SOAP DRAMA OF A SUPER SONIC HAIR RAISING VARIETY

Autumn is definitely in the air and oh yes blowing through my freshly cut hair. Granny decided that it was high time I had my quarterly trim and monthly bath. However I did quite enjoy looking like a member of Bon Jovi in the 1980s, crank the music up and I’m living on a prayer with lovely Jon! Now I say monthly bath however I last had one just before my holiday (yes the one that got ruined by Mama J’s childish rocking bed antics that weren’t fresh from the pages of Fifty Shades Of Grey) to the Lake District back in July. Although just so you don’t all think I’m some sort of doggie shampoo dodger, I do have almost daily dips in the kitchen sink just to keep my furry legs and my feminine areas clear of mud and other roadside obscenities. We live in a farming community I’ll let you guess what I’m talking about when I say obscenities. Oh my life is so full of glamour!
Mama J knows it is autumn too as her evening televisual entertainment just got cranked up a few hundred notches. She’s started drawing up a very studious spreadsheet on the computer as her brain is getting frazzled with the planning guide of what to watch and then what to tape. Eh don’t I sound old? Tape, sorry I mean record on the Freeview box. That or I’ll be going old school and getting myself on eBay to look for a Betamax video recorder that looked like something out of Star Wars. Oh with all his fine tutorship my Grandpa must be so proud of the furry granddaughter I’ve become in sourcing antique electrical items for his to reminisce over. Mind you This Morning did do a feature on retro goods and Mama J was tempted to buy herself a Sega Mega Drive to reconnect with Sonic The Hedgehog, as well as her youth.
Eastenders had Mama J’s blood pressure raised all last week with a gas explosion, Johnny getting shot, Jane nearly getting burnt like toast in her own restaurant, Bernadette having a miscarriage, an ambulance crash and oh yes Steven dying! My heart is racing now just typing my paws on this keyboard whilst thinking about the catalogue of disasters that Walford’s suffered. I’m a writer with many storyline ideas but one must think they could’ve saved a few ideas for this weeks episodes, there’s at least a months worth of telly they could’ve spun out there minus the sped up version accompanied by Benny Hill music! Okay so that last bit didn’t happen but was definitely a welcome figment in my imagination amongst all the high drama. 
   Mama J did have an offer of an evening in the village pub but please don’t telling the charming Landlord and Landlady, she turned Granny and Grandpa down to stay in and give me cuddles, which is very kind of her but she also wanted to see what happened next in Hollyoaks and Emmerdale. I like the way she blames it on me and my beautiful face however I know there are devious ulterior motives at play. I love her cheek and forgive though as I got lots of attention that evening while Granny and Grandpa were tasting the pub’s latest delicious curry offerings.
Now I’m signing this off until the beginning of October as Granny and Grandpa are going away to Spain for a glass or two of sangria and leaving me in charge of Mama J and her wellbeing. I need wishing all the luck in the world with this task as you all know what a diva she can be. I’ll be looking longingly at her and whipping her into shape again with my demands of three walks a day. Well, who said there can only be one diva in a household? 


