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Saturday, 25 September 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder - we hope!

Hi everyone - JD and Max speaking as one for the moment! Due to some things that are happening here we're going to have to take a little break from blogging for a while - we sure hope you won't forget about us whilst we're away!

"Please don't forget us!"

We're not taking a break for any horrible reasons - it's just that FH's job has gone CRAZY recently and any spare time she has she's spending on the laptop doing stuff for work instead of helping us with our blog - phooey!

"We'll promise to save all our noms for you if you promise not to forget us!"

PLUS FH and MH are also doing something called 'working on the house' - it seems like they're just making loads of mess as far as we can see, but again, it's taking them away from helping us with our blog - sigh.....

Max - "How could you forget these eyes?!"

We won't be away for TOO long - we hope to be back again at some point in November. But we didn't just want to disappear so we thought we'd let you know we're going to be popping off briefly..... And we might have to INSIST that FH does a quick update post at some point next week as we'll be turning a whole TWO years old then and we're sure the flashy box will feature heavily at some point during the celebrations!

JD hopes you won't forget his athletic prowess....

We also hope to be able to visit you at some point whilst we're away, although we can't guarantee it - well, you know how unreliable humans can be - sigh! We're gonna miss you all SO much!

....but he wouldn't mind if you forget about his bath humiliations!

We're so worried that you're going to forget all about us - we'll be back soon with lots more history posts (JD was thrilled that you all seemed to like his last post!) and suspense stories (Max guarantees he will have solved many mysteries by the time he's back!) and loads of photos of us just being cute! In the meantime, we hope these photos here will keep you going.
So, until we meet again......(sob!).....

"We demand new staff - our current FH is failing us with our blogging endeavours!!"

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A local history lesson - by JD Schnauzer

Hi everyone - it's JD here. Now, since my brother took over our blog recently to boast about his amazing detective skills in 'The Case of The Mysterious Blue Pelican' I thought it would only be fair for me to take over a post of my own to let our pals know a little bit more about where we live. This is because we both love our home town and we'd like to share a little bit of its history.

As you probably all know we live in a place called 'Clacton-On-Sea' but what you probably don't know is that the name of our town dates back to 500 AD - I don't even want to think about just HOW long that is in dog years, suffice to say it was a very, VERY long time ago! Anyway, in 500 AD Saxons - under their leader Clacc - set up residence and named the place 'Clacc Inga Ton' which translates as 'the Village of Clacc's People'. The 'On-Sea' part of our town's name was added by more modern humans, probably to make sure there's no confusion about what all that blue, wet stuff is that floats along side our town, he he he!

I'd like to do a few posts like this about our local history so I've decided to impart a juicy little snippet of information like this each time and then add some photos of historic local landmarks. But do let me know what you think of this post okay? As I wouldn't want to bore you all with local history if you don't find it interesting....

Anyway, without further ado, here are some photos of remaining memories of World War II that we have dotted around our town. These are look-out towers that can be found along Clacton seafront.

A World War II look-out tower - a genuine piece of local history!

Although a bit of scaffolding has been added to this particular one (as it's now used as a bird watching tower by local twitchers!) you can see the series of small 'windows' where the soldiers would have stood to watch the seas for approaching enemies. This particular look-out tower is on the highest point of the coast and is set back slightly further than the others, on the top of a hill. Because of this high vantage point it is in better condition than the others - and it also offers spectacular views, so it is very popular with twitchers and walkers alike. We like it when FH picks us up and puts us on the very top of it....

"Don't look down Max!!! Gosh, it's kinda high up here......!"

...because it means we can really appreciate the amazing views! From this look out tower you can look directly out to sea....

Amazing sea views from the look-out tower, even more spectacular when the weather is as beautiful as it was on this day!

....or you can look over to the nature reserve behind it, where there is a small lake where lots of geese and some herons live! (If you biggify the picture below you can see the bird hides in front of the lake.)

Nature reserve with small lake and lots of very noisy geese!

There are several other look-out towers that were built directly on the beach - because of this they are not in such good condition. These beach-front look-out towers have now been incorporated into our modern-day sea wall defences - we suppose it's an agreeable compromise to ensure a bit of local history isn't destroyed.

