Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Yogi


I've just read the awful news that Fiona had to say goodbye to Yogi this morning. Another beautiful, fun-loving dog, cruelly taken from those who love him by Lymphoma.

He was utterly georgeous, and an absolute credit to his 'human family' who helped to give him the strength and love to battle the disease so courageously. They were also able to provide the ultimate kindness in helping him move onto the next level when the time came.

It's horrendous to know that someone else is having to deal with the numbness, shock, and utter devastation that I went through when I lost my little boy.

There's nothing I can say that will help, so let's all just send lots of love and support to Yogi's family.

Have a safe journey, Yogi-bear, and if a little chap called Prince comes along to help guide you in your new adventure - tell him I love him.....

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Back in Blighty......


I'm back on UK soil, and Tilly is snoozing, upside down, next to me on the sofa. It's great to be back, but I think we've both had a good time. Tilly has clearly thoroughly enjoyed being spoilt rotten by her Grandparents, and I've had a great time in Paris.

As soon as I'd picked Tilly up I took her to her regular morning walking spot, to check the 'pee-mail' from her pals, and have a general blow-out. She was an absolute lunatic - which was great to see. Of course, I know that she's had oodles of exercise and games whilst I've been away, but if she'd been at kennels I would have been ringing them to rant furiously about them not having let her out the whole time I was away! I think she was just happy to be back on 'home turf' and running rings around me again.

She was also pretty jolly at having scored a 'hole in one' oral smooch with a lady who mistakenly bent down to say hello to her. Tilly provided the now trademark 'kiss' - nearly removing the unsuspecting ladys' dentures in the process.....

I seemed to fit quite a lot into my visit to France. Of course, I spent 90% of my time in cafes, people watching and ploughing my way through three books, but I also managed to visit a plethora of bookshops to replenish stocks, a few galleries and a couple of museums. I avoided Shakespeare & Co this time, having decided that it's simply an over-hyped, and rather hypocritical base for intellectually challenged, but pretentious, tourists. I did buy a couple of books from them the last time I was there though, so read into that what you will.....

Instead, this time I visited La Hune, Galignani and Librairie L7, along with a few others that I happened upon by chance - including a tiny English Language bookshop in St. Sulpice, complete with resident tortoise.

I mooched through another section of the Musee d'Orsay - having given up on previous trips, whilst attempting to see it all in a day. I also visited the Jardin des Plantes and its two key museums of natural history and comparative anatomy. I wandered through the seedy streets of Pigale, and paid the mandatory visit to the Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots in St Germain. I was determined not to visit these two cafes this time, having been to both before and decided that they suffered from a similar affliction to Shakespeare & Co, but I did crack in the end. Of course, I spent the whole time scuttering about people who don't even bother to learn enough French to order a couple of coffees, and then wonder why the waiters are rude. My French language skills are terrible, but at least I try......

Now, for some pictures. Of course, I've included only the vaguely cultural ones. It's not as though I spent most of the trip getting drunk on wine outside cafes......

The Musee d'Orsay.

Of course I wasn't missing my rural lifestyle.......

A Distant Relative......

The Jardin des Plantes, looking a little uninspiring!

Outside Les Deux Magots - drunk, hence the blurry image.......

Les Deux Magots, with the Cafe de Flore in the background.

St Germain Church.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Hey Fluffy Pants...


As I type, Tilly is roasting gently by the fire. It's a domestic scene that opposes that of a few hours ago quite starkly. On arrival home from this afternoons walk I wrinkled my nose gingerly, as the most horrific stench enveloped the room. Think ammonia, car-park stairwells, and used nappies. Yes, Tilly had somehow ended up smelling strongly of wee. I'm pretty sure it wasn't hers, either.

I've no idea how this came about, but the large labrador cross she had been playing with remains prime suspect. Anyway, she's been in the tub for the second time this week. Bath-time is not something she enjoys, but she does tolerate it quite well. And of course, it prompts that doggy phenomena of zooming around the house at break-neck speed when drying is complete.

As an added bonus, I get to chuckle at her enormous 'trousers' for the rest of the night. She is the proud owner of a fairly impressive pair of 'hairy pants' at the best of times, but after a bath they become all the more impressive. Tonight I swear they extended a good three inches out from the back of her legs. I'm not sure the picture below does them justice.


Anyway, talking of 'les pantalon grand', I'm heading to Paris for a few days from Friday, so I'll be even more elusive than ever on the posting front. Tilly's looking forward to looking after her Grandparents for a few days whilst I eat too much, spend too much time in cafes, oggle beautiful French girls and soak up some culture that seems woefully lacking in the UK nowadays. Of course, I shall be on the phone every day to see how she's getting on.....

