I’d like to introduce a new member to our group – Bones Anonymous – tonight and was hoping that everyone can make Sir Scruffy, who is on his first meeting, feel very welcome here.
Everyone: Hi, Sir Scruffy!
Can you tell everyone something about why you are here tonight? The moderator then hands the talking stick to Sir Scruffy who accepts it with good grace.
Thanks everyone for making me feel welcome as I’m a bit nervous as this is my first meeting and all. By the way, we can drop the whole “Sir” thing here as it is just Scruffy.
Everyone again: Hi Scruffy!
Yeah, thanks again. Um, well, I’ve always had this problem with bones and the enjoyment is no longer there for me. I see a bone and it becomes a personal challenge and I turn into a horrid monster. Yes, thanks, I appreciate the disbelief, but here I feel I must keep it real and tell it like it is. Yes, that's right: horrid monster. It all came to a bit of a head about two weeks ago when I was enjoying the Spring sunshine and totally destroying, sorry I meant enjoying, a quiet chew of my beef bone when Poopy the Pomeranian (he is technically a Swedish Lapphund, but let’s not give him airs and graces shall we?) walked way too close to my bone. Not fair, it was my bone, I tell you. Oh sorry, there I go again. And anyway, Poopy copped a good, well deserved and proper biting from me and our dog fight extended for quite a distance into the orchard. Who would have thought that Poopy would have put up such a good fight? Not I! He is pretty handy in a scrap.
|Sir Scruffy enjoys a good chunk of bone|
Anyway, that is when things turned really ugly. My owner Chris, had to break up the dog fight which I would have won. Chris grabbed me by my collar and dragged me back into the house. Poopy got the bone too. What was worse was that Chris looked me in the eye and said: “You used to be the best dog in the household! What has become of you?” At those words, I felt shame, although technically I still was the best dog in the household, merely because no other dog had seized that title. I had to admit though I do have a problem with bones and I was the major contributor to the ongoing canine Bone Wars. Yes, I freely admit that I have a problem with bones.
“Winding your way down on Scruffy Street
Light in your head and dead on your paws
Well, another crazy day
You'll munch the night away
And forget about everything”
I used to be the best behaved dog, before the bones. Well, technically, I still am the best behaved dog amongst a very motely pack; surely my owners understand that I’m still the same dog underneath it all? It will all blow over in time, maybe.
Anyway, I’m here tonight because, well, I want to find a way back to that unquestioned best behaved dog status. It was a good thing being the best dog ever, as I got to sleep on the floor in the bedroom. I acted as the interpreter for the outside dogs too during the night. For example: Are those fools barking at another boring wombat (unless it was wombat bones… Mmmm wombat bones!) or are they barking at something that needs human attention, like the when the drunks drove down the driveway late one night. How good am I?
|Sir Scruffy enjoys his perquisite of sleeping in the bedroom and acting as interpreter for the other dogs|
Look, my problem began because I just never had bones as a puppy. None! No bones, anywhere. Not even wombat bones. And bones are the best ever! Look at my bright shiny teeth. Yup, I just can’t control my feelings towards the bones. So, I’m here tonight looking for a canine sponsor to help me control my bones compulsion. As long as it is not Poopy. Who'd want Poopy as a sponsor? Look, the other day he was posing for a photo beside the rapidly growing broad beans.
|Poopy poses for a photo beside the broad beans|
What a showbag that dog is, he looks good on the outside, but is totally full of rubbish on the inside. And he wants my bones. Oh no, do I have to make amends with Poopy?
Someone in the Group: Yes, Scruffy, it probably isn’t a bad idea to make amends for your past behaviour with Poopy.
What! Well, perhaps I better make amends with Poopy. You don’t know what sort of week I’ve had. It has been one tough week.
Moderator of the Group: Tell us about your week Scruffy, but don’t rubbish on too much or I’ll call it time on you.
“And it's taken you so long
To find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything”
Oh, well, OK, I can do that. Well, this week it has been waaaaay windy! Do you know how hard it is to look cool when the wind is blowing so strongly that a dog looks exactly like a shag pile carpet from the 1970’s! Yeah, and not like that carpet looked back in the 1970’s when it was new, but as the same carpet would look today. Honestly, it is enough to send any best behaved dog in any household back off the wagon and onto the bones.
|Sir Scruffy struggles to stay looking cool in the strong winds this week|
Earlier in the week, I wasn’t able to enjoy bones because it was cold. Really cold, so I stayed inside the house as much as possible and practiced my next best gift: Sleeping. And I’m really good at sleeping. I can sleep in the hallway, which has a very nifty in built library, although none of the books have anything useful to say on the subject of bones. Hang on, is that an anatomy book? Oh, interesting!
|Sir Scruffy practices sleeping in the hallway / library|
But my other favourite spot to explore my gift of sleep is in my sleeping basket. That basket is mine and when I see Poopy sleeping in it, the first thing I do is dob on Poopy! And Poopy always gets evicted, because I was the best behaved dog in the household. So there! Best of all, the sleeping basket is near the wood heater and I feel toasty warm at night, when other lesser canines have to sleep outside.
|Sir Scruffy practices sleeping in his sleeping basket|
Observant listeners will notice that I look less than impressed in the above photo. Well, there is a good reason for that bad attitude. That’s because the wood heater has been quite smoky this week and hasn’t been putting out much heat. Anyway, on the first dry sunny day, I sent Chris up onto the roof to clear out the wood heater flue. He is very clever and can climb up onto the roof. You would not see me up there.