Another look-out tower as part of our sea defence wall! If you biggify the picture above you can see the two of us checking out pee-mail alongside it - there's always some really good messages left here!

Even though these other look-out towers are hidden behind the sea defence walls we still think they're fascinating and really appreciate that we live in such an amazing place.

JD checks out the view from a rather crumbly looking look-out tower!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

How to be a good puppy - aka 'Write a Post, Help a Dog!'

JD - Hi everyone! As you all know we are VERY good puppies!

Max - Well of course we are - it almost goes without saying bro'!

JD - Er, yes Max. But nevertheless I thought that it would be fun to do a quick 'how to be a good puppy' post to help demonstrate just HOW good we are!

Max - Great idea JD! Can I kick it off? Right, here goes - good puppies NEVER scavenge, so of course we would NEVER be caught doing anything like that.....

NOT scavenging by the sea-front!

JD - Most definately not! Also, to be a good puppy one must NEVER be a sofa hog! We ALWAYS remember to leave enough room on the sofa for our humans.

NOT being sofa hogs!

Max - That's right JD! It should also be mentioned that good puppies like us would never DREAM of chewing on items that don't belong to us, such as - oooh, I don't know - socks for example.....

NOT sampling a sock!

JD - Well said Max! And finally....

Max - ....probably the MOST important way that you can be a good puppy.....

JD - ....is to help puppies who are in need! And that's what we're doing right now by joining in with Pedigree's wonderful 'write a post, help a dog' project!

Max - So, how can YOU help puppies in need too? Just do what we're doing and write a post between September 16th and September 19th and Pedigree will donate a 20-pound bag of food to an animal shelter. Just include the bullets listed here, and add the direct link to your blog post to the Blog Hop in the post below.
  • Each year, more than 4 million dogs end up in shelters and breed rescue organizations. Pedigree created The PEDIGREE Adoption Drive to help shine a spotlight on the plight of these homeless dogs.
  • This year the PEDIGREE Adoption Drive is raising awareness for homeless dogs by donating a bowl of food to shelter dogs for everyone who becomes a "Fan" or "Likes" the PEDIGREE Adoption Drive on Facebook. So far more than 1 million bowls have been donated.
  • Special for BlogPaws West: For each blog that posts about the PEDIGREE Adoption Drive through September 19, PEDIGREE will donate a bag of its new Healthy Longevity Food for Dogs to shelters nationwide. It's simple: Write a post, help a dog
  • pedigreepostcard_V2_ped_comp_Page_2-1024x725

When you are done writing your post head over to Life with Dogs and join the special PEDIGREE Blog Hop

JD - So what are you waiting for? Hop on over today and be a part of something really great!

(Blog hop pawticipants listed in post below!)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Spoiled? Us? How DARE you!!!

JD - We'd just like to point out that we are NOT spoiled! We just get a bit chilly from time to time now that Autumn is creeping in.....

Max - ....plus we find it a bit hard to sleep if we haven't been tucked in first - what's wrong with that??!!

JD - We're only helping our humans keep their fuel bills down - if we're blankie-snuggled we're nice and warm so the heating can stay off!

Max - You see how thoughtful we are? Um FH, my pillow needs plumping, there's a good human!!

JD - And MH - my blankie has come un-tucked, if it's not too much trouble!!

(PS - we apologise for our absence recently - we've had real trouble with our Internet connection over the past week. Now it's working again we're going to concentrate on catching up with you all!)

Saturday, 4 September 2010

The case of the mysterious blue pelican!!

An exciting mystery/suspense story by Max Sherlock Schnauzer!

To the unobservant pup it would have appeared to be a day like any other, but from the moment I put my nose outside the door on my way to carry out my morning ablutions I knew that this day was going to be slightly different. There was something in the air - the promise of a secret yet to be unfurled. As I watched my brother sniff excitedly around the garden - no doubt checking to see if the neighbours' cats had partied here the night before - I knew that this 'something' had eluded him. But to me - the great Sherlock Schnauzer! - this 'something' was as clear as if it had been neatly packaged and placed in front of my very woozle!

A post breakfast chat with Olly and Squeaky!

