Saturday, 31 December 2011

banned from PetsAtHomeSmart....

Very embarrassingly Scooby nearly got me banned from the big pet shop.  Big shop not necessarily for big pets.  They have fish.  I don't think they have ponies...

Anyway, he did one of his 10-minute-wees.  In the middle of the shop.  I tried to catch the attention of the nearest polo shirt person but thought it was safer to keep Scooby in the one place for the duration...his bladder has an enormous capacity.  On a cold day several villages can be engulfed with the steam produced by one of his 10-minute-wees.  His very own pee-souper fog.

I did find a 'wet floor' sign thing and placed it approximately in the middle of the yellow ocean until I could find someone suitably qualified in mopping.

And then...well once he was more comfortable he tried to get in the rabbit enclosure.  He noticed there was no roof on the rabbit enclosure and I caught him working out how to jump in.  If it wasn't for the £102.27 I spent in there I'm sure we would have been escorted out.


It's not just Scooby's staggeringly expensive food (that promises so much in the way of energy, nutrients, wet noses and lack of the Mr. Whippy's) but there's Lulu's too.  Now that she's 8 and a half and her lovely brother died recently I'm compelled to get her the expensive cat food for mature cats.  

This presented me with a bit of a dilemma in itself.  I couldn't bring myself to buy the  '3 for 2' offer that was on for fear of jinxing the little Lulu.  So, like taking an umbrella out to guarantee a dry day I got her 'two for £15' of some other stuff instead.  Phew.  Glad I sidestepped that one.

Scooby in the twilight zone

It's been great taking Scooby out in daylight everyday over the last week or so but you do see some weird stuff sometimes.  What does the doll's head in a tree mean?  It's in Woodbank Park.  Does it mean something sinister?  Is it art? 
witchcraft at woodbank?

Whatever the reason I won't go there in the dark now the dog-walking-by-moonlight is starting again as everything gets back to the normal routine in the bleak winteryness. 

Scooby in the dark rocking his disco collar

I don't do the sentimental guff that's evident at this time of year.  Sometimes there's a really good reason for auld acquaintances to be forgot.  In the same vein having a facebook friend clearout can be very cathartic.  If you're doing the looking back and looking forward thing, please be kind to yourself.  And don't get dizzy.  And be careful crossing the road.  You might want to stop (looking forward and looking back) while you cross the road.  Look left and right instead.

Scooby sleeps as if he doesn't have a care in the world.
So should you.
Unless you've done something bad, like killed someone, in which case you should go to the police station and hand yourself in.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Scooby having a cool yule

Scooby's had a great couple of days and is very sleepy and content.

Yesterday we met Casper in a local park for a Christmas Day run about.  They ran each other ragged and were both very tired by the time they were packed up in the cars for the journey home.

Casper en route to a Christmas Day bath

Because of Scooby my car smells much worse that you could possibly imagine.

The effect of the walk lasted all day and Scooby didn't move from the settee, until bedtime. 

Scooby being festive

Even his own present couldn't get him interested enough to get off the settee...

After an early night and a lie-in Scooby was recovered enough to face another walk.  Lots of running around and pond-dipping and then we bumped into the lovely Freddie.  Freddie is a gorgeous, very friendly 3 year old husky we meet occasionally. 

Scooby and Freddie are very similar in size and sensibility.  Whenever they meet up they have loads of fun wrestling and doing the big dog daft things that other dogs don't get.

Freddie the husky in all his fluffy loveliness.

Freddie is an absolutely lovely dog but he's a bugger to take pictures of as he's always moving.  The only pictures I have are either blurred or partial.  He's a stunning dog and I can well understand someone asking his owners to pimp him out as a model.

Freddie's nose and toes

Freddie and Scooby doing the foraging husky thing

Scooby is a very tired and happy bunny....and on the settee for the forseeable. Lovely :-)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Lulu gets her festive freak on

Lulu ho ho ho

Lulu is the most festive character in our house.  Scooby doesn't count because he's super excited about everything.  The rest of us make pre-epiphany scrooge look like Father Christmas.

Ironically Lulu's is the first present I bought (a radio-controlled mouse) but I can't find the thing now.  I can't imagine I felt the need to deliberately hide it from her.  I'll probably find it in a few months.

If I had written this before I'd had a bath it would have been called 'Another day, another dose of pneumonia' but I'm feeling slightly less hateful now.  I'm still feeling manky though.

Despite my severe dose of consumption, Scooby's had a good run in the park today and met loads of dogs to run around with and did lots of paddling.  He's been nice and knackered ever since.  Result.

Apropos of nothing, here's a picture of  Scooby in a hammock.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

ice ice baby

The sun is shining and the sky is blue but I feel manky so it's raining in my heart.  I doubled up on my thermals and took the Scoobs out for a walk to one of our local places, as I couldn't be bothered getting the ice off the car.

