The Sweet Dreams of Brutus

*Disclaimer*

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

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

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

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

Those darned nails again!

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

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

Rocky dogRocky and Gordon laughing at Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

11880405_10153077699183317_2151334692541059425_nI shall vomit any second now – said Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

On the morning of the operation

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

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

At the Vets

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

11873353_10153074559723317_1257505242758641125_nBrutus looks for a distraction

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

‘You win’ Brutus nodded vigorously.

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

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

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

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

On the ward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carry on bestBrutus in bed

(Photograph from Google images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PurpleBeing a good boy is important to Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

Later on….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photograph by Google Images)

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

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

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

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

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

10850087_746985655389483_27126447455886745_nBrutus and Vader the boxer – best of friends

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

IMG_9089Fat Harry the Italian greyhound (I love this dog)

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photograph by Google Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11096433_10152811819433317_9032761375785145492_nChewy does disapproving very well you know

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

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

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

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

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

Photograph by Google Images and Tameka

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

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

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

CopPD Rumble – the finest cop dog in WA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Z copPD ‘Z’ – Brutus’s friend

(Photograph by Google Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Pippin?’ Brutus asked Pippin sleepily.

‘Yes Brutus’ Pippin replied

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back home

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

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

11917674_10153078421973317_3770795908447460476_nBrutus was actually crying in this photo – no kidding

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The next day….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright August 2015

Thanks and Acknowledgements

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

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

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

So thank you guys and keep up the good work.

Samantha

The Wrath of Mother Nature and Lure Coursing

IMG_0459

Pippin is not amused

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Urgent News By Walkie-talkie (just like they did in the war)

Pippin Pringle had called an important meeting of all dogs that attend lure coursing.  He wasn’t sure what it was about but knew it was urgent as Dee Cole had asked for it to happen and Pippin had to in turn, relay the message.

‘But why do I have to leave my nice warm bed for this meeting?’ Millie the border collie said impatiently.  She had a DVD put aside for that night about sheep herding and the modern-day bitch and had no plans to leave the house.

‘Not sure, but if Pippin has asked for it then that is what we need to do’ Brutus replied and then added ‘Come on Vader, stop dragging your jowls’ to Vader who looked as though he had lost his bottom lip the way his head was near to the floor.

Vader I should add, was feeling very sorry for himself as he had stolen Lexies’ marshmallows and had scoffed an entire packet and was now feeling sick.

Zara, Olive, Nica, Gigi, Rocco, Cino, Pino, Fat Harry, Apollo, Starbuck, Poppy, Woody, Fletch, Soobi, Bronte to name but a few had now gathered in Pippin’s living room to see what was going to be announced.

Even Bundy the Samoyed (AKA The Town Crier) was there just to announce everything and anything that might need announcing as he was rather good at that.

‘Z’ the cop dog was there in full uniform, just to give the boys a thrill as some dogs like a female dog in uniform and Z wore it so well.

Eugene the Angry Afghan was there fighting with himself while Bentley was trying to interrupt with Eugene’s invisible friend and tell him to piss off.

Mouse Norris looked thoroughly bored by the wait and was now admiring her nails and talking about the raw food diet with Barbie.

Basically it was a full house and the dogs were impatient at what news was going to be relayed to them.

2014-07-11 20.10.22

Millie the border collie

(Photograph by Belinda)

‘I am tired, I want my bed’ Brutus cried to Vader who nodded his head in agreement.  Having the attention spans of goldfish, the boys couldn’t stay interested in anything for long.

10458545_10152714712678317_3587942318488960048_n

Brutus – wants his bed

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Millie who has never been known for her patience and has even sat up all night waiting for lure coursing, had decided to go over to where the tiny walkie-talkie was placed on the mantlepiece.

Picking it up and turning it on, she could just hear the ‘hissing’ of a badly tuned radio, feeling frustrated she tried to shake it.

‘Millie, what are you doing?’ Pippin demanded impatiently and snatched it from her and tuned it in.

‘Are we there yet?’ Brutus demanded to Rocco who calmly told him to ‘Shit off’ and then went back to washing himself.

‘I believe that we could be at war!’ Bundy the Samoyed announced to nobody in particular and when they ignored him, he shouted ‘Long live the Queen’ and when only Gigi responded, he decided to give up.  There was no point in being the Town Crier if nobody listened to you.

‘Shhh, I can hear something!’ Millie hissed to everyone and waved her slender black and white paws to shut everyone up.

Aside from Rocco, Bentley and Eugene having fights with their invisible friends, everyone else was quiet – except for Soobi and Olive who were tickling each other and chewing on each others snouts in a game of ‘bitey face’.

‘Hello, this is Mac – Dee Coles Ridgeback, can you all hear me out there?’ A loud deep booming voice of a Rhodesian Ridgeback filled the air.

‘Since when did he get such a sexy voice?’ Bronte giggled to Gigi, Hershey, Nica and Starbuck.

‘Will you be quiet you lot, I am trying to listen’ Pippin growled and then pressed the button to speak.

You see – walkie-talkies are used for urgent announcements as they are far more dramatic than phones and stuff.

‘Mac, we can hear you – please go ahead with the announcement’ Pippin said in his ‘BBC English’ accent (think of a posh voice from the olden days announcing ‘Britain is at War’ and you will get the drift).

‘Good evening everyone, we regret to announce that due to bad weather predictions, lure coursing is now cancelled for this Saturday and Sunday.

‘As we still have memories of dogs floating off down the polo grounds at last years storm and cages sailing away and being found in other countries, we thought it safer to cancel’  Mac barked in his powerful voice.

‘Oh my god, I think I am going to die right here and now!’ Millie shouted dramatically and then behaved like any border collie who has had her sheep removed from her, and promptly threw herself on the floor and sobbed.

Taking a deep breath, Pippin replied ‘Thank you Mac and goodnight from us’ and then quickly turned the radio off and faced the group of dogs that were in his living room.

Met with a canine wall of silence, this was Pippin’s worst nightmare.  There was nothing quite like a group of dogs (and good friends) that had been looking forward to lure coursing, to have Mother Nature literally piss on their parade and cancel it due to bad weather.

‘Did you say cancelled?’ Brutus asked as his bottom lip quivered.

‘Cancelled?’ Vader added.

One by one it was echoed around the room ‘Lure coursing cancelled?’

‘But how shall we spend our weekend now?’ Madam Gigi demanded.

‘I could organise a day of vomiting but that would only take an hour’ Nica said out loud.

‘I might just have to die’ Eugene the Angry Afghan growled and then accused his invisible friend of orchestrating it all and started to swear at him.

As the other dogs all shouted their protest, Starbuck and Poppy sat under the table and cried, Chewy hid behind his fur while Mako and Apollo were already on the phone to a dog psychologist to book a counselling session.

Bundy the Town Crier had decided that he had kept quiet for long enough and was no barking ‘Everybody, save yourselves and your family before they get eaten.  We are now at war and lure coursing has been cancelled because the weather is going to be crap – may your souls be saved!’

Pippin takes control

Pippin was not amused and had taken a few moments to stand outside to get away from the upset dogs protesting in his living room.  Several had now started arguing with invisible friends and were barking at fresh air and accusing it of severe weather control and ruining their lives.  Mouse Norris was now threatening to go on a hunger strike and Barbie was threatening to join her.

Normally a kind, placid and gentle dog, Pippin was upset that their doggy plans had been ruined.  However he knew that safety had to come first and the lure coursing would not have been called off if it was at all avoidable.

After taking a few minutes away from the group, Pippin took a deep breath and marched back inside.

He didn’t need to say much, they all stopped fighting, arguing and in Nica’s case – vomiting, and stared at him, silently pleading with him for direction and answers.

‘Right you bunch of girls, lure coursing is cancelled for our own safety, it has been put off for a week and thank god it has too because none of us want to be injured slipping on wet grass’. Pippin said to the group.

‘Save your mothers, fathers and save your dog chow!’ Bundy barked in his Samoyed voice.

‘Bundy please be quiet’ Pippin growled at Bundy who blushed and stopped shouting his announcements.

‘Who wants to be on the course anyway in thunder and lightning, not me that’s for sure and everyone knows dogs like us melt in the rain!’ Brutus said loudly.

Several dogs nodded their head in agreement as the Iggies also remembered that they actually do melt in the rain, well Brutus melts in the rain himself so I guess he knows what he is on about.

‘Apollo told me that thunder is the dogs over at Rainbow Bridge having a party over our heads and having fun’ Starbuck said to  Poppy who said that she had heard the same thing.

‘Right, you lot can find your own entertainment for the weekend and you can all work on your techniques for the Fastest Dog in Australia second heats in a weeks time’ Pippin nodded to the group.

‘Fancy coming to mine to watch some naughty videos on dog training?’ Brutus asked Millie who grinned back at him.

‘Yes, sounds good – will you be there Vader?’ Millie barked in Vader’s direction.

‘Yep, count me in!’ Vader agreed and then asked Brutus to pull his paw so that he could fart.  A very childish habit that the boys developed from a young age where they simply would not fart unless the other dog pulled their paw and made it more dramatic.

Finally the dogs left Pippin’s house to go back to their own homes. You could all hear them discussing the nights events as there was seldom anything bigger than lure coursing being cancelled, aside from the Fastest Dog Comp.

Goodnight Pippin

‘Glad that is over and done with’ Pippin said to Bronte and went to close the curtain.  As he did so, he could hear Bundy’s unmistakable bark doing his ‘Town Crier’ bit.

‘Don’t worry everyone, it is a war effort and we all need a cup of tea, tea solves everything’ Bundy shouted.  Pippin smiled at Bundy who was shouting stuff about cups of tea – Bundy is such a funny dog.

As Pippin watched his friends disappear out of sight, the last thing he saw was Bundy taking a piss up someones car.

Closing the curtains, Pippin thought to himself ‘Tea?  Yes I think I could do with a mug of tea after the night I have had’

‘Cup of tea Bronte?’ Pippin asked his sister.

‘Don’t mind if I do’ Bronte replied and followed him to the kitchen to help him make it.

‘They were quite well-behaved really, all things considering’ Bronte said to Pippin as she pulled out two bone China cups from the cupboard and found a China teapot and stuffed a few teabags in it for good measure.

‘Yes, very well-behaved really’ Pippin smiled, ‘All things considered of course’.

But what Pippin didn’t see was Brutus, Vader, Bentley, Rocco and Fat Harry pressing their bottoms and leaving ‘marks of bum’ on the neighbours cars and Eugene the Angry Afghan doing a monster turd in someones garden and getting a large lump of poo stuck to his pantaloons much to the admiration of Chewy who tried to shit his own pants so he could copy him.

But other than that, yes – they were very good dogs indeed.

The End….

Lure Coursing for Guildford Polo Grounds Cancelled this Weekend Due to Predicted Severe Weather Conditions.

Sadly this is true and for safety reasons lure coursing has been cancelled for this weekend which is fair enough as the dogs safety is paramount.

There is talk of the Fastest Dog heats taking place the weekend after but this is yet to be confirmed – details will follow.

Sam Rose (C) Copyright May 2015

The Fastest Dog in Australia 2015 – First Heats

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Pippin Pringle talks to Gordon about lure coursing

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Firstly I would like to apologise in the delay of the Toppa in QLD story, I am halfway through that but have had a few personal things going on. Toppa has done very well in QLD in the show ring and his testicles are the talk of the town but that is another story and I shall get that finished as soon as I possibly can.

The Fastest Dog in Australia Heats 2015

This years contest is bigger than last year and the following clubs are now also competing which is fantastic news.

Adelaide Lure Coursing and Lure Racing are taking part as are the Yarra Valley Whippet Social Racing Club, Victoria so four states are competing this year.  So come on Northern Territory, I have made up stories for your crocs, dingoes and kangaroos but having your dogs on board would be fabulous!

The Big Day Arrives

It was Good Friday and the day for lure coursing and the first set of heats for West Coast Dog Sports for the Fastest Dog in Australia for 2015.

It was also being held at a new venue – Dogs West Show Grounds in Southern River, instead of our usual Kings Meadow Polo Grounds site which was actually quite nice for a change although some of the dogs were a bit nervous about having their routine changed – well Brutus in particular.

‘Will the grass be as nice?’ Brutus sobbed to me that morning as I got him ready, he was panicking at the slightest change and for Brutus; another venue may as well mean the end of his big brown world. IMG_0054

Poor old Brutus – doesn’t take much to confuse him!

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Did you just ask if the grass would be as nice, did you just really ask that?’ Rocky demanded in amusement. IMG_0276

What did you just say? said Rocky

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Vader told me that the grass on the South of the River is brown and the grass in the Polo Club is a nice green colour and if we run on different grass then our legs will fall off’ Brutus protested.

He quite liked his legs and really did not want them to fall off. Rocky bit his lip to avoid responding but Gordon who had no such self-restraint muttered stuff about Brutus falling from the idiot tree and banging his head on every branch as he fell down. J6

Gordon can give a dirty look that shrivels grown men

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Don’t worry Brutus, you will not lose your legs’ I reassured him and gave Gordon a dirty look which was totally wasted as he was washing his bum and ignoring me.

‘Good luck Brutus!’ Rocky waved to us as we pulled out of the driveway.

Brutus pressed his face up against the car window leaving nose art smeared on the glass and waved back at Rocky until he disappeared out of sight.

‘Are we there yet?’ Brutus demanded as we got on to the main road.

‘No Brutus, we are not there yet’ I replied. ‘Have you farted?’ I demanded to him as I smelt the familiar smell of ‘gastro-pup’ fill the car.

Sniffing his own bum Brutus then looked at me and said flatly ‘Yes, I have’.

And with that reply I had could say nothing.

On arrival at the lure coursing grounds (Dogs West)

The Italian Greyhound gazebo was already set up with several of our group already settled.  The first dog we saw was Chewy who was full of excitement at what the day had to offer him.

‘Hi Brutus, how’s it going?’ Chewy grinned to Brutus.  Wearing his finest pants (pantaloons), Chewy the Tibetan, looked quite splendid in all his ‘smallness’ and for such a small dog, exuded presence that demanded that your admiration.

When Chewy runs down the track his sole aim is to get you to admire his coat, the fact that he looks uber cute as he runs is a bonus. IMG_0356

Chewy – the big dog in a little body with cute pants

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Hi Chewy, have you seen Vader – he came with his Mum and Dad and Tess in their car?’ Brutus asked nervously.

‘Nope, he isn’t here yet’ Chewy replied and then stuffed his nose up Poppy’s bum to see where she had been.

Deciding to have a look around to see who was there, Brutus left the Iggy camp and went for a walk.

Sighting the Mouse Norris the greyhound who was there with her sister Barbie and some other greyhounds, Brutus went over to say hello to them.

