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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Glory! Hallelujah! I’m glad I’m a dog!

This is so funny… and so true!

Sandysays' Weblog

It’s discouraging to know that when you go home with your human they’re as smart as they will ever be…….

I watched my human as he struggled with numerous government agencies and insurance companies trying to straighten out the mess hurricane Irma created for him. It’s times like these I so happy that I’m canine, not human. He is so miserable, I’m not. I got to thinking about many of the reasons I’m glad I’m not human. Here are some of the many reasons I’m happy to be a dog.

  • I don’t have to wear clothes. My coat is an all-weather garment. I don’t need a closet full of expensive stuff I only wear once in a while. Fur is always in style.
  • April 15th is just another day to me. No thoughts of suicide or robbing banks.
  • All the things I enjoy are free. No car payments … no…

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Guest author: Annabelle Franklin – Do we really need to leave Earth?

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Recently, BBC2 showed a programme called The Search for a New Earth. It featured physicist Stephen Hawking, who claimed we will have to leave Earth within the next 100 years as it will have become uninhabitable. He listed various possible causes of this catastrophe, including overpopulation, pollution and nuclear war. The programme went on to explore the various measures being taken right now for the eventual colonisation of a new planet.

The technology is mind-boggling. It demonstrates the sheer brilliance of the human mind at its best. It seems there’s nothing we can’t achieve. In which case…


For instance, scientists are developing technology that will utilise the sun’s energy to create superfast rocket fuel. Why don’t they consider using that energy for fuel here on Earth, to replace dwindling oil supplies, dirty fossil fuel…

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Ash Dieback?


This little ash tree grows in a fairy dell we sometimes pass on our walks. The Dryad who looks after the tree is a particular friend of ours and we often stop for a chat.


Lately, we’ve noticed our tree isn’t looking well. All the trees look a bit tired at this time of year, but our little ash has sinister dark spots on some of her leaves. We’re afraid this might be due to ash dieback, a disease that’s affecting trees all over Europe. Humans are trying to stop the spread, but it’s an uphill battle.


Our tree is still very young, and it’s the young ones who die the quickest. We feel sorry for the Dryad because she’s just a child, but she seems OK about it. She says it’s all part of a greater cycle, and if this one dies there’ll be other ash trees to care for. Pearl asked her what she’ll do if all the ash trees die. I thought that was an insensitive question, but then Pearl has never been known for her tact.


The Dryad said that if all the ash trees die, the disease will die with them and one day new, healthy ash trees will grow. In the meantime, she will be a free spirit in Fairyland. The fairies don’t get attached to the transient objects that make up the Earth plane – they care for them while they’re here and let go of them as they pass.


All the same, we very much hope our friend the ash tree will survive the winter. We wish her a good sleep during the dark months, and hope to see her clothed in fresh green leaves next spring.


Fairy image by Stefan Keller

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Quadrille: A Fairy Tail

We love these wise whippets!

Whippet Wisdom - a Highland Journey

lr-1130878 ww

the winds blow wild and
free around the forest

sheltered by the trees
a peaceful pulse
beats in the soil

fairies sweep the leaves
and wash the curtains

fearless of the wolves
who prowl and leap

into the joy of their
own autumn story

© Xenia Tran

blue whippet in forest

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people and animals affected by hurricane Irma, the brave people from the emergency services and all the police and rescue dogs who are doing an amazing job.

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, setting: Action, 1/800 s, ISO Auto.

dVerse Poets Quadrille: Free

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Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental

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