Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Nefarious Characters

Like most households in this modern world, The villagers of Trelawnyd get targeted from time to time by " rough looking types" looking to make a quick buck.
Travellers looking for scrap, roofers who have just noticed that your guttering is in drastic need of repair or men in a white van selling " end of the range" double mattresses can all look just a little intimidating when they stop with their silver tongued patter.
Most of these characters, are drawn to Winnie if they see her, a fact that worries me just a little bit more...for the dog napping of certain breeds I know , is on the increase .
I have my own bit of well rehearsed acting when faced with these kind of callers
Yesterday afternoon was a case in point.

I was standing by the kitchen wall talking to the ugly pug man from the pensioner bungalows ( he had kindly called down to let me know how Gay Gordon was doing) when a slouching, rough looking youth  ambled over on spec to see if I was interested in some " free" attic insulation.
I told him I was not , and the patter continued somewhat until I FIRMLY underlined that I wasn't interested . The salesmen was about to walk on when he spied Winnie sitting, like Buddha, in the kitchen doorway.
" He's a cracker!" the man whistled, leaning over the wall with his hand out
Winnie ignored him , as she always does with men she doesn't know
" Be careful" I warned " She's a nasty bitch with strangers, she'll have your fingers off if you're not quick enough"
The man pulled his hand away as " ugly Pug man" who knows Winnie well, turned to give me a somewhat quizzical look
" Really?" The man said giving Winnie another careful once over.
" yes" I lied " she even tried to savage the postman the other day..if you walked into the garden she would have you up against that wall in seconds"
(Ugly pug man's eyes suddenly widened even more)
Winnie yawned and continued to watch the interaction with her usual bored expression as the salesman gave her another slightly worried glance
" she does look a bit of an evil bastard" he said before moving on
" You're not wrong there" I replied seriously




138 comments:

  1. I love this! Although how anyone could look at Winnie and honestly believe she's mean is beyond me!

    I once told my vet about how my dog Ginger gets protective of me when strange men (plumbers and such) are around. He said, "That's good. And if they ask you if she bites, say HELL YEAH!"

    LOL

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    1. It's her expression Jennifer.......ll.to people that don't know her she's unreadable ( a bit like chris)

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  2. Good for you! And good for Winnie, defending the roost with her mere appearance.

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    1. Steve, when I first got her she did chase the meter reading man down the path!

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  3. morning john; 6a here, and my first read of the day (with coffee in hand) is a good one. winnie wouldn't harm a fly!

    I had a drunk dude come round here several years ago; he drove a blank (no advertising) pickup truck; he wanted to "take out that dead tree in your yard". I could smell the alcohol a mile away. I asked him what were his credentials and was he a certified arborist. when he didn't know what credentials were, I told him to get the fuck off my property cause I would call the police. you should have seen him scurry off!

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    1. Anne Marie.......way to go girlfriend xx

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  4. Your caller was obviously a man of great observational skills. Killer Winnie alert, on guard and ready for instant action . . . . ha ha ha ha ha

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    1. Let's hope he doesn't return!

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    2. I hope he doesn't return for Winnie.
      Where I live dog fighting is a huge "sport" in the Hispanic area of town. With them it is pit bulls, which are wonderful dogs but much abused.

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  5. Used to get 'nefarious characters' on a regular basis knocking at the door when I lived in Buckley but since living here in the village not a one, although tis only been just over a year.
    Don't wish to panic you old lad, but perhaps stating that Whinnie is a dangerous dog may not be a good thing as such dogs can be targets for the dog fighting fraternity.... Not as fighting dogs but as bait, as horrible as that sounds. Perhaps some extremely contagious disease may be a better smoke screen?

