Saturday, 10 February 2018

January 2018

BERTS BLOG:   I have added a new trick to my repertoire pulling a cracker.  This training proved to be somewhat dangerous and I would advocate it not be tried at home without adequate supervision.  The preliminary instructions involved the Mrs explaining to me with some patience that I should hold one end of the cracker in my mouth gently, but firmly enough to withstand her pulling the other end.  This looked very much like a game I had played as a youngster.  After a few false starts I had the hang of holding on tightly but at the last minute I noticed the Boss was tucking into a turkey sandwich and the urge to investigate overcame my need to concentrate on holding tight.  I inadvertently let go of my end of the cracker resulting in the sudden upending of the Mrs who lay sprawled on the floor with a look of surprised annoyance on her face.  The Boss nearly choked himself trying to disguise his laughter and earned a slap on the back to dislodge the turkey and a sharp rebuke from the Mrs about eating in front of me, especially during lesson time.  During this opportune diversion I quickly investigated the whereabouts of the dislodged turkey, safely removing it quickly and cleanly from the floor before anybody noticed.
The Mrs said she wanted to continue with my training session as she almost had the cracker pulling licked, strange I thought, she had it in her hand, not her mouth I was the one who had it licked!  We proceeded with another try, this time with it firmly anchored between my teeth.  Astonishingly, exactly the same thing happened again but this time there was a loud crack, paper exploded everywhere jettisoning the Mrs across the floor along with a pack of small screw drivers.  Much to my amazement, thinking I was for it this time, I was completely surprised to find that despite this second inelegant sprawl and the resultant mess, the Mrs seemed exultant and covered me with pats and praise and exchanged the screwdrivers for the remainder of the Boss turkey sandwich!  Result!

Monday, 4 December 2017

November / December

Am I looking forward to Christmas? yes I am.  Its just the thought that makes me feel tired..all that unwrapping…… and in the Bosss case virtually minutes after he has just wrapped it!  Mr last minute shopper   The Mrs, on the other hand, spends the previous weeks worrying about whether the wrapped is what the wrappee wanted.  I say dont worry, its the thought that counts.  I tell that to the Mrs every time I bring her an unwrapped stick, never mind the wrapping its the thought that counts.  Presents from the garden, sourced with my inquisitive nose, picked with my delicate lips and quietly deposited near her with such gentleness she never notices until she trips over them..Whoops. 
Christmas is always an energetic time of the year for me as it means hunting, shooting, beating and picking up.  The Boss seems to think I need to reduce my girth and the shooting season is just the way to do it.  I spend all day running, finding and retrieving and when I am not doing that I am keeping the Boss company when he is working on the shoot or checking things in the countryside.  He sometimes asks the Mrs if she would like to accompany him to reduce her girth but as far as I can ascertain this meets with a singular lack of enthusiasm from her and the promise of a chance to cook his own dinner and/or cancel sky sport. 

For now I am going to sneak a few moments of shut eye and dream of wrapping and running, of  that tree coming indoors, excited miniatures opening presents and adorning me with decorations and tidbits of turkey coming my way. I really am looking forward to Christmas I wonder if that white stuff will fall again from the sky I hope you all have a joyous and peaceful time.

Sunday, 12 November 2017


It is not usual that I pull on the lead, in fact I pride myself on not pulling as the Mrs is always telling that me if I was a trained guide dog for the blind I would not be stopping every five minutes to investigate odours, toilet stops or something that is of no interest to anybody but me, therefore I have learnt that this model behaviour is expected of me when on the lead. 
However…… on a recent hot day in France investigating a quaint village and looking at all the architecture and possible future compositions the Mrs may wish to paint I suddenly noticed a sign which read “Dogs Bar !” and immediately had the same reaction as the Boss does when he sees the word Bar – I stopped mid stride – something so unusual the Mrs nearly collided with the Boss as it was she who had hold of the end of my lead and had her head in the air looking at picturesque things.  Why she doesn’t let me hold my lead myself I don’t know – she knows I love doing it and I am quite capable of taking myself for a walk. 

On a lot of these art inspiration walks she usually holds the Boss’ hand who, seeing she has her eyes on anything but where she is going, stops her from walking into lamp posts, bollards and tripping up steps.  But on this occasion she had hold of me and I had spotted the Dogs Bar and pulled on the lead so confusion reigned for a while until the Boss, after a nudge from me, suddenly woke up and said “what a good idea, lets investigate this bar……”  One beers, a glass of “pink grape juice”, bowl of water and a thankful pat from the Boss later we resumed our walk…..

