Monday, 25 April 2022

Monday 25 April 2022

Sweet Gisele-Stephanie died today at 16:10. Emergency treatment brought scant respite and exploratory surgery this afternoon revealed a massive inoperable tumour on her pancreas. I took the utterly wretched decision not to wake her from the surgery and was able to hold her as she went. Utterly heartbroken. No more smiles left to keep. 

Sleep sound my Tiny Dancer.


Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Here I am, still in a world of Covid - but still wagging my tail though, despite it all.

To all this I can add - this is not the time to be wandering around with a shaved belly.

I have been very poorly in the hospital.  A liver infection.  Quite serious apparently, which it is a bit ironic for something with the word "live" in it.  So I had to have lots of injections and medicines and have my insides looked at on a screen, which is why they had to shave my little belly.  It is very cold indeed.


The scissors are for a big tapestry cushion that Mistress is making, a picture of some apples.  I keep trying to steal the wool for extra warmth, but she puts it where I can't reach it.

I can't complain. I have had a very happy year.  I went to see my cousin Doug for Christmas.  I celebrated the summer by very suddenly going deaf, which was very strange.  Mistress took me to the vets, but there is nothing wrong.  I don't mind too much - I can tell by my nose and my eyes what's going on and I still enjoy my life very much.  It's actually quite nice not to have the noise when I am trying to be asleep.

Especially because I get lots of extra meat with my tablets.  I have to take them until next week, but I will see if I can squeak some more meat every day for as long as I can.

I wasn't very happy with Mistress after I was allowed out of the vets.


That's my best "I hope you feel guilty" look.  I think it works quite well.

It's a big new vets building and hospital.  The old one where I (and Jasper and Tess) used to go has been knocked down (so I don't have to walk past it nearly every day, hurray!).  By a strange coincidence the new place is built on the site of the building where Mistress's parents worked for 40 years.  Mistress says it feels strange to go there now.  I says she ought to try sitting there in a cage, hooked up to a drip with a little shaved belly.  THAT feels strange.

On 11 January - so, 15 days ago - it was exactly ten years ago that Jasper died.  Mistress says it seems like yesterday and she can't believe it has been that long.  I can only remember meeting him once, when I was very little ("You still ARE very little" says Mistress.  Ha ha. I mean, when I was a puppy) and lived with someone else.  He was very nice to me.  I think, even though we still have a nice life together, Mistress still misses him sometimes.



He was a very fine dog.  If you look back at earlier posts on this blog you will find lots of lovely stories about him and his adventures, going all the way back to Sunday 13 August 2006 (It all started here).  I think it might even be one of the first ever dog blogs.  2006 is a long time ago in the world of the internet, I think.

I am very much hopeful that this year - 2022 - is going to be a very good one for me and for Mistress and that I will have lots of adventures to share here.  Mistress has not been able to drive a car since 2017, as she has been ill, but the doctor says she can now, hurray!  We are just waiting to get a new one and then there will be no stopping us from exploring wherever we can.

I can't wait to see what the year is going to bring us.



In the meantime, stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Sunday 7 March 2021

Mistress has made a cake.  It has got chocolate on it so I am not allowed to have any.  As if that, and the pictures posted in recent entries were not debasement and humiliation enough for a sweet young thing such as I, she is now making me put the recipe on here so her friends can have it.  My way is clear.  I will have my revenge - but she won't find it until she next puts on her boots, hehe...

"Exhibit A"

If you must...

Coca-Cola Cake (by Nigella Lawson)

For the cake

200 g (7 oz) (1 3/4 cups) plain flour
250 g (1/2 lb) (1 1/4 cups) golden caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
125 ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125 g (4 oz) (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (Mistress accidentally added a bit too much cocoa powder once and it was actually quite nice, so you could add a little bit more if you want to)
175 ml (3/4 cup) Coca-Cola (Mistress says to use proper Coca-Cola, not Diet or Sugar-Free as they won't taste right)

 (22-23 cm Springform, lined with foil to prevent the batter leaking, then greased)

For the icing

225 g (7 oz) ( 2 1/4 cups) icing sugar
2 tablespoons (30g) butter
3 tablespoons (45ml) Coca-Cola
1 tablespoon (15 ml) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4/ 350 F and put in a baking sheet at the same time.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, bicarb and salt. In a measuring jug, beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla.

3. In a heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola, heating it gently. Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well with a wooden spoon, and then add the liquid ingredients from the jug, beating until it is well blended.

4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake on the warm sheet for 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

5. Leave to stand for 15 minutes in the tin before un-moulding. Then unclip, unwrap and turn out on a wire rack, making sure you’ve got a sheet of newspaper or something underneath the rack to catch any icing that drips through.

6. Sieve the icing sugar and set aside for the moment. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the butter, Coca-Cola and cocoa and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla, and spoon in the sieved icing sugar, beating as you do so, until you’ve got a good, spreadable, but still runny, icing.

