DOGGED INSPIRATION

When Marble the Chelton family’s male Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel urged me to take over his comedy blog, I didn’t fully know what an undertaking it would be for a Yorkshire girl like me, especially since I had no writing experience to draw upon. Really how many dogs do you know with their own blogging empire who have multiple social media accounts to update on a daily basis? He clearly saw that even with my endearingly unusual undershot jawline and wild wild hair, that I would make a beautiful muse for Mama J’s camera loving antics. He had the foresight to know my poses would one day set the world of Instagram alight. He also was confident that my quirky personality and outspoken street nature would transfer into interesting and amusing tales for his wonderfully creative blog. I salute him every day for trusting me enough to let me take over the mantle and fulfil his readers need for a good old belly laugh.
I’m very different to how Marble was. He was a very chilled clown like figure whereas I’m an extremely feisty northern female who doesn’t take any messing from anything or anyone. From other pooches to aeroplanes flying in the skies above. I defended my Grandpa the other morning from an attacking (I believed it was going to) jet. So folks think Loose Women’s Janet Street-Porter of the doggie world and you wouldn’t be going far wrong.

Now nearly two years on my confidence has grown due to my family’s love and support and I feel secure enough to write every post thanks to being actively promoted to simply be myself. Yes, wonderfully brilliant and gloriously stunning, me! Mama J encourages me to bark out loud and proud, just not when Coronation Street is on the telly. She’s trained me that whenever I want to play all I have to do is run to my toy basket like a cheetah on speed and come back squeaking loudly into the living room with a toy and she’ll be ready and waiting for the fun to begin. I’ve developed my food foraging skills too that go along the lines of, I stare at the plate/my treat cupboard, give a paw then wait to be rewarded with tasty delights from any member of my clan. This plan is totally fool proof and always gets my belly the most excellent of results.

If like me you want to set up your own blog, go for it! Yes, being this naturally funny takes work and commitment but the pleasure I get from creatively entertaining you takes over from the momentary worry of getting writers block. I’ve worked hard at developing my use of the English language and for a dog that’s a real talent that I’ve had to hone here. I’ve learned the art of social media from tweeting to Face-booking and then everything from Instagram to Pinterest in between. I’ve taken my posing for the camera to epic supermodel levels and can now cast a critically self-assured eye over my pictures just to make sure they are suitable for Internet publication. I am boss lady of Mama J when writing this blog and I make sure she doesn’t go too crazy in her censorship of my words. Then I’m boss of the rest of my family too, wrapping them around my little Yorkshire Terrier paws.
So what ever you want to do with your life, if you do it with half the gusto that I do male or female, dog or cat and it doesn’t matter by the way, my advice would be go for it! As long as you have a thirst for knowledge and a passion for what you do, you’ll go far in life! Good luck and thank you for reading my paws crossed inspiring piece of writing about how far I’ve come due to my dogged determination mixed with talent and full on growth in confidence.  Remember you are fantastic!



IT WAS HARRY!

Last Monday my Granny and Grandpa went into the local city centre for a spot of retail therapy and Mama J went for a girlie morning filled with coffee, cake and a good old dose of putting the world to rights with her pals. I was not included in either of these two missions, so I threw a strop and did something more militant than The British Army all over the dining room floor!
   Two hours and twelve minutes after Mama J, just like Elvis left the building she returned home. Knowing what I’d done I thought I’d better show more enthusiasm than usual I dived up at her legs several times, catching her face with my tongue as she bent down to cuddle me. Once she had given me my, on entering the house periodic treat, she turned around to see wet yellow liquid all over the stone floor. “Elsie whose done this?” She asked in my general direction, which was now down the hallway to where I’d scurried. Now I had to think quickly on my paws so as not to get myself in trouble, especially since Mama J had an unhappy look on her face by this point. I replied in my Yorkshire Terrier way, “It was Harry.” I must explain that I haven’t acquired a new furry friend named Harry in the past two weeks. As if any other animal is getting their paws anywhere near my front doormat, never mind over the threshold of it. No, Harry was my Great Grandpa J’s imaginary friend who he used to entertain Mama J with when she was a child. Harry got the blame for Great Grandpa J knocking the Cornetto from Mama J’s hands on an afternoon walk, then for getting them lost for hours on end resulting in a severe case of sun stroke! I figured that surely Harry could take the blame for my wee Monday morning misdemeanour. Great Grandpa J and his Harry were seen as an eccentric “pairing” back in 1988 but these days I reckon Great Grandpa J might have been offered cognitive behavioural therapy at least for creating such a naughty character to blame his entertaining antics on.
   Anyway Harry went down a storm with Mama J as my very sharp and witty answer rewarded me with a large cuddle and another walk that afternoon. She’s such a soft touch. I thank my family for telling me tales of Harry, as he got me out of a sticky and awkward spot there.