Mouse is officially head of ‘The Cool Gang’ and always does cool stuff like travelling, kayaking and just going everywhere and anywhere including riding in her own trailer at the back of her Mums bike.

Someone said that Mouse actually has her own passport and has been around the world but that is just a rumour although it wouldn’t surprise me. 10517584_662020460552670_2824292422610396961_n

Brutus and Mouse Norris in the early days of their friendship

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Hi Mouse!’ Brutus shouted.  At one point Mouse would have ignored such a strange-looking dog but Brutus had been on the circuit enough to have proven himself and Mouse now greeted him like one of her cool gang.

Nodding at him and smiling, Mouse replied ‘Hi Brutus, good luck for today!’ while Barbie looked round and gave him the paws-up symbol for good luck.

Brutus was absurdly pleased and tried to look ‘cool’ at such an acknowledgement. As he walked off, he turned round and smiled back at Mouse and at the same time tripped over a blade of grass but thankfully nobody saw it except for a chunky looking Pug that snorted with laughter but everyone else thought that was just his breathing and totally ignored him.

Team Pringle

Brutus was now back in the Iggy section and Vader had arrived with his sister Tess who was air-kissing Woody and Hamish and telling them how marvellous it was to see them. 10641229_10152780218323317_2720869455981626668_n

Brutus and Pippin discuss race tactics

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘It felt wrong us not being in the car together this morning’ Vader whispered to Brutus who agreed with him, although it was for the best as three dogs in the car and three humans would be far too much even by Brutus’s standards.

‘Haven’t seen you in years, shall we chew each others jowls?’ Vader asked Brutus who obliged by cleaning Vader’s mouth which caused Tess to wrinkle up her snout in disgust at such a public display of snot exchange. 10256912_638694072885309_8121693479915909382_n

Brutus and Vader – Jowl lickers forever

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Pippin was busy on his iPad trying to liaise with Nica and Zara who had gone with their Mums down South for the Easter break. He wanted to find out how things were going down there and so that he could give Nica all the updates and although they were on holiday; the girls were still expected to keep up with the lure coursing gossip. 11065898_10152780095983317_4961539582172621579_n

Pippin trying to organise everyone

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Rocco and Madam Gigi were also absent as were Olive and Bambi and several of the others so the Iggy contingent were pretty thin on the ground although Woody made up for it with his stealth like ability to get on the knees of everyone that he met and would come off smelling of various perfumes from intense cuddle and petting sessions.

Brutus got quite excited at the little Dachshund and almost asked for its mobile number until Poppy told him that he was in fact a boy, not that it bothered Brutus as Pippin told him little things like that don’t matter.

‘Did your Mum get you that?  I would SO love one of those’ Poppy the Chinese Crested gushed at Bronte who was showing off her beautiful collar that Dee Cole (The Canine Company) had hand-made for her.  Pippin also has one – ‘Fifty Shades of Pippin’.

‘Yes she did and she has ordered me some other clothes as well’ Bronte said confidently. Bronte had the best wardrobe for miles only rivalled by that of Tess, with a rich selection of dresses, skirts, tops and collars to name but a few.

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The latest on the catwalk – according to Bronte

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

In fact rumours had it that even the top fashion designers from Paris, New York and Rome would come to Bronte’s house for ideas for Paris Fashion Week and consult with the tiny Italian greyhound about ‘what is hot’ and ‘what is not’ in the world of Iggies.

‘Do you like my pants?’ Chewy barked loudly, feeling a bit left out; he wanted to direct the conversation towards himself to show off his ‘pantaloons’ which looked just like the baggy Arabic dance pants and very good they looked too.

‘I wouldn’t mind a pair of pants like that’ Brutus nodded approvingly and then asked Vader for his opinion on Chewy’s pants. ‘I could shit in those and Mum would never know, how much fun that would be!’ Vader replied momentarily excited at the thought of having some pants to store turd in.  He could use them as weapons to flick over the fence to hit next doors cat, now that would be fun.

‘Please excuse my brother, he is quite revolting’ Tess sighed and then went back to discussing joint issues and the benefits of supplements with Woody. IMG_7905

There are two Woody’s in Tess’s life – here is the toy one

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Millie the border collie, Poppy and Bronte were busy looking through some samples of dog collars and clothes. ‘I wouldn’t mind one of those collars’ Millie said pointedly at her Mum who must have overheard as the next minute she was rifling through the box looking for something to order her.

‘I wish my Mum would buy me one of those collars, I tried a Hugh Hefner style collar on at the last event and thought I looked quite mature for my age’ Brutus said wistfully to Vader who giggled as the words ‘mature’ and ‘Brutus’ simply did not go in the same sentence.

‘My Mum said there is no point in wasting one on me, she reckons I would break it in seconds’ Vader laughed truthfully.

Brutus just hung his head and said nothing.  He thought he looked jolly nice in the collar he tried on and would have loved one for himself but a new collar was certainly not on my priority list for him when I had other things to think about financially.

The Cloth Dogs and the ‘Crate of Barks’

You have all read about what I describe as ‘The Cloth Dogs’ which are Kim and Ian Cross’s Afghan hounds. I use the term ‘Cloth Dog’ as when they run down the track they look like a piece of silk cloth floating along the grass and the image can be very suddenly ruined when they decide to roll in horse shit which although hilarious to watch, must take ages to get out of the fur.

One of the Cloth Dogs is called Eugene and he also plays the piano and enjoys a bit of 70s dancing but once again, that is another story. 603870_10152780096713317_6197082827611651898_n

Eugene – The Cloth Dog

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Eugene like Rocco, Bentley and Sting the Italian greyhounds, suffers a bit of Tourette’s and is prone to outbursts of bad language and insults and can always be heard from his crate yelling stuff to other dogs as they go by.

Today was no different and surrounded by his wives, Eugene was absolutely furious at every dog that had the audacity to walk past his crate.

Eugene has a strong foreign accent that gets harder to understand the angrier he gets and when he is in his crate with his wives, it can get quite heated.  The crate I might add is known as ‘The Crate of Barks’.

‘Your Mumma she eat turd for her breakfast!’ Eugene yelled in broken English to a couple of Ridgebacks that walked by while Lucy – one of Eugene’s wives giggled behind him and hid behind her fringe for anonymity .

‘Your Mumma she lick the cats bottom!’ shouted a grizzled looking dog in a fake Italian accent back to Eugene while a group of Weimaraners looked horrified at such words and shook their heads in horror. (dogs will often talk in fake foreign accents purely for effect)

All you could hear was the exchange of angry words between the grizzled dog and Eugene with stuff like ‘Your Mumma she did this’ and ‘Your Mumma she did that’ and my personal favourite ‘Your Mumma has a snout like my Mumma’s anus!’.

‘I eat your family for breakfast!’ growled Eugene and then whispered to his wives in the crate ‘You girls can bark as well and make it sound scary’.

‘This is the bad-ass crate for the bad dogs, you are in my hood now!’ the angry Afghan barked.

‘Yeah, I could eat you for breakfast you big fat hairball!’ squealed a Jack Russell Terrier who looked a bit like Danny De Vito, ‘I have contacts you know and I could snap you like a twig!’

‘You have been watching too many movies little dog, I shit things out of my bum bigger than you’ Eugene barked.

‘I will come back with my friends’ spluttered the Jack Russell angrily and then realised that he hadn’t actually brought any friends and would have to round-up some invisible ones instead.

‘And that man-bun on the top of your head makes you look like a hairy sumo girl!’ snarled the Jack Russell which caused Eugene to stop yelling and ask Lucy if he really did look like a hairy sumo girl.

‘I don’t look like a girl do I?’ Eugene asked her. Lucy flicked her fringe dramatically and replied soothingly ‘Just ignore him, he is jealous’.

‘Big fat hairy sumo girl!’ barked the Jack Russell and then started to flash Eugene his bum to antagonise him.

The thing is with little dogs, the smaller they are the bigger that they think they are and the more you reprimand them and hold them back, the more they say ‘Let me at it, I shall eat him alive’ – even if the dog is the size of a small snack, it simply won’t stop them thinking how big and tough they are.

Just as it was about to all kick off, Brutus walked past with Millie and grinned at Eugene ‘Hi Eugene, how’s it going?’

‘Piss off and don’t ruin my moment’ Eugene growled harshly at Brutus.

‘He is such a kidder, he is a teddy bear really, I love him’ Brutus said confidently to Millie (Brutus loves everyone and thinks everyone loves him which is not strictly true).

‘I am not so sure about that Brutus’ Millie said nervously as Eugene flipped Brutus the bird through the bars of his crate and gave a flick of his ‘man bun’ which is the hair on top of his head all pinned up so that it doesn’t get knotted.

Leaving Eugene and his wives to defend his ‘crate of growls’, Brutus and Millie made their way to the sausage sizzle because Millie wanted to give Brutus a lesson in how to vacuum off a sausage from the counter in one easy step while ignoring the onions.

Millie I should add, was an expert in this as she had already inhaled her human brothers cheese and salad wrap from the table leaving no evidence except for a bit of cheese on her black and white snout.

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Millie the border collie and expert inhaler of food

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

A Hot Dog Affair

‘So you see what you do is to pretend you are asleep but have the sausage firmly set in your sights and when your parents are not looking you quickly lean up with your head to the side and inhale the sausage’.  Millie whispered to Brutus.

‘But watch you don’t choke on it and always run away and eat the evidence so they can pin nothing on you and never eat the onions as they are poisonous’ Millie added confidently.

Brutus was taking on board everything Millie told him but then he realised that we never actually have sausages in our house so he would have to try something else.  He briefly wondered if hash browns would be as good but if he swallowed one of those whole he would end up with a triangular shape in his throat (or so I can imagine).

Bundy – The Town Crier and Brutus The Good Boy

You all know Bundy the fluffy Samoyed otherwise known as the Town Crier, he announces everything and anything and nothing but does so with such passion and enthusiasm that the title cannot possibly be removed from him.

Bundy and Brutus have become good friends after Bundy came to Brutus’s birthday party and the boys always enjoy catching up. IMG_8830

Brutus and Bundy – the Town Crier

(Photography by Sam Rose)

Dogs have been known to watch Bundy to see what he has to say and even clap afterwards despite his speeches making no sense whatsoever.  Bundy is what you might call the Martin Luther King of the dog world when it comes to giving speeches.

‘Here I am everyone, I am here, I am there and I am everywhere!’ Bundy barked to everyone that would listen and anyone that wouldn’t.

‘Race for your lives, race for your families, race for the world and then spread the word that lure is the cure!’ Bundy barked hysterically working himself up to fever pitch. A small crowd of dogs had gathered round Bundy who was totally not stopping for breath.

One husky wagged his tail enthusiastically, proud to be part of such a gathering while Millie and Brutus had left the sausage sizzle and had joined Bundy to hear what he had to say.

‘Brutus you must go back to Team Pringle at the Iggy stand at once!’ Bundy barked in a firm voice. ‘Yes, you must go at once’ the Husky added to the instruction and then every dog in the area had added their part ‘You must go at once’ until it became so loud that ignoring it was simply not an option.

‘Goodness what on earth could this be about?’ Brutus asked Millie who shrugged her shoulders as she had no idea at all.

‘Your Mumma eat the shoe off my foot!’ Eugene shouted from his ‘Cage of Barks’ and as Brutus and Millie walked by he added ‘Go to Team Pringle at once!’ followed by ‘Your father eat mouldy socks for tea’ while a tough looking Dachshund standing next to him did a ‘cut throat’ sign with his paw for effect and nodded so vigorously that his head nearly fell off.

‘What have I done wrong? I only washed Pippin’s genitals once and I haven’t chewed Mum’s bras in ages’ Brutus thought nervously.  He had been a good boy, or at least he thought he had.

It was very important  for Brutus to be a ‘good boy’ and it had got to the stage where Dee Cole and the Iggy crew had even awarded him a certificate for a pretend ‘Good Boy Award’ because it meant so much to him.

On arrival at the Team Pringle tent, Pippin was holding court to the group who were all whispering and nodding and doing the usual stuff that is indicative of gossip.

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Pippin Pringle calls the meeting

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Shhh, here he is!’ Bronte hissed to Pippin who blushed and then picked up a piece of paper with a speech written down on it.

‘Oh I can’t wait for this one!’ Woody grinned to Vader who was now trying to persuade his tongue to get back into his mouth and stop interrupting.

‘Can I stand next to Brutus so that he can sniff my bum?’ Poppy the Chinese Crested asked Pippin who frowned at her and told her to remember her manners. Tess had no such self-control and was flashing her pink paws and tidy bottom at Brutus who was so scared of what was to come that he never even noticed.

Chewy, Millie and Taia sat impatiently waiting for the announcement and Bronte was whispering stuff in Pippin’s ear as he went through what was written on the paper.

‘What’s going on? What have I done?’ Brutus asked Pippin who had put his half rimmed spectacles on (with no glass on them but they make him look smarter) to read the speech.

‘Sit down Brutus please’ Pippin ordered the big brown gentle giant who was so nervous that his bottom had started to have a party all by itself by farting.

Wrinkling her delicate nose, Poppy said ‘What on earth is that smell?’

Vader whispered ‘He has farted, we always fart when we are nervous – it is a medical condition you know.

‘Right, let’s get started!’ Pippin coughed to clear his throat and then clapped his skinny paws together to get everyone’s attention.

‘We – the Iggies and honorary Iggies would like to award you The Good Boy Award for being a good boy and would very much like you to have this collar – hand-made by Dee Cole (The Canine Company) which means you are officially a Good Boy and an honorary Iggy’ Pippin said proudly.

‘But Rocco said that the Good Boy Award was just made up to keep me happy’ Brutus faltered, blushing and trying to make himself small as everyone was staring at him.

‘Yes that may well be so but you are OUR Good Boy, and you protect us Iggies and have become part of our little group so that makes the award official’ Pippin added.

‘And Dee Cole, Kim Cross and Denise Pringle say you are a Good Boy, so does Fran Forbes in QLD and all the others in the Iggie club say it so it must be true’ Bronte said in a tearful voice, (she always gets emotional at speeches and has been known to thank everyone including the Queen, Gucci, Prada and her Mum).

Looking down at the beautiful hand-made leather collar, Brutus examined it closely and admired the soft leather and the gold patterns on it.  It really was gorgeous and it was the Hugh Hefner collar that he had tried on and had always wanted but never thought he would have.

‘I don’t know what to say’ Brutus said quietly as he did his famous Brutus-expression with his bottom lip hanging down like a coin slot.

‘Well you could try it on for starters!’ Chewy laughed at the big brown dog who was going red and clearly about to go ‘Full Pippin’ and burst into tears.

