I love Cassie’s and my dog Gordon, and I have the photos on my phone to prove it. But I miss my ex-dog Shuggie so much it hurts sometimes. He’s happy living with London with his “mummy” so I know he’s loved.
To help soothe the pain, I subscribe to the RSS feed of all photos on Flickr tagged with the word “westie”. I enjoy flicking through all the cute pictures of the westies around the world. Often there are photos which have a Volkswagen Westphalia camper van, or other things that get called westies.
Once in particular keeps coming up. Flickr user phatfreemiguel posts a photo every day of his dog, in the set Daily Mac, saying, “Good morning!” to the world. Thanks for the photos!
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.
When I first got my hands on him – note wad of cash for deposit.
First day at new home – his eyes aren’t this blue any more.
Shut yer yap!
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.
How he is now.
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.
Shuggies birthday cake – he was two years old
This is moment he singed his hair…
The birthday boy, his cake and his present, Mr Ropey Lion.
no mercy – singed hair
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.
- Get a bun tin, like this.
- Put a paper bun case in one of the holes.
- Spoon some tinned dog food into the case, and press down into shape.
- Arrange dry dog crunchies on the top.
- Insert cake candles, and light.
If your dog is stupid, be sure to blow the candles out before presenting the cake.
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!
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!
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.
Just to show you what he can be like, here are some pics of Shug in better health.
Shuggie wondering where the duck went
Shuggie & Mairi
Shuggie asleep on my bed
Shuggie has been under the weather. Because I was off last week, doing the Arturo Ui, I was looking after him. One day he disappeared. I looked everywhere, and eventually found him hiding in this box under the bed in the spare room, where he rarely goes. Aww.
Shuggie hiding away when ill
When walking the mutt, it’s often the case that when you get chatting with other dog owners and people in general, they ask the name of the dog.
Me: “No, Shuggie.”
Fool: “What does it mean?”
Me: “In Scotland, men with the first name ‘Hugh’ get the nickname ‘Shuggie’. Like men called Douglas get the nickname Dougie. Or Doogie.”
Fool: “Oh, so it’s Shoogie then?”
Me: “No, it’s Shuggie.”
Person wanders off, confused.
I Love People!