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Marvin has a New Coat

Me: Look at the photos Chris sent me from Toronto. Marvin has a new coat. Doesn’t he look wonderful?

Nell: I’m not wearing one.

Me: You don’t need one. We don’t live in Canada. It gets very cold over there.

Nell: Don’t let the llamas see it or they’ll all want one.

Me: Shannon made it herself. Isn’t she clever?

Nell: I’m not sure Marvin would agree.

Me: Chris said Marv wasn’t keen at first but they need to keep him warm.

Nell: I told him that in my Young Animals Mentoring Group on WoofsApp.

Me: So you knew about his new coat?

Nell: Of course I did. I keep a close eye on all my Young Animals, especially those whose start in life has not been the easiest.

Me: Yes. Thank goodness Chris and Shannon rescued Marvin when they did or he wouldn’t have had a life at all.

Nell: Best not to dwell on that.

Me: You’re right except to say thank you to all of you out there who have rescued animals.

Nell: Absolutely. Now, I need to discuss yesterday’s unexpected visit to the vet.

Me: It was your yearly vaccination and check-up.

Nell: David and I had no idea we were going.

Me: Kev and I thought it best not to bother you. The vet was pleased with you both. Dave weighs 47 kilos as usual. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy. You need to lose a little.

Nell: Moving on. Why were Poppy and Harriet left at home?

Me: We couldn’t manage you all. They’re going next week.

Nell: David got extra cuddles with Chloe while I was with the vet.

Me: I know. She was delighted to see him. She said he was a lovely big boy.

Nell: Chloe is my person.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Sara is a Grumpy Guts and Nell Chivvies her Along

Nell: Come along now. Stop dawdling. Let’s see a spring in your step.

Me: It’s so wet and miserable, Nell. I think I might have lost my spring.

Nell: Just keep walking. The others are far ahead of us now. Look at David rolling on his back.

Me: Activity fields aren’t much fun in the rain.

Nell: Yes, they are and there’s a nice cup of tea and one of Poppy’s scones waiting for you when we get home.

Me: If there are any left after yesterday’s Hang the Medal on the Lion celebration.

Nell: Don’t be such a grumpy guts. Lionel was extremely honoured by his gift.

Me: He doesn’t deserve it.

Nell: That remains to be seen.

Me: He wears it all the time, even at breakfast.

Nell: Yes. That’s the whole idea.

Me: I’m surprised Henry and Horst were involved.

Nell: They enjoy a party as much as the next woodlouse.

Me: And what was that wild dance about?

Nell: Gladys likes to demonstrate her feelings through interpretive dance, you know that.

Me: I didn’t expect Lionel to join in. I’m surprised the medallion didn’t fall off.

Nell: Yes, we were all most relieved. Gladys did well.

Me: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Nell: I know why you’re grumpy.

Me: Do you?

Nell: Yes, you’re seeing the dentist later and you don’t like dentists.

Me: I don’t mind the actual dentist. It’s the rest of it I’m not keen on.

Nell: Nobody is. The best thing to do is just grin and bear it. It’ll be over soon.

Me: Yes, you’re right.

Nell: Now, one more turn around the field and then we can go home.

Me: Thank you for looking out for me, Nell.

Nell: You and me always. Remember?

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Strange Behaviour

Me: Everyone has their own way of dealing with this situation, don’t they?

Nell: What situation?

Me: The Mystery of the Stuffed Tiger.

Nell: You’re supposed to be resting, not worrying about all that.

Me: Poppy’s being rather impressive.

Nell: What do you mean?

Me: She sits on her bed of cushions in an aloof and haughty manner refusing to give the Stuffed Tiger the time of day.

Nell: You do realise she has her sword under those cushions.

Me: The Stuffed Tiger doesn’t know that.

Nell: I think it might.

Me: Harriet, on the other hand, has become quite fierce and provoking.

Nell: I’m not sure fierce is the right word.

Me: You should have seen her raising her hindquarters and showing her teeth.

Nell: Hindquarters?

Me: Yes, you know that thing Poppy usually does with her bottom in the air. It’s almost like they’ve swapped roles.

Nell: Moving on, Miss Maple is extremely impressed with Lionel King’s behaviour.

