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samedi 11 août 2018

WONDER AND SERENITY


We often think that we need grand things in life to make us happy, and yet there are so many small things that can bring great joy and make our day. 

Let me give you an example and share with you a pure moment of happiness, a kind of " enchanted interlude ".


Some time  ago I was having breakfast on my terrace, when suddenly a deer came out of the undergrowth, stopped, stared at me, and then, started grazing.





I was thrilled to bits, cause I had not seen her since last February, and, of course I had feared the worst. All throughout the hunting season the gunshots nearby or in the far distance had broken my heart and chipped away my hopes to see Mrs Deer again.





Yet, early July when the first heatwave had swept across the country, and dried the brook running through the garden, I had thought that if by chance Mrs Deer was still alive and paid a visit, offering a drink was the least I could do.
First I had put some bowls of water here and there, but the birds had invested the place to enjoy that unexpected " happy hour " (a kind of reward for their early cheerful chirpping).






Then, Canaille and Ulysse, my dogs, had splashed the water all around, before coming back to thank me for that refreshing break, with quite a few wet paw prints on the floor.



After browing through the Net, I had found out that deers are really mad about salt lick blocks. I had rushed to the nearest farm feed store to get some, and when the cashier had told me that my cows were lucky, cause with that scorching sun he had sold nearly all his stock, I had just smiled politely. I  could not figure out his face if I had told him it was just in case a deer would drop in!




Unfortunately, the salt lick blocks had not attracted Mrs Deer, but just puzzled Ulysse, and terrified Canaille ( but even flies scare him!).

So, you can imagine how excited I was when my dear deer friend turned up.

The blades of grass were not to her taste, and she quickly trotted to the rose bushes and helped herself to two rosebuds which had survived the dogdays.
A few seconds later, she was enjoying the only fig growing on my young fig tree and after chewing two leaves of salad, she looked satisfied with her shopping and left for good.

The budding gardener I am was a bit upset, cause I am really striving to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables, but after all Mrs Deer I had missed so much was still alive, she knew the benefits of eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, she had not forgotten I am a harmless greengrocer, and she had made my day!

So what else could I ask for?


vendredi 3 août 2018

THE ADVENTURES OF A DOGSITTER













I'm a dogaholic, and to be honest, I'm not on the way to recovery.

The first symptoms appeared years ago when I started dogsitting.
I remember being always on the verge of tears when saying good-bye to the doggy I had homed and already bonded with.





When it was a friend's dog, I always respected the deadline to give it back, cause a friend in need is a friend indeed.
But when it was my daughter's, I often tended to  procrastinate, and that's how I gained a " dognapper " reputation.

 Believe me, post-dogsitting blues was a rough patch to go through, and I experienced it even after taking care of Guiness, a one-year-old dog, although he nearly turned me into a kind of Captain Nemo.
I'm not kidding! When he left, I felt as if I had been roaming the depths of the sea in a makeshift submarine.
Really! A makeshift submarine!

Actually, Guiness was a Newfoundland dog. I knew about his passion for water, but in those days we were living near a river, so I thought it would be easy to satisfy his swimming skills.







Unfortunately, things didn't turn out that simple…

First, when Guiness arrived in our place, he immediately had a crush on Indy, our ten-year-old Springer, and to show her how much he loved her, he forgot his weight, jumped on her and nearly crushed her!
To escape her over-enthusiastic lover, Indy took up her quarters on the first floor, and as Guiness had been taught to never climb up any stairs, I thought everything would go smoothly during his two weeks' stay.

But, when bowl time came, I quickly felt out of my depth, and a quarter later I was really in deep water, literally and figuratively!
For Guiness, drinking was a kind of warm-up activity before going to the river.
He dunked half of his head into his water bucket, played the deep-sea explorer for a few minutes, emerged again, and to show his satisfaction, gave me a splash!
I was soaked to the skin!
Teaching him the dos an don'ts about drinking turned vain, and I quickly became a past master at mopping, and at choosing kind of waterproof clothes, too, cause if Newfoundland dogs are water lovers, they are also champion droolers... 




When Guiness went back to his owner's, I was sad, but home and dry!

Yet, that kind of " 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea " episode didn't cure me, cause, I love dogs so much that, you see, I even blog about them!

Have a pawesome day!

vendredi 27 juillet 2018

A DOG IDIOM STORY





Hi,




My name is Canaille. I am an English Springer Spaniel and I live in France, at the very tip of Brittany.


If you have been hanging about here long, you probably know me, cause Perky, this blog's owner, often tells you about my silly antics.



This week Perky is pretty busy outside and she has decided to let me be her spokesman.
Actually, she didn't ask me to be her spokesman, but her spokesdog, cause we both live in the dogaholic world where everydoggy is pawesome and always ready to lend a paw to a buddy in need.

But don't get me wrong. It doen't mean that using a few doggy words now and then is enough to claim you speak dog fluently.
For example, if you really want to sound like a genuine dog -lover, there are two phrases to avoid, cause they are real bones of contention between dogs and their owners.

Want to know which ones?

OK, then here is the first one :

" IT IS A DOG'S LIFE

When people say that, they mean life is hard. What a bunch of hypocrites!
Quite sure that if given the  opportunity, most dog owners would trade their lives for the life their dogs are living. Just good food, cuddles and naps. 


Well, for my part, sometimes I am on a tight schedule, and then my biggest problem is whether I should play with my red ball or the yellow one, play music with my squealy toys or beg for a treat.
But, I guess when life is not wine and roses, you would be ready to swap your life for mine, so next time you used  " it's a dog's life ", think about me!

The second phrase is by far the one I hate most!

DOGDAYS

I had never heard it till the early days of July. That's when things went wrong.
Perky was reading the weather forecast aloud and when she said that dogdays in Brittany were on, she sounded so happy that first I thought it was something like " Every dog has its day ", you know that phrase which lets us hope that sooner or later we'll be successful.

Poor me! How foolish I was! 

Actually, the  damned " dogdays  "phrase sounded the end of my carefree ooutdoor life.
Whenever I wanted to play " fetch ", have a wild race in the garden, or  go with Daddy and Perky for a car ride, Perky refused and kept repeating " No, you can't, because of dogdays! ".
I didn't know who those dogs were, but they were really getting on my nerves.



Then, one day, the kitchen door was ajar, and, as Perky was having a nap under the parasol, I managed to sneak out
Jeez! It was scorching hot, and the gravels of the alley nearly burnt my paws.
No way to frolic in the grass and sniff the news, too hot!!
When I came back home panting, Perky said " Now, you know what dogdays are! "
And to crown it all, she gave me a shower, one more time because of DOGDAYS!

So now let sleeping dog lie!


I wish you a pawesome day!







vendredi 20 juillet 2018

DO DOGS REALIZE HOW LONG YOU HAVE BEEN AWAY?






Do dogs realize how long you have been away?

It is often said that most of them don't. I mean they always perform the same franctically welcoming dance, whether you've been out just to check the mail or for a whole day's work.

Yet,some dogs are smarter and can make the difference between an excusable delay and a kind of carelessness.
Do they have an inner time clock, an hourglass, or do they just track the movement of the sun?
I really don't know, but, anyway, for those guys, time is not a thing to be trifled with, and, believe me, I know what I'm talking about.

Jolux, the very first dog I got, was rather fussy about punctuality.

When coming back from work, if I dared punch the clock ten minutes later than usual, a plea for mercy was vain.
I mean, I was quite sure to find him busy digging socks out of the washbin, tearing the newspaper, or even worse, surfing on the dining-room table to get a bite at the bamboo lampshade!
His naughty reprisals quickly showed me he always realized how long I had been away.

That smart dog was rather fussy about hours, but about days, as well!

Did he  hide a calendar in his basket and cross the squares as days went by?
I can't believe it, but then how could he make the difference between working days and days off?
I don't know, but at weekends the least attempt to go out without him immediately triggered his " I'm a poor lonesome dog " song!
For the sake of our neighbours, we used to take our " crooner " with us wherever we went.

Yet, once, we were to visit friends in Holland, and travelling with our puppy would have been a bit complicated, so we left him at my parents' for a " cuddles and treats " weekend.
When we came back and rang at my parents' door, we were expecting a wagging tail and cheerful woofs.
Well, we had all that, but just for a few seconds…

Suddenly he looked at us resentfully, and then turned his back on us and stared at the wall for the next couple of hours!!
That was the rate : one hour sulking for one day absent.

So, do dogs know how long you leave them? Well it's up to you to decide, but just let me tell you that whenever I leave my dogs at home, that's what I can read in their eyes :















vendredi 13 juillet 2018

PEDESTRIANS AND DRIVERS : FRIENDS OR FOES?





It is well-known that pedestrians and drivers usually don't get on well. Quite often the same people, but not the same behaviour, depending which side of the windscreen they are.

As a pedestrian, I am quite strict about my rights, and I happen to be rather rude when they are not respected. I know it's no use, but letting off steam sometimes does good!

Last time it happened, I was on my way to a dinner party. I was a bit late, and I guess a bit distracted, as well.
I had already crossed half a busy avenue, when the light turned green, and instead of stepping onto the refuge island, I kept walking toward.
A driver honked his horn at me so loudly that I jumped with fright, stopped dead and then...burnt him with some of the worst insults I know. I won't tell you which ones, but " asshole " or " jerk " are just small potatoes compared to what got out of my angry pedestrian's mouth.


The driver just smiled and waved an apology.

Half-an-hour later when I arrived at the party, the hostess introduced me to a couple of guests, and that's when things went wrong.

" I think we've already met somewhere ", the man exclaimed, " your face is kind of  familiar to me ".

Jeez!!! My knees went weak, my heart skipped beats and I turned as red as a beetroot.
Guess what!!

The driver I had showered with insults was looking at me wrily.

All throughout the dinner I felt uncomfortable, cause whenever our eyes met, I could read my curse words in the man's mocking glance.

