Friday, February 29, 2008


This cute terrier cross, doing his very best to appear 'fierce,' was peering out from under a café table in Carnoles, part of Roquebrune-cap-Martin. He's six years old and called Shopi. Shopi is the name of a local supermarket, by the way. Don't you love the intensity of his expression?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Monsieur Spitz One-Ear?

Not a nice morning in Carnoles - a suburb of Roquebrune-cap-Martin. I noticed this cute and very independent little Spitz following his owner. I took about four photos following them - he, always off lead, even when crossing the road. They walked fast and I didn't think I'd get to take his photo. Suddenly Madame stopped and greeted a friend and from then on, quite oblivious to me, I could photograph this little boy. I don't know his name - I didn't like to interrupt their conversation - but I know he's a boy.

And yes, as you see, he does have two ears!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Things are looking up

Hey everyone. I'm Hector.

So it's good to see all my pals on here - shout out to Uba since he was my kennel-neighbor when we were in what my foster mom calls "custody" and I call "that other place."

Things are looking up since I got to California. I went to live with some nice ladies and a bunch of dogs and they had all these crazy things they kept giving me, and I didn't know what they were or why I was getting them. It's funny now that I know that these things are called "toys" and "dog beds" and that there's a big supply of both of them for me. The dog beds were really strange to me and I used to try to eat them and then lay next to them, but one day I realized that you can sleep on top of them. That was a good discovery! It's definitely nicer to nap on them than it is to use them as chew toys.

So anyway, I'm learning lots of new things - most especially what it means to live in a house. I definitely like the house a lot better than other places I've lived, and now that I know how to use a dog bed the house is even better!

I did have one strange day where I went in for a "neuter" - I'm glad I didn't know what that was at the time, but I'm cool with it now. The best part other than all the attention from the vet staff was the awesome cone they put on my head - I think I rocked that accessory, and the great thing about it was that you can run around with it and whack it into things and it makes some awesomely loud crashing noises.

I kind of miss my cone, actually. Here's a picture of me rocking the cone look - I think it looks kind of cool. So for every dog out there who hates the cone, I'm telling you - try whacking it into things and picking up toys with it. You can make your own game!

That's about it for now. Thanks to everyone who sent nice notes when I was in the newspaper and on TV. I only wish they'd let me wear this cool cone for the press conference, because that would have been a BLAST!

Family Dog 101

Hello! I’m Ernie!

I am soooooo liking my new digs here in California!

Something tells me that there must have been a Bully goD watching over me and my pit bull pals from Virginia. We’ve all been through a lot…most of which, I, (actually, we) don’t care to ever think about again. I don’t even want to contaminate my brain thinking about stuff like that. Life was really rough for a long while there at “home” (not that I could actually call that creepy place on Moonlight Road a “home” by any stretch of the imagination). And then, we were in "custody" for what seemed like forever and ever and ever. Not exactly how I would have wished to spend my younger days.

But hey, I’m not one to dwell on the past. And thanks to some really awesome people out there who totally believe that pit bulls deserve so much better, my buddies and I headed out west for a brand new start… Yay!

I’m so excited that I can hardly stop wiggling and wagging!!! I finally get to learn what it feels like to be a family dog now; a cherished companion even...No more school of hard knocks for me and my friends….Woof!

And guess what?! I have my very own human boy, Eddy, to pal around with.
I also have a really cool canine sister named Maxine (a fellow pit mix) that I get to run around and do zoomies with, wrestle, play, and snuggle with. She makes a really comfy pillow to rest my head on when I’m tired. And, best of all, my mom says that I always make her smile! It doesn’t really get much better than that…

More about me later…but, for now, I’m really hoping that the Bully goD watches out for other equally deserving pit bulls out there.


Olivia, the little Yorkie, is the companion of Océane, whom we met yesterday in the medieval village of Roquebrune. She's 8 years old, same as her friend, and is sporting a short haircut which seems to be comfortable for a Yorkshire terrier and fairly easy for an owner to deal with.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Crap poodle

If you recall, real dogs do not have hairstyles. This poodle sports a full-body hairstyle lifestyle. It is exemplarily crap.

Bottom of the food chain crap dog

Its ears are so large because it has to listen alertly for predators.

Crap begging dog #2

This dog has no bucket so is instead inviting pity through its pathetic facial expression.

Crap begging dog

Real dogs do not beg for things, they take them.

Crap doggies in the window

These crap puppies are for sale, for Christmas. Look at him drinking out of a bottle like a hamster.


