Sunday 23 January 2011

X Factor

Hello Mum and Olive.

Just a quick not to remind you all to watch animal X Factor on TV tonight. I auditioned for the Animal X Factor show in the doggies magician and juggler section. Since then I have been busy practicing my skills as a juggler and I have been helped to perfect my act by non other than Jasper the cat. He did not want to help at first until I managed to win him over to the dark side. I did this by using a magical potion worthy of being taught to Harry Potter and friends at Hogwarts school.

Dad was more than a little surprised to see me and Jasper practicing our act together. It's amazing what you can do with a cat and an extra strong bottle of "Cat Nip" extract! It was a hard fought X factor contest. However, I managed to win through in the end. Everyone said it could not be done, however I managed to keep five cats in the air whilst at the same time singing "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window".

Simon Cowell said that I sounded like a falsetto Susan Boyle. I then went on to sing a selection from the musical Cats as I effortlessly changed patterns as I juggled the four friends of Jasper plus Jasper himself.

In round two, the crowd were wowed by my singing and dancing skills, they were ecstatic at my sure footed choreography. They were knocked as breathless as they were by the level of my juggling dexterity in round one.

Louis Walsh has already pencilled me in for the next "Royal Variety" command performance at the London Palladium. I will also be able to demonstrate some other magical tricks including sawing a cat in half with a chain saw. I have not had chance to try this on Jasper yet. However, I am working on it!

Must go, dad wants to use the computer.

Yip Yap.

XX Love Poppy

Thursday 20 January 2011

Fashion for dogs

Hi everyone.

Some of the dogs that I meet up with when I take dad out for his daily walk seem to have become some kind of fashion freaks. It started with reflective collars for dogs, which on balance seemed to be a good idea. Then it became "country style" wax jackets for dogs. The it became the day-glo  padded jacket for dogs (which makes it much harder to sneak up on cats for a good chase)  Now its moved on to flashing light collars (Santa sent me one for helping out with his sleigh) for dogs. I seem to have started something of a trend. Some flash slow, some flash fast, some have more than one colour. Where will it all end!

Mum and dad recently purchased a dog grooming set, complete with electric trimmers. Previously, I went to the dog grooming parlour (Boweslyon in Sheffield) where I would spend a luxurious day being pampered with a bath, blow dry and a breed standard clip (dad does not like hand stripping foxes as it causes unnecessary pain) Today, I had my weekly shower with dad which is good fun as we both get to play with a bag of shower toys. Mum was waiting as usual to towel me down. However, today she gave me a quick blow dry and then started to clip my coat. There were a few disagreements between them about how long different parts of my coat should be. Seeing as this was mums first attempt she did a pretty good job.

Dad seems to be in a very good mood, he has just heard that he is going to be made redundant from his place of work. Dad was due to retire next year anyway and the redundancy payment will be ample reward for retiring a year early. This will let us spend even more time on the boat in future.

Must go as I am putting the final touches to my "Animal X Factor" act. The auditions and then the start of rehearsals are next week and I am getting quite excited.

Yip Yap.

Love Poppy XX

Monday 17 January 2011

Obedience training.

Hello everyone.

Well, things are improving weather wise. The ice on the canal has cleared and some boats are starting to move now. We are remaining at the marina for a while to let the weather improve a bit more. I think I have discovered dads new years resolution is to "Keep Fit". I have been out running around the local fields playing at chase down the ball. It is a game that keeps dad happy for hours on end. He is after all a man that has such simple tastes. We always take two balls, each is on a short rope so that dad can throw them as far as possible. He seems to enjoy throwing the ball and its a way for him to keep fit. I chase the ball and retrieve them back, which means that he gets to throw the ball more which in turn helps with his fitness regime.  I must admit it can make me quite tired but I then enjoy a snooze in my bed when we get back to the boat.

Obedience training for dogs seems to be the main conversation between mum and dad at the moment. I did go to puppy training classes. I was so good that I soon moved into the adolescent class. Anyway, I like to think that I am quite obedient. Dad said "Poppy is very obedient if you let her do as she wants" which demonstrates that he is quite a sensitive human. Mum says "Poppy pulls on the lead all the time" which is true to a point, as I am always in a hurry to get to where we are going. I like to lead the pack and steer everyone in the right direction. So now they have invested in a Halti which is a kind of lead that fits over my head. It makes it a bit harder to steer mum and dad now. But I am working on a way of combating the use of this Halti by walking directly in front of them. It is such fun watching mum and dad stumble over their own feet.

