Wednesday, 15 June 2016

A Post By Ted





Hello everyone.

It's been a while, I know, for which I can only apologise. But you know how it is. Life is Very Busy, especially for West Highlands who happen to be the Senior Dog of their households.

I hope life is treating you all well? Our house is very hectic at present, mainly because there are so many Small Interesting Creatures visiting/ living in the garden and it is my job to do Regular Patrols and check them all out to make sure it's safe for Poppy to go outside.

We've got upside-down birds hanging off the feeders (baby nuthatches) and a small orange creature Mum found hanging out of a case attached to a blade of grass. It sat on her hand for ages afterwards but she didn't show us too closely because apparently I have a habit of eating small orange creatures. I don't know where this reputation has come from because I can't recall ever having done any such thing before. Possibly it was the capture of the baby robin last week that put the thought in her mind. I ought to point out that in that instance, I was carrying the robin very carefully and safely and it was Poppy who snatched it out of my mouth and ran off with it recklessly. Anyway, the small orange creature turned out to be a baby cricket and Mum was pleased because she's never seen one eclosing out of the larval case before (whatever that means). 

Poppy is being driven mad by some cats who have a nest just beyond our fence. She spends hours watching them through a crack in the fence. They know she can't get out and reach them so they just sit there, all insouciant, and blow raspberries at her. It's even worse now they have kittens. I try to offer moral support, but I find I just can't get worked up about cats. Pigeons and squirrels now, that's an entirely different matter.

The latter have been exceptionally annoying in recent days, sitting on the fence swearing at me. I have tried Very Hard to knock them off but unfortunately have yet to succeed. They appear to have sticky feet, which I suppose you need if you choose to live in a tree. As for the pigeons, well, this year they've decided not to nest in our wisteria, which annoyingly means I don't know where they are. There are, as a result, fewer opportunities for Pigeon Watching. I hope all the Pigeon Club members around the world are managing to do better than me on that score?

We may not have many pigeons to watch, but we have got Dragons (see the picture of one holding on to a blade of grass). Poppy is terrified of them and it doesn't matter how many times Mum explains to her that they are Dragon Flies, it only makes her worry more. She thinks they're going to fly over and pick her up and fly off with her and then drop her in a lake from a great height. This is what comes of watching Game of Thrones before you're old enough. Sigh.

Yesterday we both had something to really worry about: a Raptor that was bigger than Poppy came into our garden! Poppy had just got back from Mrs D where she'd had her hair cut and three ticks pulled out. Mum was snuffling her because she's all smooth and silky after her hair cut and it's the only time it's safe to snuggle Pop without fear of catching a horribly disfiguring disease, when I decided to go outside. Poppy instantly squirmed and wriggled until Mum put her down and she came rushing up to see what I was barking at. Mum thought it was the neighbours, and as I'm not allowed to do that (?) she came out to tell me off and found us instead both standing stock still, slightly uncertain what to do, in front of a GINORMOUS BIRD which was lying on its back at our feet, with its wings spread out and its feet sticking up at us and its beak all bloody and its chest feathers all covered in gore. It was a Buzzard, and Mum thought we'd injured it!

I didn't know whether to be proud or amazed, so I settled on bewildered. I know I have a reputation as a particularly fierce kind of Westie, and it's certainly true that Poppy is a Jack Russell and they are not for the faint hearted, but even I was a little taken aback at Mum's unwavering confidence in my ability to take down a buzzard. It was nearly as big as me, for heaven's sake.

After a moment's reflection and seeing perhaps the way I was eyeing the enormous creature warily (have you ever had a Buzzard's talons shoved in your face? Or its beak. Or its eye either, come to that- terrifying), she changed her mind and decided we might be in more danger of having our eyes gouged out by it, so she ooshed us back to the house, nearly treading on the eviscerated rat that the buzzard had been ripping apart (which is what brought it to the garden in the first place and explained the blood on my chest and nose) on the way.


By now Mum was in a conundrum. You all know she has a habit of rescuing wounded Wild Things, but even Mum knows you don't just casually pick up a Bird of Prey. They can tighten their talons around a human wrist right down to the bone if they want to. What a skill to have, eh? So she collected a thick jumper and rushed back outside while Poppy hopped up and down and called out anxiously Be Careful, Mum! But luckily as she reached it the buzzard hopped back up on to its feet, squirted out what was probably a worried poo (we've all been there) and flew off, chased by a pair of scolding blackbirds. What Drama, eh?

