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How much trouble can two dogs get into...?

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Thur 19th Jan: Cato in hospital

Mum:  Been a bit quiet lately, for reasons about to be explained... We got back from Grandma and Grandpas, and had a relaxed day on Monday (well, the paws relaxed, anyway) and had a nice short beach walk, which they both enjoyed. Then on Tuesday we went for a longer walk, after dark, on the street.  Because Cato was clearly on the mend, and was up to it.  Only he wasn't really.  He obviously loved being out and sniffing, and so on, but was totally wiped out by the walk, and slept like the dead all evening and night. So Wednesday we didn't walk (Tara going a bit stir crazy, by now).  And by the evening, Cato hadn't eaten, and was distinctly floppy.  He had also made a couple of weird yelping noises.  The kind of noise he makes when Tara hurts him during their play-fights.  Only he was sitting in his bed when he yelped. Growing a bit concerned, I hand fed him some home-cooked chicken.  Very reluctant to start with, but then he got the taste for it, and gulped it down like he was starving. Half an hour later, more yelping.  Including some head turning as though he wanted to fuss with his back end, but couldn't reach. So we rang the vet and got an emergency appt (at 8pm).  The vet was lovely, and gave him a good inspection, and decided it could be impacted anal glands (which surprised me, but then he HAS had an upset tum, hasn't he?). So she expressed them, but didn't get much out.  She also gave him morphine, low dose, because she didn't want to choose other pain killers which can be hard on the tum. Went home.  5 mins after we got in the door, he starts yelping again (in a slightly stoned way!), and it got worse and worse til he yelped and whined and tried to reach around behind him, and moved restlessly for a whole half hour.  Very distressing for all of us.  Tara especially! Rang the vet again.   Another trip down to the surgery (9pm), and this time she did a lot of back and nerve tests, but didn't find a problem.  His yelping eased off, but that could have been the strange environment. Vet decided to keep him in for observation, so we came home with a VERY WORRIED Tara. I rang them at 9am this morning, and they report that he didn't have a bad night.  One bout of diarrhoea, but he is drinking.  They want to see how he is when the morphine has worn off, and see if he will eat something.  I told them NO GLUTEN OR GRAINS.  They have started him on some antibiotics.  And am to ring at 3pm. Only spoke to the receptionist so couldn't really cross-examine her properly.  I wonder if he has a raised temperature, which is why they have gone for antibiotics?  But I think that the last time he had antibiotics he stopped eating, so I doubt if he will have an appetite for strange food, in a strange environment, while queasy from the antiBs. Meanwhile, Tara is acting like her world is ending.  She spent the night looking down the landing, waiting for Cato to come home, hasn't peed, hasn't eaten, and is missing him DREADFULLY.   ***UPDATE***  It is now 11am, and just had a call from Lovely Vet.  He didn't eat his breakfast, and she is more inclined now to think it was tummy pain, and she wants him home and relaxed (there is a lot of noise there today with barking dogs, and apparently he ISN'T IMPRESSED.  Hahaha!) So Tara and I are off to fetch him now!  Yippee!

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TUESDAY 30th August: Wild Woodses

Cato: Dad was at work, so it was just Mum and us, but that means we don't have to worry about Dad getting lost, and we can sniff and explore and sniff and explore. So Mum found the bear.  We think.  It doesn't really actually look like a bear.  But we think it must be.   There are other animals too.  See?  These must be brothers to our squirrel and fox in Foxy Park! and then we went into the woods...  It was all hot and baking in the sun, and all cool and lovely under the trees. We went through the woods differently this time, so it was ALL NEW and EXCITING.  There was still dew on the grass, so we got our foots and knickers soaking, and then got all lovely and muddy.  But then Mum made us walk back through the wet grass to clean ourselves before we got in the car.   Mum says sorry that some of the pics are all fuzzy.  She keeps shaking the camera, even though she tries not to. Which way next, Mum?       Tara found this tree.  Of course she had to climb on it, and walk along it. She also found some mud!  But it was all thick and gooey. I got stuck I didn't like it. What happened was Mum and I went around the mud, while Tara went through it.  But to go around it, we had to climb over a fallen tree.  It was a big thick tree, bigger round it than I am tall, even standing on my back legs!  That is a BIG tree!!!  So Mum came and lifted me up onto it, and said that I could be a big brave lad and jump down by myself.  but I couldn't.  It was too high.  And I am not good with heights.   So Mum came back and lifted me down.  I love Mum. I tried to get her to lift me over this one too.  But she just laughed at me and said 'In yer dreams, Cato lad!' And then she walked off!  I had to run to catch up!   Tara: While Cato was being all silly about jumping over his little twigs, look wot I found!!! I climbed up onto it and walked ALL the way along it!  It was ACE!!! Cato is such a wimp.  He misses out on all this fantastic climby fun!!! The horses were a bit closer, but we still couldn't sniff them properly! And they have cut the field.  Mum says it woz wheat.  Now it is just sharp prickly stubbly bits. This woz when we were nearly back to the car. It was a great walk!   Mum: This is a crabapple tree.  Apples all ripening nicely. My mother always called these Lords and Ladies (like the elves) and said they were poisonous.  No idea what they are really called. The colours are true.  The sun through the leaves really did look like this.  stunning.

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Mole Hunting!