Mama J got her own back on me. Don’t worry folks she didn’t pee pee on the floor then make me clear it up. No, it was a far worse “treat” than that. Her and Grandpa took me to the Vets for my booster and I was on a warning to be on my best behaviour before we got there. This was all because Granny had heard a rumour that veterinary royalty had joined the practice, this was in the form of Julian Norton from The Yorkshire Vet.
   I was given an extra brush before I went to make sure I was presentable and camera ready should a film crew be in attendance when we arrived. Sure enough when we got into the waiting room there were signs all around the reception area saying that Channel 5 were filming there that day and to call a telephone number if you didn’t wish to be filmed. Mama J and Grandpa looked at each other and then gritted their teeth in anticipation of a microphone being thrust in their faces. However there was no camera crew in sight at the point in which I entered the treatment room and was greeted by a lady Vet and not the star of the show, Julian. Honestly I want a refund, they told me this was my big television break! First The Yorkshire Vet then five nights a week on Emmerdale! I’ve been bloody robbed of stardom!
   Once in the room the Vet tried her best to make “friends” with me. However as I’ve told you before I think The Speakman’s need to be given a call to try and sort out my PTSD teeth related traumas before I ever make mates with any Vets. She tried to offer me a biscuit which I turned my nose up at and then she tried coming at me from behind Grandpa’s back with the needle to see if she could quickly inject me with my inoculation without me even realising. All attempts failed and I had to be Hannibal Lecter-ed in the end with an extremely fetching muzzle. Once she’d given me my jab I gobbled up the biscuit that Grandpa had placed on the floor in front of me and then ran towards the door for freedom.
   As we were leaving the Vets we saw a pick-up truck with a few people stood around taking notes and then yes you’ve guessed it, Julian was there giving a speech to these people who were obviously student Vets. Mama J and Grandpa rushed me up the road as in the back of the truck was a sheep that they thought I might “start on”. Well, anything to get on the telly! Any publicity good or bad is fine by me in my quest for fame!



CREATING A CHRIS FOUNTAIN OF KNOWLEDGE

So instead of blowing on a party horn where a piece of rolled up paper comes bolting out, I’m going to give a noisy squeak on my new ginger bread man toy and say, “Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018!” If you are anything like myself and my family, you’ll be all partied out and ready to curl up on the sofa for the rest of January with a large dose of The Voice UK and Dancing On Ice for company. 
   I must point out that Dancing On Ice’s return to our television screens was met with some trepidation on Mama J’s part, as it’s a very touchy subject indeed. No, Mama J doesn’t want to become an overnight celebrity sensation and is dreaming of swirling around the sub-zero studio floor. I really don’t think A&E could cope with all the disasters that would unfold with her being paired up with ice skates, trying in vain to learn to the dance steps in a skating show piece routine. The truth is Mama J just can’t move on from the fact that Chris Fountain was beaten by Suzanne Shaw in the 2008 final! Yes, folks that’s a whole ten years of Mama J ranting that the wrong person won the show. According to Mama J all Suzanne did was fly around like Tinker Bell instead of skating. ITV bringing the popular programme back hasn’t helped my families ears, as it’s just intensified the moaning to a red hot fever pitch level that would melt the polar ice caps never mind the studio ice rink where the programme is transmitted from. Oh dear if the right person in Mama J’s humble opinion doesn’t win this year I fear Holly, Phil, Chris, Jayne, Jason and Ashley will be getting unimpressed tweets galore. Well, Ashley Banjo might get more favourable ones though as Mama J does think he’s rather tasty on the looks front and wouldn’t wish to upset him in any way.
So Mama J has taken to 2018 like a duck to water. On January the first she was like a woman on a Bear Grylls style mission, sorting out cupboards and paper files. First the bedside table next job the world!
   With this spring cleaning attitude in full flow Mama J decided to take Granny and Grandpa’s wise and worldly advice and spring clean her brain cells as well, by taking advantage of some of the online courses that were on offer at generously discounted rates. Off she went up the stairs to see what she could find to study. Firstly she found a course on crystals and clairvoyance. Now I do think Mystic Mama has a very cool ring to it but I think Mama J would prefer watching Julia Roberts in Mystic Pizza much more than learning about future ventures that probably won’t ever take place. Looking into my crystal ball I reckon there maybe more worthy things to spend your hard earned cash on and could be more profitable long term Mama J, like a lottery ticket for example. 
   Next came a course in sign language, which Mama J already has a head start on as a number of years ago now her friend taught how to sign bugger off. I’ll show you at the end of this post as I don’t want you to bugger off just yet.

Finally she decided to try something slightly off piste, no they haven’t invented an online skiing course just yet, she decided to learn interior design. I think the fact that she had divine inspiration in Dunelm when looking up at the ceiling, having ordered a chair already and not knowing what to do as the chair in front of her really was just so much more beautiful than the one that was coming her way. Well, this and the fact that she’s harmonised the look of the bedroom to perfection really swung it for her and created the idea of being the next Kelly Hoppen in her creative mind!
   So Mama J paid the knockdown price of £19 for the Groupon advertised course and began learning about colour wheels, symmetry, asymmetry and Bauhaus styling. She steamed through the course within a few days of her holiday and declared never to use any of the information she had soaked up ever again. 
Not to be deterred and with her newly developed thirst and hunger for learning, Mama J has now signed up for a digital marketing course and is already about to embark on section four after helping me edit this, even if I do say so highly humorous post. I’m going to feel the benefits of this course so she tells me, as Mama J is going to start tweaking my social media accounts whether I like it or not. Now I might just throw a creative diva strop if the courses tips and I don’t see eye to eye. I am the master of this blog and I, just like my Grandpa with his new hand me down iPhone don’t enjoy technological change in life.

Following the marketing course Mama J has had another light bulb, blue sky thinking idea and is going to do a dog training course, then she’s going to impart all the information on to me so I can write a manual on how to train your dog! Oh just think of all the mischievous pooches roaming the streets with their hapless owners not having a clue what to do once they’ve followed the subliminal messages from my book! Feed me treats… Okay whatever you want my beauty, I am under your command! Now waving my paws in full sign language fashion to let you know, you can bugger off now until next week!


CRIMINAL ELEMENTS AT CHRISTMAS

Since returning from her haircut and a very interesting chat with her good friend and Hairdresser, Mama J has being introducing herself to Birmingham’s most notorious residents. Following her lunch last Thursday off she went upstairs to crank up her laptop to get herself acquainted with some very naughty underworld boys indeed. Now you maybe thinking what in the hell has Mama J got herself into this time? Has she joined an online dating site for the most criminal elements of society? A catchy site title could be Arrested By Love. Although if such a website is ever formulated I want copyrights, as people you read it here first that possibly jail birds have hearts to fill with love too. Um ah okay so we could just be pushing the boundaries here a little too much here. No, please don’t worry Mama J has just started watching the hit television series Peaky Blinders.
   On first tuning in Mama J’s initial analysis to Granny was that, “Tommy Shelby is far too good looking to be a gangster. He looks like a bloody model!” Mama J said she was looking forward to Tom Hardy joining the cast in series two as he looks a bit rougher around the edges and Mama J reckoned he’d be more capable in a dust up situation. Granny who has watched all the episodes of Peaky Blinders reassured her that Cillian Murphy was more than up to the gangster task and as Mama J has progressed through series one she can now see this too. I’m sure the Casting Director is breathing a sigh of relief that Mama J is happy with the job he’s done in casting the wonderful and yes extremely good looking Cillian.
Now Mama J’s gangster knowing credentials are quite high as she once met The Krays… Actor Martin Kemp when he was doing a personal appearance in a local nightclub. At the time Martin was playing another shady character in the form of Eastenders, Steve Owen. Mama J says Martin Kemp is charm personified. In fact she says the following lines every time he is on the telly, “I met Martin kemp and he was utterly lovely. Such a nice and charming man!” So yes that was every time the SCS advert came on the television with Martin posing dutifully on the sofas and earlier this year, every time he appeared on the BBC talent show Let It Shine alongside (now cue my X Factor voice over impression) GARY BARLOW!
She has also met another screen gangster in the form of Emmerdale star Cain Dingle, Actor Jeff Hordley who according to Mama J, was also an extremely charming man too. This event took place in the same nightclub that she met the utterly lovely Martin which happily for the soap police has now shut down.
Speaking of gangsters, I actually think I could be a doggie version as I run my manor with an iron paw and a bark so fearsome that other dogs run the other way when I go out for my twice daily strolls around my gaff. I have developed such a large reputation around my village that everyone politely but nervously kept asking Mama J how I was doing when she attended a neighbour’s Christmas party at the weekend. That’s it, be nice to my Mama J and no pooch or person will get hurt. I’m smiling as I’m typing this as I’m a big softy when I’m at home, honest.
So all that is left for me to do is to say thank you so much for following my fun filled antics this year and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’ll be back in January to tell you all about my festive activities.

