Dog Book III

I have adopted the stance (stances can change) that there will not be one, not even a slim, melancholic volume about Lemon’s short and injury-prone time with us. However, this hardly precludes others from writing up their experiences. This morning I found myself actively encouraging Jeff, owner of Milla (or perhaps – and this was the prompt – in reality it is the other way round) to put pen to paper. Milla, a ruffian Dobermann rescued from the streets of London was one of Ollie’s early mates. He has his own short chapter in Walking Ollie and once featured in a column that trash daytime TV host Trisha Goddard used to write for the Eastern Daily Press.


Dylan, Milla, Ollie

Even by the standards of its category, Trisha’s column was particularly odious, consisting mainly of a sequence of boasts about the greatness of herself, her husband, her children (Little Missy 1 & Little Missy 2) and her fabulous lifestyle with its frequent flights to their little place in Cannes (quite a lot of complaints against baggage handlers in these passages). We see Trisha about the UEA sometimes, lyrcra-clad and power-walking her own small dog (she has the ipod headphones clamped on at all times to keep the public at bay). Milla turned up in her column because he took against her dog, and by extension took against her and apparently bit her on the backside (which I rather doubt). Trisha’s piece (as I recall it, it was some time ago) came dressed as a cry to other dog owners to keep their animals under control (even though her own pet goes loose and does do a bit of wandering off when the power walking becomes too tedious). In response to the column, and under one of my loonie-letter-writing pseudonyms, I wrote to the EDP suggesting that the animal in question (ie Milla, who, of course, I knew it to be) might be awarded a medal on behalf of all the women of Norfolk who had rather let themselves go and were not too bright either. This latter referred to a remark Trisha had been dim and conceited enough to make to Lynn Barber for a national newspaper interview (in the Observer) some while before. In Barber’s piece – which subsequently received huge local publicity – Trisha declared herself to be the only well-turned out and super-intelligent piece of crumpet to be found at the school gates come three o’clock, but, hey, wasn’t that was just one burden of living out in the sticks with the hicks (I hope you’re all keeping up at the back). Anyway, as you might imagine, as a consequence of this background, Trisha is not so popular in Norwich, and even though she was a columnist in the paper my letter still found its way into print under the headline ‘Ouch!’ and with an accompanying picture of Trisha looking pained beside it! This was a happy day for S Foster aka ‘Yours Sincerely, Sidney Bonkers.’

But back to Milla. The prompt for the book idea (My Adventures With Milla) came when Jeff said that owning the animal had rather curtailed his life. Though I knew something of what he meant by this, I asked him to expand. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘For instance, I used to love walking by the sea but we cannot do that anymore as Milla drinks it and then has projectile diarrhoea in the back of the car on the way home.’
‘Ah yes,’ I said, ‘That’s a good one. What else?’
‘Well, we can’t really go anywhere on holiday with him like we did with our other dogs.’
‘Why not?’ I asked.
Jeff looked at me as if to say, Do I really need to explain? This is rather obvious isn’t it: it’s because of his ‘general behaviour.’ (True enough, I had a few [big] paw marks about my midriff from where Milla, in his most traditional way, had made several efforts to mug me for biscuits. There is always some forensic evidence of a meeting with him.)

Milla is about seven now, Ollie would be the same age. Jeff and I picked them up at about the same time – when they were each somewhere between six and twelve months. Jeff went on to say that Milla’s real problem is that he is completely insecure, that it is only his routine that anchors him, that if things don’t happen in exactly the same way at the same time every day then he is easily freaked out. Ollie was a lot like that; maybe it is a common neurosis in a rescued animal.

After a short pause, and perhaps thinking about another good passage for his forthcoming bestseller, Jeff said that Milla was also the greediest animal he’d ever come across. Many dogs are principally motivated by food: Dylan is very greedy, and indeed Leo, an elderly golden Retriever (who makes a guest appearance in Along Came Dylan, and who is usually out walking alongside Milla) had been admonished by his owner, John, during this morning’s walk for scoffing something repulsive (possibly a tie-up from a sock) that he had found on a rugby pitch.
I asked Jeff for a specific. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘Take last night. Milla was asleep in his basket, by the radiator, snoring away…’ (here Jeff mimed the upside-down stance with the legs stretched akimbo towards the ceiling). Next thing, he said, Pam (Jeff’s wife) opens the fridge door, which is two room’s away and, ‘Milla flies out of his basket into the air as if the sniper’s bullet has just whistled past his ear…’

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21 Responses to Dog Book III

  1. Daftburger says:

    Do you mean Trisha Goddard? 😛

    Do dogs inherit racist behaviour from their owners or is it innate?


  2. Stephen Foster says:

    Sshh but thanks for sparing me further public embarassmant there Burger; at least I was consistent about it ;–)

    In the case of Milla & racism, well, Jeff does get most of his information from the Mail, though at least he refers to it as the Daily Nazi…

  3. Daftburger says:

    Maybe it’s me who should feel the ’embarassmant’ knowing who the daft bint was!

    Although I was slightly confused and was going to give you a right lambasting for daring to diss the lovely Lisa Goddard! 😀

  4. Mark Elt says:

    Liza you thicktard.

  5. makemeadiva says:

    I am sorry to keep harping on about my Dobermann cross, but he was as neurotic as hell and I totally empathise with the life curtailment! We couldn’t go near swings (near being with 1km) so park walks were tricky, nowhere near kites (we lived by Hackney Marshes a magnet for kite-flyers!), couldn’t get round the local walk problem by bunging him in the car because he hated that too and loud noises would have him running home. The neuroses got worse with age which was humbling as I always insisted he would “grow out of it”.

