About This Blog

This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!

The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.

I hope you enjoy my offerings. Feedback and comments of any kind are welcome.

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Waiting Room

The bus journey I took yesterday sparked some rather strange thoughts.

My 'companion' fell asleep on route so I was free to let my imagination run,as it so often does, riot.

My attention was first drawn to The Bucket Man.  He was in his fifties, I would guess, and carried a red plastic bucket with a white lid.

I couldn't help but imagine that bucket being used, in the absence of toilets on board, for 'personal' use.  I also imagined a queue of desperate, jogging-on-the-spot passengers forming behind him.

But my thoughts were hi-jacked when we encountered a broken down bus at the side of the road. The engine cowling had been raised and the driver stood shaking his head as he awaited recovery.

In my mind I saw the driver, a saddle thrown over his shoulder, saying his goodbye's to faithful friend before drawing his colt 45 and putting a bullet into the bus's radiator to end it's pain and suffering.

But then I saw an article (over the shoulder of the man in front of me) in the local paper.

This is the result of what I saw...

The Waiting Room was white walled without any apparent doors to facilitate entrance or exit.

Over thirty people, including Hitler (sitting next to Genghis Kahn and Julius Caesar), Mother Theresa, Gandhi and Andy Williams sat on chairs lining the walls.

They chatted amongst themselves until, as if by magic, a man dress in a white robe seemed to walk through the wall.

"Hello" he said. "My name is Desmond. I'm here to facilitate your transfer to your next plane of existence,be it Heaven or Hell."

Mother Theresa raised her hand.

"Yes?" Said Desmond."You have a question?"

"Isn't the Arch Angel Gabriel supposed to meet?" she asked.

"Well, normally, yes. But I'm afraid he's had to pop out and do a spot of smiting, so I'm standing in for him" answered Desmond.

"Smiting?" she said. "He's fighting the Devil?"

"Not exactly" said Desmond. "I believe it has something to to do with the Lady Gaga tickets he was sold and their, erm,legality. He's a big fan!"

He shuffled his feet for a moment then said "Shall we, erm, crack on, as it were?"

An iPad appeared in his hand.

"Don't you just love technology?" he said.

"So! Hitler ..." said Desmond as he scrolled down the iPad list. "Oh dear! It doesn't look as if there is anything you have never done! Bad, bad, bad!"

"I've never worn a women's underwear!" blurted Hitler.

"Erm, 14th of February 1932, I believe. Oh dear! You ... you ... What on earth did you think you were doing with that carrot? Definitely Hell for you!"

"Hell?  What have I ever done ..." protested Hitler as he faded away to nothing and departed for Hades.

"Next ..." 

Desmond called out name after name, declared them good or bad, saint's or sinner's, and despatched them to their destination.

"And now we come to ... Oh dear! Tooth Fairy?"


"Speak up!" ordered Desmond.


"Oh my word.What have you done?"

"'m innocent!"

"Innocent? You stopped collecting children's teeth"


"Instead you concentrated on removing the gold teeth of the American Rapper community! Where are those teeth, may I ask?"

"I ain't saying nuth'n!"

"Well you leave me no choice, Tooth Fairy! I hereby sentence you to 1 year rehabilitation and re-training. Hurry along to the Training wing! Mr. Disney will be waiting for you!"

The Tooth Fairy faded.

"And that just leaves you, Mr. Williams. Oh,I see you were a singer and entertainer. Oh well, no problem there then. Yes! Yes! An exemplary life. You seem to have handled yourself at all times as a gentleman and all round nice guy."

"Why, thank you!" said Andy Williams. "That's very kind of you to say so."

"Yes" continued Desmond. "It seems to be a foregone conclusion that you are destined for Heav... Oh my word! Oh dear!"

"What? What is it? What have you found?" said Andy as he began to sweat.

"Well, erm, this puts .... erm, oh dear! I thought Ed Sullivan was to blame for that! But it was YOU!!!"

"What? Am I going to Hell? What?" screamed Andy.

"Two words, Mr.Williams ...

THE  ...


"Oh shit!" exclaimed Andy as he faded. "I'd forgotten about them!!!

I grew up watching the Andy Williams Show and much preferred his kind of entertainment over that of other singers and entertainers more appropriate to my generation. He was a much admired man and talented man who will be sorely missed.

