'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Monday is menosukhi day - the one in which I go all sentimental. For a few weeks this means you are sharing my memories of two darling creatures, Jade Dog MacWoof and Jasper Cat MacMeow.

At no.36 we were a happy family.  Big brick house, enormous block for animals to romp (and YAM to mow).  We were surrounded on three sides by 6' high wooden fencing and at the front by 4'high brick wall - with wrought iron gates on the drive.  There were inner gates at either side of the house towards the backside to keep pets separate from meter boxes and, by default, the readers of the meters in the boxes…  Not that Jasper would have bothered.  The trouble with Jade was that she was inclined to welcome  everyone like the were the long lost bestest friend EVER. 

That tail of hers was like a whip when it hit your legs and it was inclined to do that a lot as she spun in circles of hyper-excitement.  When it hit the door or furniture, it was like the cracking of a ship's mast.  At one stage she whacked it so hard it went limp.  Now, beyond  a couple of joints, a dog's tail is pure cartilage.  It appeared to have broken across the point at which this bony change occurs.

Not a happy puppy for a while.  The wrapping and splinting I was able to rig up kept having to be reapplied, because despite the injury, that stump would waggle!  About 4-5 weeks later, almost overnight it seemed, the appendage went from hanging at an odd angle (for Jade), to it's once again jaunty half curl and swirling whip-like extravaganza.

Jade remained like a coiled spring for long years.  I think she probably didn't start to settle in her greetings until she was about 8 or 9.  All who knew her were ready for it and understood it would only last a few minutes - unless they were suckered into playing Batman and Robin with her.  But I had to learn to keep a hold of her collar if an unexpected caller came to the door.  Who knew, it might have been the next favourite toy thrower and they needed to be sniffed and licked and tail-whipped!  I never confined her when answering the door though. (Except when I knew who was coming and needed her under control.)   She learned the protocol pretty quickly.  A good 'study' was our Jade.  Generally only needed one or two tellings.

Then came the day that the door bell rang and as we got to the door suddenly her hackles went up.  This was my first experience of her in guard mode.  Thus my 'hackles' went up too! I chained the door (which I never normally do) and opened.  A tall, thin man in dark suit and a trilby hat - I kid you not, 1990's and the bloke was a 50's spiv!

Jade was giving a very low, barely audible growl.  There was a tooth or two on show as well.  Because I was relaxed (as I could be under the circumstances), she wasn't going full at it and I had a firm grip on that collar.  The man took this all in and proceeded with his sales pitch.  It all sounded fine.  How many salesmen do you know, though, who arrive without at least a clipboard and a handout?  Not a briefcase.  Not even a pen in sight.  Just a dark suit and a trilby hat.

When he let me get a word in edgeways I was to the point.  "Say goodbye now or I let the dog loose".

It worked!  As he left, Jade tugged wanting to chase but I wasn't willing to take any chance. I simply slammed the door and hugged her.  Two days later the local newspaper had a photofit picture of a man thought to be involved in some home invasions involving assault on women living alone.  Guess who?

I was not such a good guard human however.  Our neighbour over the back fence was a boorish bloke, but pleasant enough.  His wife though despaired of "his" dog.    She wanted one like Jade with her pretty eyes and straight nose.  Buddy (sigh, yes, "Buddy") was a sturdy, single-brain-celled Bull Terrier.  An in-tact, male BT.  Boor 'bour refused to have him 'done' no matter how much Mrs 'bour requested it.  Buddy was a b***** nuisance (ahem sorry about that).  Boor insisted on bringing him round to introduce him to Jade and the bully bull-dozed her several times.  I requested Boor not to encourage this.  He however seemed to think it was A-OK.  Wife and I decided maybe 2-leg needed 'doing' as much as Buddy!

Then came the day when Jade went into heat.  Neither the wife nor I could account for it.  Boor claims he couldn't either.  But one way or another Buddy the overfed but well sprung bully managed, a)to jump the 6' fence or, b) open the gate to his garden, find his way round and open two sets of gates into our garden.  The how of it matters not.  What did matter was that I heard Jade screaming.  Actually screaming.  I looked out the window and there was the bully (close  your eyes if you are delicate) - attempting to rape her.

"Less than happy..."
 He had her totally pinned under his enormous weight.  What he didn't have - praise Heaven - was good aim.  I on the other hand had excellent aim and a strong arm (cricket bowler).  Unfortunately, the bully's head didn't feel the half brick that was the only thing on hand.  Taking a chance that he was too 'gone' to be aggressive, I just marched up and grabbed his collar.  Man that dog was heavy and strong.  But a bit like the rat incident, I must have had adrenalin coursing, for somehow I got him away enough that Jade could escape.  Good girl ran straight into the house.  Which left me with a problem.  Now that she was safe, I was losing my grip on him so had to think quick.  Don't ask me how, 'coz I don't have the answer, but amazingly I got him across the yard and into the garage!  Immediately rang the Boor.  Did he come and get his mercenary animal?  No he did not.  He sent the poor wife along!!!  The woman could hardly look me in the eye.

Jade was showing blood, but am fairly certain it was more from oestrus than from any damage caused.  However, give them their due, the 'bours paid for her visit to the vet - which turned into an emergency spaying.  From that day on there was minimal contact between the 'bours and no.36.  Shame how one fellow's ego affected five lives. 

Fence-jumpers of a different ilk in next week's reminiscence with the J's!!!

Don't forget to visit Bozo and why not hop over to Bouncing Bertie in Bonnie Scotland?


  1. Oh, Yam, that's dreadful about the attempted rape. Poor Jade. And poor you. Not to mention the poor woman married to that boor.
    My father had an English Bull Terrier when he was a boy, and it was a very well-behaved dog because it was raised to be gentle.
    Sigh. Some people!
    Luv, Kay and Lindy

  2. Poor Jade dog. Never knew this one. Oh feel sorry for you too. Un believable. Take care hon

  3. Hari Om
    Kay - That will live long in memory! He really was an out and out terror that dog and sooooo strong. Think he may have been a bit inbred also - had that glazed, unfocused look in the eye. Was never drawn to 'bullies' anyway and am afraid he ensured I will steer well clear of them. Can't love everybody!

    Mahal - before we met I think. What was unbelievable was how he got into the yard.... hhmmmm...


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