For the most part, dogs are hardy creatures and hardly ever fall sick. Unlike us!!!

They don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, or eat fast food.

They exercise a lot and of course have a regular diet that we control. OK, so we occasionally spoil them. Some more than others……….but mostly they have a great life with no excess.

So what’s wrong with this picture??

Why have we got so many ailments that bring us to our knees, we go to hospital, we have doctors and specialists to see to our every need.

I travel a lot and it fascinates me that wherever I am there is always something that I have to be aware of. I think over the years I’ve had every inoculation that can be had. And even these won’t stop you getting something if you’re unlucky.

And I’ve been unlucky a few times, fortunately nothing serious, unfortunately at the time, it’s been very uncomfortable.

The water, the food, don’t go jogging here or there, don’t go to this part of town, don’t take this type of taxi, don’t do this that and the other and always carry your GPS tracker with you!! And

“Have a nice trip”!!!!!!!

Example: A couple of years ago the Dearest One and I met at Heathrow Airport and we travelled down to South Beach, Miami. I was going to a conference and the Dearest One was coming with me for a holiday. As a fan of CSI Miami (Horatio in particular) the series is filmed in and around South Beach and Star Island and we were staying in a Hotel on the main beach. So she was sure to see Horatio and that bloody Hummer!!!

Clearing customs and walking out the airport the first thing we saw was a couple of cops in a parked up Miami Dade cop car.

That was all it needed!!!!!!

“Where’s Horatio”? “Where’s the Hummer”?

“Oh God……….” I sighed

I had a free day and the Dearest One had seen an advert for a Cowboy shop slightly out of town and decided it would be great to go there and………..look around!!!!!!

We got in a taxi, told the driver where we wanted to go. No issues

Until we got there

Then out of the blue the taxi driver said to us “I will wait here for you, this area is very dangerous and you stick out like brightly lit tourists, you’re not safe, so don’t leave the store and walkabout anywhere. I will wait for you”!!!!!!!


So we got out the taxi and went into the store – amazing place. Truly amazing

After what seemed like ages, we walked out, got in the cab and went back to town. I asked the taxi driver to drop us off in Biscayne as we could ‘safely’ walk back to the hotel from there. We ate lunch, took piccies, had a laugh with the locals and before walking back we had a hot dog each. Superb.

Lesson number one. If you venture off the path – ask before proceeding.

The first week was taken up with my conference, but the second week was all ours to enjoy and we had a plan to visit friends up near the Georgia border state line and we hired a car and drove up there.

Lesson number 2: If your friend says it’s only a 4 hour drive – ignore it? It took us 10!!!!!!

We went through the Everglades and encountered very closely, almost eye to eye, real Crocodiles – in the wild (and I have the piccies to prove it) too bloody close in fact……..

“No. no get closer, I want a close up of them”

“You are insured aren’t you”?

We got to our friends ranch and encountered a spider. A BIG spider. We both did a runner – our host called us back??

“We won’t kill this one” our host said?

“He lives under the fridge and any mouse or vermin he tidies up for us”!!!!!!

“MOUSE, VERMIN”? “What the hell is it” I asked. “Oh just a spider”

“But don’t touch it” “The bite is very nasty”

The Dearest One was clinging onto the ceiling and we had to call in an FBI negotiator to get her down……….

“I suppose in the spring it moves the fridge out to clean its area” I asked
“Not quite but they are powerful, he couldn’t move the fridge, but you would not want to be a mouse”

We did not sleep well that evening.

A day or so later we were out around the house/farm yard vicinity close to the house and I was wandering around a barn.

My host came up to me and said “Don’t sit on the straw bales without looking first”? “Don’t move the feed sacks” Don’t move the rocks or stones”

“Oh and why’s that” I asked

“Snakes” – “and they ain’t friendly and most are venomous” “The one’s with a ‘V’ on the back of the head particularly dangerous” “and the one’s with a yellow dot on the head give a nasty bite”

“But how close do you have to be to spot the dot”? I enquired???

“Oh don’t worry” he said “You’ll get used to it”!!!!!!

After that we wore boots and stood in the open.

There was much that would do us harm given the chance.

But they had a dog. A 4 month old puppy called Samson

Samson was an Anatolian.

