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Posts tagged ‘dog’

Rhubarb: deadly

Husband> How do you feel about your dog?

Me> Who- Jed?

Me> Well I- I love him.

Me> He’s my dog.

Husband> What if he did something?

Me> Look, a dog’s a dog. Every now and then he’s got to express his furry inner nature – you know, unleash the wolf . You can’t blame him for that.

Husband> I’m glad you feel that way.

Me> Huh really? Why?

Husband> He lay on your rhubarb.


Husband> In fact, he didn’t just lie on it. He rolled around in it, wriggled a bit. Looked to be having a whale of a time.

Me> I put that rhubarb in last summer- it doesn’t produce for a whole year- I’ve weeded it, nurtured it-

Husband> Yeah, it’s a bit flat. And see, this leaf here is munched. Also that one.

Me: That <multiple expletives deleted> <and some more> mongrel!

Husband: What happened to ‘a dog’s a dog’?

Me: I’ll make a <expletive deleted> rug out of his pelt.

And I’m going to embroider it:

In loving memory of Jed
Beloved family pet
Lay on rhubarb

Invincible canine spirit

Mm, pikelets with jam.

Sorry, got distracted there for a moment.

So recently it’s been all about The Rise of the Asset: gestation, eating, food, mealtimes, and how about some cream with that? WHY, DON’T MIND IF I DO.

I’m sure many of you have wondered what’s happened to The Jedster, that invincible canine spirit who once dominated this blog, striding across the posts like a colossus.

I’ve been literarily neglecting my dog, and I feel bad. After all, Jed has been a part of this family for nearly three years – and we have no idea whether we’ll even LIKE The Asset. After all, how do we know The Asset will be able to lick his own arse or retrieve tennis balls from dense undergrowth? And I can’t imagine The Asset lying under my desk contentedly nibbling my toes.

We’ll see.

This post is an attempt to redress the oversight.

One of our preferred walks used to be a forest track circling Jeep and Meep’s property. It’s a short walk, but afforded something of a workout if we negotiated The Hen’s Beak: a savage one-way 2:1 incline descending almost completely to the Hauraki Valley.

We haven’t walked the track for some time mainly because, at five months pregnant, there’s no way I could negotiate The Hen’s Beak. At least, I could probably make my way down it in the same happy manner as a beach ball; but Andrew would need a system of ropes and pulleys – or a rescue helicopter – to get me back up. The track has also suffered some erosion over the winter.

“How agile are you feeling?” asked Husband eyeing a tree fallen across the path.

The correct response would be: demonstrating all the lithe grace and elegance of a constipated rhino charging across wet sand, but,

“Like a gazelle. Watch!” I said, stepping ponderously over a knee-high twig with some dangerous-looking leaves. “Huh? Huh?”


I’d forgotten the track features little in the way of water for Jed. Charging after his tennis ball he covers at least ten times more ground than us, at about twenty times the speed, so he falls into any available creek for a big slurp and wallow. During the winter months, there’s a large puddle at the end of Jeep and Meep’s forest track, but we’ve had over a week of sunshine and presumed it would be dry.

It wasn’t:-

Jed after executing a triple-roll pike turn.

If you’re wondering whether that mud smelled much, OH MY POOR SWOLLEN THROBBING NOSTRILS IT STANK.

Where did you think that sentence was going?

Shame on you.

Cowardy custard

Some recent photos of Jed, along with  incontrovertible proof that the dog is the most photogenic of the two of us.

Jed performs his voice exercises.


Jed counts his legs


This is me and my dog, taken after a soggy walk with rain and projectile mud. I'm wearing my favourite t-shirt that says 'Starving Writ*splotch*' after I ironed off the 'er' at the end. The muddy paw-prints were left by the culprit on my left. I don't usually look this gnarly, I swear; but Husband is a shocking photographer. ('Not much to work with' my arse.)


Photo by Husband.


This photo was taken recently. Every morning when I put Jed out, he hops straight onto the table and inscrutably surveys his domain like a Sphinx.


Another photo by Husband. Obviously Jed gives him 'more to work with'.

The horse’s mouth: more than just a mantelpiece ornament

The inspiration for the following conversation came from a ball I’d thrown for the dog, which hit a tree about four feet away and rebounded back onto the path. 

Husband: Well, you’ve got more strength in your throwing, but your accuracy hasn’t improved much.

Me: It has too! My accuracy HAS improved.

Husband: Ok.

