Friday, December 19, 2008

I'd like more than just memories, mum.

This could have been me as a pup - but it isn't. Mum's not camera friendly. I’ve been trying to persuade her to get a digital camera so that I can occasionally post some photos on my blog. It’s difficult trying to persuade someone to do something without being able to speak to them. So I’ve been doing it surreptitiously – I keep striking cute, funny and appealing poses, I leave newspapers opened up at adverts or articles to do with cameras – ditto with websites on mum’s computer. My campaign has failed up to now. Perhaps Uncle Hugh will get her one for Christmas, I do hope so.

This could have been me too, mum says I looked just like that. Isn't it amazing how cameras can freeze time? You see, due to mum’s aversion to cameras there is no record of my early years with her and Uncle Hugh, and mum says I was seriously cute. It didn’t bother me when I was younger, but as I’ve grown older I’ve started to feel more nostalgic about my youth. I would like more than just memories now. I want something to look back on when I get very old.

Mum says she got me due to what she calls a ‘Mid Life Crisis’. She’d had a dog, Sam, in LBM (Life Before Me) but it died and upset her so much she swore never, ever to get another dog. Then one day she found a lump in her boob and being the type of worrier that she is, she was convinced it was a nasty lump that would kill her like the nasty lumps that killed her parents. Anyway, it turned out not to be a nasty lump but she said the experience turned her life upside down and made her start to think. So she thought, and she decided to get me. Mum said that was also when Uncle Hugh and she started to work towards leaving the UK.

A digression - I did some research on the Internet about this ‘mid-life crisis’ thing and found out that it can happen to men too. In fact, it seems to happen to men a lot. But they tend to do slightly different things than women do. When in ‘mid-life crisis’ mode the things men tend to do are i) buy a new sporty or similarly impractical type of car, ii) have hair implants, iii) join a gym, iv) buy a whole new wardrobe of clothes that would look better worn by their son, v) run off with a teenage girl (well nobody else in their right mind is going to it) or v) do all five of the above.

I’ve got lots of memories of my early years but my most vivid is when I was just 11 months old and mum and me were driving to our first new home, in Switzerland.
I remember she’d been worried about leaving me in the car when she got on this really big boat, but I was fine. I’m not easily fazed. I made friends with a nice man in a bright yellow jacket who kept coming to check up on me. Anyway, when the big boat stopped, mum and me drove off it and mum told me we were in a place called France where they drive on the wrong side of the road (to me it’s now the right side – in both ways).

It was a bit of a problem for mum ‘cause she was in an English car at the time and on the motorways there were a few toll booths which were on the left of mums car, and mum was sitting on the right. So she couldn’t just wind her window down, she had to get out and walk round the front of her car to pay at the booth. Well, one time she did that I noticed she had left her door ajar so decided to sneak out too, ‘cause I was bored. So there I am having a sniff at mum’s back wheel and was just thinking about having a pee on it when mum drove off.
I’ll never forget seeing mum’s little silver car driving into the distance on that big motorway in that strange land. I was, literally, gobsmacked. I remember looking desperately at the lady in the booth, then she looked at me in a rather shocked fashion - mouth open, eyes wide, and then we both looked at mum’s disappearing car.

I thought my heart was going to break. I started howling, the lady started shouting in a strange gobbledegook, the car behind me was honking it’s horn for dear life. It seemed that the entire world knew what had happened except mum. I watched her car turn into a pinprick as it left me behind and totally alone in a strange, scary place.

Then the pinprick suddenly started getting bigger again, there was lots & lots of honking in the distance, I could see cars swerving, there was a strange screeching sound – like an engine that was at it’s absolute limits – and mum’s car was once again becoming visible as she reversed at great speed back up the motorway – back to the booth where she’d left me. It made lots of other drivers a bit mad that mum was reversing up a motorway, and I’m sure she shouldn’t have done it. When she finally reached me she dove out of the car - her face all red and hot looking - she was screeching and crying, and she grabbed me and hugged me so hard I thought she’d squashed my insides to a pulp. THEN she had the cheek to scream


Well, it’s all water under the bridge now, I wasn’t mentally scarred or anything. But it would have been nice to have some photos of those early days – perhaps not of that particular one though.

