Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Wednesday 21 July 2010

We are currently mourning a tragic loss in this household. Several tragic losses, in fact.

Alas, our lavender plants are no more. And – yes – these are the lavender plants which my partner installed to replace the Rose of Sharon (the one that I ate) and the huge, gaping crater in our border (the one that I dug as an outdoor den for myself on hot days). My partner and I stood, side by side, in our garden looking at the wretched plants.

“That one in the middle might be saved.” sighed my partner, shaking her head at the other three.
“Well, at least that’s something.” I concurred. “It won’t be a total loss. I wonder what can have happened?”
“Hmmmn.” my partner frowned. “These two – pointing at the worst-affected, now dark brown, plants, “Look like they have been consistently and regularly urinated-on, which has poisoned the roots and killed the plants. And this one at the end – “ as we moved together to the end of the section of border, “Seems to have been trampled and sat-on until it was totally crushed. See where those taller stems there have been snapped off?”
“Yes indeed.” I replied, sniffing the broken and mangled lavender-stems. “What a great pity.”

I remained at my partner’s side, surveying the wreckage and decay, until the effort of maintaining a mystified and sorrowful expression began to make my facial muscles ache.

“I believe I will take my luncheon now.” I said, trotting through the French Windows into our house and continuing on to the kitchen. After a time, my partner joined me. “Of course, the real tragedy here,” I remarked between mouthfuls of crunchy marrowbone biscuit, as my partner prepared herself a sandwich, “Is that the killer may never be discovered and brought to justice.”

My partner turned and looked at me through narrowed eyes.
“Yee-ess…” she said, sounding almost suspicious. I looked away. I hate it when she says ‘yes’ like that. It makes me nervous. It’s almost as if she thinks that I was the culprit!  As if I could ever be that wicked...

As the car in which I travelled sped away from the home of the Miss Smarts, I decided that I had actually rather enjoyed my day out.  It was most refreshing to have had a change of scenery, and the snippets of sandwich had been extremely welcome.  I wondered whether I should mention these things to my pack during our nightly chat, or whether it might provoke some resentment.  I decided to play it by snout, and just enjoy myself in the meantime.
I sat very comfortably on the lap of the young lady, who still grasped the end of the lead attached to my collar.  She obligingly opened the car window so that I could poke out my head.  How I loved that!  It was delicious to feel the wind in my ears - just like I was in a high-speed chase.  I chuckled happily, and the young woman patted my head.
I watched as we passed the vets' surgery and continued along the road towards the roundabout that would turn our vehicle in the direction of home.
To my inexpressible surprise, however, on reaching the roundabout we did NOT go around it and towards the rescue shelter - but we took the first exit which led in precisely the opposite direction!  Confused and flustered, I turned and stood on my hind legs, leaning against the back of the rear-seats, staring out of the back window at the roundabout, which was rapidly receding into the distance.
"Ummm... Excuse me...? Miss? Excuse me?!" I hazarded, nervously.  "Errr... I think we might be going the wrong way..."  When I received no response, save for another pat on the head, I began to panic.  "No! No!" I cried.  "This isn't right!  Please turn around!  I want to go home!"  My consternation only increased as the roundabout went from being a speck in the distance to disappearing from view entirely.  I was now beyond my knowledge of the area and the surrounding scents grew increasingly unfamiliar.  I felt as though I were standing on a high stool, which had just been kicked away from beneath me.  I struggled to ascertain whether I was more frightened - or more angry.
The young girl just gave me another reassuring cuddle.  It didn't help.
"It's alright, sweetheart." she smiled, in an attempt to comfort me.  "You're going to a brand-new home now, just for you."
I wasn't impressed.  Not impressed at all.
"There, there." she continued to try and soothe me.  "It's OK, you'll see."
"I don't want to see." I muttered, crossly. "I want to go home."
"Alright, Jasper?" she smiled, looking at my face.  "You're my Jasper, now.  You're going to live with me.  Jasper is your name now."
I stiffened, angrily, and turned to glare at this wretched creature.  I gritted my teeth and looked her directly in the eye.
"My name - " I hissed, with increasingly poisonous venom in my voice, " - is Captain."
Good night.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Tuesday 13 July 2010

No, no, no, no no.  No.  In every partnership there MUST always be a hero and a sidekick.  And it always spells trouble when a sidekick tries to kick the hero aside.

