Thursday, 10 March 2011

A new sofa and doggy piercings

I haven't quite got the hang of this blogging malarkey, apparently I'm supposed to write things on a more regular basis than I have been doing.  I suppose, this being winter, I don't feel I have an awful lot to report.  As we, like everyone else in Provence, stay in doors and keep a low profile when its cold and the Mistral howls.  Actually being Scotties we quite like a bit of cold weather and a good strong wind makes Ralph and myself feel quite invigorated, we think it may go back to our Scottish ancestry, its just that others aren't so keen to take us for walks when it's cold.

There are however two bits of news I would like to share with you.

First, we have got a new sofa!  It means that we've got somewhere in the living room to lie down, you'll remember our last one was taken away.  We've been lying on it quite a lot to make sure this one doesn't get taken away.

Also, Ralph had an accident.  He ran after a boy on a bicycle and ended up with a very bloody nose.  It was quite dramatic, there was blood everywhere, we think he was hit with the boy's pedal (and not kicked on purpose).  So off he went to the vet (The Writer wasn't very happy, that'll cost me €40 she said) as part of his lip was hanging off!  He's now got staples in his lip to hold it all together!  First Scotty with piercings!  You'll have to admit he looks like something from a horror show!

The staples are meant to come out after 2 weeks, but The Writer is thinking of leaving them in (and avoiding spending another €40).

Now here's a funny thing.  The Writer was recently in New York and brought us back these Real Brooklyn Pizza treats.  Once when Ralph came home triumphantly with half a pizza in his mouth, he was made to give it up and here they are giving us exactly what Ralph found all on his own (albeit it in tiny portions) seems like over there they really know how to treat a dog!  I even heard they have doggie discos over there, no that's something that I'd like to hear more about.   

I've decided to invite other dogs to tell their stories on this site.  If you have an interesting story, with photos, please email it to The Writer, with photos.

'Till then, its woof woof from us both.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

On-going Tails, Tales

Did I mention that besides the Artist and the Writer, Ralph and I share our space with Kat the cat?  I've never seen the point in cats, unless its for chasing, and this one is no exception!  Of course we get told off for chasing him, so we have to do it when no-one is around, like late at night.  He's quick though and knows how to make a fast getaway onto the cupboards and table tops, but its fun none the less.

Probably the most annoying thing about Kat is that he gets fed a lot more often than we do, like every morning and evening.  We only get fed once, in the evening.  Also, if Kat wants something he just has to miaow really loudly and they come it that he is stuck on the roof and wants to come in, or just can't be bothered to use the cat flap (which I could get through myself pre-puppybirth).  Speaking of catflaps, Ralph usually takes one off its hinges every year, he can't understand that if his nose can fit through, why the rest of him can't , I've tried explaining it to him.....

Most of our day is spent guarding what is ours.  So we have to keep a sharp sniff out for dogs passing by in the street and bark loudly to let them know that they are passing our territory.  Similarly when we pass a house with a dog in it, we have to let them know we're passing.  Some dogs we don't mind, some we really hate. We especially hate enemy number 1 who lives down the road.  He's a yappy little thing and we both take great pleasure in attacking the door he lives behind every time we pass by.  Ralph further lets the dog world know where we've been by peeing on every stonewall and tree trunk that we pass, it can make a walk very slow going and the writer often says in desperation

we're on a walk not a stand

We also have to guard against humans who come to the door, unless they're a friend and we know their smell, we will do our best to see them off.  People we especially dislike are those that go by pushing a metal cart full of junk, some of which they push through our post box.   Not much better is the postman; Ralph especially likes to show his displeasure towards him by catching and biting the mail as it flies through the air.  As a rule of thumb, we hate anything on wheels, no matter what they are, top of my list are cyclists!  I always wait until they've passed by and then I pounce and run after them.  We also feel the same way about people running as we do about cyclists.  There is many a jogger who has been stopped in his tracks jogging on the spot trying to avoid Ralph's snapping, barking jaws.....

