Diary of Robin, the lhasa apso living with the Newsteads in North Walsham, Norfolk.
Me and Dad have had a man-type of afternoon, watching football on TV. It’s the first time I’ve watched a football match and it was quite interesting, but I was surprised that none of the men chasing after the ball had brought their dogs. Why would anyone bother to chase a ball without a dog? Very peculiar. Back to the footy – there were two teams, one dressed in blue and white and the other in yellow and green. Dad seemed happiest when the yellow and green team were near the blue and white team’s goal, probably because he has a scarf with those colours in the airing cupboard. By the time the blue and white team scored a goal late on in the game I’d become bored with the whole affair and was trying to get some sleep on Dad’s lap, so I didn’t much appreciate the sudden outburst of bad language. And then, just before the man in black blew his whistle, the yellow and green team scored. Dad jumped up and I went flying through the living room air, landing unceremoniously on the rug. Football should definitely be left for dogs.
I’ve been wondering about some of the big questions in life… why am I here, what’s my purpose in life, that sort of thing. And then it happened. I heard footsteps on the gravel drive, getting closer and closer, louder and louder. Then a shadowy figure appeared at the door and put bits of paper through the letter box. Dad jumped out of his seat and said to Mum that The Postman had arrived. The Postman… sounded like one of those evil characters in a horror movie. I rose immediately to my full height, which isn’t much, admittedly. I gave The Postman my scariest growl, and frightened him off straight away. This must be my mission in life - to protect my family against this evil high-viz jacketed elastic band wielding villain.
Some really funny business I don’t understand has been going on. To start with some strange white stuff started falling out of the sky. I barked at it but this didn’t seem to bother the white stuff and after a while it had covered the entire patio. Me and Dad went outside to investigate and Dad said the white stuff was called snow. I like snow. A lot! You can chase around in it, and it turns patio areas skiddy in a really good way. But best of all, Dad was able to scrunch up and handful into a hard white ball.
I decided to take a couple of snow balls inside to play with later; one for the kitchen and another for the lounge. I put one in front of my kitchen basket and the other on the lounge rug, but when I returned to the kitchen there was just a puddle on the floor. However, worse still, back in the lounge someone had stolen my snow ball and done a wee on the rug. I looked all over for the snow ball, even under the rug but it had gone. Very strange happenings indeed.
There’s been even more snow overnight and I’ve had a great time jumping around in it. I’ve even had a brief play with Toby; something that’s unheard of. But it turns out that he’s a snow lover too – this photo of him as a youngster has emerged and I will be trying that move later. The only issue with all this snow was that I couldn’t find any of my normal poop places, so the door mat had to do.
I’m a creature of habit. In the morning at approximately 7.45am (can be as early as 7.44 but never starting later than 7.46) me and Dad like to sit in the lounge. Dad has a cup of coffee and I sit perched up with my front half on the arm of the sofa and my back half on Dad, so I can have an unobstructed view of passing traffic, people and dog walkers, at precisely the perfect barking angle just in case any of them offend me. This happens quite a bit. Occasionally Dad is in the wrong chair at 7.44, and sometimes in the wrong room altogether. When this occurs I politely growl at him. Not in an aggressive way – just a soft growl to let him know it’s time to move into the lounge. He always seems to get the message. My humans are well trained.
Sometimes the level of cruelty I endure from my human companions amazes me. This evening during a game of fetch with my Christmas carrot (one of my favourite toys and, amazingly, still in one piece) Dad threw the carrot but it landed on top of a picture frame. But instead of getting it down for me straight away, Dad decided to take a photo of my own unsuccessful attempts. Nasty man.
I love it when Toby gets himself into trouble. Saves me a job. This afternoon he walked straight across Dad’s laptop keyboard and adjusted an impressive number of Photoshop Lightroom settings. Now Dad’s looking at Youtube videos to find out how to reinstate his old settings!
My favourite house guests have been to stay for the weekend – Tom, Beth and little Alfie, my six month old nephew. I was so excited I did a poo on the patio and sat in it, so that used up some of Alfie’s wet wipes, and a very small section of my poo encrusted tail hair had to be snipped off. With that little problem resolved I spotted an interesting and promising development. Alfie has wheels, and he can now move himself around, so it shouldn’t be too long before we can have a proper game of football.
The postman has returned but this time with back up in the form of another postman, both of them in their evil high-viz yellow jackets, and with one of them carrying a triangular metal sign. Dad said that the men were placing a road closure sign and that everything was fine, but I know a postman when I see one, and these two looked like trouble. So I did some extreme barking. When I get really upset my sternest bark turns into a kind of howl before reverting back to a normal bark – that’s extreme barking, and it’s reserved for particularly tense security related situations. The extreme barking worked and the two postmen left in such a hurry they forgot all about their triangular metal sign. Victory to the Robster!
They forgot to feed me this evening so I had to improvise in order to highlight the problem, bringing my bowl into the living room and giving Dad a hard stare.
Awoke as normal. 7.45 am and Dad was in his coffee drinking place with me in my perching position on the chair arm. That’s when I saw that the offending road sign was still there. I gave it a full ten minute growl. It’s still there. Not happy about this intrusion onto MY pavement one little bit.
There have been some excruciatingly unpleasant smells around the house today of the ‘silent but deadly fart’ type. I am in no way responsible, despite the undeniable fact that the smells have been emanating from my bum. Yesterday I ran out of food, so Dad was dispatched to Sainsbury’s to replenish supplies, but he returned with a cheap offering instead of my usual premium brand. I was happy to devour the cheap dog food in five seconds flat, but my insides were not so happy about the changed menu and have been protesting in a very smelly way ever since.
Dad’s been busy in the garden making some kind of odd looking wooden structure, but he’s been using my brickweave area to assemble it. He will soon learn how much of a bad move this was because I’ve set him a strategically placed poo-trap!
I wasn’t asked to do it, I just did it, so it must be some kind of instinctive thing. Dad was barbecuing and Alfie was inside his garden tent sheltering from the spring sunshine. If you’d have run this scenario past me earlier I’d have said that the succulent pig and chicken based barbecue nibbles would have been my one and only area of interest, but no. There was guard dog business to be done and that’s what I did. Alfie remained fully protected against any security breaches. No such incidents occurred but to be honest I’m not fully convinced that I’d have hung around if anything scary had happened.
Here’s a photo of Toby chilling. No idea why he was so chilled, but for certain it was nothing to do with me because I was stuck behind the gate. If I could have only escaped we would've been able to chill together. After I’d chased him of course, and then we could have had a brotherly pet chill.
Regular readers will have probably been a little sceptical about the idea of me and Toby chilling, but we do on the odd occasion. It’s taken him over a year but Toby has finally accepted me, or at least resigned himself to the fact that I’m here to stay. He loves me really.
I hope you enjoyed my dog blog, and I'll see you next time.