Old dog, new tricks

It was my birthday yesterday. I was 9. In dog years that makes me about the same age as my dad, but I’m in way better nick than him.

For starters, his coat is 50 shades of grey (I told mum this and she perked up for some reason) whereas I barely have a single grey hair. I’m the same vision of liver and white loveliness I was as a pup. He’s got grey hair in places I didn’t even know humans had hair.

Ok, I’m getting the odd one around my muzzle, but that’s from the worry. When I think of the stunts Rudy has pulled over the years, it’s a wonder he’s still alive. Mum’s not much better, though at least she’s not jumped off a cliff…yet.

Dad’s joints are knackered, whereas I’m still pretty flexible. It’s as painful to watch him do yoga as it is for him to do it. Even mum can do downward facing dog. Dad’s more downward facing ironing board! None of us can compete with Rudy, but I’ve long suspected him of being part cat.

I can still do 20kph if I wanted to. Dad? He’s lucky if he can do that on his bike. Though to be fair, he is a half iron man. The other half is beer. Again, it sickens us both though that mum and Rudy can skin us both for pace without much effort. But what we lack in pace, me and dad make up for in strength. As they both find out when we eventually catch them.

I must admit, I do have a few fatty lumps which are a sign of aging in dogs…and humans it seems. At least mine can be removed. Dad’s beer gut is here to stay.

Overall, I think me and dad are doing well for our middle age. Still, he’s never quite got over our former neighbour thinking he was mum’s father. Mum laughed at that for weeks.

But she cheats. That hair would be pure badger if she didn’t get it dyed and she wears make-up to hide the bags under her eyes. And let’s not forget the fillers…the chips and chocolate she eats to keep her face youthfully plump. She also hides her fatty lumps with well-cut clothes.

Me and dad are as nature intended us, and there’s life in the old dogs yet.

Rudy's tache is greyer than mine!

Rudy’s tache is greyer than mine!

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Sofa so bad.

So, the new leather sofas arrived three weeks ago and I thought Mum would have cracked by now and let us up for a cosy. 

But no, she’s held firm…until last Saturday night when Dad found Rudy lying beside her. The reason? She’d had a bottle of wine round at the neighbours and was half cut.

Me and Dad fear tackling her when she’s drunk. She can go either way – throw a tantrum or get her country and western music out and start crying to Tammy Wynette. But she must have known she was in the wrong because when he said: “Get to your bed” they both trotted off without a whimper.

We didn’t even get to keep the old sofas for ourselves. They stank of GSP and could have gone in the garage for us to lounge on. Instead she gave them to her mate Megan. Well Megan, I hope you find the spot I wiped my backside on. I bet she didn’t tell you. Fabreze that!

And to add insult to injury, she bought some fake fur throws that are the same colour as us. My Dog woman, if you’re feeling cold you can have real fur sitting on your knee any time you like. Still, it makes me laugh when she catches sight of the throw out of the corner of her eye and she thinks one of us has sneaked on. Every time.

We’re playing the long game. Dad hasn’t been overseas for a while…watch this space. She’s weak and we all know it.

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Gone girl

My girlfriend of four years has left me.

Justine has been my dog walker since I arrived in New Zealand, and I’ve seen her nearly every day because my Mum and Dad are too lazy to walk me except at weekends (Dad even works from home, so not sure what his excuse is).

I even stayed at her house once, but she failed to tell me she had a cat. To get my revenge, me and Rudy pretended to be sad and whined until we got her to sleep beside us. She was cosy. Mum did warn her that we were a pair of shysters, but she fell for it. I feel quite bad about that now.

I don’t think that’s why she dumped me – no one stays mad at a GSP for long (cue sad face). She claims she wants more time with her family, but I know it’s because she was on the verge of stealing me, so we could stay together forever. I told her that while I loved her, my Dad needs me more – I couldn’t leave him alone with Mum and her evil lapdog Rudy.

So to avoid the temptation, she’s said she can’t see me anymore.

Justine cried when she dropped me off for the last time, so I gave her a lick and one last cuddle. I hope she gets over me eventually.

She was Rudy’s dog walker as well, but did he feel sad? While everyone was crying, he used the diversion to head for the food bin to see if he could steal a few bits of kibble. Heartless.

She’ll be back. She won’t be able to resist the urge to stroke my luscious lugs.

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Sofa, so good

Mum’s bought a new sofa, but it doesn’t arrive until June. So until then, all bets are off on us getting on the old sofa. We’re not usually allowed up because we smell apparently (what a cheek, Dad farts on it all the time).

Now it’s on the way out, we’re getting up for a cuddle every night. Mum eats her breakfast with a hairy limpet called Rudy on her knee. Even Dad’s up for a sofa snuggle.

She doesn’t care how stinky it gets now. It’s a lovely textured material, so as well as lying on it, I like to rub myself on it. Every morning I wipe my sleepy eye bogeys on it. After I eat, I wipe my mouth on it – up one side and down the other.

