Here is my latest work, dedicated in memory of my dog Echo:
Here is my latest work, dedicated in memory of my dog Echo:
Turn out the bunting and hoist the flags—HRH is turning 70 in dog years today!
When I think back over the years, it is clear that he has always been unashamedly his fabulous, slightly divaesque self… and proud of it.
He is never afraid to make his thoughts, pleasures and displeasures known. He is a glutton for pleasure, though when us Jeeveses fail to indulge his every whim, he is known for his petulant pouts and attempts at endearing himself to us, so that we might change our minds.
His personality is mixture of Garfield, Marmaduke, and Winnie The Pooh. The latter representing his cuddly side that lives for bones instead of hunny, and his daily sighs of “oh bother.”
So when it came to finding the perfect picture, I had to think long and hard about what best captured his personality. There are the Marmaduke moments of him managing to jump into a bed so he could bury his precious bone within the folds of the sheets, and looking at me coquettishly like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth upon being discovered.
There are far too many pictures of him swimming while attempting to avoid the camera to choose from, and as many moments of him carrying his toys up and down the stairs as he does almost every night, because the diva within loves being praised for this particular prowess.
In the end I thought this one was most fitting… a bit of light shining out of his butt, because he wouldn't have it any other way than to have us all believe that the sun literally shines out of his backside!
Long Live The Duke and Long May He Reign 👑
The Duke’s personal walkies chauffeur called in sick today, so I found myself bestowed with the honour of serving HRH 👑
Given the 27 C / 80 F temperature by British standards effectively borders on officially being declared ‘hot’, we went to one of the local streams so the Duke could cool off.
After being reminded by a post in a CFS support group that cold baths and showers, helps to increase circulation, I joined HRH for a stroll through the cold water.
Every year these flowers blossom in the stream. It is a little thing in essence—but one that brings me joy each year that I get to witness their arrival.
Last night I remarked to the other half about how funny it would be to reimagine movies but with pets cast in the leading roles instead. The Duke, we decided would definitely be frenetically jumping up and down borking “show me the foods!” So I’ll dig in and start him with first, before offering up some of my other ‘pawsome' reimaginings.
First up: “Jerry Macanine", where instead of Tom Cruise, we have a pug mix loudly borking the unforgettable line, "Show me the foods!" Our pooch protagonist is a sports agent who struggles to keep his clients satisfied with squeaky toys and belly rubs. Instead of navigating the world of professional sports, he has to make his way through the competitive landscape of dog shows. Due to his demanding career, he doesn’t have much time for a special someone. But he is all like “you had me at hello” every time one of his Jeeveses opens the treat cupboard door 😍
Now, let’s gnaw on a classic: "Jurassic Bark". In this version, eccentric billionaire John Hammond opens an amusement park featuring gigantic cats and dogs. There’s the larger than life T-Rexton, a colossal golden retriever, shaking the earth with every step, and the Velocir-felines, a terrifying pack of oversized rag tag cats, chasing our protagonists around the park. The iconic line "Life finds a way" transforms into "Fluff finds a way" as our oversized pets manage to unlock their cages and face lick everyone into oblivion… except for that one awkward moment when the Pugtato-saurus steps out of the river from a refreshing swim, only to cause an unexpected smelly downpour of wet dog raining down on us all as he tries to shake himself dry!
Next up, “Harry Pawter and the Sorcerer's Bone" reimagined in the style of Tim Burton. The world of witchcraft and wizardry gets a serious furball makeover. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all different breeds of dogs attending 'Hogwarts School of Biscuitry and Fetchcraft.' The Houses? Gryffindog, Hufflepurr, Ravenclaw (featuring actual ravens), and Slinktherin (for all the mischievous ferrets and reptiles out there). The climax scene, in this case, involves Harry retrieving the Sorcerer's Bone—an ancient and magical chew toy—from the wicked Professor Quirrell and his hairless Sphynx cat, Voldemort.
