Tag Archives: Little Monkey

Funny Face

Little Monkey

Little Monkey

Those of you who follow my blog will know the normal face of Little Monkey. See Little Monkey Two Three

Here, I was creeping along the carpet with the camera to take her picture (no flash of course – sensitive dog’s eyes) and I caught such a funny expression. It’s like she is saying, “What are you doing now, Mum?”




Madam - A Rescue Dog

Madam – the dominant female



Little Monkey

Little Monkey - Always ready for Mischief

Little Monkey – Always ready for Mischief


I used to have three dogs; Madam, TJ and Little Monkey. The old male, TJ, kept the peace between the two rival females; Madam, the Alpha female of the pack, and LM the runt of the litter and definite Omega. Whenever I took them in the car, I put Madam in first, and scooted her bum along the seat right to the door; lifted in TJ (gammy legs, unable to jump) then let LM bound in, tongue lolling, “Isn’t this great fun, Mum?” trying to stop her (unsuccessfully) from leaping all over TJ. Then off we drove, TJ lying down resignedly in the middle, Madam looking out of the window and studiously ignoring LM, and LM all hyper-excited and happy.

Most of the time the three if them lived happily together as a pack, but now and again, there would be a flare up, usually between the two females. You can read about the other fight here Fight!

In later years, when this incident happened, there was a lot of tussling going on for dominance between the now old and somewhat frail Madam, and the strong, in her prime LM.

One day, I came home after being out for a while and opened the back door to let the dogs in. TJ was lying on the stoep and Madam and LM were down in the garden by the Eugenia tree. It looked like there was something on the ground between them. I didn’t say anything, but I think the fact that I was now there triggered this fight, because next second Madam and LM were really going at each other; with lots of snapping and growling.

Often, if you can distract the dogs for a second they will break off. So I threw my car keys at them, luckily still in my hand. The keys shot through the fighting dogs, hit the wall and ended up under the mini hedge, making not the slightest difference.

So this was going to be more hands on! I wasn’t afraid of being intentionally bitten by the girls, even though the fight sounded so bad. As long as I kept my hands away from their heads I’d be all right. Madam was much more likely to bite me than LM, so I grabbed hold of LM’s tail and started pulling her away from Madam. I held tight and moved backwards, dragging LM with me; all the while the two girls were going at it. LM had now got Madam by the ear with her little front teeth, so Madam was coming with us, with her head on one side!

I pulled LM, with Madam in tow, all the way across the lawn to the apple tree fifteen metres away. Eventually, when I was wondering just what else I could do, LM let go and turned round to look at me, as if to say, “What are you doing, Mum? I’m trying to have a fight here!”

Madam, suddenly released, stood still for a moment, and I thought, “Great, she’s free. Now she can go in the house” only to watch in amazement as Madam threw herself back into the fight with gusto. This old dog wasn’t going to give up the reins just yet!

Finally, I pulled LM off again, shooed her behind me, and marched Madam into the house, where TJ was keeping out of it all, and shut the door. Breathe!

This wasn’t full blown aggression between the dogs; rather trying to find out who was the more dominant and leader of the pack. Madam was much more an Alpha dog than LM, who is way down the pecking order at the Omega end!

I quickly checked over LM. Some damp gobby bits of fur, but no blood. I went inside and checked out Madam. She was also gobby, but although she had no major damage, her ear was bleeding from being dragged across the garden by LM’s teeth. As she was very old, I decided to take her to the vets for a check up, just to be sure.

So I went in the garden to retrieve my keys from under the hedge. The car ignition key had broken open into two halves after hitting the wall, so I just snapped it back together again. I shut up the house, leaving TJ and LM behind, and went out to the garage with Madam.

I settled Madam in the back of the car and started the ignition. Click! Nothing. Oh for Pete’s sake! What a time for the battery to be flat, or whatever else it was. I tried again, but there was no way this car was starting.

Back to the drawing board; or rather, phoning my friend to take me and Madam to the vets. I sat outside and waited with Madam, and a bottle of wine for my trusty friend. A quick check at the vets revealed only superficial damage, but the vet cleaned Madam up and gave her an antibiotic shot and painkiller. I’m always more careful of old dogs, and had been worried about the after effects of shock on Madam.

The next day I tried starting my car again; no joy. Then I had the bright idea of trying my spare set of keys. The car started first time! So I phoned up the car manufacturers and asked them about the key, and the cost of a new one. They said there was a tiny chip inside the key, that was probably damaged, and depending on the type of key would cost anything from a few hundred Rand to a thousand or more to replace! Hmmm.

I opened up the faulty key again, and compared it to the working key. There was a tiny tiny chip missing! It was about 2mm by 3mm in size; and black with a little white V on it. This was going to be hard to find!

