~~My name is Taffy and this is my story~~

Friday, 25 February 2011

Austin speaks out

Hi - or Yaki-Da as we say in Wales. I have been up to my paws in it this week, so have offered Austin a voice on my blog.  Well as Andy Warhol once said, every dog will have their 15 minutes of fame - so here's Austin's. I hope you understand his Scottish accent.

Unaccustomed as I am to speaking in public, I am looking forward to this. I will try to speak with an English accent and there'll be no Glaswegian handshakes from me either because I am from The fine Highlands of Scotland. For the last two weeks I have been taken out in the afternoon by a new woman and her old dog Taffy - who has lent me space on his blog.  I'm feeling rather neglected by my owners, because I don't have a blog - yet! May I start by saying that I wouldn't have chosen this photograph?  I am about to perform a very private function, so why did she take a shot of me whilst so engaged?  Humans!!
We have been walking around my 'hood' and I have been pointing things out to this woman and Taffy and we have met lots of people and other hounds with much news and gossip.  Everything had been going well until yesterday when she was late.  I kept my eye on the clock on the microwave oven in the kitchen and as soon as it was 14:31 Hrs. I began to worry she wasn't coming. Each minute that went by had me wondering whether I had upset her yesterday.  Had I slobbered on her clean jeans too much?  Had I not welcomed her enough when she arrived? Had I spread too much mud on the kitchen floor?  Who knew? 
Eventually she turned up at 15:00 Hrs.  About time too.  My worry subsided and a slightly sulky air came over me.  Granted she looked FABULOUS, having been at the hairdresser's but I would have preferred her to come on time in muddy jeans, hair scraped back and without a scrap of makeup - like she normally does. Anyway, moving on - it was a sunny day and off we went down the road and she puts on her sun shades. She was possibly trying to look cool but she was more shabby chic - with the emphasis on shabby.  The shades were faux Gucci and looked to me as though they had been purchased from an African national in a market in Tenerife!
I just love Thursdays round here because it's recycling day and everyone leaves their plastic bins out for the contents to be taken away and recycled.  Whilst Taffy's owner was fiddling around with what looked like a portable cassette recorder (yes, she's that old), I managed to have a pee in a neighbour's green bin.  What a relief and if they have a dog, I've sent a clear message to that hound - It's My Road - OK?  the woman quickly pulled me away and had a quick look to see if anyone had seen but I think we got away with it.  Then Taffy wanted to cover it and he was practically lifted off his paws.  Now I cannot reveal the address of this misdemeanour, for fear of stigmatization of my pack - so please don't ask.
Talking of addresses, all the houses in my street could be described as 'Des Res' and they have names such as 'Rough Jenkin', 'Roquebrune' and I even saw a galloping major pull up inside the grounds of 'Brigadoon'. Yes, we're quite refined here in this part of Surrey dontcha know?
I mentioned that it was sunny yesterday but the road is still wet and fairly muddy, so we had to go through the paw cleaning ritual. For dogness sake, what is it with my paws?  They all want to clean them and I hate it.  Well this one's a push over.  I only have to growl and bark and she gives in.  The consequence of this is, she has to clean the kitchen floor before she leaves.  I'm not sure it's in her job description but she'd rather do that than upset me.  Suits moi!  She pretends she's not afraid and says she's only doing it so my mum, who's had a long hard day at work - doesn't have to come home and do it.  So my final memory before I doze off to sleep, is one of her on all fours, wiping my footprints away with my mum's J cloths. Such is life. That's it folks.  Hopefully Taffy will let me have a few more words at a later date. Byeee.....

