SHOW ME YOUR BEST DISCO DANCING MOVES

I wrote so much last week about Mama J’s barmy lake side bedroom activities that my paws hurt and they needed a rest. On returning from The Lake District, Granny and Grandpa decided they needed another break to get over Mama J’s moaning and groaning that there was no place like home. With the loony lady and I safely back home and comfy in our bed, Granny and Grandpa went to the seaside overnight leaving me once more firmly in charge of Mama J.
Following a ride in Primrose, Mama J’s Mini Cooper and a stroll around a neighbouring village it was our teatime. Mama J gave me my Lily’s Kitchen with a bit of wet Chappie on top for good measures then cooked herself a pizza. Now when I say cooked I mean she got a pizza out of the freezer and popped it on an oven tray and placed it in the Everhot. Mama J’s definitely not turned into Delia Smith!
   On finishing her pizza and giving me a little bit of the cheese topping, that may I add is always gratefully received, Mama J proceeded with the washing up and the evening entertainment literally began. I sat down in the centre of our kitchen and Mama J popped the Welsh musical talent that is Duffy on the iPod. She then began crooning or should that be groaning along with Warwick Avenue. Once that song was finished she forwarded the album onto a song named Mercy. This was a very apt title indeed for me and my now bleeding ears. Yes, I’m begging you for mercy Mama J and asking, “Why won’t you release me?”
Once Duffy accompanied appallingly by Mama J had finished, I hoped the washing up was complete but oh no there was the drying of the dishes for Mama J to undertake. Donna Summer’s Last Dance was now blasting out with Mama J giving it her best 1970s disco moves. You’ve heard of ladies dancing around their handbags in a nightclub scenario but I bet you’ve never seen anyone dancing around their Yorkshire Terrier. After that song had completed we moved onto Hot Stuff. Mama J by this point was fully warmed up and was giving it all the arm thrusting moves that were featured in the smash hit movie The Full Monty. Thankfully for people potentially walking by our open curtained window that was as far as she went with recreating the moves from the film! I don’t think Mama J getting herself arrested for making an exhibition of herself even in her own home is a very good idea, even on a Friday night. Anyway I sat there totally aghast and in sheer wonderment at her dancing and dish drying prowess. Her moves are something I can’t ever forget even if I really, really want to!
The iPod was switched off and things calmed down for the evening as we both enjoyed a hefty dose of the soap operas on the telly. At 9.00pm it was time for my bedtime toilet activity. As Mama J opened the back door it was pouring with rain. She managed to get me outside into the yard with the promise of a treat. However I just stood there looking at the door and refusing to do my evening ablutions. When Granny and Grandpa are just out for the evening I’m excused my wee until they return but with them being away for the night Mama J was having none of it. On her boots and coat went and then it was my turn to get leaded and harnessed up. With that we were out in the rain and running down the road until I squatted and did a wee. It was very quick wee indeed as I don’t like the rain at the best of times.
   Once we were back home and I’d been towel dried off I had a mad ten minutes. I ran around the landing joyfully and then rolled my wet body around Mama J and my bed. When Mama J tried to calm me down I went even more mental playing about with my squeaky toy and bouncing around the bed. My craziness finally depleted and we settled down for the night.

The next day when Mama J opened the bedroom curtains all I could see was grey clouds and wet spots on the windows. When Mama J tried in vain to encourage me down off the bed I rolled on to my back, legs akimbo and wholeheartedly refused to budge.
   Mama J tried to tempt me downstairs with a shake, rattle and roll of my biscuit container but I still wouldn’t move. However when I heard the lead cupboard door open I thought I better show willing and ran down the stairs. This time though I had my rain coat wrapped firmly around my body and was ready for some unenthusiastic walking action. 

