Where Did You Go My Friend….

Rocky Farm

My Best Friend – Rocky

It was Friday evening on 7th September, Rocky and I were curled up on the sofa on one end, Brutus and Kev were on the other. I was ruffling Rocky’s neck and tickling his ears when I felt a lump that I had not noticed before, my first thought was a cyst and I had seen many of those in my career as a vet nurse when I lived in the UK. ‘What’s that on your neck?’ I asked him. Staring back at me with his beautiful brown eyes now so cloudy with age, he shrugged ‘You know, I am a lumpy old dog – comes with age’.

With just the minimal pressure I had applied to the lump, I felt warm blood trickle down my hands, feeling somewhat concerned, I cleaned it up and made a mental note to book the vet the next day to get it looked at.

The next day at the vet

‘That’s not a cyst, I don’t know what that is but it’s not a cyst and it needs to be removed’, the vet looked concerned as she told me and after a discussion, Rocky was booked in for the following Tuesday for surgery to get the lump removed and biopsied to see what it was. The vet asked me to check him that evening for any other lumps and bumps so that they could investigate those while he was asleep.

We were both off on annual leave that week so at least we could be at home to look after him, we had plans to go on holiday but had shelved them – thank goodness and that was a decision that was a blessing in disguise because I shudder to think what might have happened had we gone to our usual ‘middle of nowhere’ type of trip.

Either way, it was a strange moment and even stranger feeling that I can’t explain in my usual way as you will probably gather from reading this.

We were in the car park at the vets and I was about to get in the car. Rocky looked at the car and sighed, he looked exhausted as though life had just got too much all of a sudden, or perhaps it had been a while and maybe I hadn’t noticed it. Gently lifting him on to the back seat, I kissed his head, smoothed his erect triangular ears and buckled his safety belt to his collar.

Rocky and I have always enjoyed music in the car so I turned on my Usher CD and made a face at Rocky to warn him that I would probably start singing – badly. He gave a ‘Must you Mum?’ kind of look and we both laughed.

Reversing out of the car park, I was about to indicate right but at the last minute, indicated left and engaged to go.

‘Shall we take the long way home, by the coastal route?’ I asked Rocky. It added about 15 mins on to the journey but I knew he liked it, I liked it too – the ocean always looked so spectacular at that time of the morning, well at any time of the morning really.

‘Lovely day for it’, Rocky said as he pressed his snout on the window adding to the vast selection of ‘nose art’ that I simply could not be bothered to wash off.

‘Lovely day for what?’ I said, not taking my eyes off the road but tapping my fingers on the steering wheel to the music.

Rocky shrugged, ‘I love this stretch of coastline, my favourite beaches and everything. How lucky we are to live here. Do you remember when I was on South Beach as a pup and started barking at that German man’s dog for not giving me his ball and the German man told you to stop me from shouting?’

We both laughed at the memory, it was hilarious and I could still here that miserable bastard saying ‘Your dog is shouting, you must stop him now!’ in his German accent. Of course I didn’t help matters by laughing which made him go bright red with anger, we actually thought that he might explode.

Then after the German guy had gone, Rocky managed to herd up a few other dogs and cause a canine uprising on the beach where all the dogs had refused to go back to their owners, preferring to run into the ocean in an act of rebellion instead.

Happy days they were, naughty days but happy all the same.

‘My favourite beaches!’ Rocky repeated with a smile on his face as he wistfully stared at the beautiful ocean as we drove past.

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Rocky’s pained expression at me singing along to Usher

We arrived home about twenty minutes later and I opened the car door for him to get out. ‘Come on Rocky, Brutus is waiting for you and you know how he likes to hear about your car journeys’, I said to him.

He went to stand up in the car that he so easily got into an hour or so ago, he couldn’t get out.

Rocky looked at me all confused as though he wasn’t quite sure where he was. ‘Sorry Mum, if I could just have a few minutes that would be great’.

I could see Brutus’s anxious face pressed against the living room window, his tail which was initially wagging at high speed, slowly dwindled down to a swish. His brown forehead creased with concern at why his brother hadn’t jumped out of the car with the same enthusiasm that he had got in to it.

