It’s a dog’s life when you have to share the affections of your owner with a beast that’s ten times your size and weight.

I therefore have learned the art of blog writing – only one pawed typing, you understand, and give you this view on how I see all your crazy activities

Bob’s Diary was featured in the newsletters starting in 2007 and several people have asked to see them again.

Bob writing his blog

Bob’s Blog Spring 2007

Hi I would like to introduce myself to you FORBA readers. My name is Bob I am actually a one year old dog currently living with Chris & Dave. I am a seemingly bizarre cross between a Staffy and a lurcher.  All I can say is that it is a staggeringly good combination of speed, agility, intelligence charming personality and roguish good looks.  So there I was lying on my bed with two other elderly resident collies called True and Ceilidh who were updating me on the cushy conditions around here and that I came from somewhere called death row, when I hear the mistress talking about requiring articles for a newsletter. Well we dogs have had such thing for ages – they are posted all over the place in fact pretty much every tree and wall corner has some news on it.  They’re called P-mails!

We dogs were getting a little bored having cracked Fermats last theorem using our 3-d smell based math system – why not give this computer business a shot, after all I had watched the mistress us it many times.

Gosh it’s a bit weird using these little square keys and there doesn’t seem to be an input for smells – how can you tell a story with out smells!With our system all you have to do is pee on a tree and it updates all the other trees in the area.

My new owners say they could already write a book about me – well maybe I’ll beat them to it!

Bugger they’ve just arrived back from something called shopping, I’d best be on my mat lest my cover be broken – will write again soon to tell you of my adventures on a bus and nearly blowing the house up!


Bob’s Blog Autumn 2007

Readers may remember that in the last newsletter I promised to fill you in on some of my crazier exploits since I became a Baxenden resident. Apart from pinching numerous food items not meant for dogs, such as a full tub of Lurpak butter, and in another single sitting 2lb grapes, a head of broccoli, and some carrots—well if they will leave the shopping in the car with me?

Doors that lock

My first serious misdemeanour was my first weekend with the new people.They went away for the weekend to stay with friends at Blackshaw Head, taking us dogs and horses—us dogs roughing it in the living bit of the horse box. I could see out if I bounced up and down in front of the door but I soon worked out that I could see out better if I stood in the sink.Nice and early mistress came out to take us for a run but had trouble opening the door.What I didn’t know was that when jumping up and down I had knocked the door handle into the locked position.The situation was worsened by the fact that the idiots had left the trailer keys in there with us.If they could only speak dog language I would have posted them out, but instead they messed around for over half an hour with a screwdriver and mane comb opening the window.By the time they got the door open I was nearly wetting myself—humans eh?

Early morning bus ride

Another time early one frosty morning around 6 am I got the usual urge for a pee, and by yapping loud enough I get let out. On this particular morning, my two mates and I accompanied by the mistress in a fetching fluffy dressing gown and slippers, took a quick turn around the garden. After peeing in several places everyone headed off back to the house, but I had different ideas. Taking the path down past Jean’s I soon came to the main road, where about 100 yards away there were a group of people. Being a friendly sort of guy I went to see them just as a big red vehicle arrived. As they were all happy enough to get on board, I nipped on with them and off we went. (Rumour has it that I originated “darn sarth” and came to the north via trains boats and planes. This is just a rumour.) Meanwhile back at the ranch, mistress had realised I was missing and roamed around the garden, drive and field with dog whistle and torch still in fluffy slippers. She eventually gave up instructing the household who were now moving about, to look out for me. Apparently at about 6.20 the phone rang and the conversation with the master went like this: “Have you lost a black dog mate? (Yes) Right, well I’m the driver of the 464 to Rochdale and he’s on my bus. If you can get to Hassy Health Centre in 2 minutes I’ll hang on.”The master grabbed some keys and ran outside past the usual car (that was free of frost) and jumped in the big white thing that was covered in frost. Undeterred master booted it down the drive hitting the gate post on the way out and clogged it to Hassy.The bus driver by this time was getting a bit impatient as the promised two minutes was running into ten, but he waited, as presumably it was easier than taking me home. Master eventually jumped on board with clenched fists ready to give me what for, but I jumped down from the front seat where I had been kept warm by two nice ladies, and wagged my tail.Everyone on the bus with one voice said “Aahh bless!” so I avoided a telling off and we returned home in the big white van. Anyway, here I am with my new mate in the office – we’re tired out after writing this and deserve a snooze.


Bob’s Blog Spring 2008

The best eating places in Rising Bridge

In the last newsletter I told you all the tale of catching the bus to Haslingden. Since then I have taken many an excursion, mainly up to Rising Bridge as there are plenty of bins to rummage in. I get bored mooching round the field while the horses are pampered, and its only 100 yards up Back Lane to Rising Bridge where there is an Indian Restaurant. I sometimes visit the feed store as they leave huge boxes of bones on the floor just inside the shop. I also go visiting the house next door to Steven’s at Rising Bridge as they give me lots of tit bits and nice food. I have been known to go the other way towards Accrington and have been returned by two school boys before now.

Collected by the veterinary nurse

Another time I nipped off to see some doggy friends being walked – I saw them from the field, and before anyone missed me I had joined them down on Manchester Road.The nice chap with them checked my collar and took me home, but of course there was no-one in as they were all up the field!Aren’t humans daft?He took me back home with him, and his wife, who works at the Veterinary Surgery, rang up to report she had me.She recognised me as I had stayed in the surgery for a couple of weeks while they tried to find a home for me. (That’s why I’m called Death Row Bob apparently. What’s Death Row?) The conversation went like this:Hello Chris, it’s _____ , the veterinary nurse from Mearley’s here. We’ve got Bob. Mrs immediately assumed I had been in an accident and said she would come straight down.The reply was, do you know where we are? Even I thought this was a bit strange as even I could find my way to the surgery, but of course, she meant her house in Baxenden.The conversation carried on like this for a while until everyone got hold on one end of the same stick and established where they all were, and Mrs came and collected me in the car.She seemed to be in a bit of a mood – can’t think why.

Chocolate labs

I am very keen on a chocolate lady lab who is walked on Back Lane past our field.She comes in and plays with me most days. I went off on one of my detours one morning on our way home and Lady lab’s Mum saw me on Manchester Road.She stopped her car, frog marched me back up the road and up the drive to the house and scolded me saying Get home now you bad boy!I shot home quite surprised at this treatment and met Mrs at the back door whistling for me. Fortunately she didn’t realise what had happened until she saw Lady Lab’s mother a few weeks later when she ratted on me big time.And I thought she was my friend!

Muddy cushions and a late breakfast

I nip off so often everyone thinks the worst of me.We came back from the field one filthy wet morning and went down the garden to feed the fish in the pond.Mrs opened up the conservatory to get the fish food, and not being fond of rain, I nipped in to wait on a comfy chair.Next thing the door was locked on me and the others went up to the house for breakfast. I could hear shouting and whistling and was a bit put out when I heard the car go out without me.But I couldn’t get out and found another dry cushion to lie on as the first chair was wet and muddy. Eventually the hullabaloo died down and I could get some kip.Some time later Mrs returned having scoured Rising Bridge and Baxenden for me calling me all the names under the sun. Is she daft? I was in the conservatory all the time! She had had a brain wave and realised where I might be. Seems she didn’t know I was in there and had been looking for me.Why didn’t she say?There was also trouble about the mud on the chairs. Don’t get it – they smell much better now.

Hide and seek with the trailer keys

However, worse is to come.When they go out on the horses I usually get to go with them.This is super – miles and miles of running and so many smells. I get so excited at the prospect of such an outing I act a bit daft.They were loading up the car one morning and had put the trailer keys down on the floor in the porch. These keys are in a nice soft wallet thingy and they felt lovely in my mouth.No-one saw me pick them up and I ran around with them for a while.No-one wanted to play and I got fed up after a while and went back to see if they were ready. Seems they had lost something, and both thought they were going daft checking pockets and bags then emptying the contents of the car out again. I brought them a stick to help at which point they blamed me and started wandering around outside. After ages they found them in next door’s garden and then got on with the job of going out.They do such weird things these humans!

Rat Poison and another trip to the vets

As promised in this edition I will tell the sad story of the day I tried out rat poison. Yet again it was raining and while the Mrs fiddled about in the garden I took shelter in the porch. There is always plenty to sniff at in here – loads of boots, brushes, tubs of bird food and a tub on the floor that was interesting.The lid came off easily and inside was some funny blue stuff. I took a sniff just as the Mrs came in. Seeing blue granules all over my nose she went ape, running inside and re-appearing with a bottle. I was dragged outside and the contents were squirted down my throat! Yuk! It was salty, soapy, mustardy, vinegary, everything to make a dog puke. Except I didn’t! This was followed by a frantic drive down to the vets.We bumped into Ann at the door who took one look at me and directed us to check in at the counter and proceed downstairs.Well, the first two bottles at home were nectar compared to some stuff the nurse squirted down my neck. I thought she was my friend from when I stayed there for a fortnight, but I quickly changed my mind. After 4 goes with this stuff which was supposed to make me sick nothing happened.So the Mrs had to leave me for the day as they were going to stick a needle in me which was guaranteed to make me sick.Ha – nothing happened again, so I was sent home in disgrace with some tablets.

Free lunches are always free

I try not to be prejudiced about my owners’ friends and colleagues, but some of them deserve all that happens to them.For instance, a plasterer, whatever that is, comes to the house on a regular basis and in my humble opinion is a bit of a wimp.He won’t come to the house in the dark as there are no lights on the drive!Anyway, one morning early doors, the Mr took us dogs outside to have a good sniff round when this particular chap drives up. Everyone went down to the outbuildings to “load up”.I went too, and while they were doing that I jumped in the van as the driver’s door was open.On the shelfy thing was a load of super smelling snack so I helped myself.At this point Mr started calling for me, probably thinking I had run off again. I clearly hadn’t so took no notice until the plasterer saw where I was.The reality of the situation was slow to dawn as I managed another couple of mouthfuls before he yelled “Here he is the b___d, eating my dinner!”Justice eh?

Leg of lamb for tea

One evening everyone went for a walk (better not divulge the place!). The humans got to their destination and did whatever they had to do, and we set of back. This particular walk runs along the back of some houses, and as we walked along the most enticing smell of roast lamb hit my nose like a punch. The mist came down and scanning the air waves, I set off at a brisk trot to find it. Seconds later, mission accomplished, I heard the humans whistling so with my booty I ran back down the ginnel to the lane. Something appeared wrong, as when they saw me they started a weird act of chasing me about. I can only assume they wanted my leg of lamb, so being very obliging, I let them have it, but you’ll never guess – they threw it back over the garden fence, and hurried on down the lane towards home, telling me off all the way. I ask you – are they crazy or what?

Silverside for tea

These humans don’t half eat well. Last night it was a joint of beef, and although there was some left, they didn’t share with us dogs. However, the leftovers came out the next night for their tea. It was sliced up and there was just enough to put a reasonable portion on each plate, along with some potatoes and green and orange stuff. Before the plates got to the table the door bell rang and the Mrs went to answer it. Now all this time I had been sitting very patiently watching the meat being sliced and put on plates, so thought it was only fair that when the kitchen was vacated I should help myself. I was very generous and only took the meat off each plate, leaving the potatoes and green/orange veggies all neat and tidy. My companions, True and Ceilidh, didn’t move a muscle, but lay in their beds watching, and cringing. The Mrs came back in, ringing the dinner bell on the way, and put the plates on the table. After a few seconds my name was yelled in a very accusing way. True and Ceilidh looked at me as if to say – told you so you stupid idiot, now look! I’ve never had a chance to repeat that as food isn’t left unattended now.