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  • Writer's pictureJohn Newstead

Robin's Dog Blog - Part 17

ROBIN’s dog-blog

Diary of a lhasa apso – Part 17

It’s been a long while since Part 16 of Robin’s Dog Blog, so I thought we’d have a bit of a recap. I’m Robin, a three year old lhasa apso. That’s a small bouncy dog of varying hairiness, depending on where you find me in between my six-weekly visits to the groomer. I’m fairly typical of my breed in that I spend most of my time asleep and the rest of it either dashing around like some sort of nutcase, stealing things that don’t belong to me, or being in the biggest snot you could ever imagine a small dog getting into; the latter state usually occurring because someone has walked past my house, or some other equally outrageous happening.

I live in the Norfolk market town of North Walsham with my human mum and dad, my cat brother, Toby and large assortment of toys, including my long term love toy, Mrs Bunny (author’s note – Robin doesn’t know this, but the current Mrs Bunny is not the original – see Part 13. She sadly expired to the wheelie bin when she fell to bits after a frenzied love making session on the kitchen floor. Mrs Bunny 2 is alive and well, but Mrs Bunny 3 has already been purchased just in case Tesco’s stop selling them.)

So, introductions over with, it’s on with the blog!

Firstly I would like to ask if anyone’s interested in being my secretary because I’ve decided to give Dad the sack. It’s quite simple – I just give you dogtation, you type everything up and pop it on the web site. Easy. Or so you would think, but just look how much time has passed since my last dog blog! Dad say’s he’s been busy with work and stuff, but this just isn’t good enough, so he has to go.

So, what I’m trying to say is that here we are in April 2020 and this blog starts just after Christmas 2018!

This morning it was still quite dark outside when I sat in my usual observation spot on the arm of the chair next to the Christmas tree. I did some growling at a semi transparent dog in the window, who was also sat next to a Christmas Tree. He appeared to be making growling style movements back at me. Most peculiar. Dad said he was called Reflection, which is a very odd name for a dog.

I’ve been a country dog about town today, enjoying a brisk stroll along Cromer seafront, looking resplendent in my smoking jacket.

Today me and my little human nephew, Alfie, have been learning about dinosaurs. I don’t like the sound of the one called Tyrone O’Saurus.

If you were lucky enough to own a stunningly gorgeous mega-cute dog like me, would you bother taking photos of a mangey 13 year old cat. No. So, you can imagine my disgust when this afternoon Dad decided to pursue my cat brother Toby around the garden with his camera. I’d even had a shower earlier in the day, so was looking pristine as well as amazingly cute, but I was ignored.

Today is New Year’s Day which means it’s time for my new year’s dogalutions. I have two:

1) Be more tolerant of dog walkers that stray too close to my house (i.e. walk past the gate)

2) Stop stealing stuff that doesn’t belong to me.

New Year’s dogalution update:

1) 8.05am Barked at a woman with two dogs. I wasn’t prepared for this eventuality so early in the year.

2) 11.50am. Found a stick in the garage. Took it indoors and chewed it up to make several smaller sticks – one for the lounge, several scattered about the dining room, and some really small bits for the kitchen that’ll take some finding. Please note that I found this stick – I still haven’t stolen anything.

3) 9pm. Oh poo. I’ve stolen a crisp. Dad said that I wouldn’t take a crisp from his kneecap unless it was offered to me, and Mum said “yeah right.” She was correct and the crisp was delicious.

We’ve gone on holiday to Center Parcs, which means a week of squirrel chasing fun for me, and I certainly hope to improve on last year’s score of Squirrels 136, Robin 0.

Day 1: Loads of squirrels about, but I’m stuck behind a glass slidey door thing that’s shut. Very frustrating.

Day 2: Not having much luck outside either. It's hard to chase squirrels when you're constantly restricted by being on a lead, but that doesn't stop me trying.

Day 3: Woah. What the F.. That’s the biggest flippin dog I’ve ever seen in my life! Dad say’s it’s deer and I should think so too. I cost several hundred pounds, but that thing must have run into the thousands.

Yes, got one! This is an actual squirrel and not a toy. Yes, it looks a bit like my squeaky squirrel but its real and I caught it all by myself.