CREAM OF THE MANIPULATING CROP

Well, I can’t believe it’s three years on Friday since my grand master plan came into full fruition. This plan was to get myself out of the RSPCA’s care and into a loving forever home. Boy did I do it in style when the Chelton’s spotted my picture on the charity’s website! I gave them all a sign of the manipulation that was to come as I danced around them all in the centre’s socialisation room. One by one jumping up at their legs then onto their laps and licking their ears and even making friends with their other extremely amicable pooch, Marble. I was in love with my new, ever so caring family straight away and fortunately for me the feeling was very much mutual.
   Fast forward three years and sadly we’ve suffered the loss of Marble along the way, however I’ve more than filled the void and provided entertainment and laughter throughout the journey. I have also honed my diva behaviour to fever pitched levels of which I’m going to unashamedly tell you all about right now. Is there a Priest around these parts as I need to go into confessional mode?
My day starts off with a walk that I try in own way to control the length of depending on the  temperature and precipitation levels. If it’s too cold then I don’t want to be out too long, as even though I’m wearing a coat fit for a doggie queen I get the shivers. Nobody likes to feel like an iceberg without land being ahoy! Too hot and I end up lapping my tongue out for an hour after my return. Panting too much reminds me of Mama J when Idris Elba comes on the telly! Very uncool Mama J, he’ll never ask you out if you drool like a Bloodhound. Too wet and muddy and my beautiful pedicure (okay I’m a dog and I haven’t had a proper pedicure just yet but hey a trip to a doggie grooming salon could be next on my diva hit list) gets ruined, as I’m licking grit and mess out from between my paws. Think the beach and sand between your toes people and you can feel my daily pain.

Then comes my meal times or should that be my left over tit bits times, where I’ve taken to not leaving the kitchen until the last bit of Fairy Liquid is dried off the dishes. I don’t want to miss a morsel of food do I? I used to go back in the living room and lay on my cushions while the washing up was done but I realised that either staring at the plates or at my biscuits cupboard really does get me the most wonderful results. These are akin to that of the treats that the winning team on The Apprentice gets from Lord Sugar. 
   Also one of Mama J and Granny’s favourite meals is sharing portion of nachos with lots of yummy melted cheese on top. Now cheese is something that I’ve become increasingly partial too over the years I’ve lived here. So much so that as soon as I hear the sound of the fridge door go followed by the rustle of the tin foil wrapping I have to be in attendance in the kitchen, just to see if my charms work with Granny to get my lips round a tasting of grated Double Gloucester.
On an evening I’ve also taken to trying to muscle my staff off my favourite cushions whilst we sit and watch the soaps on TV. I could actually take part in WWE as my nose is that good at wrestling Mama J from the right hand side of the sofa. I’ll have to think of a suitable wrestling superstar name. Answers on a postcard people if you can come up with anything interesting.

