For all our dogpals

I wanted to do a nice fun post today – and dedicate it to my pal Oscar. Because I think he might have liked that.

But mistress can’t do it at the moment.

Like everyone we have been very sad that Oscar died so suddenly. He was such a handsome, lively (and big!) dog, and he and Katy were always fast off the mark to come and make friendly comments whenever we had put up a new post.

We didn’t meet him straight away. We actually met at the chat pawty, and then we started visiting each other’s blogs most days. Oscar and Katy were probably more diligent than we were.

This is as much of a tribute to Katy as to Oscar. Not only did she take Oscar to all his training and help him win all his awards (or maybe the other way round?), she regularly wrote an excellent blog, and on top of that, found time to visit us all.

And now we have discovered another dog has died – in totally different circumstances, but equally distressing to read about. We didn’t know Prince, and we visited a few days ago for the first time when we heard he wasn’t feeling too good, but were so gutted to read the sad news on his blog when we went back today.

We think the reason we all empathise so much every time we read about the death of someone’s dog is that either we have been in a similar position before (once or maybe more times), or we know it is going to come to us at some point. Ten months after Prince (our GSD) died, mistress still can’t think about him without doing the watery eyes routine.

So this is a post, not just for Oscar, but to reflect on all the friends we have made over the past four months while we have been blogging, and remember those dogs who we didn’t have chance to get to know.

Reuben (at Bella’s blog) was one of our very first friends and we were so pleased to start being dogpals; Dakota (at Five Happy Hounds) – died a few days before we started blogging, we found their blog and wanted to say hello but couldn’t find the words, we so felt for their grief, but it didn’t seem the right time to say hello; and then Angus at Flossy’s World – we, like others in DWB, sent well wishes to him to get better – and it seemed like he’d made it, but only for a short while.

Tomorrow we will write a proper dogblog post for Oscar – and for all our other friends out there at the Rainbow Bridge, and our own dogs too, of course.

La cucaracha

One day, just after we had all come back from Gibraltar, mistress was lying in the bath. (I have forgotten to tell you this story so I am telling it now)

Well, she lies in the bath most days to be honest.

But my GibKennelFlat only has a shower so after the hot dusty journey back home, mistress was idling in there.

For some strange reason master was talking to her and I was hiding behind him. I’m pretty wary of the bathroom as I don’t see why on earth they both like to jump into a huge plastic bowl of water so I normally keep well away.

Although sometimes in the mornings I stand in the doorway and have a bit of a macho chat with master when he is having a shave or something.

Suddenly she shrieked and dived out of the bath and ran into the bedroom. Frightened the life out of me. I ran even further away.

That left master to deal with the cockroach that had nonchalantly scuttled right round the top edge of the bath. While she was in there.

So he flipped it into the bath. And pointed out to mistress that it didn’t seem able to swim. It had drowned. He thought they were bombproof. Master so tries to be a good Buddhist but that wasn’t one of those occasions.

“Eeeek!” she shrieked again. Or something like that. “You’re not going to get into the bath now are you?”

“Of course I am. No point in wasting water.” And promptly climbed in. Mistress was nearly sick.

The year after they first bought our house in Spain, mistress noticed they had a new pet in the bathroom. It was a cute sort of tropical-looking creature. Deep-reddish colour, quiet, and just used to lurk in a corner of the bathroom.

Mistress called it the “Naked Lunch Creature”. And then she remembered why she was calling it the Naked Lunch Creature. It reminded her of the film. Set in the Interzone. After that, every time she saw the new pet she screamed.

She was going to walk out of the film when they went to see it. To start with, it was boring and then later, it was off the wall. But they both stuck it out and decided it was a good film. They still talk about it now – hence the name for the new pet (hah!)

For any of you who don’t know what we’re talking about there are some links to follow. The book link is just a photo. Pretty yuk if you don’t like cockroaches. If you read about the book you may not wish to view the YouTube video. book cover link here

This vid clip is not for the faint-hearted. Mistress thinks it is as disgusting now as she did years ago. Although she did laugh this time when she watched it again. But now she has been to Tanger. video link here

The whole point of this story is that mistress can not look at cockroaches without thinking of Naked Lunch.

