New Year’s Revolutions

Hello again fiends,

Hope you all enjoyed Christmas. We had a great one; Mum and me were at Uncle David’s with it’s fantastic countryside nearby. Our morning country walks are frosty and foggy though no snow, so far.

img_2228

Did you see or hear the Queens Speech on Christmas Day? I wondered if she’d been reading my recent blogs as, she was talking warmly about small acts of kindness and we’ve been talking about that a lot in our blogs!!

I will include some pictures of Corgi’s in future ma’am.

It’s nearly New Year’s Eve – a time to reflect on the last year and look forward to the next. Hmm last year…. my run in with that crafty snake sticks in my mind but, all the good fun I’ve had and meeting new fiends top that; making the new films for the second Adventures of Ragamuffin series that you can see on You Tube was brilliant and I’ve made new fiends all round the world via Instagram including; Meg in Wales who looks just like me!! And of course I spent time with my very special fiends here.

nnn

Mum and her fiends keep talking about making their New Year’s Resolutions – apparently, you decide things and plans that you’re going to do for the year and stick to them – though it seems a lot of folk only seem to do them until the end of January!?! And these Resolutions can be anything from; not to eat any more cake or pies, giving up that second dry sherry to something very big like a new job or moving house. Think Aunty Jules is going to do the cake one……again.

I heard on the radio a man that made a kindness New Year Resolution; he’s been kind every single day of 2016 and he’s going to do it in 2017 too. That’s brilliant – and he said it can be as simple as taking the time visit someone instead of just a quick hello, that little chat can really cheer someone up.

george

We’ve all heard in recent days of the many  kind things that the late singer/songwriter George Michael did. He kept those good deeds private because, you don’t need to be showy about what you do. From helping the support children who needed someone to talk to, volunteering at a homeless shelter to helping the campaign against puppy farms – he spread kindness far and wide.

 

Last year we helped out Pets as Therapy and visited our chosen hospice,  took part in charity walks and the charity show and my fiends and I helped pick up litter and we’ll do tons more things in the next year.

Have a think about what you can do, a tiny gesture to you but, can be huge to others.

Our Resolutions could start a Kindness Revolution!!!

 facebook

Happy New Year.

Until next time

Rx

While shepherds washed their socks…

Christmas greetings fiends

room-2

Joyeux Noël, Frohe Weihnachten, Meri Kurisumasu, Felicem Diem Nativitatis, Blithe Yule – these are a tiny selection of those famous greetings from all around the world – you can match them to their country and read all sorts of things about the stories, customs and traditions of Christmas here.

 

I like; ‘Felicem Diem Nativitatis’ best, which is Latin and hints at the nativity!

nativity-2-b

I’m playing a shepherd, amongst other parts – a Wiseman and Herod (thankfully, not the donkey), everyone wants to play Joseph but, how could that ever work for one of us fiends!! Paws make it a little tricky to hold small people, even if they are wrapped in swaddling clothes.

herodblog

 

There’s a Christmas Carol about the part the shepherds play in the Nativity, here’s the first verse:

 

While shepherds watched

Their flocks by night

All seated on the ground

The angel of the Lord came down

And glory shone around

And glory shone around

 So, it seems, one dark night, just outside Bethlehem, where the shepherds looked after their sheep, an angel appeared before them and the glory of God shone around them – they jumped, I would have done too. Luckily, the angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid, I have good news for you – today in Bethlehem a Saviour has been born for you. You will find the baby lying in a manger.’

barnblog

What an amazing experience! When the angel had left, they said; ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem to see what’s happened.’ They headed off and eventually, after asking around as one stable looks much like another, found the baby Jesus lying in a manger and when the shepherds returned to their sheep, they praised God.

Another excellent Christmas carol is the ‘Good King Wenceslas’ one. (Mums have a bit of trouble pronouncing that at Midnight Mass after a couple of dry sherries). Us fiends like the line about ‘the feast of Stephen’ – what was that all about, was it a feast with turkey and those little sausage and bacon things? No – it’s the old-fashioned way of saying; a day that celebrates Saint Stephen. King Wenceslas was a  saintly fella too, the carol tells how he went through the deep snow and freezing weather to help a poor man who had no food or firewood – the gift of food and firewood was ‘a feast’ to the poor man.

