Cold Nose ….and an Advent Invitation

To all my friends, furred, feathered, scaled… or even two-legses! Don’t forget to send me your stories, poems and pics… or your letters to Santa… for this year’s ADVENT CALENDAR… there are still spaces left to fill!


Dear Santa, don’t believe her

When she says that I’ve been nosey

When she comes in from the cold outside

Her cheeks all pink  and rosy.


Of course I have to have a sniff

Whenever I must greet her…

I feel that is incumbent

On a small dog of my metre.


She says my nose gets everywhere

In places that it shouldn’t…

Perhaps if she would keep her fur on

Then my cold nose wouldn’t.


But if she has to change her fur

Or get in steamy water,

Then I, a dog, will wield my nose

Just as a Small Dog ought to!


The Great Dog in the sky

Gave me a nose that I should use it…

You can’t ignore a gift like that…

That would be to abuse it.


The gifts bestowed upon us

We should use to make us shine.

(And Santa, as we’re talking gifts…

Can I have cheese with mine?)

Pass the Turkey!

The Small Dog’s Christmas

Sue Vincent

It is almost Christmas and things are not looking good for the Small Dog. There are too many Santas, too few tennis balls and not enough snow. To make matters worse, her two-legs says there is no room for a Christmas Tree in their new home and there isn’t even a chimney!

In a bid to save Christmas, the Small Dog decides to write to Santa. Every day.

Join Ani as she tells Santa about her days, explores what Christmas means to her and asks him some very awkward questions…

A seasonal collection of verse, humour and anecdotes from the inimitable Small Dog.

Note from a Small Dog: Loved to Death

It was in July 2017 that my two-legses committed the unthinkable sin of losing The Ball. Not just any ball… I have many in my toy box… but The Ball. The One. The Special Ball. I’d had that ball a long time and knew its every scent, curve and puncture. Granted, they searched for it diligently. They called in the cavalry so my boy came to help too… they even climbed the fence into the cow field and moved all the undergrowth… they found it not.

I went into mourning while she wrote about it… we all cope with loss in our own way.

It took me a week to have the heart to even look at another ball, but she was starting to panic a bit when I wouldn’t play and all I could do was mope. Not that I really wanted her to feel too much better about the situation… I was still hoping my ball would come back. But there is only so much of ‘worried two-legs’ I can stand, you know? Not that it stopped there. She thought I’d relented and accepted a new Ball when I caught one… but it was just a ball after all… nothing special.

‘Special’ takes time, love and togetherness.

It was another month before I felt able to actually choose another one of the many balls everyone offered. The one that would, eventually, become The Ball. It would take months, lots of grooming, games and cuddles, but one day it would feel right, smell right… be The Ball.

Because, The Ball isn’t just a ball… as they wrote in one of their books, it is Love… and although Love is right at the heart of what we are, ‘specially dogs, you have to give yourself to it before it comes back to you.

I have that Ball still… three and a half years later…

Or, what is left of it.

And that’s the problem. There isn’t much. The fluffy green outside opened its heart long ago. The rubbery bit inside fractured into pieces, held together only by the fluff. It has not rolled or bounced for over a year and it looks more like flattened roadkill than a ball.

She tried putting a new ball inside it, to give it shape, make it throwable and pick up the scent of The Ball… It didn’t really work and she can’t think of anything she can do to stop the inevitable.

She is worried that I will mourn for even longer. That I’ll go into a decline and not eat or play or smile again, like last time. Because it is The Ball… and I’ve never had one quite this long… and when it finally dies of being loved, what am I going to do?!

I mean, I know I’ll get plenty of cuddles and sympathy… but that won’t bring the ball back, will it? And if I get all upset, so will my two-lesges. And then that will upset me even more…

I suppose this is what she is means when she starts talking about non-attachment… not being dependant on anything to define us or to ‘make us happy’. But… it is The Ball!

So, if anyone can think of a way to magically mend my ball before it disintegrates, that would be cool.

Much love,

Ani xxx

P. S. To all my friends, furred, feathered, scaled… or even two-legses! Don’t forget to send me your stories, poems and pics… or your letters to Santa… for this year’s ADVENT CALENDAR.





Help! He–

GitOrrf! mein hund, stop yapping and get over here

Wotz the plan, then? GitOrrf! bounds over to Gunther.

Fours…lots of fours

Nothing happens. No fours trotting in from anywheres. Both fourlegs eyeball up and down both ends of the High Road. Not one muttwit in sight.


And then, out of nowhere, muttwits are popping up from everywhere – trotting straight towards Gunther. He stands foursquare outside Colonial Saunders. Fourlegs of all shapes and sizes, some dragging along their hindlegs packmates, the streetlegs dragging along their plum bobs, only. All panting and wagging tails and stubs, ready for a rumble. More muttwits than toes on four paws, lyk.