At bedtime I’ve started causing problems for my family if my bedroom routine is thrown off course by their ill preparedness. Mama J goes upstairs and prepares for bed, however if she isn’t quite in bed ready for me to run in at 10pm, then I show my full on disgust by leaving the room and sitting at the top of the landing crying. Also if Granny doesn’t follow me upstairs and decides to stay down to watch the end of a programme, then follows another stroppy moment that would make Kevin and Perry look angelic.
   Once I’ve left Mama J’s room and I’m on Granny and Grandpa’s bed for the duration of the night I demand cuddle time with my favourite member of my family, Grandpa. Now if Granny wishes to interfere with this moment then I give her a fight winning standoff stare. I become the female equivalent of Anthony Joshua at a pre-boxing match weigh in or Clint Eastwood in his Dirty Harry heyday.
So that’s it for my confessional and for next year I think my resolution has to be that I’ll be even more effective in getting what I want in the cutest manner possible. So to my gorgeous family, expect even more jumping up legs and onto your laps followed by lashing of ear licks. I know you love me and feel safe in the knowledge that you wouldn’t have me any other way. 

CHANGING ROOMS

To my regular readers, please except not my but Mama J’s most humble apologises for her lack of editorial input last week. She is on her hands and knees as my paws tap frantically along the keyboard, begging you for forgiveness for her being a total no show blogging wise. If I went totally freelance I would cause an international incident bark/typing wise so I need Mama J’s steady hand on the word guidance front.
   Now for the reason why she wasn’t available. Was she out making a difference in society? Helping her friends perhaps? Caring for animals that weren’t even me? Well, that last one better not be true otherwise we’ll be having stern words once this is pawed. No, Mama J was letting her creative juices flow in her bedroom. Please Mama J will you stop trying to conjure up images of Idris Elba naked in your bedroom! Sorry love but unless this blog becomes world famous it really isn’t going to happen… Oh bugger she’s getting a bit teary now, I better stop with my extremely harsh impression of Strictly Come Dancing Judge Craig Revel Horwood and tell her she’s fab-u-lous!

Mama J decided the other Monday night, right in the middle of Coronation Street that she fancied a change of look. This was bedroom wise and not hair cut wise, which was getting to be a standard occurrence most times she was booked in for a trim, until she decided that long flowing locks were the order of the hairdressing day. So she set about single handedly saving the interior design world one quilt cover, towel set, picture print and chair at a time! Now Mama J had a bedroom that made Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat look positively dull. Changing Room’s Designer Laurence Llewelyn Bowen would’ve being so proud as there was a manically coloured chair that matched or well really didn’t, her even more manically coloured bedspreads. Yes, bedspreads really is what the old girl calls them, like something out the 1950s. Mama J they are duvet covers, please will you just get with the times. Anyway you can see why I didn’t want to spend the full night in there and retreated to Granny and Grandpa’s room. It was like sleeping in Austin Powers groovy baby boudoir.
   She then started looking for inspiration, we could all do with a bit of that with Mama J’s high fluting ideas and found it on Pinterest, which became her go to creative ideas guru. It was decided that her room was going to be calming shades of grey and yellow. Then her mission which she very much did choose to except was to find a grey chair, which she managed to source on Dunelm’s website. After choosing an absolute beauty of a chair and ordering it and then finding some bedspreads sorry duvet sets to blend her grey and yellow vision, Mama J and Granny set off in search of towels, so there was a greater flow of continuity into her en-suite.
   She found two sets of towels, one grey and one yellow and began wandering around the Dunelm store to see what pictures they had in stock. En-route Mama J and Granny had to walk through the chair department and spotted a beautiful grey chair that wasn’t on their website but was actually on sale in store.
Mama J’s eyes welled up, think Bambi when his mother was killed but not quite as drastic of course, as she sat in this perfectly stuffed seat. Her bum had never felt such cushioning she was exclaiming to Granny as she sat and looked to the skies, well the shops ceiling for divine intervention or a customer services number to cancel her existing order. Mama J initially walked away from the chair and round to the picture department but was so distracted that she couldn’t concentrate on the array of wonderful prints that were on display. As she went back to have another look at the chair, she said to Granny that she would have to take a cushion and turn it into a feudal stick Jet from Gladiator’s style should anyone dare to try and purchase the gorgeous grey chair. The chair was still there as Mama J glared at anyone who passed it and looked in its direction. She made an extremely speedy purchase and then made a very simple telephone call to cancel her previous Dunelm order. The world of Mama J was an ecstatically happy place, as has been her bottom sat on its new throne.

