Our luscious Spaniard is moving along…..

Tomorrow we part with Otter or Terry or just the gorgeous shiny boy.
The bendy banana from Spain is moving on and up – up to Aberdeen. Though he has been with us less then a month he leaves with a piece of each of our hearts.

 

Terry Never Looks Back.

Padding round the house he gets involved with everything, picking up a sock and carrying through to the middle the room, eating a little bite of kindling when setting the fire. If not Terry, or Otter or Paddy – the perfect name would have been “shadow” as he is never more than half a step behind – filling the washing machine he’s there, making a cup of coffee – hello! guess who is eyeballing and wagging, cooking, yes he likes to get involved there too.

When undressing at night he may wander off with a sock, take it for a wee tour round the living room, then deliver it back. Showering in the morning he will sit outside the bathroom and wait, rewarding you with a huge bright smile as you emerge deeply depressed at having seen your reflection in the full length mirror.
He is a joyful hound.

Every moment of every day he engages fully with every little thing. He is grateful to be alive and savouring every moment.
A life lesson for us all.
Even writing this I have tears in my eyes and that feeling in my gut. Tomorrow will be hard. Hard for us to say goodbye, I just don’t want him to feel our affection has been insincere in any way. It’s because we love the daft crater we are parting with him and we are happy knowing the joy he will bring to his forever family – though I will have large g&t and a bubble when I return home without his cheeky chops and watch out sausage dog Charlie Chorizo  you will be cuddled ’til you squirm.

Hide me from that over affectionate sobbing woman.

A naked dog is delivered from Spain

Sunday night 7.30pm standing at the side of the road waiting for our new Spanish hairy parcel to be delivered.

Blind date but slightly different.

If there was no spark, no “click” then like it or not he was lumbered with us and we were lumbered with him.

I can confirm this does not enter your head when you click “SAVE” on Facebook when you see a dog that is about to get put down for no reason other than no-one wants him. Sob. Wimper. Snot.

The transport up from Spain had a Messenger Group so we had been able to track their progress and enjoy the photos of other people as they scooped up their own hair deliveries the length and breadth of the country and now it was our turn.

The big white van pulled up, the paperwork was handed over to us, the side of the van slid open and  our new hairy charge“Terry” emerged in the arms of the guy who had driven him – and 25 others – up from the South of Spain dropping them off enroute one and one and two by two. The arc of mongrels.

Beagles, a German Shepherd, a few cute hairy mutts, an English setter – all death row escapees all driving home for Christmas (Cue Chris Rea  – actually don’t- I want to get on with the story -)

The unsuspecting sausage dog was all togged up and  there to meet the van too.

Advice was to walk the new and old dogs around a bit before going in. We followed instructions and watched as Terry – who was taller and longer than he looked during our brief observation online – padded along, sniffing the air with the most magnificent tail, a virtual aerial, with a wee kink on the end swooping back and forward.

God knows how long in the perrera (death row), 3 days in a kennel, 3 days in a van and still he was smiling. A born optimist. A good start.

Once in the garden we let them off the lead and Charlie the sausage, the long suffering husband and I stood and watched as Terry took off like a rocket, running in circles, swooping round, tail wagging, sniffing the grass, running fast and long and as fast as he could, skidding to a halt just before he hit the wall – literally – turning and screeching back again – joyful.

Opening the kitchen door we went in, followed by Charlie then the new boy in town.

Alpha male and female, followed by top (if not small and low slung) dog and then Terry. Following instructions learnt on YouTube from a variety of sources.

We watched as he found and slurped all the water in the dish and then padded about the place having a good look and sniff round glancing at us periodically in case we were angry, upset or liable to throw him out again.  All he saw were cheesy grins.

Thinking ahead – unlike us to be fair – we had taken the precaution of putting a gate – looks like a child gate between the kitchen and the lounge with an additional tiny gate in the middle. Our reasons were two fold.

1. If Charlie found it all a bit much  – being an only sausage up to this point – then he could slink through it and away from Terry for some peace and quiet.

And

2. We had no idea what Terry would do!  Chew a chair? Crap on the rug? Attack us with his rather magnificent looking teeth? We all needed to be separated if necessary.

Charlie looked a little grumpy and so to remind him had a mini get out gate like the one pictured here.  I opened it. He looked at it. Smiled. And slunk through in a pleased as punch way which was short lived as Terry – forcing his bony hairy considerably larger self into the considerably smaller aperture – he pushed his way through the tiny gate within a gate too – tada! There he was on the other side too.

I would sell him to the circus as the contortionist dog if I wasn’t already a little bit in love with him.

A cheeky optimist.

Tomorrow or first day……I will report back.

 

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Christmas parcel – one Spanish mongrel – enroute to Scotland.

So here I go again.
Large mouth.Dog mad.
Heartbroken to see a photograph of a little hairy galoot online that was on death row in Spain because someone didn’t want him anymore. I followed the post for 2 days.
He was at the head of queue for the big nasty jab aka death and so I said “I’ll take him!”
And so ….he is on his way.

How old is he? Em…between 6 months and 12 years.
How big is he? Em…between small and huge. What’s his temperament like? Em….looks waggy but really can’t say.

