It’s been a bit quieter down in darkest Devon this last couple of days. Why’s that? I can hear you ask. Well, it’s because I got kicked in the face by Douggie the Doggie and every time I opened my mouth my jaw clicked. I can tell you it cuts right down on that chat when it’s all interspersed with ‘click, click, clicking’.
He definitely knocked my jaw out of alignment, I could feel my teeth weren’t sitting in their normal position. You’ll be glad to know it all seems to be in the correct place again now.
I never thought I’d get drop kicked by the dog but that very thing happened on Monday.
So how did all this come about? I know you’re dying to know. Well. Here we go then…Douggie the Doggie has got an impressive array of tricks in his repertoire but Kung Fu? That’s a new one.
In the early hours of the morning he woke us up to let us know he was going to have a fit. As normal, we stumbled bleary eyed downstairs and waited for it to happen. Experience has taught us that there really isn’t a lot of point in trying to stop it as he just tends to have a really nasty fit a few days later if we don’t just let it happen. So, as much as it goes against the grain, we just wait. We snooze. We listen. For his part Douggie the Doggie usually goes back to sleep for a while. Then he paces. He whines. He bobs his head.
Then it happens.
This time he jumped onto the settee just before it happened. He leaned into me and his head went down. “Here it comes”, I thought. I was right.
Poor old Douggie started trying to shake himself apart. Boofuls and I have a routine now, we just calmy lift him onto the floor so he can’t fall and hurt himself. Then we wait quietly, timing the duration of the fit and trying not to panic. It never gets any easier. Every time he has a fit I think it’s going to be his last, it terrifies me. Anyway, let’s not dwell on that. This time I had the back end. Just as we lifted him off the settee his foot shot out and he kicked me straight in the jaw. Oh my Gawd! That made my eyes water.
They say that humans have an unnatural strength when they have a fit and I can tell you it’s the same for dogs. That was a kick and a half. I spent the next day nursing my clicking jaw and cut chin and Douggie spent most of his time getting his brain back in order. You’ll be glad to know that we are now both absolutely fine and looking as gorgeous as ever.
Now I’ve been unshackled from my disability scooter and I can drive again it’s been nice venturing a bit further afield. Me and Douggie the doggie enjoyed a lovely stroll on a very windy beach, between the showers, this afternoon. Clearly Douggie doesn’t care what the weather is like.
In honour of the aforementioned disability scooter, here is a far better tribute to it than I could ever have penned courtesy of the Lancashire Hotpots.
When we first moved to Devon we were told that the novelty of living by the sea would wear off after a few months. I think someone forgot to tell Douggie the doggie. Two years on and he loves it as much as ever. In fact, if he doesn’t get a swim every day he positively sulks.
I’ve thrown in a couple of pictures taken with my fancy new filter as well. It’s amazing how a camera on a tripod acts like a magnet to snotty nosed little kids on the beach. 500 yards of beach to play on and yet they come and stand two inches away from me and seem determined to either stand right in the shot or stand next to the tripod, lose their balance and almost knock it over. Note to self: don’t take photos on the beach during school holidays.
I came across this article on Facebook today.
It was a good read.
It’s about how some dog owners think it’s ok to let their dogs just rampage round, running where they like and approaching any and every other dog they see.
It touched a nerve.
Usually said dog owners are a hundred yards away while their little darlings are having fun. My opinion is that if your dog is a hundred yards away then by no definition ever can it be deemed to be ‘under control.’
Now that might be ok if your dog is well mannered enough to leave other dogs alone but all too often they aren’t.
It’s about time we all started to understand that dogs, like people, are not all the same and a little courtesy and understanding can go a long way. The article talks mainly about fearful and reactive dogs but actually, the issues it addresses are relevant to all.
I don’t have a reactive or fearful dog but I have also experienced much of what is said in this article.
If a dog is on a lead I don’t allow Douggie the doggie to go up to them until I check if it’s ok. If it’s on a lead, it’s for a good reason.
If my dog, Douggie is on a lead I don’t allow him to interact with other dogs.
Have I had people be offended when I’ve said so?
Absolutely I have. “snotty bitch’ has been heard muttered more than once.
Why I keep Douggie the doggie away from other dogs when on a lead is my business – but I’ll tell you. After he’s had a fit he can be unpredictable. He’s never turned on another dog or a person but I don’t know what’s going on in his head at that point and I prefer to be safe than sorry. Also, he’s a big, powerful dog. If he decided to drag me across the road because his best mate was on the other side of the road he could. By teaching him that other dogs are off limits when he’s on a lead he knows to keep himself to himself and me safe from being run over by a bus. Common sense. Other dog owners leading their dogs, often on leads, up to him and telling them to ‘say hello’ undermines everything I’ve taught him.
I’ll politely point out that I don’t allow him to socialise when he’s on a lead. At that point they will either give me a dirty look and walk off or ask me in a very surprised voice why. My reply is usually, “for exactly this reason”, as Douggie
pulls me round from pillar to post to get a better sniff at the other dog’s nether regions. Not so much of a problem with a chihuahua, bit more of a problem when you have a six stone golden retriever.