*Pippin Pringle is prone to bursting into tears when he is tired or emotional – hence the term ‘Full Pippin*

‘I shall help you put it on’ Tess said gently to Brutus and then stood on her little white hind legs as Brutus bowed his head down to have his Good Boy Collar placed on his neck and it fitted him very well I might add and made him look very handsome. 11107735_10152780219063317_6938734160774915211_n

Pippin presents Brutus with his ‘Good Boy Collar Award’

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Speech! Speech!’ Bronte and Millie squealed together as Woody, Tess and the others all started to join in with a slow and deliberate clap of paws.

‘I do feel like you are my family really and I know that you are all smarter than me and I am a bit clumsy but I do love you all and would like to thank you for my lovely collar’ Brutus stuttered as he tried to find his words and not quite knowing what to do next; he farted and then turned round and checked his bum for stains.

‘Good lad!’ Vader said with his voice full of pride as Tess poked him to be quiet,

‘And I know that I am not a pedigree or a show dog but winning The Good Boy Collar Award means so much to me’ unable to find the words to say anything else, Brutus was so overcome with emotion, that he hung his big boofy head down and couldn’t think of what else to say as he took little gasps of breath while trying not to cry as tears poured down his brown cheeks. 11129350_10152780217533317_1478480799006317683_n

Brutus displays his collar and tries to stand like a show dog

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Here’s to Brutus the Good boy!’ Eugene shouted from outside the Iggy tent as the other dogs clapped and cheered. Having dragged his Mum Kim down to the Iggy camp.  Eugene was wearing his 70s flared pants and still proudly sporting his ‘man-bun’ above his head.

Not used to seeing Brutus show so much emotion, Pippin decided that a diversion was in order to get things back on track and to save the big brown dog from further embarrassment.

‘Come on you lot, rumours have it that Brutus and Vader are going to be called for their first trial for the Fastest Dog in Australia contest, so let’s get these boys ready!’ Pippin shouted to his team.

Standing there wearing his ‘Good Boy Collar’, Brutus stared round at his friends.  They were all smiling at him and wagging their tails.

Even Eugene had stopped his bout of Tourette’s and was wagging his big fluffy tail in response, but don’t be fooled by that – he was back to swearing and shouting ‘Your Mumma eat turd for breakfast’ a few minutes later.

‘My friends – they are all my friends and I love them’ Brutus thought to himself and remembering just a year ago when he first went lure coursing and hadn’t met the Iggies, now he could not imagine his life without them in it.

And let us not forget Vader, his trusty ‘special’ mate that body slams him, that engages in mutual cleaning of the jowl flaps and enjoys bad habits with, now that is a friendship that is truly special.

The Fastest Dog in Australia – Brutus and Vader do their bit

‘Oh god I am nervous, what do I do, where do I run?’ Brutus cried as Lexie took his leash – she was going to release him and I would catch him at the other end.

This time he had to go through narrow timing gates to get a precise timing for the competition. ‘You know what to do, you have done it before and however you do I am proud of you’ I reassured the trembling dog who just a week before had been laid up with gastro due to some dodgy kangaroo meat.

Making my way down to the other end I nervously bit my lip waiting for him to be released. ‘Is that Brutus, who normally crashes the barrier?’ laughed the lure operator and feeling my cheeks burn, I said that yes it was.  (Brutus can’t turn corners you see and just thinks it is easier to crash the barriers).

Within seconds Lexie had released him, the lure had been set off and Brutus shot forward with his mates cheering him on shouting ‘Go on Turd Legs, you can do it!’.

He ran so well and was right on the lure and totally ignored me – he was fixed on it like a good boy.  Usually he looks for his Mum (me) but this time he knew what he had to chase and was hell-bent on getting it.

Vader stood at the side waiting his turn and shouted ‘Go on Brutus, you can do it!’ in between choking on his tongue and farting with nerves and excitement.

Brutus I must add; has a fabulous imagination and each time he runs he has the ‘Chariots of Fire’ theme tune in his head as he imagines he is running is own Grand National.

Although you and I both know that he is running alone chasing a plastic bag on a lure, in Brutus’s eyes he is a professional racing dog. FD6

Brutus taking his turn for the Fastest Dog in Australia competition

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

He has been known to get so emotional that he cries down the track and imagines people cheering him and congratulating him for ‘winning his race’.

I am not one for ruining his dreams as we are all entitled to those but I do get fed up with the Chariots of Fire theme tune though that Brutus insisted on playing in the car on the way down to get him in the mood.

I was very proud of him though as this was a new venue and Brutus ran straight through the timing barriers like a champion and in true Brutus style ran straight past me and then came back for me to put his leash on. FD8

Brutus going through the timing gates at the finish

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

‘Did I win? Did I win?’ Brutus panted and as usual I did not have the heart to tell him that it was more a timing thing than a race and that he wasn’t racing against anyone but let him enjoy his moment all the same.

Then it was Vader’s turn and in a true Jowls of Fire event, Vader, his tongue and his jowls flapped their way down the track in a flurry of snot as the chunky boxer dog also ran like a champ.

Being a total pro at turning corners, Vader was only mildly disappointed that there were none there but did very well all the same.

The dogs were all watching Vader while chanting the Chariots of Fire theme tune which sounded hilarious if you can imagine a gang of dogs shouting ‘Da da da da da da, da da da da da, da da da da da da, da da da da da’ (I bet you have just sung it yourselves haven’t you!)

‘Look at that tongue!’ Bundy shouted and then started to bark frantically to announce the arrival of Vader’s tongue. Vader 2

Vader – (Jowls of Fire) does his heat in the Fastest Dog in Australia competition

‘Go on flappy jowls!’ the Irish terrier growled in support as he did like to cheer on the other dogs and was a passionate lure courser himself.

Vader thundered over the finish line to be met by his mates who all congratulated him for his effort.

‘Proud of you Vader, you did well.  Where is your tongue?’ Brutus asked his friend.

Opening his mouth, Vader displayed his enormous tongue and said ‘I think it is here’.

‘Good, now keep it tucked inside safe before someone mistakes it for a Christmas ham’ Brutus told him as both boys walked back towards the Iggy tent while trying to talk over one another as to who ran the fastest and it was decided that Vader’s tongue won by a metre. 10551075_683596318395084_4256826329900557973_n

Never underestimate the power of Vader’s tongue

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Bundy has his turn

As Bundy took his turn to run it was soon realised that there was no-one to announce it so Bundy decided to do it himself.

‘I am running now, lock up your families and feed your children, I am about to set the grass on fire’ Bundy barked to everyone.

He got so excited that he actually almost pulled his Mum round the wrong way and nearly ran in the wrong direction. ‘Let me at it, where is that lure?’ Bundy demanded angrily.

‘It’s behind you, if you run in that direction you shall end up in the ladies toilets!’ Eugene barked while Lucy his wife tried not to laugh.

‘I knew that, I totally knew that’ Bundy said in an embarrassed voice before his Mum had managed to turn him in the right direction.

‘And he is off!’ Eugene nodded approvingly as Bundy set off like a cotton ball shot out of a cannon as he chased after the lure while continuing to bark and announce himself to the world. 10401947_1633567683539045_2585048158794137530_n

Bundy the Cotton-Cannonball takes his turn in the contest

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

The importance of friendships – both real and invisible

I have said before that every dog has an invisible friend for the days when there is no-one else to fight or argue or play with and the power of these invisible friendships should never be underestimated.

If you look around the grounds at any doggy event be it a dog show, agility or lure coursing, you will see dogs playing with their invisible friends.  You will see dogs barking at nothing – except that it isn’t nothing, it is their invisible friend.

You will see tails wagging at nothing in particular but what you won’t see is the invisible dog that is inciting that reaction.  It really is a marvellous phenomenon, not to mention the fact that when your dog does something naughty in the home, the invisible dogs are always to blame.

Anyway back to lure coursing where one dog was having a fight with his invisible friend over the lure and threatening to bite him.  Growls and barks filled the air as the terrier insulted his invisible friend and threatened to piss on his head until his owners came and got him for his turn to race and then it was ‘game on’ as the little dog ran its legs off. 11115714_1633571233538690_1237426702309039608_n

All dogs have invisible friends you know

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

A beautiful chocolate colour kelpie called Bruiser didn’t appear to have any invisible friends.  It was his first time at lure coursing and he was busy taking in the atmosphere while trying to work out who was what and whether or not Bundy was a sheep that needed to be herded up. 18489_10152780096273317_2704418740714725084_n

Bruiser the Kelpie‘s first time at lure coursing

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Hi, the name is Brutus’ Brutus barked at Bruiser the kelpie and offered his bum to be sniffed as a greeting which Bruiser did quite happily.

‘You look just like my brother Rocky except you are chocolate colour’ Brutus said in his special voice – he is a bit of a Forrest Gump is my Brutus.

‘Pleased to meet you’ Bruiser grinned, ‘So, tell me what all this lure coursing is about then’.

‘Well, it’s like this…..’  Brutus started to say.  As the two boys sat side by side, Brutus patiently explained to Bruiser about how lure coursing is a sport for both dogs and their owners to enjoy, a day out for everyone and a display of  fitness and endurance.

Not just limited to Australia, lure coursing is also popular in many countries around the world and the day is made extra nice if you can scrounge some treats from your Mum/Dad.

As quickly as Bruiser thought he had come to the event with no friends, he had made a new one in Brutus, Vader and the rest of the gang.  That is how it is at lure coursing you see, you are never without a friend for long be it invisible or real.

Bronte and Pippin – Their entries for Fastest Dog in Australia

Bronte was now at the starting line waiting to be released as Denise waited at the finish line to catch her.

‘That’s my sister that is!’ Pippin nodded to a Borzoi who was standing next to him.

In a strong Russian accent the Borzoi replied ‘Zat is a tiny leetle dog with a long snout, I bet she go very fast’.

But before they had chance to discuss Bronte further, she had already reached the finish line in such good speeds that the dogs around the barriers had taken out their calculators to see whose time she had beaten.

Looking the epitome of elegance and beauty, the Borzoi who called himself Valdov, was oblivious to all around him except for Bronte.  Who was this beautiful little red and white dog with long legs and he wondered if he could he take her back to Russia to be his wife?

‘I did it! Did I do it well?’ Bronte panted as Denise proudly carried her away from the track.

Pippin was not happy at the way Valdov was eyeing up his sister and he especially wasn’t happy with the way the giant dog was swigging Russian water from a hip flask either.

‘Pippin, it’s your turn’ Bronte said breathlessly, ‘Hello, I am Bronte – pleased to meet you’ she added holding out her slim paw to acknowledge Valdov who was boring his eyes in to her.

‘Hello Bronte, Vood you like me to teach you how to speak Russian?’ Valdov asked Bronte  causing her to blush. (Imagine that sentence in a Russian accent to get the idea)

Before she had chance to answer, Pippin whispered to the Borzoi ‘I know some Russian’.

‘Eeez zat right?’ Valdov smirked.

‘Yes’ Pippin said firmly and then stood up on his hind legs to make himself bigger and said loudly ‘Leave my sister alone or I shall piss in your vodka bottle’.

And with that Pippin walked off and took his position on the starting line to do his entry for the Fastest Dog in Australia while secretly shitting his pants as he had been so brave in standing up to the Borzoi.

But that is what you do for those you love, you stand up for them even when it scares you.

‘Go on my Pippin, you can do it!’ Bronte squealed as the little dog ran for his life towards his Mum Denise.

Brutus was cheering him on in his deep voice from the sidelines. He looked on Pippin and Bronte as family and loves to see them racing, especially as this contest is a big event for any Australian lure coursing dog.

Jumping into his Mum’s arms, Pippin was every inch the hero as he was carried off the track.

Winner of the Fastest Iggy in Australia last year, the Iggies were very proud of Pippin and how passionately flew the flag for the club in the competition for 2014 and had equally high hopes this year.

However, we shall not say anything about his secret penchant for ballroom dancing though and his liking for tight satin pants because you shall find out all about that another time and without saying too much, Eugene is heavily involved in that as well which kind of makes fun of his ‘Crate of Barks’ and ruins his reputation but there you go, we all have a guilty secret somewhere.

Lucy – Wife of Eugene and ‘Cloth Dog has her turn

Lucy the Cloth Dog was about to take her turn for the run and as usual provided some fabulous entertainment as she ran down the track in elegant fashion whilst resembling a piece of black silk cloth in the wind.

With the Cloth Dogs it is not the actually race that people come to see, it is the show they put on at the end which usually involves leaping over the barrier, joyously running around and if there is some horse turd to roll in then all the better.

The trouble was is at Dogs West Show Grounds there is no horse manure for them to roll in but that did not stop Lucy standing there after her race and saying ‘Who has hidden the horse shit?’ while the Dachshunds yelled things like ‘Little dogs have rights too’. 644434_1633568180205662_383941116012881424_n

Lucy the Cloth Dog floats down the track

(Photograph by Studio Joy)

This of course set everyone else off including Bundy who was barking away shouting ‘I am the fastest cotton dog in the West!’

Satisfied that Lucy had caused enough of a rumpus with her antics, Eugene had gone back to the ‘Crate of Barks’ and was busy trying to find his own bottom amongst all that fur so that he could wash his anus.

The life of Tess

Tess had made herself comfortable in my chair and was busy discussing respectable things with Hamish and Woody.

‘I have two homes you know and in one of them I get to do as I like and have my own personal chef (my husband) and two leather sofas. (Tess looks on my house as her house and that is fine because Gordon loves her as well).

‘I have lots of laps to go on and I can get cuddles and pats whenever I want’ Woody added to the conversation.

‘I just love everyone’ Vader replied to nobody in particular and reached out to wash Brutus’s jowls which was quite a disgusting habit enjoyed by both dogs but really was not pleasant for public viewing.

The End of the Day

The exhausted dogs were resting around the gazebo, some were asleep, some falling asleep but those that were awake were discussing the day and the next lure coursing session.  Always planning in advance for their next social event, nothing excited them more than lure coursing (well except for a play date at the Furbaby Cafe). 11081436_10152780096433317_5482140589938400588_n

Tess being a social butterfly while the others rest after a busy day

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Brutus was sitting in my chair with his legs apart and his manhood rudely on display which of course had Vader making comments about sausages and stuff. (I never even realised that until after I posted the photo on Facebook). 19800_10152780095848317_6364989530331126065_n

Brutus on my chair – once you see it, you cannot ‘un-see’ it

(Photograph ignorantly taken by myself – Sam Rose)

‘Pippin?’ asked Brutus, ‘Will you be having lots of mobile phones like last year and talking to all the States in Australia?’