Samson, for both of us remains the most amazing dog we have ever met. He was used EXACTLY as they were intended for. Guard the house, the animals (they had horses and a huge herd of cattle) Samson guarded the house and the horses

These Bankers notes are NOT about our trip to Miami, nor about our encounters, indeed they are not about Samson either………

But for the record, The Dearest One has never forgotten Samson, neither have I?

In all my life (indeed The Dearest One’s as well) we have not seen such an amazing natural instinct in a dog to do what Samson did. His job even at just a few months old was to guard the house and animals around it. And he did.

Even at his tender young age if we had been out of a night and driven back to the ranch we were not allowed out of our hosts big 4WD until he had opened the main gate and driven in and up to the house. Only then were we safe!!

Yet in the day when we were walking around the place, Samson was always shadowing us.
The Dearest One got to stroke him and sit with him – but only on his terms.

Still today, this remains the best use of a dog that I have ever seen. He did exactly what he was intended for. It really was staggering.

He would never come into the house, he had ample food left out for him and lots of water. But his place was outside – his choice.

That was his domain, his kingdom and he patrolled it with staggering and at times breathtaking ability. Samson knew exactly where we were even if the 4 of us had split up and went in different directions.

He would always be somewhere in the middle.

If you left the gate open to the ranch, he would keep an eye on that as well. Until you closed it!!!
He never even thought about running off……..just not in his nature.

A couple of months after we got back to the UK we were told Samson had contracted a seriously debilitating disease. Very rare and eventually fatal. It broke our hearts…………..


I’ve mentioned the above because none of us are immune to the ravages of life.
And neither are our dogs…………

Today, Samson still remains in our hearts and minds. He was remarkable.

This little anecdote reminds us that losing a friend we’ve lived with for so long is indeed heartbreaking but the point of the above is the indelible memory that they leave us with. And without sadness and further grief it is this that we should celebrate.

Those wonderful and happy memories


So what do you do when your Spin goes sick??

Well, in the case of The Dearest One…………………..

“Come on get up off your lazy derrière and get outside and do some work”

“I have a list here, read it”

Working hours for today:

Clock in time: 0630hrs

Clock out time: 2230hrs

1. Cut logs for log burner
2. Mend fence as discussed
3. Repair the pump house floor
4. Replace light bulbs as marked
5. Rubbish disposal
6. Tidy the mess you left in the loose box

Note: Your tea breaks are 1030hrs – 1045hrs and 1500hrs – 1515hrs
Lunch will be 12.15hrs – 1230hrs
Dinner at 2030hrs

“But Dearest One, I don’t feel well”

“Don’t be such a wimp, you’ve got a cold, that’s all”

I was annoyed now!!!

“This is NOT a cold” “This is man flu” “and by implication, I am going through a near death experience”

“You have no idea how I feel and by sending me out there you could well be condemning me to a fate worse than death”

“I admit that death has its advantages”? “It will cut down on expenses” “However, it is not on my agenda at the moment”

I could see the cogs turning and the link between brain and mouth working, and then it came
“You’re fully insured so all MY expenses will be met” “Therefore you WILL complete all the tasks I have set out for you”

“Should your demise come at some point during the day, please be courteous enough now to leave me details of where the paperwork is”

“And don’t worry about being found, I’m not bothered about that”? “The dogs will find you”

After I had found the insurance papers and left them on the table, I ventured off outside

I spent the first hour drawing effigies of The Dearest One on each log before chopping it up!!!

It didn’t make me feel better, but at least I worked with a wry smile……………..

I off course survived to live another day

About a week or so later I came into the kitchen early one morning feeling bright and breezy and rather healthy again. I was full of the joys of Spring, happy, content with life and had a plan for the day………..what could possibly go wrong!!!!!!!

“One of the dogs is off colour” said the Dearest One

“Is that Matagolian for good morning dear, and how are you feeling today”? I asked

“Don’t be sarcastic” She said “I’m serious”

“When you say that one of the dogs is off colour, just exactly what do you mean”?

“You know damned well what I mean, sick, unwell, under the weather, no longer healthy”

“Off colour”

“What is it you don’t understand about that”

“AND…….it’s probably your fault”!!!!!

“WHAT” “How in the underworld did you reach that conclusion”?

“I had man flu, it was hardly rabies, distemper or hardpad”

“The way you went on about it, it might just as well have been”

“Well come on then show me this canine that’s ‘Off colour then”

And so she did.

I had to admit that the Spinone in Question did indeed look a little off colour and would further admit that it looked how I had felt a week or two earlier.