While I’m in mid rant, may I also point out that my dog is not public property. He might look like a great big, soppy teddy bear but that does not mean he’s there to be petted, have his ears pulled or generally act as entertainment for your kids. At least have the manners to ask before parading your kid up to him telling them to stroke the nice doggie. Although I suppose that’s better than when your child runs up to him, arms outstretched and screaming, “Doggie!” in his face.
Please be aware that when I tell your child to keep away I’m protecting the dog from your child not vice versa. Shouting at me “Well it should be f*ckin’ muzzled then” is just aggressive nonsense. Actually, I think you should be muzzled as your mouth is much nastier and far more dangerous than my dog’s.
Now I don’t want to come over as holier than thou in this post. It took a lot of training and a lot of training mistakes on my part before we ended up with a well mannered dog. I vividly remember when Douggie was just a few months old that if he saw another dog ten miles away he would run like the wind to get to it. On day I stupidly took him to a local playing field.
There was a person with a leashed dog at the other end of the field. Douggie took off, I took off after him, frantically calling his name as the irate owner of the other dog swore and cursed me and my dog while fighting to keep his leashed dog under control, “GET YOUR DOG AWAY YOU STUPID BITCH MY DOG’LL KILL IT! I was running as fast as I could to get to Douggie before he got killed.
I was mortified that I had so little control over my dog that he, and by that I mean, I, could have caused a really nasty incident. It certainly taught me the value of training and respecting the needs of other dogs and their owners.
After that I never took Douggie anywhere where he had a clear line of sight. For months we only ever walked in the woods where he could only see a few feet in front. That way he learned to stay near to me. Eventually, once I knew I could trust him we braved the open spaces again.
Training and mutual respect. It’s not that hard is it?
Oooh, this article got me all fired up, didn’t it? Rant over.
Funny thing about bacon. No matter how much I cook and serve to other people, when I step outside and smell it from someone else’s kitchen I always think, ‘Mmmmm…bacon.’
At the moment we are enjoying the calm before the storm. From next week the bookings really step up and it starts to get busy in hotel land. To while away my time in this quietish period and to prevent boredom (ha! Fat chance of being bored with a to do list as long as my arm) I have been having a go at making some jewellery using the sea glass and shells I pick up on the beach and a few pictures. What do you think?
Then we decided duet the bank holiday that we’d pop over to Brixham on the ferry to have a look at the pirate festival. Well, you can’t turn up in a car can you. Any self respecting pirate would hop on a boat, so we did.
It was a cold and blustery day but Boofuls cheered it up by dressing as Woodstock pirate and I went as Adam Ant pirate. A couple of tots of rum once we landed warmed us up nicely and we soon got into the spirit of it all. There is a video of Lashes and I having a sword fight with a couple of buccaneers, I’ll post that when I retrieve it from Boofuls’ phone.
Taking a drive round Torbay the other day we were a little bit surprised to see this at the traffic lights. A ship at the lights isn’t something you see every day, is it?
Dougie the doggie was so excited, he thought it was a huge fish to play with. haha. Once he realised it wasn’t he looked a little bit glum. Not for long though. A quick dive into the water soon sorted him out.
Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl have a wee?
Because the p is silent!!
Hooohoohoo, heeheeheee. Made me laugh for ages, that one!
That was one of Munki’s jokes. Not bad for a seven year old, eh?
Dougie the doggie and I managed to while away almost three hours on the beach today. When I realised it was starting to dark I hurried home thinking that Boofuls would think I’d been carried off by the circus or something.
How did I manage to spend almost three hours on a beach in the middle of winter?
The tide was out so Douggie and I paddled all the way round the coast, clambering over rocks, marvelling at hermit crabs scuttling around with their homes on their backs, searching for sea glass and pebbles shaped like penguins. We found a baby starfish! It only had two arms, the others were little nubbly bits just starting to grow. It didn’t look so much like a star fish as a propellor. I put it under a piece of seaweed for safe keeping hoping that it wouldn’t get trampled to death by one of the many galloping hounds on the beach today. Dougie of course tried his best to get to it so I distracted him by throwing stones into the water for him to chase. I have to throw stones because if I throw a ball he won’t bring it back. As a retriever he’s pretty rubbish. I should probably explain to him again that he’s a golden RETRIEVER the clue’s in the name, really.
The sun shone onto the ripples in the sand making the beach glint and shine. I spent far too much time moving around trying to find which way the light gave the best effect. Some of the other beach walkers must have though I was doing some weird yoga exercise in my wellies and waterproofs and I crouched low and moved left and right, bobbing and weaving while I stared at the ground. The buildings high up on the hill were reflected in the puddles on the sand. Again, I moved this way and that trying to get the best image. I would have taken a photo but my phone died a watery death a couple of weeks ago and I don’t want to lug a big, professional camera around with me…
Wait…what…did I say my phone died a watery death a few weeks ago? Why, yes, dear reader, I did.
But…didn’t your phone die a watery death just a few months ago? Why, yes again, dear reader. My, what a good memory you have.
This time it was somewhat more dignified than last time when it fell out of my back pocket and into the loo. This time it fell out of my coat pocket and into the sea. Nonetheless, the ed result was the same. Instant death.
