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How much trouble can two dogs get into...?

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Train to Chester

Cato: Hallo Aunties and Esme Now you are all back, I can tell you about our holiday day to somewhere called Chester, which is an oldoldold town, with a big stinky train that went from our holiday den right up to Chester. Chester is hot and big and hard on the paws.  But it was OK cos Mum and Dad carried me some of the way, and we could sit in the garden while Mum went inside the Cathedral and took pictures of boring stuff for you. This is the train bit.  It was a bit dirty and stinky.  Mum says I should be glad we went by train and not by car, cos it would have been awful spending more time trapped in the car.  I suppose she is right, but trains are very noisy and I had to sit on Mum's lap all the way. Don't look at my tail. Mum let us stand in the corner and watch all the humans rushing about.  That was OK but it wasn't nice when Dad went off to do ticket stuff and buy drinks.  That was worrying.  Sometimes he was out of sight! This is Chester.  Mum says it was builded by Romans.  I've never met a Roman.  I had a good sniff, but I couldn't find any. We did lots of walking and sniffing to find our lunch.  In a pub.  It was burgers and sausages.  Posh sausages.  And then to find the Cathedral place.  Dad carried me up these steps.  There were lots of them.  And they were very old and propping the wall up. but then I had to walk again to this street which is by the Cathedral.  It wasn't really this dark.  It only looks dark cos of Mum messing up the pic. Me and Mum and Tara went and sat in this garden place while Dad went round the Cathedral.  I fell asleep. This was our old bench.  Tara jumped up, and I had to be lifted up.  Don't look at my tail. This is if we looked up and along from our bench So then Dad came out, and Mum went in and left us, and Dad gave us a nice drink of water while Mum did boring stuff about Mysteries.   Mum: Thank you Cato, I will take over for a bit.  Because there is complicated stuff to explain. Have you ever heard of the Mystery Plays?  Fascinating stuff!  https://chestermysteryplays.com/ They are ancient religious plays that have been acted by local people since Mediaeval times, and still going strong!  Of course, we turned up to see the Cathedral a few days before this year's event began, which meant that part of the nave of the cathedral was closed off while they built the stage and lighting.  But it was still a stunning cathedral, and I was able to wander about in three quarters off it.  Cathedrals are always built in the local stone, and depending on what that stone is, the carving can either be beautifully preserved, or rather weathered and old looking.  The Chester stone is really hard, so the details of the carving is still very crisp, and the whole place, from the painted ceilings to the mediaeval tiles are more intricate than I have seen anywhere else.  Incredibly beautiful. This is the nave, with the partially built stage and look at these stunning mosaics. there must have been 10 panels! I loved this old clock.  Hope you can read the poem.  Let me know if you can't, and I will type it out. There was both old and new, with sculptures as well The plaque (above) is describing the small brightly lit statue (below)  This is what I meant when I said how intricate everything was - and so well preserved and looked after.  It was a really living Cathedral. This ceiling was astonishing.  Imagine having to build scaffolding up hundreds of feet, and then paint it all so perfectly?  With all that gold leaf, too and this carving is over the choir as they sat between hymns. This is a leggo model of the cathedral, showing the whole layout.  Visitors can buy a Leggo brick for £1 if they like, and the model grows one brick at a time. More areas that I couldn't explore And this is the biggest heater/radiator I have ever seen.  It was about 8 feet tall. And finally, this is the cloister, with a garden in the middle, and 4 corridors around the garden, and stained glass windows all the way around.  So beautiful.   Then I went out through the gift shop to find Dad and the pups again.  Dad was nearly asleep, but Cato had woken up and was On Watch, while Tara hunted beetles.      

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Our holiday den

Cato: Hello Aunties.  Sorry I haven't been blogging much.    It is cos of my tail.   It isn't right.    It is like a puppy tail.  And I am not a puppy, am I?  I am an Important Person in the Pack.  A Scout and a Hunter, and I shouldn't have a puppy tail.   I am second in charge after Mum, and above Tara.  But I have a silly little puppy tail at the moment.  It is very sad and it gets me down a bit.    That and the horrible harness. So Mum and Dad decided to take me on holiday to see if they could cheer me up.  Tara came too.  Only she NEVER needs cheering up. It was a longlonglong way in the car.  And it was hothothot.  But when we got there, it was all nice and lovely and sniffy, with a big garden and everything.  Mum took some pictures so we could show you.  But you need to look at this link thing first, cos that shows you stuff like Tara's spiral staircase.  I didn't like it.  Mum carried me up and down, which was good.  But Tara just liked gallumphing up and down it all the time. https://www.sykescottages.co.uk/cottage/Peak-District-North-Wales-Snowdonia-Fradswell/The-Haybarn-967503.html Mum says you have to see the posh taps in the bathroom too and this is the rest of the bathroom.  Mum likes bathrooms a lot.  She spends ages in there having b***s and getting wet.   and the weird tree trunk growing in the bedrooms and this was the Big Bed that wasn't big enough, cos it wasn't for a king.  Or something. This is the view I got when I was sitting on the bed in the mornings.  It looks lovely and sniffy, doesn't it?  See the big yellow field at the back?  That is where Mr Hare lives.  He dances around in it every morning.  Mum says she hasn't evereverever seen a hare before.  But we saw a hare every morning, when we were sitting on that bed.