Océane, a lovely 8-year old Hungarian Vizla, lives in the old village of Roquebrune with her owner Josie and a little Yorkie. You'll meet the Yorkie tomorrow. Hard to believe but it's got to be 9 years since Josie's beautiful Weimaraner died. I think she was only around 5. Josie felt she couldn't take another dog of the same breed, it would never be the same, and so she chose a Vizla. In the photo below, she moved her head, so it's just slightly out of focus, but I love her expression.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thoughts on Friendship

Hi! My name is Uba, and I am one of Jonny's friends and fellow survivors. I had a harder time in jail than Jonny did, so I prefer not to think about that time. You can read a little about my first experiences with people who didn't want to hurt me in this nice article . My life now is all about what's next and the new things I can see and experience. Sometimes those new things are kind of scary, but I try hard to be brave and my friends help me with that.

My mom has told me that some people think that dogs that have been abused and neglected and sent to jail like me can never, ever, be friends with other dogs or with cats. They even think that I might hurt my friends! I really don't understand why someone would think that. Why would I want to hurt my friends?? They keep me company and help me be brave when things are scary. I guess those people have just never met anyone like me. I have lots and lots of doggy friends and I get very very excited when I get to see them at pit-ed class. Sometimes I bounce so much with happiness that I lose my balance and fall over and everyone laughs at me. I have a beautiful big pit bull sister, Lulu, and we live with two cool little guys called Angus and William who smell a lot different than other dogs and don't go for walks with us. My mom says thats because they are not dogs at all, they actually are cats. Some dogs (like Jonny) think that cats are all bad news, but I like to take naps with my buddies. Lulu has shown me that scary things are no big deal and she has helped me get used to living in a nice house, and Angus and William snuggle with me when we watch tv or read books in the evening. I would be so sad if I couldn't live with my friends any more. I hope those people who think I might hurt my friends can learn about me and my friends on this blog and change their minds.
Hugs, Uba

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Crap tache

Only Hulk Hogan is allowed a moustache like this.

The Cell Door Opened

On my first day out of custody, I took a road trip with some of my cell block mates and some super nice people in a giant rolling house. It was a tough trip, sneeking thru places that I overheard folks say I wasn't allowed. I didn't understand that. I'm just a dog. I can understand that some people aren't keen on dogs, but whole towns, cities and counties ??? Are these places run by cats ?? Oh' my, This isn't good. Is this the land of the free ? I was told it was so great, but sounds kinda mixed up. Free, but only in certain places ?? I dont get it. I hope my people try to fix that. But my super nice people kept me safe and prevented us from being thrown back in a cell, and a few days later we all arrived in a place called Oakland. Freedom at last !!!!

It was nice to be out in the sun, to smell grass, chase birds, and play with other doggies. It was nice to have a hand from good people to pet me. It was very strange, as good hands were foreign to me, but I sure did like it. I hope I get more. It was a long time spent in a cell. What my people tell me, it was over six months, whatever months are. I was lucky, because I am very strong, but some of my buddies had a very hard time in doggie jail. We are all different, and some of us need different types of care. Being locked up for that long changes you. But since being out, we are all bouncing back, getting our strength back slowly, shaking off the wrongs done to us, and wagging.

Wagging Lots.


Friday, February 22, 2008


Real dogs don't look like aquatic mammals.


This dog discovered what happens if you wear the One Ring for too long.

Hairless rat terrier

The hint's in the name. Hairless. Rat. Even the twisted breeder who came up with these realised they were crap.

And, as the photo shows, they can reproduce.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Calipet lives in Fontvieille, right by the small port of Monaco. She's a mix of Fox Terrier and Golden Retriever or Labrador and is two and half years old. Her owner was SO nice. She saw me photographing sculptures for Monte Carlo Daily Photo and asked if I'd seen a specific new and modern sculpture in Fontvieille. I hadn't. So she insisted I went and saw it and indeed took me there. As we walked along she told she was born in Monte Carlo and as a child used to fish off the port - she'll have seen many changes over the years. Calipet met several dogs as we walked along - she knows these streets - a lovely dog and great rapport between her and her nice owner.

'Dogs encourage us humans to become humane' - Jo Winter

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Crap ugly dog

This apology for a dog wouldn't even be able to scare prey to death with its face.

Failed dog

Failed people become teachers. Failed dogs become fat pointless dependents.

Clothed crap dog

You could dress a real dog in this manner, but you would sustain injuries in the process.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Crap fat dog

Even large impressive dogs can be crap if their owners stuff them to the point where they can no longer walk, let alone violently snap the neck of a grazing herbivore.

Crap before, crap after

There is more of this crap dog now that it has gained weight, but it has never been capable of taking down an ungulate single handedly.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A wolf

Wolves, not being crap, do not require pink fluffy outfits or dungarees to keep them warm in the snow.

Pink fluffy crap dog

A chihuahua gazing adoringly at its owner photographing it wearing an outfit a seven year old girl would sneer at.

Crap boston terrier

Real dogs do not have eyes which bulge out of their sockets in their eagerness to please.