Still, let’s not dwell on that. Let’s return to our afternoon on the beach.
The sun cast warm, long shadows, the clouds turned pink and the sea lapped gently on the shore shining blue, pink or green depending on how the light hit it. I stood fascinated by it all while Doggie found himself a nice little spaniel to flirt with. people strolled up and down. As I so often am, I was stuck by how many people wear black. It look like a funeral director’s day out. The dark clothes looked at odds with the beautiful, dancing, ever changing light that the elements had treated us too but it seemed like I was the only person to notice.
Eventually the sun dropped down behind the hill and the gorgeous light changed to a soft, violet grey. At that point I shivered and realised I must have been out for hours.
So there you are. That’s how easy it is to spend a whole,afternoon on a beach. A bit of imagination, the company of a dog and some lovely weather. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.
While I was taking the dog for his evening walk tonight I was lured to the sea front by the sound of crashing waves. IT’s like a magnet, crashing waves, I can’t help but go and take a look as I’ m fascinated by the sea. Since being a small child I’ve wanted to live by the sea – and now I do. Ok, it took fifty years to achieve my goal but we’re here now. Better late than never.
Anyway, back to the plot. As I walked down towards the prom I could see that every now and then a wave would pop it’s head up over the wall as if trying to see what was on the other side. Not that there was a lot to see, a few stray tourists, a couple who, like me, clearly enjoyed watching the waves, a couple of cars and that was about it.
Still the sea kept jumping up trying to look over the wall.
I was quietly giggling to myself at the absurdity of it all when a huge waved jumped straight over the wall and soaked a couple who had been quietly minding their own business. Ok. I admit it. I laughed.
It didn’t stop me playing chicken with the waves five minutes later, unlike the other people though, I only got my feet wet. That happens so regularly these days that I’m in great danger of developing trench foot. It’s worth it though, it’s also worth the fifty year wait to get here. As I walk along the prom in the morning before starting work I just can’t believe how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. It just goes to show, it’s never to late to live your dreams.
Here are a few photos, taken on different days. Enjoy.
Mr Douggie the Doggie managed to break the penultimate rule a while ago and was allowed to start sleeping in our bedroom with us. The ultimate rule is ‘no dogs on the bed’ which he tries to break on a regular basis but gets met with a sharp ‘GET OFF!!’ Every other rule in the book went by the board a long time ago. “I’ll never let him on the furniture”, for instance. Now he just jumps up and gets settled wherever and whenever he feels like it, usually using me as a pillow. Ok, I admit it, I like the doggie snuggles while I’m watching a bit of evening telly.
To be fair, we only relaxed the bedroom rule so he could alert us if he was going to have a seizure but I have to be honest, I hate him being in the bedroom.
As if Boofuls doesn’t make enough noise in his sleep now I also have to contend with the pooch snoring, dreaming, smacking his lips, flopping around all over the floor rather than sleeping on his own lovely chocolate coloured bed, stretching, twitching and scratching, waking me up for a cuddle in the middle of the night ( you’d think he’s know that that was going to be a non starter) and generally having me awake half the night wondering if he’s ok.
A side effect of being woken up seventy five times a night is that I need to visit the bathroom more than I used to. There must be a direct link between my eyeballs and my bladder. As soon as I open my eyes my bladder says hello.
Going to the bathroom during the night never used to be an issue. Get up, walk to bathroom, pee, walk back, get back into bed. Easy. However, now we’ve changed the bedroom carpet it’s not so easy. I climb out of my lovely warm bed and then stand there for a minute trying to decipher where in the room Douggie is. Spotting a cream coloured dog on a cream coloured carpet in a room that’s blacker than a black thing because there’s no such thing as street lighting where we live, is no mean feat.
Once I’ve successfully located him, by peering like Mr Magoo into the dark, I usually find him stretched out to his full length at some impossible angle and nowhere near his bed, I have to try and get past him without standing on him. Again, easy. You think?
In the good old days before I developed plantar fasciitis it was ok. Now my poor feet tingle and throb and just don’t want to move. My first four or five steps look remarkably like those of your average 100 year old, wobbly, painful and uncertain. One move from Douggie as I’m gingerly stepping over him will see me go ear over elbow in a most ungainly fashion.
Amazingly, by the time I’ve reached the bathroom door I’m able to walk normally again so the walk back to bed is nowhere near as treacherous. I climb back into my lovely warm bed and snuggle down trying to get back to sleep before the next disturbance which usually happens as the first rays of light are just starting to break through and Douggie decides it’s time to get up. He sticks his cold, snotty wet nose on my face and bashes his tail against the radiator like a gong.
My first words of every day used to be “Good morning, darling.” Now it’s “Feck off, dog! It’s fecking 6 o’clock!”. It’s no way to start the day. Of course then I’m wide awake so I lie there fuming for a while telling my eyeballs not to tell my bladder I need a wee and then I end up getting up.
With the amount of sleep deprivation I have at the moment it’s amazing I’m not walking round every day tearing the heads of people and breathing fire. These seizures have got a lot to answer for. Tell me again why I wanted a dog.