Let's not forget the old Bellywood classic "Pawsablanca", but instead of Humphrey Bogart, we have a gruff bulldog named Bogie running the show. And the iconic line, "Here's looking at you, kid," becomes, "Here's sniffing at you, kid." Ingrid Bergman's character is played by a graceful Siamese cat, and the emotional drama unfolds as they negotiate the tumultuous world of a kennel during war time and a disconcerting kibble shortage.
Lastly, the beloved British romcom classic gets a delightful canine spin in "Bridget Bones". But instead of Renée Zellweger, we have an endearing and slightly clumsy Basset Hound named Bridget. Bridget Bones is the quintessential 'good girl,' always obedient but a bit of a klutz, often tripping over her own ears. Instead of keeping a diary to document her love life and weight woes, she chews on different bones to reflect her moods—rawhide for the good days, and squeaky plastic for the bad.
The dashing Mark Darcy, is now Mark 'Barky,' an impeccably groomed Afghan Hound with a slightly aloof demeanour. By contrast, Daniel Cleaver is a cheeky Jack Russell Terrier, always ready to stir up mischief and steal Bridget's favourite bones. The infamous "I like you very much, just as you are" scene is now "I like you very much, just as you chew." And the hilariously awkward fight between Mark and Daniel, is turned into a comical scuffle over a particularly coveted squeaky toy.
Bridget Bones’s clumsy charm, tail wagging optimism, and endearing howls at the moon when things go wrong will surely steal your heart. And remember, it doesn't matter how many times Bridget trips over her ears, she always gets back up—that's what makes her the perfect doggy heroine ❤️
Sure, the scripts may need a few rewrites, and there'd be an awful lot of snacks involved in filming, but who could resist those Oscar worthy puppy eyes, or the Award winning cat song “My Meow Will Go On”? One thing's fur sure… the red carpet at the Petcademy Awards would breathe new life into the ageing ceremony. Of course there would be the usual bitchy gossip, but now with added high octane cat fights, and lots of pupparazzi trying to catch photographs of our stars, and the art of grooming would be taken to a whole new level!
The Duke, also known as Side Eye Susan, sitting on his plush woolly bed giving me one of his classic “not this sh*t again Jeeves!” looks, mixed with soupçon of “I’m so cute, why wouldn’t you want to give me all the things?” 🥺
I always say he is 100% bichon fluff, and ruff-ly 200% pug attitude. It’s true what some say—pugs really do think they are better than us 👑
Except for dinner time when I’m granted a temporary pardon.
Unfortunately for me there’s also after dinner time, when he turns into a hobbit and looks at me like “but what about second dinner Jeeves?” After about 20 minutes of grumbles, the pug divatude emerges and he morphs into Marie Antoinette with demands of “let me eat bone cake!” (I suspect there might be some mutterings of “off with heads”, so I consider myself lucky that he doesn’t have opposable thumbs!)
As you can no doubt tell from all this, it is very hard work being the Duke and having to tolerate us insubordinate Jeeveses, which is why he requires all the snoozes. He manages to get own back though by kicking the ground into my face after he’s pooped like “here’s mud in your eye, Jeeves!” 😆
When you are a Mighty good boi, and can’t decide which furry toy to bring upstairs for bedtime, so you carry them both. In your mind you view it as the more, the furrier 🥰
But you are also sad, because you don’t like the Jeeveses taking pictures of you, because your spirit animal is Zsa Zsa Gabor.
The other half is away for a conference in Paris (nice for some), and our dog walker also happens to be on holiday (what are those again?)
So I had to get myself out of the house to walk the furry overlords. The Duke had himself a nice swim, and Little Spare enjoyed tracking the scent of some pheasants that were ahead of us. We got lucky that we missed the rain, and I picked myself some fresh blackberry leaves which I’m going to try in a tea later.
Not super exciting—but also more excitement than I’ve had in some time, and it’s always nice to feel a bit of warm sun on your face ☀️