A day in the life of a ‘donkey walloper’

Trumpeter thrown during Household Cavalry’s annual ‘pre-inspection’ to make sure they’re ready to Troop the Colour in front of HM The Queen.2702ED5C00000578-0-image-a-89_1427371370225In one of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment’s most important days of the year, it is inspected ahead of the ceremonial season. So spare a thought for this trumpeter who dramatically fell off his horse as the Regiment paraded in London’s Hyde Park today. They were undergoing an annual inspection in the capital to confirm their ability to conduct state ceremonial duties for the year. Some 160 mounted horses were paraded, accompanied by the mounted Band of the Life Guards and the Band of the Blues and Royals.2702F14300000578-0-image-a-90_1427371377010They were inspected by the Major General – following rehearsals in recent days that saw the Regiment practise traditional formations. The highlight of the ceremonial season is the Queen’s Birthday Parade – also known as Trooping the Colour – held on a Saturday in June. The regiment has existed since 1660 and been based at Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge for two centuries after moving there in 1795. It carries out reconnaissance duties in Afghanistan – and, as the Queen’s Life Guard, mounts a daily guard on Horse Guards Parade.

Good skills from the Trooper in question as he pulled his nag down to avoid it taking flight. As for the rest of the mounted ‘donkey wallopers’ – their discipline shone through, no doubt aided by a Sergeant Major growling; “Standfast! – Head and eyes to the front! – Ignore him showing off!”      Yours Aye.

Highland Tiger – The Scottish Wildcat

The Scottish Wildcat – Scotland’s forgotten cat; fewer than 100 remain… Far back in the history of Scotland, the earliest settlers told legends about wildcats so fierce they bested human champions, and worshipped them as forest spirits. Centuries later, clans formed together under the image of the wildcat and fought wars for the independence of the land. Today, as few as 100 remain in the wild, and the extinction of Britain’s last large mammal predator could come within the next few years. 

“They’re shy, they’re clever, they move silently… and they would fight to the death for their freedom, they epitomise what it takes to be truly free I think” ~ “We don’t own the land, the wildcat owns the land as much as we do, the eagle owns its land it was here before we were, wildcat remains were found in Pleistocene deposits over 2 million years old, it co-existed with the mammoth, the cave lion, bear, wolf and lynx; they’re all extinct now but the wildcat is still clinging on.”  Highland Tiger – The Scottish Wildcat…

Scottish WildcatMany years back as a serving Bootneck I ‘stepped out’ with a Scottish Wildcat, she was  a stunning redhead green-eyed  Jenny WREN Reservist by the name of Ailsa. The only woman I knew who could punch as hard as a mule could kick.

If I recall correctly – her first words gently whispered into my ear happened in the Royal Marines School of Dancing ‘Club Cascades’ Plymouth: “Your coming home with me Royal!” It being the sort of place where those seeking adventure – ventured, until the wee hours.

True dit: Edinburgh; waiting in line for a taxi when a bloke tried to jump the queue, the stroppy jock took offence to being blocked and lashed out, slapping a young woman to the ground. The Scottish Wildcat stepped forward gracefully, and chopped him deftly on the nose, and down he followed – much to the merriment of the crowd. Although I much prefer canines to felines – I do have a soft spot for  Scottish Wildcats…        Yours Aye.

Purina Beneful dog food

2674FA1500000578-2985819-image-a-50_1425875188014Purina dog food which US pet owners claim contains lethal toxins ‘that killed their dogs’ is still on sale in UK.  Dog owners have been warned that their animals could be at risk from a popular brand of pet food which is at the centre of a multi-million-pound lawsuit. 

Purina Beneful is accused of making dogs violently ill, causing seizures, kidney failure, sudden weight loss and even death. Distraught pet owners across North America are now suing Nestle, the brand’s owner, for $5 million (£3.3 million) over the ‘allegedly’ unsafe dry dog food.

Just spreading the word as received…  Personally – my three canines thrive on each variety of James Wellbeloved.      Yours Aye. 

Say hello to ‘Banff’ the Wolverine

The Kroschel Wildlife Center is a unique, privately owned, family run operation. It’s not a zoo – it’s an experience. Steve Kroschel below with ‘Banff’ the Wolverine.

The Honey Badger may well be a stroppy little beast when cornered – but, the Wolverine powers ferocity up to a whole new level. They have even been recorded killing prey such as adult deer. Which made me ponder… “Hugh Jackman as Honey Badger’ Nah!xmenorigins-wolverineHaines - Steitle-5

The Kroschel Wildlife Center, a unique, privately owned, family run operation. Wolverine’s –>

Yours Aye.