Pippin looked thoughtful and replied ‘Of course I will, in fact I have a new mobile phone as well – do you like it?’ whipping out a Galaxy Note 3, it looked as though he was holding a laptop.

‘That’s enormous!’ Bronte gasped, ‘We could watch TV on that’.

‘Oh yes and Barney, Kath and Ruby will be reporting for their side and Amex, Shine and Gracie will be helping them and I do believe Luciano will be the Karratha Correspondent’ Pippin added.

‘Will you be talking to the Northern Territory again like last year, I remember some, crocs, roos and dingoes were involved’ barked Vader.

‘Oh yes, we must not forget the Northern Territory, the crocs are hardcore supporters of lure coursing you know’ Pippin grinned.

‘Can crocs do lure coursing, I never knew that?’ Brutus piped up from his (my) chair.

Poppy, Chewy, Hamish, Woody, Bronte, Taia, Millie and the little Dachshund burst out laughing. ‘Crocs don’t do lure coursing silly!’ Tess shook her head while giggling at Brutus.

‘I knew that, I was just seeing if you knew that’ Brutus blushed as even Vader laughed at him.

‘Yes, more people are involved this year and each year will see it get bigger and better than the last as we learn from each event’. Pippin said firmly.

‘It’s good to be part of it though isn’t it?’ Millie barked as the others all agreed with her.

‘Do you remember us all sat at our computers last year for the finals, that was awesome’ Bronte reminded the others.

‘Oh yes, none of us got much sleep that night’ Pippin laughed, ‘But it was worth it though’.

‘Well, here’s to the next heat for the contest and let’s hope we can better our times and if not, we shall have a bloody good time anyway’ Brutus barked loudly.

‘Here here!’ barked the others and for a few minutes that is all you could hear – the sound of barking and the sight of tails wagging as the gang acknowledged that the Fastest Dog in Australia competition 2015 was well and truly underway.

At Barney’s House in QLD

‘So is everything in order then, what happens now?’ Kath the greyhound asked Barney who was sitting at his desk typing up notes for the Fastest Dog in Australia contest.

‘Let the competition commence and may the best dog win!’  Barney replied as he nodded to Kath.

At Amex’s House in QLD

As one of the official correspondents, Amex had been ready for this contest months. In fact he was born ready and being meticulously organised, had his office sorted, computer connected and webcam wired up for a live feed around Australia to keep up with the contest.

Remembering how much fun it had been last year Amex was really looking forward to it this year and had even purchased an ear piece so that he could listen to updates when he went outside for a pee.

Yes, Amex was ready for the competition and was proud to be a part of it all.  It was something that united the dogs of Australia and raised awareness about the sport and the great fun that dogs and owners can have together.

Back home at Brutus’s House

Brutus had shown his ‘Good Boy Collar Award’ to Rocky who although he had called Brutus a ‘Girls blouse’ for wearing such a posh collar, Rocky was secretly jealous that he hadn’t got anything.

I did actually remind Rocky that Fran Forbes from QLD had bought him a Julie Gillard doll and Brutus a second Tony Abbott doll but Rocky still maintained he deserved a Good Boy Award even though he hasn’t always been a good boy if you know what I mean. J4

Rocky and his Julia Gillard doll that Fran Forbes bought him

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘So, how fast did you go today Turd Legs?’ Rocky asked Brutus later that night.

‘Don’t know really but I had great fun’ Brutus replied simply.  Curled up on the sofa with Gordon the cat, Brutus was exhausted after his day.

Rocky looked thoughtful and barked ‘Yep and that’s what counts’

‘Here Brutus, tell me about your Good Boy Collar Award again’ Gordon asked.  Being an indoor cat he loved hearing about their stories. 10342001_10152782927138317_264238942954362727_n

Brutus winning his race (in his dreams of course)

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

But Gordon never did get to hear about it because when he glanced round to Brutus, he saw that he was fast asleep with his legs twitching.  No doubt dreaming about ‘winning his own race’ – which in my book, he does so well.

Until next time……..

Acknowledgements and Thanks The Australian Lure Coursing Association 

Thank you to the Australian Lure Coursing Association for their promotion of the sport in Australia at a National level and for overseeing that it is run fairly, appropriately and to a high standard.

Sandra Burrows and the team put in a huge amount of work to get the results of the Fastest Dog contest out to us, it is no small job either so thank you Sandra for all your hard work in doing this, we do appreciate it .

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1399559963621860/?fref=ts

West Coast Dog Sports

Thank you to Dee Cole and all of the team at West Coast Dog Sports for their hard work in organising their heats for the Fastest Dog in Australia competition and for the lure coursing events in general that give our dogs the chance to compete in the sport.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/242717789174231/?fref=ts

Amy Joy from Studio Joy

Thank you to Amy Joy for kindly allowing me to use her photographs for my blog to bring it to life. Amy is available to take stunning photographs your animals at very reasonable prices  and If you would like a photo shoot with her then please contact her directly:

Amy Joy tel:  0430 549 346

https://www.facebook.com/PhotographyStudioJoy?fref=ts

A  special thank you from Brutus

Thank you to Dee Cole, Denise Pringle and everyone at the Italian Greyhound Club of Western Australia and Kim Cross for Brutus’s Good Boy Collar.  He will be saving it for evening wear and lure coursing.

If any of you would like a ‘Good Boy Collar’ for your own dog, please contact Dee Cole at the Canine Company:

https://www.facebook.com/thecaninecompanywa?fref=ts

Disclaimer:

No offence is intended by this story and I just write things down as they come in to my head. Whilst some (not all) of the dogs in my stories are in fact real, the dialogue that I give them is invented and any bearing or resemblance to the real dogs is purely coincidental and is in good fun and from my imagination only.

And if my husband is reading this and you suddenly find a tuxedo in Brutus’s wardrobe, you can blame Lexie as she got me started on all this and said that Brutus needed formal wear and as for the Hells Angels cap – I am saying nothing.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright April 2015

Watermarked photographs remain the sole copyright of Studio Joy and unmarked photographs remain the copyright of myself.

The Night Before Lure Coursing – March 2015

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Pippin Pringle – The Organiser

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

At the Pringle Headquarters

You all know the drill – it was the night before lure coursing and Pippin Pringle was doing his usual organising of what was to be expected on the biggest night of all self respecting lure coursers agenda’

‘No Bronte, you cannot possibly wear that dress as it is far too short!’ Pippin said firmly to his sister Bronte who was wearing a dress so short that you could see her knickers (had she been wearing them).

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Bronte

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Straining to look at her bottom in the mirror, Bronte gave a haughty to look Pippin and then carried on admiring her bum causing Pippin to roll his eyes impatiently.  He had so much to do before tomorrow, things like make lists and stuff and organising the Iggy meeting where no doubt Rocco, Bentley, Fat Harry and the gang would cause a scene of some sort involving Rocco’s invisible friends to fight with.

(Pippin’s phone rings)

‘Hello, Pippin Pringle here’  Pippin said in his posh voice that he does so well, you know a ‘telephone voice’ that we all adopt when we answer our phone in the hope that someone says ‘Aren’t you posh’.

‘What did you say?  James?  Are you sure?, Well this changes everything – no, don’t worry, I shall tell them tomorrow’.  Pippin said quietly while staring at Bronte who without a care in the world was now kissing her own reflection in the mirror and telling herself how hot she was.

‘What’s up bro?’ Bronte giggled to Pippin and just as she was about to give her brother a playful poke, she saw his face and thought better of it.

‘James the mini wired Dachshund tragically crossed over to Rainbow Bridge – I have only just been notified’ Pippin said sadly.  Being ‘The Organiser’ of his little group, it was down to him to break the news.

‘James has gone over to Rainbow Bridge? Are you sure?’ Bronte’s voice faltered as she fought to stop herself from crying.

That was the thing you see, when any of their lure coursing pals went over to Rainbow Bridge it was always sad, well not for the dogs that have crossed over because Rainbow Bridge is a lovely place but sad for the loved ones that have been left behind to miss them and mourn their empty bed.

‘Yes I am afraid so, a feisty little dog as well who will no doubt be keeping them on their toes up there but it does mean that Kim and Ian his parents will need special hugs and dog licks tomorrow at lure coursing’ said Pippin firmly.

‘If Brutus and Vader lick them then that will be more of a bath than a lick don’t you think?’ Bronte asked Pippin who looked somewhat alarmed at the suggestion because it was so accurate.

‘Yes, but she does have Eugene and the rest of the ‘Cloth dogs’ (Afghans) and remember when one escaped the barrier at lure coursing and rolled in horse shit?  Well I am sure they are ‘hard core’ and familiar with all things like that’ Pippin barked his response.

‘What do we do Pippin? You always know what to do, What do we do?’ Bronte asked her brother.

‘That is easy Bronte, we race for a reason and tomorrow’s reason is James’ Pippin said confidently.

These dogs do not often race for a reason, in fact the last time they raced for a reason was for a beautiful staffie so this time they will be doing it for James.

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Race for a reason – James the mini wired Dachshund

(Photography by Kim Ian Cross)

Because racing for a reason means that each dog is released to catch the lure and their purpose is to celebrate the canine friend that has crossed to Rainbow Bridge to honour them.

Brutus’s House

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Brutus – the energetic lure courser with his new Julia Gillard doll

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

‘What does wait and see mean?’ Brutus sobbed loudly to me as I tried to ignore his pleading eyes.

‘It means providing that you can keep your dinner down and stop farting like a shit machine, that you can go to lure coursing tomorrow’ I replied.

Brutus being Brutus had eaten some kind of crap in the garden and having a sensitive stomach, it had inflamed his tummy and caused him to vomit up the copious amounts of grass that he had eaten and also fart like a guffing truck.

Totally refusing all food, he was also accusing his own bottom of assaulting him because he farted so loudly that he stared at his anus for a bit and then went ‘full Pringle’ and burst into tears.

*Full Pringle is to do what Pippin does when he can’t get his own way and that is to burst in to tears*

‘But I want to go to lure coursing with Vader!’ Brutus broke out into noisy sobs which of course put pressure on his stomach and he farted in between each word.

‘Let’s see how you go Brutus’ I tried to sooth him but it was no good, he had got into more states than Australia and was now walking around the living room with Rocky’s gingerbread man tightly gripped in his mouth as he tried to plonk the soggy wet toy on both my husband and myself to try and prove a point.

‘You are such a girl’ Rocky sneered, secretly jealous that Brutus got to go lure coursing and he didn’t.

Smiling Rocky

Rocky on holiday on the farm in Denmark 

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Brutus walked aimlessly around the living room for a few minutes, contemplating that his entire world would end if he could not go lure coursing.

Already deciding he would go on a hunger strike once his appetite came back, he would also do a dirty protest and crap on the floor like prisoners did in their cells.  But hold on a minute, Brutus has done dirty protests before so let’s not go there.

Planet Iggy – Zara and Nica’s house

‘I am so excited I might be sick’ Zara squealed happily.  It was to be her first lure coursing event and she had already packed some cycling shorts and several hats.

‘Nica, what are you trying to do?’ Zara asked her sister who had her back facing her.

‘I am practising my vomiting techniques for when people ignore me and thought that if I made more noises when vomiting, then I could also throw in a fainting episode’ Nica growled.

Raising her eyebrows, Zara grinned ‘That should work but it might be better to pretend that you are lame as well’.

Nica who SO did not ‘do’ lame, looked horrified, ‘I shall stick to what I do best and that is vomiting’.

‘Your loss but I think it would be far better if you had a walking stick as well’ Zara shrugged her shoulders.

‘What would you know, you are only a puppy’ Nica snapped and then did the new vomiting sound that she had perfected that made her sound like Kylie Minogue on helium.

Vader and Tess’s house

rifles

Vader – tongue firmly inside mouth (for now)

(Photography by Samantha Rose)

Lure coursing was very nearly a non-event for Vader when he had a bit of an accident involving a tongue and a tuna can and as you all know, he has a substantial tongue to have an incident with and he is still very embarrassed about it.

I cannot go in to too much detail other than that he ran up to Lexie shouting ‘Mum! My tongue, save my tongue!’ in a special lick-the-kennel-windows kind of way, except that he couldn’t lick the windows because his tongue was too busy being tangled in the open lid of the tuna can.

‘Oh Vader what have you done’ Lexie sighed.  Honestly this boy was at the vets far too often for her liking.

‘My tongue is caught’ Vader sobbed as Lexie spotted his tongue caught in the tuna lid and yes, there was a fair amount of blood to go with it.

Saving Vader and his tongue and freeing him from the tuna can, Lexie gave him first aid and sent to his bed to feel very sorry for himself while Tess laughed at him and made jokes about his tongue now being served in cans in the supermarket.

Fast forward to now and Vader is fit and well for lure coursing and has been making himself ‘match fit’ by doing squats and press ups in the garden and also jogging round in circles.

‘Can you please stop, I am so tired’ Tess sighed as Vader managed to do one sit-up and then insist on a rest.

‘I can’t stop, I am racing tomorrow’ Vader puffed and then managed another sit-up before falling over and lying on his back forcing him to admire the cloud formation in the sky.

‘I can’t wait to see Brutus’ Vader said happily.

‘You two are such girls’ Tess laughed, ‘I am going in to lie on my bed’ and with that she shuffled off like an old lady towards the house.

‘Brutus, are you there?’ Vader shouted at the fence.

(sounds of fence snuffling)

‘Yes, I am here! Are you excited for tomorrow?’ Brutus barked excitedly.

‘Yes, so excited and I am doing vigorous exercises in the garden and have a body like a finely toned greyhound’ Vader said hopefully.

Trying to imagine Vader with a body like Mouse Norris, Brutus felt a bit nervous as he was not match-fit and had been rough housing with Rocky in the garden but that was about it really, aside from walks on the farm in Denmark on holiday a couple of weeks ago.

‘I am going to get the Good Boy Award tomorrow I am sure’ Brutus said to Vader.

The only two dogs I might add that actually believe The Good Boy Award exists are Vader and Brutus and every race meet, Brutus believes that the crowds are there to see him and if they cheer him on, he truly thinks that he has won The Good Boy Award.

And the only dog that really believes that Brutus has won it, is Vader who passionately supports his good friend and when Brutus thinks he has won it, Vader happily cries along side him because he is so happy for him.

‘You have won The Good Boy Award? Really?’ Vader barked and then mentally started to imagine the scene on the day so that he could cry for him.

‘Yes but I have had a bad tummy for eating stuff in the garden and Mum has said I have to be normal better by tonight or I can’t go’ Brutus said to Vader.

‘But you have to go, if they don’t let you then go on a hunger strike’ Vader growled to him.