I once licked my butt while leaning against it and….well let’s just say, I have glands down there and I couldn’t help what happened next. I thought the sofa smelled lovely after that, but Mum gagged. She’s scrubbed it and scrubbed it, but sadly for her she can smell quite well for a human…too well. (Sorry to all those who’ve sat on it and who’re reading this).

She thinks she’s foiled me by buying a leather sofa. She seems to have forgotten the carpet and the curtains. Or her bed. I wipe my orafices on them regularly. She doesn’t get that by marking my territory I’m keeping the cats at bay. 

I will be sad to see it go. Apparently we’re definitely not allowed on the new sofa. Claws and leather don’t match. I’m practising my pathetic face and Rudy is perfecting his famous “jump on the knee and go limp” manoeuvre (it’s a work of art – he uses all his strength to make it hard to shove him off).

I reckon within six months a special doggy blanket will appear. The sofa monitor (aka Dad) travels too often to prevent our attack on the weakest link. We’ve broken her before, we’ll break her again. 

You can see where I’ve made my mark on my old friend.

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Barking mad to have neighbours

We were the first dogs to move into our neighbourhood as it was a new development. Life was peaceful then as I only had Rudy to tolerate.

Two years later it’s a flipping dog park with mutts everywhere and it’s stressing me out.

The first sign of strangers on my patch came when a little lost rat dog turned up at the front door. His mum was so happy to have him returned she brought my Mum a bottle of wine. I peed on the rat dog and her leg – she might think twice about leaving the gate open next time.

There are a couple of wee Jack Russells over the back, who are always manically asking me where the rabbits are. Eh, everywhere. They might come in handy, though, during next winter’s mouse house invasion.

A young lab called Carson (he’s named after the Downton Abbey butler, so he’ll be good at fetch) has moved in two doors along. He’s always shouting over the fence, asking if he can come and play, and now and again bounds into the garage. Gundogs I can tolerate, even stupid ones that only take a year to train.

A bear (or it might be a Bernese) has moved in over the road, so I’m obliged to bark at him on sight, in fact I do that to every dog that walks past the door. Which is often. Rudy joins in, though he doesn’t usually know why; then Dad barks at us; and Mum barks at him for barking at us barking.

We’re all barking mad. Well, they’ve got to know this is my territory and my pack (we boys like to pretend we’re in charge).

I’ve yet to see our nearest neighbour. I’ve smelled it though. There is no mistaking the putrid pong, and Rudy has started to test the fence for weaknesses so we can make an introduction.

Time to fire up the barbie…cat kebab anyone?

Rudy keeping watch for the neighbour’s cat.

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More mouse mayhem

The saga of the mice continues, and they are really starting to take the piss.

Not content with scrabbling around under the house and in the rafters, one brave/stupid rodent decided to invade the garage.

I reckon this happened when Mum left the garage door open while the tumble drier was on one evening. Mickey decided to head for the nearest water source and snuggle down in the comfy blanket nearby.

Sadly for him, he didn’t realise the water source was my drinking bowl and the bedding was in my crate.

I can’t exactly reveal what happened to Mickey – suffice to say he won’t be breaking and entering into my bed ever again.

Of course, I probably should have got rid of the body. Rudy offered to eat it, and got so mad when I wouldn’t let him that he tore up his bed. Or I could have at least pointed it out to Mum. I mean I am a German Shorthaired POINTER…but I forgot.

So she got quite a turn when she went to replace the water, noticed the bedding was a bit wet and lifted it up to find the stiff under the blanket.

She screamed. Then she had to go and get the rubber gloves and the BBQ tongs again and chuck him over the fence. There must be quite a mouse cemetery over there by now. I hope they don’t come back to haunt us.

Mum’s a sensitive soul when it comes to animals, so she was in a state of shock all day. She thinks I accidentally sat on it – 34kg of GSP will do that to a mouse – but how dare she! I’m a predator. Trained to hunt, point and retrieve. That mouse met his maker through stealth and determination.

She’s now fed up with having to deal with the problem when Dad’s away so she’s told him to get the experts in. I hope she means pest control and isn’t thinking of getting a cat.

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On the ball in Brazil

I’ve been enjoying the World Cup.

Actually I should be playing in the World Cup. I’ve got more pace than Robben, two more legs than Mueller and I’m better looking than Rooney (who isn’t to be fair). And if a game’s not going my way, I just burst the ball and run off with it.

Rudy hates the football, he thinks the refs are whistling on him. He spends every match running between his bed and Mum. He gets sent out of the room, so I get the bed to myself. Result!

Sadly, the team we support – Scotland – didn’t make it to the finals. I can’t even claim NZ residency because New Zealand is too busy kicking ass at rugby to care much about football.

