Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Opportunity knocks...........

Small Dog has been alerted to the following post on a local Hastings community forum....

Star Dog

Does anyone own a small scruffy dog that likes to tug on things - why because we are making a film in Hastings and need a small scruffy dog to tug on a bag - could this be your dog? Expenses paid and dog treats

She is currently practicing her tugging skills in front of the mirror and attempting to look as scruffy as possible.

Personally I think that her sense of self-importance does not need to be further inflated by appearing in a film, scruffy or otherwise. However she's already applied for her Equity card and is placing a 'wanted' ad for an agent in "The Stage".

Move over Norma Desmond........."“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Rat Weasel...........

Small Dog had a haircut last Friday.

Under duress.

I escaped with only minor flesh wounds and she is only just talking to me again.

Under duress.

Never mind that I wasn't the one wielding the scissors.......I had the unenviable task of holding the bitey end, which meant that whenever PP ventured near one of Small Dog's many, many 'No Go' areas, I was right in the firing line.

Inevitably, due to the fact that she squirmed around and wouldn't stay still, the resultant cut is a tad on the scrappy side. Also, as she makes such a performance of it, we have to cut off more than we would like to, in order to maximise the time between shearings.

Admittedly it has knocked years off her, and she suddenly looks like a puppy again. However, due partly to her ridiculous behaviour during, and her raggedy appearance since, I have renamed her Rat Weasel, which is not helping re-establish diplomatic relations one bit.

She is giving us both a wide berth, as every time she comes to sit on a lap, one of sees a section which needs tidied up, and the other is dispatched to find the scissors. The scissor fetcher has to take care to keep them concealed, and approach on her blind side, while the other, usually PP, takes a firm grip and attempts to trim any stray clumps which escaped the first sweep.

This will go on for perhaps another week or so, by which time there will be enough regrowth to make the straggly patches less apparent.

I have been trying to get a decent photo of her but she has become resolutely camera shy, refusing to pose with her usual va-va-voom. As a consequence I feel a bit like a paparazzi, hiding behind doors and furniture trying to catch her off-guard.

This is the best I can do, and the pose says it all really. If ever there was an expression which said 'buggroff the lot of you' then this is it.

In other news, in a spirit of frugality and re-cycling, I'm planning on weaving a small Abyssinian guinea pig out of all the clippings............

Thursday, 6 August 2009

The hottest day...........

Small Dog is suffering in the heat.

However, despite our offer of a cooling spray courtesy of the garden hose, or setting up a small swimming pool for her, she is resolutely uncooperative, confidently asserting that Yorkshire Terriers should never get wet and can't swim.

Obviously she is unaware of the power of You Tube to dispel such blatant untruths.........

Fly my pretty.............

The recent spell of hot, humid weather is making Small Dog irascible.

She's having a haircut today in the hope of making her feel cooler and more comfortable, but in the meantime she is decidedly prickly.

She's been particularly bothered by the plethora of winged insects currently plaguing everyone. As is PP who is waging a one-woman war on the surfeit of flies buzzing around.

Yesterday, in the relative cool of the evening, as we sat watching TV, unwinding from the excitement of our cinema trip, an unwary fly penetrated PP's extensive flying insect defences and buzzed irritatingly in front of the screen.

Following a few quick bursts of fly spray, it then performed a series of increasingly erratic kamikaze loops before dive-bombing onto the rug where it apparently expired. Engrossed as we were, we didn't immediately remove the body.

A few minutes later, Small Dog sauntered into the room, and after ascertaining that we weren't having tea and biscuits, or any other type of snack, sat on the rug, where her attention was drawn to the fly, which had temporarily regained consciousness and was auditioning for the a part in the fly equivalent of the death scene from Hamlet.

Seconds later, Small Dog leapt vertically into the air, shaking her head violently, while spitting (yes SPITTING!) before racing into the hallway and diving onto her bed, pawing her mouth.

Galvanised into action, PP and I hurried to her aid, and while PP rushed her into the kitchen, dumped her in the sink and washed her face and mouth with water, I retrieved the fly from where Small Dog had spat it out on the rug and hastened its final demise.

Now, while I am vague about the ill-effects of small dogs consuming unadulterated flies, I am fairly certain that flies doused with fly killer are unpalatable to say the least, and even possibly, if ingested, fatal.

Thankfully Small Dog did not swallow the fly (I don't know why) and having had her mouth and face thoroughly rinsed immediately, we averted potential disaster. She is exhibiting no lingering after effects, except for showing a marked aversion to the few foolhardy flies who have breached PP's defences into the kitchen today.

However, I dread to think what might have happened had we not been on hand.

Be afraid.
Be very afraid

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Camping tails............

Small Dog loves camping.

The time spent in the great outdoors
The BBQ sausages
The opportunity to mingle with other like-minded canines
The sights
The sounds
The smells

She loves staying up late, chatting around the BBQ embers, then strolling around the site to pick up her 'wee mails'.

She loves the sun on her face, wind in her hair and the feel of the grass beneath her feet.