Instincts having been dog mad since I was born are he looks like a gentle, hairy, cheeky mongrel with an extraordinarily waggy bahookey.. What do you think?

So his year thus far has consisted of… being chucked out from wherever he was and left in the kill station.
Then last minute reprieve sprung from death row.
The following morning off to the vet to have his bollocks removed. Ouch. What a high! What a low! What a shame. All within 24 hours. Gulp.

Next before he could draw breath and work out where the vet was that took his manhood, he was off again, this time to a foster home in Spain til his health check.

Happily he was given a clean bill of health which meant he could travel once his innoculations, rabies and passport is sorted.

And so he arrives here in Scotland on Sunday. No not the paper obviously.

From kennel, to vet, to foster carer, to kennels a 6 hour drive away as the Spanish authorities want to check he is who they say he is. So he stayed for 3 days being prodded and checked again. And now – right now as I write this he is on the pet transport with a host of other wee homelss, unloved dogs being dropped off all over England and Scotland. He will arrive here on Sunday night, it will be dark, very very cold, colder than he has ever imagined, he will be hungry, stressed, scared to death – he has no idea where he is. He arrives with no blanket, no collar, no bed, no real identity.

Suspicious. And for good reason.

And so we await. With bated breath. A new lead and collar. A TK Maxx bed tucked into a crate where he can sit and watch his new family before deciding when he wants to come out and say hello. In one corner he will see a suspicious sausage dog whose nose will be very out of joint. In another he will see a big bummed Aberdonian with a biscuit in her hand. We will report back as to how it goes…I have to confess this is a lovely Christmas parcel on it’s way….lets hope he thinks so too……

 

Wish us luck! It’s going to be a very Terry Christmas.

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Charlie Chorizo – sausage of love.

FtkyaAgRNTW_3bOnoSS5Z_0UQCIwifEn5T_Cl3ZPcgECharlie Chorizo has arrived. A sausage dog. The sausage dog. The ruler of our days. And nights.

Some may think it a little early after the demise of our dear old souls who were wafted off to doggy heaven just few weeks ago. But me without a dog is like Judith Chalmers without a passport, like Russell Brand without a lascivious look in his eye. Even as a child, a student, a scurrilous traveller I have never been without the companionship of a quadroped. In addition I have never had a pedigree chum. Ever. They have aye been scrappy wee unloved individuals from cat & dog homes, the side of the road, a drain, Battersea, Aberdeen, Edinburgh so at this stage in life as I intend to travel by car a lot all round the world I have employed the services of a wirehaired mini dachshund to be my faithful sidecar rider. I need a compact bijou pal and so I thought I will wait until next year before I take the plunge.

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Fate took over as that very day I met a hairy wee scruff called Snook in Aberdeen a stoating wee dog. The next question was where did he come from? The answer was the name of a breeder who I phoned several times and had no answer. Then last Sunday she picked up.

We talked.
“I have one 9 week old “ she said.

“I want a bitch” I replied. Birds of a feather and all that.

“Daxy boys aren’t like normal dogs “she said “they are very loyal and affectionate – more so than the girls.”
Sceptical I asked her to send me a photo.

She did.

On impact of course the heart began to beat a little faster.

A little chocolate drop. Tiny.

“Let’s will drive over and see him and have a chat.” I said to the long suffering husband.

“Of course if we go we will end up with him” he said rolling his eyeballs.

“Not necessarily” I said sounding as convincing as I could.

So we arrived into the home of 14 daxys. They were barking and jumping and squirming. “Quiet” the breeder shouted and they all stood silent watching us with their raisin like direct stares. “Lets hope they don’t turn on us” I whispered under my breath to the LSH who unlike me has not been in the company of the dog breeder madness that we were witnessing. The fact is if I wasn’t married I would like have at least 14 dogs and a few pigs but I chose not to impart that information at this particular moment.
“That’s the Dad” Elizabeth the breeder said pointing at this titian haired beezer. “He’s French”.

Now I am no dog show judge but he was a noble hairy faced wee man.

“That’s the Mum” she said showing me a hairy wee thing amongst the other yappers.

And there’s the pups she said pointing to the corner of the room where a small pen held two leaping pups.
One dog. One bitch. One heart lost. Mine.

CC Snuggle

I picked him up. He’s so tiny. And he’s not got any wire hair.

“His fixings are coming in” she said pointing out the small moustache that was growing under each eye. He was a wee bit shy unlike the girl who was running up the leg of my trousers and pushing him out of the way.

We talked about it and as Dave and I looked at each other we knew.

We would like to take him home.

And so…the new adventure begins with Charlie Chorizo Sausage Dog. He is so small if we cut the end of a sock he could wear it as a coat. That’s what I am going to do as he not over endowed with hair yet and clearly the Scottish winter is a hell of a time to arrive in the world. I will write about him again and display my new sock invention coat….but for now……he is sitting on my foot, demanding he is picked up for a cuddle. Hell someone’s got to it. Swoon.

Heartbreak on 8 legs.

Desperate sadness surrounds this blog post and the person writing it.

