Lark’s Diary XIV

Things have been a bit scary and there have been lots of changes here at home which Archie and I don’t really understand. I am so glad Archie is with me as he’s a good brother except when he puts my head in his mouth but it’s just his way of showing me that he’s in charge. It does make my ears wet, though, and it’s a bit tickly. Firstly, Mum has been in bed for quite a long time because she is very tired and has been hot, too. I know she’s been sad because her Dad died and she cried a bit so I climbed onto the bed and gave her a long cuddle which she likes. She’s been on the telephone a lot of the time talking to people called “Dickheads”. I’m not sure what they are but apparently they’re not very nice people and it’s something to do with ‘insurance’. Another really annoying thing is that pigeons have decided to live in the virginia creeper at the front of the house, right between the windows of the front bedroom and the dressing room and they are always squawking and making noise but we can’t get at them as they are too high up. Another bad thing that has happened is the white and orange cat which belongs to Grandma. She can’t have him where she lives now so he lives with us, usually under the bed although I have seen him trying to climb out the windows to catch the pigeon. Maybe I should help him a bit with a gentle shove. He also shouts all the time and he is the greediest cat in the world. He keeps trying to hit me but he avoids Big Archie. Mum and Mark have been behaving strangely too,with big bags of clothes and we didn’t understand what was going on. One weekend we went on a really big walk until my legs nearly dropped off. There was a big ditch and because we were thirsty, I jumped in and then found out it was very deep and it went right up to my shoulders so I was covered in mud but it felt nice and cool.  Mum said I looked like a vagabond which might be something like a Dickhead but she didn’t sound so cross when she said it. Really Mum doesn’t get properly cross with us unless we do something really bad which is nice because I think it shows she loves us. By the time we got home we were nice and dry.

Anyway, the next day the gardener came over to see us and put our beds in the back of the car along with some toys and one of Mum’s cardigans and he took us away without Mum or Mark. Archie and I were scared although we like the gardener but Archie remembered when he had gone to stay with Uncle Phil once and Mum and Mark came back for us. He took us to something called ‘Kennels’ where there were other d0gs staying without their owners and I’m a bit ashamed to say I cried a lot and kept everybody awake for the first two days, singing the song of my people, but Archie told me that Mum and Mark would never leave us on our own and that we might make some new friends to play with. The gardener came to see us every couple of days and brought us Bonio and pig’s ears which kept us happy. Then one day he came and packed up our toys and beds and put us in the car and TOOK US HOME! It was the best day of my life when I saw the gates to the house and Archie was very excited, too. We played in the garden with Mark for a while and then he let us in the house to see Mum who was in bed and very tired. She told me she had been a long, long way away in a plane (that’s one of those things that buzz about the sky although I don’t know how they keep up in the air) to see Francesca who is Mum’s real baby. She said that Francesca had had a baby of her own although I can’t see how because Francesca only looks big enough to have a kitten. It’s all very exciting and I’m looking forward to sniffing the baby and giving it a big kiss (so long as Mum doesn’t see me do it).

So all is well except for the tv. Mum and I watch dog programmes together sometimes but the other day I looked up and there was a big plane coming towards us and it frightened me so much I fell off the bed. I think Mum might have laughed a bit. She has asked me to put in my diary that she will be back writing very soon and sends you all lots of love and a picture of the baby.

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PS I don’t think the baby is that fond of Mum yet 😦

Lark’s Diary XIII

The weather has been yucky, yucky, yucky. The dam opposite the house is all brown and going very fast so I wouldn’t like to fall in, even if I was in a little boat, although I don’t know how to drive any kind of boat. Honestly, I’ve been taught no survival skills. And round the apple tree there is an absolute lake! Where does all the water come from? And the silly thing is, Archie and I have to go out to hurry up so we just add more water, making it worse. Mum really doesn’t like me going in the house. And the other day, I went out in the garden and there was more of that white stuff coming down. I was in the nude and freeeeezing so when I came indoors, I went straight up to Mum’s bed and threw myself under the duvet. She wasn’t very pleased when she saw the muddy footprints on the sheets and she said “I wonder what Jan will make of these?” I expect Jan thought I had thrown myself into a warm bed as anyone else would have done but Mum was muttering things about hammeroyds, whatever they are, and saying it was good the marks weren’t on her side of the bed. Sometimes I really don’t understand her.

