Tag Archives: dogs

Evolution Can Be a Bitch.

The average human being is a pretty incredible creature. Apparently, we consist of some 100 trillion cells (what anorak sat and counted?), we can distinguish tens of thousands of scents, a million colours and store 1000 terabytes of memories. Apart from teeth, we repair and regenerate the cells in our bodies so that every ten years we are physically a new person. Not bad for a species that is 70% water and shares 50% of its DNA with bananas, 60% with chickens, 84% with dogs and 96% with chimps. It is those minuscule differences that make us what we are. I read somewhere that if the human genome was written down, it would fill nearly 300,000 pages and only the last couple of hundred would contain the parts that make us the individuals we are. Unless you come from Kentucky where everyone has the same DNA.

We have evolved as bipeds and for humans to be able to walk upright, we do not have opposable big toes. This in turn means that our feet are arched and this enables us to walk the way we do. We continue to evolve and toes are as good a place to talk about as any. As a rule, each human has 5 toes on each foot. The big toe and the next 3 along do whatever they do, but the human little toe is evolving faster than they are. It is becoming increasingly sensitive to the extent that it has now developed into a sensor of hard objects in low light environments. It finds these hard objects by hitting them and then informs you that it has found the armchair/bed leg/door frame by sending a wave of excruciating pain to your brain. Forget child birth. Forget kidney stones. Forget a kick in the ‘nads. This fuckin’ hurts! So much so that it is impossible for the human who has recently rediscovered the whereabouts of the door frame that’s been in the same place for centuries, to swear. Instead, all that can be managed is;

Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah (all very quietly because it’s 3 o’clock in the bloody morning and you don’t want to wake everyone up) ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah (until eventually) ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah Ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffuck it! You manage to swear.

How do I know this? I know this because last night, at 3 o’clock in the bloody morning, I discovered where the door frame to the toilet is courtesy of that wonderful appendage, my little toe.

Have a wonderful day.

More Dick soon.

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With apologies to the inhabitants of Kentucky who, I am sure, are very nice people all with their own unique DNA but I couldn’t find a picture for Louisiana.

Dexter

After the emotional stuff that left me completely drained, I thought it would be nice to be a bit more light hearted.

Some months ago I was walking Dexter, our dog, out in the fields close to where we live and took some video of him prancing about. When the crops are taller than he is, Dexter does this Tigger like jump so that he can see where he is. It looks cute. It’s taken me from April last year until now to figure out how to transfer the video from my phone to my laptop. Eldest son sorted it for me in the end. The video lasts for less than a minute. Enjoy.

 

 

 

Hitting the deck isn’t the problem. It’s getting back up again!

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.

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Another One Bites The Dust Goddamn It.

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Christ on a bike!

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This farming malarkey is hard work and I’m only dealing with a few animals and crops. Having said that I am enjoying myself. I’ve learnt some Welsh words like “Look you”, “Isn’t it”, “Boyo” and “Tidy”. I’ve learnt not to try and get an egg when a hen is sitting on it as they have sharp beaks and are prepared to use them.chicken on eggs

Avoid John the neighbour who is a Brummie and can talk the hind leg off a donkey and judging by the number of three-legged donkeys around here, frequently does. I’ve realised that dogs can’t count as no matter how many balls you throw for Chalky, he always thinks there’s three. The pillock.20150908_123342

Birds are stupid and the bloody spiders here are gigantic. Last night I HEARD one walking across the floor! I had to open both French doors to usher the bugger out. There was no point trying to kill the blighter as I didn’t have access to any weapons big enough. A cannon may have been enough but the collateral damage wouldn’t have gone down well with Boo when she gets back.

This is what the Pest Control companies around here use to kill spiders. A bit extreme but so are the spiders!

This is what the Pest Control companies around here use to kill spiders. A bit extreme but so are the spiders!

Shortly after shooing the spider out last night I was startled by a “Tap, tap, tap, flutter, flutter” noise.

“What the bloody hell now?” I thought. “A fucking dragon?”