And mistress says they are even worse in Australia. When they had their flat in Sydney, the cockies were huge. Master and mistress came in one night and there was a mega-sized one trying to FLY out of the window.

(Another occasion where mistress felt sick).

How do you dogpals in the Americas (ie North, Central and South), and south-east Asia, manage? What are yours like?

Fortunately we don’t have many. Because I’m not interested in chasing them. Too small. Cats and rats for me anyday.

Hope I haven’t offended anydog or their peeps. But cockroaches are a part of life in hot countries. And I’m a Spanish dog. Mistress is a wimp though. In fact I think I might do a poll. Is mistress a wimp? (Need to get her to do it for me though, sigh).

My five books – well, our five books

Master has told me I need to get on with a bit of macho-bonding. And stop sniffing after all you beautiful bitches.

But I am not going to do it today.

I am going to write about our books. Well, mistress’s doggy books.

I was originally tagged by Blue from England to write about books, but naughty mistress STOLE the tag and wrote about her favourite books on her blog.

Anyway, I have been tagged again, for the same thing, by beautiful MayaMarie, the Husky in the Window, (one of my adorable girlfriends I might add) so now we HAVE to write about doggy books.

Here is mistress’s Observer’s Book of Dogs. It cost seven shillings about 30 years ago. She liked it because when she was little she could learn all about different doggies.

Then she got another book. She especially liked this one because it had colour piccies. The Observer book only has black and white piccies. But this book cost 16 shillings. So that is more than twice as many dog biscuits as the other book.

Then she started to spend her pocket money on books with big colour photos. Here is a nice book with soppy puppy pix and it only cost 13 shillings.

She has some more old doggy books but that is (almost) enough for this post. Many years later when she went to an office and earned lots of pennies for dogbix like lots of your moms, she had some spare money and used to like going to book shops.

So this is the last book she bought. It has lots of beautiful photos and answers to interesting questions like “Why do some dogs chase their own tails?” And it cost a mega £16.99.

And lastly here are some excerpts from the Blue Peter Fifth Book (cost ten shillings). No, it’s not Shep. The dogs being bathed are Petra and Patch. And for those of you who don’t know, the presenters are Valerie Singleton, John Noakes and Peter Purves.

Here is the story of Bengo. Mistress loved to read about Bengo. He was a boxer doggy, and because mistress grew up with a boxer called Tarquin, she has always had a soft spot for them. (And now I have a beautiful boxer girlfriend called Penny – oops, not allowed to talk about girlfriends today).

Tarquin was her best friend. She didn’t have brothers and sisters so when her mummy and daddy told her off, she would always go and hug Tarquin because he didn’t care what she did. Us dogs are like that.

So those are our five books. They aren’t mine at all really. Mistress has stolen this post by default. She has a house full of books, and as you can see, she doesn’t exactly get rid of them because they are old.

When they were travelling round Spain in their 30-year-old Landy (not the one I go in, the green one in the garage that I have sat in and had my photo taken in) they met some nice Swiss people.

Master and mistress had their OLD Landy and a small back-packing tent. They stayed on camp sites with many expensive campervans and caravans. Some people felt sorry for them because they looked poor (not understanding the difference between poor and eccentric British says mistress) but most people were nice.

They had drinks with the friendly Swiss people, and the man, who used to be in the Swiss police, gave master a Swiss army knife with the police insignia. It was a nice present.

And they said they would visit master and mistress the next year. They did. The ex-police officer looked round the house with his eyes and mouth wide open. Not because of the small, basic house, but because of the amount of books. Master and mistress never heard from them again.

How many girlfriends can a dog have?

Now today I have some important things to bark.

More new friends. Abby and Holly are friends of Huge Happy Hairy Harry and they have started their own blog today.

Holly is a collie, and Abby is a Saluki greyhound cross. The best news is they want to be my girlfriends. Hehe.

Please go and make them welcome.