What she does NOT love is coming home.

As soon as we begin packing up the van she starts behaving like a stroppy teenager, becoming increasingly grumpy right up to the point where she is strapped into her car harness when she indulges in a mighty sulk which can last for days.

Once home she retires to her basket to catch up on the myriad naps she's missed out on, emerging only to chase squirrels up the garden or wander despondently into the kitchen to enquire after her dinner.

As I write she is curled up on her blanky fast asleep, no doubt dreaming of her holiday. To add to her current discomfiture she is scheduled for a bath and a haircut this week, as due to nights spent around the BBQ she smells like a smoke hound.

However, despite her current malaise, here are some of her holiday best bits..........

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Noovel kwisine............

Small Dog likes to live life on the edge of the culinary lid.

Indeed she is quite the gourmand, regularly dining on asparagus, salmon, chicken, liver and sundry other delicacies, lightly cooked to taste and sprinkled with Bakers Gravy Bites.

However, some nights, if we're cooking something which she either doesn't like, or can't have, we have a conundrum.

'Twas thus tonight.

So we opted to try her on Tesco Finest Prime Chunks with Chicken and Bacon in a Delicate Jelly (Vitamin Enriched). There's even a picture of a small dog on the front, positively beaming with health and vitality.

She's normally there or thereabouts while we're cooking, sniffing the air for clues and generally entering into the esprit de corps which envelopes the kitchen.
However she is always suspicious that she might be fobbed of with 'dog fud' so she was on high alert, closely monitoring the opening and closing of cupboards, activity at food prep boards etc

So we had to enter into a small piece of theatre.

PP distracted Small Dog while I quickly retrieved the 'fud' from the cupboard, and engaged her in spirited conversation while I peeled back the lid and scooped half the contents into her bowl, all the while pretending I was chopping, mixing and otherwise carefully preparing her hand-cooked meal.

Inevitably Small Dog smelt a rat and neatly evaded PP in order to better evaluate what I was up to. Admittedly there were clearly distinguishable chunks of chicken and bacon, and it did actually smell quite good.

In a dog fuddy sort of way.

Adding her favourite gravy bites (her only willing concession to eating dog fud) I attempted to give a Michelin-starred style presentation to her bowl, all the while waxing lyrical about how lovely it looked and smelled.

Carefully placing the dish on the floor she sniffed at it daintily and took an exploratory bite, before wolfing the lot down in approximately 30 seconds.

So much for dainty.

She even looked for more.

Which is just as well as the other half of the tray is in the fridge for her dinner tomorrow.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Storm.......what storm?

Small dog likes her sleep.

She is often to found napping throughout the day, but she reserves her really deep sleep for night time.

Just how deeply she sleeps was evidenced in the early hours of this morning when even a massive thunderstorm failed to fully rouse her from her slumbers.

The first apocalyptic crash of thunder, which heralded a monsoon-style deluge, merely served to prompt her to nestle deeper into bed. If she could have pulled her blanky up over her head I'm sure she would have done so.

Practically bomb-proof she is.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Canal No. 5............

Further to my earlier expose of Small Dog's odoriferous exploits this morning, she has taken to her bed in a huff, presumably at being denied the opportunity to stink like rotting carrion.

I've given her a few cautious sniffs but thankfully the only smell I can detect is the relatively pleasant aroma of dog shampoo.

However I can tell by the position of her ears that she is NOT pleased and is silently pledging solidarity with every other canine bath-despiser.

Of which there are many...........

Rank starlet............

Small dog is in disgrace.

She was up the garden mooching around for ages this morning then came back indoors looking very pleased with herself and absolutely reeking.
Closer inspection revealed that she'd been rolling in something hideously stinky, which she had managed to weave into her fur, along with a load of grass clippings from our newly mown lawn.

As PP has a bad back, I drew the metaphorical short straw, and holding Small Dog at arms length, marched her upstairs and deposited her in the shower, literally gagging at the stench.

It then took THREE shampoos to remove all the stinking debris and return her to a presentable state.

WHY do dogs do this?

What is it about rolling in something which stinks to high heaven that gives them pleasure?

We have scoured the garden and can't find anything which smells as bad as she did, although there was an alien poo which couldn't possibly have come from Small Dog, and may possibly have been deposited by the resident fox, which is the most likely culprit. Although what she had rolled in didn't smell anything like any animal poo I've ever encountered.

She is now curled up in her basket, having done her usual ''post bath' dash all around the house at 100 mph. At least she has had the sense to look a bit sheepish about the whole episode.


Monday, 29 June 2009

Too hot to trot............

Small dog is indisposed.

She is not averse to a bit of lounging around in the sunshine, but the temperatures today have seen her beating a hasty retreat to her basket in the cool of the house.

If she gets really hot, she will stretch out full length on the tiles in the kitchen, near the door so that she takes full advantage of any cooling breeze.

I have suggested to her the notion of a cooling vest but she is a bit dubious about the effect it might have on her street cred. She never has been one to favour function over fashion and has chosen to suffer accordingly.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Camping doggy delight..............