I looked around but couldn’t see anything so I concluded it was likely to be a branch tapping on the window. Then I heard it again. Strange. I still couldn’t see what was causing the noise, mostly because I was too lazy to get off my fat arse and take a proper look.obese_2074995b

It was quiet for a while then I heard it again. This time I also saw movement out of the corner of my eye. Inside the log burner in the lounge was a bird! It must have fallen down the chimney and couldn’t get back out. See what I mean? Birds are stupid. It was only a sparrow but it made me think two things (I’m clever like that). First I thought how polite it was for a wild animal to be knocking on the log burners door for permission to come out. Secondly, and more importantly, how the fuck was I going to get a soot and ash covered wild bird out of there without getting aforementioned soot, ash and feathers all over Boos house? So I gathered up numerous towels, an old sheet and covered the door of the burner. I opened the burner door and the blighter flew out from under all the towels and sheet and flew around the whole of the ground floor trailing soot, ash and feathers everywhere.

“Should’ve shut all the the doors.” I thought belatedly.

Finally, after much pursuing of the tiny sparrow and after tripping over Chalky, who was also in hot pursuit, I managed to get the bird by the front door and let it out. I looked back in disbelief. The whole of the downstairs was like a war zone. There were feathers, soot, ash and bird shit everywhere!

“Jesus bloody Christ!” I thought. “How could such a small animal leave such a trail of destruction?”messy-house

Many hours later, after much use of vacuum cleaners, furniture polish, dusters, old rags filled with earwigs and much cursing the house resembled something vaguely habitable. I went to bed!

I woke up this morning and staggered downstairs for my first brew of the day. I fed Chalky and as I went to feed the goldfish, discovered one was missing. Well, it wasn’t exactly missing, it just wasn’t where I expected it to be. It was belly up at the top of the tank!dead-goldfish Bugger me! Another critter bites the dust!

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto

 

It’s Only Me

I have absent from the blogging world for a little while and I’ve just realised how long it’s been since I posted anything since returning from my holidays. I’ve knocked out a couple since then in the mista…

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. I’ve just realised what I have written! “Knocked out a couple”…..? What must you be thinking of me? That I sit in front of my screen having a Jodrell while waiting for inspiration to strike? Hahahahaha.

Jodrell Bank

Jodrell Bank

Rest assured that I don’t. You’ll have to take my word for it though.

Work has been manic since my return and we have a new task that has been proving to be a bit of a nightmare. I always love it when my boss phones up and says;

“Houston. We have a problem, don’t you”!!!

My Boss

My Boss

It always means that the soft brown stuff has hit the fan and it’s heading in my general direction.

Anyway, that aside I did intend writing about the progress, or lack of it, in my garden but I’m in Wales for the next few days looking after my sisters smallholding

Boo & Guptas smallholding taken from the fields towards the house

Boo & Guptas smallholding taken from the fields towards the house

and all her critters and crops.

There are three horses,20150902_113751

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a dozen ducks,20150902_113333

a large, indeterminate number of chickens (they’re always scuttling about making it impossible for me to count them)

This chicken is called "Mrs Bogbrush"

This chicken is called “Mrs Bogbrush”

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and a labrador called Chalky

Chalky. Along with his favourite balls

Chalky. Along with his favourite balls

along with a semi feral cat called Morgan.

Morgan

Morgan

Plus all kinds of fruit and vegetables to take care of.

By the time Boo and her husband Gupta get back from their holidays, I suspect there may be slightly fewer animals to deal with!

It’s lovely here and it’s been some years since I’ve been in this part of the world and it was really pleasant to be driving along and recognising village names from back in the day when I was in Wales most weekends for canoe races.QuentinBonnetainAction

I might just take a wander down to some of them for a look-see and remember my long-lost youth. In the meantime though, I’m busy feeding animals, clearing out hen houses, shovelling up horse muck and picking raspberries, strawberries, aubergines and that kind of stuff. It’s bloody brilliant!