Lead scout – dog tired…

Stood to‘Lead scout’ had a long day chasing after crows, rabbits, pheasants, as well as patrolling the surrounding fields.

Five minutes to a bright winter sunset, and ‘casually’ stood to!Going Stood down – and going…

Going 2








Sleep comes easy to those who work their tail off… Especially when they zig-zag two miles for each one I walk – today was a long walk.       Yours Aye.

The tears of a dog…

article-2954572-25A25DB600000578-924_636x662Unwanted dog abandoned at a train station with just a tray filled with water. A dog abandoned outside a train station with nothing but a takeaway tray of water appeared to be so sad at being cast aside – it almost looks as though he is crying… The black Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dog was abandoned outside Eastbourne Railway Station, tied to the railing and left with just a small pot of water by his owner who fled in a taxi. A photo of the animal, looking forlorn, has been shared dozens of times on the internet with people calling for help for the ‘crying’ dog. The dog was found whining and pining for his owner after patiently waiting by the railing for more than an hour on February 11 – in the hope that he would return.

It’s easy to judge someone over such an action without knowing the full circumstances. This little chap looks well enough, though judging by the length of his claws I would say he’s not walked on hard ground too often. I would even go so far as to say he is a pure Staffie, and not crossed in any way. No doubt the publicity will gain him a good home pretty soon. There’s always room for one more within my humble abode…     Yours Aye.

‘Please look down and see me, please don’t walk on by I’m cold and wet and hungry, I know not the reason why… I’m young, so young, and helpless, and tethered to this tree By a heartless previous owner whose anger fractured me…’

‘I promise not to howl, if just given one more chance Oh please look down and see me, just a sideways glance… Time has passed so slowly, since I cowered ‘neath’ this tree My warmth is fast disappearing, adding to my misery… My breed type works against me, I know not the reason why Please give me one more chance – I promise not to cry…’ ANON

PETA spouting poppycock

aquariummainThree of Britain’s biggest aquariums have come under fire for serving fish and chips in their restaurants – despite promoting conservation of marine life.

The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, The Deep in Hull and Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire, all received letters from animal rights charity, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)“After inviting people to look on these glorious, fascinating animals in awe, it’s odd that your cafe then invites people to stick a fork in them.” The letters condemn the popular attractions for serving seafood, comparing it to ‘serving monkey nuggets at a zoo’.fish-and-chips-1024x967

Oh for pity’s sake – no wonder the organisation is constantly ridiculed (and rightly so!)

Thank Gawd it’s Thursday, because tomorrow is ‘fish & chips Friday’ and just like every Friday I’ll be having ‘guilt free’ fish & chips for supper…  

Yours Aye.  

Hulk ~ Worlds biggest pit-bull terrier?

2582D15700000578-0-image-m-2_1423488445158Meet Hulk, the world’s biggest pit bull weighing in at an incredible 12-and-a-half stone (174lbs). The enormous hound is owned by Dark Dynasty K9s, from New Hampshire, which specialises in breeding some of the world’s most fearsome guard dogs. Hulk, who towers above his handlers when standing on his hind legs, has now become an internet star after footage of him uploaded to YouTube racked up around 1.1 million in just one week. Is this the world’s biggest pit-bull terrier?

I would humbly offer that ‘Hulk’ and his siblings derive from Mastiff x Pit-bull stock. The question is; “Where does he sleep?” ~ Answer: “Anywhere he bloody well wants too!”   Yours Aye.

Jock the Marmalade Cat

2501A77F00000578-0-image-a-8_1422117325938It was a dying request of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill that there should always be a marmalade cat called Jock living a ‘comfortable’ life at his former home. But the latest incumbent, Jock VI, has been banned from large parts of the house  




Winston Churchill’s favourite spread on morning toast was MACKAYS The Dundee Orange ‘Marmalade.’    Yours Aye.