‘I am already on one of those but I did manage some dog biscuit and tried to steal Mum’s lamb and veggies so I think I am feeling better’ Brutus sighed.

‘Good lad, right I had better go as Mum is calling me to lie on the sofa with her and Dad for a belly rub’ lied Vader who I might add really was lying because I know his Dad would not do that but it was enough to make Brutus jealous.

‘See you tomorrow!’ Brutus barked at Vader and then ran off towards the door and demanded to be let in.

‘Mum, Vader is going on his sofa for a belly rub, can I get on the sofa for a belly rub?’ Brutus insisted hopefully.

Letting him inside the house, Brutus jumped on the sofa and then displayed his belly for me to rub it.  Only he is so big there was nowhere for me to sit so I relented and let him have the whole sofa and then moved to the chair that I am sitting in now so I could write this story.

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked me.

‘Yes Brutus?’

‘I have been told that I have won The Good Boy Award tomorrow’ Brutus said proudly.

Rocky did not even look up as he was used to this routine of The Good Boy Award now and knew it didn’t actually exist and to correct Brutus would break his heart.

‘You are a good boy Brutus’ I laughed at him.

‘I like The Good Boy Award, it makes me feel like Rumble the cop dog’ Brutus growled.

Rumble the cop dog is Brutus’s hero and Brutus has convinced himself that one day he too will be a cop dog just like Rumble which is probably why he thinks he has won a Good Boy Award each month at lure coursing, just so he can big up his ego.

‘Mum?’ Brutus asked again.

‘Yes Brutus’

‘I hope I can remember how to run’ Brutus said sounding a bit worried.

Remembering how he crashed through the barriers because he couldn’t turn corners, I replied ‘So do I Brutus, so do I’.

Rainbow Bridge

For the benefit of those that do not know about Rainbow Bridge – feel free to read a blog post I did on it last year.

https://jotitmedown.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/rainbow-bridge-just-a-nice-place-for-any-pet-to-go/

James the mini wire haired Dachshund sat comfortably from his chair at Rainbow Bridge and stared down at his parents Kim and Ian as they prepared their dogs for lure coursing tomorrow.

He felt somewhat sad that he wouldn’t be there to greet them when they got back but he also knew that they were OK about it, after all every dog that goes to Rainbow Bridge lives the life of a strong and healthy dog and isn’t that what counts?

‘How do you reckon our lot will do?’ Bowie the white greyhound asked James.

‘Probably jump the barrier and roll in horse shit like they normally do’ James grinned.

‘Bowie, is farting still allowed in Rainbow Bridge?’ James asked Bowie.  Still being unsure of the rules, he thought it best to ask.

‘Farting?’ Bowie laughed and then added ‘Yep, louder the better and you won’t get told off for it either’.

‘Great’ James barked and then let out such a loud fart that several dogs stopped chasing butterflies and clapped in appreciation.

Rainbow Bridge – the rules are that there are no rules aside from laughter and that of course, is mandatory.

Until next time…

Dedicated to James – the mini wire haired Dachshund who is now bossing everyone around at Rainbow Bridge and farting with the best of them.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright March 2015

The Fastest Dog in Australia – The Finals and the Results!

 Image

It was the last day of the contest to find ‘Australia’s Fastest Dog’ and one of the WA clubs –  Lure Coursers Anonymous (LCA) were holding their event at the Naval Base, Kwinana.

The day was going very well and as usual there were several dogs that had tried to make their bid for freedom – one joyously happy greyhound called Abigail that decided that yes, she was selectively deaf and could not hear her owners calling her as she tried to join Mouse Norris on the track for a chat.  It is pretty much ‘the law’ that at least one dog should escape and make a bid for freedom and this day was no different.

ImageAbigail – single girl, likes to chat and enjoys shopping when she isn’t racing

‘Lovely weather today for a run’ Abigail the greyhound said happily as she galloped along side Mouse; who told her to kindly ‘Piss off’ because she wanted to chase the lure instead of chatting about frivolities.

Mouse studio joyMouse wearing her ‘race face’

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Lure Coursing – it’s a social event

10409145_662020710552645_5152004044825946281_nLure coursing – a social affair for all

Many people don’t understand lure coursing nor the benefits and values of it.  It isn’t just about your dog chasing a mechanical lure because believe me not all of them want to chase the lure.  Some of them enjoy the run, some of them enjoy the freedom and some of them do enjoy chasing the lure but one thing they all have in common and that is every dog enjoys the day in general.

The socialization aspect for dog owners and dogs alike, each dog getting extra attention and love lavished on them, perhaps a nice piece of hot dog from the sausage sizzle, or a doggy treat from one of the rescue stands.

Lure coursing events usually raise money for a cause of some kind and this event was raising money for was ‘Everything Beagle’ and ‘K9 Rescue’ not to mention for the lure coursing club itself so that equipment can be maintained/purchased and subsequent events can continue.

So as you see – there is much more to lure coursing than chasing the lure – it really is more of a social club with a multitude of positives and benefits to it.

Back to the event

It was all happening at the course, one of the Afghans was doing its ‘floating down the track like black silken cloth’ routine (as described by my husband), whilst shouting ‘Yippee, I am running free, look how long my legs are, aren’t I marvelous!’  I have seen this Afghan do this before and never tire of watching it either.

10501728_1507362672826214_762521810464220973_nYay! Look at my legs!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

A bulldog called Duke was watching from the sidelines pondering as to whether or not he should enter.  Having short legs and a squashed face, he knew he wouldn’t be the fastest by a long shot but that wasn’t really what it was about and being a good sport, he agreed to make his owners proud and enter anyway.

Bulldogs make up for in personality what they don’t have in snout and can be exceptionally stubborn when they want to be but Duke had decided he would give it a bash and see how it went.

Duke’s owner released him on command to start his race and with the best intentions, Duke went to chase the lure and show off his racing prowess while waddling down the track like a little pig searching for truffles.

After only going for a short while, Duke muttered ‘Bollocks to this, I can’t be bothered’, and then let out a huge fart comparable to the ones my brother used to do after consuming broccoli.  Duke then promptly took a piss up the orange barrier, plodded along for a bit and then after a while, went back to his owner – much to the delight and cheers of the other dogs that always seemed to find a bit of canine rebellion hilarious.

10314731_1507399359489212_2620425477991190388_nDuke – are you taking the piss?

(Photography by Studio Joy)

A Scottish deer-hound X called Fergus was in the process of enjoying some coffee froth before his race, maintaining that he could not possibly run without it.  With his strong Scottish accent, Fergus was yelling various things using Scottish words that the other dogs couldn’t understand but as they were all fascinated by his grey beard and long legs, they just pretended that they knew what he was talking about.

‘Ronald where’s ya trousers!’ Fergus shouted to anyone that would listen and anyone that wouldn’t.  (Google the song ‘Ronald Where’s ya trousers’ to see what I mean)

fergusFergus – the Scottish Deerhound X enjoys his coffee froth

‘Fergus, it is time for your race!’ His owner told him and started to lead him to the release area.

‘Good luck lad, give it your best shot!’ One of the beagles shouted.

‘Is it normal for a dog to have a beard like that?’ Mouse Norris asked Brutus who shrugged his shoulders and replied ‘I am not sure but I think he is a wizard in disguise’

But all that was forgotten when Fergus romped home with such good speeds; that all discussions of his grey beard had been forgotten as the other dogs celebrated and cheered as he had done so well.

The dogs were a delight to watch and there is nothing quite like watching a dog run as though ‘the gate has been left open’ where for just those few minutes, they run free, they run their own personal ‘race’ and then they run into the arms of their proud owners and perhaps that is a lesson for us all – to ‘run as though the gate has been left open’

10428510_1507358209493327_6726719958960631723_nLayla the beagle – running as though someone left the gate open!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

A female Belgian Malinois known as ‘Z’ had to be bribed to let the lure ‘survive’ in return for a tug rope. ‘Let me have it, let me eat that lure, give it to me now, OK give me the rope instead and I will destroy it’ ‘Z’ said in a rather demented voice.  With all thoughts of the lure forgotten, ‘Z’ was taken out of the coursing area back to her crate while firmly attached to a tug rope.  Trade-offs are highly important in lure coursing, I mean why should a dog part with a plastic bag of a lure if you have nothing better to offer it?

Image‘Z’ a Belgian Malinois

The little dogs ran their legs off, the salukis sat aloof in their area preferring to discuss beauty, rabbits and the modern day dog.

A little beagle/cavalier mix called Sam had such a lovely time running that he couldn’t stop barking, even while running his heart out.

‘I can’t breathe’ Sam shouted out as he ran down the track while barking for Perth.

‘Stop talking!’ A Samoyed shouted back ‘And you might be able to you – daft thing!’

10452343_10152245341273037_4578178218962868170_nSam – not stopping for breath as he barked round the course

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Treats for all!

It was rather nice as there were stalls where you could buy treats for your dog, collars, leashes, toys, cups/mugs and just nice souvenirs of the day which is always a good thing in my book.  After all, I don’t know about you but I love having treats to show for the day to look back on and admire.

I had been intending to buy Brutus a bedtime coat for some time but as he had eaten one that Lexie had put on him when I was in NZ, I was a bit dubious.  Besides, Brutus is an odd size and shape and doesn’t fit the ‘normal’ sizes in dog coats.

Vest

Brutus – rather an odd shaped dog

I had been liaising via Facebook with Lesley from ‘Muttrugs’ of WA who make dog jackets to measure, so imagine my surprise to find her at the lure coursing event with her stall.  Lesley tried on one of her polar fleece jackets with a belly strap on Brutus to see how it fitted him.

‘This is nice, can I have it?’ Brutus asked me with his eyes silently promising that no, he wouldn’t eat it and yes, he would and could be a good boy.

‘Promise me you won’t eat it’ I pleaded with Brutus who looked sheepish and said he would do no such thing and whilst it might not be ‘his colour’, it was in fact, made out of his favourite material – baby soft polar fleece.

Brutus as many of you know, loves his soft baby/puppy blankets and being very thin skinned, highly muscled and little or no fat on his body, is very sensitive and feels the cold quite badly so the right jacket material is imperative for him.

Once fitted, that jacket never left Brutus’s back except for when he did his race and then it went straight back on.  It didn’t seem to bother him either, he enjoyed wearing it and enjoyed being warm and even when the other dogs called him a ‘Girly brown bum’, Brutus didn’t care as he felt all ‘wrapped up like a cuddle’ in his jacket and was very proud of that fact.

I was quite amused to see the greyhounds wearing their ‘Onesies’ that Lesley had made them and she was flat out busy measuring various dogs for new clothes so I was thrilled with Brutus’s polar fleece house jacket as you can imagine, although scared it might be eaten at some point like everything else I have bought him.

10419486_661982620556454_931739908848174159_nLesley (Muttrugs) and Brutus – showing off the new housecoat 

Lesley I must add; really is marvellous by the way, honestly – she can make your dog any jacket and the quality is rather superb and I can highly recommend her, you can find ‘Muttrugs’ on Facebook (based in WA).

Hub of activity!

It was a hub of activity; greyhounds were strutting their stuff looking ever-so-slightly bored by anything that wasn’t a lure, some dogs were barking.  The beagles were holding some sort of meeting while the salukis were chatting about dog shows.

Some rescue dogs were gathering round telling their stories of their life in rescue kennels before they were adopted and what it felt like to be adopted.

Other dogs just stared at their owners eating hotdogs, drool coming from their mouths in festoons as they silently willed them for a piece of sausage and always remember, nothing begs quite as efficiently as a dog with big jowls.

Honestly, if you opened your ears, heart and imagination to the surroundings you could hear it all and it was like being privy to ‘Planet Dog’ and I was highly proud to be part of it.

First time for everything!

It was Brutus’s first time doing lure coursing with corners and I will freely admit to being nervous about this as it was a new venue for us and the first time ever that I wasn’t at the other end to catch him.

‘What do I do, where do I go, who am I?’ Brutus said sounding so scared that I thought he might refuse to run.

ImageBrutus nervously waits his turn to race

‘Please don’t social-butterfly, please don’t escape’ I said aloud – you may have even heard me saying that if you were standing nearby. ‘Social-butterflying’ by the way is where Brutus stops at the side of the fence and introduces himself to people/dogs ‘Hello, the names Brutus, pleased to meet you’.

But I needn’t have worried; Brutus did really well and ran quite fast for him.  He took the corners well and despite my fears that he might social butterfly, when he turned the corner and saw me; he ran right back to me  and in to my arms like a champion.

ImageBrutus – Thou Shalt Not Social-Butterfly When Racing

(Photography by Studio Joy)

I wanted to cry as I was so proud of him and that sounds daft but this was a huge deal for my lad and I had to hug and kiss him when I caught him at the end.

Oh yes, I wasn’t sure who clapped but I heard someone clapping when I caught him and hugged him – thank you whoever you were, Brutus gets so excited when people clap and he always thinks it is for him (sometimes I clap when he brings me his toys because he loves the applause).

‘Did I win? Did I win?’ Brutus asked me proudly. I never have the heart to tell him no, he didn’t win overall but he always wins ‘his own personal best’ and my own ‘Good Boy Award’.

10514484_663023367119046_5440793577039023180_nBrutus – running and smiling because he loves it!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

A couple of people actually recognized Brutus from this page which was rather nice and he got quite a bit of attention. I never know whether to admit to writing these stories when people ask as I never know how it’s been taken or if it offends anyone.  After all, just because my dogs have social lives and swear, it is not the same for every other dog – I just tune in and listen to it and write it down.

Mouse Norris who had already run in her first race, was now resting and had gone all ‘rock n roll’ on us and trashed her beautiful pink collapsible soft crate – one of which I was going to order for Brutus but now I know better as if Mouse can wreck hers, Brutus will sure as hell as eat his!

‘Go on Mouse, all the famous people wreck their hotel rooms’ Brutus encouraged his friend as Jet Ska tried hard to fix it but realizing it couldn’t be fixed, collapsed the cage up while Mouse had her hind leg in her water bowl.

ImageMouse Norris going ‘rock n roll’ and trashing her crate while Brutus looks on

‘I am cold, I want my crate, and I want to lie down NOW’ Mouse shouted in a demanding voice.

Jet tried to put down a nice padded mat for her but somehow Mouse ended up wearing it while Brutus went on about rock stars and stuff, after all in Brutus’s eyes, Mouse was his own ‘rock star’.

Brutus was thoroughly over excited because he was hanging out with the greyhounds not to mention flirting with a very pretty whippet puppy who had asked him for his phone number which he promptly refused on grounds of her being too young.

ImageMouse Norris – loving that lure!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Beagles need homes too!