On the topic of girlfriends, I said I would write about Guinness, who also wants to be my girlfriend. Guinness is a black and tan GSD and I think she is beautiful. Although she is now eight, you can see her puppy photo and her grown-up photo here.

She lives with one of my special girlfriends Misty.

Of course, all my girlfriends are special. But being a bit vain – mistress says all men are – I think it is so cool to have a girlfriend who looks like me.

Don’t you think she looks a bit like me eating my chips…

or waiting for my omelette…..

or having my head stroked…..

I only met her a few days ago when I asked you all what I was, and her peeps came on and said like many of you that I looked like some GSD, but perhaps Husky too.

There are lots of Huskies around here in Spain, which is a bit silly considering it is so hot.

Sometimes they end up on the streets because lots of people don’t like big dogs (or the cost of feeding them), or the fact they shed so heavily (I do).

Or maybe because they don’t bark much (I don’t) – therefore they are no use as a guard dog, which is often one of the main reasons for having a dog here, rather than as a companion animal.

We only know MayaMarie and Misty, so we are going to find a few Husky blogs and see if they will be friends, and then we can learn some more about them.

Oh, and Misery Mistress says I am not allowed any more girlfriends (for now), as she thinks I have more than enough for any self-respecting dog.

She also says I have talked more than enough about me and my girlfriends.

Well I don’t care what she says – if you think I am nice and you want to be my girlfriend, just ask.

Do you think I could win the Dog with Most Girlfriends competition (even tho’ I do have a girly name)?

A peach of a day

Today started off very well. I left a bit of my first breakfast so that I had room to share whatever master and mistress decided to have.

Master cooked himself a rasher sandwich. These are yummy vegetarian tasties made by The Redwood Company. For some reason they have started importing their products into Spain. Perhaps they knew master and mistress lived here.

They are dearer here than in the UK, so they are A TREAT. As you know mistress is not a great lover of spending money so she rations master to his rashers or his vegi-sausages, but they are good when we are allowed them.

Next mistress finally opened her sleepy green eyes and decided she didn’t want a rasher sandwich. I thought that was a shame as sharing another one wouldn’t have gone amiss.

But she decided today was a fruit day. Now one of my pals told me to be careful because if I eat too much fruit I might get diabetes. It was very thoughtful to let me know, but I have to say there is little chance of that.

In fact I have to walk round stealthily stealing my fresas because Meany Mistress does not feed me them. In fact sometimes she eats them herself.

Today was peach though. And not only did mistress have peach, master decided he would have a second breakfast and had a peach too.

When he was working on my Landy today, the Friday veg man could not get his door open. So master sorted it for him. Friday veg man insisted master take a HUGE bag of peaches. Well, five peaches, but they were HUGE. So my third breakfast was peach. Isn’t it a good thing I left some of those boring biscuits? or else I wouldn’t have had space for two more breakfasts.

Then they went to the shops and it is too hot for me to go too, so I stayed in to dream of my girlfriends.

One of my pals – who shall remain nameless – has suggested I might have an over-ambitious number of girlfriends. I think that’s what he meant. So I’m not going to write about them today.

Well, only to add Guinness to the list. But I can talk about her tomorrow.

(You’re only jealous Wally)


First before I tell you of my dreams, I have some good news. Mmm, sausages and toms for my second breakfast. Ooops, getting distracted, although that was very good news. Not enough mind, they ate far more than I got.

So the real good news is – my friend Harry has just started his own blog. But some of you already know – that clever Freda Shepherd has already mentioned it on her blog. I knew she was one fast Delta Bunny.

And some of you have been to visit Harry and barked Hi, but if you haven’t you can find him here. I am sure he will be very pleased.

Anyway back to dreaming about my girlfriends. Wally said I could put Sissy Ethel in my time capsule but I am not sure that is a good idea. After all we would need to take so much food for 25 years and she would need lots of space to chase tennis balls.