Me: Really?

Nell: Yes. So much so that when she and Sally were out pursuing that lead I told you about they decided to buy him a necklace.

Me: A necklace? For Lionel King?

Nell: It’s more of a medallion, actually.

Me: Like a medal for good behaviour?

Nell: Yes. It’s going to be presented to him this afternoon.

Me: That’s absolutely outrageous.

Nell: Calm down, or you’ll get another migraine.

Me: They can’t give a medal to that lion.

Nell: Well, they are. At 3:30pm followed by afternoon tea. All are invited. Wear a hat.

Me: I’m not coming.

Nell: Your decision.

Me: Knitwear Wolf can’t be happy about this.

Nell: Rupert is going to put it around Lionel’s neck.

Me: Unbelievable.

Nell: Try and stay a little open minded, please. Everything happens for a reason.

Me: Okay. Sorry.

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Another Migraine

Nell: What are you doing?

Me: Writing today’s conversation.

Nell: You woke up with another migraine this morning. You’re supposed to be resting.

Me: I can’t let everyone down.

Nell: They’ll understand.

Me: Just tell me if Sidney saw anything on his webcam.

Nell: Sidney is in a meeting with Henry and Horst. We’ll know more later.

Me: What about Miss Maple?

Nell: She’s pursuing an interesting lead.

Me: On the Stuffed Tiger?

Nell: No. It’s an actual lead. The Cat saw it in one of the local shops and thought it might be just the thing for Poppy.

Me: It’s a shame Poppy has to be on a lead when we go on our walks but she’s simply cannot be trusted to behave.

Nell: Kindly stop writing and drink your tea.

Me: I can never eat or drink much when I have one of these migraines, Nell.

Nell: You need to try.

Me: This isn’t the best way to start the week, is it?

Nell: It is what it is.

Me: These wretched headaches have plagued me my whole life.

Nell: I know but there’s no point in fighting them. You just have to give in. Tomorrow is another day.

Me: At least it isn’t raining today.

Nell: Exactly. Gladys and the llamas were able to glide in the field without Wellington boots.

Me: Did Dave join in?

Nell: Yes, although the top hat and cane were a little unnecessary.

Me: He’s going through a Fred Astaire phase. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: I think Sally being here has made him a little giddy.

Me: Talking of giddy, I think I might have to lie down now.

Nell: Good. I’ll close the curtains and you try and sleep it off. We will all be fine.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Harriet Tries to Stay Alert

Me: I wish it would stop raining.

Nell: You and me both. Now, you had a nasty migraine yesterday evening so it’s a quiet day for you today.

Me: Fine. It is Sunday after all.

Nell: Yes. Harriet is keeping your chair safe downstairs.

Me: Safe from what?

Nell: The Stuffed Tiger, of course. Who knows where it will go next.

Me: I don’t want it taking my chair.

Nell: Don’t worry. Harriet won’t let that happen. She has been told to stay alert.

Me: That’s going to be difficult. Harriet usually falls fast asleep when she’s on my chair. It’s very comfortable you know.

Nell: She will distract herself by playing Cheeky Animals and Raising a Paw.

Me: How does Raising a Paw help you stay awake?

Nell: It’s extremely tricky.

Me: I don’t mind if she falls asleep. If I find that Stuffed Tiger on my chair I shall simply throw it off.

Nell: You can’t do that. You don’t know what might happen. Best to ignore it.

Me: I hope you’ve moved Sunday Songs inside. The Welsh Corgi choir can’t sing in this rain.

Nell: They have boots and mackintoshes. They’ll be fine.

Me: Are you going outside then?

Nell: Don’t be silly. I shall listen from inside.

Me: You won’t hear much.

Nell: It’s the thought that counts.

Me: Not when you’re singing your heart out in the rain.

Nell: There’s hot tea and warm scones waiting for them inside when they’ve finished. Don’t fuss.

Me: They should be allowed inside now.

Nell: They can’t come inside until Henry and Horst say so. The surveillance team are busy putting measures in place.

Me: What measures?

Nell: Sidney the Spider is busy setting up his webcam and it might take a while. Satisfied now?

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Toby is Not a Happy Boy

Me: Lunch was interesting yesterday, wasn’t it?

