Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mum's making me wear a 'baby-gro'

….yes she is and I am hugely embarrassed. As you know, I got clipped when I was away. Well, Claire gave me the same clip as she gives me in the summer (i.e. SERIOUSLY short) because mum thought it would be ok. Our house is snug and when we go out for a walk I can run around and keep warm because mum always takes me where I can go ‘off lead’. The trouble is, on Friday the under-floor heating in the kitchen stopped working.

When things stop working in France it is a BIG thing for mum. In France, things tend to stop working either for good or for a VERY long time. Mum’s experience with French tradesmen is this i) find one who wants to actually do some work (will take at least three weeks), ii) persuade said tradesman to come to house to look at problem (usually takes at least six telephone calls), iii) French tradesman cancels first three appointments, iv) when said tradesman finally turns up he is late, v) French tradesman huffs and puffs, looks very serious and says it is a very difficult job, vi) French tradesman can’t fit job in for another six weeks, vii) when French tradesman finally does the job it takes all of two minutes and as she hands over €1000 mum realises that she’s been seriously fleeced and for a fleeting second wishes that she still lived in the UK where she would never have allowed any tradesmen to fleece her but in the UK she didn’t have what she calls “…the language barrier…”. The trouble is, mum is crap at DIY and Uncle Hugh is even worse. Mum can change a light bulb; Uncle Hugh can if he’s supervised.

Anyway, I’m digressing. So, the under-floor heating conks out and in this part of France, we are experiencing a seriously cold snap. And I mean seriously cold. Uncle Hugh had told mum his car had registered minus 10 on Thursday morning and Friday wasn’t much warmer. Yesterday morning as mum and Uncle Hugh were having breakfast mum looked at me and said, as if she were REALLY surprised, “…Oh my God, he’s shivering...” I’m thinking ‘...yes I fooking am, it’s bloody freezing.You two are rugged up to the eyeballs and I’ve only got two millimeters of fur between the freezing air and my skin, why are you so surprised?” But obviously I couldn’t say that so she kept saying, “Oh my God, he’s shivering. It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have told her to clip him so close. Oh, I’m so STUPID. What can I do?” I’m thinking “ can feed me some of that croissant and butter that you’re eating, that’d put some fuel in my belly…” but no, I got my usual meagre portion of Royal Canin – I put weight on last Summer and for some reason mum still thinks I need to watch what I eat. Does she not realise that one needs to increase one’s calorie intake in the winter months? In the Arctic, the scientists there have to eat 9000 calories a day just to maintain their weight. I’m digressing again.

Well, to cut a very long story short we went shopping (I’ll not bother telling you about going to see Uncle Hugh’s new flying bus and mum’s hair setting on fire when a burning ember from the open fire at the Aeroclub flew out and landed on her head). Mum and Uncle Hugh took me with them in the car because they thought it might be a bit cold for me if they left me in the house. When we got back home, she presented me with what she called a ‘baby-gro’. “Sorry Henry,” she said, “ was all I could find at short notice, the pet place didn’t have anything your size...” and she proceeded to dress me in this PINK monstrosity complete with butterfly and teddy-bear motifs on the front of it and she had the cheek to say “That’s better. Isn’t it lovely? Doesn’t he look cute? I wish I had a camera.”

I WISH I HAD A CAMERA? SHE MUST BE KIDDING! I am SERIOUSLY embarrassed and am praying to God Rex that this cold snap goes very quickly. Why couldn’t she have got me something ‘designer’? Something chic? Something cool? I found these on the internet Dog Designer Gear – you must check it out – they’re even being modelled by a Schnauzer like me.

But no – I have to wear a ‘baby-gro’. Will I ever live this down?

Friday, November 28, 2008

What floats your boat?

I told you a while back that mum got excited about bits of dust being smashed together CERN gets mum excited – I know, I know, bless her – it’s rather tragic isn’t it? Getting excited about dust. Especially as the machine that was going to smash the dust together broke before it actually did it – a bit of an anti-climax, don’t you think? She really does need to get out more. Perhaps it’s her age. Oh well, I’m digressing. I ask what floats your boat because I find it intriguing – what people like to do with their time, or what people get passionate about. So many different things appeal to so many different folk.

Some folk like to throw themselves out of flying cars with a rucksack on their back that’s got a big silk tablecloth type of thing stuffed in it. Some folk like to throw themselves off of high places with a big elastic band attached to their ankle. Some folk like to drive really really fast round and round and round a circuit until they’re dizzy. Some folk like to jump off mountains with a big kite attached to their back. Some folk like to knit.

I get excited about smells. By sniffing a piece of poo I can tell a) what type of animal it came from, b) what sex it was, c) what it had for its dinner, d) whether or not it is suffering from any vitamin or nutrient deficiencies, and e) if it’s got worm or some other parasite infestation. That’s why it’s really important for us dogs to smell our own poo, but humans don’t realise that and simply go “Ugghh….will you STOP doing that!” at least that’s what my mum says when I try to smell mine.

Uncle Hugh gets passionate about flying in his flying car, whereas this flying business doesn’t do anything for my mum. Uncle Hugh sometimes flies to the UK in his little flying car. It takes HOURS and HOURS and HOURS. There are no toilets or nice ladies selling stuff and he could get there much quicker and cheaper by going Ryanair or Easyjet, (which is what mum mutters under her breath when he’s talking about doing it) but he still likes to do it, because it excites him.

As well as colliding dust and Top Gear, mum gets excited about walking, trees, flowers, and stuff like that. In the autumn, she gets very giddy. She’ll start shrieking and jumping up and down and pointing and saying “…look at the colour of those leaves Henry…LOOK….LOOK..” and I’m thinking “Yes, they’re orange…and? Helllooo!!!” I do worry about her. I wish she’d get excited about normal stuff. Why can’t she get excited about handbags or shoes or frocks like her friends do? But no. Dust and leaves… dust and leaves! I shouldn’t be too critical. I guess if we were all the same it would be a pretty boring old world wouldn’t it?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm back!

Well I’m back. Mum picked me up this morning and I was dead excited and then I vomited all over the back seat. I blame the dodgy hygiene practices of some of the French bitches. I’m really particular about my hygiene and I’m always cleaning myself but some of the bitches I’ve been hanging out with these past few days, well, I won’t go there. Suffice it to say they aren’t very particular.