7. Pour this icing over the cake, while the cake is still warm, spread gently and leave till cool before transferring to the plate on which you’re serving it.  Decorate it however you want - in the picture Mistress used white chocolate buttons with rainbow sprinkles. We wanted to use those jelly Coca-Cola bottle shaped sweets but the shop didn't have any.

8. Now grill 87 chops of various types for your loyal and long-suffering Parson Jack Russell and tell her she's a good and beautiful girl while she eats them. 

All hail.


Saturday, 13 February 2021

Saturday 13 February 2021

Disrespectful laughter is not a sound that I like.

Don't mistake me, I do very much like to laugh.  I just don't like being laughed at very much.  My handsome predecessor, Jasper (who started this blog back in 2006) liked making people happy as much as he could and often performed particularly to gain laughter and general amusement.  Here he is, nobly sacrificing dignity for the sake of laughter, posing at Pixieland on Dartmoor in Devon:


No part of this picture was digitally edited or added-to.  
He wore this hat and sat on this toadstool for REAL. And was happy about it.
You can visit the scene of the crime here: Pixieland

Elsewhere on this blog you can spot him dressed as Sherwood Forest, some Watercress, Robin Hood and performing in character as 'Bullseye' in a production of Oliver! and these were by no means all his appearances.

I will admit that I have done a couple of shifts dressed as some watercress myself; you can find it here within the pages of this blog if you want to see that, I am not going to look it out and post it again.  My own ability with photography is not high - just a few days ago I sat on Mistress's 'phone and accidentally posted a rather ordinary (as if there could be such a thing) photo of myself dozing on a sofa to her "My Story" section of something called Facebook.  She only found out when she got notifications that people had seen it.

The general subject of this all came about back at our house earlier today.  Mistress was sorting through a box and found lots of dog photographs. Right back to her first dog Jaki, through the tragically short-lived Tess Tickle and our hero Jasper-Horatio up to my own sweet self, Mistress showed me lots of pictures and I enjoyed them very much.  We also found some pictures from six years ago.  They were less to my taste.

These pictures were taken on the day that Mistress came out of hospital after recovering from kidney failure.  She had brought some "souvenirs" from the nurses on her ward.  Because I was so happy to have Mistress home alive and well I reluctantly agreed to pose briefly with these items.  It was my belief that these pictures would never see the light of day.  Silly me.  I defy you, friend reader, to dare to laugh at them...




Yes, that's what I thought.  A shocking abuse of sanitary apparatus.

After coming back to GrannaPea's house later in the afternoon, I was given a big tasty chew to enjoy.  I decided to consume half and stash the remainder for another time.  I duly took the first opportunity of sneaking outside when the back door was open, to bury my bounty in a carefully concealed secret location.  I chose a specially-secluded site, prepared the ground, and placed the chew.  Some time later, GrannaPea had cause to put some stuff into her compost bin and, inexplicably, found my place of concealment!  The traitorous septuagenarian (big word for me, I know.  I looked it up on Mr. Googles) came back into the house laughing in a VERY disrespectful way and summoned Mistress.  She followed her mother back outside and both of them returned laughing heartily.  I got very cross.  The more cross I got, the more they laughed. Mistress called me "a total muppet" and said that my burying skills "were rubbish".  I think not.

After all, I chose my spot most carefully.  It was the site of where the old compost heap used to be (before the posh new compost bin arrived).  I didn't go there hardly at all last year because birds were nesting in the clematis and I had to be good and leave them alone.  They are gone now and the nest is empty.

Mistress has been using her new computer to play games (very unfair, it was only supposed to be for me to be writing this on). Some of them have been "hidden object" games, where you have to find particular things on a crowded screen.  So here is my very own hidden object game.  See if you can find (a) the nest (easy) and (b) my very carefully and professionally hidden chew (I bet you can't):


I don't know why they were laughing.


Stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Wednesday 3 February 2021

 In this picture you find me sleepy in my basket.  I have had a very busy few days.


I have been helping Mistress and GrannaPea to make our house better.  I have been enjoying lots of walks.  Now, Mistress is watching a special programme about Captain Sir Tom Moore, who passed away yesterday.  He always seemed like a very nice person.

I am happy to bark that GrannaPea has had her first Coronavirus vaccine jab, on Saturday.  Obviously, I went along to supervise.

Here I am, standing sentinel...

Custodian of the accompanying leaflet...

I had a strategy, too, for ensuring my own dose of the jab (we dogs can't catch the virus, but one can never be too sure...).  I was going to scuttle in, in place of GrannaPea, claim that I was a sufferer of restricted growth with body-hair issues and an unfortunate facial abnormality (they were Mistress's badly-chosen words), and proffer my supple little forearm just as the needle descended.   But I was thwarted in the final moment.  Mistress said that GrannaPea needed the injection and, in any case, she had to go into the building by herself.