Now I think that minx Sophie Brador is just toying with my affections. She told me Wally was “just a mentor”. I ask you – and she has a pic of him next to her bed. Still, if you do swim to Spain Sophie, I will be pleased to see you and we can lie on one of my sofas together.

The impressively regal Megan, however, has invited me to get my furry body over there. How cool is that? A dog that comes from a breed used to mixing in noble and royal circles happy to have a furry encounter with a cross-bred Spanish street dog. Apart from anything else, the UK is nearer than those places across the Atlantic. So Megan is well up there in my dreams.

The beautiful Tasha and Eva have said they share everything so they are happy to share me. Wow. I think that has to be every sheepdog’s fantasy. (I wonder if I will get some funny Google searches now – or not maintain my G rating for general audiences?? I think it will stay the same – after all – I get a G rating even though I’ve got screwing on my blog somewhere apparently…..)

Freda is obviously too clever for me – and loyal to some boyfriend she mentioned a while back. But if ya want a change Freda – you know where Spain is, or at least your secretary does.

I’ve not heard from that other lovely shepherd cross – Flossy – but she’s not been blogging much so I will hang on in there.

And I think I may have offended my smaller dog friends – Bella, Lorenza, and Roxie. I thought they already had lots of boyfriends and would prefer a smaller dog (although I am very gentle), so I offered to be very good friends. But if you all want to be my girlfriends too, that is fine.

I want to add three more guapissima perras to my list. The feisty Penny over at Jackman Ave (you all know who Penny is), and who can probably give Ethel a run for her money. She was looking for a BFF but Penny, I will be whatever sort of friend you want.

MayaMarie, the spoiled husky in the window, looks a very beautiful female with a nice character too. I hope she would like to be my girlfriend (edited because mistress had written girlfiend – sorry MayaMarie) or at least a good friend.

And over at The Stoutino Inn & Foster Kennel, Guinness & Shiloh’s family, there is a beautiful dog called Misty, who looks a bit like me. Perhaps we could have little Mistypipps – only in my dreams mind. Too much work otherwise.

I’m off to go and dream now. Too warm to do anything else.

Update….noticias….five things

Hello everydog.

First, sorry we haven’t ruff ruffed on your blogs recently. Master has been obsessed with his axles – and made mistress post lots of things about it on her blog. If any of your humans (especially 4×4 owners) know anything about these axle thingies please have a look at her itchyfeetatforty blog.

Now, I would like to thank everydog who has passed by the story of my friend Harry – and the warning to leave sweetcorn cobs alone. His mum Vicky is so keen to spare anyone the same anguish that she and Harry went through. If you haven’t read it, please have a look.

And I also want to thank everyone who has commented on my possible breed. You have made some nice and thoughtful comments.

Now I have two things to write about but Misery Mistress will only let me write one. So as I was tagged by Oscar to list five things to put in a time capsule, I will post that ‘cos I don’t want to offend Oscar, he is one cool dog.

First naturally. I would put in my ball. I thought about my ring, or my chew, but I decided on my ball because it rolls away from me. Then I can chase it, especially down the steps, although not for long because I get bored, or tired, or both.

Then I would put in my hairnet, I mean my comfort netting. Master calls it my hairnet because I hide in it and look like Ena Sharples (who?). I think it is for protecting the vegetables, but now it is mine. (I had a better pic but Misery trashed it – although I did look pretty stupid – so I am not lying with it right over my head again,)

I have to put my shiny new toaster in. What dog would not be pleased to find that? And they could have yummy toasties all the time.

I wanted to put in some strawberries or tomatoes from my garden but Misery said they wouldn’t keep in a capsule.

So she said I could put in a tin of toms instead. These are very nice – on toast natch.

I hope it is a big time capsule. I think every dog should have a Landy.

And a sofa. Who cares which one. Any sofa will do.

Oh and I like those potato chip things from the petrol station when we go picnicking.

I think I have put too many things in though. And I can normally count to five quite nicely.

Because Misery has been so slow off the mark getting round you all, we don’t know who is tagged for this game. So we will try and find some dogs who haven’t been asked to play yet and tag you tomorrow.

