Confessions of a wannabe Great Dane

Bright, bubbly & bonkers!

Social netbarking for pups — July 2, 2019

Social netbarking for pups

When, as a tiny pup, I arrived in my new home, I immediately became familiar with social netbarking since my big Sis Kizzy had had her own Twoofer account for some years. She had built up a following of good friends on there and was reluctant to have an annoying little Pupstart like me muscling in and spoiling things. Of course, I thought that was very unfair as I was quite a sociable pup and ready to play with anyone, so my Human Beans said that as long as I was good, I could have my own account.

I first stepped into Twoofworld (as it’s popularly known – our very own parallel universe) in January 2014 as Jemima114 and was made very welcome by many of Kizzy’s friends, indeed some of them are my very best friends today.  I must admit I found it a bit scary at first as there were dogs of all shapes & sizes and I was very little, but I soon realised that there are no nasty dogs in Twoofworld and they all just wanted to play and exchange tips on training their Humans. Before long I was posting all my adventures for everyone to read, and enjoying sharing theirs.

Of course, Twoofer is not the only social netbarking site. There is Instawoof & Facebark too, but they seemed a bit grown up and boring to a trendy little pup like me, so I leave them to the Humans (who are good at doing ‘boring’).

In this day and age, it is important to be computer literate, and that includes sending and reading peemail since that is one of the most important forms of communication in our society. You do have to be careful though not to believe everything you read. I remember Kizzy being very excited when she got a peemail from a very handsome hound with the local hunt. He told her that it was love at first sight, and because he was rich he could take her on exciting adventures and buy her lots of exotic noms, so she replied pledging her undying love – she even remembered to do a smell check to avoid embarrassing mistakes. We all warned her that he might be a wolf in hound’s clothing, but she wouldn’t listen. Sadly, despite insisting on visiting that area numerous times, she never received a reply, and promptly had a fit of the vapours before going into a decline for all of about twenty minutes.

I really can’t imagine life without my Twoofer account now. I have lovely friends, both Canine & Human, from all over the world. I have seen and read about things I could never have imagined and had experiences beyond my wildest dreams, like this wonderful pool pawty for a pal’s birthday. We even had a flypast from a famous aerobatic team – The Red Sparrows I think they were called (you can just see them in the distance).

The only downside is that it can be very sad at times, when an old friend is ill and has to leave for Rainbow Bridge, but every one of them lives on in my memory and imagine the pawties we’ll have in years to come.

Quite apart from all that, what on earth would Has Bean (a.k.a Mum) do with her time if she didn’t have to type all my twoofs. I fear she may get into mischief so I think I shall have to keep her fully occupied for the foreseeable future. Brace yourselves friends – you’ll have to put up with me for a long time to come, Dog willing.

 

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My story…. — June 30, 2017

My story….

Some of my friends from Twitter already know this, but I wanted to share it with everyone – I was born on a puppy farm in Essex.

I’ll start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). In January 2014 my Human Beans decided they wanted to get a companion for Kizzy, who was then 13, as they thought it would rejuvenate her and that she would help to train the pup by sharing her wisdom. They wanted ‘a portable model’ which would be suitable as they get (even) older, so decided on a small crossbreed. They were also keen to have a puppy, rather than an older rescue dog (as Kizzy had been), as they felt, being both 70+, that  it was their last chance to be puppy parents. Unfortunately there is no reputable breeder network for crossbreeds, so it is difficult to know where to start….when it comes down to it, unless you happen to know someone who has puppies available, it relies on careful searching on the internet.

They did, they thought, all the right things. They Googled the phone number given to make sure it didn’t crop up multiple times. They didn’t say which ad they were referring to but just to “your ad on………” (if he’d admitted to having more than one ad, they would have run a mile). They even copied chunks of the ad’s text & Googled it to see if the ad was ‘copy & paste’. They asked if they could see the Mum and were told they could.  It all seemed fine. What they now know, however, is that these people use cheap or free SIM cards so they can keep changing phone numbers, and that the ‘Mum’ you see isn’t necessarily related to the puppies you’re looking at.

img_1014They went to a house on the East London/Essex border and were shown me, my Brother & Sister and ‘Mum’, and we all looked clean & well cared for. We were in a playpen in what appeared to be a family living room – the TV was on and there were two small children there. My Beans were at first interested in my tri-colour Sister, but I fixed them with ‘the look’ and got their attention.  They collected me a couple of days later.

