Wednesday, 26 December 2007

season's greetings

Best wishes to you all, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. I hope you all have been well, happy and surrounded by warm hearts.

Here in Mojo Towers things were a bit quiet. Both sets of grandparents are visiting soon but not on Christmas Day, my Dad's brother lives in Canada and my Mum's brother lives in Australia. So we decided to have fun with just us.

Things started great - while Mum and Dad sat in bed drinking coffee, I was allowed into the bedroom and even allowed on the bed. To stop me bothering the cats I was fed morsels of dry cat food. Imagine, lying there like the Queen of Sheba, being handfed while the cats glare from a distance.

We decided to go for a walk up on the north coast at a place called Braunton Burrows. I think it should be renamed Dog Heaven actually. It's the largest sand dune ecosystem in England, and is renowned as a place of ecological interest and as a prime dog walking site.

As soon as I arrived I got to mug some Border Terriers.

Every dog I met was in a state of happiness, which got infectious. I started tuck-butt-running almost immediately. Then I spotted this sand dune...
... which got me charging around...

...and charging around some more.

Tomorrow I'll post some videos of this but I don't want you to get too bored in one day!

We were still a long way from the sea at this point and had a good walk through grassy hollows and grown-over dunes. Then we finally got to the sea.


I spotted some dogs in the distance...

Then went and joined their pack.


As you can see, the clouds were really odd. One half of the sky was blue and the other half dark grey. Gorgeous.

I never ran out of energy. Here I am racing up a dune just so I can race down again.
Incidentally, the Burrows are called Burrows because they are full of rabbits. So I got to stick my nose in hundreds of rabbit holes.

I've made the humans promise to take me there again soon. They readily agreed - apparently they have never seen me so happy.

Once back, they cracked open the bottle of champagne but didn't give me even a single drop. Humph!


Still, they did give me a great present, which I unwrapped by myself:


A Wubba! I was so tired I could barely keep my head up, but I still managed to break one of the squeaks in it fairly soon. Yep, Wubbas are the best!

I hope you all had a great day yesterday too. Hairy Christmas hugs to all of you!

Monday, 17 December 2007

from the doghouse

Dad is still going on about his iPod.

I know I was wrong to munch it. I know it was expensive. But hey!!! Get over it already! I've tried to point out that it was his fault for leaving it within reach, but that went down like a lead balloon.

It's not that he's being horrible to me or anything - he's the same pushover for a goofy face as he ever was. It's just that he manages to mention it in so many conversations and I'm sick of feeling guilty. And I'm also worried that he's going to let Santa know, which would be a tragedy.

So anyway, I'm practising my guilty face. Do you think this will work?


There's a perception that I'm the naughty one in this house. But this morning something happened that can't be blamed on me. Mum was gathering up her clothes to put in the wash, and reached under the chair in the bedroom to pick up what she thought was one of her brown hiking socks. It was a dead rat.

Despite both cats, Newt and Possum, being curled up tightly in a deep snoring sleep there's no doubt it was one of them. The bedroom is a cat safety zone protected by a dog gate. So no-one can blame me.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Guest blogger

My dad has been wanting to do a guest post on my blog for a while. Today I thought I had no choice but to give him what he wants. As you will see, I owe him.


Mojo ate my iPod

Today I'd like to discuss the thorny topic of Airedales and expensive electronic gadgets.


It appears to me, the two don't mix.


Not at all. In fact, Mojo and I are experiencing something of a strained relationship at the moment. You see, mum's out at work all day (that's why posting has been a bit slow), but I work from home, which means lots of quality time with my Airedale.


But today I got distracted by work and forgot to think 'where's the dog' for about five minutes. And that's all it took.


One ex-iPod. Deceased. Gone. Unrepairable.

And covered in teeth marks. Glad it wasn't my hand in those jaws. Quite impressive dents in the metal backing.


But the screen has a kind of blue blood stain all over it. And it makes nasty whining noises then dies completely.


And you know the thing that really hurts? The only reason it was on the dining room table in the first place was because I'd just been wearing it while I took her out for a run. There's gratitude for you.


So, Mojo's grounded. No more blogging for her. Not until she gets me a new iPod. Or at least says she's really, really sorry.


...


Oops

oh my oh my

Gosh I've been far too quiet for far too long. Many thanks to my wonderful friends who worried where I had disappeared to.

It's all Mum's fault as usual. First she got sidetracked sorting out photos to submit to an exhibition (if you want to take a peek, they are on her Flickr site). Then the weather went foul - 70 mph winds - and she wouldn't bring the camera out with us. Then she went and got a job. Ridiculous. The temp agency called late on Monday afternoon and she was in work the next morning. I was not at all happy that she would leave the house without me and be gone for so long unsupervised. I've been driving Dad mad. At least he has the good sense to work from home.

