Saturday, 5 December 2009

STAFF are for Life, not just Mealtimes!

I am getting into the Xmas spirit. And I would like to remind you all that STAFF are for Life, not just for Mealtimes (or Christmas)!
So, even when THEY annoy you, are whiny and demanding, make a lot more work and hassle than you thought, you have to stick with THEM. That's the deal.

So, have a good run-up to the holidays! And hang out your stockings! Ho Ho Ho!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

brass monkeys watch out!

Brass monkeys should not go out in this weather! They might lose stuff. Something similar happened to me. At the vets. Anyway, I digress....
When the thermometer shows anything that is like -1º or worse, I am putting my jacket on. What? You think I care about looking like a wuss? I don't want to look hard, because I am frozen solid.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

viva le viva...

So, STAFF were having some sort of big exam and had to be at work sharp-ish and on time. Of course I knew what to do to take THEIR minds of that and help THEM relax. Oh yes. In a completely unselfish way, I used the cover of darkness on our morning round in the woods to disappear and eat a huge pile of brightly coloured dog biscuits. People just leave those lying about. Like a Fast Food outlet. Marvelous.STAFF were calling frantically. I could hear THEM. After all, I had not gone far. But, hey, I was busy eating, and you cannot rush these things. Gives you indigestion, don't you know. So, after 15 minutes I sauntered back to STAFF, who had by that stage completely forgotten about the exam. And when we got home, THEY had no time to worry. Just to get ready and go.
Well, the exam was passed with flying colours, and I have to say that I take credit for that. Would it have gone so well without my help? Who knows!
Regrettably, the food didn't agree so well with me. I think it was the red biscuits. Or maybe the green ones? But after a couple of days on my cozy bed, I was right as rain again.

Things I do for STAFF....

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Parlour games....

November is well and truly here. The air is wet. And cold. And most likely there'll be a gale blowing, sometimes with a bit of hail as well. So, after my round in the woods, I like to while away my time with a bit of snoozing and, ideally, snacking. But STAFF are not providing any snacks or any other entertainment for that matter, and so whilst THEY are "working from home", I have to make my own fun.
So, I decided to play a few old-fashioned parlour games. First, I needed to stretch and wake and warm up those muscles.And then the games could begin. The first game was How High Can you Stack all Your Feet? Whoa, make sure that it is a stable construction and you don't fall over! I say, I reckon I win this one.

And actually, I am quite tired now. I might just go back to sleep. Until dinner. Wake me when it is time for food!

Monday, 23 November 2009

She loves me... she loves me not

I am still no further in wooing my sexy neighbour, Lola The Greyhound. First impression are so important, aren't they. And I think mine was rather cold and startling. I really shouldn't have put my nose there, straight-away and on a cold day... Darn. Perhaps a more romantic approach will work?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Cave canem....

So, I am obviously not a working dog. Not my breed, darling. But I don't mind doing a little light guard dog duty when STAFF are out. Or in. The key is to look like you could not move in a rush and lull anyone into a false sense of security.
But you and I know, ... beware of the dog! After all, I might set STAFF on you!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

A splendid little jaunt

You know the beginning of a walk. When you just got out of the car. Still a bit dizzy from spinning and STAFF's driving? And the air hits you and brings with it smells and scents of such wonder. And you don't know where to go first? Left, right? Forward? Or back? And sometimes I find my paws opt for a different direction each, but in any case, I love the beginning of a good walk!And I was in fact so happy that you can see me smile. Rare, I know, but here it goes.
See it? The lips curled? The gnashers gleaming? Yup! That's me smiling! At STAFF. I know. What's come over me?
It wasn't long before THEY started to annoy me though. It's the slooooow walking that gets me. I constantly have to herd THEM in. What do THEY take me for? A border collie?
But then, a sound? A squawk? A shudder! What ho! Could it be that pheasant from me other day?
I set off immediately to investigate.
Couldn't see it anywhere! But I was not about to give up. A) It had peeped on me when I tried to poop. And B) I now know that those feathery things are edible. I was gonna 'ave 'im!
Sadly even a wide area scan revealed nothing.
Famished after my unsuccessful attempts to catch The Pheasant I had to put up with the indignity of having to ask STAFF for some nourishment to tide me over until breakfast.
And after a day of hunting I was quite glad that at least I had caught one furry that I could take home and display to all who might chance by: Here Sleeps Otto. The Mighty Hunter! Do not peep on him!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Pheasant. Cheekiest birds known to anyone!

So, STAFF and I skipped to the best woods in the world, as every day, and I find myself a nice spot to go about my morning business. Prime spot, in the woods, right in front of a shrub. Perfect! So, I get in position, and as I am 'sitting' there, looking here, looking there, What Ho!, I see a pair of eyes look right back at me! A pheasant! In the bush! Right! In! Front! Of! Me!Naturally I stopped what I was doing straight away and shooed the Peeping Tom away! Would you credit it!? Peeping on me! A hunting dog! The cheek of it!

And had STAFF told me there and then that you can eat those things, I would have put in more of an effort and had me the little blighter as a snack!

PS: The photo is for general illustration only. Even STAFF wouldn't go as far as taking photos of me doing that. You know what I mean.

Monday, 9 November 2009


I love, love, love, love getting parcels! My good friend Sabrina in Germany heard of my difficulties with rousing lazy STAFF from THEIR slumber in the morning, getting THEM around the woods at an acceptable speed and feeling constantly hungry.

And before I knew what was happening a parcel arrived. For me!
I was trying to open it up straight away, I could smell that whatever it was, it was good!
I didn't get too far trying to gnaw it open, so I tried to get it done by kicking it. But to no avail.
Finally STAFF got to it with scissors. And we were in!
Did I mention that it smelled absolutely delicious?
I was trying to inhale the content. Yum!
And then. Succes! I was in. And I had the goods! There was coffee. Strong Italian stuff, so that I could get STAFF up in the morning. And Italian biscotti. So that I could tie one to a piece of string and coax STAFF around the woods following behind it.
But best of all. A bone. Massive. Juicy. Cow flavour. How much better can it get! With just one drawback.... it was in a ruddy plastic packet. I had to rely on STAFF to open it. Well, I say had to.... I would have quite happily eaten through the plastic, but last time I did that I felt strangely ill for a few days, so I thought I had better not chance it.
The trouble is that when you issue STAFF with even a modicum of power, THEY get so excited and all mean and make you wait. Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. Hours passed and I was still waiting for my bone. STAFF were giddy with THEIR bit of power.
I was being super patient. I was not going to give THEM the satisfaction of knowing that I really, really wanted this bone. So, I looked at it. But nonchalantly. Tic. Toc. Tic.
My nerves were beginning to dance the famous sequence from Riverdance. But on the outside I was cool. And still I was waiting. Tic. Toc. Ti---- and then it occurred to me.... oh no! THEY probably just do not know how to get into the darn packaging. I am blighted with really rather silly STAFF.

Think of me friend, and know, I am probably still waiting for STAFF to figure out how to get into the packaging. Tic. Toc.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Keep on the sunny side

So, I've been keeping pretty busy. Autumn presents a set of challenges for those of us who like to follow the warming rays of the sun around the house. The trouble is that in autumn the sun is at the kind of angle that let's the rays fall into the most awkward of places.
Sun, or no sun, this chair is to small for me. Why must STAFF be so selfish and buy this kind of tat? And why not move one of my sofas into the sunny spot? How lazy!
At least I can move these cozy rugs into the sun. It's quite easy to do. You just have to sit and look mournfully at a sunny spot on the hard, hard wooden floors. And then do a couple of gentle feeps, and, eh voila, STAFF come running and move the rugs for you. Not bad. And yet, I feel my earlier comments on the moving of sofas would apply here, too! I'll mention it to STAFF next time.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Halloween.....Trick or Treat!

I am totally getting into the Halloween spirit this year. But no silly costumes for me. I have chosen something very stylish. And noble.

Meet Count Ottula. (Imagine you hear thunder rolling in the distance. And the hooting of owls.)
And from now on I shall speak in zer accent of zer Transylvanian. And I shall make use of my power to teach zer squirrels not to tease zer Count - zey shall get a fright when I flap into zer tree and give zem a BIG smile.... (Imagine more ominous thunder now, if you would).

Until zen, Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Am I grouchy? .... that depends....

People sometimes accuse me of being a little bit on the sulky side. I think that is totally unfair!I am not looking glum all the time. I am sometimes incredibly cheerful and virtually skipping through the world. Of course those are the times when I am OUTside. Not when I am cooped up INside. INside = ;o( But OUTside = ;o)
It's quite simple really! There are of course exceptions. Like mealtimes. Rain. Sleet. You know, things that can tip the edge of the mouth in the opposite direction.