Nell: I would like to discuss this worrying photo with you first, please.

Me: It’s of Toby. Tony sent it to me.

Nell: Why is he wearing a shower cap?

Me: It isn’t a shower cap, Nell. It’s a special hat to stop him touching his ear.

Nell: It looks like a shower cap.

Me: I know it does but he cut his ear badly on his walk and they had to glue it together.

Nell: David had a cut ear one Christmas and he didn’t have to wear a shower cap.

Me: I think they stitched Dave’s ear.

Nell: Toby doesn’t like it.

Me: It’s only a hat and I’m sure it won’t be for much longer.

Nell: You wouldn’t say that if you were the one wearing it. Anyway, give me your opinion on yesterday’s lunch.

Me: Well, Miss Maple found the pappardelle absolutely delicious and fortunately Lionel King kept a low profile and served it quietly.

Nell: Yes, I thought it all went very well until we adjourned to the living room and that wretched Stuffed Tiger had moved back on to Poppy’s Palace.

Me: Miss Maple didn’t seem surprised.

Nell: I noticed that too. She walked up to it and said ‘Interesting’.

Me: I think she knows something we don’t.

Nell: I certainly hope so. She’s a world famous detective. Sally didn’t just ask her here to be kind.

Me: Oh yes. I’d completely forgotten about that.

Nell: Good grief.

Me: Do you think she will be staying with us for long?

Nell: For as long as it takes, I expect.

Me: As long as what takes?

Nell: For her to solve the mystery.

Me: What mystery?

Nell: The Mystery of the Stuffed Tiger. Do keep up.

Me: Sorry.

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A Very Important Guest

Me: Are you waiting for Tony?

Nell: No. I’m expecting a Very Important Guest for lunch.

Me: If it’s that Jack Russell terrier don’t bother. I saw him out in the field interviewing the llamas.

Nell: It’s not that Jack Russell. He’s not important and besides one should never invite reporters for lunch.

Me: I wouldn’t mind talking to him.

Nell: Don’t you dare.

Me: There’s a lot I could tell him about that lion.

Nell: Lionel is determined to be a good lion. He’s out in the kitchen right now making pasta for lunch with Poppy.

Me: Lionel is making pasta? With Poppy?

Nell: Yes. Our guest has a passion for pappardelle.

Me: Goodness me. Is it your friend Dorothy?

Nell: Dorothy doesn’t eat pasta. She’s a quiche and salad kind of animal.

Me: You enjoy a salad too, don’t you?

Nell: Yes, it’s part of my new regime.

Me: So, are you going to tell me who the mystery guest is?

Nell: Miss Maple, if you must know. Sally heard she was in the area.

Me: How delightful. No wonder Poppy is busy making a special lunch. She and Maple are best friends.

Nell: Yes. They are now that the misunderstanding over John the Doberman’s affections have been cleared up.

Me: Hang on a minute. Miss Maple can’t stand Lionel King.

Nell: I know.

Me: She and Poppy were imprisoned in the crow’s nest on his ship.

Nell: Yes, I remember. I was there.

Me: She won’t want him making her lunch.

Nell: She has decided to give him A Second Chance.

Me: Why on earth would she do that?

Nell: Sally asked her to.

Me: I can’t believe it. There’s more to this than meets the eye.

Nell: Nonsense. It’s just a simple lunch.

Me: Okay. Sorry.

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It’s Moved

Nell: Come downstairs right now, please.

Me: Stop shouting. Has something happened?

Nell: It’s moved.

Me: What’s moved?

Nell: The Stuffed Tiger. It’s on the other sofa.

Me: Calm down. I’m coming.

Nell: We’ve surrounded it but I’m not sure how long we can keep this up. Some of us are in need of a second breakfast.

Me: Okay. I’m here.

Nell: See what I mean.

Me: It’s not moving now.

Nell: Not now it isn’t but it did when no one was watching. It was on Poppy’s Palace before.

Me: At least she’ll be pleased it’s gone.

Nell: It hasn’t gone. It’s on my sofa.

Me: Curiouser and curiouser. How is this happening?

Nell: It’s fairly obvious to me.

Me: Is it?

