Chopper's Story - the Diary of a Rescue Greyhound
Sunday 1st December - Day 1
I got taken to this new place that these people (I now know to call mum and dad) told me was my new home. I’m not sure what that means yet but it seems ok. I met 2 other black Greys called Belle and Brian who were very pleased to see me and they did lots of wagging and sniffing, so I thought I ought to join in, although there was so much else to see, I just wanted to do everything at once!
There were these brown fluffy things that had 2 legs and were clucking at me through some wire. I looked at them and they looked at me. That’s enough! - time to have a look somewhere else! Mum said I was a very good boy indeed as I really wasn’t interested in those cluckers! She then took me around the garden and showed me all new sights and smells. I didn’t quite know what to do but she took my lead off and I had a little trot around. I didn’t go too far – I wanted to keep them in my sight, just in case they got lost.
Then I was allowed inside. I had a big drink and threw it all over the floor as I thought the floor needed a bit of a clean. Not sure mum’s housework is up to scratch, but I think I can help…..
Then Belle and Brian got dressed and then they dressed me too. Oh, oh, oh!!! I’m so excited – it was time for a walk! Belle and Brian were excited too. Belle is lovely and we sniffed lots of things together and I waited a lot for her as she couldn’t walk that fast. Mum said she was nearly 14 so we had to wait for her and Brian waited too. I like Brian too – he walks funny and mum said he’s got a sore leg from when he used to race like me. I’m quite lucky as I don’t have sore legs and mum says I’m a lovely strong boy! I was very good on my lead and didn’t pull, even though everything was so new and there was so much to see. I think they thought I was very clever.
We had a good walk – it was very very muddy, which I didn’t really like but I loved it through the woods! When we got home, mum gave me a bath. I must have been good as she kept telling me I was and how lovely I was going to look. My coat is really shiny and I smell really good – She said I was a beautiful boy! Can boys be beautiful or is that a bit sissy? Anyway, that’s what she said I was!
Then we all got a treat! YUM!
I laid on my beddy byes after all that as I was exhausted. Belle laid next to me and we snoozed together. I felt really happy.
Then something changed and Belle got really poorly really quickly. She had to go outside as she felt unwell so I went out with her. I could see mum and dad were really worried so I tried to make them happy by showing them how clever I was running round and round the garden really really fast. Mum later said she felt really guilty that she didn’t pay attention and tell me how clever I was but I didn’t mind as Belle was very poorly.
Mum and dad got Belle on a bed and made her comfy and me and Brian laid on the beds next to her. We were both very quiet as we knew mum and dad were very sad. They cuddled her a lot and we all said goodbye. Mum and dad were very upset that evening but I made sure I was there to cuddle and so did Brian. I think we did ok.
It was then my first night sleeping here. Dad put my lovely new coat on and Brian had a nice coat too. He then gave me FOOD!!!! I LOVE FOOD!! Me and Brian were jumping up and down, we liked the treats so much! Then dad said it was bedtime and we settled down on our beds. I barked a bit about an hour later as I wasn’t sure what was happening but mum came down and cuddled me back to bed. I think I like her.
I barked a lot at 6.30 to wake them up. They said I was like an alarm clock but they were very pleased with me as I wanted to go outside. I had one small accident indoors but only a wee wee and they kept saying what a god boy I was! I liked to think I was helping them get on with the day after what happened yesterday. So me and Brian had breakfast. Mum said I was a VERY good boy as Brian had to have his bowl first, then me and I waited like I was told. She said she was expecting me to try and push Brian out of the way but I didn’t. I was a good boy!
Dad went to work and mum took me for a very very long walk. I think she needed to have some thinking time as she put it. Brian didn’t want to come but that was ok. I put my read coat on and off we went. It was quite cold but we walked fast as there was lots to see! I saw pheasants and squirrels and I didn’t take much notice. We went over a stream and I had to go up steps – I showed mum how clever I was by doing it very easily! We then went onto a golf course and I saw a black labrador. OMG let me at it! I couldn’t take my eyes off it! I kept looking back at it and bumping into mum – why won’t she let me go after it? I really want to!!!! Then I saw a golf trolley and a man with a leaf blower. What a strange lot of people they are around here. OMG! There’s the Labrador again!!! I was better this time and we walked past each other in different directions but I didn’t keep looking back. Mum kept telling me how good I was! I was pretty tired by now but we were nearly home. She took my lead off and let me go free up the drive but I stayed by her side. I didn’t want her to get lost.
Then a lady was by our fence with another Labrador. OMG – I was sooo excited! I waged loads and pricked my ears up. I didn’t know what to do, so i barked a very high pitch bark whilst wagging. I wasn’t aggressive or angry but I think I scared her a little bit so she sat down a few metres away. I kept wagging at her but mum said I wasn’t to bark. We are going to meet again soon! Mum says I was really good as the nice people that have looked after me before told her they didn’t know what I’d be like with other dogs. I surpised her by how good I was!
Brian was pleased to see us both when we got back and I was pleased to see him. We both settled on our beds together until we were allowed by the fire when my feet were dry. I LOVE the fire! Mum did stuff all day to keep busy and then left me alone for half an hour with Brian. I was very very good, although I was VERY pleased to see her when she came back and my tail nearly fell off because I wagged so much!
I spent another evening by the fire with Brian and mum and dad, followed by my favourite bedtime treats! I didn’t bark tonight.
I barked like an alarm clock again at 6.30and mum let me out. I had another wee wee accident but mum said I was just getting used to things. She was very pleased with me and I wagged at her a lot this morning. I love cuddling and how she strokes under my chin. I showed her some special stretching today and Brian did it too. He told me we need to do this at 1pm as that’s when she gives us a jumbone and it helps her to remember. We definitely don’t want her to forget! It’s 1pm! I’ve gotta go!!!!
Today I had a bit of a lie in and didn’t wake mum and dad up. Dad had to wake me and Brian up this morning! I’m getting used to the routine of Brian having his breakfast bowl first, then me and I woof my food down as I LOVE my food! Then we go out to do our business and then come in for a nap while mum and dad do their stuff. Mum then took me for a nicer walk today without all the mud and I sent everyone a photo!
When we got home, me and Brian had to go in the car and we went to the vets. It was all a bit exciting but I was a very good boy and met a Westie and a Collie cross and I was very polite and well behaved. Then a Yorkie type thing came in with a very bad attitude and barked and barked at me. So I barked and barked back. Brian didn’t though and I think that’s what I’m meant to do really but it was quite fun to make so much noise! I then met a very nice lady who was the vet and she was very impressed with me and my condition. She was very complimentary about the kennels I have lived in before. She said I had an amazing energy and I should be a PAT dog which mum said was a very lovely compliment as I am such a special boy and that proved it!
Me and Brian got back in the car and went home again and when we got back, I went into the brown fluffy cluckers pen with mum. I had my guard on but Brian came in without one to show me how much he loves them! He shares his food in the same bowl with them sometimes. I had a good sniff and got a little bit excited but when mum I wasn’t allowed to hurt them, I knew I had to be nice to them and I was. Mum said I was a very good boy indeed. I really like being a very good boy as I get even more cuddles than I do already!
We had a quiet afternoon and I showed mum how to roach. I showed mum and dad that last night too and they said I must be very happy. I think I am – I even rest my head on Brian and he does the same to me. I think he misses Belle so I like to think I am helping him as well as mum and dad who I know miss Belle a lot. Mum still cries but I give her a cuddle if I see her do this.
I’ve done lots of special stretching today and I am getting to know the times of my food and treats! I stretch when I think it’s that time – Brian does too and I copy him. We are getting very good at doing it together! We were so good tonight that mum even gave us some spaghetti bolognaise – I LOVED it!!!
I’m going to have a snooze in front of the fire now – I’m pretty exhausted after all the things I’m learning but I will tell you how I’m getting on again tomorrow. Night night :O)
Dad had to get us up again this morning and I went through the night without having an accident! Very proud! Brian’s leg is sore this morning so I just kept my eye on him. He said to mum he didn’t want to walk this morning so me and mum went on a very long walk in the frost. We went to the golf course again and I saw people waving sticks around. They are very odd around here…… The walk was lovely but I was glad to get back as I am worried I will lose my place in front of the fire to Brian! Just as we got back there were some very big black and white things with horns next to me. I wasn’t bothered about saying hello – I just wanted to get to my fire! Mum said they were cows. Then another delay – mum said she thought one of the cluckers didn’t look well and she had to give her some drops. I was very good and waited patiently by the gate to their pen looking through the wire at them and I wagged at them. Mum said how good I was as I didn’t have my guard on either. I was a very good boy and got a very big cuddle!
We got in at last but mum said I had to wait until my feet were dry before I could go in. Humph. I sat on my bed instead. Mum then rushed around the house pushing a noisy thing around the house. She said she was cleaning but I wasn’t keen. It was over soon enough and then she started getting glittery things out of boxes and putting them around the house. I think she’s gone mad. I just looked at her. Hasn’t she just made it clean to them put glitter everywhere? Weirdo.
She then went to get her hair done and was HOURS. I got a bit anxious while she was out and had a little wee wee but she wasn’t cross with me as I was just a bit scared where she was. I was very happy she came back! I was VERY pleased to see her and decided this was worthy of a few special stretches (Brian did too) and I was so excited, I ran up and down the kitchen and round and round. My tail was a bit out of control but she didn’t mind and gave us both a big cuddle and ear rub when we calmed down. She gave us a Jumbone too! I LOVE those!!!
Then she lit the fire and I got straight in front of it!
We had our dinner and I waited patiently for mine once Brian’s bowl had been put down. Mum was very pleased with me! I didn’t want a cuddle though – I just want FOOD!
Dad got home and he said mum’s hair looked nice – he told me he had to say this or he would get in trouble!
We are all going to sit down now and relax, so I will say good night and speak to you tomorrow
Day 6 & 7
I have been a very busy boy these past 2 days, socialising with mum and dad’s friends and also helping dad out with the Christmas decorations. I met mum’s mummy Jean – she was very nice and I could tell she was straight away as Brian got off his bed wagging loads and he hardly ever gets off his bed in case I pinch it! He likes the one by the radiator and I try very hard to get on it when I can but it’s difficult as I like to lay by the firs so much – even when it’s not alight! Mummy Jean gave me lots of stroking and cuddles and I think she liked me – I definitely liked her! Mum told me how good I was and cuddled me again – she does this a lot and I like it!
I have gone through the night now for a few days without any wee wee accidents or barking like an alarm clock. I think this is what I’m meant to do – I copy Brian and it all seems to be good. I get VERY excited for breakfast and I run up and down the kitchen turning in circles but I know that my bowl goes down second now and that I have my own space, just like Brian.
We have been on some nice walks again and there were some very big dogs barking at me – mum said they were Newfoundlands – I just looked at them, I did a little smile to be friendly and I didn’t bark but walked on. Mum kept saying how clever I was.
Mum and dad did the Christmas tree and hung lights around the house and I wore my lovely red coat and went outside with Brian in his black coat to go and help. I stayed close to them all the time and I’m not too sure about going round the garden on my own yet – I’m scared if I do that mum will get lost and I don’t want that. I need to make sure I just check she’s ok every now and again. I did do a very special run around the garden and I made the ground rumble as I ran so fast! Mum and dad were very excited to see this! Dad tried to throw some silly yellow thing for me to chase. It didn’t go quite according to plan!
We came in for the evening and mum lit the fire so I could lay back there again. It really is my favourite place!
I’m meeting Nanny Margaret tomorrow – that’s dad’s mum and they say she will love me a lot, so I am looking forward to meeting her. Mum said that she is doing a roast and last time she did that, me and Brian had some of the beef, so I REALLY REALLY hope I get some again!
It’s been a whole week since I have been here and I think mum and dad love e very much and I really love them too – especially mum – she says that she was so lucky I waited for her to find me and I think the same too.
I will say night night now
I’m still here! I wasn’t sure at first if I was staying as it’s been such a strange new adventure but I’m beginning to find my feet a bit more and start exploring the garden a bit further on my own. I don’t like to go too far around the side of the house from the back door……… just in case. I’ve not had any wee wee accidents at night or during the day when mum goes out without me now as I know she’s coming back and me and Brian always give her the biggest waggly bottoms and then do our special stretching in front of her so she knows we love her. The special stretching is turning into a bit of a competition and Brian does one, then I have to; and if he does another one I have to too! Mum loves it! She says how clever we are and tells us how much she loves us and gives us both a big cuddle. I love her cuddles.
She says that she has started going out on purpose just for a little while at a time so I get used to it and knows that she will come home. I think this is and excuse and she keeps going out for a short time as she is scared she will get lost without me by her side, so she comes back just to check I’m still there waiting for her!
She had to take dad to the doctors today as he has a very swollen foot. She felt bad that he had been up a ladder the day before putting up the Christmas lights, but still thought it was funny! He said it was agony and so mum made the cup of tea for them this morning. I am getting used to their routine and know that t wasn’t time for me and Brian to be let out on their first cup of tea, so we stayed in our beds pretending to be asleep. I then heard dad scream when mum took the tea upstairs. She said she forgot what she was doing when she went back upstairs and tickled his foot that was out of the bed covers…….. She told us later that she couldn’t stop laughing – naughty mum!
It was a nice day today as I met Roxy who will be coming to stay with us in May and I liked her very much! Mum says I was impeccably behaved (unlike grumpy Brian who did his little grumble to try and be scary, but we all know he’s a big softie!). She told me that she runs a Greyhound Hotel and that I would always have lots of friends here. I like friends – particularly Greyhound ones! I am getting excited as mum has told me that 99 is coming to stay for a few weeks from Wednesday. I used to share a kennel with her and mum says she wonders if I’ll remember 99. She hopes I do as it will be a lovely reunion!
I’m settling in by the fire again now after another busy day and I hope everyone has a good evening like I do.
We got up as usual – completely in the routine now. Mum said we were going for a walk with her friend so I had to wait a bit longer this morning, but that was ok – I love my bed like Brian does.
We went out and I am a very good boy down the drive – I am starting to get the hang of “come” and “wait” and I understand Chops is what I get called. We get out into the field which I hate because it is SO muddy and I try to find ways around it but it’s everywhere, this mud.
We walked across the first field and then my eyes locked on to something I haven’t seen before – a Golden Retriever. Letmeatit! Letmeatit! Iwanakillit! It made me really mad. I reared up as I pulled so much and covered mum in mud. She said later she was shocked at how strong I was and how determined I was. We then spent the next hour and a bit on a walk with this retriever and her mum and I really got worked up. I was not a good boy. Mum made me do it and kept turning me round and walking me the other way and then back towards her again, talking to me all the time and I started to get it, then saw the red mist again. I did this the WHOLE way around the walk, in the pouring rain and I don’t think anyone enjoyed the walk. Mum said her arms were really hurting from where I pulled like a train the whole way around. I think we will wait until I have to try this again.
We got home and I was so exhausted from my antics that I slept for pretty much the rest of the day.
Mum made mince pies and things for Christmas but she did wake us up at lunchtime for our Jumbone. I think she still loves me – she says she does but says I need to learn to be as nice and polite to other dogs as I am in the house and to other Greyhounds as I am such a good boy then. I love it when I’m a good boy as I get loads of cuddling and loving. I could tell mum was a bit sad with me but I don’t think she meant it – I still think some of it is Belle leaving us. Mum said Belle was difficult sometimes too when she first got her but I maybe was a bit more than she expected! I know she won’t give up though as I love her and she loves me.