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I’m going on holiday!!! Tomorrow!!!

Tara: It is going to be in a holiday den with a whole field for me to sniff and widdle in.  And a spiral staircase for me to Bounce up and down.  We are going to Do Stuff every day.  Old sniffy pubs and churches and footpaths and stuff.  Sausages and steak!  Every day!  And scrambled eggs!  Dad says there is a Marmoset Sanctuary Place! It is a longlonglong way away.  So Mum and Dad are going to drive me there.   And we are going mountaining and adventuring and exploring.  It is so far away that we are going to have a walk half way!  And we are taking my bed and my snuggle blanket and my chews and toys.  And my brush.  I don’t mind if we don’t take my knicker brush, but I like my big brush. it is very exciting! Cato is coming too, so I hope he doesn’t wimp out too much. just one more sleep. Wheeeeeeeeeee!

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AuntieCrystalPipsMom! We missed you!!!

@PipsMom   Cato: AuntieCrystal!  Mum says you are back! And I wanted to say how much I lo -   Tara: No!  Me first!!! Me First!!! I missed you lotsandlotsandlots more than Cato did! So I go fir -   Cato: No you didn't!  And you made my back hurt!  So I get to tell AuntieCrystal about my l back pain and my harness horror and my special trip to see MrsPawChiro.  That is more important than you going first and wittering about your hair bows or something!   Tara:  Ooooh!  That is horribubble Cato!  Wot about my OPERATION where I got cut open and now I am all scarred and bald, and my hair bows and piggies are All Gone for AgesandAgesandAges!  It should be ME FIRST!  Anyway I love AuntieCrystal more than you!   Cato:  No you don't!  I love her more than you do!  On account of me being older.  So of course I love her more!   Mum: OK, that is enough from both of you!  AuntieCrystal can come and visit your blogging whenever she likes.  She can look back and read all about your back pain and your operations and your treats and adventures whenever she likes!  And you cannot compete for how much you love someone!  That is just silly.  We ALL love Crystal, and we ALL love that she is back with us.  (Although I doubt if ANYONE loves her as much as Pip and Abby do!)  

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Dad's Birthday Lunch

Tara: It was Dad's Birthday ages ago, but he wanted to go to this pub for his Special Birthday Lunch.  So we did.  We had to wait til today on account of his Work Stuff and Mum's Work Stuff.  It is very complicated. Anyway, this is me saying Happy Birthday to Dad in the pub.  Mum says it is a bit out of focus, and she is sorry.  But the other pic was worser. And this is our new car in the pub carpark.  The red one. Mum went all silly and sad when she saw the gold car.  Cos our old car was EGGSACCERLY the same.  So Mum had to take a pic of Old Car and New Car side by side. There were these Murials too, wot someone had painted on the pub car park wall.  They were nice. Mum and Dad want to go back there.

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Thornton Abbey with the Pack

Tara: Both Mum and Dad were off Work Stuffing today!  So we did a Pack Walk!  I LOVE Pack Walks!  It woz ACE!!! We went to a sniffy place called Thornton Abbey where Henry VIII visited and decided stuff.  Whether it got knocked down, or not.  It didn't get knocked down.  Mum says.  But then someone else knocked it down later.  And I mountained and explored.  Even Cato enjoyed it. We had to be carried through the Cow Field to get there.  The ticket lady said the cows had baby cows and packs of huge great hunting paws were not allowed cos they would frighten the Cow Mums and stress the Cow Babies.  So I let Dad carry me for ages.  I only whined a bit.  On account of me being a fantabulous Cow Hunter.  They must have been REALLY scared of me! These are pics of me mountaining and exploring on the Abbey. This is the base of a big pillar thing that used to be here.  It is very low.  Not worth climbing at all! Haha!  Cato was wading through the long grass, cos his legs are so short! This is me with my Dad. There were big fat sheepies too, but I wasn't allowed to Hunt them, either. This is me on a wall And here are some boring pics about something called The Chapter House And this is the farm over the fence.  Look! Some step-mountains for me to climb!  Cato even followed me. See? Cato can do steps when he wants!  I don't use steps much.  I prefer to climb down precipitous cliff faces. Cato says this is a good spot for a Mole Hunt.  If Karel would like to come with us next time! This mole is silly.  It has got inside these stone walls and now it is digging in circles and can't get out.  Haha! I wanted to explore down here, but Mum said no.  Something about deep holes and getting stuck.  I wouldn't have got stuck!  I would have let Cato go first so if he got stuck I would have gone a different way.  I am clever like that! This is me on the Cloister wall mountain.  With my Dad. Me on the other wall. Me lying down on the other wall. This is a tunnel place where people used to sit.  Mum found an birds nest in there.  No birds.  Or I would have Hunted them! We played Truffle Hound while Mum and Dad has sit down time And then we went back to the big humungous Gatehouse bit. Cato was tired by then on account of being a short-arse and having to hop about in the long grass.  But he didn't whinge about his back AT ALL.  I don't think there is anything wrong with him.  He only goes all wimpy when he doesn't want to do something. He liked hopping round the Abbey, so he did.  I think he just needs to be Bounced on properly, so that he understands how much fun it is.  He would feel better then!      