Nell: Yes. The Stuffed Tiger is not working alone. It has an accomplice.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: And the accomplice is moving amongst us.

Me: Gosh.

Nell: While we were enjoying our first breakfast of cereal and toast in the kitchen the Stuffed Tiger was in here.

Me: Poor thing. All alone.

Nell: Except it wasn’t. Someone moved it.

Me: So, you don’t think it moved itself?

Nell: It’s a stuffed toy. Do keep up.

Me: Maybe it comes to life when no one is looking. Stranger things have happened.

Nell: This isn’t Toy Story. Try and be a little realistic.

Me: If you’re right then it means the accomplice is one of you.

Nell: I know.

Me: It’s definitely not Dave. I know he looks guilty but he always looks like that when he’s worried. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: David is not a suspect and neither is Harriet. We breakfasted together.

Me: You don’t think it’s me, do you?

Nell: Of course not.You were upstairs writing. Good grief. Get a grip.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Good News

Me: I love the way you dogs always seem to find the sunshine.

Nell: Yes, I like to look on the bright side whenever possible.

Me: I was talking literally and I’m not sure that’s true, by the way. You can be a right old Eeyore when you want to be.

Nell: Less of the old, please.

Me: Poppy seems extremely contented on her cushions.

Nell: The Stuffed Tiger still hasn’t moved so she’s biding her time.

Me: Do you think she might attack?

Nell: Let’s just say her sword is under one of those cushions.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: Anyway, we have some good news to tell everyone today.

Me: We do.

Nell: You received a letter from the hospital telling you that the skin they removed during the wide excision in November has been examined by the pathologists and shows no sign of any residual cancer.

Me: Yes. So, now it is just regular check ups and monitoring of any suspicious moles or marks.

Nell: Which is a huge relief to us all.

Me: It certainly is and I’m so thankful for the kind messages of support. I can’t begin to tell you how much it helped to know you were all behind me.

Nell: We love you.

Me: And I love you all too.

Nell: Enough of that. Did you notice a Jack Russell terrier in the field?

Me: No. Was it gliding?

Nell: Jack Russells don’t glide.

Me: Gladys says anyone can glide. Even you.

Nell: Don’t be silly. Anyway, this Jack Russell will probably be wearing a cap and carrying a notebook.

Me: I never go anywhere without mine.

Nell: You don’t own a cap.

Me: I meant the notebook.

Nell: I know. It’s snooping for the Daily Growl. Report any sightings.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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A Lovely Walk

Me: That was a lovely walk to our beach, wasn’t it? You thoroughly enjoyed yourself.

Nell: There were too many people for my liking.

Me: There were hardly any people on our walk. They were all down on the beach not up on the cliffs.

Nell: I prefer it when it’s quieter. The car park was ever so busy. Cars everywhere.

Me: It’s still holiday time, Nell. The beach is for sharing.

Nell: Like toast?

Me: Are you talking about my breakfast?

Nell: Just saying.

Me: I’m never going to be able to enjoy a meal without being watched.

Nell: You’d miss us if we weren’t there. And we’re only being Supportive.

Me: You’re right. I would.

Nell: Did you see the Daily Growl, by the way?

Me: No, I haven’t looked at it yet.

Nell: There’s a whole feature on Lionel King.

Me: Really?

Nell: Look. ‘Handsome entrepreneur Mr Lionel King rescues drowning corgi choir in wedding disaster.’

Me: Lionel’s not an entrepreneur and where did they get those photos?

Nell: They look like Beefy footage to me.

Me: Beefy footage?

Nell: Yes. According to Terry the Beefies have expanded Call a Beefy to include an aerial photo service.

Me: Using drones?

Nell: No. Using Beefies with head cameras.

Me: So, that’s what they are.

Nell: What do you mean?

Me: I noticed some of them were wearing hats but I thought it was a fashion statement.

Nell: Where?

Me: Down on the beach and there might have been a few hovering over the fields when Gladys and the llamas were gliding this morning.

Nell: Gladys won’t like that. It’ll be all over YouChewed in a twinkling and Our Penguin has the video rights.

Me: Did you say ‘in a twinkling’?

Nell: What’s wrong with that?

Me: Nothing. Sorry.