You humans get all fussed about vomit don’t you? I mean us dogs are really laid back about it. It’s like – “Oh well, breakfast all over again….” Sorry. Too much info, I know. Mum always stops me from ….you know…. But I don’t see the point – if she’d let me she wouldn’t have to go to all that trouble of cleaning it up would she? Ok, I’ll drop the subject.

Two things – number one – I made some new friends and I learned some of that French stuff and – number two – mum is even more sick of the UK than she was before.

I’ll start with mum’s news ‘cause it’s a bit boring so we can end on a good note with mine. Apparently, in the UK, this Mr Brown is cutting VAT to try and help the Credit Munch. I don’t know what VAT is but apparently it means that you can go out and buy a brand new ‘Top of the range’ BMW and it’ll cost about £1000 less than it would have done a week ago. I guess that’s good if you were thinking about buying a brand new ‘Top of the range’ BMW, but if you weren’t then I suppose it makes bugger all difference. Mum reckons that if she lived in the UK she’d be about £2.50 per week better off - in about two years time when the retailers and everyone else have sorted out all the admin to do with this VAT thing and passed on the cuts to the consumers, by which time she says it will have gone back up by 3% anyway. It sounds like a big puzzle to me. Mum said to Uncle Hugh “…why didn’t they simply cut fooking taxes? When they do things like cut VAT it’s obvious that those in charge have no idea how a fooking business is run….” She was a bit mad. Good, everything’s back to normal.

Now my news. Well, I met three bitches – Zoë & Filo - who were both French, and Holly who was English. Holly was new to this kennelling business. She’s what we call an infrequent boarder. I’m a frequent boarder. I’m often in the kennels. Holly was new to it all – you could tell before she even said - she had name-tags on everything. How passé! And her bed and her toys were all newly laundered. Well, I could have laughed my paws off. Bless her. She looked very lost when she arrived so I took her under my wing, so to speak, and gave her the benefit of my wisdom and experience.

Zoë and Filo were from the same house. They had the same owner. They were both terrier types, like me, and we all had a good laugh playing in the field. Even Holly soon relaxed into it. Apart from their dodgy hygiene practices, Zoë & Filo were great. At least that’s what I thought. At the time I thought they were very kind, they even taught me some French. Phuh! Kind! NOT. This morning when I got back and started speaking to Claude and demonstrating my new found French I soon discovered that I’d been taken for a mug. No wonder they laughed delightedly every time I repeated what they were teaching me. There’s me thinking that I’m saying – “Hello, my name is Henry” and “Goodbye, I hope you have a good day,” and “Do you want to play with my toy?” and “I’m English.” No, instead Claude says I’ve been saying “Hello, my name is Henry and I’m an a***hole”, and “Goodbye, I hope your mother rots in hell.” And “Sniff my a*** dickhead” and “I’m a moron.” I WAS MORTIFIED. There's a problem - what Zoë and Filo taught me, I went on to teach Holly. I keep wondering what reaction she’s gonna get from the French dogs around her when she repeats what I’ve taught her. Thank goodness she’s a Rottweiller. I guess they’ll simply pretend they didn’t hear her correctly. You don’t argue with a Rotty do you?

It’s good to be back. I’m looking forward to reading all those blogs that I’ve missed whilst I’ve been away. I’m hoping that the kennels will be online in February then I can keep posting whilst I’m away.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

On holiday for four days

And I'm really excited. I've packed my things - my best bed, my two favourite toys, my food (of course) and I'm also going to smuggle my 'Beginner's French' book in with me. Mum treated me with 'spot on' yesterday so that I don't get fleas and when she was talking to Uncle Hugh I'm sure I heard her mention Claire. Ugh! That means I'm going to get clipped too. That's the downside. See you soon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Are all mums the same?

Mum had an AFD yesterday. For those who don’t know, that’s an Alcohol Free Day. Mum tries to have at least one a week, and sometimes she has more. Legend has it that she once had seven of them in a row. SEVEN! It happened long ago before I was born when she was in hospital having a huge stone removed from her kidney (goodness only knows how it got there – very careless of her if you ask me). Mum worries that she is drinking more units than ladies should drink each week. Mum says she stops counting after the first two of an evening. I don’t really know what a unit is. Perhaps it’s a bottle - if so, I reckon she drinks between four and six units a week. That doesn’t sound like too much to me. I don’t know what she’s worried about.

I don’t know why she has these AFDs, she always ends up really miserable and grumpy. She had three last week and she was bloody murder to live with. Uncle Hugh reverted to watching endless re-runs of Top Gear on that TV channel called Dave, and I pretended that I was asleep.

Mum also goes through stages where she does these exercise DVD’s and gets all red faced and sweaty and it makes me want to laugh because she’s not the most lissom of ladies. She’s not very good at synchronising her limbs either. Then she starts asking Uncle Hugh if her bum looks big. At these times she also starts eating stuff like apples, carrots and celery, and she shouts at Uncle Hugh if he buys nice food like cheese or chocolate. “If you buy that stuff you know I’ll eat it, Hugh Bastard!” What else can you do with cheese and chocolate? Stare at it? I don’t get it. I don’t get her sometimes.

Then she’ll stare in the mirror and analyse every single pore and she’ll say, as if she’s surprised, “I’ve got wrinkles,” and I’m thinking “Why on earth is she stating the obvious? I’ve got ears and a little tail but I don’t have to stare in a mirror for five minutes to reach that conclusion.” Then Uncle Hugh will ask her if she’s got PMS and whenever he asks that it ends nastily – very nastily! Then Uncle Hugh will go and buy her some flowers and when he gives them to her she'll say "Ok, so tell me what you're feeling guilty about?" Poor Uncle Hugh. He can't do anything right. Normally at that point he simply sighs in a resigned fashion and goes to play with his flying car, whilst I keep pretending that I'm asleep.

Are all mums the same? I ask because I only know the one. I don’t really know any others.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I could be the next Prime Minister

I think that I could be the next Prime Minister of the UK. Mum says that there’s not much to choose from at the moment. There’s that Mr Brown guy, who’s the current one but I don’t think anybody really knows how he got there, then there’s that Mr Cameroon, then there’s that other guy whose name I can never remember – it’ll come to me.

I don’t think you need any particular qualifications to be Prime Minister. I mean, it’s not as if Mr Brown, Mr Cameroon or that other guy have ever run their own successful business or anything. Not like Mr Sugar – that guy who says, “You’re fired!” on TV’s The Apprentice. I like Mr Sugar. He’s all wrinkly. He looks like a bulldog. I love it when he says “You’re fired!” and he points his finger at the same time. I used to spend ages practising it in front of the mirror “You’re fired! You’re fired!” and trying to jab my paw simultaneously. It used to give me a feeling of power. Actually, just thinking about that - if the other guys have never run a successful business how come they think they can run the UK? Isn’t a country a bit like a business? Perhaps Mr Sugar would do it if someone asked him nicely? Or that other one who’s on TV a lot – Mr Cowell? Or that morose looking one on Dragon’s Den, the one who always looks angry, never invests and always says everything is a load of rubbish – is that Mr Ballettime?

Anyway, I’m digressing. So, as you don’t need any qualifications or anything I don’t see why I couldn’t do it. After all, I’ve proved I can run my own Blog. My manifesto would be this:

  1. I’d immediately abolish what my mum calls ‘fooking taxes’ and ‘bloody mortgages’ because they upset her and I don’t like mum being upset.
  2. I’d print more money and create more plastic and make sure that everyone had enough – that’d immediately stop all this credit munch nonsense and all the hysteria that surrounds it. Goodness! This is SO easy.
  3. I’d ensure that every old person living on their own had a dog as a companion so that they wouldn’t ever be lonely again.
  4. I’d make it law that people should be nice to each other and not say nasty things or do nasty things to each other.
  5. I’d stop newspapers from printing sad stories because it upsets my mum. I’d make it compulsory to print only nice news and if there weren’t any nice news, they’d have to lie.
  6. I’d stop people from making sad movies and writing sad books because they make mum cry. Then again, most things make mum cry these days. I think it’s her age.
  7. I’d make it compulsory for English to be taught in all schools in the UK, and then the young folk would be able to spell and talk properly.
  8. I’d give everyone a job. I know that would upset some folk, but they’d thank me in the end when they realise that doing something useful is better than daytime TV.

Gosh! How easy is that? Implement that lot and you’d have youtopia (whatever that is!).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's wrong with Kangaroo Balls?

Warning: if you're a veggie this may cause offence - you have been warned!

Mum and Uncle Hugh have started watching this thing on UK TV called “I’m a Celebrity get me out of here”. Mum calls it ‘chewing gum for the brain’. I call it mindless garbage and I’m really surprised that she watches it. I think she could spend her time better by reading and trying to understand her latest New Scientist magazine or by watching something informative on Discovery Channel. For all you non-UK people the gist of the programme is this:

  1. Take 10 ‘celebrities’ – one of which must be a nonentity with pneumatic breasts, orange skin and either married to or engaged to a footballer who plays for England (i.e. a WAG), one of which must be a really old ‘star’ from the US and one of which must be from a defunct ‘boy’ band, the rest will be a mixture of UK z-list 'celebrities' whose careers are failing miserably and who will literally do anything to resurrect it. For a further insight into what constitues a 'celebrity' in the UK read this: How to become a Celebrity in the UK.
  2. Dump them all together in the middle of a rainforest in Australia for three weeks.
  3. Get the sadistic public to vote for which of the ‘celebrities’ they would like to see humiliated each day by having to do truly awful things - usually involving insects or other crawling creatures.
  4. After a few days of humiliation, the sadistic public starts to vote for their favourite ‘celebrity’ and the one with the fewest votes each day gets booted out. After which, depending how long they’ve managed to stay in, they may end up with their own perfume, fitness DVD and bestselling autobiography.

It explains it all here if you haven’t got anything better to do: I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

On Monday night, two celebrities were voted by the public to do a task that involved eating various things. I thought these tasks were supposed to be revolting, but no! They were given delicacies such as crocodile eyeballs, grass-hoppers (I ate loads of those in Switzerland), chicken feet and kangaroo balls. I’m thinking ‘YUMMY! DELICIOUS! Whereas the ‘celebrities’ were really unhappy about having to eat them and were making lots of fuss and gagging noises. Mum couldn’t even watch, Uncle Hugh was moaning “YUK, how gross…” and I’m thinking - what is the difference between a kangaroo ball and a snail or, say, a whelk? Is not a prawn merely an insect of the sea? And what’s wrong with a chicken’s foot – is it much different from a frog’s leg? (I know for definite they eat chicken’s feet in china) And all you folks who’ve dared to eat an oyster - surely you cannot think that it is any less gross than a crocodile eyeball? Have you seen an oyster? My goodness they’re ugly

My mum devours oysters, prawns, whelks, snails and frogs’ legs without a whimper. I know she also eats tripe over here in France so why should she get squeamish about Kangaroo balls? I don't get it. You humans are definitely a big puzzle.

Actually, she's not eating anything at the moment, she's sucking soup through a straw because of her poorly lip and saying "..if I don't lose any weight after all this I'll slash my wrists.." In fact, she'd probably kill for a kangaroo ball at the moment:)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Who are you?

I’m really new to this blogging business. I think my profile says I joined in April 2008 but I don’t know where that came from. My first post was in September. Since then I’m worried that I may have become slightly addicted. I really don’t want to be the first dog to go down in history as being addicted to blogging. That would be seriously embarrassing. I’d rather be remembered as a dog hero:

“Henry the Dog saves child from raging inferno”

“Henry the Dog fights off vicious muggers as they attack WWII war veteran”

“Henry the Dog saves drowning woman from storm thrashed seas”

Certainly NOT “Henry the Dog admitted to Priory for blog addiction”

Anyway, as is my way I’m digressing. I ask ‘Who are you?’ not because I want a definitive answer, it’s because I find it rather intriguing that since I started reading other blogs I’ve grown to feel kind of warm towards some of you people in the ‘blog community’ (please don’t feel alarmed – I’m not the stalking type). I feel as if I’m getting to know some folk and this is quite alien to me because normally us dogs make friends after having a good sniff of each other’s bottoms, giving each other the eye and, in my case, walking in a rather stiff-legged manner around any new dog who comes my way. However, in the blog community there’s none of that and it’s the first time I’ve struck up 'acquaintances' without physical contact.

