the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Archive for the tag “dogs”

Book Review; The Digger’s Menagerie…

the-diggers-menagerie-mates-mascots-and-marvels-true-stories-of-animals-who-went-to-warBefore heading away on holiday to spend some quality time with the wife and kids I got a bunch of books out of the library to read…so pretty much sealed the fate of the holiday. Well, no, not really, I just love to read and also (before you start flaying me alive) had plenty of fun with the family.

So this was the first book I read while away which I wasn’t sure if I would get into; I love animals, no doubt being some sort of Dr Doolittle myself, and I love books on war too. However combining the two didn’t grab me, but this book is a very good read.

While the title (in full, “The Digger’s Menagerie – Mates, Mascots, and Marvels – True Stories of Animals Who Went to War) suggests it is a historical account of Aussie fauna doing its bit against evil and tyranny it does also drop the odd tale of famous animals from other nations, amongst them an American dog famous for sniffing out a German soldier and then chasing him down on the run, Napoleon’s Poodles (yep, you heard right), ‘Unsinkable Sam’, the survivor of no less than three sinkings at sea and so on.

Starting with the Boer War this is a very good record of the cost that our four-legged and winged friends also paid in the theatre of war – the stats of Aussie’s sought after horses in Sth Africa and WWI are shocking to say the least, the life expectancy (if they survived the trip) was less than six weeks alone. And those that did survive were left abroad due to Australia’s tough quarantine laws.

Pigeons had it tough too, used extensively in WWI and II it seems that both sides not only had a Pigeon Corps, but an anti-Pigeon Corps ranging from a barrage of rifles to trained falcons to bring them down in flight. The humble pigeon, the bane of town councils the world over is actually a remarkable bird. Second fastest in flight, it is also able to navigate its way by following actual roads and junctions!

The book continues into Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and finally into Afghanistan and Iraq where the horses and pigeons have moved aside for the most adaptable combat animal – the dog. As an owner of two dogs I am well aware of just how clever they can be, and trained right we see them as disposal experts, drug sniffers, guards, and rescue animals, but the thought of them actually being faced with enemy fire, being blown apart by mines or shells, or shot as spies can be beyond belief – we make a conscious decision to fight war, what choice do they have? However, unlike with previous wars, of late Aussie restrictions on overseas travel has allowed dogs of war to return home, to be repatriated with families after retirement. The anguish as handler and mutt are separated is traumatic, if necessary, and it is this bond between man and beast which makes this book…

A good, easy read, a recommendation for any animal lover.


The Surprised Cat – hilarious!

A mate with a sick sense of humour sent me this, and being a cat and dog lover (not literally) I had to post this up – apologies to other animal lovers out there. I’m pretty certain this kind of debauchery doesn’t happen between my animals!

An Interview With…Ben

>Ben is a 1 year old Chocolate Lab. He has been staying here since last week while his owner, Morne who I work with has taken his boys across the coast to get out of Christchurch after the quake.

Ben and Tash…why does he always
have the grin on his face???

Me; Hi Ben, so good for you to take the time out to have this chat, I know how busy you are crapping on my lawn, and trying to impregnate my bitch.
Ben; Woof!

Now for the purpose of the interview, I will translate as best I can. My Choco is a bit scratchy having had a Black Lab of my own here, but bear with me. Some of this interview may be lost in translation and I apologise to you dog-lovers out there…

Ben; No sweat. It was getting hot anyway so a break in the shade is cool.
Me; Ha ha! If you’ll excuse the pun!?
Ben; Huh?
Me; OK, sorry, let’s move on. So, last Tuesday, being closer to town than my dogs, talk me through the shakes.
Ben; Oh yeah, what a wild afternoon! There I was barking through the fence at the neighbour’s Siamese when I thought she had struck out at me and I was knocked back on my back. Next thing I know, all hell has broken loose and I could hear my locals yelping and barking out to everyone.
Me; Wow! That must’ve been pretty hectic? What did you do?
Ben; I rushed back to the fence to check on the cat I had been chatting to, and there she was rubbing her head where a pot plant fell off the fence and hit her. I thought “great, serves the smart-arse right”.

Ben and his wandering eye…

 Me; OK…so what brings you out here to the country?
Ben; That bastard owner of mine and his annoying little brats…don’t get me wrong, I love being here, but I can’t believe they didn’t take me with them. So I left a little leaving present in the truck!
Me: What, you’d rather be on the Coast?
Ben; Nah…it’s just I wish I was there as they don’t realise I can break into the house and steal food, and beers. You have pretty tight security here.
Me; And what you been doing while you’re here?
Ben; Well me and your biarch, Tash, have been getting on, but every time I try to show her a good time, she snaps at me. What? Am I moving too fast?
Me; Ben, you tried to hump her within 20mins of being here!
Ben; Oh, is that not how it’s done? My owner, he makes moves before the girls give their name…certainly before he’s paid for them.
Me; Ummmm, right, moving on.
Ben; Hey, and I’m loving the feed. What’s that thing you do with my bikkies?
Me; What? I put them in a bowl…
Ben; Well, hey, that’s cool, that’s pretty swanky. (Looking at Scuzzy) Oi! What ya up to? Want me to show you a good time?
Me; Rightio…let’s wrap it up there…
Ben: What did I say???

Friday Funny…


This  is the true story of a Garage Owner in New Mexico who gave his  dog a haircut.                   
                  He was sick and tired of thugs breaking into his garage shop to steal  tools, etc.
 So he  came up with this idea.  He put the word out that he had a new
 Mexican  Lion that would attack anyone that would break in or climb his fence.
 Would-be  thieves saw the “Lion” from a distance and fled the  scene.
 The dog’s  probably trying to figure out why his head’s so hot and his  butt’s so cold.

Animal Farm

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Animals, animals, animals, animals…everywhere!!!

I have had a lot of pets over the years…a couple of mongrel dogs called Bill (not much thought into their name obviously), a cat called Smokey comes to mind, a Budgie whose name escapes me (if I did in fact name it), and briefly, some cockabullies I caught in the Blythe River when I was young.

I love animals, and strongly support the SPCA to the point where I won’t give to other charities as people (to an extent) have the ability to speak up, defend themselves, and have more support services to lean on than animals do…the SPCA is in my will to receive my whole estate should the tragic event of me, my wife, and our two kids were to be erased…let’s hope not eh?

Anyways……I currently have in my stable of fine steeds… Read more…

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