Hi Doozy Suzie. I really love your blog. What I especially like was the photo you put in your header of your dog. I have a dog and it is very special. Every day we go for a walk and he greets everyone he meets. He would be useless as a guard dog because he wouldn’t bark but run up to the thief for a pat!!!
He is a Xoloitzcuintle, also known as a Mexican Hairless Dog, and his name is Buffy. He got that name because when he was born he didn’t have any fur and my grandmother said “He’s in the buff” so after that he was called Buffy.
I don’t know how you think of things to put on your blog every day. Your posting today was really interesting – all about your mother dying yesterday. The blow by blow account of her last hours I couldn’t stop reading. I don’t know, as I say, how you manage to think of something different every day to blog about.
Your posting last week of how your baby sister died of the flu was quite exciting, although I don’t really understand what that has got to do with your header of a dog. Was your baby sister and the dog good friends? Or was it something else?
I showed the picture of your dog to my grandmother – not the one who named Buffy but the other one – and she read what you wrote and said from what you say your mother would have been “a mean old hag”. (These were her words, not mine). My grandmother said the world is better off when people like that are not stealing the air we breathe.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I like the picture of your dog. You never said what its name was. If we get a cat my grandmother said we should call it Fluffy – to go with Buffy. I suppose your grandmother hasn’t suggested you get a cat because she’s dead.
Eustace was eleven years old. He lived in the country. He had four pet ducks. They were black and white.
A river passed through the neighbouring farm. It wasn’t a big river; more of a large stream. One day Eustace’s ducks waddled down to the river and went for a swim. Eustace told the farmer. The farmer didn’t mind. He said the ducks were welcome to cross his fields and swim all day if they wished. Besides, they looked pretty swimming around.
So that is what they did. Every morning before school Eustace would let the ducks out of their pen and they would waddle down to the river. They messed about in the river all day. Then after school (after he had done his homework) he would go down to the river, call the ducks, and they would follow him home. Of course they followed because they knew it was dinner time.
One day Eustace went down to the river and called but no ducks came. Then he saw them. They had been shot at close range by a hunter and tossed into a pool in the river. The hunter hadn’t even bothered to take them home to eat.
When Natalie came home from school she overheard her mother say to her little brother, “You’re not to do that again. It was very naughty.”
“But the cat was hungry.”
“I told you not to feed the cat between meals. It will get fat. So feed the cat only in the mornings and in the evenings. I’ve enough to do without having to run around covering up for your naughtiness.”
Later Natalie asked her mother what was wrong with feeding the cat, and her mother said that it was wrong to overfeed pets. “You should know that because of your goldfish. You can feed them too much and they overeat and die.”
For the rest of the day Natalie noticed that her little brother was pouting. He never liked being told off, and Natalie made it worse by reinforcing what their mother had said, and told him that “he shouldn’t overfeed his cat. You are a very naughty boy” – which made her little brother pout even more.
Later, when Natalie went to feed her goldfish it almost looked the same but she was pretty sure it was a different fish.
Conceptia had this thing about ten o’clock. She had a clock that chimed, and one day, just as she discovered her cat had died, the clock chimed ten. After that she couldn’t bear for the clock to chime ten and, of course, it would do so twice a day.
She took the clock to a clockmaker and asked if he could remove one of the chimes when it hit ten, so that it simply chimed nine instead. He said it might be possible. Just leave the clock with him and he’d see what he could do.
The clockmaker phoned Conceptia to say the clock was ready to be picked up. Her request had been achieved! Conceptia took the clock home. (Perhaps it should be pointed out that the reason Conceptia kept the clock at all was because it had been her late dearly-loved grandmother’s clock).
The first time that ten o’clock arrived Conceptia listened (and counted) with relief. It chimed nine times only! But come one o’clock and, although it chimed just the once, Conceptia thought that nine plus one equals ten. And two plus eight. And three plus seven. And four plus six. And five plus five. The only safe numbers that didn’t reek of sad cat memories were eleven and twelve. Then Conceptia thought that the one missing chime at ten o’clock if removed from eleven in fact equals ten. And for it to miss the tenth chime twice in a day meant twelve minus two.
Every chime of the clock throughout the day reminded Conceptia of her dead cat. Even though she now had another cat, called Fluffy, she still missed Muggins terribly.
Things came to a head when the clock fell off the shelf in an earthquake and shattered to pieces. (It was only a minor earthquake but enough for the clock to wriggle off its shelf).
When it is said that “things came to a head” it did so literally. The falling clock landed on Conceptia’s head just as she was bending down to pat Fluffy. As the saying now goes for a person a bit hard up for common sense: They’re one chime short of ten o’clock.
Edward had a pet penguin. It was highly illegal. This particular species of penguin was a protected species; having one as a pet was inconceivable.
But it was not as if Edward had captured the penguin and kept it in a cage. No, the penguin had chosen Edward. One day he was sitting on the pier fishing when up popped the penguin and sat next to him. At first Edward was rather taken by it all, but then the penguin followed him home and settled in. It was a Little Blue Penguin, the smallest species of all penguins. It made a lot of noise!
