Thursday, February 26, 2009

A bit of a rant - don't read if you're 'pro' fur!

Magnificent isn’t he? Some folk would rather have his skin turned into a coat, or a hat, or some fancy boots. Surprise, surprise these magnificent animals have been virtually wiped out in the wild – prized by poachers for (amongst other things) their hide.

This is a bit of a rant, and also a question attached that you might be able to answer for me (and my mum).

(If you are ok with people wearing fur, please don’t read any further, because I don’t want to offend you. Actually. No. I’ll stop being ‘nicey nicey’ Henry for a moment. If you are ok with people wearing fur for vanity then I DO want you to read on, even if what I have to say DOES offend you. Perhaps I could listen to your point of view if you want to give it, and I may be convinced that wearing fur isn’t so bad after all.)

The question: Why is it suddenly acceptable to wear fur again? Mum has noticed over the past couple of years or so that there has been an almost insidious change of attitude to the wearing of fur – or has it been changing for a long time and she’s only just noticed?

Here is a photo of Lily Allen wearing a white fox fur and a few other Celebs who mum thinks should know better:

And here’s the article that went with Lily wearing her fancy hat Lily wears her fur with pride! . Notice how so many of the comments that criticise her for doing so have been rated down by the readers (perhaps Daily Mail readers are particularly ‘pro’ fur).

Mum was in London last Sunday where she had to stop on her way back from Singapore, and where it also happened to be the start of Fashion Week. She said she was appalled at how many skeletons were stalking around with fur hats, fur coats, fur trimmed boots, coats, skirts, jumpers, fur scarves, fur everything. She says she was literally stopped open-mouthed in her tracks by a small group of fashionistas whose bones rattled past liberally draped in enough fur to clad a small pack (or whatever) of ermine.

Fur, feathers and the future at London Fashion Week

Mum remembers a time when folk wouldn’t dream of wearing fur.

What’s happened? Why is it acceptable now? Did the ‘anti fur’ brigade end up pissing people off with their extreme antics? Did it drive folk back into the arms of the fur trade?

There seems to be a new attitude these days that you should be able to do what you want and wear what you want (particularly celebrities), because we’re all tired of extremists trying to dictate to us what to do with our lives. Fine, I’m ok with that. But how far do you go? Perhaps I want to gnaw on people’s legs for the fun of it from time to time. Or wear human eyeballs as earrings. Is it now ok to do that? Freedom of expression and all.

Dogs are being killed in terrible ways for their fur. I won’t go into detail because it gives mum sleepless nights thinking about it. It gives me nightmares. My fur is quite soft and silky. Perhaps Lily Allen would want to rip my hide off my back and wrap it around her thick head too.

I know mum wears leather, but she would argue that it’s a by-product of the meat trade. We aren’t opposed to making use of the whole of the animal if it’s being killed for food. I don’t want to go veggie. I respect folk who do go veggie. But it would be wrong for me to go veggie. I was made to eat meat. That’s how I’ve been designed. We are, however, very opposed to folk who don’t mind animals being slaughtered for the sake of vanity.

We’re both quite sickened by it all. I know I don’t normally do ‘serious’ but this time, I had to.

Here is me looking like a fur rug. Wouldn’t it be tragic if that’s what I became?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I’m back! And the first thing I want to say is a big THANK YOU to everyone for all your comments on my last post. It brought a lump to my doggy throat reading them, and made me realise how simply lovely you all are (Mickle, I do hope Zebby’s feeling better).

I wish I’d been able to keep blogging whilst I was away, but James & Jane at the kennels were having problems with their connection and were offline most of the time so even when I sneaked onto their computer I couldn’t get onto my blog. On top of that, I was simply SO busy with life in the kennels, I was rushed off my little paws. More about that later.