I hope no one deems this post disrespectful! That is not how it was intended!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

My Dream

I have made no bones about missing my dogs Sym and Sox.

In fact, I may have bored you all rigid with my tales of their exploits over the last few weeks. There is more to tell, but I'm going to wait for a little while before renewing my trip down doggy memory lane.

After this...

Last night I had a dream.

It was a strange dream but it was very vivid and seemed very real. I remembered it all, which is very unusual as normally I only remember fragments that leave me sometimes frustrated, but mostly curious.

This dream took place in a grassy area, which I took to be the fields of Hailey Park where I often took the dogs for their walks.

I was surrounded by a wall of fog some twenty yards away from me in every direction.

I heard no sounds.

As I stood there, the fog began to swirl and two dark figures walked out of it into the clearing carrying something between them..

One, obviously male, was dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and dark tie. The other, obviously female, wore a dark waist length jacket, white blouse, dark gaucho-style trousers and black knee length boots.

Nothing particularly strange there, until I realised that both figures had dog's heads.

As they drew nearer I say that the male had the head of Sym and the female the head of Sox. 

They stopped directly in front of me and I then saw that the object they carried was a babies carry-cot.
They put it on the ground and stepped forward and began to hug me and lick my face, all the time making 'wrowowow' and whining sounds.  

As they made those sounds ... and this bit is weird ... white subtitles appeared before my eyes.

"We have missed you so much!" they said. "We are doing well and taking care of each other. And we've been watching you".

I told  them how much I was missing them too and as I did so, the subtitles changed to series or written growls, yelps and barks.

They turned away from me and pick up the carry-cot indicating as they did so that I should look inside.

The Sym figure pulled back a small blue blanket and the Sox figure said "This is Leo".

I looked inside the carry-cot and saw a black, grey and white dappled puppy lying fast asleep on his back. 

"He is going to be yours one day and you are to look after him as you looked after us" the Sox figure said.

When I asked when that would be, they just said "You will know when 'Leo' comes alone, but you won't have to wait very long."

With that they said their goodbye's, there were more hugs and lick, and the took the carry-cot with the sleeping Leo back into the fog.

I woke up just after 5am.

Everything was fresh in my mind and my face was wet.

I'm not a great believer in dreams as pre-cursors for coming events, and the wet face ... well, I sweat at nights ... but to be able to remember the entire dream? That is strange.

I know one day I will have another dog!

I think I know he'll be called Leo.

But will he resemble the puppy of my dream?

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Snoopy said ...

"I'm outrageously happy in my stupidity! Don't tell me ... I don't want to know...."

Snoopy (Charles M. Schulz)

Friday, 21 September 2012

The aftermath of the 'PING' (Again)

This is a re-post! Not because I have nothing else to post, which I haven't,but because it has happened again!  Cheap British workmanship! It never lasts!
One week ago my glasses decided enough was enough and the left and right lenses decided to part company.

I have had a week of headaches caused by my 'spares', which were only intended for driving, not reading.

I discovered very early on in my relationship with my 'spares' that things were going to be difficult and that in order to read I would need two metre long arms.  As my arms are of average length (andluckily not in proportion to my stumpy little legs) I was going to have to find an alternative solution to my problem ... because I like to read, dammit!

Coaxing someone into holding my book or newspaper for me proved to be difficult and no willing volunteers were found.  That only left me with one option ... the pharmacy.

So I took myself off to the village and went from pharmacy to pharmacy checking out their cheap reading glasses.  I quickly discovered that the 1.25 and 2.0 rated glasses were not right for me and, after receiving some advice from the sales assistant, found out that I would need glasses of 1.5 or 1.75.

"Ok" I said "Where are they?"
"We don't have any" was the reply

That happened in EVERY pharmacy I visited.


I was desperate.

I took a 2.0 rated pair.

I needed to read!

You know what I mean?

Well, they worked fine ... as long as I didn't read for more than an hour or so ... that's when the headache would start.

As I type this, you will be pleased to know (bet you ain't really bothered) that perched on the bridge of my nose are my new frames (old lenses). The call came through yesterday to say that they were ready, so this morning at 9am, I was standing on the opticians doorstep waiting for them to open.