When they looked at my vaccination certificate, they noticed that I had been vaccinated at a vet about 15-20 miles from where I was bought and much nearer my present home, which seemed odd. However, this week we met another Cavachon with his Humans and got talking & comparing notes, as you do, only to find that he was born in November 2013 like me, but bought from a pet shop half a mile from that same vets…….almost certainly my Brother! We have the theory that the puppies were vaccinated there as it was conveniently on the pet shop delivery run. The pet shop in question seems to have a regular supply of Cavachons, Cockerpoos, Puggles etc…..the plot thickens!img_0181

I’m delighted to say that the people who ran this evil puppy farm business were caught by the Police a year or two back, and my Beans shared all the information they had to help with the prosecution. That makes them feel a little better about the whole thing as they feel awful and embarrassed that, despite being so careful, they still got caught out.

Of course, this whole thing has turned out brilliantly for me. I now have a loving home and a Mum & Dad who are putty in my paws. Luckily, I was fairly healthy but my Beans always wonder if some of my fears and foibles are related to my bad start in life. We shall never know, and they tell me that they have absolutely NO regrets as they ended up with the cutest, most wonderful, well behaved……oh, apparently I’m not allowed to put that last bit. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all.

Reflections of an ageing Supermodel — March 26, 2017

Reflections of an ageing Supermodel

IMG_3888Having had my third birthday at the end of last year, I got to thinking that my career as a glamorous young moDEL could start to wane – after all my superstar looks won’t last forever. That set me wondering what else I could turn my paw to.  I considered the obvious options like re-training as an assistance or PAT dog, but that seemed far too much like hard work.  Surely there must be something I could do which would keep me in treats without being too taxing?

Quite out of the blue, someone remarked that I’m quite good at impressions & that setF40F5B4A-2FDD-42C5-AAA7-85F8DADB940C me thinking. Perhaps if I work at it I can make a career of it. My first effort was ‘Meerkat’, which seemed to go quite well, then, inspired by seeing a Chameleon on TV, I decided to go for something a bit different. Ladies & Gentlefurs, I give you ‘Hearthrug’ & ‘Blanket’

Dolphin requires a little more work, but involves getting wet (not my favourite pastime) so may take a while. The same problem applies to Floor Mop. Greyhound, however, is coming on nicely and has the bonus that, if practised on-lead, means I can tie the Beans into a nice neat little package. I’m also working on Plane but the requirement for the correct weather conditions limits my practise time. My most recent project is Human Bean – I’m quite pleased with that one.

I’m not sure whether this will prove to be a life-changing talent, but I’m prepared to give it a go if it keeps me in the manner to which I intend to become accustomed.

Watch this space for more additions to my portfolio!

 

2016 – Posings, peerings, pots & parcels — January 1, 2017

2016 – Posings, peerings, pots & parcels

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Centre: Selfie with my Human Bean

Clockwise from top left:

  • Is that a treat I see before me?  (Lee Valley Park)
  • My very own ice cream (Hunstanton)
  • I’m a MOdel you know (A studio, somewhere posh)
  • Meerkat impression (Brancaster)
  • Xmas goodies (Home)
  • A walk you said? (Waltham Abbey)
  • Chocks away, rotate, lift off (Burnham-on-Crouch)
  • Mud, glorious mud (Walton-on-the-Naze)

 

Musings on New Year and all that… —

Musings on New Year and all that…

I’ve just had my 4th Christmas and New Year, although it would be fair to say that I don’t remember much about the first one as I was only about 5 weeks old.

It seems to me that the festive season is just another excuse for those daft Humans to run round like headless chickens without actually achieving anything. They spend ages decorating the house with bits of paper and coloured sparkly things, only to decide a few weeks later that they don’t like them after all, and take them all down again. Some humans bring a whole tree into the house, having spent all year forbidding the resident Fur to bring in so much as a twig. How unfair is that! Then there’s the vexed question of presents. They spend hours wrestling with fancy paper & sticky tape, only for the recipient to rip it all apart without even looking at it.  What’s wrong with newspaper & string – suits me well enough! I tell you, it’s all a complete mystery to me.