Its not just whats outside the house that we have to guard, we also have to keep a sharp look out for what is ours inside the house.   We once had a sofa in the front room.  Every morning when we got up from our beds in the kitchen, we would hop onto the sofa and stay there for most of the day.  It gave us a good vantage point for the front door and was above any draughts.  It was very comfortable and had a strong odour that let everyone know that it belonged to us.  People could smell it as soon as they came through the door and it stopped them from sitting on it (along with the muddy footprints and the hairs).  So you can Imagine our dismay, when it was exactly that smell that we so cherished that caused the Artist and the Writer to put the sofa out into the courtyard.  I mean what use is it to anyone out there?  Now all we have is a bed each in the kitchen; whenever they are moved, due to floor washing or some unnecessary action like that (well Ralph regularly cleans the floor with his tongue) I make sure I lie down in them, so they can't be taken away.  Call me a dog in the manger......but you have to stick up for what is yours...... I've just thought about another thing that really annoys me about Kat, he has the run of the house and is allowed to sleep wherever he wants.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Life as I know it.

Les Alpilles
I was born in a barn in Wales and from there was picked up one day and taken to a small hamlet in Shropshire.  Life was pretty good.  Plenty of fields to roam around in and a pack of Sheepdogs that lived next door, if I fancied a flirt or joining in a game of sheep round-up.
However, the Sheepdogs weren't good enough for me when it came to find me a mate.
They were the wrong breed!
So one day I was taken off to meet Gordon.  Not much happened, and I got bored and sat down and he got bored and sat down.  
Next time we met, things got a bit more serious!  There was a professional woman there, who 
knew how to get things done  
I won't go into the details here, but the outcome was seven little baby Scotties six weeks later.
They were born early one summer's morning,  The Artist took one look at what was going on and went straight back to bed!  The Writer came down later, she wasn't much better.  Luckily they were all healthy and I knew exactly what to do and didn't need anybody's help.  
They were all given Scottish names and we kept one called Nessie, (after the monster) but she kept running away and so we had to give Nessie away as well.
Life was pretty quiet and uneventful after all that, until one day Ralph arrived!  He was Nessie's puppy, she had mated with a Champion Dog, which meant that Ralph was very handsome
But there wasn't much between the ears.....
Anyway, I soon showed him who was boss and how it was going to be if we were going to share the same living space and slowly he started to grow up and pay attention to me.
Everything was just fine, until one day when it was announced that we were going to move to Provence.  They told us all about Provence; it was somewhere in France where lavender, wine and olive oil comes from, somewhere hot where everything is cooked in garlic and herbs and tomatoes.
Well, I thought, I'll give it a go.  Actually I didn't have a choice, Ralph and I were packed into the car, along with various household objects, (for some reason, Ginger the cat was allowed to stay behind,) and off we went early one morning, seems everything happens early in the morning for me!

When they had described Provence, I'd seen pictures of large houses with olive groves, so obviously that is how I pictured where we would be living, but when we arrived at what was 
our new house
I was confused.  There was one room on the street level with a small kitchen, but nothing beyond.  OK, I thought, this is OK for me and Ralph to live in, but where's everyone else going to be and why isn't there a door leading to the garden?

I soon learnt that in fact there was no garden and that the one room was it!  The Artist and The Writer could go upstairs to other rooms, but we were stuck down below (having short legs, I'm not very good at going up stairs at the best of time, let alone, stone spiral ones!)
Well imagine my horror, when we were taken to a little square patch of grass where we were expected to perform our toilet requirements, right out in the open in front of any tom, dick, or harry mongrel that happened to be passing by!  We were also taken for a walk alongside the river once a day, at least that afforded us some privacy in the guise of bushes and undergrowth; but things were not what I had been brought up to expect, there were a lot of strange dogs, dogs that Ralph, bless his little heart, did his best to see off.

Occasionally we are taken to somebody's house with a large garden and pool with vineyards beyond and open views; on these occasions, I always say to Ralph that this is how I imagined our life in Provence would be.  Not living in one room in a street full of children who call us Chippies and repeatedly ask if we were twins!
Life as we thought it might be

Well we did eventually move into a bigger house with a courtyard, but still no garden.  We spend most of the day sleeping in our beds, listening out for sounds of food preparation and walking under people's feet in an attempt to be there when something falls off a table top.
Despite Ralph getting older, he never got any brighter.  I have to keep showing him the ropes and often he gets me into trouble, but we've grown to love each other and even though we are granny and grandson, we are quite like an old married couple.
Life as it is