Don’t mention this to anyone but me and my cat bro Toby are running an illegal mouse racket. It works like this. Toby kidnaps a mouse and brings it home, beats it up a bit and then we send a ransom note demanding fish flavoured treats. Only we’ve not yet managed to get as far as the last bit because Toby’s beating up methods are a tad heavy pawed and so far all of our kidnapped mice have tragically died while being beaten up a bit. It’s been left to me to stash the bodies inside the house when no one’s looking. These attempts usually fail at the outset because I’m spotted looking guilty as hell with a mouse tail hanging out of my mouth. However, this morning I found one of Toby’s killings from a few days back that I must have missed. No one was around so I sneaked it inside. It was the worst thing I’ve ever tasted, apart from a pea I found on the carpet last Christmas, so I just dropped it underneath the dining room table and went out for the day with Mum and Dad. But when we returned home Mum declare that something didn’t smell right in the dining room. Eventually the mouse was found and Toby got the blame. Ha!

I've said it before and I'll say it again because Mum just doesn't get this. I like my toys to smell just right, especially Mrs Bunny. So why does she keep putting them in the washing machine? They come out of there smelling horribly clean. yuck!

This afternoon I've been running through the dog exercise enclosure in the park near our house. Super speedy, that's me! That's Mum in the background holding a poo bag.

I usually consume my breakfast very quickly just in case someone takes it away. Not that anyone has ever done that, but you never know. This morning I inhaled my breakfast at usual high speed, and then shortly afterwards sicked it up all over the lounge carpet. By the time Mum had returned with a selection of cleaning products I’d re-eaten it. That’s Robin-recycling for you, and my regurgitated breakfast didn’t taste too bad either. Much nicer than Toby’s dead mouse .

Dad’s spent much of his spare time this summer making a large kennel for me in the garden. At least that's what I thought it was to start with, despite its proportions which seemed a little on the large size for a small dog. But then it grew a top floor and all became clear. Dad has built me a castle, and it’s been named after my little human nephew, Alfie. Alfie’s Castle (it’s not Alfie’s castle, it’s mine – just named after Alfie OK!) has a ground floor room with a window and door, and an outside staircase leading up to an open topped first floor, with castellated walls and a little platform to one side with a slide. I’m not sure the slide was really necessary but I suppose Alfie might like it when he comes to play. Here’s a slide show of my castle’s construction.

Great news – another small person has arrived, just like my little mate Alfie did a couple of years ago. This one’s a girl small person and she’s called Evie. I’ve been allowed to give Evie a quick sniff and we’re definitely going to be good mates, even though I know she won’t be able to play football for quite a while.

Me and my best mate, Bruno, are proper doggie-bezzies. We get on well nearly all the time, but there is one personal canine trait that Bruno needs to address – an unwillingness to share his toys. Sharing is important, unless I’m being asked to share, in which case forget it. This sets the scene for today’s escalating situation involving Bruno’s cuddly donut. It’s virtually identical to my own cuddly donut, with the same squeaky bit, only it’s pink in colour. Bruno was playing nicely with his toy when I stealthily nicked it and ran off. Bruno unreasonably stole it back again and then it all got rather heated. Dad soon got involved and threw the donut to the other end of the lawn, where we both gave chase at full speed. I’m the speediest, but Bruno is a fair bit heftier than me, so my donut seizing victory was short lived, ending with what I can only describe as a rugby tackle. Bruno pretended unconvincingly that he didn’t have the donut, and then in a final act of selfishness he decided to bury it for retrieval later. That didn’t work, and the donut ended up looking even more like my own brown one, albeit a great deal crunchier.

There's one thing that's starting to concern me. My little human nephew Alfie isn't dropping quite as much food these days. However, he's still the most likely person to do so, and therefore I position myself optimistically each time he's eating something just in any crisps go overboard.

Dad seems to be getting extremely overcrowded these days. This afternoon I had to share him with Bruno, Alfie and Evie and it was a tight squeeze I can tell you. I think we need to get some kind of booking facility in place, otherwise I will be forced to give him a bad review on Trip Advisor.

