Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tuesday 25 March 2014

A strange week, to be sure.

Although there is much to be thankful for in our tiniest of worlds, Gisèle has been behaving strangely and my partner has been almost permanently exhausted, dejected and much-depressed of late.

I cannot attribute it to the weather - for spring has truly sprung, with warming sunshine, twittering birdsong, colourful and fragrant flowers budding and receding flood-waters everywhere, along with the promise of more better weather to come.

I cannot attribute it (wholly) to financial woes - for my partner's IVA (see this post for the onset of this particular wretched saga) is, hopefully, to conclude within the next few months.  I had sworn that I would stay with my partner unto the end of this most awful trial.  Rat-b*st*rd cancer; that malevolent marauder of time, denied me even this.  But Death could not thwart me. It took my body - but it could NEVER conquer my spirit.  Gisèle-Stéphanie, as sweet and keen as she is, cannot think upon such topics as finances; they mean nothing to her.  And so I remain; watching over my most only - my partner, who saw my many faults and the manifold acts of wickedness I perpetrated and forgave me, loved me and turned me into a better dog than I had any right to be.  But - not for the first time - I digress...

I wonder if it has ought to do with the sadnesses in the world at the moment?  The appalling upheavals and injustices within Egypt, Syria, Iran, the Ukraine and Crimea... The dreadful and protracted tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight No. MH370; those poor, poor families...  Oh, God bless them.

I feel SO deeply on all these things, and more besides.  I should have learned to feel gratitude for the mere fact of my existence whilst I still lived.  But how can one explain to those entangled in the daily rigmarole of life, work, bills, socialising, image-building/maintaining, etc... - that the mere fact that one exists and can feel is the very greatest blessing of all.  It has been so long, that I can no longer remember what it was to draw a deep breath on a crisp, frosty morning, and smile at the mist produced when I exhaled.  What it was to stretch out on my very OWN patio and feel the sun warming my body.  To drink deeply from a Dartmoor spring on a hot day and savour the cool-crisp sensation of the water as I swallowed it and felt it travel through my warm body, chilling and refreshing all at once.  Please, my friends, please enjoy these simple pleasures while you can...


But Gisèle has not yet learned to think seriously upon such things.  No.  Oh no.

I almost despair of her - I keep faith that she cannot be entirely lost to better thinking - though my hopes aren't high...  I can only apologise most profusely for what follows.

My partner was stretched to her highest, uppermost limit by Sèle's CONSTANT whining about her ridiculous tuft.  With muttered profanities, my partner finally (reluctantly) seized up her scissors and The Great Snip took place.

Upon initial snipping, a wound was revealed, and further snippage was necessary.  Gisèle had a thorn piercing the flesh atop her head, which was removed painlessly, once sufficient fur had been snipped away.

I have to bark, that I was alarmed at the state of Giz's exposed face.  Many injuries had been revealed - wounds from her former bullying by Betty.  Wounds that I knew about - the time the left side of her mouth was torn open, bite marks on her left cheek and above her left eye; but others too, which I think Giz had concealed to try and spare Betty in those early days before they became the very best of friends.  In any case, if Giz had forgiven Betty, then so could I.  I followed Gisèle to the French Windows, to which she padded in order to examine her newly-shorn reflection...

"Aaaaaarggghhhh!  I look like a complete TIT!" Gisèle squealed.

Well, I couldn't disagree.

Only Rosie, Sèle's friend from next-door, claimed to see notice no difference in Giz's appearance.  I suspect she was just being kind, as everyone else laughed at the newly-trimmed Giz and remarked on her new "Lego-Cut" (my partner not being skilled in canine fur-dressing).

"Put it back!  Make it grown again!!" demanded an angrily disappointed Giz.  My partner and I gently tried to help her to understand that fur, once cut, cannot be instantly regrown.  She refused to see reason, so I kept out of the way whilst my partner endeavoured to deal with the truculent terrier.


I only dared to return a few days later.  Gisèle, at least, seemed happier, even if my partner did not.

"Jazz!" chirruped the little terrier, when she sighted me, "Hiiiiihiiihihihiiii!"
I winced and affected to ignore her irritating giggling.
"Are you liking your new furcut, then?" I hazarded cautiously.
"Well, no," she confessed. "Hiihiiiihihiihihihihiiii!"

I knew that requesting an explanation would be admitting weakness.  But, dear reader, how can you blame me?  Let us travel that weak path together.

"Go on..." I sighed, a sense of foreboding fast-approaching.

"Did you see what was is cut off?!" squeaked Giz, indicating towards her foam basket, where my partner had placed the snipped-off clumps of fur, "Enough to make a big old merkin*, hiihiihihihihiiiiii!"

"GISÈLE!!" I spluttered, aghast, "Where on Earth did you learn a word like that?!"

Gisèle looked suddenly sullen and muttered something virtually incomprehensible, amongst which utterances could be discerned the word 'Honey'.

