When we bought Mia that was that. We had our Spin and
the Dearest one was happy (You may remember the Dearest
one from “A week in the life of….)
so I thought………….!!!!!!
for my part it was over, as long as I fussed the Spin
fed it and let it out for P and P then as far as I was
concerned that’s all there was to it!! We went to
a Dog show……..the Dearest one was hooked.
“We have to get a SHOW DOG”. Oh no…….here
we go again. The Banker felt overdraft facilities were
I like the Spinone, I like its temperament, I like its
attitude and I like its size. I am not a fan of ‘little’
dogs. Now here I have to add that I am a big fan of gun
dogs, and some are small – I know that, and in my
‘history’ I’ve been privileged to work
with many gun dogs. So the Spin was a welcome addition
to my own preferences. Nice Banker………
it was when I took them for a walk into the village or
the town that I got people stopping me and asking things
like “oh how lovely, what is it”? I would
answer dryly “A dog”!! Said person would look
at me and then say “yes I know that, but what breed
is it”? “An Italian Spinone” I would
reply. “Oh I’ve never heard of them”
“what do you do with it”? “Er……..well
I walk it, run it and feed it. Once fed I then follow
it round the field and scoop up its used food” –
they would look at me with a strange expression and then
ask “yes, that’s very good but what sort of
dog is it”? Now on this point I was stuck…..because
you can sense what’s coming. If I say gun dog or
HPR then you just know that today is not your lucky day
and you’re speaking to a ban the hunt, ban guns,
ban the ban and ban everything they don’t understand…….Que
Cera. So I said it’s a show dog. It’s a working
dog, but we show her. Safe ground here……….(ish)
but I’ve yet to come across a ‘Ban the shows’
– (Except the BBC - and of course it’s probably
an RSPCA agenda item)
we bought Spin number two and The Dearest one would show
at this point I made the decision to go to a couple of
shows, make a few observations and then decide what part
I would play. I went to a couple of shows – and
decided, the shows were not going to be my ideal way to
spend a day out with the dogs. However, The Dearest one
was hooked and we agreed that I would support our growing
family of Spins and she would show and I would sponsor
the efforts. Hence, The Banker was born!!
that is how it has been ever since……..after
Spin 2 - JJ, came Spin 3 – Kallie, and then another
and another and another – you get the picture.
little piece is not about success or failure. Win or lose
is academic, I have had a very successful sporting past
and I’m very competitive, but more than that I loved
participating. Being in it individually or with the team
was for me the greater achievement. Winning was a bonus,
losing meant working on what did work or didn’t.
Fixing it and off again for another go.
here we go…….The Banker does a Dog Show
Preparation – imagine the scene – Karen
in Green surgical uniform, face mask, rubber gloves and
bags over the shoes. Me, blue surgical uniform, face mask,
rubber gloves and bags over the shoes. (and NO, I was
not in a nurses uniform)
wouldn’t let me wear it!!
this Clinical environment there is a calming quiet……..lights
blazing down onto the patient (well not exactly? More
“Right - now hold her still” Me: “Yes
Doctor, sorry, Yes Dear” Thinks? ‘What……….no
“Scrapey brushy thing”
Passing over what looks like a medieval torture instrument
“Plug them in and switch on you idiot”
“Oh – do they need electricity then Dear,
I haven’t budgeted for electricity”
“Well how else do you think they work”? “Good
grief I can’t work with such incompetence”
“I’m surrounded by fools” – (I
swear there was a Mad Scientist laugh at this point)
am holding onto a non anesthetized 40kg Dog who is having
about as much fun as a one legged man at an arse kicking
meanwhile is clipping and scissoring the Dog into submission
– then suddenly…………
me a cup of tea” “WHAT”? I say, now
utterly confused as to what to do with the 40kgs of dog
I wrestled with over the past few minutes.
her go for a minute, we’ll take a break” “But
Dearest One” I say……”we’ll
have to throw out these surgical gowns and scrub down
again and start from scratch ” “Can’t
the tea wait”?
is Red Faced……..Karen is now looking at me
with clippers in hand in a most threatening manner. The
kettle boiled and tea now acting on Karen to calm her
down. Peace be upon you…………
went outside with the dog………it’s
“I will need you to hold her again and I will brush
her out. Then hand strip this bit, then clip this, cut
that and tidy this up and do around her mouth and then
the tail, then the feet then………”
interrupting: “But Dearest one, I’m flying
out in three days”!!!
“Oh stop moaning it will only take a couple of hours”
again sometime later: “Dearest One, its 1.30 in
the morning and we’ve been on this since 9 O’clock
I go to bed now I’m tired”?
