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.

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 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.

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.

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


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.


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.


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??


Oh happy day!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

The Kong and I

I love my Kong.

It loves me.

I give it lots of kisses.

I get this special dome-headed, zipped-up-eyes look of concentrated ecstasy.

The Kong is Mum's secret weapon. When I've been hyper for too long, harrassed the cats, annihilated a couple of cardboard boxes, knocked over Mum's beer bottle, tried to sneak some of Dad's dinner, barked at my imaginary friend, done enough training to be bored of it, chased the cats again, dug up the carpet, dropped a bad fart, bitten the sofa, raided the kitchen worktop for the fiftieth time, emptied the waste paper bin looking for beer bottle tops, raided the recycling bins under the stairs, chewed the wooden frame of the futon and thrown my bed around a bit...

...when none of that has worn me out, Mum gets out the Kong. Peace descends upon the land. They get to watch some tv. Newt settles down between them on the sofa for a snooze. All is well for twenty minutes.

Just in case you wondered, that was a shortened list of my nightly activities. I like to keep them on their toes.

Favourite filler for my Kong is live greek yoghurt diluted with water and frozen. Peanut butter comes close second. If only Mum could find a surefire way to plug the little hole while pouring things in to freeze.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007



It's never a good sign when the cat puts it's hand up. It can only spell trouble.

It has been (ouch) brought to my attention (ow, stop that) that my blog is missing something. Two things in fact.

The cats.

Until now I have been loathe to mention them because, basically, they are small, furry and run which means that I am universally declared to be a headache. But I suppose I ought to admit to their existence, because they were here long before me.

Back in the early days of Mum and Dad's relationship, when they still lived in the city, Mum insisted that they needed cats. Dad was dubious, having shared his student days with the sort who sleep all day and wake briefly to vomit or poo on your carpet. Mum, meanwhile, had grown up surrounded by cats, as her mum had run a cat boarding kennel and worked closely with animal welfare organisations. Mum won.

Rooster and Sol's mum lived round the corner and through her work as a vet nurse came across two kittens at the RSPCA shelter. They had been rescued by the RSPCA wardens from bad circumstances and were half wild. They also had cat flu, which had killed off their siblings, and were fading fast. So she brought them home to nurse them, and emailed Mum at work with this picture:

How could she resist?

Once J had nursed them back from the brink, they came to live in our family and all moved from the inner city to the country, with an acre of land to explore. Lucky cats, huh? Here they are on the regular morning walk round the garden, paddock and veg plots.

They are decidedly different in looks and character, despite being sisters. But they are both quite small, having had such a hard start to life.

This is Possum.

so named because her first response to trouble is to 'play possum', in other words, stay very, very still and hope it all goes away.

Possum is aware of her beauty but is in denial of her weight issues. She also is rather opinionated and thinks the sun shines out of her .. cough...

And this is Newt.

She is smart, small, wriggly and always Up To Something. She likes to supervise, hence her more common name Big Boots. Usually heard asking "What are you doing? What's that? Can I poke it?" Possum, meanwhile, just says "When is dinner?"

Newt is agile - Spiderman in cat form - and specialises in catching birds.

Possum is, erm, not so agile.

But don't be fooled by the dumb blonde appearance - she is the scourge of rodents. Laziness becomes a virtue when hunting. Just sit very still for a very long time and use those radar ears.

They both own my Mum. They climb in bed while soaking wet in the middle of the night and warm their cold toes on her sleeping body. They hang out in her office so that her computer slowly chokes up with cat hair. They also march around in front of Dad when he's working at his computer. He's adapted well - he types between the cat's legs and cranes his neck around the cat's ears.

Here's Possum giving hard stares to Newt in the hope she'll vacate the sunny cushion.

Both cats have made a good few claims on the pet insurance. Both have had toes amputated. The worst was last year when Newt had a terrible injury - burst bladder, bruised internal organs, wrecked hip joint - which the vet thought was a result of being kicked. By human or sheep, we'll never know. Usually cats with burst bladders die of secondary infections, but Newt is not your normal cat. Thanks to the amazing efforts of the vet and full-on nursing from Mum she pulled through. With perfect bladder function. One leg is slightly shorter because the top of the femur had to be sawn off, but she's as mobile and athletic as ever.

I have to admit that their rosy existence has been a bit curtailed since I arrived. They now have to be fed upstairs, protected behind a system of pet gates, and exit the house through an upstairs window onto the greenhouse roof. Possum has spent the last four months mostly asleep on Mum and Dad's bed, in the hope I'll go away. This was probably the last time I met her downstairs, and look how young I was.

Newt has now started to claim back her territory, which is brave as I am so excited to see her I usually bounce up and down, bark and chase her. But little by little I'm learning a smidgen of self control, and we even get to touch noses occasionally.

Unless we're in the garden. Then she is really in trouble.

Mum hopes I'll eventually get a good thing going with them, but it is taking a long time. Did anyone else start off like this with their cats and end up friends with them?