“Said Spin is off its food and doesn’t want to go out with the others” “So I’ve just let her stay in”

For a Spin to be off its food is a sure sign of something not quite right. She looked lethargic, although that is a contradiction really as they all look lethargic anyway, unless there’s food about or a chance for a serious walkies.

So I had to agree that this one was ‘off colour’

So what to do?

Obviously it can’t say, Oh I’ve got a cold, man flu, bad stomach, sore this that the other. Thankfully they have not yet developed speech and I think if they did it would be a nightmare?

Well think about it?

Imagine coming down one morning and the dog says “You’re late, now let me out before I P & P on the floor” or “Oh no not that bloody tinned stuff again I had that yesterday and it tasted like !@#$%”!!!!!!

Or even “I want to go out now and sniff the air” “take me for a walk, no lead either as I just want to run myself stupid”

“And if you think I’m in a show ring mood then forget it” “It’s embarrassing stood there and some human is opening your mouth, running their hands all over you” “How would you feel having that done to you in public”?

“And anyway, I don’t feel I can show well enough today………I’ve got some sniffing to do and need to check on the field next to the woods, those rabbits have been back in there you know”

“Nope, not today, my mind is elsewhere, I cannot possibly concentrate on showing off for you”

And of course “What do you mean she’s on heat”? “I don’t care what you call it, just let me at her”

“If she’s hot and I’m the cool dude then we should make puppies together” “Now get out the way”

“Bloody humans”……………

I forgot where I was now. Oh yes the sick Spin.

The Spin Doctor:

I suppose I’m a bit of a Spin Doctor really?? Not in a political sense of course……we have 600 and odd idiots who allegedly do that for us in what we call our Government – and most of those I could happily let the dogs loose on!!!

I wonder how many of those MPs claim expenses for their dogs?

Oops – sorry…………..naughty Banker

We should tax all dog owners!!

Then we could contribute more to the economy. Or just pay for the bankers bonuses out of it. We might just as well, given the Government are terrified of taking on the banks.

No – hang on? Better still, let the dogs loose on the Government and the bankers.

Then we could share their bonuses between us all, along with the expenses thus ensuring we bring ourselves out of the doom and gloom and have the best for our dogs as well!!!

Right that’s it then? Vote Banker!!! (Not sure that would work – name change required)

I was brought thunderously back to earth again with a real wake-up call!!!

“Are you listening to me”?? Boomed her loudness. “Or are you away again in the clouds with that odd imagination of yours”?

“Oh the latter one my little cheesecake” “No no I meant the former of course” “Yes I was listening intently to your rhetoric” “How much did you say you wanted”?

“You weren’t listening to me, were you”?

I had no clue at all as too what was just said and my last comment just made matters worse. It was no good, I had to admit I wasn’t listening and could she repeat for the sake of my health!!!

“Said Spin will go without food today to see how she gets on, then tomorrow I will try her on chicken and rice” “Both freshly prepared and you are to go out and purchase said items”

“Oh yes dear, of course”

“Shall I get some Anadin, Panadol, Penicillin, Kaolin and Morphine, Andrews liver salts and some Milk of Magnesia as well just in case”??

“Don’t be so stupid” “You know damned well we can’t give the dog any of those”

“But Dearest One, all of those combined would be a 100th of the cost of going to the Ve………”
I couldn’t finish off the word

Just the thought of that would bring my man flu back again and probably put me in such a depressive state I would need all sorts of mind enhancing drugs to recover.

It was then I heard the magic words “No. the Vets is out of the question for now” “That would be a last resort”

Who needs mind enhancing drugs with words like that. I skipped and hopped and ran in a very jolly fashion to the Landy to get the chicken and rice as commanded.

You get to know your dog(s) over time and can generally tell most minor ailments. Being off their food could be symptoms of many things but would include, a bitch on heat, our dogs prefer not to eat during part of this period. Probably because if they did they might miss out on the, ‘chance to’ if their head was stuck in a food bowl.
Bitches can be the same. If they have the runs as well, they might drink more and eat less. An upset in the family or the pack can disrupt their routine enough to curb their eating habits. But for the most part we all know a simple ailment to one that’s more serious.

If you are part of an organisation for your breed as we are with the Spins then you have many options to relay your fears and get sound advice from those in the know. Or at least know more than you do and if nothing else it is also reassuring when someone says “Oh it’s a bout of x, y or z and will soon pass” – this is normally the case – the reassurance knowing you can always ask for a second opinion before going to pay the vets monthly mortgage payment.