“No stamina, you want me to show this Dog or what”??
“Er…….well I thought you were showing
“And you don’t think all the others are just
taking theirs as they are”? “Oh no –
they are all doing what I’m doing”
“But I’m hot in this uniform and tired”
“and you’ve used all the tea bags”
next morning THE DOG was finally ready. Now to me, the
bloody thing looked exactly like it did the day before.
But what the hell do I know?
Dearest one was pleased though…..occasional comment
about this could look better or that could, should be
shorter or that looks good!!!
I didn’t look good, I didn’t feel good nor
was I in show mood and I was tired. Holding that 40kg
lump, making 283 cups of tea, passing surgical instruments
all day and night, and that uniform was hot. I was worn
out AND it was 6 O’clock in the morning. We woke
the Cockerel up!!! I went and Cockle doodle dood into
no – I had hopelessly underestimated the next bit?
the Land Rover!!!! Oh what a nightmare that was. Normally
it’s simple, get the dogs in the car, throw in a
water bowl (empty) and 28 throwable toys, 5 gallon water
container (full) and a tube of ‘Deep Heat’
for my throwing arm…….then away we go. Not
this time……line the floor with a soft and
comfortable sleeping bag. Then the towels, Karen’s
18 Gallon tea urn, the box of surgical instruments (brush,
scissors, scrapey brushy thing, an odd shaped thing, an
instrument that terrified me, and a thing for something
I didn’t understand)
while I’m on the subject…….I did NOT
budget for the cost of those instruments!!! (First the
Electricity, now this) WOW………OUCH……..”HOW
MUCH” – “And just exactly what does
it do for 90 quid”? “You could get a pair
from B & Q for a fiver…….”
“But these are special”!!!! Me “SPECIAL
– They’re not even gold plated with 21 carat
“that’s typical of YOU, you just don’t
understand do you”? Me: “Well actually Dear…….I
the Landy loaded it was just me to put in my coat and
camera…..(that’s all I was allowed to take)
plus the fact there was no room for anything else!!! I
was dreading this………
Nav on…….co-ordinates keyed in. And and, and,
just you remember? It’s ‘her’ Landy…….I
wasn’t allowed to drive!!!!!
the next 3 hours I listened to that bloody Sat Nav babbling
away – At the next junction turn left………no
not this left you idiot, the next one.
have gone off course, at the next junction…….blah
Karen’s taste in music………oh my
God……..it would make a Saint swear. Well me
arrive. Sat Nav – “You have arrived at your
destination” I paid all that money for some ridiculous
comment stating the obvious.
“OH look there’s someone with her Dog, Oooh
that’s so and so with Whoopy Doo. Lovely dog that
one”?? Me: “Er……..it looks the
same as ours”? (Fatal Error – Stupid Banker)
“THAT DOG has won this that and the other and is
the Mother of Iligitime non carborundum………”
job is to unload the car and act as a general labourer……..and
take some photo’s.
meets friends……….The Banker hasn’t
any!! (Poor Banker)
drinks Tea from her urn……..The Banker hasn’t
a mug – I had to buy my tea. “It’s my
urn and you can’t have any”
buy a burger, I’m malnourished. I buy Karen a bacon
sandwich………..then I buy her another
one as the dog had the first one
take few a pictures but I’ve no idea why. Karen
prepares dog. I’m given permission to go on walkabout;
I view the stalls all around the rings. This is a source
of amusement for my fertile imagination. The things you
can buy for a dog is in my view breathtaking. I go to
a stall selling surgical instruments!! Good grief they
really are expensive aren’t they? I log the costs
for budgetary purposes later. I know what’s coming?
we need this for that, then we need this because Delirious
has got one and I want one, ooh and we need this because
Petal said it was useful, oh my God and we definitely
need two of these for doing whatever there for”?..............and
so it went on…….Anyway, I worked out a decent
mortgage deal with the trader………..
looked around for another stall to visit……..then
I spotted it…………”Dog Coats”……..I
Clearly this was a sick joke or someone had some real
nerve. Dog Coats, you mean to tell me that somewhere they
had skinned a dog and then had the bloody cheek to try
and sell them. (Those poor dogs must have been left so
looked around for an RSPCA inspector……but
that was a waste of time? They were all in their multi
million pound luxury Head Office or they were challenging
a member of the public who was walking their dogs too
far in front of them, children were close by and ‘THAT”
owner and her dogs on lead, were clearly a threat to National
Security. ‘Those dog owners represent a clear and
present danger to……..to er……..urm…something”
“Bring me the head of ban the ban and ban everything”…….
could see the point to some extent of selling dog coats,
a Labrador walking past might think it would look good
in a Red Setter coat (mmm Red’s the new black) or
a Mexican Chewawa looks up (that’s all they can
do) and thinks, ‘mmmm I like that Poodle coat’.