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Cato, harness and tail (shhh! don't tell him I blogged this!)

Mum: You can see from these the relative positions of tail and lead, and how because his back is shorter, I need to move the D ring forward a bit. Also, the tail trim... ?  I wouldn't mind, but the tail can't really be cut any shorter, and it is STILL touching the leash and making him flinch and look over his shoulder! This last shot shows it best, I think. They are both wearing the XXS top piece (that is the purple or red section of the harness).  Then he has a bigger chest piece because of the depth of his chest, and her straps are let out more, because she is generally longer/ bigger.  You can see how his harness is slightly off centre, due to the fact the D ring is lower on his back.  I think that will happen less when I have moved its postion. She has a gap of 8-9 inches between the D ring on her back and the base of the tail, while he only has a gap of 6 inches or less. Oh, and every time I look at that massacred tail I itch to tidy it up with the scissors.  I will tidy it up, honest!

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Not a happy Pack

Tara: Aunties, I hate it!  It is horribubble!  First I have to wear my harness, and I don't like it much.  OK it is lovely red and I look cute, but ever since that horribubble harness arrived I have to do lots of walks without Cato, and I don't like that.  I just trot along without sniffing and it is all boring.  Dad asked me to go with him for a sausage place breakfast yesterday, but I just looked at him and then put my head down.  Dad was sorry, and then he left without me.   It would all be OK if that harness disappeared.  Walks were better before. Then even if I DO go for a walk without Cato, when we get home I am not allowed to Bounce.  Cato is there, and I am happy to see him, and I go rushing up to Bounce on him and roll him over and stand on his back, and Mum and Dad both go 'TARA!!!!!!' and I have to stop.  It is awful.  I hate it.  I am not allowed to do ANY fun stuff.  Nowadays I only get to bounce on him round the corner down the side alley where Mum and Dad can't see, but Cato doesn't come round there with me when I ask him.  S'not fair!!!  They kjeep shouting at me, or putting me on the lead in the house.  It is awful and sad and I don't know wot to do.   Cato: Hello Aunties.  It is all different now, and I don't like it.  I hate my harness.  Yesterday morning Dad got the harnesses and said 'Come on Chaps!' and I stayed in my bed!  I didn't want to go!  Ever since my back hurt things haven't been the same.  Tara doesn't bounce on me so much, so I don't have to yap at her to tell her off.  I like that.  But she still WANTS to bounce, and that means I have to keep watching for her.  Sometimes she stands at one end of the kitchen and braces to Bounce, so I have to sit at the far end, on the doormat and wait for Mum to notice.  Otherwise Tara will ChargeAndBounce, and that can be very hurty.  She also wants to stand on me while I am playing Tug'o'War with Mum.  And Mum won't let her.  And she won't stop.  So I don't get to play Tug'o'War. I like Tug'o'War. Sometimes Tara goes sniffing down the side passage.  I want to go sniffing there too.  But I can't.  I have to wait until she isn't around, or she just Bounces on me. I don't think harnesses are a good idea.  I think Mum should make them go away.  They fit very close, and I can't control Mum as well when I want a sniff.  Though if I pull back hard enough, the harness gets a bit twizzly, and then Mum has to fuss me and sort it out.  I like that.  But I don't like harnesses, and a walk has to be very sniffy and interesting for me to put my tail up wearing a harness. Can you tell Mum that we need to go back to leads?  Please. If we didn't have harnesses, I could walk more, couldn't I?  Things were better before the harnesses.   Mum: As you can see, it is fun here at the moment. Both mutts REFUSED a walk yesterday morning.  Tara has NEVER refused a walk before.  Cato has only refused 3 I think, every time when he has been ill or in pain.  This upset all of us, especially Dad who treasures his morning walk to the cafe.  Dad is also concerned about his Cato Rabbit-Lifting-Technique and his Moving-Cato-On/Off-Lap technique.  Also his Carrying-Upstairs and Into/Outof-Car-Lifts.   As for me... I see a miserable confused Tara (she lives to Bounce), and a miserable depressed Cato (he lives to sniff and explore). The twice we have taken Cato out without the harness, he has been back to his positive, engaged, sniffy self.  The moment we put that harness on, he sits down and doesn't want to step outside the door.  I have checked the fit several times.  No tightness or rubbing.  He just doesn't like it.  And once he has decided that he doesn't like something (stairs, stinky fish eggs, walking over drain covers...) then I have never known him to change his mind. I do have one last trick to try though.  Next time we go out on a really great sniffy walk (like Foxy Park) I will take him out to the car on the lead, then put the harness on as we start the walk.  He may be so distracted by the fun walk that he doesn't kick up about the harness.  Fingers crossed. I have had to re-arrange his second animal chiropractor appointment.  We are away for a week later in the month (holiday, South Peak District self catering dog friendly cottage).  So the appt is now for when we get back.  It is going to be an interesting holiday, trying to limit Cato so we don't push him too far (chiro lady said no more than a mile a day!), while keeping Tara worn out  and also seeing local sites and enjoying ourselves... The whole Pack feels off balance and uncomfortable at the moment.