Cato:  This bloggy thing is for Karel.  He is a Brother Hunter.  Because of all my patrols, I kept the moles out of Grandad's garden for the whole time we were there.  Grandad thanked me, and said how important it was.  Look at this pic, and you will understand: This is a pic of Grandad's garden looking out of our bedroom window.  Mum lifted me up to so I could see too.  There.  In the field on the other side of Grandad's hedge.  Can you see them?  It is a massed hoard of invading moles, just waiting for me to let down my guard.  All those Molehills!  I just know they were waiting for me to go back home with Mum.  Grandad says he has something that will stop them tunneling in, but it is very worrying.  It won't be as good as having me On Patrol, will it? These are the old Molehills that we saw last time.  My Special Hunter Spideysenses tell me that these are Not New Molehills.  Can you see the dry earth on top? They are in the big field with all the knickerprickle seeds.  I got knickerprickle seeds in my knickers, and I had to sit down, cos I couldn't walk.  Prickles in your knickers aren't nice, are they? I may not have paid quite as much attention to my Mole Hunt as I should - on account of the prickling.  But they were oldish Molehills, weren't they Aunties?  The moles were long gone... This is a fresh one though.  I can tell it is only a day or two old, cos I am a Master Hunter.  See the fresh earth?  The way it has only been rained on once.  It sniffed fresh too. While these are VERY OLD Molehills.  I think they are the Molehills from last time we came to stay with G&G.  See how the grass has grown over the earth?  And how there is only very little fresh earth in two places?  That is cos my Mole Prey is hiding under there in his tunnels, and only popping up to clear his chimneys occasionally.  I asked Mum to stamp on his Molehills so that he would have to come up to breathe.  I would have stayed, poised, ready to swoop in and attack!  But Mum said it wasn't very sporting to do that.  and besides, it was getting dark  and it was time for tea There were other Important Hunting Stuff to do, anyway.  so I decided to go home with Mum and plan for my next Hunt. These tunnel holes were vvvveeeeerrrrryyyyyy interestink too.  Not moles.  Rabbits?  Stoats? Weasels? Rats?  I wanted to investigate properly, but Mum said it would be roast lamb and she said that me and Tara could have some. Isn't that a lovely hole?  All sniffy.  And the Prey inside had arranged all those leaves, so they would hear me coming... cunning, eh?  Sometimes Hunting can be a real challenge. And look at this one!!! isn't that a beautiful hole!!! Mum says she thinks it could be a water rat.  I have never Hunted a water rat!  And I couldn't Hunt that one, either.  Cos it was the other side of the stream, and I couldn't get across.   I asked Mum to carry me across, but for some reason she didn't want to. Mum says we are going to visit Grandma and Grandad again soon.  Probably when it is a bit warmer and the daffydillys are in over.  So I have plenty of time to plan my next Hunt!

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THURSDAY 24th November: Street walk

Cato: It was a street walk today.  And then the field.  Tara was pulling on the lead, and Mum made her slow down and walk beside her and stop being so silly.  Mum says we haven't been getting enough on-street-practice wotever that is.  so we will have more of it. We met a nice lady and her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who was lovely and gentle and sniffy.  But we couldn't do a proper walk, with sniffs up people's drives and in their gardens.  It was a bit disappointing really. This is our field.  All the leaves are down now. And everything smells wet and Wintery.  But there is still a lot to investigate, and there aren't any bees any more.  Bees are cross and nasty and pointless.  Ha!   Mum says she is sorry this is a grainy pic, but she wanted to get some shots of Tara and me before our Spa Day while we look like Scruffy Little Hooligans. I don't look like a Hooligan, do I?  I look like an English Gentleman, even without my jumper.     Mum: Another sky pic for you @PipsMom but this time, I thought you might be interested to see the pic below, as well. Both pics were taken standing in exactly the same spot, just 10 seconds apart.  All I did was face directly into the sun for the first pic, and then turn about 90 degrees West, and take the next pic.  Didn't adjust anything on the camera, and I didn't edit the photos at all.  It is all down the the camera's own settings as to how different the pictures look.  Amazing, eh? I have no idea what this tree is, but those berries are incredible.  Such a bright red!

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FRIDAY 29 July: Catflap Dramas

Tara: I hate it.  It is scary.  I hate it. Mum lets me out through the door sometimes (Mum: first thing in morning, and last thing at night) and then she makes me use IT the rest of the time. Yesterday was HORRIBLE.  She made me sit outside the catflap looking in all morning (Mum: 20 mins) and tortured me with treats (Mum: a calcium bone treat on the floor 2 feet inside the catflap), and it was raining! (Mum: the catflap is positioned under the roof overhang, and did not get wet). Then when I actually managed to be brave and clever and everything, and came in for my treat (Mum: motivation is an amazing thing), she kept me prisoner all day, til Dad came home and let me out for a wee. (Mum: catflap was tied open ALL DAY, and Tara refused to use it.  Dad came home, and like the well trained Dad he is, he opened the door for her, before I could explain the situation)  I was nearly busting with wee.  It woz the biggest wee EVER EVER EVER. And now Mum did the same horrible mean THIS morning, making me sit outside and rest my chin in the catflap tunnel and feel sad and unloved.  Only today the catflap woz a bit less horrible-scary, and I came in after ages, not ages and ages and ages (Mum: just 3 mins today, so hopefully things are improving.  wish I could have got a pic of her pathetic little face and sprout staring in like a lost soul.  Silly widget.  When she made it in through the Torture Device Catflap she got a huge fuss, congratulations and encouragement, but no treat today.  I am not starting a treat for catflap use tradition.  That would lead to disaster!!! .  I wonder if we will ever know what started this little crisis off?)   Cato: You know, the older I get, the more I think I would have got on with Sidney.

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MONDAY 25th Apr: Boring boring boring

