It’s not a dog’s life when it’s the International Dog Day


Mango has a good life. She is four and a bit, a proud owner of three beds (one in the lounge, one in the hallway and one in the dining room) and several toys in various stages of decomposition. She participates in two daily walks, one at seven in the morning with Daughter, and another one around the afternoon tea time with Husband and me. She has her own food in her own bowl, but favours partaking in our dinners, especially when bones and gravy are involved. I often indulge her with juicy bits falling from my plate, which she catches stealthily, thinking that I can’t see her pilfering attempts. She is loving and has adopted our family as her own pack of which she is very protective, especially when the postman comes.

But there is a dark side to Mango, albeit not of her own making. She can be a bully of littler dogs (she herself isn’t that big, but give her a Yorkie and she will tear it to shreds). She goes ballistic at the sound and sight of motorbikers, hangs herself on her lead while trying to jump them from behind and sink her teeth in their helmets. She is mortified of children (until she gets to know them) and footballs send her running for her life. On several occasions in the past she bolted and run home, crossing dangerous streets and throwing herself at the oncoming traffic because a ball was kicked within her earshot. She didn’t realise it was a football. To her it was a cannon ball, or a bullet, or a lash of a whip. She was blinded with irrational fear. That’s because Mango is a rescue dog.

We don’t know what she had been through before she landed on our shores at the age of 5 months, but that little groan whenever I hug here and squeeze her ribcage and those faint scars on her nose tell a sad story. She has put the “kill shelters”  behind her and loves playing a tug-of-war. And when some bad memories come back to haunt her she hides under our bed (on my side) and feels safe. I know she feels safe because I can hear her snore.

Above is Mango’s portrait I painted on her fourth birthday. Because she is worth it.

And here is Mango in all her glory:


(this post was first published on my author’s site


Survival of the fittest

It is a constant battle between Dog and Husband. Husband wants to eat his dinner. Dog, too, wants to eat Husband’s dinner. Husband is not having the bitch have it her way (yes, the dog is actually a bitch, or to put it nicely, she is a girl-dog). So the battle of wills commences…

At first Dog approaches Husband in a casual manner.

Dog:’Daddy, why don’t we share your dinner?’

Husband: ‘I don’t think so.’


Then it becomes more forceful. Dog: ‘Come Dad, don’t be selfish! Look at me, you bugger!’


Slowly it transforms into blatant begging. ‘Daddy, daddy, spare me a chunk of beef! Pleeeeaaase… I’ll love you forever!’

Husband: ‘Go away, Dog! It’s MY dinner!’ As an only-child, Husband is unfamiliar with the idea of sharing his property.


Finally Dog adopts a new approach. She begins to look rather faint and dizzy.

Dog: ‘Daddy, I fear I may faint … I’m starving… If I don’t make it, Daddy, you can have my toy bone. If only I got a morsel off your plate, I could just make it…’


Husband won’t surrender his dinner. It’s a matter of life or death for him. For both of them. But that’s only until the last crumb is polished off the pate. Then they are friends all over again.


Introducing Mango, the dog


Mango has been rescued from a kill shelter in the depths of Romania by a bunch of enthusiasts from Trowbridge. She is now part of our family, or what she would say: a member of our wolf pack.

Chewing on everything and anything that moves (or stays still) she has grown over the two months of living with us and now takes up much more space than originally. Unfortunately, she has eaten her bed so her time is spent under Daughter’s piano stool:


I appear to be the pack leader (in Mango’s eyes); Husband and Daughter are just gang members, and they get trampled over, jumped upon and chewed at the ankles. All is good (until Husband decides to put his foot down).

Mango and I bonding before bed: