Archive for the ‘Crazy dog lady’ Category

Oh no, not the dreaded vets!

Going to the vets demands a supremely honed plan of action. As soon as his paws touch the dreaded veterinary table, our delightful, gentle, soft little dog turns into a ferocious monster.


When Bruce was a tiny little man, we enrolled him at a nationwide chain of vets. This turned out to be a mistake, as the service left a lot to be desired. And the experience left Bruce with a very bad taste in his mouth. One particular instance, when he was just three months old and had stopped eating (we later realised he was just in a sulk as we’d been away for a few days, which had been booked before he came to live with us), he was prodded with a thermometer up the you-know-where, restrained with a muzzle (unnecessary we felt at such a young age and with little reason) and told off. After that incident, we left and joined the local vet.

Bruce and Michael

Bruce and Michael

Our local vet is fantastic, doling out biscuits, giving Bruce time to settle in when we get in the room and understanding Bruce’s worries perfectly but, unfortunately, the damage has been done as far as Bruce is concerned. He will take the biscuits, even offering his paw to the vet and pulling out his favourite trick – the salute – to please him. Then he’ll remember where he is, how much he’s supposed to hate it, and the anxiety points will go up again.

I remember one awful night a year ago when Bruce was terribly sick. He looked awful. I’m sure he actually turned green. Michael and I stayed up all night comforting him and it broke our hearts when he gave us his paw feebly with an imploring look, as if he was saying “Please help me. I feel horrible.” In fact, I’m sure that is what he was saying. Fortunately, he was much better by morning, if a little exhausted, so he escaped a visit to the vets.

But last week, he had to go. An ear infection, we thought. I was working, so Michael had to do the dastardly deed all by himself. As they sat in the waiting room and watched a Doberman pinchser dig his heels in on the threshold, refusing to put even one claw inside the tiny vet room, Bruce was fine. Even said hello to a couple of pugs. Got weighed. Had a couple of biscuits. Michael relaxed. This was going to be fine. Two boys together – they could handle it.

Fast-forward to the table and all hell broke loose. No way was the vet seeing inside this little monster’s lughole. Despite the fact that we’ve taught the boy the names of his body parts so we can tell him in advance what’s going to happen (which works wonders at home when we want to peer into his ears or wipe his eyes), he wasn’t giving in. Even the threat of sedation should it not get any better didn’t see him sitting prettily and offering his ear for inspection.

So we’ve had to accept that that’s the way it goes. The battle lines are drawn and it’s an ordeal we all have to face. Roll on the annual booster jab. Can’t wait.

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn and Michael:

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

Photographs taken on iPhone – not indicative of our professional work :-)

Remember he’s a doggy

Bruce is such a character – and such a part of our family – that it can take a rather drastic situation to remind me that, actually, the little guy is first and foremost a dog with canine instincts.


The other week we camped at a farm and followed the farm’s code to the letter, always keeping Bruce on a lead when outside. There were plenty of chickens roaming around and, as our best friends have free-range chickens and ducks with which Bruce and his two best friends happily share the garden, we weren’t too worried. But we obeyed the rules to the letter in a typically British fashion.

Like butter wouldn't melt! (Photograph is a simple snap on an iPhone)

Like butter wouldn’t melt!

There was one particular cockerel who visited our camp every day. He was supremely unattractive but really rather friendly, and seemed to enjoy the company of people, following us about as we fiddled with tent pegs or cooked outdoors. It was all very amiable and we called him Colonel Sanders.

But all was not as it seemed as far as Bruce was concerned. He could tolerate this imposter only so far. And, on the fourth day, Bruce declared in spectacular fashion that Colonel Sanders had outstayed his welcome.

We were inside the tent, with the door zipped up, the tiniest gap at the bottom for airflow. Bruce could see Colonel Sanders through the window strutting about outside. All of a sudden, as quick as a flash, Bruce shot through the seemingly impossible gap and hurtled after poor Colonel Sanders, who could be seen dashing away at full pelt and squawking alarmingly, lifting his feathers like a lady in a huge skirt as he ran.

Heart in my mouth, I leapt to my feet, threw open the zip and charged out, yelling for Bruce, who came back promptly I was relieved to see. Until I noticed the three feathers in his mouth, arranged like a little white beard as if he’d aged 10 years in the last 10 seconds. I was aghast. I HAD aged 10 years in the last 10 seconds. And as for Colonel Sanders, I was terrified that the last 10 seconds had been his last 10 seconds on earth. There was absolutely no sign of him. I went to reception, recounted the terrible tale and asked if we could look in the hen houses to see if the Colonel was alright. I prayed that Bruce hadn’t harmed the old chap.