Tara:   Oh Aunties.  Today was THE PITS!  Mum was working all day, and we didn't get a walk  cos it started to rain, huge big splatty bits of cold wet.  Mum came out into the garden and stuck her front paws out and said 'See? You don't want a walk!' but I did!!! so then Mum worked all afternoon.  And i went out and barked in the garden.  Cos i was bursting with bounce.  And do you know what she did?  She is really mean!  She lured me over with some treats, anda cuddle, and some tug of war - isnt that mean? - and the next thing i knew she had slipped my lead on, and i was tied up!  To the desk handle bit!!!  So i couldn't go out and bark!!! how mean is that?  Horrible!  I had no choice but to go to sleep! and then the doorbell went and Mum got all squeaky and excited, and i couldn't see what was going on, cos i was imprisoned, and strangled and bored. then Mum finished work, and My Dad came home, and i woz untied, and we played for a bit.   But then Dad brought the big box through that Mum was squeaking about, and they did stuff.  All evening, they did stuff.  No cuddles, or snuggles, or tv or saying hello to all My Aunties.  They just did stuff.   So i got to have the zoomies all round the garden, and fought the snakey garden hose, and bounced on Cato. And now we have this huge stinky thing at the end of the kitchen, and it hums and huffs and smells, and i have to go past it every time i want a wee.   Cato:  no lap time today.   we always have lovely snuggles, every evening, but today i had to lie on the floor bed and watch Mum fuss and fiddle.  And when we did stop and eat, her hands smelled all funny, and not like Mum.  I didn't like today.  Lap time is important pack time.  And i missed my Mum   Mum:   Well, it arrived.  Still don't know if it is going to be a good idea, but we had long discussions about it, and decided to Go For It. we are now the proud (?) owners of a small hot tub.  2 person (think large bath tub!).  It is at the end of the kitchen, by the patio doors, looking down the garden.  I can throw the doors open in the summer, and watch the rain in the winter, while lounging.  Total privacy.  Not overlooked.  It is only one of the cheap inflatable ones, because we didn't want to invest big bucks until we know whether the benefits to my back, joints and so on are worth it.  If so, in a year or two, we can upgrade to a proper one. the other thing is the chemicals and water maintenance.  We've gone for chlorine free, ecofriendly water treatments, but the water prep (once a week, for 1 hour) has left the room smelling like a swimming pool. The smell will clear, i understand.  Now i just have to maintain the water quality. pics tomorrow.  Very tired now. will wait and see whether it is a good idea, or not. Just need to sort out nice comfy dog beds next to it, and we will all be happy. lol.

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FRIDAY 13th May: Three Today - Happy Birthday Cato!

Tara: Mum says I can tell you MY SECRET now, cos it isn't a secret any more!  It is Cato's Birthday!  And we are going out to meet Dad later, for sausages  (Mum: actually for lunch, but there will be sausages, yes) - and we will go for a walk.  It was going to be a beach walk in the salt marshes, but the tide is in.  so we have to go somewhere else.  maybe the big lake.  we get to decide when we eat the sausages!!! And Mum said that I get to have some of Cato's chicken, later if I am good ALL DAY.  So I am trying really really hard.  And she also said that my present to Cato is to have this pic up, cos she says that showing the world my Bed Head will make you all laugh at me, and after the karate incident he needs some revenge.  Don't understand any of that, but look how much my hair has grown!!! Cato is going to come and write a bit of blog later, but he is asleep at the moment.  He doesn't seem very excited, but then, he didn't see the chicken arrive!

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SUNDAY 20th Mar: RIP Sidney

Very sad to have to announce that Sidney died this morning - massive seizure or stroke or something.  He was 11ish years old. Dad left at 5.30 am for work.  The mutts and I slept in.  Usually Sidney dozes on the bed with me until i get up (see Friday's blog photo).  But today there was no sign, so I assumed Dad had opened the window and he was On Patrol. When i got up i found him lying on the floor, in a very relaxed posture on Dad's side of the bed.  Thought he was dead, but eventually noticed minute muscle twitches and incredibly shallow breathing.  Rushed him to emergency vets, but he was dead on arrival. Still kind of numb.  So unexpected.  Brought him home for the dogs to sniff goodbye to his corpse.  Now waiting for Dad to come home from work to break the news.  it is going to break his heart. Our garden is too small for burials, so we are going to have to have him cremated by the vets.  

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WEDNESDAY 17th August: Reverse tunnelling

Cato: Big Lake walk!  Oooh Aunties, it was LOVELY!  We hadn't been out since ages and ages, and Tara was so full of bounce it was unbearable!  Mum checked her magic weather predictor thing, and it was going to be cool!  So we set off.  Round the lake.  One lady laughed at Tara's mohawk, and said how sweet it is.  Yuck.  Who wants to be sweet? The big hissy swans are all huge and floating about in groups.  Mum says they still have all six babies, but they aren't babies any more, are they?  They could eat me for breakfast! Ducks hiding from us, on the water. Lots of people even here. Very wobbly on their bikes!  Mum makes us stand on the grass, but last time somebody drove OFF the path towards us!  He wasn't very bright, was he, Aunties? Mum found some boring stinky flowers to pic.  But it was nice to sit down.  We had water and played Truffle Hound, and I had a rest. But it turned out that MrMAgicWeather got it wrong, because half way round the sun came out and got us hot hot hot. Mum picked me up without asking, before we had to trek across here.  Very spiky it was, on the knickers! I don't think I could have managed all the way on that hot ground.  I love Mum.  She was cross with herself cos the sun came out, and said it SHOULD have been fine, and she kept apologising, but I don't know how she could have stopped it.  She held me so my tummy could cool down again, but there was no wind, so it didn't work. We had a good long sit down though, and 2 drinks, and finished the water.  Mum had to stand and give us some shade, but of course Tara wanted to sit in the sun, so Mum had to keep moving the shade around.  Tara is very silly. But eventually, we got to the tunnel.  And this time we went in through the out, and out through the in.  It was very exciting.  and going the reverse way made all the sniffs new again.   It was LOVELY in there.  No mud, just dry cracked hard earth, but it was cool and interesting and sniffy, and I felt much better.  We even had a little fight, but even Tara was tired by now.   Tara: I got the fight going by grabbing his tail.  That ALWAYS works.  Hahaha!   And look at me Fu Dogging!  Don't I look fantastically ferocious!  This is the best move EVER!!!  See the white of my Fu Eye?  and me using my whole weight to crush his feebleness?  Very Ninja, aren't I? Cato got all floppy again, but we were both panting a lot.  I got all raspy too today, although I expect he was so busy being carried that he didn't notice!  We didn't stop panting til we got home, and then we slept all afternoon, but it was a really good walk, and there were bits that were too hot to sniff, so we have to go back and sniff them.  Soon.     Mum: Here is that vetch again.  It has now grown up and scrambled into the hawthorn.  Looks fabulous. The first Teasels I have seen.   My mother always used to pick them, dry them, and then spray them with gold for Xmas decorations.   Very 70s. I think these tiny yellow flowers are orchids.  Never seen them before, and each flower is only about 1/4 of an inch.  You can compare them with the pink clover flowers. I love this.  Only 2 inched across, these bracts looked like lace.  And that bee is sticking his tongue out at us! This man is very, um... gaumless.  I mean, look at him.  Bait box open, behind him, where he can't see dogs raiding it.  And a bag of food at his feet.  Absolutely asking for some great labrador or poodle or spaniel to come sweeping through, hoovering everything up.  Tut tut.  He won't make it through the day without a disaster. Luckily my two couldn't see him over the long grass! And this is why you should never throw your cigarette butts away when out walking.   How bad could that have been?!?!? My guess is that they didn't even know they had caused the fire.  Just tossed their cig butt away, and carried on walking.  By the time the fire would have taken hold, they would have been well away.  IDIOTS!!!

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Not a happy Pack

Tara: Aunties, I hate it!  It is horribubble!  First I have to wear my harness, and I don't like it much.  OK it is lovely red and I look cute, but ever since that horribubble harness arrived I have to do lots of walks without Cato, and I don't like that.  I just trot along without sniffing and it is all boring.  Dad asked me to go with him for a sausage place breakfast yesterday, but I just looked at him and then put my head down.  Dad was sorry, and then he left without me.   It would all be OK if that harness disappeared.  Walks were better before. Then even if I DO go for a walk without Cato, when we get home I am not allowed to Bounce.  Cato is there, and I am happy to see him, and I go rushing up to Bounce on him and roll him over and stand on his back, and Mum and Dad both go 'TARA!!!!!!' and I have to stop.  It is awful.  I hate it.  I am not allowed to do ANY fun stuff.  Nowadays I only get to bounce on him round the corner down the side alley where Mum and Dad can't see, but Cato doesn't come round there with me when I ask him.  S'not fair!!!  They kjeep shouting at me, or putting me on the lead in the house.  It is awful and sad and I don't know wot to do.   Cato: Hello Aunties.  It is all different now, and I don't like it.  I hate my harness.  Yesterday morning Dad got the harnesses and said 'Come on Chaps!' and I stayed in my bed!  I didn't want to go!  Ever since my back hurt things haven't been the same.  Tara doesn't bounce on me so much, so I don't have to yap at her to tell her off.  I like that.  But she still WANTS to bounce, and that means I have to keep watching for her.  Sometimes she stands at one end of the kitchen and braces to Bounce, so I have to sit at the far end, on the doormat and wait for Mum to notice.  Otherwise Tara will ChargeAndBounce, and that can be very hurty.  She also wants to stand on me while I am playing Tug'o'War with Mum.  And Mum won't let her.  And she won't stop.  So I don't get to play Tug'o'War. I like Tug'o'War. Sometimes Tara goes sniffing down the side passage.  I want to go sniffing there too.  But I can't.  I have to wait until she isn't around, or she just Bounces on me. I don't think harnesses are a good idea.  I think Mum should make them go away.  They fit very close, and I can't control Mum as well when I want a sniff.  Though if I pull back hard enough, the harness gets a bit twizzly, and then Mum has to fuss me and sort it out.  I like that.  But I don't like harnesses, and a walk has to be very sniffy and interesting for me to put my tail up wearing a harness. Can you tell Mum that we need to go back to leads?  Please. If we didn't have harnesses, I could walk more, couldn't I?  Things were better before the harnesses.   Mum: As you can see, it is fun here at the moment. Both mutts REFUSED a walk yesterday morning.  Tara has NEVER refused a walk before.  Cato has only refused 3 I think, every time when he has been ill or in pain.  This upset all of us, especially Dad who treasures his morning walk to the cafe.  Dad is also concerned about his Cato Rabbit-Lifting-Technique and his Moving-Cato-On/Off-Lap technique.  Also his Carrying-Upstairs and Into/Outof-Car-Lifts.   As for me... I see a miserable confused Tara (she lives to Bounce), and a miserable depressed Cato (he lives to sniff and explore). The twice we have taken Cato out without the harness, he has been back to his positive, engaged, sniffy self.  The moment we put that harness on, he sits down and doesn't want to step outside the door.  I have checked the fit several times.  No tightness or rubbing.  He just doesn't like it.  And once he has decided that he doesn't like something (stairs, stinky fish eggs, walking over drain covers...) then I have never known him to change his mind. I do have one last trick to try though.  Next time we go out on a really great sniffy walk (like Foxy Park) I will take him out to the car on the lead, then put the harness on as we start the walk.  He may be so distracted by the fun walk that he doesn't kick up about the harness.  Fingers crossed. I have had to re-arrange his second animal chiropractor appointment.  We are away for a week later in the month (holiday, South Peak District self catering dog friendly cottage).  So the appt is now for when we get back.  It is going to be an interesting holiday, trying to limit Cato so we don't push him too far (chiro lady said no more than a mile a day!), while keeping Tara worn out  and also seeing local sites and enjoying ourselves... The whole Pack feels off balance and uncomfortable at the moment.

