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"Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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The Beginning

The Hunger Strike

I have been on hunger strike, well not really on strike from eating food as that would be just ridiculous. I have been on strike from eating from my bowl. It seemed like the sensible thing to do under the circumstances. My new mantra is “I will eat any food in any bowl except from my bowl.”

It all started about 2 months ago, I found a small round white tablet in my food. I was a little bit suspicious but I decided to eat it anyway. Well I can tell you that my tummy was going round and round making all sorts of noises. So I decided that I would refuse to eat from that bowl again.

Red Toes was trying to encourage me in all sorts of ways “Come on Benji, eat your breakfast. Come on Benji eat your dinner.”  No, not interested” I would say.

She would waft the dish in front of my nose, or move my bowl around to different places in the kitchen. “No, not interested” I would say and turn my head away.

Once she even brought some food to me on the porch while I was sunbathing.  Eventually she decided to ration me to biscuits only in a small bowl to encourage me to eat. Which I always did, when I was ready and provided that it wasn’t my bowl.

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Then one day she placed some tuna in my bowl and boy it was all forgotten. I lapped up that tuna in its juices, the next day I had biscuits in my bowl, then meat and the whole incident was over.

 

That was until I caught Red Toes trying to poison me again 2 weeks ago. I was eating my meaty breakfast and there it was. A small round tablet, I picked it up and placed it at the side of the bowl “Boy that was a close shave” I said as I walked away in disgust.

During my next meal I was a bit concerned so I slowly walked up to the bowl of biscuits and use my tongue to careful lift some biscuits from the bowl. There it was again, a small round tablet. “You must think I’m stupid” I woofed at Red Toes. I lifted up the tablet and left it beside the bowl and walked away.

“That is it Red Toes, I am not eating any more tablets from the bowl. I will tell Grandma that you are trying to poison me!” I was so angry and hungry as I had refused to eat both breakfast and dinner. Now my tummy was rumbling.

So when Red Toes offered me some ham, I nearly took her fingers off in gratitude. “Hold on a minute, this ham is crunchy” I said. “What is that? Oh, no I think I have eaten the tablet again.

I am keeping a close eye on Red Toes and am not eating from the bowl until I decide that it is safe.

 

 

 

 

It’s my Birthday

Today! I am so excited. Red Toes kept telling me that it is my birthday but I didn’t know what that meant. It is like Christmas all over again. Yippee!

I was woken up early by Red Toes who started singing a song “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Bithday to you, Happy Birthday dear Benji, Happy Birthday to you. One today Benji” she said.

 She then let me jump on the giant bed. “Wow, it really must be my Birthday” I say. Just as I was settling down, she produced a bag and placed it beside me.

“Oh, oh this smells good, I can smell Grandma too” I am wagging like crazy. When out of the bag pops a ball. “A new ball, Wowee” I say as I chase the ball across the bed. I then come back to sniff the bag again.

“What’s this…a bit of card to chew? Thanks, I love card” Red Toes pulls a wool scarf from the card and pops it over my head. “Oooh this is smart”I say.

I skip across the bed to the bag again and another ball old out. I am so happy 2 new balls to play chase with. Red Toes pulls out a card with an orange thing strapped to it, I am not sure what this is for. “What is it?” I ask. “I will show you later Mr Benji”

I must be growing up fast “Mr Benji” never been called that before.

I went back to the bag to have another sniff, it looks like it is now empty. I think that my favourite present is the bag, I used my teeth to chew it on the corners. I managed to get my head right inside and grab the bottom with my teeth. Red Toes started laughing as I had the bag on my head, it was very funny.

Of course bag was my favourite, that was until Red Toes showed me that treats are stored in the orange toy and it is a new puzzle for me to work out how to retrieve the treats. I love treats!

Red Toes had to go to work, I don’t like work, especially on my Birthday.That said I am a very lucky boy to have all these presents. Do you like my new scarf?

Sporting my new Scarf
All my pressies

Ribbert Ribbert

“What kind of word is that?” I ask the strange creature that jumped into my path.

“Ribbert” he replies.

“Is that all you can say?  Is that your name?”

“Ribbert” he replies.

“So your name is Ribbert Ribbert. That’s a funny name. My name is Benji I live with Red Toes (the one attached to my lead).”

Just as I held out my paw to shake Ribbert Ribbert’s paw he jumped away. “Hold on a minute I was going to sniff you as a proper welcome to the neighbourhood” I said.

As I move forward Ribbert Ribbert started hopping again. The more I moved towards him the more he hopped away.

“He’s not that friendly for a new chap in our street” I told Red Toes. I turned and walked away. I couldn’t have gone more that 5 steps and there was another chap identical to Ribbert Ribbert.

