Manic Monday

I hear today is nicknamed ‘Manic Monday’ at Wimbledon. Well I’ve had a manic Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I’ve been so busy I can’t remember when I blogged last.

On Friday, in Cove One, we met a jet black canine (mostly Lab) called Boofs. We must have been a comical sight. Small, medium & large ebony dogs, all stick-fishing. It was a challenge for poor Missy because more often than not she came back with an empty mouth. Boofs is a fine strong swimmer so he regularly reached the stick first, especially if it was in water over our depth. I was super at being the first to reach it when it landed in the shallows. Missy had a real battle on her hands but she honed her technique & before long she outwitted both of us & came up trumps.

The next day we met two new tail-waggers. A large, gentle, Hungarian Vizsla named Heidi and (spare me🙈) another Patterdale! An absolute clone of Missy, he, (Freddie) was just a bit smaller & slighter, with a more defined white blaze on his chest.

The two humans went into utter raptures at the discovery of the #twinsseperatedatbirth scenario. Heidi & I had to endure the entire life story of both little pooches as seen through the rose-tinted glasses of their respective minders. No! I’m not envious. Seriously I’m not! But honestly… at times I have to be soooo patient. When the preliminaries were over however, we had an enormous amount of fun, all four of us. So much so, I hope we bump into them on the beach again soon. Heidi is gorgeous ❤️

The following day my friend Hallie returned to enjoy the sunny, coastal weather and we’ve had more of the same. Delightful beach trips & oceanfront exploits of varying intensity; followed by long, languorous, restful spells, sprawled out on the brown prickly grass at home in the garden. That burnt lawn is better than a pumice stone for scratching myself clear of residual sand & seaweed.

Today is another fun-filled day and it’s only 10.30am. The three of us played chip, charge and chase in Cove Three, a wide sandy expanse of pure doggie bliss. Taking a short rest near the rocks I spied my human deep-paddling in the sea. The waves were minimal so I felt safe wading out in her direction. I couldn’t help but notice the variety of seaweed on display. From deeply attached, mucky brown & bubbly, to floating pieces resembling tobacco scraps; from luminous green, mermaids hair to long straight strips of kelp; and all the wondrous crocheted rust and moss patterns in between. Some wafted with lives of their own in the safety of the deep, while others lay stranded on the beach, awaiting the tide that would shortly flow in to reclaim them. When we came across a tiny pool rimmed with a unique looking, blood-red offering we just had to stop for a photo.

Suddenly… I spotted the head of something strange (and I’ll admit that I thought it was a seal) bobbing in the water.

There he was scuttling around in the mid deep when all of a sudden he started moving in my direction. Imagine my amazement when the seal arose and stalked towards me on four legs. Turns out it was a monstrous, thick-haired, crow-black, Labrador who, like me, just wanted some fun & games.

(BTW….One thing I’m learning from these visits to the beach is that what I had thought of as my unique, luscious black coat is more common than I had previously thought. I’ve lost count at this stage of all the black doggies we have met on my travels….)

Meanwhile Hallie scouted around us as we played chase while Missy just kept chewing on her stick.

The obvious music choice for today would have to be ‘Manic Monday’ -extended remix- by The Bangles but maybe something from Seal might do the trick too. I’ll leave it entirely up to you, dear reader. 🎼🐾

Soldiers on patrol

It’s been busy here in dog-blog land since you last heard from me. You see, there is ‘something’ living in our thicket. An intruder so to speak! It has become necessary for Missy and me to stalk up and down its brambly length in a concerted effort at territorial protection.

My human can hear it rustling and is hoping it’s a small bird’s nest in the depths of the Escallonia Macrantha. Little Missy is capable of crawling beneath the bush on scouting expeditions. She regularly forages deeply and at length between it and the wild Fuschia which supports it from behind. Occasionally she sits at its perimeter, absolutely motionless, as still as a statue, listening. These attentive sessions can last for extremely long periods of time. I’m just not able to do that so I continue parading up & down, or sometimes if I think I’m outside her peripheral vision I just plop and snooze briefly. But don’t tell her that!

I would dearly love to follow her almost endless forays (apart from being interested I’d hate to be labeled lazy or idle) but unfortunately, although I wouldn’t describe myself as a large dog, I simply cannot fit. So be it! I must content myself by offering a rearguard protection to the intrepid grafter.

