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

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Mon 12th Feb: Round the block in the rain

Tara:  Dad was snuffly.  Mum was computery.  So we just took Mum round the block in the rain.   Wozn't much of a walk, really, but it woz better than nothing.  And I bounced on top of Cato when we were crossing the road!  Pinned him down flat! With cars coming!  Haha!  It woz one of my bestest Ninja moves!  And a man on the pavement larffed at me.  But I didn't mind.  And Mum said 'Stop that you horrible little brat!' and pulled us apart.  And Cato got up from where I had splatted him, and got on the pavement.  And the car went past.  And Mum went red and said 'If you do that one more time you vile creature I will shave your tail!'  But I know she didn't mean it, cos she only had her half-cross voice. Of course, if we had proper walks.  In the dry.  With mud.  With green sniffs and tunnels and pigeon hunts and benches and stuff.  Then I wouldn't be ABLE to splat Cato on roads, would I, Aunties?  Cos there wouldn't be any roads to cross.  Just lovely sniffy bouncy green places.

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Sun 12th Feb: It stopped raining. For an hour.

Cato: Aunties, it was wonderful.  Mum and Dad had been watching the rain in the garden.  And when it stopped, we all got our leads and stuff and went out the front.  And guess what!  It had stopped there too. So we went down the street.  We didn't go in the car, cos nasty MrWeather tricked us with that one yesterday.  So we stayed out on the street where it was dry.  I bet if we had gone in the car, it would have been raining when we got out!  There were lotsandlotsandlots of sniffs.  And we went down the high street.  The MrButcher wasn't home.  But MrSuperdrug was.  So Dad went in to see him about his cough, and we stood outside so it didn't start raining when we weren't looking. Then we went along and along past a whole calzone that someone had dropped.  Mum wouldn't let us sniff it, on account of it being all gluteny.  Tara said 'Not Fair!!!' We went past Dad's cider place, and Mum's old work place, and into the FrenchCafe where they don't have sausages.  It was nice and warm inside.  Dad said the wind was so cold he couldn't feel his fingers.  My nose was cold too.  There were lovely sniffs in the place.  Roast beef.  Roast pork.  Roast chicken. Veggie stuff.  Gravy.  Mum's hot choc.  Dad's coffee.  The SausageLady brought us some treats, but Mum said 'no gluten' and gave us some Chicken and Turkey with Bilberry chewy treats instead.  They are special cafe treats for when we don't have sausages.  They are lovely. http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/dog-treats/evolution-naturally-chicken-and-turkey-with-cranberry-and-bilberry-dog-treats-200g?orderBy=1&fa=||price_GBP%3A%5B0%2b60%5D||ads_f13001_ntk_cs%3A%22Cereal%2bor%2bGrain%2bFree%22# Mum gave us a whole one each!!! And then we came home.  Only MrWeather started the rain up while we were inside the Frenchplace, so we walked home in it.  Well, not really rain.  It was more like walking through a soggy cloud, with little watery bits hitting me in the face.  3 people said I was cute, and 2 people liked Tara's blue bow.  Dad used the blue lead, so Tara didn't have a tantrum.  I did a nice big poo and Mum said 'Well Done'.  She says that every time my poos are big and firm and not squitty.  But it is OK, cos my tummy is fine now. I think we all feel better after our walk.  I feel so much better that I just humped my bed.  And Mum didn't need her walkingstick thing at all.  Dad has drunk his cough stuff and is playing computer stuff. It was too soggy for pics though.  Mum says she is sorry.

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Sat 11th Feb: Please make the rain stop!

Tara: Its AWFULL!  It never stops raining!  We haven't had a walk in agesandagesandages!  Every time I go out for a wee I get all wet and soggy.  My foots AND my back, and sometimes my knickers.  And all Cato does is sleep and snuggle with Mum.  I am soooooo booooooorrrrrrreeeeeddddd!  I am not allowed to bite Cato's tail and pull him off the sofa.  I am not allowed to have BOTH chicken foots.  Or go outside and bark.  Or stay inside and bark.  Or eat Cato's dinner.  Or bite Cato's ears. And when Mum brushes me, she wants me to lie still, and not wriggle.  Or chew the brush.  Although I am allowed to suck on her finger when she does my inner thighs. Pythons are boring.  And sausages onna rope.  The squeaker has died in my Grey Elephant.  Honky Duck's head has fallen off. Yesterday was a bit exciting.  We all put our coats and leads on.  Dad got the bag.  Mum got her car keys, and we all ran out in the rainsleethail to the car!  I was sooooo happy.  We were going for a walk!!!! But all we did was go to the Sausages Place and sit under a table.  Mum said that she had been talking to MrWeather, and the rain would stop, and we could go and BOUNCE on the beach! But MrWeather lied.  He did!  We sat under that table for hoursandhoursandhours and all that happened woz that Mum and Dad took us back through the rainsleethailslushystuff and put us back in the car and we came home. MrWeather said it might clear again this afternoon.  But I don't believe him.  Cos he is a liar!!! This is the Sausage Place. And this is me at the Sausage Place.  I am looking to see if anyone has dropped some sausage.  But they didn't. The floor is always horrible clean.  No crumbs or bits of toast or bacon or chips or ANYTHING.  Not fair!!! And Dad put my lead on today.  And he got it wrong!  I have a blue collar on, don't I?  But he put my pink lead on!  Mum says 'you just can't get the staff, nowadays, can you?'   I don't know what a staff is, but I want to wear my blue lead today if we EVER go out again.

