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!