WA group called ‘Everything Beagle’ had their stand at the event and a large rather chunky beagle dog called Baylen wearing half rimmed glasses was serving the public and handing out leaflets about beagles.

Now I know you probably think I am mad and don’t believe that a beagle dog could possibly run a beagle rescue stand, let alone wear glasses and converse with the public. But you really are going to have to trust me on this one, just ask Sharon Macbeth Harris from ‘Everything Beagle’ if you don’t believe me, I am sure she will back me up.

‘Hi, I am head of the beagle stand – you can call me Baylen the beagle.  Would you like to support our rescue group?’ Baylen asked random members of the public and then added; ‘It’s all in a good cause, we have marvelous snouting abilities you know, if you lose your food we can guarantee to find it’.

Looking highly efficient and official, Baylen the beagle was rustling through papers and leaflets about how to adopt a rescue beagle, occasionally chewing on a biro pen, he kept an eye out to see who was taking notice of his stall.

‘Franky, good luck my lovely and make sure you do us all proud and remember – if it moves – eat it’ Baylen yelled to a solid looking beagle who was trying to do press ups to warm up and impress the bitches with his fitness.

As Franky the beagle was released, all the other beagles gathered round to shout support and encouragement to their friend from the sidelines.

It all started off well but Franky the beagle did not get very far when he looked up and said ‘Bugger this, I can smell food – can you smell food? I am sure I can smell food, let me find that food’ in a voice sounding not unlike a robot and before you could blink, Franky had decided to abandon the lure and go off snouting for food as the other beagles cheered him on purely for trying.

‘Oh dear, a good beagle is always guided by thy snout’ said Baylen the beagle as Franky was led off the course by his owner.

ImageFranky the beagle – and like all good beagles, loves his food!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Baylen the beagle was actually very pleased with Franky’s effort in the race and despite him not finishing the course; it really was quite marvellous the way Franky went in search of food like a good beagle should.  Personally, Baylen thought he would make a super ‘sausage search and rescue dog’ where instead of searching for people lost in the mountains, he could search for sausages instead.  Can you possibly imagine a more enviable and perfect job for a beagle?

Talking of snouting ability, I was at Auckland Airport in April and had declared my medicines as you should and this very important looking beagle followed close to my feet, turned round to the Customs officer and then pawed my rucksack while shouting in a Kiwi accent ‘This chick has drugs on her!’

I mean, I know there is being good at your job but did the beagle have to say it so loudly?  Thank god I wasn’t subjected to the ‘rubber glove’ treatment as I would have died and thank god I declared my prescriptions but this rather efficient looking beagle was a ‘dog with a job’ and his job is to sniff out drugs.  But not all beagles sniff out drugs, most prefer to sniff out food.

A group of naughty beagles were by the sausage sizzle egging their friend on to steal a hotdog.  ‘Go on, I dare you, down it in one!’ a beagle bitch said to her friend.

‘Do you think I should?’ The  beagle replied.

‘It would be positively criminal not to, besides – one has to think of the starving dogs in countries that cannot have hotdogs and eat it on their behalf’ the beagle bitch said firmly as the other beagles nodded vigorously in support.

‘OK, here goes!’ the beagle said while checking to see if his owners where looking and then as quick as a flash, jumped up to the table where some poor unsuspecting customer had left their hotdog, and literally inhaled the hotdog leaving nothing more than a tomato sauce stain on his snout.

‘Good job!’ the beagles all shouted looking ever so impressed.

‘Shhhh, be quiet, they are looking for their hotdog!’ One of the beagles whispered loudly as the others all put on their angelic facial expression so nobody except a beagle owner would realise how naughty they had been.

The person was looking round for their hotdog, with a confused and bewildered expression on their face, they stared several times at the table and then around them but did not for one minute suspect it was a beagle that had robbed them of their hotdog.

And I guess unless they ever read this blog, they never will because if you look at the face of a beagle, you would never believe it yourself.  In fact, I would not have believed it had I not been told so by someone who witnessed the whole affair and that person for their own protection, shall remain anonymous because the beagles will not be happy to be dobbed in for hotdog theft which carries a mandatory sentence of no treats for a week.

Meanwhile Baylen the beagle who was in charge of the Everything Beagle WA stand was trying to promote beagle ownership and rescue.

‘Anyone interested in adopting a beagle? Come on ladies and gents, your life isn’t complete without a beagle in it!’ Baylen said in a cheerful voice before lifting his leg and peeing up the corner of the table and having a snout around on the grass for crumbs of food.

‘Would anyone like to consider adopting Billie? She is one of ours and has been waiting for a home where she will have a nice bed, toys and a family to love her?’ Baylen the beagle shouted to various people walking past.

Baylen was desperate to find Billie a home and had many a conversation with her where he had to try and calm her down when she had become so upset at the thought of never having a family, that she actually became quite inconsolable.

‘I don’t think anyone will want me as I am not a young puppy, I am 7 years old’ Billie had said to Baylen the beagle a few days ago.

Baylen the beagle tried to comfort Billie and replied gently ‘That is a good thing, not everyone is after a puppy or a young dog.  You are just like a  ‘ready prepared meal’ and all good to go, as in you are house trained, you have grown into yourself, you know who you are and what is expected of you’

‘I just want what everyone else has – a family and a home to call my own’ Billie said quietly and then shuffled off to lie down fearing that she would never have her own toys, her own collar/leash, identity tag, her own bed, her own people to love, her own food bowls and her own garden to protect and dig.

All she wanted was to turn up to one of the lure coursing events like the other beagles and proudly show off her family like Franky did.  To have her family enter her in a race and cheer her on like Brutus’s Mum did even though he wasn’t very fast and to win the Good Girl Award’ like Brutus’s Mum makes him win the ‘Good Boy Award’ because she loves him so much.

Billie dreamt of being hand fed a bit of sausage from the sausage sizzle, and perhaps even be bought a treat or two afterwards – maybe a pigs ear for being a good girl in the races.  To have a toy box so full of toys that she wouldn’t know which one to play with first so would probably try and stuff several in her mouth.

In return she vowed she would be a good dog, guard the house, protect the family and provide a warm furry shoulder in times of need.

Because in all my years of working with animals, there is nothing and I emphasise that word NOTHING quite like a rescue dog that has been adopted, when he/she walks out with his/her family to his/her new home for the first time with their tails wagging and their eyes full of hope.

It isn’t too much to ask – is it?

549216_489448227786320_1397826679_n

72338_10151333097908317_1510278889_n

A collar, leash, toy and ID tag – all part of a Beagles Prayer

Can you help Billie the Beagle

Billie is a 7 year old female beagle, please don’t be fooled by the grey muzzle as she is a very young dog at heart and has a lot of life to live and love to give.  She is ‘ready made’, toilet trained, loving, mature yet fun and knows how to behave.

Could you be the person that brings Billie to the next lure coursing event to show her off to your friends, enjoy the sausage sizzle, the general atmosphere and hang out with the cool Beagle Crew?

If you are living in Western Australia and are interested in adopting her, she is available through the Facebook group Everything Beagle WA, please contact everythingbeaglewa@yahoo.com.au

‘A Beagles Prayer’

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray for a sofa for me to sleep

A family and a nice warm home

A place to love and call my own

Amen

Billie

Billie the beagle – looking for a home

(Photo by K9Kate Pet Photography – http://www.k9kate.com.au)

Time to go home!

10452306_662020313886018_1965263950095129292_nIt’s all a bit too much for Brutus!

Brutus only took part in one race, he was totally exhausted and was not used to the distance so I had decided to pull him from the second run and take him home.  After all the more tired Brutus gets, he goes floppy and refuses to move and at 34 kgs, he is a whole hunk of puppy to carry.

‘I don’t want to go home!’ Brutus sobbed as he could see his beloved Mouse in the distance, standing by her family glancing wistfully at the lure.

And like any child being taken away from a party, Brutus looked longingly at his ‘mates’ as they stayed behind, while making telephone gestures with his paws and mouthing ‘call me’ to Mouse and her friends.

‘FaceTime later tonight to get the results!’ Mouse shouted to Brutus who nodded gratefully back at her.

It took some persuading as well to get him to the car but once he was in the back of my Yaris, he was asleep before I had even pulled out of the car park and literally had to be lifted out of the car when I arrived home.

Later that evening

As I said, every respectable dog that evening was sitting by their computer. Now you will remember at the Guildford race meet with West Coast Dog Sports, Mouse won fastest dog on the day and Brutus came 8 out of 11 in the unregistered large category.

Brutus after having his puppy nap, was wide awake and on the phone to Mouse who was also conference calling Pippin who was on one of his THREE phones, to Gidget who was on the phone to Vader the boxer.

The computers were also out and video calls/FaceTime calls were taking place for maximum State wide contact.  Rocky had a laptop and Brutus was on his bed with his mobile phone to Mouse.

‘The results are in from Lure Coursers Anonymous!’ Pippin shouted from Denise’s lap as he had borrowed her iPad.

Pippin

Pippin checks the iPad to report for WA

‘Damn it – I thought I had nailed it’ Mouse muttered and momentarily looked somewhat annoyed. But being the good sport she is, Mouse sighed, smiled and then added ‘Well done Abigail for coming first, well done Angie for coming second and bloody well done to me for coming third!’

*Now these results are ONLY for the WA contest for Lure Coursers Anonymous (LCA) and will be added to the West Coast Dog Sports (WCDS) results and then the fastest times will be added to the Australia National results to find the Fastest Dog in Australia*.

Mouse was actually very happy as she had already won ‘fastest dog on the day’ in two other WA contests with LCA and WCDS coursing clubs.

Pippin was biting his nails, Gidget had farted with nerves which shocked everyone as she is a lady and NEVER farts.  Vader was flicking boxer snot all over the walls and growling at himself as Tess refused to argue with him.

Now the gangs’ beloved Mighty Mouse had her initial results, they were all keen to see how Brutus had done – Brutus, the cross between Scooby Doo and a Kangaroo.

VADER

Vader the boxer – waiting to see how Brutus has done

‘I know I didn’t win, I am not very fast but Mum is so proud of me’ Brutus said down the phone to Mouse.

Rocky who was behind him while furiously pacing up and down and herding invisible sheep  which he always does when he is nervous. ‘Let me check the laptop’ Rocky said sharply and then sat down on the bed to see if there were any updates.

Rocky on macbook

Rocky – impatient for the results!

Still wearing his beautiful new pyjamas, Brutus was curled up on his bed with his favourite Tony Abbott doll.  He wasn’t sure what to expect as he had never entered any kind of contest before so these feelings were new to him.

He had taken a while to be accepted on the doggy circuit and now he had friends, like real proper friends and a sort of girlfriend in Mouse even if Mouse fancied the lure more than Brutus, he was still proud to be seen by her side.

Not to mention all of the Iggys that he had become pals with plus Benny and Isis the Pharaoh hounds, Dee’s ridgebacks – especially Bailey and Mac who taught him how to fart and blame it on someone else.

‘Brutus, your results are in for large unregistered for Lure Coursers Anonymous’ Mouse said on the phone to Brutus.

‘Oh my god, oh my god, I am so scared – I might have gastro’ Brutus squeaked in his puppy voice that is now broken and sounds like a foghorn.

Brutus on laptop

Brutus wanted to check the results for himself

‘That’s not gastro Turd Legs, that will be the cows hoof you had earlier’ Said Rocky matter-of-factly.

‘Brutus, are you listening?’ Mouse demanded while Bender and Barbie yelled in the background for her to get on with it and was now play-bowing and knocking ornaments over because she was bored.

‘Yes Mouse, I am listening’, Brutus whispered, too scared to speak any louder.

‘There were 14 large unregistered, Fergus came first – that was the dog with the Scottish accent that had the grey beard; and you have come 11 – not a bad effort at all Turd Legs’ Mouse grinned as she read the results down the phone.

Brutus was rather proud to see that his friend Isis the Pharaoh hound had done very well.  Isis like every respectable dog in Australia, was sitting by her computer awaiting the results and was thrilled to see she had won the fastest Pharaoh hound on the day.

Isis

Isis the Pharaoh hound checks her laptop

Pippin was now so excited that he had forgotten his composure and was now bouncing everywhere, Vader wasn’t sure what to do so he barked at invisible friends, Rocky was cracking open some ‘Kelpie beer’ and Brutus had gone back to his bed with a smile on his face, thrilled that he had been placed somewhere – anywhere on that list.

‘What happens now Mouse?’ Pippin asked Mouse who was busy having her ears smoothed back by Bender who was very proud of his sister.

Barbie had her new spectacles on and was trying to use the calculator to get a rough idea of running times. Frustrated because she couldn’t get it to work, she tapped it with her nose, gave up and knocked it to the floor while muttering ‘bugger it’ and stuffed her snout up Bender’s bum.

‘What happens now is Sandra Burrows from the Australian Lure Coursing Association Inc is gathering all the results from each State that entered to get the fastest dog’ Mouse said firmly. Mouse knew things you see, she was as clever as she was pretty.

‘Brutus – are you there?’ Mouse said to Brutus.

(No answer)

‘I think he has gone’ Mouse said and then added ‘But he did bloody well for his first course with turns on it and he is rather a clumsy bugger as well’

And every dog in the group agreed that Brutus had in fact done very well indeed.

As for Brutus, he was curled up on his bed and snoring his head off and yes, he was still wearing his new dog coat.

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Sweet dreams Brutus!

‘Mouse, I can’t wait – seriously I can’t wait’ Barbie said impatiently and then nipped Bender on the bum because she was feeling naughty.

Bender looked round and snapped ‘Will you leave my arse alone please’

‘No, I can’t’ Barbie replied back to a surprised Bender.

Bender was never very good at arguing with women  and just resigned himself to the fact that Barbie had a thing for his butt.

Back at Pippin’s House

‘Pippin, where is Mouse on the final list?’ Bronte asked Pippin who had now extended his talents to three mobile phones a Macbook and an iPad for communication to the Eastern States of Australia and the rest of WA.

‘Shhh, I am trying to do FaceTime QLD’ Pippin said in a voice as sharp as his nose.

‘Good evening QLD – do you have the results for the Fastest Dog in Australia?’ Pippin asked.

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Kath the greyhound

(Photo by Jeff Fitzpatrick Photography)

Somewhere in QLD…..

Several dogs sat in the living room getting ready to give the results to Western Australia. It was a hotbed of excitement and anticipation and there was a smell of success, well actually it was wind and it was quite revolting but to dogs, wind equates to success.

A large female greyhound called Kath, with a snout that could open a can of beer and ears like the handlebars off a bicycle sat at her laptop having a FaceTime conference call with Pippin.

Behind Kath sat Ruby the Kelpie who was typing ridiculously fast to document the evening. Wearing half rimmed spectacles and occasionally sipping a Dog-o-cinno coffee, she was obviously taking her job very seriously.