I seem to have grown out of lots of my clothes and sometimes they’re a squeeze to get over my tummy. Archie has been wearing his dinner jacket suit but he’s lost the bowtie so he looks like one of those men who go to Church and talk a lot.Yesterday we went out for the day to a new beach but Mum wasn’t happy, even though she had something nice to eat at lunchtime because she saved some for me which was a delicious piece of ham. Archie told me something bad had happened 4 years ago  which is why she is often poorly now and that it makes her very sad every year, even though she doesn’t want to be.  I told him she needs to run about a bit more and I’d even let her borrow my squeaky hedgehog which is one of my favourite toys but he said that wouldn’t help and she couldn’t do the running bit anyway. He told me the best thing to do is to stand next to her and lean on her or, if she’s sitting down, stand in front of her and put my head on her lap. That was I get stroked and she is made happy. Archie is a wise dog, I think, even though I don’t understand half of what he says and he STILL puts my head in his mouth when he feels like it!

A very nice lady came to the house the other day and she was very complimentary about me and stroked me a lot so I thought I would share one of my best treasures with her. I had to go all the way to the bottom of the garden for this one as it was very special and I ran into the house and put it in her lap, expecting cries of joy and praise to be heaped upon me. Instead, she screamed “Your dog has just given me a dead bird!” so I whipped it away quickly and put it in my crate. It was very pretty but I wasn’t going to let her have it if she was just going to scream like a human and not appreciate it. Mum and Mark came in quickly, too, and Mark took it away and I never saw it again which was very sad. Usually Freya catches the birds and then, when they don’t flap around any more, she lets me have them as one of my treasures. My treasures include Jumbones, real bones, birds (when they are not taken away by silly screaming women), socks and an orange that Mum was going to eat. I thought I would surprise her with it one day when she was feeling sad as a dog giving you an orange would cheer anyone up.

The old lady hasn’t come back to the house so I’m not sure what they have done with her. I hope they didn’t take her to Dr Bum as although she was always telling me off and getting me into trouble, she was quite good at stroking when she wasn’t thinking about it. And even if they have taken her to Dr Bum, they haven’t brought her back so she can’t be one of my treasures and be buried in the garden, although that would take an awful lot of digging. I don’t know why humans make life quite so complicated. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand them as well as Archie does.

Lark’s Diary XII

Life has been very confusing over the last few weeks. We have been in the car more than on the sofa driving for miles and miles although I don’t know why. And people have been upset, we can tell. Archie has one skill which is better than any other and that is cuddling. And he’s been doing a lot of cuddling these days. I don’t know what happened but one day we were just messing about in the garden and then we were in the car and driven for miles and miles to this house I had only been to once before. Archie said he’d been there lots of times and was quite excited when he saw it but when he got in, he sniffed and sniffed all round the house and the garden and couldn’t find what he wanted. It was a man, he said, who was also good at cuddling and very, very kind and Archie couldn’t find him which made him very sad.

People kept arriving and lots of people were crying. After just one night, we left again with the old lady and went home. I asked Archie why people were sad, including him, and he said “The great man has gone to the park in the sky, to play with other dogs, cuddle and stroke them and throw balls for them” and with a sigh, a great tear rolled down his face. We took the old lady back to our home and she keeps telling us off and calling me a boy. She says I kick her and bite her and I DO NOT!! She wants to have the whole sofa to herself. And she’s brought a big white and ginger cat which lives in her bedroom and taunts us from the window. It actually looks like it wants to come out but nobody’s letting it. The whole house felt sad and I didn’t know what to do. Mum sat in a chair so I tried to jump up and cuddle her but it was a bit of a squeeze. She still cuddled me when she could, though, and she let tears come out of her eyes when she was cuddling me sometimes so I tried to do extra good cuddling but it’s hard to know what to do with humans sometimes. They don’t like licking or making smells so it’s beyond me. After a week or so, we went on another long journey and stopped at a big noisy place to collect Fran. There wasn’t much room in the car because her belly is bigger than it was and I don’t think anyone has told her. Maybe she eats too much cake. I will ask Archie. She did have a big bag, too, though, to be fair. Perhaps it was full of cake for later. Then we carried on until we reached the Sad house and there was lots of work to do in making up beds and eating although the people didn’t eat much, Archie and I were starving.