It got me to thinking that some folk out there could actually be entirely different from how they portray themselves to be on their respective blogs. I mean, you can be anyone you want to be in the blogging world can’t you? I’m sure I’m not the first dog to have thought of this. I could have pretended that I WASN’T a dog – except that it wouldn’t have taken long for me to put my foot in it. I would have soon revealed my true self through my naivety, my penchant for bad smells and tummy tickles and my rather disparaging view of felines. Some folk out there could, however, be mad axe murderers posing under a blog title such as “Fluffy little kittens go blog” – you get my gist?

Anyway, I’m glad to be a part of the blogging community at the moment. It’s interesting. Some of the blogs are great fun, some are really informative, some are simply good to read. The trouble is, I’m starting to get a hard patch on my paw where my wrist rests on the table – the one that I operate the mouse with. Oh dear – is that the first sign of ‘blog addiction’?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mum's surgical experience in France

Mum had a thing cut out of her lip today. It wasn’t anything major. I think she called it something like an ‘angiehomer’ - that's what it sounded like anyway. I tried to listen in when she was talking to her friend about it yesterday but they kept reverting to this gobbledygook lerrfransay language, which, after a bit of ‘Googling’ and after having a chat with Claude the yellow Labrador, I’ve learned is actually called French – the same name as the folk who live here in France. So Chloe, if you’re reading this you were WRONG. It’s not lerrfransay after all it’s FRENCH.

Anyway, I’m digressing. Mum went to this clinic and had this thing cut out of her lip and when she got back she looked a bit funny and I wanted to laugh, but then I felt a bit cruel because it wasn’t her fault that she looked funny. I’m sure the swelling will go down eventually. It's just a pity that the doctor was such a crap sewer. Mum had a few medical procedures in quite a few hospitals when she lived in the UK. Maybe it’s something to do with her being a bit of a ‘highpokondriak’ as Uncle Hugh calls her. Lately though mum’s been really scared of getting a little bug called MRSA, which apparently is hugely popular in the UK, so now she only has things done if they’re absolutely necessary.

She’s a bit of a conundrum my mum. On the one hand, she was quite happy to let people inject a deadly virus into her face to stop her from frowning (when she could afford it) and yet on the other hand she’s terrified of a few little bugs.

Due to this MRSA thing, mum decided to try a clinic over here in France instead of going to the UK. She'd been a bit reluctant due to what she calls a 'language barrier' and the fact that the French really like to go on strike "...but it's only small - it'll not take long so there's less chance of them downing tools mid procedure..." As it happened she was pleasantly surprised. I heard her telling Uncle Hugh about it ‘…it was as if I were having open heart surgery. I was submitted to rigorous questioning…"Have you brushed your teeth? Have you showered with the antiseptic wash? Have you had a rectal douche?” - obviously I lied at that stage and said ‘yes’ – I mean what has my bottom got to do with my lip? I'm not a cat for goodness' sake. “Have you had any other procedures? Have you any allergies? Have you eaten? Have you had anything to drink?” - I decided not to tell them about the two croissants and the seven cups of coffee, after all, I was only having a 'local'. They weighed me, measured me and then I was taken to a little room where I had to remove EVERYTHING, even my knickers, and don a disposable gown, slippers and hair bonnet. I got worried at that stage in case they’d got my notes wrong. I had visions of being put to sleep and waking up with a kidney missing or a leg or something. I kept pointing at my lip and saying “‘c’est ça, c’est seulement ça!’” Then a hospital porter wheeled me to the operating theatre despite my protestations that I wasn’t ill and could walk quite easily. In the theatre, everyone was gowned and masked. It felt very ominous as they covered me with a sterile green shroud - then all they did was numb my lip and whip the little thing out. It took all of ten minutes – if that. I’ve never known such a palaver. Not for outpatients. In fact not even for proper surgery - not in the UK. The last time I had a procedure in outpatients in the UK it was a case of the doctor asking me to “hop on here, love” fully clothed - including my muddy outdoor shoes at the time. I’m not criticising the French at all – it’s a credit to them. I wish it were as efficient and sterile in the UK then perhaps there wouldn’t be such high instances of MRSA.'

Oh no! She was impressed! Does that mean she’s going to start finding things wrong with her again? Then again, she’s short of plastic these days and her new worry is this falling pound business, so perhaps not. Phew!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Us animals aren't as dumb as you may think....

My mum gets this magazine called New Scientist delivered to her every week. Apparently she unwittingly subscribed to it when she was surfing the net one day looking for a new pair of shoes, and it’s been posted to her ever since. Uncle Hugh reckons she keeps the subscription up because she wants to prove that she’s not your average blonde. He says she can’t understand anything they talk about in it but she likes to look at the pretty pictures. Mum tells him to ‘…bollocks…” when he laughs at her looking at it.

Yesterday she was talking about something that she’d read in New Scientist and had almost understood. She said that some scientists were trying to find out if certain animals could ponder the past and contemplate the future. Uncle Hugh reckoned that I probably could ‘…a tad…’. A TAD? PERRLLEASE! Then mum had the cheek to say, “Don’t be stupid. He’s a dog. Dogs only know the here and now. Everything they do is merely instinctive. Everybody knows that dogs are basic creatures…..” and I’m sat there thinking “HELLLOOO!!!” What a cheek!

The thing is, most of us animals are far smarter than we let on, apart from cats – now they are truly thick. The rest of us animals, however, realise that if we let humans know how intelligent we are we might have to start doing things for a living. I mean, take for example German Shepherds, Border Collies, Spaniels and….yes….Labradors. All those breeds are examples of why it's not a good idea to let on that us dogs have a few active brain cells - look what happened - lots of them now have to work for a living. The really sussed breeds act dumb. Another animal that was stupid enough to let the humans know that they had active brains (albeit very limited activity) was the horse. Most horses now spend a lot of their life with a human on their back kicking them in the ribs.