I went outside to where I had picked up the key under the hedge, 24 hours before. It had rained over night, was still drizzling, and under the hedge it was full of dead leaves and dirt. I scrabbled around with my hands, wondering how I was going to see something so tiny and dark as this chip! Well, I went through sections at a time systematically, gathering damp earth and filtering through it. And I found the chip!!

I wiped it off, fit it back in my key, and the car started again!

But what had the dogs been fighting over in the first place? I went to investigate after the vets. You won’t believe this, but it was pooh!

They were fighting over who got to eat the dog pooh! This certainly was a dominance issue, but really girls?


Chalk and Cheese

LM and SL

LM and SL

I have noticed over the years with my different dogs, that they all have a preferred way of sleeping. The older ones with short coats could curl themselves up into the tiniest ball and I would throw a blanket over them in winter. Jack loved this.

The long-haired dogs tended to stretch themselves out as much as possible, taking up the whole mattress, and presumably trying to keep cool. Lady excelled at this.

However, I saw a new first when I went into the kitchen at 2 a.m. this morning to make a cup of decaff coffee. Understandably, my dogs were fast asleep. But what was funny, was how they slept.

Little Monkey was sprawled all over her comfy bed, with her head hanging off the end and on the kitchen tiles!

Mr Spaghetti Legs always “makes” his bed; so his mattress was in the middle of the floor, with the top cover strewn elsewhere. But he seemed to have missed the point of a comfy bed, because, while his head and all four paws were on the bed, the rest of his body was on the cold hard kitchen floor!


Speak Girl, Speak! Her Master’s Voice

Little Monkey

Little Monkey – Speak Girl!

What a Hullabaloo!

I’d put my three dogs out in the front garden when suddenly I heard the most almighty racket. Lots of barking from Madam and TJ.

I went out the back way and quickly round to the side to see what was going on. Little Monkey met me at the side gate, her eyes as round as saucers, her eyebrows raised so high they were in imminent danger of leaving her forehead altogether!

“Mum! Mum! Come quick!” she said, just like Lassie in any movie. “There’s something going on in the front garden.”

I rushed through the side gate and into the front corner of the garden, where I saw Madam and TJ barking madly at my neighbour’s two small dogs. The little things had come through the railings into our garden; they were that tiny.

Little Monkey looked at me, with her worried eyebrows and oh so expressive face, and said, “See! I don’t know what to do. That’s why I came for you!”

As this was Madam and TJ’s property, they were justifiably territorial about the whole thing, and told these two small dogs exactly what they thought of the trespassing, and to get out of their garden!

Madam - A Rescue Dog

Madam – A Rescue Dog






I told Madam to stop it, and she backed off, though still incensed. TJ was not so easy to placate. He was going for the small dogs again and again! One of them managed to quickly slip back out through the railings to safety, but the other one seemed incapable of doing so. I guess it must have been a bit shocked, because it had certainly fit easily enough, when it had decided to enter our property in the first place.

Well, I got TJ off the second dog and picked it up, planning to take it to the gate and back across the road to its own home. TJ was having none of this! He leapt up in the air repeatedly, trying to nip at the small intruder, even while it was in my arms! He did not try to bite it properly and draw blood or anything. He really just wanted it to go away!

So TJ leapt at the little dog again, till it got a big fright and jumped out of my arms. And there we were, back to square one again!

Eventually, with much shouting at TJ (my voice was hoarse afterwards!) I picked up the little dog, and shoved it back out through the railings, where it ran off home. Neither of the little dogs was harmed, but they were a bit gobbed on!

I was seething by now and really cross at TJ!

I understand a dog being territorial , and wanting to chase an intruder out of his property. But once I was on the scene, the leader of the pack, that should have been it! He should have backed down and listened to me, like Madam did. But no. TJ had kept on at the little dog.

He was like this with most dogs. if they kept their distance there was no problem, but if they approached too close to him, he chased them off. I think that he had been attacked by dogs when he lived on the streets, and had a severely injured leg; a compound fracture, probably by being hit by a car. It had healed in its broken position in a letter T, so he had never been treated at a vets. I can only imagine the pain he must have been in for months while this injury healed. And how vulnerable he would have been to attack by all the other homeless dogs. This left him for the rest of his life with an “Attack is the best form of Defence” attitude. To humans he was the most loving of all my dogs, and in our little pack of three dogs, he fit in fine and never started any fights. see Portrait of a dog #2

So, after all this drama, I went back inside to make myself a cuppa and sooth my scratched throat, sore from all the shouting. When I was sitting down with my coffee and trying to de-stress, I played back through the events in my mind.

It was only then that I realised, LM could not possibly have actually spoken to me! But honestly, her face was so expressive, I heard in my head the message she was trying to convey.