They had managed to find frames identical to my previous ones and I was over the moon to have 'em back.

No more headaches!  No more heavy weight on the nose! And I can read without chopping and changing glasses all the time.

 None of this will mean much to those who do not wear glasses ... it might not mean anything to those of you who do ... but it was pure heaven for me to have my weightless varifocal glasses stuck back on my face and to know that my week of pounding headaches was over.

Long live my specs!!!

Of course there is a down-side to this story ...

... they cost me £80.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sym: The Beginning of the Posse

Of course we couldn’t just stop at two dogs.

No, no, no!

My wife, Julie, had always wanted a Greyhound.

So we discussed it ...many times ... mulling over the pro’s and con’s of an extended doggy side of the family until one day ... and I’m still not quite sure how it happened ... Nippa, a beautiful and gentle brindle Greyhound girl became the third canine member of our ‘posse’.

She immediately settled and bonded with Sym but was wary of Sox who, in her own bossy way, let it be known with the occasional bark that she was in charge.

Sym and Nippa became great friends and often played the 'come with me' game in the living room.
It was a simple game that Sym devised and it usually involved waking up Nippa from her slumbers as
he would wander up to her, take her collar in his mouth and try to drag her outside. Nippa never complained and quite often she reached the back door in a lying position before giving in to Sym's demands.

We had been warned not to let Nippa off the lead in the park until she was used to her surroundings but due to her bond with Sym and natural desire to run, we ignored this and let her run to her hearts delight. Sym would storm off after his ball and Nippa would thunder after him, scaring the living daylights out of him as bounded past.

She was quick!

Sym had to abandon his sheep dog hate of straight lines and adopt a more direct approach in order to keep up. As Nippa took off in a wide arcing run, Sym would make a few mental calculations and take then take off in a straight line intercept course.

They both loved to run and they both loved running with each other.

For almost a year all three dogs lived and played in perfect harmony but that was all about to end.

As Nippa stepped passed Sox, as she had done a thousand times before, Sox decided that she was to close and was invading her space.

She delivered a warning bark and lunge from a lying position to which Nippa reacted.

It was a short but violent tussle which I was able breakup quickly, but lines had been drawn and blood had been spilled.

Sox received a bite to the chest which Nippa, true to her Greyhound instincts, shook violently. It resulted in a deep wound that required several stitches and cost several hundred pounds in vet bills. But it also caused something even worse; it created a dominance issue between the two dogs that we could not break.

Nippa would take every opportunity to let Sox know that she was the weaker dog. They could no longer be left alone as Nippa would often deliberately approach Sox in a challenging manner, forcing her away from food or from her sleeping place of choice.

We had all grown to love Nippa, but Sox had to be protected from further harm (mostly, it has to be said, from her own stupidity).

It was a hard decision and it broke our hearts, but Nippa was returned to The Greyhound Rescue organisation from which we adopted her. They assured us that they would place her in a good home.

The house seemed empty without her. Walks in the park were not the same without the sound of her thundering over the fields.

Thankfully, after only a few short weeks, we were informed that Nippa had been re-homed with a Greyhound loving family in England.

She was enjoying life with a new Greyhound ‘brother’!

Nippa, despite only having been with us for a year, was sorely missed and she is still spoken off fondly and considered to be a member of our family.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Sym: Companions

Training progressed in a stop/start, smoochy and cuddly sort of way.

It was playtime.

Every day!

But there was something missing and it took us quite a while to work out exactly what it was ... almost a year ... but it finally dawned.

Sym needed a companion.

So, on a sunny Saturday morning, we all piled into the car and headed towards Cardiff dog pound to find Sym a new friend.

Even before we entered the building we could hear the plaintive whines and desperate barking of the dogs inside and, although we were all rather excited at the prospect of finding a new family pet, we were a little apprehensive about seeing all the poor homeless and unwanted dogs, only one of which would be lucky enough to walk out with us.

A visit to the pound by a dog-loving person can be a heart breaking experience.

We spent quite a while looking around all the cages and, if I’m honest, I wanted to take them all home. There were scared dogs, troubled dogs ... dogs with all kinds of issues ... and there was Sox.