I found the clip below on YouTube about a little fella who mum says looks very much how I used to, in fact she says of all the Schnauzers she’s seen, he could be my brother, except that he’s much better groomed than I am and is a bit blacker. She says we share the same expressions. Personally, I think I look more like Bagel his friend in the last shot:) At least it will give you an idea as to what I was like when I was young. (You need to have the sound on FFancy - it's a nice tune and is sent to everyone with ......:)


French Fancy said...

I'm the first to say'Aaaahhhhh'. To the story which made me gasp, worry and finally relax and to the YouTube clip.I can just imagine how your mum felt when she realised you weren't in the car - I once thought the bichons were in the garden and then realised that Poppy had destroyed part of the puppy-proofing netting that Mr FF had put up.
We found them about 20 metres away eating grass along the roadside, but it was a very scary moment.

Sorry to hear about mum's health scares
but some good came out of it - you, little Henry, you.

Hope a man-free house is not too quiet and dull. When will he be home?

French Fancy said...

Yes, back so soon. I also hope mummy gets a camera soon - a digital one I mean.I want to see more pics - having said that I love searching the net for images but it's also nice to see the 'real thing'.

LadyFi said...

Oh dear FF - I think you've put your foot in it with Henry. The house is not man-free as Henry is there...

I laughed and gasped my way through the story of how you got left at the French toll booth. Thank goodness for your mum's good reversing skills!

Glad to hear your mum's lumps were not the bad kind. My mother-in-law died of the lumps only two weeks ago.

My Oscar doesn't have many photos of his puppy days either. We took him over 18 months ago, when he was 4.5 years old. He came to us directly from the breeders - who probably do have photos, though!

Be a good boy now. And thanks for sharing your stories. And please DO make sure Mum gets a digital camera for Christmas! Even if it involves biting Uncle H on the bum and dragging him off to the shops...

Henry the Dog said...

FFancy - we must get on the internet at the same time of day:) Mum says it was her worst experience. She said she went all cold and clammy and can hardly remember reversing up the motorway because her mind was in turmoil. She said she thought her heart was going to stop. Apparently I was rooted to the spot - all's well that end's well - I believe someone said once;) (This evening we hope).

Henry the Dog said...

Lady Fi - you must have been posting at the same time that I was responding to FFancy. As I said to FF, mum says it was one of the worst experiences of her life. She's really over cautious with me now, as you can imagine:) Yeah, lumps are a bummer aren't they - the nasty ones. Since that time mum now has lots of lumps in her boobs (she's prone to them), she just has to have them monitored regularly, she says it keeps her on her toes and makes her live for the moment, because each moment is so special, don't you think?

Henry the Dog said...

FF - for some reason my comments about the Bichons didn't get in my response !!!! I actually asked if when you realised your Bichons were missing did you got a cold clammy panicky type of feeling that mum gets? Borderline hysteria is what she calls it. She says it's only happened twice (and both times were triggered by me:)

Braja said...

Henry, what can I say? Adorable...I was gasping at the story of you being left behind. And I hope you're mum gets a camera soon. I'm tired of this moratorium on Henry photos...

lady jicky said...

OMG boyfriend - this was like watching Titanic - you got left behind and yet ..... Oooo your Mum came back.Thankgoodness and my Mum said she would be just like yours - emotional and "all over the place with worry".
I am so glad the lady lumps are OK. All ladies should have their lumps seen to. My Mum does and that is a good thing your Mum does too! Especially with her family history!
Now to the camera boyfriend. Oh you just have to get a magazine out and leave the page open for you know who to get a you know what - HINT! I would love to see you "in the flesh" and while I was jiving around the office listening to the groovey music I saw ---THE EYEBROWS!!! Oooo boyfriend , do you have a great big bushy set too??? It really got me going if you know what I mean and I think you do...
Get that Mag and find a camera ad and let the hints begin!!

meryl's musings said...

I could hear my landlord telling her Hunks all about what you wrote today. Henry, you keep mum happy and no more wandering off -- even if those smells are the most awesome scent you've ever pressed your nose up to.

She's always saying part of being healthy is being happy too. So that's kind of what I think my job is (that, and eating, and barking at squirrels and rabbits, and chasing the mail lady, and . . . )

French Fancy said...

I came back to say I watched the vid again (yes, that's twice now). Mum was right - it is a good tune and those lovely images. I don't know which is my favourite - maybe the one with the dog spread out like a rug on the parquet floor.

I know another Schnauzer actually, Henry. It's a girl but she is called Buddy and she belongs to Sarah, my cousin who lives in Paris. She walks off the lead perfectly and is much envied by the bichons when she comes to stay - because she is so well-behaved.

French Fancy said...

Henry - this is my fourth visit!! When Irealised the bichons were gone (and I have to take Mr FF's word for this because I truly don't remember) he said I was standing in the garden screaming ' the bichons are gone, the bichons are gone'.

He said I got in his way whilst he was putting his shoes on and then he went running down the road with me (apparently) screaming 'the bichons are gone' - yes, still.

Neighbours appeared out of nowhere (probably because a hysterical Anglaise was making an exhibition of herself) and also began running around. The calmest of all were two little dogs in the distance along the street (we're in a cul-de-sac off a minor road but you still get cars down it).

I could hear Mr FF screaming 'I've found them' and I ran towards them with treats - because they wouldn't have understood that they were naughty climbing through the hole that Pop made. They were just curious and it was our fault for not checking on them. I hardly ever leave them in the garden alone but I'd been distracted talking to one of the neighbours.

But at a toll, Oh Henry, thank goodness you were sensible and stayed put.

Henry the Dog said...

Braja - it is the only time in my life that I've been terrified. I will get that camera. I've started projecting my thought waves - I know it never works with Uncle Hugh but it might with mum;)

Rosie - I SO have bushy eyebrows babe. Mum has to cut them from time to time otherwise I'd be bumping into things. I have a beard and moustache too. Hope you don't mind xxx

KC - I think our mums and dads would be lost without us. Mum says she's never lonely when I'm around. Don't worry, after that episode I learned a big lesson.

FF - I used to spread out like that and mum had a game called 'Henry Mop' where she would pretend I to mop the floor with me, it used to make me giggle.

FF - I can't stop laughing at visualising a hysterical 'Anglaise' screaming for her Bichons. They think us brits are bonkers anyway (Henry holds his sides & laughs some more)

lady jicky said...

Oh boy boyfriend ! I see you have a hairy chest in the photos on the side panel too . Oooh , you so have to get a camera!

Irish Gumbo said...


Wonderful story. You are blessed to have such a great Mum, I could feel the panic and the love.

As to the mid-life crisis, I better get started on the list (although I could skip the implants)

Simplicity said...

First off, I'm so happy that the lumps were not the nasty kind! Your mum probably felt like she had a new lease on life!

Second, I would have reversed on a motorway to get you too! Then I probably would have said the same thing your mum said to you! :)

Looking forward to seeing the photos when your mum gets a camera. I've a good feeling she'll be getting one soon. I'm sure they'll all be adorable!

Wild Creations said...

Oh Henry, you had me in tears! That must have been so scary!

And the dudes on the video are so so cute (as you are too!). Been try to convince my folks that a puppy is just want we need, but they don't seem to believe me.

Diane said...

I would have totally reversed back up the motorway, too!

I got my boy during a life crisis as well (I won't say mid-life, as I was just turning 40 and since I plan to live to be 120, that's not anywhere near 'mid'). Anyway, though he didn't quite save my life, I think he saved my sanity (funny, when you think about it, as he drove me crazy as a pup... but crazy in a good way and not the bad way I was heading ;).

I'm glad your mum is fine and I'm SO glad she decided to fill her life with a Henry :) xo

Stubby said...

Oh Henry - you crack me up! A digital camera is a must have when you have cute little guys like us. Mom and Dad had a regular film camera when I was a little guy, so there is a record of me somewhere. Mom always tells me that I was so cute when I was a baby - does that mean that I am not cute now?
I couldn't believe your story of being left behind. My eyes were glued to the computer screen as I read your ordeal. I don't know what I would have done if I was left behind except cry like a baby. Your Mum is one smart lady -she just knew that she couldn't live without you.
When Mom and Dad picked me up from my original home when I was ten weeks old, Mom thought there was something wrong with me because I didn't cry. Thankfully she didn't leave me at the toll booth because she thought I was defective!

Henry the Dog said...

Rosie - you like hairy chests too? Wow I didn't know ladies liked chest hair. I wonder if that's why mum likes Uncle Hugh?

Simplicity you're sweet - and as that other lady said on your blog you have a lovely smile. It always lights up the comments on this blog too xx

Wild Creations - puppies???? Sure they're cute but be very afraid....;)

Diane - us dogs sometimes do turn up at the right time don't we? I truly hope you reach 120 one day. Good luck to you sweetie:)

Stubby - hey little chap, of course you're cute. Just cute in a different way that's all. My mum think's you're adorable. Actually, I was a very good puppy too, I hardly ever cried or howled or anything. That was a one off - thank goodness!!!:D

Henry the Dog said...

Irish - SORRY - I missed you. How could I? You're the only guy hanging around here. If I were you I'd skip the mid-life thingumagig. You wouldn't want to end up with a teenage girl - believe me. I met one once and it scarred me for life:) Loved your post on your blog. Mum says it will get better -it always does (nearly!) - she added that so as not to tempt fate.

Daisy said...

Oh no, Henry, that was heartbreaking, the thought of you howling with the lady in the booth !! The video is completely adorable but I think you have softer fur than the one in the vid, he looks like he's been stripped when he's a bit older. I literally cry to think of my beloved Otto and Bertha, they were such adorable puppies, and had little fuzzy noses just like you in your close up picture. Make your mum get you a camera for christmas?

Blu said...

Oh my........what a totally scarey story...boom boom boom boom.....Mums heart must have been beating so loudly when she realised you were not in the car! We had only lived in France a few weeks and my big woofer whi was only about 8 months old got out, and I couldnt find her, then when she turned up and saw me she ran in front of a lorry, luckily the driver stopped!

herhimnbryn said...

G'day Mate!
My Mum read this and I was sitting next to her on the sofa( result!). She said Oh Hell out loud, so I knew it was something bad on that screen thing she looks at.

Mum here, Glad the lump was not one of those lumps. I too would have reversed the car and that video has made me think that if and when we get a 2nd hound.......

~Marie~ said...

Henry, tell your mom I hope she makes it out of her crisis ok, and that there is nothing to fear of digital cameras.

I wish I had Peanut's puppy pics, I lost them all when my laptop caught on fire (before the huge battery recall from Dell Computers). I was so upset.

Now I try to take as many pics as possible of him, occasionally he turns away from the camera and I know it's time to take a break!

lady jicky said...

Boyfriend, leave me out of those guys who wax!

Henry the Dog said...

Daisy - do you have any photos on your site of Otto and Bertha? Mum says when I was a pup I had a nose that looked like a tiny, shiny black button. She said she couldn't stop kissing it.

Blu - your heart must have stopped when your girl did that. That's why I can't understand dog owners round here letting their dogs run loose the way they do. I know there isn't much traffic but it only takes one vehicle doesn't it?

Bryn - but it had a happy ending, thank goodness.
Bryn's mum - a second hound? Won't Bryn be jealous? I know I would be if mum got another dog. She's talked about it, but I keep projecting "DON'T GET ANOTHER DOG" thought into her head. It's worked so far;)

Marie - that's a shame about those photos of puppy Peanut, a real shame. I would never tire of being photographed, I think I'm a natural 'Celeb' - move over Brad Pitt:D

Rosie - lady you are WICKED & I'm lovin' it. Hey, would you believe my word veri is rosess? That is spooky - Kisses or Bisous as we say in France

Braja said...

Hullo Henry ... or should I say Hooray Henry...but maybe you're not a Hooray Henry at seem a little more serious than that. Listen, if you get the chance, you tell your mummy her bad feelings about ... y'know, those things she ate...they can all disappear in a flash if she goes here:

and follows her heart...

lady jicky said...

OMG Henry - you said "spooky" - I just hope Lee does not read this . That word sends him in a spin and not the sort of spin I'm in with your old black magic called love!

Irish Gumbo said...


You are right, indeed, I don't need the complication of being involved with a teenage girl, wouldn't do to stir things up THAT much right now.

I wanted to thank you for your comment on my post of last Thursday. That was one of the most touching things ANYONE (anydog?) has ever said about me. I was worried I didn't have a soul for a while, even!

That said, I have an award ready for you, you can pick it up on iG, in the upper right hand corner. I hope you like it!

Thank you from them bottom o' my heart!

Princess Tikka Masala said...

You will be knowing that the woman who is being your mother is truly worshipping you when she is being making a statue in the form of your dogginess.

Lee said...

I'm watching you, Lady Jicky!

babbler said...

Do you know a lovely dog named Tricky Woo? Henry reminds me of Tricky, who starred in the BBC series in the 70s about the veterinarian James Herriot autobiographies "All things great and small." Great blog!
With love and Christmas greetings, from "Mrs. Slug."

Temple said...

Henry-you become more endearing each time I read your latest posts...and I think your mom and I would make GREAT drinking buddies :)

lady jicky said...

Bloody Hell!

Henry the Dog said...

Braja - my lovely - you were right. In a flash. Seriously. I could feel the penitence oozing from mum's pores. She's a softy really you know - often doing stuff without thinking - when she thinks she always follows her heart. Kisses to you. xxx

Lady Jicky - sorry - I forgot about that Lee fella (cue music from Twilight Zone)

Irish - I am flattered, humble, blushing....I feel like a Celebrity AGAIN! Braja made me feel like one last week. Now you. I am truly honoured and will pop over to yours as soon as I finish here.

Princess Tikka - mum's crap at art. I can't imagine her taking up sculpture. The most she could manage is a 'stick man' or should I say 'stick dog'. But I do think she loves me. Nice of you to drop by Princess.

Lee - you're gonna scare Lady Jicky......

Mrs Slug - no I don't but mum does. She used to watch that series when she was young. She loved it. Nice of you to slug by. I like your drawings of Mr & Mrs Slug. I bet you were good at art at school. Mum likes slugs. We have lots of them in France when it's damp. Mum swerves to avoid squishing them on the road - it upsets some other motorist folk.

Temple - I bet you would. Mum doesn't need any encouraging in that area;)

Lady Jicky - sorry. It was all my fault - mea culpa - or something like that;)

L to the Aura said...

Mini Schnauzer hey?
They sure are cute. Is there any other useful information you could pass on about the little darlings?
How small are they, for instance?
Feisty or mild-mannered?

I'm just curious and trying to convince my husband to get me a dog for Christmas. :)

Henry the Dog said...

L to the Aura - I'm just under 10 kilos - that's quite hefty for a mini, but it's all muscle:) Can be feisty - we need a firm hand to start with - but once you're in control - as my mum is - we are very very good. We have a reputation for being 'barky' but not me. Mum nipped that one in the bud early doors. A dog is as good as it's owner. Because we don't shed, we need to be clipped now and then. In the summer, mum has me clipped about every eight weeks. Less in the winter. Mum crated me as a puppy - which stopped me from chewing things. If you've never had a puppy before DON'T get one for Christmas:( Do lots of reading/research. Ask lots of folk about puppies. My mum had a very bad time with her other dog, Sam, when he was a puppy and apparently it nearly ended up with Uncle Hugh and her splitting up it was so bad at one point, but he turned into 'Mr Perfect'. But she said I was as good as gold as a pup. You need to be prepared for the worst, so if you get the best it's a bonus.

Braja said...

You see? simple :))