Christmas Day – dog day afternoon.

Miming along to a Lady GaGa number. Sam - nice but dim.
Singing along to Lady Gaga is Sam - nice but dim.

How they love watching everyone opening their stockings. How they love watching the turkey being cooked and carved with the chance of the  odd chipolata plummeting onto the floor and being guzzled by themselves. Ah yes bliss.
Despite all this merriment the highlight of their day  is when the attention is turns to them. A tradition in many a Scots house is that everyone has a party piece. The dogs are no exception.

First off was Sam the labrador cross,  pictured here  singing a traditonal ballad. Originally in Gaelic she translated it and as you can see by the sincerity in her face it was a very moving song. Being accompanied by Lyle Lovett on the guitar who we were surprised and delighted popped in for a bit of Xmas pud and a sherry, the two of them brought the house down. Sam, rescued from Edinburgh dog & cat home several years ago has never forgotten the days when she had to sing for her supper under Waverely Bridge andthat day Lyle tossed a coin into her blanket. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after their version of ‘I’m Nobodys Child’.

Nelly Lutcher - the lurcher - demonstrating hat wearing for the pointy.

Next on the podium was  Nelly – Mum’s dog – named after Nelly Lutcher the 1940/50’s jazz singer as she is a lurcher and also coincidentally a jazz singer. She took to the stage right after  Christmas dinner and was exhausted after singing the full back cataglogue of Ella Fitzgerald classics. She is pictured  relaxing on the couch after a large whisky and a Bonio.   Another Dog & Cat home girl – she was chucked over the wall of the home and found there the next day. It wasn’t long before we took her in and imagine our delight  when we reliased she could sing like a bird – sorry I mean dog.

I make no apology for the fact the low slung, half womble half haggis dog named Flora – as she is close to the floor- is my favourite. With the voice of an angel and a personality akin to Ray Winstone she holds  my heart in her gummy jaws. Unleashing her personality and halitosis  she got up and recited The Pobble Who Had No Toes before fashioning a rather jaunty hat addition out of some balloons which you can see her modelling here. What a star. Philip Treacy has been in touch desperate to get her to design a new line of hats for Ascot 2011 – watch this space.

Flora - close to the floor - and giving the evil eye.
If your dog fancies giving it a shot here are the words of
The Pobble Who Has No Toes -by Edward Lear

The Pobble who has no toes
Had once as many as we;
When they said “Some day you may lose them all;”
He replied “Fish, fiddle-de-dee!”
And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink
Lavender water tinged with pink,
For she said “The World in general knows
There’s nothing so good for a Pobble’s toes!”

The Pobble who has no toes
Swam across the Bristol Channel;
But before he set out he wrapped his nose
In a piece of scarlet flannel.
For his Aunt Jobiska said “No harm
Can come to his toes if his nose is warm;
And it’s perfectly known that a Pobble’s toes
Are safe, — provided he minds his nose!”

The Pobble swam fast and well,
And when boats or ships came near him,
He tinkledy-blinkledy-winkled a bell,
So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,
When they saw him nearing the further side –
“He has gone to fish for his Aunt Jobiska’s
Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!”

But before he touched the shore,
The shore of the Bristol Channel,
A sea-green porpoise carried away
His wrapper of scarlet flannel.
And when he came to observe his feet,
Formerly garnished with toes so neat,
His face at once became forlorn,
On perceiving that all his toes were gone!

And nobody ever knew,
From that dark day to the present,
Whoso had taken the Pobble’s toes,
In a manner so far from pleasant.
Whether the shrimps, or crawfish grey,
Or crafty Mermaids stole them away –
Nobody knew: and nobody knows
How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes!

The Pobble who has no toes
Was placed in a friendly Bark,
And they rowed him back, and carried him up
To his Aunt Jobiska’s Park.
And she made him a feast at his earnest wish
Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish, –
And she said “It’s a fact the whole world knows,
That Pobbles are happier without their toes!”


Writer & broadcaster.

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