It was GREAT seeing mum again and I got a tad hysterical to be honest – as is my way, but the first thing she said to me was “You’re bloody filthy, you stink and you look like a hairy yeti.” Honestly! What a thing to say after not seeing me all that time. She stuck me in the shower as soon as we got home and attacked me with a pair of scissors. It’s not my fault that I was smelly and hairy and had lots of debris stuck in my coat. Claire couldn’t clip me whilst mum was away (because she’s had a new pup) and they couldn’t fit me in anywhere else until March, so I’m stuck with being a hairy yeti for the mo. (You guessed it, the photo above is an old one of me, before the hols)

I feel a bit sorry for mum and Uncle Hugh. They didn’t have such a good time. Mum reckons that she must have unwittingly “...pissed on a Leprechaun…” some time this year because she said, “…Luck isn’t my middle name at the moment…” well, I could have told her that, ‘because it’s Lucy. Anyway, it turns out that they ended up with a bad tummy for half of the holiday and were thoroughly miserable. Normally mum has a really strong tum, and she can eat anything. Uncle Hugh used to say it was ‘iron-clad’, but this time she said she had diarrhoea so badly she says she could have “…shat through a straw…” at one point. Eloquence personified my mum is. Actually, I can’t imagine why she’d want to do that – shit through a straw. I reckon it could be messy and would require an colossal amount of precision, which mum doesn’t possess. I know what it’s like to have diarrhoea – it’s not fun. It doesn’t half make a mess of my bum hair, but I don’t think that was mum’s problem – maybe Uncle Hugh’s though. Anyway, I’m digressing.

So, they had a crap time for the second half, but apparently the first half was great, in Singapore, and they laughed lots and had fun.

As for me, I had a BRRRILLIANT time. I made a new friend called Roger who is a Great Dane – so we looked kind of odd together. He’s also a eunuch, which is why they let me play with him. I’m ok with male dogs who’ve lost their balls. They don’t make my hackles go up, so I’m allowed out with them. I got on so well with Rog, we swapped email addresses.

He was a right scaredy cat to start with. I felt sorry for him when he arrived because it was his first time at the kennels and he was terrified so I took him under my wing straight away (as much as a Mini Schnauzer can take a Great Dane under it’s wing, which is not at all actually, I’m being hypothetical). As it turned out, Roger is terrified of everything.

He’s a great big lad. I’m talking huge, but he’s so scared of stuff it made me a bit mischievous and sometimes I’d creep up on him and make loud noises behind his back so that I could watch him jump out of his skin, like I do with mum. I know, I know, I’m cruel, but it WAS funny.

His mum and dad brought him in with seven cuddly toys, a comfort blanket, three beds (morning, afternoon and night) and a CD player so that he could listen to his favourite ‘Whale’ music to help him sleep. His mum’s into stuff like crystals, candles, aromatherapy, meditation and all things ‘spirity’ – she’s what my mum would call a hippy (but in a nice way).

My main problem with Rog was that we’d be in the ‘exercise’ field and I’d keep losing him. Then I’d realise that he was actually standing right next to me, but I’m so tiny and he’s so tall, I’d be looking through the gap between his legs whilst wondering where he was. In the end he learned to stand back a bit, so that I could see him.

I made lots of new friends as well as Rog, and there were some regulars too, but it was Rog who stayed the same length of time as I did and he’s the one I’ll be keeping in touch with. We’re like the proverbial chalk and cheese and he really is a big girly, but I liked the soft lad, pity there’s no photo, maybe next time.

I must say, I’ve REALLY missed you all, and I’m REALLY looking forward to catching up with all your blogs, but it will take me some time, and I can’t do it this evening because I’m having some quality time with mum and Uncle Hugh – I’ve missed them more than anything and being away from folk you love makes you appreciate them even more, don’t you think?


PS: here are a couple of photos that mum took whilst she was away, the cows are for my lovely Braja (we missed you xxxx).

The view from mum's hotel window in the second week, pity she was too busy pooing to enjoy it!:

The atrium of the hotel in Singapore from the 19th floor - made mum's fanny twitch!:

A calf and some cows for Braja, in Langkawi, Malaysia

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I may be gone some time.....

