In the lead as usual.
I sincerely apologise for neglecting my communication duties. I do hope that everyone is well. The thing is, I have only just regained consciousness after forgetting to send Chicken a Valentine’s Day card. We have decided unanimously never to speak of it again.
I feel a quick update of events is in order. Firstly, I received a letter from The House Of Commons. I have returned it unopened as it was incorrectly addressed simply to Monty. If the government wants my advice about something they can use my official title of Monty The Great.
Secondly, Chicken is convinced that she is being stalked by a ghost cat. I rang PC Dave at the Station to ask if there had been any other reports of said ghost cat, to which he replied in the negative. He has promised to keep his eye out for anything suspicious.
Thirdly, we are still caught in the nightmare that is the diet.
Lastly, I have called a meeting to discuss the refurbishment of my garden. I have big plans for this year with regards vegetables. Work will begin as soon as this snow has cleared. Until then, Chicken and I will make the most of it.
Monty The Great
I am in the process of painting the back fence, which is taking longer than I thought it would. The other day, I got everything ready and then went back into the house. When I came back out with my coffee, I found this:
I’d like to say we have reached (another) new low with Monty, but he once weed in somebody else’s food bowl, so I can’t.
The original foundations
As you may recall, Chicken and I had worked very hard to dig out the foundations of our race track. The whole project had been fully approved by the government, to the best of my knowledge, so I foresaw no problems. Unfortunately, my plans had to be put on hold when Arky-Ollie-Just cordoned off the whole area without offering any explanation. The portable green fencing also denied us entry to my pit, which I was particularly annoyed about.
Unnecessary portable green fencing
Overgrown and ruined
This fencing remained in place for just over two weeks, rendering my project behind schedule. In addition to this, the foundations gradually disappeared, ruining all our hard work. When the fencing finally came down, the whole area was a disgrace. It was completely covered in thick, new grass which Arky-Ollie-Just immediately set about cutting. I checked over the whole area for any security breaches, of which there were none.
I’m pleased to report, that only four days later, the foundations for the race track have been re-done, and the project is now back on schedule, with an estimated completion date of early November. I do believe that both Arky-Ollie-Just and The Fairy were pleasantly surprised at the speed with which we rebuilt our track.
Right back where we started
Monty has won the Annual Shoplifting Competition, despite the fact that he hasn’t been with me a year yet.
I have always had to keep food out of his reach, and he is partial to rummaging through shopping bags, but yesterday he surpassed himself.
He found, stole and then opened a £10 pack of rump steak. He took a 400g raw steak for himself, and left the other one for Chicken. He was incredibly pleased with himself: no sign of guilt at all.
I had cheese sandwiches.
Poor Monty hurt his foot yesterday. I didn’t realise at first because he hadn’t cried and I was busy on my computer. It was only when I got up to go into the kitchen to deal with a tray of burning sausages, that I realised something was wrong. There was blood on the floor and Monty was licking his foot.
I took the sausages out of the oven and then carefully cleaned his foot which was bleeding from between two of his toes. I then had to mop the floor with hot water and disinfectant. When I’d done that I took Monty a sausage to make him feel better, and gave Chicken one because it’s never a good idea to leave her out where food is concerned.
A few seconds later they both turned up in the kitchen wanting another sausage. I think Monty actually ran, so I’m not that worried about his foot. Anyway, I gave Chicken a sausage and she dropped it into the mop bucket and disinfectant so I had to give her another one. Then Monty dropped his into his water bowl on the way to his bed. He managed to fish it out before Chicken could steal it.
Today we went to the lake and saw geese, swans, ducks, two pigeons being dive-bombed by what looked like a couple of house sparrows, and something that I was convinced was a penguin, but turned out to be a magpie. I also saw a rabbit about two foot from the path, but neither of my eagle-eyed dogs did.
I was supposed to be getting the lawn mower out today but luckily it has rained. This also means I haven’t been out and cleared the dog mess off the garden, which is fine by me because I hate doing it. It feels too much like outdoor housework. I am seriously considering ordering 200 dung beetles to do the job for me.
I think I have managed to cure Chicken of her separation anxiety by giving her a taste of her own medicine. Since she damaged the end of her tail I have been giving her extra cuddles and attention. She loved this to start with, but couldn’t quite understand why I was constantly following her about. Because I didn’t want her to keep hurting herself, and because I’m fed up of washing blood off the walls, I kept trying to hold her tail when she wagged it. (This doesn’t work, by the way. It just makes the bit available for wagging shorter and thus faster.)