I’m surprised that there are scientists spending money trying to suss out whether or not us animals are chrono-creatures. You’d think that they could think of better things to do with their time. Surely, they must at least suspect that us animals are much more intelligent than we let on. Have they not read Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy? Don’t they know about Dolphins? So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

I’m a bit miffed that mum thinks I’m a basic creature but I’ll keep letting her think I’m dumb. After all, it’s not me who has to worry about the Credit Munch or the falling pound (whatever that is – it’s a new one mum keeps going on about). Whatever happens I’ll get my grub and my belly tickled. I want for nothing. It’s a dog’s life. Ha Ha.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why don't mums trust dads?

I found out this morning that I’m going on holiday next Sunday for a few days because mum’s going back to the UK. Uncle Hugh and mum had an argument. He said “…don’t you trust me to look after him?”. She said “…no I bloody don’t. Mum's away so the boys will play!! The last time I went away you took him up in That Thing….Uncle Hugh has a flying caryou fell to sleep on the sofa after eating and drinking all day leaving the poor little mite plaiting his legs because he was probably dying for a peeThe boys are still playing!you don’t take him for proper walks and you feed him Haribo Jellies….”. Uncle Hugh opened his mouth, then closed it again. I guess he thought that mum was right. But what’s wrong with being taken up in That Thing? What’s wrong with falling asleep on the sofa? What’s wrong with him feeding me Haribo Jellies? They're not exactly hanging offences are they?

It seems that mum isn’t the only woman who doesn’t trust her guy to look after the children. I know I’m not a child, but mum treats me like one. Check this out Why don't we trust dads?. I think mum’s being a bit unfair on Uncle Hugh, after all the last time she was away nothing bad happened to me and we had a GREAT time. It’s great when it’s all lads together. I love going to the place where That Thing lives and playing with Le Fred and the other guys. Oh well. I think that mum's a teensy weensy bit of a control freak - although she'd deny it vehemently.

The place I go for my holidays is cool too. It’s run by James and Jane who are dead nice. I really like James, he plays with me. It’s a place where I get my very own kennel, which is heated, and my very own big play area and sometimes I’m allowed to play in a big field with other dogs – but only lady ones because I start fights with male ones (it’s just the way I am). So I’m kind of ok either way, but Uncle Hugh is now sulking and mum is huffing a lot. I wish they’d be more ‘adult’ sometimes. Life’s simply too short.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fancy a Second Life?

It’s quite bizarre what gets into the news these days don’t you think? Check this out Online affair prompts divorce

After reading that I went and had a look at this Second Life thingumajig and it’s got me all confused. I’m a dog, so I’m not supposed to be particularly smart at the side of you humans but am I right in thinking that people are actually paying REAL money for VIRTUAL land? Check this Land & Pricing and this Second Life Land Auctions.

?????????????????????????????? I am quite speechless. I thought you humans were supposed to be smart, but it turns out that there are around fifteen million folk who are prescribing to this Second Life. As you know, I can only count to ten but fifteen million sounds like a lot of tens to me. There must be someone somewhere rubbing his or her hands, getting seriously rich and having a huge laugh at the expense of lots of humans. Or am I simply being a numpty? Is this the way forward? Perhaps this really is the future. Apparently, this Second Life has its own financial system and virtual stock market that isn’t failing. There’s no looming recession on Second Life. Perhaps mum should simply stop this life and start another one on Second Life, then she wouldn’t have the Credit Munch to worry about and she’d stop worrying about having enough plastic or having to go back to the UK. Then again, if she started Second Life, she might also decide to get a virtual dog. And where would that leave me? Imagine her getting a virtual French Bulldog? AAAGGGHHH! And calling it Chloe? Even louder AAAGGGHHH! And she might decide to get a virtual partner who isn’t as much fun as Uncle Hugh.

What would happen to me if mum got a Second Life? What would happen to Uncle Hugh? Perhaps I could start a Second Life too. But would virtual walks be as interesting as real ones? Would virtual dog poo still smell good? I certainly wouldn’t miss the rain. I reckon virtual rain wouldn’t be as wet. What about virtual food? Virtual toys? Virtual treats? A new virtual mum? Oh no! The thought makes me shiver in my skin. I LOVE MY MUM. I wouldn’t swap her for a virtual one, not for all the bones in the world. I think I’m going to wipe my history off the computer so that mum doesn’t find Second Life and think it’s a good idea. After all, I’m still in the dog house after yesterdays escapades – and it’s not a virtual one.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My blind date from hell!

I got well and truly set up today! I was a tad suspicious from the off when mum said “…you’re coming with me today to meet my friend Stephanie…”. Mum never takes me with her when she’s meeting friends - I was right to be suspicious.

We drove to this big town near where we live and there were loads of folk and traffic and it made me a bit nervous ‘cause I’m used to peace and quiet now – in fact I’m a teensy bit reclusive these days if truth be known. Anyway, we ended up in this café place where she was meeting Stephanie and…surprise, surprise…Stephanie walked in with her new dog – a French Bulldog called Chloe. Well, it just went downhill from there. As soon as she walked in this Chloe looked me up and down and said “…eef my mozzer zinks zat I’m going to get off with yous, yous deeekhead, she’s got anozzer zink coming…” well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. Not only could she speak english, albeit with a strange accent, but she was a cheeky little madam with it. I was rendered momentarily speechless. She was a mere pup for god’s sake. I doubt she was six months old. How dare she call me a dickhead? Then the naughty little bint merely simpered in mum’s direction as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth and mum went all soppy and when she goes soppy her voice becomes all squeaky and she’s squeaking “…say hello to Chloe, Henry…” SAY HELLO TO CHLOE? THE LITTLE BITCH HAS JUST CALLED ME A DICKHEAD! Then, to add insult to injury mum’s saying “...oh isn’t she gorgeous? Oh I want one....” I WANT ONE? IS SHE CRAZY? HAVE YOU SEEN A FRENCH BULLDOG? They are the ugliest…..I am lost for words, again. They look as if bits of body parts of all different breeds of dog have been thrown together at random – check this out if you don’t believe me French Bulldogs.

It gets worse. When I finally find my voice, instead of coming back with a smart retort I hear myself asking meekly “How come you can speak english?”
She looked at me with a face dripping with derision and said, “How come you can’t speak lerrfransay?”
Lerrfransay?” I ask, “What’s that?”
Phuh!” she scoffed. “Eet eez only zee most brilliant of zee languages in zee whole world yous stupid onglish. What you zink our mozzers speak now?”
I listened and they were uttering that gobbledygook that all french people utter, and mum when she’s with them.
Are you telling me that’s a language?” I asked, gobsmacked.
Of course eediot.”
It can’t be,” I said, still gobsmacked. “It’s just a load of noise.”
Dont be reediculous. Did you not just hear your own mozzer say zat I was 'trayminyon'?”
Trayminyon?” I asked. “That means something?”
Of course eediot. It means ‘very cute’.”
So they’re talking together in another language?” I asked, amazed – whilst I’d guessed that the gobbledygook must be some rudimentary form of communication I’d never once thought it would be a fully-formed patois.
Duh….Yes. I was right yous are a deeekhead.”
Well, I’d had enough by then, not only was I hugely embarrassed that I didn’t know about this lerrfransay thing but I was being dissed by a mere cheeky pup.
Right! Enough of the insults you young whippersnapper,” I said firmly - finally I was responding with authority.
Why? What you goin to do about it grandad greybeard?”

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t condone the use of violence to put somedog in their place, but I’m in the minority – most dogs do. Mum dogs in particular always give their pups a quick nip if they’re playing up. I got nipped a few times and it never did me any harm. I’ve certainly never nipped a lady dog before, but believe me this Chloe was no lady and I’d been pushed to breaking point. It was only a little nip to her behind but wow did she play up. All hell broke loose. The naughty little minx howled as if I’d sunk my teeth into her jugular and mum was outraged. As she chastised me, nasty little bitch Chloe hissed.
I going get yous for zis. Just yous vait till next time yous deeekhead onglish,” then she carried on pretending to look traumatised. I sincerely hope there WON’T be a next time.

As you can imagine I am now well and truly in the ‘doghouse’ with mum. She was furious, and told Uncle Hugh that I’d been “…a right little bully to poor, sweet little Chloe…”. POOR, SWEET LITTLE CHLOE? MORE LIKE DAUGHTER OF SATAN! I feel terribly wounded that I’ve been made to look the monster simply for putting the little madam in her place. Life truly is a bitch at times.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mum's a born worrier.

My mum is a worrier. I wonder what makes humans worry? I never worry about anything. What do have I to worry about? I get everything I want - sometimes just before I even want it! It's as if mum has ESP or something the way she can do that. Just before I think "I'm hungry" .....dah daaahhhh.... hey presto my food appears! How does she do it?

Mum worries about not having enough plastic, mum worries about the Credit Munch, mum worries about her work, mum worries about her health (Uncle Hugh calls her a 'highpokondriak' or something like that, mum worries that she drinks too much, mum worries that she eats too much, mum worries about the ironing piling up (I mean - get a life!), but mum worries about Uncle Hugh more than ANYTHING.

When Uncle Hugh is away in his flying car or his flying van she worries and worries and worries. I think I told you he went to Switzerland with his friend Le Fred, well he's due back today and so I know she'll be worrying about him. When he's away if Uncle Hugh doesn't ring mum to say he's back on the ground she starts to worry. She phones him about every five minutes and says "...his phone's still switched off Henry. He should be on the ground by now. He told me 1pm.....". So then what she does is she TRIES HIS PHONE AGAIN!!! I mean, I don't want to be awful, right, but if something bad has happened...........he won't answer his phone will he? So why does she try it again, and again, and again???????

Sometimes she gets really stressed and she starts looking on the Internet and she'll type "light aircraft crashes in France" in Google search engine and start searching for news about crashes and things. Then she'll stomp up and down and say stuff like "...I'm sick of this bloody flying business. If he's not dead I'll kill him when he FINALLY rings me....I don't need this stress....I don't need this worrying...". THEN, when he DOES ring she says - all sweetness and light -"...hello Sweet Hart, how are you? Are you alright? Are you having a good time?" I CAN'T GET MY BREATH! I look at her in a disbelieving way. She never EVER tells him that she worries herself STUPID. She merely asks him if he's had a good time. It's ME who has to cope with her constant fretting. It knackers me. Why doesn't she simply ask him to stop going up in his flying car?

I guess she doesn't tell him to stop because when he gets back he's all excited, like a big puppy. And he ain't no puppy, believe me. And I can tell that mum likes him to be all excited. And she listens very patiently to his stories about his flying and the adventures he's had and she gets all excited when he gets excited, and she smiles a lot.

Humans are so complex.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What'll be the next dog at the Whitehouse #2?

I was surfing the net yesterday 'cause mum had things to do and Uncle Hugh's gone to Switzerland with his friend Le Fred for a few days in his flying van. He wanted to take mum and me but she said "no way, we are not going in That Thing until you've got a few more hours under your belt" . So it seems the flying van is called That Thing too. His flying car was called That Thing. I'm starting to think that mum calls anything that flies "That Thing"! Anyway, I started surfing the net and I found some really interesting blogsites. One is all about squirrels. Mum likes squirrels. Actually, mum likes all things living. She's mad, mad, mad about animals and stopped me from chasing them from being a very young puppy. She won't even let me chase the little lizards that are EVERYWHERE in the summertime and not being able to chase them makes my paws tingle. It's not fair. I'm a dog for goodness sake. I was born to chase. Unlike lots of girlies mum even likes spiders. When she's driving she often swerves to avoid slugs that are on the road (there are lots of big orange ones in this part of France). She doesn't like squashing them. I often think that it's a bit dangerous swerving in her car and that I'd rather she squash a slug than me, but there you go, the roads are reeeeaaallly quiet in these parts and I can't stop what she is.

Anyway, I'm digressing, I found this website about squirrels because where I live here in France there are some very tiny red squirrels with great big tufty ears and some very, very dark coloured squirrels with white chests and I wanted to know what types they were. Well, this very nice person on this squirrel blog told me that there are lots of variants of squirrels all over the world. I honestly didn't know that. But then, I am merely a dog. I thought there were red or grey - period!

