October 26, 2012



Pavlova and I had an interesting encounter in the churchyard this morning, with two women and three dogs.  I’m not messing around with dogs I don’t know, and I picked Pavlova up (to her considerable ire).  The woman with the two spaniels, who I’ve seen before, said half in alarm and half in accusation, Where are the whippets?  At home! I said, and she relaxed.  What do they think of this one? she said.  Not a lot, I said.  One of them will put up with her bouncing on him and the other one runs away.*   But by now both women were falling under the spell of Pavlova’s manifest adorableness.  Both said they’d never seen a baby bullie before.  I said hastily (I’m getting kind of used to saying this hastily) she’s a MINI!  She’s not ever going to get really big!  And so we discussed relative sizes for a while, and I said she’d probably weigh about the same as a hellhound**, but she would be short and square.   They said, what’s a bull terrier like, after five whippets/hellhounds in a row?  Hungry, I said.  She is hungry all the time.  It makes a change.  But really . . . she’s like a puppy.  She’s more like a puppy than she’s like some strange unique bull terrier thing, although I’m still kind of worrying that the strange unique bull terrier thing will emerge later.  The one thing I knew I was worrying about was bite inhibition, and even at nine weeks when I got her she already had bull terrier jaws.  But screaming and picking her up seems to be working really well.

The woman with two spaniels stared at me as if I’d grown a second head and it was making rude faces at her.  Bite inhibition? she said cautiously.

Yes, I said.  All puppies bite.  It’s how you teach them not to bite too hard.  Don’t you know about this?  —One of her spaniels was only half grown.

She shook her head.

Ah um, I said.  Well, puppies bite each other, and when the sibling they’re biting cries, the biter backs off.  So you’re kind of pretending to be another puppy.  Picking her up—which her breeder suggested—reinforces that something has happened, since bullies tend to be a bit stubborn and single-minded.***

And it works? said the woman with the half-grown spaniel.

Yes, I said.†  It’s not a perfect system [fortunately I was wearing long sleeves] but it does work.

We went our separate ways (Pavlova instantly shot off after those fascinating other dogs, and it took several bits of kibble to get her pointed in the right direction again) but there’s something that I haven’t seen mentioned in any of the puppy books I’ve read.  This didn’t happen with the hellhounds, probably because they had each other, and furthermore they have never been great munchers of anything.††  But Pavlova would rather bite me than any of her toys††† and I can see her backing off so she can bite me.  In something stubborn, single-minded, prone to the Mad Scampers and twelve weeks old, this seems to me a high level of getting-it-ness.‡

* * *

* I am aware this is not an unusual reaction.  Lots of grown dogs don’t like puppies because they scuttle^ around so in a manic and unpredictable manner.  I understand this.  It’s my attitude toward spiders.

^ All puppies—and some grown up dogs—have a frenzied-dash setting.  It’s not as conspicuous in sighthounds because they’re built to move at extreme speed and pretty much can’t make an ungraceful gesture.  Hazel, the smallest of the previous generation of whippets, used to swap ends while running at top speed, which was a hoot—but it was still beautiful.  Bull terriers have a kind of special take on the frenzied dash which is called hucklebutting.  Southdowner and Olivia say they all do it, it’s just a question of CONTAINMENT.  There are a lot of videos on YouTube of hucklebutting and bullies generally . . . most of it fairly scary, or maybe I’m just clicking on the wrong clips.  Bullies are lovely dogs, given decent genes and a decent upbringing.  It’s not necessary to risk death and the loss of all your worldly goods because you’ve got a hucklebutting bullie.  Anyway.  Pavlova has always dashed around because she’s a puppy, but this last week she’s starting to do proper hucklebutts.  You can see one coming on:  she gets a light in her eye and drops down a level, which is something that none of the videos show properly because they’re taken from human height or at least from above, and she then streaks across the floor—since she only goes out on lead she hasn’t had the chance to try it outside yet—in forty directions at once, belly just about brushing the floor, zigzagging as if she’s dodging sniper bullets.  It’s hilarious.