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    1. Good point johnno
      Mind you I think Bulldogs, especially female Bulldogs are stolen just for breeding rather than fighting......
      Having said this, I forgot to add that Winnie doesn't have any teeth..except only a few baby teeth

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  6. We get relatively few door to door imbeciles here – most of them take one look at Matt and decide they’d rather not spend any more time than necessary trying to sell him anything – and the scrap chappies are usually quite friendly and accepting if you tell them that actually the thing they’re enquiring about isn’t scrap, you’re still using it and if, at any time, your garden gates should become an encumbrance they’ll be the first to know.
    My granddad’s last dog was a mastiff-lab cross, a great solid lump of a dog who spent his days laying out on the driveway touting for belly rubs from passing schoolchildren. He only ever ‘went for’ one man. About three weeks after my grandmother died, granddad was clearing her things out of their caravan and a large man from a group of travellers camped nearby started pestering him to sell the van. Granddad wasn’t interested and told the man several times that he wasn’t selling it, and the man got more and more insistent, more and more pushy, until finally granddad had had enough and tried to walk back into the house. The traveller shoved his way through the door behind granddad and nearly knocked him off his feet, at which point Rex shot past granddad, having taken off from the other end of the hallway, and landed with all four paws on the traveller’s chest. Having knocked him flat, he slowly leaned down until he was nose to nose with him, and lifted his lips to show off his teeth. No sound – no barking, no growling, no showing off, just a matter of fact demonstration of the fact that, if he chose to, he could reduce him to scraps in three minutes flat.
    The traveller started begging granddad to call Rex off and granddad said afterwards he had ‘a bugger of a time’ getting himself together and pretending that the whole thing was perfectly normal behaviour and he did, in fact, own an enormous, vicious slavering beast (not an oversized lapdog).

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    1. You go Rex. I wish I could have seen that!

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    2. Absolutely brilliant. xx

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    3. I loved this story...way to go rex

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    4. What a fantastic dog!

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    5. What a good dog! I hope your granddad gave him a nice juicy steak for dinner that night!

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    6. Who's a good doggy, Rex? Rex is a very good doggy.

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    7. What a great story. Good dog!

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  7. Brilliant, Winnie is gorgeous. We get quite a few men with vans up our street. One came last Summer when I was potting up some plants, he said 'I notice your fascias are dirty and need cleaning,' I said in my best Miranda voice, RUDE !! it did make me and Twiglet laugh as he stood there stuttering. I did take pity and say I'm not bothered, so no thank you :)

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    1. They don't get upset when you are overly firm twigs, do they?
      Just chalk it up to another no!

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  8. Dear Winnie....what a reputation you've given her. I do hope you explained to your friend.

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    1. He's met her numerous times before , whilst the terriers go hystericalat his little pug.. Winnie just stands and watches

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  9. Even the tiniest sweet little thing, can be protective.

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    1. So can a huge big fat hairy one too!

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  10. Most of the photos you post of Winnie are extreme close ups. In this full image one she looks quite majestic.

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    1. Funny you said that philip
      I posted this photo for that very reason.....
      Out of all of our rescue Bulldogs winnie is the heaviest and the most plain
      I always think she looks almost regal when she sits like this

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  11. I hope this makes its way into Winnie's memoirs someday :)

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    1. I think I've done that already,

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  12. Good girl Winnie......

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  13. Good on Winnie, your descriptive post did make me giggle. x

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  14. I NEVER tell any strangers that the dogs are safe! They make such a racket when someone comes, it is easy to go on from there and pretend they will attack!

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    1. It IS a good ploy Lynda , isn't it?

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  15. They don't bother to knock on the door around here.

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    1. That's because you're a scary mary

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  16. My in laws Springer was stolen from their garden last year. They're both in their 80s and adore their dog so it was a hideous experience. Luckily, the thieves let her go further along the village as soon as they realised she was too old to breed from and they got her back. They'd been watching the house. As well to keep an eye out and over egg the pudding when it comes to potential aggression warnings. I do the same here.

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    1. A Few years ago, I am sure william almost got dog napped
      See

      http://disasterfilm.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/shame-and-possible-case-of-dog-napping.html

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  17. He wasn't a regular following of your blog then!!!!!
    Isn't it sad that we are all so worried that some scum will take our dogs 0 I try not to call for Anni if I am worried when walking myself so no one knows what she is called. She is a gorgeous Lab and I worry that someone will want to breed from her, I even considered buying a dog coat, with "Don't bother, I've been done" on the back!!!!Dog napping - one of the worst crimes out there if you ask me.

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    1. I agree Sally see above comment xx

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    2. Just read the post re William. Even if he was just stroking him, you'd not do that to a dog you don't know without asking it's human first. Thank heavens you were there.