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Adorable Austin

Who's this fine fella you're thinking aren't you? This is another new pal of mine and his name is Austin. May I say here and now, that he is streets ahead of Scottie - you may remember dear reader that Scottie lost my new tennis ball - more about him in a minute. My Dad calls Austin,  'Vauxhall' - his little joke - but Austin wasn't amused.  He's heard them all before.  Apparently 'he has the refined lines of an old Austin Healey' . Austin has a beauty spot on his nose and I like him a lot.  We seem well suited in age and trot around South Godstone like we own the land.  There are so many other dogs in the area and they all bark incessantly as we pass.  We ignore them. (Well, I can't hear them actually but Austin told me.) Of course, being a Gordon Setter, his Scottish accent took a little getting used to but we communicate well now.
The first time I met Austin, when we were out walking, he spotted a little plastic bag in the hedgerow.  SWMBO thought someone had dropped a pooh bag but Austin honed in on it and started to eat it. There followed a tug of war and Austin won hands - sorry - paws down.  There must have been food in that bag but he didn't share it with me.  Ever since then, SWMBO has taken an unnatural interest in his pooh and any rubbish lying around the roads. I might just say that there is very little debris lying around near where Austin lives.  It's the poshest road I've ever been walked in. My mum was worried Austin wouldn't be allowed out with us again but his bowel movements seem not to be affected and he seems to like it when we arrive for walkies.
Talking of pooh, I let my owners have a sleep in this morning and didn't wake SWMBO until about 6.30 am.  I stared at her and shook myself until she awoke.  She let me outside and we came back in and back to the bedroom.  Just as she got comfy in bed again, HWMBO said, 'I can smell pooh'.  So SWMBO jumped out of bed again - yes, you guessed it - right into one of my little parcels.  When a dog's got to go - a dog's got to go.  I settled down for more slumber, whilst she scrubbed the carpet with something foul smelling.  If HWMBO hadn't said anything, she could have carried on sleeping.  Don't blame me!
Later in the morning, I was helped into the car and off we went to collect Scottie.  We walked in the muddiest place on earth.  It was a different, new place alongside The Hogsmill river.  I had to do another pooh and lost my balance - and sat in my own mess. Please don't laugh - she made me get in the cold river to clean it off my feathers.  Scottie did his usual disapperaring act for about 10 minutes and when it was time to go home, he was so muddy, she put him in the boot of the car before me.  Bad move.  When I went to get in, he bit me.  BIT ME - IN MY CAR.  He was taken out and put on the back seat and I got back into my own space.  I was bleeding.  And he owes me a ball (Have I mentioned that already?) So, as you can see, Gordon Setters are a whole lot nicer than J. R's.
When Austin and I are finished our walk, I get back into my car space and SWMBO takes Austin inside to clean his paws.  Well he doesn't like it and growls and barks.  She's such a wimp that she jumps out of her skin and lets him have a drink of water, thereby wetting the floor somewhat. Then she cleans the floor (Not very well actually) in preference to upsetting Austin. He's very clever too.  He told me that when he scratches a particlular door in the kitchen, it is usually opened by a humanoid and gravy bones are fed him.  But in case his mum is reading this - he only gets 2 and he wants you to know - It's not enough!! Well it's back to sleep for me.  Waking up in the middle of the night makes me so tired and weary and with all this extra walking.... I'm done in.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Meet My New Mate Scottie

Once, when I had full hearing, I'm sure I heard SWMBO say that she thought she could be a good photographer.  You decide dear reader.  I think I could have done better. This body belongs to Scottie.  I had never met him before but I quite liked his frisky attitude displayed when we were walking together this morning.  He reminded me of when I could gallop all over.  We collected him from his house and walked to The Hogsmill River (world famous I understand - more of which later.)   He was kept on the lead until he got used to us and then SWMBO got brave and let him go with a brand new tennis ball.  Well, that didn't last long.  That dog owes me a ball.  He kept going missing for short periods of time, which apparently seemed likes hours to herself. 

When her nerves could take no more, he was hooked up for the last part of the hour long walk.
Now may I remind you I am 15 and a half years old and I had already been out with Benson to the little park?  Thought I was going to put my paws up and get a little bit of shut-eye at Ben's house but we were off again pretty quickly to meet Scottie.  SWMBO is going to be walking Scottie a few times, whilst his normal (yes, I meant that!!) dog walker is on holiday in somewhere called Florida.

Well if there was ever a misnomer, surely Scottie is one.  He's a Jack Russell Terrier yet called a Scottie dog.  Makes no sense to me.  Cute though - in a masculine sort of way you understand. The camera clicked a few more times and eventually Scottie sat still for SWMBO.
Look at the shadow - hopeless!  This is the creature who lost my new ball.  Don't be fooled by his cuteness.  I told him under my dog breath that he'd have to replace it.  Anyway, it was a glorious sunny day and she was camera daft.  However the fox in a field was too far away and the heron saw me coming, so she didn't get any shots of those.

The Hogsmill - you thought I'd forgotten didn't you?  Well I had to listen to it all during the walk, so why shouldn't you be bored out of your brains too?  William Holman Hunt lived in Ewell and he painted The Hireling Shepherd and The Light of the World from a backdrop along The Hogsmill river.  His pal - another Pre-Raphealite artist, (don't ask me - I'm only the dog in the story) John Everett Millais also painted Ophelia from the bank of the river. His model, Elizabeth Siddal was actually sitting in a bath in his London studio, where she got a bad cold.  Not surprising really. It's said to worth £30 million dog bones now.  Why am I telling you this?  Well as we were rambling along, she was waxing lyrical about all the history stuff and how lucky we were to be walking in such famous footsteps.  Yawn Yawn.  All I could think of, was that the humble Tesco carrier bag had obviously not been evident at the time of the paintings but that was all I noticed today, along with empty beer cans and other detritus which smelled lovely!!