So we’ve all had to go for our second team. Obviously mine isn’t Korea and I’m glad they’ve gone home.

Mum claims Dutch ancestry, but if she’s Dutch, I’m a wolf. Dad was supporting A.B.E. – Anyone But England – but since they went home, he’s gone Dutch as well.

Given I’m a German Shorthaired Pointer, it’s Deutschland for me. Sleek, handsome, tireless with a good turn of pace…

And if an Alsatian can get a game (see pic below) I reckon I’ll be getting a call up from Herr Lowe any day.


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How to catch a mouse

We’ve had an invasion of mice or as we say back in Scotland: “There’s a moose loose aboot this hoose.” Or rather a whole posse!

The little runts were scrambling about in the ceiling and chewing through the wiring so Dad had to buy some traps. Mum was all for releasing them back into the wild, but apparently the shock of being dumped far from home kills the little blighters.

So she came to terms with a quick death, and man was it quick. Within 10 minutes, Mickey met his maker.

Dad then went on a business trip, and Mum was adamant she wouldn’t touch the traps. Bear in mind, this is a woman who releases house spiders back into the wild. They always looked quite annoyed about it as they just have to climb back up the spout.

Then Rudy started to climb up the bookcase, and given he can’t read, it was pretty obvious there was another casualty up in the ceiling. And she couldn’t leave it until Dad got back as the smell of death was going to drive that bloodthirsty murderer mad.

Fair play, she disposed of it with a pair of rubber gloves, the barbecue tongs and a lot of gagging.

Even worse was to follow the next night. We could hear squealing and the trap getting dragged about. That mouse wasn’t dead! Rudy wanted to know if he could have the meese in a piece (Scottish for a mouse sandwich), but Mum chucked it over the garden fence.

In her head, it’s survived the massive trauma and is happily wandering around on three legs. She’s refused to deal with any more. So far, we’ve had 12 though Dad’s heading them off at the pass and trapping them under the house. The key to trapping them is peanut butter. Seems they love it as much as I do.

Mum suggested getting a cat. What the Fido? Rudy puked in her slippers to let her know what we thought of that idea.

We can assume he’s not looking for a copy of Dogstoevsky.

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The dog sat on the mat

I’ve been confined to barracks due to a swollen elbow. I banged it while fighting with Rudy.

So I was sent to jail while Mum and Dad lazed about on a tropical Pacific island without so much as a goodbye! I would have enjoyed snorkelling, but no, I never get to go anywhere new.

Instead I had to hang out with Rudy behind bars in the torrential rain back here in NZ.

They’re back now, but my elbow still looks like it has an Easter egg growing out of it. I didn’t tell them that I passed my sentence chasing Rudy every day so it didn’t get much rest. Well, I was bored, he was there…

So I’m not allowed to run and I have to walk on the lead. Mum is also injured after slicing her foot on coral while out kayaking and snorkelling. My heart bleeds – almost as much as her foot which according to her filled the kayak with blood. Funny how it only needs a wee plaster.

As you know, German Shorthaired Pointers don’t do rest. It leads to unrest. I’m going stir crazy and am barking and whining at every person who passes the house. Which then has Mum barking and whining at me.

She’s obviously in need of a run too, but she can’t wear trainers because of her sore foot so she’s making do with yoga. I think I’ll help, she likes it when I lick the sweat from her face and lie down on her mat.

She also needs some help with the moves, given she goes into ‘downward facing dog’, and for some reason persists in calling it ‘sod off bloody dog’.

I’ll just have to show her how it’s done, with the upward facing bit of my body shoved right into her face. Leave me in kennels while you go off to paradise eh?

Moving into plank!

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Baby, I was born to run

I’m nearly 7, which in some people’s book makes me a ‘senior’ – yeah right. I’m a GSP, we never get old.

Mum was a bit worried that I was getting a bit past it when, recently, I appeared to struggle on a 20k bike ride (obviously I was running beside the bike, and not cycling!)

She was remembering those days in my youth when they’d be on one mountain and I’d be on the other chasing a herd of deer. I never caught them, but I sure gave them a fright.

I must admit I did puff and pech on the run last month, and was really slow – even Mum had to wait for me (the shame!) But it was nothing to do with age. I just couldn’t be arsed. It was too hot for running.

Plus I have to admit, I had put on a few kilos. So I’ve shed a bit of the lard, and am on some fancy new dog food and yesterday I nailed that 20k run. I even kept up with Rudy the speed snake.

Rudy has always been a better runner. I’m a big lad – pure beefcake. He’s more cupcake, with glitter sprinkles.

Mum is now the only one in our house who’s never run 20k. She keeps boring us with stories about how good a runner she was in her youth, but allegedly she now has dodgy feet and it’s too painful to run.

Personally, I reckon if she put her money where her mouth is rather than cupcakes, she too could keep up with us.

Now if you excuse me, I need a lie down.

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