At the mews the hellhounds are in an open bed—at the cottage downstairs they sleep in their crate, and I can close the door against puppy attack—which I wall off with my knapsack and canvas briefcase to prevent her from getting at them+—but if she plunges past, which she is more likely to at the mews because there’s more open floor space, Darkness moans.++

+ And which, just by the way, is only going to work a week or so longer because she’s getting LARGE ENOUGH TO CLIMB OVER.

++ I thought I was being clever by sending hellhounds upstairs to their favourite bed in my office at the cottage while I strove with the hellterror in the kitchen.  Nope.  Hellhounds muster on the stairs, peering through the banisters . . . and both moan.


Chaos, who is still trying, will stand there—and occasionally lie—while Pavlova climbs all over him at blur speed, as witnessed in those photos a few days ago, but emits quite a complex moan when he Doesn’t Think He Can Bear It A Moment Longer.  Whereupon I remove her.

** I’m telling myself that her feet aren’t very big.  So she’s not going to get enormous.^

^ Of course bullie feet are pretty small, proportionately. . . .

*** But so do sighthounds.  Not so different really.

† I didn’t think of it at the time, but I don’t know how it’s going to work on a half-grown dog who hasn’t been biting his siblings in several months.

†† She says feelingly

††† Note:  sigh.  Although I think it’s also a relationship thing.  Puppies interact by biting.  And again I say:  siiiiiigh.  Couldn’t we have domesticated something to be our fireside companions 40,000 years ago that interacted by tail wagging or bringing flowers and chocolates or something?

‡ It’s still not a perfect system.  I’m glad it’s cold enough to wear long sleeves.




My ENTIRE LIFE is about dogs at present.*  That the hellterror can now go for itty bitty walks does make life simpler, but it doesn’t make the time invested any shorter.**  And, furthermore, it is slowly dawning on hellhounds that she’s not going away again and some fairly heavy angst and dismay is being manifested which requires more time in which to provide reassurance.***  And our visitors arrive tomorrow.  I may just pass the puppy around and then tell them to take Peter and go have a nice time doing . . . whatever.

* * *

* With the occasional aberration for bell ringing.^  Tonight was Wild Robert’s Random Wednesday practise and this month it was at Fustian, and aside from a brief desperate and doomed raid on Cambridge minor while there were still only six of us, we rang triples—mostly Grandsire—all night.  There were finally only eight of us and that meant we all had to ring all the time which was great.  And I was not the worst, by a margin of leagues, ringer there and that was better yet.  I did not cover myself with glory^^ but I did not crawl out of the tower bent under a heavy load of humiliation and convinced that my future was in javelin-throwing or cross-stitch^^^ like last time I was at Fustian either.  Yaay.

At one point as we were swapping the fellow who had been ringing the bell I was about to grab# said, that rope is very short.  You may need [to stand on] a box.  —Pardon me, but snork.  He is taller than I am, but I am the one with gorilla-length arms.  That rope was not short.  I had a good four inches spare.  And I am so queen of the jungle.

^ And, uh, work.  I’ve got through to the end of SHADOWS again . . . but I’m still wrestling with some of my editor’s comments.  It’s the same old same old, and I assume it’s especially acute with fantasy because of the whole world-building thing, there’s so much less you can assume everyone knows.  Except you’ve been there for so long some of the stuff seems, you know, normal, like the required Tarot card unit for a standard liberal arts degree and the way you don’t have to wonder whether your blasted pears are ripe yet+ because if they are they will be dancing on your kitchen counter waving tiny flags and shouting in tiny almost inaudible voices, EAT ME!  EAT ME NOW!  And then your first readers all go, hey, what’s with the silver-haired gold-wanded magician on page 364 who cleans up Godom and Somorrah++ single handed but for the assistance of his eight-legged+++ talking horse Fido?   And you’re like, what do you mean, I introduced Dalfgan on page 12, blowing smoke rings while he and Fido engage in waggish dialogue with the local earth spirits.  No you didn’t, say your first readers, and you are suddenly stricken because you remember that you cut the waggish dialogue and Dalfgan seems to have gone with it.  Curses.  So, do you reintroduce Dalfgan, doing something useful like exorcising the village hall of verticillium wilt instead of larking about with earth spirits, or do you cut Godom and Somorrah?  But you really liked the way the evil grand vizier, running away from Dalfgan, or possibly from Fido’s bad jokes, was eaten by that tiger that had appeared in chapter three and you had no idea why.  If you cut Godom and Somorrah you’ll have to cut the tiger, and . . .