Me: Don’t say, ‘Ok’, as in: ‘Ok, I’ll magnanimously let her cling onto her pathetic little dreams’.

Me: I will not be patronised!

Husband: Ok: that’s shit! You sling the ball all over the place; most of the time you have NO idea where it’s going to go-

Me: Have I hit you in the head recently?

Husband: Well. No.

Thus Husband grudgingly agreed my throwing might have improved.

However, I’m now wondering how many times I aimed for his head and missed.

The subtle art of communicating with your partner via your dog

(NB I’ve had no subject on which to test the theory, but I’m sure this technique would work just as well with a small child.)

(NB For optimal results, it helps if you throw your voice.)

Me: Aw, poor puppy. Will ANDREW NOT PLAY WITH YOU? Aw, HE’S NO FUN SOMETIMES. What’s that- he says he’s WORKING? I agree, it SEEMS LIKE A HANDY ALL-PURPOSE EXCUSE, although he is busy. Oh my goodness, that’s amazing; I was thinking the exact same thing, that HE COULD DO WITH A SHAVE. It’s like Stubble City around here. Does he give you beard rash too? That’s terrible. Stings- I KNOW! What’s that? He should PUT OUT THE FUCKING RUBBISH WHEN HE SAYS HE WILL? Ah, now. That’s a bit harsh. Although it’s hard to disagree with you.

Weeding canine style

Jed loves gardening. It is one of his favourite activities, almost on the same level as trying to smuggle rancid bones into the house.

Now, he’s no longer allowed into the vegetable garden after he nibbled the top off all my beetroot seedlings. Instead he hovers beyond the perimeter of the fence, alert and quivering. He watches intently until I throw a weed over the fence, whereupon he pounces on it and worries it.

The other morning Husband and I decided to reclaim some land in the small area at the bottom of the drive where, if you sit and watch, you can actually SEE the weeds advancing across the flowerbed in a strategic military formation I like to call Operation Choke.

Naturally Jed was at the front line of defence in the thick of the action. I think this is his idea of ‘helping out’. You can’t say our dog doesn’t pull his weight.

In addition to indiscriminate digging, Jed also functions as a Weed Disposal Unit (WDU)™.

As you can see, Jed takes weeds PERSONALLY. Unfortunately, he has trouble differentiating between flowers/herbiage/vegetables and weeds. (That said, I’m not sure Husband can tell the difference either.)

Jed likes to ensure the weed is extremely dead before moving on.

Jed and the wombat

I used up most of my weekly quotient of words yesterday on Angelina Jolie. However, a picture allegedly speaks a thousand words, so here are 4000 of them.

These photos are of Jed, Wombat – one of the few toys he hasn’t gnawed the face off – and bits of Husband. They were taken in the living room on a beautiful morning recently when Andrew and Jed were in playful mood after breakfast.

Jed and Wombat




Wombat gets the upper hand


The wombat-rustler strikes again

Farting as expression of affection

My dog was so delighted to see me again, he couldn’t stop farting. I was – literally – overwhelmed. Jed’s been quite content without us for a month, but he’s stuck fairly close since my return. 

Jed tries out stunt snout

Jed and pig's ear

We’re driving home from Oamaru to Blenheim on Sunday, stopping in Christchurch enroute to pick up a breadmachine. With any luck, Husband should be back in the country by 1 July, and is threatening to ride his motorbike home from Auckland, but only if it isn’t raining.



Mad dog

“We have to leave the house at 8:00am,” I said in my Serious Voice so that Husband would know I was serious.

“Absolutely,” agreed Andrew.

“When I say 8:00am, I don’t secretly mean 8:30am. We have to reach Blenheim by 9:00 at the latest. And we are notoriously flaky.”

“True. But 8:00 should get us there in PLENTY of time.”

But despite getting up at argh o’clock on Saturday morning to prepare snacks, coffee to go, clean out the fridge, sort the rubbish, put out the compost, feed the dog, pack the car and straighten my hair, we still tore out of the driveway shortly after 8:15.

“Ok, 45 minutes to Blenheim – that’s manageable,” I said as we ripped up the road.

“Where did you put your wheelie bag?” asked Husband, as if I were smuggling it up my anus.

“What do you mean, where did I- I didn’t put it- you- I told you it was in the bedroom-”

“I thought you put it in the car!” roared Husband, doing a handbrake turn.

“Of course I didn’t put it in the car – baggage handling is YOUR job! Aw- we’re so late- I SAID we had to be-”

“Well, I was ready at 8:00!”

“Well, so was I!”