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

My family and I are freshly back from our Lake District adventures and what a part of the week we’ve had. I say part of the week as it didn’t go to plan… At all! We arrived on Monday and by Wednesday afternoon we were travelling back down the A66 and back into North Yorkshire. Now I feel I must fully explain the reasoning behind our swift and untimely departure from our lake side retreat. 
We arrived at about 3.30pm and after unpacking the car took a leisurely stroll down towards the lake at the bottom of the site. Granny and Grandpa took me on the jetty whilst Mama J stood by the lake bank cooing that it looked unstable and that she didn’t feel safe watching me perched perilously on the wooden edge. Oh she’s such a drama queen! 
   Following a wander around the site Mama J’s first and last Lake District training session began. She had to get back up the hill to the top of the site where our abode was situated. Now you’d have thought she was climbing Mount Everest the way she was going on, not a 200 yard hill! She kept stopping at every speed hump along the road, ticking them off as if she was ticking off her life long ambitions. I swear I thought once she’d reached the top of the site she was going to give an acceptance speech akin with the one Gwyneth Paltrow gave when she won her Oscar.
As we settled into lodge life, Mama J said she could happily live permanently in accommodation like this. She even had Granny looking on the Internet to see how much the lodge opposite was for sale at. Was I going to become a Lake District pooch instead of a Yorkshire lady? Err I think not, as things really took a turn for the worse when Mama J put her pyjamas on and climbed into bed. Was there a monstrous spider lurking between the bedcovers? No, it was even more sinister than that… The bed was rocking! Every movement Mama J made in this tiny, unstructured and unstable bed left her fearing for her life! As Granny walked by the room she could hear Mama J’s cries of, “It’s bloody rocking!” then, “Dorothy was right!” Dorothy who the hell was Dorothy? When asked by Granny to explain that she didn’t have an imaginary friend, Mama J replied, “The Wizard Of Oz! Dorothy! There’s no place like home!”
   After half an hour of rocking and I don’t mean in a passion filled ‘if this caravan is rocking don’t come a knocking’ kind of way and once everyone, myself included was in bed, Mama J emerged from her cabin bedroom and made her way to the sofa. She had put on her orange rain coat for warmth and then topped it off with the dog blanket the lodge site had kindly provided for me to lay on. What a vision! Now I know it’s a Joules rain coat but I do think it was designed for wet walking activities rather than sofa surfing!

Following a slightly comfier night than she may have had in the bedroom, Mama J’s mind was firmly made up, she wanted to go home! Thank goodness she’s never attempted a cruise because I’m really sure those beds would be rocking with the ships wave floating movements. Anyway she set about Grandpa and bribery was the order of the day. She offered him £700 to drive her home which was increased to £1000 soon after. Grandpa told her to stop being so silly and that we were staying until Friday. The look of horror on Mama J’s face lead her to make a desperate search of the Internet for train tables and local taxi companies. This girl really wanted to be in her own bed!
   Once Mama J had calmed down to an almost human manner we all got in the car for a drive around the northern Lakes. Mama J told Grandpa he was going the wrong way when he wasn’t heading in the direction of home. This joke, oh she wasn’t joking, went down fairly well with Granny who was swaying towards going home too but not with Grandpa who just huffed at her. After driving around the breathtaking beauty spots we all retreated back to the lodge for bread and soup and an afternoon of Mama J moaning and moaning some more that, she wanted to go home and asking if it was Friday yet. Oh dear!

It was 4.50am on Wednesday morning when Mama J was startling awoken to the sound of banging and then rustling from outside the lodge. Had MI5 come to bust her out and take her home to her beautiful bed? No, on looking out the window Mama J saw the culprits of all the noise. A flock (well okay there were three of them) of sheep outside kicking the side of the lodge and chomping on the bushes! This was an ambush of a very different kind. Also aren’t sheep meant to send you off to sleep not wake you up from your slumber?
Once the rest of the lodge had woken up there was a different mood in the camp and especially from Granny. She who to be fair to Mama J was wavering slightly the day before, had also decided that this style of holiday wasn’t really for her either and wanted to go home too. It was decided that Grandpa would go climb a mountain. Now that wasn’t Mama J definition of a mountain which was a 200 yard hill but an actual mountain and then once he’d returned we could all go home, yippee!
   Grandpa had a pretty scary experience up the mountain and nearly turned back at one point but managed to calm himself down enough to complete the task. He already had a dodgy hip when we set of for The Lake District and now he has two dodgy knees that he keeps telling us will be okay tomorrow each morning too!