I’m off for a snooze again – I’m pooped!
Today mum pushed the funny noisy thing about again – I don’t like it much but she seems to do it quite regularly but more on a Thursday which she says is housework day. Me and Brian just watched her as she scurried around the house spraying stuff on furniture and wiping it off and then pushing the noisy thing about – I just don’t understand!
She said today was an exciting day for me as my old kennel mate, 99, was coming to stay for a holiday with us and she needed to get everything ready before she arrived.
At 11am me and Brian heard a car turn up so we both rushed outside to see who it was. There was a nice lady and man and then a little blue dog jumped out. I wasn’t sure at first but Brian was very keen indeed! He was wagging loads and prancing about, even though he has a sore leg. I then realised who it was! It was her! 99! She looked at me and bowed slightly and then raced off round the garden – I raced after her and we did a lap of tearing about. It was so exciting and mum and her mum and dad looked so pleased that we recognised each other! I was very happy indeed! 99’s mum and dad left and we went back in the garden and raced around. Mum tried to catch it on her video thingy on her phone but it went flat and we were doing so much racing to show her how happy and speedy we were! Mum was really laughing as we were so clever! (and we nearly raced straight into the pond but we put our air brakes on and stopped just in time! We came in puffing and panting and told Brian all about it!
We were having a lovely day and I was a very god boy. We all had our treats at 1pm like we normally do and mum had lunch.
After lunch we went out and when we got back, mum had a few things to do upstairs, so left us to have a snooze on our beds. When she came down, she started getting some trays out as she was going to make some sausage rolls for Christmas. She them disappeared as something started ringing and she had to talk into it. She is so weird – why is she talking to a plastic thing? She was AGES……
Eventually she came back in and she stopped dead. But the sausage meat smelt and tasted SOOOOO good. I even showed her how much I liked it by licking it off my paws so I didn’t waste any at all. Oh mummy, it’s sooooo yummy! I had to lick my bed too, just in case there was any left on it. Oooohhhh yum-mee!! I didn’t eat any of the plastic wrapping though – I was very clever!
I couldn’t eat all of my tea after that – I was soooo full! Mum said it was her fault so she wasn’t cross and gave me a big cuddle but told me I was a naughty boy! Brian had a tiny bit that I had left for him and so did 99 – they both agreed the sausage meat was very nice indeed! Mum agreed it was very nice but said she will not be letting me have any again – spoilsport!
We are all now in front of the fire – my most favourite space with very full tummies!
I was supremely good today! Me and 99 went to vote with mum – the weather was absolutely awful but she said it was important we went. I didn’t mind too much but 99 didn’t like getting wet one bit.
Mum said we were both very good for keeping her company and when we got home, we just warmed up and stayed by the fire for the afternoon. I was a very good boy ALL day and mum said I was very clever! We waited for dad to come home and then we had a special treat of a bit of shepherds pie – it was SOOOO good – even dad said so!
Today was very exciting as I met 2 more of the guests that stay at mum’s hotel. They are called Trevor and Iyla and I am totally in LOVE with Iyla! She races round the garden really quickly and I follow hot on her heels! I’m really enjoying chasing around the garden and walks with my new friends – so long as they are Greyhounds!
A Word from Mum:
We absolutely adore Chops already and cannot believe how well he’s adjusted to his new life here with us. We know we’ve got a bit of work to do on the “other breed” issue but that’s just going to take patience and time (quite a lot I should imagine!). Other than that, he hasn’t put a foot wrong. He’s a complete gentleman; has not challenged Brian (who needs to be top dog); has learnt that he has his bowl after Brian; is a complete cuddle monster and adores being in front of the fire. It’s as if he has never not been here with us – for us and for him. He had a really tough day on his first day with the start of his new adventure and then the high emotions that came with losing Belle and he was impeccably behaved throughout – lying next to her on his bed in her final hours. He can never replace her but it is a complete joy to have him in our lives and he is helping to fill a Belle shaped hole. We are so pleased you are enjoying his diary and following his antics – he’s starting to show a little more of his true self each day and it’s so rewarding to be a part of his life. Thank you for waiting for me Chops!
Days 13, 14 & 15
I’m sorry my diary entry is late but mum has been so busy and I have been having such a good time, that I have not had the time to dictate my diary to her.
I have had SUCH an exciting weekend and Monday as Trevor and Iyla stayed for the weekend and when they went home earlier today, Jack arrived!
We had a very wet walk Saturday and Trevor did not like it at all. He hated it so much that he kept stopping but we just got more wet! Me and 99 were held by dad, who doesn’t normally come on our walks as mum says he has to go to work to keep us in the life we are becoming accustomed to!! I think she was joking but he still goes out every day so me and Brian and whoever else is staying have mum all to ourselves! But this day he came with us. I spotted a golden retriever in the distance and although I barked at it, I was much better than I was last week and didn’t get the red mist. I got lots of praise and cuddling from mum AND dad – I think this is what I’m meant to do! 99, Trevor and Iyla didn’t bark at it, so I think I need to copy them. We all went through the woods and had to jump a ditch – we all really enjoyed that – even Trevor! When we got home we were glad to get in the dry but dad went out again, so we had mum to ourselves. She made some more biscuits so we all got to have some of those. Although she said we were all getting very spoilt but she was very smiley when she said it, so that must be good! We all snoozed later that day and sat down in the evening as mum wanted to watch a man wiggle his bottom on the telly – she said it was strictly come dancing – dad said it was strictly for her eyes only but they seemed to enjoy it!
On Sunday we had a bit of a lay in. dad went Christmas shopping and mum stayed at home wrapping up presents. Iyla, me and 99 all stayed to help. She said we were VERY helpful indeed when we all trod on the wrapping paper to get as close as we could to what she was doing. Brian and Trevor decided their beds were more comfy and stayed there instead. Mum lit the fire for us in the end as she said she couldn’t get on with the wrapping as we all just wanted cuddling and she said we were so lovely that she couldn’t stop cuddling us but she had to do the presents! We all LOVED the fire!
We stayed in there with mum for the rest of the evening and snoozed – she did too, although she said she was resting her eyes!
Monday was here and that meant Trevor and Iyla had to go home. I am pleased though as they are coming back at the end of January and I really like them! We raced around the garden like mad things and 99 did too – she is very fast!
Jack has arrived! He is a very nice boy and mum says we are both gentle boys AND both wear red collars and coats so I think that must mean we will get on very well! He barked at me to play earlier, so I think this is going to be a very fun week! Me and 99 like him a lot and have chased about around the garden – even Brian had a run around with us on his sore leg, so he must like him too!
We’ve got a bit of a lazy afternoon again as mum needs to finish wrapping the presents but she has made us some more biscuits, so I think if we are god, we will get some more to try today!
I shall say night night and see you all tomorrow
Days 16 & 17
Ted arrived today! Ted is a bit older than me and Brian but Brian like him loads, so that must mean I can like him too. We all went into the garden for the afternoon as mum did a bit of clearing up and cleaning things off in the garden. We raced about – it was great fun and I just love barking when I’m racing! 99 races with me – I’m so pleased she’s here!
The next morning I got up a bit earlier than mum and I thought I’d help her out and get my own breakfast. I was doing really well – I managed to open a cupboard door and find some biscuits in a bag and started to have a quick try of them when I heard mum coming down the stairs. I’m not quite sure what to do as I have now discovered that the biscuits are in fact Jack’s and I probably shouldn’t be eating them. I had to think quickly, so I thought the best plan was to pretend nothing had happened. Mum walked in to the kitchen and I nonchalantly walked towards her (I still wagged at her as I love her). Nothing to see here! I walked towards her, for my cuddle, the big blue bag that had the biscuits in it swinging merrily from my neck as I had managed to get my head through the bag loop and not out again. She called dad and they looked at me and just started laughing. I tried to blame 99 by looking really innocent but I think they knew it was me! She said I was very funny but I shouldn’t be doing that! I will try and remember that.
We had a great walk – Ted wanted to come too. Mum had said that she would walk me, 99 and Jack first as we were like racehorses and walk Ted after as he may struggle to keep us with us but Ted was having none of it! We all got our coats on as it was a bit wet – 3 of us (the boys) all had red coats and 99 had a pink one. Mum said we all looked very smart and like we meant business! She took us on a walk I hadn’t done before as she said everywhere was SO wet and 99 really doesn’t like getting her feet muddy and wet. We walked past a field where a big black dog roared up and down the fence barking at us. I looked at him for a bit and then did a couple of excited barks but nothing much. Ted, Jack and 99 didn’t bark at all – they just kept walking so I copied them. Mum said something about me not seeming to mind the black dogs too much – not like the blonde ones who I just want to eat! She thinks my little breed issue may be more targeted to the blondes but we will have to keep practising apparently. Ted liked to keep stopping and sniffing, so we all stood guard while he did this and kept an eye out for any trouble. Mum said we were all very good and Ted was definitely leader of the pack!
We got home and got dry and then some of mum’s friends came over to see her. They were very nice indeed. Mum showed them around as the lady was interested in history and the house is old. While they went upstairs for a few minutes, we all came into the sitting room to lay by the fire. Jack thought he’s have a little look under the tree, so we all decided we might take a look. When mum came down we were all very pleased and wagging a lot. Jack showed her how clever he was (we though so too) as he had opened a present with treats in it for US! It was SO exciting. It’s so brilliant here! Mum said something or other about the day being quite eventful already at only 11.30am!
For the rest of the day mum sat with us cuddling us all while she read and had a cup of tea. (She has a lot of those).
Dad got back and they did their normal sitting by the fire with us all which we all really like!
Bedtime treats were great tonight as we had some of mum’s home made biscuits as well as some of our other treats! I really like it here!
Days 18 & 19
Mum was much better at getting up today and I didn’t have to start breakfast on my own. It was the day when she pushes the noisy thing about, so we all stayed out of the way, except Brian, who couldn’t care less. He’s very brave – he even lets her push the noisy thing right up to his feet. I’m not sure how he does it but I don’t think I will ever get t be that brave.
We had our walk (another wet one) and settled in for the morning. We had our chews at lunchtime like normal, which we all like and then have our little routine of going out for our business, having a run about and then get warm again indoors. Once all this was done today, mum said that Bowtie Barney was coming to visit. Bowtie Barney stayed in the summer and mum said he was hilarious and got into all sorts of mischief. When he got here, I had to just put my guard on as sometimes I get REALLY excited when someone wants to race me round the garden and mum said Bowtie Barney is definitely a racy one! I am pleased to say I was VERY good indeed and mum took my guard off for me so we could all have a sniff and toddle about. Barney wasn’t as racy as mum was expecting – I think it’s because he knew I would beat him!!
Later on, we all sat with mum by the fire. She said that dad was on his work Christmas do, so he would be a bit late home. He did get home late, just as we were all going to bed and he was very wobbly and giggly. We were all very excited to see him but mum sent him off to have a bath!
Because dad distracted us, we didn’t really go for our wee-wees properly and so I had to bark like an alarm clock at 3am. Mum came down and let us out but she was very tired the next morning.
Breakfast was on time again which was a relief. We all took a look out of the door ready for our walk but it was POURING. We all came back in. We made mum wait until 11am before we felt we were ready to go. As it happened, the wait was rewarded with a walk without rain. Although it was very, very wet underfoot. 99 hates getting her feet muddy and wet and was very slow through some of the walk but sped up when we got back on the lane. Mum said she just needed a chariot today as we were all walking out like racehorses and she was very proud of us all. People stop and look at us in their cars as we look so smart in our coats and I saw my first 2 horses today who also stopped to say hello. They were very big but they didn’t bother me and I was a very good boy.
We got back and were all exhausted so we snoozed on our beds in our VIG lounge. Mum made sausage rolls as she knew we were too tired to come and pinch the sausage mince!
Jack’s mum then came as Jack went home today but I am pleased that he’s coming back again next week. He was the one that opened our Christmas present from under the tree, so I like him a lot! 99 and Ted will still be here when he comes back, so we can have our racy walks all together again.
I’ve got a chew to eat now, so I will say night night and see you tomorrow.
Days 20, 21 & 22
I have had a busy few days! Me, Brian, 99 and Ted have been on some really good walks. I saw my first deer on Sunday. I was a very good boy as I just stood still and watched it – we all did. Mum thinks if given half a chance though, we would have all got our racing coats back on and raced across the golf course after it! She’s right – of course we would!!
We’ve had lots of Christmas treats already and mum and dad were entertaining on Saturday, so mum was busy cooking all day. This meant not only did we get bits of salmon and cheese but she was in the kitchen all day with us. We all loved that and snoozed on our squidgy beds, just checking on her every now and again to see if she was ok.
In the evening all the neighbours came around – I’ve never seen so many people all come through our door together – they were everywhere! Everyone gave us strokes when they came in, which we all LOVED! We curled up in front of the woodburner, even though everyone else was everywhere, just to make sure everyone behaved for mum! They were all very good……until about 11pm, then they all went mad, singing and laughing. I could tell everyone was very happy!
The next day mum and dad were very quiet indeed and were a bit slow on our walk. I’m not sure what’s got into them today but we made sure we chivvied them up by trotting along nicely together. Mum told dad how proud she is of us all and dad agreed wholeheartedly, saying it was the best job in the world to look after Greyhounds and mum agreed! I really love mum and dad.
When we got home, there was lots of snoozing and snoring….. and that was just dad! I cuddled on the rug with mum and every time she stopped cuddling or tickling me I gently mouthed her – I could smile at the same time and she said I was smiling with my eyes too. Then I learnt to do a high squeak if she stopped tickling my tummy when I was upside down and would paw at her and wave my front legs at her. She laughed at me and told me how clever I was and that she loved me loads. Brian was the other side of mum and he was also getting lots of loving. He taught me the waving front leg thing and mouthing mum as I’ve watched him do it and it always works! Ted was close to the fire and 99 was next to Brian. We were all really happy.
99 woke us all up squeaking her toy and pouncing on it as it was 5pm and she is very clever and can tell the time at tea time. We all leapt up and got very excited and mum laughed at all our waggly bottoms!
We had a quiet evening in front of the woodburner where we all like it and listened to dad snore when mum was trying to watch A Christmas Carol!
Next morning mum was back to normal and was up and about with us all. She cleaned out the chickens while it was dry and gave them all new straw. We watched very carefully as she did this and I don’t think 99 moved for a whole 30 minutes!
We then went for our walk and because we were later today, Brian decided to come to. Mum said she thought maybe he liked a lie in which is why he didn’t like coming out with us at our normal time but she was very pleased he came with us. We walked across the golf course again as it is drier than anywhere else and Brian loved it and even ran about on his poorly leg. Me, Ted and 99 were happy to sniff about around the trees on our leads while Brian toddled along on his own. He is very clever and doesn’t need a lead and mum hopes one day I can be like that too.
We got home and mum had to wrap some last things up for dad (I think we might have some too!) and then she gave us our chews. We LOVE our chews! 99 loves hers so much that I think she inhales it as it disappears so fast!
I have learnt to do lots of special stretching like Brian and then mum gives us more cuddling. I do this quite a lot now! I am also very clever at barking if the kettle starts to whistle on the AGA and mum has forgotten. I like to make sure mum is safe when this noise happens so I let her know. I still check on mum when she goes out of the room, just to make sure she doesn’t get lost and I sometimes still squeak when she goes outside without me but she always comes back, so I think she can manage without me sometimes. She says she can’t believe that I have not even been here for a month yet as I am so settled and happy here and she says she is too.