A beautiful black and white Border Collie cross stood in her cage and just looked at us. She was calm and displayed only a passing interest in the people ...us ... looking at her. We managed to coax her to the bars and managed to pat and stroke her. She didn’t become excited at receiving some fuss, as most of the other dogs had, and only a moderate wagging of her tail indicated a change in her demeanour.

It was, due to her gentle nature, a group decision that this little lady should meet Sym.

A lead was hastily sought and we headed off to complete the introduction.

At first, Sym was hesitant and Sox (to be) was cautious.

Noses were touched and bottoms sniffed. Sym seemed quite happy in Sox’s (to be) presence and Sox (to be) remained calm and impassive. At first we thought there would be no interaction between the two, but with Sym bustling around her, Sox (to be) began to slowly show more interest.

After about forty five minutes a decision was reached and Sox (no longer ‘to be’ because we had named her already) joined our pack.

Details were finalised and a fee was paid.

Then we took our dog’s home.

All went well and, after Sox had completed a cursory inspection of her new home (followed by Sym), she laid down the law!

Don’t forget that Sym was only one year old and up to that point had been socialised through puppy training classes and meetings with other dogs in the park. He had never had another dog in his home.

It began with a badly timed sniff.

And it ended with Sym having a respect for Sox that would ALWAYS guarantee that Sox was Top Dog in within our four walls.

She snapped at him as he tried to sniff her backside and he jumped out of his skin. It was the first time he had ever been put in his place by another dog and it gave him quite a shock.

For a long time after that he wouldn’t even attempt to walk past her, seeking instead an alternative route to get to wherever he wanted to be or, which was more often the case, looking at us imploringly for help.

But outside it was different.

In the park Sym would occasionally fall foul of a bad tempered older dog and receive a nip or two only to have Sox immediately step in and return the favour on Sym’s behalf.

She may have set herself up as Top Dog, but she had also adopted Sym as part of her pack.

Over the years they became inseparable, and would follow each other on walks and stand up for each other in times of need.

When one of them was ill, the other always showed concern. When one of them was absent (e.g. at the vet’s), the other would fret and pace until they returned.

Although they had vastly different personalities, they complimented each other perfectly.

They were our pups!

They were part of our family!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Sym: Discipline

If you have ever observed a female dog with her pups, then you will have noticed just how tolerant they can be when the little buggers get too boisterous.

But there are boundaries.

And when those boundaries are crossed, the mother uses teeth and paws to instil discipline and restore a modicum of order.

When Sym was a youngster, which I suppose for a dog, is anything up to two years old, he was a little terror. His herding instincts came through at an early age and the member of our family became his flock.

Walking through the living room, kitchen or hallway became a major challenge.

Sym would follow in a low Border Collie crouch, waiting for any deviance to the route that he thought you should take. A nip to the heels or calf would be the reward for any attempt at deviation.

And during play, his razor sharp puppy teeth would often be employed as a tool to gain the upper hand.

Julie, Christopher and Gabriele would often fall victim to those teeth ... but I was never, ever nipped or bitten.

But I did bite!

Puppies, when they are trying to assert themselves, will often do that mouthing thing, where they face each other with open jaws and try to get as much of the other pup’s head in their mouth as possible.

Some experts say they are trying to assert themselves over their siblings and establish dominance.
I don’t know if they are right, but this form of ‘play’ certainly established me as Sym’s boss.

We would engage in mouthing games when he was only a few months old. I would never bite him unless he bit me first. If he over stepped the mark, I would bite him!

When I say ‘bite’, I mean ‘hold’.

I would just take a chunk of him in my mouth and hold on so that he wouldn’t move. There was no reason for pressure.

And it worked perfectly!

Just as he would heed a warning nip from his mother, he heeded me.

The only drawback with this method of discipline was the mouthful of fur I would always end up with.

I would not recommend ‘mouthing’ to anyone as an aid to bringing up and training a puppy, but I believe that it helped to bring us closer together and aided the bonding process. It taught us respect for one another ... in a doggy sort of way.

We would continue the ‘mouthing’ for many years. It became a game that I firmly believe he looked forward to and it would always end in a play fight followed by licks and hugs.

Generally, mouthing would occur as follows;

We would go nose to nose.

Sym would turn his head to the side, look at me out of the corner of his eye, and open his mouth and growl.

I would open my mouth and growl back at him.

He would lunge at me but stop short of biting.