But, whether you think I am cheerful or not depends entirely on where we meet.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Clock change - schmock change...

What's with the daylight saving time? Who are we saving daylight from? Nightlight? Time thieves, who are just going to waste it? It's a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, to me. And I hate it when the clocks change. Already we were facing the usual weekend delay. I cannot get STAFF out of bed before 6:12am on a Sunday. I have talked to THEM about this laziness, but to no avail. So, in essence, my walk was already delayed by one (1!) hour. And then the clocks changed. So, now my walk was delayed by more than two (2!) hours. I was absolutely outraged at such a late start, which I knew, knew, would mean that I'd miss the fox, the woods would be full of over-excited "exercise on weekends only"-dogs, and, crucially, my breakfast would be delayed at least 2 hours. Not a good start!But when we got to the woods, I began to realize that I had perhaps , unusually so for such a optimistic and happy-go-lucky non-complaining chap like myself, been a touch pessimistic. Because the woods were full of Fun! (aka squirrels). And the fox's scent was still all over the place! And there were no other dogs. Wahey!
The only problem with all the excitement is that you don't know where to go first. Or whether to go there at all! I find myself making high-pressured adrenaline decisions all the time! If I go hither, will I miss something better tither? Oh, sweet torture of sensory overload!
I decided to get me a nice stick. I just absolutely ♥ chewing sticks. And as you can see I found a nice and big one. Of course the two-legged spoil sports tried to discourage me with patronising comments. Yes, I could see that it was technically a tree. And technically still in the ground. But I was working on those issues, dangit! A tree is really just a stick in the making, isn't it.
In any case, unrelated to STAFFs' negative comments, I got bored. THEY will say that I have a short attention span, but this is not true. I just have many interests! And I like to pursue them all at once.
I found a nice puddle to drink from. It had a really nice muddy flavour, with a hint of horse-apple. Delicious! I guess I have mud-lips. So? You should see STAFF when THEY've been on the hot cacao.
All in all, I cannot help but smile. I am having a fantastic morning outing. I am in such a good mood, that I was even cooperative with the picture taking. Normally I like to see how many shots of my bottom I can get STAFF to take by moving out of the frame at just the right time. But today I changed tack.
So, when STAFF said "let's try for a close-up" I spotted my opportunity! Down on THEIR knees THEY went, peered through the lens and then seemed to get a bit of a shock. Hahaha! THEY did say "close-up". Can't blame me for complying with THEIR wishes.
Teehee, I am still chuckling at that...And, of course, I had my Squirrel encounters. Little rascals! Sitting on the ground, eating nuts, but as soon as you move in to eat them, they go up a tree. How's that fair?
I made it very clear that I much desired them to come down again!
Very, very clear! And I called for several minutes. But nothing! Wildlife of today. No manners!

And now, after all the running and excitement and the late start, and the fox and the squirrels and the leafs and the trees, I am having a little rest.

Even a clock change cannot spoil my mood today. Life, right here and right now, is good!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Autumn: Time to reconnect with my Fox buddies

I can't believe I've not been writing anything at all for nearly a whole month. Well, all I can say is that September and October are my busiest months. There's the last rays of sunshine to fill up the Sun cells, the dates with Lola the greyhound, the fox hunting, sending STAFF back to school.... It's a totally packed schedule!
STAFF bought the house we live in before I arrived with THEM. And as THEY didn't benefit from my expert advice at the time of purchase, THEY did not calculate that the sun would not shine unto the sofa during all seasons. Shockingly, in winter, we don't seem to get any sun on them at all! I find that a most lamentable state of affairs. And have intimated my discontent on this issue to STAFF. To no avail. I mean, something so basic, you'd have thought THEY could work that out on THEIR own. But, alas, you cannot take anything for granted with THEM.

Now I am wise to the situation, when autumn comes, I charge my sun cells up, to make sure the warm, content feeling imprints itself on the memory cells in my fur and tides me over through the cold winters. It can be quite stressful following the sun around all day. But what's a man to do?