You can find all the stories, words and links to singing the Christmas carols here.

Well, fiends I must get back to the Nativity rehearsals, now where’s that tea towel……

nativity-1a-1blog

Happy Christmas fiends and wishing the whole world a peaceful New Year.

 

Until next time.

Rx

 

Henry the Red Nosed Reindeer!

Hello again fiends,

We all know Rudolph but, who’s Henry? Another reindeer but, we’ll get to him a bit later.

We only really hear about reindeer at Christmas time – I’ve met a few of the other type of deer at Richmond Park in London  – they are related but, have some differences.

ragamuffin3

Deer live in meadows, parks and forests, and they’re not really built for heavy snow, they’re a fair bit bigger than me! Reindeer live in very cold places and have much thicker coats and special hooves for walking on ice and snow.

10801856_10205374329582089_6622123144333256401_n

The most famous reindeer is Rudolph of course! He was different too with his famous, very shiny, nose. But, because of that difference he became a real hero.

thsd4zpjp6

He lived in the North Pole with Santa. He was a happy and lively fella and loved playing in the snow (which is probably why his nose went red – the cold does that, unless you’re a dog, and it can make your nose run too so, always good to have a tissue in your pocket).

One Christmas Eve, the other reindeer teased him because, his nose was very large and bright red, he looked different. Rudolph was sad that his fiends were laughing and he was afraid that Santa wouldn’t choose him to help pull the sleigh.  He decided to go and see Santa and the Elves anyway, they were always kind to him and never once mentioned his nose.

He helped them wrap and load up the presents – the elves did the selloptape bit as, that’s not easy when you have hooves. When Santa was ready he called the eight reindeer he’d picked to pull the sleigh. Rudolph started to slowly trudge back to his den to watch a Christmas special or film.

The others pranced around as though they were warming up for Strictly Come Dancing, or something just as glittery, and proudly took their places to pull the sleigh. Santa looked around him and noticed how foggy it was. He was a little worried that they wouldn’t be able to see their way as, they didn’t have fog lights and they’d have to miss the Christmas Eve delivery – can you imagine that!?!

Luckily, he spotted Rudolph and he had that very famous idea!

rudolph

He sang out: Rudolph with your nose so bright –  won’t you pull my sleigh tonight!”

You can sing-a-long to the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer song here.

Santa hitched him up to lead the team – everybody cheered, they loved Rudolph and said what a very special fella he was………..even though he was different.

15267748_10211094496018523_3524207606380262641_n

That brings us back to Henry the reindeer – he’s different – he’s wooden and looked stylish though, a little plain for the festive season but, when Auntie Jules fiend Stephanie saw him she knew he could become very special at Christmas too. Using her very, clever florist skills  she bought plain old Henry to life –  now he has pride of place and is the star of a very special Christmas display.

Look how good being different can be!

ragamuffin4

Until next time

Rx

Queen of the Jungle

Hello again fiends

Hurray! Scarlett did become Queen of the Jungle.

isca

Though everybody was brilliant; good old Larry Lamb like a dad and Carol Vorderman, we all know what Carol’s good at.  Adam’s brave – us dogs totally understood those noises he was making, Joel is a kind, generous spirit, Scarlett is funny and has some interesting and straightforward theories about life too.

cas

Celebrity Cyclone – was amazing –  think me and Buster could do that, we’re good at battling the waves. Though maybe we’d have had the same struggles as Scarlett to hang onto to all four giant stars at the start – that was tricky.

waves

Scarlett said she didn’t feel like a celebrity as, she was just known for being on television watching television…. what’s all that about?  It’s a programme called ‘Gogglebox’.