I hate rewrites.

+ Arrrrgh.

++ This is fantasy after all

+++ I’m listening to GOTTERDAMMERUNG on Radio 3, although I don’t think Sleipnir comes into it.  I’ve done my rant here before about Brunhilde riding her poor bloody horse into the flames at the end?  You want to die by burning, sugar, which is approximately the worst death going, possibly with the exception of drawing and quartering, you go right ahead.  Leave your horse out of it.  I get totally creeped out every time I happen across that part of the story.  I suppose if the whole world is going up it’s a bit moot, BUT EVEN SO. I don’t think it’s one of Wagner’s clever ideas, is it?  I’ll be here all night if I try to google it to source.  Brunhilde riding Grane into the fire certainly pops up all over the place, not least in the Rackham painting reproduced  on the Gotterdammerung page of Wiki, but I think he was illustrating Wagner.  And you don’t usually get the horse staged, I don’t think, although since I doubt I’ll ever have the stamina to sit through it live, there will be no unfortunate incidents of hissing and popcorn-throwing.

^^ Granted that given my penchant for becoming obsessive about things I’m not very good at I’m not sure I would recognise glory if it introduced itself politely, but then since it would only be asking directions to someone else, I don’t suppose it matters.

^^^ I wouldn’t be any good at these either.  Especially the cross stitch.

# One of the three nosebleed ringers present.  A nosebleed ringer is someone who has attained campanological heights so extreme that the air is dangerously thin.  Also those of us at ground level may get nosebleeds from the strain of tipping our heads back that far to try to bring the distant peaks into focus.  Sigh.  I really do want to ring a little surprise.  A little more than fumbled plain courses of Cambridge minor.  Siiiigh.

** She also continues to be mind-bogglingly the easiest puppy I’ve ever had, as I’ve said here before, and as every (relatively) amiable and (relatively) disaster-free day passes I worry more about adolescence.  Something Has to Go Wrong.  Mind you she is not perfect.  She’s a frelling little paper-shredder, for example, and when she’s been out recently AND DOESN’T FEEL LIKE SETTLING DOWN THANK YOU I take the newspapers out of the crate thus forcing her to play with her TOYS, WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY’RE THERE FOR, YOU FRINKLEDASTED PUPPY?, or, of course, eat her bed.  She’s also coming out of the fearless early-puppy stage and is a little more reactive than she was when she arrived, although I think I’m only noticing because I’m looking for it and it’s NOTHING on the Jekyll and Hyde that was our Chaos at three months.  But for example something set her off at about . . . six o’clock this morning and she barked off and on for a good ten minutes before she decided that the aliens hadn’t landed after all and went back to sleep.  Which made one of us.

Some of the easiness is also merely that I’ve now had Kind of A Lot of Puppies in My Life and with every one you get more used to the drill.  And Darkness and Chaos were only six years ago.  But for example . . . I’ve had puppies that were NIGHTMARES about learning to go on lead, and puppies that were ho hum no big deal.  Because both Southdowner and Olivia had warned me that you don’t EVER want to get into a collision of wills with a bull terrier I was expecting lead training to be a trifle exciting, and of course it could still go in that direction, but I’ve been putting Pavlova on lead pretty much every time she goes outside, even in the tiny cottage garden, just so she’s used to the idea.  Now that we’re going Out into the World while we have our occasional difference of opinion^ nine times out of ten if I bend down, hold a bit of kibble and call her [call] name she’s more than happy to sprint in my direction, and then, usually, I can convince her to keep going that way.  She is such a cheerful little creature.