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  18. Well-played, although your unwelcome visitor obviously wasn't the brightest bulb in the box.
    Our four are all gentle but Lily, the goldendoodle, did go after a man who jumped over the fence around our back garden and started toward me. She didn't touch him since he hopped back over fence and ran away as fast as he could.

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    1. Jac
      Tell me more, I am intrigued...why did the guy jump over the fence at you?

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  19. That is very worrisome. Can't stand thinking of Winnie gone. We had a man from Oklahoma come here trying to buy our Catahoola Leopard Cur, Hazel. He came several times and one day we came home from work and Hazel was gone from the yard, never to be seen again. We loved her and miss her so much. That was 30 years ago and I always wonder about her and if she was well cared for.

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  20. I was just reading Ugly Pug Man's blog. His version of events was rather different. By the way he refers to you as "Builder's Crack" or sometimes "Beardy the Weirdo from the corner cottage". He says that he had to speak to the Artful Dodger as you hid in the kitchen with the dogs.

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    1. This did make me larF YP
      ALSO I NEED TO CLARIFY
      that the man has an ugly pug
      He's not ugly!

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  21. Yep...can see that vicious look in the whites of her eyes....

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  22. You are one of the few bloggers I can actually reasch John, and as usual your post today doesn;t disappoint me. Always ready with an answer - you must look very convincing even if Winnie doesn't.

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  23. A beautiful picture of Winnie. She played her part well.

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    1. Joanne,... She did indeed..sometimes especially with woen , she'll stand there making moo moo eyes at them

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  24. My boxers have a combine weight of over 170 lbs. They have a special bark reserved for any unknown person who walks by, rides by, or stops their vehicle in front of the house, and it's very deep, and very loud, and translates into "come any closer and I will bite your head off!" As a result, no strangers come to my door.

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    1. You have bloody heavy undies dave

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    2. Choking with laughter at this reply!!!

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    3. Good one John!

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  25. I always buy something off travelling salesmen. Buying something small like a screwdriver is a good insurance policy.

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  26. Better safe rhan sorry.

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  27. Door to door trades people can be very persistent, it can be difficult to convince them they're not wanted. I like your ingenious use of Winnie to fend him off. Reminds me of that old warning - a picture of a dog and underneath it "Break in - make my day."

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    1. Nick, I also say that I am only renting the house
      That gets rid of many too

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  28. Unfortunately I can't use that line with my Lab'; no-one would believe me.

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  29. We had a couple of travellers with a young boy stop in their white van as we were planting trees last week, the older guy hopped out and called Lovely Hubby over for a chat and offered him all sorts of 'brand new' crappy tools for sale for 'bargain' prices. As my LH is very friendly he finds it hard to say NO in a firm enough voice. I watched the whole incident with interest and then noticed the young lad in the van sliding over to the passenger door when he spotted Charley running around near the gate. I quickly called her to me and made it obvious to them that I was noting their registration number.

    As LH wasn't shaking off the persistent 'salesman' I strolled over to join him,and was swiftly offered a bargain set of carving knives. "NO THANK YOU" .. .I said in a very firm and authoritative voice "I own two already that's more than enough for anyone".

    He hopped back in his van and drove off.

    Well done Winnie for not giving the game away that she's just a lovely big soft girl. Although no doubt if you were in danger she would snap too and give the impression of a vicious dog.

    I make sure all my dogs wear a tag that shows they are micro-chipped and tell all and sundry that they are all spayed. There's so much dognapping about these days, as I know to Mavis's cost :-(

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    1. I've probaby met the same men sue.....
      Chris is similar to your hubby..he's polite
      I'm more like you

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    2. My husband is Miss Congeniality too. I daren't let him within a hundred miles of a Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman.....
      I, on the other hand, have a 'look' that can repel a chugger at fifty paces. It's both a gift and a curse....

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    3. " repel a hugger" loved it

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  30. Quick thinking. I was followed on a walk by a couple in a car when our dog was a cute puppy..every time I turned around, so did the car. Eventually, I cut across a park and through an alley, fortunately knowing the area better than they did and determined not to show them where we live. It was frightening, though and I varied my walks a lot more afterwards.