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Appawrently, it’s the done thing to make ‘resolutions’ at New Year, so I thought I should show willing and make a few:-

1) I will memorise the exact location of that perfect blade of grass for weeing on. It has to be better than spending hours on the scratch & sniff technique, especially when it’s 3am and freezing.

2) I will find out ‘who’s a good girl’ and persuade her to do something really naughty.

3) When I’m reading the post on a walk, I’ll store the peemail addresses in my Fidofax so that I don’t have to read them all again next time.

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4) Last but my no means least, I will make a real effort to understand my Humans in a bid to finally train them to my satisfaction. Oh, hang on, I said that last year!

I wish all my furiends a wonderful 2017, filled with walks, noms, cuddles and more noms. Thank you all for being so lovely xxx

….on ‘things your Humans won’t tell you’ — September 3, 2016

….on ‘things your Humans won’t tell you’

Ok, so you’re a little pup, new to living with Humans. Life will be a breeze, right? …….WRONG!
The first obstacle you will encounter is that Humans all seem to live under the misapprehension that THEY are in charge. Yes, I know it’s unbelievable, but sadly, it’s true. You have many years of re-education ahead of you (read my previous posts for tips on this)

After a week or so, you will be told that you are going to see the ‘nice Vet Man/Lady’. All I can say on this is ‘keep your wits about you’. Most Vets have a habit of becoming over familiar within minutes of being introduced. The details are a bit embarrassing, but all I will say is ‘resist all attempts to persuade you to stand up, and keep your tail tucked in!’

Humans will never tell you the truth about the birds & bees either. When I was little, my Human Beans told me that I would have ‘a Season’, after which I would get a Spade. Now, as you can imagine, this was VERY exciting for a simple pup from Essex. Posh frocks…pawties….boy dogs…not to mention whether I would meet the Royal corgis. As to the spade, would it be a ceremonial one for when, as a celebrity debutante, I was invited to plant a tree, or perhaps a little solid silver one to wear on my collar? Oh – the dreams I had. To say that the reality was a let-down would be an understatement. Firstly, during my season, every time we were going for a walk, they sprayed me with some foul smelling perfume (I wondered how on earth I would attract the boys wearing THAT), and worse, every time a boy dog approached, they would shout ‘SHE’S HAVING HER SEASON’ and lead me in the other direction. Oh! The humiliation! Even the promised Spade was a disappointment – I thought I was going to a pawtie at the vets, but then someone must have spiked my drink and I woke up in a strange bed with the weirdest feeling that I’d been robbed. Luckily, thanks to a very kind Twitter friend, I did eventually get my little silver spade.

As a consolation to others in the same position, I started the Twitter hashtag group #TARTS – Twoofers After Receiving Their Spade. We aim to behave like perfect tarts at all times. img_6255I believe the boys are subjected to a similar rite of passage known as ‘The Chop’. I’ve no idea what this involves, but they tend to go pale round the gills at any mention of nuts. I believe they have the Twitter group called #DAWGs – Dashing Around Without Gonads.

One last thing….I know this will come as a shock, but whatever your Humans tell you, you ARE adopted. When you’ve got over the initial shock, you’ll come to realise that this isn’t an entirely bad thing. After all, would you really want to be related to a Human Bean? No! I thought not!

The happy land of Twoofs — July 10, 2016

The happy land of Twoofs

‘Twoofs?’ you may ask; what on earth are they?  Well, I’m sure you’re all familiar with Twitter, and Twoofworld is just our doggie part of it.

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I’m sure you’ve heard some Humans complaining that Twitter is full of people saying ‘I’m on the train’ and I agree that you may occasionally hear that in Twoofworld, but if you do it’s because it’s a great adventure for the twoof concerned. We’re all very big on adventure, indeed every day is a new one!

