Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Wednesday 30 September 2015

Today marked the end of an era.  My partner passed her last day in the office in the yard where once Ewan, Fizzy and I ran and played.  Her job has changed and she has moved to a different location.

It was a sad break with many happy memories.  Not only were many happy hours passed there, with numerous japes and adventures (all to be found in earlier entries on this post), it was from that office that I began my final journey, with the fond wishes of colleagues and friends ringing in my tired ears.

It was ALSO the setting for the occasion when I espied a tiny, gimlet-eyed terrier puppy of great beauty and possessed of a saucy smile.  She was so tiny and young that she could not be let out of the van in which she sat as she had not had her first injections - so she remained a mere vision.

No longer.  Little did I imagine that she would one day be so instrumental in helping to dry my partners' tears.

My partner has promised Gisèle that they will return to the much-loved woodlands for walks.  My partner's parents will be caring for sweet 'Sèle during the days from now on, as she is not permitted to accompany my partner to her new office.  This, too, represents an unhappy breach; yet we must be thankful that my partner still has a job in these troubled times - and a job that will offer interesting challenges and oportunities.  Gisèle believes that she will have new interesting challenges and opportunities too.  She thinks that she will be able to easily hoodwink my partner's parents into giving in to her every wish.  I fear she will be swiftly undeceived.

I have much more to share with you on my partner's recent brush with death and hospital sojourn.  But the hour grows late and rest ought not to be delayed; tomorrow brings the start of a new era for my partner and little Gisèle...


Sunday, 6 September 2015

Sunday 6 September 2015

A brief explanation of our silence: My partner has been ill - seriously so and, over the past ten days, mortally so. For nine of these past days she has been in (and, indeed, this message is written from) hospital.

On Monday night we faced each other directly once again; I went to walk her Home.

But it was not her time so, as her sleep grew easy once more, I stole silently away. My duty was unneeded.

My partner is now recuperating steadily and an imminent release from hospital is anticipated, though there may still be some challenges to face in the weeks ahead.

But face them we will - and our courage shall not be found wanting. The all will soon be told.

Until then; good night.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Nothing of note to report from the battlefield of "No Dogs' Land".  There have been advances, withdrawals and temporary truces on both sides - but nothing to mark any significant progress on either side.

The battle-lines have long been drawn at my former dwelling, my partner's parents' house, between Gisèle and a doughty rodent whom we shall name "Rockery Mouse".

For most of last summer, Gisèle would painstakingly dismantle the small rockery in the garden, stone by stone, in pursuit of a mouse of sorts whose presence in the vicinity was really rather obvious.  Failing success in that part of his haunt, she continued to stalk him behind the garden tool-store, at the back of the seedling shelves and below some spare paving slabs.  She - occasionally accompanied by a completely indifferent Betty - succeeded in smoking-out a large and grumpy toad, who wasted no time in telling her to go away, but drew a blank wherever the wily mouse was concerned.

I had better fortune in seeing the mouse - my limited presence being less alarming to nervous creatures.  I have to bark that his appearance was somewhat unusual, being something more than a mouse yet something less than a rat.  I recalled the occasion some years ago when an odd specimen literally dropped from the sky into my garden - Here - and wondered if sweet 'Sèle's present nemesis could be one of his descendants.  Well, I bark, one of his descendants - for there are now several.  The lone mouse that has haunted the garden for at least a year has become several.  He must have acquired himself a mate and the inevitable babes that fruit from such an union. 

The presence of a number of mice has seemingly been confirmed by Gisèle's recent antics in tearing up not only the rockery but also two of my partner's parents' garden borders and a carefully-planted large flower tub.  Gisèle was NOT popular when the aftermath of her industry was discovered - to the extent that a large section of the garden has been fenced-off to prevent her access with no less than TWO sections of fencing.  Thwarted again!  But those who know Gisèle may appreciate that she will not be thwarted for long.

"I's calling in professional help." she grumbled, as her soil and compost-covered self was hauled away in disgrace by my partner.