Mum keeps telling anyone who'll listen (and, to be honest, plenty who don't really want to, like the man who fitted part of the kitchen this morning and the other man who came to do the taps- I could tell by the glazed look in their eyes) all about it, because she's never seen that kind of behaviour in a wild bird before. She thinks the whole lying on its back was a defensive thing, akin to playing dead, which some raptors do (apparently, but if anyone knows different please leave a message to that effect in the comments and I'll pass it on to her. It might stop her talking about it).

Anyway, we had all been so distracted by the Episode Of The Buzzard that I'd completely forgotten to laugh at Poppy's haircut and by the time I remembered it seemed a rather futile gesture, so we went to sleep on our beds instead, to get over the excitement/ shock.

I hope this missive finds all my friends well? Poppy has been playing a lot of football recently, as you can see from the photo montage. Apparently, she was hopeful she might get chosen to play in Euro 2016, which I can only assume has something to do with the Referendum.

Best regards as always,

Ted x

44 comments:

  1. Ha ha, brilliant. You're so funny Ted. Fascinating raptor behaviour. It's all go in your garden, isn't it?!

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    1. It is a Very Busy Place, Sam. And I'm not getting any younger that's for sure. If only Poppy was a more reliable deputy. X

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  2. Hey Ted,
    Honey here. I am currently on seagull patrol. I do it every year when they decide to nest on the roof of my house. Mum says there are two babies (she went over the road to the neighbours bedroom to check) too. I'm not happy, and have been doing my best to see them off. Mum keeps shushing me though, which I think is rather unfair. Olly gave me a strawberry he'd grown as consolation. It was very tasty. I have had a couple of ticks, and so has Mum. On her bum. I heard her say something about it being the beginning of the end, but she can be a little melodramatic. Good luck with continued garden patrol.
    Honey xx

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    1. Crikey honey! You should start a Seagull Watchers Club. Poppy and I would join :-). Lucky you, getting a homegrown strawb from your boy. I had a piece of rice cake that had dropped on the floor this evening. It isn't at all the same thing. Xx

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  3. Ted, this seems altogether too much excitement for one day - I am suee you needed a good sleep after that.

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    1. It was a bit much. To be honest I'm still feeling the after effects now. Please give my regards to Tess x

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  4. You were lucky with that buzzard. It looks like a velociraptor

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  5. Hi Ted, this is Rocky hound. How wonderful to hear from you, everything sounds all go there! I commiserate with Poppy over the cats. There is a very pesky and actually huge cat who lives in the cottage over the road from my house. This creature Ted actually has the audacity to stare at me from a bedroom window while I am in my sitting room. I mean really!! My mum is very impressed with Poppy's haircut I'm in bad books myself as I keep on running off when mum wants to comb me. Very shocking to read about the buzzard, that was a near miss there. Perhaps if you see it again you could have a friendly word about pigeon removals. Take care Rocky xx

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    1. I believe some cats have no manners Rocky, that explains the staring. Poor you about the brushing and that's not a bad idea re buzzard and pigeon. All the best, Ted x

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  6. Love it..... Thank you for such an amusing and interesting post.

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  7. Oh Ted, what a time you have been having of it!! You poor fellow, you must be exhausted with Poppy's antics and then all of the bird happenings and being chased by a raptor, my goodness! We have terrible pigeon and squirrel problems here, I wish that you could come and sort them out for me! Hugs to you and Poppy and say hi to Mum too! xx Aunty Amy xx

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    1. Dear Aunty Amy, I knew you would understand. I'd be very happy to sort out your pigeons and squirrels. Poppy has offered to drive me, which is rather an alarming thought. Love, Ted x

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  8. Good grief, whatever next! You don't expect to find buzzards lounging around in the garden. Glad everything turned out OK in the end. x

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    1. It came back the next day, CK, and sat on the pergola! x

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  9. Darling Ted, how lovely to hear from you again! I can see why it's been a while; you seem to have so many exciting things going on at your end of the world:) My furbabies send their regards from our balcony, where they hang out all summer whilst looking at all the other furbabies walking by!