WELCOME TO THE HOUSE OF CROCKS

So I have been the healthiest member of my family by an absolute square mile this week. Yes, that’s even with my epilepsy, minus eight teeth mouth and behavioural issues that at times towards other dogs would make the Lucifer look like the Angel Gabriel! Although Your Honour I’m improving walk by walk and day by day. I even managed an even tempered meeting with my arch frenemy yesterday afternoon which sent Granny into glowing raptures of sheer pleasure.
Mama J is still off work with her thyroid issues, violins playing Vivaldi at the ready if you please. Then not to be out done Granny started getting stomach pains and a sickie taste in her mouth. She blamed a dodgy fry up even though Mama J and Grandpa thoroughly enjoyed their eggs, bacons and the works with no ill effects. Ah there’s no accounting for needs of Granny’s fine dining palate.
   She started at about 6am on Wednesday feeling nauseous and went downstairs to get a glass of Diet Coca Cola. Although just to stop me getting sued for my biscuits, I must point out that other brands of coke do apply. There I’ve covered todays legal angle like the doggie version of Ally McBeal. Granny must’ve read a memo or an old wives tale that says fizzy pop is good for a dicky stomach as well as perking up the soul at times. Or is that tea? Anyhow she had her drink and came back to bed to rest with me until it was time for my walk. 
   Grandpa was up for work and had a momentary lapse of brain power (it’s his age, more on that later) and suggested that Mama J would have to walk me when she was up and dressed. Ah the only problem with that was that Mama J had been taking until lunchtime to settle her palpitations down and even if I promised to be on my best behaviour barking and bouncing wise the actual walking part of the walk might have caused an issue. Grandpa would probably have done his days work and gotten home by the time we ventured down the driveway.
   Granny had to go for it! She like Obi-Wan Kenobi was my only hope of feeling the breeze blowing through my wild hair and starting on other pooches in the area. Granny and I went gingerly down the road. She hoped we wouldn’t run into George Clooney as she was make-up less with her hair unwashed and looking a bit green around the gills. We made it out and back then Granny had to straighten Mama J’s bed before crawling into her own slumber for the day. Yes, folks at thirty-seven years and counting Mama J requires assistance with making up a bed properly. Now Granny does have exceptionally high standards, remember we did rename her Mrs Patmore but I don’t feel that chamber maiding would ever be a fine career choice for Mama J. The bed looked more ruffled with Mama J’s attention added than when she had just got out of it!
   With the bed sorted out and Granny safely tucked up and resting it was left to me to be quiet for the rest of the day. Have you ever heard of the Bjork song It’s Oh So Quiet? Now instead of loud musical instruments playing a merry tune when it got to the part where Bjork yells, “And so peaceful until!” I gave my best barking version of the jolly song, every time anybody meandered passed the living window. This was followed by Mama J’s dulcet tones going, “Elsie be quiet! Granny’s not well!” Fortunately for me poor Granny was asleep and undisturbed for most of the day and felt a lot better when she got up in the early evening.
Grandpa, not to be outdone by his girls went off to his karate class and his back told him he wasn’t as young as he thought. He was doing break kicks on the floor or was it meant to be a reenactment of Run-DMC’s It’s Like That video? Break kicking or break dancing it doesn’t really matter as today my Grandpa is a broken man with a broken back. Okay I might be exaggerating a little but you’ve got to play for the drama right? Mama J suggested pilates as a calmer alternative for muscular exercise rather than training to be the next Mr Miyagi. I think it definitely might be safer as the poor man is having trouble walking, standing, sitting and lying down right now! Oh to be young again eh Grandpa? So I’ve got my paws crossed and I’m thinking positive thoughts that we will have reached a turning point in the house of crocks. That or I’ll be looking online for a nurses uniform.


RIDING A TRICYCLE TO A DEEP FAT FRYER FULL OF YUMMY CHIPS

So Mama J has turned into a spending demon of late. Has she won the lottery again without telling me? I say again as the highest amount she has ever won was a very respectable £125, which isn’t bad but sadly isn’t going to have us cruising gangster rapper style in a Bentley. Oh I’m mixing up a beautiful mind montage of Mama J and I in matching Oakley sunglasses driving around looking for hot guys. Mine of the dog world and Mama J’s of… The dog world too! Um that doesn’t sound right however she doesn’t need or want a man anyway. Unless Idris Elba is free to come cruising with us, then he might be permitted to hitch a ride.

Now Mama J hasn’t being recreating the famous scene from Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts goes on a shopping spree, clothing wise. No, her spends have being much more focused than that. Firstly she got the idea of building a tricycle. Yes, she amended the Queen song slightly and wants to ride her tricycle, tricycle! This all happened about two weeks ago at about 5 o’clock in the morning. You can see where I get my random and creative thought processes from now can’t you? She has no prior knowledge of how to build even flat pack furniture let alone something as technical as a tricycle. However at 5.14am she had worked out that she would need to go to the DIY store and purchase some brightly coloured metal paint (well no one wants a dull and boring black tricycle do they) like you’d use on garden furniture to make her creation look pretty but also be weather proof. She’s ever the practical soul! 
   On getting up later that morning Mama J enthusiastically shared her idea with my extremely puzzled looking Granny, who I do believe was slightly worried about Mama J’s 5am sanity levels. Granny then pointed out that you can buy perfectly decent tricycles online these days instead of Mama J making the tricycle equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster. Mama J set about eBay in search of such a thing and found some totally spiffing ones indeed! 
   I must explain why Mama J wanted a tricycle and not a bicycle and this is purely for safety reasons. You see Mama J on two wheels wobbling around the roads of Britain would need more insurance than Richard Hammond needs to film his next The Grand Tour driving experience. It just makes the world a safer place. Oh then there’s the fact that when she was trying to master the art of riding a two wheel bike with the help of Grandpa for stability, every time something went wrong and ultimately she fell off it was Grandpa who was sadly in the firing line with diva cries of, “You’re trying to murder me!” She’s not dramatic at all is she? So you see a tricycle is much better than Grandpa ending up being accused again of a crime he didn’t commit.
   On looking further into these tricycles Mama J found some very cool looking fold up ones that were great for shed based storage purposes. The only factor that stood between Mama J and eventually purchasing one of these tricycles was the dreaded hallway test. Would she be able to get it from the back yard and down the hall without the removal of any walls? The answer from Grandpa’s tape measure was sadly, “No!” 
   Undeterred on her Tour De France cycling mission Mama J came up with another good idea, she’s just like Frank Spencer with her light bulb moments. This was a fold up exercise bike or to give it its proper name a Mini Pedal Exerciser. Mama J armed with Grandpa’s tape measure ran upstairs and measured the section between the floor and the bed and found that she had 7cm’s to spare. She then pressed buy on eBay and her cycling training accompanied by lifting weights began in ernest last Monday. By Tuesday she was struck down with a cold and by Friday she was sent home from work with palpitations and a fever. She’s had to have the entire weekend off work and has struggled with even basic tasks like getting dressed and more scarily than that putting make-up on. I thought Halloween had come early yesterday morning as she was so pale, she looked like she was auditioning for the cast of The Addams Family. In Mama J’s defence her illness isn’t all down to exercising like a lunatic as her thyroid medication has recently being tweaked by the hospital. Even so I do think sitting around watching soap operas might be a safer past time for Mama J than endurance exercising and being inspired by Chris Hadfield to go on the next series of Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? Well, that will be a no in Mama J’s case!
Mama J’s next exciting purchase was a mini deep fat fryer. It is like The Generation Game with me guessing what is going to come through the door next. Cuddly toy anyone? Oh the joy on Mama J’s face when she purchased her fryer was a sight to behold. Just think of the magic and wonderment of a child meeting Santa Claus for the first time. Her delight at not having to eat soggy oven chips at home again was just like visiting Narnia. Mama J has being warned by Granny that she will have to cook with and then clean her chip fryer out herself. However as a thirty-seven year old woman of the world, I’m sure with a showing of the ropes from Granny say a few hundred times, Mama J will one day in the very distant future perfect this trick altogether. Crispy chip anyone?


IT'S PEE PEE TIME!

Remember how I told you the other week about my quiet behaviour when people visited our house? This has being named by Mama J as a chew enhanced lifestyle and comes highly recommended to all barking dog households. Pooches be ready to be tantalised into quiet but yummy submission.
   Well, I’m pleased to announce that my peaceful behaviour has now transcended onto my walks and with other dogs too. It’s only taken me over two and a half years to finally make some friends in the village. Mind you my Yorkshire Terrier birth Mother did tell me not to talk to strangers. Always wise advice to take on board. I’ve watched those stranger danger videos on Youtube and don’t want dognaping from my luxury lifestyle do I? 
   Yes, folks I’ve had something of a miracle epiphany. Was it the bones? Is there something in the water such as gin? Am I growing up to finally realise not every dog is like Jon Voight’s character in Enemy Of The State? Who knows but my family are overjoyed at finally being able to have a proper full and frank conversation without me barking at everyone else’s canines.
   To be fair to me, which seen as I’m writing this, I don’t have to be too harsh on myself, I have got a few firm furry friends in the village already. However these dogs that I’m now ignoring were on my hit list for a verbal telling off for upsetting me in some way, shape or form in a previous life. Clearly I’ve been reincarnated and now have had another reincarnation whilst living my life with the Chelton family.
   Anyway I’m getting told that I’m a good girl, getting lots of cuddles, oh and yes the treat cupboard door should be changed immediately to a revolving one as it is open more times than it is shut. Why didn’t I work this calm quietness out sooner? I could’ve had a full belly permanently!
I thought on Thursday morning that Mama J had won a World Championships medal at the London games, as cheering of a very loud nature came out of her bathroom door and carried on down the landing. Well, sadly for Mama J you don’t get a gold medal for peeing!
   Don’t worry Mama J isn’t regressing and learning to potty train again. Although the way she was clutching her pot full of wee and screaming, “I’ve done it! I’ve done my wee!” did remind Granny of a holiday when Mama J waltzed into the hotel’s packed out dining room and announced that she’d done a poo! She was thirty-two years old at the time! Just kidding!
   Anyhow Thursday’s urine sample was to take with her to a hospital appointment later that day. I can’t tell you what for as I’d be giving away trade secrets. However I will say this if Mama J ever gets herself pregnant and needs to do a sample every time she has a medical appointment, Granny, Grandpa and I are moving out! She kept looking at the tiny pot she’d been given from the doctor’s surgery and at one point was standing in the kitchen, well to put that properly, squatting in the kitchen and pretending to pee into the pot! It was award winning acting in the kitchen that day! She had more moves than the Eric Prydz, Call On Me dance video. I must say to spare Mama J’s blushes that her underpants and jeans remained firmly on. The kitchen based role didn’t require any removal of clothing until she got up to her ensuite, squatted with the pot placed just shy of the toilet seat and then aimed and fired!
   So I’m pleased to announce that the clinic said Mama J’s wee was the largest they’d seen in sometime. Mama J, please do stop putting words into my mouth and through to my paws. Oh and they say men like to exaggerate about the size of their…!   




DO NETFLIX SHOW REGIONAL NEWS TO MAKE MAMA J EXCITED?

Mama J is a very trying (sometimes on the families patience but that’s a different matter entirely) lady at times. Last week this was in a life enhancing manner indeed, or so she thought. Yes, folks that’s where the trying part really took place and Mama J got an A* from me for effort!
   Off she scuttled, like I do when I have an itch on one of my legs, up the stairs to her computer. She mainly watches YouTube videos on how to make me an Internet sensation. Am I not one yet? I’ve only been on with this blogging malarkey for a year and a half now. You’d think an extremely talented blogging Yorkshire Terrier would be making more headlines than hot couple Zoella and Alfie Deyes by now. Oh I sound so bitter and twisted. Someone get me another bone to chomp on before misery really sets in and I can’t even make myself chuckle let alone anyone else with my comedy take on the world. 
   So this time around Mama J wasn’t looking for stardom tips although she was looking for videos that the whole family could enjoy. Oh no please not Frozen again, as apart from the soaps that was the last thing we all enjoyed, sorry fans of Olaf I mean endured there as a family. Well, that’s my name struck off a few thousand people’s Christmas card list for disrespecting the snowman and his Princesses.

On returning from my afternoon stroll with Granny and Grandpa we were greeted by a beaming Mama J from the top of the stairs. I thought she had found divine intervention in life as she almost was shrouded with a halo like glow. My next thought was, have we won the lottery? Oh now what website was that jewel encrusted dogs bed on? It did look so comfy and fit for a Queen like me! However sadly I was wrong on both accounts. Mama J’s excitement was all about signing herself for a free month’s trial of Netflix!
Not only that but she was wading her way through the series of Doctor Foster that she’d missed when it was shown on the BBC a few years back.
   She turned Doctor Gemma Foster off her computer and marched down the stairs, grinning like a Cheshire cat to show Granny and Grandpa how to get onto Netflix on the Smart TV and also show them that she’d given them a name tag each (this is like being back at primary school, I do hope they were sewed into their jerseys) for them to store their programmes in.
   Once she had put all her password in to the television, Grandpa gave Mama J a list of programmes that he might want to watch. It started with Game Of Thrones. Mama J typed this into the search bar and Netflix engine found various films and shows which sort of matched the title, but not Game Of Thrones. He then tried Westworld, where the same thing happened. Mama J tried searching for slightly older programmes and movies and the same thing happened. The search engine recognised the title but didn’t produce the goods. Oh dear Mama J and namely Netflix had instead produced a dud!
   Following a shocked almost tearful look on Mama J’s face, well this was supposed to be her divine and righteous moment remember, then came the ranting of, “What a waste of chuffing money!” This style of ranting went on all throughout our afternoon cup of tea, on through dinner and then on way into the evening. The only two saving graces are that it was a free trial and Mama J really, really, really enjoyed Doctor Foster. She enjoyed it so much she might apply for a job as Suranne Jones’s Agent should she ever need one, as she thought she was top notch in it.
The next day and we had more televisual excitement in our house when Mama J had to retune the Freeview box. I know it’s that little job that fills most people with dread. This however is a job that Mama J quite enjoys as it makes her feel like a technological expert akin with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, for all of five minutes.
     After not reading the bit about how to retune the telly properly and being shouted at by Granny, the process finally got underway. On almost completing it the TV asked (I told you it was a Smart TV, this one can bloody converse with you) Mama J, “Yorkshire or North East?” With this Mama J’s glee levels raised up to fever pitch once more as if she pressed Yorkshire, we may get regional programmes specific to where we actually live. She pressed it and hey presto we have BBC and ITV Yorkshire.
   It was coming up to 6.30pm and BBC Look North was about to begin and this is where Mama J started almost bouncing around the living room screeching at the top of her voice, “Oh I get to see Harry Gration again!” Let me explain that Harry Gration is a BBC Look North (Yorkshire) Presenter and is clearly very popular in our household. In fact if Mama J had her way he wouldn’t be presenting the regional News, instead he’d be sat at our dining room table eating the meal Granny had prepared! High praise indeed for Harry! After years of having to watch BBC Look North (North East) due to arial issues, it was great to actually geographically know the areas they were talking about and the issues they were covering. 
   Anyway Mama J is very pleased with her newly tuned television and seeing Harry again after all these years really is the icing on the cake. In fact she said it made her year. Oh dear she needs to get out more!

JUST CALL ME THE BONE CRUSHER

Granny and Mama J are congratulating themselves in a very self assured, well okay darn right smug way indeed. Oh the smugness is oozing out of their beautifully moisturised pores! They have found a way to silence me when people come around to the house. We have more visits than Piccadilly Station at the moment. There’s Granny’s visitors requiring refreshments of tea and cake. Mama J’s friends taking her away to spend her hard earned money on clothes and some very snazzy and shiny brogues. Then Grandpa’s guests calling in all hours of the day and much to Mama J’s displeasure of the evening too, how dare they call when Coronation Street is on? This to discuss all manners of community business. Oh my stress levels with all these people, there’s no wonder I bark so much!

For my birthday back in June, Mama J brought me a bar of doggie chocolate, some kibble treats and a pack of rawhide bones filled with a delicious meaty flavour. Now she hoped I would enjoy them but the bones have been the absolute find of the century. Anyone would think Mama J and Granny had found The Holy Grail quicker than Monty Python did that day at the pet store. 
   The first time I was given a bone, oh yes I see where the expression of give a dog a bone comes from now, was when our neighbour called in for coffee and a good old fashion chinwag. This neighbour is my handsome furry friend Watson’s Mum and a firm favourite of mine as she gives me lots of lovely attention. She welcomed me into her home and more importantly for my comfort levels onto her sofa whilst my Mama J was at work and Granny and Grandpa were away on holiday. I would never ignore her, however with the lure of the bone I’m afraid my usual loud attention was taken away from her somewhat and transported into chewing and licking. This excellent behaviour from me sent Mama J and Granny’s enthusiasm levels into overdrive.
My next test was on Wednesday when Mama J’s friend came over to pick her up for a spot of retail therapy. Mama J welcomed her friend into the house and Granny made a cup of tea for us all (where was my tea in my favourite doggie mug). Whilst the kettle was boiling I was given a bone, which I ran with into the living room, tossed around playfully a few times to show off my javelin skills then laid down on the sofa with. Mama J’s friend was so impressed with my new found good behaviour that she kept mentioning it all the way around the retail park and at various times of on the hour every hour throughout the day. Now I must say this is the friend that I once weed in the house in front of. However in my defence it was back in the days when my epilepsy wasn’t diagnosed and I wasn’t on any medication. The excitement of meeting Mama J’s pal tipped me over the edge and I had a nasty seizure.

Lastly on Friday, Grandpa had a meeting in the house. Now he could’ve met this man in a pub or cafe, however I feel he had a physic premonition that my behaviour was going to be just outstanding. I think this gives you a clear indication that my Grandpa is very proud of my behaviour indeed. I’ll be getting a gold star next! 
   Granny did have to do some prep work for this gentleman’s visit as we had run out of my bones and the ones Mama J originally purchased were out of stock. She did try me on some different chews however I managed to eat one in ten minutes flat. Clearly I thought I was involved in some sort of Guinness Book Of Records attempt, the chew eating contest to end all chew eating contests! Also I swallowed a large part of the end as Granny was trying to remove it from my mouth, for my safety she said. What? Cheeky Granny I wasn’t prepared to give it up, no way! Anyway Granny went to a different pet shop and found some larger (I think they were for dogs of the Rottweiler variety) than my usual rawhide bones for me to literally get my teeth around. Grandpa’s meeting came and went without a murmur from me and I got lots of fuss from my astounded family afterwards. 

I am now sniffing the treat cupboard door and then running to my vantage point of the sofa arm to see if anyone is coming around to visit. If you are reading this and wish to kindly pay me a visit so I can get another yummy bone, my address is…



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.