When the party was over, he came to me and said  " You have come on foot, haven't you? It's late , my wife and I will give you a lift ".

That guy was really rubbing it in!!

Fortunately my inner pedestrian came for help and I turned down his offer and said :

" Thanks a lot, but I enjoy walking in the streets at night. Far less traffic, far fewer impatient drivers, far fewer honks, you see what I mean, just quietness and peace ".

A bit naughty, but that's the only way I found to dodge the question:  Pedestrians and drivers : friends or foes? ".

samedi 7 juillet 2018

DO ONE THING EVERY DAY THAT SCARES YOU




Do one thing every day that scares you.

Do you know that challenging quote by Eleanor Roosevelt?
A good  way to test our courage, gain self-confidence, self-esteem, and why not sucess in whatever we want to achieve.

Well, if you are anything like me, easier said than done!

No need to rack my brain to find scary things which make my heart skip beats.
You see, just walking alone in the garden when it is pitch dark, catching a hairy and creepy spider, or singing in public gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Want to know a secret?
Even telling my hairdresser I hate the new hairdo she has tested on me is a hair-raising experience (well, not so hair-raising, cause if it were, I wouldn't look like a " balding bird ").

Actually, I am anything but an adventurer, and I usually chicken out when it comes to spicing up my life with some daring and scary stuff.

But a while ago, fate seemed to conspire against me to corner me and strain my nerves…

Last May we visited our daughter who lives in San Francisco, and while we were there, she took us to Yosemite Park, her favourite place when she wants to escape the concrete jungle and step into the wild.



When we arrived at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, Dearhubby didn't fail to remind me that it was the hotel which had inspired Stanley Kubrick for the interior design of his famous horror film " The Shining ".
Just a walk through the huge lounge and its gargantuan fireplaces was enough to remember some of the most spine-chilling scenes of the movie.


If you haven't seen it, I think you will get the picture if I tell you that it is based on a novel by Stephen King, the master of horror, and that when it was released, it really scared the pants off lots of people.


So, no need to tell you that, at night, once in bed, some spooky pictures of the film invaded my mind, and I had to muzzle my imagination not to scare myself with the weird noises I was, of course, the only one to hear!
I can't understand why the wooden floor creaks louder in the dark and  why the air-conditioning start whispering threatening gibberish once the lights are off!
Is it just me or is it the dark side of night?

Anyway, I managed to be brave and survive. To be honest, thanks to the earplugs i had been given on the plane.

But the worst was to come, and what I had to face the next morning is the spookiest real-life experience I have ever had, and I guess I am done with Eleanor Roosevelt and her quote " Do one thing everyday that scares you "!

Have a guess ! All your ideas are welcome on :


or on my facebook page :




vendredi 29 juin 2018

HOLIDAYING WITH A DOG




Taking my dog on holiday with me?
Come on, I'm an unapologetic dogaholic, so it's just a kind of no-brainer, and believe me or not, holidaying with my four-legged buddy always adds to the fun.

Ages ago, Dearhubby and I decided to go backpacking on a Greek island with a couple of friends, and, of course, Jolux, our one-year-old cocker.

After going through the awkward age and wreaking havoc in our home, our puppy had decided to nip his vocation of " interior designer " in the bud, and had become such a well-behaved dog that he was even allowed to travel in the passenger cabin.

Then, once on the island, everything went on smoothly till we ran out of dry pet food.
Asking the natives where we could get something for him turned into a real headache. Whatever they answered was Greek to us! (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun).

We tried to convince our poor dog of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, but in vain. He couldn't stomach it any more, and we had to eat our words.
We were getting fed up, but Jolux was not!

We were in an open air restaurant, wondering how to get some meaty stuff for him, when Dearhubby had a bright idea.
He would order two courses : a Greek salad, and meatballs with spaghetti, and he would give the latter to our " reluctant  vegan ". On the sly, of course!

As soon as the waiter had served us, Dearhubby immediately spooned the spaghetti dish into our dog's bowl under the table. That trick took him just a few seconds. Hardly had he put the plate back on the table when the waiter came back with some water. 
When he saw the empty plate, he nearly dropped the jug! He stared at Dearhubby, and rushed back inside to tell the cook to keep cooking, cause there was a guy outside eating like a horse, and even worse, awfully quickly!
When Jolux licked Dearhubby's hand, I immediately knew he meant " I owe you one! ", and I was right.

A few days later, we were on dog-friendly little beach, and as Jolux's first pawing into the sea had turned into a failure  because of a sneaky urchin, we tied him to the parasol before going for a swim.



As Dearhubby enjoys snorkelling, he started swimming off the coast, and soon we could hardly see him in the far distance.
Don't get me wrong, nothing to worry about, except for our dog whose inner lifeguard suddenly woke up. Dearhubby, the one who had saved him from starvation, was too far. Sure he needed his help!
Then he followed his heart, dragged the parasol to the shore, dived headfirst, and ….nearly drowned because of the weight of the parasol!
As a medal of bravery, he was awarded another spaghetti course!