Monday, 11 February 2008

A Bone to Pick....

....with all those who commented on my previous post. STOP ENCOURAGING HER!!!! She was so taken with the generally positive theme of all the comments that she's upped her game and nuked another couple of rabbits since. Thanks. A lot. The gods of Watership Down will be firing thunderbolts at us soon.....

Ball-on-rope hasn't been totally consigned to history though, she enjoyed a good game in the sunshine a couple of days ago. You can see from the picture that she was very much 'in the shadow' of the ruins of Beeston Castle, which you can just see on top of the hill in the distance.

The weather has been beautiful over the past few days though, and I managed to catch Tilly sunbathing amongst the early Spring flowers in the garden....


On a less bright note, I was sad to read that both Herbie and Yogi have reached the stage where the chemotherapy isn't helping them. Thankfully, it sounds like both are feeling quite well and enjoying the unseasonal weather we've been having. Reading about them brings back some really tough memories about Princes battle with Lymphoma. It doesn't matter how prepared you are for these things - I knew from the first time I took Prince to the vets with swollen glands that my previously held belief that he was immortal was going to be shattered. Despite this, the shock, numbness, depair and grief was, and is, unbearable. Lets send some collective love and support to them both - I really hope they feel well for a long time to come yet.

To close this post on a postive note - Maggie, who's also suffering from Lymphoma, is still responding really well to her treatment!!

Friday, 8 February 2008

Bunny Running.....

Sweet? Don't be Fooled....

Bloody hell. Tilly has discovered the joy of chasing rabbits. A few days ago (those of a sensitive nature may wish to look away now) Tilly caught her first rabbit, and she's been intolerable since.

Gone are the heady days of lazily throwing a ball around for Tilly to retrieve, and no longer can I amble along without worrying what she might be up to. Now, the unfortunate likelihood is that she's disembowling a rabbit in front of an audience of traumatised children. Recall has gone out of the window, as a running rabbit is invariably more exciting than me, and the once favoured 'ball-on-rope' is now discarded at the first hint of bunny scent.

As a terrier, Prince was the ultimate rabbit-hunter. However, as a terrier, he also had rather short legs and a typically male 'blustering' approach that led to a relatively low chase to catch ratio. People always say that a good teacher will produce pupils who end up achieving more than they have, and if Prince has passed his rabbitting skills on to Tilly, with her long legs and incredible speed, the rabbit population of Cheshire is in big trouble.........

And finally, we've won another award!!! Thanks very much to AOJ and The Lurchers for presenting us with this award.....

Now - I'm male, lazy, and tired. So I'm going to pinch an idea from some other bloggers (who shall remane nameless....) and dedicate it to all those people whose blogs I read - because if they weren't all excellent, I wouldn't read them!

Friday, 1 February 2008

Awards & New Faces

We've been given another award! Snoutbeagle has very kindly presented us with the 'Thinking Blogger Award' and we're very grateful. It's good to find another beagle blog too!


Here are the rules attached to the Thinking Blogger Award, copied directly from Diesels blog:

1. You must write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think. (No squirrel or cat blogs, they'll just make you hungry.)
2. Acknowledge and link to this post.
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.
4. Tell your humans to fork over the treats!


Now, all the blogs that I read make me think for one reason or another, but I'm going to pass it on to the following people:-

Dogga - His posts are invariably positive and offer a refreshing perspective when you're feeling a bit 'rubbish'. I also enjoy his random rants!

Meg, Nicole, Clara Bow & Mac - Meg writes a great range of diverse posts, and I admire the way that she deals with her illness, whilst remaining utterly selfless when it comes to looking after Clara.

Emily, Maggie, Ellis and Angel - Maggie is another Lymphoma sufferer, but is thankfully doing well at the moment. Ellis is a guide dog in training, and seems to be enormously talented! Another inspiring blog....

Google & Sama
- Google sounds like a bit of a handful at times, and sometimes I wonder how her 'mum' copes! She does sound adorable though....

Chips, Beanz & Carlsberg - I've only just discovered this blog, and as well as making me laugh, I can't get over how much Chips looks like Tilly, or vice-versa. Passing the award on to them seems like a good introduction!

And finally - a couple of gratuitous photographs. The first of 'Trotter' with one of her favourite toys, and one of my little boy in the snow, sticking his tongue out......