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Stinky fish eggy stuff

Cato: Mum just gave us stinky black fish egg stuff. I didn't like it. Tara didn't like it either. It was sniffy and fishy and bobbley.  And Mum said we could only have teensy little bits, on account of it being very posh and Russian and shiny and stinky.  She said it was something called Lumpfish Caviar wot she found in a corner of the Human Food Shop, and since she had never ever ever ever tasted Caviar Stuff before, she got some. She needn't have bothered. Dad didn't like it AT ALL, which is why we got some. I think that Mum is only pretending to like it. ?

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Our garden this sunny afternoon :)

This clematis has been sickly for a couple of years, but it looks like it is recovering! This is the first oriental poppy flower this year lots of buds still to come! Beautiful fern fronds the baby palm tree Another clematis bud all fat and ready to pop The bearded irises are just coming out.  The clump will need splitting this year. and Sidney's catmint.  RIP. Just coming into bloom

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Being out ALONE

Tara: Because Cato is so wimpy now, I have to walk all by myself. I mean, Mum or Dad come too, sometimes, but it isn't the same as walking in a proper pack, with Cato.  He is good at finding sniffy stuff and showing it to me.  And he widdles which is proper Pack stuff.  When I go out with just Dad he wants to walk too fast.  And when I go out with just Mum, she says I have to behave.  And there are lots of big dogs around who wouldn't mess with our proper Pack and Cato, but they might mess with me when I am by myself. Walking alone isn't much fun! These are some piccses of when I went out alone.  Mum came with me.  I am wearing my new red harness.  But I don't have any red piggies yet.  Piggies grow very slowly, don't they, Aunties? We went to Waggy Tails, cos Mum was feeling guilty about making me go out ALONE, and she thought that scrambled egg might cheer me up.  It did a bit.  But I would have been more cheered up if there had been MORE egg, and if I could have sat on Mum's lap.  Or been with Cato. I had a pink towel bed cos Cato wouldn't have sat on it, would he?  On account of him being a boy. This is the wall pic thing. And this is Mum's sniffy tea.   It was nice to come home and sleep properly with Cato.  

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Our Harnesses

Tara: Hi Aunties We had to go and get me a harness.  It is red and special, and the nice Harness Lady spent ages getting it to fit me so I look extra special and lovely.  I chose RED.  Cato wanted boring brown.  But the Harness Lady didn't have any brown.  Haha!  So he has PURPLE instead.  I like the PURPLE too.  I could wear red one day and purple the next, couldn't I?  Cos the Purple would look much better on me than it does on Cato. We have to have harnesses now on account of Cato being a wimp and me getting shouted out every time I go near him.  S'not fair!  I never get to bounce any more. Mum says you can see nice piccses of me in my harness next time.  But she is very busy learning us how to wear our harnesses and stuff, so no time for pics. I look fab in mine.   Cato: We had to go for ages in the car.  I fell asleep.  And then we were there, and the nice Harness Lady sat on the floor with us and fiddled and stroked and tweaked and took it on and off and on and off and changed bits and stuff.  It was a bit boring, and it makes snappy clippy noises that I don't like.  But she had nice treats.  Little tiny dried fish.  And some gluten fee biscuits.  And there were different water bowls.  I liked the low one. And we came away with some Venison food and and some Duck food too.  So that was OK.  Tara wants my purple harness.  She can have it if she likes.  I don't really like harnesses.  They are very complicated, even when there is a Mrs Harness Lady to make sure they are a perfick fit. The lead clips to the middle of my back.  Which is OK.  But when I am pulling to sniff at something it gets a bit wonky over my shoulders.  I don't like that.   And when we are walking and I am scouting in front, the lead gets in the way of my tail.  I keep looking round at it, cos I don't like it. Mum says that my Purple harness and my orange pendant are striking.  But we can go back to having Mum on my nice brown leather lead if she likes.  I wouldn't mind!