‘Space for Giants’

Armed to the teeth, a small group of brave wildlife rangers fighting to save elephants – from terrorists: A dramatic and very personal dispatch from the frontline of an increasingly bloody conflict against poachers funding Islamic fanatics.Evgeny Lebedev with a patrol of Northern Rangelands Trust wildlife rangers, Kenya.jpgThe author Evgeny Lebedev pictured with a group of armed wildlife rangers in Kenya

As African wildlife continues to be slaughtered, a group of conservationists are waging war on the terrorist poachers currently killing African elephants to fund their criminal activities. Rangers from protection charity Space for Giants armed with automatic rifles, night-vision goggles and closed-frequency radios, are engaged in a war with the poachers which has claimed the lives of 1,000 rangers in the past decade.238D5E7A00000578-0-image-a-2_1417647266696Dramatic personal dispatch from the frontline on the increasingly bloody conflict against poachers funding fanatics…

* This year alone 36,000 elephants will be killed across the African continent:
* Demand for ivory across Asia’s burgeoning middle classes is increasing:
* African charity Space for Giants is armed to defend animals using force:
* Militarised conservation groups are engaging in firefight’s with poachers:
* Poachers include fanatics of Al-Shabaab and the Lord’s Resistance Army:
* Some 1,000 wildlife rangers have been killed in the past decade:

My ‘penny’ jar was emptied with the contents forwarded on to ‘Space for Giants,’ and there is more to follow on…      Yours Aye.

‘Pigeon creates shock and awe’

The early morning ‘canine ablution’ perambulation was a mighty quick one this day, as the first deep frost of the year came as a shock to the system. It was quite obvious from their breakneck speed that each canine sought the warmth of their winter beds – from whence they came. I was more than happy to comply with their speedy exit as it was well below freezing… Fifteen minutes later I was sitting at my desk slurping scalding hot tea ‘Obama style’ (laid back in my ‘ezee’ chair with feet perched upon the desk) where I was joined by Nipper, who jumped onto the window ledge to follow my gaze outdoors. All appeared well with the world; unfortunately my view of the large wood-pigeon flying towards the window was fully obstructed by Nipper, who in turn was eyeing up a rabbit below.DSC_0030Under normal circumstances this type of heavy feathered bomber would veer off and avoid the triple glazing of my humble abode – ‘it being the only humble abode for miles around.’ But this morning’s inbound ‘Columba palumbus’ must have suffered an onboard processor malfunction, as it crashed bang-smack into the window – a classic Looney Tune collision! Which prompted Nipper to leap off the window ledge in shock, where he continued a wall of death charge around the office and promptly landed atop my chest. I in turn emptied the full cup of tea onto my lap – then also leapt up in shock to sprint around the office – dropping my jeans around my ankles en-route (whilst wailing like a screaming banshee.) Shuffling ‘at the double’ towards the shower, I quickly tore the hose from off the shower head and sprinkled down my nether regions. The effect was immediate, cooling, and blissful… 

‘Columba palumbus’ survived the impact and tarried a while, it continued with its flight program ten minutes later. Just another morning of shock and awe in East Yorkshire… Yours Aye.

Ozzy Pawsbourne the Prince of Barkness

2360197200000578-0-image-15_1416590743804An English bulldog in Upstate New York is ‘pawsitively’ living up to his rock star name, quickly becoming the viral video of the week after enjoying a ride in a swing set at a park in Kingston. The pet of a die-hard Black Sabbath fan, ‘Ozzy Pawsbourne the Prince of Barkness’ almost looks to be smiling in the funny footage of him swinging. However owner Jesse Citron admitted to having reservations in making the clip public, fearing a possible animal cruelty backlash. His daughter Sophie, 5 (pictured), is the biggest fan of the video, Citron said…_39285441_ozzy_ap203  ‘Pawsitively’ hilarious: English Bulldog named ‘Ozzy Pawsbourne the Prince of Barkness’ enjoys a ride in a swing! 

The ‘real’ English ‘Ozzy’ right – minus a huge amount of brain cells…      Yours Aye.

Police Dog Saves Officers Life

Police Dog Saves Officers Life
The driver of the suspect vehicle steps out as instructed when the Deputy observes the butt of a gun the driver is trying to get out from his waistline. The passenger door opens and the second suspect steps out into dead ground armed with a length of pipe, which is when the Deputy hits his remote door release for his K9 partner to engage the second suspect. 

Without instruction the K9 deploys from the police car and takes on the threatening passenger taking him down just before the suspect hits the deputy from behind – at the same time the Deputy engages and shoots the first suspect as he pulls the gun from his waistband. The Deputy observes the K9 attack, and then returns to the incapacitated driver and removes the gun from his hand and tosses it away, before going back and securing the second suspect.