^ Whereupon I pick her up and tuck her under my arm and we go where I want to go.  Obviously we have to reach an understanding about this before she gets too big for this ploy.

*** You are my darling and adorable and much-loved hellhounds!  And you could eat supper, you know!

It’s the little things


We have visitors over the weekend, and they suggested we go out for dinner Friday night.  Friday night even in the back woods of Hampshire in October is likely to fill up anywhere anyone would want to eat at, so having ascertained how many of us there were likely to be I attempted to ring up to make a booking.  I was hampered in this effort by the fact that the last time we went to our previous favourite local gastropub they were rather a cow about Luke in his wheelchair.  I’d made that booking ahead too, and said that one of us was in a wheelchair, and they’d said that was fine.  On the night however I had the distinct feeling that we were being viewed as causing trouble.  Excuse me?  Their preparations consisted of putting a ‘reserved’ tag on a ground-floor table—they hadn’t even removed the superfluous chair.  Nor were they particularly gracious about doing it after we arrived.  And . . . it’s the sort of pub where the food’s all on a chalkboard and you have to get up from your table and go read it.  The chalkboard is up a half flight of stairs.  Nobody offered to read it for us.  Recollect that I’d made the booking in advance, ALERTING them to the fact of a wheelchair.  And nobody could be frelling bothered to write out the menu on a piece of paper?  Well I don’t think we can be frelling bothered to go back there.

Peter and I don’t eat out much so we’re out of the loop.  Rumour has it that both the Six Legged Pony and the Rugby Scrum have acquired new management and more to the point new cooks, but the improvement would have to be almost unencompassably vast, like the Bowery street vendor I used to buy hot pretzels from when I lived on Staten Island and was coming over on the ferry, taking on the Petrie Court Café and Wine Bar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and earning a couple of Michelin stars.  I’m not really enthusiastic about putting my digestion and our visitors’ digestion* on the line to find out, either.  So I thought I’d play it relatively safe and try to get us in at the Bard and Orpharion, where Peter and I used to go occasionally when I still had more than about three calories’ slack in the daily budget.**

We haven’t been there since the advent of Pooka so the phone number is not in my iPhone contacts list.  So, you look it up in the phone book, right?  It’s a pub.  It wants people to come there and buy things to eat and drink.  Right?  It’ll be in the phone book.

We have three local phone books:  the big local, the little local, and the highlights.  I couldn’t find it listed in any of them, under pubs, restaurants, restaurants general, public houses, pub food, hotels and inns (it also has bedrooms), menu guide, English food, elephant hire or washing machine repair.  Nor was it in the white pages of any of these.  Eventually the amount of noise I was making brought Peter to my side, bearing cold compresses***.  And he looked for it in all these places† and failed to find it either. ††

Now it’s perfectly true that at least one of my computers is on all the time and that I take both Pooka and Astarte the iPad to bed with me.†††  But I object to the idea of looking up a frelling landline phone number on line.  But whatever.  Okay.  And there the Bard was, with a shiny flashy web site with a lot of revolving frelling video sensitively fading in and out GO AWAY YOU’RE IRRITATING ME.  The phone number is tucked away almost invisible behind a frond of hyperactive graphic art.

But at least it was there.  I pulled Peter’s elderly cheap still-plugged-into-the-wall phone toward me and punched‡ in the numbers.  The phone rang.  And rang.  And rang.  And rang.  And rang.  And rang.  And rang.  And rang.  I’m tired of typing ‘and rang.’  EVENTUALLY there was a click at the other end and a robot voice said, your call cannot be connected at this time.

Followed by dead air.  No nonsense like thank you for calling, we apologise for missing your call, please leave a message and we’ll get back to you (which a lot of restaurants do), please ring at the following times, please go hire an elephant and leave us alone.  Nope.  Nothing.