Initially I had thought he may have wrenched his hip as he has bad hips and so carefully lifted the senior kelpie out of the car where he just stood on the ground and looked at me. He wasn’t really there, it was like part of him had suddenly left me. I grabbed his tennis ball and threw it at him, he half bent down to pick it up and then looked back up at me and said ‘No thank you’ and stood there looking confused in an ‘Are we there yet dear?’ sort of way.

That was when it hit me, he had started to shut down and I shall explain more about that later.

I took him in to the living room where he managed to get himself on the sofa and settle down. He didn’t want his tea which was a first – ever, there was no vomiting, no drinking, no salivating, no diarrhoea, but no appetite either (he did have his breakfast that morning though).

Later that evening

We were all curled up on the sofa – me, Rocky, Brutus and Kevin, all snuggled up under a blanket. As the vet had shaved round the lump on his neck near his gland, I was able to get a good look at it and it looked nasty, it did not look innocent by any stretch of the imagination. It looked as though a hard piece of meat had erupted through his skin and I could see why the vet was concerned.

Now a few months back, Rocky presented with rapid respiration and fast heartbeat and as an ex veterinary nurse, I was quick to ask for Xrays and bloods – all were normal except for an ever so slightly enlarged liver and spleen (as reported by a radiographer), which was listed as unremarkable as that can happen in older animals having general anesthesia. His breathing settled down again and everything was fine – until now.

And it was now that Rocky’s belly looked swollen – not bloat swollen, but like it was ‘full of something’ swollen and it had only just happened on the journey home. He couldn’t really get comfortable. But in hindsight though and in recent months Rocky had started to adopt a strange position on the sofa where he would lie on his chest with his head propped up on the back of the chair, funny to look at but just another Rocky type quirk we put it down to – a bit like him barking at the stars at night for daring to shine in his garden.

‘Mum, what’s up with Rocky?’ Brutus asked me. He looked concerned and confused.

Rocky looked at me and I looked at him, his eyes were changing, it was like he was packing to leave his body, to leave me, to leave us.

Rocky’s eyes starting to glaze over

‘You’re leaving me aren’t you?’ I blurted out at him and then burst into noisy sobs as I clung on to his little body. In between my sobs, I could feel Brutus trying to lick my arms while saying ‘Mum, is Rocky going to wear tweed?’ (animals do tend to wear tweed when they cross over to Rainbow Bridge).

When my husband arrived home later that night, he was visibly shocked at the sight of our little kelpie dog who appeared to be shrinking in front of our eyes.

‘Tomorrow we book him in at the vets’, I said to my husband. ‘I shall sleep in the spare room with him tonight in case he needs me’, I added.

As for Rocky, he gave a tired smile and mouthed the words ‘Thank you’ to both of us.

That night my little ‘beetle dog’ (as I called him), snuggled up to me in the spare bedroom, he felt cold so I covered him with my duvet. As he slept and relaxed a little, I stroked him over his abdomen where to my horror, I could feel a firm lump and the surrounding area did not feel right either. No wonder this dog had been uncomfortable and no wonder he had tensed up on examination but one thing was certain, whatever had happened, had occurred quickly.

Sunday Morning – 9th March

It was my husbands birthday and we had planned to go out for breakfast and then take the boys out. Obviously that had been cancelled and we were now at the vets.

The waiting room was empty except for us and a small dog and his human. The little dog was doing rude gestures at Rocky and barking at various things that had upset him. Normally this would have been enough to set Rocky in to a full on aggression frenzy of rude words and insults, but today Rocky just ignored him which surprised both us and the vet.

I won’t go into the full conversation between us and the vet, it is too painful for me to talk about let alone even think about and go over. But I will tell you that when Rocky had his chest X-rays all those months ago, I made a comment saying to the vet that it wouldn’t surprise me if Rocky had cancer and there was something nasty going on.

Don’t ask me what made me think it, it was a feeling that I had and I have always been intuitive with my animals and those in my care when I worked as a veterinary nurse. Rocky’s gums were a bit pale but his bloods came back normal.

We even paid extra to have the X-rays reported on by a radiographer and as I mentioned earlier – they came back ‘unremarkable’ – normal, except for a slightly enlarged liver/spleen which can happen when old dogs have anaesthetics. Yet despite those normal findings, my gut instinct and the way in which Rocky was looking at me, told me that something was seriously wrong. We just couldn’t put our finger on it and believe me it wasn’t for the lack of trying and veterinary check ups/tests either.