Obviously vets are wonderful creatures and to be admired. Now they know what’s wrong with your dog if you unfortunately have to take them there. They’re very clever people.

They’re also expensive!!!!! VERY

And the price of drugs from a vet!!!!! Good grief……….and words to that effect(ish)

Did I tell you I own a vet? Not really of course, but over the years it certainly feels as if I do.

I keep digressing. Sorry……….now let’s get back to our sick Spin shall we?

Following the mission to procure chicken and rice (I cheated and bought a ready cooked one) it was decided that our Spin would go without food for 24 hours and see if whatever it was that was upsetting her would be starved out of her. Lots of fresh water of course but no food. During the ‘tense’ 24 hours I occasionally went up to stroke and reassure her that we were with her. The Dearest one was like Florence Spinonegale dithering and doting around her all day and talking to her like some demented child…………it was pathetic.

I was going to suggest she took some mind enhancing drugs but given the pressure she was under this might cause her to place the aforementioned mind enhancing drugs into a place where I don’t have a mind. Nor one that needs enhancing………..

“Oh how’s my coochy coochy coo poor sick baby then”?

“I know baby it’s just not you today is it” “never mind you’ll be fine tomorrow”

Or what about the classic “Mummy will keep you in the warm today, sit here on the couch and I’ll make sure that nasty man doesn’t disturb you” “Let me put Cesar Milan on the television for you”

Oh wouldn’t you just love the dog to talk at these precise moments??

“Look, I’ve got an upset stomach OK” “Don’t be so bloody patronizing and talk to me like I’m one of your pathetic little humans that you bring here now and again”

“I’m fine” “Now buggar off and let me sleep”
“I’m NOT your baby, I hate the coochy coo crap, you’re NOT my mother and I hate Cesar Milan” “Is that clear”??

“Now go and clean, or wash or take the others out or whatever it is you do” “But leave me alone will you”………………….

We all react differently to our ailments so it’s the same when our beloved doggies get sick – sorry, dogs get sick. We take each moment on merit and react accordingly.

The following day our Spin took some breakfast of rice and chicken (not the full amount in the bowl) and ventured outside with the others. She was only out for 5 minutes then trotted back in and took up space in the house again.

But this was positive and we knew she would be back to normal (whatever normal is for a Spin) in no time.

As it was, 48 hours later you would never know she had been ‘off colour’ and she had returned to her normal looking self.

Flush with health and fitness once more


I think on reflection we do know a sick dog and we also have a really good idea about how bad that sickness is. We know ourselves well enough and although we have differing pain thresholds (The Dearest One missed the queue for pain threshold when they were being handed out, she got double ‘being a pain’ instead) we either deal with it ourselves when something goes wrong or we go to the Doctors (I don’t mind them, they’re free)

So it’s the same with our dogs, we know when to pay the vets mortgage and also when we can deal with it ourselves. We also have the advantage of the network within the breed that works so well and this reassurance is most welcomed.

So don’t panic when your dog goes ‘off colour’………ask the audience, phone a friend or 50/50
Who wants to be a dog sick millionaire??

And there you have it……………

The Spin was happy, the Dearest One was happy and so was I (No vet bill)!!

We were back to Happy Families again!!!!

Weird I admit……..but we’re a happy weird

I’ve just had a thought???


Dog psychology versus us lot!!!

Imagine your dog follows your psychology, or ours at home!!!

Oh God……….ours dogs will all be really weird……the bitches like the Dearest One and the Dogs like me!!!

Oh this is a disaster in the making………

Or we could turn it to our advantage??

I shall write to the important one’s in the dog world and get new show classes created:

- Weirdest Spinone Puppy over 6 months
- Weirdest Bitch
- Weirdest Dog
- Weirdest dog show person
- Weirdest owner
- Weirdest decision at a show (I bet that’s the most popular category)!!!
- Weirdest show you entered
- Weirdest person you know with a Spin

Oh come on……shbullit……..don’t sit there thinking you haven’t thought through one or some of the above. I bet one or two of those would get very well subscribed entries!!!!

Come on…………don’t be shy…………you know I’m right

Me thinks this is another Bankers Notes!!!!!!

I shall begin – The Bankers guide to Dog Psychology and its owners

Now where did I leave my pills……………..??





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