My dear hairy friends, stalwart supporters, companions through thick and thin are no longer on this mortal coil.

Flora half haggis half womble and Sam nice but dim Labrador are gone.


P1080799Ever get the impression you're being watched?

The knowledge of adopting and loving and animal is one thing but the acceptance that to be their very best friend right to the end is the hardest thing a person has to do.

So as Floras eyes failed, her hearing went, her teeth became but a distant memory her joie de vivre ebbed away and was replaced by a look of uncertainty and fear.

Sam our delicious chunky lumpy Labradors wee back legs refused to do what she wanted them too. She slipped and fell, even a few stairs became an Everest like challenge and so she took to her bed with an expression on her face that still registered love but also one of deep unhappiness.

Their days of barking, wagging, running chasing a ball, chewing socks, jumping up to greet you, snuggling up on your feet under the table to snore had gone. But what a decision to have to make.

During the hard times they would rest their knowing heads on our knees and gaze into our eyes with a sense of empathy and peace that gave great comfort.

As part of the all encompassing lives we had together it was a decision with the help of our lovely vet Victor that was heartbreaking to make and yet the time had come.

THey had both reached the end of the road. One without the other would be Morcambe without Wise. French without Saunders. Little without Large. So fate decreed they were both at the same stage at the same time.

So Victor come round to the flat and they were cuddled and fed as they closed their eyes for the last time with no idea of what was happening.

So the house is empty. They are together forever.

Teenwolf at Unviersity.

Gulp.

So here we are ……………….what’s next?

IMG_0268 2011-08-14 16.11.35 P1080769 P1080171 P1080110 Flora phone P1070740 P1070220

 

Dog tired -the man not the dog.

As a follow up to my column in The Daily Record  about our dear old dog Sam…..

Here is the photo that sort of sums up her feelings when my dear long suffering husband flew back from Spain to Scotland psyching himself up to accompany her to the vet for the dreaded euthanasia.

You can read about the run up to this by clicking this link but sometimes pictures say so much more than words.

 

Image

Dogging

Now if you’ve visited this blog before you will know that I love beasts -all kinds but especially my dogs – the Hairies -my only coherent companions. Alas alack Alan-whatever that means-they are now aged crones. Flora deaf. Sammy demented and lumpy. Halitosis looms large yet I love them from the tip of their protruding brown teeth to the very tip of their balding wagging tails. SO this is the question. When to get a puppy?

 

Recently my heart sang as I was contacted through the blog by the person who adopted Flora -my half haggis half womble dogs  puppy from the dog home – and she is just like her ma. Here is the daughter.804247_591682787510427_52466419_n

And the Mum – my Flo.

Flora About To Savage the new addition - Wart Hog.

The first time ever seen together. Tear to a glass eye. Both from the cat and dog home and you can tell bursting with character. But Flo is 13 or 14. Every day at the moment I find my car driving towards the dog home but I pull over and give myself a talking to.  So I head home and  google a few rescue societies and then before I can pick up the phone or email them I snap the keyboard shut on my hand. Stop. No more dogs. Not now. It’s not fair. But when?

It is a known fact that when a man loses his wife he will remarry fast and it never ceases to get up my nose. As if its a one size fits all.  Ah you have a pulse, can boil an egg and don’t find me physically repellant will you be mine?  So in the dog world I will not and cannot trade them in fro a younger model. The mere thought of the look I would get if I wafted a silken haired wee pup under their noses as if I waiting for them to shuffle off this mortal coil brings a shudder.  For now it’s a no no.
But I have found a pic of the dog I would love I will post it tomorrow and see if you know anything about them…..but for now… I am being watched by the hounds of the Baskervilles so I must away or they will suspect foul play.

 

Hiatus….over….blogging recommences…April 2012

I started this blog two years ago. Phew. Two years eh?

I have posted over 476 times…and loved it..I am an obsessive writer after all and can’t stop. But what it made me realise is this…

Yes I blogged like a wild thing but what about the plan of applying my energy and time to writing my next book. Ah yes that.

So…I am giving Alison’s Diary The Blog a rest. I am taking it down. Letting it put it’s feet up and exhale a while as use my energy to create other things that will chart the next part of my rather unpredictable life.

So….for now dear reader of this blog …thank you for your support and a bientot.

You will spot me on The One Show on BBC 1 and hear me on BBC Radio Scotland …and I Tweet @AlisonCraigTwit…but if you do need to contact me please do so through these two wonderful women:

 

Mandy Ward mward@internationalartistes.com

and/or

Jackie Gill jackie@jackiegill.co.uk

Thanks !

With very best wishes until next time……..

Alison xx

West Lothian Council awards…

Great night was had by all. At the Howden Centre which is a lovely theatre in the heart of Livingston, 300 red velt seats in an intimate auditorium great atmosphere.
They have a Primark opening soon – and over 150 shops – a good idea for the Xmas shopping if you can’t face city traffic and throngs of folks puffing and panting in and out of the busy central shops.
Horse playing tonight….may just go bck.

Rosting, fun, lots of chat, saw this sign in the dressing room. Was a little worried my mum Pat knows nothing about electrics. Gawd help us.