Mama J was thrilled to be home and even more thrilled to be sleeping in her own bed. Like she and Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home!”



CALL ME BROWN OWL IN TRAINING

I’m under specific orders of The British Empire, (okay so maybe Her Majesty The Queen isn’t quite fully briefed on my great undertaking) The Ramblers Association, The Lake District’s Tourist Information Office and medical professionals such as Mama J’s General Practitioner and also her Cardiologist that I must dog nap Mama J and the rest of my family.
   I’ve already started secretly packing a doggie bag, which is not just full of snacks brought back from the pub for me but essential items for my mission. These items include my lead, harness, a few bottles of water, a coat fit for all weather events and some hearty treats. Also I better include a map, compass, first aid equipment and a woggle. Yes, I’m a trainee Brown Owl in the making!

Next week I will turn aggressive not just with the other dogs that I don’t like in the village but with my family and order Grandpa along with Granny and Mama J to pack a bag of essentials too. Mama J will no doubt pack a trunk full of things as if she’s going on a year long tour of every country on the planet. Granny will be in a fret over my pending unruly behaviour but will have to go along with the situation as, well, I’m in charge!
   Once we are packed I will order Grandpa to drive us in his Freelander 2 up to The Lake District where my reign of terror on Mama J’s fitness levels in particular will really begin. We’ll start with some low lying lake side walks to get the heart pumping and then we will try and advance her to some of the higher fells in the area. Mama J and my family will enjoy their tour of duty to me on pain of death!
   On an evening we will stay in a comfortable luxury log cabin as Mama J still needs her home comforts, especially as all the training may take it out of her somewhat. I hope you didn’t think she was going to be doing things proper old school style and staying in a tent and washing herself and her smalls in the lake. I don’t expect her to turn all outdoorsy all at once.

All that remains to be done is for you to wish me the best of luck in my training mission, I’m sure I will drill Mama J and my already fit Granny and Grandpa into supreme fitness. I will of course produce a comprehensive statistical, photographic and written report for you all the read on my return. Dib, dib, dib!