Snif yuz all Gunther barks, standing tall before thems earflaps up and listen, fall in behind me andmake some solid legs between KFC and zat Norscot Caterpillar 320D Hydraulic Excavator

That wotz? a load of fourlegs bark back.

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Ani’s Advent 2020! Who wants to come and play?

What with covid, lockdowns and everything else that has gone on this year…we don’t know what we will be able to do about Christmas or however else we celebrate the midwinter.

One thing we can do is have a countdown and a PARTY… socially distanced, of course!

So I will be running my Advent Calendar again this year…

Starting on December 1st, I would like to post a guest post every day from one of my friends. You can have fur, feathers or scales, two legs, four or none… all are welcome! Even humans… as long as you are writing about your animal friends…

Just email Her at with your post, a bit about yourself, your links and up to six attached pictures. She’ll do the rest…

What are you waiting for?

Notes from a Small Dog: Scaredy Cats?

We’ve had a bit of sunshine but lots of fog and frost this week… winter’s on its way. I quite like winter, as long as it doesn’t rain. I quite like the heating and the cuddles… though just at the moment, even when I let her close the doors, she keeps opening them again to cool down. Normally she’d be the one complaining about me wanting them open all the time… but they stand open half the night now, what with her being weirder than her normal weird and hardly ever seeming to stay in bed for long.

I’m missing my beauty sleep.

It has not been the best of weeks, I have to say. They were out for ages one day… much longer than they should have been… and she came back all punctured and smelling of the two-legs Vet and weird chemically stuff again. I didn’t like it. I don’t think she did either, ’cause she was a funny colour.

Myself, I think she needs a new vet if she’s going to come back looking like that…

She can always have mine 😉

She’s needed me to look after her too, what with all the bangs and pops over the past few days. Every time she has sat down in the evening. I’ve had to hold on tight to her feet to protect her. I just don’t get why you two-legses like being frightened? And yet you seem to! I mean, with the fireworky things, I can understand the smell… that’s quite interesting, floating on the breeze, and the lights are pretty enough… but do they really have to go bang so much or so loudly?

And before that, it was the ghosties and ghoulies… and you seem to enjoy watching and listening to all sorts of things just designed to be scary… I don’t get it.

And why do we talk about scaredy cats when cats are NEVER scared..?

I don’t like being scared. It makes everything feel wrong. So what is it with two-legses?

She says it is good practice… that you play at being scared so that when something real happens, you know what to do. I watched her grandpuppies playing and she might have a point. They ask to get chased and scared and have to hide… just so the ‘monster’ can catch them and eat them up. And they think it is fun… and always want to do it again. They must like it.

They used to be scared of me too, the grandpups… although, I have to wonder now whether they were really scared… or just playing at being scared so they could stop being scared eventually.

We are best friends now. They sneak me loads of treats, but I like getting caught just for the cuddles.

Much love, Ani xxx




The Small Dog Shows Support…

Some people need to learn to sleep,

Adjust their body clock,

Not keep a guard dog wide awake…

It sends the job acock


She spends her evening counting sheep,

Her nights at half-awake,

I spend my time in dreams of sleep

And wish her count would break.


She says it’s not her choice at all,

She’ll do her best with trying,

That it’s not ’cause she’s being mean

That she is not complying.


“‘ll tell you what, my girlie,

Let’s see if some little changes

To our routine might tip the scale

…I’ll just go and arrange it.”


I’m down with that, a change or two

May be what’s really needed…

I gave her my agreement…

She looked pleased that I conceded.


“Well, for a start, O Small Dog,”

She comes back with smug expression,

“As everything now must be clean

You’ll bow to my obsession…


The boys are going to bathe you,

Trim your ears and clip your toe hair…”

“They’ll have to catch me first then,

Or this shearing’s going nowhere!”


“It’s not just you, my girlie,”

Says she looking rather flustered,

My hair is coming off as well,

It doesn’t cut the mustard.


“You’re only moulting normal

As a small dog really should…

I’m losing mine by handfulls

So, I’ll shear me now for good.”


I didn’t really have a choice,

If her hair comes off early,

Before the chemo takes its toll

Upon the short and curly…


And so I let them bathe me,

Just to show her some support,

Although I make them work a bit

And have a bit of sport.


The bathroom is now flooded,

And the walls and tiles are wet…

The boys are both anointed

With the bath and better yet…


The two of them are dripping

While she’s laughing at the sight…

That sort of makes it worth it…

And the morning went alright.




Butt lickin’ muttwits just dont appreciate my responsibilities Treacle is grumbling as he drags Sixlegs towards home so easy for GitOrrf and thems hundred other West Pid muttwits – wotz trotting about squirting and pooping all they wants

Ah, to slip the leash in Herdwick pooping park and be allowed to run. To run. Free. Not him, alas. Not a service-assist dog. Life zipping him by, tethered to a handicapped hindlegs. Can’t even cross the road anywhere he lyks. Must always snifz out the designated crossing point, always waiting peep peep peep before it’s safe to trot on.