99 is now roaring round the house with the squeaky flamingo and Brian has joined in with the squeaky elf. I think that means its tea time so I’m off!
Day 23 - Christmas Eve
My first Christmas in my new home! I’ve not really been sure what’s been going on, but it’s been a time filled with walks with mum AND dad – mum said he’s been allowed off work for a few days; lots of treats and all my new friends here to share it with – Brian, 99 and Ted.
Mum spent quite a lot of time on Christmas Eve cooking. I LOVE it when she does her cooking as it always means we all get little scraps. We had yummy salmon skin and she even let us have some of the gammon she had cooked for breakfast the next day. It was LOVELY! We snoozed a lot this day and just kept an eye on mum to check she was doing things right. Dad had been banished from the kitchen so he went Christmas shopping for a while and when he came back he gave us lots of cuddling. We get SO much cuddling in this house, I LOVE it!
Father Christmas came that night and I decided I would bark at him in the middle of the night and get everyone up. It worked! Dad came down very bleary eyed and let us out for our wee-wee’s. He said I must have got over excited when I saw Father Christmas which is why I needed to go out again. We all went though, so at least we could bark outside too!
Day 24 – Christmas Day
In the morning mum and dad and the teenager got up and they all seemed very excited to see us, especially me! We were all very excited to see them and our tails were like propellers whizzing round! Mum worries that we will hurt ourselves as we wag so hard against the cupboards! 99 and Ted both chatter with excitement and 99 loves her bottom being tickled! I rush up and down the kitchen as breakfast is being prepared and 99 grabs a squeaky flamingo and jumps from one bed to another squeaking the flamingo in excitement for her breakfast! We all have breakfast with a bit of gammon rind and we LOVE it! Once we have been out for our wee wee’s we all sprawl across the floor, me in front of the fire, with mum, dad and the teenager. I fell fast asleep, I was so full and happy and I think the others did too. Mum had a new pair of wellies and warm waterproof coat for walking us. Dad said she’s look very posh! She said she needed to as all her babies (I think that meant us) look so smart in their lovely coats when she takes us out and she’s been letting the side down. I have to agree – she’ll look much better now! She was very pleased, all the same. Everyone else opened their presents and all seemed very pleased and then we had some too! We had squeaky toys and coats and treats – I just didn’t know what to do! It was so exciting, but the best bit was I had more food! I LOVE food!!!
We had a lovely walk with mum and dad and the teenager came too – he had new wellies too but they were too big so he had to wear mum’s which were too small! Dad was nice though and let him swap the wellie that hurst the most so they wore odd wellies! Mum thought it was very funny but all I cared about was them getting on with it so we could get walking! It was still very wet underfoot but it was a sunny day, so that was ok. 99 hates getting her feet wet – I think she is a posher dog than me – I don’t care one bit about the mud!
We then had a lovely day lazing around and having some of the roast dinner as a treat – I am SO happy here – I LOVE it! We snoozed the afternoon away and watched Christmas telly until everyone was tired and ready for bed.
Day 25 – Boxing Day
We got up like normal and had breakfast and then went for our walk. We were lucky as we got back just as the heavens opened. The sky was very black and mum said she was very pleased we didn’t get caught out! Mum and dad were going to some friends today, so the teenager was looking after us. He had a new guitar for Christmas so he played to us for the afternoon when they were out – we quite liked it, although mum said that when he started she would have killed him if she heard Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple one more time! We enjoyed our day with the teenager as he got our treats wrong and we had too many! Mum laughed when she got back and said that we would be obese (whatever that is) if we didn’t have our lovely long walks! We all just waged our bottoms at her as we were so pleased to see her! I have got used to the fact that she can go out without me and not get lost, so I am much more relaxed that she will find her way back now.
Some funny men came around today – one was on a ladder on the roof and another one had his head by the oven. I was insistent on helping the man by the oven in particular and got my nose right in there with him! They were ok though – one of them brought a little girl with them and she loved cuddling us all and putting our toys with us, so we were all happy about that! When they left, mum and dad said that we were all going to relax completely today, so that is EXACTLY what we did! I am very good at relaxing, in fact we all are! Mum didn’t tell me that Jack was coming back though and he arrived just after lunch! We were so excited to see him and he us! It was like old times again! While his mum was here I managed to quickly take a bag of his biscuits out of the big bag with his things in and no one noticed!! It was only when dad was making mum and Jack’s mum a cup of tea that he spotted me with a bag of Jack’s biscuits on my bed! He managed to take them off me before I could eat them though, which was a bit disappointing as I LOVE food!!! Dad said I was very cheeky!
I’m so happy I found them here – I don’t stop smiling and I smile with my eyes too. I get a bit carried away when we all play outside sometimes but I can’t help it! I love laying by the fire and I love my coats and my bed. I think I’m here for good as I’ve been such a good boy and mum and dad and Brian really love me. Mum keeps telling me I’m amazing and that it’s still not even a month that I have been here yet but I know she loves me LOADS and I will keep loving her and dad and Brian back as they make me so happy. I like meeting all the new friends that come and stay here and 99 is my favourite – we sometimes even share a bed!
It’s treat time now, just before bed, so we all line up and take our turn. Brian is always first, then me and then whoever has been here the longest. Mum says we then know our pecking order!
I’m saying night, night now and I will speak to you tomorrow
Days 27, 28 & 29
The weekend came and mum said she was glad it was going to be a bit more relaxed than it has been as there is only so much socialising you can do and food you can eat (although when it comes to the food, she is definitely wrong – I could eat and eat and eat!)
We did some new walks that I haven’t done before as it’s been very wet so mum has been finding new ones for us to do where we don’t come back with our feet and legs covered in mud. We all prefer these walks at the moment as dad nearly lost his welly one day and even one of Ted’s legs got a bit stuck in a very muddy bit. Mum says it’s because the cows have been in the fields and she says she feels a bit sorry for them being out in all this rain and mud. I’ve met the cows a couple of times –they are very big but I don’t bark at them and mum says I am a very good boy for this, as we don’t want to frighten the cows as they are such lovely gentle creatures and they suck mum and dad’s hand over the fence sometimes. She likes cows.
We’ve had loads of yummy food – we had a salmon steak between us all – we were all VERY excited at this and even Brian jumped up and down for some, even on his poorly leg. We all take our turns though and no one pinches any one else’s (although me and 99 try sometimes!) but mum makes sure we all have the same. We had loads of biscuits and treats for Christmas which we all share and we all wag our tails very hard when mum goes to the treat section! We all follow her – we all nearly have to be touching her so she doesn’t get lost when she’s about to find our treat, then we know we will get some! She laughs at us and thinks we are all funny and lovely but most of all we are all gentle, even though we are very excited. Brian is very gentle indeed and I am going to try and learn to be like him when I take my treat as at the moment I do mouth the air towards his treats when mum is giving them to him! I am much better with my food though and although I get VERY excited, I know which one is mine and if mum says no in her stern voice, I know that I mustn’t eat anyone else’s when I have finished mine. I know that no one else will eat mine as I make sure I’m the first to finish! I do patrol the kitchen after mine is gone, but much less than I used to.
We’ve done a lot of racing around the garden as mum has been out there a bit filling up the bird feeders and checking the ditches and the fence. She likes being outside but hasn’t been out there much lately as it has rained so much, so we all like it when she puts our coats on and we spend some time in the garden with us. I’m learning that not always when she puts our coats on are we going for a walk – sometimes it’s just to keep us warm when we are helping her in the garden.
99 is very fast and seems to like racing from the seat at the bottom of the garden towards the house and then veers of left so she can jump the ditch. It is great fun and we all try and catch her! I think ma, Jack and 99 are all pretty quick as we are always on each other’s tails, whoever is in front! Mum loves it as we all smile huge smiles when we run round the garden and she says we all look so happy.
We are not sure what is in the pond at the moment, but 99 leads the way and we all stand around looking in the same spot. Mum laughs at us but there is definitely something in there! At night Ted leads the charge and as soon as we get outside the back door for our last wee-wees before bed, Ted starts barking and running, which makes Brian leap up and start barking and we all run to the pond again and Ted barks at it. We all have a little bark at it - we know there is something in there!
Day 30 – New Year’s Eve
It was Nanny Margaret’s birthday today so she came over and mum, dad and the teenager took her out for lunch. When they came home, she had presents to open. Jack was very good at helping open the presents and I started to understand that I could play with the bits of paper dad had rolled up into a ball and thrown towards me. I was ready for one bit that he threw as I was standing up waiting for it. He threw it – I pounced! Now what do I do????!!! I sat back down again and watched Jack ripping the paper with Nanny Margaret. I just watched him – he knows what he’s doing and I need to know for next time! Brian was wearing a hat that mum put on his head from some of the paper that had been torn off the present – mum said he looked like Lawrence of Arabia! Then dad told us that the man who directed Lawrence of Arabia used to live here – he seems to be very proud of this fact, even though mum thinks he’s funny!
We all relaxed for the rest of the day and Nanny Margaret stayed quite a while as she likes the company and loves spending time with all of us dogs as she doesn’t have her own dog anymore.
Mum and dad had bought lots of nice food for themselves to have whilst seeing in the New Year but mum was so full from lunch she didn’t want any and as is usual (as it turns out) she couldn’t make it up until midnight and we were all in bed by 10!
New Year’s Day – 1 whole month!
I have been here 1 whole month! In some senses it seems like I’ve never not been here, in others it’s still such a short space of time and mum can’t believe it’s only been a month as I feel really happy and settled here. She says I’m such a brilliant addition to our family and she and dad, Brian and the teenager are the best addition I could have ever dreamt of! I am very pleased that I waited for them and so are they. Mum says that Dunrunnin must have known and that they kept me especially for her!
I have done so much already (not much training yet as there have been too many new friends over at Christmas) but I am LOVING EVERYTHING! I did my first proper dream while I was asleep today – mum said. I was fast asleep and I was wagging my tail so hard on the carpet that she thought I would hurt myself. I was just happy! I am starting to do mini roaches – not a full one yet but I do roll upside down very briefly for mum to tickle my tummy. I LOVE my shoulder being rubbed when I am on my side (so does Brian) and mum does it to us both at the same time and when she stops we both look up and bite the air and paw the ground to make her do it some more. She loves this and thinks we are funny. Brian is teaching me a bit more about the whole biting the air whilst rolling slightly onto his back and tucking his front legs under movement – I am starting to get it but it needs a bit of work!
Mum tells us she loves us loads and we love cuddling with her. I have started to pull myself across the floor towards her if she sits on the floor a bit too far away. It makes her smile. I know she misses Belle but I also know that she thinks I chose her well and that we are becoming quite the partnership – which is what she said she had with Belle and I love that. She adores Brian but he’s a more independent boy and he is very funny! She is going to start some one on one training with me in the next week or so – we have 2 more new friends staying Monday to Wednesday but then she can get going with me – she says she’s really looking forward to that! I like to see Brian show me how to be off the lead in the fields – he loves it and does some special running that makes mum laugh!
I love my walks and I am quite a speedy walker – I like to make sure mum is keeping fit! Mum says she needs to go running again to get rid of the excesses of Christmas, so she said I can come for a try too! (I don’t think she will be going very fast or very far yet, but don’t tell her I said that!)
I wish you all A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR and I hope to meet some more of you in the coming year!
2nd January – Day 32
We had our last walk all 5 of us today as Ted and 99 are going home this afternoon. We just did a walk along the lanes though as the ground is so muddy and mum didn’t want Ted to get stuck like he did with dad or for 99 not to enjoy her last walk with us as she doesn’t like getting dirty. It was good though – we all enjoyed it and bounced along together with mum only just keeping up. Ted likes to have a good sniff though, so when we weren’t bouncing, mum got to have a rest while Ted sniffed!
Mum seemed to give us extra treats today – I think she was very pleased with us all as she kept telling us we had been so good all through Christmas and not only was it my very first month here, first Christmas here and first lots of things – even voting! - it was 99’s first ever stay here too. We did definitely remember each other though and I have sometimes shared my bed and the sofa with her.
So in the afternoon we said goodbye to Ted and to 99. It was now just me, Brian and Jack. Tea time was funny as normally me, Ted and 99 would be standing guard as mum did our tea but it was just me today. Brian and Jack just waited patiently until they were called….. maybe this is what I’m meant to do but I don’t want to miss my tea!!!
Our evening was quiet and in front of the fire – we all seemed quite tired tonight and snoozed happily in the warm.
3rd January – Day 33
I barked like an alarm clock this morning! I haven’t done that for a while but I very urgently needed my breakfast! Mum came down and let us outside for our wee wees and then disappeared back upstairs again. What about my breakfast???? I barked again – quite a lot but she ignored me. Apparently it was way too early – Brian told me when he barked at me to be quiet so I settled down again and waited nearly until it was time before I did a few more little barks!
After breakfast we had our walk – it was just me and Jack this morning as Brian didn’t want to come. We had quite a speedy walk as me and Jack both like to get a wriggle on! We did a new walk today – mum hasn’t done this one either and we all really enjoyed it. We haven’t done this one before as there is a low style that we can’t get under but today the gate to the side was open so we could get through. The walk was lovely as even though it was grassy, it was not muddy as it looks like it is not walked on very much because people’s dogs can’t get through. It was great – we could really stretch our legs without getting muddy or slipping.
When we got home, mum disappeared upstairs with the noisy thing she sometimes pushes around the house. We stayed in the safety of our beds!
Jack’s mum came for him in the afternoon and we said goodbye. I like Jack. Now it was just me, Brian and mum. It’s not been just us three since my first week here so I have mum and Brian all to myself! Dad and the teenager are away tonight so that means we just get cuddling all to ourselves!
Mum made a casserole this afternoon and it smelt SOOO good. She let us have a little bit – we like to just check it tastes ok for her – it did!!
We sat in front of the fire for the evening like normal – I got as close as I could and got really really hot but I just didn’t want to move away. When Brian gets hot he goes and sits somewhere else for a while and then comes back later but not me! I was going to stay here, come what may and in the end mum had to move me and block the way to the fire! I was panting like a panty thing!!
She let us out for our last wee wee and so I could cool down and then we settled down for the night. I was going to sleep well tonight…….
4 January – Day 34
Mum’s gone completely mad.
She came down this morning when I woke her up with my little squeaks to be let out (I’m a very good boy letting mum know when I need to go out and haven’t had an accident now in ages) and she made herself a cup of tea and took it back upstairs. Dad and the teenager are away so she had to make it herself this morning. She came back down a while later and gave us our breakfast and let us out for our wee wees. She let us back in and disappeared back upstairs with another cup of tea. When she came down sometime later, me and Brian just stared at her. What was she wearing?? We didn’t get out of our beds even. She was wearing the wrong clothes to take us out for a walk, so it was pointless getting up. Now I know I’ve not been here long, but I’ve been here long enough to know that this is all wrong. She’s wearing some very tight black shiny things on her legs, a big jacket, a bobble hat, gloves and some thick socks and trainers. The Green Goddess she is not! She waves cheerily as she leaves us in our beds completely bewildered (although Brian looks like he may have witnessed such weird behaviour before as he wasn’t really batting an eyelid).
She was back again about an hour later, very red faced and looking like she may keel over. Me and Brian didn’t care though, we were VERY pleased to see her and our bottoms wiggled while our tails whizzed round like demented propellers! She said she had been FWOOing. What on earth……??? I know I don’t understand everything she says but I do try and understand most things but FWOOing???? Apparently it is a name given to her and her friends from the village that she runs with (when they can be bothered) by dad. It stands for Fit Women of Ockley! I think I’d disagree about the fit part but I love her all the same! So they all call each other the FWOO’s and get together for runs and socials. She says it’s fun as they are all very similar and just like to get together every now and again. I think I understand but I’ll reserve judgement….. Now that’s out of the way we can get on with our walk!
We got back and mum pretended to do some work and emails and things while me and Brian argued about who would get closest to the fire. She laughed at us as it wasn’t even lit!
We relaxed quietly, just the 3 of us as we had no guests this weekend and dad and the teenager were away. We all really enjoyed the quiet but it was soon shattered when they returned!
Normality resumed (well, as normal as it is here anyway!)
5 January – Day 35
Well, Barky McBark was back today – yes ME! I woke mum up very early today – I was missing her! She let me out and let the chickens out like normal and then promptly went back to bed. Humppphh. She came down again in what seemed like forever and fed us. I still get very excited at breakfast and wag and wiggle until my bowl is put down. I am very god now though and never touch Brian’s. If he leaves any and mum tells me “no” then I leave it. If, however she doesn’t say anything or doesn’t see me, I do gobble it up! I can’t help it!!
Dad took down the Christmas lights today so I went outside to help him but didn’t last very long as mum was inside and I missed her, so he let me back in. I’m a bit of a mummy’s boy but I think she likes it!
They had a roast today and me and Brian had a little bit and some yummy gravy – we both LOVE gravy! Brian is sometimes fussy with his food so mum puts olive oil on it and then he normally eats it but gravy ALWAYS works! I am not fussy but gravy is the best!
They were talking about New Year’s Resolutions today, whatever they are. I’m not sure this dry January thing is a go-er though! Mum has the same one every year apparently – to get fit and lose weight. I am yet to learn but Brian tells me it never works – it will be the same resolution again next year!!!
My new year’s resolution is just to keep loving my new life and to try and get used to other breeds. Mum thinks I’ll get there in the end but it’s not that easy as we don’t see many other types of dogs really, even when we are out walking. (I don’t mind this one bit!). My other new years resolution is to try and understand what toys are as Brian seems to love them. I did pounce on a willow pot pourri ball the other day that I shouldn’t have taken out of the bowl. Mum thought it was funny but took it off me all the same. She says she has to have eyes like a hawk with me but I think that’s just because I’m starting to find my feet and explore things now. I am much happier to go round the garden on my own now and even show off by running to the end!
It’s time for me to say goodnight – sleep well
6 January – Day 36
Today was hectic.
Me and mum went for a good walk before someone was meant to get here to talk about hedges or something – how boring. Anyway, he didn’t turn up so mum was a bit peeved. Then she had the most enormous amount of shopping delivered and had to put it all away. I haven’t seen this happen before as she only does it once a month and she did it just before I came to live here last time so that it wouldn’t stress me out. I was so zorsted from our walk though, I couldn’t be bothered to even get off the sofa! I totally LOVE the sofa and I sprint at it and spring straight onto it when I run in from outside – just to make sure no one else gets it!
In the afternoon some new friends, Bella and Vinny, turned up – mum said they were staying for a few days. Me and Brian were very excited to see them and had a quick whizz around the garden with them but I was keen to get back in and reclaim my sofa!
The afternoon was fun with Bela and Viny – Bella is really zoomy and we roared around the garden together. The only thing is, she can keep going long after me, Vinny and Brian are totally zorsted! Mum says that girls have more stamina!!!!
That evening after tea and before dad got back, mum let us out for our wee wees (it was dark by now). Me and Brian came in but not Bella and Vinny. Mum gave them a few more calls as she said they liked exploring the garden last time they were here, but still nothing so she put on her coat and wellies and went outside. I immediately thought it was walk time as she was wearing the right clothes and got VERY excited indeed! I came outside to help her look with her torch. We could see Vinny straight away as his eyes shone in the torchlight so mum took him and me back in and then went back out to look for Bella. She came roaring up the garden towards mum, smiling and wobbling her head when she ran – Bella LOVES running nearly as much as I love food!
Mum and Bela came back inside and then mum realised Bella had been exploring the ditch as she was absolutely soaked in muddy water from the tummy down! So off she went for a bath! Mum said this is the first time any of the guests have had to have a bath! Us boys agreed it wasn’t us and so we told mum that girls might have stamina but boys are definitely more sensible!
7 January – Day 37
We all went out for a lovely walk. Bella wore her own coat but Vinny wore one of ours as mum said she needed a PhD to work out how to put Vinny’s coat on!
We all walked out at Bella’s pace – which was quite fast and me and Vinny had to ask her to slow down. She is much smaller than Vinny and me but she does love to zoom along! We walked past the big Newfoundlands that barked their heads off at us. Bella didn’t care at all, Vinny was a bit frightened and hid behind mum as we walked past and I just did a very small amount of barking but it really was a very small amount and mum told us all (but me in particular) how clever we all were and gave us all lots of praise and we stopped so she could stroke us all on our heads. I love it when she does that and I raise my head for her to do it more. We got home completely exhausted and found our snoozing spots.
Mum busied herself around the house – she always seems to have lots to do but dad thinks the magic fairies come and do things for her! I don’t think she’s always impressed when dad thinks this!
It rained a bit this afternoon and none of us could really be bothered to move much as we were still completely shattered from our walk! Dad and the teenager were out later today as they go and see Nanny Margaret and have dinner with her, so it means we get mum to ourselves.
It was lovely cuddling with mum, she tickles my tummy just how I like it and it really makes me smile. Bella and Vinny both like their bottoms scratched and wiggle their bottoms with pleasure. It makes mum laugh!
Dad and the teenager got back and we were pleased to see them but all soon came back to mum which she says she loves. Dad gave us all our treats at bed time though, so I definitely like him too!
8 January – Day 38
Bella and Vinny went home this afternoon. I’ve enjoyed zooming round with Bella, and Vinny has been fun too.
Mum took me out again after they had gone home as she said she fancied another walk. We went out towards the common and guess what – I saw 2 different dogs. One was a King Charles Spaniel wo I could see in the near distance. I watched him but I didn’t bark and I was not so fixated on him that I kept looking behind. I carried on walking and forgot about him. Mum kept telling me how brilliant and clever I was and I strutted my stuff as I felt like the bees knees! Then I spotted a grey and black spaniel. I was very alert indeed. Mum spoke to the lady who the spaniel was walking and explained I may bark and the lady was kind and said she was happy to see what happened. I had my guard on and I was on my lead so even if I got a bit excited, mum was there to soothe me. The spaniel came towards me, very waggy and I barked and pulled towards her. I think I scared her a little bit but I wasn’t aggressive. I think I want to play but I don’t know how yet as I when I got to the little spaniel I wasn’t barking but I nudged her a bit. Mum gave the lady a treat to give the spaniel and we walked on again. Mum was VERY pleased with me and told me how clever I was. I felt clever!
We got home and I was pooped so got on my sofa and promptly fell into a deep sleep. It was such a deep sleep that I didn’t even hear mum getting our tea ready! I ate my tea and have spent the rest of the evening fast asleep in front of the fire, albeit unlit!
9th, 10th 11th & 12th January – Days 39, 40, 41 & 42
It’s been a busy few days with lots of new friends coming to visit as they might come and stay with us this year. I really like meeting my new friends, and we have learnt to know when they are coming as mum’s business phone barks, so whenever this happens, me and Brian leap up and get very, VERY excited and stand at the door wagging and squeaking!. Mum puts my guard on and then lets us both outside so we can greet our new friends with our smiles and waggy tails. Mum puts my guard on as I get VERY excited if someone wants to test out the garden and jump the ditches at full speed and I chase them and sometimes bark and try and grab them in my excitement. I’m not doing it to be naughty or aggressive, I just LOVE chasing about and having someone to run with now that I know my way around the garden and that mum won’t get lost.
Two of my potential new friends are Dunrunnin dogs and I always like to see them as I remember some of them and Freja, who went to her new home in September, is one of my new friends and I am looking forward to remembering her!
Brian got a bit frisky with Dottie who also came to visit – he REALLY liked her!
We’ve enjoyed having dad here – he has the weekends off, so we all get to go walking and pootling about in the garden.
We have a footpath that runs alongside part of the garden and we don’t very often have people using it but this weekend I saw some people and dogs. I got completely cross and roared back and forth, up and down the garden barking my head off. I barked so much that Brian joined in too! Mum came out to see what on earth was going on as we were making so much noise. I was racing back and forth and stopping at the fence to look through it and bark in anger. When mum came out to see what I was barking at, she completely understood. These 2 dogs were wearing fluorescent jackets in such vivid colours, I was ashamed for them. Their fashion sense was non existent and it made me SO cross. What were they thinking? I think they realised I was cross, even though I was right across the other side of the field as they stopped to hear me barking at them. I really hope they tell their people that this is not acceptable. We are not in the 80’s where luminous gloves and socks were all the rage – this is the 2020’s!! Get a grip!!
Anyway, we moved on from this faux pas and thoroughly enjoyed our weekend. I helped dad wash the cars – I was VERY helpful he said, with my nose in the bucket of bubbles, flicking them about! Mum made a roast and me and Brian had some of the chicken and gravy – it was yummy! I LOVE gravy – so does Brian. Nanny Margaret came over and we all watched a film.
Dad has a new pair of motorcycle boots. He is very excited by these – so excited in fact, that once he has had a bath, he puts his dressing gown on and puts his motorbike boots on too. He sits and watches tv for the whole evening in them. Mum thinks it’s hilarious. Me and Brian just think it’s weird…… Dad is very happy though and has a silly smile on his face. I’m not sure I’m ever going to understand him………
That aside, I am a very happy boy. I love my new life and all the adventures I have. Brian is my friend and I know he likes me too as he doesn’t grumble at me, even when I rest my head on him when we are by the fire. Mum said he always grumbles if he gets touched when he is asleep, so he must really like me. He doesn’t mind that I hog the sofa or pinch his bed when we come in at night but mum says I mustn’t be too cheeky with him as he is a special boy.
Mum told me about Jed and Toby at Dunrunnin today, needing homes as they have been there for 3000 days between them. Mum would love to home one but it’s not the right time at the moment but I really hope they get as lucky as I did and find a special home very soon. Good luck boys and I may visit you soon!
13 January – Day 43
Brendan is coming today. I’ve not met Brendan but mum says we need to get out on our walk before he gets here.
So me and mum set off on our walk. She’s been teaching me some commands over the past week and I have been learning them and showing her how clever I am. She says I am a bright boy as I am picking things up quickly. I understand “come” as she says this to me when we are walking down the drive without my lead on when we are going for our walk and I always turn around and go back to her. I know “steady” as again, she has been teaching me this when I am on my lead and gently slows me down when she says it. I showed her I understand this command perfectly as when we were walking down the drive without my lead, she said “steady” and I slowed down my jog to a slow walk. She was so pleased with me and gave me loads of cuddling and told me how clever I was! So I’ve got those 2 commands and she is now teaching me “wait”. I don’t like this one so much as it means I have to stop and I like getting on with it. It was funny though as every time she said it to me and stopped me on my lead, Brian stopped too. He obviously knows what to do and I need to copy him. I am very good though and I hope I am getting cleverer!
When were nearly at the end of our walk, mum let me off the lead for the first time. We were on the golf course, and I was pretty worn out, so she thought it was a good time to try. We had to make sure there were no other dogs around as I sometimes get angry at other dogs…… Anyway, I toddled along beside her with her telling me what a god boy I was. We practised “steady” and come and I was very good at this indeed! We didn’t go too far but when mum said “wait” I slowed right down (not quite to a stop) so she could put my lead on. She was VERY pleased with me indeed!
When we reached the end of the golf course, where we go through a thicket back to our drive, there were 2 men there looking after the green. They said hello to us and asked mum if she was waiting for Brendan. Mum didn’t even know these people. How did they know she was waiting for Brendan to come??
We got home and mum had a few things to do before Brendan arrived, but that was ok I was worn out and needed to snooze anyway. I had now heard so much about him, I couldn’t wait to meet him. He was even mentioned on the tv!
Mum lit the fire later and me and Brian promptly sat ourselves in front of it. There was a lot of windy noise outside and the power went off. “Brendan’s here” said mum. Well, he’s not very nice if he makes all that noise and turns the power off. He also knocked mum’s tall trees on pots over and smashed a pot. I don’t like Brendan at all. Dad got home later and said Brendan had knocked a couple of trees over too. Nasty Brendan!
I’m quite worn out today but me and Brian did lots of special stretching at tea time which mum loves and I race back and forth, up and down the kitchen and skid on the floor tiles! Mum always has to tell me to steady as she worries I’ll hurt myself!
I eat my tea in a nano-second – I LOVE my food but Brian takes ages and I have to wait for him to finish so we can both go outside for a wee-wee. We go out and have to jump over the olive trees by the kitchen door that Brendan has knocked over again – he’s really getting me grumpy!
Mum and dad and the teenager had a quiet evening with me and Brian, although it wasn’t that quiet when they were watching Mastermind as dad shouts at the tv trying to get the answers right. Mum and the teenager get cross with him as he shouts so loud they can’t hear the questions – it’s funny though! They are a funny lot, but they are MY funny lot!
14 – 19th January – Days 44 – 49
The past few days have been busy!
I’ve had loads of walks, been spoilt with marmite on toast, salmon, gravy from the roast and rice and white fish in butter sauce, not forgetting all the homemade biscuits and other treats mum gives me and Brian and we LOVE it! I’ve never had marmite before but it’s the best and I wag loads whenever I have my treats.
When mum comes down in the morning I get very excited and my tail works all on it’s own without me having any control over it at all! It wags up, down, round, to the side and all over the place – mum says I must be a very happy boy for my tail to be so happy all on it’s own – I even smack Brian in the face with it! I don’t mean to and he blinks really quickly and he squints and shuts his eyes. Mum has to gently move me over so I don’t whip him to hard in the face!
I’ve watched things be delivered, things be repaired, vans come and go and I’ve been in the thick of it all, checking everything out! I particularly enjoyed inspecting the vans – I got in each one that came and laid down in them all, ready for the off – as far as I was concerned, I was going racing! I had my red coat on and I always look smart and ready for anything in my coat – mum says so! I was very happy to get in all of the vans on my own and mum had to come and find me and make sure when the men closed the van doors that I was not inside. Mum was worried I would get lost when usually it’s me that worries mum might get lost. When the tyre man came to repair dad’s puncture, I was very helpful and got my nose right inside the tyre when it was off trying to help the nice man find the hole in the tyre. He said I was very helpful and I watched him intently to make sure he was doing it right. I didn’t want dad not to be able to drive his beloved Mr Landy.
I helped mum clean out the chickens and helped her with the bonfire to burn the old chicken bedding. I thought we were going out for another walk when she put her coat and wellies on to do this as she put my red coat on too. I waited by the gate that leads down the drive but realised I only had my coat on so I didn’t get cold. Mum said how good I was as although the gate was open and I could have gone all the way down the drive, I didn’t. I just waited for her by the first gate. She cuddled me and told me how clever I was. I love it when she does that. She was a bit sad when she was cleaning the chickens out as one of them had become very poorly so she wrapped her in a towel and brought her indoors. Brian went to see the chicken and wagged and squeaked at her. He likes the chickens and is very gentle with them. Mum told me that Brian used to have his own chicken who would sit on the side of his food bowl when he was having his tea and he would let her share some with him! Mum has some pictures of this as she showed me and said how gentle Brian was. I think I would like to be like Brian. I have been in the chicken barn with mum and I know I am not allowed to hurt them.