Something tells me a bird’s nest might be a disappointing discovery for Missy. Methinks she would prefer to find a mischief of rats in their den. As for me; I was thinking of a nice spiny hedgehog or a cuddly bunny rabbit. Or maybe a cat with kittens (but not the large, panther-like one we saw a few weeks ago).

So far we are none the wiser as to the cause but the rippling & crispy sounds continue. And so must we. Hour after hour we maintain guard. Sometimes we do a split shift Where I rest and Missy scouts vigilantly along our boundary … or vice versa where I work and she reclines. But if the murmurs are constant we both steward simultaneously. It’s quite an extended hedgerow which doubles as a windbreak so the duties are utterly onerous. It’s thirsty work. And in the middle of a drought no less!!

Missy’s preferred anchor spot is near the oil tank behind the shed. I suppose u could call it the tram line in tennis terms. (I’m learning!!) I prefer a more central role and act as an ace monitor from the T of the service line- or if you prefer plain language, the spot where the pergola was smashed to pieces in last year’s hurricane.

Watch this space 👁

‘The Robin’s Return’ on piano by Gil Dech is a pleasurable, intricate, inspiring tune to accompany our continued search 🎼🐾

Breakfast-bowling on the beach

I got three-quarters way up the escarpment yesterday before she spotted me. ‘BRUFUS! BACK!!’ I heard her call (not so … gently😂). I obeyed.

Earlier she had decided we’d do breakfast on the beach again. ‘It’s like America at home’, she announced aloud as she looked up the expected temperature high for the day. Honestly I wonder, how could she not be bored of that already. It seems to be always sunny in this place since I’ve been here. And shortly, the novelty of breakfasting al fresco, in the sun, with amazing views of Dunmore East, Woodstown & Crook in the distance, a three coved beach entirely to ourselves, rocks of every shape & size, shiny shells of every proportion imaginable to dog, masses of smooth sand, moderate waves & with doggie-climbable cliffs behind … will wear off I suspect.

Missy looked at me. I forlornly returned her gaze. -in a sort of shoulder shrugging style. I tilted my head to the right and telepathised my thoughts in the direction of my human…. ‘have u ever imagined what it’s like to try & eat doggie style, straight from a bowl, on a breezy, sandy beach?’

‘OK’, she said aloud. ‘Maybe not!’ …’I’ll feed ye before we leave so!’ It was a small offering but we had to make do. I guess she didn’t want Missy eating a full feed before her stick-fishing & swimming exercises.

Anyway the picnic-packing for herself began in earnest. Some frozen grapes. A bottle of (bought) water for herself. A jar of tap water for us😛 & a container for us to drink from. Her cereal (a combo of 14 muesli ingredients that Sporty Spice had prepared at the weekend, mixed with milk) in a sealed Tupperware bowl.

The spoon selection seemed to be a challenge for her. It was between a red-handled, stainless-steel, bowled version or one of plain, white plastic. Several times they swapped places in the cool bag until eventually the plastic was decided on.

So off we went in the 🚘 . Two dogs and our human. She carried

  • one cool bag of food & drinks,
  • one doggie back with leads, poop bags, Missy’s stick etc.
  • and a bum bag with keys, phone and other stuff precious to herself.

The tide was just on the turn by the time we arrived. We picked a mini strand between two coves, about 8 feet wide and the full of the beach deep. The magic of it was that it kept getting longer & deeper as the tide went out and the seabed was exposed. Every time I glanced, the water was further away. Later, as we were about to leave, it wasn’t a private little strand any more – just an essentially disappointing, double row of almost parallel rocks. Lesson learned. Perspective dictated the wonderful illusion apparently.)

All along, Missy was doing some serious stick-catching, chewing and attempted burying as I bounded around inspecting treasures & generally enjoying life. I found the most amazing, glittery, honeycombed stone.

Next thing ye know, a trawler leaving Dunmore East caused a sudden wash up on our shore and scared me half to death. ‘Cause & effect’ I heard my human announce aloud. But I was too busy swiping Missy’s stick for a chew, to wonder what she meant by saying that – can’t taste what’s so special about that baton of Missy’s. Very woody if u ask me.