THE SPIDER RUNAWAY

Not such a big revelation but Mama J is now 37 years old. Yes, folks that is 37 and not 7 years old! However she really showed herself up in a very childish way indeed on Saturday evening. She was left squealing like a girl. Now I know she is a girl but well a young female child would have more guts and grit about them than Mama J showed.
Granny and Grandpa were out for a meal with a group of neighbours, therefore Mama J and I were left for a girlie evening in. Sadly we didn’t do face packs and paint each other nails, well claws in my case. We sat and watched the previous evening’s telly of The Crystal Maze and The Graham Norton Show. It was entertaining enough especially Graham Norton’s programme as he always seems to get the most out of his guests.
   Following The Voice Kids it was time to get ready for bed. I know we live such a rock and roll lifestyle in our household. Mama J was in the kitchen when I dashed upstairs and bounced about on Mama J’s bed without going out for a wee. I’m trying to bring some cheekiness into our lives but if that’s as naughty as my unruly behaviour gets, I think I better give Ozzy Osbourne a call to find me some bats heads to eat… Or would a squirrel do as we have plenty of them roaming the trees around here?
   After a shake of my biscuit container and the shout of, “Treat!” I was back downstairs munching away and then out into the yard doing what nature and Mama J intended, my evening wee! Following my ablutions the fun really began to kick off!
Mama J got ready for bed and we watched Mrs Brown’s Boys followed by the BBC News. Everything was going well until Mama J put Law and Order UK on. No, it wasn’t Bradley Walsh’s acting talents that were the crime Mama J was fearing (sorry Bradley just cracking a joke I think you’re a good actor really) but in the corner of the room right above Mama J’s bedroom door sat a spider! Oh no here we go again!
   The lamp beside the bed went on and Mama J flew out of bed hoping that it was just a moth. On closer inspection it was definitely a bloody spider. Mama J got her fly swat out but it was perched up high where the wall meets the ceiling. By this point the little bugger started running and Mama J started screaming in a shrill voice, “Stay there you little bugger!” 
   That was it I could take no more, I was off onto the landing to spy for Granny and Grandpa’s return. Mama J came to join me on the landing and we sat there like Tweedledee and Tweedledum. By the way she’s definitely Tweedledum may I just add? Mama J kept running in to check where the spider was. Every time she cruised passed the bedroom door she made a sound like she was going to get squished by a pending sliding door attack. This kept making me look alarmingly at her, well even more alarmingly for a dog sat on a landing because I was sick of the circumstances I found myself in that evening.
At 12.30am, yes Granny and Grandpa were still missing in action at that late an hour, Mama J could take no more checking and back checking of the spider’s activities and decided it was high time my grandparents returned home. She text them the following message, “There’s a spider in my room. I wouldn’t mind some sleep tonight. When are you coming home?”
   Ten minutes later my spider catching Grandpa along with Granny returned home like naughty school children late home from their friends party and Mama J was allowed to go get some beauty sleep and I was given lots of cuddles for the trauma I’d endured whilst having to put up with a wuss like Mama J all night long. Next time Granny and Grandpa go out, I’m going to become a handbag pooch and go with them!

CASPER, THE BOXER AND THE BODYGUARD DEFEND FROM SNIFFLES

Folks I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I’m going to have to keep this edition brief as I’m very much flying solo editorial wise. Oh this could be fun, I could write all sorts and no one is going to pull me up for it. Do you think I should swear? Let the blogging games begin!
   Yes, Mama J has been struck down with Granny’s cold. Unlike Granny though who is a bit of a silly sausage struggler on type, sorry an absolute trooper, Mama J moans, groans, rings her bell for tea service (nothing new here then for Carson and Mrs Patmore aka Grandpa and Granny) and has to take two days off work just until her symptoms have slightly passed, okay more or less gone.
   I did along with the Vicks First Defence Nasal Spray try to warden off the evil cold spirits by sitting on Mama J’s chest while she was trying to have a coughing fit on Friday evening. I’ll be your female Kevin Costner Mama J and Bodyguard you from the sniffles! Come on cold virus if you think you’re hard enough! Oh I’m getting into this role play act now!
   Following two days off Mama J went back to work yesterday and midway through her shift her concerned good friend and colleague asked her if she was okay, she replied that she was fine and her pal said, “Are you sure because you look as white as a sheet?” Mama J were you trying your hand at an audition for the role of Casper The Friendly Ghost again? Remember how I tried to teach you how to, “Ooooohhh!”and “Aaaahhhh!” to maximum scary effect last time the role came up?
So it was my honorary birthday last Thursday. My family picked 15th June as it’s six months from the date they adopted me. I turned the grand old age of 8 years old, although this is of course debatable with me being a rescue pooch.
   Mama J and Granny popped of to the pet shop and brought me back lots of yummy treats for my lips and then my belly to devour. Mama J was under strict instructions that I didn’t need anymore new toys. Granny and Grandpa are such spoil sports at times. Whose day isn’t brightened up by a brand new squeaky animal shaped toy?
   Anyway they came home with the calming version of Pooch & Mutt treats, a doggie chocolate bar and some chews. I was allowed a chew straight away without even waiting for my birthday, 24 hours later and began to nibble it.
   My handsome doggie friend Watson’s Mum called in for a coffee and I greeted her normally but then was so taken with my chew that I continued to chomp away. Therefore my family have come up with the cunning plan of whenever we have visitors round, they are going to give me a chew to calm me and my over-enthusiastic barking down. A win, win situation all round I think! 
On the actual day of my birthday I was most upset to be left alone for a few hours while Mama J and Granny went to… See another dog! How dare they? The pooch in question is named Gracie and she’s a beautiful Boxer who was staying with a friend while her family were away on holiday.
   When they arrived…Without me! If I made friends easier I would’ve been allowed to go too, they said! Gracie was in the garden sunning herself until Mama J and Granny were safely sat down. On entering the house Gracie who at one year old was the size of a very leggy Shetland Pony then tried to climb on Mama J’s lap for a cuddle. Now I can do the lap jumping trick as a Yorkshire Terrier, build wise I’m fine but with Gracie being a Boxer, there were fears for Mama J’s safety, from yes, Mama J. I just jest, Mama J absolutely loved Gracie and thought she was so gorgeous. Granny keeps saying to me, “Elsie we met a lovely Boxer dog and she was so quiet, unlike you!” Harsh but yap, yap true! However I’m secure in the fact that I know my family love me, just the way I am. Oh I’ve clearly watched Bridget Jones too many times, quoting that line there!



THE DUVET COVERAGE OF PIE EYED MADNESS

Last Thursday morning I made an attempt to make my voice well and truly heard. Now I couldn’t register to vote in the General Election so I did a protest lie in instead! Yes, folks the rain was pitter pattering at the window and I cleverly managed to get myself under the duvet covers and refused to go downstairs when my Granny shouted of me for my morning walk. When she came upstairs to get me she couldn’t help but call Mama J in just to see what I had done. Here for all of you to behold is photographic evidence of me under the covers. See if you will my paw strategically placed just to give me an air of defiance but at the same time calm self assured confidence.
   Now for any other doggies wanting to take a stand and vote with their paws on a wet election day, I’m willing to do a crash course in how to get maximum coverage, duvet wise, anywhere in the country. This could be spread worldwide should uptake be high. We dogs must unite about against the lunacy of our owners and their madness of wanting to go out walking in the pouring rain! 

Mama J took her life into her own plastic glove covered hands yesterday when she had to volunteer to chop up and promote steak and ale pies. Her colleague enthusiastically managed to get herself out of pie gate by saying her nails were painted. Umm some excuse, sorry reason! Especially when beautiful, okay so they weren’t Armani or anything even remotely classed as designer, so let’s change that statement to practical gloves came as standard. 
   Off Mama J went to get a knife from the customer cafe, she donned the ever stylish white hat and gloves and was ready to cut up the pies. On putting the knife into the pies the perils of the morning all began! The gravy and ale mix came oozing out at a rate of knots and Mama J began to panic, she was perspiring from her brow! You see she thought herself and all the store’s customers were in gravy, sorry grave danger of drowning. To her this was a natural disaster akin with a volcano bubbling and starting to erupt towards a township. 
   Mama J realised she couldn’t curtail this pending doom on her own, so dashed to the phone and rang her bosses. They could obviously tell from the tone of her voice that Mama J feared for her life! At once they were by her side and aiding her in her quest to safely chop up the pies and get them into the paper cake holders provided. Mama J, well she was in full on panic mode by this point, so just stood there and watched on in pure horror as her two of her bosses tried cutting the pies but found their fingers were drowning too. Yes, really how many members of staff does it take to chop a set of pies? On realising this plan was deeply flawed, the Bear Grylls member of the group came up with the genius solution of, “I’ll get you a spoon!” 
   This saved Mama J, all the members of staff on duty and the store’s customers from mortal peril. Mama J along with her power tool, a spoon managed to successfully fill the cake holders with pieces of scrumptious warm pie. More to point the pies went down a treat with the eating public and Mama J, now I need to type this bit quietly as her bosses maybe reading this and will keep her in mind for future pie filled promotions, well she actually enjoyed herself in the end. Triumph over adversity! 
Friends of our family came over for lunch at our local pub last week. They bought with them their young son and a friend’s daughter who they were looking after for the day. 
   When they had finished their lunches four year Amelia and Mama J were playing count the dots that Amelia had drawn. On successfully counting Mama J cheered and Amelia looked at her, laughed and said, “You’re mad!” Mama J gave a thanking high five to Amelia for her “kind” compliment. This outstandingly intelligent little girl had worked Mama J out in a matter of hours. Well, I guess there is a fine line between madness and genius!