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Cato’s back issues

Mum: Well, today has been a revelation! We had our Chiropractic Appt this evening, then the whole Pack repaired to a nearby pub to discuss the outcome, before the long (60 mile) drive home... Firstly, the Chiropractor (who is lovely, gentle, and obviously loves dogs) diagnosed Cato has hypermobile joints (stance, flexibility and overextension of joints).  Interestingly, I have hypermobile joints too.  So I know EXACTLY what it is like, the management, and the ongoing problems that arrive with time and age. She took a very thorough case history, and a very detailed examination, and was fascinated to get the chance to compare him with Little Miss Bounce’s conformation and muscle tone, and joint flexibility.  Then she spent about 25 minutes massaging and tweaking, and doing the percussive McTimony manipulations, while she worked on his issues. You ready for this?  She adjusted/corrected the following: - occipital bone (v slight displacement) - something in his shoulder/left side of neck - slight kink in spine at lumbar vertebrae (this was causing the recent agony, probably caused by Tara standing/bouncing on him) - two minor pelvic adjustments, one at sacro illeac joint, and one in same place as previous injury - a tiny muscle tension kink halfway down his tail  - something similar at the base of his tail - a slightly sticking out rib on one side (which has ALWAYS been there!  But now lies perfectly smooth) - over extension of wrist and ankle joints Basically, she said that with hypermobile joints, once one thing (probably pelvis) is knocked, then the effect richochets up and down the spine and legs in the form of muscle tension and weakness.  Then any forther impact (slip, trip, fall or Bounce) risks knocking another joint.  She said that she often encounters dogs where the original injury stems from when they were spayed or neutered.  Unconscious, on their backs, strapped out on the operating table.  Very likely this happened with Cato’s pelvis, especially with the hypermobile joints. he will be sore for a day or two from today’s treatment. I now feel like the Worst Paw Mum in the world!  All those minor little kinks and displacements...  All tiny little injuries that happened on MY WATCH that I didn’t know about, and that have been causing him anything from minor balance adjustments, to aches, to major pain... and also laying him open to more injury i feel absolutely awful. I asked for, and received, a very careful lesson in lifting him.  Apparently, we need to pick him up like a rabbit.  We must reach with one hand from the side, under his ribs, then slide the hand forward between his front legs.  Once there, we lift until he is standing on his back legs.  Then, second hand strokes down over his hips and between his legs.  Then we lift, keeping his spine relaced and straight, and cuddle him securely. Dad is now scared to lift him AT ALL. We always thought we were lifting him carefully and correctly.  But no.  Not for his hypermobility.  He needs a Rabbit Lift. No more long walks.  No more than a mile.  Several days rest while he recovers from today’s treatment, then a gentle work up to his mile, with soft surfaces, where possible.  He is going to go stir crazy with Sniff Deprivation!!! She was delighted at his diet (raw) and his supplements (probiotics, fish oil and liquid formula for joints) but says we must switch to a harness to protect his spine.  Recommended a 5 point adjustable harness, and advised getting it professionally fitted.  May have to travel for this. https://www.dog-games-shop.co.uk/perfect-fit-fleece-dog-harness.html and we must somehow stop the Tara Bouncing, since if it continues, further injury is... kind of inevitable.   during our little walk to the pub after the appointment, I was fascinated watching him walk.  Such a difference!  New head angle.  New leg swing.  New stance.  Each very slightly different, but adding up to a more easy gait.  Even sore from the appointment I could see he was somehow more easy.   So, my friends, i can buy a harness, lift him and walk him exactly as prescribed, continue to give him the best possible diet, BUT HOW THE HECK DO I KEEP TARA FROM BOUNCING ON HIM??? We have been almost managing it for the last few days, and it is very difficult.  To keep it up permanently... seems impossible. She needs to Bounce so much that it sparks off her.  The lack of Bouncing this week has built up a pressure of Bounce Steam that is due to explode any second.  And she wants to Bounce on Cato.  She loves him.  She loves to play with him.  It is her Joy. She expresses her love by Bouncing.

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My back hurts :(

Cato: aunties, my back hurts. ? it was a bit hurty before, and my ankles were a bit wobbly, and Mum was thinking that I should go see Mrs Vet (once Tara’s bobble was gone). but then she got better after the op, and she Bounced on me.  A lot.  Mum tried to protect me, but she couldn’t stop all the Bouncing.  Tara does big running up and down and leaping.  And woowoowooo!  And mugging and stuff.  And my back hurts.  Mum says she is veryveryvery sorry.  MrsVet says my back is soresoresore and there is gooey stuff to go on my breakfast, to stop it hurting.  That helps. MrsVet told Mum I have to be lifted up and down, and no walkies, and i must lie with my back straight.  And we will see wot happens when the inflamflamashun stuff goes away. and we are going to see MrsPawChiropractor next week.  Mum says she went to see MrsPC before, with Sidney, and MrsPC helped him and made his paw non-hurty.  So she will make my back non-hurty too.  Mum says.

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Tara's bobble removal op

Tara: It was AWFUL Aunties.  I didn't want to show you my piccses, but Mum said I had to be brave and show you, cos it will prove how brave I am, and heroic and stuff.  And it will show you all how extra specially beautiful I am when my piggies grow again. So this is me with Bed Head on Monday morning, before we went to see nice Mrs Groomer And this is me after my Spa Day, with my piggies All Gone.    Mum and I woz very sad.  Dad said he didn't know who the strange paw was who had moved into our Den, and Cato just sniffed me and larffed. This is my bobble wot my piggies used to cover.  Mum and Dad said it had definitely grown in the last two weeks, so snipping it off was the bestest thing to do. And this is me when I got back from the horrible stinky vets where they made me go to sleep and then banged me on the head. The bandage on my arm had dinosaurs on it! Mum says that my scar is Spectactulaaar! and a very impressive War Wound.  It is a much better War Wound than Cato has got.  And she says I should wear it with pride, cos I am a Brave Brave Paw.  So I am showing you my pics so that you can see how brave I am too!  