I have said it often; there are good and bad Police Officers, the ‘good ones’ far outshine the bad, and also outnumber them on a higher ratio. Fortunately this good guy had a bloody good K9 backing him up – a canine B.Z. for K9…      Yours Aye.

And pigs might fly-PETA!

1414953964675_wps_25_CONTAINS_NUDITY_128539_NeDozens of PETA supporters strip off for central London protest against meat-eating on World Vegan Day.  Around 100 PETA supporters laid in Trafalgar square, covered in fake blood, in order to draw a comparison between the bodies of animals and those of humans. The animal rights organisation hope the stunt will encourage more to stop eating meat and use animal products. ‘Animals feel pain, fear, love and joy, just as humans do, yet billions of them are killed every year for products that are poisoning the environment and contributing to the UK’s obesity epidemic’, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. ‘PETA is challenging people to think about the massive toll that the meat industry takes on animals, the Earth and human health – and to go vegan.’ PETA-supporters-strip! 1414952322007_Image_galleryImage_epa04472138_PETA_supporteFlying PigIt’s enough to put a man off his morning bacon sandwich – NOT! 

I personally know three vegan’s, and to be honest each time I bump into them I always think “There’s more meat on a jockey’s whip after the Grand National!” The vegan’s above must live close by to a Guinness brewery – or they are in the wrong protest (save the whale from the Japanese fishing fleet is on the next street along – doh!)

Each to their own…  I was thinking of going vegetarian…  And pigs might fly! Does that mean the price of bacon is going up?   Yours Aye.

His (Dead) Masters Voice

Top of the dogs… HMV’s ‘Nipper’ gets a blue plaque: His Master’s Voice hound tribute to be unveiled next month. Nipper, the famous HMV dog, has been immortalised with his own blue plaque in London. The terrier cross was painted in 1899 sitting with his ear to a wind-up gramophone and featured on hundreds of millions of records produced by the HMV label over more than a century. His place in musical history was marked at a special ceremony last week organised by the British Plaque Trust and attended by executives from HMV, which stands for His Master’s Voice.1414872546454_Image_galleryImage_Handout_photo_issued_by_H

The plaque will be unveiled to the public early next month. Nipper (1884-1895) had many superstar fans in the world of music, with artists as varied as Elvis, The Beatles and leading classical performers posing with his image. The plaque will be displayed at the Cavalry and Guards Club, 126 Piccadilly, Central London, where artist Francis Barraud, the dog’s final owner, painted Nipper from memory.

1414872559014_wps_3_Blue_Plaque_for_Nipper_thDisc gramophones first appeared in the 1890s and by 1902 the forerunner to HMV, the Gramophone Company, was taking shape. The first HMV store opened in July 1921 on Oxford Street. In 1931 the Gramophone Company, with its His Master’s Voice record label, merged with the Columbia Gramophone Company to form Electric and Musical Industries Ltd (EMI), meaning that Nipper not only featured on the HMV label, but also on associated brands including RCA Victor and Deutsche Grammophon. The British Plaque Trust raises funds for blue plaques to commemorate personalities and organisations that have contributed to the British way of life. By David Wigg for THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

Miscellaneous Information from yours truly… Nipper, and the record player, were originally mounted on top of a coffin lid – hence the shiny wooden reflective surface he’s sat upon. The original advert read; “His Dead Masters Voice” – which proved too upsetting around the time of various British Colonial wars, as well as WW1. So the word ‘Dead’ was dropped (to improve sales) and the advert changed to ‘His Masters Voice.’ Upon Nipper’s death in 1895 he was buried in Kingston upon Thames in a small park surrounded by magnolia trees.Nipper dreaming

When a branch of ‘Lloyds-Trustee Savings Bank’ was built on the site, a brass plaque was added commemorating the famous terrier that lies beneath the building. On 10th March 2010, a small road near to the dog’s resting place in Kingston-upon-Thames was named ‘Nipper Alley’ in commemoration of this famous resident.  Which is a bit of a coincidence, as I call the stone path flanked by high hedgerow ‘Nipper Alley’ after the Jack Russell-Staffie X above – who uses it to catch and despatch adult ‘Jaspers’ when he bolts along it into the field. Who ever said ‘Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth’ at the rescue centre almost got it right?   Yours Aye.