    The thing was I grew accustomed to curtailment and am now experiencing all the new and different varieties of life-limiting with Rudi: can’t go to parks when there is a kickaround, can’t walk down streets with cats, can’t go anywhere with lame squirrels without a bloodbath ensuing…

    One question – why?

  6. Daftburger says:

    Coming from a psuedo intellectual like you thats quite a compliment! Are you standing in for OldStokie?

  7. Stephen Foster says:

    Maybe they pick it all up off their Mam with her neuorises of flying in safe aeroplanes and driving down dark safe motorways ;–)

    Perhaps ‘A Nation of Dog Lovers – Neurotic Dogs and Their Sainted Owners’ is Dog Book III?

    What d’you think? One page and a quality photo of dog and owner to illustrate each *tale? All I have to do is put out an APB & I’ll have 25,000 stories in a fortnight.

  8. makemeadiva says:

    Sounds good! Someone told me last year what was missing from the market is a general guide to types of dogs as pets so I had a go at grouping them: sight, scent, terrier, working with all their subdivisions etc.! A nice photo of some breeds and some stuff about their general genetic evilness would be perfect IMO 😉

    e.g. Sighthounds are running dogs; after all the ability to spot prey on the horizon would be pretty darn useless if said hound was unable to do anything about it… Walking this type of dog (and I use the verb very loosely indeed) is a sight to behold in itself. If keeping a freak of nature on the end of a lead for its natural life appeals then go right ahead, but to truly appreciate these finely-honed specimens you do ideally need to find opportunities for them to do what they do best – namely jump and run! This indulgence will need an owner with a strong stomach and a very thick skin. Preparedness to leave the field of play in deep disgrace on frequent occasions is a great advantage. The ability to nonchalantly trudge miles after the hound, who may also be out of sight, and the patience of a saint to boot is pre-requisite.

    and so on…

  9. Mark Elt says:

    Interlectewal, you mean. I’m more OS’s wing man. Not in a Top Gun way mind.

  10. OS. says:

    “I’m more OS’s wing man. Not in a Top Gun way mind.”

    Not true. I’d lost my oxygen mask on *that* thread and was struggling big time until you came in with ‘Bandit at nine o’ clock, OS’. I was glad to eject when I had the chance. The only saving grace was that I got the better of Forny. I supose that was worth a few cannon shells up the arse from Momo and Merk. 😉

    You didn’t help, Daftbugger. You just sat there laughing at me. 😦 😉


  11. Stephen Foster says:

    I’m getting close to a pitch here…

  12. Stephen Foster says:

    That is the generalised Daftburger approach isn’t it. I’m not sure how much use he’d be when confronted by Tony’s Taliban *

    * Oatie neologism of the week.

  13. OS says:

    “I’m not sure how much use he’d be when confronted by Tony’s Taliban *”

    Zero…but he does set the occasional IED for Forny in a ‘tail-end-Charlie’ sort of way; so I forgive him. 😉

    (great neologism, btw) That cannot be wasted. 🙂


  14. Daftburger says:

    If it makes you feel any better OS I don’t find anything about Pulis funny. It was good to get a bit of life back into the Oatie though! Your arms must be aching from all the reeling in you’ve done in the last few days! 🙂

  15. Daftburger says:

    My problem is the fact I haven’t been to a game since Sammy Bang Bangs home debut and I refuse to wear Baseball caps and tracksuits that and the fact I refuse to go whilst Pulis is in charge as I have principles unlike some PHW’s! ;-)! Just think what Tony’s Taliban would do with that little snippet!

    Pompous little men like Fornside are ten a penny in Armed Forces environs.

    Whats frightening is the blind faith shown similar to those following Hitler or the BNP! In fact when you think of Fornside think Josef Goebbels! Merkin is obviously Herman Goering! 😀

    Look at the link and in a new fun game you can match your own rimmer to the Nazi hierarchy!

    winger are you Julius Streicher or would that be smudge? 😉

  16. OS says:

    First of all, just let me say that “Perhaps ‘A Nation of Dog Lovers – Neurotic Dogs and Their Sainted Owners’ is Dog Book III?” is an excellent idea. The subject matter is endless and it could include many snippets from so-called ‘famous people’ who keep dogs as well as us proles. I can tell you a tale about Buster, our local gang-dog in the late 40’s, who chased a pig for a mile before we caught him and brought him back to slaughter – the pig and not the dog, although our hunger was so ferocious in those days that ‘Dog’ on the menu would not have been unknown. 😦

    That’s that on the topic of this thread. Now back to Daftbugger.

    Oi! That link has opened up numerous opportunities and has been saved to my favourites. I will make good use of it in due course. Personally, I see forny as Ernst Rohm. All he needs is a squirrel perched on his shoulder and wa-la, job done. 😉

    Biggles aka General Patton.

  17. Stephen Foster says:

    I think I’ll elect to be none of them if you don’t mind, they’re not a pretty sight are they?

    By the way – you should get yourself along to the Brit Mr Burger, the footie’s out of this world ;–)

  18. Stephen Foster says:

    First of all, just let me say that “Perhaps ‘A Nation of Dog Lovers – Neurotic Dogs and Their Sainted Owners’ is Dog Book III?” is an excellent idea.

    I’m close to pitching it.

  19. Jan says:


  20. Patty says:

    I would love such a book!!!! Lord knows we need one too. Drzl has now developed a great fear of entering a doorway unless the door is COMPLETELY wide open. What’s that all about??

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