Once I have charged up with all the heat and warmth, I am naturally loathe to let go of even a single little heat molecule. And in my quest for heat preservation, I have learned several interesting facts:
  1. Even looking a little bit cold will have STAFF come running with a blanket.
  2. When you pull the blanket over your head, you are in an oasis of peace, quiet and nice smells (leave the nose out though!)
  3. when you make little grumbling sounds, STAFF look very happy and report immense job satisfaction.
  4. Point 3, increases the chances of 1. happening again. A very Happy Cycle!
In any case, as I was snoozing I was contemplating a couple of very important things. First and foremost a most exciting development on the Front D'amour! Oh yes! Lola, the sexy greyhound I have been carrying a torch for since the day I first sniffed her, is coming over to my house! A date! I am so excited, I can't even sleep at night! And, if I am honest, I worry a little. I have never had a date. What if we run out of stuff to say? What if she notices that the accident at the vets makes me flinch every time someone says 'balls'? What, and this is most likely to happen, STAFF embarrass me? As I was lying, worry creeping through me like a snail through a lettuce patch, slowly but surely gnawing away, I noticed a hitherto unconsidered source of worry and concern. My feet. Or, to be more precise, the lusciously hirsute state of the space between my paws! Is this normal for a guy? What if Lola doesn't like it? Should I shave or wax or trim or leave it as it is? I just do not know. And it is pointless asking STAFF.... I have caught THEM looking at the furry tufts with the unmistakeable intention to fluff them. A raised eye-brow was enough non-verbal communication to put a stop to that plan. Honestly! Get a grip! So, I shall have to remain unsure. And just not know...

Well, I can't worry about that now. I'll have to wait until she comes over and hope for the best.

It is that wonderful time of year when the days get shorter and the morning outings are all in the dark. STAFF and I always really look forward to that. Well, I assume STAFF do. It is hard to tell with THEM... THEY aren't always as bright-eyed and bushy tailed in the morning as you'd expect. So, it is very important for me to get THEM out of bed and focus THEM on leaving the house. And early! And quickly! Otherwise all the good wildlife might have been snapped up by someone else!
It is always very tense when I am waiting to see when we're going or, goodness gracious, if we're going! All this is a source of immense stress to me until we are actually in the woods. And I am out of the car. Because we did once drive into a deer park, and straight back out again. STAFF muttered that it was closing and we couldn't stay, or something. I am not sure. Couldn't hear THEM very well over the barking!

In any case. Once we are in the woods, STAFF trudge around with THEIR head torches, trying not to fall over stuff. And I, well I get to do my own thing. THEY can't see me! Frreeeddddddoooommmmmm! Of course I check in every now and then. It makes THEM feel better. And me.
Mainly because I get a snack! I have trained THEM well, if I say so myself.... In any case, I used to think it was a bit of a nuisance to have THEM trudge round like great, big lumbering, stumbling Cyclopses. Scaring away all hunteables. But, I now realise that THEY create a marvelous diversion, and when the wildlife flees before the lumbering One-Beamed-Vision, the Grey Ghost Hunter can pounce!
My favourite hunting buddy is a Fox. Cute little thing. We meet most mornings. Have a good run and hunt and then wave good-bye until the next morrow. Here you can see me in Red-Eye hunting mode. Scary, huh?
And I am particularly pleased with this action shot of me hunting the fox. Do you see it? No? Look more closely! Oh, ok, it might not have come out so well, but I was within a whisker of getting him. Oooh, it was exciting!

After that nice hunt I was filled with an immense sense of pride. And satisfaction. I was born to hunt. I love every second of it! And the thrill is in the chase. Catching the fox would totally ruin my fun the next day. Who would I chase then? I am taking a long-term perspective on this. Hunt, let live, hunt again. That's my, not very snappy, motto.

And just look at us here. No wonder we are scaring the wildlife! Makes me chuckle!

And then at home, I get a toweling massage. And to sweeten an already sweet deal, STAFF issue me with a little pile of snacks first.
But I have to wait before I can tuck in. Seconds turn into minutes. Minutes. Into hours. Hours into days. Days into weeks. Weeks into months. Months into years.
And still I am waiting.
And then more waiting before I am allowed to do my morning's biscuit treasure hunt. Really, I feel for those chaps waiting for Godot. I am sure I do more waiting than that!
I wonder whether they ever tried the cute Puppy Pester Look. That normally works for me!
And of course I have been experimenting more with blanket positions and coverage. On a cold afternoon, is there anything better than being snuggly on the sofa?

When the heat builds up I gently unfurl. Making sure I do not lose too much heat!

All in all, autumn is such a busy time. Tomorrow I'll try and get a picture of my friend the fox. If only I could convince him to stand still for long enough! But no matter how much I call after him, he doesn't seem to want to stop. Strange. In any case. I'll try again tomorrow.

Good night.