I went back to the web site, found their email address, and wrote them an email.  It was not friendly.  It expressed surprise that, given their manifest customer relations and communication skills, they had any customers, and adding that they certainly weren’t going to have me, my husband, and our visitors.

Meanwhile we still don’t have a booking for Friday night.

* * *

* Peter can eat ANYTHING.  This has been a source of marital friction, not to say snarling, for almost twenty-one years.  At least he knows what good food is and objects to wasting time and money on bad.

** THREE?  No, no, not three.  Maybe one and a half.  Put that carrot stick down.

*** And chains, in case the cold compresses didn’t work.

† I think he added plumbing supplies and house removals^, not necessarily because it was likely to be found in either but because there were lots of pages to look through so it gave us a spurious sense of actively seeking our goal.

^ Which standard British phrase I still love after twenty-one years of seeing it in the phone book.  It means house contents movers, you know?  But I really want to see them remove a house.

†† He did notice a very good two for one deal on elephant hire with free balloons.

††† I also take my knitting, about forty-three books, and several years of back journal issues, mostly homeopathy and gardening.  And occasionally some dogs.

‡ It’s not that old.  I bought him an old, reconditioned, They Made Things to Last in Those Days indestructible rotary phone a few years ago because it amused me.  It broke.

First Walk


It’s been a day full of exciting adventures.  First and foremost DURANCE VILE IS OFFICIALLY OVER.  LET THE HURTLING BEGIN.  Since we only had a few minutes* because I wanted to be able to put her down for a another few minutes elsewhere today, I carried her to the churchyard this morning and set her down . . . and watched her react to the realisation that The World Is a Very Big Place.  Very.  Big.  Especially when you’re only about six inches at the shoulder.**

And we went bell ringing again tonight at South Desuetude and those stairs aren’t getting any shorter and Pavlova is not getting any lighter, but Niall carried the crate for me.  I bought him a beer at the pub***, where Pavlova was a star.  I’d warned poor Niall that while I was happy to drive and give him a lift, I was bringing the hellterror and that I was furthermore positively going to stop at the Phlogiston Arms on the way back because they allow dogs and I could Show the Puppy More Stuff.  Also, they brew their own beer, which is excellent.

I think she’s getting bored with bell ringing, since no one ever offers to teach her.  Oh, this again, she says, puts her paws over her ears and goes to sleep.  But she woke up for the pub, where it turned out the bar maid loooooooooves bull terriers, and told rather alarming stories of the gigantic brindle bullie bitch of her childhood, who had the bullie joie de vivre and an awful lot of weight to throw it around with.  Pavlova is a MINI! I said, perhaps a little desperately.  She also said there is a gigantic genial brindle male bullie who comes to the pub upon occasion (trailing humans, as dogs are usually expected to do).  Pavlova and I may have to investigate.  Tonight there was a yellow lab I have seen before, who is about the size of a bull mastiff crossed with an SUV, but friendly.  He sauntered up to Pavlova who was, at that point, having a slight moment of insecurity about things—it was pretty noisy in the pub, and she had met a lot of new best friends in the last few minutes—but as soon as he raised his shovel-sized head toward her as she sat in my lap I could feel her tail start to go.  WhapwhapwhapwhapwhapwhapwhapwhapWHAP. 


Ears UP, I notice. And a very attractive feature they prove. They have that adorable slightly-too-big-for-the-rest-of-the-puppy look.

Southdowner says they’ll flop back down again when she hits teething.  They’re not actually what you’d call hard up even now.  But I have mixed feelings about her ears.  Aside from the question of how big she’s going to get because her ears have come up slowly, if they don’t come up perfectly then we’re let off the dog show question.  Southdowner said when she was down here last Sunday week that Pav is still the pattern-card of bullie puppy perfection.  Oh dear.  I think a nice small harmless design fault might be in order.†


just look at the little, pink puppy tummy!