A milder more timid dog might want the Bull Terrier coat……….you
know what I mean.
my disappointment then, when walking up to this stall
to discover that you can buy man made coats of all sizes
and descriptions for your dog. OK……..they
didn’t just sell coats did they…..they sold
boots as well, hats and other curious articles purely
for the dog in your life.
a nice tuxedo 2 piece for Lord Ponsenbury’s prize
winning British Bulldog? No problem.
a nice pink negligee for the Page 3 dog………or
that gorgeous Penthouse Pet……..with the matching
about a studded leather jacket for the tough hard and
strong biker dog……..(Jack Russell) the dog
not the biker………
T-shirt wearing Pit bull with its owner walking down the
road in matching T-shirt…….and it’s
-5 degrees and both are hard cases!!! With him more scared
of his own dog!!! (Note: This dog also has to have the
matching Doc Marten Boots)
there’s the ‘normal dog coats’ –
you know the one’s, all the colours of course and
all sizes. I also saw the ‘We print your name on
Dog Coats” – I was particularly disgusted
at that…….I thought that was cruel to the
dog. I suppose it’s like a human tattoo I guess.
I travel quite a bit so I’m away from home, but
I didn’t think I had been away that long. I wondered
at that point what ever happened to the microchip, I thought
that was very effective. Certainly popular enough and
thought I might suggest the name printing thing to Karen
was walking away from the ‘Dog coats’ stall
to amuse myself again on another stall when out of the
corner of my eye I spotted it………this
was class. This was my sense of humour……this
was as ridiculous as it gets. AND this is true……….
There at the side of me walking past was a ‘Country
Gent’ with his trusty gun dog. Him in Barbour, flat
tweed cap, nice brogues, long woollen socks to knees where
the breeches took over. Smart tweed jacket under the Barbour.
I like class………However, walking by his
side was his trusty gun dog. An English Springer…………….wearing
a Dog Barbour coat (with hood) and small green hunter
jaw dropped, throat dried out, I was frozen to the spot………I
was absolutely speechless (probably just as well)
that dog had had a gun case strapped over his back with
a belt of mini shotgun cartridges I would have been so
impressed. He didn’t, and so I was not impressed
at all. I decided there and then that I would sell my
guns, give my Barbour away and join the anti hunt lobby.
It’s no wonder is it they banned hunting if that’s
what the nation saw of us marching through London………..
quick, ban hunting and guns and ban the ban on banning
things” “those queer folk in the country look
at them……….they’re all odd”.
know, I wanted to resurrect Monty Python at that moment………there
had to be a Python sketch in that.
beds and rugs, toys galore (I avoided that one, as even
getting near that stall made my arm ache) food bowls,
collars and leads…….Oh God I’m bored
now……….(and nothing was going to surpass
the Country Springer with its Eccentric owner)
OUR Dog was to show in the ring……….Oh
I can’t wait. Somewhere the excitement mounted?
I went over to the ring and stood in the corner taking
show dog spotted me and whilst being so elegantly shown
and running diagonally across the ring, instead of turning
right (At the sight of your owner, take the next right)
(Doggy Sat Nav) the bloody dog carried straight on towards
me……..The Dog was fine. I went white with
fear. Karen (The Dearest One was NOT amused)!!! Not in
the slightest………See The Banker run………run
while later when I was walking home from the show……….
wasn’t quite the day Karen had wanted. WE had not
spent the previous 16 odd hours preparing the dog, filling
the Landy and driving for 3+ hours for ME to ruin EVERYTHING.
the hell was I to know that the dog would keep on towards
me? Did I smell of fresh meat or another bacon sandwich?
Of course not, was I the Alpha male attracting the bitch…….no
not that either, perhaps she was just pleased to see me!!
might have been she did not want her photo taken………
the end it was of course my fault. “you can stand
anywhere round the ring and take a few photo’s”
and so I did……..but did I hear, “BUT
Don’t stand in the corners”…………..”NO”
I didn’t hear such words uttered. But who cares……..my
fault it was.
my Stupid question of the day………”Where
were you placed Dear”??
few days later I had to have the events program guide
surgically removed as I could not dislodge it through
natural means……..(Sore Banker)