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Floral supplemental, for Crystal

Mum: We went for a walk this week in Foxy Park.  Seems like ages since we have been there, because we need the car to get there, and Dad has been taking the car to work most days recently because he has had a chest infection.  But he is getting better rapidly now, so more interesting lunchtime walks are back on the menu. ? The cherry blossom is just going over for this year, and falling like pink snow.  The blossom is always better photographed in the sun, but even on a dull day it was looking fantastic. This is my favourite The lilac is just reaching its full showing These are some baby bluebells that I nearly missed And the valiant Hosta is reporting for duty, like it does every year And this is what Cato and Tara thought of the whole photoshoot

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I am 5!!! (Cato's Birthday 13th May)

Cato: Mum says that it is my Special Once-In-A-Lifetime 5th Birthday Today.  And that I am a Little Hero. I love my Mum. This is me and Dad on my Special Birthday Dawn And this is Me and Tara on our Special Birthday Lie In Then Dad woke me up with my prezzie.  It is a NEW Angry Bird toy, and I chewed it and sucked it and humped the duvet with it in my mouth.  It was a lovely way to be woken up!  I love Dad. We went out to our Special Waggy Tails sausage place and had scrambled eggs and a snooze on their blankets.  I love Waggy Tails. AND we had a nice walk to the sea and back.  Mum says that light was bad, but maybe there will be some sunny pics later when we repot the strawberries in the garden.  I have to do supervision stuff, if we do.  She says it would be nice to have some pics of Tara too, cos this is her last day with those silly piggy tails.  They get CHOPPED OFF tomorrow!  Haha! I love it that Tara is going to be bald, and will be mistaken for a boy again! Haha! We are going to have a special Birthday Dinner, but Mum won't tell me wot it is.  She says that Birthday Dinners should be a surprise. I love surprises.

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Lunch out with Dad's Mam

Tara: Hello Aunties!!! We went out with Dad's Mam for lunch.  Dad chose it special, cos he knew we could sit under table if we were veryveryvery good.  And we were!  Sort of. I may have wanted some of the special roast beef that Dad had, but mean old Mum said no.  Not til we were outside in the garden of the hotel-pub-place.   They had a nice garden with a pond  and bluebell stuff It was very nice.  All sunny and hot and sweltery.  I beat Cato up lots and lots til Mam said I was naughty, but Mum said 'this is nothing!  You should have seen her before she grew up!  It is just playing though.  And when Cato has had enough he lets her know.' And he does.  Cos he is a boring spoilsport! This is my bridge.  I would have crossed it, only Mum said no again.  She says no lotsandlots, doesn't she? This is the view from the edge of the pub garden.  I went out into the field and had a widdle, cos I am good at watering green stuff. There was a big Hooch (from Turner and Hooch) sitting outside the pub having his lunch.  He was HUGE!!!  I didn't like him, but Cato went up and said hello.

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Our visitor

Cato: Hello Aunties!  We had an exciting visitor today! We was walking over to see Auntie Jane this morning,  when this strange scruffy paw came over to say hello. He looked like he hadn’t had a b*th or a brush in AGES!  He was wandering about the street without having a human on a lead!  He was waggy and sniffy.  And his tail woz nice and friendly. Mum said he looked like he needed some help.  So she took my lead off, and put it on him, and he and Tara walked the rest of the way to Auntie Jane’s, and Mum carried me.  I liked that. When we got to Auntie’s me and Tara had to stay there without Mum, while she and the strange paw went out looking for his Home.  But they didn’t find it.  All the paw wanted to do was sniff and widdle.  So we all went home.  And then Mum did lots of computer stuff, and facebooky stuff and phone stuff, while Strange Paw stayed in our house, and ate our food and drank our water, and explored MY garden and widdled everywhere.  Mum rang the council and tried rescue places and vets, but they were all shut cos it was Bank Hol Weekend.  Wotever that is! He widdled in places that I wouldn’t DARE to widdle in!  Over and over again.  He had lots of widdle. He had bald bits on his stumpy tail, his ears, his flanks and the top of his nose.   He was blind in one eye.  He might have been deaf too.  He certainly didn't know when Mum was talking to him.  He had a dirty bottom too.   And his fur was all sticky up and clumpy.  Mum said he really needed a b*th, but she didn't want to make him had a heart attack or anything. Then we waited and waited for his Mum or Dad to ring our Mum.  And they didn’t. But in the meantime, we decided to call Strange Paw Fred.  He didn’t mind.  And then Fred found one of my bones!  He has very good teeth!  And then he found one of my pigs ears.  And he ate it ALL really quickly (good teeth!  Very chompy!) and then he was a bit sick.  And then he ate his sick.  And then he rolled in the sicky bit!   And then he got up onto the sofa when Mum was distractified!  And his farts were amazing!  They were sooooo stinky they filled the house! Fred is my HERO! Mum spent a lot of time cleaning up after Fred’s leg cocking inside the house!!!  And his vomit cos he pigged my pigs ear too fast.  I could have told him not to do that.  Pigs ears are best eaten slowly. Mum said we had to make allowances cos he wasn’t brought up like us. I wish we had been brought up to galumph our food, roll in our sick and widdle everywhere!  It was ACE.  Even Tara forgot to be scared of him and started following him around being all impressed and waggy. Dad took him for another walk too.  It was too hot for us, but they walked so far that Mum took the car to pick them up!  But they didn’t find Fred’s home   we could all tell that he wanted to go home. anyway, in the end Mum and Dad took Fred to stay somewhere else, cos he couldn’t stay with us any longer.  Mum says she thinks he lives in a kennel at his home, cos of his scruffiness and the widdling everywhere, and cos he didn’t like being inside.  But he knew about begging for food, and walking on the lead.  And riding in cars.  He is going to be in a kennel and have farty food, and have the Dog Warden check him for his microchip, and go home.  Hopefully. I wish he could have stayed.  He is my hero!    