They say “a picture paints a thousand words”, and her face certainly did!


Snap Out Of It!

Little Monkey

Little Monkey

Little Monkey is a hunter supreme; speciality cats – or any other small moving creature. Most dogs respond to movement and will not notice a cat when it is lying absolutely still, curled up and ready to spring. Not so LM. She sees all!

Walking round the block I know when she’s spotted something by watching her body language change. The “I’ve seen a cat!” posture has a certain stillness to it, as well as the obvious alertness. So ears up, intent fixed staring, and freeze.

I follow her gaze and sure enough I’ll eventually see a cat, silently hunched and still as a mouse, watching us; debating whether it has to actually get  up and walk/run away, or if the silly ‘wolf on a lead’ is no threat.

One time Mr Spaghetti Legs, LM and I were on the last leg of the walk, approaching the ‘gauntlet’, when LM went through the whole process detailed above. I looked in the direction she was fixated on, but could see nothing. Looked at LM again. Definitely something there. Looked again, and finally I saw a black cat, hunched up, feet tucked in, sitting way up high on the top of a white pillar at the entrance to someone’s property a few metres away.

Now, you’ve probably all watched some Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, and know that you can snap a dog out of this unwanted behaviour. A quick tug on the lead, or a tap with your fingers to the dog’s shoulder will normally do the trick. This works perfectly with SL; a well-balanced dog.

Again, not so LM! I tapped her neck. No change. I tapped harder. Her eyes remained glued on the black cat. She wasn’t going to snap out of this that easily! So I pushed her harder with my fingers, on her hip. Her whole body skewed round like a banana, her back legs skidding across the road.

Still her head did not move, her eyes did not shift from the cat, and her attention did not waver for one moment.

By this time I am laughing out loud! (If I ever get locked up, it will be from laughing like this when walking my dogs!) I took her face in my hands and moved it away, while her eyes slewed to the side still trying to see the cat. I stood in front of her, blocking her view.

At last the line of sight was broken, and we went on our way; me blocking, LM desperately trying to see the cat.

LM is not the brightest of dogs; it takes her a long time and many, many, many repetitions to learn new things, and then you must always maintain the routine with no variation, or it’s back to repeating another thousand times!

Now here is the amazing thing. A few days later we walked that way again. As we neared the white pillar, I noticed LM behaving oddly. She was moving her head from side to side, her eyes fixed on the top of the pillar. She was looking for the cat!

She truly is a supreme hunter!

Portrait of a Dog #9

Little Monkey

Little Monkey

I Love you Mum!

Little Monkey after her bath – eagerly expectant of a treat!

post script: Disclaimer! For all those (one) of you who notice that the choke chain is on incorrectly:- It was placed round her neck correctly, but she leapt in the air and jumped around like an Idiot, till it had moved to the other side. I only ever use this old choke chain for her bath, while her usual soft collar is washed and drying on the line with her lead. She has a lovely red material collar which you will notice in all her photos.


Musical Beds

Snoozing - LM

Snoozing – LM

My crazy dogs play musical beds at night.

I came into the kitchen at 3 am this morning, to find Mr Spaghetti Leg’s two mattresses strewn separately on the floor by the door – but no dog sleeping on them. I looked over to Little Monkey’s bed and there she was, curled up into a tiny ball, lying on the crumpled up bottom mattress right by the fridge.

And next to her, so close that their bums touched, was Mr SL on the top mattress!

This is what they do – and they have the whole kitchen to sleep in!


Wednesday? Phoowee!

What LM Thinks of Wednesday

What LM Thinks of Wednesday

So, what do you really think of Wednesday Little Monkey?

This is an untouched photo of LM, licking her lips after a treat, after having a bath. Yes, I know it looks like I have drawn her tongue on, badly! – But that’s just a trick of strong sunlight and shadow.

You Know It’s Hot When . . .

Too Hot!

Too Hot!

 – Both dogs choose to dig themselves a hollow and lie outside under the shade of the trees. This is unusual because Mr Spaghetti Legs always prefers to be inside.

Dogs will scrape away the surface of the hot ground (soil/pristine lawn, they care not which) to reach the cooler soil underneath. They then stretch out in their hollow and sleep away the sweltering day.

The past master at this was my old dog Madam. Every day she went to her sleeping hollow and scraped away the top layer of hot soil. After a while, the shallow hollow became a deep pit. Still she continued to scoop out the top layer and then fall into her pit.

Madam - a rescue dog

Madam – a rescue dog

She would lie down there, with her front legs up at right angles and her little paws grasping the edge of the pit.

Scifi: Surely you can’t be comfortable like that, Madam?

Madam: Beddy!