The Eighteenth Blog of Augustus Lazarus Cooke (Gus)
I thought I’d tell you a little about our days, in particular, our walks. We usually do a lot of retrieving ‘cos after all we are working Labrador retrievers. Well, obviously, Frodo isn’t – he’s a Dalmatian, good for guarding horses and carriages, though he is quite good at retrieving biscuits from the ponds. When Mr H throws biscuits for Bill and Beatrice Crow Frodo does his impression of a crow. It’s not a very good impression ‘cos he’s big and white with black spots and he has four legs and Bill and Beatrice are small and black and have two legs and two wings – but he tries. Anyway, generally he doesn’t retrieve but walks along with Mrs H, keeping an eye on her and making sure she’s safe.
She’s always got her hands full. She carries a ball flinger in one hand and an AquaKong in the other.
She used just to take the AquaKong and we all chased after it but Bertie got so quick that Jenna stopped trying. Mr and Mrs H thought she was getting a bit depressed so they decided to take the ball flinger, too, and now Jenna is happy again. I chase after the ball as well and sometimes I get it and sometimes Jenna does but we both like to try. Bertie picks up his AquaKong and also races after the ball. He always knows where it is if he’s been watching Mrs H and he reaches it first and shows Jenna and me. Sometimes he doesn’t see it flying through the air and landing and then we have to search it out with our noses. It can take lots of time but we don’t mind and we never give up. If it lands in the water and we haven’t seen it Bertie swims out to it and nudges it with his nose to show us – he can’t carry the Kong and the ball at the same time.
I’ve been limping a bit recently and some days we’ve had to miss our walks; it wouldn’t be fair to leave one of us – ME – behind. After one day and then more than one day we’ve been allowed to go out again but I still ended up limping so I went to see Phil-the –Vet. He knows all about dogs and joints and bones and things and he doesn’t think there’s anything very wrong but I’ve got some medicine and some tablets and I feel much happier. Looking back I know I had started to get quite grumpy but now the pain has gone and I’m my normal patient self again.
Anyway, now we have retrieving walks and ordinary sniffing walks. It felt strange at first not to be searching for anything but we have realised we rather enjoy sniffing walks. We can always pick up a stick to carry if we feel the need to practise our skills. The first time we had a sniffing walk Bertie was really confused and kept looking for his AquaKong.
We’ve been to see Tia and Foxy and Buster a couple of times. The first time we went we had to be introduced to the baby. She's called Isla.
She’s much smaller than Frankie. The second time we went we had to stay in the house while everyone went out apart from Dean and the baby. Frodo disgraced himself and started howling – he doesn’t know Dean very well and he wanted Mrs H to come back. He settled down when Marnie came back to look after him. Mr and Mrs H and the rest came home later and they looked happier than before they went and said they were glad ‘it’ was all over. I’m not sure what ‘it’ was.*
I’m sure you know all about the kittens. They are rather interesting and growing bigger and bolder every day. Bertie loves them and wants to play with them all the time. He likes them rubbing round him.
Jenna and Frodo and I don’t mind that but we’re not keen on them playing with our tails. Earlier this week they went to spend a day with the vets and when they came back they were wearing collars but what collars they were – huge things!
Isambard, Herschel and Jellicoe
I had to wear one once – I didn’t like it and wouldn’t eat so my people took it off me.
Bertie is a very friendly boy but the other day when we were walking in the forest he saw something he didn’t like and started barking ferociously. Someone was hiding in the rhododendrons and he didn’t think they should be there. Mrs H explained that the man was helping to train Search and Rescue dogs and then Bertie calmed down. I know he wouldn’t have attacked the hiding man but he sounded really fierce. Jenna would just have trotted up and licked him if she’d noticed him. She’s a real softie, my sister.
Mrs H went away last week to see Bethan and Susannah then Bethan came home with her for a few days because Robert the Cat Whisperer was in the States. It was nice to see Bethan again – she really likes meJ
It’s time for us to have some food – beef heart and chicken carcase and some tripe – YUM!
Hwyl fawr am nawr! (That’s Welsh for ‘Goodbye for now!’)
*’it’ was Dorothy’s funeral