Ruby the Kelpie June 14

Ruby the Kelpie

(Photo by Jeff Fitzpatrick Photography)

Pippin’s friend – Italian greyhound AMEX was also on his laptop trying to do his bit for QLD and was straining his eyes to read the writing, he was representing the Iggy’s of QLD and was also linked up in the conference call to Kath the greyhound as well as Pippin.

AMEX

Amex – doing his bit for the Eastern States Iggys

Amex the Iggy in QLD was secretly supporting ‘Team Mouse’ although he couldn’t admit it to anyone for fear of reprisals.

A large brindle dog called Barney who rather liked to refer to himself as an ‘Australian Sausage Snouting Hound’ (mixed breed) was sitting behind Ruby and Kath on his bed taking notes while occasionally washing his genitals through boredom totally forgetting he was on camera.

Letting out a huge fart, Barney pretended it wasn’t him and it was only when Kath started to make gagging noises, that he blushed and owned up much to Kath and Ruby’s disgust.

Barney the Supervisor

Barney – taking the minutes!

‘Good evening Western Australia, this is QLD here – I think there is going to be some delays before you receive the final results’ Kath said.  Unsure if she had been heard, she pressed her long snout right up to the computer leaving a large nose mark as she muttered ‘Bugger this, I don’t think they heard me’

‘Yes we heard you Kath and yes – we are ready to receive our results’ Pippin said importantly.

‘Ohh, this reminds me of the Eurovision Song Contest where they say ‘Nil Points’ to Luxemburg for their crappy songs’ My cat Gordon sniggered as he was listening in via my computer which was being managed by Rocky who was shaking with excitement.

Gordon has seen many a Eurovision song contest in the UK I might add, as have I and I always remember the ‘nil points’ part of it and used to laugh until the UK had a dreadful run of ‘nil points’ themselves and then I quickly stopped laughing.

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Gordon the cat – he knows all about the Eurovision Song Contest!

‘QLD – how is it looking?’ Pippin asked Kath the greyhound who was now squeaking a toy rabbit from boredom.

‘Western Australia – you could be in for a long night, are you prepared to wait?’ Kath asked.

‘Oh we have to wait up Pippin, we MUST wait, don’t make us go to bed!’ Bronte shouted, causing her Mum Denise to jump out of her skin.

By now dogs nails had been chewed from nerves and god knows where the owners were because every laptop, every phone in every home was being used by a dog – in fact, the whole day/night belonged to the dogs of Australia and the owners were merely surplus to requirements unless there was food on offer.

The whole of the Australian canine world was on the edge waiting for these results and although there could only be one winner, each and every dog knew that the other had run its heart out and had some damn good fun along the way.

People had made new friends, dogs had made new friends and socialised, hot dogs were eaten and inhaled by beagles, money was raised for charity and despite the vast distance and differences between each State of Australia, a key message was being sent around the whole country – Lure coursing, a fun sport to bring people and their dogs together.

‘QLD – do you have any news?’ Pippin asked Kath the greyhound who was now on her back with her legs spread apart flashing her ‘lady-garden’ in true greyhound fashion.

‘Nothing yet WA, but let’s be on our guard. I call a toilet break’ Kath replied.  Barney nodded in agreement and ran outside so he could fart again without making Ruby vomit.

‘Toilet break everyone!’ Pippin declared ‘Regroup in 5 minutes and please, nobody take a shit until after the results’

The dogs ran into the garden for to do a pee with the exception of Brutus who could not control himself and took a shit the size of a small child.

‘Don’t blame me, blame the hotdog’ Brutus blushed as Rocky looked disgusted that Brutus couldn’t hold himself let alone pass something quite so huge.

Soon everyone was back in their respective positions ready to receive the results of Australia’s Fastest Dog competition.

‘Hello Western Australia, are you ready to receive your results?’ Kath the greyhound said in a loud Queensland accent.

‘Hello Queensland, yes we are ready to receive them’ Pippin replied.

‘Good luck everyone’ Gordon said quietly under his breath.

Kath the greyhound took a deep breath and said ‘The winner of the Fastest Dog in Australia Contest, with a run time of 7.28 seconds, is the greyhound Abigail from Western Australia!’

‘In second place with a run time of 7.441 seconds, is the greyhound Angi from Western Australia!’

‘In third place with a run time of 7.533 seconds, is the greyhound Mouse Norris from Western Australia!’

At the House of Mouse

Mouse went very quiet, Bender and Barbie stopped what they were doing. ‘Did they just say Abigail took out the title of Fastest Dog in Australia?’ Barbie said sounding shocked.

Bender look boot-faced and but remained motionless as he waited for Mouse’s reaction.

After what seemed ages, Mouse wagged her tail and grinned ‘Good on her, she did bloody well, besides WA took out the title – go us!’

Barbie nodded her head and wagged her tail and after a few seconds, Bender started running round the living room shouting ‘WA did it! Go Abigail!’

Abi winner

Abigail (WA) – the Fastest Dog in Australia

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘We did more than that Mouse, you came third so that means that three WA greyhounds took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place – that is more than alright!’ Barbie said sounding absurdly pleased.

‘Yeah, that is more than alright!’ Mouse grinned and even let Barbie have a sniff of her bottom because she was so happy.

At Pippin’s House

Kath the greyhound was busy sorting through papers to pass on the winners of the other categories.  Straining her eyes for a better look, she read the results that Sandra Burrows had sent to her and then read them again.  No, it can’t be!’ Kath said aloud.

‘What’s up?’ Barney asked her

‘Kath, what is it?’ Ruby demanded to know.

‘That cheeky old devil!’ Kath smiled and then went back to her video call with Pippin.

‘Western Australia, are you ready for the results for the Fastest Italian Greyhound section of the contest?’

Pippin wiped some gravy off his mouth, coughed a bit and went to his laptop and replied ‘Go ahead Queensland, we are waiting for you’

‘The winner of the Fastest Italian Greyhound in Australia, is……’ Kath held back.

‘Yes, come on QLD, out with it’ Pippin said fretfully.  Really this was taking far too long for his liking and his warm bed was calling him.

‘The winner of the Fastest Italian Greyhound is you – Pippin Pringle!’ Kath said and forgetting she was representing QLD in the presentation of the contest, added ‘Well done my friend, well done!’

(sounds of dogs clapping and cheering/dogs barking from all over Australia)

Somewhere in the Northern Territory – where the crocs are ‘boss’, the kangaroos are big and the dingos roam

Now whilst the Northern Territory did not compete in this contest, the dogs of the NT were still tuned in so I thought it only fair to give them a mention.

A group of dogs sat outside a pub all discussing the contest and as Pippin’s results came through – the cheers were quite deafening.  And although the NT dogs didn’t enter themselves, they were so very proud of any dogs that did and cheered Pippin on as though he were ‘one of their own’.

Pippin’s House

Pippin stopped talking mid sentence, looked around at Bronte and then back at the computer.  Forgetting he was still connected to Mouse, he could hear her shouting and squealing like a puppy as she congratulated him.

Amex who was in QLD still tuned into the conference call was crying – all the Iggy’s would be so proud, no matter what State they were from, they totally supported one another.

Dear little Pippin – the organiser and ‘keeper-together’ of all the other dogs, Mouse’s ‘main man’ and ‘public liaison’, who despite the long course, took part and ran his ever so tiny little legs off and had was now the fastest Italian greyhound in the contest/Australia.

Pippin looked around and then looked at the computer ‘Did you say I won out of the Iggys?’ he said quietly.

Kath nodded and smiled ‘Yes, you most certainly did and Isis got the fastest Pharaoh hound’

Quickly composing himself, Pippin coughed and then went back to the computer, picked up one of his mobiles and called Isis the Pharaoh hound.

‘Isis, you got fastest Pharaoh hound in Australia’ Pippin told her without a trace of emotion in his face and voice.

Bronte kept her eyes on Pip, she was so proud that she could burst, and burst she did as she pissed herself all over her new outfit.

‘Excellent!’ Isis replied happily, she couldn’t wait to tell everyone the results.  What she couldn’t see was little Pippin quietly crying into his computer because he couldn’t quite believe that he had done so well.

PIpp

 Pippin – a very proud Iggy

At the House of Mouse

‘Congratulations Pip, bloody marvellous!’ Mouse shouted down the phone to wish her friend and confidante well in his achievement.

‘Thanks Mouse, well done to you as well – you were pretty fast yourself’ Pippin replied.

‘Yeah I guess, I am pleased for Abigail though – rumours have it she will be getting a sausage for her efforts’ Mouse said knowingly (Mouse knew everything you see).

‘I think we all deserve sausage’ Pippin said, ‘Does anyone know Brutus’s overall time?’

‘Nope, but Kath the greyhound will know’ Mouse said and then thought to herself ‘I wonder how Brutus went?’

‘Good evening QLD, how did Brutus do?’ Pippin asked Kath at the QLD Headquarters, Kath who was now lying down eating a rather large bone, was caught by surprise and had to wipe bone blood off her snout before talking to Pippin.

‘Brutus, let me check’ Kath said trying to regain efficiency which was fading fast as she was tired and hungry and the novelty of doing Eurovision style reporting was wearing off as she actually wanted to do ‘whizzies’ round the garden and bark at invisible rabbits.

‘Brutus, let me see – Ah yes, Brutus, his time was 11.503 seconds, he has come 26 out of 33 dogs from his category of Large Unregistered’ Kath reported to Pippin.

‘Mouse, did you hear that?’ Pippin asked her on the phone.

‘Yep, I heard – let’s wake him up and tell him’ Mouse shouted to Rocky on the other phone.

At Brutus’s house

‘Brutus, wake up – we have your time for the race’ Rocky said gently to the exhausted Brutus who was snoring like a pig while snuggled up to his Tony Abbott doll and a carrot.  Looking ridiculously cute, he could melt the hardest of hearts.

Abbot

Brutus, Tony Abbot and the carrot

‘Times? What times? Is it dinner time? Brutus asked sleepily and then swallowed a few times and licked his lips because he had just woken from a dream about sausages.

‘You came 26 out of 33 for your category – not bad at all’ Rocky said in a rather proud voice. ‘Here, Mouse would like a word with you’ and handed Brutus the phone.

Gordon was nodding his head and looking very impressed with his canine brother.  Brutus is not a fast dog, he is a heavy and bulky dog and ever so clumsy but one thing is certain, he loves his lure coursing and this was quite some achievement for him.

‘That’s not bad is it Mouse?’ Brutus said feeling proud of himself.

‘No my friend, it certainly isn’t’ Mouse replied back to him.

Back in the Northern Territory

The dogs had just heard Brutus’s results and were very pleased for him.  Not being able to work out his breed, they had decided that he was a mix between Scooby Doo and a Kangaroo.

‘He’s a lanky bastard that Brutus’ The red cloud kelpie muttered and then added ‘But he’s a good bloke’.

And even the kangaroos that had been hanging around agreed with him.

Pippins House

‘QLD – we would like to thank you for your hard work in this event and also everyone at the Australian Lure Coursing Association Inc for allowing this event to take place’ Pippin said in a new energised polite voice.  Wiping his eyes and snout to compose himself, his whole demeanour had taken on a new level of pride.

‘WA – we would like to also thank you for participating in this event and we look forward to collaborating with you on it next year.  This is a final goodnight from all of us in QLD – thank you for your time’ Kath replied and then after a few seconds of enjoying the moment, she closed the laptop.

‘Thank god for that, can I fart now?’ Barney asked desperately before letting out an exceedingly poisonous guff causing Ruby the kelpie to nip him sharply on his bottom.

‘You dogs are so childish!’ Kath the greyhound snapped and then took her bone and jumped up on the sofa to relax.

Amex’s house in QLD

‘Pippin won! Pippin won!’ The tiny little Italian greyhound jumped up and down because he was so happy but noone must ever know that he was supporting Pippin and Mouse in WA, he really ought to have been supporting his own side but hey – friendships are friendships and once you get good friends, no State in Australia should be the divider.

Pippin’s House

The Iggy’s were all telephoning Pippin to congratulate him, Nica, Fletch, Madam Gigi, Rocco, Gidget to name but a few were all now talking in super high pitched voices because they were so very proud of their beloved Pippin.

‘We should have a party!’ Rocco shouted.

‘But only if you don’t try eat anyone Rocco’ Madam Gigi replied and the other Iggy’s laughed while Rocco decided that perhaps on this occasion, he wouldn’t.

Abigail’s House

‘I would like to thank my Mother for giving birth to me and my owner for loving me’ Abigail the greyhound was practising her acceptance speech for her win and deciding which collar to wear.

‘Abigail my love, I don’t think there will be any speeches’ Her owner said gently to the black greyhound who was so proud that her chest cavity had almost increased in size.

‘That’s what you think’ Abigail muttered and then carried on rehearsing.

Brutus’s House

All the dogs were totally exhausted, having been fed and watered and now tucked up in their beds, they were sleepily discussing the days events.

‘It was a good result, I am pleased how well our friends have done’ Brutus told Rocky.

‘You didn’t do so bad yourself either lad’ Rocky replied.

‘Goodnight Rocky’ Brutus whispered to the little black kelpie dog who was curled up in a tight ball on his bed.

‘Night Brutus’ Rocky said back.

Then within five minutes, they were both fast asleep and Brutus just like every other dog that had entered the contest, was dreaming of lure coursing, sausage sizzles, playing with Mouse and just being an all round ‘Good Boy’.

The End

Sofa Face

Brutus – The Good Boy

Thanks and Acknowledgements

(for the past two Fastest Dog events and photos used in this blog)

Photography

Thank you to the following photographers that have kindly allowed me to use their professional photographs for the benefit of this blog entry:

Studio Joy Photography

Phone: 0430 549 346

Email amyjoy2213@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/PhotographyStudioJoy?fref=ts

K9Kate Pet Photography

Phone: 0403756967

http://www.k9kate.com.au

Jeff Fitzpatrick Photography

Phone: 0400 371 401

http://www.jgfitzpatrick.com.au

And to everyone else that has allowed me to use the photographs of their animals.

*Please note that all copyright remains the property of the photographer.  If you would like copies of any of these photographs, you will need to contact the photographer directly but please do not use, copy nor reproduce without their permission*

Lure Coursing Clubs/Associations

Thank you to the Australian Lure Coursing Association for their recognition, support and promotion of the sport and for organising and overseeing the first ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ competition which has really helped get more interest in lure coursing.

And thank you to Sandra Burrows and everyone that worked so hard and so tirelessly to put the competition together and in turn, bring the States together.