The tumour on Rocky’s neck looked nasty, his belly was now firm and very sore and when the vet went to palpate it, my husband said his face showed tremendous pain and discomfort.

His eyes had started to glaze over – well they had actually started doing that the day before as the vet had noticed something wasn’t right but again, things had escalated overnight.

Suddenly things had started to make sense, in recent weeks Rocky would go from trotting around to walking oh-so-slowly past the window, looking visibly uncomfortable and I had assumed it was his hips bothering him. His breath had started to smell foul – it wasn’t his teeth because they were excellent for a ten year old kelpie that had 4 monthly checks at the vet for his hip injections, his yearly boosters/health checks – we were on top of that stuff and always had been.

The vet had noticed that Rocky for the first time ever, had ignored a dog in the waiting room and shown no interest in it and more concerning, it was a dog that was barking and growling at him. Rocky usually has to be taken to a separate room when there are other dogs around, but on that day it was like that other dog did not exist, he simply did not see him.

How did we miss it? How did we not see his suffering? Perhaps we did but as the vet said, kelpies are excellent at hiding their illness/injuries until by the time they are showing signs and symptoms, they are at crisis point.

This was a different vet to the one we saw on Saturday but she quickly agreed that the growth on Rocky’s neck (by his lymph glands) had appeared quickly and seemingly at an alarming rate and on closer inspection, did not look harmless.

I will never as long as I live, forget Rocky’s tired expression as he sat in that consult room, how bad his eyes were, his face, his pain when his abdomen was palpated, but most of all, his face the day before when I threw his tennis ball to him and he had decided that enough was enough, no more ball, no more fluffy penguin, no more games – he was done.

My Rocky

My Rocky – ready to cross that bridge

I swore blind that I would be more observant with my pets after letting Gordon go on for longer than was fair to him, I swore and promised that it would never happen again. But my Rocky was so good at hiding stuff and I certainly recall asking my husband last week if we were being cruel with Rocky as lately even since his last vet visit, he seemed to be uncomfortable and his breathing was at times, becoming a struggle again and had started to not want to get off his bed to go out for a game in the garden.

‘Are you coming for a game of ball Rocky?’ I would say to him, he would just blink at me and remain where he was and I would make a joke about him preferring his bed to our company. Why did I not pick up on that?

My head could not grasp how well he could be one moment and then the next, barely be able to walk and look so unwell.

The hardest decision for us but the kindest for Rocky

After an in depth discussion with the vet, we made the heartbreaking decision to let him go. The tumour on his neck was most likely to be cancerous and I think that was just the tip of the iceberg to be truthful. The enlarged spleen/liver although reported as normal, the tender abdomen and the lumps that had been felt, his whole appearance, behaviour and eyes completing the bigger picture. The fact that he had stopped eating, no longer wanted his ball and no longer gave a stuff about a dog having a go at him in the waiting room.

The vet was honest enough and said they could go out to investigate and open him up, remove his tumours – test them, and if required or appropriate, give him chemo – we were insured and even if we were not, we were going to pull money from our house (we have done that before).

I made a point of asking the vet that if she thought it was the wrong decision, would she tell me, be honest with me because although I am an ex veterinary nurse, the boundaries often become blurred when it comes to letting go of your pets when the right time comes and the decision has to be the best one because it is not something you can take back.

The vet agreed that it was the kindest thing to do and she would not even contemplate it had she not believed in it. And looking at Rocky at that precise point, we decided to let him go with what dignity he had left rather than put him through surgery, scans and treatment to extend his life for what? And more to the point, for whose benefit?

Goodbye my beautiful, special darling dog – Rocky

Rocky was taken out the back to have his IV line put in, he willingly went off with the vet, he has known the staff for ten years, they know him well and vice versa. He is more than comfortable with them.

He walked back in albeit a little stiffly, you could see his abdomen was uncomfortable, his eyes were tired, the bald patch where his neck had been clipped to show the tumour from the day before.

My last kiss

Right to the end he comforted me

If you looked ever so carefully and had my kind of imagination, you could see Rocky wearing an old tweed suit, while clutching a tatty brown briefcase and a peaked tweed cap.

My heart was pounding in my chest, I wanted to vomit – dear God what was I doing? Should I put him through surgery, chemo, could I continue to turn a blind eye to his discomfort, how much more should I or could I put him through? I didn’t want him to leave but I knew he couldn’t stay.