If only…

“nowlookhereTreacle,you’regoingtoofast” Sixlegs yanks at his handle “thisain’tarace,don’tyerknow?”

I don’t, coz I never been in a butt-lickin’ race, boss

Clouds are scritchy-scratching together and Treacle snifz rainlick getting ready to spill it down. Bad news for Treacle coz all the black arrows are still pointing Sixlegs in the wrong direction.


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Treacle ~ Part 2 from the Usual Muttwits

Reblogged from Usual Muttwits:

A splatter of mud hits Treacle on the snout, followed by another, sailing above overhead.


Onto the pressed white shirt of Sixlegs.


Wot in butt-lickin’ hell?

As two small muddy fourlegs scramble up from the pooping pipe hole and trot towards him, crossing the High Street and dangerously dodging roundlegs.

Hi ho Treacle, snifz yuz Treacle! yaps Smudge, who lives with hindlegs in a right proper house den.

Yo, blind doggy, snifz yuz adds Mouse, a daft streetlegs who tags along with any fourlegs wotz out walkies.

Continue reading at Usual Muttwits

The Small Dog’s Vicious Circle…

Well, she’s still being weird

And she’s up half the night,

So we sit in the garden

Because stars are bright

And why shouldn’t we watch

As they twinkle and shine?

I don’t care what we’re doing

‘Cause this time is mine.


With her hands in my fur,

Or caressing my ears,

It’s this time of night

When we get to change gears,

I don’t need to guard her

Or be high altered…

Just snuggle up close

While the tension’s diverted.

By day we have unicorns

Over the fence,

All disguised as horses…

The undergrowth’s dense

To protect them from hunters,

So I’m on the case,

Of every intruder

Protecting the place.


The birds all fly in

And I chase them away,

‘Cause a garden of birdsong?

Who wants that all day?

She says that she likes it,

It’s fine by her choosing,

I say she needs quiet

And lots of nice snoozing.


And then I must move her

Make sure that she works

And does not stiffen up

…Yeah that’s one of the perks…

So I get her up throwing

What’s left of my ball

Which for quite a long time now

Has not bounced at all.


“You’ve other balls, girlie,

You have over twenty…”

“I just need The One Ball

And one ball is plenty.”

“But you could be chasing

It all round the garden!”

“That is not the idea,”

And I felt my heart harden.


Of course, my ball’s special,

I groom it and care,

And I carry it with me

To go everywhere.

But she must cared for

And exercised too…

So she has to throw it…

And fetch it back too!


The farther it bounces,

The farther she’ll run,

Then she gets too tired

Out here in the sun…

She naps and perhaps

Maybe she’ll sleep at night…

And while I know really

That should be alright…


I still want our cuddles

When everyone sleeps,

In the cold of the garden

Where silent night creeps.

I want one on one time

Just me and just her…

And her hand on my ears

And feet in my fur.


The Small Dog’s Revenge…

I must do the floor, I thought, in some despair,
The small dog is moulting and shedding her hair.
She’s out in the garden, so if I am quick,
And just whip the vac out, that should do the trick.

She’s already cross because out in the garden
I got out the lawnmower, let my heart harden,
So into the hallway she wandered off sighing,
(This dog is a drama queen) huffing and crying.

As soon as I’d finished she came out exploring
(And showed me my place with some pointed ignoring),
It is quite ironic, her coming on strong,
‘Cause she hates walking on the wet grass when it’s long.

She wandered back in with cut grass on her feet…
She couldn’t care less about keeping things neat…
So I got the hoover from where it was lurking
To set about doing much-needed houseworking.

There’s hair on the carpet and hair on the chair,
That silky-fine dog hair that gets everywhere,
I hoover it up every day, but in vain,
For in moulting season, it’s really a pain.

But halfway through hoovering, I hit a bump,
Where I was quite certain there wasn’t a lump.
It caught me off-balance, it was unexpected,
The floor and my anatomy soon connected.

Where the carpet has lain all this while nice and flat…
Was a lump, and I ought to investigate that…
I couldn’t imagine what creature might be there,
And was fairly worried about what I’d see there…

I swear I heard laughter from out in the hall
As I dug from the rug her preferred tennis ball.
Quite how she had got it there, I’ll never know
Because under the rug’s not where tennis balls go.

“Oh writer,” the small dog informed me at once,
“It went there with ease, must you be such a dunce?”
“But why, small dog, tell me, why bury the ball?”
“‘Cause I can’t protect it from here in the hall!”

She does hate the hoover, it’s always upset her,
She calls it a monster and thinks it will get her.
“That monster sucks everything right up its snout…
Do you think I would risk leaving tennis balls out?”

Not only was I feeling bruised now and aching,
I’m sure that the laughing dog’s shoulders were shaking.
She looked at me kindly, “You should take more care…”
She said, “Oh, and you realise, you’re covered in hair…”


From ‘Doggerel’, available via Amazon

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