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Friday 10th Feb: Snow (again)

Cato: It was a fab sniffy walk yesterday.  It made me feel much better.  And I think Tara liked it too, cos she stopped pulling my tail.  But then we had snow this morning. It wasn't up to my tinkle, or anything.  But it was cold.  And it kept coming down and melting and coming down and melting all day.   Tara wouldn't go out in it.  Of course. We sat on the sofa watching snooker with Dad at lunchtime, cos Mum said that it would be all salty slippy slushy and horrible on the streets.  And now it is too dark to walk in the park after her work stuff.  So we have to wait til tomorrow to go sniffing.   Again. Dad says he is feeling a bit better today.  Which is good.  Cos he was all red and snuffly yesterday.  And he snored even louder than Tara last night!  I snuggled up to his knees all night, cos it is nice to have the Pack around when we don't feel well.  I know.   Cos my tummy went funny, and I liked snuggling then. Can you see the dark green box on the bottom shelf of the wooden table thing on the left?  That is Tara's Magic AntiBark Box. I didn't need an AntiBark Box, but Tara does.  So last week Mum got this and put it there.  Everytime Tara goes outside and barksandbarksandbarks, a green light goes off and it makes a hurty noise.  Tara isn't very bright, so it is taking her a looooong time to catch on, but she is barking less.  She says it is on account of the cold, but I think the Magic Box is working. Mum says the trick is to make the Box sensitive enough that it reacts to Tara's bark, but not sensitive enough to make the hurty noise when we go through the cat dog flap. I like it, cos it is aimed at the spot where Tara just stands and barksandbarksandbarks.  She is very silly. It doesn't hurt my ears, cos I don't bark.  Unless there are monsters.  I have to bark at monsters.  But that is OK, cos I still get to go down the bottom of the garden to the gate and bark at the monsters in the alley.  There is a monster that goes down the alley every day.  It goes out in the morning, and comes home at tea time.  And it has a bicycle.  You have to watch monsters with bicycles even more than monsters without bicycles.  They are worse.  And if I stand down by the shed barking, the hurty noise doesn't go off!  Haha!  Tara hasn't realised this yet!  It only goes off when Tara does her BoredBark when she is standing in her BoredBark position, which is just at the bottom of the pic, in the middle, pointing her nose at the green yucca thing. Mum is deaf so she can't hear the hurty noise.  Humans are all deaf, I think.  Well, sort of deaf. Mum said she didn't know if the hurty noise Magic Box was going to work, cos Tara is so silly she might wee on the kitchen floor, rather than go out.  But she hasn't weed yet.  I will tell you if she does.  I like telling you how silly Tara is, cos it is funny, and it is nice having other people larff at her too.  It is better larffing at her than when she is pulling my tail.

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No walkies

Mum: Hi All, Things have been a bit different the last few days.  Dad has a stinking cold, which I am trying not to catch.  It has been raining on and off.  I have twanged my Achilles tendon a bit - it has been hurting for a week so a bit of rest seems a good idea.  The mutts haven't had a walk in daysanddaysanddays (to quote them). The rest seems to be doing my tendon a power of good, which is great.  Dad isn't getting any better (we are hoping we will see a light at the end of the tunnel tomorrow), but he is still going to work.  At the moment he is just working or resting.  I am the entire Entertainment Branch and our playground is inside the house. They are less than happy, but coping. Oh, and did you know?  Cato, Tara, (Sidney) and I have been blogging for a whole year!  Our anniversary happened sometime in late January, and we didn't even notice!  

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Sat 4th Feb: AuntieSue and Hellebore Day

Tara:  Hello Aunties.  We went to meet AutnieSue at Town Park today and there where these Hellebooring things all over the place.  You will see just how boring they were when you get to the pics.  Yawn.  But I don't mind, cos I can tell you about meeting AuntieSue who gives us treats.  And stuff like that. This is First Sniff before we met Auntie. And this is some big old boring tree wot Mum remembers from last summer when they cut all its arms off, but now it is growing its hair back.  Or something.  Sometimes I think Mum is obsessified with green things.  It isn't healthy, isn't it? Oh, I need to tell you!  Today I am wearing my pink bow, specially for Auntie Sue.  And Cato didn't manage to get it off me!  Ha!  He tried, but Mum stopped him.  Hahaha! This is the sticky out root of the big tree.  Cato peed on it.  Of course.  But not til AFTER Mum took the pic. This is me realising that Cato has gone off hunting.  And I am NOT fat.  I am fluffy.  And warm.   Can you see him?  He was duck hunting.  And he switched off his ears and pretended he hadn't heard Mum when she called. I would never do that! Haha!  he didn't hunt anything, did he?  They were all up flying, not floating.  Haha! There is another of those weird big squirrels here.  Sometimes children climb on it.  It is hardly green at all. Mum said something about you wanting to see these.  Cos they are daisies or something. These tow paws were HUGE, and dirty.  The big old white one rolls in stuff.  Her Mum says.  Her Mum loves her very much.  And then along came the Frenchie.  They all wanted to sniff me!  But I tucked my tail right under and scooted round behind Mum. More flowers.  Same as last week but fluffier. This is My Band Stand.  I wanted to go around it, where the red roses used to be.  Can you see my Pink bow?  I tried to climb it, but it woz a bit too tall. The stinky roses used to live here.  There is a path right round the roses, by the benches.  And there woz a man and some kids using it as a bicycle race track.  It was scary.  Mum got me across the race track using treats.  I like treats.  But Cato just stood in the middle and watched the bicycles come round... if Mum hadn't called him again and got an extra treat out, he would have been squisheded. Cato made these new friends.  I didn't want to say hello on account of the boy's steering.  But Cato has no idea... Oh, and these are the hellishboring things.  I am going to go to bed now and sleep through the rest of the blog cos... you know... green stuff.   Mum: These are sprouting all over the park!  Still buds, mostly.  But they are going to be amazing.  What do you call them?  I think I have seen them called Winter Rose or Christmas Rose.  Yes? Unfortunately, poisonous to dogs, otherwise I would have some in my garden, because they really are beautiful, and I am told that they smell lovely, but I have never quite bent down far enough... lol. AuntieSue and I both thought they looked like peonies to start with - but it is far too early for peonies to sprout.  But then we realised they were Helebores, and that they were everywhere. Beautiful.             and then this too.  is it a holly?  I did wonder about a Broom, but that isn't right.  The leaves are more holly like.    