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Scrambled egg!

Tara: We took Mum and Dad out for breakfast!  To our paw place that does proper food for us. look!  This is our scrambled eggses. Mum kept our bowls up on the table for AGES while she took pics cos she said our eggses were too hot hot hot.  It was awful having to wait. Mum squished them about in the bowl to make the cool down faster cos she said my whining was embarrassing.  Haha!  I was HUNGRY!!! we got a WHOLE egg each!  Yum!!! we want to go there again today too! Cato says that eggses is better than boring fish and rice or the bonescuits they do.  Or even cheese.  But I like the Pupcakes best!

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My Important Duties as Patroller and Organiser

Hello Aunties, Just thought I would let you know about my important daily duties that I do daily for the pack and around the house. They are very important.  Did I tell you that?  Cos they are. This is what I do: morning Garden Patrol, including side passage and rear gate.  Poo.  Wee. collecting post, parcels and leaflets.  I don’t actually collect them.  I Alert Mum and then we go and collect the stuff together from the porch. Important Snooze before breakfast reminding Mum that it is breakfast time. reminding her again Mid morning Garden Patrol and widdle reminding Mum that it is time for our Walk Sniffing at the Peemail Posts, gate posts, green stuff and car tyres till we get to the park Showing Mum the route, making sure she stays on track.  Recently she started straying off the path cos of mud puddles, but I don’t like it when she doesn’t stay safe.  Poo. Afternoon Patrol in garden, especially if Her Nextdoor is hanging out washing Important Snooze to recover from walk Waiting for Mum to finish work Garden Patrol and widdle Important Snooze on Mum’s lap while dinner cooks Reminding Mum it is Dinner Time Supervising serving Dinner Eating Dinner After dinner widdle Important Snooze on Mum’s lap Python wrestling, No-Fetch, Tug’o’War, Bone Chewing Reminding Mum to brush me Late night Garden Patrol, including side passage and back gate.  Wee. Bedtime. Fighting Tara on Big Bed til I get the pig’s ear Important All Night Snooze It is very hard work!  I take my duties very seriously.  Mum needs lots of help and supervision, ALL DAY!

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Bestest snowy winter EVER!!!

Mum:  Just a v quick note before we begin, pointing out that Tara is 3yrs old, and has seen 3 whole winters.  So her idea of 'best EVER!' isn't v extensive...   Tara: Hello Aunties! It is all rainywetsoggy outside to today, so we went with Mum and Dad to the pub and had steak bits and 100%burgerbits, but it is too cold and horrible for a walk, Mum says.  So instead, I have to get to tell you all about our blizzards, and snowy drifts and exciting Wild Artic Weather wot we have had this year.  I have done lots of ArticExploring, and Cato has done lots of shivering inside whingeing about frostbite on his tinkle.  Cos he is a wimp.  And I am brave and clever. Look!  Those footsprints are mine!  Doing my exploring stuff while we were on Holiday in Whitby.  Can you remember our holiday with the big snooker table and the lobster pots?  This is wot it looked like.  All dark and gloomy when the snow was deciding to fall. And this is wot it looked like the next day.  Mum said she wos sorry for the people who were staying in our holiday den next, cos she forgot to pick up a poo or two, and then the snow fell, and the poos were 'lost to posterity' under the snow.  Haha! This is wot Cato and Mum could see from the safewarmboringinside And this is wot I could see from the freezingfrozenArticwastes outside.  Can you see the grey stormy cloudy stuff coming in.  It woz ACE!!! So then the snow disappeared for AGES.  And it was boring green again, with a bit of nice squelchy mud and crunchy ice.  But then we went down to stay with Grandma and Grandad, and they had MUCH nicer more exciting weather and snow than us.  See? This is when it was just starting, and there were big fluffy snowy flakes that landed on my head. And this is The Invader wot Cato and I hunted through the glass door!  He is called Mr Pheasant, and Mum says he is as Bold As Brass, and should show more respec'  !!! And he should! This is after the snow fell, and when it woz melting. Next door to Grandad's garden, over the hedge where the nasty barky West Highland Terrier lives And Grandad's garden See how DEEP the snowdrifts are? This is the hunting trail wot me and Grandad cleared so that Grandad could put down bait for the birdles, so me and Cato could Hunt them.  Only trouble woz, Grandad did it wrong, cos we didn't catch any. Can you see me on the wall?  I am lying in wait for birdies to land so I can splat them.   Cato is always going on about Hunting and Camo, and Being One With The Woods, isnt he?  Well look at ME!  I am One With The Wall, and a Fab Winter Hunter, aren't I?  In my Camo. See The Invader's footsie prints?  Mum says he was just making a mockery of us!  And he woz! He went EVERYWHERE!  Though some of those footsprints are mine, when I woz widdling and Hunting and stuff But then it went all warm and melty again.  Bye bye ArticSnow.  Hello squishy SnowMud!  