Another thing, I didn't realise that there were dogs in the world that are unwanted, but there are. This squirrel person blogger has left a comment on my site saying that Mr Obama should choose a dog from a shelter, or one that would otherwise be euthanized. I felt a bit bad reading that. After all, my mum didn't get me from a shelter. I wasn't waiting to be euthanized. Mum chose me because she wanted a dog that looked the total opposite of her old dog, Sam, so that she wouldn't be reminded of him (because she misses him masses and that makes me dead jealous), and she chose me because I don't shed, because Uncle Hugh is a bit allergic to dogs that shed. However, if she'd have given it a bit more thought I guess she could have found all those qualities in an unwanted dog. But then, who would have been my mum if mum hadn't chosen me? Or would I have been born at all? Should I have been born at all? It has put my little brain into a bit of a dilemma. I don't like the idea of unwanted dogs in shelters waiting to be euthanized. It's simply not right. But it's not us dogs fault is it? It's the humans fault. So, I guess Mr Obama SHOULD definitely set an example and get a shelter puppy or dog. Perhaps I'll write to him. He seems like a nice man, he seems like the type of guy to listen to other folks' opinions - that's what the people in the US are hoping anyroad.

So thank you Mr or Mrs Squirrel man for making me think. What you and many others do for animals is a truly fine thing and there are too many folk like you who go unnoticed in this world and who don't get enough credit or publicity. Folk are too busy idolising vacuous celebrities instead of the real heroes like yourselves who make a difference.

A couple of blogsites by folk who care about animals and who make me feel humble:
Grey and Red, A Squirrel Journal
The Dog House

Monday, November 10, 2008

The French are on Holiday - AGAIN!

The French folk over here are on holiday again. They have lots of holiday days these French people. Mum says they have about a thousand holiday days a year. I don’t know what a thousand is, but it sounds like more than ten. These holiday days are called ‘bank’ holidays in England. Anyway, some of these French holiday days fall on a Thursday or a Tuesday. This week it’s a Tuesday. When they fall on a Thursday or a Tuesday, the French folk can’t see the point in going work on the following Friday or the preceding Monday. So, they have what’s called a ‘pont’, which mum says means ‘bridge’, to the weekend. That means that they have four days off instead of just the one. Then, as well as all these special holiday days, they have at least another five weeks holiday every year. Mum often goes to the local bread shop or butchers and comes back gnashing her teeth saying “they’re on bloody conjay again". I think she means holiday. I don’t know where she gets this ‘conjay’ from.

The French like holidays. At the peak of the tourist season in August nothing’s open. Most of the restaurants and little shops are shut because the owners want to take a holiday. Mum can’t understand that, she says “…who on earth would close in the middle of the main tourist season if you’re a restaurant or gift shop? Only the French. Why don’t the French who work in the tourist industry take their holidays when it’s quiet?”

I think she’s got a point. After all, the French only holiday in France, they don’t like going abroad. So at the height of the tourist season and wherever they go nothing’s open, you’d think the penny would drop wouldn’t you?

The French like to strike too. According to mum any excuse is ‘down tools’. There’s usually a strike every month for one reason or another.

The French like to kiss each other as well. Mum doesn’t like going to a party or a wedding or anything where there will be lots and lots of people because she says it takes five hours just to greet everyone, because everyone must be kissed, and then five hours to say goodbye, because everyone must be kissed again. You’d think there’d be viruses passing around like hotcakes wouldn’t you?

Poor Mr Sarkozy, it must be hard for him to be in charge of a country in which nobody wants to work, everybody wants to kiss each other all the time and where the only conversation is about food, wine or holidays.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What'll be the next dog at the Whitehouse?

Apparently the REALLY big news at the pinnacle of these historic happenings in the US isn’t about what nice man Mr Obama is going to do now that he is the president of the world, it is about what type of dog he’s going to buy Obama - which puppy should he buy?. Very sensible if you ask me. Get the wrong dog and you’re buggered in my view. I mean, he ain’t going to get a Scottish Terrier is he? Not after Mr Bush became the most unpopular president in the history of the world. Or a chocolate Labrador. Not after Mr Clinton’s very embarrassing escapades made him the president who was the butt of the most jokes ever. No.

Boxers are out – they slobber and they’re really, REALLY, manic. Most of them suffer from ADHD. I mean, it wouldn’t sit still whilst dad’s giving a press conference would it? A boxer would be running amok amongst the journalists wanting to play 'tug' with their microphones.

Springer Spaniels are out – they are nutty. Definitely a screw loose and ALL of them suffer from ADHD. They need 48hrs exercise every day otherwise they run riot. They also shed horribly, not good for men in dark suits.

Border Collies – they need 100hrs exercise a day and at every press conference they’d be trying to ‘herd’ the journalists into a pen. They shed – ditto above.

Chihuahuas or any type of teacup dog would be embarrassing. Mr Obama would be compared to Paris Hilton – not good!

Rottweillers – too macho an image - although if truth be known they’re really as soft as brushes and are very very thick, but only us dogs know that. They put on this macho front because inside they are girlies quivering in their thick hides – they’re scared of everything. I’ve seen off many a Rottweiller and I only come up to their knees.

Pit Bull – no way – no comment necessary (Palin???)

I don't think he could go wrong with a Schnauzer. We come in a variety of sizes and colours and we don’t shed. A mini one like me would be perfect. We generally travel well and we are entertaining and intelligent. If Mr Obama were really smart he could get one to do his blog for him couldn’t he? Sorry Mr Obama, I’m taken. I wouldn’t leave my mum for all the dog biscuits in the world but there are plenty Schnauzers out there who are almost as great as me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Uncle Hugh's got a new flying car!

Uncle Hugh has got a new flying car. Actually, this one is more like a flying van 'cause it's bigger than his other one and it’s got two engines. Mum isn’t very pleased she said “Hugh Bastard, why should I bother cutting back on things like my buttocks if all you do is buy another bloody plaything…? I thought money was supposed to be tight!

This buttocks thing she was going on about used to stop her from frowning. Apparently, before the credit munch when she was having a mid-life crisis she used to go to a man in the UK every three months and he’d inject this buttocks stuff into her face and she’d pay him lots of plastic to do it (and they think us dogs are thick)! Once I overheard Uncle Hugh saying that this buttocks thing was a deadly virus and after that it used to worry me that my mum was having her face injected with it and paying someone for the privilege. I think she must have been a bit nutty at the time. Now I’m worried that she’ll go and do it again ‘cause she’s really angry with Uncle Hugh and she’s frowning even more. Why do women inject their faces with deadly virus? Why can’t they simply stop frowning?