There were loads of dogs out and Scooby had a big run and play with several of them.  As for me I alternated between feverish and freezing.  Bah!

All's well that ends well as we're both on the settee, with a blanket and watching old films.  Scooby is asleep already and I think I'll be there soon.

Today's weather...perfect for penguins

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Scooby and Scrappy (aka Jess)

It's the weekend, so an opportunity for a big walk, in daylight!  Scooby and I met up with a little dog we know.  Jess, 4 years old, is another rescued dog and despite being a fifth of the size of Scooby she's a persistent little thing and happily keeps up with Scooby.

She's also another dog that bosses Scooby around.

Scooby and Jess at the hot chocolate stop at the end of a very wet and cold and muddy walk

The weather was absolutely horrible and it rained the whole time.  It was also really cold and incredibly muddy.  Poor Jess being so small practically disappeared in some of the bigger puddles.

Scooby and Scrappy...erm Jess

Scooby didn't exactly escape the mud and needed a bath when we got home.  He hates baths.  He'll happily run into the coldest, dirtiest ponds in the dark in the middle of winter but give him a warm bath and he's miserable.

Poor Scooby about to face the torture of a warm bath

After the bath there's the inevitable shaking of 'parfum de wet dog' all over the house and then the settling down on the settee for an epic snooze.

Scooby reflecting on how hard his life is?

Friday, 16 December 2011

Don't Scooby

We got our first snow of the winter today and Scooby is very happy.  He loves the snow, I think it's the Husky half of him.  He jumps around in it and can't resist grabbing a mouthful occasionally.

During last winter's mega snow-fest he'd trail his nose in it as we walked along.  Strange dog.  To be fair I do like seeing his big clean feet punching holes in the virgin snow. 

He's also very good to throw snowballs at...I mean to!

I think we're due some more snow and definitely a really cold snap.  On the way home from our afternoon walk the puddles were beginning to freeze over and the forming ice crystals were sparkling on the pavement.  Pretty if they weren't so slippy.

Which brings me to the issue of worrying.  I'm not sure where I got the idea that doing something to scare yourself everyday is a good thing (possibly by someone sponsored by the valium industry?) but there have been a few spooky walks recently.

My son has insisted I take his massive metal maglite torch with me when walking Scooby in the dark.  He says I have to take it "because you can beat people over the head with it".  I'm not convinced.  Either that I could beat someone over the head with it, or indeed stop someone from beating me over the head with it...

The things I do to prevent myself being murdered in the park in the dark are as follows:
  1. walk purposefully - apparently little old ladies that stride are much less likely to be mugged than ones who dodder, as they look like they could put up a bit of a fight.
  2. Try to remember to call Scooby 'Killer'
  3. Try to remember to not call Scooby 'my good boy...oh yes you are' and 'my little pumpkin' etc.
  4. I have rehearsed (in my head) a convincing warning about Scooby being very protective
This list is not extensive and I may add to it.  Suggestions are welcome!  I draw the line at night vision goggles though.

Or...maybe I should just take a supremely chilled out page from Scooby's book...and be happy, be Scooby.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

all he wants for christmas

Scooby's had an exciting week this week.  He met some policemen.  He loves policemen.  They weren't so sure about him and said Scooby definitely had presence.  I think this may be code for something...

To make up for the cold, rainy moonlight walks during the week I took Scooby on a big trek today.  Because of the rain all week it was really muddy and the river was very full.

Deep squishy mud as far as the eye can see

The stepping stone to cross the river are underwater as the river was very high today

Scooby was happy running around, getting filthy and dipping in and out of the river.  Fortunately there were lots of other mad dog owners with their dogs out too, so Scooby had lots of dogs to play with.

He was absolutely filthy by the time we got home, not so happy being rinsed down with cold water before I let him in the house.

As for Scooby's presence/presents...all he wants for christmas is a dog bed he can fit in.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Cat is called 'Tabby' and lives down the road!

I had a phonecall from Cat's rightful servant this morning after he saw the poster in the corner shop!  There were indeed some heartbroken people missing Cat.  They are now happily reconciled.

 Naughty Cat is actually called 'Tabby' and lives down the road

They were very eager to come and collect her, which is lovely.  Cat (aka Tabby) lives on my road and I can actually see her house from my house.

I'm not convinced Tabby was actually missing at all.  She was just on holiday.  At my house.

If I was cat and wanted to go on holiday I'm not sure I'd pick a house with a massive dog and one cat already in it.  As has been said previously, she probably saw a couple of soft-touches she could train up to pander to her every need (i.e. me and son).

She's a lovely friendly little thing and it was great to see her servants so happy to have her back!

Farewell Tabby, live long and prosper!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

New Old Cat

New Visitor (aka Cat) is fine and well.  She's bossed Scooby around and he knows not to mess with her, which is good because she has a fondness for his food.

 Cat eating Scooby's food

I keep opening the front door for her in case she wants to go but she just sits there, unimpressed.

I did take Cat to the vets tonight though to see if she was microchipped.  She isn't.  She's very old though, the vet reckons she's  10 or  11 years old.  Her heart seemed to be ok and despite being very skinny he thought she might just need her teeth cleaning at some point.

After giving her the once over he says to me "So, are you holding on to her?"  What else could I say but "yeah".  So what if she's an old lady, she's more than welcome to live a few more years comfortably here.

I will post her details on some lost and found websites and stick a poster on a couple of lamp-posts, just in case there's a heartbroken person out there pining for her.

Another thing I found out.....she's very car-sick.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

New visitor...I did not steal that cat

I have a bit of a history of stealing cats.  I don't know why people are so melodramatic about it.  I've only done it twice.

The first time I 'stole' a cat, it was more of a 'borrow' to be honest.  I was a teenager.  This gorgeous friendly cat moved in with me, I fed her and she slept in my room.  I got her a new collar and even arranged for her to be spayed through a local charity.

Imagine my horror when I was feeding her one day and we both heard someone singsong calling 'Bramble' and she shot off over the fence.  Now imagine the owners' horror when they came back from holiday to find their cat wearing a new collar, shaved and recovering from surgery.

I literally counted the seconds until the knock on the door.  Amazingly the owners were really good about it (in the end), and even asked me to look after their cats whenever they went on holiday.  I'm not sure I would have been so magnaminous.

The second time I stole a cat I really did steal a cat.  I was living in a shared student house and one of the other people - let's call him Brian (for that was his name) - acquired a cat.  It wasn't an expensive cat and to be fair Brian didn't look after the cat or feed the cat.  I did all those things.  I even taught him (the cat) to chase a ball and bring it back.

Imagine my chagrin when Brian left the shared house and took the cat with him!  My cat!  Roping in some well-meaning and pliable people and 'Operation Cat Rustle' was go.  We all piled in a car and headed to Brian's mum's house.  It was dark.  We turned the lights and engine off and gently rolled down the street as near as we dared.

While the getaway driver stayed at their post the rest of us headed to the house ninja-stylee.  The cat was sat in the front garden and looked mightily amused to see us all there, hissing his name.  He didn't move of course.  One of us (it was me) had to sneak into the front garden, grab the cat and sneak out again as quickly as possible.  It was thrilling.  And successful.

We ran back to the car and brought the cat home with a massive euphoric sense of 'sticking it to the man'.  Yeah.

A couple of days later Brian turned up to the old house to pick up some post and as he was there on the doorstep, the cat leisurely walked past him.  We exchanged nervous glances, convinced we were rumbled.  Brian was gobsmacked.  "**** me!!!  He's walked home!  that's amazing!!  Aren't cats clever?!"

Lulu the cat, was not obtained through nefarious means.

This brings me to my latest feline visitor.  A few weeks ago a scrawny but friendly little tortoiseshell cat came up to me and my son.  She looked desperately hungry so I gave her some food, and then as the food was being eaten, left a bowl by the front door and kept filling it up.  We'd been having regular sightings but today she walked past my son, wandered into the house, found a cushion and went to sleep.

Scooby isn't bothered by her and more importantly the queen of the house, Lulu, wasn't bothered either.  Cat is very friendly and likes being handled.  She's had a wander, found the food, water and litter tray and found a wardrobe to sleep in.  It looks like she's here for the night, no idea what's going to happen after that.  Watch this space...

Lulu, Queen of the house afteer a dowwnpour

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Caspar - RSPCA success story

Caspar is about four years old and was adopted from the RSPCA six months ago,  He is an absolutely wonderful dog.  I saw him when he was in the kennels and he was very unhappy and frightened but he settled into his new home really quickly and has totally come out of his shell.

He's a real addition to the whole family and very good at obediance classes (unlike Scooby).  He's a real credit to his new family and he's very attached to them.  Scooby and Caspar have a little 'bromance' thing going on.

Whenever they get together they just run and run, which is great for us owners.  Not so good for Caspar's owner is that after spending any amount of time playing with Scooby, Caspar's beautiful white coat is usually really dirty around the edges.

If anyone is thinking of getting a new dog I would definitely recommend giving an abandoned dog a second chance.  You can look up animals needing homes on the various websites, and the organisations will always try and give you as much information as possible to find the best match between dog and new owner.  Caspar is an example of how brilliant it can work out for everyone.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

who's the weirdo?

As I was going into the park the other day I almost bumped into a huffing and puffing fluorescent-clad jogger...and in my head I muttered 'weirdo'.  But then I had the realisation that actually I was walking into a park, in the dark with my dog who was wearing his light up collar, and in one hand I had a torch and the other clutched poo bags.  Now who's the weirdo? 