How dare she?  I mean, seriously, how dare she?

Just as I was beginning to actually enjoy the relation of my overnight adventure (now that the pain is properly fading), who should have the treachery to step over my weakened, furry, body and into the spotlight?  My duplicitous vixen of a partner, that's who.  Oh yes.

This evening saw my partner appear live on air with Simon Mayo on his BBC Radio 2 Drivetime Show.  She was their "telephone expert" (yeah, right...) for this evening's 'Homework Sucks' segment (advising an 11 year-old on how to learn lots of lines for her school play in a very short time).

In case you are interested - here is a link to the BBC iPlayer which features the traitorous harpy (as dubious as I am about revealing her name for fear of lurking nutters; she has brought this entirely upon herself):

The link is only valid for ONE WEEK from today. You need to slide the pink/purple 'time' bar along to 1:40:00, which is roughly about thirty seconds before she goes on the air. Part of her 'bit' might get replayed fairly early on in tomorrow's show (starts at 5.00pm).

I am especially angry, because she had to wait on the 'phone with a producer for a short while prior to going on air.  We have both (mostly me) been filmed for a BBC programme before - but I was younger then.  Now I appreciate that one must seize these opportunities, however scant, if one is to enlighten the proletariat.  Accordingly, as soon as I twigged to what was a-paw (and my partner was already slightly manic; the BBC bod having rung at precisely the moment that my partner was upstairs downloading a weemail, causing her to race downstairs whilst adjusting her trousers - getting her shirtsleeve snagged on the banister in the process and having to frantically restore knickers plus trousers AND unhook body from banister all whilst the BBC were ringing our telephone - that was a sight, the memory of which shall enliven many a dull moment to come, I can assure you.),  I began to bark in my best, clearest tones.  Starsky utilised that very instant to amble past my French windows, which caused a number of rather lavatorial swear-barks to tumble from my frothing maw.

All the while, my partner was hissing "Shut up! Shut up!  Shut the **** UP, Jasper!  Mummy's about to be on BBC Radio!  Children mustn't hear language like that!"  whilst trying to sound calm and relatively sane whenever the producer came on the line with "Two minutes to go, ----."  She shut me in the hallway - but my bark is mightier than mere walls and doors and I could not be silenced.  Ultimately, she took a terrific gamble, replacing the receiver on the desk and convincing me that her call had ended.  I was instantly becalmed.

Take note of this, dear reader.  I was duped by a lie.  Oh yes.  The sheer audacity of it!  My partner conducted her radio interview with a background of silence and tranquillity (although I believe I may be heard burping at one point).

And, if you are reading this after the above link has expired - or from a location where it refuses to operate - I can assure you that yes; she sounded like a complete tit. (I mean even more so than usual). Well - it has often been barked that she possesses "the perfect face for radio".

I am very angry.  There will be no 'Evolution' tonight, sweet reader.  I'm going up early to bed and stealing all the good pillows before my partner gets there.

Let that stand as a lesson to ALL who dare to step out of their proper place in the scheme of things.  Oh yes.

Good night.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Monday 12 July 2010

Between five and eight years, apparently.  That is, it seems, the average life-span of a Buzzard.  I consider that at least half a decade too long.

(By way of explanation, I should explain that these late traumatic events were unfolding at the same location as my earlier entanglements with the revolting repugnant raptor.  I therefore had no doubt that I found myself in his foul presence once more - only this time I was exposed and defenceless).