Boo and Gupta live on the edge of a small village not far from the coast. All the locals seem to be called by their job names as their real surnames are all Jones. Or it might be Evans or Jenkins or some other Welsh surname. So the bloke who delivers logs for the wood burners that everyone has is called Dickie Log, the school cook is Betty Cook, the carpenter is called Dai Saer (Saer being Welsh for Carpenter) and his wife is called Betty Dai Saer. The landlady of  the local pub, The Commercial Inn, is run by a lady called Betty Commercial. There’s another bloke called Dai Buns who may be a baker but may not and the guy who keeps all the roadside hedges trimmed is called Eaun Hedge!!! The local farmer is called John Ty Mawr (Ty Mawr is Welsh for Home Farm) and so it goes on. Boo and Gupta are called Boo and Gupta Wyndarra because the name of their smallholding is Wyndarra! Wyndarra being Australian but that’s just like my sister to put a spanner in the works! Apparently, most of the women (of a certain age) are named Betty as that was the name of the midwife who delivered them all. Electricity arrived in the village in 1963 and some of the inhabitants here remember revising for their school exams by candle light! The Interweb is unbelievably slow and it is taking me bloody ages to download the photographs I’ve taken but do you know what? I think it fantastic here. Boo and Gupta (so-called because of his love of curry. Also known as “Stink” when he’s had a curry!) dreamt about having this life for many, many years and they achieved it 6 years ago and I envy them. It’s not easy but it is plain to see that they are living the dream.1926889_654140781288958_206925591_n

I have to go give the clucks their afternoon feed now, so on with my wellies (I brought them along in case I found any stray sheep!) and off into the fields, the fresh air, the rain and the wind to feed the animals and think some thoughts.

Have a smashing day.

More Dick soon.auto

Just Look 2

This is a subject I will no doubt return to again and again. I do get a bee in my bonnet about this.

Earlier today I took Dexter for walkies out to the fields and woods near where we live. He has the time of his life sniffing around, digging holes, chasing sticks and every now and again chasing rabbits. I also take advantage of this hour or so to recharge my batteries, contemplate my navel and just generally chill out. I admit I take my phone with me but that’s just because it’s not unknown for Dexter to knock me over in his pursuit of a sniff and I take it with me “just in case”. While we were out we bumped into a woman we see from time to time when she walks her dog Dolce. As a change she decided to join us on our route as she normally walks her dog up to Castle hill and beyond while we tend to walk out into the fields and woods. Strangely, the mobile signal is far better out in the middle of nowhere than it is where I live and the woman I was walking with decided to take full advantage of this. (She shall remain nameless). She spent a large portion of our walk sending and replying to emails, she sent a few texts, made three work related phone calls and as far as I could tell was totally oblivious to everything around her. Our conversation was non-existent and I admit to getting a bit pissed off so Dexter and I made our excuses and headed off.

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Harebell in flower months before it should be

During that period she didn’t notice a thing around her whereas I’d seen a number of things that had caught my eye because they were unusual. For a lot of people this is likely to be indescribably boring but I noted a number of plants in flower which when you consider it’s only February is remarkable in itself as these plants are not due to come into flower until April or later, there was a pheasant hiding in the undergrowth, a kestrel swooped on something in the fields and flew off with it. Dexter disturbed a field mouse which scrambled away under the ivy. There was all kinds of stuff going on and this woman just didn’t realise.

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Wild primroses in flower in February

Why do people do this? It’s saturday, you’re walking your dog in some pretty amazing countryside and you spend all your time on the phone! What a total waste of some valuable down time. I know that many people lead busy lives but to my mind that is even more reason to take any opportunity to relax.

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Look closely and you will see what I saw

I said this last time I wrote about this and I’ll keep on saying it. Give yourself a break. It’s all very well thinking you are constantly in touch but in reality you have lost touch. You have lost touch with whats going on around you and narrowing your focus like that effects all aspects of your life so for goodness sake when the chance to take a breather comes along, take it.

Enough of this for now.

Have a smashing day (turn your phone off)

More Dick soon

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Pets

I guess you could say we are a dog family as far as pets go. None of us has any particular dislike of any domesticated animal but we just like dogs. When I first met PIL she had a pet German Shepherd dog named after Fred Flintstones pet dinosaur, Dino. As was so often the case when we first got together we had sacrifices to make and unfortunately PIL had to leave Dino behind.

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Dino

 

After a few years and with children to tow, we decided to get another dog. Getting another German Shepherd was a bit of a no brainer to us and we ended up getting a puppy from a breeder in Kent. Even as a puppy he was huge. We saw both his parents when we got him and they were enormous. Being a long-haired GSD added to his size. The kids named him Dodger after the dog in the Disney movie Oliver & Company thereby continuing a trend of naming our dogs after cartoon characters beginning with the letter D.