In the mean time, I am still working on perfecting my act for the "Animal X Factor" competition. I have managed to round up a few of Jaspers close friends. It is amazing the effect on them of a little bit of my secret catnip potion. I just smear a little here and there and the cats come running. When animal X Factor finished I am thinking of doing a reverse pied-piper stunt by enticing all the local cats onto a boat using the catnip potion. Then waving a fond farewell as they all disappear down the river.

Seems like a good idea to me.

Well I must go, I can here voices so I need to do my guard dog duties.

PS. I can only use the laptop to email when mum and dad are not around. I think Jasper would like to snitch on me, if he could only find a way of doing it.

Love to all.

XX Poppy

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Gongoozlers Question.

Hello everyone.

Just a quick note. I see the weather is not very good again, quite a bit more snow fell today. However, it turned to rain later and so some of it has cleared. I am a bit fed up after weeks of snow on the ground. I am looking forward to the spring and being able to play a game of “chase the ball” again. It seems that this has been the longest spell of freezing weather during the month of December since weather records began. The ice is starting to get a bit thinner. It is loosing its tight grip on the boat and I can feel gentle movement again as people change position on the boat.

Mum and dad went out on their motorcycles this morning which might not have been a good idea. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground by the time they returned. Dad said it was very difficult riding conditions on the way home because of all the snow and ice. Mum says dad is a brilliant rider and he was able to demonstrate all of his riding skills on the way back. However, until the spring arrives, they will be taking more notice of the weather reports before going out for the day in future.

Life continues as normal on the boat with dad keeping the log burning stove going twenty four hours a day. The boat is very cosy and warm and my bed is at the side of the stove. Lots of non boating people on the towpath or on bridges (known to boaters as Gongoozlers) always ask questions about the boat. Questions like “How warm is the boat in winter” and “Do you have a toilet”. Dad always reassures them that the boat is a home away from home. Because we have all the modern conveniences like a shower, bath, electricity, Satellite television, gas, running water, flush toilet and central heating all on board.

Mum and dad have been feeding the wild birds again during the hard winter weather. They did this by placing a couple of seed feeders round the boat. Its good to watch all the different coloured birds come to feed and is helping to keep Jasper the cat awake. However, Jasper knows that if either mum or dad catch him stalking the birds he will be in big trouble. He just can't keep away from watching them all the time. He has no chance of catching them, because he is a bit arthritic in his joints and the cold weather does not help his flexability either.

Must go, dad needs someone to keep him company whilst he goes for his daily walk. I am not sure why, but he always seems to choose me to go with him. I must be good company to be with.

I have a secret ambition for a while now, to appear on the animal version of the “X Factor” talent show on television. I hope to go to an audition for the show in the near future. I have been practising my routine for several weeks in readiness for the big day. I will let you know how I get on.

Yip Yap

XX Love Poppy

Friday 7 January 2011

New year resolutions.

Hi Mum and Olive.

It’s the start of the new year and by now many of us doggie types will have already broken our New Year’s resolutions. Not to worry though as there are so many to choose from that I am sure there are some New Year’s resolutions we can actually keep. The family have been doing the "Auld Lang Syne" bit as they struggled to keep their eyes open long enough to see in the new year.

So I have come up with my top ten list of doggie New Year Resolutions for us all to break.

  1. Resolve not to smell at the crotch of friends of the family. (I know its fun - but it is a no no!)
  2. Resolve not to hump our toys and especially not a human leg.
  3. Resolve when begging for food near the table - no dribbling of saliva.
  4. Resolve not to do silent but deadly farts.
  5. Resolve not to bite the Vet. (Well not to often)
  6. Resolve not to roll in evil smelling items. (Humans don't understand our needs)
  7. Resolve that flea's are not our friends.
  8. Resolve to be friendly to cats. (This one is guaranteed to broken on day one)
  9. Resolve not to eat cat poo. (Don't ask, I was scolded for that one)
  10. Resolve not to sneak onto the humans bed at night. (As if I would)

Dad has not said anything about a new year resolution, so I am not sure if he has chosen one at all. Maybe I should choose one for him, like take Poppy for an extra long walk every day. Or maybe a reverse resolution for him to spend less time grooming and washing my coat.