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    1. Are you sure they went after you?
      Even scarier

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    2. I am not cute any more! (If ever!)

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  31. Ha ha ha...you need a growling dog recording. Beef up the fear factor.

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    1. It reminds me of my granny who lived alone.
      When she answered the door to someone she didn't know , she always called behind her to an imaginary hubby or son, what she was doing

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  32. the best thing about living in the Lincolnshire Badlands is the fact that people knock on the door then run back to the gate . Theyre never sure if you own the hound of the baskervilles , own a gun or a just plain crazy and married your brother

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    1. Did you marry your brother Kate?

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  33. Watson and thehamish usually love the deliverymen, workers that are allowed in my home if I let them interact with them.
    One day I let them stay in the room while the washer/dryer was being hooked up.
    Hamish kept watching one man and when he got up to take the old dryer away, he kinda mumbled and then said your dog nipped me. I said I was sorry told Hamish to sit and asked if he was OK. He was but he said he felt him nipping his legs. No broke skin. Hamish kept watching him. Smiling, I said oh he like to herd people, sorry.
    But as he walked the dryer out Hamish kept right at his heel but not nipping. For what ever reason Hamish did not want that man in the home. He wanted him out. That has happened only once before. The other deliveryman was fine and Hamish left him alone except for wanting a pet.
    I also had a weird vibe from the same man. Dog are good to have around. thehamish may be small but I wouldn't mess with him.

    cheers, parsnip


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    1. Funny that gayle......George too loves workmen but he has to be allowed to do the running
      Whoa besides a workman who walks over to him first

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  34. This has so reminded me of an incident my B in Law experienced many moons ago. He was a painter and decorator by trade and had a white van which was waiting for wording to be painted on the side. He took his tiny llhaso apso to a vets practice which was in a rural setting outside of his home town. It was an early morning apt and he arrived early and pulled into the drive. The next thing he saw was a double barrelled shotgun in his face and an irate vet demanding that he got off his property. My poor B in Law nearly had heart failure but managed to get the vet to look in at the passenger seat where his little dog was sat patiently waiting to go in for his op. Needless to say the vet was very red faced and obviously had had dealings with men in white vans. As a family we thought it was hysterical. However, you cant be too careful so I fully understand your angst re Winnie.

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    1. Bloody hell...I hope he got some discount?

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  35. Ooo, the evil is fairly oozing out of Winnie! ...

    Seriously, I have never even considered the possibility of dog-nappers around these parts, but that's likely because we have no dogs. We do make an extra point to hide away our black cat around Hallowe'en, as I've heard people will take those, and nothing good comes from the taking, if you get my drift.

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    1. Dog napping is fairly commonplace in the UK I am afraid

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  36. When I had my previous dog I would always take him to the door with me if I wasnt expecting anyone. He was a cross breed so dodgy people would not know how fierce he might be! I now have to take a schnauzer ( mini) ..... Not quite the same but he would be barking!!

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    1. Some people buy a bell which also features a non existent dog barking.... Now there's an idea

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  37. Here, dogs are "chipped", implanted with GSL location chips, esp. valuable dogs.
    Winnie is beautiful, with such big eyes. How much do she weigh?

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    1. 26 kilos which is 4 kilos less than she did when she arrived
      I must admit ive never seen such a big bulldog

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  38. Jazz (who looks very like your Albert) hates, loathes and despises white van men (and most visitors). When he sees them he growls loudly (and scuttles away). It is an impressive growl too. I have been asked what sort of dog he is - and whether he is safe...

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    1. Yes jazz and Albert could've twins!
      Albert too hates visitors

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  39. Wow, you sure are good at putting up a good topic of conversation! All these reminiscences of people protecting dogs and vice versa. I doubt anyone would eyeball my loveable mutt too covetously, but when walking her after dark, I am glad that many folks find a black dog too intimidating for further inspection.

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    1. Alison, it never fails to amuse me that I can have 100 comments for a throwaway blog entry and one that I may work hard on only gets a dozen or so
      Go figure x

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  40. I have been stopped so many times by white van men and asked to sell my dogs, a saluki and a sloughi, sometimes it's quite scary if I'm along a country lane. I usually say one has a heart murmur and the other wrecked tendons in his leg. All lies because they both run like the wind but the hare coursing brigade would love to get their hands on them.