I adore the little pink puppy tummy.  I am extremely fond of dog tummies generally, when they belong to dogs who want their them rubbed.  Sighthounds with their dramatic undercarriage are a little more challenging a rub than the standard issue, but you learn to adjust.  The best thing about Pavlova is that she’s a girl.  Not that I wouldn’t have been just as besotted with Fruitcake if I’d ended up with him . . . but there’s all that tummy on a girl.

Diane in MN

So, remind me . . . what’s the bright idea about THREE dogs?

Been there, done that, it’s all heart and gut, no matter what the brain provides as reasons. It’s why I don’t go out of my way to look at puppies.

Birmingham is only two and something hours away by train.  And another two and something coming back.  That’s not going out of my way, is it?


Thanks to your blog, I now find myself ogling bull terriers in the street. I saw two … today, one white, one brindle. I wanted to go and give them a cuddle … but realised just in time that the owner might, at the very least, give me strange looks.

Well you certainly have to ask before you fall on someone else’s dog(s) with arms outstretched and cries of gladness, but most owners would be delighted.  Want to get on someone’s good side?  Want to make a blindly loyal friend for life?  Make a fuss over their dog(s).


She is, furthermore, starting to respond to Little Fat Thing. Oops.

I don’t suppose you’d consider transitioning her call name to Elefti, by any chance?

You know, ‘LFT’….

It sounds like a character in one of Kes’ books.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Aldetruda has a friend named Elefti.  She kicks ass, of course.

Diane in MN

I’ve found that puppies generally start sleeping through the night at ten or eleven weeks. I hope Pavlova reaches this milestone soon.

SHE REACHED IT THE DAY BEFORE HER BOWELS MUTINIED.  At the moment I have no clue . . . and I’m cleaning out various crates rather a lot and I’m not in a good mood.


Toni wrote:

             Well, we still call our puppy Baby . . . it has been two years, so I’m beginning to think that’s probably her name now.

Well, Brighid and Bramble are still “the pups” at age 3.

I guess there are a lot of us around.  In the last generation Holly and Hazel were ‘the pups’ all their lives.  And I think Rowan was born a grande dame.


She can hardly pee fast enough to rush back and get her bit of kibble. In fact I suspect that sometimes the reason she has to pee again so soon is because she cut the first one short because she was HUNGRY.

You don’t think it’s just because she wants more kibble?

????  Why isn’t this what I said?

Diane in MN

It would be nice if puppies got solid sphincter control at about the same time as they figured out what outdoors is for, but it’s never happened that way with any puppy I’ve known.

ARRRRRRRRGH.  See above.  Also, despite the number of dogs that frolic through the churchyard†† Pavlova did not pee . . . in our churchyard, in South Desuetude’s, or in the meadow behind the pub.  No, she had to get back home to her garden.  Or her crate, of course, with the endless supply of freshly changed newspapers.  Siiiiiiiiiiigh.


I have 2yo husky mix, myself, and this brings back all sorts of [repressed] memories of those horrible and yet sweet first few weeks.

Ha.  Horrible and yet sweet.  And repressed.  Yes.  Exactly.  As I’ve said for some reason several times recently, baby things are adorable so we don’t kill them.  Little pink puppy tummies are an evolutionary survival mechanism.  ARRRRRRGH.


. . . The upshot of all these numbers is that yes, whippets are considerably faster than cheetahs, pound-for-pound. If you had a 100lb whippet that maintained the speed-to-weight ratio, a cheetah-sized whippet would have a top speed of approximately 140mph, which, incidentally, is fast enough to be a federal offense on many US highways.


* * *

* Ten lousy minutes!  Ten minutes!  I can add five minutes a month to walk time.  ARRRRGH.  So there is still a lot of hanging on the other end of frayed cotton ropes and creatively shaped rubber and plastic objects and hot pink snugga wubbas^ in my immediate future.^^

^ http://www.kongcompany.com/products/for-dogs/wubba/wubba/snugga-wubba/

^^ And by the time she’s ten years old we’ll be walking ten hours a day. + Hmm.  I assume you get to stop adding five minutes a month at some point.