|Chris cleans out the wood heater flue with an extendable brush|
Apparently the extendable brush was pushed a long way down into the flue of that wood heater. It is a very clever idea, and I certainly would have come up with such a clever idea if anyone had bothered to ask my opinion.
|The extendable brush can be pushed a long way down the wood heater flue|
Not much soot fell out of the wood heater flue that day. What actually happened was that a whole lot of steel from inside the combustion chamber had delaminated and blocked up the flue. As I am a sophisticated and intelligent canine of noble breeding, I will not recount the exact words used by Chris to express his dissatisfaction with the wood heater as they included a number of extraordinary and inventive expletives. Who cares anyway as the heater is now burning strongly again. Chris probably needed a nice bone to calm him down. Bones aren’t the problem, they are the solution! Ooops, can I say that here? Sorry for the slip up. Yes, bones are bad.
|A large quantity of delaminated steel and a small quantity of soot blocked up the flue in the wood heater this week|
Chris was clearly a glutton for punishment this week as he dug up various sections of the gardens watering system today and laid the pipes over the surface. Of course, on a recent dog walk in a local botanical garden I happened to point out to Chris, that those clever gardening people also place their water pipes on the surface and how come we don’t too? Well, I did get a rather withering look from Chris, so I shall keep my opinions to myself in future. One doesn't want to buy more trouble.
|Sections of the watering system were dug up, checked for leaks and placed on the soil surface|
Who knows what things humans are doing all the time with their constant tinkering and digging. Pah for that! The only digging should be when you are digging up previously buried bones, that’s proper digging that is! Sorry, it’s the bones you see… I just can’t help it!
“You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you're trying, you're trying now”
Then they were mucking around with lovely smelling manure and some plants. Chris said something about the water had to be connected before the tomato seedlings could be planted and so the water pump had to also be replaced as well for some strange reason. There was lots of huffing and puffing in between some rather unsavoury talk. Humans! Anyway, eventually all of the tomato seedlings were planted out. And I said to them: What are you going to do with the rest of the tomato seedlings. And they looked at me and said: Get lost! No wonder, I have to find comfort where I can. Poor Sir Scruffy...
|The tomato seedlings were all planted out today just before a couple of solid days of rain were forecast|
Given the humans didn’t want me around, I thought I’d do a show and tell for the group and take you on a quick tour showing how everything is going!
“Another year and then you'd be happy
Just one more year and then you'd be happy”
I noticed today that they put some sticks into the two asparagus beds. I don’t know what they’re doing and no doubt, they don’t know what they’re doing either! Still, they must know something, mustn’t they?
|The asparagus beds have now had timber supports placed in them so as to stop the spears from falling over|
Then I spotted this mysterious flowering bulb. No doubt someone at this meeting will hopefully be able to tell me what it is. Anyone? Then I can show those humans just how smart I am? Well, I was the best behaved dog after all.
Flowers, flowers and more flowers! Can you eat them, that’s what I want to know? I can’t even reach the quince flowers either, but I’m told that they are very attractive.
|The quince fruit trees are flowering this week|
Yeah, yeah, more flowering bulbs. Blue bells this time.
|Bluebells are sporting flowers all over the place|
And don’t forget that I was once the best behaved dog in the household! Oh yeah, it is not about me is it, because the next flowers are forget me nots (Haha! How good was that joke, I told you that I was a clever dog!).
|Forget me nots are very hardy and reliable flowering plants and even a little bit weedy|
The flowers on the pear trees are again out of my reach. I only wanted a taste of them. How unfair! Anyway, there are a lot of unreachable pear flowers this week.
|The Asian and European pear trees are flowering|
Dogs like chips and I am no exception. Of course being an intelligent dog, I realise that chips come from potatoes so it is very good that Chris planted a lot of them this year. And best of all they seem to be growing well!
|The first of the potatoes produced leaves this week|
The radishes have also germinated earlier this week. Seriously, what sort of dog eats radishes? What do you mean that you put white radish into my dog biscuit mix. Yuk!
|The many radishes and beets have germinated this week in the sunshine|
I like bones, but I also like strawberries and it is a total disgrace and a major chunk of unfair that Chris and the editor put layers of bird netting over the many strawberry plants just to keep me out. Not fair at all I tell you!
|Several layers of bird netting were placed over the many strawberry plants to protect the fruit and plants from pretty much everything!|
Being an old dog, you kind of remember the past and stuff. So I wanted to show a before and after shot to show what is possible for a reasonably neglected garden bed in four years which was the time between the first photo and the second.
|Making a garden bed on a steep slope 2012|
|The same slope in 2016|
“He's got this dream about buying some land
He's gonna give up the bones and the one-dog nights
And then he'll settle down
In some quiet little town
And forget about everything”
Thanks for listening to my story and with your support and sponsorship I promise to be better behaved in the future. Woof! Woof!
And also serious apologies to Gerry Rafferty for destroying his most excellent song Baker Street. Dogs will be dogs!
The temperature outside now at about 8.15pm is 8.3’C (46.9’F). So far this year there has been 1,040.8mm (41.0 inches) which is up from last week’s total of 1,020.2mm (40.2 inches).