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Friday 3rd February: Mum's Birthday

Cato: Cos it was Mum's birthday, she and Dad didn't do boring work stuff!  Yay!  So we went round to Mam and Pop's and got stick treats and snuggles with Pop on the sofa.  And then we went for a long walk at the Centre of the Universe.  It was all sunny and blue. This is Tara finding another wall to climb on.  But then a huge German Shepherd walked past, and she got into a tizz cos the Shepherd walked between her and Mum.  She stayed a bit closer for a bit.  And then she forgot all about it again. This is Dad showing Tara her first mountain of the day. And this is me going up another one.  Mum says that when you get mountains in a line, all next to each other, then they are a ridge of mountains.  We walked along this ridge for a looooooooong time. It was very high, and I don't really like tall things, but it was OK cos Dad came up with me, and when I needed to come down the side of the ridge, Mum helped with a treat.  I might go up there again, next time.  Maybe.  Although mountains aren't really my thing. Tara found another wall to climb on, and then we had a drink.  Mum and Dad wanted a drink too, but they had to wait til later. Tara and me both wanted to go down on the beach and sniff through the salt marsh.  But Mum said it would have to wait til next time, cos she and Dad had proper shoe things on, not marshy boot things.   There are lots of birds to Hunt in the marshes. Mum says she has to be careful letting such a Hunter as myself loose in the marshes, on account of needing to protect the wildlife and stuff.  I do understand.  I mean, I wouldn't like to kill everything.  A responsible Hunter has to maintain the eco-thingy balance.  So I would be careful not to kill too many Gulls and Egrets and Pigeons and stuff.   We visited the beach dens again.  We like walking on the grass more than walking on the path. It is sniffier. And this time, we walked around the back of them.  Some had been broken into!  Mum woz very nosy.  She says it was because she knew you would want to see what is inside the dens, but I think it is really just cos she is nosy. See the open one with the dark red back door? Well this is the inside.  Mum wouldn't let us get close, on account of the broken glass stuff.  Mum says it is sad to see the neglect.  There was a hole in the ceiling too, and the den hasn't been used for years and years and years. There was another one too. Mum would like to rent one of the dens and have it for us, so we could get to know the marshes and spend days here.  We would like that too. But Dad says it would be a lot of work, and stuff, and we would only use it for a few days a year, and it isn't worth the hassle.   Me and Tara wouldn't mind Mum and Dad doing the work, so we don't see the problem.  We could have Special Beach Beds and Beach Toys, and Mum could have a chair, and make tea on a camping stove, and snooze while we sat on either side of the door like proper Fu Dogs, and we would LOVE it. Then we went to the white building cafe place.  Mum and us sat outside while Dad went in and got hot drinks for them.  We had water and played Truffle Hound.  There were some nice people who stopped to say hello, and some BIG dogs.  Tara got up on the bench and sat with Mum. Then on the way back we had some good fights. I was a bit hungry for my breakfast, so I let Tara do a lot of bouncing. But I ticked her off a bit when she got too rough. This was on the way back Mum says these skies are for you @AuntieCrystal I made a bit of a mistake in the evening.   It was cos I was tired, and Tara had been annoying me for AGES.  And Uncle Mark had come round to see Mum cos it was her birthday. Anyway, I got tired of Tara pushing and bouncing and showing off for Uncle Mark.  So I told her off, and climbed on top of her, and grabbed her topknot in my mouth.  It was great fun!  And cos I was standing on her back, and she was down on her tummy, she couldn't stop me!  Hahaha!  it is really good when I get her topknot like that, cos she can't turn her head and get me.  And I can Shakey Shake her topknot, and her head waggles around.  It is ACE!  I was growling and snarling, and REALLY enjoying being Top Dog and squishing Tara. Only then I heard 'Cato!  Oh CATO!  Now we know what is happening to Tara's bows!!!' ooops!  I have been pulling her bows off for days, but only when Mum and Dad couldn't see, in case they got cross. But today I got all excited and did it in the front room where everyone could see! So I stopped Shakey Shaking, and Tara got out from under me with her topknot all half undone and really messy , and I stood there with her silly pink bow in my mouth!   Like a Hunting Trophy!  Haha! Only Mum isn't very pleased with me. She says she doesn't mind about me pulling the bows off (Ha Tara!  Hear that?  She doesn't care about your bows!) but she DOES mind that I might try and chew and eat the bow - as if I would be so silly!  She thinks that Tara might have to go without bows for a bit.   But she does say  that there are wrestling moves called Half Nelson and a Full Nelson, and my bow move should be called a Topknot Nelson!  haha! I said that would NEVER eat a bow.  All I want to do is get Tara to know what it is like to be pinned to the ground while I get her Topknot!  That is the fun bit.  Haha!  But I can still do that, even if she isn't wearing a bow, can't I, Aunties?  Cos I could grab her elastic band thingies instead.  Would that still count as a Topknot Nelson?  It should, shouldn't it?  

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Thur 2nd Feb: Big lake, big paws!

Tara: It woz a horrible walk today.  There were scary big paws everywhere, and I didn't like it! This is Cato's first widdle/sniff. and look at this lovely wet squelchy mud.  I wanted to go swimming, but Mum kept saying how cold the wind woz, and how we needed to hurry. See how windy it woz for the swanses?  and the other birds. I asked Mum not to take any pics of me today, cos I didn't have a bow AGAIN.  It fell off!  Mum did brushing and bow stuff this morning, and then it wozn't there any more. Cato just larffs at me. But I can larrf at him, cos he couldn't do any Hunting today at all!  Cos all the birds were on the water.  Hahaha! Most of the time there wozn't anyone around, but then we saw a huge great bouncy Springer Spaniel who bounced near me, and I had to lie down, and then I screamed when he sniffed my knickers. There woz lots of water though - it woz all wet and cool on the toes, and nice to drink. All these ducks thought Mum woz going to give them food.  And Cato thought they were food.  Haha! then suddenly there were lots of paws everywhere, and they were all big and sniffy.  I screamed when a big black Labrador came up and nearly ran over me! and can you see this huge hound?  She was all lollopy and bouncy and clumsy, and she stuck her head right in a fishing tent thing.  So I screamed at her too to make her go away. I don't like big dogs, cos they are SCARY. Mum says she woz quite glad when the walk woz over, on account of me screaming all the time, but I HAVE to, don't I Aunties?  If I didn't scream, they might hurt me, and when I scream, they don't.     Mum says these pics are for you AuntieCrystal.    

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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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Sun 29th Jan: Yay! Town Park!