Crap corgi

The mouths of real dogs do not automatically form gormless grins irrespective of mood.

Waste of dog food

This pug looks depressed because it is wishing it had been born an Irish wolfhound.

Crap dog with crap hair

Nature and culture have both been unkind to this crap dog.

Crap dog dressed as a crap human

Real dogs do not have hairstyles.

World's smallest crap dog meeting world's largest real dog

Gibson is wondering whether it would genetically constitute cannibalism if he were to eat Boo Boo.

Alien infant

Real dogs cannot be lifted with one hand.


Real dogs are measured in feet, not inches.

Bully at the Fête du Citron

I met Bully outside the Jardin Biovès in Menton, where work was in preparation for the Fête du Citron. Click on the link. When I asked his name -I wrote down Billy but his owner corrected me!- and then told Bully to do his party trick, which you see in the photo below.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Clipper - Tintin's dog?

This little 5 month bundle of trouble is called Clipper and belongs to friends who live in south western France and in Monaco. He is a replacement for Scupper, who died far too young. You can read Scupper's story by clicking on the link.

To me, Clipper looks so much like Tintin's dog, Milou - called Snowy in England. His ears don't stick up but he has that look - probably because he hasn't yet got full pigmentation around his eyes. If you don't know Hergé's famous Tintin stories, do click on the link.

This last photograph - below - is out of focus, but I'm using it cos in this he really is Milou/Snowy! I wonder if he'll have as many adventures in his life as Tintin's dog. I sure hope so.

'Pearl Drift'

Milou & his friend, Tallulah, the fox terrier

At last we have sun again after a week of rain. Goodness knows the garden needed it, although rain and a pile of muddy dogs don’t make for a clean house. Milou’s rose, however – he’s buried under a rose called Pearl Drift – needed rain to break into leaf, and it is doing just that. So perhaps I’d better stop complaining.

It’s nearly three years since Milou was put to sleep. The dreaded deed can be done properly and kindly or very badly. It’s always something we don’t want to think about but thank goodness we can help our dogs on their way to a peaceful end with no more suffering. But it must be done properly.

The veterinarian who put Milou to sleep made a botch of it. I’ve not written about the way it happened till now because it was too painful and it made me upset and angry just to think about it. Read this and remember. Don’t go thru what I did and more to the point, what Milou did. When we put a dog to sleep, we shouldn’t have to be worrying about ‘how’ it is done (that’s the veterinarian’s job) – it’s bad enough just going thru it but I learned a lesson on the day Milou went to doggy heaven. Even when we are desperately upset, we have to take responsibility.

I’d taken him down to the vet that morning following a dreadful night. I knew it was his time without asking the vet but she x-rayed him and confirmed that the tumours in his lungs had multiplied. Mindful of the night before, when he’d been gasping for breath, I had no intention of letting him go through another night. I’d had him up on the bed with me trying to soothe him so he could breathe more easily. So I was prepared for what had to happen and had put several small biscuits in my handbag. [I’ve always fed my dogs their favourite treat when it’s time for the needle to go in. That way they are so occupied with eating they are not watching what the vet is about to do. Of course sometimes a dog is too sick to eat but if not, I’ve found this to be a helpful and distracting thing to do.]

It’s always difficult to choose the right day to put a dog to sleep. Ideally it’s before pain gets too much but not too soon. If in doubt, look in your dog’s eyes. He’ll often tell you. Indeed, sometimes – not always - when a dog is really ready to go, he’ll get a film over his eyes as if he’s blanking out the world in advance.

Hiking on the hills above Gorbio

And although it’s not easy, we owe it to our dog to be there with him at that final moment. Some people simply can’t face it but if you can, your dog will leave this world in the arms of the person he loves most - you. Let him think this is no more than the usual yearly jab – or at worst, the taking of a blood test.

The decision was made. ‘Put him on the table, Jilly,’ my vet said. I lifted him up, cuddling him, crying. Milou was the dog of my life. I’ve had many wonderful dogs but had never had a relationship with a dog as I did with this wonderful American cocker spaniel. My handbag was already on the table and he could smell the biscuits. He’d always had a wonderful ‘nose’ and whenever Candy, my best friend in America, sent him tennis balls, he could smell them before I'd removed the wrapping paper, let alone opened the box.

So he was digging his nose into my bag, trying to get at the treats. How can you put a dog to sleep who is healthy enough to want a biscuit? And now, he was breathing quite well too. No matter, I’d seen the x-ray, I’d witnessed the difficulty he’d had during the night and I knew we had to go through this before he deteriorated further.
The vet prepared the needle. The first would send him off to sleep the instant she withdrew it from a vein - an anaesthetic. Then when asleep, she’d inject a further chemical to stop the heart. Easy peasy.

