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  • John Newstead

Robin's dog blog - part 16

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

Diary of Robin, the lhasa apso, living with the Newsteads in Norfolk.

Opportunity awaits those who sit under tables. That’s my motto, and today my patience was rewarded. Mum was enjoying cheese and crackers for lunch and I was in my usual spot ready to intercept any dropped crumbs. But then Mum dropped something… not a crumb, and not even a small corner of cracker, but an entire cracker complete with cheese. I’ve never tried cheese before because officially dogs don’t eat the stuff. At least that’s what I’ve been told, but I had absolutely no trouble consuming the entire cracker, cheese and all, well before the 1.2 seconds it took Mum to react to the situation. By the time Dad had switched on his mobile phone camera only a few crumbs remained. Dogs like cheese and that’s official!

While I’m on the subject of people dropping things, It’s worth pointing out that you need to analyse your humans really carefully because the food drop-rate varies significantly from human to human. Mum hardly drops a thing, so I was unprepared for the cracker incident and had to react fast. Dad, on the other hand drops stuff all the time, so when my people parents are eating, I’m on Dad’s side of the table just in case. However there’s one person who drops food around brilliantly, so whenever my little human nephew, Alfie, is eating I’m there, poised like a second slip at The Oval.

It’s a crime against dogmanity. My human parents have started eating dog treats… In front of me…. And not giving me any! They claim to be eating chocolate covered raisins, but these look like dog treats to me. Same colour, size and everything. I’ve even tried to attract their attention with some penguin style side to side swaying, but all to no avail.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that food is the only thing on my mind, and you’d be largely correct unless you are a pea farmer. I don’t like peas. I will eat absolutely any other item of food stuff, and plenty of things that aren’t strictly speaking food items, but are pleasantly chewy nonetheless. But not peas. Peas are horrible. I hate peas.

Dad often leaves the house, returning about half an hour later with an orange bag full of goodies. On occasions there’s something for me. A dog chew, sometimes a new toy but much of the time nothing at all. I’ve decided that the ‘nothing in the bag for Robin’ situation is unacceptable, so now whenever Dad appears with an orange bag I sit excitedly, with the cutest wide eyed look ever and a waggly tail. This approach seems to be working, because the hit rate is definitely improving.

Stunned, shocked, confused. I’m all of those things and more at the moment. My relationship with Mrs Bunny doesn’t seem as blissful as I had thought following this shocking and devastating revelation in a recent photo. I think she’s having an affair with my cat brother, Toby. Just look at them. You don’t have to ask what’s been going on there do you?

I’ve not been well recently, which makes the situation with Mrs Bunny and T… (I can’t even speak it’s name) all the harder to take. After a brilliant day running around chasing and being chased by my best mate Bruno, I had a funny feeling in my ear. The next day I wandered about the house with my head titled to the right staring pitifully at anyone who looked like they might care. So Dad decided that the best course of action was to take me to the vets and I decided that wasn’t such a great idea. So after they'd caught me I was forced to return to the place where a bloke in a green coat stole my nuts last year (see part 10)

Unfortunately I have an ear infection, which isn’t a very pleasant thing to have. The vet prescribed antibiotics in the form of tablets, and Mum & Dad administer them by secretly burying the tablets inside small chunks of sausage. They think I’m stupid, but I can see what’s going on, and I’m not happy. I don’t care about the tablet – I’ll eat anything. It’s the fact that Dad gets to eat most of a sausage roll and I just get a teeny tablet disguising sized piece. Day 2 and I sussed out how to get more sausage. Lightly chewing the sausage chunk removes the tablet, which can be spat onto the floor and then reinserted into a slightly larger chunk of sausage. Two bits of sausage for the price of one. Happy days! Day 3 and Toby was on the scene. Once I’d swallowed the tablet at the second attempt, Dad gave Toby a small sausage chunk, which he promptly dropped. You can guess what happened. Yep, three chunks for the Robster! Dad got no sausage for himself on Day 3 – he gave his bit to Toby.