"Oh yes?" I responded, one eyebrow quizzically raised, wondering who she could have in mind. Betty was sufficiently indifferent to the mouse issue as to rule out any application for her assistance.

"Yes." replied Giz.  "I need advice from a professional.  I's not letting this go."
"No!  I'm going to get advice.  I's not losing this, not after all this time has happened."
"Who are you going to ask, Gizzy?"

"The best in the business, of course!" she declared. "I am going to get from the very, very best.  From Peaches."

Forgive my sceptical fatalism - but this is unlikely to end well.

Good night.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Wednesday 1 July 2015

The second great war has begun. One against several this time. Stay tuned for further updates from the frontline...

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Sunday 3 May 2015

A very long time has passed since there was a rational bark on this blog.  I blame a combination of factors: my partner's second job and long working hours; her sometime ill health (now approaching the road to recovery, thankfully) and Gisèle's general preoccupation with things a young lady ought not to be considering...

I am happy to report that her behaviour has shown a vast improvement of late.  Not that she was ever a particularly naughty girl, but she is now completely, 100%, trustworthy with all farm animals and horses.  Sheep (and anything else besides) may safely graze in the presence of little Gisèle, she pays them no heed.  I cannot rightly say when this transformation took place and it was certainly a realisation she ceme to by herself, as my partner had long been exasperated by the terrier's inappropriate belligerence.  It has made a great deal of difference - unless roads are involved no lead is necessary for sweet Giz. 

Alas, her indefatigable campaign against squirrels continues unabated.  She caught and killed her first one last week.  The kill was incredibly swift and totally bloodless.  Gisèle was immensely proud of herself - right up to the point where she put down the ex-squirrel and tried to wake it up so that it could play with her.  Once the truth had been explained, poor Giz became quite mortified and was very subdued for the rest of the evening.  She hasn't learned from the experience, however, and is still to be often found pursuing squirrels or shouting up at them from the ground... I have washed my paws of this madness.

A very happy event in our nation's history today: the safe arrival of a baby princess for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a sister for HRH Prince George.  She hasn't been named officially yet.  I overheard Giz in the garden this morning, confidently assuring Rosie that the new baby will be called Princess Gisèle.  Personally I have my doubts over this but, wishing to avoid a tiresome and ultimately futile dispute, I chose not to comment.  Rosie seemed persuaded by Gisèle and barked only that she thought that the royal infant should be called Princess Gisèle Rosemary.  Both girls agreed on this, before launching themselves into a mad play-fight which brought neither of them any dignity.

I am in hopes that a further entry may soon be forthcoming.

Good night.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Tuesday 14 / Wednesday 15 April 2015

God bless Gamon de Pycombe, Kitty and all the other dogs and peoples lost on this night in our year number 1912. Mistress and Jasper tells me about of them and I am sad and wishes for that I can have saved them. They are rests in peace. Yes. But I am sorry acause of what happened. I sends love and respects to them as lost their VERY PRECIOUS lives this night 103 ago. Bye-byelovefrom gisEle-STEPHanie xxxx

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sunday 22 February 2015

Oh, for goodness' sake...  I turn away for a few brief moments - and return to find witless and inane drivel such as the previous post polluting my carefully-honed blog.

I blame Betty.  It can only be her fault that Gisèle's standards of grammar and language have plummeted so far.  If our heroine had spent less time messing around outdoors and giggling about boys with Betty, then this would not have happened.  I endeavoured to represent the seriousness of the matter to 'Sèle, but I lost her attention after about three minutes.  She did start to listen, but I knew I'd lost her when I saw her eyes following the progress of a robin on the bird-table in the garden.  I gave up.