Gogglebox shows families and fiends and the conversations, thoughts and views they have when they’re watching tele. It can make you laugh and feel sad and it shows how we all shouted at the tele and cheered when the little lizard got away from those speedy snakes on Planet Earth II.We all shouted at the tele and cheered when Scarlett got onto the first star in Celebrity Cyclone too!!

 

I loved the programme about Kate Humbles dog Teg, a Border Collie. Mum let me watch it quite a few times. All I could think was “isn’t Teg like me” – we could do a “Who Do You Think You Are” for us dogs and Teg and I would find out if we’re family.

ragamuffin2

Lots of us watch animals and  scientists have found out we love high pitched sounds and watching other dogs – hmm not too surprising. 

Back to old Scarlett; she’s one of a kind – which we all are really aren’t we – though when she was very young she felt a bit different to everyone else and didn’t fit in or make fiends easily. She felt she couldn’t be herself and should be one of the crowd.

You can be one of the crowd but, it’s much better to be yourself – not all of us fiends chase cats or like being patted on the head by strangers!!

just-be-you

‘I’m A Celebrity’ was Scarlett’s favourite programme when she was growing up and Scarlett said one of the other reasons she went on it was; “………I feel that if I won I would be showing my little sister that it doesn’t matter, you can just be you”.

She did win and proved; you can just be yourself and that’s absolutely great!

Until next time fiends.

Rx

Ant & Dec

Hi there fiends,

Think we all know who Ant & Dec are – those two cheeky fella’s we see on television quite a lot….and thinking about it  – we have done for years….just how old are those two??

A spot of meditation

They spring to mind this week as the jungle programme is back on – all those famous folk camping outside in the outback together, getting some treats but, mainly trials and tribulations….eating some really odd grub (and grubs)  and being scared to bits by all sorts of wildlife and creepy crawlies.

th1z2lktfy

They call this type of programme; ‘reality TV’ –  I think The Adventures of Ragamuffin on You Tube is the very best in reality TV but, then I would!!

Going back to this year’s jungle programme – everybody keeps saying; that this is the best series for a long time because, everybody gets on really well, they work brilliantly as a team on the trials, have loads of fun and laughs and support each other if they get a little down.

14720596_1756441237938850_6487521347313546546_n

And when they have got a bit snappy and snarly; they’ve sorted out, with some honest talk, very quickly. I think they will be fiends for a long time afterwards. 

It’s brilliant as they’re a real assortment of people – all sorts of ages and backgrounds – some of them are loud and some very quiet. I like Scarlett as, she’s a big mixture of laughter and fun and she can need looking after too – that’s like all of us really.

13692545_1713242328925408_4012905591773948258_n

 And that made me think it’s like that with my fiends and me. We’re all different types and sizes and ages and we all get on some of us do crazy things and some just poddle along and some want to be the boss – we have our snarlies and snappies too but, we get over it.

 13435324_1704333719816269_3137055755286421195_n

Mind you, we don’t have to do Bush Tucker Trails……..though we do some long hikes which, can have hidden tricks and trials and creatures – snakes and splinters included – sometimes dubious things that we pick up and eat . And the mums have been known to turn an ankle on uneven ground, if they’re chatting instead of looking (which they normally do).

14141771_1730988963817411_903269442810384618_n

Ant & Dec – they’ve been fiends for ever – playing, growing up and working together and you can tell they still have loads fun. I bet they have the odd snappy moment too but, that’s all part of being a fiend.

Fiends are a blessing.

 harrison

Until next time.

Rx

An Actors Life for Me?

Hello fiends,

Have been mooching around the house or sitting with mum as, had a giant splinter in my paw! Another trip to the vets to have it removed…ouch it was painful so,  we had to be brave….again….remember the snake incident!

Mooching is good, it gives you time to think…..hmm let’s see; had a great summer shooting the films for the second series of The Adventures of Ragamuffin. This time they’re starring me as a grown-up dog – none of that puppy malarkey!! You can see The Adventures of Ragamuffin Lewis on You Tube.

camera

My fiends were in some of the films too. Poor Buster got a little bored hanging around waiting for mum to decide what she wanted to film next. She does have a very long list  that she works through with the film crew but, things can easily change – like it might start raining or be very noisy so, you must wait (and wait) until it’s quiet or sunny again.