The vet had the two syringes in her hand, these syringes contained ‘Rainbow Juice’ which is what I call the drug that sends our pets to Rainbow Bridge. Rocky sat on some comfy soft blankets on the floor and I sat beside him and my husband sat in front of him. This was so we could be the last people he saw, felt and heard.

‘So, this is it then, I must admit that I am looking forward to not feeling quite so rubbish’, Rocky gave a half smile to me. His kelpie spectacles were neatly perched on the end of his nose, his peaked cap and tweed suit looking quite dapper but smelling of mothballs.

‘I am so sorry Rocky, I am so very very sorry I didn’t realise how sick you were’, I cried into his fur, memorizing every single part of him. I had taken photos earlier but now I wanted more memories because in a second they would be all I had.

‘Yeah well, these things tend to creep up on us, tumours are a bugger like that’, Rocky shrugged and licked my face as I cried (see photo above).

‘I love you so much, I don’t know what I am going to do without you, how will I manage without you?’ I stared at him – oh my god, how the hell did I miss not realising how sick this dog was?

‘You are going to have to keep Kevin in line, he is a bully and he walks all over you!’ Rocky laughed. Actually there was no love lost between him and Kevin to be honest. Rocky had gone for Kev a few times and Kev had given as good as he got but that very morning we took Rocky to his final journey, Kevin sat close to Rocky and Rocky allowed him to.

Kev and Rocky

The way Kevin looked at Rocky that morning, he knew he was sick.

I felt his little body start to relax against mine – the ‘Rainbow Juice’ had started it’s journey into Rocky’s body and in turn, Rocky had started his journey over the bridge with the people that he loved the most right beside him – his human family.

‘Oh Mum, look at that – tennis balls and sheep! They are everywhere, can you see them? Oh my god, it’s Gordon, can I go to him? This is fantastic, I feel fantastic! Can you see it all?’ Rocky said sleepily, ‘Can’t you see it?’

But before I had the chance to answer, Rocky had left me and was running over the bridge to where Bowie the white greyhound and ‘Gatekeeper’ of the bridge was waiting to welcome him to a new life of where pain and illness do not exist and animals can have a life that only you and I can dream about.

The last thing I saw before it all disappeared, was my old cat Gordon gazing up at Rocky as they both trotted across the bridge to where a group of sheep were cheering at Rocky’s arrival.

R and B

Rocky and Gordon together again

I pleaded with him not to leave me – long after he went. I cradled his little body and broke down. I cried until I thought my heart would break and three weeks on as I write this, I am crying now.

‘Please don’t leave me Rocky, I love you so very much’ I sobbed, but he had gone and it was looking at his worn out and sick body lying on the blankets, that I knew my little old kelpie deserved better than biopsies and chemo/invasive surgery and bad hips.

I don’t know how long I remained on the floor holding my boy, but I do know it was for a while as I repeatedly said sorry to him. I don’t even remember getting up to leave either, but as I did, I glanced round and I swear to God I could imagine that old tweed suit crumpled up on the ground, with the peaked cap and kelpie spectacles on the floor next to the tatty briefcase.

Pippin Potter the Italian Greyhound’s house

Pippin Potter the Iggy – Brutus’s good friend had taken a telephone call. Bronte and her new sister Latte were having coffee in the garden while discussing puppies and stuff.

Suddenly Pippin’s phone rang, picking it up and dabbing his pointy snout, he replied ‘Pippin Potter here’.

Bronte looked up at her brother through the window and saw Pippin take a deep breath and compose himself.

‘I see, yes, we shall be right there’, Pippin said curtly and without saying a word, he and his Mum Denise quickly got into the car and drove off.

My House

We arrived home from the vet and I cannot even begin to explain to you how hard it was to drive back into my garden and see Rocky’s kennel and toys where we left them. The tennis ball that I threw to him the other night when he refused it was exactly where I left it, the garden looked so empty.

Brutus’s face pressed against the sliding door, he looked as anxious as when we had left him. His tail no longer wagging, his eyes frantically darted round to find his brother.

‘Mum, where is Rocky? Where is Rocky?’ Brutus barked loudly again and again.

Getting on to the sofa with Brutus, I clutched my big brown dog as I explained that Rocky had gone to Rainbow Bridge.