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FRIDAY 5th Feb: 1st Great (doggie) Train Journey

Cato: Tara was BAD.  Very bad.  And then she was Naughty. We went in the car to the station, then 2 trains.  At the first station we had a mini walk because Dad was worried that Tara hadn't had a wee and would go on the train.  I had weeed earlier, so I was good.  But then I had a poo.  Just in case.  Cos I am good.  This was a lump, with car tyres, next to a football pitch near the station.  It was odd.  So we all had to climb it.  There was a man walking across the field and he asked wot kind of dogs we are.  So Dad said 'Shih Tzu' and the man thought he was swearing.  Then they had a laugh. Then we got on the train.  The first train was horrible.  The floor was dirty and Tara ate something but no one knows what it was, even Tara.  And I hated it.  Tara whined and hid under the seat, and I crouched down under Mum's legs.  We were close to the doors, and I could see out, and into the next carriage, and everything was shaking around, and it was horrible. Then we got off, at York Station.  It was busy, but cleaner, and we all had Burgerking.  This is when we were standing waiting for the burgers.  It was bustley, but better than the train.  And several people said 'hello', and 2 girls shrieked at how cute we were, and 3 children wanted to stroke us.  And Tara licked and licked a toddler, and the toddler's Mum laughed and said 'she tastes of icecream! The next train was better though.  It had a carpet, was less rattley and Tara and I could sit together and snuggle.  Mum and Dad carried us on and off the trains cos of the gap between the platform and the step.  It is scary, and I won't jump up because there are monsters under the train. We arrived in Scarborough and Mum and Dad thought we should go on the beach before the hotel, so we could 'work off the stress' in 'familiar environment'.  This is when Tara got very, very BAD. This is the beach: It is dark cos it WAS dark.  The light was going, and the clouds made it dark.  Tara ran a long way away, and climbed these steps.  I only went that far to see she was ok.  She climbs EVERYTHING. But she climbed and climbed, and wouldn't get down.  And Mum said 'leave her, she will come back down if we walk off' but I had climbed a bit too.  And I was a bit stuck.  But she wouldn't come down.  And she was cheeky.  She just kept going higher, and it could have been a road up there.  So Dad had to come fetch us. And this is where she got REALLY bad.  She wouldn't let him catch her.  I only went up to help.  But she was dancing around and in the end Dad had to bring us both down the long way. This was our hotel.  Big, isn't it?  It is very old.  Even older than Mum and Dad's Mums and Dads.  We went up the cliff to the hotel in the vertical train tram thing to the right of this picture.  It was weird, but Mum carried me, so it was OK. It is A Victorian Monstrosity, Mum says, with Vulgar PsudoVictorian Paintwork, but Dad loves the food, and the rooms are clean and warm.  And they allow us dogs in.  We all think it is a great hotel. Tara was Naughty-Bad in the hotel too.   Tara: I was NOT naughty in the hotel.  I was doing my duty.  Just because Cato was tired and a slug, and I had to step up to guard duty, and barked when people went past, he says I was naughty.  But I wasn't.  I was protecting our Hotel Den and warning Mum and Dad that people might be trying to get in.  Besides there was another dog down the corridor, and he was barking too!  So really, I was beeing GOOD, wasn't I. Aunties?  It would have been irris- irres- pons- it would have been a bad thing if I hadn't protected us.  All evening.  And half the night.  Sitting by the door and sniffing under it.  Until Mum got up and tied me to the leg of her bed and built me a pen with the rucksacks and the chair.  And then we all went to sleep. Anyway.  It isn't as if I have a LOUD bark, is it? This is me and Dad and Cato on one of the teensy beds.  I am watching the door, in case we are attacked. Mum: Sorry if this blog is a little less coherent than usual.  A bit sleep deprived. Thought you might like this photo too.  It is from the wall at the back of the beach, Victorian, and must have (once upon a time) been a water fountain or drainage pipe from the cliff above.  I just loved the age of it, and the fact that, like all the best Victorian workmanship, it is still working - water was actually dribbling from the arch, and the green algae is proof that it works well!

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FRIDAY 1st Apr: It was awful!

Tara: Oh Aunties, it was AWFUL!!!  Cato is so mean and horrible.  Mum lets us bounce on the big bed before she puts us into our horrible pen.  This happens every night now, and we love it.  And I know I have my own little bed room and everything, but the Big Bed is sooooo much nicer, and I can love my Dad properly up there. Anyway, last night, we bounced, and I bounced and bounced on Cato who just lay there, and was boring.  Still tired after our walk.  Cos he is a wimp.  Then Mum grabbled me and put me down on the floor   And then she grabbled Cato and put him down too.  And he yawned and was really sleepy. AND HE CLIMBED INTO MY BEDROOM AND WENT STRAIGHT TO SLEEP. I was left out of MY bed.  On the nasty cold plastic mat thing, with him snoring in MY girlz only bedroom!  It was awful!!! And Mum didn't notice I was all huddled and miserable and unhappy until she got up to do her widdle thing in the middle of the night.  She pulled Cato's horrible stinky Cato-bed out onto the floor, so I climbed right onto it - cos I was COLD.  And then 10 mins later she lifted me and the stinky bed into Cato's bedroom.  But I didn't sleep well.  And it was horrible. Can you all tell Cato how bad he has been?  And how unfair it was?  And how mean.  He has ruined my lovely bedroom now. :(:(:(   Mum: Very interesting to see Tara do stuff like this.  She was the same with the metal bowl on the laminate floor.  She seems to get upset or disturbed by something, and then just not be able to move past it.  She was lying on the floor in front of Cato's den.  6 inches from a lovely warm snuggly bed (that smelled of Cato) and she couldn't get her sweet wee head around climbing into it.  Bless her.  Be interesting to see what happens tonight. At the moment, they are snoozing very comfortably and companionably in the same bed, at the end of my desk.  Such a silly little girl, eh?   Will post walk pics later.