Anyway, she's under strict instructions to get her act together this weekend. Look at what has been happening whilst she has been so useless:

Not one, but two glorious golden roses have come my way. The first was from my fantastic buddies Maggie and Mitch. Do you know, they sent me a Christmas card and it was the first card to arrive at our house. Can you imagine how great it felt for me to have a card before my mum and dad got any? Ha ha! Priceless!

The second one was from the ever-wonderful Bogart. Bogart was the first dog blog my family ever saw. In fact, it was one of the reasons my mum and dad decided that they really needed an Airedale to spice up their life. So getting a rose from Bogey made me run loop-the-loop round the house with excitement.

I'm going to send this rose on over to Molly and Gertrude. We still haven't met in person though we've had walkies in the same forests. But you are two big-hiking adventure loving girls, so I know when we do meet there's going to be some serious wrestling and chasing to be done.


Here's a few pics of what I've been up to over the last few weeks. This is walking on Culmstock Beacon the day after the 70mph winds and lashing rain. Cold and windy, but lots of splashing to be done in the stream running along the path.


How ridiculous do I look here?


I'm getting used to the frosty weather and it still doesn't stop me going for a swim in the canal a couple of times every day.

Now, this is 100% pure Airedale. We were bred to hunt along riverbanks and here I am diving into the undergrowth along the canal bank. Check that curly wurly tail!



Right, I'd better catch up with what you have all been up to. Hairy kisses to you all.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

wash 'n go

Rivers and open spaces are heaven to a dog.



(Mum here: never realised I had such a weird voice when talking to Mojo. Ho hum)

Strange walk, this one. On the way out, we saw virtually no-one. Oh, apart from one big black labrador who came out of nowhere, wrestled me to the ground, peed up a tussock of grass then ran off again into the distance. Kind of like an alien visitation.


video

On the way back, though, it was like someone had flicked a switch and all the humans had come to life. I guess they had all finished their Sunday roast and thought they had better walk the dogs before it got dark. It became a pooch party. So many dogs! Big, small, hairy, smooth, young, old. We'd form temporary packs then move off in different directions, then form a new pack somewhere else. My favourite was a young retriever girl called Truffle. Even her name nearly rhymes with wrestle!

So anyway, my advice is this: if you want a great run around with loads of other dogs, go to Uffculme on a winter Sunday for about 3.30pm.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

little nippers

How does that song go again? "Never smile at a crocodile.."

These are some of my baby teeth. The premolar (left) and incisor (right) were never the real problem. It was those lovely canines of mine that caused the most woe. They may not look sharp when the camera gets close-up, but they punctured plenty of skin in their day.

My classic move, which started at about 8 weeks and went on until... well... last week was to suddenly launch myself at my parents' face and grab them by the nose. This move had two essential components - surprise, and hooking a canine into their nostril. The idea was to have them clutching their nose wondering if they now had an extra-large nostril.

I got put off this game by a young collie-cross at my puppy class who grabbed me by the nose REAL HARD. I think I learned a little perspective after that. My parents joke they should have just bitten me sooner.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a real sweetie most of the time. Honestly!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

pupgirl faces

This is my bored face


This is my sleeping face


This is my 'sorrow for sausages' face, so called because I pull the miserable pup routine if I think it'll get me sausage treats.


And this is my cutie pupgirl face.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

6 legs 2 wheels

Last week a whole new adventure was revealed to me: bicycles.

I've seen loads, of course, as I live right on the canal and the towpath doubles up as a cycleroute as well. This time things got more fun for me. Mum dusted off her Brompton, a folding bike. It took me about five seconds to realise that life was going to be fun.

She looks pretty silly perched on this thing with little wheels, but boy is it a laugh. We now get much further up the towpath than we ever did by walking. I run for miles! A lot of the time she goes real slow to make me just trot along, but I get impatient and overtake. Once I'm in front I'm a nightmare, though, as I stop really suddenly and she nearly parks the wheel in my furry butt. My butt is not a cycle rack.

I'm getting the hang of heeling to the bike, sort of. I get level or stay just behind, put my ears back and go steadily with a happy look on my face. I think it brings out my instinct for running with the pack.

At times she puts me on the extendable lead to stop me running amok as we pass through the village. Then I try and pull her off the bike without warning. And I did once swap bikers and head off into the distance with a strange man.

Anyway, here's a vid. It's a silent movie to spare you the shrieks from Mum of "don't bite the lenscap","look out" and "hurry up" . She couldn't operate the brakes with one hand on the camera.

How fine is my butt?

To the birthday boy

Happy first birthday to my handsome friend, Mitch. Wish I could be there to properly snuffle your ear and chase you round the garden.

Mum here: She's got such a crush on him. I had the camera in my hand, said Mitch's name and this was the expression she pulled. And yes, the rose was added later - if I gave her a real one it would be an ex-rose very quickly.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

finally...

Finally we have video. Mum installed a firewire card in her computer this morning so at last we can get video off the camera. She didn't blow the house up so she must have done it right.

Both these videos were shot in the gloom so they are not exactly high quality, but they make us laugh.

The first one is me larking around like a silly idiot with a piece of rawhide chew.

video

I nearly poleaxed Mum with this chew a few minutes later - I flung it hard and it smacked her right in the forehead. Now THAT would have been a good video! Since then, I've been told to cool it in case I break the tv or a light or something.

The second one is... er, how shall I put this nicely... of a windy day. The idea was to show how I can bark on command, but I started to bark at the other end too. I am not entirely thrilled to be embarrassed in this way on the internet.

video

I got the last laugh, though, because as Mum was editing this I sneaked into her office and dropped another one. She thought she was hallucinating with her nose. Smell-o-vision.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Hairy monsters

Some bright spark said that Airedales don't shed. After yesterday I need to set the record straight.

You see, Dad had a potential client come to see him, and most unusually they decided to drop in on him at home. This meant that Mum had a lot of tidying up to do. As the day wore on, it became more and more apparent that I have haired this house good and proper.

Maybe I don't shed that much, but I need grooming, and that means fur escaping. Mum has been hand-stripping my coat so hair has got into her clothes, which have gone in the washing machine, which has distributed them evenly over all the rest of the clothes.

As you probably know, Airedales have a double coat - a wiry top layer and a soft fine undercoat. Well, the undercoat hairs lie flat on clothing and cling as effectively as cat hairs. Mum swears they are magnetic. The wire hairs have gone a step further, and poked themselves into the fabric where they are anchored firmly and won't let go. Hair shirt anyone? Do you know how itchy a hair bra is? All this time I thought Mum had fleas, but it's just me sabotaging her underwear.

She was cleaning the bathroom and realised everything was completely furred up. It seems that every time they shower me I have a good shake afterwards - hey presto - the bathroom is 100% hairy.

Let's just pass over the fact that the living room carpet has all these marks on it from when I have rawhide chews and smear soggy goob on the floor. Special soggy goob - this stuff dries as hard as the original hide chew. We'll ignore the bitey damage to the wooden frame of the futon sofa. And turn a blind eye to the frayed corners of the living room carpet - I don't mean to rip it up all the time, it's just that I have a strong instinct to dig a bed.

The client meeting was held over a tablecloth of beautifully-ironed, pale-green linen patterned with black wire fur. Dad wore a nice dark shirt patterned with undercoat fluff. I was taken out for a five mile walk, but came back just in time to interrupt the meeting. It has to be said that I was soaked - it was raining buckets out there yesterday - so I got the sympathy vote before being hustled out to the conservatory.

I don't think it fair that I was not allowed near the client. I only wanted to ensure he was hairy too by the time he left!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Hairy angels

Some angels are hairy.


I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.


The last few days have been great. First up, Ferndoggle of Jackman Avenue nominated me for Post of the Month at Dogs With Blogs! It's a pretty amazing feeling when someone else finds the stuff you write fun. I mean, I enjoy myself hugely, but I don't expect others to! Aroooo! Big Aire-kisses to Ferndoggle! Actually, its great seeing who else is nominated - there's some hilarious takes on existence which you really ought to check out. I've voted for Stanley's post about Stella, because the pic of her in full-on hyper intense mode followed by the pic of Stan looking pained is the funniest thing I have seen in a long time.

Then, the lovely Molly and Taffy have honoured me with this award:


which is just so fantastic! They describe it as:

This award is presented to a successful blogger, one who can "be the blog" - making it their own, staying with it, interacting with the readers, and just plain having fun.

I've only been blogging for a few months, and sometimes I post too much and then I post too little, then I get behind with everyone else's blogs. But I love being part of this community and I'm so happy that Molly and Taffy enjoy my barkfests. So many thanks and hairy hugs to M & T!

I'm going to pass this award on to two others, because I love 'em both. First up are Noah and his sissies all the way over there in Australia. I feel like dropping in and hanging out with them every time I read their posts because they are such a cool bunch. Pity they live 10,000 miles away. Plus, there's that uncanny ability to photograph all four Dales sitting at the same time. I mean, getting one to sit is tough - but four? I keep going back to this post for another peek because it makes me laugh so much.