When she whined, (noooo! not the human….), I reluctantly relinquished the stick, by now a chewed up little cudgel, for further throwing. If it landed in shallow water near rocks, I could skate across the slippery seaweed to get to it quicker than the swimming-wonder who thinks she actually owns it. She certainly is proprietary about it. So I hid it😂. Perhaps tomorrow we’ll need two sticks.

Soon it was time for my human to open the cereal bowl. She started with two of the frozen grapes as she rooted, turn by turn, in all three bags … by times frantically … looking for the plastic spoon.

As it turned out she was the one who had to eat straight from the bowl. The spoon was at home on the counter-top when we arrived back to the house. I’d say ‘just desserts’ (her having to eat straight from the bowl) but I suppose that phrase might not be befitting for a breakfast blog!

The song that’s going around my head at the moment is Supertramp’s ‘Breakfast in America’ 🎼🎶🐾

Leisure activity

We were in a darkened room with tightly battened shutters. Three roof windows were cracked open ever so slightly for air and also allowed just the tiniest ribbon of light in, to paper the walls in haphazard, bright stripes. The room was hot but our alien/fan was doing its thing on a low table. My human stripped off her t-shirt.

Suddenly, a large, dazzling light accompanied by an explosion of sound burst forth from the corner of the room. My human was not alarmed by this and by now clad in a swimsuit top, proceeded to plonk herself onto a low chair, elevate her legs and sip a cup of tea. So despite my anxiety level I thought it best to plop on the floor nearby.

A pyramid of colours shot out in my direction. I recognised lots of reds and yellows but other more obscure shades were there in the background. Overall it was so dazzling I decided to close my eyes & snooze.

The sounds were very intrusive though. Lots of cheering, clapping & chanting, followed by tense silences and weird, whacking squawks. Excitement levels varied in the voices of the people who seemed to be describing the proceedings. I heard the word ‘England’ being mentioned. I opened one eye and saw mostly white on the box. Still not sure what it was all about, Missy & I decided to play mini-chase around the lush, cream floor rug. Well, that was nipped in the bud fairly quickly by one emphatic human command.

As I plodded towards the water bowl I noticed that the (now beige) rug had strands of glossy, black hair all over but my human was so engrossed in what now seemed to be balls in the air … I don’t think she noticed.

The box proceeded to explode once more in a hooping, hollering sound which died down more slowly than the previous time. There was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the voice tones of the speakers and shortly thereafter their delivery paused again. I definitely saw a ball from the corner of my eye. Then two feet. And a white line on the grass.

The phone rang and my human had a fleeting conversation. The words ‘World Cup’ and ‘penalties’ were mentioned before she returned her attention to the spectacle on view in the corner. That must be what this is about I decided.

Ages later, what sounded like extended applause, soon followed by music and a change in the body language of my human, indicated to me that whatever it was, it had come to an end.

‘Well’ says she…. that’s the end of the tennis for another day!’

Tennis? Something tells me there will be more of this tomorrow. I might have to get used to this tennis lark.

The song that somehow comes to mind today is ‘Patricia The Stripper’ by Chris de Burgh (…’Denis is a menace with his anyone for tennis and beseeching me’ … etc. etc) 🎶🐾

Rockin’ with my Tribe

I am beside myself with excitement. I have made two new doggie pen-pals. They contacted me in the comments section of I think they live in Cork. That’s all I’ll say for the moment as I relish the thrill of it. Yippee!

Apologies for my lack of blog activity. It’s been a hectic & extended weekend here in dog-blog land. Hallie and I had an adventurous few days. She’s a great one for playing ‘chase’. Indoors or out, it makes no difference. We have some purple rugs on the floor that are brilliant for sliding on. The only way to fool her is when we are at the beach… I run into the water because I know she won’t follow me there (yet). I am getting so brave I now race in through the waves almost unknown to myself.

We had a few early starts (well, early for us I mean!). Seemingly it was to give us running freedom on an otherwise human-free beach. We even brought a breakfast picnic with us.

Now that the heatwave is in full fettle all the bays & strands are bog full of cars from mid morning. So inconvenient for us later in the day when the place is packed. 😂 Some people give off serious ‘not a dog-lover’ scents & vibes. I can sense them a mile off and if I wasn’t on the lead when they’re around I might be tempted to approach.