“Hi I’m Benji, do you know Ribbert Ribbert?” I say.

“Ribbert” he replies.

“Yes Ribbert Ribbert I just met him over there, he’s not that friendly” I said waving my paw at the new chap.

“Ribbert Ribbert” he says as he hops away.

“Yes Ribbert Ribbert, whats your name?” I call.

“Ribbert” he says as he hops off.

I look up at Red Toes wondering if she understands what is going on. “It’s a bit odd to meet two animals with the same name. I do know another Benji though so I suppose it’s possible” I say.

Red Toes is starting to crouch down, she puts her hand on my collar to hold me close. There are Ribbert Ribberts everywhere on the street.  They are hopping in all directions around us, we are trapped by Ribbert Ribberts. I stay to close to Red Toes, I don’t like this much.

As they come passed us they say “Ribbert”

Eventually I start to say “Ribbert” back  and wag my tail. I look at Red Toes, perhaps it is a new language and a way of saying good evening to these new strange creatures that have moved into my street.

Eventuallly all the Ribbert Ribberts went passed and I could carry on with my walk. Just in case you also speak this new language “Ribbert Ribbert to you all”

ribbert-ribbert

 

 

 

 

I felt alone

Lovely thoughts from a perspective of a new dad.

ArabBaba.Org

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This was from my journal 7 years ago. It is painful to translate into english and into any words because I remember my feelings. It hurt. It was love. It was painful. I felt alone.  I think that most mums and dads feel the same sometimes. But mine was me and I felt like I was the only person in the world at that time – aside from a tiny human being that looked to me for everything.

Crazy Wife is off to work.  I’m alone.  Not really alone, because I have this tiny thing next to me that is sleeping with tiny breaths and is quiet (atleast for 5 minutes).

I have to figure out how to navigate her being in my arms and then get the formula and bottle ready at the most perfect temperature it can be. I’m sure there is a smell getting ready to happen…

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The Haircut

I am starting to getting upset with Red Toes. She is putting me on a towel every day and brushing my hair. “I don’t like it” I makes me very upset.

Apparently Red Toes got told off by Lucie as my hair has little knots in it. “I like my little knots.”

Sometimes Red Toes brushes very lightly on my hair and this is just fine. Then she pushes the brush a bit harder to get the knots. It hurts me when Red Toes tries to get the knots out so I would rather just keep them.

One day this week Grandma came over. “Hello Grandma” I wag. I am very happy to see my Grandma she is always very nice to me. After we had a cup of tea and a chat Red Toes swept me up in her arms and placed me on the towel.

“Oh no, not this again” I say. I couldn’t believe Grandma is holding me down while Red Toes is pulling the brush through my hair. “Ow, Ow, Ow” I say. I turn round and round in circles so Grandma can’t hold me.

“Let’s stop for a minute” Red Toes say.

“Yes, let’s stop” I say. Thankful for the treats that Red Toes is placing on the towel.

Before I knew it, Red Toes was holding me and Grandma was pulling and pulling with the brush.”Ow hurts, Ow, Ow Hurts lots” I say. Flicking my legs in the air. There is no way that I am going to let them brush my legs or near my backside.

“Ha, now you have to give up brushing me” I say.

The following day, Red Toes takes me in the car. I don’t go in the car very often, so I am trying to guess if we are going puppy training, to the pet shop or on holiday. “No it can’t be a holiday I don’t have my bed” I think.

We don’t go very far which is a bit of a worry, perhaps its the vet?  As soon as the car door opens I know immediately where we are, I am here to see Lucie the dog groomer.

“Oh no, more brushing” now I am not very happy.

Lucie and Red Toes talk for a long time. “He won’t let me brush him” she says. “He is getting very upset when I try to brush the knots out.”

“Okay we are going to have to keep it short” Lucie says.

“Yes, lets keep the session short, just a wash and blow dry, no brushing thank you!” I agree.

As Lucie put me on her brushing and cutting table I was shaking a bit. “Please no brush” I whimper.

“No brush Benji just the clippers” she says. When she is finished she says all done.

“Oh my god, where is all my hair gone?” “It’s freezing cold without any hair, do you have a jumper?” I say.

 

Red Toes didn’t even recognise me when she came to get me. I do miss my hair especially in this cold weather.

Perhaps I had better get used to the brush for the future!

 

I’m a Dog not a Rabbit!

On Saturday afternoons we always walk down the hill to the big field called Bliss Mill. I love this field as I always meet lots of dogs and we can go in different directions to get back home.  Red Toes always keeps me guessing as to which direction we are going so it is always fun.