For some time afterwards, Brutus searched for Rocky, getting quite distressed when he saw Rocky’s collar and leash. My poor sensitive and gentle dog could not and would not settle and to this very day, he appears lost without Rocky.

Brutus toy

Brutus the day after Rocky died with his toy that our friend bought him.

Pippin Potter

Pippin is the head of the Iggy Club, he runs pretty much everything in it really and if you have followed my stories about the Italian greyhounds, you will know him very well.

Pippin arrived at my house with his Mum, I opened the door to let them in and Pippin took Brutus aside to talk to him.

‘I don’t think I know what to do without my brother?’ What do I do Pippin?’ Brutus said to his little friend. He tried so hard to be a brave dog but a life with Rocky was the only life he had ever known, he did not know how to ‘dog’ without him.

Placing a paw on Brutus’s head, Pippin then bent down and gently licked Brutus’s face, ‘You take charge of your garden and house, you put one paw in front of the other and you slowly but surely carry on. Your Mum needs you’. Pippin said firmly, ‘You’ve got this Brutus, you’ve got this’.

Brutus said nothing, Pippin said nothing but both dogs just sat there quietly while the tiny Italian greyhound frequently touched Brutus with his paw just to let him know he was there.

Pip and Brutus 1

I’ve got you buddy, I’ve got you

The kiss

This was taken a couple of hours after Rocky went, Pippin cleaned Brutus’s snout

‘Pippin?’ Brutus asked him a few minutes later.

‘Yes Brutus?’ Pippin replied.

‘How will I know how to protect my house without Rocky?’ Brutus sniffed and wiped his eyes.

Pippin looked at him thoughtfully before responding, ‘One day it will come to you and one day when that time is right, you will do it’.

Nothing more was said between the two boys but Pippin managed to send a group message to the Iggy club saying ‘Rainbow Bridge update – the Kelpie has landed’, while discreetly dabbing his eyes with his silk handkerchief.

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The Kelpie has landed

So what now?

The house is different, Kevin seems to have taken over everything and I mean everything. He initially was unsettled, unhappy and more aggressive than normal but is getting better.

He and Brutus play fight more now, they chase each other round the house, Brutus has started to pounce like a cat which is a bit ridiculous and Kevin is back to humping his blankets with his toys in his mouth which is even more so.

Will we get a second dog? No, I don’t think we will. But I would be lying if I said that I miss having a kelpie because that is my favourite breed of dog ever. My health isn’t good enough for two dogs but if (and it’s a massive ‘if), we were to get another dog, we would look at a middle aged rescue kelpie in need of a loving home rather than a pup.

The harsh realities of pet bereavement

Losing Rocky has broken me and I don’t mind admitting it. Now I don’t give a stuff if someone thinks it is an over reaction or it is ‘just a dog’ because it is dogs that give us companionship, loyalty, service (as working dogs), and trust, and they expect nothing in return. So I make no excuses or apologies for the grief that I am showing for my kelpie because he was my dog, my mate and I was lucky to have had him in my life.

Thanks to…

Thank you to Spearwood Vets (once again), for their kindness, care and compassion that was shown to Rocky, my husband and myself on that day and thank you for the beautiful flowers as well.

Flowers

Flowers from our lovely vets

Paw print jpg. 2

Sent to us by our vets – a lasting memory

Samantha Rose © Copyright September 2018

All rights reserved.

A Forbidden Love (Bronte and Rocky)

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

Glasses

Rocky in his Kelpie Spectacles

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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Brutus always expects stuff to be organised for him

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brutus sulking twice

Brutus – an expert on sulking

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rocky and Pippin

Rocky and Pippin – members of the Sensible Club

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

Bronte and Rocky

Rocky and Bronte – a forbidden love

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At the End of the Walk

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

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

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

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Sweet Kelpie Dreams (of Bronte)

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

In Denise’s Car

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

‘Bronte!’ Pippin chastised her.

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

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

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

IMG_0639Bronte the pretty girl

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Back at Home

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

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

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

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

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

Later that afternoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the question is – will he?……

To be continued…..

 

The Sweet Dreams of Brutus

*Disclaimer*

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

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

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

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

Those darned nails again!