Our kitchen has been invaded by a strange looking eight legged creature called a spider. It looked harmless enough to me but must have been dangerous because Mum started yelling at Dad from the high ground of a dining room chair and soon the offending monster was trapped under one of Dad's beer classes while he looked for a sheet of paper to slide underneath. All this fuss about an insect. To say the least, I was very confused.

Things are not right. All my humans are upset and I don’t know what I can do to make things better. My human brother Tom, who normally lives far away with Bruno, now lives with us. It’s great that he’s here, but I can tell he’s not happy, so I sit with him at evening time because that seems like the right thing to do.

I’ve not seen Bruno for a while now and my humans are still upset. Why can’t they just be like me and Bruno – when we have a falling out we just nip each other for a bit, go off to sulk for half an hour and then everything’s fine. I wonder if I will ever see Bruno again.

It's Monday. I can never get the hang of Mondays.

After months of painstaking practice, I have finally perfected my masterpiece; something that will undoubtedly be regarded by future generations as the eighth wonder of the world. The leaning tower of poo!

Me just chillin' like

In December Mum sends Dad into the loft and sometime later, after he's crashed around and said some bad words, he'll return with bag fulls of sparkly things. Mum then spends the rest of the afternoon arranging these sparkly things on a tree, and I amuse myself stealing baubles when she's not looking.

It's Christmas Day and that means I get to open everyone's presents, in the secure knowledge that at least one of them will be for me. I'm delighted with my new squeaky Father Christmas - I'll be able to annoy everyone for months with that!

For Christmas Dad got Mum a hand drawn picture of me! My very own portrait, and it’s fab. Is it really possible that any dog could be this gorgeous! Apparently so.

It's by Teresa Stanniforth - check out her work here:

I love a walk in the woods, especially when it's a bit wet. But why is Alfie allowed to jump up and down in muddy puddles AND have a stick? I wanted that stick badly, but Alfie took it all the way back to our house. I saw where he stashed it, so I'll have a chew on it later.

Dad's been laying down on the settee watching reruns of one of his favourite BBC shows, Ashes to Ashes on his iPad. I didn't think this was much fun, so decided that he should play ball with me instead. I parked myself on his lap and gave him a hard stare. We played ball.

My human brother, Tom has got a new friend. Her name is Tam and I like her a lot. At least I did from our second meeting onwards, and this is quite unusual because it normally takes me much longer than that to like someone. We have lots of cuddles together and she has an excellent ‘behind the ear scratching’ technique that I find particularly enjoyable!

I love to run up and down our stairs but first thing in the morning Dad carries me down. That's the way things have always been and therefore that's the way things have to be. This morning Dad left me upstairs so I waited to be collected. I'm a dog of habit.

Over the past new days I’ve noticed that all my humans have been watching a yellow-haired man on the television called Boris. Personally I prefer wildlife programmes and shows with balls like football and snooker. I can’t understand much of what Boris says but on Monday evening he definitely said ‘stay’, and this is something I can do, as long as the person saying ‘stay’ has a treat. Boris didn’t have a treat, but ever since he said ‘stay’ all my humans have stayed at home, and this is great. I like Boris.

It’s Thursday and my humans have been staying at home for three whole days now. Mum has been writing lists and Dad has had a paint brush or a drill in his hand for most of the time. The garden has never looked this good. One of his early jobs was to ‘Robin proof’ the bottom of the garden so I can’t escape through gaps in the hedge, and this work has now been completed meaning that I now have full unrestricted access to the whole back garden. And I’m loving it!

It’s Friday and my humans are still at home. Dad's been painting the decking but there seems to have been some sort of incident. I didn't see what happened but there are paw prints on the fresh paint. Must have been Toby. Yeah that's what happened.

Well that's it for this time. I hope you enjoyed reading my ramblings and if you did there are plenty more of them on the blog section of Dad's website. This was supposed to be about sensible things like photography and property-related stuff, but its nearly all about me! If you've not read Robin's dog blog before you could always start at the beginning, when I was a puppy in Part 1.

But in the mean time please do as Boris says and Stay.

Be safe and I'll see you soon.

Love Robin xxx

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