Tara: Aunties, I got to BOUNCE!   It has been terrible boring without bouncing.  But today I bounced and bounced! So, where shall we go?  Which way? This way!  Oi! Wait for me!  Cato went to see his friend Derek in the Floral Hall (even though he is supposed to have Mum or Dad on a lead if he goes in there.  He didn't wait.)  And Derek has retired now, so he doesn't work there any more. They had put lots of mulchy stuff on the ground around the plants.  It was really sniffy and smelled like the inside of trees.  Cato wanted to wee and scrat on it.  I didn't.  Cos I'm not a boy. Boring human word stuff Another view of My Fountain wot I went swimming around.  (Mum: Hmmm.  Not quite how I remember it...) This is Dad being mean and pretending he didn't have any more treats.  Not Fair!  I could sniff there were more in his pocket. Boring sprouty things that don't even sniff yet. Cato hunting ducks. Me and Dad walking together. Can you see the pugs at the end of the path?  They came and talked to us.  And they were OK.  I didn't have to lie down.  Then they went off with their Mum and Dad.  But the MOST AMAZING THING!!!! One of the pugs wanted a widdle.  So he went over to that hedge.  The little green one.  And he cocked his leg.  Only he DIDN'T.  He did a paw-stand instead!!! He stood on his front foots and lifted both his back foots off the ground and widdled UPSIDE DOWN!!!! It woz AWESOME.  Cato doesn't believe me.  He woz off sniffing or something, and he didn't see it, so he thinks I made it up.  But I DID see it.  And it was the best widdle EVER.  Mum says we might have a pug come and live with us, just so we can take photos and show you Pug Piddling Paw-Stands. Cato got all cross at these pigeons hiding up on the roof.  He wanted pigeon for tea. Don't I look cute?  And doesn't Cato look scruffy?  Mum says he needs a face trim. I don't have a bow cos it fell off.  It was blue. This is us walking on the grass cos the path was all slippy slidey, and we didn't want Dad to fall over.     Mum's plant pics: Incredible colour on this fungus, and look at the new shoots sprouting out of this stump! Not sure what this pink thing is, but it is beautiful and delicate, and is growing without any leaves on the tree. This is a closeup A few primroses trying hard... Red Dogwood Yellow Dogwood More pink stuff (including an accidental closeup on the right front bit of the pic More Mahonia

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Sat 28th Jan: Hot choc and cider

Tara:  Mum says that all these on-lead road walks we are having is doing wonders for our manners.  And she says that we obviously need more regular road walks instead of hooliganning in the park.  Not fair!!! So today we were dragged to the boring hot choc place, and the boring cider place, and then we came home!  No grass.  No bouncing.  No fun! This is the French Hot Choc place.  It woz too full inside, so we sat outside again.  There is more to sniff outside. See?  I am sniffing while Cato has a drink.   Can you see the white stick thing by Cato's foot?  That woz an earring.  An earring is a sparkly thing that goes on your ear.  Mum picked it up and let me sniff it.  It was interesting.  I want sparkly ears.  Mum said it wozn't real sparkle, and there woz no hallmark, so she just left it on the table.  Of course it woz real sparkle.  It woz sparkling! Our coats are getting really long, aren't they?  Mum says I am starting to look fat.  I'm not!  I am looking fluffy and full-coated.  And Cato is getting wavy, isn't he?  I told him he can't be a real Tzu cos he is curly.  Wot do you think? They have put this weird yellow stuff and sticks up the side of the French place.  I wanted to go up it, but Mum said 'No Dear.' This is Cato sniffing a beer can, and Dad larffing at Mum.  I am not in the picture, so it isn't very interesting. Mum says these tiles and scrollwork is interesting.  Pah! Oooooh!   Sniffy!!! This is the boring cider place.  Dad likes it cos they do special drinking stuff, and he likes cider even more than beer.   This pic made Mum larff. (Mum: I wonder who was voting? ) This is us waiting for Dad to come out again.  I do NOT look fat.  I look like someone who has grown lots of coat because they got freezing cold walking in freezing fog! (Mum: can you remember the photos I took out at the Centre of the Universe?  Some of the bushes there were Sea Buckthorn.  It is a bush with long thin grey-green leaves and orange berries.  Lots of vitamin C I think... Dad didn't buy this ale.  He came out with some pale, dry, delicious cider instead) Then we walked home up the high street past the war memorial and the church I hope we see some sniffy green tomorrow!  I am going to ask Mum specially.  We aren't seeing Auntie Jane cos she is busybusybusy and has Family Stuff.   But I would really like to do a bit of bouncing!!!  

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Fri 27th Jan: Another walk on the beach...

Cato: Hello Aunties!  Sorry we haven't been blooging much lately.  Mum has been doing stuff on the computer for ages and ages, and had lots of work.  She had to finish it by tomorrow, so we should get some better bloggy stuff done soon. We did get our night walks though.  They are sooooooo interesting.  Everything sniffs sooooooooo different after dark...  Tara deosnt' like them though.  She gets a bit sillier and a bit flappier. Anyway.  Today we took Dad back to the beach today.  Same as last time, only Mum didn't come.  Dad didn't have any work, so he took us there for a big breakfast, and we had gluten free sausages, and then we went beaching.   I have done my widdle and now I am deciding what to do next. But Tara came and bumped me.  So then we had a fight. Mum thinks I look cross here.  I was a bit.  Tara is just too bouncy sometimes.  I have to tell her off.  Mum says that if we wait another week or two after my tummy upset, I will feel much more like telling her off!  Ha!  I am looking forward to that. Tara wants me to tell you that she is wearing her blue sequin bow today, and her blueberry lead.  Dad says that the reason the pic is a bit blurry is cos he isn't a fashion photographer, and we can like it or lump it. (Mum: ) The sky was ever so grey.  It is the Fog.  It was all up high and floaty and then at night it came down and muffled all the sound.  I like fog. The beach is still black after that storm.  Mum says she is very interested to see how long it lasts, and she hopes that They won't come and scrape it all up in case the tourists don't like it.  We don't like it much either, but it is a natural consequence of pollution and oil tanker spillage, and Mum says we shouldn't sweep it under the carpet.  Mum is a bit aerated about it, actually. This is Tara finding a hole. This is me leaving the hole. And can you see the yellow railings and the slope?  Se how broken they are?  We aren't allowed to walk up there any more, cos they are not safe.  The grey things are all wangy and the yellow things snapped, and the slope is sloping.  Or something. It all happened with the Storm Surge.  When the water came right up and broke the slope! Wish I had seen it!  It must have been really exciting!!!

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Tue 24th Jan: A walk on the beach...

Tara: So we did boring after dark walks most of this week.  They are OK.  And very sniffy.  But some nights there woz something called Freezing Fog.  I don't like Freezing Fog.  It is weird.  The sound goes all strange and hollow, and the sniffs are clammy.  And you can't see much.  But at least we get a walk.  Even if it is only a short one cos of Wimpy Cato. Anyway, today we did Beach Stuff.  This is my First Sniff and Cato's First Widdle. and this is my Second Sniff and Cato's First Sniff.  Haha! Mum says 'this is ALL about the light!' Wotever that means This was a good walk.  Cos we walked Dad on the leads all the way TO the beach, and then ALONG the beach, and then BACK.  And we stopped at the Sausage Cafe too!!!  Mum was doing computer stuff, so we walked, and she drove and met us there, to save time.  Isn't that weird?  How are computers better than walking?!?!

