I have a friend to introduce you to today that I've been wanting you to meet for a while. She was meant to be one of the first friends I introduced you to, but wasn't because of something Mummy calls, "Technical issues," - whatever that's supposed to mean. Anyway, let's meet her, shall we?
Hi friend, telll everyone what your name is. Also, I happen to know there's some meaning to your name, and I bet there's a bit of a story behind it too, so can you share that with us as well?
First of all, thank you for asking me over, Lilie and Tori!
You're very welcome. It's great to finally have you over for a visit.
My name is Ani… otherwise known as the Small Dog. I was named after Anubis, the Egyptian god who walks between worlds, but because I’m a girl and he’s not, they went with Ani instead.
My two-legs calls me Small Dog. She says it is mainly because I look almost exactly like the dog-before-me, whose name was Echo. Apparently, though, I am only half her size. And I’m not exactly small at all. Mind you, I do my best to convince her that I am a small dog, ‘cause if she thinks I’m all little and fragile, I’ll probably get more treats…
That's a great name! Also, good idea about the treat thing. Don't tell Logan about it though... He's bad enough for finding ways to get more treats already. Anyway, Ani, I know you're a dog, but what breed are you exactly?
She says that, like Echo, I am a Setter/lunatic cross. Hrmph. Echo’s Mum was a pedigree Irish Setter who had a bit of a fling with a roving Scottish Collie on holiday. My Mum, though, was an English Setter and my Dad a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Mum and Dad had a fling too and we don’t know whether they were dumped or escaped, but the two of them were found in a field in Ireland where they had built a den ‘cause Mum was expecting her pups.
I'm glad you and your family were found and rescued. Now, I know you said you're a small dog, but can you describe your appearance fully? I have a photo here, but please describe yourself too, for the benefit of those who can’t see the photo.
Well, ‘gorgeous’ and ‘cute’ come to mind! Only ‘cause lots of two-legses say that.
I’m not a little dog; my back comes about halfway up my two-legses thigh and, if I stretch out, I can pretty much occupy all three seats on the sofa. I have long hair, a feathery tail and feathers on my legs. My fur is black, shiny and wavy, apart from a white bib on my chest. There are white bits on my feet too and some two-legses say it looks like I’ve had my nose in the sherbert, ‘cause my muzzle is white too.
I have long floppy ears that look like setter ears when they are down, but they are quite mobile and look like retriever ears a lot of the time. And big, brown eyes that work like magic for doing the whole puppy-eye thing, even now when my eyebrows have gone grey and I’m getting on a bit.
I'd say everyone who calls you gorgeous is right.
By the way, Ani, what sort of place do you live in? Who do you share it with?
When they first brought me home, we had a big house full of my boys and other dogs and children. But they all grew up and left home, so now I just live with her in a little place of our own. We share it with the fishes in the aquarium…and we have cows over the fence and lots of fields around us, which is cool.
Yeah, that does sound cool. Although, I'm not too sure what a cow is... I've never met one of those. Anyway, what’s your favourite thing to do?
Whatever I’m doing right now! I like walks, and swimming and eating and playing…especially if she gets down on the floor with me and rolls around. And I like going places in the car and exploring with her and the ball guy too.
That all sounds like fun! I'm with you on all those things. So, do you have a favourite toy? If yes, what is it?
That would be The Ball. I have dozens of balls. She filled a Christmas Tree with them for me one year… but although I sometimes get them out of my toy box just to confuse her, there is one One Ball. I’ve had it about three years now and play with it all the time. It stopped bouncing a long time ago when a chunk ‘fell’ out and you can barely tell what colour it used to be now. But I love that ball.
Oh, I totally get that! I'm the same with balls, and that one ball...
Speaking of favourite things, what’s your favourite food?
Hers! Whatever she is eating has to be shared.
But if we are talking my food… chicken. No question. But I am partial to cheese and fish and… okay, Ijust like food.
You sound more like Logan with that one. Although, I have to agree about the chicken and cheese, and the fact their food is always better somehow. By the way, speaking of the humans, what’s the one thing your human does that you love most?
Whatever she is doing… as long as we do it together. Well, almost…
Almost? So, what’s the one thing your human does that you hate most?
… I hate it when she goes out to work. Even though she always comes back. And I don’t like it when she tries to bath me…though that doesn’t always work unless she has reinforcements. Or when she takes me to the vet. Cleans my ears. Tries to cut my nails… Other than that, I like pretty much everything.
That's technically more than one thing, but I'll let you have it. I'm with you on the going places without us thing. Why do they keep doing that? I don't mind the bath and vet part myself though. Although... Yeah, I could do without the ear cleaning and nail trimming. So, I'm with you on some of that, but not all of it.
Anyway, your human is a writer. Has she written anything about you? If yes, can you tell us about it? If no, do you think she will in the future?
Excuse me… she is not the only writer in the house! I have my own book, Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two! Then there is Laughter Lines: Life from the Tail End. I’m on the cover and most of the poems are about me. Or by me. And I am in almost all her books, one way or another! In the books she and my Ball Guy write together, they changed me into a boy and called me Anu, but it is still me. And there's a new book of poems out with my face on the cover…and all about me! That one is called Doggerel: Life with the Small Dog.
Yes, of course... I should have remembered you write too. I'm glad she includes you so much in her writing. But, tell me, Ani, what do you do while your human writes?
I guard the garden… I have to keep an eye on the cows and protect my airspace from invading pigeons, helicopters and hot air balloons. We get a lot of those. And guard the door against the postman. He doesn’t come often. Then, of course, I have to remind her to eat… and to feed me. And make sure she moves a lot so I bring her the ball to throw every few minutes. And, if she manages to ignore me for a while, I go and open the kitchen cupboard and help myself to treats. She’s still not sure how I do that. Heh!
The rest of the time, I catch up on sleeping…usually on the mat inside the door, where I can be comfy but still have my nose outside. She says its too cold for that now. I think she should just grow some fur.
I agree. I mean, sure, it's not as warm out as it was a little while ago. But they wouldn't have to complain about the cold so much if they had better fur. That's really clever about getting in to your treat cupboard by the way. Anyhow, it sounds like you have a very busy schedule, especially with all those invading birds and balloons and things. So I better let you get back to it. Before I do though, is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?
Just one thing… I’m a rescue dog. A lot of my friends are too. I was lucky…I got taken to my forever home as soon as I was old enough to leave Mum. A lot of dogs are not so lucky, especially if they are old, sick…or black, like me. Black dogs don’t get adopted much. I don’t know why, but she seems to think it is because there are so many bad black dogs in stories and folklore. I just wish more people would think about rescues before going to a breeder.
I'm glad you got lucky, and found a forever home, even though you're a black dog. Also, you'll be glad to know, we've had a few other friends come over who were rescued too, so it seems more people are looking to adopt. I hope that's the case, because I'd love for as many dogs as possible to find happy forever homes like you have, even though I'm not a rescue dog myself.
Anyway, thanks for visiting today, Ani. It was great getting to know more about you, and introduce you to all my other friends. Come back any time.
Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer, currently living in the rural south of England after an unfortunate incident with a map, a pin and a blindfold. She is a director of The Silent Eye, an international school for consciousness studies run on a not-for-profit basis.
She has published a number of books of her own as well as in collaboration with G. Michael Vasey and, most prolifically, with one of her co-directors, Stuart France (otherwise known as the Ball Guy).
She is a painter and photographer and, when she is not throwing balls for the Small Dog by whom she is owned, spends a great deal of her free time researching and visiting the ancient sacred places of Britain.
Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo Blog: https://scvincent.com/
France and Vincent Website: https://franceandvincent.com/
Silent Eye Website: https://thesilenteye.co.uk/
Amazon Author Page (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W
Amazon Author Page (US): https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W
Doggerel: Life with the Small Dog
The relationship between Ani, the inimitable Small Dog and her two-legs, first came to light in Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two. Their poetic adventures continued in Laughter Lines: Life from the Tail End.
In this new collection of poems, their daily life together takes centre stage. From the perfidy of humans who insist on bathing dogs, to the unpunctuality of writers at mealtimes, the relationship between two legs and four is explored in verse.
The Small Dog reveals her continuing fascination with chicken, tennis balls and the compulsion to re-write Shakespeare, while exposing her two legs’ misdemeanours to the world.
Buy your copy today from Amazon UK or Amazon US.
All books can be found via Amazon UK, or Amazon US, and worldwide.
I hope you enjoyed getting to meet my friend, Ani, and learning about her and her "two legs" - as she calls her human. Please share this post around to show them you enjoyed it, or maybe leave them a comment. Better yet, do both!
Oh, and we're always looking for new friends... I love friends! So, if you're a bird, cat, chinchilla, degu, dog, gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, rat, or other non-human animal, you live with a human who calls themselves a writer or blogger, and you'd like to be featured as a friend of furkid Friday, check out the "Friends Of Furkid Friday" page to find out how. We'd love to hear from you.
Lots of licks,