I told Mistress that when I had finished having my picture taken (see above) I would break into the back of the hotel and steal all the rest of the vaccines for me and my friends.  She said that I would not.  I said I would.  She said, in that case, if I was so excited about injections then she would take me straight to the vets doctor and I could have a proper dog one.  Apparently when I was last in the vets doctor place they said I could have some cosmetic works done on some of my teeth.  My right jaw isn't quite proper after some mischief when I was little and some of my teeth are not too straight.  Well, I know what teeth are but I don't what cosmetic means.  My teeth work fine and I haven't got any pain.  And Mistress says it would be a lot of anaesthetic which might be a bit dangerous.  It would cost nearly a thousand pounds, but Mistress said she would very gladly pay it if I really wanted it, and it would be a nice big needle too.  Really big.

I changed my mind.  I don't like injections any more.  GrannaPea will have another one, in about 12 weeks.  But she is welcome to it.  I have gone off the idea.  I am very glad that GrannaPea has had her injection and it makes it a bit safer for her.

And it's February already!  Where did January go?  I will look under the sofa tomorrow to see if it went down there.

Stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Tuesday 26 January 2021

I have been very busy these past few days.  Supervising the restoration of my home after the toilet-traumas (mended, but we are still living with GrannaPea for the moment - it is warmer here).  We have had some snow.  I haven't seen very much snow in my life, but I do like it.  Until I remember that it is cold and wet.

We went out early in the morning when it snowed (on Sunday).  Mistress thinks that making a snowman is boring and I can't make a snowdog with my little paws.  So we made a "snowrona virus" instead.  At least it is topical.  Mistress shared a picture of it and quite a lot of people liked it, which made me happy.  Someone said they liked it as an example of typical British humour.  I asked Mistress what that meant because I have never heard of a dog called that.  She just looked at me, shaking her head.  But she was smiling, so that's alright.

I like making people smile, even when and especially because times are horrible.  Here is a picture of me after we had finished our building and taking pictures, showing exactly what I think of the REAL Coronavirus:

"Die, foul 'rona!"


I can be vicious when I want to be.


If only I knew how voodoo works, then I could destroy the virus for properly and for ever.

Here is a picture of the snowrona before I attacked it.  This is the one that I said Mistress could share.  She took quite a few pictures but in most of them I wasn't ready or I looked cross (so would you if you had to sit on the wet snow on your little furry bottom).


I approved this one.  I wasn't burping in this one.


Later in the day we went out for a long walk and I had so much fun, I ran and played in the snow like a puppy.  Afterwards I fell so fast asleep back in the warm that Mistress had to check that I was still breathing (I was).  She told GrannaPea that I was so sound asleep that I was "basically just a chop with fur on it".  But I had fun, so I don't mind.

The snow is almost gone now.  I am quite sad about this, but was cheered up this morning when GrannaPea got a 'phone call from the local human vet surgery today - she is going to have her Covid-19 vaccine injection on Saturday.  That makes me happy.
 
Mistress has got a new laptop computer for herself.  Actually it is for me (I am typing this on it now) as long as I don't dribble on it.  Mistress is using it too for writing some things but I don't know what she is writing.  It isn't this, so it can't be very important, but I will let her have her turn and try not to be too cross about it.  I don't like being cross, so I won't be.

Mistress took some more pictures of me playing in the snow.  I will try and find one or two where I don't look annoyed at having my photo taken or am engaged in activities which are apparently "not ladylike".  I don't know what that means.

When I was playing I saw some of my friends.  Rolo the Labrador barked that he had a new joke for me.  "What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?" I didn't know.  "I can roast beef but I can't pea soup..." He ran away laughing.  I kept saying it over and over again in my head but I didn't understand it until later, when I was back home and Mistress was drying my paws. And then I got told off for slipping out of my towel because I was cackling like a misbehaving biddy-hen. Harsh.

Stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Thursday 21 January 2021

When I started typing this it was 21:21 on the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century.  I don't suppose that means anything really, but it isn't something that happens every day.

Mistress has had further toilet-trauma.  We are still staying at GrannaPea's but have been going to our house to do tidyings and things.  There, we found that the toilet which we thought had been fixed was actually still not mended and water was once again pouring onto the floor when we pulled the handle.  Mistress was very angry.  She telephoned for a plumber and was told that no-one could come until February.  Happily, yesterday, they had a cancellation and so Mistress received a text message to say that plumber "Jake" would soon be arriving.

We went to our house to await Jake's arrival.  Only it wasn't Jake.  It was our friend Ross, from before.  He at least had the grace to look slightly ashamed of having to fix the problem that he failed to fix before (he forgot to include a key part and some sturdy screws in his previous effort).  I made sure to supervise him extra-closely, with my special bug-eyed expression so he knew I meant business.  I think the repairs have worked properly this time.  I hope so, for his young sake, anyway.  But why did they call him Jake, when he is Ross?  Or maybe his real name isn't Jake. Is it even Ross?  But whoever he is, I am grateful for his efforts.

And barking of annoying toilets being successfully flushed, my friends in America have a new leader and I am glad.  I hope that he will bring better things to the world in general.  More dignity and respect in any case, and that is always a good place to begin.

I look a bit dubious, but only because it was my dinner-time
and Mistress should have been getting my meal instead of
 making me pose for pictures...

I have hope for happier times ahead.  Even if it is still a bit difficult at the moment.

Stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x