Small dog is an avid fan of camping.

Not only does she get to spend all her waking hours in the great outdoors, there are also the added attactions of lots of other camping dogs, walks with excellent sniffing opportunities and nightly BBQ's to look forward to.

In other words, doggy heaven.

However our latest camping trip provided her with a constant grandstand view from her new camping chair of a never-ending parade of baby bunnies. After being told off the first time she attempted to chase them, she thereafter contented herself with being on 'Rabbit Watch', gazing at them intently as they nibbled the grass just a few feet away from her.

Self-restraint indeed from a terrier.

She's now catching up on her naps but here are some of her best bits.........

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The art of packing.........

We always have the same argument with Small Dog in the run-up to any trip away, no matter how brief. For such a diminutive dog, she always seems to require a disproportionate amount of kit. This applies particularly to camping trips, despite having one whole locker in the camper van to herself for all her accoutrements.
We've tried in the past to whittle down her packing list, but she always manages to slip a few 'must have' items past us while we're otherwise occupied.

In addition to her new camping chair, which admittedly folds down flat and packs away into a discreet carry bag, she apparently requires the following items, all of which are stowed neatly in her locker.

  • Warm, fleecy blanky, for chilly evenings round the campfire
  • Muddy paw towel
  • Jumpers x2
  • Raincoat
  • Treats and chews
  • Collar, harness & lead
  • Screw-in spike
  • Poo bags
  • Squeaky ball
  • Favourite squeaky toy of the moment
  • Brush
  • Shampoo
  • Detangle spray
According to Small Dog, these represent the absolute bare minimum of items required when camping.

However, she's been updating her packing list today and I noticed a few additional 'necessities' have crept onto it.

Most notably.

I wouldn't mind so much, but she doesn't even like getting her paws wet.

*sigh* It's going to be a long day.............

Carpe diem..........

Small Dog's motto is undoubtably Carpe Diem. If she ever has a coat of arms, it will feature a yorkie rampant, with the legend Carpe Diem, which for non-Latin scholars means Sieze the Day.

However, since having her own blog, her normally questing, ebullient spirit has gone into overdrive and she is having delusions of grandeur.

Apparently she now needs her own office space as she cannot be expected to share my laptop. She has also put in a requisition for a pink netbook, which predictably has been refused. So she is now in a huff, curled up in her basket, resolutely ignoring any friendly overtures.

I have pointed out that it's a bit early in the day to be acting like a diva, given that her blog has only been live since Sunday but it is not in her nature to take things slowly and in her mind she's already been presented with the doggy equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.

I'm sure she'll soon see sense, especially with the prospect of few days camping in the offing, which will be working break for PP and I, while Small Dog has expressed an interest in performing the role of roving reporter.

In addition, she has a brand new camping chair, which she is keen to test. She chose classy black, which shows off her fur to best advantage. It also has a handy cup holder, which she has decided to use as a collecting cup, charging 5p for a stroke from passing campers. Whether this 'stroke' of entrepreneurial business flair will work or not remains to be seen. However it should be remembered that some of the biggest business empires started from a tiny idea........look at M&S with their Penny Bazaar.

So watch this space........ we could be witnessing the canine equivalent of Alan Sugar, or Richard Branson. She'll be wanting a business suit next..........

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Hot off the press........

Small Dog's blog is only a few hours old and already she has her first followers (apart from me).

So welcome Debbie and PP!

SD has been bustling around officiously all day, notebook in paw, on the lookout for newsworthy scoops. I even caught her earlier on ebay, bidding on a green eyeshade so she can look like a proper editor. She's certainly never knowingly underdressed.

In fact she's been so busy, that she's been forced to retire for a nap, and is currently flat out on a cushion in the workroom recuperating.

After all, she doesn't want to end up like this poor little pup reporter............


Welcome to Small Dog's Blog.

There was a certain inevitability to this development. Tales of a Toymaker started life as just that, a way of documenting my work and projects.......but gradually over the past 3 years has somehow morphed into catering mostly for Small Dog's rapidly expanding fan base.

However, I simply cannot keep up with her requirements for column inches on my blog, and frequently have to deny requests for dog-related content on the basis that, when all is said and done, it is MY blog.

Since she shows no signs of backing down (she is a terrier after all) I have bow(wow)ed to the inevitable and helped her create her very own dog blog.

As a result, after extensive negotiations, during which Small Dog argued fiercely for complete editorial control, we have reached a compromise as follows:

Small Dog will dictate her posts, while I take notes, which I will then check for veracity, grammatical correctness, spelling etc, and upload onto her blog.

The only exception to this will be if I am too busy or otherwise occupied, in which case, Small Dog will type her own posts and be responsible for all content etc. This has proved to be a thorny issue, as Small Dog's spelling can best be described as experimental, but she will be allowed an initial trial period, after which we will re-assess the arrangement.

She is particularly keen to amass more followers than me, especially if they are of the canine persuasion with appropriate profile photos to prove their credentials, so don't be shy.

And so, I give you, Small Dog's blog.