deal with it.

We can train/reprimand undesirable behaviors in our puppy’s/dogs but you know something? The best training for Brutus has come from Rocky himself.

When Brutus chews on Rocky, Rocky puts him in his place and Brutus very quickly has learned what he can and cannot do and what is acceptable.

Rocky now knows that there is competition for food and doesn’t piss about with his meals like he used to. Rocky has become a more proficient guard dog – although he is pretty on the ball now but now there is a puppy in his ‘pack’ to protect, he has gone up a notch.

My kelpie has changed, since the arrival of Brutus, he has gone from a childish 4.5 year old ex farm dog with some very babyish behaviors and some not so healthy acquired human ones, to an almost regal, mature, kind but assertive Kelpie that is far better in guiding this puppy than I could ever be. Don’t get me wrong, I do my best – you are all following me on this journey and I post with my heart but trust me, Rocky is much better at it.

So whilst I feel quite sad that I have sort of lost my good mate in so many ways, I am really proud of the dog he has become and if Brutus can learn half of what Rocky has to teach him, then we are going to be very lucky.

Humanizingyour dogs is one thing, but I have learned you have to allow dogs to be dogs, also watch their behaviour, watch them interact, watch how they sort out their differences and respect their ‘inner dog’.

So this entry is dedicated to Rocky, he has been where Brutus is now (we got him when he was about 5 months), he has chewed and destroyed a Palm tree, dug 4 feet under a retainer wall, eaten my entire CD collection, he has been there, he has supported me through the most traumatic times of my life and has been my best friend.

But now it is time for him to be a dog and enjoy being a dog, he is in the garden now with Brutus – both of them lying a few feet apart, both of them quiet, Brutus fast asleep and Rocky half asleep while keeping a watchful eye on the young pup that has barged into his life and prompting him to let his natural instincts take over.

As for me, well he is still my mate but now I have the pleasure of watching him become Brutus’s mate as well.

Let dogs be dogs.

And Finally…

Brutus is a puppy that is exhibiting normal puppy behavior and his reactions are guided by Rocky.  Donkey if you remember, was exhibiting dog aggressive behavior towards Rocky to the point he wouldn’t let Rocky even drink from his water bowl and could not be left alone with him.  Having been castrated quite late in life, he had developed some of the not so nice traits typical of an ‘entire dog’  If he was going to live with another adult male dog, it needed to be one that was big enough and strong enough to hold his own which Rocky isn’t.  Donkey was also not good at all with cats and both SAFE and I believed it would be at a huge risk to Gordon to keep him we needed a dog that we could trust with out cat.

Brutus will be going to puppy group and training and is being de-sexed next week so won’t have chance to develop his sex hormones and ultimately undesirable behavior but I will stress that if you have any concerns about your dog exhibiting aggressive behavior towards other dogs, I would say take him to your vet to rule out illness and then take appropriate expert advice on where to go from there.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013