Sunday, 28 December 2014

Leftovers - a post-Christmas poem for Rug and Dexter


Last of the turkey - the 29th of December
Roasted, sandwiched, utterly dismembered
Stock into soup, unknown leftover veg
Boiled and blended. Now I pledge
Henceforth, no fowl will be consumed
No chicken, duck or pheasant will be doomed
To a culinary fate
No bird will grace my plate
Fly, fly away sweet goose and grouse
Go far away from our unfeathered house
Vegetarians we shall become, and stay
At least until the dawn of New Year’s Day
For then we must, unless we die
Partake of butcher’s shop steak pie
Which, while it contains some form of meat
Does not have wings that flap or beat.
As for the dogs, Rug was outdone by Dexter
He stole her turkey skin, which vexed her
And come New Year, he’ll lick the ashets bare
And leave poor Rug to stand and glumly stare
At glistening foil, her slobber all a-dangle
Her jowls a-quiver, her sensitivities mangled
By the presence of this hyperactive beast
This devil dog, this appetite unleashed
Competing with her over every scrap
Disturbing every well-earned 12-hour nap
With pawings, nips and barks and growls galore
Which penetrate the deepest St Bernard snores
Until she’s forced to rise to her full height
And clench her massive jaws with all her might
On Dexter’s tiny head
He would be dead
If she had any teeth - but only gums
Close on his canine cranium
So he’ll survive into another year
He’ll cause no end of trouble too, I fear
In 2015. There is no doubt of that

Especially when he meets our brand-new cat...

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas with Rug and Dexter - Last of the First Chronicles

Christmas with Rug and Dexter - Last of the First Chronicles

This the final instalment of the (First) Chronicles of Rug and Dexter. But worry not! New tales of the merry canine pranksters are on the way - and this time, ones suitable for all the family.


Well, it is approaching Nöel, Christmas, the time for St Bernards of heritage and breeding to frolic in the snow, la neige, searching for lost travellers. Or in my case, lolling in a relaxed and casual fashion, repelling the antics of La Peste, Dexter the Devil Dog, while outside, the air moves in a quick and violent fashion, which is largely to be avoided. Even if  any lost travellers happen to be in the vicinity. In which case, they are probably not lost, but only inebriated and disconcerted by circumstances.

This is a time when presents are wrapped and placed beneath one of the artificial trees of Christmastide. Oh, how I long for genuine conifers. Or any sort of fir. Last year, I managed to consume approximately three kilogrammes of various chocolate products, and one of those Italian objects called a panettone, the bourgeois alternative to a box of Black Magic, only spongier. This reduced the custodian family to such a state of panic that they telephoned Victoria the Alternative Vet for advice, dogs being well known for their allergy to both chocolate and fruit cake. 

She advised pendulum swinging and chanting, neither of which the humans in residence did, being cynics, even the children. Especially the children. I could have told them not to worry, as I am a large canine of great robustness with the digestive system of a camel in the prime of life. This I know myself from past consumption of cocoa solids in large quantities. And Panatonne is not a fruit cake, but a jumped-up loaf with the merest sprinkling of currents.

Other, smaller, less hardy dogs are likely to be affected by eating chocolate, I must say, and the classic Christmas Cake will undoubtedly have a bad effect on my fellow four legged friends. Please, fellow dog beasts: restrain yourselves! Not all of you have the constitution of a classical Swiss breed of much largeness and sustainable appetite. 

I did ensure that plenty of both the panettone and the various chocolate substances  was available for Dexter the evil rat -like beast to munch, but he took no notice, being a creature of meaty bias. So he’s still alive. And in point of fact, it being Christmas, I am almost relieved. Almost. 
After all, who else who lick my eyes in an emotional fashion?


Well, it’s Christmas, and what a treat it is for the likes of myself! Brilliant brilliance of very very brilliant kind! 

The ready availability of cooked animal by-products is almost too much for a dog of wiry smallness, but the licking of tins that have been used for cooking everything from large dead birds to oily fish offers almost as many taste experiences as the peculiar range available in the eyes of the Fat Swiss Bitch. Her eyes sometimes have a weird smokiness, like the cigarette ends I used to nibble on Ayr beach. But always a pleasant savoury tang, as if her brain has been cooking, slowly in that enormous skull, and is lowly leaking out, like gravy. Which is a brilliant thought! 

Rug has actually been behaving with extreme poorness, destroying several carefully-wrapped presents and eating their contents, which I know from bitter experience can be dangerous to those of our species. I think of Charlie the Round Mongrel, or CRM, who consumed three advent calendars and a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. He was rushed to Algernon the Bluff, farm vet, cow and sheep practitioner, who administered an embarrassing enema and some kind of weird eye drops that made him sick. CRM then had to eat charcoal mixed in with his everyday dinners, which he proceeded to vomit onto  his owner’s fluffy white carpet. To no acclaim whatsoever.

So I avoid chocolate and dried fruit, especially in the form of cakes. I devote myself instead to the occasional delicious cluster of sheepshit (the caviar of the country!) tin-and-eye-licking, and the seasonal bone or sliver of animal fat, sausage, burger or half pound of butter. And so far, no ill effects save an unfortunate inner-doorstep delivery caused by custodian tardiness and indeed overconsumption of alcohol. I tried to to wake them up and make them take me, or even just let me out. But they refused to budge, and so what could I do?

Consider it a Christmas present, I said to myself. A brilliant one!