Tuesday, 4 August 2020


RIP Bert 20.09.2011 – 03.08.2020 The Boss and the Mrs thank you for all your support for Bert over his eight years. He loved people. He died peacefully in his garden. His diagnosis was hemangiosarcoma attached to his spleen, it had metastasised and nothing could save him, mercifully for him his illness was short. He will be greatly missed, not only here but also in France.

Monday, 13 July 2020

JULY 2020

I haven’t been feeling myself lately, licking and scratching yes but not feeling. Had several visits to the white coated brigade who were masked and gowned and very kind. The Boss and the Mrs left me in their care for a few days and I woke up with a shaved belly, lots of staples and a fair few bits of me missing. I did get away with not wearing a mask but I was given a clear plastic face shield which prevented the Mrs and the Boss from giving me my usual head pats and ear tickles so I am afraid it was jettisoned after an initial trial and I was constantly told not to lick my poor bare belly or the shield would have to be reinstated…a great motivation to behave as I love all the attention I am getting at the moment.

Things were going swimmingly until a phone call giving my prog nose is, which in fact was nothing to do with my nose at all, but turned out to be all about my expectation of life. The Boss and the Mrs have not shared this with me but kept this information to themselves, however I detect an underlying difference in their manner, a sadness of eye and braveness of face. I myself have realised I am not as well as I used to be. I seek constant reassurance and have had to take lots of pills and sleep a lot more than any dog of 8 years should do but on the bright side I have been allowed many more strokes, pats and treats than normal and the pills come with honey and biscuits.

Life is continuing much as it was with trips to the shoot to mooch about with the Boss and walks with the Mrs to visit far flung venues where I have to amuse myself while she gazes at the view and attempts a fair replica on paper despite me sitting smack in the middle of the composition or acting bored and wanting to go walking. However I am not a daft dog and I know I am on borrowed time. I wonder if I should bid you farewell now or see if I can still pen this blog for the next edition….. enjoy your life, you never know what is round the corner unless of course you are a dog with a nose like mine and can smell it.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

JUNE 2020

I am not sure if this is really necessary but the Boss and Mrs are wearing their masks so I thought I should follow suit. It does hamper the old nozzle a bit and I can't really bark very well without it getting all tangled up with my teeth and ending up a soggy mess. Perfumes are really muted and it certainly puts a damper on getting to know the ladies as I can't really tell if they are ladies or not without a jolly good snifter. The Mrs thinks I look quite well, the Boss said it was a waste, the Mrs said it was all doggerel and the boss just pulled a face...…..I quite like the anonymity of it - I could be the Lone Barker!
Life in lockdown has resulted in much more attention for me so I am not really complaining but on two occasions I felt really under the weather and the Mrs was worried and rushed me straight to the guys in the white coats for a once over. After being reassured that dogs are not prone to the illness that has kept us here in France for much longer than planned, I was subjected to an injection and some tablets and felt as right as rain again but rain seems to have done a bunk and the sun has taken over now. The heat makes me puff but I rest a lot and not going out means I don’t have to be wear the disguise which is a bonus, although apparently I am really the only one allowed out without a certificate, the Boss and the Mrs have to produce one every time they leave the house. This is for the gendarmes to check they are obeying the rules and not straying too far which is strange for it is usually us dogs that get it in the neck for straying too far.

Meanwhile back on the farm we only wear masks if we leave the homestead and as the Mrs is the only one to shop it is she who leaves looking like the Lone Ranger every so often while the Boss stays with me and awaits her return - us elderlies get to stick together and we never stray!

Hope you are all masked, locked down and safe in your own homes.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

MAY 2020

The Mrs thinks I am going deaf….. she was wondering if there were hearing aids for dogs when the Boss offered his. I hastily backed away and said no thanks....it’s bad enough when she wants me to do something and I don’t quite catch the drift, it could be deadly for him! Mind you sometimes an enticing smell that just needs to be sniffed can produce complete encompassing deafness on my part no matter who is calling. I have noticed occasionally when the Mrs calls a request to the Boss that he too has this same affliction. We are not so unalike!

Just to check my faculties completely she persuaded me to try her glasses which I can say produced a completely different picture of the world. I don't know how she can wear them, the underwater effect of everything going swimmy made me wander off and check out the nearest plant to see if it needed watering…. This produced another hearing check when her request to “stop that” reached me fairly loudly. I returned to her side instantly being the obedient dog that I am. Luckily my training was complimented with hand signals so even if I don’t always catch what she is saying I can usually understand her ….something she insists the Boss needs to work on.

