THE BARBER, THE PINK COAT & MRS BROWN'S CARDIGAN TOO!

This morning so far I’ve had to be strapped into my Barber-esque coat to brave the elements of Storm Katie. What a walk Grandpa and I had, it was bracing to say the least. A question now, why is it that since naming the wind and rain as an actual persons name have they been ever so severe? In the olden days it would have been an answers on a postcard job but now I think I may tweet the lovely BBC Weather Presenter Carol Kirkwood to see if she know the answer to my burning question. Following our walk Grandpa gave me a bath in the sink. Mama J is reluctant to lift me to sink height just in case she mistakes me for a rugby players ball and makes an attempt at scoring a “try” with me. Wise move Mama J as I don’t think a plaster cast is a look I really want to go for to finish off the Easter period.

So after making Mama J and Granny so proud the other week when I visited my Great Granny. Oh it was like I’d won first prize at Crufts with Mama J cooing to anyone who’d listen about my outstanding behaviour. I’m taking a bow here while typing this post. I was allowed back for a repeat visit last Thursday. Again I barked with pure anticipation as we drove passed McDonald’s. I’m going to be cheeky here and say that if I mention McDonald’s every time we go to visit Great Granny, one day I may just get a free Happy Meal for my keen promotional activities. Well, it’s worth a shot. Does anyone know whether the toys in the Happy Meals squeak? That is the big question for a noise loving pooch like me. When we got to Great Granny’s house, Granny just dropped Mama J and I off while she took Great Granny to her doctors appointment. I got a little agitated even though Mama J tried her best to calm me down singing to me. Well, is there any wonder I was agitated with Mama J’s dulcet tones bellowing in my ears. After five minutes of me whining for her to shut up Mama J interpreted my cries as, “I want to go out for a walk!” and proceeded to put her Yorkshire Terrier scarf (I wonder who inspired that purchase), coat and shoes on followed by my harness and lead. She then thought that seen as I was getting more and more excitable by the second that she better travel with pooh bag in tow and started fishing around Great Granny’s under sink cupboard. She pulled out the most massive pedal bin bag you’ve ever seen and stuffed it in her coat pocket. I’m only a little Yorkshire Terrier, just how much pooh does Mama J think I can produce? We set off to explore the estate surrounding Great Granny’s bungalow and sure enough after a few scent leaving wee wees from me (Mama J went in the toilet before we left) the excitement got to much and I squatted and did a pooh. Mama J being my ever so conscious owner pulled out the pedal bin liner and after what seemed like five hours later, I told you it was a giant bag to find the bottom of, scooped up my delicate offerings. As we proceeded to march on around the area some more, I looked up at Mama J who had an inquisitive but horror filled look on her face. She stopped swinging the pooh filled bag and turned to me and said, “I hope this bag doesn’t have air holes in it like supermarket bags!” I know I’m a dog and when I’ve got to pooh I’ve got to pooh but I did feel for Mama J when she made that statement as she was wearing a pastel pink coat (where was her dog walking Parker coat when she needed it), like the ones in the all the fashion magazines at the moment and well pooh stained is never in fashion is it? We did a photo shoot this morning to show you all the impracticalities of this beautiful (non stained may I add) pink coat when dog walking. We are not auditioning for the Yorkshire version of The Only Way Is Essex with our strolling outfits! Fortunately for Mama J the bag had no leakages and we made it back to Great Granny’s for a brew, a well earned rest and me sending Great Granny’s table lamp flying in my window watching activities. Oh dear how I ran to Mama J to protect me from a telling off. 
Mama J got her pink coat a few years ago now but she believes she inspired Topshop’s crocheted jumper this season as she used to have one when she was a teenager. In fact she believed just like Banana Man and Super Ted that this jumper had special lucky powers. Well, I guess some people have lucky “pulling” pants so why not a jumper? This superstition was first founded when Manchester United were winning every competition going, those were the days! Now I think Wayne Rooney should maybe get Coleen to buy or knit if she feels inspired him a crocheted jumper for him so United can get back to their winning ways next season. However I must tell you that Mama J hasn’t always being the village’s answer to Kate Moss. She once purchased a cosy pink Fair Isle cardigan from Miss Selfridge for the winter months and was then watching the Christmas edition of Mrs Brown’s Boys and spotted Agnes Brown in her cardigan, see picture below. The BBC’s costume department had added some quirky pockets but it was that cardigan! Granny was watching the episode too and ordered Mama J to put it in the next charity bag for fear of embarrassment (to her not Mama J). Oh well even fashion icons need a day off every once in a while!
I stayed with Grandpa yesterday to provide inspiration for his latest painting. Mama J his Marketing Manager has advised him to paint a few more then either set up an eBay/Etsy shop or contact local galleries to sell his work. I better get a passport though as a few of his creative ideas are set in Paris and Rome and to get the full effect I better jet out there so he can paint me in all my glory. Mama J and Granny went to deliver a birthday present to my other Great Granny and when they came back I could smell DOG on them! They had cuddling and fussing Patch, Great Granny’s pooch. Although when Mama J showed me Patch’s picture I can see why. He’s extremely handsome and I think Grandpa should pop him in a painting too.


