Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Digging for Gold? Gina the Tunneler.

We have had our dog for almost 10 years now. And she's sweet, absolutely. But she has this annoying habit: she digs up the flowerbeds.

Now obviously I know many (most?) dogs dig. They like to make themselves a cosy nest for sleeping in. And I remember our first Dalmatian dog digging holes underneath my Mum's beloved roses (alongside those dug by the chickens, by the way). 

But Gina doesn't dig her bed, she just...digs. Huge holes. And afterwards she comes in all muddy and flops down on the parquet all happy. And I go into the garden with dismay, and view yet another Hydrangea bush dug up, or my lovely Echinacea covered in earth.

She started in a small way, a couple of years ago, in the bed between the back and side garden, and we forgave her, for she had found the tunnel of a vole who obviously lived underneath that bed. We even praised her, I remember, clever girl, that will show that vole!

But then the small hole got bigger, and deeper, and we were certain that the vole had moved on ages before, and she dug up all my tulip bulbs in the process.

So we put up wire netting, to protect the bulbs and to stop her. She simply tore out the netting. Then we tried chaining her up when we weren't around to stop her. She howled. So now we try to keep an eye on her when she goes into the garden.
And as long as our eye is on her, she is innocence itself, simply snoozing in the sun or dozing in the shade, nowhere near a flowerbed, in fact.

And then, as soon as our attention lags, she is at it again. No way that she is digging for mice or voles (we hardly have any left anyway, with Viggo hunting them mercilessly) - and the holes get more numerous and bigger every time.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Viggo on Life (sort of)

Good morning to you, where ever you are!
Viggo has graciously consented to another interview.

Q: What prompted you to grant a third interview?

V: I want to set the record straight. After the second one I got a lot of flack about being arrogant and grumpy. I am not grumpy. In fact I am lovable, intelligent, funny, generous,  a good listener and...did I mention generous?

Q: Can you give an example of your generosity?

V: Of course I can! I bring my woman a nice juicy mouse, vole or mole at least once a week. I used to bring it right to her in bed, but for some reason she has made it plain that she wants them delivered elsewhere. Beats me. Anyway, I now leave them next to the back door, and she loves that. Every time I present one, usually with the head neatly severed, she shouts "Oh Viggo!". That says it all, doesn't it? She loves me.

Q: And you aren't tempted to eat them yourself?

V: Well...Yeah. Sometimes I cannot help myself. They smell so good, and I get these urges... But that's only sometimes, mind. Mostly I keep them for her. She deserves them, she's a good woman, really, she does her best. But yeah, I occasionally eat one. The thing is, I always regret it afterwards. The mouse hair doesn't agree with me, so I tend to barf a bit.

Q: Eeeeuw!

V: Don't be silly! It's  a fact of life that cats barf. I'm good at it, I do it discreetly in the garden, not everywhere in the living room like that tubby tabby that my woman keeps inviting into my home. Well, strictly speaking she's not a tabby of course, but in essence she is. Get it?

Q: What tubby tabby is that?

V: Oh, that's a sad case. She comes when her people go away on holiday. My woman has, in a moment of weakness, said that I will be hospitable. The tubby tabby comes from a shelter, like I do, but she has a screw loose. Even though she has been here numerous times, she always spends at least two days hiding behind the settee and she has this thing about staying in the cupboard under the stairs. I keep trying to get her to relax, you know, I even try to play with her to loosen her up a bit, but she just growls. Talk about grumpy, now there's a grumpy cat for you! And she hates my dog. Gina and I get along fine, Gina knows her place. But the tubby tabby is afraid of Gina. Quite comical, you should see her jump when Gina barks.

Q: How do you feel about the other cats coming into your garden?

V: Funny you should mention that. Tubby tabby is allowed into the garden, as long as she keeps her claws off the fish in the pond. They are mine, simple. And the frogs. They are mine as well. And come to think of it the rodents; mine! And tabby should stick to the paths, as the earth is mine as well. So...But the other cats should keep out of my garden. I'm quite strict about that!

Q: What do you do to keep them out of it then?

V: I have my methods. Me being black is an advantage. They tend to see me at the last possible moment, hehehe. Also I practice a very ancient defense technique, which originated in the East, called Cat Fu. I am not very heavy, but I'm fast as lightning. And it helps that I keep my claws sharp, obviously.

Q: Okay, well, thank you very much, I appreciate this.

V: No problem. Always happy to oblige. Now piss off, it is time for my snooze. You can put the extra bags of Purina in the back, my woman will take care of them, ta.