One thing, at least, was achieved from Betty's most recent week-long visit; the circumstances under which she got her "modicum of revenge" as alluded to in the 9 November 2014 post.  It transpired on a hot summer's afternoon, when my partner attempted to procure the girls some relief from the heat by taking them down the lane to the ford (this being the ford where my partner has previously endeavoured to rebuild Gisèle confidence in the water - there has been some progress; last summer Giz voluntarily paddled in the sea at Lepe and enjoyed herself greatly - but this was after the events I am describing).  On sighting the water, Betty plunged delightedly into the water and immersed herself in the deepest part of the river, in the middle.  Gisèle carefully skulked at the water's edge and only went so far as allowing the water to lap over her paws.  Her face bore an expression of wistful longing as she watched her friend swimming around happily in the cool clear water.

Finally deciding that she wasn't brave enough to venture deeper, Gisèle turned and trotted to the little bridge across the ford.  As she began to cross, Betty doggy-paddled alongside and tried to persuade her little friend to join her in the water.  I watched as Gisèle stopped to watch Betty enjoying her aquatic escapades with a slight hint of regret in her brown eyes.

All of a sudden, there was the briefest scream and a good deal of splashing.  Once my eyes had adjusted due to the sparkles reflecting off the water, the bridge was empty.

Gisèle quickly surfaced, spluttering and splashing, followed by a wickedly-grinning Betty.
"-glub- You did that DELIBERATELY Betty!" squealed an irate 'Sèle, paddling around to face Betty.
"It was an accident!" grinned Betty, swimming out of range of the furious terrier towards the centre of the ford.  Gisèle splashed off in hot pursuit.  Every time she got nearer to Betty, the large dog would paddle further away, much to Gisèle increasing frustration.

Suddenly, Gisèle seemed to realise that she was actually swimming and tried to set down a paw on the bottom of the ford.  Finding that she could not, she began to panic.  Splashing and fretting, she got herself to the edge of the ford and staggered out, trembling and whimpering.

"Gis!" cried Betty, "What did you do that for?!  You were doing really well and swimming all by yourself!"  As annoyed as I was with Betty, I appreciated that she had been trying (in her own way) to encourage Gisèle to be more confident in the water by demonstrating to her that she was an able swimmer, despite her (reasonable) fears.  Betty struck out and swam to join her friend as quickly as she could.  "I'm sorry Gizzy; I didn't mean to frighten you."  Poor Betty was mortified.
"That's ok Betts." replied Gisèle in a small voice and the two friends cuddled and nuzzled each other.  "At least I'm nice and cool now..."

Gisèle fared somewhat better where her supercilious buzzard "friend" was concerned.  Despite Betty's advice, cajoling, persuasion (even threats at times) and irritation, sweet 'Sèle continued to visit the nest of buzzards, more often than not bringing them some sort of gift or "advice".  She persisted in her cheerful and hearty banter, even though she was never met with more than nods or stares.

Inevitably, alas, came the day that Gisèle had been convincing herself would never come.  She was trotting happily along the path, enjoying her walk, when a large buzzard loomed and circled a little too close for comfort above her.  A cursory guess suggested to me that this was a male buzzard; possibly the patriarch of the nest upon which she had been calling.  Further and lower swooped the buzzard, encompassing tiny Giz in his menacing shadow.  I saw concern beginning to register in young 'Sèle's brown eyes.  At length, one of the big raptor's outstretched talons came close enough to graze the terrier's head and she screamed.  She tried to run, but she was on open ground and the nearest cover was too far away.  As the buzzard dived for a more concerted attempt to snatch little Giz, there was a sudden violent clash of feathers and much noisy screeching.

"You leave her alone!  She's alright, that one!  You're NOT to take her! Leave her!"  The female buzzard, mother of the chicks Gisèle had so assiduously visited, battered her fellow-raptor with enough force to put him off and Giz was able to make her escape.  I would like to think that Gisèle has learned a salutory lesson from this experience.  As much as I would like to think that - I know that she will, as ever, have learned nothing.

I did, out of interest, ask Gisèle how things were progressing with her new boyfriend Bracken.  She cannot remember who Bracken is.  There's no hope...

Pip pip!