We found Sanders in one of the houses, with ruffled feathers but seemingly OK. I was so relieved that Bruce hadn’t bitten him – it would have been the first time he’d harmed anything and it would have been very upsetting for everyone – not least Sanders himself. Bruce surely could have killed the chicken if he’d wanted to. But, mercifully, Sanders had lived to tell the tale with just a few feathers out of place and a little less dignity than he’d displayed earlier that day.

It wasn’t until the next day that we saw Colonel Sanders brave the great outdoors and join his chums for the morning dirt scratch. And he never visited our tent again. We couldn’t blame him.

So Bruce may be the canine equivalent of Einstein (yes, OK, I’m biased) but he’s still a dog. And he makes sure I don’t forget it!

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn and Michael:

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

Photographs taken on iPhone – not indicative of our professional work :-)

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to work we go!

The weather in the UK has been so incredible this summer that I rather fear The Mighty Pooch blog has suffered – for most of August I have swapped my view of the computer screen for views of the beach, dappled woodland and candlelight, but it’s now time to get back to work, as a fully booked September beckons on the other side of Michael’s birthday this weekend.

Evening sun in Cornwall - Bruce is reclining in his bed behind the table. It's a dog's life!

Evening sun in Cornwall – Bruce is reclining in his bed behind the table. It’s a dog’s life!

Bruce hasn’t known whether he’s been coming or going this month, as we collected our new trailer tent at the end of July. Cue lots of weekends spent cooking on a camping stove, blowing up our baby Chesterfields and enjoying long walks. Bruce has been powering up his sniff points at all the new, enticing smells. We’ve been to Cornwall, the New Forest (where the wild ponies were something of an enigma to Bruce and he discovered a crippling fear of lily pads – now cured thankfully!) and Norfolk, which was rather far for a weekend but, as always, wonderful.

How do you mean, these chairs aren't for dogs?!

How do you mean, these chairs aren’t for dogs?!

So, September calls. I’ll see you there, where I shall flex my fingers and get back to some writing!

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn and Michael:

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

Photographs taken on iPhone – not indicative of our professional work :-)

Bruce the dog can read the post

I’m the first person to admit that I see my dog as little person but even I was surprised to discover that my patterdale terrier cross can read.


Bruce likes to be helpful while we're at work!

Bruce likes to be helpful while we’re at work!

Our computers are not at our home address – we’d go stir crazy living and working in the corner of our kitchen at home. This is good for several reasons – we have access to a garden straight out of the back door on office days and Bruce enjoys the various comings and goings of other family members throughout the day.

No post addressed to me or Michael is ever delivered to this address – it all comes to our home address. And Bruce is not the sort of dog to shred letters up as the post person drops them through the door, nor does he collect the paper and bring it to our laps on a morning. Never.

Except twice. Twice Bruce has charged to the top of the house where we sit roasting at our computers with paper clutched between his teeth. The first time, he was carrying a rogue letter addressed to me – the only letter that has been delivered addressed to me in the last year. Clever or coincidence?

Perhaps I could put it down to coincidence if the only other time he did this hadn’t involved post that was very much in his interest. Yes, the other day he ran up two flights of stairs following the postman’s visit to deliver to us a leaflet for a local pet shop that was having a sale. I kid you not.

Now try and tell me that dogs can’t read. 😉

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn:

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

Photograph taken on iPhone – not indicative of our professional work 🙂

Do dogs ever fall out with humans?

I’d like to propose a serious question here, people: is it conceivable that dogs could fall out with humans and then hold a bit of a grudge?


OK, I know I’m at risk of making myself seem even more crazy than the title ‘Crazy Dog Lady’ suggests, but I think the answer to my above question is a great big “Yes”. Because I believe I’ve seen it happen.

Are you talking to me?!

Are you talking to me?!

Let’s start this story with a bit of character information about my Gran, who crops up on the blog from time to time as pet parent to Bruce’s Great Uncle Sam. Now, my Gran is a woman with opinions and she’s not afraid to unleash them. It’s fair to say that, if you were so inclined, you could participate in a healthy debate with my grandmother on a weekly – even daily – basis.

And so Bruce’s grudge began. There we were, relaxing in armchairs after a lovely meal, when Gran voiced her opinions on a subject and I vehemently disagreed. And lo, quite a furious debate ensued (more heated than any debate before or since between us), which culminated in some exasperation on both sides. Bruce, sitting at my feet, followed the action like an umpire at Wimbledon.