TW is a happy place. We tend to keep our pawlitical views to ourselves and breedism and other such prejudices are unheard of. We’re all about walks, training our Humans, food and more food. Oh, and that reminds me, there are no ‘bad’ or fattening foods in TW so you can help yourself to the chocolate, macadamia nuts, onions or anything else that takes your fancy without fear of reprisals.

Of course, there are occasional scandals, like the time a Human was found to be twoofing as a dog (a spy we suspected), but mostly Humans are kept in their place as our staff, after all there are some things which are downright impossible with a lack of opposable thumbs!

Above all, it’s about us and our Humans enjoying life and sharing the happy and the sad times with our furiends. Recently, one of our Dachshund furiends has been seriously ill and there has been a paw-inspiring wave of love and support for him and his Humans. I’m pleased to say that our healing vibes seem to have worked and he is now much improved – a tribute to the power of pawsitive thought.

There are various groups within Twoofworld. I formed TARTS (that’s Twoofers after receiving their spade) for the spayed ladies among us, and the lads have DAWGs (dashing around without gonads). There is also the Sausage Army, Zombie Squad and lots of others, and if there’s not a group that appeals to you then you can just start one.

Why don’t you come and join us? All are welcome, even our feline furiends, so come & see what we’re all about – you’ll be made very welcome.

A guide to understanding your Humans — March 26, 2016

A guide to understanding your Humans

I’ve owned my Human Beans for over 2 years now, and I’m still no nearer understanding them than I was at the start! They’re such complicated creatures that I thought it might be useful to all the young pups out there if I shared what I have learned so far.

The Human sense of smell
Well, when I say ‘sense’ of smell, I have to say it makes NO sense at all to me! I’m sure we’re all agreed as to the most irresistible smells out there (Fox poo, rotting fish, long dead unidentifiable mammal), yet Humans will wrinkle their nose and pull funny faces if you come home smelling of them. What IS the matter with them? Which leads me on to…

Baths
These are a peculiarly Human thing. You come home having made a special effort to make yourself smell delectable and they start muttering about a bath! What’s worse, they not only use CLEAN water (how disgusting), but also something called shampoo.

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Can anyone explain to me the wisdom of replacing the delightful smell of REAL poo with the synthetic stink of SHAMpoo? No, I thought not! You can also look forward to that revenge moment  – you know, the one where they lift you out of the bath, whereupon you shake, soaking them to their stupid underwear and decorating the bathroom with the mud their pathetic efforts have failed to remove

‘Fetch’
There are two ways to look at this. My pawsonal view is that if they insist on throwing something away, then they can fetch it. I’m not going to spoil them by pandering to their every whim. However, I know some of you enjoy training your humans to provide gym facilities whenever you fancy it. Either view is acceptable as long as it’s what suits YOU. The main thing is that your Humans are obedient and eager to please at every opportunity.

Food
A Human Bean’s diet is very limited. They have no idea of the delights of gourmet poo (there are SO many varieties available these days), nor have they ever tried rotting green kebab, let alone had the pleasure of savouring a welI-rotted Vole. Instead they like to mess about with their food, doing something called ‘cooking’ which involves a lot of industrial language and often a certain amount of smoke, all for the food to taste no better than it did raw. What’s worse, they then make you wait for it to cool down! If they hadn’t made it hot in the first place, it wouldn’t NEED to cool down….grrrrrr!

Caring for your Human Bean
The Human Bean is probably the most needy creature on earth. You will be expected to be on cuddle duty 24hrs a day and will have to exercise them regularly whether you feel like it or not and whatever the weather.

imageThey particularly enjoy it when you jump all over them with muddy feet whilst licking their face at the same time, and will make appreciative little squealing noises which is very rewarding. Of course, you need to let the poor disillusioned creatures THINK they are in charge at all times, as they get quite stressed if they feel out of control and have even been known to suffer what is known as a ‘Fenton moment’. The symptoms of this condition include running out of control whilst their arms wave madly, and shouting incomprehensible words to no-one in particular. Having said all that, they are extremely trainable and can be persuaded to exhibit all manner of bizarre behaviour in return for licks and tail wags.

I hope I have given you some insight into the world of Human owing. The subject is much too complex to be fully covered in such a short piece, but watch this space for more advice in due course.

