Wednesday 31 October 2012

Halloween mayhem with Addi and the tank..

So this was the scene in our kitchen as Gail said "goodbye" and "have a great time with Addi" and "please remember to keep your cape nice and straight".

Well you'll have to pop over to Jazzi Addi's blog to see exactly what happened next...

... You won't be surprised to learn that Addi was about as enthusiatic about her 'Target Dog' eye patch as I was keen on my Dracula outfit...

You can rest assured we had those costumes off faster than you could say 'trick or treat'. And as for the notion that we would then just "play nicely" with a pumpkin on a Scottish beach.

Well I think someone was forgetting that Addi and I have a far superior toy at our disposal... 

Oh Addi is a girl after my own heart. We are so alike in our thinking. I mean I know that some pups might be going all "how cute" when given the option to romp around together in a patch of jolly, smiling pumpkins.... 

But we had other ideas..

This was the scene after Addi and I laid waste to that old pumpkin patch...

Oh I can't tell you how much I adore Addi. What a fine, strapping lass she is. I am well and truly lovestruck. Do you know, before I set off for our date I thought and thought and thought about what present she would most like. Gail (who, let's be honest, is a strong contender for the world's most unimaginative gift giver) suggested flowers or jewellery, can you believe?

Luckily, with the help of Addi and Jazzi's Mom, I found something so much more suitable.

I am delighted to report that Addi was thrilled with her Halloween gift, and rewarded me with one of her most awesome ever smiles. She says she will treasure the finger for as long as it takes to totally decompose back in Illinois...

I am such a happy chap. 

Must Addi really return home? 

PS: Thanks to Addi's Mom for the fabulous photos

Sunday 28 October 2012

Preparing for my Halloween date with Addi

(Low budget made-to-measure Dracula Cloak couture, involving an old slip and a 1980's shoulder pad, by Marie-Thérèse.)

See also Jazzi's World.

Thursday 25 October 2012

First class travel - just the ticket!

Please don't take any notice of Gail, if she starts trying to tell you that I "acted up" a bit on the train home to Aberdeen on Monday.

My terrier friends at least will surely understand that when one has been on VERY best behaviour for six days at the Human Grandparents house, and not put a paw wrong the whole time, then one is entitled to a period of 'exuberance' when one departs, and if that exuberant phase coincides with a seven hour train journey, well so be it...

For some reason (the words "too stressful" are being bandied about here) Gail failed to take any photos of me enjoying First Class hospitality on the East Coast train from Newark to Edinburgh, and also on the later one from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. All this despite the fact that she later described as "quite a picture" the face of one of my fellow passengers, a smartly suited but rather humourless businessman, when I tried to strike up a conversation with him somewhere around Berwick-upon-Tweed.

I can however show you a copy of my ticket for the train. Well, OK, strictly speaking it's Gail's ticket, as railway travel in the UK is free for dogs.

So my British readers will be relieved to see that Gail and I do not indulge in any sneaking onto the train and trying to travel First Class on a Standard Class ticket behaviour, unlike certain senior politicians - yes we do mean you Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

Between trains I was allowed a run around Calton Hill in Edinburgh. I love the fact that Edinburgh has these open  and Bertie-friendly spaces right in the heart of the city.

Sadly we did not have time to meet my wiry pal Horatio, but I did at least get to show a Japanese tourist how to "pose nicely now" for the camera.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

In the fog

With Human Grandad not strong enough to venture out far beyond the garden, Gail and I decided to take some photos on our Sunday morning walk in Nottingham, to show him what was happening in the neighbourhood. 

What a shame it was all so foggy. 

I am pleased to report that at the recreation ground the local would-be Robin Hoods were not deterred by the fact that their targets were scarcely visible.

Likewise the football players didn't seem to mind that you needed to be in the penalty area before you could see the goal.

With the heavy dew the furs on my legs were soon dripping wet as I raced along by the edge of the fields.

Although I saw no moles, there was circumstantial evidence aplenty down near the river.  

I was a bit mystified by the fact that some of the trees on our street had lost nearly all their leaves...

And others, seemingly identical, had not.

In fact I wanted Gail to ask HGD about this, but she said not to trouble him, as his head these days is foggy like the weather.

So I decided instead to join him for an afternoon snooze.

Friday 19 October 2012

Please don't shoot Mister Badger!

Something quite thrilling happened here in Nottingham when I went out for my pre-bedtime 'comfort walk' with Gail on Wednesday night.

Right in front of us, bold as brass, a HUGE badger strolled across the road, only disappearing behind the hedge when I alerted Gail to his presence. (She claims she saw him before I did, but really, I don't want that story put around...)

Oh if only I had not been attached to my walking string, I would so have followed him into the bushes. As it was I had to content myself with vocal expressions of my delight. Who knew that life in the leafy outer suburbs of Nottingham could be so exciting?

Gail tells me that she likes badgers too - although she thinks that loud and prolonged barking is not the right way to show it. One of her favourite childhood reads was 'Wind in the Willows' and she remembers the scene where Badger provides Mole and Ratty with refuge from a snowstorm in the scary Wild Wood:

'The Badger, who wore a long dressing gown, and whose slippers were indeed very down-at-heel, carried a flat candlestick in his paw and had probably been on his way to bed when their summons sounded. He looked down at them and patted both their heads. "This is not the sort of night for small animals to be out,' he said paternally. "I'm afraid you've been up to some of your pranks again Ratty. But come along; come into the kitchen. There's a first-rate fire there, and supper and everything."

Who could not love Mister Badger?

Well I have to report that neither of my Human Grandparents are quite so keen on these nocturnal creatures in real life.

HGD spent several largely unsuccessful decades trying to deter the badgers from entering his garden at night and digging up his lovingly tended back lawn. Rumour has it there is even some buried barbed wire under the hedge. HGY knows that badgers are blamed for spreading tuberculosis amongst cattle, and as she had an older sister, Audrey, who died aged two from TB caught from drinking unpasteurised milk on a Yorkshire Farm, she too thinks badgers are a BAD THING.

Readers in the UK will be aware that a badger cull has just recently been initiated in some parts of Southwest England, where bovine tuberculosis is rampant. The scientists are divided on its likely efficacy, as many suspect that infected badgers will simply be driven away from the areas where they are being shot, only to multiply elsewhere and later return.

Which makes one wonder if Kenneth Grahame, writing in the early nineteen hundreds, knew something that Owen Patterson* does not, when he put these words into the mouth of kind, wise old Mr Badger:

"We are an enduring lot, and we may move out for a time, but we wait, and are patient, and back we come. And so it will ever be."

*The government Environment Secretary, who approved the cull.

PS HGD update: he is finally home from hospital, hooray! I am on VERY best behaviour as we try to settle him back into his familiar routines.

Monday 15 October 2012

Muddy but colourful Autumn walk up Scolty

Well it finally stopped raining and I persuaded Gail to take me for a walk up Scolty Hill this weekend. We both needed a dose of fresh air and a good leg stretch. I reminded her to take the camera too.

It goes against my nature, but for once I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Oh and I must thank all of you for supporting me in my campaign to join Gail on her trip to Nottingham to see HGD. I am delighted to report it was successful, and both Gail and I will be heading south on the train on Wednesday. The other good news is that HGY has a new, much faster computer, so I may even be able to keep in touch, if Gail has any time to help me.