Buster said he wasn’t sure if ‘this filming lark’ was for him though he liked the ‘acting’ bit and thought he was good (steady on Buster you only had to dig up sand on the beach – it was hardly Lassie Come Home!).

 

Acting or singing is really good fun and a cool way to use up your energy and much better than just hanging around the shops or with your nose stuck to a computer screen!

I suggested to Buster that he should go and join a local amateur dramatics group – was hedging my bets there as, not sure if any of them take dogs!

image

Anyway, it’s as it sounds; local people doing plays and musicals on the stage in a little theatre or hall with a stage. Normally they make all their own props, costumes and scenery so, even if you’re not sure acting you can do the backstage stuff. I did some performing on stage in the summer too I had a good time and got to eat some of the props – you can read about it here.

Along with school drama clubs there are lots of kid’s groups around the country – often called Youth Theatre (sounds a bit posher than amateur dramatics). These little theatre adventures won’t very often lead to a big role in the sparkling West End – where all the famous plays are, though can help you develop into a better performer and give you confidence and enthusiasm which is helpful if you are sometimes a bit shy….Buster is rarely shy…….and you’ll make friends, too! You can look them up on the internet or ask at your local theatre.

papped

There are, of course, the television talent shows including: Britain’s Got Talent and the X Factor but, though they can make people and dogs famous it’s only a very few each year. Local theatre will give you loads of experience and who knows you could then go for a big audition if you wanted to take it that far!! Lots of famous ‘proper’ actors started off in local theatres: Michael Caine started going to the Capitol Theatre group in Horsham when he was very young and Robert Pattinson went to the Barnes Theatre Company near his house. So, you never know……..

bored-on-set

Give it a try!

Until next time Rx

 

 

Cool to be Kind

Hello fiends

It’s been a funny old week –  folk, for all sorts of reasons, have been thinking about family and fiends they love. And thinking about other people, children and us dogs, even if they don’t know them.

We had Poppy Day, things about stopping bullying (specially children) and I’m pretty sure you heard about Walk with Walnut.

Being kind is one of the best things we can all do and it’s nice when others are kind to us…. it doesn’t have to involve treats – kind words, a smile, a hug, a pat or even a high five (or paws) can make someone and you feel better or special.

ragamuffin3

 

There were lots of discussions about how to stop kids being unkind to each other – especially when they do it using Facebook or the other chatting app. s. If you ever feel like this is happening to you; speak to someone about it right away, mum or dad or an auntie maybe, even a teacher you like – they’ll help you do all the right things and feel better.

 

 

There was also: “Walk with Walnut” an event which started off very small then snowballed literally all around the world!!  Walnut was a dog who was very old and poorly – sadly her Dad, Mark, was having to take her for her last walk on Porth Beach before she went to the vet for the final time.

methode_times_prod_web_bin_1d845bb0-a9d4-11e6-9d1d-8992545bee51

Mark decided to invite some friends and other dog walkers to go with them – to keep them both company on their sad day and to celebrate Walnuts long and happy life. He used Facebook and a ramblers group shared it and one by one loads of people saw it including, newspapers and television shows. Mark was interviewed on TV and written about in the papers and on-line about the walk – he shared his love for Walnut and how he wanted her last walk to be special.

 

On the day loads of dogs and their people turned up at the beach – people from all over the world sent messages and photos of their local Walks for Walnut and shared their support for Mark and his family. It was sad and happy to hear about all those thousands of people being kind. That’s a funny feeling to have – mums call it; ‘moving’ or ‘think I’ve got something in my eye’.

cxefl27w8aaaotf

Mark had asked for support using Facebook and all those other media, newsy type things and people helped share his request and that shared other people’s kindness and sadness back to him and his family.

walnut

People wrote poems and there’s also a song recorded for Walnut by the Ethical record label where all the profits will go towards Battersea Cats and Dogs Home.

cw121jfxaagsc1k

It’s cool to be kind.