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

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

Rocky dogRocky and Gordon laughing at Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

11880405_10153077699183317_2151334692541059425_nI shall vomit any second now – said Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

On the morning of the operation

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

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

At the Vets

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

11873353_10153074559723317_1257505242758641125_nBrutus looks for a distraction

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

‘You win’ Brutus nodded vigorously.

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

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

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

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

On the ward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carry on bestBrutus in bed

(Photograph from Google images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PurpleBeing a good boy is important to Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

Later on….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photograph by Google Images)

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

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

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

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

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

10850087_746985655389483_27126447455886745_nBrutus and Vader the boxer – best of friends

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

IMG_9089Fat Harry the Italian greyhound (I love this dog)

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photograph by Google Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11096433_10152811819433317_9032761375785145492_nChewy does disapproving very well you know

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

Photograph by Google Images and Tameka

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

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

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

CopPD Rumble – the finest cop dog in WA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Z copPD ‘Z’ – Brutus’s friend

(Photograph by Google Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Pippin?’ Brutus asked Pippin sleepily.

‘Yes Brutus’ Pippin replied

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back home

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

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

11917674_10153078421973317_3770795908447460476_nBrutus was actually crying in this photo – no kidding

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The next day….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright August 2015

Thanks and Acknowledgements

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

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

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

So thank you guys and keep up the good work.

Samantha

The Mystery of Exploding Dog Beds

10259254_10152248642553317_6104689788961268852_o

 Brutus ponders on why his beds ‘explode’

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

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

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

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

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

10376162_10152193951678317_3378029736955341117_n

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

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

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

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

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

In the garden – late at night

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

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

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

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Brutus – the master of pissing down his own legs!

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

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

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

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Rocky Dog – he is a fan of no-one

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

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Vader the boxer (and his unfeasibly large tongue)

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

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

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Vader’s exploding bed!

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

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

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

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Brutus – one minute he is asleep on his bed

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The next minute it has exploded everywhere!

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

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And those plants – they were so naughty!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Rocky?’ Brutus whispered from his bed.

‘Yes Brutus?’ Rocky replied.

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

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

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

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Brutus – Admit to nothing!

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

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Even Mouse Norris was a victim of her bed exploding!

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

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Rocky – trying to sleep with his gingerbread man

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

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

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Rocky implicated in TWO exploding beds

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

In Vader’s House

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

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Vader is very sorry for the bed he DID NOT destroy

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

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

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Vader and Brutus – members of The Good Boys Club

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

Always remember..

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

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

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright July 2014

All is fair in love (and lure coursing)

10525871_671147862973263_2402178646121030253_nBrutus – always second best to the lure

At Brutus’s house

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outside the veterinary hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Sounds of whispering and giggling from Anne and Dolly)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10352827_10152176710677136_7274661883758195746_nSchnauzers – talking in German you know

In Recovery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10351729_10154476281985206_3291143147023844551_nWhippets in glasses

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

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

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

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

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

Back at Millie’s House

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

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

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

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

Back at Brutus’s House

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

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

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

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

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

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

10426701_671147892973260_9064432844046885149_nRocky pesters Brutus for information

Later that night

(Sound of Millie’s mobile phone ringing)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AbbotBrutus, Tony Abbott and the Carrot – enough said

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright July 2014

A Day at the Races – Part Two

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

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

The Night Before the Race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10313693_638201819601201_8863388431303389228_nRacing Day – May 17th 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10268500_638770302877686_6189505151142907765_nPip – the Italian Greyhound

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

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

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

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

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

10152408_10152031020358317_1821676939_nMouse sets the field alight with her speed

(Photo by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MillieMillie the border collie

(Photo by Melissa Jones)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10338314_10152109070433317_8613175089878768202_nBrutus grins at Vader as he runs by

(Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12127_10203630234453761_6326404827359888024_nBrutus and Vader in their race

(Photo by Melissa Jones)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10291250_10152109257718317_6496861358763547970_nFriends for life!

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

10338823_10152109132393317_3554137582278846980_nBrutus is overcome by Vader’s farts!

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

10366294_10152109132448317_7670961081761961692_nSleepy Brutus!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10295765_10152109256063317_4240338976105511093_nMaking friends is what it’s all about!

