Passing on my skills

I won’t always be around to post here, so I’ve been trying to pass on my skills to Pearl. Not that I claim to be an expert, but people seem to like my blog and it would be a shame for it all to stop after I’ve gone.

Millie teaches blogging skills

Pearl has posted once or twice before, but only to disrespect me and big herself up. That sort of bitchiness will not win followers (at least, it shouldn’t). Readers want interesting topics and useful information. Pearl isn’t stupid, but like most greyhounds she’s basically lazy – she thinks blogging is hard work and one or two posts a year is more than enough. So I’ve been trying to encourage her by setting little exercises.

The first one was a how-to list. ‘People like how-to lists,’ I told her. ‘And they’re easy to do, so it’ll be a good starting point for you.’

‘What shall I make my list about?’ she asked.

‘Anything you like,’ I said.

This is what she came up with.

How to Trash a Chair by Pearl Greyhound

  • Scrape it with your claws until you’ve made a small hole
  • Use your teeth to pull out some stuffing
  • Make the hole bigger
  • Pull out more stuffing
  • Carry on until all the stuffing has gone, or your human notices what’s happening
Pearl destroys chair

Has anyone told her a chair is not a toy?

All I can say is, I hope it’s a long time before I have to hand over the controls of this blog to her.

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The Cheetah and the Dog by Patricia Furstenberg #BabyAnimals #ChildrensBook #FreePuppyDownload @PatFurstenberg

A puppy making friends with a cat? A BIG one, at that? This needs further investigation…



Here is a cheerful picture book with sweet rhymes that celebrates diversity and promotes friendship, sure to resonate with families – particularly non-traditional ones and with the fans of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White”.
When a cheetah cub and a puppy dog bump into each other while chasing the same prey, it is only natural for them to play together until sundown; and the next day; and the following one. The two animals care for each other so much that they even rescue their respective packs, thus becoming an African tale.
Inspired by the true story of Kasi, the orphaned male cheetah, and Mtani, the female Labrador, which struck a remarkable friendship and remained life-long friends, “The Cheetah and the Dog” is a glorious celebration of curiosity, respect for life, and unconventional wisdom, a heart-warming, fun read that belongs on any family’s bedtime shelf.
Similar books: “The Lion…

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When the World Goes Wrong

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, but I haven’t been well.

Until Annabelle took me to the vet, I thought it was the world that wasn’t well – it kept tilting and whirling so I couldn’t keep my balance – but the vet said I had something called canine vestibular disease. She told Annabelle it’s something that happens to old dogs, and I would feel like I was ‘on a boat’ for a while. I must be a good sailor, because I didn’t throw up – apparently a lot of dogs get sick with this condition. I still wouldn’t want to go on a boat, though, if that’s what it feels like.

Dizzy Millie

Where’s my head at?

I haven’t even been able to sleep properly – it’s hard to sleep when your bed won’t keep still – so my trips to the dream world of Storyland have been interrupted, and I haven’t been able to help Annabelle with her writing.

Pearl is being her usual unhelpful self – she says I’m going ‘ga-ga’. I’m not sure exactly what she means by that, but I don’t think it’s meant as a compliment. She’s in no position to criticise, considering how disgracefully she behaved on our visit to the family at Christmas. As soon as we arrived she stole the remains of a roast chicken from the kitchen bin, and growled rudely when it was taken away from her. She stole food off people’s plates and trashed the furniture, removing the dog-proof covers and burrowing into the cushions. Worst of all, she ran away from us while we were out on a walk and very nearly got herself killed on the main road. She was lucky to escape with a few scratches and scrapes.

Pearl's scrapes (2)

At least she can still go for long walks, which is more than I can do at the moment. The other day she took great pleasure in telling me she’d heard a blackbird when Annabelle took her out. As if!! No blackbird would be singing this early in the year. Would it?

Altogether, it hasn’t been a very happy New Year for us so far. I hope it’s better for all of you!

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It’s Snowing in Fairyland!

The presents are bought, the cards are sent…


…and it’s snowing in Fairyland!



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Stuff Christmas

There are many things about humans that puzzle us dogs, one being the amount of STUFF they seem to need. Parts of Annabelle’s house are stuffed with STUFF, and she never even uses most of it – so why is it there?