I would then do the same thing to him.

At that point, with both of us open mouthed and growling, a nasal pushing and shoving match would ensue for one or two minutes before Sym would throw himself onto his back.

At this point the play fight would begin.

There would be more growling, some leaping and thrashing about, then a licks and cuddles.

And there would be a lot of tail wagging! Afterwards he would take up his usual upside down position on my lap and sleep.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Cesar Millan

Cesar Millan with his dog. Photograph: Douglas Kirkland

A certain animal rescue seems to have a problem with this man's dog training methods.

This is something I can understand as there is, and has been for some time, a debate raging as to whether or not his way of training dogs is good or bad. I don't use or advocate his methods and believe everyone should be able to make their own mind up as to whether his methods are good or bad based on their own investigations.  

However, the afore mentioned animal rescue seems now to be so blinded by their dislike of this man that the following extract from my previous post reminiscing about my dog Sym (which was cross posted on their forum) has been deemed "inappropriate" and "offensive":

Advice comes thick and fast and variety of training techniques are brought to your attention. And suddenly, as if by magic, every TV channel seems to be showing the latest Victoria Stilwell or Cesar Millan shows. And, whichever one’s training methods you choose, you will end up being in the wrong camp and being told off by someone ... Stilwell is wishy-washy; Milan’s techniques are cruel. 

I fail to see how they could be right!  Tell me if you can spot it!

There are other references to Cesar Millan on the forum, and at least one photograph, which seem to have slipped by "the Censor". Funny, isn't it?


What do I know?

Maybe it's just me that isn't allowed to mention him!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sym: Training

We began Sym’s training almost immediately.

We taught him how to deal with a multitude of cuddles, hugs and snogs and I taught him how to fall asleep upside down on my chest as I lay in the sofa ... something he never forgot or grew too old for.

Of course, there was a serious side to Sym’s early training regime, such as the ‘prevention of a pee-and-poo-stained-carpet’ program. Basically this involved observation, patience, quick reflexes and the ability to point a peeing puppy in the right direction (away from you) to avoid a soaking.

Within a week, in which many a stain was created and painstakingly removed, we had a puppy that would willingly use training pads to relieve himself. Pee’s and poo’s could then be wrapped up in the pad and safely disposed of with a minimum of fuss and no carpet scrubbing.

Having achieved that milestone, it was simply a case of reducing the number of puppy pads until there was only one left, then moving it nearer and nearer towards the backdoor and the garden.

Of course, during this time he would pee and poo outdoors, but only if we were with him.

We expected his training progress to be slow but Sym proved to be a willing and able student.

Sit, paw and stay were learned within a few a few short weeks of his arrival and we, in turn, learned that puppies prefer garlic sausages to regular puppy training treats. After receiving his second puppy inoculation, this discovery proved to be very useful in his further outdoor training.

Recall was so easy with garlic sausages!

Later in life his preferences would change and cheddar cheese would become the love-treat of his life.

He would do anything, and quite often everything, to get a cube of cheese.

In the park ... Hailey Park ... we played games; ran with him, hid from him, chased him and practiced his re-call to perfection ... almost.

In the park ... still Hailey Park ... we started to play the game he loved most: chasing tennis balls!

In the park ... yes, the Hailey one ... I found the peace and pleasure that comes with walking a dog.

And he discovered squirrels which he would fruitlessly chase through the copse, barking incessantly at tree trunks every time they managed to escape.

When you have a puppy in the house you learn things.

You learn, for instance, that everyone else knows how to train a puppy far better than you do!

Advice comes thick and fast and variety of training techniques are brought to your attention. And suddenly, as if by magic, every TV channel seems to be showing the latest Victoria Stilwell or Cesar Milan shows. And, whichever one’s training methods you choose, you will end up being in the wrong camp and being told off by someone ... Stilwell is wishy-washy; Milan’s techniques are cruel.

Anyway, we bought books! We bought lots of books. And we read them ... ignored them mostly, but we read them.

We decided to use common sense whilst training Sym and used the kindness and reward method.

As it turned out, and on reflection, whereas I thought we were using the Barbara Woodhouse method of training, we actually ended up using a combination of the Stilwell and Milan methods, or at least variations thereof.

Still ... my handsome boy turned out alright, didn’t he?