Mum had to take the chicken in the car to the vets as she said she didn’t want her to suffer and she was very sad when she came back home without the little chicken. Me and Brian did some special stretching and gave mum a cuddle. She said she didn’t know what she’d do without us.
I am getting more used to dad now and I do cuddle him too now. He sits on my sofa with me and looks up on his ipad thing. He says to mum he is “configuring” when he is on this but I know he is looking at motorbikes! Dad loves motorbikes!
Dad tells me that I am a very special boy and how much he loves me and Brian and he finds the tickly spot behind my ear and makes my back leg cycle an imaginary bike! He thinks this is very funny and I quite like it as when he stops I ask for more. I am not at the point where I will get up in the morning for him though – me and Bran only get up for mum.
He’s cooking tonight – he’s making cottage pie and it smells yummy so I am hoping that me and Brian might be lucky and have a little bit. We always go and lay down in the dining room when they are eating and race out when they clear the table, hoping that they will put some in our bowls. They normally do!
Mum says it’s going to be really cold tonight so we have got both woodburners lit tonight and me and Brian can have one each. We don’t though – we both lie together – I like it that we lie together. Mum said she will make sure the woodburners stay burning on low all night so that we stay toasty warm. I love laying by the fire probably as much as I love my food and that’s saying something!
20th January – Day 50
I have got used to the fact dad comes down in the morning first at about 6.30 and puts on the kettle and goes outside to let the chickens out. Me and Brian don’t bother to stir – we just watch him (well I do, Brian doesn’t even open his eyes). He goes back up with the tea he has just made and mum and dad sit in bed and have their first cup. Dad comes down again about half an hour later and I greet him this time as I have moved from my sofa to the rug in the sitting room by the fire so when he opens the door I wag and do a special stretch for him. Brian hasn’t moved from his bed. He makes another cup and goes back up. It is at this point that I time it EXACTLY to 15 minutes and I do some high pitch squeaky barks as I want mum to come down now. It’s not necessarily about breakfast anymore, I just want to see mum. I can hear them laugh upstairs and I have to wait another 15 minutes and then they both come down. I get REALLY excited when I see mum and I am at the bottom of the stairs waiting for her wagging my out of control tail and doing as many special stretches a s I can to show her how clever I am. She loves it and gives me big cuddles and rubs my tummy at the same time. I’ve not mastered the fact I’m allowed to wag my tail at the same time that I am being cuddled but as soon as she stops I wag again!
She gets breakfast underway and I race up and down the kitchen in anticipation. Brian is still not out of bed. He’s by the radiator you see and he gets so toasty warm he doesn’t want to move, just in case I pinch it!
We both have our breakfast and go out for wee-wees. It’s SO cold! We do what we’ve got to do and race back into the warm. Mum takes our coats off and we both get back on our bed and sofa. We know that we’ve got a slightly later walk today as Molly is coming to meet us. Molly is another Dunrunnin dog and I’m not sure I can remember her but we’ll see.
Molly and her mum arrive – she is lovely! She is a very pretty small black girl with a white tip on her tail and white blaze under her chest and chin. She’s quite shy but we race around the garden all the same! We all go inside and I get straight on my sofa. Molly has a little look around and then starts squeaking at me. She wants to get on my sofa! I stretch out so there’s no room and she has to lay on a bed instead! She gets up to check I haven’t moved every now and again, but I haven’t – I am at full stretch and I’m not sharing – not today!
Molly said goodbye – we liked Molly – and we got on with the rest of the day.
In the afternoon, Brian had to go to the vets, he had some wobbly front teeth you see and mum thought they were hurting him which is why he had started being fussy about his food. I decided I would come along to give him some moral support. It was the first time we had been in the car together but we got in and stood up for a while to see where we were. Brian doesn’t like going in the car much but I do! We both laid down in the end next to each other as it’s about a 20 minute journey.
When we got there, mum told us both to wait when she opened the tailgate. We were both very good indeed and waited for her to put our leads on and my guard on. I jumped out but she lifted Brian out because of his poorly leg. As we walked towards the vets, a blonde Labrador was just to the side of us. I completely ignored it. Mum kept saying I was a good boy – I was!
Brian had his check in the vets and he has definately got to have some small teeth out. Poor Brian. Lizzie the vet said that his teeth were good for a dog of his age but I know mum felt sad for him. Hopefully though he will want to eat his food again once they have been removed and mum said that was more important at the end of the day – and I for one, know how important food is!
Mum told Lizzie that I had been very good with the blonde dog but she didn’t want to count her chickens (whatever that meant) and so Lizzie came out to stand in the way of any other dogs in the waiting room. There was a King Charles Spaniel with it’s googly eyes looking at me so I tried to get up close – I had never seen one of those before. I had a small dive for it but mum and Lizzie stopped that but as we opened the door to leave a little cairn terrier was coming in. Well, I barked at it. A LOT. Even when we were around the corner and I couldn’t see it, I still barked! It needed to know it made me cross!
We got back in the car and went home. Tea time thank goodness!
We are zorsted after today. The fire is on full chat and that’s where we are heading for the evening!
21st January – Day 51
I’m laying in my favourite spot in front of the fire reminiscing about my day.
It started off really cold so mum lit the fire for us. She had to wait in as there were people coming today to collect things and empty things and she didn’t know what time they’d be here, so that meant that we didn’t go out first thing, which me and Brian were quite pleased about as neither of us like the ice under our feet, especially when it breaks under our weight and our feet fall through the sharp ice into the freezing puddles. So we laid in front of the fire.
The man came to collect the mower and I always get excited when mum puts her coat on to go outside as it means I can get my coat on and go out too. I like being outside in my coat. He came in a van and so I had to get in it just in case he was taking me racing. It turned out he wasn’t though and I had to get out.
When he left, mum got some logs in for the fire and Brian put his coat on and came outside too. It was about midday now and it was a beautiful sunny day, albeit still chilly but in the sun it was really warm. Brian laid down outside in the sun but I wasn’t quite that brave. I toddled about with mum. I quite like running round the garden now and I go quite fast until I puff and pant.
After she’d had some lunch and we’d had our treats, we went out for a walk. Brian came too and mum was really pleased. It was a really lovely walk today, the sun was shining but it was crisp and fresh – mum says she loves days like these. There were 3 herons in the field and then we saw 3 deer ahead of us on the path. Mum said they were so beautiful and majestic, me and Brian just thought they were lunch! We weren’t allowed to do anything though.
When we got home there was a lorry waiting at the gate to get in. They had come to empty a tank in the garden and had really long tubes they attached to the lorry. I was extremely interested in all of this and wouldn’t leave the men alone. I hadn’t seen anything like this before and desperately tried to find a way into their lorry – they might be taking me racing!
When they left, mum had to go out too. Mum, dad and the teenager all had a dentist appointment. I hope they don’t have to have their teeth removed like Brian. Brian has to go and have it done tomorrow but mum hasn’t told him yet.
When mum got back, I do a lot of barking at the door so that she knows I have missed her and am excited she’s back. I have also taken to jumping up and down at the window of the back door and she says it looks like I’m on a pogo stick but I do get told off for all of this this though as mum doesn’t want me starting to jump up or barking quite like I do. Brian is more calm but I just get a bit anxious when she’s out and this is why I do this. I’m getting better though. I know she’s always going to come back.
I’m still here in front of the fire but I’ve swapped places with Brian as I have got too hot and I’m panting like a panty thing again. I’ll let Brian have a go because he gets too hot aswell and then throws himself on the floor in a cooler spot and I go and take the space in front of the fire again. This goes on all night until we have to go to bed!
At bedtime it’s always dad that gives us our marrowbone treats and I wag like mad when he does this. Brian has one first and then it’s my turn. I snuffle at dad’s hand when he’s holding the biscuits and wiggle my nose into his hand while I open and close my mouth in excitement. I don’t think there’s an hour in the day that I don’t enjoy – I’m either eating, sleeping on my sofa, walking, sleeping in front of the fire or when anyone comes, investigating them fully! And if I’m not doing any of that, I’m eating!
22nd January - Day 52
Brian is going to the vets today for his operation to remove some of his teeth. He’s not allowed to have breakfast – I don’t think I could ever cope with not having breakfast…..
Me and mum went off for our walk early, just the 2 of us, so she could get back to take Brian to the vets. We had a good long walk as she was going to be leaving me on my own for the first time while she took Brian. I was pretty worn out when we got back and got straight on to my sofa. Mum coaxed Brian out of the house (he always knows when something is a bit different and he doesn’t really like going in the car. Off they went and left me on my own with the radio for company.
Mum got back an hour or so later and I was still asleep. I had been a very good boy – I didn’t bark or jump up at the door and there were no accidents in the kitchen. I was very pleased to see mum and we had a big cuddle and she told me how clever I was.
Shortly after she got back another man in a van arrived (there’s been lots of those this week) but his van wasn’t white and so I didn’t bother to get in and check it out. He was a plumber and had come to look at something indoors, so I was very interested in this and wanted to learn about plumbing so had my nose in his tool bag and had a good snuffle about. He was very nice and I think he appreciated my help!
When he left, me and mum had a cuddle in front of the tv while she watched something for an hour until it was time to go and collect Brian. She gave me a cuddle and a kiss and set off to collect him. She was quite a long time and I got a little bit anxious and has had a couple of accidents by the time she came back. I barked a lot when she got back with Brian too as I was so relieved she was back. I was pleased to see Brian too. I went outside to meet him by the back door but he was very wobbly and just wanted to come in and get on his bed. I laid next to him on the other bed so he know I was there.
I had my tea, went out for my wee wee and came straight back in and laid next to Brian again. He was really woozy and was squeaking a bit so we were all very gentle and quiet with him. I stayed there all night, just to make sure he was ok.
23rd January – Day 53
Brian was a bit more awake today and we both went outside for our wee wees before breakfast. Brian managed to eat all of his – mum gave him a whole packet of Forthglade without any mixer but I had my normal with mixer too. I still love my breakfast but I don’t eat it quite as quickly and manically as I used to. I know that Brian won’t pinch it you see.
We didn’t got for a walk at our normal time as mum said we were meeting Adele this morning. Adele was really lovely and she seemed to enjoy running around the garden. Her mum said that she hadn’t really seen Adele run yet so she was enjoying it as much as Adele was. I had my guard on as I still get very, very excited when someone else wants to run around with me! I liked Adele and she stayed with me and Brian for a hour or so. Brian was still very woozy and I think mum was worried about him but she tried not to show it. I knew though. I always know when mum is feeling different and I nuzzle her and put my head on her knee if she’s sitting down.
In the afternoon Trevor and Iyla’s mum came over as she was dropping off their food for when they come to stay next week. She had lots of bags and I was rather interested! I just checked out where mum was putting them, logged it and came and sat with mum and Trevor and Iyla’s mum while they had a cup of tea. Brian stayed on his bed – he’s still not feeling well I don’t think. He’s slept a lot.
Later on when dad got home, I watched mum cook their supper. Brian was still snoozing. When they went into the dining room, we normally both go in with them but this time it was just me. I sat in there for a while with them and then I went back out. Just needed to check a few things……
Later on, dad and the teenager were washing up (it’s their job you see) and mum had a bath. No one had noticed anything out of the ordinary yet……
They sat in the sitting room with me, Brian had come in to sit by the fire with me too, which they were pleased about, although they did still seem to be worried about him as he was still very quiet.
We had a lovely quiet evening all together and went to bed, warm and toasty and no one had noticed a thing.
24th January – Day 54
I woke dad up this morning as I urgently needed to go out. He came down and let me out and then let the chickens out too. Mum came down a bit later ready to get our breakfast. I rushed around with excitement – I always do when it’s food time!
I heard mum shriek and say something about me being a naughty boy….. Oh.
It would be fair to say at this point that I took complete advantage of poor Brian’s situation last night and mum and dad’s concern and fussing over him and executed my dastardly plan with the utmost precision and stealth for a noisy boy like me! I think even mum was impressed at my ninja moves!
The bags that Trevor and Iyla’s mum brought round were Aldi cool bags, so pretty sturdy with canvas handles and a zip along the top. They had in them about 20 Forthglade meat packets each – so pretty heavy too. They were no match for me and my wiggling nose though, which can smell even the slightest whiff of food a mile off! So I managed to pull one of the bags out (this is how mum caught me out so early on as she had tripped over it when going to the bathroom and couldn’t understand why it ws not where she had put it) and I chewed the zip everso slightly to damage it enough that I could unzip the bag by pushing my nose inside and along the bag! Masterful!! Unfortunately this is where the plan failed as the Forthglade was packed so tightly in the bag that I couldn’t take one out to chew it open! Up until then, you’ve got to admit it was a great plan, how was I to know I would fail at the final hurdle?! Mum took a photo of the bag and sent it to Trevor and Iyla’s mum, who fortunately saw the funny side. I couldn’t even blame 99, my partner in crime, like I did last time, as she is not here to blame! I had been well and truly caught!
Mum and dad did think it was funny but I also know I must not do anything like this again…. For now anyway!
So the day carried on with our walk and then we met Lottie who Brian liked A LOT! Mr Frisky was back – he is obviously feeling better! Lottie is beautiful, despite her terrible scars. She was rescued from China you see and had a metal clamp through the scruff of her neck which must have been agony for her. Mum couldn’t believe how well adjusted and loving she was, despite the cruelty she had very obviously endured and me and Brian are very much looking forward to her coming to stay with us and we are determined to show her how to roar around the garden! That’s now one of my favourite things – I love racing round the garden.
After lunch we met Jolie – Brian really liked her too – he’s not fussy! He prances about when he likes someone and looks like a thoroughbred trotting with it’s tail up. He makes mum laugh! I think she’s just so pleased that he’s feeling so much better. So Jolie’s coming to stay too – Brian will be very happy!
Dad came home later and mum had got him his favourite for supper, so they had an evening chilling out with me and Brian who were roasting ourselves in our normal spot by the fire. I think I may have fallen on my feet here – I’m certainly starting to let mum and dad see the real me!
25th January – Day 55
We all had to get up early today as a man was coming to cut the hedge. He had a white van, so I promptly got in it! Dad hasn’t seen me do this before and he thought it was very funny!
Mum likes gardening so she was out with the man and I came out with my coat on too and spent a few hours in the garden with mum. If I wasn’t helping, I was learning to lay in the sun on the grass. I got quite good at it!
Once the man had gone, dad took mum out for a few hours as it was her birthday tomorrow and he was panicking that he hadn’t got her anything! Mum said it really was ok but dad was insistent, so off they went. Me and Brian, exhausted from all the goings on this week were quite happy to have a day off and we slept til our hearts were content until they got back. We are always very pleased to see them when they return, even though the teenager had been here with us and we do lots of special stretching and wagging. We also know we’ll get a treat, so that makes us wag even more!
They had a few hours with us and then they were out again as they were going out for a birthday meal with some friends.
I thought I may get a look in where Trevor and Iyla’s food is concerned, but no chance! Mum has put it right out of the way!
They fed us our tea before they went and gave us some extra treats but we knew this was their night tonight, so we would see them later.