Each day the penguin waddled on its own down to the wharf, dived into the sea, and fossicked for its own food. It was the cheapest pet to keep that Edward ever had. Only once did it fail to return, but after a day there it was again sitting in its own special armchair on the porch as if nothing had happened.
Edward didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl but he called it Penny anyway – Penny the Penguin. And then the government’s Department of Conservation heard about it. They came and took the penguin away and it died. Edward was taken to court and fined a hefty sum for keeping a protected species. As the judge said, Let that be a lesson to us all.
Imelda always noticed something about the two food bins placed at the exit to the supermarket. There was a bin for food for abandoned and hungry pets, and there was a bin for food for down-and-out humans. The bin for pet food was always bulging to overflowing. The bin for humans never had much; just the occasional can of soup or a packet of pasta.
Imelda had three children. Occasionally she would place something in the bin for needy pets. She usually did it when she had the children with her. She should lead by example. One should always be generous; not over the top, but generous nonetheless.
And then Imelda struck hard times. She had to go to the local soup kitchen and ask for food.
“Unfortunately we don’t have anything on the shelves,” they said.
So Imelda went to the pet rescue place and pleaded food for a fictitious cat.
(Dear All – Starting tomorrow – and for a week or so – I shall simply be posting favourite stories from this blog’s past. I’m currently bogged down with work. When a story’s numbering suddenly goes to 1707 then the original yarns will have recommenced!)
Gail loved animals, which is why she had so many pets. She had a cat and a dog, a canary and a cockatoo, a couple of ducks, a rabbit and a guinea pig and three mice. They would all run around together, except for the canary of course. The canary couldn’t run around but Gail often let it fly freely around the house provided the windows and doors were shut. And could it sing? My word! What a diva on a sunny day!
Then one day she couldn’t hear it singing. Had it perhaps escaped? Gail checked the windows and doors. Everything was closed, but it must have found an escape route somewhere. Gail opened the house up and left the canary’s cage door wide. Hopefully it would fly back.
It was quite a while after – Gail wasn’t exactly the best of housekeepers – when she was vacuuming under the dining room table that she noticed a few yellow tail feathers and a bird’s clawed foot.
By the end of the year the dog had got the ducks, and the cat had got the cockatoo, the rabbit, the guinea pig, and the three mice.
Gail still loved animals, and continued to pamper her cat and her dog. She replaced her deceased pets with a budgerigar and a cockatiel, a couple of chickens, a hamster and a rat and three gerbils.
These days Gail has a cat and a dog, and has taken up origami as an interest.
Florrie and Gordon Brawley had been married for just under eleven years. They both worked for a pet food company. Gordon was in charge of the meat grinder and Florrie was in charge of the packaging.
Their marriage was disintegrating. Gordon suspected that his wife had been having an affair with the pet food company groundsman. Why else was she constantly admiring his delphiniums? That was when she accidently slipped into the meat grinder. Gordon was unaware of what had happened until there was nothing of her that hadn’t been minced. In fact, to be honest, he wasn’t sure if she’d fallen in the meat grinder at all. She was there one minute and gone the next.
“If she had fallen in,” said Gordon, “there would be bits of cloth here and there in the dog rolls and cat sachets. There is not a skerrick of fabric to be seen.”
He continued to feed the animal carcasses through the grinder. “She’ll turn up somewhere before the day is through.”
At the end of the day’s work Florrie still hadn’t made an appearance.
“Perhaps she went home on a bus,” suggested Gordon. He set off for home alone. On the way he dropped Florrie’s clothes off at the St Vincent de Paul’s Used Clothing Store.
Florrie was the one who fed their three dogs each evening. Gordon would have to do it himself. And to think! Florrie’s last words that morning to Gordon were, “I’ll always make sure the dogs get fed if it’s the last thing I do.” Thank goodness he had remembered to bring home some pet food.
The annual summer plague of flies arrived at the same time as the next door neighbours went on vacation. Little Bonnie Candice from next door asked Martin if he would look after her pet goldfish, Harold. Of course he would!
Almost everyone knows that insect repellent, if sprayed near a goldfish bowl, will kill the fish. Martin didn’t know. Harold the goldfish floated upside down to the top of the glass bowl.
Martin didn’t know what to do. All goldfish look the same. Perhaps he should replace it and not tell little Bonnie Candice. She wouldn’t know the difference. Perhaps he should tell her, come out clean, and she would have to begin to face the realities of life. Decisions! Martin decided to replace the goldfish and tell no one. The mere thought of the different goldfish – that and the flies – completely ruined his summer break. He couldn’t sleep. He was totally stressed. He couldn’t relax. It was the worst summer of his life.
When little Bonnie Candice and her family returned from their vacation, the goldfish was returned with a great deal of trepidation. Little Bonnie Candice did not seem to notice the difference.
A week later Martin saw little Bonnie Candice and asked how the goldfish was doing. “Oh,” she said, “I got sick of it and flushed it down the toilet.”