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

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

Until next time

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright May 2014

A Day at the Races

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

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

1619285_10152411120332652_747625567_nThe next coursing event 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1939620_604746629613387_1059845108_n‘Brutus cleans Vader’s jowls’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1958211_597413007013416_1230134635_nBrutus is very proud of his Tony Abbott doll

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

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

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

Team Kelpie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brutus and Vader

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1974392_10151937673462136_983204_oBoys taking a rest (Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

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

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

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

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

The next race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A time to shine

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

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

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

10009323_604817362939647_1738074733_nTired boys!

Back home

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

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

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

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

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

1017418_583764918378225_1871994407_nRocky and Brutus discuss the coursing!

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

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

Later that night

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

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

‘Rocky?’ Brutus asked Rocky later that evening.

‘Yes Brutus?’ Rocky replied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And with that answer, Brutus was more than happy.

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

1534290_608138019274248_1581010844_n

The end

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright March 2014

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

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

946812_10151504745738317_1181494632_n

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1185291_609323642489019_183838132_nGordon patiently explains about Rainbow Bridge to Brutus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image

My beautiful tortoiseshell cat – Juniper

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

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

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

ImageJuniper explains to Gordon about Rainbow Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Then what happened?’ Brutus asked.

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

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

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

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

‘What happened then?’ Brutus asked Gordon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageRema at a lure coursing event in Devon

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Gordon and Rema discuss Rainbow Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageGordon chats to Rocky about Rainbow Bridge

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

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

(sounds of Rocky coming in from the garden)

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

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

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

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

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

ImageBrutus ponders on his thoughts about Rainbow Bridge

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

*Fast forward to this week – March 2014*

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

ImageBrutus and Vader the boxer discuss Rainbow Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

According to our pets of course.

The End…..

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

Samantha Rose (c) Copyright March 2014

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

ImageRocky can ‘do smart’ when he has to!

 

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

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

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

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

ImageBrutus and his new friend Vader

 

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

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

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

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Best friends and sharer of boxer mucous!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘You bastard!’ Vader yelled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rocky stared back and said ‘Catch ya later’

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

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

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

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

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

‘I thought you hated Vader’ Brutus asked Rocky.

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

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

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

‘Love ya Rocky, you are my new best friend!’ Vaders voice yelled from over the fence – still panting from his walk.

‘Wanker!’ Rocky shouted back.

And with that all three boys burst out laughing, sniggering in a way that only naughty dogs can.

Image

Best friends? Who knows but one day at a time and all that.

Don’t Miss The Morning! (so Rocky says)

I am beginning to realise that my ‘baby’ Ridgie-Kelpie is more than a touch too spoilt, as is Rocky dog.

Each and every Saturday/Sunday morning at 6.30am without fail, Rocky waits by our bedroom door whinging, telling me to ‘hurry up, get a move on, be quick or we will miss it’.

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Rocky doesn’t want to miss the morning

‘What will we miss Rocky?’ I have asked him on each occasion that I would like to stay in bed for just an hour longer.

‘Life’ He replied, ‘We are missing out on life, it’s started and it comes with tennis balls’.

My little black ‘beetle dog’ as he is known, trembles outside my door which ultimately makes the normally lazy Brutus get up in his crate and demand to be let out so he too can catch ‘life and its tennis balls’ before it passes him by.

That is my hint to get up. I open Brutus’s crate and he always stares at me thoughtfully, pondering on whether or not life will wait for him, Rocky decides on Brutus’s behalf that life in fact waits for noone and neither do tennis balls and Brutus stands up, and as he gets out of his crate, he stretches his long, brown and muscular body and uses his whippy tail to whip the shit out of my legs, the bin and anything else it may come into contact with. It is now 6.35am.

I let both boys out into the garden, Brutus idly stares at the Yucca and palm trees and licks his lips, should he eat them yet or is it too early for a ‘green breakfast’? However, he is still half asleep and hasn’t quite got Rocky’s mindset that ‘life is a tennis ball that needs to be caught and played with until your hips give out and you die, then you go to doggy heaven where you can chase tennis balls until your hearts content or you piss God off by barking and he is forced to put a religious ‘bark collar’ around your neck.

Sleepily I set about fixing the boys breakfast and put a scoop of dog chow in each bowl, placing one bowl in Brutus’s crate, then I tidy his favourite fluffy cot blanket which he literally refuses to settle unless he has it. I have to wash it, put it in the drier and then give it back to him and woe betide me if I don’t. Actually, I am on the lookout for spare thick fluffy cot blankets if anyone has spares they no longer use.