+ Or nine hours and fifty-five minutes.  Because we’re starting with ten minutes at three months.  Or something.

** One of those hard crusty blokes that you surreptitiously look around to check if there’s anyone else nearby as he walks toward you, stopped and looked at Pavlova.  His face lit up and he said, Oh!  A bull terrier puppy!  An English bull terrier!  They are wonderful dogs!

*** not necessarily because he carried the crate, but it didn’t hurt.

† I don’t think slightly frilly ears are going to save me from breeding her however if she goes on as she’s begun.  I know, I know, I’m besotted, but she is at least nearly a pattern-card of physical perfection, and she really does have the kind of personality you want to keep in the gene pool.

†† Rant alert:  I cannot BELIEVE the amount of dog crap in the churchyard.  What is the MATTER with people.  It’s bad enough to be an utter beneath contempt turd in public spaces generally^ but in a CHURCHYARD??????  I don’t care what your dinglebrained private beliefs are, you can jolly well fricking respect other people’s.  Not to mention people who want a nice amble around a pretty churchyard with romantic old stones in it, and maybe sit on the grass for a picnic . . .  ewwwwwwww.

^ And some modest allowance does have to be made for the way crap can go invisible on you, especially this time of year when there are a lot of crap-coloured leaves around, especially when your more-than-one dog decide(s) to crap simultaneously at opposite ends of their long extending leads.  Also, if you happen to have a dog that likes to stroll while he’s defecating, you’re never perfectly sure you got all of it.  Especially if there’s long grass involved.+

+ HATE long grass.  HAAAAAAATE. 

Oh the adorable . . .


WELL SORT OF.  NOW THE LITTLE PERISHER IS CONSTIPATED.  ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGH.  So I’ve been taking her outdoors and running her around, and she Assumes the Position and then . . . nothing happens.  ARRRRRRRRRGH.  So just now we were having a magnificent battle over a an ex-ball of twine*, and she stopped suddenly, and with that seamless meld of one activity into another that puppies do so well, crapped on the FLOOR.  OKAY MR RUIN-YOUR-PUPPY KNOW-ALL DOG-TRAINER CREEP, WHAT’S YOUR MAGIC FORMULA FOR RECOVERING FROM DIARRHOEA VIA CONSTIPATION?  OH, NO, WAIT, IF I WERE A GOOD PUPPY OWNER SHE WOULDN’T (A) HAVE GOT DIARRHOEA AND THEREFORE (B) BOOMERANG CONSTIPATION WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE.  OR, AS YOU MIGHT SAY, A NON ISSUE.  Meanwhile, there is no doubt that our house-training has taken a gigantic leap backwards, but, you know, somehow I think we’ll all recover.  Just not on schedule.

Meanwhile.  I promised you a photo blog tonight.**

These first three are from last Sunday. This is one of Pavlova’s aunties, Mississippi Mud Pie. Missy for short.


Are we too cute? Yes, we are too cute.


That is Southdowner, by the way, mostly off screen, offering CHEESE.




Yes you are going to lie there quietly. Because I say so, and I am the hellgoddess.

AWWWWWWWWWW revisited. Also, BIGGER.


I would never have believed Chaos as the patient uncle if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.


Note puppy blur. She’s moving faster than the lens can snap. Also, I couldn’t make up my mind about whether to set the light for indoor or outdoor since there are both involved here. The kitchen floor is about the right colour, as is Pavlova, but Chaos is much more fawn and not so silver.




The funny thing is that Chaos gets out of the hellhound bed of his own accord and then stands there being hammered by a puppy, looking more and more miserable. Eventually I pick her up and let him escape.

I guess we’re going to keep her.

* * *

* Kittens and yarn?  Let me tell you about puppies and twine.

** Not that I can be trusted about these things.   You are warned.

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