Yep, this is my last post before I go on holiday and I really don’t know if I’ll be posting whilst I’m in the kennels. I can’t be sure, so I’m not going to promise. I hate breaking promises.

So, I thought, as there are a few bloggers at the moment revealing a fair bit about themselves and their lives I’d leave you on a light note by giving you a few more little facts about me and my life too. A few little titbits for you to nibble on. Not too much. Just enough to keep you keen - keep you thirsty for more. I like to maintain a bit of mystery.

1. I was born on 10th April 2005, that was a Sunday – and you know what they say about Sunday’s child don’t you? “Bonny and blithe and good and gay” of course. I am very bonny, blithe (don’t know what it means but it sounds nice) and good. Though I’m not gay. I like lady dogs. I’m also an Aries and a Rooster. Not that I believe any of that crap, but it’s good, clean fun isn’t it? If you follow astrology you’ll know that I shouldn’t really be compatible with Mum, ‘cause she’s a Cancerian Dragon lady, but I love her to bits – so it just goes to show how silly these star sign thingies are doesn’t it?

2. I was born and bred in East Yorkshire and mum took me to live with her on 5th June 2005. Mum lived in South Yorkshire at the time. It wasn’t far to travel. Below is a photo of my first little toy that I took away with me that day. Mum still keeps it safe and won’t let me rip it to bits now that I’m a big boy. Mum’s very sentimental.

An Aside - I remember mum coming to collect me and sitting me on her knee as we drove home. I wasn’t scared to leave my doggy mum or my other brothers and sisters ‘cause I’d had enough of the irritating little sods by then and was thankful for the peace and quiet. I remember Uncle Hugh said “I hope he doesn’t vomit or poo or anything. Shouldn’t you put him in that box just in case?” Well, I was rather insulted at the time. It got me wondering what they were used to and what type of house I was going to if they thought that dogs regularly pood, peed, vomited or whatever whilst travelling in cars. I knew they’d certainly never had a Schnauzer. In my view you only pee, poo or vomit in your immediate surroundings if you’re really, really poorly and you’ve no alternative.

3. Mum was initially looking for a West Highland Terrier, or a Wire Haired Jack Russell. Then Uncle Hugh flew into an airfield at Sherburn-in-Elmet one day, spotted a guy with some Mini Schnauzers, and decided we were a cute breed. As luck would have it, the guy with the Schnauzers said his sister had just bred some – the rest is history. Sadly, the guy is now dead – he died in a plane crash – an old Hurricane. RIP.

4. I have a really good pedigree with lots of champions in my ancestry. I’ve even got a posh name. But mum being mum has lost everything to do with my birth and my pedigree. It all got lost when they sold their house in the UK and moved to Switzerland. She thinks she could get copies of stuff if she wrote to the Kennel Club in the UK, but she’s not that fussed.

5. I used to HATE going walkies when I was a pup and used to fling myself on my back and refuse to move whenever mum put my collar on and clipped my lead to it. I liked being carried best. So mum used to carry me everywhere to start with. Then she put her foot down, and when mum puts her foot down you simply have to do as you’re told. Believe me.

6. I used to go to work every day with mum. At the time, mum’s work offices were on an airfield, so I think that’s why I got used to loud noises because there were some noisy jets used to land and take off and helicopters and stuff. All the folk there used to call me “Baby Henry” and spoiled me something rotten.

7. I once got trodden on by one of Uncle Hugh’s grown up pups and sprained my paw. I made a right racket. I was really tiny at the time, and I know it wasn’t done on purpose but mum was mortified and it caused a bit of friction for a while.

8. I had really bad colitis when I was five months old and mum left me in the car for ten minutes whilst she popped into the supermarket. Well! I suddenly had the most terrible tummy pains and felt really sick and no matter how much I whined, mum didn’t come back to let me out so I ended up making a right mess of her car. I’ll never forget her face as she opened the door. She said “Oh Jeez Henry, were you doing summersaults whilst you were busy puking and pooing?”