"Honey the cat from opposite?" I queried, "That weekend after Betty went home?"
"So you and Honey sat in the garden, repeating to each other saucy words and laughing over them?"
"Yes.  Honey told me loads, hiihiihihi... I only had a few that she didn't hear before, hiihiihihihihiiii...."
"Oh, brilliant.  So you and Honey - two otherwise respectable, likeable, reasonably intelligent young ladies - chose to spend your afternoon teaching each other naughty words and giggling...?!"
"Yeh!  Hihihi! It was one of the BEST afternoons of my life, hiihiihihi...!"

*Oh, just Google it.  Bl**dy-h*ll; now I'm depressed!


Monday, 10 March 2014

Monday 10 March 2014

I knew that Gisèle had come up with an idea.  She had been sitting upright, staring fixedly at the soundly-sleeping form of Betty for at least the last twenty minutes - since around 5.00am, to be precise.  She seemed to think that the more determinedly she stared at Betty, the greater the chance that Betty would soon wake up.  Whether or not Betty was aware of the two bright little eyes boring into her prone self, I cannot bark.  However, twenty minutes is usually the outer limit of little Gisèle's patience and - sure enough - I heard the little frustrated sigh that immediately preceded affirmative action.

"Betty!" ventured the tiny Jack Russell, "Betty! Betty! Betty!"  When this produced no effect, a little claw entered the fray.  "Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty!" repeated Giz, each "Betty!" being reinforced with a prod from the claw, "Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!"
"Go'way, 'm'sleep." grunted the unfortunate Betty.
"No! Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!" persisted Giz, somewhat unwisely in my view, "Betty!  It's urgent! Betty!"

Betty groaned.

"If it's anything other than the house being on fire, I'm going to kill you Giz."
"What?  No, you have to get up now! Betty!"
"I'll bark it again.  IS the house on fire?"
"Ummm... I don't think so..."
"Is there even any smoke?"
"No, but I know where Mistress keeps matches.  I can put the curtains on fire if you want."
"In that case, Giz, kindly lie down on your back, tilt your head up and expose your throat."
"Oh! OK - but..." chattered Giz, doing as she was told.
"Now I'm going to tear your throat out, you little sleep-thieving parasite."
"What? Oh! Hihihihihiiiii - but no.  I need to ask you a really big favour."

"Is there any chance of me getting to go back to sleep this morning?" sighed Betty.
"What d'you want then?"

"I've decided.  After we were barking about fur-styles the other night, I decided it HAS to go.  You have to pull it out."
"Not your bl**dy tuft again?!"

"Yes.  It's GOT to go.  Ever since you tore- I mean, when you bit me- ages ago, when my face was sore and open and all the fur came off... when it all grew back the tuft grew back even bigger and fluffier.  I HATE it - Look!"

With that, Gisèle shook her head and rubbed it on the edge of Betty's pillow.  The unfortunate fluffy tuft that perched comically atop the little terrier's cranium stood erect.  Betty was unable to stop herself.

"Pfffftht...!  Hur hur hur - snort - hur hur hur!" chuckled the Giant Schnauzer, "Hur - snort - hur hur, I'm not nipping off that little beauty! Hur hur hur...!"

"Oh PLEASE Bettz" implored Giz, "I hate it!  It makes me look SO stupid.  I won't squeal or anything - I will just lie here, good and quiet, and you pull it out.  Go on - do it NOW!"  Giz positioned herself carefully below Betty's jaws, squeezed her eyes tightly closed and braced herself. "Nip it Betty! Nip it!  Pull it out!"
"No! Stop it, you nut! I'm not pulling out your hair!"

"Why though?"
"Because it will hurt!  And if I pull it out again, it will only be even thicker when it grows back again! No!"

"I want mistress to shave it, but she won't." Giz whined petulantly.
"I should jolly well think not!" barked Betty, "The itchiness would drive you mad when it started to grow back!  It's not that bad..."

"I hate it..." grumbled Giz moodily.  I hoped that she wasn't going to go into one of her 'difficult sulks'.  Betty looked down at her and I could tell that she was thinking along the same lines...

Tuft Dormant

Tuft Rampant
(not all of it - plenty more at the back of the curl)

"It is a bit funny-looking," admitted Betty carefully, "I mean, when you twiddle it with a claw and it stands up straight by itself..." She stretched out a stubby claw and twizzled Giz's tuft into a sturdy upright peak, "You might even be able to pick up short-wave radio, hur hur hur - snort - hur hur."  And with a wink at her tiny friend, Betty made a noise like the interference one encounters when attempting to tune a radio.

Gisèle simply couldn't remain in a sulk at this - she sat up and beamed at Betty, the twinkle returning to her dark brown eyes.
"Bsssszzzzzzt!" joined in Gisèle with a giggle "...here is the news on Giz-FM: Everyone afraid as Betty's ar*e continues to get bigger - hihihihihihihiiiiiii - dangers of tidal waves if she sits down suddenly - hihiihiiii - public warned to stay away - army called out to monitor Betty's massive ar*e..."
"Oh, shut up, Tufty..." grinned Betty and, with that, Giz collapsed with her high-pitched giggles as Betty pretended to be cross and gently swiped at her.

With much relief I watched as the two friends snuggled close together and went back to sleep.  Well, I mused to myself, it may be a mad life they lead - but it is a happy one...