We cooled off and made friends, Gran and I. We agreed to disagree. But it seems that Bruce did not. Immediately, his body language changed towards my Gran. When she reached to stroke him, he dashed away. When she tried to offer him a treat, he wouldn’t take it. He would have nothing to do with her whatsoever.

It took two weeks before Bruce would speak to Gran again and we concluded it must have been the debate that sparked the cold shoulder treatment. When Bruce finally decided to forgive Gran, we were mightily relieved – and I’m pleased to say he and she are still firm friends.

Have you ever experienced something similar? Let me know …

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn:

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

The image in this article is taken on an iPhone and is not representative of our professional work 🙂

All cats must be called Dave

Contrary to the popular belief that cats and dogs will fight like, well, like cats and dogs really, Bruce has decided that he rather likes cats. But only if they’re called Dave …


Last year, a gorgeous ginger tom cat came to live at the mill. Unlike other cats I have observed (I’ve never really known a cat, so forgive my ignorance cat lovers!), this one seemed to be really interested in everything we did. He would wander over when he spotted us getting out of the car or struggling with our shopping and rub his little body across our shins with a contented purr. He even leapt on several occasions into our car boot. In fact, he was once on his merry way to Tesco HQ in the back of a van until a neighbour flagged it down and pointed out that he was lurking between the empty boxes in the back.



Despite his beauty, this cat suffered the rather unglamorous moniker of Dave. I apologise to all Daves out there but, for such an extraordinarily beautiful creature, his name was really rather ordinary. Perhaps it kept him grounded. Perhaps that’s why he gave us the time of day. With a glitzy Hollywood name like Brando or Orlando, he might have felt the need to turn his delicate little nose up and flounce off without so much as a by your leave.

It wasn’t just me and Michael who took to Dave. Bruce took rather a shine to the splendid little chap too. Usually, the merest whiff of a feline presence within a 100-yard radius would set Bruce’s spine tingling, his nose twitching and his vocal chords going, whereas the sight of Dave simply seemed to pacify him. As Dave swaggered over, Bruce would sit down calmly and watch benignly. Dave would come within touching distance and Bruce wouldn’t say a word. Not so with the cats who dare to strut across my mum’s lawn – they receive the full vocal force of Bruce’s displeasure.

Sadly, Dave has since moved with his family to Wales. However, he has left his mark. These days, we refer to all cats as ‘Dave’ when Bruce is around. Bruce can be barking at full throttle at some unwitting moggy in the garden yet, at the sound of Dave’s name, he is instantly calmer and the hairs disappear from the back of his neck. The party line is, “It’s OK Bruce, it’s just Dave,” and it seems to do the trick.

We appear to have recently acquired a Dave replacement at the mill. A youngster called Alfie, who is rather adorable and inquisitive. Bruce and Alfie seem to have reached an understanding and Bruce has even got as far as sniffing Alfie’s bottom. Alfie gave him a few seconds of sniffing time before gently boxing his ears. Whether this will make cat encounters more complicated I cannot say. We’re deliberating whether we should introduce Alfie’s name into the mix or just call him Dave too, which seems a little unfair on Alfie. Oh the politics. One thing’s for sure, if we ever adopt a cat, we’ll have to find one called Dave!

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn:

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.

Bruce the dog sends an email to his Grandma

Following Wednesday’s article about dogs sending emails on their own computers, I couldn’t help wondering what an email from Bruce to his Grandma Shirley might read like.

Dear Grandma Shirley,

I write to discuss with you a matter of utmost importance.

It has been some time now – certainly a couple of hours – since you and I trotted around the marina and went to visit the ducks. In that time, I have chewed the end of a cigar bone, leapt onto Michael’s lap to quality control the latest batch of dog photographs, and sat on Grandpa Tezza’s knee waiting to shout at the postman. I have even performed the crumb dance, switching from foot to foot with mouth open under Uncle Ben’s feet, waiting for a morsel of sandwich to drop between my jaws.

I'm not just a pretty face, you know!

I’m not just a pretty face, you know!

After using my super food-magnetising powers to attract a good quarter of Uncle Ben’s sandwich from the kitchen top to the floor at my feet, I cleaned between my paws thoroughly on the unauthorised rug. That is, until I was spotted and told to go and wash on my authorised rug. I fail to understand why I’m allowed on one rug and not another. What’s the problem, people?

After going on sniff patrol around the kitchen bin to check Uncle Ben hadn’t missed it when chucking his crumbs, I had a fairly lengthy conversation with the two terriers across the road. Well, I say conversation. Really I told them they had no business shrieking at the top of their voices in my neighbourhood. I shall have to cancel out any of their smells with a cock of my own leg when I next go out. I can’t have those two thinking they rule the street.

