And welcome to mine. It is a bit madcap so I hope you enjoy my witterings about it. I am not going to harp on about who I am – you can make your own mind up about that.
Today I am going to witter about that upcoming festival that is Christmas. We cannot get away from it; so I might as well give in and join in. Hubby and I don’t have children in the traditional sense, but we do have a dog – and like many other dog people, he is our child. This is him – the gorgeous Doofus Ben Dog and he is the only one in our family we buy for.
Of course we will be treating him to the new Pawsecco or some doggy beer that is on the market now. It might actually mean that he won’t try and steal our wine when our backs are turned! This is really important – dogs’ livers do not metabolise alcohol the way we do – it’s really not good for them, so it’s blooming fab that there are doggy (and catty) versions for them now.
Ben is an old man now – 14 and a bit, and one half of a pair of twins I adopted whilst I was living in Spain. We lost his sister, Sophie, last year. To be honest, I really didn’t think either of them would get to the age that they have so I’m immensely proud of this pair of reprobates. They have always been a bit on the wild side. Hunters, not especially other animal friendly and certainly not toy orientated which, at times, made life incredibly awkward. Any plush toys were annihilated within minutes. Finding things to amuse them has always been difficult.
Whilst in Spain, I would walk them in the hills behind the village where I lived but I often came home without the dogs; they just vanished into the hills. They were fast, knew the terrain and would explore. They would cross a gully and I would see them disappear into the depths of the hills, their curly tails bobbing just above the grass and plants as if waving me goodbye. It was their version of ‘up yours, see you later’.
I would worry myself stupid and was often to be seen in the dark with my flashlight at the foot of the hills calling out for them till I was blue in the face, but to no avail. Sophie would come home after an hour or so and Ben would turn up at the back door at about 9pm, looking most pleased with himself but expecting his dinner to be out and his bed all plumped up ready for him to flop onto after his feed. I haven’t got a clue what the pair of them got up to, but I do have a fair idea that it involved chasing rabbits, wild boar (not the brightest of dogs), birds, cats (I know they killed one) and anything else that was alive to start with! I once caught Ben in the garden with a mouse or vole in his mouth. I succeeded in getting him to drop it; only for Sophie to pick it up and run off with it.
When I came back to live in England, walking them became even more interesting. I tried to avoid confrontation with other dogs and to curtail their hunting by walking them at ridiculous o’clock (5am) and letting them run on the beaches around here. Trust me, it was not easy; they had honed their hunting skills in Spain and worked seamlessly as a team, each knowing their role and which body part to go for.
Since losing Sophie, Ben has changed. Both hubby and I thought he would really struggle without Sophie. Of course he misses her; he has no one to clean his ears out now!
He is more laid back but no longer likes being on his own – it was always Sophie who was the twitchy, more needy of the two. But gone are the days when I can be in the bathroom with the door closed. He eats when he wants – Sophie is not there now to eat his food and push him out of the way. He is deaf, possibly due to ear cleaning service I provide compared to Sophie’s – I try, honest I do, but he is not keen on the grooming aspect of his life and there is no way I am doing it the Sophie way; even I have my limits. He also seems to be going a wee bit dotty. I think he, like many of us when we get older, gets up and goes to the kitchen or the back door only to forget what he has gone there for. He comes back into the living room, lies down then remembers what he had meant to do and goes through the whole thing again. Maybe I should be searching for a super sized dog flap! Sound familiar? If Ben had his own set of keys, he would spend half of his time looking for them.
So, we are now trying to keep his ageing mind agile and are on the hunt for a pressie for our boy for Christmas. His body is getting old and he cannot walk as far any more, so his opportunities for getting the stimulation from reading his pee mails is reducing.
Ben does have a couple of Kong toys and this is what we squirt cheesy stuff in – he cannot get enough of it. The green toy itself is simple; Ben can lick the gooey stuff out and then when he knocks it over he can spend ages trying to get it right side up again. Great for his co-ordination! You can see a video of him playing with it here: https://youtu.be/CCUGBZkZ0Yk
As the option of buying a live cat, mouse, or rabbit for the sole purpose of Ben’s entertainment (hunting) is ludicrous, there is the need to explore the interactive toys that are out there. There seem to be a good few but obviously for the Doofus Ben Dog they need to be food orientated; a ball chucking device just will not cut it. This means lots of investigation and hopefully a good bit of shopping ont interweb (no going in shops for me).
I’ve already found a couple – cannot decide which will suit the Ben Dog the best… that might mean he gets the lot!
Of course, as with all children, supervision is necessary when dogs are playing with their toys. Don’t leave them alone in case they swallow any of the smaller parts.
Next time if you’re lucky, and you have not already seen it, I’ll show you some doggy toe porn!
Until next time.
The Blogwoppit xx