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Sun 21st Jan: Foxy ramble

Cato: This was my first walk after my tummy.  Mum said we would take it gently, and stop if I felt wobbly, and she would carry me if I got tired. Only Tara didn't listen.  Tara never listens.  And she bounced and bounced and bounced!  In the end Mum shouted at her and did Calming Signal stuff, and it was OK.  I didn't really mind.  It is just that she never knows when to stop, does she? That is Sheba The Third.  We haven't seen her for AGES.  Sheba's Dad keeps her on the lead all the time except the Dog Field  and he used to have Sheba The First, and Sheba The Second.  Mum doesn't like that he called three paws Sheba, cos she says that every paw is uniquorn, but I don't see the problem, cos they will all have smelled different, won't they? This is Grumpy Pug and her young whippersnapper ball obsessed Boston Terrier friends.  Auntie Jane said their ball was so slobbery that she wouldn't pick it up, so she kicked it instead.  It went a looooong way. This bit was really crunchy and cold.  I have to stand up straight, otherwise my tinkle gets a bit close to the frozen tufty bits of grass. This is Tara trying to pretend that she hadn't just been bouncing on me.  She is wearing a camouflage bow, so that she can come hunting with me.  It has a silly white pearl sparkle thing in the middle.  I told her that blue camo doesn't count. It was lovely seeing the sun and sniffing and hunting again.  I really missed it all, with my tummy. Mum says the sun is low so it looks like evening, but it was actually late morning. Can you see my waist?  Mum says my waist is gorgeous at the moment, on account of my tummy hurting. I was ready to do a bit of hunting (without Tara, of course), but look where the pigeons were hiding!  What a silly place to sit.  Auntie Jane said they were sunbathing, but that is just silly.  They should sunbathe on the ground where I can get them! Tara has the same red jumper.  She says that it is 'OK' but it is too dark for her.  She thinks she looks better in brighter reds. That paw was ENORMOUS.  He looked like the dog in that film.  Turner and Hooch.  So we called him Hooch.  Or is it Turner?  I slept through most of it anyway, on Mum's lap.   Mum's arty shots: Toadstools in the frosty rosebed First daffodil sprouts (I think) in the famous mud puddle that is dried up at the moment More toadstools, after the sun has been on them for a few minutes  

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Ages ago: Special Snow

Tara: Mum just found this pic on her phone and said I could do a Blog Special, coz I am Special. The pic is from AGES ago.  Like, weeks and weeks and weeks ago (Mum: 2 weeks, actually) when we had some SNOW.  This is the only snow we have had in forever, so it woz really exciting.  You can see Dad's great big Dad foots prints.  And you can see Cato's footprints.  But you can't see mine!  Haha!  Cos I wouldn't go outside, even though I was busting for a wee.  It woz all cold and wet and horrible.  So I waited til it melted.  But I didn't have to wait long.  Only while Mum made breakfast, and then it had all meltified away and I went out and did a BIG wee.  

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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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Mon 16th Jan: Beach!

Mum: Just some pics today, no paw commentary (will explain in next entry). First we went to the station to check on something.   Then a trundle on the beach.  have a look at the sand.  Very smooth, isnt it?  That was the high tide storm surge we had.   There was a mad out beachcombing, and damage to some of the steps, and the water had reached the sea wall.  Oh, and the last pic is the front of the crazy golf course that we took some pics of a week or so ago. Cato was cheerful and active, and his gyppie tum was clearly on the mend The black stuff is tiny blobs of hardened oil, from a tanker spill somewhere in the world.  It floats around for ages, breaking into tiny blobs that get hard, then wash up somewhere looking like this. Mr Beachcomber and his bag of treasure. Crazy golf

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Saturday 14th Jan: New Lake

Tara: Wheeee!  We are at Grandma and Grandad's!!!  And we slept in a new big bed, only it was lower on the floor and Cato got off the bed and did a big sloppy poo on the carpet in the middle of the night!  And Mum and Dad leaped about and turned on the light and fussed and wiped and cleaned and talked.  Only I couldn't help cos they made me stay on the bed.  And Dad took Cato outside twice before morning!  And he used bad language.  And he was tired in the morning.  It woz very exciting. Grandma and Grandad are lovely.  They know how to do ear rubs, and they talk to me, and they don't tell me to shut up, or that I am silly, and Grandad plays Tug'o'Sausage whenever I ask, and they have a nicer garden, and lots of sniffs.  And there are pigeons and birds and squirrels in the garden.  And I can watch out of the big patio doors. And I was still full from supper, so I didn't eat breakfast.  And Cato was all wimpy so he didn't eat breakfast.  And then we went for a walk. The gate woz open, but I climbeded over the stile anyway, cos that is more fun, isn't it? Mum said we had to hurry, cos she was going to have an exciting afternoon!  But we would have a sleepy afternoon. This is Cato sniffing our first EVER molehill.  It was really moley and exciting. But then there were MORE!  Lots of them.  And they were snowy and moley and not so interesting, cos, you know, sniffed one mole, and you've sniffed them all. Didn't stop Cato though.  He had to sniff all of them.  Imagine how boring he would have been if his tummy hadn't hurt! Then we went through the woods. See that man in the RED sweater?  He ignored us.  So did his big Heinz paw.  But it woz OK, cos I didn't want to meet them anyway.  All the dogs round here are big and bouncy.  Labs, Spaniels, Retrievers and all very posh.  They look at us like we aren't Proper.  But Mum says we shouldn't take any notice, cos we are Royal, and they aren't.  And we are Lap Dogs, so we get more cuddles. I wanted to climb along this tree, but I couldn't quite get onto it, and Mum didn't help.  She stood around pointing her pic camera at me, but she could have given me a leg up, couldn't she? Then we went over to the lake.  Grandma and Grandad used to have a boat here.  A GP14 sailing dingy.  Grandad sailed in races and stuff.  And Mum and her sister used to sail too.  I am not allowed to sail on account of being a liability and a pest and would spend all day falling in.  But that isn't fair, is it?  How do they know, if they don't let me try?  And anyway, I can swim.  I am REALLY GOOD at swimming, aren't I Aunties? There woz rabbit poo too! And weird crunchy slippy puddles wot I could walk across.  See how clean my foots are?  It was all so crispy they stayed clean. There was a sailing race going on.  These are Toppers.  Mum has never been in a Topper. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topper_(dinghy) Can you see Cato?  I think he thought they were seagulls, and he woz trying to hunt them, or something. This is him trying to come back.  he had to go around, cos it was all wet and splashy, as well as being cold and crispy. Here he is, finally catching up! Mum says these are Opimist dinghies.  She and her sister had an Optimist called Piglet.  Piglet woz blue with a pic of Piglet on the back end, wot Grandma drew. Mum and her sister used to go to sailing camp in the school holidays. But I am not allowed to go sailing, so I don't care. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimist_(dinghy) We found some un-crispy squelchy mud in the end, but it took some looking! This is a 14 week old Bedlington paw.  He was VERY bouncy.  Cato liked him.  Cato likes everyone. I found a bench.  Mum says it is very rustic.  But I like it anyway. Then we went back to Grandma and Grandad's.  And we had our paws wiped by nice Grandma, and them mean horrible Mum shut us in our crates and they all went out and left us for hoursandhoursandhours until I was busting and nearly dying of hunger and thirst!  It woz terrible.  The only good thing is that Cato didn't poop in his crate!     Mum: Just thought I had better mention that they were left for no more than 3 hours while we all went out to a restaurant lunch to celebrate my parent's 60th wedding anniversary.  Had an absolutely wonderful time.  Saw lots of their friends, caught up with my sister and her husband, and had a delicious meal. Brilliant day.   Mum's arty shots: Some moss growing through the fallen leaves and winter grasses. A seed head against a backdrop of trees. And the manor house over looking the village green, a couple of hundred yards from my parent's much more modest house.   I am sorry to say, there are no pics of Grandad's garden this time.  It was too dark the first day by the time we got back from the walk.  The second day I didn't have time.  And the last morning it was pouring with rain and the light was too grey. We are planning another trip in late February though, and by then there should be some spring flowers out.