Anyway, I’m digressing. This flying van that Uncle Hugh’s got is really big and noisy and he wants to take mum and me in it to a place called Morocco but she said “…over my dead body…”. Now that confused me at first. I thought she meant that she wants to die, which I thought was a tad strange, but as the conversation carried on I realised that mum doesn’t like flying much. In fact, she’s scared of it. I wonder why? I mean, she’s quite happy to drive in a car travelling along a road at lots of miles per hour, with lots of other cars and big scary trucks all travelling REALLY fast, and sometimes the cars and trucks coming in the opposite direction miss you by a few inches, and sometimes other cars drive right up close and sometimes cars do things that make mum swear lots and I know that it takes just one little mistake to trash a car to bits – 'cause I’ve seen it. When I’m sat in mum’s car, I can’t help but think I’m only ever inches from doggy heaven. So, whilst I know that I’m only a dog and therefore not supposed to know anything, I still reckon that it’s much MUCH safer to go in a flying car in the sky where there’s lots and lots of space and not many other flying cars, than it is to go on a very busy road with all those fragile metal boxes zooming around at breakneck speed.

Give me a flying car any day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Why don't the Brits like success?

Mum was talking to Uncle Hugh yesterday and she says that there is a big problem with people in the UK. She says they love to hate successful people. She says that they wouldn’t mind them being successful that much as long as they weren’t paid anything for it. Apparently there’s a lovely young man called Mr Hamilton who drives cars really fast for a living and he’s now the bestest driver in the world (I thought mum was). But still there are people in the UK who don’t like him because he is paid a lot of money. Hamilton can't do anything right!

This driving really fast business must be very dangerous. I know that if you drive really really fast and then are stopped really really suddenly it can be very bad for your health because God Clarkson said so. So I reckon that this Mr Hamilton man deserves to be paid lots and lots of money for driving faster than anyone else in the world. He deserves to be paid MUCH more than £10 a year for that. So why do some British people not like him? Maybe they’re jealous – a feeling that is peculiar to humans. We animals don’t understand this jealousy thing.

It’s the same with God Clarkson. He’s paid a lot of money – more than £10 a year. And I know that God Clarkson makes mum laugh and makes lots of people happy but apparently there are some people who don’t like him and they want him to stop being God. Mum says “…they choose to take him too seriously because they want a reason to despise him - because he’s successful and rich with it. The Brits can’t stand successful people. It’s a huge failing. Other countries embrace them and applaud them. The Brits despise them...” That’s probably why Mr Brown is the boss of Downing Street – because he’s not very successful. The Brits obviously like him ‘cause he’s crap at his job, can’t drive very fast and can’t make people laugh.

Congratulations to nice man Mr Obama

Mum was jumping around and shrieking rather loudly this morning when she put on the news. I hid under the table because I thought she was angry. Then I found out that the nice man Mr Obama, who mum really REALLY likes, is now the president of the world. I think it's the world anyway. Mum is VERY happy and she's smiling lots so I'm not complaining. Mum said "I wish it were the UK and he'd replaced Brown. At least we now know we're not going to end up with World War three..." I'm glad it wasn't that awful old man with that Sarah Palin because I don't want there to be a war. I don't like big bangs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't vote for the baby seal killer!

Mum says the presidential elections start today and she is really hoping that nice man Mr Obama wins. She’s never liked that Sarah Palin woman but after reading about her agreeing to shoot baby seals mum is absolutely ranting. Mum really likes baby seal cubs; they make her go ‘Aaaahhh! But Sarah Palin would like to kill them, apparently. Palin - baby seal killer.

Mum reckons anyone who gets taken in by some pranksters like that, anyone who believes that the world was created in six days and anyone who isn’t averse to killing a baby seal or two should NOT be in charge of the US. Mum says anyone who votes for the really old man, whose name I can never remember, over that nice man Mr Obama is voting for Sarah Palin because “…McCain will either snuff it before the year is out or go senile, either way a vote for the Republicans is a vote for that monster Sarah Palin…”

Ah! That’s his name. Mr McCain. That old, grey guy. Surely he shouldn’t be in charge of a country? I wouldn’t want him to be in charge of me never mind a whole country. I wouldn’t want to rely on him to remember to feed me my breakfast and dinner. As for that Sarah Palin, she’d probably shoot me and use my hide to made a handbag. Scary! I'll have nightmares now.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Holidays, grape juice and God Clarkson

We’ve been on holiday. That is me, mum and Uncle Hugh. When Uncle Hugh’s puppy went back in a big flying bus we all drove to the house of some friends of Uncle Hugh where we went grape picking in September when mum was away. Well, this time they didn’t pick grapes, instead they tasted the juice that they’d squeezed from them. Mum and Uncle Hugh seemed to really like it, this juice. They were doing things with this juice in this dark place where there were lots of barrels. They were moving it from one big barrel to a smaller one. Whilst they did that I chased the chickens outside, taunted the cat and nicked his food, then I went back in and they were tasting lots of juice from different barrels and they were laughing a lot and talking lots of gobbledygook with their French friends and saying “Wee Wee” and “Superb” all the time and nodding and gesticulating and mum got all giddy.

Afterwards Uncle Hugh helped mum back to the house because she couldn’t walk very well. I think she must have hurt her feet because they weren’t working too good. She managed to eat lots of food though and they carried on tasting the juice and I ended up having to put myself to bed because they all fell asleep.

Yesterday mum said she wasn’t feeling very well and moaned a lot on the way back. When Uncle Hugh suggested she have some “hair of the dog” she moaned even more. Why would Uncle Hugh want her to have my hair? He’s weird sometimes. I think she must have had a virus. Anyway, when she was back and reading the online newspapers she cheered up. She laughed and said to Uncle Hugh that God Clarkson had made her happy. She said that whilst the world is falling apart “…good old Clarkson writes about Tea. How refreshing is thatGod Clarkson writes about Tea.