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FRIDAY 22nd Apr: Pinkfest

Cato:: It was really peaceful this morning.  Cos we slept all the time.  Cos we were tired after Auntie Kim.  But Tara woke up before I did. Mum says sorry for the awful pic, but she was trying to take it around the corner of the desk so as not to wake us up, and she couldn't hold it still.  If that makes sense to you.  It doesn't make sense to me. And then we had a non-green and non-sniffy walk, too.  Something about not wanting to move the car cos we had a good parking space.  Weird, huh? This is Tara's pink lead and my brown one.  Mine is nicer.  It isn't so girly.   But by the time we got back from the walk, nice Mr Postman had been, so we got to rip the packaging up on two letters and a package.  We have to wait patiently until Mum gives us the paper, but it is still pretty exciting.   Then Mum fussed with our collars and stuff.  And my new collar is lovely and soft.  Softer than the last one.  And it smells more leathery.  Mum says it is a beautiful colour on me.  But anyway, Tara wants her turn now, or she will explode with excitement.     Tara: Look at MEEEEEE!!!! This is all my new PINKness.  I have a new pink collar.  And a lead - but that is hanging up where I can't reach it.  I know that cos I have tried to reach it, and can't.  And my new pink pendant.  And my new pink hairbands.  Mum says I am squinting into the light, but I am NOT.  I am being a Pink Queen. With 3 crowns.   And Cato knows it, cos look how grumpy he is being.  He is still tired from yesterday.  Cos he is a wimp. This is another pic of me with my 3 sprout crowns! I wanted more, but Mum said that 3 crowns were silly enough. It was all so exciting I had to beat Cato up. This is when I had him in a Full Nelson.  That'll teach him to laugh at my PINK.  And grump at me on my first ever PINK Day.   Mum: How long do you think this pink frenzy will last, do you think?  Will die down in a week or so?  Please say it will... We spent some time down the side alley this afternoon after work, checking on my ferns.  No sign of slug activity (I have been pelleting with that new organic pellet stuff) but the hosta isn't poking through yet.  I was pleased to see nice fat new fronds developing on several of the ferns though.  Time for a good feed.  And I think a couple of the pots didn't make it through the winter.  So a trip to the garden centre is in order.  Oh the hardship!  I need to have a good tidy, but... I keep seeing spiders' webs.  Shudder. Need to be brave. (see the fight going on top right of this one?  They stole a plant label.) and these are my sunbathing strawberries.  I had 3 varieties last year, but only 2 seem to have made it through the winter.

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MONDAY 30 May: Busy busy busy

Tara: They left us for breakfast again!  I didn't eat.  At all.  And then they had sausages for tea, and only gave us a bit.  So I am on strike and not eating horrible raw dogfood.  I am REALLY REALLY REALLLLLY hungry, and just beat Cato up, and barked in the garden, and had to be tied to the desk so I didn't go out and bark and bark and bark, but if they won't feed me, then I won't eat horrible raw stuff.  I WANT SAUSAGES!!!   Mum: It has been a fun day, as you can see.  Sigh.  They were left in their crates for an hour this morning, and got half a sausage each when we got back.  And now BOTH of them have refused their proper evening meal.  Obviously, this means they can't have sausages for at least a week.    And their tea will go down again at breakfast.     Cato: It was cold, so Mum and Dad took us out for a cup of herb tea this afternoon.  We walked all the way down the High street, and into the nice cafe where they sometimes bring us biscuits and we sit in the 40s poster courtyard.  Mum had a brownie and Dad had a lemon cake with icecream and painted a finger of icecream on each of our noses.  Icecream is LUSH!!! Here is us waiting for Dad to come back after ordering: And this is us asking for more icecream. See how polite I am?  I knew we weren't going to get any more, cos he had done Jazz Hands. This is the walk home through the little churchyard. Mum says look at all the roses on the left.  So many buds to come. and look at all the fat buds on the poopy (she calls it a poppy, but I like poopy best) and one last look at the irises.  Mum says she will bore you if she keeps on with them, but they are now in full bloom, utterly glorious, and bathed in evening sunlight.  

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SATURDAY 10th September: WetWetWet

Tara:  Mum said we would have a big walk today.  I wanted to do Holiday Mountaineering Training.  But it is all wet and soggy and horrible.  Dad tried to make me go out to the bin with him, but I wouldn't.  I stood in the door and watched him get wet!  Hahaha! Cato:  No walk today.  We were going to have an extra long sniffy walk with Mum.  She said so.  But now I am snoozing all day instead.   Maybe tomorrow, with AuntieJane?   Mum:  no walking today.  And Dad got called into work early, so they are missing him too. Oh well, at least you can see how clean my windows are... 

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SUNDAY 17th Apr: Monster Watch

Tara: Everybody wanted to see my tuft.  So here it is.  I am looking specially cute because I just tried digging up Mum's ornamental grass and she made the ack-ack-ack noise.  So I cuted at her as a distraction.  Do you think it worked? Here is me cuteing again, so that she doesn't notice I have scrabbled the gravel back to the black liner stuff.  She doesn't like that. Do you think she noticed I have a snotty thing on my cheek? And here is Cato helping with the gardening.  That is his favourite gardening spot. But it wasn't all boring stuff.  Here is me hunting the elephant. And here is the elephant fight, when Cato tried to STEAL it.       Cato:   We did lots and lots of gardening today.  Which was interesting.  I helped.  Tara didn't.  We emptied out the black bin, which woz full of water.  And there were worms underneath.  And the water ran out under the gate!  Then we filled the black bin with rubbish to go to the dump.  But Dad doesn't know it yet.  Shhh!  Mum has to pick her moment to tell him. Mum put up some twinkly sunny lights - solar lights - so we can see to widdle.  She also potted up the palm thing that keeps lying down in the wind.  It won't do that any more.  And Mum squeaked when it stabbed her in the eye.  But she is OK. And I found another MONSTER. This is me finding it  It has been there for ages, really, cos I always go and look at it last thing at night.  It worries me.  And I go and LOOK to make sure that it hasn't got any more dangerous.  Then Mum calls me in.  Mum has looked for it before, but she never sees it.  It is a very tricksy monster.  I couldn't actually see it today, but I know it is there.    Mum always tells me it is a figment of imaggy stuff.  But it isn't.  It is REAL.  It just isn't always VISIBLE. Anyway, today Tara saw it too.  See? And now, finally, Mum has taken us seriously and taken a pic to show you.  We NEVER go down there by ourselves, but we do go down there if Mum goes first. Can you see the monster?  It is hiding in plain sight.  She just doesn't have our Tzu Monster Detecting Abilities. She says that whatever the monster is, it won't be living down there for long, because this is the summer of the Alley Tidy.  She is going to chase the monster away and fill the alley with more ferns and green stuff, and put a nice flowery plant on the water butt, and get rid of the squidgy moss.  The moss grows every winter.  The moss isn't the monster.   Mum:  No walk today.  We all got up and got ready to go to meet Auntie Jane for breakfast, as usual on a Sunday, and these two little slugs just lay there in their bed, all snuggled together.   I got their treats. I got their water. And their leads. I put on my coat and boots. I collected my keys, phone, camera... The routine was complete. Yet they just lay there, eyes shut, DETERMINED not to got out. First time we have EVER had a walk-refusal!!!  I am thinking that AuntieKim wore them out completely yesterday. So Jane and I had a lovely leisurely breakfast and went to a garden centre instead.  Both hounds finally woke up around 3pm - hence the garden shenanigans. 