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We have our OWN sausage place now!

Cato: You know how Mum and Dad sometimes drag us into sausage places, and we get bored under the table while they stuff their faces with lovely food and drink stuff, and then after agesandagesandages we get to go outside and have some sausage wot they saved for us? Don't get me wrong, I like the sausages!  And the steak.  And the 100percentbeefyburgers and the bits of chicken. But now we have OUR OWN sausage place! And it is only 10mins walk from home!  So we can take Mum for a walk in her lunchbreaky thing, and visit OUR sausage place and have Special Paw Chicken and Cheese and Fish and Biscuits and Pupcakes and sausages and stuff.  Mum showed me the menu thing, and it says Gluten Free on stuff, and Low Fat on other stuff, and I want to try EVERYTHING!!!! Look! http://waggietail.co.uk/ and https://www.facebook.com/waggietailcleethorpes/ We went there and had HUGE pieces of cheese and SweetPotato BoneyBiscuits and they were delish!  Only Mum said we had to share a single cube of cheese (Booo! Hisssss! says Tara) and only one BoneyBiscuit (S'not Fair!!!! says Tara), but I made sure that Mum put the rest of our cheese and biscuits into our Doggy Bag, and now they are in the fridge for when we are veryveryvery good.  Like I am ALL the time, and Tara is never.  So I get them and she doesn't!       ( says Tara) Mum says she will take pics next time to show you, and we might even get more pics on Facebook, like we do when we visit AuntieLesleyDogSitter who walks us in the mud.

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Town Park and Stinky Flowers

Tara: Hi Aunties!!!!  We have been off doing interesting stuff and sleeping and eating and everything, so we've been far too busy to blog. But today we only had a visit to Mam (that is Dad's Mum) and a walk round the park, so I get to blog for you and show AuntieCrystal flowers.  Did we tell you that Pop died?  It happened in a hospital near Christmas.  We are all sad about it.  He used to mess up my sprouts and call me a boy, but I did love him.  Mam is sad about it too.  So we go and see her lots, and we give her lots of lap time, and she gives us chewy sticks, and says I am a silly whiney little girl, and gives me ear rubs wot I like,  and pretends that we only like her for the treats.  But we don't.  We like her for her cuddles too. Anyway.  This was our park walk.  It was a bit grey and manky in the sky, and Dad kept making 'gonna rain!'  noises.  But we didn't mind.  And it was good and sniffy. Here is Cato watering the crocyusses. And this is a crocyuss wot he hasn't widdled on yet. And these are lots and lots more purple ones.  Mum was all 'Oooh!' and 'Aahhh!' and 'Can't believe I haven't seen these before, cos they are soooooo booooootiful'.  And Me and Cato just stood about being bored.  And Dad said 'Can we walk on the path, please, cos of the mud.' These are some daffydils wot Cato didn't tinkle on. And then Mum spotted some stinky blossom flowers up high in a tree over the path, so me and Cato went off and said hello to lots of people while Mum took EVEN MORE pics.  She says we should be grateful for every flower on account of all the snow.  Yawn. There were old people who bent down really creaky and patted me on the head.  And little people with bobbles in their hair like me.  And we saw lots of dogs too.  Cavaliers, Bull Terriers, cousin Shih Zhus and a very FAST Yorkie. We went right round the park two times til Dad said the Snooker was starting on TV, so we came home. But Mum says that before I go and sleep, I have to show AuntieCrystal these roses.  Because she loves Roses.  These are very special Roses on account of it being March (Mum says), and it being all snowy last weekend.  So they are super special endurance roses.  A bit like me, only flowers.  So not as pretty as me, of course. This is us waiting for Mum to finish her rose piccing, and come and play Truffle Hound and give us some water. And that red car is our car, waiting for us on the road.  Can you see my yellow bows.  Mum and me chose yellow cos of it being Spring. And - at last! - this is the best pic.  Mum took this one specially.  Isn't it beautiful?  That is special Snow Mud.  It is LUSH!!! That is Cato before he ran in the Mud.  Haha!

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