I am ashamed to admit that I began to snivel and cry.  I was frightened, cold, and in terrible pain.  I did my utmost to stifle my sobs, not wishing my nemesis from times past to catch me in this state and decide that he might like a supper of filet de Jasper tartare.  I could smell that he was alone in the branches above my head - and yet he continued to mutter and chuckle to himself.  The insane old fool.  After what seemed an age, an owl hooted nearby and so the buzzard decided to make himself scarce.  I waited until I was certain he was gone and then exhaled with much relief.  I could no longer hold my head up, so I allowed myself to collapse fully onto the ground and tumbled into unconsciousness.

The next sensation of which I was aware was the sound of a voice floating somewhere high above me.  For the merest of moments I feared lest the buzzard had returned - but no; this was a human voice.  As I came around, the voice grew nearer and someone was stroking me.  I tried to open my eyes, but the searing pain swiftly put paid to that idea.  In the brief instant that my cracked eyelids had opened, I saw that it was now a bright, sunlit morning and that my new companion was a young man of Indian origin in a lurid cycling outfit.  He was talking to me in a very soothing manner and seemed relieved to see that I was still alive.  On any other occasion I would have risen to politely greet him but though my spirit was willing; my flesh was incapable.  I managed a feeble lick of his hand as he examined the tag on my collar.

My new friend took a mobile telephone from a pouch strapped to his slender waist and tapped in some numbers.  I was too tired to hear properly what he was saying - but there was no mistaking the very female shriek at the other end of the 'phone connection.  It was my partner.

That was the spur I needed to struggle dogfully to my paws.  I squeaked with the effort and the pain and stood there, swaying uneasily.  I steadied myself, knowing that if I collapsed again then I would not be able to get up again without help.  The cyclist completed his call and then walked back to me, where I was bravely attempting a few hesitant steps.
"It's alright, son." smiled the man, "Your mum's on her way."  I managed a watery smile and felt him pat my head, expressing his concern for the state I was in.  I began tottering unsteadily towards the road, thinking I ought to be waiting for my partner in the proper car park, but the lycra-clad cyclist moved quickly and blocked my way.  "No, no, no!" he chided, "Don't try and cross the road!  It's too dangerous."  I had to concede that he had a point - and I was in no shape to nip smartly out of the way of the cars as I had last night.  I waited at the man's side.

The next car that I heard was, happily, my own New Teal Megane.  I swear it was the sweetest sound in the world at that moment.  I could even forgive the car's evil Satan-possessed windows, which still torment me in sliding up and down by themselves.  The engine had barely stopped when the door opened and my partner tumbled out.  With profuse thanks to my rescuer, she fell to her knees, opening her arms wide and crying my name.

She looked horror-struck as she realised that I was not physically capable of running towards her.  That barked, she waited for me to stagger blindly towards her.  I was almost there too, when one of my back legs betrayed me and I collapsed hind-wards onto my bottom.  With tender expressions, she scooped me up in her arms and carried me to our car, gently settling me onto my usual seat.  The feeling was nothing short of exquisite.  At that, my partner turned again to the young man and recommenced her thanks.
"I think he was hit by a car." she said.  This, apparently, had been her worst fear of all.
"I don't know, I'm not sure." replied my saviour.  "Personally, I think he's been in a fight with a fox or something.  But if you are OK, I have to go, I've got a long ride planned for today and I'm supposed to meet up with friends at lunchtime, further along the route."  My partner repeated her profuse thanks and appreciation and climbed into the car beside me.

"Oh, Jasper." she sighed, tenderly stroking my fur.  Examining my bruised and bloodied eyes, she gave a gasp.  I then felt a series of little jabs and tugs, as grass seeds and fragments of barley and corn ears were gently pulled from my eyes.  As soon as this unenviable task had been completed as far as was practical, I heard the car engine start and felt its movement as my partner gently steered us back home.

Except that we didn't go home.  Finding that the time was now ten past nine on a Saturday morning, I was ushered straight into the vets' clinic - where they run an emergency service until noon.  Nice vet Graham (my secondary surgeon, but still highly competent and most pleasant) hastened to my side and began a series of tests.  Fortunate it was for him that I was much-weakened - for my bottom was cruelly violated by an icy-cold thermometer.  Do you think they DELIBERATELY store it in the freezer before thrusting it betwixt a dog's little chocolate starfish?  I have my suspicions...