There was a lot of to-do in the night time. I thought I would sleep with Mum and Fran and cuddle them both but the old lady kept on coming in and tried to make Mum and Fran go to another bed. Mum was very firm, though, and took her to the bathroom for a hurry-up, I think, and then put her back to bed like a baby. She seemed very confused, as I was. All the time we were in the Sad House everyone seemed to feel sad or cross or upset. It wasn’t good at all. After a couple of days, we left the Sad House and did everything in reverse. We packed the car as full as can be and then drove back to leave Fran at the airport. I didn’t see her eat very much while we were away (and I watched specially) but her belly is still getting bigger. Another question for Archie, I suppose.

I keep getting told off by the old lady and I heard her say “I don’t like dogs” but when anyone comes in, she always says how lovely we are and how well behaved. I don’t get it. So now the old lady has gone to live somewhere else for the time being and we have the fat ginger and white cat, Rooney, living under Mum’s bed. Honestly, he’s only been here 5 minutes and he sprawls all over the bed and spits like a big spitting thing when he sees me and I only want to sniff him and say hello.

The house feels happier but all upside down at the same time and somehow heavier. Maybe I’m imagining it but I can’t wait for things to get back to normal. I think cuddling is the way.

 

Lark’s Diary XI

Well, I’ve just found out it’s going to be Christmas although I don’t know what it’s about except lots of extra delivery men come to the door and leave boxes lying all over the place. Some packets are smaller and mum puts them in a bigger box in her office so it’s quite easy to steal and run away with. Then she gets a bit cross and puts on her cross voice which is one up from her disappointed voice but nowhere near her “I can’t believe you did that!” voice. That voice was used when I ate her new glasses. She has two pairs but I like one better and the chewy plastic arms have just the right consistency so when she left them on her bedside table when she went to have a shower, well, it was irresisible. The cats talk to us sometimes but we can’t understand exactly what they are saying enough to answer but we get their drift. 1. Don’t sniff a cat’s bottom (unless its asleep) 2. Rub your head on the side of the cat’s face if it’s feeling in a good mood. 3. If it hisses, back away politely.

We also have language which is more than just some old woof, you know. Whippets have a good range of language and my repertoire of moaning, sighing and groaning is extensive. Mum doesn’t understand all of it, of course, but she tries.

With all the parcels arriving, mum has invented a new game which I like. She finds something sticky and then sticks it on my forehead and I have to spin round in circles and rub my paws on my head until I get it off. It’s a good game to play indoors because we have to do lots of indoors things lately although we did have a good run in the woods yesterday and got really muddy. It was great fun. Mum and Mark are putting a new bed together in the annexe today and mum is also trying to wrap presents and sleep at the same time. Mark’s mum and dad are coming for Christmas and are Very Old so they are sleeping in the annexe so I can’t trip them on the stairs and kill them. Our other visitors are all quite young, at least, no older than mum.

We are still struggling with my claws. Again, some nosey woman said she thought my claws were a bit long and when we went home mum got the cutters out so she could trim a few. The thing is, it always feels like she is going to cut my paws off and I have dreams where she cuts them off and them sews them on her own feet so she can run really fast. Of course, she doesn’t cut my paws off and gives me Strictly Forbidden chocolate buttons while she does it. It doesn’t make it any better, though.