And the other dog I'd like to award is Sophie. Great photos, succinct writing style and bloomin' hilarious! She gets me snorting with laughter on a regular basis whilst veering from the sacred to the profane. That's Sophie!

Want to know what the best part of the last few days has been?

It was this morning, when I woke up and was let out of my crate to discover a huge dead mouse in the middle of the living room floor. I think one of the cats secretly loves me. Arf!

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Autumn in Ashclyst Forest

I'm loving autumn.

Especially this kind of fun:

But I got a bit spooked when I met this tree:

Friday, 16 November 2007

EarthShots

Mum here...

Earth Shots Photo of the Day

I love the images that come up on this site. They have a widget that supplies a thumbnail of their Photo of the Day which I have added to Mojo's sidebar. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Dales, but these photos are so beautiful they brighten my day. And I thought you might like to share them too.

Check out the sidebar for a peek. Of course, those of you using an RSS feed won't see them unless you come directly to Mojo's blog.

cheerio

Mojo's mum.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Dear Mystery Friend

Dear Mystery Friend

Thank you so much for the present you left me this morning. It was incredibly thoughtful of you. Imagine my delight whilst having my usual morning shuffle down the lawn to discover half a fresh rabbit waiting for me!

I don't mind in the least that you had the head, and indeed, most of the flesh too. I found more than enough interest in the skin, bone and remaining flesh to pass the time most happily.

Unfortunately Dad spotted me hurling said corpse around the lawn, and imprisoned me. As I am too big to fit through the cat flap any more, I could only watch in disbelief as he shoveled it up and took it away. Afterwards I did go and and perform a thorough search for any other bits, but to no avail.

By the way, was it you that left the really smelly decaying rabbit just the other side of the fence a few weeks ago? I did a good job of digging under the fence to get to that, but again I was thwarted by Dad. So thank you for leaving it somewhere instantly accessible this time.

Why don't you stop one day for a play? I'm sure we would get on really well.

cheerio
Mojo



Dear fox

I suppose you think that was funny? Actually, it was gross.

We endure you catching chickens from the free-range chicken farm down the road and using our orchard as a dining table. You even buried an egg in the veg patch once. And we're thankful that you seem to have got over your obsession with repeatedly pooing in the same place outside the outhouses.

OK, we did find it funny the time you stole the teletubbies ball from the little girl down the road and left it on our lawn. Did you know they were watching you at 3am as you played football with it round their garden before you brought it to us?

But this rabbit thing has got to stop. Mojo does not need encouragement. She is already Mistress of the Forbidden Snack and, frankly, once she's rolled in dead things she stinks.


best regards
Mojo's mum

Monday, 12 November 2007

It's a pup's life

Another glorious sunny morning, so we went right down the bottom of the garden. First up, stand on the heap and stare at the sheep.

It's a wildlife pond, right? And I'm a wild child.

Next up, diggerdog. Whilst making foolish grunty grumbles, naturally.

Run about a bit.
Roach under the apple trees.

Initiate tuck-butt-run boosters.

Where'd I go?

Ahoy, me hearties!


Wish you were here!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

this one's for Jackson

We dropped by Jackson the other day to see how he's getting on. He's in the thick of health issues at the moment as you know, and having to deal with the ignomony of being poked and prodded and shaved in ways that do not befit his station in life as Dude with Dignity.

And not only that, he's morphed into Val Doonican.

Now, I'm only a wee nipper - not even seven months old yet - so I don't have personal experience of Val. But my mum does, being a child of the sixties when tv choice was much more limited than today. Oh yes, family viewing in her day meant delights like the Val Doonican Show. She thought these events were long buried, but no! Thanks to Jackson, she's spent the last 24 hours singing "Walk Tall". Constantly. She's humming it in time with her footsteps on my walks. She can't stop! AArrrggg!! Here's a snippet:
" Walk tall, walk straight and look the world right in the eye
That's what my mama told me when I was about knee high..."

You get the picture.

Right now the whole family are going psycho, Mum included, because for the life of her she can't get rid of this earworm.

However, we realise this is ok becasue it keeps Jackson in our thoughts as he awaits his MRI scan. And as a fitting tribute, I got dressed up as another of those family favourites of that era, Nana Mouskouri.

Jackson, get better soon so she doesn't dress me up as Liberace or start singing Englebert Humperdink numbers.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Pup heaven

It's sunny. I've been in the canal. And what's that? A swan feather??

GIMME!!!!









Oh happy day!