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Dodger with Greg

Dodger grew into a magnificent dog with a fantastic temperament, especially around the children. Then when he was 12, we noticed a very sudden change in him. Literally in a matter of days he lost all his energy and was obviously seriously ill. He had cancer and it was everywhere inside him. A family friend who is also a vet ran through the options with us but she said it basically boiled down to having him put down to stop  him suffering. So on the 16th September 2009 I drove him to the vets surgery. The whole way there I was telling him that everything would be fine, that his family would make him better again and he would be back to his old self. I was lying to him the whole way. Once we arrived we were seen almost immediately and the vet gave Dodger a lethal injection and he slowly slipped away. Then she gave me a big hug because I had burst into tears.

Over the years the subject of getting another dog came up from time to time but was never pursued. Then in the summer of 2013, the subject came to the fore. Everyone, except me, wanted a dog again. Greg used the excuse that it was his 16th birthday soon and showed me pictures of dogs on the Battersea Dogs Home website. There was one particular mutt he wanted to see at the Homes satellite branch in Kent. The tribe went to have a look-see without me. They were full of it when they got back and my earholes were bent constantly for days. Eventually I succumbed and off we went. But we went to the main Home in Battersea, south-west London. Oddly enough, the borough I was born in. Battersea Dogs Home has all kinds of dogs. Hundreds of them. They have pedigree dogs, mongrels, dogs with great temperaments, dogs with awful temperaments, dogs whose owner could no longer look after them, abandoned dogs, dogs that had been subjected to appalling cruelty. Each and every one of them was looking for a new home and I wanted to take each and every one of them home with me! Oh bollocks. I’d had been completely and utterly seduced. So, a few days later we drove to the satellite branch in Kent and got the dog Greg was after.

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Dexter with his favourite toy – a stick. Any stick!

 

He and his brother had been abandoned as pups so there was some doubt about him. Battersea thought he was a staffordshire bull terrier/labrador cross with some lurcher thrown in for good measure and they thought he’d been born in February. They’d taken care of all his inoculations, he was in good health, stroppy, a bit aggressive, had abandonment issues and was absolutely perfect so we took him home. Greg named him Dexter. PIL and I were happy with the choice of name. We thought he was named after the character in a cartoon Greg loved when he was little – Dexter’s Laboratory. Smashing!

 

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The other Dexter

 

We were wrong. Greg was 16. Cartoons? Ha! He was far too mature and sophisticated for cartoons. No. This Dexter was named after Dexter the TV serial killer. Good grief but it was too late. Dexter was now Dexter and nothing could change it now.

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Dexters normal position after walkies

 

Dexter is nearly two now. We decided his birthday will be on 1st February each year. He is now a lovely dog with a fantastic personality – absolutely barking mad, affectionate, loves walkies, loves rolling in fox poo at every opportunity, will chase sticks and balls for ever, digs holes, steals clothes from the laundry basket, chases his tail for ages, hates getting wet and the postman. He is lovely and I am so glad we have him at home with us. Dino and Dodger are still in our thoughts  and no doubt at some stage in the future we will have only memories of Dexter but they will be good ones and until then we intend enjoying every moment.

Have a lovely day

 

More Dick soon

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Was it something I said?

The other day I had to leave really early in the morning for an early work start. So being a considerate type of chap I said I would sleep on the sofa to avoid disturbing everyone else. PIL didn’t think this was a particularly good idea as the dog would keep disturbing me but I went ahead and slept on the sofa anyway. The following morning I crept out of the house at 4.30am, which by the way, is an absolutely disgusting time of day. Before starting work I sent a text to PIL saying that I’d arrived ok and then went on to say that “sleeping in the same room as the dog is like sleeping with you. He snores, farts and steals all the duvet!” I didn’t receive a reply. Anyway, I think PIL must have had a bad day because since then she hasn’t spoken to me at all. I don’t know why. I suspect my text is in some way connected but I don’t know how or why. Any suggestions?

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PIL is NOT amused

 

Have a smashing day.

More Dick soon

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What would you do?

You’re sitting in the car waiting for someone. The dog is curled up in the back. It’s absolutely chucking it down with rain when suddenly your nose starts to disintegrate and there is incredible pain in your sinuses. The bloody dog has farted! Do you get out of the car into the pouring rain and get drenched or do you try and tough it out by holding your breath while watching your face fall apart in the rear view mirror? Please let me know what you would do. Be a bit quick about it though. I can’t hold my breath much longer. Dick