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Fri 13th Jan: Grandma and Grandad's

Cato: I don't really like long car journeys, cos they take foreverandever, and I can't have a proper sleep.  It ends up being a snooze and all weird.  But this one wasn't too bad.  And we had a special chicken dinner which was FAB.  When we arrived, we were very bouncy cos it has been ages since we saw Grandma and Grandad.  It was all hot and sunny when all the roses were big.  And now it is cold and there was even some snow! Grandad said he would show us the dog field near his house, so off we went, with Mum and Dad.  It was brilliant.  Lots of sniffs.  This way - Grandad was an engineery type of person, Mum says.  So he told us all about the field.  I was too busy sniffifying to listen properly, but it went something like this - long long ago when Grandad wasn't even a puppy, the field and all the houses around used to be a marsh.  All soggy.  And there is lots of sand underneath the grass.  Like it is grass and trees growing on top of sandy stuff.  So when they wanted to build all the houses, they had to drain the marsh.  So there are ditches and ponds and lakes and stuff all over.  And there were huge sandpits, which are now full of water.  So you can see a ditch by the fence, so that the gardens don't get too soggy. And of course, Tara went and stood on a bridge.  Mum says sorry it is blurry, but Tara made her larff. This is the whole field.  Isn't it great?  There are bits of snow, cos it was coldcoldcold and we got very cold wet knickers.  I pointed out to Mum that there was no point us getting those B*ths at all, cos as soon as we arrived with Grandma and Grandad, we got all muddy anyway.  But Mum ignored me. This is Grandad.  Mum told him all about our pics and our blog and all of you, and how you Aunties like to read about our adventures and stuff, but I don't think he believed her.  He is a very nice Grandad, and he walks a paw who lives nearby several times a week.  His paw-walking trousers and boots are really interestingly sniffy! This is on the way home from our new field.  The green bit is called 'the village green'.  It was sniffy too.  Mum says that the bus stop on the right is where she used to get off the bus on the way home from school.  But that was centuries ago. I liked the walk, but I think I would have liked it a bit more if my tummy hadn't been a bit funny.  It was all gurgly, and hurty, and I didn't want to fight with Tara.  Not that she noticed.  She just bounced on me anyway. When we went home, Grandma dried our feet with a nice warm towel.  She does it nicer than Mum does.  She is gentler, and slower.  And then we had a nice sleep.  Mum brought one of our rugs, and toys and beds and stuff, so I could just curl up round my hurty tum and sleep.  Tara ate my tea cos I didn't want it.  

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Thur 12th Jan: Pack mountaineering, centre of universe

Tara: Ooooh Aunties, it woz the bestest walk today!  Dad came too.  Mum took LOTS of pics of me on the summitty things of mountains, and beating up Cato.  Look!!! This is me on my first mountain of the day.  Mum says I look proper statuesquew. This is me and Dad on the long mountain range, while Mum and wimpy Cato stayed down on the path.  I ran backward and forwards over and over again, and bounced on Cato every time!  It woz ACE!!! This is Cato in the dark.  It wozn't really that dark, it is just Mum was pointing the pic into the sun or something.  Anyway, it looks like bedtime, doesn't it?  But it woz just after breakfast.  Haha! We could see lots of saltmarsh and sea and stuff, but Mum said 'not today' on account of our holiday tomorrow and not getting muddy foots.   I mean, I am glad we are going to see Grandma and Grandad, and sniffing their garden and everything.  That is good.  But I am sorry we are having to get shut in our horrible crates in the car for everandeverandever til we get there.  And I am sorry I couldn't get muddy today, or I would have to have another b*th. I mean, look at all that lovely sludgey salty mud... But we had to stay on the path.  This paw is humungous.  He is a LabrDoodle.  One of the giant ones.  I hid behind Dad. And we weren't allowed on the trainline either.  Never allowed to any of the fun stuff! I love my Dad.  And I got up on the bench before him!  I always try and stand on the bit he wants to sit on.  That way he has to move me.  And he loves me even more.     Then we climbed more mountains.  Cato came too with this one. and we met this paw, who was very friendly.  So I stayed up the mountain til they had gone. Remember the Beach Dens?  They were all shut up.  So we got to sniff them closer today... But first, we all needed some refreshmentreets. It woz really cold and blowy.  We woz OK cos we have been growing our warm fluffy underknickers for weeks now, and we are low to the ground and out of the wind.  But big tall humans with their heads up in the blowy clouds were whinging cos they hadn't got gloves and hatses.  And they needed a hot drink.  So we went over this mountain of steps, and Dad sat down out of the blowy wind.  And Mum went in and got hot drinks. We watched through the window.  Cos the Sausage Lady wouldn't let us come in.  (Mum: that'll be the cafe lady who made the drinks) Then we started to walk back, and I had a fight with Cato.  This is him grabbing my topknot!!!  The CHEAT!!! So I BIT him on the flank!  Haha!  Served him right! Mum says does anyone know wot these poor trees are?  She says she thinks someone has butchered them. These are those beach dens wot I woz telling you about.  There are 51 Mum says.  That is a lot, isn't it? Mum went sniffing round the back.  This is a drain thing on the back corner.  They each have one. And this is where one used to be. And this is where the water used to come in, and the drain thingy used to go out.  Don't I look cute as a button?  Mum says I do. Another Mountain.  I bounced on Cato so much he nearly fell down.  Mum took lots of pics, but they were too blurry to capture all my Ninja moves. This is where we all went up over the mountain.  And I found a wall to climb on.  Aren't I high?  And Dad nearly slipped on the squelchy grass.  And Dad helped Mum.  And Cato woz a Mummy's Boy, and I got down all by myself, cos I am a Tearaway.  Dad says I am, so it must be true. I wanted to go down on the beach sooooooo much.  But Mum was mean and said 'No!' So I just jumped up and down off this wall, instead. That is the water that comes from the Big Lake.  I wanted to walk along there, but Mum said 'No!' again.     But I don't really mind, cos I need to save my strength for when we see Grandma and Grandad again.  I am going to bounceandbounceandbounce over and over again, and they are going to give me roast chicken like last time, and Grandma will brush me all evening, and I will go up and down their stairs whenever I like, and visit them in their bedroom if anyone leaves the door open!  Can't wait!!!  