Where’s Wally ~ Where’s Waldo

Profuse apologies as the following ‘dit’ was intended for issue late Sunday evening, so put your clocks back 24 hours, and kindly read on…

I rose with the sun this morning, having taken the sleep of a dead man – a full seven hours straight without so much as an eye flicker; the first time in as many years that was accredited to a lot of back-breaking work outdoors preparing for winter. As the dogs ‘eased springs’ in their ablution yard I prepped a walking breakfast of bacon, bacon, and more bacon – set within two huge doorsteps of bread. Making up a large flask of tea for good measure, I also packed two fig rolls for guilty pleasure, as well as two large bonio’s for the canines. Speaking of ‘guilt.’Thirty pieces of silver

The guilt I suffer when fitting the harnesses onto Hannah and Nipper as Gentleman Joss looks on is enormous. I know what Judas Iscariot felt like when he was paid his thirty pieces of silver! Sadly Joss would never be able to keep up, and I explain the same to him each and every time, though I know it only makes me feel better by doing so. At least when we return from each morning jolly, Joss gets a decent plod around the fields at his own speed, unhindered by the two young whirling dervishes. it also allows me to talk to him about our past adventures together, which allows me to mentally hand back the silver a piece at a time.622px-Lassie_Jon_Provost_1961

The morning’s jolly was a decent four miles over hill and through dale, with a leisurely breakfast stop in the bright Autumn sunshine. As it was so quiet I decided on walking the last two miles back along the small country lane that leads through the tiny village close to my humble abode. Strangely enough I came across a scene straight from a Lassie film; a group of villagers were formed into a huddle in the small car park of the village hall (Lassie’s young master ‘Timmy Martin’ was missing, and this was the local search and rescue party!)

Someone from the small gathering handed me an A4 flier with faded ink; ‘MISSING CAT’ (that had a faded picture of the missing ‘black’ cat beneath the bold header) The cat looked dark in places, yet also a reddish pink around the gills and ears, with kidney problem yellow eyes. Magenta can be a cruel ink when it wants to be…Wally Woo-Woo

‘MISSING CAT’ Very friendly cat, answers to the name of ‘WALLY’ Missing since 12th October. Please could you check your sheds, garages, barns, etc, etc… Organised search requesting volunteers at the village hall at 10am – 19th October. Oh Bugger! I had now involuntary press-ganged myself into the search and rescue party, which was purely through over-staying at my earlier breakfast stop by fifteen minutes.

Folk around Yorkshire are a priceless quaint lot, who take village life and social responsibilities very serious, under such circumstances they answered the call and rallied around to help out an emotionally worn down elderly lady. For all we knew poor Timmy Martin ‘Wally’ could have fallen down an old mine shaft, or lay unconscious at the edge of a stream with the water level slowly rising. In fact looking around, I was the only involuntary volunteer with canines – so where the blooming heck was Lassie…? After being presented with designated search areas, our last offered instructions were the owners telephone number, and the fact that ‘Wally’ also responded to the call of ‘Wally Woo-Woo,’ even more so when he was hungry.

My task was to make a detour across several fields to search the old brick and wooden barns that lay semi-derelict. As I plodded on towards my mission I could hear voices echoing in the nearby woodland that sounded like owls calling out to each other. There was no way this side of the black stump that I was going to call out Wally’s dinner name, even though my only escort were the canines Hannah and Nipper.Hanah Snell

Speaking of which, when we arrived at the old barns I slipped Nipper’s lead off, and allowed him to sniff search the buildings as he was initially brought up with a couple of cats. My theory being he may be more curious towards Wally’s returned cat wail – should he somehow be trapped within.

Hannah remained on a short lead, as she was given the name Hannah Snell for a reason. (Hannah tends to shoot first with her jaws, and then asks questions – hence the end of the rat problem outside of my humble abode!)

After scouring the barn to no avail, I called the given number to state ‘building clear.’ Only to be informed that ‘Wally’ had been found in the locked Church opposite the village hall, and it would appear that he was none the worse for his seven-day ‘lock in.’ Which made me automatically think that the Church (circa 1135) no longer had a mouse problem, and the holy water in the stone font may well have aided a feline miracle. The Church may well have a feline aromatic toiletry problem in place instead

All was not lost on my behalf, as I found a treasure trove throughout my search; several pieces of old horse brass, two old Victorian chimney pots, and hand rolled glass window panes. All of which I have since purchased from the farmer at a steal-give away price, and there’s more to be found with full permission granted to boot. ‘Wally Woo-Woo,’ in more ways than one you are a bloody lucky black cat mate…     Yours ‘Smugly’ Aye.