And Missy has returned to visit me as well. I feel so ‘wanted’ in my new home it’d almost bring a tear to the eye. Missy arrived a full day or more before Hallie left so it was doggie heaven here for over 24 hours.

As much as Hallie loves chasing, Missy equally adores stick fishing. We have the odd barney if I follow her too closely at stick-catching time but I mostly just leap around and splash. I’ve no interest in her oul clump of wood, truth be told.

I suppose I should mention that some humans visited also in the past few days. We had the one I call Sporty Spice who arrived with Hallie. Next arrived Bruce Springsteen (aka The Boss) who brought Missy. And thirdly we had Imelda May Not (the cousin who doesn’t help much about the place). She hadn’t even the decency to bring a dog for me to play with.

Next thing, well what do ye know…? Sporty & Imelda went off kayaking & left my exhausted human alone doing a big clean-up in the house. (She’s discovered that I shed a lot of my black, glossy, hairy coat …daily 🙀).

I realise it’s half a century old at this stage but I think ‘Hair’ the American Tribal Love Rock Musical would make appropriate listening today. G’wan…I dare ya!! Ah sure, have a beer in the sunshine while yer at it 🍻 🎼🐾

It wasn’t fake news..ok?!

Ok. Ok! I get the gist. It isn’t an alien; it’s an electric fan. But bear with me… my belief was genuine. I am still only learning about things like this. Plus I’m relieved to know that I am her ‘only one’! Well until last night I was. And no…I am not hallucinating 😂

I’m almost afraid to relate today’s story in case people think it’s more fake news. Believe it or not, there are now four of us ‘living’ here (not counting the alien/fan). A new human and her dog arrived yesterday evening and stayed all night. They were here before so I’m presuming it’s not forever. Hallie is the dog’s name. She is gorgeous. Already I love her even more than the last time we met.

Oooh! We had such fun chasing around on the beach this morning. We were sooo speedy over the seaweed, sand, stones and rocks. Hallie thought she was chasing me…but I can categorically state that it was the other way around. (A bit like Andreia on the dogsitting day. Where do they get these notions I wonder.)

The farmer’s cows were making an odious racket up on the cliffs. I think they wanted to join in the fun but then their master called them away and off they lumbered on a well worn path in sweaty, single file, & mooing and looing all the way.

The stillness of the water meant it was not as scary as previous visits so I bravely surged forth and before I knew it I was swimming. Hallie was standing on a large boulder in the shallows … being careful and observing my technique. The two humans joined me in the deep, one swimming and one deep-paddling to hip level. (No prizes for guessing which was which.)

Yet still Hallie remained where she stood. The swimmer returned to shore and plucked her off the rock, tucked her beneath her arm and waded out to me. Gently placing her in the ocean beside me, the human released her so we could swim in together. (Sorry to reader Joan we have no photo of the manoeuvres!!)

It was blissful. We were set up for the day. And now after a light, late breakfast we are taking a well-earned break listening to ‘Oh! I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ by Juice Music on Spotify (u see… now I even know where the music comes from!).

It’s special having a doggie friend to play with. 🎼🐾

An addition to the family?

Where once we were two, now I think we are three. He/she (not sure which… so I will refer to him/her as it) seems to have appeared out of nowhere as if it was hiding somewhere in the house all this time.

To my eyes it actually resembles an alien. A huge head on a tiny body. One large flat foot with four toes, all painted in a different shade of nail varnish. It doesn’t move around much but boy does it make a stir. All day and all night! I can’t say it’s very demanding – just seems to sit there on a stool or table looking from side to side and blowing a lot of warm air. I’ve never seen it eat & can’t decide if it’s tube fed or not.

Actually I’m not sure it has even learned how to walk yet. I think my human lifts it from table to stool. Always somewhere close to her so she can keep an eye on it. Sometimes she gives a little tap to its foot. A gentle warning to quieten down I presume. But as soon as she turns away it’s neck speed increases.

I approach it gingerly, if at all, because on the odd occasion so far when I got anywhere near, it just blew rudely in my face.

I suppose I’m going to have to get used to it. Here! See what you think of it yourself!!

At this very moment I’m listening to the Kina Grannis version of Blowin’ in the Wind 🎼🐾