9. I've still got my balls, but I'm not sure what they are for. I'm hoping that one day I might find out.

And last, but not least

10. Mum tried to drown me when I first moved to Switzerland. Honest. She did. Just because I rolled in a very sloppy, fresh cowpat. She grabbed me and thrust me in a fast flowing freezing river and shoved me right under. I told Braja about it. I looked up through the water and all my life flashed before me. All eleven months of it. I remember thinking “Mummy why are you trying to kill me?” She swears blind she was doing it for my own good, but she always says that after she’s been particularly sadistic.

Ok, I’m off now. I’ll be around until Thursday morning, and then I’m away until 25th February. I will try to post. I will try to keep up to date with folk’s blogs, but if I can’t please don’t forget me. I WILL BE BACK…….

Here are a few photos to remember me by :

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Global Gloom - I have the antidote

That’s my antidote to the global doom and gloom – give it the finger. If I could, I would, but my paw won’t let me, so mum’s done it for me – my reaction is to give it a raspberry instead.

There really is a pervasive gloom spreading around the globe and I’m heartily sick of it. I think we should all make a concerted effort to try and change it. It has impregnated even the most optimistic of folk. I was on my walk with mum yesterday and we met up with Claude the fat yellow lab (mum took a photo but it’s crap – all fuzzy – she says she’ll try harder next time). Claude has issues and is rather unconventional as regards his views on housetraining, hence his many mums and dads in the past, BUT he has always been upbeat. Yesterday, however, he was morose and maudlin.

“I’m so depressed,” he said, “it must be the Credit Munch.”
Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. I stood and looked at him open mouthed.
“What the bloody hell has the Credit Munch got to do with you?” I asked.
He looked a bit taken aback.
“The Credit Munch is affecting everyone, Henry. It says so – on TV, in the papers, folk are talking about it all the time.”
“Ok then, tell me EXACTLY how it’s affecting you.”
“It’s making me depressed.”
His eyes glazed over a tad as his brain started to whirr, rather weakly, pondering the question.
“Because it is,” he said eventually
“Be more specific. Have they stopped feeding you as much?”
“Have they changed your food?”
“Have you had your toys taken away from you?”
“Have they stopped petting you?”
“Have they changed your bed, or your sleeping arrangements?”
“So, birdbrain, why is your life any different to what it was when I first arrived in 2006?”
“It isn’t.”
I shouted, feeling all angry.
“Because……” he trailed off, gave a Gallic shrug and said “Phuh!”

That’s when I realised that emotions really can be infectious. Mum was reading about something similar in the New Scientist recently – that mag she gets to make folk think she’s clever – How friends affect your mood

Now there are people who have been seriously affected by the Credit Munch, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way out either. It doesn’t mean there isn’t any hope. There’s been a Credit Munch before, there’ll be one again.

Mum and Uncle Hugh are more upbeat. They’ve decided to approach their problems in a really positive way – by viewing them as an exciting challenge as opposed to an impossible task. Mum says nothing is impossible, it sometimes just feels as if it is. As Uncle Hugh said two days ago “Whilst ever I’ve got a brain that’s still functioning I’ll find another way to earn a living.”

So I’m going to start a wave of optimism right here by listing things that are still good:

I’m still breathing.
My heart’s still beating.
I’m still seeing.
I’m still smelling.
I’m still walking.
I’ve got folk who love me.
I’ve got my toys.
I’ve got my bed.
I’ve got my food.
I’ve got my friends.

I can still enjoy the simple pleasures

Life is good – when you consider the alternative.

As mum always says to Uncle Hugh “Whilst ever I can pick up a bottle of fizz for less than a fiver, I’ll be happy.” And she still can at the mo. (Mum's easily pleased).

Credit Munch – bollocks to you! I will not succumb.

Can we get out of this gloom? YES WE CAN! Let's start right now.