Last Saturday I was skipping along between different hummocks of grass, sniffing away to see which dogs have been to the field. I had run quite some distance in front of Red Toes because she walks so slowly and I can go very fast when I am off the lead.

All of a sudden Red Toes started to shout ” Benji come, come now, come on boy.”  I looked up from the mound of mud that I was sniffing to check what an earth was going on. She was running towards me.

“This is strange” I said. “Is this a new game of chase?”

She was still shouting and running when I noticed a large dark shadow moving towards me in the distance.

“Ooh what is that” I said. I turned my head and see the shadow is getting closer. Red Toes is now screaming at me “Come Benji, quickly now.”

I start to run as fast as I can, I don’t know what the shadow is but it is coming closer very quickly and I can tell by Red Toes voice that the shadow is bad.

“I’m coming, what is it , what is it?” I start to run as fast as I can back to Red Toes. I can see the shadow getting closer. I’m now really scared.

Red Toes is running, I am running.

“Red Toes help” I shout. The shadow is nearly reaching me.

I run harder, I am almost at Red Toes. She bends down with the lead in her hand and clips me right in just as this enormous bird flies right over our heads.

“What was that” I whimper, I’m shaking all over. She picks me up in her arms and I know that I am now safe.

“Oh my god Benji that was too close.” she says.

Once I stop shaking she explains “It looks like a Red Kite, they normally eat mice and moles. He must of thought that you were a nice fluffy rabbit.”

“A Rabbit, I’m not a Rabbit. I’m a dog!”

“Unfortunately they can pick up small dogs by mistake and fly off with them. We need to be more careful in the fields.”

“You saved me Red Toes” I said giving her a big lick.

I stayed on the lead for the rest of the way home just in case anyone else thought I was a fluffy rabbit.

benji-on-table
Just to prove I’m a dog not a Rabbit!

 

 

Balls, Balls Balls

Did I tell you that I got some new balls for Christmas?

It appears that Red Toes also has a ball.

For the last few weeks both of us have been playing with our new balls.

I like my small ball, I can carry it in my mouth. Red Toes sits on the sofa and throws the ball across the hallway. I run as fast as I can to get the ball as it bounces off the door, onto the floor. I have to reach it before it rolls down the stairs.

Sometimes I get a head start and jump in the air to catch the ball with my mouth. I am getting very good at this.

Once I catch the ball I run back to Red Toes and wag “Ready again” I say.

The problem with my small ball is that once I put it down it starts to roll. I have discovered that the living room is slanted so the ball rolls under the sofa.

This does not make Red Toes happy as she has to move the sofa to get my ball. “Jees Benji, how many times a day do I have to move the sofa” she says.

My next ball is red with white spots. It is a bit bigger than my green ball and cannot roll under the sofa. Red Toes likes this ball a lot.

This ball is big and soft. I can carry it in my mouth but it is a lot harder to catch when Red Toes throws it. I just can’t seem to get my mouth open wide enough.

This ball is great for football. Red Toes and I play this in the kitchen while we are waiting for the dinner to cook.”Benji in goal” she says. I wag my tail when I am ready, the she kicks the ball across the kitchen. I have to jump on the ball before it hits the side. I’m a good little goalie.

Our newest ball has always been there in the corner of the bedroom. It’s normally covered by clothes and not really used.

Lately Red Toes is getting up in the morning and doing things with her ball while I wait on the giant bed. This morning I decided to help Red Toes play with her ball, just like she does when I want to play.

When she was doing push ups on the ball, I placed my paws on her head and licked her face. She must of liked it as she started to giggle.

When she was doing sit ups on the floor with her feet on the ball, I laid down on her tummy. I licked her chin. She must of liked it as she started to giggle.

When she was doing jack knifes, I ran underneath her and tickled her with my tail. She must of liked it as she started to giggle.

I am so glad that I can help Red Toes play with her ball.

jack-knife

 

 

 

 

 

Another new Fad?

Before Christmas Red Toes decided to complete 100 days of no bread in an effort to lose some pounds. She definitely achieved her target of no bread. That said and I can’t speak for Red Toes but I am sure that I put on extra pounds on account of over eating cake and biscuits. I am glad that Fad is over.

Red Toes now has a watch that tracks her every move. So every hour on the hour she gets up from the computer and walks up the stairs, round the living room, round the kitchen, round the living room and back down the stairs. She squeal with delight when her tracker buzzes on her wrist.

I on the other hand am left wondering what an earth this new fad is all about and how it is going to impact me?