Lastly she needed to find some pictures for her bathroom area, as she felt multicoloured cars weren’t really a racing vision in her mind anymore. At first she was going to go with inspirational quotes such as lines from the movie Rocky. However starting her morning with a wee and the words, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place…” Wasn’t really the way to go. Although I do know this speech revs itself up to be very motivational towards the end of the quote. Also she didn’t go with an Audrey Hepburn quote, as she thought that when she entered her bathroom in the morning with her hair all dishevelled, she didn’t feel she could ever pull off the grace and beauty that Audrey possessed. Now come on Mama J, you are awesome too!
   It was decided that she would purchase some extremely quirky dog photographs that even I couldn’t have pulled off modelling wise.
They really finish off the area perfectly as did repainting her barometer from turquoise to a dark grey. I do question her ever getting into an eBay bidding war (yes it really did happen) over her barometer, as Mama J can just open her curtains and have a peep out of the window to see what the weather is doing but creatively it does look quite cool and stop her from getting down and groovy to the not so trendy national shipping forecasts just yet. That Grandma move could be coming anytime soon from her though!


REINVENTION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, ONE POLO BEAR AND PUDDLE BIKE AT A TIME!

This week I bring you tales of the unexpected from the inner workings of not my creative mind but that of Mama J’s crazy brain. Last week saw President Trump’s two favourite words added to The Collins Dictionary. Yes, poor Donald with his very large inferiority complex thinks that everything written about him is in fact “fake news” actually managed to obtain the kudos of having these gems added into the famous book of words. Bless him he really needs to see a Therapist and realise that not all the world is against him but just a few mild mannered people who mean the human race no harm whatsoever! Okay I better stop stirring the pot here otherwise I’ll be on the receiving end of a Twitter tirade telling me I’m a phoney Yorkshire Terrier, which is never a good thing to aspire to be and also causing a global incident. It’s just like your average week on The Real Housewives Of Cheshire in Donald’s international world of bother causing.
Well, Mama J not only invented two brand spanking new words but also a new animal and a new method of transportation to boot. Who said you can’t reinvent the wheel?
   The first word came about when she was groaning about her legs aching slightly. Granny pointed out that other people in the world were suffering more and to spare a thought for Ed Sheeran. This is multi-millionaire Ed Sheeran with all his wonderful array of musical talents? Why would Mama J need to be concerned about Ed? Granny then went on to inform Mama J that Ed had recently fallen off his bike and broke both his arms, which for a touring guitar player and of course singer might not go down to well with the paying public who are expecting him to give a full on “turn”. Mama J enquired, “Was it a motor bike or a puddle bike?” Granny looked bemused and my head shot up from her lap as she asked, “A what? A puddle bike? What the hell is a puddle bike?” Come on now guys you were all thinking I’d made a typo error there weren’t you? At first though I think Granny thought a puddle bike was a new type of bike, you know like a BMX, a Chopper or a mountain bike. When in fact Mama J actually got tongue tied and just meant a pedal bike!
The next new word came about last night when we were all sat watching the very excellent Blue Planet 2 and Granny dared to question some of the facts that Sir David Attenborough was coming out with. “How does he really know that? How do they create new creatures every time this programme is on? Do you think they set some of it up in an aquarium?” With that Mama J recalled, “Oh yes like when they filmed those Polo Bears in that zoo!” Granny nearly choked on the wine she was trying to drink and yes my head shot up again and looked at Mama J for her incorrect usage of the English language. A Polo Bear? Now I’ve heard of the game of Polo and my head was on horse back, galloping along with my hair blowing gently in the breeze by this point but Granny obviously interpreted it slightly differently and asked, “Do these bears have holes in their middles?” This conversation was getting more bizarre by the second however then I cottoned on that they might be bears that leave your breath smelling minty fresh too! Answers on a postcard if you know what I’m talking about here.
All in all with the fireworks then Blue Planet 2’s eerie music that made the Jaws soundtrack sound like Frozen my karma was truly shattered last night. It’s time for a relaxing rest on the sofa this morning.