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    1. Hi Annie! We hope all is well with you and the pooches. Love Ted xx

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  10. Good Lord Ted, that's a lot of drama, no wonder you all needed a lie down afterwards. I would have found the buzzard thing quite denerving (that's a word in our house), well done for not running away. Bad luck to Poppy on the hair cut and the soft, silky, fresh smell. Hopefully you'll be able to help her find something good to roll in to try and sort it out a bit. The littlest boy in our house is on the lookout for a stray dog, so if you happen upon one do point him in our direction. Otherwise he'll have to wait one year and 354 days, which is ages in small boy years and even longer in dog years. Have a good weekend Ted. CJ xx

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    1. Denerving is an excellent word, CJ. I've told Poppy and she agreed. She lay down in a muddle puddle in the wood the day after her hair cut which has sorted out the silkiness and the clean smell. Please tell your littlest that I've been keeping my eyes peeled for any strays but so far no luck. He doesn't fancy a kitten instead, perchance? I know where there are four and we'd much rather they were in Gloucestershire than Hampshire. Love, Ted :o)

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  11. Dear Ted,

    You're obviously Very Fierce and also Very Brave because that's possibly the biggest bird that ever lived. Did I ever tell you about the Giant Rooster that used to live here? He almost pecked my eye out so I know how savage birds can be. He's not here anymore. Probably I scared him off with my ferocious barking. I found it more effective to bark from behind my Mum's skirt, that way The Rooster didn't know where the fearsome noise was coming from.

    I'm sorry for your lack of pigeons. I'm keeping fit by chasing the cats and also bumblebees. But that makes my Mum very cross and if she catches me I have to go back in the house and can't help her with the gardening. She's a bit of spoily-fun, if you must know.

    Say hello to Poppy for me. I'm sorry about the ticks and even more sorry about the nice smell. That must be horrid. I have my allergies again so have to take medicine. But at least I'm not rubbing my face raw on the carpet anymore.

    I wish you were here, there's a terrible load of chipmunks about and I could use a paw in clearing them off.

    all my love, Emma-dog.

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    1. Good Lord, Emma-Dog! Roosters can be Very Fierce Indeed! We aren't allowed to chase bees either. Poppy got into trouble last week for eyeing one speculatively. Mum actually growled at her! The only thing is, because she can't actually speak dog she has no idea what it was she really said and we aren't telling her. Pop contended herself with a smirk. Wish I could help out with the chipmunks x

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  12. Dearest Ted, you really are the senior pooch in the household aren't you? What adventures you've been having...a buzzard on its back..you really did need to sleep after all that excitement. Especially since your mum thought you'd bought the bird down....secretly I bet you tell everyone you did!!!!!!!
    Ed and Murray here in Oz were delighted to hear your news. Ed and Murray saw a Wedge Tailed Eagle the other day on their walk. However, it didn't lay on its back faking a Euro 16 injury..call for the red card...it just stirred up the rest of the twitter brigade and flew off.
    Unfortunately Murray (JRXMalteseTerrier) was in the wrong place at the wrong time this morning on his walk and got urinated on by Ed (big RED dog)..suffice it to say he stank and so had to have a mini bath...not a happy chappy.
    Please blog some more Ted and say hallo to Poppy. Enjoy all your adventures...tell mum she should write a book about all the 'goings on' in your garden.
    Love and hugs.
    From Down under....xx

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    1. Wow! A wedge-tailed eagle sounds fierce! Poppy says Poor Murray. She knows how that feels because I once weed on her (accidentally, of course) and she had to be hosed off outside when it was cold weather :o) Love Ted x

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  13. Ted, what a lot of exciting and interesting things going on in your life.
    Love all the wonderful photos and you look so handsome and Poppy looks very sweet. thehamish and I had tears in our eyes when we looked at the sweet photo of you sleeping with your head on Poppy. Watson and thehamish always napped like this.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. Poppy makes a useful pillow, Parsnip. Love to thehamish from all of us x

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  14. So good to hear from you Ted. I have been very good on my pigeon patrol, they will still fly off our fences when I chase them. I have to share Poppy' s interest in cats. I only like my cat in the garden and others will patrol along the street or use us as a short cut. I have also just had my hair cut and it has now turned colder! It must have been quite a surprise finding a raptor on the lawn,fancy getting the blame for bringing it down! Love from fellow pigeons club member and westie Tavi x

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    1. Glad to hear you are still keeping up with the Pigeon Club, Tavi. Very Good Effort. Sorry to hear about your haircut. I'm afraid I've got one looming next month :-( Love Ted x

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  15. HI Ted Now let me congratulate you on a very humerous and interesting catch up post. it must have been a bit scary for you to see that big bird in your garden. I do like all the photgraphs in the collage.

