Toppa goes to QLD

22Toppa Fran ForbesToppa the Iggy strikes a pose

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Is your bum clean?’ Pippin demanded.

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

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

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

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

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

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the plane a while after take off

Toppa Jeni SachToppa – flying high to QLD

(Photograph by Jeni Sach)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to QLD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back in Perth

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

‘What’s up?’ Pippin asked sleepily.

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

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

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

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

ECF

At Fran’s House in QLD

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

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Gracie introduces herself to Toppa

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later that night

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

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

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

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

Amex and Shine burst out laughing.

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

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

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

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

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

amex shine and toppa

Amex, Shine and Toppa

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

To be continued…..

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright February 2015

Brutus, Vader, Guns (and rifles)

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Vader the boxer – confused about canine weaponry

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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Vader admires Brutus’s muscles

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘See you later Vader’ Brutus said quietly.

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

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

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Rocky lied to Brutus about his ‘rifles’

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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Gordon finds Brutus’s gullibility so very funny

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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Brutus is dreaming about his ‘rifles’

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

‘What’s up Vader?’ Brutus barked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tess – loves teasing her brother Vader

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

‘Mum?’ Brutus barked.

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

‘What’s a shot gun?’ said Brutus.

(deep sigh)

‘Brutus, I think we need to talk……..’

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Brutus – so many questions

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright February 2015

Chinese (Crested) Whispers and your dog

Pippin was sat at his desk wearing his half rimmed spectacles whilst attempting to do his spreadsheets on the laptop and yes, dogs can and do wear spectacles, even if they have no glass in them in a bid to look more intelligent and what is more, they can use computers as well but you should all know that by now, especially if you have dogs yourself.

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Pippin Pringle at his computer

(Photograph by Denise Pringle)

(sounds of Pippin’s phone ringing) ‘Hello, Pippin Pringle here’ Pippin said in his clipped posh voice that sounds a bit like ‘BBC English’ in the way they announce a war.

10670274_746996402055075_82575937971292471_nPippin – speaks in a ‘BBC English’ accent you know, just imagine him with spectacles on the end of his nose

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Yes it’s Amex here, we have it on good authority that Toppa will be coming to QLD to show Mum the ropes about showing, can you pass on the news that he must have his bags packed ASAP and tell him whatever he does, he must not bring budgie smugglers’. Amex said full of his own importance at such wonderful news that would send the Iggies from all over Australia and Puerto Rico, completely into meltdown.

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Amex in QLD – giving Pip the good news!

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

‘What? Are you sure?’ Pippin gasped causing Bronte to put down her edition of ‘Lure Coursing and the modern day Bitch’ and look up at him for answers. ‘Toppa is going to QLD to hang out with Amex and the gang’ Pippin mouthed to Bronte while covering the phone with his paw.

‘OMG, do you think I could come? I have always wanted to travel’ Bronte said excitedly as she had mental visions of her lazing on Surfers Paradise in a skimpy bikini purchased from a trendy surf shop, wearing over sized sunnies while sipping cold water and watching the hot-dogs go by.

IMG_9510Bronte (left) pleads to be able to come to QLD

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘No, the invite isn’t for you, it’s for Toppa and we had better get the word out ASAP so he can prepare himself for the QLD show ring’ Pippin said firmly, and then added ‘OK Amex, I’ll spread the word and will speak to you later’.

Within ten minutes, Pippin had circulated the news round the entire Iggy group, well with the assistance of Bronte who was ‘snap chatting’ on her phone and had even passed it on to the Texas Iggy Group who had promised faithfully to tell the Iggies in the rest of the USA.

‘I must tell Brutus’ Bronte said fretfully, she had run out of dogs to tell and still had a burning desire to tell someone – anyone, so she would tell Brutus as he had a tendency to hang off her every word purely because she was a girl and she was pretty.

Before Pippin could tell Bronte that Brutus is not a proper Iggy, only a pretend one, Bronte was on the phone to him.

‘Hi Bronte, how are you doing?’ Brutus said putting on his posh voice but really he sounded like Mick Dundee from Crocodile Dundee – in fact, that is actually Brutus, well it could be if Brutus were human.

Brutus 2Brutus – AKA ‘Forrest Gump or Mick Dundee’

(Photograph by Francesca Perino)

‘I am fine thanks, I’ve got some news for you’ Bronte said quickly, ‘Toppa is going to QLD to teach Amex’s Mum about the show-ring and they will be all sunbathing on Surfers Paradise with the hot-dogs’.

Now I have explained in my blogs/stories before that when dogs get news or one dog on the street barks at invisible intruders and garbage men, that ‘Canine Chinese Whispers’ always follows and what starts off as one conversation will end up in another entirely.

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Hamish the Chinese Crested dog and is in charge of all doggy newspaper releases for the CCW

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Canine Chinese Whispers or CCW are always started by Chinese Crested dogs – they are the best at it you see and even if you don’t have a Chinese Crested dog on your estate or suburb, you can bet your bottom dollar that one will have started the rumour from somewhere and spread it around for other dogs to feed on and enjoy.

Because really, what fun are the garbage men if they are just garbage men, when in fact if you ask a Chinese Crested, they can be garbage men with super bones in their pockets, out to eat your family and rip your toys up and shit on your lawn?

Chinese Crested dogs are such majestic and marvellous dogs, they can make any story worth listening to and everything so much more exciting in the ordinary world of a dog that may spend time on his own in the garden.

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A Chinese Crested – preparing for Canine Chinese Whispers

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Anyway, Brutus being Brutus totally got the wrong end of the stick and carried the ‘CCW stick’ and run with it like the Olympic Torch, because he really thought that both he and Vader were invited as Brutus only hears what he wants to hear.

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Brutus – he has selective hearing with those satellite ears

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘What? QLD? OMG, I think I might shit myself!’ Brutus yelled and then promptly farted before hanging up leaving Bronte open mouthed in shock at such a response.

‘Shitting oneself for Toppa going to QLD is a bit much don’t you think?’ Bronte said to Pippin and then shrugged her shoulders and wondered who else she could tell.

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Bronte – who else could she tell?

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Brutus grabbed his mobile and ignoring the surprised looks from Rocky, called Vader to tell him the news.

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Rocky is surprised by Brutus’s announcement

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Vader, it’s Brutus – we have been invited to QLD to be life guard dogs on Surfers Paradise and we have to wear board shorts which we can stuff with socks to make our genitals look bigger!’ Brutus said happily.

‘Oh my god!’ Vader barked and then choked on his tongue and had to sick it up again so that he could continue the conversation. ‘I must tell Tess!’

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Vader – am I really going to America?

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Tess, Brutus and I are going to America to see some Iggies from QLD so we can be film stars in a Bond movie and we get to wear a Tuxedo and budgie smugglers and hang out with Tony Abbott’ Vader said importantly while quietly farting in excitement causing the cats to cover their noses and say stuff like ‘Jesus Christ that stinks’.

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Brutus and Vader think they are going to be Bond Dogs

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Tess looked thoughtful and being rather different as a Powderpuff girl and having pink paws, she had never been one for Canine Chinese Whispers and thought she should do the sensible thing and call Bronte to get the truth.

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Tess – a Powderpuff but not into whispers

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Hi Bronte, it’s Tess – what’s this about the boys going to America to be Bond stars?’ Tess asked Bronte.

‘Oh dear, no it’s Toppa going to QLD to show Amex’s Mum about dog shows and stuff, Brutus and Vader are not invited’ Bronte said firmly.

‘Not invited?’ Tess gasped and then looked at Vader who was pretending that his tongue was a red Hollywood style carpet and trying to persuade the cats to walk on it.

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Vader using his tongue as a red carpet

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Nope, this is Toppa’s adventure, good God, can you imagine Brutus and Vader on a plane?’ Bronte giggled.

At Toppa’s House

By now the news had got back to Toppa that he was going to QLD and he was busy packing his Iggy suitcase which consisted of some clothes, a selection of collars, his favourite toy, some dog magazines and a bone.

‘I-am-going-to QLD!’ Toppa grinned as he poked his reflection in the mirror.

Toppa

Toppa – going to QLD but will he pick up a QLD accent?

(Photograph by Jeni Sach)

He wondered if he would learn to speak in a QLD accent, perhaps he should start practising now in the hope that nobody would know any different when he got there.

He briefly toyed with the idea of being nervous of flying but then remembered how Brutus told him that he has flown around the lure coursing grounds before and he was OK, so quickly squashed those nerves on the head.

So Toppa is going to QLD to hang out with Amex and the gang, will he come back with a QLD accent? Will he start wearing Steve Irwin style shirts and shorts and will he develop a love for surfing and hot bitches on the beach?

Who knows, not me that’s for sure – I make it up as I go along so quite frankly, anything could happen.

To be continued.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright January 2015

All photographs remain copyright of the photographers, please do not use them or reproduce them without their consent.

Rocco’s Christmas

Rocco

Rocco

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas Party at Pippin Pringles House

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

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

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Olive – the raider of the Christmas tree 

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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Fat Harry and the famine!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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Bronte (left) and Zara (right)

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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Fat Harry (I love him)

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

Rocco loves his mum

Rocco loves his Mum

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gidget – can’t promise anything about behaving!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bronte likes the boys to check out her bum!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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The Iggies getting ready to do some singing

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

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

Iggy Choir

Rocco left, Pippin middle and Fat Harry right

(Photograph from Google and ruined beyond recognition by myself)

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

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Fat Harry hitting those high notes!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

Away in a manger, no place for a dog

Cuzz Bro the Maori boi carved a bed from a log

The dogs were all happy and the cats went to stay

On the scratch post he made them

And they ran off to play

 

Some dogs go cold and hungry

Some have no bones

While some have no toys

And some have no homes

 

We Iggies are so lucky

That we are loved and well fed

And at night we are cuddled

And tucked up in our beds

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

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Madam Gigi – she can get those Iggies singing!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

Unexpected Visitors

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

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

‘Hark the herald angels sing

Glory to the new born king’

‘Give me food and give me toys

Our Mums said we’re both good boys’

 

‘I didn’t mean to dig the garden

Belch in your face and not say pardon’

‘Hark the herald angels groan

I deserve a juicy bone’

‘We’re both good boys for our Mums

With our jowls and dirty bums’

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

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

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

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Brutus and Vader – never could hold their drink

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

‘Silent Night in my home

God protect me and my bones’

‘Happy and grateful for my Kong

My Mum thinks I can do no wrong’

‘I did chew up the palm tree

I did chew up the tree’

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

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

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Brutus and Vader – grown ups you know!

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hershey – have you been drinking beer?

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A bit about Rocco

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to the party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pippin getting into the Christmas spirit

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photograph by Fran Forbes)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pandora’s box of Rocco

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘What am I looking at?’ Rocco demanded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bowie ignored him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Keep looking’ Bowie instructed and Rocco kept looking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Bowie?’ Rocco asked him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to the party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back in their respective homes – tucked up in bed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rainbow Bridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas morning at Rocco’s house

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright December 2014

Acknowledgements and Thanks 

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

Iggy Club

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

(Photograph by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

*More photos to come*

Lure Coursing, breaking barriers and greyhound dramatics

10330344_10204119960096596_7112504982245364946_nThe poster that we all love to love and look forward to

(West Coast Dog Sports)

The day they had all been waiting for had arrived – yes you got it, it was lure coursing day at Kings Meadow Polo Grounds, Guildford.

As the last event had been cancelled, the dogs were more than ready for this and all you could hear was barking, yelping and sounds of boxer dogs flicking their snot everywhere and cries of ‘Vader has your tongue grown?’.

Because at this event there were more boxers than ever before and to be quite honest – the boxers stole the show.

10496924_687941054627277_1634787307464121344_o

Vader the boxer (and his tongue)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Brutus was upset that his Pharaoh hound boyfriend ‘Benny’ wasn’t there and even more so that Mouse wasn’t. They all get attached to each other you see and the slightest change in their routine can have them getting into more states than Australia.

‘Hi Mac, Hi Bailey’ Brutus said confidently as he rocked up to where they were crated.

‘Piss off’ Bailey snapped and put his head down – he was in a bad mood as Dee had foiled his plans to pull of a sausage heist and had made sure that whatever would blow over, it would not be their crates to enable their bid for freedom and food.

Brutus and Vader had turned up wearing their finest clothes – Vader was dressed as Superman and Brutus was dressed as a life guard which was laughable really as Brutus has all the buoyancy of a house brick and the only thing he could save is food and even that is questionable.

Brutus lifeguardBrutus the life saver (in his dreams)

(photo by Dee Cole)

10592950_10152334849148317_338218557600371576_nBrutus ‘the brick’ (in reality)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

‘Vader! Over here!’ three boxers belonging to Vicki Clements were all dressed up in their costumes.   Yelling at Vader to get his attentions; Vader looked round they all flashed their bums at him and started farting, boxers are like that you see – they have farting contests and can generally emit foul smells to order, usually in a car with the windows closed on Tonkin Highway (ask Lexie).

‘Vader – let’s have a turd competition!’ Dibbley the boxer shouted to Vader who grinned back at him just as Lexie said that no, there would be no ‘turd competition’ and to stop being so disgustingly juvenile.

Vader superdogVader as ‘Superdog’

(photo by Dee Cole)

You know that all boxer dogs speak in the same kind of slow voice, as though their tongues don’t fit in their mouth? (which of course they don’t), well imagine when a group of boxers meet and all of them talking in the same ‘full tongued’ kind of voice, all sounding slow and very special in a boxer kind of way and you will just about get the idea.

10551033_683596241728425_297137429613025875_nVader’s special magic ever-growing tongue 

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

I will say that in their favour; Boxers try ever so hard to be good but most of the time it just doesn’t happen – you can ask Dozer the boxer as he ate his way out of his soft crate and escaped to the sounds of the other boxers cheering and clapping and Vader yelling ‘Go on my son!’ and wriggling their bums as Dozer ran around the polo grounds shouting ‘Boxers rule the world!’.

Vicki boxer

Dozer the boxer (and crate breaker)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

But as you know, at every single lure coursing meet at least one dog has to escape and if at all possible, roll in horse shit for good measure – it’s The Law and today there was going to be more than one escapee and I shan’t tell you who it is as yet, you will have to be patient and wait.

10616404_10152744310382652_2553356192245478977_n

No such thing as a mature/sensible boxer!

(Photo by Dee Cole)

The Iggy Stand (hub of activity and generally where it all happens)

Rocco was sitting in his crate and swearing as usual, each dog that dared to go past him was duly told to ‘Piss off’ and insulted and even when no dogs walked by Rocco, he decided to swear at the invisible ones instead. IMG_6577

Rocco (fights with his invisible friends)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

All dogs have invisible dogs to swear at and blame for things so just in case you see your dog barking at fresh air, it is probably an invisible dog that has wound them up or something.

‘You know if I wasn’t in this crate I would eat you and rip your legs off limb by limb!’ Rocco shouted at an invisible American Staffie who just looked back at him and said ‘Yeah, really? and I could pull your legs apart like a wishbone’

‘Your mother is nothing but a street mongrel from Battersea Dogs Home!’ Rocco yelled before Madam Gigi had to gently remind him that Battersea Dogs Home was in London and that invisible dog friends had no parents.

‘Do you like my dress?’ Bronte asked Fletch who blushed before checking to see if Pippin was watching – he wasn’t so Fletch took an admiring glance up Bronte’s dress and nodded in approval.

‘Very nice, SpoiledBratz?’ Fletch asked knowingly – he is SO ‘up’ on his fashion is Fletch and what he doesn’t know about Prada or Gucci is not worth knowing.

Fletch can often be seen in his home with a tape measure around his neck and holding pins in his mouth as he measures the other Iggies for outfits – a bit like a doggy version of that guy Gok Wan the fashion expert.

‘Of course, where else?’ Bronte grinned and then immediately spotted Brutus in the distance and very quickly decided to turn her attentions to him as she had developed quite a crush on the big fella.

‘Brutus! Over here!’ Bronte shouted in her high pitched Iggy voice. Putting her slim paws in her ears; Madam Gigi shook her head and muttered something about ‘there is no need to shout’. Madam Gigi

Madam Gigi (not impressed with the shouting)

(Photography by Gwynneth Cavilla)

Ignoring Madam Gigi’s look of disgust, Bronte galloped across the grass to see Brutus so that he too could take a peek up her dress, after all with a bottom as cute as hers, who wouldn’t want to have a look?

‘Really she is such a flirt’ Fletch said with his lips pursed into a disapproving shape – a bit like a cats bum. Fletch

A disapproving Fletch (look at that cute little Iggy bum!)

(Photography by Denise Pringle)

‘I think it is time for me to faint’ Nica said and then looked around for her team to assist her by holding her ears back.  Apollo was even trained to carry bone flavoured smelling salts to bring Nica round, providing a suitable audience was there of course as Iggies love dramatics and a good audience is essential. Nica

Nica (can faint and vomit with the best of them)

(Photography by Francesca Perino)

But soon all thoughts of fainting went clean out of Nica’s head when she sighted Enzo in the car playing Pavarotti and pretending to be Italian.

Standing there with his tiny Iggy chest puffed out, he waived his arms about and sang in his best opera ‘Pavarotti’ voice while playing ‘Nessun Dorma’ on the car stereo.

The other Iggies clapped and cheered and some of the girls even threw their panties at him and those that were not wearing panties threw their collars instead. Enzo

Enzo (talks Italian and likes Pavarotti)

(Photography by Gabrielle Gill)

‘Enzo darling – how are you?’ Nica shouted as Enzo grinned back and kissed her on both cheeks in a very European way. ‘Looking fabulous as always my beautiful girl, let’s talk opera’ Enzo said in his fake accent.

‘Yes let’s’ Nica said and then clicked her paws to a random whippet and shouted ‘Can someone get us some dog-o-cinnos please’.

By the way, please don’t be surprised at Enzo’s love of opera, all Iggies love opera and singing and can do it beautifully.

Pippin happens to run the Iggy choir where they all gather once a week to practice their singing and in a gang of pointy snouts, they sing their souls out whilst wearing tiny starched white ruffles around their necks like the choir boys at Christmas.

One time Brutus was invited to the Iggy choir at Pippin’s house but only once as it didn’t turn out very well when Brutus ruined the whole event with his ultra deep voice.

By the time the song had finished, there was just Brutus left singing ‘All things bright and beautiful’ with such enthusiasm that he hadn’t noticed that the other Iggies were standing there looking on in horror at him singing in his deep voice with enough volume to fill St Pauls Cathedral.

‘Could you hear that OK?’ Brutus grinned proudly afterwards. choir dog

Brutus singing choir songs (better suited to the ridgeback choir – according to Pippin)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Poor old Pippin had stuffed toilet roll in his ears and gave Brutus a pained smile and replied ‘Yes Brutus, we heard it’ and then gently advised him that whilst he isn’t suitable for the Iggy choir, he could probably join the ridgeback one.

Rocco had no such tact and told him that he sounded like an elephant being castrated and as Brutus is still at the sensitive stage, he didn’t take it very well at all.

But that – as I often say, is another story entirely and as usual, I am digressing (so much to write you see and so many characters banging in my imagination to get out).

*Back to the race day*

Bronte had taken a momentary break from flashing her bum and was standing with a whippet looking at a catalogue for new clothes.  She was hoping that her Mum Denise would go on the next SpoiledBratz auction to get her some more cool stuff.

Actually Bronte would have rather liked some clothes from London and had seen a very nice dress with the Crown Jewels on it amongst other trendy clothes; but she hadn’t worked out a way to get Denise to buy them for her – yet.

‘This is all highly naughty, disorganised and irregular’ Pippin said fretfully as he tried to get the Iggies to behave and have some respect which was hard when Nica was flirting with Enzo and Bronte was still looking at the catalogue for new clothes while Brutus was admiring her ‘lady-garden’ under her dress.

Really when did they get so naughty and perverted? Talking of perverted, we won’t discuss Pippin’s penchant for humping male dogs in any which way he and because that would embarrass Pippin and I wouldn’t want to do that but I have actually seen it for myself.

‘Excuse me everyone, let us have a ‘pre race’ meeting so we can get organised.  Let’s stop all this nonsense and line up’ Pippin said using his ‘Don’t mess with me’ voice.

‘Rocco, what on earth do you think you are doing?’ Pippin demanded as he saw Rocco rolling around in his crate snarling like something rabid and angry.

‘Bashing the crap out of this invisible dog’ Rocco shouted ‘He is trying to kill me, but don’t worry, I got this covered’

Shaking his head in disbelief, Pippin picked up his mobile phone and resigned himself to a game of Candy Crush while he sat at Denise’s feet as she rubbed his ears. Hannibal Rocco

Rocco fighting with his invisible friends

(Photography by Jeni Sach)

Brutus – (high school jock and a letterman sweater)

It was to be Brutus’s first time doing the full course and whilst I would like to tell you that he took those corners like a gazelle and ran like a professional, that would be lying. Because I very quickly learned that not only does Brutus not ‘do’ corners; but he doesn’t appear to have a ‘stop button’ either. 10369915_665925536828829_4846034155693857016_n

Brutus (finger clicking flirter)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

He has also developed this rather embarrassing habit that I am almost too ashamed to admit to you but hey, you guys are like my family so here goes nothing.

Brutus is reaching sexual maturity and has just discovered that young hot bitches like him despite the fact that he has no testicles.

He is a very handsome dog and he incites giggles and flirtatious behaviour from the lady dogs wherever he goes.  (Some have even thrown their dog collars at him to get his attention). 10447056_663023523785697_7934537613617115507_n

Brutus (taking names and taking numbers)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Well when he did his solo race, he galloped by the side of the barrier and was clicking his fingers like one of the ‘High School Jocks’ in the movie ‘Grease’ – you know the ones on the sports pitch that wear Letterman sweaters.

‘Hey ladies, how are you doing, lunch tonight – my place?’  Much to the amusement of the group of female dogs at the side.

A Scottie dog called Penny pursed her lips to a ‘cat bum’ shape and said ‘Ohh, he is a bit forward isn’t he?’ in her Scottish accent and then immediately blushed when Brutus clicked his fingers, pointed at her and said ‘Loving your beard Ms Scotland!’

‘Oh you cheeky wee thing’ Penny the Scottie dog giggled and then remembered her breeding and that ‘nice dogs’ didn’t flirt back, at least not on the first date and they certainly never removed their collars for a boy.

Now I have no idea who has been teaching Brutus this but he is like a walking ‘chat-up’ machine as he runs along, winking, waiving and collecting phone numbers, panties and pink collars.

On one occasion a pretty female dog even threw her dog collar with address tag at him and said ‘Hey, call me!’ Someone told me that it was Rocco that taught him this trick, but others have said it was Vader which I don’t believe as Vader couldn’t possibly make clicking noises without his tongue falling out and slapping him violently.

So my money is on Rocco as I heard Pippin reprimanding him for teaching Brutus how to say ‘Show us your teats’.

Anyway, the second run for Brutus was with his beloved friend Vader and is always good for a laugh.  It was their first time running together on the full proper course and Brutus was showing off doing star jumps and press ups to make himself ‘match fit’ while Vader allowed his tongue to fall out and then lift it back in while insisting that it surely constituted as a warm up?

Dee Cole released Brutus and Lexie released Vader and I just stood there nervously with the camcorder so I could video the whole ‘event’, or should I say ‘scene’ as that is a far more suitable word. Brutus and Dee

Brutus and Vader – ready to race!

‘Ready Brutus?’ Dee asked the big clumsy brown dog.

‘Yep, bring it on – I am going to ‘do the Mouse’ and set the field alight (Mouse Norris taught him to say that).

‘Ready Vader?’ Lexie asked Vader who was trying to organise his tongue in his mouth so he didn’t trip over it.

‘Yeth’ Vader replied – ‘Yeth’ is said with your fat tongue between your teeth and if you say it now, you will know how Vader talks.

Suddenly the lure started and the boys were released!  My heart was bursting with pride, praying that Brutus would not social butterfly with the other dogs and do his embarrassing winking thing.

‘Ohhh, it’s Brutus!’ Penny the Scottie dog said in an excited voice while some whippets giggled near by and clapped.

PennyPenny the Scottie dog (a ‘Tartan’ breed of dog according to Vader)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Now if you imagine a Scottish person saying ‘Brutus’, it would be said rolling the ‘r’s and sound something like ‘Brootus’.  If you have trouble saying it in a Scottish voice, just ask a nice Scottish person to say it for maximum effect.

It all started off well, my heart was bursting with pride but then suddenly Brutus shouted ‘Oh shit, it’s a corner, what do I do?’

Brutus and Vader

Vader and Brutus (a promising start – where did it all go wrong?)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘You turn it Turd Legs’ Mac shouted from the distance while Bailey spat his water all over the puppies while laughing.

‘Did he just ask what to do with a corner? Are you sure he is half ridgeback?’ Mac asked Bailey who replied ‘Yes he did ask, yes he is half ridgeback but you have got to admit the lad is funny’  Mac nodded his head and agreed.

Mac and Bailey playing

Mac and Bailey (they love Brutus really)

(Photography by Dee Cole)

‘How do you do a turn Vader?’ Brutus asked but Vader was long gone and had taken to the course like a natural and had secured his tongue in his head and ran his heart out to the cheers of Vickie Clements boxers who were shouting their support in very slow but loud voices as boxer-snot was flung everywhere.

‘Someone help me, I can’t stop!’ Brutus cried and then ran straight under the barrier to the amusement of everyone watching while Penny the Scottie dog covered her eyes and said ‘Oh dear, Oh dear – poor Brootus!’ (Brutus)

The Samoyed who is a regular fixture on the lure coursing circuit and is the self appointed ‘Town Crier’ was now shouting ‘stampede, loose dog!’ and barking her head off to everyone telling them to get to the shelters to save their own lives and that of their puppies.

Brutus fence breakerBrutus – unable to take a corner and unable to stop

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Does anyone know where I am?’ Brutus yelled as his legs carried him outside the containment fence. Galloping along resembling a wonky donkey, people were laughing and cheering him on. ‘Vader, where am I?’ Brutus shouted, pretending not to be embarrassed, as though it were all part of the ‘big plan’ but secretly he was farting himself with nerves as his legs wouldn’t stop running and he found himself chasing the lure from the wrong side of the fence.

Brutus fence breaker Aug 2014Brutus (where am I?)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Yeah! go on my son!’ A large Saluki shouted from the sidelines as a gang of terriers barked insults at various invisible dogs, but don’t mind them, they were just having a ‘short dog syndrome’ episode.

Several of the Iggies had gathered round to watch Brutus joining the ranks of the ‘break free’ club which was started by the black Afghan that my husband compares to a black silken cloth floating down the race track.  Now when that dog escaped it was quite spectacular – especially when it rolled in horse shit, my husband still laughs about that.

Cloth dog Aug 2014The famous Afghan hound – AKA ‘the silken cloth dog’

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Brutus has broken out!’ Fletch shouted excitedly as Pippin looked up from what he was doing and tried to keep a straight face.  This was the one thing that every single dog aspired to do and that was to break out from the containment fence and have a good old run round a polo field and if they can find horse shit to roll in then that is a bonus.

‘Good job!’ Pippin grinned and then remembered his position of sensibility in society and that he had a reputation to uphold.

(sounds of Italian greyhounds giggling)

‘Oh my god our very own Brutus has broken out’ Rocco roared and at that point was so proud that he forgot to argue with his invisible friend and started to bark with excitement.

‘Brutus where are you?’ Vader shouted while looking round for his friend.

At that moment the girls opened the barrier for Brutus to run back in to and rejoin Vader.  As he went back in everyone clapped and cheered him while Brutus muttered ‘Thank God for that, I thought I would never find you!’

‘Let’s play!’ Vader grinned and then flicked his tongue on Brutus’s back leaving a trail of mucous and snot that could easily stick up wallpaper.

‘Yee ha! Did I win? – this has to be worthy of the Good Boy Award!’ Brutus shouted happily as he and Vader ran around each other joyously oblivious to everyone else.

‘That was so much fun, can we go again?’ Vader replied and then tried to pick his tongue back up as it fell out of his mouth on to the grass.

Vader snot Aug 2014Vader and Brutus playing on the race track – check out the snot on Brutus

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Now that, was priceless!’ Bailey said to Mac who was laughing so hard that he actually pissed himself.

‘Who is due to escape next?’ Bailey asked Mac who was cleaning himself up.

‘Oh that’s easy – It’s Melissa’s Staffords’ Mac nodded, ‘Can’t wait for that one’

Bailey laughed and took a drink of water from his bowl before spluttering it out through his nostrils as he was still laughing about Brutus.

Penny the Scottie dog (the pelmet on wheels with a fine set of ‘furnishings’)

Penny the Scottie dog who has been mentioned before was turning out to be quite a character on the race circuit.

With what can only be described as an ‘angry’ beard and a ‘furious’ set of eyebrows, the solid little black terrier stood proud in her white collar with red trim and black Scottie dogs printed down the side, finishing the look with a black and pink harness on her back.

Whilst our little lure coursing club is very multi cultural in terms of doggy nationalities, very few of the other dogs had heard a Scottish accent before and when Penny started to talk, they all stopped to listen.

(Imagine the following being spoken in a soft Scottish Highlander accent)

‘Well it is all very nice here isn’t it, what are we meant to do – chase that plastic bag?’ Penny asked and then started to rifle around in her handbag and offer some Scottish treats around to the other dogs.

‘Would you like a sweetie?’ Penny asked the other dogs who were looking back in amusement.

What on earth is a ‘sweetie’? – they were all wondering but if it went in your mouth then it couldn’t be that bad, unless it was a heart-worm table and then you had to be pretty desperate to enjoy one of those (OK, Brutus enjoys them but don’t tell him I told you that).

Before Penny had the chance to hand out any more ‘sweeties’ as she called them, she was led up to the starting point to start her race.

‘Excuse me young man, could you not look at my bottom!’ Penny said in a firm no-nonsense Scottish accent at a young ridgeback that had never seen such a furry anus in all his life.

‘OK, how hard can this be, hold on a minute, could somebody please tidy up the course, there is a plastic bag left lying around’ Penny demanded to nobody in particular.

‘The plastic bag is meant to be there, that is what you chase!’ shouted one of the greyhounds while the others laughed.

‘Well if you don’t mind, it is all very untidy and I like to keep a clean house’ Penny replied.

Penny actually reminds me of my Scottish friend Sandra and trust me on this, there is nothing quite like Sandra when she is on a cleaning mission and once the cleaning mission has ended, she is on an ironing mission and even irons underpants, in fact she would iron visitors if they stood still long enough and nobody had facial creases in her house.

You simply do not mess with a Scottish person on a cleaning mission because there is nothing quite like being told off by someone with a Scottish accent.

Before she knew it Penny’s owners had released her to chase the lure and all thoughts of handing out ‘sweeties’ and tidying up the grass had gone out of her head and she ran as fast as her stumpy legs would carry her.

‘Oh dear, oh dear, where did the plastic bag go?’ Penny squeaked in a high pitched voice as she glided down the track looking like like she was on wheels where her legs were hidden by the ‘Scottie dog’ traditional ‘furnishings’.

‘That looks like a curtain pelmet on wheels’ Rogue the staffie said looking highly confused.

‘You leave her furnishings alone!’ said a miniature schnauzer looking somewhat insulted as he had some pretty fine ones himself.

Rogue looked at Millie who was staring at Penny in awe and whispered ‘Pelmet on wheels’ and then added ‘But super cute all the same’. Penny 2

‘Penny – the pelmet on wheels’

(Photography by Studio Joy)

And for her first time at lure coursing, she did very well indeed and by the time she had finished her run, quite a gang of dogs had gathered round the barrier to cheer her on.

‘Well that was very nice thank you’ Penny gasped as she was led off the track looking somewhat dishevelled, and then added ‘Can I do it again?’

‘What breed of dog is that?’Millie the border collie asked Vader.

Vader who was trying hard to impress Millie, replied confidently ‘A tartan one’. Looking more than a little puzzled, Millie mouthed the word ‘Tartan?’ and wondered whether or not to question Vader but decided not to.

After all Vader was a dog of the world and had been in Star Wars movies and even Superman movies, that is what he told her and if he said it was true, then it had to be.

Astro the greyhound (AKA – the ‘pole breaker’)

Astro the greyhound is as serious about lure coursing as Abigail who won the ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ contest.

Nothing stops Astro and when I say nothing, I mean it literally as Astro is a true sportsman as most greyhounds are.

I was standing by the fence and actually saw this happen and it was almost in slow motion for me as I prayed that this dog would not hurt himself and how he didn’t is nothing short of a miracle.

Astro ran with such passion and all the other greyhounds were cheering him on as they always did when quite suddenly he hit one of the plastic poles that had a wooden stick inserted through it that was stuck in the ground.

‘Oh shit!’ Astro shouted and before he could say anything else, he jumped high into the air as the stick snapped in half through the tubing and part of it came out.

‘I can’t look, is he OK?’ Brutus asked Vader nervously. Vader didn’t reply as he had covered his own eyes while little Millie the border collie was nervously looking around wondering whether or not to go down and help but as her Mum had just bought a bacon roll, Millie thought it safer to remain where she was and ‘assist’ her Mum in eating it.

Astro Aug 2014

Astro – the pole breaker!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘It’s OK everyone, it’s OK!’ Astro shouted as he quickly regained composure, looked at the broken fence post as though it had assaulted him before continuing the course like a ‘boss’ as the other dogs clapped and cheered in support.

‘Impressive, highly impressive’ said Mac as Bailey nodded in agreement.

‘It’s turning out to be quite good today I reckon’ Amira the ridgeback thought to herself before leaning around to wash her arse in a most un-ladylike fashion.

‘Nice one Astro, nice one!’ Brutus and Vader congratulated the greyhound as he was led off the course after finishing his run.

‘Phew! that was close – nearly made myself into a spit-roast’ Astro laughed nervously as his long legs were literally shaking from shock as his owner took him away to get a drink and thank his lucky stars he was OK.

‘Did someone say food?’ A chunky Labrador that had heard the words ‘spit-roast’; asked  after being momentarily roused from his slumber as all good Labradors have to be on the lookout for food in whatever form it takes.

Abigail – (it’s only a flesh wound)

Abigail as you may remember, won the Fastest Dog in Australia competition.  A senior greyhound with a passion for lure coursing, food and cuddles from her Mum. Abigail 1 Aug 2014

Abigail – ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ title holder

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Are we good to go, can I go yet?’ Abigail said in a manic voice as the other greyhounds had formed a crowd by the fence to support their friend.

When greyhounds do lure coursing, there is always a crowd at the side and it is usually a flurry of pointy snouts nodding sharply to the point they could almost be weapons of ‘snout destruction’.

‘Remember, if in doubt – chase it, if it doesnt stop chase it and if in doubt chase it again and if not, piss on it’ One greyhound said confidently while the others agreed passionately.

‘Good luck Abigail!’ Pippin shouted and gave the black greyhound the ‘thumbs up’ sign.

‘There goes our pride and joy of WA’ Pippin said proudly and suddenly wished that Mouse Norris was here to add her support.

Actually Abigail is a joy to watch on the track and really does enjoy the whole lure coursing experience. She and Mouse Norris have been known to meet up after dark and discuss racing tactics and ways of improving themselves.

When Mouse did her entry for Fastest Dog in Australia, Abigail broke free from her owner and gatecrashed Mouse’s session as she ran and while Mouse tried to ignore her, Abigail wasn’t having a bar of it and and thoroughly enjoyed herself running up and down trying to get the lure while Mouse told her to ‘piss off’ and pretend she wasn’t there.

Abigail fastestAbigail with her trophy – age is no barrier for this girl

(Photography by Hannah Ruth Ogden)

Abigail was released for her turn and as the lure went past with Abigail in hot pursuit; I had the pleasure of watching her gallop with ease across the track whilst shouting ‘Catch me if you can losers!’

At first I didn’t realise what she had done but I saw her suddenly limp with her front left leg and then with her right hind leg.

‘I am OK, I am OK!’ Abigail cried as she lifted each leg in turn to try and carry on while shouting  ‘Shit that hurts, I am OK! let me at that lure!’

It didn’t take a genius to see that she had really hurt herself but the adrenaline had kicked in and Abigail wanted to complete her race.  Thankfully she was caught and reluctantly forced off the course, I say reluctantly – she was swearing her head off and using worse language than Rocco fighting a team of invisible dogs.

‘Oh no, she has hurt herself!’ One of the greyhounds gasped and then beckoned Pippin over to take control of the situation.

Grabbing his mobile phones and a tiny Iggy sized first aid kit containing nothing but a bandaid as that was all he could carry, Pippin ran down to the track just in time to see Abigail being carried off by her owner to the car to be driven to the emergency vet.

‘It’s OK, it’s just a flesh wound – I will be fine, who needs toes anyway, they are overrated!’ Abigail ranted loudly.

The Samoyed (AKA ‘The Town Crier’) was already on the case and had invented her own version of events and was shouting ‘The greyhound has lost all of her legs but don’t worry, she can still win the greyhound Derby!’ Samoyed 2

The Samoyed – ‘Town Crier’

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘What – all of her legs, really?’ Monty the Brussels Griffon gasped.

The Samoyed nodded and replied firmly ‘Yes Abigail has lost at least 6 of her legs in that race’.

Monty ran up to his brother Dozer the boxer ‘Dozer, do dogs have 6 legs?’ Dozer couldn’t think of a reply so he choked on his tongue as he tried not to laugh as that was a question that made even a boxer sound intelligent. MOT

Monty – a dog of many legs

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘Lure coursing newsflash – greyhound injured, call the medics!’ the Samoyed shouted to a puzzled audience of Italian greyhounds and of course all the dramatics were enough to make Nica faint in a ‘pile of Iggy’ and Enzo bring her round with his handsomeness.

Things were somewhat more subdued after Abigail was carried off, even the Samoyed had stopped announcing stuff and couldn’t think of anything to talk about and that my friends is saying something.

The Great Iggy Run

Every lure coursing meet the Iggies have their own race ‘The Great Iggy Run’ which usually has a few humans in it for good measure.  It is the highlight of the day watching these tiny fragile dogs run at various speeds down the track and when their humans compete, it totally ‘makes’ it. Diana Anderson

Humans are welcome in the Great Iggy Run

(Photography by Diana Andersen – Animal Images Photography)

Brutus being their staunchest supporter, is always by the fence cheering them with his loud booming voice yelling as they run past.

It is always good to watch – especially Rocco who is known to shout ‘Bollocks, you are all fat and you are all ugly’ as he runs past the dogs watching at the side.

Bronte has been known to flash her ‘lady-garden’ and Pippin having won the Fastest Iggy in Australia, gets the cheers for doing the Iggy group proud. So it is good to watch and the little dogs look so comical as they run along, Fletch always waves to everyone as he goes by and the other Iggies just squeal with delight as this is THEIR time to shine.

If you ever get the chance to go to see them run, you will hear them squeaking in their high pitched voices – a bit like the little people in ‘Wizard of Oz’ where they sound as though they have breathed in large volumes of helium, really it is quite fabulous.

‘Your arse is grass’ Bronte said to Pippin, vowing to steal his title of fastest dog.

‘Who on earth taught you that profanity?’ Pippin demanded as he stretched ready to be released for the race. ‘Or don’t I need to ask that?’

‘Don’t look at me, why are you looking at me, I always get the blame!’ Rocco shouted in a voice that screamed ‘Guilty as sin’ and then shouted ‘Anal gland face!’ while Bronte giggled as it was indeed Rocco that taught her to say that and much more that Pippin didn’t know about yet.Iggy race

 The great Iggy race – highlight of the day

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Bronte actually beat Pippin in this run and did very well indeed.  Pippin cried ‘foul’ because Bronte wore such a short dress that it was suggested that the boys were led into temptation.

Madam Gigi and Nica were on Bronte’s side but Enzo and the rest of the boys were on Pippin’s but they have all insisted that there is no need for Bronte to stop wearing such short dresses as they are all entitled to a nice ‘view’.

Bronte Dress Aug 2014

Bronte in her dress

(Photography by Studio Joy)PippinPippin doing his race (the little dog with a big heart)

(Photography by Studio Joy)

 After the Great Iggy Run, all the Iggies all went back to the Iggy tent to regroup and Pippin was to be awarded his certificate for the Fastest Italian Greyhound in Australia and had to walk up to accept the certificate which made him blush as he was a humble dog that did not like ‘bigging’ himself up so to speak.

‘Speech! Speech!’ Rocco shouted while Fletch slammed his water bowl on the floor and replied ‘Here here!’ ‘Come on Pippin, give us few words!’

Madam Gigi smiled at the little Iggy that ran his group with a paw of iron but also looked on them as his family and he would do anything for them.

Bronte sat proudly in the corner wiping tears from her pointy face and tried hard not to openly cry.

Such displays of restraint did not go unnoticed by Nica who loved a bit of dramatics and decided to dig out a white silken handkerchief and cry as well.

‘You are not going to vomit are you?’ Bronte asked Nica, really there was no place for vomit at lure coursing because there was always another dog to eat the offerings and that ruined the dramatics of it all.

I mean what is the point in vomiting if some scabby dog is going to snarf it down straight afterwards so nobody sees it?

‘I would like to thank my servant (Mum) who buys me nice clothes from Spoiled Bratz and loves me.  I would like to thank my sister Bronte and everyone in the Iggy group and their owners that love me as much as I love them’.

Pippin looked round at the ‘Pointy snout brigade’ as he fondly referred to them –  greyhounds, whippets and Iggies all standing there to see him get his certificate and he was so proud he felt sure that his chest would burst.

‘Who wins the ‘Good Boy Award’? Bronte asked.

‘The same dog that always wins it as he is the only one that he can win!’ Rocco said while laughing.

‘Don’t be horrible Rocco, it’s his award and he loves winning it!’ Madam Gigi replied, Nica and Fletch nodded in support.

Pippin smiled and said in a voice loud enough for Brutus to hear ‘And the Good Boy Award for this month, goes to Brutus!’

Brutus who was washing his bottom, suddenly lifted his head up and said ‘Did someone say my name? Have I won the Good Boy Award, that is awesome!’

The Good Boy Award is something that has been invented just for Brutus as he doesn’t win any other awards and as he is so naughty to the point of cute, he qualifies for the Good Boy Award.

This gentle giant of a dog that doesnt have a bad bone in his body, he is scared of his own shadow and especially scared of the Iggies and although this dog has made my garden resemble a desert and eaten my plants, he is my ‘Good Boy’ and deserves this fictitious award.

‘To Brutus the Good Boy!’ Bronte shouted to Brutus as the other dogs all clapped for him.

Good boy

My favourite ‘Good Boy’ photo of Brutus

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Although the other dogs had to endure this pretend award at each race meet, not one of them really begrudged Brutus because it was worth it to see his face each and every time he received it because never has a dog been so grateful for recognition and acceptance as Brutus. Pippin and Brutus

Pippin checks out Brutus on the computer for the Good Boy Award

(Photography by Denise Pringle)

Pippin was about to finish up his speech but then remembered something important he had to say.

‘But one thing before before we all go home, please can we spare a thought to Abigail who has been rushed to the veterinary hospital with her injury that she got doing what she loves best and the reason why we are all here – lure coursing’.

One by one the greyhounds, the whippets, and the Iggies all started to clap and shout out ‘To Abigail!’. What started off as a smallish gathering started to spread as other dogs gathered round and they too started shouting ‘To Abigail’ until every dog on the track was saying it and it became so loud that any human would have had to be deaf and daft not to have heard and more to the point, understood what the those dogs were saying.

‘To Abigail!’ Brutus and Vader said to each other while Millie the border collie wiped the tomato sauce off her face from robbing her Mum’s burger, so that she could also pay her respects to the senior greyhound that injured herself that day.

And that was how the lure coursing day ended.