Millie, Prl and clutter

A Problem Corner

The situation tends to get worse at this time of year. We know it’s a time to celebrate the start of new life, but does that have to mean buying endless new STUFF? It doesn’t stop with presents – people get Christmas bedding, Christmas tablecloths, Christmas nightwear, Christmas dresses, and deliberately hideous Christmas sweaters. We’ve even come across Christmas toilet seat covers, and special Christmas outfits for dogs –  stuff we wouldn’t be seen dead in if we had any choice in the matter. These things will only be used once a year, and in some cases once in a lifetime. It doesn’t make sense.

I asked Annabelle why she wanted yet more STUFF, and her reply was surprising:

‘I don’t want more stuff!’ she said. ‘I want to get rid of the stuff I’ve got!

‘So you don’t want any presents?’ I said.

‘No! All I want for Christmas is a magic wand to make it all go away!’

She is also stressing about what to buy other people. ‘Why don’t you just give them some of the stuff you don’t want?’ I suggested.

It seemed like the perfect solution, but Annabelle didn’t agree. ‘It doesn’t work like that, Millie,’ she explained. ‘You can’t give people old stuff as presents – it has to be new. If you give people old stuff they think you’re cheap.’

All I can say is, I’m glad I’m a dog and I don’t have to worry about any of this. Give me a plate of turkey and I’m happy.


That Back Room!

Note from Annabelle

I just want to point out I’m not one of those sad people you see on TV who keep buying stuff they don’t need. Half of this stuff isn’t even mine – I just seem to have become a repository for other people’s clutter. It started when I was a teen, and this woman (who shall remain nameless) kept giving me things out of her house. She would say, ‘I found this in a cupboard and thought of you.’ One item was an absolutely heinous red crocheted granny shawl no self-respecting 17-year-old would be seen dead in. I couldn’t understand why it had made her think of me. I’ve only recently worked out that people who do this aren’t being generous or thoughtful – they just want to offload their old crap.

I’d put it all in a skip today, except you’re not supposed to do that. You have to RECYCLE it, which means sorting it all out to go to different places – and who’s got time for that when there are stories to write?

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Notes from a small dog: The dotted line…

I know we’ve reblogged you recently. Ani, but you talk so much sense! We dogs are appalled by the human government’s decision that animals don’t have feelings, and your post speaks for all of us. We hope our readers will visit your blog, leave a comment and sign the petition.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

I am an animal. Therefore, I am not sentient…

I have no emotions.

I do not feel happiness…

… joy…

… or fear.

I have no curiosity, because I am not a sentient being.

I have no understanding of the finer emotions, like gentleness, or sharing.

No understanding of wonder, excitement…

…or hope.

I do not suffer when I am ill.

I need no comforting…

I cannot laugh…

…or be bored…

…and I have no sense of humour.

I feel no guilt…because I am not conscious of wrongdoing…

…and I cannot feel love.

My two-legs disagrees.

Under the current EU laws, animal sentience, and the existence of their feelings, is recognised and must be taken into full account as new laws and rulings are passed.

The UK government have quietly voted to exclude animal sentience from the laws being passed to define our nation as we leave the EU. Although…

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Naughty Freda and the Dead Seals

Naughty Freda

Naughty Freda

A few weeks ago, we had the mother of all storms. Her name was Ophelia, and if she wasn’t quite a hurricane by the time she reached us, she made a pretty good show of it. A true Elemental Queen, she came roaring in with her army of SuperSylphs and caused chaos.

It was a strange day altogether. The morning looked like the end of the world, with a sinister red sun struggling through a thick blanket of dark cloud, but when the storm actually reached its peak the sky was clear and bright. Annabelle thought it would be a great opportunity to have a look at some big waves, so we headed for the beach.

However, we hadn’t reckoned with Ophelia’s power. The wind was so strong we could hardly stand up. I got blown over twice, and as we got closer to the beach, the SuperSylphs started kicking sand in our faces. By the time we reached the cliffs we were being blinded, and Annabelle had to cover her face with her hands. The waves looked mountainous, but she could only catch the tiniest glimpse of them through her fingers. Disappointed, we turned for home.

At least we escaped in one piece, which is more than can be said for the hundreds of baby seals who were dashed on the rocks that day. The local wildlife have been feasting on their poor little bodies ever since, and now the beach is littered with rotting offal.