Well that's it for today.

 Yip Yap

Love Poppy

Thursday 6 January 2011

Thoughts on Cats

Hi mum and Olive.

I know that some owners look at their dogs and wonder what it is that we are thinking about. Mum and dad are no different to all the other humans and they don't have the slightest idea of what is going on in my mind. I do have some deep thought moments like "where is my toy" or "lets go for a walkies". In the main, I daydream, as I just enjoy watching the world go by. While my eyes maybe shut, I do get to smell interesting smells that my owners cannot detect. I also get to hear even the slightest of sounds which again my owners have no idea about. When it comes to forcing my eyes open, my eyesight is pretty good and is on a par with my owners eyesight.

I get to dream in my bed sometimes just like mum and dad have dreams at night. They always say "look she is chasing rabbits" because my legs twitch whenever I dream. The reality of the dream is always about chasing cats and just one particular cat at that. I also have my own deep set views about most things around here. I am very wary of any strangers and I try to warn the family about them. I also like to let the strangers know that they have been seen by me. That's why dad calls me "Poppy the brave and fearless guard dog".

My views on cats. 

I have strong views about cats. In my opinion cats are the worst animal ever to walk on four legs. They dig holes in the garden to poop. Why do they do this?  Every dog knows its the human families responsibility "scoop-and-bag-poop" on our behalf. The family even carry bags at all times with them for doing that. It's good for the family as it gives them a sense of worth!

Why do cats push to the front of the food queue! Then when they see a nice bone, just sniff and then walk away. Cats fight and squeal all night when everyone wants to sleep. Then they sleep all day and get in everyone's way. It is my considered opinion that a cat is a complete waste of space.

What animal in its right mind will climb inside a clothes dryer or washing machine! Jasper the brain addled cat that I am forced to share a home with, does this all the time. He gets locked in cupboards and wardrobes because he sneaks inside when no one is looking.

I suppose if one eats a cat, it is down to personal choice. I don't want to sway anyone one way or another. But if you do choose to eat a cat, there is one obvious cooking tip: always remember to remove the bell from the cat's collar before cooking.

I like cats, but I don't think I could eat a whole one!

Yip Yap

Bye for now

Love Poppy XX

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Life Preserver.

Hi Mum and Olive.

I hope you enjoyed my adventures on Christmas eve with Santa. 

Happy New year to everyone.

Well its a whole new year of adventures starting now. I have been measured up for my new life preserver. The family are getting a bit fed-up of my trips over the side of the boat and all of the panic that it seems to create. I am a perfectly good swimmer, I enjoy swimming and I try do it as often as possible. The family seem to think that I am a danger to myself. So, I am to be fitted with a life preserver. To be worn whenever I am allowed out on deck. I know it is dangerous to fall into the river or canal. The problem is that the family have not realised yet. I never fall into the water, I jump into the water. Its perfectly safe, I'm a dog and its part of my job.

There is a down side to jumping into the water. The family go mental rushing around the boat, its a wonder they don't fall in! Then they hook me out of the water with a long pole. This is swiftly followed by another bout of  admonishment and finger waving. Then they blame each other for not keeping and eye on me. Then they return to blaming me for going swimming. The most confusing part of the punishment seems to be putting me in the shower! They then soak me through again, in the shower with warm water which I must admit I quite enjoy. Then I get rubbed down with warm towels, which I just love every moment of. The cat then gets kicked out of my basket and I end up being snuggled up in front of the nice warm stove in my bed. 

This is all part of the punishment for being naughty. I know, I don't believe it either, then they wonder why I am being such a naughty girl!

The weather outside looks like there is more snow on the way and we had a white Christmas already this year. So for the third year in a row, snow was not only be on the Christmas cards.

With the temperature down to -10c overnight. I can't help but think, sometimes its good to be snuggled up in a nice warm and cosy bed. Which is strategically located just in front of the log burner stove. Life can be very tough even for fiesty terrier like me!

Does My Bum Look Big In This?

I think I should warn you, my family are not normal. Just to give you a feel for what they are like. I thought I would include their photograph into the Canal Dog Blog.

You can find even more weird and wonderful things about them on Narrow-Boat.Com. These are seriously weird people.

Yip Yap.

Love Poppy XX