Myself and my brother ate a hearty breakfast and then settled down for a morning chat with Olly Octopus and Squeaky Chicken whilst FH busied herself with one of her usual morning rituals - emptying the dishwasher, emptying the washing machine, doing some ironing - to my mind humans are very talented at filling their time with very tedious pass times! After what felt like an age FH finally straightened up and announced it was time for our morning constitutional - at last! We went to the nature reserve and spent a very happy hour romping in the fields and running along the beach - we met up with our great friends Molly the Doberman and her 'big' sister Tammy the Yorkie and all of us had a wonderful game of zoomies before we finally arrived back home slightly damp, very sandy, delightfully tired and extremely happy!

Sadly, FH had to leave almost immediately upon our return to go to work but I admit I hardly noticed her depart as I was filled with intrigue about what the day would bring. I knew that something exciting was very, very close, so as my dopey brother settled himself down for a snooze on MH's foot with a contented sigh I couldn't help but observe him with a touch of pity. It must be a shame, I thought, not to know when something BIG was just around the corner. It was as I was walking away from him - sadly shaking my head - to carry out a garden perimeter check, that it happened....

Security breach at 9.00 o'clock! Awooga! Awooga!

There was the tread of a familiar footstep on our garden path, the sound of our front porch being opened and the ring of our doorbell - then the hurried sound of our postman putting our post down before they bid a hasty retreat, no doubt scared away by my butch and manly schnauzer barking as I ran through our house raising the alarm by shouting 'Mail alert! Mail alert! Step AWAY from the door Mr Postman, we have you covered!" As I was running through the house I noticed that my brother hadn't even moved from his recumbent position on the floor - sigh....!

We ensure we give the mailman prior warning - bwahahahahahaha!

MH collected the mail - the usual selection of envelopes, plus a box - THE box! I knew that this was what I had been waiting for. My very puppy being yearned for MH to open it - after all it was addressed to 'Mr Jones' so why wasn't he ripping it apart to discover the wonders that waited within?! But he resisted - he put it on the side and wandered off back to his laptop, inserting his foot under my brother as he sat down as he knows how much JD loves to snuggle on people's feet - can you believe that my brother was STILL slumped on the floor? It's a good job the postman hadn't been a genuine security threat!

Another busy day - it takes a LOT of effort to look THIS relaxed you know!

Myself and my brother had a very full day of snoozing in various locations around the house, playing with Olly in the front room, snaffling a light lunch of plain yogurt with a drizzle of local honey (to help a certain brother with his tiresome allergies to pollen!), playing hide and seek around the garden sheds and waiting for FH to return home. Of course, I ensured that regular perimeter checks were carried out throughout the day. Finally, FH remembered that she had a husband and two cute puppies waiting for her and deigned to come home. I greeted her as if we'd been apart for months whilst my brother sat quietly to the side waiting his turn to greet her.

When all the 'welcome home' dances and cuddles were over FH noticed the box - THE box! - and asked MH why he hadn't opened it as it had 'Mr Jones' on it. He commented that it had come from Dogs Trust and as he hadn't ordered anything from Dogs Trust he thought maybe it had been a typo and the box was meant for FH. She said that she hadn't ordered anything either so opened it to see what was inside.

Behold the wonderous pelican! Just look at those cool rope legs!

And what a wonderful treasure that box held, just as I knew it would! From within its depths FH pulled out the most amazing pelican stuffie - oh gosh it was wonderful! A large beak that had a squeaker in it just asking to be pressed by a nose! A cute head that had a bell in it that tinkled in the most provocative of ways for a puppy! Rope legs that were just asking to be chewed! And a contraption in its tummy that made the most delightful 'gurgling' noises whenever it was moved. Oooh, I wanted it, I wanted it, I WANTED IT! But did FH pass this wonderful toy onto myself or my brother? She did not! Instead she searched through the box, found no note or message, so she put the pelican on the sideboard and told us we were not allowed to have it until she had found out where it had come from. Nooooooooo!!!!!!!

"But why can't we have the stuffie?" asked my brother forlornly, who - let's face it - is usually a little behind in the proceedings.

"Because the humans are too slow to figure out where it's come from!" I exclaimed! "But it will take me less than 5 minutes to figure out who sent it! A-ha dear brother - the game is a-paw!"

"Eh?!" said JD.

JD - "Awww, go on FH, give us the pelican, pretty please!"

"Well," I continued, "we have a great mystery here in front of us. And when solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards!"