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    1. Ah..another quick thinker......and much quicker than I me thinks!

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  41. Last summer I saw a Winnie with a lei around her neck. It cracked me up.

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    1. Did she have on her grass skirt?

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  42. Sorry about reasch John - I am a bag of nerves without my computer working properly. I must add that in the photograph Winnie certainly looks very fierce. Looks to me as though she would be more likely to lick you to death.

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    1. She kisses pat rather than lick, she just slowly presses her face into yours with all the delicacy of a hairy duvet

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  43. Our rescue Staffie was seemingly used as a bait dog and although he looks threatening and ferocious... he is terrified of other dogs and is in fact the sweetest loving dog we have ever owned. WE LOVE HIM.

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  44. A bait dog
    It breaks your heart does it not?

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  45. She might have sucked him to death, I suppose.

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    1. Bet that's how you'll go!

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    2. If he's not washing his hair.

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  46. Great guard dog, that Winnie!!

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    1. Only because she literally fills the doorways jimbo

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  47. Oh what a funny scene, especially as your neighbor witnessed it and probably knew Winnie did not fit your description of dangerous. I think you have some acting talents.

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  48. No ferocious dogs here I'm afraid, but last week my tabby was lying in our drive way and an overly friendly poodle/maltese cross made the mistake of crossing the invisible line you know the one, ---- road, ---driveway. The next thing was the tabby, Basil, upped out of his slumber and chased the dog down the side of the house onto the grass and smacked him with his paw at which the dog let out a terrified yelp and kept on yelping, that was when my ginger and white boy, Archie, decided it was a great game and cornered the said pup and went in for the kill, the dog swerved frantically and ran around the section under the dividing fence which is about errr 8inches off the ground and yelped off my property and down the side street with her owner running after her yelling "Sadie, Sadie" at the top of her lungs. By time I got my knickers on to go have a look the dog was scraped up into owners arms they had crossed the road and she was showering the dog with millions of kisses all the while casting killer looks at our house. This told to me by my better half in between great gulps of air so he didn't die of hysterics.

    Love the pic of Winnie.... so regal!

    Jo in Auckland, NZ

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  49. "By time I got my knickers on to go have a look the dog was scraped up into owners arms "
    The best line of the night x

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  50. I have told many lies about my supposedly vicious dogs. Only Franklin is left now. Fortunately, he has the neighborhood fooled with his "I'm a tough guy" bark. My fence is seven feet tall, but I never leave Franklin out when I go someplace. I also have a video camera focused on the backdoor with the feed showing on my desktop so I can see Franklin going in and out on nice days when the backdoor is open. Now I've given away all my security secrets. Well, maybe not all. There is the gun in the closet.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Thank goodness we really don't do guns in trelawnyd

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    2. I was joking. I would never have a gun.

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  51. I say similar about my two furry rascals (cats) when would-be, ever-hopeful scam artists make their approaches. It always works a treat!

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  52. Travelers have been in America, particularly in the Southern US, for many decades selling fake remains of driveway paving jobs, doing a bit of work and then disappearing with the money bilked from ignorant & gullible people. The mattresses, roofing & gutters are the other schemes they usually try. in Georgia & Texas they have built themselves large private gated communities with the money they have fraudulently taken from people. A lot of people here don't even know what a Traveler is & are foolish enough to give them large amounts of cash before any work is completed. Our local news on the West Coast showed them last summer doing driveway paving with some tarry mess that wouldn't even stick together let alone stick to the ground. They'd dump a barrel onto a drive that was basically oil tar & gravel. They spread a little around on the ground & then demand money up front to buy more materials & drive off never to be seen again. If one bothers me I am sure I will wish I had a tough looking dog.
    Last nigh the news carried a story about 2 pug puppies that escaped from a lady's yard while she was at work. The following all captured on her outdoor video cameras. A Fed X truck dove by, driver got out, looked around to see if anyone was watching him as he proceeded to chase the puppies down, After captured one and stuffed it in his truck.As he chased down the 2nd pup the 1st one managed to escape from the truck, So, he took the one puppy and the other was seen nervously whimpering at it;'s front door. The police were shown the video and caught the Fed X driver trying to sell the puppy on Craigs List. Luckily the puppy was returned &he was arrested for theft of an animal. So apparently people will steal anything they can sell & make money off of, including certain dog breeds. Make sure you tell your animal caretakers to be watchful over the dogs when you are away traveling. truck the other escaped him & ran shivering to it's front door. The guy took the one puppy & apparently tried to sell it for a lot of money. He was caught by the police & since everything was on the owners camera, he admitted stealing the one dog which was recovered & taken home to it's worried owner. I guess stealing dogs of a certain breed is a new way of making money for drugs, No one & nothing is safe from theft anymore. Keep Winnie & all the animals well watched, esp. tell your animals caretakers when you are traveling.