Disconcertingly the world has suddenly turned quieter and I seem to be getting their undivided attention whereas before I had to share it with all and sundry. We are now alone together and receive no visitors. I am told we are experiencing difficult times and there is a dangerous virus about. We still go for walks but precautions are being taken. I keep my eyes alert for any danger but the Boss and Mrs have assured me that this quiet is worldwide and nothing to do with my ears. I hope you are keeping safe too.

Friday, 3 April 2020

APRIL 2020

Rain, rain and more rain.  An oversea trip to stay in my chic chien shack has not improved the weather, the rain continues to fall.   Luckily my luxurious fur coat is fairly shower proof as it has been severely tested recently.  The Mrs is almost unrecognisable in her wet weather gear with only a ghostly face visible inside her hood.  Her hibernation instinct has come to the fore and the Boss has a devil of a job extricating her from the house.  I have more success persuading her to come for walkies to the lake where she can fossick about clearing debris from the spillways and streams and ensuring water flows in the direction it should.  When she gets too enthusiastic it usually ends in disaster.... wet knees, wet feet or falling flat on her back hauling branches out of the water.  Once out in the wet weather nothing seems to deter her from getting wetter or muddier and for once she and I see eye to eye, especially when she has fallen over and I can give her face a good cleaning off while she is laying there recovering!  However she is not as enamoured with my cleaning method as I am and usually belts out a loud "get offfff" when I try to help.  I also give invaluable help with removing the broken branches from the water but my stacking system is not up to scratch yet.  When the branches are log size the Boss gets busy with his noisy cutting machine and I have to stand well back until they are reduced to bite size, even then I sometimes have trouble hauling them into place.  The Mrs helps and eventually we load it all on the trailer and take it back to the barn for stacking in the dry.  By this time we are all dog tired, my coat is usually quite wet and I seem to be covered in sawdust and mud in equal measures.  The Boss and the Mrs usually fair a bit better and can shed their wet gear before entering their domain but bath time for me looms in the future...... I can feel it in the air and in the eyes of the Mrs as she regards me with that look which bodes ill for dirty dogs.  It's out with the perfumed shampoo and hairdryer......I can feel a woofter moment coming on.  This constant rain brings out my natural perfume but the Mrs feels she can improve on that with her bottles and potions so I comply just to keep the peace......roll on summer!

Monday, 2 March 2020

MARCH 2020

I have heard it is customary to bring a rose to your loved ones on a certain date last month.  Strictly speaking these were already given but I thought it a nice gesture to bring one to the Mrs to show how much I appreciate her.  The fact that I had to select it from the already carefully arranged vase without her noticing and get the Boss to clear up the resulting mess was immaterial to the thought I put into it.   She seemed really impressed with me but rather less so with the Boss as apparently he had not remembered himself, the colour was wrong and he was rubbish at flower arranging!   There is just no pleasing some women!  I thought it was red……but she loves me anyway!

Friday, 14 February 2020


Well Christmas is over, shooting is over and I have been bathed within an inch of my life.  Thankfully the tree has been removed from the house so I can relax and not worry about inadvertently lifting my leg as I pass I know its banned indoors but the natural reaction always remains and I have to concentrate on tamping down my natural urges.  I dont want to blot my previously clean record of behaviour indoors as I want to continue being invited in to spend the evening on my cushion in the company of the Boss and the Mrs as they watch TV.  I understand that none of my predecessors had this privilege and lived in kennels in the garden, never to step paw inside the two legged abode.  I am very proud to be the first and have learnt to keep still and quiet so the Boss and Mrs hardly know I am here.
The only time I forget myself is after they have finished eating Even though I have tried really hard I cannot stop myself from getting up to see if they have left anything on their plates which I could finish for them.   The Boss, bless him, tries really hard to eat everything but every so often they have a difference of culinary opinion.  He says the Mrs has had a disaster and I get to benefit from what he considers to be inedible, although I note the Mrs has eaten all of hers!  She never comments after she has scraped his leftovers into my dish but rushes to purloin the flicker to change the TV from sport to one of her who done it investigations which neither the Boss nor I can make head nor waggy tail of.  Occasionally during dinner the Boss comments that the Mrs has excelled herself and then I know there will be nothing left on the plates for me and the Mrs will be content to allow sport to remain on the TV.  Despite the culinary excellence I much prefer ball games to investigations even though it means no leftovers for me!