After a full day of constant attention, she got up and went to lay on the floor. All by herself. I think I have smothered her separation anxiety out of her. When I went to the toilet I went on my own. When I went in the kitchen I went on my own. When I came down from upstairs, she wasn’t waiting at the foot of them. Obviously I was concerned, so went over to her to see if she was OK. She just sighed, got up and walked over to her bed away from me. I am so anxious about her not being anxious about being separated from me, that I keep going back to her for attention.
My extra attention to Chicken has also had an interesting affect on Monty. He’s now playing all the time with things he knows he shouldn’t be – like my handbag, TV remote and phone – and is attention seeking all the time. He’s being really affectionate as well, and keeps coming for cuddles. He lost control completely when I came in from shopping, and shredded my extra strong, long-handled shopping bag which I had been forced to buy since the 5p fine for carrier bags was introduced.
So to sum up:
- Chicken’s separation anxiety has been transferred to me.
- Monty is now attention seeking for the first time.
- The house is still covered in blood.
- I have no shopping bag.
I have a niggling feeling that this is a step backwards.
Yesterday I decided to do some housework. I like to do this every few months if I can, as I think it’s important to keep on top of it. Also, it had come to the point where there really was entirely too much garden in the house.
Monty doesn’t like to break with routine, so he gets very stressed when I tidy up and he sulks like a baby. I moved the furniture around at the same time as doing the cleaning, and it didn’t matter where I went – Monty was in the way. He layed himself flat out and refused to move, even when I smacked him repeatedly in the head with the mop.
Poor Chicken is really frightened of the mop and the vacuum cleaner so she didn’t enjoy the cleaning session either. I think it might be best if I don’t do any more housework until summer. For the sake of my dogs, obviously. I’ve never been much of a domestic type, and yesterday was the most boring day I’ve had in a long time.
The only saving grace was the Chicken Standing On Monty Incident. I was trying to pull the dog blanket out of the way but Monty wouldn’t move so I thought, “Have it your own way,” and I threw the blanket over him. He didn’t move; but Chicken did. Pretty quickly actually. Although she’d watched me cover him up, as soon as I had, she forgot he was there and jumped on the blanket. Judging by the scream, I think it’s safe to say she had landed on something important.
There followed much snarling and snapping and generally throwing his weight around, but he couldn’t see what he was doing because he was still stuck under the blanket. In the end he banged his head on the TV and stood stock still, waiting for one of his servants to release him.
In the interests of professional credibility, reputation and of acquiring a job in the future, I would like to disassociate myself from Monty’s ludicrous illegal fracking theory. In no way do I support any of his arguments and I have never said anything to him to suggest that I do. Nor have I found any evidence to support his idea.
I do not want to disassociate myself from Monty himself, because as a greyhound I think he’s wonderful. He’s one of the greatest retired racing greyhounds I’ve ever met. But come on, Monty! Illegal fracking?
IT’S JUST CHICKEN, YOU DUNDERHEAD.
IT’S ALWAYS BEEN JUST CHICKEN.
She’s digging up your garden, mate. Deal with it.
P.S. Put your hand up if you looked up agrostology on the Internet.
A reply from Monty:
‘When a true genius appears in the world, you can know him by this sign; the dunces are all in confederacy against him.’ John Kennedy Toole
Yesterday wasn’t the best day I’ve ever had. The wind was warm, which English people don’t understand or cope with. The dogs raided the kitchen and ate things they shouldn’t have. Chicken has taken to digging in the hole every time she goes out in the garden, and bringing the mud into the living room. Monty razzed on the carpet, and my lottery tickets were defective so I’m still not a millionaire.
Monty is not the bravest boy and is frightened of big noises so he didn’t really enjoy walking in the wind. He tried to hide behind my knees to start with so I couldn’t walk properly, and then he dragged me all the way home. I do feel a bit sorry for him but he has triggered my tennis elbow so there’s a limit to my sympathy.
On the plus side, I did see a pigeon in town which was having to walk sideways because of the wind. I’ve seen many pigeons over the years, but I’ve never seen one walking sideways. If you get the chance to see this, you should. It’s the best thing ever.
Also, after tea, both my dogs cuddled up with me on the settee which I love. Chicken is allowed to sit near Monty as long as she doesn’t touch him too much. And she certainly can’t kick him in the head. He doesn’t appreciate being kicked in the head. She’s cuddling his bum at the moment and everything should be fine, as long as she doesn’t move.
Monty gets a cuddle