ALFRED WAINWRIGHT EAT YOUR HEART OUT... WELL ALMOST!

Mama J and I were abandoned and left to fend for ourselves last week by Granny and Grandpa in favour of the high seas. Okay so I’m exaggerating here as no they weren’t doing a Jane McDonald and cruising the high seas in sparkly frocks or in Grandpa’s case a black tie suit, better make that one clear! They went for an overnight stay to Dracula country, Whitby. So I was in charge of Mama J and began by turning into an Army Drill Sergeant Major. Now salute Mama J and give me twenty press ups followed by twenty sit ups then a five mile run! So maybe I wasn’t so harsh but I was her motivation to walk as I still needed to go out for my daily exercise and toilet activities. I was so shocked but also pleasantly surprised when Mama J put my harness on and then clipped my lead in place and said, “Right Elsie Bear shall we go for a stroll down the lane?” I thought I might need a sit down as I felt a little faint but gave a skip and a jump of encouragement instead (see I found giving more carrot than stick works better with Mama J in the motivational stakes) and we were off down the road both with our golden blonde hair blowing gently in the breeze. As we turned the corner two of my foes (Mama J told me they were friendly but I was having none of it) were heading towards us so I started barking and swinging around like Louis Smith on his pommel horse with Mama J laughing to the dogs owners but also trying to calm me down at the same time. That was Mama J’s arms worked out along with a little Highland style jig! Once they had passed it was wee business as usual until we got followed by a tractor. Another nemesis that I like to bark at and living in a farming community we sure see a lot of tractors around these parts, oh argh (I’m doing my best West Country impression here)! The driver waved at Mama J and she waved cheerily back, “What the hell are you doing woman? They’re a pain in the bloody ass!” I muttered under my barking breath. Well, that last bit is what Mama J says if she gets stuck behind one. Indeed following bikes they’d be number two on her Room 101 hit list. Frank Skinner would need psychiatric help if Mama J ever ended up on his show as her list of grumbles grows by the day. We then passed another quiet dog on the way back up the road whose owner said, “Oh dear she does like to bark doesn’t she?” as I was making loud noises from my mouth. Mama J smiled and said, “Yes she loves the sound of her own voice!” On returning from our evening stroll, Mama J needed a stiff and strong cup of tea to get over the excitement of her first taste of exercise in about seven and a half years. She walked Marble a few times when he was a puppy but then he grew too strong for her when he reached maturity. Well, that was Mama J’s excuse and she was sticking to it. I on the other paw am perfect for Mama J to walk if Granny and Grandpa fancy the odd trip away. 
We had a lovely girlie night watching Clare Balding presenting Scruffts, which is a competition held at the same time as Crufts but for mixed breed pooches. Mama J is searching on her iPhone to enter me. Didn’t she learn anything from our evening stroll about my disliking of being in close proximity to other dogs? After watching that it was time for bed and this is where my protectiveness really kicked in as I was shut in Mama J’s room and I kept hearing noises such as the landing light timer turning itself off, then the heating and water switching off. Each time I heard something I was off the bed to investigate like a MI5 Secret Agent stalking the bedroom doorway. Mama J made the mistake of opening the door the first couple of times I did it and I ran barking as I went onto the landing then down the stairs. I must protect myself and Mama J were the thoughts running around my head. As I did this a few more times and the time was now marching on, as I was marching around the bedroom I could sense Mama J wasn’t best pleased with my behaviour. Time for the paw then lick trick which at 3.05am still worked at bringing a smile to Mama J’s face. Good job I’m so endearing and cute as dogs with less charm skills may have really failed by this time zone. I thought I better not push my luck too much more so we both went to dreamy sleep for the rest of the night. 

It was an early start as Mama J had a 9.05am doctors appointment so my very own Julia Bradbury/Alfred Wainwright (Mama J will soon be rivalling them both in the walking stakes) and I were off down the lane again by 7.50am. Hey whose training who here? Mama J was relived as I did a number two this time. When Granny rang to see how we had done on our morning walk Mama J joyful told her I’d indeed done a pooh! No surprise though as when Mama J was a little tot, she walked into a crowded hotel restaurant and announced the same thing to all the guests chomping on their breakfasts. Some things never change do they?

A NEW ERA.

So Eagle eyed readers of this blog will notice that I’ve taken a three week hiatus from writing. No, I’ve unfortunately not been sunning myself in the Bahamas (although I did go in the sunny front garden while Grandpa was breaking his spade digging yesterday to cheer him on in his quest for weed free soil) more to the pity, Mama J’s £115.70 Euromillions win the other week didn’t stretch that far in monetary terms, especially with our five star tastes. It has been for extremely sad reasons I’m afraid as the Batman to my Robin, (or in my case Robyn as although the RSPCA removed my female reproductive bits I am indeed as David Walliams wails, “A lady don’t you know?”) Marble had to be put to sleep two weeks ago today.
His steroid, vitamin B-12 injections and antibiotics treatment did absolutely nothing to alleviate his symptoms and as he was beginning to be weaned off the steroids he became more and more lethargic and so slow on our walks that a snail even without the motivation of a nice cool beer (apparently they like the yeast) beat us in the 100 metres walk down the road. Marble’s legs were shaky on doing any exercise and he looked thoroughly miserable too. So after a highly traumatic weekend my family along with the guidance of our caring Veterinary practice decided that his obviously sinister condition wasn’t going to get any better and that the kindest thing was to put him to sleep. I decided rightly or wrongly to try and lighten the mood right when Granny and Grandpa returned from the Vets (Mama J stayed at home with me as she didn’t think my dulcet tones were appropriate under the circumstances. Hey I might have wanted to say, “Goodbye” too) bringing in Marble’s stuffed Turkey, Terence and squeaking it as loudly as I could. Let’s say it was a tribute to Marble as it was one of his favourite toys and he’d always bring it to frustrate Mama J. I must explain here why Mama J isn’t too keen on Turkey’s. Reason one she once invited a friend of hers to her 1999 staff Christmas party (see she even remembers the year the event traumatised her that much) and after initially saying he would go her friend rang her up and said he couldn’t go due to having to look after twenty-five Turkeys. He was a Butcher and the birds were dead so it wasn’t as if their welfare was at stake. Mama J was going to do a saucy photoshoot under the headline of, “Would you turn this down for twenty-five Turkeys?” but then thought better of it. Thank goodness Instagram wasn’t around in 1999 as Kim Kardashian may have had some competition on her hands! Onto reason two now. Mama J works in a supermarket and has to take Christmas Turkey orders which the other year came in a little too thick and fast for her liking and she got herself that worked up by the birdies and other festive food orders that she wound up in hospital with really bad heart palpitations. Well, actually it was her under active thyroid causing the problems but she still maintains the blasted Turkeys sent it over the edge that year and caused a six month palpitating spiral. Gobble gobble!
Since Marble’s passing we have had a cull of his larger toys and the ones that I would never play with and Mama J and Granny have donated them along with his bed, pillows and blankets to the local RSPCA. The one toy I did acquire was Marble’s cracker which was bought in all kindness by Mama J one Christmas but Marble couldn’t stand it, so it stayed in the living room draw as a deterrent for any bad behaviour from Marble. I on the other paw absolutely love it as it is brilliantly noisy and squeaks when bitten from all angles. Delightful for my families eardrums! I have also had a morning out where I got to go somewhere different to the Vets. We went to visit my Great Granny in Granny’s Mini. Ah we three ladies cruised so stylishly in Granny’s Cooper S that I almost asked to borrow Mama J’s Oakley sunglasses for cool effect. Mama J only made me bark once when she exclaimed, “We’re nearly there!” Seen as we were passing the golden arches of McDonald’s drive through at the time I got excited as I thought a Happy Meal was in the offing. Then we drove by with Granny giving Mama J the death stare for rocking my apple cart and getting my tastes buds going. I really enjoyed Great Granny’s house and I did a wee on the driveway before entering as instructed by Mama J, as she told me if I wanted to go on more days out I better not make a show of myself. As if! I acted like Devon last nights newly crowned Crufts champion. Congratulations to her and her owner by the way, what a stunning dog and a deserved winner of the top prize. I was in my element especially as Great Granny has a bungalow with a living room window that stretches from floor to ceiling. This is fabulous for a Yorkshire Terrier with a wonderment about the outside world. Okay that’s another politer way of saying I’m nosey but I’ll take it! Great Granny’s best friend Sue came round to meet me too and I got of lovely cuddles there too. Also as well as my morning out Mama J kept coming back from places with toys for me. She’s bought me some more Nylabones, plus a Duck and a Toucan. All in all I look to the skies like Cristiano Ronaldo on scoring a goal and thank my lucky stars that my family adopted me.

Lastly Mama J has put me on Snapchat as it’s all the rage in social media terms with the younger crowd so I’m told. Whatever next I ask you? If you want to follow my “stories” please scan my ghost (sounds spooky I’m assured it isn’t) at the bottom of this blog posting. Thanks for reading this and I’ll see you for more Elsie’s Doing A Comedy Turn (oh what a lovely ring that has to it) next week.