Thankfully the weekend means I can take Scooby out in daylight.  He's had an absolute ball today.  It's great when he meets some likeminded (simpleminded?) big dogs, especially when they have owners that let them do the daft big dog running-about-and-wrestling thing.

Even though it's been fairly cold today if there's water, he's straight in it.  Weirdo.

As usual, after a big walk he's knackered and all he's good for is sleeping.  It's a hard life.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

where there's a will

I was listening to an item on radio 4 the other day about a scheme to get people without wills to make them for a charitable donation.  I've been trying to find a solicitor to make an appointment.

The thing is I've not really got anything to leave behind.  My sprogs are grown-up and so I don't need to find guardians for them.  But then there's Scooby...

It's quite hard finding someone to agree to look after Scooby.  I don't want someone to say 'yeah yeah I'll have him' without really thinking about it, but on the other hand the more people think about it the less likely they are to agree.

I know beggars can't be choosers but little things suddenly seem important to me in prospective adopters...will they let him snuggle up to them on the settee?  when he has a nightmare will they be gentle with him?  will they give him lots of chewy things...and dried tripe even though it stinks and makes him fart worse than usual?

I think the way forward is probably to have conditions to any financial benefits.  I can see now why people have left their houses or fortunes to their cats.  My conditions would have to be a lot more modest, including things like my vinyl collection and set of Wade Natwest pigs in return for a long and cuddly life for Scooby.

I think I'm going to have to rob a bank/win the lottery...

Saturday, 19 November 2011

To bed or not to bed?

Every single night I kick Scooby off my bed, and every single morning I wake up to him sprawled across it and asleep.

I know I only have myself to blame.  When he was little he was so warm and pudgy and soft it was like having my very own cuddly hot water bottle.  This was useful as all my actual hot water bottles developed puppy-tooth-shaped holes and leaked.  Weird eh?

Now he's a big cornery smelly doofus and stretched out reaches from the foot of the bed to the top.  And he snores.  And he chases rabbits in his sleep.  And he's very heavy.  And did I mention the smell?

He does have his own bed.  It's the same one he was swamped by when he was a pup but now it fits him more like a tightly fitting womb.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The great outdoors

There are plenty of not nice things about having a dog - the smell, the poo, fleas...but one of the best things is all the places you get to see and all the exercise you get.

I've never done so much walking and been to so many parks in my life since having Scooby.  You can't miss a day either, or only go when it isn't raining.  This isn't sounding like a good thing at all now actually....

Maybe it's because Scooby is half Husky, but he loves the winter and snow!  Spot the dog in the above picture.  

A picture of a frozen waterfall while walking Scooby last Boxing Day....yes I am aware that most normal people were eating chocolate oranges and watching Mary Poppins at the time. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A day in the life of Scooby

This is a little film I made of Scooby and uploaded to youtube.  It was my first time using imovie.

In it you can see and hear Scooby howling at his squeaky toy, running, getting very dirty and the resulting bath...and ends with him being wrapped in towels and blankets and nodding off.

I think he's due another film soon.  I need suggestions as to what I should get him to do in it....anything other than sleeping (which he does a lot of) will need some planning.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Beware of the dog

My new sign from ebay arrived today.

The idea is to scare off potential burglars.  The problem is, Scooby actually isn't very scary.  Even his name which he suits so well isn't scary.  On occasion when I've found myself in an intimidating situation I have changed his name.

Walking Scooby through a less cheerful part of town in the dark and surrounded by be-tracksuited youths I have (once or twice) resorted to tugging on Scooby's lead (as if to restrain a wild beast) and told him "Calm down Killer! No!"

I could get an Oscar for my part but Scooby's rubbish at acting hard and gives it away by enthusiastically wagging his tail at the feral youths, who in turn go all mushy, come over and ask me what kind of dog he is, how old he is and then tell me all about their pit bulls.

An example of Scooby 'not looking hard' after my son put a t-shirt on him following a request to dry off the dog.

Friday, 11 November 2011

In the beginning...

...Scooby was a pudgy timid little thing that couldn't get up the stairs and cried.

Shortly after this Scooby became a force of nature, like a tornado, wreaking havoc throughout the entire house.

He was always very affectionate and craved attention.

He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer and he's had many scrapes along the way.  Daft things like getting stuck in the window when he tried to climb out, being beaten up by the cats because he just doesn't really understand that they don't like him, being stung by a bee when he was being too nosey...

Knowing Scooby, I think there's many more scrapes to come.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Moonlight dog walking

It's a bit mad walking the dog by moonlight, but necessary if Scooby's going to get enough exercise through the week, from now until Spring.  His glow in the dark collar is working out very well, and the extra jingley things on his collar so I can hear him coming.