“Well, you didn’t look like it!”

“Well, neither did you!”

Husband pulled up outside our gate in a hail of gravel, exiting the car before it came to a stop. He hurdled the gate and sprinted down the drive.

I didn’t know Husband had those kind of moves.

It was pretty sexy.

On the road again, “Well done for remembering the bag, I suppose,” I muttered.

“Sorry I was a bit sharp back there,” muttered back Husband.

As we skidded around a bend, my wheelie bag tumbled off the box upon which it was – ‘wedged’ is not the right word for it, implying as it does a measure of stability – we’ll go for ‘precariously balanced’ in the boot. Jed’s response to this stimulus was to leap out of its way, but he rather over compensated and SHOT STRAIGHT OUT THE BACK WINDOW OF THE CAR.

Stunt Double Ball

I was halfway down the road with dog and walking boots in the car, when I realized we had forgotten something. By ‘we’, I don’t usually hold Jed accountable for household items. However, in this instance I am referring to Ball, which is primarily Jed’s responsibility.

Ball’s habitual residence is clamped in Jed’s jaws. Where Jed goes, Ball precedes him by the skin of his teeth – except when Jed is applying his gob to Other Business – in order of priority and often chronology: eating, licking his balls, nibbling his butt, and slurping on Husband’s face.

Since I was going to Westcity Henderson before taking Jed for a walk, I procured a stunt-double: a tennis ball for $1.67.

Stunt-Double Ball is now Jed’s favourite new toy.

His favourite application of his favourite new toy – apart from immersing it in mud, but really you could say that about anything – is nudging it with his nose, then pouncing on it before it escapes beneath the sofa.

Unfortunately, he needs some more practice at this; equally unfortunately, the gap beneath the sofa is about half a millimeter taller than the diameter of a tennis ball, which in a near perfect confluence of misfortunes, is not conducive to retrieval of Stunt-Double Ball. Not that Jed doesn’t try; and I can’t tell you how entertaining it is when he jams his head under the sofa, tail sweeping wildly, and scrabbles away on the floor with all paws.

So amongst my numerous duties around the house, I am also apparently in charge of extracting Stunt-Double Ball. Otherwise, Jed mopes and/or sulks.

Me: Hey, Puppy DUPPY! Where’s Stunt-Double Ball?

Jed: <Casting doleful eyes towards the sofa. Launches vicious yet heartbreakingly futile attack on sofa>

Me: Is it under there, HMM? Have you lost your Stunt-Double Ball under the sofa? Let’s have a look, shall we? <stretching flat out on the floor>

Me: Oh, there it is. THERE it is. Right – at – the – back. How did you manage that Fluppy Puppy? <getting to feet> I’m going to need some sort of . . . long . . . thing to handle this.

Me: <walking to kitchen> Now, Jedster, pay attention. HERE is where my species is superior to yours. Not to be mean – and I’m not talking about opposable thumbs – although I suppose that’s ANOTHER area wherein my species is superior to yours. But specifically, I am referring to-

Me: <brandishes fly-swat at dog> TOOLS!

Jed: <trots expectantly after me as I return to the sofa>

Me: <adopting prostrate position on floor again> You see? I take my fly-swat – or Ultimate Extraction Device – and . . .

Jed: <jumps on my head>

Me: <muffled> Ok, you’ve made your point.

When circumstances warrant

Me: I was walking The Jedster today and doing the heel with lots of positive affirmation* and this woman passed by with a golden retriever, and she gave me this LOOK, you know, like she was judging me. And I wouldn’t have minded except that her dog was UNBELIEVABLY badly behaved, plunging around on his lead and not sitting and stuff.

Husband: Jesus. What was her problem?

Me: Hard to know, but she was totally minging one way or another.

Husband: I know – you should blacklist her!

Me: From what? Oh, hey! I could blacklist her from my life! FOREVER! NO REPRIEVE! NO REMORSE!

Husband: Wow, you’re cold.

Me: Well, I can be when circumstances warrant it.

* Note: this is a variation on the Snarfy Snuggle Monster riff, delivered at a pitch only Jed and overhead bats can hear, usually on the occasion of him taking a wizz any place other than my carpet, or collapsing on the ground five minutes after I tell him to sit for the fourth time


See? My dog totally sits.

Snarfy Snuggle Monster

Photos from Karekare Beach yesterday:


What next?



Jed trains Husband to throw sticks (so far, he is making good progress).