Then I sat at the back door on Dave (i.e., cat) patrol. Why is it that, when I spend ages fixing my eye on the very hole in the hedge that the Dave usually creeps into the garden through, it never appears. Yet the second I turn my back, that infernal meowing begins again in earnest. I’m sure next door’s Dave is trying to wind me up on purpose. Well, next time you see it Grandma, you might tell the infernal creature that its tactics are working.

Earlier, someone mentioned Granny Cath, so I sat at the window for a terribly long time waiting for her car to pull up, expecting her to appear at any moment with the promise of a trip to the park. But, alas, this did not happen.

I am now bored, having exhausted all other pursuits. Please pick up cousin James – I haven’t seen him for so long – and come round as quickly as your two legs can manage. And bring a ball. Please.

You will find me in a patch of sunshine halfway up the stairs. It gives me a perfect view of the front door, so I’ll know when you get here.

Yours in licks and woofs,

Your grandog, Bruce X

Words: Bruce Thompson (sort of)

Email Aislinn:

The Mighty Pooch is a specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots. The photograph attached to this article was taken on an iPhone and is not indicative of our professional work.

Get your own fancy bed!

If you’ve followed our posts so far, you’ll already have met the original mighty pooch Bruce, and super Sam the dachshund, but when young whippersnapper Brucie and Great Uncle Sam have a sleepover together, it’s clear to see who’s boss!

It’s true. Bruce actually knows Sam the dachshund as Great Uncle Sam. I know I’m a loon but really it makes sense. Sam belongs to my grandmother; therefore, he must be Bruce’s great uncle. And, if we’re getting really silly, Sam must also be my mother’s brother. (Admittedly, that suggestion isn’t too popular with my mother.)

Bruce loves his furry bed

Bruce loves his furry bed

Great Uncle Sam is about eight years older than Bruce. The very first time they met, when Bruce was an inquisitive puppy with very few manners, Sam put him firmly in his place. One word of warning from the old guy – I suspect along the lines of respecting your elders – has ensured there’s been no bother since. They spend evenings together quite happily, allow one another a welcome sniff and Bruce is always excited (although I can’t think why, since Sam virtually ignores him) when we announce that Great Uncle Sam is coming over.

Bruce and Sam had their first ever sleepover together a couple of months ago at my mum’s house. When it was time to go to bed, mum left them downstairs in their beds and went up to her room. All was quiet. She dozed off.

Then, little noises started emanating from the bedside – tiny whimpers that appeared to be right with her in the bedroom, like a little car alarm going off on the bedroom carpet. Mum peered down and there was Bruce, gazing up at her. It appeared that he was lodging some sort of complaint.

Realising Bruce wasn’t going back downstairs without her, mum trudged down the stairs after Bruce, who seemed extremely insistent that she should follow him post haste.

He led her into the sitting room, straight over to his bed. At once, the cause of Bruce’s grumblings became clear. Great Uncle Sam, sensing that Bruce’s faux-fur-lined bed was a tad more luxurious than his own, had evidently ordered the youngster to hop it before taking up rather smug residence in the centre of Bruce’s bed. Yes, it appeared that Bruce had gone upstairs to find his ‘granny’ with a view to complaining that Sam had stolen his bed and rendered him homeless.

Sam and Bruce - the old gentleman and the young whippersnapper!

Sam and Bruce – the old gentleman and the young whippersnapper!

Mum tried to insist that Sam evacuate Bruce’s bed but Sam haughtily refused. It was clear that he thought, as the elder statesman, he should own the swankiest bed, not that young, foolish upstart Bruce. As soon as Sam was reinstalled in his own bed, he got out again and trotted back to Bruce’s. Bruce looked on, perplexed.

Eventually, as Bruce wouldn’t set foot in Sam’s rejected bed, mum found a solution that Bruce was happy with. She made him a makeshift bed on the sofa (ooh treat!), into which he curled, fixing a beady eye on Sam throughout the move. Thankfully, dogs are wonderful, forgiving creatures and, having agreed to say no more about it, Bruce settled into his temporary accommodation and the two dogs spent the rest of the night in peaceful harmony.

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Looking good naked – clever or coincidence?

It seems that our Bruce believes the good old birthday suit is the only thing a dog should have hanging in his wardrobe. And he’s gone to great lengths to make sure we know it … Move over Gok, here’s how to really look good naked.


The very first time we let Bruce off the lead as a miniscule puppy, he was too small to see over the grass. His lack of height, coupled with his delight at being able to charge about freely, led to a water-based incident that I don’t think he’s ever forgotten.