Last week we went down there with our friends Snip and Freda. Snip, Pearl and I left the offal alone – it was too putrid even for us – but Freda couldn’t resist. She shot off into the distance at Greyhound miles an hour, and when we caught up with her we found her tucking into a filthy tangle of decomposing entrails. No matter how many times she was pulled away, she kept going back for more. Afterwards she stank like the pits of hell, and everyone was waiting for her to be sick. Not that we wanted to see that mess again, especially in a half-digested state!

Annabelle can’t understand why we dogs like things that humans find disgusting. ‘Your sense of smell is fifty times more sensitive than ours,’ she says. ‘How can you stand to be near badger poo or decomposing flesh?’

I’m afraid that’s a question I can’t answer. Do any of you know?

NB – Sorry for the lack of photos of ex-hurricane Ophelia, but it was impossible to take pictures through a sandstorm. And I’m sure you wouldn’t want to see a picture of Freda’s beach picnic!



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Notes from a small dog: Pets and fireworks…

November 5 isn’t our favourite day – we’re not fans of big bangs. Annabelle is going to put the Rock Show on at top volume so we can’t hear them. Funny how we can sleep through any amount of death metal but we can’t cope with a few fireworks!
Here’s what our friend Ani has to say about Bonfire Night, including a useful link to the RSPCA’s advice…

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

She says it is fireworks season again…which means loads of pops, bangs and fizzes. Two-legses may like them… four-legses, not so much. I used to be really scared…

But I’m all growed up now and my two-legs is pretty well trained; she closes the curtains for me, puts the noisy box on to cover the bangs and makes sure I have somewhere safe and cosy to snuggle though I usually just hide sit under her desk to protect her..

She says most two-legses are pretty good about that sort of thing. But, just in case, there are loads of things you can do… so I thought I’d share the RSPCA’s advice video. You can visit their page here too for other creatures… like horses. They get nervous of everything anyway…I’m not even allowed to say hello to them… so fireworks must really spook them.

Enjoy your fireworks… but keep us…

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#Halloween: Spot the Sprite

Is this the little entity that was mucking about with my broadband connection last week?



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Chainsaw Massacre!

Annabelle is a murderer.

She talks a lot of big talk about loving Nature and the fairies who look after it, but when it comes to the crunch, she’s not above killing trees.

Yes, that’s what I said – killing trees. Like it’s not bad enough that trees are dying from disease, without murdering perfectly healthy ones!

Heart Tree

Those conifers were part of our little kingdom for as long as I can remember. They were here before Pearl and me. They were here before Annabelle, and she’s been here forever. They even grew into a heart shape to show us how much they loved us. But last month Annabelle hired a gang of chainsaw maniacs to cut them all down.

‘They were getting too big,’ she says. ‘I was afraid they might fall on the house or damage the power lines in a storm.’

‘We’ve had loads of storms already,’ I say. ‘The trees never did any harm.’

‘We’ve got much more light now,’ she says. ‘We can actually see the sky!’

‘We can also see the cables,’ I say. ‘They look ugly – and the garden looks a mess.’

Stumps and cables

Can you see the fairy?

‘It’ll all look better in the spring,’ says Annabelle, with forced brightness.

‘I’ve seen fourteen springs,’ I say. ‘I might not see another.’

‘Don’t be silly, of course you will. You’re starting to sound like my mother!’

I don’t argue any more – I sense she’s losing patience – but I can’t help feeling sad. Those trees contained so much life. I used to spend warm summer days lying underneath them, listening to the soothing music of the collar doves, and I loved to watch the little bats chase each other through the branches at dusk.

Millie in garden 3

Now we just see the occasional dove sitting forlornly on a cable, surveying the devastation of its home town and wondering what the hell happened.

‘You can’t say you’ll miss the bird poop,’ says Annabelle. ‘Only last spring you were moaning about bird poop on your fur. And I certainly won’t miss the mess those birds used to make on the mailbox and the car…’

I tune her out. All I can say is, she’s lucky the Dryads who cared for those trees weren’t the murdering kind. They could have made the chainsaw man cut the electricity cable, which would have been very nasty for everyone concerned. As it was, they made him cut the telephone line, which got him in trouble with his boss and caused Annabelle several days’ inconvenience. They also made sure the other fairies found out what she did, and odd little things have been going wrong ever since.

She may think it’s just bad luck, but I know better. The fairies don’t forgive.

NB – due to fairy interference, Annabelle’s tech keeps going wrong so there might be a delay in responding to comments. Normal service will be resumed ASAP.



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