Human training (part the twooth) — November 29, 2015

Human training (part the twooth)

I know that, despite my earlier post on this subject, some of you are still having problems with certain aspects of training your humans, or maybe you just want to progress to some more advanced training.

I find that teaching them to fetch can be a little tricky. Despite my efforts, mine still expect me to retrieve the ball they throw away, so even have work to do in this respect. For those starting out, the best technique is to run away with something they really value, like one of those pieces of paper with a lady’s face on one side & a number (5, 10 or 20 usually, though if you can find one with 50 that would be even better). imageMake sure they see what you have then run away quickly…they will follow immediately and retrieve the item. Try this technique with other high-value items like the iBone. The rule of paw is that it must be something they really value so that they will be encouraged to fetch. If you can occasionally completely destroy an item it will focus their mind on being more obedient in the future. You may need to repeat the exercise several times before they get the idea, but persistence is the key.

As for advanced training, I’ve really enjoyed teaching mine to bake homemade treats.Start by asking your furiends to post pictures of things their humans have made; this will make yours feel guilty that they don’t do the the same.image Having found a recipe, they will expect you to sit in the kitchen looking interested while they say things like “Now we need 100g of flour” or “Let’s put them in the oven shall we?”. You may be thinking “Well you stupid human, that might be a bit difficult for me with my lack of opposable thumbs, and anyway you’d freak out if I went anywhere near the oven”, but humour them as the results will be worth it!image You can expand this process to include things like homemade ice creams or lollies for the hot weather. Further progress can be made by sharing the goodies with pals when you see them – your humans will be encouraged by their success and you will have a ready supply of homemade treats….result!

Lastly, the thorny subject of Winter ‘walkies’. Humans have a thing about insisting we go outside even if its persisting down with rain or blowing a hooley. If, like me, you would  Continue reading

On a serious note…. — October 22, 2015

On a serious note….

My Human wrote this to raise awareness of Syringomyelia, also known as Scratching Cavalier Syndrome. It particularly affects short-nosed breeds.

Our earliest memory of Jazz was as an 18 week old Tricolour Cavalier pup, tucked under the arm of her breeder, her little tail going like a demented egg whisk and drawing attention to the black & white swirl on her furiously wagging behind. In a house full of Queen fans, she could never be called anything but Jazz – just look at the cover of the album of the same name! That same swirl later also became known as ‘the off button’ since a swift tap with a finger was often known to be accompanied by ‘off the chair’, or ‘off the garden’! On the whole though, she was very good pup, but with a somewhat impish sense of humour.image
She was a happy, healthy little dog and a star from the outset. A half mile stroll along a promenade was known to take an hour or more as every second person stopped us to make a fuss of her. She learnt the maxim ‘smile at a human and it will smile back’ (and sometimes produce a treat) very early on, and practised it at every opportunity.
The first indication of any health problem was when she was about four. She was lying on my lap, and though neither of us had moved she suddenly stiffened and started screaming (I know, an odd description in connection with a dog, but I can’t find a more appropriate word). It seemed to go in for ages, although in reality probably about 30 seconds. A subsequent visit to the vet produced no answers, but after a few more occurrences we sought a second opinion and she was eventually diagnosed with Syringomyelia – a condition which causes the brain to herniate through the space at the back of the skull. It is apparently found especially in dogs bred to have shortened faces and is also known as Scratching Cavalier Syndrome, since affected dogs will often scratch their head and ears more than normal.
She was booked in for a scan early one morning (did you know that some vets make use of the scanners at private hospitals when they aren’t in use for human patients – no neither did I). I will never forget the phone call which told us that, despite all efforts on the vet’s behalf, they hadn’t been able to bring her round from the anaesthetic…..she was just five and a half.

image Owners of short-nosed dogs, please be aware of this condition. Although there is no cure, if caught early it can be controlled.
The ‘Compassion’ rambling rose planted in her memory reminds us of her every summer as its exuberance threatens to get out of hand. RIP Jazz. I’m sure you’re having a whale of a time over that rainbow bridge, still charming both 2 & 4 legged friends alike. xx