I gave Milou half a biscuit, which disappeared in a trice. Then another half. Then another half. The vet seemed to be taking a long time with the needle. I looked up. She was standing there, ready, needle in hand. ‘What are you waiting for?’ I asked. ‘I’m waiting for him to stop eating,’ she said. I’d explained to her earlier that this is the way I like my dogs to go – distracted by food and doing what they enjoy most – eating. ‘It doesn’t seem right that he should be eating when he dies,’ she said.

Of course, I should have insisted but I was totally choked up. I couldn’t argue with her. I shut my bag and put it on the floor. ‘Hold on to him,’ she said. I held him and she put a tourniquet round the top of his leg. He immediately started struggling, fighting, desperate to get off the table. It took all my strength to hold him. Probably, looking back, the tourniquet was far too tight. Was a tourniquet even necessary? ‘Hold him tighter,’ she said. I wanted to yell, ‘Stop, you can’t kill a dog like this – it should be a gentle easy passing – there shouldn’t be a struggle. He deserves better than this.’ And then I thought – all in a split second of course - ‘But he’s got to go and I’m just being stupid.’ And all the time, sobbing, sobbing. One of Milou’s legs had come off the table in his desperate attempt to get away. I got it back and held him as tightly as I could. Eventually, and it seemed like minutes but of course it wasn’t, she managed to get the needle into his leg – I manoeuvred myself around, whilst holding him and the last image I had of my darling Milou was his face, eyes wide and staring, scared and fighting - fighting so hard, for this not to happen. And then he collapsed. I’ll never forget the terrified look in his eyes. Then she put the chemical into the vein to stop the heart, took my money and I brought him home to bury him on the hillside above the house. And today his rose is about to burst into leaf.

But I couldn’t forget the fear in his eyes. My darling dog deserved to go gently into that good night, not with terror as he did. Of course, I’ve re-lived it a million times. I should have brought him home, let him relax for a while, fed him something he loved. Then later, given him sedatives before taking him back to the vet when he’d have been too sleepy to know anything. Or I should have got the vet up here and made her do it gently, allowed me feed the biscuits. But most of all I should have stopped it that day. I was appalled at myself although I’d never had a ‘bad’ death before and just hadn’t allowed for such a possibility. I wasn’t prepared and so didn’t stop it – couldn’t get beyond my emotion. I can’t forgive myself for not stopping the fiasco. He deserved better, my kind, beautiful Milou.

Two days later, and still distraught, I went back to the vet to ask her why she’d allowed this to happen – why she’d let him suffer so much in his last minutes. She said, ‘You are a dog person, Jilly, with years of experience and so I didn’t think it would have bothered you.’ She was plainly amazed that two days later I was still so utterly distressed. Good God in heaven! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I told her that had this been someone else’s dog (in other words had I not been emotionally involved) I’d have stopped the process immediately until the dog was calm – then we’d have started again but with Milou, I was too upset to even speak. To be fair to her, she then told me that she'd seen I was upset and just wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. It wasn’t right though; it wasn’t the way it should have happened. I don’t think she’ll put another dog or owner through a death like that in a hurry. At least I hope not.

She sent me a note of apology a week or so later. Too late - too late.

Obviously, she didn’t intend for this to happen - any more than I did. She should though, with her experience, have done it properly. I’m not sure I’ve forgiven her but the anger has gone. Milou, who was the kindest dog in the world, has doubtless forgiven me long ago. He loved me too much – and me him. I haven’t yet forgiven myself though and certainly I can’t bring myself to go back to that particular vet even though it’s convenient as she is far nearer to me than the vet I use now. I never will go back to her.

Of course it was the vet’s fault. Not mine. We should all be able to trust our veterinarian to do things properly and kindly. But I wish I’d stopped it and I didn’t. My advice would be to discuss, in advance, exactly what procedure is used - just to put your mind at rest.

Since Milou died, Flavia, my lovely old retired Guide Dog for the Blind, went peacefully and easily on my terrace, thanks to my current vet. She munched carrots, which she adored, as the needle went in and she knew nothing. That’s how it should be done and when it’s like that, you don’t feel terrible. You feel relieved you were able to ease a dog beyond its suffering.

That’s how it’s always been when I’ve had to put a dog to sleep, except with the one dog that meant so much – Milou.

Pearl Drift, Milou's rose - plus his, now, very weathered tennis ball

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Crocus, the Florist's dog

Good name for a Flower Shop Dog. Crocus is two years old and belongs to the owner of my favourite flower shop in Carnoles, which is part of Roquebrune-cap-Martin.

Below you see him standing in the window. He's always happy to see me because I smell of dogs - so he spends the whole of my visit sniffing my jeans, much to the dismay of his owner. I'm used to dogs sniffing my no big deal.