Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New collie

Today I went and collected the new foster dog. He doesn't have a name. He was picked up with no collar on, and is friendly with people and other animals.

He's very much an outside dog, though. He keeps trying to cock his leg in the house and he walked into the patio doors not long after he arrived. But I've had him up to the vet and he seems fine. He can hear and see and walk, all of which is a good start.

Now we just have to hope someone is missing him and that they want him back. He's asleep in the kitchen at the moment.

Edited next day to add: I know dogs can be very clingy when they first come to a new house, but man, this is one laid-back, person-focused dog. He has had a sniff around the other dogs and cats, decided that they're fine, and left it at that. He just wants to lie at the feet of whoever's around. Me or mrmonkey, he's not bothered.

Yesterday he wouldn't eat his food, but today I put some baked bean juice on it and he larruped it. Now he's asleep again. Sometimes older dogs really are the business.

Ha ha, rasher feet

It turns out, right, that if you're planning on catching a ferry at 2am on a Saturday and following that up with a 6.5 hour drive across and down a good chunk of England, then the very best thing you can do on the Thursday night is to go out and see some comedy, then go drinking till three in the morning. It is also important that you get no nap on the Friday at all, so that your driving ozzyssey across England is filled with the kind of unfitness to drive that they make road safety ads about.

Nevertheless, this is what we did.

Last Thursday we went to see Dara Ó Briain in Vicar St during his current round of gigs there. It's quite a while since we last saw him here (can it possibly be this long ago? This seems too long ago. I must have just not blogged the last time, surely) on his own, but we did see him in December at the Console gig, so we hadn't completely forgotten the fast talking (mrmonkey's American colleague found it difficult to understand him every now and again), the manic hand gestures (in fact, his show has become more physical, and is all the better for it. He's got a gift for a bit of physical comedy), and the audience interaction, which is sometimes disastrous but actually worked really well last week. In the audience were not one, but two people who had saved the lives of others. There was also a woman who had gone through a period of having slightly predictive dreams that foretold entirely inconsequential events, but she hadn't had one since the mid 1990s.

One of the things I really enjoy about Dara's gigs is the fact that I can relax, knowing that he's not going to pull out a load of material about fat chicks or how women be shoppin'. He's not going to take the piss out of the old ball and chain, (indeed, most of the stories involving his missus are highly complimentary) or even shite on about football (even though he loves it). Of course, I'm in a privileged position here. If I was a homeopath wearing a badge saying "Let Us Drive Out Blasphemy As St. Patrick Drove Out The Snakes" I might feel differently. But even then, Dara has a way of arguing against the action rather than the person. He does have a section where he talks about old midwives' tales, but even then, he's very clear that it's only the "don't let the surgeons get you, with their knives" part he has a problem with, not the "hey, let's get you squared away and get a healthy baby out of you" part.

Maybe I should feel left out for not being a gamer, but even his section on computer games, which has the potential to be alienating to non-gamers, is put together in a way that includes everyone, because he creates a lovely fiction around first-person shooters that opens the routine up to anyone who's watched films.

So, to recap. If you are into blasphemy laws, you fear modern medicine and women, you don't watch films or play computer games, and you want to hear a lot about football, I recommend you go elsewhere for your comedy. For anyone else, I recommend you get a hold of some tickets to see Dara if you can.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Ozzysey

At the very beginning of the year, some people in England who know ComedyB because they have a comedy family member of their own contacted me because they'd seen Ozzie's windy day picture online. They wanted to give her a home.

They filled out the adoption form for our rescue and everyone agreed they seemed like a great home. If only they weren't in England, said everyone. We don't rehome directly to homes in England, said the rescue committee. If it doesn't work out, we have no way of getting the dog back. The people were very disappointed. I was very disappointed. Ozzie continued about her life, totally unaffected by all the fuss.

When she came to us in August last year, Ozzie was very ill, you see. Her condition turned out to be pancreatic insufficiency, not uncommon in dogs at all. It means her pancreas doesn't make the enzymes she needs to digest her food, so her food just passes through her, irritating her insides as it goes. Untreated, the condition eventually leads animals to starve to death. Luckily, it's very easy to treat. You just sprinkle enzyme powder on her food at mealtimes, feed her a high quality food, and leave it at that. In the months that we had her, she went from being 17kg down to 14.5kg at her lightest, and back up to 18.65kg again. She went from being a bag of bones who only just trundled along behind you when you walked to being a sleek, black powerhouse of energy with a high-gloss coat who never left a bird unchased, a dog ungreeted, a thing on the floor unchewed, or a lap empty.

Despite the fact that her condition is easy to treat, though, nobody wanted her. A few forms came in asking about her, because she was said to be good with both kids and cats, as well as other dogs. But every time we mentioned her condition, the enquiries stopped.

Still the family in England asked about her, admired her photos, and chatted back and forth with us about her. They didn't care that she had a condition, or that she would be expensive to feed, or that it would be expensive to get her to them. They just wanted her. We sent emails back and forth. They promised they would send her back if it didn't work out. They swore they would take care of her.

So last weekend, we brought her. Mrmonkey and I took her on the ferry to Holyhead and drove her down to where the family lives. We were prepared for the people to really take to her immediately, because she's that kind of dog. But even their number one dog, a three-year-old labrador called Maddy, wanted to be her pal instantly. She ran all around the house with her, licking her face jumping on her, and bringing her toys for Ozzie to play with.

Ozzie knew something was going on. She had been separated from our other dogs, shut into the car inside a scary loud box for some hours, driven for ages on a very long road by two very, very tired people, and finally had her bed and blankets left in someone else's kitchen for her. She was a bit clingy and she wasn't sure about this new dog.

Even still, despite some tears from me on parting from her, she only sat by the front foor for a short while after we left her behind with her new family. She then did the classic first-day-of-school maneuver and just bloody got on with it. Sat on laps, played with Maddy, ate the cheese she was offered, went for walks, and settled down to sleep.

So she will be very happy. A wee dog who was dumped in a box a year ago, and now she's in a perfect home with people who just love her.

Bye bye Ozzie. Happy life.

Two new dogs coming tomorrow.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Here he is.

Bobby was surrendered to the rescue just before Christmas, his lovely home with his nice Eastern European owner pulled out from under him because of the recession. His owner had to go home and couldn't afford to take the dog with him. So Bobby went to a local foster, where he's been for the last two months.

We've been minding him over the weekend while his regular fosters are away. He's a complete sweetheart. Loves cuddles, comes when you call him, falls over a lot in a cute puppy way, and is happy to be around other dogs and around cats. Today a nice family from Mullingar came to view him. They loved him straight away. He just sat there and let all three kids hug and cuddle him at once, and actually seemed to enjoy it instead of just tolerating it. The family has been home-checked and found suitable, so Bobby will be going there at the end of the month.

Ozzie's due to leave us at the end of this week, and it'll be back to three dogs again. The sofa will seem so empty.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Battle of wills in Tesco

Last night I was picking up a few necessities in Tesco when I ran into the woman from this blog post. Remember her?

Well, we looked each other up and down very quickly, and of course had a judgemental look over each other's baskets to see what the other one was buying. I had milk and juice and toothpaste and eggs in mine: normal stuff. My arch nemesis, on the other hand, was clutching an enormous box of Thornton's chocolates, which she pressed more tightly to her as I passed.

From the way she looked at me, she knew that I knew that she was planning to scoff the entire box herself.

And so I win round two.