The good news is that she has been taking me out on really long walks. I am meeting so many new friends in the big field at the bottom of the hill.  This morning we went down the hill and I met Poppy a 2 year old Lab. I chased and chased in big circles. Eventually I wore her down and caught her. I was very happy with myself.

I showed Red Toes a new route that I found with Grandpa, so we went up the field with lots of tufty grass so I could jump and jump through the hills of grass. So much fun. I love crispy grass now it is so much nicer than wet grass.

The bad news and to be honest all these long walks are wearing me out. I am thoroughly exhausted and have to take big naps in the afternoon. If only Red Toes would let me!

I was just drifting off to sleep when I heard the watch buzz this afternoon. Keep your eyes closed I told myself, don’t move, perhaps she will forget that you are here.

No it was too late. ‘Come on Benji the watch says we need to go on a walk.’ she tells me.

‘No Red Toe’s you go on your own, I’m too tired go on another walk.’ I wimper.

‘The watch says you have to walk, not me’ I puffed.

Before I knew it, I had my harness on and we are at the front door ready to go out into the cold again. I am not sure how long this fad is going to be for but I am not sure I like everything about it.

Red Toes has now started talking about New Years Resolutions. Instead of 100 days of no bread she is announced yesterday 100 days of no biscuits, sweets and cake.

‘How about that Benji? 100 Days of no biscuits.’ she said.

‘Does that mean no biscuits to dip in our tea?’ I quizzed.

‘Yes correct, no biscuits at break time.’

‘Does that apply to Digestives?’

‘Does that apply to Ginger Nuts?’

‘They are both biscuits, so no Digestives or Ginger Nuts’ she said.

‘But I love Ginger Nuts’ I said as I walked off in a huff to my mat. ‘I don’t want to give them up.’

‘It sounds like a really bad idea to me.’ I barked.

I don’t like the sound of this at all. So if you see me walking down the street, please bring me a Ginger Nut as Red Toes is having another funny fad.

ginger-nuts

 

Who is Santa?

A few weeks ago Red Toes explained to me when I eat a treat from my advent calendar we are counting down the days to something called Christmas. She said when Christmas Eve comes Santa comes down the chimney while we are asleep and leaves a gift for all the good dogs and humans on the planet.

This is why I have been on my best behaviour. I have been sitting, rolling and waving my paws on command. I didn’t know that it was going to be this good…Wow wee what a whirlwind of a week.

It all started on Christmas Eve. Grandma and Grandpa arrived with lots and lots of bags. I didn’t know what was going on. ‘Are you staying in my house?’ I asked Grandma. I started to jump and jump with excitement. I ran round and round the living room. ‘Oh how exciting’ I wagged.

Red Toes was working in the kitchen with Grandma and then the strangest thing happened. Grandpa took me for a long walk down the big hill, over the field and all the way back into town. Grandpa never takes me for a walk. ‘This must be part of Christmas’ I thought.

We had some friends round for drinks, I sniffed and wagged at them all. ‘Happy Christmas to you’ I woofed. Then I realised that Santa Claus had not yet been and left us presents under the tree. I sat on my mat thinking. I have been good but has Red Toes been good enough for Santa Claus to visit us?

We all went to bed very late that night, I was so exhausted I couldn’t even jump at the door handle. The next morning it was crazy; Santa Claus had come and there were presents everywhere.

‘Can I open my presents yet Red Toes?’ I jumped up at her.

‘Not  yet Benji we have to wait for the others to arrive’ she said.

Just one present would be nice to open. There is one right up there smells so delicious, it must be for me. If I jump can I get it? Oh, no amount of jumping is going to get me that present. I put my paws on my head and stared at the presents.

In order to distract me Grandpa took me for a long walk over the fields. Grandpa never takes me for a walk. ‘This must be part of Christmas’ I thought.

Once our visitors arrived I ran round ‘Hurry up all, hurry up’ I wagged. ‘There are presents for me I am sure of it.’ Grandpa put all the presents in big piles.

I ran over to a pile, it had got to be mine, it smelt amazing. Red Toes let me sniff every present and then I took all the gifts back to my mat for investigation.

What a lucky boy I am. ‘I told you I had been good’ I wagged at Red Toes. I got a stocking with a penguin, a crocodile, more balls and lots of treats. ‘What do you think of my new jacket? Don’t I look really smart.

benji-xmas

Grandma and Grandpa stayed over at my house again and we all had breakfast before Grandpa took me for another long walk over the fields. ‘This definitely must be part of Christmas’ I thought.

Perhaps Grandpa is Christmas? After all who came with all the bags and took me for big walks- Umm?

2695886-happy-santa-claus-with-sack-of-gifts

 

 

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