Tag Archives: Dog

Bye Mollie

I’m very sad to hear that my brother’s family dog, Mollie, has died. She was just under 8 years old, and had been ill with a tumour for a while. It got worse, and they made the tough decision to end her suffering.

Shuggie and Molly playing

Shuggie and Molly in 2005

Mollie was a Westie, and a very cute one. She had a bit of an underbite, and used to love to run down the garden barking, in the hope of catching a bird. She never caught one, obviously.

Mollie went by various names in her home, in keeping with my family’s bizarre sense of humour. Some favourites:

  • Molla / Molla-molla
  • Moola
  • Molenzo
  • Mollusc

The photo, taken in June 2005, is of Mollie and my ex-dog Shuggie, who I got with Mairi earlier that year. You can see he’s much smaller than Mollie here. (the toe belongs to my niece and goddaughter Lauren – sorry for your loss, Lol).

When Mairi and I were deciding to get a pet, we knew I was allergic to either cats or dogs. When my brother got Mollie, the next time we visited I played with her and basically rubbed my face on her. No reaction!

Mollie and Shuggie saw each other a few times, and would always play tug-of-war and chase each other around the house and garden. She’ll be missed.

I will give Gordon lots of attention this evening.


One-Way Ticket To LAX

~ Ancient history, from notes found on my laptop. This dates back to June 7th 2008, when I flew to the New World from my Old. ~

Waiting around in Heathrow, having cruised through bag drop, security, passport control and bought far too much duty free stuff, including the biggest bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Cassie will have ever seen.

Trying to find that most sweet of scaleable commodities, free wireless internet access.

Also trying my hardest to be excited. I don’t know what it is, but after seeing so many people before I left, all lovely friends I will miss a great deal, all I could feel was a kind of numbness. The only goodbye that caused me to well up (and is doing so now) was Shuggie, who at least was kind enough to lick my face and ear.

I’m currently trying each of the various wireless networks that show up around here, in the hope that one of them forgot to set up their irritating “buy your crappy web tokens here – £3.95 for an hour” page. No luck so far. “The Cloud” has a partnership with iPass, which is a system my company uses to allow employees to connect worldwide. Sadly, and as usual, it doesn’t work. And I resisted the temptation to include a modifier beginning with “F” between “doesn’t” and “work”. I don’t know whether it’s because The Cloud keeps hijacking the stream, or because of iPass’s usual sterling lack of performance.

More later.

 ~ *Real* evocative, Matt. Nice one. ~

Happy 3rd Birthday Shuggie

Today is my ex-dog’s birthday. He was born in 2005, and since then he has grown from a tiny ball of fuzz into a strapping young lad, as you will see below. Since getting him, Mairi and I have split up, and he has gone with his ‘mummy’ but I still see a lot of him, because Mairi only lives round the corner, and I look after him from time to time, generally at least once a week. The court decided I get access rights, despite my record. I take him to McDonalds, and let him stay up late, and don’t make him do his homework, so he always has a great time with me. We’re a team. Aren’t we, little buddy? Me and you? Me and you forever?

This is the first view we got of him.

First View Of Shuggie
When I first got my hands on him – note wad of cash for deposit.

First Couple of Days with Shuggie
First day at new home – his eyes aren’t this blue any more.

Shut yer noise
Shut yer yap!

Shuggie and Molly playing
With my brother’s dog Mollie. He’s the little one, at least he was back then.

After his operation to remove something he swallowed – full story here.

His great big schnozz and tiny teeth.

In action.

Shug at the park
How he is now.

Shuggie's Birthday Cake
His 2nd birthday, a year ago – about to singe his fringe. This year I will be preparing a special surprise treat for him which I will deliver tomorrow (I hope he’s not reading this, or I will have ruined the surprise). Happy Birthday Shuggie! Mairi said she was going to give him 36 kisses, one for each month of his life. I’d like to see her try.

Shuggie’s Cake

Shuggie's Birthday Cake

Shuggies birthday cake – he was two years old

Shuggie's Birthday Cake

This is moment he singed his hair…

Shuggie's Birthday Cake

The birthday boy, his cake and his present, Mr Ropey Lion.

Shuggie's Birthday Cake

no mercy – singed hair

Shuggie's Birthday Cake

All gone – including the paper (he’s OK)

After a request for information about Shuggie’s cake, as seen above, here’s the recipe, using stuff I had in the cupboard.

  1. Get a bun tin, like this.
  2. Put a paper bun case in one of the holes.
  3. Spoon some tinned dog food into the case, and press down into shape.
  4. Arrange dry dog crunchies on the top.
  5. Insert cake candles, and light.
  6. Serve.

If your dog is stupid, be sure to blow the candles out before presenting the cake.

Is It A Horse?

Part 2 in the ‘Unusual Breeds on Tooting Bec Common’ series

While out walking Shuggie on the Common, we keep coming across the more unusual breeds of dog. We ran in to a Malamute a few weeks back, and then this week, while enjoying the sunshine and the smell of the damp grass, and avoiding the huge puddles, another beast of a hound approached. It was big and hairy, and was wearing a muzzle. This gave me pause. Yes, the muzzle would stop it biting, but why was it wearing one? It’s owner, a French girl on a bicycle, came over to chat. She told me the dog was a Briard, a French sheepdog, “from where they make the cheese”. It was lovely, and apparently needed lots of grooming.

But what about the muzzle? Well, she said it was just when he was with big dogs, he got excited. As it was, he was very friendly with Shuggie, who was doing his nervous sniffing and quick tail-wagging, on account of the size of this thing. He was friendly with me too, leaning against my legs heavily while I scratched his ear. Then the Briard lay down on his back, and rolled his eyes in that mad way dogs have, allowing Shuggie to poke his schnoz in the Briards nethers. Nice.