Feeling much more perky, with a couple of days peskiness to catch up on. So far this morning I’ve stolen a Yorkie bar wrapper, barked at the postman, chased Toby, licked Mum’s face when she was snoozing, but most importantly I decided to for forgive Mrs Bunny for her misdemeanour so I could give her a damn good frenzied pummelling. I’m back!

My usual travelling arrangements are a little restrictive with in car movement limited to the interior space of a small cage. I never complain and usually just go to sleep, but this sort of treatment hardly befits a creature of my high level canine status. However, things are changing now that I have my own personal chauffeur in the shape of Alfie, his Little Tikes car and my very own red trailer. So far our excursions have been limited to the patio, and I’m not altogether convinced that longer journeys to Sainsbury’s and the groomers will be particularly comfortable, but at least this feels like a more suitable method of carriage.

I have the stupidest cat brother imaginable. Some metal rabbits have been installed at the bottom of the garden. Metal rabbits. Clearly not real rabbits. But Toby's decided to stalk them just in case. Cats are so stupid.

I’ve been unfairly accused of damaging a flower. There is absolutely no evidence in support of this claim whatsoever. Apart from this photo. I could be going down for this!

Whoever coined the phrase ‘you live and learn’ probably got a face full of piss. Me and Bruno we’re heading for the beach whilst on a short seaside break when Bruno suddenly cocked one of his back legs in the air. I jumped in for a quick willy sniff, as you do. You live and learn.

And then he photobombed Dad's photo of me!

Dad came in to MY room, which they incorrectly call the dining room, and sat down in one of my chairs. Toby then popped in and large as life jumped on Dad and promptly curled up on his lap. That was well out of order in my book. I initially observed with my very starkest horrified look, before jumping up to investigate fully. I had a sniff of Toby, which would normally have made him move pretty sharpish, but he was having none of it. Eventually after some agitated pacing I retired to the far end of the couch and stared my sternest stare before ignoring them both completely.

Great news! Alfie can walk all by himself. At least I assume that's great news because everyone seems happy, especially Alfie, who's very pleased with himself indeed. However, for now at least I am regarding the situation cautiously and keeping myself safely perched out of reach, but I'm secretly looking forward to the day we can finally have a good kick about together.

A few months back Mum came up with the idea of a porch on the back of our house. Dad was particularly busy with work so she dealt with everything, including the design and sizing. The supplier of the porch told Mum that it wouldn’t add a great deal to the price if the panels were a little larger, so she enlarged them. A bit. Quite a bit, actually. The resulting porch is large enough to accommodate the two adults, small dog (me) and coat/shoe cupboard it was intended to house, plus two bonus chairs and a small table. Thus, I feel that Mum may well have created something future generations will look back upon as the key domestic architectural innovation of the 21st century. Boys and girls, I give you…. The Porchervatory!

Christmas is approaching, and with it all the same decorations as last year, including the Christmas Robin that can’t be called Robin coz that’s my name. But there’s an additional, far more sinister arrival in the shape of an elf. I don’t trust him one bit. I've sniffed him and he definitely smells like trouble.

Hmm. That elf is definitely trouble. Found him this morning with one of my favourite toys – last year’s Christmas carrot, which is ever so slightly past it’s best. Hopefully I’ll get a new one soon. Dad took the elf away before I could give him a serious chewing.

Right, this elf nonsense is getting out of hand. This is what I found this morning. If it turns out that he's eaten my breakfast he will be breakfast!

Now that is hilarious - look what the Elf's done in Mum's porridge. I'm liking his sense of humour!

That’s it – the elf is going to get it big time. Mess with Mrs Bunny and you mess with the Robster. Not even the National Elf Service will be able to help him now!

Today is my birthday. I am 2!

Happy birthday to me!

So that's it for this time. Happy Christmas everyone, and I'll see you again next year!

Love from Robin.

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