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Mum: Oooooh the Drama!!!

Mum: I usually clip the toenails every couple of weeks between groomings.  Or rather, I check them then, and only cut them if I feel the need. Well, there has been 'a need' for a week or so, and I have been avoiding it, because none of us exactly enjoy the experience.  Tara seems to have ticklish back paws.  Cato has had the quick nipped a couple of times by the groomer, and he isn't exactly a stoic little soul.  So now he gets into a tizz whenever I approach with the clippers... Anyway, today was the day.   I've given up trying to do it on the table.  Dad holds them by the window, and I grab a foot, peer closely (wearing my reading glasses) and the fun begins. Today Tara was exceptionally well behaved (being held by Hero Dad will do that to a girl, apparently), but Cato got into the biggest hissy fit I have ever seen him achieve.  There was squeaking, and wriggling, and writhing, and pathetic bleating - and all that was before I even made contact with the clippers.  Dad nearly wimped out on me because he thought I was abusing the poor lad (until I explained that I hadn't even started yet!) and then we got down to business. Finally done.   Treats all round.  Including a nice big mug of my coffeesubstitute and a dash of cream, for me. Interestingly, the groomer said that Cato had been 'more difficult, not naughty, just more unhelpful' the last time she groomed him.  I think I now know what she was talking about.  I think maybe I should sedate him with gluten before we next cut his toenails.

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Tue 9th Jan: Twice around!

Cato: What a weird walk!  I mean, it was fun.  But Dad took us round twice!  On the path!  instead of once off the path.  Very weird.  This is first sniff: We took Dad, cos MrWeatherman said it would rain at lunchtime, when Mum could come with us.  So she and Dad had a thunk and decided that an early morning walk, with just Dad would be better.   So it was a Dad Walk, which is fun, but it wasn't a Pack Walk, which is funner.  And we always have to worry about Dad getting lost, don't we? There were lots of sniffs, of course.  I could sniff birds and dogs and humans and stuff here. While Tara just stared off into space Look at all those birds!  Imagine the huntingness I could have had!  If they had been on the proper ground, and not floating. They really aren't sporting, are they? This was our bench that we stopped at.  I chose it.  We had a bit of a drink, but it was too grey and damp to get really thirsty, so it was mainly just Truffle Hound today. And then it was off again.  Dad walks much faster than Mum, and takes less pictures.  Yay!  But that means less sniffy time.  He stuck to the path ALL the time, which was a bit disappointing, cos we usually go across the interesting sniffy grass and down muddy side paths and stuff, where the sniffs are better.  But his normal foot things are in the washing machine, and his foot things today didn't want mud on them.  Strange, eh? More birds.  These ones even had the cheek to come over and start asking for food!  I will give them food!  They can be my tea, if they like! Someone had a nice wee here.  I think she was ravishing, and gorgeous, and a Real Lady!  See what face Tara is pulling?  She wouldn't look like that if it had been William's wee, would she? So then we got back to nearly at the car.  We had had a nice walk.  I had nice muddy feet, and Tara was MUCH muddier.  We had had a drink, and played Truffle Hound.  And the car was waiting for us, and I was looking forward to getting home and having my breakfast! But Dad took the wrong path!  He really does have a dreadful sense of direction!  I was showing him the way, and he still got it wrong!   And he just kept on going... further and further away from our nice warm car, and my breakfast! I waited and waited and waited for him to realise he was heading round the lake again, and he just carried on.  I even sat down, to tell him that I wanted to go home, and he was getting lost. But no, he carried on. Of course Tara stayed with him.  I don't think she even realised that they were walking away from the carpark! It was very worrying. In the end, I realised he wasn't going to listen to my advice, and I decided that I had to go with them.  I mean, if they were getting lost this close to the car park, they obviously needed me to help guide them back, didn't they? So I ran to catch up. I found it all rather worrying.  You can see how worried I am, can't you? And we went round the whole lake again.  It wasn't nearly so much sniffy fun the second time.  AND it started to rain.  Dad really should have listened to me, shouldn't he?  He wouldn't have got wet then, would he? But we did get nice and muddy.  So now we smell of lovely sniffy mud, and we don't sniff of that horrible b*th stuff any more.    

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Sat 7th Jan: Muddiest Mud EVER!!!