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sym: Early Days

We chose June as the time to search for a dog because the kids would not be home. 
Christopher and Gabriele, children from Julie’s previous marriage, would be on holiday with their father and grandparents. It was meant, partly, to be a surprise for them when they returned, but mostly it was to prevent them coming up with any silly or ridiculous names for the puppy. They had already given our cats the names Blossom and Zak.

OK, I could live with Zak ... but Blossom?

Anyway, I wanted to name the new member of our family!

You see, in my mind, the puppy had in fact already been named.

Even before I began my campaign to overcome my wife’s ‘dog-in-the-house’ objections I knew what I wanted to call him.

He would be called Sym.

Many years before, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, my cousin Gavin arrived at our front door. Stuffed inside his jacket was a twelve week old fluffy bundle of black and tan puppy.

He had brought us, against my parent’s express wishes, Sym Mk I.

The Mk I was a gorgeous Border Collie/German Shepherd cross and from the moment he took his first steps on our living room carpet and wagged his tail all parental disapproval evaporated.

I shared many an adventure with him as a child and he has always had his own very special place in my heart. To this day, if I close my eyes, I can still see him.

I can still easily recall how we used to run through the corn fields close to our home or how we would run along the shore with him attacking the waves as they crashed onto the beach.

With vivid memories of Sym Mk I, I desperately hoped that Sym Mk II would achieve the same high standards.

There was no objection from Julie as to the selected name.

“What does it mean?” she asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t think it means anything, really. It’s just short and snappy and not as common as something like Sam” I explained.

So we arrived home that day with our beautiful puppy and, as he explored his new home, I named him Sym.

As Sym wandered around the house sniffing and, yes, peeing, he was observed by Blossom!

From her vantage point on the back of the sofa, she watched as the interloper sniffed his way around the furniture. The expression on her face was not one of joy!

As Sym disappeared through the door to the hallway, Blossom, already in stealth mode, followed.
She peered after him as his he made his way towards the open back door, her tail swishing this way and that, and there was definitely an air of the hunter about her.

Unexpectedly, Sym turned, just as Blossom made her move to follow him.

He saw her! 

She saw that she had been seen. 

His tail wagged. 

So did hers!

She waited. 

He watched. 

His intention was play. 

Her was murder!

Sym barrelled through the hall on a direct line to Blossom. She did that cat thing and made herself big. Sym yapped his pleasure at having found a friend to play with. Blossom raised a paw and gave Sym such a slap that he rolled sideways and yelped.

Blossom had just established herself as top of the pecking order in this house!

As she strutted away, confident that the interloper now knew his place, Sym cautiously followed.

From that moment on, Sym, although still seemingly desperate to play with her, had a respect for Blossom which would never dwindle!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

It Felt Good!

Just a few days ago ... on one of those rare sunny days that we have ... I was in the park with Clover.

As we strolled, Clover was once again glued to my heels as a woman with two Jack Russell terriers walked towards us.

Her dogs came straight over to Clover for a sniff and to check out the possibility of a spot of play.

"Hector! Lulu!" screamed the woman. "Leave that tatty dog alone! Come here!"

I said nothing ... at first ... but inwardly I seethed! No one calls my dog tatty!

It should be said though that Clover, having spent most of her early life in a cage of one of those crappy puppy farms, isn't as sleek and pretty as a lab might be. She has flecks of grey throughout her coat, a scar on her nose and a saggy stomach due to having given birth to X-amount of pups. She may not be as pretty as a picture to everyone, but she is to me.

We carried on walking as the JRT's returned to their owner.

As we passed, the woman was talking to her dogs.

"We don't play with the ugly dogs, do we!" she said, seemingly unaware that I could hear her.

I snapped ... which is something I never do ... and said immediately "Take a look in the mirror you sad old cow! You're no fu^king oil painting yourself!"

I heard her gasp! She actually gasped!

Clover and I carried on walking.

"Well ... I ... you ... b@stard!" I heard from behind me. She carried on ranting for a few seconds, but I ignored her.

Now, I'm not normally rude to people ... it's in the nature of my job to be polite ... but it felt GOOOOOOOOOD!

It did!

It felt really, really good.

I gave Clove an encouraging pat and we continued our walk.

It was a nice day and we were going to enjoy it!