"You-what?!" continued my somewhat slow brother.

"Let us examine the facts!" I ploughed on, hoping that my brother would eventually catch up. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?!"

"Um - never?" stuttered my brother looking totally confused.

"Yes, well - that's as maybe!" I stated boldly, "but we need to figure out where this amazing stuffie has come from otherwise we will not get to play with it and that, dear brother, simply can not be!"

"Oh, I'm with you there!" said JD, finally cottoning on. "So Max, who do you think sent this delightful gift to us?"

I paced up and down in front of the stuffie. "Let us lay out the facts as we know them!" I said. "The stuffie has come through the post - that eliminates all the pups and kitties we know first-paw! We know that the pups and kitties that we know first-paw would simply leave a gift in our porch, they would not use the postal service!"

My brother looked suitably impressed so I continued. "The parcel in question has come come from Dogs Trust - it has come from somepup who obviously wants to help doggies in need."

"Well, doesn't that cover ALL our pals?" interrupted JD, somewhat annoyingly. I stopped my pacing and glared at him.

Max - "I declare the case of the mysterious blue pelican CLOSED! Now HAND IT OVER!!"

"You SEE yet you do not OBSERVE dear brother!" I exclaimed. "The distinction is clear! I know that all our pals are kind and generous - that is not in dispute! What the contents of this parcel tells us is that the sender is thoughtful through and through - observe!" I snapped, as I turned to face the pelican. "The stuffie in question is quite large and we are a breed of limited stature."

"Hey, now come on....!" my misguided brother - who likes to think he is the size of a wolfie - started to grumble, so I silenced him with a glare!

"Enough! The size of the pelican is, of course, a trifle. But there is nothing as important as trifles! If the stuffie is large and we are small then it goes without saying that this toy was selected by some pup who knew we would enjoy playing with it together. They bought us a toy big enough for two! The pup in question appreciates the enjoyment a shared toy can bring, with the dual chasing and the dual tugging! I conclude therefore that the pelican came not just from one pup but from TWO!"

My brother remained impressively speechless so I continued....

"So! The pelican was sent from an overseas pal, from two pups not just one, and most probably from somepup who is themselves a rescue which is why they appreciate the good work that Dogs Trust is doing! I conclude that this spectacular pelican was sent by somepup who recently used Dogs Trust, probably to make a donation, which is how they became aware of this most amazing stuffie in the first place."

Tantilisingly close - our paws are just itching to grab it!

I could see that my brother was impressed.

"Wow!" he said, "I'm impressed!"

I was pleased at this turn of events so let him continue. "So, um, who exactly sent the pelican then?"

This was the moment I had been waiting for - I puffed up my chest, I lifted my head as high as it would go, I cleared my throat and I announced, "It's elementary my dear JD! This stuffie came from fun Booker and sweet Asa! Let's look at the facts." I had started pacing again, the better to help me explain my reasoning. "Booker and Asa live across the pond. Asa is a rescue doggie. She has a brother who knows how much fun it is to have a sibling to play with. We played paw-it-forward with them recently and they kindly donated some money to Dogs Trust. I conclude that it is more than possible, it is in fact probable that this stuffie came from them!" I stopped dramatically (as my brother can confirm that I can never resist a touch of the dramatic!) and turned to face my brother.

"I have heard your reasons and regard them as convincing and adequate!" he proclaimed excitedly! "Let the stuffie be freed to our clutches and let the playing commence!"

At last, the stuffie is ours, OURS!! Let the fun commence!!

And that, dear readers, is how I, Max Sherlock Schnauzer, single-pawdly solved the case of the mysterious blue pelican.

It is, it's TRUE!!

Oh - and before we leave today please DO read our thank you post here for everyone who was part of Shelby's Auction - which is basically ALL of you!!

(Note from FH - thanks everso much to Booker and Asa for sending such a wonderful gift to the boys. If I had let my boys try to figure out who had sent it they probably would have managed it much quicker than me, we're sorry we had the stuffie for so long before you had to actually tell us it had come from you! They absolutely love it - JD especially has a penchant for rope toys so he usually chews the legs whilst Max is busy pressing the beak - he loves squeakers! They run up and down the lounge with it and they absolutely love it! You are wonderful pals!)