Watch this space for more breed encounters!

Shuggie vs. Mollie

Shuggie versus my brothers dog Mollie, a couple of Christmasses ago.

Garden Drapes – Exterior Decor?

We’re having a couple of problems with Shuggie in the garden. It would be nice to able to leave him down there on his own for a while. Not while we’re out of course, or in the rain or anything, just to let him potter around in the garden, minding his own (and doing his) business.

But because our cheapo fencing is made of thin poles of bamboo-like wood, he can see through it. And that means he can see next-door’s cat, and the cat from the house at the back, and people in their gardens, and so on and so forth. And this drives him crazy. As soon as we’ve let him out into the garden, and settled down to read or whatever, he’s barking and skittering around, annoying the neighbours with his yipping. And being the solidly lower-middle-class folks we are, we care what the neighbours think.

Mairi thinks, and I tend to agree, that the fencing needs to be changed. It’s old and tatty, and badly fitted (not by me). But before we pay for new stuff that may not stop the barking, she suggested draping the nasty sheets and duvet covers that I keep for dustsheets when decorating over the fence and pegging them in place. So now we have some garish paint-spattered 80’s duvet covers decorating our garden. I can’t help thinking garden curtains might be the next big thing.

Anyway, it seems to work! Shuggie was in the garden, sniffing around, and I looked over the fence to see next doors cat, Monster, sitting in their garden. The two animals were oblivious of each other.

Shuggie still barks at the cat over the back, because we didn’t peg sheets there, but the Technical Proof Of Concept is in place, pending further trials.

Shuggie Has It In For His Paw

He’s done it again! He got a grass seed in his paw. Now this isn’t normally a problem, because we just hold him down, snip away the fur, and get it out with tweezers, if it isn’t actually stuck in him too much.

But not this time, oh no.

This time the seed got right under his skin (cue song), so it took a vet, a general anesthetic, paw shaving, a scalpel, tweezers and a stitch to sort him out. Now he’s under the weather from the drugs, and has the good old plastic lampshade round his neck. We’re getting a lot of use out of that, we are. And the pet insurance.

Sadly, because of this we’ll have to postpone Shug’s modelling debut with Julia, because he has the aforementioned lampshade round his neck, and he also has an ugly shaved paw like a fat rat. But we still love him, honest!

Weekend Frolics In A Pub And The Rain

After being off sick on Friday (same symptoms as the others, it turns out) Saturday was a fresh start. Did my usual pottering around, did the washing up and put the washing on while listening to, and shouting at, Any Questions, took the dog up to Tooting Bec Common for a frolic in his new bandana (pron. ban-da-NA*), where he made friends with a giant hairy Alaskan Malamute, which proceeded to gallop around nearly knocking me over and being hairy everywhere.

After that I did some more pottering, while Shuggie continued to have boundless energy, despite me thinking I’d knackered him out on the common. In the evening I went up to the big city to see Daneeta for her birthday. It was good to see her and cinematographer Patrick, and of course my fellow Mute records fan Matt. I haven’t seen any of them for months, and it was jolly good fun all round. We met at the Chandos, a very nice pub with Samuel Smith beers, which despite being right in tourist- and theatreland, doesn’t get totally rammed, and it’s cheap too. Oh and all the beers are vegan, if that matters to you.

I seem to have said I would get James to contact Daneeta about marketing techniques, and also said the Carlton might be able to provide Patrick with an old man for a short film. Promises, promises.

Sunday was nice and relaxing. I did some more pottering in the morning (very important that) and went and bought a DVD recorder from Curry’s. I know, I know, but I just couldn’t be bothered pissing around on the net forever. Got it home, it works, fine. If it breaks, my statutory rights get me a replacement within the year.

Mairi took the dog to the common this time, then about half an hour after she left, the heavens opened and it rained tremendously hard. I took photos, I was so impressed. Lightning was striking really close by, and the guttering couldn’t take the pressure, so water was just pouring off the roof. I feared for the skylight. I’ll put the pics up this evening. I was worried that Mairi and Shuggie would turn up drenched, with the dog traumatised and shivering. Luckily they made it back to the car in time, and just got a bit wet. I’d lain out towels and tea, but it wasn’t so bad. Shug did need a bath though, which he tolerated as usual, before going beserk when being dried, running up and down, savaging toys etc. Bless.

By the way, Mairi has taken some tentative steps onto the web – she has a MySpace profile. Don’t forget to add her as a friend and ask for a/s/l lol.

* pronouncing it like this is funny, and it comes from Fist of Fun, when Peter (the stinking Balham virgin) finds a book about “how to dance the Lambada” and he pronounced it ‘lam-ba-DA’ in a Welsh accent and that’s why it’s funny, although without the accent it would have been just as funny, so I needn’t have mentioned it really.

Shuggie On The Radio(ish)

On 29 June, the Today programme had a feature on the names people give their pet dogs. They asked for people to email them a photo of the dog, and an explanation of why that name was chosen.

They finally put Shuggie up.

The Editor of the programme was a bit perturbed by the number of pictures received – but it shows that people will email them when they want to. For example, I (nearly) emailed them this morning after James Naughtie commented, “we all remember Fahrenheit anyway”. I don’t. I 34 and I was taught Celsius at school. I don’t know what the headline, “Phew, it’s 102!” means, and neither do I know how many pounds there are in an ounce, or how many bushels in a cubit.

This does not mean I am an unpatriotic froggie kraut.