LOOK NORTH AND SEE, GRANNY COULD BE IN A HOLLYWOOD ZOMBIE MOVIE

So for Grandpa and the other villagers involved, campaigning really got going with great gusto last week. A Parish Council meeting took place, that provided the public and one of the developers an opportunity to have their say. It turned into what Mrs Merton used to call on her show, a heated debate. There was then a local televised news report as well as the radio stations in the area interviewing my Grandpa. As a pure Grandpa’s girl I was beaming with pride at hearing him speak. At first I thought he was in the room talking with passion again about the proposed building work, when Granny was listening to the radio on Thursday morning whilst eating her porridge oats.
   After listening to Grandpa’s radio debut and yes he’s definitely in my top ten, Granny wandered up to join the televised protest group. She said the gaggle of people streaming towards the earmarked field for development was like a zombie cult trying to follow its leader. Okay maybe not the look the group were going for in terms of public relations. Think I better akin that with The Pied Piper of Hamelin instead.
   It was decided that I couldn’t go to the protest as I maybe arrested for breach of the peace. This was a wise move in the end as there were some of my doggie frenemies also there and I would’ve got myself into trouble for barking at them and starting a potential riot. Not really the coverage the group were trying to achieve, a Thursday morning dog fight and not of the Top Gun variety. I feel the need, the need for flying dogs everywhere! 
   I instead stayed at home with Mama J who couldn’t go as she just decided she was camera shy (oh so that’s why she’s always point the camera my direction) and oh yes had to wait in for her Debenhams delivery of more cotton t-shirts. 
   Mama J thought it would never be hot again and she could just get away with wearing long sleeved shirts. She then wondered why she’s been overheating these past couple of weeks. Bless what a red hot, literally at times, simpleton she is! Anyway she’s wearing a t-shirt today and yes folks it’s raining, so please join an orderly queue to assign blame in her direction for the down turn in the weather.

Once the filming was done everyone started appearing down our road going back to their houses. Just before Granny got back, I was sat in my usual vantage point on the sofa arm, like Simba surveying my kingdom. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a lady and man with a very large camera. Yes, this is it Hollywood have finally come a calling! Honestly you write a blog for just over a year and finally a film crew have found me and I didn’t have to move a muscle from the comfort of my own home. 
   With that Mama J and I spotted Granny coming down the adjoining driveway and Mama J went open the door to let her in. I realised this was my moment and sprung into action. I was like Matt Damon in the Bourne movies. I ran passed Mama J and then passed Granny straight towards the camera man and the lady who turned out to be Cathy Killick the reporter from BBC Look North. I danced around them showing off my best shimmying moves, well Hollywood does love someone whose multi-talented. Granny and Mama J apologised for my enthusiasm but they just seemed to lap up my work. If Diversity ever wanted a dog to join their dance troop, I’m available! Once I’d finished my “turn” and to the relief of Granny, who thought I may turn attack dog (well let’s face it not everyone likes the press) I was ushered back inside the house with the promise of sausages!
   Our house and our beautiful poppies were featured on BBC Look North but my star dancing debut sadly was not. These news editors clearly don’t know creative genius when they see it! Maybe they thought it was too much excitement for their viewers on a Thursday lunchtime and teatime show.