by Chris Dolley

Well, only the one, but it feels like more:)

Yes, we have succumbed. After Gypsy’s passing this spring, at the incredibly ripe old age for an enormous dog of 16½, we decided to wait a while before once more committing puppy. My ankles needed a rest (they’re puppy magnets) and we had a couple of trips to England to get out of the way. Last Sunday all that waiting came to an end.

Meet Asta. He’s 11 weeks old and growing fast. Xena, our cat, is far from amused. There has been spitting, and a fair amount of chasing. Luckily it’s playful chasing and, being a puppy with ADD, they don’t last long, as he can’t concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds. So a quick lollopy chase across the lawn soon ends in with a lurch towards another target or a collapse onto the ground for a yawn and a good scratch. He has also discovered the joys of tail chasing.

House training … not so much. At first, we thought he might be house trained. Which amazed us, as he’d been raised in a stable with eight or so siblings. Then, after two days of exemplary conduct, his perfect score came to a spectacular end. Several times. At night. All over our bedroom floor. Puppies, diarrhoea and a good night’s sleep do not go together.

For those wondering about his breed, take a look at those enormous paws. And the fact that he has six toes on his back feet – with six claws as the skin on my arms can attest:) Yes, he’s a Pyrenean Mountain Dog.

As for the name – I’m sure a few of you might have heard of another famous white-haired dog renowned for helping his crime-fighting humans.

This Asta may be somewhat larger but I suspect he’s going to be the same handful that his namesake was. 

Chris Dolley is an English author living in France with a frightening number of animals. More information about his other work can be found on his BVC bookshelf

An Unsafe Pair of Handsa quirky murder mystery set in rural England charting the descent and rise of a detective on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Which will break first? The case, or DCI Shand?
Medium Dead – a fun urban fantasy chronicling the crime fighting adventures of Brenda – a reluctant medium – and Brian – a Vigilante Demon with an impish sense of humour. Think Stephanie Plum with magic and a dash of Carl Hiaasen.
What Ho, Automaton! – Wodehouse Steampunk. Follow the adventures of Reggie Worcester, consulting detective, and his gentleman’s personal gentle-automaton, Reeves. It’s set in an alternative 1903 where an augmented Queen Victoria is still on the throne and automata are a common sight below stairs. Humour, Mystery, Aunts and Zeppelins!
French Fried true crime, animals behaving badly and other people’s misfortunes. Imagine A Year in Provence with Miss Marple and Gerald Durrell.
International Kittens of Mystery. If you like a laugh and looking at cute kitten pictures this is the book for you. It’s a glance inside the International Kittens of Mystery – the only organisation on the planet with a plan to deal with a giant ball of wool on a collision course with Earth.




Puppies!!! — 7 Comments

  1. Really big. He has to have special puppy food formulated for giant dogs – with more protein and less calcium. I think the calcium is obtained from the bones of ground-up postmen:)

  2. Never heard of the breed but he sure is cute! And Asta–quite appropriate, since he’s living with folks who had to solve a crime soon after moving in!

  3. Good lord, man, you’ve got yourself a baby dog-pony. I’m only surprised they didn’t tell you to feed him a whole postman twice a day!

    (He’s awfully adorable, though. Small children and small dogs have to be cute, otherwise they’d never get any larger.)

  4. Acute puppy envy here! I love dogs, especially real dogs that are big enough to hug. Alas I am owned by one territorial Siamese that personifies catitude.