Thursday, 19 April 2018

April Sunshine makes a dog happy.......

Having a bit of fun with the Mrs.  This April sunshine makes you want to leap in the air. Well it did me - the Mrs declined..
Fun and games with my destroyed tennis ball.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018


I finally got my way - walkies in a big way.  Over here in France I get walkies every day with the Mrs and on this occasion we went on a long ramble together with the Boss as well.  It was difficult to decide who I was going to obey since they both accompanied me and both like to tell me what to do…….
In the end I decided to be very diplomatic and used my right ear for listening to the Boss and my left ear for listening to the Mrs.  That did cause a few problems as they dont seem to agree on many things.  For example when we passed by a boggy area on my right that I had noticed held some exciting smells the Boss said find him then and as I was on the point of heading into the depth of the marsh area I heard a faint calling in my left ear of noooooo, not in the mud.   Needless to say the scents were just too nice to pass up so I tuned in to my selective hearing mode and dived into the bog and had a jolly good sniff round.  As it has been raining  in this area of France for the last three months, there was a lot of damp area to investigate.  When I returned to see how things stood with my guardians they seem to be having a very deep and meaningful discussion on how the Boss could have trained me to have the same selective hearing mode that he himself appears to have developed.  The Mrs, with the aid of a very wagging pointy finger was extracting a promise from the Boss that due to his lax control he would be in charge of cleaning me up.  I knew his method of cleaning me up meant a swim in the lake so with alacrity I sided with the Mrs and her promise with a very wagging pointy tail.  Best of both worlds especially for a Labrador!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018


BERTS BLOG:   Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, you want to go out, you want to go out, you want to take me for a walk, you do, you do..  Bother it didnt work!  Rain, sleet and north wind outside and the Mrs and Boss ensconced in the sitting room with the fire going,  the TV showing another incomprehensible ball game and me trying to engage their brains into getting some attention or more precisely giving me some more walks.  Not a hope, especially not in this weather!
Actually I am looking forward to a good rest after the season,  the pheasants are now safely looking for partners and testing their bravery on the roads and even teasing the Boss by appearing in our garden cockahooping in the safe knowledge they are strictly off limits until they become fair game again in the autumn.  Such beautiful birds and also extremely tasty.  I only mention their delicious flavour because of a recent incident whereby the Mrs invited me into the kitchen area a pastime not normally allowed and to share their Sunday afternoon in the sitting room very special.
It was during the last shooting day of the season when the Boss was given the dubious celebratory task of cooking the Sunday dinner pheasant when the said incident took place while he was wrestling the extra fat butter he always uses for cooking out of the refrigerator.  Despite me and the Mrs telling him that olive oil is better for him he flatly refuses to eat anything remotely healthy and it was this cursory comment on his internal wellbeing that made him twist round to offer a non-healthy rebuke resulting in a loss of physical dexterity and a number of eggs being knocked from their nestling area in the frig.
After the Mrs had surveyed the damage on the floor and delivered the lookat the Boss she called me into the normally out of bounds area of the kitchen to clear up the mess (I love her).   Carefully licking around the cracked shells which the Mrs picked up, I swiftly and efficiently cleared the floor area of any evidence of the Bosslittle accident.  It was then suggested by the Mrs as a reward to me for being so helpful that she and I repair to the sitting room to watch a suitable Sunday afternoon programme which did not involve a spherical object and leave the Boss alone to get crackingwith the last pheasant dinner of the season by himself.  Sometimes she is such a good egg!

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…..