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FRIDAY 27th May: foot and face trim

Cato: Mum had her fur trimmed this morning.  She left us on patrol while she was out.  It was quite exciting.  She is waiting to see if any of the neighbours complain about Tara barking. once she got home, she decided to trim our foots and faces and my tail!!!  Lots of treats, but i still didn't like it. No pics, cos she wants to go over my tail again before you see it. but these are her iris pics, from the garden, in case you are interested.   Tara: We had a street walk, but it wasn't nice.  The pavement was hot!  Sleeping it off.  And my tea.  That woz nice.  But i don't want a hot walk tomorrow.   Mum: waited til 6.30 to walk them, but the heat was baking off the tarmac and paving.  so we kept it short and sweet.

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TUESDAY 19th July: Monster patrol

Tara: Monster!  Monster!  I saw it!  I saw it first!!!  Monster!!!!   Cato: We just found a Monster!  It was very exciting.  The back door was open, cos of the hotness, and we went out for a patrol, and we saw it, flapping dangerously round the garden under the table!  So we barked and barked til Mum came to investigerate.  We would have got it, of course, only she came too quickly. It was a Monstrous plastic bag!!!  Flap! Flap! I have to keep going out and checking it hasn't come back.  And Tara went out and barked so often that Dad has tied her to the end of his desk, so she can't disturb the neighbours. I would have thought the neighbours would WANT to be warned about dangerous attack plastic bags blowing in over the wall and being menacing, wouldn't you?

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EXTRA: Easter photo shoot

Mum: So this month's photo vote is for Anything Easter. And all my stuff seems to involve mud at this time of year... so why fight it? lol   Tara: Don't see why we have to do this.  I already trampled on daffs during our walk. Nope.  don't wanna. Oh.  alright then.  Maybe I will sniff it.  Ewww!  It tickles!!!   Cato: Remind me why we are doing this again, Mum?   Mum: Treats all round!  (including a very long suffering Dad!) And towels. And the hair dryer. Unfortunately, the bath will have to wait til Friday.  We are forecast more rain, and mud.  So they are probably going to get into this state again tomorrow... and the next day... and the next...  

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SATURDAY 27th Feb: Visiting and town park

Sidney: They were very annoying last night.  They shut my window earlier than I wanted, and they put a donut bed on the big bed.  Mum says that it is so I dirty the donut not her sheets.  How insulting is that?  As if I wasn't spotless.  Anyway, they put the donut between their pillows.  So it is in an acceptable position.  But I still wandered about and stood on Dad's sensitive bits in the middle of the night.  Well, I have to, don't I? They also came to bed later than I wanted.  You would think that after being away for so long they would want to come upstairs and be with me.  I had to stand at the top of the stairs and call them, otherwise they might have been up all night.  We finally got settled.  The Brat and the Runt were eventually put into their mutt-pen, and we could settle down.  And then I could REALLY purr.   Cato: Today we went to see Dad's parents, Pop and Nana.  They are great.  Dad phones before we set off, and when we arrive, the door is unlocked.  We have to wait for Tara to remember to sit, and then Dad silently opens the door, and we go CHARGING in, down the hall, through the door and skittering into the front room in a tight racing turn.  I usually get there first, cos Tara is too wide on the corner, and I slip past on the inside.  Then we bounce and bounce.  Pop is great.  He wrestles and doesn't mind if we chew his fingers, and he knows how to ear rub.  He has known lots of dogs.  Although he always thinks Tara is a boy, which is very funny.  But she doesn't mind. Nana always has some chew sticks ready for us.  I have to Meercat, but Tara is too rough and always pushes in and snatches.  I have to eat mine faster than I would like, or she would steal it!  She is very greedy. Nana has a teddy bear on a small chair beside the TV.  I always sniff it to say hello.  This was the first time Tara hasn't barked at it. Pop and Nana are great.  They have a Jack Russell called Rolly, who is very fat and a bit dim.  He nearly went for me when I was very very little.  We get on OK now in the park, but he doesn't like us being in his front room.  So he is shut in the back room when we visit.   Mum: Bad day for pics today.  Very dull, grey and overcast (but quite warm). So here are some from yesterday when we stopped to walk the dogs before the journey home, in the Hebden Bridge park. Dad took them up onto the skate park, which was hilarious.  Little Miss Mountain Goat made a bee-line for the highest point.  Of course! I LOVE this one!  Look at those dirty feet. These, stunning hellebores are from today's walk - the photo and the light REALLY fail to do them justice.  Can't have any in my own garden, because they are poisonous to dogs.     Tara: After treats and games and bouncing at Pop and Nana's we went to the town park.  You haven't seen it before.  We like it.  And now I am grown up, I am allowed to run about off lead.  When I was little, I wasn't.  Not fair.  It was because there is a lake, and Mum thought I would run into the water after to birds, or run up to the ducks and geese and get pecked.  I mean, Duh!  As if I was ever that stupid!!! Mum kept looking at these flowers, but wouldn't let me run through them.  Wot is the point of flowers if you can't bounce on them? Dad wanted a Chai at the cafe, but it was closed.  I got into trouble once last summer, running in through the cafe door after Dad.  He said he was VERY VERY VERY embarrassed.  All I did was follow him, and run about under the tables, and eat crumbs, and sniff things, and say hello to people, and when Dad tried to get me, we played a great game of hide and seek around the tables.  Everyone had great fun, but then Dad was cross.  Don't know why.  That was when I was littler. This is the bowling green.  I am not allowed onto the green.  I got through the fence once last summer, and ran about.  Everyone had fun.  Except Mum, who was a bit cross.  But now I am bigger I can't fit through the gap.  Anyway, there weren't any people to have fun with in there today. This is one of my favourite parks, except that we don't come here often, and people seem to get cross for no reason.  And I'm not allowed to do anything fun. We did play Ping Pong though.  That was good.    