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    1. Thank you Margaret. Hope your bird watching is coming on well. You should really be in the Pigeon Club, you know. Love Ted x

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  16. Glad you boys are well, still up to the same kinda mischief which is good to hear. I have been given the important task of finding Hedgehogs in the garden late at night as well as keeping the cat out of the garden.
    If you think Poppies hair cut was bad, I have been cut too, not the best one I've had. Mum's still not sure if she brought the right dog home !!

    My mum to would have been talking none stop if she had had the same encounter with such a large raptor, lately I have found her talking to the Crow who comes in for breakfast every morning.
    Have a lovely summer Ted and Poppy...
    Old Man xxx

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    1. We aren't allowed to look for hedgehogs because I can't resist trying to pick them up and I cut my mouth in the process. Mum mutters about 'never learning' which I think is a bit harsh. Poor you about the haircut. Poppy says she is cold because the weather has changed and last night she was allowed on the sofa under mum's blanket, which isn't at all fair.
      I think our mums are quiet alike, old man, don't you? Mine talked to a vole she found by the river this morning. Love Ted x

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  17. Ted I've missed your posts. You're such a hoot and obviously so misunderstood. Keep up the good patrol work.
    Jean

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    1. Hello Jean! Mum says she misses your blog and hopes you are both keeping well. Ted x

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  18. Oh My Goodness Ted. That was a close shave. But we have to remember that the buzzard may be feeding chicks. Good to hear about the restorative sleep. Please tell your mum that I went Night Jarring last night and saw at least two. It was a beautiful evening and a magical golden hour after ALL THIS RAIN.

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    1. That's very true, Sarah. I expect he/ she was, because he/ she came back in the garden looking for more rats the next day. Mum says excellent news about the Nightjars, ours haven't come back yet but they should start churring any day. She's got Grannie on the case listening out for them XX

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  19. My goodness Ted! What excitement. You wouldn't want to get too close to that big thing. I have enough trouble with the squirrels and chipmunks, I couldn't imagine having to deal with such a creature. I hope the rest of your summer isn't nearly as exciting. Regards, Mad Wee Dog

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    1. It was a bit of a close shave, Mad Wee Dog. But luckily, because we are Fierce and Brave we got through it XX

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  20. Ted,
    You live a life of adventure! You are such a "Danger Dog". That bird looks as big as me. My guard duties now consist of scaring the postman away every day after I hear him touching our house, and barking at any delivery trucks that roam into our neighborhood. My mom no longer lets me out to scare rabbits and squirrels in the backyard. She was such a spoiled sport when twice in one day I found two different very fresh, fragrant rabbit/ squirrel droppings to scent myself with. The scent was wafting so perfectly around me. I was so pleased with my new fragrance. It completely disguised my Pomeranian-ness. Mom wasn't pleased. I might have heard her say a bad word or two. Twice that day I had to withstand a bath, and I haven't been out in the yard without a leash since then.

    Good hunting to you my friend. Catch one (whatever it is) for me.

    Your slightly envious new friend,
    Fuzzy Pomeranian D.

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    1. Hello Fuzzy Pomeranian D, I sympathise re the poo rolling, we get into terrible trouble here whenever we do it and have to submit to the indignity of a bath with special shampoo :-( I'm totally with you on Postman Barking. I do it ALL THE TIME. He tries to bribe me with biscuits but I know his game. Poppy is hopeless and eats them and wags her tail but I just sit down and growl. Kindest regards, Ted.

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  21. A note from Harry, who is glad there isn't as much going here as there seems to be with you because it all sounds very exhausting. He is not surprised there are photos of you both asleep. The buzzard photo is terrific but Harry is glad that such a large bird hasn't landed here. It looks far too big to chase and he has some admiration for the plucky blackbirds.

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    1. Dear Harry, we think you'd be fine defending your patch from a Buzzard :o) Mum thought the same thing about the Blackbirds. Best regards, Ted.

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  22. I think you were very brave and so was your Mum. We prefer our buzzards the right way up and sitting on the fence!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x