26th January – Day 56
Mum’s birthday! Well I was surprised to see them up so early but we had our breakfast at normal time. We had to wait a bit longer for our walk but we went out and Brian and Dad came too. Dad held my lead today as he doesn’t normally get to do this and I always like it. It was still really muddy so we did a slightly different walk. We were all happy, minding our own business, when 2 labs jumped out in front of us. One was red and the other was black. They stopped and looked at us and mum said to their person that I can be a bit aggressive with other breeds, so he didn’t hang about and they walked past. I barked very loudly 4 times and then carried on as normal. I didn’t even turn back or get unsettled and pull on my lead like I have in the past. Dad was a bit shocked at my angry barking and rearing but mum told him that actually I was a very god boy as this was the least interest or aggression I had shown. He told me I was clever and a good boy too and so did mum and we all had a big cuddle. I love my cuddles but I’d rather get on with my walk! Brian seems much better with his teeth but he struggles on his poorly leg but he loves coming with us when he feels like it and mum says all the time he is happy then that’s ok. He really is happy and I like Brian a lot.
Mum and dad and the teenager went to the cinema and had some lunch and then came back and we all chilled out together and watched another film – mum loves Downton Abbey so she made dad watch that but the teenager made a hasty exit!
The evening was the same – the weather was so horrible outside that we were all quite happy to be in the dry and warm.
27th January – Day 57
Trevor and Iyla arrived this morning. I like Trevor and Iyla. They are always very excited when they arrive and we had a big chase around the garden together. Mum tried to get it on her video phone thing but missed it as she was faffing about. She got our coats and leads and we all went straight out for a walk. Mum thinks this settles us all. Me and Trevor were fit to drop when we got home and could barely walk up the drive but Iyla was still pulling like a train!
We came in and found our beds and settled down to have a snooze. I slept VERY well!
Mum woke us up for our treats at 1pm and we all had a race around the garden again. Mum came out too and we just toddled about for most of the afternoon.
Dad and the teenager got home and were both pleased to see Trevor and Iyla, and we were all very pleased to see them too. Trevor jumped up and gave dad a kiss on the face. I haven’t done anything like that yet and I’m not sure if it’s the “done” thing, particularly as me and Brian are very good at licking our boy bits clean!!
We all had our tea and the teenager gave us some cheese as he was making sandwiches for the next day. I LOVE cheese but Brian is really keen – he pushed us all out of the way to get there and his ears were up like radars! He can tell the difference between a cheese packet being opened as oppose to anything else – it’s one of his tricks!
We had our normal evening together and then it was bedtime. We all had our treats and off to bed.
We saw mum a bit earlier than normal as Iyla decided she needed a wee wees at 3 in the morning, so we all decided to go out – it’s amazing what you can find to do in the garden in the middle of the night when mum just wants us to come in so she can go back to bed!
28th January – Day 58
Today the sun was shining! It was the first day in what seems forever since the sun has shone. Mum decided she would take advantage of the dry day and have a big bonfire of all the hedge cuttings that the man cut on Saturday. There was an awful lot of it – she said to dad that there were 6 ton bags of hedge – that sounds a lot to me, even if I don’t know what all that means. I decided I would help her and peed against some. Trevor then decided he would do the same, and Brian. We were really good at this sort of help and went around doing it some more throughout the morning.
It seemed to be disappearing gradually though. We were all in the garden with our coats on and we could just race about with each other and explore the garden, just checking on mum every now and again.
I heard Trevor start to bark so me and Iyla raced round to see what he was barking at. There it was! The golden retriever that made me so angry that the red mist came down last month! Well I barked my most angry bark and I really meant it. I chased up and down the garden barking at it. Trevor and Iyla joined in the running up and down too. That dog made me so mad. Mum came and stopped me in the end and told me I was naughty. I don’t mean to be, I just HATE blondes. Mum said she couldn’t understand how I had been so good on Sunday and so angry today. She knew they were different dogs, but even so…… Oops.
Mum washed her car in the afternoon. She said she had never been so ashamed, it was so dirty. She doesn’t ever seem to be ashamed of me though, even when I’m a bit naughty. I know she loves me and Brian loads and if she’s cross with us, it’s never for long. She’s never really cross with Brian as he’s always a really good boy. The only thing he sometimes does is grumble at me or one of our guests if we are getting a bit too bossy or noisy but mum thinks that’s more than fair enough!
She had to go to nanny Margaret’s this evening with dad to help nanny Margaret with a few things, so she prepared our tea before she left and left a note for the teenager to feed us when he got back at 5pm, which he duly did and watched us all so no one pinched anyone elses.
When they got home from nanny Margaret’s I was laying on the towel that mum uses as a door mat when it’s really wet, in front of the kitchen door. Brian, Trevor and Iyla all got up to greet them but I didn’t. I looked at mum but didn’t get up. She thought I must be sulking as she had been out and left me for a few hours and Belle used to sulk if mum left her for any amount of time. Mum wasn’t overly worried in any case. They went into the sitting room and Brian, Trevor and Iyla went with them. I decided I would too and went in. Mum was very pleased to see me and gave me a massive cuddle and patted me under my tummy which I like. Just as she stopped I was sick. A lot. Dad took me outside so mum could do what needed to be done inside. When I came back in, I was feeling very sorry for myself and was very slow and tentative when I walked. I gently got onto my sofa and mum and dad sat with me until I closed my eyes. Mum now felt really guilty that she thought I was ignoring her. They kept checking me throughout the evening but I seemed to be ok. We had our wee wee’s before bed and we all came in and settled down for the night.
I started squeaking and did a high pitched bark at about 2.30amso mum rushed down to see if I was ok. I was on my sofa but not laying down on my side like normal. Mum stroked me and talked to me until I closed my eyes and settled again. She went back up to bed. At 4am I barked. And barked. And barked. Brian told me off. I know if I bark, mum or dad normally comes down as I need to go out. Mum and dad came down and I stopped. I was just scared I think and I was panicking as I was hurting. Mum felt all around my tummy but it felt fine and I wasn’t bothered by this and didn’t squeak or flinch. When she touched one of my back legs though I really squealed. I had pulled a muscle and I wasn’t very brave about it. In fact I wouldn’t let mum and dad go back upstairs as I kept barking every time they tried. Dad stayed down with me and stroked me to placate me but every time he stopped I barked! Eventually I laid back on my side and I let dad go back up to bed.
29th January – Day 59
Mum and dad looked like ghosts this morning after me keeping them up! They looked absolutely zorsted.
Mum did everyone breakfast but I just had a small amount of meat with no biscuits, just to make sure my tummy was ok. I was very slow and I squealed when I got up as my leg hurt LOADS.
I just about managed to struggle outside to do my business, whilst Trevor and Iyla roared around like usual. I came back in again looking very sorry for myself. I couldn’t even get on my sofa, so I went round and round in circles until I eventually felt brave enough to lay down on one of the squidgy beds. If I had a handkerchief, I would have mopped my brow. The effort was immense!
I stayed in with Brian while Trevor and Iyla had a walk. I couldn’t face anything. I was in AGONY.
They all got back from their walk, pretty wet. It wasn’t very nice outside so I don’t think I missed too much……
The day was quiet as I just couldn’t face anything……. Until lunch time when I managed a chew!
Tea time came and I managed to slowly get off my bed, I let out a bit of a squeak as I think I’m dying. I ate my tea but far more slowly than I normally would – I need as much sympathy as possible from mum, which she duly gives.
I spent the evening on my sofa – I had managed to drag myself onto it, although it was a terrible struggle……
30th January – Day 60
I didn’t greet mum when she came down this morning. I stayed on my sofa. I didn’t even get up when I heard her preparing breakfast. I bravely sat myself up with a squeal and lolloped off my sofa and headed towards my breakfast. I seemed to manage to eat it a bit faster today but was still not up to full mach 3 eating speed.
The weather was terrible today and mum had to force us all out after our breakfast – Trevor and Brian really didn’t want to go, although Iyla didn’t seem to care much about the weather.
We took a rain check (quite literally) and mum decided we would give it a miss. None of us enjoyed walking when it was that wet. I wouldn’t have gone anyway as my leg is still hurting.
We all had a duvet day and enjoyed the warmth of the fire whilst it poured down outside.
Mum caught up on her admin and Trevor and Iyla were particularly helpful when it came to ripping up any old bits of paper she no longer needed, although Trevor go a bit carried away and ran off with today’s newspaper to give it a good ripping!
It has to be said, I think we all enjoyed our quiet day today and were all quite content being with mum and the fire and I was starting to feel a bit better for having the rest.
31st January – Day 61
I sprung of my sofa this morning, wagging and excited to see mum. She was very happy to see I was feeling better and gave me a big cuddle. I think I was so close to death the last couple of days but I managed to overcome it like the brave boy I am!
We went for a walk this morning on the Golf Course before it rained again. We didn’t do such a long walk today so I didn’t overdo it on my leg. I think Trevor was pleased we didn’t go too far too as we both were lagging behind by the time we got home. Iyla is such a go-er!!
We spent a lot of our day outside with our coats on today and even had our chews outside on the grass. Mum likes to be outside when the weather starts to get better and she looked like she was enjoying starting to tidy up the garden.
I notice she does sneaky things when dad isn’t here and will then tell him “it’s always been there” or “this old thing”? He always falls for it but it’s our secret! When he does catch her out they fall about laughing, so I don’t think he minds! Me and Brian don’t mind in the least, we like it that they are always doing things that we can help with and love it when they laugh so much – it makes us smile.
Tea time and it was bolted down quicker than Usain Bolt out of the starting blocks! I was back to normal! I obviously checked everyone else had finished, then mum really knew I was better!
Dad got back and I gave him a big smiley wag, we all did. He loves it when we all greet him when he gets home.
Brian hobbles over with his baby and then the game proceeds when dad grabs the baby and throws it into the siting room, followed by Brian, whose front legs are right up in the air like a horse rearing, as he pounces on his baby and squeaks it to death! This happens every night and no one seems to tire of it. It makes mum laugh so much but I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. I haven’t really learnt to play or understand how to play yet but I might one day. What I do know how to do is race round the garden as fast as I can and mum absolutely loves that!
Mum and dad try and stay up later tonight, but as usual, they can’t make it past 10pm and so we toddle off to bed after our night time treats.
1st February – Day 62
We all got up early today as the man with the white van was here to do something in the garden. We all rushed out to meet him and one by one, me, Trevor and Iyla investigated the inside of his van. He is a nice man and he smiles when we do this and doesn’t seem to mind.
We spent the morning in the garden – it was such a lovely morning. Dad had to take nanny Margaret somewhere in the morning so we spent time outside with mum, chasing around and snoozing in equal measure. We all really loved it.
Dad got home and was excited about Rugby, whatever that is. We all came in though and just relaxed. Trevor and Iyla have moved in I think – they seem to be very happy to be here with us and Trevor hogs the fire now and me and Brian have to be really quick if we want the hot spot! Everyone pinches Brian’s bed by the radiator too so I think he will be pleased to get that back soon!
Dad lit the fire – they like the fire on and so do we. We all stayed there until it was time for our bedtime wee wees. We all race in after to get our coats on as we know that we then have our treats. It’s always Brian first, then me and then Trevor and Iyla. Mum says that we everyone knows where they are in the pack- I don’t care – I just love my treats and my tail doesn’t stop wagging! Once we’ve had our last one, dad wipes his hands together so we know there’s no more but we always wait and look longingly, just in case there’s an encore!
2nd February – Day 63
We woke mum and dad up in a different way this morning. We all sang! Trevor and Iyla started to teach me how to howl and Brian just got very cross with us and barked his cross bark at us. We didn’t hear mum come down or open the door as we were in mid howl and mid bark. She was peering around the corner at us so we couldn’t see her! The sight that greeted her was one of amusement! I was laying on my side on my sofa, not even lifting my head, barking, whilst Iyla and Trevor had their noses to the sky howling! Mum couldn’t believe her eyes or stop laughing! She had never seen or heard a Greyhound howl like this, let alone me joining in with my barking by not even bothering to move in the most lazy way possible. Brian looked disgusted with us all!
Well, that got our breakfast sorted anyway!
They all got up, the teenager too as dad was taking him on a driving lesson – he’s got his test soon.
They had friends coming over for lunch, so after our walk mum spent the morning preparing for lunch. They were having a roast, so that meant we would all get some chicken skin and gravy – YUM! When they have a big yummy meal like this, we all go into the dining room with them and lay down around the table. As soon as anyone gets up, we all rush out after them, just in case there is any for us! There normally is!
We tore around the garden in the afternoon, showing everyone how fast and clever we are. I just love it and it makes me puff and pant as I put EVERYTHING I have into my racing around. We twist and turn and bark with excitement. Mum says we all look so happy and free. We all smile and just let ourselves go. She sometimes cries it makes her so happy. We just think she’s silly but give her a bit puffy panty cuddle anyway!
Dad’s into motorbikes and cars and loves it that he can tell people our 0 – 40 mph is faster that a Lotus and we can do that in 3 strides! Mum and dad’s friends were amazed! Job done!
We were pooped for the rest of the day / evening and barely moved, although wee wee’s followed by our treats at bedtime always gets us up!
3rd – 7th February – Days 64 - 68
Back to work again for dad, so he’s up early making tea and letting the chickens out. I have got used to this now and don’t bother getting up with him or going out yet. I wait for mum. Dad says I’m a real mummy’s boy and I think I am. I love her coming down in the mornings and do loads of special stretching and I can’t wag my tail fast enough! My tail is still sometimes a bit uncontrollable and it goes up and down rather than side to side but that’s because I’m so excited and happy. Trevor and Iyla get up with me too to greet mum but Brian snoozes a bit more until he hears his name being called for breakfast.
This week has been the best yet! The sun has been shining so mum puts our coats on and we all go out with her in the garden all day. We go out at about 11am and come back in at 4pm and I have LOVED it! We race about, we sunbathe, we help mum, we sniff about around the garden and do more sunbathing. I have a favourite spot up on the orchard which mum says is the wild flower meadow in the summer. I lay against the fence with the sun beating down on me and I hold my head up but keep my eyes shut. It’s blissful. I’m in heaven. I check every now and again that I can still see mum and then I can safely shut my eyes again. I still do like to make sure she is always close. Dad was amazed with me as the gate nearest the house was open while he did something and me, Trevor and Iyla started to tootle down the drive towards the end gate. I stopped to turn around and check mum was coming and when I saw she wasn’t, I toddled back to her. I won’t leave her too far away – she might get lost! Dad told me how clever I was and what a good boy I was but told mum not to be fooled – I’d still leg it if I saw something exciting enough! He’s right, of course!
The whole week was spent like this while mum was busy in the garden (although I’m not sure what she’s done!) and the evenings were spent with mum and dad, which me and Brian love. I think Trevor and Iyla have really got into the swing of it all too!
Mummy Jean came over on Tuesday though and so mum took her for lunch at the nice pub round the corner. I like mummy Jean although I think I get a bit excited for her at the moment as I don’t like to miss out if someone else is getting some attention and I do tend to push Brian out of the way which mum tells me I mustn’t.
Half way through the week, me , Iyla and Trevor decided we would start a regular choir. We are very good! It starts at exactly 7.27am and I bark a couple of slightly urgent barks (it’s breakfast time you see) and after 2 barks, Iyla comes in with her howl and then Trevor does too. Woof, woof! Oooooohhhh, ooooooooooooohhhhhhh!! We are very good at this now! Brian sometimes barks too but he’s not joining in, just telling us off!
So you see, I have most definitely settled in. I’m still discovering new things and learning every day. I go around the garden on my own now without worrying mum’s not there all the time and I even laid in front of the house which I don’t normally do. I’ve found my favourite spot for sunning myself and I can look through the fence to see what’s going on across the field and down by the front of the drive. Me and Brian get on really well and he gives me confidence. I can be left on my own now, although I do get VERY excited when I hear mum’s car pull in and still jump up at the door as I’m so excited! I do this even if she’s been in the garden without me and I hear her voice coming back towards the door! I think I found the right family after my wait, so it was all worth it!
8th February – Day 69
So mum came down wearing the wrong clothes again today. She was off FWOOing again (FWOO – Fit Women of Ockley) with her friends from the village – they pretend they are running! Off she goes merrily waving and 45 minutes later, back she comes, red faced and looking shattered! Dad makes her a cup of tea and runs her a bath as we all think she may keel over!
She looks better when she comes back downstairs and our day can begin! It’s really muddy everywhere as we have had more rain and so we didn’t walk today but we had our coats on and spent time outside with mum and dad. Dad’s getting excited as he can start using his motorbike again soon, which he hasn’t been able to do through the winter, so a lot of his time was spent in the garage. Me, Trevor and Iyla were all very interested and Trevor started to cock his leg up dad’s motorbike wheel. We’ve never seen dad move so fast! Nooooooooooo!!!!!!! Trevor did fortunately stop but we were all banned from the garage after that!
Nanny Margaret came over later in the day as she sometimes comes over for a cup of tea (or glass of wine!). The rugby was on so dad had his lucky socks on and we all went in to watch the rugby. Nanny Margaret managed to throw her wine up the wall when she got excited about something, which saw mum rush around with a cloth to wipe the wall, the side table and the carpet, whist Nanny Margaret is apologising profusely and dad is fixated on the game that his team lost. All I’m going to say is that the socks don’t appear to be lucky after all!
Mum had got a takeaway for their evening tonight – not a proper one dad says as it’s from a box that she buys in a shop but she says it’s cheaper and it’s so easy as it just sits in the AGA. The GA is one of mum’s great loves and she will sing it’s praises to dad at any given opportunity! He loves it too really but they have a bit of banter about it! We all love it as it’s warm and we take turns to lie in front of it when the fire’s not on!
All in all, a good evening was had by all and we braced ourselves for Storm Ciara.
9th February – Day 70
It was really wet and windy this morning – so much so that none of us wanted to go out. We had to though. Pfft.
Whilst we didn’t get a walk today, it turned into one of the best days EVER! There was a power cut you see and whilst most people would be miffed, we lit the woodburners, turned on mum’s LED candles (Greyhound safe!) and cuddled – ALL DAY! Mum, dad and the teenager played a very noisy game of scrabble by candlelight and we just enjoyed every second as we were all close, being stroked and cuddled all of the time and if they stopped, we put our noses in the middle of their game! Trevor and Iyla shredded some paper so mum could get the fires started which she finds really funny but says they can only do it when asked. Trevor is particularly helpful and even tried his luck with a letter that was sitting on the side!
It has to be said, me and Brian were in complete heaven - there were no distractions for mum or dad as not even the telephone worked. She couldn’t do anything at all, so it just meant loads of loving!
10th – 14th February – Days 71 - 75
This week has been very exciting! We started the week with our morning chorus much to mum’s amusement - this will be the last one as Trevor and Iyla go home today. It was still wet and windy but we did all brave it for one last walk together. Their mum came to collect them lunch time and then our mum went into overdrive washing all the beds and coats and towels. It looks much better again but it’s been so wet that its mucky again in seconds. The food shopping came and me and Brian particularly like it when it arrives! We have our noses in everything – we both particularly like the fridge bag as it has the cheese in it and we LOVE cheese! We crashed out after this as we were both zorsted from all the exciting fun we have had with Trevor and Iyla for the past 2 weeks!
Tuesday came and it was a much quieter affair at breakfast and me and mum went out for a walk, just the 2 of us as Brian had taken to his bed by the radiator now no one was there to pinch it! We went across the golf course as it’s drier than anywhere else, although it’s still completely sodden underfoot. When we were ¾ of the way around, a black lab walked straight towards me. It was on a lead and mum spoke to the people with the lab and although I looked at him, I kept walking and didn’t make a sound. I didn’t even turn back to glare at him. Mum was so pleased with me, we had to stop and have a big cuddle while she told me how clever I was. I was very proud now and pranced along for a short while as people admired me in my red coat. We walked along the fairway as it has all been closed to golfers due to how wet it is. Alongside this particular fairway are woods. Mum had noticed 3 deer ahead of us but I had not seen them yet. One of them started to run and I saw it’s white bottom. Then another. And another. Another three appeared, making a total of 6. I stood and watched for a while – I didn’t know what to make of them. They disappeared from view and we continued towards the end of our walk. I was shattered by now and was starting to lag behind when all of a sudden the 6 deer appeared all at once, bouncing and leaping along just metres from us. That soon perked me up again and I barked at them as I didn’t know what else to do! All in all, it was a very exciting walk, despite it only being me and mum!
As if that wasn’t exciting enough, we had a meet and greet with Rupert, a rather beautiful brindle boy, also from Dunrunnin. He showed me how to kill toys and I watched as poor father Christmas suffered in silence whilst Rupert spat his innards across the carpet! He won’t bring you any presents at Christmas Rupert!
In the afternoon we met Lily who me and Brian thought was very gorgeous indeed and she did have to tell us off once or twice! We definitely liked her!!!
After all of that, I was ready for my sofa and stayed there most of the evening having some quite noisy dreams!
Wednesday and Ted arrived. We like Ted. He’s been here a few times before and he was very waggy when he got here. He settled in almost immediately and seemed to know our routine as well as we do! The men came in the white van again but this time, I knew what was in the back and so I didn’t need to get in today. I like them though and I always go out and see if I can help them. If I can’t, I just show them how clever I am at running around the garden as fast as I can! Ted had a bit of a run with me but he seems to run when it’s time to go in! At our last wee wees before bed though, dad had to put his coat and wellies on and go and find Ted as he didn’t want to come in! Me and Brian had to wait AGES for our bed time biscuits as mum said dad has to give them to us and not until we are all in together. Oh it felt like forever – where are you Ted, what are you doing? Eventually dad and Ted came in and normality was resumed with us wagging and nibbling dad’s hand when he gave us our biscuits and then we settled down to sleep.
Thursday was a bit less hectic, but wet and cold again. Another man in a van we haven’t met before came to the house, so we raced up to show him how pleased we are when anyone comes to see us. He couldn’t get out of his van as we were so excited and he didn’t want to hurt us by opening the door, so mum had to come and lead us away so he could get out! I had a good look around the van to see if I could get in but he hadn’t opened the doors but I did go round it twice to check!
We had quite a nice relaxing day today and Ted is quite calm like Brian, so there was no tearing about like the last 2 weeks and to be honest, I enjoyed the lazing around. I think mum thought we would need this today as tomorrow Becca from Dunrunnin, who started at the kennels when I first arrived there all those years ago, was coming to see me, along with Melanie, Kimmy and Elsie and they were also bringing Toby, another older boy who has been in kennels all his life since he was 3 (he’s now 8). How exciting!
Mum’s phone barked at 11am Friday morning and we always know when this one barks that someone is coming to see us. We get very excited and rush about squeaking whilst mum tries to put my guard on. I only have this on because I still get really excited when I meet someone new and we race around the garden together. Becca and Toby were first to arrive. I wasn’t too interested in Becca but was very pleased to see Toby and we explored and chased about round the garden together. Then Melanie, Kimmy and Elsie arrived and we all went for a sniff and trot around the garden. We got our hello’s out of the way and then got our leads and guards on and went out for a walk together. Becca walked me and mum walked Toby and Ted, while Kimmy and Elsie walked with their mum Melanie. Becca said I walked like a dream on the lead and mum told her that I understood some commands now. I think they were impressed when mum said “Chops, come!” and I did! I am very clever and mum says I am a bright boy. Toby was strong and pulled most of the way around the walk but he was excited as he was seeing lots of new things he’d never seen before and me and Ted were happy to show him. We passed a dog who barked at us and everyone was expecting Toby and me to go mad but we didn’t! I had a bit of a bark and Toby just squeaked a bit. Kimmy and Elsie took no notice and quiet Ted barked his head off! He showed that dog who was boss, that’s for sure!
At the end of our walk, we all found our beds, Kimmy and Elsie too and mum, Becca, Melanie and Toby went to the pub for lunch! I think something’s going on with Toby……..
Mum said he was brilliant in the pub – she took a duvet in for him to lay on and although everything was new and he was a bit anxious, he was impeccably behaved. 2 dogs barked at him as soon as he walked in and he just looked but ignored them and kept walking. He had admiring glances from people in the pub and mum said that the barman even brought him over some biscuits as he was so good! Later on mum said that she thought Toby wold be dad’s dog as they could walk to the pub together. Dad’s dog? What? What’s she talking about?! Dad doesn’t even know!!!!
Suffice to say, Dad got home, saw Toby, couldn’t believe it and said, that’s it then, he’s staying! Yeay! I liked Toby from the start, so did Brian. Mum wasn’t sure at first as she didn’t want me or Brian to feel pushed to one side but she said I’ll always be her special mummy’s boy and Brian already knows how special and loved he is. That’s ok then! I was happy with that! Toby was quite quiet that night but he seemed to know to ask to go outside and he always ran back when he was called. Me and him have already started to follow each other and it feels right already. This is my first Valentine’s Day here and I think it was a brilliant one – we all did!
15 February – Day 76
Toby barked at 6.30 this morning and dad came down to let him out. I didn’t get up but Ted did, so they both went out for a wee wee. Toby was even better than me when I came to live here as he didn’t have an accident overnight and did a bark to go out. I hope he’s not going to show me up…..
Dad went back upstairs until I barked at 7.30 to tell mum I was hungry. She came down to 3 very waggy boys – me, Ted and Toby! Toby had a good night’s sleep after all the adventures he had yesterday, so he was raring to go this morning! We all 3 followed mum out to where she prepares breakfast but Brian hasn’t surfaced yet…..
We all had our breakfast in our own spots and Toby now had his own place too so that we know not to pinch anyone else’s food (although I do just check once everyone has finished to see if they’ve left any.
Mum went off in her funny outfit again with her trainers on (even though she drives the car to get there!) and came back 45 minutes later looking less worn out that last week. She had to take dad somewhere after that, so we all got left with the teenager for an hour. When they got back, we all went out for a walk and Toby tried to show dad how to run – he was very enthusiastic (dad that is!).
Just as we got back, the heavens opened, so we timed that well and then the wind started up again. It’s Storm Denis this week. Where are they all coming from? So, you’ve guessed it – in we stayed, woodburner lit and not much was done for the rest of the day! Toby got daring a few times and came into the sitting room but he seems to like the safety and comfort of his bed at the moment. He’s found the toys though and is trying to show me what I’m meant to do with them as I don’t really understand toys. So between Brian and Toby, there was a lot of squeaking of the toys and running about – it was almost too much to cope with!
Toby had a bath like I did when I got here and his collars were washed and new coats ordered. He is going to have blue coats and collars. I have red and Brian has black. As we are 3 black boys, it’s easy to tell which one we are if we have different colour coats and collars on until people get to know us and our different personalities and we are all quite different but all the same in some respects too. Brian is funny – he is the comedian but he is in charge of us and will tell us off if we step out of line. I am chilled out but a total mummy’s boy and get jealous (not in a nasty way) if she gives anyone else attention and we are learning about Toby, although he also seems like a chilled out boy. We have all had our little issues and it’s mum’s job to find out what they are and help us work through them or with them. She says she likes this part of the adoption process as she enjoys watching her babies unfurl and gain in confidence and start to show their true selves. It took Brian about 3 years to completely show himself but I think I will get there quicker than that. She says it’s the greatest reward to know we trust her and dad.
Michael arrived this afternoon – he has stayed before and we all like him too. He is a brindle, so at least he is easy to spot amongst 4 black boys! He settled in quickly and soon it was time for our tea. We had our tea at normal time and mum and dad had theirs later. They had spaghetti bolognaise and I have learnt already that they save a bit for us when they have this – it’s our favourite! So we had spaghetti bolognaise tonight with a bit of cheese. YUM! We all looked for more but it was gone. I think Toby is going to find out it’s not too shoddy here at all!
16th February – Day 77
Storm Dennis rolled in early this morning. Mum and dad got up a couple of times in the night as it was so windy. We had another power cut but only for a short time, so at least mum could see what she was doing for 1 of the 3 most important times of the day – breakfast!
Breakfast was a bit hectic this morning as Michael and Toby don’t know the ropes yet and we all get breakfast in our own places and in order. Everyone went for my breakfast as mine was the first to go down. I stood there looking bewildered until mum got everyone back in order again. Outrageous!
It was really horrid outside and we all had to be pushed out of the door to go outside for our wee wees. We were in again like a shot and I raced onto my sofa so no one else could get it. Poor Brian has well and truly lost his favourite bed to Toby at the moment as Toby likes to sit somewhere where he can see everything that’s going on. I still do that too, but my space is in the doorway to the lounge from the kitchen. I can then always be the first to any scraps that are being handed out! I’m no fool you know!
There wasn’t much going on today as none of us wanted to go out but eventually the weather broke and mum and dad took us out in the late afternoon for our walk. They had the day to themselves today as the teenager was staying out with a friend, so they just chilled out and mum cooked roast chicken and all the trimmings. We all waited patiently and sure enough, we all had some chicken – I LOVE Sunday roasts!!
Toby seems to realise he is staying I think and he is really settling in to our routine very quickly. He knows that we all go out for wee wees and then we all come back in when we are called – he was even first to go back today! He’s a bit braver than I was and explores all of the garden on his own already. He obviously doesn’t realise that mum has the potential to get lost and needs and eye keeping on her at all times!
17th – 22nd February – Days 78 – 83
Back to work for dad again and Toby sees the slightly different routine they have on work days. He was really good again and slept right through with no accidents. Mum and dad were very pleased with him but still give all of us the biggest morning cuddles as they have missed us all overnight!
I heard mum and dad roaring with laughter this morning and mum told us later that she had pushed dad onto the bed, despite his protestations that he had just made it (this does not happen very often!) and mum made noisy quick kissing sounds on dads neck, telling him it’s how she kisses me. Dad leapt up laughing saying he couldn’t believe he came second to me, but at least mum is honest!!
The teenager arrived home with dad that evening and Toby barked and grumbled at him as he was protecting mum. That’s my job really but I’ll let him off as he doesn’t know yet. I will tell him later. Mum told Toby that he wasn’t to grumble at dad or the teenager and so they gave him cuddling to show him that they were ok. Me and Brian showed hi they are actually ok by doing special stretching for them and letting them make a fuss of them. Michael and Ted joined in too, so it was one big happy love in!
We all found our spots with them in the sitting room and Toby had completely made himself at home by spreading himself out on the sofa! Even I haven’t been on that one!
We woke mum and dad up this morning to a sing song! Dad came down but we had stopped before he got to us, so he doesn’t know who the howler is yet and we aren’t going to tell him!
We had a lovely long walk today and we all had to master the bridge over the ford and the steps up to and off of it. Me and Ted knew what to do so we showed Michael and Toby. Toby was unsure at first but he trusted mum and saw us doing it so followed too. He was very clever. Me and Ted were pretty zorsted by the end but Toby was pulling like a train and mum was teaching him “steady” like she did me and now I walk very nicely on the lead indeed. Michael was very good and didn’t pull but was ready for more!