Tara: Yay!  My turn today.  And I get the MUD!!! First we had to go to the dump and get rid of lots of cardboard and stuff.  We were stuck in our horrible crate in the backseat, but it woz OK cos Dad sat in the back with us, cos the front seat had all cardboard in it.  That was fun.  I tried to lick him through the crate.  hahaha!  The dump sniffs are AWESOME.  But we weren't let out to sniff them properly.  Spoilsports. This is our first proper sniff when we got out of the car at Bear Woods.  Still no proper bear, but we did find lots and lost of gooey lovely wet squishy mud. There were lots of big lumbering labradors.  Huge ones.  And one was completely ignoring its Mum.  For ages.  If we ignored Mum like that... well... it would be horrible.  We just wouldn't!  Besides. she has treats. It woz grey and soggy and sniffy, and Dad said that wherever we go it will be muddy, so let's just go for it.  Hahaha!  He was sorry later. This woz our first proper mud in ages.   And there woz lots and lots more.   A big clomping horse had been through here and chewed it all up lovely.  But Mum and Dad were weird.  They went all around it, through the undergrowthy stuff, while we just walked across.  And they were doing their funny 2-foots-mud-waddle too.  They would be much happier if they learneded how to walk properly on 4 foots. I did mountaineering, when I could, cos I have to stay in training, don't I?  Never know when you might find a lovely mountain. And we had some exellent fights too.  Only Mum woz useless with the camera today, on account of being all wobbly on the mud, and holding onto bushes and trees and stuff.  So she missed most of my fab Ninja moves.  I mean, this is a bad photo, isn't it?  it almost looks as if Cato is winning. See how Dad is going along the edge of the path?  That is cos he didn't want to fall over.  It was really slippy.  And gooey.  And squishy.  Did I say that before?  Only that woz the best bit, so I kind of needed to say it again. This is me showing Dad how to climb over.  It woz fun!  And even Cato managed to get through, and you know how much of a scaredy wimp he is. Dad said he needed some wellies for next time. Human 2 foots are sooooo sloooooowwwww, aren't they?  But it gave us lots of time for sniffifying.  The woods sniff very different now cos of the leaves all being gone. Mum said to ask if you can remember this field?  It had wheat in it, and we walked here once at very-early-in-the-morning one day, cos it would be too hot later, and the Summer had burned everything golden brown, and the ground was all cracked. Well now look at it!  All soggy and sinky. See?  Dad is still squelching along the edges, cos the middle is still all slippy. Lovely puddles. Mum says Cato is looking very handsome.  But I out-cute him, don't I Aunties?  This is me at the first bench of the walk.  My foots are almost dry... and this is the second bench.  so I am a little bit soggier. And this is the last bench.  I am lovely and muddy, aren't I?  And can you see my muddy footsprints?  I got them on the bench specially! We had to have b*ths when we got home.   Me first, then I sat in a towel being snuggled by Dad while Cato had his b*th.  Haha!  It woz horrible, but now I am all clean and fluffy and I stink of b*th stuff.  So I hope we find more mud tomorrow!

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Thur 5th Jan: Big Lake Bird Hunts

Cato: I love hunting!  Tara says I am obsessified, but I am not.  I am just very good at hunting.  And when you are good at something, it is a terrible awfulness not to use your natural talent, isn't it Aunties?  so I can't really help it, can I? Dad was tired after doing his shifty thing, so we left him and home, and me and Mum and Tara went to the big lake park where there are LOTS of birds to hunt.  We have pics! I think Tara is just jealous of my hunting prowess and mojo and stuff.  I mean, she just doesn't have it.  She isn't aware of the sacred bond between hunter and prey, and she doesn't notice all the little things that make the long hours and exhausting concentration worth the wait... She just bounces about and tries to show off her green bow. Look.  Here I am doing a sneak attack.  I am moving into position now.  Tara no where in sight, of course, cos she doesn't have a clue about teamwork and tactical positioning and surprising the unwary prey... it is all skill and training, you know.  Takes years.   But then my black gull got spooked, and I must say, the post was VERY sniffy, in a really INTERESTING way. I am looking for tracks, and spoor, and fewmits, and hunting stuff.   Tara is standing still with a weird expression and a twig stuck to her eyebrow.  I think she thinks it is A Fascinator. This was sniffy too!  Someone has put lots of camping rubbish by the bin, and it is really sniffy.  I wanted to stay longer and give it a proper investigate, but Mum was off and leaving me behind.  I don't mind being left for a bit, but I don't like Mum getting out of sight.  She might get lost, so I had to leave my sniffing to make sure she was OK. This paw was very nice, although Tara put her tail down.  I liked him. Look at all these birds!  The word is out!  They know that the water is the only safe place... Ignore Tara.  She is just making more faces because she was too late to take advantage of this wonderful hunting opportunity!  I am circling round to Get Them.  Only it turned out that they were cheating, sitting up on that tall fence, out of reach.  Very cunning, and not at all sportspawlike, is it?   Mum's arty pics: Sunlight on the seedheads I spent a lot of time trying to capture the way the sun was catching the seed heads, the grasses and the reeds.  But I don't think I did any of them justice.  The reality was so much more brilliant and clear and alive than any of these pictures... It was the reflection of the reeds that caught my eye.  The water is only about a foot deep here, but the reflections make it look bottomless.   This is more like it.  Every frond looked gilded.   And the colours were 10x more brilliant that this picture shows.     

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Wed 4th Jan: BOOORRRRRRIIINNNNGGGGG

Tara: Oh Aunties it woz soooooo BBBOOORRRIIINNNGGG today.  I don't know how I standed it. It was all lovely and sunny in the morning, but then it started to rain when Mum stops her computering at lunchtime.   so we didn't take her for a walk, cos she is all wimpy about getting wet.  I wouldn't have minded.  I would even have worn my BRIGHT RED coat, if she had wanted.  but she didn't. So she did BORING cooking stuff instead, and then we went and snuggled on the sofa until she got up and went back to her computer again. Sigh. I did beat up Cato for a bit.  That woz fun.  And we had 3 python wars.  And Mum tortured us with horrible chicken dinner raw stuff wot I DON'T LIKE.   Mum knows this, but she says we have to eat the last of the horrible chicken stuff and then next time we will get the nicer stuff.  So she puts cheese and sausage and fish and nice stuff on the top of the horrible chicken stuff, but I can tell, and I won't eat it. So I woz STARVING all day and all night and all day for days and days and days, and Cato ate all his up like a good little man,   and I was nearly dying of starvation , and it wozn't fair!!! But then I couldn't suffer any more or I would have died  so I eated it all up cos I couldn't stand the starvingness any more, and then I could sleep.  A little. Though I could have eated more nice stuff, if there had been any. And then we got more of the horrible chicken this morning too!

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