So, Christmas. There are lots of good food things coming into the house with 2 sorts of meat, smoked salmon and smoked eel, lots of very stinky cheese and way more than mum, Mark and his parents can eat so either the rest is for Archie and me or there are more people coming to expand the pack. I expect it’s the latter unless it’s the Christmas donkey who had the baby or the fat man dressed in red who seems very popular at the moment. I am hoping it’s Ollie and Fran with Becky and Rouzbeh because they play with us and run around. But even if it is the fat red man and the donkey with the baby, we’ll have a good time

So I hope you all have a good Christmas with plenty of stinky cheese and a big pack around you. If you get presents, I hope you appreciate them and the final words of wisdom from my mum is “Don’t give dogs sprouts”. I don’t know why; they’re quite delicious. And if they are worried about the fall out, I think this big black animal is far worse than Archie and me.

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Lark’s Diary X

I’ve been poorly. My mum took me to see Dr Bum and they were all very friendly and patted me and tickled me which was nice. But then SHE LEFT ME THERE! I wanted to go and jump right back in the car but Mum and Mark drove away. That surprised me and made me a bit sad. The lady took me into another room and then they stuck this sharp thing in me and I went to sleep. When I woke up, I still had my jumper on but I also had this big sticky thing on my tummy and it hurt. And I felt sooooo sleepy. Mum came and collected me and I couldn’t jump into the car because my tummy hurt so Mark had to pick me up and put me in. When we got home, Archie sniffed me all over because I smelt funny. Mark had to carry me upstairs because it hurt to climb up and then, when I wanted to go down again, I felt all funny and had to lean on Mum but she said “Slow and steady” to remind me not to hurtle, which is what I usually do. Normally I start off quite quickly at the top of the stairs and then get faster and faster until I get to the bottom. It’s very exciting but I didn’t want to do it with my poorly tummy. Every morning, Mum gave me some medicine which helped my tummy but I still don’t like running round the garden with Archie as my tummy feels tight and strange. I hope it stops soon as I’ve had to stop being in the Pigeon Catchers Club for a while in case I hurt myself. Archie keeps putting my head in his mouth to try and make me play so he’s been told off a bit for doing that. I’m still not sure what happened at Dr Bum’s but I don’t think I’d like to go there again.

But more exciting is that we’ve got more animals in the pack. We went off in the car and Mum and Mark put some wooden boxes inside that were really stinky. I looked at Archie and he looked at me but it was worse than any smell we’d ever made. Mum says they are hedgehogs and I haven’t seen them but you can smell them all over the garden. They have special food which is not really special because it’s dog food but they also have biscuits which are supposed to be for hedgehogs but they taste just like cat biscuits to me. Not that I really know what cat biscuits taste like because I’m not allowed to steal the cats’ food. Ahem. Anyway, the lady who gave Mum the hedgehogs liked dogs too and she spent ages stroking us. I didn’t get out of the car because I’m not well but she stroked my ears and scratched my head a lot which was very nice.

Then, the pack increased even more (but just for a little while)! Mark went out in the car and it was a huge surprise when he came back with Ollie and Becky! I think they must live a long way away as they don’t come here every week. Ollie is Mum and Mark’s son and Becky is his girlfriend (hee hee). Becky has pink hair. I wish I had pink hair because I would look even prettier and everyone would know I am a girl. But I got some new pyjamas with pirates on and everyone asked if it was for Halloween but I don’t think you have pirates at Halloween. I thought it was all ghosts and stuff. Anyway, I looked very smart and now Mum can wash my red jumper because she said it’s stinky.

Archie and I put new bandanas on this week. They are a burgundy red, Mum says. Mine came off twice and Mum put it back on for me and then it came off in the night and when she went to change my jumper, she let me run around nude in the garden! I didn’t have a collar on or anything and it felt all tickly and funny but then I got cold so she put my new jumper on which is very soft and Mum says it’s tartan.There are some funny things growing in our garden which Mum says I’m not to eat or I’ll go all peculiar. They just look so tasty, though.

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I am getting better with my house training. Now, when Mum takes me out in the back garden, I know what she wants me to do! Once or twice I’ve remembered to tell her I want to go outside but she says I have to tell Mark, too. If I have to run around telling everyone in the house I need a wee, I’ll have wet myself before I get outside! I think she really means ‘tell the nearest person’ because mostly when I’ve told her, she’s been upstairs and has to come all the way down to let me out. I’m still not keen on ringing the bell, though, but Mum says I have to learn. She’s been leaving me and Archie on our own a bit more, too. I don’t like it. When she goes out, I have to bark and go “Ooooo oooo oooooooooo”. I don’t know why. It just starts bubbling up in my throat and I have to let it out. And as soon as she goes out, I always need a wee. I can ring my bells all I like but there is no-one to let me out then. She never tells me off if I have an accident. She just says “Oh, Lark” in a special voice and I think I’ve disappointed her but when I get it right, she shouts “Good girl, Lark!” and waves her arms around which makes me all excited. Then she rubs my ears and gives me a treat. The very best times, though, are when we snuggle in bed or on the sofa. She strokes my head and my belly and it makes me feel all nice. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s the best feeling in the world.

Lark’s Diary IX

According to my mum, I have 2 speeds – slow and steady and hurtle! I must admit that hurtle is my favourite as it allows me to run around the garden like a mad thing although she doesn’t like it when I do it on the stairs, especially when I’m behind her. The other day, Mum was up late because she wasn’t feeling very well so I took 2 cans of San Pellegrino, which I know she likes, and left them on the stairs in case she needed a drink on the way down. After thinking about it, I realise I could have killed her and feel a little ashamed although it won’t last long. And you never know, she might have been thirsty.

We have been to the woods this week which I really like. Archie and I run around sniffing and chasing each other. I surprised him by running underneath him when he was having a wee and he nearly fell over because he always wees standing with one leg up which is a bit weird but I didn’t even get wet.  There is a ditch at one side of the path and it was full of water and Mum just shouted “Don’t go in the ditch!” when suddenly I was! And it was full of yucky stinky water which Mum doesn’t like but I secretly do as the smell lasts for ages. Anyway, Archie was chasing me so I couldn’t stop and we both went through the water about 23 times, which is quite a lot. And then I was out of breath so we went for lunch and Mum gave me some of her meat and Mark gave me a chip. Even then we didn’t go home but went to the farm shop where there are lots of dogs (but no tigers – they are scary) and they always bark at us but I was tired so I didn’t answer back. Then we went into town and Archie and I sat in the car while Mum and Mark went into the Co-op which is not a food shop but Mum says it sells everything and would send someone with OCD demented. Even though it sells everything, it didn’t sell the thing Mum wanted so she’s not really right. We still didn’t go home but went to another shop and Mark came out carrying the strangest thing. It’s big and shiny and all coiled up and apparently it’s called a euphonium which is a very long word and a musical instrument, too. I thought Mark was going to play it but instead, he switched it on and it has a light in it! It’s very strange but I quite like it although I have to be careful not to knock it over. Then we went home.

While Mum was resting today, I was looking around the bedroom to see if there was anything I could play with in the bin or if anything needed rearranging when I heard a funny noise. I’ve heard it before and it goes bzzzzzzzzz. Then I saw a black and yellow thing crawling on the floor so I went to investigate. It was quite small but also quite noisy so I thought I’d just rub my head on it to see what it feels like. I quite like rubbing my head on things and that sometimes turns into me rolling on things, especially if it’s smelly. I usually get told off for that, especially when I rolled in poo when I had my new Union Jack bandana on. Mum said the Queen would be cross, whoever she is. Anyway, I rubbed the buzzy thing once and I was just about to do it again because it didn’t smell very much when Mum shouted “Leave it!” When I say she shouts, I just mean her voice gets a teeny bit louder as she has something wrong with her throat. She got up and put the buzzy thing on a card and then she threw it out of the window! I was shocked and I hope it didn’t hurt itself as it’s a long way to fall.

Finally, I have a new thing to help remind me to go to the toilet outside. It’s a long leather strap that fits over the backdoor handle and it has big bells on it. When Mum takes me out for a wee she rings the bells first and then, if I do a wee, I get a pig’s ear as a reward. Oh, I do love pigs ears! This thing is called ‘Poochiebells’, can you believe it? I’m supposed to start ringing the bell for myself soon so Mum knows when I want to go out. Hmmm. We’ll see! Meanwhile, here is  a picture of me in my new jumper! It’s so cosy I don’t want to take it off.

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Lark’s Diary VIII

It’s very nice having friends to the house. It means I get extra cuddles, get my belly rubbed and get more treats than usual and I know my Mum and Mark like having friends visit. What I don’t understand is why they don’t come more often. I’ve been thinking about it and worked out that they all live in Boston because that’s where Mark goes to collect them from and then he takes them back after a couple of days. We only have a few friends who come in a car so the rest must live in Boston. I don’t understand why we don’t go to see them there or they don’t just pop over during the week. They don’t have to stay so Mum won’t get tired but we could have fun in the garden or go for a walk or just sit and cuddle together. It would be nice but Mum doesn’t seem to have thought of this so most people come and sleep here. I’ve decided I like Boston, especially when the market is there. When I was little, it frightened me and my Mum had to carry me round but now I’ve found you can get free food there and no-one seems to mind me taking it. Last week I found a delicious stalk from a cauliflower and ate that quickly but no-one told me off. Then we were sitting at the cafe and the lady next to me was eating a bacon roll so I watched her carefully because sometimes you get treats that way. She took a piece of bacon out of her roll and cut it into small pieces and asked Mark if I could have it. Yes, please! I gobbled it down in 2 bites in case Archie saw. After that I looked at her even more. If you prick your ears up and put your head on one side, people often like that, especially if you watch them intently. It’s called “Looking cute” and I think I’m quite good at it. Anyway, she took another piece of bacon and cut it up again and gave it to me so in my opinion, it’s always worth having a go.

The other day we went to the beach with some friends who were very good at cuddling. We had a nice walk and chased about and I even had a little paddle with Mum although I don’t like the way the water chases me. Archie went in right up to his belly! We always like to say hello to the other dogs we meet as it’s polite and sometimes they want to play with us. There was a very big dog with a very big man at the end of a big lead and Archie went to say hello and the dog said something very rude to him. I was cross and ran over to help my big brother but then the big dog decided it wanted to bite me! It was huge and it made me cry out so I went and sat with my Mum and she put my lead on and cuddled me. There were other very big people with the very big mean man and his very big mean dog and they seemed to think everything was our fault and started coming out of the water at us looking very mean but Mark put Archie on his lead and we walked away so they walked away, too. All the time they were on the beach, the big mean dog was watching me and I didn’t like it. It was so rude! We still had fun, though and got some extra cuddling in which was nice. I don’t understand why some people let their dogs be mean to other dogs. I don’t think that dog would be very nice to people, either, as it was on a long heavy chain lead. I expect the big mean man didn’t know any better and perhaps if he had more cuddles he would be nicer to dogs and people. You’d have to find someone willing to cuddle him first, though, and that might be difficult.

I am officially a Superdog! Mark went to London for a meeting and usually Mum stays at home with us but this time she said she had to go to the hospice. I think it’s a bit like a hospital but I’m not sure in what way. She put me in my crate with water and lots of treats and a treat puzzle ball which is great as Mum can hide treats in it and then I have to find them (and eat them). When she went out I cried a bit, even though Archie was there, and thought I would try and escape from my crate, even though I like sitting in it. I pulled and pushed at the bars and bent quite a lot of them and even pulled one out. I did so much damage that when Mum came home, she couldn’t open the door. Luckily there is another door in the side so she let me out of that one and then I was happy again. While she was out, the window cleaner came and Archie shouted and shouted at him but I didn’t because I thought it was rude and also that he might be going to come in and cuddle me but he didn’t. I couldn’t take a photo of the work I did on my crate but obviously I am not alone so I am showing you a photo of a husky who had destroyed his crate. Maybe my Mum will take a proper picture.

I expect you want to know how my house training is going. Some days are good days and I remember to go outside. Other days I just forget because there are so many interesting things to do and look at – bushes, grass, dead voles, flies, ants, butterflies, pigeons, dead shrews, worms, digging, chasing Archie, pretending to chase the cats, rolling on the lawn, cuddling, eating catfood, chewing plastic, stealing clothes, stealing Mum’s slippers, snoozing – the list just goes on and on and in between all that I’m supposed to remember to go outside to have a wee. It’s a hard life.