Saturday, 28 October 2017

September 2017

It is morning coffee time and I am sitting here waiting for mine…..  Needless to say the Mrs was a bit put out that I was in her chair especially as the Boss was having a spirited conversation with me about the benefits of ball games and whether I liked golf over football or tennis over cricket to which my reply would have been give me a tennis ball any time of the day and I would be happy at which point the Mrs became quite jealous of me being the recipient of so many words coming out of the Bosses mouth as apposed to the usual monosyllabic replies her attempts at conversation usually brought forth…..
I now recognise the word “ball” and can usually find one somewhere in the flowerbeds or on the lawn or failing that I have been known to retrieve any reasonably sized object in place of a ball if I can’t find one.  I regularly donate sticks of firewood, stones, fallen apples, slippers, socks, newspapers and sometimes articles of clothing to the collection of ball replacements all in the hope they will attract someone to amuse me by letting me show off my retrieving capabilities.

While we were having our coffee break our neighbour arrived with what I thought would be some new playmates but sadly I am only allowed to watch them through the fence with no retrieving and no playing.  Confusingly they are called ewes but they are nothing like me although they do have four legs.  Their have white fluffy coats, a bit of an odour problem and spend most of their time eating grass, baaaa-ing a lot and the little ones frolic and jump all over the place for no apparent reason.    I did try to strike up a conversation with them to inquire about frolicking but after a while their responses became somewhat boringly monotonous so now I just ignore them and have gone back to conversing with the Boss about ball games just to annoy the Mrs…..

Monday, 4 September 2017

July / August 2017

A French Bath……. We’ve had visitors and that means I have had to have a bath rather than regale them with my natural perfume. This bath is outside and after the mother and father of all thunderstorms it filled up with rain water. The Mrs suddenly had the idea to immerse me in what she said was an opportunity not to be missed, telling me the rainwater would make my hair soft and silky! I was not so keen to jump at the opportunity, as you can probably tell from my demeanour, and had to be persuaded to climb in and succumb to the shampooing, after which I was hosed down and allowed to get dry by chasing and retrieving tennis balls, a pastime I never tire of. The Mrs seemed quite pleased with her bath idea, but the Boss thought a swim round the lake would have done the job just as well…thankfully most of the water has drained away and the first thing I look at when I go out for my morning constitutional is whether or not it has been refilled in which case I distract the Mrs by picking up my lead and taking off at a brisk pace towards the lake.. I am not the only one here cursing the foul weather we have been experiencing….come back sun - no more French baths!!!

My fan base is broadening, not only did the miniatures visit but also relations from Australia. I have to say the Aussies were delighted with me and I received many compliments from them and several large bones which I did wonder if they had dug up as there was much mention of ‘down under’ but although I spent hours trawling the lawns for a hint of where they might have been digging I failed to find any clues. Rest assured I will keep sniffing…

Friday, 7 July 2017

June 2017

I have been reliably told by the miniatures that if I blow on to these dandelion seed heads I should be able to tell what the time is.  Whenever we go for walks there is always a mad rush to find a dandelion clock, pick it and then blow it all over the place while counting.  Basically, which is one of the miniatures recently learnt favourite words of the moment, basically, I dont need to blow anything as the only interest I have in time is how far away from dinner we are which my tummy tells me by the amount of empty space therein and how many pats and tickles I can squeeze into one day.
If one miniature finds a clockthen the other miniatures must also find one or all hell breaks loose.  I have been told on many occasions to refrain from playing this game as every time I come across one and have a sniff to check it out the fluff goes straight up my nose, huge sneezes follow and seed clocks disperse faster than I can chase a stick, the miniatures all start crying and I am the least favourite dog in the vicinity.  
As you can see from this photo the inhalation and ensuing sneezes left bare heads and blew 1 oclock through to 12 oclock straight into the azure sky and the miniatures are at present racing around like lunatics trying to catch time!   Man, these kids play some weird games.  Give me a stick or a ball to catch any time but you just cant get your teeth into this fluffy stuff.  The whole object of the game is defeated anyway when the Mrs looks at her wrist and says its time to go home how does she know, when time is floating about all over the place?

Friday, 26 May 2017

May 2017

 Bonjour………  The Mrs is trying to teach me French again!  This is me attempting to say “saucisses” which apparently is “sausages” in french. The Boss said there used to be a dog on the TV that said “sausages” so I should be able to say it in french seeing as how much time I spend over there.  This seems to be a bit much coming from the Boss who’s knowledge of the language only seems to amount to ‘vin rouge’ before he turns to the Mrs to ask ‘what did he say?’.  I am having a bit of trouble  getting my tongue, which is very long you know, around some of the twisters in this language!  I think I will stick to the age old method of communication where I bark very loudly and just hope they understand!   Trouble is every time I try this out the Mrs gets very perturbed and insists I be quiet and listen very carefully, for she will only say this once, tais-toi, which apparently means I should close my mouth, sit down and not bark another word!  
It is unusual for me to voice my thoughts, most of the time I am very quiet and make my requirements known by snuffles, whines, the occasional snort and a variety of facial expressions which the Boss and the Mrs now know and immediately act upon, either opening the door for me, giving me dinner and patting my head for reassurance when I am unsure of something.  The Boss has adopted a few of my mannerisms, some which work for him regarding door opening and dinner but the head patting thing seems to work in reverse - only happening when he says the wrong thing - something I never do!!