It was such a lovely day mum decided we would all keep our coats on after our walk and stay outside. Brian came out too and we have the best day. Even though we had walked, we were all happy pootling about around the garden with the odd bit of chasing. I had to have my guard on for this bit as I still can’t get the hang of chasing without grabbing my playmates neck and growling with excitement. I don’t think I’m ever going to get the hang of it unless I can make all that noise!
We had mum to ourselves again tonight as dad and the teenager were at nanny Margaret’s. Mum didn’t have enough hands for all the cuddling that was required tonight though so me and her devised a way whereby she would lay near to me and I would roll on my side so my whole body from my head to my tail was touching her and then I would lift me head so I could see her and then rest it on her arm. This meant I had as much of her as I could while the others could get stroked by hands and feet. Perfect! I’m not sure it was the best solution for mum though, she looked a bit uncomfortable! This position is now to be adopted on most evenings!
Mum’s up early with dad this morning as she had lots going on. We got out for our walk earlier than usual and I got a bit fed up as there were cars on the lane this morning. We had to use the lanes as it’s still so wet everywhere but I prefer it when we get straight into the fields. Toby hasn’t been able to do that yet because of the weather – he doesn’t even know these other walks exist yet – I can’t wait to show him!
When we got back, there were some parcels for Toby and Brian. They were new coats! Well I was very keen to get in them and show them how they would look! Whenever mum puts our coats on, even if mine is already on, I put my head in everyone else’s too! It’s just so exciting! Anyway, their coats are lovely and they can now look as smart as me!
The man in the white van came again today and they mowed the lawn for the first time since I have been here. It felt lovely to lay on the shorter grass. Brian knew what he was doing and got straight out there and crashed out. I wasn’t sure yet. Ted wandered around and Toby and Michael chased each other. It was bliss. Michael showed us some roaching. I haven’t done this yet. Although I’m really happy and settled and have relaxed into things, there are parts of me that are still cautious and I am still unfurling and showing mum and dad more parts of me. Mum loves it when I show her new things about me. Toby has become part of the group very quickly but he can be jumpy. If he hears a noise close behind him he tends to run forward but I know he will soon learn to trust us all.
There was a baby crying on the tv tonight and I always leap up or look to see what’s happening and if the baby is ok. The funniest thig is when a dog barks on the tv as me, Brian and now Toby all get up, ears pricked and race over to the tv. Brian squeaks a lot at it, I just stare at it and Toby looked behind it to see if he could fine the dog making the noise! Mum thinks it’s very funny!
Treat time was brilliant tonight as we all had our new coats on and we had some extra yummy treat tonight. Toby thought dad’s thumb was a sausage and tried to nibble it! We all know when we’ve had treats it’s time for bed and we all settle down for the night.
Michael’s mum is coming to pick him up today. We’ve had a nice time with Michael and will miss him but he’s been before so mum says we will probably get to play again in the future. I hope so – he was speedy!
Mum pushed the noisy thing about again today. I’m getting much more used to it now as she seems to do it quite a lot. The washing machine was on lots today too, as she was washing all our beds and my sofa cushions as it has been getting dirty quite quickly with our mucky paws. We all loved it when they were put back on the beds as they were warm and we all couldn’t wait to get on them! I fashioned the towel that goes over my sofa into a Toga and laid back like an emperor waiting to be fed grapes – mum took a photo! I can be quite the model when I want to be!
Michael left and then we were back to 4. Not for long though as Eric comes tomorrow!
Mum got up early again with dad this morning as she was dropping him off at work as his motorbike was ready for him to collect. He loves his motorbike and has missed it but he was a bit grumpy this morning. Mum hoped a ride on his beloved motorbike this evening would perk him up when he got home……
Eric arrived. He’s another black boy – 5 black boys in the house! Mum says we are all so beautiful and it’s like looking through the aging process of a black greyhound looking at all our faces from jet black to varying shades of grey! Mum said if dad laid next to us too, that he could be included! She says he’s starting the process of turning into a silver fox and I like chasing foxes…..
We all got to know Eric today. Toby and Eric seem to have hit it off straight away. Eric is quite playful and mum was amazed to see him and Toby wagging and mouthing each other. They stretched at each other and even put their paws on each other’s. I’m not jealous or anything but do you think they’re gay?! No said mum!
We had a chilled out day and then Mr Grumpy got home……. He was pleased to see us all, of course but reverted to grumpy. Mum said she was going to make a Grumpometer ranging from happy to very grumpy so that he could point the arrow on how he was feeling! They at least laughed at this. I think he’s going through the man-opause…..
He was happy this morning as we all did our sing song and he thinks it’s funny! We still haven’t told him who’s howling but I think he now knows it’s Toby or Ted! They both got up early today as mum was going FWOOing in her funny clothes and dad was collecting his motorbike trousers that have been altered.
Once all this was done, Olivia came over with her dad and she gave us lots of treats and came out for a walk with us. It was quite a slow walk today as Olivia was in charge of Ted and they both dawdled along together while me, Toby and Eric wanted to get on with it! We saw 3 deer in front of us and Toby got very strong and wanted to go for it! Mum did well not to be pulled along the ground by us all as we were so excited and up for the chase! She was laughing and told us that she had a mental image of us galloping off with her dragging along the ground behind us like a rag doll. Ted and Olivia couldn’t have cared less – they were in their own little world!
We got back eventually and dad was back home. Mum let us all of the lead when the gate closed and we all ran to see dad (apart from Ted who decided the walk should have been longer and refused to budge!)
We faffed about around the garden again – all of us and mum and dad; and mum left the kitchen door open so we could all go in and out when we wanted. That didn’t last long though as she said it was a bit colder than she had thought!
It’s been a really good week for us being outside though and we are looking forward to it being more regular if the rain ever stops!
Mum and dad made supper together whilst listening to Liza Tarbuck on the radio. They always laugh when this is on as she is funny. We leap up and bark when she does the squeaky toy on the radio – especially Brian as he absolutely LOVES his toys. I bark just because Brian is. The love for his toys is as strong as the love I have for food – VERY strong indeed!
The fire was lit tonight again so we all found our places in front of the fire. Toby is beginning to understand what it is and that it’s warm but me and Brian are the 2 that hog it, if Ted hasn’t got in there first!
23rd February – Day 84
Sunday was another busy day in the garden for us and we were very helpful for dad. He was repairing an arch seat and so we all made sure we were right in the thick of it with our wiggling noses! Dad was very proud of his achievement of repairing the seat for mum and he was excited to show her what he’d done. He called her over to where he was standing (which was about 50 metres away) and said “There! Look! That’s better isn’t it!” Mum agreed it was standing up straight again. He said that he didn’t think anyone would notice his repair. She gave him a look and declared she thought people would be able to see it from 3 miles away! He said it would weather in and be ok so I wee’d on it. That should help with the weathering process!
Nanny Margaret came over for a cup of tea and spent the afternoon with us. She likes coming over and giving us all a cuddle, although she is a bit heavy handed when moving Brian out of the way sometimes and grabs him and pulls him close to her. We stay out of the way but poor Brian is very calm about it all! She doesn’t mean it but she is used to a Husky and we are a bit different!
24th February – Day 85
I woke mum and dad up by my urgent barking for breakfast today an hour early. I was hungry! That meant that me, Toby, Ted and Eric and leapt up and were rather disappointed when dad let us out for a wee wee and then went back upstairs with their cup of tea when we were back in. Humph. I raced back to my sofa before anyone else could get on it, although to be fair, everyone knows it’s mine!
We had breakfast eventually and off dad went to work.
Mum was worried about Brian as he had been sick again this morning after breakfast and he had been sick the other morning too, so we made sure we were a bit gentle around him and left him alone. Mum kept giving him cuddles and attention but I didn’t mind as he needed them today. I just watched from my sofa.
It was raining again and really quite miserable but we all made the most of it and had a good chase around the garden. Toby seems to like running with me but I do still grumble and bark with excitement. Toby did grumble back today so I’m going to try a bit harder not to do it but I just love chasing and it’s too exciting! When we are outside, I spend my day running around the garden – I LOVE it! When I’m not running I’m with mum and when I’m not doing that, I’m barking at any dog that dares to walk past my garden! I’m very god at that!
Mum took Brian to the vets this afternoon and took Toby too as she said she needed to register him like she had done with me. She gave me a big kiss and left me in charge of Ted and Eric. She’s never left me without Brian before but told me I’d be ok. Well I showed her I was NOT ok with this at all and did an angry wee on the kitchen radiator…… and on my food bin. She will NOT be leaving ME in the future!
They came home and mum was sad. She said Brian is not doing so well so we have to be very kind to him and love him lots and lots (we already do but we need to do even more). I showed him I loved him this evening as we both laid by the fire and I ended up resting my head on his bottom and dozing with him. It made mum smile. I love it when mum smiles. I smile lots too.
We all had lots of bed time treats from dad tonight – I think he likes to show us that he loves us as much as mum. He’s ok – I quite like him, especially at bed time!
25th February - Day 86
It was a great day today. Outside again in our coats for most of the day. I love days like this and I never want to go in. Brian stands at the kitchen door and barks when he wants to go in but even he didn’t do that today. Ted was happily barking at horses he couldn’t even see in the distance and me Toby and Eric roared around the garden, snapping off mum’s daffodils as we went. She didn’t seem to mid though, she just picked up the ones we had broken and took them indoors and put them in a vase. She called them Chops’ Daffodils. Some of them smell really nice she said but she said nothing compares to my smell. She loves kissing my head and smelling me and I love her doing it. I make funny little noises that sometimes sound like a mini growl and sometimes more of a barky squeak to show her how much I love it and if she stops, I start moving my mouth and talking without any sound and then a squeak comes out eventually. She laughs and says the dubbing’s gone wrong! It’s just bliss.
Dad and the teenager are at Nanny Margaret’s again this evening – they go once a week and then have a meal together. Dad had to go to the dentist tonight before he saw her but he still managed to have a curry! Mum said nothing can come between dad and a curry!
They got home and were a bit over excitable and far too noisy. We had all been having a very chilled evening – not now! They calmed down and we could relax again and cuddle with mum. They watched their drama on tv and then it’s time for our wee wees and bed.
Ted is the King at night time. He races outside like a puppy, despite his 12 years and barks for England. We all get up and race out after him to see what’s there. Normaly it’s nothing – Ted just loves barking! We are all very god at coming in at night though as we know we’ve got our treats, so we all duly come back in for coats on and yummies!
26th February – Day 87
The teenager had his driving test today. He was very nervous when he left for college this morning. Mum just said good luck to him and tried not to make too much of it so it didn’t make him nervous. Dad came down and said “Ah! The big day!”. Mum just shot him a look. She’s never given me that look but I know what it means!
Off they go and our day can start. Mum’s got to help Nanny Margaret with something this afternoon so she wore us all out during the day. We were outside again this morning and the man in the white van came. We helped him. We always do! It was quite windy today so I was glad of my red coat. I love my coat! As soon as mum gets our coats down from the back of the door I go mad! I race up and down the kitchen, wagging and not able to stay still! When she gets my coat over my head, I spin around with excitement, even though she’s not done it up! When mine is on, I help everyone else by putting my head in their coats too and then leaning on them when mum is trying to do their coats up. I think that’s just what’s needed but she seems to think otherwise! As soon as my guard gets taken off the hook, I rush into it and then bash everyone with it when I turn round to face the door. Mum opens the door and it’s a scramble as to who gets out first, although it’s normally me! Mum puts her coat and wellies on while we are all outside and as soon as she opens the door, I rush back in again. I’m just SO excited! No one else seems to get this excited!
So, of course, we were completely worn out by the time mum had to go. I think this was her aim as she knew we would all be fast asleep for the next hour!
She got back and we didn’t even hear her come to the door. Normally I would be po-going up and down at the door but not today – we were all shattered!
I woke up enough when it was time for tea though, we all did!
Dad and the teenager got home – the teenager looked a bit sad – I don’t think he passed his test. Mum made them all salmon en croutes with their initials on the top to make the teenager smile and feel better about it and it also meant we all got some salmon! YUM!
I think Toby is really beginning to realise he’s here for good like me and Brian and he seems to be very happy. We all are. We are showing Toby how to do special stretching for mum and he has started to join in which is good. He also has a really tickly spot on his back near his tail and he really dances when mum or dad tickles him there. It always makes them laugh. I love it when they laugh. We are all in front of the wood burner tonight, I’m closest to it, getting far too hot but I’m not moving. I am going to hog this space if it’s the last thing I do!
27th February – Day 88 – Chopper’s Final Entry
I’m up! Stretching for mum like I always do. She cuddles me and kisses me, like she always does. I race about while she is preparing breakfast and Ted and Eric are under her feet and Toby finds his bed like Brian and waits patiently. Toby and Brian don’t bolt their food down like I do but I can’t help it – I LOVE my food!
Out we go for our wee wees. I’m always first back in just in case anyone has left any food in their bowls and I race in and check out the bowls one by one. Eric has caught on to this though, so I have be even quicker than usual! Coats off and a snooze for a bit while mum gets herself ready for the day.
It’s the day when she pushes the noisy thing around and does lots of washing, so we have our walk and then this all commences. I’m used to it now and only move when she asks me to. I copied this from Brian. Ted is not keen at all and clears off into the dining room and Eric retires to his bed. She does something different today though and moves things around. She likes doing this. Dad calls it nesting. I just think it’s odd. As long as she doesn’t move my stuff, then it’s ok.
While she was doing all of this, I had a bit of a snoop about around the food area. She normally puts it all away but for some reason, she had left Eric’s biscuit measuring cup out for me. I took it back to my sofa and promptly licked all around it and when I couldn’t get to the bottom, bit it. Mum heard me and raced in to see what I was doing, just as I put 2 very neat holes in the cup with my lovely sharp teeth! Argh! Chops! She cried as she took it from me. Well it was her fault, what did she expect?! 99 taught me very well at Christmas!
So it’s clean in the house again; it looks like a Chinese laundry with the washing hanging all over the AGA. She’s cleaned the kitchen floor gazillions of times today – I don’t know why she bothers as we all love racing in when it’s clean and seeing how dirty we can make it for her! She says her nan would be proud of her!
Now the rain has stopped, we get back out in the garden for a few hours. I’m really getting into the swing of it! Coats on and out we go! I race around all day. I just love it! I can’t stay still, there’s always something to do. Chasing, racing, barking, sniffing and generally enjoying myself. Mum can’t believe that I used to be a bit scared to go around the garden on my own, watching me now. I just love it! I feel so free. I can run and run until my heart’s content and until I can run no more and have to collapse on my sofa! I show everyone that wants to watch how happy I am in my garden and I pant with exhaustion after all the excitement. I’m so clever! Everyone says so!
In we all come as it’s a bit chilly now. I run to my sofa where I spent the next hour or so, just snoozing and smiling, knowing mum was around and about.
I wake up when I hear her start to prepare our food but I need a wee wee. Mum lets me and Toby out for a wee wee and she prepares the food while we are outside. She could see us chasing about in the garden together, carefree and happy and both smiling. It made her happy, I know it did. I barked and squeaked at the door to come in. I normally did this when I knew my food was coming but mum knew my bark and squeak was different today. She opened the door to let us in and saw my back legs collapsed under me. I got myself over the threshold for her but this would be the last time.
I’m looking down on mum, dad, Brian, Toby and the teenager from heaven now. I miss her like mad and I know she is devastated. I see her wake up crying in the morning and I’m not there for her to cuddle and smell. I’m sorry I left you mum. I will love you forever, like I know you will me and one day I hope we will be together again. Night mum, sleep tight, I love you.
Night Chops, I love you more xxx