‘Accident prone’, that is.

Yes, our foster dog (you know, the one who has only been here a month) is in the wars again. This time Ranger chose to argue with a brick wall, and the brick wall won – as brick walls tend to do. The brick wall hasn’t moved, and I think a month to get used to its position is probably enough, don’t you? And yet he managed to hit it. Twice. Or three times, if you count the damage to his tail.

In the wee small hours of Friday morning, we let the dogs out for a pee. They went, and they began coming back, and then the 2am peace was split asunder by the Greyhound Scream of Death. Now, those of you with greyhounds will know that the GSOD can (and usually does) mean that they’ve broken a nail, or stepped on a particularly knobbly twig, or it can mean that they are actually injured. This time, we knew by the fact that the GSOD continued unabated without the reappearance of the black dog, that he was, in fact injured, and probably injured severely enough to need an emergency call-out, and me in my nightshirt and all.

This is the brick wall – the one opposite the end of the garage.

It’s been there minding its own business for years. We know it was the brick wall, because having gone out and examined everything we could think of, and noted that the plant pots, chairs, etc, were still carefully positioned well away from the dogs’ route in and out as usual, I spotted the tell-tale tufts of fur on the grass just this side of said wall. And, by the way, we have automatic lighting in the garden so it wasn’t even dark!

This dog had already cost us well over £350 for his broken metatarsal plus the ongoing problem with his mouth. On Friday he added another £430 to the upwardly-mobile tally, and already painfully thin, he came back from the vet looking like a refugee from a war zone.

Today we had to take him back, because they’d missed the injury on his tail, which, when I saw it last night after bringing him home, was an inch long, gaping nicely and showing a tantalising glimpse of ligament. That cost us another £90-odd, although we are negotiating with the vet on that one, since they should have found it and dealt with it yesterday.

New Dog is now doing a good impression of a Space(d) Ranger, and depending on his point of view is either enjoying the experience or wondering what the hell happened. Again.

And as you see, he looks like someone who decided that that Sweeney Todd* chappie probably gave a jolly good haircut, but sensibly began to run away, just in time.

So. We’ve decided that since he’ll have to stay with us until he’s healed, we’ll have completely lost our hearts to him by then (not that we haven’t already), and since he keeps injuring himself before the previous injury has had a chance to heal, he’s probably doing it on purpose in order to stay with us two suckers friendly ‘monkeys’, so we might as well bow to the inevitable and damn well adopt him.

I mean, who’s going to want him? He’s iffy with other dogs, would probably not get along awfully well with a cat, won’t let you brush his teeth, trim his nails, or give him a pill (whether by stealth or assertiveness), and he’s over nine years old, with an impressive collection of scars and very few teeth. On the other hand, he’s a lunatic when he feels like running or playing and has the energy of a three year old without the co-ordination that should go along with it**. And he’s going stir crazy with his restricted level of exercise.

I’ve already ordered him a smart new collar, and bought him a raincoat, since he doesn’t fit the ones we have … I guess I might as well order him a winter jacket and be done with it, mightn’t I?


* Pity it wasn’t the Johnny Depp version, that’s what I say. It would have been worth the vet’s bill!
** Hmm. His previous fosterer explained the presence of a few small scars and many thorns in his coat by telling us he’d ‘run into a shrub’. We should have been warned.

Nah.  I’m sure it’s bigger than that.  You’d never get all those houses and stuff in there – let alone the cathedral!



Posted on July 26, 2011 in Hounds, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay22 Comments »

It’s a sad thing, but this quaint old building, relic of a bygone era, is now defunct.  It belonged to the local butcher, who carried on his trade here for as long as I can remember, but who has now retired.

He wanted to bulldoze it. Can you believe it?  Here’s the official notice of planning permission sought -

You see, if you want to do anything much to a building within a conservation area in dear old Blighty, then you must ask first and the planning committee will decide, sometimes with the help of local residents, if it should be allowed or not.  The notice must be displayed close to the building for a certain length of time to give people the chance to object.  And it seems they did.

Personally, I’m glad the application was rebuffed.

It’s a building with a lot of character, as you can see – I don’t know what it was originally, or even if it was built as a butcher’s shop – it may well have been, back in the 18th century.  Now, of course, it’s a liability because it’s expensive to repair, and yes, it’s crumbling a tad. But it’s sad to see the windows blank and bereft of the notices that always used to be there.


This is the very shop I used to walk to with our first dog, Jim.  This is where I bought the minced beef which he later stole from the saucepan as it was cooking!  Bless him, he was a good dog, and usually perfectly well behaved.  This was one of his few serious breaches of etiquette.

Peeping inside – oh, alright, blatantly rubbernecking, with my camera butted up against the glass – the walls are a beautiful bright blue.

Old-fashioned it certainly was – see the bull’s horns up there near the ceiling?  I’m surprised that the Health and Safety Executive allowed it, but there they hung.  And look!  The old bacon slicer is still there!   However, with so much taken out and the poor, barren chiller cabinet all bent out of shape it all looks a bit bleak, doesn’t it?   Especially since we can see right through to the back room … and there’s nothing there, the cupboards are bare.

This is the front of the shop in better days

At this point it was closed for a family event – I don’t think it was a birthday, so perhaps a bereavement – which just shows what an old-style family business this was.  Bolted and barred on a week-day with nothing but a handwritten notice of apology on the door?  Beyond belief for a modern High Street shop, no?  But in a village, a little one-man band can, and must do it.

Kind of sad that one of the ads is for a ‘bygones‘ fair, don’t you think?

For more ABC Wednesday posts, do visit Mrs Nesbitt’s blog and check out the links!

Posted on July 25, 2011 in Oddities, The Home Front by Jay13 Comments »

Or so I’m told!

Sorry this Macro Monday offering is so late. I spent the day yesterday at a dog show, and then conversing with Italian friends on Skype, and this morning New Dog had to go to the vet for a bandage change and get his mouth looked at. So here I am, back home and with time to sit and write, and I bring you something fiendish. Well, there you go. Tee hee.

Take a look at the picture. It’s something from my own kitchen, and it gets used quite a lot, though not so often by me. Of it’s type it’s quite a nice one, but .. well, I prefer to watch someone else using it than to do so myself. It’s not so much my kind of thing, you know?

Will everyone have one? Probably not – there are other ways to manage. But many – if not most – households will have at least one, and it should be a familiar object to pretty much all of you.

And talking of pretty, it kind of is, isn’t it? Even I can appreciate that!

Leave your answers in the comments, and I’ll be back tomorrow evening (that’s Tuesday, UK time) to let you know the answer. As usual it will be added to the bottom of this post in the form of a picture link, and as usual, I won’t answer comments unless necessary, for fear of giving away the answer to latecomers.

Have fun! And then why not pop over to Lisa’s Chaos for more restful versions of this fun meme?


Ah, well. Not so fiendish as OH thought, then!  Most of you got very, very close to the correct answer, and I would be churlish indeed not to accept those answers.  Sistertex was the first with the pretty-close-to-correct’ answer, so she gets the honours this week (no, Jay does not like doing the dishes) but Babs of Beetle Blog deserves an honourable mention for getting the closest to the truth of what this actually contains.

Go here for the answer!  It won’t be a huge surprise to most of you.  Well done, all of you who guessed almost-correctly!  I’ll see you next week, and beware!  I really am going to try to fox you with a doozy!  MWAHAHAHA!!