After probing within my eyes, ears, nose and mouth, I was pronounced to have had an extremely lucky escape.  I had bad conjunctivitis in both eyes, for which an injection and drops were prescribed.  All of my eyelids - most particularly the lower ones - had been completely shredded by the corn and barley stalks.  But I agree that I HAD been incredibly lucky - my eyes themselves had not been scratched.  Had they been injured in the same way as the lids I would have lost both optical organs.  As it happened, neither was even scratched.  The photographs in an earlier post in no way do justice to their appearance, which worsened as the days passed.  My partner DID take a close-up picture but, as we reviewed it together prior to putting it in a blog entry, we both deemed it too graphic for general viewing.  People are welcome, if they wish, to view grisly images online - but such things should be preceded with a warning, which is not possible in the blog format.  Suffice it to say that, for a number of days, my shredded eyelids exactly resembled fragments of scorched bacon.  In addition, the smell of decayed flesh was enough to make even my partner wince as she applied my medications.

Much relief came in the form of the Aloe Vera plant, which sits on our kitchen windowsill.  If you do not own one of these little plants I urge you to obtain and nurture one now.  My partner snipped off one of its fleshy shoots and split it.  Then, squeezing the leaf, she ushered its thick, clear, cooling gel (which comes out in plentiful 'globs') onto my tattered eyelids and used the leaf to massage it in.
"Ooh-ooh-ooh-oh-oh-ohhhhh..." I sighed, as the seemingly-magical elixir at once eased the burning, stinging pain and the maddening itchiness.  It also helped with the ghastly smell, which was another plus.

A week has now passed since these events.  I am thrilled and relieved to be able to bark that my eyelids have grown back in their entirety.  They are still a little swollen and sore - but complete recovery is just around the corner, I'm certain of it.

I appreciate that this may shock certain of my readers - but I believe that, this time, I may actually have learned my lesson...

Away with these traumas!

Somewhat later than I should have done - I welcome not one but TWO new followers to my blog; hurrah!!  'Anon' and Keetha Denise Broyles - THANK YOU for finding me; I am very glad to make your acquaintance - and I am only sorry that your initial visits have found me engaged in wickedness...

Another "Evolution" instalment next time!

Good night.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Thursday 8 July 2010

Not for the first time, I find there is a price to pay for my crimes.

Frailty, thy kinsman is pain.  My scarred eyelids are unbelievably, incredibly sore.  They often bleed with only the minimum of scratching and are swollen, heavy and unbearably itchy.

I should explain.  Whilst walking in the countryside with my partner, we were en route back to the car when I scented a cheeky fox close at paw.  I hastened after it with all the speed at my disposal, running and running through corn and barley fields until I was fit to burst.  Finally coming to my senses, I suddenly realised it was exceedingly dark - and I had strayed far beyond my knowledge of the area.  Muttering an inventive cocktail of swear-barks, I endeavoured to retrace my steps as swiftly as I could.  Alas, I met with only limited success, finally (after a good hour or two) regaining the tarmac road towards home.  I decided to follow its course, as it seemed easier than going over the fields.  Unfortunately, it is a bit of a rat-run for useless drivers, despite being essentially a country lane.  I had to dodge speeding cars and a number of cyclists which, believe me, was every bit as intimidating as it sounds.  At length I arrived in one piece at the fork in the road - only to realise that I wasn't sure which one to take.  Being always the passenger rather than the driver in my New Teal Megane, I was generally occupied with looking out of the window instead of concentrating on the route.

With a bark of frustration, I decided that I had better head back to the car park from whence I had started my walk and where, in all likelihood, my partner was now patiently waiting for me.  I had, however, had quite enough of running the gauntlet of speeding vehicles on the dark and unlit road, so I ran all the way back through the fields, keeping sight of the road close at paw, so I didn't get lost again.