Until next week fiends

Rx

Poppy Day

Hello fiends,

Well, Autumn’s here properly now, all the leaves are blowing around and down and it’s been a little frosty. Guy Fawkes Night has been and gone for another year – thank goodness!! Christmas next, though not quite yet – perhaps you’ve noticed people wearing their poppies  as, it’s this Sunday there will be Remembrance Services or Poppy Day as some folk call it.

While I think of it……. the reason we wear poppies is because, they grew on the battlefields in World War One and despite all the explosions and mud and muck they still shone through. A bit like bravery really – despite everything you keep on going.

poppyfield

Remembrance Sunday, is held in the UK and the Commonwealth as a day to remember the bravery of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and conflicts right up to the present day. It’s held on the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11 November which is Armistice Day; the anniversary of the end of the First World War at 11 a.m. in 1918.

 

 

And, you can also think of all the brave animals that took part – there were loads of different animals, horses are the obvious ones to think of and there are us dogs and even pigeons who carried secret messages from the commanders to the front line.

chips-dog

 

Chips, a German shepherd, collie, husky mix, was the most famous and decorated sentry dog in World War II. He was with the American army and attacked some of the enemy and alerted his handler and fiends when baddies were creeping up in the night – us dogs are very good at that. He was awarded loads of medals though the American government got a bit sniffy about dogs getting medals!! Typical!! Chips the hero

 monument

          

There are many different animals to look at and be proud of. You can look some of them up here History of War Animals

 

This week I’ve included quite a few pictures of our many brave fiends. It’s funny, I thought I was the bravest dog ever when I got nipped by that slippery Adder…….but, not half as brave as all these fellas. Remember them.

 

 

poppy2

 

Until next time

 Rx

Firework Night

 

 

Hello fiends,

Another busy week – Halloween capers of course, now what’s next Guy Fawkes Night – though people call it: Bonfire Night or Firework Night too

garden-fireworks-hero-m

What’s it all about – well, a very long time ago, 1605 to be exact, Guido Fawkes (Guy for short) was part of a norty gang who wanted to blow up the Houses of Parliament with gunpowder because, they didn’t like the MPs, Lords or the King very much. They hid barrels of this dastardly stuff in the cellar and planned to set it off at the opening ceremony. But, a couple of these norty gang got scared and warned some of their fiends what they were planning – and even without Facebook or Instagram (they didn’t have the internet in those days) – the Kings men found out and caught Guy Fawkes red-handed and red-faced in the cellars. After a couple of days in the cells with only stale bread and water he told the Kings men who else was in the gang. And that was that; the whole gang had had their chips….not actual chips of course; they weren’t invented then either.

All Londoners were then encouraged to light bonfires to ‘celebrate’ that the Gunpowder Plot had been foiled. It became an Act of Parliament that on November 5th every year would become a day of ‘thanksgiving’. Over the years’ people began making a look-a-like of Guy Fawkes out of old clothes stuffed with straw and burning it on the bonfire and fireworks were introduced.

When the King made that Act of Parliament he said; “this testemonye of joy be carefull done without any danger or disorder” –  that means health and safety is much older than we thought!!

remember-remember-fireworks-aren-t-just-in-november_feliway_banner_image_home

Us pets, and all animals really, aren’t keen on the fireworks or bonfire bit at all. They are too loud with flashes and bangs that send us running or barking or shivering and howling. And lots of children are scared too. Mum and her fiends wish that fireworks weren’t sold in shops and if there had to be fireworks they were only let off at specially run displays.

nuneatonandbedworth_01-11-2012_0960_001_nuneatonandbedworth_poster_olivia_suett_goodyers_end_winner2

There are loads of safety tips and pet owners have lots of different ways to help their fella’s. The main thing to always remember is; never play with fireworks or throw them at other people or animals. You would be literally playing with fire if you did and that is not cool at all!

On the day; make sure that walks are finished early so; everyone is indoors and snug before the bangs start. Putting a t-shirt on a dog or snuggling it up tightly with cushions and covers can help make it feel safer. Some people put the television sound or music up loud or sing…….luckily mum turns up the television or distracts me with toys.

safe

There are things that vets can give you too – like the Adaptil plug-in or collar for cats and dogs and in cases where fiends are very nervous vets can prescribe tablets. Aunty Jules calls them ‘Knock Out Drops’ – her old dog Barnaby and her fiends’ dog Bodie had them – they’d weave around a bit and then have a good sleep and miss all the fireworks.

If you are having a bonfire and have been building it over a few weeks – please check no hedgehogs have crept in there to hibernate.

cosy

Some older kids can be frightened of all the noise and flashes too so, if your fiends don’t want to go to a display or out at all on the 5th don’t force them or make fun of them – we all have things we don’t like!!

 

Stay safe fiends until next week

braceyourself

Rx

Halloween!!!

Hello fiends

Have you got your costumes and pumpkins ready for the big night of spookiness?

haunted-house

My fiend Buster wanted to know; ‘what’s Halloween all about’ so, I did a spot of investigating.

Halloween started way back in the eighth century –  it was a festival called ‘Samhain’, meaning summer’s end, and was celebrated on All Hallows Day.  Then over time it was called Halloween – short for ‘Hallowed Evening’ – and celebrated a day earlier and as it’s Evening it’s when it gets dark!!

Halloween was celebrated in places like Scotland – the Scottish folk loved the eerie and spooky tales and stories that were part of the tradition. In 1785 Robert Burns, the famous Scots poet, wrote a scary poem called ‘Halloween’……it’s a very long read!!

Trick or Treat started way back then too – folk started dressing up in costumes to act out the scary tales and poems and went around dressed up and carrying lanterns, asking for food in exchange for a poem or song – which was the ‘treat’…. hmm I think if mum and her fiends did a song; it would be the ‘trick’!!

pumpkin-soup

In those days, folk used hollowed out turnips with a lump of coal in as their lanterns. Turnips are hard to cut and when the tradition went to America they started using pumpkins as, they grew there and are much softer and as you can see much bigger.

That was so long ago it was – I didn’t even know time went that far back!! Buster asked if our mums were that old – hmm doubt it…………although!?!

easy-cosi

Nowadays, people think it’s cool for us dogs to wear spooky and funny costumes – there’s even competitions for the spookiest dressed dog and even the most famous dog Snoopy and his fiends celebrate too. There are some easy costumes you can make from an old sheet or tee-shirt and just put it around your dog’s shoulders. Though, if your dog isn’t keen putting on costumes or hats on don’t worry, they can still join in and maybe go Trick or Treating with you or just stay at home and nap.

snoopy

Always make sure mum or dad know where you’re going and who with, we just knock on the doors of people we know – sometimes the costumes and ‘Wooo Hooo’ noises can be too scary for some anxious or older folk so, we don’t go to those houses.

Lots of people we know locally do join in. They have dog friendly treats for me and my fiends and sweets and fruit for the humans. We wear a scary or funny costumes and we carry a jack-o- lantern made from a pumpkin that mum has carved out – we never use real candles in the pumpkin lantern or for decorations at home. Always get mum or dad to buy little battery light candles, they are much, much safer and pretty cheap.

If you don’t want to go out, or are too young, you can have a get together at home –  you could make your own Halloween decorations and there’s easy games you can play, like Apple Bobbing where you get an apple out of a bowl of water just using your teeth – that sounds easy, but, you must do it with your hands behind your back and must be the quickest!!

I had a fantastic time doing my Halloween photoshoot with mum and Stu (he did all the wizardry) from Maniac Films. The best one is the spooky meal – it’s meant to look like worms and other yuk stuff –  it was spaghetti and sausages of course!

count-dracula

And Stu, I spotted you sneaking some sausage – you’d better look out for Tricks on Halloween!!

Until next week Rx