6.45am – I am tired and this time I vow to myself that I will go back to bed with Abdel and leave Brutus in his puppy crate, enjoying his dog chow and he WILL go to sleep afterwards.

Except that doesn’t happen, it never happens and I don’t even know why I try and fight it for I, have created a big brown 30kg 10 month old monster – my ridgie-kelpie Brutus, yes I have made him spoilt and he knows, I know it and Rocky knows it – hell even Gordon knows it.

I call the boys in, Brutus goes straight into his open crate and Rocky goes straight back to his bed – so far so good (not!).

Shutting the crate, I can hear Brutus noisily and hungrily snarfing down his breakfast, he is such a noisy and piggy little eater – he loves his food and would eat shit if you put sauce on it, actually he has eaten Gordons shit without sauce on it.

I creep out of the living room and sneak back into the bedroom, my goodness, I am hiding from my own dogs.

6.50am – I am back snuggled in bed with Abdel. He takes no notice of me, he knows there is no point, he knows exactly what will happen and he turns to his side and goes back to sleep.

6.55am – sounds of Brutus whinging doing high pitched puppy cries.

‘You have to come back now! Life is happening, we shall miss it and it comes with tennis balls and palm trees for me to chew!’ Brutus shouts from his crate. Rocky looks on proudly, he has this ‘life thing’ well and truly sussed, you would have to get up early in the morning to catch him out because life will never pass him by, he simply will not allow it to (just like a tennis ball).

(sounds of me sighing)

7.00am – ‘That’s it, I have my drugs to take at 7.30am, I may as well get up now’ I said rather feebly to Abdel.

No answer was the loud reply.

7.002am, I am in the kitchen making a coffee, grabbing my medication to take with it, I stared at Brutus who was in his crate, gripping the corner of his fluffy blanket looking very ‘puppy-like’ in his actions. I guess he is still a puppy at 10 months and it is all to easy to forget that when you look at his size and weight.

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Brutus – still a ‘baby’ at 10 months old

Grabbing the blanket, I snuggle up with my iPhone on the sofa and play a few games of ‘Bejewelled’. Rocky walks up to me as he does each and every Sat/Sun morning, he puts his two front paws on the sofa, rests his huge kelpie head on my chest so I get a whiff of dog-breath, and he leans with his hind legs on the floor so it technically doesnt constitute being on the sofa – something he is not allowed to do. However, it still constitutes a ‘kelpie cuddle’ as the little black dog wraps his front paws around my arm and happily falls asleep while snuggling down into my fleecy PJ top.

(sounds of scratching at the door)

‘Oh god, here we go’ I mutter to myself.

‘Quick, it’s starting – ‘life’ is happening and we cant miss it and it comes in the form of ‘Snappy Tom’ cat food!’ Gordon yells from his bedroom in his ginger voice.

‘Bloody hell’ I sigh and then get up to let Gordon out so he too doesnt miss out on ‘life’.

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Gordon also doesn’t like to miss out on life (or Snappy Tom)

7.10am – I am back curled up on the sofa, sipping my coffee, taking my drugs. Rocky is back on his bed fast asleep, Gordon is happily watching life go by from the dining room window and Brutus has stopped crying like a girl, and is fast asleep snoring like a piglet.

They know I am on the sofa wrapped up in a blanket, they know I will remain here until breakfast and not one of them shall make a sound, they are fast asleep and they are content.

They are also too spoilt, they know it and I know it. This is a weekly occurrence, the 6.30am wake up call, the call to tell me that life is happening, grab it and don’t let go.

For if I was to go back to the bedroom, Brutus would cry, Rocky would wait by the bedroom door and Gordon would just say ‘fuck you’ and destroy the blinds.

I could of course go back to sleep on the sofa should I want to. Except that the sounds of the parrots and birds in my garden is too nice to ignore and I don’t want to miss it, the silence surrounding that is very peaceful indeed. So I won’t go back to bed, I shall stay here.

Besides, we are going out in an hour or so for breakfast with the boys and then take them round the park.

Brutus and Rocky spoilt? Yeah, I reckon they are but what can I say – you have to get up early, life is happening.

And it is happening with tennis balls (according to Rocky).

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright Sept 2013