|From Paul -
Nov 10th 2006
Shaolin poorly dog
Greetings oh itinerant
The biggest event this week has been Shaolin making herself
ill to the point of collapse and fitting at the bottom of
the garden and then going missing for 6 hours before turning
up in the passage and discovered by Ma - no energy to let
out even the most perfunctory of impatient yaps.
By the time I got home she looked at death's door and so we
took her off to the vet. Said vet was young and enthusiastic
and so shared with us every last nuance of her thought
processes about possible causes of doggits illness. None of
which we needed to know, but she was clearly enjoying the
possibility of meeting a disease she had only heard about in
Doggler was poked, prodded and x-rayed. It was pronounced
that she had a rat's skull in her stomach having eaten said
object whole. She was placed on a drip and barrier-nursed
lest she had some exotic highly infectious disease.
She was eventually diagnosed as suffering a
surfeit-of-bones-in-the-digestive-system (translated from
the original). We'd had spare ribs and Shaolin had partaken
heavily and enthusiastically, it seems she topped it off by
eating a whole rat. The procession of bones through her
digestive system was causing havoc - vomit at one end and
diarrhoea at the other. Ultimately it was left to the vet to
manually extract a small pile of bones and bone fragments
from her - ahem - bottom. And you thought you'd had some bad
To great relief, she is now well on the mend having spent
two days in doggy hospital and scaring us mightily. When we
took her in I thought there was a good chance that was it
and we'd never see her again, I've never seen her so ill and
The first thing she did on arrival home was to go outside
and bark at the squirrels. She's still fairly delicate and
not entirely herself
yet, but is almost the normal Shaolin.
The moral of the tale - don't swallow bones, unless you and
Ed sign some kind of mutual extraction agreement.
p.s. "Yap" - Shaolin.
Which as you are obviously aware means
"Please bring me back a deliciously spicy Indian rat to
eat". If you do so, please de-bone the rodent first.
|From Julien -
Nov 11th 2006
I read with due concern, the troublesome tale of our most
cherished pet. The drama, told with unwavering panache and
characteristic flair for narrative and pathos, reminded me
of an Aesop tale I once read as a child in which a rat,
devoured by an unruly hound, achieved notoriety among its
peers by causing terrible gastric discomfort to the
The moral, as Shaolin has
recently discovered, was as you rightly pointed out: "Wise
is the she, whose eyes swollen with the desire of imminent
bodily satiety, refrains from an excess of rat until such
times as the bones, consumed only moments earlier (and
within short succession of one another), have been
completely digested". Many a time have these wise words
spared me the angst and turmoil that our beloved beast had
to endure. I trust she is now in more robust health.
Hmmmm... Well. We left the chaos and smog of Bangalore this
morning for the slightly more refined charms of Mysore.
Bangalore, a mix of frenetic Indian horror and posturing
Western decadence, was a fitting place to spend a few days -
a pair of wandering flaneurs stalking the thronging streets
of India's silicon valley (if you will). I must confess,
after the relentless hassling of festival time Hampi ("Hey,
friend, looking is free...") to being most refreshed being
an anonymous face in a sea of anonymous people, although the
utter mayhem did start to drain the spirit a touch.
Utilising our newfound skills of getting the hell out of a
place before it becomes too much to bear, we headed for the
more supine pleasures of Mysore - last bastion of defiance
against our proud Imperialist venture and stronghold of your
old nemesis, Tippu Sultan. We arrived around two this
afternoon and already we're feeling slightly more energised.
It's really quite remarkable how exhausting it is dispersing
rickshaw drivers with bottled urine and scattering the
myriad children with cries of "Fie, fie! a pox on you!"
It's embarrassingly difficult relaying all the curious
adventures that have taken place to date. Amid the spider
web of lies that unfolds before you there are some amusing
stories desperate to get out. Remind me, upon my return, to
tell you how I managed to find myself embroiled in a
particularly venomous dispute with a certain Mr. Nice ("I
give them the Goan banana ((The title of a romantic trilogy
Ed and I have decided to pen)), and how, due to gross
miscommunication on my part, I ascended the 600 steps of
Monkey Mountain twice in as many hours. And how I bartered
with several police officers the amount of backsheesh I was
prepared to divulge. I also feel it worthwhile pointing out
that I actually trounced the Tamil Tiger at chess. If it
wasn't for the sake of that "game of kings" line I would
have confessed all from the outset. Oh what a merry web we
Upon re-reading this somewhat lacklustre email I feel that I
have failed to convey the spirit of the places I've been. I
suppose I'm still trying to understand what's been going on
myself. Please accept my heartfelt apologies.
Until such times as we are next in league I remain, as ever,
your humble servant,