West Coast Dog Sports (WCDS)

Thank you to Dee Cole, Melissa Jones and every single person involved in this club (too many to mention and I am sorry if I have left people out).

The events are well organised and good fun and have opened up a whole new world for many of us and our dogs – thank you.

Lure Coursers Anonymous (LCA)

Thank you to Gina House and her team for a wonderful day last Sunday in what was the final event for the Fastest Dog competition.  The team worked so hard to make it run well and did a marvellous job of doing just that.

It is nice to have another club for geographical convenience, plus I enjoy both clubs so thank you for giving so many of us that option.

Lure Coursing Queensland (LCQ)

Well done in the competition guys – excellent results and bragging rights!  Thank you all for being such good sports and allowing me to include you in Brutus’s stories and providing me with dogs for my characters.

Adelaide Lure Coursing and Racing Club

Really looking forward to seeing you next year guys and including you in the story

The Rest of Australia

Where the bloody hell were ya? (only kidding – perhaps next year?)

Everyone else

And finally thank you to each and every person and their dog that entered this contest and made it so fabulous.

 Lure Coursing Web Links

Australian Lure Coursing Association Inc.                         http://www.alca.asn.au

Lure Coursing Queensland                                               www.qldlurecoursing.com/

West Coast Dog Sports                                                    www.wcds.com.au/

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright July 2014

The Secret World of Dogs – and Lure Coursing

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As you all know, the ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ heats are happening Australia wide – held by different clubs in each state.  One Western Australian group – Lure Coursers Anonymous have held their heats already and West Coast Dog Sports are holding theirs at the Polo grounds in Guildford this weekend.  And as usual with the dogs, the excitement is building up to fever pitch.

Now before any lure coursing event, there are always doggy meetings and gatherings held by various breeds of dog to discuss race tactics, who is going to wear what and general doggy discussions take place talking about all highly important stuff and these meetings are looked forward to by every dog and are a highlight on the canine social calendar.

At Gidget’s House – The Meeting of the Italian Greyhounds (or Iggy’s as they are known)

The Italian greyhounds were holding their regular board meeting to discuss ‘stuff’ and by ‘stuff’ that could mean a multitude of things aside from racing because this breed of dog rarely stay on one subject for long.

Pippin always chairs the meeting and religiously has two mobile phones and has an admirable ability to be able to talk on both of them at the same time. Pippin is the ‘Mouse’ of the Iggy world and has his pointy snout into everyone’s business.

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Pippin the Italian greyhound – and chairman of all meetings!

 Gidget was there, and although a typical nosy Italian greyhound, was more of a fashionista and absolutely refused to go outside unless everything matched and was totally designer.

‘Gidget – will you please concentrate!’ Snapped Pippin looking annoyed at the tiny little dog who had been admiring her own reflection for over an hour, blowing steam into her tiny hand mirror and wiping it in hope of a clearer view of her beautifully chiseled pointy features.

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Gidget – the fashionista of the group

‘I will not be racing, I am far too delicate – I have legs that snap like carrots and cannot possibly risk myself’ Gidget replied sounding mortally wounded at the suggestion that she should concentrate on anyone other than herself.

Pippin rolled his eyes and said ‘I know you are not racing but at the moment we are discussing the cat situation in the suburbs and how the ferals keep threatening us with intent, only last week two Iggys were threatened by a feral tabby and they are still being treated for shock’.

Nica another fashionista and somewhat model of the dog world, promptly started to sob at Pippin’s announcement of the feral cat situation. Being rather dramatic, she was prone to crying in public and had started to carry some decorated gift bags from the David Jones store in Perth in her designer purse so that she could hyperventilate with style.

10369184_10152129514866921_3560933864050153625_nNica – another fashionista and all round delicate soul

‘We might need to call an ambulance’ Gidget shouted as she put her skinny paw around Nica who was checking from the corner of her eyes to see who was watching and moaning something about smelling salts.

‘Don’t let the cats get me, don’t let them – save me from the litter tray!’ Nica sobbed, she was playing the part now.

‘You don’t need an ambulance and the cats can’t come in here so stop being so silly!’ Pippin said firmly. Really this lot were so hard to control, they could be so very naughty.

Rocco – a smooth talking Italian greyhound, was looking somewhat bored as Pippin tried to quieten the others down.  Rocco is quite a character that has taken to speaking in a fake Italian accent and ordering ‘Pup-o-cinos’ and Panini plus listening to Pavarotti in a bid to look more Italian.  He even carries an Italian dictionary in his pocket for emergencies.

Rocco also claims to know Pavarotti personally despite being advised that Pavarotti died in 2007, Rocco strongly maintains that he is in fact his 25th cousin, the other dogs are too scared to shatter his illusions and let him continue to believe it.

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Rocco – (Pavarotti’s 25th cousin)

‘Let’s play with the toy rabbit!’ Rocco said in a high pitched shrill voice and then frantically started shaking a bed sock that he had found on the floor whilst growling at it to make sure it was ‘dead’.

‘That is not a rabbit that is my Mums bed sock’ Gidget yelled and then tried to snatch it back resulting in a tug of war between the two dogs.

‘Right, next on the agenda – are you lot listening?’ Pippin yelled and then blew his whistle loudly to get attention.

It was no good, all the other Iggys were now thoroughly over excited and all talking over one another in true Iggy fashion, each one not letting the other finish a sentence, each one with their own story to tell and every one of them totally full of gossip. Some of them were now joining in playing tug of war with the sock and Nica was periodically pretending to faint and demanding someone mop her forehead to alleviate shock.

Basically this was a typical Italian greyhound board meeting and Pippin was run ragged trying to organise them all and control them. Don’t be fooled by the Iggys you see, they are tougher than they look and have even been known to have food fights and flick dog meat at one another.

‘OK, that is the end of this meeting’ Pippin shouted at the top of his little voice, clutching his clip board he fretfully ticked stuff off the list that had been achieved (or not) and then added ‘Anything to talk about next week?’

The Iggys were all shouting and yelling, Nica was back to checking her reflection and smoothing down her ears, Gidget was checking her appearance and holding her stomach in and asking if ‘her bum looked big in black’ and Rocco was back to talking in his fake Italian accent to gain attention.

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 Italian greyhounds – gossips of the dog world 

‘Winter jackets’ Gidget replied firmly ‘I would like to talk about winter jackets and are Gucci doing anything for this season?’

Pippin rolled his eyes – ‘Surely there is more to life than clothes? What about lure coursing?’ he said sounding frustrated.

‘Lure coursing – could be fun I guess’ Rocco said absent-mindedly.

The Iggys stared at one another, some cocked their heads in interest at the mention of lure coursing, but the fashionistas of the group – Gidget and Nica to name but two, rolled their eyes to the heavens and said at the same time ‘Let’s talk about Gucci’.

‘OK, Gucci it is then but don’t forget to all of you that are racing at the weekend to make sure that you meet Mouse Norris and myself under the Terrace where we can discuss pre-race tactics’ Pippin announced.

The dogs all started to talk over one another again – some discussed the race, others discussed clothes and one or two even discussed diets because they had a fixation of their weight and would often hold their bellies in and pinch skin on their ribs as they were paranoid about their weight.

‘See you at the weekend!’ Pippin shouted over the excited Iggys all trying to talk at once as their tails wagged frantically and as nobody had listened to him, he declared the meeting closed and instructed Gidget to type up the minutes, except Gidget was now outside discussing Prada with Nica.

At Dee Coles House

Dee’s ridgebacks were all lounging about on the bed, which they frequently took over leaving Dee with nowhere to sleep.

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Your bed is our bed – so Dee’s ridgebacks believe

Mac, Bailey, Princess and Jazz were spread out as far as their bodies would allow. Mac was reading a book about lure coursing to try and get tips for the race at the weekend while Bailey tried to watch TV while lying upside down.

Jazz and Princess were being typical naughty pups and vying for attention from the boys who took the lure-coursing thing very seriously. Jazz kept nipping Bailey on the tail while Princess tried to be a good girl but failed miserably because she didn’t like the grown up dogs ignoring her.

‘Mirror mirror on the wall, am I the fastest dog of them all?’ Princess said aloud to herself.

‘Don’t know about that, Mouse is the fastest I should imagine’ Jazz replied.

‘Will you two be quiet, we are trying to study for the run!’ Mac said impatiently.

But trying to keep two young ridgie puppies calm and quiet was like trying to keep Brutus from eating a steak and simply cannot be done.

‘Bailey?’ Princess asked.

‘Yes Princess’ Bailey replied without lifting his head up.

‘I am so excited that I don’t think I can sleep’ Said Princess in a high-pitched voice.

Bailey looked at the young ridgie and smiled ‘Yes, but don’t get too excited or you will do what is commonly known as ‘the Brutus’ which is not pleasant’.

‘What is The Brutus?’ Princess asked.

‘The Brutus is where you get so excited that you shit yourself and trust me, it is not pleasant’ Bailey said to the disgust of Princess who could never imagine doing such a thing.

Poor old Brutus, he has never managed to live down his title of Turd Legs and has actually crapped himself more than any dog I have ever known.

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The shame of crapping himself has never left Brutus

‘Bailey?’ Princess asked again.

‘Yes Princess’ Bailey replied patiently, honestly he was a very patient boy.

‘I can be excited without shitting myself’ Princess said firmly but made a mental effort to clench her bottom – just in case.

‘Good girl’ Bailey smiled and got back to his studies.

At Brutus’s house

‘Rocky I am so excited, I can’t wait for lure coursing, I just wish that Vader could come’ Brutus said to Rocky as they were busy digging graves in the garden. You see graves have to be dug on a daily basis purely to turn over the soil or so Brutus tells me.

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Rocky and Brutus discuss the weekend ahead

‘I wish I could come as well’ Vader yelled through the fence and then made some special noises that only boxers can make.

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Vader and Brutus – they do EVERYTHING together including window licking

‘Well personally I would rather herd sheep’ Rocky sniffed without looking up and then herded up his tennis ball to stop it from running away, tennis balls have a mind of their own you know.  Rocky has exceptional herding talents and has even herded up food on a picnic mat before and yes, I am being serious.

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 Rocky herding up our picnic

‘Rocky will you play with me when Brutus is at lure coursing?’ Vader pleaded through the fence while snuffling loudly.

‘Piss off, I would rather play with a dugite’ Rocky shouted back ‘But I guess a little bark-off through the fence won’t hurt’.

Vader grinned, a bark-off would do for now, it might not be racing but it was better than nothing.

‘I am going in now, I want to learn my stuff for the dog racing’ Brutus said happily and told Vader he would speak to him later.

‘He likes this racing lark doesn’t he?’ Rocky muttered to Vader.

‘Yep he does, and so do I. Do you like anything Rocky, aside from your ball?’ Vader asked the little black kelpie dog.

Rocky looked thoughtful and after a few seconds replied ‘I used to like having my tennis ball thrown for me but I have bad hips so can’t have that anymore. But I do like swimming and I would love the chance to herd up sheep as soon as Mum can afford for me to do that’

And he did love his swimming and is really good at it, Rocky’s hip dysplasia completely disappears in the water and that is a joy to see.  He has been to hydrotherapy once and we have plans to take him again as he loved it that much.

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Rocky in hydrotherapy

Both dogs sat there quietly at either side of the fence. It was almost a moment of friendship, I say almost because at the same time, both dogs remembered that they don’t actually like each other.

‘Bastard, snub nosed mucus face monkey-pig’ Rocky growled through the fence.

‘Spastic clicky hipped big eared batfink’ Vader growled back and both boys launched into a tirade of angry barks, growls and snot flicks through the fence while doing the obligatory ‘fence run’ where they run up and down and chase one another from each side of the fence – fence running is an Olympic sport in the doggy world and most dogs take it seriously.

‘Will you two stop it! Rocky come in right now!’ I shouted through the patio door.

‘Same time tomorrow?’ Rocky said to Vader.

‘Yep, same time – catch ya later’ Vader replied.

And that was that – as quickly as it started, it had finished.

Let the fun commence!

The build up to the lure coursing has started, the dogs are in training, or discussing training, probably doing squat jumps and press ups in attempts to get fit.

There will be heated discussions and meetings, test runs around the garden and lots of activity in the home.

You may well come downstairs in the night to find your dogs huddled up in a group reading about lure coursing tactics, you may even catch them out trying a high protein diet for faster performance. Just don’t be surprised at your dogs embracing lure coursing and getting excited about it.

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Brutus dreams of lure coursing (and chewing Tony Abbotts testicles)

So to all of you that are going on Sunday, keep an eye out for Brutus who has promised not to shit himself with excitement. We will probably be under the terrace I should think.

Pippin will be holding a meeting with the Iggys and also holding court to Mouse, Barbie and the greyhound contingent and Dee’s ridgebacks will probably be around other ridgebacks discussing lions and stuff.

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Dee’s ridgebacks – discussing lions and stuff

The cattle dogs/kelpies will be having heated discussions about sheep as they normally do and probably won’t even notice you staring at them unless you shout ‘Bahhhhh’, in which case you will be promptly herded up.

Melissa Jone’s Staffordshire bull terriers will no doubt be trying to make their regular big bid for freedom as they open their own crates whilst the other dogs cheer them on and whistle the tune ‘The Great Escape’.

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One of Melissa Jones’s Staffords – think ‘The Great Escape’

Photo by Melissa Jones

Basically it’s all going to happen at this event so dust down your most comfy shoes, bring enough cash to treat yourself to the sausage sizzle and a cold drink and bring with you a good sense of humour and imagination because if you are really lucky, you will hear all the dogs talking – just like I do.

It’s a great day out – for the dogs to catch up, for friends to catch up and just to have a nice time.

See you on Sunday!

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright June 2014

A Day at the Races – Part Two

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

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

The Night Before the Race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10313693_638201819601201_8863388431303389228_nRacing Day – May 17th 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10268500_638770302877686_6189505151142907765_nPip – the Italian Greyhound

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

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

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

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

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

10152408_10152031020358317_1821676939_nMouse sets the field alight with her speed

(Photo by Samantha Rose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MillieMillie the border collie

(Photo by Melissa Jones)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10338314_10152109070433317_8613175089878768202_nBrutus grins at Vader as he runs by

(Photo by Lexie Goldsmith)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12127_10203630234453761_6326404827359888024_nBrutus and Vader in their race

(Photo by Melissa Jones)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10291250_10152109257718317_6496861358763547970_nFriends for life!

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

10338823_10152109132393317_3554137582278846980_nBrutus is overcome by Vader’s farts!

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

10366294_10152109132448317_7670961081761961692_nSleepy Brutus!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10295765_10152109256063317_4240338976105511093_nMaking friends is what it’s all about!

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

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

Until next time

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright May 2014