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Wed 1st Feb: Bowless Foxy

Cato: We went to Foxy Park, and Tara had a tizz. This is how worried she was when she realised she had lost her bow.  AGAIN.  She is very careless with them, isn't she? Mum said she thinks you must be getting very bored of the same old pictures of the same old places.  I think you must be too, cos it isn't like you can sniff them, is it?  And the sniffing is the most important part.  Just looking is very boring.  Like being shut in a car with the window closed.  Which is awful! Anyway, Mum said she would try and give you some new angles on foxy.  So here they are.   I was catching up after some sniffing, and she just came and bounced.  She was extra-specially-Tara-bouncy today, on account of it raining for two days and us being trapped in the house.  No sniffing for me, and reduced bouncing for her.  This was her first chance to blow off steam for DAYS. Look at this lovely squidgy fresh mud.  Mum says it was cos of the wet that stopped us from walking.  Mud like this almost makes it worth the rain. Look at all these pigeons!  There are lotsandlotsandlots of them, aren't there?  I thought about Hunting them, but Tara didn't have her camo bow, and they looked a bit... um... sort of... too many.  I mean, they might turn nasty when there are a lot of them, mightn't they? So we sniffed this drain instead. And look!  There are lotsandlotsandlots of black pigeons too!  And I KNOW they are dangerous. This is me picking which Entmoot trees are going to get lucky today. There were a lot of sniffs.  I think William had been around, cos Tara isn't usually into much sniffing, but she was mad for it today.  I think Tara would like William to be her boyfriend. This is me going around the gate, and Tara going under... Foxy.  He is very green now, isn't he? and this is The Sign.  Me and Tara can't read, so we don't know what it says, but it makes Mum larff.     Mum's Arty Bark shot 1   Mum's Arty Bark Shot 2

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SATURDAY 6th May: Poor Dad

Tara:.  Oh Aunties! My poor Dad is ill!   I am so worried about him!  He was up and down all night making stinky bathrooms and now he is just lying in bed.  I have tried cheering him up with bouncing and licking and I have brought him toys, but he just wants to sleep. Mum says I mustn't bounce any more or I will have to go downstairs.  So I am trying.  See?   But it is HARD.  I am sure he just needs to play and bounce for a bit. mum says that it is the stuff he got for lunch yesterday that did it.  She says that luncheon meat is a Frankenfood and he should have known better.  Mum is very mean. Dad needs me more than ever!

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Tara's bobble removal op

Tara: It was AWFUL Aunties.  I didn't want to show you my piccses, but Mum said I had to be brave and show you, cos it will prove how brave I am, and heroic and stuff.  And it will show you all how extra specially beautiful I am when my piggies grow again. So this is me with Bed Head on Monday morning, before we went to see nice Mrs Groomer And this is me after my Spa Day, with my piggies All Gone.    Mum and I woz very sad.  Dad said he didn't know who the strange paw was who had moved into our Den, and Cato just sniffed me and larffed. This is my bobble wot my piggies used to cover.  Mum and Dad said it had definitely grown in the last two weeks, so snipping it off was the bestest thing to do. And this is me when I got back from the horrible stinky vets where they made me go to sleep and then banged me on the head. The bandage on my arm had dinosaurs on it! Mum says that my scar is Spectactulaaar! and a very impressive War Wound.  It is a much better War Wound than Cato has got.  And she says I should wear it with pride, cos I am a Brave Brave Paw.  So I am showing you my pics so that you can see how brave I am too!  

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eeten it all

eetun all ov it.  winder stiil shut.  veri wet outsid.  thev bin gon ages. luv me. im sidnee

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MONDAY 8th Feb: Brief scamper

Cato:  Mum said it was going to be horrible wet and we wouldn't get a walk today.  But then, when lunchtime came, it was OK.  So we all got in the car and drove to the Park with the Lake!  And just as we pulled into the car park, it started to rain.  So there was a big discussion.  We ALL decided that since we were here, it wasn't fair to go home without scooting once round the lake. So we did. But it was soooooo wet.   And windy.  That we found it difficult to walk back, with the wind in our faces.  We had to lean into it, and Mum had to hold her hat on. And there aren't any photos, cos it was too wet for Mum to take her phone out of her pocket! She says you have to imagine the lake (like last week) without the sun, and with sheets of rain driving horizontally across the grasses and the water.  And two dogs (that's me and Tara) looking like drowned rats.   Tara: We didn't even stop at a single bench to play Truffle Hound!  And we got very wet.  Mum said the car smells of wet dog.  I think it smells of wet human, too.  So the not-long-enough walk meant we were a bit bouncy for the rest of the day, and at one point Mum had to freeze her TV program, cos she couldn't hear it.  But we didn't mind.   Sidney: They keep feeding me downstairs in my Dining Area.  Which means I have to walk past The Brat and get sniffed and licked.  But it also means I have remembered that I have a rather nice bed on Mum's desk.  Next to her keyboard.  Very convenient for ear rubs.  And I spent some time on there, yesterday.  Which was acceptable.  Especially since it was convenient to remind her about supper.  They gave me lamb, but I objected, and we went back to chicken. This is what the shed roof looked like yesterday morning, before the rain.  Notice the tape?  It increases nearly every day.

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