Arriving, exhausted and wheezing, back at the car park I was utterly stunned to find it empty.  There were traces of my partner's scent and my own - but the place was deserted.  I hobbled across the road to check the grassy 'overflow' car park, but no-one was there either.  As I neared the edge of the small wood there, my legs finally collapsed from under me.  The hours of running and increasing sense of panic within me had left me entirely spent.  I tried to struggle to my feet but I quite literally could not summon the energy to get up.  I slithered on my belly, snake-like, to the base of the nearest substantial tree and lay against its trunk.

At that point I became aware of plentiful tears running from my eyes - and then the pain struck me.  I wailed as waves of agony crashed across my eyes.  I tried to wipe them with my forepaws, which only served to increase the pain.  Opening one stinging eye just a crack, I saw that my forepaws were now drenched with blood.  For 'twere not tears pouring down my face.  Oh no.  It was blood.

Just then, the now-populous deer herd crashed their way through the scrub beside me.  Petrified, I shrank back against my tree, fearing lest I receive an accidental kick or get trodden-on.  Fortunately, they ignored me completely.  They ran in long lines across the road, disappearing into the blackness on the other side.  I had never seen so many deer in one herd before - I thought they would be running past me forever.  It was like the bl**dy stampede scene in The Lion King.  At length the last few stragglers came past, followed by the dominant stag who was acting as the herd's rear-guard and the sounds of them finally died away.  I suddenly found that I missed them -  I hadn't felt quite so alone and frightened whilst they were dashing past.  At least their noise had provided some company of sorts.  The next sound that met my injured ears was not in the least bit reassuring.  It was someone high above my bleeding and tattered body, in the tree branches overhead.  He was absent-mindedly muttering and cackling to himself in an oddly familiar voice...

Suddenly I realised, with increasing despair and plummeting heart, exactly who it was.

Oh, for GOODNESS' sake, I thought to myself. 

Precisely what is a Buzzard's life-span, anyway...?!


Sunday, 4 July 2010

Sunday 4 July 2010

Sometimes I have to wonder - Is it that I am always in trouble; or is it that trouble is always in me?

It wasn't completely my fault.  It was a devious and pungent rabbit that led me astray.  Honest. 
Yes; I promised that I would never do it again.  Yes; I broke that promise. 
But I DID go back to the car park ('tis where I was found the following morning).  Can I be blamed for the fact that my partner gave up waiting for me after a mere three and a half hours?
Oh.  Apparently I CAN be blamed.  However, there is, as always, a price to be paid for my crimes.  And here it is:
This hurts more than it looks, I can assure you.  And my partner looks like death-on-a-stick.  Oh, why, WHY did I do it?  As well as the pain, I still have to be physically supported whilst I go to the toilet and undertake other routine activities such as eating and climbing into bed.
We will survive this.  But, for now, my eyes hurt and my paws still sting most cruelly, so I bid you a good afternoon.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Saturday 3 July 2010

Jasper's partner here once again.


Guess who was found by a cyclist, all beaten up and nearly unconscious, about an hour ago? Guess who and who have just come back from the emergency vets' surgery? Guess who is now passed out on the sofa, thinking they've gotten away with it - but who is in for a severe b*ll*cking when they wake up?

Here's a clue - this picture was taken just moments ago:

Thank you for your love and prayers - they really helped, and we appreciate them very much.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Friday 2 July 2010

It's Jasper's partner here.

My beloved Jasper did not return from his walk this evening.  I don't know where he is.  One moment he was chasing a rabbit; the next moment he was gone.  I have just returned from searching for him for nearly three hours.

He has been sighted twice: once by a cyclist, walking along the road in the direction of home; once by some teenagers, running across a field, again towards home.  I have been driving around but cannot find him.  The Police and local dog warden have been informed.

Please pray for Jasper - for his safety and his wellbeing, and that he will be home very soon.

My heart is breaking and the agony is almost unbearable.

Thank you.