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    1. Don't worry ellen......I'm like a neurotic mother of five
      (100% of the time)

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  53. I wish some nice caring person would nab my neighbors German Shepherd! He tells me she won't bite. She's just protecting the neighborhood. Yeah, right!

    I've had cats that would growl when someone knocked on the door!

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  54. Dogs being stoken to order from their homes is very much on the increase in Hertfordshire and our vets and local animal welfare organisations are warning owners to look out for any strange symbols they might find sprayed onto their walls fences or the path outside their house. They usually look something like a triangle in a circle and could easily be mistaken for random graffiti, but infact mean your animal has been targeted, so contact the police straight away if you see anything similar to this.

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    1. Check your post tomorrow! Your very expensive prize should reach you by then!

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    2. As for the graffiti..... Bloody scary

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    3. I will be molesting the postman tomorrow morning and will try to get a pic of said item being unpacked and email it to you John as I don't know how to post pics here. Then you can choose to publish to your readers if you wish.

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    4. Lol don't get that excited...its only a small couple of gifts xxxx

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    5. Any excuse really our postie is a quite a hunk and these simple pleasures keep us middle aged+ ladies happy!

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    6. Get a photo of the hunk........simple pleasures x

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  55. That bitch needs a muzzle... because otherwise she might sloppily slaver all over someone and drown them in loving gloop.

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    1. And I probably need to fix her up with a pair of extra strong knickers too...for similar reasons

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  56. You made me have a good laugh !! Good for you in scaring him off.

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    1. My work here is done then x

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  57. Well done for getting rid of him. Winnie looks so sweet. Can't believe he felll for it. We sometimes have had rough types trying to sell, but with six dogs barking they do not hang around.
    Rosezeeta.

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    1. Rosezeeta
      I must admit she can look a bit dour
      But it's all show x

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  58. Good post, John. Not much to add, have a good night!

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  59. Anyone that would steal a man's dog isn't fit to walk the earth with the rest of us! I had my dog stolen and then the bastard had the gall to call and ask for ransom. He's in jail now...

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  60. She's great, a face that shows everything. Love it.

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  61. ….and the 'tree guy' who rang our door bell yesterday pointing out the close to $1,000 of work HE considered necessary to remove branches that will definitely be falling on the roof tonight! That would mean the husband coming out of retirement yet again, or canceling my trip home to Devon come June! No way.
    Do I need to get a 'Winnie'?
    Mary

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  62. Love it! Years ago a friend of mine had this enormous Irish Wolfhound that would do the whole 'big vicious killer guard dog' thing whenever you approached the house, but as soon as you walked up to greet it, it would turn its tail and flee. Dopey old bugger was as soft as butter.

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  63. The cats tend to hide when anyone comes round, even when it's someone they know. The notable exception was the late, great Jim who thought everyone should be greeted, and who climbed into the repair bag when a repairman came by (I had called him for a simple home repair I couldn't do). He handed Jim back to me and told me he had rescued a small litter of kittens earlier in the week that were in a store's parking lot.

    I blogged about the time Grace allowed the plumber not only to see her but to let her outside. Anyone who passed the Grace test is a keeper.

    As for the nefarious types you mention, I have no time for them. I give them "the look," which I've never seen, but my friends have said is quite frightening. If I ever saw any of them steal any of my neighbour's pets, I should think "the look" would be complemented by an action or two.

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  64. If horses are you thang then look out for pretty little pigtails appearing in their mane or tail, sure sign someone has them tagged for later collection.

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