We got Jed a few toys to distract him from our furniture. Not too many; there’s Ducky, which the Outlaws gave him; Spotso, which Jed gnaws even though it is supposed to be a heat-retaining comforter; a ball, which he has no interest in, possibly because it doesn’t squeak; and a rubber chicken, which – I admit it – was really more for me.

So it still amuses me how many hours Jed can spend playing with a stick.



We’re working on his carrying technique.



Guilt written all over him (difficult to see with this resolution).



Team effort: Husband and Jed dig a hole.



Jed sits.




Husband won, but only because he tripped Jed shortly after this shot.



Husband in imminent danger of losing shorts.



This sort of shot makes me wish I was a better photographer.



Sand art (artist unknown, although Jed added the paw print on the bottom left)

Why can’t antidotes come in pill format?

Jason: Scenario. Husband and Jed. Critically ill. Fatally diseased. You hold the antidote, but you only have one syringe. You can only save one.

Me: Does it have to be a syringe? Why can’t the antidote be in handy medicine form, like a pill or a suppositary? Actually on second thoughts, forget the suppository-

Jason: Quit stalling. Which one?

Me: Oh come on, it’s an impossible question-

Jason <relentless>: Which one? Which one?

Me <still struggling with the ethical dilemma>: Ok, Husband. But only because Jed isn’t fully versed in car maintenance yet

Frauen liebten seinen Punk

First impressions might last, but time itself has done nothing to reduce the MR2’s status as The Most Impractical Car in the World. After a trip to Mitre 10, where we drove home with a gas bottle balanced on my knee and mop sticking out the passenger window, I agreed to a second car.

Before you ask, I’m not sure why we didn’t sell the MR2. However, Husband had a dazzling list of valid and entirely plausible reasons not to, which worked despite our having just blown the month’s entire grocery budget on two tyres for said MR2.

Vehicles (management and maintenance of) falls under Husband’s job description, so I left it up to him to trawl in search of a second car. Despite my unhealthy relationships with vehicles, I had no passionate preferences as to choice of conveyance – unless we got a Mini Cooper, which evidently wasn’t going to happen.

Husband strongly advocated a 4×4 manual diesel. He marketed the advantages as being economic on fuel; large enough to carry bicycles, mops and rubbish bins in the boot; or a dressing table or bookcase; or up to three additional passengers. Brilliantly, he pointed out that it would be an ideal vehicle for puppy transportation.

He didn’t stress how useful a 4×4 would be to tow his motorbike around – in fact, he hardly even mentioned it.

Husband short listed a number of Nissans and Toyotas and we went to view a couple, but they were selling for too much. We didn’t want to spend more than NZ$ 6000.

Husband had an eyeball on a Toyota Surf on Trademe that was listed for NZ$ 6200. He thought the owner might let it go for NZ$ 5900 +/- and arranged to see the car the day before the auction was due to close.

“We need some way of communicating,” said Husband as we drove to Mt Wellington.

“How about talking? Or is that too intense?”

“No, I mean when we’re viewing the car. Some means of, you know, communicating what the other thinks.”

“Like a code?”

“I suppose.”

“How about: ‘The Pigs Are Flying’?”

“That might be a bit tricky to get into a sentence.”

“The monkeys are spanking-”

“Ok- NO- How about I ask you whether you like the colour? And if you don’t want to go ahead, you say ‘I’m not sure’.”

“Oh come ON – that makes me out to be a total girlie! Can’t I say something like, ‘The car burns oil’? Or: ‘Is the engine supposed to make that noise’?”

How much of a surprise is it that we had nothing agreed by the time we met Nishant?

We took the car for a test drive. Afterwards, Husband opened the bonnet and surveyed the engine, kicked the tyres, fingered a rust spot, and crawled under the car and rolled around a while. Then we all stood by the boot making small talk.

“So Niamhie,” says My Beloved. “What d’you think- I mean, for example- d’you like the colour?”

“It’s fucking NAVY,” I said somewhat charmlessly. “What’s not to like?”

I mean, REALLY.

“Look, it depends how much Nishant wants for the car,” I said. Then I waited for Husband to haggle like a Sagittarian car dealer.

And waited.

I was about to remind Husband about the airborne pigs when Nishant said:-

“To be quite honest, I won’t take less than $5000 for it.”

And I didn’t have to check the pig status to say, “Weeeeeell, all right then, I suppose.”

So we have welcomed a 1993 Toyota Hilux Surf into our family – shortly to be joined by a puppy. Husband might have the edge on cunning, but I will always wear him down with sheer single-minded persistence

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