It’s bedtime here in Spain for us early risers. Night night and sleep well – or have a good day depending on where you are.

Ruffs Pippa

PS Edited to add – forgot to say hopefully the Land Rover and the Dualit will still be going in 25 years time – even if the rest of us are a bit creaky….hehehe

Who am I….?

I ask this because there are lots of informed dogpals out there that may have a view.

After I had adopted master and mistress, the locals in our village said I was a Spanish sheepdog – un perro pastor – from the mountains.

That’s a reasonable deduction, because I am nice to all livestock, and I am very furry, which would keep me warm in the mountains.

But the other day when we were in Gib, people kept calling me a white Alsatian.

Now, it has to be said that when I found master and mistress they thought I could be a cross between a husky and a GSD.

Although I have a white face and big amber eyes, the markings on my saddle do look like a GSD. But my friend Prince was not like me. Although he was a shepherd dog he barked at everything. I don’t think he would have made a good pastor.

Now I don’t bark at much at all. And even in the morning, when I am telling master to do breakfast, half the time it is more of a roooooo than a bark.

So what do you think pals? Husky/GSD cross? Oh, and we have looked at Poseidon’s blog, (see Bone Zone – photo of the month) and I think we look similar in some of the photos.

I almost forgot. People keep saying I look old. Me, OLD! I am sure I was a (large) puppy when I found master and mistress. I might have looked a bit hot recently, and I had the poorly tummy, but I AM NOT OLD. I don’t think.

Pippa. A bit confused.

My friend Harry’s story (pt 2) – and a warning

I forgot to tell you yesterday that mistress met Vicky on a Land Rover forum. More a venue for roughy-toughy, macho, sexist men (not all of them) than anything else. When Vicky told us on the forum the first time Harry was poorly, she received lots of support. And as you know from yesterday’s post, he improved after that first op.

So it’s one of the reasons we try to send positive thoughts and good wishes when we hear about poorly doggies. It can’t do any harm, and a little moral support for humans is always helpful at a difficult time. Anyway, here is part 2.

“But 15 minutes later he returned, with bad news.

Harry’s windpipe was almost closed up with scar tissue. After telling the vet Harry’s history, it became clear that in the early days after his bowel op – while he was almost comatose – he’d probably regurgitated some stomach acid.

And being unable to cough, it had gone down his windpipe and burnt it, the scar tissue had gradually built up, almost closing his airway. The only solution now was to remove as much of the damaged windpipe as possible and re-join what was left.

This operation carried the danger that the join could scar again even when the two joined parts were healthy. In Harry’s case it wasn’t known how much was damaged and only so much could be removed.

The op went well. It hadn’t been possible to remove all the damaged windpipe, and he was on steroids and anti-biotics to reduce the chance of scarring, but the vet was hopeful. The next four weeks would be crucial.

Harry stayed with the vet for a week and then Vicky collected him, but in a few days there were more problems. He’d developed an allergic reaction to the steroids, they caused ulcers in his lower bowel which started to bleed, so he was taken off them.

Days later, he returned to check how his windpipe was healing. There was no evidence of scarring, and there was a good wide opening in the windpipe.

Vicky drove to collect him, absolutely elated with the news, but worried what else was going to go wrong. It just felt like every time something went well he was knocked back again with another problem.

But the crucial time passed, and he built up his weight and his fitness.

Three months later, the pictures (on both these two posts) show Harry on one of his favourite walks in the Cotswolds. A picture of health, Vicky’s Huge Happy Hairy Harry has returned. And in Vicky’s eyes he has added another H to his name – Harry the Hero.”

You can read the story in the July issue of Dogs Today.

The photos and text published here are with Vicky’s permission.

It’s so easy for dogs to pick things up from anywhere – inside or outside your home. There are so many things for them to pick up -and swallow. We can never be too careful. Harry was a fighter, he had a loving family like many of us on DWB – and finally, luck was with him.

Vicky wanted to tell this story so that people with dogs are aware of the dangers we all face – add sweetcorn cobs to that list of things to leave alone all you pups.