Abigail Update

Abigail was taken to the vet and given pain relief and X-rays which revealed two badly dislocated toes on her left hind and one minor dislocated toe on her front left foot.  She was sent home with her injuries strapped up and the injuries would be monitored. Abigail strapped

Abigail (strapped up after her injury)

(Photography by Hannah Ruth Ogden)

Sadly for Abigail; a couple of her toes did not heal as well as was hoped and on the 25th September, she had to have her two middle toes amputated in order to give her the best chance of mobility and a normal life. Abigail Xrays

Abigails initial X-Rays

(X-Rays – Malibu Veterinary Hospital Radiology)

Like any finely tuned athlete, Abigail was somewhat pissed off with this, especially when Mouse Norris, Barbie and Bender offered to make her some callipers to assist her. This was made worse by Brutus offering to push her around in a wheelchair with a tartan blanket around her legs while Rocco could stand next to her with a tin demanding money for ‘dogs for the disabled’.

Bentley had gone one better and was suggesting that the Iggies tell everyone that Abigail lost her toes in the war but that idea was quickly quashed by Pippin.

Abigail recovery 2

Abigail after her anaesthetic (has anyone seen my tongue?)

(Photography by Hannah Ruth Ogden)

 ‘How on earth will I manage without my toes?’ Abigail sobbed when some of the dogs came to visit her after her surgery.

Mouse was busy throwing dog biscuits at Rocco to incite a reaction so that she could tempt him into arguing with his invisible friend for a laugh while Bender was asking Bronte to pull his paw so that he could fart a selection of nasty smelling guffs.

Really though; it was no good trying to console Abigail about her missing toes, she was still drowsy and in pain and could not yet understand that the surgery had been done for the best.

‘Will you all still be my friend when I have my toes chopped off?’ Abigail asked Barbie. ‘Of course I will, don’t be daft – I don’t mind being friends with an amputee’ Barbie said firmly – she had actually decided that it would be quite trendy doing her bit for the disabled.

‘I can’t do lure coursing any more’ Abigail muttered drowsily to Pippin.

‘You might not be able to do it but you can still come and be the team mascot’ Pippin said thoughtfully.

‘That’s not a bad idea actually’ Rocco grinned, ‘We can put her high on a stretcher decorated in gold and carry her around’.

‘We can buy her a buggy and make it look like the Pope Mobile!’ Vader shouted, forgetting that he had put his tongue away for the night as it fell out and hit his chest.

‘Would you do that for me?’ Abigail said in a weak and tired voice, really her friends were just the best.

The dogs all looked at one another and smiled as Pippin said ‘Of course we would, you are our friend, why would we not help?’

‘You can sit at the Iggy stand and be like the Queen’ Bronte said excitedly.

‘And I can teach you how to vomit for effect’ Nica added.

‘Nica – no!’ Fletch and Apollo shouted out together just as Rocco rubbed his paws in glee at the thought of all those hungry dogs that could benefit.

And that was that, it was decided that one way or another Abigail would still go lure coursing and her friends would always be there to support her – just as it should be.

Thanks and acknowledgements

I would like to thank each and every dog owner and their dogs for coming to the lure coursing event and inspiring me to write about them.  I do try to include as many dogs as I can in different stories.

Thank you to West Coast Dog Sports for organising this wonderful sport and giving our dogs the chance to take part and for the owners to socialise and make such good friends.

Thank you to the Italian greyhound community as this breed of dog gets to my imagination more than any other breed.  Little dogs with huge characters and yes, Rocco really does argue with himself and Pippin is the organiser of them all.

Thanks to everyone that has supplied me with their photographs because they truly make the story come to life when you can put a face to a name.

Amy Joy – Studio Joy Photography

Amy Joy is one of the regular photographers at West Coast Dog Sports and works tirelessly to get the incredible and unique shots of our beautiful dogs.

Amy kindly allows me to use her watermarked photographs for my blog and for that I am grateful as she captures the moments that I describe just perfectly – for example, what happened to Astro the greyhound and Brutus when he escaped, not to mention Penny the Scotty dog floating down the track like a curtain pelmet.

Amy is a student at Curtin University studying Digital Design and Illustration and Photography Design. Not only is she building up her portfolio for her coursework but she is also now offering a professional service as a pet photographer.

This talented young photographer has made so many people happy with the outstanding photographs of their dogs, that owners are requesting personal shoots for their pets.

I have the pleasure of watching Amy work at lure coursing events and get to see the quality of the photographs that she takes and I would not hesitate to recommend her services.

If you live in Perth and are interested in booking a photo shoot for your pet, Amy’s details are as follows:

Amy Joy

M:                    0430 549 346

E:                      amyjoy2213@gmail.com

Facebook:      https://www.facebook.com/PhotographyStudioJoy

Charges are:  $100 for a 30 minute – 1 hour session which includes a disc with all the edited images on there. Amy will go to a location that suits the clients i.e. a park, beach, etc.

Help for Abigail and her Owner – Hannah Ruth Ogden

Abigail Aug 2014Abigail – any help appreciated

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Abigail’s veterinary bills as you can imagine; are very high – the amputated toes alone cost in the region of $1,000 and that is not including the initial emergency visit to the vets, strapping and follow up visits, pain relief, dressing changes and antibiotics etc.

Although Abigail’s owner has not asked for any financial help, I do happen to know that Hannah is struggling to find the money to cover the bills and when you don’t have a lot of money for whatever reason, this amount is a huge expense.

I also happen to know that Hannah loves her dog to distraction and if there is one thing that I will never forget and that is seeing Hannah’s face when she realised how badly Abigail was injured and watching her struggle as she carried her precious greyhound to the car.

Greyhounds are so easily discarded in the racing industry and Abigail is one of the lucky ones to have a good loving home with Hannah who obviously treasures this senior greyhound and the bond between them is clear for all to see.

Anyway, if you would like to help towards Abigail’s veterinary bills, any donations would gratefully be received.  Hannah’s bank account details are as follows:

Bank:              Bankwest

BSB:                306 097

Account No:    0377985 

As I have said, Hannah has not asked for anything; this is purely my idea.  I just know that things are hard for her at the moment and I also know what it is like to struggle.  It doesn’t mean we don’t love our pets any less, it doesn’t mean we are neglectful, it just means our situation has changed and we could use a little help.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright Sept 2014

All photographs remain the copyright of the photographers – please do not use, print or reproduce any of them without the consent of the photographer concerned.