Photograph copyright of The Mighty Pooch Dog Photographers

As Michael and I strolled along the canal towpath, Bruce shot off through the jungle of grass – and plopped straight into the water. Poor little chap hadn’t seen it coming. Since that day, he’s not been a fan of swimming and we never have to bring home a smelly, canal-dripping beast.

So when, a couple of years later, Bruce willingly dived into the canal, it was a huge surprise. But was it a coincidence or was he, actually, being rather clever?

You see, that day Bruce was wearing a scarf. Now, I’m not really a fan of dressing my dog up and, when he had ‘the operation’, he didn’t particularly enjoy having to wear the child’s t-shirt we put him in to stop him from licking his stitches. I should have remembered this when I chose to put a scarf on the proud little pup.

But the scarf was cute and, really, not much different from a collar. So I popped it on and off we went, towards the canal, for a leisurely walk, Bruce rocking his new blue scarf for the very first time. We crossed the swing bridge and turned onto the towpath, where I unclipped his lead. All of a sudden, he made a break for it, careering off course and performing a dive Tom Daley would be proud of, straight into the murky canal. I dashed to the edge frantically, where I found him doggy paddling serenely – and the scarf nowhere to be seen.

As I pulled Bruce back onto terra firma, he looked chuffed with himself. He really did. Pleased as punch. He shook himself off, lifted his head and trotted on, just as if nothing had happened.

He hasn’t been in the canal since. Or worn another scarf. Now, tell me that wasn’t planned by a little mastermind …

Next time on Crazy Dog Lady, more of Bruce’s clever (or coincidence) antics.

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Sam the Super Dog strikes again!

Ever wondered what the most tenacious breed of dog is? Well, I’m here to lay it on the line people. It has to be the miniature dachshund, with Super Dog Sam at the helm. He may be tiny in stature but he sure makes up for it in sheer determination.


Last time on Crazy Dog Lady, I relayed the story of Sam and his little super dog cape. But that was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Sam aged 13 years old

Sam aged 13 years old

Sam began his light-pawed ways as a puppy, when he broke into an unopened chocolate biscuit tin that was sitting on top of a chest. The family returned home to find a tiny puppy in the centre of biscuit carnage, having polished off a few of the choicest biscuits.

Later, when a tin of Quality Street went missing, everyone blamed Sam but no one had the foggiest idea where the tin was. Months later, it was found under a sideboard with teeth marks around the lid. It seemed our pesky thief had tried so hard to break in that he’d pushed it under the cabinet till he could no longer reach it. Oh the frustration! He’s even eaten half his human brother’s birthday cake.

I’ve been out for strolls with Sam when, all of a sudden, the lead tightens and I am jerked to a stop. I turn to see four short legs firmly planted to the ground and a busy nose pressed to the path. Upon inspection, I discover that Sam is in fact peeling someone’s old chewing gum off the pavement. Waste not, want not.

Sam’s also had a go at defrosting the freezer. As payment for his kind deed, he helped himself to a three course meal of paté, followed by chops, and rather splendidly rounded off with a portion of apple pie for pudding. I know for a fact he ate them in the right order. I just know it.

These pesky youngsters are always trying to steal the limelight!

These pesky youngsters are always trying to steal the limelight!

He has other talents, too. One day, his human mum brought boxes of plates home from a function that she’d agreed to wash. As she unpacked the last box from the car, she was waylaid by a neighbour and they proceeded to chat over the fence. Sam, the helpful little chap that he is, decided to do a good deed. So, he removed every single plate oh-so-carefully from each box, taking care not to break any, and laid them all out Jackson Pollock style on the kitchen floor, where he cleaned each plate until it gleamed.

Sam has even been known to cause the odd faux pas. At a dinner party, he was chastised for some time for whistling under the table. That was until his mum realised it was one of her guests, whistling through his dentures.

But the reason I know for sure that the dachshund is one of the most tenacious breeds, is what happened next. In 2007, Sam suffered a slipped disc and was initially paralysed. But with daily, dedicated physiotherapy on a table pushed up to the window so he could look out during his exercises, followed by walks with his back legs through the handles of a plastic bag, he learned to walk again. He’s pretty remarkable.

Sam can no longer fly to the top of the wardrobe in his super dog cape but he’s not lost his mischievous streak. These days, aged 13, he’s promoted himself to con artist. He’s lately taken to faking going to the loo in order to be awarded a treat. Found out!

So, if you’re ever wondering which the most determined breed of dog is, I think the dachshund has a good chance of being crowned king or queen.

Words: Aislinn Kelly

%d bloggers like this: