Books, Trickster

Notes from a smalldog: Devil-Dog

Picture 033

She’s none too well again so I’m taking over today.

I am not always a well-behaved dog. I admit it. Not that there is stats 374any point denying it in face of her stash of photographic evidence to the contrary….Having said that, have you always been a well behaved human? She isn’t. . Not if, by well behaved, you mean conforming all the time. She gets into mischief too. You’ve seen the hair, right?

bird 012I mean, she could have trained me ‘better’. I’m fairly intelligent and easy enough to teach. I know so many of your words… breakfast, cheese, milk, for example, all the names of all of my toys…as well as the usual ones, and I can read more in the way she moves and speaks than any word can say.I watch, you see. I am aware of everything about her and the contents of the fridge, always. I try to stay on top of things pretty much.

There are those who say I should be better trained. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t bark at every bird. Or jump fences. Or raid the fridge. But other than the occasional tussle with a stuffed toy, honestly, I’m not really a devil dog, even though she calls me that sometimes.


I do try though, honest. The two worst words in the world to me have always been ‘bad girl’. Mind you, she doesn’t help when I get into trouble. She usually just ends up giggling and pointing the camera at me. I learned to pose early on though, so she doesn’t always get a clear shot.


She’s always let me do stuff though. The first time I chewed a shoe P1020168when I was a pup she was cross. But not for long. Then she gave me shoes of my very own to chew. I still have one of them. Occasionally I kidnap one of hers, but I don’t eat it. just hold it till she sees me… then we play chase.

sue 050Let’s face it, if I’m supposed to be better behaved, it isn’t me that needs training, it’s her. She only has to mean it, really and truly, and I won’t do it again. For a while anyway. But she just laughs most of the time. Most of the time I am only protecting her anyway. She needs looking after. Don’t we all?

I know all the things I am really, really not supposed to do… the turkey at Christmas was just a mistake, honest. And at least she wasn’t eating it for days afterwards.. and none was wasted… not that any food goes to waste here.

It’s useful for her though. If there is trouble she always knows snow dog 054where to find me… right in the middle of it. Then all I have to do is look guilty or sorry and she’ll cuddle me anyway. She’s good like that… easy to handle.

I think she raised her own pups the same way though, encouraging them to explore.  I’ve heard the stories about them when they were young, all the mischief and stuff they got up to. All the adventures and exploring. And they seem to have turned out okay. She’s proud of them and loves them.


So maybe she knows what she’s doing. If not, it doesn’t matter. We’ll learn together. We both get it wrong sometimes and love each other anyway. She seems to think Love is like that. As long as there are cuddles, I’m not going to argue with her on that one.

pics 051Much love,

Ani x






Ani, the inimitable Small Dog, told of the trials of training her two-legs in ‘Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two‘. Their poetic adventures continued in ‘Laughter Lines: Life from the Tail End’.

Doggerel: Life with the Small Dog

Available now in paperback and for Kindle

via Amazon UK,, and

In her latest 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.

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