My mum had an operation on her knee about three weeks ago and hasn’t been able to go to the beach. I still go but it’s not the same and I get distracted, won’t chase the ball and sometimes won’t go back to the car. I’m not the most popular dog when I refuse to head home.
The Irish aunt says I’m too bold when mum is out of action, trying to take her place as top dog, so she’s got me into obedience training again. That is so tiring, does my head in, so it’s no wonder I’m subdued afterwards.
So I’m hoping that next week my mum will be coming out again now that the bruises are gone. I’ll chase the ball for her! Whoopee!
Those cats have the life of Riley, I tell you, lazy beasts. They get to sleep upstairs, unlike me who is barred, and then spend the days sleeping anywhere they like while I’m up and about racing on the beach. The most exercise I’ve seen that Marley do is jump in and out of a window. And Cleo only seems to exercise her vocal chords, miaow, miaow, miaow, all the time.
Holy moley, this has to be the ultimate indignity – a cat in my bed! Marley in MY bed. It’s not enough that he has free rein to sleep on any of the human beds in the house, on the back of the sofas, the best chair, my mum’s knee – he takes up residence in MY bed. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I saw him. My mum told a friend she nearly wet herself laughing but that’s too much information in my view. She stopped long enough to take photos, of course, to capture my anguish. Didn’t bother shifting him.
Me shift him? You have to be kidding – this is a giant cat and I’m a bit in awe of him, kinda scared that he will wop me like Sherry (the former cat) did when I was a youngster. They have sharp teeth and claws do cats, so I’m always polite in their company. Best to err on the side of caution. He had, fortunately, moved by the time we got back from the beach so I was able to dry out on my towel without interference.
Me and Marley are in the doghouse – not literally, we don’t have a kennel, but mum isn’t speaking to us. Not exactly incommunicado but yelling is definitely not in the speaking range, is it? Honestly, the cat is the main culprit.
Mum had a delivery of pet food earlier and the box was in the hall. She unpacked the bags – expensive cat food and cat litter, nothing for me – and took the box outside to the recycling bin.
When she came back the trouble started.
Marley had scratched open a bag and helped himself! I scuttled out of the way real quick while he took it on the chin then sauntered off. Cats have no shame, have they?
The thing is, I then blotted my copybook at dinner by sniffing her pizza – it was only a sniff, honest – while she was out of the room getting a drink. She caught me red nosed so then I was ‘persona dog grata’ and sent to the corner. My toy basket is in the corner but I thought it wouldn’t be a good idea to get anything out while she was so mad so I stayed there. In shame. It’s all the cat’s fault…
My mum, who has been away on holiday to Spain for a week, is calling me a fraud because I am charging around like a mad dog when three days ago I thought I was mortally injured.
It’s all her fault, anyway, for going on holiday and leaving me at boot camp where I took a tumble down the stairs and was in agony. There was no one in the house at the time and when the Irish aunt got home she was very upset at the collapsed state of me, shaking and whimpering (me, not her!). She had to carry me upstairs then down again to go the the vet and carry me into the surgery as I was in so much pain. I was so stressed and rigid the vet couldn’t find out exactly what was wrong so gave me painkillers, anti inflammatories and antibiotics.
I was a bit brighter the next morning and allowed the sprog to hand feed me; then it was off to the vet again cos she wanted to check me over. When she got to my right hip I yelped so she said that’s what had been hurt – a sprain or a bruise. I had a second round of medicine to last 24 hours so by the time mum my came home yesterday I was feeling MUCH better.
This morning I showed her just how good I was feeling (and hoped I’d get to the beach) by chasing my tail and barking at her.
She got the message though she said I had to be carfeul and wouldn’t throw the ball for me as usual.
So how does that make me a fraud? I’m just a quick recoverer, that’s all. And she hasn’t brought me any Spanish treats.
If there’s one thing I love it’s my nap after the beach. I run miles and miles so I’m pretty tired when I get back. After the post-beach biscuits (this can be the first food I get when my mum forgets my breakfast in a hurry to take me out) and coffee time, which sometimes brings an extra treat, I like to snuggle down in my sheepskin-lined bed and have a well earned snooze.
Today my mum made drop scones then slathered them with butter and strawberry jam which she made yesterday. I got only a tiny bite which will hardly see me through till dinnertime. I start telling her I’m hungry about 4pm but she says that’s too early and makes me wait until after five, often nearer six. It’s so cruel, especially when I really appreciate her cooking (not that she cooks for my dinner – I get kibble and some tinned stuff).
But I can always dream – pizza, jam, snore, ham, snore, cheese……
If there’s one thing I love it’s foraging. For me that’s sniffing out all the lovely aromas in the roots of trees, making my own marks and helping my mum pick blackberries. We can’t do it often because they are only ripe in the early autumn. But there are lots of bushes along the waggonway which is one of my favourite walks cos it’s got lots of trees and interesting smells.
Mum says poo bags come in very handy in blackberry season as they’re dual purpose – not that she collects poo and brambles in the same bag! – so if you have a bundle in your pocket you can use one or two for collecting fruit. She’s bagged pounds of berries this way.
While she’s picking I have a good explore and will occasionally drop my ball at her feet, just so she remembers I’m there, ah hem, supervising as it were.
When we get home she washes them to get the dust and spiders out then makes delicious things. I’m not keen on jam but I will force down a bit of pie, crumble or cake if there’s any on the go.
My mum’s blackberry custard tart – multo delicioso!!
120gr plain flour or gluten free flour*
1 tablespoonful demerara sugar
100gr butter, in small chunks
approx 6 tablespoonsful of cold water
Whiz dry ingredients and butter in food processor then add enough water to make a soft, pliable dough. Press, thickly, into a 20cm flan dish.
300gr fresh blackberries (enough to fill pastry in a double layer)
3 eggs beaten with
1 tablespoonful of caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100ml of single cream
Fill your pastry case with the blackberries before pouring over custard. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 160c until set. Serve warm with creme fraiche.
* The polenta pastry stops juicy fruit from making the bottom soggy.
This tart keeps well in the fridge – if there’s any left!